okay, we’re gonna
we’re gonna do the thing, or we’re gonna try, anyway
Like I said last time, the test here is basically that I only have four Pokémon and I didn’t choose them, but I can play normally with those four. Parker, who doesn’t have Champion status, is mostly going to be a spectator, unfortunately – with the Death card in play, if he gets knocked out even once, he’s gone for the foreseeable future. Hell, if he even takes damage, I can’t heal him because of the High Priestess. My team is also heavily slanted towards Poison-types, which the first member of the Elite Four, Will, is set up very well to deal with, but hopefully our levels are now high enough that we can just kick the $#!t out of him and it won’t matter.
Well, no point in standing around; let’s give this a go.
Despite being weak to Psychic, Nadja manages to deal with Xatu #1.
I really thought Bug Bite, with Jynx’s poor physical defence, would be enough for Explodia to prevail here. Unfortunately…
…it’s just not her lucky day.
Fortunately, Nadja is able to clean up.
Again, weakness to Psychic means this isn’t an easy fight by any means, but Hannah manages to dispose of Will’s Slowbro without help.
Whoo! Down goes Xatu #2 to a lucky crit!
b!tch that doesn’t make you special; no one just gives up on their last Pokémon
And Doc’s unique talents allow him to finish off Exeggutor.
One down, four to go.
All right, ninja man, show me what you’ve got.
Depending on your exact loadout, and I think especially in original-recipe Gold and Silver, Koga can actually be easier than Will – partly because most Dark and Steel Pokémon are still pretty hard to come by at this stage, and partly because Will’s strategy is just to hammer you with STAB Psychic while Koga’s is to do a bunch of sneaky stuff that honestly isn’t as reliable.
Koga’s definitely going to be easier for me, with my fairly Psychic-weak team.
Forretress, like Bronzong in Diamond and Pearl, can be a huge pain if you don’t have Fire attacks, but if you do it’s barely a footnote. Those Toxic Spikes won’t even do anything: Doc’s already in play, Nadja and Explodia ignore them, and Hannah and Parker (as “grounded” Poison-types) can actually absorb Toxic Spikes and take them off the field altogether.
Muk is big, chonky and eats up a lot of Nadja’s Earthquake PP, especially after using Minimise, but she’s fine.
Explodia could… probably beat Crobat in a toe-to-toe fight, I guess, but I just… don’t want to deal with its Double Team bull$#!t. I’d much rather just do…
it fµ¢£ing missed
ugh, fine; we’ll do this “properly”
haha, fµ¢£ you
For the record, with the High Priestess in play I would absolutely be completely fµ¢£ed here without my four Champions to spit in her face. I’m wondering if she should have a special exception for Elite Four challenges – like, maybe you still can’t heal during battles, but you’re allowed to use a limited number of healing items after each fight.
Bruno is also relatively straightforward; his levels are starting to get pretty high, and he has some very powerful physical attackers on his team, but with some good special attacks on your side, or even just a strong Flying-type, he’s fine.
Hitmontop makes the sad mistake of using Counter, assuming that an Arbok will only know physical attacks.
Oh, you want to use Dig?
haha, fµ¢£ you
Onix is Onix. Kinda silly that Bruno even has one of these – I mean, I know it’s kind of his signature Pokémon because of that anime episode he’s in, but even in generation I his twin Onix were underwhelming (part of the reason he’s easily the weakest of the gen I Elite Four), and now that Steelix exists it’s just embarrassing.
are you sure you wanna do that, hitmonlee
you shouldn’a did that, hitmonlee
you really shouldn’a did that
lol get rekt n00b
And here’s the queen of darkness herself.
Karen’s Umbreon can be… very hit-and-miss. Umbreon is naturally very tanky, and if it decides to use Double Team and Confuse Ray it can really drag things out – but, for whatever reason, it doesn’t feel like doing that today.
My plan for Karen’s Houndoom was to paralyse it with Hanna’s Glare and then murder with Earthquake. This doesn’t work out when the first Glare misses, but…
…Hannah hangs on long enough to do some serious damage anyway, and with Houndoom paralysed…
…it’s simple enough for Doc to come in and clean up.
There aren’t enough Dark Pokémon in generation II to give Karen a full team, so instead she has the nocturnal Vileplume. No problem for Nadja.
Murkrow is just not very good.
Karen’s Gengar has one of the weirdest movesets I’ve ever seen – no Shadow Ball, despite being more than a high enough level to learn it naturally; for damage it has Focus Blast and Lick. And Focus Blast… is not good for fighting a Crobat.
Four down. One to go.
Of course, Lance is the most powerful by far, and unlike his Elite Four’s teams, most of his Pokémon receive a direct level buff of +2 compared to the original games. This is where the challenge really starts.
