The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Emerald

by Crosspeice

Part 38: The Battle Dome and Battle Pyramid

Part 33: The Battle Dome and Battle Pyramid

Battle Dome

Welcome back to more BATTLING! It's time to Dome it up and do some fun stuff. Who we got today?

Our first friend is Bananagher the shiny Tropius, by AweStriker, who revolves around the SUN, so while it might be tricky to set up sometimes, the Brightpowder should help with that and then everything will be blasted by Solarbeam and HP Fire.

Next is Pain Train the Metagross, by Oblique Angle. It's, well, a Metagross. With crazy coverage and ridiculous stats, I think we'll have an easy time in the first half.

Last up for this half is Epoch the Aerodactyl, by BlackPersona. Now Aerodactyl hits hard and fast, but what if you made him hit really really really hard? With great coverage when he gets HP Flying, he'll sweep through teams no problem. I don't remember if I ever use Double-Edge, but whatever.

Let's get to battling, with all the glitz and glamour that accompanies this facility.

Beyond Battle Dome

It's time for the LP's TOURRRRRRRNAMENT ARRRRRRRRRRRC, making this place a bit different to the Battle Tower, but not too different.

Firstly, you're able to see your next opponent and all of their Pokemon, just like that. We'll go over what the various phrases mean in a moment, but knowing what's coming up is very helpful.

The Battle Dome is a four round rumble to become the champion. We can see all 15 AI trainers and who we'll potentially face in future rounds. If we select ourselves, we can see what phrases the game has generated for us based on the Pokemon we've brought in.

Now here's where the strategy comes in: each battle, both trainers can only select 2 of their 3 Pokemon to use in battle. This makes this facility both pretty easy, since you can see all the potential Pokemon you'll be facing, but it gives you less room for error in case something bad happens. And it's the Battle Frontier, of course something will.

YUKI versus GRAYSON! Let the battle begin!

Aside from those front loaded gimmicks, the Battle Dome is pretty simple, just a bunch of fights.

Because I can pick which Pokemon to use in every battle, I can use everyone more evenly since I'm not locked into whoever I picked at the start like other facilities.

All 1st-round matches have been completed. These are the teams that advanced!

We're early enough that we don't need to check who we're fighting, or really think about who we're using. Since we're in Level 50 mode for this and the Tower, we won't be facing dangerous Pokemon for a little bit.

We get some cool intros depending on how well we're doing, it's pretty neat.

Oh no why did you guys give me inaccurate moves? Ah well, I'll live.

Wow, we're halfway through the first set already. This facility will be a breeze!

Those more knowledgable about the Frontier might have noticed that we're already seeing Pokemon from Group 2, despite only being in the first set. While we won't be seeing tough Pokemon for a bit, trainers you fight later on in the tournament will have stronger Pokemon than the trainers you'll fight early on. Remember, it all depends on what trainers appear and what Pokemon they pull from their pool.

Oh no, the only way to screw over a choiced Pokemon!

Too bad that Struggle gets boosted by Choice Band.

The final battle!

Pokemon that always Protect first turn get pretty screwed by setup mons.

Almost too easy.

Of course, it's only going to get harder from here, but as things go, this is not a tough facility.

In recognition of your strategy--a thing of beauty it was, too--we award you these Battle Point(s)!

Since this facility is so easy the BP reward starts pretty low alas.

The next set doesn't have much to it, still early days.

Epoch even 2 shots a Marshtomp with Rock Slide, beautiful. Onto the third set!

Well wasn't that exciting. Since I'm only beating 8 Pokemon each time, it does mean there's not a huge amount going on, which is fine, since there's actually A LOT to go over with the Battle Dome, more than you'd think, more than you'd want to know.

