Pokémon Hex
Hex’s Story

    Her first name is Susanne. Her last name does not matter.

    On October 31st, 2001, she turned twenty.

    On December 14th that year, she died.

    This is the true story of Hex. This was her life.

    I don’t know where to begin the story. When I went to the mall, I waited in front of GameStop wearing an off-white hat with a blue-and-green patterned band. A young woman with gray eyes and short blond hair approached me. She was wearing a white dress that ended above her knees with a light blue jacket and black yoga pants—just as she said. Five minutes later we were in the food court, sitting at the one empty table.

    Her name is Halo. I don’t know her real name; she didn’t tell me, and I didn’t ask. This would probably be the only time we’d meet. We only had one topic to discuss: Hex.

    According to Halo, Hex was raised by her mom. For whatever reason, her dad was never in the picture; she doesn’t know why. Her grandfather was a Japanese immigrant who insisted on teaching his children Japanese, and then his granddaughter when he had to babysit her while her mom was at work. She grew up hearing both English and Japanese since she was a baby, and by the time she was seven she was pretty good at speaking it and was learning to read it. Around this time her mom got a job transfer and they moved to another state, but she kept up her studies even then.

    This is where Halo comes into the story. The house Hex’s mom bought was right next door to Halo’s house. There was a six year age gap between them, though; she was only a baby when Hex moved in. However, they were still pretty good friends because of Halo’s older sister, Hannah. Hannah was different from other girls: she was born with a are skin condition called xeroderma pigmentosum, XP for short. It made her skin incredibly sensitive to UV rays, making sunlight deadly; just a little exposure could burn her and put her at risk for developing skin cancer. As a result, she could only play outside at night. Her parents centered their entire lives around her, moving to night shifts and becoming somewhat nocturnal.

    She couldn’t leave home much because of it. Regular school was out of the question, so they hired an at-home tutor for her. Since most kids make their first friends at school, she was pretty lonely. So when Hex moved in next door, she naturally jumped at the chance to make a new friend. They were the same age, and Hex was new to town; she didn’t know anyone. They began playing together and quickly became best friends, with Hex adapting her own schedule a bit to play with Hannah at night. It was Hannah who gave her the nickname “Hex” when she mentioned she didn’t like the name “Susanne”, based on her supernatural interests (perhaps stemming from her Halloween birthday). Even when Hex made new friends at school, Hannah was her closest friend; she’d go over almost every day to play. Even Halo says she thought of Hex like family.

    As they grew older, their interests naturally changed from dolls to more “mature” stuff. Since Hannah was pretty much stuck indoors anyway, they took an interest in video games and computers. Video games were a great way to spend time together; they could play two-player games or just sit next to each other playing on their GameBoys. Pretty soon they both wanted to design their own games, and began working with computers to try and do this. Hex proved to be a natural at programming; Hannah… not so much.

    Then, in 1996, one of Hex’s relatives in Japan sent her copies of two new games: Pokémon Red and Green. They were in Japanese, but Hex could read it anyway. She gave Red to Hannah and kept Green for herself. Since Hannah couldn’t read Japanese, Hex helped her out by translating the names of moves, types and some of the dialogue. They both fell in love with Pokémon and became kind of obsessed. When Red and Blue were released in English two years later, they bought those, too, so they could both understand it as they played. They would spend hours battling each other or trading.

    But just a couple of months later, tragedy struck: Hannah died. It wasn’t even because of her health; she was caught in a car accident. She was only sixteen at the time; Halo, her sister, was only eleven. Hannah didn’t have many friends, but the few she had were extremely close to her, and naturally they were devastated. Needless to say, Halo and Hex weren’t the same after that. Hex became reclusive, locking herself in her room to mess with her computer. Halo’s grades began slipping and she started spending more time away from home.

    Though Hannah was the common thread between Halo and Hex, they didn’t just stop talking to each other. They lived next door to each other, after all. Hex was always the first choice for a babysitter and often played chauffeur when Halo’s parents were busy. They weren’t the closest of friends, but they were still comfortable together. As we talked in the mall food court, Halo said that, in retrospect, Hex was probably trying to honor Hannah’s memory by taking her place as the big sister. She was always there for her. When Hex graduated high school, she couldn’t go straight to college due to some unknown circumstances, so she had even more time for Halo.

    Despite this, tragedy struck again in 2000. Hex began noticing some strange changes to her body. She had a couple new moles and her skin seemed… different. She didn’t think too much of it until later when she began to lose weight and coughing a lot. Then one day she happened to mention it to Halo’s mom, and she recognized them as symptoms of skin cancer. It was the same kind of things they’d look for in Hannah. At this point Hex went to a doctor, who confirmed it: she had skin cancer. Apparently she’d had it for a while, and it had already reached her lymph nodes, lowering her survival chances by a lot. To make it worse, it was about to reach her organs. She and her mom couldn’t afford immediate treatment, and they realized she would probably die.

    The news spread around fast and had a heavy effect. When Halo, then 13, heard about it from her parents, she burst into tears. She told me that it felt like she was about to lose another sister. The ironic part is that it was skin cancer, the very thing they’d expected to kill Hannah. It kind of gave everything a surreal spin. Hex hid herself in her room for a while and didn’t leave. No one knew what she was doing in there. but now they know she was probably working on her first and final game: a hacked version of Pokémon Silver version—my version.

    Hex’s health kept getting worse and worse. The cancer progressed quicker than expected. When her old high school friends found out while home from college on winter break, they went over to her house to see her. She started getting more and more tired, she kept quiet… She tried to fight it as long as possible, but finally, mid-2001, she was admitted to the hospital. She never left it again, and died before the end of year.

    As Halo and I talked, she admitted that it hurt to see Hex. She didn’t go into much detail about the treatments or visits. She told me she couldn’t really remember much of it; she thinks she might have repressed the memories. Her strongest memory of that time was Hex’s final birthday, on October 31st. Her hospital room was decorated for Halloween, and there was a stack of ghost story books on the table. Hex had reached the point where she was paler than Hannah, who hadn’t seen sunlight since she was diagnosed as a baby.

    A lot of Halo’s memories of watching Hex and Hannah together involved them playing or discussing Pokémon, so she got a stuffed Pikachu for her birthday, even though she wasn’t sure if Hex still liked Pokémon. When she took it out of the bag, though, her eyes lit up. At the end of the visit, she asked Halo for one last thing: Hannah’s copies of Red and Blue. Halo says she remembers Hex’s words perfectly:

    “I’m going to die soon. Before I do, I want to play Hannah’s Pokémon games one last time. Those games are part of her legacy and were a part of her. I want to see them one last time before I die.”

    Halo obeyed. She went home and found the games in Hannah’s room. It took a while to find them because they hadn’t been seen since Hannah’s death, and it was hard to loo through her sister’s room. Everything was a painful reminder of her dead sister; she had to stop several times to cry. But she didn’t give up and eventually found them, and the next day she went back to the hospital to give them to Hex. Hex thanked her, put Red in her Game Boy, and began to play. At this point Halo left her alone. A little over a month later, Hex died.

    After Hex’s death, there was naturally a funeral and her will was read. Being a teenager, she didn’t have much to leave anyone. Halo got Hannah’s copies of Red and Blue back and put them back in her room where they belonged. Her parents got a picture of Hex and Hannah as kids, and several mementos. But there was one unusual request Halo says she’ll never forget. One of the items was an open request for her former classmates. Before it could be read, it was asked that everyone but her classmates leave the room. Halo, being curious, stuck near the door to listen in.

    What she heard was a request to get a copy of Pokémon Silver sold.

    The request didn’t say anything about the game or what was so special about it. It was just a simple task, with no details other than it must be sold as a “new” game, meaning it had to be sold at a store as part of its stock. It was strange, but her classmates respected her wishes. They began discussing what to do and one of them mentioned he worked at a nearby Target. He could probably slip the Silver Version into the stock sometime when no one was looking. Everyone agreed and he got the copy. Halo didn’t know what happened to it, but we do now.

    From there, a mother bought it along with a copy of Pokémon Gold upon her young daughter’s request. And thus I came into ownership of perhaps the most unique copy of Pokémon Silver in existence.

    Halo says she’d forgotten about it since then. Of course she was curious for a while, but she never found out what was so special and eventually forgot about it, moving on with her life. Then, at some point last year, a friend of hers was on Tumblr searching for “Pokémon creepypastas” when he came across my blog. He mentioned it to one day to her and a group of friends, and she quickly made the connection. She searched for my Tumblr, just to be sure, and made an account just to follow it.

    She kept silent for the longest time, not wanting to interfere with whatever Hex had planned. Even as I wildly speculated and felt like I was on the verge of insanity, she didn’t contact me once. It was only after I admitted to finishing the game that she finally sent me a message. Of course I was suspicious at first, but she provided a detail I’d kept to myself about Hex’s ghost: she had a tendency to toy with her sleeves. It’s a minor tendency I didn’t find worth mentioning, so when Halo mentioned that I believed her, so we arranged to meet at a nearby mall.

    Getting there was tricky for me because A) I still don’t have a driver’s license, and B) I hate shopping, but I somehow convinced my mom to leave me alone there without mentioning the meeting. Halo and I spent about two hours talking yesterday, all about Hex. When we finished, we just sat there in silence for a couple minutes. There was nothing left for us to discuss, so we decided to leave. I called my mom to pick me up and went home, spending hours thinking about what I’d just learned.

    Hex’s ghost was still here. She was standing there, watching me as I sat on the couch, deep in thought. Finally I got up and walked over to my laptop. On an impulse, I opened a word document and typed “hi”. After a moment, I saw the word “hello” appear on the screen in italics. I looked at the screen in shock for a moment, and then the following conversation happened.

Hi.

Hello.

I heard your story from your friend Halo.

I saw.

You were there? I didn’t see you.

In all the ghost stories I’ve read, you don’t usually see ghosts. You should know this. You’re a fan of ghost stories yourself.

Yeah… I’ll probably take a break from them for a while.

I had a feeling you would feel that way. Most fans of ghost stories tend to have a change of heart when it happens.

What makes you so sure? Were you haunted by a ghost?

I might as well have been. Hannah’s death was always on my mind. Sometimes I thought I saw her but it turned out to be my imagination or someone who looked like her.

I heard that kind of thing happens in grief. I guess I wouldn’t know, though. I still haven’t lost any friends or family members since I was born. Well, I HAVE lost pets, but that doesn’t really count as much as a human being.

True. I’d go into more on that, but you’re kind of a philosophical type and we could probably spend hours talking about it. Philosophical types can get carried away pretty easily. Besides, I have something more important to talk about.

