Lavender Town Tone Anecdote

play the song while u read =D

Decoding the Mystery of "Lavender Town Syndrome" and the "Lavender Tone"


In the "Red" and "Green" versions of the Pokemon video games for the Nintendo Game boy hand-held, there have been reported rumors circulating the internet of "Lavender Town Syndrome." The phenomena is described as occurring when the player is within Lavender Town, a small area with a paranormal theme including ghosts, ghost-themed Pokemon, and a tower constructed for the purpose of housing deceased Pokemon. The music in the area, which was later quickly changed for a second release, contains binaural beats which can induce psychological effects on the listener. These subtle beats comprise the so called "Lavender Town Tone."

For a description of the effects on Japanese children which played this first edition, I shall quote from the page with information on the subject: (Readers should note that most, but not all, of the information on the page is factually sound.)

"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 acknowledgment of the effects of the Lavender Town Tone that the author could find came from an internal report made in June 1996 by the company Game Freak Inc., 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...

...April 12, 1996 (11). Obstructive sleep apnea, severe migraines, otorrhagia, tinnitus. Attacked a police officer near a government building and was killed.
May 23, 1996 (12). General irritability, insomnia, addiction to video games, nosebleeds. Developed into violent streaks against others and eventually himself.
April 27, 1996 (11). cluster headaches, irritability. Self harmed and carved the kanji symbols for "Empire" into his wrists, then died.
March 4, 1996 (7). Migraines, sluggish and slow behavior, unresponsiveness. Developed into deafness and went missing. Body discovered beside road April 20, 1996."

Hundreds of Japanese children fell victim to these effects, many of them committing suicide eventually. As you can see, these binaural beats lead to many problems, including symptoms of brain hemorrhaging and violent actions against others.

The Ghost Animation
The article also mentions a "Ghost Animation" which appears throughout the tower. It supposedly displays static, pictures of screaming faces, the "Grim Reaper," and photographs of corpses along with the standard ghost model itself. While the rest of the paragraph itself is fiction (No such "Games Commission Board" ever held the programmers on trial) there is some truth behind this "Ghost Animation." In the recalled first edition of the games in which the Lavender Town Tone was present, hidden in the game's code is an unnamed Pokemon only identified by its assigned number - 731.

2sb1mog - lavender town tone anecdote

The Pokemon can only be found in two places: one is depicted in Figure 1, Route 7. The thirty-first tile of grass, which is boxed with red in the picture, has a 100% chance of entering a battle with Pokemon 731. it is unknown whether this is due to the game's code itself or it was purposely put there by programmers. Another way to find it is to use the "MissingNO." Glitch. The MissingNO. Glitch involves having an Old Man show you how to catch a Pokemon. Due to "Old Man" taking the place of your character's name in the game's memory, your character's name is moved to the memory which determines what wild Pokemon are shown. On Cinnabar Island, there is a narrow strip of land in which wild Pokemon can be caught, but it has no specific Pokemon assigned to it. Therefore, a Pokemon which corresponds to the hex value of your name will appear. If your character is named "gca" (in lower case letters) you will encounter Pokemon 731.

1zbwjs9 - lavender town tone anecdote

The Pokemon itself is strange in nature. It does indeed use the Ghost sprite, along with some flashing static. However, about twenty frames in it becomes a flashing series of low quality pictures. Two of the clearest ones have been included: figures 2, 3, and 4. Figure 2 appears to be a man standing over a table upon which something hard to identify - a corpse, perhaps - rests. He has his hands on this unknown object and also has what may be a surgical mask over his mouth. This strengthens the theory that it is a body in the frame. Figure 3 appears to be a low resolution image of a building, the significance of which will be explained later. Figure 4 is possibly one of the strangest images: a picture of the Imperial Japanese flag with two kanji symbols that mean "Emperor" in the bottom right corner. Other frames of the animation that can be made out include more images of doctors, corpses, and buildings. The theme from Lavender Town plays the whole time during the battle, although accelerated 3x.

2wggop2 - lavender town tone anecdote

Pokemon, the game will freeze. After restarting, the title screen of the game will have been modified, displaying only static and the tone accelerated to the blistering pace of 10x.

