Let's Play! Merritt learns about (Poorly Made Romhacks) in Dark Rising [COMPLETE]


literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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There's a balance in the world. For all fun things, there is an unpleasant thing. For every blessing, a curse. For every good romhack, some twenty-odd bad ones.

wait that doesn't sound balanced at all

Welcome to Dark Rising, a not-so-good romhack that I'm planning to play through and probably make fun of quite often for its many bugs, balance issues, and terrible plot. If you're a fan of this hack then I'm sorry though I'm going to try my best to only rip on the stuff that's clearly not good. If you're familiar with Dark Rising then welcome back, I hope time hasn't dulled your memories too much. Let's get started, shall we?

Dark Rising uses a FireRed base, so we have the usual blurb at the start. I think the text here might be slightly edited but I could just be misremembering the original words here. I usually just skip through this bit as fast as possible, so I guess it could be the same as the base game.

Well bar the lobotomized Pikachu, that's new.

Also Arceus has taken the place of Oak. I'm not sure if the Pichu implies that Arceus itself is actually a trainer or what.

Arceus exposits at us for a bit, apparently we're the Chosen One and need to defeat DARUGIS or DOGSRUS allcaps with Arceus' power.

Names chosen by Gummy and MeepBard. I'm playing a girl because the developer is bad at making sure dialogue checks gender, so there's going to be a lot of referring to Bianca as "him" which will make this slightly funnier to me.

Also our rival is apparently a "chosen" like us and unfortunately neither of us get to keep using these good looking sprites. It's a shame.

And we're off to the races. The PC contains a Potion like normal, this is an even better idea to grab than in normal play.

Before we're allowed to leave, MOM steals our current shoes and forces us into the Running Shoes. This is always a good change that I'm very happy to see romhacks implement.

The instant we're allowed outside though it's pouring rain and this guy drags us over to Professor Ivan's lab. This is in fact DHR .-., he was just catfishing us with the earlier picture.

In the lab, because the world is apparently ending due to extreme weather (i hadnt noticed), Professor Ivan's package is late. His solution is to give the two of us a starter to keep and send us off on an errand to get his stuff. That's a fair trade I suppose, though as usual for a FR base we'll be picking first while DHR .-. gets to go second. Since I went with the Grass starter in Vega, maybe I'll do Fire or Water this time?

psyche its actually three pseudolegendary dragon base stages haha

To actually discuss their relative merits, Dratini is awful and far and away the worst of the three starters here. The reason for this is simple - Dratini's only attacking move for nearly 10 levels is Wrap. This means not only is the starting battle nearly unwinnable, but even the wilds are liable to be 1v1ing Dratini until it gets several levels under its belt. Pair this with the latest evolution level of the trio (though this actually matters way less than you'd think) and you've got a clear dud.

Bagon is the middle child. It doesn't really have anything wrong with it, it's actually pretty much just fine. Shelgon isn't very good in Dark Rising unfortunately but Salamence certainly makes up for it and since there's no Physical/Special split in Dark Rising Salamence is probably the best of the three in terms of actually using its Dragon STAB.

Gible is the creator's favorite.

Name courtesy of Altissimo

I'm taking Gible because this hack is actually difficult at times. Not in a fair way unfortunately, but it certainly has no compunctions about tearing your face off. Gible can get either Sand Veil or Rough Skin because that was necessary.

Par for the course, we've got a rival battle. Notice our High Quality backsprite.

This is not in fact Ivan. This is Arceus, or rather "the voice from my dream" as Bianca puts it. We've got a direct line to the big G.

Apparently Oak is in our head too. This is actually from using Mud Slap, it triggered both the damaging and the status move lines.

Since we did not choose Dratini this goes quickly and fairly easily with Mud Slap making poor Bagon miss nearly half its Bites, and we're free to leave.

Well, as long as we don't step on either side of the doormat since that'll freeze us in place and we'll need to load our savestate.

It's still pouring rain in town and these three campers look awfully suspicious. Talking to any of them gets us challenged to a duel against all three in a row with our newly obtained starter.

Mercifully, the game is willing to let us say no this one time. We could probably take them on, they're using Pokemon on the same level as the wilds and we're healed fully after each battle, but in the interest of safety we'll be doing some minor grinding to prepare.

It's pouring rain on the Route 1 equivalent too, but the guy waiting at the entrance is not in fact an ambush trainer but a nice man who gives us a Dragon Fang. This will surely see use (it probably won't).

There's huge variety in the wilds on Route 1 with most regions through Unova getting some representation. They're largely underwhelming unfortunately, but it's much better than just two options for wilds.

Decent EXP too. Reminder that Bite is special here since it's a Dark-type move.

Taking out the wannabe gauntlet rewards us this. It's not really very helpful because we're going to end up with more money than Scrooge McDuck, but the gesture is nice enough.

Much less nice though is the single house on Route 1 which is actually the trainer's school.

The instant we step into the building, this woman accosts us, drags us to the center of the classroom...

challenges us to a battle...

and starts what is an incredibly rude ambush. I did a bit of grinding on the wilds because this fight is Very Dumb. Roselia has fantastic stats for this early in the game and its moves are Sunny Day, Rain Dance, and Weather Ball. This is possibly the only point in the game where Gible is the worst starter choice because Rain Weather Ball hits Gible for the full approximately 150 BP of damage while everybody else is only taking roughly 75 BP attacks regardless of weather. It's a very dumb fight that's only manageable due to the AI's stupidity and near constant attempts to switch between sun and rain. The single Rain Weather Ball that hits Gible though does over 25 damage and it's a lot of Mud Slaps before Roselia drops.

There is no appropriate reward for this fight.

Anyways, our real destination is this random cave on Route 1 because that's where deliveries are made apparently. Pete is allegedly a friend from town and he challenges us to a battle as you could probably already expect at this point.

He's thankfully not much of a challenge at our level.

The inside of the cave actually has some decent quality stuff, including Timburr, Geodude, Roggenrola, and Zubat. We're quickly going to grab Dragonbreath at level 14 in anticipation of the back of the barely edited Altering Cave.

Which is where this chick, BlueMars, attacks us for recognizing the name DARWINGUS. She's incredibly nasty if the dragon isn't level 14 where it learns Dragonbreath.

This is because of her high leveled Axew which for some insane reason has Intimidate as its ability. With Dragonbreath it's not an issue thankfully, but if picking Dratini the issue would be getting to level 14 in the first place.

Right through the hole in the cave is this fully furnished building for unknown reasons. I don't understand how these people actually leave, unless they're just kind of ok with fighting through the wild Pokemon every time they need to go for a walk.

On the subject of walks though, we head out of the cave to go deliver our package and meet Lance and his pet Tornadus just kind of hanging around outside. You might expect that we're instantly jumped the second we step outside, but you'd be wrong. It's the tile one step down that we need to go to that triggers the cutscene.

Turns out Bianca is a moron and she wants to fight this guy who is apparently about to get off on breaking our bones. Thankfully we're a little overleveled for this point in the game though we're also out of Potions at this point.


No, I don't know why the tutorial dialogue appears again. It's exactly the same as the rival battle as far as I can tell. Even so, that is still a level 50 Tornadus before we've even gotten pokeballs.

this is my absolute favorite screen in the game

So, presumably because the hacker couldn't figure out how to get Thunder's perfect accuracy in rain working for Hurricane, they took the easy route and just make it so Hurricane is a 120/100 move. The 120 BP STAB move from a level 50 Tornadus OHKOs Garth handily.

i didnt use good enough strategy

It is possible to avoid this battle by wiping to the wilds in the cave but there's no real reason to do so. Coming back later and destroying him has no differences in the cutscene afterwards, it still acts as though we lost.

i did nothing to him but he did something to her

(this is a common occurrence but here is the first instance I believe)

We black out and wake up back in our bed. Leaving the house shows that the rain has finally cleared up.

We finally finish our errand and so has DHR .-. who was told to go collect Ingredients from the forbidden forest while we got jumped by the insane dragon lady BlueMars and lance with Tornadus. DHR .-. is trying to claim our name but don't be fooled, those words are coming from his mouth.

As payment for our services we're given a Pokedex and 5 Pokeballs along with a mandate to kind of go do whatever. 5 Pokeballs isn't really a lot though and we've got plenty of money so naturally we're going to head back into that cave and buy some more before going on a catching spree.

or not because this apparently isn't a mart because who needs items like potions or antidotes or pokeballs 5 is plenty right

North of Route 1 is this place which is a maze filled with two things: an absurd number of trainers and a ton of Grass and Bug types.

