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Lets Play / Twitch Plays Pokémon Crystal Anniversary

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Twitch Plays Pokémon (TPP) is a social experiment in which commands representing buttons on an original Game Boy Color (up, down, left, right, A, B, start, and select) are entered into a chat on Twitch, and then translated into a romhack of Pokémon Crystal via an IRC bot. In short, over 10,000 people are fighting over a controller. Throughout its life, Twitch Plays Pokémon has spawned hilarious characters, memorable moments, and even a religion.

Twitch Plays Pokémon Crystal Anniversary, the first run of "Season 3", takes the mob back to Johto, with a twist. A brand-new romhack in the style of Twitch Plays Pokémon Red Anniversary, this run begins in Kanto instead of Johto, has the return of the original Democracy System, an increased level curve, and once again, the mob has to Get the Diploma.


Hilarity will ensue as Twitch faces old nemesis like the Route 9 Ledge, wild Sentret, the Daycare PC, and Professor Oak's nagging as they attempt to find and capture all 251 Pokémon.

The run officially started on February 14th, 2016, two days after TwitchPlaysPokemon's second anniversary. After 30 days, 4 hours and 34 minutes, Evan managed to defeat his final opponent, and has received the title of Pokémon Master.

See also here for the archived progress of the game, here for the archived status of the run, or here for live updates, which have been archived here. There is also a recap page, found here.

The ROM has been released in IPS patch format, and can be downloaded here. The page also includes instructions for making the advanced AI work. Before the ROM was released, an April Fools' Day version was created, and it can be downloaded here.


