Entry 5: And We’re Back!

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Hello friends, it sure has been a while. Other commitments got in the way, but I’m going to try and be more regular with Pickymon now. Especially since I am WAY behind!

When I last left off, I just caught Sprouts, my Oddish. I decided to level them up a bit before going on the S.S. Anne, so I went east of Vermilion City and fought a few gamblers and engineers (who clearly weren’t doing their jobs). I then went back and stocked up on potions and status cures, and went aboard the ship!

The first interesting thing I found was the TM for Body Slam. I taught it to Luna (Two), and then immediately regretted the decision after seeing the flashing battle animation that makes me flinch every dang time!

After a bit of exploring, I met an undercover cop who was very good at his job.

Nobody will suspect a thing.
Nobody will suspect a thing.

I kicked down a few doors and fought some sailors, some of whom had Tentacools. I have decided that Wrap is the most annoying attack in the entire game.

Also, it seems like most people in this world only have 2 or 3 Pokémon, so I figure they’re ALL doing a Pickymon run. It’s just that they’re not very good at making decisions, and end up catching several of the same guys.

After a few fights, something amazing happened.

Oh my gosh!
Oh my gosh!
Uhh...Is it too late to cancel the evolution?
Uhh…Is it too late to cancel the evolution?

Yeah, Gloom is kind of weird looking, but still pretty cool, and just a leaf stone away from their final form!

Soon enough, I ran into a familiar face.

I'd actually forgotten his name.
I’d actually forgotten his name.

Buttboy was no challenge at all, with my Pokémon all being 5-10 levels higher. But afterwards, I was forced to rub an old man’s back to get the Cut HM, which was much worse. I immediately taught it to Sprouts, but accidentally replaced Absorb, their only damaging move.

I got off the ship, which left without me.

No wait I left my wallet on board!
No wait I left my wallet on board!

I quickly healed up my Pokémon, taught Lil Squirt Bubble Beam from a TM (which I forgot I had), cut down the apparently impassable bush, and went to challenge the Vermilion City gym!

The “puzzle” inside was ridiculous. I think maybe Surge just wanted to make fun of me for searching through so many garbage cans. So I marched on up to him and challenged him!

He looks like the kind of guy who ALWAYS wants to fight, honestly.
He looks like the kind of guy who ALWAYS wants to fight, honestly.

I decided to let Lil Squirt have a rest in this battle, and sent out Sprouts instead. They handily wiped the floor with all of Surge’s Pokémon, including his adorable Raichu.

Please forgive me, you cute round creature!
Please forgive me, you cute round creature!

Sleep Powder turned out to be a really handy move, and Raichu stayed asleep for the entire battle. Surge even tried using 2 X-speeds, I assume so that they would sleep faster? But it was all for nothing, Sprouts was victorious, without needing any help from my other friends.

3/8th of the way there!
3/8th of the way there!

Current Team:

Top row: Lil Squirt (lvl 29), Luna (Two) (lvl 26). Bottom row: Sprouts (lvl 25).
Top row: Lil Squirt (lvl 29), Luna (Two) (lvl 26).
Bottom row: Sprouts (lvl 25).

Yesterday, all my troubles were gone

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Hi Pickymon players, readers, general tagalongs and lovers. I’m gonna do a brief update of what I’ve done and then I’m going to break down and beg the educators for some guidance.

I left you all last at the front door of the Cinnabar Mansion, of which I blasted through and along the way this beautiful creature joined me:

Now the little sperm has a necklace!
Now the little sperm has a necklace!

I ran on, I went to Cinnabar Gym and low and behold:

Call me Miley Cyrus
Call me Miley Cyrus (Wrecking BALL)

I continue north and completely skip that nostalgic jetty that everyone paused at. I had the silly idea of taking a capture when I got to Pallet Town saying “Hey look guys I’ve reset the game! What a fool” in reference to not only my stupid saving issues and blunders but to the amazing things everyone has suffered at the hands of this game. I typed that last bit a little too hard, it’s too soon. I’ll explain in a minute.

I powered on up to Viridian City and charged through the Viridian City Gym, trounced by Giovanni, healed and then trounced his ass back!







And now we get to my swan song of fuck ups.

I saved the game and started messing around with my emulator. More recently than not I’ve been using an easy save function on my emulator and didn’t trust the Rom’s saving capabilities to work. In previous sessions I’ve also saved on the hard save file as well but more recently for speed and ease I’ve saved on the good old easy save. This was my last save:

Wow, Steve, a whole 15/16 hours you've put into this. What a beauty...
Wow, Steve, a whole 15/16 hours you’ve put into this. What a beauty…


And I left Pickymon in it’s folder. Got rid of the previous hard saves that were old anyhow and left the latest one just in case I had an accident……..

I had an accident.

I used the easy save on a different rom game, which replaced the above time. I panicked and then breathed hard and begged I had hard saved recently. Would you like to know when the last hard save was, kind reader?

Wow, *Astromonically slow hand clap...*
Wow, *Astromonically slow hand clap…*


I want to cry, I have been in hysterical laughter for the past few minutes.

I have lost essentially 10 hours of hard fucking work and blogging. I will not lie to any of you. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO OTHER THAN REFER TO THIS OF THE DONALD TRUMP OF PICKYMON FUCK UPS


Archer, out.




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Hey Pickymonsters, how’s tricks? Long time no see…again. And sadly it’ll be for the last time.

After boarding the S.S Anne for the 5th time, our ass got handed to us and I managed to escape with just enough HP to get to a Pokecentre. As I reached for the Pokeballs of Mr Pickles and Heimlich to put them on the counter for the nurse,  I realised something. I opened up the balls to see two shrunken creatures, one Butterfree unconscious and one Bulbasaur. My starter and I met eyes, two big black weeping orbs begged for a stop. Not another cycle, not again.

The thought of two creatures fighting on my behalf for pleasure made me feel sick. For my gain. How selfish could I be to normalise this sadistic sport and expect them to love me? The answer: I couldn’t. Not any more.

So, I set them free. Both of them. And as I saw Heimlich fly into the sun and Mr Pickles trying to get the metro, I shed a tear. I bit into my Maccy D’s and went to Primark in Pallet Town, content with a relieving thought.

