Let's Play! Merritt Gets Smacked About by Pokemon Vega [COMPLETE]

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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One of the most classic openings to any Pokemon game. A charge through the grass, coming upon the scene of a Gengar and Nidorino dueling. Whether you've watched the anime, played the original games or only played the remakes, odds are you know how this scene goes.



uhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Welcome to Pokemon Vega! This is a romhack of Pokemon Firered and widely regarded as one of the "hard" romhacks. It features its own region, characters, moves, and even Pokemon, alongside some familiar faces. Personally it's one of my favorites, and I'm thrilled to have a chance to share it.

Before we get started, this is largely going to focus on the gameplay, mostly because that's the most notable part. I won't completely neglect the story, but it's not outstanding and there's a lot of text I don't really want to get bogged down in.

Let's jump into it, shall we?

The game opens as normal, with the usual FRLG adventure tips screens, before we get into Oak's spiel.



This is Not!Oak. He claims his name is Holly but he's unimportant.



Oh hello you're a new face. We'll be seeing more of you later on in this post. This is one of my favorite fakemons Vega has, it's like an Ice type Ralts.



That'd be me! (Personally I like the female character design better but neither are bad like so often happens with romhack original designs)



He is the paperboy. He is also a ranger-wannabe, hence his jacket.

And after that we get to hop right into things, like you do in Pokemon.



And this would be the overworld sprite. Much like the detailed one, we are a Rad Dude so we wear our hat backwards. Heading downstairs Mom ambushes us, steals our shoes, and forces us into running shoes. Compared to vanilla Gen 3 this is rather nice.



Oh hey mom's not single although she certainly doesn't have a bed still. Eh, dad can wait, let's watch some TV.



[filled with water.]

Yes, this is a reference to Pokemon Heroes. Vega and its prequels have a lot of movie references.

After the movie, we head outside since we might as well see if we can get a Pokemon when we visit dad at the lab.



We get to that rock and then Not!Oak runs up, grabs us by the arm, and drags us to his dungeon lab. We're apparently late or something since there's already quite a group there. PAPER's in and there's some dude in a very fancy hat.



So yeah Hoenn's gone or something. Rayquaza couldn't mega evolve because this was before Gen 6 came out so the meteors won. Not!Oak hands us a Pokedex and sends us forth to survey all the new Pokemon.



sure

He then heads out after Not!Oak gives PAPER a delivery mission and says that he'll give both of us Pokemon. Mosmero does not need a Pokemon, he will be fine.

As is tradition for rivals not named Hau, we get to pick our starter first.



So these are the three starters. Nimbleaf is a pure Grass who evolves to become a Grass/Flying type, Peyero is pure Fire who evolves to become Fire/Steel. and Liquiput is a pure Water who evolves to become Water/Poison.

Statwise Not!Oak isn't lying. Final stats for Nimbleaf are 76/91/75/103/75/115, Peyero becomes a 70/78/112/82/108/80, and Liquiput ends up as 100/80/85/110/90/60. They're all decent statwise honestly, especially considering Vega's move edits.

Liquiput is far and away the best starter and makes the game significantly easier. Peyero has a somewhat harder earlygame, but is still fairly good overall. Nimbleaf is the worst starter, as is tradition for Grass types. I asked Discord to choose one for me to use.



what a shock

PAPER grabs Peyero in response.



Name is suggested by Altissimo



Rash is a fairly good nature, Nimbleaf gets a bunch of special moves and has a good physical pool too. You might notice something... unusual on the second screen. That's not Overgrowth. All the starters have a chance at getting their second ability; Nimbleaf has Thick Fat, Liquiput has Liquid Ooze, and Peyero has Clear Body. I did, in fact, reset a couple times for this ability because it is very good and Vega can be unforgiving.

Nimbleaf's base stats: 42/53/40/63/40/70, comes with Scratch and Tail Whip.




It is Firered base after all.

He uses Peyero, who has 40/41/70/41/70/51 base stats, Tackle (which has been buffed to 40/100), and Leer. This makes this rather difficult. If PAPER hadn't gone for Leer instead of KOing Aisha then that'd be a level missed out on.

Afterwards we're on our way, ready to go out into the world with our little leaf lizard of doom.



This would be the world map. We're actually starting right in the middle of the region, rather than the usual distant corner. It's a nice change.

Incidentally, that island at the top right is not the League. The league's down in the bottom left.

Town's got three exits, North, South, and East.



South's a no-go for now.



North is no better, so East it is! Immediately there's some avoidable grass, a nice little house, and a trainer.



Because Not!Oak is a rude man, he did not give us free Pokeballs. This is where you get 5 free Pokeballs. Do not skip this house. You want those balls.

I then accidentally walk into the line of sight of the trainer directly to the east of the house and fight a dude with two Level 4 Taillow. At level 4 Taillow's got Growl and Peck.



Things go slightly better than expected. Back to mom for healing, and then maybe we can catch some stuff.



:D

This is Glachild. It's a pure Ice type, line is all female. Base stats are 45/30/35/65/50/55. Evolves at level 20 and then again at level 30. Alternate ability could be Clear Body, which is probably a little better but this is fine. It starts out with Pound, gets Charm at level 4, and Powder Snow at level 8.



And the other common encounter on Route 501, Taillow. It's got a couple new toys, and it's Taillow. It's good. We're going to do a little grinding here because there's something that I'd like another special attack for.



Perfect.

During the course of grinding, I encounter the rare encounter of Route 501, Pineco. I don't catch it because I'm out of balls, but I'm going to want at least one later.



We keep moving on, beating up the many trainers who are all around level 4ish, and learn a new move for Aisha.



Which is a good chance to bring up that Vega has a working Physical/Special split. Indicated in the first line of the description there, it's really nice because there's a lot of interesting new moves which offer really nice coverage.



Heading out of Route 501, we make an instant transition to Route 502, which has pretty much the same two mons as Route 501. Two notable things on this route.



This is the first, a random man offers Flash to us.



This would be the second. Yes, these both have Poison Point. It's rather unpleasant if you're going in blind because you're pretty far away from any way to heal that. Here it's no issue, Gust and Powder Snow take them out immediately.



This gate does not lead directly to the town. It is, however, important. Town's nearby, just right through that trainer and grass.



Oh boy here we are. There's a few points of interest here.




Roadblocks, a block of gold, and buying as many potions as I can carry. I'm gonna need em.

Not shown: a trade offer for the rare encounter on route 502 Togepi for his shiny Hoothoot. It's actually somewhat useful against the leader as long as you don't accidentally make it disobedient but I'm not going to go for it.



We've also got this boy with his Pikachu. I'm sure he's excited for his Raic-



oh


Anyways, as you might have seen from the girl blocking the gym, we've got to go back to that little gate on Route 502 and fight some trainers who are hanging out upstairs. We've been fighting level 6 at highest from trainers, so it shouldn't be too bad.



The instant we walk upstairs we're ambushed. Vega likes ambushes, this is just the first notable one of many.

Oh yeah and remember how I said that trainers were level 6 at most?



Each of them have multiple mons, and every single one of them have an Oran Berry and moves you can only get by breeding. Case in point:



(that's level 13 don't mind the yn prompt - I learned it ofc)

After beating up the three in immediate succession with no break, we're finally able to head back to the gym.



The gym has flowers that are actually warp tiles - step on em and you go flying. No matter which ones you step on though, none of them take you to the leader. It's very annoying.



This is never hinted at by anybody. You just have to know that this window has a button in it. And by pressing the button...



The teleport flowers will bring you to the leader.

I'm not going to fight her now because she'd absolutely destroy me - remember how we just had to fight some level 9 mons with Oran Berries which were vaguely difficult? Here's the set of the leader's ace.

Shuckle @ Sitrus Berry L15: Curse/Rock Tomb/Bulldoze/Big Yawn

Shuckle is Shuckle and Big Yawn is a 100 acc sleep inducing move. That's right. This is a Curse Shuckle with Spore. This is a 505 BST Pokemon with a setup move, pseudo edgequake coverage (Rock Tomb has 90 acc btw), and a Sitrus Berry.

We're gonna need to train a bit more, and take her on next update.

but a bit of a preview



Feel free to offer suggestions for team members or other comments.
 
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i havent actually seen the english translation before (all the runs i read along with were before the translation came out) so this will be fun!!
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
Altissimo: I normally play on a barely translated patch too, just has some names loosely translated. It does leave me a little off sometimes - for example that patch calls the 100 acc sleep move Shuckle has "Big Yawn" but this one calls it "Deep Yawn"


Last time we left off, we were going to do some grinding before fighting the gym leader so that she wouldn't absolutely destroy us. Let's do a quick recap of what's happened.



Went out and bought some balls and caught a Pineco, named it ack. ack joined in on the training session that everybody had to do and got some moves.



In order: rather useful, decent but the attack raising chance is only like 10% and can't activate every hit, and Take Down's not really worth it.



Also caught the rare encounter of Route 502, Togepi.



Twice. Joe gets to stick around, ceya not quite so much. Remember how last update I mentioned a trade for a Togepi and how I wasn't going to do it? I lied, we're going to grab it as backup.



Like I said, shiny Hoothoot. Nothing particularly special about it otherwise, and it's Hoothoot.



Comes with an Oran Berry, but the big thing is Insomnia. Remember Big Yawn? Hooth can make that a non-factor and, while it is weak to Rock Tomb, Growl lets you stall it out with Potion support. Shuckle can't even Curse up fast enough to outdamage Potions, so Hooth is a way to beat the Shuckle if you're willing to take an age. Also keep in mind that taking Hooth above Level 10 will make it disobedient so don't do that.



And the results of way too much grinding. You might notice that Aisha is level 15 instead of 16, where he'd be able to evolve. If you're following along at home you should evolve, but I wanted to show that it could be done without evolution and it totally wasn't worth it.



hello again



She is correct, like pretty much all of Vega's leaders she is a huge step above pretty much everything before and for a decent while after her.

Let's take a look at what we're up against.

Pineco @ Oran Berry L13: Signal Beam/Double Spin/Spikes/Self Destruct
Rollder @ Oran Berry L14: Rollout/Rock Throw/Steamroller/Defense Curl
Shuckle @ Sitrus Berry L15: Curse/Rock Tomb/Bulldoze/Big Yawn

Pineco is small fry. Signal Beam does nothing, Double Spin isn't too strong, and Spikes, while annoying, aren't overly bad. This would be why I got Taillow up to Glide though; we don't want too many spikes to get up and Taillow isn't essential so it can eat and be KOed by Self Destruct if Pineco's feeling explosive.

Rollder is a 30/60/70/40/55/60 Rock/Bug type. It is definitely the second most problematic element on this team - Rollout can cause a clean sweep with ease. It's also very bulky, so 2HKOing it isn't in the cards.

Shuckle I talked about last time. If it decides to spam Deep Yawn then I'm going to be in trouble since that lets it set up and I won't be able to stop it easily. Fortunately the AI isn't overly in love with Deep Yawn so there's a decent chance I can avoid it.



Let's go.



Glide doesn't manage to OHKO, so Pineco gets up that layer of spikes. A second one takes it down easily and Rollder is up next. We're going to switch to coco, which might seem suicidal considering its two Rock type STAB moves and Glachild's poor physical bulk.



Man I love Glachild. This instantly takes Rollder's threat level from an 8 to a 4 - it can still be really dangerous if Rollouts start piling up but it's no longer "KO everything" deadly.

coco fires off a couple Powder Snows as Rollder uses Defense Curl and Rock Throw twice. Powder Snow takes Rollder down quite a bit and has Annette waste both her Potions on Rollder, fortunately. The second Rock Throw puts her in the red and I switch to Joe the Togepi for some death fodder since coco's job isn't done yet.



This hurts quite a bit, but a second Gust takes down Rollder and in comes the big boy.



coco comes back out to Charm, and as Shuckle uses Curse I decide to throw up Hail on a whim, looking to get some extra chip on. I need that Sitrus Berry gone, since with both of Annette's Potions used, that's the only recovery this thing has. Bulldoze takes out coco, and some hail chipping starts.



ack comes in, misses Double Spin twice, eats two Rock Tombs to the face, and then blows herself up with a critical Self Destruct. This barely knocks Shuckle into the orange, making it eat its Sitrus Berry.

Current status - Shuckle is at -1 Atk, +1 Def, -1 Spe and has eaten its Sitrus Berry. On my side coco, ack, and Joe are all down, Aisha is at about 60% after the Steamroller, and oh. and Hooth are at full.

Aisha is up, and with the power of 3 Potions, Tail Whip, Razor Leaf, and the absolutely insane luck of Shuckle never using Deep Yawn...