Two of which are dirty traps. These both have incredibly low catch rates so they'll eat all 5 Pokeballs we have if we went for them without abusing savestates. I don't really want to go for either of them honestly, though Bulbasaur could be quite nice.

The good stuff to go for is actually back in Altering Cave. Timburr and Geodude are both excellent investments, and Geodude in particular has very early access to a hugely buffed Rock Slide. Other decent options include the Starly on Route 1, Venipede isn't the worst choice, or even



A spot of training later and we're done with Twist Woodlands for now and can finally move on.

Move on to an immediate ambush. Unlike before, we're not allowed to say no to this three trainer gauntlet. We get a little bit of plot here though.

Apparently we look like our father who these guys really hated.

They're not real slouches either, both of the first two have Pokemon at level 16 with the second one being a Skorupi to mess with basically all the stuff in the forest.

There's no brakes here either. The last one has a level 18 Frillish and poor mish mish got mished by Skorupi. Mud Slap saves the day again.

Plus side, DHR .-. doesn't actually want to fight us after the DARK THUGS run away and we can finally move into our first actual town with four buildings.

The town is home to this incredibly rude boy who walks away from us while we're talking to him. No this didn't softlock the game, it's just that the NPC doesn't actually stop and face us, he just keeps wandering around.

Stepping into the center meanwhile gets us ambushed.

By this girl who just gives us a Munna. I don't really get it but ok?

This, however, is incredibly unpleasant of the hack to do. To heal Pokemon we need to talk to the dude in the white hat to heal. If we talk to Nurse Joy with two or more unfainted Pokemon in our party (and remember that stepping in here gave us a level 1 unfainted Pokemon to add to our team immediately!) then she explains who the guy is.

Apparently at every center it's this guy Roy who's responsible for healing and Joy's just an assistant.

Then they both attack us in a fight we can't refuse. This could potentially be a very nasty surprise if taken on with just a single weakened teammate and the level 1 Munna.

Another house in town has this girl also jump us when we talk to her. Lesson learned, never talk to strangers kids you don't know who'll attack you. She's not a pushover like Roy&Joy were either, she's got 3 level 15s with good movesets, items, and she has Potions to heal them with.

Her last mon Gothita does have Skill Swap so you'll be able to switch sooner or later but yeah the Gothita line has Shadow Tag. Yaaaaay.

Dig is still 60 BP but it's stronger than Mud Slap and a physical STAB attack would be nice.

Before we're done in town it's time to hit up the mart. The fact that we can already buy revives is not a good sign. (I grab 2)

Leaving town brings us to Lavaburn Path, a Route 2 reskin with slightly different tree placement allowing us to get to the house normally near Diglett's Cave immediately but we still have to go through 'Viridian Forest'.

The house, aside from letting us get up onto the roof, actually still contains a trade for one of the less common encounters in the grass outside, Abra. The common encounters aren't worth mentioning.

Doing the trade sends our poor Abra into a glitchy hellscape, but the prize for us is something neat.

A Larvesta is a neat earlygame option, though the late evolution level is kind of offputting.

wait nevermind it's locked to jolly and therefore not very good longterm pass

Heading back to Tiki Village causes Red to appear in the trees. Talking to him freezes the game. He never appeared heading out of Tiki Village, only when returning, which is real weird. Either way, this isn't our real destination.

We're heading to Lavaburn Forest.

But first an ambush from Pete the second we step inside the gate to the forest. He's improved a little, he's got 4 mons and his Trapinch caps at 16 now, but he's not hard. After sending him packing we're free to explore the forest itself.

this is the least forest forest i have ever seen

Lavaburn Forest is filled to the brim with Fire-types, stuff like Houndour, Ponyta, Growlithe, Torkoal, and Darumaka. However, there's one thing that's the real prize here.

Come to poppa. Not all Vulpix have Drought but it's easy to figure out which ones do. This is absolutely worth picking up for several reasons, not least of which being that this is how you can run a sun team ingame.

Caught 4 of em, took the one with the best nature. wincon actually has fantastic IVs too, 20 or higher in everything but Attack which is near 0.

An extremely brief grind in Twist Woodlands later and wincon is mostly caught up and we're ready to head to the next town which is where the first leader is. I hope you're not worried about the level curve just yet.

The first leader is a bit of a doozy actually but our levels are high enough that I don't think I'll need to grind to prepare. Maybe.

I'm pretty sure I already know what I'm using and it's mostly going to be stuff to express my dislike for the balance of this game but you can still suggest things. No promise I'll use em though.
Awww I was hoping that this was dark rising kaizo instead of just the really old original dark rising. Then again that version has improved balancing and somehow makes the battles harder despite the average level curve of that game somehow being lower than this one`s, in addition to having a much more developed plot while still retaining the main plot points of, uh, this game. Iirc this original version even has a lot of typos o.o Then again there would probably be less bad design choices to pick apart so eh. And also yeah it`s kinda absurd how fast the level curve of this game grows, iirc the 4th gym`s leader`s ace mon is level 70? And of course some ambush battles are quite dumb, particularly those involving certain dragons *cough* kyurem b and w surprise battles *cough*. Anyway good luck with rest of the game!


literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
sg pokemon: It's a mixture of this being more broken and therefore is more fun to commentate on as well as never having played the kaizo version. Keeping up with this level curve is going to be painful honestly but thankfully I can go fast.

MeepBard: see title

Once we're out of the forest that isn't really a forest, we're ambushed by this guy who's apparently heard about us from the dark thugs.

Quite a nice guy really, he tells us about Bianca's father who's apparently going to be erased from existence and that he's about to murder us.

This world where townsfolk attack means this guy could actually be a swell fella. His team, on the other hand, speaks volumes. He's running a Murkrow, Misdreavus, and Golett ranging from 16-18 with custom sets. Both the Murkrow and Misdreavus are actually running Toxic, something pretty deadly in the overworld if lacking revives.

oh yeah and the golett line has shadow tag

Ultimately an extremely profitable fight though since wincon has ascended and learned one of the best moves in the game. I'll explain in a bit.

And we're finally in not-Pewter City, complete with the first gym of the game. Aside from the gym there's 3 main points of interest for us now though, being the center, mart, and a random lab.

Shopping is first up and oh boy look what it's got for us. No Revives here but instead we can get ourselves a Drought Ninetales before the first gym. The running theme of this entire town is going to be "how can we break Vulpix" honestly.

And the second part of that is this obvious scam which I'm taking anyways because it's cheap. As you can see, Dr. Roy is in today.

And yep, talking to Joy starts a double battle. However, this is an excellent time to demonstrate wincon's newfound dominance over Dark Rising.

So I mentioned before that Dark Rising doesn't have a physical/special split, so Vulpix can actually make use of Zen Headbutt as a special move. However, the creator didn't do a good job with actually implementing Zen Headbutt into Dark Rising, along with a bunch of other moves. These are the characteristics of Zen Headbutt.
  • Special
  • Does not make contact
  • Sound
  • 100 Effect Accuracy
So in short, Zen Headbutt will not activate abilities like Static or Rough Skin and as long as it hits it will cause the target to flinch. If the move wasn't 90 accuracy it'd be even more absurd, as it is it's just crazy broken.

Once done at the Pokemon Center it's off to this building in town where we're immediately confronted by this guy.

Who drags us to the middle of the room...

and attacks us. This is awfully familiar and we haven't even fought a gym since last time.

He's not too notable honestly aside from the spike to level 21 with his Absol. That's not very nice to see at this point in the game with a Pokemon that has decent stats like Absol.

Accidentally delayed this earlier but now we've got actual stats on Garth and won't be outsped by everything. Does Emmet have anything of value to say or give us after the fight with his level 21 Absol?

He does not. Gym it is then, since the path out of town is blocked by the kid who drags you around Pewter City normally.

It's got the same layout as Brock's place but this is actually a Fire gym in disguise with gym leader Fiery. Time to see where the level curve actually is at this point in the game.

Vulpix Lv18: Quick Attack/Ember/Will-O-Wisp/Iron Tail
Houndour Lv18: Thief/Ember/Double Team/Roar
Heatmor* Lv20: Fire Punch/Thunder Punch/Solarbeam/Will-O-Wisp

Why yes that is a Drought team in the first gym. Just because the game is handing the player broken things doesn't mean that it's going to roll over and die.

