Soul Swapped Challenge: Episode One

What if you took Soul Silver, and changed all of the rules? And what if by changing all of the rules, all I meant was randomizing the Pokemon in the game? That’s what the Soul Swapped Challenge is, because I just made it up. How random is it? Well, Zoey, our trainer (male character, female identity) chose Swalot as her starter. That Swalot has the ability “Cute Charm” which causes infatuation on contact. So this purple blob of a Pokemon that many consider a simple glutton is actually quite the charmer! That’s when I decided to commit to doing a Soul Swapped run.

When that Swalot grew up to Level 6, it had the opportunity to learn Captivate, a move that targets Pokemon of the opposite gender into lowering their Special Attack. Look at this fancy dude, he’s all about stirring up romance! Unfortunately, among Stealth Rock, Softboiled, Poison Jab, and Gastro Acid, I couldn’t find a spot in Swalot’s moveset for Captivate – as funny as it would have been.

I’ve never used a Swalot before, and perhaps I always thought it a second-rate Muk, but only a half hour into my game, I’ve grown to love this guy. Appropriate that Soul Silver is where I fell in love with Muk, that I’d come to like another Poison-type here in Soul Swapped. Swalot just straight-up roars at everything he sees, and hits it with the Poison Jab all ninja-like, despite his amorphous blobby physique.

The man who lives on Route 30 who isn’t Mr.Pokemon is trying way too hard to impress Zoey, giving her a bunch of nonsense about Apricorns and Apricorn Boxes and yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever Mr. Non Pokemon – we have a Togepi Egg to retrieve. Then again… it might not be Togepi in the egg. On next week’s episode: Zoey gets an Egg!

swallot

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Nuzlocke Challenge Two: Log Six (Finale)

On Route 117 I catch a Seadra with a Great ball, and on Route 118 I fish a Horsea with a Poke Ball. That means I’m two steps closer to having an all-water team, but not any closer to finding somebody who can learn cut.

I decide that I’m ready to take on the Electric-type gym, which is a huge mistake. I think that Beefy is hot shit, you know? He’s level 20, has a good attack or two; and he can carry this team that’s almost entirely weak to electricity. Like I said, it’s a huge mistake, and Wattson the gym leader totally destroys my team.
Twitch the Magnemite, Beefy the Machop, Roland the Gastly, Rhaena the Seadra, Tree Fiddy the Lapras, and Asha the Goldeen: all gone. In staying with the Nuzlocke rules, each was released, which meant that all of my best team-mates were gone for good.

Thus, ends Nuzlocke Challenge 2. Fitting that there be a dark middle chapter in this Nuzlocke Blog Saga. This second Nuzlocke Challenge was plagued by boredom initially, and was rebooted, and even that didn’t quite fix the problem. I think I’ve just played randomized Pokemon Emerald ROMs just one too many times… And by documenting every little part of the game, I really left nothing to return to on a second playthough. So, I’m glad to announce that what I do next will be completely different. A randomized Pokemon Volt White regular-old playthrough. No Nuzlocke rules: and henceforth it shall be known as… uh… The Volt Switch Challenge! Because it’s Volt White and we Switched things around…heh… and Volt Switch is also a move and… heh. Yes. Exactly! This is what I need!

Nuzlocke Challenge Two: Log Five

Today I gave the members of my team, names.

Goldeen was given the name Asha, after Asha Greyjoy, the Kraken’s daughter.
Pichu was given the name Webb, for no good reason, but I liked the name.
Crobat was given the name Brucie, after Bruce Wayne.
Magnemite was given the name Twitch, after TwitchPlaysPokemon gave me the energy to make it through this Nuzlocke.
Lapras was given the name Tree Fiddy, after the South Park joke, and because he needs about tree fiddy.
Nuzleaf got the name Nuzzy, because I couldn’t really think of anything for him.

Messing around with Team Aqua’s plan was the first order of business for the newly christened team. Asha, Webb, and Twitch all got a piece of the action, and I’m really rather upset that I didn’t name these guys sooner. It really helps personify the thing you’re supposed to care about when it has a unique identifier.

