Part 3: Rock Hard Like CoalPart 3: Rock Hard Like Coal
Welcome back to Barry, it's been a hot minute since we last talked to him.
Me? Do you even need to ask? Of course I got tougher! Come on! I'll demonstrate it to you!
Barry isn't too different from the first battle, so shouldn't be much of a challenge. This would actually be your first battle against him in DP, since Pt changed the story start somewhat, which we'll see later.
Alright, since Chimchar's faster, then this damage race won't end pretty.
Oh wait, early game AI is literally random, so it just kept Leering.
Like sure, it got enough that I was two-shot by Scratch, but it was just a little too late.
Well, that's it! That's the last time I'll ever lose! I'm going to be the world's toughest Trainer, and you know it! The first thing to do is take on the Oreburgh City Pokemon Gym! I'm gonna toughen up that that, totally!
Route 203 Day Night
Here we go! KRICKETOT! ZUBAT!
A new route is available to us, but it's another early route, so again, nothing too special.
So long as Kricketot only goes for Growl, I'm golden.
Keep out of the grass or dodge the eyes of Trainers...? I always have a tough time choosing.
Why not both? By that I mean, battling every trainer and going into all the grass.
I don't bear grudges over losing, but I promise I'll get tougher!
This seems like an easy enough win.
I guess it means I'm not ready for the Gym challenge yet... I guess if you don't have a single Gym Badge, you're a total nobody...
See, Etrian has enough Attack that he's wrecking fools pretty easily. Which helps when they're pretty weak. The Abra line arguably lost quite a bit in the split transition, but we'll talk about that when it has more than one, battle useless move.
Hunh? You're finished so soon? I walk through tall grass until I find the Pokemon I want.
In DP, her team was such that you really wondered how the hell she got the Gym badge. This is a little better, but it's only level 8!
I'm collecting Gym Badges. They're so sparkly and pretty!
She will become a terrifying Champion. All that's left is to catch whatever new Pokemon are in the grass.
Seems about right. We'll get it later.
But it's all good! You're a new fellow friend of Pokemon! So, let me make a gift of this Hidden Machine to you!
But the Trainer has to have the Gym Badge from Oreburgh City. If you don't have that Badge, you can't make a Pokemon use the hidden move Rock Smash outside of battle.
It begins! Now, if I'm gonna say that Sinnoh is my favourite region, then what do I have to say about the five million HMs you need to explore it? Well, I don't mind HMs too much, some are pretty good moves, Pokemon games are easy enough that you can lose a couple moveslots from the team for them, and they do have some fun exploration options. But that definitely doesn't apply to all of them and it is definitely a Problem. Still, that's what Bidoof are for, since it'll be a fair while before we finish up our team.
Pokemon can appear anywhere in a cave. It's not like the tall grass by roads.
This cave is, like, 22 tiles wide. Adventure, that is not.
These Sport moves will haunt me to my dying breath.
While Rock types are still saddled with fucking Rock Tomb for a good chunk of the game, both Rock Slide and Stone Edge are available as late game TMs, so that's something. Still, an early Rock Throw does wonders for Geodude, but it's not too helpful against the early Gyms.
Oreburgh City Day Night
Ah, a new city to explore with any interrup-
Huh? Uh-oh! You don't have a single Gym Badge? You'd better do something about that! I'll take you to the Pokemon Gym.
Is that guy in front of the Gym your friend? He's sort of twitchy and impatient.
You're slow like always. But anyway, the Gym Leader's tough! Like, seriously serious! If the Gym Leader's this tough, I wonder how he compares to my dad... huh? I just drifted there. Anyway, the Gym Leader's gone off to the coal mine. If you want to take on the Gym Leader, you'd better go off to the mine!
Alright, looks like we've got a little hunt, buuuuuut...
Let's go north and catch some Pokemon first. I promise, the next town we visit we'll go over it as soon as we reach it.
Ah, Ponyta, somehow the ONLY other Fire type available in DP's Pokedex and being pretty rubbish, since it didn't get any physical Fire moves for a looooooong time. They've added some new Fire types to the dex, if you want some variety, but now Ponyta gets Flame Wheel. You wouldn't think getting one move would change everything, but it really fucking does, definitely a fine choice, if very fragile.
