The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Emerald

by Crosspeice

Part 26: To Be A Master

Part 24: To Be A Master

Contest Lobby

I saw a giant green POKEMON flying high in the sky. I... I've never seen anything like it. I wonder what it was. Is this maybe a major discovery?

It's Contest time! That rival call is only indication there's something to find near Pacifidlog, but it's not much. Anyway, that explains where that call was, so let's see what Pokemon we'll be using for each category!

First up is our random shiny! With a nickname suggested by Radio Free Kobold and a moveset suggested by Explopyro, our green pelican is gonna be the cutest thing you ever saw! While these are absolutely not the perfect contest movesets, it's not a big deal, I prefer audience freedom in most cases, so long as we have one combination and mostly the same category.

Next up is our cool cat, uh, babboon thing, Sunny the Vigoroth by Haifisch, focusing on tripping the opponents up and striking from the back with Reversal.

Our smarty pants pig is Pigger the Spoink by Level Seven that protects himself from opponents, draws attention and copies the success of other smart pokes.

Our rough and tough wrestler is Crusher the Hariyama by Jade Rider, with the classic Endure Reversal combo, with a couple of other tough moves to jam the enemy.

Finally, our extravagant sun is Gali the Solrock by dungeon cousin, that of course brings the sun, in all kinds of ways, from shining brightly, to exploding incredibly.

As you'd expect, our contestants are as good in their stat as they can be. However, that's not the most optimal way of getting points in a contest, as I found out after doing all the Normal Rank Contests.

If you have points in the other categories directly adjacent to the main one you'll be going for, you'll get more points. Though this is obviously very tricky to max out three stats before you run out of Feel. Hmm, I suppose I should properly go over Pokeblocks.

When you create a Pokeblock by blending, the berries you used and how strong they were in a particular flavour determines what colour it'll be and what contest stats it'll boost. What berries used and how many people blended will determine the feel of the Pokeblock and the level is derived from the berries' strongest flavour and how fast the blender went. I'll go into much more detail in the Side Notes, cause going through 20 contests takes a bit of time!

If you don't care about contests, but do about your Pokedex, then you'll still have to feed Feebas a load of blue Pokeblocks in order to evolve it.

After the hassle of not only finding a damn Feebas but then shoving enough Pokeblocks down it to evolve it... the results are worth it, hot damn those stats. Milotic is a great special wall despite its only weaknesses being special, since it has some real high stats and Recover for easy healing. It also has pretty high Sp.Atk to deal some damage, especially with a relatively early Hydro Pump to abuse. However, it doesn't have a lot of moves to abuse, with only Ice Beam and, uh, Dragonbreath from breeding. So it doesn't really do much against Water types but it can Toxic stall them easily enough. Against most special attackers, it'll do really well and can hit back pretty hard, but it does make it pretty vulnerable to strong physical attacks.

Evolving Feebas is a bit of pain, requiring its Beauty stat to be above 170. It shouldn't be too difficult, but if you don't use good Pokeblocks, you'll hit the Feel cap of 255 if you don't watch out and then you'll have to get another Feebas. So long as it has over 170, it can be transferred or traded as much as you want.

Your POKEMON is Entry No. 4. The CONTEST will begin shortly. Please come in through here. Good luck!

Alright, it's finally Contest time. Thankfully all the contest ranks are in one place in Emerald, since the Battle Tents replaced the Contest Halls in those places. So all we need to do is go over every single contest is immaculate detail and make this update 300,000 words long. Eh, I'm alright, we'll do one contest and then jump around the ranks before going over the cool stuff that happens in the Master Rank.

Contest Time!


Before we get into the meat of contests, we have the appeal round! Depending on your Pokemon's condition in the contest's stat, you'll get a higher rating from the audience, which you can determine from the number of hearts that pop up, with eight being the maximum. This is determined by adding together the full value of the Contest's condition stat, half of the value of the Contest's secondary condition stat (the ones adjacent to the main stat, so Smart and Beauty for Cute contests) and half the value of the Pokemon's Feel. You want all this to be as high as possible, as it will become very important in the later ranks.

We've just seen the four POKEMON contestants. Now it's time for primary judging! The audience will vote on their favorite POKEMON contestants. Without any further ado, let the voting begin!