You do?

Yes. I’ve noticed that blog you’ve been running about this game. I’ve watched you type in it from the start. I want to try something.

Haven’t you already interfered a couple times? I’m pretty sure you typed something while I was away once and also opened an ask box.

I wanted to mess with you. If I’m a ghost, I might as well have some fun with it.

You do realize you almost made me crazy, right?

I think you’re exaggerating. Anyways, I have a request. When you write the next entry, can you post something for me?

What?

    A simple sentence appeared on the page:

"Thank you."

    And then… the room suddenly felt lighter. No more words appeared on the screen, no matter how much I typed. I sat there for a long time, in shock. I understood what had happened: she’d moved on. After following that copy of Pokémon Silver for years, it had finally been completed. She finally had closure and could move on to the afterlife.

    So… I began to cry. She was no longer haunting me. She was gone, and I would never see her again.

    I can’t help but wonder if we’d have been friends in real life. It’s cheesy and kind of a cliche thought, but I can’t help it. She and I seem to share a lot of interests. I mean, we both like ghost stories and Pokémon games… She probably could have taught me Japanese, too, but… I guess I’ll never know the answer. All I can do now is echo her message.

    Thank you everyone. Thanks for reading this and following me on my journey. What started out as a simple video game log became something more. It became the story of a person’s life. Now that this is complete, this will no longer be updated. Today I’ll log out of Tumblr and never get on again.

    But maybe years from now, I’ll open this site and read through the log one more time.

    And then I’ll cry again as I relive all the events that happened here.

(Thanks for reading everyone! I’ll start posting only in my “primary” blog (Monkeys In a Room) as of today. I’ve already posted some trivia about the making of Pokémon Hex and will be writing about future writing projects there! Be sure to visit it! ^_^)

Hex: The End of the Game

    I’ve been back at school for a couple days now, and it feels WONDERFUL. I can finally focus on my friends and schoolwork again. Hex is still around, though, but it’s not as maddening as it used to be. But that’s not the point of this entry. This is about how the game ended. Sit tight, it’s a long read.

    Previously, Hex summoned me and Silver to the Ruins of Alph. The walk there felt pretty awkward. I talked to Silver at every route and city, and he just said “…Let’s just hurry up…” He didn’t seem too pleased about this. It took only a couple minutes to get there, and when we did I walked to the entrance of the cave only to find it blocked by a rock. I pressed A in front of it.

Silver: “Dammit, we can’t move this rock with our Pokémon. We need to find another entrance…”

    As such, I led him to the puzzle chamber. He walked straight to the hole in front of the puzzle.

Silver: “…So this leads to the ruins? Then let’s go, I guess.”

    He stepped forward into the hole and disappeared, the usual thunk playing over the sound. After a moment I walked into the hole too, and fell down. I landed in upper corner, way in the back, and right away I caught my breath. In front of the three visible statues were Falkner, Bugsy and Whitney. Silver wasn’t in sight, and I had control of my character, so I pressed A in front of Falkner.

"He seems to be asleep… You can’t wake him up."

    I walked over and got the same message from Bugsy. As I moved to check Whitney I saw Chuck beyond her. The gym leaders seemed to have been set up in the order I challenged them. The top row of statues had the first seven Johto leaders minus Morty, and the next row of statues had Clair and the Elite Four and Lance. My stomach flipped when I saw their sprites. I hadn’t been fully aware that the Elite Four had disappeared. I’d had my suspicions after talking to Janine, but I hadn’t been able to confirm it and forgot about it with all that happened after she disappeared.

    Everyone gave the same message when I pressed A by them, the pronoun changing to match the person’s gender. Below that row was the entrance area, with two empty statues and the ladder. Silver was standing by the ladder, and when I stepped towards him he approached me.

Silver: “The ladder’s blocked at the top. Don’t bother trying it. All the gym leaders that were missing seem to be here. I’m guessing the rest are down below, along with Hex. Are you ready to talk to her?”

    A yes/no query popped up. Naturally I pressed “yes”.

Silver: “Okay, let’s go.”

    He began following me again as we proceeded through the next two rows. The next row of statues had the first six Kanto gym leaders. However, in Janine’s place was Blaine. She appeared in the next and final row in front of the second statue, the first one occupied by the gym guide. And after her were… Morty, Blue, and Red. I stared at them and just felt a bit empty inside as I looked at them. I pressed A in front of each of them and they had the same message as everyone else: “He seems to be asleep… You can’t wake him up.” At the end of the row was the final statue, which had no one standing there. Silver walked up to it and then turned to me.

Silver: “There’s no one here… Dammit, where’s Hex?”

???: “Right here.”

    We both turned with exclamation points above our heads as Hex walked onto the screen. My stomach lurched when I saw her sprite. I hadn’t seen her since Janine disappeared, and I wasn’t happy to see her again. It just made me glad that I was so near the end of the whole game.

Hex: “So we finally meet again. It’s been a while, both of you.”
Silver: “…”
Hex: “Something wrong, Silver?”
Silver: “…I just don’t like seeing you in person…”
Hex: “Oh, relax. I won’t use my Pokémon on you or anything. I intend to talk to you two honestly, no manipulation involved whatsoever.”
Silver: “Really? How can we be so sure?”
Hex: “I’m giving you my word. I’ve never used my Pokémon to manipulate you two before. Besides, there’s no reason for me to do so. I just want to talk, that’s all. I promise.”
Silver: “Then talk. Tell us why you’re doing all this. Tell us why you kidnapped all the gym leaders and the Elite Four. Tell us why you’ve been manipulating Gold and what you want him to do.”
Hex: “Actually, Gold has already done what I wanted him to do. I wanted him to defeat all of the gym leaders and Elite Four, to become the Champion, and then catch both Ho-oh and Lugia. Now that he’s done that, my plan is nearly complete, and my legacy is finally within reach.”
Silver: “Your legacy? What are you talking about?”
Hex: “… Earlier in Olivine, you told Gold that I started acting weird a year ago and would disappear from time to time. For this to make sense, I have to explain my actions back then. The truth is, I began feeling strange. I felt weak and sick. I tried to ignore it, but as time went on it felt worse and worse… We never spoke about our pasts, but I knew you’d had a hard time. I didn’t want you to be worried, so I secretly went to see doctors, using my Hypno to trick them into giving me free check-ups. Eventually, I got a solid diagnosis. … Silver, I have cancer.”

    Cancer. The word made my body go numb. When I saw that word, it suddenly struck me that this was real. This wasn’t just her game character speaking. It was the real Hex. For the first time, the real Hex, the human behind this collection of pixels and dialogue, was speaking to me. I understood that she was no longer a character in a game, or just a ghost. For the first time since I picked up the game, I suddenly understood how real she was, that she was an actual person who had once lived.

    Throughout this whole log, I’ve been so focused on getting through this and getting on with my life that I haven’t really considered Hex. Once upon a time, she was a person. When she wrote this dialogue, she was alive. The fact that I’m being haunted now means that… she died. It’s a heavy thought, one I hadn’t really thought about. I guess I just didn’t want to think about it. It took the mention of a single word, a disease so horrible that it’s stolen millions of lives, for this fact to finally settle in.

    I sat there for several minutes, just staring at the screen and that word. Finally I pressed “A”, and the dialogue continued.

Silver: “… W… What?”
Hex: “I couldn’t believe it. It crushed my world. I was only a teenager. I couldn’t afford treatment or anything. How could I take care of you? And how… How could I let you go through that pain?”
Silver: “…”
Hex: “… Before we met, I lived with just my mom. She’d been estranged from her family due to certain circumstances, and was always working so she could take care of me. Other kids looked down on me and I kept to myself. One of my only friends was this girl who lived next door. She was a year younger than me and was born with this rare skin condition. If she went into the sun, she could develop fatal skin cancer. She only went outside at night, and since we lived next door to each other, we started playing together. I began staying up late to spend time with her, and eventually we were inseparable. But about three years ago… she died. She was only twelve. She was just a kid. She didn’t even die of cancer like doctors expected. It was just so unfair. After her death, her parents moved away, and I left home and began traveling with my Pokémon.”
Silver: “…”
Hex: “…The pain of losing someone so precious is unbearable. When I learned that I had cancer, I just felt like the world was about to fall apart. As I said, I knew you’d suffered a lot already. I couldn’t bear to let you experience that kind of pain again. So I pushed you away and left. But as I spent the year traveling, I began to think… ‘I don’t want to die. I want to live. I want the world to know I existed.’ I knew it was kind of hopeless, but I can’t help feeling that way. As I thought about this more and more, a plan began to form. A way to achieve immortality—my own legacy.”
Silver: “…And that plan… What was it…?”
Hex: “…My ultimate plan was to leave a heavy impact on the world. I wasn’t sure how I would do it, but I would become responsible for the return of Ho-oh and Lugia.”

     Exclamation points appeared over both our heads ago as I thought about this. I was wondering how much of this was true, how much was fiction. Did her friend die? Did she really have cancer? I know she was sick at some point and had a heavy connection to a hospital. Obviously none of this involved Silver in real life. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I decided to just let her tell us about that plan and pressed A.

Hex: “I wasn’t sure how I would do it at first. You both know I’m not ‘pure of heart’, so I naturally couldn’t summon them on my own. So I decided to find a trainer who could. I needed someone with not only a pure heart, but also great potential as a trainer so that the two would deem him worthy. After searching for a long time, I finally found Gold. He fit the parameters perfectly, and, as I stated earlier, he exceeded my expectations far more than I could have ever hoped. I knew I would need to direct circumstances so that he would meet the two legendary Pokémon, though. With the help of my Xatu and Alakazam, I plotted the course of the future to set it up. I discovered that having the gym leaders disappear would put him under suspicion and make him have to prove his innocence, so I began kidnapping them. After their battle with him they would be a bit discouraged and their guard would be down. Of course, it got harder as they heard of the others disappearing, but it turns out my Pokémon seem to be perfectly suited for kidnapping. Alakazam can teleport them away and Hypno can put them to sleep. So simple and easy. It’s actually quite scary when I think about it. However, it set Gold on the right path. Eventually Professor Oak told him to confront Ho-oh and Lugia to prove his innocence, exactly as planned.”
Silver: “… Couldn’t you have just hypnotized him or something!? Why go through all that trouble!?”
Hex: “While hypnotized, he wouldn’t have a ‘pure heart’. I needed him to do everything out of his own will, with his pure heart intact.”
Silver: “Dammit, Hex, if you just told me, I’d…”
Hex: “You would what? You’re just a kid, Silver. And you’re not pure of heart either. You didn’t hesitate to steal a Pokémon from Professor Elm’s lab. This is something I needed to do. I did a lot of bad things, but in the end, I DID help return Ho-oh and Lugia. They wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t done all that, would they? Now my plan is complete, and I have created one of the greatest legacies of all time.”
Silver: “…Okay, so your plan is complete. Now what will you do?”
Hex: “I die.”
Silver: “…Wait, what? Are you going to just drop dead?”
Hex: “I will soon. The only reason I’m still alive is because of my willpower to see this through. Now that I’ve finished that, I don’t really have much of a reason to fight it. I’m going to die any time now.”
Silver: “…”
Hex: “But before that, I still have one last thing to do…”
Silver: “…”
Hex: “… Thank you, Silver. For staying by my side for so long. Sorry you had to get mixed up in this too.”

