PokéTour: Goldenrod City

By Zystral, Jellicent, Birkal and DTC.
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Once again, welcome aboard the PokéTour! You might have heard about us from our latest endeavors; we're kind of a big deal. Basically, we're an eclectic group of skilled tourists who travel around the world of Pokemon to better inform you, our beloved readers, on the best sights one can behold. This time around, we worked our way through the Ilex Forest to arrive at Goldenrod City: "A Happening Big City." All of us tourists have distinct backgrounds that lead us to visit an array of areas all found within this enormous city. Zystral hopped all over the town to discover the local hotspots in culture and business. Jellicent was immediately enticed by the popular Game Corner and regrettably spent most of his time there gambling. Birkal wandered around aimlessly; he let the sounds of the city be his one and only guide. Finally, DTC scoured the grounds for the best deals he could find; he's quite a competitive battler who's always looking for the edge when it comes to battling. We hope you enjoy what we've discovered here on our journey through Goldenrod City!

Zystral on Attractions

When you first enter Goldenrod City, the thing that likely strikes you the most is the size and bustle of the place. Easily comparable to the New York or Tokyo of the real world, it's more than possible to get lost here. Given the many winding alleyways and the Underground Passage, Goldenrod City can be compared to a man-made maze. Of course, there are many landmarks which can help you hold your bearings; the gigantic department store, the Radio Tower, the Magnet Train Station and Track, the brightly-lit Game Corner, and the Goldenrod Gym.

Of course, your first delve should be into the back alleys. This is where Miracle Cycles can be found; it's a shame that the owner of this business is constantly forced with bad luck; he couldn't make any sales back in Cerulean City due to his excessively high prices, and now that his bicycles are more affordable, the location of the shop means nobody can find where to buy their bicycles from! You must have seen that chirpy young Trainer who took down Team Rocket and defeated the Elite Four all by himself riding his bike everywhere; he got that bike from this shop, as a matter of fact, so you know this place is definitely worth hunting down for a quality bicycle.

Coming back out onto the main street, in the distance opposite the Gym, you can spot yourself a large broadcasting tower. This is where all of Johto's radio signals are transmitted from; feel free to take a short tour, even though visitors can only see the first two floors. This is because as you progress up the tower, the recording studios are situated higher up. On the bottom floor there's a Trainer's lottery where wonderful items can be obtained. I hear there are even Master Balls available to win. On the top floor, which is available to the public, is the observation deck where people can take in the view of the wondrous city in all its splendor.

For those who are more inclined to make money and live the risky life, the Game Corner calls to you, or if you yearn for the thrill of battle, then the Gym and the Underground are full of trainers, although my fellow writers have already touched upon those. In any instance, being the largest city in the Johto region allows Goldenrod to provide something for everyone—take your time and enjoy the city; just make sure you don't get lost or caught up in the hustle and bustle!

Jellicent on Gambling

As I strolled through Goldenrod, looking for a fun way to kill the time, I was greeted with the bright, flashing lights of the Goldenrod City Game Corner. I quickly realized that this was essentially a casino, but without the risk of losing money. The lack of an open bar was a downer, but who am I to say no to free prizes? Soon, I was playing hard and fast, a stack of TMs by my side and my pocket weighed down with coins. So here's a little guide on how to win big at Voltorb Flip. Remember, sometimes, it will simply come down to luck, a pure 50/50 shot in the dark. However, a good player will know how to reduce those luck based events, and know when the odds are too slim to risk guessing. The game is ultimately a mix of logic and luck, the awkward offspring of Sudoku and Blackjack. If that sounds appealing to you, read on.

When you start up Voltorb Flip, you'll see 5 rows and 5 columns, at the end of which are the number of points available in the row or column and the number of Voltorb lurking there. If there are no Voltorb, go ahead and click everything in that row or column. If there are 5 Voltorb, open up the memo and mark them all as duds. If the number of Voltorb and amount of points adds up to 5, such as 3 points and 2 Voltorbs, mark them all as 1 or dud and, for the most part, ignore them. Nothing good can actually come from a 1 or dud, as they can't increase your multiplier.

Once you've got your basic layout down, go through each of the columns and mark what they could possibly be based on the information at hand. If there's 1 Voltorb and 5 points available, any slot could be a 1, 2, or dud. After doing this, go through each row and do the same. If something that was originally 1, 2, or dud, and is now a 1 or dud, good work: the other parts of the column are more likely to be a 2. Similarly, if you can determine that something is either A) a 1 or a dud or B) a 2 or a dud, congrats, you've just found a Voltorb. Mark that badboy up as a dud. As you determine more about one square, you learn more about the squares in both its row and column, and from there, it spreads in a butterfly effect of sorts.

Eventually, you'll either clear the round, or be left with a chance situation, such as 4 squares that all have a 50/50 chance of being a 2 or a dud. If you are satisfied with your current amount of points, quit while you're ahead. If not, click and hope. Keep in mind, fully clearing a round will let you play the higher levels, where rewards get bigger. Clicking a Voltorb, however, can drop you back down to Level 1. So, early on, it's better to take the risk, but later, don't be afraid of clicking "Quit".

