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4 hours ago, maid lover said:

Always been a big fan of this ED topic, especially because of how detailed it is. But this time, I need to point out a slight error that occurred while some posts were written. The city name is PastAoria, not Pastoria, and I will not let this slide, didn't you notice that all the people around there are eating spaghetti? 

I can't make any promises but I'll try my best to right this wrong going forward. Old habits die hard, but I'll be sure to be more respectful when I reach the Unovioli region!

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I forgot to update on my daily events last time, but I did catch a wild Jigglypuff in the Trophy Garden and named it Komori-Uta!

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There was also an outbreak of Voltorb on Route 218! Named it Bakudan!

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As for today's session:

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Igglybuff was one of the two pokemon I found in the Trophy Garden today!

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And last but certainly not least is what seems to be the rarest pokemon available here: Porygon! Certainly an odd location for this guy to be, he's not exactly what I'd consider to be a cute pokemon, but maybe Japan has a different idea of cute?

Regardless, with these last two pokemon, I've caught every pokemon exclusive to the Trophy Garden!

I also went ahead an revived my excavated fossils! Say hello to...

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Inja the Omanyte,

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Sosen the Aerodactyl,

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And Tsume the Anorith!

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Snowpoint City

For the next destination I wanted to explore, we're stopping by Snowpoint City, but we're still not taking the boat just yet! Instead, we're gonna make our way up north to that temple we weren't permitted to explore before!

Just like before, we'll be stopped at the entrance and told we can't go onward.

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But, now that we've defeated the champion, Candice approaches and grants you access at Cynthia's request. We can now enter the Snowpoint Temple, an exclusive area!

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Snowpoint Temple

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Snowpoint Temple [1F]

Inside this temple, there are some very high-level pokemon! The temple itself is actually pretty small, though, but filled with puzzles that play around with, you guessed it, ice physics!

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If you don't have one yet, this is where you'll find Sneasel at its most common at 35%, though I imagine you'd be hard-pressed to get through to Snowpoint City without at least seeing these guys.

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Snowpoint Temple [B1F]

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You can grab a Calcium on this floor!

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Snowpoint Temple [B2F - B3F]

There isn't too much to talk about on these floors. Rock Smash can help you get through B2F a little bit more easily, but it isn't absolutely necessary.

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Snowpoint Temple [B4F]

The rooms get a bit larger down here!

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This is where you can find the pokemon Steelix at its most common! Yeah, it's a bit surprising, but it isn't actually Iron Island!

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NeverMeltIce can be found on this floor. It takes an actually fairly creative puzzle that combines Strength with ice physics! Again, not complicated to figure out, but you might make a mistake and have to reset the room.

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Snowpoint Temple [B5F]

At the depths of the Temple lies a mysterious-looking statue... If you inspect the statue, it will mention a body of rock, a body of ice, and a body of steel. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Now, I'm gonna be honest, I was on the fence about whether to cover this right now or to hold off until we do everything else. My reason being I usually like to do everything that's possible in a standalone playthrough without external assistance at first. And then go back and cover everything that can only be done with external help. But I've already compromised that a bit with Manaphy and I've also not only already covered Pal Park, but also transferred the three pokemon necessary for this event.

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If it's not clear yet, this is my reasoning for bringing in Golem, Jotunn, and Talus from Emerald. You see, we're going to cover this oddity a bit more later on, but the way this encounter is handled is really poorly thought out to a frustrating extent that basically makes it so that you're either never going to see this encounter, or you're going to have a handful of extremely redundant pokemon.

But the important part here is that these legendary golems, or I suppose they've fairly recently been given the official title Legendary Giants, are not at all obtainable in Diamond and Pearl, or at all across all of Gen IV without help from a Mystery Gift event. The only "timeless" way to get these guys is through Pal Park.

Anyway, if you put these guys in your party and make your way all the way back down here and interact with the statue... It comes to life and begins to attack!

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Vs. Regigigas, Lv. 70

Regigigas is really high level, but it's held back by a crippling ability in a similar vain to Slaking. Regigigas' Slow Start ability causes its attack and speed stats to be halved for the first five turns that it's out, forcing it to go on the defensive a bit and making it really easy to KO before it can really get going. Unfortunately for us, our goal is to catch it, not watch it go down!

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With needing the three Legendary Giants on my team as well as a Strength + Rock Smash user, I don't have a whole lot of flexibility to work with here. Thankfully, all I really need is Senshi's Close Combat to get Regigigas' HP down low.

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From there, I can bring Ibutsu out and hit him with a Hypnosis to put him to sleep. In its Slow Start state, the only attack that'll really do any notable damage is SuperPower which will reduce Regigigas' attack each time it uses it, so it's actually something I'd like it to get out of its system before Slow Start wears off and its base stats double across the board! If it uses enough SuperPower early on, it won't be able to do much at all at its full power. Ibutsu can actually take quite a beating from this, buying me plenty of time to hit Regigias with Hypnosis. The biggest worry I have, besides crits, is the annoying Confuse Ray Regigigas will occasionally nail me with.

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Of course, if push comes to shove, I can also get Golem, Jotuun, and Talus to lend me some additional bulk. They're all still only Level 40, though, so I'll want to factor this in by sending them out in the right order. Jotuun is the least physically defensive of the three, so I can send it out maybe hoping for a SuperPower to reduce Regigigas' attack. Golem is next for the same purpose, then Talus who is the most defensive and essentially the last stand.

It took a few tries, but eventually I was able to catch Regigigas in a Timer Ball!

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ptNR5vH.png Gen (Regigigas); Lv. 70

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Item: None

Ability: Slow Start | Moves: Stomp, SuperPower, Confuse Ray, Zen Headbutt

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Regigigas is such an unfortunate case for a legendary pokemon. You'd think it'd be this powerful menace, and it is to an extent, but Slow Start feels terribly crippling for so little gain. This thing is just a floormat compared to the legendaries it looks like it contends with on the surface level.

There are Double-battle Strats that can help this thing out a lot, though. You could use Worry Seed to change its ability to Insomnia, but in general, it's just not worth the extra steps when you could simply use a better pokemon. Still, I'm not gonna talk like an expert in competitive battling. Apparently this thing has some use in UU battles.

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Anyway, with the presence of Regigigas inside this temple, honestly, this provides a few more questions than answers in regards to the mystery of the Regis. But it does seem that, perhaps the Legendary Giants' homes were not in Hoenn, but in Sinnoh! It seems the people who prospered under the legendary giants may have created the Snowpoint Temple to honor them? According to the pokedex, Regigigas is said to once have towed the world's continents with ropes. Perhaps Hoenn and Sinnoh were geographically close at one point in history. Most of Regigigas' Pokedex entries in future games seem to imply it may have been the creator of the Legendary Giants. Perhaps it created them to watch over the people that it left in Hoenn before towing Sinnoh away? I like that this sort of ties Hoenn's themes of environmental preservation with Sinnoh's themes of creation and origin. A nice narrative twist!

Regardless, it seems that Regigigas never turned violent like the giants in Hoenn, as evidenced by the fact that it isn't sealed away so much as laying dormant in the center of its temple, even guarded by the people of Snowpoint to this very day! This makes me consider that the Legendary Giants in Hoenn may not have acted aggressively as I've been led to believe, but perhaps similarly to my theory about the ancient tribe in the Ruins of Alph, the giants grew angry at the selfish behaviors of the people? Maybe here in Sinnoh, the tribe of Alph and this people were able to share stories and bond better with pokemon? Alternatively, perhaps the people responsible for the Ruins of Alph and the Snowpoint Temple... could they be one and the same? Perhaps the Ruins of Alph are far older than we give them credit for.

I fear that trying to tie these two civilizations together might be a bit of a stretch, but hey, it's all headcanon! All in good fun!

Anyway, next time I think it's finally time we take the boat here at Snowpoint. There is still one more area of interest here in Mainland Sinnoh, but I think I want to save that for a finale of our playthrough. Essentially, we're talking about the Mewtwo of Diamond and Pearl here.

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Pokemon League

Shit! Shit, sorry! There's one more area I completely forgot about in mainland Sinnoh I wanted to cover before taking the boat! I actually realized after taking the boat in this session, so hopefully I'm not forgetting anything important there!

There isn't anything too terribly important to note in this area just yet, but it is a route we otherwise wouldn't access, so, let's make our way forward!

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Victory Road [1F]

If you recall, near the end of Victory Road, there was a man blocking an entrance to a deeper part of the cave. Well, once we've obtained the national dex, this man will leave, granting us access to the cave he's blocking off. If we make our way there, we can get to a new area!

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Victory Road [B1F Side]

The pokemon in this area are the same, but slightly higher level than elsewhere in Victory Road. Other than that, this is just a straight path to the next area.

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Victory Road [B2F]

This deep part of Victory Road is covered in a thick fog, requiring you to use Defog if you want to see clearly -- and seeing clearly is a must because of the Cerulean Cave-esque maze of boulders ahead. The fact that this place requires Defog feels like such an obnoxious kick in the teeth. You already need Surf, Waterfall, and Rock Climb just to get to this part of the cave, and you'll need Strength to push beyond the boulders in this room.