Both the Vulpix and Houndour are non-factors, being way too weak to be a significant threat to anything that's not significantly lower leveled or weak to Fire. Heatmor is the big one here with its sun boosted Fire Punches and Solarbeam in case we were feeling cute and grabbed a Geodude for the Rock resistance to Fire. If not bringing Gabite this gym can be tricky, though funnily Heatmor doesn't actually like using Solarbeam, preferring to use Fire Punch. Fortunately Garth is going to eat this gym alive.

Let's get started.

Dig OHKO x1

Dig OHKO x2

Despite appearances, this is not in fact a shiny Heatmor - it doesn't sparkle when it comes out to play. The gym leaders actually have enemy exclusive Pokemon. There's no way for the people playing the hack to legitimately obtain a Heatmor, this is something inserted into the limbo slots.

Anyways, it's 2HKOed by Dig and doesn't do a ton of damage with Fire Punch.

One down, seven to go. This is also the last vaguely reasonably leveled gym leader for the point they're at in the game.

The reward, on the other hand, is anything but reasonable. This is Overheat Drought Ninetales with broken Zen Headbutt seconds after beating the first gym leader. It's insane.

I'd be nuts not to. Gonna hold off on Ninetales until wincon learns Flamethrower which isn't too far away honestly.

With the gym finished we're free to head east to a route that's perpetually raining and filled with a trainer gauntlet.

Definitely not without a reward though. Adamant Breloom is here to shape the meta and of course I'm not going to stay as Shroomish for Spore.

At the end of the route we're faced with two unpleasant surprises. First is that Axew girl from the beginning of the game is back and the second being the replacement of the Pokemon Center by Mt. Moon in FR with a random house.

Naturally we're still able to stand on the roof. Inside we can grab an old rod which is vaguely better than normal. A center would have been preferred though.

It's not too far back to town and then it's time to bite the bullet. Some uninteresting backstory, Bianca is acknowledged as not in fact being a servant of DINGUS but this girl still wants to fight us for some reason.

If you insist.

It's pretty uneventful. Axew having Intimidate is still absurd though.

After the battle she runs off without even apologizing but that's also a running theme for Dark Rising, right up there with townsfolk attacking.

That taken care of, we're free to head into Mt. Moon Waters Cavern.

Where we're promptly ambushed. Not particularly difficult, just a level 20 Frillish and nothing else, but note the fact that it is raining inside a cave. The layout is basically identical to Mt Moon, just with a bunch of water everywhere and raining.

The interior is filled with a bunch of Water types while fishing gives us Magikarp and Feebas. Feebas evolves by level and is absolutely useless until then but it's still potentially fun for novelty? Grabbing one anyways.

There's also wild Tynamo which a line of dialogue tried to say were infected by DINGOS' power which is hackerspeak for "I replaced Spinda with these and I can't make the spots go away"

There's also rare wild Squirtle which are ok? Catching one because why not. There's a bunch of neat Water types like Chinchou, Shellos, and most importantly

I think this speaks for itself.

Grabbing one of these for obvious reasons.

The route outside that leads to Waters Cavern has wild Lotad incidentally which is the ticket for rain offense. We've got mish already so I don't think we'll be using Lotad but it's definitely an effective strategy.

46 is still Thief. Bullet Seed not getting its 25 BP buff from Gen 5 is perfectly rational naturally it's not like it was a bad move or anything beforehand.

Talking to this guy will cause him to ! at us and nothing else. It doesn't freeze the game fortunately but I have no clue what's going on to cause this behavior.

The cave is filled with a bunch of reasonably leveled trainers and Pokemon though and it's time for a bit of training because the hellmurder curve is about to start. Two mostly useless moves, but level 25 has an entirely separate benchmark for babylonia.

The strong getting stronger. Hypnosis and Water Gun work well enough with the support of Drizzle.

The Dark Thugs in the cave aren't any issue at all and we've only got the fossil guy from vanilla to deal with before we can leave. We also get a fossil and one of the fossils is absurdly high quality, just have to take Miguel out first.


The level curve jumping yet again, this is something that makes me less than thrilled (Bastiodon took that damage from Dig incidentally). Stealth Rock is very literally a Rock typed Spikes here, it has an identical effect as Spikes - no effective damage, up to 3 layers. However, Spikes is still in the game. Of all the moves that could have been added, the decision was that we really needed Spikes and Spikes 2. Ah whatever, Bastiodon wasn't an issue.

Also Metal Claw is better than Tackle.

I see what you're selling game. Thankfully Rampardos is slow enough that we can deal with it using Babylonia after mish mish weakens it a bit with Mach Punch.

Or Ancientpower could proc that works too. Plan B time - after mish mish dies Foster the Squirtle is taking a hit while we use a Revive and Mach Punch to victory.

It works, but a +1 Rampardos 3 levels higher than my highest leveled mon is pretty damn scary.

Our just desserts. The other option is Tirtouga but Archen is miles better. It does not have Truant as a Defeatist replacement. With that settled we're finally done with the cave and can limp along to the Cerulean City replacement.

well i guess we found the pokemon center

Yes it's another ambush right after that nasty level spike battle. Surely it'll be a pushover after that?

Not completely. Nothing on his team is evolved, but they're decently high leveled and have good custom movesets and items. mish mish carries us through most of the battle and wincon deals with the rest, so not a big deal but definitely unpleasant to deal with right after the level 30 Intimidate Rampardos.

never talk to me again

The center's right there thankfully and the grass has decently leveled (20ish) wilds along with another rare starter. Mudkip is obviously a good pokemon, but there's also stuff like Ferroseed, Croagunk, Lotad, and Aipom.

Probably not going to use this either but a good backup option if we drop babylonia.

The move tutors are hanging out here still. Mega Kick isn't particularly good but babylonia could use an upgrade over Doubleslap. Mega Punch is also underwhelming but at least it's accurate.

well that's a bit better

mish mish should be happy with this and now has her own nuclear option that also heals, definitely a plus.

On the other end of the route we're ambushed by this guy who walks without any animation whatsoever. He's actually not a pushover with a mono-electric team including Jolteon, Elekid, and Ampharos.

The Ampharos is naturally pushing the level curve even further. This is actually a pretty difficult fight if unprepared in terms of level or Pokemon - Jolteon has Thunderbolt while Ampharos has Thunder and Hyper Beam on a route with permarain.

Garth carries the day for us and we're finally in the next city with the second gym, overall significantly less painful than the trip to the first gym. Note that we've pushed the level curve up to 31 now, up 11 levels from the last gym leader's ace, who herself was only 8 levels higher than the last mandatory (winnable) battle before Pokeballs. The curve is accelerating.

Yes, the entire Poliwag line has Drizzle incidentally so babylonia is going to go Poliwrath. I'm not sure off the top of my head if Politoed is even in Dark Rising, though it doesn't really matter.

Next time we'll go back to the Dread Swamp quickly and do a battle that I missed.
you know I have in fact seen some lps of this before but I never manage to remember what's unique about any given rom hack, but Drought Ninetales before the first gym is deffo ringing some bells.

Didn't know that about Zen Headbutt tho. Good job hacker

also lmao wtf tynamo that's amazing


literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
altissimo: It's somewhat infamous, but I also mentioned it in the OI discord a few times some months back so that could be it too? Zen Headbutt is amazing though, means that if Vulpix outspeeds something and doesn't miss then it wins. Unless Inner Focus.

Last time, after taking out Eon and his level 31 Thunder Ampharos, we finally arrived at Atlantic City.

A place apparently inhabited by demons wearing the skins of humans judging by that reflection. At least we're not vampires.

A stop by the mart gives us access to Drizzle Poliwrath before the second gym because that's fine. We'll be keeping babylonia as a Poliwhirl for a little while though in order to get Body Slam since Poliwrath mostly doesn't get moves by level.

This also means Ludicolo is available of course.

As we jump back into the Dread Swamp to hit up something we skipped last time, wincon has finally done it.

fear her

Overheat is suddenly far less useful because Drought Flamethrower is ridiculously spamable though it's still fine at nuking single targets. Zen Headbutt is the cheese move but now Flamethrower outdamages it on anything except something like a Tentacool. Poliwrath has nothing on Ninetales, though rain teams are way better than sun teams for obvious reasons.

What we passed over last time was this, the underground path because we've gotta have all the stuff from Kanto here. It doesn't connect to anything like in canon but is just a dead end, though with a surprise at the end.

Surprise. We already knew Ash was in here, so Max isn't really that shocking.


We could access this before fighting Eon and his cap at level 31. Leafeon is Max's first mon.

