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Twitch Plays Pokemon is an ongoing live-stream event hosted by the video-streaming platform Twitch in which any member of the site can participate in a massively multiplayer online co-op version of Nintendo’s 1996 role-playing video game Pokémon Red by inputting various commands in chat.
Within 72 hours of its launch, “Twitch Plays Pokemon” became a popular tag on Tumblr where various image macros were created about the events taking place in the game, and a dedicated subreddit and a Twitter feed were created for the stream. Meanwhile on 4chan, the channel became a controversial topic when mods began deleting threads about the stream on every board, before eventually allowing threads originally only on /vp/, and then on all boards. On Reddit, a page has been compiled listing every notable event over the course of the game.
News Media Coverage
Inspired by the success of Twitch Plays Pokemon, many others on Twitch began creating similar streams. Many streams were made for different Pokémon games, such as Blue Version, Crystal Version, and FireRed Version. A stream was made where the actions in Twitch Plays Pokemon would simultaneously control a game of Tetris. A stream known as RNG Plays Pokemon also had Red Version, but the character was controlled by an RNG randomly selecting buttons.
Note: Some of these channels may be temporarily offline.
- Twitch Plays Pokemon Plays Tetris
- Twitch Plays The Legend of Zelda
- Twitch Plays Super Mario Bros
- Twitch Plays QWOP
- Twitch Plays Pacman
- Twitch Plays Final Fantasy VII
- Twitch Plays Earthbound
- Twitch Plays Cookie Clicker
- Twitch Plays Doom
- Twitch Plays Runescape
- Twitch Plays Digimon
Related Memes and In-Jokes
Due to the large volume of chat commands being input at once, random selection of items quickly became a common occurrence during battles, especially the second item in the player’s bag, the Helix Fossil. This item appeared on screen so frequently that it came to be viewed as an object of worship and guidance by TwitchTV users. Other items treated this way were the Moon Stone, Nugget, and S.S. Ticket.
The players eventually managed to revive the Helix Fossil into an Omanyte, which was subsuquentally dubbed “Lord Helix.”
Ledges are common obstacles in Pokémon games which can be passed through on one side, but not on the other. At one point in the game there is a long ledge with only one unit of space to walk past it; thus, even a single person giving a “down” command would cause the player to go through the ledge, requiring the character to backtrack and try again. Due to the large number of trolls in the stream, it took multiple hours to get past a single ledge, causing ledges to be viewed as large obstacles by the viewers, even though they are usually minor nuisances in normal Pokémon games.
Trees are another common type of obstacle in Pokémon games. In the first generation of Pokémon games, trees can be removed by going to the menu and selecting a Pokémon that can use the move Cut while facing the tree. Due to the large number of commands needed to achieve this and the lack of coordination among the Twitch users, trees became notorious for being extremely difficult to get past. One particular tree took multiple hours to remove.
There was a large argument in the chat about whether or not to get the Pokémon Eevee (shown below, left). Doing so would have been a risky move, as it would necessitate evolving it to Vaporeon (below, center) in order to have a Pokémon that could learn Surf. This would require the viewers to successfully buy and use a Water Stone without wasting all the player’s money. If this failed, something would need to be deposited in the PC in order to get Lapras (below, right), another Pokémon that could learn Surf, which would risk accidentally releasing a high-level Pokémon.
Despite the obvious downsides to doing so, the majority of users chose to get Eevee. They then failed to buy a Water Stone, accidentally buying a Fire Stone and evolving Eevee into Flareon. After going to the PC to deposit it, they accidentally released “ABBBBBBK(” (a.k.a. Abby) the Charmeleon and “JLVWNNOOOO” (a.k.a. Jay Leno) the Rattata. They also put Pidgeot, the highest-level Pokémon on the team, and the Helix Fossil into the PC, although both were later retrieved. Because the source of all this was Eevee, it soon became known as a “false prophet” and servant of the Dome Fossil, an item that was viewed as Satan. A day later, Flareon was released as well. Four days later, the stream acquired a Lapras nicknamed AIIIIIIRRR, thus having a Pokémon that could learn Surf, and ending the debate.