Machop benefited greatly in this gen, since it got the amazing ability of No Guard. Sure, it'll take a lot of damage, but not missing Dynamicpunch, Stone Edge, Fire Blast, hell, even Rock Climb, is incredibly important. Sure, you can have fun with Guts, but No Guard is just too good. It even had a hilarious bug in DP, where the lower the accuracy of the move you were using, the higher chance of it breaking through Protect and Detect. Can't believe they fixed it... oh yeah, it also increases the encounter rate by 50% when it's in the lead. Okay, so I hijacked Machop's overview, but No Guard is super good.
You don't have a Bicycle? There's a Cycle Shop in Eterna City.
Where the fuck is that? Oh, on the other side of this slope. Cool.
Oreburgh City: City of Energy
From ore and burgh, suffix meaning city.
Kurogane City: A place full of energy.
From 黒鉄 kurogane (iron).
I study Pokemon Fossils! Me! Right here and now! On the verge of a breakthrough, I am, to achieve extraction from Fossils. From Fossils I can extract Pokemon, but not yet, not yet.
Ooh, that's an early time to get Net Balls, which are 3x catch rate on any Water or Bug Pokemon. We can use these kinda soon, but they're a little out of place here. And no, they're still not doubly effective on Surskit.
Anyway, thankfully we don't have to waste time catching Abra for the FOURTH gen in a row. We won't get so lucky next time.
Pokemon Go to the Pokedex! ...I'm sorry. That she was a terrible candidate.
I'll be sure to look after your MACHOP in return! Thanks to Pokemon, I got to be friends with you!
Trades are the same as they always have been, somewhat useful and identical every time you do them. As per usual, we'll do all of them. Yes, my eye is twitching already. All 4 trades in this game have the same IVs, just in different orders, so Abra has 15/15/15/25/25/20, and a +Sp.Atk -Spd nature, which is, uh, interesting. Oh yeah, Shinx got a nickname so I could record a little extra, thanks for Ragnar Homsar!
If you don't mind, how about showing me a Pokemon called GEODUDE? Oh! That Pokemon! That's a GEODUDE! Wow, that's cool... it's so cute... that does it! I'll go out and catch Pokemon, too! Thank you, my friend! This is a token of my thanks!
I want to see them all now!
This was a Zubat in DP and also not really worth it, but the town residents are just ball crazy.
The Dusk Ball is a Pokeball designed for use in darkness. It works better if you use it at night or in a cave.
You heard her, folks, this is the best Pokeball in the series. It's just stupidly good and can be used in ALL situations, having a 3.5x catch rate everywhere, so long as you play at night. Obviously amazing for legendary Pokemon that like hiding in caves, but since night is such a long period of time, you can get a lot of mileage out of it. Man I can't wait to get more.
Seeing that makes me happy! Here, I want you to have this!
I try to think about what would be the best Pokeballs for them.
I wasn't too bothered about it before since the games didn't track what Pokeball you used, I know I didn't, but starting from Gen 3, you'll notice I've been using a much greater variety for the team, which I hope to continue doing, even when it's not possible!
That's it for the town, so now it's mine time.
But working alongside Pokemon... it gives me a boost somehow. Here, take one of these.
Always a nice pickup before the first Gym.
A swear in my Pokemon game? Next you're gonna tell me Pikachu can say "hell".
Some very important items here that we'll need plenty of later on... uh, Dire Hit aside. And I guess the Pearl, but it's nice to sell!
There's not much here, but we'll definitely take all that we can.
Into the main section.
Oh now that's VERY nice, especially for what's coming up.
So, uh, does coal come in these nice large blocks? I guess it's convenient, too bad there's a limited amount of it and, oh yeah, it's dooming us all.
If you could get the Badge from the Gym in town, you'd be able to do this too. Of course, you'd have to beat the Gym Leader first. That'd be me!
Well that was easy. Almost too easy, considering which Pokemon games I've been reading recently...
