Dave McGuckin

All Who Wander – Irish Dave’s Story

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Last time we saw our hero, he had just arrived in Vermilion City having defeated Misty, Byron AND Team Rocket, all in one day; and made a new friend in Booker D, the five time, five time, five time, five time, five time World Heavyweight Champion Diglett! What adventures await aboard the St. Anne? Will he be able to beat Lt. Surge? Find out… now!

 

With Booker D now in the stable and the party all rested up, we head over to the S.S. Anne. The approach to the S.S. Anne makes me truly realise for the first time that I’m playing this game on a GameBoy Colour ROM, something I hadn’t really registered properly beforehand.

Forgot my nautical-themed pashmina afghan too.
Forgot my nautical-themed pashmina afghan too.

I’m not wearing my T-Pain hat, but it is fair to say that I am on a boat. In usual fashion, I have also completely missed the party, so I decide to vent my frustration by barging into peoples’ cabins, challenging them to Pokémon battles and stealing anything which they happen to have lying around. I keep fighting Team Rocket for trying to steal stuff… then taking what they were stealing. Now I’m stealing things from boats. I start to have an existential crisis about my own morality, when I’m suddenly greeted with a striking reminder of how much worse I could be as a person.

TAIS TOI, BYRON
TAIS TOI, BYRON!

For some reason, Byron is surprised to see me on this boat which has just hosted a party for Pokémon trainers.

I wish you hadn't, you superfluous buffoon.
I wish you hadn’t, you superfluous buffoon.

Byron’s team has come along quite a way since our last battle; with all 4 Pokémon reaching their second evolutionary stages after our last encounter. All are quite easily taken out – Ratticate by a particularly brutal combination of Thundershock and Dig which did NOT leaving it looking good – and Bryon wanders off, without handing out some Top Quality Advice before he leaves.

Nah mate. These jeans are new.
Nah mate. These jeans are new.

The battle with Byron has weakened the whole team, so I decide to Dig out and heal up – but I’m not able too because apparently Prof. Oak works for the Kanto Ministry of Health & Safety.

Burrowing through the hull of a ship IS a bad idea. They covered it in the cartoon and everything.
Burrowing through the hull of a ship IS a bad idea. They covered it in the cartoon and everything.

Grinding up on this boat was fairly straight-forward for the most part; with Booker D taking out most of the competition with Dig and leaving the errant water-types to Jericho. However, running into so many old dudes with these pesky little buggers is making me jealous.

CHANNEL MY ENVY
CHANNEL MY ENVY

A memory blank in the S.S. Anne’s layout brings me to the Captain’s cabin much earlier than I had originally planned to be there. Rather than leaving and coming back, I reckon I probably survive the rest of the battles without leaving the ship, and soon after:

Ready to deal with bushes and L.A. gangbangers.
Ready to deal with bushes and L.A. gangbangers.

For the most part, the battles look like this:

Step 1: Dig hole
Step 1: Dig hole
Step 2: Use Dig
Step 2: Use Dig
Step 3: Make Money
Step 3: Make Money

I found this guys’ reaction to losing to a WWE Hall of Famer a little over the top:

Nothing rude about victory, pal.
Nothing rude about victory, pal.

And this interaction just made me upset:

Don't chop Jericho, it's suicide!
Don’t chop Jericho, it’s suicide!

All is going well – including finding a Great Ball in the trash, because again, I am a child thief – until THIS GUY.

Oh, that's nice for you.
Oh, that’s nice for you.
What a stellar generalisation this is.
What a stellar generalisation this is.

What should’ve been a run of the mill outing for Jericho turns into a disaster, as he misses multiple attacks on a Tentacool and ends up jobbing out entirely. Shocked, angered and slightly embarrassed, Bulbtista steps forward and smashes his Tentacool and his Staryu to pieces, fueled by my rage and sadness (not really; he’s just learned Cut so he’s pretty much untouchable on the boat).

With everyone defeated and everything stolen, I head back to the shore. The cut-scene where the S.S. Anne leaves is unnecessarily slow. THIS IS A SPEED RUN, NIANTIC. A quick trip to the Pokémon Centre later…

Chiyah! Chiyah! Chiyah! Yeeeaaah.
Chiyah! Chiyah! Chiyah! Yeeeaaah.

Vermilion City gym is full of bins. It’s just weird. Like, why would you hide all the controls to your electric fence in 2 of 16 bins? Why does that make sense? This is demonstrating worse survival skills than Solid Snake (who is a guy who literally just hides in a box). I don’t know who or what Surge is frightened of, but his methods of self-preservation are ridiculous. For a start, I would describe his followers as meek:

I have stopped pal, trust me.
I have stopped pal, trust me.

Surge presents absolutely no issue. Booker D deals with most of the battle without taking a whole lot of damage; my love of the cartoon sees me pitting Jericho against Raichu because if Ash’s disobedient Pikachu can beat him… turns out that wasn’t actually a good idea, because Jericho’s Quick Attack is not *that* good, so Booker D tags back in to deal the final blows. It was worth doing though as Jericho learns Swift off the back of the experience, and we end up here:

No need to be a dick about it.
No need to be a dick about it.

