I Didn't Get To Choose My Friends - Pokemon Platinum Random Team Run

Hello! I am SpammyV, and I’d like to welcome you to this Pokemon Platinum Random Team Run/Let’s Play of mine.

"What the heck’s a “Random Team Run?”

The short answer is: I RNG a team of six Pokemon at the start and can only battle with those for the entire game.

The long answer is: When I replay Pokemon games I am not good at breaking my own habits and not just using again many of the same Pokemon I used last time. For example I’ve played through Diamond and Platinum a few times, and I keep ending up with a Shinx and a Ponyta for most of the game. Maybe I’d even notice before getting to the end! There are a lot of Pokemon out there, which means there are a lot I haven’t used. And since I’ve never personally been about catching 'em all… Why not take it out of my hands?

There’s an obvious question of “Why not just do a Nuzlocke instead of trying to be a special and unique Beautifly?” to which the answer is: “I feel too bad having to pretend my Pokemon died and couldn’t go back to a Nuzlocke after my team wiped.” But also even with the Nuzlocke restrictions, I was playing on my physical Platinum cart and it wasn’t hard to have most of the Pokemon I’d used my first time through. It didn’t really do what I wanted, where the Random Team Run concept did. And I’m not in the market for a full CHAOS REIGNS randomizer experience either.

It certainly worked! This is not my first time doing one of these.

I beat Emerald with Team Don’t Call Me Lance:

And then beat FireRed with Team Invasive Species:

Both of these were on another forum which unfortunately looks like it will be closed permanently. And also my old computer that I don’t want to dig out and plug in again. And also scattered around different image hosts (I was using Photobucket when things started!). Things started simply but gradually grew in scope and complexity into something I realized was more or less an LP. That said, I do have a note on the nature of this thread:

This is not going to be a 100% comprehensive playthrough of Platinum. I’m not talking to every NPC, showing every trainer battle, heck I’m not even showing every dialog box. It’s a little bit of challenge run commentary and a maybe a little bit of narrative.

Normal text is out-of-character stuff by me, your narrator, the adorable SpammyV.

Italicized text is characters speaking or fiction.

One other note: That aforementioned forum that’s probably closed for good now is where I started this but I obviously don’t think I’ll be finishing it there. But I won’t be dumping the updates as I’d really like to go through and redo a lot of the early stuff. I left off on the file right before fighting the 5th Gym (Byron), so like 45% through depending on how you count the plot. Some images at first might be a little wonky as I was still sorting out settings and workflow.

So with no further ado let’s begin the adventure of…

001

“What’s wrong with my name?”

UPDATES:
01: THE BEGINNING OF MISFORTUNE
02: TEAM STUDY BUDDIES ASSEMBLE
02.5: MEET THE TEAM!
03: REAL INTERPOL AGENTS!
04: NOBODY CALLS HIM THAT
05: NOTHING WENT WRONG DURING THIS BATTLE
06: A Bunch of Uniformed Mooks Doesn’t Mean Anything
07: THE BATTLE OF THE WINDWORKS!
08: Walk On The Wooded Side
09: I Learned How Every Rose Has Its Thorns When A Rosebush Tried To Mug Me
10: KICK DOWN THE DOOR!
11: I Hate This Park And Everyone In It
12: Spamigo Gets Ghosted
13: Class Aves Is My Nemesis
14: SUPER PUNCH OUT!
15: The Calm Before the PPV
16: CRASHERMANIA’S RUNNING WILD!
17: Chasing That Feeling
18: Ruin My Day
19: The Abridge Version
20: Riley Isn’t Invited To My Birthday Party
21: THE RIDDLE OF STEEL!
22: It’s Not A Lake Any More
23: The Daring Rescue!
24: The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway. Because Ice Has Some Critical Weaknesses.
25: Spamigo, This Is A Sneaking Mission, Get In Lots of Pokemon Battles
26: The Great Big Ghiren Zabi Speech Scene
27: Name One Good Thing That Happened On Top Of A Mountain I Dare You
28: I Would’ve Been Fine With Just One Dimension Honest
29: There Were No More Worlds To Conquer. There Never Were Any To Begin With.
30: Next Steps
31: Last badge. Last time.
32: Final Preparations
32.5: The Last Team Update

1 Like

UPDATE 01: The Beginning of Misfortune

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After the “Welcome to the world of Pokemon” dream I’m willing to bet most of us can recite by heart we begin this game with Professor Rowan being kind of weird in a nature documentary.

Weird… or foreshadowing?

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Spamigo barely gets to turn off the TV before best (i.e. only) friend Barry runs up the stairs.

I didn’t feel like changing the rival’s name.

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Barry… We get like five channels out here.”

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Spamgio pulled his newsboy cap down over his eyes as that seemed like the only way to express his embarrassment. “Barry that stuff only happens in shows- HEY!”

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Honestly after playing a bit of Pokemon Masters I can’t see this line without thinking of them trying to build on it further in that game.

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Screenshot included because it’s another reminder that I need to take my Wii down to the retro game store to see whether the Wii itself is bricked or just the power supply is. I have a good Wii library that I miss playing sometimes.

AND MOST OF IT IS GOING TO BE IMPOSSIBLE TO PORT FORWARD TO OTHER SYSTEMS AT LEAST HOW IT WAS INTENDED TO BE CONTROLLED.

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It’s cute how this implies that anyone knows what Barry’s up to.

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This is all you get to see of Contests in this thread.

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Yeah why can’t I have a Pokemon again?”

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Note the snow on the ground because Sinnoh is cold, you see. This is why Diamond and Pearl had almost no fire-types.

But then they added a bunch of snow on the ground in Platinum and also added more Fire-types so that the Fire-type Elite Four wasn’t actually embarrassing.

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Ah yes the double tall text really conveys the impact.

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They do a good job of drilling it in just how scatterbrained your rival is in this game.

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It’s weird how they’re playing all coy about Barry’s dad when… he’s in the dang game. It’s not like he’s in the plot abyss that the protagonist’s dad is. Like probably he’s away being busy doing whatever Battle Frontier bigwigs do but he knows the player so…

I guess since we know the answer to this question (it’s his dad his dad is hyper and has almost the same animation) we should be playing a sitcom laugh track?

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Oh yeah the reason he keeps saying he’s going to fine everyone 10 million Poke is that he wants to build his own Battle Tower to be the Tycoon of and have his dad challenge it. Thanks, Pokemon Masters!

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Oh yeah, and if your soul has been exposed to the horrible truths of the world and you can only stomach Pokemon stories if they’re made so dark that they absorb all light and the mews of baby kittens… You probably aren’t going to enjoy my takes on things. I’m here for friendship adventures with Pokemon. Friendship may save the world.

At any rate, you go north and…

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At least he ain’t run off yet.

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Barry… you remember the grass thing, right?”

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I’m posting this because I actually love Barry’s plan.

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Rowan (spoilers for the literal next image) is supposed to yell from off screen but uh… I missed it. My text speed settings are a little funky. More on that later.

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Bus-ted.

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You know how it is, you just get done watching a show about something and BAM, there they are. I had to quit watching Mythbusters back in the day because I’d keep bumping into Jamie at the grocery store.

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Rowan gets up to Final Fantasy level of ellipses and talks to himself a lot, but I guess you can do that when you have tenure or whatever Pokemon Professors get.

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It’s a But Thou Must and I’m not going to say no to all of these to show the text. Pretty sure you have Bulbapedia and other sources for that.

I have other hidden text you’ve never seen to show you.

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Funny how they frame this as the player answering first when the entire rest of this intro makes it feel like the player’s just been dragged along.

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Barry’s idea to find Rowan, Barry’s plan to cross the grass, Barry’s dad is the one who’s the big famous Trainer…

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And the player’s just there going along with it because they’re friends, apparently.

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Kid’s got a heart at least.

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What if… uh… we run into a madman plotting to destroy and remake the universe?”

Hmph. Well as the odds of that happening are astronomically low, you may endanger yourself to save the universe.”

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He doesn’t even know what he’s doing here, he was just drawn by his Grumpy Old Man senses.

Like that one gag in Nadesico when someone wishes that someone would explain what’s going on and it cuts to Inez standing in a hallway in a different part of the ship looking around like she just heard someone call her name.

You heard me.

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(did this really need to so many text boxes?)

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(spoilers if you remember your encounter rates from another game… we do not get a hard to replace Pokemon)

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As much as I might snark, I’m entirely down for friendship adventures.

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Your birthday is eleven days before mine, dude.”

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The starters were randomized to any three Pokemon that have two Evolution stages (more on this when we get the whole team). Interestingly, Platinum pulled up the correct description/category for Mareep and played the correct cry, but the sprite is apparently fixed.

I did not record what the other two options were. I believe one was Treecko. Either way there wasn’t anything that made me as excited as Mareep, so we’re going baa ram boom.

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Maybe the real reason Barry goes second is to pick the one that beats yours.

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Don’t be mean to Pokemon, check.

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Dawn sounds like this whole assistant thing has turned out to be work instead of a way to have a chance encounter with a special someone.

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Still seems stern and scary to me.

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oh no

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my foolishness

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Alright so uh. Your rival always picks the Pokemon that’s next in the sequence to beat yours. It doesn’t matter what Pokemon is actually there, they get whatever’s supposed to have the type advantage on yours. But you may realize, Mareep was in the Water-type slot so he gets a Grass type. Grass is resistant to Electric. This will also grow up to be a Grass/Ground type which means Earthquake spam.

