You probably already knew this - and if you didn't, please don't make me regret telling you about it - but Eurogamer has a 'Contact' email. It's about as exciting as it sounds. You can find it on our 'Contact Us' page, obviously, and anyone can use it to send us general tips or enquiries or questions - any of that sort of generic stuff that doesn't really fit into the usual communication we'd get at a site like Eurogamer every day.
Usually, I don't really see what gets sent to it. I write guides for the most part, which is a largely behind-the-scenes affair, so these kinds of ad hoc enquiries tend to go elsewhere. But not this week!
This week I had one forwarded on to me, because it was actually a question broadly related to guides. Or at least it seemed like it - there wasn't a huge amount of detail. Here's the email:
My 6 year old son is quite devastated because he went to the Seafoam Islands and is now in the cave and can't get out because he didn't get the Strong Push Technique before entering. Is there a way to exit the cave without it? If so, how? If you do not know an answer to this, please let me know how I might find it. Thank you very much,
A mom just trying to help her kid out!
Now, this is probably the best email I've ever had. Bear in mind this is literally all of it too: no subject line, no actual name of the game or any other context. Just a six-year-old boy stuck in a cave and a probably-quite-exasperated mother trying to get him out. And now me, tasked with finding a solution. Guides Team to the rescue! Time to step out of the shadows - the limelight is mine! Protagonist at last! What an ego trip.
Anyway, at this point I'm thinking we can pretty safely assume the game in question is Pokémon Let's Go. Seafoam Islands is a tricky late-game dungeon, just like it was in the original versions Let's Go is based on (Red, Blue and Yellow) - and so I'd hazard a guess they probably got to Eurogamer from Googling around for anything to do with that location and stumbling across one of our guides. A bummer that my original walkthrough page couldn't help them, I think, but still. Pokémon is my jam.
The thing is, halfway through my slightly-too-lengthy reply (I am determined to get this kid out of that cave - not going to miss my time to shine), I realised something. I've been stuck in a cave like that before myself.
In fact, I was stuck in that exact cave. And I was stuck in that exact cave when I was exactly six years old. And I had to get my mum to help me out too because I was... quite upset. The only difference is I was playing Pokémon Red, on the original Game Boy, in 1998. Everything else is the same. 20 years have passed, and I've come full circle.
I can remember exactly where I was and exactly what my mum was saying - sat on the stairs, and something to the tune of "if you're going to keep getting so upset about this game then you shouldn't be playing it" (which is probably fair) - and now here we are. Obviously my first memory of Seafoam Islands really did stick, because I am quite delighted to say that I managed to help the kid get out. I got this reply the next day:
Thank you so much for your help! We were so excited to get your reply. We are getting the strong push technique as I write this. Taking time out of your day to help my son is very much appreciated. Who knows, maybe he will be be a successful gamer like you one day and helping another boy!?!
Have a blessed day,
A very grateful mother
Forget what I said earlier; that right there is the best email I've ever had.