Twitch Plays Pokémon, the bizarre and brilliant experiment in crowd-controlled chaos, has succeeded in capturing all 151 original Pokémon from the first version of the iconic game, heeding the enthusiastic commands of the cartoon’s triumphant theme song. After a mere 39 days of stumbling around Kanto, the community managed to complete its Pokédex by capturing the elusive Mewtwo.
This latest run comes one year after Twitch Plays Pokémon first introduced the world to crowdsourced gaming. Anyone watching the stream can partially take control of the action with a hacked ROM of Pokémon Red that accepts command inputs from the chat channel. With one or a few people at the helm, this method of control might be reasonable, but with hundreds of players sending commands rapid-fire, the game became an unruly and chaotic mess, with Ash continually walking into trees, arbitrarily opening his inventory, and naming every captured Pokémon with a random string of characters. Because it’s the internet, a whole universe of memes came out of the original experiment, most famously including a religious mythology revolving around the Helix Fossil, catalogued here.
The original run took a little over 16 days to beat the game conventionally by defeating the Elite Four master trainers. For this new challenge, the stakes were raised by modifying the ROM to require that all 151 Pokémon be captured in order to win. To help make that goal slightly more reasonable, the game was also modified to make legendary Pokémon respawn, giving protagonist AIIIAAB (named by committee, of course) additional chances to capture the rarest beasts (such as Zapdos, Moltres, and Mewtwo) if he failed the first time. Players could also purchase master balls, which allow for easier captures, but of course they still had to successfully get to a store and make the purchase, which is a feat in-and-of itself.
Check out the final 20 minutes of the successful run below, during which Mewtwo is finally bested: