Pokemon Blue, Day Thirty-two

Last time, there’s no way to get to Silph’s president! How can I possibly

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Oh.

This does serve to raise some questions, like, in the event of an emergency, isn’t he concerned about say, EMTs not being able to get to him?

It’s one thing to have optional confusing shortcuts. But when you do away with doors entirely…it seems a bit dangerous.

Then again, I could say the same about antagonizing apparently every scientist on your payroll, all of which have exploding pokemon.

Anyway, down we go…

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Here we are!
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The further in one, of course, is the shortcut to healing. Then it’s on to Gary, the BESTEST MOST WONDERFULEST RIVAL.

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Hi Gary!

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Note you can’t sneak by him. Unlike other trainers he has no trouble jumping you even when you can’t see him.
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Why, though?

I wrote a fanfic once on the question that ultimately boiled down to “I don’t know, really”. Gary is extremely self-aggrandizing toward you, so one would expect him to want glory. Perhaps, like the rival of the second gen, he views Team Rocket as weak, and so, not worth his time. I wonder how accurate that could be? The two of us do appear to be exceptional, but even still, the trainers here are easy. Maybe there’s a reasonable number of dedicated trainers who could do the same, but they’re spread out enough that the odds of any one of them being right here, right now were low enough Team Rocket had a chance. It comes down to how long this has taken – if this was supposed to be a quick strike, then it’s possible they were just betting that no one would be close enough to stop them in time.

In that case, what you do is heroic, but it’s sort of like rescuing a baby from a fire – it tends to have less to do with being the only one capable of doing it in the world and more to do with you being there to do it when someone was needed.

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Best rival ever.
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This suggests he’s kind of stalkery, as I saw no sign of him on my end.
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Pidgeot has a terrible sprite. It’s one of the many reasons I was never enthused over the pokemon. Just look at that thing, it looks like it was assembled from pre-cut wood.
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Luck is on my side. I don’t even really need it, eitther.
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His exeggcute spends its time casting reflect as I icebeam it to death. Quality AI!

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Have I mentioned she doesn’t have the best stats? She really doesn’t.
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He wasted his turn on using recover.

The AI’s problems get steadily s worse as the game goes on and the moves available have more strategy involved. In the early game, you have a physical attacking move and something that lowers the enemy’s attack or defense. All options are reasonably useful as long as you’re not wasting the last turn of your last pokemon on a stat altering move.

But then things get more complicated. So as the player slowly learns to use those moves and becomes better at battling as a result, the quality of their opponents declines.

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Just look at this.

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I just finished off his charizard with pay day, for god’s sake. I wasn’t even trying.
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Apparently? Yes.

Also, use articles.
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How are you doing that?!

I’m undecided between “the protagonist is a moron who doesn’t know how to use the pokedex” and “Oak gave Gary a better version”.
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Hm. I wonder how many badges Gary has at this point? Presumably Sabrina wasn’t his last one, especially when if nothing else, Viridian’s gym is still closed, but he’s talking like he’s already set.
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Not without Mewtwo, you won’t.

Huh, wait.

You can access the Unknown Dungeon upon beating the elite four, right? It doesn’t specifically require being the current champion. What if Gary had gone there? I don’t know how he could have captured Mewtwo without a masterball, of course, but if he did somehow (or perhaps there’s more than one prototype around Silph, and he simply took one) he’d then be, for all practical purposes, unbeatable.

That…could be interesting.

And we know he’s the sort of person who believes being a strong trainer is about finding strong pokemon, and he could have easily heard about the planned research trip to Cerulean due to thinking that might be where one of the legendary birds are, which are presumably thought to be powerful pokemon in their own right and the sort of thing he might want to capture to become stronger.
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No, that was never a real option. It’s not that sad, though, they are kind of lame. I mean, you steal all sorts of pokemon but all you have to fight with are rattata and zubat? Come on.

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You know, I haven’t actually done it yet.
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Lapras is not even close to high enough level to be useful, so I really don’t know what the thought process behind this is. Maybe he’s hoping some quick bribery will distract me from what Gary said so I won’t change my mind about the whole saving them thing.

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This is the only lapras in the game, explained by he fact they’ve been hunted to near extinction. And this bit just makes that worse.

