After leaving Meteor Falls, confused and amused, I made my way right around the continent to Mt. Chimney, where Team Magma were no longer blocking the entrance to the cable car station. It'd be nice to see the world from the sky, and check out the fact that we're blessed enough to live in a country that has both land and sea in it. Of course, when I got to the top, who else did I find, but Aqua twats going at Magma twats like their lives depending on it? Sigh. Fortunately the vast majority were far too preoccupied with each other to bother taking me on, but I noticed that the Magma head honcho I'd watched at Meteor Falls was giving it big licks next to some machine he'd whacked a meteorite in. It'd almost certainly do nothing but I felt like I should go and kick his teeth in. I plowed through his bodyguards and then through him. His Mightyena nearly took out Passion, but not nearly enough to actually get me worried... In his haste to escape the fool left his meteorite behind, so I pulled it out of the machine and put it in my bag along with the million other things that Hammer Space so neatly provides for.
I skipped down the mountain towards Lavaridge Town, stopping to catch myself a Feebas called Beholder en route. It is almost certain that I'll never get around to evolving it into a Milotic, unless something very bad happens to Riddum and I've got as far as Lilycove without anything else capable of learning Surf.
There was nothing to do in Lavaridge apart from take on the gym leader, who was pretty shocking. I just let her Camerupt wind its Sp. Attack stat down to -6 with some switching, then brought Riddum back in to kill it with a few Water Guns to the snout. Four badges then, and it's off to see Dad in Petalburg City. Literally nothing else to do here apart from relieve some old bag of her egg, which goes straight in the PC, because I don't want to lug it around with me. I sped around to Petalburg where my father was waiting for me. He's got a weird gym, full of people who've spent years of their lives thinking of very niche tactics that don't actually work at all when it comes to battling. My team beat them with relative ease, almost having trouble with the Vigoroth in the OHKO room, but after a Leech Seed landed and I did some switching it wasn't an issue.
The battle with Dad was harder though, much harder. My Swag found it hard to actually take hits, so I found myself taking one, using Rock Smash for reasonable damage, then healing up with one of those Soda Pops I got in Slateport, then Rock Smashing again. And again and again. As my trolly father seemed to have an infinite supply of healing items... But I won. Yay, top dog in the family. Now he's lost his wife and his daughter is better at pokémon than him. And he lives in Petalburg, which is a massive shithole.
Wally's dad lives next door and thanked me for my role in making his kid less of a wimp. I didn't tell him that Wally is still a really awful human being, instead gladly accepted the Surf HM he gave me... Off back to Mauville, and then to Underground Mauville where I managed to catch myself Butchgal the Golem! She'd be fantastic for the team, somewhat of a physical wall, and coming prepackaged with Ground/Rock STAB moves, even if they are Rock Throw and Magnitude. Back to six team members.
The next step was to cross the river to the east of Mauville, where I beat the camera crew who seem to be stalking me and caught Peachy the Sunflora. Nice to have something else in the box, at any rate. There wasn't a great deal to do here apart from move on up to the Weather Institute, where Team Aqua were making a nuisance of themselves, presumably trying to change the weather forecast in the hope that that'd change the actual weather. Have they ever been to school? It seems not. A friendly scientist gifted me Glitz the Castform for helping them out, and it seemed like my luck had changed with regards to acquiring more pokémon. About bloody time. Seconds after leaving, I bumped into Brendan again, who was still hilariously weak - he only had two fricking pokémon! All night made short work of them, and I moved on up to Fortree City.
There's something in the way of the gym there but from my lofty spot in the treetops I could see Stephen Stone hanging around on a really dangerous looking bridge of logs suspended above a great lake. Might as well go and see him, I thought to myself; he's definitely not that bad, for a man. When I got there, after failing to meet any pokémon on the way, he gave me Devon's latest gadget - a 'scope' that allows me to see invisible pokémon. As luck would have it, there was one right beside him - an invisible Kecleon that I killed without a second thought.
Backtracking to the gym, and with Butchgal at level 34, I reckoned I'd have no problem with Wynona and the Flying gym. I was to be so, so
wrong. This was the hardest challenge of the game and could really be the point which messes up my adventure. The trainers before Wynona weren't any problem at all. Neither was her Swablu, which Riddum dealt with easily. Then out came Tropius, and Passion finished that off with just two Flame Wheels. Pelipper caused the first problems, confusing everything on the switch in and threatening All night and My Swag with potential Aerial Aces, as well as Passion and Butchgal with Water Gun. After going back and forth between Gawjus and Riddum, I was able to eventually dispatch it, but most of my pokémon had taken heavy damage. I left Gawjus out against Skarmory while I healed up Passion and a few others. Somehow Skarmory managed to land a OHKO on Gawjus - I don't even know what move it used as I wasn't paying attention. My beloved Gawjus, with me for so long, without ever learning any decent attacks, but always valuable as something with nice resistances, was dead.
Skarmory perished to Passion's Flame Wheel, but I really wasn't expecting Altaria to be carrying Earthquake. What saved me was that I used Smokescreen just before it killed Passion, allowing me to get a Leech Seed in against Altaria as it Dragon Danced. After that I barely survived its attacks with Butchgal, and was so lucky that an Earthquake missed, as I killed Altaria with three Rock Throws.
That was awful. Passion and Gawjus dead, and my adventure in tatters as I replace them with Flares the Rapidash and Glitz the Castform. On towards Lilycove City, and to what other nightmares? Hopefully I can find something decent in the next few routes, as I doubt my current team really has it in them to go the whole distance.
-Hi Jump Kick
-Hidden Power Ghost