We are not forced to use the backup strat of Hooth.

in another timeline...



i did this for about 25 turns at which point Shuckle ran out of Rock Tomb PP and victory was pretty much assured so i stopped. this is a very valid strategy, it's just unfun.



Spoils of war: Obtained. Signal Beam is neat, but there's better stuff out there. It's definitely not a bad TM though.

We step outside, team bleeding in multiple places and the sweet taste of victory in the air.



[in regards to how "fast" MERRITT got the badge]

please don't fight me what are you DOING here



of course you did.

Mosmero gets a phone call which, being right there and all and Mosmero not being a quiet person, we listen in on. Well maybe, I'm not really paying attention.



I'm sure there's nothing important in his call.

Mosmero says that he got a prank call and sprints away after talking about his failing marriage. Meanwhile we limp up to the Pokemon Center to treat our wounds and prepare for the next stretch of the game.



Which in this case means saying goodbye to a couple teammates.

Hooth is not coming back. Hoothoot is terrible and it will not obey me until after I get the next badge and it's Hoothoot it's awful.

Joe the Togepi might come back if there's significant demand, but Togepi's not fantastic and while Togekiss is good (especially since Joe's got Serene Grace) I need a Sun Stone for that and Togepi and Togetic are both not very good and unpleasant to grind. I probably won't ever see Joe again except when shoving stuff in the boxes, but that's ok.



With Annette taken down and badge obtained, the way south to route 503 is clear.



The wilds have stepped up their game somewhat, and these are interesting options. Houndour's kind of mediocre, but Nidoking's got a ton of fantastic coverage options from TMs later on. I'm not planning on using either, but I could come back for NidoranM.



The trainers have not stepped up their game. The average level of the ABSURD NUMBER of trainers on the next routes is 8. The one gym trainer in Annette's place was 10, and remember that Annette herself ranged from 13-15. These are a complete joke.

Also on this route are Pineco, and I do want to grab another one of them for a tough battle later on. Unlike the ones on Route 502, these Pineco are a little higher leveled so-



AAAAAAAAAAAA



oh never mind then (I do in fact catch one and name it doubt)



Continuing down the route, we see the lovechild of Cyrus and Lysandre, monologuing into his phone about the first Pokemon movie and all but wearing a neon sign that says I AM A BAD PERSON

He shoves past us and walks away.



[MERRITT found a TM03 Spikes]

This will not be helpful.

There are a lot of trainers on this route. Somewhere around 10-15 on the relatively short path to a cave alone. They give a good amount of money and EXP at least.



Enough for two new moves (one of which is skipped) and for Aisha to get to level 16. And we all know what (usually) happens with level 16 starters...



Parsleaf, aside from being absolutely massive, remains a pure Grass type. Base stats are 56/70/52/80/52/95. It's a step up in power and much appreciated.



While still underwhelming, a few of the trainers do have a new face. Mintch is the regional bird, a Normal/Flying type that evolves into a Psychic/Flying type. Stats are 35/50/55/60/55/75. It's honestly relatively good, evolves early and its evolution has high stats for earlygame. It falls off pretty hard later though.



After beating up trainers and stealing their money, we get to this hole in the ground.



Sure, whatever you say. It's fairly similar to Diglett's cave, with a small antechamber leading to a ladder and a friendly hiker dude.



snicker

Anyways, this is Wiseman's Cave. There's a bunch of new stuff to catch here, some better than others.




Diglett and Tyrogue are Diglett and Tyrogue, nothing too special. Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee are decent honestly, but Tyrogue has a kind of low catch rate and is a pain to train. I'm gonna skip both.

Rollder was covered earlier, but I'll talk about its evolution a bit. It evolves at level 25 into this horrifying Rock/Steel monstrosity with 45/100/110/60/75/80 stats. It's not terrible, those stats are really good for its evolution time, but it's at a horrible disadvantage against the next couple gyms and by the time you're done with those it's not as overwhelming statwise. It's not the worst thing ever but it's not really worth catching imo.

Rynos is a pure Ground type mon with 60/60/71/50/55/29 base stats, Intimidate or Lightningrod as its ability (you want Intimidate), and evolves at level 40 into a Steel/Ground type with 85/100/111/75/80/39 bases. It's honestly fairly good, gets some powerful moves early, but midgame can struggle a bit. I grabbed one.



Intimidate utility is always helpful at least. Not sure if she's gonna stick around though.



Oh boy. This is the evil team of the game, and they're honestly not too shabby. The grunts are worthless, but their admin battles are around the same difficulty as the gyms.



Here's the male and female sprites. They're not a mess, although the male outfit is incredibly silly.



As if to make up for his outfit, male grunt uses this thing.

Cupricorn is an absolutely adorable pure Steel type goat who evolves twice to become terrifying, both in design and in stats. Its base stats are 40/80/60/40/30/30.



Anyways, Wiseman's Cave, aside from being filled with DH grunts, has these things which are clearly holes but, much like the flowers in Annette's gym, are actually teleporters.



You have to use them to solve a "puzzle" that makes that rock just kind of vanish into thin air. Also look it's paperboy.



PAPER looks like he might be in a bit of a pickle.



what a good delivery boy

Saying no doesn't do anything except let you rearrange your party, so in we go. This isn't actually a mixed battle of 2v2, we each take a guy. This one's a step up from the other grunts, his pokemon are a few levels higher (though still below the gym leader) and have TM moves.



He also has this thing, which knows Ominous Wind. It gets a boost the first time it uses it and threatens to sweep.

Oh yeah, Willisp data. Willisp's a pure Fire type with either Levitate or Flame Body, stats are 60/40/45/60/70/55. It can evolve with a Fire Stone, and learns several Ghost type moves by level up and TM/Tutor. It's mostly notable for still learning a bunch of level up moves after its stone evolution.

After it takes down Aisha with its boosted stats and Ember, I have to have ack use Self Destruct on it. Fortunately it goes for Ominous Wind instead of Ember, and it goes down only having taken two members of my team. I'm hurting quite a bit though, and it's a long way back to the Pokemon Center.



And this is the other end of the tunnel. Root Fossil is Lileep, we'll get a chance to revive it later. Let's just get to the next town first though.



Screw you too Vega. (he is very easy)

There's a ton of trainers on the two routes left before we get to the next town. I avoid as many as possible, but a couple things along the way.



First is Mosmero chasing this poor DH grunt around a sign as if they're roleplaying Mr Briney and Peeko. The DH grunt is not happy to be involved, and flees with Mosmero in hot pursuit. Pray for him.



The second is this trainer using a Cherubi knock off. Jamberree is a 40/25/38/60/42/65 Grass type who evolves into something with very high Special Attack and Speed fairly early. Its evolution is actually fairly similar to Lilligant, in that it gets nearly no moves that aren't Grass type, but it evolves by level rather than stone.



Second route and last one before the town.



He is a lifesaver, although I wish he was closer to the cave. This is likely where I'll be grinding when I inevitably want to.



And we're in.

That's where I'm going to close this update, next time we have a Flash maze, a gym leader with Pokemon 10 levels higher than his gym trainers, and maybe a few new catches. One question for you all, Cupricorn (goatmon) is available on the routes I just went though. Should I catch one? It's a decent mon, so it'd be something that could stick around long term, although I wasn't necessarily planning on grabbing one. If you're interested in seeing me use it then let me know. Also let me know whether or not you're interested in seeing Rynos stick around long term.
 
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Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
While waiting for the next round of seasonals, here's said Flash Maze and Gym 2 in a same day update. This pace will not continue.

Ryolain: your sentiment was repeated when I asked in a discord chat, and so goats are in, rhinos that evolve into dinosaurs are out


Last time we had finally gotten to another town and so obviously the first thing to do is look around, see what's going on. There's what looks like a lab here, maybe we can get a Lileep?



Dang. What else?



Yes please. This is a very good move and a bunch of unexpected stuff can learn this. Forretress is just one example. We'll be holding onto this very carefully.



I- I mean I guess so? Is this some sort of 'two kids in a trenchcoat' deal? Either way, we're not getting through.



Taking a peak inside the gym you can clearly see somebody hiding behind it. Looks like a DH grunt, let's go say hi.



not a soul



And last and possibly least we've got PAPER blocking the entrance to the Flash mansion. We'll be back for him in a bit. We're heading back north to do a couple errands.

A couple people have spoken and...



Welcome to the party. lucy's going to be staying for a good while, and we're going to be training her up immediately.



We also find a rare encounter Pichu who, believe it or not, I very much want. Brave nature, while not outstanding, is fine. We hand her the Soothe Bell that's just lying on the ground on Route 505 and then head back to town to fight PAPER.



im shocked. Let's do this, he should be a big step up from the other trainers we've been fighting.



...

Ok yes he's better than the trainers but this is not a step in the right direction for preparing for the brutal second gym PAPER what is wrong with you? You've lost speaking privileges.



ok fine you can talk

He says something about a statue with a piece of paper on it, maze inside, couldn't see a thing, blah blah blah before running off. It's PAPER, we'll be fine.



Well that is pretty dark.



Much better. I would not advise attempting to get through this place without Flash, it's very big and very easy to get lost in. It borrows the falling down mechanic from Kanto's Cinnabar Mansion at one point too.

There's 4 Pokemon in here, two of which are very rare (one of them only appearing on the top floor too). They're both single stage Psychic types with high stats for this point in the game, they're possibly worth getting if you can stand the common encounter. I don't encounter either of the rare mons, but I do see the common and uncommon encounters.



Willisp is the same as before, just catchable now. A Flame Body one would be helpful for the upcoming gym, since it cripples one of the more problematic mons.

Clotaku is the common encounter. And by common encounter I mean it's goddamn everywhere you can't go 6 steps without tripping over one of them.

Clotaku is a pure Poison type, with 75/60/60/60/60/80 base stats. It evolves twice, into a pure Dark type mon and then into a pure Ghost type, each of them have mostly different level up learnsets where they get offensive moves of their type. The family is notable for two things - getting Deep Yawn (aka Spore) at level 29 and retaining their 395 BST in all three stages, just redistributing it around. Clotaku is the fastest one. I wouldn't particularly recommend them honestly.

Clotaku is annoying because it's fairly fast and has Poison Gas, which can be a huge pain when trying to get through. Fortunately Cupricorn is a Steel type so absolutely no worries there.



lucy learns this and because I'm an absolute idiot I overwrite Horn Attack instead of Focus Energy. That's unfortunate, and my last save was further back than I want to go. We'll make do.



Looting the place takes my mind off that. TM09 is Rock Slide which is obviously a pretty good move. Much like Leech Seed, we'll be holding onto this for a bit. The Super Potion is the only one you can get before the second gym, so we don't want to go wasting it. Potions don't have quite the same kick at level 20.



And this would be the statue that PAPER mentioned. If you talk to it from the front you get nothing, but if you talk to it from the back...



Bingo bango bongo we're out. Clotaku give terrible exp, so we're better off training next to healing man on Route 505.



During training there's both some new moves (not learned, not learned, and learned in that order)




And some new evolutions.

Hornikel remains a pure Steel type, loses about 70% cuteness, and gains 55/105/80/60/50/40 base stats. YMMV on whether or not that's a fair trade. She's not done evolving yet, but the next one is a decent bit off.

Maidawn is the Kirlia to Glachild's Ralts but happily has much better stats than Kirlia, with 60/50/55/95/65/70 base stats. She next evolves at level 30 but we'll be holding off on that until level 35 so that she can learn Ice Beam.



And with training done, we're ready to take on the gym leader. Don't doubt doubt's level, we'll be fine.
(it wasn't I should have done some more grinding)



This gym's gimmick is that Diglett block your way until you talk to them. There's also a few trainers in the gym, who all use Ground types.



This would be the strongest gym trainer. They're not an issue, but look at the level. Just like last gym, we're about 5 levels over the strongest wilds.

Finally, after navigating the Diglett, we're at the leader.



While Annette did not lie about the fact that she used Bug types and that they'd wreck your shit, Geoff is very much a liar who is lying right now.

Let's take a look at his team.

Rhyhorn @ Oran Berry L21: Rock Slide/Mud Bomb/Fire Fang/Thunder Fang
Hitmonchan @ Quick Claw L23: Shadow Punch/Mach Punch/ThunderPunch/PsychicPunch
Dugtrio @ Sitrus Berry L24: Aerial Ace/Burrow/Rock Slide/Night Slash

Rhyhorn is by far the easiest member of his team, especially if you picked the water or grass starter. It's tricky if you want to do any kind of setup on though, Rock Slide hits pretty hard and anything that tries to set up that isn't weak to Rock Slide has to deal with Mud Bomb potentially lowering accuracy. Rhyhorn's definitely the easiest but it's still nasty and not at all passive.

