Hello again my mortals! I wonder what potions I could make out of you! It’s Halloween Month on Paradise! So I am offering a lot of Halloween content! That means taking a break from most of my regular posts to find some spooky content! This can be a bit tricky for Pokémon! But recently I heard rumors of a very special Pokémon game that is amazing for Halloween. Today I am talking about a Rom Hack called Pokémon Cursed.
Halloween in Saffron City
This is a Halloween themed game… although I must say “game” might be a big word. This game is a Rom Hack of Pokémon Red but it offers only about 15 minutes of gameplay. It has a good and a bad ending… maybe even two bad endings.. depending on how you interpret things. It is up to you the kid of Sabrina to survive a very creepy Halloween. You only have your trusty Marrowak to help you and a cute Halloween costume to go trick or treating with. The game features some mini events and a nice little story that is a perfectly great Halloween adventure paying some homage to a classic little ghost story.That even involves you Trick or Treating across Saffron. Some spooky tree decals complete the atmosphere.
You and your mother Sabrina are holding your classical Halloween Tradition of battling. However this is the year you finally win….at least if you know how to play Pokémon. Winning with a Marowak is no easy feat! In fact it is VERY easy for you to make the game rather impossible to win.
As expected you will be dealing with a lot of ghosts in Saffron City! However these ghosts are all Gen 1 Pokémon. That means Gastley, Haunters and Gengar. Three Pokémon that have the Ability Levitate, which makes them immune to ground type moves.. and they are ghost and poison types. Meaning they are also immune to fighting and normal type moves!
Now wouldn’t you know, Marowak at that level this game is played at (24-32) ONLY knows normal and ground type offensive moves! So you are up a creek without a paddle straight from the get go! Luckily there is one move that can change the tides! Marowak has the move Foresight.. a move that can “identify” ghost types! While it is never specified by game text that means now a ghost can be hit by normal type moves. IF you go trick or treating first and try to replace this normally worthless move you lose the game then and there! There is no option to back out and you have to start from scratch… unfortunately that “oversight” shows a design mentality that completely sours this game for me.
Horror or Horrible
This game requires a basic knowledge of pokémon strategies, if you do not know how to play Pokémon this game is fairly impossible for you. It isn’t clear about having multiple endings and kind of feels like a .exe game .. which always ends badly! So even if you manage to “finish” the game you might think there is just a bad ending. This game makes it feel that it just has a bad ending. The bad ending isn’t that cleverly written and doesn’t feel all that creepy! It tries to play into the “ghost of lavender town” hype but by choosing Saffron City as a setting .. there is a disconnect with that myth! There is an explanation.. towards the end of the good ending that actually makes this an interesting bit of lore but unfortunately the way to reach that ending is…. almost near impossible without a walkthrough! So while I will not tell you where to find all things I will tell you what you need to find.
The goal in this game is to find 5 ghost shards.. but you do not know that. It is never said you need them! It isn’t even really implied. You get Castlevania 2 like descriptions like “I saw them falling from the sky, use this to find them! This problem becomes increasingly worse when you realise that the item you should use to find the items doesn’t work. You get an item finder but since the Ghost Shards do not seem to count as official items, for some reason the Itemfinder does not detect them. Which means the brunt of the gameplay is pressing the A button on every tile. Until you find them! Unfortunately they are also not at logical spaces like behind a crate. They literally can be anywhere! So that already makes the game basically unplayably annoying. But silly as I am … I actually hunted for the items and found half of them… a YouTube walkthrough helped me find the additional two! But I stopped there! I wanted to find the rest myself.. I proudly marched into the executive office ..hoping the shards would help ..but no….So without any hints you have to figure out how to proceed. So I went to talk to every single NPC I could find again.. but not a single hint….*sigh* I guess I will interact with all random items.
A computer earlier gave me a mystery message, so I figured that was where I would start. It did not work.. but another random computer worked! Yay I guess?!t told me the elevator had unlocked and it did not.. instead on a normal wall somewhere in the building a secret elevator had spawned……… a random elevator spawned after interacting with a random item. That elevator takes you to the final battle.. I got wiped in that battle. Your evil father shows up and he has a Porygon that is setting up powerful attacks.. Eventually he one shots you with Tri-Attack.. if he doesn’t his second Pokémon has priority moves which will without a doubt finish you off. You are going to catch a Ghost Pokémon to nullify his Porygon.. but there are no Pokéballs in this game… unless….. you interact with a specific cabinet in the game. Dear Rom Hacker..placing items in random spots is not a puzzle! But I must admit playing through this is rather horrifying. I was scared I would not be able to finish a simple pokémon game. There is no Pokémon game I can not finish! So I endured.
Deader than a Ghost
Is that everything that sucks about this game? Unfortunately no! To catch the ghost Pokémon there are a few trainers that are actual ghosts you can fight. Because they look like people IF you play Pokémon they look like trainers.. so it seems like you can’t catch them. Actually you can… but if you are anything like me by the time you can do this you have already defeated all the ghosts you can battle… luckily there is a way to battle new ghosts…. you talk to random people multiple times in a row making them repeat their dialogue six or seven times. Because that of course is the instinctual way to catch Pokémon. All in all this game is really an unplayable mess of non logic that is barely even a game! There are two interesting battles in the game, against both parents and I really liked the battle puzzle idea they went for.
Unfortunately that puzzle needs to be solved once and after it is just a rinse and repeat.
The game tries it’s best to help you get some boundaries to the world but unfortunately that is oftenly glitched. I spent over 30 minutes searching a room after I discovered I could clip into it.. I felt it was a secret entrance and I needed it.. .it was a glitch however and time was wasted. My player sprite had some issues at times, Focus Energy the move does not seem to work properly and the fact that you can deadlock yourself at multiple moments forcing a complete restart makes this 15 minute game still a slog to get trough! If you need to find the items you are searching WAAAAAY longer.
I expected a lot of this game as I saw it in a top 10 scary Pokémon games. Clearly that list only based it on scariness and not on quality as this rom hack has NO quality! The good thing I will say about it is that it is cool to be Sabrina’s daughter celebrating Halloween with her. The audacity to make Blaine the dad however.. two characters who weren’t even close in age or demeanour ruin the idea of having an evil dad. The spooky tree texture in the background of the city is the best idea this game has. Mamma Sabrina is great as well .. I really like it! But yeah that’s it… as much as I want to like a Halloween game more this isn’t it!
If you want a spooky Pokémon game you are most likely better off playing Pokémon Snakewood , I gave that my lowest rating before but at least it offers some content! The first five hour of that game is fun and it has Kamina as a trainer. The quest for a good Pokémon Horror game goes on. Where I compared Snakewood to watching Family guy but as a pokémon experience I guess this one is like watching Troll 2 with the funny scenes taken out. I am really sorry for the Pokémon games I still love you… I just really dislike this game!
But I am keeping Sabrina’s daughter canon!
Looking for Pokémon Halloween content turned out to be a bust.. so I guess I have to make some myself…..wait.. make some myself…..that gives me an idea!!! Mwuhahahahaha. Mwuhahahahahahaha! Mwuhahahahaha! Oh.. right! If you feel wish to pass on some money to be in case the ghosts get to you before you get to enjoy it, feel free to help me out via Ko-fi! I suspect a big fictional electricity bill is soming…as well as some real stuff of course! Check out my Ko-Fi page to see what ever project it is that I am working on. Projects! Mwuahahahaha.