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Thread: Haru's Pokemon Leaf Green Ultimate Ironmon Challenge AAR

  1. ISO #1

    Haru's Pokemon Leaf Green Ultimate Ironmon Challenge AAR

    Chapter 1: The Introduction

    This is a thread to chronicle my attempts at completing the Pokemon Leaf Green Ultimate Ironmon Challenge. There's been a ton of pokemon nuzlocke talk happening in the discord lately as well as threads popping up here and I thought it'd be fun to make this thread showing off a different challenge run of Pokemon. Pokemon is great and it's mega hype to see so many of us working through different challenges.

    What you can except from this thread: death. A lot of it. This challenge is incredibly difficult for good pokemon players and I am not a good pokemon player. I still need to check certain weaknesses/resistances all of these years later! It's possible we never actually complete the challenge but we'll give it our best shot.

    So what IS the Ultimate Ironmon Pokemon Challenge? It's a challenge run that was created by a twitch streamer named “Iateyourpie” who was looking for a more stream friendly challenge run than a typical Nuzlocke. Nuzlockes are permadeath runs that involve spending a lot of time grinding up a full team that can handle any situation so that you have the greatest chance of surviving any encounter. Grinding isn't the most enjoyable experience for viewers though and he found that attempts had a lot of grinding lulls between the intense hype of the difficult fights. So he came up with a plan that attempted to minimize the grinding lulls while maximizing the intensity of fights capable of ending the run. Rather than being about creating a full team of capable pokemon, the Ultimate Ironmon Challenge forces the players into putting all of their eggs into one or two baskets and hoping they can carry you through.

    The Ruleset

    1. This is a permadeath run. If a mon faints you must release it.

    2. You may kill or catch one mon per location/route. That means the only experience in this run you can earn are from trainers and the killing of one pokemon per route. There is a finite amount of experience possible to earn. However you do not have to catch the first pokemon you see so you are allowed to search around for a bit before making your choice.

    3. You may only catch 6 mon for the entire run. Note, if you find a wild shiny you may catch it and it doesn't go against the cap or the location.

    4. All pokemon are fully randomized. Their locations are randomized, the starting mon are randomized, their moveset is randomized, the TM they can learn are randomized, and what they evolve into is randomized. They will evolved into a random pokemon of the same type they currently are that is near the base stat total (BST) of the mon they would evolve into. For instance, an Ivysaur at level 32 will evolve into a random Grass or Poison pokemon with a BST near 525 (Venusaur's BST).

    5. All pokemon can learn every HM so one of your mon will be relegated to surf/fly/strength duty. However, you MAY NOT use an HM in battle. Sorry Surf fans.

    6. All items are fully randomized outside of key items required to progress the game. This includes which TM you receive from trainers. For instance, Brock can give you Earthquake. Or Thunderbolt. Or anything else.

    7. The only items you may purchase are Pokeballs and Repels. All healing items must be found to use them.

    8. All trainers and wild pokemon are at a 50% higher level than they are in the base game. Lorelei's first pokemon is around level 78. The Champions last pokemon is around level 94.

    9. You must fight each and every trainer in a gym. Not skirting around them to get to the champion.

    10. Once you enter a “dungeon” area you may not renter it a second time once you leave. A “dungeon” constitutes a Gym, Cave, or building with multiple trainer fights. The exception is the Viridion Forest which you can enter and exit as many times as you wish. Gyms? Gotta beat every trainer in one go without leaving for heals. Silph Co? Be very careful how many trainers you face cause it's long and you can't leave and come back (and if you can't come back you can't advance the game!).

    11. You cannot use legendaries. They are cheat.

    12. You must use Set Only battles

    13. You cannot stop a pokemon from evolving

    14. You must pick your starter randomly. Pick left, middle, or right before seeing them. No peeking!

    15. If you white out the game is over.

    As you can see, the ruleset is brutal. Every single encounter has the chance to end the run because Perish Song, Destiny Bond, Explosion, and Self-Destruct are all things can wipe out our main player out of nowhere and since we're mostly putting our faith in one specific pokemon losing it would be catastrophic. There's just not enough experience available in the game to salvage a mid game loss with a backup mon. It's going to be a nightmare to maneuver through this. The feeling of success at the other side of the tunnel will be great though. I assume. Idk I've never beaten it. I'm gonna tell myself that it is though because I'm going to need to lie to myself a lot to overcome what's in front of us.

    I'll chronicle the adventure with pictures and write ups as we get into it. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I've enjoyed watching others play it over the last few months.

    Updates will be pretty random for a while. We'll get there eventually.

    Let's get to it.

    OP Key:
    Chapter 1: Introduction
    Chapter 2: Enter the Lab
    Chapter 3: A Hari Situation
    Chapter 4: CDR, AXP
    Chapter 5: Palmy's Sweaty
    Chapter 6: Code Red
    Chapter 7: The Run or: How I learned to make adjustments
    Chapter 8: Determination
    Chapter 9: The Struggle Continues
    Chapter 10: The King is Here
    Chapter 11: A Series of Mistakes in Rapid Succession
    Chapter 12: Cruisin
    Chapter 13: A Brief Moment of Panic
    Chapter 14: A New Friend
    Chapter 15: The Home Stretch
    Chapter 16: The Finale
    Last edited by Haru Okumura; October 25th, 2021 at 04:52 PM.

  2. ISO #2
    Chapter 2: Enter the Lab

    We've woken up early, enjoyed a delicious breakfast, remembered to grab our randomized item out of the PC, said goodbye to Mom, and stepped outside ready to begin our adventure into Pokemon Leaf Green. This is going to be great. We meet our good friend professor Oak and are presented with our starters.

    Of course in the Ultimate Ironmon Challenge (UIC for short from now on) we don't get to scout our potential starters so we just grab one at random and say hello to our new friend Derpy, the Quagsire! Look at them they are so cute!

    Our rival picks their mon but we're barely paying attention. Visions of taking down the champion are certainly dancing through Derpy's head as much as mine. It's the start of a beautiful friendship.

    Given the nature of the challenge we really want to make sure our mon has a few things going for it: 1. few or no weaknesses. With movesets for all mons being randomized we just want to minimize the chance that something snipes us out of nowhere. 2. Plenty of moves that can take out opposing mons in one shot. With little available healing between multiple fights the best way to keep our HP up is to keep the hits we take to a minimum. 3. Plenty of PP in our moves (PP is the number of times you can use the move). Some of the later dungeons are quite long with lots of fights in them. Since we can't leave and heal we also can't replenish our PP between fights. That means there's a finite number of attacks we get to do in those dungeons and it can get really dicey from time to time. 4. Good stats. The stats are – you guessed it – also randomized so sometimes a normally weaker mon will just have better stats here and get the job down. While the “BST” (base stat total) will remain similar between the normal game and these randomized situations, the stat distribution will change. For instance, a pokemon that in the main game is normally a high physical attacker with no defense may now be a tank who hits light. We want to make sure the mon we go after the challenge with isn't too slow (going first = taking less hits!) or has their stats not line up with their moves (say, being a heavy physical attacker with no special attack but all of their moves are special attacks).

    Derpy the Quagsire is in a pretty good spot. It's dual Water/Ground typing really helps negate some weaknesses. While Water would be weak to Electric, Ground negates it. It also takes half damage from Steel, Poison, Rock, and Fire. The only thing to worry about here is Grass but it's a big worry. Grass will do 4x damage to our Derpy lil friend. Luckily for us Grass is one of the weakest move types in this generation without too many powerful moves of the type.

    Derpy can also get rid of other mons quickly. The moveset – randomized – is great!

    STAB (same type attack bonus: gives 50% boosts to moves of the same type as the pokemon) Water Spout deals boatloads of damage. It's 150 base power at max HP so this can delete a whole bunch of things quickly. Sky Attack has 140 power at 90% accuracy so when it's necessary it can be great. Rock Throw has 50 power at 90% accuracy so it's alright. Triple Kick is kinda garbage but we'll learn plenty of moves to replace it and Rock Throw with eventually.

    The PP situation is problematic. Water Spout and Sky Attack are our best moves but they can only be uses 5 times each before needing to be replenished. Rock Throw has 15 which isn't great but serviceable. Even our worst move – Triple Kick – only has 10. Again though, we can fix this with moves we learn later.

    As for the stats? Oh buddy. We're in business.

    Derpy is BLAZING FAST. 15 speed this early means Derpy should go first most of the time. Again, going first = getting hit less over the course of the run which is huge. Derpy's attack and special attack stats are also quite high! The high speed + high special attack + STAB water spout combo should get us a lot of kills moving forward. The ability is even good! It increases our attack power which could be huge given our Sky Attack is a physical move. We're pretty balanced with our speed, attack, and special attack along with powerful moves for each of the two.

    Things are looking rather good for us here and it's off to the tutorial fight where Leaf Green explains to us that we should try to get our opponents health to zero. Thanks game. Like I don't already know that.

    The rival brings out their Doduo. Good for us! We have the Huge Power ability (boosts physical attacks) + Rock Throw (a physical attack with the Rock type) against a flyer (weak against Rock). Derpy's speed allows them to go first with the Rock Throw and ITS SUPER EFFECTIVE. A solid chunk of health gets removed from the Doduo! Doduo followed it up with a Hyper Fang.

    Maybe we should have listened more to the tutorial.

    Turns out that when your opponents pokemon is 50% higher level than you are things get a bit problematic. Reply F in thread to pay respects to our good friend Derpy, the Quagsire who flew too close to the sun. Our dreams of becoming champions are over before they even began. We white out and the attempt is over. As you'll see in future updates, escaping Professor Oak's Lab is far from a formality.

    Oh well. Time reset and head back to the lab again

  3. ISO #3
    Soul Reader Marcher Jovian's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Civ Fanatics Center
    this challenge looks insane
    good luck, you're gonna need it o7

  4. ISO #4
    Chapter 3: A Hari Situation

    First try is the worst. Second try will be the best. We know the routine already:

    Wake up
    Grab item from PC
    Say bye to mom
    Get our starter

    This time we get an adorable lil Cleffa named Dead Meat.

    It's not that I don't believe in the Cleffa, I just am already planning on the next attempt. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic and it has a good move list.


    Well maybe we're gonna go up against a weak mon?

    Nah. Totodile was faster and one shot us with Aeroblast. We white out and the attempt ends. You know what that means:

    Time to go back to the lab again.

    The routine remains the same:

    Wake up
    Grab item
    Bye mom
    New pokemon

    It's Hariyama! We name them Bjonk.

    Let's check the moveset.

    Not terrible. Overheat has 130 power but only 5 pp. Unfortunately it's not a move you want to use at the start of a difficult fight because it ALSO lowers your special attack by two stages. Great move to one shot things and move on though! Weatherball isn't super exciting at only 50 power and 10 pp, but it does have 100% accuracy which can be a game changer in certain spots. Astonish and Constrict are just garbage that we are looking to fix asap.

    The stats are pretty solid too! High Attack and low Special Attack could be a good thing down the line if we can find some good physical attack moves. A heavy split between those two stats means one will level up much higher than the other as the game progresses. Speed is good. Defense is reasonable. Run Away as the ability means we never will get caught by a dangerous mon as we walk around. It's brutal to be unable to escape sometimes as you get hit a couple times.

    Overall this is workable. We try to walk away and our rival throws a Zubat in our general direction. Zubat uses Agility. We deal some damage with Weatherball. Zubat uses Agility. We deal some damage with Weatherball. Zubat uses Agility. We kill it with Weatherball.


    Later suckers!

    We're free to leave the lab and getting out of there in only three attempts was way better than I was expecting. Now we have some options. There are fourteen different pokemon between here and our next forced fight. Two in the grass outside of town, three in the grass west of Viridian, four in the grass before the Forest, and five in the Forest itself. So including Bjonk we have 15 different options to take towards the next trainers, a second rival fight, and then Brock.

    One of the perks of this run compared to a Nuzlocke is that we are allowed to travel around and search out all of our potential mon. So we do that.

    The grass above contains a Kadabra and a Seviper. Neither are something we want but we'll wait to kill one until we decide for certain which mon we want to continue the game with. Because there is a finite amount of XP to earn in the run we have to make sure not to waste any of it, which killing it now and then finding a better mon in Viridian would do.

    West of Viridian contains an Anorith, Spheal, and something unimpressive I don't recall. The Spheal specifically is interesting because if it would evolve it would evolve into a random water or ice type with a BST around 530 (that's Walrein's BST) which is pretty solid. Bjork got us out of the Lab but I don't have the most faith in it taking us the distance. Let's keep looking though.

    The Scyther in the front of the Forest was unexciting and the same can be said for the Shellder we found too, but we hit the jackpot with the next mon that showed up: Chansey. Now this isn't a jackpot due to Chanseys ability to take us to the end. Instead it's a jackpot because Chansey gives a boatload of XP for killing it.

    Decisions decisions.

    If I were playing this attempt right now I would have gone into Viridian Forest and checked those 5 mons first before making my decision but this was my first real attempt and I was excited to get rolling! The options are to pick up the Spheal and build it up to a big evolution down the line or to roll with Bjonk the Hariyama who is stronger now.


    We kill the Chansey. We kill the Kadabra. We kill the Spheal. Bjonk has reached heights hither to unheard of outside of the Rivals starter. Confidently I stroll into the forest and am met with one of my favorites: Vulpix! Sorry friend, we've already made our decision so not today. Quilava comes up next and again, our decision has already been made sorry friend. Luck continues to favor us as our randomized item is a PP Max which will give one of our best moves more uses down the line! The rest of the mon in the Forest are unexciting so we go ahead and turn Quilava into some fresh XP for Bjonk.

    Bjonk gets to level 10 and tries to learn a new move!

    Its swallow.