We leave Surge to treat his PTSD through electric shock therapy and head out into the world. Now, at this point, it starts to become apparent that I have forgotten how we’re meant to proceed from here. Even skimming back through the updates of people who have completed this stage before me proves unfruitful, so I make a decision to pop back to Cerulean City and pick up my BRAND NEW BICYCLE! The guy behind the counter initially seems upset that I have a voucher, which makes sense – if you were selling bikes for a million dollars, you’d be upset about giving one away for free too – and I use it… to head back to Vermilion City. Then I head out East; knowing, in my head, that Lavender Town is in that direction. So, off I go, taking on Gamblers, Junior trainers, Youngsters and THIS GUY:

He was laying cable & I disturbed him.
He was laying cable & I disturbed him.

He has one Pokémon. I can’t even remember what it was, but it was an electric type. It may have been a Magnemite. Whatever it was, it was met by Booker D; who used one round of Dig and KOed it. It landed zero attacks. It did literally nothing.

NO IT WASN'T
NO IT WASN’T

I was pretty incredulous at this suggestion too:

Who do'you think I am, Team Rocket?!
Who do’you think I am, Team Rocket?!

After giving all the trainers a good thrashing (and seeing off some errant Spearows), I head onwards. Imagine my surprise as I head through the guard post and chance upon… a sleeping Snorlax blocking my path! Bollocks. I’ve literally done it all wrong, like a tit. This the moment when I remember the other path out of Cerulean (WHICH I HAVE ALREADY BEEN BACK TO TODAY), the rocky path, the Rock Tun-oh. The Rock Tunnel. With no Flash. Goddamnit.

So, off I go, on my little bike, cycling back through Vermilion, back into the underground path, back round Cerulean and out to the East. You can tell when you’re in the North of Kanto because you keep meeting these idiots.

How do so many people love bug Pokémon?!
How do so many people love bug Pokémon?!

I can’t figure out what is so attractive about all these Weedles that people keep having, and then I remember my friend Heather sent this to me a few days ago and all suddenly becomes clear:

Business Weedle

Koko leaps at the chance to take business into his own… wings, and thrash some Weedles into submission on this trek, though. I don’t want him to think I’ve been neglecting him (but there have been LOADS of Pikachus lately), and he’s getting pretty strong regardless.

Right? You should catch some good Pokémon, kid.
Right? You should catch some good Pokémon, kid.

A couple of trainers have some more diverse stables, and the battles leads to a beautiful thing happening:

CAN YOU DUGTRIO THAT, SUUUUUUUUUCKAAAAAAA?!
CAN YOU DUGTRIO THAT, SUUUUUUUCKAAAAAAA?!

And then, into Rock Tunnel. I don’t remember anything about this from previous play-throughs; not that it matters, because I can’t see a damn thing anyway. There’s a pretty worrying moment early on when my phone switches to Power Saver mode and the ROM freezes:

Erm.
Erm.

My worry turns to abject terror when the ROM unfreezes, and rather than loading the text normally, just snaps the whole conversation into frame immediately

ARGH WHO ARE YOU
ARGH WHO ARE YOU

Aside from this momentary glitch, my passage through is objectively quite easy-going. Jericho fronts the party, newly armed with Thunderbolt after the Surge win, and we spend most of our journey one-shotting Zubats; switching to the others only to deal with any Rock type Pokémon who spring up. Jericho learns Swift along the way, furthering his Cruiserweight credentials. Other trainers give no indication that I can’t see a thing.

Cheers mate. Solid advice.
Cheers mate. Solid advice.

Eventually, we emerge from the cave and head down South, finally landing in Lavender Town. I’ve suddenly got a lot of time to make up after all the unnecessary faffery outside Vermilion, so decide to call it a day, happy with the progress my stable has made on the run. Though I am worried about how close to Level 30 we’re all getting…

All good, apart form the timeframe...
All good, apart form the timeframe…

As we bed down for the night in the Pokémon Centre, I can’t help but think back to the S.S. Anne. I met a lot of interesting characters on that boat, despite missing the party – but the words of one particular individual have stuck with me all the way to Lavender Town. One gentleman, whose relationship with his Growlithe was so strong, he referred to it as his friend. As I look across at my sleeping Pokémon and think about the challenges we’ve faced, the battles we’ve won and the journey that lies ahead, his words in defeat echo around my drowsy head…

Goodnight, my friends.
Goodnight, my friends.
April Nash

Second Entry…

Player Updates 2 Comments

I think I’m going to have to change the way I play Pickymon – dependant on my schedule I can either play for HOURS (and therefore forget to take notes) or I jump in and out for ten minutes (and therefore forget to take notes)

I need to start taking notes. And hundreds and hundreds of screegrabs. My little dude’s named Billy (No Mates) and this is where I was on Friday when I started finally logging my progress. I”m trying to not look at everyones times as I’m not sure quite how well I’m doing!
1st log

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I grinded a little bit on my Mankey and Gyarados – The thing I noticed very quickly is how fast my starter Pokemon levelled up being the only one I was able to use for days… So once Fish Stick had FINALLY turned into the beautiful beast he was always meant to be I was so happy that this happened in Digletts cave after I taught him bubble beam *cheers Misty!*

 

His first kill #proudmummoment
His first kill #proudmummoment

 

I was nervous about Lt. Surges gym but the hardest part was those bloody switches. It’s not really a puzzle because there’s no actual logic to it… I design puzzles for a day job. Trust me on this.

this puzzle was rubbish... 'cause bins...
this puzzle was rubbish… ’cause just bins…

 

Ugh. But ANYWAY. I don’t really need to worry, because Spud (Ivysaw) was a lovely level 31 – the whole battle was an absolute breeze. Feeling smug, I then headed off to my next challenge. With the grinding (and the incessant switch-searching) it had only taken 18 minutes!

