View RSS Feed

668 - Neighbor of the Beast

This isn't just a name. It's a story.

Rate this Entry
Since one unfortunate person made the mistake of thinking I nicknamed myself after a Pokemon move, I figure I'll clear the air on this.

  • "Darples named himself off a move from Pokemon." FALSE.
  • "Game Freak is responsible for Darples' nickname." TRUE.

Now, let me explain.

In the early 1990s, there was a little something called "Sega Channel." Some of you may remember it. It was really the precursor to emulation as we know it... except the mind-blowing thing was that this was for an actual, real, current-at-the-time console. 50 games a month, every month, from the popular and obvious (Gunstar Heroes) to the absolutely obscure.

That's kind of what I'll be talking about today.

Every so often, Sega Channel would have a section devoted to imports; games that, for some reason or another, never made it or would never make it stateside. I definitely remember finding Alien Soldier in there (though, of course, being 9-10 at the time, I got absolutely raped by the game) and some other lesser-known gems.

One of them was a little known gem called "Pulseman."

A lot of you will look at that, and you'll go "Oh shit, Megaman ripoff." Wrong. Couldn't be further from the truth. Pulseman was something else - it was damn fast (almost, if not faster, than Sonic at times) and besides your somewhat typical repertoire of moves at the time, he had a couple other moves (One of which was named the Volteccer) that kind of set him apart from something like Sonic or Megaman. It's thus best described as a bit of a blend of both, with its own unique elements thrown in.

However, it wasn't really that which impressed me. It was the graphics this thing put out.

(Videos courtesy of a translation patch. The game never got an English release, though cutscenes were fully voiced in English.)

Keep in mind this was 1994, and on a Sega Genesis. It was seriously one of the greatest-looking games I've ever played - flashy, colorful, and with music that goddamn stuck in my head and it still does to this day. It's not flawless, but damn if it wasn't fun and challenging to my mind at that time. I really, really, really wanted to buy it, but obviously, I knew I never could, because I knew it would not come out in the US.

Move forward about six years. I begin getting into computers and the internet around 2000, at this time making regular trips to a local library to use theirs as I still did not own my own PC. I lurked around the IGN boards for awhile, and eventually decided to join up. Naturally, I needed an email address, so I sought and found one - Hotmail. I decided to use "pulsemanfan001" as the alias for both the email, and the account. The email is long-gone, but it was used when I signed up for MSN Messenger (or as it's now called, Windows Live Messenger), and so it remains my MSN to this day.

Either way, come 2001 or so, I begin finding GameFAQs. I sign up for an account there. By this time, "Pulsemanfan001" sounded not only long-winded, but also extremely, extremely fanboyish. Thus, I shortened it simply to "Pulse." To this day, this is the handle I am known at on GameFAQs; my account is still active, though obviously I don't visit there very much anymore. I'm something of a Legend there though, for the tumultuous times of LUE, Vets, LTU, and the RP/FF board.

The last of those is where my name came from. The character I conceived of basically had seven different forms. This is going to sound cheesy as shit, but what the hell, I was 16 - give me a break. Anyway, the seven forms I'd eventually settled on were Normal, Shin, Chou, Kou, Dark, Orochi, and Omega.

Of them, "Dark Pulse" simply had that ring to it. And so I've kept it ever since late 2001/early 2002 - predating the Pokemon games that the move known in English as Dark Pulse (and in Japan as Evil Pulse) by approximately a year or so, as those games didn't come to the US until 2003. It's by a tragic quirk of luck and nothing more that my nickname evolved into something identical to the English name of a Pokemon attack.

Which brings us full-circle to the beginning of this post. How, then, is Game Freak responsible? Simple. You may have noticed some similarities between the guy up there, and this guy:

Those of you who know the Pokemon games will know this is one of Rotom's forms. This is not a coincidence. Indeed, if anything, the similarities are strikingly similar.

