Since his humble beginnings in the sleepy burgh of Kanto, aspiring Pokemon Master ANTHONY (ID 13696) has been making his mark on the world of competitive battling. Though his early exploits have since been lost in the folds of time (aka the internal battery ran out on his Silver and Crystal cartridges), there is record of his creature collection dating back to 2003.
The elder statesman of this roster, a bleary-eyed Sceptile known as FREAKO, has seen them all come and go. By now, he can Detect which of them will amount to anything, and the others who are destined for little more than eternal box fodder.
Seriously, I gave my Sceptile Detect for no reason. I had no idea what I was doing.
The point is, I have amassed quite the arsenal of Pokemon throughout my career. With each new entry that arrives, I will earnestly attempt to complete the PokeDex to the best of my ability, even if it means reacquiring older critters from previous generations that have resurfaced in a new region.
As of the time of publishing, I have a complete ‘living’ PokeDex. That is to say, there is at least one of every single Pokemon present, including middle evolutions that would otherwise have been lost when they reached their final form.
It’s a satisfying feat, especially for someone such as myself who would otherwise feel a hideous sense of dread if I was short even one. See also, 2014’s pursuit of the mythical Diancie.
The unfortunate side effect, however, is that it’s not quite as simple as tidy storage of the 898 different species. No, there are some Pokemon that I possess an excess of for one reason or another.
Perhaps I bred dozens of them in pursuit of perfect IVs. Or they sprung up in multiple games, and coincidentally there were more opportunities to add additional members. Or it could just be as simple as, I like Bulbasaur, so yes I will have 80 of them, please and thank you.
Whatever the reason, I have now surpassed the storage space available on Pokemon Home, owning over 6,000 Pokemon. The surplus are temporarily left without a Home, stranded across the various cartridges until I evict someone else to make room.
It’s like that Halloween episode of the Simpsons where the classes were overcrowded, except I don’t plan on eating my Pokemon. …Hmm, maybe Corphish, that would be pretty good with butter.
The issue I’m facing is that, to some degree, they all do mean something to me. The timing of their capture coincides with a bygone chapter of my life, and they become the perverse inheritors of undeserved, consequential affection, a la Tom freaking Brady.
To simply release them into the wild would be to wipe their digital existence from the pages of history, a disservice to the innocent Pokemon, and to myself. And so, I have set about ensuring that all of them are instead traded away, that someone else’s journey may be blessed with their presence.
It’s a… lengthy process, as I must also ensure that each individual creature is branded with an irreplaceable nickname; a sign of where they came from, and a reminder of their true identity.
When you’re talking about thousands of Pokemon, however, some nicknames are going to be better than others. They can’t all match my Seedot named HE IS VIGO, a truly inspired moniker that will go down in legend. Often, I’ll use them as a cross-promotional tool for a project I’m involved with.
While working behind the scenes on the tower defence title Orithia: Dragons’ War, I cycled through the various protagonists through dozens and dozens of eggs. If you’re in possession of an Eevee named Nerio, odds are it was one of many that cracked open one gloomy day in May 2016.
Another session in March 2011 had me dubbing Axew hatchlings after NFL teams. Once I had reached 32 and therefore exhausted every possible option, it served as a harsh reminder of exactly how much time I had wasted.
To save brainpower, I’ve frequently just decided to fall back on a trusty standby: Charles.
It’s a strong, respectable name, and for some reason, the idea of receiving a Rockruff with this name in a trade just strikes me as hilarious.
Indeed, the only thing that will assure an incoming Pokemon won’t be released upon arrival — short of perfect IVs, egg moves or some other actual benefit — is if it already comes equipped with a nickname of its own. It doesn’t matter how stupid it is; if you thought enough of it to bother typing something in, it has a home in my Pokemon Home.
As the years pass by, perhaps my threshold for ‘must have’ will diminish, falling victim to apathy or necessity, or some combination of the two. These Pokemon are only important to me alone, I recognise, in much the same way not everyone is going to clamour over photos of my cat (whoever those people are, I hope I never meet them).
The thing is, I’ve been this way for longer than I can remember, and I have shown no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Even as my passion for gaming itself wanes, my peculiar tastes in naming fictional monsters remains as firmly entrenched as ever.
If you’d like to help the cause and thin out the total, feel free to leave a comment! I can’t assure you that the Pokemon you’ll receive will have any value whatsoever, but there’s a sporting chance it will at least be named Charles.