Making a Living Dex: Part 1 - A Lifelong Dream

The first part of my series on creating a Living Dex. Here we'll look at some of my Pokémon history and set ourselves up for the whole journey to catch 'em all.

Making a Living Dex: Part 1 - A Lifelong Dream

Welcome to an ongoing series where I create a Living Dex. Which isn't just completing the Pokédex but having one of every single species in your PC at once. In this post you'll find a smidge of my Pokémon history before we dive deep in Part 2.

Let's first whet our appetites with the first 25 years of Pokémon:

The Early Years

One of my earliest memories is playing Red/Blue after school on a friend's Game Boy Color. I quickly learnt the Missingno. glitch (aka the Old Man Glitch) for 99 Rare Candies as this made Game-Boy-less me popular and gave me an opportunity to get my next Pokémon hit as I performed the glitch for anyone I could.


Some time later at a friend's house I was shown an imported Japanese version of Gold or Silver. Unable to read Japanese I kept using Confuse Ray because it looked cool. Sure it wasn't doing much but it looked cool.

Zubat using Confuse Ray in Pokémon Silver.

While I had watched the anime religiously on TV after school, and helped out with the glitch, my first proper solo foray into Pokémon was when a friend lent me his Pikachu Game Boy Color with either Red or Blue.

Pikachu Game Boy Color. Bulbapedia

I remember playing as hard as I could before I had to return it at the end of the weekend - perhaps inspiring my parents. As by the time Gold/Silver reached New Zealand, I had a Game Boy Color Clear Ice and both Gold and Silver. Silver was by far my favourite due to Lugia and Aeroblast so while I kept that save, I would use Gold to replay over and over.

My Game Boy Color with Gold and Silver.

By the time Generation 3 rolled around to Australasia in April 2003, I was in my element. Equipped with "top tier" playground knowledge and a Game Boy Advance SP, I was ready to hit Sapphire.

Sapphire is my longest single save clocking in at decent 531 hours. A lot of that time was grinding against the Elite Four to create my "competitive" teams against friends but the rest was dedicated to my first Pokédex completion. I don't remember much about it, but I have a blurry image taken with an early 1.3MP Kodak digital camera:

My first diploma - pretty blurry.

Or we can look at a nicer image via a backup of my save:

My first diploma - not blurry.

I remember being thoroughly chuffed nailing the Regional Dex for Sapphire. A big shoutout to my friends as I couldn't have done it without them.

Fast Forward to the Living Dex

It wouldn't be until about 10 years later in 2014 that I would even think of completing the Pokédex again. Sure I had played Pokémon games since, but I wasn't interested in catching them all. I had Pokémon Y gifted to me as a present and it looked great to take on a National Dex. Sadly it was around here that I was transitioning into adult work life and Pokémon fell off the priority list.

2021, seven years later, and the world is in the midst of a global pandemic. Pining for comforts, I revisited old haunts, rewatched shows from my school era, and with my better half wanting to attempt a Dex completion, I got excited and wanted to do one too.

And with that, you've begun reading my story of building a completed Living Dex. The trip started at 17:51 on 7 April 2021 with a digital copy purchase of Alpha Sapphire and ended with Pokémon Shield on 22:55 22 July 2021 - a total of 107 days for 882/898 captured Pokémon, with 16 mythical Pokémon unavailable at the time. I captured regional forms too! Then when more Pokémon are released in the future, you know I'll pick those up as well.

I dedicate this journey to 2004 me as he would've loved to know he completed the Pokédex 17 years later - and coincidentally on the 25th anniversary too.

Onward to catching the first few hundred.

Parts in this series:

  1. Making a Living Dex: Part 1 - A Lifelong Dream
  2. Making a Living Dex: Part 2 - It Begins With Generation Six
  3. Making a Living Dex: Part 3 - Preservation and Generation Five
  4. Making a Living Dex: Part 4 - Generation Seven, ”Alola!”
  5. Making a Living Dex: Part 5 - Generation Eight, Sword and Shield
  6. Making a Living Dex: Part 6 - Odds and Ends
  7. Making a Living Dex: Part 7 - Wrapping up the First 898
  8. Making a Living Dex: Part 8 - Odds and Ends Round 2
  9. Making a Living Dex: Part 9 - Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl
  10. Making a Living Dex: Part 10 - Pokémon Legends Arceus
  11. Making a Living Dex: Appendix A - The Whole Living Dex Roster
  12. Making a Living Dex: Appendix B - Achievement Screenshots
  13. Making a Living Dex: Appendix C - Miscellaneous Numbers