While the votes are being tallied, let's move on to the secondary judging! The second stage of judging is the much anticipated appeal time! May the contestants amaze us with superb appeals of dazzling moves! Let's see a little enthusiasm! Let's appeal!

Here we go, over five rounds, we need to appeal towards the audience and judge to get the most hearts, while not being distracted or attacked by our opponents. Order is determined by how well the Appeal Round went, but for 2-5, it's determined by how many hearts you've accrued over the current round. So since we're starting, let's try and be, well, cute.

Every single move in the game (aside from Struggle) has an effect in Contests, from simply getting hearts, to reducing opponents hearts, to distracting the audience, to changing turn order. There is a lot of strategy involved in Contests and since we're facing the AI we'll see very little of that. Still, let's try and unnerve some Pokemon with Attract.

Well it did something. You can only make those that are still waiting to appeal nervous and it makes them skip a turn, which can be pretty brutal in later rounds. When you use a move matching the Contest, you excite the audience and fill the meter by one bar, as well as getting a bonus heart. Stats adjacent to the Contest stat don't affect the audience meter, whereas the last two stats (so Cool and Tough for Cute contests) will reduce the audience meter by one. Did I mention Contests are pretty random and crazy? Cause hoo boy they are, we'll go over various effects and wacky combinations as they come up, so excuse me if explanations jump around a bit.

Certain moves, usually stat boosting ones, will give a Pokemon bonus condition. For the rest of the contest, all moves will give one extra heart and the Pokemon is less likely to become nervous from other appeals. Multiple stars can be obtained in a single contest for multiple bonus hearts from appeals.

Some moves will also copy the amount of hearts gained by the previous Pokemon, with some variance. So don't expect to copy 14 hearts or something crazy, it only takes the move's appeal into account, as well as combos. No other bonuses are factored in.

First round went alright, but we can do so much more. Each heart kept until the end of the round is worth 10 points towards the final score.

The move you used previously will be greyed out and it's usually not a good idea to immediately repeat moves, as you get penalized. You're fine to alternate moves though.

Certain protective moves will give the user protection from being jammed by future appeals, though whether it's just the once or up to three times depends on the move used.

A lot of moves have the potential to be used in combination with other moves next round to double the appeal hearts of that move. Usually it doesn't matter the order the moves were used in and plenty can be combined with moves of another contest stat. There is a ridiculous amount of these and they're most pretty cool, letting you rack up a lot of points.

Awwwwwwwww yeahhhhhhhhhhhh. Maxing out the crowd's excitement by being very lucky and performing at just the right opportunity nets you six bonus hearts, a big difference. It's essentially random if you get it, since the AI will just do whatever the fuck it likes and often refuse to cooperate in giving you crowd excitement, the pricks.

Unfortunately, Slokth does not get nervous again.

Alright, our first look at jamming. While every move has Appeal, a fair few also have Jam, which attempts to reduce the hearts of those already appealed, or those that were nervous.

Since Musille used Rest, it was unaffected by Strength.

cutebird and Gulin aren't so lucky, but it's only one heart, so it's not a huge deal. There's some variance in how many hearts you lose, usually when you have more hearts to lose, and you can go below 0 to negative hearts, thus reducing the points you get for a round. That's never fun.

Hmm, why does Slokth have a Tough move in this contest anyway? Well, there's a set number of Pokemon that can appear as contest AI and they're not constrained to a certain stat, so you might see the same Pokemon over multiple contests. Because of this, they have a wide variety of Contest moves to try and cover their bases, though some, especially towards the higher ranks, are more specialized. A good chunk of new contestant Pokemon from Kanto and Johto are added in the postgame in Emerald, but I'd rather just do this now, the postgame will be packed enough as it is...

We're free to use Attract again, but now Water Gun is red. Moves that complete a combination will be highlighted, so you don't have to remember what you've got.

Not bad for one turn, nearly up to the same level as getting the crowd going. The best strategy in contests is to spam a high appeal combo for 4 out of the 5 rounds and then just doing whatever in the last one and hoping you don't get screwed over by jams and whatnot.

Hey, stop that!

Now Gulin gets two extra hearts per appeal. Scary!

...nice going AI. The more you repeat an appeal, the harsher the penalty is, starting at two hearts lost. Variety is the spice of life!

