So when I first started out the game, I heard the somewhat ominous music of the Gamefreak logo, and became somewhat excited. This was my first Pokemon game I actually owned besides Pokemon Yellow way back then, and Pokemon Explorers of Time which I didn't like and had only played maybe two or three hours on. I just didn't get that game, seriously.
So I'm greeted at the intro screen to this floating yellow and red thing. I have no idea what it is, so I ask Josh. I'm told this is Giratina. With a bit of research, I find out that Giratina lives in the Distortion World (whatever that is) where the normal rules of Time and Space don't apply. It is also a ghost/dragon type pokemon. You can first encounter it in Diamond/Pearl versions of the game.
With that out of the way, I press start for a new game. I am greeted by Proffessor Rowan, who reminds me of Professor Oak from the game I played so long ago. I feel somewhat unsure of this Rowan fellow, but he seems to hold the same purpose as Professor Oak, so I continue.
He asks me if I am a boy or girl. It's clearly obvious. I always play as the male avatar in games, so I put my cursor over the boy and choose him. He is wearing a strange beret and a white scarf, but I don't question it, considering I have seen stranger fashion, and the girl's outfit isn't much better. At least the boy is clothed properly.
And now the hard part. A name for myself. I struggle very often with names, but I usually choose a set name for any male avatar I use in games. I pick Donny this time, short for Donatello, which is not only an awesome name, but my favorite Ninja Turtle. I'm sure Donny would be thrilled to know he was named after a giant fictional mutant turtle. Just wait until I have a kid and will want to actually name him Donatello. Hey, it's a cool name.
So, after that, I'm shrunk down into a very disturbing chibi-like human and appear in the top floor of my house. I try to walk to the stairs, but all of a sudden, barreling at top speed, in comes my childhood rival. I had chosen his name as Tim, after a Tim I know who's a bit of a spaz in real life. I figured the name fits well, and the real Tim didn't mind and thought it was kinda cool anyway.
So after spouting something I didn't really catch, Tim bolts down the stairs again and I'm able to follow. When I reach the bottom of the steps, my mother approaches me and tells me that Tim is looking for me. Even though he was just here. Very strange.
I get my first view of the town of Twinleaf. I am excited to see snow on the ground, but Josh tells me that it is not a weather mechanic, but that it's always snowy. The air has a dusk feel to it, being not entirely dark, but not soley day either. The colours are bright and rich, and the music is very fitting for the scenery.
I explore the town, talking to a few people who give me simple tips on the pokemon world. There are three other houses to explore, and I go into two, but gain nothing in items. Don't these people know I'm a starting adventurer and must be given free items at the start of the game? Ah well. Let's meet up with my rival.
I head for the house in the northwest corner of the town and just as I reach to knock on the door, Tim bursts out of the house and thuds into me. He yells something about going to see Proffessor Rowan, and that I should go with him. He takes a couple steps, but then stops, saying that he has forgotten something inside. I follow him in and find him packing up his Bag and Journal, and sees me and gives his goofy grin. He runs off again, yelling that he'd meet me on the road and find me 10 Million if I was late.
Heading out of the house, I still thrill in the look and feel of the town, becoming more excited that my journey has actually started. I head up north, and see Tim standing there waiting for me. He gives me this impatient look and says that we should go see Prof. Rowan in his lab.
However, I see tall grass in our way ahead, and I stall, pointing at it with a frown, remembering the advice my mother had given me. She had said to never go into tall grass without a pokemon of my own, and as I had none, I could not enter. Tim tries to reassure me that it's okay we don't have pokemon, but that if we act quickly enough and dash through, we shouldn't encounter any wild pokemon and make it to Sandgem Town with no problem.
I am skeptical. The boy's a spaz. Seriously.
I watch in disbelief as he backs up preparing to rush through the tall grass we were constantly warned to not go through. I back up a step, preparing to rush back to town and get someone to recover what would be left of him from a vicious attack by the local wild Pokemon.
I then realize it's a sad life when you can't even entire tall grass without fearing for your life. I then wonder briefly if perhaps a lawn mower would do the trick and perhaps prevent everyone from living in fear of the tall grass.
Then, just as Tim was about to throw himself needlessly into the terrible danger, a voice calls out and halts his foolish venture. We both turn and see Professor Rowan walk up. And I feel silly, because he's coming in the opposit direction of Sandgem Town. He must have been at the lake.
He notices we don't have any pokemon between us and scolds us for even thinking of going into the grass without the protection of a pokemon. After a few moments of silence, he looks at us hard, glancing between us. And then I see a glimer of an idea pop into his head, and a wild look appears in his eyes.
I dont't fear the tall grass anymore when I see that look.
He turns away and starts muttering to himself, and I give a worried look at Tim as I overhear Prof. Rowan saying that our world would change if we met Pokemon, and whether or not it would be right for him to put us on that path. Then, with a swift turn, he look at us both and asks us a question.
"You two. You truly love Pokemon, do you?"
Well...do we really have a choice in the matter? Pokemon is a way of life around here, as well as allowing us freedom in walking in any tall grass we so choose.
I really need to bring up the lawn mower idea to the city council next time I see them.
We both nod in agreement to the question. He makes sure of our answer by asking us again, and Tim, in his spastic way says that the Professor could ask us a hundred times and our answer would be the same. Yes, we love Pokemon.
He looks at us both and becomes stern once more. The wild look leaves his eye for a moment. And he says that it worries him what people like us would do with Pokemon, because of our foolhardyness.
Then Tim surprises me. He looks at the professor and stammers a bit, but then points to me. He takes the blame of wanting to go into the tall grass, and that I should not be punished, but even if he doesn't get a pokemon, I should.
I am somewhat touched by this gesture, and it shows me that even through the kid's erratic behaviour, a good human lies underneath all of it.
The Professor seems to think the same, for he lets out a huge grin. "Very well," he says. "I will entrust you two with Pokemon!" He looks to the ground, but then frowns, and glances around as though he has forgotten something.
Behind him a girl approaches, carrying a briefcase, yelling out Prof. Rowan's name. Apparently Prof. Rowan had left his briefcase at the lake, and a thought goes through my mind that we trusted this man with our personal information at the start of all of this.
Prof. Rowan explains to the Dawn, the girl's name, that he was about to entrust us with our first Pokemon. She balks for a moment, whispering under her breath that the Pokemon in the briefcase are crucial and is he sure he wants to give them away.
Rowan gives a hard glance at Dawn and says that there comes a time when people should meet Pokemon, and that there is a world that should be explored together.
I suddenly realize that I've been stuck in a four-house town my whole life and must have not ever seen a pokemon even once.
Laying the briefcase out in front of us, he tells us to choose our first pokemon. Tim lets me go first, because I'm the oldest.
I look at all three of the pokemon. There is a choice between Piplup, Turtwig, and Chimchar. I can tell right away that Chimchar is NOT going to be my Pokemon, because I really doin't like monkeys one bit. Even cute ones are stretching it.
Turtwig is a grass type, and being as Bayleef was always my favorite pokemon, I'm surprised that this one doesn't jump out at me as the right choice. Grass is a good type, and the Turtwig is cute, but the last pokemon catches my eye right away.
It is a hard decision. I am not very experienced with Pokemon selection, and usually go with my gut instinct of it's overall cuteness factor, as well as type.
The little Piplup is super cute and a nice shade of blue. It is a water type. I pick that one up and grin. I now have my first Pokemon.