Archer

Back in Beardie… Wait!

Player Updates 1 Comment

Remission. That’s what the Doc is calling it.

I accidentally skipped a round of medic- GYM! I accidentally skipped a gym and went onto the next one. I fought at Saffron City, only to have my efforts thwarted. So I took a step back, I went for a walk out to Celadon City where I collected a parcel containing the HM for Fly. I felt like I was already on the road to recovery, and I decided not to return to Saffron to retake the badge but instead I head south along the coast. I received a fishing rod from a lovely old man in a hut. I continued on my path, enjoying the breeze though not being able to look too many pedestrians in the eye.

At last I reached Fuschia City, home to the only proper beach in Kanto, the Safari Zone, and budget Vegeta’s Gym (sorry Koga but it’s true). I realised that I had one Pokéball left as I walked along the petting area of the Safari Zone and I realised that a lot of work was going to be needed to get that last team member. I stepped into the Safari Zone, I walked straight up to the first pond and I fished for a while.

Nothing.

I decided to forget the catch and to go for Surf/Gold Teeth (For those who haven’t got to it yet and struggle, the teeth are on the ground before you get to the secret hut; all in the same area) and then the Safari Gods shined upon me.

I have never caught a Tauros, they never appear in my playthroughs. Shame...
I have never caught a Tauros, they never appear in my playthroughs. Shame…

I didn’t catch it, but I felt like luck was finally on my side. I ran through the bushes, got to another reservoir and there it was! I attempted to catch, failed. I fished 15 more times and each time the same Pokémon, the one I needed, appeared then fled. I continued round to the secret hut, got the teeth, got the surf and realised I had a lot of steps and 14 Pokéballs left. I sat outside the hut and fished for what felt like hours, and then finally, when I thought I could do no more…

"WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, MY FRIENDS..."
“WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, MY FRIENDS…”

I called her OhHiBatz, though I feel like it was more the writer’s choice as Kirsty had to sit next to him throughout the entire Safari debacle. But I feel better and I feel like all that work in the rehab paid off! My next goals are to take Koga’s heart, then go back and drag Selina through the Marsh. I decided to sleep out under the stars that night, and as my team dozed off I couldn’t help but feel honour and pride to be part of this team…

imagesZ3V7O0X0 untitled 148837 Gyarados__6_102__Base_Set Charizard__4_102__Base_Set 180px-DratiniBaseSet26

 

Dave McGuckin

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

Player Updates 2 Comments

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.

Harriet Langley

I’m just tryin’ to grind my way

Player Updates No Comment

Well, I loathe grinding.

No please, take your time....
No please, take your time….

Levelling my Winging It was my next goal pre Rock Tunnel. I wanted to grind him up to level 20-25. So far, each level is taking about 4-7 battles and I am grumpy about this process! I’m so scared of accidentally leveling A Sprout that I won’t do the swap out method. So, cycling around in the tall grass has been my hobby for the past few sessions of Pokemon.

Such progress, much wow
Such progress, much wow

I was wrong in my last post. My memory faltered, the images of the past lay broken and disjointed at my feet – hang on, forgot this isn’t Batman Fanfic. Okay, I remember distinctly playing Red as follows: Town, gym, cave, town, gym, cave etc. So I forgot that the SS Anne and Vermillion are pre Rock Tunnel. This is good news! So I can just enjoy a peaceful, beautiful boat trip and –

Way to kill the ambience man
Way to kill the ambience man

So aboard this festering hive of battle happy trainers, I began to grind Winging It. Began. I soon realised (after the 6th pokemon centre trip) that Winging It always had a type disadvantage, or was too weak. Lass’ and Gentlemen (wow pokemon) kicked my teams’ collective asses again and again. Because, for the 151st time, I don’t want to have A Sprout disobey me.

Wait a second...
Wait a second…

I noticed after a few battles with A Sprout saving the day for poor Winging It that something was amiss. A Sprout’s teenage disobediance wasn’t occuring like it should have done-

*Dramatic pause*
*Dramatic pause*

Oh. Oh no. So, it would appear that my utter aversion to using A Sprout was entirely misplaced. Or a misplaced precaution. I was under the impression that the Cascade badge from Misty allowed pokemon up to level 30 to obey you. So why is A Sprout being a suck up and following instuctions. Has this whole process been a lie up to this point? Did I even need Winging It? Have I ground up this bird under false pretences?!

WELL, BACK TO THE BOOZE CRUISE TO TEST THIS THEORY!
BACK TO THE BOOZE CRUISE TO TEST THIS THEORY!

