Part 15: Volcanic ClamberPart 15: Volcanic Clamber
Only a few steps into the next room before we fight another trainer.
We're facing quite a few Pokemon evolved or otherwise. While it's not too tough, it's great training for our Pokemon. Believe me, we'll need it.
Everyone's starting their long climb into the 40s. How far they've come.
We're responsible for keeping CITADARK ISLE ringed with vicious waves. Thanks to this place, it's not easy for ships to approach CITADARK ISLE.
I want to give all these nerds a massive swirly. We have the technology.
Gonna avoid this guy, I don't want to battle anyone just yet, gotta explore!
To terrify people into the pits of despair through battling... that is our purpose! With that clear vision, we are not about to lose!
Some interesting mons, but not high level enough to be a threat.
Ah, excuse me madam.
Rednammok stabs Kakyoin in the back, but he doesn't give a shit.
Special moves, however, really hurt, especially when Rednammok is right there.
Strap in, we're about to go on safari.
Aw man, one of the scientist's kids threw away their doll.
Kangaskhan, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Earthquake, Shadow Mist, Sing, Tail Whip, Dizzy Punch
Big momma is back as another Normal type without Return. Nifty. Well it doesn't really mind, as Body Slam or Double-Edge are perfectly fine substitutes, if not perfect. With a massive movepool, it can do basically anything you want, mainly physical attacks, as it has no SpAtk to use. So it coming with a free Earthquake is nice and Dizzy Punch is a perfectly fine move. Add in Shadow Ball and Brick Break and you've got a party. Other physical options are of course postgame, so there's not much to really go over otherwise. It has high stats and is a pretty standard attacker. As simple as that.
Banette, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Faint Attack, Shadow Hold/Helping Hand, Shadow Ball, Curse
Man that was close, this thing is fragile... We all know how good Banette is, Calbrena basically beat the Champion for me, and it stays good here, mainly cause Ghost is a good neutral attacker. While it can't do much aside from Ghost and Normal moves, its SpAtk isn't so awful you can't throw in Thunderbolt or Psychic, but Curse is a very nice move to take down tricky opponents, though it's less useful in these games, since those tricky opponents are Pokemon you want to catch. Still, it can dish out the damage, which is exactly what you want for the endgame. Just a shame it's so fragile and everyone loves to carry Shadow Ball themselves.
You'd think after five years he'd learn how to use this thing...
Anyway, welcome to Block Pushing: Hot Stuff edition.
It's, uh, really easy.
Now we've got 3 White Herbs we won't use! Let's get out of here, convection can only be ignored for so long.
Kakyoin feels the heat.
Then feels the ground. All in a day's work.
It's a boober
Oh this a mon to watch out for, as Rednammok just got one shot by it.
Magmar, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rave/Fire Blast, Shadow Rush/Follow Me, Shadow Shed/Cross Chop, Thunderpunch
Goddamn those are some good moves, why can't every other mon get those? All you need to do is teach it Psychic and that's about a good a moveset as you're gonna get. Why am I using a mon so boring as Houndoom when this is an option? Great moves aside, Magmar has pretty good stats, being a nice and speedy mixed attacker. Aside from Normal moves, it only really gets Iron Tail and Brick Break, or in this case Cross Chop, so it's definitely something to treasure. Thunderpunch is just icing on the cake, letting it take out Gyarados with ease. If you're not sure on a final pick, this is a weirdly good choice.
Pinsir, 45 catch rate (78%, low health, paralyzed, Net Ball), starting moves: Shadow Break/Guillotine, Shadow Shed/Helping Hand, False Swipe, Submission
Ain't this just an apt comparison on how proper purification moves make a Pokemon? To make this mon useful requires a bit of work, but is definitely possible. You can tutor Brick Break back, as Submission is pretty bad and it'll learn Swords Dance in the postgame, which is pretty neat. Then you can give it Earthquake and then, ugh, Rock Tomb in the postgame. No STAB of course, the only Bug move it learns is Fury Cutter and that only became available via Emerald Move Tutor. That's it, no other STAB across all of Gen 3. Funny how GF let certain mons just slip through the cracks for a while...
