I am not afraid to admit that I've faced servere depression. It's always been bothering me, and causing me so much stress. I counter it with music or some cartoons and anime, but mostly video games. More specifically, Pokemon.
I don't why. Maybe it's because I always had a love for Pokemon'. Not just the main series, but also the spin-offs, more specifically, Mystery Dungeon,''''' Blue Rescue Team, Explorers of Time, and Explorers of Sky were so enjoyable, I say this because there is a large variety of characters, developed ones. I always enjoyed seeing how the characters interract with others and my team, which is why I tend to replay Explorers of Sky due to the great characters, and it is the only actual spin-off I have as of now. This is the Pokemon game I usually play whenever I'm feeling down. Even when the game itself becomes weird and odd...
One day, I was feeling extremely sad, what with school and over-controlling parents, so I decided to replay Explorers of Sky, for pretty much the fifteenth time. I took the quiz and got a Vulpix, and for a partner I chose Munchlax, who I named Warren after a middle school frenemy of mine. I played through the game, beating it in four days, completing all Special Episodes, and eventually post-story mode in a week or so. I took the Special Rank missions and eventually accomplished all. After that, I went on recruiting-hunts. And that's where I pretty much ended. I started returning to White 2, taking the White Tree Hollow Challenge and playing Animal Crossing: Wild World. And for quite some time, I've been feeling much better, not facing a lot of stress, so I also don't play my video games often.
But a few months later, I was watching some "Let's Plays", and came across some Mystery Dungeon ones. After going through a whole Let's Play of Explorers of Sky, more specifically one made by superskarmmory, I decided to play mine. The game started, and I skipped the intro. I felt some memories when I heard the title screen music. I chose "Continue". When the game loaded, I was at Sharpedo Bluff, Warren standing beside me. I was apparently level 56 and Warren was level 55. I talked to him, and he said what he usually does, us making another fantastic day. I checked to see if I took any jobs, and it turns out I didn't. I decided to take some jobs from the Guild, in hopes that I'd get the Guildmaster Rank, which may take a while since I have the Ultra Rank. I went to the town, first checking to see there was any new items, my storage, see if I have any eggs and a lot of money. But when I did, the characters said something odd.
First was Kangaskhan. When I talked to her, she said:
"Why, it's been a long time! I was wondering where you have run off to! It's glad to see you finally return."
Then she finally asked me the typical "How can I check your storage yada, yada" question. I was confused, because this never happened before. Even when I took a long break from Explorers of Time. I shook it off, thinking it was secret scene. After checking my storage, I went to the shop. Both brothers said to me:
"Ah! There you are! I was wondering what happened to you! You seem happy! Great!"
Then the green Keckleon asked me if I wanted to sell or buy. I talked to the purple Keckleon, and he asked the same thing. Like before, I shook it off. I checked my money and if I had any eggs. Both Chansey and Duskull said they missed me and are relieved to see that I'm feeling better and joyful. I was beginning to feel uneasy. I went to the Guild and talked to everyone after seeing the jobs, which were either too easy or required to go to one of the Zero Isle dungeons. Everyone was acting normal, even Croagunk who sadly didn't have any good items to swap. I then went to Spinda's Cafe. Two of my recruits were there, Ben the Absol and Amanda the Azumarill, both named after middle-school friends. And as soon as I entered, I was called to the center.
My full team went to the center of the room, and there Team Charm was standing there. Lopunny walked up to me.
"I was wondering when you would return, Alex. I have a mission for you. Here."
With that, I received a paper, and read it. Apparently, to sum it up, there is this newly discovered dungeon called Melancholy Tower, this somewhat dilapidated tower with a rare treasure at the end. I was wondering about this dungeon, because I don't recall hearing about. I even looked it up on Bulbapedia, but then remembered that it does tend to have missing information. Summing it up, I thought I had unlocked a new dungeon that takes special requirements. I decided to take it, despite Warren thinking it was bad. I stocked up on supplies and went off.
My whole team was standing outside the tower's entrance. It almost looked like Temporal Tower, but the patterns were replaced with what looked like raindrops. The raindrops were a pallid blue while the rest of the tower was this obscure red color. It was like a mix of red shades and orange shades. My partners looked at me, nodding. We finally entered. The floors also had a similiar design to Temporal Tower, just different colors. At first, there was no music, despite my volume being turned up all the way. Shrugging, I thought it was a glitch. I checked to see if I could recruit anyone, but the box said None, so I obviously can recruit after this mission. I walked around the floor, seeing no enemies. I talked to my teammates.