Team Rocket Hideout Maze
One of the areas the player must get through in the game is the Team Rocket Hideout, a four-floor underground complex used by the villains. Inside the compound is a maze floored with tiles that propel the player in a certain direction, which can be cleared only by advancing from one tile to the next in a very specific route, otherwise the player would end up where it started. Once again, due to the heavy volume of requests, worsened by lags lasting up to 20 seconds, any coordination became nearly impossible and the maze has proven to be even more difficult than the ledge. Twitch users spent a full 24 hours attempting to clear the maze the first time before the streamer implemented a voting system to schedule actions in an order, which finally allowed them to get through the maze. In randomized Firered. TwitchPlaysPokemon was stuck in the maze for 2+ Days. Somewhere in the run, The Game Crashed.
Anarchy vs. Democracy / Start9
After failing to clear the Team Rocket Hideout puzzle after 24 hours, the streamer implemented a voting system where it would count up all the commands entered, and after 30 seconds take the action which was entered most often. It also included a slider for “anarchy” or “democracy” which could be influenced by entering one of the words into the chat. Anarchy was the mode it was in previously (all inputs registered by the game) and democracy was the new mode (most commonly-input action in 30 seconds is carried out).
The democracy mode was widely viewed as slowing down progress, taking away the excitement, and generally ruining the fun of the game. Because democracy mode allowed users to input several actions at once, supporters of anarchy mode began saying “start9”, which would open and close the menu 9 times. This was meant as a form of protest against democracy mode. Democracy mode was even opposed by the Twitch staff: Twitch moderators began saying “start9” as well, and the official Twitch Twitter account tweeted a message in support of anarchy mode with an emoticon reference to Raise Your Dongers. The Twitch staff even later adjusted the voting system so that anarchy could be obtained easier.
ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ﾉ ANARCHY OR RIOT ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ﾉ http://t.co/fbrv5bk9TH— Twitch (@TwitchTV) February 18, 2014
In the run of Pokémon Crystal, democracy mode is automatically implemented every hour, and in order to switch back, a majority of the votes in a voting period needs to be for anarchy.
The Great Battle of Destiny
Prior to the capture of Zapdos, a popular Twitch user by the name “Destiny” had plans to sabotage and raid the playthrough by getting his followers to assist him spamming democracy so they could release Bird Jesus (Pidgeot), the party’s powerhouse Pokémon. The plan did eventually fail fairly quickly without much effect, but still managed to cause fear in the Twitch community should it have succeeded.
After successfully capturing Zapdos from the Power Plant, the community went to the PC to retrieve the newly captured Pokémon. This however required them to first deposit a different Pokémon into the PC before they could retrieve Zapdos. During the process, the chaos caused by anarchy mode resulted in the deposit of important party Pokémon into the PC, including Pidgeot, and the release of 12 Pokémon. This event which would later be known as “Bloody Sunday”.
Despite the high amount of released Pokémon, the community did eventually manage to retrieve Zapdos and Pidgeot from the PC and avoided releasing other important Pokémon such as Lapras.
After The start of TwitchPlaysPokemon Black, the team somehow managed to realase most of their main Pokemon, including Tympole,Our Pansage, BBQ and Commander Kevin Bacon, our starter pokemon. A Purloin Survived in the PC, white a tympole named nonon survived, then, got the PokeRus.
“Guys, we need to beat Misty”
Most major media outlets did not begin reporting on Twitch Plays Pokemon until after the second gym leader, Misty, had already been beaten. Therefore, a majority of people joined after Misty was beaten as well. Due to not having seen the battle, the newcomers believed she had not been defeated yet, and would often tell the chat to go beat her. This was said so frequently, that many began saying “Guys, we need to beat Misty” sarcastically to make fun of the people who joined late.
The phrase gained major popularity in the chat when an image started circulating claiming that the ROM which the streamer was using was a hack which would allow the player to fight Misty again, and once defeated she would give the player a Togepi egg. Thus, “Guys, we need to beat Misty” was spammed in the chat very often, both sarcastically and seriously.
