We took a trip back to the 1960’s because apparently RADIO STATIONS were super important for a hot minute.
After procuring our seventh badge against Pryce and his Antarctic gym, I received a call from the basic radio demographic (an old person) to tell me that Team Rocket had mugged Ryan Seacrest and taken his spot on the air.
Just like caller number ten, though, the radio station was no match for me. I took down the seemingly omnipresent Petrel, freed the radio station director, then finished off Team Rocket for good by defeating Arianna and taking Archer to the danger zone.
Finally! No more villainy. It was time too take to the Ice Path… the final obstacle between myself and my 8th gym battle.
Now on with the challenge in Chapter 8: Don’t Go Chasing Waterfall! (Or: The Longest Chapter Where Nothing Happened)
It probably wasn’t the wisest move to set up camp in a frozen-over cave between chapters, but to be fair, I do have a flaming dragon to keep everything cozy and warm.
And when my day started, would you believe who I ran into?
Damn, Kimono Girl; you get around. I rescued her from being stuck on the ice–and this poor girl needs GPS or something because she is ALWAYS lost–and she wished me well.
The Path of Ice let us out right on the edge of Blackthorn City, home of the dragon trainer Clair and the Blackthorn City gym.
I have to admit… it had been a long road here. Seven other gym battles. Curing a sick Ampharos. TWO fate-of-the-world style battles with, like, an entire mafia organization. A few run-ins with a guy whose grandpa molested him. It’s nuts to think this all started when Professor Elm wanted me to run to the next town and pick up an egg for him.
But the egg-fetching life was behind me now. I was on the precipice of legends. Eight gym badges would enable me to challenge for championship status, and soon I truly would be the greatest. Like no one ever was. I’d come for the current champ, and I’d hit him like an RKO out of nowhere.
But first, I was bound to make Clair sweat out my arrival. How many gyms have made me wait on them? This time, I was going to take my own time and force this gym to be ready on MY schedule.
Blackthorn City is home to a weirdo family who just sits around and alternatively teaches Pokemon moves and makes Pokemon forget moves. What a weird hobby. And they seem to do this all for free, save the one guy who demands heart scales. I guess he is the capitalist pig of the squad.
The matriarch of the family, though, was able to teach Alexander Draco Meteor… a move that had the possibility of changing the game in favor of the good guys.
From there, we went south to Route 45 and the rear entrance of Dark Cave. I couldn’t catch anything in Dark Cave since I had missed that Manaphy way, way back in Chapter 1. But Route 45 held no such restrictions.
Karen the Kangaskhan would like to speak to your manager about her so-called” expired” coupons!
Dark Cave, though… I mean, yeah. Have you ever heard of a particularly well-lit cave? Aren’t all caves dark if you go more than, like, thirty feet in? But Dark Cave was DARK dark. I had to go to the PC Box and recruit Pete the Volbeat to help make my way around.
It was worth it, too, because I found TWO Lucky Eggs inside! Lucky eggs don’t hatch, but if your Pokemon holds it in battle, it gains extra EXP. Just what we needed! Grow more quickly, friends!
With my Blackthorn stalling complete, it was off to Clair’s gym.
Clair’s henchmen are no joke. No threat to me, either, but still… they have some potency. Just, you know… not enough!
Then it was gym battle time, and I was again surprised by a leader in who they started off with. Did Clair ALWAYS have a Gyarados? I could have sworn her team was three Dragonairs and a Kingdra. But nope… she started off with a Gyarados and had only two Dragonairs.
I marched through her team until Alexander stood face to face with her Kingdra. It was a gamble; I had no idea if Kingdra knew Ice Beam or Icy Wind. If it had either of those, I could have lost Alexander. But you gots to gamble in life, and I was able to one-shot Kingdra with the newly learned Draco Meteor when Alexander was able to strike first.
Clair, likely sensing that her own townsfolk had turned on her and provided me with the means to defeat her, was incredulous. She refused to acknowledge my victory! She just kept ranting about “that damnable old dragon lady…” and that “if it weren’t for her meddling in dragon affairs…”. I just hid Alexander in his ball and waited.
Clair finally decided that if I wanted her badge, I had to visit the Dragon Den behind her gym to see if I was really worthy.
You don’t get to just make up the rules, lady!
I mean, you DO. It’s your town. But still. Don’t be a jerk.
At this point I had gotten past eight gyms and only had four Pokemon in my team. It was time to consider adding a fifth.
Rex, right? Rex is the obvious call here. It’s what I’d been waiting for.
And yet… there’s no way that without an inordinate amount of grinding I would get Rex to or past level 55 in time for the Pokemon League. And if I didn’t, I’d just be marching a Pupitar in there to get her butt handed to her.
It had to be someone else.
It was there that I figured out that all of my best catches were doubled up on types or had ATROCIOUSLY hindering natures. My Haunter, Mary? It was Adamant. My Entei Henry, Blaziken Harland, and Feraligatr Flanders? I already had Godzilla and Marc-Andre.
I kept looking at Terry the Bronzor, though. Sure I already had a Steel type. And its Naive nature was pretty crummy. But I DID want a Psychic type. And with its defenses, it could serve some good purposes.
So Terry has officially been called up.
Which is good, because neither my Blackthorn City nor my Dragon Den catches were anything to hang my hat on.
The Bidoof is Tegan. The Pulse is still lying unconscious in the Dragon Den because who has time for a level 8 Plusle?
Also, you know what’s weird? When I retuned to Blackthorn, the Draco Meteor lady was gone. Her family wouldn’t look me in the eye, but they insisted she had won a sudden vacation to Hoenn! How nice for her. I hope she’s slee–swimming! Swimming with the fish Pokemon there.
I made my way to the dragon elder in the den. Are you ready for the test I had to undertake?
Elder: Are you nice or shitty to your Pokemon?
Elder: Cool, you pass.
Now I can use Waterfall! Huzzah!
Before I could run off to Mount Mortar, however, Professor Elm had a gift for me. He handed over a Master Ball (cool, cool. My second of those) and told me that the Kimono Girl was looking for me! Well, damn, she only found me like every chapter; what could she want?
Fulfilling the earlier prophecy, I took my Waterfallin’ ass up to Mount Mortar for training and a shot at a new pal!
Christopher is a nice addition, but Normal types are so hard to find a solid usage for. But if we run into an emergency, there he is!
Real Talk: I’ve Nuzlocke’d HeartGold and SoulSilver before. And while I am doing SUBSTANTIALLY better than I ever have, I know that what awaits me in Ecruteak with the Kimono Girl is serious business. While not necessarily a run-ender, there is absolutely potential to lose some of my partners there.
And with Mount Mortar being home to the highest level pokeys I have seen so far… it was an ideal place to prepare.
Along the way there was some good!
And some almost catastrophically bad!
Marc-Andre BARELY tanked a big attack from this Camerupt on a switch-in when I realized Kenya was no match for it. Losing my longest-standing partner to a pointless training dummy Pokemon would have been disastrous. But for the fourth time yet, I got lucky enough.
But at the end of the day, I felt ready. I rode Alexander back to Ecruteak. I think–I hope–I’m ready for what is in this dance studio…
To be continued in Chapter 9!
MY TEAM SO FAR: