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Hell Bell

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After the fourth generation of Pokémon disappointed him so much, my brother tossed me all his Pokémon stuff in disgust. I received hundreds of cards to add to my collection, the Blastiose plush he won at King’s Island nine years ago, and the Diamond game that completely swept away his love for the game and all things associated with it. That chapter of his life came to a sad close while mine just gained something to continue on.

Admittedly, the games that had come out for the DS disappointed me as well, there was just something about it all that made the magic the games normally held fade away a little…as a person who grew up with the originals, generation four simply wasn’t ‘my’ Pokémon anymore. Regardless, I wasn’t going to turn my back on something that accompanied me through childhood simply because the game disappointed me a little.

In fact, I wanted Diamond. Dialga was a hundred times better looking than Palkia and I rather enjoyed the thought of finally getting to be the one to catch it this time around instead of having to hack one or trade for it.

Before I continue, I must tell you that this doesn’t involve Dialga at all. I just like it and originally wanted Diamond, but had to settle for Pearl because my brother got to it first. This does start off with a legendary Pokémon, however, though I’m certain that if I had used any other, the outcome would have been the same…this happening seemed to be meant for me…otherwise it probably wouldn’t have happened at all...which I would have been completely fine with.

I started up his saved game just to see what all he had. His save information said he had all the Pokémon in his Dex, even the ones that had yet to be released through wireless events, which reminded me that he really enjoyed using Action Replay codes to enhance his gaming experience…That was probably the only thing that caused him to keep the game for as long as he did…but even cheating gets old after a while.

After starting his game, I checked his party; he had six shiny, level 100 Rayquazas. Like all the other Pokémon he owned, he caught them using the lengthy ‘encounter any pokemon’ code where you had to discard heart scales to indicate which Pokémon you wanted to catch at level 100. While the Pokémon encountered with this code were about as weak as if you had given them a large number of Rare Candy, I still recall losing to these six frequently.

I had used this code myself throughout my first play through of Pearl, and I traded these across the net to increase my chances of winning at the lottery. Or, at least that’s what I did before a friend scolded me and I was more or less forced to start over cheat-free. While he needed no Pokémon to complete his pokedex and he didn’t need to win any extra items, trading was always a fun experience for me just to see where they came from.

So, I went to Jubilife City to the Global Trading Center to see what I could get for one of these Rayquazas. I know I could have traded anything, but I secretly held a grudge against these six for beating me so badly all those times.

Once in the trading network, I offered one up for a Bronzong that I had picked at random out of the first list. Of course, I couldn’t choose a gender, but I chose the required level to be 100, just to make it more or less an even trade. After that, I left for a little while.

After doing nothing of particular interest for about six hours, I came back to see if I had any takers for the trade. I immediately got excited when the trade sequence started up. I know it was just a simple Bronzong, but still, I like this process a great deal. You could send me a Magikarp and I’ll get excited for a little bit.

You know how the process goes; I won’t bother explaining the actions on the screen to you. Long story short, I received a shiny Bronzong named ‘Hell Bell’.

I was shocked to get a shiny in return, I never got a shiny when I traded in Pearl…but the name was unsettling to me…Being a slightly religious person, I’m not comfortable speaking about anything pertaining to hell or anything like that…even writing this makes me feel like I’m provoking a similar event to happen again…let’s just hope this functions as a learning experience for you and not something else for me.

After leaving, I checked its stats; everything was set at 666, its old trainer was named ‘Beelze’ (which, again, both points slip into my sensitive area…), and it was caught at Lost Tower but contained in a cherish ball.

Clearly, it was hacked, but it’s what I get for offering up a hack first.

The stats and other information of the Pokémon disturbed me only for the fact that I didn’t like its name or information, but I assumed it was fine otherwise. Regardless, I didn’t want it, so I tried offering it up for trade again…this would be where I’d gladly accept a Magikarp. But, each time I tried to put it into the GTS, the game informed me that the Pokémon couldn’t be offered in a trade.