    She stepped forward, and then the message “Alakazam used teleport!” appeared. The screen flashed white. When the white faded, Hex and I were alone inside the Soul House. I looked at the screen in surprise and Hex walked to the center of the back before turning to look at me.

Hex: “Gold, before I die. I want to ask you something. Your name is unusual… Is it your real name?”

    A yes/no query popped up. After a moment of shock and hesitation, I selected “no”.

Hex: “I thought so. In that case, would you be willing to trust me with your real name?”

    Another yes/no query.

    I’ll make it clear now: I didn’t know if I could trust her. I didn’t know anything anymore. I was numb with shock and couldn’t think straight. Even so, I found myself selecting “yes” and a name box popped up. I didn’t know why I chose yes, or what I’d put. My real name is Adrienne. Eight letters long. The standard Pokémon game can only fit seven letters. What was I supposed to put? However, when the name box popped up, I was shocked to see it had more than eight spaces.

    For the first time in a mainstream game, I put in my full first name. One, two, three, four… I entered all eight letters, and there was still space left. I was shocked. Looking back, I guess Hex used the Pokémon nickname box when she was programming the game. I had mixed feelings when I filled it out and the cursor lingered over the “end” button. Was it really okay to give her my real name? Then I glanced up and saw human Hex, the real Hex’s ghost, staring at me, and I realized it didn’t matter anymore and pressed A.

Hex: “Adrienne? That’s a much nicer name. I’ll tell you now: my real name isn’t Hex. However, I’d rather keep my real name to myself. I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel comfortable sharing it. It may seem hypocritical of a dying person who went through all this trouble to leave a legacy, but I never liked my name. I was always called ‘Hex’, and that’s the name I want to be remembered by.”

    She paused and looked around.

Hex: “You know, I always liked Lavender Town. I don’t know why. I’ve always been interested in the macabre, and the Pokémon Tower just felt nice to me. It told me that Pokémon weren’t immortal, that they can die. I don’t know about other people, but I liked knowing that they weren’t immortal. It made them feel a little more real to me. I wish Pokémon were real. When they replaced it with the Radio Tower, I felt so sad. Even if they made this place, the Soul House… It’s just not the same. In real life, I imagine there were would be tons of protests. I mean, to change the tower, they would have to desecrate all those graves. There would probably be a lot of ghosts hanging around. But now… They just completely changed Lavender Town. Even the music is different. The music now is more high-pitched and a little cheerier. I guess the creators didn’t like the death theme as much anymore. …I’m kind of sick of this music. If they want something more upbeat, I’d rather have the music from the National Park. Here, listen.”

    Suddenly the music changed to that of the National Park. My jaw dropped as it began playing.

Hex: “See, it’s so tranquil and relaxing. I always liked this music. I would sit on the couch with my headphones plugged into my Game Boy Color, just standing still inside the National Park so I could listen to the music. Sometimes I’d read books or get on my laptop while I listened. Ah, that brings back memories… I should do that one last time after I finish this. You should get your headphones and listen to this too. It really enhances the sound and you can hear little things you wouldn’t notice otherwise. …Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m dropping the act. The plot of this game is over. I am no longer playing a character. Right now I’m sitting at my laptop, typing in a document with all the scripts for the game. I’m finished writing the plot, and all that’s left is for me to do the programming. I’m talking as the real Hex, typing whatever I think. This may get a bit rambley, but just humor me, Adrienne. I mean… I’m dying. Are you ready to listen to a dying girl’s words?”

    A yes/no query appeared, the final one of the entire game. I stared at the screen for a while. So I really HAD finished the plot. As such, she saw no point to preserve the fourth wall any longer and was breaking it. She was talking to me as herself. I instantly understood that this was one of the most important things I’d ever read, that these were the words of a dying girl’s final message. After a while, I got up, got my headphones, plugged them into my Game Boy Advance SP and pressed A. As I read, I listened to the music from the National Park.

Hex: “Today’s April 13, 2001. What year is it when you’re reading this? I wonder… I was diagnosed with cancer last year in November when I was nineteen. Up until then, I’d been hoping to be a programmer and was pretty good at hacking games. When I learned it might be terminal, I didn’t know what to do. I’d always been interested in death and the macabre, but I wasn’t goth or anything. I was just a normal girl. Up until then, I guess I’d thought I was immortal. Death is a pretty big thing to wrap your head around. I still haven’t. I mean, by the time you read this… I’ll probably be dead.

"I was a big Pokémon fan since the first game was released. After hearing the news, I looked at my copy of Pokémon Silver and… I got this idea. I’ll never get to make the games I want to, so instead, I decided to make a story set in one of my favorite universes. This is my final work, and the only game that can be credited to me. You just played that game, and I thank you. I know Pokémon is really popular with little kids over here, so I can only hope you weren’t too messed up by it. A lot of the kids I know have a bit of trouble just getting to the Elite Four, though. I hope you’re at least a teenager when you read this. This is pretty heavy stuff, after all. It might be too heavy for some people.

"I still can’t believe I’m dying. I’m not even twenty. I haven’t even gone to college yet. I was supposed to start in the spring this year, but obviously, that wouldn’t work out. Life is so short, it’s so unfair. I wish I had more time in this world. I want to live. I don’t want to die. But… I don’t want to be in pain, either. I want to die peacefully, and without troubling my parents. After I finish programming this game, maybe I’ll resign myself to my fate and die peacefully. Or maybe I’ll keep fighting and pray for a miracle. I’m not the most devout Christian, but I can hope, can’t I?

"I don’t know how you got this game, because I still don’t know how I’ll get this game out there. I’ll figure it out soon. In the meantime, just… thank you. Thank you so much for playing it. I wish you could tell me a bit about yourself, but right now, these words are just words to you. I’m not really here. Even those these are my words, this is just a character. They’re pre-programmed into the game, and I can’t change them. If you replay the game, you’ll just see the same stuff over and over again. …I’m getting rambly, and I want to get to programming, so I’ll say it one last time."

    She stepped forward so she was right in front of my sprite.

"Thank you for playing my game, Adrienne."

    I pressed A a final time, and the screen faded to black and the credits began to roll. I sat there staring at the screen, numb with shock and just crying. I just began sobbing and crying as the music from the National Park continued on and on. I was still crying when the credits ended, and everything was back to normal in-game. I could fly around Johto and Kanto again, and all the gym leaders were back in place. The Ruins of Alph had the scientists and tourists inside. No one spoke of the disappearances. No one spoke of Hex. I opened my Pokégear on a whim, but found her number gone from my phone list. It was as if nothing had ever happened, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Hex planned for it to be that way.

    This character whom I had feared and dreaded had said her last lines. I would never hear anything different from her, no matter how many times I made a new game. She had finished her role and left, gone forever, never to appear again. And with her absence came the notable absence of a real person, someone more than a video game character. A person who died.

    I knew all along that Hex was dead in the real world, with her ghost and all, but as I said earlier, I hadn’t really considered the full meaning of that until I finished the game. It just felt real suddenly, and I was suddenly mourning the death of this person I never met yet felt so familiar to me. If she was alive, would we have been friends? Of course I’ll never know. Her ghost was no where nearby as I cried over her death, which I guess is pretty appropriate.

    I still have so many questions I want answered. I want to know more about her, but her ghost won’t tell me anything. It’s pretty ridiculous when you consider her ghost is the one who gave me the log. Truth is, I didn’t log any of that. I stopped logging the dialogue when I beat Red in Mt. Silver. The only reason I have them is because Hex typed them up on my laptop while I was away. I left my laptop unattended for a couple minutes after finishing the game and came back to find the entire script for the last few scenes in a word document. I mean all of it. I just stared at it for a while in disbelief. At the bottom was a message:

"I thought you might want this."

    I guess that in-game dialogue wasn’t her final message to me after all. Well, however she got it up on my laptop so fast doesn’t matter. I have other things to think about.

    Last entry I mentioned a message in my tumblr inbox. We’ve been exchanging messages a lot since then, and we’ve reached a conclusion. We’re going to meet this Saturday at the local mall. After that, I’ll probably write my final entry. Hard to believe I’m finally at the end of this. I don’t know if this entire experience has been too fast or too long. Well, whatever. Hopefully my next entry will clear up everything, once and for all.

Return to the Hex-Proof City

    Tomorrow will be my first day back at school, as well as the first one since finishing the game. The rest of my senior year will hopefully be normal, and I already feel like things are looking up for me. However, Hex is still here. Right now I’m in my basement, with my laptop set up on the coffee table facing our big screen TV. I can see her reflected in the dark screen, standing behind the armchair and watching me type. Maybe she’s waiting for me to finish this log before she moves on? I don’t know. I’ll just resume the game now.

    I last left off at Mt. Silver. To recap, I had just beaten Red, who possibly fell into a coma, was visited by Blue and Morty, and then watched an argument between Silver and Blue before he told me to come with him to talk in private. I picked up the story from where I left off and exited Mt. Silver, and found Silver waiting outside.

Silver: “Took you long enough. You just had a big battle, right? Let’s go to the Pokémon Center first so you can heal your Pokémon.”

    I checked my party and, sure enough, all of my Pokémon had fainted except Misdreavus. I guess Silver’s not the type of NPC to heal your Pokémon. I started walking to the Pokémon Center but stopped when Silver began following me. I took a few steps in all directions and he followed me in all of them. I turned to him and pressed A.

Silver: “What are you standing around for? Let’s go already.”

    This was kinda weird. I didn’t expect him to follow me. I walked through the grass to the Pokémon Center, running away whenever I encountered a wild Pokémon. I didn’t want to see what would happen if I blacked out, and I also didn’t want to risk Misdreavus fainting. I actually just didn’t want to be battle with it at all. The move Hex had left its mark on me; it terrified me. I reached the Pokémon Center without incident and healed my party. As soon as I finished talking to Nurse Joy, my character turned to Silver and started talking.