Pretty standard fourth round. The AI does like to alternate between two moves, especially if it's a combination, so at least they get that bit right.

Bit annoying, but I think we've got this in the bag. I mean, we already won before we started the second round, but we'll get to that later.

And closing out with a combo. As easy as that.

Uh, right. Good thing it rose its condition to ignore the penalty of repeat appeals.

Good to note that piggybacking moves take the most successful appeal thus far as a base.

As expected for the first contest on the easiest difficulty, we absolutely crushed it.

Thank you for a most wonderful display of quality appeals! This concludes all judging! Thank you for your fine efforts! Now, all that remains is the pulse-pounding proclamation of the winner. The JUDGE looks ready to make the announcement!

We will now declare the winner!

Contest Results

Now everything gets tallied up! First the Condition Round, then the Appeal Round. The one with the highest combined score wins from the points gained in the first round and double the value of the points gained in the second round. It's that easy.

I am shocked! Shocked! Well, we did get loads of points on both rounds, so we left everyone in the dust. I didn't have max Condition points, but I will do in every other contest, so that row will be full. It gives me a lot more leeway when it comes to the crazy Appeal Round. Every 63 points obtained in the first round (rounded up to the nearest star) contribute to a star, while 40 points (4 appeal hearts) contribute towards a heart.

Contest Victory

YUKI and cutebirb, congratulations! Here you are! Please accept this prize! We confer on you this RIBBON as your prize!

Alright, one down, nineteen to go! Yeah, you can probably see why I won't be going over every contest we enter. We would be here for quite a while.

Now that we've obtained our first ribbon, we can view them from the Pokenav. Oh yeah, ribbons, that's something that'll slowly be covered more and more, though a good chunk of them are late game.

cutebirb also got his portrait done and we can even be interviewed. There's also one more thing we can do now that we've won our first contest.

Slateport City

Please! Allow me to examine how you have raised your POKEMON. It delights me no end to see POKEMON raised by other TRAINERS. The happy expressions of POKEMON raised with proper care... the kindly eyes of the TRAINER that nurtured and raised the POKEMON... The very thought fills my heart to overwhelming with joy. Oh! I do beg your pardon! Forgive me for prattling on so! Please! Allow me to examine how much your POKEMON has grown!

Your PELIPPER, it is growing in a most impressive manner! It is one fine specimen! But! If you were to give it this, it would grow even better! Indeed!

Let a POKEMON hold that PINK SCARF. It will draw out the cuteness of the POKEMON some more!

Scarves! A Pokemon holding this when entered into a contest will gain 20 bonus points in the voting round if it matches the contest stat, or 10 if it's the adjacent stat. You can only get the scarves by entering one contest and showing this gentleman a Pokemon with a maxed out Contest stat.

It's not a lot of points, but hey, might as well.

Contest Lobby

That's all the Normal Ranks done, so let's go over two Super and two Hyper Ranks.


First up is Pigger. Let's see if we can logic our way to victory.

These nicknames man.

Our combination isn't as powerful as cutebirb's, but it offers us some one-time protection.

Certain moves do better when the crowd is more excited, getting 1-5 bonus hearts depending on the meter. Combining it with max excitement and you'll have a really solid appeal.

Oof, dodged a bullet there. Moves with low appeal have high jam, with really strong moves having high appeal and jam, while also having a debilitating effect.

Get a good combo going and for the rest of the round the crowd will focus on us and not get any more or less excited.

Like so. Relia also can't be jammed for the rest of the round since it has infinite (really 3) immunity to other appeals.

Confusion related moves scramble the turn order, so it doesn't matter how well your previous appeal went.

The various weather moves are good to combo with, since they pair with most of the moves of the same type, as we'll see later.

I wonder if the AI knows stuff like this will happen beforehand. The extra condition plus the steal variance gives quite the performance.

Then the AI does shit like that and I realise it's all just a fluke.

Bah. Obviously this isn't happening as often since not everyone is always using Smart moves.

Don't push your luck pal.

Unfortunately Thief is a Tough move so Psych Up didn't work out. If it had been another Smart move, we would've gotten double hearts.

Haha, won't be getting me.

Combinations usually go both ways, but some moves you have to use first, like Rain Dance, so don't think you can be cheeky and use it second to get double hearts.