Tune in next time to find out if Harriet has been an absolute n00b.

Sarah-Beth

My first update or “Ok, I have a squirtle – now what?”

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As I previously mentioned, I have never played a Pokémon game on the Gameboy or any of its successors. It was something that I managed to totally skip from my gaming history.

I booted up the game, bumbled my way through the controls (I’m not much of a PC gamer) and gave myself a name – Neko. Pretty much my go to gaming name cos it’s short and I’m some kind of cat loving cliché.

Initial thoughts at the loading screen:

FatPika

  • Uh, pikachu looks kinda…wrong.  Is he meant to be drunk here?
  • This 8-bit music is cool…reminds me of getting my first gameboy *5 seconds later, lunging for mute button*
  • Are all of these pokémon in scale compared to Ash?
  • I feel old..

So I woke up in my house, went to visit the professor and got myself my first pokémon. I chose squirtle who I named Tubbs after looking at that big old round head of his.

What followed was pretty much me wandering through long grass, leveling Tubbs up and wondering what else I was meant to be doing for the best part of an hour.  I eventually came across a gym

Ohhello

Yay! I must be getting somewhere, right?

closed

Oh.

sadjim

 

At one point I was rather aggressively pursued by this shouty dude

STRANGER DANGER!!!!

After another bit of bumbling about I finally found the gym in Pewter city, got through my battle with Brock and got my first badge. I think I was expecting the first battle to be a bit harder than that, but I’m not going to kid myself that I have a clue what I am doing. Let’s face it, I still haven’t even tried to catch any more pokémon.

Here’s how my stats are currently looking.

 

update1final

 

Over and out.

 

Kirsty

Long time, no Seadra…

Player Updates No Comment

Hey, Pickymonsters. It’s been a while! Unfortunately real life has been catching up on me (film producing, it turns out, takes up a lot of mental space) and eating into my precious Pickymon time. Well- the mental capacity, maybe. But after a long shoot week, I’m here! I haven’t forgotten about our very specific and picky cause.

Side note: My man person is also playing Pickymon. Without infringing on his own future post, I feel I should now that I’ve never seen anyone so distraught by difficulties in safari zone. You’d think someone was teasing him with pizza. 

So, today is a quick update. I’ve got two badges since I last blogged (the first two. I forgets which ones they are) and now I’m in Vermillion, where this happened:

Pokemon - Red Version (USA, Europe)

The suspense is killing you, right? The Captain’s what? THE CAPTAIN’S WHAT?!

I’ll admit- I have played a little since the last post. In fact the first two gyms were doozies. I’ve mainly been stuck in battle with that bitch Abigail on the S.S Anne. Mr Pickles and Heimlich (My only two pokemon, Ivysaur and Butterfree) were fine with the first couple of Pokemon. It was just Abigail’s freaking Charmeleon with ember (a.k.a. THE ONLY MOVES IT FECKING KNOWS) left right and centre. But today I… no no, WE kicked its firey lizard ass.

Another shoot week to go, so don’t worry if I disappear again. I haven’t died (fingers crossed- Loughborough is a quaintly rough place). I will be back.

Bye felicia!

Matt Holmes

Holmes’ Odyssey: Episode 3

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Two gyms down and two and a half hours in; I was feeling pretty upbeat, perhaps surprisingly so, given that it had taken me three attempts to defeat Misty and obtain the Cascade Badge. My high spirits were mainly down to the fact I knew I had one of my favourite sections of the game coming up. The orange hue of Vermilion has always been pleasing to me and the SS Anne multiple useful items and amusing trainer battles to enjoy.

Of course before I could go south to visit that sunny city I had to head north to help out pokemaniac Bill, who despite initial indications, was neither a pokemon or a maniac. Understandably disappointed I moved on towards Vermilion, picking up the ‘dig’ TM on my way down. In town I popped in to see the pokemon fan club to grab the bike voucher from their esteemed (and really weird) chairman. That said, he wasn’t as worrying as one of the other members who may need some pointers on caring for her pokemon.

Less of that Lennie.

I also went to see the fishing guy to grab the fishing rod. ‘Oh boy’, I thought, ‘now I can catch me a water pokemon to round out my team a bit’. Turns out the only fish that thing can hook are Magikarp, but it’s fine, it only took me about 15 pointless battles against those level 5 ‘splash’ monsters for me to realise. Useless fishing equipment aside I made the decision to go east, past the Diglett cave so as to level up my Paras a bit who was still trailing behind Nidorino and Charmeleon strength wise. There weren’t any especially challenging fights, though I did have to do a little double take the first time I came across one of the gambler type trainers.