Since Radium only has Tackle, he's not being too useful against all these darn Rock types, but Etrian easily picks up the slack.
You know, I'd rather be traveling around with Pokemon the way you do.
Just before we finish up here, there's one new Pokemon, which will be a little bit of a pain to catch.
Gah, you bitch!
Due to being Pokemon's first boss to help you use your elemental starters, its stats reflect that, being pretty mediocre with bad attacking stats, a poor typing and good Defense. If you're thinking of giving its evolution a try, wait until later, you won't be disappointed!
The Gym Leader is a user of Rock-type Pokemon. Well, listen. Rock-type Pokemon really hate water, all right? They're also weak to Grass-type moves. Gee, they sure have weaknesses! But don't think it will be easy. You don't get to be a Gym Leader without covering for weaknesses. Going after a Rock-type Pokemon with a Fire-type Pokemon won't be easy, either. That's all the advice I can give. Thanks for listening!
As you'd expect with a Rock type Gym, every Pokemon we'll be facing will also be Ground type. Because they keep making Geodude the only Pokemon you face otherwise. Great if you chose Turtwig and Piplup and great if you chose Chimchar, since it'll evolve very soon.
Radium will be taking another back seat, but will still be getting exp, don't want Etrian getting too ahead.
I'm not too bothered about this, it is a Rock type Gym, Tackle wars have no place here. But at least Radium learns a new move next level!
Ah, right. This was Bite in DP, but getting some physical STAB is much preferred, since it'll be useful!
Just as soon as we get past all these Ground types...
Boy oh boy will I be seeing this a lot. A lot of data is saved whenever the PC is interacted with, INCLUDING if you caught a Pokemon and sent it there, which we'll be doing a lot of...
I'm but one Trainer who decided to walk proudly with Rock-type Pokemon! As the Gym Leader, I need to see your potential as a Trainer. And, I'll need to see the toughness of the Pokemon that battle with you!
Gym Leader Battle
Roark: Call me Roark the Rock!
From rock and ore.
Hyouta: The man called The Rock
From 瓢箪 hyōtan, calabash gourd, large bulbous fruit, originally used for utensils.
Yeah, this ain't gonna work out, even after a Leer! Roark is a pretty simple fight, he's basically Brock with an extra Pokemon, but a hell of a lot trickier. I will also post both teams, from DP and Pt, but Roark is the only leader to have zero differences, his team is tough enough.
Since we're switching Radium in and out, it lets the opponent strut their stuff. Stealth Rock needs no real introduction, but here's one anyway: 20PP status Rock move that sets an entry hazard up that deals damage depending on the Pokemon's type effectiveness against Rock, going from 3% damage at 4x resistance to 12.5% at regular resistance, to 50% health when 4x weak. Since the only way to remove it is via Rapid Spin and it's basically free damage for one turn of set up, it is a pretty ubiquitous move used in practically every singles match. It completely cripples certain Pokemon, especially those super weak to it, and affects their viability in the metagame and is a deeply contested issue to this day, but since it hasn't been changed since its debut, it seems GF are perfectly fine with it.
Oh, in regular play it's pretty trash since the AI hardly switches, so don't use it. It's also never used in doubles, and therefore VGC, since matches are shorter and switches are rarer, so in an official capacity, there's no problems with it. Oh yeah, Defog also removes it from the target's side of the field, which is hilarious, and is also unaffected by Magic Coat. On the plus side, since Castform transforms after entry hazards, Sunny and Snowy Castform don't take extra damage from it!
The final Pokemon, this is why I caught Bidoof, he'll be instrumental!
Okay, he's only to heal up Radium and then die. Just like it should be.
With a thick skull like that, no wonder is has that Attack stat. As a basic stage mon! Is that legal??? It doesn't learn too many great moves, its moveset here is unchanged aside from not having Focus Energy, but even Headbutt does some serious damage. Unfortunately, the best Rock move it'll get for a long while is, ugh, Rock Tomb, since it only learns Ancientpower otherwise until muuuuuuch later, but by the time you can get one, it won't have to worry about awful STAB moves. Otherwise, it learns a wide variety of TMs, giving it all kinds of coverage and is definitely one interesting mon to use, if incredibly fragile and not particularly speedy.
