So apparently lots of you viewed flash as entirely optional. To me, this gym is.
Personally, my exact limit on real world references was when they start naming countries. I’m not sure why – I don’t have trouble with a similar space program happening on similar dates. Maybe it’s the combination of invoking a country and then directly connecting it to pokemon – had they said that the space shuttle that’s obviously identical to ours was pikachu-powered, I’d have found that ridiculous. Similarly, the idea of America existing and having similar soldiers fighting a similar war but doing so with pokemon just doesn’t work – pokemon would completely change how things would work.
Advice guy varies widely in helpfulness. In the first battle, he just blathers about team order. In the second, he gives good advice about what types to use against water types. Here, he’s just saying what to keep away from Surge – not useless, but not really that helpful either. He doesn’t even say what does defend well.
Electric types only have a single weakness, and there aren’t many around. If you don’t get a pikachu from Viridian Forest, you won’t have any idea ground types are immune to electricity. Even if you do, if you dump it off your team after it fails against Brock, you’re likely to think it’s the rock type that’s immune since that’s the type being emphasized. And ground moves are pretty rare as well up to this point, so the same issue applies there. It’s very easy to not put the two together before now.
Of course, if you’re a newbie, you’d probably stick that dugtrio you inevitably ran into on your team because it’s high level, so you’ll find out now. Maybe that’s what they were counting on.
What this has to do with caution has always been beyond me. But thus begins the idea gym leaders can dick around with you and make it hard to face them. In any sane universe, this would be called cowardice.
Fun fact – I couldn’t figure this gym out the first time I played. I wasn’t the only one. When I asked my friend, she said her older cousin had done it for her so she didn’t know either.
See, upon finding this lock, you have to pick which of the barrels around it have the second one. Pick wrong and everything resets. After trying and failing a couple times, I saved after finding the first one against a wall, then tried the adjourning barrels. Neither worked, to my bafflement. Apparently I had no problem with the idea there was an electric lock that spontaneously stops existing and appears in a new barrel should I make a mistake, but the idea the game was picking which barrel the second one was in at random each time I restarted was sheer nonsense.
So I went on with the rest of the game. I only came back when it turned out that getting the other seven badges still wouldn’t convince Mr. Killjoy Where’s-Your-Thunderbadge to let me past.
And I didn’t even realize what I was doing then, clicking around randomly, was actually all the game had wanted from me. I figured I’d just do it until I happened upon the puzzle solution by accident or melted the game with my fury.
This time I get it on the third try. The game knows, I’m telling you.
…so you followed him here?
I mean, the fact he’s referred to as an American suggests this place isn’t America, although I guess you could take it to be the sort of jingoistic real America stuff people sometimes indulge in.
This bugged and bugs me so much. If electric pokemon were such a great idea, both sides would have them. I mean, I guess it’s possible for him to be talking in the same way people might credit their guns or air force or whatever, but he sure sounds like he’s the only one who thought of this from the way he lectures you.
At which point he presumably murdered them, although in fairness to the childfriendliness of the games, at the time I just thought it meant they couldn’t shoot him.
Surge has issues.
He’s got really weird posture, too. You usually see female characters doing the thing where they look over their shoulder while aiming their butt at you.
His pokemon aren’t particularly high level, and he wastes his time on boosting the speed of already speedy pokemon.
Still, his raichu is pretty powerful. It’s an evolved pokemon, which is rare, and knows thunderbolt, which is the most powerful move that I’ve run across so far. It can one-shot pokemon easily, particularly since so many of the early pokemon you’re likely to build a team out of are stronger on the physical side than the special side.
But I picked a bulbasaur and grass resists electricity for some reason, so my life continues to be easy.
So very optional.
Still optional, actually. In some ways, possibly helpful, because the game’s path is linear and lacking fly is a good way to avoid being sidetracked when you’re inexperienced and not sure what you’re supposed to do next.
I don’t believe it’s ever made clear if the gym leaders are supposed to hand out TMs or if it’s a special thing they do for you. Surge makes it sound solidly like the latter.
Don’t teach it to an electric pokemon. Teach it to something that definitely won’t just learn it on its own.
Well, that’s all for Vermilion. Now to move on toward ghosty town.
No longer can you mock me, bush! I hold your death in my hand.
While I do like that beautifly is a violent asshole and its design is better/less cutesy, I still feel that by third gen, they were breaking the cardinal rule of pokemon diversity. Butterfree is already good for the deadly butterfly slot.
WHERE DID YOU GET IT AND WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO MAKE YOU GIVE ME IT
As always, the inability to actually converse is painful.
If you think about it, “catching” cocoon pokemon by just bringing them home with you is probably a major way of getting a first pokemon.
As you can see, the game assumes that by now you’ve kicked bugs off your own team. What actually transpired here was that my beedrill took out both of his.
Not a total waste, though.
The next grassy area is more fruitful.
I forget where the bit of text explicitly tying them to the invention of pokeballs is, but even without this, there’s the fact this is a creature whose natural habitat is power plants. You find it in the grass here, but a look at the map will give you a hint as to why – the power plant isn’t far.
Possibly they’re opportunistic and can live as well in the wild as pikachu. House sparrows are capable of living outside of human structures. Cockroaches have their own natural habitat even if they’re more easily found in our cities. But it doesn’t look particularly natural either – a round shape is only good for travel on smooth, generally manufactured ground, there’s no visible mouth as if it simply absorbs electricity…this is not a pokemon that looks like it lives in forests eating berries.
And our introduction to selfdestruct. Oh, how I hate this move. Its only real purpose in the game is to deprive you of sweet experience points when it knocks out your pokemon along with it. It’s one of those moves that’s only viable in link battles, because otherwise knocking yourself out just to beat one pokemon isn’t worth it.
For some reason metronome likes to select this. My mew knew that move for a while and I erased it shortly after it nearly cost me a match with the elite four by selfdestructing at full health.
It’s unclear how common gym badges are. I always took this to mean they’re relatively rare – I mean, she’s not exactly a weakling trainer. Further confusing the issue is that she’s in an area that can only be reached by, on this end, using cut. (I suppose this might get into the time issue – maybe most trainers just wait for someone else to come by – or our avatar being a whiny baby while everyone else just squeezes through, just like he can’t climb ledges or travel across fences.)