There is sophisticated performance art and then there is What the famous Twitch fool Jerma did over the weekend. In a truly inspired stream, he parodied the recent one Pokémon Booster pack madness by walking into the Nevada desert pretending to dig up a chest that appears to be full of unopened animals Pokémon Maps from 1997. They turned out to be something else: Grotto beasts. Spoiler: Grotto beasts isn’t a real show and never was, but that didn’t stop Jerma’s community from getting the joke and running to the furthest ends of the internet with it.
The stream, which took place on Saturday, set a new bar for the phrase “commitment to a little”. Jerma headed for the Nevada desert with an excavator, a production crew, and a paleontologist from the Nevada Science Center. Dressed in an archaeological outfit that was definitely just a Poe Dameron Halloween costume and scarf, he discovered a wooden box that had apparently been left behind by his grandpa. It contained a treasure trove of snacks from the ’90s – which Jerma joked was overwhelming because Dunkaroos, Surge Soda, and the like came back after “a lot of people complained on Twitter” – and a box of “collectable packs of monster cards” from the year 1997. Jerma, who never broke character, lost his shit. Still old Pokémon Cards can Sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars now.
He proceeded to carefully break open the box only to find booster packs for something called that Grotto beasts.
“Grandpa, you voted …” he said in a tone of false confusion. “That shit didn’t even play a whole season on TV.”
However, when he started opening the packs, he came across some legitimately interesting creature designs like Veggiroo, a vegetable kangaroo, and Meowdy, the cowboy cat. “These are really fucking cool,” he said.
Of course, everyone in the chat already knew it was a gag; that was the fun of it. Plus, the evidence of the cards’ true origins was concealed in plain language, and each card showed the Twitter handle of the artist who drew it. On Twitter, the artists were delighted with how well their work was received.
“I’m so overwhelmed by the reaction about it Grotto beasts from the stream of @ Jerma985 !! “Hollulu, one of the artists who worked on the project, said on twitter. “It was an honor to work on them and it would not have been possible without the other fantastic artists. @Sturnerart, @melscribbles, @ BellymouthArtwho threw it all out of the park !! ”
That’s an understatement given the timeframe they were working with. In a DM, said Melscribbles Kotaku that “we managed to get it all done in just over a week.”
The stream appeared to be planned much longer, with a whole second section in which Jerma and a legitimate paleontologist, Joshua Bonde of the Nevada Science Center, broke up geodes and examined the crystal formations within. Bonde patiently explained the combinations of air and water that had resulted in unique patterns over the course of thousands of years, though Jerma occasionally produced gag geodes that contained things like plastic Minecraft Diamonds and a packet of seeds Stardew Valley. Jerma, meanwhile, responded with great enthusiasm to Bonde’s statements, saying that if he could have done this at 20, he would now be a paleontologist, not a streamer. It was a fun, healthy, oddly educational conversation – and completely different from anything anyone has done on Twitch before.
After the stream ended, fans immediately clung to it Grotto beasts. It wasn’t long before they discovered it an official website (seemingly created by Jerma) that looks like a Geocities page from 1997, complete with an info registration form that promises to start in mid-1997. If you dig into the code on the page, you can even find a webmaster email address that some fans have reached out to find work. Others took matters into their own hands and continued the idea Grotto beasts was definitely a real 90s bag-wannabe with their own contemporary art and Theme songs– what they “found” in cupboards and on cassettes – as well as as a whole discord and subreddit This is where users create monsters and mechanics to pretend to be nostalgic in real time.
For example, a user on the subreddit posted via a card called “Sk-8-ter Shroom” with an ability that allows you to “take your opponent’s Grotto beast and shred it in front of her face. “
“I took this card away from my friend, but he still used the ability,” said another user, getting faux nostalgic.
It all worked out incredibly quickly, with entire songs and cards materializing just a few hours after Jerma’s stream ended on Saturday. If you weren’t into the joke, you might believe that people were really sitting on fuzzy memories of a calamity Pokémon Clone for over two decades. All from a parody stream teaching people about rocks. It’s about as rare as a holographic razzle-dazzle these days, but the internet is fine sometimes.