Well, don't play it with headphones.
Well, don't play it with headphones.
If I could read Japanese, I'd get a ROM...
Hmm, well I've started getting bored. I guess I should check a few final details and finish the report, which I plan to post here, but I need to find the motivation to do so. I kinda lost it after I figured it out...
My "L.T.S." group wants to make shirts, and spread awareness :lol: I can't believe it...
Unless that going to end up as the name for all cases where binaural beats cause negative affects, it's kinda pointless, as this took place back in 96...
I know! It WOULD be cool to have L.T.S. used more often... Apart from the pain and all...
16, and it DOES give me the headache (without the ear sets). And it sounds annoying as well -_-
The suicide part is bullshits I suppose *tied a rope to the neck*
Someone needs to make a ROM-hack of this game. Just saying. If I could program for shit, I'd totally do it. The concept just sounds amazing.
I only had blue.
They have translate ROMs, poorly at that.
okay yeah that makes me grumpy
*grumbles, then orders some damn kids to get off of her lawn*
I just realized I never posted my final report thing on this. Maybe tomorrow if anyone wants to see it. Actually, almost definitely tomorrow so I don't get any more messages about it like I did the other day...
Oh right... yeah, I'd like to see it.
Alright, I decided to post it tonight cause I'll be too lazy or something tomorrow. I wish I had cleaned it up more, cause it took me a few to figure out everything. Anyway, it was like 4 pages on MS word, most of it taken up by the posts I had quoted as sources for information or w/e.
Lavender Town Syndrome is reportedly caused by the music theme from Lavender Town in the original Pokemon red and green versions. According to stories, the there was a tone in the music that caused adverse effects on players in the age range of 7-12, mainly because the tone couldn’t be heard by fully developed ears. Symptoms included:
Addiction to the game
And other possible effects
Suicides were usually by hanging, attempting to saw off their own limbs, and shoving their fists down their throats, thus suffocating themselves.
To start off, these are the links to two youtube videos with music from lavender town.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m14Hj4L64ts&feature (original version)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNJJ-...layer_embedded (revised version)
The difference in the sound is very obvious. While the revised version seems cleaner and more finished, the original seems to have more to it. Also, the original version gave me a slight headache while I was listening, and it also feels different. The original was able to creep me out slightly and it irritated me a little as well, however the revised version has no noticeable effects.
After some more investigation, it seems that LTS is caused by a binaural beat within the Lavender Town Theme. According to a piece on the internet (quoted below), The Lavender Town Tone can sporadically cause beta and theta frequencies to go back and forth too rapidly, thus adversely affecting some children and adults.
My final conclusion is that LTS, is real, however the parameters given within the stories on the internet are only partially true. Below is a list of what I believe to be realistic symptoms and parameters.
Death (in very extreme cases)
Age is not a factor
Gender is not a factor
Effects vary from none to severe based variables such as volume, hearing sensitivity, and means of listening (i.e. headphone, no headphones, ect)
Insanity and suicide do not seem to be realistic, but as everyone hears the tone differently, they may be possible in very rare cases. Large scale suicides are very very unlikely.
Research Subjects: (Members from the website Pokedream.com/forums)
Keke le Cat: Age: ?, Stated that she had a little bit of a headache after listening to it, but she couldn’t remember if she had it before listening.
Keke le Cat’s Daughter: Age:2, Effects were probably non-existant, according to keke, she laughed and danced as the music played. This leads me to believe that age may not actually be a factor in hearing the Lavender Town Tone.
Kirby: Age: 16, Reported a headache in the frontal region of his brain, but says it’s nothing serious. He thought it was just from the overlaying drum sounds.
Atomica: Age: 15, Listened to it five times with no effect, but listened a sixth time through a pair of HD headphones and after 20 seconds got queasy and had a bad headache. Said he had to lie down because of the headache. Also claims his cat puked because of it.
Mariruri(Kelsh): Age: ?, Says she can’t listen to it because she gets a major headache and her eyes water. Says she hasn’t listened to it in a long time and refuses to listen to it ever again.
Solly: Age: 16, Reports no effects other than that it scares the crap out of him. He also states an exact time that the tone starts playing in the vid of the original version. The fact that he recognizes the tone but isn’t affected by it indicates that some may be immune to it. Volume may have played a part in this result however.
Midnight the Dark Espeon: Age: 16, No noticeable effects
These posts were posted on http://sonicsatam.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2211 by Xian Shade.