What exactly about that outfit is supposed to signify ‘gambler’.

The long grass around the area also presented me with a couple of monsters I’d have been sorely tempted to capture had I not already agreed to only catch pokemon my fellow pickymon players had not. Ekans’ ‘wrap’ attack caused me enough frustration to seriously want it in my arsenal, plus I didn’t remember Drowzee being available this early in the game and he’s pretty bad ass.

Drowzee
What is there not to like about this guy?

I continued a bit further on but regrettably there was nothing for me here other than the offer of an itemfinder from professor Oak’s aide if I could show him 30 entries in my pokedex. Even on a normal run I don’t think I’d bother with that thing.

So, with Paras suitably beefed up I healed the gang and boarded the SS Anne. As mentioned, I just love this part of the game; unlike every other area where trainers feel they can challenge you for daring to walk near them, on the SS Anne you can basically choose who you battle and then leave again to refresh at any point. Of course the main battle here is against our rival but once again he didn’t prove too much of a concern aside from his Pidgeotto who knocked Paras’ health down to single digits. With Luigi dispatched I went to the sea captain and did what was needed to get the ‘cut’ HM.

I feel so dirty.

I decided to teach ‘cut’ to Charmeleon, replacing the move I had taught him barely an hour before (‘mega punch’), due to the fact that the punch’s accuracy was turning out to be somewhat less than mega. I also used the opportunity to teach Nidorino ‘body slam’ and ‘dig’ to Paras who after another couple of boat battles changed his appearance.

I am assembling one ugly ass team right here.

A team of revitalised pocket monsters now felt ready to face off against Lt Surge. Even with the annoying bin switches the third gym was by far the easiest we’d faced up to this point; literally every one of his creatures got one hit KO’d and as a reward I got the Thunder badge which allows the use of the ‘fly’ HM outside of battle and… nothing else. Here was me expecting it to allow my pokemon to get up to level 40 without them disobeying me but no such luck. So now I had to face the challenge of Rock Tunnel without ‘flash’ and my trio all at level 28; just two levels away from potential rebellion.

Next stop on the journey was Rock Tunnel which I was kind of dreading, and it turns out I had good reason to. Initially things were looking up as Paras’ new move ‘dig’ was able to decimate most of the creatures we met. Then, just as I was starting to get cocky, I met hiker after hiker, all of whom liked to get their Geodudes to use the hugely damaging self-destruct’ move against us and even with 7 super potions in my bag I couldn’t fight the inevitable.

Yep, KO’d again. I am so awesome at this game.

After suffering so much damage from pokemon harikiri on my first run through I was tempted to pick up an Onix whilst I was in there, however I had water types on my mind and couldn’t shake how awful Brock’s Onix had been back in Pewter City so I left it. On the upside the second time in Rock Tunnel was a breeze as I’d already taken care of most of the errant trainers. It probably didn’t cost me more than about five extra minutes (and some dignity). Once out of the cave I did a little air punch, because I’m cool, and plodded down in to the next town. Then I heard it. The creepy, plinky plonky, evil music of Lavender Town. I urge you to go and listen to it online if you’ve not played the games for a while. For me, this was too much though and had to call it a day before I did a little ‘self-destruct’ of my own.

If you’re thinking I should probably have more money, I spent loads on super potions…

 

Dave McGuckin

Team Rocket’s Blasting Off Again! – Irish Dave’s Story

Player Updates No Comment

Last time we saw our hero, he had just navigated the Rock Tunnel in the dark and made it to Lavender Town; a small town full of big problems, especially in the Pokémon Tower…

It’s a new day (yes, it is) in Lavender Town; where Dave and his stable have just awoken. Near the Pokémon Centre looms the Pokémon Tower; a creepy mass burial site for dead Pokémon which is just weird and makes me uncomfortable; especially after some quick Google searches about Lavender Town (mainly looking for the Dead Raticate article) revealed the ridiculous story of Lavender Town Syndrome, which is as stupid and incomprehensible as it is creepy and unsettling. Anyway, let’s not get bogged down on that now; there’s work to do.

Visits to the houses reveal that Mr. Fuji, a kindly old man who cares for lost or needy Pokémon, has disappeared and may be trapped in the Pokémon Tower. Now, I know I can’t complete the Pokémon Tower to my personal satisfaction right now. I can do the fight with Byron, sure, but I can’t fight wild ghost Pokémon without getting the Silph Scope first. So:

Good.
Good.