Hitmonchan has perfect coverage against everything you can obtain up to this point, there is nothing obtainable yet that will wall it even remotely. Thunderpunch does a massive amount to the Taillow and Mintch lines, and it has a Quick Claw to cheese them out. It's also way overleveled so taking it down easily is nearly impossible. Psycho Punch is a Psychic type elemental punch, has a chance to confuse.

Dugtrio is about as scary as Hitmonchan. Burrow is a 75 BP 90 acc Ground type move with a chance to lower the opponent's speed two stages. It's got Aerial Ace for the Grass starter, and Burrow/Rock Slide for basically everything else. Night Slash is just icing on the cake as a 100 acc move so it doesn't have to risk Burrow or Rock Slide missing. It's not as bulky as Hitmonchan or Rhyhorn fortunately but it's bulky enough due to sheer number of levels.



Let's jam.



Things go wrong basically immediately. Razor Leaf barely misses the OHKO, and Rock Slide does a massive amount back. Dugtrio's coming in and Aisha is in no shape to take an Aerial Ace.



Sorry lucy. During this turn I give Aisha the Super Potion, and lucy just drops to Burrow.



This is in the middle of getting hit by Aerial Ace, Aisha was at full. This takes Aisha down to 19 HP, and I vaguely wish I had Overgrow. Razor Leaf doesn't KO Dugtrio, but it does break Sitrus Berry and leave it at not quite full. A second Aerial Ace takes down Aisha and I send out coco, expecting that Dugtrio's about to sweep my team.



Amazingly coco lives Rock Slide with 5 HP, Powder Snow does slightly over half, and coco's newly learned Ice Shard takes down Dugtrio. It's completely unexpected, and suddenly we're back in this. coco's done though, Mach Punch will take her out easily.



heh



Both doubt and ack get off their Self Destructs, taking Hitmonchan down to very little HP left. oh. comes in to clean up, and then Geoff tosses a Super Potion at Hitmonchan. Wing Attack does a little less than half and Thunderpunch is going to fry oh. I definitely should have ground a little more, on the Pineco bros, on Aisha, on oh., pretty much anybody.



I got bailed out. I didn't deserve to win that.



I sure am happy that I did get bailed out though. Lesson learned - no more skimping on grinding. Bring em up to the right level, not the easy level. Grinding is awful since wilds are so low leveled compared to the leader but that's ok.



your town has much better tms than you have

With Geoff down, we can keep moving onwards, there's some exciting things in the next couple routes. Somebody leaves the team, somebody else joins, we've got two of the hardest major battles coming up (yes harder than this and the last gym).



but uh first i think i'm gonna go to the center
 
Last edited:

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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Note: I've put the updates in hide tags so that the page loads a bit better.

So first things first, we're off to the center to heal and switch up the party.



ack and doubt have served well enough, but they're not going to go any further. Pineco and Forretress aren't particularly good, and is somewhat of a pain to grind and we'll be grinding a lot. Their two slots are partially filled by masuls the Pichu and a new recruit once we get out of town.



As for getting out of town, the Dugtrio has not left with our victory over the gym. We're going to need to head over to the museum to get it gone.



It's a Pewter Museum clone aside from the uh



Well the obvious. These are just statues and don't do anything, but it's still a bit of a shock to see Dialga staring at you when you walk in the door.



Ground floor's got a couple fossils, the Aerodactyl we know and love and a new one. It's nice that the developers went to the effort to make a fossil, the actual Pokemon's sprite doesn't display any of its bones.



On the second floor is this man, who we hand the letter from the Flash mansion to. He offers to help pay us back by getting rid of the Dugtrio, and sends us to grab his ranger friend from Route 505.



His ranger friend is our healing buddy from last update. He's the best.



He captures the Dugtrio with his styler and it walks away still in a single file. We're done with this town and never rarely need to come back!



The trainers on the next route have clearly not beaten either of the two gyms we've fought. Like the previous routes, they're a pushover but there's a ton of them just hanging around.



Since oh. was just a level away from evolution after the last gym she finally gets to become a Swellow. This is something that definitely should have happened before fighting the last gym but it's still nice to see. Taillow's been lagging behind just a tad, this will keep oh. relevant.



Early into Route 506 there's a random house with this lady inside handing out Itemfinders. There are essential items that are just hidden on the ground so this is kind of important to grab.



We put it to use immediately (not really I remembered both of these).



Jamberree appears on this route, along with Hoothoot. Jamberree is actually rather useful for the next gym, but it's redundant with Parsleaf and I'm not a huge fan of the evolution's design.



Partway through the road to the next town, we make a sudden jump from Route 506 to Route 519. There's a couple notable things on this route, one of which is this wonderful thing known as Velvelt.

Velvelt's a pure Normal type with 60/70/50/35/40/50 base stats and either Intimidate or Inner Focus. While those might seem underwhelming, it evolves at level 35 into a Normal/Fighting type with 95/120/80/50/60/90 base stats, which is pretty damn good. Velvelt gets Swords Dance very early and Drain Punch right before evolution, turning it into an absolute monster. I'm also a huge fan of the design, the slightly creepy patchwork teddy bear just does it for me.



I grab an Intimidate one. Gentle's not a bad nature, not a great one but it's fine. Comes with Karate Chop, Lick, Charm, and Dig (which is 80 BP).



Also on this route is the Daycare. There's a lot of really good egg moves that Pokemon get. I'll be thinking about whether or not I'm actually going to breed for some good egg moves - we may or may not come back to this. Because I do want the EVs I'll be grinding manually though.



One of the trainers here uses this - it's the rare encounter from the top floor of the Flash mansion. Lassprit is a Ghost/Psychic type with 60/65/75/115/90/50 base stats who doesn't evolve. It's got very good Special Attack for this point in the game and has access to a ton of good special moves, but the 4x weakness to Dark and Ghost and the low speed are pretty crippling. death takes this one out easily with non-STAB Lick.



Route 519 has two exits, one to the north which is blocked by a Rock Smash boulder and south towards the next town and our destination.



Before exploring the town, we can go to the south exit and explore part of Route 520 before being stopped. Psycolt's a pure Psychic type that has a split evolution depending on whether you give it a Sun Stone or a Moon Stone.

Psycolt has 55/70/45/75/40/65 base stats and Run Away/Early Bird as abilities. Its Moon Stone evolution is a Psychic/Flying type with 90/84/69/109/71/72 base stats and Run Away/Natural Cure as abilities. Its Sun Stone evolution is a Psychic/Steel type with 70/104/76/89/61/95 base stats and Intimidate/Immunity as its abilities. If you're going to use it you'll want to make sure you grab the right ability for the evolution. Both evolutions learn exclusively Flying or Steel type moves after they evolve. I think Psycolt's not that great personally, so I'm not going to catch one.



Back in town, we can fight the gym immediately but that would be beyond suicidal. This is arguably the most difficult battle in the game considering what it has and what you have. We both have a different, weaker but still difficult fight to take on first and a bunch of grinding to do.



Said fight is in the north part of the town, where team Dark Hole has abducted the researcher there and are beating him senseless or something to learn about PAPER's styler that he's delivering. While we'd love to help this man we've never met before, we're going to need to train a bit before we can take this on. Team DH is pathetic but they've brought some big guns this time.



Also in town is the bicycle Board store. Rydel, rude man that he is, doesn't even bother quoting a price and tells us to go find his friends who like to play hide and seek. There's four of them and if you find them all you get a Board.




give

Yes, one of them is in the previous city so we have to walk all the way back. It's not too bad after you've cleared out the trainers fortunately.



We now have a Double Board! It's as fast as an Acro Bike! You can't make it Mach Bike fast! Yaaaaaaaaay!

Incidentally, the place where I'm at in the second image is right near the daycare. There's a long, completely empty path from north to south presumably for egg hatching. We will be using it for happiness grinding.


a lot of boarding later



Ok nice! Pikachu is still Pikachu, it doesn't get too many new moves. However, it's an Electric type and the next gym is a Water gym so masuls will be helping out.

Let's start grinding up our new teammate.



i don't have a thunderstone what



oh no. this is gonna be one of those days huh.

This is Machu. While Pikachu can still evolve into Raichu with a Thunderstone, it evolves into Machu as a happiness evolution. Pichu is also still a happiness evolution, so grinding up Pichu is basically for this thing.

While some random outclassed legendary may be on the "box" of Vega, Machu is the posterboy. It is the heart and soul. It is absolutely, ludicrously good and deserves all your respect.

Machu has 85/130/80/50/40/90 base stats and is an Electric/Fighting type. It learns Karate Chop at level 13, Rolling Kick at level 18, and Thunder Punch at level 26. It also has access to some useful physical TMs, such as Rock Slide. Machu is surprisingly fast for its insane Attack, and while Brave is unfortunate for lowering that, the fact that masuls has a +Atk nature means it will hit with the force of an angry god. 31 Attack at level 9, eesh.

I'll be cutting off there, I've got some grinding to do before taking on Team DH and the gym in the next update.
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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So we needed a bunch of grinding. First, someone I didn't mention last update.



Tropius, lovable banana-dinosaur that it may be, is unfortunately pretty bad. It gets no new moves until level 51 and doesn't get a new evolution either. It's nice for giving more than twice as much exp as any other encounter on Route 520, but unfortunately it's rare.



These are also in the mart meaning we're no longer stuck with Potions for healing. We are still stuck with only Pokeballs, but this is good. I buy several and then go grind.



Moves for death!



Not moves for lucy and oh.!



New moves for Aisha, coco, and masuls obtains the electric equivalent of nuclear weapons in her fist!



We're maybe a little overleveled for this first bit but the game doesn't exactly hold back any. Let's go save a scientist or whatever.



First, one of the rooms has this guy. We hand over our Root Fossil so that after we beat up Team Dark Hole we can come back for Lileep. There's no way it'd be useful for what's coming up anyways.

The next area is a giant maze section filled to the brim with DH grunts. They're good exp, and show us a new face.



This is Maneko, a pure Fire type with 50/60/50/70/45/65 base stats. It evolves into Bakeko, a Dark/Fire type with 65/105/55/110/50/95 base stats, at level 18. As you'd obviously expect, it isn't obtainable until after the 7th badge.



Moving on, there's a bunch of grunts who block the way and we can't fight. One of them and a scientist give us helpful clues.



They're referring to those little boxes on the walls you can see in the second screenshot. We interact with one and hear a sound like something falling.



are we murderers now?



Well regardless, they're out of the way and we're free to continue wading through the sea of grunts. This isn't good enough to keep.



Finally, at the end of the long winding hallways, there's these three guys. The scientist man is Larch, who we're here to rescue. The grunt we're about to step into the line of sight of is a somewhat stronger grunt, like the one we saw at the end of Wiseman's Cave. His Pokemon are significantly higher leveled, being around level 21 when the other grunts were working off of about 17. He's not difficult with our team's current level though.



After beating him, this other clearly standard grunt sprite who has a name walks up to us, leaving no time to switch your team around or heal if you needed to do that. This is Reginald and he is a Problem.



yeah hi whatever mosmero ill take this guy you harass the other one or something

He does after making fun of Reginald's accent. I'm not joking.



And the award for least fitting overworld sprite goes to DH Admin Reginald! Couldn't they have given him a cape or something?

Reginald is just slightly behind gym leader level of difficult but I'd put him a tier above PAPER at least since he can actually beat us if we're not prepared. Here's his team and how we're going to systematically dismantle it.

Houndour L25: Super Fang/Will-O-Wisp/Ember/Dark Roar
Staryu L23: Double Spin/Water Gun/Psychic/Thunder Wave
Haunter L26: Calm Mind/Shadow Ball/Hypnosis/Dream Eater
Skarmory L26: Magnet Bomb/Drill Run/Rock Slide/Chomp

Dark Roar is a 40/100 special Dark type move with +1 priority. A Dark type Vacuum Wave basically.
Chomp (or Shadow Clamp) is a 90/90 physical Ghost type move with a 30% chance to cause confusion and a 30% chance to induce sleep. Like the elemental fang moves, both can happen at once.

Houndour and Staryu are both relative pushovers as long as you're somewhat appropriately leveled.

Haunter can be an issue if it hits Hypnosis since Calm Mind can make it difficult to handle. It's not too bad fortunately.

