I walked Route 32, like, A WHOLE LOT. It was a chapter of to’s and also fro’s. It got to the point where IN A RANDOMIZER, where seeing what crazy stuff the game will throw at you is half the fun, I ended up buying a bunch of Repels because I just couldn’t with the tall grass anymore.
Along the way, I formulated a conspiracy that the game was out to get me because it kept giving me low-powered, low-potential (lowtential!) Pokemon for my mandatory catch first encounters, and then saving the big guns for the subsequent battles. I have my eye on you, game.
And when I DID come across a good catchable Pokemon, I critically hit it for a KO while trying to weaken it! RIP, Hippoptas. In my head I’m still running a Sandstorm team with you, Marc-Andre, Harmony, and Charlotte.
I got to Azaela Town and found out the the nefarious Team Rocket has emerged from retirement and is in the food truck business. I shut down their Slowpoke Tail operation, though. Vegetarian and Proud, Team Rocket!
With no more obstacles, I pretty easily defeated Bugsy for my second gym badge.
Now on with the challenge in Chapter 3: Moo, Bitch! Get Out The Way (or: Some REALLY Friggin’ Close Calls!)
This entire chapter was played under the looming specter of Whitney, the Normal type gym leader, and her Miltank. While the ‘tank is a bit overrated if you properly train up for it, going in anything less than totally prepared can be devastating. And in a Nuzlocke Challenge, “devastating” would spell the end frighteningly quick for this series!
The team was shaping up all right, but I needed a plan. I looked over what I had. Charlotte was my only female, thereby immune to Miltank’s attract (what Pokemon has in progressive attitudes towards eating animals, it lacks in such attitudes towards same-sex attraction). She and Harmony would also resist the rock-type move Rollout since they were ground types. Additionally, Harmony could Growl and Leer at Miltank to lower its stats. Whereupon, I figured, Marc-Andre could sweep up the weakened cow.
First, I had to make it to the booming metropolis of Goldenrod City. And to do that, I had to get through the creepy Ilex Forest.
And to get THERE, I had to get through Lil Gio…
This kid with the luxurious lockes has decided that I am both pathetically weak AND his rival. Which… okay? Do you want a weak rival because you lack self-confidence? Or are you a bully? If I’m weak AND your rival, are YOU weak? You gotta think these things through, Lil Gio. But what do I know? You steal Pokemon that don’t even exist.
Also! Think through your team of Gastly, Zubat, and Croconaw, because I pretty much wrecked your shop. And again, I’m weak, so you are…?
Oh, okay. I mean, you do have a Zubat and a Gastly, so that is fair. Also, Harmony looks SUPER pissed at you, so you better skedaddle before he decides to bone you.
Three minute intrusion into my day surpassed, I head into Ilex Forest. It is dark all the time there because the trees provide a rainforest-like canopy against the sun.
Thankfully, though, we have some helpful loggers here to clear out some of these stupid, useless trees! (Really, Pokemon? I mean… you were doing so well for a second with the Slowpokes…)
Helpful, maybe. But not super competent. It turns out that to cut down trees, they need the flying type Pokemon Farfetch’d. And their Farfetch’d had just decided to go rogue and run away into the forest. It’s probably tying itself to a tree and chanting protest songs as we speak!
Anyway, I agreed to help out with the Farfetch’d problem because I am nothing if not a cog in the anti-environment, corporatist machine! And, also, there was a bush in my way and I had nowhere else to go.
While chasing down these hippie birds, I had my first encounter of the day!
Oh, that’s kind of neat! The game hadn’t thrown a ghost type my way yet. Lenora the Drifblim was easily subdued. Should I survive Whitney’s wrath, the next gym is ghost themed, so Lenora may come in handy…
Catching Farfetch’d requires some fancy footwork whereby I had to step on loud cracking branches to distract them, then sneak up from behind while they were investigating the torture of already-fallen trees. They… aren’t very bright. But the Pokemon world insists we can’t just eat these creatures. Even if they would go great in an orange sauce.
