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How did you get into Pokemon?

Stryke

The finchiest of widgets
Pronoun
he
Everyone on this forum has, one way or another, heard about, found out about, or seen Pokemon and decided to get into it. Otherwise, we probably wouldn't be on this forum. That said, how DID you find about it?

I'll start: One day, when I was 5 or 6, I flew up north with my family to visit my dads friend and his family, who had a kid my age. And he happened to own a copy of The Pokemon Ultimate Handbook, which is pretty much the crappiest Pokemon Handbook ever written. Not knowing about the numerous errors though, I read through it, and liked it so much that I asked to take it home. I ended up doing that, and I guess I liked it so much that my parents decided to get me Pokemon Pearl for Christmas, and the rest is history.

(If theres already a thread for this, then I apologize; I didn't see one when I was checking to make sure it hadn't already been posted, but maybe I missed something.)
 

Zero Moment

Vinyl Scratch
Pronoun
He
The first video game console I owned was a Game Boy Advance SP, and it came with Pokemon Yellow and Kirby's Block Ball.
 

Cynder

socially distanced
Pronoun
any
My cousins introduced me to the game back before I had a DS. Soulsilver was the first game I actually owned.
 

ultraviolet

yeehaw
Staff member
Pronoun
she/her
I was introduced to Pokemon when it first aired in Australia in 1998 (I was six years old), and then I got Blue and a Gameboy Colour that christmas, and since then I have always been into pokemon. I distinctly remember seeing it on TV for the first time and being like 'wow, this isn't Sailor Moon but I like it'. I also saw the first movie when it was in theatres, much to the disappointment of my mum and nanna, who wanted to see Stuart Little.
 

Autumn

bye
Pronoun
she
when I was 5 or 6 [...] Pokemon Pearl for Christmas
stahp stahp ur making me feel old ; ;

ok so i was really big into hamtaro as a kid rite? i was like 8 at the time. i went to school one day and thought i saw a kid wearing a shirt with hamtaro on it. so i went and told my best friend, who was the one who had gotten me into hamtaro. she told me "no it probably wasnt hamtaro, it was probably charmander."

"whats a charmander?"

so pokemon began. for christmas that year i got some cards, pokemon pinball rs, and some money, with which i bought ruby and sapphire. the rest is history
 

JackPK

blame telegram
Pronoun
he/him
stahp stahp ur making me feel old ; ;

ok so i was really big into hamtaro as a kid rite? i was like 8 at the time. i went to school one day and thought i saw a kid wearing a shirt with hamtaro on it. so i went and told my best friend, who was the one who had gotten me into hamtaro. she told me "no it probably wasnt hamtaro, it was probably charmander."

"whats a charmander?"

so pokemon began. for christmas that year i got some cards, pokemon pinball rs, and some money, with which i bought ruby and sapphire. the rest is history
now you're making me feel old. hamtaro was one of the things I jumped ship onto when I got bored of pokemon post-FRLG/pre-DP

I honestly can't remember when I got into Pokemon??? I know I rented either Red or Blue from Blockbuster back when those (and maybe Yellow? not sure) were the only games out in America and also was really into the anime around that time, but I don't have any clue anymore which came first.

Although it wasn't until Silver came out that I actually got a game of my own, for real, to own, not rent. IIRC I was one of the first kids at my school to get it, since I distinctly remember trying to link-cable battle one of the girls whom I rode the bus with, and she kept getting upset that I was selecting trade and I was like, I'm not, I'm just selecting the Time Capsule, and that's when we discovered you could do intergenerational trades but not intergenerational battles, which is the status quo now but seemed like bullshit at the time.
 

Kung Fu Ferret

King of Memes
Pronoun
he/him
Th year was 1998, I saw a comic of Pokemon at a store somewhere. I saw an episode the TV show a month later. Now I mostly stick to the video games and TCG.
 

Murkrow

Says "also" and "or something" a lot
Pronoun
he
I can't remember at all. I'm pretty sure I saw the anime before I was aware there were games (my first game was Sapphire but I watched the anime during gen 1)

My brother got Red and a Gameboy for Christmas one year but I don't know if I knew there were games before that.

I assume I watched Pokémon for the first time when they used to show it on SM:TV Live where Ant and Dec used to dress as Ash and Gary and sometimes Misty and do mock battles. But on the other hand it's entirely possible that I got into Pokémon first and started watching SM:TV because it was showing Pokémon. I remember one episode where they were arguing over if it was pronounced "Poh-kay-mon" or "Pock-ee-mon" and once they decided which one it was, they went back to the episode (I think the one where they find a girl living in the woods with a bunch of Pokémon, I think it was centred around an Oddish) Brock immediately said it the other way and they stopped the episode and continued having the argument.

