Big rules here, little rules down there, let’s go.
So – last time I’d just finished training a moderately competent team on Iron Island out of the Pokémon assigned to me by the Devil (look, this is just the kind of phrase you wind up using in this run; deal with it), only to draw the Five of Pentacles when I entered the gym and learn that I won’t be allowed to use any female Pokémon.
Well, first things first: Judy, Sunfire and Gran Nite have to get back in the kitchen, along with all my other female Pokémon.
More importantly, Justice is still in play, and some slots just opened up in my party, so guess who’s coming back?
For the last two slots… well, first I want to go back to Iron Island and grab that Riolu egg from Riley, but for number six, for the first time in what feels like forever, I can… kinda choose a Pokémon? It has to be male or genderless, obviously, but other than that I’m free to pick something that actually makes sense and would be useful.
Well, we’re heading into a Steel-type gym; Monferno would normally be really good here, but King Louie can only use Grass Knot. Effie has Hidden Power (Ice), Tiktok has Confusion and Silver Wind, Smeagull has Quick Attack and Blizzard… we kinda need something that’s strong against Steel-types. I guess Karpe Doom has Dragon Rage, but Water/Flying is a lot of overlap with Smeagull. Dwayne the Machoke can’t use most Fighting attacks, but would do okay with Seismic Toss (fixed damage, so not affected by the Elements rule). Real Tree has Low Kick, but is also weak against Steel attacks and a pretty low level. Honestly, Jerry’s probably my best bet; he’s got Dig, he’s level 27, he can handle himself. I’ve got a couple of Rare Candies stashed away too and this seems like a decent moment to use them, so we can go into this gym looking something like…
Perfect. This is totally gonna work; this is gonna be awesome.
The Canalave Gym’s gimmick is these elevators that take you up and down between the gym’s four levels. Byron is at the very top.
Although this is a Steel-type gym, not every Pokémon here is a Steel-type (because, to be honest, there just aren’t that many Steel-types in pre-national ‘dex Diamond and Pearl), so there are plenty of opportunities for Smeagull to contribute with Blizzard.
I don’t even know why this guy has a Skorupi. I don’t think Skorupi learns any Steel attacks; this one doesn’t seem to have any.
That one elevator with the red markings takes you directly from the ground floor up to the platform at the top of the gym where Byron, the gym leader, hangs out.
And here we are! Byron’s Pokémon are Bronzor, Steelix and Bastiodon. King Louie’s Grass Knot should be a decent move against the latter two, and Jerry’s Dig should wreck Bastiodon if he lasts that long into the battle (or, well, it would if he weren’t such a low level, but… ah, it’s probably fine). Bronzor doesn’t have much in the way of offensive power but can be a really tough nut to crack – and we’ve seen with Fantina’s Drifblim that tough nuts can provoke some severe allergic reactions.
Byron is Roark’s dad and recognises your Coal Badge from Oreburgh City. That’s not really important, it’s just kinda nice.
Bronzor is an absolute bastard of a Pokémon that has only one weakness pre-gen VI (either Fire or Ground, depending on whether its ability is Levitate or Heatproof).
So, good news: Bronzor is frozen solid, which should buy me at least a couple of turns. Bad news: Blizzard does fµ¢£-all damage and Quick Attack is bound to be even worse.
Flash Cannon is Byron’s signature move. It’s a solid move, on a Pokémon who doesn’t have the special attack stat of a raisin. Bronzor’s offensive presence is minuscule and it doesn’t have any way to buff itself like Fantina’s Drifblim did, but it can zap Smeagull with Confuse Ray and Hypnosis, and I fully expect Byron to spend at least one hyper potion on it.
And, after three turns in a row of confusion damage…
Wait, if you had Extrasensory, then why have you been using Flash Cannon this whole time when Pelipper resists it- you know what, never mind, I don’t even give a $#!t.
I assume this is a Levitate Bronzor, but you never know; might as well check.
Yep, there it is. I guess Jerry’s using… Pluck? Oh god.