Farfetch’d returned to their cruel masters, I was given the Cut HM as a reward so I could get past that bush. HM, you say? You’re up, Estrada!
As I navigated Ilex Forest, I came across a familiar face…
Except she claimed she has never seen me before. You told me not to eat Charlotte! Get your head in the game, Kimono Girl.
Ever helpful Marc-Andre guided her to the nearby exit, and then we were in a new locale: Route 34.
But first I got to say hello to a Butterfree in the park station between the forest and the road. Hi, Butterfree! I love you! Hopefully I will get one of your kind to help out on my journey someday (FORESHADOWING)!
Route 34! Time to catch a new Pokemon! I hope it is something
not that. I hope it is something not that at all.
All right, fine. I see how this is going. Into the PC Box, Pete.
I mean, this bogeyman I’ve built up in my head of the next encounters being vastly superior Pokemon can’t be real, though. Like, when I battle another pokey in the wild grass, what are the odds that it will be substantially…
SON OF A BITCH.
Yep. Right. Fine. Gonna rock the Pokemon league with Marc-Andre and a bunch of also-rans, I guess. Not you, Harmony, you’re doing fine. Just… quit missing with your Bone Club attack for two god damn seconds. Can’t wait to strike fear into Lance’s heart with my VOLBEAT.
A little bit up the way on Route 34 is the bastion of hope that all Nuzlocke Trainers need: THE DAY-CARE CENTER.
You see… at the Pokemon Daycare, you can leave up to two of your friends to be cared for by the elderly couple who live there. And while there are practical uses for this in the world of competitive PVP Pokemon (breeding more and more powerful Pokemon), this is still a boon to me because my Pokemon each get 1 XP for every step I take! So as I travel the width and breadth of Johto, I’m also making whoever I leave in Day-Care more powerful!
If I start losing partners to more difficult battles, I can stop back at Day-Care and pick up my leveled up Pokemon and, hopefully, not be too far off my pace.
It was a tough decision over who to leave, but I ended up letting the couple care for Lenora and Dali. Neither was particularly useful right now, but they are both in their final evolutions and could be better later.
Also, I had no idea of this when I left them, but THESE TWO BREED. I keep getting calls about their having eggs. I mean… I can’t use what is in their eggs because of the Nuzlocke restrictions (or wait… can I? What is the protocol on this? As long as I hatch the egg someplace I haven’t caught something before? Is that okay? Also, this is a Randomizer… what will even hatch?!). Eh, I’m just going to play it safe and leave the eggs.
Glad those two crazy kids are having fun, at least.
Ah, Goldenrod City! The largest city in all of Johto. And there was so much to do! I got a free bicycle! I played the Voltorb game for, like, two minutes before being bored of it! I trained up some more in the Underground!
The Radio Tower was the biggest place of note, so I spent a bit of time there. Now I have a radio card so that I can listen to tunes and radio shows, so that’s neat. I talked to Buena and got a card so I can play her trivia game and earn points. I would have gone higher into the tower, but…
More foreshadowing! MORESHADOWING.
At this point, I had enjoyed all Goldenrod had to offer except for its department store and Whitney’s Gym. But I wasn’t ready for that at all. So it was on up to Route 35 for more training.
And it was then that the biggest question of my Nuzlocke came into play.
In the guard station between Goldenrod and Route 35, the guard asked me to deliver mail to his buddy out on Route 31. But he didn’t just give me a letter… he gave me a Pokemon holding a letter!
So… wait. Does this count? Can this be an addition to the team?
Here’s the thing: yes.
Because it’s the guard station BETWEEN places (not that I caught anything in Goldenrod anyway, BUT I WILL). And because it’s an actual good Pokemon, and I have had so precious few chances for those. And at a high level, no less! So I’m allowing it. I can’t rename it because it’s weirdly considered a traded Pokemon, but… no matter. Happy to have you aboard, Kenya! That’s a pretty rad name regardless.
God bless Randomizer, because this dude seriously went, “Okay, give this Spearow to my buddy” and then handed me a Mareep. You don’t even deserve to get your Pokemon back later if you don’t know what it is.
