- - - SUMMARY - - -
One day, my boyfriend Jonathan and compadre Hannah came home with an odd GBA (Gameboy Advanced) cartridge that was found at GameStop, they said. It was obviously a hack. Pokemon Turquoise version does not exist, but the care that went into making the cartridge cover look as official as possible, gave the impression that it was at least worth trying out.
We stayed up that night, playing well into Viridian Forest; the storyline was too juicy to stop. The game starts off around ten years since Red and Blue started their own journeys from Pallet Town. In that time, Team Rocket has organized into a very deadly, very intimidating crime syndicate that has virtually all of Kanto trembling under its brutal thumb. The cryptic vibe of the plot-line is complimented well by the black and white graphics, haunting fog, and ominous thunderstorms. The game teaches you early on that no place is safe with surprise encounters of overpowered pokemon, making the player calculate their choices carefully.
EDIT: If you’re having trouble downloading or running the available download, try this one instead: http://www.mediafire.com/?o6wn3c4d7m674uu
DOUBLE EDIT: If you’re using a Mac, then there is a special emulator here: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/10123/visualboyadvance
* * * * * * * * * * * * WARNING * * * * * * * * * * * *
The following sections contain spoilers
(contained in parenthesis). If you wish to play the game in its purest form, then ignore the parenthesis or skip ahead to the link below for a free emulated version.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
- - - TEAM ROCKET’S REIGN - - -
To sustain supremacy, Team Rocket has developed a variety of techniques to replace any thoughts of opposition with chronic fear, including blackmail, torture, and in some cases murder by Pokemon. Anything to insure complete control over all of Kanto. Neither the Elite Four nor the Gym Leaders have been able to protect their respective cities from Rocket rule. Each leader has suffered their own tragedy.
(Despite his almost sagely state, Brock has been unable to protect his city from one powerful Grunt; to retain Misty in her gym, her sisters have been kidnapped, held hostage, and given fresh scars for every defeat Misty suffers).
- - - THE NPC’S - - -
Though Pokemon is known for its inane and somewhat pointless NPC’s, those in Turquoise are much more engaging. Some are for entertainment, such as the group singing “Don’t stop Believin’” in Celandon Department Store, while others are solely for illustrating how dire the situation is.
(There is an old man in Cerulean City mourning his wife of fifty years because he could no longer pay the protection money; another in Saffron lies lifeless and alone with crushed appendages). It is also common for trainer tips to be sided with NPC laments. Example: “Revives can restore KO’d pokemon to half their HP, but that won’t work for me. They’re not all in one piece anymore.”
- - - DRAGONTAMERS - - -
Although many of Kanto’s fine trainers have sided with Rocket’s seductive power, those that remained became the Resistance. With a design inspired by the manliness of Kamina meets G Gundam, they have banded together, determined to free Kanto. Though having formidable power of mind and Pokemon, they lack numbers, and so have instead resorted to battling the Kanto countryside, searching for trainers powerful enough to one day defeat the Great Giovanni himself.
- - - THE RIVAL - - -
When starting your pokemon journey, Pallet Town seemed fresh out of cocky, punk kids and instead supplied someone whom is older, married, and an endearing rival. Not even a kid, but a former colleague of Professor Oak, he too is starting his journey. Not because he has that naïve adventurer’s thirst of an open road, but because Team Rocket has stolen the one most precious to him that he has sworn to get back no matter the cost.
(Shamed at the discovery that his research was what ultimately supplied Giovanni with the Pokemon weapon used to conquer Kanto, Rival left the project, only to have the Rockets kidnap his wife as ransom for the return of him and the damning information he took with him). The player will encounter times where Rival’s determination is humbled by Team Rocket’s power, but with each triumph you and Rival make, he gets one step closer to redeeming his shame and achieving his goal.
