About Pokémon Aaah!
By nick15 [November 22, 2019 - 23:19]
[Last Updated: November 30, 2019 - 21:01]  

1Hello! And welcome to Pokémon Aaah!, the internet's ONLY Pokémon website. [citation needed]

But seriously, you can call me Nick15 :D and I started this website back in 1999. Now while the design and content has changed, the one thing that has stayed the same about Pokémon Aaah! is the focus on entertaining Pokémon fans with new and unique content that they wouldn't find much elsewhere.

In that sense, PA! has always been a sort of "Pokémon Research Center", digging deep into various off-beat aspects of the Pokémon franchise which no one else seems to cover much of. Some of the unique content that PA! has "research" included:

  • popularizing Pokémon TCG fan-made fake cards (creating the pipeline for card making, breaking down the design layout for accurate reproduction, etc)
  • cataloging Pokémon TCG errors (every little deviation form the norm was spotted, cataloged, tagged, bagged, pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, and numbered)
  • releasing Pokémon TCG set spoilers before their actual Japanese release (at least until my contact dried up)
  • collecting Pokémon TCG Print Run data (emulating the work done with Magic: the Gathering)
  • cracking the Pokédex 3D AR code data (how to parse the code itself, using that data to view other codes beyond what Nintendo officially revealed)

And now with the release of Pokémon Sword/Shield, my current attention is spent on deciphering the Galarian alphabet (aka Galar language), which is already turning out to be a load of fun.

Who knows what research project I'll work on next? Maybe I'll start working on that Duotronic Octogramic Neutronic Wave Translatitron device I started a while back.

 

QUICK! ADD ME ON NINTENDO SWITCH!
Friend Code: SW-0528-3289-4011
 


 

PA!'s To-Do List:

    • Get a PA! Twitter account — done; @AaahPokemon
    • Get a PA! Instagram account - I wonder if I should just stick with @nickfifteen or make one specifically for PA!; or if I can post as PA! while as @nickfifteen?
    • Work out a way to include something like a Twitter feed or something that I can place on the front page or something.
      • Consider if more can be added, and/or if the site needs to be redesigned slightly to incorporate these extra bits.
      • Also work out other ways to do cross-posting, like if I post on the site (via WordPress) and links to it get posted on Facebook and/or Twitter.
    • Get a PA! Etsy account
    • I already have my own Patreon account under "@nickfifteen", however it's currently tailored specifically for my "Moose River" webcomic. I will therefore updated it to be more generic so that it can cover ALL of my art projects... like Pokemon Aaah!.
      • In essence, turn it from "Moose River's Patreon" to "Nickfifteen's Patreon".
      • I wonder if I could maybe mix Moose River with Pokemon Aaah! and maybe make comics where my Moose River characters live in the Pokemon world. Hmmm, now THAT might be worth a try! - decided and planned; it'll be a webcomic series called "AdventureBattleMon"
    • Get AdventureBattleMon started and on its way.
    • Start scanning cards for blank creation
      • currently underway; post about this process is coming
    • Get a cracker in order to slip a rozzer into the dropsy and/or snide.

Lots of fun happening in PA!'s future! I can't wait to see where all this goes!


 

A little bit more...

This focus on providing unique content helped connect PA! with other Pokémon fan sites which shared a similar interest in originality, like Pokémon Forever, Bulbagarden (during the Anenga years), PokéBeach, and PIRN (formerly PokeWatch). For us it was less about retreading on similar grounds as much as creating new grounds for others to tread upon.

That said, the reason why I did anything for PA! was because no one else was doing it. This included my focus on collecting everything I could about each TCG set, as well as providing everything required to make a Pokémon TCG fake card. Today, however, all of my old TCG information makes up the foundation of Bulbapedia's TCG articles (covering Base Set until EX FR/LG), and Pokémon TCG fake carding is now in the hands of other passionate fakers (read more below). This in turn lets me to focus my energy on providing more kinds of unique content... whenever I get around to it, of course.

 


 

Oh yeah, fake cards...

I really do miss making Fake Cards on the regular, and I try to make them any time I can. But they are admittedly very time consuming to make, and I just don't have the time to make them on the regular. Furthermore, seeing as the world of Pokémon TCG fake cards is currently lead by an amazing group of talented fakers who are doing an awesome job keeping things fresh, there isn't much of a "duty" for me to make them anymore... it's in good hands now.

Besides, everyone knows I'm The Original Fake Card Master; it's not a title that needs to be constantly "defended". But don't get me wrong, if some punk kid thinks they can out-fake an old boomer like me on some off chance they don't know who I am... well you can bet your ass that I wouldn't hesitate to destroy them. ;)


Well... assuming that punk kid doesn't shoot me in the ass first.

Like I said above, I made fake cards because I wanted to do something in the Pokémon community that no one else is doing. When I started doing fakes, NO ONE had a system of blanks, symbols, tutorials, etc... except me. And now, everything about making Pokémon fake cards is based on what I started. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to take credit for the work that people did after me... rather, the fact that I was able to stake a claim to a previously unexplored concept—something that either no one else was doing well, if at allonly to set the standards for everyone else that came after me? THAT is what pushes me and my creativity.

So yeah, while I still enjoy making fake cards from time to time... I'm now focused on the next new thing, both within the Pokémon community and within my personal life. I am, however, definitely interested in making fakes based on the 1997 Spaceworld Demo for Pokémon Gold/Silver, because that certainly is new ground that I'd like to cover... but, we'll see when I can get around to making that. Thing is, I need to remake my NEO-era blanks, as well as create new blanks for Dragon and Fairy TCG types... my Photoshop skills have gotten MUCH better since 2003 and so my old blanks just don't cut the mustard anymore.