Skarmory is the big boy. Aside from its perfect coverage, Shadow Clamp is a scary move. Skarmory's also pretty bulky, so it's unlikely to actually go down in one hit if you're not using the Fire starter, who at this point is 4x weak to Drill Run. Vega's pretty careful about making sure that its difficult Pokemon have coverage for the stuff good against it.

The plan is, in order, death, Aisha, lucy, then masuls. Let's go.



(The damage is because lucy was leading so death took a Super Fang)

Houndour goes down to a Dig. Staryu and Haunter were completely uneventful, being OHKOed by Razor Leaf and Bite respectively.







masuls, big macho

Machu is kind of good.



With DH fleeing we can claim our loot. Bonanza will not be joining the team, it can only have Suction Cups and not the Storm Drain or Water Absorb that would make it more appealing. HM03 is, of course, Surf. We can use it outside battle after the next badge.

On the subject of the next badge, wouldn't you know it we're already underleveled. This gym does not pull punches so off we go to train.



Everybody gets to go to Level 29. This is slightly lower than the leader. But hey, new moves! It's almost like I never accidentally forgot Horn Attack now.



The gym's gimmick is pretty simple, beating the trainers makes it so you can keep going. While not really threats it's worth noting that they're higher leveled than the "strong" DH grunt, who had level 21s.



These guys are working with level 22-23. Also here's a new face. Kawappa's a cute little Water type with 45/55/50/70/50/40 base stats.



After beating up the trainers, we're finally in front of Not!Misty, a very small girl with a weird hat.



Smooth is not the right word. This is going to be very rough.

Let's check out her team and why I grabbed another 3 levels beyond what I did for Reginald.

Starmie @ BrightPowder L30: Aquashock/Discharge/Ice Beam/Psychic
Floatzel @ Sitrus Berry L29: Aqua Jet/Wave Splash/Crunch/Brick Break
Hydrush @ Sitrus Berry L28: Surf/Signal Beam/Mud Bomb/Hypnosis
Kapwondo @ Quick Claw L30: Scald/Aura Sphere/Dark Pulse/Ice Beam

Aqua Bolt is a 70/90 special Water type move with a 40% chance to paralyze. Wave Splash is a 100/90 physical Water type move with a 10% chance to raise the user's evasion.

So let's start with the by far most problematic. Starmie is buff as hell, with both STABs paired with BoltBeam. This is what Misty's Starmie wishes it could be. It also has some unironically absolutely brilliant AI, as it will often use Psychic against the Grass starter in case it has Thick Fat and will switch out if its speed gets lowered. This is by far the most likely to sweep my team, since it annihilates masuls with STAB Psychic. Brightpowder and the high paralysis chance moves mean that even the most reliable of strategies has a chance to just fail due to being unlucky. The basic strategy here is to do as much damage as possible with Aisha since he will probably survive Psychic before fainting and having lucy use Bite to try and finish it off - since it's her first mon she's likely to only use her Super Potion and not both that and her Hyper Potion to keep it alive.

Floatzel is Floatzel. Priority is kind of worrying, and the coverage is no joke, but it's mostly the fast Wave Splash that's bothersome. Fortunately it's more than possible to take a hit, as I hope masuls will do.

Hydrush is the 2nd stage evolution of the Water starter. It's still a pure Water type at this point, with 75/60/63/85/72/50 base stats. It's not too much of a threat, having significantly lower stats than its teammates and a moveset that, while not a complete pushover, doesn't quite stand with the rest. Hypnosis can potentially be annoying, but this is the gimme of the team.

Kapwondo is the evolution of Kawappa and is a Water/Fighting type with 70/90/80/95/75/70 base stats. It's not weak for sure, STAB Aura Sphere is pretty threatening, and Quick Claw can let it get off hits it has no right to, but it's not as threatening as Starmie but more threatening than Floatzel. As long as things don't go wrong, masuls should be able to deal with it too.



Let's go crazy.



ow. That would be one Psychic and Leaf Tornado respectively. If Aisha was even one level lower then he'd be down without getting a single hit in. The accuracy drop, while nice, unfortunately never comes into play. Brooke heals with a Super Potion, as planned, and Aisha lands Razor Leaf before a second Psychic drops her.



While Starmie's at a bit more HP than I'd like (I should have used Leaf Tornado) it should still be either taken out by Bite or be low enough that oh. can KO it with Quick Attack.

And then Aqua Bolt crit and lucy dropped instantly. I was so surprised that I didn't even grab a screenshot, it just happened. I didn't really have a plan beyond this - Starmie had way too much HP left for oh. to take it out even if oh. outsped. After thinking it for a solid minute and considering resetting to try again, I decided that I'd have to somehow get her to use her Hyper Potion on Starmie when masuls was on the field rather than OHKOing with Psychic. That wasn't going to happen when Starmie was still the first Pokemon out though.

So in went coco with Icy Wind. Remember how I mentioned that Starmie will switch out if its speed gets lowered? coco barely survived Psychic and landed Icy Wind, prompting a switch to Floatzel the next turn who also got hit by Icy Wind. coco went down vs Floatzel the next turn, and the path was clear.



MASULS, BEEG MACHO. The speed drop from Icy Wind let masuls outspeed and KO with Thunder Punch.



Hydrush comes in next. It doesn't stay very long.

Then out comes Starmie, and like I prayed Brooke used her Hyper Potion on Starmie. Starmie did not survive Thunder Punch.

\

Now at a level matching Kapwondo, masuls outspeeds with no Quick Claw shenanigans and OHKOs with Thunder Punch. masuls has done the heavy lifting here. Machu is such a good Pokemon.



Aqua Bolt is cool because a ton of stuff that doesn't learn Surf learns it. We'll actually be using this shortly.



We beat this on the first try and at a (technically) lower level than the leader this was very good. No lessons to be learned here, just healing to be had.

So first off, where do we go? We'll need to catch somebody who can learn Surf because, well



yeah. Maybe south, where the landslide might have cleared up?



Of course not. The actual answer is that we need to head back to the town with Flash mansion and Hitmonchan gym leader because when I said we'd rarely have to go back that was a joke we go through there so many times.



And from there go through the south exit. Before you do that though, you'll want to make sure you grab the Old Rod from Gamboge City (with the Water gym) since it's the only way to find things that can learn Surf if you don't have the Water starter.



Thankfully the Old Rod catches a little more than Magikarp since Magikarp isn't even in this game.

But now we've got to drop somebody - at the very least temporarily - so that we can actually surf on ferry.



oh. you have served us well. Both the first and second gyms would have been lost without you. Unfortunately Swellow doesn't really get anything to help it out, and we've already got a Normal type and soon will have a Flying type starter. So this is goodbye to oh.



ferry learns Surf and coco learns Aqua Bolt so that she doesn't have only Ice type moves anymore. A flaw of the Glachild line is that they don't actually learn any damaging special moves that aren't Ice type, so they do have to rely on TMs for stuff like this. Aqua Bolt is a handy move though.



And at last we are free of the ground and can take to the sea and the dozens upon dozens of ocean trainers. That'll have to wait for the next update though.
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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This is a kind of big update with a lot of stuff.

yourDeadGrandad and Ryolain: Definitely! Feedback is always nice, makes me feel less like I'm shouting into the abyss.

Last time we gained access to the water. As you might expect, Vega proceeded to throw an absolute metric ton of trainers who were absolutely no threat whatsoever at us while we surfed.



One of them uses a new mon. Snalo is Grass/Water type with Water Absorb as one of its abilities because immunity > 4x resistance. It's got 45/25/85/50/70/55 base stats which on evolution become even more pronounced. Snalo and its evolution are extremely tanky, with access to Leech Seed and Synthesis by level, but the evolution can get Shell Smash.



In the course of beating these loads and loads of trainers, coco finally gets to evolution level after not learning Safeguard. I'm holding off on evolution for now though since at level 35 Maidawn learns Ice Beam, something the evolution never learns by level for some reason.



Finally we're at Totally-Necessary-Couldn't-Just-Surf-Around-Nooooo Tunnel. Alternatively, Undersea Tunnel.



which is dark because of course it is



fixed

Undersea Tunnel is massive. There's a ton of stuff and a large number of trainers in here. We've also got no buyable Super Repels at this point so swarms of the water and ground type encounters will be constantly jumping at us. It's very annoying honestly, and there's no new wild Pokemon, just Kawappa, Buizel, Rynos, Rollder, and Diglett.



Two of the trainers use new stuff though!

Peacoptic is the evolved form of Mintch. Like i mentioned back when we first saw Mintch, Peacoptic is a Psychic/Flying type who evolves early at level 18. It's got 55/75/65/90/70/100 base stats but it doesn't evolve any further.

Plasmox is a 30/60/50/75/55/70 Electric type that evolves with a Thunderstone into a 50/90/70/105/75/90. Basically it's Electrike, but won't be available for a while.



An unlearned move and a bunch of items, these are the two interesting ones. TM12 is Amnesia which had to become a TM for a reason I've forgotten.



The cave has a floor downstairs, and this is part of it. That ladder to the 2nd basement is blocked off until postgame.



This is also in the basement. Some of you who've played romhacks before might realize what it means when the player is forced into a single space. I thought I had a few more steps though, before...



Our view shifts to PAPER, who's rescuing wild Pokemon from rubble. Here he's rescued a Rynos who PAPER catches at its request. We then come walking down, where PAPER asks for directions out of the cave.



Naturally, after asking that we're going to have to battle him. PAPER's pretty much always a pushover fortunately, and this won't be any different.



oh it's you. what do you want?



WHAT MOSMERO NO



mosmero no

This fight is absurdly rude and is an ambush. Unlike what we normally have to do with PAPER who is easy, Mosmero...



Yeah. Here's what we're up against.

Houndoom L32- Dark Roar/Flamethrower/Thunder Fang/Faint Attack
Rynos L30- Sonic Sand/Body Slam/Spikes/Sandstorm
Dizasol L33- Psychic/Crunch/Dark Roar/Thunderbolt
Infiris L32- SelfDestruct/Mirror Shot/Magma Ring/Disable

Sonic Sand is a 70/100 special Ground type move. It does not have priority.
Magma Ring is a 55/-- special Fire type move which traps.

Houndoom is Mosmero's and, as such, is very dangerous. It's fast, Flamethrower hurts like hell, and even if we had a good Water type to throw at him (since you might have noticed that this team is fortunately pretty weak to Water) Houndoom packs Thunder Fang to at the very least dent them. Even with faster Pokemon Houndoom can get off Dark Roar before it goes down which hurts.

Rynos is PAPER's and is totally cheating the highest level you can find one in Undersea Cave is level 20 what the hell. It's a non-threat but it has Intimidate to weaken you if you lead with physical attackers.

Infiris is the evolved form of Peyero, the fire starter. It's a Fire/Steel type with 55/58/85/59/83/65 base stats. Magma Ring isn't exactly a slouch of a move, no matter what the base power might say, and Self Destruct is dangerous though fortunately rarely used. Obviously this is PAPER's.

Dizasol is the evolved form of Absol. Yep. It remains a pure Dark type and keeps Pressure, while its base stats increase to 70/135/70/115/80/85. Dizasol is absolutely absurd, is high leveled, and has excellent coverage to hit almost everything currently available. This is Mosmero's ace, and for good reason.

Well, let's get to it.



Like I said, I thought I had a few more spaces before the ambush. This isn't really the lead pair I wanted. On the plus side, Houndoom has a good chance to target ferry rather than coco.



And thankfully that's exactly what happens. ferry goes down, coco erases Rynos, and death and Infiris come out.

Aqua Shock fails to KO Infiris, who then Disables the move. Houndoom OHKOs death before she can do anything, and I send out lucy to lure a Flamethrower while I toss out Icy Wind so that masuls can outspeed and OHKO Houndoom. Things go as planned, although masuls takes a Magma Ring in the process.



and then Dizasol kills everything



Once more, from the top.



This time with masuls and coco leading. masuls takes the Intimidate hit but masuls is strong as hell, it'll be ok.



First two drop with only a little damage to masuls. So that I can keep coco alive, I switch her out to ferry, letting the Buizel get blown up by Dizasol and having Dizasol drop due to masuls.



Infiris is enough of a minimal threat that I'm willing to let death get the KO, just as a special screw you to PAPER and Mosmero. And with that the extremely rude ambush double battle is done.



The reward is nice though, this will be much better than grinding on wilds. PAPER and Mosmero run off afterwards and say nothing interesting.

There's still a bit more cave to spelunk through but nothing nearly as bad as that.



At level 32 Aisha learns GuardianLeaf. The defense raising chance isn't particularly high but it's stronger than Razor Leaf.



Finally we're out of the cave and have yet more surfing to do through a maze of rocks. You cannot surf off of this bridge, only under it.



