Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Pokemon: Generation I (Part 4 - Erika)

Today on Pokemon Yellow: Accusations are levied, as our hero conquers another gym, fights Team Rocket, and climbs a tower filled with ghosts. So basically, a typical Friday night at Ambrose's Tijuana opium den.

Oh, and Lavender Town. This'll be a more serious episode than the usual.

I was a bit lost at the end of the last episode, but it turns out that all I needed to do was acquire the HM for Flash. This requires some backtracking, and that you've captured at least 10 Pokemon. While it's hard not meet that criteria at this point, it's still the first real off-putting thing in this game. Backtracking AND an arbitrary "you must be this tall to proceed" at the same time...ehh.

I get ahold of some amber at this point that can be used to clone another prehistoric Pokemon later on. It wasn't enough to pay homage to The Fly, now they're paying homage to Jurassic Park.

Not a fan of having to go to the menu every time I need to use any overworld abilities like Cut or Flash.

Speaking of...between those two moves, it's safe to say my Pokemon are in dire need of a therapist.

The next objective is to cross Rock Tunnel, which is not unlike Stephanie McMahon: It's dark, cavernous, and many men have fallen in.

Pikachu flashes his glowing [tail] and the cave is illuminated!

That's better. The place is still going to be difficult to get through, but it's at least manageable now. That was some old-school Dragon Warrior type gameplay right there.

POKEMANIA IS RUNNING WILD, BROTHER! All the Pokemaniacs know that the 24 inch pythons are the greatest power on Earth my dudes!

Time for Primeape to learn the baddest move around, jack! With this he'll slam the 700 pound Andre the Giant in front of 200,000 people at the Superdome, brother!

Oh shit. Did someone say...Lavender Town? The urban legends surrounding this place are known to many and chilling, to say the least.

I've discovered that both bushes and random patches of ground can hold items. Pressing A a lot seems to uncover said items. Usually they aren't very good, but sometimes you'll find something like this. Not only can it restore the ability uses of a Pokemon, it can also be lit on fire to form a makeshift molotov cocktail if your neighbors are giving you lip.

Lavender Town is a pretty lifeless and weird place, totally incongruous with most of the game up to this point. The music here is super-depressing and tends to get stuck in my head for extended amounts of time, so I had to keep the game muted here.

Supposedly the music had extra notes in the very first version of the game in Japan, and the music would have a bad effect on the brainwaves of children. It's unverified, but supposedly a few suicides resulted, which is why the music was edited for later releases.

Speaking of death, the people here speak of a nearby tower inhabited by the ghosts of dead Pokemon. Well, this game got dark in a hurry. Team Rocket evidently kills Pokemon, because they're awful like that.

This...is bizarre. Why are these people lined up? And how much exp will I get from their loot pinata lineups of Pokemen once I unleash the wrath of Primeape's BODY SLAM, BROTHER?

Whoa whoa, buddy. I'd watch your mouth if I were you. I'll have Primeape drop the big leg!

His hench-mon is the notorious Koffing, one of the rare poison-type Pokemon in this game.

Celadon City has a department store. Reminds me of Fourside in Earthbound (probably my favorite game of all time, at least currently). Inside this massive store one can find basically every item the game has had to offer up to this point.

I grab some Great Balls (the finest of balls), as they have a better capture rate than the normal Pokeball. Time to go catch some new goons!

Jigglypuff sounds like a serial killer. Where are the bodies, Jigglypuff? I don't care if this rat bastard is only a foot and a half tall. He can still wield smaller-than-normal murder weapons.

Here's a major coup, as I'm able to catch an Abra now with the new 'ball type, despite not weakening it beforehand.


Also got an Eevee. Now Rollins isn't the only one with one of these bad boys. As soon as I find out what he evolved his into, I'll evolve mine into the one that trumps it.

After getting Abra a level (which is a bit tedious since he doesn't have any attacks), he becomes Kadabra. This is as good as he'll get without me trading him to turn him into his final form, unfortunately. It's okay, though. Psychic types are possibly the deadliest in the game, and Kadabra is going to turn the enemy trainers into even more of loot pinatas. ...as soon as he levels up enough to gain a real attack, that is. I'll get on that shortly.

The department store also sells all kinds of PEDs for amping up your somehow-legal fighting monsters. Mark Hunt was OUTRAGED when reached for comment, and demanded half of Pikachu's earned experience.

Not only is it full of women, it's an Elysium-like land of nature and majesty. In the future Gen 1 VR remake, this part will look like this. IT'S MAGICAL!

Women everywhere! See how gaily they prance and giggle!

...oh damn, I've been spotted already.

Despite how gaily they romp, the trainers here are vicious she-beasts who utilize plant Pokemon. FINALLY Charmander has an opportunity to shine if you chose him at the beginning.

Unfortunately these foes can still be annoying, using status effects like poison/confuse/sleep and sporting big, annoying clown heads.

::Fairyland music continues to play as they frolic daintily::

::music abruptly ceases as Ambrose starts setting things on fire::

Finally, it's time to fight Sailor Saturn, the fourth gym leader.

Erika is very polite. That's nice of her, but it won't stop me from burning down her village if Lt. Surge orders me to.

No! Water is weak to plant-types! GET OUTTA THERE, SQUIRTLE!

Charmeleon doesn't really have enough fire-related abilities to stomp this fight since his levels are a bit lacking. Instead I have Primeape literally one-shot her entire lineup with Body Slams. It was amazing. The only way she could have won is if I'd run out of Body Slams, and that ain't happening BROTHER.

