Tag Archives: pokemon

Lavender Town Tone

Background: The informant is a 25 year old male who lives in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. The informant has been playing video games for about 15 years, is on video game chat platforms, and watches videos reviewing games over the year.

Context: The informant and collector was discussing new video games over the year when at the informant’s apartment. The conversation shifted to Pokémon, given the release of the new Pokémon game.

Me: So, you mentioned Lavender Town? It sounds familiar but what is it?

MC: Basically, Lavender Town is an area in Pokémon Red and Green, you know, like the first of the games. This town is, as you might guess from the name, completely in shades of lavender and has music, as each town has unique music in each Pokémon game, that had very high frequencies. I think it was something along the lines of only children and teens were able to hear the high pitch because we lose the ability to hear certain frequencies as we grow older.

Me: And, this town has a special significance in the game? 

MC: Not for good reasons.

Me: What happened?

MC: After the game was released, in the 1990s, there was a sudden peak in suicides for younger children, around elementary school. Of course, there was a huge fan theory that it as the lavender high tone that was affecting children, causing them to commit suicide and develop illnesses, terrible headaches and stuff. This would always happen right after the children reached the town. So now, Lavender Town is infamous for, well, causing children to die.

Me: And, did Pokémon do anything about it?

MC: Yeah, I believe they changed the music, lowered the tone. But, the idea of the original Lavender Town is still out there. Ask any person who played the original Pokemon games, they will know the Lavender Town Tone. Even newer players, most likely.

Analysis:

Informant: From his words, he never expressed that he didn’t believe in the idea of the  Lavender Town Tone. In fact, he seemed to readily accept it and not question it, and is confident that other gamers also know.

Mine: The Lavender Tone is a longstanding legend about the Pokémon Red and green games. Nobody knows if it’s true or not, but it caused enough damage that they did change the frequency, perhaps admitting to some truth value in the matter. While gaming folklore commonly fades away, especially with the plethora of new games being released each year, it’s amazing how the Lavender Tone has remained for nearly three decades. Still, after searching online, it remains part of the gaming history and consciousness. It’s interesting how folklore can arise based on authored material, simply because of the effects in the real world or the massive outcry a game causes. In my opinion, I could see the frequency being a complete mistake by the sound designer as they wouldn’t be able to hear the sounds. I’m not sure if the game simply happened to be released at the wrong time and was blamed, or if the tones did play a role in the matter? I suppose that’s why it’s a legend – the truth value is questionable.

Purge the Legendary Pokemon

1:

The Pokemon video game franchise has a long history of fan-circulated legends and hoaxes. One such hoax was created during the 4th Generation of Pokemon games, utilizing Pokemon Diamond for Nintendo DS. A false pokemon named Purge, whose graphics did not resemble anything close to any other Pokemon found in the game, was featured in a number of videos on Youtube. These videos purported the existence of Purge as well as building on the lore of how to obtain it.

2:

The Informant was an avid Pokemon player in primary school, as was her twin brother. The two would watch a large number of videos on Youtube about secret/fake Pokemon and try to use their instructions in order to unlock the secret Pokemon for their selves. The Informant said that she and her brother also talked to other children on the playground about these hoaxes (as though they were not hoaxes). One such way that they discussed how to obtain Purge was to “evolve a Bidoof in a specific way on some particular route, and you have to be holding a specific item”. She identified Purge as being the Fake Pokemon that she was the most invested in.

3:

This tradition in particular is founded in Internet Culture because of the nature of sharing screen recordings of the supposed gameplay. Doctored screenshots and gameplay footage being shared across epistemic groups have the ability to spread like wildfire, and the members of those groups are supposedly people who deeply enjoy the popularity they receive from the group that they belong to (in this case, the fanbase of the Pokemon video game franchise). When the informant was voraciously consuming this sort of content, she was still in primary school and had enough free time to spend hours on investigating digital legends.

Pokemon Truck

Collected privately in an empty hallway while his friends played a horror game in the other room, which he returned to after the interview. I began by simply asking, “Do you know any word-of-mouth secrets for video games?” Then I specified, “What do you know about the truck from Pokemon?”

The informant is well-versed in gaming culture, and knows a lot about Pokemon, but has never played some of the older games.
Informant: “So, uhh, rumor used to have it that you could get Mew in the first gen Pokemon games Red and Blue by walking up to a truck next to the, umm, next to the boat in Vermillion City. And I think y- you needed to get over a fence, and, like, press A on it, like, a hundred times, and then Mew would fight you. I think there’s also a version of it where you use Teleport at a Pokemon Center on a bike, and it teleports you to the truck, and Mew is there. There are a few different versions I’ve heard, but those are the two I remember.”

Interviewer: “Did you try any of them?”

Informant: “I never played Pokemon Red.”

Interviewer: “Do you know people who tried any of them?”

Informant: “Uhh, yeah.”

Interviewer: “But it didn’t work?”

Informant: “Didn’t work [laughs].”

Interviewer: “So it’s not real?”

Informant: “Not as far as I know? Maybe they were doing it wrong.”
This version of the truck myth has to do with finding Mew. The informant does not really believe the myth, but has no proof denying it. Like other versions, the truck is in Pokemon Red, but the informant includes all generation 1 Pokemon games.

Pokemon Truck

Collected privately in an empty hallway while his friends played a horror game in the other room, which he returned to after the interview. The informant mentioned this myth while I was interviewing him about another video game myth.

