Yvonne: Log Seven

It has now been twenty days since I “beat” Pokemon Y. By “beat” I mean, defeated the Elite Four and the League Champion. That’s been what I’ve defined as “beating” a Pokemon game since I was a little kid. Catching them all, or getting into the deep competition meta-game has never been my thing. The Elite Four and Champion of Pokemon Y are entertaining enemies, with theatrics unlike what I’ve seen in past games, though they were pushovers. I feel like Pokemon Y doesn’t exactly know who its for, as the story goes into dark territory, but the characters are so shallow and the writing so dumbed down. That was never more apparent than the end of the game, in which an immortal being interrupts the Star Wars: A New Hope-esque awards ceremony (where your useless friends are celebrated as heroes alongside your character, even though you do all of the work) and challenges you to a battle. The circumstances surrounding the immortal being are disturbing and heart-wrenching, in theory, but your character just smiles gladly and accepts the invitation to battle. The end of the game was entirely underwhelming, and I feel totally okay about expecting more from a Pokemon game, Pokemon Emerald knew how to make the end feel like this big emotional moment, Pokemon Y just spilled all over the place.

I find myself wishing that I could just put together teams without doing all of the catching and training. There are all of these teams I’d like to use in online battles, but I am so done with catching and training. Pokemon Y feels like its run its course, for the time being, until I find out how to Action-Replay or cheat my way into building competitive teams. I can’t believe I’m actually writing that, as I’ve always stood my ground about the value of playing Pokemon “the way it’s meant to be played,” but I’ve realized that gets very, very boring, and very, very repetitive.

So that being said, this will be the last Nuzlog post for a while.

Yvonne: Log Six

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Eight badges in and ready to take on the Elite Four and League Champion, but how did we get here? Well, since last time, I raised a Level 1 Beldum from Japan into a hardy Level 73 Metagross that wrecked shop on the final Gym Leader, Wulfric. Wulfric might be one of my favorite Gym Leader personalities, though I’ve always thought Ice Trainers were particularly well designed. But lets go back a second there: from Level 1 to Level 73 in five days, and that’s not with excessive play either, that took all of four or five hours to do. That’s the speed at which Pokemon can be raised now I suppose, with foreign country, traded, lucky egg, exp. share, and Pokemon-Amie bonuses.

A-Team
Lv. 73 Metagross
Lv. 70 Florges
Lv. 73 Heliolisk
Lv. 72 Kingdra
Lv. 70 Haxorus
Lv. 71 Meowstic

B-Team
Lv. 62 Umbreon
Lv. 60 Dragalge
Lv. 54 Hippowdon
Lv. 55 Gothitelle
Lv. 56 Noctowl
Lv. 59 Staraptor

Future Prospects
Lv. 48 Whiscash
Lv. 30 Xatu
Lv. 16 Frogadier
Lv. 50 Trevenant
Lv. 45 Torkoal
Lv. 37 Litwick

I’ve been trying my hand at random online battles, and it’s very addicting. I think after I beat the Elite Four, I might begin training teams specifically for online competitive play, maybe even entering the world of IV/EV training that I don’t care for so much.

Yvonne: Log Five

 

Since last time, I’ve gotten the seventh badge for defeating the psychic gym leader, Olympia. Kind of a pushover really, since Yvonne rolls with a freaking Umbreon which can’t be hit with psychic moves. Before we could move onto the final badge, victory road, and the Elite Four, we had to take the “Bad Guy” diversion for about two days. What are they up to this time those pesky bad guys? Taking over radio towers? Climate change? Pokemon Kidnapping?

Would you believe me if I told you that you had to stop the mass murder of millions of people, and all Pokemon?

Yvonne

Because check it out, in the ensuing battle with Team Flare, Yvonne stands alone in a town that now sports a giant crater. The story of Pokemon Y is freaking dark and I think it’s pretty cool that Nintendo went ahead and okay’d a story that would bring up World War II themes. There are mushroom clouds, mass graves and everything. I managed to catch the game’s titular legendary, Yvetal with an Ultra Ball, which is nice – it means I can save the Master Ball for Articuno, Moltres, Zapdos, or Mewtwo.