What is the purpose of this Pokemon? What is the significance of the number 731? Were the binaural beats comprising the "Lavender Town Tone" inserted into the music on purpose? The answers require a look at some of the staff of Game Freak, the company which developed the game for Nintendo.

10ynyj6 - lavender town tone anecdote

The Staff of Game Freak
Game Freak Inc., a Japanese video game developer founded in 1989 by Satoshi Tajiri, created the Pokemon series. Shin Nakamura, who was married to Satou Harue with a six year old child, Ken Nakamura, worked there as a programmer. Ms. Harue, who leaked the list of children affected by the Lavender Tone, was trained in musical skills and was in charge of sound design. In order to gather more information on this subject, I traveled to Japan to inverview Ms. Harue, who now lives in the small town of Toma, in the Kamikawa District of the Hokkaido Prefecture.

Initially unwilling to answer my questions, she finally relented and gave me the information I desired. The reason she had leaked the list of children was partially due to personal guilt. Mr. Nakamura had asked to tweak the Lavender Town theme, Ms. Harue accepted, and Mr. Nakamura added the tone, telling Ms. Harue that he decided that it was fine as it was and did not add anything. Because the tone is not audible for those over the age of twelve, Ms. Harue believed Mr. Nakamura.

In the middle of the night after the game was released, Mr. Nakamura committed suicide in the Aokigahara Forest by hanging himself on a tree, leaving a letter addressed to Ms. Harue below him. Their son, Ken, was killed in an automobile accident down the road from their house, naked,with several cracked ribs, frothing at the mouth and heavily bleeding from his nose due to a brain hemorrhage. The two Kanji symbols for "Emperor" were also carved into his chest. The story that Ms. Harue told me was that while Ken was sleeping, Mr. Nakamura put headphones on his son and played the Lavender Town and left. Eventually, their son woke up, and, due to the effects of the tone, cut the symbols into himself with a kitchen knife then attempted to attack the passengers of a nearby car. Frightened, they ran over to him then drove off. Unfortunately, her story was not accepted by police, although the bloody kitchen knife was present in his bedroom.

Ms. Harue has agreed to allow me to release a revealing passage from Mr. Nakamura's letter with the rest omitted due to personal reasons. It is as follows:

"Dear Satou,

(section omitted)...tonight is the eve of a new era for Japan, a new empire of which I am responsible. I cannot, however, linger to see my creation unfold within the coming months, visions of my father's work haunt me...(brief section omitted...Our dear Ken will be the first martyr for the empire, followed by many other children as our disgraceful society collapses, uprooted by its own young. A phoenix will rise from the ashes, the second Great Imperial Japanese Nation...(rest of letter omitted)"

This passage makes it obvious that Mr. Nakamura's goal was the crate a second "Great Imperial Japanese Nation" by using the newly released Pokemon games. He hoped that the Lavender Tone, which causes violence against the victims themselves and others, would turn all of the children who purchased the game into warriors for the Empire. But what explains the pictures on the Ghost Animation, and what was his father's work?

Unit 731
Unit 731 was a secretive unit of the Japanese army under the Empire of Japan during World WAr II. It was dedicated to biological and chemical research, also delving into human experimentation. It is infamous for its many war crimes. It consisted of several divisions:

Division 1: Research on bubonic plague, cholera, anthrax, typhoid, and tuberculosis using live human subjects. For this purpose, a prison was constructed to contain around three- to four-hundred people.
Division 2: Research for biological weapons used in the field, in particular the production of devices to spread germs and parasites.
Division 3: Production of shells containing biological agents. Stationed in Harbin.
Division 4: Production of other miscellaneous agents.
Division 5: Training of personnel.
Divisions 6-8: Equipment, medical, and administrative units.

Under division 4 worked Hoshu Nakamura, the father of Shin Nakamura. According to Ms. Harue, "He was a very conservative man, had an Imperial Flag on his wall, and followed all traditions. He was stuck in the former half of the century."

If we delve further into records we find that Hoshu Nakamura worked in Division 4. He held the title of "Director of Experimentation Relating to Audial Engineering." From here, we can only speculate what responsibilities that tile held, but one can guess that the Lavender Tone was engineered there between the screams of vivisected patients and the smoke of burning bodies.

