The concept of video game glitches fascinates me. Ever since I first learned of the famous MissingNo glitch on the old Pokemon games, I have held some sort of interest in them.
I was thirteen when I discovered the Mew glitch. Oh, I had much fun exploiting it for otherwise unavailable Pokemon, and then some; for example, a level seven Gyarados. Oh, how entertaining it was. I knew about the extended Mew glitch as well, but I didn’t attempt it until just a few months ago.
I was using my Exeggutor as a scapegoat for the glitch. I buffed the absolute hell out of his Special stat. By flying away from a Trainer battle, encountering a Ditto, having it use Transform on the Pokemon, and then escaping and going back to the Trainer’s route, I could encounter many different Pokemon, some of which would not appear unless the extended glitch was done (Raichu, for example).
If my memory is correct – which I doubt – my Exeggutor’s Special stat was somewhere in the 180s-190s. Possibly just above 200. I don’t remember. I was screwing around with the glitch and was encountering some bizarre Glitchmons, but nothing too horrifying had appeared yet. Anyway, I encountered the infamous Gambler on Route 8 and flew away from him, and headed towards Cinnabar’s Burned Mansion. The objective was simple: Get the Ditto to copy my Exeggutor, kill the Ditto, and head back to Route 8.
It took me awhile, but I eventually found the pink blob and the mission was a success. The Ditto transformed into Exeggutor, and I finished it off with Solarbeam. I used an Escape Rope to get out of the Mansion and found myself in Lavender Town.
Right about now I got a bad feeling. I knew something horrible was going to appear. Something that should not be, which is a lot considering how odd some of the glitches are. Nonetheless, I convinced myself that I had felt this every time I encountered a glitch, and went to the left, towards Route 8.
Lo and behold, the start menu inexplicably popped up, as always. “This is it,” I told myself, “this is gonna be a big one. I can feel it”.
I pressed the B button to exit out of the start menu, and the encounter effect happened. However, there was something else. Something startling, within the encounter music.
It was the Critical Health Siren.
“Oh God,” I said, “What have I encountered?”
Like most Glitchmons one encounters on the first generation games, the screen went black for several seconds longer than it usually does. Finally, the screen reappeared, and the music, as well as the siren, faded away.
Time slowed down to a crawl as the horrible glitched abomination took its sweet time making its entrance. It slowly slid in from the left side of the screen before it stopped in the usual spot.
You know how when a Pokemon is encountered, they let out a “cry”? Well, this thing didn’t cry.
The horrible cacophony of static and a cataclysmic mesh of sounds burst from my GBA SP’s speaker at a volume louder than they should handle. The scream was mercifully short but still enough to make me choose my next move carefully.
Oh, but I soon found that would be irrelevant. There was a crucial factoid I had forgotten when encountering glitch Pokemon such as this: Your Pokemon’s moves are all replaced with Explosion, except for the third. Their chances of disobeying skyrocket, even though Pokemon you caught will obey you without question.
I observed my Exeggutor’s new move set when it was called into play: Explosion, Explosion, Psychic, and Explosion. Obviously, I picked Psychic and Exeggutor obeyed me without question. It dealt massive damage to the glitched thing, even though its health bar had wrapped around the screen (which is quite common for Glitchmons). The monster suddenly had a burn status, which took off some more health.
I anticipated its next move. To my surprise, it used Tackle. This took off about one point of my Exeggutor’s health. Really, Tackle? I expected something such as this to have some sort of horrible, inexplicable, incomprehensible glitch move (which it probably did. Such a move does exist and is only exclusive to Glitchmons).
With some of my dignity restored, I went to choose Exeggutor’s next move. Explosion still held the first, second, and fourth move spot, so I went with Psychic.
I probably should’ve chosen Explosion.
I watched in horror as I saw the words “EXEGGUTOR didn’t obey! EXEGGUTOR used EXPLOSION!”
But just before the move could start, the game suddenly locked out, and a maddening buzzing sound erupted from the speakers. Fearing for my sanity (and my life), I hurriedly shut the game off.
It took a while, however, for the image of the game screen to vanish as it faded out. Despite the horrors of the battle and the thing I encountered, the experience with it was not the worst. For as I watched the battle screen fade from view, I saw the glitch’s face.
It was smiling.