We were all free.

Status: Pallet Town, No Pokemon, Now working as a Starbucks Barista.

Matt Holmes

Holmes’ Odyssey: Episode 5

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Greetings Picky fans, it’s been a little while since I last posted. I’d love to say it’s because I lead such a hectic social life that I haven’t had the chance, but unfortunately the real reason is that I’ve ballsed up a bit. Whilst I hadn’t expected to win this grand race I thought I had a little bit of a trick up my sleeve which has now been severely undermined, however maybe it’s best I just get on and explain myself.

Following on from our success against the dojo leader I knew it was off to Silph Co to clear out rocket and allow me to to fight the ‘real’ gym leader of Saffron City: Sabrina. Before doing this run I had never taken in to account how long all the team rocket sections end up being, particularly if like me you completely misjudge how to beat it. With the previous rocket encounter in Celadon we needed a lift key to move forward and we got it by beating a specific rocket goon. This time we had a similar situation, except rather than one locked door there were several.

I saw this message so much it’s now imprinted on to my retinas.

Irritatingly, unlike the lift key, the card key is not dropped by one of the many, many rocket goons within Silph Co HQ, something I found out after I fighting literally every single one of them. Instead the item is just sitting on the ground for any old idiot to find which shows the lack of security in place that made it possible for the blithering fools of team rocket to take it over so easily. Of course fighting every gangster in the vicinity did have its upsides; my previously weak Poliwhirl leveled up sufficiently to be able to take on enemy pokemon one on one and Chamander developed in to this bad boy.

Yes please!

So after eventually finding the card key and working my way up to the battle with Giovanni I was genuinely surprised to see my old rival Luigi. His appearance here is one of the oddest to date, I mean it must have taken him some time to get up here and apparently his only motivation was to see me again? Why didn’t they just make him appear outside the safari zone or something? Anyway, long story short I beat him, which makes the tally 6-0 to me and yet he’s still smugger than George Osborne eating lobster off an ivory plate at Buckingham Palace.

‘I’m sorry, I drifted off for a second there, I was just thinking about all my money.’

After beating Luigi my attention turned to the only other person standing in the room. I thought that he might be able to shed some light on my rivals presence or perhaps offer me a hyper potion or rare candy for my troubles. As luck would have it he did seemed impressed by my battle technique, however rather than being like every other character in the game and giving me some item or paltry words of encouragement he went and gave me a bloody Lapras! He didn’t ask if I wanted one, didn’t check to see if maybe I was trying to do a speed run and had already carefully planned which pokemon I wanted already. He even had the gall to ask me if I wanted to name the stupid thing.


My whole plan was basically resting on my last two available slots and this stupid, level 15 Lapras had come along and mucked it all up, the big stupid oaf. I genuinely almost rage quit at this point. I could have gone back to my earlier save but felt like i’d be basically cheating as I would have been able to breeze through Silph Co in half the time and it really wouldn’t be in the spirit of the competition. I did check to see if anyone else had picked up the Lapras, figuring this would be a way of getting out of it on a technicality, but no such luck.

So, with my newest, and most hated pokemon in starting position I went to fight Sabrina. Her gym doesn’t force you to battle the extra trainers leading up to her which was good because I don’t think I would have slept very well if I had to fight against any more Mr Mime’s than I strictly needed to.

What is wrong with your eyes?

Sabrina’s psychic types were cool but didn’t fare very well against Charizard and Parasect (they would have wiped the floor with Lapras but I kept subbing her out). Marshbadge in hand we headed south to Fushia and went straight to the next gym leader Koga. Unlike at Saffron City’s gym we were forced to battle against every single trainer in the place, all of which are rocking poison type creatures which makes for a particularly irritating time. Even with using up a number of super potions and antidotes I still couldn’t beat them all in one run so had to go heal up before facing the big man himself.

It turns out that Koga is a ninja. What that means in the pokemon world I don’t really know. I mean, Vermilion’s gym leader is a lieutenant but there’s cleanly no armed forces anywhere in Kanto. Anyway, Koga’s pokémon are all pretty basic poison types, the sort you expect to see a rocket goon with, just a little higher powered and so it will come as no surprise to you when this happened.

Thanks for that you big weirdo

Before clocking off I decided to do the quick run in to the Safari Zone to get the two HM’s (again I think some unusually poor pacing in the game there, could have gotten one from the Silph Co exec?). It actually took me two runs to get both of them as i just ran out of steps but did get a few decent items so it wasn’t a complete bust.

Now I must look forward and try to be positive. I’ll reveal my final pokemon choice in the next installment and hopefully explain my genius plan, much like an evil villain before he gets foiled by his foe. Only this time I’ve already been foiled by that bloody Lapras bloke! AGHHH! I’ll get you next time generous bystander!

So much time, so little to do.

Dan’s Pokérun: Episode 4 and then some

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It’s been a while, and this post is a reflection on that. You think you’re the only one who can do long posts, Charles? WELL SUCK ON THIS.

We last left our hero having gained the Thunder Badge from Lt. Surge in Vermilion City. A quick thought before we move on – has anyone considered how weird it is that the guy whose gym is full of electric types lives in a coastal town? Like, the sea is right there. He’s ex-military, too. I can’t help but feel like he’s planning something…

But never mind that! We head east, where we encounter Diglett’s Cave.

Thanks for clearing that up

Digletts apparently love to dig things in nice geometric shapes, and as such the journey is a very easy one – except for being attacked by a million digletts (diglett?) on the way. I HAVE NO NEED FOR YOU, PHALLIC POKEMON. I step out into the sunlight, and… Alright, I’m going to admit, I don’t really remember what I did here. All I know for sure is that I headed to Rock Tunnel, fighting every possible trainer on the way. That’s a bit of a theme of my playthrough – no trainer is left unturned, and although that’s bad for my time it’s good for my POWER.

I do! So does everyone!

I am also conveniently reminded that a Bellsprout has a name that sounds like a venereal disease and a face that looks like Michael Gove.

