Part 5: SALSA!Part 5: SALSA!
Oh hey we're still in Pyrite Cave. Let's go to these optional areas with our new team members.
Espeon will take a back seat, since Meditite is going to very easily handle himself. Weird that all my Pokemon have been male so far, that's what the 50/50 chance ends up with sometimes.
I want to get the gauge for Meditite down pretty quickly, but Hyper Mode Pure Power Shadow Rush is just too good!
Lotta Lotad around, wonder why? Also that's meant to be Mist, I thought I took that image correctly...
Well darn, Bold is +Def -Atk, which is not very helpful, but I was planning on making Remoraid mostly special anyway. Hustle counteracts this nature for the most part, not that it'll matter for long.
It's definitely worth going down these optional paths, there's even better loot on other paths, so let's go!
I can't wait to get rid of these Psychic moves.
Alright, we're back on track. Yes there's still quite a bit of this cave left to go.
Woah, it's the evolved lilypad thing.
Meditite sorts it out, especially with that Brave nature, same as Bayleef, which is +Atk -Spd. So not perfect, but it'll do dammit!
Considering he has a personal army here, his age is closer than you'd think.
Oh hey, we can get this thing. I like this thing, it was good to get before!
Swablu, 255 catch rate (80%, medium health, Pokeball), starting moves: Fly, Safeguard, Sing, Shadow Rush/Mirror Move
Now we know how good this birbhat is, but how good is it in this game? Well, pretty alright, since it'll do what it did in the Emerald LP, Dragonbreath (Dragon Claw is postgame, so not much different there lol), Fire Blast, Sing and then a defensive move of your choice, unless you want Flying STAB in Fly, as Aerial Ace isn't in this game. It, uh, doesn't need to do anything else, though it will be annoying to use as a Swablu knowing only Fly, no Secret Power or Take Down to help this time! But it'll evolve pretty quickly, gain a rad typing and get a sweet STAB move. IF you make sure it evolves at level 35.
When you eventually get rid of the Shadow status, you'll get all the experience in one go and if you go past level 35, you'll evolve and then not learn Dragonbreath and be unable to use a single Dragon move until the postgame, which is pretty damn shitty. So you can't use it much if you want to use it properly and there's a few Pokemon this will also apply to, but this is definitely one of the meanest ways of neutering a Pokemon. If you work it out nicely, then you'll be just fine and have a cool cloud to use! Rock Slide and all the Ice moves will be a problem though.
You will regret this!
Maybe I should've healed. Oh well, we're not far from the healing machine.
If we were suckers, we would head down the stairs. But there's a sizable area to the right, so we'll head there first.
That's Shuppet down. What's Pineco doing, anything useful?
I was under orders to battle with you. Nobody said anything about not losing, so it's okay!
There's a hidden path down here that you'd only think to look for if the indent in the wall looked suspicious. I probably wouldn't have found this if I wasn't looking at item lists and thankfully this is the only time in both games an area is hidden like this.
Hope we're near the end, feels like we've been in here for a whole update.
Both Remoraid and Meditite are getting their gauges down quite nicely, something this Natu sees and fears.
All hold items are on Pokemon you're catching anyway, so Thief is useless.
It's pretty nicely split into four sections, so it's not too hard to navigate around, though the above winding caves can blend together.
Oh hey it's that girl from the start of last update.
The team is doing pretty well without Espeon. Now if only they levelled up!
While you were all busy wasting time, what became of that POKEMON you're after? Hohohoho!
Shoot, it's a dead end, maybe we should go left instead of up.
Meditite now has Hi Jump Kick. Oh baby.
Okay, that's every trainer in this area. Now to take down Miror B.!
Oh wait it's another dead end with some sweet loot. You'll only get one of each of the EV drinks to find as freebies in this game, so instead of getting my Pokemon one time shots of 10 EVs, I'll just sell them to give us a real nice cash boost. We'll need it.
Okay, now we've reached Miror B. What kind of horror awaits us in this cave?
Miror B.'s Theme
It's everything I ever dreamed of.
Yeah, woot! It's about time, darlings! I'm so frightfully tired of waiting for you. Oh, you kept me waiting for so long, I decided to work on a little perspiration! Fuhohoho. But, my, you have been busy being naughty and messing up our plans. It was oh-so-close for everything to turn out just right, just the way we hoped. But I can salvage our plan by beating you, little man. And so... there's time for one last frantic dance before the grand finale!
