I don’t remember exactly when I first noticed that the Unknown
were spelling out words. But I do remember what made me pay attention to them.
True to the ‘catch em all’ mentality, I was trying to capture the full alphabet. Spending a lot of time with the Unknown, accidental words appearing was quite normal. It was when, six in a row they spelled out S. I. L. V. E. R, that I started to pay attention. As soon As I’d captured the R and the view went back to the overworld, my rival appeared. Right there in the unknown ruins. I hadn’t named my rival Silver, and he’d never been there before.. but there he was.
A battle began, and to my surprise his name came up as SILVER, rather than the name I’d given him. He was easy enough to defeat, and upon losing the battle said “….” then dissapeared.
That was the beggining. I searched the internet for glitches, or special events, or hidden extras in-game that might be what I’d experienced. There was none. This is partially why I’m writing this, if it happens to you, you will not be as naive as I was.
From then on, the unknown appeared at random, which was frustrating. Untill I remembered that the time before, i’d had the radio on. So, with the secret-signal playing and my hunt for the alphabet continuing, the Unknown started telling me things.
R. A. I. K. O. U
As soon as the U was defeated I went looking for Raikou
in the ruins, but he wasn’t there. Eventually I left the ruins a little disheartened.. when i spotted his sprite sitting just outside the ruins. I initiated the battle with Raikou
at the ruins, he was easy to catch. Easier than he should have been, I thought.
In my mind, this was fun. I’d discovered a special event that nobody new about!
But the Unknown were just getting my attention by bringing me Raikou. They had important things to say.
T. R. A. P. E. D
Trapped? It was mis-spelled, but maybe that was to fit into the 6-letter form they kept up. Trapped where? The screen shook, and there was a loud noise. A dialouge box popped up, it said: “An earthquake blocked off the entrance!”
What? Was there really a whole part of the story in this game that NOBODY new about? Why wasn’t this section in the guide book?
Sure enough, the ladder was useless. The next Unknown I met was shiny;
Despite already having that letter, who could resist a shiny pokemon? The next five were shiny too.. R. E. E. Z. E.
I made the mistake of catching them all, greed for shiny pokemon momentarilly taking over the message. Freeze? After that the music faltered and sounded strange, so I went to the pokegear to check the radio. The Unknown’s signal wasn’t playing anymore. I checked the other stations, and to my horror they were all playing static. This was too much, I stopped playing and went back to the internet to search for a walkthrough that had this part of the game covered, but found nothing. My computer’s speakers weren’t working for some reason, but I decided to fix that later. There was nobody on messenger to tell about my weird game. No new emails.. nothing was updated, so I went back to playing pokemon.
The radio was working, just for one broadcast.
“OAK: There were warnings of this, messages left from ancient times. We did not pay them attention. They warned us. We did not listen…..”
And it played that strange static noise again.
The Unknown, he had to mean the Unknown. What would their next message be? Would they tell me how to get out?
E. S. C. A. P. E.
Escape? I was trying to! How un-helpful. No, wait. Escape rope? It was so obvious I felt like an idiot for not thinking of it before, and used an escape rope. Sure enough, it brought me out to the overworld outside the Ruins. The scene was dramatically different though, the place was overgrown. The long grass was EVERYWHERE, the buildings themselves looked obviously destroyed.
I went to the researchers house, by the ruins, it was still standing and I hadn’t a clue what else to do. Inside was silent. The researchers sprites were where they always were, but it was impossible to interact with them. One of them, sitting at the table had the option “push?” appear when I tried to talk to him. then “yes” or “no”.. I chose yes. The sprite moved one square up, off the seat, but otherwise stayed exactly as it was.
I left the house, saved, and switched off the game for a break. It was starting to get to me. The next day, things took a turn for the worse. Nobody would speak to me, nobody would respond to me.. in fact.. they weren’t even moving. On the street, in the local cafe, people were posed as normal, as if time had stopped, they weren’t moving, or even breathing. There was a woman standing at the bus stop, I decided to “push” her, just to see what would happen. She fell, like a mannequin, and stiffly hit the ground with a THWAK… and blood poured out her head where it had hit the road.
Out of blind panic, I ran home and went back to playing Pokemon, I’d just left the researchers house.
Professor Oak was standing outside, an exclamation mark appeared above his head and he walked over to me. “A survivor! What is your name?”.
Two options came up, I could choose my player name, or “new name”. I chose my player name, and Oak reacted by jumping back. “You.. they speak to you”. And his sprite ran away.
Having no idea what I was ment to do next, I just wandered around johto aimlessly. Most of the buildings were obviously ruined. None of the people would respond to me, although one or two had the “push” option, if they were infront of something.
There were no wild pokemon. There were no animals to be heard in the outside world either.
In frustration, I went back to the Unknown Ruins to try and get back in, for another clue. After trying to walk into each entrance, the one that would normally go to the Ho-oh
puzzle room let me in. I immediately put on the radio, hoping the Unknown would tell me something.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Believeing that the Unknown were somehow speaking directly to me? But they were.
C. H. O. O. S. E
Choose. Okay! Choose what? What was my choice? Two holes opened in the floor of the puzzle room, and I heard the front and back doors of my house swing open.
Walking around the house, game in hand, I looked out both doors, everything looked normal outside both. In game, the two holes in the floor looked the same.
L. I. F. E. O. R
lifeor? Thats not a word.
D. E. A. T. H. ?.
A question mark! Forgetting myself for a moment, I was excited to see the rare unknown and caught it…. Life..or..death?
No, this wasn’t making sense, the next clue would help surely.
C. H. O. O. S. E
C. H. O. O. S. E
That’s all that they’d say. So I had to choose. Both holes in the floor looked the same, so I just took my chances and jumped down one. The whole screen went black, then faded to red, then white. A dialouge box appeared saying:
“You chose LIFE”.
My heart was hammering, I fainted.
When I woke up, my roommate was standing over me, asking if I was alright. There was music on, and cars outside. I survived! I was a lucky
one. Possibly the first lucky one. My roomie told me that something had happened outside, a woman had been hit by a bus or something.
It was a few days before I dared play pokemon again, but curiosity got the better of me and I had to know what happened in the game. But the only option that came up after the title screen was “New Game”.
I chose not to start again, and left it alone. Since then, I’ve donated that catridge along with several other old games and toys to local a local thrift store.
Whoever else plays that game, better make sure to choose Life, I suspect the reason that there was no information on this before is because nobody before me was lucky enough to choose correctly.