I also remember getting into arguments about whether Pokémon or Digimon was better. Obviously I was on Pokémon side and I somehow knew it was better even though I'd never seen Digimon. My friend said they were made by the same company and they said Digimon was better. Maybe he was talking about the localisation people.

I briefly got into the card game but I didn't have anyone to play with so it didn't last long. I remember organising them on the floor one day when my parents were like "get up it's time for Beaver Scouts" and also I never got a shiny card and when my parents bought me two packs the rare in both was Electabuzz.
 

Negrek

busy dizzy lazy
Staff member
First pokémon I ever saw was Blastoise, the one on the copy of my friend's Prima strategy guide. She'd brought it and her Blue version to school and was playing them during a break. There was a decent gaggle of people around her watching her play this Cool New Game, and I only managed to get a look at the screen for a couple minutes. She was running around on the route above Rock Tunnel and I saw her get into a battle, her staryu versus an oddish, and had no idea what in the blue hell was going on. Somehow I got the impression that the attacks the oddish was using were coming from her pokémon and vice versa. One way or another, it wasn't love at first sight, but I was definitely curious and in particular wanted to have a look inside that book with the badass turtle thing on the cover.

I don't really remember how I myself got into Pokémon or how much later that was. I know I saved up to buy Red for myself (since by that time I knew of charizard as well as blastoise and could clearly see which was better--sorry, blastoise). Was that before or after I started watching the anime? Before or after I got into the insane TCG craze? (This was the time when people would be routinely calling stores to find out when they'd get a shipment of cards in, and have to drive down there immediately when one arrived, because it would sell out in minutes.) Not a clue. It was definitely the games that made the franchise stick for me, though, amidst all the hoopla of tie-ins and spinoffs. Once I got that Red version it was over for me.
 

sanderidge

sandsnom was mafia
Pronoun
they
ahaaa I must be one of the children here, but the order in which I played things was messy. The first game I played was Crystal, and it was whenever I could find both the cartridge and the gameboy at my cousin's house (which was work, because they did not appreciate the pokemon, and left it wherever). The first file of my own was on a spare Yellow cartridge that this boy on the swim team let me have a file on. I played this about twice and never got to Brock.

The first one that I actually owned for myself and could play without being at someone else's house or at practice was Diamond, which similarly to Stryke's was a christmas present when I was seven. hhh I still have my first pokemon, too.
 

I liek Squirtles

sobble squad
Pronoun
he
My memory's kinda wonky, so I don't exactly remember which of the order of these experiences.

So the first time I ever saw Pokémon was probably because of an uncle of mine. He had a few plushes jn his room, and one of them was Pikachu. I probably inquired about it at some point, and that's how it started. I remecall seeing the anime was when I was flipping through channels and saw a Cacturne and a Slugma (or Macargo, memory's fuzzy) fighting together, and crudely drawing them, too.

I also remember getting Battle Frontier figurines (most of which I conserve to this day). My first TCG deck was a Delta Pokémon deck with a Delta Latias and a Nosepass.

The first ever Pokémon game I got was Ranger (or PMD Blue), and then my uncle preordered Diamond and Pearl for me along with a guide (by the time it came out, I didn't need it).
 

Flora

local hellion
Pronoun
they/them
OKAY SO

once upon a time I was like five or six and we were in the mountains. I have no memory of this but my sis does. Anyways we were watching TV and Pokémon came on and we were collectively like hey!!! this is cool!!!! and then for Christmas I got Gold and my sis got Silver and the rest is history.

Additionally, my MOM got into it cause we kept playing pokemon guessing games and she didn't know most of the pokemon, and then my dad got pokemon go and its a minor obsession.
 

Ether's Bane

future Singaporean
Pronoun
he
I was six. I saw some kids in my schools playing the Pokemon TCG. Then I realized that pretty much everyone in school was. I begged my mom to buy me a deck. She did, and the rest is history.

Also, I'm pretty sure that a thread like this ten years from now would pretty much have the same answer all around. :P
 

Karousever

formerly known as Jaketiger1116
Oh gosh I can't even give a concrete memory of getting into it, it was just all around me when I was little. Apparently I watched the show plenty as a toddler and I had Pokemon the Movie 2000 on VHS. You know how little kids can watch a movie a thousand times, even back to back, and not get sick of it? Well that was one of the movies I did that with, so there's that. Anyway I got a Gameboy Advance when I was 5, and I got like 3 games with it, and the first opportunity I got to get a new game I got Pokemon Ruby, which was my first Pokemon game. I must have played through that game a few dozen times, I restarted every time after I beat it, I guess because I just loved the journey so much. I eventually got Red, Yellow, and Gold versions to play too, but Ruby was my first. So I'd say that game is why I'm in it today, but watching the show and having a movie on VHS is what started it when I was itty bitty.
 

