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Elite Four Showdown
This is one story I’ve never told before. Not to anyone. The story of what I am about to tell you is one of much anticipation, anxiety, frustration and hope. I was ten years old and could feel the weight of the world crushing down on me. I had nearly caved in to the pressure but the adrenaline and short lasting rays of hope kept me chugging along. This is the story of my battle against the Elite Four on my Pokémon Sapphire Game Boy Advance game.
The objective of most every Pokémon game is to beat all eight gym leaders and then go on to beat the Elite Four and its champion. I had spent weeks playing the game and preparing for this moment so I had already defeated all eight gym leaders and leveled up my Pokémon. So after I finished off the last gym trainer, I headed for where the Elite Four would be waiting for me at the Pokémon League in Ever Grande City.
I told myself that I didn’t need to freak out—this was just going to be five battles out of the hundreds that I had played before. But here’s the catch—in the Elite Four, players are not allowed to heal their Pokémon at a Poké Center after every battle. They have to get through and complete all five of the battles. This is pretty hard to do if a player has average levels of Pokémon. I was pretty average myself. I couldn’t wait any longer to face the Elite Four, though, so to make up for my lack of skill, I stocked up on supplies such as Antidotes and Potions to heal my team when my Pokémon would need them. I saved the game, wished myself good luck and entered the doors leading to the first trainer, Sidney.
I stood facing Sidney. My hands were trembling—no, make that my entire body—yet the little pixel character named Mel on the screen was oddly still and motionless. At ten years old, these Pokémon games can get pretty stressful. Once I got over my spaz attack, I walked over to Sidney and dueled him one on one. Surprisingly, he was easy enough to beat. His dark-type Pokémon were no match for my fighting/fire-type Blaziken. The battle was over in a mere couple of minutes. I immediately felt relieved because I had been so worried before but now there was a legitimate chance that I could win the game!
The next two battles were definitely more stressful than the first. Phoebe, the ghost-type trainer, was annoying to take out. Since she was the second trainer to fight, she was slightly tougher than Sidney. Her ghost Pokémon kept evading all of my attacks and I got frustrated very quickly. Glacia, the ice-type trainer, kept freezing my team so they weren’t able to move. Between the two, I had to use several Potions and one Hyper Potion to heal my injured Pokémon. Eventually I won both matches, but three of my six Pokémon fainted during the two gruesome battles.
My fragile ten year old heart couldn’t take it. I was hyperventilating. It was a good thing that my door was shut tight because then my mom might have come in to check why I was breathing so frantically. I set the game down, took a breather and decided to come back to it in ten minutes to finish off the fourth Elite Four member, Drake.
Ten minutes later I was crying. Drake, the dragon-type Elite Four trainer, was ten levels higher than most of my Pokémon and was seriously rubbing it in my face. I had to keep reviving my Pokémon with Revives and HP boosters, but it seemed like for every Pokémon I healed, he just brought down another. He might as well have been tearing my heart out because for every Pokémon that fainted, I had a freaking heart attack.
I sucked up the pain, willed my tears to evaporate and stuck it through to the very end. I vowed that I would use as many Potions as needed to defeat Drake, the dragon-type trainer. My effort paid off because eight Hyper Potions, two Antidotes and three Revives later I finally beat Drake.
Practically wheezing from my previous battle, I had to leave my Game Boy alone for a while. So I put it down again to cool myself down. I was pooped out and unable to focus properly—my eyes were slightly shaking back and forth and I was drooling spit out of the side of my mouth. After spending some time with civilization downstairs, I went back to my room to get this game over with. At least I had gotten this far.
Now I had to fight the champion—the champion is the previous Pokémon trainer who has beaten the Elite Four. This is a major drawback from the game—it really isn’t the Elite Four, it’s the Elite Five, since you have to fight its victor! If I thought that Drake was a tough leader to fight, then the next trainer was even more impossible.
His name was Steven.
He could at least have a snazzier name than Steven. I mean, I had made it all this way past Sidney, Phoebe, Glacia and Drake just to fight some random dude named Steven?
Well anyway, Steven’s Pokémon specialties were steel, rock and ground-types. I don’t really remember much of the actual battle itself because of my odd ten year old hyperventilating problems that were developed during the course of my Pokémon Sapphire game. But what I do remember is every single detail of the last minute of our decisive battle.
I had only one Pokémon left. Blaziken. (I suppose that the rest must have fainted in battle.) So I called him out to fight Steven’s last Pokémon, Aggron. The weight of my current predicament came crashing down on me and in seconds I was imagining the worst. Losing to Steven would mean that all of the hard work that was put forth to beat the previous four trainers would all be a waste. My life started to reel before my eyes like an old black and white movie. Time slowed. And all I could think of is how I could lose to a guy named Steven. Steven.
Both of our health bars were low, so it was pretty much fair game from there on out. I had no Potions or Antidotes left. This was the final battle. This was what it all came down to. My eyes swelled up as the realization struck me. I chanted to myself over and over, I could do it! I could really beat this game! I chose Blaziken’s next move—Fire Punch—and then inched closer to the screen with my body tensed.
Aggron used the move Earthquake against Blaziken, depleting his health to zero right before my very eyes in two seconds tops.