The Path to Pokémon

The following feature is excerpted from TIME Pokémon: The Games. The Shows. The Evolution.

It was a particularly hot day in Topeka, Kans., on Aug. 27, 1998. Temperatures reached a sweltering 97 degrees, making it one of the most scorching days that month. For the 2,500 lucky kids gathered in the city, it was about to start raining—raining Pikachu, that is. Th…

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