some people may ask "ari, my first question is, why", and my answer to that is: IT'S LIT
the real answer is that i started a plat nuzlocke and didn't finish it in time for the DPPT community run, so i had to choose my next best option. Pearl. my original decision was to do the same thing in plat-- monofire with all the same rules-- and my team would've been infernape, flareon, rapidash, houndoom, magmar (not magmortar since i can't trade), and 1 empty slot for the HM slave, but that's out the door. oh well.
- i can only use fire-type pokemon in battles; bibarel and starly are necessary to progress (woo! hms! yeah!) but will not be used in any battles. -
- set mode. -
- healing items can only be used in battles. -
with all that in mind, let's get to the shitshow.
Part 1: From Twinleaf Town to Eterna City
character creation time! i decide to name myself YYXY, my rival 1/3, and if i had control over it, i would 100% name dawn OEC. (this will be important later!) then i'm doing the standard running around to get out of twinleaf town, and it's at this point i realize that the start is a lot slower than i remembered... blaze through sandgem town, pun intended, and i reach jubilife city. dawn makes a comment about how i should catch more pokemon, to which i wish i could answer: No
locate the clowns, reveal the 4th clown (the guy that uses the poketch to count 3 coupons), then the 5th clown (me, for doing this), tie up loose ends by giving 1/3 his town map and getting my own in return, and we're off to oreburgh city. route 203 is a breeze because of the whole "overleveled started sweeping everything" and chimchar evolves into monferno in the middle of it, learning mach punch along the way. after punching and lighting up everything in oreburgh gate, i've reached oreburgh city, the city of... coal. and lots of dust. with that massive slag pile near the mine's entrance, i'm surprised no one's succumbed to silicosis or something.
let's go to the gym! wait no! barry's there, and he's somehow already beaten the gym leader with his actually usable team (how dare you?) and is now directing me to the mines. oh look, it's roark, and a shit ton of other NPCs that i walk around because i'm impatient and i want to punch the damn rocks. roark shows off by breaking a rock right in front of me, and walks off. i drag my way out of the cave and, after getting my hands dirty digging through the coal pile outside, i discover a nice little bag of stardust, somehow in pristine condition. cool!
gym time. i heal up the punch monkey and, as promised, punch the rocks. geodude and onix fall very quickly to the STAB-boosted mach punch, and cranidos's monstrous attack stat (125) is no match for the power of punching things really fast (ora ora). gym badge number one obtained! with that, roark gives me the TM for stealth rock as if i'm ever going to use it, and i'm off, returning to jubilife city because i can't run fast enough to get up the ramp on route 207.
speaking of route 207, if any of you have played pokemon platinum, you might remember that ponyta, the first fire-type you can get other than chimchar, is obtainable in the grass on that route before you even beat roark. in pearl however, the damn horse is found at route 211, and that's just next to eterna city. monferno's staying alone for a while, unfortunately, until i get up there.
down through route 203 and we're back at jubilife city. hey, who are those weird guys with blue hair? after monologuing for a minute, it's revealed that they're team galactic, and i have to team up with dawn to beat them. after doing literally all the work, the grunts abscond, and dawn and professor rowan leave.
route 204 is, like the start of the game, fairly uneventful. i did notice though that the pair of twins, liv and liz, will refuse to battle you if you only have one pokemon on hand. neat. why does it smell like flowers all of a sudden?
floaroma town, the town of, uh, nothing important. you get the GRACIDEA here, it has a strong connection with both FLOWERS and GRATITUDE, and yet shaymin is encountered in the flower paradise on the other side of the region. lame. after grabbing some berries and the sprayduck, we're heading down route 205, and some kid decides that a 10 year old with a single monkey is her and her dad's savior. a conveniently placed pair of grunts blocks my access to the rest of route 205, so i'm forced to go into the valley windworks and set shit on fire.