“Ever listened to the actual original theme? Don't.
A friend of mine is in the study of hemisync, which is the use of tunes to manipulate the brain for different purposes (he primarily studies the beneficial), much like the article above lists. I played it only for a few moments, and he told me to turn it off, explaining that it sporadically triggers beta and theta frequencies back and forth, too rapidly. THAT'S what was unbalancing the kids. I actually scared him by playing this for him, wondering what the hell the japanese were thinking by implementing this into a children's game.”
“It was late and I didn't explain myself well... I 'do' have stereo sound on my laptop, and he's studied it long enough to be able to interpret the beats even without headphones. When I said it sporadically triggered the beta & theta frequencies back & forth, too rapidly, he was referring to the beats alternating between the two sides, one sound, each ear. He can easily understand why this would mentally unbalance children, and even some adults. He said, and I quote: "Two things: One, never play that in front of me again, because that seriously disturbed me, and Two, I need to download that for weapons-grade experimentation."
He's funny, but regardless of the tone, the 'buried alive' and 'whithand' things are false. I have early japanese ports of pokemon green, and have found no evidence of these disturbing images and objects. The article above states that there were supplied images. I was unable to find 'any', nor any actual video of it existing anywhere.”
This story was posted on serebii.net by banned member Kai the Squirtle. The link was http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=455354. It was posted in two parts, the first being dedicated to the Lavender Town Tone, and the second being about visual effects related to it. The visual effects, which can not possibly exist in the gameboy, and don't even appear in any ROM version as far as I know, are known as “The White Hand Sprite”, “Ghost Animation”, and the “Buried Alive Model”. The poster states at the end of his post that this is obviously fiction, but for fiction the post seems a little too complex. I will have to read this more later.
The phenomenon of the "Lavender Town Tone" is a legend that involves a bizarre spate of medical cases and deaths from around the country that have been connected to the "Pocket Monsters" (Pokémon) series of games, in particular the first two games of the series, "Red" and "Green". Though the event is largely unheard of due to disclosure laws for companies based in the Kyoto Prefecture, there is a large amount of information that has been brought into the open by a number of dedicated individuals, including 関 内直 (Seki Uchitada) 伊勢 満朝 (Ise Mitsutomo) and 佐藤 治情 (Satou Harue), to whom this page is dedicated. Thanks also go out to 安藤 景忠 (Andou Kagetada) for providing images and animated .gifs of the visual phenomena.
This analysis will discuss the other phenomena that is often confused with the "Lavender Town Tone", known as "White Hand Sprite", "Ghost Animation" and "buried alive model", as well as the semi-related developer-tag that was inserted into the game, and how to safely perform these "easter eggs" in post-first wave cartridges.
History of the Game [$HIG]
The first cases of the "Lavender Town Tone" and associated events were reported a few months after the release of of "Pocket Monsters Red and Green" for the handheld "Game Boy" videogame console. These videogames were wildly popular with children between the ages of seven and twelve (their core demographic), which was no doubt one of the reasons why the "Lavender Town Tone" had the level of severity that it did. In the game, the player takes on the role of a "Trainer", whose task it is to capture, tame and train wild creatures called "Pocket Monsters" for battle. These games, and the two newest additions to the series, "Pocket Monsters Gold and Silver", an anime, manga, figurines, a collectible card-game and home console games have resulted in Pocket Monsters becoming a multi-billion dollar franchise.
In one part of the game, the Trainer comes to a small, out-of-the-way place called "Lavender Town" (シオンタウン). This town is one of the smallest hamlets in the game (aside from the Trainer's own home town), and possesses very few of the services available to the Trainer in every other city in the game - indeed, the location would be unremarkable were it not for the "Pokémon Tower" (ポケモンタワー) located there - a colossal building that holds the graves of hundreds of deceased Pokémon.
It is theorised that, because of this location in the game, at least two hundred children lost their lives, and many more developed sudden illnesses and afflictons - and this does not consider the vast waves of unreported illnesses or deaths whose cause went unnoticed.
