On September 30, 1998, 151 tiny aliens arrived on U.S. soil and quickly became a national obsession. Kids begged their parents to buy Nintendo’s first-generation Pokémon video game, collected and traded the playing cards, then stormed theaters to watch the Pokémon movie. Within a year, the franchise had racked up more than $1 billion in sales in the U.S. alone, all while mainstream media – including TIME – fretted over whether training Pikachu and his monster friends to do battle might be a bad influence on impressionable young minds, and teachers began banning students from bringing their Game Boys to school.
Turns out, the kids are alright. To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Pokémon invasion, brothers Vijay and Antonius Nazareth of AVByte have created a musical video starring a real-life Ash Ketchum – Pokémon master extraordinaire – and his sidekick Misty as they explain the Pokémon craze to a clueless young kid. Featuring holograms of some of the more memorable creatures, including the psychic Abra and the red-eyed Golem, the song is set amidst backdrops that uptown New Yorkers will recognize as Riverside Park, St. Nicholas Park and the West Harlem Piers.
“We wanted to truly just convey the feeling and nostalgia that a lot of fans have about Pokémon,” Antonius Nazareth says of the mini musical. As kids, he and his brother Vijay — now ages 20 and 24, respectively — never actually got to play the game because their parents wouldn’t let them. “We were jealous of all the other kids when we were little,” he adds.
Now the brothers are making up for lost time. “A lot of younger kids weren’t exposed to Pokémon,” says Antonius. With the sixth-generation Pokémon games, Pokémon X and Y, set to drop on Saturday, “the video gives them a quick recap of what it’s all about.”
“What’s a Pokémon?” the clueless boy asks his friends in the song’s opening scene. Watch the video, and you’ll never forget.