Anyways, Yvonne is going full steam ahead into the final gym battle, so let’s see where that team’s at.

Team
Heliolisk Lv.68
Meowstic Lv.62
Kingdra Lv.63
Florges Lv.63
Haxorus Lv.60
Umbreon Lv.57
Staraptor Lv.50
Dragalge Lv.49

At this point, if you aren’t on the “Team” you don’t even really deserve mention here anymore. Is that a little sad? Maybe, you might notice that none of my starters are here anymore – Blastoise, Chesnaught, and Blaziken are all gone, phased out and replaced. But that how things go in Pokemon, and eventually this “Team” list of eight has to be sculpted into a well-rounded six. Tough business.

 

Yvonne: Log Three

Pokemon Y is not a very difficult game, but it is very fun. Wonder-trading continues to be an addicting, Pokemon-roulette of sorts. I traded a Level 25 Meowstic, and I could have ended up with a Level 1 Caterpie, but I ended up with a Level 35 Klefki from Japan. My A-Team Pokemon are almost always overpowered when dealing with other trainers and Gym Leaders, which maybe explains why I spend so much time with my B-Team and my… C-Team?

A-Team
Meowstic Lv.45
Umbreon Lv.45
Heliolisk Lv.44
Chesnaught Lv.44
Blaziken Lv.47
Blastoise Lv.43

B-Team
Hippowdon Lv.35
Axew Lv.30
Floette Lv.29
Pangoro Lv.43

C-Team? or, Pokemon I Have But Don’t Use
Victreebel Lv.46
Sandslash Lv.44
Gabite Lv.28
Skrelp Lv.25
Klefki Lv.35
Honedge Lv.32
Golett Lv.24
Linoone Lv.24
Braixen Lv.30
Beedrill Lv.23
Jolteon Lv.22

It’s weird, you know? I’m taking on the fifth gym right now, an Electric-Type gym, with my B-Team Hippowdon. He’s not the strongest Ground-Type I have, that would be the Sandslash I got over Wonder-Trade. But I’m using him because he’s closer in level to the gym trainers, and I want to get more money, and gain more experience. The way the gym is structured, I could probably fight all of three trainers and move on to the gym leader, but I’m going out of my way to fight all nine trainers – because my B-Team could use the experience, and Yvonne could use the money. I know back when I was little, when I was Pokemon’s target audience, I would have taken the shortcuts. It almost seems disingenuous of the game NOT to tell you “Hey, take the longer route, you’ll benefit.”

 

