Part 16: Fight, Fight, Fight!
Wait a minute, this isn't part of the original 151, what's this unoriginal garbage doing in my trading card game??? Indeed, there are some Gen 2 Pokemon in this game, but just as promos, this, along with a Togepi, were the first Gen 2 cards released, both in the June 1999 issue of CoroCoro and through Pokemon League tournaments in Dec 2000 in English. If you look closely you can see the subtle card design differences they'd introduce in the new set 6 months after these promos. You'd also have to wait then to get an Azumarill card, which also isn't in this game.
TCG Island Challenge Cup
Oh yay, a Pikachu card, makes me super enthused to go for it.
We'll use the Blastoise deck for this since it gets this over with as soon as possible. And hey, we haven't faced this guy yet in this game.
And it's over, least we don't have to fight him later! Robert uses Fossil Gengar to move damage counters around, as well as Wigglytuff and Fossil Hypno, to really punish those with big benches. Of course, with only 2 Bills and a bunch of random Trainer cards, it's practically impossible for the AI to actually get its act together.
Ah, this guy again. You can see how quickly south this is about to go for him.
This deck is so effortless, but even with the 4 Squirtle handicap, Rain Dance is just that good.
Ooh this is new. By the time the second cup goes live we've rescued all of the Club Masters except for Mitch, but this cup sticks around until the Psychic Fort, so he can be included in this line up. Or not, who knows.
Club Master Duel
Even with 6 prizes to chew through, this shouldn't take too long.
Using Dark Wartortle isn't a great idea due to Doubleslap being lame... having to shuffle all Trainer cards away also doesn't help, but what are the chances he'll do enough damage to knock out my only Active mon?
...oh. Shit. Well whatever, the Recharge Pikachu is pretty alright, but we've used it before.
What is it? Oh, it's you! You're persistent! Are those your cards? Would you like a card battle? Don't be shy. You'd like to have a duel with me, wouldn't you? Have I trained enough? We'll see! 6 prize cards! We're battling seriously!!
Remember Imakuni?? He's back, in duel form! As always he loves using his Imakuni? card to confuse his own Pokemon.
Truly he is a maverick of the ages.
Anyway, I think this will about do it. Due to Gambler, he's got pretty much no cards, so he's stuck and getting picked off one by one.
His deck is as weird as you'd expect though it does have some offense in Fossil Golduck and Vending Slowbro, which can attack while asleep! Otherwise he has no real draw support aside from Gambler, you can see how that worked out, as well as Poke Flute and Goop Gas Attack, which stop Poke Powers for an entire turn. It's functional, which is the best thing you can say about it.
If I give you these booster packs, promise not to tell anyone I lost! Well, then. I guess I'll continue to wander around.
Alright, that'll do for now, we could fight Imakuni? for a few more exclusive promo cards, but I can't be bothered. Defeating Imakuni? 3 and then 6 times will net you 2 more Imakuni? cards, while defeating him 3 and 9 times nets you a Promo Farfetch'd.
This is the same Leek Slap Farfetch'd we've used before and features artwork by Tomokazu Komiya, a regular TCG illustrator, as well as one of the artists for the Pokemon Tales manga, short kids stories focusing on individual Pokemon, some of which were even translated by Viz! This card was available in the Apr 1998 issue of CoroCoro.
GR Fighting Fort
Ah what, there's no side room? But what about the trade? WHAT ABOUT THE TRADE???
I'm Brutus, the Leader of Team GR's Fighting Fortress! I'd like to fight you immediately, but I shall first test your might! Meet some pupils of mine. Tony!
Good day. I am Tony!
Afternoon. I'm Grace!
Confront these two fighters and win. However... you'll need to find and fight them inside our labyrinth. If you can defeat both pupils, I'll accept your duel challenge. If you succeed and defeat me, I'll hand over the GR Fighting coin. With this coin, you may open the doors behind me. Going through that doorway will put you 1 step closer to the GR Castle. Well, what are you waiting for? Go on and fight my two pupils!
Dungeon crawling? In my trading card game? It's more likely than you think.
Cool, this basement room seems unimportant, so let's head in properly.
We only see a square of the labyrinth at a time, so get to mapping, it'll be very important!
One important thing to map will be the invisible pitfalls! They dump you in the basement room and you'll have to start all over again. And they won't stay uncovered.
There's a few chests scattered around but only contain a booster pack, so it's not a massive deal if you get them.
Here's a map of the entire place that I stitched together and added the pitfalls and chests all by myself. I don't know why I did this, it took like 30 minutes and I'm a little scared of what this lockdown is doing to me. You're welcome!
These two chests are right next to each other, nice and easy.
