August 25, 2016
Last time we saw our hero, he had just arrived in Cerulean City with his trusty Pokémon stable, ready to take down the Cerulean City Gym and earn himself a Cascadebadge. What excitement does Cerulean City have in store? Find out… right now!
Ah, Cerulean City. Home of Kanto’s only water Pokémon gym, Kanto’s only bike shop (for some unbelievable reason), and the closest city to the home of Bill, the world’s foremost expert on Pokémon (or Pokémaniac, as Michael Gove would call him). There’s a lot of important stuff to take care of here, so I head straight into the bike shop to check it out – mainly because I have entirely forgotten where you get the bike voucher.
Remember kids – if you can’t see the price, you can’t afford it. I quickly leave the bike shop and head straight into the Cerulean Gym, and am surprised to see that somebody appears to have built an indoor pier over the top of a perfectly good Olympic-sized swimming pool, for some inconceivable reason. With Jericho taking the lead in the stable, we go about taking out Misty’s damp squibs who are supposedly training in her gym.
Without questioning exactly where the Swimmer was keeping his Pokéballs, Jericho and Bulbtista see off his paltry water Pokémon in convincing fashion.
The second challenge is a female Jr. Trainer who, despite only having one Goldeen and outwardly appearing to be a pushover, nearly squashes Jericho with an unexpectedly powerful Horn Attack (ooh-er). Bulbtista storms in and sees her off.
After some quick potions, we turn our attention to Misty, the gym leader.
Jericho quickly sees off Staryu with a sweet Thundershock – Thundershock – Quick Attack combo, but after a particularly damaging pair of Tackles from the giant starfish, he’s looking worse for wear. When Misty brings out Starmie, Jericho tags in Bulbtista, who pretty much flattens the organic trigonometry nightmare and results in this:
Misty, thoroughly admonished for having the audacity to partially board over a swimming pool, gives up the Cascadebadge – meaning that my Pokémon up to Level 30 will behave. Which is good, because they’re all already Level 20 and misbehaving is definitely on the horizon… but we’ll worry about that at Level 31. On the way out I accidentally engage the Swimmer again, and:
Next stop is Bill’s place so we can have a natter about Pokémon and get a ticket onto the SS Anne, so we heal up at the Pokémon Centre and head towards Nugget Bridge. I’m distracted by a police officer who say they’ve been having trouble finding a Team Rocketer who robbed the house.
No time to worry about that now (especially as I can’t get in), so off to Nugg-OH FOR GOD’S SAKE.
Byron’s got himself a good-looking team; consisting of a Pigeotto, Ratticate, Charmander and… an… Abra? Where the hell did he get that this early? His 4 Pokémon are stronger than my 3 and Pidgeotto gives Koko a run for his money before I switch out to Jericho to deal the deathblows. But it turns out his Abra only knows Teleport; so it gives a chance to heal up the stable before dispatching the rest of the team in short order.
The outcome of that fight has important consequences for the team:
And we advance onto Nugget Bridge, ready to take out the 5 trainers who guard the way from some inconceivable reason. The fights don’t provide a whole lot of trouble, and before long:
So, off to Bill’s… oh. I forgot about the myriad of trainers who are hanging around near Bill’s place. Well, we mustn’t shy away from the grind…
Finally, after too many battles with Caterpies (seriously, cut it out, Bug Catchers), I make it through to Bill’s place!
After saving him from his Goldblumian nightmare and not being given the opportunity to learn about his Pokémon (I really did want to know), he gives us his ticket to a trainer party at the S.S. Anne, because he has crippling social anxiety and would rather spend his time engaging in creepy metamorphosis experiments with animals; not that I’m judging or anything.
Of course, the path to Vermilion City is blocked by a large bush and, given that Kanto appears to have absolutely no form of tangible government or authority figure; there are no domestic services to deal with it. Other services facing issues are the police force, as that officer from earlier has decided to unblock the front door of the trashed house and let anyone wander into an active crime scene; even a 10 year old child. The offended parties are inside (conveniently not bothering to look out of the window into their garden), and explain that a Team Rocketer has stolen their HM for teach Dig. He was going to use it to teach a Diglett how to Dig. (That seems, to me, like a waste of an HM). I mosey out into the garden and challenge the Rocketer, subsequently beating him in the ensuing Pokémon match…
Except, if you go back inside, the old man decides he doesn’t even want the HM back. He’ll teach Diglett to Dig without it (which is what he should’ve done in the first place). So… I guess… I mean, I’m just going to keep it? This doesn’t feel morally correct at all. But I’ve tried to give it back… and the police officer doesn’t seem interested… I guess… *wanders off, whistling casually*
So, onto Vermilion City. I didn’t bother taking any screenshots because this was all very run-of-the-mill; taking on a few trainers with little fanfare, encounters with wild Pokémon that I don’t want to catch (Oddish gives me the creeps), until eventually I make it Vermilion City by passing through the underground tunnel.
My plan on arrival had been to head straight to the Vermilion City gym and take on Lt. Surge so that I could end my day with 3 badges. I had completely forgotten that you can’t get in without knowing Cut; and I wasn’t in the mood to do the entire S.S. Anne grind, so I wandered around town. The first thing was the old man who gave me a fishing rod because I lied about enjoying fishing*. Then I stumbled upon this sign:
I go in and speak to everyone, ending with the Fan Club President. He asks if I want to hear about his Pokémon; I say no, because I can’t be arsed. Then I hesitate. I can’t shake the feeling that this is relevant in some way… so I speak to him again. He asks, I say yes. He drones on for far too long, and then… a bike voucher! What a bizarre way to apologise for being a boring ol’ sod! But I’ll take it. In fact, I do take it; and once business is concluded in Vermilion, I intend to nip up to Cerulean and get that bike.
With nothing interesting left to do in the city, I stock up in the store and prepare to bed down for the evening, when I suddenly remember what lies just outside Vermilion to the East. So, I quickly pop out, and a few minutes later, I acquire THE FOURTH MEMBER OF MY STABLE:
Remember earlier when I questioned using an HM to teach Diglett to Dig? That exchange inspired me, and I knew as soon as I was within reach of Diglett’s Cave, I was going to grab one. I hadn’t expected that to come NEARLY this early, but there we are. Just two more Pokémon left to catch…
With Booker D ingratiated, we head to the Pokémon Centre and bed down for the night; we’re gonna need a lot of rest if we’re going to hit up and boat party AND smash through the Vermilion City Gym tomorrow… will our hero pull it off? Find out, next time!