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When you first arrive down here, you'll meet a timid girl named Marley who decides to tag along with you! She has a really cute outfit! I like Marley's design a lot!

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Marley provides assistance with her Lv. 57 Arcanine! Though this seems like a really nice, powerful ally, Marley takes on a more supportive role in battling which frequently leaves me wishing she'd be a bit more aggressive. Even though her Arcanine has some really strong offensive moves, she seems to prefer leaning toward Helping Hand over Fire Fang and Extremespeed. If you're relying on her to attack, you might be waiting around for several turns, so expect to take the initiative a lot!

Marley healing your team is invaluable down here because of the many strong trainers and the fact that getting back to the pokemon center from here isn't exactly a quick trip. Unfortunately, you'll soon find an additional limitation of having a partner with you: Your pokemon can't carry you both with moves like Surf or Rock Climb, so you'll have to come back here without Marley in order to fully explore this cave. But, while you have Marley's healing, it's a good idea to go ahead and clear out as many trainers as you can. You can reach every trainer in this area except for the two Ace Trainers along the southern edge since you'll need Surf to get there.

Wild Pokemon wise, there's nothing of note here. You'd think with this place would have some rare pokemon only being available after the national dex but not quite. Marley keeps mentioning a "pokemon among the flowers," though. I wonder what that's about?

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Heading straight up north from the entrance to the area, you'll find an area where you'll have to push a strength boulder to get to two items. The one to the north is a Dusk Stone while the one south of that is the Elixir. You'll only get one or the other and you'll have to come back for the other because the boulder will block your way to the opposite item.

Once you're done exploring the area and reach the end, Marley will thank you for helping her cross the cave to the other side and mention that there's a stone tablet up ahead. She wants to see a pokemon that visits the tablet every so often. She'll depart, leaving you alone and finally able to explore the water! With Surf, you can create a few shortcuts through the area as well as gain access to the southern section of the cavern. More importantly...

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Lapras can be caught here at 10% rarity while Surfing! It's a bit tricky to catch, though, because it knows the move Perish Song! Try to put it to sleep or Taunt it to keep it from using the move. Otherwise, you'll only have three turns to catch it before it offs itself! I named mine Ryokou.

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Aside from Lapras, you can find Leftovers across the small pond near the entrance where you met Marley.

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Victory Road [1F, East Exit]

There isn't much of interest here, just climb the stairs and you're out of Victory Road!

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Route 224

The grind isn't quite over! Yeah, there's still a handful of tough trainers even all the way out here! The worst part is there's nowhere to heal and, really, no reason to even come all the way out here under normal circumstances. This place does have one major purpose which we'll cover eventually, but at the moment, you can basically completely ignore it.

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There are a couple of wild pokemon of interest you can encounter out here: Gloom and Weepinbel! Both of these pokemon are available more commonly elswhere, though, so I don't recommend seeking them out in this remote location.

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I was actually caught by surprise while exploring this route: Today's swarm happened to be right here! Natu can appear here in wild outbreaks! I snatched one up and named it Shourai.

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Using the Poke Radar here, you can also find Dusclops! I named him Hokori! It's a little difficult to chain Dusclops, though, due to its Pressure Ability tanking all of your PP away. It can also burn you with Will-O-Wisp to really just ruin your day.

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Alongside Dusclops, you can also find Duskull at 2%, but I don't think that's worth the time sink, especially when chaining so far away from any healing locations. Remember, if you wanna go to a Pokemon Center, you have to travel through the most difficult section of Victory Road to get all the way back here.

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At the very south edge of the route, accessible by Surfing south from the beach, is another Razor Claw! Now you can use one to evolve Sneasel and another for its effect! It's a bit redundant to find another one but, hey, it's a nice item to have a duplicate of!

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Using the Dowsing Machine along the trees on the way back from here will reveal the location of a PP Max. To be fair, this is a really useful item of which only two can be found in the entire game. So yeah, that's one valid reason to come out here.

Another secret waterway that requires you to worm your way between the trees and battle through a couple of extra trainers will lead you to some berries! Okay, we've come all this way for some really rare berries, right?

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How about... Sitrus, Bluk, Nanab, and Wepear...? Really?? I've complained about the item distribution previously throughout this playthrough but this feels like a whole other level of insulting. You'd have to be pretty damn dedicated to berry farming to include this remote location in your daily berry run since you can't even fly out here. It's a worse location than the berries in the grass outside Pal Park! It's not like it would've been broken to give us EV Reduction berries at least! This sort of thing genuinely baffles me with this game's world design. Why are these standard berries found way the hell out here?

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Well, if the berries aren't worth it, there's a Rare Candy if you continue surfing along the water...

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The only other major item of interest here besides the PP Max is the Destiny Knot which can be obtained near the northern end of the route. This is the only place this item can be found yet... oh wait, it's almost completely useless. This thing's only effect is a defensive measure against infatuation of all things. If your pokemon becomes infatuated, its opponent will be infatuated as well. Was infatuation ever some meta-defining status ailment? Confusion is far easier to inflict and generally gets the point across a lot better in my experience. And it's never really worth it layering Confusion and Infatuation when you could be building your defenses. I suppose maybe they wanted to introduce this item fearing that this strategy would be more commonplace in a gen with so many entry hazards discouraging switches? I'm pretty confident this item has no influence on Gen IV meta, though, but I suppose I'm no expert in the field. Maybe I'm wrong?

 Anyway, you might be thinking the Destiny Knot has its uses in breeding! And you'd be right! ...two generations from now. Right now, this thing just has its standard battle effect and offers nothing else. Truly the only reason to come to this route in normal gameplay is the PP Max.

At the very northern edge of the route is the stone tablet Marley mentioned inside Victory Road. It has a polished surface, but its purpose seems mysterious. Supposedly, a pokemon comes to visit this tablet occasionally, but I see no sign of it anywhere...

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There is one final benefit to coming out here, but you're better off just taking the boat for this one: The Underground! If you use the Explorer's Kit at the very northern edge of this route, you'll just barely be northeast enough to find your way into the northeast section of Sinnoh Underground! This might actually be a more convenient location to place your secret base in the postgame, though not because it's accessible from here!

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Anyway, yeah, that's it for this section! The northern end of this route is just a dead end leading nowhere, so we'll just have to fly away. It's a bit of a disappointing trip, but we got what we needed. Now, next time, I promise we'll be taking the boat to that new location Pace has wanted us to go to for so long!

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Snowpoint City

Alright! We're here for real this time! As I've been foreshadowing the past several posts, the main focus of Diamond and Pearl's long-term postgame is on the other side of a boat ride from Snowpoint City! So let's Fly there and take the boat off to the Battle Zone!

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Fight Area

This is the first area of the Battle Zone! This is essentially like the more exploratory parts of the Battle Frontier minus the actual Battle Facilities. The Battle Zone is home to Sinnoh's strongest trainers and is home to the Battle Tower! That's right, the Battle Tower returns again! Unfortunately, the Tower itself is standalone here just like in Ruby and Sapphire, but also just like in Ruby and Sapphire, it won't be alone forever in the generation! We'll see what future games have in store for us here later on.

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When you first arrive, Pace will scold you for taking so long (even though he never even personally invited us??) and dish out his classic 100 million P fine! Sure, okay. Anyway, Pace continues to insist he'll be the strongest trainer ever and that he's here to toughen up his pokemon!

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A nearby stranger overhears Pace and approaches, insisting that he's the strongest trainer ever. He mentions a treasure at the volcano at the far side of the Battle Zone and that he's going to claim it to prove his strength. Pace gets it in his head that whoever gets that treasure will be the strongest trainer ever, so he insists that he'll get to it first, but not before strengthening up at the Battle Tower! Pace runs off, leaving you alone with the stranger who introduces himself as Buck. He tells you you should try to get to the treasure, too, but suggests that you won't be able to get very far if you don't train up at the Battle Tower. Again, I'm not really sure how that's supposed to strengthen our pokemon, but sure, I can give it a try!

And yes, the game does push you to try the Battle Tower before you do much of anything else here as the other parts of the Battle Zone are blocked off. We'll start by exploring the immediate area!

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In addition to what can be found on the surface, as you can imagine, the Battle Zone is the most convenient place to access that northeastern section of the Underground.

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There's a berry patch here containing Pomeg and Hondew Berries! Finally, it's a new Berry Patch that's not disgustingly far out of the way that we can actually plant berries in and reasonably come back to!

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You can get a Scope Lens from a lady in the Poke Mart as well, who seems to be struggling with figuring out what held items to give her pokemon. The Scope Lens is functionally identical to the Razor Claw, so let's swap them out on Kuro since the Razor Claw has a secondary use Kuro doesn't get.

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Battle Park

This area is just beyond the gatehouse at the far end of the Fight Area. It's a small park at the foot of the iconic Battle Tower! There's a small hedge maze to explore and a few NPC's to talk to. More importantly for us, there are some items to collect as well!