 

Now that's Progress. I'm never that successful at my own Gym...
Now that’s Progress. I’m never that successful at my own Gym…

 

I’m bloody terrible at remembering all the names of the routes and towns/cities. I’m getting through some of this from sheer muscle memory. I evolved up Ivysaw into a glorious Venusaur on the way but I definitely didn’t have enough Pokemon to receive HM05 Flash.

Attempted Flash.
WELL. Have you tried to play PICKYMON MATE!? NO. NO YOU HAVEN’T.

 

 

*breathes*

So I did the nice (and scenic) bike ride to the cave I knew I’d have to get through with no light… *weeps* After seeing another player do it successfully I knew it was my only way to get through without catching pokemon I didn’t want for the sake of it. (Those are some precious, precious slots.) And I’m aiming for the BEST team… (I want to draw them… it’s a vanity project more than anything.)

Now on any other day I'd be interested in this sex dungeon... but I can't see you...
Now is it me or is it implying I’m a sex-pest? Granted that I am in a pitch-black dungeon…

It was ‘relatively’ painless. I do think I bumped into everyone and everything in there. The relief when I came out the other side… Lets check the damage…

Ok. Much less smug now.
Ok. Much less smug now.

Now not all of that time was spent in the cave/sex dungeon but it’s definitely not an easy task without flash. But I MADE it! I didn’t even bother going to the ghost tower (I will start making notes about the places on my next post, PROMISE!)

 

((I promise nothing))

 

I swung left, beat up everyone on the way and picked up an Eevee behind the thing in that building. I Immediately went and bought a Thunderstone.

So cute. And Names Evie after a buddie of mine. but her spelling*
So cute. And Named Evie after a buddie of mine. *but with her spelling*

Taught Evie thunderbolt *thanks Surge!* and then did all the bits with Teamrocket (don’t tell a kid not to look behind a poster, you clearly WANTED him to find it.) And the fight with Giovanni wasn’t particularly hard, and gave my newest member of the team a chance to shine. With the Item I needed in hand to see Ghosts I headed back to the tower (giving the guards a drink of water on the way). I felt like I was able to speed through the ghost tower quite quickly…

but dear God some of the NPCs need to get out more…

give me flesh...
give me flesh…

…or think about starting in Little Shop of Horrors. *Feed Me!*

Fish Stick obliterated the Marowak. And by saving Whats-his-face at the top of the tower (I know I know, I’ll make notes next time) I got the Pokeflute! Whoop Whoop!

Popped into the name-rater, changed Mankey name to Chunky, and went and caught another addition for the team… A Ghastly*. (Casper)

He kinda looks friendly
He kinda looks friendly

*I bloody love a ghost Pokemon.

I then started the big old job of trying to get my Team all around the same level. It’s nice because now I have five, I have a choice (and travelling about it a lot less scary!) It’s just the process of grinding to get them all to a point where I can take on the Grass Gym leader… WITHOUT a fire pokemon.

I FINALLY HAVE TEN IN MY POKEDEX!
I FINALLY HAVE TEN IN MY POKED! Should probably go get HM05 whilst I remember.

I’ll keep you guessing about who my last team member is going to be but It’s been planned meticulously. But I think it might inhibit my speed in my quest to get it… we’ll see how it plays out.

That much time and only 3 Badges! Get a move on Billy!
That much time and only 3 Badges! Get a move on Billy!

It’s getting there though, and I am having fun…

 

Gyarados took way too long to draw.
Gyarados took way too long to draw.
Matt Holmes

Holmes’ Odyssey: Episode 1

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It’s my turn to begin the pickymon adventure. As I mentioned in my introduction, my intention is not only to pick just 6 pokemon to fight with, but also to only choose ones that no other pickymon player has captured. This presented me with an immediate issue; namely that every starter pokemon had been taken by at least one player. So, in the spirit of my self imposed challenge I picked up Charmander (as he’s been the least popular choice) and made the bold decision not to give him a nickname.

Matt used ‘Lack of Imagination’

I don’t know why but in all the years I’ve played the games I’ve never given my pokemon nicknames, it just always seemed to be the most sensible thing to do to avoid confusion.To be fair it’s never steered me wrong, in the the games or in life itself. People might have laughed at me when I took ‘dog’ the dog for a walk or cleaned out ‘rabbit’ the rabbit, but all that time they took to name their pets I spent doing productive things… like playing computer games. At least the people of Kanto don’t taunt me about it.
.