- - - NEW AREAS - - -
Along with a freshened storyline and characters, six new areas emerged in Kanto – each hiding a secret within: Legendaries. A foggy swamp emerged in Viridian Forest; cascading waterfalls reveal an abandoned Genetic Research lab that has since been submerged with its test subjects; a basement in Lavender Tower reveals new disturbing truths about Lavender Town’s resident ghost. With all these areas comes a challenge, introduced by the first Legendary: Collect all six to reveal a prize, but to receive the prize, caught Legendaries could not be renamed or trained – a simple ask for an unlockable.
- - - MY REACTION - - -
This is practically all spoiler.
My first admiration came from the developers pouring details everywhere it mattered, even when choosing your starter (basically, you choose from the offspring of Oak’s Pokemon – each with its own beastly epic) and in having a genuinely endearing rival. The game painted such a vivid sense of doom, that I for the longest time feared that if a pokemon feinted enough times, it would “die” and disappear from my party. This combined with the unfurling of each terrible thing Team Rocket had done to the characters I’ve adored since youth, as a Player, I was constantly in a state of “Oh, sh**. Did that just happen?”
I had replayed the original Red/Blue/Yellow so often, that I loved scouring Turquoise for everything the developers had added or changed, especially the new areas. Capturing each “Legendary” Pokemon was a challenge, but total fun, and I found their corresponding names adorable. After capturing Will, Ry, ?, and a You, I believed a developer – with a pittance of naming creativity – had input his favorite team as the “Legendaries.” I also suspected that the other developers had substituted themselves for select NPC’s, such as the eighth gym leader and Lorelei, purposely for key plot points.
My friends and family believed I would catch on eventually; that I would piece everything together after catching the Me; that at the very least all would be revealed after encountering a sprite named “Hannah,” battling with pokemon that I knew to be my friend of the same name’s favorites. To their delighted surprise, I was clueless to this wily scheme until the very end.
After hours of trudging through the elite four and seven tries, I finally defeated the overpowered Champion (having a Jynx saved my team). Exhausted, I was ready for bed, but Jonathan wouldn’t have it. “Don’t you wanna know what’s in Cerulean Cave?” Not really. It was already tomorrow – too late for someone with work in the morning. The disappointment was palpable, so I appeased his suspicious earnestness with some rapid dungeon crawling when lo and behold, there was no Mewtwo. Instead stood the sprite of Rival standing next to a unique female sprite. He revealed that his name was actually Jon and introduced his wife Liz (my own name). My response to the name similarity? “Jonathan, look! She has my name!” and “(Gasp) She has my hat! Did you know something about this?” Still unaware, I championed in a friendly battle with Couple Jon&Liz and was awarded with the last Legendary Pokemon!
I hurried to the nearest PC to retrieve all the Legendaries right then. I was told in the beginning that after I collected all six and arranged them in order, I would receive a prize. My fiery passion for unlockables was doused instantly after retrieving the final Legendary named Mar. Only then was the actual intent of this game revealed. At that moment, Jonathan pulled out a tiny box felted with my favorite color and asked the question the collective Legendaries had spelled out on the screen:
“Will you marry me?”
Oh heck yes!
- - - HOW TO START YOUR OWN TURQUOISE ADVENTURE - - -
- In order to play the game, you’ll need to download an emulator to run it first: For Windows -> http://vba.ngemu.com/downloads.shtml For Mac -> http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/10123/visualboyadvance
- Once you download it, Go to Options->Emulator->Save Type, and set it to Automatic and 128k BEFORE YOU START A NEW GAME. This is the only way to save in-game, which you must do to open Cerulean Cave at the end.
- Now you are ready for the game: http://www.mediafire.com/?5maj3c7in472r4j
- So you don’t lose your mind looking for it later, organize the emulator and game into its own special folder.
- While playing, keep in mind that this is a hacked game. Not all bugs could be flushed out, unfortunately. If you think you’ve encountered a bug, DO NOT SAVE and refrain from opening your Start menu completely until you have cleared the area.
- Also, NEVER EVER NEVER save or pause at or around Bill’s House. There is a major bug that will corrupt your save entirely; its only solution is to start over. (A friend and I discovered this the hard way) If you take care of business and never open your Start menu, you should be just dandy.
- Hope you enjoy the game!
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