Part 81: The Insurgence Speedrun Route, Part 3If you had not yet gotten the Custom Move, you would fly to Helios City to get it after leaving the Dream Realm. It's still an Ice-type move with a one character name. You fly to Amphitrite City after this.
Against Jaern 2, there's very little difference between Easy and Normal. You still won't need to deal with Mega Rayquaza on Easy. He starts off with Aegislash. Its moveset is pretty terrible on Easy, but it has Sacred Sword on Normal! Remember that move ignores stat boosts like X-Defend. Thankfully, he won't always use super effective attacks.
So here's what you do: start with Swords Dance. If it uses Sacred Sword, you don't have much choice but to go for the kill right there, and hopefully you have enough Attack for later. If you don't, that may be a reset. If it doesn't, you can optionally Swords Dance again for safety before using Earthquake. Heal before defeating it if at critical HP if you Swords Dance twice.
You'll face Goodra, Lucario, and Arcanine from here on Easy, you can Iron Head Goodra and Earthquake the other two. Salamence will be out next on Normal, and it falls to the Custom Move even with only +1 Attack. Then comes Mega Rayquaza, which you again don't face on Easy.
It has V-Create, Waterfall, and a Choice Band, though it won't always use either. Excadrill can generally tank Dragon Ascent if you're at high enough health (which you won't be if Aegislash used Sacred Sword). However, ideally? You outspeed and one-shot it with the Custom Move. This is guaranteed with +3 Attack, but if your Excadrill's stats are high enough, you can potentially get it with +1.
It's simple from there. Note that Lucario and Arcanine, along with Rayquaza, both have Extremespeed. That's why you heal if you're low when setting up against Aegislash, because they could randomly use it and snipe Excadrill down. You can't safely heal against any of those, because they all have super effective moves.
Believe it or not, you want to answer "no" here, even though the person says that you knowing saves him some time if you say "yes". Because all that changes in his dialogue is that line being omitted.
There are two Rare Candies to collect along the way. The latter is even visible on the map!
There are three Mysterious Grunts you will need to fight throughout the Void Gauntlet. For the first one, just Earthquake his Sableye. There's one who looks like you might need to fight in front of a cave, but he eventually will start walking. Meanwhile the one in the Pokemon Tower area has severe vision problems.
The other two you have to fight are on the Citadark Island area. For the first one, Swords Dance once, Earthquake his Crawdaunt, and Custom Move his Mantine and Pelipper. The latter actually may survive, but it's not an issue.
Against the second, Swords Dance and Iron Head his Shuckle. If he's like other generic trainers, it may or may not have Sturdy here to draw the battle out, but that's all it will do. Iron Head Blissey and Weezing as well. You can also skip Swords Dance and just continuously Iron Head, though it will take two to get Weezing if you do this.
There's nothing further mandatory standing between you and Nyx. Have Nora heal you before the fight. Keep in mind that it is under Inverse Battle rules. There's really little difference between Easy and Normal here, which kinda makes me wonder just how much it was tested. Aurorus has a useless Refridgerate and Thunderbolt/Ice Beam/Ancient Power/Light Screen on Easy, and Snow Warning with Thunderbolt/Blizzard/Earth Power/Hyper Voice on Normal.
Use two X-Sp Defs to start off with here. X-Speed once, and Swords Dance twice. Heal as you need to, and unleash a Custom Move to finish it off
The order differs between difficulties, but what you do is the same. Earthquake Garchomp, Iron Head on Greninja. Earthquake on Mega Kangaskhan should one-shot it, just be aware of the possibility of Fake Out - it even has this on Easy. And Earthquakes for Exeggutor and Breloom. The last of these does have Mach Punch, but unless you're critically low, it won't be an issue due to Inverse Battle rules.
It takes multiple Custom Moves and/or Swords Dances to bring down Primal Giratina. But if you grabbed the Master Ball, you can just throw it and have done with it. I believe this is about as fast if not faster, and lets you do something later on.
After this fight, heal, switch the difficulty to Normal if switching, and use your last Escape Rope.
