The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Emerald

by Crosspeice

Part 36: The Battle Pike and Battle Palace

Part 31: The Battle Pike and Battle Palace

Battle Pike

Welcome welcome, with all the pleasantries out of the way, now we need to go through some actual facilities with some actual submitted Pokemon. Let's meet them.

First up is The CLAAAW the Zangoose by Level Seven. When this cat gets set up, oh my word is it going to hit incredibly hard with its near perfect coverage thanks to HP Ground. When it takes a lot of damage (and it will), it'll activate its berry and get even stronger.

Next is ElmerFludd the Vaporeon by ajkalan. You do remember that Vaporeon has huge SpAtk? It can be pretty tanky, hit super hard with its great attacks and make you go all the way back to square one with Wish, which the other members might appreciate.

Finally, for the first half of this facility, is Flyboy the shiny Flygon by FoolyCharged. With real nice attack and some, uh, interesting coverage, Flyboy will be doing a lot of damage and maybe dodge an attack or two due to hax. I could've used Attract, but I didn't, since I'm an attack junkie.

We'll be doing Open Level again, but at level 75 instead of 100, just to make things a bit more interesting. And this facility is very interesting indeed, so we'll see how we do.

We do have three other Pokemon to use, we'll see them later. For now, let's start off nice and simple.

Lot of emphasis on curtains. Let's see what this facility is all about.

Ah, let me see... there is something about the path in the center... Is it... a TRAINER? I sense the presense of people.

Well what do you know, it was a trainer! In the Battle Pike you have a choice of three rooms that have a common and a rare outcome behind them. You can talk to the maid to find out what might be behind one of the doors, but will you get the best outcome? Well, it's all up to luck.

As you'd expect, the trainer hint gives you a 75% chance of fighting a trainer, but the other outcome is a full party heal. So if you're desperate, do you take that chance? Or do you go somewhere else? I'll be showing off every event once, before starting to game the system, since that is something you can do.

As you'd expect from the first set, we'll be facing against the very weakest Pokemon in the Frontier, Group 1, full of basic stage Pokemon and fully evolved Pokemon with low stats.

Shit. Whispering is the best hint to get, since it's an 80% chance of getting... nothing! No battle, no event, just move on to the next room. Otherwise, it's a double battle. If you see a double battle, you immediately know you were unlucky, since this event is the only way to encounter them.

Still, it's early enough that it's whatever. ElmerFludd has some mad SpAtk to throw around.

Alright, it's early enough that I'm fine to try out this event. I'm expecting the worst.

I must apologise to you... my KIRLIA has a TIMID nature... it attacks without warning if it is startled by another person... Are you and your POKEMON all right?

Well that's the least worst option. Nostalgia has a 45% chance of giving you a room that inflicts 1-3 of your Pokemon with a status condition, with Kirlia inflicting Bad Poison, Paralysis, Burn and Sleep at a 35%, 20%, 10% and 10% chance, respectively, and a Dusclops inflicting Freeze or Burn at a 25% and 10%, respectively. You can't use items and must rely on events to heal, so this room can cripple you if you get it multiple times in a row. The number of Pokemon inflicted depends on what room you're in, 1 in rooms 1-4, 2 in rooms 5-9 and 3 in rooms 10-14.

Though The CLAAAW didn't get hit with poison, since the other two members did (and we're not late enough in this challenge for 3 of our Pokemon to be hit), due to her ability, she would've been immediately cured had she got inflicted. This also applies to Pokemon of certain types, so Poison Pokemon can't be poisoned, Fire Pokemon can't be burned, etc, but Electric Pokemon can't be paralyzed and Ice Pokemon can't be Frozen. Abilities that only activate in battle, like Shed Skin and Natural Cure, don't prevent status, but can cure it in the next battle. Oh yeah, the other event, which is slightly more likely, is one or two of your Pokemon becoming fully healed.

I will restore one of your POKEMON to full health. The best of luck to you. Farewell.

