Pokémon Sun and Moon's storyline is intriguing, but the lore of Twitch Plays Pokémon will always be a cult classic. The event, which saw a million Pokémon players controlling a single game from the original Red and Blue, versions led to some of the series' funniest memes, some shockingly intricate lore and perhaps the biggest "you had to be there" moment in all of Pokémon history.
It all started with a modest experiment. Three years ago on Feb. 12, the video game streaming site Twitch posed a simple question: What would happen if we let a chatroom control a Pokémon game by simply typing in commands? The query manifested itself in the form of an actual Pokémon game that all of Twitch's users could control. Twitch Plays Pokémon was born, and if you assume that madness ensued — you're damn right it did.
Twitch Plays Pokémon Lore: The characters
As usual with any Pokémon game, you play as the protagonist after choosing a name for your trainer. But in the lore of Twitch Plays Pokémon, your character is only the tip of the Poké-iceberg.
Characters like Pidgeot and Flareon became known as Bird Jesus and The False Prophet. And then there's Lord Helix: a reference to the numerous times the player checked the item bag — seen as consulting the Helix Fossil (the first item in the bag) for guidance on what to do next. These were just a few of the cast that played a prominent role in the success (and failures, *side-eyes Flareon*) of Twitch Plays Pokémon. You'll want to go here for a complete cast of the important items and Pokémon.
Twitch Plays Pokémon Lore: The events
Twitch Plays Pokémon looked no better than the original Red and Blue games from 1998. Yet the shared experience was way more exciting, if only because no one knew what would happen next. You know things are about to get real when you accidentally release your starter Pokémon — which tragically happened.
But there's more. Including the time "aaabaaajss" (also known as Pidgeot and/or Bird Jesus) lost the first battle against Giovanni at Silph Co. when players had gotten so very close to winning. Or when the Helix Fossil was actually evolved into an Omastar, before eventually becoming the Omastar known as Lord Helix.
These were coupled with real-world events, such as the implementation of anarchy and democracy. Essentially, Twitch added a way for players to vote on what to do next, instead of having users type in their preferred move. While some preferred this democratic method, others liked the anarchy system, in which Twitch users simply shouted their inputs all at once — this was the more traditional method of Twitch Plays Pokémon, after all. For a full rundown of the history, you'll want to check Dorkly's extensive roundup.
Twitch Plays Pokémon Lore: The memes
And then there are the memes, of course. The internet never fails to provide a funny take on events — be they real or virtual — and Twitch Plays Pokémon was no exception. A quick internet search still turns up tons of hilarious images, GIFs and videos related to the Twitch Plays Pokémon lore. Here's a quick sampling of what's out there.
This GIF offers a clever sendup of the insanity that was Twitch Plays Pokémon, along with a clever reference to the Helix fossil:
Here's a GIF mixing Twitch Plays Pokémon with the Digimon movie:
Another look into the mind of tortured trainer at the heart of Twitch Plays Pokémon:
All hail Lord Helix.
Here's one for the Simpons fans out there:
The loss of the starter Pokémon was one of the darker moments in Twitch Plays Pokémon:
We'll never forget you, "ABBBBBBK (":
Twitch Plays Pokémon in a nutshell:
And of course, this shining highlight, which stems from this moment during Twitch Plays Pokémon:
Check out more Pokémon news and coverage
If you're serious about Pokémon read up so you can be the very best. See here for the latest on Pokémon Stars. Then check out our Pokémon Sun and Moon guides for picking the right starter, 'Pokémon Sun and Moon' cheats, using a damage calculator, how to catch the new legendary Pokémon, how to customize your character, how to trade, how to find all the evolution stones, how to use QR codes, all the Team Skull passwords, which Pokémon to catch early on and picking between Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.