Part 3: Shade Forest
Hello everyone and welcome back. Today's update is gonna be a highlight reel of sorts, just covering the annoying process of early-game level grinding.
First up, the pokecenter.
This NPC appears in every pokecenter in the game, but she's specifically talking about the larger ones. Malls are the centers with second floors and the ability to buy clothes.
Nurse Joy is here as well.
Suntouched City is the place with the first gym. We'll get there in... oh... five-ten-twelve hours? The first gym is approximately level 25.
Oh how I wish I could open this door. How I dearly, dearly wish it. We are going to have so much fun when we get past the first gym.
This old man is a nickname expert. He appears in literally every pokecenter. Changing nicknames is zero problem in Insurgence!
Same story with this gentleman down here. His services really aren't required, but we'll get into that when the time comes. Suffice it to say there are some things I really wish the mainline games would copy from Insurgence.
The other lady behind the counter is the pokemart clerk. Her selection expands as we get new badges, so it'll suck for a while, expand really aggressively, and then never expand again after like the 5th gym. It's a weird system, but on the upside we get access to Hyper Potions after the second gym!
The 3rd gym leader is around level 50. I'm not kidding. The level curve in the first part is really fucking weird.
Lots of free potions to be found in Telnor town.
Those tree stumps are mysteriously gone now that we have an undead abomination.
This is cool, I guess. It doesn't work real good, but I guess it's there if we need it? Its interface is the only place in the game where we need to use the mouse cursor to click on something.
Shade Forest has a pretty decent selection of early-game pokemon.
We probably won't be using it very long, but the Nidos are a pretty decent choice for an early game companion.
It uses the... uh... RSE and ORAS pokedex entry according to Bulbapedia.
She joins the team with the name Blueberry.
Dracolich got poisoned during the fight to capture Blueberry, which means she has poison point as an ability. Insurgence is thankfully one of those games that lets poison wear off once you're out of battle and the afflicted pokemon is down to 1 HP.
Naturally the first step we take after Dracolich survives his poisoning, we get into a fight.
After a quick trip back to the center, we're freshly healed up and ready to take on the world. Let's start with this hiker. That border around the screen is something to show us that we're near a trainer we haven't yet fought.
This Machop is a bit outmatched. I don't think it can even hit Dracolich.
It's not even worth showing the battle because all that happens is it keeps using Leer for lack of anything else that can even hit our ghost dragon.
And now that Dracolich is level 8, let's proceed to not use it in favor of leveling up Blueberry.
The downside of this being the first route in the game is that level 3 is a pretty low level to catch something at. So Blueberry is gonna struggle against most things until she catches up. This is two scratches on the enemy Nido vs one peck boosted by Leer.
The early parts of Insurgence are really tedious.
Blueberry has trouble holding her own against a Caterpie. She can barely them while their tackles somehow wreck her.
This kinda explains why. It turns out that our little physical attacker has kinda terrible IVs. Yes, Insurgence surfaces them in plain sight for some uknown reason. I think it's just to drive me crazy because I'm the sort of person that kinda thing bothers.
It's kinda sad when I have to swap out Blueberry against a Caterpie of all things.
Gastlys pop up distressingly frequently and they fuckin love to put a freshly healed Blueberry to sleep. The pokemart doesn't sell Awakenings, so I have to keep running back to the center to get it removed. I'd catch one, but I don't need two ghost types on my team and Dracolich ain't going anywhere.
Blueberry eventually comes into her own. It's just not during these godawful super early levels.
Though this does give me a nice chance to show off this handy little quality of life feature that the main games need to steal. Being able to see stat increases/decreases at a glance is so nice.
Even if enemy female Nidorans are way too quick to spam Growl. 0.25x , by the way, is as low as a stat can go. 4.0x is, conversely, as high as it can raise.
Don't worry, I won't be showing every level up that we get. With as many levels as you need to grind to stay current in this game, I could fill entire updates with nothing but level ups.
Skipping ahead a couple levels, Blueberry learns a stat decreasing move I will probably never use.
I also take this time to turn off battle animations to save my sanity.
Blueberry hits level 8 and I grab a Caterpie to join the team. Say hello to Boris!
Boris has some good potential, and a Butterfree might make a good early game addition to the team.
Boris' counterpart shows up as well.
Beedrill would also make a really good addition to the team, even if the nickname is terrible. If you guys want to suggest different ones, please do. It's no trouble to change them.
