While the whole world goes gaga over Pokemon Go, there is still a small chunk of people out there wondering why smartphone zombies are spending more time on the streets with occasionally showing some signs of life whilst screaming “I captured An Aerodactyl. Whohoo!”
If you belong to that small group, let me take the pleasure to introduce you to the world of Pokemon.
Back to the Start
For starters, Pokemon is one of the most remembered anime series that was aired in India in the 90s and early 2000s. The story revolves around Ash, a 10 year old boy who dreams of capturing all the Pokemon in the world, train them and become the greatest Pokemon Master ever. Pokemon are creatures that don his world in place of our real world creatures. They are similar in form though. A real world bat is called a Zubat, a fox is called a Vulpix, a mouse is called Pikachu. But these creatures come with different powers that broadly fall under the heads – Fire, Grass, Water, Ground, Flying, Electric, Fighting, Psychic and Normal. Each ‘type’ has its own weaknesses and strengths. Fire type is weak against water type, water type is weak against electric type, electric type is weak against fire type. Pokemon trainers captured wild Pokemon, trained them and entered Pokemon battles and championships to prove to the world that they were the greatest of the Pokemon Trainers. The last Pokemon show was aired in 2008.
What It’s Like Today
Fast forward to 2016, Niantic, an American company that is partly owned by Nintendo which owns the Pokemon franchise, released an Augmented Reality based app called Pokemon Go. Through the app, people are allowed to explore the real world where Pokemon are waiting to be discovered or caught. The app uses Google Maps API to show you a map of the locality you are in and also has a ‘Nearby List’ which shows the Pokemons close to you. The app uses your GPS location and thus can track your movement and show Pokemon that you are moving closer to or away from, whatever the case may be.
Once you locate the Pokemon on your smartphone screen, you can capture the Pokemon by throwing some Pokeballs at it. Mind you, this requires some skills. Once the Pokemon is captured, you continue on your quest to capture all 151 Pokemon.
Apart from just capturing Pokemon, you can also stop at temples and shrines as these have been converted into Pokestops. Visiting a Pokestop and swiping on the Pokestop, if you’re in range, will help you get free Pokeballs, potions to revive your Pokemon after battles, Poke Eggs and other consumables. Some major temples are also converted to Pokemon Gyms. A gym can be controlled by one of the 3 teams that you should choose to be a part of once you reach Level 5. They go by the names Valor, Mystic and Instinct, each trying to dominate the other. Once a Poke Gym is owned by a team, the trainers are allowed to leave one Pokemon each at the Gym to defend it against the Pokemon used by trainers belonging to the other two teams. It’s a constant battle for supremacy. Currently, Team Valor is leading among the three teams across the world.
Psst.. Some Tips
If a team stays at a PokeGym for 21 hours or more, all the Pokemon trainers who have one of their Pokemon stationed at the gym to defend it, receive rewards in the form of PokeCoins that they can use to purchase consumables at the PokeStore.
Capturing duplicate Pokemon also means that you can earn ‘Candies’ that you can use to evolve your Pokemon. Evolving Pokemon also uses a consumable called ‘Stardust’ that can be gained by capturing more Pokemon.
So, now you know why there are so many people out on the streets, walking countless miles, going under the grind to capture that ever evading Aerodactyl!
I’m off to get that Vaporeon that spawned in Koramangala 5th Block.
Gotta Catch‘Em All! 😉