Hey, look, it’s Celadon City! We all know what’s going on here. Illegal gambling operations, the grass-type gym, a dude who blocked off every entrance to his house with fencing and a small lake, and Kanto’s Biggest Pokémon Store! There’s also that weird mansion which hosts the game creators, who appear to have built the game world from within the game world. I can’t get on board with that. And, in fact, I ignore it completely; because I literally only care about the back door to that building, and the prize which awaits on the roof.

The Pokéball, not the burly dude.
The Pokéball, not the burly dude.

Another day, another theft in broad daylight, another step closer to joining Team Rocket (and probably enacting a coup d’etat, at this stage). I have abandoned part of my initial game plan and gone for an Eevee – partially because it gives Matt Holmes some more options for his ludicrous run, and partially… well, I’ll explain the rest later. The next stop is straight round to the Pokémart to make TWO very important things happen:

Drink it in, maaaaaaaaaaan
Drink it in, maaaaaaaaaaan

That’s right: the Greatest Of All Time has evolved into Raichu, and now I can finally reveal why he’s called Jericho – because Jericho shouts “RAICHU!” when he throws chops.

So, that’s the Thunderstone. But I still have an Eevee to level and I have two obvious choices; for my team continues to be devoid of a Fire type and a Water type Pokémon. The smart move strategically is to try and ensure I have one of each; there are enough Pokémon in the Elite Four and Final Rival battles that are weak to both types that having them is a sensible choice. But as my party stands, I could potentially be sacrificing Ghost, Psychic and Fighting types if I carry on this path. In fact, there is an argument that catching a Pikachu simply because I wanted to make the Raichu joke was reckless and foolhardy. But to be honest, anyone who makes that argument can SHUT UP, because I’m willing to stick to my guns. ANYWAY

STRAIGHT FYAAAAA
STRAIGHT FYAAAAA
All Pokémon Red Everything!
All Pokémon Red Everything!

That’s right. Eevee evolves into Flareon; the most stylish, elegant, bewitching, eternally beguiling, continuously charismatic and fantastically fascinating Pokémon to appear in this or any other game. Allow yourself to be seduced, enchanted, dazzled and entranced by Evee Marie!

With the stable up to 5 Pokémon, it’s time to investigate the rest of this town; namely the illegal gambling/Pokémon smuggling operation being run by those dastardly Team Rocket goons. Though, I imagine the ordinary folk in Celadon City don’t know anything about the operation, or else they would’ve stopped it already; right?

Oh, really? You know about the secret basement?
Oh, really? You know about the secret basement?
You don't even work for Team Rocket, how do you know this?!
You don’t even work for Team Rocket, how do you know this?!

Seems like a good time to investigate the Game Corner itself. Of course, there won’t be any obvious clues as to where the secret switch that definitely isn’t behind the poster on the back wall actually is, will there?

But why? There isn't a switch behind it, right?
But why? There isn’t a switch behind it, right?

As with everything in this world, we have a Pokémon battle – and as with nearly every other Pokémon battle, I win decisively.

Wait, what hideout? Is there a... basement?
Wait, what hideout? Is there a… basement?

Now, let’s just remember something vital here. The members of Team Rocket are all identifiable as adults. Like, at their youngest, they’re 18. The closest in character style to them in the game are the Junior Trainers (who I’m starting to think may be like a Team Rocket version of the Hitler Youth, to be honest). So this guy here, a fully-paid up member of Team Rocket, who is guarding the switch that leads to the secret entrance of the goddamn Pokémon Mafia, is an adult goddamn human male who has just been ousted by a 10 year old – A CHILD – in a fight using domesticated magic animals. D’you know what his next step should be here? He should hit me in the head with a goddamn wrench. What does he actually do?

He literally walks away.
He literally walks away.

Good. Fine. I guess I’ll just come in, then, shall I? Not gonna lie, a lot of the screenshots I remember to take over the next 30 minutes or so of game time are just this:

Not with the whip, though. Could just hit me with that.
Not with the whip, though. Could just hit me with that.

There are a few things during my incomprehensible raid of Team Rocket’s underground lair that were worth noting, though. For a start, the launch pads that Rocket apparently stole from a mid-90’s Sonic The Hedgehog level caused me more problems than I’m willing to fully admit. In terms of battles though, Evee Marie takes the lead and, as the most underdeveloped member of the party, does run into trouble once or twice.

Yes. Yes I do.
Yes. Yes I will.

