Let's Play Pokemon Red (up to Part 19)

Part 1: Whetting the Pallet

Part 1
Since everyone that hasn't lived under a rock the past 10+ or so years knows what Pokemon is, let's skip the fancy introductions and delve right into the game!

...It really has been nearly 15 years, hasn't it? Holy crap, I feel old.

Gengar vs. Nidorino, the intro. There's a lot of things that doesn't make sense, like Nidorino trying to tackle a Ghost type, or Gengar trying to pound...anything, really. But hey, it's supposed to get you pumped up for the game, and I think it does a fair job of that. Also, it's the very first version difference: Blue replaces Nidorino with Jigglypuff. Which I'm okay with, because Jigglypuff is badass.

The title screen. Nothing fancy, just Red and Charmander with the Pokemon logo. In Blue, Charmander is replaced with Squirtle. And of course, if you wait a bit, they'll get replaced by other Pokemon. Fancy.

Decisions, decisions...of course, thanks to the magic of speed up, I don't have to change the text speed to FAST. In fact, it might be better to slow it down, to make it easier to screen capture text, but that would require 3 button presses at this point, compared to 1 to start a new game. And that would mean trivial amounts of effort. And we can't have that.

You know, Professor Oak's generally known for being a nice guy, but note how he's reading a book while he's talking to us. Jerk.

Presumably, this is the Nidorino from earlier. It actually uses Nidorina's cry, which means it either got gender reassignment surgery, or it's actually a Nidorina in a Nidorino suit. Personally, I like to think of it as the latter, as it's more amusing and less weird to think about. MUCH less.

Hmm, good question. Maybe I should put it up for vote to feign audience participation?

Pfft, I already did that with the Pokemon voting. And at 70% of the reason I went with that name is because I'm wondering what it'll give me for the Missingno. glitch. The other 30% should be obvious. Okay, rival time!

Oak can't remember his own grandson's name. Smooth.

Why yes, I AM feeling unoriginal right now. Thanks for asking.

All right, enough set up, let's get this show on the road!

Putting in an SNES is a great way to instantly make your game look dated, especially when said game is already being released at the tail end of the SNES's lifespan. And when your players fondly remember playing the game on their Super Game Boy for the SNES, it's also a great way to instantly make them feel really old. Man, I feel really old...

Why the Potion has to be taken from the PC and doesn't just start in your inventory is beyond me. But hey, free Potion! It's not like I won't ever use it and it'll just sit in my item stash for all time.

Okay, Pallet Town. Apparently, places with three buildings qualify as towns. Here's some of the highlights.

This amuses me way more than it reasonably should.

So does this. Do I actually have a Pokemon I'm withholding from myself? Curse you, me, give it to me so I can use it already!

The big building is Professor Oak's laboratory, complete with an Oak inside. Unfortunately, it's not the one anyone wants. Well, I'm bored of this place, so let's go north and get mauled by wild Pokemon to pass the time.

Curses, foiled again. He'll take us back to the lab for our attempted suicide.

There's a reason I uploaded this, but I can't remember. Oh well, I'm sure it was a silly reason, anyway.

He doesn't remember why his own grandson is here. Oak is the worst grandpa ever. It's even worse if you pretend that line means he forgot his name for the second time in a 5 minute span.

Anyway, who cares, we get a Pokemon, woo!

And so there will be no whining, Oak gives SOMEGUY one too. But only after we get one. We can't be TOO nice to him, now can we?

As voted on by the fans. Squirtle's my personal favorite of the Generation 1 starters, so I'm happy. I didn't nickname it, because I'm lazy.

The rival took Bulbasaur, to match the fact he's a pansy. See what I did there? A pansy can mean both a weakling, AND a type of flower, and Bulbasaur's a Grass type...meh. Also, now that I think about it, Oak probably specifically made his own grandson wait just so said grandson could pick the starter strong against yours, thus ensuring that he'll never be at a disadvantage against you. So he was acting like a dick to him just to ensure that you didn't expect that he was actually being a dick to YOU. Clever senile old man. But anyway, we've got what we came for, so let's go! It's not like anyone's going to stop us or anything.

Crap, I totally didn't see this coming!

Oh well, what's a RPG without battles? A terrible one, that's what.

Gasp, type disadvantage! If starter Pokemon actually had STAB moves at LV 5, this might actually be problematic!

So yep, here's the battle screen. FIGHT means 'pick one of these 1-4 attacks you jerkwad', PKMN means 'check out or switch out Pokemon', ITEM means 'hey, you have stuff in your pack, you can use them', and RUN means 'flee like a pansy'. However, you can't run from trainer battles. Since everyone already knew all that, I just wasted a perfectly good paragraph. Oh well.

Even at LV 5, all three starters have their own quirks. Squirtle, for instance, is the only one of the three to start with a defense lowering move.

And if you thought Tackle was the defense lowerer, you're a moron. I tried to get a shot of Squirtle in the middle of using it, but since this is Red version, it's nearly impossible to tell anyway, so I didn't bother.

The other two starters get Growl, which lowers Attack, AND is much easier to get a screenshot of. Hooray!

From a screenshot perspective, Tackle is similar to Tail Whip, but is even more impossible to time. I did, of course, but since it just had Squirtle in a slightly different position, it wasn't worth uploading.

I forgot to take a picture of the screen where Bulbasaur fainted, but it totally happened. And now Squirtle basks in the glory of 67 whole experience points!

BASKS IN THE GLORY. LEVEL 6, WOO. Only two more levels until Squirtle gets a Water type move! Hopefully it won't be a really weak one that's even weaker than Tackle.

Since Bulbasaur was his only Pokemon, that means we win!

Well, if you used Tackle more than twice, you MIGHT'VE had a small chance. But who am I to question your brilliant strategy?

Unlike most RPGs, in Pokemon you can't just walk around and beat up monsters for money and items. Instead, you just get the former from fighting other trainers. Fortunately, money isn't especially important here.

One catchphrase later, we're all set to roll.

But on second thought, I'm lazy, so I'm stopping for now. 10 whole minutes of gameplay is exhausting.


So yep, that's the beginning. Feel free to comment about how it can be improved, or how awesome it is. Especially the latter.

Quote (MagicCereal)

Pfft, I already did that with the Pokemon voting. And at 70% of the reason I went with that name is because I'm wondering what it'll give me for the Missingno. glitch.

We aren't planning on cheating at all, are we MC?
I might duplicate a TM or three. :'D That's it, though. No Rare Candy silliness or anything. Well, unless pre-Elite training turns out to be a massive drag, in which case I might. But nothing far away from what I'd usually be for them, which is usually somewhere in the 45-50 range. Woo, accountability.
Part 2: It's Not Easy Being Viridian

Double posting is bad, but eh, seemed silly to edit in another part.

Part 2

Anyway, now that Squirtle's on our side, nothing can stop us from beating the tar out of all who oppose us. Not bad for a 10 year old.

Welcome to Route 1. It's not especially fancy, so this is the only special screenshot it gets.

Yeah, yeah, big deal, I don't c-

...On second thought, you're okay, guy I'll never talk to again.

Route 1 has exactly two Pokemon in it. I only see Rattata on the first trip, though. It has Tackle and Tail Whip, just like Squirtle.

That doesn't mean they're as good as Squirtle.

With that, we reach Viridian City. It also houses the first Pokemon Center, where you can heal your Pokemon for the low price of...nothing. Yes, unlike inns in regular RPGs, which charge you a nominal fee, Pokemon completely gets rid of that. Which is good, since it's possible (but very unlikely) to completely run out of cash with no way to get more. You can also trade if you're not playing a ROM, but...well, that's not an issue here.

Hey look, a Poke Mart, where you buy Poke-related things. Let's grab some Poke Balls, so I can go capture the one early Pokemon voted on to be caught.

The Viridian Poke Mart guy is a mind reader! Gasp!

Clearly this guy has never been to Pallet Town. You'd have to go out of your way to not know him, and even that probably wouldn't be enough.

Fine, whatever. Not like I have anything else to do.

You can't even take a peek at what's inside. Lame. I'm sure it's porn, though. It's too nondescript to not be. Anyway, speaking of balls, let's talk about the kind that captures Pokemon...

...Or not. I hate you, Poke Mart guy.

So yeah, back through Route 1. There is one thing they teach you here: you can jump down cliffs like this one.

See? Of course, it's more fun to think of it as jumping over giant rocks. In fact, mechanically, that's what happens. Fun times.

I'm sure one of those two books is the one he was reading during the intro. Jerk.

At least he remembers someone's name.

He goes on about how Squirtle thinks we're awesome. Both he and Squirtle are 100% correct.

Eventually, he realizes that we're holding a nondescript package addressed to him. Sharp as a tack as always.

And thus did a 10 year old deliver an old man his greatly desired porn.

...Oh, it was just a custom made Poke Ball? Boring. Unless they hid the porn inside the ball. It'd explain the 'custom' part...

Just what we needed, more a-holes to brighten our day.

...Wait, he called you? And not me? Professor Oak. JERK.

So it turns out that the things on the desk are Pokedexes. Good thing there isn't a token chick to join us and ruin the fact there are exactly two of them.

If every Wikipedia article was as large as a Gen 1 Pokedex entry, I'm pretty sure it would've been shut down years ago. Then again, Wikipedia never pushed the Game Boy cartridge technical limits.

Woo! It doesn't mean anything, but woo! Now, why couldn't he do it himself?

Nice try, but that's almost TOO reasonable! Next you'll tell me it's because you're a huge jerk!

This line is much better if you pretend it's the last line he says. Anyway, let's head back to Viridian to see if that guy's willing to finally sell us Poke Balls.

Woo, we can buy things!


Well, we can finally catch Pokemon. Let's go catch something! Of course, knowing this game, it'll take forever just to spite-


In Red and Blue, the Pidgey line is the only known users of Gust. For some reason, it's Normal type, despite being wind based. In later generations, it's a Flying type move, though. It's much better as a Flying type move, though, as it means Pidgey takes a long time to get a Flying type move. A VERY long time. Keep in mind that every other Normal/Flying type in this game starts with Peck, and you know why this is so terrible for it. Oh well, you voted for it to be my Flying type...

And so it's weakened, and Poke Ball is selected...oh, if you're wondering why there's only one Potion, it's because I got lazy and used it instead of going to a Pokemon Center.


...Not so woo. That level's gotta increase. Time for training I won't show! But during it, this happens...

LV 8! Which means...

Bubble! Unfortunately, while it's Water type, which means STAB (a x1.5 multiplier obtained when a Pokemon that uses a move that matches one of its types, for the uninitiated), it also has a mere 20 power. With STAB, that's 30 power. Tackle, which it's had from the beginning, has 35 power. That said, it's hardly useless, as we'll see...

At least it has an easy to capture animation.

At LV 5, Pidgey gets Sand-Attack. Despite the fact its very name has Attack, it does no damage.

Instead, it just lowers accuracy. Needless to say, it works better for the game than for you. Standard RPG fare.

That'll do. Now, what do you say we check out a couple noteworthy things in Viridian?

This jerkwad can't be gotten to, due to our inability to jump over rocks while looking north, and our inability to get by trees. Stupid trees.

This guy tells you about Caterpie and Weedle, and how the latter is poisonous. That definitely won't be important in the next section.