Fan Given Roles
With each new major addition to the player’s party comes a role created by fans. Many of these roles center around the religion-like following certain objects and Pokémon in the game have gotten, most commonly the Helix Fossil. Bird Jesus is the most widely known nickname and belongs to the party’s Pidgeot “aaabaaajss.” Its role of being the powerhouse of the team has made it an object of praise and worship. Other well known nicknames are Drowzee “The Keeper,” responsible for keeping Flareon at bay, and “Lord Helix,” the later revived Helix Fossil which was already dubbed as a deity. In the 6th game, the Main charactor Aoi Captured a omanyte, people started to call it “Lord Helix”, but then started to call it “Lard Helix”, as of it’s Thick Fat Ability given from the Randomizer
In the second game, the starter, Totodile, became known for his move leer, which in generation 2 looked as if the user was using lasor beams, thus being named Lasorgator. Another nickname given was when we caught another Pidgey, who was in the beginning named Bird Jesus 2, but was later changed to Brian, a reference to the movie, The Life of Brian.
In the 5th game (PKMN Platinum), The Voices (Us, controlling this person) were given that we were Unown, as the anime details show this: Great numbers of Unown are capable of distorting the reality to suit the dreams and wishes of whoever is in control of the Unown.
The 7th game (Black), The main protaginist, Jimmy was given the role as a “Voices Fanboy”
Bill, The Main PC Creator of Kanto, was given the role of the antagonist in the 3rd game (Hoenn), as there was a releasing of Zexy, the Torchic, on the PC. The viewers, knowing Bill made the PC, blamed him as the one who released their Pokemon. Bill then later became a Iconic charactor until the 6th game or HeartGold run Ending, considering fanservice showing that Bill has died and now the fans say that Fennel from the 7th game is following the footsteps of Bill, as the viewers keep selecting the C-Gear clicking on the Entralink, which got them stuck until the streamer had to bail all of them out by adding a cheat code to disable the C-Gear Forever.
During the stream, the viewers speculated that the streamer is a Arceus, as Arceus created the world, as well at choosing who will be controlled
After 16 days, 7 hours, 45 minutes, and 30 seconds of continuous play, and on their 17th attempt, the Twitch users finally defeated the Elite Four and Blue, finishing the game. The successful attempt was recorded and can be viewed in the video below:
Once the game ended, a timer began counting down from 25 hours. At 12:00 UTC, the game restarted, but as a new game, Pokémon Crystal. The main character for Crystal was AJDNNW, often nicknamed AJ or Andrew. TwitchPlaysPokemon Crystal was beated at 13 Days 2 Hours and 2 Days.
TPP Emerald Was then played next, Starting with the first female trainer to be played, named simply A or Camila “A” Slash The game was beated on 20 Days, 21 Hours And 55 Minutes
TPP Firered was then played after TPPE, We Named Our Trainer A, which caused Fans to think shes the Emerald A. The game was Beated on 15 Days 2 Hours And 2 Minutes.
The Consle was then switched from GBA To DS And Started the TPP Run with nqpppnl or Napolean.
Platnum was beated at 17 Days 11 Hours and 38 minutes.
Twitch Plays Pokemon HeartGold was next, it was beated on 21days, 16hours & 38minutes. The Trainer was A Female, it’s name was Aooo, Wolfgirl, or Aoi
Twitch Plays Pokemon Black has been beated with no evolutions in 12 Days 18 Hour and 21 Minutes
Tpp Black II finished in 16D 5H 35M While instead of intermmission games, we got black 2 postgame.
Tpp X happening Kappa
During the main adventure in Johto, the strongest Pokémon in the party was Feraligatr, the starter Pokémon. Some people thought it would be a better idea to release Feraligatr and train everyone else, or release everyone. This group tried often but did not succeed.
May VS Brendan and The Three Starters
During the intermission between Crystal and Emerald, there was a debate between quite a few users over whether the stream should pick May or Brendan. The game was soft reset 3 times during the beginning of Emerald, and the stream went through 3 characters, two girls and one boy, before finally being able to save as May under the name A. A similair debate happened prior to the start of Emerald, and that was what starter should be picked. The majority wanted either Treecko, due to Hoenn being primarily a water region, or Mudkip for teh lulz, but ultimately Torchic was chosen as the starter, who was later released.