I could fly a fighter plane into the big space-ship

I encounter people who are continuing the stereotype of the jolly fat man…

Sorry, “hearty” man

…those who are creepin’ out on the routes…

I read this in the voice of Herbert from Family Guy

…And a man who is belittling when challenged but rapidly changes his tune once beaten.

I’m ten. In this universe I’m basically a CEO
Somehow this feels even more belittling

And in I go to Rock Tunnel. Seeing as I worked out my final team early and went HAM on evolving them, I’m the first to be able to do this…

And Dan said, “let there be light,”
And there wa- aw fuck, I’m facing the wrong way

As with everywhere else, I aim for every trainer I see. This leads me to discover people with all kinds of pleasant and varied habits!

Art is good! This is wholesome.
Cosplaying is – can be good! I mean, as animals it’s usually… I mean uh.

Then as I get further in, I begin to encounter more troubling trainers…

I’m pretty sure you’ve got more equipment than me

…And finally, two women who are, I think, trying to be sexy, but I’m really not sure and also our hero is ten.

Okay. Good to know.
You shouldn’t assume. It makes something something

I leave Rock Tunnel out into the air, reinvigorated enough to fuck up some poor guy with a very reasonable reaction.

I mean, it’s not very sporting

And then a man who really doesn’t know how breathing works.

That’s just your heartiness

Then I arrive in Lavender! I’ve been playing this almost entirely with the sound down because reasons, but after seeing so many people talking about Lavender Town’s music I turn it back up to have a listen. I then rapidly turn it back down, because that shit is piercing. I pop into the Pokémon house, only to find that…

Why are you saying that to me like I know him

I also do something none of my fellow competitors do and pop into the house next door to right some wrongs.

This man is never happy

It’s important to name your pokémon correctly. These are your companions, the creatures that will be with you through thick and thin. They’ll save your life and you’ll save theirs. Flopabout, for example, is very fitting for a Magikarp – but as a Gyarados, he needs something better. Something powerful. Something that shows its style, grace and strength.

Yep, that’ll do
Damn fuckin’ straight

I also officially rename my Butterfree to Flappy Joe, and then continue on. I recall that I need the Silph Scope to take on Lavender tower, and so I head off to Celadon, meeting a real downer on the way.

You probably aren’t cut out for this

I then wander around Celadon a little bit, getting both exposition…

Oh, okay. I’ll look elsewhere, thanks!

…And the newest member of my team!

The name will become clear

I poddle over to the department store, because Team Rocket very kindly wait for me before doing anything too dastardly. There I have a quick rest to play some games…

Must… not… correct… grammar

…And pick up the next important part of my team.

Aw yiss
And suddenly, the name becomes clear

I also think it’d be a nice time to treat a couple of my team. I get a few stat boosters and dish them out, and also I feel like it’s time for something very important to happen.

The clouds part, sun beams down…
…and then they immediately cloud over again and it starts to snow

I then pop briefly into the gym, because I’ve completely forgotten what I came here for.

You literally invite trainers from all over the world

I then head back over to the game corner, and meet the least suspicious man in the entire game.

I mean it doesn’t look like it’s worth anything

A quick battle sends him packing, and I can steal my incredibly valuable poster. EXCEPT

What a surprise!

And so, our intrepid hero heads down into Team Rocket’s hideout below Game Corner.

It was literally the easiest thing to do.
I skulk around the place beating up every rocket I can find, until one of them does this…

Why do you keep it in a pokéball?

He makes absolutely no attempt whatsoever to pick it up, nor does he block me when I go to pick it up myself. It’s like he turns a blind eye. “Oh no. Where did it go. I guess I will have to report it lost.” “It’s… It’s right here. I’m holdi-” “WHAT A SHAME I HAVE LOST IT”. In fact, hang on…

“Oh no! I guess I can’t possibly stop you!”

Alright, I’m calling it. My Pokémon AU: THE WHOLE THING IS A SET-UP ARRANGED BY THE PEOPLE OF PALLET TOWN. Our plucky hero has ostensibly lost his father and has a hankering for adventure. Everyone clubs together and secretly arranges for this kid to have the adventure of a lifetime – they get in a few actors to be trainers (explaining why most trainers look alike – for something of this scale actors would have to play multiple parts), write a plot and then MAKE SURE THE KID WINS, because IT’S ALL A GAME and he JUST DOESN’T KNOW IT. Why else would Giovanni, leader of a huge criminal organisation, say something like this after being beaten BY A CHILD?

“…Because then I get paid a better hourly rate”

He even gives me the Silph Scope, which only serves to lead me to the next Rocket encounter. After coming to this realisation everything seems to make a lot more sense in this mad world. For instance: you are a trainer at a Pokémon gym. The fourth one in the sequence – this isn’t small fry stuff. You’d make sure that your team is solid and prepared, right? In fact, you’d have a team of favourites that you’d rely on all the time, right? So why would this excuse work?


Of course, there’s other stuff which is still weird no matter what.

Why do I care?
Don’t change yoself for no man

Anyway, this battle is pretty straightforward – I use The Boss as much as possible to grind, because Flareon doesn’t learn any fire type moves until level 31 – only six levels, but when you’re at the plant gym it’s sad, so sad. It’s a sad, sad situation. Still, the gym is soon beaten (thanks to a shitload of tackles and a little input from Gyarados) and I get the Rainbowbadge!

Out of what?

Anyway, after beating the gym I head back over to Lavender and the creepy Pokémon graveyard tower. Now that I know that the entire world is some kind of cross between The Truman Show and The London Dungeon experience, getting told weird stuff by random people seems to make a lot more sense:

“Whatever you do, don’t go THAT WAY” *holds up big arrow sign*

I’ve barely got my foot in the door before Dickbag shows up. I’ve decided that at this point he’s starting to feel comfortable in his role as my rival, and decides to go off-script and ad-lib his trash talk – he starts well, but then falters.

“Gotta sound like a badass. Gotta sound good. Going well so far.”

Anyway, after this he decides that the best place to have a pitched rival pokémon battle is in the middle of a fucking graveyard, and the mourners watch on as I soundly beat him. At this point I feel like his veneer slips – he’s actually a very competent trainer, and that’s why he was picked to be your rival in this story, and it stings his pride to deliberately lose – so he tells you he deliberately lost.

