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Why The Internet Is Losing It Over Grotto Beasts

Pokemon cards are highly collectable and sometimes expensive. A recent deal with McDonald's has shown yet again that people love Pokemon cards and will do almost anything to get their hands on them. However, another monster-collecting game from the '90s is set to make a comeback after one Twitch streamer unearthed a box of cards in the desert.

Okay, so maybe Grotto Beasts isn't a real card game, but a Twitch streamer did "excavate" a box of cards and give viewers a tour of this fake '90s treasure. Jerma985 created Grotto Beasts, recruiting a team of artists to illustrate the cuddly Pokemon rip-offs, then he crafted a two hour stream to unveil the "discovered" '90s heirlooms and share them with the world. Jerma seemed to be riffing off of other recent '90s comebacks, including 3D Doritos, Surge, and Dunkaroos, which all appeared in the stream.

Jerma began his broadcast by using a metal detector to search the desert, eventually using a crane to dig in the spot where his device made the most noise. At first, the contents of the box appeared to be snacks from the '90s, but soon Jerma uncovered the true treasures: Grotto Beasts trading cards. As Jerma thumbed through the packs, he revealed an increasingly ridiculous cast of characters, many of which resemble actual Pokemon. Pourcelain stands in for Sinistea as the ceramic monster. There have been vegetable-shaped Pokemon since Gen 1, but Jerma's stream took things a step further with a kangaroo creature composed of vegetables.

While Grotto Beasts aren't real, the artists behind the cards expressed pride after the event, and several marveled at their ability to complete the project in a short amount of time. Each artist was featured in the stream, tagged on the cards they helped create. One of the creators, @Melscribbles, told Kotaku that the team finished the project in about a week. @Meekcheep called the experience an "honor" on Twitter, and @BellymouthArt also tweeted that she felt "floored" by the internet's response. The group of creators made about 40 creatures for the project, though some of them were left on the cutting room floor.

Not long after the stream aired, fans discovered a Grotto Beasts website, "found" art from the games, and located theme songs. Of course, since Grotto Beasts doesn't really exist, these remnants of the '90s are actually fanart in disguise. Just as a small team of artists came together quickly to make a bunch of Pokemon-inspired cards, fans came together to create accompanying art to glorify the strange beasts. Though Kotaku reported that Jerma allegedly created the website, the songs and art came directly from Jerma's community of fans. 

No one can say for sure if it was the weird design or the archaeological story setup that won viewers over, but something struck a chord with Jerma's audience and inspired internet greatness. In other words, the internet fell in love with a pack of goofy, brilliant little creatures. Given the warm reception, it seems likely that the Grotto Beasts will reappear in the future.