Twitch Plays Pokemon is an ongoing "social experiment" hosted at the streaming website Twitch. It allows viewers to take control of a game of Pokemon by entering chat commands. This allows for large numbers of people to play the game at once.
Twitch Plays Pokemon began on February 12, 2014, using a modified version of a Pokemon Blue ROM. By the end of February 14, the stream had achieved widespread popularity, with twenty thousand viewers simultaneously. A few days later, after being reported upon by a number of websites, both gaming-oriented and general news websites, the Stream eventually peaked at over 100,000 views. Finally, the game was completed on March 3, after over 18 nonstop days of play. By this point, over 30 million people had viewed the stream.
"Season 2" of Twitch Plays Pokemon began on Saturday, March 8, 2014. It used "crystal Version" from the second generation of games.
Twitch Plays Pokemon soon developed a set of memes, tropes, and references, making it effectively a subculture. As the game proceeded, the culture continuously evolved in response to new events.
Generation 1 Edit
The early portion of the game, with its minimal viewership, has perhaps the least chronicled aspects of the mythos developed. After receiving an unnamed Bulbasaur from Professor Oak in the beginning of the game, the protagonist Red apparently had a fairly traditional journey up through Mt. Moon. Here, at the end of the dungeon, they selected the Dome Fossil. This key item, which was impossible to discard, would often be selected by accident during battles. This led to the belief that Red was constantly consulting the Dome Fossil for guidance, and was the origin of the "Dome" religion.
The first great challenge for the Stream was traveling to the Rock Tunnel. Due to the long ledges along the route and the nature of the stream's laggy input, it took over 19 hours to complete the relatively short trek that would take typical players half a minute. During this relatively uneventful time, players began developing a more complex background for their party of Pokemon. The starting Bulbasaur, now an Ivysaur, became known as "Lord Leaf," and despite having limited offensive options, its high level made it a party mainstay. Meanwhile, the team's Butterfree, nicknamed "Abby," became Lord Leaf's #2 man, capable of stunning and confusing foes. Although the team had a number of other party members, these two did most of the heavy lifting.
Compared to the ledge, Rock Tunnel itself was somewhat simple, being completed in about half a day. Sometime later, however, one of the most pivotal events in the run's entire history occurred. While in Celdaon City, the group decided to get an Eevee, in order to evolve it into a Vaporeon, which would be necessary for Surfing in the latter game. However, even after it was obtained, a trip to the PC was necessary in order to retrieve and evolve it. During the bumbling that followed, the players accidentally released Lord Leaf. Even though Eevee was then withdrawn and evolved properly, it was a harsh blow losing the main party member.
Opinions about Vaporeon were immediately mixed. Many saw it as the reason Lord Leaf had been released, and considered it an agent of the evil Helix Fossil. Others saw it as an innocent caught up in events beyond its control. Still others believed that the loss of Lord Leaf was a necessary part in proceeding through the game. Over time, the latter two opinions would become more popular, as Vaporeon, somewhat cruelly nicknamed named "Bloody Mary," became a mainstay of the team in Lord Leaf's place.
Shortly after the Eevee incident, the stream was stuck in Team Rocket's underground hideout. For more than 24 hours, they attempted to complete the same puzzle over and over, with no success. In response, the streamer implemented a new "Democracy" system, in which players could vote on either maintaining fast chaotic "anarchy," or instead collectively vote on a single action for every few seconds. Once again, this was met with many responses. The rare Helix "worshiper" considered Democracy to be blasphermy, calling it "Domecracy." Many Dome followers believed that Democracy, though a useful tool, should be only implemented rarely and after many attempts. Eventually, the latter opinion ruled the day, both in the structure of the stream and in the public consciousness. However, for the rest of the stream's history, there have been hardcore "Anarchists" and "Democrats," who have had their own debates similar to those of Helix and Dome worshippers.
The third main powerful party member was obtained from Saffron City's Fighting Dojo. This Hitmonlee, nicknamed "C3KO," would be a valuable edition to the team, and along with Bloody Mary and Abby, would be the core of the team for some time. Thanks in large part to Bloody Mary's Bubblebeam, taught by TM, and Abby's Psychic attacks, Confusion and the TM-taught Psychic, the team was able to eventually fight its way through Pokemon Tower, despite tough resistance from the many Ghost Pokemon there.
After defeating Team Rocket at the Tower, the Stream collectively decided to go South to Fuchsia City. This involved defeating a sleeping Snorlax in the way, heading south, being defeated, and trying again for many hours. Eventually, the team reached the city, and faced the Gym Leader Koga shortly afterwards. By this point, Abby was very over-leved, being powerful enough to take on the final bosses. Thus, she began to take on a new name, "Bug Jesus," in honor of her extreme power.