Warren: "We need to be careful. This place is disturbing."
Ben: "I don't like this place... Let's hurry."
Amanda: "Can we speed up? I'm getting the creeps."
Never had my teammates said anything like that! I was extremely shocked. And scared. Gulping, I decided to continue due to my curiousity. I really wanted to learn about this dungeon. As soon as I reached the second floor, music finally played. It was the song that played in Azurill's nightmare. And unlike the previous floor, there were enemy Pokemon. But the strange, and creepy thing about them, was that, everytime, before they fainted, they would say: "Don't leave us."
I was becoming frightened. I didn't know why they would say that. I wanted to turn off my DS, but at the same time, I didn't. So I decided to continue and if things get really strange, I would stop. I then managed to beat a few more enemies before finding the stairs and continuing. When I reached the fourth floor, I began to notice something. The roster enemy Pokemon.
From what I recall... The Pokemon were:
The Pokemon were the characters of the game I became most fond of. All of them seemed to be a decent level, maybe below fifty and over thirty-nine. I felt that uneasiness return as I reached the first checkpoint after finding the stairs, meaning the first part was only four floors. I talked to my partners, and they said the same thing. After saving, I continued. The music was the same, so were the enemies, the floor design, and four floors. Before moving to the checkpoint, I started to notice that the only items were Joy Ribbons, Joy Seeds, and Reviver Seeds. And that pretty much repeated. Same number of floors, enemies, items, music, everything. I reached a fourth checkpoint, and talked to my partners, not surprised to see no change in what they need to say. So, I went on. But instead of The Nightmare playing, the music Living Spirit was in its place (the names are called those, according to the Sky Jukebox). I talked to my partners once more.
Warren: "Are you sure you're happy?"
Ben: "You don't look okay."
Amanda: "I hope you really are fine."
I was confused at this. I wondered why they would tell me this. And why such an emotional song would play in a dungeon. The floors were now dark and had foggy weather. The enemies were the same, but what they would say was different. Instead, they would say: "Stay. We care."
I felt the same uneasy feeling, and some fear. I went through the floors, after the fourth one, I was at Melancholy Tower Top. When I reached there, no music played. Just a wind sound effect. My team looked around. The top floor looked normal. There was clouds around, rocks literring the floor, some holes, faded colors. My team went forward, and saw a Skitty in front of a scarp of paper. It then began to rain, with the Hidden Highland theme playing. The Skitty walked up to me.
"Read this paper, please."
Is what the Normal-type said. Gulping, I decided to play along. I read the paper. And that's when I became one hundred percent scared. Reading the paper, it was similiar to a suicide note I wrote, but soon threw away. I remember my depression led up to to that point, but I decided not to after talking to my friends and family. But reading that note, it was too similiar to the suicide note I wrote. At least, I think from what I remembered. After I finished reading it, my team walked up to me, shaking. Then, they talked to me. And their icons. They were crying. They all said "Why?!"
My character backed away, and the Skitty approached me.
"You're a complete mess." It said. The screen flashed white for a quick second. When it came back, it showed the top floor again. But it was littered with rope and those silver needles that you can use as a throwing item. My team was on the ground, shaking. I went up to them, talking to them. But they just said "No!" with the same icons of their crying faces. The Skitty went up to me.
"This is what you wanted, right?"
A choice between "Yes" or "No" came up. I chose "No."
"Really? Look around you. There's items that you can use. The ropes and those very sharp thorns. Just use one of them. Go."
Another choice of "Yes" or "No", and I chose the latter.
The Skitty seemed to ignore it. I continued to talk to my partners, but they acted as if I wasn't there. They just said...These strange, and somewhat sad... things!
"She could have told us!"
"I should have noticed!"
I felt like crying, and I wasn't sure why. I talked to the Skitty.
"Wanna jump?" Is what she asked.
I had two choices, "End" or "No end". I picked "No end".
"Wanna jump?" She asked me, again. I kept picking "No end" but she kept on persisting, so I picked end.
The Skitty nodded. She pushed me forward, to the end of the roof.
My character turned around, seeing my team, the Guild, Team Charm, Team Meanies, the Marill brothers, and the Future Pokemon (more specifically, Grovyle, Dusknoir, and Celebi).