Ep - 1 FINAL Nicknames
Screw you old man

Thankfully my first battle in Oak’s lab against Squirtle was an easy one as his first few moves completely missed. After grabbing a map and gloating a bit I did the quick couple of back and forths to Viridian for Professor Oak, comfortably guarded along the way by my new buddy Charmander.

It was only upon leaving Pallet Town for the third and final time that I realised what an unpleasant little place it is. There are literally only two houses, belonging to mine and my rivals families, and yet there are a couple of unrelated people dotted around, including one girl who says she really wants a pokemon to protect her when walking in the long grass. So just to clarify, if she won’t go in the grass alone she can’t travel north and she can’t go south because there’s just water til you hit Cinnabar Island and last time I checked there ain’t a ferry service. This means she’s stuck and clearly doesn’t have a house in Pallet Town so is she homeless? If not where does she live? Are her friends and family worried about her? Does she need help!? WHAT HORRORS HAS SHE WITNESSED!

I might have tried to stay and find out more but I remembered I was trying to do a speed run of the game so I can’t be wasting time mucking about with empathy. I followed the path onwards, conscious that I would need to catch another pokemon soon if I was going to stick to my rule, so quickly stopped off at the pokemart.

Guess that’s all I’m going to need

Then came the first big decision; what pokemon do you catch when you can’t catch ’em all? Well by my reckoning, to stick with my rule of not choosing the monsters my other pickymon colleagues had, the only options I had left were Nidoran or Ratatta. So, I headed west towards Indigo Plateau and caught myself a male Nidoran (because Ratattas are like super lame). A few minutes of grinding later and I felt I was ready for the next challenge of my journey…

Yes those were the best names I could come up with.

The second bout against Mario’s angry plumber brother was trickier than the first. His Pidgey sand-attacked poor Nidoran til his hitting accuracy was at around the same level as Stevie Wonder’s so I was forced to sub him out for Charmander. Pidgey went down but that meant facing Squirtle again whose type advantage might have destroyed my pet baby dragon were it not for the fact he evidently hadn’t learnt any water moves yet. Noob.

With his tail between his legs Luigi padded off in the direction of Pewter City and we made haste following closely behind him. Viridian forest wasn’t much issue now that Charmander had ’ember’ in his arsenal. In fact the trip was so easy I got a bit cocky and thought I’d go straight to face off against Brock. Unfortunately the first trainer in his gym gave me a pounding and we only came out with 8hp between my two pokemon so with that in mind I decided to go grind up, so I’ll be strong enough to face Brock another day.

Join us on the next episode of Holmes’ Odyssey
Matt Holmes

Holmes’ Odyssey: Episode 0

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Hello there

I’m Matt Holmes, yet another poke’nerd who started reading the pickymon exploits and felt a great hankering to join in. A few messages back and forth with Dan and now here I am, ready to take on the challenge of completing Pokemon Red with just six monsters.

When I saw the first few posts on this blog go up I was quite smug. Despite having not played the game in over a decade I felt confident that if I were to try it myself I would be able to come up with a better, more unique strategy for the challenge. However as the days went by, some people started choosing Squirtle or even Charmander as their starting pokemon, people bought the Magikarp I was sure they would forget near Mt Moon and utilised TM’s I’d completely forgotten about, plus problems about HM’s and dark tunnels started emerging that I had never even considered.

So now I’m a bit nervous. I know I certainly won’t be the fastest to defeat Mewtwo, and my original plan turns out to be nowhere near as ingenuous or unique as I originally thought. So what’s my niche now? Because if there’s one thing I learnt from secondary school it’s that you need a niche, otherwise you’re just like every other smelly, spotty, four-eyed, brace-wearing, orthopedic shoe requiring, dyslexic, dysgraphic kid in the year (my teenage years were hard).

Hello ladies!

Eventually I decided to give myself a little extra challenge; on top of picking just 6, I will also only use pokemon that nobody else in the blog has used. This could very quickly prove to be quite tricky if I don’t start my run soon, but hopefully it will make the challenge that bit more interesting, not just for me, but you as well dear reader.

With that in mind, please feel free to join me, on Holmes’ Odyssey.

 

April Nash

Late to the party…

Introductions, Player Updates No Comment
  1. …But I’m here now!

I didn’t quite realise how involved I’d get in Pickymon. I’ve been a fan of the Pokémon franchise from the first time round – And continued to play the game boy games over the years following. I was *possibly* complaining that the new games were a bit predictable, a bit unchallenging. Basically a bit ‘spoon feed-y and could we have an option to just skip all the tutorials please?’ It just didn’t seem to give me the same satisfaction as the original Red/Blue games did way back when.

So on seeing Dan post links to pickymon I thought I’d just do it at the same-time-ish for funzies. (I’m an idiot) to say it hasn’t taken over a portion of my life is an understatement. I have Post-it notes / plans / reference charts on trying to figure out the best team (that I’d be happy with) that could get me through this game! IF I can make it work in a decent time!

I started sharing my progress on Twitter, Dan saw and here I am. Terrified of logging my mistakes and mis-steps. Hoping to draw pictures to distracts from me forgetting to take screen grabs.

This is already out of date now. Oh god.
This is already out of date now. Oh god.

