Part 13: Meet Team Great RocketGR X Encount- hey, wait a minute!
You... you're not a member of Team GR! It also seems that you're in possession of Pokemon cards, too... that's good! I'd love to see your play style! Is it possible that you could oust my Dark Pokemon? Let's duel, Minto! Start the 6-prize battle!
Boy, I wonder who this is. This is a bit of an awkward start, you might think, with Psychic against Colourless, but this Dark Alakazam and Dark Hypno deck from Haifisch has a few tricks up its sleeve.
But surprise, we can handle the infinite Colourless decks these games love throwing at us! Dark Kadabra is super damn fragile, but 2 energy for 30 damage no matter what is very, very nice. Sure, it means you lose the Psychic mirror, but they're pretty uncommon, but you know exactly what is common. It, uh, it's Colourless. And throwing away cards to draw more is nice, can pair with Revive, or Nightly Garbage Run. But again, will die super easily.
But, uh, even though there's Dark Muk, Dark Golbat, Dark Raticate and Dark Persian... that didn't really matter if he only puts one thing down. Guess they weren't worried.
I've been using this disguise to spy on the area's activity. Take these booster packs! Hopefully they'll help you beat Team GR!
Should be seeing more of these booster packs here on this island.
Members of Team GR utilize Dark Pokemon in their decks. They only fight challengers if their decks meet certain conditions. Moreover, some have also added special duelling rules! Battle with the rules in mind and take advantage of their odd effects. Otherwise, you may find it hard to win. Anyway, I'll see ya around! I'll keep up with my spywork. Good luck, Minto.
GR Grass Fortress
RECEPTIONIST: Allow me to tell you about your opponents and explain the rules. The Leader of the Grass Fortress is a man named Parker. In order to fight him, you must first defeat 3 GR Fortress members. You'll learn about each member's special battle rules inside. That is all. Please enjoy duelling in Team GR's Grass Fortress.
The receptionists never really mention much, simply who's in charge and how many members you'll face. We're unable to progress further into the island, or well, we sometimes can, but you'll see later. But first, let's check the side room, because of course we should!
There's new promos to be had! Now, this is different to the one we can get in the Game Center, this is identical to the Base Set Venusaur, except with artwork by Ken Sugimori, wow! So this was another send in promotion to Media Factory, between Feb and July 1998, using a flyer found in the album of Trade Please! by Suzukisan, along with any 2 TCG cards. You selected which course you went on via the flyer, A for Charizard, B for Blastoise and C for Venusaur, and got promo cards of those mons in return, as well as a promo Trade Please card, which... well, I'll just show you, since it's not in this game.
Look at your opponent's hand and choose 1 card there. Then, show your opponent your hand and have him or her choose 1 card there. Ask your opponent if you may switch those cards.
If your opponent accepts, switch those cards.
If your opponent declines, draw 2 cards. (You can't play this card if you have no cards in your hand other than this card or if your opponent has no cards in his or her hand.)
Of course, this is an illustration by Imakuni?. The scope of covering all the promos in this game is starting to sink in, yes. ANYWAY, it's GR time, let's kick some butt!
I'm Melissa, one of the members of Team GR's Grass Fortress. It's nice to finally meet you. I was told you would be coming! As per Team GR's orders, you must fight me to open this gate! So, will you have a duel with me? Win, and you'll get some new cards. Of course, you may also advance and will free this guy behind me. Isn't he the Master of the Science Club on your island? He's free to go... if you can defeat me, of course. Okeydokey! We'll have a pleasant match with 4 prize cards!
Alright, our first GR fight on home turf. And surprise, they're not a bunch of masked mooks! Also the music is still as fantastic as ever.
We'll beat this Weedle up with Vending Abra and Dark Kadabra. Psychic Beam is nice at the start to just deal 10 damage wherever.
Let's get rid of the Colourless, then let Dark Hypno have its moment.
Unfortunately she doesn't have much on the bench, surprise for an AI, but we don't have much to worry about this Metapod. Pssh.
Ah, well that went south quick. Turns out Psychic weak Psychics hate confusion!
Butterfree is scary, but we can take one hit with this Clefairy Doll! No, wait, it doesn't come with that attack... this Vending Hypno does!
Power: Puppet Master
If a Clefairy Doll is your Active Pokémon, it may use any of this Pokémon's attacks as long as this Pokémon has enough Energy cards attached to it to pay for that attack's Energy cost. (The Clefairy Doll can make that attack even if it does not have the appropriate number or type of Energy attached to it necessary to make the attack.)
This attack's damage isn't affected by Weakness or Resistance.
Don't want your main cards getting hurt? Send an army of dolls their way. So long as this card has 2 Psychic energy, then you can attack for free with as many Clefairy Dolls you have. And since they count as items, it's pretty easy to get them back with Item Finder or Recycle. I'm only using the one, but it can work pretty alright, though the AI usually likes dragging them in to KO them, can't resist.