Twitch Plays Pokémon: Crystal Anniversary contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The game implements gameplay quirks from later generations, such as newer moves, the Physical/Special Split, and the Fairy type. Moves that got renamed or reformatted in Generation VI retain their original spelling, most notably Feint Attack (known as Faint Attack when it was first introduced).
  • Adaptation Induced Plothole: Since Johto follows a similar storyline as Gold and Silver, the New Bark Town mother considers Evan to be her son. The mob is confused whether the Pallet Town mother moved to New Bark Town (for unknown reasons) or Evan has two mothers. Once it was confirmed that Evan's mother moved to Johto, with Abe's mother being the new caretaker of Evan's old house, the mob's confusion is now about what happened in the three months between the shipwreck and Evan's new journey.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The original Democracy system from Red returns, where chat inputs of Anarchy and Democracy move a bar where the two sides represent Anarchy and Democracy, replacing the old step count or hourly Democracy systems, although a 90% majority is needed to access it.
    • A new system called Military Mode was added to make battling and capturing easier, using a set of new commands. For example, if Move1 was selected during the "Waiting!" phase, the game will choose the first move of the list automatically.
    • If a capture causes a PC box to be completely filled, Bill will call the player and ask if they would let him change to an empty box, avoiding any PC trips...unless the offer is rejected.
    • Route 26, which even in the original game has a "healing house" (a house where an NPC heals your Pokémon—a particular boon to TPP since it means healing without having to use a Pokémon Center and thus risk running into a PC), has Chansey and Blissey among its wild Pokémon, allowing for quick level-grinding just before the Elite Four.
  • Anyone Can Die: Including the ability to release an entire box of Pokémon in the PC. Fortunately, it has a convoluted way of even accessing it so that it's impossible for the mob to do it in Anarchy or Democracy... unless the use of the "Wait" command comes into play.
  • Auto-Save: Creates a save-state every few moments.
  • Back from the Dead: A popular theory states that Evan died when the ship sank and is either undead, being piloted as a body puppet by the Voices, or was revived by some other power. In one fic, he was revived by the Leech King.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The game starts in Kanto with a similar story structure to Pokémon Red and Blue, until a series of events in the SS Anne prompts Evan into venturing Johto instead.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Giovanni can be found inside of a small cave in Tohjo Falls.
    • The Battle Tent Ruins contains three of them:
      • Burglar Simon can be found at the end of the Spin Tile maze underneath the Tent; he gives out the GS Ball as a reward.
      • Bill and his team of Eeveelutions can be found by unlocking the door near the Tent's entrance; he gives out the Whirlpool TM as a reward.
      • The Pokémon League PC, last seen replacing Giovanni in Vermilion Gym in Red Anniversary, can be found on the top entrance where Bill was fought. It serves two types of battles, one is a Mirror Match of the player's team and the other is a battle with six Level 100 Legendary Pokémon.
    • Four hosts from previous runs can be battled around Kanto:
      • AJ can be found at the Viridian Trainer House and be fought once per in-game day.
      • Baba can be found by interacting on Evan's former bed after talking to Sabrina, once all original 16 badges have been collected though.
      • Red can be found by entering Mt. Silver for the first time.
      • Abe is found on top of Mt. Silver and completing the battle unlocks a new dungeon above the battle area.
    • Professor Oak battles Evan once he has finished all the Gym Leader rematches and talks to him about the accomplishment.
    • Professor Elm can be found on the end of Mt. Silver's bonus dungeon after beating Abe.
  • Bookends: The 2nd day ended in a mirror's image of what it began. With an incident involving Team Rocket (The S.S. Anne mutiny and the Slowpoke Well Incident at the beginning and end respectively.) and a game crash lasting a couple of hours. To elaborate, the day began with a crash then the S.S. Anne mutiny and ended with the Slowpoke Well Incident followed by another crash.
    • The first Pokémon caught during the run was Bulbasaur, grass starter from Kanto. The last one registered in the Pokédex was Chikorita, grass starter from Johto. Furthermore, the penultimate one was Chikorita's final form, Meganium.
  • But Thou Must!: Inverted at the end of the Nugget Bridge. Unlike in the original game, you can choose to join Team Rocket when asked by the disguised Grunt; however, Professor Oak will deliver a But Thou Mustn't every time you try, causing you to hesitate, until you choose not to join.
  • Button Mashing: The Pokémon Pinball sidegame alternates each flipper extremely fast.
  • Canon Foreigner: Near the end of the game exist a Pokémon with a cry that no other official Pokémon have; it flies away when interacted.
  • Continuity Snarl: Triggered one with the romhack's inclusion of characters from Season 1 and 2 indiscriminately. Is there such a thing as alternate timelines? Do any runs not count for lore? None of that is certain anymore.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The appearance of OLDEN and disappearance of Azure cemented the run as this.
  • Deal with the Devil: Some lore says that Azure made such a deal with OLDEN.