I’ve just done the bit on the S.S. Anne, and I’ve got my first two badges. I have level 31 Bulbasaur called Spud, a freshly caught level 12 Mankey (went trigger happy and missed a chance to give him a name!) and then there’s Fish Stick the Magikarp…

 

Why yes. I've been on Grindr.
Why yes. I’ve been on Grindr.
You made me play the long game. You utter tease.
You made me play the long game you tease.

Hopefully this’ll pay off. Probably a bad choice to focus on levelling up before a gym solely about electric types… But we’ll see. It’s Mankey’s turn to sweat in repetitive grinding now…

I’ll see if I can find that post-it note…

Archer

Damn you, Phil Collins!

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I want to talk about doubts. I want to go back to that moment James ruined my run of Rock Tunnel and ask the important question;

“Was it James, or was it me?”

So the last time I spoke about my sessions and what I’d been telling the Doc, I explained I’d just ran through Celadon, defeated Giovanni and got through to Saffron. Saffron City. I feel the tear rolling down my cheek as I type those words. But Saffron comes later, at the moment it acts like a bypass to my needed destination, Pokémon Tower, Lavender Town.

I climbed the tower with relative ease, not too many things getting in the way. It’s a creepy place and the women all remind me of that great aunt who has flashbacks and spits her teeth out. Ass-hat is there, and I genuinely feel bad when I realise it’s my fault that he’s there. Mourning his Raticate that I violently and brutally murdered. He’s taking it like a champ, I mean a true and wonderful Pokémon master. I dispatch his team in our friendly battle we ensue and continue up the tower, my run in with Giovanni was quite helpful as the device he dropped whilst fleeing allows me to get to the top floor where his gimps sit guarding a defenceless old man.

At this point I add a new member to my team – number 5 – with a Gastly who later evolves into a Haunter, affectionately nicknamed Ryuk. (It feels slightly weird being a crazy person and having a friend called Ryuk, but I won’t make Light of the situation…..) ((I’m sorry to all the Deathnote fans))

After meeting with Mr Fujjjijjijijijjijjji or whatever his name was at his place, he gives me the Pokéflute and I make a wrong turn.

According to the other patients here, you actually take the bridge route down to Fuschia City at this point, but my sense of moral standing remembers the sights at Celadon and how the mafia like Team Rocket were trying to do the same in Saffron. So I turn my back on the bridge and I head to Saffron City. I run head first into Silph Co. and dispatch as many villains as possible, even finding Ass-hat hitched up with some scientist in a small room (it’s 2016, he can love anyone he wants to).

I finally make my way to the CEO’s office to find Giovanni standing there, big as you like, and I can’t help but look at him and think…

 

He don't half look like Phil Collins
He don’t half look like Phil Collins

phil

 

Jovial anecdote aside, I thrash Giovanni with a final push to freedom, hoping now that I – a 10 year old boy – have shamed him and his team countless times, he will finally go away for good! In such a exciting stupor I skip to the Pokécenter, heal up and run into the Saffron City Gym. I struggle a few times to beat her first 2 Pokémon, both around level 35, and after the first few times I actually do something I haven’t done this entire time; I go to the Pokémart and buy potions!

My medication starts to kick in after this, I can feel the hazy edges of my brain clawing in at my vision and I take stock of my surrounds.

Right, I'm gonna get the Marsh Badge this time...
Right, I’m gonna get the Marsh Badge this time…

And I genuinely beat her. It’s 3am in the morning and my mind is burning with the intoxicants of my pills but I know in my heart it was worth it. I collapse in a mess on the floor.

 

In the foggy, bleak Thursday I trudge into the help circle. Everyone is a little confused by the progress chart on the wall. Our assistant Doctor has been keeping track of us and he’s done a real pretty display (go on, it’s linked there) which has been botched my miscommunication on my half. I explain to the AD that I had finished my 5 round of treatme… GYM! I had beat the Saffron City Gym, he asks me to open my badge case that shows my progress. I hadn’t got it, something was wrong. It also was after another badge. Nobody mentioned I had to do something else before hand, these tablets are too much as it is. I can’t take more, I’m just a man for Christ’s Sake!!!!

Screenshot 2016-08-25 13.10.27

I guess I’ll go find out what the missing link was…

Ham

Entry 4: Another New Friend!

Player Updates No Comment

(First I just want to bring attention to a Pokémon challenge my friend is doing, partly inspired by Pickymon: No shops, no catches. He can only use Pokémon given as gifts. It promises to be very entertaining!)

After freeing Bill from his weird issue and receiving a ticket on a sweet boat, I went back to Cerulean City and decided to check out what the deal was with Team Rocket. Apparently they robbed a house and then decided to just hang out in the back yard? The Rocket Grunt decided he needed to fight me, and his drowzee’s hypnosis caused me so many problems! But I managed to beat it, eventually and get the TM for “dig”, which apparently Lil Squirt can learn? I’ll save it for later though.

On my way out of town, I realised that Cerulean City makes no sense. Why would the one of the main paths out of town require you to go through someone’s house and backyard? And as far as I can tell that house didn’t even have a back door before a hole got knocked through the wall!

I went south and took the Underground Path, ending up just outside Vermilion City. Then I fought some trainers.