I dunno how I keep doing it. We've got this no problem.

I could use less of this though.

Powerful moves with high appeal and high jam are best used right at the end, since you'd have to skip an appeal turn otherwise.

Slowly getting through them. Who's next?


Ah, the cool dudes contest *flicks cigarette at u*

Shoot, Chamcham is a pretty rough opponent, as it has high appeal moves and easy combinations.

Our combo isn't too amazing, but if we end up at the back then it'll work out very well.

Well darn. As we'll see in a moment, some moves work a lot better when they're used first or last. So if you combo that with moves that put you in a certain spot for the next round, you'll get a very consistent setup.

That's just rude. If everyone gets the crowd excited on the first round, then the one that did the best will immediately get the crowd going, which seems a little unfair.

On the plus side, going first means three opportunities to get jammed. Certain attacks only affect the Pokemon with the judge's attention. I believe this is the one with the most hearts at the time, but I'm not sure, it could be the last Pokemon to make the judge react to them. I thought it was the symbol that flashes in the bottom left corner, but I don't know what that's for.

Oh dear, some moves do better the worse the previous contestant did in their appeal, so since Golden got a combo, Shrand is out of luck.

Least we can pull off a Reversal.


That's pretty nice though.

And there it all goes. Annoyingly Chamcham lost 1 heart from that, whereas Golden and I lost 5. But hey, such is life and random jam.

Remember that combos double your hearts so if you, uh, only get one heart, at least you'll get another one. Sure, not the best combo, but it's better to lower the hearts of others every now and then.

I think we've closed this up easily enough. A few lucky crowd goings, a nice combo and, well, the points from the Condition Round carrying us regardless.

Though going first has its problems...

Alright, we're halfway through the contests! Now onto the Hyper Rank.


Let's give 'em the ol' razzle dazzle!

Gen 7 confirmed.

Not the best first move, but it's the only way I'll use the move, since the rest of the set is so good. Some moves try to shift the judge's attention away from the others.

Yeah, like that. It doesn't jam them or anything, so I'm not sure what the point of it is.

Already the moon is being antagonistic towards me, like always.

Praise it! It would've been better if Lunone wasn't ruining everything by being Smart.


Oh wow, even with increased condition.

...huh? That's bold. Explosion, Selfdestruct and Destiny Bond give you a load of hearts... but then you can't appeal again. It's a sure-fire strategy to combo for four rounds, then explode on the last one to secure your victory. But, uh, this is only the third round. The AI does this a lot and it's pretty funny.

See, we can do as well as Lunone by just pulling off a nice combo.

Okay this is getting a bit silly.

Poor Shifty. Sure Lunone is ahead, but that'll be its final appeal points, so well done to it.

Haha, wow, Shifty is not having a good day. Pretty short round, so onto the final one!

The perfect way to end. I think we've got this.

Though SOMEONE nearly came from behind to take it. You can go over 16 hearts both ways, it just won't show it.

Not too surprising, onto the final participant.


Are you ready for some sweating bulging muscles? Phwoar.

You might think one of these is misplaced, but we'll see how well it does.

Always good to be conservative when you're up front.

Pretty standard first round. Lairn should be watched out for.

Hey give it a break, it only has three moves.

Pretty risky, but it can pay off big. Some moves make you much more susceptible to jamming, so you can lose 6 hearts at a time. Best to do it when you're at the back.

Our combo wasn't the best, but when you get the same number of hearts in a round as another Pokemon, your place is decided on a coin flip and, well, we didn't get fourth annoyingly.


Well shit, this might be a problem.

My plan of reducing its hearts didn't work out too well. Some moves don't divert the judge's attention, but will jam those that have it, so beware.

Everyone's looking like a threat here.

Lairn in particular is just dominating.

At least it getting a load of hearts is putting it in front loads.

I know I could use Reversal, but I can do it next turn with a bigger combo, since I'll still be in last.

Though since I just used a Tough move... this is my fault.

Thankfully combos work off the base appeal amount, or that would be pretty bad.

Unfortunately combos work off the base appeal amount, so oh well.