Now, recall figures 2 and 3. As figure 2 pictures a man in a surgical mask holding a body, it was likely taken by Mr. Nakamura himself at the facility. Figure 3 looks similar to the main entrance to the facility. We can gather that the rest of the photos are "patients" of Unit 731 and the buildings of the facility.

The effects themselves were certainly not as great as Mr. Nakamura hoped. There is no second Japanese Empire, but only a few hundred Japanese children, who died in fits of insane rage against government officials and themselves, which he is responsible for. This is mainly thanks to the quick actions of Ms. Harue and Game Freak at removing the tone and the secret code and images which Mr. Nakamura implemented into the game. Mr. Nakamura also neglected to foresee that the effects were hardly present at all without the use of headphones during the Lavender Town segment specifically. The quiet and fast recall by Nintendo is also a contributing factor.

Pokemon continues to be a popular worldwide series of video games. Sadly, the government, possibly by the request of Nintendo, has neglected to acknowledge the connection between the lost children and the Pokemon games. The information Ms. Harue leaked has been all but erased from any records, and only one copy of the list remains at her home.

I'd like to thank Ms. Harue greatly for complying with my requests, supplying nearly all of the information in this article and providing a rare copy (possibly the only one left) of a first edition Pokemon cartridge for investigation purposes.

Ms. Harue continues to live alone with her two cats in Toma, Hokkaido, working as a store clerk. She left Game Freak shortly after her husband's suicide and her child's death. Sadly, she has all but given up trying to spread awareness of the events that led to the loss of her child.

*UPDATE* Ms. Harue passed away from Leukemia on May 3rd, 2001. This page is now dedicated to her, and may she rest in piece. That's it. The website has been down for the past few years. As for the story itself, it seems plausible, although the tone would have to manipulate the children with forms of sound other than binaural beats, as those are **impossible** on the Game Boy. There are still many other ways it could have been done, and binaural beats was possibly a misassumption by the author. I hope you guys enjoyed this.

***Yes, binaural beats are possible on Gameboy,
*assuming you're using headphones.

*This routine when called will setup the sound
*channels to produce a binaural tone.

SECTION "LavenderTown", HOME
.BIN_Start: ld A, 127
ld (FF00+52), A
*First, make sure the sound hardware is enabled.
ld A, 18
ld (FF00+51), A
*Now, the tone voice and the tone/sweep voice
*are on separate ears IF you're using headphones
xor A
ld (FF00+10), A
ld A, 127
ld (FF00+11), A
ld (FF00+21), A
ld A, 248
ld (FF00+12), A
ld (FF00+22), A
*Just loading constants to turn off tonesweep
*and ensure dutycycles are the same.
ld A, 68
ld (FF00+13), A
ld A, 134
ld (FF00+14), A
*Tone 1 has been loaded with a 700hz tone.
ld A, 71
ld (FF00+23), A
ld A, 134
ld (FF00+24), A
*Tone 2 has been loaded with a 715hz tone.
*At this point the GB should be playing a
*constant binaural tone, using 2 sound channels
*in the process.

*I would like to note that setting up binaurals
*this way is kinda annoying, since you're using
*two sound channels to do the work of one.

*That's probably why in the creepypasta it's
*only mentioned as being in Lavender Town,
*as that melody is simple enough that you could
*use two sound channels for the lead without
*much of an issue.

*It's still freakin' impractical if it only
*occurs in the one town that already creeps you
*enough that you don't want to use headphones.

You might be interested


Reply Attach
  • 11

    No fucking way... I played Pokémon Silver with a friend when I was like 10 Y.O. and suddenly that thing came up. My friend or who ever said it, said it was a form of Gastley. But this thing had something special. It gave me nightmares, I wanna know more about this motherfucker.
    ghooooooooost - lavender town tone anecdote

    Thx for posting this, now I finaly know what it is after 6 years...

