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.
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.
Lv. 73 Metagross
Lv. 70 Florges
Lv. 73 Heliolisk
Lv. 72 Kingdra
Lv. 70 Haxorus
Lv. 71 Meowstic
Lv. 62 Umbreon
Lv. 60 Dragalge
Lv. 54 Hippowdon
Lv. 55 Gothitelle
Lv. 56 Noctowl
Lv. 59 Staraptor
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
C-Team? or, Pokemon I Have But Don’t Use
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.”
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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