Nuzlocke Challenge 2: Log Two

Log Two

  1. Neko puts on his running shoes and heads out on Route 101 to catch his first Pokemon, hopefully. He catches a Level 2 Barboach, and names it Nicky. Nicky is a Rock and Steel Type Pokemon, with a Timid Nature and a Shed Skin Ability that gives him a 33% chance of randomly curing Burns or Poisons. He knows the attack Muddy Water. He doesn’t seem like a poor team mate.
  2. With some light training, Nicky reaches Level 6 and learns Iron Tail, and Thundershock. Dude, what? Nicky seems pretty freaking awesome, actually.
  3. Neko’s second acquisition of the day is Osiris, a Level 2 Magmar he captured on Route 103. Osiris is a Dark Type Pokemon, with an ability that makes him impervious to paralyze, a Sassy Nature, and he knows four moves already. Hidden Power, Teeter Dance, Thundershock, and Super Fang. On top of all of this, Osiris was holding a Great Ball, so Neko gets a head start on the advanced inventory items.
  4. Neko and I force Osiris to Level 6 by making him kill Onixes over and over again, but he doesn’t learn anything. Still, I have a soft spot for Magmar’s since Kingsford – and even if this isn’t a Fire-Type Magmar, I have a good feeling about Osiris.
  5. Neko’s third catch of the day is Chu, a Level 4 Chinchou captured on Route 102. Chu is a Flying Type Pokemon, with Marvel Scale ability, a Gentle Nature, and knowledge of the Façade and Mean Look attacks.
  6. Neko’s first opponent on Route 102 is Rattata Rank Calvin, who has a grossly green Houndoom, and then his second opponent is Rye Catcher Rick who owns a bright pink Cloyster, and a bright red Gorebyss. I have to stop and think for a second about how bizarre the trainer randomizations are.
  7. In Petalburg, Neko’s father makes him take some kid named Wally into the tall grass to catch a Pokemon. Neko’s father gives him a Bayleef of all things, to help in this errand. Talk about downgrading! Here’s a Bayleef, now, go use it to catch one hell of a Rattata. In practice though, Wally gets a major upgrade, as he catches one badass Oddish that nearly killed his Bayleef. Wally and Neko return to the Petalburg Gym, where Neko’s father is furious that Wally almost got the Pokemon lent to him killed.
  8. On Route 104, Neko runs into the coolest looking Skarmory anyone’s ever seen before. The monster is a bright purple and blue, flying steel death machine that reminds him of when he used to play Halo 2. As such, when this monstrosity is tamed and captured, Neko names it Banshee. Banshee is a Psychic and Water Type Pokemon, with an ability that raises Attack, and knowledge of Swift, and Beat Up. For as cool as Banshee looks, he’s kind of underwhelming.
  9. Neko is out of Pokeballs and has to spend some of his fight money to replenish his stock. Capturing four Pokemon in one day and only wasting six Pokeballs isn’t at all bad, Neko figures. After fighting some trainers on Petalburg’s beaches, Nikita reaches Level 11 and learns Flatter, which is an alright move.
  10. Despite the weird makeup of the team, and the potentially interesting future of this squad, Neko finds himself somewhat bored here in Petalburg. He’s almost acquired a full team of six, but he’s unfamiliar with most of them. On the shores of this small town, Neko wonders what the hell any of this is about, and why he couldn’t have lived a quieter life. Nuzlocke 4

Nuzlocke Challenge 2: Log One

The only way to make a randomized Nuzlocke crazier? What’s crazier than randomizing the starter Pokemon and the Pokemon I encounter along the way in the wild? This time every single Pokemon in the game has a randomized type, move set, stats, and color palate. That’s right. Nuzlocke 2 is downright stupid. It might not even be playable. With that being said, let’s start.