First off, how is the tournament seeded? Well, you're always put in the first slot and always win the tiebreak against a trainer that could take that spot and the remaining trainers are seeded according to their rank: the sum of the combined base stat totals of all Pokemon, plus 1/20th of the number of different types in that team and the highest level of those Pokemon, level 50 in this instance. If two trainers tie, then the higher number trainer internally will win, as will the Frontier Brain, who is always put into the number 2 seed. The seeds are laid out as 1v9, 13v5, 8v16 and 12v4 for the left and 3v11, 15v7, 6v14 and 10v2 for the right.

Now that you have your opponent, what does the stuff on the card mean when you view them? Well, the top line is the battle style, which is determined by the Pokemon's EVs (and Nature). If EVs across a single stat take up 30% of all EVs of the three Pokemon, with Natures making EVs worth 10% less or more, then it is considered emphasized and the top two stats are shown. If there aren't two top stats, then the bottom two stats are said to be emphasized, otherwise it'll say the stats are balanced. Then there's a lot of small, different phrases that show up depending on the various moves used by the Pokemon.

It's the fifth set! The Frontier Brain has to show up eventually. But who is it? I hope they don't lose.

Group 3 Pokemon are popping up. I think our team will be fine.

For the final match, you will challenge the DOME ACE TUCKER. Are you ready?

Hmm, seems like quite the strong team. Alas, we won't be able to bring all of our team against the Frontier Brain, but neither will he.

And now... the TRAINER standing in YUKI's record-setting path... Yes! The one and only! The BATTLE DOME COMMISSIONER! Our very own DOME ACE! Make way for TUCKER!

Do you hear it? This crowd! They're all itching to see our match! Ahahah! I bet you're twitching all over from the tension of getting to battle me! But don't you worry about a thing! I'm the no. 1 star of the BATTLE DOME! I, TUCKER, the DOME ACE, will bathe you in my brilliant glow! Your strategy! Let's see it!

VS Frontier Brain

Dome Ace Tucker/Dome Superstar Heath
From tactics and heath, a family of plants and a plant habitat.

Depending on what Tucker brings, he could be pretty nasty depending on your team, or a complete joke.

So how did he choose?

Uh, incorrectly.

Beyond Battle Dome

I sorely underestimated you. I won't make the same mistake next time...

Wowza, we're halfway done with the Battle Frontier! Still quite a bit to go, especially with the next facility...

We'll say goodbye to our team for now, but they'll be back for the Battle Tower. Who're the next three?

Here's Lurker the Gengar by Jade Rider. While we can't really use her STAB, there's plenty of cool moves she learns that make it not a problem at all. Sure she'll go down pretty quickly, but she'll do a lot of damage before that.

Next up is Cap Falcon the Blaziken by Blaze Dragon. With hard hitting attacks, a boost to Attack and potentially Speed and a way to spew powerful fire without much drawback, he'll be able to, uh, drift through the competition. Sorry, I don't know much about F-Zero, aside from the obvious joke I'll make later down the line.

Last is Regis the Regice by Buried Treasure. When we need something to take special hits, there's literally no better Pokemon to choose, especially when something needs to be whittled down and its boltbeam combo does hit pretty hard, don't sleep on it. ...GET IT???

Alright let's see how these three do. I don't think I'll be having many problems, do you?

Even with no Attack investment, Shadow Ball will still put a dent in things that don't take it too nicely.

Though usually it's better to go for Thunderbolt since it has the paralysis chance, though Psychic's SpDef drop could be very important.

Yep. This will do me very nicely.

Alright, there's still a fair amount to go over, so how does the AI choose which two Pokemon to pick? Well, each of their Pokemon is given a score, of which there are two of, chosen randomly: the offense method and the defense method. Both compare the effectiveness of their attacks against your Pokemon, so with the offensive method, 2 points are awarded if the given attack is normal effective against one of your Pokemon, 4 if super effective and 8 if 4x effective.

In the defensive method, 2 points are rewarded if the attack is resisted by one of your Pokemon, 4 if 4x resisted and 8 if ineffective. 2 points are deducted if the move is super effective and 4 is deducted if it's 4x effective. No other scenarios give points, including immunities to Wonder Guard. Ground type moves are considered to be neutral against Pokemon with Levitate.