The rest of his team really sucks in terms of quality mons thankfully, being a Dwebble, Nosepass, and Ralts. The Nosepass and Dwebble are low 30s, but the Ralts pushes the level curve even further.

Reminder that we have not hit the second gym yet.

Despite abysmal stats, the Ralts can potentially be an issue for underleveled teams (though the Leafeon alone is liable to sweep those) since it packs Calm Mind and Psychic. Dragon Claw is an upgrade over Dragonbreath despite losing out on the paralysis chance and still being special.

That being taken care of, there's no reward for beating Max aside from a short lore dump, so on the whole mostly a waste of time. Atlantic City isn't particularly large either, with the only remaining points of interest being the reappearance of Pete the Trapinch Dude (who amazingly doesn't want to fight us!) and the gym.

Also this house which apparently Brock from the anime trashed. Turned his frying pan into a crying pan or something because the people are devastated.

We've got a gym to beat before exploring that, however. Typhoon isn't just borrowing the gym like Fiery was, he's actually a Water gym leader. No points if you can guess the strategy he's using here.

Poliwhirl Lv27: Scald/Hypnosis/Dig/Doubleslap
Lanturn Lv27: Shock Wave/Water Pulse/Supersonic/Thunder Wave
Marshtomp Lv28: Mud Shot/Water Pulse/Facade/Stealth Rock
Seismitoad Lv32: Scald/Drain Punch/Mud Shot/Substitute

Go on. Guess. Guess what the exclusive Seismitoad's ability is while you're at it.

Might as well get this over with.

oh boy a rain team. i sure am looking forward to fending off rain boosted scalds.

Amazing how effectively having your own weather can disrupt AI attempts to run weather teams.

Hypnosis lands on the switchin and wincon takes nearly 50% in the 4 turns of sleep from Scalds and Dig before Zen Headbutt flinches Poliwhirl to death. I love sun.

Lanturn attempts to use Thunder Wave 3 times in a row while Dig 2HKOs.

There's a good reason I kept Mega Drain. It 2HKOs while Marshtomp takes the opportunity to set up SpikesStealth Rock.

This is a good bit trickier since Drain Punch does a lot of damage and Mega Drain is barely managing the 3HKO before Drain Punch healing. It still outdamages mish mish's own Drain Punch attempts because Seismitoad is extremely bulky.

Pay attention to the level curve because it's going to be trashed for the rest of this update.

Decent reward, certainly an upgrade over Bubble until babylonia can finally get Surf.

Now to go follow Brock from the Pokemon anime.

He's speaking in ALLCAPS, laughing about the power of Entei and insulting us.

Of course we're gonna fight him.

In doubles against a very curiously leveled team. We're technically not regressing the level curve since he has an ace of a level 32 Steelix and this battle's actually tricky because it's all fully evolved high BST mons holding good items like Leftovers, including the most legit Swampert ever.

please die

Afterwards it's time to immediately run back to the Pokemon Center before returning despite our minor bumps and bruises, otherwise we'd be in for a rude awakening against

DHR .-. you're ambushing us literally 2 spaces away from where we fought Brock can you kindly piss off

guess not

He immediately brings us back to reality with the level curve by having a lowest level of 29 with Rufflet.

Capping out at level 35 with a Shelgon that survives Dragon Claw and rudely OHKOs Garth with a Dragon Fang boosted Dragon Pulse.

At least we're getting a reward from this. Not a particularly good one but I'll take what I can get.

That was an unpleasant fight. Thank god for Zen Headbutt or else we might have had to use Revives.

Then, because this is not-Nugget Bridge, there's a short 5 trainer gauntlet up ahead except all of em are Dark Thugs and very underwhelming. V's waiting at the end though and this is our most convenient grinding location for the next while so time to get back on the curve.

Not by using our new VS Seeker of course because all that does is turn the Dark Thugs into ghosts who refuse to fight us. Instead we're using the grass that's infested with Flying types.

Fairly productive on the whole. Learned both of these over Mega Kick and Metal Claw respectively.

That is an unpleasantly compressed sprite and a terrible move babylonia will not be learning. The whole team's going up to the 35/36 mark because that's what I had the patience to do. Time to take on V.

Anything interesting to say V?

thought not

He's using the same team as last time we fought him, just at much higher levels now.

Capping out at level 38.

Remember that when we entered this route and fought Brock the level curve was hitting 32, same as the gym leader. We've traveled a total of maybe 40 steps north and it's already jumped 6 levels (though to an unevolved Pokemon). This is not a good sign.

We're still not quite matching Max's Ralts.

I guess that's a thing. V leaves and we've got the normal Kanto Route 25 group to beat up in order to get to the cave where Brock ran off to.

Keeping Drain Punch for the accuracy and healing, though arguably I should have given babylonia the Drain Punch tutor and had mish mish take Sky Uppercut. Eh, the earlier Drain Punch made stuff easier for us.

Alright sure. Ash tells us that he's going to go after Brock since Brock is acting weird and hands us the SS Ticket since we're on the cape after all. Unfortunately this cave is our only way to advance so no skipping over Brock's Bizarre Adventure.

Atlantic Cave is filled with a bunch of ground types and an overwhelming number of Dark Thugs.

Here's the third weather in case we wanted to run a sand team for some reason (why would you). There's also wild Charmander though they're really not worth it either.

Mixed in with the grunts are the goons and goonetes who are using small teams with fully evolved mons around level 36 or so. They're not likely to wipe teams that beat the rival and V but they put holes in them and it's a very long walk back to Atlantic City for the center.

A little over halfway through the cave is this fellow just hanging around the Dark Thugs. Sure, this would be a nice upgrade over Mud Slap for Garth.

...OK? This would actually be even better, since Rock Slide is 90/90 in Dark Rising for some reason. Shouldn't be an issue since Gabite learns both Stone Edge and Rock Slide by TM.

oh go to hell game

This can replace Mud Slap instead.

Sure looks like a tense situation up there. Time to prepare for something hard after dealing with the weak grunt and goon who walk right up to us.

you appear to have placed your scripts poorly ms hackerwoman

The tiles right above the goon and grunt start the Brock event, but we can walk right around them like this.


I could probably skip this entire thing and we'd lose nothing but might as well get it over with.

Apparently Ash's Charizard was getting destroyed by Entei and then Brock has it attack us. Player pandering aside, I wonder how they'll make a single Pokemon fight challenging at all since it wasn't until gen 7 that we started getting those and even then it was due to the stat boosts.


well that'd do it sure


It's actually not a pushover just because I have rain on my side - Eruption followed by Double-Edge takes out Babylonia and it's only because Entei spams Eruption on Garth instead of the stronger Flamethrower or Double-Edge that Garth takes it out with Dig. If not running rain this is incredibly impolite though since Entei is liable to outspeed everything and Eruption hits like several trucks.

After the fight Ash heads off and we're free to finally get out of that dungeon.

Onto yet another route pouring rain. Joy. At least there's a center right next door.

The level curve has technically hit 50. We currently have two badges.
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Oh god I remember playing dark rising a few years back and getting a fair way through the sequel before finally being unable to slog through it any longer.

I don’t remember anything about the team I used except that I picked Gible and I think I used a Gyarados. However, I definitely remember the ridiculous level curve, the neverending onslaught of battles against anime characters, the poorly scripted (in both senses of the word) cutscenes, and the absurdity of physical, 100%-accurate Hurricane.

I can’t remember: did the irritating ‘characterisation’ of the player character start in this game, or did that not come up till the sequel? I have some memory of the player character saying some cringeworthy dialogue, which got progressively more douche-y throughout the game, as part of a bizarre attempt at a character arc for a player avatar (???), but I’m not sure if that only started in the second game.
One of the most annoying things about this game is that when you`re about to battle some important trainers with a lot of lines, the trainer encounter theme usually starts playing. Having to put up with the trainer encounter theme being repeated over and over as you try skimming through the lines as fast as possible is one of the most infuriating things about this game. Also yeah that lv50 entei can go burn straight to hell, like seriously just what the hell?! Also I believe you have ended this part of the playthrough right at the route where you battle...THAT overleveled optional trainer which you absolutely can`t beat at this point and you have to come back much later if you want to stand a chance against him?


literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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Altissimo: curve be like _/

Cobalt Empoleon: Hurricane is certainly one of the more ridiculous changes made, though not any more than Rock Slide honestly. Meanwhile the grass moves were left untouched, Bullet Seed at 10 BP, Giga at 60 BP and 5 PP, ect. As for the second part:

This game. Knowing full well that Tornadus and Thundurus are not the same Pokemon, this is somewhat immersion breaking. For a given value of immersion.

sg pokemon: You are correct and that's pretty much the first thing handled this update.