Log One

  1. This randomized copy of Pokemon Emerald doesn’t mess around. Instead of whatever common Pokemon that Professor Birch usually shows off at the beginning of the game, he’s got a pink and purple Registeel with him. The game hasn’t even quite begun and it’s already bizarre. Last time around I played as a girl named Coco, this time I’ll play as a young lad named Neko. When you play as a boy I think you start off in a different house than you do if you choose to play as a girl, that’s a cool touch; regardless of who you choose those characters start off in the same house.
  2. I set the timer on my clock to 10:52 PM which is the in-real-life time right now, not that it matters. Neko and the girl next door, May, introduce themselves to each other, exchange pleasantries. Neko notices a Nickleback poster in May’s room and figures he’ll sit this one out.
  3. Professor Birch; who only moments ago wielded the power of a Registeel, is now being hounded by a Kingler. I can choose one of these three Pokemon to save the day… a purple and green Doduo, a Bulbasaur that looks like it’s colored by a three year old, and what looks like a shiny Aerodactyl. Now remember… just because I pick say… Bulbasaur doesn’t mean I’m going to get a Grass/Poison type Pokemon; he might be a Fire/Flying or whatever else you could imagine. That being said, I’m going to pick Aerodactyl. My Aerodactly is a Grass-Type Pokemon, with the Inner Focus ability which prevents flinching, a lonely nature, and whose only attack is Metronome. Aerodactyl’s Metronome produced Sacred Fire and killed that Kingler dead.
  4. Tyrus the Aerodactly joins Neko’s squad. The Professor asks us to go meet up with May up the road. Neko runs into an albino Flygon. Tyrus’ Metronome deals death eventually, but not before the Flygon can deal enough damage and inflict poison on Tyrus. Tyrus the Aerodactly, dies.
  5. We start over. Professor Birch is being held hostage by an angry Absol. Neko has to choose between a yellow Dratini, a green Meowth, and a green Roselia. Neko, remembering his own namesake, chooses the green Meowth. This green Meowth is a grass type, with the Hustle ability which exchanges accuracy for attack power, with an Impish nature. He knows the moves Clamp and Dream Eater. Meowth clamps onto the icy blue Absol, who, unfortunately, has a poison-on-contact ability. Absol dies at the hands of Meowth, but not before Meowth is brought to near-death, clinging onto a measly 4 health points. Good enough. Bake the Meowth joins the team! Bake was holding onto TM42: Heal Bell. I taught him the move, not really caring about what the consequences would be. I don’t like Bake’s chances of survival.
  6. Neko’s Meowth gets into a fight with a wild Skitty, and he starts to wonder if this is too much cat for his own good. The Skitty’s fur is a bright red color, with a pink chest. She must have been a fire type, as Bake’s clamp deals a one-hit KO. Their second encounter is with a bright green Elekid, which Bake also deals a one-kit KO to. Color hasn’t much to do with type I guess, as I don’t know what could be bright green and week to a Water-type attack.
  7. Out of Route 101, into Oldale Town, and onto Route 103 after a quick Pokemon Center trip. Neko is a man on a mission. A pink and purple Wingull stops the speeding train that is the Neko-Bake duo, bringing Bake closer to the brink of death than he’s previously experienced – forcing him to use Struggle after exhausting all other options, with only 2 health points and a bad burn. If whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, then Bake’s on the fast track to being a freaking brick of a warrior.
  8. Neko finally catches up with May, a mission that caused him to lose his first Pokemon and nearly lose his second on two occasions. May and Neko decide to duel, her Medicham (which is an icy shade of blue with maroon highlights) against Neko’s Meowth… and wouldn’t you know it? Neko’s second Pokemon, Bake, dies.
  9. We start over. The Professor is being mugged by a gang of Exeggcute. Neko and his Ground-Type Hoothoot are here to save the day. Hoothoot has Guts (an ability which ups her attack if she’s suffering) and is Relaxed, she’s here to do some damage. She knows Blaze Kick, and Dig. Neko needs her to do well in this fight… third time’s the charm. The green gang of eggs falls victim to the fiery talons of Hoothoot.  Nikita the Hoothoot joins Neko’s squad. During a training montage Nikita beats up a bunch of wild Onixes (which are light blue in color and impervious to Ground-type attacks). Nikita reaches Level 6 and learns Jump Kick. The mental image of a jump-kicking Hoothoot is too amazing for words. Neko loves Nikita. Neko and Nikita train until she has reached Level 9, and then they challenge May to a fight.
  10. May brings a Level 5 Mantine to a Level 9 Hoothoot Fight. Nikita uses Dig and kills Mantine in two turns; it wasn’t super effective, and I have no idea what type Mantine is. May and Neko call it a day and return to the Professor to get Pokedexes and Pokeballs; you know, standard stuff. With two losses already, things are looking tough for Neko, and Nuzlocke Challenge 2: Electrode Boogaloo isn’t screwing around.

nuzlocke1 Nuzlocke2

Nuzlocke Challenge: A Short Reflection

I’ve been done with my Pokemon Emerald Randomized Nuzlocke Challenge since June 2nd. Whether a result of the rules of a Nuzlocke Challenge, or because of my logs I’m not sure, but this experience has lead to a deeper bond with my Pokemon team than any previous play-through. “Deeper bond” might sound weird, even creepy, but all that really means is that for the first time ever I’ve completed a play through of a Pokemon game and can remember which Pokemon were on my team, and what their names were. Paying close attention to the game’s dialogue, and strictly following the Nuzlocke death rules made Pokemon Emerald funnier and darker at times, and sometimes darkly funny.

There’s only one place to go after this… starting tonight I present my second installment of the Nuzlocke Challenge…

Nuzlocke Challenge 2: Electrode Boogaloo