There are relatively few instructions provided for the care of the pokewalker device that comes with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
The biggest picture on the guide… in fact the only picture on the guide… that comes with the pokewalker indicates that you should not immerse the device in water.
Okay, the message is a little confused. I mean, the picture seems to indicate that you should place the pokewalker in the washing machine, a sentiment backed up by the phrase “Do Not Wash” which is inside a circle with a line through it. In symbol logic, that means you should wash the pokewalker, right?
The peril of ending up with a double negative when trying to emphasize something I suppose.
Anyway, despite that, the message was clear: Don’t dunk your pokewalker.
My daughter’s pokewalker had gone unseen for a few days, as things of hers have a habit of doing. No big deal. These things always turn up.
Unfortunately, this time the pokewalker turned up in the washing machine. My wife was emptying it and there, on the bottom, was the little red and white device. A pokewalker full of water.
Those lines you see on the screen, those are pockets of water that managed to work their way through the device. The thoroughness of modern, front loading washing machines! (Yes, that link goes to our model of washing machine. It is a wonderful machine and you can play music with the setting buttons!)
I took the back off, removed the battery, and tried to see if I could take it apart to dry it out. I was thwarted in this effort by some special tri-wing screw head, for which I do not have the appropriate tool. So the pokewalker sits still out in the kitchen, water sloshing around in its display.
And while you can recover the Pokemon that was in the pokewalker, should something happen to it (my daughter was very concerned about this, but it is covered on page 52 of the HeartGold/SoulSilver instruction booklet) we were still down a device.
Nintendo, who obviously could foresee this eventuality, given their guide, allows you to purchase a replacement pokewalker through the Nintendo parts store online. The device plus standard shipping runs to $15.
Since my daughter separated her own laundry and had been reminded to turn things right-side out and to check pockets, the incident was deemed to not be covered by the Daddy Universal Insurance plan. She has to buy a new pokewalker out of her own money.
Of course, before you feel sorry for her, she just lost another baby tooth. Proceeds from the tooth fairy, grandparents, aunts, and the like will more than cover the cost. In fact, I had to break a double sawbuck for her.
Anyway, a new pokewalker should be headed our way soon. In the mean time, check your pockets before you wash your clothes.