The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Emerald

by Crosspeice

Part 18: Something Strange in this Mountain Place

Part 18: Something Strange in this Mountain Place

It's Safari Zone time, so it's time to use YEEEAARRT! and hopefully get some items while we catch a ridiculous amount of Pokemon.

We'll let you know when your game is over. So, until then, enjoy yourself, please! Off you go on your wild excursion!

Safari Zone

Let's see what we can find. There's a lot of new Pokemon here not found anywhere else and it's gonna be a bit of a hassle to find them. Since we've got YEEEAARRT! upfront, the game acts like we're entering battle with a Pokemon much lower in level.

Like the previous Safari Zone, no Pokemon, 30 Safari Balls, Final Destination. Instead of throwing rocks or bait, now you're moving closer to the Pokemon to (somehow) increase the catch rate and escape rate, or throw a Pokeblock to reduce the escape rate if the Pokemon likes or is indifferent to it.

Like other Safari Zones, the best strategy is to just throw Pokeballs endlessly until you catch it. That's it. Well, there is one other thing you can do with Pokeblocks to make your life so much easier, but in a bit.

Also get used to stuff running from you. Thankfully though, escape is no longer tied to base Speed, it instead starts at an escape factor of 3 and increases or decreases by stages depending on what you do. At the end of the turn, a number between 0 and 99 is generated and if it's less than 5 times the escape factor, then the Pokemon flees. This translates to a starting flee rate of 15% and changing by 5% for each time you increase or decrease the factor by one.

I am burning through these balls right now. So Pokeblock feeders have a range of 5 tiles and attract Pokemon with a nature that prefers that flavor, so a red Pokeblock would be spicy and attract Pokemon with natures that boost Attack. However, it doesn't make them easier to catch unless you use another of the same Pokeblock in battle to decrease its escape factor by 5, though since the factors cannot be negative numbers, it'll be set to 1 if that's the case. Feeders stay active for 100 steps, so you can spin in place to technically make it infinite.

Ah, our first catch. Like previous safaris, Pokemon have catch factor derived from their catch rate, by multiplying the number by (100/1275), rounded down. This gives Wobbuffet the catch factor of 3, as its catch rate is 45. From there, when you throw a Safari Ball, the catch factor is multiplied by (1275/100), rounded down. So this would make Wobbuffet's new catch rate 38, slightly worse than before. However, if we went near Wobbuffet, the catch factor would increase by 3, while the escape factor increases by 4. So, Wobbuffet's new catch rate would become 76 and its chance to flee at the end of each turn 35%. So it's a tricky balance, as going near a Pokemon multiple times has diminishing returns, while the escape factor increase remains constant, so the next one would make its catch rate 102 and its escape chance 55%.

Let's see what else we can find.



Ah, there we go. Pikachu starts with a catch factor of 14, so it's much easier to get compared to others. Thankfully only Wobbuffet and two others have a catch rate of 45, so they're the trickiest catches. With a Safari Ball at full health, with the base catch factor, it's an 8% chance each time, so not too bad, I guess?

Pikachu is also the 5% encounter in this area. Oh yeah, the Safari Zone is split into 4 areas that we'll go to, but there's a lot of new Pokemon right from the offset.

I am running low on balls.

Shit. Girafarig has a catch factor of 4, so it's only slightly easier than the 45 group.

Thankfully we get one last catch off.

Back in we go, still lots to get!

Fuck off with that bollocks. Thank you though.

Area 2 doesn't have much to it, but there's one new Pokemon to obtain.

Come 'ere you! Psyduck is the only Surfing encounter, while fishing only gets us Magikarp or Goldeen with our current rods.

Area 4 is blocked by the muddy slope, so we'll have to come back with the Mach Bike.

Though since we have the Acro Bike, let's go to Area 3. There also aren't that many items in this safari, but what's there is good.

Did you think I forgot about Gloom on Route 121? Well it's a lot more common here and we'll need two for the dex, so this is the best place to catch them. Well, the easier place.

Oh, hello there! Xatu is a 5% encounter and this will save me evolving Natu later.

You're going nowhere! There's some rare Pokemon in this place and I'd rather not have to encounter them more than once.

Very nice, only took a few reloads since she was quite the runner.

Hey there cutie. Did you remember Phanpy was in the Hoenn Dex? A lot of Pokemon in this place aren't used by trainers, so you'll have a fair few gaps in your dex unless you find these guys. This was kinda fixed in Emerald, but not by a huge amount.

Hilarious. One more Pokemon to find in this area.

Ah, right. There's still the 300 step limit in this safari, but you have no way of tracking them, annoyingly.

The next 5% encounter. And there we go, all the Pokemon in Area 3, wasn't so hard when the rare speedy Pokemon don't have a higher chance to run.

Now for the final area.

We're basically done with the Acro Bike for the rest of the game, so we'll be using the Mach Bike for quite a while. Well, it doesn't really make much of a difference later on, as you can probably guess, but this is the better bike to use anyway.

Oh wow! Golduck is a 5% encounter, so to get it immediately is pretty nice.

It's a bit weird how I struggled catching a Girafarig more than most of the rare stuff here. I'm not complaining.