    • Naugron
    • September 26, 2010, 3:03 am
    lolz same thing happned to me nd to think i had an original red nd blue still in japanese nd then i got an english red nd blue
    - xxkisamexx September 26, 2010, 5:17 am
    Oh my God you're right I remember that fucker! I was so confused by that as a little kid
    - imfrikknbad October 3, 2010, 10:02 pm
    think i recall that actually! had a weird ass gold and silver 2in1 version from some random country so i figured its cause it was a shit developer.... wow....
    - Dragkyre December 1, 2010, 4:05 pm
    I think I recall that thing but I can't remember. The first time I saw missingno it was just a bunch of pixelated squares. But this picture does ring a bell.
    - XxDaminalsxX December 2, 2010, 4:05 am
  • 5

    In the Lavender Town Tone, the message displayed by the Unown that move across the screen is, "LEAVE NOW"


    The dashes "-----" represent each break between the next segment of Unown that moves across the screen.

    I'm not kidding about either of these. If you don't believe me, look for each section of Unown and compare the shapes with the letters and you will see the messages in both Tone's. Creepy shit.

    • Disco
    • December 1, 2010, 11:23 am
  • 4

    O.K I'm really freaking out right now.
    I put on high quality earphones and it is mindfucking me through both ears SIMULTANEOUSLY.

    possibly even scarier is this.

    • cary139
    • September 26, 2010, 9:52 am
    If you read the description of this video and the other video that goes with it the first letter in each paragraph spells out "DONT LISTEN and I AM DEAD" . . . I think either that's spooky as fuck or we have a troll here . . .
    - imfrikknbad October 3, 2010, 10:08 pm
    dude.... seriously, listened to that without headphones, sounded normal, then when i put them in i heard this weird constant background sound along with the main... WHAT THE FUCK! after reading the article i dont think i wanna listen to more than 2 seconds of that
    - Dragkyre December 1, 2010, 4:09 pm
    is it like a humming?
    - tbart2010 December 3, 2010, 10:48 am
    It is, and is it just me or does the humming seem to get louder and louder as you listen to the song?
    - SaysTheMan September 11, 2011, 8:19 am
    Ok so I came back and listened to this wearing Razer Orca headphones and WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK?!?!?! Creepy as shit man..... creepy as shit....
    - imfrikknbad April 18, 2012, 1:49 am
  • 2

    If you listen to the song on youtube in the description it says that
    the uploader's friend died of a seizure listening to this song i don't know if thats true but it sure is creepy

    • Deano10
    • September 26, 2010, 4:54 am
  • 2

    i remeber seeing that thing and the flag when i used to play it

  • 2

    nice, post a song which makes you violent toward others and causes health problems...

    • BEASTY
    • December 1, 2010, 7:54 am
    lolz its better thn half of the music thts out now
    - xxkisamexx December 1, 2010, 9:14 am
    it killed people.....
    - BEASTY December 1, 2010, 11:35 am
    Beibers music makes me want to eat babies.....
    - Tremp20k December 1, 2010, 11:45 am
    they say tht the music played today is killing off our generation murder rates are sky rocketing and they are blaming it on music sooooo i say tht music is killing people today
    - xxkisamexx December 1, 2010, 11:57 am
    and im gunna kill people if i hear bieber's fucking voice one more time! he's more dangerous than this
    - Dragkyre December 1, 2010, 4:11 pm
  • 2

    when i was a kid and i got my copy of red version in 1997, i had the original version of the game. I love playing the game with sound (to this day i cant play a game w/o sound) but everytime i got to Lavender Town, i would turn off the sound. the music scared me when i was 6. It still has a creepy effect.

    Edit: im charging 2 AA batteries for my gameboy, putting my orig. red version in, and going to lavender town to listen to this with headphones now. this is probably a bad idea.

    are you still alive dude?
    - Campincarl December 1, 2010, 6:46 pm
    i am indeed still alive. though after i posted this, my week went from bad to shitty. maybe its just my psych but after listening to it for an hour or so straight i felt sick. idk weird.
    - xRAYZ0Rx December 2, 2010, 4:59 pm
  • 2

    i got a headache after listening to this

    Me too..
    - tbart2010 December 3, 2010, 10:46 am
  • 2

    Dude, I have all three original games. Red, Blue and Yellow. It's... Deadly to say the least. Basically, it makes it so I skip that area all together. Evey time I enter there, I turn my music off, and bike before the music starts. If I listen to more than 20 seconds of it, I actually lose my sight.