I will restore two of your POKEMON to full health. The best of luck to you. Farewell.

Uh yeah, like that. Healing applies to literally anything your Pokemon is missing, whether it's HP, status, or that one single PP point in a move you used seven rooms ago. Events don't have a chance of showing up when they're useless, so the system is gamed by avoiding Trainer and Nostalgia rooms when you're fully healed, since you know something bad is gonna happen.

Since we're completely healed, we're facing a trainer, guaranteed. Also the heals can be annoying in that they're random which Pokemon they pick, so they could heal your 3rd mon who's missing some PP, instead of your lead with paralysis and 25% health.

Since we lost some PP, we can be healed again. Woo! Not that it matters, because...

I must say... you seem to possess luck in abundance... In recognition of your amazing luck, we award you these Battle Point(s)...

Because of how quick you can go through the 14 rooms (7 choice rooms and 7 interim rooms), it's not that tough getting through the Pike if you know what you're doing, so the BP is low to start.

Set 2! We'll be encountering Pokemon from Group 2, so middle evolutions with good stats, or low stat fully evolved Pokemon. Pokemon from Group 1 can still appear, but that only depends on if the trainer that has Group 1 Pokemon in their pool also appear in Set 2, which a good chunk of them don't. Though that's something to go over when we're just doing nothing but really tedious battles. Wonder if we'll have any of those this update?

Your POKEMON shall be restored to full health... I urge you to enjoy the rest of your Battle Choice challenge...

Ah, finally, the fourth and final hint, which is also a good one.

Of course we get the worst outcome. There's a 25% chance we'll fight a trainer that we wouldn't normally fight until the next set. This is always the final trainer in a standard battle streak in other facilities, so this is how the Pike implements it.

Set 3 is not when we fight Pokemon from Group 3, that's a little ways off, but we could fight a trainer that only appears from Set 3 on, who could have slightly trickier Pokemon.

Do you know what you just did?

When you get this event, you should go all out to win, since you'll be fully healed afterwards. After all, you can't revive your Pokemon and you also can't switch their party order, so make sure you have their order set before you enter!

Oh yeah, items that get used up, or Tricked, stay that way until the end of the current set. Those Trick sets work a lot better when Specs and Scarf get added to the mix, but right now, they're less effective.

I urge you to pay the utmost care and prepare for the worst... From every path I sense a dreadful presence...

If only you hadn't chosen this room, your POKEMON could have been healed... I shall go fetch out master...

For I am the PIKE QUEEN. You already know it, but to advance, you must defeat me... ...I'm not one for idle chatter. Hurry. Come on. Your luck... I hope you didn't use it all up here...

VS Frontier Brain

Pike Queen Lucy/Tube Queen Azami
From luck, as well as the old name for a pike fish, and azami (thistle).

Ow. Hey, it's a Frontier Brain already! At the end of the second streak, you'll face against Lucy, making this the easiest Silver Symbol to obtain, no question. It's also our first Brain with a set team, so you know what you're up against. We'll be fine, especially against this mostly special Seviper.

Y'know, when we actually hit.

Now you might struggle getting past her pretty nasty walls, especially if you've got a special attacker to get hit by Mirror Coat. But remember, Flyboy has a Choice Band. And is at +2 Attack. And is no longer confused.

Get fuckin wrecked.

She mad

Battle Pike

You have snatched victory from the PIKE QUEEN and cleared the event... In recognition of your amazing luck, we award you these Battle Point(s)...

Alright, that's our third symbol of fourteen. We're getting there. But of course, we won't be seeing Lucy again for a while. You didn't think it'd be at the end of the fourth streak, did you? Oh no no no, she'll be at the end of the TENTH streak. So because of that, we'll still be using our current three mons for just a little while longer.

It's ElmerFludd's turn after all.

That's some spicy damage.

Ah, here we go, a room full of wild Pokemon. You'll definitely want this outcome instead of a tough trainer since it's basically a free room.