Silver: “Now that that’s done, let’s head to New Bark Town. But we can’t fly with these strong winds, so get a Pokémon that knows Surf if you don’t already have one. And be quick about it.”

    Pushy. Surf was already necessary to get through Mt. Silver, but I can’t exactly tell him that since he’s a video game character. Anyways, I chose to keep the same team and head on out with him in tow. When we reached the water leading to New Bark Town and use Surf, he turned into the mini-Lapras surfing sprite. I guess he has his own Pokémon with surf. Anyways, I couldn’t talk to him like this, so I just headed to New Bark Town. Once we got on land, he got in front of me.

Silver: “Come on, let’s go to the lab.”

    I lost control of my character as we walked inside Elm’s lab. He looked at us with an exclamation mark and walked over.

Elm: “You! You’re the one who stole my Pokémon!”

Silver: “I know, and I’m really sorry about that. There was something I had to do that needed a Pokémon, but I didn’t realize how attached I’d get to it. I’m sorry. But right now, I have something more important to deal with. Tell us how you know Hex.”

    Another exclamation mark appeared above Elm’s head.

Elm: “Hex? What about her?”
Silver: “Just tell us what you know, okay? Gold really needs to hear this.”
Elm: “…Well, Hex is… erm… That is, she’s… Um… Actually, now that I think about it, I can’t remember how I met her… I just know her somehow. That’s very odd…”
Silver: “That’s all we needed to hear. Come on, Gold, let’s go.”

    Silver walked out, and I followed, but the screen remained in the lab for a moment.

Elm: “Huh… Hex is… Um… Wha? Wait, where are you going? What about my stolen Pokémon?!”

    I guess this was Hex’s attempt at humor. The screen cut to outside the lab, with me and Silver facing each other.

Silver: “I wanted you to hear that before I told you anything. For now, we have to go to Olivine City. I’ll explain everything there.”

    Olivine: the Hex-Proof City. Makes sense. Flying was still out, and so was the bike (“Gold, don’t ride your bike. I don’t have one.”), so I went by foot. It wasn’t too long of a trip, thankfully, and was uneventful. I talked to Silver in each city and route and got the same response: “Don’t just stand around. We have to reach Olivine as fast as possible.” So I continued my journey with my moody companion in tow. It was a pretty fast trip compared to the long Kanto journeys: we went through Cherrygrove, Violet City and Ecruteak. Nothing happened, and when we reached Olivine City, Silver took over.

Silver: “This is good enough. Follow me.”

    He led me to the lighthouse, and when we went inside the screen blacked out and suddenly we were on the top floor. Amphy was standing in his usual spot, with me next to him, and gave the same cry as when it was sick, followed by the usual bright flash as when it was healthy. The message “Amphy seems sad…” appeared. Silver stood by the table, facing me.

Silver: “Gold, I know it’s hard to not look at that Ampharos right now, but you need to listen to what I’m about to tell you.”

    I turned to him and he began talking.

Silver: “Look, my past wasn’t a happy one. I never knew my mom and my dad… I don’t like to talk about it, but… let’s just say my dad was a big shot in Team Rocket.”

    A bit of canon from the future? That was surprising. However, I’d always thought he had some sort of connection to Team Rocket, so I guess Hex reached the same conclusion.

Silver: “I don’t want to go into much more detail than that, but my dad was pretty busy so we didn’t spend much time together. When Team Rocket was disbanded three years ago, he disappeared. I was alone and confused, with no idea what to do. During that time I met this girl who was a couple years older than me.”

    Already I could guess where this was going.

Silver: “She was a traveling trainer and let me follow her. She only moved around at night, and she used mainkly ghost, psychic and dark-type Pokémon. I think you can guess who I’m talking about.  I’ll tell you now, though: she’s not a ghost.”

    Wait, what?

Silver: “I’ve been following you since you returned to Johto and heard you talking to Morty about Hex at the Burned Tower. He was wrong about her being dead: she’s perfectly alive.”

    So game-Hex was still alive after all, and Silver was stalking me. These were major revelation, and also a bit creepy. …Actually, I wasn’t sure which part was creepier, but moving on:

Silver: “But I don’t know how much of his story was true. We agreed not to ask each other about our pasts, which benefited both of us. The only thing I learned about her was when I asked her why she didn’t like traveling during the day. She told me that it was a habit from when she was younger and wouldn’t tell me anything else.”

    A habit? Interesting.

Silver: “… We obviously didn’t have normal adventures. We were still technically kids, even though she was a teenager, so it was rough getting by. She knew how to use her Pokémon to her advantage and manipulate people. When we were low on money, she’d have her Pokémon hypnotize people so they’d think they knew us and give us food or let us stay at their houses. That’s why I took you to talk to Elm earlier. I had a feeling she used the same trick on him. Other times, she’d use them to read people’s minds so she could manipulate them. I didn’t really see anything wrong with it due to how I grew up. But about a year ago, she started acting weird. She didn’t talk as much anymore and would disappear for hours at a time, telling me to stay at whatever place we were spending the night at. Then one day she suddenly told me to leave her alone. She wouldn’t tell me why, and just… left.”

    At this point I feel kinda bad for him. He’s had a pretty rough childhood: his father’s the leader of Team Rocket and too busy for him, and then Hex abandoned him. Poor kid. He continued his sad and tragic tale.

Silver: “After that, I had the feeling something was up. After a while I tried to find her, but I couldn’t. Then a couple weeks ago I saw a guy in a Team Rocket uniform. I wanted to crush them once and for all, but I didn’t have any Pokémon. I heard on the radio that Professor Elm had some rare Pokémon so I went to New Bark Town to get one. When I got there, I saw one of her Pokémon hanging around Elm’s lab. She can use her Pokémon to spy on people, so I knew she was up to something. I didn’t want to be seen by her, so I hung around waiting for it to go away, and when it finally did, I broke into the lab and stole one of the Pokémon.”

    Again, very interesting.

Silver: “You know what happens next. We ran into each other and had a battle. When we did, though, I saw her Pokémon watching you. I didn’t want to think about it too much, but when we battled at the Burned Tower and she came over, I finally understood. Gold, Hex has been following you from the start. She probably singled you out in New Bark Town before you even got your first Pokémon and has some big plan that needs you.”

???: “Heheh…”

    Both of us got exclamation marks above our heads.

Silver: “That voice… Gold, get out your Pokégear, now!”

    The Pokégear screen opened up straight to the phone, showing that I was speaking to… Hex.

Hex: “Hello, Silver. Hello, Gold. It’s been a while.”
Silver: “You… But… You shouldn’t be able to call us without the Pokégear ringing!”
Hex: “Oh, I didn’t call you. It’s the other way around. I’ve been on the line listening for a while now.”
Silver: “Gold, you idiot! When did you call her?!”
Hex: “Don’t be so hard on him, Silver. I had my Haunter call me on Gold’s Pokégear right before you reached Olivine. Neither of you could have known that I was listening the entire time.”
Silver: “Grr… Dammit…”
Hex: “Anyways, I’d like to applaud you on your detective work, Silver. You’ve gotten a lot better at sneaking around since we parted ways. You even figured out that I wouldn’t follow you guys to Olivine. Most of my Pokémon don’t enjoy being around the lighthouse, and neither do I. It makes it feel too much like the day. Well done, Silver. You’ve matured a lot. I guess it’s only to be expected since you no longer had me and my powerful Pokémon to protect and help you.”
Silver: “Grr… Shut up…!”
Hex: “No need to use a tone with me. You were right: I’ve been watching Gold since before his journey even began. I spent the past year looking for someone who’s pure of heart and also willing to challenge the gym leaders, and Gold fit that qualification perfectly. I inserted myself into Elm’s past so I could have easy access to Gold. I needed a good opportunity to get introduced to him so I could get registered in his Pokégear, though. I really must thank you. I was having trouble coming up with a good reason when my Gengar reported seeing you near the lab. My Xatu had a vision of you robbing the lab, and that provided the perfect scenario to meet Gold!”
Silver: “Even now, you’re using me?”
Hex: “Well, it was more of a lucky coincidence than me merely manipulating you. Silver, thank you so much for that.”
Silver: “I can’t believe this…”
Hex: “Moving on. From there I let you and Gold just do as you please, giving Gold a couple helpful ‘pushes’ in the direction I needed him to go. He was more brilliant than I could have hoped, beating all the gyms within days. Unfortunately, he was also a bit brighter, too. You caught on pretty fast to the connection between me and the disappearing gym leaders, didn’t you, Gold?”

    She confirms it. She’s responsible for the disappearances, as well as probably a ton of other stuff. I’ve been manipulated by her from the start, and she’s probably manipulated a ton of other people too.

Hex: “I had to cut most communications with you to protect myself. I’m amazed you didn’t report me to the police, but then again, I’m pretty good at covering my tracks. The police probably wouldn’t believe you about me, and even if they did, I could easily give them a small case of amnesia. Well, moving on, that’s all I’ll tell you for now.”
Silver: “What? No! Hex, why are you doing this? Tell me, now!”
Hex: “No, not like this. The rest I want to tell you in person. That’s why I’d like you to come meet me, both of you.”
Silver: “You want us to meet you in person? Are you crazy!? Just tell us over the phone, you damn witch!”

    I fully agreed with the pushy thief. I didn’t really want to see her sprite in person. However, I quickly changed my mind.

Hex: “But Morty and Blue will be so pleased to see you.”

    Exclamation points appeared over both our heads.

Silver: “…Morty and Blue?”
Hex: “That’s right. I finally got to meet and talk to them in person. In fact, they’re with me right now. If you want to see them, we’ll be waiting in the Ruins of Alph, okay? See you soon!”

    Then she hung up, and I just sat there in silence for a while, staring at the screen. She got Morty and Blue? From the way she spoke, they were probably still alive. Or at  least for now. This whole dialogue just established one thing: Hex is really, REALLY dangerous. And I mean TERRIFYINGLY DANGEROUS. She uses Pokémon to spy on people and manipulate them. I was no longer sure if she’d outright KILL them, but she might put them into a coma like with Red. Overall, the situation was not good.

    However, I also knew that this was the endgame. I knew that this would be the final meeting with Hex, and then the game would be over. All my questions would be answered, and I’d be Hex-free. At this point, Silver spoke again.

Silver: “I don’t really care for that bastard Blue, and I don’t know much about Morty. But I guess you don’t feel the same way. We don’t really have a choice, do we? … Let’s just get this over with.”