Oh man we need this. Does it mean we're near the end of this place?
No. Does this look like the final update to you?
MASTER GREEVIL better not have seen this!
We're back into the heart of the volcano itself.
That looks fun, but how about we just ignore all that and go down the clearly obvious dead end. Like come on, I've played RPGs before!
There needs to be some kind of tell there's someone above you. Maybe if you could actually see them perched upside like a bat if you get the right camera angle.
Great time for a boosting move, I agree.
Oh god get ready to see Shadow Sky EVERYWHERE. It gets super annoying.
Rapidash, 60 catch rate (62%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rave/Solarbeam, Shadow Down/Baton Pass, Shadow Sky/Sunny Day, Flamethrower
Ah a physical Fire type, always a sight. Well, this is probably the best moveset for it, to be a speedy sun attacker. It might not be the best sun setter since it's so fragile, but it'll easily lay down the hurt when it's up. Since its SpAtk is good, but not great compared to its Atk, it won't be doing loads of damage, but it's the best you can really do. For physical options you have Body Slam and Iron Tail, so ain't that fun? Fire types have been plentiful in this game, so to have an unimpressive one this late is... meh.
Magcargo, 75 catch rate (78%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rave/Heat Wave, Shadow Shed/Refresh, Earthquake, Flamethrower
This happy snail that's around 500 times hotter than this volcano is not all that great, due to its bad typing, low stats, especially Speed (it's a snail doncha know) and mediocre attacking stats. Since its Atk is pretty bad, you can't use its Rock STAB in an upcoming Rock Slide, nor the free Earthquake it comes with. Also Heat Wave AND Flamethrower is a bit excessive, since you'll pick Fire Blast anyway. Otherwise, it doesn't learn any other special moves, so up against a Water type, you're pretty screwed. Hell, you're just screwed in general, Magcargo can work, but it's very hard to use.
Another five steps and the next trainer reveals themselves.
Wait a minute... this is the way forward! Bah.
And we don't even need to fight this trainer to get to the item! This place is weird.
I love all these Fire weak Pokemon... here in a volcano. Why does Orre have two volcanoes anyway?
Well it's an alright view.
Alright, guess we'll fight a load of optional trainers, since I cannot ignore the allure of items.
As you can see, the enemy has very dangerous attacks.
There better be something good past here.
Oh hey that's quite nice. And there's another item over there? How big is this place, I thought that lift was the end.
Okay here's some Water types to keep the deadly lava air back. Seriously, being near lava is real bad news since the air kills you before you even touch the damn stuff.
Even having a scary spider won't be enough to stop me. I saw a really big spider today crawling over my desk. Well, big as in England big, so about the size of my palm, which is impressive for something that's not a Daddy Long Legs. Anyway, that's my spider story, please subscribe to my Youtube channel.
Now I've gotta know what's in that chest!
Just to show that this guy has 6 Pokemon. There are a lot of trainers in this game with full teams and it can wear you down a fair bit.
See, having Shed Skin activate once is much better than Intimidate activating every switch in. Right? Well the constant Intimidate animation would start to piss me off.
That... wasn't really worth it. Alright, back onto the main path.
Together, we bring... the power-double explosion attack!
Well he has some tough critters.
Hitmonchan, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Mega Punch, Shadow Down/Helping Hand, Mind Reader, Sky Uppercut
Oh hey it's the only time in the entire series you can just catch these two, cause you know who's coming next. Punch-chan ain't as good as Kick-lee since its unique moves are the elemental punches... which are still special. But hey, Sky Uppercut is a fine move and you can get Body Slam and Earthquake, then either Rock Tomb or Mach Punch to round out the postgame moveset. Priority is really nice. Otherwise, it's a hard hitting Fighting type that's alright, but not particularly interesting, so hey, give it a shot if you want.
Another team of strong mons, including the expected Shadow Pokemon.
It packs a real punch, er, kick, one-shotting Hotdog. Poor Hotdog.