Twitch Plays Emerald has a recurring theme of catching Poochyena, calling them “doge”, and referring to the entire group as the “wolfpack.” The stream currently has 6. There was also a mass capture of Oddish in the Safari Zone (26 to be exact) that has been called “The Cabbage harvest” after Twitch Plays Red’s Gloom, Cabbage.
Michael Catson was the name of the stream’s pet cat in the game Catz GBA. His name came from Michael Jackson, due to the stream saying ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ﾉ HE’S NOT DEAD HE’S DANCING ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ﾉ. Catson’s “dancing” was caused by a glitch in the programming of the game. Catson had jumped off a nearby table and landed next to the litterbox, which cause him to walk in an infinite cycle, due to the game trying to remove him from the glitched spot, which caused the game to freeze up at 10:00 PM in game, and forever played the second house theme until the streamer awoke and changed the game to Sonic.
The Curse of Fire
During the mass releases, there was a coincidence that there were no water types released, and most of the mob’s fire types were released, including Zexy, LazerApe, Abby, and Flareon(Red).This lead to people speculating that there was a curse to fire, as no fire types that managed to be safe in the PC or with them to the end. This caused commotion in Twitch Plays Pokemon for the eevee they get from Bebe to have a fire stone and turn into Flareon. However, the mob managed to fight against the B Trolls and evolve Eevee to Flareon. During the TPP Platinum run, The Team Managed to beat the game with Flareon in the inventory, ending the Curse. The curse was brought up from Black from releasing the fire starter but was broken again in black2 having forced Evolutions an choosing the fire starter, tepig, again.
During The Completion of Twitch Plays FireRed, there was a switch from the GBA to the DS, as there were no more core Pokemon games to play on that system, as the rest were mostly just spinoffs, most of which were played during the transition from GBC to GBA.
The streamer was about to just redo red, but was canceled due to a livestreamer makin a 3ds recorder, allowing instead of pokemon red, but have X
Pokemon Stadium II (AKA Twitch Gambles)
While in DS, the streamer mentioned he wanted to add N64 Support, which would lead to Pokemon Stadium II, This game on the left allowed players to bet (Starting with 1000) with pokedollars on a team. The moves were picked at random, and so were the Pokemon teams, which were made up of 3 pokemon each.
You would be able to bet with !Bet (Amount of cash to bet) (Team Red Or Blue)
When Pokemon X ended, The streamer changed the main channel to feature full on Pokemon Stadium 2 until pokemon OmegaRuby AlphaSapphire came out.
Fish Plays Pokemon
On August 5th, 2014, a new game on Twitch was launched called “Fish Plays Pokemon.” The game features a live stream of a fish named Grayson Hopper as he swims around in a tank. A grid was put behind the tank and a motion sensor was set up, and depending on which of the nine squares he swims into the corresponding move projected in each square will be activated in a gamed of Pokemon Red/Blue. The game was created by two students, Catherine Moresco and Patrick Facheris who are participating in HackNY’s summer fellowship program, which allows college hackers to gather and learn more about coding while being mentored.On August 7th, the subreddit fishplayspokemon was created by Redditor SolidGoldMagikarp, in less than a week the subreddit gained over 2,000 readers. On August 8th, Motherboard published an article titled “An Exclusive Interview With the Fish Playing Pokemon.” The same day the game was covered by several other sites including BBC and Mashable. The game took a day to set up, and as of August 13th, it has gained over 3.9 million views and over 53,000 likes. During this, many other spinoffs of this idea came and went, such as:
-Rock Plays Pokemon
-Nobody Plays Pokemon
-Fedora Plays Pokemon
-Fish Plays Street Fighter
-Potato Plays Pokemon
Twitter News Feed
The Independent – Twitch Plays Pokémon is ‘like watching a car crash in slow motion’
Financial Post – Twitch Plays Pokémon a wild experiment in crowd sourced gameplay
Motherboard – An Exclusive Interview With the Fish Playing Pokemon