ZettaiRyouiki, MeepBard: Hope not to disappoint. We've only just started the real absurdity.

Scorpio: You're not as far off as you might think and that's not a fun thought.

Somewhat shorter today in terms of actually advancing but a whole lot of battling.

I was exaggerating slightly last time, the curve isn't actually at level 50 just yet. Entei was a one off after all, just a single mon instead of being a team approaching level 50. There's actually a nice little cave on the upcoming route that will help demonstrate the accurate current level.

Guarded by a Thundurus. Approaching it has Bianca threaten to attack it for being Tornadus at the start of the game.

Not wanting any part of this, he runs away and Bianca swears vengeance for the first time.

The cave behind Thundurus is the other Underground Path from Kanto and just like last time has nothing except a single person waiting at the far end.

Hiya boss.

Giovanni exposits at us for way too long, reveals that DARKEUS unlocked mind control powers in Giovanni, and that he's going to fight us so he can control our mind if he wins. I don't understand why he's fighting Bianca instead of just mind controlling her but sure let's take the vague excuse for a battle.

Man I really like FRLG's Giovanni sprite. It's very clean.


Yeah that sounds about right. After loading the save from before fighting Giovanni we're going to ignore him and his team of 4 level 90 Pokemon in a double battle for as long as reasonably possible.
The level curve is now 90.

After ignoring the cave entirely and heading to the end of the route we're finally in the next town and the next ambush from a rival. Hi again Pete.

prepare for level 100 box legends in a triple battle

It's actually not bad at all, not even managing to hit Brock's level. It's not a total pushover though since his entire team bar Vibrava is fully evolved Pokemon like Feraligatr with strong moves to match. We're more than a match for Pete's team though.

He's referring to the house right next to us. It is very invisible.

It's one of the only attractions in town though since there's no gym here.

The shop has some evolution stones. This is what happens when you don't fix the Moon Stone price and put it in shops.

Not a route to infinite money unfortunately.

Also in town is some grass with the usual rare starter encounter, this one being Chikorita. I grab one just for kicks, we're certainly not hurting for money to buy Pokeballs.

What's this?

The starters have a chance to be holding an exp share which is about half the reason I've been catching some of them.

We won't be using Chikorita or anything though, that'd be absurd.

One of the inhabitants of town is Weatherbell. That name might ring a bell for you, but if not this is the teacher from the earlygame who ambushed us with Weather Ball Sunny Day/Rain Dance Roselia. She's here as a reminder to never talk to anybody.

is anybody surprised?

sure hope so

Monograss isn't particularly difficult to beat thankfully, despite the level spike from Pete. After beating her we of course get nothing besides Weatherbell apparently quitting as a trainer.

We've put it off long enough. Walking into the house Pete mentioned teleports us here for some reason.

Oh boy exposition from a self insert! This is as close to a narrator as you could possibly hope for.

what no i refuse

The plot here is unimportant aside from Bianca asking Tarea point blank what happened to her dad and Tarea saying that Bianca will find out eventually because helping people out by answering their questions is overrated.

That certainly is a name.

Tarea teleports out and we're free to get the Silph Scope because otherwise the ghost marowak encounter might break

Paul, after lecturing us about DHR .-. being a fighter and us being a hero, lets us know that he gave DHR .-. a Keldeo and we're given a free Victini.

Talking to him again will give us another Victini until our team is full.

The Victini aren't actually the same level for whatever reason. Sacred Ash is nice, but it appears we've messed up with only having two slots to grab Victini instead of 4 or 5.

However, in a stunning display of temporary flags, this event resets fairly often and we're free to get a Victini every single time. Time to stock up on Sacred Ash.

Once we're done with everything in town we're free to head for the only exit which is blocked by this dude. Because we don't have enough characters yet. He essentially calls Ash a wimp and challenges us to a battle though he's not actually evil.

For the most part I'm only showing the sets for gym leaders and the like because of the sheer number of 'rival battles' in the game. I will, however, make exceptions for particularly unpleasant encounters.

This is one of them.

Galvantula @ Magnet Lv45: Thunderbolt/Signal Beam/Toxic/Dark Pulse
Empoleon @ Mystic Water Lv48: Water Pulse/Icy Wind/Yawn/Flash Cannon
Serperior @ Miracle Seed Lv48: Leaf Blade/Leech Seed/Substitute/X-Scissor
Emboar @ Charcoal Lv48: Blaze Kick/Yawn/Brick Break/Stone Edge
Scizor @ Leftovers Lv50: X-Scissor/Roost/Metal Claw/Swords Dance
Druddigon @ Shell Bell Lv51: Dragon Claw/Earthquake/Flamethrower/Rock Slide

The level curve has now surpassed Level 50.

These are insane levels on very much evolved Pokemon, many of whom have high BST and all of which have at worst decent items and what are on the whole fairly scary movesets. We, on the other hand, have a team that hasn't hit level 42 yet but contains some incredibly good Pokemon and isn't horrible AI.

Here we go.

Galvantula goes for Signal Beam and gets OHKOed by Overheat. This was the easy member of the team.

In comes the Empoleon and mish mish is there to meet him. Naturally, Empoleon is faster than poor mish mish.

That would be Icy Wind. Drain Punch also doesn't KO, but it does barely put Empoleon in Mach Punch range and Dray doesn't heal Empoleon. Second one down.

This immediately turned into babylonia and Emboar attempting to put each other to sleep with Hypnosis and Yawn respectively until babylonia nailed Emboar with a rain boosted Water Pulse that didn't even manage to do 50%.

and the COWARD flees

We're doing the same naturally and going into wincon to take a Leech Seed.

After a couple turns being drained by Leech Seed while Serperior subs once, Leaf Blades once for about 30 damage, and survives Flamethrower...


This is actually a really bad situation since wincon's getting drained constantly by Leech Seed. mish mish comes in to eat a Dragon Claw and die at which point I realize I kind of don't have anything that can fight Druddigon. babylonia sure as hell can't 1v1 Druddigon, Garth would do maybe 40% with Dragon Claw and then die, and mish mish is dead.

Time to cheese.

do not miss

No misses and we're in the clear.


A lot of not missing Zen Headbutts later

and stay dead

Emboar comes out, fights babylonia to the death this time (his), Serperior does the same vs wincon while wincon eats a couple Super Potions and we're finally about done with this.

Flamethrower OHKOs.

Total Revives used: 0

I'm actually somewhat proud of myself for this, this is a hard fight and while we won via luck from Zen Headbutt hitting about 10 times in a row it was still done without Revives. Also, another failed checkgender.

Dray Plots at us a little then leaves, taking his level 51 level curve with him and we're free to heal before descending into the cave.

Battle Cave is literally Diglett's Cave.

There's a bunch of somewhat interesting stuff in here. The main appealing one for grinding purposes is Excadrill, but there's also Larvitar, Riolu, Beldum, Slakoth, Mienfoo, Scraggy, and Pawniard.

this was not worth catching i hate 3 catch rate mons

I used daidog the Tyranitar in Vega so I'm not really feeling kelly the Larvitar and the terrible nature doesn't help.

There's also actually two (hideously rare) starters in this cave. The first is Chimchar who is a very respectable option despite being underleveled.

The other is mine.


This is the new 5th member of our team. Yes, the type overlaps with both mish mish and wincon. I don't really care, I like Speed Boost Blaziken.

With that done, it's time to finish this update off with grinding, mostly on the wild Excadrill.

Something I wasn't really aware of before starting the grinding is that Excadrill in Dark Rising learns its first move at level 31 with Swords Dance so a significant number of the Excadrill can do nothing but spam Swords Dance as they slowly get defeated. However, the Excadrill in the cave range from 30-34.

This is turn 1 and a good example of why you add level 1 moves.

Now let's stop being 10 levels behind the curve.

In order: useless, useless, good and learned, useless

We're finally getting Garth up to level 48 though and you know what that means.

Reminder that Gible is the creator's favorite starter.

speed has a lot more levels to chew through and a lot of moves to learn along the way. Here's a few of the ones that were either kept or are unusual.

And naturally there's a couple evolutions on the road to level 47.

You might have noticed something about the list of Pokemon in the cave earlier, or specifically what EVs most of them give.

speed was being leveled almost exclusively on them. He's got insane levels of Attack. It's really a shame Blaze Kick isn't physical.

