Hoenn means so much to me, I’m overwhelmed with nostalgia right now. Although Kanto defined my early childhood, the Hoenn games came out at a time when I was just starting to grow up but was still living an incredibly sheltered and carefree life, and for that reason I’ll always have warm, idealized notions associated with those games.
Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire came out right before I moved to another city, and I played my copy of Sapphire between packing and while riding in the moving van, watching battles and contests by my GBASP’s backlight on dark nights in the front passenger seat while the country rolled by below me. The colorful world of Hoenn was amazing to me after growing up on black-and-white Pokemon; I had never seen a handheld game with so much color before. I could see my character’s reflection in the water or leave footprints on the beach, and the Pokemon universe had never seemed so alive—a beautiful thing to a kid whose only greatest wish for many years was for Pokemon to be real. I went in knowing nothing of the new Pokemon and was thrilled to discover every one that appeared. The soundtrack was full of upbeat adventure, and no matter how many times I started the game, I never skipped past the intro because I loved watching the droplets rolling along the leaves and feeling the rush when the Latias flies into the distance. To this day RSE has my favorite music in the series; hearing it instantly makes me excited and happy.
The city I moved to turned out to be a place where I had a very peaceful, carefree life. We lived some distance outside the city, surrounded by nature and wildlife, and I spent a lot of time outdoors; it was easy for me to imagine that the rocks and grasses hid wild Pokemon instead of their realworld counterparts. I looked forward to playing Pokemon TCG at the local league every weekend and read books and comics; it made me sad when Pokemon Special ended (at least to my knowledge at the time, since bookstores stopped stocking volumes after the Yellow arc). Having been a loner all my life, that city was the first place where I ever made friends, and it was the first time I realized how nice it could be to spend time with other people. I joined Neopets and started talking to people at my guild, spending hours fantasizing stories about my pets and beginning to publish creative content online. It was a time of wonder and discovery, and although things weren’t perfect, in hindsight I think I’ll always idealize that period of my life. It is inextricably associated with the Hoenn games, which I continued to play throughout.
After a few years living there we moved again, this time to another country, and I spent the next several years dealing with culture shock on multiple levels, struggling with the combined factors of learning a new language, growing up, my ever-present asocial tendencies, and realizing just how sheltered from the world I had been. Getting used to it all was gradual and painful and I didn’t always deal with it well; it was in fact what spurred me to throw myself into fandoms for videogames I’d loved as a kid, as an escape from a world I didn’t understand and a reminder of the childhood I longed to return to. The fact that it came on the heels of such an idyllic time causes me to romanticize the latter even more, and the Hoenn games with it. I associate Hoenn with a homeland the way it was as I remember it, a precious time I can’t go back to.
I often ask myself why I don’t draw more Pokemon fanart. It was practically all I thought about between the ages of five and eleven; I really genuinely wanted to be a Pokemon trainer when I grew up, and was crushed with the knowledge that I couldn’t. Maybe it’s because I never quite fully believed that I couldn’t, until I began to grow up.
I don’t play Pokemon much anymore, to be honest. Even as I’m getting excited about the R/S remakes, I’m thinking to myself, “You didn’t even finish Pokemon X!” Still, I’m happy about the remakes, if only for the memories the announcement brought back to me.
Aww... So much nostalgia... I remember when I first got my Pokémon Emerald version and boy, did I have a blast playing through it! And I kinda relate; even though the last Pokémon game I completed was Platinum, I'm still hyped for the release of ORAS anyway!
That's fine, thanks for linking back and sorry for taking a couple days to reply. It seems you already posted it though... perhaps in the future when you ask permission to do something, it would make more sense to wait for a response before doing it.
Love the vibrant colors! You even included the footsteps of that Trainer! Brings back so many memories.. Sapphire was the first Pokémon game I've played, I had to share the game with my sister back then.
This picture is full of so many fond memories, it's hard to know where to start. The beautiful mixture of scenery makes the Hoenn region feel alive in so many ways, as if nature has put absolutely everything into presenting just what it's really capable of for the budding adventurers. The textures throughout are magnificent, and the shading on the grass, trees and clouds is fantastic, giving it a vibrancy and depth you'd generally find in a photograph. It is like seeing a memory captured in front of you - a reminder of simpler, better times, when the world seemed so open, so friendly, and there was a lot to explore in it. It's a symbol of the days when everything in the world seemed so magical, before the worries of the world bore down upon us. There's no rule that says we can't recapture that magic... all we have to do is see a different way, to stop and look around us a little closer.
I was a huge Pokemon fan from pretty much the time the craze started, although it took a while before my parents figured that out and started buying me the merchandise haha. I was really deeply into Kanto, but kind of skipped Johto because I was a stubborn little purist who was upset that they were changing the universe I knew by bringing new things into it. (I did eventually play G/S/C, but I missed the window of time when everyone was excited about it, so my memories of it are less ardent... ironically enough, that's the only generation where I ended up owning all three versions.) Hoenn brought back the wonder I had originally felt with Kanto and the color made everything feel so much more alive and real. <3
This is a really gorgeous piece... I'll always be amazed by your vivid and densely-rendered backgrounds. And it took me until just now to notice the Latias in the background, derp.