If all three Pokemon tie in one method, the other method is used and if all three Pokemon tie in the second method also, then the two Pokemon used and in what order they're in is random. Otherwise, the two highest scoring Pokemon are chosen and there is a 40% chance the AI will lead with the higher scoring Pokemon and a 60% chance of leading with the lower scoring Pokemon.

You can't outwall my wall!

Alright, last thing to go over is how the battles between the AI is determined, because of course there's something more to it. The game doesn't actually simulate battles between the two trainers, instead they're both given a score according to a few factors: the type affinity of attacks, the sum of all base stats, divided by 10, the seeding of the trainer, minus 1, and a random value between 0 and 31. The trainer with the highest score advances, though if there's a tie, the higher seeded trainer advances.

Ohohoho, nearly got me there, you piece of shit. Type affinity of attacks are given a score against the opposing team thusly: 4 if normally effective, 12 if super effective and 20 if 4x effective. No points for attacks that are resisted, 8 points are deducted for 4x resistance and 16 are deducted for immunities, with the same ability rules as the rate verses your Pokemon.

Phew, well it has been quite the climb, but we've made it to the tenth and final tournament. Sure, I skipped around a lot, but while the Battle Dome is pretty short and sweet, it's... uh, not hugely interesting. Like everyone I used worked out great and I didn't encounter anything too nasty, we're only doing 40 battles after all!

Time for round 2 against Tucker.

Yes, the name of that legend! Our very own DOME ACE! It's none other than TUCKER!

Their furnace-like heat of excitement... this is a wonderful place... To the crowd, I am the DOME ACE... I represent their hopes and dreams... I must never fade from their sight... I must burn! Brighter and more brilliant! I must light all that gather here! I will unleash all the power that I possess! Right here and now!

VS Frontier Brain

Hmm, Swampert is nearly the same, except it reflects back special moves this time. Sneaky.

If it doesn't switch things up, this is gonna be pretty easy...

Okay, I'm paying attention!

Thankfully I decided to go for Rest just in case it started attacking. Sometimes I surprise myself with my strategy.

It's as if he didn't attack me at all!

I think we've got this in the bag.

Though if it boosts a lot we might be in trouble!!!

I think we're gonna lose this damage race, but maybe the poison will be enough.

Alright! Good job Cap Falcon, you did it!

You're genuinely fantastic! Never before! I haven't ever lost in the times I've had to unleash my power. Yes, quite fantastic! Your FRONTIER PASS, please?

In you, I see a definite potential for a superstar like me. I will very much look forward to our next encounter!

With four gold symbols, it feels like this place is conquerable. If the rest of the facilities are this quick, we should be done pretty soon! If I made that facility look easy, well, it is a bit easier than others, since you can view the opponent's Pokemon and bring whichever Pokemon in whatever order you please. But there's another thing: all Pokemon in this facility stay at 3 IVs and never increase. Now that's a glitch. Alright, what's next?

Ah shit it's the longest and most draining facility.

Battle Pyramid

This will give us an idea of what to expect in this place.

I see a shower of sparks... ...and in it, I see your POKEMON struggling with paralysis... Whether you believe my fortunes or not, the choice is yours... the future can be changed anytime... I wish you safe passage...

We're back to using our Battle Pike team, so refer to that update if you forgot what they did, there's some good stuff there! We're gonna need it...

In exchange, please take this BATTLE BAG. When you step on this floor panel, you will be transported to a higher floor in the PYRAMID. I hope for your sake that your quest goes safely!

Aw what, none of you guys gave me Flash??? Ah, jk, it wouldn't have worked anyway. Welcome to the Battle Pyramid. It's a maze consisting of seven floors filled with dead ends, trainers, items and wild Pokemon. I hope you weren't expecting good screenshots here in this SSLP.