Thunderpunch too for that matter.

We had to fight a lot of Pokemon during the course of grinding up everybody to level 47 or 48.

Some a little more unusual than others. 2/2 on playthroughs having a shiny.

also 2/2 of them being terrible pokemon

At least it has a fine looking shiny palette, I can't say the same for every Pokemon in Dark Rising.

Grinding done at last, let's quickly backtrack to Atlantic Cave in order to get the Stone Edge tutor since everybody's fully evolved now.

excuse me what

Yep, somehow the Entei event reset. Time for round 2!

Entei is still faster and does far too much damage with Double Edge and Eruption. Garth wins of course, and it's finally time to give her Stone Edge (or Rock Slide, whichever the tutor actually teaches).

fuck you too game

At least Speed can get Stone Edge, though its usefulness is debatable on him.


Next time: Even more fun with temporary flags and level curves.

The level curve is currently at 90 51.


literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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Scorpio: To be completely fair it's not an ambush, the player has to actually talk to Giovanni. However, the game itself all but tells the player that they should go check out what's inside by having the Thundurus thing right in front of the cave.

King Feraligatr, Altissimo: It does kind of get worse from here, though Giovanni is a massive highlight.

Last time we had finished grinding up speed and the rest of the team to be closer to the level curve's current 50 and were now ready to continue through not-Diglett Cave.

Where we're ambushed the second we stick our heads up the ladder. If you've somehow forgotten this important player in this game's very small cast, this is Professor Ivan, who gave us our starter. He's got some Plot for us.

And a battle of course. Note that Pokemon Professor is a trainer class that could have been used instead of this monstrosity.

He leads with a level 47 Leafeon but has some pretty scary stuff too. The Slaking has Hyper Beam.

That finished, Ivan runs off saying he's got to talk to people and we're free to explore Nursery Road, home of an obscene number of level 10 baby Pokemon like Elekid and Togepi, as well as Eevee that go up to level 20.

There's also the Kanto Daycare which we will not be using.

Nursery Road has no trainers and is fairly short, bringing us to another gatehouse when we turn southward.

what a surprise it's an ambush

At least we've got her name. After fighting her more than once.

Skarmory is both a lower level and far less threatening than Ivan's Leafeon lead.

Which is kind of the story of this whole fight. She's only got two fully evolved Pokemon and on the whole is liable to hurt teams weakened by Ivan if they didn't run back to the center afterwards but is nowhere near as scary.

stop attacking me

After that and with the inevitable future ambushes before we reach the next center, let's take a quick run back to the last center and heal. Not-Diglett Cave is a bit long but it's not too far with some Repel support.

hello ghost professor

yes he fights us again and yes he'll do this almost every time we step in here. its good game design

If we don't want to deal with his Hyper Beam Slaking again we can use the PC in the daycare to heal instead and vow to never enter not-Diglett Cave again.

Heading out the south entrance of the Syndey gate brings us to a short route before the next town is in sight and Ivan returns in the flesh this time. With him is the classic grumpy-wise-old-man-who-thinks-the-protagonist-isn't-worthy-no-matter-what-they've-done-already who's talking about Arceus being impossible to find.

Bet you a quarter that after we beat him up he'll suddenly start praising us like every other goddamn friendly NPC.

Nothing on his team actually manages to hit level 50 though it is doubles. Also, that's not how you spell Accelgor.

Very scary team. Mirror Move isn't worth running over speed's excellent other moves.


We're also told that the only way we can catch Arceus is to use a Master Ball and that we need the JEWEL OF LIFE in order to use Arceus' power.

We're now free to explore what's definitely not Vermillion City no sir. The gym is outside here, that building is actually the Pokemon Lab. We're blocked from the gym until we check out the SS AnneTitantic which is like the Titanic but with an extra T. We're not allowed to walk behind that sign.

There's plenty of other things to do in town first, like grabbing a Bike Voucher and our second VS Seeker. The VS Seeker promptly gets eaten by our first, just like the dozen extra Silph Scopes from the Victini event did.

There's also Pichu on Nursery Road so at least they can be evolved directly to Raichu after grinding friendship for an hour.

Let's go check out the lab and revive our fossil now.

The tutor's still in here. This is actually Metronome, nothing special, so no thanks.

fruit fossils are all the rage

We picked what presumably turns into Archen on the assumption that it won't be given Truant and we all know there's no way the dev programmed in Defeatist, so Archeops is liable to be amazing even if it's given Keen Eye or something.

*choking noises*

Back to the cave of Attack EV Pokemon we go with our second new best friend!

..After we do this fight again.

It's decent exp but the Attack EVs are what we're really after here.

After fighting Ivan yet again when entering Battle Cave, it's time to get to work.

unlimited power

No high BP Flying-type attacks but who cares when you have 90/90 Rock Slide?

We're going to bring flamberge up to the rest of the team, thank god for fast forward. It's also not too bad to grind in the cave since we're allowed to go to the daycare to heal flamberge quickly in the PC and come back without triggering ghost Ivan.

In box 3 of the PC is something odd though.

Two somethings.
how did you even do this

I have no desire to mess with Bad Eggs, either of these two, so Box 3 is now a no-go zone.

flamberge is leveled up, so it's time to go deal with the SS Titantic. V's here to ambush us the second we step into the area and continue being a one note evil person.

Of course he's going to fight us because how could the player possibly interact with the leader of the villain team without fighting them.

The Spiritomb has Leftovers by the way. Good thing we have the insane power of Attack EVed Archeops.

No matter what the last three ambushes might have made you think, the level curve has not quite stagnated. The damage is from a rain boosted Water Pulse. Where is my Surf game?

After beating V yet again, we're told that Kayo (Silver with a Deino) is causing the ship to sink through magic bullshittery. We're not allowed to walk onto this beautiful ship though, we have to step on this pipe and be warped in.

It's the SS Anne but with Dark Thugs everywhere.

please do your job this ship has been hijacked and is sinking

This is our very first Hyper Potion. We've been working with Supers up until now, and will be again after we use this single free one up. The newest member of our team is already over 130 HP.

With that said, is it any surprise at all that we're taking this over Crunch? Also the trainers in here are complete pushovers compared to the many ambushes we've had to fight.

There's also a weird kidnapped children subplot on the boat which we have to do in order to get a line of grunts to move out of our way and reach the captain's quarters.

Don't worry, I'm sure the World Champion Ash Ketchum and DHR .-. will be fine.

Syndey is accepting defeat gracefully. Kayo punches her in the stomach and then comes to fight us.

Despite his level, last time he was kind of a pushover due to having a bunch of unevolved Pokemon. This is no longer true.

Along with a Ferrothorn running both Stealth Rock and Spikes (remember that Stealth Rock is a Spikes clone in Dark Rising), he's also got a fairly intimidating Reuniclus and potentially dangerous Zoroark.

His Weavile suffers from no physical/special split and the Zweilous doesn't have nearly high enough stats to be a threat despite the continued increase in level to 55 this time. All in all, not a big deal.

oh boy

The ship is safe now and while Sydney apparently had a vision...

it's something I refuse to talk about ever again.

With the ship saved(?) we're free to either advance and skip the gym or go deal with the leader now. It's a good idea to not skip the gym.

Speaking of things not to skip, walking out of sight of the trainers at the entrance to the gym doesn't work - they can see much further than we can.

The gym trainers are extremely pathetic. This is an interesting option, but Garth's special attack is kind of dismal, even Dragon Claw is really weak.

And now for the leader. Of course we've never experienced it, we couldn't fight you if we had already done this battle. Well actually I take that back, thinking of Ivan.

Espeon Lv50: Psychic/Quick Attack/Calm Mind/Shadow Ball
Gardevoir Lv54: Psychic/Shock Wave/Shadow Ball/Calm Mind
Gallade Lv54: Drain Punch/Aerial Ace/Bulk Up/Night Slash
Gothitelle Lv53: Psychic/Dark Pulse/Calm Mind/Skill Swap
Sigilyph Lv56: Psychic/Ice Beam/Cosmic Power/Roost

Welcome to the Psychic gym. We're not that far behind the curve here so this won't be particularly bad despite our significant level disadvantage. This gym also isn't using a weather team like the first two gyms were so it's inherently not as hard. That also brings up the point that this is the third gym and it's capping at level 56.

Remember that Shadow Ball is physical and Night Slash is special. Probably shouldn't have given the Espeon and Gardevoir physical moves and not had the Gallade take a special one. Sigilyph is this leader's exclusive.

