Keep calm and use flamethrower

Written by: Karen Benitez

Features | Mar 12, 2016

#Pokemon20 Bully Pokemon Red Pokemon Silver

This article concludes GameGulp's celebration of 20 years of Pokemon.



Oh lord, I hate that move. It's so overpowered. I had blazed through most trainers with it. Even water and rock types can be knocked out with a solid, critical flamethrower. Sometimes I end up using Fire Blast, in the cases of Brock and Misty in Pokemon Silver. Yes, I used my Typlosion, a fire type against gym leaders that use rock and water type Pokemons.

Every Pokemon game I've played I have chosen a fire type. It had nothing to do with fire types being cool, or red is my favorite color, often dyeing my hair red, it was just sheer coincidence that I liked the fire type starters. It almost seemed that Nintendo, Game Freak, the Pokemon Company, in general, give priority in designing the better fire type starters. Take a look at them, Charizard, Typlosion, Blaziken, Emboar, Infernape, Greninja - uh, yeah. I skipped the fire type in X/Y cause it looked like shit. No offense to any users.

Oh, flamethrower, right. So, my friend and I often experimented on different hairsprays, body sprays, whatever-sprays, and spray them on a lighted candle. The flamethrower effect that came then was shittingly cool. I remember my friend Jon toasting marshmallows with it - at least tried to - we never ate it though, at least, I know I didn't.

In my first ever playthrough in Pokemon Red, I hit the Pokemon League my Pokemon team's average level was about mid-40s. My Charizard was in early 50s. I've stocked up in shit loads of Hyper Potions, Full Restores, and Revives. Every fight against Lorelei, the next dude, Agatha, had been serious struggles, diminishing my supplies. I finally got to Lance. And he was the worst. I muscled my way through and when that failed, I switched tactics, I got a grass type and hoped that Arceus would be merciful enough to let my Pokemon paralyze Dragonite. Then I switched to my Vaporeon and used Blizzard - which wasn't enough, and Lance OHKO'd my water Pokemon with Thunder.

It wasn't pretty. But I did eventually knocked out Lance's Dragonite using Charizard's flamethrower. It was out of pure luck. I had run out of items and I'm almost out of money from constant defeat against the Elite Four. So, when I learned I still had to fight the Pokemon Champion, I flipped. I fucking flipped. I started a fresh playthrough. And this time, captured all legendaries, and took my revenge against the Elite Four with wisely spent TMs and a better team all throughout. The game was that easy.

That was, yes, twenty or something years ago. These days I still get to play with some of my old friends, across seas, sometimes even against their own kids. I don't know if that's sad playing against children over ten years younger than I am. But it's still fun. The meta game has changed and while children has all the time they have to max out those hidden stats to breed the ultimate Pokemon, I have to procure a steady income to pay monthly rent and, you know, survive with decent living.

The meta game has certainly changed and really made the world smaller. As the cool auntie, godmother, or big sis, some of my friends' kids opened up to me. One in particular, was bullied in school. He was taught to tell any grownups of any problems in school. He did before but the retaliation of the telling, to a child, was much worst.

I have faced bullies of my own as a kid. Both boys and girls. And if their parents were informed, often, they would point the blame on the kid being bullied-"Well, my son told me your kid started it," or, "Impossible, at home my son is an angel." The former is a way to justify their child's actions, the second is either denial or ignorant bull crap - it means children are smart enough not to bare their teeth in front of adults.

"Punch him in the face." I typed in the chat box.

"He'll punch back, he'll beat me, he'll kill me."

"Then kill him first," I wrote back.

After a moment, I added. "Not literally! Don't kill him literally! Delete this shit!"

"Delete this conversation please."

"Please delete it."

"Have you deleted it?"

"Can I see a screenshot?"

"Thank you! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo ;)"

No fucking way I'm going to be held liable if a murder took place. I contemplated burning my passport to ensure I wouldn't ever leave the country to visit them. That xoxo message was probably enough to get me into trouble.

Anyway, flamethrower-in some parts of the world a bully has their psychological background, so they say. But in other parts of the world, in my case, a bully is a bully. They simply enjoy acting around as a boss. I remember people telling me to get to know the bully, understand who they are. Yeah right. The last time I did that a girl who was as hot as I am pulled my hair. Talking never got anywhere, well, at least until we grew up. That's when things started to cool off. But my friend's kid, my godson, I told him to raise an army. Something what Bart Simpson did to get back at Nelson - ah, good times when The Simpsons was a good show. That episode was during the first season, if y'all too young to know.

My godson did just that. He talked to other kids that were being bullied by the same bully or their own respective bullies. They organized a group-wide school complaint, which the principle then, called in an even bigger group gathering twice. The first with the kids. Second with their parents. The result was what I'd said above.

Now, my godson was never physically bullied again. He got to keep his lunch money and most of his stuff. But the bullying switched to verbal. That pretty seemed worst, destroying my godson's esteem. I told him to organize another army and beat the shit out that bully outside school. But he feared if they could do it. So would the bullies. Their own organization of the Masters of Evil.

I felt I was beginning to speak out of terms. I was giving advice based on how I handled bullies. I fought. My hair got pulled. A boy punched me in the arm. The same boy years later that threatened to punch me if I broke up with him. Dumped him on the spot-I figured if he was willing to hurt me now, what more eventually? Don't worry, he didn't, I got other friends who looked out for me by then-though I avoided outside help as much as possible.

The sad thing is, my godson was moved to a different school. And quite frankly, I got mad, it was unreasonable anger. My friends only wanted to keep their son safe. I felt that the kid needed to fight back. It was a little heated conversation that my friend and his wife had thrown me in the miserable "seenzone" pit for months. Only after last January did they talk to me about a 3DS and the New 3DS, which had, given me the idea to write this.

It's good to know that my godson has made friends and met no douche holes. We still play Pokemon once in a while. Damn, the Internet is amazing. Our battles often end up with Mega Charizard X versus Mega Metagross or Mega Mewtwo or Mega Blastoise or Mega Charizard Y. I sometimes lost, I won once in a while, switching Pokemons, switching tactics, and all that shit. He messaged me just a few weeks ago, days before V-Day, asking me advice on what a girl typically likes.

"Ask your god damn mom," I wrote back.

He said he did and is asking for second opinions.

From a lot of Pokemon, to bullying, and now he's about to dive into the world of dating. The next thing he might ask is how to stick it in - oh hell, I hope not. Then he might ask advise what major to take in college, career, how to propose, and all that. Maybe he won't. Maybe he'll figure it out by himself, like I did. I think that's the way things often ended up. Maybe I'll tell him that, but he's always welcome to seek second opinions. It's never out of the question.

Flare Blitz. A powerful Pokemon fire type move that causes recoil damage to the Pokemon using it. Like how I handled my bully situation, I winged it, I took risks, and how I lived in my young adult years. Failure is always an option. The recoil can be bad but it can be as good. It's all part of this fiery life, sending as much embers fluttering around the sky.

Honestly, that last part has nothing to do with the rest of the article. I just don't know how to end this shit. So, I'll leave it like this and fuck off now.

About the author: Karen Benitez

Skater, musician, carpenter, gamer. Karen is interested in culture, science fiction, and Cthulhu. She participated in MMA bouts, got her ass kicked many times, and ended up with broken bones. Life is good.

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