After watching them from the bushes like some kind of creep.
After watching them from the bushes like some kind of creep.

During one of the fights, Luna (Two) got poisoned, and I’d totally forgotten how scary the poison effect is in the older generations, with the screen flipping out every few steps you take.

Anyway I got to Vermilion City, and a guy asked me about a boat.

Sir I literally just got here, what the fuck are you talking about?
Sir I literally just got here, what the fuck are you talking about?

After exploring a bit, I listened to a guy talk about his rapidash for what seemed like hours. He apologised and decided to give me something to apologise for taking up so much of my time…

But my inventory was full. So I went and sold a few things and put some stuff in storage, then went to get the gift.

But he had to talk about his rapidash from the start first! Eventually I got the bike voucher though, and immediately went back to Cerulean City to cash that in!

At this point I thought to do a little research to double-check one of my future Pokémon could learn cut for later…but it turns out you can’t catch bellsprout in Pokémon Red! Dang.

So I went north of Cerulean and wandered around until I found an oddish.

You're no bellsprout, but you'll have to do.
You’re no bellsprout, but you’ll have to do.

Half my team now decided, I biked back to Vermillon City and decided to rest there.

Current Team:

Top row: Lil Squirt (lvl 26), Luna (Two) (lvl 24). Bottom row: Sprouts (lvl 15).
Top row: Lil Squirt (lvl 26), Luna (Two) (lvl 24).
Bottom row: Sprouts (lvl 15).
Dave McGuckin

Swimmers, Experts & Thieves – Irish Dave’s Story

Player Updates 2 Comments

Last time we saw our hero, he had just arrived in Cerulean City with his trusty Pokémon stable, ready to take down the Cerulean City Gym and earn himself a Cascadebadge. What excitement does Cerulean City have in store? Find out… right now!

 

Ah, Cerulean City. Home of Kanto’s only water Pokémon gym, Kanto’s only bike shop (for some unbelievable reason), and the closest city to the home of Bill, the world’s foremost expert on Pokémon (or Pokémaniac, as Michael Gove would call him). There’s a lot of important stuff to take care of here, so I head straight into the bike shop to check it out – mainly because I have entirely forgotten where you get the bike voucher.

Don't you tell me what I can't do, lady.
Don’t you tell me what I can’t do, lady.

Remember kids – if you can’t see the price, you can’t afford it. I quickly leave the bike shop and head straight into the Cerulean Gym, and am surprised to see that somebody appears to have built an indoor pier over the top of a perfectly good Olympic-sized swimming pool, for some inconceivable reason. With Jericho taking the lead in the stable, we go about taking out Misty’s damp squibs who are supposedly training in her gym.

What kind of gym even is this?
What kind of gym even is this?
Not dressed like that you don't, sunshine.
Not dressed like that you don’t, sunshine.

Without questioning exactly where the Swimmer was keeping his Pokéballs, Jericho and Bulbtista see off his paltry water Pokémon in convincing fashion.

Don't want to know where that was either.
Don’t want to know where that was either.

The second challenge is a female Jr. Trainer who, despite only having one Goldeen and outwardly appearing to be a pushover, nearly squashes Jericho with an unexpectedly powerful Horn Attack (ooh-er). Bulbtista storms in and sees her off.

At least she has some pockets.
At least she has some pockets.

After some quick potions, we turn our attention to Misty, the gym leader.

Not dressed like that you don't, sunshine.
Not dressed like that you don’t, sunshine.

Jericho quickly sees off Staryu with a sweet Thundershock – Thundershock – Quick Attack combo, but after a particularly damaging pair of Tackles from the giant starfish, he’s looking worse for wear. When Misty brings out Starmie, Jericho tags in Bulbtista, who pretty much flattens the organic trigonometry nightmare and results in this:

Not sure where she's keeping everything either...
Not sure where she’s keeping everything either…

Misty, thoroughly admonished for having the audacity to partially board over a swimming pool, gives up the Cascadebadge – meaning that my Pokémon up to Level 30 will behave. Which is good, because they’re all already Level 20 and misbehaving is definitely on the horizon… but we’ll worry about that at Level 31. On the way out I accidentally engage the Swimmer again, and:

Erm. Awkward.
Erm. Awkward.

Next stop is Bill’s place so we can have a natter about Pokémon and get a ticket onto the SS Anne, so we heal up at the Pokémon Centre and head towards Nugget Bridge. I’m distracted by a police officer who say they’ve been having trouble finding a Team Rocketer who robbed the house.

Did you check the garden?
Did you check the garden?

No time to worry about that now (especially as I can’t get in), so off to Nugg-OH FOR GOD’S SAKE.

SHUT UP, BYRON
SHUT UP, BYRON

Byron’s got himself a good-looking team; consisting of a Pigeotto, Ratticate, Charmander and… an… Abra? Where the hell did he get that this early? His 4 Pokémon are stronger than my 3 and Pidgeotto gives Koko a run for his money before I switch out to Jericho to deal the deathblows. But it turns out his Abra only knows Teleport; so it gives a chance to heal up the stable before dispatching the rest of the team in short order.

You're no Undertaker, Byron.
You’re no Undertaker, Byron.

