Wellington Pokemon Go player catches all New Zealand Pokemon

By Sarah Harris

Jeremy Lai has loved all versions of the Pokemon game since it came out in the 1990s. PHOTO/supplied
Jeremy Lai has loved all versions of the Pokemon game since it came out in the 1990s. PHOTO/supplied

A Wellington man has walked almost 500 kilometres to catch 'em all.

Jeremy Lai, 30, is stoked to be one of the first people to catch all 141 Pokemon in New Zealand, and he's done this while holding down his full-time job.

Lai played Pokemon GO around two hours a day, and more on weekends, walking 445km since it came out on July 6.

The software developer who makes games for Apple and Android said the game is right up his alley.

"I've been a big fan of Pokemon since it first came out in 1999. The game is basically a realisation of that childhood dream, being able to catch pokemon in real life.

"If there's one person to dedicate their time to catching them all, it would be me."

Jeremy Lai's pokedex that shows he's caught 141 pokemon. PHOTO/supplied
Jeremy Lai's pokedex that shows he's caught 141 pokemon. PHOTO/supplied

The game is played by finding Pokemon via a map on your phone. The player then throws a pokeball at the Pokemon and hopes the ball will catch it. Lai said the game entails a little bit of skill but mostly luck.

"The skill comes from identifying patterns and knowing the best spots in the city to catch."

One pattern Lai noticed was finding points where a certain Pokemon seemed to spawn frequently, then wait there to catch it.

Lai is planning to take his Pokemon obsession overseas this November. There are four Pokemon that can't be caught in New Zealand. He'll have to travel to Australia, Asia, Europe and North America to catch them.

"The four region exclusive ones will require me to fly to these places... Generally the big cities should have them."

To play the game you need to choose to be in one of the three teams - Team Mystic, Team Instinct or Team Valor. Lai wanted to emphasis that his victory is also a victory for Team Mystic.

"It's quite a nice feeling [to be in a team]. People set up Facebook pages about going out on team captures and going to battles together. It's a really nice social aspect of the game."

Lai said the hardest one to catch was a Lapras. You can hatch it from an egg by walking 10km but Lai managed to catch it spawning at a spot on Oriental Parade which is known for having lots of Pokemon.

"When it spawned I went crazy."

But Lai's favourite Pokemon from his collection is the Wigglytuff.

"It's a kind of balloon and it's shaped like a rabbit and it sings... It's kind of ridiculous but I just find it adorable."

This story has been corrected to make clear Jeremy Lai is one of the first people in New Zealand in catch 141 Pokemon.

- NZ Herald

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