Despite not doing amazingly in the Appeal Round, by getting the most points possible in the Condition Round, we can easily coast to victory every time. Sure, it's a bit cheap, as it's very difficult to max out one stat within the Feel limit, let alone three, but when have easy rides ever been a problem for me, the garbage cheating LP man?

Now onto the final rank and the various highlights of those contests, cause this update is getting long enough already.

First up, it's cutebirb. Even with the massive advantage we already have from the first round, how do we do?

Nothing too crazy in the first two rounds, but that's before the combos kick in.

Oh that's just beautiful. I think we've got this.

And there we go. We absolutely crush the hardest contest rank. Mainly cause the AI is braindead and we start off with a lot more points than them, but details!

I did a painting of your POKEMON to commemorate its victory... Well, your POKEMON's appeals were so fantastic, it spurred me into painting better than I usually do. Look, see?

A work of this caliber, it wouldn't look out of place in an art museum. Huh? An art museum really is looking for paintings? Do you think I should take this there? What, really? Then, sure, I will take this painting there right now. I'll give it a proper title, too. I hope they'll like it and consider exhibiting this. Please check if they did accept this. Thank you!

Oh, that's right! As a memento of me painting your POKEMON, please take this.

Not only did we get the last Cuteness ribbon, we also got a ribbon for having a painting put in the museum. Let's go have a look.

I've heard it depicts your POKEMON. Truly magnificent! Thank you so very, very much!

Now we can finally get working on getting this place filled. When you finish a contest with over 800 points, you'll get a painting of your Pokemon done. Considering we finish the Condition Round with a max of 652 points, all we need are 8 hearts from the Appeal Round to get our painting (since the second round is double points). As easy as that.


Sunny's turn at the Master rank.

That makes things a lot easier, considering it's only the SECOND ROUND.

Things have gotten a lot quicker, which is nice, since these contests take about 15 minutes apiece.

Ah we finally see these moves. Priority moves usually cause a Pokemon to shift to either the 1st or 4th position to prepare for the next appeal. Going to 4th position and then using Reversal is a pretty good way of getting hearts without having to do bad.

We came just short of getting the crowd going, but hey, we did pretty well overall.

There are three titles that can be chosen. Onto the next one!


Let's win this clever clogs.

Pretty good first couple rounds. Blossom seems to be the one to watch out for. least it was the 3rd round this time.

I think we've got a good chance of a painting.

Might as well use all the moves I'm given, eh?

Should have a good painting for us.

Ah. Hmm. It's different, I'll give it that.


Welcome to the Salty Spitoon.

While we're not blowing anyone away, neither is anyone else. That's a problem.

That doesn't help.

So even though we got barely any hearts at all, we still won because of the Condition Round. Nice.

But because we never got the chance to get into last and pull off a Reversal combo, we also didn't get enough points for the painting. Yeah, even though we did pretty badly, because we did better than one other Pokemon, we did even worse. Funny that.

Easy enough to win again. This is where we can finally obtain a Luxury Ball, by winning a Master Rank Contest with a Pokemon that already has the ribbon. Otherwise, you'd get the one we'll find next update and that's it. Could be useful to fast-track a Golbat to evolution.

There's only one painting left to get!


Shine, Gali, Shine.

We're not off to the best start with a Hyper Beam and then missing out on the crowd.

But by doing a skilful jump from last to first, we can explode in excellent fashion. Sure, it's only the fourth round, but we won't need a fifth appeal.

If there was a sixth round then only Taria could've done something. At least Wobet lasted to the very end for once.

And there we go, 20 contests, 5 paintings and 5 ribbons. Contests have a weirdly deep metagame to them and it's pretty damn fun to do something that isn't battling for a change. Cheers to everyone with their suggestions, I knew the first round would carry your starlights to victory no matter what you picked, but there was some good variety in moves!

Isn't this marvellous? This collection of paintings! Each one of them flawless! None better than another! These paintings have attracted more guests to our ART MUSEUM. Sincerely, I thank you, YUKI. This is my dream come true! This is merely a token of my gratitude.

It's an honor to have you visit us on your busy journeys. Please, relax and do enjoy your visit with us.

We got a pretty neat decoration for getting all the paintings, as well as a Trainer Card star! Only four more to go... I hope you enjoyed this foray into a pretty crazy side mode. Next time, we've got some cleanup to do around the region before heading to the Pokemon League.