A healthy supply of Super Potions and Ethers keeps us underground for the whole run, and I take great enjoyment from the bafflingly stupid discourse from the Team Rocket goons along the way.

wp_ss_20160902_0004
Yes. You guys really suck.
I wouldn't call it breaking in, I used the door.
I wouldn’t call it breaking in, I used the door.
Someone will probably tell me how to find him soon enough.
Someone will probably tell me how to find him soon enough.
See? Idiots.
See? Idiots.

After not torturing any of them at all and getting all the information I need, I eventually get a hold of the lift key and head to the bottom floor, ready to face Giovanni for the first time. He is a sensible man, and has hidden himself behind a large door – but it’s easier to get through than Surge’s because I just have to defeat two of his idiots. This is my first encounter with an Arbok in this game though, and I had forgotten how incredible the character design is for it:

That is genuinely intimidating
That is genuinely intimidating

It also turns out that being an utter failure can see you being promoted in Pokémon as well as in real life.

Well, you got ONE of the fossils... didn't you?
Well, you got ONE of the fossils… didn’t you?

Losing to a child in a mountain gets you the job of security for the boss it seems. Also, that SuperNerd by the fossils – he was working for Team Rocket, right? Or was he literally just a scientist who manages to escape with a fossil because you’ve stopped Team Rocket catching him? I can’t remember what he says when you beat him and I didn’t screencap it…

Anyway, I finally get into Giovanni’s… office, I guess? And it’s amazing how he isn’t immediately outraged that there’s a random child in the secret lair of his illegal Pokémon smuggling/gambling operation.

Giovanni.
Giovanni.
Hey, Giovanni.
Hey, Giovanni.
HEY GIOVANNI!
HEY GIOVANNI!

Eventually he realises I’m in the room with him and… we have a Pokémon battle. Seriously, these are the worst gangsters in the history of video games. Well, that is, until I realise that his Pokémon collection is a menagerie of TERRIFYING BEASTS!

ARGH!
ARGH!
OH GOD
OH GOD

Seriously, the character designs in this game are outstanding. 20 years old, this is. Well done, Nintendo. Anyway, after beating Giovanni he does a weird speech about how impressed he is with the love and care you show towards your Pokémon, which I was too stunned by to screencap. Like, seriously; you’re THE MAFIA. This is a weird outlook for you to have, Giovanni.

You're a weird dude.
You’re a weird dude.

And then he just VANISHES. He doesn’t even have any Psychic Pokémon who can learn Teleport. So Weird. Anyway, with the Silph Scope in my cavernous backpack, at least I’m done with Team Rocket for now, so off I go to-

ARE YOU KIDDING ME
ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I JUST BEAT YOUR BOSS.
That is a genuinely unusual outcome; well, except here
That is a genuinely unusual outcome; well, except here

With Team Rocket DEALT WITH, Christ, I head out. I still have the gym to look forward to but there’s something else I want to take care of before I head in there. I hop on my bike and quickly head out West, to a little house tucked away behind Route 16, where I meet a young girl, who makes some remarks which could be taken the wrong way if presented out of context…

Like this.
Like this.

The outcome? I’m now in possession of Fly, which leaves Koko’s move-set looking like THIS:

He knows Razor Wind too, FYI.
He knows Razor Wind too, FYI.

So it’s straight back to Celadon City, and into Erika’s Gym, trying not to be grossed out by the old pervert staring through the window on the way in. There’s a LOT of other trainers in here – but I guess that’s what happens when you create a gym environment which doubles up as a safe space for women to train, develop and grow; while simultaneously using the landscape of your video game to try and promote positive gender attitudes, right society?

Ruined it.
Ruined it.
OH COME ON
OH COME ON

The grass-based fights are no problem for Evee Marie, who’s levelled up enough to learn Ember through a combination of the Rocket grind and a couple of Rare Candies (which I don’t need to save for a horrendous grind later, like Charles did, because Evee Marie can learn Strength); and any time she’s in trouble I switch out to Koko or Booker D; whose Fly/Dig combinations make short work of the others.

Wheeeeeeee!
Wheeeeeeee!

FYI, this gym does counter the hatred I have for the “Beauty” by being home to my favourite trainer type in the game:

Like the Sasha Banks of trainers
Like the Sasha Banks of Pokémon trainers

Sadly, I forget that beating a gym leader means you can’t face any of the other trainers in the gym and make the mistake of skipping forward to Erika – but only because I want to beat her before I head out to heal up. She’s a very exciting young woman.

Erm, yes?
Erm, yes?

