In an amazing feat, the chaotic channel chatters at Twitch Plays Pokémon have succeeded in completing Pokémon Crystal in just thirteen days. That’s all sixteen badges, plus a win against the Johto League, rival Silver, and finally Red – and not the Red of the canon Pokémon games, but Red of Twitch Plays, with the iconic team of Zapdos, Lapras, Nidoking, Venomoth, Omastar and Pigeot. As with the first Twitch Plays, a wealth of fanworks has been created around the new team and their individual personalities, their struggles and their losses. If you missed the action, here are ten fancomics which together tell the story of Gold’s – and his Pokémon’s – journey across Johto and Kanto, all the while struggling with the legends of their predecessors and a constant stream of contradictory feedback from “the voices”. (I might have sneaked in an epilogue as well 😉 )
Some knowledge of the basic concept of Twitch Plays Pokémon and the stories surrounding it is required to fully appreciate these comics. For a good overview of what the whole thing is about, check out the page on KnowYourMeme. All comics have been featured with permission, except where the original creator could not be traced. Click on a comic to view it, and use the Down arrow to scroll – several of the comics will need you to click on “View full size” on the bottom-left in order to read them. Please visit the original artists’ galleries and sites, linked in the image descriptions, to show your appreciation!
Of course, this is just one story told from one angle. Other comics play more heavily on the religion-esque lore of the first Twitch Plays, for instance having Lord Helix visit Gold to pass on Red’s mantle. Feraligatr is very often cast into the role of villain rather than protector. The team is seen reacting in different ways to the burden of their predecessors’ legends. Even within the selection that I feature here, there’s variation in how Gold is portrayed – variously an innocent but determined boy; a deranged, drooling puppet; and an angry, desperate individual driven to take down Red as the only escape from the hell he’s found himself in. The beauty of it is that you can tell whatever story you like – one that best represents the absurdity of things, or one that gives them the most profound meaning. Hundreds of artists and writers have already done the same; you can use their works to build up a headcanon, or create your own. For a more detailed coverage of Gen II that tells events a bit differently to mine, check out this collection of fanart compiled by Redditor UnlurkedToPost: Piecing Together the Story Thus Far.
Massive, massive thanks to Redditor toraoguy for putting together the Crystal Version Complete Timeline of Events, which was invaluable when I was trying to put the art in the right order.
Five days and counting until the next adventure begins!