A Pokémon Trainer is You! IV: Get Going, Kid!

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

How do you approach your first battle?
– Play it safe and wear them out with Leech Seed

You’re pretty confident you know all the angles here.  You and whatshisname are both using Pokémon you just met, and won’t be able to try any funny business.  Squirtle is tougher than Bulbasaur thanks to its shell that it can hide inside at will, so if they have any sense they’ll try to outlast your Grass attacks and then counterattack with a shell slam or something.  But there’s an easy way to keep that from working…

At your order, the bulb on your Pokémon’s back pulses and fires a single glowing yellow seed that arcs through the air towards Squirtle.  The turtle Pokémon reacts instantly by dropping to the floor and pulling its head and all its limbs into its shell, quick as you can blink, but that won’t stop a Leech Seed.  It hits Squirtle’s shell, sticks, and immediately sprouts a web of green that grows with supernatural speed, climbing around and into the shell.  The other guy is pretty shaken; you don’t think he’s actually seen this attack before.  He manages to call counterattacks, and Squirtle is able to fire Bubbles that knock your Bulbasaur off its feet, but it’s no good.  Water attacks deal only superficial damage to Grass-types, the Leech Seed is gradually sapping Squirtle’s strength, and all Bulbasaur has to do is use its vines to parry attacks and occasionally lash out whenever Squirtle emerges from its shell for too long.  Eventually, Squirtle sinks to its knees, too weak to go on attacking, and Professor Oak calls an end to the battle.

“What!?  Unbelievable!”  Aqua(?) dashes forward and drops to his knee to check on his Pokémon.  Professor Oak helps him pick the Leech Seed off Squirtle’s shell, and its tendrils rapidly wither and crumble away.  “We’ll get ‘em next time, Squirtle.”  The turtle Pokémon, its strength already beginning to return, gives him an affirmative chirp.  Azure recalls Squirtle to its Pokéball and stands to look you in the eye.  “You had an advantage this time, but we’ll battle to get stronger and catch new Pokémon to beat you.  Smell ya later!”  And just like that, he’s gone.

Gee, you’re welcome; I really enjoyed our battle too.

You consider for a moment that he’s probably embarrassed about losing his first ever Pokémon battle in front of the Professor, a distinguished older relative whose relationship with him already seems kind of strained.  You feel a little bad about it.  You fµ¢£in’ shouldn’t.  As the narrator of your internal monologue, I’m telling you, seriously, fµ¢£ that guy.

You resume your interrupted thanks and goodbyes to the Professor.  He insists on giving you a few Pokéballs to make up for the rudeness of Blue’s (Blue, that’s right) sudden challenge.  Frankly, though, you’ve wasted enough time here.  You leave the lab and swing by your house to retrieve your things – several sets of clothes, a few days’ worth of food, a sleeping bag, and of course the notebook Professor Oak gave you for writing down scientific observations.  After all, this is your Pokémon journey; you could be away for a while!  Maybe forever!  I mean, hopefully in a good way, like you went to another city and found a job, or love, or some Pokémon-related calling; not because you starved to death in the woods.  You say a brief, almost perfunctory goodbye to your family, and you’re off!

You take your first step out of the drab off-white of Pallet Town, Kanto’s absolute dullest city, and into the cheerful knee-high green grass of Route 1.  You’ve been out here loads of times before, of course, just never on your own – sometimes with your parents, or your school teachers, or (when you’ve been particularly daring) just with a couple of friends.  Most often, though, you’ve been out here with the Professor, learning about Pokémon ecology.  Every species has its own little niche, a slice of habitat and a way of life that interacts with and cuts across all the others.  By taking time out of your journey to apply the techniques you’ve learned on this road, you’ll be able to further the Professor’s research with new data on the evolving ecosystems of Kanto.  Of course, you already know this area pretty well, so you have some ideas for where you might go to catch a second Pokémon.  A well-maintained path snakes up the gentle slope in the direction of Viridian City.  If you just stick close to the path, most of the Pokémon you find will probably be Pidgey or Rattata.  That’s just how it is, you guess.  But hey, no Pokémon is useless!  Any of them can grow to be powerful and worthwhile partners with the love and trust of their trainers, and you’d be happy to have any of these little guys for your team.

(Sheesh, are you being serious, kiddo?  Maybe the Larry scenario is more likely than I thought…)

If you move away from the path, you quickly get into open woodland.  Rattata get less common as you leave the places frequented by humans, and different Pokémon appear instead, including a couple of Grass-types.  Strategically, a second Grass Pokémon would come with disadvantages, but you also know that some trainers have been able to develop their Pokémon’s abilities in unusual ways by pursuing type specialisation.  Since you have Bulbasaur with you, you could use its vines to shake Pokémon out of the trees, provoking them to challenge you.  The Professor has shown you several different kinds of Bug Pokémon that live in the trees around here.  Finally, you think you could also find your way to one of the remote meadows near Route 1.  You’ve only been out that far a couple of times, but you know that this is where you’ll find the greatest diversity of Pokémon, possibly even including a couple that you haven’t seen before – each meadow is effectively its own microhabitat, some of them are inhabited by Pokémon that aren’t native to Kanto, and even Professor Oak doesn’t know exactly what species live in each one.

Otherwise, you could just cut the time-wasting and head out to the next town, Viridian City!  That’s where you’re going anyway after you finish up here – honestly, there’s not a lot of choice for a trainer leaving Pallet Town, and you should be able to start training for your first gym challenge.

6 thoughts on “A Pokémon Trainer is You! IV: Get Going, Kid!

  1. With Bug sharing two of Grass’ weaknesses, it’s no good as far as coverage goes. If we want our second Pokemon to be more than dead weight, our options are the meadows and type specialization (which is a thing, because we’re using Pokemon Tabletop rules of still-unclear edition)

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      1. Ah, well we’re at least operating on similar premises (that of non-idiotic worldbuilding), which was the real point all along.

        Like

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