Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tobi Nuzlockes: The other gyms

Before going on the next quest, a friend of mine was kind enough to trade me some gals from Pokémon Omega Ruby (the less cool, loser version that the hip kids don’t choose). I’m now a Seedot richer, which is good because I like to dump Pokémon in the PC when they reached their final form. My new “;-|” the Seedot will be able to take over for Grass or Dark types if the opportunity comes.

Next up on the agenda is going all the way back to the home town. Brandon offers to take me, and I won’t say no to a free teleport. We instantly make it to the next gym, which is run by my dad. His gym specialises in Normal-type Pokemon and using performance enhancers. Didgeridoo knows a double kick, move, which ensures none of these people offer any sort of challenge. I normally like Normal types, but they are pretty consistently lame in this version sadly enough. Poor Norman feels the crushing weight of being effortly schooled by his daughter who didn’t start Pokémoning until a week ago. Maybe it’s time he re-thinks his life choices.

Badge Count: 5
Outside of the gym crybaby Wally and his dad give me HM03 Surf in the hope I won’t trash him again. Maybe it’s because I was feeling generous, or maybe it’s because the game wouldn’t let me kick his ass, but I graciously spared him. Wally then teleports me back to Mauville to make up for the massive amount of backtracking I would have had to do, so this means I can now press on again.

Before I do that however I got another trade Pokémon from my bud. This time I got a Zangoose, which I appreciate a lot, since I could never catch it myself in this version of the game. That said, since Zangoose has no evolutions, I will never ever not once use her. 

Steven spots me roaming around the world and ropes me into going on a magic carpet (read: latios) ride to an abandoned island. This is where we find a Latias, whom Team Aqua wants to snag away from us. I don’t care either way, but when Steven asks me if I want to fuck dudes up, I cannot refuse. Protecting the Latias made it make a bloodpact with me, and now I own it. Steven also gives me a thing that allows me to digivolve this Latias. I don’t know why people constantly give me free stuff, but I’ll gladly take it. Sadly enough Steven nor this Latias knew what I do with Pokémon that can’t evolve, so this Latias and its precious rock are both getting hoarded in my PC forever. 

Pressing on, a fisherman asks me if I can appreciate a nice rod. Hell yeah I do, so I tell him exactly that. Pleased with my enthusiasm, he gives me his rod, which the game tells me is quite good. I also find Team Aqua attacking a weather institute. They reveal their plan again to destroy the world, which they question may or may not be a super duper idea. OH WELL. The weather people give me a Castform, which I immediately box away, never to see sunlight again.

A long boring trek later, I meet Brandon again who forgot his place once more. He challenges me to a duel in which he gets crushed quite hard. I take his lunch money and his HM02 Fly. FINALLY! This is the single most precious move to me in the entire game, because it lets you fast-travel to every city you’ve been to. Sadly enough I’m not allowed to use it yet, because I don’t have a permit.

I then arrive to Tarzanville, a town full of treehouses. A kid there wanted to trade a Spinda for a Skitty, and since Spinda doesn’t evolve and Skitty does, I kindly agreed to it. I had the fortune that this Skitty was a girl, so she won’t be instantly discarded. The town itself is pretty boring and annoying to navigate, so I try to go to the gym, but for some reason I’m blocked by an invisible wall. checking around a bit, I notice Steven who tells me the invisible walls are actually cameleon Pokémon. That’s not how camouflage works, but I won’t break my head too much over it. He gives me more stuff and I can do the gym now, so back I go! The gym turns out to be a flying one. Flying types are weak to electric, rock or ice attacks, and I have exactly zero of those. Time to brute-force my way through this thing. I won’t lie, I did not have the easiest time here, and I had to go heal up after pretty much every single fight. 

Badge Count: 6
Armed with my new badge, I can finally fly to my heart’s content now! Sadly enough I noticed that none of my decent Pokémon were capable of flight, and I don’t care enough to switch one out yet. I hope back on my bike and wade my way through tall grass and puddles. One of the trainer encounters with a delinquent trainer sadly enough cost me the life of my newly traded Skitty “Sketit”. I wasn’t really planning on making much use of this little kittycat, but its name (which I did not give) made me laugh. RIP Sketit, may you encounter no Sharpedos in the Poké-afterlife. As I slowly make the funeral march back to Pokémon Centre, I suddenly get mobbed by a swarm of FIVE ODDISH. I don’t approve of this duel-battle nonsense that this game sometimes does, and triple battles are especially a no-no, but a horde of FIVE ODDISH invading my funeral is just unacceptable. I incinerate all but one of them, and take it as my prisoner.

