It took a little over two weeks, but Twitch Plays Pokemon just finished its second Pokemon game as Pokemon Crystal was completed yesterday. There were highs and lows along the way, but the whole thing culminated in an epic battle against Pokemon Trainer Red. While this is the typical ending to the second generation of Pokemon games, what wasn’t typical is the team he fielded. The game had been modified to replace his normal Pokemon with the very same team we used to power our way through the first game. Omastar, Pigeot, Zapdos, Nidoking, Lapras, and Venemoth were the only things standing in the way of the new team and victory. This scrappy bunch of lovable Pokemon included Feraligatr, Pigeot, Espeon, Steelix, Dragonite, and Raticate, and they proved no match for Red initially. It took several tries and a lot of cursing, but eventually Twitch prevailed against…well, Twitch, really.
We previously posted our concerns about this sequel, and in many ways our concerns were well founded. Yes, this was essentially the same thing we had just seen with Pokemon Red. And yes, viewership flagged to extreme lows at some points of the run as people complained how boring portions of it were. It also lacked the whole excitement that came with progress, as this time around we knew that success was not only possible, but very likely. There was, however, one way in which this surpassed the original in every way: it was more interesting to follow. See, for me the fun in this was never just following the stream itself. After you watch someone struggle with a ledge for the first hour, you really don’t need to be there for the next eighteen. Even when pure anarchy reigned in Pokemon Red and each and every simple chore was a massive accomplishment, it wasn’t as if I was glued to the stream nonstop. The best part was taking a peak at the massive amount of fan art and lore telling that came from people watching the stream, and in this way Crystal completely blew Red away in every conceivable fashion.
In Red, the game developed this oddly religious lore, with players praising the Helix Fossil and celebrating the revival of their god later in the game. It was equal parts campy and culty, and at times I was a bit worried people were going to start being reported missing when sacrifices were needed to please their new god. Luckily, it never came to that, and this time around they wound up cursing the very things they worshiped last time. Early on in this stream, the action began to lull as Totodile was basically wrecking everything in sight as he was far too overleved. Growing frustrated with their boredom, a faction in the stream attempted to start actively releasing him, and it was during one of these attempts that they ended up accidentally releasing their Togepi instead (the adorably nicknamed Prince Omelet). And from their, the streamers finally found their story.
Suddenly, this was a redemption tale. It became a very personal story of Feraligatr seeking revenge agains the gods of chaos that claimed his friend. They began taking up the maxim of “No Gods. No Kings. Only ‘Mon.” as they rebelled against everything they held dear in the last playthrough. What emerged was a tale of revenge, redemption, and a struggle against gods. Checking through the fan art, not only did this surpass anything that came out of the last game. It surpassed the story in any of the Pokemon games themselves. I don’t know if that says more about they followers of Twitch Plays Pokemon or Nintendo’s writers, but either way if you are interested you should check out the Twitch Plays Pokemon subreddit as they have a lot of the lore compiled there.
There is a countdown to the start of an Emerald playthrough on the stream right now, and until that starts up players are free to wander about and maybe catch a legendary pokemon, or more likely get stuck in a corner somewhere for two days. I’m interested to see what stories come out of the next game. They’ve revived gods. They’ve rebelled against gods. Personally I hoping for a buddy cop comedy next time around. Feel free to check out the climatic final battle below to hype you for the next saga in Twitch Plays Pokemon.