Let's have the star of the show finish up, since it can do a fair bit of damage. While it's super fragile, swapping it out with Teleport Blast is great fun and only needing 3 energy gives it a fair bit of utility, since you also don't have to switch. You can also just blast fools for that little bit extra, especially since the tanky Colourless don't mind 30 damage all that much. Definitely a useful card.
Oh yeah, Melissa has a buggy deck, using pretty much all of them, as well as some Colourless mons. She's only got 1 each of Butterfree and Beedrill, so it's unlikely you'll face them, relying on Venomoth more. But she can heal and support her Scyther, so watch out!
I did my best. I have no regrets. Because you defeated my deck, I'll open the gate. Rick will be free to leave his cage as well.
Please take this card as thanks for your valiant rescue.
Eat: Put 1 Food counter on Hungry Snorlax. You can't use this attack if Hungry Snorlax already has 2 Food counters on it.
Rollout: You may remove any number of Food counters from Hungry Snorlax. If you do, this attack does 20 damage plus 30 damage for each Food counter you removed. If you don't, this attack does 20 damage.
Uh, sure, why not. If you can stick around for a fair few turns, then eating for 2 turns will do more damage overall than 3 Rollouts, uh, barely. Seems like a lot of doing nothing for not much damage, since 80 over 3 turns is pretty rubbish. Anyway, this was originally released as an N64 bundle package, but later reprinted to be included in the Pokemon Song Best Collection CD.
As for me, I'm going to return to the Science Club. Feel free to stop by when you're back on our island. I'd be more than happy to have a duel or two with you if you're game.
You may proceed to the next room. James is waiting for you there. You'll battle him, too, correct?
If I do, there's no way the King of Team GR will forgive me!
C'mon, let's go, Minto!! 4 prize cards, then! I'll show you the true strength of my deck!
So we've unmasked one of the GR numbers. Interesting that he's only the second rung out of four, but went to invade our island. Still, since Dark Hypno is easy to set up, I think we'll have some fun.
Bats! They're weak to Psychic so it's easy enough to overwhelm him aaaaand oh we've won.
James had few mons, but they were nasty, like Dark Venusaur, Dark Golbat, which we'll go over for the heck of it, and Vending Haunter, which does more damage the more Prize Cards your opponent has taken, nasty! He also has an uneven split of Grass and Psychic energy, which explains his slowness.
Dark Golbat is fragile and doesn't do much damage, mainly being there to overwhelm the opponent with constant evolutions and sniping the bench. Nothing else to it though. This card changed a bit in localization, Sneak Attack didn't apply Weakness and Resistance originally, and Flitter failed to mention having other effects occurring after dealing damage, such as Machamp's Strike Back, making it a pretty free attack.
*sigh*... it seems like all I do anymore is sigh... man, I sometimes wonder if you're unbeatable, kid. Well, a loss is a loss. I'll open the doors. Open Sesame! Go quickly! Liz is waitin' for you in the other room. She's so much stronger than me! So go on already!
I am Liz. Of course, I am also a member of Team GR. I am addressing Minto, the child defying Team GR, correct? I suppose you're looking to battle Parker for a GR Grass Coin. In order to get through to him, though, you'll need to defeat me. Then let's duel! ...but I want to finish tending to these flowers... but battles come before begonias. I have special terms for duelling. I only fight against decks with Grass as their only energy cards. That is my only condition. Up for a duel, Minto? Oh, your deck only has Grass energy. Great, we may begin our fight, then! We shall have a duel with 4 prize cards!
So here's a "fun" twist, some members of Team GR can't be fought unless your deck has specific conditions. This is a big reason why I'm accepting a wide variety of decks from all types, we're gonna need them! It also means previous decks will get an extra fight in the spotlight, but we'll be back to the Alakazam/Hypno deck soon enough.
This also lets those we're facing to softly counter what we're bringing, since we're forced to use Grass energy. Now that's not a big deal if we were to wrangle Charizard into this, since she's using a pretty standard Dark Arbok and Dark Weezing deck, but she's also got Charmeleon just to roast your Grass types, which- wait she only has Grass energy too. Meaning she can only use Slash. Huh. Also you can't rely on powers much, since she has Gas Goop Attack, which disables them until the end of the opponent's turn.
Since we're bringing back the Arbok and Weezing deck, might as well throw in the Bad versions of them. If you've got a lot of Super Potions, then Mass Explosion isn't a big deal, since you don't need to discard energy to heal the bench ones if you don't have any! If both players are using Weezing decks, then the numbers get pretty ridiculous, up to 160! Of course keeping everything alive is the key. And hey, if you don't want to murder everything, its second attack is pretty respectable, especially with the double Poison from the Vending Weezing.
Since we weakened a fair few things, they're easy pickings with Dark Arbok's stare, so even though she picked up 2 prizes from our Weezing going boom, it wasn't a problem.
I'm surprised. You have quite a lot of skill, Minto. Since you have defeated me, I shall open the doors leading to Parker. Please wait just a moment. ... Go on ahead. You shouldn't leave Parker waiting! I have my own business here taking care of this flower garden.
Alright, what kind of MONSTER is running a joint like this? As an aside, got any?
