Too often, I wonder if my existence is just a way for some higher power to have fun and kill time. I certainly started to think so when I decided to replay my Pokémon Emerald again. I had played through it once before and got over 700 hours on it from so much EV training, breeding and fighting in the Battle Frontier until I finally decided to send all my valuable Pokémon and items over to my SoulSilver game. I was getting bored of doing the same thing over and over and I had only played through Emerald once before this. I wanted to re-experience it.
Once my Emerald boxes were cleaned out of my items and Pokémon, I reset the game and began playing. It was a great experience getting to replay my second favourite Pokémon game (Crystal will always be my favourite one). I began with Mudkip and I soon caught a Poochyena, an Aron and an Electrike. I really wanted a Seviper and a Shuppet as well and I debated between getting Anorith or Trapinch as my last member. Everything was going normally up until now.
I was on my way through Route 121 to head to Mt. Pyre, my favourite location in the game. As I said earlier, I wanted a Shuppet and I had to get the Orb stealing cutscene done with anyway. I surfed on my Swampert and went in.
Now anyone who's played the Hoenn games know what Mt. Pyre is. It's basically the Pokémon Tower of Hoenn, only there's no town surrounding it. They call Mt. Pyre the final sleeping place for Pokémon and say that the spirits that originated from the Cave of Origin went there to sleep. There's a lot of graves and items on the floor and it's a great place to explore, though nowhere near as creepy as Pokémon Tower.
I caught my Shuppet and opted to name him Algol, which is Arabic for the demon's eye. On my way up the mountain, I used the itemfinder Brenden gave me to look for items hidden around the graves. I found an Ultra Ball on the first grave and started to look for more.
The music stopped. My character, Sapphire (I like the traditional names), froze and started to walk on the spot, as if she was twitching. I had never seen this before and I tried pressing buttons to fix my game. I vaguely wondered if this was a glitch or an effect of leaving my game unplayed for a while. But no matter what I pressed, nothing happened. I really didn't want to hit reset since my last save took me all the way back to Mauville City, so I kept hitting buttons.
A dialogue box popped up after a minute and the music came to a stop.
"You are greedy...you are a bad person..."
I stared at the game, wondering what the hell it was talking about. Sapphire was supposed to be the hero of this story. She was taking on Team Aqua and Magma and had helped many people so far, like Mr. Stone, Mr. Briney and the guy in the Rusturf Tunnel. What made her a bad person?
Sapphire stopped moving on the spot and her sprite turned to face me. Her small arms started to move up and down, which looked rather funny on my end. I chuckled and tried to move her. She started to move with the touch of the D pad, but she was still flailing.
I used the itemfinder again and I got a rare candy off another grave. There still wasn't any music and I was getting rather annoyed at the silence. I decided to give the rare candy to someone so I pulled up the Pokémon status screens to check levels and experience points. I wasn't going to give the rare candy to a Pokémon that was close to leveling up, after all.
Right away, I noticed more things were wrong. The first thing I noticed was the Pokémon cries that you heard when bringing up their stat screens were gone. The second thing I noticed was each of my Pokémon were missing their mouth. Their jaws didn't appear to be ripped away from their heads or anything. Their mouths were just blanked over. It as if someone designed their sprites and just forgot to give them a mouth.
Growing suspicious, and a little nervous, I checked my trainer card. Sure enough, her mouth was gone too. Her arms were both off to her side. I didn't get the significance of the blanked out mouth right away. It wasn't a glitch, but what else could it be? The game was still working normally, aside from the dialogue box and the missing mouths.
I started to move her around to try and find more items, but she suddenly froze again. The screen flashed and took me into a battle without any music. Two Pokémon, a Dusclops and a Banette, appeared. Instead of sending out a Pokémon, Sapphire stood there without moving.
The text box didn't say the usual wild whatever appeared. The Banette's cry came through the speakers and it repeated itself. I gritted my teeth when I realized how mocking it sounded...like it was laughing at me.
The dialogue box started to type out text. The Dusclops moved closer and I noticed its eye seemed to be glaring.
"DUSCLOPS: How do you like having a gift taken away?"
I shook my head in disbelief. The thing was actually taking to me. The Banette's cries kept getting louder and louder until its mouth unzipped and I stared at the screen. A black wave launched itself at my character and then it was quiet. The screen blacked out, except for the dialogue box. Its words changed into an even creepier message.
"You can't scream."
Pressing the A button made the dialogue box disappear and the battle screen came back. My character was shaking and hunched over and the two ghost Pokémon were watching her. The Dusclops' glare was gone and the Banette's mouth was closed.
The dialogue box started to type out more words.
"You can't beg for forgiveness or mercy."
I still didn't have any of the normal options, even though I wanted to select RUN so badly. The Banette's cry came again and I had to watch the scene repeat itself. When the screen lit up again, only the top of Sapphire's head was visible and I had the feeling she had been brought to her knees. The dialogue box had a new message, of course.
"You can't call for help."
Instead of the scene repeating itself again, the dialogue box kept going.
"You are like one of the dead now. The dead can't speak. They can't tell you to stop. They can't tell you that you've stolen something special from them. You graverobber."
A sickening realization hit me and my stomach felt like it had been punched. Those items I had picked up from the graves with the itemfinder...they were offerings from trainers for their dead Pokémon. And I stole them. I felt terrible and I understood why these two had been tormenting me.
The dialogue box kept going.
"Are you sorry for what you've done?"
A yes/no option appeared. I quickly clicked 'yes' because I was sorry and I knew what I had done wrong. I realized that they had taken away Sapphire's ability to speak as well as her Pokémon. It never occurred to me that the ability to talk was such a gift. Without talking, I couldn't ask for anything or try to communicate with the ghosts at all.
The dialogue box changed again. This time it read, "Sapphire: I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I'm sorry..."
The ghosts vanished and the battle scene changed back to the overworld. I was able to control Sapphire again and bring up the menu. They all had their mouths back and the music had started again as well. However, the rare candy and ultra ball I had taken from the graves were gone from my bag.
I didn't care. Neither one of those items were worth pissing off ghosts for. I resisted greed and continued to play my game.
Only this time I didn't pick up any items from Mt. Pyre. Not even the incenses I needed for breeding certain Pokémon.
I'd rather not risk losing something else.
Don't steal from the dead or you may become one like the dead.
- ShadowStarEXE on deviantart.com