Blinded By Nostalgia
This is a pokepasta (pokemon creepypasta), as well as a one-shot, so there will be no continuations.
descriptions of gore.
Everyone loves Pokémon, right? Or at least, everyone knows about it, and if they don’t, they’re either a hundred years old or living in the middle of the ocean.
I loved Pokémon, too. I still do, mind you, just not as much as before. Call me jaded or whatever you want, but I’ve just lost faith in the franchise. Apparently their newer games haven’t been very good. I wouldn’t know firsthand, though; I stopped buying them after Sun and Moon came out.
You know, I was always more of a Sonic and Digimon fan growing up, but Pokémon was unavoidable. I had to get lured into it at some point, and it was through the fourth generation, specifically HeartGold and SoulSilver. Those games, and the following two generations, helped shape me as a person. I think I’m better off because of them.
Why am I telling you all this? You came here, to this document, through the QR code on that paper. You’re probably waiting for me to get to the point. Sorry about that, I kind of meander sometimes. It’ll probably happen a few more times as I write this.
Now that I type it out, I guess I should get to the good stuff, huh. Yeah. Probably.
Alright then. Here it goes.
So, I mentioned HeartGold and SoulSilver as the first Pokémon games I played. Well, it was only SoulSilver. I’ve never actually touched HeartGold, I just don’t think Ho-Oh’s that cool. Anyways, that was my first game in the series, and it’s the one I have the most nostalgia for.
Well, something happened a while ago that put a dampener on it being my most fondly remembered game.
It was somewhere in between the sixth and seventh generations, I don’t know; it’s hard for me to remember exact dates. For nostalgia’s sake— at the time, I was excited for whatever the new generations would bring— I decided to go through my old save file of SoulSilver.
As a kid, I never beat any games that I played. The closest I ever got to doing so was when I played Shadow The Hedgehog, and was on the final stage of one of the good routes… I don’t remember why I didn’t finish it. But that’s not important, you don’t care about my Sonic history. I promise that little ramble had a point, though. My kid self never beat SoulSilver. So, when I picked it up years later, the player character was parked in the middle of some random route.
Oh, right, it was during my second time around playing the game that everything happened. I’d gotten good progress as a dumb little tyke, and the ever-compelling force that is nostalgia demanded that I, as a slightly less dumb teenager, go through and finish the game… so it could collect dust in my closet or whatever.
Yeah, I think I’ve rambled enough already. So, like I said, it was a few years back, and I was a stupid teen, going through and trying to beat SoulSilver.
When I’d booted it up, the player character— named Tai, like the original Digimon protagonist— was sat in the middle of a patch of grass in some route I didn’t immediately recognize. It was night time in-game, and the screen was appropriately dim.
A quick look at the map revealed that I was in Route 8 in Kanto, which meant I’d at least managed to beat Johto’s champion. A big feat for such a small brain.
Unsure of what I would find, I clicked on the Pokémon menu tab.
A surprisingly well-rounded team of six greeted me, and at the time I was surprised— still am, to be fair— that I remembered them all so clearly.
Inferno, a Typhlosion, and the very first starter I ever got— I’d probably had to ask my brother for help with spelling, though. An Ursaring named Brownie— blame me being a stupid kid and just seeing the color. As a teen, I might’ve gone with Bark, like the Sonic character. Sorry, off-track again. There was Ketchup, a Raichu that I remember wanting to name after the Pokémon anime protagonist, but misspelling the name. I didn’t know that nicknames could be changed, so I stuck with it, and back then, seeing it again, I couldn’t imagine changing it after so long. After Ketchup was a Vaporeon named Ness— you know, like the Loch Ness monster? Then Freddy, a Weavile— Nightmare On Elm Street, anyone? Jeez, who let me watch that as a kid? Anyways, the final Pokémon was a Gengar named Scourge— the name of the first “evil Sonic” from the old comics, and at the time, I remember thinking that the stupid “Gengar is evil Clefable” theory was real, so the connection was clear to my little peabrain.
So that was the team that I’d left off with, and the team that I’d picked up on, years later. Pretty nice, if you ask me.
Anyways, since I wasn’t too familiar with Kanto at the time, and didn’t want to get hopelessly lost— notice the lack of Fly users in the party?— I wandered around the route for a while, just to see if there was anything worthwhile in the grass.
As it would soon become clear, Route 8 was practically made for night-time. Good ‘mons like Growlithe and Noctowl were out and about, but that wasn’t the attention-getter. No, what made this route special was that it was the only spawn location for wild Haunter. Level 19, and weak compared to the levels my team were at— mid to high 50s— but still a Haunter that could easily be turned into a Gengar. Would’ve been cool if I didn’t already have a Gengar!