All of them started to beg for me not to jump, not to leave them. Lightning flashed, and the Skitty was in front of me. She then spoke, but her icon...
She was grinning, and crying.
"You're finally free of your suffering. We're free of our suffering."
She then pushed me off, and followed, the other characters crying out my name. Lightning flashed once more, and the screen faded to black. It faded back to the game after a few seconds. Everyone who was at the tower was at the beach. At the spot where Warren found, and met, me. In that spot, was one of those scarfs (or as the game calls them, bands). All of them were crying. They were saying "sorry", "please come back", "we care for you", and, the one that caught my attention, "we accept you for who you are."
In the background, the ending theme for the Second Special Episode was playing, as it began to rain. I was crying. I was acutally crying. Warren then placed something by the scarf. A note. He then plucked it from the ground, and started to read it to everyone. The suicide note. When he finished, he said to everyone:
"Let's not forget this moment."
Ben walked up. "We lost someone important."
Amanda was next. "We must always speak to another, listen, and accept each other."
Then all of them spoke. "If not, we will another person close to us. Like Alex."
I was sobbing. I didn't know why. Maybe it was because this... This scene was a funeral. My funeral. It began to thunder. The screen faded to black. Text appeared.
"This will be your fate. Unless you want this happen... You must end your sorrow. If not, you'll die. And everyone will be sad. But... That is what you want. Right?!"
The screen flashed white, faded to black, and faded back to the game.
And there I was. At the tower. The top. With my team and that Skitty. She walked up to me.
"Do you really want that? If so, I can help."
I was given the typical choices, and nearly choking on my tears, I chose no. The Skitty then nodded. She then spoke, her icon showing her grinning, crying, some red scars on her face.
"Good. If you do, then you should have died a long time ago. You fool."
She then disappeared. I shuddered a few times, taking a few breathes, trying to stay calm, but utterly failed. I closed my eyes for a while, then finally opened them. My team was standing in front of me. Warren finally spoke.
"Don't ever leave."
Amanda's turn. "Please. We love you."
Ben. "Promise us. If you're sad, tell. Don't leave. Please."
Two choices. "Promise" or "Break". I chose promise.
My parnters were now glad.
Warren: "Yay! Please never leave! Don't kill yourself!"
Amanda: "We don't want you die! We love you! And always will!"
Ben: "So don't leave! We care for you and accept you!"
I broke into tears again as I saw my team depart the tower. They visited the Guild. Everyone ran up to me, saying they loved me, accepted me, cared for me, didn't want me to leave. Everyone in treasure town did the same. My partner and I finally went to sleep, and I was given the option to save or not. I saved. The game.... It just... Returned to normal. I was still crying.
All of this... Why? Was someone trying to tell me that I should never feel depressed? Or commit suicide like I always thought of?
Well... It worked. Sorta.
After that, my depression seemed to fade. But, everytime I felt extremely depressed, and went to sleep, I would always have this dream. A dream of a funeral. My funeral. But this time, it wasn't with the Pokemon. It was... Of my actual family. My actual friends. Everyone close to me. They were all there, crying, wondering why. Why... I would do that. And they all said the same thing as the characters in the game said. And when they went home, they would sob, cry, and wail for me. I would wake up after that, shivering and crying.
Was the world trying to punish me because I was feeling extremely depressed? Because I had thoughts of killing myself? Why?! Is it bad that I went through pain and I wanted to end it? What was the world trying to tell me?!
I felt so confused. I wanted to cry. I just wanted to know what the world was trying to tell me, and why.
Yet... Despite all of this...
I still... I would still play Explorers of Sky, not bothered by what it showed me. Melancholy Tower was gone from the dungeon list, and no one in the game ever spoke of that moment.
And then... as weeks passed, I realized, that the tower. It was like... What my life would have been if I actually did committed suicide. That Skitty. Was me. Not just me, but also what I was when I played Blue Rescue Team.
However, having those dreams and remembering those moments... I wanted to. I actually wanted to end my life. It was haunting and painful to see those scenes almost every day and night. And at the same time, I didn't want to end my life.
But... The worst thing... Is that I... I remember that Melancholy Tower had four checkpoints afer going through four floors. And four in Japanese is pronounced "shi" and "shi" means "death" in the aformentioned language. It was almost as if the game was taunting me, actually wanting me to commit suicide, asuming that my death would make me feel joyful.