There's a few scattered items around the floor that pulls from a certain pool, depending on which set you're in. If you bring a Pokemon with Pickup, they'll also pull from this pool.

Oh hey it's a trainer, but also the exit, so let's just ignore her... In the early floors, the berries you find will help you combat the wild Pokemon in the set. Early on, you'll want to pick up as many items as you can, as there are some real good ones.

Ah shit, you'll see set ups like this often, as the Pyramid is generated in small blocks that will become very familiar to you the more you go through the area. This square of trainers is annoyingly common and difficult to get out of, unless you know a secret trick.

We're still early days, so don't expect anything difficult, trainers in this facility only have one Pokemon, though multi battles are possible if you run into two trainer's visions.

Defeating trainers is helpful though, uh, in this one instance, as they give you a general direction of the exit. They can also tell you how many items or trainers are left on the floor, which is much less useful. So only fight trainers if you accidentally run into them. Seriously, it's not worth it.

You remember what we'll be facing on this set? Paralysis? Each load of wild Pokemon will follow a certain theme and this one is Pokemon with paralysis moves.

I won't go over every Pokemon in this Pyramid, but the first 20 sets have 8 unique Pokemon in each that follow a certain theme. As you climb higher in the Pyramid, you'll encounter the ones further along the list: on the first floor you'll encounter the first four Pokemon, on the second floor the first Pokemon is replaced by the fifth, then on the third floor the second is replaced by the sixth, etc, until the fifth floor on, where you'll encounter the last four Pokemon only. They're all pretty mean in some way and increase in level as you go, but never higher than your strongest Pokemon.

Best to have something hard and fast to take them down, since you have a lower chance of running away from encounters than usual, so you can't cheese it like the Battle Pike. This place acts like a cave, so you could encounter something every five steps, or nothing at all. And no, there are no repels.

Item, HP and PP management are a necessity in this area, but if you're diligent and stock up on items now, you'll have a much easier time later down the line. You need to conquer the Pyramid 10 times, so making sure you have enough healing items is vital, or this place will wear you down and make it impossible to continue. You always start with a Hyper Potion and an Ether and cannot hold more than 10 unique items, barring held ones.

Since we're pretty early on, I can switch our lead mon each set (as you can't switch during the challenge), but later on, I'll be relying on our fastest mon to hopefully take out Pokemon and run if need be.

Trainers have a half screen width of sight, so you'll be running into them blind A LOT.

The CLAAAW is taking a bit of a beating, but you'll notice our vision is slowly increasing. Like in Brawly's Gym, when you defeat a trainer, or wild Pokemon, the circle will get wider. While having a wider circle might be better, it means you've ran into a lot of battles, which could be detrimental to your HP and PP, so it's best to find the exit as quickly as possible.

Ah finally. I ran into a lot of wild Pokemon. You don't want your circle getting this big.

I spawned in the space below. Sometimes you can't avoid a trainer.

These chequered blocks are really annoying to go up or down against, but running along them is pretty smooth.

Since it's been a little bit since I took these screenshots, I'm nearly as blind as you are, I don't remember what happened on this floor, nor where I am. This is gonna be a bit tough to commentate over, so I'll be getting around this by skipping over vast swathes of this facility! You're welcome.

Especially as some floors are a breeze, only a couple encounter, no items or no trainers. Probably. I don't remember.

Oh that's just cruel.

Alright, we have an idea for where to go on the last floor.

No, let me outta here!

Battle Pyramid Peak


Above here is the PYRAMID's lookout point. It is a place only to those who have conquered the PYRAMID. Now, please! Up you go!

You've conquered the PYRAMID! How splendid! Ah, a slight problem. At least one POKEMON is holding an item. I'm sorry to say, items obtained in the PYRAMID cannot be taken away. All items held by your POKEMON will be moved to your BATTLE BAG, YUKI. The BATTLE BAG you used will be kept in readiness for your next challenge. Young explorer! In commendation of your courage, we give you these Battle Point(s)!

