Have you ever heard of a little thing called “the hero’s journey?” It weaves the tales of classic stories, such as that of Hercules, King Arthur, and Luke Skywalker. Some scholars call it the “monomyth.” The decisive archetype of narrative storytelling. Other scholars detest that characterization. Me? I’m just an undergraduate schmuck who’s throwing it around to look smarter than I really am.
Joseph Campbell, the fella who first wrote about the hero’s journey, characterized the narrative pattern as such: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
Well, ladies and gentlemen in the audience, let me tell you, I have finally completed my personal hero’s journey. Like a Tolkien legend, I’ve returned home from my very own “there and back again.” September 14, 2022, will be written about with Homeric reverence in the storybook of my life. “Why,” you may be asking yourselves. “What has this dashing young man accomplished that could possibly be so momentous as to warrant an entire CouchSoup article?”
I want to answer that question. I really do. But first, my friends, we’re going to have to go way back. Back to this very humble author’s very humble beginnings.
My love of Pokémon was fostered from a very young age - though avid CouchSoup readers have already heard about all of that. What I haven’t written about in the past is my favorite Pokémon. Some people like Charizard. Others like Greninja, I suppose. And yeah, they’re cool and all. But for me, the best damn Pokémon in the world has always been Aggron (well, the rest of his evolutionary line, too.) He’s been my favorite since Gen III, debuting in Sapphire and Ruby, but he’s aged like a fine wine, only getting cooler with time.
I mean, how could you hate a Mega-evolving steel dinosaur who takes no shit and claims entire mountains as its home territory? His base stats are absolutely nuts… the mad lad touts 110 base attack and 180 base defense. Yeah, he’s not particularly good for competitive battling or anything like that, but who gives a shit? You’ve totally gotta be seeing my point by now. Aggron is a certifiable badass.
And now that we’ve established Aggron’s badassery, we can circle back to the topic at hand: my grand achievement. You see, much like in the mainline Pokémon titles, not every pocket monster is built equal in Pokémon Go. The power of any particular specimen is determined by its “individual values,” or IVs. When a Pokémon spawns in Pokémon Go, it’s generated with an IV value between 0 and 15 for three stats: Attack, Defense, and HP.
If you do the math on that, you’ll come to find that the odds of a “perfect” Pokémon (one with 15/15/15 IVs) spawning under completely normal conditions is 1/4,096. This makes it pretty freakin’ hard to hunt down a perfect specimen for a specific species of Pokémon!
I’m sure you’ve put two and two together by now, though, dearest reader. Yes, Tyler J. Graham has beaten the odds. I landed my perfect Aron, my white whale, after years of playing the game. I’ve been hunting this bugger down for ages, so much so that it’s defined much of my gameplay, including how I’d trade with my friends. But no longer do I have to trade Beldum or Ralts or Dratini for my steel-faced friends. I have cast the ring into the fire, and the iron dino is now all mine!
Pokémon Go is all about setting these personal goals and knocking them down, so now I’ve gotta figure out what I’m setting my sights on next. I certainly have to get my perfect Aggron to level 50 and max out his Mega level, but after that, who knows what I’ll have in store for me next? Maybe I’ll have to gun for my first perfect shiny Pokémon!
If you’re a Pokémon Go player, I’d love to hear about what your personal goals are in the game! What keeps you playing? What’s your “white whale?” Let me know in the comments down below!