Part 49: Side Notes #05: Typing EffectivelySide Notes #05: Typing Effectively
So we've had our first Gym Leader fight, the epitome of using type effectiveness. So, how exactly does it all work? Well, here's the chart.
It can be a bit of a headache trying to understand it all, especially since it would be shuffled around in only a year or so. But a lot of matchups have stayed more or less the same, some people say in annoyance. Also remember that moves are Physical or Special because of their type, not because of the move. This makes some moves just variations of other moves and it would be a number of years before things changed for the better. Let's look at the stranger ones.
Firstly, Bug, it's a really bad type in this gen and the next gen and the next gen, but it's effective against Poison. Which is effective against Bug. This is a very strange relationship that only exists in these games and was changed very quickly, so maybe it was a, well, bug. But since both types are terrible, it's not a huge deal. No, the problem is that four types are effective against Bug, meaning you really won't want to use them. All Bug moves are Physical.
Next, Ghost. It is also a pretty shit type and is only good against itself. No wait, that can't be right? It does have two immunities, but it seems it can't affect Psychic in any way. Even though the game says it's very effective. Well, this is definitely a bug and makes Ghost a really bad type. Not that it wasn't a bad type already, but it definitely doesn't help. Finally, there are only three Ghost types and they're all weak to Psychic, so even if they could've done something, they would've been annihilated anyway. Nice going, developers. All (one) Ghost moves are Physical.
So, yeah, Psychic. Hoo boy. They were meant to have weaknesses, but Bug and Ghost are really bad attacking types in this gen, with only one real good move to use for each. So there's nothing to really oppose Psychic, aside from other Psychic types. And that is not how you balance things. Top it off with the only good Bug move being learned by a weak POISON/Bug and you have a huge problem. It sucks and there's nothing you can really do about it, other than hitting them really, really hard and hoping you survive. All Psychic moves are Special.
So now we come onto Poison. Not only are there 33 Poison types (so 1 in every 4.57 Pokemon are Poison), they have pretty bad attacking moves, weak to two of the most powerful types in the game and can take down Bug and Grass types. Fan-fucking-tastic. Poison has always been a weirdly bad type and the grudge Game Freak seems to have was there from the get go. They're even resisted by four types and usually have much better options since lot of them are either part Grass, or part Bug. Okay, not Bug, but you get what I mean. Even Pokemon that shouldn't really be Poison are Poison types. It just shows how screwed everything was in this game and how centralized everything was. All Poison moves are Physical.
The only remaining bad ones are Fighting, Flying and Rock. They have some good strengths, but it's offset by really poor options that don't offer too much. They'll get better, at least. Flying, Fighting and Rock moves are all Physical.
Finally, we have Dragon. It has a fair amount of resistances, but is only strong against itself. But it doesn't matter. At all. The only attacking move Dragon has does a set 40 damage, which is starting to lose its relevancy even now. It's pretty damn bad and they would be pretty interesting if they weren't also weak to Ice. So now they're just really bad. They also have the same problem as Ghost, there's only three of them. And one is 4x weak to Ice, so they're not a threat in the slightest. They say they are strong, but they really, really aren't. All Dragon moves are Special, but it won't matter until Gen 2.
The remaining types aren't that bad, or at least don't completely suck. Normal doesn't have much going for it, aside from 78 moves out of 165 and 24 TMs out of 50 (or 27 out of 55 including HMs), so you'll be using a strong Normal type move to back up your STAB because there isn't anything else you can learn, really. All Normal moves are Physical. Fire was pretty good against some types and has some strong moves, but isn't too notable otherwise. All Fire moves are Special. Water is very good, good resistances and strengths and can learn Ice moves to make it a wrecking ball. All Water moves are Special. Grass works pretty well, but doesn't have too many strong moves without a drawback and quite a few are laden with a bad Poison typing. All Grass moves are Special.
Electric is also pretty good against the types it needs to, just keep them far away from Rock, er, Ground types. All Electric types are Special. Ice is a good type offensively, but really bad defensively. Well, Fighting and Rock weren't around as much as they are now, but it still sucks. At least they have the Water pairing to keep them afloat. All Ice moves are Special. Ground only really has one good move, but it has no drawbacks, aside from not working on Flying types. Except Flying is bad, so there's really no problem. Just keep away from the good, strong types of Grass and Water. All Ground moves are Physical. And of course, Psychic destroys all. All hail Mewtwo.
To finish off, there was one weird bug in the last update that showed that the Fighting move Low Kick wasn't very effective against Pidgeotto, a Normal/Flying type. Well, it's not an issue at all. Every Pokemon technically has two types (pure type Pokemon are technically Normal/Normal, or Electric/Electric or whatnot), the game checks them both when they're hit with a move and then display the message (or lack thereof) about how effective it was. However, as I've been corrected, each of the type effectiveness is on a list in what is seemingly a random order. It finds the various effects on the list and queues up the message. Except it only holds one message, so if one combination is lower on the list than another, then that will always be displayed for certain types. The full list can be found here.
The game does put the two of them together and the damage is correct, so it's not technically wrong, but it probably made things even more confusing to the dumb children playing this game.