Let's get right down to business.

Not even close to a threat. wincon outspeeds and 2HKOs with Flamethrower even after Espeon Calm Minds.

wincon: set up edition. Quick Attack wasn't doing anything for her anyways.

Outsped and 2HKOed by Earthquake while Psychic does not nearly enough.

The big one coming out already. Sigilyph actually outspeeds flamberge because flamberge has essentially zero speed EVs, and Cosmic Power lets it barely live Rock Slide. However, flamberge should be ok to take an Ice Beam and Roost doesn't actually remove the rock weakness.

ok sure whatever you say

wincon comes in, sets up Nasty Plot and eats a Psychic with ease before outspeeding and finishing off Sigilyph.

Gallade actually survives the +2 sun boosted Flamethrower! It wastes the turn by using Bulk Up but good for you Gallade.

Gothitelle does not equal the feat when confronted with Overheat, and that's the battle.

This would be why it's a bad idea to skip this gym. There's a point not too far off where we'll be unable to backtrack for a very long time, and the only way to get back here is incredibly far out of the way - not something worth dealing with.

This is nice and all but not particularly helpful for us. wincon's sticking with the broken Zen Headbutt for obvious reasons.

Next time: Sympathy for the devil.
And I thought Pokemon Insurgence has an insanely high level curve. This has level 56s at the THIRD GYM. It'll probably reach 100 by the 6th or 7th at this rate.

This hack is hilarious though, especially the goofs that the developer made like the evil Tynamo and missed gender checks. Can't wait to see more!


literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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MeepBard: Snorlax is basically a panda, right?

Karxrida: Plot - We are the Chosen One capitalization necessary who must stop DARUGIS with the power of Arceus, all the while fighting against the level cliff. Intimidate Archeops - I'd settle for Keen Eye or something equally useless but Intimidate Archeops would certainly be a ton of fun for the main games.

TheTankPlays: The game does not manage to hit level 100 until the champion. Have fun trying to figure out how that's going to work at our current rate (especially in this update). A ton of badly coded stuff is still coming up happily(?).

Now that we've defeated the gym, we're all set to head out to the east. Again, we could have gone this way right after finishing off the SS Titantic but that would be a bad idea since skipping the gym that allows the use of Fly is generally not wise.

The second image is a trainer battle on the route to the east. Some of the wilds are getting dangerously close to trainer levels.

The wild starters excluded of course. Nothing interesting here and it's honestly a fairly short reskin of the route east of Vermillion.

At the far end it's into yet another cave for us because we clearly haven't had enough of those. Mystic Cave is not Cerulean Cave.

After all, Cerulean Cave doesn't have terrible land bridges to bypass not having Surf.

The Rock Smash boulders are removed too so we're free to loot the place, picking up a couple of Full Restores.

The wilds here are fairly uninspiring, ranging from mediocre with Slowbro and Slowking to absolutely infuriating with wild Shadow Tag Pokemon.

After following the normal route through Cerulean Cave, we're finally at the plot which, surprisingly, isn't on Mewtwo's island.

Instead V ambushes us at the bottom of some stairs, ready to murder us to fulfill a Faustian bargain. Bianca asks a reasonable question about why V has gambled his soul to this world's equivalent of the devil. After all, what in the world could be so valuable that V would risk everything?

jesus ok

Maybe if we win this time he'll stop attacking us due to being dead.

probably not huh

His team is pretty much the same as ever, though Leftovers Dusknoir is infuriating and Overheat Krookodile is very legal.

Garth sets up to +6 on Mismagius and sweeps the lot. The level curve is starting back up with a 4 level spike since the gym leader with very little in between.

After the battle V loses his soul and turns to stone and this will naturally be the last we see of him definitely.

What the fuck Bianca. He sold his soul in order to have a chance to torture you for the rest of eternity why are you crying over his death (because the text box says that she does).

Look, it's fine to feel sympathy for well crafted villains with understandable motives and actions. V, however, has been constantly attempting to kill Bianca and died when a satanic deal he made backfired. The game even makes it abundantly clear that, unlike Brock, V is not in fact possessed by Darugis so this is all him. Crying over V who's been painted as an irredeemable asshole does not suddenly make him a sympathetic, likable villain. It makes the protagonist look like a moron.

After crying over Satan we're finally out of Cerulean Cave and into another goddamn ambush are you kidding me.


also that's a really unappealing recolor of poor May

Naturally it's another (small) increase to the level curve featuring a very rude Choice Band Stone Edge Aerodactyl who outspeeds everybody and 2HKOs our Rock resists. The Altaria actually survives Rock Slide and crits flamberge with Ice Beam so Garth has to take it out.

On the whole it's nowhere near as bad as Dray was but I'm definitely starting to feel how far behind the curve we are.

After the brief route that has some optional trainers not even worth fighting we finally arrive in Salem which has a mart which still only has Super Potions and is basically Lavender Town, music and all.

The only attractions are the shouting from nowhere preventing us from leaving to the west and the Name Rater at long last, neither of which are actually of any interest to us.

Our actual destination is straight south which is the worst forest ever for three reasons. The first is that it's covered with incredibly offputting mist.

The second is that the movement permissions are screwed up. We cannot enter any of the four tiles to the right all the way until this clearing ends and we're perfectly fine to stand on this trashcan.

The third is that the entire 'forest' is a straight line to the end with exactly two trainers. Keep that in mind.

There's a few interesting wilds in the grass like Absol (catch one in the route after this forest if you want to use it, it's higher leveled there), but more useful by far is the wild Gastly.

Because this is how to cheese stupid bosses. Gastly comes with Destiny Bond.

Two levels later, we've got our very own Gengar. It's still held back a little by having physical STAB, but Destiny Bond means that it's a very worthwhile pickup.

At the end of the straight line that is the 'forest' we're finally face to face with Mr. Tornadus from the start of the game. Level 50 mons have a very different connotation to us now at least, but maybe he won't want to fight us?

wait he was the one who said our agony would be delicious or something when he attacked us before nevermind

of course you are

Good to get his name at least. It took sydney like 3 or 4 encounters before we got a name but this is only our second time meeting Light.

What a swell dude. He's been whining about how he's been told to be on the side of his ancestor Arceus but he's not sure that he wants to do that, he's thinking about DINGOS as a possible option. Remember that DUMGOONS is basically Satan in this universe.

wait if arceus is his ancestor does that mean that somebody got really freaky a few hundred years ago

Much like Dray earlier, this qualifies for being a particularly unpleasant encounter. That means it's team time.

Tyranitar @ Leftovers Lv60: Earthquake/Crunch/Stone Edge/Flamethrower
Metagross @ TwistedSpoon Lv60: Meteor Mash/Earthquake/Psychic/Hyper Beam
Rhyperior @ Leftovers Lv64: Superpower/Megahorn/Earthquake/Rock Wrecker
Aggron @ Choice Band Lv64: Flash Cannon/Double Edge/Rock Wrecker/Earthquake
Gliscor @ Leftovers Lv62: Stealth Rock/Earthquake/Roost/Stone Edge
Conarp @ Dragon Fang Lv65: Dragon Claw/Hyper Beam/Shadow Claw/Flamethrower

The level curve's ramping up again and this is a frighteningly competent team if incredibly weak to rain offense. Unfortunately, we're not running that and babylonia's strongest Water attack is Water Pulse.

Everything has a strong STAB move here, though I question the decision to use Rock Wrecker over 100/85 Stone Edge or 90/90 Rock Slide but sure whatever. The items also aren't half bad, with Gliscor in particular being a huge pain to teams where most of the Pokemon are physically biased, like our 5 physical attacker team. They're all bulky as hell, making OHKOs hard, and are very strong. We're severely underleveled as well. Thankfully, Light's AI is awful so it often won't go for super effective attacks.

Conarp will be addressed when it comes out to play.

Time to get started. Under the assumption that Tyranitar will not go for Earthquake and instead will pick a move at random, speed goes for Bulk Up. Tyranitar actually outpaces speed and goes for Stone Edge, driving speed down into the low yellow. A follow up Double Kick takes out Tyranitar because Speed Boost is a great ability.

The sand damage is chipping down speed, but Aggron is an interesting decision on the AI's part for a Blaziken check. Let's see how this pans out for Light.