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It didn’t hurt a whole lot.

Oh also, Withdraw?

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Is all it uses. I don’t use Growl.

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Static doesn’t help when Turtwig gets a crit, too.

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I hope you weren’t expecting me to be amazing at Pokemon.

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Okay now you’re just being over-dramatic, game.

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Bet you didn’t know you could lose that battle. Bulbapedia doesn’t even know you can lose that battle. Their attempt to save every single thing a major NPC says doesn’t have the text if Barry wins.

I have brought you secret knowledge so where’s my damn Informative tag.

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Yeah… see you later, dude.”

UPDATE 02: ASSEMBLE TEAM STUDY BUDDIES!

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Scene: Mom walking out from behind the counter to go watch her Contests on TV. Presumably she didn’t ask the obvious questions about why Spamgio came home carrying an electric sheep.

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Well Barry thought it was going to be a good idea to try to run through the grass at full speed to get to the other town before Pokemon could get us but before he got the grass Rowan showed up and told us off for being dumb but then he gave us Pokemon anyway so me and Barry battled and uh.

I lost.”

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Gamefreak this is still a really weird thing to try to call attention to.

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So receiving a Pokemon is an in-person thanks thing? You can’t just send a thank-you card? I’ve never understood thank-you card etiquette.

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GET EQUIPPED
WITH
RUNNING SHOES

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GET EQUIPPED
WITH
VISUAL GLITCH IN THE TRANSITION SHOT

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oh no Barry I don’t want to rematch right now

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Well the last idea worked great for you .

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Barry… there’s not actually a legendary Pokemon in the lake. There was the big special where they did the ground scan on the island and there’s no cave inside. Josh Gates was even in town and everything.”

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Barry the tourism board put the sign up.”

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Look.

Just because there was a blue-haired guy talking about time and space and the Legendary Pokemon that doesn’t exist and dropping his name does not mean you need to jump to conclusions about how he’s plot relevant. I’m sure this is just some early game flavor and that’s it.

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B-but they said there was nothing in the lake!”

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Let’s see… jacket, cap, sheep…

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This is my favorite text box in this game, and probably in any Pokemon game.

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I really don’t think he meant we needed to drop in every time we needed something.”

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And then Barry runs off again.

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Is there an NPC like this in every Pokemon game?

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I’m not showing you this because it’s tutorial text that deserves to be shown.

It’s because I feel guilty.

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Seriously though I feel like there’s always been a Potion Guy in every first route.

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I assume it’s more science-y on the inside.

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Suddenly a sixth sense intuition stopped Spamigo in his tracks and led him to keep Dawn from opening the door.

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Thus avoiding another head-on Barry collision.

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Usually if you wait for him to finish talking you can add in the spaces between words and figure out what he was trying to get at.”

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Look but don’t pet her and then try to touch a doorknob or something. The static will knock you off your feet.

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I, uh, missed the screenshot. I named her Wilhelmina. I was going to name her Woolhelmina but that’s one character too long but by that point I’d already gotten attached to nicknaming her Mina.

Weirdly enough this is not the only time this happens in this run.

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It may not do much for his confidence but maybe it assuages Spamigo’s Spammy’s Spamigo’s guilt at losing so badly.

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As an aside when I reread this line for some reason my brain jumped to “Finger across the throat means death” and then I spent five minutes giggling to myself at Dawn the Destroyer.

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This is a Pokedex,” The Professor said as he handed Spamigo the device. “It’s a tool to record data on all the Pokemon that you could encounter in the Sinnoh region. If it is your aim to go on an adventure with your Pokemon I would ask you to record those Pokemon you meet for me.”

Spamigo didn’t respond immediately. The hesitation was plain on his face. Maybe, on some level, he’d thought about returning the Mareep. Maybe he was never cut out to be a Trainer. “But… I was just going along with this… and when me and Barry battled I… I lost.”

Rowan was silent for a time, and some of the sternness left his expression. “A journey won’t always be easy, or simple. And even if you lost, you’ve shown no shortage of care towards that Mareep. Never forget that, young man. In fact… I have several more Pokemon that I’ve acquired in my studies that I have no need for now, and deserve more than to spend their days in a laboratory. And I can think of no one would rather trust with them right now. Would you care for them as well?”

He didn’t answer immediately, but Spamigo accepted.

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It’s Return. When you just need a bunch of Physical Normal damage, think TM27! Think Return.

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Dawn explains about Pokecenter and Pokemarts.

Heal your Pokemon and buy things.

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Oh, right… guess I should tell mom she doesn’t need to worry about Mina shorting out the TV in the middle of a Contest.”

NEXT TIME: MEET THE TEAM!
It’s right below this post.

UPDATE 2.5: MEET THE TEAM!

Well now that we have the full team, let’s look at 'em!

Wilhelmina:

Yeah, Woolhelmina was one letter too long.

Technically Mareep/Flaafy/Ampharos are not on the list of Pokemon I’ve never used, I got one from the Dream World in White version that made it onto my team.

But nothing in White counts because I didn’t enjoy that game at the time or finish it.

Reina:

This run will also serve as a test of some of Universal Pokemon Randomizer’s features (more on that later this update) because in theory all I’ll need is a Dragon Scale to go from Seadra to Kingdra.

Castellia:

If it was a male Pineco I’d have named him Sting.

Thumbs up to anyone who gets that.

Anomalo:

Because AnamoloCarter is way too long of a name even if it is a reference to Anomalocaris. You can tell that Anomalocaris inspired Anorith because the Claw Fossil you normally resurrect one from is like how Anomalocaris’ claws were the first fossils discovered.

Also it looks exactly like one.

Also, the US/UM dex entries for Anorith say that people release them into modern oceans. Rampardos knocks down buildings. There was never a version of Jurassic Park in the Pokemon world.

Sid:

This is not the first run where I’ve had to drag someone who only starts with Wrap through the beginning of the game. At least Seviper should learn some real moves quicker than Dratini. For real though, this is how you waste an Attack stat.

Dogu:

Dogu’s name is in reference to the Dogu figurines that inspired its design. Ultimately it felt too self-indulgent to name it Hopkins just because I had a Baltoy in my Pokemon Mystery Dungeon fic whose name was Hopkins. He was partnered with a Sableye named Kelly.

If anyone gets THAT reference without Googling it then make yourself known because I’ll applaud you.

At any rate, this is where we begin. These six Pokemon, and only these six Pokemon, are all that I can use in battles for the entirety of the game. Catching things for HM use is acceptable, but those won’t be seeing any action whatsoever. Can this team get through the Elite 4? Probably, I mean, these games aren’t that hard. The real question is how much toil and frustration and me banging my head against a Gym that seems perfectly made to stomp my team it will take.

But hey, we lost the babby’s first rival battle. Unless I quit we really can’t go anywhere but up.

Oh, and for Trivia: Rowan actually has lines if you somehow grind your starter on level 2 Bidoofs until they evolve!

Unfortunately the check seems to simply be that your only Pokemon is not Turtwig/Chimchar/Piplup. But points for effort, Game Freak.

Where’s my damn Informative tag.

But how did I actually get my team? Well first things being first: Universal Pokemon Randomizer!

The Randomizer works on Gen I through Gen V roms. All you need to do is load a compatible rom and get to work. Even if you don’t intend to go full-on chaos mode with your game, Universal Pokemon Randomizer offers enough quality-of-life upgrades that I’d highly recommend putting your rom through it before beginning. Unless you really want a true-to-original experience, in which case don’t.

From here I hit “Change Impossible Evos.” What this does is fix any evolutions that would be impossible because most emulators don’t let you trade or some games lack the features required for a Pokemon to evolve. If you’re like me and never had friends are playing on an emulator it’s a great help to be able to use Pokemon you wouldn’t normally be able to.

Here I hit the “Random (basic Pokemon with 2 evolutions)” option. It gets you a starter-like experience with two evolutions, but with far more options. Plus you’ll usually end up with at least one Pokemon that has lategame potential this way.

Unless you chose Caterpie from the random options.

Set minimum catch rate is something I really need to remember next time I do one of these. It’ll save some wrangling with codes later on if every wild Pokemon just has a max catch rate. And besides, I don’t need to catch much.

“Lower Case Pokemon Names” is something I’m thankful for because the ALL CAPS in older games was something that bothered me.

I activated “Fastest Text” for this run but it’s a little twitchy in actual gameplay, with some text boxes that auto-scroll without my input. Or it just doesn’t like you setting the text speed to max in the in-game settings too.

The way that I typically do these runs is to choose the starter, and then hit up everybody’s friend random.org! The simple method is just to have it generate 5 numbers between 1 and whatever the last National Dex number is for this generation (493 here). If the number is partway up an evolutionary family, I’d roll back to the start because I’m interested in the development of the team. This will slightly skew the team composition in favor of Pokemon that evolve. If that’s not good enough you can also do work to create a list of National Dex numbers of fully evolved Pokemon and randomly select from that. I suppose that would be best in the odd case that you roll a Nincada or an Eevee.

While the team is random… I’ll do just a little editing. I’d reroll Unown and I swore on my master’s grave that I would never use a Luvdisc (The red Luvdisc slew my master). Castform would be chalenge absolutely accepted though.

Once you have the list, all you need then is to enter some force encounter codes, give yourself some Master Balls or find a code to make all captures successful, and go walking in the nearest patch of grass once the game lets you start catching.

