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On nostalgia

Earlier this weekend, I decided to play Pokémon Blue on a whim. I haven’t thought about that game in well over a decade, possibly more, but I wore Psyduck socks last week, and there goes that train of thought.

My first interaction with the franchise, as with most people my age, was the animation series. I must have been 10 or 11 at that point, and I didn’t actually have a Game Boy to play the game with. Instead, I downloaded emulators and ROMs at that age and trying to get it to work on whatever that OS must have been then – 95? XP?

This next detail is a little fuzzy: I’m not sure why my memories of playing it were always just at my grandmother’s, where we would go every Sunday. I would have a solid block of four to five hours to “speed-run”, and I think the furthest I got was Vermilion City, before I had to shut it down to eat dinner and go home. The save function must not have worked on the emulator then, too, because it felt like I was trapped in that Sisyphean run every single week, and never getting to the end game.

But yes. This past weekend, I downloaded another emulator and got right to work. After the first few minutes of playing, I sped up the emulator and literally breezed through the game with mostly just Kadabra, though my starter (a Bulbasaur) did pretty well with its one-shot fights too.

It took me about a collective 12 hours to complete the game, I think — a far cry from the speed run world records, clearly! — and you know what? I’m glad I did nothing else this weekend and just dove right into the nostalgia of my childhood.

(And of course I caught Psyduck. Psy-ay-ay.)

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