Mold Breaker is quite a weird ability, in that it lets the user ignore abilities that could change, or stop the move its using. It'll let you use Ground moves on Levitate users, but won't stop Static from activating. Since there's so many abilities and so many interactions, I don't fancy listing them all, but there's some interesting stuff, such as the stuff like Lightning Rod and Storm Drain still redirect, but will no longer nullify the damage. Also, while Mold Breaker lets it bypass certain abilities that block status effects, a byproduct of those abilities is curing that status effect regardless. One weird interaction is Flower Gift still boosts the Mold Breaker ally's Attack, even if the Mold Breaker user attacks the Flower Gift user. The main use is letting you use Earthquake with abandon, but there's plenty of other uses for it, even if it doesn't seem like it does much most of the time.
Cranidos is scary, but if you can survive a hit, then you'll definitely do a lot of damage.
That won't be enough to save ya.
Since it's paralyzed, Radium outspeeds and easily cleans up. It only got a Leer off.
But that's tough. You were strong, and I was weak. That's all there is. According to Pokemon League rules, I have to give you our Gym Badge since you've beaten me, the Leader. Here's your official Pokemon League Coal Badge.
"Rock Smash outside of battle."
You should also take this, too.
It's a move that inflicts damage on foes that switch into battle. Incidentally, a TM will teach its move to a Pokemon instantly. But a TM will break when you use it, so make certain you want a Pokemon to learn that move.
In this region of Sinnoh, there are seven other Gym Leaders. I should warn you--they're a lot tougher than I am!
So, did my advice come in handy or what? If my advice was useful, it'd be great if you'd become my fan!
One down, plenty to go! But, it doesn't look right...
There we go, since the badges are on the bottom screen and we can tap them to make a note, or rub them to make them shinier for a higher note! If you leave them to get dusty they'll make a deeper sound and all the badges make different notes. In case you haven't guessed, this is why this is the best game. With that, we're all done here, so it's back to Jubili-
Whoops! Hikari! You got the Gym Badge, huh? Eterna City is the next place with a Gym that gives away Badges, right? So, yeah, I went to Route 207, but you can't go there without a Bicycle. I made my team battle and toughened them up, so it wasn't a waste. So, I'm going back to Jubilife City. Next stop, the Eterna Gym Badge! Ten seconds before I dash! Nine... bah! Who's got time to count?!
At least with our shiny new badge we can smash some rocks with our giant beaver. ...what?
Ain't this just a riveting HM?
At least Flash has been downgraded to a TM, so it's not a big hassle to get rid of it after you've used it. Because of course we need to use it, Sinnoh, where even the TMs are HMs. Thankfully this is the only one that you need to traverse the game, out of the many, many TMs in this game, 92! Gotta collect 'em all.
We'll have to come back later with a bike to use those ramps for sweet tricks.
The only thing left is new Pokemon to catch on this floor. I'm not pulling your leg, Golbat is a 5% encounter down here if you want a Zubat, but with better stats out the gate, since it learns moves at the same level. Otherwise, similar story, but since it's much stronger, you'll get a lot more mileage from moves it'll learn soon and it'll evolve pretty quickly, since you're obtaining it this early.
This is the only surprise evolved form we can get somewhat early, unless you count Silcoon and Cascoon, you weirdo.
Jubilife City (Day)
Is not a Pal Pad free to anyone visiting the Pokemon Center's basement? Anyway, there appears to be no one shady in this Jubilife City. I shall therefore take my investigation elsewhere. But, my friend, I suggest you remain vigilant for shady grown-ups!
Oh yeah, once you get to Oreburgh City you can all the downstairs stuff, but we'll cover that, and the GTS (rip) next update, since there's still a fair bit to do in Jubilife! For now, let's end this one on someone shady in this Jubilife City. By the way, if you do have the Pal Pad already...
Ah, yes. I see that you have obtained it, a Pal Pad for yourself. I myself, a member of the International Police, the fighters of crime around the world, have one also. For it is what one must have to trade with Trainers around the world. Take that Pal Pad to the Global Terminal for trading on an international level!
