Their Pokémon selection is interesting, to say the least. C has seen 189 different Pokémon but only has captured 45. They decided to go with Totodile as their starter, which has since evolved into a Feraligatr. Lugia, Entei, Raikou, and Dratini fill out the remaining roster. The fabled Red Gyarados is currently sitting in the PC, in addition to duplicates of Mareep and random other Pokémon. C definitely wasn’t interested in catching them all.
I started to wonder why C never finished their journey. 54 hours is more than enough time to have “rushed” through the main story and grind enough to have strong Pokémon. Did they become distracted? Did they lose interest in their game? Am I overthinking this?
So, why am I having a hard time erasing C’s profile and starting one of my own? It’s because I understand the time investment needed to defeat the eight gym leaders. I believe in the strong connection a trainer gets to their starter Pokémon. I still have fond memories of my first Cyndaquil, our journey, each evolution, and grinding to level 100. I remember trying my hardest to make sure I could bring my eventual Typhlosion to future Pokémon games. I’ve always believed these monsters were real in their own way. That’s why. Erasing them would feel akin to genocide.
Are they data? Of course, they are. But a saved file is more than just data. It’s the time spent working towards a goal. It’s the memories created from the epic stories. It’s the hardships endured of performing the same actions time and time again, hoping for a new outcome. I’ve always struggled with the idea of deleting my own saved data. To me, saved files aren’t just data; they’re pieces of our lives. Why throw away all of the hard work you’ve put into something?
C spent a long time on their journey. I could only imagine the reason why they had to trade in their copy. Did they want a new game? Had they grown out of Pokémon’s age demographic? Did they purchase the game to see what the hype surrounding the second generation games was? If that’s the case, C missed out on half of the adventure, even after nearly 60 hours of playtime.
I’ll never know C, and I doubt I’ll ever meet them. But I spent an hour in their virtual shoes, meeting their Pokémon, retracing through their adventure, and in some ways, maybe I got to know them a little better. I told myself I want to figure a way out to save a few of their Pokémon. But after Nintendo turned off online support for all DS titles a number of years ago, my best bet is to find a game in the series that can interact locally with SoulSilver, dust off the old DS, and hope for the best. For now, I’ll be mulling over what my next course of action will be, keeping C’s file intact, and waiting patiently for my next Pokémon adventure.