The Safari Zone was, thanks to Democracy, a difficult but achievable challenge, netting the Stream two powerful HM's, Surf and Strength, in a short period of time. A number of Pokemon were also captured in the Safari Zone, including a Nidorina named "Aegis." Aegis would soon become part of the main team, especially after a Moon Stone was used to evolve her into Nidoqueen. With C3KO learning Strength and Bloody Mary learning Surf, the team was thus ready to conquer Saffron City.
Silph Co proved to be a major challenge, simply due to its size, complexity, and number of enemies. However, between Bug Jesus, Bloody Mary, C3KO, and Aegis, players were eventually able to overcome its trials and obtain the Master Ball. Realizing that the Master Ball had to be used as soon as possible to prevent its getting tossed, it was used on the remaining Snorlax, affectionately named "Bub." This new team of five powerful fighters made quick work of the Psychic Master Sabrina.
After a quick trip back to Pallet Town, the team went south to Cinnabar Island. There, the much-consulted Done Fossil was resurrected, creating a Kabuto. Nicknamed simply "God," this Kabuto joined the five major party members as the main team for the rest of the game.
Pokemon Mansion proved to be a good testing ground for the final team. Though by no means the greatest challenge yet, it provided "God" with the chance to level up and eventually evolve into a Kabutops, its final form. Once the key to the Gym was obtained, getting the badge was actually fairly simple, thanks in large part to Bloody Mary's deadly Surf and Bubblebeam attacks.
The final gym fight against Giovanni was likewise a fairly smooth event, thanks in large part to Bloody Mary's Water attacks. By this point, anger against her had long since evaporated. Only Victory Road and the Elite Four remained.
However, Victory Road turned out to be the hardest challenge yet. Thanks in part to an influx of trolls seeking to sabotage the game, Victory Road took over two days to complete. Even once the road was overcome, the players' team had trouble defeating even the first few rounds of the Elite Four. It took many tries for the team to finally reach the rival, Blue. And even then, the team was defeated. Matters weren't helped by the players' effective inability to use healing items like Revives.
Finally, on Monday, March 3, 2014, "God" struck a decisive Slash attack that downed Blue's Charizard. After over two and a half weeks of nonstop playing, the game was completed.
Generation 2 Edit
On March 4, 2014, tens of thousands of people tuned in to begin playing Pokemon Crystal. The player character was soon named "AAAJJ," but was soon dubbed simply "AJ" by the community. Players soon selected a Cyndaquil for their first Pokemon, much to the chagrin of those who had been hoping for a Totodile.
As the early game progressed, the Cyndaquil quickly learned Smokescreen, and much to the chagrin and delight of players, this move was shifted to the first slot, meaning that it was often used. Thus, Cyndaquil quickly earned the nickname "Smokey."
The early game was fairly slow, as the first route to navigate was surprisingly difficult thanks to the many ledges involved and the players didn't heal at Cherrygrove Pokemon Center until after fainting twice past it. However, by the time six hours had passed, the team had retrieved the Mysterious Egg, defeated the Rival, who would eventually be named "Silver," and returned the Egg to Professor Elm. Little did people know that the egg would be part of what defined this generation.
Once this early quest had been completed, progress became much faster. A Sentret nicknamed "Admiral" was quickly caught, as was "Gagsy" the Pidgey. Violet City was entered around 8 hours into the game, and Falkner's entire gym fell to Smokey thanks to its high level. The Mysterious Egg was then retrieved, and conquering the Sprout Tower only took a fairly short time thanks to Smokey's Tackle and Ember.
While journeying south, the Egg hatched into a Togepi. Although initially a hinderance upon the party, this Togepi became a fan favorite upon learning Metronome, a move whose effects were largely random. Upon a stream of good fortune, in which Togepi defeated a number of Pokemon using a number of powerful moves via Metronome, it was named "Lucky Egg," after an item found in the game, or "Lucky" for short.
While Lucky became a fan favorite using a mixture of Metronome and Swift, the latter of which was taught via TM, Smokey had become a force to be reckoned with. Though he had not been able to evolve, Smokey had managed to go beyond level 20, ironically replacing his signature Smokescreen with Quick Attack. Between him, Lucky, and the fairly overlooked Admiral, players were able to defeat Silver and Bugsy in rapid sucession. Within a day, players had cleared the first two badges.