Sandstone-Shadow

A chickadee in love with the sky
Pronoun
she/her
I don't even hardly remember! I just remember the beginning of being into it.

My cousin had Red and I remember playing it on her gameboy (looking back, I hope I socialized with her when she visited, too! I hope I didn't just play her game every time she came over ahaha). I also remember being fascinated by Missingno and the whole glitch system right off the bat.

Around that same time (either before or after, I can't recall), I remember the anime, particularly the Christmas episode with Jynx, I think?

I also had some cards early on - some of my first were Blastoise, Vulpix, and Poliwrath, and I remember my brother had Venusaur, Scyther, and Butterfree (which I may or may not have coerced him into trading to me? gosh I kinda feel bad about that too)

The first game that I owned was Silver. Oh man, that was so exciting. So exciting. So much nostalgia surrounds GSC and Johto in general for me.

My school/classmates were into Pokemon from then until around Gen 3, then it sort of faded out. But I remember playing Emerald on the bus on field trips and challenging the boys in the back of it (I sat in the front like a good little girl) in the wireless room with those big clunky wireless adapters!

Oh and Mystery Gift!! Mystery Gift used to be so fun and exciting! I remember doing that with my few game-playing friends and connecting Silver and Crystal to Stadium 2 to do that. Mystery Gift is how Join Avenue's Antique shop should be! >:|
 

Flazeah

Cloud eight-and-three-fifths
I remember being on holiday in Boston, watching an episode of the animé and asking my brother questions like "Is there more than one Charmander?" That's my first solid memory of Pokémon, although I think I'd heard of it before that.

Some of my friends got the games (most had Red), and my brother got Blue for his birthday. I tried out Red and liked it, though I hadn't the foggiest what I was doing (I remember wandering around in a single patch of grass, not knowing if I had a current mission or anything, and asking my friend whether I should catch a Pidgey, anxious that he shouldn't miss out on a possible rare find).

I wanted to get the same version and starter as my best friend, who'd got Red and a Charmander, and was surprised at Christmas when I unwrapped Yellow (which my brother assured me was basically the same). At first, though happy about having the game in my hands, I was slightly disappointed that I wouldn't get to start with Charmander, but after wandering around confused and not noticing the signs distinguishing the Pokémon Center and Poké Mart buildings for a while, I progressed through the game, falling in love with it. Pikachu ended up being my favourite Pokémon for ages (it helped that mine would beat the stuffing out of my best pal's Charizard).

Aaaad I still play the games and do Pokémon-related stuff regularly. Still obsessed. Music from the games - all of them, with the first couple of generations being the most nostalgic - is engraved in me for good, popping into my head when I'm travelling, especially.
 

Arylett Charnoa

Barely existent.
Pronoun
Female sex
I caught the anime on TV, became utterly obsessed, and collected everything Pokemon related. This included buying a Gameboy that came with Pokemon Silver, my first Pokemon game. Back in 2000ish. Still into it, because even when I am disappointed by things like Generation VI, I still can't help but return anyway because I have a deep fascination for creature designs. Really am a super Pokenerd. Though I don't keep track of the anime anymore. It became too lengthy and repetitive for my tastes.
 

Emperor_Evulz

Sciiiieeeennnccceee
Pronoun
she
I watched the anime a lot as a kid, and for my birthday my mother got me Gold and the limited edition Gameboy Colour as a birthday gift.
 

RedRum

Lost
In 2000, 7th grade, Pokemon was popular enough to where it was common to bring card collections to school. That and the one or two episodes my best friend had described to me was the extent of my knowledge but at the time it was enough of a basis for me to judge. I thought it was the stupidest thing ever created. We'd spend our lunch hours bashing it.

Then one afternoon, with all homework done, I flipped through the Comcast guide and noticed that it was on. The episode was 'Tower of Terror'. I turned it on just to see the stupidness for myself and ended up getting hooked. Lol.

It wasn't much later that the games came to my attention. My best friend was constantly giving me progress reports of her feats in Yellow such as "I caught a Zubat". On the day she actually showed it to me, that was it. I had to have it. When my mom picked me up from her house, I asked her to get it (and the Game Boy color to play it on as I'd never had one before) for me and she agreed.
By this time I'd already come up with a Pidgey nickname, Windy, based on the one she had for her Pidgeotto, Gusty. I'd also played on her nickname with my Pikachu. Her's was Zappy so mine got the name Zapper.

I stopped watching the Anime barely into the Hoenn series as it had lost its quality IMO but although I've tried I've never been able to resist the games.

I've since learned my lesson about blind/limited knowledge judgment.
 
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