Twitch Plays Pokemon, a social phenomenon in which thousands of Twitch users simultaneously wrestle for control of an emulated Pokemon game, may be nearing its end. The host of the stream has given the channel a deadline of next Friday, March 21. If they can't beat a certain trainer by that point, the host has declared there will be no stream of the next game in the series, Pokemon Emerald. That's not the only surprise waiting for those just tuning in, however.

After besting Pokemon Red in just more than two weeks' time, the stream team moved to Pokemon Crystal. Those familiar with Crystal know that at the end of the game, it's possible to challenge the trainer from Pokemon Red. Indeed, this is precisely the trainer that the TPP host challenged the stream to beat. Normally, Red has a Pikachu, Charizard, Blastoise, Venusaur, Snorlax and Espeon as his team. In the TPP version of Crystal however, he's been coded to have a Zapdos, Omastar, Pidgeot, Venomoth, Lapras and Nidoking - the same team that the TPP collective created and used to defeat the Elite Four in Pokemon Red.

The running theme of TPP's runthrough of Crystal has been "No gods. No kings. Only 'mon." Fitting that now Twitch Plays Pokemon must destroy the gods they created.

Update: Well, that didn't take long. Twitch Plays Pokemon have defeated Red and completed another poke-journey. Or have they? While there are still legendary pokemon out in the wild to find, capture or defeat, Crystal is, for all intents and purposes, beaten. Yet the stream, for now, remains online. Players seem lost, confused, directionless. It's almost as if thousands of voices could not agree on what to do next.

Update 2: A countdown timer to Pokemon Emerald has been added to the stream. Looks like TPP will move to the Hoenn region on March 21, at 9:00 p.m. EST.
[Image: Twitch]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.