The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Crystal

by Crosspeice

Part 56: The Battle Factory (HGSS)

Update 43.5: The Battle Factory

Battle Factory

Hello everyone and welcome to the first of five Battle Frontier updates. We're starting with the easiest facility to get into and maybe the only facility you can really have fun with as a casual player: the Battle Factory.

: First, we will hold your Pokémon in exchange for you renting our Pokémon. May I suggest choosing Pokémon after appropriate deliberation?

So instead of using your own competitive Pokemon after tedious grinding and breeding and move tutoring and all that garbage, you can just jump right in with three Pokemon used by opponents in the Battle Frontier! Not only is this a great way to just have some fun battling with loads of different Pokemon that you don't need to make yourself, it's also a great learning tool to use and indeed fight Pokemon you'll be encountering in the other four facilities. But there are some downsides, which we will get to in a moment. First, let's see what makes a Frontier Pokemon tick.

Just to add to the variety of Pokemon you'll face in the Battle Frontier, there are 950 different Pokemon sets in the Battle Frontier, as well as 320 trainers that have a pool of Pokemon to choose from out of that 950. A clear list of all the Pokemon found in the Battle Frontier can be found here and a list of trainers can be found here.

We'll talk about the various tiers in a moment, but all Pokemon have a moveset geared towards a specific purpose. Whether or not that purpose is effective is something we'll see later, but all Pokemon have an item and are fully EV trained in two stats (255 EVs in two focus stats, instead of the more efficient 252/252/4 to use up 508 EVs out of the 510 max, or hell, even using specific EV spreads to maximize a Pokemon's effectiveness in certain metagames), so they're laser focused in their purpose. Very rarely, a Pokemon will have EVs in three stats, with 170 EVs each. Since I'm doing Open Level, every Pokemon we find and face will be level 100, though this doesn't apply to other facilities, unless the Pokemon you use are level 100, they can be between 60-100 with the opponent's level set at the highest level of your Pokemon.

Our first Pokemon of choice is a... special Lucario? Depending on what level you challenge depends on what tier the Pokemon will be drawn from, referring to the list linked previous. As your streak increases, so do the tier of Pokemon that'll be more likely drawn from as you'll face stronger trainers that only use Pokemon from a certain tier. A trainer will only use Pokemon from one tier, with the exception of Tier 4, which becomes part of the challenge during streak 5 on.

Tier 1 Pokemon tend to just have the one set with not much variation and feature weaker Pokemon. Tier 2 has more evolved Pokemon with two sets each and usually lower base stats, while Tier 3 has the big guns with mostly fully evolved Pokemon and 4 sets each between them. This is where most of the focus on the Battle Frontier is on and usually when referring to a specific set, it's the Pokemon followed by the number as listed. So in this example, the Lucario set we have is Lucario-1, which isn't even the good Special Lucario. Bah. It's EV focus is SpA and Speed.

Next up is Venusaur-1 and it's not a bad pick, but the main problem with rental Pokemon is they're not as optimized as they could be and sometimes have useless moves. Would much prefer Synthesis instead of Amnesia, but whatever. It's EVed in SpA and SpD. Level 50 tends to draw from Tier 2 with some Tier 1 and eventually becomes mostly Tier 3 with some Tier 4 as your streak becomes higher and higher.

Open Level starts with Tier 3 at level 100 with some specific Tier 1 and 2 Pokemon, as well as Tier 4 as your streak increases. Generally, starting at level 50 is a lot easier for other facilities since you can blast through the weak stuff with your powerful murdering machines before you get to the nasty stuff. The only facility that uses a large amount of Tier 1 stuff is the Battle Hall at the beginning of the type streaks, since Pokemon can go as low as level 30.

Then we have Charizard-1 . It doesn't have bad coverage, but again, it has two useless moves that you won't really use most of the time. Like most battle facilities, just hitting the opponet really hard and fast works out for most of the challenge, but it won't last forever. Also, since we're playing HGSS, we get all the info we need on this one page, since we can tell what Nature it has on the left. In DPP, the stats aren't highlighted, so you'd have to switch back and forth. It's EVed in SpA and Speed.

Ah, here's a good one, Breloom-1. Nice and dependable, can always get a hit off and has pretty good coverage. I guess it has an Impish nature and EVs in Atk and Def to do as much Counter damage as possible from a Flying attack, but we won't be using that move, really. Sky Uppercut is just fine.

And this is Nidoqueen-1, with some fine moves, aside from Charm. Compared to the other big numbers, it doesn't stand out that much, generally you want a 300+ in an attacking stat and a higher Speed is also pretty good. But since these aren't your Pokemon, you don't get a huge say in how they're crafted, so a lot of sets you'll find usually come with the response of "it's good, buuuuut...". Weird sets work better for the AI since they can catch you off guard and make KOing them a bit trickier, but those sets aren't too useful for you since you should be attacking most of the time.