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When you first pass through the Gatehouse, a receptionist will introduce you to the Battle Park and give you a Point Card to track your Battle Points (BP)! You already know how this system works, it's the same as the Battle Frontier so I probably don't need to go into any detail in that regard. There are other recptionists you can ask about various points in the Battle Tower, but I'll be able to cover just about anything they can say when it becomes relevant.

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In the Southwest corner of the Battle Park, there's a Razor Fang! This item is functionally identical to the King's Rock, giving any move a chance to flinch. It's also an item that is needed for Gligar to evolve! So you'll probably want it more for that purpose.

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Inside the big fancy building arching over the central pathway is the Exchange Service where you can exchange BP earned at the Battle Tower for various prizes!

Both entrances are joined together, so there's not much difference in the door you enter from.

The left cashier will sell you the following items:

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Vitams for 1 BP a bottle, making this the most affordable place to get them in large quantities.

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The Power line of held items: Power Bracer, Power Belt, Power Lens, Power Band, Power Anklet, and Power Weight. We'll go into more details about these items in the end of the generation when we cover EV training, but these items increase the EV Yield in a respective stat, so it's a good idea to look into them to save some time with EV training. They're much better at their job than the Macho Brace's generic effect! But it's a bit more costly, with each one costing 16BP for a total of 96BP. But, for long-term play, these things are a great investment to make training new pokemon a lot faster.

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The Toxic and Flame Orbs, also worth 16BP, are held items you might find to be a little confusing at first. They seem to actively hinder their holders. The Toxic Orb badly poisons its holder while the Flame Orb burns its holder. These items serve two purposes: One, they can be used with moves like Trick to badly poison or burn the opponent. But, their more prominent use, is in conjunction with Facade and/or Guts. Having your pokemon automatically burned on entry can make pokemon with Guts extremely threatening! Remember, the Guts ability also makes the pokemon immune to the attack drop from burn!

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For 32BP, you can get the White and Power Herbs. The White Herb is a returning consumable held item from Gen III that restores your stats if they're dropped, great in conjunction with moves like Close Combat or Draco Meteor. The Power Herb is a similar consumable introduced in Gen IV. When using a 2-turn attack like SolarBeam, this item allows you to charge much faster and attack on the same turn! It won't be consumed if you're already skipping the charge turn such as using SolarBeam in the sunlight, so go crazy!

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For 48BP, a handful of really powerful Held Items are made available: BrightPowder, Choice Band, Focus Band, Scope Lens, Muscle Band, Focus Sash, Choice Scarf, Razor Claw, and Razor Fang as well as Rare Candies.

Most of these items return from Gen III and you should already be familiar with their effects. Ones that are new include the Muscle Band, which is a physical counterpart to the Wise Glasses, boosting the power of physical attacks by 10%, the Focus Sash, the Choice Scarf which is another item in the Choice Line that increases the holder's speed allowing it to essentially outspeed anything at all and is really useful for keeping glass cannons alive and makes priority moves like Mach Punch or tanky pokemon like Bronzong a whole lot more important, as well as the Razor Claw and Fang.

These being some of the best held items in the game, you definitely wanna look into getting some of them for your team. But to avoid too much grinding, I strongly recommend transferring any Gen III items from your Gen III games using Pal Park if you can. Just make sure you're done with them there because, again, they can't be sent back. Between Emerald's Battle Frontier and XD's Mt. Battle, you should be able to easily get your hands on replacements, though.

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The Cashier on the right offers a selection of TMs!

For 32BP:

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TM06: Toxic, TM73: Thunder Wave, TM61: Will-O-Wisp, TM45: Attract

For 40BP:

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TM40: Aerial Ace, TM31: Brick Break

For 48BP:

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TM08: Bulk Up, TM04: Calm Mind

For 64BP:

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TM81: X-Scissor, TM30: Shadow Ball, TM53: Energy Ball

For 80BP:

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TM36: Sludge Bomb, TM59: Dragon Pulse, TM71: Stone Edge, TM26: Earthquake

Yes, that's right, Earthquake is finally available in an infinite form without needing some obtuse Pickup arrangement and hours upon hours of hunting for it. 80BP is incredibly costly, but it's damn worth it for such an important attack! Keep the Physical/Special Split in mind when getting these moves, though. You should be pretty familiar with that aspect by this point in the game, though. But you can never be too careful. You don't want to make the mistake of teaching Sludge Bomb to a pokemon with next to no Special Attack even though it used to be a really powerful physical attack.

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As you approach the Battle Tower, you'll be bumped into, literally, by a strange man who seems to bear a resemblance, in more ways than one, to our rival Pace! He introduces himself as Palmer, the Tycoon of the Battle Tower, and introduces the Battle Tower to you as well before heading off ahead toward it.

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Pace follows right in his foosteps, bumping into us as well and explaining that he was coming here to train before heading up to Stark Mountain. But then he starts to say something about the man you were talking to before shrugging it off and insisting he's here on his own power... I wonder what that's about? Could these two be related? They do seem pretty similar...

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Battle Tower

At the far end of the Battle Park is the Battle Tower that overlooks the entire Fight Area. You should be pretty familiar with how this place works. I'll go over the area in more detail in the future, but for now, let's just focus on doing a simple Single Battle challenge!

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My Team:

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cG54TIY.png Senshi (Infernape M); Lv. 50

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Item: Black Belt i_old_black-belt_gba.png

Ability: Blaze | Moves: Mach Punch, Close Combat, Flare Blitz, Taunt

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cG54TIY.png Hana (Roserade F); Lv. 50

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Item: Big Root i_old_big-root.png

Ability: Poison Point | Moves: Giga Drain, Toxic Spikes, Sludge Bomb, Stun Spore

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TWus4kR.png Ibutsu (Bronzong); Lv. 50

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Item: Leftovers i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Gyro Ball, Hypnosis, Stealth Rock, Trick Room

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Right away, you might notice a change here that I am incredibly happy to bring up! Level scaling! While it's sad the Battle Frontier isn't here, the level scaling is something I'm so happy to see! You no longer have to stress so much about the levels of your team. The Battle frontier improved this a bit by having the opponents scale to your highest level pokemon, but now, any pokemon above level 50 will now automatically scale down to Level 50 which means there's no issue with leveling up above that point. You can bring in a level 100 pokemon alongside a level 51 pokemon with absolutely no problems! This is fantastic if you want to mix in some new Gen IV pokemon with those pokemon you may have painstakingly trained up for Colosseum's Lv. 100 Colosseums.

My general strategy with this team is to lead with Hana and set up Toxic Spikes then, depending on the matchup, either go for the KO and heal off any damage with Giga Drain, or switch into Ibutsu to set up Stealth Rock, put the opponent to sleep, then switch into a more favorable matchup. Senshi is always there to sweep after the fact!

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Battle Tower

Just like the Battle Tower in Hoenn, you'll be sent through a series of 7 consecutive battles which you'll have to win in a row. In these more competitive battles, consumed held items are automatically restored at the end of the battle, Exp can't be gained, and all trainers are only permitted to use four pokemon. The seventh trainer will be tougher than their predecessors and upon clearing 7 trainers in a row, your win streak will be updated and you'll receive BP based on your win streak. As your win streak gets higher, though, the difficulty of the facilities also gets a lot tougher, so be wary and make sure you come in with some really well-trained pokemon if you're trying to see how far you can get!

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Battle 1: Picnicker Martha

Martha's Nidrino absorbed my spikes which was a bit unfortunate, but Senshi was able to power through the rest of the team no problem.

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Battle 2: Collector Davis

Mantyke's Confuse Ray was a little annoying, but I could work around it to put it to sleep. Unfortunately, the Toxic Spikes were useless for his entire team. Ibutsu could handle Pidgeotto just fine on its own, and Grimer went down easily enough to Senshi's Flare Blitz.

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Battle 3: Fisherman Braxton

Braxton's entire team could be effortlessly swept with Hana.

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Battle 4: Aroma Lady Nikki

Nikki put up a bit of a fight. Her Bidoof lasted an uncomfortable amount of time, but it wasn't actually able to do a whole lot. I eventually put it to sleep and had Senshi take it out along with the rest of her team.

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Battle 5: School Kid Chaz

Again, a pretty simple matchup. A bunch of close Combats was all it took after my setup.

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Battle 6: School Kid Cecilia

Sludge Bomb made quick work of Lombre. Koffing was immune to the Toxic Spikes but thankfully, due to its Levitate ability, it couldn't actually absorb them. From there, it was a matter of picking it off with Senshi's Flare Blitz. Seel went down to Close Combat.

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Battle 7: Battle Girl Eva

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Metang, Lv. 50

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For this matchup, I opened up with my typical setup with two layers of Toxic Spikes. I was met with a Scary Face and Metal Claw before I switched.

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Ibutsu came in next, switching in on a Metal Claw and used Stealth Rock followed by Hypnosis to put Metang to sleep. Metang tried Pursuit, but I wasn't going to be switching while it was awake.

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Finally came a Flare Blitz from Senshi!

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Hitmontop, Lv. 50

Hitmontop came out on top of two layers of Toxic Spikes and some stones!

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Hitmontop's Intimidate was triggered, so I chose to switch here.