    With all of our XP grinding done it's time to fight some Viridian Forest trainers. There are two schools of thought to these battles: go in the order as intended (remember, the Forest is the only “dungeon” we are allowed to leave and enter as many times as we'd like) leveling up along the way or go to the last trainer in the forest first. The normal way has less leveled mons for you to face but more mons per trainer. The last trainer has the highest level mon (14!) but it's just a singular one to fight.

    Both options have merit but getting the big XP from a single mon and then healing before doing our multi-mon fights calls to me so I chose that route.

    We're met with a level 14 Meowth (thats right!).

    Our first attack sees us use Weather Ball and it turns out we're faster! We take a pretty good chunk of health off of the Meowth and we're feeling pretty good.

    That feeling goes away quickly.

    The Meowth knows Tri-Attack. It's an 80 power move with 100% accuracy. We prepare for the worst and … it's not that bad actually?

    We can take that hit and that's a damage race we're winning. We get to feeling pretty good again until … uh oh

    We are frozen solid. Tri attack can also cause status effects and we picked up the worst one. We cannot act until we thaw out which happens a % of the time every turn.

    Bjonk is frozen solid.
    Bjonk is frozen solid.

    Meowth is using non-damage moves and we are not thawing out.

    Bjonk is frozen solid.
    Meowth used Tri Attack.

    Uh oh, it remembered to attack.

    Bjonk is frozen solid.
    Meowth used Tri Attack.

    We used our one potion you get from a trainer between Pallet town and Viridian city.

    Bjonk is frozen solid.
    Meowth used Tri Attack.

    Our health is almost out when WE THAW OUT. We use our biggest move: Overheat hoping we can take out the Meowth in one shot.

    The move hits.
    The bar barely moves.
    Our special attack sucks remember?
    Meowth used Tri Attack.

    We white out. The run is over. Time to start again. We know the routine:

    Wake up
    Grab item from PC

    oh come on game, really?

    Oh well.

    Back to the lab again.
    Last edited by Haru Okumura; July 9th, 2021 at 10:39 PM.

  5. ISO #5
    Note: Those were the first three I compiled before starting because I thought it was good to start with a couple of things instead of just the intro. The rest of the updates should be one at a time and they are not already made. So if you have any suggestions on how to improve how they are written out (# of pictures, things talked about, etc) please let me know

  6. ISO #6
    seeker of the second outlet Voxxicus's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    I burst into laughter at the item. 10/10 comedic value.

    Enjoying this, even with the understanding that it's going to be a series of fresh meats

  7. ISO #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcher Jovian (#3)
    this challenge looks insane
    good luck, you're gonna need it o7
    Thanks! It's gonna be an adventure for sure lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Voxxicus (#6)
    I burst into laughter at the item. 10/10 comedic value.

    Enjoying this, even with the understanding that it's going to be a series of fresh meats
    I couldn't do anything but crack up when I saw it. Just taunting me at this point

  8. ISO #8

  9. ISO #9

  10. ISO #10
    Chapter 4: CDR, AXP

    We picked up our ice heal and met our new friend: Nipples the Nuzleaf. Did the artist for the Nuzleaf need to give it nipples? Probably not but they are there and now you won't ever to be able to not notice them.

    Not the best but every mon deserves a chance. The stats aren't great. We don't excel in any particular category. Low speed means we'll be going 2nd a lot which means we'll be getting hit a lot. Low defense means we'll be getting hit for a lot while we're getting hit a lot. Rain Dish is a mostly irrelevant ability. How about the move set?


    Nuzleaf knows Dragon Rage. Dragon Rage is a move that deals a flat 40 damage no matter what. This is incredible for the early game! Most poke we find early will have way less than 40 HP and even when they climb over it they can still be 2-shot for a long time. It'll take ages for them to hit 81+HP. We're ready to rock and roll.

    Our rival throws out a lotad which immediately dies to Dragon Rage. I won't even show a picture of it because it was pretty straightforward.

    Click Dragon Rage.
    Acquire Experience (XP).

    Let's not forget the rest of the move set though! Hyper Voice is a 90 power normal type move that has 100% accuracy. Meteor Mash is a Steel type move with 90 power and 90% accuracy. We even learned a new move after the rival fight and got to learn Shadow Punch – a ghost type 60 power move that never misses. Even better Shadow Punch has 20 PP so it can clean up some fights that Dragon Rage doesn't one shot.

    We're pretty sure that we're not going to pick up a different mon for now but we do our due diligence anyways. Above Pallet town we find a Gengar and something unexciting. Dragon Rage is clicked. Experience is acquired. In the grass west of Viridian the best we find is a Hypno. It's a pretty good mon (483 bst and never evolves) but we just continue to CDR → AXP. The grass in front of the Forest is unexciting. A linoone is our XP sacrifice here. We beat up a Sharpedo in the Forest for our final XP acquisition, pick up some Berry Juice as a randomized item (heals 20 HP) and head for a rematch with the level 14 mon the final Bug Catcher trains.

    It's a Lickitung! The very first thing it does is put our Nuzleaf to sleep. This trainer is all about the status effects it seems.

    Likitung uses Ancient Power and takes us down from 40 to 22 health.
    Nipples is fast asleep.

    This isn't good. We're slower than the Lickitung so we have to wake up here or we're just going to die.

    Or it can not attack. That works too. Just wake up and hit that Dragon Rage.
    Nipples is fast asleep.

    Likitung used Ancient Power. We drop from 22 to 5 health. The dreaded sound effect of red health is blaring. It's loud. It's obnoxious. It's annoying.

    It's our savior as Nuzleaf jerks awake upon hearing that sound effect and drains a Dragon Rage at the last possible second to take out the Lickitung and give us a new personal best (PB) in our short attempts so far.

    The Lickitung's 41 HP begs to differ.

    We are in danger. We are slower than the Lickitung so if it attacks we will die. I use our potion that we can grab from the trainer between Pallet town and Viridian Forest to go back up to 25 HP hoping that Lickitung will use a non-damage move. It uses Ancient Power and we go back to 7 HP. I use the Berry Juice to heal back up to 27 HP. Lickitung will still kill us if it uses Ancient Power two turns in a row because we are out of healing.

    It doesn't. Petal Dance is not effective against our grass-type Nuzleaf only taking us from 27 to 24 HP. Ancient Power has been hitting for 18ish damage so as long as we can avoid a crit Ancient Power we should survive an attack now and be able to kill it ourselves …

    It used Petal Dance again. Lol Lickitung. It took two healing items and having Dragon Rage but we secured that new PB. Side note: It's here that we start considering going with the “in order as intended” plan for Viridian Forest in the future. Our mon was really well positioned with Dragon Rage and we still got pretty lucky to make it throw the lvl 14 mon at the end.

    We go heal up and prepare to clean up the rest of the trainers in the Forest. The positive of starting with the harder lvl 14 mon is that our Nuzleaf is leveled up rather high compared to what we'll be facing (its lvl 12 and nothing we face here will be higher).

    Our good fortunes are only about to increase: the first trainer we try to clean up has an Articuno as their first mon. Excellent source of XP for our Nuzleaf.

    We click Dragon Rage. We acquire XP. We grow to lvl 13. They send out an Electrode. We click Dragon Rage. We acquire XP. We grow to lvl 15. They send out a Makuhita. We click Dragon Rage. We acquire XP. First clean up trainer down. It's at this point where I consider that going the lvl 14 mon first is pretty good. Those 3 would have been tough for our lower level Nuzleaf. We will debate this situation with ourselves many times in the future.

    The second trainer starts off with Granbull. WcDR. WaXP. We grow to lvl 16. Our opponent sends out their last mon and we panic:

    It's the mirror match. The way that the randomization works is that all pokemon of the same name have the same moveset. That means this Nuzleaf will have Dragon Rage. However, the stats have some minor fluctuations: not every Nuzleaf will have the exact same attack, defense, etc. Most important for us: it means not every Nuzleaf will have the exact same speed. It's possible that the opposing Nuzleaf has a lower attack than us but a higher speed for instance. With the enemy having dragon rage and more than 40 HP it means that whichever one of us goes first will be the one to Dragon Rage the second time first – which is the magic number for both of us being killed.

    We hold our breath and click Dragon Rage... and learn that we are in fact faster. We trade Dragon Rages but neither of us die. Our second attempt kills them and we acquire XP at 6 HP left. Let's go back and heal shall we?

    The rest of the trainers in the Forest go rather smooth. Minum falls to Dragon Rage. We're lvl 17. Sceptile falls to Dragon Rage. We're lvl 18. Seviper, Lunatone, and Regirock all follow suit. Getting to fight a Regirock and Articuno in here is great for our XP gains. We jump to lvl 19 and try to learn a new move:


    75 power.
    100 accuracy.
    15 PP.

    It's a great addition over shadow punch.

    With the forest complete we head back to the area west of Viridion City to find something I personally never knew existed: a second rival fight. In all of my years playing gen one I never knew I could come back here after the forest to get a fight with our rival and their two pokemon.

    The rival sends out Aron. It takes two Dragon Rages but goes down. We've already reached the point where some mon have over 40 health and it came a lot faster than I thought it would. I guess that 50% level increase comes at you quickly. The rivals final mon is a lotad and it goes down to a singular Dragon Rage. The rival is beaten and we're on cruise control. Operation Click Dragon Rage, Acquire XP is going swimmingly.

    It's time for our first gym leader, Brock. Now, as a reminder since this is the first gym we've reached: we are required to fight every trainer in the gym and we cannot leave the gym until it's over. No beating a junior trainer, heading back to the poke center, and then coming back for Brock.

    We top off our health and head in. The junior trainer's first mon is a lvl 15 Xatu.

    We click Dragon Rage. It dies. We grow to lvl 20.

    Their final mon is a lvl 17Swellow. A bit spooky given the Flying > Grass type advantage and our low speed.

    We click Dragon Rage.
    The Swellow is faster.
    It uses Swords Dance.
    Swords Dance increases the users attack by two stages.
    Dragon Rage does about half of the Swellows HP.
    We really need this next move to not be anything scary.

    Well $%#!. Blast Burn is a 150 power fire move. We are a grass pokemon. They used Swords Dance to increase their attack even more.

    It hurts. Badly. We drop all the way to 16 HP while our Dragon Rage finishes off the Swellow. The junior trainer has been defeated but at what cost? We have 16 HP left and we cannot leave to go heal. We have to kill Brock with this. Well, on the bright side we level up to level 21 which gives us an additional 3 HP. Those could make all the difference.

    Brock's first pokemon, Manectric, and its Ice Beam ensure that those 3 HP do not make a difference.

    We white out and the run ends. Despite starting with a cheat code of a move we are unable to carry it through to a gym victory. Overall we're extremely happy with our progress though. The rate of clearing the Lab isn't that high so getting two/four attempts out has us feeling pretty good. A couple of adjustments could be made after the first failure but this one felt rather straightforward. We took a bad mon with a great move as far as we could and even navigated through a difficult Lickitung fight along the way. We got a new PB and have no problems hitting the reset button and getting ready to go:

    Back to the lab again.
    Last edited by Haru Okumura; July 10th, 2021 at 03:17 AM.

  11. ISO #11
    seeker of the second outlet Voxxicus's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Unfortunate. Won't get many starts as good as that, presumably.

    Dragon rage seems utterly absurd early on.

  12. ISO #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Voxxicus (#11)
    Unfortunate. Won't get many starts as good as that, presumably.

    Dragon rage seems utterly absurd early on.
    Yeah, it's going to be really difficult to get something that can cruise up through Brock that easily. If the speed were just a bit higher we could have really made a run with it by going first a lot.

    I also really overestimated how long it would take for Dragon Rage to stop OHKOing things. That 50% level increase does a number on what I'm expecting things to do/hit for. It's still the best possible move early but I was really hoping it'd carry me to Misty.
    Last edited by Haru Okumura; July 10th, 2021 at 03:39 AM.

  13. ISO #13
    Chapter 5: Palmy's Sweaty

    Our new friend is a Tauros named Miltank. We just want to put the fear of Whitney in all of the other trainers before they realize the rollout is never coming. Really, the damage in general is never coming.

    Triple Kick has a whopping 10 power. Baby damage. Revenge is a weird move that has base 60 power, causes you to go second a lot, and if you've taken damage that turn it doubles to 120 power. The idea is that you take a bit of damage and then destroy the enemy but as we've established in other attempts, going second is really bad when you can't heal between major fights. Solar Beam also can hit for 120 power but you have to charge up for a turn before you can use it so again, you're taking damage before you can deal that 120. All in all this is a terrible moveset for survivability. If we can get through the rival we can search around and find a different mon to work with.

    But we cannot. Back to the lab again.

    I like to look at the two starters I didn't pick first. Sometimes it makes me feel better when we end up with a bad mon out of three bad options. Other times you see a Mewtwo (no legendaries, sorry!) and a Mudkip (I love Mudkip! I even named my Sword/Shield Sobble “Sad Mudkip”). Unfortunately we are stuck with a Trapinch I lovingly name “Not Mudkip”. Not Mudkip has a pretty big weakness here:

    It's defense is 8. It's special defense is 5. It's going to die as soon as it gets hit.

    Luckily for us it never does! The enemy Mudkip missed it's first attack, then used a non-damaging move, then missed it's attack again. We are out of the lab for the 3rd time in 6 attempts and I'm starting to think people exaggerated how difficult it was to get out of here.

    So now we're going to go check the grass in the next few areas and see which of the 14 mon we want to use instead. This Trapinch did a great job of beating a rival that never landed an attack and its work here is done. We're 100% going to replace it.

    We head to the grass north of Pallet town and the very first pokemon we see is a hit! Blaziken and its 530 BST! We don't have a pokeball yet (gotta go get Oaks letter first) but it's going to be hard to not pick this one. We go to run. Can't Escape. Blaziken used Outrage. Not Mudkip fainted.

    Back to the lab again.

    Our next friend is a Tropius we call Palmy. Palmy is pretty impressive:

    Look at that attack stat! Twenty Four! Palmy is gonna hit like a truck and it can tank some damage too with a solid defense and good special defense. We talked about it a bit in a previous run but having a major split between Attack and Special Attack can be a great thing if you have the right moves. Those stats will continue growing at that different rate.

