DAY 2: "ENTER THE HELIX"
Mt. Moon was was entered - and much happened there. The Moon Stone was obtained, as was the (now legendary meme) Helix Fossil. "Abby" evolved into a Charmeleon. Mt. Moon was exited - miraculously - with time left to spare in the day. The Moon Stone was tossed - as most items are - a Rattata was caught, nicknamed "JLVWNNOOOO" (and commonly referred to as "Jay Leno"), while Pidgey evolved into Pidgeotto. Misty was defeated and the second badge obtained, Bill was saved (giving the players access to his PC), and a second Rattata was caught (no nickname, but commonly referred to as "DigRat" for reasons that will be explained later). Much progress was made in the first two days. By the end of day 2, though, the stream had been discovered by more mainstream sources, and in flooded tons of new users. Progress would soon slow. But for now, at least we had a Nugget.
DAY 3: "MAN ON A LEDGE"
The third day began about as well as anyone could have hoped - a Drowzee and a Spearow were caught within minutes of each other. The S.S. Anne was boarded and completed within a few hours. The Spearow was traded for a Farfetch'd (named "DUX"), who soon learned HM Cut about halfway through the day, something integral to progression. Not long after, a bush was cut and the players reached the third gym - the Electric-type gym run by Lt. Surge. Keep in mind to get to Surge, you need to complete a puzzle where you hit two very specific switches, one after the other. With about 40,000 people in the chat at this point, the odds of successfully getting the right two switches was about slim to nil and probably never -
Oh well, turns out that was easy. But what laid ahead would be no simple task - so the players tossed their Nugget as a sacrifice to the great Helix Fossil. The battle with Lt. Surge raged on - coming down to a very slim margin between his Raichu and our ABBBBBBK ( the Charmeleon.
Praise be to Helix. Two tasks that should have been insanely difficult, dealt with in a matter of hours!
Then came Route 9, and with it - the dreaded LEDGE.
The ledge was the first Great Feat that Twitch Plays Pokemon was subjected to - it was so difficult because it was extremely easy for people spamming the wrong directions to erase any forward progress. Here's a dramatic reinterpretation:
It was only the beginning.
DAY 4: "THE CAVE OF DARKNESS"
It seemed impossible, but after struggling (and even succeeding once, only to get knocked out by a trainer and have to start all over again) the ledge was surpassed after 16 HOURS.
The next step was something all had been dreading, even more than the dreaded LEDGE - it was the Rock Tunnel, a cave filled with wild Pokemon, trainers, and - worst of all - no light. Yes, it was a pitch-black cave - that could be illuminated with the move Flash, which of course we did not get (and couldn't have gotten even if we'd found it, since you need 10 Pokemon in your time to use it). Making matters worse, the second Rattata was taught the TM Dig, becoming reborn as 'DigRat' - as it soon began using Dig outside of battle, which returns the player to the beginning of whatever cave or dungeon they happen to be in at the time.
Through great struggle, the group managed to deposit DigRat in the PC so that they could progress through the cave without being rudely dug back to the beginning by too-obedient rat. The Rock Tunnel was somehow cleared within a mere 9 hours. Important to note a dark cave where we could see nothing with multiple levels to it was simpler than a short ledge.
On the way to Celadon City, Pigeotto evolved into Pidgeot - truly fulfilling the prophecy that it was the last hope, the messiah, the "Bird Jesus." It should be noted that many attempts were made to prevent the evolution previously, but fate intervened here.
The end of the day was spent entering and working through Erika's gym. Blacking out a few times proved to be a major issue - since you have to cut down a bush in order to get to the gym, and the bush respawns every time you enter a building.
The vast majority of the 6 or so hours it took to get to Erika was spent trying to outwit a bush.
DAY 5: "WELCOME TO HELL"
Early in Day 5, Erika was defeated, and the badge count now stood at 4. Halfway there, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong.
As of this point, there were five Pokemon in the lineup (since DigRat was rotting in a PC):
- ABBBBBBK ( the Charmeleon (Abby)
- Pidgeot the Pidgeot (Bird Jesus)
- Drowzee the Drowzee (The Keeper)
- JLVWNNOOOO the Rattata (Jay Leno)
- DUX the Farfetch'd
With the last remaining slot, the team hoped to put in a Pokemon capable of learning Surf. This was thinking probably a little too far down the line and being a little too optimistic about how quickly they would progress through the game. But since Lapras was a guaranteed Pokemon they could receive that could definitely learn Surf, many hoped that they could avoid getting any other Pokemon before Lapras.
Naturally, they got the Eevee instead (known as the "False Prophet" and accused agent of the Dome Fossil)
However, there was still some hope of evolving Eevee into Vaporeon with the Water Stone, which could conveniently be purchased in the Celadon City Department Store. There, they bought 3 Pokedolls, a Soda Pop, and...a Fire Stone.