Beefy the Machop was caught on Route 110 and took Brucie’s spot on the team. Beefy was met at level 13, and quickly rose to level 19 with some intense training. I’ve mentioned before, and I’ll mention again: I like fighting types. It helps that Route 110 has lots of steel and normal type pokemon for Beefy to beat up on.

In a fight against Brendan, Nuzzy the Nuzleaf was killed by Grobyle’s Fury Cutter. At least I didn’t get attached to him, that might sound harsh but, he was basically the Cut-machine rather than a solid team player. His loss does leave our team without anybody that can use Cut however…  I’ll solve this problem next time, hopefully.

Nuzlocke Challenge Two: Log Four

Panda gets a call on her new cellphone from an unregistered number. The caller turns out to be her father, who is totally cool with her sailing across Hoenn with some old sailor called Mr.Briney. She registers her father’s number as “DAD NORMAN.”  I mean really, what’s up with that Panda? I see what the game is doing, reminding you that your Dad is Norman the gym leader, but come on.  “Registered Dad’s Number” sounds a thousand times more human than “Registered DAD NORMAN.”

Cianwood City in Pokemon Silver established some precedent that carried over into Pokemon Emerald’s Dewford Town, which is to say that if you’re going to cross oceans to find a town full of sailors, there’s going to be a fighting-type gym there… for some reason. Panda needs to deliver a letter to a guy named Steven, but can’t without the badge from Dewford’s gym.

I never realized how sweet Goldeen’s “Peck” was until now, I mean, it was kind of crazy to sweep a fighting type gym with a freaking Goldeen, you know?  It’s not an incredible late-game attack to hold onto, but I’m really glad Goldeen knows a flying-type move, I’m not even mad that it doesn’t know any water-attacks yet. Not even mad!

Getting the Knuckle Badge was a bit more difficult than spamming Goldeen’s attacks though; I also had to spam Crobat’s “Screech” to lower the insane defense of Brawly’s Makuhita. I like fighting-type Pokemon, and even though I’m not into the bigger meta-game, I like that in order to beat Brawly, I had to put in a Pokemon just to lower another’s defense, and I think part of that is thanks to the stat-boosting nature of fighting-type moves. I mean, all Pokemon have stat-boost moves available, but for fighting-type Pokemon, it’s like, mandatory.

To conclude this log: the captured Pokemon from Dewford’s caves  is Golbat, which means we’ll have a backup plan in case anything ever kills Crobat.

Goldeen: Lv.18
Pichu: Lv.11
Lapras: Lv.13
Crobat: Lv.11
Magnemite: Lv.10
Nuzleaf: Lv.9

Nuzlocke Challenge 2: Log Two (Take Two)