Sure you'll run into a fair few encounters (two or three on average) and yeah, they've got some nasty attacks. But you can just... run from all of them. However, this strategy will only work to a point.

Regardless of what Pokemon you fight, they'll always be, at max, 5 levels lower than your highest level Pokemon, aside from Seviper and Milotic, which are 4 levels lower, as they're the Pokemon you'll always encounter no matter what.

Pretty nasty movesets that are designed solely to screw you over. After going through the Pike enough times in a streak, the third Pokemon you'll encounter will change, going from Dusclops to start with, to Electrode after 280 rooms, to Breloom after 561 rooms, to Wobbuffet from room 841 onward. Considering we'll get the Gold Symbol after 170 rooms... we won't be encountering anything all that deadly. The rotating Pokemon has a 48% encounter, while Seviper and Milotic are 26% each. For whatever reason, every Pokemon aside from Breloom and Electrode have a moveset change between Level 50 and Open Level, with Seviper having Body Slam instead of Poison Fang, Milotic having Surf instead of Ice Beam, Dusclops having Shadow Punch instead of Ice Beam and Wobbuffet having Encore instead of Destiny Bond. Neat.

Alright, three streaks done. Only seven to go. Man this is gonna be a long update, right?

Alright, we've now seen every room. The good result from the whispering hint just has a single person standing around. Very nice.

This isn't though, I'm getting owned.

But since we don't encounter another trainer, we're not in any danger.

In the fifth streak, we've got some big bad Group 3 Pokemon to face. We start fighting them in Set 4, since that's when the trainers with Group 3 Pokemon start appearing, but other trainers from previous sets can also appear and you'll be facing only Group 3 Pokemon from set 5 on.

And there we go, we're halfway through the Pike, so it's on to our next three submitted Pokemon! Don't worry now, we'll be seeing the previous mons again soon enough.

First up is Excalibur the shiny Seviper, by Leraika. He's got a Choice Band and real nice coverage. He hurts a LOT. Nice and speedy, can shrug off status and is able to just knock something out with little trouble. Good choice to start off with.

Here's Grafix the Porygon2, by Kikas, who may have slightly forgotten Normal is only physical, but that's okay, cause it works even as a physical attacker, especially with two great moves to use in these kinds of facilities. Kinda speedy too, to Recover its Substitute losses.

Last up is Tess the Forretress, by rannum. Very useful, since having something that only dies to Fire types is pretty helpful, as well as RestoChesto and Toxic stalling. Sometimes, you just need to survive against something and this is a great Pokemon for the job.

We'll use Grafix first for the next couple streaks, but then we'll need to stick with Excalibur as stuff gets stronger. Tess won't be out first, since we're not in the early sets anymore.

But yeah, even Grafix can run from these slow mons. Let's battle instead.

Pretty nice. This team isn't the best, but hey, I use submitted Pokemon because I don't want to use the best.

Not a huge deal, it's only a Slaking.

WHAT? It's something you should expect eventually, let's be honest.

That's just par for the course. Won't be showing off every little thing that happens, this update needs to end eventually!

This is why I'm glad we don't have special Porygon2. Also yeah, sixth set is when legendaries start appearing. If you want to make things easier, they only start appearing on the eighth set in Level 50, due to what trainers appear.

Admittedly I should've switched to Tess, as I knew that was gonna happen. But I stayed in. That's what I did.

Man they really love doing that. It never works out for them.

So Steelix is a nasty Pokemon Grafix and Excalibur can't beat by themselves, but Tess can very easily take it out. Uh, with Rest, of course, Earthquake isn't STAB, after all.

Also if it doesn't explode when I'm at low health. But hey, that's another set done.

Well this is going well.