    Now is also a good time to touch on the weirdness that is Gen 3. You see, in Gen 3 moves are not determined Physical (using attack stat) or Special (using special attack stat) by what they are. Instead they are determined by their type. Every attack of a certain type is either Physical or Special. For instance, Electric moves in Gen 3 are always Special. Thunderbolt is special, that makes sense. Thunder Punch is also special, which does not. This is changed in later generations where either typing can have physical or special moves. For this run though it is solely based on typing.

    Which is good because Palmy has a move called Signal Beam, a bug-type move with 75 power, 100 accuracy, and a 10% chance to cause confusion. In later generations Signal Beam is a special move. In Gen 3 however, bug type moves are all Physical. So Palmy, with its mega attack stat, has a powerful move that uses its attack stat.

    Palmy also has a move called “Grasswhistle”. This move puts the target to sleep, enabling us to go multiple turns without taking damage. The other two moves are bad but we can change those as we make progress.

    Palmy goes up against the rival's Wobbuffet, puts it to sleep, and then deletes it with a couple Signal Beams. For the fourth time in seven attempts we escape the lab and this challenge feels like a breeze.

    We even learn a new move - Shadow Punch – which replaces the useless Howl. Pick up our potion, go grab the letter, and begin hunting for the different mon in our area. I doubt we'll take anything over our Palmy friend but it never hurts to look. Having an amazing attack stat, a good move, and the ability to put things to sleep is going to be hard to beat at this stage in the game.

    Grimer and Swinub are our options in the first area. The next area shows us an Umbreon as the main piece of interest. We don't want it but it's good to note for XP purposes if we keep Palmy. During this time period I notice that Palmy has bananas for a beard. What a great pokemon. The area in front of the Forest has nothing interesting outside of a Hypno. Again, this is more of an XP note than a switching pokemon note. Finally the Forest shows us a Metang and we have to take a few minutes to contemplate our options. You see, Metang evolves at level 45 into Metagross. Metagross has 600 BST. Now, Metang in this game would not actually evolve into Metagross, but would evolve into a psychic or steel type around 600 BST. That number is huge. To compare, Tropius is BST 460. Level 45 takes a while though. I contemplate it for a bit but ultimately decide to take the good moveset and good attack stat of our Palmy friend rather than go with the unknown moveset and stats of the Metang. We travel back around to all the locations and farm XP from Grimer, Umbreon, Hypno, and Metang before going back to our nemesis: the level 14 mon trained by the final Bug Catcher.

    Grasswhistle puts it to sleep. Who has the status effects now? It never wakes up as Signal Beam takes it out and we cruise through that roadblock. The same is true for the rest of the trainers in the Forest. We put things to sleep and kill them with Signal Beam. The list of casualties are Dustox, Dodrio, Lotad, Miltank, Quagsire, Oddish (sry friend), Golduck, Haunter, and Magcargo. We get all the way up to lvl 18 and our attack stat is absurd. Seventy. Two. Palmy hits hard.

    It's off to the rival battle before trying for our new PB by beating Brock. The first mon is a Tyrogue who takes a couple of Signal Beams before dying. The Wobbufet only takes one. We're off to Brock again!

    We head over to the junior trainer and prepare our Signal Beams. They bring out a Sunflora and Signal Beam takes it out in one hit. We grow to lvl 20. Their follow up doesn't fare much better as Signal Beam is super effective against the Seedot and the junior trainer is taken care of quickly. Time for revenge on Brock himself.

    Brocks first pokemon is a Walrein. We open the fight with Grasswhistle to try and put it to sleep but it misses. The Walrein responds by using Psybeam. It barely tickles Palmy taking us from 55 HP down to 49. We go for another Grasswhistle but fail again. Walrein decides to use something else once Psybeam wasn't very effective:

    Here's the thing about Explosion: it's going to kill you. It's a 250 power attack that kills the user. However, it has another effect that's not listed in the description: it also halves the defense of the pokemon it hits before hitting. This means Explosion is really a 500 power attack. For the duration of this challenge we will always be terrified of explosion because it is almost impossible to live through it under these settings. It doesn't matter if it happens in the first gym or the elite four, you're going to die to it if you see it and you're going to feel dejected when you do. There's no defense to take against it and you never know which pokemon can have it.

    Our dreams of defeating Brock and continuing our challenge towards the Champion go up in a puff of Walrein smoke.

    We white out. The attempt is over. There's nothing left to do but shrug it off, hit reset, and head

    back to the Lab again.

  14. ISO #14
    Chapter 6: Code Red

    We're still trying to pick ourselves up from the latest setback. Explosion is just a tough one to get over when it happens to a good mon but we know that it's just going to happen sometimes. The difficulty in this run is not only from the restrictions we place upon ourselves (including increased levels for our opponents) but also due to avoiding the one hit KO's along the way. We head to the lab and meet our new friend: Polepup.

    Sleep Powder and Volt Tackle are good building blocks for a moveset but the rest isn't much we're happy about. I'm not optimistic. I'm even less optimistic when our rivals Slowbro hits Meteor Mash and kills us before we can act.

    Back to the lab again.

    Our next friend is a Cascoon named Sandra. It has 6 speed.

    The rivals Ledyba uses Heat Wave. We died. Back to the Lab again.

    This time we get some hope! Friends, meet Pogdra the Kingdra.

    Kingdra is a great mon with its 540 bst, a serviceable move set that can deal damage, and no real weaknesses with stats. Unfortunately for us, our rival also picked up a good mon. Rayquaza. Pogdra is faster and attacks. The bar barely moves. Rayquaza uses uproar. The writing is on the wall and Pogdra's chances are toast.

    Back to the lab again.

    Can I interest you in an Azumarill named Bnuuy? It starts with 15 attack and 15 speed so there's promise here. It knows Body Slam which is a physical move (uses the attack stat!) with 85 power, 100 accuracy, and a 30% chance to cause paralysis. None of the other moves are very good (Rapid Spin, Powdered Snow, and Agility) but Body Slam itself could carry us for a bit.

    The rival brings out their Ninetails which ends up being faster. It opens with Double Kick and takes away over half of our health. We respond with Body Slam which does between 1/3 and ½ of the Ninetails' health. We get lucky though! Paralysis procs! Our second Body Slam takes it down to the red zone. We hold our breath to see what Ninetails will do … and the answer is nothing! It couldn't move do to paralysis and we finish it off!

    At this point we've gotten enough experience with the next section to know what to do quickly. We need to scout the 14 pokemon we find before the Forest and choose what we gonna roll with for the trainer gaunlet leading up to Brock. Weepingbell and Bulasaur in the first area. Nah. Glalie is in the next area which doesn't impress us. Then we find a Blastoise! That 530 BST is something we're excited to roll with. We decide not to even go scout around for the rest of the options and just catch the Blastoise. Meet the mon that's going to carry us to the promised land: Baja Blast.


    It knows Volt Tackle, a physical attack with 120 power and 100 accuracy.
    It knows Psycho Boost, a special attack with 140 power and 90 accuracy.

    Everything is looking gre.... oh $%#!

    Its ability is Truant. For those that don't know about Truant, let me introduce you to a pokemon named Slaking. Slaking is a MONSTER of a pokemon. Its BST is 670. Six hundred and seventy. Mewtwo itself is 680. The difference is Mewtwo is a one of a kind legendary and Slaking is just the evolution of a rather common pokemon. How is that fair? Well, Slaking has the ability “Truant” to help balance it. Truant means that you can only act every other turn. You can attack. Then you do nothing. Then you attack. Then you do nothing. So it's a common pokemon that hits like a truck but only acts half as often as everyone else.

    Our Baja Blast turned out to be more like Code Red. It's not usable. We just cannot take two attacks for every one that we dish out. It ends up being a waste of a catch (only 6 total allowed!) but I guess it can be salvaged as our HM carrier. We go back around and finish our scouting for Bnuuy but don't find anything too interesting. A Torkoal gives us XP in one area and a Dugtrio does in the other. We learn a new move – Rock Tomb – that turns out to be pretty useful pretty quickly.

    The lvl 14 trainer in the Forest has a Murkrow. We trade Rock Tombs with their attack and win the fight pretty simply. We find an energy root in town for some potential healing and head back through the forest for the rest of the trainers. Combusken only uses Harden before dying to Rock Tomb. Torchic gets a Thunderpunch in before falling to Rock Tomb itself. Snorunt doesn't even get a turn before dying to Rock Tomb. We find a Rare Candy in the Forest and boost up Bnuuy to lvl 15. It kills a Trapinch with Rock Tomb and then an Ampharos with Body Slam (don't look Amy!). Lvl 16. The net trainer has a Jynx. We Body Slam it for more than ½ it's HP. It uses Dragon Claw and takes us from 62 all the way to 26. Not great. The second Body Slam takes it out but we still need to beat two more mon with not a lot of HP.

    The little kid with a hobby of bug catching hanging out in Viridian Forest throws out its next mon: The legendary dragon Rayquaza. How did you get that? We brace ourselves for death. Rock Tomb is super effective but doesn't quite kill it. Rayquaza uses Fire Blast.

    It misses! Rock Tomb #2 takes out the legendary and this lil Bnuuy who could is showing the world just how great it can be. The final mon is measly little Hoppip who goes down in one shot. The Forest is cleared out and despite the Baja setback we're feeling pretty good. It's off to the rival, then the junior trainer, then Brock where hopefully we can get a new PB.

    We stroll up to the rival and tell Bnuuy we believe in them. The rivals new mon is a Mawile. We open with Body Slam and deal a hefty chunk of damage. A bit less than ½. Mawile opens with Sleep Powder and has us take a bit of a nap. We're unable to wake up. Mawile uses Volt Tackle. Remember Volt Tackle? That 120 power Electric move that Baja Blast knows but is too busy loafing around to use it twice in a row? Well it's quite good against our little water Bnuuy.

    Our level 6 Baja Blast that can only attack every other turn can't pick up the slack. We white out. The attempt is over.

    That Blastoise would have been a great mon without Truant but that's how the randomizers go sometimes. We've now given the challenge 11 attempts and made it past Brock in 0 of them. We've done a fairly good job of escaping the Lab though. I believe 5 or 6 of them have done so thus far which is a pretty decent rate. There's some small things we can do to improve – better scouting could have made notice of Truant if we were being ultra careful and we could also do a better job of taking smaller risks to learn the movesets of potential mon before we catch them – but overall I feel like we've put forth a pretty solid effort. We're pretty positive still and eager to finally break through that Brock barrier. It's a good thing too, because the Ultimate Ironmon Challenge is about to test how long we can keep that enthusiasm.

    We pat our lil Bnuuy friend on the head, give it a nice poketreat for a job well done, and head

    back to the lab again.

  15. ISO #15
    That truant roll must've been a real punch to the gut lol

  16. ISO #16

  17. ISO #17
    Responsible for #8 Mistyx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    xe/xem/xyr + she/her/hers
    back to the lab, you know the drill

  18. ISO #18
    Chapter 7: The Run or: How I learned to make adjustments

    So far the UIC has been tough but not frustrating. We've given it eleven attempts so far and five of them have left the lab – we still count the time the first wild pokemon killed us. We've gotten a bit unlucky running into an explosion and getting frozen already but we've gotten pretty confident in knowing the best way to handle the post-lab through Brock section of the challenge. We learned what we're looking for, how best to scout things, and the preferred route of trainers to fight along the way. We're still pretty optimistic about our chances.

    Our next attempt gives us a pretty uninspiring mon: a Marowak named Mom who has exactly one attack that deals damage. Dynamic Punch has 5 pp and only hits 50% of the time at 100 power with a chance of causing confusion. It's not very good. We're going to average landing 2.5 attacks before we can no longer damage anything. The rival sends out their Kabuto, Dynamic Punch hits, Dynamic Punch confuses, and the Kabuto kills itself in its confusion! Marowak makes it attempt number six to exit the lab and we begin searching for a replacement immediately. There is zero chance we can take this mon into a single trainer fight.

    The very first mon we encounter is a Ditto. That ain't gonna play. Neither is the Exploud we find next. We turn in Oak's letter, grab some pokeballs, and check the area west of Viridian. Jackpot! It's a Snorlax! With 540 BST this is a great replacement for our Marowak. I appreciate you getting us out of the Lab buddy but it's time for you to become the HM holder and let Snorlax take over. We throw our pokeball – now is probably a good time to mention that one of the settings in this is to maximize capture rate so that you have a good chance to catch a pokemon at full health and don't need to battle it down a bit. 1. 2. Escapes. Snorlax responds with Water Spout. That's a great move for us to have on our Snorlax. Unfortunately the 150 power super effective move deletes our Marowak and we white out.


    Our 13th attempt sees us get an Abra. Unlike our recent Marowak this one at least has some offensive moves that we can potentially get into an extended battle with.

    Our rival sends out Nidoqueen and it kills us in one shot with Secret Power.


    Attempt 14. We get a Meganium we name bulbasaur2. With 525 BST this is the best starting mon we've had I think! The attack stats are awful but this thing is a TANK. 19 defense. 17 special defense. It even has medium speed so it could go first a fair amount. More importantly it has the ability “Swift Swim” which increases its speed every turn, so in the longer trainer fights this thing should be going first for the last few mon. The move set includes Jump Kick (70 power, 95 accuracy, hurts yourself if you miss), Brick Break (75 power, 100 accuracy), Arm Thrust (bad move, only 20 power), and Hyper Voice (90 power, 100 accuracy). Overall this mon should be pretty good for a bit at least. We probably can't roll with it the whole way but it's certainly going to be able to take some hits and go fast.