the grunts within the windworks are a pushover, and mars falls easily to a combination of setting her bat on fire and punching the cat. not so tough now, are you. team galactic leaves the building and that kid from earlier runs in and bullies her dad (uh oh, stinky), and they both make comments about a balloon pokemon. if this were gen5 and if it had its hidden ability, i'd honestly pick it up at the first opportunity since flare boost is a cool ability and it's fire-related, but unfortunately it is both saturday and a true mono-fire run, so that's not happening.
the rest of route 205 is boring as all fuck, as is eterna forest, EXCEPT. while i was doing this, i was also messing around in the PG room, and i decided to say "what if i punched cheryl's chansey for a shit ton of exp? lol" while fighting a required pair of NPCs and, since no one responded, i punched cheryl's chansey. that was a mistake. not only did it give no exp, but one of the pokemon in the fight got really lucky with a poison sting. this forced my hand into using my first in-battle item of the game, a potion, and after that it was spamming flame wheel and praying. luckily i got out of the fight alive, and cheryl doesn't hate me for beating up her eggmon, so i'm back up to full health instantly.
after setting more bugs on fire, we're out of eterna forest, cheryl thanks me for my service, and now that we're at eterna, i can FINALLY get more teammates for monferno! route 211's right there, and after a stunning 15 minutes of running around in the grass, i find my first ponyta.
for the sake of keeping the nicknames a secret, i'll be referring to my stack of horses as poneyta, ponytwo, ponythree, fournyta, and ponyfive until they evolve and when i finish the game, their true names will be revealed.
poneyta has been obtained! i caught it using a dusk ball some NPC gave me earlier, and let's look at its moves. it has tackle, tail whip, and growl. yuck. another few minutes of running through the grass and i find ponytwo, which is caught in a generic poke ball.
at the time of catching the ponytas, it was almost 1am, and my internet cuts off in some way at midnight, so while i could still access PS and discord since i had both open beforehand, i could not google anything. i pump poneyta up to level 14, sufficiently disappointed at its lack of STAB so far, and at its willingness to die incredibly quickly to a goldeen's horn attack. at 1am on the dot my mom comes in and yells at me for being awake, so i go to bed still highly underwhelmed by poneyta's performance so far.
i wake up the next morning, and my first thought is to check bulbapedia for ponyta's gen4 learnset and, well, holy shit.
in plat, it gets ember at level 10, so if i had played it there, i would already have a STAB move. then at level 15 it joins monferno in having flame wheel, a pretty solid fire-type move that further benefits from ponyta's higher attack stat.
in DP, it gets ember at level 16, and it never gets flame wheel. after that, it doesn't even get a STAB physical move until flare blitz at a staggering level 48.
in short, this fucking SUCKS
back to the grind. neither ponyta has the firepower (pun intended) to handle things on its own, so it's monferno's responsibility to rotate through the battles to give both ponytas enough EXP to hit level 16 and finally get something usable.
at the time of writing this, i'm fighting against the bird trainer with a single level 19 hoothoot on route 211, and it got lucky with hypnosis. poneyta has been asleep for 4 turns now, and just died to a critical peck. ponytwo takes slightly less damage from every peck, but the thing just missed a tackle, and now hoothoot has reflect up. after several turns of doing next to no damage, the bird is now dead, and it wasn't even enough EXP to bring ponytwo to level 14... just down that path is TM12, taunt. it's time to backtrack to the post-forest part of route 205, and talking to the wrong NPC means i have to deal with fisherman andrew and his 6 fucking magikarps. after 7 of poneyta's tackles, 1 missing, i get tired of the pitiful damage output and switch into monferno to wrap this up and put the fish out of their misery. still continually disappointed, i turn around and go back to eterna gym to hopefully kick a plant hard enough to grant one of the ponytas their first STAB move.
the first trainer i had already beat while grinding the day before, so it's on to the second, aroma lady jenna. she leads with budew, and i lead with poneyta, which uses tackle, and misses. sigh. budew retaliates with a water sport, which does literally nothing unless monferno comes out, and i use tackle again (which hits!), met with a stun spore immediately after. alright budew, be that way. miraculously enough, poneyta doesn't succumb to paralysis and drag out the battle, and makes its first actual decent kill! it hits level 15 and gains +3 points to its attack, which should assist in its tacklespamming. jenna sends out another budew, so i use a turn to heal the paralysis with an item i picked up some time ago. this time i use a tail whip instead of straight tackle, and budew #2 uses stun spore yet again. hey, did you know paralysis quarters your speed in gen4?
