The Pokémon curse

According to a famous creepypasta (an urban legend generated by Internet users), 107 people between 6 and 12 years old took commited suicide in the summer of 1996 in Japan. They all had one thing in common: they had acquired the video game Pokémon Red Version or Pokémon Blue Version and had saved the game on the same level: Lavender Town, the Pokémon cemetery (term derived from “pocket monsters”). The events were attributed to the strident and gloomy music that plays at that level in the Japanese version of the video game, and which had to be replaced in subsequent versions.

The music of a famous stage of the videogames Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version incited several young people to commit suicide. Or at least that’s what the urban legend tells us…

However, it is not as well known the real event behind the legend and also related to the famous franchise. The following year, in December 1997, around 700 children had to be hospitalized in Japan. The cause: violent photosensitive epileptic seizures caused by an anime episode of Pokémon. The episode Cyber Soldier Porygon was the cause. The episode showed a brief scene in which red and blue light flashes caused by the well-known mouse Pikachu appeared. Such was the controversy that Nintendo’s shares fell by 1.5% and the episode was censored, endangering the future of the anime and the video game franchise.

Here are the links to the different soundtracks of the Pokémon videogame, both the “cursed” version and the one that replaced it in later editions. Listen to them… always under your own responsibility…

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