This guy will be VERY important later. For now, he does nothing of note, unless you have absolutely no idea how to capture Pokemon.

Another villainous tree! This one, however, has a Potion hidden in it. Why not?

Oh yeah, this place has a Pokemon gym. But it's locked. That's not suspicious at-

...Somehow, this makes MCEREAL want to jump off a cliff, and thus he does.

West of Viridian City is Route 22, a noteworthy detour. No screenshot due to it being completely unremarkable appearancewise. It does have new Pokemon, though, like Spearow, who actually has a Flying type move. And gets a better one later on! But again, you said Pidgey...

Before there were genders for most Pokemon, there were the Nidoran. This is the male, who is noteworthy for becoming Nidoking, soloer of games. Granted, you can do it with any Pokemon you feel like, but Nidoking's noteworthy for being able to stand up to anything with a couple of TMs, and without a lot of levels behind it. Seriously, it's that great.

No, this isn't a glitch or an error. This is part of the visuals for Leer, which is Tail Whip under a different name and apppearance. It also does a sort of negative to the screen, which is what I was trying to get, but failed. Oh well.

There's also Nidoran female, to go with the male. Naturally, it becomes Nidoqueen, who is very similar to Nidoking, but has slightly worse offense and speed in exchange for superior durability. Nidoking's better, mostly because that speed can be important, but Nidoqueen's also highly formidable. Unfortunately, neither was voted, so I can't use them...oh, by the way, is your asshole radar going off? I know mine is...

That answers that. Time to beat him down again.

He probably saw how awesome my Pidgey was, and took one for himself. And his is even a higher level. This may not end well...

...Or not. My Pidgey's had much more awesomeness training.

Time for the rematch. Unfortunately, around this time, I started to forget to neurotically take screenshots, and so I missed it using its new move: Leech Seed. While Charmander gets the 40 power Ember, and Squirtle has Bubble, Bulbasaur gets Leech Seed, which does no damage, but drains a small amount of HP from the opponent to the user each turn. It's unaffected by type, except that Grass types are immune to it. Needless to say, it's more an annoyance, and Squirtle beats the tar out of it.

It doesn't help that it tried to use Leech Seed AFTER hitting Squirtle with it. Note the message, as it doesn't appear for any other situation aside from a missed Leech Seed. Aside from that, Squirtle wins and gets another level, and SOMEGUY leaves in a fury. Ha.

And after a trip to the Pokemon Center, we're all set for the next leg...or not, because I've reached my non-lazy quota for now. Oh well. Until next time!
Suck it, Cereal. Suck that democratically majority-represented Pidgey!
You mean like your mom did last night? ;0

Part 3: Of Worms and Wyrms

Part 3

Okay, we've beaten the rival twice. If we kept going through Route 22, we'd reach a gate where some loser would stop us unless we had the Boulder Badge. We don't have that, however, so we'll let him stand there by his loser self while we go get it.

But first, a screenshot of Sand-Attack, which I neglected to do earlier. The Rattata pictured is presently still KO'd somewhere on Route 1.

Now, let's head north from Viridian City...

Welcome to Route 2, which has plenty of stupid trees blocking the east side of it. Weak.

This route is notable for being the first you can traverse WITHOUT having to fight a wild battle. It will not be the last. And yes, that's a second tree. There's also a third at the north end of the route. Dick move, Nintendo.

Anyway, we hop into some sort of gateway, and talking nets this tidbit. Since this is the first 'dungeon' of the game, it's...not quite a maze.

Speaking of which, welcome to Viridian Forest, complete with 100% natural arrows on the road! What do you say we meet some inhabitants?

Caterpie is notable in that it begins with Tackle and String Shot...and never learns anything else. However, it has the lowest level requirement for evolution in the entire game: LV 7, then LV 10. Only upon reaching the final stage does it start to get moves...though some of those moves makes it lethal early on.

Also, in addition to having Pokemon exclusive to them, the different versions also have certain Pokemon be of different rarities. Caterpie is more common in Blue, while in Red, it's rarer to make room for...

Weedle, who is in many ways Caterpie's opposite. However, it has one thing that's made it the bane of every Squirtle user in Generations 1 and 3...Poison Sting, which does laughable damage, but has a 30% chance of poisoning an enemy. This is the first time you'll probably see a status, and Weedle will make sure that at least 99% of the time, it's going to be Poison. I'll get more in-depth on Poison shortly, but rest assured that it's incredibly annoying.

Anyway, moving along, we encounter the game's first optional trainer fight. Since trainers are the main source of money, and their Pokemon give out 1.5 more EXP than an equivalent leveled wild Pokemon (and they're usually higher leveled to boot), it's usually a good idea to make them not-so-optional. Anyway, this guy has Caterpie and Weedle, who we just talked about. The former is used to show String Shot's animation. Combine it with Metapod for free juvenile humor!

After you beat him, he says this. I don't know why, you could scare all the bugs in the forest away and STILL find more bugs. They're that common. However, there is one non-bug Pokemon roaming around...

Meet Kakuna, Weedle's first evolution. Why it has the claw things I'll never know, as it doesn't have them in ANY other media or offical artwork. Red and Blue were wonky like that.

Didn't do it until now, but here's how a Bug Catcher looks. Intimidating, I know, but we must soldier on...

...FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. Time for a poison lesson. Poison removes 1/16th of the afflicted Pokemon's max HP each turn it remains active. Not a lot, but it adds up. How much, you might ask? The screenshot was right before Squirtle took its first poison damage. The trainer didn't use a damaging move the rest of the match. Squirtle was below half of its HP by the end. Yeah. And if that wasn't bad enough, a poisoned Pokemon takes 1 HP of damage every 4 steps out of battle. They were nice enough to make the screen flash when this happens, but...yeah. Squirtle fainted before I could heal it. And yes, if your last Pokemon faints by poison damage in this way, it's white out time, which means you get sent to the last Pokemon Center you visited...at the expense of half of your on-hand cash, which is really really annoying. So yeah. HATE that status.

Oh, if you're wondering why it's specifically the bane of Squirtle players...Charmander's Ember fries Weedle before it can attack, and Bulbasaur is immune, due to Poison types being immune to the Poison status. Squirtle, on the other hand, is SOL.

After healing and exhaling, we proceed. This spot is noteworthy for the fact that in Yellow, there was another trainer here, and based on the samurai that appeared in Viridian Forest in the anime. Luckily for players, he didn't use Pinsir, but he did use a Metapod that could use Tackle, which probably surprised someone using a weakened Pokemon to get easy EXP.

This is the first required non-rival trainer battle in the game. He uses a Weedle that should've evolved, but didn't. You'll see later that Bug Catchers are REALLY stupid about not evolving Caterpie and Weedle.

After beating him, he tells you that there're items that you can't see as Poke Balls, but are indeed there. You know, like the Potion in the tree earlier. He says he's looking for the items that he lost, but...

Yes, there was a Potion next to him. Yes, that is that trainer's default position. So the entire time, he could've pressed A to find his missing Potion. I have zero guilt about swiping it.

On the way out, I fought a Weedle and got Pidgey poisoned. You can see the results. Did I mention that I really hate Poison Sting and the poison status? Because I do. A LOT.

Not long after that, Pidgey hits LV 12 and learns Quick Attack, where the user disappears from the screen, then a smacking animation plays. It's noteworthy in that the user ALWAYS goes first, regardless of its Speed stat. The exception is when both Pokemon use Quick Attack, in which case normal Speed rules apply. At any rate, due to that extra perk, it's definitely better than Gust. Although at the same time, Pidgey's fairly quick, so it won't matter too much, especially early on.

Behold, the instigator of lewd jokes! It's more more obvious with its back sprite, but since Caterpie didn't win the Bug type vote, we won't be seeing that.

Harden's animation. Pieces of a square come together. Okay? Right after this, however, I find the crown jewel of Viridian Forest...

Behold, mascot power! Besides that, Pikachu is noteworthy here because it's the ONLY Electric type you can capture for some time. And unlike certain other Pokemon...

It starts off with a STAB move, Thundershock. If Weedle instigates 99% of first statuses with Poison Sting, Pikachu makes up that other 1%, as it's a popular catch, and Thundershock can inflict paralysis, which quarters a Pokemon's Speed, and can prevent them from attacking 1 out of 4 times. It's a pretty brutal status. I don't suffer it here, but I DO take three consecutive critical hits fighting it, since I keep trying to use Bubble for some reason. Another perk about Pikachu is that it has a rather high critical hit rate for an early game Pokemon, but I'll discuss Gen 1 critical hits another time.

So now that I've found everything in the forest, time to check out Pewter City. It's pretty unremarkable, but there's a few places of interest...

Looking like a complete tool for asking total strangers if you know what they're doing?

Nailed it.

At the north end of the city is a museum you can pay 50 Pokedollars to enter and check out. On the first floor, there's a skeleton of an Aerodactyl...

...And one of a Kabutops. Aerodactyl I understand, but since Kabutops is based on an arthropod, it shouldn't leave behind a skeleton like that...then again, I'm applying facts to this game, and that usually doesn't work out that well for me.


This amused me when I saw it. It ceased to amuse me when it took him 30 seconds to move away when I was ready to leave. And I was holding fast forward the entire time.


Anyway, that's all the notables in the museum. However, there's a door to the east, so let's go check that out...

OH, COME ON. It's extra annoying once you know that there's absolutely no reason to block access to it. It would affect absolutely nothing.

Oh yeah, did I mention there's a gym in Pewter City? Because there's a gym in Pewter City.

So once you're in the gym, you can find out what gym it is. Good thing, I might've gotten confused otherwise.

The rival's reputation for being a douche isn't without basis.

Here's the one non-gym leader trainer in Pewter Gym. Despite being a Rock gym, he uses no Rock Pokemon. Also his after battle dialogue makes it sound like he has a hardon for Brock.

...Wait. Rock type gym. Hardon. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I swear I didn't even realize that until I typed it.

Meet Diglett. Diglett will wreck stuff up if you catch one and train it, but at this level, it only has Scratch.

See? It does that every turn. One thing to note is that Diglett is fast. As in, it might've outsped non-Quick Attack using Pidgey fast. For reference, Diglett's evolved form, Dugtrio, is the fastest Ground type in existence. In 2012.

He also has a Sandshrew, but I blanked and didn't screenshot it. It had no new attacks, though its liberal use of Sand-Attack almost cost Pidgey a win.

Anyway, let's get this gym battle over with.

Rock hard lol. Sorry, I had a sudden urge to laugh like an idiot at something stupid, and this came up.

Brock doesn't wear a shirt in Red and Blue. He wears a shirt in all other games, including Yellow and the GBA remakes. Yes, Red and Blue was a manlier time.

Unlike his subordinate, Brock actually uses Pokemon of the gym's type, and leads with the Rock/Ground Geodude. It resists the Normal type moves you mostly have at this point, and is completely immune to Pikachu's Thundershock. However, that type combination means it takes quadruple damage from Water and Grass attacks, and it has a very low Special stat. So basically, Bulbasaur's Vine Whip (its first real Grass attack) and Squirtle's Bubble completely wreck it, though it can withstand the latter. Charmander has it rougher, as thanks to type matchups, Ember does roughly 1/8th as much damage as Vine Whip. And don't think you can whittle its health away with Poison, either, as Brock has an unlimited supply of Full Heals to prevent that. However, if you fully evolve Caterpie, it becomes Butterfree, and gets Confusion at LV 12. At that point, you can bring it in and wreck stuff up, since Brock's Pokemon do have those awful Special stats, and simply can't keep pace with it in a damage race. Anyway, that's one down...