    So we exited the lighthouse and I regained control of my character. I’ll end the entry now. It’s getting pretty long. The next entry will be the end of the game. However, it won’t be the FINAL entry. I found a pretty interesting message in my tumblr inbox today that will requires some further investigation… Anyways, bye for now.

Defeating Red: The Beginning of the End

   It is 6 AM on New Year’s Day. I am downstairs in the living room, watching Hex dance. I don’t know what else to call it. For the past two nights, she’s been celebrating, twirling around and fading in and out of sight. I keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye, to the point that she feels omnipresent. She’s been “singing”, too, her voice drifting through the house. Her excitement is understandable, I guess.

    On December 30th, I finished the game.

    I don’t know where to begin. So much happened, too much for a single entry. I still have questions, I got some answers, but overall, I guess I’m relieved. Though I still haven’t had a normal dream and Hex still haunts me, the biggest part of the ordeal is over. At long last, I beat the game.

    For the past two days, I’ve just been sitting, wondering how to share all this, or even if I should. I still don’t know everything, but this is Hex’s life, her death. It’s not just some normal story; it’s the actual legacy of a human being. It seems like something you’d want to keep private. Or at least I thought so until Hex told me otherwise. I’ll get to that part later. For now, though, I guess I’ll start with the trip to Oak’s lab.

    I went to Pallet Town by foot, and proceeded to Oak’s lab with Ho-oh and Lugia in my party.

Oak: “That’s incredible! You caught both Ho-Oh and Lugia! Amazing! Gold, this will prove your integrity and honesty to everyone who suspects you! Now I can make arrangements so that you can go to Mt. Silver. Mt. Silver is a big mountain that is home to many wild Pokémon. It’s too dangerous for your average trainer, so it’s off limits. But we can make an exception in your case, Gold. Go up to Indigo Plateau. You can reach Mt. Silver from there.”

    So I went to Mt. Silver. Looking back, I probably felt a bit of relief that I didn’t have to walk too far, but I didn’t really care. I just wanted to reach the dang end already. The guard previously blocking Mt. Silver was gone, with no flashy show. Is that normal? Whatever the answer was, I didn’t care. I walked through Route 28 and went on straight to Mt. Silver. I had my team carefully arranged so that it would be Tinpo, Ho-Oh, Lugia, the red Gyrados, Belle, and… Misdreavus. Not the happiest team in my opinion, but what did I care? Nothing, that’s what.

    I didn’t do much training after getting there. My team was already pretty strong, so I spent about half an hour or so and then went for Red. The maze-like inside of Mt. Silver was confusing, I’ll admit that much, but I still found Red pretty quickly. Once I did, I saved in front of him and spoke to him. He doesn’t say anything other than ellipses, so I didn’t bother logging what he said. I just went straight into the battle.

    The battle itself was one of the most grueling experiences of my life. A long time ago I had to do a giant project that involved a lot of writing, and it left me mentally and physically drained. This battle had the same effect. Pikachu was the one I had to get rid of first, since three of my Pokémon were weak against electric attacks. Each Pokémon posed its own challenges: Espeon KO’d Tinpo and Belle; Snorlax kept using Rest before I could get the finishing strike and KO’d each Pokémon; and the starters… They were actually the easier ones. Tinpo and Ho-oh vs. Venusaur, Gyrados and Lugia vs. Charizard, and Belle vs. Blastoise. My team was perfectly set up to combat them.

    The type advantages was good in theory. Unfortunately, though, the situation came down to the wire. My team kept fainting and my supply of Revives and Full Restores was steadily whittled down. When Red finally only had Blastoise left, I was down to just Belle and Misdreavus. Belle was at full health, so I didn’t bother reviving the rest of my fallen team. I used Solar Beam, feeling confident. Of course that was a giant mistake. I hadn’t realized that Blastoise knew Blizzard, which it promptly used. Not only was it a critical hit, but the next turn, Belle missed, and Blastoise proceeded to make Belle faint.

    I stared at the screen in horror as my last Pokémon was thrown into the fray: Misdreavus. For a long time I just sat there, doing nothing. It was a dead end. If I used a Revive on Belle and switched her out before Misdreavus could faint, Blastoise could just get a one-hit KO before I could use a hyper potion. Misdreavus would still have all the damage from the previous attack, and I wouldn’t be able to use a Revive again without sacrificing it.

    I felt utter despair at the thought. I had no idea what would happen if Misdreavus fainted, and I didn’t want to find out. My fingers lingered over START, SELECT, A and B, the soft-reset buttons. I knew Red’s team’s moves. I could look up a guide on his team to help, and beat him without all that trouble. However, I couldn’t bring myself to do the soft-reset. Instead I found myself opening the attack list and moving the cursor to that move, the move I never wanted to use.

    I had no idea what to expect. Up until then, I had made a point to avoid that move, whose namesake had tormented me. I don’t know why I used it then, but I think Hex wanted me to. I think she influenced me to use it. Back before I knew her horrors, when I was just a little kid, I remember thinking she was helpful, having helped me get through Ilex Forest. I guess she was giving me her final helpful push, so that I could finish the game once and for all.

    Inhaling sharply, I pressed “A” and used Hex on Blastoise.

    The screen flickered, going dark. Blastoise cried out, and the screen flickered back to the battle to show that it had changed. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it: it looked just like the ghost from Lavender Tower in the first generations, the one Gastly would disguise as. The screen flickered black once more and then Blastoise was back to normal. And then, it cried out and fainted. I stared at it in horror.

    Naturally the first thing to come to mind was the Pokémon Black creepypasta, but I didn’t have a chance to attack Red himself. The battle ended like normal, and we returned to the over world. Red just repeated the series of ellipses, and for a brief second I got a flashback to Crystal. I expected the credits to roll like when I beat him then, just like they always do.

    But of course, I couldn’t have been more off. I never did learn to stop jumping to conclusions like that.

???: “Red? Gold?”

    Blue walked onto the screen, much to my surprise. In the heat of the battle, I’d forgotten he’d been around. Actually, in the heat of the battle, I forgot to log everything, too. I won’t say how I have the dialogues just yet.

Blue: “Yo, what are you two doing? Having a battle without me?”

Red: “…………”

Blue: “Hey, say something, Red.”

Red: “…………”

Blue: “…You feeling okay, man? You’re usually an annoying chatterbox. This silence isn’t like you.” (Wait, seriously? I think Hex was messing with me there.)

    Suddenly Red’s sprite rotated so it was sideways, as if on the ground, and there was a crashing sound. An exclamation mark appeared over both my and Blue’s heads, and Blue rushed over to Red at double-speed.

Blue: “What the—!? He’s fainted!” (Turns to me) “Okay, what the heck happened between you two?”

    My character did a stepping motion as if to gesture that I was talking.

Blue: “You two just had a battle? And he didn’t say anything the whole time? Something smells here…”

???: “You’re right about that.”

    In another twist, Morty showed up.

Blue: “Morty? What are you doing here?”

Morty: “I had a vision that something bad was going to happen. I came here as fast sa I could, but it seems I was too late…”

Blue: “Morty, do you have an idea what the heck’s going on with Red?”

Morty: “I believe he was possessed or hypnotized by Hex.”

Blue: “Hex? Who the hell is that?”

Morty: “Gold, I think you’re more equipped to explain this.”

Blue: “In that case, get talking, Johto boy!”

    Blue turned to me, and I made another stepping motion as if I were talking.

Blue: “… … … …You’ve gotta be kidding me… A single woman is behind all the missing gym leaders? This isn’t a very funny joke.”

Morty: “I wish it were a joke. What’s more, she may be a ghost.”

Blue: “What?! This is just insane! Dang it, Johto boy, you got yourself involved in a hell of a mess, haven’t ya? Dang it, what are we supposed to do now?”

???: “Stop her.”

    In an even BIGGER twist, SILVER showed up. Everyone turned to him with exclamation marks over their heads.

Blue: “Okay, who the hell are YOU?”

Silver: “Hmmph, that’s none of your business. I’m here to talk to Gold.”

Morty: “It IS our business if it’s about Hex.”

Silver: “When did I say it had anything to do with that she-witch?”

Morty: “First of all, there aren’t many problems pressing enough to make you track Gold all the way here. Second, I never said Hex was a woman.”

Silver: “Hmmph, fine. Maybe it does relate her. But this still doesn’t concern you.”

Blue: “Listen up, you bastard!” (Actual language. Heavy for a Pokémon game.) “That witch is probably responsible for kidnapping all of the gym leaders, and now she’s done THIS to my rival Red!”

Silver: “Dammit, I don’t care! I need to talk to Gold alone, so f*** off!”

    My jaw dropped when I saw that last line. There were no asterisks there. He said the actual f-word in its entirety. The only reason it has asterisks now is because I don’t like cursing or even typing that word. To see that language in a Pokémon game, even one that’s hacked… At this point, I kind of went into shock.

Blue: “What’d you say to me, bastard!? That’s it, I’m gonna—”

    Morty dashed between them, separating them.

Morty: “STOP! We won’t get anything constructive if we bicker like this!”

    He turned to me.

Morty: “Gold, why don’t you just go with him? Blue and I will stay here.”

Blue: “No way, I wanna give that bastard a piece of my mind!”

Morty: “I understand your sentiments, but we need to take care of Red. He’s not responsive to anything we try, and this place is dangerous. We should move him to a safer location and regroup with Gold and his friend later. You two are childhood friends, aren’t you? His safety should be more important than a grudge.”

Blue: “…Fine. But this isn’t over, ya bastard!”

Silver: “Whatever. Come on Gold, let’s go.”

    Silver departed the screen, leaving me with mobility at long last. I talked to Morty and Blue.

Morty: “Go, Gold. I’ll contact you soon.”

Blue: “A bitch and a bastard. What other kinds of ‘friends’ do you have, Gold?”

    At this point, I was naturally a bit overwhelmed, so I saved. So… I guess I’ll end the entry here, too. It’s already in the past, sure, but so much happened. It is now 8:10. I spent two hours writing this. I have no idea how much longer it will take me to write the rest of this, and Hex seems to have wound down. I don’t feel as energetic anymore, and she’s kinda nodding at me, so I guess I’ll end this now.

GHOST

    The Burned Tower was empty. The trainers who were there before were gone. With no sign of Morty, I figured he was probably in the basement. I traveled through the tower and reached the basement in record time, and found Morty standing in the area where the Pokémon had been. I broke into this huge smile when I saw him there.