It's our first boss fight and this is where the game gets a little tricky, since facing four Ludicolo is a bit tough after spending all of the game so far fighting various unevolved Pokemon. There's also a few layout differences between here and Emerald, since most characters in the Orre games don't have artwork and boss teams can change wildly from one fight to another to utilize different strategies, so I'll be detailing those teams the first time we encounter them, instead of the last proper time we fight that specific trainer.
You can see what Miror B. will use, Rain Dance to boost his Ludicolo's Water moves, as well as activating their Swift Swim and Rain Dish abilities. We don't have a way of changing the weather ourselves, so this can be a very nasty strategy if you happen to, say, be using Pokemon that are weak to Water and Grass, which isn't particularly difficult.
These Ludicolo are also pretty damn bulky, with the highest level one surviving both attacks from our strongest members of the team. Thankfully the strongest move they use is Water Gun, so it'll sting with the rain boost, but won't be too awful. Sure, Dive does more damage, but it does less than two Water Guns since it has 60BP in Gen 3.
Onene Ludicolo has Ice Beam, though, and you can get Leech Seeded to death, but they tend to go for their Grass moves for some reason, or Astonish, since I have two Psychic types out. That's a bit of a problem, since they easily outspeed us and can flinch us forever, but there's not much I can do about that.
I guess Razor Leaf crits are a problem too, but since it took three attacks to take out one Ludicolo, our two mons are out of sync, since they can take out one lower levelled Ludicolo in one turn, but now it's better to go for 2HKOs with Meditite's Shadow Rush, while Espeon weakens another one with Confusion.
Alright, there's just two left. Now this battle might be different to you depending if you reset or whatnot, since every trainer that doesn't send out their Shadow Pokemon first has a chance of sending out different sets of Pokemon, so we could've gotten the other two Ludicolo instead. Like most numbers in these games, we don't know the exact numbers, but we know it happens.
Combined with Leech Seed and Mega Drain, it might be tough actually taking out these Ludicolo, so the best strategy for this is to hit as hard as you can and hope for the best. If I needed to reset this fight for any reason, it would increment the counter, since it's still a reset for a Shadow Pokemon, even if we don't see the Shadow Pokemon. Now considering the options you have, you might not have much to take down these Ludicolo, as they're only weak to Flying and Poison.
Both Noctowl and Swablu can know Fly, while Qwilfish gets Poison Sting, though you shouldn't use Swablu very much if you want it to be useful. Otherwise, Bayleef and Skiploom resist their moves (aside from Ice Beam), and they take a lot of neutral damage from a hard hitting Shadow Rush, so while this is a difficulty spike, you should be able to squeeze out something.
The final Ludicolo is in fact a Shadow Pokemon. Uh, hmm, is that a Ludicolo? It's a bit far away to really tell.
Okay, the last Ludicolo is down and we didn't take a huge amount of damage, since they didn't decide to endlessly Astonish us. Now we've got a Shadow to catch and be warned, this is the last one in the game that gets a bonus to its catch rate. It's all downhill from here.
Sudowoodo, 65 catch rate (62%, low health, paralyzed, Great Ball), starting moves: Rock Slide, Low Kick, Block, Shadow Rush/Flail
Oh huh, it's not a Ludicolo at all! Well, this mon is a bit tricky to use, despite having some great positives, it has high Attack and a great move in Rock Slide to spam, while also having Low Kick and Return for nice options, with Brick Break being a consideration if you want more consistency. It'll also take a few physical hits, but its typing is a problem, as well as its low Speed and SpDef, making it very vulnerable to Earthquake and Surf, which are pretty common in this game. It will pretty much always go last, so if you want to do any Rock Slide flinching, it'll need a Quick Claw.
Its main STAB move is a spread move, so its damage output might be lower than expected. Also it won't have many other move options unless you give it Earthquake and that's three real useful TMs you gave it, so I hope it was worth it. You might think Rock Head would be useful, but Shadow Rush's recoil still occurs despite the ability and it won't get Double Edge until well after the game is over, so that ability is useless for it. Sturdy is actually better, which is a real shame, as OHKO moves aren't very common, even in this game.
This is one big problem of using Confusion, sometimes it confuses the opponent! That's bad, but what are the chances of it going for Shadow Rush, or hitting itself again?