Twelve or so turns later, Bronzor is finally out of the way. Byron’s other Pokémon are higher level, but at least I have some idea how to attack them.
That was a crit with Dig; this is going to be another long one, but at least not as long as Bronzor. Steelix doesn’t seem like that much of a threat offensively either; so far it’s used Sandstorm, Gyro Ball and Ice Fang, and neither attack does much damage to Jerry.
And its last move appears to be Dragonbreath, which as we’ve seen before on this run is fundamentally a wasted moveslot on Steelix (it’s a shame, because honestly putting Dragonbreath on Onix and Steelix’s level-up list is a move I really respect from a flavour perspective, but it just sucks so much). It’s annoying that it can paralyse, but this thing’s damage output is so poor that I can easily afford to take a turn to patch that up.
Bastiodon is another Pokémon without much offensive power to speak of, but its defences are also massive; I don’t expect Jerry to bring it down quickly, even with a double-weakness to Dig, but King Louie should be able to finish the job if this doesn’t work.
Tell you what, though, he came damn close.
Oh, of course you have more healing. Well, that’s fine: so do I.
Rest, on the other hand, could be tricky. King Louie isn’t doing damage fast enough to outpace that. On the other hand, with only Ancientpower and Flash Cannon as offensive moves, this Bastiodon only has 15 PP to actually attack with. I probably win the long game, even though it has the stronger defences.
…or it could just keep firing off useless resisted Flash Cannons when it should be using Rest to stop me from finishing the battle. That works too.
The moment we leave the gym, Barriam is there waiting to congratulate us – and summon us to a meeting in the library with Professor Rowan, who apparently has an important favour to ask.
Rowan thinks that he can learn something about Pokémon evolution by investigating Pokémon that don’t evolve, like the legendary lake spirits of Sinnoh. There are three lakes and three kids, so he wants the player to check out Lake Valor in the east, between Veilstone City and Pastoria City, Dawn to go to Lake Verity, back home at Twinleaf Town, and Barriam to head north to remote Snowpoint City and Lake Acuity. Unfortunately, just as we’ve decided that’s what we’re doing, an earthquake rocks Canalave City.
According to rumour, this is no earthquake: there’s been a huge explosion at Lake Valor. With some bizarre unspoken agreement to adhere to our previous plans, Barriam rushes off to check out Lake Acuity, while Dawn and the Professor plan to head to Lake Verity and meet us at Lake Valor later.
Uh-oh, new area.
Four – Elements: Your Pokémon may not use attacks that get a Same-Type Attack Bonus (unless they have no un-STABed damaging moves; note that moves with fixed damage like Dragon Rage and Nightshade do not have STAB). Pokémon in your active party with no un-STABed attacks must learn one as soon as they can (use a TM if necessary). This rule ends if you draw another Four. You may catch the first Pokémon you see in this area that does not share a type with any of your current party Pokémon.
Ugh, finally. I have been so done with this rule for so long. Hey, Team Galactic? I know something you don’t: my Pokémon are not left-handed.
hey, fµ¢£ you
Say what you want about Magikarp, they can take a beating. That explosion caused tremors that we felt on the other side of Sinnoh, and these Magikarp are only slightly more fµ¢£ed-up than normal.
I dunno, it seems like you’re finding some success with them as a construction material…
oh my god, I can ditch Quick Attack and I won’t be stuck with just 5 Blizzard PP; this feels amazing
I don’t think Valor Cavern rises to the level of a “new area” for Kingslocke purposes; there are no wild Pokémon here and only one human opponent.
This is Saturn, Team Galactic’s third and final Commander. His opener is a Kadabra who happens to have just the right trick to effortlessly neutralise Smeagull.
I have to use Jerry next because my party order is fixed by the Ace of Swords, and you’d think Shockwave would work well on him too, but instead Kadabra fµ¢£s around with Embargo for some reason and then Jerry just ruthlessly murders it with one Hyper Fang (god I’ve missed STAB attacks).