I must say I'm unimpressed. The first three gym leaders were all epic challenges, but this one was barely equivalent to a regular trainer fight. The boss difficulty is a bit off-balance in this game, but I'm interested to see if Gold and Silver improve in regards to the overall boss curve.

What follows is a Team Rocket hideout. It's a tedious and bland little dungeon, culminating in a fight with these Pokemon-murdering bastards.

Even if these guys got double Pokemon (due to there being two of them), I'd win. In later games in the series that actually DOES happen, as you can team up with other trainers for tag-team battles or simply fight foes by yourself in one-on-two competition.

The leader of Team Rocket is the bastardly Giovanni, a mob boss and part-time Richard Nixon impersonator.

While the signature Pokemon of his goons is a Meowth, Giovanni goes one step beyond and unleashes Persian.

Kadabra finally...FINALLY learns a psychic attack. Now he'll be unstoppable. At level 38 he gets an even better upgrade (Psychic), but until then, Psybeam is enough to one-shot most of the Pokemon I'm fighting at this point.

After buying drinks from vending machines to bribe various guards, our hero is allowed through to the big city of Saffron. But first...

...I'll need to climb the Pokemon Tower in Lavender Town. There's no avoiding this. Thanks to the Silph Scope I got from the Team Rocket corporate HQ, I can now see ghost Pokemen.

This place is dark and disturbing, filled with crying children. Truly, it's the dark side of Pokemon Gen 1.

Apparently this tower is where people go to pray for the departed spirits of their lost Pokemon. POKE-FIGHTING WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A FRIENDLY SPORT! IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS!

...why am I yelling?

Rollins has no respect for the dead, and asks our hero why he's here if his Pokemon aren't dead. Seriously. He asks that.

His 'mons are evolving now, with Spearow's second form Fearow leading the charge. This bastardly bird has the deadliest pecker of any Pokemon yet.

His signature Eevee still hasn't evolved, though. Dammit! I'm waiting on it before I evolve my own Eevee to counteract it!

BTW, Kadabra literally one-shotted his entire lineup with Psybeam. For real, what happened to the difficulty? Giovanni put up a little bit of a fight, but the 4th gym leader and the latest rival battle were both one-shot fests.

Pokemon Tower is full of these weird shaman who chant and make sacrifices to The Dark Chyld, His Lordship Toade.

One of them is friendly, and put up a healing spring of sorts. THIS...is the best level-grinding spot so far and perhaps in the entire game. It takes only a brief moment to step onto the heal tiles, which fully restore your party. The Pokemon here are all ghost-type, which some Pokemon struggle against...but not Psychic. Bring Kadabra here with Psybeam and he one-shots every random enemy you face. Step onto the healing panels to restore the move when it runs low, and rack up the exp. Said enemies give a lot more exp than the foes of any other area up to this point. I could level Kadabra up to level 99 here if I wanted to spend a few hours doing that, and roll over the rest of the game with ease.

Instead I stop at level 38. Now that he has his strongest move, I'll keep him in my pocket with Body Slammin' Primeape in case the difficulty decides to come back. Those two can handle just about anything.

In summation: If you want to powergame your way through Gen 1 and have a way to trade, I'd suggest this: Get a level 19ish Abra from a later area (i.e. not the level 6ish ones that show up early) since he's a pain to level up. Use a Great Ball on him at full health since he always flees. Get him one level to turn him into Kadabra. Trade Kadabra to turn it into Allakhazam...which is something I can never do.

From that point, get to Pokemon Tower here, which is probably the halfway point of the game, and grind like crazy at the healing square. Allakhazam can one-shot everything here starting at level 27. Get him to level 70 (the last level that you can control at this point badge-wise) and dominate the rest of the game since 70 is a good level for the final boss. I'll have to settle for a mere Kadabra, who gets the same moves as Allakhazam but isn't as potent. Stopping at level 38 with his power-grinding means that I'll probably have no trouble for the next little while, but the enemies will catch up and pass him in level soon enough.

It almost feels bad to stop leveling at such a great, speedy leveling spot, but it's time to move on. Suffice to say I'll never grind anywhere else in this game now.

Whoa, it's Mr. Fuji of 80's WWF fame. The only thing missing is Jesse Ventura going "THAT MISTER FOOJI"

Finally continuing to Saffron City (the biggest city in the game), our hero must climb a skyscraper to face off with Team Rocket again. After that, the 5th and 6th gyms. The Summer of Pokemon trundles onward with a VENGEANCE.


  1. Over time thees games gradually get better about a number of QoL issues like overworld HM use.

    Pokemon is all about those hidden items. I thought the radar in Soul Silver worked pretty well for finding these things.

    For more information on the Lavender Town myth: http://kotaku.com/pokemons-creepy-lavender-town-myth-explained-1651851621 - Of course the seizure thing from the show is actually true.

    LOL, Primeape has infinite Body Slams!

    Why is Erika floating a pokeball? Does she think she's Sabrina?

    Difficulty is always going to be a bit variable in these games I think due to the myriad of team combination possibilities.

    Funny thing is, Ghost types are actually strong against Psychic. But the only three ghosts in Gen 1 (all the same evolutionary line) are Ghost/Poison, and Psychic is strong against Poison.

  2. Yeah gen 1 also had the insect type being strong against psychic... All insects are poison type too and the only insect type attack effective enough to attack psy pokemon was needle cannon something?