Dave McGuckin

Pride Comes Before 2 Out Of 3 Falls – Irish Dave’s Story

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We last saw our hero in Lavender Town… again. Except this time, he’s defeated Team Rocket in Celadon City AND Lavender Town and rescued Mr. Fuji from the Pokémon Tower. Where will he go from here? Find out… right now!

With Mr. Fuji safely returned home, the time has come to leave Lavender Town behind – hopefully forever. With Cut and Fly in effect and the opportunities to use Surf and Strength now available, the next logical step seems to be heading south to Fuchsia City and the Safari Zone to acquire the HMs for both moves. So we head to Route 12, Pokéflute at the ready – but we’re cut off quickly by trainer battles.

No prizes for guessing what type this guy has
No prizes for guessing what type this guy has

We trawl through the litany of fishermen and discover that spending all of your time holding your rod in the hot sun can be bad for you.

This is a strange thing to say to a stranger.
This is an odd thing to say to a stranger.
That's just depressing.
That’s just depressing.

Before long we encounter a sleeping Pokémon blocking the path! Only one thing to do…

Didn't even get off the bike.
Didn’t even get off the bike.
Great success!
Great success!

Now luckily, for those of us who have seen the Pokémon cartoon, we know that waking a Snorlax will just mean it goes off and gets something eat before going back to sle-

OH GOD
OH GOD

THE TV SHOW LIED

It didn't appear. It was always there, in the way.
It didn’t appear. It was always there, in the way.

I had forgotten how much of a complete pain Snorlax was to battle. It keeps using Rest and regaining all of its health, then Headbutting like it thinks it’s a member of the Anoa’i family*. Evee Marie takes a kicking before I switch out to Booker D; who uses Dig whenever Snorlax wakes up from Rest to avoid the Headbutt. It’s a tactic that works and, after very nearly catching it by accident ’cause I forgot what I was doing, we dispatch it into the wild or kick it into the river or something and head on. During the next section we meet my favourite male trainer character:

EXCELLENT! *plays air guitar*
EXCELLENT! *plays air guitar*

Soon, we arrive at a house of the Fishing Guru’s brother; who is presumably the older, better brother as he gives us a Super Rod! No, not that kind of super rod; it’s a really good fishing rod. That’s all. Get your mind out of the gutter, reader.

Too enthusiastic though.
Too enthusiastic though.

Interested to see what I can get on Route 16, I decide to use it straight away! Having not thought it through even remotely, we end up with this situation.

How would you like it cooked, sir?
How would you like it cooked, sir?

After quickly checking Bulbapedia for where I can actually find the Pokémon I want, I decide to press on without anymore fishing. After all, it looks like I’ll be able to find what I need when I reach my destination…

The trainer battles are fairly run of the mill on the way down; but I realise that I have NO recollection of this dude at all:

No, mate, they want SCRAPS. Of bread.
No, mate, they want SCRAPS. Of bread.
Oh wait, you're REALLY COOL!
Oh wait, you’re REALLY COOL!

I have no idea what it is about bird Pokémon that has led these dudes to rocking mohawks and wearing dunagrees, but I am so into punk-rock painters with Pidgeys that I’m considering some fanfic on the side of this project. The team are smashing through these trainers like a Fire Blast through butter, and as Fuchsia City quickly draws near, i am suddenly perturbed by an upcoming battle.

Aren't they the twins from The Shining?
Aren’t they the twins from The Shining?
Oh, no, they clearly work for the IOC.
Oh, no, they clearly work for the IOC.

After being disappointed to discover that the creepy girls are actually two more of the “Beauties”, I set about school Niantic for their sexist character designs by beating their “girly” Clefairy’s. Not because I think Clefairy’s are girly, but because I like to win things. I did look away for 5 seconds though, which was a mistake.

WHAT THE HECK
WHAT THE HECK

Next up I encounter my first Fearow; which looks like one of those turkeys that voted for Christmas that people keep banging on about.

It's definitely wearing a Christmas hat.
It’s definitely wearing a Christmas cracker hat.

It is at THIS point, dear Reader, where disaster strikes. No, Jericho doesn’t get beaten by a bird covered in gravy and Brussels sprouts; the ROM crashes and my phone wipes out entirely. This is unusual; my phone hasn’t crashed before at all; and there was no indication of any further issue. The worst part, though, is that instead of being a sensible and responsible Pokémon trainer and saving regularly along the way… I haven’t saved at all. I have lost over an hour of gametime and I am back in GORRAM LAVENDER TOWN.