That was not me duplicating screenshots in one room, I literally didn't attack once in that entire set. Beautiful. So here's how you can try and cheese the Pike. For the Trainer hint, if your Pokemon are fully healed, then never take this, since a battle is guaranteed. For whispering, if you only have one Pokemon still alive, then it'll always be a free room, since you can't get into a double battle. Aroma is the only one you can't cheese, but both outcomes are fine, I believe, since you can go all out against the trainer, or run away from the Pokemon. Finally, if your team is fully healed, then stay away from Nostalgia, since you'll always get hit with status. Pretty simple.

To make up for it, the ninth streak had a few battles. Still, this team is working well.

And then the final streak was pretty quiet. Yeah I'm going through these fast, but hey, I can only show so much off before I start getting bored. We've seen quite enough of this place, methinks.

Oh yeah, depending on which room you choose, you can get 0-2 of your Pokemon healed. It's cool, but we shouldn't need it.

...I've trampled flowers and braved storms to get to where I am... I don't feel any compulsion to keep losing to the same opponent... ...fine... I'll do it... Now! Come on!

VS Frontier Brain

If you wondered who had the better Seviper... did you even need to ask?

God that does so much. On both sides.

And hey, it's a Pokemon Tess can clown on.

Completely clown on, in fact.

This might be a super big problem. But it was fine, I thought, since it was on a timer.

Like most big battles, I don't check what my opponent will have beforehand, so I was a bit surprised by a RestoChesto Gyarados that only had Return. If it had Earthquake I, uh, would've been kinda fucked. I'm surprised it never used Roar though.

Two can play at that game! Though I did use my Chesto Berry earlier in the set. Haha, whoops.

Still, I have a plan.

And that plan?

Is to win! Boom baby!

I think we made a new friend.

That's two! It almost feels like we can beat this. But there's still plenty of facilities to beat when we come back to the Frontier next ti-

Battle Palace


"what it likes and is good at doing."

Put yourself in the POKEMON's position and consider what moves it would like.

Alright, if you don't know what this place is about, it doesn't seem that bad to begin with. Just a simple 3v3 7 battle streak. What's the big deal?

Ignoring the standard Brightpowder bullshit, I... didn't choose my attack. This facility... all you do is just click the Fight option. Over and over and over again. We just beat the Luck facility, but this is the true luck facility. Here's a 4 sided die. Throw it. And keep throwing it until you get the Gold Symbol. Roll badly? Guess you lose then. Since there's nothing else you can do. Just roll the die. Again and again and again.

So to actually go into what determines what move your Pokemon so gracefully chooses after clicking the Fight option, it's down to the moves it has and its Nature. Every Nature a Pokemon has gives it a chance of using an Attack move (any move not under Defense or Support), a Defense move (targets the user), or a Support move (does not deal damage and not under Defense, as well as Counter and Mirror Coat) and if it rolls that, your Pokemon uses it. If it doesn't, well...

Get used to seeing this text a lot. See, the best thing to do in this facility is to make your Pokemon only use attacking moves, to make the chance of actually attacking the opponent the highest possible. But what if it rolls another category when you only have those moves? Well, it's not the end of the world. If it chooses Attack, then it'll use a move smartly, but the remaining percentages are added together and halved. This is the chance that it'll either attack randomly, or just do nothing at all, as in, being incapable of using its power. So, since LADios has a Timid nature (since ShockSabre prefers to have Modest), he has a 62% chance of attacking and then a 19% chance of using a random move and then a 19% chance of doing nothing. This means you can use whatever Nature in this place you like, since you've got a better chance of attacking than you think.

I'm skipping the text for the most part since he talks about closeness and bonds and all that. After going through this facility, you will definitely not think that's the case and see 2004 Gamefreak AI come through in full force.

After all, it would be too easy if you just picked the natures that gave you the best chance to attack. Oh no no no. When you go under 50%, the numbers change, usually making the highest percentage the lowest, or making all categories more even. So now, LADios has a 30% chance of attacking smartly and then a 35% chance of being random or being useless. So, 65% chance is still alright, but man it can get pretty rough if you get unlucky. Cause that's the main problem with the Palace. Aside from natures and tweaking movesets, there's just no strategy behind it. It's just endless dice rolling. Also when you go under 50% health the percentages change, but they don't change back if you go back above 50% health. Sneaky, right?

