Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am Not a Cat Person

Some day, I'll have to come back and case the underground path for hidden items. I know they're there, it's just a lot of ground to cover and I'm lazy. All of a sudden, I'm back up on the surface, and route 6 awaits. I've got a full party, plus my backup rattata, so although I'm not as desperately in need of more pokemon, I am excited to be able to actually choose who to keep and level up. Odds in the grass here aren't bad... 35% shot at another meowth, but otherwise its a pidgey or a bellsprout. I really want a bellsprout now, but I also love the flying type. Good thing it'll choose for me.

Screw you game. Screw you. I was gonna take a crack at how, having said I want anything but the meowth, I was clearly going to get another meowth. Seriously, 3 pokemon, and it gives me the worst choice twice in a row?! UGH. I'll catch it, but I'm not very motivated to even train the one I've got... what route am I hitting next? Well, 7 has a small shot at a vulpix as well as the pidgey/bellsprout, which is really cool. But, it's meowth odds go up 5% to 40%. We all know how that's going to turn out.

Turns out my meowth is the jealous type. The wild one is L10, mine is L15, and my next weakest are all L20, so I figure the safest way to slowly work it down is to have my meowth scratch it a couple times. Training back on route 4 showed me how weak his attack stat is, so I'm thinking two scratches should be a good enough set up. Nope. Opening attack crits, one hit KO. On the plus side, my meowth leveled on the kill, so there's that. No huge loss.

So you can use teleport whenever you want outside battle to warp back to the last "healing spot" you used? Yes please! Even when there's a safe path back, this is a whole lot more convenient. But first, a L20 butterfree has just confused, then slept, my geodude. No one else really has any type advantages, but will he still be confused after he wakes up? I know you can't be poisoned and asleep, but confusion is listed as a "volatile" status ailment (i.e. gone after battle) and sleep is non-volatile, so maybe they can stack... well, time to pop an awakening and see. Well, the opponent tried to supersonic me immediately after I woke up, but geodude is already confused. So yeah. They stack. Balls.

Aaaand now he's paralyzed too. Ugh. Still, rock throw is x4 effective, and we're equal level. I only need one to get through. Boom goes the dynamite! I'm both very proud of geodude, and very disappointed that a butterfree spamming (and always hitting) with all of its status moves still can't win. Sleep powder, supersonic, stun spore... they really are as bad as I think they are. Ah well, good thing I only really use sleep, and they don't all have awakenings lying around like I do.

Geodude leveled up! And he's trying to learn selfdestruct? As dramatic as a sacrificial kill would be in some climatic battle, it really isn't worth a slot. I'll think about explosion when it comes up though. It would really be the best way to finish off BOWSA at the very end XD

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Take it like a Drill

Hoping to put my bad luck behind me, I'm aiming for another pokemon on route 25. It's got the same rates in the grass as 24, so why not? Same reasons apply.

Oooooh, found an abra this time. I'm a bit worried, since it can use a move on the round it wakes up, which will be teleport. I pop a successful sleep powder, he stays asleep. I know I've got 1-4 rounds of this, which is very very little. One confusion move does about 30% damage, it stays sleeping. Not worth risking any more, so I throw the pokeball and NAIL it! About time my luck changed.

All set to take on misty. But first, the State of the Party! L22 wartortle, L21 butterfree, L20 raticate, L19 geodude, L16 kadabra. The strategy is this: lead with butterfree against the staryu. Sleep powder, then confusions until I get the KO. Switch out for wartortle (for the protection from water attacks) and take advantage of starmie's half-psychic type with bite attacks. If wartortle doesn't win that slugfest (or butterfree has trouble getting sleep powder to take), raticate is backing up with hyper fang. He can take at least one hit coming out of the ball, and with STAB hyper fang has 120 base power, same as wartortle's bite (thanks to type effectiveness). Here goes!