Onix has one of the best Defense stats in the game, and surprisingly for a Rock type, has okay Speed (though Squirtle still outsped it). Aside from that and its intimidating appearance, however, it has nothing going for it. It gets pounded by special attacks as easily as Geodude, and despite being a giant rock snake, has a pathetic Attack stat. Oh, and its HP? Worse than Weedle's. That's right, a 1 foot long caterpillar that can evolve twice and is known for being pitiful in battle has more vitality than a nearly 30 foot being made of solid rock. And it hits as hard as my 1 foot tall bird. Don't get me wrong, I actually like Onix, but...holy crap did it get screwed in stats.

But anyway, Squirtle's now two levels higher after taking one hit for 5 damage. Sounds good to me.

To be fair, you didn't know I had a Water type. Maybe you would've borrowed your lackey's Sandshrew or something, it probably would've been tougher for it.

WOO BADGE. 1 of 8 down! For some reason, this is the only badge you acquire while in a battle screen. All of the others are given once you're back in the overworld screen.

Well, that was easy. Let's get going.


...Oh. You shouldn't have.

You really shouldn't have...Bide is a move where you do nothing for 2-3 turns, but then attack to deal damage equal to double the damage you took. Since taking damage for extended periods of time isn't a particularly great idea, it's a pretty useless move. I'll probably just sell it.

As we leave, free ego boost!

So now we're healed and saved, and ready to continue onward in the next update...but first...

What is this Team Rocket? What is this Mt. Moon? Who knows? Well, probably most of the people reading this, but humor me, will ya?

What were the other elected pokemon for the party?
So much Poke-facts...More than how much I really care in the first place

You should put up some spoiler-tag over the entries...Things are getting huge already with only three episodes.
Are you gonna do the Mew trick?
Azure: http://z10.invisionfree.com/RockmanChaosNe...?showtopic=8660 My last post shows what I'll be using.

Goroke: As you can see, I did so, as it was a good idea.

Steve: Possibly, I haven't decided yet. Might do it as a bonus afterward or something.

With questions answered, it's time...FOR ANOTHER CHAPTER OF THE STORY.

Part 4: Fly Me to the Mt. Moon, Side A

Part 4

Unfortunately, the screen capture screwed up while I was doing this, so I lose a few pictures. Luckily, I lost nothing overly important. I just headed to Route 3 and started beating up trainers, including some jerkwad Lass with inferior Pidgey, and a Bug Catcher that refused to evolve his Caterpie and Weedle collection. Fun. The next trainer, however...

Has Ekans, which hasn't been seen yet. As you can see, it has Wrap, one of the most annoying moves in all of Gen 1. It's pitifully weak, but for 2-5 turns, the opponent can't use the FIGHT command. Combined with paralysis or a particularly fast Pokemon, you can basically have the opponent in an endless loop if they don't switch. Or, you can poison the opponent, and let that stack with Wrap as they do nothing. The one catch is that it doesn't have perfect accuracy (84.6% in Gen 1), but accuracy is only needed for the initial hit. It's actually a rare case of something working better for the player than an NPC, since you can switch freely and they can't/don't. I wouldn't base an entire moveset around it, but it's a handy way to train a Pokemon like Ekans, which is lacking in raw power.

Incidentally, the trainer with the Ekans is the one that says 'Hi! I like shorts! They're comfy and easy to wear!" And thus the number of memes in the universe rose by one.

As a bonus, taking out Ekans, bringing Squirtle to LV 15, and letting it get the ever useful Water Gun.

Water Gun has a base power of 40, stronger than Tackle, and Squirtle gets STAB for it, making it the best move it gets for now. It also has perfect (for Gen 1) accuracy to boot. Not too shabby.

After beating a couple more trainers, including a guy with a LV 14 Spearow, which I felt severe envy for due to Peck. At that level, it also has Fury Attack, which I didn't get to see due to Squirtle being too awesome and beating it in a couple of turns. Darn. Same goes for a Nidoran male with Horn Attack. Oh well, I'll get chances to show those moves off some other time. Also...wait, LV 16, the game said?


Behold, the power of the Game Boy! Bonus points to me for managing to get both splits.

And that's the first evolution of the LP. It won't be the last.

Oddly, every one of its stats went up by exactly 5. Which is weird, and unlike some RPGs, not because the RNG cooperated. In fact, Pokemon's the opposite: NOTHING is affected by the RNG upon level-up or evolution. Everything that determines stat increases is either beyond your control, utilizes factors you can't see, or was determined before you even caught it. Maybe I'll discuss that some other time.

Anyway, back to walking along Route 3. Note where I am in position to this NPC.

The term 'crazy bitch' comes to mind for her.

She has a Jigglypuff, which is noteworthy. In Red and Blue, they're found here at Route 3, and ONLY here at Route 3. Its distinguishing characteristcs are lots of HP and can use lots of TMs. And by lots of HP, I mean that in Gen 1, it had the most of HP of any Pokemon that could evolve. Even today, it's still fourth in that regard. Its other stats are very blah, however.

It's also extremely annoying at low levels, as it begins with Sing, which puts the target to sleep.

While asleep, a Pokemon is incapable of doing damage. It's not fun. Luckily, Sing is the least accurate of the sleep moves, at 54.6%. There are more accurate sleep moves, though, and those are incredibly useful/annoying, depending on whether you're using or taking them. Incidentally, in Gen 1, a Pokemon requires a whole turn to wake up, so if a very fast Pokemon has a sleep move (and there a couple of noteworthy ones), you can basically catch anything in an endless sleep loop if you're lucky. However, there's only one sleep move more accurate than 75%, and only one very slow Pokemon gets it. Oh, one good/bad thing about sleep (again, depending on perspective) is that unlike listed statuses like Poison, Sleep will wear off after a bit. So if you're lucky, it'll barely affect you. If you're unlucky, however, you're probably sunk.

So yeah, tl;dr version: avoid being put to sleep like the plague if you can help it.

On the plus side, the Jigglypuff chick is the last trainer you fight on the route, and they were nice enough to put a Pokemon Center next to the next area so you wouldn't have to backtrack. Which is good, because it would be annoying as crap otherwise.

Noteworthy about that Pokemon Center is this guy, who sells you the strongest of Pokemon...Magikarp. For 500 Pokedollars. For as much of a deal as the game makes that you're getting ripped off, I think it's perfectly fair. That's not particularly a lot, even at this stage of the game, and though it can't contribute to any battles, it does evolve into one of the most powerful Pokemon in the entire game. Seriously, when they came up with 'patience is a virtue', they were probably specifically thinking of Magikarp.

Anyway, let's head into Mt. Moon. Despite the name, it just looks like a generic cave once you're inside.

Behold, Zubat, the bane of every cave traveler's existence! They're the most common wild Pokemon by far.

Low level ones exclusively use Leech Life, a very weak Bug type move that has the noteworthy characteristic of healing the user equal to half of the damage dealt. Not game changing, but something to keep in mind against Bug-weak foes. Like, say, Bulbasaur if you started with it.

Higher level ones (10+), however, pack Supersonic, which is to confusion as Sing is to sleep. Confusion is arguably the worst status of all, as it has a 50% chance of making the user attack themself with a 40 base power physical attack instead of whatever they should've done. Extra annoying if the Pokemon in question is a bit of a glass cannon (i.e. Flareon). It wears off eventually like sleep, but unlike Poison or Sleep, it's not specifically listed in your stats. That means that it doesn't carry over if you switch the Pokemon out. It also means that the move Haze can negate it, but since that means risking confusion anyway, eh...

Wild SPACEMONKEYSTEVE appeared! Paras is a Bug/Grass type, which is...a very, VERY bad type mix to have. Simply put, it's the only Pokemon ever to have THREE x4 weaknesses (i.e. both of its types are weak to that type of attack). The game loves Poison, and later on it likes to throw Flying and Fire at you. So why use it? Simple. Remember how I said there's one Pokemon that gets a super accurate sleep move? Here it is. Its unique Spore move has a 99.6% accuracy rate, so if you can withstand one attack, you can effectively take that Pokemon out of commission. But because it has so many weaknesses, that can be quite a task against some opponent. So beware.

I've been talking a lot about stuff. So let's all gasp at this guy's foreshadowing! 1, 2, 3...GASP! Incidentally, this guy's just a run of the mill Bug Catcher. Woo?

This Lass is waiting for her friends to find her. She's basically right in front of the entrance. I think you need to start looking for new friends, lady.

She does have a Clefairy, who happens to be of a very similar mold as Jigglypuff, though it sacrifices some HP for more complete stats. Clefairy is also the only Pokemon in Gen 1 to naturally learn Metronome. Thus, Clefairy is awesome. Do not diss Clefairy. Anyway, it goes down, though due to its HP and passable defenses, it's kind of annoying to defeat. I proceed into one of the several lower floor paths in the area, and...

Well, first, I forgot to mention that you can find wild Geodude here, if you were impressed by Brock's or something. It's pretty decent, but takes a couple of TMs to really get going. It does, however, learn Earthquake naturally, which is an awesome (and powerful) Ground type attack, and at a reasonable level to boot. Worth a use if you keep it from Water and Grass types.

Now, where were we? Oh, right, lower floor looting or something.



...Not really. Aside from being jerkwads, they're generally fairly easy.

This one does have Sandshrew, who I screen captured since I forgot to do so with the first of its kind. As you can probably guess, things went well for me against it.

I forgot to take a picture, but near that Rocket is the first of the vitamin items, HP Up. Since it may not be clear, it permanently ups your HP. However, there's a cap on how much of each you can use, which is 10 per Pokemon per type of vitamin. There's actually another condition that can limit vitamin usage, but that involves really digging into the numbers, and I'm lazy.

Anyway, after heading back up, I bump into this guy, who's notable for both being the first Super Nerd you fight, and for having Pokemon that haven't been seen yet.

Magnemite's an oddity amongst Electric types, in that it has low Speed, but makes up for it by having better Defense, and a solid Special. It's a good Pokemon, but this one only has Tackle, so it goes down easily. If it had an Electric attack at this point, it might've been able to put a dent in my team.

Voltorb is the polar opposite of Magnemite, in that it doesn't have great Defense (passable Special, though), but its SPD is through the roof. In fact, its evolved form, Electrode, was the fastest Pokemon of all prior to 2003, and is still the fourth fastest today. But here, in 1998, it has the drawback of learning exactly zero Electric type moves naturally. That's...rough, to say the least.

Not long after the Super Nerd fight, Pidgey reaches LV 18.

That means this happens!

Fuck yeah! With this, I'll probably complain about using it much less now, because unlike Pidgey, Pidgeotto is awesome. If you disagree, get the hell out of my LP.

...Actually, please don't. I probably need all the readers I can get.

Here's the current team, if you're wondering. Don't worry, it won't be like this forever.

Another fight against a Lass, and another one with new Pokemon. Neat. Oddish is noteworthy for being a Poison type that actually gets a decent Poison type attack, Acid, AND for getting a strong Grass type attack, Petal Dance. I would've been fine with using it, but it didn't win the voting.