Things continued to come up Milhouse with out first Route 35 encounter: A Dewgong! Not AMAZINGLY powerful or anything–and it’s another water type–but it has a secondary ice typing, and learns respectable ice moves on a good schedule. Given Lance’s army of Dragonites, I finally have something that might come in handy later.
If you can’t tell I have two modes as I play through Gold and Silver: Pepare For Whitney In Dire Fear and then Prepare For Lance In Dire Fear.
As I trained my way through Route 35, however, looking ahead to Whitney almost cost me…
The closest call of the Nuzlocke so far came at the hands of this jabroney trainer’s Kadabra! Luckily Kenya hung in there with 3 HP left, allowing for a switch in to Harmony, who finished the Psychic type off.
WHEW. It would have really stunk to have lost Kenya THAT quickly. And it almost happened. Going forward, I definitely won’t do anything dumb that would put her in peril again…
After healing up and doing some further training, I decided to prolong the inevitable battle with Whitney a bit more by trying my hand at the Bug Catching Contest in Johto’s National Park. I wasn’t sure how the Randomizer would work here. Could I win the Bug Catching Contest with, like, a Metagross?
No matter what happened, I was only going to get one shot. One chance. My knees were weak. Mom’s spaghetti. So I stepped into the grass, and…
My favorite Pokemon of all time! It turns out the Randomizer doesn’t affect two things that I have found (so far): The Bug Catching Contest, and Headbutting trees for encounters (the latter one is weird to not work on).
I did defeat the Butterfree and added her to my team (Bree, as I have named every single female Butterfree I have ever caught for years now). Bree did get off a Stun Spore to Kenya before I caught her, but other than that, she was healthy. I couldn’t CATCH anything else, but I could use the contest for training before time was up. Might as well do that, I figured.
I smushed a few Weedles and Caterpies and everything was going great until I encountered a Pinsir.
This seemed doomed from the start. Pinsir was several levels lower than Kenya, but I also can’t heal during the catching contest. And Kenya entered the battle paralyzed from Bree. I still didn’t think much of it.
Until Kenya was too paralyzed to attack for the FIRST FOUR TURNS OF THE BATTLE while Pinsir wore her down. Just as I was realizing she was in trouble, Pinsir used Bind. Now I could no longer heal NOR escape. The deciding turn started like this:
It might well have all come down to that. Pinsir’s Seismic Toss would do 13 damage. If Kenya was paralyzed again, it was likely she was done for. I ordered a Thundershock and held my breath…
OH THANK GOD.
Twice in the span of a few minutes, Kenya almost met her demise! The fates were toying with my considering her as a viable option for my Nuzlocke, it seems. But they hadn’t taken her from me yet!
Feeling more responsible, I healed up and entered Whitney’s gym.
Her lackeys were, of course, as nothing, and I trounced them all. Whitney herself started off with her Clefairy, and Harmony’s first usage of his new Bonemarang attack put it down easy.
Now it was Miltank time.
Figuring Kenya had proven her luck and durability, I started with her. All I needed was a paralysis to protect Marc-Andre. I loaded up a Thunder Wave…
Miltank struck first with a Stomp attack. It did decent damage, but Kenya’s Static ability paralyzed Miltank! The cow Pokemon healed its status effect with its Lum Berry (cute trick, Whitney), but then the Thunder Wave paralyzed it again! Ha! Paralyzed twice in one turn!
After that, I had Kenya Growl at Miltank to lower its attack for good measure. Then Marc-Andre was on deck to drive it home!
Turns out, I over prepared for this one! Miltank was no problem at all. Nothing like a healthy dose of fear, I guess!
After a bit of a temper tantrum, Whitney handed over her badge. Sure Kenya had some very frightening near-misses on the way, but all in all, day three was Win City for the good guys. Kenya and Grace look like they could be solid long-term contributors, Marc-Andre is growing at a beastly rate, and I am doing a solid job over-training and staying ahead of the peril.
Now it’s just a matter of not growing overconfident. We haven’t lost anyone yet!
To be continued in Chapter 4!
MY TEAM SO FAR: