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After 3,000 Hours, A Pet Fish Has Completed ‘Pokémon Ruby’

After 3,000 Hours, A Pet Fish Has Completed ‘Pokémon Ruby’

What a champ.

Imogen Donovan

Imogen Donovan

Following an incredibly innovative and interesting experiment, a pet fish has completed Pokémon Ruby, sinking more than 3,000 hours into the game.

How? So, Mutekimaru (that's the name of the fish) swims in a tank that has a grid displayed on the back of the aquarium. The squares on the grid are attributed to a button, i.e. A, B, up, down, left and right. A tracking camera follows the fish's movements, and when it moves from one square to another, the command is sent to a circuit board, which then inputs Mutekimaru's actions into Pokémon Ruby.

Beginning in July, the fish's challenge was off to an admittedly sluggish start. In Ruby, one of the first things players are asked to do is set a clock in their house, and this took Mutekimaru 35 minutes to complete. Next the player must visit their neighbour and greet a character on the second floor. This took the animal 19 hours and ten minutes. Reaching the field where the player is able to catch their own Pokémon took the fish another 59 hours. Strangely enough, losing in battles would likely have been a good strategy for the fish, because all Pokémon are healed to maximum health after a loss.

And now, against all odds, Mutekimaru has dethroned Steven Stone, the champion of Hoenn, to win Pokémon Ruby after 3,000 hours of randomly swimming about. Their owner has also shared how the experiment was conducted, in the interest of transparency and the health of the fish. It was actually a collaborative effort between four fish; I'm assuming that Mutekimaru was the brains of the operation, though. Two fish played Ruby in a twelve hour shift, before being swapped for the other two fish, in order to safeguard their physical condition.

The owner would also execute some commands, like starting the game, restoring a total knockout of the party Pokémon, and proceeding when a manual command must be entered, like Rock Smash or Diving. Other than that, the fish were free to play the game by themselves. There's also a note in the description for the video reminding viewers that the owner might not be home and available to assist if the fish's character gets stuck somewhere in Hoenn.

GAMINGbible salutes Mutekimaru and the team on their brilliant achievement. It only took them fifty times as long as it would take a human player, and involved a lot of running away from battles. But, it just goes to show that slow and steady wins the Pokémon League.

Featured Image Credit: Game Freak, Mutekimaru_ch

Topics: Pokemon, News