However, I am presented with a unique opportunity. Did I make some poor choices when I started earlier? Possibly. Maybe this is a chance to switch up the gameplan and take other factors into account. Right, let’s do it differently this time. HERE WE GO.

Y'all don't stand a chance this time either.
Y’all don’t stand a chance this time either.
Acoustic open can of whoop-ass
Acoustic open can of whoop-ass

We quickly smash through the trainers on Route 16 and get to the Fishing Guru’s brother’s house. His enthusiasm for fishing is still weird, but I take his goddamn Super Rod and, rather than progressing, Koko flies us back to Celadon City. Remember I mentioned the weird house that’s blocked off by a tiny lake? We go straight there. We start fishing. The first Pokémon we hook is the one we want. The problem is, that Pokémon is Level 15. My entire stable is minimum Level 30. One use of Scratch from Booker D knocks it out entirlely, which is incredibly inconvenient. So, we continue to fish. After more than a few complete misses and about 800000 Poliwhirls and one exaggeration later, we finally snag the one we want again. And this time, with Evee Marie at the front of the party, a careful use of Ember takes off just enough health. It’s at this moment I realise I have literally one Great Ball in my inventory and this could be my only opportunity to catch it without another tedious fishing grind. I throw the ball.

 

It twitches.

 

It twitches again.

 

It twitches a third time.

 

 

 

And then it stops.

Welcome to the team…

FIGHT, SLOWENS, FIGHT
FIGHT, SLOWENS, FIGHT

The addition of Kevin Slowens results in a FULL STABLE! With my Sinister 6 assembled, the time has come to push to the finish. The problem? KSlow is about half the Levels of the rest of the party and, as we’ve learned from my Pickymon compadrés, the grind is the worst part of this whole experience. So I make a bold decision to fly to Vermilion, hop on my bike, and continue on the journey to Fuchsia City. Aside from a quick ride up and down Diglett’s Cave once, KSlow is not to be subjected to any more of a grind than I had already done before the ROM crash. He’s going to have to step up or get to the back of the line.

His quality showing out in the Diglett’s Cave sees him move up 4 levels alone, so we continue our ride back to Route 16. Before long, we’re back round to where we were before the crash.

Not with that atrocious sentence construction, no
Not with that atrocious sentence construction, no

A few more trainer battles, and while KSlow has levelled at an incredible rate; all of his attacks have almost entirely run out of PP and he is SCREWED. So we avoid as many trainer battles as possible and push on to Fuchsia City to rest and crack on with the important issues at hand. Namely, going into the Safari Zone and getting those HMs. We encounter a few people that we couldn’t avoid, but before long, we make it to Fuchsia City.

This represents a stereotype which is hard to argue with.
This represents a stereotype which is hard to argue with.

At this stage, I remember about the Gold Teeth. You get the Gold Teeth in the Safari Zone and bring them to the Warden, so he gives you the Strength HM. This is All Good, I’m fine with this. I also remember that the hut you get Surf from is at the furthest possible point from the entrance to the Safari Zone. This is Also All Good, I am also fine with that. What I have forgotten runs 4 fold:

  1. I have forgotten that it’s $500 to get into the Safari Zone.
  2. I have forgotten that your time limit is determined by Steps Taken, not by… y’know… actual time.
  3. I have forgotten that the Warden doesn’t live in the Safari Zone (specifically in the same hut you get Surf from)
  4. I have forgotten the route to the house that you get Surf from.

With all of those things suitably forgotten, I pay my money and head into the Safari Zone. The first 2 attempts see me pick up a lot of interesting inventory, but not the Gold Teeth, and visit a number of huts, but not the one with Surf. The encounters in these huts are all suitably riveting.

You clearly haven't heard of me with questions like that.
You clearly haven’t heard of me with questions like that.

The third time is the charm, as I find the right path to the hut and manage to get Surf and immediately teach it Kevin . However, I still don’t have the Gold Teeth and head back out – finding them almost immediately. My nonsense memory of this section sends me back to the house and, two paces from the front door, my time runs out and I’m sent out of the park.

So I go back in.

And I burn it to the hut.

And it isn’t the warden. It isn’t the warden at all. It’s just some guy.

I pissed off that Rhydon on the way here for nothing.