...higher than you'd think. Shadow Pokemon Resets:
It really sucks to get a trainer down to their Shadow Pokemon, just to reset because you accidentally knocked it out and have to do the battle all over again. This does add to this game's difficulty, but it can be frustrating and cheap. So I'll be save stating when it's just me catching the Shadow Pokemon so I don't have to throw away a bunch of footage if the worst happens. I love cheating so much.
Thank you boosted catch rates, you probably exist. Oh yeah, since I might not mention it aside from in a Side Notes, you might have noticed in the graphic that the Shadow Sudowoodo had a level of 35+. See, to give them a bit of an edge so they're actually a threat, Shadow Pokemon we encounter have a higher level than the game displays. Like always, we don't know by how much for each Pokemon, but we know they have strange stats for the level they're at, so they must be higher than advertised. Despite that, when you catch them, they'll drop down to the level you see, so it's something you'll probably never know about otherwise.
One of these days, I will take great pleasure in kicking you about with my elegant dance steps! Oh, and I'm not giving up our SHADOW POKEMON plan! Let's go! Escape!
Off he goes, when we'll next see him, nobody knows. But he will return, oh yes he will.
I think those cries came from behind that door.
Let's get some items such as another shitty TM (Snatch, woo) and another Ein file about Purification, which can revert Shadow Pokemon back to their original forms, so they'll need to get rid of the way of doing that, whatever it is.
Ooh now this is more useful, it lowers your Speed, but doubles the EVs you gain from battle, which is pretty useful. I won't bother with it, like usual. Pokerus can be in this game, but it's super rare since you have very limited catching options, though since time doesn't progress in FRLG or these games, a Pokemon with it will never get cured no matter what.
MIROR B. got away, but things will be back to normal here.
DUKING... I don't know what to say...
Forget it, SILVA. We're all unharmed. That's good enough. Even that MIROR B.'s been driven out, thanks to THOMAS. Hrm, what's that, PLUSLE? Feeling hungry out of relief? Wahahah! Okay, THOMAS! Let's quit this moldy cavern, and quick!
I'm glad everything's fine, Papa! And PLUSLE, too!
Okay. I understand. THOMAS. Could you take my PLUSLE with you? PLUSLE is saying it wants to help you, too. Yes. Yes, that's right. You can't let those criminals get away with it.
That's amazing! We've got a cute and brave addition to our party!
Plusle is cute and brave, but boy is it not gonna be useful.
...which reminds me. THOMAS, I need your P*DA number. Perfect. I will be in touch as soon as we discover anything. MIROR B. may be gone, but that doesn't mean their SHADOW POKEMON plan is finished. We have to move quickly. We need to gather as much information as possible.
I'm going to do a little digging into the underground town of THE UNDER. MIROR B.'s mob may have been smuggling SHADOW POKEMON in from there.
You see, CHIEF, MIROR B. and his underlings have left the town... Huh? CHIEF? ...you're not the CHIEF. I beg your pardon!
I'm here, JOHNSON... that story isn't new. I've heard about it over and over already.
Oh! Oh, CHIEF, there you are! You're such a kidder! Ahaha. I'm pretty sure that MIROR B. hightailed it out of fear from me.
Thank you. On behalf of our whole town, I want to thank you two. But there's also bad news. Headquarters warns that there is a mysterious organization that is plotting world domination. I don't know if it has any connection to MIROR B., but you should be careful. Don't do anything reckless.
So, Plusle, it's not a great Pokemon usually, but man it's hard to use in this game due to it being LEVEL THIRTEEN. So unless you want to baby it for half the game, it's probably not gonna be very useful to you. I dunno what they were thinking with this mon, especially since its only move is Quick Attack, but hey, maybe if you give it some levels it'll do some damage with Thunder. It will not be taking the fight to Cipher. Still, you might be wondering where Minun is here in this Gen 3 game full of Double Battles. It's not obtainable at all, making Plusle's ability completely useless! In the game's files, there were quite a few Shadow Pokemon that are mentioned in some way, and Minun is one of them, so it might've been possible to get one, but it, along with a few others like Kecleon, were cut for some reason.
I'll be taking these items from various Pokemon just in case we need them. Better them sitting in the item storage than the box!