If only things didn’t go to shit.
I decided that I wanted to try and EV train my Pokémon, specifically Scourge, since it was a bit lacking in its stats, not helped by its crappy nature that annihilated its Special Attack.
So, I put the Gengar at the front of the party and walked into the grass. There was a wild encounter as soon as I’d stepped into the patch.
It was a Haunter. Great, EV points for Scourge’s Special Attack! I clicked Shadow Ball and moved on.
Less than a dozen steps later, there was another Haunter. It went by without incident.
Take one step. Haunter. Take one step. Haunter. It was starting to get tedious, and I only had so many recovery items.
I didn’t know what was coming. I couldn’t have known.
At this point, Shadow Ball had almost run out of its Power Points— to this day, I refuse to use the term “PP”, except this once. Don’t ask why.— and I was too stubborn to venture outside of the route.
Yet another Haunter appeared, no different from the rest that I’d mindlessly knocked out.
My finger slipped— I loved using the DS’ touch screen for some reason— and I clicked Shadow Claw instead of Shadow Ball.
I figured it would be fine, that it was just another pile of EXP to be gained.
As I mindlessly mashed the button to speed up the text, I skipped over something that, looking back on it, was probably the first sign of something being wrong with the game.
What I did notice, however, was the fact that Scourge had gotten next to no EXP from that Haunter. All of the previous ones had given him a decent chunk, so what had happened that made this one so stingy?
If only I’d known that it was the start of a non-stop downhill trip that would forever sour my perception of Haunter.
When the game returned to the overworld, the screen seemed slightly darker than normal. Despite it being broad daylight in the real world, I found myself squinting to even see where I was going.
To nobody’s surprise, there was another wild encounter immediately after the last one.
Initially, I thought maybe my game had glitched out somehow, or that some of the textures, or… whatever, had gotten corrupted. But no, it wasn’t anything like that, and to this day, I don’t know what it was.
The Haunter that slid across the screen was bleeding.
I didn’t know what to think. Was it a glitch, or had my brother somehow hacked my beloved game to try to scare me?
Getting a closer look at the floating sprite, the Haunter’s eyes had been whited out, and dark red pixels that could only be blood streamed from the bottom of its eyes like tears.
I know, I know. I sound like one of those early 2010’s amateur creepypasta writers, what with the mention of blood and unusual happenings in a Pokémon game. Believe me or not, you’re the one reading this, and you’re the one who chose to scan a QR code in a game case. So, I don’t care what you think, but this really happened, and I’m going to try to explain it as best as I can.
Gah, I’ve gotta stop getting off-track like this.
Everything else in the game was normal. Well, there were a few things. The Haunter’s level was listed as 50, which I knew was far above anything in the area, and… it wasn’t actually called a Haunter. Where text would normally display a Pokémon’s species, or nickname, there was a name: Cecil.
Other than that, the game seemed fine. No creepy music, no eye-melting colors, nothing. Just a bloodied Haunter named Cecil.
After a minute or two of hesitation, I clicked Dark Pulse and took it out.
I thought it was anti-climactic.
One step later, and Cecil was back, with the same blank, bleeding eyes.
I didn’t send Scourge out, despite him being at the front of the party, and thus being the only possible ‘mon to have out on the first turn.
Ness popped out of his ball as if everything were completely ordinary.
I tried to swap out to Scourge, but got a text box in response. It read: “Coward!”
…Surely the game wasn’t talking to me, right? How was it cowardly to swap ‘mons?
I tried again, and got the same thing, with slightly larger text. Just out of morbid curiosity, I spammed the swap button, and watched the text get bigger and bigger, until the text box shook and forced me back to the main battle screen. The swap button was greyed out, and clicking on it did nothing.
I guess Cecil didn’t like Scourge very much.
Well, whatever. Despite the weirdness, it was still just a Haunter, so I clicked Water Pulse.
To call it a pixel of health would be generous. I watched in disbelief as the tiniest portion of Cecil’s health bar disappeared.
Alright, sure, Ness wasn’t the strongest one on the team, but he was no slouch! That move should’ve been able to absolutely delete that Haunter!
But it didn’t.
So now it was Cecil’s turn.
For some reason, it used Lick, one of the weakest moves in the game— and it nearly took Ness out in one hit.
I only remember being completely dumbfounded at this. Vaporeon was one of the bulkier ‘mons at the time, and with such a pathetic move like Lick, it should’ve done scratch damage at most. But bringing Ness down to yellow, bordering on red? It was unheard of.
Oh, and of course Ness got paralyzed, too. Fun.