                              

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I switched Hana in, but Hitmontop had gone for Dig. An odd choice given that he was badly poisoned, but I decided to switch again to avoid the damage.

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Ibutsu came out and evaded the Dig attack, leaving me the opportunity to stall Hitmontop out with Gyro Ball. All it could really do was hit me with Mach Punch. It used a Leichi Berry when its HP was low, but poison took it out before it could take advantage. Such a shame.

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Hitmonchan, Lv. 50

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Hitmonchan also came out ontop of Spikes and Stones, taxing its health a little bit. It came at me with a Sky Uppercut and Counter, with one last Sky Uppercut sealing the deal for Ibutsu.

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But by this point,t he game was over and I just had to hit Hitmonchan with a Close Combat to finish it!

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And that's the end of my first session! For my win streak of 7, I earned 3BP! As mentioned before, I'll be going over this area in more detail at a later date, but I figured I may as well take a swing at it right now to get a taste for what I'm up against. Pretty standard stuff, so far! Next time, We'll be exploring more of what the Battle Zone has to offer!

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Fight Area

After visiting the Battle Tower for the first time, the NPC's blocking the way up north are now gone, granting us access to the gatehouse behind them!

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More importantly, behind them is a Fisherman who will finally give us our Super Rod! You may have been wondering why this took so long to find. But now that we've obtained it in the postgame, it might be no secret that this is yet another tool the devs decided to use to lock away some national dex pokemon! Since we've got a pretty short stretch to cover today, I'll spend the tail end of this post going over all the pokemon this thing grants us access to. Yes, yes, we've got another world tour coming up. It's a bit frustrating I failed to think this far ahead, but it happens! For now, though, let's press onward to the next area!

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Route 225

Man, the music in the Battle Zone really is something else! It's exciting to explore these new routes and hear all this cool music!

Anyway, a new route means new wild pokemon! And as you'd probably expect from a post-game area, there's gonna be a handful of common pokemon from other regions to be found here! There's also lots of useful items to be found here as well, so it's well worth your time to thoroughly explore the area!

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The first I caught was a Spearow which I named Shuryou! Spearow is tied for its most common here at 5%. It appears at really low levels, so you might have to be careful if you want to weaken it.

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You'll probably have an easier time hunting down its evolution, Fearow, which appears at its most common here during the daylight hours at 40%. But there's so much grass to travel through, you're likely to anything this route has to offer as you explore it naturally. I named my Fearow Taka.

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Raticate is also available here! Like the others, it's tied at its most common here. This time at 30%. I named it Hitokuchi!

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Raticate brings with it a gender difference! Yup, we're not quite done with these yet! Males have longer whiskers than females.

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Rattata can also be found here at low levels just like Spearow. Also like Spearow, it's tied for its most common here at 5%. I named her Nezumi.

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Rattata brings with it a gender difference! Like Raticate, Males have longer whiskers.

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While it isn't at its most common here, Banette can be found at 20% during the night, cutting into the encounter rate of Fearow.

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And let's not forget our good friend the Poke Radar! Yes, even out here in the Battle Zone you can find special pokemon with this thing!

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At 20%, you can find Primeape using the Poke Radar! I named it Inari!

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You can also find Mankey here at 2%, but in my eyes, that just isn't worth it for Pokedex Completion. Primeape is good enough!

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Using Rock Climb on the wall near the southern entrance to this route will lead you to an HP Up!

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As we reach the water, you might find a Poliwhirl here at 30%! It's more common elsewhere, so I'm not gonna hunt for it, but it's here if you want it right now! If you're looking for Poliwhirl, though, you'll have slightly higher odds searching for it with the Super Rod at 45%!

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With the Good Rod, you can actually find Poliwag at its most common on this route! I didn't actually consider that there would be a pokemon at its most common with the Good Rod, though, so I didn't bother searching for it. I imagine I'll probably find one on a later route, though. I'll come back if we don't happen across one (and I remember to...) You can find it with the Good Rod at 45%!

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The house partway through this route isn't quite a rest house in the traditional sense like it might seem, but there is an NPC inside who will give you a Fresh Water!

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Cutting down the tree near this house will lead you to a Lax Incense which is needed to breed Wobbuffet for Wynaut!

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Continuing further along, Surfing across the lake atop the mountain will lead you to a Dubious Disc! This held item is needed to evolve Porygon2 into Porygon-Z!

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Toward the end of the route, there are some Tamato and Kelpsy Berries to gather. Again, this Berry Patch is a bit out of the way to be useful for berry farming, so I recommend just plucking the berries and being on your merry way.

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Finally, there's a Dawn Stone at the northern edge of the route, just use Rock Climb to scale the wall and battle your way to it!

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Survival Area

The Survival Area is a remote part of the Battle Zone surrounded by nothing but rough wilderness. It's a place trainers who struggle at the Battle Tower travel to to hone their skills. However, there's actually not much at all to be found here, just a Poke Mart and Center. It does serve as a bit of an outpost to heal up at, though. So I suppose you can rest up here while battling the tough trainers that surround the area.

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In one of the houses here, there's an NPC who will give you TM42: Facade.

That's about it! Yeha, a bit underwhelming, but the main purpose for this place is to serve as a checkpoint on the way to Stark Mountain. Until we're ready to make the pilgrimage there, though, why don't we go ahead and explore what we've been missing out on without the Super Rod?

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Our first set of new pokemon we can find you'll have to look no further than Twinleaf Town!

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Just about anywhere you can find water, using the Super Rod can reveal a Gyarados at 55%! I named it Hakai.

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Gyarados has a gender difference! Similar to Magikarp, females have white whiskers while males have colored ones!

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The main reason for coming out here is Seaking! Seaking can be found here at 45%! I named it Ouritsu!

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Seaking has a gender difference like Goldeen, Males have larger horns than their female counterparts.

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I caught Lumineon on Route 219 just south of Sandgem Town at 45% and named it Hikari!

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And here we have another gender difference: Females have longer fins on their sides than males.

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Clamperl can also be found here with the Super Rod at 15%! Named it Shinju!

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One of the more frustrating things about this Super Rod tour, and one of the reasons this post took several days to complete aside from a busy school schedule, is that pokemon available with the Super Rod can't quite be generalized the way pokemon available with the Good Rod can be. For example, specifically on Route 220 here, but not 219 or 221, there are a couple pokemon that can only be found here.

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Chinchou can be found here at 40% rarity with the Super Rod, I named her Houka.

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Lanturn is available at a mere 5%! His name is Tourou!

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Route 218 doesn't hold anything but Lumineon, but don't be fooled!

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Staryu can be caught in Canalave City at 15%!

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Iron Island

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Qwilfish can be found on Iron Island! Her name is Fugu!

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Also, another thing I realized I missed in my first trip around Sinnoh! If you return to Iron Island and enter the house, you'll find it belongs to Byron, gym leader of Canalave City! He laments to you about the difficulties of being a father, but also about how proud he is of his son for becoming a full-fledged gym leader!

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As an apology for his ramblings, he gives you a Metal Coat!

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Shellder can be fished for in the southern part of Route 205 at 15%. I named him Kai.

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In Celestic Town's tiny ponds, you can find Corphish at 40%! His name is Hasami!

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And at 5%, you can find Crawdaunt! I named him Kanadzuchi!

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Octillery can be caught here on Route 222 with a 45% encounter rate! His name is Gunsha.

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Octillery has a gender difference int he size of its... spots? Bulges? Males have larger ones than females.

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Sharpedo can be found at 15%! His name is Gyorai!

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Way out at Route 223, but not just off the coast of Sunyshore or at the base of the Pokemon League, there are yet more pokemon to find!

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Wailmer can be found at 40%! His name is Tama.

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Its evolution, Wailord, can also be found at 5%! Her name is Hikousen!

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At the Pokemon League of all places, Luvdisc can be found at 15%! Her name is Shinzou!

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Now, Whiscash here is technically probably easier to get to in Eterna City, but I recommend not bothering to hunt him down specifically if you have any interest in searching for Feebas, too. You'll find a ton of Whiscash in the underground lake of Mt. Coronet. I named her Chie.

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While here at Mt. Coronet, let's make our way up to the cave on the summit with the waterfall!

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Up here, you can find Dratini with the Super Rod at 40%! I named her Chisai!

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And, you guessed it, Dragonair can be found at 5% rarity! Her name is Ryu!

And that's almost the end of our Super Rod tour! There's just one area I saved for last because it ties into the last thing I wanted to cover in today's post.

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Even though I haven't updated this thread in a few days, I have been (sort of) keeping on top of daily events!

Let's start with the swarms!

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Skitty was swarmed to Route 222! His name is Ito!

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A mass outbreak of Doduo occurred on Route 201. I named mine Futago.

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Doduo has a gender difference in the color of its neck! Males have black necks while females have pale necks.

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And finally, I've been keeping my eye on the Great Marsh and caught a few of the new pokemon available there!

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First and foremost, Carvanha can be found here with the Super Rod at 45%! Named her Shiga!