Finally we make it to our destination. If the name looks familiar, that's because it should be. This is heavily based off Shamouti Island from the second movie, if Shamouti island had a game corner, evil team headquarters, and a department store.



It even comes with Melody who warns us not to disturb the legendary birds.



Two useful things to pick up. The Good Rod gives access to Staryu and Shellder, neither of whom are particularly compelling. Staryu wouldn't be bad but it's got some TM issues. The Coin Case is to allow us to use the game corner for its absolutely incredible prizes.



First some shopping. Super Repels are finally in shops, so I pick up a bunch. The TMs here are Headbutt, Shadow Claw, Substitute, Iron Tail, Baton Pass, and Psycho Punch. I buy two Shadow Claws and one each of Iron Tail and Psycho Punch.



Also here is this jerk. He says he's going to go next door and distract the guard into the evil team HQ so we can get in, before he leaves. I stock up on Lemonades.



There's also this. He wants a Larvitar, which we can't obtain yet.

I then spent the next several hours grinding coins from the slots. It's editted images in the slots but it's the same code as the FRLG slots so it's still exploitable with save states. After getting up to 9999 coins I go check out the prizes.



These are the Pokemon available. Most of them are familiar, but Hantama and Porygon are new. Porygon is the same as standard, but evolves at level 30 to Porygon2 and then by happiness to Porygon-Z. It's very good, if expensive. I was considering buying one hence why I went all the way to 9999.

Hantama is a Ghost/Fighting type with 60/115/70/65/50/95 base stats. Along with its perfect neutral coverage STABs it has access to a bunch of interesting coverage moves, has plenty of speed and attack, and can have either Intimidate or Keen Eye. We will be buying one.



Hasty nature. deadeye will be a valuable member of the team and won't fall off for a long time if ever.

The game corner also has some absolutely fantastic TMs: Air Slash, Megahorn, Psychic, Wood Hammer, and Magnet Force. Magnet Force is a 100/90 special Steel type move with a chance to lower the opponent's Attack or Special Attack. I buy Psychic and Air Slash for my team, and can always come back if I want more.




A lot of new moves here, all of which are pretty self explanatory. lucy wouldn't get a Steel type move for a very long time otherwise, despite Iron Tail's shaky accuracy. I won't be relying on it.



I'm going to do some training before heading into DH HQ. Pretty much instantly we run into this waterfall when trying to go north, the only way is back.



A little bit of training. This is deadeye's strongest Fighting type move, so it's learned, while Spite isn't anywhere near good enough.



This also happens. There's a move I want lucy to learn before evolution, similar to coco.



And it's time to go.

The DH grunts are mostly unremarkable, although they've caught up to the second gym leader in terms of levels. We're going in with everybody besides masuls and deadeye one or two levels away from when they'll be evolving, so expect a bunch of evolutions.



Some of the grunts are using evolved Pokemon like Hornikel and Bakeko, Maneko's evolution.



Stuff's lying around all over the place. These are, in order, Heat Wave, Focus Blast, and Rock Smash. Rock Smash is essential but easy to overlook because of course it is. As you can tell from the screenshots, DH Building is filled with spinning tiles.



First, death learns a very useful new move. This offers a huge amount of sustain and is a big damage upgrade from Karate Chop. And then a level later...



(scary face isn't learned)

Grissly, while nowhere near as well designed as Velvelt in my opinion, is a whole lot better. It becomes a Normal/Fighting type and gets 95/120/80/50/60/90 base stats. It's fast, pretty bulky, and very strong with access to Swords Dance. Nothing to dislike here.



And this is just the start of the evolution train. At level 34 Aisha finally gets to evolve, gaining a Flying typing at long last. 76/91/75/103/75/115 base stats too, so this brings Aisha up to the strength he'll need for the remainder of the game.



(This is at level 34)

Zen Headbutt is what lucy was waiting for, so she finally gets to turn into DemonGoat! DemonGoat's actual name is Goabalt, and it's a Steel/Dark type, meaning all those Dark type moves are finally STAB. Goabalt also has 75/120/100/80/70/55 base stats, so pretty much everything is going to be in agonizing pain after it gets hit.



And finishing things up, coco finally gets Ice Beam and gets to evolve. Aurostice, as basically Gardevoir, has 80/70/75/120/85/100 base stats, making it a strong and fast special attacker. She also really wants those TM moves that we've been feeding her so that she's not stuck with only Ice type moves.



Finally we're at the top floor, where this grunt is blocking the way. She refuses to fight and demands that we bring her Shards, which are invisible key items scattered around the entire building. While a few of the grunts in the building give pretty good hints after they're defeated, if you didn't get the Itemfinder then you're in for a rough time.




And here they are (remember these are hidden items)! Yes, the warp tiles get kind of annoying on the second floor because if you step on the wrong one it'll send you all the way to the other side of the floor.



Please move.



After she gets out of our way and we beat up the slightly stronger Grunt who we've seen a couple times now, we come across this room with a definitely perfectly normal grunt sitting in one of the chairs. Who am I kidding, it's Reginald.

Staryu L33: Nasty Plot/Surf/Psychic/Thunder Wave
Haunter L36: Hypnosis/Shadow Ball/Dark Pulse/Dream Eater
Houndoom L35: Dark Roar/Discharge/Fire Fang/Will-O-Wisp
Skarmory L36: Steel Wing/Rock Slide/Drill Run/Swords Dance

He's potentially dangerous, but we've got plenty to deal with him.

Staryu is laughable compared to Brooke's Starmie, despite Nasty Plot and a higher level.

Haunter has lost Calm Mind from the last fight so it's no longer able to set up after putting something to sleep. Dark Pulse and Shadow Ball are also the worst coverage and I don't understand why he has it. Any Dark type can wall him very effectively.

Houndoom, despite being higher leveled, isn't anywhere near as scary as Mosmero's since it has Fire Fang instead of Flamethrower. Discharge is in fact legal on Houndoom in Vega, being a TM move. Similar deal with Nasty Plot Staryu since Nasty Plot is a tutor move.

Skarmory thankfully drops Shadow Clamp, so it's not as dangerous. Swords Dance can be somewhat threatening and it keeps its perfect neutral coverage, but we're just enough further along that Skarmory itself isn't anywhere near as dangerous.

Overall Reginald shouldn't be an issue at all, we've got excellent counters to his entire team.



Come at me bro.



Staryu gets outspeed and OHKOed by GuardianLeaf.



Will-O-Wisp burns death, but Drain Punch OHKOs anyways because Grissly is very strong.



Haunter puts lucy to sleep immediately and lucy stays asleep for the max number of turns but didn't even taken half from the repeated Shadow Balls by the time she wakes up and OHKOs with Bite.



hello again



bye bye

Thunder Punch didn't OHKO since Skarmory has kind of ok physical bulk, but Drill Run didn't even do half.



And with victory, the entire building empties.

So that's where I'm going to end this for now, but there's a question I'd like to pose. First, masuls the Machu is going to be dropped from the team. It's very sad, but we just don't really need her with both death and deadeye filling the Fighting type slot. I'll pick up somebody else to replace her in the future, but she's not going to be coming back too often if ever.

The question is whether or not I should pick up Absol or Girafarig. A town I'll be in during the next update has the Safari Zone and while almost everything there is trash, Absol and Girafarig also appear at 1% encounter rates. Both have a new evolution, you've already seen Dizasol but Folifarig is a Normal/Psychic type with 80/85/75/130/85/95 base stats. It's not quite as good as Dizasol, and honestly both are fairly inconvenient to catch due to being low encounter rate Safari Zone mons, but they're both good at worst. If you think I should catch one then let me know, if there's a Pokemon I've passed over during the road to where we are now that you'd like me to use let me know as well. Alternatively there's a few Pokemon who come up later who I'd find interesting to use if you want to leave it as dealer's choice.
 
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Blitzamirin

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Amazing game and very well-done - its difficulty gets lower the more you know what you're doing. That being said...

Are you going to show off all the gym leader rematches (1 and 2) / special trainers / final Turner battle? If so, will you cheese them with Jibakun / Phantonate?

If you're doing the Asufia / Asphere dungeon good fucking luck u_u
 

Merritt

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Altissimo and Cherub Agent: I sure did grab a Giraffe! You'll be able to see more about him in the update

Blitzamirin: I plan on doing Sphere Ruins, which should answer most of those since they're required for it. I'm probably not going to complete the National Dex - I may hack my way to the battle if there's demand but eh. May or may not cheese the battles, depends on how badly Vega decides to treat me.


After we clear out the DH Building there's nothing left to do on Shamouti and little direction on where to go next. For lack of other options, it's back across the ocean and through Undersea Tunnel we go.



The return trip is uneventful, although I do teach ferry the new HM we got. So where do we go, maybe we can use our newfound Rock Smash abilities to make headway?



I'd forgive you for thinking that but no, we don't have the badge for Rock Smash yet.



We're actually supposed to go to the south, where this guy was blocking us off before. With Team DH taken down halfway across the region the rockslide is suddenly clear enough because reasons.



Once out of the gatehouse we can head either south or west. West gets us cut off pretty quickly though, so we have to head south.



South is an uneventful trainer gauntlet, they're not even as strong as the DH grunts were. One of the trainers uses the other Spirit Mansion single stage Psychic type aside from Lassprit. Baizeast has 65/82/60/115/90/63 base stats and while it doesn't learn much in the way of level up moves it has a great TM pool like most things. It's generally fallen off by this point though.



The only other notable thing on Route 521 is this house. She certainly does, and no she doesn't give us anything.



And finally we're in Nephrite City. Nephrite City is filled to the brim with Pokemon Rangers, as well as a couple other points of interest.



A couple items, neither of which are particularly useful in my opinion. Charcoal's fine I guess.



There's also three locations of interest, the gym which is blocked off by a man and his hungry Rynos, PAPER's home, and the Ranger base which triggers three rangers to rush the man walking outside when we approach.



They then attack us because of course they do. They're actually a slight threat, since they use level 32-34 pokemon but not really any sort of issue. We beat them up and send them off.



And then this dude flashes into existence and Jackie (the guy we just saved) attacks us. What a jerk. He uses a Floatzel, Swellow, and Miltank at level 35 and is about as much of a threat as the DH grunts. After defeating him the purple lion vanishes again and PAPER finally shows up. He left to come here before we did, right?



and paper secures the title of 'best deliveryboy'



Doing this doesn't help open up the Gym unfortunately, so it's off to the Safari Zone. The Safari Zone is divided up into 3 (4) "areas", each with slightly different encounters. There's an area with more trees to the north, the plain-like area right where we enter, and an area with a small mountain to the west.



This is the entrance to the eastern area, it's blocked off until postgame. It's got some wild stuff though.




First, some noteworthy items - the last one is a Heart Scale.



And inside that house next to the Smoke Ball is this item so that we can access the gym. Technically we've done everything we need to, but I said I'd go for a Pokemon if people asked for it so here we go.



The Safari Zone is filled with Clotaku, Cupricorn, Psycolt, and Togepi. These are the less common encounters. Skarmory appears at a 1% rate in the north forest, a 5% rate in the entrance plains, and a 9% rate in the western mountains. Miltank is the inverse - as Skarmory gets more common Miltank becomes rarer.

Ajarimus is the evolved form of Clotaku. Ajarimus is a pure Dark type with 75/85/45/85/45/60 base stats. You might remember how I said that the Clotaku line share the same BST and have similar movepools where they learn moves exclusively of their type. Ajarimus is the "strong" one, but is frail and slow. It's the worst of the three.



And these are the rare encounters. They're all at a 1% encounter rate in a different area, Kangaskhan in the north forest, Absol in the entrance plains, and Girafarig in the western mountains.

I spent the next hour and a half going for Girafarig, where 20 minutes of that were spent in the entrance plains until I ran into an Absol because I had forgotten that Absol wasn't in the mountains for whatever reason. During the course of this I catch every Safari Zone pokemon I didn't already have registered except Kangaskhan, so get ready for a mon dump!



The boring stuff.



The less boring stuff.



And the you've got to be kidding me. Girafarig is Careful. This is a bad nature. Reaaaaaally bad. If it hadn't taken me so long to actually catch a Girafarig then I'd go for another but... I'm really not feeling it. You'll still get to see a Folifarig in action and I'll get geoffrey up to evolution but bleh.

On a happier note, that's an extremely powerful Absol. I ran the IVs, seen below.



While the HP, Def, and Spe are awful dance has perfect or near perfect Attack and extremely good Special Attack. This might replace lucy actually.