Thanks to the speed decrease from paralysis, Cecil got to go again, and this time— Thunderbolt. It knocked Ness out, and forced me to pick someone that wasn’t Scourge.
At the time, I didn’t even consider the fact that Thunderbolt should’ve been impossible for a wild Haunter to have, but hey, a lot of the crap that was happening was impossible.
I sent out Brownie next, knowing that Sucker Punch had the chance to do some decent damage, if not outright kill— I mean, KO. Yeah.
So imagine my shock when it did next to nothing. Another tiny sliver of Cecil’s health was gone.
It seemed Cecil had lost his patience now, using Dark Pulse to instantly take Brownie out of commission.
Freddy was next— he went down to a Shadow Ball.
Ketchup— down to Shadow Punch, which I didn’t even know was a thing until that moment.
As a last resort, I sent Inferno out.
Hoping for some kind of miracle, I clicked on Flamethrower.
It did a chunk of damage, bringing Cecil down to roughly half health, and it burned, meaning that this bastard Haunter wouldn’t be able to hit nearly as hard now.
Immediately after that, Inferno was taken out with a single use of Frustration.
Now it was only Scourge left, and it was only now that the game was letting me use him.
I clicked on Shadow Ball with its one remaining Power Point and hoped for the best.
Cecil went first— Payback. It brought Scourge down to 5 health points.
All that mattered was that my trusty Gengar wasn’t out of the running.
Shadow Ball hit, and brought Cecil down for the second time.
Scourge got a mountain of EXP for that one, leveling up several times, bringing him up to speed with the other members of the team.
The game reverted back to its normal cheerful color scheme and acted as though nothing had happened.
Unnerved, I contemplated just shutting the game down right then and there, but soon figured that if I could get out of the route, then I wouldn’t have to see Cecil again.
It’s funny how wrong I was.
After a few minutes of wandering around, and a reluctant phone call to one of my friends— who made fun of me to no end for not knowing Kanto very well— I found my way out of Route 8, and right into, you won’t believe this, Lavender Town.
Yes, the infamous town that everyone hates. That one. I’d ended up there, of all places.
But it was different. There was no music at all. A layer of grey pixels— fog, I’d soon realize— covered the screen, and there were no NPCs anywhere. I tried to leave, but was stopped and pushed back as though there were a guard there. A quick walk-around revealed that the Pokémon Center was closed— a short text box explained that it was “boarded up for safety purposes.” Same thing went for the Poké-Mart.
I walked around aimlessly, having no escape and nothing to do. It wasn’t until I walked into the direct center of an intersection that the screen flashed, as though I had just encountered a legendary Pokémon.
It was Cecil.
My only option was Scourge, seeing as everyone else was fainted, and there was no way to use any form of healing.
I clicked Dark Pulse, knowing full well that this wouldn’t end well.
It missed, and Cecil was able to use Spite— which normally didn’t do damage!— to knock Scourge out. With that, all of my Pokémon had fainted.
The game recited its usual message of the player character running away, and then…
Everything was back to normal. Even the ear-grating Lavender Town music was present. NPCs were walking about like everything was fine.
I checked my party, and saw that everyone was perfectly healed, as if I’d just visited a Pokémon Center.
My finger hovered over the exit button, but then I stopped. Something— even now, I don’t know what— compelled me to take a closer look at my Pokémon. So I did.
I may have shouted a few expletives when I saw the state of my starter Pokémon.
Inferno, once a strong, healthy Typhlosion, had been brutalized. Blood covered his entire body, like the iconic scene from Carrie. His signature flames came out in weak sputters of embers and smoke, and deep gouges ran across his body. One of his arms was missing— white pixels that I realized were meant to be bone stuck out of the bloody stump. Stat-wise, he seemed to be… completely fine. His health was full, and the sprite moved as it normally should— I never caught on that moving sprites weren’t normally a thing in this game.
If Inferno, my pride and joy, looked like this, I’d dreaded to think what had happened to the other party members. I needed answers, though.
Brownie wasn’t much better. He was similarly drenched in blood, and his ears had been removed— again, bone. Massive patches of his fur were gone, leaving the flesh exposed to the environment. Easily his most gruesome injury was the fact that his stomach had a massive hole in it, leaving his bloody intestines to drag along the floor as he moved.
I gagged at the image, and quickly moved on to Ketchup.
It looked like a mob had taken baseball bats to the poor Raichu. Bruised, battered, and, yes, bloody. It was the least gruesome of the ones I’d seen so far— only a missing ear and broken arm as for injuries— but that didn’t make it any less upsetting to see these creatures in such a state.