Game Freak developed both Pulseman and Pokemon. If you look in the credits of Pulseman, you'll see many, many people who worked on Pokemon, including Ken Sugimori, Junichi Masuda, and Satoshi Tajiri. Furthermore, the homages continue, right down to Pokemon's most known character - the Japanese name for the move the English world knows as "Volt Tackle" is - you guessed it - "Volteccer." Lastly, Dr. Waruyama, the big bad of Pulseman, runs a criminal organization called the "Galaxy Gang." There's one of those in Pokemon, too - the English versions translate it as "Team Galactic" but they both share the same Japanese name, "Ginga-dan." Both translations are correct.

But so ends this rather long blogpost. I hope this clears the confusion. Now if anyone else accuses me of simply being an unimaginative hack, or worse, a Pokemon fanatic (I like the games, but fanatic? Hardly), they're getting one-dayed, on the spot, no questions asked. Srs.

Now, use the comment field below to share your own tales of nickname acquisition and/or evolution. Make me think that I didn't just waste half an hour of my life writing this up.

Oh, and for the love of god, go play Pulseman. Either dig up the ROM on the internet and throw it on Kega Fusion, or if you got a Wii, go buy it from the Wii Shop for Virtual Console.

Maybe someday, they'll make a sequel... or at least someone will code up a level editor.


  1. Lycodrake's Avatar
    Darples confirmed for having classic, suave tastes. *hasn't gotten the chance to play Pulseman*
  2. Irothtin's Avatar
    And here my nickname was just some nonsense word I came up with years ago.

    Not all origin stories can have such a tale.
  3. Sei's Avatar
    Now I wish I still had my Pulseman cartridge.
  4. NZXT's Avatar
    Still links too Pokemon.
  5. Kotonoha's Avatar
    That guy and that pokemon look nothing alike. Just saying.
  6. Dark Pulse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by NZXT
    Still links too Pokemon.
    But only through their creators.

    Therefore, Game Freak is responsible for the nickname, but not Pokemon.
  7. NZXT's Avatar
    Regardless, I am a huge Pokemaniac, and already knew this. Seeing other people that know this and know how it relates too Pulseman makes me happy.

    2000+ points for Darple.
    Extra thousand if you can read the Romanji on My Anima's page.
  8. Heroslayer's Avatar
    I... people thought the name was from pokemon?

    I thought it was just one of those internet names you see. I mean, Heroslayer just sounded cool to me. Cool to see it was from something though.
  9. xm0123's Avatar
    Unrelated, but when I switched to my current PC, all of my emulators, save for my GBA emulator, either didn't work, or didn't work right. I just downloaded Kega Fusion. It is the greatest Genesis emulator I have ever worked with. Well done, DP. (Now how 'bout finding me an NES and SNES emulator that actually works in Windows 7?)

    As for my name, I already said it; xm0123 is just something I made up, since it's easy to remember and to type.

    I have heard of Pulseman, but haven't played it. Looks and sounds really good for a Genesis game. I will look more into it when I have the time. Right now, I wanna play me some Contra: Hard Corps.
  10. Dark Pulse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by xm0123
    Unrelated, but when I switched to my current PC, all of my emulators, save for my GBA emulator, either didn't work, or didn't work right. I just downloaded Kega Fusion. It is the greatest Genesis emulator I have ever worked with. Well done, DP. (Now how 'bout finding me an NES and SNES emulator that actually works in Windows 7?)
    NES: FCEUX. It lets you do some neat little tricks in NES games, too, like LUA scripts that let you drag and drop stuff in Super Mario Brothers:

    Or shoot beams of death from Megaman's eyes:

    SNES: If you got the horsepower, bsnes. (Which also supports NES, GB, GBC, and GBA.) It's designed for cycle-accuracy, which is basically about as accurate as an emulator can get outside of bus-accuracy, but as a result, has VERY steep hardware requirements:

    • Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Phenom processor
    • Video card that supports Direct3D 9.0 or OpenGL 2.0
    • Linux port: hardware-accelerated video driver with OpenGL or X-Video support
  11. Ivan The Mouse's Avatar
    Very interesting.