Saturn’s strongest Pokémon is a level 37 Toxicroak. It could probably do a number on Jerry with Revenge if only it timed it right – hitting just as he comes up from Dig – but instead Saturn keeps using Revenge as Jerry is going underground, letting Jerry dodge two attacks instead of just one because of Revenge’s negative speed priority.
And finally there’s this Bronzor, who takes several rounds of Surf to bring down, but hey, we’ve firmly established that Bronzor has zero offensive presence, so time is not really of the essence.
Saturn intimates that Team Galactic is hitting Lake Verity, where Dawn and the Professor have gone, simultaneously and that Commander Mars should already be there, so off we go again.
Now? I’m kind of in the middle of something!
Page – Never Have I Ever: Teach all of your current party Pokémon a new move from a TM (if possible, this must be a move that Pokémon has never known in the past). If some of your Pokémon can’t learn any new moves from the TMs you have, do as many as you can.
Okay, let’s try to be quick about this; I’ve drawn enough Pages that everyone knows how this card works now.
Jerry: Iron Tail
Effie: Nothing (press F to pay respects)
King Louie: Shadow Claw
Tiktok: fµ¢£ it, we can use STAB moves now; HYPER BEAM
who the fµ¢£ still uses a Silcoon at level 33, you people are an embarrassment and I am going to enjoy double-Surfing you right to the bottom of this lake
why did you need the massive bomb to bring down Azelf, but just a handful of dudes (one of whom, I will remind you, has a fµ¢£ing Silcoon) to snare Mesprit? Was Mesprit that much of a pushover?
was the bomb just, like, a courtesy thing? To make sure that all of Sinnoh knew something big was going down?
I know I keep harping on this, but these people have every reason to be covert and could easily have pulled off this coordinated strike against all three lakes without anyone even realising something was wrong.
Mars, every single person in your organisation is an idiot, now get your stupid Pokémon out and fight me already.
NO! NO MORE HORRIBLE STUPID BAT!
ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO TO THE TINY BRONZE LEPRECHAUN!
HOW DARE YOU BE A CAT!?!?
TEETH! TEETH FOREVER! NO MORE RIDICULOUS CAT; ONLY LOG FOR TEETH!
the bomb was just to, like, wake them up or something, and because all three spirits can sense each other, one bomb was as good as three
sorry Mars, I might’ve lost my $#!t with you a bit there
I mean, everything else you’ve done is still incredibly dumb but I accept that blowing up the lake made sense
Rowan is worried about Barriam and Lake Acuity, so it’s time to head north.
Beating Byron unlocks out-of-battle Strength, allowing us to move boulders around so we can get into the northern tunnels of Mount Coronet from the Celestic Town or Eterna City entrances.
And now we are properly in a new area of Mount Coronet.
The Hermit is back, but this is once again the default version of the rule:
The Hermit: You may not have two Pokémon with the same nature in your party.
(Incidentally, when I do my big revision pass of these rules at the end of this run, I think I’m going to change the Hermit to let the player choose one of the two expanded versions of the rule we’ve seen in this playthrough; I kinda like them better)
Fortunately, none of my Pokémon at the moment have overlapping natures: sassy, careful, rash, gentle and impish.
This part of Mount Coronet has a huge underground lake, which is where you can catch Feebas in this game – or, rather, four randomly selected tiles of this lake are where you can catch Feebas in this game. It’s lucky I didn’t draw a Two for this area (or anything else that lets you catch a Pokémon of your choice) or I might have been tempted to look for one.
This next bit of Mount Coronet as we return to the surface is tiny enough that I’m prepared to skip it as an “area” for Kingslocke purposes, but as soon as we step outside…
Three – Me: You may catch the first wild Pokémon you see in this area.
Sweet, let’s see who’s up.
Sure, I’ll take a Sneasel, gladly; this is the first generation where Sneasel’s good.
Anyway, I think that’s enough for one day – next time, we venture into the Frozen North!