 


Where did the name "Pokémon Aaah!" come from?

Y'know, I don't think I've ever covered this before.

Back when Pokémon first came out in the US, and maybe even a little bit before then, Pokémon wasn't the mega super awesome franchise it is. I definitely wasn't a fan of it right away—I straight up remember mistaking the words "Pikachu" and "Pokémon" with one another—and thus saw it as just another tamagotchi critter series which is invading the West. This idea stuck with me, even as I started to fall in love with it... and so when I started to build my own Pokémon fan site, the only thing I could think of for a name was "Pokémon, Aaah!", as if it was an unrelenting march of cute little critters which will not stop until they've consumed all of our money because of their cuteness! THE POKÉMON ARE COMING!! AAAAHHHH!!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!


...the idea that "AAAH!" (three A's, one H's specifically) places me in front of every other website called "Pokémon (something)" when sorted in alphabetical order is purely a coincidence.

Meanwhile, my nickname Nick15 is one I've had for a LOOOONG time. I coined it when I was in 7th grade around 1994, when we had to choose a username for Apple's attempt at an online service, e•World. I simply took the name of my favorite cable network at the time—Nickelodeon—and what channel it was at the time—Channel 15—and the rest is history. Later in 8th grade I thought about changing it to something less "childish", like say "FOX02"... but naw, "Nick15" grew on me.

 


 

So what're you doing in real life?

After graduating San Francisco State University in 2012 with a BA in Technical and Professional Writing, I've been working at a Silicon Valley start-up (which I co-founded with three other guys) called MindVR. Y'know how I said that I want to do something that no one else is doing? Well this is why I'm into virtual reality filmmaking now; this is a field where literally NO ONE has written any "How-To" books about. That's where I come in.

I'm the Lead Videographer over at MindVR. In fact, I co-developed—with our co-founder Dave Arendash—a 3D-360 virtual reality camera, which we dubbed the "CloserVR Camera". It's patent-pending too! The CloserVR camera allows me to record 3D-360 cinematic VR video content, which in turn could be played back in any HMD or VR glasses, and the quality is so authentic that it'll feel like you're REALLY there!

This project has taken me to Korea and India, meet a number of famous folk like Jeffery Weissman (George McFly from Back to the Future 2 and 3), jazz musician Fillmore Slim, artist Suga-T (sister of Bay Area rapper E-40), and even President Bill Clinton! If you want to see some of the VR videos I've made, check out our YouTube site. You can even here me talk a little bit about the kind of videos we make and what makes our CloserVR camera better than just about every other 3D-360 camera out there!


Pretty neat stuff, huh?

But yeah, this has been my life over the past five years, and I don't anticipate that changing any time soon. That said it is a challenging field, because it's just so new... but I'm confident that I'm on the cusp of the next big thing in video, and it won't get anywhere unless I keep working hard at it.

To be honest, I'm hoping there's some way I can incorporate this passion into PA!, if not the overall Pokémon fandom and community. Back in 2016 when the Pokémon World Championship was in San Francisco, I took my CloserVR camera and did a short little VR tour of the event. Take a look!


I'm hoping for more opportunities like this. Though heck, maybe I should go out and MAKE those opportunities happen, huh?

 


 

Anything else?

The other art project I dedicated a good portion of my time and life to was my webcomic series, Moose River. I started it around the same time that I stopped work on FakeCard.com, but also around the same time that former PA! staff member "NeoQueenJen/TRCassidy"—Jennifer Brazas, now known as "SavageSparrow"—started working on her own webcomic, Mystic Revolution. I worked on that up until around 2009, only to stop it while I focused on school and other stuff. Jen, on the other hand, went far with Mystic Rev, and even got married to Brion Foulke, creator of the awesome webcomic Flipside!

Curiously enough, I only JUST restarted work on Moose River a couple months back! I'm a bad boy and haven't added anything new after that initial two month artistic spurt, but I definitely hope to start getting back into the swing of things soon enough! Until then though... pic related.

 


 

Oh hey! I remember this one person who used to work on PA! back in the day... their name was [INSERT NAME]... do you know where they are?

Sorry, I'm afraid I really can't say. Well, sorta. I mean, I don't want to give out possibly private info to anyone I've kept in touch with... and there's also a number of people who used to work on PA! who I've lost all contact with (especially since AIM was shut down... RIP IN PIECE). So I'd be the last person who could help you with that. :(

That said, a possible good place to start would be www.Nickaro.com ... Former PA! co-webmaster "RyoShinX"—Robert Young, now "Tukaro"—set up a little site which has links to everyone I've kept in touch with... though I can't say how fresh those links are today. As for anyone else from PA!'s history that not on that site... sorry, I dunno where they went.

 


1

Jeez man, twenty years.

I know, right??

Well, to be fair PA! hasn't been up for ALL of those twenty years. And it obviously hasn't been the same website over those years either. In fact, I think PA! has been in its current form for longer than any of its other forms, by virtue of the fact that I set this site up back in 2012 and basically didn't touch more than once a year.

Well, for the times this site was up, PA! has definitely seen its ups and downs and gone through thick or thin, saw friends old and new come and go, and kept pace with other websites until they tapped out... but it's managed to survive throughout. I can't see why it can't survive another 20 year or so... assuming Pokémon survives as well.

I also want to say that I totally miss the PA! community and all the people I've met through the site. I've at least been super fortunate and grateful to have stayed in touch with a few of you guys over the years (you know who you are). But at the same time, I kinda enjoy having things be a bit more quiet now. That said, if PA! somehow manages to become a super popular site again, complete with a serious social media following and sponsors, then you can be your ass that I won't be complaining about the noise!

But until then, let's just reminisce about PA!'s history... and maybe even dream of a new and better future!

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