Cristof will not be happy.

He buggers off because he’s “got a lot to accomplish”, which basically means he needs to go and wait for me at Silph Co., having a coffee with the rest of the cast and shooting the breeze about how much bullshit this all is. I proceed up the tower, meeting basically the hammiest actors in the whole production. They are “possessed”, of course, which in my mind means they flail about and shout before not-so-subtly dropping a pokéball behind them to release a ghost type.

Do they pay you well for the stuff that you do?

I get to the penultimate floor and I’m set upon by a G-G-G-GHOOOOST, or a Marowak that someone released while hiding behind a gravestone.

Makes sense, the trainer can’t see what’s happening.
I often calm people by beating the shit out of them.

Up one more floor and I get the usual Rocket extras, all standing suspiciously uniformly as if someone had told them “stand randomly! Act naturally!” They have Mr. Fuji, they tell me, and because I am a child and this is a game they don’t make threats. They tell me that:

Actually he’s just standing there

I “save” Mr. Fuji, who has forgotten the whole premise and contradicts everything that the Rockets have said – what a shitty guy. The first rule of improv is to work with what you’re given and build on it, and that contradicting stuff just makes it harder for the other actors. Anyway, despite me not having saved him at all according to him, he gives me a reward:

Thus proving that he went off-script

Time to go a-wandering, and I meet one of Oak’s aides, who has a present for me!


I also come to realise that the trees in Kanto are on some kind of steroid growth hype. I cut down a tree, had a skirmish with the guy stood behind it, and lo and behold it has returned. That tree grew in like 90 seconds. Deforestation is not a concern in Kanto.

Spam emails in Kanto are all about tree growth

I head over to Saffron, and bump into a Rocket. Because the buggers are everywhere. I decide to have a chat with him…

I asked you the time

…And his answer is so stupid it knocks me all the way back to Celadon. Honest, that’s why I’m back there. Still, while I’m here…

Are you going down? DAMN RAI-CHU ARE

Anyway, after orting that out I pop back to Saffron and into Silph Co., where Rockets are littered about the place like computer tape banks.

I mean, all prior evidence points to yes

I mentioned earlier that I’m making a point of fighting every single trainer. This is making my run incredibly slow (although not as much as something else, which I’ll reveal later in this very post), but it means that I’m getting a good grind on and soon enough:


There are scientists around the place who have become turncoats and are fighting with Team Rocket – I’m trying to decide whether this was to add a layer of intrigue to this part of the story or because the company running the show for the kid ran out of Rocket costumes and just went “this’ll do. You’re a traitor now.”

I mean… yeah

Thanks to the teleportation-based maze, it takes me a little while to do it but I do – I fuck up every single trainer in the place, including the four Rocket Brothers (not mentioned before or since), and…

I told you, my run is less speed, more power!

He tells me that he’s off to the Pokémon League to be The Very Best Like No-One Ever Was, but obviously he knows deep down that he’s just a placeholder. Sad times for Dickbag. I skip past the Scientist that I know wants to give me a Lapras, then off to meet Giovanni again. Hey, didn’t we just see each other?

Pokémon. Pokémon never changes.

I was going to put a joke in here about how the owner of Silph Co. is so happy to be saved that he gives you a master ball which is of course utterly useless to me, but others have already done it, so accept this boring placeholder text instead.

I wander around Saffron a little, popping into a house with the rudest woman in Kanto:

I think you’ll find that this whole world revolves around me

Shocked and appalled, I seek the company of enlightened people – and head to the fighting dojo.

puppers, however, do me a massive frighten

The fighting dojo is absolutely no match for Flappy Joe and his psychic moves – I wipe the floor with all of them and then spit on their honour by refusing to accept their gift. A terrible affront. I then head next door to Sabrina’s gym, where two things become obvious:

  1. I am outlevelled, which seems weird.
  2. I am not strong against psychic types.
It’s still good! It’s still good!

All in all I black out at this gym three times. I’m not proud of my achievements here – it feels like a real slog, and I can’t quite fathom why. That is, until I get the Marshbadge.


Yep – I’ve done what others have done before me and got gyms 5 and 6 the wrong way around. On the plus side, that means that I can just about scrape through tougher fights than I should, so I take it as a small victory. I head over to the Bike shop where I alarm the clerk.

No need to shout

I truck on and head east and then south, beating Fishermen aplenty until I come to a selection of Bird Keepers, some of whom have Doduo in their team:

Which head controls that thing?

…Which reminds me of one of my favourite cartoons on the entire internet. There is a generator that will combine any two Pokémon you ask of it – someone decided to combine Weepinbell and Doduo to get Weepinduo and, well.

I head on west and head the wrong way up the cycling path, because I’m that kind of maverick. It’s weird – the trainers on that route only have negative things to say. They either hate their pokémon…

An Arcanine is for life, not just for Christmas

…Or each other…


…Or themselves.

I’m definitely not cut out to provide emotional support

At the top there’s a lookout, where I find another one of Oak’s Aides!


Then I get to Fuschia, where I’m greeted by a man who can’t talk because he’s lost his dentures. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve spoken to people with dentures before, and I could still understand them plenty clearly when their dentures were removed. Also, their dentures weren’t made OF GOLD. Gold is a terrible material to make dentures from! It’s expensive, it’s soft, and your likelihood of being mugged goes WAY up. Thirdly, I have never known anybody to ever leave their dentures IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUCKING SAFARI PARK.

Yeah thanks

My reward for making it through Safari Zone is twofold – I get both Surf, which I teach to Gyarados, and Strength. This next screenshot was taken especially for Charles. This is what I saw when I went to teach Strength to a Pokémon. Yep. TWO, motherfucker.

There is no way that this hubris will come back to bite me!

Time to head over to Fuschia’s gym, which feels so damn easy after doing things backwards. I get asked surprisingly deep questions.