    The rival throws out their pokemon and it's a Gastly. It uses Fury Swipes and does nothing for damage. Four HP total. We're feeling good! Then the realization hits. Gastly is a ghost. Ghost are immune to Fighting attacks. Ghost are immune to Normal attacks. Meganium has Jump Kick which is a Fighting Move. It has Brick Break which is a Fighting move. It has Arm Thrust which is a Fighting move. It has Hyper Voice which is a Normal move. We can't touch this Gastly. We continuously use attacks that don't affect the Gastly while it uses things like Snatch to deal 0 damage and Fury Swipes for almost no damage. Almost no damage >>>> actual no damage and our Meganium dies a slow, painful death. That one feels bad. We white out.


    It turns out that we ran pretty, pretty, pretty hot at the start of this challenge. I had been told how infrequently the lab is escaped so when we had 6 of our first 12 attempts make it out I thought that's what they were talking about. It wasn't. What comes now is a long and repetitive cycle of getting to the Lab, getting killed, and resetting to try again. It's time to rapid fire these death write ups:

    Attempt 15: Totodile named Squirtle. It has good stats with a 17 special attack leading the charge. Poison Point as an ability can poison enemies when they contact us with a physical move. It has Shadowball (80 power ghost attack) as its best move. We face off vs the rivals Cascoon and deal almost no damage. Cascoon uses Psychic and takes off over half our health. The writing is on the wall.


    Attempt 16: Haiyama part 2 this time named 1punchman. It has a great special attack (21!) but no special moves. It has Rollout which is nice but the rival's Ekans doesn't seem too fazed. We were named one punch man but it was us who got one punch manned.

    Goodbye attempt 17, a Minum named Watt. Killed by a Beautifly.

    Goodbye attempt 18, a Kabuto named PraiseDome. Killed by a Geodude.

    Attempt #19 sees us say hello to a Seadra named My Prince. With 18 special attack and the move Confusion it has some potential. The rival sends out their Regirock and Confusion procs on the first attack! Reigrock never attacks as it hurts itself in its confusion two times and we are finally out of the Lab again!

    We do our due diligence to find a new pokemon in the surrounding areas and come up huge with a Salamence! 600 BST! This is it and we know it so we name it The Run. This thing turns out to be AWESOME. 18/15 def/spdef means we can take some hits. 18 speed is fast as hell for level 5. 18 spatk is also super high. The ability is great – Intimidate cuts the attack of opposing pokes in half which compared with our high defense means we should be able to take a lot of hits. That special attack stat being high works great with the move Crabhammer it knows – a special water attack with 90 power and 85 accuracy. Secret Power is a good move to clean up stuff with as well.

    It feels pretty great to finally have a mon that we know can go the distance. Salamence is one of the best possible mon to pick up in this challenge and we're ready to finally get a good attempt in. Our luck continues as we pick up our random item in the Forest and its a Shell Bell! Shell Bell is an item a pokemon can hold which restores HP every time the pokemon deals damage. This is huge for a run where we can't heal between gym battles. We go around and start gathering our XP and the gains on this thing are huge! Leveling up from 5 to 6 increases our HP by 3, our defense by 3, our speed by 3, our special attack by 4, and our special defense by 2. For the first time since the Explosion hit we're finally feeling like we have a real shot at this thing. We have a fantastic mon, excellent stats, a good moveset, and a held item that lets us regain health every turn. Our next item is a PP UP too so a potentially powerful move can have more uses. We throw that on our Crabhammer and go to fight the lvl 14 trainer.

    JACKPOT! It's a Blissey. Blissey are basically loot boxes that give enormous amounts of XP.

    There's just uh, one problem. The other pokemon we got to kill in the other three areas with The Run didn't provide much XP. Remember, because we switched pokemon we don't have that extra XP bonus from winning the Rival fight. That means The Run is only level 7. Blissey is level 14.

    We've made a huge mistake and it's one we're going to take a lesson from in future runs. You see, going straight to the lvl 14 mon makes a lot of sense when your mon is pretty similarly leveled like we've been doing thus far. You beat up the one mon, get a lot of xp, and then take that higher level to the multiple mon trainers to grind them out better. It does NOT make sense when your mon is half the level. What we should have done once we switched was do the Forest trainers in order. Sure there will be more mon but they will be lower level (9-10) and The Run would be able to deal with them a bit better. This is the first time we've learned that our strategies need to be flexible based on the situation rather than a rigid thing we go through the motions on. It is entirely my mistake. I just started going on autopilot.

    We try to use both Salamence and Seadra to the best of our abilities to overcome this error. We end up poisoning the Blissey, hit it with some Crabhammers, and use our potion to get some extra poison damage in. Our mon put forth a valiant effort but the Blissey's insane HP pool and double level is just too much for them to overcome. This was a mon that could have gone far and for the first time in the challenge a loss is entirely on me. This one stings.

    We take a huge lesson from this one. Stay focused. Adjust as necessary. The UIC is hard enough on its own without us making it more difficult with errors. 19 attempts in. 2 to Brock. 0 past him. There's not much left to do but make sure not to make the same mistake twice, dust ourselves off, and head


  19. ISO #19
    Chapter 8: Determination

    Attempt #20

    We're still feeling a bit disheartened from The Run's fall to Blissey as we stroll over to the Lab. Our random pokemon is a Nuzleaf that I am contractually obligated to name Nipples. The speed and attack are bad (9 each) but the moveset could have some promise. Poison Tail has a high crit rate and can poison so hopefully it can do some work.

    Well, the rival wound up with a Latias and it opened with Overheat, a 150 power super effective move. So I guess not. BTTLA.

    Attempt #21

    The hopelessness of our situation is starting to get to us. We've had some good starts so far and just can't seem to convert anything into a Brock victory. During the times where I thought there was nothing we could do to prevent a loss – like Palmy running into Explosion – it was easy to just shrug it off and move forward. Knowing we threw away a good chance with The Run due to our own mistakes hits different though. Experiencing how few attempts get through the lab has made the mistake stand out even more. We get a small percentage of shots and we really need to convert them when the opportunities present themselves.

    As I beat myself up I'm met with our new friend: A Squirtle named Squart. Its defense is incredibly low at 7 and the best move we have is Thrash which prevents us from choosing a new action for a couple turns and leaves us confused. I'm not optimistic and the rival Combusken's Psychic shows I had good reason to feel that way. BTTLA.

    Attempt #22

    The defeats are starting to run together. Flowey is a Sunflora that knows Hyper Fang but has poor stats. It falls quickly to the Rivals Mantine. BTTLA.

    Attempt #23

    At this point I have been doing this for around 7 hours total and Brock has yet to be defeated. Worse, the realization is sinking in that I was running hotter than the sun when I had 4/7 attempts really get off the ground. This stretch is more along the lines of what I'd been warned about.

    We meet a pretty solid Raichu named Watt with reasonable stats and a diverse moveset. We get a bit unlucky and run into the legendary Ho-oh as the rivals starter. Watt tries its best but Ho-oh kicks us while we're down and sends us BTTLA.

    Attempt #24

    This time we're given a Kadabra we name Spoooon. It's rather unimpressive. 9 attack, 9 defense, and 8 speed are all pretty bad (we really want to start in the double digits in speed). An irrelevant ability in Drizzle (makes it rain). Then we tab over to the move set and suddenly we're pretty optimistic again! Water Gun gets boosted by Dizzle (and I thought it was irrelevant!) while Thunder Wave can paralyze foes letting us go first and skipping out on their turns. Spooooon was even holding TM08 – Outrage for a nice 90 power 100 accuracy attack. We can work with this! We perk up a bit further when our rival throws out their mon: Igglybuff.

    The baby Jiggly just doesn't have a ton of stats compared to the other starters we've been up against lately. This is a good chance to get another attempt going. We hit with a Water Gun and deal a bit more than ¼ of its health. The Igglybuff hits us with an attack and it deals a lot more damage: over a third of our bar. This is a damage race we can't really win. Suddenly we see the five best words we could have possibly seen.

    IT HAS TRUANT! It will only attack every other turn now and our SPOOOOOOON mops up this fight rather quickly. WE. ARE. OUT.

    Time to go scout the local area for better options. This Kadabra is serviceable if we must but we'd prefer to find something a bit better. In the second patch of grass we discover a Sceptile! That 530 BST is a big upgrade from Kadabra so we decide to try and catch it. We throw a pokeball, it kicks out, uses double edge and hits us for very little. We go ahead and deal it a bit of damage to try and make the capture easier. It responds with Silver Wind, a super-effective Bug move. BTTLA.

    Attempt #25

    This time we get a CHONKY boi: a Venusaur we name “Meganium” because it's funny to name pokemon other pokemon. I think? This thing has Eruption and Twineedle as its worthwhile moves. It also has some excellent speed (16), attack (19), and special attack (16). The defense is pretty good (13). The only weakness is special defense which clocks in at a 9.

    Sometimes when things are going bad though they get really bad.

    The rival had a Moltres, our special defense was our only weak stat, and they hit us with a super effect special move to delete us in one shot. BTTLA.

    Attempt #26

    A Clampearl named “Shellder”. You can tell I'm running on fumes at this point. I just want to beat Brock and I can stop for a bit and get back at it fresh the next day. The defense for this Clampearl is bad (8). The special defense for this Clampearl is bad (9). The moveset is atrocious. Smokescreen does not deal damage. Howl does not deal damage. Mind Reader does not deal damage. Petal Dance DOES deal damage, but it takes my actions for me for 2-3 turns and then leaves me confused. I am, unsurprisingly, not optimistic.

    Duskull opened with Giga Drain and we died. BTTLA.

    Attempt #27

    All I will tell you is that this was a baby Jynx. I named it CanonFoddr. It had no chance.


    Attempt #28

    We receive an Ekans. We name it Derp. Its stats are unimpressive but not terrible. Its move set is 3 nothing burgers and a bubblebeam. Nidorino kills us with ease. BTTLA,

    This was a dark stretch for us and it all came in rapid succession after throwing away a good potential mon in The Run. We knew what we were getting into when we signed up for this though. There will be tough stretches where we never get anything remotely interesting going. There will be tough stretches where it seems like we have no real decisions to make and the best the write ups can be is a quick series of blurbs about mon that got deleted as soon as they took the field. That's ok. We've played Undertale. We understand determination. The sun will shine on us soon friends. I promise you. It's going to be a wild adventure full of excitement and panic that will make a great story that I cannot wait to tell you. We just have to get there first. In the meantime, this wave of defeats will help us appreciate the victory that is sure to come. That's what I keep telling myself anyways.

  20. ISO #20
    GOAT Tier bearsquared's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Naming your Pokemon "The Run" and having hubris be its demise makes it a classic Greek tragedy.

    I am thoroughly enjoying the journey so far if it makes you feel any better.

  21. ISO #21
    Chapter 9: The Struggle Continues

    Attempt 29

    We're back at it with fresh eyes and feel better than we have in a while. Sometimes it's important to just realize it's not happening right now and take a break. You come back refreshed and optimistic again. The game rewards our optimism with one of the best starting mon we've seen so far! This is an Arcanine named BORKBORK. BORKBORK's stats are off the charts for level 5! Every single one is over 10, the speed is great at 16, the attack is great at 17, and it has high defense at 15. Even the special defense is good at 13. It also has the ability “Cute Charm” which leaves opponents infatuated if it comes in contact with BORKBORK. For more information about infatuation please go fight Whitney's Miltank.

    The moveset is also pretty solid. Thrash, Bounce, Night Shade, and Sky Uppercut give us 3 moves with 85+ power and a move that will deal damage equal to our level which can take us through the early midgame. The villain is a Staryu which luckily doesn't know any water moves. It does know fire moves which are not very effective vs our fire doggo and BORKBORK is able to take us out of the lab right away. A new day and a better start!

    It' time to scout other mon but we're almost positive that nothing is touching our Arcanine in this situation. That proves to be true and we clean up our XP by killing a Bellossom (rip ), a Meditite, a Machoke, and a Duskull. BORKBORK is level 10 as we head into our trainer gauntlet. Since we've started with BORKBORK and it's at a good level we take it right to the lvl14 trainer and its Huntail. Unfortunately BORKBORK gets paralyzed and is unable to move for two turns allowing the Huntail to take us down. It's at this point after losing The Run and BORKBORK to the lvl 14 trainer first that I decide to ignore the general guide for this portion (there's a walkthrough for routing/item locations!) and always go in order on these trainers. The lvl 14 trainer is just a bit too strong and I feel more comfortable doing it my way. Anyways, we white out and head BTTLA.

    Attempt 30

    I think at this point we all understand the initial lab phase of the challenge. You get a poke at random, you check its stats and moveset and see if its good, then you hope to not die immediately. I have written a lot of words on runs that don't escape the lab at this point and I've honestly run out of ways to do it that I think are interesting to read. From this point on the runs that die in the lab will be little blurbs instead of multiple sentences.

    Anyways, this Carvanha named FEEEEEEEESH died. Rip FEEEEEEEESH.

    Attempt 31

    This Crawdaunt named Crawdad died. Rip Crawdad.

    Attempt 32

    I think at this point we all understand the initial post-lab phase of the challenge. You scout poke, collect xp, then you hope to not die immediately to the first trainers. I have written a lot of words on runs that don't make it out of the Forest at this point and I've honestly run out of ways to do it that I think are interesting to read. From this point on the runs that die before leaving the forest will be longer blurbs instead of multiple paragraphs.

    Our Kangaskhan named Kanga beat up on a ponyta to escape the lab. It was a great mon with Flamethrower, Hydro Canon, Icicle Speak, and Rock Blast. We found nothing better and collected our XP and headed into the forest. Kanga was level 10 and we decided to start with the smaller trainers with more mon instead of going right to the lvl 14 trainer. The first trainer has two poke: a lvl 9 tentacool that we handle with ease and a lvl 9 Croconaw that we also take care of. The second trainer has 3 poke: first a lvl1 sableye that we take out with Flamethrower – though it hits us with a couple smokescreen first to lower our accuracy. Second is a lvl 11 Pidgeot with Blast Burn. We miss a couple of attacks during Pidgeot's recharging turns and take a few extra hits than we otherwise would but eventually take it out with Icicle Spear. Third is a lvl 11 Poochyena that opens on Meditate and finishes us off with a Blaze Kick. The double smokescreen killed us here as we ended up missing 5 total attacks across the Pidgeot and Poochyena. Unfortunate. BTTLA.