Intimidate and Glare blunt a lot of what Gyarados can do, but this is still a long fight that eats up a six-pack of potions and a big chunk of Hannah’s remaining PP for Crunch and Sludge Bomb (she has some Earthquakes left too, but every member of Lance’s team is a Flying-type, so they’re no good to us).
In the end, though, Hannah prevails.
oh, $#!t, it’s this one; I switched to Explodia because I thought Lance would open with one of his lower-level Dragonite, but it’s the big one. Better switch out before…
Okay, I’m actually going to pause and talk about this, because I think it’s pretty sloppy on the remakes’ part. In generation II, Safeguard can combo with Thrash, Petal Dance and Outrage: if you have Safeguard up when your 2-3 turn rampage ends, you won’t be confused. It’s a good reason for Safeguard to be on Dragonair’s level-up list, and it’s a very good reason for Lance’s Dragonite to have Safeguard in its moveset. From generation III onward, though, that combo doesn’t work anymore – recoil effects bypass the protection of Safeguard. I think the developers probably changed it because generation III introduced moves that lower your stats as a recoil effect, like Overheat and Superpower, they’d decided that they didn’t want Mist to protect you from those effects, and they thought Safeguard should behave in the same way. Personally I don’t think either of those interactions would have been overpowered – you still have to devote a moveslot to Safeguard or Mist and a turn to using them, and there are other ways of dodging the recoil effects that do work (like holding a Persim Berry to cure confusion). But that’s neither here nor there – the point is, this really should have been changed; all Lance’s other Pokémon have updated movesets in Heart Gold and Soul Silver, but not this one, and its Safeguard trick simply doesn’t work anymore.
Anyway, even if its moveset is obsolete, Lance’s Dragonite is still a level 50 Dragonite; it’s a beast.
I switched back to Explodia here because I was thinking it would start another Outrage, then Explodia could soak that and just blow it the fµ¢£ up. Unfortunately, this is the rare situation where I didn’t want my opponent’s Pokémon to hurt itself – it’s now not locked to Outrage and might throw a Fire Blast at Explodia next turn, so I have to switch again.
And it loses its next turn anyway. Totally could have exploded it. Oh well; at least Intimidate will weaken its Outrages.
But not enough.
It’s locked to Outrage again, so I throw Explodia back out to slap it with an accuracy drop from Mirror Shot.
A risk switching Doc in, but even weakened I think he can take a Fire Blast, and Dragonite is confused anyway.
Since Dragonite has now taken an Intimidate, I start to feel pretty confident that Doc can sit and tank a few hits while I administer some healing to the rest of my royal guard.
An ignominious end for a proud Pokémon.
I don’t feel great about taking on Charizard without Doc, but I owe it to Nadja to let her give it a shot. If I can land a deadly poison with Poison Fang, she might be able to stall it out with Roost and Fly.
Intimidated and paralysed. Let’s get Doc back up while it’s occupied with Hannah.
…and now let’s get Nadja back up while it’s occupied with Doc.
Three down, three to go!
Of his other two Dragonite, one knows Blizzard and one knows Thunder; this is probably the other with Thunder.
This Dragonite isn’t as much of a slog as the big one, but Thunder Wave is annoying.
Again, hopping for Mirror Shot accuracy drops.
Kinda surprised Lance would use a Full Restore here and not on the big guy; he definitely had time to.
This is getting us nowhere; I’m going to get another Intimidate trigger.
Several bad rolls for Hannah, a long back-and-forth, a couple of potions weaved in… Eventually we land a defence drop with Crunch, and…
Okay; last Dragonite!
This one has Blizzard, so if we just hit it with Glare and then switch out…
…Doc should be able to take care of it.
…or maybe Doc is just too much of a crit magnet today.
y’know what, fµ¢£ this $#!t; I’m out
god I love that move
Aerodactyl’s another one that will be tricky to handle without Doc, but once again we can just tag it with Glare, revive Doc, and…
Lance turns out to have not one but two Full Restores in reserve for whichever Pokémon happened to be his last – even if there might have been a more useful time to use them earlier.
VICTORY IS MINE, b!tch
Yes! Yes indeed! Now I am your king! Ha-HAH!
I was really kinda hoping there’d be a moment at the end there with one of Lance’s Dragonite where Parker might be able to come in and save the day with a clutch Shadow Sneak or Sucker Punch, but… ‘twas not to be. Ah well. I’m certain Explodia exploded with far greater gusto because she knew her boyfriend was on the sidelines watching.
I R winner! Of course there is more to this story – Kanto awaits! I was in two minds about whether to go on after defeating Lance, and the Kingslocke is kinda designed with the standard eight-gym pattern in mind, but I think may as well go all the way to the true end. After all, I think it’s clear that the full meaning of the Prophecy may still be in doubt, and the cards have not yet seen fit to spell out the true end of this story. If you don’t mind, though, I’m going to take a little break – maybe a week or two – before heading out into the mysterious east. This was a battle and a half, and my royal guard needs some time to recover!