Here's the good shit. Is your Grass type without good STAB like always? Well, this isn't that great, but it's SOMETHING.

Oh yeah, Rhyhorn is in the Hoenn Dex too.

Now there are quite a few rare Pokemon in this area, but there's something sneaky you can do with Pokeblocks to make any Pokemon easily yours... as long as you can catch it. I'll go over this bug here.

I didn't bother with this since the strategy revolves around Pokeblocks, so I just threw a million Pokeballs at stuff and hoped for the best. I think it worked out pretty well.

Drat, the only Pokemon we didn't catch in the safari is Dodrio, another 5% encounter, but I'll just evolve Doduo, it's fine.

Holy crap it actually worked! With YEEEAARRT! out front, we boosted Pikachu's chances of holding a Light Ball to 7.5%. I was not expecting to get one, I'll be honest, good job YEEEAARRT!

That's it for the Safari Zone... for now! Mwahaha. Let's move on already.

Mt. Pyre

There's nothing on Route 122, it's kind of a pointless area, but hey, here's spooky mountain.

Have a POKEMON hold that CLEANSE TAG. It will help ward off wild POKEMON.

It doesn't help ward off these beings. The Cleanse Tag reduces encounters by a third. J-Just use a repel.

Magic Coat has 15PP and +4 priority and bounces back most status moves.

Our family has been TRAINERS here since my great-grandmother's time... it is my duty to protect this mountain...

People don't come here often, so I though there'd be rare POKEMON.

I get freaked out every time I see anything move... I shouldn't have come here to train...

(LUKE) Heheh, if I show her how cool I am, she'll fall for me, I know it! I know! I'll cream you and show her how cool I am!

(DEZ) I came here on a dare with my boyfriend. It's really scary, but I'm with my boyfriend. It's okay. I know! I'll get my boyfriend to look cool by beating you!

Uh oh, you gotta survive Freesample!

Good job team.

(LUKE) We'll make it through this dare!

(DEZ) Waaaah! I'm scared! We're lovey-dovey, so we don't care if we lose!

Don't get too excited with Freesample, his items will only change when he gets past level 20.

Not really a combination you see often.

I would like to see your POKEMON when they grow up some more... please, I need to see your POKENAV. POKEMON no longer of this world, POKEMON that are with you now. And the POKEMON that you will meet in the future... they are all to be equally cherished. Please remember that.

This means my training is still not enough... I've got to keep working toward the summit... go, me!

There's a fair few people in this mountain graveyard.

My psychic powers have surely grown several times, but...

I have missed the denizens of crazy places.

I want to see dreadful things... I can't leave... stay... won't you stay with me?

Man Calbrena caught up quick, especially considering this is the best consistent move she's gotten the whole time.

This doll is gonna fuck you up. With an impressive Attack, a good STAB move in Shadow Ball and then, uh, Return...? Okay, it's pretty simple in what it does since it doesn't have any physical moves to work with, which is what you'd expect from a Pokemon with high Attack. So yeah, you'll have to go with special moves to round things out, with Thunderbolt and Psychic, cause you don't have any other options. Hey didn't I use my Thunderbolt TM? Whoops, but oh well, the fact this Pokemon only learns two notable physical moves is just bad. Thankfully the physical/special split didn't happen yet, so at least it gets Shadow Ball, or it would be fucked. I guess you could go Rain Dance and Thunder, but I don't wanna use those strategies ever again. Oh yeah, this thing is slow and fragile too, so have a good time!

Let's actually get a move for this damn thing already.

The power is ebbing away... Fufufu... I lost the match, but... I have this little ability... Without ever laying my hands on your POKENAV... hiyah! Perhaps the power is from the spirits of POKEMON in fitful sleep here...

Weren't you lost? I had this feeling that a lost TRAINER would be panicked and easy to beat. It's dirty and I won't try it again...

FINALLY. You know how I've mentioned Shadow Ball about 25 times so far in the LP? Well, it's one of the best moves for physical attackers to give them some nice coverage. You have to be real sure that whoever gets this TM deserves it.

Calbrena would be forever handicapped without this move and she won't learn it naturally for another 11 levels. Screw that.

So there weren't any idiots at the top, so I guess we missed where we were supposed to go. On the way back down we get an Incense. They're basically used for breeding to explain why certain Pokemon can have a pre-evolution now and not earlier in the series. They'll get a bit silly. The Lax Incense reduces the opponent's accuracy by 10% and allows Wobbuffet to produce Wynaut eggs.

The ghosts aren't version exclusive, but they can only be found on the higher floors of Mt. Pyre at a 10% rate, so this really is the earliest we can find Duskull. Shuppet is in the same position in Ruby.

The Sea Incense boosts Water moves by... 5%, which is pathetically bad and allows Marill to produce Azurill eggs, which we actually need to do.

Mt. Pyre Exterior

Oh hey there's an outside bit to climb too.

This is a vaguely neat move, Skill Swap has 10PP and swaps the abilities of both the user and the target, only failing with Wonder Guard. The main use is to get rid of Slaking's Truant and clean house. Uh, that's about it.