    Attempt 33

    We have a sudowoodo named Real Tree. It's stats suck. It dies to a Magby. BTTLA.

    Attempt 34

    Our wingull named Turkey dies to a Dewgong. BTTLA.

    Attempt 35

    We peek at the potential poke before getting our own. It could have been a Salamence. It was not a Salamence. Our Misdreveous we named “Not Salami” dies to Weezing. BTTLA.

    So at this point we are 35 attempts into the challenge without much to show for it. I do have good news though: things are about to turn in our favor. You see, I'm writing these well past the time I was playing the game. It's an after action report after all. I've known where we were going since I started. I wanted to take the time to properly show our progress though because I wanted you to understand just how flustered I was starting to get. We started off great, pewtered out, and then really struggled to get off the ground again before making mistakes when we finally did. It was all necessary struggles to truly optimize our early game. We learned so much stuff during these issues: how to properly scout enemy mon, how to search for movesets while scouting, the correct order to attack trainers in the forest, and hesitancy in catching a second mon early because you need every bit of XP possible for Brock. They'll all come into play when things really get going.

    I hope you've enjoyed the process of getting to this point. I tried my best to really highlight the specifics of what was going to matter: movesets, speed, XP, stat distribution, etc along the way. Perhaps I could have sped through this portion a bit earlier than this but then you might not appreciate us making progress the same way I did. Regardless, we're nearing the launch point now. I'm so excited.

  22. ISO #22
    Chapter 10: The King is Here

    Attempt 36

    Meet Muk. Muk's name is Goopy Goop. Goopy Goop has some MOVES.

    Thunder. Frenzy Plant. Earthquake. Rollout. Each and every one of these moves hits HARD and the coverage is amazing. The only pokemon in this entire game that we have 0 effective moves against is Breloom. The Muk's stats are pretty good too with nothing really concerning and a solid attack stat. The rival throws out a measly Weedle and Goopy Goop lays the smackdown on this thing. We're out of the lab with a solid mon with a great moveset. We're feeling pretty solid right now but once we turn in the letter and get our pokeballs we feel even better.

    Huge attack! Huge speed! A big discrepancy between physical attack and special attack which lets the attack get really high. Rough skin is even a fine ability. The move set is mediocre but fine for those stats. Fury Swipes and Weather Ball are physical attacks. Iron Defense can increase our defense. Fireblast has a low special attached to it but it's a good move overall. Most importantly, the BST for Dragonite is 600 while Muk's is 500. The move set can be fixed as Dragonite learns 8 more moves during this game and we'll get some moves from TM we find along the way. Dragonite is easily the better pokemon to continue this run with.

    We go pick up our experience from the other routes and immediately find help in our moveset with Stomp. Now we can make enemies flinch as well. Time for the trainer gauntlet in the Forest. The first trainer throws our an Aron that dies to Fire Blast and a Blaziken that dies to Stomp. The next trainer loses a Beedrill, Tyrogue, and a Dusclops. Dragonite is level 15 already and the stat gains are huge in HP, Attack, and Speed every time we level (58/58/51 already!). We also have recently learned Toxic to add to our arsenal. On to the next trainer. Say goodbye to Minum and Seedot. Next! Bayleef goes down to stomp. Level 16 now. Tyranitar has Rock Throw which does some damage but we're able to take it down. Level 17. Pupitar comes in and gets stomped. Off to the level 14 trainer. They have a Spheal and stomp one shots it. Dragonite leaves the forest at level 18 and we're getting really close to finally taking on Brock again. All that stands between us is a Rival fight and a Junior trainer battle. The rival tosses out a Cyndaquil. Stomp one shots it. Weedle appears. Stomp one shots it. We're feeling GREAT.

    Off to Brock again. After 36 runs that failed to get past the first gym leader we're finally making our way there with an elite, high leveled pokemon with a good moveset for the high attack it has. Up first is the Junior Trainer. Their Cradily doesn't take much damage to stomp but we do have Toxic for it on the next turn. It hits us with a move that hits 5x but we also get 5x retaliation from our rough skin ability. Unfortunately it uses endeavor. Endeavor is a move that makes our HP match its HP. Its HP is 10. We drop all the way to 10 HP against the first poke out of the four we need to face here and we have no healing (we used a potion earlier vs Tyranitar). We kill the Cradilly and level up to 19 but are greatly concerned. The next poke to come out is Tropius. Our stomp deals over half health but Tropius has Icicle Spear. It's a multi hit Ice move and we're 4x weak to Ice. That's enough to take down our Dragonite and we once again lose a potentially good run to Brock's Gym. Time to head back to the lab again.

    Attempt 37

    Our starting pokemon is a Haunter. It's move set is also nuts! Volt Tackle, Eruption, and Earthquake all pack a punch.

    Our opponent is a Sunkern and Eruption knocks it out in short order. Back to back lab escapes! We start poking around scouting new pokemon and … it happens.

    Meet Kogla, the Slaking. 21 Attack. 27 Special Attack. 22 defense. 15 speed. Volt Absorb as an ability. Slack off regains health. Bubblebeam is a special move that works with the extremely high special attack. Most importantly is the BST: 670. We've talked about it before (almost like I'm ahead in the gameplay from these write ups and have been foreshadowing things along the way!) but Slaking is a pokemon that has enormous stats but also has the ability Truant which makes it only attack every other turn. In the randomizer we don't have Truant. So these stats get enormous and we can take an action every turn. Additionally, the normal type is only weak to the fighting type here and in this gen every fighting move is a physical move. So the high defense makes it where any 2x move won't hit thaaaat hard. Normal also does not have any 4x weaknesses like Dragonite did with Ice. All in all, Slaking is THE BEST pokemon to attempt this challenge with and we now have a lot of pressure on us to not fail. This pokemon with these stats and with these moves provides us the best opportunity to beat Brock we've seen yet.

    We go around the routes and collect our experience. The stat gains are absurd on level up. From lvl 6 to lvl 7 the HP increased by 4, attack and defense by 3, special attack by 4, special defense by 1, and speed by 2. These stats are going to get crazy if we can just survive long enough to let them. We even get to kill a Tyranitar to get a boatload more experience. We go to the first trainer. Meowth dead. Nidoran dead. Kogla level 11. Next trainer. Arbok dead. Level 12. Sandslash dead to bubblebeam. Level 13. Kogla wants to learn poison fang. Sure! Bye bye Water Gun. Electrike? Dead. Level 14. Third trainer time. Kogla takes down a Moltres with Bubble Beam and up to level 15. Staryu is next and Meteor Mash does it in. Level 16. Three trainers down, two left. The next one has an Articuno (that makes Articuno, Moltres, and Tyranitar for huge XP gains already), Mawile, and finally Hitmonlee. Level 17. Finally we get to the level 14 trainer that gatekept us so many times early. It has Metagross for even more massive experience drops. We go to level 18 and feel great heading to the rival battle. The rival sends out Pidgeotto which dies to Meteor Mash. Kogla wants to learn Mean look after leveling to 19. No thanks. We kill the Sunkern and cruise through the rival fight. Look at these stats!

    Kogla has a huge HP pool and a large attack/defense/special attack stat group. It hits hard and it tanks hits. The huge HP pool works well with a healing move like Slack Off. Nothing super effective can hit us as a special attack so we feel ok about that low stat. We'd prefer the speed to be higher but all in all this is by far the best we've looked at this point. It's time to roll into Brock and see if we can finally – after 36 previous attempts – collect our first gym badge. We heal up and head over to the Junior Trainer.

    Their first pokemon is a Staryu. Kogla's Meteor Mash almost kills it but we end up taking a few points of damage before we can finish it off. The second mon is a Primeape that's faster than us but our defense is huge so we don't take much. We kill it and we're at 79/92 HP after our level up to 20. The junior trainer for only the third time (I think?) has been defeated. It's time for our nemesis. Brock.

    Brock opens with a Ledyba. Kogla uses Poison Fang. It deals a bit more than half of the health. Ledyba retaliates with a move that barely tickles. 76/92. Ledyba faints to our followup poison sting. The final mon in our way to our first badge is a Heracross at level 21. It's faster than us and uses a huge special attack move, Heat Wave. Our HP plummets from 76 to 43. We use poison fang which barely hurts it, though we get a poison proc. I'm a bit worried here as this has been our wall for so long (11 ½ hours into this challenge!). Heracross has Rough Skin which hurts us even more. From 43 to 38 we go. Heracross is faster than us and the last move it used wasn't a crit and did 33 damage. This is closer than I'd like. Heracross uses Heat Wave and we drop all the way to 5 HP. Not again. Please, not again.

    We followed up with Slack Off, which takes our health from 5 back up to 51. The Heracross is still poisoned so it takes another tick of damage. Heracross uses Heat Wave again.

    We fall to 14 HP and use slack off. The Heracross takes poison damage. It looks like Slack Off barely outpaces the Heat Wave but we're still in danger of a crit. Slack Off takes us back to 60 HP. The Heracross knows a fighting move, Low Kick. Our weakness. It actually deals less damage than the Heat Wave due to our high defense. We fall to 36 HP. We use Slack Off and go all the way back to 82. The Heracross takes poison damage. We got so lucky that we got a poison proc on the first attack. I also think Poison Fang gives Toxic-style poison where it deals more and more damage every turn. We'd be super dead otherwise. The Heracross uses Low Kick again. We're still in the green. We use Poison Fang and close it out.


    After 36 failures we have finally received the Boulderbadge. We have finally defeated Brock. We are finally able to move on and give this challenge a good, solid attempt. It is hard as hell to beat Brock in this. So many attempts don't even escape the lab. Many of the ones that do lose to wild pokemon nonsense or the Forest trainers. Only a handful of those attempts made it to the first gym and all of them failed until now.

    This is a huge load off of my shoulders. We have a great mon, insane stat growth, a perfectly reasonable move set, and the motivation to really make this one count. Looking forward, our next section isn't a cakewalk either. We have a series of trainers heading to Mt Moon, Mt Moon itself, a tough rival battle, and then another series of trainers on the bridge. This is the make or break section of the challenge making a deep run or not. From all accounts I've been told, once you get through the bridge gauntlet you get to take a bit of a breath for a while. Unless you run into a one hit ko move of course.

    Anyways, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. We still have lots of trainers to deal with, an entire cave system, and a rival fight against 4 high leveled mon. For now, we'll celebrate. We finally made progress and got a new PB.

    Next Time: Trainers! Mt Moon! Rival! Oh my!

  23. ISO #23
    GOAT Tier bearsquared's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Hail to the king, baby.

    Also post updates more please. I'm invested.

  24. ISO #24
    Quote Originally Posted by bearsquared (#23)
    Hail to the king, baby.

    Also post updates more please. I'm invested.
    It was such a relief to finally get past Brock.

    Glad to hear you're invested! Updates should happen a few times a weekend and rarely during the week for the next little bit. I plan on doing another update today and then one tomorrow as well.

  25. ISO #25
    Chapter 11: A Series of Mistakes in Rapid Succession

    After taking a bit to admire our brand new Boulder Badge we head back to the pokecenter to make sure Kogla is feeling good. Our next section is going to be a gauntlet of trainers between Pewter City and Mt Moon. The good news is that these trainers are all outdoors so we can go back and heal up between each of them. There's also another patch of grass around here that we can see if another pokemon is a viable addition to the team.

    This is a good time to start planning out our progress for the rest of the attempt. Remember, there's a maximum of six pokemon we can catch throughout the entire game so we likely won't want to pick up anything here. We have our starter (1) and Kogla (2) already. That leaves us 4 slots left. Looking ahead we can find a level 69 pokemon at the end of Victory Road which should be a lock to pick up. Diglett Cave has a lvl 45 pokemon which is a good chance to upgrade your mon if you're unhappy with it at that point (though I doubt we will need to). Then you have some high level surf/rod targets throughout the game as well plus the Safarii zone. We want to try and find a balance between getting Kogla a little bit of help – it's so difficult to do it alone – without spreading our finite amount of experience around too much making our mon too low level to take on the elite 4.

    That's an entirely paragraph to basically illustrate that while we're going to come up to some grass/caves containing pokemon shortly, we don't really want to do anything with them other than gain experience. Between the Victory Road, Diglett Cave, and various Surf mons we'll be able to find high level help while maximizing the experience Kogla receives.

    After healing up we head towards the trainers blocking our progress to Mt Moon. The first one has a lvl 14 Smoochum and a level 14 Chikorita. Kogla deletes them in one hit. The next trainer has 3 poke: a level 15 Mankey, a level 15 Misdreavus, and a 15 Ralts. They also all go down in one hit. Kogla's stats are busted. Third trainer has a level 17 Numel and a level 17 Jigglypuff. One hit ko's thanks to Meteor Mash to all of them. Fourth trainer brings a level 14 Magneton and it sadly takes Kogla two hits to kill that one before leveling to level 23. Our HP goes up to 105. A level 14 Claydol is dead to Bubblebeam. A level 14 Shellder is dead to Meteor Mash. We finish off this trainer by killing their level 14 Swampert. Suddenly we've found ourselves in a position where things are barely hurting us (we take two hits during that fight and only drop to 91/105 HP).

    We clear out the next trainer and their Latios. Suddenly we've got a pokemon that's almost 10 levels higher than what we're facing. The stats continue to accumulate as every level sees increases to every stat. The next trainer drops a level 21 Gulpin on us out of nowhere – 6 levels higher than what we just fought! Kogla takes it out with ease.

