Gotta Catch ‘E– ERROR, TRY AGAIN

So, I bet you know what this is about.

While things seem to be smoothing out a little now, the most exciting thing about Pokemon GO at first was the roulette wheel of “will I or won’t I be able to access the game today?” The overloaded-servers message, a somewhat irritatingly-cheery assemblage of Pokemon in a meadow under a rage-calming cloudless sky, was quickly dubbed the “new blue screen of death” (though frankly I just want to know if Magikarp is really that big?!). My problem, however, was mostly that the game would give me phantom Pokemon to taunt me. Need a Spearow? Why don’t we give you one, freeze the game, let you summon it back when you restart, wait till it’s in the Pokeball, display “ERROR” without further explanation, and then say you’ve walked too far away from the Pokemon? Yeah, that sounds like fun.

The weirdest instance of this was a couple days ago, when I was camped out at a Pokestop stocking up on items. There aren’t a lot of Grass types around here, so I saw an Oddish and made a grab for it. The Pokeball sat on-screen for a second, the Oddish escaped … and then I was back to the main screen. No puff of smoke to indicate it ran away, no frozen game or error message. I restarted for the heck of it … and there was Oddish, back where he was before. I went through this a couple times, and then suddenly Oddish got a buddy. A Pidgey was RIGHT next to him, and was right back there every time Oddish disappeared and returned. Half the time I accidentally hit Pidgey instead of Oddish when I tried to bring him up, and ended up running away (while picturing Pidgey thinking, “Success!”).

Eventually I just gave up (probably not as soon as I should have), and ended up sketching my frustration instead. I took a last-minute phone pic, because TECHNICALLY this is not my sketch book…


“I gotcha buddy.” (note: colored pencils! I get a little too excited about colored pencils, as the owner of the ones used here can attest).

Some other GO notes:

Man, Weedle is sassy. What’s with that? It does these little dances and glowers and headbutts you and all that and yet it never comes close to escaping the Pokeball. Oh well, little guy can dream I guess.

EVERYBODY LOVES THIS. Not just like, a large number of human people, but every age range. Teens, 20-somethings, ten-year-olds, their parents, you name it. A little girl at the library was psyched to learn that I, too, chose Team Yellow and always go with the Fire starter. A teen was pretty much just dumbstruck that I also play the game. Two middle-aged ladies out for a walk admittedly surprised me when I was mushroom raspberry hunting (with the song from Mushroom Samba stuck in my head either way due to the phantom Parasect that kept claiming to be nearby). Since those not-quite readers requested more transcripts, HERE’S ANOTHER ONE!

Woman 1: Hi!

Me: …Hi.

Woman 2: [presumably noticing the phone I chucked in my bag before crossing the bridge] Are you catching many Pokemon?

Me: …Well, a few, I’m mostly looking for raspberries. [note: Even “a few” was an overstatement; this path is in the woods and crosses/follows a creek, and all that’s on it are Rattata and phantom Parasect]

Woman 2: So … do you just click on them to catch them or what? It’s not working for me.

Me: Sort of. Not working how?

Woman 2: I can’t seem to catch them. Do you just click on the Pokemon, or on the Pokeball…?

Me: Well, first you just click or kind of swipe the Pokemon.

Woman 1: Hm.

Woman 2: Why does it show a camera?

Me: Ohhh. It’s taking pictures?

Woman 2: Yes!

Me: Oh okay, don’t press that button. If you’re on that screen you have to swipe the Pokeball towards it to catch it. [gives a quick rundown of capture-difficulty colors, aiming, curveballs, etc.]

Woman 2: Oh, great!

Woman 1: Thank you! [shoots a “see, I told you any young person with a phone would be able to help us” look at her friend as they walk off]

Anyhow, that Oddish wasn’t much so here’s a random dragon (or wyvern, rather) from the previous page in the sketchbook, when I did NOT have colored pencils to distract me:


Happy hunting!


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