Without a map this place is kinda confusing, however only 3 squares are identical to another. The two by each entrance are the same, so you'll never really mix those up, and the other two pairs have one crucial difference, one has a pitfall, one does not.
It is I, Tony, of Team GR's Fighting Fortress! I don't negotiate! It's pointless! I'd much rather fight with cards! I just loathe people who try to drain my spirit or energy!! I hate all decks with Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal cards!! If your deck includes some of those cards, I won't fight you! Otherwise I'll be stuck using weak moves or doing nothing at all. I'll wager the Club Master here that you'll lose in a duel with me! Now allow me to begin this fight, MINTO!!!! 4 prize cards, noooow! Let's go, let's go, LET'S GOOO!!!
Team GR Duel
This restriction works fine since most of my decks don't use energy removal! I like using it, but I usually don't have space. The Bad Dragon deck is back and, well, bad. No, the 90s bad. So good. Not bad.
Good thing I never really switch! I always like leaving stuff in to pad while I build something in the back.
This is actually a great opportunity since the Promo Golem can't really deal damage to Dark Charizard. So let's poke it a bit while we build up.
So Charizard was one of the biggest cards in the Base set, and is still crazy expensive to this day. It wasn't a great card though, as it was incredibly slow and didn't have much to deal with small mons without doing ludicrous overkill damage. Dark Charizard kinda helps with that since it's not completely helpless, but also doesn't do a lot if you don't want to use Continuous Fireball. That move, however, requires you to be a little lucky and get as many heads as you need to knock your opponent out. Too few and you'll probably get KOed since you're pretty fragile compared to Base Charizard. But too many heads and you'll lose all your energy and have to start from scratch. It's risky, but can also oneshot practically everything with 3 energy. If you're lucky.
Wow this was the perfect example of Dark Charizard, it rolled low every time and was able to one shot all the Lickitung. Because this dude had a lot of Lickitung. He moans about not being able to do big attacks, but he doesn't need much energy for Dark Dugtrio and the AI would never use the full potential of Promo Golem's Rock Blast, preferring instead to build up something in the back, leaving it with the cheap Rollout. He has a couple of Breeders to help, as well as Defenders so he can be nice and slow and paralyze you lots with Lickitung. Hypocrite.
Gah ha ha haaa!! Beaten, beaten! I was beaten! I lose the gamble, which means I lost the Club Master as well!!
It seems my training wasn't good enough to avoid capture. This is my expression of my gratitude. Please accept it!
Porygon is... interesting. It has an actual attack, which puts it above the Porygon we used last game, though Rocket Porygon has Psybeam. It has a leg up over Rocket Porygon by also changing its own resistance as well as the opponent's weakness to better level the field, since it's still super fragile. This was released alongside Hungry Snorlax for the N64 ad campaign in Dec 1997, while being part of a N64 Pokemon Stadium bundle in English.
I'd like to go together with you, but I can see you'd prefer to stay. Are you certain, Tony? I am to take these booster packs?
Gah ha ha ha haaa! I don't mind, I don't mind! We have an arrangement that must be honored since I've been defeated. Take 'em! They're fifth edition packs! That's the 'Flight' series!
I see! Then I suppose this is goodbye!
I'm strong when something's on the line, but you're much stronger. Minto! Do what you like. I'll be here fighting on!!
One down, so across the way we go.
Trip Over: Flip a coin. If heads, this attack does 20 damage plus 10 more damage.
Can only access this room from the top and we'll definitely need one of these, we've used the Dugtrio promo, but can't forget about this little guy! It's nice to use early game since it's kinda tanky and can dole out big damage. It was available in the Understand How to Play Pokemon Cards Now: Newest Edition (Asobikata Volume 2) in Nov 1998. It was sealed together with its evolution, though since it only required a Diglett, you could evolve the Promo Dugtrio from any of them.
So did the developers play SMT beforehand or...
Will this be better than a Promo Diglett?
Nothing will be.
Alright, last chest!
Well wasn't that fun, there's nothing else like it in the game, so let's finish up.
Allow me to formally introduce myself. I'm Grace. Card battles with me are only held under specific personal rules. All energy cards in your deck must be Fighting-type! If your deck has only Fighting energy cards, then let's begin! Set aside 4 prize cards! I'll take you down!!
This isn't a surprise, so let's bring out the Machamp deck again and lay waste to these fools!
That's to be expected, Scyther doesn't need specific energy to attack, only for Swords Dance, so let's try to avoid it.
Thankfully the AI can't resist its free retreat, so we can get just slightly more damage on this but hopefully keep avoiding it.