And finally, we have Rhydon-1, again, pretty good coverage and a fine attacker, though the Passho Berry might not help against strong 4x effective special Water attacks. But you may have noticed that every set we have is the first set, that's because we don't get the other sets until later in the streak, so the trainers we'll be facing should have the first sets as well. We'll find out soon enough.

Here's the three Pokemon we'll be using. I would choose the Venusaur if I wasn't picking Breloom and it's good to have a mix of type coverage as well as physical and special focused Pokemon. Also, I won't always choose the best picks, cause it's fun to use new and crazy Pokemon!

Good old NPCs with their before battle text. While it's not as funny as Gen 3's generator, there are still some gems.

Battles are pretty simple, a 3 vs 3 slugfest with no bag items. Just pure Pokemon battling and goddamn it's a lot of fun. Especially since we have a good first matchup. It is perfectly fine to choose your initial three to give yourself an early advantage, since you know what Pokemon you'll be facing, but it's not a long lasting strategy and you might not get lucky since you can only choose 3/6 Pokemon you get to begin with.

Well that went well. Usually when an opponent uses a move, you can pin down what set it has and as your streak grows more and more and more, you need to know this shit. Some dedicated Frontier goers know the more nasty sets off by heart. This is not one of them, it's only Blissey-1 with Hyper Beam, Shadow Ball, Water Pulse and Sing, holding a Chople Berry, a Modest nature and EVed in HP and SpA. So not a huge deal, at least it's not the Toxic, Double Team, Softboiled and Counter set. Yikes.

That's not going to matter.

Just in case any of you were curious, Blissey's HP bar took 23 seconds to fully deplete. Another reason why most people go level 50 is because it goes by quicker, like a lot quicker when you face against Blissey and other high HP Pokemon. We will be using level 50 in some facilities, since it's mandatory in the Battle Arcade, but not all the time.

Nine times out of ten, you want to just sweep through the opponent's team and not give them a chance to hit back. That won't always happen, but if you want a high streak, you've got a lot of battling ahead of you.

Okay, so this is the, uh, Earthquake, Rock Slide, Poison Jab and Sandstorm set with a Razor Claw and an Impish nature, EVed in Atk and Def, though all Donphan sets are EVed that way.

Okay, first battle down, 48 to go! Haha, god...

After each battle you have a few options. You can Continue your streak until the seventh battle, where you'll then get some BP and some congrats. Record lets you record the battle you just had to your, uh, VS Recorder, if you had a particularly intense fight. Rest let's you pause your streak and let's you come back later, even with different Pokemon in other facilities! And Retire ends your whole thing to reset your streak. Don't do that. Unless you want to.

Also, I'm gonna be real with you guys, doing the Battle Frontier challenge completely clean is absolutely ridiculous and a huuuuuuge pain in the ass. You have very little leeway in anything going wrong and if your streak ends at a high point, then that's a good few hours down the drain with no way of recovering, just try again and suck less! I could eventually get all the Prints if I really wanted to, but I actually want to finish this LP within 2017, so I'm using save states and I don't give a fuck, 420 blaze it bitches!

Oh yeah, the other unique feature of the Factory is you can switch out one of your Pokemon with an opponent's! If you don't, then you can just keep going and keep sweeping with your three rad beasts (or four if you went for Doubles). Now to skip to when I actually trade!

It's a simple one to one swap, but you can't view the Pokemon you're receiving in depth, so you've gotta remember if it was good or not in the battle.

Once you're in another battle, you can then view all the stats and see how big of a mistake you've made by getting a Specs Garchomp or something dumb. But that's about it for the basics, so now I'm gonna cut out most of the battling. I'll keep in what Pokemon I received and then the first battle so you kinda know what they do. I'll go into more detail when I start using Pokemon you guys chose since it wouldn't be fair if they barely appeared, but understand that there are a LOT of fights to go through, 296 to be precise, to get all the Prints. MINIMUM.

: In recognition of your deep knowledge in matters pertaining to Pokémon, we present you with BP!

Yaaaaaaay, that was kinda worth it?

But there we go, one streak down, six to go, so let's dive right back in!

Now that we're in the second streak, we'll only find out about the first two Pokemon we'll face in the battle. Coolio.

We've got six new Pokemon to choose from and first up is Mamoswine-2, which, unlike Mamoswine-1, doesn't have Peck! Like all Mamoswine, it's EVed in HP and Atk.

Drifblim-2! This is an... interesting set that relies on chip damage and for that reason it's pretty garbage. Where's my Flying Gem Acrobatics Drifblim, goddamn? It's EVed in HP and Atk.

Alakazam-2! Seeing a pattern here? In any case, this is a fine set, though Focus Blast is an unfortunate necessity. It's EVed in SpA and Speed.