Yes, I am indeed Parker, but you... you are Minto, correct? I assume you're after my coveted GR Grass Coin. If that's the case, you must first challenge me to a battle and win. By the by, there are special rules when you duel here. Grass Pokemon are immune to Sleep, Poison, Paralysis, and Confusion. No status conditions at all. It's an amazing addition! Now that you're aware, shall we duel? Let's not play too quickly. We'll use 6 prize cards.
GR Fort Leader Duel
Yo, Minto! I've collected some information about the Grass GR Leader, Parker! During battles against him, Grass Pokemon are immune to Poison, Sleep, Paralysis, and Confusion! I've also got some tips on the deck he uses! It's Grass-themed, of course! His deck utilizes two Dark Pokemon cards: Gloom and Vileplume! Both of these Pokemon have powers and attacks that deal with Confusions. Some attacks Parker uses normally confuse the user, but since they are Grass-type Pokemon, the Confusion is ignored! He won't be an easy adversary! You've got to nip Dark Gloom in the bud somehow before it evolves into Dark Vileplume! Ronald O_O
Alright, being scary right out of the gate, I can respect that! As Ronald so succinctly put, Parker, and GR Fort Leaders in general, have a special condition that applies to their type. Sometimes it doesn't matter much, other times it can get real nasty. Thankfully this deck doesn't use status much, so we won't have much difficulty getting around that. It applies to both sides, so you can bring in your Grass decks and use the same strategies he is!
At least we can get the Psycho Panic Alakazam out quickly and deal some quick damage. He can't go for Swords Dance next turn or he'll faint!
GR-3 had Dark Gloom and Dark Vileplume, and they're even nastier in this fight. Sure, Dark Gloom can hit itself with its Power, but due to the status immunity, there's no risk involved! But hey, doesn't its attack deal damage and Poison? Giving us...
50 damage to transfer over to Gloom, that's right! Man this card is rad under the right conditions! Does make us a sitting duck for what's next.
Always carry a Switch, kids! Since he's been investing in other mons, he's out of energy for Kangaskhan. Not to worry, he probably thinks in 1999 AI, I can't get hit!
You're dead wrong. Dark Vileplume is super dangerous in this fight, since it disables Trainer cards, the lynchpin to all my decks, and its attack can confuse it if it deals enough damage with it, except that doesn't apply, so it can spam that attack no problem! Thankfully the chance of him getting those cards in the right order is pretty rare and Oddish and Dark Gloom are easy to snipe due to their fragility.
We saw every Pokemon line he has, since he has Wartortle and Rainbow Energy to stop your Fire types running too rampant. Otherwise he could get lucky finding stuff with Computer Search, as well as Trader and Breeder, he really wants that Vileplume!
Additionally, to show your victory, I must give you the GR Grass Coin.
With that coin, you will be allowed to enter the GR Electric Fortress. Come visit again if you'd ever like to battle in nature's magnificence!
One fortress down! It wasn't too tough, but of course the limitations and conditions will get trickier. In case you were wondering, we can only visit some facilities after clearing others.
GR Lighting Fortress
And any facilities we can reach, as we can go to others aside from Lightning, we're coin gated, so let's continue on!
Why does he keep forwarding these emails about an Orre prince???
Oh hey I wonder if Imakuni? got his cards back yet.
Oh look it's this damn Pikachu again. Stop calling me!!!
I've heard rumors about you. What are you doing here, though? ...I guess I should introduce myself first, eh? The name's Peter. I came to this island because Team GR fascinates me. I've been having battles with many different Team GR members. I've compiled a cool deck from my victories. Care to have a duel? If you beat me, I'll give you a booster pack or two. Good to hear! We'll use 4 prize cards.
Regular Duel Against Regular Guy
So, uh, do you know this guy? What? I don't know this guy, I thought you knew him! Anyway, let's see what this guy is up to.
Interesting, but trying to screw me over with Colourless mons won't work!
Guard: As long as Snorlax is your Active Pokémon, the Defending Pokémon can't Retreat. This power stops working when Snorlax is affected by a Special Condition.
Roll Over: Snorlax is now Asleep. Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Asleep.
This guy, uh, sure loves Snorlax. This Vending Snorlax is definitely a stallmon, but damn that's a lot of energy for not a great attack. The important thing is the artwork, it was part of the first illustration contest available to Corocoro readers in Nov 1997. This was 1 of 3 that won, all of them are in this game, as well as the winner of the second illustration contest from Apr 1998.
Oh hey, wanna see Clefairy Doll be MVP and win the match? Peter has an alright deck, with Dark Raichu and Dark Dragonite, with Snorlax to bide time to set them up. As you can see it wasn't hugely impressive, it isn't a bench damage deck like the name would imply, more his bench is scary and looks bigger than it is? Dark Dragonite will be seen in future I'm sure, it's lucky we had ways around the Snorlax, AI can't resist placing them down!
Waah!! ...oh, please excuse me. I guess I lost. I'll give you your booster packs immediately. If you'd be up for it, I'd love a rematch sometime.
We're never gonna see him again. Next time, our next Fortress awaits!