I mean, depends what you believe

I beat Koga, and get the Soulbadge:

This is me getting the Soulbadge

And then head back to the little hut tucked away near the lookout point:

It wasn’t really that well hidden

And my reward for doing so is the final HM in my collection, the incredibly useful and entirely-necessary-for-a-speedrun Fly. I’ll just teach that to Butterfee, and-


Now, I’m not going to say that I didn’t have a moment of real despair here. Everyone else has skipped Seafoam Islands, and in order to do that you need to go back to Pallet town. I tried to walk back to Pallet, except there’s one tiny little ridge that you can’t pass. I’m boned. I have no Fly, DESPITE BUTTERFREE BEING A FLYING TYPE, and I must walk and cycle everywhere. My run, it is long.

Seeing as I’d travelled all the way north to try to walk back to Pallet, I decide to try out my new Surf skills and head to the Power Plant, an area rich in items, electric-type pokémon and fuckin’ hidden Voltorbs.

You little sneaky bastard.

It’s a nice little opportunity for a grind, and then I sneak up behind a legendary Pokémon!

…Which is a way higher level than I remember.

No problem, right?

Zapdos soundly fucks me and my whole team without batting a wing, and I pass out. Rather than trying again, I decide to press on and head south to the sea. I’ll set off for Seafoam and see how it goes. I really fucking hate the rock-pushing puzzles.

Fuck your optimism
Dave McGuckin

And That’s The Bottom Line – Irish Dave’s Story

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The last time we saw our hero, he had just defeated Koga in Fuschia City to earn the SOULBADGE; after an exciting adventure in the Safari Zone that wielded the Surf AND Strength HMs – and he reluctantly was forced to teach both to Kevin Slowens after a misjudgement on abilities. Can K-Slow cope with the pressure of holding the key to both moves? How will they continue from here? Find out… right now!


After a LONG time trekking the path between Lavender Town and Fuschia City, I discovered I actually kinda missed the constant run-ins with Team Rocket, of which I had none. SO… I guess I’ll go to Saffron City and mess some dudes up, then. At least I’ll get some thrilling conversation out of it!

Seriously dude?
Seriously dude?

Okay. Let’s ignore the fact that I’ve just met the least subtle gangster in the history of crime (which is saying something for Team Rocket) and have a natter with this dude outside the door to this huge, important looking building:

Sleep punctuation is the worst.
Sleep punctuation is the worst.

The fact there’s a Rocketer, ahem, “guarding” the door means that I should probably just take a little peek in here and see what’s going on. Turns out it’s the Silph Company; a hugely important company in Kanto who made the Silph Scope that I used in Lavender Town, and are also believed to run the Pokémarts. If Team Rocket are here… it looks like I’ve got some work to do.

I could ask you that same question!
I could ask you that same question!

The Rocketers chosen to take control of Silph Co. are all as dull and stupid as all the other Rocketers, so I set about dispatching them and their boring Pokémon. I discover with glee that Grimer does not fare well against fire attacks, so Evee Marie shares a lot of the glory with Jericho (Zubats) and Kevin Slowens (everything else) in this building. K-Slow, in fact, sets the bar high at the end of the first fight.

You damn right it's The Kevin Slowens Show!
You damn right it’s The Kevin Slowens Show!

I’m happy to find a Scientist; hoping to get a bit of insight into why Rocket are here, but am quickly downtrodden to discover he’s a freakin’ TRAITOR.

The door was wide open!
The door was wide open!

If there’s one thing I hate more than gangster, it’s SCIENCE GANGSTERS. Especially the ones who tell me to go home. He has no idea how far Pallet Town is from Saffron City. It’d take ages. Nah, I’ve got a better idea.


My early confidence is quickly shattered when I realise that this is the building with all the damn teleporters. I hate teleporters. Especially the teleporters in Pokémon, because there’s no way of knowing where they actually go until you try them. Friggin’ things are more irritating than having your tag partner walk out on you mid-match.

Tell me how you compensated for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle or I'll fuck you up
Tell me how you compensated for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle or I’ll fuck you up

After far too long fighting scientists and random goons while bouncing around in teleporters at random, I decide to start taking the game seriously… when I am reminded how stupid it really can be.

You have zero distinguishing features.
You have zero distinguishing features.

I only face 3 of the Rocket Brothers, which I am glad of, as their presence suggests to me that that game designers simply ran out of idiotic dialogue to give to the Team Rocket members. Luckily, that wasn’t the weirdest guy I found in Silph Co.

Why are you even here?
Why are you even here?

Unlike in Pokémon Tower, I managed to find the point where you can heal within Silph Co. before reaching the point where I felt like I needed to leave to heal. Luckily, this quite happily coincided with me finding the right combination of teleporters, and soon end up here:

Seriously. Why you hangin' with Team Rocket, brah?
Seriously. Why you hangin’ with Team Rocket, brah?

There is absolutely no way that the rival is not associated with Team Rocket in some way. He always seems to be right in the mix of all Team Rocket’s shady deals, but never seems to be taking them on like I am. There’s no way he’d be this deep inside Silph Co. and completely unharmed if he wasn’t in league with them in some way… and I intend to find out. But first, I need to rectify a mistake I made in the last Rival Battle.

How d'you like your Eggsecute?
How d’you like your Eggsecute?

Byron’s been busy since Lavender Town (probably being an arsehole) and this battle is much more difficult than the last; partially because I keep putting Slowens out to take each new Pokémon on first to test his resolve. It’s a hard slog that we eventually win, but not before taking this amazing screenshot:

There is a lot going on here.
There is a lot going on here.

I can’t remember if that felled the beast in one shot (I think it did), and we quickly teleport back downstairs before heading up to the C.E.O’s office… after hearing Byron spout nonsense again.

You mean "going to the Pokémon Centre, probably in tears"
You mean “going to the Pokémon Centre, probably in tears”.

I am genuinely interested to discover the link the Rival has with Team Rocket. When I named him Byron, I didn’t realise he was going to be this much of a prick… but never mind. With all the Rocketers beaten and the teleporter system figured out, I am enthused to discover that, following our last encounter, Giovanni is not as prepared to let me get up to the same hi-jinx as last time.

We do, because you're being a dick.
We do, because you’re being a dick.