Now that's juicy! While the Pyramid might be long, confusing and frustrating, it's also a lot of fun, full of strategy and smart manoeuvring and pays pretty nicely.

Battle Pyramid

Now to do a lot of skipping around. The theme for the second set is lots and lots of Poison, which makes The CLAAAW great to lead since she has Immunity.

Let's go over the items in this place, as the second and sixth set are very important item gather times.

Since we're not going past the tenth set, this is everything we can find and you can see why those two sets are important, since you can find the Choice Band and Leftovers, which are amazing items you need to get to make this place easier. Hell, get three Choice Bands, since every battle in here is super short. Aside from that, Lum Berries, Hyper Potions, Revives and Leppa Berries/Ethers are very important to have, as you need to be in tip top shape. Since the battles are so short, the X items you'll find should just be trashed. Sacred Ash is a nice pickup, but it's about as dependable as two Revives, since you can only use it in the field.

But, uh, really, there's not much else to say about this place. There's gonna be a lot of wandering around and the occasional battle. This place was fun to go through, but it's not too great to view after the fact.

And before you ask, no the floors do not get smaller the higher you go up, they remain the same size throughout. Cheeky pyramid.

Set 3 is Pokemon that can Burn. The game will play around with themes, so do not expect only Fire types, or Pokemon you'd expect to inflict that status. Also, yeah, thanks for ruling out this single strip of tiles and having the exit be on literally any other tile in the entire floor.

Hey look it's a Medicham. Why is it a wild Pokemon? Because it knows Fire Punch. Hilarious.

It's always worth trying to run away if something faints. Also you see the shit I have to deal with sometimes?

Ooh... I would've preferred a Choice Band, but hey, ElmerFludd has his item for the facility, since, uh, Hyper Potions don't fully heal him.

Here's a cool trick, if you enter any menu option, back out and then start walking in one direction, you'll barely dodge any spinners next to you. It looks scary, but is 100% guaranteed and may even work in other generations. The crazy tips and tricks you learn by watching speedruns, would highly recommend.

And of course, walking is much safer in this place if you know where trainers are. Thankfully, spinners only look in two directions perpendicular to each other (at right angles if you've forgotten basic maths you cretin), so if you see the two directions they turn, you'll be perfectly safe running around them on the other two.

Battle Pyramid Peak

Our chief has already conquered the PYRAMID ahead of you. However, my young explorer... you are a TRAINER! Assert your power and take the glory of the pinnacle from our chief! Now, please! When you are ready, take one more step of courage!

Your own wits! Your own strength! Your own POKEMON! And, above all, only your own courage to lead you through unknown worlds... Aah, yes, indeed this life is grand! Grand, it is! Eh? I'm BRANDON! I'm the PYRAMID KING, which means I'm in charge here. Most people call me the chief! You coming here means you have that much confidence in yourself, am I right? Hahahah! This should be exciting! Now, then! Bring your courage to our battle!

VS Frontier Brain

Pyramid King Brandon/Jindai
From brave, and Jindai-Sugi (Japanese red-ceder).

Okay Brandon is the only Frontier Brain I knew the entire team of beforehand, because come on, who doesn't know Regiboy?

Since we just used a Regice, we know how much of a pain it is.

Yeah, this ain't gonna work.

Alright, I think we're in the clear.

Just kidding! Man this strategy is everywhere...

However, that's something that only works once!

Flyboy was supposed to take out Registeel, but, uh, Regice never damaged me and let me get to +4, so y'know.

Well done! You've earned recognition! Your FRONTIER PASS, please!

Alright, we're a third of the way through this place! God this place is long!

Battle Pyramid

And thus we dive back in. Since we're not halfway through this place, we'll use the first three mons for a while longer.

