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.

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