Selling that cave booty has given us a nice amount a cash. We need to resupply, since we're getting a bit low on, well, everything.
And hey, now that Miror B. is gone, the Colosseum is now available to us! There's some real good rewards for doing these challenges, so it's definitely recommended. Let's go!
Ahahaha, just kidding, it's just a bit too much for us at this point. And since we can't run away no matter what, you just have to lose if you're put in a similar situation. Good thing I saved just before knowing this would happen! Anyway, we should probably get going and head to... hmm... where are we going next anyway?
But, not all is well. I can feel the presence of black aura coming from SHADOW POKEMON.
Wow! FATEEN, nothing escapes your notice.
There is but nothing that eludes the notice of my fortune-telling. Fwofwofwo. The key to freeing POKEMON from that black aura... it is in the north.
Up north... that's where my grandpa lives, too... Oh, no! I forgot! I was on my way to visit Grandpa! He lives in AGATE VILLAGE. That's north of here.
Fwofwofwo. That being north may be no mere coincidence. Your answer may be there.
Oh! My grandpa was a famous trainer when he was young. Maybe my grandpa would know something. Let's go see him, THOMAS.
Off to a new area! Agate is a type of volcanic rock and consists of mostly silica and quartz.
Sigh... the air tastes a lot different here. It's been so long! Okay, let's get going. I bet they're worried about me not getting here.
We've still got time in this update to explore this village. While it's not particularly large, there's a good chunk of stuff here, like this cave off to the side.
Very nice, though we don't have a Normal type to give this to.
Very well! I will give you a close look at the skills I have honed over all these years.
There's only the one battle in this village. For now.
This Furret has Cut, wonder why they keep getting HM moves? But since we have Hi Jump Kick any Normal type might as well not exist.
However... the POKEMON you use appear to be troubled somehow. They are frighteningly strong, but they are somehow cold. Am I imagining that they are keeping their hearts closed tight?
Alright selection in this mart, including EV drinks and Scents. We don't have anywhere to store these colognes, but they can be useful if you've got money to burn (you probably won't have money to burn).
This is the house we need to go, at the top of the village, but there's a secret passage back here.
Alright, now I don't have to use Remoraid in battle if I don't need to. I still will, might as well get as much exp as we can.
Ah, ANCA! Welcome, welcome! We heard that you were coming, but then you didn't arrive. We were worried about you, dear.
You've finally arrived. What held you up?
I had just this terrible time! On the way here, I was abducted by these creepy people... luckily, I was saved by THOMAS, who happened to be there by coincidence.
Oh, how frightful. Thank you so much for saving our granddaughter.
But why would anyone want to harm ANCA?
It's probably because I can see these bizarre POKEMON. They're SHADOW POKEMON. POKEMON that have been turned into fighting machines with hearts of darkness.
SHADOW POKEMON?! What on earth is that?
What?! Who were they?
I... I don't know... they shoved me aside and...
That's enough talk! It can wait! I'm off!
But I worry for my husband even more so. ANCA, dear! Please, go after him!
We'll head to the Relic Forest soon, but there's still a few important things to see in Agate.
Such as the Day Care! However, you can only put in one Pokemon, so there's no breeding or anything like that. But if you put a Shadow Pokemon in the Day Care, you'll reduce its Gauge pretty quickly. It's expensive though and this game is strapped for cash as is, so I won't be using it.
We also, finally, have the Name Rater, so next update, we'll be able to nickname all of our Pokemon, including Shadow Pokemon! Bit late, but hey, at least it's finally here.
There's another, more obvious, path up here.
Every so often, this man gives you a berry from Oran to Iapapa, the first 15 numbered berries. I lucked out getting a Lum, but since this is the only way to obtain these berries and no way to grow more, I won't be using them.
Oh yeah, since Rui follows behind us slightly, she can get stuck on the geometry and we can leave her behind! This actually makes the game run slightly smoother and nothing really happens when she's stuck like this.
But she'll eventually teleport back to you and run back at pretty hilarious speeds. Anyway, we've looped back to the village entrance, so we should head to the forest I guess.
Been a little while since we last saw a Pokemon Center. There's the entrance to the forest buuuuuuuuuut...
There's a hidden path!
Flaaffy will be the slowest member of our team, so getting immediate paralysis off is very, very helpful. So, next time, we'll be finding out about Relic Forest.