Boy are we gonna need them, set 4 has Pokemon that have abilities or moves that waste PP, so there's Grudge and Spite, as well as general stalling tactics. Yeah, this place can get mean, especially when you encounter the rare floor layout that's... empty. Just a wide open space with trainers and items, it's very disorienting.

The next set has Pokemon with Levitate and if you think I'm speeding through this more than usual, yes I am. See, this update is already pretty long and the entire Battle Pyramid took me THREE HOURS to complete, so while I could trawl through all that footage to get the good stuff, I really don't want to. Like the Battle Palace only took me 45 minutes, since it was purely battles and I could use so much speed up. That's a lot trickier in this facility, since you have to actually think about where you're going and what you're doing. It's fun, but it takes a lot out of you, hence why I tried to hit a Solrock with HP Ground.

So now on the sixth set we have another chance to get a Choice Band and use the other three fabulous submissions. Just in time for the Ice type theme! No, wait, the sixth theme is Pokemon with trapping abilities. Guess I didn't take any screenshots of that. Oh no how terrible what a shame.

Even with a pretty massive circle, trainers can still leap out of the shadows. Also when I say Ice types, I mean Ice types, so get ready to face some bulky Water types!

Despite some cruel layouts, we're done with that set. Oh yeah, I'm skipping around a load of failed attempts too, to make it vaguely cohesive. The Battle Pyramid gets pretty tricky towards the end, with a lot of dangerous stuff in your way, so I made a lot of save states to get this team through.

Excalibur is our best lead, but he's a bit fragile.

Thankfully Tess is very helpful walling things down, helped by all the healing I can give her, so she enters every battle fresh and ready to stall. The Leftovers from earlier is a nice bonus, but man I wish I got a Choice Band...

Oh yeah, the theme for set eight is EXPLOSIONS! Tess gives no fucks.

You mess with the snake, you're gonna get bit.

Oh hey is this the missing sixth set? No, the ninth set has a load of Psychic types. Excalibur's favourite.

Yet again, some trainers one space above where I start. It's rude!

Despite our less than optimal team, we're getting through this place. I'm never concerned if I can get through a facility with whatever you submit, I know I can. Sometimes it just takes a bit of patience. And endless reloads.

The final set is full of Rock types. Yes I know Steelix isn't a Rock type, but it's still included!

Tess eats Steelix for breakfast, how do you think she gets such a shiny shell?

Alright there it is, the final warp. I better not run into any wild Pokemon!

Oh what a surprise, it's as if I know what images are coming next!!! Alright, let's finish this fuckin place.

Battle Pyramid Peak

Your love for adventure seems to come deep from within your heart... yes... you are exactly as I was in my own youth... Ah... the passionate! The dangerous! The desperate! Those days of death-defying, life-affirming adventures are back... Now, then! I sense my own courage is off the meter! Everything you have! I'm braced for it all!

VS Frontier Brain

From one trio to another, your chances against Brandon's team depend on if you can dodge their powerful STAB attacks.

We're not being too lucky.

I, uh, thought that poison would kill, so my preemptive switch seems a bit silly.

Alright, do I want to take a Thunder and lose to Moltres later on, or do I want to Toxic it and lose Tess to Moltres for a safe switch?

Nice, I picked a good time to switch.


Alright, now to click Rest until it faints.

Alright, how the hell do we beat this?

We, uh, might be in trouble.

Thankfully I manipulated RNG on the final floor to get this miss. Haha...

Okay if you keep not using Fire Blast I think we've got a chance!

...alright, give me the win, why not. We shouldn't have really won that and yet here we are, motherfuckers!

Remarkable! Yes, it's grand, indeed! Young explorer! You've bested me through and through! Here! I want you to have this!

Ah yes! It just goes to show that I have much to learn still! May our paths cross again! Farewell for now, young explorer!

There's only two facilities left to go! The end is in sight!

Next time, it's the Battle Arena and the Battle Tower. Hope you're not sick of battles!