I run out the clock in the Safari Zone and head out into Fuchsia City to try and find the Warden’s House. I find it depressingly quickly (as in, it’s literally the first building I go in to) and return his teeth to him, without questioning how a man who operates a conservation project can afford a full set of dentures made out of gold. In return, he gives me the Strength HM, and I immediately go to teach it to Evee Marie.

 

But I can’t.

 

I’m so shocked, I forget to screencap. Evee Marie says Not Able. I’ve either misread the chart, or I’ve read a chart with incorrect information. Maybe a chart for a later generation of Pokémon games? It doesn’t matter.

huge mistake

There’s only one Pokémon in my stable who can learn Strength, and it’s Kevin Slowens. KSlow, who has already learned Surf – and is the only Pokémon who can learn Surf – has suddenly become my saviour, my guiding light, my salvation. Kevin Slowens learns Strength. My tactics must now change dramatically – KSlow was to be my Water, Psychic AND Ice guy. Now he’s my Strength guy too.

Kevin Slowens must never job out. Kevin Slowens must be protected.

Kevin Slowens is the weakest in the team.

The next stop is the Fuchsia City gym. This is the Psychic gym; arguably the gym in which I have the strongest disadvantage. Not only because of the Psychic type advantages, but also because it appears I’ve taken this run in a slightly unusual order and I shouldn’t actually be here yet. Regardless, I prepare myself for the dangerous challenge that a gym full of psychic ninjas will present.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!
ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

These are meant to be psychic ninjas, not freakin’ jugglers! However, I was wrong to take him lightly as his Level 38 Hypno nearly wipes me out entirely. I end up taking this gym literally one trainer at a time; often heading back out to the Pokémon Centre to heal the team before heading back in. Kevin Slowens is still taking the lead, clawing essential experience points against Pokémon that are consistently 5-10 levels stronger than him, but hangs in there the whole way. At no point against the Psychic onslaught do any of them drop; but we’re taken by surprised by a Tamer who, having missed the memo on Psychic Pokémon, sends out a gorram Sandslash:

Like Knuckles the Echidna on ALL the steroids
Like Knuckles the Echidna on ALL the steroids

Finally, having fought tooth and claw through the trainers, we make it to Koga, who gives it The Big I Am straight away.

If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely.
If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely.

The fight with Koga is as difficult as anticipated; his team leaning heavily towards Poison types with a few Psychic attacks thrown in as well. The stable shares the load, but Evee Marie’s Ember attack proves the most effective at dealing with his army of Koffings and Weezings – which makes sense. After all, one of the most popular things to do with toxic gas is set it on fire. The battle takes its toll on her though and, just before the last Weezing takes her out, I go to give her my only Hyper Potion to push us through the rest of the fight. Unfortunately, it seems that Koga’s Weezing knows A Dick Move.

So much for honour in battle...
So much for honour in battle…
Oh man, Corey Graves is going to be distraught
Oh man, Corey Graves is going to be distraught.
You haven't, you crybaby jerk.
You haven’t, you crybaby jerk.

As disappointing as it is that Evee Marie misses out on the experience from Koga’s most powerful Pokémon, the team have accomplished a mammoth task here and come out on top, resulting in the SOULBADGE!

Yes, it's a heart; do YOU know what shape a soul is? No? Shut up then.
Yes, it’s a heart; do YOU know what shape a soul is? No? Shut up then.

The most important lesson from today is that I need to save the game much more often than I do. But the second chance was worth it, as Kevin Slowens has smashed up 15 Levels since being caught and is nearly on equal strength to the rest of the stable, which leaves us looking like this:

That's building a brand, right there.
That’s building a brand, right there.

And with that, it’s back to the Pokémon Centre to heal, eat and rest; as tomorrow is a new day with new adventures. But in the meantime, we must turn our thoughts to the sacrifice made by the brave, daring and beautiful Evee Marie to help us come this far… as her role could be even more important than we ever could’ve thought before we began todays’ adventure…

Sleep tight, Red Queen.
Sleep tight, Red Queen.

 

*The Anoa’i family are the Samoan wrestling dynasty that have produced such incredible wrestlers as “The High Chief” Peter Maivia, Rocky Johnson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Rikishi, Umaga, Roman Reigns and Nia Jax. The only people who have headbutted a Samoan wrestler and survived are The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Sheamus and… Mojo Rawley.

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2 Comments

  • Charles on September 6, 2016

    “Kevin Slowens” and the IOC line made me do real life laughing

  • April Nash on September 7, 2016

    ‘Kevin Slowens’ is my favourite.

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