Vileplume looks stupid. Just putting it out there. Most of the other character designs are at least interestings… Vileplume is just a pod with huge leaves. Dumb. I take much joy in smashing it to pieces, along with her other Pokémon.

Yaaaaaaas
Rainbows aren’t made of grass, Erika.
Gawker's shut down, I wouldn't worry anymore.
Gawker’s been shut down, I wouldn’t worry anymore.

Ignoring the wider constructs surrounding notions of news media, free speech and invasion of privacy, I leave the Celadon Gym to continue on my journey. Koko flies out to Lavender Town and it’s straight into the Pokémon Tower to find Mr. Fuji.

*sigh*
*sigh*

While I’d been off dealing with Team Rocket, I’d forgotten that I was going to run into Byron here. I can’t be bothered with him. It’s getting late in the real world, but I want to scale Pokémon Tower before I stop for the night so I can put it behind me on the next playthrough. But… there’s no way around him. Cocks.

SHUT UP, BYRON
SHUT UP, BYRON

This is the most difficult Rival battle yet, but it’s definitely made easier by the fact I went to Celadon City first. He’s picked up an Eggsecute since I last saw him, which gets promptly scrambled by Evee Marie.

This was a badly timed screenshot.
This was a badly timed screenshot.

His Kadabra has learned enough attacks to make it a genuine threat, and I end up bringing Booker D in to take it out; his Pidgeotto falls victim to a one-shot Thunderbolt from Jericho and his Charmeleon is dealt with in short order too; but I’m careful not to get too cocky at this stage, even though he’s still being a dick about things.

What do you not get about this?
What do you not get about this?

Isn’t it interesting how you always seem to find Byron hanging out in places where Team Rocket are up to something? And that he never seems to do anything about stopping them (since we know that simply beating them in a Pokémon battle will drive them away)? Hmmm…

Anyway, into the Tower. I remember hating this in the past but it isn’t too bad this time round. I do hate the Channelers, though.

Praying on grieving Pokémon trainers?
Praying on grieving Pokémon trainers?

They seem like a classic example of Phony Mediums Conning Vulnerable People, and I for one am glad that they’ve all been possessed by Ghastly’s and forced to do… oh, actually, I probably could’ve done without having a thousand trainer battles in here so I’ll maybe take back the last bit.

You're telling me, look at poor Bulbtista!
You’re telling me, look at poor Bulbtista!

This section also allows me to meet one of my favourite Pokémon of all time, and I am sad that I can’t have one on this play-through.

Aaaah, Haunter... oh, Booker D, this is a terrible idea.
Aaaah, Haunter… oh, Booker D, this is a terrible idea!

That Haunter nearly totals the entire stable because it just kept using Confuse Ray like a jerkface, so we duck out to the Pokémon Centre and grind our way back up – to find that we were literally moments away from this thing:

Goddamnit.
Goddamnit.

There’s only two more Channelers to go and they’re my favourites.

WE'RE NOT SAYING THE Z WORD!
WE’RE NOT SAYING THE Z WORD!
Your guess really is as good as mine on this one.
Your guess really is as good as mine on this one.

And, finally, we find the supposed cause of all this trouble.

You aren't even a ghost!
You aren’t even a ghost!

We take the bonehead down (and I realise I haven’t encountered any wild Cubones in here, which is weird) and are about to head upstairs…

Wait... what?
Wait… what?

I don’t want to have another existential crisis here, and I know that canonically that Marowak was dead – but that Marowak wasn’t dead. There are only 3 ghost Pokémon and Marowak isn’t one of them. I KILLED A MAROWAK.

OH COME ON
OH COME ON

Quelle surprise, upstairs are a bunch of Team Rocket goons, who appear to have Mr. Fuji trapped in a small corridor, for some inexplicable reason. Actually, I’m genuinely not sure what they’re doing here at all, and we don’t appear to actually find out.

FYI; Golbat is genuinely terrifying.

WHAT ARE YOU
WHAT ARE YOU

The Team Rocket battles are fought and won in typical style:

Yep.
Yep.
Sure.
Whatever.
Whatever.
I am literally getting away with it at every turn.

Finally, after a long day, 2 encounters with Team Rocket, one gym battle, 2 Pokémon evolutions and more ghosts than the entire run of Scooby Doo, I make it to Mr. Fuji ready to take him and his racist salt* back down to his home, safe and sound.

Well, yes. Because you were a hostage...?
Well, yes. Because you were a hostage…?