It starts with Absorb, which is basically a Grass type Leech Life. Against the awesomeness of Pidgeotto, it does exactly 1 HP of damage. Pidgeotto can inflict much more than 1 HP of damage per turn.

The other Pokemon she has is Bellsprout, who we'll go into detail about later. Suffice it to say that it's even better than Oddish, and I gave Oddish positive reviews. Also, its Pokedex number is 69. Hee hee.

Bellsprout has Growth from the get-go, which has three spheres spiral around and into it. Sure, I guess? It raises Special, which is pretty decent. It also has Vine Whip, which I discussed before. I didn't get to screen capture it, since Pidgeotto was too awesome, but I'll get a chance later.

Anyway, that's enough blah blah blah from me for now. Time to heal up and chill before finishing off Mt. Moon.

Part 5: Fly Me to the Mt. Moon, Side B

Part 5

All right, let's put Mt. Moon in the rear view mirror, shall we?

Team Rocket is full of a-holes. At least they're easy to defeat a-holes.

That item above the a-hole Rocket? TM 01, which I've been wanting for some time now.

This is why. Mega Punch is a Normal type moves...of 80 power. That's brutal at this stage of the game. It can be bought later on, so I also don't have to have a sense of preservation about it. Oh, right, I never explained TMs. It's short for Technical Machine, and it teaches a Pokemon a move. They're single use, so you can't just spam awesome moves on everyone. There are special versions called HMs, or Hidden Machines, that don't break down, and teach moves that can be used in the overworld to make life easier/possible, but at the cost of that move never being able to be untaught. TM and HM moves range from incredibly awful to the best moves of their type, so there's reason to find as many as you can. In this game, there are 50 TMs, and 5 HMs.

Oh, in addition to TM 34 (Bide), I also found TM 12 (Water Gun) earlier in Mt. Moon. I didn't say anything because it's completely unremarkable, and I didn't have any use for it. Still, if you have something like Jigglypuff or a Nidoran, you can use it on them so they can shred Geodude.

Not all Pokemon get all TMs. Pidgeotto has no arms or hands, so it can't learn Mega Punch. Pokemon doesn't always follow 100% logic with how TMs are assigned, but generally they do a fair job of preventing anything overly stupid from occurring.

For the first time here, I have to choose a move to drop. Pokemon can only know 4 moves at any time. Despite the picture, I drop Tackle, not Tail Whip.

Woo! This will actually be Wartortle's strongest move for now, even stronger than Water Gun. Water Gun still has its uses, though.

Hidden in this rock is an Ether, the game's first PP (Power Point) restoring medicine. You know how in the NES version of Final Fantasy, you can only use so much of each magic tier? Same principle, but replace magic tier with move. Unlike Final Fantasy, however, Ethers can't be bought in Poke Marts, so you should save them for extreme emergencies, and there aren't really many instances of those. The most PP a move has is 40, and the fewest a move has is 5. They aren't perfectly sorted, but generally stronger moves have less PP. Makes sense.

On my way up, I find a Zubat with Supersonic, and this happens for the first time. Suffice it to say that I SERIOUSLY doubt this will be the last time.

In this far corner is the game's first evolution item, a Moon Stone. Some Pokemon require certain items be used on them to evolve them. Amusingly, the Moon Stone evolves four Pokemon...and you can conceivable have all four at this point; Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Nidorina, and Nidorino (the latter two are the evolutions of each Nidoran, at LV 16).

Gotta love NPC peripheral vision.

This guy's the first Hiker we'll see. He won't be the last. They generally use Rock and Ground types. So, they're like boxes of EXP for Wartortle.

After beating that guy, I'm in the main part of Mt. Moon's lower floor. This Rocket is optional, but he's...special.

And this is why. Raticate's the evolved form of Rattata, and LV 16 the highest level Pokemon an NPC's had up to this point. Raticate is pretty formidable at this point, with decent Attack and good Speed (it outpaces the higher leveled Pidgeotto without Quick Attack), and can pose a threat if you're underleveled. It also has Hyper Fang, which is similar to Mega Punch, but slightly more accurate, and has a chance of flinch, where if a faster Pokemon uses a move that can flinch, the slower Pokemon can sometimes freeze up and not use their move. It hurts, and it's kind of a dick move. Yellow makes it just a Rattata, at least.

And to give you an idea on how rough this fight can be...my overleveled Pidgeotto lost just over half of its HP in this fight. And it didn't even see Hyper Fang. Ow.

So yeah, Team Rocket's goal is to find some fossils, revive them into Pokemon, and sell them. Granted, they're pricks...but I don't see what's particularly wrong with that. I'd buy one. But alas, relentless protagonist rage keeps us from asking questions, and thus we just beat the tar out of his Pokemon.

Somehow I'm less than terrified at the thought of this.

At the end of this small alcove is a hidden Moon Stone, just in case you wanted both Nidoking and Clefable on your team. Granted, I'm just going to store both of them, but somewhere, someone's thanking someone for putting in two Moon Stones here.

Also, is it just me, or is alcove a pretty fun word to say? Seriously. Alcove. It makes me feel fancy.

If you're telling me to stop being fancy, you can go perform anatomically impossible tasks upon yourself.

...Oh, he doesn't want you taking his fossils. That's...reasonable. You'll notice that the other side is unprotected, but he can do that, and you'll see why soon enough.

He's not really hard, but he does have a couple of new Pokemon. Grimer is a non-issue at this point, though it does have Disable, where it randomly blocks you from using a move for a couple of turns. Annoying if it blocks your main attacking move.

Koffing's more annoying right off the bat. It has an excellent Defense stat, so it's a little hard to bring down without a passable Special move (like Water Gun). It also knows Smog, which has an absurd 40% chance to poison an enemy, the highest rate of any move with an additional effect. On the plus side, it's inaccurate (even the CPU misses a fair number of times), and the damage is laughable if it doesn't poison. I would've added a picture of Smog's animation, but the only time it used it, it missed. Oh well, I'll get a LOT of other chances.

Afterward, the guy will decide that he was needlessly rude (which to be fair, he kinda was), and will let us take whichever one we want. You have to take one; there's no way to go around. Since this decision has zero impact on this LP, I take the Dome Fossil, because it's to the left, and the exit is to the left.

Oddly, it plays the 'got key item' music when the Super Nerd picks his fossil, as well as yours. I understand celebrating our fossil, but who gives a crap about his?

Talk to him again, and he'll tell you that you can revive fossils into actual Pokemon at some place called Cinnabar Island. I doubt that'll come up much later in the LP.

And I exit, with a Zubat ambushing me to say goodbye. On the plus side, it didn't have Supersonic, and Wartortle gained a level afterward. Woo.

Route 4's really simple, with no trainer battles, just lots and lots of ledges. It does have side ledges for the first time, as all previous ones were horizontal, which is noteworthy, I guess. The second ledge cluster has TM 04, which teaches Whirlwind. Whirlwind instantly ends a wild battle, and doesn't work on trainers. Not very useful, and Pidgeotto gets it naturally pretty soon, so free cash, I guess. I swear the TMs will get better than this. Seriously.

Here's another dick move by the designers. See the ledges below the character? Once you jump down them, you can't get back up. So basically, you're stuck in the new area for a while until you find a way to get back. And since Mt. Moon is a better place to train than that patch of grass, it can be annoying to deal with if you're underleveled. So beware.

But with that, we arrive in Cerulean City, and so now's probably a good time to end the segment. Next time, mechanics might be explained in further detail (I swear at some point I'll just shut up and play the game, though), and I actually obtain new team members! Everybody wins!

Part 6: The Cerulean Cape Crusader

Part 6

Included in this update: genuine cheating!

Cerulean City itself is going to wait until the next update. There's a gym here, but I'm finally scheduled to capture new Pokemon in this update, and I'm sure as well not waiting another one to do that. Plus, unlike Brock, the second gym leader would be much more tedious with the present selection, and one of my captures will be very effective against them. So, we will chill and instead head north from the city.

Note the cave entrance behind that guy. We won't even be able to reach the guy for a long time, and it'll be even longer before he'll move and let us access that cave. There's a good reason for that, though.

There is this in the northern part of the city. Rare Candy raises a Pokemon's level by 1. It's exactly as awesome as it sounds.

That Rare Candy reminded me that I should organize my items. Another use of Pokemon Centers is that computer, which lets you store and withdraw Pokemon and items. The latter is especially important, as there's a limit of 20 different items you can hold at any one time, though as per RPG tradition, you can have up to 99 of any one non-key item. I think in this generation only, there's also a limit on how much you can store in the PC...but it's large enough that it's not really an issue. Anyway, after selling and storing stuff, I have exactly 4 of 20 item slots taken up. Woo.

Time to go up this innocuous looking path...


His Pidgey evolved, but it's now inferior to mine in every way, including level.

As a result, Pidgeotto destroys it.

This is an...interesting move on the designer's part, and I'll go into detail about that later. For now, know that Abra is free EXP for whatever you feel like getting EXP for. Here, I take the fast way and OHKO it with Quick Attack.

The rival caught a Rattata at some point, apparently. Annoying, but nothing Wartortle can't handle.

Bulbasaur evolves at LV 16, like Squirtle. Yes, the rival's is LV 17. Why he held it back, I don't know, but he did. Pidgeotto does what it does best, and Quick Attacks it into oblivion.

I told you Pidgeotto learned Whirlwind on its own. Though I forgot it was at LV 21. I thought it'd be another level or two.

Anyway, the rival says there's some dude named Bill at the far end of this route. Since he has a name, he must be important, so let's check it out.

But first, a challenge! Route 24, also known as Nugget Bridge, has 5 trainers on it. Defeat them all and win a FABULOUS prize! As it turns out, the prize actually is worth it, and the trainers aren't a particularly big deal. Also, without trading, you have to beat it to progress through the game. So, let's do it.

This is where Bug Catchers really start to look ridiculous.

The fifth and final trainer fought here is noteworthy.

LV 18's not bad for a regular trainer at this point, and it's a Pokemon that we haven't seen before, Mankey.

Mankey can also use Karate Chop, which is noteworthy in of itself.

This is why; it's the first move you've seen that has a high critical hit rate. Now, Gen 1 handles critical hits different than in later games. In all subsequent games, critical hits have a set rate of 1 in 16 of happening, 1 in 8 for moves with high critical hit rates. Gen 1, however, uses this formula:

(Base Speed Stat) / 512

Base stat doesn't refer to the stats you see in the menu, but instead is a static number that helps determine stats. For example, Mankey's base stat in Speed is 70, which isn't bad for an unevolved Pokemon. This means that Mankey's chances for a critical hit is 70/512, or 13.67%. This is why I said Pikachu had a high critical hit rate; its base 90 Speed gives it a 17.57% chance. If you're wonder, the highest critical hit rate in the game goes to Electrode (base 140 Speed) and its colossal 27.34%, and the worst is Slowpoke (base 15 Speed), with a mere 2.92% chance. It's not vital a Pokemon be quick, but as you can see, it sure can help.

However, that's not all. Some moves, like Karate Chop and Slash, have innately high critical hit rates. They use a tweaked formula:

(Base Speed Stat) / 64

So if a Pokemon with a base Speed stat of 64 or higher (though none exist in Gen 1 with exactly 64 base Speed), it will ALWAYS get a critical hit via these moves. Thus, since Mankey's is 70, Karate Chop will always get a critical hit.

