September 14, 2016
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 do not learn Unagi in this gym, because all of these dudes are ridiculous.
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…
Urgh. More teleporters. It’s a good thing I don’t have any antimatter on 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:
Luckily, before long:
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?
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:
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.