Anyways, we can hand over the package and clear this guy out of the way of the gym. First though we've got to do a bit of training. This is one of the easier gyms and our team is well matched up against it, so I'd prefer that we didn't lose despite that.



Two very useful moves, both are 80 BP here.



And three not so useful moves. Aura Sphere would be better if Machu didn't have awful Special Attack.



We are ready. Let's go beat up some Normal types.



The gym's puzzle isn't overly difficult. The switches open different doors, and you can only have two switches active at any time. The trainers here aren't particularly weak, having roughly level 32s, but they're not much of a threat overall.



They are good exp though. I popped outside to get death to 39 before the leader since the last trainer left death 400 exp away from the next level.



After one of what I think is Vega's legitimately interesting puzzles, we're finally up against the man with no face.



Hanza is boring, regardless of the mask, but his team is anything but. Let's take a quick look at what we're up against.

Folifarig @ Sitrus Berry L38: Psychic/Shadow Ball/Signal Beam/Nasty Plot
Miltank @ Quick Claw L37: Hammer Arm/Wood Hammer/Double Edge/Zen Headbutt
Grissly @ Scope Lens L38: Cross Chop/Ambush/Rock Slide/Swords Dance
Porygon-Z @ Upgrade L39: Psychic/Hydro Pump/Tri Attack/Nasty Plot

Ambush (or Rampage) is a 120/85 physical Dark type attack with a 10% chance to lower the opponent's defense.

Folifarig is the main obstacle to a Fighting type sweep, and is a pretty big threat in its own right due to Nasty Plot. +2 Signal Beam covers most (though not all) Dark types handily, and if the thing with 130 base Special Attack gets to +2 then Psychic's going to OHKO most everything that doesn't resist it.

Miltank is fat and fast and not much else. It's got good coverage though, so it can snag a KO if you're not careful.

Grissly is scary when you're facing it down. Swords Dance can turn it into a dangerous sweeper while Cross Chop and Ambush are high powered if inaccurate. It's also pretty bulky so it can be tricky to take down if you're not prepared.

You might remember that I mentioned that Porygon evolves at level 30 instead of trading with the Upgrade. So what, then, does the Upgrade do? Well the answer is rather simple, it's a glorified Silk Scarf. Well aside from being a 1.6x boost instead of a 1.2x boost. And there's no way to get it without hacking or trading. The only Pokemon who learn Covet and Thief outside breeding are postgame only, and even if you were to try with Metronome it's actually rigged to not call the moves.

Tri Attack hits like a nuclear bomb off Porygon's Special Attack stat with a better than Choice Specs boost. Hydro Pump and Psychic are just icing on the cake, with Nasty Plot to turn Porygon into a walking weapon of mass destruction. If you can't outspeed this thing then it's likely to get at least one KO.



Bring it on.



lucy leads against Folifarig, since Crunch hits as hard as possible and Signal Beam won't do too much back. It'll still easily 3HKO but Folifarig goes for the Nasty Plot. Crunch misses out on the OHKO, if only just. Follow up Crunches will take it down even through Hyper Potion healing.



oh ok

Hanza switches out to Grissly, the 4x weakness to Fighting Goabalt has being too tempting a target.



Turnabout is fair play and all that. A Black Belt boosted Double Kick takes down Grissly without issue.



Miltank uses Hammer Arm and does maybe 60 damage. Hanza wastes his Hyper Potions trying to outheal Drain Punch damage and fails miserably as death comes for Miltank.



And here's the big one. Hasty deadeye should be able to outspeed fortunately.



Aaaand Double Kick barely misses the OHKO. Fortunately Porygon-Z decides to go for Hydro Pump instead of Psychic for some unfathomable reason. Even if it had gone for Psychic, Aisha would still easily outspeed.



This just leaves us with 0 deaths for the first time. This gives us use of Rock Smash.



Okish TM obtained. There's some neat stuff that learns this.

And now we've got a bit of a backtrack to go through in order to get to our next location, so I'm going to cut off here. I'm unfortunately not going to use Folifarig, the -SpA nature and mediocre IV (I checked, it's got somewhere around 9) would make it a poor choice. I'm thinking about Absol, that attack is absolutely off the charts, but the question is whether or not I'd actually replace lucy for Absol. I'm not sure, so if you've got an opinion feel free to weigh in. Either way I'll be evolving both Absol and Girafarig before I leave town.
 
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Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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And update 7.1 aka evolutions and nothing else.

It's fortunately not a long grind to level 30 for Girafarig and Absol, and each learn a completely new move along the way.



At level 28 and 25 respectively. I don't actually know for sure what formula Gravity Wave uses to calculate damage, but I believe that it's just a special Low Kick.




And bingo bango bongo we've got two mons with 555 and 550 BST. Dizasol tries to learn Mean Look when it evolves and Folifarig tries to learn Mirror Coat.



And a stat comparison. It's vaguely sad that dance has more Special Attack than geoffrey.
 
I was gonna vote for a Folifarig anyway, but it looks like you went with both haha.

Normally I'm not a huge fan of ROM hacks with completely new Fakemons or regions, but you sure are making this playthrough compelling to the outsider.
 
waaaah folafarig

i would say dont replace lucy so we can see a new mon with no link to an old mon but i guess you dont talk enough about the new pokemon aside from an overview for it to matter? so do what u want lol
 

Merritt

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waaaah folafarig

i would say dont replace lucy so we can see a new mon with no link to an old mon but i guess you dont talk enough about the new pokemon aside from an overview for it to matter? so do what u want lol
no you don’t know what youve done run

I’m going to do this here because it’s a bit long for a normal reply in update thing.

First, Caudaleaf. Being completely honest, this thing gets more shit than it deserves, it’s not a bad Pokémon. It’s got issues against the first gym pretty hard and doesn’t have much in the way of superb matchups (there’s a lot of Steel types that just kind of have Nimbleaf and evolutions bounce off) but it does have a good MU against the third gym which I honestly believe is the hardest gym in the game relative to its point in time. Starmie is extremely mean. Otherwise you’ve probably seen that the grass starter gets a ton of moves by level - most of them Grass type granted, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Air Slash TM comes at a nice point and means you don’t need to hold off on evolution. It’s got a rough start and honestly will probably lose the lab rival battle but it turns into a fine member of most teams - I don’t plan to drop Aisha until postgame at the earliest.

Glachild’s line is early Ice type done really well. It gets an early Powder Snow, has good stats, and evolves at just the right pace for it to keep up with Vega’s brutal curve. I also really like the line’s design. The Glachild line is, however, balanced out by movepool. Without TMs it’s going to have a very cold time, and if you don’t know to keep her as a Maidawn until level 35 then you’ve basically skipped Ice Beam which sucks. Adding in TMs turns the line into a monster but without them it’s a very good but very specialized option. Its main benefit is coming before that difficult first gym and having an ok matchup against the second, so it’s liable to get plenty of levels.

Cupricorn is, in all honesty, not the best Pokémon ever. It evolves early both times so it gets crazy high stats, and its Dark STAB is nuts when it becomes Goabalt, but before that it can lack power, mostly at the Cupricorn stage. The low speed can be kind of difficult and something I haven’t really shown is that the Cupricorn line levels up kind of slowly. When I bring everybody up to par with each other lucy is taking a noticeable amount of extra time. Goabalt’s level up movepool is absolutely outstanding through, Bite is good, Horn Attack is strong enough to keep Cupricorn easy to use if you don’t forget it accidentally like a dope. Crunch is a huge jump up and really soon after evolution, while later on it actually gets a good Steel type move and Earthquake by level. The typing is kind of a mixed bag - an early steel is fantastic and helps mitigate some of the worse normal route offenders who can otherwise wear you down, but Dark/Steel can be a problematic typing when a bunch of things start carrying Fighting or Ground moves.

While masuls isn’t on the team anymore, I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t talk about Machu. Machu is crazy good, easily a top Pokémon. The level up pool is sparse but effective, it’s far too easy to actually get a Machu, and those stats. Oh man those stats. Crazy high attack, good speed, all before the second (third) gym? Yes please. The level up movepool after Thunder Punch is kind of underwhelming, Machu does get some stronger fighting moves but they’re inaccurate. It wants Brick Break, Karate Chop won’t cut it forever. I highly recommend Machu, it has a ton of great matchups and comes with everything it needs. Honestly I only dropped it because I prefer the other Fighting types I’ve got and I think Machu’s design is a little ugly, heretical as that may be.

Velvelt is adorable. It’s not very good but it’s adorable. Honestly that’s what makes me stick with it until evolution, because Velvelt struggles hard towards the end. No STAB moves and mediocre powered attacks can make contributing in major battles a little tricky. Dig and Swords Dance are really nice, and the payoff is well worth it. Grissly is really bulky and Drain Punch off its monstrous Attack only highlights that. Shadow Claw being a buyable TM instantly means that Grissly has perfect coverage, and Slash a little after evolution offers pretty much everything you need. death is a little slow, I wish she was faster, but Swords Dance will still make a scary sweeper. Unfortunately we just got past the last leader where Grissly has a fantastic matchup, all things considered.

Hantama is like Zangoose in Ruby. It doesn’t do the Swords Dance sweep thing but it comes in the same place as buyable Shadow Claw and gets an ok Fighting type move quickly. It even has decent bulk backed by Intimidate. Hantama’s strong and fast enough that it can get by on just neutral moves which are helpfully offered by its STABs. It can seem underpowered at times just from move BP but it can usually fix that and is able to deal with a bunch of the major battles. Being a ghost type not weak to Dark is fantastic. Hantama is something I genuinely believe to be one of the best Pokemon in Vega and there’s very little if anything wrong with it.


If you ever want me to go into depth about something then just let me know - I can’t promise I can give something perfect but I really do love this romhack and am always happy to share!
 
good shit brother

i tried to nuzlocke this with my friends and then ragequit when I realized I needed to grind a shitton, I did enjoy all the designs though. I'll just live vicariously through you as you complete the hack.

also free hoothoot (please)
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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Bobbery: Unfortunately at this point it looks more like neither than both! I got them to evolution but for the most part I'm going to be lugging around ferry as the 6th member. dance the Dizasol might make a couple appearances as the 6th member for gyms though. Folifarig just doesn't really have any particularly good matchups for the remainder of the game though. Glad you're enjoying, Vega is a lot of fun!

Altissimo: ok lucy can stay

rssp1: Grinding is really bad before the first and second gyms, unpleasant before the third, and then you get the VS Seeker to make it noticably better after the Undersea Tunnel ambush.
no i'm not touching hoothoot u can't make me it STINKS


Now that we've beaten the man with the only upgrade in the game and evolved two rare Pokemon, Rock Smash is now usable, so our destination is clear.



Porcelia Forest is really big and winding, it can be easy to get lost. Most of the Pokemon inside we're already able to obtain - things like Taillow, Jamberree, and Pineco - but there's two newly obtainable Pokemon.



Exeggcute offers nothing of value. It's not a good Pokemon, it's standard Exeggutor when Vega is well beyond such mediocre things. It's got a strong Psychic but that's about it.

We've seen a couple trainers use Snalo before, but it's here as a very rare encounter. Snalo is honestly a very good Pokemon, with or without relearner getting its evolution Shell Smash. If it weren't for the fact that I have Aisha, I'd probably use one.



It's a rare encounter though so no sense letting it go to waste.



Much like the Safari Zone, the forest has a fenced off area that's postgame only with a bunch of Pokemon. There's one Pokemon in particular right over that fence that would be incredibly helpful to have access to, a mushroom fakemon which can be holding Tiny Mushrooms. It's the only renewable source in the game and it's postgame only which is unfortunate.



Porcelia Forest is pretty big and has a lot of items but this is the other exit northward. That item there is a Lucky Egg but we still do not have Cut access despite being 4 badges in.



Inside the gate there is this nice man who gives us one of the new fossils. We'll get this revived later on.

Past the gate is a short route with a bunch of trainers heading north.



Some of them use things we haven't seen yet too. Strawna and Rotillo are evolutions of Jamberree and Rollder respectively and are okish. Strawna's actually pretty decent, works well against the third gym. Embird is completely new and is a Fire/Flying type that evolves twice to eventually become a Fire/Dragon type. As Embird it has 54/81/54/81/54/77 base stats, and it's obtainable after the 7th gym. The current plan is to catch one, it's rather good for multiple purposes that I'll cover when it reappears.



While fighting them Aisha attempts to learn a move that we're going to reject. Air Slash is better.



After ripping through the trainers we're at another pair of Rock Smash rocks and then we're in a new the starting town. Which has the north exit blocked by Cut trees if you remember and no other way out aside from the direction we already went. There's nothing new up here either.



