"Arnie! Your very own Pokemon legend is about to unfold! A world of dreams and adventures with POKEMON awaits! Let's go!"
Epic. These words are etched into my brain. Regurgitated through muscle memory. Pokemon (Red) on the Gameboy was not the first game I ever played, however at the time it was by far the greatest. The initial hook of selecting your very own Pokemon, out of 3, was mind blowing. I picked Squirtle, my brother chose differently, fuck him, this was my game, my 6 year old adventure. Epic.
At the time I did not own any pets, although I did have a Blastoise. Raised from level 5 into a bipedal water tank, capable of washing away anything that confronted me.
I took my Gameboy everywhere. Luckily my primary school pant pockets were deep enough to conceal the white plastic block which brought me my enjoyment. I would haul it to restaurant meals and relative's houses. It didn't matter where I went, my Pokemon came too.
The structure was perfect. Defeat 8 other Pokemon trainers and then advance to the Elite 4. At the age of 6, adjectives such as "Elite" were ominous and foreboding, however at the age of 17 seem rather hyperbolic. The structure was so perfect in fact that Nintendo would decide to tediously re-hash it out for over a decade, with no sign of stopping as I write this.
Still, we can look back with the upmost fondness at what was perhaps, to me anyway, the greatest role playing game of all time.