Oh huh, this Onix has an actual attack? Well whatever, we'll throw it back. Grace is pretty mean by using both Scyther and Dark Fearow to screw over your Fighting decks. Still, quite a few Machamp have ways around resistance, as we've seen, so you should be fine. She also has Dark Machamp and shouldn't have too hard a time finding it with Trader, as well as The Boss's Way, which let's you get a Dark Pokemon from your deck. She also has 3 DCEs, which is technically cheating? Well it didn't really matter.
Didn't get to use Primeape, but maybe we'll use this deck again, the requirements will always pop up when you least expect them.
Sky Flying Pokemon is the final booster pack we can get and contains the other good portion of Vending mons, as well as a smattering of Base, Jungle and Fossil.
The card in this chest is for your collection, Minto. I don't like it very much, but I'll bet it suits you just fine.
I'll take that, no issues here. We'll fall down the closest hole to quickly get back to the entrance, it's leader time!
Let's get to our battle immediately! But heed this warning: I am focused and disciplined! I can unleash Fighting-type's full power. All Fighting-type Pokemon here ignore resistance when they strike! Even if a foe has a -30 to Fighting attacks, they hit at full force. So what will you do? Are you still willing to fight me? I'll show you my mastery of Fighting in a 6-prize, all-out battle!
GR Fort Leader Duel
I have news, Minto! I'm telling you now before I forget! I've got some interesting facts to share about Brutus, the GR Fighting Leader!! Brutus uses the Earth Power rule! This rule negates the usual -30 damage reduction for any Pokemon that resist Fighting attacks! In other words, Fighting Pokemon always hit for at least full damage! You might want to try making a deck that panders to Fighting's weakness since resistance is useless! I guess... just hang in there! Ronald (O__O)
Oh BABY is this a good start. We'll let Kangaskhan Fetch cards for a bit while we build everything up and evolve them.
Pfft, what's he using this wack promo card here for? I thought this was a serious-
Ah... shit. Thankfully that didn't work, but you can see the nasty combo he can employ here to keep his Dark Primeape kicking for longer than it should!
Since we got Dark Dragonair early, let's have this come out to play. Due to Dragonair's amazing utility there's usually not much point in evolving it, but the Power can maybe tempt you. Otherwise its attack is expensive and only works half the time and it's pretty damn frail considering it could spend multiple turns doing fuck all. This... is not a very good card and that might be why we've held it off for so long. Dragonair is still great though!
And that was Dark Dragonite! Will I use it again? Eh, probably not.
Okay please stop using Dark Primeape better than I ever will. Still, there's always Final Be-
FUCK! At least we can salvage this.
Alright, let's get Charizard out of there and build it for later. And huh, Gyarados is weak to Grass. Who knew.
Ooh we can build up here! We're nearly there!
Hilarious, nothing like overkill to finish up. Brutus can be pretty brutal, as you saw, since he really doesn't take much to build up, we saw every Pokemon he has, it's a nice mix and with 4 Imakuni?, he'll get a chance to confuse his Dark Primeape for sure. Dark Marowak doesn't do too much, but since it's not resisted, it doesn't need to. And then Scyther is your standard monster.
My Fighting power was overwhelmed. This GR Fighting coin is a suitable prize for such a strong adversary. Here, Minto. Take the GR Fighting coin.
You can now open the doors behind me to continue your journey onward. Team GR's Psychic Fortress awaits!
Alright, we're onto the last part of the island! ...wait a minute, we've had a spy here the whole time???
Did you know? That in Japan??? TCG 2 is called Doki Doki Duel?????
I can see that you're being quite an active player over here. As you may know, this is my personal villa. I frequently use this as a retreat to contemplate complex strategies. If you wish to see what cards I am trading for, stop by sometime.
Gee thanks. Once you've traded enough cards with Ishihara on TCG Island, he comes here so you can trade even MORE with him! As you can see, it's totally worth it.
Here's our final destination. How far can we get?
Well there's a surprise. Still, only 2 more fortresses left to go and we'll finally fight the king! Seems getting to a ruler in all Pokemon games is a bit of a pain.
GR Challenge Cup
Since there's a bit of time, let's take on the next Challenge Cup! It's only freshly open from beating the Fighting leader, so let's dive in with a new deck!
Well that's cool, we're facing someone from the Psychic fortress. I wonder if the pool changes depending on where you are in the island. Well we'll fight Psychic with Psychic, a fantastic idea I'm sure, using this Space Invaders deck of Dark Gengar and Dark Clefable by Ranndalor, wasn't quite enough room for Wigglytuff, but boy would it have helped!