Morty: “I’m glad to see you got my message, Gold. I had a dream that you captured the legendary rainbow-colored Pokémon. I am a bit envious, but right now is not the time for that. It seems only one other gym leader besides myself has escaped capture. Even I do not know where he is, though. I won’t say who it is. You’ll find out in due time.”

    This was a bit of a surprise. Another gym leader evaded Hex? It’s a male gym leader, I know that much, but that’s all. Although, I’m guessing it’s Blue. Kinda obvious choice there. Anyways, moving on:

Morty: “Anyways, I called you here to discuss Hex. I’ve been trying to find out more about her, but it’s been hard. She’s good at covering up her tracks. However, I think I found something. There’s a story about this place… A sick girl lived near here, and would see ghosts every night. One morning her parents discovered she was missing, and followed footprints leading to the tower. They found her body there. Since then, people have reported seeing her spirit playing with the other children’s ghosts.”

    Huh? This is the story Hex told me a while back, isn’t it? Okay, this is getting weird. Even weirder is the next part:

Morty: “The problem is, the story’s made up.”

    What? Something was wrong. I actually set down the game so I could look up the entry about the story, and sure enough, I found this:

On a whim, I went to the Burned Tower. When I stepped inside, there was a little girl and two boys on the screen, past one of the walls. They weren’t facing me originally but turned to me and then walked offscreen. It was midnight when this happened and I was all alone downstairs with most of the lights off. Needless to say, I got a little jolt when that happened.

    What? Okay, so I saw ghosts that shouldn’t exist. Morty continued the story.

Morty: “I know for a fact that no such event happened. The story started circulating a couple of weeks before your challenge. I tried to trace it back to its source, and it seemed to come from a mysterious woman with black hair. I remembered it the night we met at the Ruins of Alph and returned to the Burned Tower, and saw the “ghosts” of three children. However, I realized they were actually Ghastly, and they fled. I believe they were doing it under the command of the person who first spread around the story, and I think it may have been Hex.”

    This is honestly a pretty big revelation for me. Hex spread the story? What could she gain from that?

Morty: “Listen… I had Kimono Girl Zuki help me look into the story, and she found that there WAS a sick girl near the tower. She had a rare condition that made her unable to go out into the sun, so her family adapted to a near-nocturnal lifestyle. Unfortunately, she died about three years ago and her family moved away. I don’t know how to put this, but… I’m wondering if maybe…”

    …No way…

Morty: “Hex is a ghost.”

    This is probably the biggest revelation to date. I know human Hex is a ghost—I mean, she’s looking over my shoulder right now watching me freaking type—but game Hex? A ghost? Seriously!? That’s a bit out there.

    However, I’m getting off-topic. Morty wasn’t done talking.

Morty: “It’s a bit of a long shot, but it’s the best lead we have right now. I’m currently looking into finding the girl’s parents to ask for more information. However, my dreams tell me that we don’t have much time left. Gold, Hex will be making her final move soon. You need to be more careful than ever. As for the Misdreavus, do not use it unless absolutely necessary. I have to go now. I’ll try to contact you again in a little bit.”

    Morty walked away, leaving me to think about everything he just said. Game Hex? A ghost? It’s hard to believe.

    This does fit in with some of the stuff I’ve noticed about Hex, though. I remember catching something on the news about a skin condition that makes sunlight pretty much fatal. Even a little exposure could lead to skin cancer. Most people with it die before they even reach middle age, usually due to cancer. It naturally entails a lot of hospital visits, which Hex referenced while I was under anesthesia. However, people with it CAN go out at night. Looking back, Hex referenced it in Fuchsia City: “Lives centered around the night”. It makes sense now.

    Still… I find it kind of a sucky twist for game Hex to be dead. I’m a writer. I have an eye for this kind of stuff. Technically, though, this IS a story: it’s just a hacked and haunted version of Pokémon Silver.

    Well, in any case, I haven’t had too much playtime since then. I got some games for Christmas and had to play them to satisfy my parents. It’s a shame: I’d wanted both games before I started playing Silver, and I wasn’t even able to fully enjoy them. I’m so close to the end, I’m going to focus on beating this game. I want to finish this before school starts again on January 4th. Wish me luck.

Return to Johto

    Since talking to Professor Oak, I found that I’m suddenly able to move freely around Kanto. I still can’t use Fly, but there are no more obstacles when traveling by foot/bike. I went to Saffron by passing through Vermillion City and was finally able to do the Copycat Girl’s quest to get the Magnet Train pass. At long last, I can leave Kanto. Before heading back to Johto, though, I decided to visit all of the gyms one last time, going in order of my challenges. No one mentioned the missing gym leaders to me, or how suspicious I was, so I guess it was all limited to Oak and Blue’s dialogue.

    Of course, all of the gyms were empty. It was a bit sad to see them without their leaders, and just made me feel a bit guilty. When I finally reached Blue’s gym, I found that he, too, was gone. I’d been hoping that his former rival status would protect him, but of course, I was wrong. With that, now every gym leader in Kanto is missing. I just stayed there for a while, deep in thought. Finally, though, I left the gym and headed back to Saffron to go to Johto.

    If I were writing this as a story, I’d have Gold get off the train in Johto and just stand there, reveling in how good it was to be back home. Hearing the music in Goldenrod gave me a strong sense of nostalgia, and I just began walking through the city as all these memories from when I was a kid came flooding back. It’s kind of weird: I had a goal to accomplish, and I’m almost free of Hex, but I couldn’t help just recalling my childhood days.

    I ended up going around most of Johto on a total nostalgia trip for the next hour or so for no particular reason. It DID turn up some useful information, though:

-I can’t use Fly here, either. Apparently there are strong winds all around the world. Darn it.
-The Ruins of Alph are closed due to “recent findings”, according to the gate guards.
-I can’t use Surf in New Bark Town. The currents are apparently too strong.
-The Olivine Lighthouse is still working, but Amphy’s depressed without Janine.
-All of the gym leaders are still missing, and no one is suspicious of me.

    Interestingly, no one in Ecruteak seems to be aware Morty’s alive, even though he and I have met. I guess he hasn’t told anyone. I really hope he’s okay. Anyways, the Tin Tower is also blocked off. There’s a sage blocking the building leading to the path.

Sage: “We cannot let anyone through at the moment. I apologize.”

    He gave no further information, but it wouldn’t really matter anyway. I figured it meant Hex wanted me to go to Lugia first, so I went to Whirl Islands. Since Lugia is the “special Pokémon” of Silver version and the one you usually battle first, it kind of makes sense. To be honest, now that I think about it, the islands probably had some sort of obstacle preventing me from entering anyway.

    The trip through it was pretty straightforward; there was no weird plot-stuff happening inside. I got a bit lost, but that was all that happened until I found Lugia. I saved my game and challenged Lugia, and then… I KO’d it. In my defense, it was at level 40; the weakest Pokémon on my team is level 48. The KO was a total accident. After KO’ing it, the screen suddenly went white, and then suddenly I was at my last save point, two steps away in front of it. This happened back when I challenged the Red Gyrados, too. I didn’t dwell on it and then challenged Lugia once more.

    I kept accidentally knocking it out, and finally I decided to just start the battle with the weakest Pokémon on my team: Misdreavus. The battle was pretty slow. Its moves are Psybeam, Shadow Ball, Perish Song, and… Hex. I still have yet to use that move, and I DEFINITELY don’t plan on using it now. It sends chills through me whenever I look at it. Anyways, the battle ended up being pretty long. Lugia’s only offensive moves were Gust and Aeroblast (which did a lot of damage), but fortunately for me, Shadow Ball dealt a lot of damage, too. Finally, when its health reached the red, I switched out for Tinpo (I’m afraid to risk letting Misdreavus faint) and used most of my stock of 60 Ultra Balls and managed to catch it.

    So, I caught Lugia. There was absolutely no fanfare whatsoever. No NPCs appearing out of no where, no call from Hex outside the cave, nothing. I just left, went to the Pokémon Center, and saved for the night. The next day, I returned to Tin Tower and the sage guarding it got an exclamation point over his head.

Sage: “You have a Rainbow Wing! Please, enter.”

    There was also surprisingly little fanfare there. The sages didn’t tell me why I wasn’t allowed in earlier, or make a big deal about me being able to possibly meet Ho-oh. I just went through the tower and eventually reached Ho-oh. I battled it and, lo and behold, it was level 70. Yes, level 70. Needles to say, it wasn’t an easy battle, and it took several tries. Finally, though, after a lot of hard work, I managed to catch it. I descended the tower and returned to the main building, where I received an anti-climatic welcome from the sages with no mention of my amazing feat and capture of Ho-oh, the legendary bird they had spent years waiting to return.

    Outside, though, was a different story. As soon as I exited, a girl in a reddish-pink kimono walked up to me. I did not expect that. With their big roles in the remakes, it’s honestly pretty hard to believe that Hex might give them a role in Silver, too. Maybe she liked them too? I don’t know. Anyways, the kimono girl walked up to me and talked.

Kimono Girl: “Hello, young champion. One of my friends asked me to give you a letter. It’s attached to a Pokémon. Oh, but your party is full. Come see me when you have an empty space.”

    She walked away. Curious, I deposited one of my Pokémon and went to the theater. It was easy to find her; she was the only kimono girl wearing that color.

Kimono Girl: “Hello, young champion. One of my friends asked me to give you a letter. It’s attached to a Pokémon. Please take good care of it.”

    At that point I received a Gengar holding a letter:

"Burned Tower
At Noon

Morty”

    Morty! My heart soared. He’s okay? He’s okay! I’ve gotten attached to characters before, but I think this attachment is getting ridiculous. But I don’t care. What matters is that he’s alive and well. However, his request to meet at noon was really unusual. I think it’s the first time the plot would progress during the daytime, and probably the only time. Due to my bad habit of sleeping in really late, I went to bed early and got up at ten the next day. By noon, I was wide awake and ready to proceed.

    What happened next is the start of a brand new chain of events—and I believe it’s the final one. As such, I’ll end this entry here and begin work on the next one.

    Happy Christmas Eve, everyone. Hopefully yours is ghost-free.

Suspicion…?

    I think Hex regretted letting me take so much time off: I got sick over the weekend. I woke up on Saturday feeling like I had a cold. I had the Christmas get-together on my dad’s side, but as the day went on I just felt worse and worse. I ended up staying in the back bedroom most of the time, curled in a ball. I was supposed to go to a Christmas party with some friends afterwards, but I felt so bad that I ended up having to cancel. When we got home, I went straight to bed. I ended up going to bed early on Sunday, too, and had to stay home from school on Monday. I’m feeling a lot better now and have back to school since Tuesday, but I’m still a bit under the weather and had to study for finals. Naturally, this meant I got no playtime.