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Gyarados and Whiscash can also be found here with the Super Rod at 15% and 40% respectively.

As for those rotating pokemon,

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Kangaskhan was the first I found! Her name is Okaasan!

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Up next is Kinoko the Paras!

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And finally, Odokasu the Drapion!

=================

Hoo boy, what a mess of a catchup post! Hell, some of those Super Rod pokemon I just found out about while writing this post! I'm still not totally confident I haven't missed any, but those are the only locations that I remembered after several iterations of going through everywhere I could think of with water tiles! (Note, many areas with water I haven't listed, such as the lakes, don't have any pokemon of interest that I haven't covered in more convenient locations).

Anyway, now, I do believe we have finally, finally, completed everything around the areas we've visited... well, partially. There's still yet one more feature I haven't covered but, again, I'm intentionally holding off on that one.

Honestly, I'm kind of sick of all of this national dex pokemon hunting stuff in this game. I don't think it's any fault of the game, but I've just found myself getting increasingly frustrated with how many tiny corners of the world I've been forgetting in my rush to get through my sessions. It might be a product of real-world stress forcing me to rush through this so I can focus on my work which... completely destroys the purpose I started this thread for. Well, aside from needing something to do during quarantine, anyway. (Wow, this thread's really been going on that long, huh?)

Anyway, it's not fair to any games if I just try to rush through them just to get them over with. I'm trying to slow down a bit even if it means spending a day or two not playing much, I figure daily updates aren't necessarily the most important thing for this thread as long as I updated it regularly. I'd still like to stick to daily updates wherever it's reasonable, but it's not something I think I ever promised. Hopefully if I can let myself slow down a bit, I'll be able to enjoy the simpler parts of this game. After all, one of the things I like about this thread is that it gives me an excuse to just wind down and distract myself with something simple I can keep coming back to every day, and I'm finding a lot of pleasure in the really simple stuff like farming berries and the like. This postgame is just a little bit more overwhelming than I expected it to be, and I blame that partially on my personal lack of knowledge about Gen IV compared to Gen III. But I think we're over the hill with most of the obnoxious stuff! Next time, we can get back to exploring new areas by pushing out past the Survival Area!

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Before we get into today's update, let's talk about our dailies again!

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In Eterna Forest, there was an outbreak of Slakoth! I named her Taida.

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There was also an outbreak of Smoochum at Lake Acuity! I named her Seppun.

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At the Great Marsh, two more rotating pokemon presented themselves to me!

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Yanma was the first of these I was able to find! Her name is Tanbo!

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I also found a Gulpin which I named I.

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Route 226

It's finally time to press onward to a new route! Route 226 lies just east of the surprisingly empty Survival Area.

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The wild pokemon in the grass here mostly mirror the pokemon available on Route 225, but Banette here is available at 20% during the night as opposed to the typical 10% in other areas. I named her Hokisareta!

Surprisingly, even the Poke Radar encounters are the same as Route 225, meaning you can find Mankey and Primeape here at the same percentages as there.

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Using Rock Climb at the ledge across the first patch of grass will lead you to the building at the top of the ledge back in the Survival Area. You'd think there'd be some sort of important npc in this building overlooking the entire village, right? Well, no. There's literally nothing of worth inside.

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In fact, the only reason to come up here at all is the hidden Max Revive you can find with the Dowsing Machine. Quite frankly, with this game's track record I almost expected it to be a TinyMushroom.

Continuing further along, there's another berry patch at the top of the first peak. This one I'd say is much more worth it since you only have to pass through 7 patches of grass to get to it.

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The patch itself provides two Qualot and two Pomeg berries!

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A Carbos can be found by climbing down at the edge of the next cliff over.

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The cliff after that contains a Lagging Tail, which is a held item that ensures that the holder's attacks always have decreased priority. It's another held item that has some niche uses but can also be bestowed onto the enemy with certain moves as a major hindrance.

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TM53: Energy Ball can be grabbed by climbing down the far wall just past the two ace trainers. I believe I covered this move somewhere else, but just in case I haven't, it's essentially a Grass-type counterpart to Shadow Ball.

A bit further ahead, we've got some water!

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As a version exclusive to Diamond version, you can find Seel in this water at 30% while Surfing! I caught one and named him Azarashi!

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Its evolution, Dewgong, can also be found at 5%! His name is Ningyo!

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In Pearl version, you'll find Spheal and Sealeo here in place of Seel and Dewgong! A bit of an odd counterpart considering Sealeo has an evolution which is something Dewgong lacks, but the version exclusives do balance out elsewhere.

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Pulling out that Super Rod, there are of course some more pokemon to find out here with that as well!

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At 15%, youc an find Relicanth! Her name is Kaseki!

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Relicanth have a gender difference in the length of their "tusks." Males have longer ones while females have shorter ones.

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More commonly, at 45%, you'll find Seadra which I named Tatsunou!

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And if you dig out your Good Rod, you can find Horsea as well! Its name is Sumi!

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Inside the building on the lonely island is a man named Meister who is multi-lingual! He's traveled around the world and if you speak with him, he'll provide you with yet another Pokedex upgrade! This upgrade lets you see pokedex entries in foreign languages! If you receive a pokemon from a foreign copy of the game, say, through the GTS while it was still active, it would receive its Pokedex entry from that language! This only works for Japanese, English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. The foreign entries are pulled from that language's Leaf Green version rather than Diamond and Pearl, presumably due to the fact that the foreign translations for Diamond and Pearl entries wouldn't be available to the local devs in time. Consequently, only pokemon available from Gen 3 and prior are available here.

The odd limitation of this feature is that the functionality only works with Meister's favorite pokemon, which is a rather restrictive list of only 14.

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The pokemon that can have foreign pokedex entries stored include: Ekans, Pikachu, Psyduck, Ponyta, Staryu, Magikarp, Wobbuffet, Heracross, Sneasel, Teddiursa, Houndour, Wingull, Slakoth, and Roselia.

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If you want to get to work filling out those foreign entries, you can start no further than Meister himself! He'll be willing to trade you a Magikarp for your Finneon. But not just any Magikarp, a German Magikarp named Foppa!

This trade is actually pretty infamous for more than just the poor trade value. That's because it's actually possible to soft-lock yourself on this island and, if you save your game, permanently ruin your save file! The reason is because this building requires Surf to get to and from, and Finneon can learn Surf! This means that you can potentially use Finneon to surf to this small island, trade that Finneon away, and no longer have a Surf user in your party. If you don't have a pokemon with Fly or Teleport, you'll be stuck!

Granted, there's an easy way out of this if you did it on accident. If you have a Finneon yourself, you probably also have the Good or Super Rod needed to encounter one in the first place. In which case, you can simply use that rod to fish up a pokemon to catch and teach Surf. Alternatively, in the even that you also happen to not have any pokeballs, you can sit here and battle these wild pokemon until your entire team is fainted from a mixture of battle damage and recoil damage from Struggle. Once you white out, you'll return to the last Pokemon Center you visited. Still, your save file can be permanently ruined if you simply never got the rods and traded the Finneon over from another save file. But at that point, I'm pretty sure you're trying to softlock your game. But just in case, be extra careful not to trade over your only Surfing pokemon or you'll find yourself in a really sticky situation.

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A PP Up can be found if you Surf accross to the small clearing north of the house. Assuming, that is, that you haven't stranded yourself there!

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Route 227

Taking the north exit from Route 226 will bring you to the adjacent Route 227! This path is heading straight for Stark Mountain where the treasure everyone's after lies! But before we get ahead of ourselves, we, of course, have some more grass to explore! And there are lots of pokemon of interest to be had here!

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First off, appearing at 10%, we have Weezing who is by far the most frustrating pokemon to catch here! They, as you have probably come to expect, explode. It took several attempts with Quick Balls and explosions, but I eventually got through to catch this thing! In hindsight, I definitely recommend holding off before attempting to catch these guys because the house up ahead is actually a rest house where you can heal up whenever one goes off on you. I named my Weezing Osen.

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Next up is Rhyhorn who is available at 5%. I named her Sai.

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Rhyhorn has a gender difference in the size of its horn. Males have longer horns than females.

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Rhydon is up next at 20%! Her name is Kurinuku!

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Like Rhyhorn, male Rhydon have larger horns than females.

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Skarmory can be found here at 5%, too! One of the things I've been doing in the background of this project is occasionally transferring forward some of my Gen III teams through migration and Pal Park. Consequently, I technically already have Skarmory registered into my pokedex thanks to migrating Axe from Pokemon Emerald. So I haven't actually caught a Skarmory in-game.

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Numel can also be found here at 5% as well, I named her Rakuda.

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Numel's gender difference is really subtle, but females have a larger hump than males!

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And, finally, there's Camerupt who I also already had registered thanks to Numa from Ruby version. They appear here at 20%.

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Female Camerupt also have larger humps than males, just like Numel.

-----------------------

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And finally, with the Poke Radar, we can find Torkoal! Though you might find it easier to use the Poke Radar in the large patch of grass up ahead. I named her Sekitan.