It turns out Mr. Fuji wasn’t being held captive by Team Rocket at all; certainly not to his knowledge. So, seriously, what were they even doing there in the first place? This whole Lavender Town segment is just weird. Either way, we down to the house and he passes on the Pokéflute, so now I can wake up those damned Snorlax blocking all the roads. As I’m about to save, I realise I still have a Rare Candy on me, so I decide to just give it Bulbtista for kicks.

Good choice.
Good choice.

And that’s where we finish today; ready to head on to the next adventure. But where to next? There’s still an empty space in that stable…

Making good time now...
Making good time now…

 

*Mr. Fuji’s racist salt is a reference to a segment on The Edge And Christian Show That Totally Reeks Of Awesomeness (or TEACSTTROA for short) on the WWE Network (available now for just £/$9.99), in which they discuss the fact that former WWE manager, Mr. Fuji, used to throw salt in peoples’ eyes, and that was super racist. This was in the 80’s and 90’s when people didn’t know any better though.

Of course, it’s difficult to do a wrestling-themed run through and not mention the passing of Mr. Fuji this week; especially as his in-game equivalent is intricately involved in a story around that very theme. So, I’ll finish off with this.Mr Fuji

Archer

Happy World Beard Day!

Player Updates 2 Comments

Hi readers, players, umpires and the rest of you.

I wanted to come out of my writing style for a post to just clarify some stuff because I haven’t been writing as commentary like as I feel I should have so you actually know what I’m doing. I think my writer got a bit ahead of my gamer. So let’s just explain what has happened quickly because I haven’t played for about a week and realised I’ve gone silent because of this.

I went the wrong way around at the previous gyms, apparently, and instead of heading straight down to Fuschia City after doing the Pokémon Tower in Lavender, I went back to Saffron to do that gym instead. It’s nice because I believe April also did this so I feel less of an idiot now, as she’s awesome! I had a bit of a tough time doing this because I have been speed running through bits where I could have levelled up a bit more. I saved at my first attempt at Sabrina and then had a good six attempts before my team had levelled up to beat her, only to forget to save and turn off. So now I am going to grind and get the gym done again and head down to Fuschia, actually doing the game!

Here is my current time, badges and team:

Screenshot 2016-09-03 12.47.17Screenshot 2016-09-03 12.47.34

Yup, that’s where I’m at. I’ve just got fly, I’m sure I’ve ruined that by not having a Pidgey. But the team is there for a reason. Every time I play pokemon, I plan my team at the beginning of the game; I know the type of each of the Elite Four, so I know what they’re weak against.

1-Ice/Water, 2-Fighting/Ground/Rock, 3- Ghost/Psychic/Poison, 4- MOTHER F-ING DRAGON, 5- (Oh you all know who that is!)

So taking this, a good team to go against the Elite Four with would be something like:

1- Grass, 2- Water, 3- Ghost, 4- Dragon, 5- Fire, 6- Psychic

I normally go for Abra in Cerulean; and three did actually appear in tandem when I tried to catch Oddish. I have given up my Psychic for another Pokémon. I wanted a Beedrill for the GameGrumps reference but also because – and I want to point this out because I find this hilarious and nobody seems to realise this until it’s pointed out – Psychic is weak against Bug type. Very weak against Bug. Get a good level bug type, and I dunno…

BEEDRILL COULD KICK MEWTWO’S PSYCHIC ASS

 

I just really want that silly ending.

Anyway, go and enjoy the other players and I’ll be back with very weird writing in a day or two. I got some grinding to do and a Dragon to catch.

April Nash

The Best of Three

Player Updates No Comment

So this time bare with me, I should have got the names of places…

 

…Unfortunately by remembering to make notes, I forgot Screegrabs *FACEPALM* but it’ll be ok. Before doing anything I went to the Celadon City Gym and took on Erika – It was pretty easy if I’m being honest. I was worried as I still don’t have a fire pokemon in my team, but Evie (Jolteon) pretty much dealt with them all, Spud, (Venusaur) being of a much higher level also did a lot of damage with good ‘old tackle. Anyway, Half way there with my badges and over eight hours in, I decided to pull my finger out this week.

 

It's been a but of a while. But there's definitely FOUR badges now!
It’s been a but of a while. But there’s definitely FOUR badges now!

 

Even thought I wouldn’t be able to teach Fly to anyone, I quickly went to Route 16 to pick it up for when I could. I came across a sleeping Snorlax. I busted out the Poke Flute.

IMG_1916
“we’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know wheeeeee!”