    Luckily for me, I did get some playtime in on Friday. I challenged Blue’s gym. It was a pretty straightforward challenge. The Viridian gym has no gym trainers, just Blue at the back of a room apparently filled with Lego blocks. I walked up to him with my best team and talked to him.

Blue: “Yo! Finally got here, huh? I wasn’t in the mood at Cinnabar, but now I’m ready to battle you. … You’re telling me you conquered all the Gyms in Johto? Heh! Johto’s Gyms must be pretty pathetic then. Hey, don’t worry about it. I’ll know if you are good or not by battling you right now. Ready, Johto boy?”

    Apparently his attitude hasn’t changed much from his rookie days after all. It brought back fond memories of playing Red and Blue, and naming him stuff like “Poopyhead”. Of course, I just had to beat him to a pulp. I actually took my time to make the most humiliating defeat possible, sending in Pokémon with type disadvantages to finish off his team, even though I knew it wouldn’t really have any effect on the game. It just felt good. When I beat him, he said, “What? How the heck did I lose to you? … Tch, alright… Here, take this—it’s Earth Badge.” The battle ended and we cut back to the gym.

Blue: “…All right, I was wrong. You’re the real deal. You are a good Trainer. I can understand why you got all sixteen badges. But that doesn’t change the fact that you’re still suspicious!”

    Wait, what?

Blue: “Every gym leader has gone missing after you won the badges. There’s no way it’s just a coincidence! Even if you aren’t responsible, there’s got to be some sort of connection! You’re the prime suspect. The only reason you haven’t been arrested is because Gramps has been vouching for your innocence. That’s why I want you to go to Pallet Town and talk to him. What does he look like? You really don’t know anything, do you? He’s Professor Oak!”

    I spoke to him again, and he just said, “Go to Pallet Town and look for Gramps so you can talk to him.” I left the gym and re-entered on a whim, but found him still there. I guess he’s pretty confident in his power. He may be a jerk, but I still don’t want him to disappear. Who knows what Hex is doing to them?

    I can’t do anything about it, though, so I headed to Pallet Town and found the route open. (For the record, it was blocked by two people trying to sell coffee way out of my price range.) I went through and battled the two trainers on the way. With Tinpo now level 60, I didn’t have much trouble with them. It was pretty amusing to run into a level two Rattata on the way.

    Anyways, I reached Pallet Town and went straight to Oak’s lab.

Oak: “Ah, Gold! It’s good of you to come all this way to Kanto. What do you think of the trainers out here? Pretty tough, huh? Ah, you’re collecting Kanto Gym Badges. How many do you have? Wow! That’s excellent! You collected all of the badges in Kanto. Well done! I was right in my assessment of you. Unfortunately, your circumstances are not very good right now. With every gym leader disappearing after their defeat, you’re under a lot of suspicion. I’ve been vouching on your behalf, but I don’t think I can put their suspicions off much longer. You need to find a way to prove yourself. But how…”

    He got an exclamation mark above his head.

Oak: “Oh! You have both a SILVER WING and a RAINBOW WING with you? If you can catch the legendary LUGIA and HO-OH, you can prove you have a good heart! Gold! You must go to JOHTO at once!”

    At this point I was pretty dumbfounded. I didn’t even log it the first time, and had to reset the game to get everything down, which meant battling Blue all over again since I forgot to save afterwards.

    Honestly, I’ve been wondering about the police’s role in this all along. Gym leaders are pretty important people, so the police would have to be involved. The first person they’d investigate would probably be their last challenger—which was always me. Of course I’m the most suspicious person; how could I NOT be? Hex doesn’t seem to be publicly acknowledged among NPCs, so she wouldn’t be suspected. Some NPCs have acknowledged my connection to the gym leaders disappearing, but that’s about it.

    To see it actually come up… It’s just surprising. I figured Hex was just going to ignore it. I went into a bit of shock and had to stop for the night, and afterwards I got sick and couldn’t play. That’s why I’m going to play the game now.

    The Hex saga is coming closer to the end, and I want to finish it as soon as possible. Maybe then my life can return to normal.

Cinnabar

    Since my last entry, Hex’s ghost has been a little more… “vocal”. I hear her snicker or giggle or sigh sometimes when I’m alone. Every time I pick up my GameBoy, there’s this excitement in the air. I guess it’s because I’m nearing the end of the game. All that’s left after beating Blaine and Blue is to battle Red. I’m getting close to unlocking her “legacy”.

    Cinnabar remains unchanged from the original games. It is still an empty shell of a once-great town ravaged by a volcano. Honestly, it’s a bit boring. Before I talked to anyone, I tried surfing to Pallet Town to see if I could get there. Of course, I was blocked near the end by a group of Lapras. So I returned to Cinnabar. When I tried to go to the gym the swimmer intercepted me.

    Swimmer: “I know there’s not much to see in Cinnabar, but look around a little more, okay?”

    I shrugged and finally talked to Blue.

Blue: “Who are you? Well, it’s plain to see that you’re a trainer… My name’s Blue. I was once the Champion, although it was for only a short time… That meddling Red did me in… Anyway, what do you want? You want to challenge me or something? …I hate to say it, but I’m not in the mood for a battle now. Take a good look around you… A volcano erupts, and just like that, a whole town disappears. We can go on winning and losing in Pokémon. But if nature so much as twitches, we can lose in a second. … That’s the way it is… But, anyway, I’m still a trainer. If I see a strong opponent, it makes me want to battle. If you want to battle me, defeat Blaine and talk to me then.”

    He stayed there, and when I talked to him again he kept saying the same thing. Repetitive, but deep. I checked his quote on Bulbapedia and it’s generally the same, with the exception of the last line. It turns out he’s able to battle you at any time in this game. It was changed in the remakes so that you needed all the badges, but Hex also changed it. Just a little more of her manipulating the game’s events.

    Anyways, after this the swimmer vanished, and I FINALLY got to enter the gym. Blaine was all alone inside; since the gym guide disappeared a while back, it was absolutely empty besides him. It felt kind of lonely inside. I walked up to him and talked to him.

Blaine: “Hmmm! My Gym in Cinnabar burned down. My fire-breathing Pokémon and I are homeless because of the volcano. But! The fire in my heart is still burning strong, and I’m back in business as a Gym Leader here in this cave. If you can beat me, I’ll give you a Badge. Ha! You better have a Burn Heal!”

    His original lines were a little different, with him saying “Waaah!” instead of “Hmmm!” It actually kind of sounded like he was crying, so I guess that’s why Hex edited it. Anyways, I got through the battle mainly using my Gyrados. My steady training has raised it to level 50, making it more than a match for Blaine’s fiery team. After the battle he awarded me the badge.

Blaine: “I did lose this time, but I’m going to win next time. This has been the best battle since the volcano erupted and destroyed Cinnabar. Most trainers can’t even seem to find this place! After this missing gym leader fiasco is over, I’ll rebuild my Cinnabar Gym and we’ll have to have a rematch.”

    So he acknowledges the missing gym leaders. I left the gym and re-entered, and he was gone.

     I talked to Blue again, and, of course, his dialogue was different.

Blue: “… Oh, that badge is from Blaine. I guess you’re pretty strong then. Come to Viridian Gym and battle me there!”

    He then flew away. I tried to go to Pallet Town, but it was still blocked. In other words, I had to take the long way—again. Did I mention I’m sick of taking long ways? I really, REALLY am. I was so annoyed I saved for the night and went to bed.

    This, however, turned out to be a mistake. We got a Christmas tree the next day, which required moving around some stuff, including the table where I charged my GameBoy Advance SP. I turned on my SP that night and found that the battery was pretty low, turning red a few minutes after turning it on. When I went to get my charger, I found it was missing. My parents didn’t know where it went, and I spent most of the night looking for it. I had just enough battery to travel to Viridian (constant saving along the way), but that was it. A couple minutes after arriving there and saving my game a final time, the battery gave out. I looked for the charger the next day, and the day after, but had no luck.

    I actually tried using my old GameBoy Advance, but it’s really old and the sound is messed up. Hearing video game music just loud enough to reach your ears but still so quiet you can’t make out every note is unsettling. It’s outright disturbing when you’re playing a haunted game at night. I kept feeling like I was about to hear a sudden giant crash or bang like in horror movies, even though I knew that wouldn’t happen. I couldn’t play for five minutes before I had to turn it off.

    I guess Hex agreed with me, though. This morning, I found the charger on top of my laptop. I asked my parents where they’d found it, and both denied finding it. They just attributed it to the current messy condition of the dining room table (where I set up my laptop) due to a recent holiday shopping spree, and figure it got lost in the mess. It was right on top of my laptop, though, but I didn’t argue and plugged in my SP before leaving for school. When I got home and was alone, I asked out loud where Hex found it. Of course, I got no answer.

    Maybe the lost charger was for the best. We have finals next week, and I needed time to work on them. I got to do some studying and work on projects. If I hadn’t lost the charger, I’d have been too distracted by it to do anything.

    So, in conclusion, I beat Blaine. Otherwise? Next to no progress. Guh.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, it will be 6 in about fifteen minutes and I have to get ready to play.

From Pewter City to Cinnabar

    When I went to Vermillion City on Wednesday, I was hoping that the ferry would work. By now, you’d think I’d know better.

    “Sorry, but the S.S. Aqua is in the shipyard for some routine maintenance. I don’t know when it will be back up.”

    My naivete is almost funny at this point. I should have known better. Of course it won’t work. Hex wants me to stay in Kanto right now for whatever she’s planning. That’s probably why I want to get out of Kanto. I just feel scared of it, of a video game world that isn’t real. It’s not even designed to be scary like some places in other video games, but here I am, terrified of it. I guess I’m not scared of Kanto as much as I am of whatever Hex has planned for it.

    Oh, I almost went off on a tangent there. Sorry. Back to my latest adventures in Hexland, I found Saffron blocked by another thirsty guard. Lavender Town is still open for business, though, so I paid it a little visit. The funeral is still ongoing there, but at least the radio station’s back in business. I got my PokéGear updated to play the Kanto Radio Stations and went back to Vermillion to wake up Snorlax. There was a person standing by it, and when I stepped next to Snorlax she got an exclamation mark over her head.

NPC: “Oh! You can play the Kanto radio stations on your PokéGear now? Great! You can wake up Snorlax with it! Why don’t you try catching it? I’ll give you something nice if you do!”

    The challenge seemed like a nice distraction from Hex, so I decided to give catching it a shot. It took me two tries (I got a critical hit first time), but I caught Snorlax and she talked to me after the battle.

