Matt Holmes

Holmes’ Odyssey: Episode 2

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‘Pick Charmander, that’ll be more fun. Let’s not catch any pokemon that the others have caught, it’ll be more interesting. Stupid me’

To be clear, Pokemon is not a difficult game; it’s fun and can take time, but Dark Souls it ain’t. Pickymon on the other hand can be hard.

When I last left you I was off to go chip away at Pewter City’s rat problem to help beef up my two little monsters Nidoran and Charmander in preparation to take on the local gym leader. Though after a bit of grinding I became concerned that I might over level them, which I am led to believe can make them disobey me. In all my years of playing different versions of the game I don’t think I’ve ever had one actually go against my will but I didn’t want to be stuck in mount moon with a couple of unruly pokemon like a dad trying to take his kids to the seaside whilst they kick the back of his seat for the whole 2 hour journey. Eventually I settled on boosting up my ‘mon til they were both level 15 then went to go face Brock, an apparently respected gym leader who chose his favourite pokemon type by taking the first letter off his name and going with whatever was left.

Brock
‘Ooo what am I like?’

I knew this was going to be a tricky fight for little Charmander so set up Nidoran to take the lead on it, unfortunately I hadn’t realised that normal type moves are just as weak as fire type when coming up against rock pokemon. This meant progress was slow and it took 3 potions before we eventually ground his Geodude down to rubble. However, both my monsters were pretty weakened and so felt sure Onix would be able to flatten them. Thankfully he kept using ‘bide’ which allowed me to get a load of ‘growl’ and ‘tail whip’s in without getting damaged myself. It was certainly a battle of attrition but eventually we won out and obtained the first badge.

Normally I’m tempted to visit every house in the city for any potential goodies but this is a speed run so I traveled straight on towards Mount Moon. This meant battling against a trainer who seemed to have something other than pokemon on his mind.

…sexy?

In fact the whole route was littered with little kids more concerned with clothing than a french police officer on the beach.

Neither would you if you were packing the kind of length I am.

 

Thankfully these pint-sized fashionistas really didn’t cause much difficulty for my battle hardened combo. In fact heading into the mountain my concerns were back on my little buddies growing beyond level 20, risking disobedience. I resolved to catch a pokemon if possible so I would have someone else to suck up all that lovely XP. First encounter in the cave brought me the perfect candidate: Paras, a grass/bug type pokemon who would help me keep a nice rounded team. I let Nidoran give a quick ‘tackle’ hoping to weaken the weird little creature but instead the RNG gave us a critical hit and the Paras went down quicker than Ronaldo in the 18-yard box. ‘Fine’ I thought, ‘we’ll find another one soon’. Turns out Paras are quite a rare find in Mount Moon so after downing Zubat after Zubat this happend:

‘I got bigger and a bit uglier.’
Ep 2 - FINAL Charmeleon
‘Hey, me too!’

So it’s fair to say I was getting a little panicked and decided to bolt for the exit, only it turned out I didn’t remember this game as well as I thought and actually got lost for a while which is a bit scary as it is the simplest dungeon of the game. Eventually I found my way to the end section, beat off the rocket goons (not like that), defeated the super nerd and picked up the fossil that I would never reanimate. Just as I was about to leave, tired of fighting the terrible Zubats I didn’t want to catch and the actually pretty great Geodudes I’m not allowed to, I saw her; a weird, beautiful (actually kind of ugly), grassy, buggy creature that was a Paras. This one I was not going to let get away.

Ep 2 - FINAL Paras
Huzzah!

We leave the horrors of Mount Moon and step out in to what feels like the genuinely lovely sunlight of Kanto. On the way to Cerulean CIty I pick up a TM that teaches ‘mega punch’. During a normal run though I would never normally bother with TM’s as I’m always nervous that it would be better off given to another pokemon I’ll catch later down the line, but here I don’t really have that worry so gave it to Chameleon. Similarly I don’t normally use healing items or stat boosters like ‘X Accuracy’, mainly because I always feel like it’s cheating whenever one of the gym leaders uses them against me, but now I’m speed running so screw sportsmanship, I’m going to need every advantage I can get!

With speed in mind I decided to go straight on to face my second gym leader Misty. The couple of preliminary trainers caused no issue for my tough twosome (swapping Paras out every round to help share the experience). Unfortunately Misty was a problem as her Staryu was manageable but that bloody Starmie and it’s ‘bubblebeam’ ripped everyone apart. .

I’d love to say this only happened once but I actually got KO’d after a second attempt as well.

After my humiliating double defeat I realised that new member Paras was the key to success here thanks to her type advantage so did a little grind on nugget bridge; beat the trainers, got the nugget and Paras learned ‘stun spore’. With the ability to paralise my foes I faced off against Misty for the third time and was successful.With the tomboyish mermaid (that’s how the the game describes her) out of the way I looked north towards Bill’s house, but couldn’t bring myself to go any further. I needed to rest and try and think a bit more tactically so as not to keep getting stuck on these pesky gym leaders. Until next time.

2 badges out of 8, 3 pokemon out of 6 and still way richer than me in real life.

 

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