And of course the standard RNG is here just to fuck with you even more. It's mental. I suppose I should go over the crazy movesets I spent minutes thinking of. LADios has Dragon Claw, Psychic, Thunderbolt and Surf, SparkSabre has Thunderbolt, Crunch and HP Ice and PurePunchr has Hi Jump Kick (yeah I know), Return, Shadow Ball and Earthquake. Yes, ShockSabre only has 3 attacks. If you can't think of a 4th or even 3rd move to put on a Pokemon for this facility then don't bother. It doesn't make any difference to what move gets picked, aside from losing on some slight coverage options when they attack smartly.

Their individual nature makes them good at certain things, and not good at others.

LADS LADS LADS. That guy might have more quotes, but I never encountered them since this facility is, to its single credit, mercifully short.

Yup. It's so frustrating, because it's just completely out of your control and just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. This is one gimmick that I hope we never see again, because it is really as bad as it looks.

Using Hi Jump Kick is also not the best idea, you want to use consistent and accurate moves in this place, since there's already a huge luck factor involved. Just trade a bit of power so you can hit when you really need to, it's worth it.

And that was only the first fuckin Pokemon!

Please. Don't do this to me.


Okay. Just according to keika- ah I don't have the motivation to finish that joke, screw this place.

By winning consistently, you have earned the privilege of challenging our master, the PALACE MAVEN... I shall send for the PALACE MAVEN. Are you ready?

Young one of a TRAINER! Do you believe in your POKEMON? Can you believe them through and through? If your bonds of trust are frail, you will never beat my brethren! The bond you share with your POKEMON! Prove it to me here!

VS Frontier Brain

Palace Maven Spenser/Palace Guardian Ukon
From spirit, and ukon (turmeric).

Holy shit, I just looked at that Crobat set. I dodged a fuckin bullet there! But yeah, at the end of the third set, you face the Brain! Thank god for that.

And so it begins. You clawed your way up to this point. Just to watch it all get pissed away into the wind.

All you can do is watch from afar and scream into the empty void.

Maybe your prayers will go through. Maybe this is the Faith facility. If you believe hard enough, will these stupid lines of code actually respond?

Maybe. Maybe there is a God. Hopefully I can one day catch it. Well we've still got three more sets to go.

Battle Palace

Hah, you never fell for my bluster! Sorry for trying that stunt! Here! Bring me the thing!

I eagerly await the next opportunity to see you.

We are halfway done with this shitty facility, but before that, here's something new.

We have a little group going here, and we play a little game with what goes on in the BATTLE FRONTIER. The rules are really simple. First, we pick one of the facilities in the BATTLE FRONTIER. Then, we each pick a different TRAINER who's taking that facility's challenge, and bet with our Battle Points. The guy who bet on the TRAINER with the best record takes all the Battle Points in the pool. Sounds simple, huh? So, anyway... What I'm looking for is a TRAINER who's going to be entering the BATTLE DOME's DOUBLE BATTLE Tourney. But so far, I haven't seen a TRAINER that has that winning quality. I'll see to it that you benefit, too. So how about it? How about entering that event for me?

After getting three silver symbols from any of the facilities, we can now do BP betting! Every day, you'll be given a certain facility to enter in and win. You give the man 5, 10 or 15BP and if you win the set, you get double the amount! We are going to the Battle Dome next, but you don't fight the Frontier Brains in Double Battles, so no. Also, just grind the Battle Tower if you need quick, hassle free (mostly) BP.

Anyway, back to the Palace and oh would you look at that we've completed the fourth set, how about that? Yeah there is nothing else to talk about in this place, other than HOW THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO KNOW HOW IT WORKS??? The text clues the Pokemon give you at half health are useless, none of the info here gives you cold hard facts on any of the Natures and how they would work. The girl nearby that we talk to is all you get and she's super vague. I'm glad the Hoenn Battle Frontier never came back, because at least I don't have to do this stupid facility ever again! This place isn't particularly awful, or completely unfun to go through... it's just boring. And that's terrible.