Actually, one of the trainers that we defeated to get up here lets us know exactly where to go - we've missed the man inside Porcelia Forest handing these out. We can already use Strength in the field too.



so rock smash was to get this not because we needed to break rocks to the next town ok makes sense



On our way back to the Strength boulders on Route 522, we revive our fossil friend (who's Lonely and is a Grindon) and take a look at him and pot. Grindon's a Rock/Electric type with 50/70/30/90/35/60 base stats who evolves at level 40 into a 70/100/45/120/50/90 base stat Pokemon. Unfortunately it doesn't really learn a ton of special moves by level up (you need the relearner for Thunderbolt after it evolves which is extremely unpleasant) and its special TM movepool is uninspired though it does get Magnet Force. It's extremely frail though, too much for me to think that it's useful in Vega. It's not particularly bad though



And now we've got some rocks to punch around. This route is actually incredibly short, with only 4 trainers on it. It's really just a Strength gate.



And we're finally in the actual new town. There's a few things to see and do, but first let's stock up on items because I'm nearly out of Lemonades and Super Repels.



so it's gonna be like that huh



Also in town is this building - it's a mixture of Radio Tower and Celadon Mansion, back entrance included. The back entrance will be used later, but for now we get the rather handy Choice Band.



If you remember the map, you might also remember that Orphimence City connects to the League over in the west. This is how we're blocked off from it. We'll totally be back buddy to rub your smug face in our 8 badges.



The city also has a bunch of elevated bridges, and on one of them is "best deliveryboy" PAPER. Apparently he's got his own show or something now.



of course that's what you want



And PAPER continues to be a massive pushover. What a surprise. Astignite, if you couldn't guess, is the final evolution of the fire starter. It's a Fire/Steel type with 70/78/112/82/108/80 base stats. Everybody gets OHKOed and it's hilarious.



And just past PAPER is the tower of doom with a sleeping DH grunt outside. Might as well check it out.



Oh my mistake. Tower of Darkness not Doom. Tower of Doom would be a silly name after all.

Inside is a Pokemon Tower style layout, with a ton of floors and a metric ton of grunts to wade through.



A couple of neat(?) items though. This is a terrible TM although it's probably better than Spikes.



Along the way we run into our old friend mr plot grunt. No not Reginald, the guy who generally has stronger Pokemon than the other grunts. His Willisp has finally evolved into Phantisp, a still pure Fire type with 85/55/65/95/115/80 base stats. He's about 5 levels higher than most of the grunts in the building, so he can be a bit of a surprise.



alright lets get this over with

But instead of fighting us he knocks us out I assume I'm not really sure, steals our Pokenav, calls Professor Holly letting him know that he's kidnapped us, and demands that he brings the Secure Styler for our release.



All of PAPER's hard work for nothing.



Holly reasonably asks why DH has been going so hard after this thing, and Reginald obliges and explains that they want to capture Nemea (the purple lion which mind controlled Jackie) so they can use Nemea to control Mewtwo and destroy the world or something. And a mention of the fact that Mewtwo's pretending to be a gym leader or something also comes up. After that little bit of exposition, Reginald walks out and the tower is completely abandoned.



Also on the top floor is this dude. We've finally got Cut. Too bad we need to beat the leader to be able to use it.

And we're a little underleveled for the leader. You know what that means.



Some new moves! High Jump Kick is buffed to 130/90 like it was in Gen 5, but retains the gen 3 quirk of not doing recoil damage if you launch it into a ghost. It's a high risk move but the reward's high enough that deadeye is definitely taking it over Mach Punch. Double Kick's going to be the main Fighting move though, we can't really spam HJK. This is our boss killing move though.



And done. masuls is mostly to fill space and to Quick Claw cheese maybe if things go horribly wrong.



The gym's gimmick is that there's basically spinning tile hallways that send you one direction. Talking to the Pokemon in the gym either changes the direction the wind blows or adds/removes blocks around the gym. It's not a terrible little puzzle, but it is possible to make unwinnable and require leaving the gym to reset.



While fighting the gym trainers Aisha gets this. Our healing items are far from cutting it so this is actually handy, better than Growth at least.



After some puzzling, we're at the Gym Leaders.



This is actually something I really appreciate, the Tate&Liza style double battle leaders where they each use a different type. It's really neat and makes for a much more interesting battle. This one can definitely be an... interesting battle though, they aren't messing around. Here's the team.

Skarmory @ Lum Berry L44: Metal Blast/Rock Slide/Psygatling/Swords Dance
Serplant @ BrightPowder L44: Hydro Pump/Ice Beam/Leech Seed/Toxic
Togekiss @ Kings Rock L46: Air Slash/Aura Sphere/Psyburn/Aqua Bolt
Cradily @ Leftovers L46: Grand Boulder/Wood Hammer/Raze Earth/Recover

That sure is a lot of new moves! Metal Blast is a 120/80 physical Steel type move. Psygatling is a 120/90 physical Psychic type move with a 10% chance to burn the user. Psyburn is a 120/70 special Psychic type move with a 10% chance to raise the user's Special Defense a stage. Grand Boulder is a 120/75 physical Rock type move with a 10% chance to flinch. Raze Earth is a 120/100 special Ground type move with 1/3 of damage done as recoil (a special ground type Flare Blitz basically).

Skarmory is a small but extant threat. Its moves hit hard, especially after a Swords Dance under its belt. Psygatling's secondary effect can be taken care of by the Lum Berry too. It's the weakest member of the team by far, but unlike other gyms the gimme is getting kind of scary.

Serplant is the evolution of Snalo and remains a Grass/Water type but gets 65/25/120/85/110/80 base stats. It's very difficult to OHKO and Hydro Pump hits extremely hard. Leech Seed is annoying too, and as the absolute cherry on top it's holding BrightPowder as a special FU. Strong Flying type attacks are your friend here, and you want to take this down as quickly as possible.

Togekiss is a butt. It's even more than just the excellent coverage, more than 60% flinch chance on Air Slash, the 80% paralysis if for some ungodly reason it goes for Aqua Bolt, and the fact that every single one of its moves is granted that 10% extra chance to flinch from King's Rock. I can't prove that Psyburn and Aqua Bolt work with King's Rock but I'm pretty sure they do, while I know for sure that Air Slash and Aura Sphere do. Togekiss is also strong and is likely to 2HKO or OHKO things with Air Slash. It's probably the most threatening thing here.

Cradily is bulky and doesn't like to die ever. It's got a lot of recoil moves but Leftovers helps mitigate that. It's honestly not quite as threatening as Serplant is, but it can still be a huge annoyance if you're not careful.

Something you might have noticed is that despite the shared weakness to Ice that Grass and Flying have, the leaders start with two Pokemon who are only neutral to Ice. This is a nasty trick if you're playing blind.



Let's get it.



Aisha and coco are here to tear things up. Air Slash and Ice Beam both do a lot to Serplant and Skarmory, while they both accomplish absolutely nothing, Skarmory going for SD and Serplant missing Hydro Pump. The next turn the leaders heal Serplant and I repeat my last attacks, taking down Skarmory.



And in comes Togekiss. Ice Beam and Energy Ball are the plays today, anything I can do to minimize the miss chance on Serplant is good. Ice Beam does 90% to Togekiss but doesn't OHKO, while Energy Ball does roughly 30-40% to Serplant, who gets another Hyper Potion thrown at it. Togekiss decides that if Aisha likes Air Slash so much he should eat one and Aisha just kind of gets blown off the face of the earth.



deadeye comes in and manages to land the HJK against Serplant. This was incredibly risky and I'm glad it paid off. Togekiss got Hyper Potioned this turn before going down to basically the exact same HP.



I decide to go for another HJK, since death can clean up Cradily even if it misses. Ice Beam finishes off Togekiss and HJK makes that Cradily gone.



at long last now i can kill trees



This is nice too. It'd be nicer if it wasn't for the fact that you want this for the gym but it's still a good TM.



With that done, we can grab knives to temporarily replace death for our journey through trees. Our ultimate destination is the far north but first...



We've got some business here (this is the town with the Water gym if you didn't recognize it).



The first guy gives us the Bulk Up TM, and the second one, in the house, is the move relearner. There's a bunch of moves that evolutions get before their evolution level, meaning you need this guy. We can relearn one move.




These would be our options on our main teammates. deadeye has nothing of note.

I'm not going to grab any of these, leave options open for others if necessary. Honestly death's Rampage is the only vaguely tempting one, since Sharpshoot and Icy Kiss are both incredibly mediocre while Corner (55/-- phys dark, traps) isn't worth it either. Typhoon is a good move, but the low PP makes me shy away from it when I have Air Slash already.

After taking a look at the relearner, we head back through the forest on our journey to the next town.



And grab some absolutely excellent things along the way. Diamond Blast is a 100/100 special Rock type move with a 20% chance to lower the user's Special Defense. It's a very good move.



And then we can head north of Porcelia Town to Route 517.



There's a bunch of unthreatening trainers and some good items. The revive is hidden, the TM is Dark Pulse.



Eventually we get to a gate and told that we'll need to find another way. The trip is still worth it for the items, but the actual way north is on Route 502, connecting to Route 514.



Onwards!

In the next update.
 

Merritt

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And we're back underway in our trek northward. Route 514 is very similar to Route 517, with a bunch of trainers in some cliffy areas.



Some extremely good loot too. The amulet coin isn't really essential considering that we get a ton of money from VS Seeker grinding anyways, but it's nice enough. TM36 is Sludge Bomb which is handy. The HM man is easy to skip if you don't know that he's not a trainer and don't want to fight the route trainers for whatever reason. Don't skip Fly.



Headbutt trees all over the route. For now they have nothing new or even particularly interesting, but this changes in postgame.



These are also available now. I talked about them when we first saw a trainer use one in the Undersea Tunnel, but as a refresher Plasmox is a 30/60/50/75/55/70 Electric type that evolves with a Thunderstone into a 50/90/70/105/75/90 base stat Electric type. It's aggressively mediocre and Machu is a better investment imo.

Also on this route are Snover but they're hideously rare or I'm horribly unlucky so I didn't actually encounter one. Snow Warning doesn't exist in Vega so they have Thick Fat instead, your choice on whether that's better or worse. It's not bad but it's pretty much vanilla with only a few interesting new moves.



After maneuvering the route we're finally at our destination. I very much like Ravenplume City, along with its theme, which while not fantastic is still nice.

There's also a ton of stuff to get so that might have something to do with it.



Healing items!!! Hyper Potions are finally in stores! We'll take 50. (yes I actually bought 49 to bring the total to 50)



Also this fellow. He means you can teach somebody Cut and not feel bad about it afterwards. We're about to get Fly online so it's not like we'll need Cut to get back here.



And Roadblock Gang stopping us from heading north out of town. They're so dedicated to their search for meteors that they have to block the north exit from town.



There's also a little fanclub here. We have to encourage this boy to pick a new role model so he doesn't devolve into degeneracy.



too late



There's also a brief little sidequest with this fellow. When you talk to him for the first time, a DH grunt runs over and steals the Jamberree on the rock there. This man, being the trainer of said Jamberree, begs us to get it back. Since we're not heartless monsters obviously we agree.



The grunt is hiding out on the second floor of one of the gates, and after beating him (he's unremarkable) our client gives us a nice reward. Dragon Rush is kind of inaccurate but it's still nice to have.



Also in town is PAPER. So far we've kind of been alternating between seeing him and fighting him, so he might have some helpful advice. Even if he does want to fight, it's PAPER he's not a threat, so we can say hi with no worries.



excuse me WHAT



OH BRING IT ON

I was actually somewhat surprised by this. I've never played a full translated patch of this game, just bare minimums, so this threw me for a bit of a loop.


[Not pictured - L40 Astignite]

And he's still a goddamn joke. Feroceros is the evolved form of Rynos, gaining a Steel typing to go with its Ground along with 85/100/111/75/80/39 base stats. It's pretty good, especially due to Intimidate, but in PAPER's hands it's harmless. Everything gets OHKOed.

you've lost your speaking privileges for real this time PAPER i'm pissed at you



he apologizes and warns us about the building behind him or something LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU

And then he walks away. Good riddance.



The Chateau of Time is filled to bursting with Ghost types and DH grunts. Because she'll be potentially useful for the next two gyms, I go grab dance the Dizasol out of the PC so she can have a field day eating ghosts.



A couple of new moves from beating up wild Gastly and Haunter. Air Slash is mostly because I had the TM and can get more easily. Dizasol has really good Special Attack anyways and it'd be a shame to neglect it.