It’s a little bit involved, but all the work is front-loaded setting things up.

If you’ve had random teams share your story!

NEXT TIME: Who got Interpol involved?

UPDATE 03: Real Interpol Agents Don’t Tell Every Preteen They’re Agents

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Where last we left off our young hero needed to actually tell his mom that he was going on an adventure that would probably involve crossing the entire region.

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Gotta say that I am a fan of Anorith’s big compound looking everywhere eyes.

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But there’s only so long that the plot can be put off.

(Dawn doesn’t let you go any further to the next town if you haven’t spoken to mom yet.)

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Yay!

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“Well…

“RowangavemeabunchofnewPokemonsothisisCastelliaandAnomaloandSidandDoguandReinaandInamedtheMareepWilhelminaandthenhegavemeaPokedexandaskedmetotraveleverywhereinSinnohtoseePokemonandhelphimoutinreturnforthesePokemonsoImightbegoneforawhile.”

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Hooray for support.

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I liked this feature of Gen IV. Not so much seeing random battles but it was nice coming back to the game and seeing the game acknowledge you beat a Gym.

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Read: Now that mom doesn’t have to take care of us any more that means no more watching Contests on TV. She’s getting her Kangaskhan back and Fantina is going to be eating dirt by the time mom finishes terrorizing the Contest circuit.

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What’s this? Has Barry gone missing?

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Of course Barry wouldn’t stop for dinner when there’s adventure on the line.

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I will?”

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The glare that I can feel piercing my spine tells me that I will.”

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It’s been a weird couple of days, internet.

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Dawn does the catching tutorial here, despite the fact that you could already have caught Pokemon by now.

There’s really not much to this early route except me trying to drag my team out of the start. Might as well be trying to get any XP on Sid now before Wrap rapidly reduces in effectiveness in approximately… one level. It’s mostly boring except for…

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THE ULTIMATE BAGWORM BATTLE!

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CASTELLIA SHALL RULE THIS MORTAL WORLD FROM INSIDE HER INPENETRABLE FORTRESS!

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Ahem.

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Upon our hero’s entry into Jubilife, Dawn feels the need to remind him how new he still is at this.

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Thanks Dawn.

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But on their way to make Spamigo feel worse, they run into someone darting between streetlamps!

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I choose to imagine it’s like all those times in Yakuza 0 when Majima’s leaning out from behind a lamppost like he’s totally hidden.

You heard me.

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I’m pretty there’s no rule that says you have to tell everyone that you’re a member of Interpol if they ask you. Or catch you. Or look at you.

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When you think about it, it does sound like a superpower when you start talking about how you can sense photons being reflected off of objects and thus learn their position and distance.

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Looker also makes me laugh so you get extra Looker.

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Oh come on this isn’t Kanto where some mob boss gets a cushy Gym position to protect himself while having an army of goons out stealing Pokemon until all his goons and himself are beaten by a girl with a walrus.

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Probably my second-most favorite text box in the game.

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Inside the game continues to heap guilt upon me for losing the babby’s first rival battle.

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Anyway the thing that Barry’s Mom wanted us to deliver was a map and in grand Pokemon tradition there are two maps so you both get one. Now that he knows vaguely where it is, Barry yells about how he’s going to go challenge the first Gym.

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Some people luck into getting a random starter that at level 5 already knows a STAB move that’s supereffective against the rival’s. Some lose. Both are fine. So I keep telling myself.

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Also there’s clowns that ask you basic questions so you can get the Poketch, a.k.a. “That thing that we use the bottom screen for.”

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Oh, don’t mind my friend Chekov over there setting his gun on the mantle.

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Well that’s not so bad. That’s like what, two squares? I already walked like five squares just to get here. I guess we can go see what this Gym challenge thing is all about.

Would you walk everywhere in the Pokemon world? I’ll be honest, if I could set a lawn chair on the back of a Torterra and cruise along I probably would.

NEXT TIME: Nobody calls him that.

04: Nobody Calls Him That

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We begin passing from night into day, passing from Jubilife to Route 203.

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We stop literally two tiles after that.

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Well, one of us has a full team now.

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So no pressure, but I’m sure by this point the game isn’t going to let me lose rival battles, so now is the time of decision.

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Cool beans, she wasn’t using that anyway.

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This part seems pretty over yet.

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A level 7 Starly just isn’t much of a threat.

That will change.

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C’mon Mina. That was just a fluke. RNG had the AI use Withdraw six times. Sheep are better than turtles.

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NOPE IT TURNS OUT IT WILL JUST USE WITHDRAW SIX TIMES AGAIN.

But now we’re not stuck bashing our heads against this turtle.

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Can’t withdraw your brain from being messed with by Dogu!

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…I won?”

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And so Barry runs off, leaving our hero in confused elation over having won. Maybe this Pokemon journey won’t be a trainwreck of failure after all…

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The Trainers here all yell what Pokemon they’re using which… I don’t quite understand? It’s not like you can change your leading Pokemon between text box and battle.

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…Huh. I guess Gen IV was before they made it so Electric-types can’t be Paralyzed. I’d say that I’m going to keep the tactical considerations of this in mind, but it’s unlikely to come up.

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Castellia learned WHAT?

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Oh… kay… so no sudden moves around her and everyone be real gentle.

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You did not! I didn’t take a screenshot of this battle and it didn’t sink in until I was going through screenshots, but all she has is a Psyduck with Scratch!


(thanks Bulbapedia)

You did not beat the Rock-type Gym, LIAR MADELINE!

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The cave was not indicated on the map. The Hiker right here gives you Rock Smash, establishing this game as being daring and bucking tradition by not having you get Cut first.

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Why are you trying to Cut things in a cave, anyway?

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Mud-Slap! For when Dogu’s just being too effective with Confusion.

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Oreburgh City: Coal minin’ town.

It’s weird that you start with a coal-mining town and the last Gym (spoiler) is in a solar-powered town. At least it’s not that coal mine that’s on fire.

(No massive underground fires making a town look like Silent Hill occur in this game so don’t get your hopes up)

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So did Barry already beat the Gym? Or is he somehow going to win between Roark plot-teleporting back and me arriving, while giving Roark enough time to heal his team or get new Pokemon?

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Spamigo stood in front of the sign, staring in puzzlement at the quote. He glanced down at Wilhelmina, who didn’t seem to understand it any better. He tried- quietly- to say it aloud, thinking that maybe it would make more sense that way, but it still sounded bad. In the end the only conclusion he could reach was “No one calls him that.”

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Facts.

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Well it makes more sense than naming your Psyduck Green.

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Okay hold on.

I’ve circled Oreburgh on this map. Y’all’ll note that we are nowhere near the ocean.

HOW BIG IS THIS MINE?!

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HOW FAR DOWN DO THESE STAIRS GO?!

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Sid that… that’s not really better.

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I guess this is why no one goes on and on about how much of an early game powerhouse Seviper is.

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There’s Roark, and that big block behind him is coal, apparently. The entire thing, a hunk of coal the size of a small house. He shows you how to Rock Smash and then runs off.

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Like so.

Now that the Gym’s going to be open it’ll be time to solve this mystery!

NEXT TIME: THE STUDY BUDDIES IN “THE MYSTERY OF THE NICKNAME”

But can the world be ready for the truth?

UPDATE 05: OFF TO A ROCKY START.
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD BATTLE.
THIS DOESN’T GO WELL.

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Welcome back! There’s no escaping Oreburgh city to the north. Our destiny lies to the gym. But first, we train!

Also do you have to pronounce the h in Oreburgh? Just stick a real phlegmy CHHH onto the end of the name?

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STAB moves start rolling in for our team, and- Wait, Psybeam?

Thundershock and Water Gun both have 40 power. Psybeam has 65. Dogu don’t just jump up the tech tree like that.

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Howdy, Requisite Gym Advice NPC!

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Well I can hit… one of those weaknesses.

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I, Future SpammyV, writing this update, know that it won’t be easy.

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Honestly though even if you took Chimchar, there are enough Pokemon to hit Roark’s weaknesses you can catch before this. Machops, Budews, the like. I won’t way it’ll all be easy but it’s doable.

I notice all these things Gamefreak does to make the Gyms surmountable when I can’t use them.

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How many first Gyms let you just bypass all the Trainers? I mean, you won’t, because you want experience, but they let you. Is it all of them?

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And Roark awaits us on the highest pedestal in the Gym.

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He says that like there’s a bunch of First Gyms that are Rock-type.

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As they both reached for their first Pokeballs, Spamigo paused. He broke the tension with the question first and foremost on his mind: “Does… Does anyone call you Roark the Rock?”

Roark froze, stalling for time by brushing an invisble fleck of dust off of the Pokeball. “Well it’s on my business cards.”

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Starting with Dogu here figuring that none of his stuff will have good Special Defense because Rock-Types never do.

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This Geodude didn’t… but it got the Stealth Rock off.

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At least before Generation VIII, Cranidos still had the highest base Attack of unevolved Pokemon. It evolves into the thing with the highest base Attack you can get without transforming or being a Legendary.

Dogu is basically a pot that sat around in some ancient ruins until it could levitate things with its mind.

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We… we can patch you up, buddy.

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Stealth Rock doesn’t do too much to Reina, because its damage is based on the type chart, but you see the trap by now.