I might’ve screamed a little bit when I saw Ness. The Vaporeon looked as though he’d fallen into a vat of acid, comic book villain style. He was half-melted, parts of his face and body oozing away to reveal the skeleton underneath. His tail had almost completely melted, being nothing more than a dripping stump that led into a pool of what used to be flesh on the floor.
I shut my eyes and clicked over to Freddy. Of course, I shouldn’t have expected anything good. He seemed mostly fine, except for the fact that he was missing both arms, reduced only to the shoulders. His head-crest and neck frill had some tears in them, but other than that, he only had the one injury. It seemed him and Ketchup had gotten away with the least.
Now it was time for the last Pokémon: Scourge. I briefly went through mental images of what a near-death Gengar could look like. Thankfully, or perhaps un-thankfully, my assumptions were much worse than what I actually saw.
Scourge had no blood on him, surprisingly. Instead, his eyes were pure white, just like Cecil, and there were thin, long lines stretching from his mouth that I soon realized were deep gouges— think of the Joker, basically.
I exited out of the screen and forced my eyes off of the DS. I stared up at the ceiling for a while, I don’t know how long exactly.
I didn’t know how to process what I was seeing or what was happening to my game. How could I? I was still just a dumb kid, all things considered. Sure, I was older, but I was still young, and I knew I shouldn’t have been seeing this kind of stuff. At least, not in something that was supposed to be pure and innocent.
After setting the DS down and walking around my room for a bit, I picked up the console again, ready to face whatever this game threw at me next.
Turns out I wasn’t ready. Not at all.
My first taste of the new rules came when I had to fight Misty in the Cerulean Gym.
I’d been using Ketchup for the whole fight thus far— bizarrely, my team’s horrifying injuries had no effect on their ability to battle, which I supposed I couldn’t exactly complain about.
Misty brought out her Quagsire, and I kept Ketchup in the fight.
I can’t believe I’d forgotten that damn thing’s typing.
It knocked Ketchup out with one hit, and I watched in disbelief as the text box that normally informed me that a Pokémon had fainted now told me that Ketchup had died.
Dead. Just like that. One of my oldest Pokémon, taken out by a stupid jelly-bean shaped thing. The game forced me into the selection screen, and I could only stare at the screen as shock and horror and fury and sadness welled up within me. I know it sounds stupid to get attached to these Pokémon, but hey, you can’t say you’ve never gotten sentimental over something.
The rest of the fight went by easily.
I walked over to the Pokémon Center and deposited Ketchup in the last box in the PC. I’d watched videos where people would challenge themselves to stop using Pokémon permanently once they fainted, but… I never thought I’d do it. Not against my will, not with my favorite game, not with the Pokémon I’d had for years, not like this.
It was only when I checked how many other Pokémon I had in the PC that I realized I was completely, and utterly, screwed.
I had a grand total of three Pokémon in the PC that I could use.
A Sentret, a Smeargle, and, of all things, Lugia.
Great. Just great.
To my knowledge, only two of those were useful at all.
I sighed and took the Smeargle out. I wouldn’t be using the Sentret at all, and I wanted to save Lugia for if I really needed it.
So, on I went, playing as carefully as I could. Playing like my life depended on it. Well, technically, it did— not my life, but those of the virtual creatures I’d known for so long.
You know, it’s funny. Looking back on this whole thing now, it doesn’t hurt as much as it did when I was actually going through it.
And yeah, maybe that just sounds obvious, but… I don't know. Maybe it’s because I’m just not really into Pokémon anymore, so anything associated with it just automatically has less of an impact now. I don’t know if that’s how the brain works, but I’m going to assume that it is.
I have more nostalgia for other stuff anyways.
…I should really stop getting distracted. Sorry about that. Back to the shitshow.
As fate would have it, I miraculously made it all the way to the Elite 4 without any more losses— okay, actually, the Smeargle died in a random trainer battle, so I’d replaced it with the Lugia.
And naturally, shit had to hit the fan at some point— as if it didn’t already.
The first fight against Will actually wasn’t that hard. Freddy basically swept his entire team.
Against the second Elite 4 member, Koga, things started getting dicey. Brownie was able to put in most of the work by spamming Earthquake, but once it got down to Koga’s Venomoth and Crobat, that strategy wouldn’t work anymore.
Not wanting to give the AI a free turn by switching, I kept Brownie in the fight and clicked Slash.
It missed. Because of course it did.
The Venomoth used Double Team, ensuring I would have an even harder time hitting it.
But I was too stubborn, and too dumb, to try doing anything else, so I tried again. And again. And again.
By now, the Venomoth had gotten five more Double Teams off, meaning its evasion was maxed out.
