Deep in the waters of Kanto, it is rumored there is a beast that no one has seen and survived to tell the tale.
“Goodbye, mom.” A child’s voice cut through the silence. A young man dressed in a red hat with a Poké Ball logo on it, a red shirt, and jeans was standing in front of his home, his mother hugging him tightly. Several splotches of darkness were on the child’s shirt. They were, without a doubt, tears that his loving mother had shed out of sadness. His mother sniffed, her head on his shoulder, and toughened her grip on her child.
“Red… do you have to do this?” His mother asked silently, another tear escaping her. The child nodded solemnly, and broke away from his mother. The heartbroken woman watched as her child took one last look at his home in Pallet Town and left for Professor Oak’s laboratory. Red’s mother cursed the professor bitterly.
Red had been called upon by the Pokemon Professor Oak to complete a task that the old man could no longer finalize—to discover and catalog all 151 Pokémon in Kanto’s Pokédex. The senile professor might’ve been able to do this task, had he started on it sooner, but his arthritis and forgetfulness rendered this possibility unmanageable. Red, and Oak’s grandson, Blue, would partake in this task instead of the professor.
Red and Blue arrived at the lab at roughly the same time. Oak gave them both a speech on the world of Pokémon, told them to be very careful, and presented them with three plain Poké Balls. Red chose one which contained a Squirtle, and Blue took the one that held a Bulbasaur. After a short scuffle inside the lab, Blue swore to complete the Pokédex before Red, and that he would be the best Pokémon Trainer in the history of the world. Red stared at him distastefully until he left. After bidding Oak goodbye, Red followed suit.
Red performed a small task for Oak before he left. He brought a package to the professor, who had forgotten to give the two Trainers Pokédexes. Blue barged in, took his Pokédex, and promptly left. Oak rewarded Red five Poké Balls for being a good student, and went back to his studies. Red left the laboratory and started his journey.
Pewter City, Cerulean City, Lavender Town, Saffron City, Celadon City… all of the Trainers and Gym Leaders in the region bowed down to the unbeaten Red. Blue had grown to strongly dislike Red, as Red had always beaten him in every Pokémon battle they had together. Indeed, Red was a force to be reckoned with. The young Trainer’s Pokémon included had a Nidoking, a Blastoise, an Aerodactyl, a Haunter, and a Rhydon. Red was unsure of what Pokémon he would collect to round out his list. After numerous checks on his Pokédex, however, he decided that the one to complete his team would be Tentacool’s evolution, Tentacruel. Admittedly, he did already have two poison types and one water type, but Tentacruel’s immense strength would serve him well in the trials beyond.
Red continued along his path until he landed on Cinnabar Island. He challenged Blaine, and the Leader fell to Red’s might. After checking his Pokédex one more time to find out where Tentacruel hid, he was pleased to see that it was right along Cinnabar’s coast. He checked the Poké Mart for Poké Balls, as he had run out, and was irritated to see they had none. Using the first city that came to mind, he ordered his Aerodactyl to fly him to Viridian City.
Upon arriving at his destination, Red purchased a small wealth of Poké Balls and steeled himself for an encounter with Tentacruel. However, before he could leave, an old man started babbling to him, asking if Red was a Pokémon Trainer and questions of the like. Red answered yes hesitantly, and the old man, overjoyed, showed Red how to catch a Pokémon, even though the Trainer already knew how. Red thanked the old man, not wanting to be impolite, and promptly left for Cinnabar. Red concluded that the old man had dementia along the trip.
Aerodactyl landed in Cinnabar Island, and Red told his Blastoise to use Surf. Red didn’t stray too far out onto the ocean. He wanted this to be over quick, and didn’t want to be trapped out at sea. He had no Repels, and, after purchasing so many Poké Balls, didn’t have enough money to get any. He stayed along Cinnabar’s coastline, hugging the land tightly.
Red and his Blastoise surfed there for what seemed like an eternity. No Pokémon had come up to greet them, no bubbles had appeared on the surface, and Red had begun to doubt if the Pokédex’s information was correct about Tentacruel’s den. Just as he was about to order his Blastoise to return to shore, he saw some bubbles come up out of the corner of his eye. He grinned, knowing it was his Tentacruel. He grabbed onto the Poké Ball containing his Haunter and got ready for the encounter.
