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Some fish beat Pokémon Sapphire after 3,195 hours

The infinite monkey theorem has been put to work

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire cover crop 1280 Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

A set of fish have beaten three Pokémon games now, just by swimming around in a tank with some motion tracking.

Mutekimaru Channel has been letting its fish play the games in a constant stream, with the latest achievement being a win over Steven Stone, the Hoenn region champion. As I write this, the fish are trying to find Regice in the post-game.

It took the fish approximately 3,195 hours to beat the third generation Pokémon game, according to Mutekimaru’s Twitter account.

The fish tanks are mapped with the directional arrows, as well as the A and B buttons. As the fish swims into a button’s mapped area, this activates the buttons in-game. To keep the fish healthy, the fish are swapped out every 12 hours.

The stream has a similar vibe to Twitch Plays Pokémon, a phenomenon from 2014 where Twitch chat controlled the Pokémon player’s movements and commands. The difference here is that Twitch chat arguably knew how to beat the game and despite people spamming the start button to cause problems on purpose, the chat was able to beat the game in 16 days. The fish more so follow the “infinite monkey theorem,” which states that if you have a monkey hitting keys on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time, it’ll eventually type out a Shakespeare play.

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