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If you don’t resist Rock, Stealth Rock just might deal enough that the Cranidos one-shots whoever you sent out.

Also it’s highly probably Roark uses a Potion here but I don’t have a lot of good options left… and Reina could crit.

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…She didn’t.

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But if I have ONE Pokemon on my team at all who can take a Physical hit, it’s going to be Castellia!

Also note how much more Stealth Rock took out of her.

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I still don’t know where her biting mouthparts are but they did enough.

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Well that’s not as ludicrous as Selfdestruct. But anyway, Cranidos was a nightmare but now that we’ve beaten Roark-

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OH HELL HE HAS AN ONIX TOO!?

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Stop panicking. STOP PANICKING! Let’s just think. Mina… could only use Tackle here. Anomalo… only has Scratch.

Sid…

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SID FINALLY LEARNED A GOOD MOVE WHILE WE WERE GRINDING BEFORE! WE HAVE A CHANCE!

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YES!

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TAKE YOUR STAT MONSTER BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS!

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You may be many adjectives but I would not use weak among them.

Incidentally I think I picked up all the flakes from Castellia’s pinecone, you didn’t see any others go flying off did you?

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badges

Now that we have the Coal Badge we can use Rock Smash.

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How fitting.

I’m never going to use this.

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Oh… Joy.

NEXT TIME: ROWAN GETS VICIOUS AND DAWN GETS DISAPPOINTED!

UPDATE 06: A Bunch of Uniformed Mooks Doesn’t Mean Anything

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We begin with a Barry impact.

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It’s funny how all these plot events seem timed so that Barry passes by them before we arrive.

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There’s Brick Break in the cave, but it requires Rock Smash AND a bike or Surf to get. So, it’s not gettable at this time.

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Spamigo and Looker made eye contact, and Spamigo felt the instant pang of regret shoot down his spine. He took a half-step back, but it was too late now. He couldn’t pretend to have not seen Looker now, the foreigner was already rushing over.

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I have no need for any wi-fi features that may or may not work. Not bothering.

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Well, if Looker says that it’s safe, then it must be safe.

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Wait, people threatening Rowan? BUT LOOKER SAID THE CITY WAS SAFE!

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Rowan’s not going to pay attention to weirdoes with cyan hair.

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Aww, shucks.

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it’s time

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Seems like these grunts should just crumple up like a stepped-on aluminum can after that barrage of insults.

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I imagine the most nasally sound possible for that “Eeeeeh!”

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“Oh…” Dawn said after she glanced down at Anomalo. The disappointment wasn’t evident except for a slight furrowing of her brow, but her tone conveyed it plenty.

Spamigo sounded as clueless as he felt. “What? Anomalo’s been sort of on the bench lately I thought he needed some exercise.”

“I just thought it’d be special if we were both using our fir- You know what, nevermind.”

“What?”

" Nevermind ."

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I love Fake Out. My Hariyama in my Emerald run wound up keeping Fake Out for the entire game because he had the stats to make it hurt beyond what the 40 power would imply. On a Glameow it’s not nearly as much of an issue.

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Dawn’s Chimchar take the brunt of the aggro while Anomalo uses his wittle claws to get some damage in.

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A lucky Burn takes out the Glameow.

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And the Stunky doesn’t last long on its own after that.

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He keeps saying benevolent but I keep hearing it in the voice of the alien bad guy from that one terrible Doctor Who episode that looks like a low-rent Jabba the Hutt with fake feathers glued to him and an extremely coarse bad-guy deep voice trying to talk about his “benevolence” like it’s a codeword for blowing up a planet.

You heard me.

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Rowan harrumphed, “I’m a scientist, not a wizard! I’ll not sully my doctrine with this mystical mumbo-jumbo.”

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Doesn’t Pokemon evolution take like 30 seconds? How would you even harness that?

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…I’m gonna need to see a citation on that stat.

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Dawn clenched her hand into a fist and shot a narrow glare over her shoulder in the direction those two Grunts had run off. Rowan had to hurriedly break the tension before she stormed off on her own.

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Rowan’s extremely chill. “Hey, here’s a Pokemon to start your journey with. If you could fill this Pokedex for me, I’d appreciate it. But I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I’m not the boss of you. See ya.”

It’s either that or he’s trying to guilt-trip the player into completing the Pokedex.

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Route 204: The one with the cave. Not that cave, the other cave. No, not that one either.

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I went down the main path, leaving that item tempting me. It could be anything! Is the detour worth it?

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No.

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No… you won’t.

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Although Spamigo had always tried to be honest, he could suddenly see that being too honest in this case would simply crush poor Tyler even further. And he couldn’t bring himself to be so cruel.

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Spamgio paused and noticed that in training, Bidoof teeth could sometimes inflict damage on Anomalo’s mineralized exoskeleton. And if they could do that much against a mineralized exoskeleton, surely they could do more against minerals!

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So say hello to Scarfy, our Designated Rock Smash Haver.

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I choose to imagine she’s just wedging her front teeth in there and ratcheting up the pressure until the rock splits.

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Rock Tomb’s got 50 power, 80% accuracy, and a 100% chance to lower the target’s Speed by one stage on hit. It’s not a great move, but here’s what hadn’t sunk in when I took this screenshot: Anomalo’s level-up movelist is DIRE. As in, the only Physical Rock move he gets is the Rock-Type Doubleslap. AT LEVEL 49.

As soon as I realize how he’s not going to get a Rock move I windmill slam the TM into his forehead or have him copy that floppy or serve up a crispy TM with a choice of dipping sauce (ranch, bleu cheese, honey mustard, cream gravy, or the house sauce that’s always just a thickened thousand island dressing) or however you teach TMs.

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Buddy this trip’ll be hard enough even with a diverse team.

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It’s almost insulting how small the cave seems from this angle.

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Look, I believe in Anomalo and Castellia.

It’s just gonna take a lot of levels and TMs.

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Somehow, maybe through localized air currents, the scent of flowers only hits you in the face like a fluffy down pillow after you pass under the big arch.

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I can’t figure out what this town’s theme is.

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It’s subtle.

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Surely nothing we will never be involved with.

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I’ve got Bulk and Skull’s theme playing in my head while I read these lines. Heck, I might as well put on the ten hour version of their theme whenever I’m dealing with Galactic Grunts.

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Walking away from the Galactic Grunts and letting them continue their villainy seemed to leave Wilhelmina annoyed, and not particularly listening to Spamigo’s excuses while she trotted beside him.

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With all of that, Spamigo didn’t need to look to know that Wilhelmina was glaring at him now. With a sigh, he pulled his cap down a little tigther around his brow and said, “Alright. We’re getting involved.”

UPDATE 07: THE BATTLE OF THE WINDWORKS

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The Team Galactic Commander known as Mars had one question: “How did you get in here?!”

At first Spamigo started to point in the direction of the door, only for Mars to bark “I got that part! That door was supposed to be locked!”

“Oh. Well about that…” Spamigo’s story began.

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“First there was the little girl who wanted to see her dad again and guilt-tripped me into coming here.”

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“And there was a guy guarding the door, too.”

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“He was really annoying.”

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“And he locked himself inside after I beat him fair and square, but…”

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“He also just told me who had the other key, so. I didn’t need to search.”

Mars slowly turned a glare at that Grunt, who chuckled nervously and tried to back himself further into the corner.

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“They were also right where he said they were, so I didn’t have to look around a bunch.”

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“The first one wasn’t a challenge.”

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“The other one was a real jerk who thought waiting after the other grunt was beaten was going to make his job easier.”

“That sounds like Dave,” Mars huffed. “Nobody likes Dave.”

“He stole my parking spot!” one of the beaten Grunts yelled out.

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“Well… Dave wasn’t hard to beat either.”

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“Also he dropped the key to the door, too.”

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“So I unlocked the door…”

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“Your guard ran off to warn you…”

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“I beat the other Grunts who were guarding this place…”

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“So…” Spamigo’s throat suddenly felt dry. He thought he had something prepared for this moment to sound tough and intimidating, but between the rambling story and Mars’ glare he couldn’t find the words, and just said, “You should get out. I mean, I beat all your grunts.”

“And?” That fact didn’t seem to daunt Mars in the slightest as she pulled a Pokeball from her belt. “Those were grunts, and you’re dealing with me, Mars, one of Team Galactic’s four Commanders. Let me show you just how far we are above the common Grunts, kid. Get ready to run out of here crying, brat!”

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Now, you are perfectly free to go ahead and set in your mind as background music the Galactic Commander theme from this very game. However, if you would be interested in alternative offerings, might I suggest GET THEM from the Yakuza 0 soundtrack?

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I thought I was going to… your Zubat still has some health bar left?

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…Dogu please don’t let this be a pattern.

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I’d like to image the Zubat tried to chomp down on Reina and only realized she wasn’t going down like a bag of pottery shards when her little snoot got shoved against its temple. Throw in some one-liner from her like “This may sting a bit.”

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Purugly, of course, does not evolve until level 38. After reviewing the facts I have come to endorse the Fat Glameow Theory. Teach the controversy!

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It’s fat enough to make Fake Out hurt.

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Mina is down to FOUR HITPOINTS before she can even take an action. Her Static kicking in might be the most good she can do.

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…It was the most good she can do. I switched to Anomalo here before Mina got knocked out.

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Anomalo sees a LOT of lucky Paralysis rolls, but that Purugly’s still scratching him up good and it had an Oran berry to boost its health further. His exoskeleton just can’t stand up to all of that.

