Fish Clears Pokemon Sapphire After More Than 3000 Hours of Playtime
posted on by Choo Sum Lee
Yes, you've read that correctly. A Siamese fighting fish (otherwise known as a Betta), absent any opposable thumbs, has defeated the Hoenn Champion Steven Stone to clear Pokémon Sapphire on the GameCube after more than 3000 hours of continuous playtime. An excited tweet by user Skeletondoggy announced the achievement as it happened on a YouTube livestream:
THE FISH JUST WON WITH WALREIN AS THEIR LAST POKEMON AND SPAMMED ICEBALL. A FISH BEAT POKEMON. FOUR FISH BEAT POKEMON JUST NOW. https://t.co/LFs4kjtoSL— Zack @ Making Tunes!!! (@Skeletondoggy) November 6, 2020
Four months ago, the Japanese owner of the fish Mutekimaru (also known as Maurice) set up a system to allow their pet to “play” the game. Mutekimaru had its tank divided into different sections that are designated as the Left, Right, Up, Down, A, B buttons of a GameCube controller. A camera was then set up to track Mutekimaru, translating the fish's movements into inputs as it swims around the various sections of its tank.
Mutekimaru's progress through the game was then livestreamed 24/7 via Mutekimaru Channel on YouTube. According to the channel description, Mutekimaru is swapped between three other fishes every 12 hours to allow each some time to rest. Over the course of their four-month journey, the fishes captured multiple Pokémon species, won two Gym badges, and even discovered a hitherto-unreported glitch in the 18-year old game:
Remarkably, this is not even the first time a fish has played Pokémon, let alone a game. In 2014, a Betta named Grayson Hopper and his owner streamed Pokémon Red on Twitch for over 125 hours using a similar camera/grid setup. Mutekimaru Channel clearly took inspiration from the project, and has now carried Hopper's legacy to new heights.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history