History of the Pathology [$HIP]
It was not until Spring/Summer of 1996 that the cases that would eventually become linked to the Lavender Town Tone began to surface. The earliest record of the acknowledgement of the effects of the Lavender Town Town that the author could find came from an internal report made in June 1996 by the company Game Freak Inc. (株式会社ゲームフリーク), which was then leaked by one of its former employees, Ms. Satou Harue. In it, an employee gives a list of names, dates and symptoms - records of children between the ages of 7 and 12 who had suffered various medical problems as a result of playing Pocket Monsters Red and Green versions. Some records are listed below, with the full listing in Appendix A [here]. (It should be noted that entries in the Appendix also include symptoms borne not from the "Lavender Town Tone" [an audio phenomenon] but from the so-called "White Hand Sprite", "Ghost Animation" and "buried alive model", all of which were visual phenomena that provoked similar but distinct symptoms. More details on Part Two [here]).
京极 勝女; April 12 1996 (11). Obstructive sleep apnea, severe migraines, otorrhagia, tinnitus.
千葉 広幸: May 23 1996 (12). General irritability, insomnia, addiction to videogame, nosebleeds. Developed into violent streaks against others and eventually himself. [自殺]
桃井 久江: April 27 1996 (11). Cluster headaches, irritability. Eventually took mixed painkillers. [自殺]
吉長 為真: March 4 1996 (7). Migraines, sluggish and slow behaviour, unresponsiveness. Developed into deafness, and went missing. Body discovered beside road April 20 1996. [死出]
The document that was circulated internally was the first time that these incidents had been connected with the Pocket Monsters videogames - until then, the cause had not been discovered or diagnosed by medical professionals. Indeed, it is uncertain how the company themselves managed to find the cases related to the event without seeking advice from health services.
Pathology Detail -- "Lavender Town Tone" [$PAT]
The predominant symptoms related to what would become known as the "Lavender Town Town" included headaches and migraines, bleeding from eyes and ears, mood swings and irritability, addiction to the games, unprovoked violence, withdrawal and unresponsiveness, and in approximately 67% of cases, suicidal tendencies. However, these symptoms only manifested in children between the ages of 7 and 12 years old who had reached the area in game known as "Lavender Town", most of whom were revealed to have been wearing headphones or earphones while playing the game (see Appendix A [here]).
As it turns out, the developers of the Lavender Town area had sought to make an area that would "leave an impression on the player", according to Seki Uchitada, who was a member of the development team. Seki claimed that at the time of development, a number of the team were interested in making Lavender Town a little different to the rest of the game.
"The Pokémon Tower is a visible result of that," Seki told ゲームの次元 （"Game's Dimensions" Magazine) in an interview earlier this year. "That, and the fact that Lavender Town is so different from all the other cities in the game: it is smaller, it has fewer people occupying it, it didn't have a gym... and, of course, the music was very, very eerie. In fact, in the first version of the game, we were told to slightly change the song played in the background of Lavender Town ... because our manager told us it would make children upset. The music used in subsequent versions is different."
Either Seki was unaware of the full impact of the Lavender Town Tone, or was vastly underexaggerating how "upset" children would get - no more is said of the music in the article, but there are mentions of Lavender Town's other macabre features (see below).
What Seki failed to disclose to Game's Dimensions Magazine was that the music used in the first-wave release of Pocket Monsters Red and Green was formulated out of an experiment in "binaural beats": using slightly different frequencies of sound, each frequency played in one ear through earphones or headphones, various psychological effects can be induced upon the listener. In most versions of the first wave releases, this resulted in the player feeling uneasy, apprehensive, and mildly disturbed. However, for upwards of two-hundred children, it provoked a variety of disturbances in the brain that went undetected purely because it was undetectable by fully developed human ears - instead, only children fell victim to the tones , resulting in psychological and physiological problems that in some cases led to death - many of which were suicides.”
Pathology Detail- Visual Overview
These visual effects are known among programming circles as "The White Hand Sprite", the "Ghost Animation", and the "Buried Alive Model". Each has been found to cause headaches, nausea, and in severe cases, hemorrhaging of the brain and lungs. While around 70% of Lavender Town Syndrome (LTS) is due to the Lavender Tone, the remaining percentage is split among these visual phenomena. This is partly due to the visual stimuli occurring after the player is introduced to the Lavender Tone. It has been theorized that those unaffected by the aural stimulation, such as the deaf or the hard of hearing, make up the remaining 30%. While viewing these models can cause these effects, there are certain methods that allow a viewer to safely examine them in detail.