    • Other lore has Evan himself as a servant of OLDEN.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: QH the Omanyte, A.K.A Lord Helix, was released in Anarchy Mode. Since then, another Omanyte was released in Anarchy, and an Omastar, a Kabuto, and a Kabutops have been released in Democracy-guided mass releases.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Military Mode allows the mob to easily select moves and items by just inputting commands rather than manually going to said move or item. However, any command can be chosen during the "Waiting!" phase, so battles can also end with a waste of items or fainted Pokémon.
  • Dummied Out: The unknown bird Pokémon found at the end of the game has its own sprite, stats, and was meant to be caught. Instead, it lets out its cry and flies away.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Lore tends to portray Olden, whoever, or what ever he is, as this, in a vein similar to a Pokémon specific Zalgo.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Each of the past hosts faced in the game (as has become tradition by now) has a unique icon show up at the start of the battle transition. It's as follows: Red has the Helix Fossil, AJDNNW has Lazorgator, Baba has DADA (as a Magikarp), and AIIIAAB has the Leech King.
  • Gainax Ending: Ever since X, runs have usually tended to end at the exact time of day that they started, with this "postgame" being for the Mob to undertake whatever sidequests they want. Since this was a 100% Completion run and the victory conditions were reached fairly early in the "day"...the final hours of the run were rather bizarre and basically looked like what would happen if the Mob didn't bother fighting off trolls.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: A crash during the Azalea Gym called The OLDEN Glitch note  resulted whenever a specific trainer tries to switch a Pokémon. A savestate managed to sneak up in a way that the glitch will always activate no matter how much it loads, until it was fixed moments later.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Beating a rematched Gym Leader will change your badges from silver to gold.
  • Gotta Catch Them All!: The mob has to collect all 251 Pokémon if they want to finish the run. In fact, this is enforced. In order to complete the run, the Gym Leaders must be rematched, but some of the Gym Leaders will flat out refuse to rematch the player unless they complete specific tasks, like capturing Legendaries or getting items.
  • Grand Theft Me: According to some, Azure may not have willingly made a deal with OLDEN to become his host.
  • Harder Than Hard: Going to Professor Oak after collecting all 16 Badges unlocks the ability to re-battle all the Gym Leaders. This time, however, they're giving it their all to defeat you according to Oak. And he's not joking. Their AI is much smarter, their teams have competitive movesets, their Pokémon are EV trained, and some of them have Legendaries. Some of them even require the player to complete certain objectives before they can be rematched.
  • History Repeats: Evan picked a Cyndaquil as his Johto starter... and released it in just over five hours.
    • Just like in Crystal, the first Pokémon obtained becomes greatly overleveled and is implied to be training up the rest of the party.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: As confirmed through Reddit, the confrontation against the Team Rocket grunts aboard the S.S. Anne is endless. For each one that is knocked out, a new Grunt will take the place of the previous with higher leveled Pokémon and the player will be locked in battle until they supposedly white out. This causes a scripted event where the S.S. Anne get shipwrecked and the protagonist washes ashore in Cherrygrove City.
  • Interface Spoiler: Early game had the stream's HUD always show zero badges even though Evan had two of them in Kanto. This is because he later loses them in the SS Anne after bumping next to an NPC.
  • Kidnapped by the Call: The Mob ends up getting stuck on the S.S. Anne, which is promptly taken over by Team Rocket, and then the ship sinks, leaving them stuck in Johto.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: Professor Oak and Red use their teams from Red Anniversary.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Several areas, old and new, seem designed to be a total nightmare for when hundreds of people have the controller at once.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: As the run locked into a set party and finally got settled into the catch 'em all phase, releases have became increasingly commonplace thanks to several issues with box management. With the main party protected by mail, there is little hesitation to mess with the PC until several releases are made. This has led to large amounts of releases in one sitting, hitting peaks on Days 27 and 28 when full boxes were cleared out at once. The players are somewhat desensitized to the mass releases, though they still try to preserve boxes with certain favorites (like legendaries and former party members) and leave the rest on the chopping block.
  • Mini-Game: Two of them, played simultaneously to the main adventure. The bottom-right corner is a Democracy-Only run of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team, while the bottom-left corner is a token betting version of Pokémon Pinball.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Changing from a full box to an empty box is needed in order to catch more Pokémon, or the player can release Pokémon in a box to make more space. The mob found the second option easier.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Being a TwitchPlaysPokemon romhack, the difficulty is naturally ramped Up to Eleven, by the form of higher level trainers and Pokémon, a larger movepool, the Gen VI typing chart (including Fairies), and better AI. Near the end of the game, trainers can go to at least one Level 100 Pokémon on their team. Once all the Gym Leaders have been beaten, Hard Mode is enabled, allowing Gym Leader rematches. This time, however, they're all at Level 100 with unique gimmicks and even requirements for facing them specifically designed to challenge the Twitch playerbase.
