If you wanted to be the very best like no one ever was, well sorry — you’re just a little too late.
It’s not Gary Oak, but he might as well be. It’s 28-year-old Nick Johnson, a New Yorker who has recently travelled around the world on a quest to catch ’em all in Pokémon Go.
Lately he’s been in Sydney, Australia, where he managed to capture a rare Kangaskhan (a character apparently only available in Australia and New Zealand) and thus completing a collection of 145 Pokémon which are available in the game.
Johnson said he found the rare Pokémon near Sydney’s Hyde Park, all thanks to some tips from local players.
“I’d had it on good authority from a number of local players that it spawns down by there with some frequency,” he said.
Johnson said he spent about 4 to 5 hours in the area trying to find one without much luck, but someone had sent him a snap on Snapchat to let him know one had dropped nearby.
“I grabbed an Uber (the rarer monsters are sometimes only up for a few minutes) to jet over there, but when I got close, there was construction blocking the road. So I got out and sprinted about 5 blocks to the location I’d been given. Luckily it was still there, and I caught it,” he said.
Johnson’s journey around the world began when he collected all 142 Pokémon that were available in the U.S., a feat which he posted about on Reddit. He spent two weeks attaining that status, with at least 50 hours a week dedicated to the game.
In that time, he managed to cover over 152 kilometres (95 miles) on foot and hatched 303 eggs. That’s a serious amount of dedication.
“The post exploded overnight with thousands of comments and upvotes, and it started to get a fair amount of media attention,” he said.
That effort resulted in Marriott Rewards and Expedia taking notice, sponsoring a trip to Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Tokyo so he could catch Pokémon not available in North America.
In Paris, he caught Mr. Mime which reportedly is only in Europe, following tips from Reddit users; while in Hong Kong he found Farfetch’d while being driven around, a character apparently found only in Asia.
Now with the addition of Kangaskhan from Australia, he can rest easy when he heads to Japan next. No, we’re not jealous at all.
Johnson said there are still five Pokémon left from the original 151 to be found, but they are yet to be released in the game.
“Those five are Ditto, the three legendary birds, Mewtwo, and Mew. Their release will likely be tied to future special events, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Niantic comes up with,” he said.
Still way ahead of you, wannabe master Pokémon trainers.