The White Hand Sprite
Known in the code as WhitHand.gif, this was scripted to appear as a Pokemon on the third floor of the Lavender Tower. It is divided into four separate animations: an introduction (the "cry" a Pokemon unleashes before a battle), an idle, and two attacks. These attacks are unknown, as they are listed simply as "Fist" and "Brutal". While viewing the animation has been proven to be hazardous, viewing the frames of the model has been proven to have no adverse effects. The White Hand is depicted as a shriveled, slightly decayed hand, with surprising attention to detail: flesh is peeling back from the bone, and several tendons dangle realistically out of the wrist. The first attack is the hand balling into a fist, then swinging forward. However, the "brutal" animation is missing several frames: The hand seems to open up, then cuts out. After a few seconds, it reappears, closed again. No record has been found of these missing frames.
The Ghost Animation, coded as Haunting.swf, was intended to be placed in several areas throughout the tower, including in the center of a path on the second floor. However, players cannot interact with it, leaving many to believe that it was intended as a "background feature". The ghost animation as well must be viewed in individual frames. It is comprised of 59 frames total. However, after extraction, around half of these frames have been revealed to be the standard ghost model used in Pocket Monsters. Around a quarter of the remaining frames are comprised of static, to produce a "fading" effect. However, interspersed with these bursts of static are several frames of screaming faces, along with images of a skeletal man in a cloak (hypothesized to be the Grim Reaper) and of several killed corpses. The meaning behind these are unknown- While under oath before the Video Games Commission Board, Lead Programmer Hisashi Sogabe testified as to having "No knowledge as to where these images surfaced." Out of all the phenomena associated with LTS, this animation is the most speculated on: In his thesis "Video Games and The Manipulation of the Human Mind", [viewable in appendix C] Dr. Jackson Turner argued that the images were intentionally placed in. Due to their brief time appearing on the screen, and the graphic nature of the frames, Turner theorizes that these were meant to subliminally influence players into becoming more frightened by the disturbing surroundings.
The Buried Alive Model
Often referred to as its code, the Buryman script, the Buried Alive Model was to be found on the final story of the Pokemon Tower, in what has now been replaced with the Marowak ghost. According to the scripts assigned to it, the Buried Alive model was intended to be the "boss" of the tower. Once reaching the top floor, the following conversation would have taken place.
Buried Alive: You're... Here.
BA: I'm trapped...
BA: And I'm lonely...
BA: So very lonely...
BA: Won't you join me?
After this, the battle would have been initiated. Once in
"battle view", the Buried Alive model appears to be a decaying human corpse attempting to crawl out of the ground. It has been programmed to have two White Hands, a Gengar, and a Muk. Strangely enough, a protocol for the Buried Alive's actions after it was defeated were not written. In the case of the player defeating him, the game would freeze. However, a specific ending was written by an unknown programmer upon losing the battle. In this ending, the Buried Alive was to have stated, "Finally, fresh meat!" followed by several lines of gibberish. He was to have then dragged the player character into the ground surrounding him. The scene would finish with a typical "Game Over" screen; however, in the background, an image of the Buried Alive character devouring the player was to have been shown. Especially strange are the protocols for after this scene. The cartridge was to download this image to the small internal memory contained in the Gameboy, overwriting the title screen that normally accompanied a Gameboy turning on. Instead, whenever it was started, the player would view this image as the sound file staticmesh.wav was played. The intended purpose for this effect, unlike many of the other factors leading towards LTS, is unknown.”
if you'd like i have my personal experience :)
TEST 1: headphones
as i listened to the track, the higher notes were piercing and more annoying than anything, but i didn't let that distract me. the music was very repetitive as always. there was a slight pain in my eyes later in the track, as well as a throbbing in my temples. the most effective part of the song that makes this happen is when all you hear are the small drum thuds, as the treble dissonance builds. its almost unbearable, but its short, and the only thing in the song that could possibly render it harmful.
TEST 2: no headphones
well, there is definitely less bass, so less dissonance in the music. the higher, more annoying passages are still there, but less piercing. there really isn't much more than a synthy-trebley whisper. the more painful treble part described in the last test was less harmful. i conclude that this test is definitely harmless.
and that's my take on it :)
Those stories are creepy.
Test: No Headphones headache
Test: Head phones no headache
I started laughing half way through.. Thats pathetic if people are scared by that..
Leo33wii: Age 23; listened to the track with no headphones. Slight rush feeling. I can hear the differences of the Original and Revised version.
29... Similar to Leo actually. I mean the music is cool... I enjoy it, but about halfway through my adrenaline got pumping. Fun Stuff.