Hehehe... totally forgot there are other gym trainers in here. I guess I'll try out wartortle and see how he fairs. Yep, he and butterfree are gonna be fine. Ok, actually taking on misty now. Butterfree doesn't even get hit, despite misty's super potion. Wartortle gets knocked down to about 1/3 health by a crit, but its only moments before he finishes off starmie. Two badges down, six to go.

Route 9 to the east is blocked, and route 5 won't quite get me to Saffron city yet, so I'll have to take the underground path. But first, as always, it's new pokemon time! Route 5 is going to be good to me. The possibilities are pidgey, meowth, and bellsprout. Meowth would be an interesting pick, and the other two would will plug holes in the party.

It's a meowth. Probably the least directly useful, but certainly kinda cool. Only level 14, so he'll need some work, but another dude with bite is always nice.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Serial Failues

So the decision was made: power level a bit on route 4, then hit up nugget bridge and milk the trainers to the north before coming back for misty. Mankey needs to level the most, and the spearows here are mostly L10, and rarely even use peck. A single hit is only 30% or so of her health, so I'm feeling pretty safe. Oh hey, fury swipes? I recall this move being pretty good, figure I'll give it a try before heading back for healing (Mankey's got about half health).

Did you not see this coming? I didn't. 'Cuz I'm a fool. L12 spearow this time, goes straight for peck, gets a crit. Mankey II goes down- hard. Didn't even hit with the swipes either. Mankeys appear to be terrible luck for me... but I must soldier on.

Nugget bridge is pathetic. Butterfree literally wrecked everyone. Tried to give rattata a little bit of XP, but butterfree was just too good. Confusion gets super effectiveness against poisons, which is about half of the pokemon on that bridge, and the lone high level mankey. Sleep powder combos to take down the rest easily enough. I think she almost gained 3 levels on those 7 trainers (I'm counting the camper on the left too).

Now, more importantly; new route! Again I have the option to wait and swim for some water types later, but I'll defer them to cities and my awesome wartortle. How's the grass? Well, 24% chance of a caterpie/metapod, but otherwise good options. Weedle/kakuna is not actually that bad- I'm a fan of beedrill. Pidgey would fill my flying gap nicely. Bellsprout would finally give me someone good against water, which I desperately need since who knows if I'll ever catch an electric type. And abra, well, kadabra is one of the strongest psychics. So, knowing my luck recently, this'll be a caterpie.

Pidgey! Booyah. Set up wartortle, get a couple bubbles in, but I'm not confident a third bubble won't kill it. Bring back butterfree, and I poison the poor bird. Let that work its health down for a couple turns, then use sleep powder. If it works, this will put the pidgey to sleep, which boosts the odds of capture more than poison and prevent it from dying after I catch it. Of course, sleep powder only works 75% of the time, but it'd have to fail twice (1/16th chance) for the pidgey to die of poison.

Again, can you see where this is headed? I had slept him at the opening of the battle already, so I knew he didn't have vital spirit or anything, but why would that stop me? Two failed attempts, and pidgey is no more. Didn't even get the chance to catch this one... le *sigh*.

Roommate-boy (aka RIP) thinks that since a pokemon can only have one status ailment at a time, one that is already poisoned would be immune to sleep powder. I had always thought that sleep powder would cure the poison and put them to sleep. I can't confirm or deny which it is, so I guess it's crowd sourcing time! Anyone know more?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do Your Research: A Cautionary Tale

Mount moon, and the next member of my party is... a geodude! Hallelujah! Some sleep powder and even leveled mankey low kicking, and she is mine. Of course, I've got two level 8s now, which I really ought to level more... somewhere without poison pointed nidorans and poison stinging weedles. *sigh*

Mount moon was... kinda dull. Healing often, got a bunch of items, some nice leveling up. Took the helix fossil, in case I feel like grabbing omanyte later. Route 4 was a choice for new pokemon though: wait for now, and come back to grab a water type (very good shot at a krabby, which I've never used before) or go into the grass now, and risk a 35% shot at a spearow? I could really use a flyer, and I figure I can catch a water type inside most cities (nothing else to do there but fish) so I'll try for the grass.