==================

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Stepping up ahead, we'll find Pace speaking with Crasher Wake! I didn't expect to see him here. I suppose it makes sense that Gym Leaders might come here to train. Wake is impressed to see how much we've both grown in order to be able to come and train here. Pace continues to insist that he's gonna claim the treasure at the mountain and charges off. Let's follow after him!

The house these two are talking in front of is a rest house similar to the one outside Route 111 in Hoenn. An old lady is inside and will trap you in an infinite text loop if you mash A because she'll keep suggesting you still look tired and asking if you want to rest again. It's a bit frustrating but also kind of a cute little joke that I can't help but smile at.

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Across the narrow bridge up ahead, we'll bump into Buck again! He tells us that Pace bumped into him and ran off ahead, but he doesn't seem worried at all about that because he's confident he's the strongest trainer himself. He suggests that if you run into each other inside the mountain, then the race is on! And then he moves on ahead.

Before we follow after Buck, though, lets cut around the corner through the tall grass and drop down the ledge. We can use Rock Climb here to reach a lower area with two small springs!

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It's down here where Poliwhirl is at its most common: 70%! I named him Rasen!

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I also caught my Poliwag here and named him Awa!

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Some charcoal can be found across this pond as well. Considering we got the Miracle Seed and Mystic Water much earlier on, this seems shockingly late to be getting such a standard held item!

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Climbing back up the wall and crossing the narrow bridge will lead you to the upper part of the first mountain where you can find a Zinc!

==================

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Stark Mountain

As we continue to make our way up the path, we finally arrive at Stark Mountain! But, say it with me,

before we get ahead of ourselves!

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One of the most powerful meta-defining held items can be found right here: The Life Orb. You'll need to Rock Climb up and down a few times to get to it. This new held item will increase the attack power of the pokemon holding it at the expense of some HP every turn. It's not so good for single-player, but it will do wonders for your powerhouses in competitive battles! You definitely want this item!

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Heading south from the patch of grass here will lead you back to Route 227, but you'll pass a rock hiding a Protein! Make sure to grab it!

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Stark Mountain [1F]

Now that's some really intense music! It sounds almost like something out of Sonic Spinball or something, doesn't it? Anyway, as you can see, we're gonna need some HMs to navigate this cave. Rock Smash, Strength, and Rock Climb are the only ones you'll need, though. So you can get by with just Bibarrel.

The wild pokemon inside here are similar to what was outside, but with two new pokemon of interest!

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Slugma can be found in here at 5%! I named her Tenpi!

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And if you've been following along with the pattern, then you've probably already guessed that Magcargo can be found here much more commonly at 20%! I named her Yougan!

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When you reach the top of the entrance, you'll find Pace! He mentions that he had a run-in with Buck but that he was defeated in battle. He's a bit bummed, but he's still not letting it get to him. He's just gonna have to train harder to get stronger than Buck and get that treasure!

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Stark Mountain [2F]

What a goddamn mess this massive place is! You have to have the patience of a saint to navigate this whole thing without a map! Luckily, we're not alone in this endeavor!

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When we step forward, we'll find Buck who admits that his battle with Pace was a lot closer than Pace may have realized. He acknowledges that Pace was no easy win, but he continues to assert that he's the greatest trainer. Perhaps this battle was a bit humbling for him, though, so he decides to tag along with us to continue exploring the mountain.

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That's right, Buck is another partner trainer! He's actually an incredibly helpful ally, though and doesn't feel nearly as stupid as some of my previous allies. I don't ever feel like I'm waiting several turns for him to use the right move. He doesn't focus too much on support, but he does provide support wherever he can't otherwise contribute well elsewhere.

As we speak with Buck while exploring, he'll drop a hint that he's actually the younger brother to Flint of the Elite Four. But he doesn't want to be popular just because of that. That seems to be why it's so important to him to prove himself by getting this acclaimed treasure.

Now, one of the more frustrating things about exploring this cave with Buck is that, much like the limitation we experienced with Marley and Surf, we can't use the HM Rock Climb while someone is following us. So, a lot of items here we'll have to come back for on the way out of the dungeon.

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Making your way to the westernmost edge of the higher path of the... good lord, this is gonna be a mess to describe item locations, isn't it? Take a left from the entrance, go down the stairs, up the stairs to your left, and then down the stairs north from there, and go all the way to the wall. You should find a Flame Plate there! This is the plate for the Fire type if that wasn't obvious enough.

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Retracing your steps to before you went up the stairs, keep going north instead. Then at the fork, turn left and use Strength to push the boulder out of your way. Battle your way through the Ace Trainers and you'll find TM50: Overheat!

There are various other helpful and really rare items to be found here, but it'll be exhausting describing them all! Just make sure to thoroughly explore the area and dowse for items while you do! Take full advantage of having Buck with you to heal your team and get as much done with him by your side as you can! You'll definitely want it as the wild pokemon likely outlevel you here!

Stark Mountain Depths

I'm not gonna show the Bulbapedia map for this room because it's a bit of a spoiler, but at the far end of Stark Mountain, you'll find the treasure Buck was after!

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Buck races ahead and claims the Magma Stone he was after! As he leaves, the mountain begins to rumble... ominous... but, probably fine! Let's just get going at a moderately alarmed pace!

Once you've reached this room, Buck will no longer follow you around, so you're free to use Rock Climb as much as you desire on the way back at the cost of your free healing after every battle, which is an unfortunate price to have to pay when exploring a place like this. Try to have the place mapped out.

===================

And yeah! I'm gonna leave this little plot thread on that cliffhanger! I'm gonna be honest, I've been trying to finish this post for three days straight but I kept getting interrupted by things. But it's here now! Next time, we'll take a look at what all is going on with Buck and his treasure. Perhaps we'll learn more about why this rock is so important...

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Once again with the daily events! The only thing of note that happened between posts was that an outbreak of Krabby occured on Route 226! I named mine Kani.

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Survival Area

Last time, we went with Buck to the depths of Stark Mountain to find the Magma Stone, a treasure that supposedly only the strongest trainer can retrieve. Buck claimed the reward and returned to the Survival Area where he lives with his grandfather. When he took the stone, a strange rumbling occured, but nothing else seemed to happen.

Well, returning to the Survival Area and going to Buck's house, the house neighboring the Pokemon Center, Buck's grandfather will tell him about the legend of Heatran: The Legendary pokemon of the volcano. He warns that, while the Magma Stone is said to give you the power to control Heatran, removing it from the volcano could cause Stark Mountain to erupt!

Heeding this warning, Buck heads out to return the Magma Stone to where he left it. We should follow suit as well!

=================

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Stark Mountain

You may have thought we were done here, but nope, we've gotta make our way to the depths of Stark Mountain once again. Thankfully, once you've thoroughly explored the place, it's not so rough anymore. It's basically just a straight line to the far end.

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Once you reach the edge once again, you'll find yourself face to face with Heatran! Strangely, Buck is nowhere to be seen? Yeah, the last you see of him is when he leaves to return the Magma Stone. Regardless, we're now face-to-face with another Legendary which means another pokemon to catch!

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My Team:

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cG54TIY.png Senshi (Infernape M); Lv. 62

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Item: Black Belt i_old_black-belt_gba.png

Ability: Blaze | Moves: Mach Punch, Close Combat, Flare Blitz, Taunt

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cG54TIY.png Denki (Luxray M); Lv. 59

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Item: Shell Bell B7Bow2u.png

Ability: Intimidate | Moves: Thunder Fang, Roar, Swagger, Crunch

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cG54TIY.png Hana (Roserade F); Lv. 62*

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Item: Big Root i_old_big-root.png

Ability: Poison Point | Moves: Giga Drain, Toxic Spikes, Sludge Bomb, Stun Spore

*Hana had to be left in the PC to make room for an HM-User.

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fsNGD5k.png Uki (Floatzel F); Lv. 62

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Item: Expert Belt i_old_expert-belt.png 

Ability: Swift Swim | Moves: Crunch, Aqua Jet, Ice Fang, Waterfall

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TWus4kR.png Kuro (Honchkrow F); Lv. 61

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Item: Razor Claw i_old_razor-claw.png

Ability: Super Luck | Moves: Fly, Night Shade, Night Slash, Haze

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TWus4kR.png Ibutsu (Bronzong); Lv. 62

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Item: Leftovers i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Gyro Ball, Hypnosis, Stealth Rock, Trick Room

===================

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Vs. Heatran, Lv. 70

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Since I didn't have Hana with me, catching Heatran was a bit of a trial. The main complication was that his strongest move, Lava Plume, is strong against Bronzong who is the only pokemon capable of consistently afflicting Heatran with any status problems. As a result, I found myself leaning toward leading with Uki. Not only can I get a solid hit in with Waterfall to weaken Heatran down to catching range, but I can also chip away at his remaining health with really weak Ice Fangs that each have a 10% chance of freezing. (Heatran has Flash Fire as opposed to Magma Armor which is what you'd probably expect the Volcano Pokemon to have). Uki also resists all of Heatran's offensive attacks: Iron Head, Lava Plume, and Fire Spin. So I can get a good several turns in before Uki goes down, which is great because my primary objective here is to get him to waste as much PP on Lava Plume as I can.