    • A number of the new areas and remixed gyms were specifically designed with the intent of forcing the Mob to go into democracy, but the threshold for switching into democracy is 90%, which often means that even when the most staunch anarchy purists concede to voting for democracy, trolls are enough to keep anarchy in effect.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Battle Tent Ruins, while rundown, locks Bill inside the battle room during the Power Plant's shut down.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Elite 4, is actually five Elite Trainers before the League Champion.
  • Nostalgia Level: Inverted. Blue's Spin Tile gym from HeartGold and SoulSilver, a Gen IV game, has been added to this hack, a Gen II game.
  • Not Completely Useless: The "Wait" command was never given any practical use since its debut in Emerald. In this run, "Wait" is necessary in order to release an entire box of Pokémon.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Evan encountered the Glitch Trainer on Route 26 and it sent out a level 100 Gastly.
  • Old Save Bonus: Tokens earned from Arena can be used to play the Pokémon Pinball sidegame on the lower-left.
  • Plot Armor: Evan's team each holds mail, an item which prevents Pokémon from being deposited or released. This allows the mob to access the PC without affecting the team.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Red, AJ, BABA, and Abe appear in the game and can be battled against.
  • Railroading:
    • The Strength TM is given before Surf, so the mob has to clear the Team Rocket HQ in Mahogany Town before challenging Pryce, Chuck, or Jasmine (the hack has Pryce as the fifth gym leader rather than the seventh).
    • More Snorlax have been added in Kanto, forcing the mob to trek in a more linear path until the EXPN Card has been received.
  • Recurring Boss: Burglar Simon frequently bumps into Evan around the regions for a fight. He gives out items once Evan wins.
  • Remixed Level:
    • The Battle Tent Ruins' basement follows a path to a redesign of Team Rocket's Hideout from Red and Blue, complete with a new Spin Tile puzzle, and a battle with Burglar Simon.
    • Certain gym leaders change their gym layout once they are ready for their rematch. For example, Sabrina's gym only consist of teleportation tiles, and Janine's gym is completely invisible, including herself.
  • Running Gag: Evan reminding the Kanto citizens that he is a native of their region and not Johto.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Players can bribe others, using tokens, into choosing a specific input in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon sidegame. Even if a different input wins, all tokens are distributed to whoever players voted for the button they've been bribed for.
  • The Rival: Azure at first and later Silver. The mob unofficially considers Simon to be Evan's rival as well.
  • Self-Deprecation: Of a sort, the Battle Tent from Red Anniversary, known for its early game-breaking bugs, is now a worn down building in this game, renamed as the Battle Tent Ruins.
  • Stealth Prequel: Abe's adventure happened sometime between the S.S. Anne's shipwreck and the start of Evan's journey through Johto.
  • Stealth Pun: Attempting to read the sign outside Cinnabar Volcano brings up a message saying (emphasis added) "You try hard to read the sign. But it is too charred to read." Inside the cave is where Entei is found.
  • Time Skip: A NPC in Johto tells that someone disbanded Team Rocket three months ago.
  • True Final Boss: Elm is the final trainer Evan battles at the extreme end of the Mt. Silver dungeon.
  • Uncertain Doom: Azure does not make an appearance or a mention after finishing her battle on the S.S. Anne, some moments before it sank, making some of the mob think she went down with the ship. It doesn't help that, in the visit of Mr. Pokémon's House, Oak is shown to be relieved to see Evan alive and not mentioning anything about Azure's whereabouts. She is actually alive, happy to know about Evan's survival, and is the League Champion.
  • The Unfought: Subverted. After two years, the mob is finally able to battle Bill in this hack.
  • The Unpronounceable: Averted for Evan, Azure, and Silver, whom the first two were selected from a predetermined list and the latter was selected by default. It's played straight for Evan's Pokémon though, as well as for Abe and AJ's original name. Theirs and Red's teams all retain their original names.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: After defeating Blue for the first time, numerous quests opened up at once, all of which had to be completed to finish the game but in no particular order. A few optional quests that had been open before that point had also remained unfinished. This resulted in a lot of obstacles and trainers being officially listed as having inordinately long completion times.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Like in Red and Blue, beating Lance does not grant the player the title of championship, because their first rival got hold of it beforehand.
    • Abe isn't the final boss of Mt. Silver, either.

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