Hitmonlee, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Hi Jump Kick, Shadow Down/Refresh, Shadow Half/Mind Reader, Mega Kick
Now for the final hitmon, since top was in the last game. Hi Jump Kick is exactly the same as Sky Uppercut, except it kills you if you miss, so that's fun. Lee's unique moves are a bunch of kicking moves that are like Hi Jump Kick, but worse, so don't use them, even if Rolling Kick's 30% flinch chance is weirdly good. Anyway, since it has higher Atk and Spd than Punch-chan, it's better to use, but there's so little differentiating them it doesn't really matter, whichever one you think looks the best. The final moves end up being similar, but the loss of Mach Punch is a shame. Still, if you want a weaker Gen 1 Medicham, then here you go.
Next floor has these hovering blocks in this room and this room only. I don't get it either. If we head to the right first, we reach an empty space.
OR DO WE? If we wait a little bit, then another platform rises up to meet us. There's no actual platforming though, Michael just walks onto the middle of the platform no problem.
Ooh, hidden treasure. You need to get back onto the platform quick, or it'll leave without you and you'll be waiting for a while.
Now we continue on the regular path and immediately run into a trainer. Of course.
Bite is the better of the two, since it has the flinch chance, which comes up a lot more often than the perfect accuracy of Faint Attack.
Battle of the Body Slam.
That's really nice! Seems a bit too easy though.
Figures. You getting bored of Cipher battles yet?
He has a Wailord, so it's a pretty great time no matter what happens.
Alright, we're now above the starting area! That... seems like not much of an accomplishment. How big is this place???
But after a couple more platforms, have we reached the end?
No. No we have not.
Remember this mechanic? It's back for some reason!
But of course, it's not going to just be linear and boring, oh no, it needs to have a twist along with being linear and boring!
Oh look at that a battle against Cipher woah.
Magneton could just one shot Kakyoin with an Electric move.
But I guess it didn't feel like it.
Oh wow a Shadow Panic miss. About time that started happening to the enemy.
Lickitung, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Double-Edge, Shadow Panic/Helping Hand, Defense Curl, Rollout
Oh dear oh dear. We've had a fair few Normal types pop up throughout the game and this is probably the worst one. Its stats are just awful, so its extremely wide movepool goes completely to waste since it has low offenses in favour of high HP and mediocre defenses. So you can go for a mixed set I guess, but it's going to be painful, even if you can teach it basically any TM you want. A free Double-Edge is fine, but the Defense Curl Rollout combo is pretty garbo and due to its stats it's better suited to a defensive role. That's perfectly fine in this instance, since having a Shadow Pokemon that can take hits is pretty nice for later on, so it has that going for it. Otherwise, it can sub up, Toxic, Seismic Toss and Knock Off. Pretty bad for single player, but it's the end of the game, might as well use it for something.
Alright, guess I'll die.
Seriously it's such a comically long drop, I don't get how Michael just brushes that shit off.
Anyway, the gimmick is falling down into the areas we couldn't reach earlier. But it's really difficult to gauge, since the floors don't feel like they match up 1 to 1, so it just feels like random guessing.
And you have to ride the damn hooks each and every time. At least the light turns off on holes you've already fallen through, but I don't exactly love this puzzle.
Now fighting Cipher, that's something I never tire of.
Oh yeah, Exploud learns that when it evolves. You still got your safari gear on?
Scyther, 45 catch rate (78%, low health, paralyzed, Net Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Razor Wind, Shadow Mist/Morning Sun, Silver Wind, Slash
Quite a potent attacker as we just saw. Since trading won't be a thing until postgame, Scyther is what you'll be using and, honestly, Scyther is all you'll need. It gets STAB, which is more than Pinsir can say and it even gets... Morning Sun. Cause it's a Bug, I guess? You can even tutor Flying STAB in Wing Attack onto it, as well as Swords Dance! What the hell is this sorcery? This makes Scyther very deadly, if kinda fragile and very weak to a lot of types. Still, it's very strong and fast, so if you fancy using a Bug/Flying type that actually gets Bug AND Flying moves, then this is one hell of a pickup.