This had happened to me several times before when I tried to trade hacked legendaries, I assume there’s something in place that keeps people from getting truly ripped off…but I was able to trade that Rayquaza and ‘Beelze’ was able to trade me Hell Bell this go around…I didn’t know why it wouldn’t allow me to offer it again.

I still wanted to be rid of it; so obviously, the only other option I had was to release it. Before I went to the PC, however, I checked the item it was holding. The sender had attached mail to it, which was always fun…even though your choices for what to say are severely limited and the letters always come out painfully cheesy (That’s one of the things I don’t like, the revamp of the mail system).

I chose Hell Bell and selected to read the mail, though the letter wasn’t set up like it normally was in the game, it looked like it had actually been typed out like you used to be able to do in Gold and Silver. The message was only three words long:

‘Take me back.’

I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. I certainly couldn’t trade it again…even if I could, there was no way I could make sure Hell Bell got back to Beelze so I discarded the message and went to the PC to release it.

I selected the ‘deposit pokemon’ option and selected Hell Bell to release it, but each time the party sprite shrunk away, it immediately came back with the message saying something along the lines of “Hell Bell doesn’t want to leave you!”

Again, this had happened before when I was clearing out my PC box in my second play through of Pearl. I wanted a little more room and decided to release a Shinx that I had caught early on in the game, but it kept coming back. I had thought it was cute then and made the Shinx (now a Luxray) a permanent member of my party since it appeared to like me so much…but now it was just annoying.

When I checked Hell Bell again, it was holding another mail item…which made no sense since I had taken it away the first time. I opened it and read a slightly longer message:

‘I can’t go back on my own. Take me back.’

Again, I took the item and tried to release it. Another failure.

When I tried to simply deposit it, the game told me to remove the mail item from the Pokémon before depositing…I know I had, twice…but upon checking it again, Hell Bell had yet another mail item in its possession.

‘Lost Tower.’

It was finally getting more specific, which I found oddly relieving rather than feeling a little uneasy as I probably should have been. At least I knew where it wanted to go…maybe it’d leave my party after I took it there. I’d like to know why this Pokémon was making my game behave so strangely. The Pokémon was hacked, not the game itself…as far as I know, a decent hack doesn’t affect the game and a bad hack can make it crash…but this was doing neither, more like something in between.

Eager to get rid of it, I left the GTS building and stepped out into Jubilife. I was too impatient to pick an actual flying type out of the PC, so I just taught one of the Rayquazas the move ‘Fly’ and chose to use it. But, when I picked Solaceon Town from the map, the game informed that I couldn’t fly there…I know my brother had visited the city before, I don’t know why I couldn’t go there…but I didn’t take the time to actually think about it, I just flew to Hearthome instead.

I didn’t waste time in Hearthome, I simply left to travel through Route 209 to get to the Lost Tower and hopefully rid myself of this strange Pokémon somehow by taking it where it wanted to go.

I immediately noticed the lack of people on the Route. Granted, I don’t remember who all was there to battle and things of that sort, but I know there were at least a few there…the area here was completely vacant…

Well, not completely, there was one person quickly pacing back and forth where I believe an athlete once ran that I didn’t quite recognize; the sprite of a white-haired old man.

Curious, I spoke to him…which was where it began to get a little weird for me. He didn’t say anything that made sense, but babbled over and over for an annoyingly long amount of time much like when you speak to a specific cyclist on the bike trail in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. You know, the one who knows where you got your bike because the name is all over it.

“RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL RING THE BELL”

That meant nothing to me, I didn’t bother speaking to him again, I just continued on to the Tower.

Once inside, I tried to go up the stairs, but something prevented me from moving for a moment. I thought all the hacked Pokémon had finally made my game screw up, but that wasn’t the case. After a moment of complete silence, the sound of a deep brazen bell began to slowly toll (If you’re curious about how that sounded exactly, start up your HeartGold/SoulSilver game. That bell, that’s the noise)

After about four rings, the tombstone in the center of the room cracked and shattered like someone had used Rock Smash on it. Beneath the tombstone was a hole, since it wasn’t allowing me to go up the stairs, I walked over and fell through it.