    Trainer number six drops a Spearow and Breloom on us. Kogla drops them instead. Level 25. Kogla tries to learn Thief but our moveset of Slack Off, Poison Fang, Bubblebeam, and Meteor Mash is way better. Trainer number seven loses their Jynx. We are in the clear from the trainer gauntlet! Our stats + typing are just fantastic. Our high defensive stats and only being weak to Fighting means we just aren't really in danger of many massive hits. Either the move is a special move and gets to take advantage of our low special defense or the move is something effective against us and we get to take advantage of our high defensive stat. It's causing Kogla to barely get touched.

    We check out the grass but nothing interests us. Kogla picks up some free experience instead. We go grab the hidden item in front of Mt Moon and find the most useless item in the game:

    Thanks game! We heal up and make sure we have everything we want from this area. One of the rules of the UIC is that when you leave a cave or major building (aka, dungeons) you cannot go back in there. That means once we enter and then exit Mt Moon we cannot ever go back in there. Any items we miss in there are missed forever. Any trainer we miss in threre are missed forever. If we leave through the entrance, we cannot go back in there and for this particular cave that means progress would be impossible. Essentially, once we enter Mt Moon we are not able to come back to this area until we get Fly. We go back and pick up a hidden item we miss (good job remembering to take stock before going in!) but it was also useless. We pop our way into Mt Moon.

    There are three ways to tackle Mt Moon. Before we discuss those though let's break down everything inside of this cave system.

    There are 12 different trainers containing a total of 28 different pokemon to fight.
    Of those 12 trainers only 2 of them are required to make it through Mt Moon
    There are 14 items to pick up (excluding the fossil)
    There is one wild pokemon to catch/kill

    Method #1

    You can slowly work your way through the dungeon fighting trainers and picking up items as you go. This method maximizes the XP you earn and the items you receive. This method also gives you the largest risk of something going wrong. Remember, we cannot exit the cave to heal and there are two fights at the end of the dungeon that are required to exit.

    Method #2

    Go through the dungeon picking up all the items and avoiding all the unnecessary trainers. This gives you the least amount of experience but maximizes the chances of you escaping the dungeon.

    Method #3

    Race to the end avoiding all the trainers. Beat the two trainers you are forced to fight and then backtrack fighting trainers until you no longer feel comfortable doing so. The pros of this path is that it's safest in terms of being able to complete the dungeon. The cons of this path is that you do have to fight the hardest fights at your lowest level.

    I'm feeling really good about Kogla. We've gone over the stats and how their allocation benefits its typing. I decide that this attempt has real potential and that I'm going to fight every trainer to maximize our experience. Aiding me in this decision is the move Slack Off. I know that I have a panic button that I can hit if things get tight. Plus, if things start getting shaky I can start skipping some enemy trainers. The first trainer brings out a level 17 Machoke and our level 25 Kogla kills it. The follow up is a level 17 Dratini. We hit it and don't quite kill it. Dratini hits us with Thunder Wave. We're paralyzed. Crap.

    We finish off the Dratini and go up to level 26. Being paralyzed is a problem. It means we always go second and we sometimes don't get to act. That's a lot of extra hits we're going to take. We check our item box and realize we had picked up a full restore. I really, really don't want to use it here. We can still just rush to the end of the dungeon and beat the last two trainers and head out. We should be able to do that while paralyzed. On the other hand, that's a lot of experience wasted. We'll find more items along the way. I decide to use the Full Restore but I am … unhappy about it. We need that experience!

    The next trainer has a level 21 Vulpix. Bubblebeam one shots it. The next trainer has a level 17 Delcatty that dies to Bubblebeam and a level 17 Masquerain that dies to Meteor Mash. The next item we find is an Energy Root and a Paralysis Berry. Well $%#!. Those are good items. The next trainers lvl 15 Seel and level 15 Bulbasaur die to one hit. Only …

    We get poisoned. We have no items to help with poison. We have a LONG way to walk to get to the exit. Every few steps Kogla will be losing HP. It turns out that every decision we have made in this dungeon was incorrect. Going trainers first was full of greed. Using the Full Restore instead of checking the items around us first was silly. Now we have no Full Restore and were able to get poisoned instead of paralyzed. We finish off the trainers level 15 Mantine and take stock of our situation. We have 88 health. We do have some healing items and Slack Off, but I'm still super scared. I decide to audible and forego the rest of the trainers. We're rushing out of here asap. Every few steps hurt. Passing up on items hurts. Passing up on experience hurts. Realizing I made so many mistakes in short succession hurts.

    We start beelining toward the exit. We skip the first trainer up top. One's running in circles and we make sure not to be spotted. The next two are hanging out towards the ladder. We pick up the nearby item and its a Hyper Potion! If we get out of here that'll be huge for later. Down the ladder. Another skipped trainer. At least 1 and probably 2 levels have been missed. We encounter a wild mon and use Slack Off to top back up. We have 70 HP. Skip the Team Rocket trainer. All thats left are the two required ones. The first one has a level 20 Croconaw. We top off with Slack Off. Croconaw uses Swagger to confuse us. We're hurt by poison. Meteor Mash kills Croconaw. We're hurt by poison. Level 20 Tyranitar dies to Bubblebeam. One trainer left! Cyndaquil dies to Bubblebeam. Dodrio takes a big hit. We are hurt by poison. Bubblebeam kills it. We are hurt by Poison. The final opponent is a level 18 Milotic. We get hit down to 20 HP and use Slack off to go back to 80. We're hurt by poison. Meteor Mash crits and the Milotic dies! We pick up our Helix fossil (praise helix!) and get the hell out of here.

    Just outside of Mt Moon are two move tutors. The moves they teach are randomized. I dont know what they end up being because Kogla is unable to learn either of them. We find a TM on the ground but it's nothing. Our health is still ticking down as we make our way into Cerulean. We hop into the grass to top off with a Slack Off again, grab some experience, and it's smooth walking over to the pokecenter.

    No idea why you'd say you hope to see my Kogla so beat up and poisoned again but you do you Nurse Joy.

    It's time for the Rival Fight and Bridge gauntlet.

    The rival throws out their first mon: a level 26 Jigglypuff. You can see just how big of a jump we go to between the last trainer of Mt Moon with its level 18 mon and the next fight you do against the Rival with the level 26 mon opener. Kogla is only two levels higher due to how much experience we left at Mt Moon. Anyways, Bubblebeam takes out Jiggly in one shot. Our poison move takes out the Sunkern in one shot that followed. Shuppet hits a Psycho Boost on us for 35 HP but we take it out with a Bubblebeam and level to 29. The final mon is a Horsea and it's not match for Poison Fang.

    That was so much less intense than Mt Moon was. The Bridge Gauntlet is even more of a cakewalk. The first pokemon we see is a level 15 Koffin. Kogla is level 29. I'm not even going to both doing a play by play for these. Kogla mows them down one after another and takes zero damage. Kogla grows to level 30. It takes down the second trainer (including a Ho-oh) while taking zero damage. The third trainer has level 21 mon. They die to Kogla in one hit. The fourth trainer has level 24 mon and it's getting a bit closer. Altaria and Staryu die in one hit. Kogla goes to level 31 and tries to learn Twineedle. Nah. The next trainer has a level 27 Chansey that dies in one hit and explodes in a downpour of experience. The final trainer on the bridge gives us a nugget and then throws out a level 23 Milotic. It dies in one hit to poison fang. We go to level 32. Their final mon is a level 23 Entei. It also dies in one hit.

    Kogla is a machine now. It's only issue has been getting poisoned but no poke since Brock has really posed much of a threat. We've also now reached the point where a lot of UIC players believe the game goes on cruise control for a while. You see, we're at such a high level compared to the poke we're fighting and that gap is only going to widen for the next little bit. Remember, every piece of experience is going directly to Kogla so its level is increasing a lot quicker than the game expects your pokemon to increase. Normally you're spreading it around 5-6 poke so the game brings up the trainer/wild mon level slowly. Kogla will instead continue increasing the level gap for quite a while so long as we can avoid status effect and the scary moves like Explosion/Destiny Bond/Perish Song/Self-Destruct.

    We're feeling great as we pop back into the Pokecenter to say hi to Nurse Joy again.

    Next time: We go on a cruise

  26. ISO #26
    Chapter 12: Cruisin

    The routing now gets a little weird. Normally what you'd do next is go visit Bill, go beat up Misty, and head through the underground tunnel to make your way to the SS Anne and Lt Surge. In fact, some of you might have even beat Misty before you beat the rival fight and bridge gauntlet. In the UIC we're going to do things differently. Misty is terrifying at this point. We have to beat all three trainers in her gym without healing between. Her gym contains a trainer with two level 24 poke, a trainer with a level 28-30 poke (I don't remember which way it rounds), and then Misty herself with a level 27 poke and a level 31-32 poke. Considering Kogla is only level 32 it's that's a pretty rough gauntlet. It's doable, sure, but high risk.

    Instead our route will have us travel the underground tunnel towards the SS Anne. The cruise ship is a gold mine of experience. There are 17 trainers scattered throughout the ship – including the Rival fight at the end – with a total of 36 poke between them. Even better, the SS Anne has a cabin inside it with a bed that lets you rest and heal your pokemon. So unlike other areas with a lot of trainers we've encountered so far – like Mt Moon – we can heal between them all and give ourselves the best chance of acquiring all the XP they can offer.

    Once we complete the SS Anne (and the trainers en route) we can head back to Cerulean to beat up Misty before going straight to Lt Surge. Along the way we can grab a few extra trainers and look in some grass for new pokefriends.

    We start walking around the grass above the Bridge but find nothing useful other than a trainer that I forgot existed and a TM containing Poison Sting. No thanks. It's here that I remember that the path to Bill isn't just a clear shot like I thought. There are 9 different trainers here and they have 19 poke to gain experience from. Luckily this is an open area so we can run back and heal between them all.

    Kogla mows through the entire group. The list of the fallen are Spinark, Hoothoot, Phanpy, Dustox, Lairon, Farfetch'd, Pineco, Skitty, Azurill, Hoppip, Cascoon, Ivysaur, Houndoom, Machop, Tropious, Swampert, Sunflora, Banette, and finally Blissey. We also find a TM for stockpile. Yuck. The Blissey lootbox gives us enough experience to reach level 35 and Kogla's stats are off the charts.

    We go say hi to Bill, hit the pokecenter again, and start the journey towards our next destination. A Team Rocket Grunt stands in our way and they have a Chikorita and an Ampharos to give us a good amount of experience. Next we find another TM and it contains Bite. We once again need to discuss the weird way gen 3 handles Physical vs Special typing. Rather than being by move – like a Thunderpunch being Physical and a Thunderbolt being Special – Gen 3 decided to make all moves of a specific type Special of Physical. So Thunderbolt and Thunderpunch are both Special types because they are Electric. It's weird and luckily got changed for the better in Gen 4 and on. In Gen 3 all Dark moves are Special. Even Bite. So Bite will be using our Special Attack stat of 139 rather than our Attack stat of 105. Bite also has the chance to make the opponent flinch which gives us a free attack. On top of that the power of Bite is higher than Poison Fang (60 to 50), Bite uses Special while Poison Fang uses Physical, and Bite has 25 pp compared to Poison Fang's 15. Replacing a Poison move with a Dark move doesn't change much in our coverage situation either. This is a pure move upgrade across the board.

    Bye bye Poison Fang. Hello Bite.

    With out newest upgrade we head on down towards the Daycare center and check out the grass. We find another elite pokemon in Kingdra but it's only level 18 and our Kogla is so good we decide to pass on it. Remember, with a finite amount of experience as well as catches available we really need to be careful with what we decide to pick up. We kill it for the XP. That takes us to the Underground Tunnel which has this really annoying aspect of sometimes having hidden items but not always. So we run around there for a bit seeing which ones appear (none do!) and pop out of the other side. There are a few trainers in the way which we take care of with ease. Slaking grows to level 36 and tries to learn Wish. Normally that's a great move but we already have Slack Off so we have to pass.

    Enter Vermilion City! We pick up our Bike Voucher so we can go fast later and head east towards more trainers. We want to level up Kogla as much as we can before the long line of trainers on the cruise ship. Here's where I make a rather huge error though. I get so focused on trying to figure out the best routing between Misty, these trainers, and the ship that I just entirely forget that Diglet cave exists. I walk right by it as I try and figure out if it's better to do these trainers first or the SS Anne. It just doesn't register for me. There are no trainers in the Diglet cave so maybe that's why it skipped my mind but what the cave does have is a level 30 Dugtrio wild pokemon slot that becomes a level 45 pokemon in this challenge thanks to the 50% wild/enemy poke level boost. It's five levels higher than Kogla is right now and would have been an incredible addition to the party. Not just for safety reasons – such as getting Exploded – but for coverage reasons. It's not the first error we've made and it won't be the last, but it is a large one.

    We finish up cleaning up the enemy trainers and our Kogla friend jumps to level 41. We have 182 HP with a huge healing move and we should be pretty safe on our cruise at this point.

    This room is our best friend. A free heal any time we'd like while on the ship lets us go after every single trainer here. Which means we pick up every piece of experience available here. Our mass amount of experience/level brings me to an interesting point. Back when we started the challenge I talked a lot about how the bookends of this run were difficult. Most runs don't make it out of the lab. Most runs that make it out of the lab don't make it past Brock. The Elite Four and Champion have pokemon in the high 80s-mid 90s. The final few gyms and Victory Road also have a long list of tough pokemon. What I didn't talk too much about what how the middle was. The middle of this challenge sees you with a huge level advantage over the opposing pokemon. The game intends you to be leveling up a lot of different pokemon at the same time so at some point the level of your enemy pokemon flattens out for a while. Some of the bridge gauntlet trainers had level 25-28 pokemon. After doing that, the trainers en route to Bill, the trainers before Vemilion, the trainers east of Vermilion, and half of the SS Anne we are facing pokemon that are mostly in the level 25-28 range. Our Kogla has been getting all of the experience and has leveled up to 41 while the enemies stay the same.