Victory Road has plenty of trainers who you will have to contend with. The first of these is an Ace Trainer with a Garchomp and Metagross. Swords Dance once and Earthquake them out.
Next is a Youngster with Linoone, Raticate, and Talonflame. Again, Swords Dance and attack the first two with Iron Head and the last with Custom Move. If you get unlucky, it may not fall in one hit and you'll have to heal before the next fight.
On the floor below is a Ruin Maniac. Swords Dance once or twice, Iron Head the Claydol, and probably attack this Forretress with Custom Move because it has Sturdy. It may help you by using Explosion. Last of his Pokemon is a Cofagrigus, so Iron Head it.
Just like the one Mysterious Grunt, this Sailor may look like he's blocking the way, but stand where my character is standing and wait for him to move. Moving NPCs can even move into your walking Pokemon. If he walks down, you save a bit of time and can go straight ahead. Otherwise, you'll have to walk around him.
Small oversight in the route against the Camper? It says to Swords Dance and Earthquake this Granbull after Iron Heading Jynx, but you can just Iron Head it too. Earthquake his Dustox after. No need for Swords Dance at all.
Now, the speedrun has been gathering many Rare Candies up to this point. With this one, you may finally have enough to make use of them all, to get Excadrill to this game's level cap of 120.
Why do this? There is the Elite Four scaling. I'm guessing this saves time overall to grab all these that aren't too far out of the way, due to not getting any further experience messages or animations. As well as giving higher stats to use against ones that still stay low. It does make your other Pokemon mostly deadweight against the Elite Four, but the one use for one I saw doesn't rely on levels...
Of course it also saves time by letting you completely tear things apart, starting with the Parasol Lady right after - though if you're low on experience due to Easy, you'll be able to reach it right after her. She has a VERY large sight radius. Even though it looks like you may be able to avoid her by going as far away as possible, she'll still see you when she's slightly off-screen.
Heading out into the Frost area...one thing to note compared to the actual WR run. It had a freaky bug at around this point where attacks were suddenly doing less damage for no apparent reason. So it had to use extra Swords Dances at certain points to guarantee OHKOs. This isn't needed if you don't come across it. The Rich Boy immediately outside can't be avoided, Custom Move Victreebel and Earthquake everything else. Heal after battle, including PP (Elixir?). A Sailor is on the way to the ice cave portion, Custom Move his Ludicolo and Earthquake the Water/Ground types.
Heading down from this spot, head right, up, left, up, right, down, and left to solve the first ice puzzle. Iron Heads beat the Breeder's Xatu and Gogoat, and you can Iron Head or Earthquake the Slurpuff to avoid a Super Effective message.
For the next ice puzzle, head directly left from where you enter, down, right, down, left, up, left, down, right, up, right, and down to reach a small patch of snow. From there, head to the very bottom of it and head down, left, up, left, and down to exit. Against the Lady a short jaunt outside, Earthquake Alomola, Iron Head Jumpluff, and Earthquake Wigglytuff.
Finally, in the Ruins area of Victory Road, you can Surf around all of the trainers. Be careful of this idiot, though - if you're one tile to the left, he'll walk straight onto the water to battle you. The League gate is just beyond him.
As soon as you get there, Fly away. Head to Helios City, Dive in the pond, head to the underground, and change the Custom Move to be a Grass type.
Go back, and while you're in the menu before you use Fly, attach an Air Balloon to Excadrill. Heal at the Pokemon Center there. Make whatever last minute purchases you need - more Full Restores or Full Heals. And talk to the guy and head in! Keep the difficulty on Normal if you're switching, it makes no difference since you'll want Set on anyway and there's a bug which makes their teams the same on Easy.
Head to the right and the left door first to take on Yuki. Start off with an X-Speed. Now here's where Air Balloons come into play - the AI does not properly see them. She may or may not use Earthquake, and you want her to at least twice to buy yourself enough time to Swords Dance twice.
From here you sweep. Earthquake Mamoswine, hopefully it goes down. Earthquake on Chandelure...