And what do critical hits do? They NEARLY double damage (but not quite, as they only double one, albeit an important, value in the damage formula), and ignore all stat changes. On the bright side, this means that no matter how much your opponent Hardens, Karate Chop will ignore that defense boost. But it also means that raising your own attack won't impact Karate Chop's damage. So beware.

Anyway, that was WAY too much rambling. On with the LP!

After Mankey eats the floor, this guy congratulates you.

And gives you a FABULOUS prize. I'm sure it's nothing major, though.

...Oh hey, that's actually not bad. Nugget is Pokemon's version of the 'useless item that sells for lots of cash' item. It does nothing, but can be sold to Poke Marts for 5000 Pokedollars a pop. Not too shabby.

...I knew there'd be a catch. You're not given a choice, but seriously, who wants to be a professional a-hole?

If you're going to be a gang of a-holes, you might as well admit it like these guys.

What are you, my godfather? Shockingly, this guy is easier than the guy with Mankey, and he lets us go on our way after asking us to reconsider. Needless to say, I declined.

Now, just to the left of the bridge is a long, thin patch of grass. This is something I've been wanting to get to for a good while. Why?

WOO, NEW TEAM MEMBER. Unfortunately, Abra's kind of a dick.

"Hey, why did you try to catch it all full HP?"

That's why. Teleport has the user instantly end the battle by fleeing like a pansy. And it's Abra's ONLY move. To top it off, Abra's pretty quick, and a lot of the Pokemon with the likes of sleep moves or Wrap are slower than it without being decently higher leveled. Though here, we don't have the luxury anyway. Wartortle and Pidgeotto team, after all.

Now, the big difference between Red and Blue is that each has 11 Pokemon the other doesn't. I didn't cover it, but the area between Mt. Moon and Cerulean City is the first area with these 'version exclusives', with Ekans in Red, and Sandshrew in Blue. This area is the second such case, with Oddish in Red, and Bellsprout in Blue...wait. This is Red version. But Bellsprout isn't in Red, and I can't trade for it because I'm emulating. How do I get past this?

Pokemon was the best thing to ever happen to Gameshark. Despite the odd graphic and the odd tendency to use Quick Attack, it's a completely ordinary Bellsprout once I capture it.

See? Its moves are Vine Whip and Growth, just like an ordinary LV 12 Bellsprout, though I didn't get a screenshot of that.

Anyway, I'm lazy, so I'll wait a bit before grabbing Abra. To the north of the bridge is this ledge, where you can get TM 45. It teaches Thunder Wave, which instantly paralyzes any non-Ground type, no questions asked. Paralysis is a solid status, so this is a TM you shouldn't use without thinking a little.

Moving along, we find a Hiker with a Machop, who's new. It arguably evolves into the game's best Fighting type, but starts with the non-Fighting type Karate Chop. And since its Speed isn't the best, it's not a guaranteed critical hit, either. In fact, it barely tops 50%. With a high critical rate move. It does have a solid Attack, though, so don't screw around too much with it, as it still hurts, critical hit or not.

One advantage Bellsprout has over Oddish is that early on, it gets something for other Grass types, as well as Bug and Poison types, in Wrap. Not the greatest, but it's something.

This is noteworthy for being the first non-poison induced faint I've had in this LP. Eh, couldn't last forever.

Remember the poison/Wrap combo I said earlier? Bellsprout now has it. Bellsprout isn't quite fast enough to take full advantage of it, but again, it's something.

Oh yeah, in that grass patch with Abra and Bellsprout Oddish is this guy. Nothing you can't handle, but it can catch you off guard if you're not paying attention.

Poisonpowder poisons the enemy. Shocking, I know.

In an absurd twist of luck, not only do I find an Abra on the way out, but I actually catch it. Woo!

Abra has only two stats worth anything. However, since those stats are Speed and Special, it's pretty great.

Or at least, it would if it could actually attack things.

One good thing about Teleport, however, is that it can be selected in the overworld, like so...

And after a moment...

Bam, you're sent to the last Pokemon Center you visited. This only works in outdoor locations, though. Still quite handy.

After healing, I eventually find this guy, who talks about some S.S. Anne in Vermilion City. I'm sure it doesn't concern me, though.

He does have a Slowpoke, though. Slowpoke's an awesome Pokemon, and everyone besides Heat sucks for not voting for it.

It has Confusion, a Psychic type move that has a chance to confuse the opponent by messing with the screen's lighting. Abra's undoubtedly envious.

Good for you, random trainer.

The guy with the Mankey was also a Jr. Trainer, but this time I remember to take a picture. Good thing they included the gender sign after his name, I might've gotten confused otherwise.

Wonder what his girlfriend would say to that?

...I don't think that guy's getting lucky tonight. Oh well, we got experience, so I for one don't care.

Woo, another TM!

TM 19 teaches Seismic Toss, which does the user's level in HP damage. It also can't land a critical hit. Only moves that do variable damage can land critical hits. Non-damaging moves can't, nor can fixed damage moves. This makes the latter very handy for capturing Pokemon, as unless you misjudge the HP bar, you can't KO what you want to catch.

In other news, giving Abra Seismic Toss was hilariously short sighted. You'll see why shortly.

HE'S A PSYCHIC. And after beating him, he says he knew he'd lose, too. MORE PSYCHICNESS.

Here's Seismic Toss's animation. The enemy becomes a black sphere, then the user and the sphere both leave the screen. The latter reappears as the enemy as the ground shakes, and the user returns soon after. ...At least it's a unique animation.

Free stuff never hurts.

Woo, we're here!

Not much of a decorator, is he? Anyway, seems he's out, so let's see what kind of guard Pokemon he has...


...Say what?

Turns out this is...Bill. Who combined himself with a Pokemon in some crazy experiment.

I think it would be weirder if I DIDN'T have a 'wtf' look on my face.

He wants us to fiddle with the computer so he'll revert to his old self. Eh, I am the silent protagonist, so why not?

...Also, now that I think about it, SOMEGUY was here not long ago, which means that either Bill did this not long ago, or SOMEGUY was a colossal prick and did nothing. Honestly, either sounds reasonable.

,,,Cell Separation System? Well, at least he was prepared for this.

And there's the actual Bill. The Pokemon he was combined with never comes out, though...where'd it go? Where'd it go? These are the questions you wish would be answered, but aren't.

Yeah, you do. Got any Nuggets or Rare Candies?

...Key items work too, I guess. Thanks. I'm going to go train now.

Keep Abra far, far away from physical attacks. It was at full HP before fighting Pidgey, and only got hit twice.

This is image 6-66. Spooky. Abra also reached LV 16. Less spooky.

And thus did Abra evolve int Kadabra. Woo.

WOO. Now it can actually reasonably damage things.

Especially with that Special. Keep in mind that a lot of full evolved Pokemon never even reach ABRA'S Special stat. Kadabra's is crazy high, and it can still evolve again. It doesn't even need a Defense, it can OHKO so often. Which is good, because as you can see, it doesn't have one.

But now we're in a pickle. You see, Kadabra is one of four Pokemon that evolve by being traded. Obviously, I can't trade. So, unless I cheat, I have no choice but to keep it in the Kadabra stage for the rest of the game.

I elect to cheat. I want everything final formed, because otherwise I get OCD. Oh, did I mention that Alakazam is harder to catch than Abra, and it still knows Teleport, which it uses liberally?

However, Alakazam fully cooperates, and the first Poke Ball works. This is why I basically wasted that TM 19, and it's a one of a kind TM. Oh well, could be worse.

Here's how the team looks now. Since you can immediately evolve Pokemon by trading, even right after they just evolved, Alakazam is legal level-wise. It's not so legal in other ways, but since this part's already taken too long, I'm ending it here, while I'm nice and comfy in a Pokemon Center.

Next time, I show why Alakazam by itself breaks this game clean in two!

Yay Alakazam! My most favorite pokemon of all time.

You don't look like Pokemon.
Actually, Steve, that's not true. I can still do the Mew glitch. The Route 25 trainer with Slowpoke is simply the easiest way to face a Pokemon with a Special stat of 15.


Part 7: The Psychics Are Coming, The Psychics Are Coming!

Part 7

In this update: A Bug Catcher that isn't entirely stupid!

Before we tackle the gym, let's screw around in Cerulean City a bit!

The entire remark is about the Pokedex, not Pokemon in general, but if you replace 'encyclopedia on Pokemon' with 'LP on Pokemon', you basically have the thought that triggered this LP. Freaky.

In the house next to the Pokemon Center is this guy, who will offer you a Jynx for a Poliwhirl. This is notable for being the only way in Generation 1 to get a Jynx...in the West. In Japan, they were wild in a late game area. So yep, you couldn't get a Jynx without a nickname until Gold and Silver. A little lame if you ask me.

This girl wants a bicycle...so she can stare at it at home, and not actually use it. I swear I'm not putting words in her mouth this time.

Speaking of which, there's a bike shop here, which is, wait for it...a shop that sells bikes. This guy says they charge an arm and a leg, but it's a bicycle, how bad can it be?

...Holy expletive. That's 6 zeroes. One million Pokedollars. Since the max you can carry is 999999, you can't buy it. Ever. The guy won't even give you a single Pokedollar off. Weak. On the bright side, you can get it for free later, but since I have speed up and certain glitches at my disposal, I have no need for it.

Yes, tell your Slowbro to use a move exclusive to Voltorb and Magnemite. Good job. No wonder it hates you. Though to be fair, she also orders it to use Withdraw, which it can learn.

Also, possibly because of that, in Yellow they change the Pokemon to Electrode, so the girl looks less stupid. Emphasis on less. At any rate, it's a lesson on how traded Pokemon won't obey you unless you have certain gym badges. Since I can't trade Pokemon and none of the Pokemon scheduled to be used is gotten by trade, this is a non-issue.

Enough screwing around, let's get badge #2!

A new trainer type! Swimmers, as you might expect, are found in or near water, and use Water types.

Like Horsea. One thing about a lot of Water types at low levels is that they have pitiful move selection, as they were designed to be obtained later in the game. Horsea, for instance, can only use the lowly Bubble.

I finally get a nice Vine Whip animation shot, so here it is. Unfortunately, Horsea's relatively high Special means that it takes three to defeat it.

He also uses Shellder, whose evolution is possibly one of the strongest Pokemon in all of Generation 1...in Generation 1, at least. A tweak in mechanics completely nerfed it in later games...of course, since Shellder wasn't voted for, feel free to not care about that.

Trainer 2 of 2. If you're wondering, the third gym has 3...but then later gyms beef up their presence, so Gym 4 has a lot more than 4 underlings.

Female Jr. Trainer sprite. Again, Thank goodness they added the gender sign. I was sure that was a dude.

She has Goldeen, which is annoying if you're getting cute with type advantage and using Grass types. See, it happens to know the Flying type move Peck (due to its horn). It's not strong enough to outpace an Ivysaur or Bellsprout using Vine Whip, but it's enough that you'll certainly need to heal before the gym leader.

And here's Misty, the second gym leader. She wears slightly less in the games than in the anime. And I don't mean that ironically.