That’s probably the intention, since the obvious parallel here is whales. Whalehunting being bad probably seems like an old-fashioned moral, but Japan still thinks they’re yummy.
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It’s never explained why it’s in their lab. Or how on earth they’ve been keeping it when the only area with water is on the ground floor. Maybe they were doing research into endangered pokemon (for cloning, maybe? Perhaps mastering that was the first stage of figuring out how to revive fossils) and it’s left over from that. It’s not clear why the guy couldn’t have given it away before now to any other trainer, though. Maybe, like the amber guy, he feels his hands are tied, but with the current chaos he’s able to finally act.
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In case you couldn’t figure out how to catch a pokemon to learn surf. (Come to think of it, can you complete the game with only pokemon you receive? I don’t think blastoise or eevee learn cut… I guess you’d have to use game corner pokemon to manage it.)
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Last time, Giovanni had two guards. Maybe he’s trying quality over quantity today, though. I mean, at least this one’s actually coming over to challenge me instead of just standing there.
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That’s an odd thing to say for a pokemon battle, so perhaps he actually wasn’t challenging me to a battle, it’s just that instead of holding still I pulled out my own pokemon.
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An unsettling pair of pokemon, but not one strong enough to stop me.
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Yeah, I think I can take Giovanni like this.
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Indeed.
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In I go. Let’s see if I can sneak over to that computer-
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Nope.
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I can’t tell how much is euphemism here. It could be anything from wanting to control Silph to demanding the guy give up the code to the safe before something unpleasant happens to his thumbs.
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While I disagree there’s any suggestion the character is fighting his dad, I do think you can argue Giovanni has a certain degree of parental interest in you. He really does want you to leave this stuff alone, you’re too young and stupid and idealist to understand what’s going on here. Go off, do your own thing instead of playing hero, then he’ll recruit you when you’re an angry teen and you can be his righthand man and it’ll all be great.
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A rare implication that things can happen after a battle is lost. I find the game can make more sense if you assume one side having conscious pokemon then has the ability to use those to threaten the other party, but not always, since other times the NPCs gloat about not telling you things. Perhaps they just bet you won’t behave like that, rather than can’t.
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…huh, so he’s not even stronger than Gary.

The boss battles have been kind of disappointing, maybe I’ll dump off more pokemon from my team later to make things more difficult.
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Quality, quality AI.
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Rock/ground pokemon really have a hideously terrible special, just look at this.
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Other dual-types are nowhere near as bad, despite not having a 4x common weakness that needs all the help it can get.
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STOP USING THAT, GAME. YOU’RE JUST WASTING YOUR TURN.
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And we’re done.
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Look, I know you can afford items, and that’s great, but you’ve got to learn that some items aren’t actually worth anything. Try revives.
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I still don’t even know exactly what you were trying to do, but I’m just going to assume, from everything, that you ruined your own plans. You don’t seem to have had any clear idea of what you were trying to accomplish. You massively extended yourself to take over an entire city, but you didn’t bother actually guarding the entrances. Locking Silph’s doors was apparently beyond you.
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Interesting you say that.
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Giovanni’s surprisingly good at the whole disappearing thing.
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Oh, gender stereotypes…
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Lifetime supply of your products.
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Lifetime supply of your products,

Look, have you seem the item limits in this game? It’s not like I could ever get all that much.
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Why are you just deciding instead of asking me?
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See? Item limits, they’re killer.
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Yay!
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How secret? Like, did Giovanni not even know about it, or just the general public. Is there only one or are there a couple prototypes but you don’t want to give me all of them because then I could spare one to be dismantled by a competitor of yours?
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So Team Rocket doesn’t come back to try again in hopes of getting them? Or so no one else even knows it’s possible to make something like this?

Well, time for the victory lap.

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…but you won’t heal me any longer, huh?

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Far as I can tell. Gary may or may not have beaten a few of them before I got here, but if so, they’d already skedaddled.
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Okay, sure.
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Suddenly, people start to wonder if they should feel grateful after all.
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First, no, half your workforce hated you so much they joined the mob.
Second, why are you so confident there’ll be a Silph when I’m older? You just lost what looks like your whole  research staff.

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What is with items in plants?
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This guy is going to stay here and pretend he didn’t hear anything as long as he can.
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Nice to see someone even knows my name.
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She doesn’t change her dialogue, it seems, presumably because they want to be sure you can find out what the TM does.
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Wait, how’d you get here so fast?
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…and how’d you know to return to work if you didn’t even know I just beat Team Rocket?

I guess fame is fleeting.

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