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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Twitch Plays Pokemon Helix Fossil Usurped By False Prophet Flareon

art by indolentjellyfish
There is a false prophet among us and he was once a cute Eevee, but that cute Eevee has grown into a heathen. A blasphemous heathen made from the loins of  the Dome Fossil (Satan). Let us always here the wisdom and greatness of The Almighty Helix Fossil!

It is amazing to see Twitch Plays Pokemon create a narrative and subculture around it changing as the story progresses. Even as I write this the story will change, the stories like the one above  about Flareon have already past in the saga of the Pokemon Trainer controlled by the will of the Internet.

For those who haven't heard Twitch Plays Pokemon is an online version of the original Pokemon game controlled by anyone who enters commands into the chat menu. This causes the trainer to move wildly and make action that would seem insane from a third person perspective.

In this update will be going over what has happened so far, tropes and stories that developed over the course of this game, creating an intimate subculture. The game progresses every day, ever changing the stories that unfold, this is only what has transpired so far.

Flareon's False Prophet saga happens to be my favorite part of the story so far. Getting Eevee changed the game in a way where it had to become a Vaporeon, a water-type Pokemon, so it could learn Surf. Many of the games players did not want this to happen because something could go wrong in the process, as Eevee can evolve into other types by what evolve stone is purchased. The wrong stone was chosen changing Eevee into Flareon, a fire-type. Because of this the game required the player to put a Pokemon in holding in a PC in the game to get Lapras, another water-type Pokemon. When they players tried to put Flareon in the PC disaster struck. They managed to lose two Pokemon who had been on the team for a long time ABBBBBBK a Charmeleon, and JLVWNNOOOO the Rattata, that everyone joked was Jay Leno, more on that in a sec. They collective players also managed to put the Helix Fossil into the PC, but eventually got it back.

This caused a uproar among fans and players blaming Flareon for everything that happened. Many marked him as a false prophet against the already beloved Helix Fossil seen as G-d in the game because of how much the player picks the fossil for no reason due to so many commands going in. He was dubbed a disciple of the other Fossil you could get in the game, the Dome Fossil which is considered Satan.

Many fans were sad to see ABBBBBBK and JLVWNNOOOO go. JLVWNNOOOO already had much fan art depicting him as Rattata with the face of Jay Leno. Now there's fan art of the two leaving the game and Flareon looking demonic betraying them. Yes, there have been comparisons to Judas in terms of Flareon.

Sadly, Flareon was let go a day later. One of the pieces that stood out to me was the "Eulogy of Flareon" you can see below, written in memory of his character. It's actually quite touching about all the players collective actions.

Collective actions have created a new system called Anarchy and Democracy. The Team Rocket Hideout Maze had the trainer stuck in it for many hours, it's filled with tricks and navigating it with so many players makes it almost impossible to navigate correctly. The still unknown Australian creator of the game implemented a new system. In this new system Anarchy mode remains as how the game is played. Democracy changes the game greatly and allows more control over the player in terms of movement and is vote-based, so not every command gets taken. To switch between the two modes you put in either Anarchy and Democracy into the chat and either side needs to gain 75% of the vote to switch while the other mode is active.

This is a huge debate among players who just enjoy the chaos and those who want to actually beat the game. Start9, is a group created out of the dislike of Democracy mode. The term "start9", when written into chat causes the menu to open and close 9 times if put in in Democracy mode. It was a way of fighting the inclusion of this new mode into the game.

Other tropes and problems have been ledges and trees which caused players much annoyance at the start of the game as they are both obstacles and when normally played are easy to overcome. With so many playing at once they became huge obstacles too progress past.

There is now a Google Docs page of the progress of the game that is updated at least once a day. You can find it here. It includes what Pokemon the player has or owned.

Another aspect from this game is the spin-off available on Twitch including Tetris and other games from the Pokemon series.

At the time of writing this, the trainer has 4 badges. Now I wonder until we see some sort of flash cartoon based on the series when the game is beaten.

Here is the opening of what the game might look like if it was really released

Here's some new fan art.