Iron Head on Mega Cryogonal...
Delta Trevenant and Starmie take an Earthquake apiece.
Rotom gets an Iron Head. And that's it! One down.
The next opponent you'll want to face is London. Now, I heard the stories about Mega Reuniclus on this route before getting into this. It sets Trick Room on entry, and it can completely destroy Excadrill with Focus Blast. Even if you use that X-Sp.Def 2, it hardly helps.
One strategy I was experimenting with is using Primal Giratina against it. This is probably slower in the ideal case but can save time by being much safer - it actually completely walls Mega Reuniclus, and London's AI isn't smart enough to switch it out. However, with Excadrill at 120, even fully set up, Primal Giratina can't sweep. Not to mention it'd take longer. I also tried Spite, but it will never use Focus Blast against Giratina. Finally, I even considered Red Card, but it seems to not function here.
One thing I did find? Thunder Wave, which you can get on the way to Whirl Islands. You can lead with Excadrill and switch it in to hopefully waste a Focus Blast, then switch Excadrill back in. Use X-Sp.Def 2. If the thing lowers special defense, you may need to reset or spam Full Restores until he's out of Focus Blast PP. If not, use another X-Sp.Def, an X-Speed (two to be safe), and two Swords Dances. Hopefully, the paralysis will buy you a bit more time. Even so, if it crits Excadrill when it's not at full health, that's it. You're toast.
Make sure you're at high health after defeating it with an Earthquake, and Earthquake Marowak. Now Conkeldurr can use Mach Punch - this is why you need to make sure Excadrill can take about 200HP worth of damage. It might not use it. It might crit and kill you anyway. Just Earthquake and hope for the best.
If you're at VERY low health after that? Well, Scizor has Bullet Punch. You can't really risk healing because it has Superpower, and it can OHKO. So just Earthquake and hope it doesn't troll you. If you're at high health like I am in this case, you can just attack.
Jellicent will go down to an Earthquake, and Togekiss to an Iron Head. This fight is kind of a mess and there's probably some routing to be done to help with it.
After this fight, heal and restore PP. Then head on over to Eduard. Equip an Air Balloon once more.
With it on, his leading Hippowdon actually cannot do any damage to Excadrill. Its sole attacking move is Earthquake, which it will more than likely repeatedly and fruitlessly try. There is a small chance that it may use Whirlwind, but you can just switch right back in and he generally will not switch out himself. So you're free to Swords Dance twice, and X-Speed as well if your Excadrill has Sand Force or for safety. Earthquake it once you're done.
Eduard's AI favors keeping Sandstorm up, so he'll immediately bring out Tyranitar if the Sandstorm dropped due to nonsense with Whirlwind. Otherwise, Mega Cacturne will be next. There's a small chance that it could Sucker Punch you, but you should survive at full health barring an extremely unlucky critical hit, and even then you might still have a sliver remaining.
Tyranitar itself will be next if not already out, you can just Iron Head again to defeat it. Aegislash will be after that. All it can really do is waste your time with King's Shield. It has Weakness Policy, but it shouldn't get a chance to activate.
His own Excadrill has Sand Rush itself, but I think due to EVs you shouldn't ever be outsped by it unless your speed is just atrocious. This is the reason for the X-Speed if your own has Sand Force, however.
Lastly, Rotom. This is one of the reasons you changed the type of the special move earlier, and actually the only real reason. With it being Grass type, you can just OHKO the floating washing machine.
This just leaves Kayla, and she's very inconsistent. First off, do you remember that Chesto Berry that was picked up way back when in Miara Town? Now is the time where you finally put it to use. Her Smeargle has Spore, and having this on gives you a bit of extra insurance, perhaps even outright dissuading it.
More often, it will Quiver Dance. You want to use Swords Dance twice, hoping Moody keeps the defense boosts to a minimum, and attack with Earthquake. I've seen it Baton Pass after one buff to Blaziken, or after two or three to Scizor. If it gets off three, you'll get the chance to knock it into critical. It has a Focus Sash, so take note of that.