But since someone FINALLY decided to learn a STAB move, I have something that could be called an ace in the hole.

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Two Bites and that cat finally goes down to take a nap.

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…Mina might just keep this for the entire game.

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An uppity brat with a dangerous snake.

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Charon (the white-haired scientist guy) speaks up but man, screw Charon. His only contribution is to be a condescending jerk to Mars and, spoiler, you never battle Charon in this game. So you have to listen to this jerk going on about how brilliant he is and there’s no chance to beat him. Smug NPCs that you can’t put down are the worst. Looking at you, Miranda.

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Stuff like this. Mars hates his guts and honestly I don’t blame her.

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But we reunited this little girl with her dad and also Drifloon will start appearing again but I’m not catching one because I won’t be able to use it.

Even though Drifloon/Drifblim are way up there on the list of “Pokemon I’d Like To Use But Haven’t.”

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“Well, about that…”

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Spamigo pondered just how far he could run before Looker came back outside. It wasn’t as though he was being investigated, right? But Looker came running back outside so the line of thought was moot.

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He waved Looker away as the so-called InterPol agent went running off again. But his smile froze and turned hollow when he realized that Eterna was where the next Gym was too.

Since I missed my weekly update schedule, I would like to apologize. I’ve been swamped for long enough to run my backlog down. I have no intention of abandoning this thread. I just need to make more time to write. Thank you for reading and being patient.

Update 08: Walk On The Wooded Side

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Welcome to scenic Eterna Forest! I always want to call it Eternia. I never even watched a He-Man in my life but I read it as Eternia for years.

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In Eterna Forest is Cheryl, the first of the game’s NPC partners. You get a partner with a single Pokemon, all battles are double battles, your team gets fully healed after each battle because Cheryl has a Chansey, one of the designated nurse Pokemon.

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Cheryl is afraid of Team Galactic, even though Zubats and Purrloins aren’t that much of a threat.

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One thing that passed completely over my head until I was fact-checking myself was that time flowing funky in Eterna means that time-of-day evolutions don’t work.

It’s just a shame you probably won’t be coming back here for anything while you’re trying to evolve an Umbreon.

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Anyway, it’s an Early Forest in a Pokemon Game. It’s full of Bugs, people talking about Bugs, people battling with Bugs, and random early Pokemon that seem forest-creature-y.

Here’s basically all you need to know about Cheryl’s Chansey:

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One lone Buneary huddled and shivered, surrounded by craters. All the leaves had been blasted off a nearby bush, and there were missing chunks from the trees where stray Egg Bombs had hit. The Chansey screwed its face into an intense look of concentration as it readied another throw.

Spamigo just looked over to Cheryl. “You don’t say about that battling thing.”

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Oh, also!

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BEHOLD HER DEADLY

BIPEDAL WALKING

And that’s all you need to know about the forest.

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I mean.

There weren’t any Team Galactic members in the forest.

Also I think Chansey could face-tank everything.

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But we get a hold item out of it!

I don’t even remember what the Soothe Bell does.

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Of course, now that we’re out of the forest there’s Galactic Grunts around. They just don’t like to pick random fights on city streets? Maybe Sinnoh’s got some Big Brother CCTV going on or something.

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I dunno. I’m starting to think they might be evil? Maybe they just have very forceful personalities and stealing Pokemon and kidnapping people are just how things worked in their family growing up.

I’ve been working on a theory that-

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Or Barry’s here and we’re roped into the plot.

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Oh hey it’s that guy who’s not relevant to the plot in any way!

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Weird how this game wants to make him a thing.

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Please, I need all the help I can get with this team at this stage in the game.

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And that’s exactly why I’m soon going to teach an 80% accurate TM to one of my Pokemon.

But I’ve also been thinking-

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“Oh, it’s… It’s Spamigo.” Something about the blonde lady’s stare unnerved Spamigo. He had the feeling that no Galactic Grunts had ever tried to shake her down for her Pokemon.

She cocked her head a few degrees to the side. “Is there something wrong with your name?”

“No, just… It sounds like… Nevermind.”

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She asks, even though this encounter happens when you’re walking away from the hill with the mysterious Pokemon statue (no spoilers about what it is please).

(it wasn’t on any box arts for previous games)

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Even beneath her glare Spamigo couldn’t let out an internal scoff. Legendary Pokemon were legends, and if there was no Pokemon in the lake there was no weird spike monster with metal bits sticking out of it.

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Look they were a little daring making the first HM not Cut. They’re not that daring. It’s second instead.

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It wasn’t until she’d gone around the corner and Spamigo had finished with the polite waving that he realized he hadn’t mentioned Rowan at all. How many assistants had the professor had?

Any more interruptions? Bad guys in a Final Fantasy airship? Radio broadcasts? Wormholes? No? Alright.

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…Well, I can’t figure out what they’re going for. Let’s ask this person in front of the doors!

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“…Barry mentioned me?”

“I think so,” the Gym Leader nodded. “It was sort of hard to make out because he didn’t really leave spaces between his words, you know? I think he said something about his amigo following him. And your clay pot is cheating? I wasn’t clear on that.”

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Wait.

We didn’t ask her what type she uses.

Update 09: I Learned How Every Rose Has Its Thorns When A Rosebush Tried To Mug Me

You know what we haven’t had in a while? TEAM UPDAAAAATE!

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Mina’s deadly bipedal walking (seriously wasn’t that one of the Eldora Soul lines in Super Robot Wars T or was I imagining things) gave her a boost to her stats. Thundershock is nice, but it’s an early game move. Can its utility last in these challenging conditions?

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Just as a note, Anomalo hasn’t evolved and still has more Attack than Mina has Special Attack. Also just as a note, his moves put that stat to no good use. Also Past Me took these screenshots and then gave him Rock Tomb. Remember: Rock Tomb is 50 power, 80% accuracy, 100% chance to lower the victim’s Speed.

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In these early stages, Castellia’s Attack has not been outstripped by everyone else’s yet. And the tendency for there to be a lot of Physical attacks in the early stages of a Pokemon game means she’s fairly resilient.

Also Selfdestruct is there as the emergency button.

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No, Reina does not really need Bubble and Water Gun. I didn’t make her move list! If I made move lists Anomalo wouldn’t only have Scratch still!

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Dogu gets Rock Tomb naturally, because nothing is fair in this world except the coin flip. Also he gets Psybeam, which tends to end a lot of battles. As long as he doesn’t take a hit and break again.

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With Bite and Poison Tail (Two STAB moves!) and 41 attack Sid has now become the Day Ruiner for anything giving the rest of the team trouble. As it turns out, I didn’t have to drag his Wrap-having tail through the game nearly as long as I did my Dratini in Emerald. Now he’s deadly at both ends!

Now we got something else to do. Namely:

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This Gym.

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Petition to make Champ-to-be the new dude in terms of being applied everywhere.

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My strategy revolves around not those types, but Grass’ other weaknesses.

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The Gym is like a clock that doesn’t tell time (unless… the time it shows is the time of your appointment to beat the next Trainer). Beat a Trainer, the hands move. Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the beatings.

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Let’s!

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Gardenia’s team has a weird theme going on. Her Turtwig here has Sunny Day, but I’ve never seen it used. Sunny Day would boost Gardenia’s next Pokemon (a Cherrim. Spoilers), but it’s not THAT huge a boost. It’s like a Sunny Day team created by a kid who has only heard the words “Sunny Day team.”

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If I were better at Pokemon games, I would be making a comment about how I cleverly attempt to trick the AI into wasting Potions on something besides the Leader’s ace.

I’m not so this is all dumb luck.

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Regardless, this Turtwig just puts up a Reflect, gets healed, and never sets up Sunny Day.

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Cherrim’s ability boosts its Attack and Special Defense in sunlight… but Gardenia’s just has Special attacks.

WAIT HOW IS GRASS KNOT SPECIAL IT’S LITERALLY USING A ROOT TO TRIP THE OPPONENT

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It can only mostly bring Sid down… and it still doesn’t matter.

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I mean, he’s been getting all these good Physical attacks, so…

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Turns out it doesn’t really matter what the Turtwig and Cherrim get up to. Tuxedo Mask here is THAT much of an issue.

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Yeah, it’s not playing with its attacks.

But they say, when all you have is a weirdly shaped hammer, you learn to make its quirks work for you.

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Anything to even the playing field. If I’d been thinking more I would’ve tagged Mina in just to Thunder Wave it, but I was fixated on Grass resisting Electric and her being not useful.

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The Speed drop even lets Anomalo get two hits in and crosses over the Berry Threshold.

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But, uh. You already saw it did 40 damage in one NORMAL effective hit.

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And Dogu can’t one-shot it.

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And Castellia can’t finish it off from that point.

At this point I know that Gardenia has a second Potion (because this is actually take… three or four. This Roserade has been a brick wall). In the red means it’ll probably get used.

Of course, if it doesn’t, Roserade 100% takes out Castellia.

But if it does…

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The Roserade leaped back into the fray, ready to strike, but was instead puzzled as Castellia rolled over beside it and closed down all the flakes on her pinecone. And why did each one have “FRONT TOWARDS ENEMY” written on them?

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Thanks, Castellia.

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badges

Forest Badge lets us use Cut. And by us, I mean Scarfy.