  1. On Route 102, Panda and Goldeen caught a Hoothoot. Looks like the ghosts of Nuzlockes past are back for a haunting. For those counting, this is catch #4. Route 102: Caught: Hoothoot. The team’s looking way one-sided, so I’m thinking Pichu’s up for a lot of training. And by training, I mean lots and lots of grinding out experience points. I love to stop and think of what’s happening in Pokemon very literally sometimes. A girl named Panda is fighting off blobs of toxic goo (Muk) and frightening poisonous bats (Crobats) with a tiny baby electric mouse (Pichu). She’s either, brave, stupid, or ruthless, and any way you spin it, you end up with one battle-hardened Pichu.
  2. In what feels like the blink of an eye, Pichu crawled from level 3, to level 8, putting him right up at Goldeen’s side. He learned Tail Whip (yay) and Thunder Wave (less sarcastic, yay). Magnemite’s training is going to be way more tedious, even when we’re fast-forwarding through all of it. Seriously, it only knows Tackle and some other worthless move. I think Magnemite’s worth it… eventually, but this is horrible work, raising him up. I’ve always had a soft spot for Magnemite though, I think because I love the sounds they make.
  3. At level 6, Magnemite learns Thundershock and that’s enough for me. It knows a pretty okay attack that isn’t Tackle, so we can move on from this painfully boring training. I’m going to waltz right into Petalburg without training Hoothoot; Panda won’t be needing him for a while, I reckon. Goldeen knows a flying-type move, and we’re heading towards a Rock-type gym in bad odds right now anyways. Three Pokemon who are weak to Rock? Bad luck Panda, bad luck.
  4. Route 104: This is where the horn music gets a little obnoxious. Still, I’ve played this game how many times? I know it, I’m used to it, and I kind of like it by now. I traditionally catch some really great Pokemon on Route 104. On my first randomizer play-through, I caught a Spheal that I took all the way to the Elite Four, and on the last Nuzlocke I caught a Spinirak that, while it never became a crucial part of the team, it certainly went places.
  5. Finding a wild encounter on Route 104 takes forever, but a Crobat finally shows up. Disappointed that it’s not a Pokemon I already haven’t encountered, but Crobats are pretty alright. I just don’t think it’s going to learn anything great, seeing how it’s a level 5 fully-evolved Pokemon. If the first Pokeball didn’t catch it, I wasn’t going to waste another – but as luck would have it, Panda caught the winged poison-bat native to her home town of Littleroot. Route 104: Caught: Crobat.
  6. Catching a Crobat is also incredibly disappointing, when the very next thing you encounter on Route 104 is a Shellder. Really? I could have had one of those things on my team instead? Bad luck Panda, bad luck.
  7. It’s hard to get into the mindset of Panda, this early on at least. If we’re getting meta, that is. I think it’s fun to think too much about Pokemon sometimes. Stay with me on this: but imagine if a girl named Panda was actually out there, fighting wild Pokemon, forcing owls to beat up shells, and electric mice to fight other rip-off electric mice. Panda is kind of a sociopath, not thinking, perhaps, these Pokemon don’t want to just fight, get healed, fight, and get healed some more.  I like to think Panda actually likes Goldeen though; like when I battle with Goldeen it means something because she’s the starter Pokemon, but Hoothoot and Crobat? They’re extras.
  8. Heh. In the Petalburg Woods, we encounter a Nuzleaf. I mean, I have to catch that guy, his family is how we even got the name Nuzlocke, right? Magnemite takes a pounding, losing all of two health points, while Nuzleaf is paralyzed and tackled within an inch of his life. Petalburg Woods: Caught: Nuzleaf.
  9. That’s actually pretty exciting; I’ve never raised a Seedot before, so I’ve never played with a Nuzleaf. He’s dark and grass type, which isn’t bad, but he’s got no moves. Just give him a few hours with Panda, the psychopath physical trainer, and he’ll learn something.
  10. Here we are at the end of Log Two, and we’ve already got our first six Pokemon. At level 9: Goldeen. At level 8: Pichu and Magnemite. At level 6: Crobat. At level 5: Hoothoot and Nuzleaf. I’m not upset with these six, though they are certainly not the six that are going to make it all the way, if we’re lucky enough to make it all the way. Pichu, Crobat, and Hoothoot would never make it through the Rock-gym, and Magnemite is no good there unless it learns some steel-type moves. Goldeen and Nuzleaf will have to lead the pack here, and if they fail, things can get ugly. But before any of that can happen, Panda has to get out of the forest.

Nuzlocke Challenge 2: Log One (Take Two)

This is exactly how I’ve customized Pokemon Emerald for this Nuzlocke Challenge. The starters are random, but all basic Pokemon. I’ve done this because I’d like to have the chance to raise a Pokemon through all stages of evolution, and I have a preference for starting with a basic Pokemon. Also, if a Pokemon normally requires a trade to evolve, that’s no longer the case: any Pokemon can evolve in this game without having to trade (as that’s impossible/difficult to do on an emulator as far as I know).  Let’s start.