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In an attempt to pressure him into doing so, I try to send in and switch out Denki as frequently as possible to reduce his physical attack stat, forcing him into using Lava Plume for any serious damage. Unfortunately, at the time I was under the bizarre assumption that Lava Plume only had 5 PP, but it actually has 15, so this strategy wasn't exactly as viable as I thought it was at the time. Denki also has the bonus of being able to use Thunder Fang for a chance to paralyze, but usually, by the time Uki has gone down, Heatran doesn't really have the buffer of HP to spare.

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My other major staller is Senshi who resists everything Heatran can dish out as well. This buys me a lot of time to throw pokeballs.

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Once all the other options are exhausted, I switch Ibutsu in to use Hypnosis. If I'm lucky, Heatran won't hit me with a Lava Plume and I'll be able to connect the Hypnosis. With Heatran asleep, I continue chucking Pokeballs!

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And after a handful of tries, I eventually caught Heatran!

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inH70VT.png Kazan (Heatran M); Lv. 70

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Item: None

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Scary Face, Iron Head, Lava Plume, Fire Spin

=================

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And that's the rather abrupt end of this quest! Returning to Buck's home in the Survival Area and speaking with his grandfather, he'll simply be impressed that the legend turned out to be true and ponders if it's been around since the creation of Sinnoh. Y'know, the fact that they built this pokemon up so much, you'd think this would be the Sinnoh region counterpart to Mewtwo or Rayquaza, no? But no, another pokemon is most certainly much more deserving of that title.

It's unfortunate the way this quest ends, we don't even see Buck at all anymore! Where did he disappear to? Did he return the Magma Stone? Did he run away with it? It seems strange they didn't at least have him outside Heatran's chamber to tell you that he got beaten bad by the legendary pokemon or something.

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Interestingly, within the data of the game, the Magma Stone is, in fact, programmed as an item to be kept in the player's bag similarly to the Red Chain. Perhaps an early draft of this quest was a bit more verbose and had the player retrieve the Magma Stone themselves in order to face off against Heatran? Whatever the case, in the final game, just like the Red Chain, the Magma Stone never once reaches your hands.

Anyway, that's really it for postgame plot if I recall correctly, but there's still a few more areas to explore in the Battle Zone, so next time, I think we'll see what lies east of Route 227!

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Route 228

At the eastern edge of Route 227, if you continue through the eastern gatehouse rather than heading North toward Stark Mountain, you'll instead arrive at the desert of Route 228! Well, I say it's a desert, but I'm not really sure if that's quite accurate since there's so much grass and so many trees as well as multiple ponds. I suppose it's moreso just a sandy canyon? Anyway, there is a sandstorm here, so you'll need to watch out for your Pokemon's HP while you explore. Remember, you can always return to the resthouse on Route 227 if you need healing! It also might be easier to explore this route from the south rather than the north, since there's a town not too far off. You can get here by heading west from the Fight Area to the Resort Area and then heading north, but that'll involve another route we won't be exploring just yet.

Anyway, using the Bicycle, you can skip the majority of this route to save some time in getting to the next area if you want. I actually recommend doing that so make thoroughly exploring this area easier. But, I want to cover everything we can deal with our first time through.

I'm not gonna detail all of their locations, but I should mention that there are a handful of vitamins hidden throughout this route, so keep tapping that Dowsing Machine!

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If you slip into the pit straight ahead from the northern gatehouse, you'll find a Protecter which is a held item needed to evolve Rhydon into Rhyperior!

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In the grass here, you can find a handful of desert-dwelling pokemon! There are actually a lot of wild pokemon to cover in this session, so we'll be burning through these pretty quickly.

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The first of these to cover is Diglett who's available at 5%! I named him Horu!

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You must be a genius to have deduced that Dugtrio is also available! You can find them at 30%! I named them San!

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And then there's Cacnea, also at 5%! Her name is Hari!

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Naturally, Cacturne is also available at 20%! Though this is boosted to 40% during the night! I named him Kakashi.

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Cacturne has a much less subtle gender difference than most. Females one large spine in the center of its chest where males have two smaller ones that are roughly the same size as the spines above and below.

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The last pokemon of interest here is Hippowdon who's available at 20% during the day, but drops down to 10% at night. Even though Cacturne is more common at night, this is the main reason I recommend hunting here during the day. I named my Hippowdon

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I've touched on this before, but Hippowdon has I'd say the least subtle gender difference in the entire game. It's so different that a lot of people mistake female Hippowdon to be its shiny form! Male Hippowdon have yellow skin while females have gray skin.

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Of course, let's not forget our old friend the Poke Radar!

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With it, we can find Vibrava on this route at 20%! I named her Kagerou.

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Trapinch can also be found with the additional 2%. But, as always, you're probably better off just breeding Vibrava.

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The Shed Shell can be found on the ledge near the first patch of grass, you'll just need to use Rock Smash to get to it. This is a new Gen IV held item that allows the holder to switch out even if they'd otherwise be trapped such as with Shadow Tag or Magnet Pull or partially trapped with moves like Bind and Fire Spin. It's great for counterplaying obnoxious lockdown strats.

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Just up ahead is a small house that is home to a special NPC who will teach the ultimate Grass, Fire, and Water attack to any fully-evolved starter pokemon.

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The grass starters Venusaur, Meganium, Sceptile and Torterra can all learn Frenzy Vine;

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The fire starters Charizard, Typhlosion, Blaziken, and Infernape can all learn Blast Burn;

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and the water starters Blastoise, Feraligatr, Swampert, and Empoleon can all learn Hydro Canon! For the Hoenn and Sinnoh starters, this is their first chance to learn these moves as in Gen III they could only be learned by the Kanto Starters. If you recall me expressing disappointment with the ultimate reward in Pokemon XD being a Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile with these attacks as exclusive moves, this is the main reason why. They may have been somewhat special in Gen III, but it no longer means much once Gen IV rolls around. Still, it's the only way to get these moves on a Level 5 pokemon as far as I'm aware, so there's still merit to it! You may want to keep those pokemon at their level and use them for Little Cup battles, perhaps?

Anyway, it's a bit unfortunate that these moves aren't exactly universally useful, especially with the Physical/Special split encouraging newer starters to branch away from Specially-oriented builds, but often the sheer power of these moves outweigh the fact that they're using the attacker's highest attack stat. Just be wary of the Hyper Beam-esque recharge time!

Going forward, this is going to be a new normal in Pokemon games. There will always be a move tutor ready to teach these moves to any fully evolved starter pokemon.

--------------------------

Believe it or not, there aren't really any pokemon of interest in the small lakes here, so we can just pass right on by.

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TM37: Sandstorm can be found just beyond the two rangers standing ready for a double battle.

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And if you cross overhead with your bike to the peak on the other side, you can find a Shiny Stone!

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Surprisingly, even in this harsh weather, it seems berries can still thrive! There's a berry patch here with Hondew and Tamato Berries to claim! This berry isn't actually blocked off by too terribly much grass, so I actually might recommend planting some here. It's a bit inconvenient that it's grass-logged, though.

Strangely, the house near here is yet another one that doesn't seem to have anything of interest inside it.

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Route 229

Once you've forged your way through Route 228, you reach Route 229 which is a breath of fresh air compared to the raging sandstorm we just came from. You can squeeze by and head straight south if your pokemon are needing some healing. Just be wary of the ace trainer down ehre who you might not expect to turn around suddenly. But, of course, this route has a lot of grass. More importantly, a lot of new pokemon to go over! Get comfrotable folks becuase we've got a lot of pokeballs to throw!

-----------------------

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Right off the bat, at 5%, there's Oddish who I named Daikon!

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This is where Gloom is found at its most common, 20% during the early morning and night but 30% during the day! This completely dwarfs its 5% encounter rate back at Route 224.

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Gloom has a gender difference in the number of spots on its bulbs. Males have many small ones while females have four large ones.

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Bellsprout and Weepinbell are in the same boat as Oddish and Gloom. I named Bellsprout Endou and Weepinbell Kanro.

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During the early morning only, Ledian can be found at 20%! This cuts into Gloom and Weepinbell's encounter rates. His name is Negai.

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Ledian has a gender difference in the size of their antennae. Males have longer ones while females have shorter ones.

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Of course, what could be the nighttime counterpart to Ledian if not Ariados? Her name is Kumo.

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As soft version exclusives, we have Volbeat and Illumise as well! One is at 10% and the other is at 5%. Volbeat is more common in Pearl while Illumise is more common in Diamond. Their names are Kagayuku and Kirameki respectively.

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And we're still not done! Exclusive to Diamond version is a personal favorite of mine, Scyther, who appears here at 5%! Her name is Kiritsukeru!

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Female Scyther have a larger abdomen than males.

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As you can probably guess, Pinsir appears in Scyther's place in Pearl version.

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And of course, we're still not done! We've still got the Poke Radar to cover!

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With this, we can find Venomoth at 20%! I named her Doku.

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And then there's Venonat who can be found at 2% with the Poke Radar. Once again, we'll just breed for this guy.