However, the grin soon disappeared. The water soon turned green in the immediate area, and a creature that wasn’t Tentacruel rose from the waters. Pockets of sunken flesh, wrinkled and pock-marked, lined the creature’s body. The hide was speckled with spatterings of blue and purple and black and white, and it was impossible to determine what color it was supposed to be. Orifices that looked like popped cysts and warts encapsulated the creature’s body alongside the pockets previously mentioned. Fluids of green and purple and red leaked from the pores in its body, contaminating the water around them. There was no discernible face. There were no discernible features. The creature finished rising and hunched itself into an ‘L’ shape and screamed at the Trainer in front of it. The voices were a mishmash of other cries Red had heard before. He gazed on in horror at what was in front of him.
The creature began to advance, slowly but surely. As it did, small eruptions took place on its skin and caused its unholy flesh to fly off onto the coast and the surrounding water. Water and other substances seemed to stay, congealed, on the creature’s body, the sunlight unwilling to touch it. Red, overtaken with fear, reached for his Pokédex to see what this abomination was. After flipping it open, the Pokédex did a thorough scan, the creature taking a few steps the whole time, and offered three syllables to Red:
Unable to take his eyes off of the monstrosity presented in front of him, Red tossed out his Haunter. Haunter was happy to be out of his ball, and was ready to destroy whatever was in front of him, until it laid its eyes upon the Missingno. Its expression changed immediately. It whimpered in fear and its tongue receded back into its mouth, shaking horribly. Red was also visibly effected, and, in a fit of fear, ordered his Haunter to use Night Shade on the monster in front of him. The Haunter didn’t let down its Trainer, even to the end, and prepared the move. Missingno., however, was too fast for the Haunter to react. It swatted down Haunter like a fly, not even leaving enough time for a grunt, and threw it into the frothy, brown waters below it. Red was unable to draw back his Haunter. It was lost in Kanto’s abyss.
Red screamed in terror as the Missingno. reached him. A foul odor entered Red’s nostrils, an odor that was so sweet it made Red nauseous. The creature pushed itself into Red’s face, and emitted a slow, silent cry. It sounded not unlike one emitted by a male Nidoran. An explosion burst forth and brought flesh into Red’s eyes and down his collar. Shaking violently, Red scrambled for the coastline, drawing back his Blastoise as he did. He reached it and shouted for help, saying there was a monster in the water.
A few scientists heard the previous scream and had rushed out of the building, a few Arcanine behind them. They saw Red, saw the flesh leaking fluid onto his face, and immediately asked what happened. Red told them to look behind them, and they did, but they saw nothing. The waters were an undisturbed blue, there was no creature there, and the flesh present on Red’s face wasn’t floating in the water. Red, terrified, described every detail to the scientists, who listened and nodded gravely. They promised to the child they would find and purge this 'Missingno.' from Cinnabar’s waters.
They both drew Gyarados and leapt into the depths of the island, leaving behind a trail of bubbles as they did. Red waited for what seemed like an eternity, tears leaving his eyes silently, for the scientists to return. They never did.
Red told his Aerodactyl to Fly back to Pallet Town, and the Pokémon blissfully followed its orders, having been spared the visage of the scene Red and Haunter were confronted with. Blastoise also seemed unaffected. His head was below the surface, looking down into the water at the Krabby’s moving around on the floor. It noticed no monster.
Red and his group arrived in Pallet Town, and he rushed into his home, crying and sobbing loudly. His mother, overjoyed that her son was home and at the same time frightened of what caused him to act like this, consoled the child for a few minutes, allowing him to cry and whimper on his mother’s sleeve. After this event passed, his mother asked what happened. Red asked his mom to repeat herself, and she did.
“What happened, Red?” She asked seriously. Red began to describe what happened, but as he got to the detail about the water bubbling and the Missingno. rising from the ocean, he locked up. His eyes went back into his head and he made gibberish noises, saliva falling from his mouth.
After in-numerous visits to the doctor’s office, they determined Red had PTSD—Post Traumatic Stress Disorder—from something. If they attempted to question Red on what the ‘something’ was, the child would lock up in a seizure-like state. Many psychologists were called in to see what the problem was, and all of them left empty-handed. Nobody was able to determine the cause of Red’s PTSD.
Deep in the waters of Kanto, it is rumored there is a beast that no one has seen and survived to tell the tale. No one but a young boy named Red.