  1. Started as a girl, named myself Panda, walked over to Brendan’s house (you remember how much I hate that guy?) well, I forget if I caught this last time but… he says “I heard a gym leader’s kid moved next door, I assumed you’d be a boy.” Stupid boy. Anyways. Let’s move on, I’d rather stick to writing about the experience that is a random starter pick. It’s honestly one of the most exciting things about starting a Nuzlocke.
  2. My choices were: A Togepi (nope) a Meowth (okay…) and a Goldeen (yes!).  I’m going to skip the nicknaming portion of the Nuzlocke; I never thought nicknames got me any more attached to the Pokemon anyways, so my Goldeen will stay, “Goldeen.” Anyways, Panda and Goldeen saved Prof. Birch from none other than an Octillery; a wild Octopus Pokemon known for kidnapping full grown men off of grassy continental roads… obviously, so that was a close one.
  3. The first wild battle Panda and Goldeen face: a Muk. Pretty dangerous, I mean, Goldeen could be poisoned, or Muk could explode: who knows? Goldeen pecks it to death though, and levels up! Sweet. I forgot where to go to heal Pokemon, and wasted time seeing if Prof. Birch had any way to heal Goldeen. Mom always offers a little rest, way to go Pokemon Emerald mom, allowing naps whenever you please!
  4. The wild grass right outside of Littleroot Town only has Muks and Crobats. Could you imagine living there? It’d be horrible. Men attacked by Octopi in full daylight? Poisonous bats and globs of toxic waste roaming around 24/7? Littleroot is a nightmare, Oldale town too – unless the Pokemon in the grass north of Oldale are any less dangerous.
  5. Just so happens? The grass north of Oldale is full of Spindas. That’s not a horrible deal. So if you live in Oldale, yeah you have to deal with the deathtrap grass in the south, but the grass up north is full of harmless – yet creepy – teddy bear Pokemon basically.
  6. First trainer battle: Panda v. Brendan, Goldeen v. Togepi. Well, that’s not much of a fight actually. Poor Togepi just growled until Goldeen’s peck barely did any damage, but still, it was extremely one-sided. Coincidentally, Goldeen and Togepi are Misty’s Pokemon right? How weird  and screwed up would it be for her to pit Togepi against Goldeen? What are you thinking Brendan? This isn’t a Pokemon fit for battle! I feel dirty for even agreeing to that battle. Guh!
  7. So you know what happens next; a forty-something year old dude allows a bunch of pre-teen children to go out into the world alone to do his research for him, and you’re given Pokeballs to start your adventure. Let’s see if we can catch a Muk, or Crobat – either or would be pretty cool. Whoa, head’s up! There’s a Magnemite in the grass. Using the flying-type move Peck to get it down to low-health takes for-ev-er, but Goldeen hangs in there, and Panda catches her second Pokemon: Magnemite (woo).  Route 101: Caught: Magnemite.
  8. Onto Route 103; the rule of only catching the first Pokemon you encounter holds, and unfortunately, it’s going to be a Spinda on Route 103, or at least, that seems most probable. Whoa, head’s up! There’s a Pichu in the grass. Okay. I’m really underestimating how many types of Pokemon are hiding in the grass here.
  9. The wild Pichu brings Goldeen down to 12 out of 26 HP, which is to say, near-death. Pretty good for a wild lvl.3 Pokemon. Goldeen still manages to get in the necessary hits, and secure the capture of Panda’s second Pokemon, Pichu. Route 103: Caught: Pichu.
  10. Panda takes a break at Oldale’s Pokemon center to heal up, reflect on the day’s events, and look forward to the future. Let’s face it, Goldeen is the head of the pack here. The first gym is rock-type, and there’s no way Pichu and Magnemite are going to be in shape for that type of fight. Still, I’m getting ahead of myself. I remember there being a lot of stuff in between Oldale and the first gym: Petalburg? Petaburg? A forest of some sort, and a Devon Corp dude. Team Panda has an endurance run ahead of them, it’s all about keeping Goldeen alive.

Nuzlocke Challenge 2: Reboot

The super-randomized Nuzlocke run was not working for me, it was rather joyless actually. So that being said, I’m returning to a bread-and-butter randomized Nuzlocke. That means random starters, and random encounters in the wild, but all Pokemon will keep their types intact, and all trainers will have the Pokemon that they’re supposed to have. Also, because I don’t really care about natures, I’m going to forget all of that information about IV’s or EV’s or whatever. And, for what it’s worth, I’m going to try to upload a few videos here and there. That being said, let’s reboot: the next post will be called Nuzlocke Challenge 2: Log One (Take Two).