Her first Pokemon is Staryu, which is less than threatening. LV 18's pretty high, especially if you face this gym first, but it's nothing that can't be handled. Also, Alakazam looks weird because it's in the middle of its 'coming out of its Poke Ball' animation. Could you even imagine if it always looked like that?

Misty's other Pokemon is Staryu's evolved form, Starmie, and arguably the first real challenge of the game. LV 21 is brutal, especially if you do the gym before going to see Bill, and Starmie is both quick and fairly powerful. It has decent defenses as well, so it won't go down in 1-2 hits like Brock's Onix. Unlike Brock, however, you can hold off on Misty until later, as there's nothing stopping you from proceeding in the game in the near future. In fact, you can beat the third gym leader before her, and be no worse for wear. My team can handle it, though, so there's no reason to put it off. Especially since I have Wartortle.

Anyway, Starmie still manages to provide trouble. It actually straight up defeats Pidgeotto, and it would've KO'd Bellsprout as well if I didn't switch it. Alakazam, however, pulled off back to back critical hits to defeat it. Which I wouldn't recommend doing, since to make things even trickier, Starmie's Water/Psychic, so the game breaker Alakazam can't beat it straight up without lots of level and/or luck.

However, the greatness of my team is too much for Misty, and thus I get the Cascade Badge. At this moment, there's a 'tss' to signify that you've gotten the badge, and this happens with all other gyms besides Pewter. Personally, I like to think of it as the the gym leader literally shooting you with the badge to give it to you.

The Cascade Badge is the first of the badges to do this. Basically, traded Pokemon at LV 30 or lower will now listen to your commands instead of lazing about. Nifty.

It also lets you use the Hidden Machine move Cut outside of battle. I've already said that they can be used outside of battle, but what I haven't said is that they require certain badges to use outside of battle. The Boulder Badge enabled Flash, but I didn't mention it since I wasn't even sure if I was going to use it. I think I will, though, so now you know.

To be specific, Cut allows you to get rid of those skinny trees that were acting like douches around Viridian City and such. Spiffy.

Is it better than Bide, at least?

...Why yes, yes it is. TM 11 teaches Bubblebeam, a 65 power Water type move. Wartortle won't get another Water type move naturally for a LONG time, so this is a life saver. It's also good if you trained up Magikarp, since it gives you STAB for Gyarados. Not that it requires it, but STAB is always nice.

After healing, time to check this out. Before meeting Bill, the police officer blocked this house's entrance so you couldn't proceed. However, it's actually entirely possible to beat the game without going in this house: just trade over a Pokemon that knows Cut. There's a Cut-able tree at the south end of Cerulean City, and you can use that to bypass the house. In fact, by doing this, you can proceed east of Cerulean without going to the next gym city, and aren't even required to beat that gym until FAR later than originally intended. And there's some fun sequence breaking info for you.

Also, note the Rocket at the upper edge of the screen. He's definitely not responsible.

...Wow. By Game Boy standards, the thief totally F'd this place up. Talking to the guy in here reveals what was stolen: a TM 28 (Dig). Dig's a very nice move, so I understand him being upset. Maybe we should chat with the Rocket, and see if he saw where the thief went.

Hey, guy! See anyone flee this house with a TM in their hand?

Hey, I was being nice!

In a stunning turn of events, it turns out the Rocket was the one responsible for stealing the TM. Yes, he just hung out in the back yard while the policeman hung out in front. Is it any wonder Pokemon officials are mocked so hard? If the reward for this wasn't so good, I'd be irked. IRKED.

His first Pokemon, Machop, goes down with little fanfare. Unlike a lot of RPGs, Pokemon actually tells you a very good piece of advice early on, and isn't cryptic about it: to raise low level Pokemon, have them lead, then switch for something stronger, and it'll get half the exp even though it didn't do anything. Handy. And in this case, informative, as Bellsprout picks up Sleep Powder. It forgets Poisonpowder, so I can't use Wrap to its full potential, but like I said, Bellsprout's not quite fast enough to pull off that combo reliably.

His other Pokemon is Drowzee, of the infamous Psychic type. It's got Confusion, so needless to say Bellsprout's only out for the experience. Wartortle actually got confused immediately after the switch, but miraculously, it didn't attack itself once.

Woo, TM 28! Wartortle's gonna be so awesome now...on the other hand, I AM the silent protagonist...

Except it doesn't matter, as the guy makes do by catching a Diglett and teaching it Dig via level up. That's...a surprisingly reasonable decision. Kudos for not getting super depressed about it and moving on, guy. And best of all, TM 28 is mine! Contrary to what I said, Wartortle's not getting Dig; I'm saving it for a future team member. And no, it's not the Ground type.

And now we can finally proceed south. Route 5's pretty unremarkable, though it is the first area you can catch Mankey (Red) or Meowth (Blue). The house in the south has a guy that will raise a Pokemon for you, at the rate of 100 Pokedollars PLUS 100 additional Pokedollars for each level gained. I don't recommend this, as you can raise a Pokemon faster on your own, and if you're not careful, you can potentially lose a good move (the top move is automatically eliminated for any new moves learned). Also, for some reason, when you get your Pokemon back, it won't keep any progress towards the next level...even if you get it back before it gained a level. You can actually exploit this to get some really strong low level Pokemon, but since I'm not LPing Stadium, I'm not covering the specifics of that.

This guy does have a rare capitalization error, however, since that's the entire, unabridged line.

Entering the southernmost building gets you stopped by this incredibly thirsty guard. I guess he ate a bowl of popcorn and had nothing to drink with it, or something. This will be more relevant later on.

The third and final building on the route contains a tunnel that takes you to Route 6, which is where you want to go. The kid inside will trade you a Nidoran female for a Nidoran male, or vice versa in Blue. If you've got an extra, it's not a particularly bad trade.

Once in the tunnel, immediately take one step to the left and press A for a Full Restore, which restores all HP, and any statuses. Considering you can't buy them until the endgame, it's getting saved like a mofo.

From there, if you go straight down and repeatedly press A, you'll also get a X Special, which raises the Special stat by 1 stage for as long as that Pokemon is outside of its Poke Ball; switching or ending the battle ends the effect. Situationally useful, but I usually sell them.

Now, let's do a little experiment. Alakazam takes the lead. It's LV 18 right now. There are six trainers here, none of which are cripplingly powerful, but combined can wear you down. Can it sweep all six?

First is a Bug Catcher, so instant 1/6. Yeah, LV 16 Weedle is exactly as idiotic as it sounds.

These two trainers have a gag where they're whispering to each other about what they're going to do to each other that night, but get annoyed if you pop in to say hi. If you want privacy, you might not want to hang out in the middle of a busy route. At any rate, they go down easily, though the girl's Rattata gets in a Quick Attack.

Oh yeah, the guy has a Squirtle of his own. Kinda noteworthy, I thought.

This fourth guy...will probably decide whether or not Alakazam wins this challenge. Even though he's a Bug Catcher.

You see, unlike most Bug Catchers, he wasn't repeatedly dropped on his head as a baby, and so he actually evolved his Caterpie all the way into Butterfree. Its moveset at this level? Confusion, Poisonpowder, Stun Spore, Sleep Powder. Sleep Powder's not too bad, since Alakazam can't get a second status on top of it (Pokemon only allows one of the five major statuses at a time), and its only damaging move is Confusion, so it won't take much damage. Poisonpowder's annoying, but I think I could outmuscle everything in time to beat everyone else before poison got to it.

So naturally, it uses Stun Spore, killing its Speed, and giving it a chance to do nothing each turn. Butterfree goes down without much of a fight, but Alakazam may be boned here.

Considering I wasn't even next to you, no, I didn't want to talk to you. Especially since your girlfriend spammed Quick Attack like there was no tomorrow and got me down to about 1/3 HP, and you have two competent physical attackers in Spearow and Raticate. Alakazam might not make it through this battle conscious.

...But somehow, it did. Spearow spammed Growl, and Raticate's Quick Attack didn't do enough before a critical hit Confusion defeated it.

See, this is why Alakazam is hideously broken in Generation 1. Not only can it be gotten pretty early, but it reaches its final form extremely quickly, and with that Speed (120 base) and Special (135 base, second highest in the game, and the only one with more is specifically designed to be even more broken), can wipe out any non-Psychic type before they can even blink. And in Generation 1, the most common element was Poison. And thanks to the critical hit mechanics, it has one of the highest critical hit rates in the game (23.43%), and sometimes it can feel like it's more often than that.

So yeah. If you want a challenge in this game, do NOT use Alakazam. Hell, even Kadabra's OP.

Well, that was a fun 3 levels for Alakazam. Now for Vermilion City, and-wait, I'm in another city? Time to head for the Pokemon Center and be lazy! Woo! But to be fair, Alakazam earned its laziness today.

NEXT TIME: Awkward moments between a 10 year old boy and old men!

I am enjoying this LP mainly due to the information on the system that I did not know of before. I thought Alakazam was awesome just because he looked cool and had a strong special attack. I was unaware of his speed stat or his critical hit rating.
Back by popular demand!

Part 8: Vermilion Submarine

Part 8

In this update: Discussions about lesbian prostitutes!

Since we're in Vermilion City now, there's only one thing to do: annoy the locals!

To the left of the Pokemon Center is this guy, the self-proclaimed Fishing Guru. Answer yes to your question nets you an Old Rod, which you can use to catch as many LV 5 Magikarp as your heart desires. It's...not very useful, since it only catches one Pokemon, and if you wanted to use one, you should've bought it back at Mt. Moon's Pokemon Center.

Vermilion's apparently eco-friendly as possible, since if they're not, Grimer would start showing up. Seemingly a silly thing to say, but it's actually subtly referenced in Gold and Silver, when another city actually DOES end up with that problem. So there's at least one citizen of this town that doesn't talk out of their ass.

Here, there's a guy clearing land to put up a building. Back in the day, there were a lot of rumors about this guy ultimately building something, like a gym where your rival would challenge you with super high level Pokemon, but like 99.99% of Gen 1 rumors, they were silly and pointless, and the guy is never shown to do anything else. And I mean never.

In one house, there's someone that'll trade their Farfetch'd for a Spearow. Like Jynx in Cerulean City, this is the only way in Red and Blue to get a Farfetch'd. Unlike Jynx, however, you can complete this trade right now, as you've been able to catch a Spearow. And if you haven't, the route east of Vermilion is crawling with them. Spiffy.

Behold, the Pokemon Fan Club, membership: 4! The Pokemon below that dude isn't a Clefairy, but a Pikachu. Ah, the days of limited sprites.

Talk to this guy, the head of the club, and you'll hear him ranting about sleeping with his Rapidash. No, seriously. On the plus side, your reward is the Bike Voucher, which you can take to the bike shop in Cerulean City for a Bicycle, free of charge. The Bicycle lets you move much quicker than on foot, but you can't use it indoors, including various gates. Since I have the power of speed up, it's not needed, so I elect to avoid the awkward situation. Don't worry, there's other awkward situations with old men I can't/don't avoid in this part.

You'll notice that gyms get progressively more dickish the further you get in the game. Vermilion's gym requires Cut to get in, and has the most annoying puzzle of the entire game. Overall, after Cerulean, the game pulls fewer punches. Not that it's overly hard anyway.

This Poke Mart is noteworthy for being the first place to sell Super Potions. Potions recover 20 HP, while Super Potions recover 50 HP. They're really nice for this point in the game, if you need/want them.

