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Pokémon Black (tinycartridge.com)
95 points by paulgerhardt on July 27, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

Seems like it requires too much from the user to be true, particularly stepping back onto the exact square at which the game started. I also find it unlikely that it's interesting enough to play "many, many times". Interesting work of fiction, though.

Stepping back onto the square where it started could have been added by whoever modified the game, and fits with the message I'm getting from it, even if it would be hard for the player to realize that they needed to do so. Playing through many times makes sense, with the goal of finding other easter eggs which might have been included in the game, and experimenting with various potential outcomes.

However, I'm leaning towards it being fictional, mostly because it feels similar to other creepypasta I've read (some of them are quite good, and highly recommended if you're looking for something unsettling). Of course, that idea could be implanted by the suggestion of it originating from 4chan, but there are some other things which make me lean towards that, especially the bit about misplacing/losing the game several years previously.

I'm leaning toward it being fictional simply for the fact that I've never seen a ROMhack that modified the game's engine to anywhere near this extent. Things that would need to be done to a Pokemon Red ROM to make it into this game:

* Adding a "removed" state for pokemon in battle

* Adding the capability to playing sounds and BGM at modified pitch (or storing pre-modified copies of all sounds)

* Adding an "enemy is too scared to move" detection step in the opponent's battle sequence

* Creating the Curse move itself

* Creating a "tombstone" state for enemy trainers

* Adding a menu that appears after battles are over

* Keeping track of all pokemon species and trainers that have been "killed," in order

* Adding extra scenes beyond the end of the game

* Changing the way the battle engine deals with a battle where you have no Pokemon

* Adding an additional trainer-side sprite for the "old man"

* Adding a branch to the overworld music-loading algorithm that would always load the Lavender town music if you are in the endgame

* Adding a step to the map loader that removes all non-tombstoned NPCs if you are in the endgame

Anyone who could have done this at the time in question would likely be a professional Gameboy developer. It could be done more easily nowadays (especially using a Fire Red GBA rom instead) but back then this was complicated work.

Not to mention:

* Change the saved game format to store and load all this new data.

That aspect alone throws the whole thing into doubt, since you would have to change hardware to support the enlarged save data. The original Red and Blue games already had unusually large amounts of save data for a GB game, enough that emulators at the time of their release did not properly support them, and I'm pretty sure it was well-compressed(within the constraint of guaranteeing a worst-case size). It's unlikely that it would fit after adding additional state to every enemy trainer and species in the game. (see: http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_data_str... )

Well, just to turn around and play Devil's Advocate, they could always have nuked some feature of the game engine that was left unmentioned in the account. Dropping the PC storage system altogether would allow for quite a bit more save-game space, without really lessening the emotional impact of the hack. In other words, it's probably what I'd do :)

There have been some epic ROM hacks done though. Check out "Somari" - it's a combination of "Sonic" and "Mario". What's impressive is they managed to make a very Sonic-like game on the 8-bit NES.


There was a sonic game on the Sega Master System. Also an 8-bit system. (It came built in with my Sega Master System. Unfortunately, I can't find the ROM online.)

Let's not forget that this was actually put on a Game Boy cart. Highly dubious.

Fake Pokémon cartridges aren't so hard to come by... http://imgur.com/ctgWe.jpg

Coincidentally, the next generation of (official) Pokémon games are called Black and White: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pokémon_Black_and_White

This reads like 4chan creepypasta. Probably not true, but definitely creepy and well done.

I did not know about the "creepypasta" meme, thanks.


Definitely sounds fake, a poster above mentions several points that make it unlikely.

There was and are a couple of dead Pokemon Chaos Black torrents out there. Something at least similar to this existed as a ROM but I doubt it was ever ported to a playable cartridge.

Chaos Black is different and unrelated AFAIK. It's from the era when Pokemon games were named "[noun] [color]" rather than just "[color]" like this Black is supposed to be, and it is nothing like the game described in the post.

If ever there was a time when Hacker News needed image macros, this is it. “Cool story, bro.”

You and I both know that would be a truly facepalm.gif choice for HN.

Someone should make a PC version of this.

Oh wait, Nintendo wouldn't like that, would it?

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