I pass the Safari Zone, which apparently is free nowadays. It’s hard to argue with that price, but I still can’t be arsed. I just made use of their PC and went on my way again. I arrived at the town of Lillycove, which is pretty uneventful. By that I mean there’s no gym here, and only contests and places that foreshadow Team Aqua stuff. They tell me to go to Mt Pyre, and so I do. It appears to be a cemetery built inside a mountain that is only accessible by boat or water pokémon. Sounds kind of cruel to make morning people go through all that hassle, but Hoenn is not exactly known for its convenience and hospitality. Lots of fights later, I make it to the top. Team Aqua found a blue rock, which is part of their master plan. They bail and I get its red sister-orb. Before they bail, they tell me they’re going to Slateport. Ugh, it’s going to be one of those sequences, is it? I drudge my way to Slateport, fight some dudes and hear that they stole a submarine there. Where I need to go now is back to Lillyport again. They had a not super secret base over here, so I storm that one. I fight a lot of identical Pokémon load-outs again, and make it to the submarine. Team Aqua Admin Matt challenges me to a duel again and says the word “bro” a lot. His characterisation is as weak as his Pokémon, because I smoke his lineup once more. While this waste of time was wasting my time, the submarine takes off again. Goody.
Not sure what to do now, I wander around the world for a while until I reach another town. Finally one with a gym. It’s a psychic gym, which I’m not really equipped to deal with. Once again I am forced to brute force my way through, rather than play strategically, but I pull it off nonetheless. 

Badge Count: 7
As I walk out the gym, a beacon of light shines out of the sea. Steven appears and gives me Dive and tells me to go over to the beacon. Easier said than done. After lots of aimless swimming and diving, I find the right place. Even Though I can’t read it anywhere, I feel like the cave I’m in is called the cave of Golbat-y Despair. I swear there is nothing in here but Golbats and they pop up every 5 seconds. Luckily I bought some repels. Actually I fibbed there a bit. There are other things in this cave too. Lots of Not-Team-Rockets. Team Aqua is here with their identical pokémon load-outs again. I kick their ass, as well as their leader Archie’s. For whatever reason he still thinks reviving Kyogre is a good idea, in spite of the world-ending consequences that even the smallest child could predict. He proceeds to do exactly that, and OOOH MY GOOOOOD FLOODING THE WORLD IS BAD?! Well suckle on my earlobes and call me Colonel Mustard. This is such a huge, unforeseen twist.

Whatever, Tobi and his near-infinite supply of Ultra Balls will fix this.Good thing I did buy a crazy amount of them too, because it took me nearly 20 balls to catch this guy. Catching him solved the global flood problem and turned everything back to normal. The criminal organisation that was behind it said they were sorry and don’t need to go to jail or anything.

There’s also a water type gym after this, which Guttertrash one-shot her was through.

Badge Count: 8
Now that I had all the badges, it was time to head to the Victory Road. That place was surprisingly short. It did have Wally, whom I’m not sure what he’s doing in here. I don’t think the guy had any badges, going by how weak and pathetic he is.

The Elite Four is nothing special either. I took them out with pretty much just Didgeridoo and Guttertrash, who were just so much higher level than anyone else. I beat the Elite Four and face the current champion… Steven. He absolutely trashes my party, which caught me by surprise. I was able to pull through with the sole survivor being Guttertrash the Ludiculo. A few brave Pokémon gave their lives so I could heal him back up. It was an absolute massacre, but I emerged victorious. Brendan and Professor Birch were late to the party as usual. He thinks that people that can beat the Petalburg Gym leader have what it takes to become a champion, but that was seriously one of the most effortless gyms in the game.

I immortalise my crew in the Hall of Fame:
Didgeridoo the Blaziken (RIP)
Costly Willy the Kyogre (RIP)
Guttertrash the Ludiculo
Glossles the Aggron (RIP)
Nimbuzzard the Altaria (RIP)
Super Souper the Alakazam (RIP)

Brendan cheekily thinks he has the right to challenge me to a duel during the credits too. Pretty unfair, since 5 of my 6 mons just passed away. He tried to cover this fact up by healing everyone back up, but THATS NOT HOW WE DO THINGS. I decided to exclusively use Guttertrash for this fight, and we still easily disposed of him. This is why I’m a champ and you aren’t, Brandan. Know your place.

Afterwards a weird cutscene took place, which I almost mistook for my 3DS freezing. That should tell you plenty about how lovely and interactive it was. Whatever it is, it’s none of my business, as I beat the game!

Final thoughts:
I’ve never been a huge fan of the third generation of Pokémon, and while plenty of my original issues were still present, quite a few were also resolved. Along with that, there are also a substantial amount of improvements in its core systems. If you’re going to play Ruby or Sapphire, this is by far the best way to play these games. They’re faster, more convenient, nicer looking and contain a lot more features.

Concerning the Nuzlocke Run I think it was a moderate success. It did make me feel a lot more invested than I normally do. I did notice one small issue however, and it’s one that’s an extension of a problem I usually have when playing these games. I usually end up rotating my team very little, and focus on two of three monsters to play the entire game. I basically ended up doing the same thing here, causing me to have two mons that were like 15~20 levels above everyone else at all times. I think if I do another Nuzlocke, and I honestly think I might, I’d definitely look into a rule that would force me to switch things up more. Not having to rely on just two would have prevented me from getting slaughtered as much as I did in the Championship match. Either way, I can definitely recommend a Nuzlocke Challenge to any Pokémon veteran.

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