The outcome of that fight has important consequences for the team:

Strong hair game, bro.
Strong hair game, bro.

And we advance onto Nugget Bridge, ready to take out the 5 trainers who guard the way from some inconceivable reason. The fights don’t provide a whole lot of trouble, and before long:

Oooh, I love fabulous prizes!
Oooh, I love fabulous prizes!
Oh. That doesn't seem fabulous.
Oh. That doesn’t seem fabulous.
Dan & Charles talking to me about Pickymon.
Dan & Charles talking to me about Pickymon.

So, off to Bill’s… oh. I forgot about the myriad of trainers who are hanging around near Bill’s place. Well, we mustn’t shy away from the grind…

This seems like a mismatch.
This seems like a mismatch.
That's what they all say.
That’s what they all say.
You may want to have a chat with her about that...
You may want to have a chat with her about that…
Have you considered training at the Saffron City gym?
Have you considered training at the Saffron City gym?
An important development!
An important development!

Finally, after too many battles with Caterpies (seriously, cut it out, Bug Catchers), I make it through to Bill’s place!

He has a lighthouse in the series; just sayin'.
He has a lighthouse in the series; just sayin’

After saving him from his Goldblumian nightmare and not being given the opportunity to learn about his Pokémon (I really did want to know), he gives us his ticket to a trainer party at the S.S. Anne, because he has crippling social anxiety and would rather spend his time engaging in creepy metamorphosis experiments with animals; not that I’m judging or anything.

Next stop - BOAT
Next stop – BOAT PARTY

Of course, the path to Vermilion City is blocked by a large bush and, given that Kanto appears to have absolutely no form of tangible government or authority figure; there are no domestic services to deal with it. Other services facing issues are the police force, as that officer from earlier has decided to unblock the front door of the trashed house and let anyone wander into an active crime scene; even a 10 year old child. The offended parties are inside (conveniently not bothering to look out of the window into their garden), and explain that a Team Rocketer has stolen their HM for teach Dig. He was going to use it to teach a Diglett how to Dig. (That seems, to me, like a waste of an HM). I mosey out into the garden and challenge the Rocketer, subsequently beating him in the ensuing Pokémon match…

That was easy enough.
That was easy enough.

Except, if you go back inside, the old man decides he doesn’t even want the HM back. He’ll teach Diglett to Dig without it (which is what he should’ve done in the first place). So… I guess… I mean, I’m just going to keep it? This doesn’t feel morally correct at all. But I’ve tried to give it back… and the police officer doesn’t seem interested… I guess… *wanders off, whistling casually*

So, onto Vermilion City. I didn’t bother taking any screenshots because this was all very run-of-the-mill; taking on a few trainers with little fanfare, encounters with wild Pokémon that I don’t want to catch (Oddish gives me the creeps), until eventually I make it Vermilion City by passing through the underground tunnel.

My plan on arrival had been to head straight to the Vermilion City gym and take on Lt. Surge so that I could end my day with 3 badges. I had completely forgotten that you can’t get in without knowing Cut; and I wasn’t in the mood to do the entire S.S. Anne grind, so I wandered around town. The first thing was the old man who gave me a fishing rod because I lied about enjoying fishing*. Then I stumbled upon this sign:

This... feels important.
This… feels important.

I go in and speak to everyone, ending with the Fan Club President. He asks if I want to hear about his Pokémon; I say no, because I can’t be arsed. Then I hesitate. I can’t shake the feeling that this is relevant in some way… so I speak to him again. He asks, I say yes. He drones on for far too long, and then… a bike voucher! What a bizarre way to apologise for being a boring ol’ sod! But I’ll take it. In fact, I do take it; and once business is concluded in Vermilion, I intend to nip up to Cerulean and get that bike.

With nothing interesting left to do in the city, I stock up in the store and prepare to bed down for the evening, when I suddenly remember what lies just outside Vermilion to the East. So, I quickly pop out, and a few minutes later, I acquire THE FOURTH MEMBER OF MY STABLE:

CAN YOU DIGLETT, SUUUUUCKAAAAAAAA?!
CAN YOU DIGLETT, SUUUUUCKAAAAAAAAA?!

Remember earlier when I questioned using an HM to teach Diglett to Dig? That exchange inspired me, and I knew as soon as I was within reach of Diglett’s Cave, I was going to grab one. I hadn’t expected  that to come NEARLY this early, but there we are. Just two more Pokémon left to catch…

With Booker D ingratiated, we head to the Pokémon Centre and bed down for the night; we’re gonna need a lot of rest if we’re going to hit up and boat party AND smash through the Vermilion City Gym tomorrow… will our hero pull it off? Find out, next time!

This is what crushing it looks like.
This is what crushing it looks like.

Irish Dave

*

That's a weird thing to say, right?
That’s a weird thing to say, right?
Harriet Langley

I can be your Spearow baby

Player Updates No Comment

And after a bunch of days ignoring my Pickymon responsibilities, I’m back. Squashing my now built in urge to save the five Pokeballs for a later date, I’ve made my second catch:

 

Pokemon - Red Version (USA, Europe)_02

 

 

 

 

 

(Side note, my trigger happy self nearly went to catch the snek.)

