One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
Well, I was going to finish that test run of Heart Gold before publishing them, and I didn’t mean to have a very long break before starting the Kanto section of the game, but then I got COVID, and then my laptop broke down and I had to send it away to be fixed, and both of those things set me back on finishing my PhD thesis which is now very much in full crunch time, and will be for at least the next six weeks (by the way, and this isn’t related to what you’re asking and I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating for anyone else who might be paying attention, I am absolutely not going to touch Scarlet/Violet until mid-December at the very earliest). So… maybe I need to accept that I’m never actually going to finish that run, just make what revisions I can on the basis of what we saw in the first half, and publish what comes out of that. Hmm.
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.
Last time, I was exploring the deeper caverns of Mount Mortar and had just drawn the Ten of Pentacles, which prompts Jim the Editor to pick a custom rule contributed by a commenter – and perhaps to make some other changes as well.
y’know what, you have to be a little bit insane to support me on Patreon; I don’t know what I expected; thanks, Name (Required)
So we’re losing the Six of Swords and adopting this… explosive rule, meaning our cards in play are now these ones:
I’m starting off this leg by just… putting a whole lot of Pokémon through basic training. Thanks to the King of Swords, all my lower-level Pokémon can ignore the rules and do whatever they want until they hit 31, and there are actually a lot who can evolve before that point.
Last time I left you all in suspense, I was waiting to receive an answer from my own personal Devil, Jim the Editor. As a reminder, the Devil card says:
The Devil: If you own eight Pokémon or fewer (not counting Pokémon in the Vessel) when you draw this card, or if you are using a party given to you by the Vessel, ignore it and draw another. Otherwise… Immediate: Catch the first wild Pokémon you see in this area, then have an observer choose a new party of six Pokémon from all the Pokémon you own, except for Pokémon in the Vessel. Revoke any ongoing rules that would make this team illegal. Ongoing: All of the chosen Pokémon are compulsory.
So I went to Jim with a full update on all my cards and Pokémon, and here is what he said.
Chuck only has two Pokémon. They’re both much higher levels than mine – 29 and 31 – but they are also both open to manipulation, because Chuck’s signature move in this game is Focus Punch, which can be disrupted by attack damage. Only two of my Pokémon should be in danger of being petrified here, Paradise from Rock Slide and Killgore from Focus Punch, and in theory that shouldn’t be a problem for Killgore as long as he just keeps attacking. Even if we lose one or both of them, I’ll get one back if I can win the battle.
With Morty defeated and the Fog Badge in hand, I can continue west from Ecruteak City, towards Olivine City, or turn and head east, towards Mahogany Town.
Johto’s mid-game is pretty open; you can do the next three gyms in almost any order. Whichever way I go, I’ll need Surf, either to investigate Lake of Rage or to cross the sea to Cianwood Island – but not immediately. I don’t have any Pokémon accessible at the moment who can use Surf, but the Kingslocke rules do make exceptions when you need an HM to move forward in the story; if it becomes necessary, I’ll be able to defy the Eight of Wands and withdraw Abazigal the Dratini to handle that. Still, it would be better if I didn’t have to… and I think my odds are best if I head to Olivine City first.