Pokémon: Gaming Legends: The Truth of Lavender Town Syndrome

En 1996 appeared early versions of Pokémon, a simple RPG that took full advantage of the virtues of the old game in those years. And they were games very different from the Pokémon we know today: without variants by region … without other regions, without shiny pokmon, without gender, with simpler stats and a story much simpler than today.

Years later, when that little dream of a young insect collector named Satoshi Tajiri was already a global phenomenon and the coaches could exchange anecdotes of how they got started in the game, when the Fourth Generation was already well installed on the Nintendo DS, began to emerge the rumor of a news that few remembered.

One specific part of the game had been particularly troublesome, causing the children to adverse physical and mental effects that some recalled had driven some young players to suicide. Since then he has looked at Lavender Town as a dangerous place in First Generation games.

But there is some truth In all this?

Lavender Town Syndrome

According to the “original” story, Japan saw an unprecedented increase in suicides among children aged 7 to 12 shortly after the game’s release. Specifically, when they reached the point in the game where they must enter Lavender Town.

The town that hosts la Torre Pokmon (a graveyard created for these creatures) was set with a particularly shady music. According to reports, this included high-frequency sounds that only children and tweens could hear, since his ears are more sensitive.

If you answered no to this question, the child claimed that there was a white hand resting on your shoulder. This is real.The Pokmon Company.

These frequencies caused at least 200 children committed suicide. Those who did not go to that extreme reported suffering from intense headaches. Years later, thanks to the audio review software, they were able to find in the spectrogram of the Lavender Town song that strange figures appeared in it: they were Unowns (the Letter Pokémon), who wrote a message on the screen: “LEAVE NOW”.

The song with this effect was found only in the beta tests of the game that were given to several children to take the game tests. Those children were the main victims of what some have denounced as an experiment in collaboration with the Japanese government.


What many seem to forget that that golden age of socialization on the Internet (which we could locate as of 2008) was a confusing and exciting time: memes began to emerge with the Rage Guys, social networks were young, YouTube was a popular phenomenon but not with the magnitude of today … and all the Internet pages were saturated with Creepypastas.

Although the term is not currently unknown, many They seem to have forgotten that the essence of the Creepypasta is to be a false story. Derived from “copy / paste”, the word refers to taking a real anecdote and twisting it a bit to create a terrifying tale, but with certain truthful data that would make it more credible.

Actually, for connoisseurs, this image is sadder than terrifying.The Pokmon Company.

Thus arose stories such as Suicide Mouse, Squidward Suicide, Rugrats’ Lost Episode, the true story of Ed, Edd and Eddy and many more … among which was the history of Lavender Town. But the element that put the golden nail in these stories was to make them anonymously. With no person behind the text, it became more enigmatic.

And they did their job. More than 10 years after this and many other creepypastas emerged, it is impossible to track who started it., and what was the original story. We only know that it appeared for the first time in a forum of 4chan (probably Forum “X”) and that it has aged quite well, because to date many people still believe that it is true.

Dismantling myths

Since for some people it is not enough to tell them that it was a creepypasta and therefore of the invention of some cool 4chan userLet’s analyze the inconsistencies in this story, as well as the elements that give it credibility.

Given the social pressure that the Japanese live every day regarding values ​​such as academic and work demands, sexual repression and family honor, the depression rates are very high and, Unfortunately, this also involves children, so childhood suicide is indeed a health issue that must be addressed… but it is also an issue in Latin American countries.

You can understand why the 8-bit version is scarier, right?The Pokmon Company.

That is to say, There is a problem behind that does not require any “evil video game tune” to unleash. Furthermore, there are no WHO records that speak of an “increase” in suicide cases in Japan in the mid-1990s. And more so: The beta of Pokémon can be obtained in many sites of Internet… and the song is the same as in the “final” version.

Ms an, the fact that an image appears in a spectrogram of a piece of music does NOT translate into ANYTHING to sound. If it were that easy to control one person’s people, they don’t think everyone would be uploading all kinds of manipulated songs. to control the minds of their neighbors so that maybe they would give away money or something?

Not to mention, of course, that is not how the spectrograms work. The original song and the context of Pueblo Lavanda is quite sad … but even it is exaggerated just because of how we perceive it in the West. In the East they have another idea of ​​Death, not for nothing did the programmers think that a graveyard was essential for Pokémon and that there was a type “Ghost” from them.

Other Lavender Town creepypastas have popped up, like Buried Alive, but they’re much less credible.Annimo.

Is there something true?

It’s funny that the creepypasta focused on something like the song from one of the original games instead of an event that did cause headaches, vomiting, and seizures: The Electric Porygon Soldier Incident, an episode that, due to the superposition of colors in the image, caused children with a history of epilepsy to suffer attacks in Japan.

That chapter never made it out of that country for obvious reasons. And it was news that caused a lot of trouble for the people of Pokémon. Don’t you think something like that would have happened to Lavender Town too? It actually sounds more like an insult to the excellent musical work done by Junichi Masuda for these generations.

Probably what caused this the most was … youth. There are few young players who played the first generation and they started from Third or Fourth. That’s why the FireRed and LeafGreen remakes exist, and the ones that came after. For many still watching an 8-bit game and listening to that music is disturbing, just because he’s old. Nothing else.

It’s definitely more impressive than scary in this version.The Pokmon Company.

So the myth is false, the creepypasta very good and … well, but, why was that same song “softened” when Lavender Town appeared in the second generation versions?

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