When I landed, I fell on a platform much like the one you find Arceus on in the Hall of Origin (don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, we’ve all hacked that event.) only it was much darker. Where the transparent platform was white and glowing for Arceus, this one was more of a blackened red…it just seemed evil rather than the ‘holy’ vibe you get from the Hall of Origin. Coming from the platform was a set of wide stairs that looked as if they were made of black marble rather than white.

There was no way back up (couldn’t fly, no diggers, and I was Escape Rope poor.) So I took the stairs and the bell (which I now assume was Hell Bell considering that Bronzong is indeed a sort of bell) continued to ring slowly.

By now, I was feeling incredibly uneasy (wouldn’t you?) but I continued down the stairs. As I went further, it began to get foggy and a little darker. When I reached the bottom, I was met with a narrow path with large pools of magma/lava on either side…it was beginning to look more like the cave in which you encounter Groudon in R/S/E, with better graphics, of course.

The path continued in a straight line for about forty steps before hanging right for another forty and finally going up. The final path was long; magma still bubbled at the side, and with each step I took…The ringing of the bell began to go faster, at least as fast as a large bell was allowed to ring…which was still just an ominous, slow tolling. Though, with each ring, I couldn’t help but repeat what the old man NPC had said earlier…”Ring. The. Bell.”

Finally, I reached the end of the pathway, which was just as small 4x4 platform, and the bell stopped ringing. I wondered what I was supposed to do here, there was nothing here to do, no way to release Hell Bell, and no way to get out…I received my answer in the form of a disembodied ‘voice’. A dialogue box popped up and said:

“Oh, you’ve returned Hell Bell to me? I really appreciate it.”

He faded into view one space ahead in front of my sprite, it was just a simple ‘gentleman’ sprite, and the party sprite of Hell Bell came out of me and stood in the space between us facing him. The game informed me that I handed over Hell Bell.

Next, a thing popped up on the touch screen, it looked like the part of the trainer card where you sign your name. Again, the voice spoke:

“Would you mind telling me your name please so that I may thank you properly?”

Now this confused me…well, everything that was happening confused me, but this really threw me for a loop. First, the game should know the character name programmed into it from the start…and, as far as I know, it can’t actually recognize handwriting. Regardless, I began writing my brother’s character’s name, which was ‘Dust’. I made the first stroke; it was in black ‘ink’ just like normal, and made a ‘D’, but the voice stopped me:

“No, no, your real name please. I can’t thank you with a false name, you know.”

My heart felt like it stopped for a second and sunk right into my stomach before violently bounding back up into my chest, how the hell did the game know that I wasn’t signing my real name?

“Your real name, please.”

Again, I began writing. Why I was listening to this, watching it all play out when I could easily just turn it off or star a completely new game, I don’t know…The thought simply didn’t cross my mind at the time…I don’t think it was allowed to.

The ‘ink’ in which I was now writing was a bright red color...but I still wrote my full name, first and last, in the space I was provided. After I was finished, the man spoke again:

“Good, now blow, please? We don’t want the ink to smudge.”

I blew into the mic and the ‘ink’ turned from bright to deep red. I was unable to make and changes after that. Afterward, the screen disappeared and the man spoke again:

“Thank you, miss. You’ll be happy to know that you now belong to me.”

The bell tolled twice more as my sprite, currently male, turned to face me and shifted to the female sprite…brown hair, wearing all black…just like I was at the moment.

Hell Bell moved forward, over lapping my sprite, and a final dialogue box popped up:

“Hell Bell used IMPRISONMENT”

After that…my DS battery died. I was shaken, I’ll admit, but it just seemed like a twisted event brought about by some sort of secret within the game unlocked by a Pokémon…but now…

I can’t sleep, food seems to turn to ash in my mouth, no water can quench my thirst, and people and animals both act as if the shadow of death is passing by them when I’m near…I’m not my own anymore…I belong to that man…and Hell Bell.

I don’t know what became of that Pokémon, but if I received it, someone else is surely to do so…Use caution while using the trading system.

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