I didn’t take any screenshots during the battle because I was concentrating SO HARD, but after a tough battle we came out on top. I couldn’t help but notice that all of Giovanni’s Pokémon appear to be of similar types; all “normal” with various fighting/grass/ground traits. That’s almost like he’s a Gym Leader! How very odd. Most likely an enormous coincidence.

No, don't. The police will be watching this place like hawks. Actually, where ARE the police?!
No, don’t. The police will be watching this place like hawks. Actually, where ARE the police?!

Of course, as is traditional in Kanto, when a 10 year old child rescues your enormous company because you apparently forgot to hire any kind of security and half of your workforce are treacherous scum (wait, is Silph Co. a wing of the Labour Party?); an offer is made:

Have you ever heard of the "yew" tree mate?
Have you ever heard of the “yew” tree mate?

That sounds like I’ll get to choose my reward! Given that Silph Co. are responsible for so many trainer aides, something awesome like a Rare Candy or a bunch of Hyper Potions would be great, as they’re exactly the thing I need to complete this ridiculous challe-


With that disappointing climax, we’re off again; this time to challenge Sabrina The Teenage Bitch and her gym full of Psychic Pokémon. I know that her gym is in the North of the city (’cause I came from the South, over the Watford Gap) and quickly make my way up there.


Right. Saffron has TWO gyms; the official gym with Sabrina and her psychic nonsense, and the unofficial gym that is home to fighting-type Pokémon! So… that one’s a dojo.


Well, actually, they’re all technically dojo because that’s what a gym is in Japan… but this one is definitely a dojo. Because of all the karate. This seems like the obvious first step; I might be able to learn a very important technique which could be helpful in the Psychic gym.

I could really go for a Salmon Skin Roll.

I do not learn Unagi in this gym, because all of these dudes are ridiculous.

Using what?
Using what?
Bit late now, really.
Bit late now, really.
'Scuse you.
‘Scuse you.

Booker D and Koko take the lead on all of these fights, with Dig and Fly proving very effective against all the battlers. After defeating the gym leader (simply called Blackbelt; you know it isn’t a real gym ’cause he doesn’t have an actual name); he offers me a choice of Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan to take with me. I choose…

...to go next door.
…to go next door.

Urgh. More teleporters. It’s a good thing I don’t have any antimatter on me.

You're telling me.
You’re telling me.

Turns out luck was with me much more readily in this gym, as I get to Sabrina in about 4 moves – which may actually have been the fastest possible route. I’m genuinely not sure, but I’m glad that there has been minimalised risk of me accidentally bonding with one of my Pokémon like Bill does, especially when given a glimpse of what is yet to come in my stable’s future:

He looks like he's trying to eat the Shelldor.

Luckily, before long:

If she's psychic, why does she need the whip?
If she’s psychic, why does she need the whip?

This was far and away the hardest Gym Leader battle so far; not least because her Kadabra kept using Recover like a jerk. K-Slow ended up jobbing out to her Alakazam, much to my dismay – that Psybeam is a hell of an attack – and it fell to Booker D to pick up the final win. Turns out you can’t Psybeam a Pokémon which is underground, which might not make sense but what does?

Are marshes psychic?
Are marshes psychic?*

We end the day here, having conquered another official Pokémon gym, smashing an unofficial gym and running Team Rocket out of ANOTHER city; which leaves us all looking like this:

Aaaaaw yeeeaaaaah.
Aaaaaw yeeeaaaaah.

I don’t know whether we see much of Team Rocket after this point; I can’t remember who’s waiting at the PowerPlant, Pokémon Mansion or Victory Road – but regardless, I do feel like I found the most idiotic piece of Rocket dialogue in Silph Co.


Until next time…


*The Marshbadge being related to Psychic Pokémon is most likely a reference to the number of folk tales from around the world. that reference psychic creatures living in marshland or bogs. In Ireland, for example, everything from leprechauns to banshees are found out in the marshes and forests. An English folk tale called The Tiddy Mun references a “marsh spirit”. Numerous Japanese folk tales, including The Bamboo Cutter And The Moon Maiden (which was recently turned into the film The Tale Of Princess Kaguya by Studio Ghibli), reference psychic entities living in marshlands.


Saving is a bitch

Player Updates No Comment

Right so I’ve given up with the trying to write creatively with this. Here’s the next update:

In the last post I went down to Fuschia City to get a Dratini from the Safari Zone; I also collected the SURF TM and the golden teeth. I then ran back to Saffron, catching any trainers I missed to level up my Dratini (nicknamed OhHiBatz after Kirsty). After getting back I challenged Sabrina and retook the Marsh Badge:

Yeah, me too. I've beat you like 3 times this playthrough!
Yeah, me too. I’ve beat you like 3 times this playthrough!

And with that I did the thing that everyone thought I was crazy about (god, really Steve?) and got the Marsh Badge before the Soul Badge

Officially feckin sane!
Officially feckin sane!

With this glitch finally fixed and my baseball cap firmly set facing the right way again, I ran back to Fuschia and I continued into the “INVISIBLE WALLED GYM” which is a lot less true in the original game as you’ll see for yourself though if you want to know it’s very obvious…

A few jaunts back and forth to the Pokécenter and boom:

Sass me one more time and I'll get Edna Mode!
Sass me one more time and I’ll get Edna Mode!

And if that wasn’t enough, the wait finally paid off and Sean Connery got his leading role:

Like the Egyptian that has a Scottish accent, the Wyvern that is confused as a Dragon...
Like the Egyptian that has a Scottish accent, the Wyvern that is confused as a Dragon…

SO THIS IS GREAT, I think to myself and I head straight off to Seafoam Isles. I get there and I realise I forgot Strength. BACK I GO!

I know, Beedrill, I fuck up A LOT!
I know, Beedrill, I fuck up A LOT! You missed a lot though so SHUT UP


Anyway, did the Seafoam Isles, left Articuno and I got to Cinnabar Island:


So there you go people. Easy; Fast; Subtle; like most of my clients when I don my Midnight Cowboy outfit.

Dan, here’s my current time and team.

11 10

Next time we do Cinnabar Mansion, Gym and the Elite Five



The scoring system explained!