With no defensive boosts, Scizor is immediately crushed on entry by Earthquake. This also applies to it if Blaziken came in first and fainted without giving it any buffs. Even with buffs, its only attacking move is Bullet Punch.
Now, Blaziken. This thing does have Fire Punch. However, it seems very unlikely to use it. More likely, she'll try to use Substitute (failing when knocked to 1hp via Focus Sash), or Bulk Up (no big deal). If she switched it in while you were buffing up and it's faster, it'll likely try Substitute, but it will get immediately destroyed - no real difference performance wise due to Focus Sash. Often, it will end up using Baton Pass itself, either to Scizor if it was in beforehand, or Espeon if not.
Espeon is just plain weird. It can be faster than Excadrill, though its only attacking move is Stored Power. Even if it was passed boosts by Blaziken, it will immediately faint on entry. As for coming in on its own, I've seen it immediately Baton Pass with zero boosts - repeatedly.
This is incredibly ideal if you get into this situation: it means you'll be able to defeat Slowbro without it ever getting the chance to become Mega Slowbro.
In the nonideal case? Espeon and Sylveon will fall to an Earthquake, no issues there. Mega Slowbro can survive an Earthquake or a Custom Move use, however. It can use Scald from there, but as long as your health is high, it should not OHKO short of a critical hit. Kayla has no healing items, so you're clear to defeat it on the next turn.
For what's left, if Espeon is still switching, Smeargle should go down easily unless Moody gave it evasion and a disaster happens and it ends up passing to Espeon. If Smeargle is all that's left, it can't do anything but draw the battle out. If Espeon is all that's left, it will finally try Stored Power, but it'll do like no damage and go down in one hit.
This battle is kind of a mess, and can go all sorts of ways. But unlike London, this is not a dangerous fight. You'll often stop the Baton Pass chain cold with sheer power before it really gets going, and the battle is pretty defanged without it.
Before heading into Reukra, make sure Excadrill is fully healed and that you give it another Air Balloon. It makes the battle MUCH easier if you have one. Without it, you need to pull off nonsense with switching Gyarados in and out to lower Tyranitar's attack.
Here's my Excadrill's final stats before heading in.
Unlike the other battles that use the balloon, it's not almost a sure shot that Reukra will use Earthquake here. He still can, however. You'll want him to hold off on using anything but for as long as you can. Get up an X-Speed, then Swords Dance the maximum of three times. Yes. If it uses another attack late in, hopefully you can keep going and survive the next one. Double Crunch can KO, as can bursting the Air Balloon into an Earthquake. There's not much you can do, healing might not even work.
But once you do buff up? Even if he bursts the Air Balloon on the final turn? There's not much HE can do. Tyranitar will fall to an Earthquake.
Delta Haxorus will too.
Dark Mewtwo's Intimidate is why you buff to the maximum. Even with it debuffing your Excadrill to +5, it still doesn't save it from an Earthquake.
Kyurem to an Iron Head, or probably even an Earthquake to save text time.
Flygon gets hit with Iron Head...
And Delta Volcarona to another Iron Head. It's the reason why you need to buff attack all the way up. Not even it will survive if you're buffed all the way up.
And that's the game! My final time here isn't all that great for an actual speedrun, even a technically segmented one. I was fumbling around at points, and most of all, wasn't using a very fast computer, which does affect the time. I wasn't using speedup either, or more specifically it wasn't helping much - and it doesn't affect your gametime either, or even strangely affect it at times. It's really weird and inconsistent across computers, and it's considering being ruled out as a thing you can use.
Now if you want to see the WR run as a video? You can check it out here. It beats the game in 2:47:44 realtime. Or if you want a Normal only run, here's a 3:29:04. Note their outdated strategies even without my improv, however. If I was actually running this game, I could probably get a sub-three hour realtime run with good luck on Normal-only with the various tweaks.
So yeah. That's the route of the Pokemon Insurgence speedrun. Sure, the game may have a few flaws here and there. But the fact that it's actually possible to do something like this is a sign of a reasonably well-designed fangame, in my opinion.