Enemy Mon Hall of Fame

Perhaps I misinterpreted your point (C) “maturing with a rose tinted view of Sinnoh” after playing Platinum. Based on this wording and in the context of battling Cynthia I immediately lept to the conclusion you were arguing Platinum Cynthia was the “rosier” (read: easier) version of the fight. I hear this argument a lot since she’s lower leveled in Platinum than DP.

If I misinterpreted that, that’s my mistake I apologize.
Right. When I say "rose-tinted view of the whole Sinnoh experience," I'm referring to kids weaned on Platinum who fail to recognize how mediocre the base DP adventure really was. Never mind the technical issues. These are the same fans who overhype Garchomp based on its Platinum iteration and think Cynthia is the coolest champ ever, even though both of them were resoundingly unimpressive in their debut games. I'll stop there, lest we derail the thread, but I'd like to clarify that I'm in agreement with you: Cynthia's Garchomp (especially the DP version) is not the mind-breaking juggernaut the internet would have us believe it is.

To wrap up this post, I'll add to the thread by drawing attention to another FRLG Cerulean Cave encounter.

I have a very specific memory of wild Electrode (Lv. 61-64) surviving my prized Alakazam's Psychic and ruining my day with Mirror Coat. At this level, the speed demon also has Explosion. It's a minor horror compared to many others in this thread, but it deserves mention for having not one but two "gotcha" moves.

Speaking of, I could make a whole post for PMD encounters. For example, all wild Politoed in the Gen 3-4 games are guaranteed to come equipped with Perish Song. There are a lot of things that are just quirky in the main series but agonizing in the context of PMD.
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I actually remember having problems against DP Garchomp due to the dumb AI, since I couldn't bait the Giga Impact on my Empoleon so that it could 2HKO back (fsr Choice Specs Ice Beam failed to OHKO, probably a combination of awful IVs and low level since my Timid penguin actually had higher Defense than Special Attack). I guess bad AI works both ways, lol.
One thing to remember is that thanks to OG DP’s levels spiking at the end, by the time you face Cynthia your team is probably significantly under-leveled unless you went out of your way to grind, and I doubt many kids playing Sinnoh’s original outing in 2006-7 had the foresight to before they first set foot in the League. Lacking EVs, random AI, or 4x super-effective moves doesn’t mean a whole lot when there’s, say, a 10-level or more gap between you and that Garchomp, and that’s probably why everyone’s so scarred for life by the OG Cynthia fight.

Tho I haven’t heard much discussion over whether the Platinum or BDSP versions of Cynthia’s Garchomp ought to qualify. The level difference is smoothed out a bit and the AI has improved AFAIK (dunno about the EV issues, but that’s probably fixed too), making for a more fair challenge.

thank u for coming to my ted talk please sign my geustbook

The Mind Electric

Calming if you look at it right.
That Garchomp has near-minimum Atk in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. It has a -Atk nature and 0 EVs. It couldn't hit much softer if it tried.
Ah, perhaps I should have clarified that I'm mostly talking about Platinum Cynthia, where the Garchomp has lost some levels but benefits from the AI buffs mentioned by Wukong. Also, while it certainly isn't nearly as strong as it could be and has definite weaknesses to exploit, it's still a Garchomp? A ludicrously busted pseudo-legendary? At a level the player almost certainly won't be able to meet with their experience spread across a full team of six without major grinding? I agree that it's not an impossible wall, but it's undeniably a very iconic and revered Pokémon among the wider Pokémon fanbase (the main reason I brought it up and was surprised to not see it mentioned already), and that didn't come from nowhere. This thing is very much capable of flattening people who don't know it's coming up and haven't made preparations for it.

Perhaps I'm going against the standards of other people in this thread by including a Pokémon that I know to be exploitable by a savvy player in my post, but the OP is open-ended about what constitutes a personal hall of fame entry, and for this particular entry I was primarily considering how iconic and brutal the Garchomp is in the eyes of many players and not so much how difficult it actually is to deal with for the experienced or knowledgeable player.
the games' blandest champion
This is a bold claim to make when Lance was already two generations old by this point in the series.
carefully bubblewrapped for the player's safety
Putting bubble wrap on a saw blade doesn't do much for the safety of people who don't already know how to safely handle one. You either know how to handle it and are fine, or you don't and you get hurt. Same principle. Most of the people who talk about how the Garchomp was hard for them as a kid/on their first run probably would have struggled with it the same regardless of how strong it was relative to how strong it could be, because they hadn't yet been in such a situation.
Any kids who claim to have been "scarred" by this fight (A) got unlucky with a -Def nature or a critical hit, (B) committed to something reckless like trading their ace, or (C) started with Platinum and matured with a rose-tinted view of the whole Sinnoh experience.
I mean, yeah, kids and new players aren't very good at Pokémon. I've already talked about my reasoning where the Garchomp's perception compared to its actual difficulty is concerned, but bringing rose-tinted views into this is interesting. Does nostalgia for something lead to people being hyperbolic about that thing's qualities? Absolutely, but I've been operating under the assumption that everyone reading this is aware that my usage of the word "scarred" is hyperbole. Nobody's literally been scarred by this Garchomp; nobody's going to therapy because their Infernape got deleted by Earthquake. Doesn't mean it didn't/can't leave a lasting impression without nostalgia, which I think it has. I mean, I'm here talking about it, and Sinnoh is the region on the DS for which I have the least nostalgia.
Yes, I am being a bitter old snob.
Don't worry, I figured that out.

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