The informant, as a child around 7 to 9, had unlimited Internet access, and spent much of his time on forums looking for cheat codes. He was the one who introduced his peers to Pokemon, as well as the supposed “cheat codes” within it.
Informant: “Yeah so I know the 99 master ball thing under the, um, under the truck. So the idea was that… like, you know this was back in, like, the age when everyone had all the cheat code websites and, you know, people were talking on the playground and sharing, like, ‘Oh if you do this then you get this, you can unlock, you know, Sonic in… in, you know, you know, Super Smash Bros Melee if you beat the game 500 times and don’t die’ and so on. So like, you know, I can see how they spread. But yeah, like, there was this rumor spread that you could, you could unlock, you could get 100 master balls in which – There was only one in the game; you couldn’t find them any other way unless you won. I don’t know if they had the, the ticket thing, like the lottery, um, if you – I forget what you exactly have to do, I think you use, like, Strength on the truck in a certain circumstance or something. And then you unlock, you know, you get the master balls.”

Interviewer: “Was it real?”

Informant: “Not, it’s not real.”

Interviewer: “Who’d you hear that from?”

Informant: “I… I think… I don’t know where, I think it was, like, I read it on Cheat Code Central when I was looking through the cheat list. And of course Pokemon doesn’t have any cheats, so there’s nothing on the list. Though obviously someone had put that in there, cause they were like, ‘Oh yeah you can do it.’ I was like, I think if you got all three red G’s and you went to this special spot, then you would unlock something in, like, Pokemon Ruby, I forgot what it was.”

Interviewer: “How old were you?”

Informant: “My first Pokemon game was Pokemon Ruby, and that came out in, like, 2006? I don’t know when it came out. No, it was 2003, I think. So I got it around then, so I would’ve been… I was born in ‘96, so that would’ve been, I would’ve been, like, 7, 8? 9?”

Interviewer: “Anything else to add?”

Informant: “I mean, I re- I remember, um, trying a bunch of those. I think, [sighs], I think it was the red G’s. I’m not sure if I’m confusing it with the actual method to unlock them, cause that was weird enough as it was; It was, like, you had to read, like, the braille and then you had to, like, go through all these stages and find these specific Pokemon and stuff. And I remember, I think there was something in those cheat codes I actually did try, cause I was a kid. And it didn’t work, so me and my sister were very disappointed, cause we played it together.”
This informant has some beliefs that differ from other accounts of the truck in Pokemon. First of all, he claims that the truck has to do with master balls, not Mew. Secondly, he does not name Pokemon Red, but only describes a different secret in Pokemon Ruby.

Pokemon Truck

Collected in my empty apartment. I began by simply asking, “What do you know about the truck from Pokemon?”

The informant is a big fan of the Pokemon franchise, and is very immersed in gaming culture. He has played many Pokemon games of different varieties, and loves the first generation of Pokemon (which includes the game he is referencing), though it’s not his favorite.
Informant: “There is a truck in Pokemon Red, I believe, either Red or – well, the first generation of games. So Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, all that good stuff. Umm, and apparently if you go to that truck and look under it, you can get Mew.

Interviewer: “What do you mean ‘Look under it?’”

Informant: “Like, y- you, if you, I guess if you just interact with the truck, you can battle and catch Mew.”

Interviewer: “Do you know what city it’s in?”

Informant: “It’s, ooh, I wanna say it’s one of the port cities so…. [inhales] I wanna say it’s one of the cities where you board the S.S. Anne, making it either… the city with Lieutenant Serge, which I cannot remember for the life of me.

Interviewer: “Vermillion?”

Informant: “Ver… million… Possibly, that’s probably it.”

Interviewer: “Um, where did you hear about this, and when?”

Informant: “Oh I have no idea when I heard this. I guess it was just, like, when I was still playing Pokemon Red, it was just a rumor that always went around.”

Interviewer: “Through word of mouth?”

Informant: “Mm, yeah, well or on the Internet.

Interviewer: “So you saw it on the Internet?”

Informant: “Yeah.”

Interviewer: “How old were you?”

Informant: “I don’t know. Probably a kid.”

Interviewer: “Is it real?”

Informant: “No… Well, no. First off, you can’t access the truck in the game by yourself. You have to, like, glitch over to it. Which is probably how… it kept people thinking it was real, cause they couldn’t test it out themselves. Um, yeah, but no, even if you glitch over to it and press A, it doesn’t do anything. However, uh, you can glitch the game and get Mew, just not through the truck.”

Interviewer: “For real? You can get Mew?”

Informant: “M-hm. I did it. I was 100 percenting all the games and I got all 151 Pokemon in the first game.”

Interviewer: “How?”

Informant: “Um, that is a question… I do not know the answer to. Uhh, it’s really complicated, so I forgot it, but I know it involves entering and exiting buildings and flying… to certain places. Yeah.”

Interviewer: “But it has nothing to do with the truck?”

Informant: “No. [Sudden realization] OHH!! I do remember! Okay so… above Cerulean City, there was, like, this path on the way to Bill’s house, and there was a bunch of trainers. And when you get to one of the trainers, it’ll, like, you know, exclamation point above their head when they see you. When you do that, you press Start, and then fly somewhere else. And then a bunch of other stuff. And that’s how you unlock Mew.”
This version of the truck myth has to do with finding Mew. The informant does not believe the truck has any real significance, though he is aware of the rumors. He does, however, know a real way to get Mew, proving that it is possible to get Mew in the game, even if it’s not through the truck. Like other versions, the truck is in Pokemon Red.