Chansey, 30 catch rate (31%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rave/Thunderbolt, Shadow Hold/Sweet Kiss, Softboiled, Skill Swap
At least it doesn't have a chance to run away. Chansey has basically zero offensive presence and will fall to basically any physical move that looks at it, but as a special sponge, it really can't be beat, aside from its evolution. If you needed to, say, resist some pretty strong special Shadow moves coming up, then this Pokemon might be your best friend. Aside from that, its SpAtk is too low to actually consider using, it's a very effective tank against the right Pokemon. It can even be a good catcher with Sing and Seismic Toss, though Wish is something only very few people got in a Gen 3 event and then everyone "obtained" in Gen 5. With screens and status spreading, this can be quite the useful mon, but it does have really good utility walling special Shadow Pokemon.
Alright, we are finally at the top. There's a very scary figure on the bridge there, but maybe we could find a healing machine or something around here, maybe?
Cipher Admin Theme
My plan was perfect. The only problems were the utterly useless LOVRINA and GORIGAN, and... you. You spoiled the brilliant plan I had devised for PHENAC CITY. And thanks to that terrible, hard-nosed woman, I suffered the humiliation of having my worst moment broadcast all over ORRE... To gain MASTER GREEVIL's forgiveness, and for me to assume my rightful position as the GOVERNOR of ORRE, I must defeat you. This time, I won't be shy about revealing to you the full extent of my power.
Cipher Admin Battle
Hey remember when we faced Lovrina at the end of the last update? It took a while to find another Cipher Admin, but it does mean we're getting towards the end where we'll have a hell of a time getting through these fights unscathed.
And of course some new Shadow Pokemon. Ain't that just peachy? How many have we encountered in this update alone? Seems like a lot.
Of course there's Shadow Sky. There's always Shadow Sky.
I'm too lazy to use Rain Dance to boost my one Water move, so it's mainly to get rid of weather strategies that can really turn a battle around. Aside from rain, obviously, which is annoying, since Kakyoin is my best Water resist as Portobello dies to the Ice Beam they always carry.
Since this is the second appearance of Castform with Shadow Sky, they were definitely trying to show it off, but making it Water makes it easy pickings for Pineapple.
What a thrill. We're actually getting pretty hammered since Starmie hurts a lot and Solrock REFUSES TO BE CAUGHT.
Solrock, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rave/Psychic, Shadow Panic/Baton Pass, Shadow Sky/Sunny Day, Cosmic Power
After the moon so long ago, it's the sun's turn now. We're at the point of the endgame where you don't have long to purify any Pokemon you want to use, so I'll make the cutoff after this battle for Pokemon you'll be using for the postgame. In any case, despite the moveset, Solrock has awful SpAtk and works much better with Rock Slide from the reminder and Explosion through level up. Then you've got Earthquake and Shadow Ball, but since it's so ridiculously late into the game, you won't really have those TMs unless you set your sights on this Pokemon. It's perfectly fine, its typing isn't amazing, but it gets good coverage, a Ground immunity and it can even go boom. But it's had a lot of competition so far and there are of course a fair chunk of Shadow Pokemon left to go.
Starmie, 60 catch rate (99%, low health, paralyzed, Net Ball), starting moves: Shadow Storm/Waterfall, Shadow Break/Refresh, Shadow Mist/Ice Beam, Recover
Just add Psychic and this Pokemon is 100% ready to do anything you need it to. That's it, it's a goddamn Starmie, what were you expecting? I guess you could also give it Thunderbolt. Again, it's Starmie, an absolute special monster.
Well he's going where we just came from, but where does that other lift go? We're a bit beat up here.
Oh. Oh that's pretty mean game. Uh, who do we have left?
We'll be just fine.
Alright, we've got the shortcut to the start unlocked, so now we've got to face one of Verich's, uh, Greevil's bodyguards.