Anyways, wilds. Gastly and Haunter both appear here and are really good options since they evolve into Gengar at level 38 which is basically instantly. Their level up movepool is almost exclusively Ghost type moves, including Shadow Ball and what's essentially Ghost type Focus Blast, but Gengar's TM pool is still great, including things like the recently acquired and special Sludge Bomb.

On the second and third floor is Yukaria, a pure Ghost type with Levitate or Pressure (you want Levitate) and 40/85/60/35/55/75 base stats. It also evolves at level 35 into a Ghost/Dark type who is one of the better Pokemon available. I'll talk about it when we fight the gym leader - his ace is one. If you don't have a Ghost or Dark type already or want a good physical attacker I highly recommend catching a Yukaria.

On the third floor there's a rare chance of finding Hantama. While I'd recommend getting one from the Game Corner much earlier, Hantama is still an amazing Pokemon. Basically the Chateau of Time is filled with really good Pokemon and odds are you'd benefit from adding one of them to your team.



Also here are two fairly good TMs. TM14 is Shine Bomb, a 65/100 physical Electric type move that can lower accuracy. TM38 is Raging Flame, a 110/100 physical Fire type move with a 10% chance to confuse the user. Raging Flame is an outstanding move, the confusion chance is low enough to not be a bother.

After beating up a ton of grunts and making our way to the third floor, we can start heading down. Once we go down an unassuming flight of stairs...



oh

No, those aren't statues. They're real. This might be a problem.



The grunt, realizing that he's incompetent and definitely can't handle Dialga and Palkia, does this.



THIS IS MOST DEFINITELY A PROBLEM.

A brief backstory interlude - Steven and Wallace were the leaders of BH and WH from the prequels to Vega.

And now, for team. They fortunately only use one Pokemon each in this double battle.



They just happen to be high leveled Dialga and Palkia.

Dialga L47: Earth Power/Aura Sphere/Geo Impact/Roar of Time
Palkia L47: Earth Power/Aura Sphere/Hydro Pump/Spacial Rend

Geo Impact is a 120/100 special Steel type move with a 60% chance to raise the opponent's Special Attack two stages. It doesn't matter if the opponent's special attack rises if they get OHKOed though.

Dialga and Palkia have high stats, movepools with perfect coverage and high BP, and are an ambush. If you're not prepared for this then things will go very, very badly. They OHKO most mons, and Palkia in particular is rather fast.



I do manage to take them down through coco not getting annihilated turn 1 since everything got focused on dance (rip) and her replacement lucy (also rip) so she could get off an Icy Wind and lower Palkia's speed. coco and death both weaken Dialga and Palkia before getting OHKOed and going down, and then deadeye and Aisha team up to beat Palkia as Steven and Wallace Hyper Potion Dialga. After that HJK mercifully doesn't miss and Dialga goes down.



that could have gone better

With that we're done with the Chateau of Time. While we could have done the gym before this, it's higher leveled so we do want to grind first.



First though, this. Ability is Pressure.




Some new moves. Thrash has been brought up to 120 BP so it's an upgrade over Slash, while Crunch replaces Bite. Swagger's not worth a slot, and Frostbite is a fantastic move. 80/95 special Ice type move with a 40% chance to raise Special Attack. It's even a spread move. While Icy Wind has been useful, this is far too good to pass up - it's basically a slightly worse Fiery Dance.



And the team heading into the gym. We're now past level 50.



The gym's gimmick is easy to see - everything is hard to see. It's basically Morty's gym, but instead of being simple to figure out, it's a puzzle. Beating trainers opens up a space that was previously a drop back to the start so you can access a new trainer and repeat. The ground never lights up. It takes a lot of patience, or a map. Fortunately, we have the later.





And with little issue we're at the gym leader.



He's gonna catch every ghost type. He's got an interesting team, and one that can be pretty threatening if you lack solid Ghost answers. Let's take a look at his team.

Jarmit @ Scope Lens L49: Big Yawn/Shadow Ball/Cross Chop/Focus Energy
Gengar @ Brightpowder L51: Psyburn/Shadow Ball/Sludge Bomb/Focus Blast
Hantama @ Focus Band L51: Hi Jump Kick/Icicle Punch/Rampage/Chomp
Necrosia @ Lum Berry L52: Psygatling/Wave Splash/Raging Flame/Night Slash

Icicle Punch is not Icicle Crash or Ice Punch, it's a 100/90 physical Ice move with a 20% chance to lower the opponent's evasion (I believe, could be own but I don't think so).

Jarmit is the easy one of this fight. It's the final evolution of Clotaku, is a pure Ghost type, and like Clotaku and Ajarimus has the same 395 BST. Jarmit spreads it out as 75/55/95/55/95/20, dumping Speed as much as possible for decent defenses. Its offenses are horribly low, so fortunately this guy isn't really a threat even with Focus Energy Scope Lens crit hunting. Deep Yawn can be annoying though.

Gengar is a huge threat, with perfect coverage and excellent Special Attack and high Speed backing it up. It's difficult to outspeed and all its moves hit like a truck. Brightpower's pretty much expected to see on gym leaders by now but that doesn't make it less annoying.

Hantama is Hantama only now we're facing it down. Shadow Clamp (Chomp) is back and even more threatening than last time since Hantama can actually do a lot of damage with it. Rampage and Icicle Punch are really only there if you bring out Folifarig or a Flying type, since HJK and Shadow Clamp are going to be more than enough. Focus Band is also here just to potentially mess with us.

Necrosia is the evolution of Yukaria, a Dark/Ghost type with 65/120/83/60/78/99 base stats. It's got no weaknesses, high speed, fantastic attack, and while it doesn't have the perfect neutral coverage every other member of the team has it might as well since we don't have access to any Dark/Water or Dark/Dragon types currently. Fenton's has access to those crazy high powered moves and a Lum Berry if he's unlucky enough to proc their secondary effect. Fortunately he doesn't have a particularly high powered STAB, but that doesn't really make this any easier to take on - we want to KO this ASAP.



Let's jam.



Jarmit goes down instantly to Blackglasses Crunch and lucy is benched for the rest of the fight since Gengar and Hantama both have 4x effective moves and Necrosia isn't weak to Dark.



Hantama is outsped by Aisha and OHKOed by Air Slash, making this one at least easy enough.



Gengar comes out and I send in deadeye to hopefully outspeed and OHKO with Shadow Claw as long as it doesn't miss. Gengar is really fast though, and gets the first attack off, for whatever reason going for Psyburn and its 70 accuracy instead of the almost equally as strong Shadow Ball. It misses, Shadow Claw doesn't, and Gengar goes down.



And in comes Necrosia. While dance doesn't have great physical defense, she's pretty strong. Necrosia outspeeds of course, hits Wave Splash, and takes a bit more than half from Crunch. At this point for some reason I decided that I wanted to preserve the 6-0 and switch to coco, expecting Wave Splash again.

coco promptly eats a Raging Flame to the face, survives, and finishes the job with Ice Beam. I love the Glachild line so much.



Fly use outside of battle: get.



This is rather nice, Shadow Ball is a good move.



Second gym with 0 deaths done due to a lucky Psyburn miss from Gengar. We'll head to the center and then keep moving forwards.



In this case forwards being west to Route 516 since the Roadblock Gang aren't budging. Clearing out the trainers who are less than no threat is easy enough.



want this give



And that cave there is our destination next update - Mt. Snowfall, home of the mighty Shuckle.
 
Last edited:
Ravenplume City's theme is pretty relaxing, nice

do you plan on keeping this team to the end or switching things around later?

(free hoothoot, please.)
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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lucariomaster2: That was the 6th badge. Game has a total curve up to level 80 for the champion's ace.

rssp1: I'm open to switching the team up - death and lucy are the two on the chopping block if anybody is, but coco, Aisha, and deadeye are going to the league. hoothoot will not be joining the team it is not better than death or lucy and i cant even give the shiny one a nickname its SO BAD


Not an overly eventful or long update, but this is the calm before the storm of bosses about to come.

Mt. Snowfall is a giant maze filled with ledges and exits to small outside paths.



It's also home to three newly obtainable Pokemon. Rhydon evolves into Rhyperior with a Moon Stone, so it's obtainable pretty easily at this point. Shuckle gets Deep Yawn through the move reminder and has good bulk so it's a decent choice for catching things. Larvitar is Larvitar and is a rare encounter only on the 2nd and 3rd floors. If for whatever reason we don't want a Larvitar we can go back to Shamouti to trade it for the only Riolu in the game.



We're going to take two of the three.



On the subject of new Pokemon, one of the trainers uses this. This is the first stage of Vega's pseudo legendary, and is a Water/Dragon type with 44/60/35/60/35/56 base stats. It won't be available until Victory Road, but it's a decent mon.



Some new moves too. I'd rather have Swords Dance for death and Bounce is kind of mediocre at best. Wild Growth is a 100/95 physical Grass move with a chance to lower the opponent's speed. It's a pretty decent move and a good upgrade over Leaf Guardian.



For being a frozen hellscape, there's some good items in here. TM01 is Swords Dance, the Sun Stone is useful for a bunch more Pokemon than normal including Togekiss. There's also-



oh



you still don't have talking privileges back



Good boy. Now we'll go do your job for you.



After navigating through some Strength puzzles on ice, we reach the very top of the mountain and find this fellow. Once we talk to him we're instantly warped down to where PAPER was.



He attempts to bribe us to let him speak but Old Amber is nowhere near good enough to work as a bribe. Aerodactyl isn't the best thing ever, but it does have access to Brave Bird with Rock Head later on along with Raze Earth though the latter is off Aerodactyl's low Special Attack. We're not even going to bother reviving it.

PAPER also mentions that the director of the broadcast station we saw a little while ago has a ton of meteorites.



That sounds like something these guys who still haven't left might be interested in.



Thankfully we have Fly now, so it's not a long trip to grab the Meteorite and get these scientists out of the way. We do have to go up the back entrance to the broadcast station though.



And with the path clear, we're free to head to Route 515. Route 515 has nothing new and is incredibly short - it's maybe 40 tiles from one end to the other.



A nice TM though. This is Energy Ball, which is only 80 BP but still a handy move.



And just like that we've arrived. Lapizula City has a bunch of stuff that we want, but first let's check out the new captures.



Well that's an awfully tempting nature on daidog. She's going in the "possible teammate" pile - Larvitar and Pupitar have a ton of incredibly good level up moves, getting Crunch, Earthquake, and Stone Edge right before becoming Tyranitar - if we hold out until level 60 as Pupitar or level 50 as Larvitar because we hate ourselves we can even grab Grand Boulder.



We meet this gent in town. Maybe this means there's something good at the mart?



Clearly he's terrible at his job. Buyable Ultra Balls at last and Max Repels are good, but Super Potions? Really? At least we can Fly back to Ravenplume if we need more Hyper Potions, but still.



Some items too. Neither is particularly great since we could already get Megahorn from the game corner, but the thought's appreciated.



And then there's the move tutor. He's outstanding, and we have a total of 3 Heart Scales. Here's all the moves he offers to teach.



That sure is a lot of moves, along with a bunch of new ones!

Bug Noise is a 120/90 special Bug type move with a 10% chance of paralyzing the user. Paralysis is debilitating enough that it's only questionably worth it for a little bit longer. It's very strong though.

Giga Spark is a 120/80 physical Electric type move with a 10% chance of lowering the user's defense two stages. It's a good move for physical Electric types and honestly just physical mons in general.

Raid is a 100/100 physical Bug type move with a 20% chance of causing status in weather - burn for sun, poison for rain, paralysis for sandstorm, and freeze for hail. Even without the status effects this is a fantastic move since it's Bug type Earthquake.

Dark Resolve is a 120/100 special Dark type move which will always poison the user. This makes it extremely good for Steel and Poison types that can learn the move. lucy can learn this btw.

The rest we've seen and I've given data on before, but if you want me to elaborate on anything then I'd be happy to. Hydro Pump and Nasty Plot being tutor moves results in surprisingly high distribution.



We have three Heart Scales, deadeye is staying on the team until postgame when we can farm Heart Scales, this is happening. Despite the imperfect accuracy compared to Shadow Claw, this is a good upgrade.

And now we've got some grinding for the upcoming boss gauntlet. Not too much fortunately, but enough that I'm going to cut off here for now. Feel free to weigh in on teammates now that you know who the definitely-staying team members are and who can possibly go. Hoothoot will not be joining the team.
 
ttar would be sick to have, same with the ghost (yukario?)

if you evolve hoothoot you get noctowl and I think that'd be a fine addition to your team as well
 

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