Part 7: Ancient Ruins
Hello everyone and welcome back. We have a lot of ground to cover. If you read the thread between updates, then you know what's coming. If not, then I am so sorry.
Last time I celebrated a little too early. Sure I was done with level grinding for the time being, but we're now staring down the barrel of the first gym. The leader's ace is level 25, and the average trainer level in the gym is between 22 and 23. The team is between 16 and 19.
We have so much work to do.
To start off with, we got an old rod last time so let's catch some fish.
We get 5 keybinds we can use for key items and until the postgame we won't really have that many key items we need to keybind. So no reason not to take advantage, right?
And now let's fish. Unfortunately, Insurgence uses the same fishing system as other Essentials games. So we have a "reflex test" whenever the "Oh! A bite!" message pops up. Given that I play with Cheat Engine's speedhack running somewhere between 1.75x and 2.5x... well, reflex tests are incredibly obnoxious.
A few tries later, we land a Finneon. I don't want one of them, so back into the water it goes. I didn't realize this until much later, but Finneon is the only encounter on the Old Rod table for Midna City. So I waste time trying to catch something that isn't here.
13 attempts later I decide to go somewhere else.
Down here in Shade Forest, I'm trying to fish up a Poliwag. Unfortunately I'm an idiot who misread the encounter table. Poliwag is on the surf encounter table, not the Old Rod one.
Remoraid is a good gunfish. I used an Octillery in my first run for a very long time until it was made redundant by other stuff I was cycling in. I don't catch this one because I want to try and use different pokemon in this run.
This does give me a chance to catch a Magikarp, however.
He won't show up for a while, but I have ideas on where to use this little guy. Sadly his mega stone is a postgame thing, so he won't turn into Super Wrath any time where it would be useful.
Popping over to Dark Cave now for another fish.
I don't believe I've ever used a Crawdaunt. It gets a mega evolution that, again, is a postgame thing. In theory you could maybe get it before then but it would be one of those 11th hour deals. We'll have plenty of opportunity to see Mega Crawdaunt in the story, so don't worry about that. One of the major bosses has one as their ace.
A few tries later, this fellow shows up.
I normally wouldn't show a capture battle, but I want to point this out. You can now plainly see what moves are selected. Between recordings I found a mod that another player made that makes what moves you've selected a lot more apparent. The increased contrast is so much better.
I like Chompy Boy. He's going to replace Morocco because I have no patience for late bloomers when the game demands I grind this much.
Nobody asked for it, but while in the neighborhood I swung by the hidden grove to pick up a Heatmor.
I don't give him a nickname, though. Moving on...
Another to catch here in Midna Garden.
Cloyster is another of those pokemon I'm not sure I've ever used.
It has an early game Ice move, but it's one of those weak multi-hit moves as its only attack. It doesn't even get STAB on Icicle Spear, so it's a pretty worthless attack unless it's hitting for supereffective damage.
I'm not proud of this nickname, but given Cloyster's resemblance to a piece of human anatomy...
Anatomy is a damn tank, and whenever she becomes a Cloyster, she'll be a freaking wall.
Heatmor's ability isn't exactly useful, but the stats don't lie. It's also ridiculously good, and is a rare pure fire type that isn't a glass cannon.
Chompy Boy is also pretty good. Its potential also means it can put the largely special-focused water type to good use while still abusing the shit out of dark's physical preference.
Wrath... It's a good thing Gyarados is a physical attacker! Put that amazing attack IV to good use. I'll be finding another candidate for the deadly sin of Wrath.
Over in Route 2, we find something useful. No map is really needed because Route 2 is basically a straight line with an "optional" divergence midway.
Let's meet the locals!
They're genetically superior!
No... don't you dare!
This guy has 2 of the 3 mid-tier Gen V starters. They're not very interesting fights, though Dracolich does get to be a rat bastard and turn Confuse Ray on a Servine that's been buffing its attack stat. It's an extremely satisfying, but extremely mean, tactic.
You know, for all I complain about IVs, I don't actually care that much as long as its important stats aren't below like 5-6.
Route 2 is very short. We're just on the other side of the screen from the breeder and we're halfway through it.
Another step and we get a small cutscene.
More Abyssal Cult jerks. I'm not even sure what their aims are here. This is clear on the far side of the region from their base. Honestly it feels like their appearance here is because we need something to do in this zone that otherwise just serves as a liminal space between Midna Town and yet another cave.
At any rate, I don't want any part of that nonsense.
nothin personnel kid
I take this opportunity to swap out Morocco for Chompy Boy.
Sadly Chompy Boy doesn't know any water moves yet. But STAB Bite is a good consolation prize.
A priority physical water move? Just for me? You shouldn't have!
Don't need Leer anyway.
While out XP grinding, a Staryu shows up.
I don't nickname it. While I'd like to use it, I don't know when I'll have easy access to a water stone. The guaranteed spot is a very long way away.
Moving on, we find a cliche.
The Abyssal Cult is blockading the way forward for some reason.
Anyway, this cliche challenges us to a fight. Why is he a cliche?
Big muscular guy, cute little fairy types. It would be a cute joke if it wasn't constantly repeated in every pokemon game ever since fairies were introduced.
I'll agree that fairies are certified shitwreckers.
The path that we're being funneled toward has an Antidote.
Ancient Ruins is another area that doesn't need a map.
There are some goodies hidden here, though! There's another one that I couldn't find at the time, but is over to the west.
According to the wiki it's right under Amy's feet here. "Between the top two purple flowers, southwest of the area."
I really like the look of this area. It's not explained, it's a little off the beaten path, and there's neat stuff hidden all over.
Case in point. The Delta Geodude I mentioned last time can be found near the entrance much later in the game.
There's quite a few rooms on either side of the great hall here.
Another Relic Song wall. Remember, it's a postgame ability. What's it locking off this time? Lucarionite. So yet another mega evolution that's limited to postgame.
Chompy Boy bites it against a random Sandshrew. On the way back from healing I find this asshole.
Ten balls, three of which have boosted catch rates.
It's in critical health. It's paralyzed thanks to Janine, and I'm using an Ultra Ball. It still broke out.
I'm not happy.
Blatantly putting off the fight in the ruins...
Fun fact: Clamperl's... pearl is what Spoink wears.
Guess I can't put it off any longer.
nowhere to run!
The poor terrified Riolu is blocked on all sides by Abyssal Cult jerks.
Remember, these assholes are Team Aqua With The Serial Numbers Filed Off. What use could they possibly have for a Fighting/Steel type? This encounter makes me think this was written really early on in development with the cults acting like Team Rocket instead of, y'know, religious fanatics.
You know, literally any other cult would make more sense than the Abyssal Cult. The Cult of Darkrai is right over there! The Infernal Cult isn't that far away. Even the mysterious Perfection would make more sense here. I just... I just don't get it.
You look familiar... have we met before?
I thought Jaern arrested you! Or killed you. Or both.
Big talk for the person who lost the battle.
Horsea, Skrelp, and Corphish is the best they have? That's so very, very sad.
I'll deal with them myself in a second.
This will eventually be explained. In like 90 hours. Long after any of us have forgotten about it. Just thought you all should know.
interesting to explore.
more powerful than before.
: Don't forget- we're still racing to Suntouched City!
This is actually a good point to stop for now. If, for whatever reason you wanted to catch a Riolu, they can now be encountered in the patches of grass in these ruins.
The Lucarionite, by the way. Remember, we can't get it until the postgame.
NEXT TIME: The... ugh... grinding cave. Also we reach the big city. But mostly grinding.