    This means that for the next little while Kogla is just beating the crap out of poke that are 10-15 levels beneath it. This gap will continue for the foreseeable future. The general consensus I've seen is that the sections after the SS Anne all the way up to possibly Blaine are full of poke you can 1-2 shot. It's still dangerous – lots of 1 hit ko moves, lots of chip damage accumulating in dungeons/gyms, lots of status effects, etc – but there's a lot more smooth sailing fights than before. Which is exactly how the SS Anne goes. Trainer after trainer throws out poke that mostly get 1 shot. Some require 2. None hit Kogla too hard. We do run into a bit of a tough opponent in Craudaunt at one point. Our moves are Water/Dark/Steel and this Crawdaunt's stats are really good along with a typing (dark/water) that renders our moveset ineffective. Luckily we're 15 levels ahead of it but it still takes 4 hits to kill it and its ability burns us on contact. We'll have to make the mental note to find a solution to that in case it shows back up at a more reasonable level later.

    Our mission complete we watch the ship sail away. Kogla never got to half health and picked up a lot of experience. We prepare ourselves for the next challenge: back to back gyms with Misty and Lt Surge waiting for us.

  27. ISO #27
    Now that Anni + Spec Chat game is over you can expect regular updates again shortly

  28. ISO #28
    Chapter 13: A brief moment of panic

    When we last left off (ages ago!) we had just defeated the dreaded SS Anne and were en route to back to back gym battles against Misty and Lt Surge. Our Kogla friend is level 45 and should be able to handle things for quite a while barring some nonsense happening.

    We go get our bike and pop into Misty's gym. Since it's been months since we did this I'll drop a quick reminder: we are required by the rules to fight every trainer in a gym and we cannot leave the gym until the gym is complete. That means we have to win three fights in a row here. The fact that Kogla is 21 levels higher than the first mon we face in here bodes well. Bite takes out Meganium and Grumpig first, Bubblebeam takes down a Rhydon, and Misty starts off with a lv 27 Growlithe. Bubblebeam takes it down as well as the level 32 Bug with the name I don't remember and we collect our second badge without taking a single point of damage!

    Another good reminder: The way that these typically play out is it being absolutely brutal to get out of the lab → The attempts that do get out of the lab rarely make it past Brock → The attempts that make it past Brock have a chance to stumble at the Cerulean Rival fight → The attempts that make it past that Rival fight usually get to go on cruise control for a while because your one mon just laps the field on levels → At some point later (usually around Blaine) the run gets EXTREMELY difficult again. So if this gets into a one sided affair for a while don't worry. It'll get difficult again.

    It IS a one sided affair for now though. Kogla walks into Lt Surge's gym and just demolishes all three junion trainers. Swampert was the biggest problem of the their mon as it was level 35 and dropped a Fire Blast on our face which took off a quarter of our health.

    The biggest difficulty we face is finding the switches. It takes us fourteen different clicks before we get through. Lt Surge busts out a Golem which gets Bubblebeamed to the shadow realm as done a Lunatone. We finish off the gym by biting a thunder doggo which makes us feel bad but it had to be done . Kogla grows to level 47 and the stats are bonkers. I cannot recall if I touched on this before but in this gen the damage types (physical or special) are attributed to the move type (grass/water/etc) and doesn't differ from move to move. So when you see the very low special defense of Kogla, keep in mind that the only move type he is weak to is Fighting and that is ALWAYS physical in this game. It becomes impossible for us to get hit by something super effective against out weak special defense. It's nice.

    Three gyms down and we're feeling wonderful. Our next path is east from Cerulean which contains a long, long line of trainers. Luckily it's all outside so we can just go heal between fights if they get spooky. Along the way we fight a Blissey which is the ultimate Ironmon lootbox so that's nice. None of these fights get too complicated. We heal a few times but we never really under half health.

    Next up is the Rock Tunnel which has a really interesting caveat in this playthrough. In order to get Flash and light it up we need to have caught 10 pokemon. We uh, obviously can't catch 10 pokemon. Which means we have to do this in the dark. Adding to our problems is the fact that a cave system counts as a dungeon so we cannot leave one we enter. If we run into too many enemies/get lost too badly it's possible for things to go poorly.

    We get through it pretty easily (thanks online map of the Rock Tunnel that let me follow the optimal path!). Between all the trainers leading up to the Rock Tunnel and all the trainers in it, Kogla sits at a nice level of 52. We hop out of the Tunnel, get to spooky town, heal back up, and continue on our way into the tower for our next Rival fight. It's really not much to worry about (again, I cannot emphasize enough how much the levels take over).

    Head west. Lots of trainers. Run through each and every one of them. Meet and old lady in Celadon and get some Tea. Give it to a guard who is thirsty. Check out the Tms in the big department store. Counter isn't gonna cut it sorry. Cut a bush and waltz right into Erika's gym like we own the place and see seven junior trainers. Making it 8 fights in a row is a bit concerning given we can't go heal but all of that washes away as we see Kogla just mow down mon after mon in one hit. The only thing that gives us a bit of trouble from the junior trainers is a Gyrados. Well, that's a bit of a lie. There's one thing that gives us a brief scare actually.

    You see, the rules state that we HAVE to fight every single trainer in a gym. The game also makes it where once the leader has been defeated the junior trainers no longer fight you. It's been years since I played this and here's what I ended up seeing:

    Uh, I don't remember which one Erika is. If I talk to Erika first or second the attempt is immediately over. I have a brief moment of panic, realize I can look it up, then before doing so realizing that Erika won't see me from afar so I just need to walk in front of them. It's the only thing that caused any concern all day and I felt silly for even having that much. Left and Right see me. We beat up their pokemon. Middle doesn't. We talk to her – it's Erika! - and beat her up too. Kogla took 18 points of damage this entire gym and the fourth badge is ours!

    Next we hear some Team Rocket members are hiding out so we drop by the casino (which apparently is cool with a ten year old being in there and playing slot machines?) and give them a piece of our mind. There are quite a few trainers in here but again we don't run into many issues. We pick up some really great items though in a Full Restore and TM Eruption. At 150 power and 100 accuracy, it's a great move. But only 5 PP makes it difficult to take it into some of those later areas with a TON of fights. PP management will start getting more and more important as we progress. The later enemies will take a lot of hits to work through and one of the ways to lose this challenge is to run out of moves down the stretch in a place where there's a lot of battles and you can't heal between. We can save some of these TM we kind of like for that point (replacing a move that is empty between fights with a new TM will give the new move all of its PP) but right now it's not time for it to shine. We beat up Gio, get the Silph Scope, and head on out. Kogla is now level 60.

    With our new scope in hand we head back to the Tower – which contains a free healing zone inside! So we don't have to worry about not being able to leave! - and work our way through more trainers. None of these are remotely close as our level 60 Kogla is beating up on level 36 Gligar. We once again thwart Team Rocket, help Mr Fuji, and get the Poke Flute.

    We are in full cruise control at this point. There's always the chance something catastrophic goes wrong out of nowhere but we're feeling as good as we can. We have four badges in our pocket, a bad $%#! pokemon that's nearly double the level of things its fighting, and a good path forward to continue our progress.

    Next time: we'll go wake up a grump snorlax and see if we can make our way to badge #5

  29. ISO #29
    Soul Reader zintle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Town of Salem
    pog it's back

  30. ISO #30
    Chapter 14: A New Friend

    With our new poke flute in hand we head south down the pier so we can wake up that Snorlax blocking the path. There's a fair number of trainers on this route but at this point Kogla is just too strong for them to handle. They are in the low 30s and we are 63. We come back and heal up a couple of times, hit up the shop to sell some items and buy repels, and keep beating up people along the way. There's a mildly interesting segment where we get in a double fight and need to use our HM friend but the enemy doesn't attack it and we make it through unscathed.

    Once we finish that route up we do a bit of backtracking with our new fishing rod to see if any of those old towns with a pond in them have any good pokemon. We end up not finding anything too interesting but that's ok. We can always come back with Surf and see if that has anything better.

    I said there were a lot of trainers along this route but maybe I undersold it. Kogla has increased in level from 63 to 69 (nice!). We finally make it to our next destination: Fuchsia City. There's a safari zone here we we can poke around for a free pokemon at a good level. We teach our HM friend Surf and realize that oops! We can't actually use Surf yet until we beat the next gym. Since pokemon that you find while surfing are usually higher level than grass/rod, we decide to head out and try and get that ability set up before we catch something.

    Off to the Fuchsia City Gym. The levels of the pokemon here have taken a big jump up as one of the pokemon we fight is a level 65 Clefable with Bulk Up. Luckily it uses Bulk Up 3 times and no offensive moves so we are able to take it out without being hit. We have our 5th gym badge AND the ability to use Surf! Might as well grab Strength while we're here.

    We jump back to the Safari Zone to see what the big Surfing pokemon is. It's nothing. Lame. To be fair, it'd be hard to be a poke we'd care about at this point but it would have still be nice. We'd love to grab a second useful mon to fight the elite 4 to just cover our bases. We'll have plenty of time though (and there's a level 75 mon we can catch in victory road we can put in our back pocket too).

    Now that we have Surf we decide to go back and check out some of those ponds in cities again. The first few have nothing but experience for Kogla. The next one is a bingo:

    Flygon is a beast of a mon. 520 BST, Ground/Dragon type. Level 55 is good enough to be using for the current enemies we are facing. We'll need to take some time to figure out what to do with it. We can kill it for some good EXP or we can try and catch it. We'd then need to hope it had good stats + a good moveset before we'd then have to decide if we even wanted to use it (any experience it gains is experience Kogla does not gain). After debating it for a bit I decide to catch it and see what we're working with.

    Massive attack stat. Solid speed. Terrible defense/sp defense. This thing is a glass cannon but I can work with this.

    The moveset is pretty interesting. Three strong special moves and a strong physical move are all nice but the amount of PP is a bit rough. Ultimately though, as our secondary poke this is pretty great. If it were our main mon I'd be hesitant on using this move set but as someone to just bring in and take down something that could be giving Kogla issues, it'll work. Wide coverage with water/fire/ice/normal and having Extreme Speed on our massive attacker can ensure it hits first no matter what. We're going to roll with this!

    We head into the Silph Co to beat up on team rocket again. This place is full of items and more importantly contains a rest bed. That means we can pretty easily heal up between fights (this is a dungeon after all so we cant leave) so we just continuously beat up a trainer or two → heal → repeat. These enemies are at a lower level than the latest gym trainer (mid 40s) so we cruise through it pretty well.

    Along the way we have a couple huge pick ups: The TM for Slash (we teach it to Kogla) and this …

    Well well well! This solves that problem we were discussing. We can now level up both Kogla AND our Flygon (goggles). This seems like the perfect pick up and the final piece to the puzzle for us to win this challenge. Our level 55 flygon starts getting half of the experience in this place and begins leveling up. That does mean that Kogla is getting less experience but I'd imagine it'd be better to have two playable mon for the elite 4.

    We continue barreling through the many, many, many trainers in here. Seriously, it's a ton. Kogla is freaking level 78 at this point. We beat up the big boss man, clean up the rest of the items, and were never really in danger. We've picked up a new badge, a new friend, a new move, and a new item. It's looking great for us at this point. There's not much left now: three gyms, the poke mansion, a rival fight, victory road, and the elite four. Kogla is jacked, Flygon is ready to provide support, and we're closing in on our goal. We should have a little bit of time still before the difficulty catches up to us but we know it WILL catch up to us. We have done our best to prepare for it and I'm hoping we're able to take it down.

  31. ISO #31
    As I mentioned in the final paragraph of the last chapter, there is not much left in the challenge to do. At the very most it's:

    - Three Gyms
    - Pokemon Mansion
    - Rival Fight
    - Victory Road
    - Elite Four

    There's going to be two chapters left. The first will go until we make it out of Victory Road or lose, whichever comes first. The second will be Elite 4 if we make it and post challenge comments.

    It's been fun getting to share this one with you all. I've had a few of you express a lot of enjoyment keeping up with it and I hope the long delay in the middle didn't turn you off of it too badly. Hope to see you all around for the end!

  32. ISO #32
    Chapter 15: The Home Stretch

    There just isn't much left to do. While three gyms may sound like a lot, they come in pretty rapid fire. Only the poke mansion is required and it's just to grab the key for Blaine. Then it's victory road and off the elite four. We're feeling pretty good now that we have a strong Kogla, a secondary mon in Flygon, some EXP share, and a new powerful move. So let's head over to gym #6.

    He head right over to Sabrina and go beat up some junior trainers. I got a bit turned around with all the teleporters so it took me a while to find them all but we eventually do. Sabrina has a super strong Magmar (level 65!) but we are able to take it down with bubblebeam pretty easily and collect our 6th badge!

    We fly back to Pallet town and surf south towards Cinnabar Island. Along the way we beat up some trainers. They have poke in the low 40s so nothing spooky ever happen. Kogla and Goggles keep leveling up. At one point we kill a Milotic which makes me sad cause I love Milotic (dragonair should evolve into milotic and I cannot have my mind changed on this).

    We reach Cinnabar and fight the couple of trainers that are hanging out in the mansion. Kogla gets up to 80. Goggles is up to 61. We get our item, bail, heal up, and prepare ourselves for Blaine.

    Blaines Gym is a bit tougher. There are a lot of trainers here and their poke have really stepped up in level. The first person has poke of level 54. Blaine has poke of 60/63/63/71. That last one is a HUGE jump but luckily it's not a scary pokemon and the Cloyster goes down to one Slash.

    7 Gyms down. One to go. We roll back up to Giovanni. The junior trainers here end up being a bit annoying. They are in the mid 60s, there are a lot of them, and our Kogla gets burned a couple times. Luckily we've picked up some berries along the way and are able to heal up properly. Kogla jumps to level 82.