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Rock/Ground types tend to be weighty so Grass Knot can be disproportionately powerful. I mean, I don’t think anyone on this team can learn it. But, y’know, in theory.

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It’s nice that Gardenia’s so encouraging even after losing.

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BUT YOU SOUND SARCASTIC, ADVICE GUY.

UPDATE 10: KICK DOWN THE DOOR!

Spamigo would have just left the city after getting the badge. It would’ve been simple just to put one foot in front of the other and walk on our, but there was something looming over the town. Something spiky. Something ominous.

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Something obviously evil.

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So Scarfy gets another tool for her belt!

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OH WELL NEVERMIND WRONG ADDRESS HAHAHAHAHA

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Since Looker didn’t seem to care, Spamigo cast an aside glance at the receptionist, who thankfully was far too absorbed in a celebrity gossip magazine to notice another Galactic Grunt whipping off their disguise to loudly reveal themselves as an InterPol agent.

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“No!” Spamigo replied with sarcasm that was completely missed.

Looker nodded. “Indeed. They are… what is idiom? A few Pokemon short of a full team? A half-empty Potion? A Bicycle wth one wheel? An-”

“Yeah I got it the first time actually.”

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Mysterious. Perhaps if we’d found their boss we’d know what Team Galactic’s goals are!

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Hmm… suspicious.

Anyway. You go up the stairs. Sometimes there’s Trainers at the bottom. Sometimes there’s Trainers at the top. Almost all of them are bog-standard Galactic Grunts, except for…

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This guy. This guy I’m always going to remember.

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Scientist Trevon.

Years upon years ago, right after I’d first heard about the Nuzlocke challenge and binged through the Nuzlocke archives, I dug up my favorite DS Pokemon game (Platinum) and popped it in and started playing. It wasn’t so bad! I even ended up getting a Shinx and a Ponyta, which were mainstays of my team pretty much all through my first Diamond run.

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And then I get here. A Kadabra that gets fed an X Special. Most of my attacks were Special. I didn’t have anything faster. I wore it down for nothing. My A-lister team got wiped right here and I haven’t had the spirit to do a full Nuzlocke since.

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Almost seems ridiculous now, doesn’t it?

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I’m sure it is, buddy.

Oh right, the plot.

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How can they be evil when they have signs like this around?

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The older man just shook his head. “Our poor region. We were all known for our Zubats and Glameows until Galactic came along and stole them!”

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“Like I already dealt with Mars?”

“Mars?” Jupiter laid the scoff on extra thick for maximum derision. “Mars is a brat that’s barely above being a Grunt. You’ll see what makes a Commander now!”

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For some reason I always underestimate what moves a Zubat’s going to know.

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“That’s not a Bite. This is a Bite.”

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Want to see something stupid?

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I don’t look things up while I’m playing, so I forgot Skuntank was Poison/Dark and would’ve been immune anyway.

Skuntank, of course, does not evolve until level 38. After reviewing the facts I have come to endorse the Fat Stunky Theory. Teach the controversy!

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Didn’t apply your debuff in time you walking fart joke!

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I’m just going to say that sometimes it doesn’t feel like Paralysis only has a 25% chance of eating a turn.

Also this thing is annoyingly tanky.

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It finally batters Mina down.

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GRIND ITS SPEED INTO DIRT! I WANT SLOWPOKES TO BE ABLE TO BEAT IT ON THE TRACK!

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He’s totally allowed to learn that!

Level 19 and still doesn’t know a Bug move, just wanted to point that out.

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“How long does it take to look at a statue?”

“IT TOOK TWO WEEKS JUST TO HIRE A GRUNT THAT COULD READ!”

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There was something that ticked familiarly in the back of Spamigo’s mind about looking into the ancient Pokemon but no memories surfaced.

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This guy here is the Bicycle Shop owner. You can probably guess where this is going!

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But before we can get into RAD RICKSHAW’s shop, we get interrupted again because Eterna’s main export is interruptions.

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Getting something in advance set off alarm bells in Spamigo’s mind now that some complicated favor would be incoming. “I… like the team I have now.”

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“Listen to me, kid. Take. The. Egg.”

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“I’ll take the Egg?”

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“So… What’s in the Egg?”

“You’ll see. It’s useful though, I’ll tell you that much.”

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(this thing is going straight in the box)

(I DIDN’T RNG ROLL AN EGG)

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ANYway, it’s Bicycle in a Pokemon game time! Bind that thing to the quick item button and start rolling around at the speed of sound!

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I wish this did work on an emulator. I mostly liked the Underground. Mostly having an infinite source of Shards and Heart Scales behind a light minigame.

NEXT TIME: WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE’S NOT CUTE?!

UPDATE 11: I Hate This Park And Everyone In It

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So that’s like… four squares from Oreburgh? Not that much of a walk.

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I think you need to find safer ways to de-energize your Geodude.

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I wonder how chilly it gets in Mt. Coronet. I mean Sinnoh is cold (see update 01) and the cave’s got a blue tint over it and blue means cold (see the freezer section) so…

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The blue-haired man stared above them at the ceiling of the cave. His gaze was distant, as though it could pierce the solid rock and see to the peak of Mt. Coronet from where they stood. “In a newly created world… A world where only time flowed and space expanded… There should have been no strife.”

He shook his head and turned his gaze away from the heavens and down towards the dirt. “But what became of that world? Because the human spirit is weak and incomplete, strife has spread… The world is being ruined by it… I find this state of affairs to be deplorable…”

He finally seemed to notice the presence of a kid on a bicycle awkwardly torn between excusing himself and somehow making a polite interjection. Luckily the blue-haired man uttered a brusque “Excuse me” and stormed off, leaving Spamigo feeling the chill of the cave a bit more acutely.

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It was a relief to get back to the sun again.

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So is this like a rabbit food vegetarian bashing thing or do people just not eat Berries in the Pokemon world? I’m confused. Berries look good.

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As we enter Hearthome we’re rushed by a deadly Buneary!

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Or just the adorable kind of Buneary.

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“You can’t do it now?”

“Judge regulations.”

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Something about that name brings a faint hint of familiarity to the back of Spamigo’s mind.

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(there’s nothing else to this I just wanted to reference Shin Mazinger (it’s a good anime))

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Advice Guy tells us that the Gym Leader is at the Contest Hall too.

Do you have to catch that Buneary to fight the Gym Leader?

Did Barry catch the Buneary? Actually he probably could keep pace with a rabbit as long as it was in a straight line.

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Bebe here runs the Pokemon Storage system in Sinnoh. She wants to give you an Eevee, but I didn’t RNG roll an Eevee at the start of this.

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Is the Buneary the Gym Leader?

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Mom’s first name isn’t Mom?

Anyway Keira and Mom talk about Contests and she gives you some accessory before leaving.

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Mom meanwhile has been busy driving her opponents to tears on the Contest circuit and gives you fancy clothes to wear if you do a Contest.

I’m not doing Contests .

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If that ain’t the most mom line possible.

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Oh wait is that an NPC with a unique sprite over there?

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“Actually… I’m not planning on doing any Contests.”

“Oh thank heaven. You are for to the Gym Challenge then?”

“…Yes?”

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I’d like to imagine Fantina’s got a real developed stage voice and can easily project to the back of the theater. So Spamigo’s been deafened and everyone else has heard every word of this conversation.

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Aww, Mina. I hear there’s a nice park in Hearthome.

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…Mina’s not cute?

LOOK ME IN THE EYES AND TELL ME THAT WILHELMINA IS NOT CUTE.

NEXT TIME: Spamigo Gets Ghosted

UPDATE 12: SPAMIGO GETS GHOSTED

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Hearthome Gym! It’s supposed to be pitch black and you can only see what’s illuminated by your flashlight but… that didn’t want to work in DeSmuME.

So I get to just run straight through.

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Kinda claustrophobic for a Gym Leader room, isn’t it? Comparatively speaking, I mean.

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Fantina does a twirl before she laughs at double text size volume.

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Her dress is based on Drifblim and I think Drifblim is cool so I think the dress c’est une good.

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Non?

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See it’s got the little plus and everything.

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Reina uses Focus Energy to boost her crit chance, while Duskull sets up Future Sight.

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…Okay? She wasn’t using her Attack anyway!

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Reina’s taking a lot of punishment but she just pushed the Duskull below the Potion Threshold, and…

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A timely crit basically undoes that Super Potion! But she is at 10 HP.

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Which isn’t a lot of HP if you’re a Horsea.

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Anomalo tags in and takes out the Duskull.

Which saddens me a bit because as a mecha nerd I’ve always been tickled by Duskull’s Zeon monoeye thing it has going on. If I ever trained a Duskull I’d name it Zaku I. Then Zaku II when it evolves. Dusknoir can be Psycho Zaku.

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I love it when free status effects hit my opponent.

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I believe some Paralysis rolls helped, but Mina’s also just trading blows pretty well here.

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Even through the Super Potion she comes out on top.

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And now I’m VERY glad that I got Fantina to burn her Super Potions on not this Mismagius. It’s going to be a challenge to-

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Oh look Quick Claw activated. Getting the speed advantage on this witch will make things easier.

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That was still predictable though. You did a good job, Mina.

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ANOMALO! GRIND THAT SPEED STAT INTO THE DUST! THE DUST!

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you’d think that since i look up gym leader teams before the battle (but not during) i’d remember which mons have berries and have Castellia use Bug Bite

you’d be wrong but you could think that all the same

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You hit more than enough, Anomalo. I’m sure that in a different RPG system, we’d be taking two turns to each of the Mismagius’ one.