Apparently quite well as it survives a +1 Double Kick with a sliver of HP and takes out speed with Double Edge, fainting to recoil in the process. Probably should have given speed Brick Break but what's done is done.

easy overheat OHKO

The Overheat Special Attack drop means that wincon can't really stay in to fight Gliscor, babylonia's needed for the Rhyperior, mish mish can't touch the thing, and Garth needs to stay alive for the Conarp. flamberge then is less out of being a good choice and more out of necessity.

It goes poorly for flamberge, but he manages to put Gliscor in Flamethrower range with a couple Rock Slides before being KOed by Stone Edge after Gliscor sets up Stealth Spikes.

Rhyperior goes for Superpower instead of Earthquake and so doesn't actually OHKO babylonia while Water Pulse grabs a 2HKO. This was an easy member of the team, but babylonia's so low on HP that she's basically useless now.

Out comes the big boy. Aside from being a bit of a monstrosity in terms of design, this is also something that can checkmate teams that go into this blind. Why you ask?

Conarp: Dark/Fire, Wonder Guard, 110/95/118/95/118/80

Always nice to fight 616 BST fakemons with Wonder Guard, that's definitely what Dark Rising was missing. The damage Conarp's taken in the screenshot is from Earthquake. The bulk on the thing is nuts and it doesn't lose too much in the way of offense or speed. We're pretty well equipped to hit Dark/Fire super effectively fortunately.

With a particularly good Water-type this battle isn't overly difficult but our team certainly struggled a bit here though that's largely due to the curve putting us at a fairly large disadvantage yet again.

oh boy just what i always wanted

While Light and half the children vanish after the battle, taking a step inside makes them pop back into existence. The kids also don't actually show up in Salem, though some dialogue changes to say that they are back. Either way, we're done with Salem.


Despite this being blocked off until we got the Jewel of Life, there's the normal group west of Lavender hanging about in the grass. They're the opposite of threatening, with nobody having any Pokemon higher than level 48 or so.

The wilds have picked up the slack for them. The wild Spiritomb are 7 levels higher than all the trainers on this route which is vaguely insane. Not pictured are the wild Honchkrow, Mismagius, and Sableye.

Also yet another wild Shadow Tag Pokemon.

This is where we'll be doing a bunch of grinding in order to try and catch up a little to the curve because it's not about to slow down.

As such, a bunch of moves that we will not be learning. Heat Wave wouldn't have been a bad option since flamberge actually has good Special Attack, but we have enough Fire moves already.

An equally large number of moves that we will be learning too. Dragon Pulse and Heat Waves are straight upgrades to Dragon Claw and Blaze Kick. Dark Pulse is replacing Overheat purely because it's helpful for grinding on the wild Mismagius on the route in terms of PP and we'll be replacing it before the end of this update. Sky Uppercut is a nice power upgrade over Double Kick, if an inaccurate one.

babylonia and mish mish don't get trained quite as much as everybody else because they're ill suited to grinding against the wilds on this route. They're both kind of falling off honestly and are liable to be replaced before the end of the game.

Grinding done, we're finally ready to continue into the weird building at the far side of the route.

straight into an ambush what a shock

Whatever you say DHR .-., whatever you say. Most of our recurring 'rivals' have a dragon too.

Not a double battle, somewhat surprisingly, but-

wait is that only one pokemon

oh no

The level curve is now 70.

Remember that 616 BST level 65 of Light's? Let's creep that a bit with a 700 BST level 70. speed tanks the Thunderbolt alright, Bulk Ups, and KOs with Sky Uppercut due to Speed Boost. Honestly not too bad.

i see

speed doesn't survive the Dragon Pulse and suddenly we're in a bit of an awkward spot. babylonia's only level 55, but it can maybe paralyze with Body Slam? Well no, it also gets OHKOed by Dragon Pulse and now we have Garth the OHKOed by Ice Beam or Dragon Pulse, mish mish the OHKOed by Flamethrower or Ice Beam, flamberge the OHKOed by Ice Beam and probably Dragon Pulse, and wincon who definitely can't OHKO.

Wait, wincon is faster?

wincon also tanked a Dragon Pulse like a champ and did some 40% with Flamethrower. Zen Headbutt is a ludicrously broken move and wincon is the best girl.

Anyways, these two are actually V's kids. Bianca promises to bring back V because she's an utter moron please stop. The kids, to their credit, assume that Bianca is a reasonable person who would not in fact try to bring back a sociopath who wants to torture her and don't accept the offer.

DHR .-. and Sydney talk at us for a bit and then Sydney says that Kyurem (the original) is calling to her and she must go.

After a quick jump back to the center we're ready to explore the mansion which is filled with level 30 wilds mostly. There's some notable things like the level 60 Spiritomb.

Also these. The level curve is now 99

The mansion is the usual Cinnabar one, blast doors and all. We're aiming to get into the basement because of course.

oh hey look a 1 tile wide pathway that leads into an ambush

Amaris was completely reasonable until she has a seizure and grows a tail (?) before staring to speak in ALLCAPS.

yo what's up

Of course we're going to fight her. I honestly think this recolor looks decent - a lot better than most of the ones in Dark Rising at least.

Her team isn't as hard as Light's was and doesn't compare to a sudden ambush by level 70 Kyurem-W/B.

I mean really, if you're not using anything with 600 BST or more why even bother. Her team is competent enough, but it's the same levels as Light and with significantly lower quality mons.

After beating her, DIYMAN stops possessing Amaris and she tells us to grab the item on the table in order to fight one of the gym leaders.

couldn't figure out how to remove the 7th gym check huh


wincon more than deserves this and now she's our go to for fighting Water types. She's kind of the best.

The second we step outside we're ambushed yet again.

He's very easy though, being a team of stage 1 fighting types at level 48.

It's a fairly short second stretch of the earlier route with a few equally pathetic trainers. No, Thrash did not get its canonical buff to 120 BP.

The other side of the route does not have a center but instead has yet another cave.


There's a nice woman inside who heals us instead. This cave is the same as the one on Four Island but with a land bridge that goes up the waterfall because we still do not have Surf.

This is the first item that hasn't had the silly present sprite. The wilds here are completely forgettable, none being higher than level 41 and even then that's Delibird.

Even if it's not Surf, this is an upgrade over Water Pulse and is therefore very much appreciated.

you're not lorelei

The battle's absurdly easy, nothing even reaches level 50. What level are we supposed to be here?

Over the bridge barely visible above, it's time for yet another cave. A cave inside a cave. This time it's Seafoam.

The wilds are more of the same. Caught a Piplup for kicks.

Exploring the cave reveals that there are no more boulders because of course we don't have Strength yet. This leads to an interesting scenario.

If we drop through a hole and land on the water we're temporarily given a surfing buddy who vanishes when we hop off. If we get off on the main island there's no problem, but if we jump onto Articuno's platform we're stuck until we wipe on wilds. Not a true softlock but inconvenient.

There's also this. While it may seem like this is just another item lying around, this big pearl is special. It respawns when we take a step after picking it up. This is our infinite money resource.

yeah that's probably enough

Once we reach the far side of the cave we find Sydney who's apparently being controlled by Kyurem who's being controlled by DOGARS. This naturally means we're going to have to fight Sydney yet again.

At least we've had pretty much no battles since the woman who healed us so we're basically at full strength.

is this some kind of joke

speed sets up two Bulk Ups on the level 56 Haxorus and sweeps. This was a total pushover - we've had wild Spiritomb in the mansion that matched Kyurem's level.

you're a disgrace to the good name of this game's level curve

Also stop attacking me please.

A short and pointless route brings us to the next town.

heavy sigh

Well at least we can explore this winter wonderland.

very wonderful

Very wonderful, no sarcasm this time! The lucky egg respawns like the Big Pearl did, so this is now the item for every member of our team.


I'll take your entire stock.

There's also another cave in this town because we haven't had enough of those, but we're gonna stop here for now because we've had more than enough 'major' battles.

Next time: "The [badge] will make Pokemon up to Lv. 50 obey"
I like to claim to be a writer of bad fanfiction, but after seeing this... Wow. Just wow... My rantings about a Psychotic Pacifist Trainer already look like Shakespeare's works compared to this and this will only get worse.

I never knew what a bad story truly was.

Edit: Is there an explination for the two Kyurem and if there is, is it even dumber than I think?
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Whatever infinitesimal dignity this hack had in my mind, it just lost it with this update. Was it the ‘’’convenient’’’ land bridges that were meant to make up for the fact that we are still technically on Gym 3 at this point? The fact that the protag cries over a guy who outright told them they sold their soul to DIGDUG to torture them and their dad forever? The 616 BST fanmon with Wonder Guard? Beats me, really.

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