Sigh... this is the main problem with using Psychic decks in this game, every single AI has some Colourless mon of some variety and the resistance is enough to make most Psychic attacks useless, since they often deal 30 damage. There are some Psychic attacks that ignore resistance, but we used those last game, and we have something to help with all these Colourless mons!
Pokemon Power: Darkness Veil: All damage done to Dark Pokémon is reduced by a random number (0, 10, 20) as long as that Pokémon is the Active Pokémon. This Power stops working if Dark Clefable is Asleep, Confused, or Paralyzed.
[C][C][C]  Dark Song: Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Asleep and this attack does 10 damage to each of your opponent's Benched Pokémon.
Exclusive to this game, Dark Clefable is a solid tank, able to survive multiple hits if you're lucky, and also has its power extend to ANY Active Dark Pokemon, which helps their survivability immensely. Dark Song can also be pretty deadly if you get lucky, but even just 30 standard damage is good as hell. It won't blow you away, but it won't be blown away either.
Good to block while we get Dark Gengar built up.
But you can see the issue this game has when the Psychic members have half of their decks devoted to Colourless Pokemon. It kinda sucks even if it's smart.
Pokemon Power: Play Tricks: Once during your turn (before your attack), you may choose to have all damage counters on your opponent's Pokémon randomly rearranged (your opponent's Pokémon cannot be knocked out in this way). This Power can't be used if Dark Gengar is Asleep, Confused, or Paralyzed.
[P][P] Push Aside: Flip a coin. If heads, your opponent shuffles a random Benched Pokémon and all cards attached to it into his or her deck.
Another GB exclusive, hey what are the chances, Dark Gengar is... tricky to use. While it doesn't do any damage, it can win you games like Dark Machamp if you get lucky, but if you don't, it'll just sit there and easily die despite how slow it often is to evolve. It's the same as Dark Machamp though it's random what it pushes out and it's also MISTRANSLATED, it can push out the active, but again, it's random which one, and it will push out the active if there's no bench, unlike Dark Machamp. Since its Power is random and is at odds with its attack, it can be worth going for while you're powering this up, but it's definitely tricky to properly utilise.
If you want to actually attack with something, we also have the Promo Gengar which we've already seen.
Another Psychic member? What are the chances? Seriously that's pretty annoying since this guy is fucking awful.
Guaranteed sleep is great fun, so let's blow that away and build up something in the back.
This is definitely a nightmare.
It took a bit to actually build up something in the back cause I was getting shit for draws. Like 3 Nightly Garbage Run at once draws, which is a problem when I need Haunter or Breeder!!!
Guess what this does.
It doesn't work. Twice.
And then he had a guaranteed sleep attack anyway! At least we're finally getting some good damage on it.
Now I can't draw any goddamn energy! My decks are balanced so this usually isn't a problem, but sometimes I get pretty unlucky.
Thankfully Dark Clefable resists Dream Eater and can even reduce it further! I have spent half of this match asleep and the other half landing tails on Dark Song. I hate this so much.
There's a reason I'm not using Dark Gengar, but we can make some inviting targets for Dark Clefable instead.
Alright, finally making some headway!
But it didn't matter since I knew TWENTY TURNS AGO that I was gonna win. This is why I didn't want Dark Gengar to push stuff back into the deck, I figured I'd ride the endless sleep until one of us died of boredom. Thank fuck that is over, hopefully the last match won't contain any Colourless Pokemon!
WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING HERE
This is... a slight problem. If you don't remember, we faced this random guy in the Lightning Fort and he had a bunch of Colourless and Lightning mons.
Well this went even further south. I had a Dark Gengar in my hand, but no Dark Haunter, Computer Search or Breeder. All I needed to do was push the Dragonite out and it would've been the easiest fight of my life. Alas.
Okay, okay, we can bounce back from this. It's a prime push target, but it'll sweep us with enough turns.
[P][P]  Disgust: Flip a coin. If heads, shuffle a randomly selected Trainer Card from your opponent's hand back into his or her deck.
Exclusive GB Dark Gengar also means exclusive GB Dark Haunter. It can be worth not evolving this if you want to deal some damage and screw over your opponent with Trainer shuffling, or maybe not. Pretty dependable damage that could get your opponent stuck while you try and find Dark Gengar, like what I'm doing.
Didn't I say I had a Dark Gengar in my hand earlier? Well to try and find something to fight with, anything, I used Professor Oak to find a Dark Haunter. This has been a real upsetting fight lmao
And that's that, goddammit. I was a bit annoyed at this, but then I remembered this was just for a Bill's Computer card and then immediately felt better again. Oh well!
Next time, we take Dark Gengar directly to the source so we can push their cards into their fucking face.