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Anyway, since this thing likes its Psybeam so much, we’ll give it a taste of the ol’ Poison/D-

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wat

IS THE EMULATOR BUGGING OUT NOW?!

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hurry hurry move past it before it realize it broke the type chart

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I’m glad I don’t have to clean up the piles of rubble.

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Badges

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Sadly Anomalo’s claws are not shadowy enough to make use of this move. You might call that a flaw but I’ve always thought his tangibility was a beautiful thing.

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Thanks Fantina.

I’m still a little jealous of how many cool Ghost Pokemon are on your teams.

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I SPECIFICALLY DO NOT THANK YOU, ADVICE GUY.

UPDATE 13: Class Aves Is My Nemesis

Leaving Hearthome, we run into…


A note of mercy is that you can just turn around right here and not start the battle. Apparently between developing Platinum and White/Black GameFreak decided that letting the player know a rival battle was coming was “for suckers.”




I think right around when I originally took these screenshots was when Pokemon Masters was released and everyone was sharing that dialog box about how you shouldn’t bully people into battling with you.

This dang bird and it’s Double Team.


It leads with Double Team to boost evasion. If you don’t hit it, I’m quite sure it’ll keep going until it’s maximally evasive. Did you hit it without knocking it out? You just turned on Endeavor, which’ll set your HP to match its HP. It’s also fast so while it’s dodging everything it’s probably also going first, and just in case it ever had to worry about that it also has Quick Attack.

I’ll be quite honest there were several attempts that couldn’t reasonably get past this bird. I got one hit in, but then no others and was left facing a Staravia with 14 HP and max evasion. If I don’t win here early against the bird then I could very easily just be swept by it.

In every random team run it always comes back to the birds.

One of the flaws that makes me an interesting and complex character is that even when the RNG is influenced, mentally I see these failures as do to the RNG rather than my strategy. “It would’ve worked, I just rolled bad,” is my thinking. So I kept using Wilhelmina at the start.

Why, then, did I never try to use Thunder Wave even after exposing Paralysis as one of my favorite things to do?

No I was actually asking, I don’t have an answer.



See? Had Mina not connected for the second hit she would’ve taken a Wing Attack and been out. Endeavor bypasses defenses and resistances, so no one would’ve been safe.


This Buziel has learned to float like a Butterfree (metaphorically, it doesn’t have Levitate) and get in with the quick blows.



It does not know how to sting like a Beedrill (metaphorically, Buziel doesn’t have a stinger).


Nnnnnnnnnnnah.

Next, we see Barry’s turtle in its natural habitat.



Raising its physical defense.


This took me by surprise a bit when I was playing, but…


Yeah I’d swap out too if I was never going to damage a high-Defense Bug type.


I just have better options if we’re playing this game at this stage.


Bar-

Barry are you trying?


Now I almost feel bad.


And so the circle is closed, we have returned to where we begun.

Except now that Grotle doesn’t have a boosted Defense.



I have no idea where her biting mouthparts are, but she does, and that’s all that matters.


If it’s any consolation this was my third or fourth try.




“Man Spamigo you’ve really gotten better in a hurry huh?”

“…Well I-”

“I mean it felt like it was like just the other day all you did was keep trying to tackle and I thought you were going to cry when you lost!” Barry spoke a mile a minute, trampling over Spamigo’s growing frustration.

I WASN-”



As the door swung closed behind the rapidly departing Barry, Spamigo looked exasperatedly at the wobbly but standing Wilhelmina, eyebrows furrowed. “I wasn’t going to cry, was I?”

So question now:
How did Barry beat Fantina? Did the bird get lucky? I don’t think he got there with Ember, Water Gun, and Razor Leaf.

UPDATE 14: SUPER PUNCH OUT!

So some things happened before getting to Maylene!



And if I built this Forretress
Around your heart (WOAH-OH)
Encircled you in entrance haz-ards (WOAH-OH)
Then let me tank it all
For I cannot clear the Stealth Rocks (WOAH-OH)
And let me dodge the 4x Flamethrowers

Forretress has nine resistances, one immunity, and only one weakness! And a base Defense of 140! Sure I especially need to keep her away from Special Fire-type attacks but other than that I’m not sure what’s going to hurt her. Bug/Steel cover each others bases pretty well, it turns out.


Sure. She’s more a Physical attacker, but it’s still a STAB move.



Once, she relied on her extremely staticky wool to generate the electricity for her attacks. She could not use the power herself, except to build it up externally and channel the creation from without.

Now the power comes from within her.


Sure? I don’t know why Ampharos gets Thunderpunch and Firepunch considering it’s decidedly more a Special attacker, but I can hit Physical and Special Defense now?


Spamigo wasn’t sure how to make this question less awkward: “Dawn were… you just waiting here the whole time?”

“No. No, no. I’ve been working on the Pokedex,” she said with some emphasis, “I ran into Barry- Well, more like he ran into me on his way out of town, but I was just stopping here to check out the department store. I really wanted to get to the department store and check the bookstore for the next book in this really sweet series that I’m reading.”

“…Oh? What’s it about?”

“It’s really romantic, about this girl who’s going to be a Pokemon researcher and she meets a boy doing the Gym Challenges and I nearly cried reading the part where their paths separate because he doesn’t know how important she really is to him.” She let out a sigh and shook her head slightly. "It’d be nice to have something that romantic happen.” Her voice dropped like she was talking to herself, but not far enough that he couldn’t hear.

This was one of those points where Spamigo really had no idea how to respond except with, “Uh… I hope it does.”

It was hard to tell with her bangs partially hiding her gaze, but her eye might have twitched a bit. “Thanks, but that’s okay. I’m starting to learn not to get my hopes up.”


Presented without comment:








Crasher Wake is my favorite Gym Leader in this game. Yeah Fantina has all the cool Ghost-types but she’s not a triple-threat.

Anyway, Maylene!


I hate this Gym. The puzzle is pushing punching bags around but it locks you in place while the camera follows the bag slooooooowly trundling down the rack. And there was enough time between my clearing the Gym for levels and facing Maylene that I forgot the solution.

At any rate, I’d been thinking some and realized that I only ever show the successful battles in these things. I’d resolved to try to show how many attempts can go into one of these… But then I cleared the Gym on my first try. I guess it just goes to show that sometimes when you finally face your problems, you find out they’re not as big as you thought.





Ah, a Medicham after my own heart.

Now, you might say, “Spammy, I remember when you posted the team approximately one Middle-Earth age ago. Surely your Psychic-type Claydol can sweep this Gym.”

“Very observant,” I might reply, “But Maylene’s Gym is actually well protected against all but the speediest Psychic types.”



Now, this Meditite can’t really do effective damage to Dogu. But Dogu’s Psybeams only hit for neutral damage thanks to Medicham’s Psychic-type…


So this is not really an easily won encounter.


Her Machoke is faster than Dogu, which is especially bad because Dogu does not possess a great deal of Physical Defense. How does Dogu get out of this one?


Sheer dumb luck.


Ha ha ha no, you’re not beating a Lucario.



I finally remember that I love Thunder Wave and use it.

Now, Lucario does take neutral damage from Psychic type attacks. At the time I did this Gym I assumed Steel was immune to Psychic because I always assume that Steel is immune to Psychic because… The Juggernaut and Magneto’s helmets protect them from telepaths.

You heard me.

Lucario also gets Bone Rush, one of Marowak’s Ground-type signature moves, for reasons I didn’t understand in 2007 and don’t understand any better now. I’m guessing the AI never uses it because it’s only looking at one hit and not the average effective power.

Maylene I’m not sure I know what it means to be strong either but using your supereffective attacks seems like a good thing to include.


Getting lucky on Paralysis rolls so far!


…Fine.


Slightly less of one now!

I did not switch out Wilhelmina here. I should have done so, it hadn’t been but a minute since I saw that her Lucario would outspeed Mina all things being equal.


At least it couldn’t recover a lot of HP off of Drain Punch.


Reina closes it out.



badges

“What?” Spamigo thought, “Am I just going to trip over a Fly HM in a warehouse somewhere?”



60 power, 100 accuracy, physical Fighting type attack. No one on this team can learn it. I’d love to give it to Anomalo, but he doesn’t have fists!





Maylene’s Gym is inspirational.

[

“Dawn… were you-”

"NO."


NEXT TIME: LEGITIMATE COIN ACQUISITION!

…In two weeks. I shall be going on a week-and-a-half vacation and won’t be updating the LP on the road, I’m afraid. I’ll see you all then!

For the game that I love so much… for the completion of this thread! LP.ZONE! I HAVE RETURNED!

UPDATE 15: The Calm Before the PPV

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“I’m warning you! If you don’t give me that Pokedex back you and your stupid hair are going-” There was a tone that Spamigo hadn’t heard from Dawn before. The two Galactic Grunts were standing noticeably out of arm’s reach and doing their best not to glance nervously at one another. One of them was a bit too obvious about looking at Spamigo as he walked closer, cluing in Dawn to turn around before she got too deep into the threats.

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“Just the two of them?”

“There were more.”

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Man I can’t spice this up any. They’re Galactic Grunts. I love Galactic Grunts, the competition between Galactic Grunts and Skull Grunts comes down to which game I played most recently, but it’s not like they’re a threat.