I figured that would be the end of it. Well, I forgot it still had more tricks up its sleeve.
It started using Silver Wind, which has a chance to boost every stat. And through pure atrocious luck— or maybe it was that damn Haunter, still screwing with me— it got the boost six times in a row.
And then it Baton Passed, meaning the other Pokémon— Crobat— would get all of the stat boosts that Venomoth had now.
It was basically unwinnable.
Brownie never stood a chance. He was down in one shot from this stupid flying bat.
I sent Ness out next, thinking he was the only one that was bulky enough to take a hit from this absolutely ‘roided Crobat.
I was right. He survived an attack on yellow, and somehow managed to fire off a Water Pulse.
And then he got hit with Toxic.
I had no healing items, none, when I could’ve sworn I’d walked into this fight with at least ten Hyper Potions.
It, to put it bluntly, was bullshit.
Ness got off another Water Pulse, killing the Crobat, and was brought into the red from the toxic damage.
Venomoth came back out. Thanks to it no longer having its stat boosts, Ness destroyed it with a third and final Water Pulse… after which he died from the residual damage.
At least things could’ve been a lot worse.
And things did get worse, but I’m not going to give you the nitty-gritty details. All you need to know is that Freddy died against Bruno, and Lugia went down to Karen.
So I was left with just Inferno and Scourge against Lance and his team of overpowered Pokémon. Fantastic.
The first thing I noticed upon walking into the final room was that it was completely silent. No music, no sound effects.
When I expected to see dialogue, there was nothing. It went immediately to the battle, and there was no splash screen either. A quick zoom-out was all I got.
Lance’s sprite slid into position, and I expected to see him throw out his Charizard or Gyarados first.
Of course that didn’t happen.
He sent out a Haunter. The Haunter. Level 100, same bloody sprite, same name.
I may have just given up right then and there, I’ll admit. I knew from the first real encounter with this thing that it was pointless, and there was almost no way to win, so with a heavy heart, I got Inferno and Scourge killed as quickly as I could.
This time, when the trainer passed out, there was no message telling the player that a trip to the Pokémon Center was needed.
After a few seconds of nothing but a black screen, I started to get worried. Had the game finally had enough of Cecil, and crashed?
As it would soon become apparent, I’d been forced back to the title screen, but it was different. Instead of the normal title screen— a shot of Lugia swimming along the ocean with upbeat music accompanying it— there was a black screen with ominous droning that sounded an awful lot like the title screen from Diamond and Pearl.
I hesitantly pressed the start button and was greeted with the usual choice of continuing my current save or creating a new save. Since you’re reading this, if you have the balls to even turn the game on, I recommend you go for the latter option.
Anyways, when I clicked on my current save, I was greeted with my character in a pitch-black void. Once again, there was no music, and no sound at al.
I wandered aimlessly for a while before eventually stumbling onto a single white tile. When I walked up to it, a Haunter sprite appeared— the same one that would normally be seen if you had one in the overworld— with a smiley emoji over its head.
A text box appeared.
“Why so stubborn? Can’t you see there’s nothing here for you anymore?”
I remember getting pissed at that.
“There’s nothing because you took everything away!” I growled at my DS, knowing full well I would have looked like a maniac if anyone saw me.
A laughing emoji appeared. This piece of shit had the audacity to laugh at me.
“Ohoho! Don’t you get it? If you hadn’t decided to play this game, none of this would have happened, and all of your little friends would still be safe!”
“Wh— that’s bullshit! How was I supposed to know that there was… whatever you are hiding in my old-ass game?”
“Questions, questions! Well, I’m afraid you just won’t get the answers! After all, it’s no fun if a magician reveals his secrets. And besides,” An ellipsis appeared for a few seconds. “Haven’t you had enough, Michael? I think it’s time for you to get out of here.”
My game crashed instantly after that; I know because I was forced all the way back to the DS logo. Ignoring the fact that Cecil had used my name— not my character’s name, but my real name— I didn’t know what to make of any of this.
I still don’t know, honestly. Whatever Cecil was trying to say, I’ll just never know, and honestly, that’s probably for the better. At least I don’t have to deal with him anymore.
Hopefully you don’t either.
But hey, if you’ve read this far, congratulations for putting up with all of this, and… you know what happened next.
I packed the game up and sold it off to a game store for, like, 5 cents, but not before writing up this document of the happenings around this game, and hiding the link behind a QR code on a tiny paper that I slipped into the game case.
So, think whatever you want, but I can tell you that this happened. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.
Maybe if you start a new file, just steer clear of any Haunters you find. You’ll probably be fine.