Nope. Rattata. Guess I've got a back up now, and although the extra mankey came in use awfully quickly, I'm really hoping to keep my current rattata. I like him.

... dammit. Emotionally bonded already. This is definitely going to end poorly...

Oh, in other news, roommate-boy (aka premature ejection) beelined it for misty. I guess he forgot that gym leaders are often 10 levels above the surrounding pokemon, and the stuff in mount moon was only a few levels behind him already. Oh, and remember how he took charmander? At this point, without bulbasaur, you really don't have anything with type effectiveness, so you gotta be doubly careful to overlevel. So anyway, he went in with L23 charmeleon, L16 butterfree, and L16 magikarp (tackle FTW). So butterfree knocks out the L21 staryu. Good start, but they have a fairly strong move called "water pulse."

Aaaaand there's the L21 starmie. Charmeleon tries to get a mega punch in, and does maybe 20% damage at most. Of course, starmies are known for speed, and the only reason that first hit got in at all is that he had 2 HP left. Butterfree takes a hit and hits back, but goes down after the second. And just like that, he's got no one left at a high enough level to take a hit, and starmie is well over half health. A few brutal rounds later, and the whole party is KO'd.

Game over man. Game over.

Paranoid Pokemon Pose Preventable Problems

Ok, a quick state of the union. Level 13 squirtle and rattata are my main boys, ready to bring the house down on Brock (once I get there). Butterfree's sittin' pretty at level 12. Looking to level her a bit more for sleep powder, for sealing the deal on catching what I can. Mankey's bringing up the rear at level 7, but she's got some real potential. Time to hit up viridian, with antidotes spilling out my bag.

Pretty easy on the whole it turns out. Butterfree's wrecking of poison types is more than enough, so I cleared the entire forest in one go. Pewter city, and an easy badge, await.

Stupid mankey is too low leveled to even handle the gym trainer. I don't really want to risk poison costs to train in veridian, so squirtle will just get me through this. Yep, one hits both of brock's guys. Time for trainers, and the massive xp they represent. Also, a new pokemon on route 3...

I'm kinda hoping for a pidgey. I could use a flyer, but odds are I won't get a spearow (and I use those normally anyway). Another rattata would be a bit disappointing, and jigglypuff is kinda underpowered. Drum roll please... oh. huh. Another mankey. Well... that's sorta meh. This ones higher level than my first, so I won't use it unless disaster falls. I guess I just have to hope I don't end up with a zubat from mount moon now.

So there's a lass on this road with a jigglypuff. I lead with rattata, but after a quick nip, he falls in love with her!! Not a good sign. Fortunately, he was more than happy to finish her off and beat her into unconsciousness. Ok, maybe not fortunately, given that my rattata probably has some serious emotional issues.

NOOOOOOoooooo!!! Foolish power leveling of mankey went horrible awry. I figured he could take an under leveled spearow. I forgot about critical hits. My very first loss... not feeling it too too terribly though. I did already have another mankey, although she started at a higher level, but that's fine. A good lesson learned, at not too high a cost. Still... critical hits suck. I have a bad feeling that they'll come back to haunt me again someday.

Some safer power leveling of the new mankey, then mount moon. Apparently I've got a 69% chance of getting a zubat on floor 1, so I might as well resign myself to that now.

Justified Paranoia

A slow start, even with turbo mode for power grinding. Since I don't have pokeballs the first time I encounter a wild pokemon on route 1, there's no hope of catching one here ever. Ouch. Fortunately, route 2 gives me a level 2 rattata! Just what I want, and low enough to really benefit from training. Let the power leveling begin!