Still, we're getting mad bank. Wanna talk about trainers? Yeah! So in the Battle Frontier, there are 300 named trainers to fight... uh, not including the Brains of course, and they appear when you reach certain sets, usually in blocks of 7 battles, but it obviously varies between facilities that have less than that. Anyway, of those 300 trainers, some only appear in the very first set, others inbetween set 2-4, or 3-6, or what have you, until you get to over 50 battles (or rooms, floors, what have you), where the trainers you'll face, their names and their Pokemon pools remain set. Let's use the Ruin Maniac class as an example, since it's small, but covers ever set at least once.

So we have Anton, Lawson and Sammy as potential trainers to encounter when we start our streak, as they only appear in the first set only. Therefore, they only use Group 1 Pokemon and you probably swatted them away without a second thought you monster. Same, I pay no attention to trainer names. Anyway, while they have different names, they're the same trainer, since they all pull from the same pool of Pokemon. And it is quite a large pool with a lot of theming behind it. When you see the trainer class, you can usually tell what Pokemon they'll be using, in this case being Rock, Ground and Steel types. Next up is Zackary, who you'll encounter from set 2-4 and has Pokemon in Group 2. It's a pretty big pool still, so it gives this one trainer a lot of variety.

Then we have Aiden and Xavier, who appear in sets 5-7 and have Group 3 Pokemon, but only just the one set of each Pokemon they can use. This base only applies to Level 50, as Open Level gets the Group 3 Pokemon out a set earlier, but I don't have any evidence to say that the named NPCs change which sets they appear in change because of that. They probably do, but who cares? Anyway, the main meat is Hugo and Bryce, who not only use Group 3 Pokemon with all of their sets, they use legendaries as well, which start at set 8 in Level 50 and set 6 in Open Level. These are the big sets you'll be seeing until you lose, so you better get used to them. Of course, trainers in the same class can also overlap which sets they appear in, so you can still get a mix of different groups of Pokemon, but there's always a hard cutoff point, Set 3 for Group 1 and Set 5 for Group 2. For Level 50, of course.

Anyway, weren't those last three sets fun? Here's Spenser again.

So be it! This time, I won't bluster or hold back. This time, there's no fooling around. Ready now? Prepare to lose! ...Kaaah!

VS Frontier Brain

Haha, you just wasted your Protect!

Haha, what am I doing with my life...

Okay, while that is appreciated, it's a bit too late. Still, the other two will deal with this no problem.

...huh? Trying to be cute and resist the Surf? I can see the logic behind that switch, even if I don't agree with it. Too bad LADios will use that move anyw-

Did-did my Pokemon just PREDICT A SWITCH???

LADios, you absolute legend.

In awe at the size of this lad... also fuck you I'm a millennial, I will dab all over you with my slang binch.

Like I knew the facility was gonna be a bit easy cause of the Pokemon I chose. But not this easy! I mean, have you seen these sets? Spenser is a cool character, but god his teams are shitty and I hate them and I hate this place for making them the final hurdle after all the other bullshit.

Mate you are five turns too late for that shit.

If I have to send out ShockSabre at all in these Brain battles, I will be very upset.

Okay good, let's get out of this fuckin trash heap.

Battle Palace

"could not overpower you."

Your team spirit is truly admirable! Here! Bring me the thing, will you?

My, my, if only you could maintain a certain level of decorum... Gaaah, here! Hurry with that FRONTIER PASS, you!

Come see me time and again! My brethren and I will be waiting!

Wow, I can't believe the Palace is behind us. Now for the next facility to not look forward to. Oh great that'll be next time.

Soon, it'll be time for the Battle Dome. But, before that, it's time for Trainer Hill. Look forward to it. Seriously.