Highlights include:

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Gravity Manipulation!

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Power Trick swaps the user’s Attack and Defense stats. Dogu does have more Defense than Attack, but it’s not so extreme I want to swap them.

Now if Castellia could learn Power Trick she could become an incredibly slow glass cannon!

Wait that doesn’t sound good either.

Spoilers: This battle doesn’t last long and the only reason I ever had to switch out Dogu is they sent out something immune to Psybeam.

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And right on schedule…

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Dawn groaned and dug her forehead into her palm, shaking her head a few times. “Sorry, sorry. It’s just been a stressful day. Blurted that out without thinking. I’m just gonna go now… Good luck, Spamigo.”

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Looker turned away, stroked his chin, and furrowed his brow. “The greater mystery it is perhaps why the Policia Internacional would send I, the Looker, known for expertise of interdimensional incidents, to investigate miniscule misdemeanors.”

“Wait what?”

Looker swiveled his gaze to glare at Spamigo while barely moving his head. " You heard nothing. "

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Again, Spamigo considered whether he could get enough distance before Looker turned around to not have to deal with the strange man further, but ultimately decided against it.

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And someone did just shove a Fly TM into Spamigo’s hands.

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What was it that was making it so that Team Galactic kept moving their operations to the next town Spamigo was going to?

So unrelated to that, at approximately this time Spamigo used an AR code got an email from an Unovan prince who needed 200 Pokebux to access his large store of Game Corner coins (all the Game Corners belong to the same worldwide network and use interchangable coins) and would send a large supply to Spamigo in payment and this time it wasn’t a scam!

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Now we’re playing with power!

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The Wide Lens is +10% base accuracy to all moves. Rock Tomb goes from 80% to 88% and Metal Claw goes from 95% to 100% (Technically 104.5%). He’s not putting the lens down for a while.

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Birdon joins the team as Designated Fly Haver and cripes. Defog will save me some time down the road but look at this! The That Bird moveset is practically Staravia’s default level up moves.

I’m starting to realize that between Starly, Shinx, and Ponyta you can be pretty set for your lategame team before you face the first Gym.

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Oh no. He’s learning.

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So uh… This battle is actually extremely underwhelming.

While all his Pokemon have gotten some levels and a few more powerful moves (sorry Ponyta), it’s still functionally the same team as he had in Hearthome.

Meanwhile I spent thousands of coins on high-power TMs.

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Yeah.

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It’s okay I looked ahead and I’m already not looking forward to the next battle.

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Spamgio called out, “Barry you can’t sing though! You got us kicked out of the karaoke place!”

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Congratulations Reina! Now technically at any point now I could AR code in Spamigo could trip over a Dragon Scale and evolve Reina into a Kingdra. Ultimate Pokemon Randomizer has a feature to fix impossible evolutions, which usually means adding an alternate method so that trading is not required. So rather than trade a Seadra holding a Dragon Scale, you just have your Seadra level up while carrying a Dragon Scale.

I’m going to hold off on this for now and evolve her… Somewhere in the 40s 50? Seadra to Kingdra seems like something that should happen between 40 and 45.

And with Reina evolved I think it’s time for a TEAM UPDATE!

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Return isn’t the best on Wilhelmina since she’s more Special-slanted, but it’s a non-Electric move until she learns her Special coverage moves.

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Dogu has a lot of Special Defense but not as much Physical Defense. Reflect to halve Physical damage in theory makes them a better all-round tank.

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On the list of “Things I didn’t know” is that Seviper is actually even with its Physical and Special attack stats and can learn Flamethrower. That’s just going to be something I keep in the back of my mind as we approach the Steel and Ice gyms.

Also my giant murder snakes knocks things out more effectively because I treat it well.

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Reina’s growing into having a diverse move list! I probably shouldn’t have replaced Bubblebeam with Brine but if we’re being honest every Water move in that slot is just a placeholder for Surf. Not going to pretend Reina wasn’t always the Designated Surf Haver.

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Soon, Anomalo, you’ll be the Attack monster. Buff up with Swords Dance and then start going to town. Interestingly, despite the animation always being someone doing a karate chop, Brick Break does not require hands to use!

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Castellia has a lot of Phsyical Defense but not as much Special Defense. Light Screen to halve Special damage in theory makes her a better all-round tank.

I’m… mostly sure I got that right.

Rest is pretty iffy in this list without giving her a Chesto Berry for the immediate wake up. But honestly I wanted to try something new since I only play Pokemon games single-player and have never messed with any tactic beyond “Have a bunch of move types and hold down the attack button.”

NEXT TIME:

UPDATE 16: CRASHERMANIA’S RUNNING WILD!

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In preparation for this battle, Spamigo had studied the PPV record and realized that when Crasher Wake looks defeated and his opponent tried to remove his mask that just gave Wake the motivation to power up thanks to the energy of the tides and the love of his fans and then no-sell two hits before ending things with the Tsunami Overcrash.

So don’t go for the mask.

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In my head, Crasher Wake doesn’t have an indoor voice.

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LET’S RUMBLE!

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Now, Gyarados can pack a punch so we’ll have to be caref- oh look Quick Claw activated.

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It bugs me that Quick Claw only has a very indistinct animation and not a message.

Anyway Quagsire is Water/Ground so we’re not just going to be able to shock it.

At the time I assumed it also had a Ground-type move (it does) in addition to the requisite Water attack so Anomalo, Sid, and Dogu are out. So I thought why not send Castellia in? Bug resists Ground for some reason.

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Did you know that Toxic can miss?

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Did you know that Castellia seems to take two shots to zero in and land a Toxic?

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Funnily enough, I DID remember to give Castellia a Chesto Berry, so this Yawn didn’t stick.

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And in doing so discovered how to break this Quagsire’s AI, since it kept reapplying Yawn instead of using Water Pulse.

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Now Floatzels are fast and this one has Aqua Jet because it’s not enough to be probably faster than everything else, you need a priority move so th- oh look Quick Claw activated.

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Yeah that’s fair you kinda… uh… didn’t actually battle a lot here.

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badges

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Reina you have just enough time to decide what dipping sauce you want for your HM.

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Brine doubles in power if the target is below 50% health which… probably has utility? If it still counted the double-damage if you attack the turn the opponent uses a Potion it definitely would but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way.

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That’s something that comes up in a lot of fields. Focusing only on the end result puts you into a more negative headspace, where focusing on the process and enjoyment in the moment lets you play better. Of course I’d expect a Face like Crasher Wake to be all about lifting up friendly challengers.

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Yeah yeah Advice Guy, I’m onto you.

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And so, energized by the earning of a badge and the kind words of a Gym Leader, Spamigo steps out into the evening air, thinking it sure would be a shame if this evening got interrupted.

But you can already see Barry running in.

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Mr. Wake? I thought he had two first names and they were Crasher and Wake.

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So does your mask burn when people say your name?

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Barry’s voice actor in my mental narration can’t play off calling someone “Master” like Domon Kasshu, sorry.

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“You’re good, you don’t need me.”

“I DECIDED I NEED YOU.”

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[deus ex reference here]

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NEXT TIME: Explosion sounds.

UPDATE 17: Chasing the Feeling

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Alias The Looker let out a hum as he stroked his chin like people did when they were being thoughtful. “So as you are saying the Team Galactic…”

“Blew up part of the Pastoria Marsh,” Spamigo explained with an exasperation that was lost on his companion.

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“How fiendishness. And according to you, then the Crasher Wake…”

“Went to suplex the bomb or something.”

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“And so you were to begun the immediate persuit of the admitted wrongdoer and did hound him with dogged determination.”

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“Yes, and-”

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Spamigo did not let out a sigh the entire length of the time spent catching up to Looker, but it was close.

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I’m going to admit that I’m pretty fond of humor like this.

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To be fair, if I’d been actually running for this long I would be huffing and puffing and considering the benefits of the void.

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Although it seems like he was running less because he wanted to save time and more because someone sent him out with only one Pokemon.

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I wonder what the worldwide stats are on Croagunks that Shuddered and ate a Psychic-type move.

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Were you dropping Pokeballs to save the weight or something?

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So he staggers off extremely slowly. Maybe humming the credits music from the Incredible Hulk show.

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And Cynthia shows up, apparently after having watched him walk off.

Unless…

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The lake you say…

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Spamigo reflexively cut in with “The tourism board put that sign up.”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

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“Barry we’ve been friends forever and you think you’ve never met my sister?”

“I dunno man it maybe she’s like your long lost sister who faked her own death in order to protect her family but then you end up meeting anyway and obviously the bad guys are gonna find out first and then it’s like a big thing and-”

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“Wait what?”

“Yeah it turns out it was just one of those big noisemakers they use to try to scare birds off with.”

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Hope Barry doesn’t trip over the poor Galactic Grunt who’s probably passed out just off screen.

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Oh yeah there’s a bunch of Psyduck. Just like mounded up. All of them doing that pose that Psyduck do. It’s like headaches are magnetic and draw them together.

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“…Isn’t this a fire extinguisher?”

“It only looks like a fire extinguisher. It’s full of medicine. Just spray it on them.”

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“But… They already didn’t find any caves or magic Pokemon in the lakes.”

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Well bye Cynthia.

NEXT TIME: What do you mean that guy was important to the plot?


Okay for real though ALL I’M SAYING is we never saw Cynthia and that Galactic Grunt on the screen at the same time.