Ok, time for a brief trip into Viridian forest. Hoping for a pikachu, but get a metapod instead. Level 4, which is respectably low for this region, but would have preferred a caterpie for tackle. This one is gonna take a long time to evolve... although apparently butterfree comes out at level 10, so maybe not *that* long.

Nope. Forever. Splitting xp with rattata and squirtle actually lets her beat rattata to 10. Yay butterfree! Now to get rattata up enough to hyper fang, and I can go take on BOWSA near victory road.

Disaster strikes! Roommate-boy (aka fuzzy sunrise) loses his rattata! Sloppy power leveling and a distinct lack of my paranoia, and the poor soul is lost forever. Now I'm even more careful. If I don't have a backup pokemon at more than half health, it's back to the pokemon center for me. Spent half my purse on antidotes to. Viridian might get dicey.

Ok, new pokemon on route 22 before facing BOWSA. Oh man, a mankey? I don't think I've ever caught one of these here, but it's only level 2. Great for the long term, but I'm more than a little concerned that squirtle will just drop her straight up. Bubble's low attack power is finally going to come in handy... winning. Almost a kill but not quite, perfect set up for the first pokeball. A freaking mankey?! I'm so excited.

Ok, focus. Time to face da BOWSA. Thanks to roommate-boy (aka break and enter), I happen to know all he's got is a bulbasaur and pidgey, around level 9. Rattata's got hyper fang, at level 13. Pidgey goes down to a one hit KO, and I realize that butterfree's confusion is super effective against poisons. I though bulbasaur might only add poison after evolving, but nope! Not quite a KO, he puts a weak tackle up, and just like that, the "mighty" BOWSA is down for the count. Time to go train up mankey, and fantasize about how easy Brock will be.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nuzlocke for Life (or Death)

So there's this thing that crazy folks (like me) are apparently want to do. It's called a "Nuzlocke Challenge", and I've been talked into it j_verts. If you're too lazy to google it, here's what I'm talking about. The rules are fairly simple: Play through a pokemon game. Catch only the first pokemon in any given area (no second chances if it faints or flees). Any time a pokemon faints for any reason, it is now "dead", and you must release it immediately.

Yep. Gonna be that kind of a summer. My roommate started his own such run yesterday on Fire Red, so I'll be doing Leaf Green, assuming I have the ROM (I do!). Let's get it on.

Oh Oak. You slay me. First choice: boy or girl? I figure this only affects pronouns (do they even ever use any?) and appearance, so really it comes down to who looks more badass. Naturally they don't show you in game, so the first trip to bulbapedia is in order. The boy looks kinda depressed, and clearly doesn't give a rat's (rattata's) ass about anything. Meh. The girl is rocking a messenger bag instead of a backpack, and those silly loose socks. That said, at least she's smiling. I fully expect to have a dead soul by the end of this, but let's try to start out on a happy note, shall we?

Forgot that disabling sound speeds the emulator way WAY up. Really freaking annoying to play on constant turbo. Unfortunately, macs don't have the convenient sound output mixer that windows does, and the mac version of vba doesn't have a mute option... huh? Why not?? UGH. Already wasted 15 minutes trying to deal with this. Decided to mess around with values at random, and something that I changed right back seems to have done it. Hopefully, this will be the worst of the technical issues.

Naming time! Gotta go with "KOOPA" for myself, but what to name the rival... I was thinking about "BOWSER", but although he always loses in the end, I gotta have respect for how hard he makes some of the challenges along the way. Not gonna give this sucker any cred I don't have to, so let's go with the poser punk version "BOWSA". Perfect.

Time to actually play. Time I predict until I cave and start using turbo mode walking around? 5 minutes. Actual time I last? ~45 seconds. *sigh*.

Definitely taking Squirtle. Charmander used to be my main man, but Squirtle is, sadly, way better. Plus my roommate is starting with Charmander, so a little variation might be nice. Opening battle? Easy win. Was briefly kinda worried about a false start, but Squirtle's great. I hate grass types. Onward!