Mark slung his sturdy leather backpack over his shoulder as he left his home in the suburbs of Viridian City. It was a long walk from there to Pallet Town, where Professor Oak was going to give his new pokemon, so he wanted to leave early.

The sun was just rising over the treetops to the north when Mark arrived at the edge of Route 1. He could hear the songs of the Pidgey in the trees along the roadside, and enjoyed the fresh air.

I wonder which pokemon the Professor will have this year? Mark asked himself, trying to occupy his mind on the tedious hike southward. He passed one trainer and his pokemon, but it was obvious that he wasn't from around the Viridian City area. His only pokemon were Seel and Gloom, both of which couldn't be found anywhere near the City.

"Hey! Are you a pokemon trainer?" the kid called out, and Mark shook his head.

"I will be soon, though. Wanna battle me in a few hours?" Mark replied, anxious for his first battle.

"Nah. I've got no time for noobs." The boy responded before turning and heading north, towards Viridian City.

Ah, well, Mark told himself, and then he sprinted ahead as Pallet Town came into view. The small town was home to about five hundred people, including the famous pokemon researcher Professor Samuel Oak. His lab was at the top of a hill, and was easily the biggest building in town. Mark began the long climb towards the research centre, but by the time he reached the top his breathing was heavy. He noticed that there was a windmill connected to the building, which he presumed was responsible for powering the laboratory.

"Ah, Master Eastward. Glad you could make it here." Came the stiff voice of Oak's lab assistant, whose nametag read Oliver Smite.

"Me too. Where's the Professor?"

"Waiting in the back room. He has several pokemon for you to choose from, and since you're the first one here you get first pick. Now go on."

Mark strolled through the corridors, glancing into rooms to see all the high tech equipment that Oak had in his lab. Finally, he reached the back room and was met by the Professor standing behind a table home to three pokeballs.

"Hello! Do you know which one you want yet, or do you need help deciding?" Oak asked as Mark walked up to him.

"Well, which pokemon do you have?" he questioned, not wanting to rush into such a big decision.

"Well, I've got three, each one a different element." Oak explained, and a projector screen behind him displayed three pictures. The first was of a small, green, dinosaur-like pokemon with a bulb on its back. Underneath it was a label that said its name, type and starting attacks. The pokemon was called Bulbasaur, was a grass type and its attacks were Tackle, Growl, Leech Seed and Vine Whip.

The next was a lizard, its colour was orange and had small but sharp teeth. At the end of its tail was a flame. It was the Fire type and its name was Charmander. Charmander's attacks were Scratch, Growl, Smokescreen and Ember.

The final was a Water type, and it looked like a small blue turtle. Its name was Squirtle, and knew the attacks Tackle, Tail Whip, Bubble and Water Gun.

Mark knew right away which pokemon he wanted. The Bulbasaur looked strong and steady, just then kind of pokemon he wanted.

"I'll take Bulbasaur, please."

Samuel Oak handed him the red and white sphere containing his chosen pokemon, and a leather pouch with a pokeball drawing on the front. "That contains six pokeballs and your official Pokemon Handbook." The Professor explained to him as he almost ran out of the door. Mark couldn't help it. He was just so excited to finally go on his journey.

Mark ran down the hill and found himself back at Route 1 in no time at all. He knew that lots of wild pokemon infested the tall grass between Pallet Town and Viridian City, and he was anxious to increase his party before returning to his hometown.

As Mark made his way up Route 1, he passed several wild pokemon, including Pidgey, Spearow and Rattata. At first he was tempted to attack every one he saw, but he managed to control himself. He wanted pokemon that weren't super common.

Then he remembered what his brother had told him on the phone last night.

"Remember Mark, always let out your new pokemon right away so it can get used to you."

He grabbed Bulbasaur's pokeball off of his belt and pressed ion the button in the centre of it. A flash of red energy exploded from the ball and took the form of a Bulbasaur.

"Hey Bulbasaur! How are you doing in there buddy?" Mark asked his new pokemon, and the Bulbasaur growled happily.

"I should probably give you a name, huh?" Mark smiled, and the Bulbasaur nodded its large head. "Um, how about Leafy?"

Bulbasaur shook its head impatiently. Mark thought for a moment, and then he had another name. "How about Spore?"

This time, the Bulbasaur thought to himself for a few moments as well, before nodding his head in agreement.

"You there! I challenge you to a battle!" a boy yelled from behind him, and somebody that looked to be around Mark's age ran up to him. He only had one pokeball on his belt, so there was a good chance he was just a rookie, like Mark.

"Alright. One on one?"

"You got it."

"Fine. C'mon out Spore!" he yelled, and Spore ran out from behind him to face the new trainer. Mark's opponent threw out a Squirtle that didn't look very experienced, so Mark realized he was right. He probably just got that pokemon today.

"Splasher! Attack with Water Gun!" the boy yelled, and a blast of water arced from the Squirtle's mouth towards Spore, who managed to dodge the attack easily.

"Spore! Respond with Vine Whip!" Mark knew that Grass had an advantage over Water, so this attack would probably do maximum damage. Two long vines sprouted from his bulb and smashed into the Squirtle, knocking it over. "Now, Spore! Finish this battle with another Vine Whip!"

The next set of vines only connected with the Squirtle's shell, and barely did any damage. Splasher shot another blast of water, but this time it hit. As Bulbasaur was struggling to recover from the last attack, Splasher blasted a Bubble attack his way, almost finishing Spore off.

"C'mon Spore! Attack with vine Whip again!"

This time the attack was successful. The vines hit on opposite sides of the Squirtle's head, knocking it out.

"Crap… now I don't have a pokemon to keep way the wild ones on the way to Viridian City!" the other boy exclaimed, and he began to cry.

"Aw, well, I guess you can come with me. My pokemon's still ready to fight, after all.