Exploud-2! It's a status absorber that also dishes out status if you're lucky? Ehhhhhh, let's not.

Also a weird choice, it's Medicham-2! This can technically stall things very well with Drain Punch and Recover while the enemy dies to poison. Sure, why not.

Last up is Pinsir-2, with X-Scissor! But then the other moves aren't that great. It's got EVs in Atk and Speed. You'll be glad to know I won't be doing these individually for the next five sets we use. Just marvel at the sets we'll encounter.

I'll use these three, because they're pretty good. Well, they're the only three definite things to take, cause Exploud isn't too amazing and Pinsir and Drifblim aren't gonna get picked.

Unfortunately, nothing too interesting happens. We're still just early enough that our opponents aren't hugely interesting sets wise and also because I wasn't too interested in recording everything. I'll be sure to include at least one fight per set in any future facility, cause battles are fun and shit!

For the third streak, we only know the first Pokemon we'll face as well as one of their moves.

Here's our pickings this time around and we've got some good stuff, as well as a really bad Forretress. Like sure it can be useful (or awful if the AI has it), but it's just better to go with something else. As you can guess, this is a Pokemon's third set they can have, seeing a pattern here? Anyway, after six more battles...

: In recognition of your outstanding winning streak, our Frontier Brain is demanding a match with you. So, your next match is against the Factory Head with no right of refusal! Are you prepared?

The 21st battle in all but one facility is a match against a Frontier Brain, a boss battle if you were. While some have preset teams, others are a bit more... random. Let's see what this one's got.

Hmm, maybe this Brain will be a bit of a challenge. But I'm pretty happy with my Pokemon, so let's go in.

Uh hello? Anyone there?

: What I'm using is an invention of mine. It's my data-interpreting machine. It's telling me what you've rented for this match.

: I have to say, that's a good seup. Like, say, 10 percent? Oh, don't let that number concern you! All righty, let's get going!

VS Frontier Brain

(Thorton is from thorn as all Frontier Brains are named after plants. Neziki is from Lyonia neziki, a group of flowering plants.)

Frontier Brains have kickass music and pretty tough teams, no matter the level. Thorton acts like any other trainer and uses three random Pokemon, but unlike the other trainers, he doesn't have a pool to pick from, he uses literally any Pokemon in the facility, so he could have anything at all.

So he might get some duds, or get some really nasty stuff. This is Honchkrow-1 that has Night Slash, Aerial Ace, Torment and Taunt with a Wacan Berry, an Adamant nature and EVed in HP and Atk. Sorry friend, but I've got the edgier guy here.

Though it is pretty frail. This is Milotic-1, with Surf, Ice Beam, Attract and Hypnosis, holding a Shell Bell, a Modest nature and EVed in HP and SpAtk. This could be a toughie.

I mean, if it used any status moves it could be a problem. Thankfully it's not.

I'm sure this Exploud was dangerous, whatever it was. It was probably Exploud-1, though I can't say for definite that Thorton only uses the first set in his first battle. In any case, it had Hyper Voice, Extrasensory, Water Pulse and Torment with a Chople Berry, a Modest nature and EVed in HP and SpAtk. A truly terrifying force.

Victory VS Frontier Brain

I can say I got a bit lucky, but my Pokemon were pretty sweet. Getting to a 21 streak isn't too difficult, but now it's gonna get tougher and tougher to reach battle 49.

Battle Factory

: It's not making me happy at all, losing. Even though I'm not happy, I did glean some useful data, I suppose. That makes me glad I battled you. So, did you get to like those Pokémon you rented? As the Factory Head, it would sure make me happy if you did. Next time, come back with different rental Pokémon.

For winning we get a nice chunk of BP change, but that's not all.

Beating a Frontier Brain nets you a Silver Print, but that's just one of ten to obtain in the Frontier. So we're not done with the Battle Factory yet. In fact, we're not even halfway done with this facility! Yaaaaaaaay!

It's gonna be a while before we fill up all five slots, but we'll make it eventually.

On the fourth streak, we don't even know what Pokemon is out first, just narrowing it down to what can learn a move. I'm sure only a few Pokemon know Psychic, right?

Here's the next six. I think Yanmega is the first all attacking Pokemon we've seen, so they're always good picks. Everything seems useful in some capacity, but that makes sense, since these are the fourth and final sets a Pokemon can have in a battle facility. They're usually pretty good.

These seem alright I guess.

One thing I haven't mentioned is how the last trainer you face tends to use Pokemon that the next streak tend to use. This only really matters for the final trainer in the fourth streak because from the fifth streak onwards is when Tier 4 Pokemon are added in and you start seeing Legendaries here and there. Facility accepted Legendaries, of course.

Okay, now we're past the halfway point. Thank god.

From the fifth streak onwards, the only knowledge you'll get is if the three Pokemon have a common type. Which they might not do, in which case you won't get any info at all. And that's what you'll get for the rest of the facility, so good luck.