Birkal on Music

Goldenrod City hosts a colorful palette of musical selections within its borders. Upon entering the city, I was immediately greeted by a soft trill of flutes and a muted chime of tubular bells; the city's theme had begun! The music box-like introduction certainly gave me a pleasant feeling, as the pizzicato string chords on the offbeat supplemented it nicely. As I searched for a Pokemon Center, the cheerful melody of assorted wind instruments (primarily flute) soared above the tall buildings. The brass section accompanied the main theme quite nicely; in particular, the chromatic falls beginning at measure nine delight me greatly. The arpeggiated string section, in unison with the methodical swing of the shaker, rounded out the theme to give it a bit of a jazzy feel, which further supplemented the "big town" feel of this massive city.

As I entered the Game Corner with Jellicent, the musical soundscape changed drastically. The jarring crash cymbal and tom fill caused me to jump a bit; it certainly left an impression as the theme got rolling. The shaker beat rapidly shifted into a straight eights pattern, while the strings played strong arpeggios on the upbeats. A thumping bass took over the temp, with a synthesizer of sorts commanding the melody. All of these instruments accumulated to the main theme at measure five, where a stunning jazz pianist took control of the melody. The group had an exact precision over their tune that isn't often heard; their syncopated beats and fills were spot on. From the electric guitar solo near the end to the driving bass patterns, I tapped my toes to the entire piece.

Zystral previously informed me of a rumor that Goldenrod City houses some nasty underground passageways, filled with thugs and vagabonds. I've jammed with homeless people before; they're usually a pretty lively group. However, I was unprepared for the sounds I heard within the underbelly of the city. The dark and depressing theme immediately sent chills up my spine. The haunting bass figure was composed of a perfect fifth followed by a chromatic step downward. If you know anything about antique music, you'll know that an augmented fourth is a tritone, which churches banned from all musical literature due to the common belief that the interval summoned the devil. Although I am not quite so superstitious, the creepiness of said interval plagued the tune. The cursed melody was played in a strident tone on some sort of bell instrument at dissonant intervals. A barely audible oboe played an eighth note pattern underneath the melody; although it was barely noticeable, it added a menacing undertone to the piece. The staccato riffs within the string section wove sneakily into the piece to further stress that something is wrong. Finally, the muted triangle rhythms put me on edge as I lurked about the tunnels. I left quickly to go rejoin the rest of the crew; I certainly didn't want to stick around with that haunting refrain set on repeat.

DTC on the Competitive Scene

Hello Pokemon Trainers! There's a lot to see in Goldenrod City, and I'm here to point out some of the best things you can get while visiting there.

Most notably out of the many Pokemon you can get in Goldenrod, you can con a gate guard out of a level 20 Spearow named Kenya. Perhaps the gate guard should have thought harder before trusting a kid to deliver mail. Not only is the Spearow one level away from evolving and on-par with the rest of your team, it gets boosted EXP as you aren't the original Trainer. There is a 50% chance of a Drowzee appearing in the route before, so you can easily find and catch one, then trade with Jose for Muscle the Machop (why Jose named his Machop this is beyond me). After you meet Bill in Ecruteak City, you can come back to Goldenrod for a cute little Eevee. Unfortunately, this Eevee is only level 5 so it's far behind the rest of your team and doesn't even get boosted EXP, but at least it's adorable!

Feeling a bit tired of in-game and just want to play some Voltorb Flip? That's always a good way to waste some time, and there's also some benefit to it if you collect enough coins. There are 4 Pokemon to get from the Game Corner: Abra, Dratini, and Sandshrew / Ekans for Soul Silver and Heart Gold, respectively. Abra can be captured before the Game Corner but it's at a much lower level. The Game Corner is one of the only ways to get Sandshrew / Ekans depending on whatever game you have, as Sandshrew is hard to find in SoulSilver and Ekans is hard to find in HeartGold. Dratini can't be obtained until much later in the game, so this is the perfect time to get it if you're willing to invest in the time.

Voltorb Flip is not only good for getting those 4 Pokemon: there's also 3 excellent TMs in Flamethrower, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam to get there. Unfortunately, you need 10,000 coins to buy them, which takes more time to get than you're probably willing to spend. The other TMs that you can get in the Game Corner are not worth it in-game.

Head over to the Department Store to buy some useful items. Normally, at this point in the game, at your usual Poké Mart, you wouldn't see items such as Ultra Ball, Hyper Potion, Revive, etc.; however, in the Goldenrod Department Store, how many Badges you have—or rather, lack of Badges—does not affect what's in stock. The only good TMs in the Department Store are Thunder, Blizzard, Fire Blast, and Focus Blast, all notorious in competitive battling for missing when you least want them to.

There are a few other good TMs out there in Goldenrod City, such as Return and Flash Cannon, but other than that, that's basically it.

Overall, there's a lot of great stuff to get in Goldenrod City, and there are few other Pokemon cities that can compare to the sheer amount of good stuff you get there. Please, please, please, this time don't get smashed by Whitney's Miltank.

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