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Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first finalist! April has completed her playthrough of the game – congratulations to her!

If you now check the Player Progress page, you’ll note that April now has a score – 1222. This score is obtained by taking the total levels of her pokémon (278), multiplying it by 10 (2780), then subtracting the time taken minus the colon (1558). Everyone will be scored the same way, and soon there will be a chart – whoever tops the chart at the end of the playthrough wins A FABULOUS PRIZE.

Good luck everyone!

Matt Holmes

Holmes’ Odyssey: Episode 4

Player Updates No Comment

Given Pokemon Red’s age it’s easy to overlook its soundtrack and rather than enjoy it, perhaps load up spotify to listen to your favourite playlist, which would be a shame, because despite its limitations the music of this game is incredibly effective at what it does. Take Lavender Town for instance, the quiet, haunted little corner of Kanto has some of the eeriest music I have ever heard in a video game. It’s so unsettling in fact, that the moment I stepped foot in town I promptly left again. In no mood to be freaked out by a twenty year old game I instead high-tailed it to Celadon City.

In reality it wasn’t just the music that pushed me forward on my journey; by now my three monsters were all over level 30 and so certainly ready to face off against gym leader Erika. Picking Charmander as a starter gave me no favours early game but allowed me to make light work of all the trainers I faced in Celadon’s grass type gym, though I deliberately tried to fight as few of them as possible (speed run and all that). Unfortunately the gym leader herself seemed in less of a rush to get down to business.

Well the weather never changes in Kanto so… yes?

As expected she really wasn’t too concerning, apart from her Gloom that managed to put all of my pokemon to sleep for a few turns. That aside we grabbed the badge and headed out, ready to face the next challenge, only for the life of me I couldn’t remember what that was. I’ve been reading the updates of my fellow pickymon players so knew I had the pokemon tower to contend with at some point soon but didn’t think it was now (or rather hoped it wasn’t so I didn’t have to return to that god forsaken music). Instead I bummed around Celadon for a bit, got the Fly HM, stocked up on potions and laughed at the local signage.

and lollipop kisses?

Eventually I decided to face off against team rocket at game corner but again tried to avoid as many fights as possible, a policy which has served me well in real life as much as it has in game. This tactic almost cost me some precious time though as I forgot you need to defeat one specific rocket goon to actually get the key card for the lift. Thankfully he seemed to be one of the dumbest of the henchmen I faced, so I finished him off with ease, but not before calling his Grimer an ugly ball of sludge.

Looks like you need some aloe for that BURN.

Lift key obtained I went straight down, or up maybe (I get confused with basement numbering) to face Giovanni. The leader of team rocket has by far the most interesting selection of pokemon we’ve seen so far in the game, which makes it all the worse that every one of his goons are stuck with Ekans and Koffing, or perhaps a Sandshrew if they’ve been good. Even with his exciting team Giovanni was steam-rolled by Parasect’s ‘dig’ attack and thus the silph scope was in the rightful hands of a ten year old boy. It’s fine, Mario has already hiked through a pitch black tunnel, now he’s taken on a bunch of pokemon gangsters; communing with the dead is just the next logical step.

Of course this required me to retrace my steps back to Lavender Town, which meant ‘that’ music again. As I entered pokemon tower I was pleased to find the music altered, unfortunately it was a track just as creepy as the one before. I resolved to try and clear the tower as fast as possible so I could move on to part of the game that didn’t make me feel like I’d been cursed by a strange gypsy woman.

You’re very astute.

Once again we bumped into Luigi and once again all but his Pidgeotto went down without much of a grumble from my team. Even after five straight defeats the smug so-and-so still had a sarky comment for me. Luckily for him I had to get on and save Mr Fuji because… reasons. I found the ghost type pokemon a bit of a challenge traveling up the tower; their combination of abilities which allowed them to both paralyse and confuse all my monsters caused me more than a little difficulty. Luckily, after a few battles I found a particularly useful tactic.

Mario used ‘run’. It’s super effective.

Thankfully the rocket goons at the top hadn’t bothered to catch any of the local ghost types, so they were far easier to dispatch, even with every member of my trio paralysed. Then after saving the thoroughly ungrateful Mr Fuji I was bestowed with the pokeflute which meaning I could leave Lavender Town forever (hurray!).

By this point in my run it was high time I and added the fourth member to my roster. I’ve already mentioned that we picked up the Fly HM earlier so one option was to catch a Doduo, found on the cycling road, and use that to speed up my travels. However I’ve never been a fan of any of the pokemon with more than one head, whether that be Doduo, Dugtrio or Magneton. I’ve just always found it a bit weird and can’t get my head round how they work as creatures. Though I did see this picture that might explain things a bit.

So that’s a thing.

Anyway, I needed a water type pokemon, not only to round out my team but also to learn ‘surf’ to get me across to Cinnabar Island later in the game. So, after grabbing the super rod and battling a host of Magikarp, Tentacool, Krabby and Slowpokes, I finally came across the thing that I wanted…

Charmeleon literally beat her with his eyes closed.

With the newest member of our team at the front we jumped over to Saffron to face the ‘other’ gym, mainly to train up li’l Poliwhirl. Unfortunately the gym leader doesn’t give out a badge and doesn’t even have a name. He did offer me a free pokemon but us pickymon players are a bit fussy so wouldn’t want to take one unless I have too. That said I may be returning here in the next episode if none of the team i’ve already assembled can learn ‘strength’, guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Until next time


April Nash

Blasting off again…!

Player Updates No Comment

So I’ve had a little bit of stick after I announced on twitter that I’d completed the Pickymon Challenge so quickly! I lead a VERY busy life, so when I found I had two free evenings I was like: ‘RIGHT. LETS DO THIS. SPEED RUN.’ – and also why the post to follow it is almost a week after the fact! I think a lot of it has been luck and some experience, but we’ll see as to how it happened!


No Joffrey I’m going to your mums house.


So Route 22 leads me on my quest to complete my mission. I’m not surprised to bump into my rival and I was shocked by the sharp spike in the Pokemon levels. I spent the battle switching around mine so to be super effective against his.