    The Giovanni fight itself opens with a level 68 Manetric that poisons us on the opening move. We have the correct berry to fix that luckily and then Slash it down. Level 66 Raichu gets slashed to death in one hit and then level 63 Marcargo gets Bubblebeamed. Out comes a level 68 Cacturne. After two hits it's almost dead but it gets Hyper Potioned back up. Luckily the damage it's dealing isn't much so we just power through it in another three hits. That leaves the ace: a level 75 Milotic! Slash takes it down in one go and Kogla ends the fight at full HP.

    And with that, all 8 badges have been acquired! We go do our final clean up (beat up the bike route trainers we missed, kill something in Seafoam Islands + Power Plant, finish killing poke where we can surf, etc) and make our way over to the next to last rival fight!

    Our rival is STRONG now.

    Rival opens with a level 71 Sudowoodo who takes 3 hits to kill. Luckily it used tail glow twice so we take no damage. 68 Electabuzz deals a good chunk of damage with Twister for a couple of turns, but 3 Slash attacks take it down. A level 80 Jumpluff is next but Bite takes it down in one hit. A level 68 Gyarados comes in and immediately puts us to sleep with a move I didn't know existed: Grasswhistle. We use a poke flute and take it out next turn with a Slash. Level 68 Steelix is next and Bubblebeam wipes it out without concern. The final poke is a level 71 Masquerain and two bites are enough to finish it off. The rival is down!

    Knowing that we'll see the same trainer at the very end of the game with much higher levels is a pretty concerning thing now. Sudowoodo/Electabuzz/Gyarados were all taking multiple hits at this level. Sudowoodo has Tail Glow so a few more required hits could let it unload a huge attack on us. A Gyarados with both a sleep move and sandstorm can be very annoying and problematic. We'll have to see if we have any good Tms for those poke right before the final fight.

    However! For now we have one more goal before the Elite 4: get through Victory Road.

    Which, honestly isn't that bad. There are some trainers in here. We cruise through them pretty well. A couple small concerns here and there but nothing major. At some point we decide to skip the last trainer or two just to be safe. At the very end of the cave we spend – and I am not joking here – one hour and twenty three minutes walking in a small circle looking for the two level seventy five pokemon we can find here. Unfortunately the two level 75s are peepeepoopoo so we settle for the level 69 Slowking.

    Good defense and good special attack. Atrocious speed.

    The move set is garbo as well. Unfortunate.

    This is going to be Kogla's fight to win or lose. Goggles can glass cannon a couple things down maybe. The rest of the team aren't going to be helpful.

    We stroll into the final poke center of the game ready to take on the elite four.

    Next time: The Elite Four

  33. ISO #33
    Chatper 16: The Finale

    I'll be doing the finale in nested spoilers for maximum suspense. All of these attempts, all these hours, all these repeat visits to the Lab have built up to this. Five fights. The Elite Four and The Champion. If we can make it through this we will have completed the toughest challenge run of pokemon I have ever attempted.

    Before we begin, a breakdown of our team:

    1. KOGLA, the Slaking who we found at the start of the game. Kogla has carried us through this game with a combination of incredible stats, strong moves, and the ability to heal with Slack Off. This pokemon is balanced around the fact that it normally only attacks every other turn so its stats are extremely high to make up for it. In this challenge, the ability that forces it to take every other turn off is randomized so we get the high stats with no drawback. Kogla has been one shotting entire gyms for most of the game. It's level 83.

    2. GOGGLES, the Flygon that we picked up late in the game and gave the EXP share to so it could level up as well. It's a glass canon with high attack and no defense, but with good speed and typing it can potentially take out an otherwise problematic poke. It's currently level 67.

    3. THE USURPR, the Slowking we just caught in Victory Road. It has bad stats and a bad moveset. It's here for moral support. It's level 69.

    4. Elekid, an elekid we picked up at some point as an HM carrier. It's level 25 but it pushed a lot of boulders for us.

    5. GHOST, a Haunter we picked up early as an HM carrier. It's helped us Cut, Fly, and Surf our way through this challenge as needed. It's currently level 20.

    6. FODDER, a Bulbasaur we picked up during clean up. Its sole job on this team is to switch to it if something going wrong so it can take a hit while we full restore Kogla. It's level 63 so maybe it can take two hits.

    We have a couple of mediocre Tms we can use later in the Elite Four to reset PP and a handful of healing items (Full Restore, Max Potions). This team is going to win or lose on the back of Kogla. With the high levels of the opposing poke, none of the rest of the crew will be able to sustain themselves over the course of the 30 pokemon they will face here. Goggles might be able to take out 3-4 with Extreme Speed but ultimately we'll be relying on Kogla.

    There's nothing left to do but move forward.

    First up is Loreli. In the base game her poke are levels 54-56, so here they will be 77-78.

    Loreli's first poke is Bellossom at level 78. Kogla opens with Slash which deals between ½ and 1/3 of Bellossom's health. We are hit with a STAB Razor Leaf that deals a small amount of damage to us but nothing spooky. A bite takes it out and we're off to a great start.

    The second of Loreli's poke is a level 77 Politoed. It opens with a Super Effective Fighting Move – Cross Chop. It deals a healthy chunk of damage to Kogla dropping us down to near half health. Yikes. Luckily Slash one shots the Politoed and we're moving on to Poke 3. We'll need to find a good spot to use Slack Off soon to regain our health.

    The next poke is a level 81 Snorlax. We take off almost 1/3 of its health with our first Slash. He uses Low Kick, another Super Effective Move! Though it doesn't hurt too badly as we fall from 197 to 159. We slash it down into the red and take another Low Kick down to 91. Loreli has some healing items so this is the perfect time for us to use Slack Off and regain our health. Our strategy works well as Loreli spends their turn using a Full Restore and we regain our health. We slash the Snorlax and take another Low Kick to the face. We Slash the Snorlax and it uses Thief which deals even less damage. We're at 195/373 and hit it with another Slash which almost kills it.

    Welp. We talked about early in the series but Explosion is just a move that will kill you in this gen pretty much no matter what. It's a massively high powered attack that ALSO halves the defense of the opponent. These attempts die to Explosion/Self-Destruct/Destiny Bond all the time and its mostly a matter of just avoiding them. Which we had done a great job of … until now. It really sucks that it happened at the Elite Four because Kogla was still in a great position to succeed. Alas it was not to be.

    The rest of our pokemon line up and give it their best effort, but the writing is on the wall. The next Loreli poke is a level 78 Lanturn and it just demolishes Goggles with Giga Drain. Then it does the same to Slowking. Bulbasaur is no match to it using Barrage. Haunter and Elekid are in their 20s. They die immediately.

    The team is dead and the attempt is over.

    It was a good effort but ultimately Explosion did what Explosion does. We did learn a few things for a next attempt though! I think with how high and how quickly the opposing poke scale in the end game, we made a massive mistake trying to diversify our team a bit near the end. We wasted a lot of experience on Goggles who ended up being underleveled anyways and maybe that extra experience could have given another level or two to Kogla, and maybe that extra level or two could have helped the Slash finish off Snorlax in time. We also learned how important it was to really have a diverse moveset as Kogla was able to take down all sorts of complicated poke along the way.

    I don't think I ever mentioned how this was working, but this attempt was from back in May. I was picking back through the recording of it for the screenshots, so from the moment I started this AAR I knew how it was ending. I thought it would be nice to do one of these where the hero is ultimately unsuccessful. As for the challenge itself, this attempt burned me out on it for a while. I was pretty heartbroken about all the good luck we had (the perfect poke, a good move set, avoiding major issues throughout the game until the end) and still being unsuccessful. I didn't pick it back up until July.

    Don't be too sad for me though. After a lot of trips to the Lab, we did end up succeeding. It was similar to this one with a few optimizations (STAB Crabhammer GOAT + putting all the eggs into the Kingdra basket instead of spreading it out).

    But that's a story I'm not wanting to write out fully. This was a story about struggle and learning. The repeated trips to the lab. Getting smoked by Brock. Not even seeing Misty for 12+ hours. The heartbreak of the end game explosion. It's ok if it ends here.

    I hope you all enjoyed the journey with me. I hope at least one person thought “you know, that's crazy but I'm going to give it a shot”. It was tough but fun in its own way. It was even more fun to write it up. Maybe I'll write up the next challenge thing I do. Who knows. What I do know is that Haru's Ultimate Ironmon Pokemon Challenge is officially done.

    See you when I see you.

  34. ISO #34
    alien shapeshifter Hally's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    PerC / The Syndicate
    they/them/their/theirs/themself + she/her/her/hers/herself
    this was really fun to follow! glad you were able to complete it on a different attempt
    Quote Originally Posted by litten
    hally you have a Wowee addicfion
    Quote Originally Posted by quas
    Name the wowee dog hally
    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal (#15)
    hi im hally
    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal (#26)
    im a big nerd something something gravity falls
    Quote Originally Posted by staypositivefriend (#19)
    tfw i cant mindmeld with hally this game
    Quote Originally Posted by ran
    How To Tell If Your Hally Is An Alien Shapeshifter:
    - Apply moderate but steady pressure d1 and observe their reaction.
    - If your Hally is genuine, you will notice a distinct morphing of their facial features into an "anime" or "chibi" style resembling the kaomoji (〃>_<;〃), their arms will turn into fingerless drumsticks and begin rapidly vibrating up and down, and they will emit various phrases such as "no bulli!" and "give me space!" and "but why!"
    - On the other hand, if your Hally remains in a photorealistic human form and responds calmly with phrases like "That's unfortunate, but I hope we can work together!" and changes the subject, you have an alien shapeshifter on your hands and should quickly excuse yourself and break the glass on the nearest eod flamethrower.
    Quote Originally Posted by lute (#50)
    182. Bellossom

    Bellossom, Bubbles, and @Hally. doing a little flower dance. travel agent who doesn't work on commission. knows she's pretty but loves being reminded. tries to maintain a vegetable garden but isn't very good at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Syn (#142)
    Quote Originally Posted by ladd (#4605)
    Quote Originally Posted by jump
    dear professor

    i need an extension on this assignment if thats ok thank you so much or i can send you what i have already idk

    kind regards
    Quote Originally Posted by Visorslash (#902)
    when i see hally in the playerlist of a non post cap game

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunbae (#442)
    I'm going to apologize for this one in advance but I hope you'll all humor me for a little while. This is a champs level game after all and I can't help but try and post in a way to properly honor the occasion. Who knows when I'll be back in this situation again.

    I don't think it's a secret for most of you that my track record in reading Hally has been rather … well … awful thus far in our games. I did have one specific game where I recognized Hally was a villager and confidently (and happily!) let the world know. They flipped wolf. After our Syndicate game together and then Anni (both of which saw me find Hally's eod wolfy and press there) I wanted to make a concentrated effort to finally read that slot correctly.

    I spent some time today combing through recent-ish games this year of Hally's. The wolf game on the Org website, the Vig game over on the Syndicate one, and all sorts of mashes/smaller games through MU as well. Rocks fall, Anni, Homestuck, CoV, etc. You get the picture. All in all there were 16 different games I pulled isos from. I then went and ran through the isos extracting all the day one posts from the first half of the day, labeled them as W or V, and ran them through a bit of a homemade database that would do a few different things for me. One of the things was to make a word cloud which would count the number of times each word was used in these isos and make the word larger the more frequently it was used. For example:

    Anyways, I separated the wolf isos from the villa isos and then removed things like articles (a, the, in, an, etc) as well as player names as those aren't really super relevant to our investigation and cross referenced them to see if anything word usage stood out as alignment indicative in the top 10 most common words. While there were small word choices favored it didn't seem super significant. What WAS significant were two other things:

    One: While specific word choices weren't very telling I did notice a definitely trend of elegance in the wolf isos. The words may change but the idea remained the same. In wolf ISOs Hally had a habit of using larger, more elegant words whereas in the villa ISOs Hally just talked more casually. I'll call these Posts Exceedingly Elegant as we continue.

    Two: Villager isos were much more full of observational posts rather than inquisitive ones. The wolf iso was full of open ended questions requesting elaboration. Not just directly to a specific player but also towards the thread at large asking if it saw what Hally was seeing. Meanwhile the villager iso was full of more pointed statement. It was telling the thread what Hally was seeing and making sure everyone understood. The village iso had a higher frequency – by a significant margin – of Posts Of Observation.

    Again, I really want to get this right so I didn't stop there. Science isn't science until you write it down after all. I went ahead and charted the percentage of posts as a villager and as a wolf for both posts containing an elegant word and posts making observations. It's a bit crude but here's the quick jot down I made to visualize it:

    So I wanted to see how this one was shaping up. Remember, these were all taken from the first half of day one isos which we've made it past here. I went ahead and ran through Hally's iso from this game, plotted the elegance and observational percentages on the chart, and ran the following equation to try and determine the exact percentage chance Hally has at being a wolf:

    (Posts Exceedingly Elegant as a wolf)(Posts Exceedingly Elegant here) + (Posts of Observation as a villager)(Posts of Observation here) = the mathematical chance of Hally being a villager here (do 1-this for wolf obv).

    Which looks something like this:

    (Posts Exceedingly Elegant as a wolf)(Posts Exceedingly Elegant here) + (Posts of Observation as a villager)(Posts of Observation here)

    Or written differently


  35. ISO #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Hally (#34)
    this was really fun to follow! glad you were able to complete it on a different attempt
    I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! It's always a bit tough to gauge interest in these AARs so having some people pop in at the end and say they enjoyed keeping up with it definitely gives me motivation to try another one at some point (even if its a different type of one).

    Btw, the difference between this attempt and the winning one was definitely not splitting EXP with a second pokemon. Kogla here was lvl 85 and the Kingdra in the victory one was 93. That's a lot of level difference.

  36. ISO #36
    nice work completing the run

    rip koggers

    eta: also enjoyed the aar obv fwiw

    it was a wild ride for something so different to regular pokemon
    Last edited by Visorslash; October 28th, 2021 at 06:36 AM.

  37. ISO #37
    rip KOGGERS

    long live the kingdra

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