The archetypal Pokemon organization is an oligarchy in which only a handful of people control every major aspect.  However, even that may be too much praise--the word "dictatorship" is probably a more fitting description.  It would leave the modern player nonplussed, therefore, to learn that, back in antiquity, there was a time when nobody was fettered by the shackles of childish moderators, nobody's ideas could be rejected by the powers that be, and everybody had supreme authority.  One could host a tournament whenever he/she wanted.  If one wanted to rail against the elitist clique, one could do so without the possibility of being ostracized.  There were no contradictory rules and regulations to adhere to.  Indeed, the GameFAQs era truly was the "wild west" of its time, and I was its "Billy the Kid."  I hosted several tournaments, played as much as I could, made many enemies along the way, and earned a reputation as "the great RBY player."  In the debut article of "GGFan Central," I look back to my early years and reflect upon my five most important victories.

5. Beating Shrouded in the rubber match - fall 2002

As the story goes (if you don't know it, please read my bio first), I made my debut in April 2002 on the Azureheights PBS.  I spent my first few months losing with bad Pokemon with bad movesets, but began to get the hang of it by the summer.  In August I had my first encounter against Shrouded, who was a veteran player who knew what he was doing.  It was the first game I ever had that I would consider "great" in that it went back and forth and made me believe in my potential to do well in this game.  In the end it came down to my Alakazam against Shrouded's Tauros; it hit Tauros for 50% with Psychic and landed the Special drop but was also paralyzed by Body Slam, which meant it was game over for me.  I faced Shrouded in a rematch a month later, which I won; however, the caveat was that he replaced his Tauros with a Venomoth, making me doubt the legitimacy of my victory.  Finally, on October, we had the rubber match, this time with Shrouded using his standard team.  I was able to overcome the bull and pulled off the upset victory against the more experienced player.  Needless to say, the win was a tremendous boost to my confidence and made me passionate about the gen.  I felt I not only had a solid grasp on the basics now, but had what it took to win tournaments, as exaggerated as my teenage emotions were.

4. Winning TOS3 - March 2004

GameFAQs peaked in 2003, but by the beginning of 2004 the signs of its impending death were already apparent.  Thus, TOS3 was the swan song of the era, for it featured most of the up-and-comers of the previous year battling it out in one last major event.  This one made the list not because I won, but rather because I had to win it from behind the entire time.  TOS3 was a double-elimination tour, and I lost in the first round to Fuzion.  However, I was able to make it all the way into the semi finals, where I beat Fuzion in the rematch, and then beat Lesm twice in the finals to win it.  The entire event lasted something like nine rounds--the elegant swan's feather looked nice on my cap.

3. Winning two tournaments on the same night - October 11th, 2003

On paper, winning TOS3 was far more impressive than this, but I had to rank this higher because it got me nuclear heat on the scale of Chernobyl.  Those who have read my book (available for free on Lulu, by the way) know that I was a massive heel at the time, and this victory pissed off my detractors to extreme degrees.  First I defeated Kuleguy18 (a great prospect in his own right) in the finals of a tour, then I beat Fuzion in the finals of another immediately after.  The win against Fuzion was especially important because it was a comeback victory, which made the win even more satisfying for me and annoying for everybody else.  After winning, I wrote a triumphant speech about how I made history for being the first person in history to have pulled off this feat, and that there was now no denying I was one of the greatest of all time.  Next, I sprinkled an extra layer of cringe and arrogance by comparing myself to the New York Yankees, for I won these tournaments while they pulled off a comeback win against the Boston Red Sox in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.  Aaron Boone had nothing on me, though.

2. Winning the GameFAQs Summer UU Tourney - August 2003

This was definitely my most prolific victory, as the GameFAQs Summer UU Tourney was essentially a "who's who" of the era.  You had me, Redwall Dude, Lesm, undone, Hipmonlee, Vineon, MetalMew, JMC, and so on.  It was a combination of young blood and established stars, and the finals came down to myself and Lesm, another prospect who was looking to make a name for himself.  I won this event in relatively dominant fashion, never losing more than three Pokemon in any of my games.  Besides winning, what was also satisfying was Vineon getting knocked out in the second round after being an idiot by claiming I wouldn't win and that he was a lock for making finals. 

1. Beating Syberia in the semi finals of TOS - December 2002

Yes, I did end up winning TOS a month later (and in a dominant way), but winning this game was infinitely more important than winning the tournament.  During this time I was in a heavy feud with an elitist troll who looked down on me because I suggested "noobish" movesets, such as Explosion Golem and Seismic Toss Alakazam (I kid you not--I was the "noob," apparently).  Unfortunately, because he had been around for a couple of years, people insisted that he was right and treated me unfairly.   Meanwhile, Syberia won the last big tournament, the "Tourney Of Doom," by beating one of the game's best players in the finals, so defeating him would have put me on the map.  The elitist troll was also in the semi finals, but he lost 5-0 in embarrassing fashion and subsequently disappeared for the rest of the year, meaning the stage was all for me now.  With the lights on bright, I shut up all the naysayers who predicted me to lose--even mocking me--and won the game with nothing standing except my paralyzed Slowbro, which marked the beginning of "the GGFan era," for better or worse.  It was an era of elitism, immaturity, and toxicity, but also one of fierce competition.  Had I not beaten Syberia I'm sure I still would have played, but certainly not with the same level of passion for the game and the confidence that this iconic victory in a time where the consensus was that a newcomer couldn't beat a veteran bestowed upon me.

Publication date - 12/24/2019