US release one Pokemon Go player has already caught ’em all
Brooklyn-based Nick Johnson collected each of the 142 characters in the North American Pokedex. As head of platform at start-up Applico, 28-year-old Johnson works 50-plus-hour weeks. But after a long day at the office, instead of going home or meeting friends for happy hour, he took eight-hour walks around New York City, according to Business Insider.
“My interest in Pokemon Go was actually related to my work at Applico. I’m very interested in what makes platform[s] tick,” Johnson told PCMag in an email. “My big initial attraction (other than my childhood love of Pokemon) was understanding the mechanics of how the game worked—things like spawn points, mapping, and how players interacted with each other—and thinking about how that translated into the work we do with clients at Applico.
“It was also a convenient excuse to exercise,” he said.
Over the course of two weeks, Johnson lost about eight pounds and boosted his physical endurance.
“For me, Pokemon Go made it fun to exercise in a way the gym does not,” the level-31 player said. Johnson clocked more than 129 miles over two weeks, most of which was spent hunting animated characters.
He didn’t download the game, however, with the aim to catch them all. It was only when he’d collected about 135 Pokemon that Johnson decided to cross the finish line—with the help of fellow trainers and the support of his girlfriend.
The final Pokemon needed to complete his collection—the rare Omanyte, used to evolve the even more rare Omastar—eluded him due to spotty cell service.
“Right when two spawned, Verizon service crapped out” for 15 minutes, delaying Johnson’s glory a day.
The second-to-last monster, however, required even more effort: a trip to Jersey City. Johnson admitted that, after spotting a Porygon on the radar, he “may or may not” have ordered an Uber to drive him around until he found it.
Nintendo’s original Pokemon video games feature 151 species, 142 of which are available to catch in the US. Three more remain exclusive to certain international regions: Europe, Australia, and Asia. Though he has no travel plans yet, Johnson is looking for a company willing to fund his global Pokemon tour.
As Business Insider notes, the other six remain a mystery.
“It’s a bit silly and kind of a fun and crazy thing to have done,” Johnson told PCMag. “But I’m very goal-oriented, so it’s always nice to achieve what you put your mind to. I hope that this brings more attention to the game and helps grow the awesome community that’s already building around it.”
That’s one of the player’s favorite aspects of Pokemon Go: meeting new people at hotspots and helping fellow trainers catch ’em all. “As the Pokemon song says, ‘You teach me and I teach you,'” the superfan said.
So what’s next for the master Pokemon trainer? “I’ll be taking it easy and enjoying the game with friends for now. Also, I have plenty of motivation related to growing the company I work for,” he said on Reddit.
Those following in Johnson’s footsteps (though maybe over a more drawn-out period with breaks for food and rest) shouldn’t expect a grand prize for catching ’em all. In response to one Redditor asking whether he recieved anything—a badge, a huge amount of Pokeballs, coins—for his achievement, Johnson said no. “But I did get to go to sleep,” he wrote. “It’s the little things.”