This person's writing to a friend in Saffron City, which, according to the letter you can totally read, is having issues with Team Rocket. Incidentally, Saffron City is the area that thirsty guard wouldn't let us go to earlier. Conspiracy? ...Nah.

And that's all for the city, so let's advance plot!

MCEREAL, you dirty, dirty boy.

You can't see it here, but if you do some sequence breaking and come back when you can travel over water, you can find a truck, another subject of many a rumor. Again, those rumors were full of crap, but in the remake, they put in a status heal item for the people that checked it out again. But why is the truck there in the first place? There's nothing like it anywhere else in the game. Is it a holdover from something else? Did someone really, really like trucks, but didn't want to get in trouble for putting it in the game? Unfortunately, we may never know.

Guess who forgot to teach his Wartortle Bubblebeam?

The ship has a couple of new trainer classes, like the Sailor. They use Water types and Machop...with one exception.

Tentacool, AKA the Zubat of the seas, as it's half Poison type, is quick, and learns Supersonic. Unlike Zubat, however, Tentacool has a really good Special, so it can take a hit from that end of the attack spectrum. Unless, you know, it comes from Alakazam. But you can say that about most Pokemon.


And yes, that very trainer uses Tentacool. Make of that what you will. Anyway, here's Supersonic. Alakazam shrugged it off and OHKO'd Tentacool, so ha. I think my Alakazam's lucky in addition to being good.

And after that battle, Bellsprout hits the magic level. It can learn Stun Spore here, but I passed. Paralysis/Wrap is an extremely annoying (if not time consuming) combo, perhaps even moreso than Poison/Wrap, but Sleep Powder will serve it better in the long run.


...I pressed B. If you press B while a Pokemon is evolving, it'll stop and remain as it is. This won't work with stone or trade induced evolutions, or if you try it right before the evolution process completes. The reason I did this was so Bellsprout could get its next move early, since it's a solid one for the time being. Unfortunately, it turns out it gets that move later than I recalled, and even at the end of this part, it still won't know it. I keep it from evolving anyway, since I'm stubborn like that.

Spiffy. TM 44 contains Rest, which puts the user to sleep for two turns...but also completely restores HP and statuses. Not bad on bulkier Pokemon, but I'll probably sell it.

Fisherman is another new trainer class here. They use Water types, as you'd expect.

Poor guy, he wanted to join a pirate ship, but missed the registration date by 300 years.

Hyper Potions restore 200 HP, which is pretty much a full heal unless a Pokemon is super high leveled or has a super high HP stat. But...

I actually went out and crammed my pack full of items just to show this. When you have 20 items, you can't pick anything up. It's an awful feeling, so make sure to organize your stuff every so often.

A young boy walks in on a lonely old man. This won't end well...well, it wouldn't have if this wasn't Pokemon. He's actually the ship's other new trainer type, and has a Pokemon we haven't seen yet to boot, but I forget to screencap both. Oh well, I get another chance, and don't blow it then.


...I think everyone on this ship's first floor is some type of pervert. At least, I'm assuming that 'cherry pie' in an E rated game is a euphemism for a lesbian prostitute. I might be overanalyzing things just a tad, though. Besides, I hate cherry pies. ...The food, that is. The euphemism type can be quite hot.

I like to think that we're just being a dick and refusing to talk to this guy. Everyone else from Pallet Town's apparently a douche, why can't we be one every now and then?

Showing off Bubblebeam, which looks exactly like Bubble at a standstill, but is done much more dramatically in action.

This trainer claims to have Pokemon from around the world...then uses Pidgey and Nidoran female, both of which can be caught right outside Viridian City. What a lying liar.

Not pictured: my joy at finding this TM. Body Slam is an 85 power Normal type move with 99.6% accuracy. That alone makes it an awesome early TM. But it also has a 30% chance of inflicting paralysis. That actually moves it from 'awesome TM you should use' to 'hoard it because it's too good for now', so...yeah. Plus, the only Pokemon I have that can use it are Alakazam (did you see its Attack earlier? it's terrible) and Watortle (already has Mega Punch, so it can live without Body Slam). So it'll be carefully preserved for another Pokemon.

Here's the kitchen/dining area. Let's check the trash for leftover food!

This is the worst kitchen ever, only having trash in its trash cans.

Well, it's not food, but it works. Great Balls catch Pokemon at a x1.5 rate as a regular Poke Ball, and aren't buyable yet. It'll be held on for now, but unlike many randomly found items, this will probably be used.

You can talk to the head chef to see what they're having for supper. Unsurprisingly, he goes on to say he's worried everyone will mutiny over this choice. Other options include steak and salmon salad, the latter of which makes him muse that everyone will complain that it's fish again.

Anyway, let's get some fresh air at the front of the ship. And yeah, guy, I'm sure you want to do a 'jig'. Riiiiiiight.

This guy's dad told him there were 100 Pokemon, but he thinks there are more. Considering your Pokedex has to go up to at at least 109 (Koffing) at this point, and can reach 143 elsewhere on this ship, we could show this guy that he's completely right in thinking his old man's full of crap. But, silent protagonists are prone to being dicks like that.

Finally got a shot of the Gentleman trainer class.

This couple talks about HM moves, including Cut, and some move that lets you travel over water on a Pokemon. I'm sure that won't be relevant to our interests later.

Here's some new Pokemon. Growlithe I won't say much about, since it's scheduled for capture, but suffice it to say that only Magmar can compete with it for the game's best Fire type.

And here's Ponyta. It's...okay, but there are better Fire type options.

With Bubblebeam, there's no need for Water Gun, so I ditch that for Bite. Flinching is always nice.

These two talk about the Safari Zone, which is awesome and contains more than one team member in this playthrough. Did I mention it's awesome?

And these two talk about how the captain's seasick. You know, you could've gone to town and gotten him some medicine instead of hanging around and gossiping about it. Bitches.

Crap, I said the magic summoning word.

...Ow. That hurts a little. Sorry we're too busy being awesome instead of sucking up to people that invite us to fancy ships. As you can see, we're managing just fine that way.

I checked. Without evolving a LOT of Pokemon, or trading, or cheating, this is impossible at this point in the game. Then again, being a self-aggrandizing douche is kinda this guy's deal. Oh yeah, he actually has a new in-battle appearance starting now, but I forgot to take a picture, so whatever.

My Pidgeotto is still way more awesome.

Having no defense is moot when you can OHKO anything that looks remotely threatening. Also, LV 16 Raticate? Not only does it not evolve until LV 20, there's no place in the game where you can catch them low leveled like that. I guess he really did cheat to get to 40 Pokemon.

Kadabra would be much more of a treat if it wasn't for the AI roulette. It only got off one Confusion, though that confused Wartortle into thinking it was a Kadabra, and repeatedly hit itself to try and beat it. At least it snapped out of it in time to finish the real Kadabra off.

Hey look, he finally evolved his starter! Nothing Alakazam can't one-shot, though.

With that, we're all set to check out the captain's room. Sadly, there's nothing to loot in there.

You know, if you get seasick often enough to buy a book of remedies, you might not be fit to be a ship captain.

Gross? Perhaps. But it's a nice touch. If it was 'just trash', it wouldn't be as believable that this guy was sick.

Yep, he's sick, all right. You know what's sicker?

A young boy rubbing an old man's back like that. Incidentally, I had no idea that cured seasickness. But hey, it worked.

See? Now, PLEASE don't ask to return the favor.

Phew, he just gives up our first HM. Cut is 50 power, 94.6% accuracy, and Normal type. It has no other qualities in-battle. Out of battle, we can chop down all the stupid trees we want. Woo! Mother Nature's toast!

Once the captain's better, the ship leaves as soon as you leave it, so make sure you've properly looted it like a good silent protagonist. However, if you cure the captain, then lose to a trainer while still on board, you'll go back to the Pokemon Center, but the ship will remain there, as you never activated the event flag to make it leave, which means you can check out the truck in all its glory and ponder its deeper meaning. You can also trade over a Pokemon with Cut, as that's the only reason you're required to visit the S.S. Anne. So yeah, if you like 8-bit trucks that your character looks half as big as, you've got some ways to get there.

A heal later, and this is the team. Not bad. Next part, I might even evolve Bellsprout.

In the next part: All that practice looking through trash cans pays off!

Now I want you to show the truck.
Azure: No. >:0


Part 9: Soldier On, MCEREAL

Part 9

In this update: I enter the world of (HM) slavery!

...Time for what I find one of the most boring parts of the original games. Oh well, at least I clear most of it out in one day.

Note that POKeDEX number. It's the number caught, not seen. It includes Pokemon you used to have, but evolved, released, or traded. I want it to be 10 for reasons you'll see soon enough, so let's go do some addition.

Like I said, the route east of Vermilion is swarming with Spearow. I take advantage of this.

And thus I do an in-game trade for the first and last time. Yes, it is acknowledged in-game that you're using Game Boys to trade.

Yes, all in-game trainers have the name of TRAINER. And again, yes, you're using actual Game Boys IN-GAME to trade Pokemon. On the plus side, it explains what MCEREAL's doing when I'm not LPing.

Hey, I wanted a Farfetch'd, not a DUX, you little-what? That's just the nickname? The only NPC Pokemon with nicknames in the game are the ones you get via in-game trade? Oh, why didn't you say so?

And there's Farfetch'd. Stats are eh, but it gets the always useful Slash (though it's JUST slow enough to avoid a 100% critical hit rate with it, just a 'mere' 93.75%), and is the only normally obtained Pokemon in the game that can use both Cut and Fly. Pretty handy. Also, if you're wondering, why it's a duck holding a leek, it's because it's based on an old Japanese saying that's something along the lines of "don't look a gift horse in the mouth"...I think. Might be mistaken.

Also, I don't like the term 'HM slave'. Makes it sound like you're working it into the ground, when you're really just carrying it around to do certain things. It actually has it easier, as it gets to pal around with you without having to pull any in-battle weight. And unlike Pokemon sitting in your box that you'll get around to training one day, you'll always have it rotating around in your party, since you need something that can use HMs. So yeah, it's a misnomer. They actually have it made, and people are too idiotic to see that. :'D

With Farfetch'd knowing Cut, I don't have to make Bellsprout learn it, which means I can keep Growth for the time being, which is handy. Also, I can FINALLY mock those trees that have been toying with me the entire time. DIE, TREE! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

...Unfortunately, they grow back whenever you move to a different map, including buildings. Yes, they grow back in like 2 seconds when you're not looking. Nature is a total dick.

Huh, this gym looks kinda wide open...

...Oh. This gym's gimmick is incredibly annoying, but we'll get to that after we beat the crap out of the gym trainers. The guy to the far left is the one Sailor that averts 'water types + Machop', and instead uses Pikachu. Sure, why not?

You can count on one hand the number of Rockers in this game. It's okay if you mistake them with Rockets, however, since they use Electric types. Either way, odds are it'll be something nice and Ground weak.

Okay, puzzle time. First, you need to check the trash cans. If you get this message, it's not the trash can you're looking for.

This is what you want. The gym leader is blocked by a door guarded by two switches, which are hidden in the trash cans. Once you find the first switch, the second one appears in a trash can adjacent to the first (horizontally and vertically only). Sounds simple enough, right?