Our six for streak five also aren't too bad, though it's always a bit rubbish when you notice the attacking stats are pretty even, as we can see with the special Flygon. Just because you can have that kind of set, doesn't mean you should.

This looks good enough I suppose. And since our team consists of Heracross-4, Gastrodon-4 and Gengar-3, we're finally getting some mixed sets, yay!

This Heracross is working out pretty well, since I got lucky in that Ursaring knowing Aerial Ace.[/i]

And I even hit Focus Blast, lucky me!

Now that we've beaten the Frontier Brain, we get more BP for a streak. It's still not a lot for the time invested, but it's the best we got.


Our sixth set contains our first legendaries we can use! Sure, they're not too amazing, but an all attacking Cresselia is pretty good. I also can't really sniff at a Choice Band Absol either.

So surprise surprise.

Uh, cool.

This thing should tear some holes, who gives a shit if it used Swagger? I'll just destroy you quicker!

Oh yeah, that's why. Cause it lost 120 health in a confusion hit. Oh well.

Eh, that's not that big a deal, Cresselia still hits hard.

But admittedly, without that it would've been a 3HKO with Shadow Ball.

And now we're onto the final streak, we're nearly done with this facility!

Our last picks are pretty interesting, since that's a special Regigigas we have there... with its Attack STILL higher than its Special Attack despite being Modest. Christ.

The last three to carry me onto victory!

Let's do this, battle 49!

: Let's see what I can see about you through my data-interpreting machine. So, what have you rented for this match...?

: I have to admit, that's a good setup. It's a combination of friendship with cooperation all around. I'd say it's like 26 percent? Oh, don't let that number concern you! All righty, let's get going! No losing for me this time!

VS Frontier Brain

Well ain't this a tougher fight already. If you're curious, there is a subtle difference in the Frontier Brain battle music from Platinum to HGSS, see if you can figure it out here.

Quick Claw let's me strike first, but goddamn this is gonna hurt. This is Kingdra-4 with Hydro Pump, Draco Meteor, Blizzard and Signal Beam, holding a Wide Lens with a Modest nature, EVed in HP and SpAtk. Hell yeah this thing is dangerous.

Unless my Quick Claw procs again, Metagross is fainting, which is a shame cause I think it can 2HKO Kingdra.

Hydro Pump could also miss, but with the Wide Lens, it has an 88% chance to hit. And also, what kind of area do you think we're in?

Alright, things are looking up, maybe we can win this. While we don't know the Claydol set we can assume it's Claydol-4 since Thorton's last Pokemon is also using its 4th set. So it has Earthquake, Zen Headbutt, Rock Slide and Explosion, holding a Lax Incense, an Adamant nature, EVed in Atk and SpDef. That's actually quite nasty, so it's good we didn't face it.

The last Pokemon between us and victory. Thankfully, this isn't Gen 7, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous.

Okay, that did a lot of damage, but maybe, just maybe it'll stay asleep for a few turns and we can knock it out. This is Porygon-Z-4 with Tri Attack, Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt and Recover, holding an Expert Belt with a Modest nature, EVed in SpAtk and Speed. So yeah, dangerous.

Even at -2, it still does over half, so if it stays asleep for just a little bit longer, we'll be fine.

Or it could just wake up second turn, whatever.

Still, we're in an advantageous position, if Moltres survives this hit, then we win.


Never mind then, its Expert Belt was pretty useful in this case.

So instead of literally throwing this entire update out the window and starting all the way at battle 1, I'll just start from the previous battle.

So let's try this again. Now unfortunately, I wasn't sure when the opponent's Pokemon are decided, I'm tempted to say before you begin your streak. So in future, if I lose to a Frontier Brain, I'll go from my save state of before I started the streak so we face new Pokemon, otherwise I have insider knowledge and it's not fun to win in this way when I know what his Pokemon are and what they do.

But I had no idea how long I'd been recording by this point, so fuck it, let's kick this guy's scrawny ass.

Now we're in a much better position for when the Porygon-Z comes out, since I won't be a -2 like last time.

It still survives with just a fuckin sliver though. Gah!

Still, this is why you don't bring a Moltres to a Zapdos fight. Especially cause you actually outspeed your opponent.

: It's not making me happy at all, this. In fact, I'm stewing here. I thought I learned a lot about Pokémon since I lost to you. But that's all right. Some things you learn from winning. But some things you learn by losing. I hope you'll keep renting our Pokémon and give me a chance to redeem myself!

And we'll never see him again. Literally. There are no ways to rematch a Frontier Brain after you get their Gold Print. At least, not that I know of.

Alright, one facility down, four to go!

Fuck off

Next time, when we return to the Battle Frontier, we'll take on the lovely RNG filled Battle Arcade.