KO in one hit!
SO grateful for the Hypnosis and Dreameater combo (Not like he could hit Casper anyway!)

Forgot to get a screen grab of Alakazam, but it took a bit of work with Casper and Evie (putting it to sleep and then thunderbolting it) At level 50, pretty pleased with how my team was holding up… especially as they were all at least 8 levels above me…


Almost had Pokemon envy at the sight of Charizard.
But the with TWO Surfs, I’m really pleased with my Gyarados.


Joffrey then acts like he didn’t lose to me, which under the circumstances makes his failure all the sweeter!


So does your mum. *drops the mic*


So after the friendly banter I headed straight to the entrance for Route 23, getting stopped on the way to check that I had all the badges (BADGES!) Charles‘ commentary on the actual route is pretty accurate to my own thoughts as I was doing it…











I then started my attempt at the Victory Road Cave. I will not lie. It took me THREE attempts to get through. It took me a while to figure out the boulder puzzle and all the encounters (that I was trying to battle every time for those Ex Points) wiped me out twice (I didn’t want to use any of my revives) On my third (and final try) I came across this beauty…


Way too excited about this one.

And luckily (?) I’d kept that Master Ball from Giovanni way back, so for ease of capture (with this being the last Pokemon on my list) I caught myself a Moltres!

Knew I held onto it for something!


NOW MY TEAM IS COMPLETE! I taught Fawkes Fly and Fire Blast straight away and I’m genuinely pleased with my top six on this Pickymon Run!


I’m not just a Pokemon fan. I Love Harry Potter too ‘kay?


And learning from others (and my own) mistakes I saved the game once I’d gotten through the Victory Road Cave (and then the maze of statues, Why are they there!? WHY!?)












I spent all my money on Full Heals, Revives and Hyper Potions, I was pretty sure It was going to take me a few attempts to get through the Elite Four (From memory it always had) but it’d be the quickest way of building up Ex Points and also to work out some sort of strategy. (I couldn’t remember what their ‘specialities’ were) So I took a deep breath and went in.

Loreli first, turns out she’s the Master of Ice – So luckily Evie and Fawkes were able to take on alot of the work, with Spud coming out to deal with her Dewgon and Lapras. I beat her without too much trouble.

awkward screen grab no.1


I then healed up all my team and then subsequently forgot to take any more screen grabs until the end. I am so sorry.

Bruno next, Who likes Ground and Fighting pokemon. He was by far the easiest Master to beat, Spud caused at least half of his team to faint with single move KO’s. Healed up again and moved on to:

Agatha Who’s all about the Ghost and Poision types. I forgot all about Dig in my journey as it’s a super good move against Ghosts, but luckily so is Thunderbolt. Don’t try and do physical moves against ghosts (I have one, I should know) but type-based moves (fire blast/thundershock) work pretty well. This one took a bit more out of my team. Poison are the worst.

Awkward Screen grab no.2



I then had to take on Lance. And then I remembered. he liked Dragons

…So I just took it a pokemon at a time. The Gyarados was ok, Spud and Evie were a great tag team on that one, the Dragonairs weren’t too bad. Evie fainted once (used a precious revive) Spud Fainted once (another revive) Dragonite was awful. Used Caspers Hypnosis SO much. My method was to put it to sleep and then work through the team so not to use up what was left of my best moves. It woke up a few times and knocked out Casper (so more Revives) But this tactic eventually worked. Aerodactly wasn’t easy but it went better than Dragonite. Spud did his Razor leaf thing and Fish Sticks joined in.

I took a deep breath of relief. I still wasn’t sure if trying to do this with level 45-50 pokemon was wise. But I’d done 4 out of the 5 now, so there was definitely no turning back. I was so tense. (And this was about 1 in the morning now) But I was so committed I had to know… I healed up everyone, saved the game and went to meet my fate.


You may actually be this time…

Bloody hell I swore a lot playing through this next part. Level 59-63 across the board. He must have done some serious grinding on Victory Road. And to be honest, most of it wasn’t awful, again, stuck to the original tactics that I’d used (based on type effectiveness) and did fine, Fawkes KO’d Exeggecutor which was awesome. A few more overall faints, more revives used and then ALAKAZAM. It almost wiped out everyone. But I was able to chip away at it (whilst switching in and out and reviving) until this happened.IMG_1974
































…I beat him.


I BLOODY WENT AND BEAT HIM. I AM AWESOME. I MAY HAVE USED WEAKER POKEMON AND ALL THE REVIVES BUT I WON! I went through and got to have a lovely hit of nostalgia with the Pokemon Hall of fame. I’m so proud of my team. And the fact we almost lucked out with getting through first time.



My awesome Six. So Proud *sniff*




























































So this is me now. Not too Shabby considering.

I decided that I was going to skip the power plant (but I may re-visit once I’ve completed this mission) I decided that I wanted to defeat MewTwo in less than 28 minutes (I really wanted to come in at under 16 hours) so off I went ( WITH FLY <3) to Cerulean City. Surfed on Fish Stick to the cave where I new that the pokemon resided.

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin on the river…

I didn’t (again) take in to account the next sharp spike in pokemon levels. I ran from a lot of wild battles. I knew I’d need the last few remaining revives for fighting Mewtwo. I found him after a fair bit of searching…

oh hai.

Dave made this point in one of his posts, but the creature design is really beautiful for such an ‘old’ game. MewTwo is one of my favourites. I wish I could have caught him. But I knew I couldn’t. (I’d used my Master Ball and ‘dems da rules’)











It took a while. Mew two took ALOT of Naps (thank you Casper) I did manage to capture the last moment before beating him thought! Glad to have had a team of six against one.


‘Come on… come on…’

So there we go. Play time JUST under 16 hours in total. I’m tempted to carry on and now Catch ALL THE POKEMON to get it out of my system. Also temped to try and similar run on Pokemon Silver… But maybe at Christmas when my schedule can give me a couple of weeks to binge it out. (There may be some drawing too) I may not have the strongest team by the time everyone has finished Pickymon (Charles would currently wipe the floor with me if we were to battle) but at the moment I’ve had one of the fastest teams. And it’s been a blast. 😉