NPC: “Great job! I love watching a good battle! My friend got this while fishing at the Lake of Rage. He thinks it probably came from a huge Magikarp, but I don’t really care for those.”

OBTAINED RED SCALE!

    A Red Scale?

NPC: “Thanks for showing me that battle!”

    The NPC then walked away, leaving me confused. A check in my inventory confirmed it was, indeed, the same Red Scale I’d gotten from the Red Gyrados. Why did I get another one? I already gave the first one to Mr. Pokémon. On that note, I exchanged my Quagsire for the Gyrados and put it in my party. I don’t know why; I just did. Anyways, I healed my Pokémon and continued through Diglett Tunnel. Naturally, nothing important happened there; it’s a pretty empty route. Once I got through to the other end, I went to Pewter City and explored a bit. The only place of real interest was the gym, seeing as the Museum was closed. A lot of places in Kanto aren’t open in Gold and Silver. I guess it’s to save memory on the game?

    Anyways, the exits from the town were all blocked. When I tried to go to Mt. Moon, the guy standing there approached me.

NPC: “Hey, I haven’t seen you around before! You must be a new trainer! You know, there are a couple strong Pokémon past here. You should go train at the gym before you go here. I’ll show you the way!”

    He then showed me the way to the gym, said “Good luck!” and walked away. When that happened, I heard a snicker behind me and turned around but saw no one. That’s probably the first time I’ve heard human-Hex’s ghost make a sound. It creeped me out, so I decided to stop for a second.

    The next time I played, I decided to challenge Brock. For whatever reason, I decided to do a bit of training with my red Gyrados and soon got it up to Level 40, and used it to challenge Brock’s only trainer and then Brock himself.

Brock: “Wow, it’s not often that we get a challenger from Johto. I’m Brock, the Pewter Gym Leader. I’m an expert on Rock-type Pokémon. My Pokémon are impervious to most physical attacks. You’ll have a hard time inflicting any damage. Come on!”

    No reference to Hex. The battle went pretty well.

Brock: “Your Pokémon’s powerful attacks overcame my rock-hard defense… You’re stronger than I expected… Go ahead—take this Badge.”

    After the battle, he continued.

Brock: “Gold, thanks. I enjoyed battling you, even though I lost. That Boulder Badge will make your Pokémon even more powerful. I’ll be sure to get stronger too.”

    I thanked him out loud and left. After a moment, I went back inside the gym and walked to the back. Brock was gone. I talked to his only trainer and was told, “Brock left to hide somewhere. He’s been staying in the gym only because he heard about a strong trainer from Johto. I’m sure he’ll be okay, his battle skills are stronger than rock!”

    I sure hope so. I left the gym again, and now the road to Mt. Moon was open. I headed to it grimly, challenging all the trainers along the way. Immediately after entering, I found Silver already there. He approached me.

Silver: “…… …… …… It’s been a while, Gold. …Since I lost to you, I thought about what I was lacking with my Pokémon… and we came up with an answer. Gold, now we’ll show you!”

    According to a video I found, there was no change in his dialogue. Anyways, the battle wasn’t too hard, and at the end he said, “…… …… …… I thought I raised my Pokémon to be the best they could be… …But it still wasn’t enough…” Outside battle:

Silver: “…… …… …… ……You won, fair and square. I admit it. But this isn’t the end. I’m going to be the greatest Pokémon Trainer ever. Because these guys are behind me. But for now… …Listen, Gold. That girl who’s been following you… You need to stay away from her. I know we don’t get along, but trust me me on this.”

    He then walked away. Suddenly my respect for him skyrocketed. I hope I get to see this guy again. Anyways, I continued inside and came out at Mt. Moon Square, at which point I found my next obstacle: an old man blocking the next cave.

Man: “Hey, have you seen the Clefairy dance? They come out every Monday night! You should come watch them!”

    I found no reason to think too much about it and decided to leave. But then again, I wouldn’t be writing about it here if it were that simple, would I? Of course I found the south exit of Pewter blocked by an old guy and his Pokémon, as well as Diglett Cave:

Guy: “There was a cave-in! The Diglett should have it fixed soon. In the meantime, why not watch the Clefairy?”

    @(^#$^$!!? WHAT?

    So I had to wait until Monday to continue. No, I’m not kidding. On Monday night, I got on my game and went to visit the Clefairy to see how it went. I have to be honest here, I really liked that scene. They’re hopping around a rock and there’s fun music in the background. (For the record, after they left, I realized I didn’t have a Pokémon with Rock Smash in my party, though, so I had to leave and get one. Then when I came back the rock was gone, so I had to reset. That doesn’t impact this entry, but just something I felt like sharing.)

    After they ran away, I smashed the rock and got… a Moon Stone! Okay, cool, I guess? Anyways, I returned to Pewter City, only to find the same old guy and his Pokémon blocking the exit. At this point I felt like exploding, and talked to him for a hint.

Old Guy: “Oh! Is that a MOON STONE? That’s pretty special! During my travels I obtained this RAINBOW WING, so I’ll trade you for it. Sound fair?”

    A yes/no query popped up. I selected yes.

Old Guy: “Excellent! Here you go!”

TRADED MOON STONE FOR RAINBOW WING!

Old Guy: “Thank you for trading items with me! I’ll go home now. Good luck!”

    He walked away, his Pokémon following him, and I was free to go south. It reminded me that I still haven’t challenged Lugia yet. I have the Silver Wing, but I was so caught up in Hex’s plot I haven’t gone to the Whirlpool Islands at all. In retrospect, I doubt I’d be able to do it anyway; Hex always has some obstacle in places she doesn’t want you, and I bet they’re no different.

    Anyways, back to the entry, I passed through the “forest” to Viridian City and found the gym closed like usual. However, when I tried to go to Pallet Town, it was also blocked. So was the path leading to Victory Road (meaning I’m still trapped in Kanto). With no choice, I headed back to Pewter and found Diglett Cave open. After returning to Vermillion, I decided that the only way to reach Cinnabar was to leave from Fuchsia City.

    And of course, Saffron City is still closed. So is the bridge from Vermillion to Fuchsia, blocked by fishers in the south side.

    In short, I had a LONG way to go. I first had to go to Lavender, and then I found that the Underground Tunnel was still closed, so I ended up going to Cerulean—the long way, of course. From Cerulean I found that the Saffron gate wasn’t blocked. I gave the Magnet Train a try but found the Copycat was apparently out playing (and was past curfew), so I couldn’t get the pass for the Magnet Train. Then I went to Celadon and rode my bike to Fuchsia. And THEN I had to surf from the south part of town.

    That part was pretty peaceful, actually. As I drew close to the gym, a male swimmer approached me.

Swimmer: “You’re an unfamiliar face! Let me give you a tour!”

   Okay, what? Suddenly I was following this swimmer—while riding my Quagsire—as he showed me around the route.

Swimmer: “This is the gym. It’s a long story.” (Continue to Cinnabar) “And this is Cinnabar Island! Or what’s left of it, anyway. Yeah, there was a volcano eruption, it’s also a long story. Anyways, thanks for taking the tour! Go heal your Pokémon before you challenge the gym!”

    And then he pushed me on land and swam away. I didn’t do anything for a minute. I was just too stunned. I get Hex was delaying me from challenging the gym, but all she had to do was put a guy in front of the gym. Why have a swimmer give me a tour while I was riding a Pokémon? This is definitely one of her most nonsensical moves yet. And while I thought about that, I heard another snicker behind me, so I stopped playing for the night.

    That’s all that’s happened since my last entry. Not much, I know. I should challenge Blaine soon enough, though. Anyways, I’m getting off now. Thanks for reading! Also, I’m thinking of taking down the ask box soon. Just a heads-up.

Answering Questions

    With the ask box open, I’ve gotten a question or two about Hex’s involvement. I haven’t been in the mood to do anything with the game for somewhat obvious reasons, but I’m afraid to totally ignore Hex, so I guess I’ll answer some of them. (Actually, I think she’s smiling… ;_; So creepy…)

    To be honest, I’m not sure how well that would work. For one, I’m not even sure what she’s haunting anymore. Originally, it was probably the game. Now, though, I just don’t know. I mean, sure, maybe it’s me, but it’s not like she’s specifically attached to me. I think she’d haunt anyone who got the game. Although, after seeing this question a couple days ago, I found a crucifix necklace and secretly wore it. It didn’t seem to phase Hex, though.

    I think that religious charms are supposed to defend against “evil” entities. Although she’s scary and controlling a good part of my life, I don’t think Hex herself is necessarily “evil”. Back in the Ruins of Alph, she discussed wanting to leave a legacy, and with what she said in my dream during my surgery, I think she most likely got sick and died. This game is probably her legacy, which is why her ghost wants me to finish it. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that she’s ruining my life. She’s not doing it out of spite or anything like that.

    Now, game Hex is a different story. I mean, I’m pretty sure she’s kidnapping and possibly killing all the gym leaders.

    Well, I mentioned in one of my entries that I was training Misdreavous for the Elite Four challenge, but I didn’t use it then other than giving it an EXP Share and switching it out. I was really afraid to use it, especially with the move “Hex”. I actually tried going to the Move Deleter, but he said, “Sorry, I’ve never heard of the move HEX. I don’t know how to delete it…” Anyways, I mentioned back then that it was growing at a rapid rate, reaching Level 31 pretty fast, and it still grows at a quick rate. At the moment, it’s at Level 47.

    Actually, I have battled with it since then, though. During the Power Plant fiasco, I wanted to vent out some of my stress and decided to distract myself with a little experiment. For the sake of the data, I actually used it in battle without just switching it out, though I naturally avoided using the move Hex. I forgot to post it due to my stress at the time (but then again, when aren’t I stressed by Hex?). Here’s what I got:

Misdreavous (Lv 43) vs Graveler (Lv 31)

EXP Share: 2670 x2
No EXP Share: 2670

Quagsire (Lv. 52) vs Graveler (Lv 31)

EXP Share: 890
No EXP Share: 890

    Apparently it gets triple the amount of EXP others would get. That would help explain the fast growth rate. I removed the EXP Share for good after seeing that.

    Those are the only two questions I have time to answer. After beating Janine, I think I now have access to Vermillion. Unfortunately, it’s through the long way; Saffron is still closed. I swear, if I reach the end of the route and I can’t pass it, I will scream. Tomorrow’s Wednesday, and I want to see if I can use the S.S. Aqua. Now that I think about it, I should have tried the Magnet Train, too… Anyways, I have to go now. I’ll update again later this week.