another turn passes with budew using absorb again, and tackle does a staggering 3/4 of the budew's HP this time, instead of a pathetic 1/3 (roughly). another turn is wasted on water sport, and poneyta racks up its second kill. repeat the process once more for the third budew, and poneyta scores its third kill, just 200 EXP short of a level up. ponytwo is still sitting at a sad level 13, but once poneyta gets ember, it'll be rotation time for the poor horse.
aroma lady number three is named angela, and she has a single turtwig at level 17. the tail whip strategy is tried and true, so i repeat it on turtwig, which does... less than 1/4 of its health. ew. in return, the grass turtle scores a critical hit on poneyta, forcing me to use another potion to keep it alive. it uses razor leaf, surprisingly, hitting me for only 7 damage, allowing me to use growl to dampen its hits a bit. i use another growl/tail whip combo, leaving it at -2 atk + -2 def, and another tackle brings it under half. 2 more and it's dead.
poneyta levels up to 16 and yes! sweet salvation! poneyta finally has a STAB move! even though it's special and pretty shit. one aroma lady left before i get to fight garde-- wait, that's a beauty.
beauty lindsay leads with roselia, and poneyta naturally leads with its newfound firebending skills. 3 hits and it's down, rewarding poneyta with well over 500 EXP, putting it almost halfway over the bar to the next level. back to the pokemon center, and its time for me to fight gardenia.
i can hear you, the reader, about to say "wait, ari, what happened to ponytwo? i thought you were going to grind it up like you did with poneyta?" the answer to that is that i never want to fucking do that again
the grass-type leader starts with a sizable cherubi sitting at level 19, while i lead with the untrained ponytwo. cherubi starts off with a leech seed, while i use tail whip, as is standard at this point. even with the defense drop, tackle hardly does shit, so i switch into poneyta to hit it with a super effective ember. cherubi takes this turn to use growth, bringing its special attack up one stage, and after that it keeps using non-damaging moves for some ungodly reason, safely letting me kill it with 2 more embers. ponytwo levels up, turtwig comes out, and i switch back into ponytwo for that sweet, sweet, gold experience.
turtwig uses withdraw on my dead turn, which i follow up with growl due to my ponyta duo's collective turtwig PTSD, and it returns with... reflect. god damn it. it then uses grass knot, rendering my growl useless, so poneyta comes back in with a set of sharp leaves immediately coming after it. ember hits for a bit under half, and by some miracle scores the burn. a second ember brings it down to the red, with burn damage just coming short of knocking it out. gardenia unsurprisingly uses a super potion, bringing it back up to full health, but what do you know, it's still burned.
repeating the process yet again puts it at a sliver of health. i switch back into ponytwo so it dies while ponytwo is on the field and it can get the extra EXP from roserade coming right after. a switch into monferno, and roserade's magical leaf does nearly a quarter of monferno's health! a single flame wheel from monferno is enough to kill roserade though, with ponytwo hitting 15, and monferno itself being millimeters away (21 EXP) from level 24. with that, gardenia awards me the forest badge and the TM86-- grass knot. hey, monferno can learn that one!
if you'll remember, earlier i mentioned the DPPT community run, and the checkpoint for this week ends at gardenia's gym. the galactic building is blocked off until the next week starts (aka... tomorrow), so the post ends here.
The Team So Far:
Poneyta | Level 17 | Brave | Flash Fire | Tackle, Growl, Tail Whip, Ember
Ponytwo | Level 15 | Hasty | Flash Fire | Tackle, Growl, Tail Whip
Monferno | Level 23 | Quirky | Blaze | Rock Smash, Mach Punch, Flame Wheel, Taunt