Some time was wasted attempting to access the Daycare to open up a slot for Lapras, but that proved an enormous waste of time (and ledge-related flashbacks). There was a brief bright spot, however, when the Start commands began getting filtered more often, so that there was significantly less pausing and entering the menu and listening to Bulbasaur's cry for no reason. But that bright spot was short-lived, for mere hours later, the players entered Saffron City, and the unthinkable happened.
ABBBBBBK ( the Charmeleon and JLVWNNOOOO the Rattata were released into the wild.
This was the darkest moment in Twitch Plays Pokemon thus far. But it turns to to have merely been a taste of the horrors that were to come. It was a mercy to Abby and Jay Leno that they would not need suffer the same fate as the rest of us.
Things only got worse from there - DigRat was removed from the PC (renewing the threat of Dig) and the Start commands were unfiltered. In perhaps the final bright spot of the day, an Oddish was caught in the wild. For halfway through the day, the players entered the Team Rocket Hideout.
The Team Rocket Hideout changed everything. Everything.
For those not familiar, the Team Rocket Hideout has a few maze sections, with floor tiles that send you spinning in a certain direction. You have to navigate them carefully to successfully make it through. Not long after entering "The Spinning Hell," the situation began to deteriorate even more quickly - Eevee was evolved into Flareon, thus fulfilling the cruel prophecy of the Dome Fossil. DigRat dug the players out of the TR Hideout after 6 hours of torment. The players returned...but the ordeal had only begun.
DAY 6: "VIVA LA REVOLUCION"
The players were in Team Rocket's perfectly designed hellhole, with no end in sight.
Make progress in the right direction? A false turn and back at square one. Getting closer towards the Lift Key? DigRat digs us back to the beginning. Make a littlDIGRAT STOP DIGGING, GODDAMMIT.
Then, after 18 hours of zero progress being made, the revolution began. The emulator in charge of things had made subtle changes up to that point, but this was different. It was clear that progress was nigh impossible at this point, so the anarchic system of constant commands was upended and replaced with the 'Democracy vs. Anarchy' system (detailed above). People were...unhappy. Democracy was more purposeful, but significantly more boring than the less controllable but more entertaining Anarchy.
Anarchy reigned for a great while - and Flareon and Drowzee were eventually deposited in the PC. And miraculously, the Lift Key was obtained after over 24 hours of Spinning Hell madness. That was not enough to make it to Giovanni though - over 80,000 players were involved at this point, and movement was still as difficult as ever (Democracy may have even made it MORE difficult).
With a return to the PC and everything on the line, a seemingly impossible task was achieved: the release of Flareon, the False Prophet, liege to the Dome Fossil, cause of all pain and suffering and spinning misfortune. Drowzee was taken out and put back in the party, and (after some fumbling in the elevator), the players finally arrived at Giovanni.
An intense battle followed, coming down to the wire...
Luckily, there was time to check out Bulbasaur's cry.
DAY 7: "VENGEANCE"
Wasting no time (okay, wasting a bunch of time, probably three hours or so), the players returned to face Giovanni a second time. This time, the Team Rocket Leader was defeated.
It was a miracle - they were finally done with the cursed and horrible hideout, and could leav-DIGRAT GODDAMMIT.
That's right - DigRat dug away right before the players could pick up the Silph Scope - their reward for defeating Giovanni and the key to making it through their next task, the ghost-filled Pokemon Tower. With 120,000 viewers, the players eventually returned to the hideout one last time, retrieved the Silph Scope, and left.
Soon the players found themselves in Lavender Town, where they spent most of their money on Great Balls that were wisely used to catch a couple Zubats (named "---" and "x", although "---" was soon renamed "JJSSSSS-" and then "ABB-??AAJ"). Speaking of renaming, DigRat became "AAJST(????", Oddish became "x(araggbaj", and a Hitmonlee that was obtained was named "CCC". The Hitmonlee and X the Zubat were released not long after.
Much of the day was spent heading into the Pokemon Tower - which proved problematic, since the vast majority of the Pokemon attacks available to the players were Normal-type and did not affect the ghosts that inhabited the Pokemon Tower. While they made some slow progress, it usually led to all of the Pokemon fainting, which led to debating whether or not to try to grind levels (with Drowzee in particular) so that it could learn Psychic and lay waste to the ghost menace. Some grinding was done, but and eventually Psychic was learned - but that was about it, and it Drowzee wasn't yet strong enough to be truly effective. The players had entered the Tower at the beginning of the day (around hour 6), and made very little actual progress 18 hours later. The last major event of the day was catching a Gastly.
It had been a full week at this point. 168 hours. Yet the game had only truly just begun.