The only recipient of the Fire Stone, very nice.

This is pretty spooky, but there's some good stuff here.

Finally we can catch this Pokemon as it first appears here, though it's not found in Emerald at all, but shhhhhh.

I smell fools ahead.

If you came earlier, you only would've had to battle the wimpy TEAM MAGMA. But since you arrived now you have to take on us toughies!

You don't know anything! So why are you messing with us?

Well there's only 2 left...

You don't belong to either TEAM, so why would you be here?

"but they wouldn't have you!"

Well, don't think we'll let you join our TEAM AQUA!

We have a great combination going with us members and our leader.

Heh, it doesn't matter! We bought ourselves some time! The BOSS should have snatched what he was after!

Fufufu... now we can bring our ultimate objective to fruition! Okay, TEAM! We're pulling out!

The BLUE ORB and RED ORB must never be separated. They belong together. What are those men trying to do with the two ORBS? Oh, yes. Was it TEAM MAGMA who came and took the BLUE ORB first? Well, in their haste, they left this behind. I couldn't imagine what exactly it could be. I would like you to have it. Perhaps it will be useful in some way.

They must never be apart... I fear something terrible will happen...

The disembodied spirits of POKEMON must find solace here... is it coincidence that you are here...

It happened long, long ago... the world was wracked by a ferocious clash between the POKEMON of the land and the POKEMON of the sea... The POKEMON of the land raised mountains and created continents... The POKEMON of the sea raised huge waves and carved out oceans... their fierce duel raged without end. The world was engulfed in massive infernos and vicious storms. The BLUE ORB and the RED ORB brought an end to the calamity. Light poured from the two ORBS and becalmed the enraged adversaries. The pair, made docile, dove deep into the sea where eventually they disappeared...

It seems like the plot is ramping up, including Emerald exclusive stuff, which is pretty cool. Though I feel like the orbs taken don't match up somehow... oh well, let's catch a weird Pokemon.

Do you want a slower, weaker, more fragile Gardevoir? Congrats, here's a 2% encounter found only in this area that no trainer uses. For a real long time, this Pokemon only learns Confusion, Psywave and a fair smattering of Normal moves, including a pretty early Double Edge for... some reason. Like any special attacker, it can only learn Shock Wave aaaaaaaaand that's it. It'll be late game when it finally gets Psychic through TM and its Attack is way too low to bother with other moves, so hope you get lucky with Hidden Power and don't get knocked out when you're boosting with Calm Mind. There's... nothing else to say. That's always a shame, cause it's cute and I used one in Gen 4. It was alright.

Route 123

We're done with that silly plot stuff, now let's finally explore the rest of Route 123.

I sense it! You and I shall battle again! I can't tell if I'll win, though... Let's see your POKENAV. Being a psychic is about willpower. I thought I wouldn't lose to you...

This secluded area is surprisingly lucrative.

There's only two Castform trainers in the game, each focusing on either Sunny or Rainy form. Poor Snowy form.

Using accessories effectively is the secret behind fashion appeal.

I'm going to ambush a weaker-looking TRAINER next time.

Alright, let's see what's on the rest of this route.

No. Bye.

It always amazes me how many hidden items I've missed over the years.

"Will your POKEMON sleep?"
"I watch them."

The stakes have never been higher.

Hehe, I'm swiping your battling ideas! I think they'll make me better.

MT. PYRE... where the spirits of POKEMON sleep... it must overflow with a power that soothes spirits...

I'm annoyed that grass is only on this side, otherwise I could've caught Calbrena much earlier. It would've been tricky going even longer with Shadow Ball, but it would've been fine.

Yes to great fire, no to healing.

To best even me... your strength is marvellous!

It's weird, important trainers have Oran Berries and Super Potions while these guys have got the proper stuff. I mean, we also faced some rich peeps with Full Restores at the start of the game...

You did your BADGES proud in that match!

We've reached the end, but due to all the ledges around here, the bottom of the route is still to go!

I'm so happy, you can have this! It's a token of our friendship.

If you didn't like the look of Solarbeam, then here's Giga Drain as your best Grass move. I know, it's depressing, isn't it? It's also nice for any special attackers that can learn it, but my team will never be able to learn it or Sludge Bomb, so I'm quite sad about that.

And here I thought these guys were twins.

Get em Calbrena.

The next time, lend your ears to the full tune, will you? You're rock steady. I'd like to write a tune about you.

I gather BIRD POKEMON feathers that scatter during battles. I'm going to make a hat with BIRD POKEMON feathers.

I'm never gonna turn down a free herb. Haha, you just read that as erb, I will never understand that.

Hey now, I'm super happy with Ranmaru, he's a good boy.

I would like to face you again. Is that okay with you? We all have psychic powers. We've just forgotten how to use them.

Contribute to your allowance? Wasn't the prize money enough?

Ahh, another area crossed off the list as fully explored, always a good feeling after so long.

Might as well get some more free berries. The Nomel Berry is a Fire/Ground type that- wait, it just does nothing. And with that terrible joke out of the way, next time, we'll be going to some hideouts and beating up some more terrible jokes.