WRONG! You only have one chance to find that second switch. If you're wrong, the door doesn't open, and the switch is randomly moved to another trash can. Also, after checking, if there aren't four trash cans next to the first switch, it's possible that the game chooses a trash can that doesn't exist, which means that there is NO correct trash can to pick. So it's an exercise in tediousness and luck more than anything. And since it's randomly done, you can't just look up the answer. Ugh.

Luckily, I managed to get it on the second try. I really didn't want to spend 10 minutes fooling around with trash cans.

All gym leaders have a special title according to the signs outside their gym. Lt. Surge's is 'The Lightning American', and apparently he's fought in a war. And apparently, he had his Pokemon actually ATTACK enemy combatants. To say things like this are downplayed in later games is an understatement and a half.

Since this is an Electric gym, Surge leads with Voltorb, who has no Electric attacks. Even if it did, Pidgeotto beat it in two hits, so eh. He also has an entirely forgettable Pikachu, which I forgot to screenshot. Alakazam OHKOing it didn't help that.

He does have this, a LV 24 Raichu. It's the evolved form of Pikachu, though its Speed stat is the same, oddly enough. As the leader's signature Pokemon, it also has a special TM move, Thunderbolt, which is a 95 (!!!) power attack with 99.6% accuracy and a small chance of inflicting paralysis. It's one of the best moves in the game, and we're facing it in Gym 3. However, Lt. Surge tends to lead off by using an X Speed on it, to make sure it's faster. If you have something like Bellsprout, you can use Sleep Powder to knock it out for a couple of free attack turns. In this case, it can also Growth away until even Thunderbolt can't do squat. Plus, it makes Vine Whip much more potent.

Of course, if he's giving you a ton of trouble, there's a very easy way to wipe Surge off the face of the earth, which I'll get to shortly. I end up getting zero trouble, and thus the Thunder Badge is mine. It lets you use Fly out of battle, which is a very handy thing.

(Yes, on rare occasion certain stats aren't increased upon evolution. There are even a couple of instances of Pokemon LOSING stats: for example, Metapod has a lower Attack than Caterpie. These cases are rare, but they happen...the one exception is HP, which will NEVER lower. It can remain the same, however.)

We also get a TM 24 (Thunderbolt) for our very own! This will go into storage for a bit, but will definitely see usage.

Now, if you were having trouble with Surge, you'd come to this place, Diglett's Cave, just east of Vermilion.

Shockingly, it contains Diglett. As stated before, Diglett are fast. As in, 'can outspeed my trained Pidgeotto even with a 3-4 level disadvantage' fast. Its base Speed stat is 95, which is pretty darn fast...by fully evolved Pokemon standards, much less unevolved ones. They also learn Dig naturally and at a measly LV 19. Dig is a 100 base power Ground type attack. I think you can see why Surge is a non-issue with one of these. Oh, and it also gets Slash later on, for Flying types. Yeah, it's a quality Pokemon.

This place also has Dugtrio, who, in addition to the above, has the same base Speed as Alakazam. Yes, THAT gamebreakingly strong Alakazam. And while Dugtrio can't hit as hard as it, it also has more ways to utilize type advantage. In-game, it may be right up there with Alakazam and Nidoking as the easiest way to break the game.

...Look at that level. LOOK AT IT. Trainers won't reach LV 29 for a while, much less wild Pokemon. It's hard to catch, but if you grab a wild Dugtrio, you won't have to worry about much for a good while.

Eventually, I reach the end of the cave, and exit...hey, this jerkwad tree looks familiar.

Pewter City? Yep, Diglett's Cave basically connects Vermilion and Pewter Cities. This is the first way you can access the first few areas again. There's also a few things to grab now that you have Cut.

In the house, you can trade an Abra for Mr. Mime, and unlike most in-game trades, this makes sense for both sides. Abra becomes one of the best Pokemon in the game, but is a royal pain to catch if you're not well prepared. Mr. Mime isn't as good, but is still competent, gets a couple of tricks Alakazam can't, and is extremely rare (this is the only place in Gen 1 to catch one). Not bad.

Despite appearances, this doorway is only one space wide. You'll run into a wall if you try going in from the right.

...Nope, don't remember you at all. Maybe it'll jog my memory if you give me something.

Turns out that Professor Oak's sent an aide here, of all places, to give you a HM 05 (Flash)...IF you have 10 Pokemon registered as 'owned' in the Pokedex. Yes, he's doing it in an easy to miss locale, and yes, he doesn't just give it to you. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the Oaks are DICKS.

Anyway, this is why I wanted 10 Pokemon. It makes the next update much easier to screencap.

Below the...we'll call it a gate, are a couple of nice items, an HP Up and a Moon Stone. Thats 3/5 for the game's Moon Stones, by the way. And yes, there are only 5 per game. On the plus side, however, one is catchable in a post-game area, if you really mess things up.

Remember this guy in Viridian City? Now we can reach him. Apparently, after dreaming about a Drowzee eating his dream, he mysteriously ended up with a TM 42 (Dream Eater). This freaks him out, and gives you the TM. Dream Eater's an...interesting TM, as all of two evolutionary lines get it, and one gets Dream Eater on its own. The other is Drowzee. Thus, if you're using Drowzee, feel free to use this TM. Otherwise, sell it.

...Oh, right, I had two pictures of this event, not one. So, uh, here I am getting TM 42. Hooray.

Dig is a move that requires two turns to use...but unlike most of them, it makes them invulnerable for the first turn it's in use. This makes it fairly handy. It also works as an inverse to Teleport; if you're in a cave or other area with wild Pokemon (and even a couple of gyms), you can use Dig out of battle to send you to the last Pokemon Center you visited. Cool.

I also wanted to show this. If a move strikes an elemental weakness (or resistance), the game will tell you this. However, in Gen 1, this is imperfect, and will sometimes give you messages even when it's not true. For instance, Bellsprout is Grass (resists Ground type moves) and Poison (weak to Ground type moves), so it takes normal damage. Here, however, the 'super effective' message plays. This is because the game is, in a way, confused, as one type is weak to the move, and the other resistant. Ignore it in these instances, as it's still receiving regular damage; the reason Bellsprout was knocked out was due to a critical hit, and would've withstood Dig otherwise. As far as I can tell, the message that's used in this situation is however it would affect the Pokemon's SECOND type. Bellsprout's second type is Poison, which is weak to Ground, so it gets the super effective message.

As it turns out, LV 26 is the level that Bellsprout gets the move I wanted. Naturally, the game mocks me for this.

There we go. Acid is a 40 power Poison type move, with a 20% chance of lowering the target's Defense. It's stronger than Vine Whip, has more PP (Vine Whip has a bizarrely low 10 PP), and runs off of Bellsprout's slightly higher Attack, so it's the better general purpose move.

To B, or not to B, that is the question. ...Sorry, I've been holding that one in since yesterday.

There we go. Weepinbell doesn't have any drastic stat boosts or other fancy qualities, but statistically it's an improvement. Lookwise, eh. It's neat, but it's not quite as endearingly goofy looking as Bellsprout, and not as awesome looking as Victreebel, its final stage. It's just sort of in its awkward middle stage, so to speak. Nothing to hold against it.

The route east of Vermilion isn't very exciting, unless you want to use Farfetch'd or Drowzee. I'll just list some trainer highlights. ...I used Wartortle against this trainer. I REALLY should've used Alakazam or Weepinbell, and mocked the irony of the situation. Oh well.

This trainer becomes a whiny little bitch after beating him. Yeah, that's right. Whine some more, you little bitch. I WON, AND YOU DIDN'T EVEN LAND A HIT.

One trainer here has a Nidorino, who's noteworthy.

Gamblers are odd birds, as they always use two Pokemon, and in most cases, those two have some sort of relation (i.e. Oddish and Bellsprout). They also have one of the highest payouts of normal trainers, so it's a good idea to fight them.

...It only dawns on me now that this guy had a Pokemon I'd yet to screencap. Oh well. I'll get other chances to show Vulpix. Also, there's another trainer in this route that claims he's never lost. Oddly, this trainer is probably the harder fight of the two (Growlithe and Vulpix vs. Voltorb and Magnemite) despite being the one that's never won.

There are exactly two Engineers in this game. Two of them are right here on Route 11.

I REALLY want to know where he got a LV 18 Magneton. I want one.

Weepinbell's a druggie...WHAT HAVE I DONE?! ...Another gem I've been waiting a whole day to let out. If happiness was a stat in Gen 1, Weepinbell would totally hate me if it read this LP section.

Poliwag's new, and has the combo of being fairly speedy and knowledge of a sleep move, the 59.6% accurate Hypnosis. It's annoying, but not exactly dangerous.

At the far end of the route is a guard house with two floors. On the upper floor is a guy that'll trade you a Nidorina for a Nidorino. Eh, it wasn't bad when dealing with the first forms, but here it's sorta outlived its usefulness. I'd pass, unless you have an extra Nidorino lying around for some reason.

There's also another aide du Oak here. He gives you an Itemfinder...if you have 30 'owned' in the Pokedex. Unlike SOMEGUY's bragging abour 40, you can have 30 at this point, but you've really had to have been catching everything along the way. As for the reward, if you use the Itemfinder, it'll let you know if there's any invisible items on the screen. Fairly handy.

I don't need it, though.

What I do need, however, is a way to remove this Pokemon from the road. But that won't be happening for a while, so, detour time!

An example of a move (Acid) allegedly doing 'not very effective' damage on a Pokemon that takes neutral damage from it. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE LIES.

Anyway, if you go east from Cerulean, you're stopped cold by this lone tree. Unless you have Cut and the Cascade Badge, and guess what I have? MWAHAHAHAHAHA.

TM 30 teaches Teleport, which I've already covered. It's handy, but I'd just sell it, honestly.

I think this Hiker is Canadian, eh?

...Crap, I found where Dark's been hiding.

He has a Charmander. Poor Charmander.

North of Dark is the another Bug Catcher with a functioning brain, as he has a pair of Beedrill. Unfortunately for him, they're LV 19. One more level, and they'd get the completely exclusive to Beedrill Twineedle, a Bug type move that can poison enemies, and is the only way you can poison enemies without a Poison type move. Not that it'd matter here, as Alakazam is a OHKO machine.

Just what Alakazam needed...a more powerful move. Man, it was really starting to lag behind until now. (/sarcasm)

Psybeam basically sacrifices 5 PP for an extra 15 base power compared to Confusion. I think that'll work.

I AM the Itemfinder.

This Bug Catcher is the third most intelligent Bug Catcher on this route. There are exactly two Bug Catchers here.

He does have Venonat, which ultimately serves as Butterfree Plus, as it has a very similar movepool, but slightly better stats.

Shut up and make me a sandwich, woman.

She actually has Meowth, which is quick and knows Bite. Annoying if the RNG hates you. Then again, overall, Pokemon's RNG is probaly less proactive in trying to beat you into the ground than a lot of RPGs, so I guess I can cut it some slack every so often. Besides, flinch is moot when you have Quick Attack.

Noteworthy in that I used Psybeam, and Alakazam had no accuracy modification. That's why moves are 99.6% accurate in Gen 1, and not 100%.

Anyway, that's enough for today. Like Mt. Moon, the next cave area has its own Pokemon Center for the sake of convenience. It also has Cut trees of varying relevance.

Next time: HM selections are questioned!