Your story was also very touching... I've been reading a lot about the development of the Pokémon series, and I feel that's the kind of feeling Satoshi Tajiri intended to evoke in players. I can see how people would associate video games with staying inside, but it seems like everybody I talk to was inspired to get out and explore nature thanks to Pokémon.
Thank you! I'm glad you like the backgrounds. And haha, that's funny because I actually added the Latias at the last minute... it wasn't there originally, but then I realized I had set everything up to direct the focus to a completely empty space in the middle of the picture, so I threw in the Latias and it worked perfectly (and made it more nostalgic for me since it called to mind the Sapphire title screen).
I'm glad I shared it, then. That was the impression I had as well... If I recall correctly, he wanted to recapture his childhood of exploring the landscape and capturing bugs and make that experience available to the generation growing up in cities. Zelda had similar inspiration from childhood exploration and I think that's what drew me to both series. Both series really do a good job recreating that childhood wonder and discovery, I think.
Yeah, virtual worlds have gotten flack for being lesser than the real thing, but I see them as a medium for creators to share their experience or visions just like any other form of art. I'm glad videogames are starting to be taken more seriously as media, at least.
Thank you very much, glad you like the bright colors! It seemed fitting since RSE's world looked so vivid and colorful to me after the earlier GameBoy games. And yes, RSE has my favorite music in the series, I'm looking forward to seeing how they redo it!
Thank you very much, I'm glad it feels bright and vibrant since that's how the Hoenn environment felt to me after coming at it from the black-and-white Pokemon games. Nostalgia is a large part of why I love videogames so much, haha, they always bring back fond memories of childhood. Thank you for reading and commenting!
So true. And no problem! I love Pokemon. It has a lot of good memories for me as well, even if I don't play any of the new gens anymore. Getting up early on Saturdays to watch the cartoon was THE BEST.
So of course I love to see awesome works like this that make me smile fondly for Pokemon.
Thank you very much, I'm glad you like it! And yes so much nostalgiaaaa haha to be honest I'm just happy people are talking about Hoenn again, I almost don't care how they update it. But of course I'm excited to see the world in 3D too!
Of course, I always love your work! ^^ Gah, I'm so excited! *squee* Y'know at first I was wondering what exactly they'd update/remake, but then I read(I forget where) that apparently AS and OR will be "enhanced remakes with a dramatic story" or something along those lines. To be honest, right now I'm just curious as to how the music will sound, cause in my opinion Gen 3 had the best music. And then of course all the artwork from ages ago will get revamped, so that's pretty neat too! Although, I do have to wonder. They said it'd be out in November, right? The question is are we talking about actual November, or Pokémon Bank(delayed forever) November?
Thank you very much, I'm glad you like it! I love the first Pokemon games a lot, too; Kanto is very close to being my favorite region, but the color and life and other associations I have with Hoenn give it a bit of an edge to me. Gen I is extremely nostalgic as well though, and the purist in me enjoys the fact that it's "the original".
Hoeen really gives me nostalgia because when I was very young my late grandmother would babysit me and we would split time between watching Pokemon where May was my favorite character and my grandma's turn to watch Ellen. Even though I didn't start on Pokemon games till I got Pokemon Platinum at my 10th birthday I still always think of my grandma and Pokemon together because of watching the hoeen series and having her actually ask me about the show and characters and so it just makes me feel still close to her even though she passed in 2012.
That's a really nice story, thank you for sharing! It's a lot of fun when older family members will share the things you like with you, and I'm glad your grandmother was willing to watch Pokemon with you and ask questions about it. It's great that the Hoenn series helps you remember her; I'm glad you both were able to have that time together and share that experience.
(May is one of my favorite Pokemon protagonists as well, after Red!)
I really like the Hoenn region pokemon games to and for me it was my first standard pokemon game that I ever owned so everything was new and wonderful to me. Looking at the picture you did really gave me nostalgia and made me happy .
Thank you very much! Hearing that I've made someone happy is the best compliment I can get, and I'm glad to share the nostalgia love as well. It's cool that Hoenn was your first; I think that feeling of everything being new and wonderful is the best thing about exploring a game for the first time.
I'm the same way, I like knowing things I made make people happy . I totally agree with how that feeling you get when first time explore a games a wonderful feeling. I have to say there are a few games I wish I could play through again like they were new.
They're my favorites too, though I really love Gen I as well (the original black-and-white versions, not FR/LG, for the nostalgia). I usually skip the special third version in each gen though, so I missed out on Emerald. It was the only gen where I actually got both of the original two versions though. Good times.