 

Beat him quite quickly and by doing so Chunky gained enough experience to evolve! *Woohoooo!*

IMG_1917
He’s my little Chunky Monkey

 

I ran back to Saffron City and a hit up Sylph Co. as it seemed like the done thing to do before the gym. Bumped into THIS BASTARD.

IMG_1918
Did I ever mention he’s named after another famous Dick?

Kicked his ass! MWAHAHA. And I didn’t struggle too much with the puzzle element, it just took me forever to find the Card Key. Giovanni was a bit of an Anti-climax as quite a lot of my team were super effective against his. Got the master ball. (Must remember to use that on my last team slot.) And I never realised that basically Team Rocket is the MAFIA in this game.

 

I healed up, completely ignored the Fighting Gym (it’s not a real gym, there are no badges and I daren’t get given a pokemon now!) I went straight to the REAL Saffron Gym and worked my way through all of Sabrinas underlings.

IMG_1933
NEVER gets old!

 

I braced myself for a real difficult time, This was the gym that I use to never be able to complete first time. Psychic Pokemon are so difficult.

IMG_1934
I remember this being really difficult as a kid.

But with Casper (that charming ghosts) Evie and Spud they weren’t too much trouble…

IMG_1935
So am I!

I pootled down Route 12 battling EVERYONE I could come across. Feeling awesome. Came across another Snorlax, beat him up and carried on.

IMG_1937
I would have sworn there was only one Snorlax in the game

 

To try and get my team up to about the same levels I battled everyone along Route 13 too. One of those trainers had a Wigglytuff. I genuinely had to put my phone down to laugh. I don’t remember the original game character being so derpy!

IMG_1940
Those eyes. The things they’ve seen.

 

Safari zone. This is the most frustrated that I’ve been playing the game. Got to the hidden hut AND found the gold ‘teef’ in my first trip luckily. But all those Pokemon! All those balls! And THEN I HAD TO COME ACROSS A CHANSEY. The TEMPTATION!

IMG_1938
I’ve never had a more frustration Safari Zone Run. THE FIRST pokemon I bump into. DAMN YOU PICKYMON

Got Surf and Strength as a nice consolation. Split the HMs between the team, Fish Stick can now transport me across the Seas and Chunky can move boulders! I then went to fight all the cronies in the gym to bring the teams experience up before battling Koga – And most of the team had a go. Was pretty close to Fish Stick Fainting at the end, so I was about to switch out when THIS HAPPENED:

 

IMG_1942
Well of course I’m going to win if you’re going to throw a wobbly like that.

 

So is it me or is that really stupid? Ah Well. Don’t complain. MORE BADGES! ALL THE BADGES.

 

IMG_1943
BADGES!

 

And that’s where I stopped for the evening. Last night was when I picked it back up again, determined to try and get the last two. Blasted through Routes 19. Spent WAY too long swearing at the encounters in Seafoam island cave. And then too much time crying when I realised it’d be easier to not even bother with Articuno on what is still a sort-of speed run (but I have no-idea how well I’m doing by comparison to others)

Managed to get out, zoom over Route 20 and make it to Cinnabar Island (YOU SHOULD BE SO IMPRESSED THAT I’VE BEEN REMEMBERING TO MAKE SURE I KNOW WHERE I AM THIS WHOLE TIME…

…And forget to notice that I have NO images for the Key search in the House and the gym battle with Blaine. )

So yeah. Did the house. Found all the encounters equally annoying and frustrating. So much temptation to fill the last slot with a Fire Pokemon. Waiting will pay off. Fish Stick earnt his keep easily in the gym. Surf basically wiped every competitor out first time. Awesome results.

IMG_1948
Things are moving quite quickly now.

Billy want to just take a moment to take in his achievements. He’s almost home with almost a full set of badges and only 5 pokemon. He’s done so well, he’s…

 

…on a timer so had better get a move on!

IMG_1949
I feeling so nostalgic

Route 21 was straightforward, Billy popped in for a quick rest with mum and set off for his last Gym Battle in Viridian City. And as I now have 11 Pokemon in my Pokedex I was able to go and finally pick up Flash!

IMG_1950
I’ve come home. In 13 hours I’ve become a man.

OH MY GOD IT’S GIOVANNI. I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING…

(totally guessed it)

Beat everyone up easily and even though ALL of his pokemon were about 5 levels about mine, ‘type’ strategy meant that it wasn’t difficult, I love the tactics of this game.

So this means. I have a full set.

IMG_1952
BRING ON THE LEAUGE.
Matt Holmes

Holmes’ Odyssey: Episode 2

Player Updates No Comment

‘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.