Want to know why Nintendo fans are so loyal? Because of touching stories like this.

It’s hard to find a video game company with a bigger reputation for warm and fuzzy feelings than Nintendo. Part of the credit goes to the company’s huge library of kid-friendly yet superbly high-quality titles, but Nintendo also regularly distinguishes itself with heartfelt gestures that please fans and honor the company’s internal icons.

So set down that Switch and grab a box of tissues as we delve into the tale of Japanese Twitter user @Piepoki, whose status as a lifelong Nintendo fan was cemented when the Kyoto-based video game publisher, and the Pokémon Company, helped him get over a painful bullying incident from his childhood related to the 2004 video game Pokémon FireRed.

Like other games in the series, FireRed allows players to trade Pokémon they’ve captured with other players, which caused a problem for @Piepoki when he was in elementary school and had captured a rare Deoxys Mythical Pokémon.

▼ Deoxys

@Piepoki’s story begins with:

“Back when I was in the fourth grade, my friend and I got our copies of Pokémon FireRed mixed up. I had a Deoxys I caught on Birth Island in my save data, but my friend gave it away to a sixth-grader. So I stopped talking to him, and told the sixth-grader to give my Deoxys back.”

However, the older student decided to hold the coveted Pokémon hostage, and demanded an Arceus, another rare and powerful Pocket Monster, in return. There was a big problem with this condition, though. While Arceus was known about in the Pokémon multimedia franchise at the time, it wouldn’t make its video game debut until 2006’s Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Arceus doesn’t exist in FireRed, and so the bully’s impossible demand was the same as flat out refusing to return @Piepoki’s Deoxys.

So the sixth-grader and I ended up getting into a fight, but obviously he was bigger and stronger than me, and there was no way I could win. I remember riding my bike home after getting beat up, with my face dirty from tears, sweat, and mud. When my mom saw me, she was really worried, and after I explained what had happened, she called Nintendo.”

“Then she gave me the phone and had me tell the Nintendo employee what had happened. I’m not sure exactly what I said, but I guess I must have said something to the effect of ‘To get my Deoxys back, I need to know how to catch an Arceus, so please tell me how.’ The Nintendo employee put me on hold for a while as he transferred my call to the Pokémon Company.”

“A woman with a really kind voice came on the line, and she said, ‘I don’t know much about Arceus, but there’s a guy who works here who’d like to give you his Deoxys.’ Through my tears, I thanked her over and over. Looking back on it now, I really caused a lot of trouble for all of them.”

But with no way to send the data to @Piepoki remotely, getting his replacement Deoxys took a little more help from Mom.

“My mom took the phone back, and asked what we needed to do to get the Deoxus data. The next day, following the woman’s instructions, she bought a padded envelope, put my Pokémon Fire Red cartridge inside, and mailed it to the Pokémon Company.”

“I don’t remember how many days later it was, but one morning before school, I looked in the mailbox where the newspaper was always delivered, and there was a padded envelope in there. I can remember that it was winter, though, because it was really cold outside. I threw down my randoseru backpack and tore open the envelope, took out my returned copy of Fire Red, and put it into my DS.”

Pokémon fans with sharp memories are probably ready to point out that FireRed was actually released for the Game Boy Advance, the DS’ predecessor hardware, but we’ll cut @Piepoki some slack for forgetting that detail on account of the heightened emotions of the tale, which got even higher with what happened next.

There, in the most recently filled slot, was a Deoxys. I literally jumped for joy. My parents told me to hurry up and get to school, so I turned the DS back off and left. I wanted to tell all my classmates about it, but it felt so nice to know the employees’ had done something special just for me, so I kept it a secret.”

That use of discretion turned out to be the right call, too.

“When I got home later that day, my mom told me there had been a letter in the envelope too, which said something like ‘Keep this a secret, OK? – From a guy who loves Pokémon,’ so I was really glad I hadn’t told anyone at school.”

“Looking back on it, I can’t help but see myself as a brat who caused a lot of commotion over a tiny little thing. But even now, I’m deeply grateful to the Pokémon Company and Nintendo for doing so much to help me with such a silly problem. It’s 10 years later, and now I’m still enjoying the series with Pokémon Ultra Moon. Thank you so much, Nintendo, and I’ll keep playing your games in the future.”

With a prized Deoxys back in his Pocket Monster stable, @Piepoki wanted to challenge the bully to a Pokémon FireRed battle. By that time, though, the older student had already moved on to middle school. Still, all in all, @Piepoki considers it a happy ending, and the unnamed Nintendo and Pokémon Company employees who helped him out should be very, very proud of themselves.

Source: Twitter/@Piepoki via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@pkmnstatus