Janine will hopefully be sticking around for a while. Good electric types early on are surprisingly rare. We'll find a Blitzle in a future route and that's about it for a while.
Janine, by the way, has the static ability. So she should be a big help in catching stuff in the future.
Patrat is the last encounter in Shade Forest. I pass this one by because I'm not a smart person.
Finally, in a wild double battle, Boris hits level 7.
Unfortunately, even evolved, he's not very good. He lacks a STAB ability and has to rely on Tackle to get the job done. Boris is sadly not going to be on the team long enough to become a Butterfree because he's too weak for the first route in the game. Even fighting things multiple levels his junior, he can't get the job done and switching out would draw the leveling process out for too long.
So I'm forced to bench Boris on the basis of "wow you suck and not a little bit."
Janine is several levels lower than Boris and kicks 10,000 times more ass. Why? Because she gets a STAB move from the get-go.
Whoops. While out patrolling the grass, I accidentally wander in front of this gentleman.
Kakuna can harden all it likes. Raising physical defense don't do shit against thunder shock.
The fact that this would have been easy pickings for Boris only just now occurred to me. 168 is a lot of XP to get in one go.
An attack lowering ability without an accuracy check doesn't sound extremely useful.
Patrat took out 12 HP in one shot with a tackle.
Gravy marches into the fight...
I call this a good trade. Sure Gravy lost most of his HP, but he also poisoned the foe... and the bites it before he can act again.
Blueberry switches into a Patrat that falls over from poisoning. The little bastard just swept half my team.
Blueberry learns a fighting move, though!
Realistically you can't get a Pidove until after the Elite Four. It technically can be caught in a Friend Safari. But you have to 1) have a friend that has Normal or Flying type safari and 2) have Pidove as one of the 3 pokemon they get in their Safari. That's not very likely. Tranquill can't be found at all, and Unfezant isn't available until postgame routes.
Blueberry double kicks it to death as revenge for what the Patrat did. I told you she'd come into her own!
I want to catch another Nido, but this one has the audacity to break out of my last pokeball. So now I have to buy more.
Ten should be enough to guarantee a catch!
This was meant to be. First encounter when we go back out was another male Nidoran who decided to tackle Janine and get himself paralyzed for his trouble.
The name is only fair.
Decent potential and an interesting ability, too!
Finally tracked one down!
Because there's a few I want to catch and use in the cave we're supposed to go to, I stick Gravy and Strawberry in the box for the time being.
Gen 5 is the generation I have the least experience with. I never played Black or White, never met Team Plasma or N or Ghetsis or any of them, and I barely played BW2. All that preamble is to say I've never used a Patrat before. , the pokemon has decent potential and an ability I will be abusing like crazy. Also she gets STAB on normal type moves, so she'll be able to abuse the hell out of Return whenever we get that.
At level6, learns Bite.
Finally once everyone is level 8, let's explore more of the forest.
This blue haired lady is guarding the exit.
Roselia is kinda tough at this level. She still goes down like a sack of bricks because Staaaaares is really good.
One last trainer in the forest, and it's this juggler.
Take a guess how it goes.
Strangely, I remember this guy being a bastard to fight in my first playthrough. He actually beat my team then, though I think they were underleveled at the time.
At any rate, he's not even a speed bump this time.
The Insurgence wiki says there's more trainers in here, but I can't find them. So let's just move on to the next area.
We'll cover the cave more next time. But let's dip in here real quick to grab a few specific things...
Here's one of them now... Ground/Psychic is an odd combination, but provides some nice coverage.
This is just a placeholder because I'm not creative.
Oh how I wish I could get that... That's Bulk Up, and I know several members of the team that could put that to very good use.
Nosepass is a nice rock type, but not what I'm looking for.
THIS is what I was looking for!
Rock is a good coverage type to have.
I don't bother to nickname it, however. So that's where you all come in! You can suggest nicknames for anything I've caught. If you want, you can also suggest that I use different pokemon on the team.
We've already seen everything in Shade Forest, but if you need a refresher we can find...
and in Telnor Cave we can find...
Suggestions are always open, but I'm gonna need a thoughtful reason behind your choices! It doesn't have to be an essay, just a sentence or two explaining why you want me to use something or show it off.
If you don't care, then that's fine with me. I'll just keep using whatever catches my short attention span and give things whatever godawful names come to mind.
NEXT TIME: We explore Telnor Cave; plot shenanigans follow