“Gotta catch ‘em all!” isn’t just the advertising copy for Pokémon, it’s also the personal motto of the legions of hardcore fans of the series’ video game installments. But how does one find the time to track down, battle, and capture hundreds of Pocket Monsters, especially when you’ve only got so long until Nintendo releases a sequel that renders all of your old Pokémon obsolete?

Easy: you multitask by playing four copies of the game simultaneously, as this video shows.

Nintendo hit upon an idea during the development of the very first Pokémon games back in 1996. Rather than stock a single cartridge with all of the Pocket Monsters it had designed, the company instead decided to split them between two different versions, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green. The logic was that in order to get every single Pokémon, gamers would have to trade species with friends who had bought the opposite version of the game.

Viewed one way, it’s actually a clever idea to help build a sense of community and comradery between fans, but there’re also a couple of downsides to this system. For starters, finding certain creatures can take a considerable amount of time, so good luck finding someone willing to trade their precious rare Pokémon that they spent hours to acquire. And what if none of your friends have a different version of the game than you do, or aren’t willing to devote as much of their lives to wandering repeatedly over the same sections of the map until they trigger the random encounters they need?

Really, the only way to be sure of completing your collection is to do it yourself, and if you’ve decided to solo an entire Pokémon generation, why not quadruple your productivity like this guy?

Armed with an arsenal of four Nintendo 3DS handhelds, one copy of Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, and an unknown number of its sister title, Omega Ruby, this aspiring Pokémon Master is hurtling towards his goal of catching every monster contained in the series’ two most recent games.

Surprisingly, it turns out that handling four games of Pokémon at once doesn’t require all that terribly much manual dexterity or mental compartmentalization. Pokémon essentially functions like a classic Japanese role-playing game. As the player moves across the map, he randomly encounters enemies, and when he does, a turn-based battle starts. In other words, finding the Pokémon is primarily a matter of taking lots of steps, and once you do bump into one, they’ll wait patiently until you’re ready to start the battle that determines whether or not you can capture them.

The gamer in the video looks to be playing the bottom left 3DS normally, using two hands and giving it the lion’s share of his attention. For the two top systems, he’s wedged one-yen (US$0.008) coins under the circle pad, locking the analog nub into a single direction and making his character march across the game world. When an encounter comes up (like one does on the upper right system at the video’s 17-second mark, he simply removes the coin and fights the battle at his leisure.

OK, so if he’s using his hands to play one system and coins as proxies for two more, how’s he moving his character around on the fourth 3DS?

By pressing the controls with his big toe.


On the one hand, we’re impressed with the flexibility this gamer is showing in both his thinking and lower digits. On the other, considering the potential for foot cramps this poses, wouldn’t it make sense to just go grab another coin?

Then again, it’s possible that after buying four 3DS units and four copies of Pokémon, two yen is all the cash this gamer has left.

Source: Jin, Twitter/@Rs7e7zRsx111oyr