...there's no need for thanks. I was merely punishing a fool that used a SHADOW POKEMON in public. At that time, we didn't want the world to know what we, CIPHER, were planning. Back then, I thought you were just an ordinary child... little did I suspect that you would become CIPHER's biggest and damaging threat. That's enough talk. You have the skills and wherewithal to reach CITADARK ISLE. Let me see your abilities in full glory!
Oh good, let's start off with some fun.
Ardos is a bit tricky, since he has THREE Shadow Pokemon and the ones that aren't are real bitches to put down.
Kingdra should be put down immediately, since we have no Dragon moves this time around.
While I've been dealing with the various threats, Swellow has been happily OHKOing or 2HKOing our team.
We need to start catching some stuff, they're hitting pretty damn hard now, especially with a full range of Shadow moves to use, which means, indeed, these rare 4 Shadow move Pokemon will regain no moves during gauge lowering. Nasty.
Swellow, 45 catch rate (30%, low health, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Break/Sky Attack, Shadow Sky/Baton Pass, Shadow Half/Agility, Shadow Mist/Facade
There's only a few Pokemon that could be helpful as a Shadow Pokemon at the endgame, usually ones that can take resisted hits of mostly special attacks. Anything else is basically postgame. Swellow is another fast hard hitting bird and has some interesting tech in Guts and Facade, but it's not very consistent. XD's postgame is pretty brutal, so something fragile doesn't really work that well, but things that are fast and hit really hard are also golden, so it's a 50/50. Hopefully it takes something out before it goes down, but Double-Edge and Aerial Ace are the best its gonna get and it can't touch Rock types until we eventually get Steel Wing. Gonna be rough.
Ardos, where's my Poke Flute? It's for the greater good!
Well that's made things a bit easier.
Snorlax is a pretty tough catch, since it has Leftovers and also Shadow End, a physical 120BP, 60% accuracy move that has recoil damage. Before you start hyperventilating, it's only half of your current HP, so while it's pretty risky at the start of the battle, if you've taken enough damage, this becomes a very easy attack to spam if you can stay alive. Might be difficult with its awful accuracy, but hey Hypnosis never misses, so why should this?
Electabuzz, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Break/Cross Chop, Shadow Mist/Follow Me, Shadow Half/Thunder Wave, Shadow Storm/Thunderbolt
So if you didn't fancy the Elekid we got, maybe this is more your fancy, with a little bit less coverage. To say there's not a huge reason of trading Togepi away would've spoiled this, so I suggested it was a good idea, but now we know some more, maybe keeping Togepi around to become a Tri Attack Togekiss ain't a bad idea. In any case, even without Ice Punch, you still get Cross Chop and Psychic so it's not all bad, this is a very potent attacker and it's fast, a real plus in the postgame. But the Elekid you decided to take for a spin would be doing very well by this point, so this mon wouldn't apply to you at all, since you have the better version. Still, so long as you avoid Earthquake, this speedy angry gremlin thing will do you just fine.
While we are getting completely obliterated, I think the third and final of Ardos's Shadow Pokemon is ready to be caught.
Snorlax, 25 catch rate (30%, low health, paralyzed, Timer Ball 15+ turns), starting moves: Shadow End/Fissure, Shadow Shed/Refresh, Curse, Body Slam
Hopefully you caught this mon before it ended you. Snorlax is pretty damn tough, hitting hard and laughing off special hits. This makes it a fantastic Shadow Pokemon to use very soon, since it'll easily wall even the strongest Shadow moves. Past that, since it can take a hit and respond in kind, it'll work out alright, since you can Curse up with enough team support, or even Belly Drum, to really seal it. Being a large teddy bear, of course it can learn any move you really fancy, so give it all the physical moves. You can even go RestoChesto, or explode in everyone's face. It's definitely something to consider as everything gets harder and harder.
But, boy, don't think that this is over. I won't abandon my dreams!
Well that was a tough battle, but there's still plenty to go. Next time, it's the grand finale. And maybe even... more resets? Strap in everyone, this is where the game goes downhill and never recovers, oh baby.