(Side-side note, Just having one pokemon with a combined total of 45 PP (vine whip and tackle) of offensive moves really made me treasure PP. I had to tactically lose to a trainer to get warped back to a pokemon centre a few times – PP is precious! See below an artistic representation of me seeing A Sprout is out of PP)

ADTWO24
(from http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/depression-part-two.html )

So with my second pokemon in tow and some grinding ahead of me, I set off to Mt Moon. Already I was at a disadvantage. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Well because A Sprout is level 30. The little shit will start disobeying me soon, because I only have two badges. but regardless – I got my Spearow for the future now, and I made it through Mt Moon with only one or two PP issues.

Pokemon - Red Version (USA, Europe)_04

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my previous post I mentioned how past-Harriet was a bit of a tool and grinded up one pokemon and neglected to give her others the attention they deserved. Well safe to say the past is repeating itself. I’m now faced with the hard grind of getting my Spearow up to scratch. I was seriously debating not bothering to nab a Flying type, but since the running shoes were a later addition to the series, I’ve been lazy. Hopefully I won’t find myself with a full team wishing I hadn’t gone for a bird, but I guess I’m just winging it HAHAHAH.

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So the plan for the moment is this. Grind up Winging It, maybe to 25. Go on a booze cruise, then head back to Vermillion and Take on Lt Surge. Winging It will be a useless against an electric gym, so I might have to psych myself up to use another of my precious catches. ‘But Harriet!’, I hear you cry, ‘are you looking forward to Rock Tunnel?!’ No, hypothetical audience, I am not. Picture a five to ten year old me, not realising you could use flash in this mighty fine Rock Tunnel. Many rage quits occurred before the big brother ENLIGHTENED me!

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But anyway, the longer I put off Rock Tunnel the better. Besides, I’ve been put off the caves in this game because…well:

Pokemon - Red Version (USA, Europe)_03

Dave McGuckin

La Voyage Dans La Mt. Moon – Irish Dave’s journey

Player Updates No Comment

When we last saw our hero, he had just defeated Brock in the Pewter City Gym and earned himself a BOULDERBADGE! With the ominous Mount Moon ahead of him, what will Dave’s next moves be? Find out… right now!

 

After a quick stop to the Pokémon Centre in Pewter City, I start to make my way east towards Mount Moon. As one of the only underground areas negotiable without Flash, I anticipate a fairly quick time running through – with obvious breaks to take on trainers and however thousand Zubat decide they want to try and munch on my head.

However, before I get there I have to deal with a multitude of trainers outside the mountain – presumably all trainers who are too chicken to go inside. It does raise a question though.

This kid is, like, 7 years old.
This kid is, like, 7 years old.

You have to be 10 years old before you can begin your Pokémon journey. Why the hell is this ABSOLUTE CHILD running around outside a mountain with a Ratata? Well, he isn’t now, because Bulbtista don’t take no prisoners.

 

At all.

Guess I'm the Lass Kicker now, Becky Lynch.
Guess I’m the Lass Kicker now, Becky Lynch.

Nothing can stop me rig-

Goddamnit.
Goddamnit.

When Bulbtista rejoins us and with all of those pesky kids dealt with, the stable prepares to head into the mountain – until a wild Pokémon appears. A wild Pokémon that places me in quite a dilemma. See, I don’t have the most sound of strategies heading into this project. After all, I only joined because I’m an idiot who can’t save games properly. So my “ideal team” has been constantly changing as I’ve been going through, and as I encounter different Pokémon, I keep facing difficult choices.

This time, I make a decision on the fly.

Y'all better B. Ware!
Y’all better B. Ware!

Koko joins the team but is under-powered in comparison and takes the lead in the team heading towards Mt. Moon. Rather than smashing out all the Zubat with Jericho’s Thundershock, I’m left in agony for AGES using Gust on them over and over again, like a jabroni. However, it eventually catches up in level and Jericho takes point, smashing through Zubat like the jobbers they are. The trainers in Mt. Moon are… interesting.

I walked right up to you, pal.
I walked right up to you, pal.

It wasn’t long before I remembered what I had forgotten – primarily, the route through the mountain. Luckily my detour resulted in me grabbing a few unexpectedly necessary items, as eventually I encountered the dastardly Team Rocket!

That's what she said.
That’s what she said.

Unlike my colleagues, I suffered an unexpected casualty when Koko jobbed out to the first Rocketer’s Raticate. Luckily I had picked up an Escape Rope earlier in the mountain and, after quickly nipping out to the Pokémon Centre, I returned to smash through the rest of Team Rocket and head towards the fossils. Despite forgetting the way, I managed to remember both the locations of the secret items (an Ether and an extra Moon Stone), before facing the Super Nerd in a battle which was mostly unremarkable, aside from two important occurrences:

Well, he IS a Cruiserweight
Well, he IS a Cruiserweight
What a hoss!
What a hoss!

After grabbing the Dome fossil for a SECRET PLAN later on in the game, I head out of the mountain and down to Cerulean City’s Pokémon Centre to get everyone healed up. With that, we call it a day; safe in the knowledge that there are two winnable gym battles in the near future…

Irish Dave