    I was curoius about this whole song, and played it on high frequency speakers. (I'm 17 and heard some hellish noises) Basically, my roommate found me on the floor.

    Apparently, the loud section at the 2 last minutes made him want to see what the hell was happening.

  • 2

    this song makes my ears hurt, i hear the low humming in the background, and for some reason my heart and brain feels weird

  • 2

    some one need to make a dub step version of this

    :O that'd be fucking epic!
    - thekitkatkid March 9, 2012, 11:45 pm
  • 1

    wait does this video actually have the tone

    • ryrob23
    • December 1, 2010, 2:18 pm
    I think so
    - Pharmon December 1, 2010, 4:20 pm
    It helps when you have your speakers on.
    - Disco December 1, 2010, 5:04 pm
    good call, disco.
    - Mocahking December 1, 2010, 5:38 pm
  • 1

    Wow um...this is really really fucked up shit. Why was this fucking dismissed again?

  • 1

    This never happened to me. I only played the english versions. It's still really creepy though. I'm going to buy or find some high quality headphones to see if this is true. I doubt I'm going to die or anything seeing as how I'm 17.

  • 1

    okay yeah not gonna lie, when i was little i cried when i listened to the lavender town music. I didnt have a gameboy so i played it on my n64 pokemon stadium game (tv speakers), and i refused to go into laveder town without the bike because the music scared me and i cried. THIS. IS. WEIRD. SHIT.

  • 1

    I actually can't listen to the last 2 mins of that music. It's horrible. Creeps me right out...

    Does anyone else get like a low kind of buzzing while listening through headphones, tried it with other music and it doesn't do it, only with this?

    • SuDoku
    • February 1, 2011, 6:26 am
    I think it's only you...
    - thekitkatkid February 1, 2011, 1:57 pm
    I got it as well when I listened to it. Some people may just be able to hear lower frequency's than others.
    - Disco February 1, 2011, 4:18 pm
    Well so long as I've not gone completely insane :)
    - SuDoku February 2, 2011, 12:22 am
    Don't worry. We're all insane anyways. :D
    - Disco February 2, 2011, 4:02 am
    Aww cheers, you know just how to make a person feel better :P
    - SuDoku February 2, 2011, 4:07 am
    yay! :P
    - Disco February 2, 2011, 4:50 am
  • 1

    this song obviosly didnt kill people. its a good story, but honestly, a mad japanes doctor uses pokemon video-game background music to take over japan? really? think about it.

    • Zink
    • February 1, 2011, 8:43 am
  • 1

    i definitley aggrea with zink, dont sycke yourslef into thinking crazy becasue some troll put days of work into some lame story

  • 1

    but i also agrea with sudoku, SHIT IS WIERD

  • 1

    Oh dear god... when i was around 8 i played that game... OH god oh god...

  • 1

    I have a headache after listening to that....

    • Goober
    • February 5, 2011, 4:44 am
  • 1

    The last two or so minutes is just the lavender town song played on the opposite end of the frequency spectrum, so the low pitched humming becomes a high pitched screech, and it seems to be played in reverse as well. (just an observation)

  • 1

    ehm I'm 13 and just listened to the song (without headphones)
    now I feel kinda light in my head and kinda weird.. is that bad :S?
    (I kinda thought maybe I could listen to this with headphones on and see whats different)

    Should I do it?

    • Lionel
    • April 16, 2012, 10:37 am
    Yes, definitely! :)
    - thekitkatkid April 18, 2012, 1:08 am
  • 1

    I fucking love this song.
    This post is getting linked in my Lavender Town remix group.
    This is fuckin' dope.

    - Inedibleedible April 18, 2012, 1:25 am
  • 1

    I played Pokemon red when i was 7,and i always turned off the music while in Lavender Town.
    However,it's not that i found it creepy or gave me headaches , it was just annoying to listen to it. :P

    To be honest,the game that made me almost shit my pants was Metroid:Fusion in GBA .
    Talk about a creepy a game,SA-X still gives me nightmares sometimes. D:

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