Failure to comply will result in a painful time for your assistant.
But hadn't I given you your first Pokemon only recently...? Perhaps being a Trainer is like second nature to you.
Oh, professor of Pokemon, must you be so difficult? We are speaking to you on business. Because this is work for us. What we're saying is--we demand you comply with our demands.
Quiet, you lot! Why must you be such a nuisance? Let me list some lessons you still need to learn.
#3: If you don't get your way, don't raise your voice to be intimidating. #4: Don't think you're strong just because you're in a group. #5: What is with those outlandish outfits you have on? My goodness... you call yourselves adults? You kids, don't grow up to be like these sorry specimens.
Eeeeeh! You had to make this personal! You have forced our hand into making a show of force! We will make you regret insulting Team Galactic!
You kids, give these thugs a lesson in civility, please.
Hikari! Join me and battle these guys!
Galactic Grunt Battle
Ooh, two new Pokemon, wonder when we'll catch them, haha...
Aww, another cute cat in the universe. Well, I won't complain! Except I will, because ew those stats and evolution level. Glameow is tough to raise because it'll be deadweight for quite some time, especially since it's a speedy trickster with a movepool reflecting that. Its best move for a long time with be Faint Attack, which is thankfully physical, until it finally gets Slash just before it evolves. Still, we have that Return TM and there's a long while until we catch it, such is making these upon first encounter. So it'll be annoying to face, especially with early Fake Out, but won't do much damage otherwise. Its high Speed comes to the detriment of its other stats and its large special TM list will go to waste, but it'll do the job after a fair few levels of nothing.
In stark contrast, this version exclusive to Glameow can be obtained much, muuuuuuch earlier, has a bit better stat distribution and learns some alright moves. The best it'll get is Slash until it finally learns some STAB in Night Slash, again, just before it evolves. While it won't be too impressive, it'll get some special moves like Flamethrower to help it along, since it won't learn any physical Poison moves until you get the Poison Jab TM later on. Otherwise, it'll be a perfectly fine mixed attacker while you grind it up to evolution.
Aftermath is a quite annoying ability that always seems to trigger. When you knock the Pokemon out with a contact move, you'll take 25% of your health in return. For whatever reason, Damp stops this ability. Cool.
Glameow is the more annoying of the two, so I'm glad Piplup agrees we need to take it down first.
With a weak spread move like that, Lucas isn't too useful, but this is his only Pokemon and only Chimchar would be any good, since Ember is single target and not weak as shit. Well, as weak.
Might be dangerous, but if that's all it does, we'll be fine.
This won't do... time to retreat. This mission is a failure.
Jubilife City Day
That lot... they called themselves Team Galactic. When Pokemon evolve, they seem to release some type of energy... however, I believe that it's a mystic power far beyond our control. But Team Galactic seems to be studying that power's potential. They want to know if it can be used as energy for something...
Hikari, did you know about this? The professor studies the evolution of Pokemon, too. According to his research, 90% of all Pokemon are somehow tied to evolution! Maybe that's the reason those goons tried to take the professor's research data. They're not allowed to do that!
It's all over, so you can relax now. Still, thanks to you two, nothing came of that situation. I appreciate that. Incidentally, Hikari. Kudos to you for your battling skill. It got me thinking. Why don't you collect all the Gym Badges of Sinnoh? Doing so, you will be sure to encounter lots of Pokemon. That, of course, means your Pokedex pages will continuously fill up. In other words, it will be of great help to my research. That said, I've given you your first Pokemon and Pokedex as yours to keep. You're free to do with them as you wish. Take care now.
Oh, I beg your pardon, I'm from Jubilife TV! I'd like you to have something for letting me see that smashing battle!
You will find a whole spectrum of chic Accessories and tasteful Backdrops! Dress up your Pokemon and watch their appeal grow! And, right now the TV station is offering its facilities so visitors can dress up their Pokemon! There are also prize giveaways, too! Please do visit our TV station!
That sounds like a plan. Next time, we'll finish up in Jubilife and then head on to greener meadows!