---------------------------

Woo! Lots of pokemon were caught this time! Let's keep going to see what else we can find!

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If, instead of heading straight for the next area, we take a detour to the east, we'll find a Cut tree that leads to an item called the Reaper Cloth! This item can be used to evolve Dusclops into Dusknoir!

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The man hidden in the trees around the bend will offer you a Nugget as a "Nugget of Wisdom." I can't recall if I've gone over this yet, but in the Japanese version, this is a recurring gag in old characters giving you their "golden balls" which is slang for... well, take a guess. The positioning of this particular old man makes this seem like it's definitely intentional.

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A Protein can be grabbed from the southeast corner of the route across the small pond. Once again, no pokemon of interest can be found here so no need to worry about fishing or surfing around.

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Grepa and Qualot Berries can be found in the berry patch near the pond. This is another easily accessible berry patch to start planting berries in and add to your berry run!

==================

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Resort Area

And finally, we arrive at the final town in the game: The Resort Area. This is a place of relaxation and luxury, far away from everything else in Sinnoh. It isn't home to much interesting save for the Ribbon Syndicate which we unfortunately can't access just yet until we have a pokemon with enough ribbons to gain entry. Perhaps we'll check this out another day.

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There are two patches of berries here which might catch your interest. The one on the western side holds a Leppa and Qualot Berry.

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The patch on the eastern side has a Grepa and Lum berry! Since these patches are right outside a pokemon center with absolutely no grass in the way, you definitely want to plant some berries here!

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If you don't have one yet, the small pond here is where Golduck is at its most common! So take a quick swim if you don't have one yet!

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You can also get a second Nugget here using the Dowsing Machine around the tree in the center of the pond.

================

So, we've now explored every town and city of the Sinnoh Region! And there's still yet more to explore! Next time, I want to finish up exploring the Battle Zone before we return to mainland Sinnoh and explore that last new area I alluded to before. We're drawing closer and closer to the end of this playthrough, but there's still a few more things I want to cover before we're ready to move on to Pearl version.

Anyway, next time, we'll make our way across the final route of the Battle Zone and maybe cover the rest of the Battle Tower which we briefly skimmed over earlier.

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Another new pokemon through an outbreak! This time, an outbreak of Absol occurred on Route 213 just west of Pastoria! I named him Saigai.

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Route 230

Just outside of the Resort Area, if you head straight due west, you'll pass through Route 230 which connects Route 229 and the Resort Area with the Fight Area from the entrance of the Battle Zone. Naturally, you can reach this route by heading east from the Fight area as well. In fact, it turns out there's a whole berry patch on this side just outside of the Fight Area I completely missed.

The majority of this route is just a simple waterway with no particular pokemon of interest. If you came here early on in your visit to the Battle Zone, this would be the first place you could encounter Seel and Dewgong or Spheal and Sealeo, but there's nothing else of any particular interest. That is, except for the island in the center.

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Using your Dowsing Machine around the smashable rocks will reveal the locations of some vitamins, and a rare candy can be found along the northern edge. All of these items require Rock Smash to obtain.

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Remember way back in Eterna Forest when I said there would be a postgame area where we can find Beautifly much more commonly? Well, this is it! Beautifly can be found here in Diamond version only at 10%! I named him Chou.

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And, of course, Dustox can be found here in Beautifly's place in Pearl version.

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inH70VT.png HIKupEB.png U2cVQ4n.png

And with the Poke Radar, we can find Togepi! I named him Kaesu.

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At the edge of Route 230, right outside the Fight Area, is a berry patch containing two Kelpsy and two Grepa Berries which we actually could've been using this whole time and I simply overlooked out of fear of exploring too much of a route I wanted to save for later. (It felt weird going into Route 230 before Routes 225-229, dammit!)

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Fight Area

As alluded to before, exiting from Route 230 on the west side will lead you back to the Fight Area, bringing us full circle! We've now officially explored the entire map of Sinnoh! Well, save for one final area I've been intentionally holding off. Okay, and a couple of other areas tied behind events, but you know those don't count yet!

Last time, I suggested we might cover what I haven't touched on with the Battle Tower, but I actually no longer agree with that. Instead, I want to finish exploring the map because I've admittedly been pretty antsy to cover this location.

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Route 214

I've been playing coy about it for a long time now, but while exploring Route 214 after defeating Cynthia at the Pokemon League, you might notice a strange clearing in the trees that wasn't there before. That certainly warrants investigation, doesn't it?

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Spring Path

Walking through the clearing in the trees will lead you to an incredibly foreboding area known as Spring Path. Its name is deceptively pleasant, but the music here is that of the Old Chateau, giving this narrow path through the woods a rather sinister vibe. It feels like someone, or something, is trying to lure us in...?

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Sendoff Spring

This is perhaps the most fascinating location in the entirety of the Sinnoh region in my opinion as it brings with it a lot of the unexplained lore that I'm so fond of. Sendoff Spring seems to be a forgotten fourth lake of the Sinnoh Region. It shares its music with Spring Path, making it feel almost like a portal to another world... and there just might be reason for that. Within this lake is not a fourth Lake Spirit, but something perhaps much more sinister... there just might be a reason this place is forgotten.

There aren't any items or pokemon of interest out here even with the Poke Radar, so just make your way to the other side of the mountain and use Rock Climb to climb down to the lake and enter the cave. Note that there's a lot less grass going around the west side than the east side. The encounter rate feels pretty high here, so you can thank me for that advice later.

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Turnback Cave

As you enter the cavern, you arrive at Turnback Cave and the music still doesn't change. With a name like Turnback Cave, though, you can't help but feel a little unsettled, can you?

The cave is foggy, so you might need a Defog user in order to see.

Right at the entrance, there is an inscription.

Quote

 

...Past three pillars...to the sleeping...

...before 30 is surpassed...

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Before we get too into exploring this cave, I should mention that this is where you can catch the pokemon Haunter at 30%! I named him Shutsubosu.

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As you pass through any of the doors, you'll likely see one of these rooms with various arrangements of Rock Smash boulders. I say likely because, as you might've guessed from this layout, this dungeon is randomly generated! Each time you pass through an exit, the next room will be randomly selected.

The specific room you're in, as far as I can tell, doesn't actually matter as the next room will be randomly selected anyway. So I recommend just going into the easiest door for you to get to.

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Eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, you'll stumble across a room with a pillar. The inscription at the entrance said to pass three pillars. If we check the inscriptions at each of these pillar rooms, we'll see two numbers. The first is the number of pillars we've passed so far, and the second is the number of rooms we've passed through. Our objective, as you've probably pieced together, is to reach three of these pillar rooms within 30 rooms. As far as I can tell, this is entirely RNG dependent, but the odds of taking 30 rooms to find the pillars are pretty slim.

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After finding your first pillar, the wild pokemon will become higher level and the rooms will become more complex.

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And after finding the second pillar, the rooms will change again and the wild pokemon will become even tougher! To a shocking degree as well, reaching Lv. 66 on the higher end!

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If, at any point, you end up going back through the exit you came in, or if you pass through 30 rooms without finding the three pillars, you'll be returned to the entrance room where you can exit the cave or start over searching for the first pillar.

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Once you've found your third pillar room, the next room you enter will lead you to your goal: a legendary pokemon stands at the center, prepared for battle.

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My Team:

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cG54TIY.png Senshi (Infernape M); Lv. 63

D5XowZL.png 5XOLOH9.png

Item: Black Belt i_old_black-belt_gba.png

Ability: Blaze | Moves: Mach Punch, Close Combat, Flare Blitz, Taunt

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cG54TIY.png Denki (Luxray M); Lv. 64*

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Item: Shell Bell B7Bow2u.png

Ability: Intimidate | Moves: Thunder Fang, Roar, Swagger, Crunch

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cG54TIY.png Hana (Roserade F); Lv. 64

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Item: Big Root i_old_big-root.png

Ability: Poison Point | Moves: Giga Drain, Toxic Spikes, Sludge Bomb, Stun Spore

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fsNGD5k.png Uki (Floatzel F); Lv. 64*

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Item: Expert Belt i_old_expert-belt.png

Ability: Swift Swim | Moves: Crunch, Aqua Jet, Ice Fang, Waterfall

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TWus4kR.png Kuro (Honchkrow F); Lv. 64

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Item: Scope Lens i_old_scope-lens.png

Ability: Super Luck | Moves: Fly, Night Shade, Night Slash, Haze

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TWus4kR.png Ibutsu (Bronzong); Lv. 63

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Item: Leftovers i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Gyro Ball, Hypnosis, Stealth Rock, Trick Room

----------------------

*Denki and Uki were both boxed in favor of HM Users for Rock Climb and Defog

===================

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Vs. Giratina, Lv. 70

It's Giratina! This is the Mewtwo of the Sinnoh region. I suppose Rayquaza might be a more apt comparison, though, as he is a secret third member of what is known as the creation trio formed by Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina. Where Dialga and Palkia represent time and space, Giratina represents the world of antimatter that exists as a consequence of everything created by the "Original One".

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QdOF0Gr.png                              

My strategy for this battle was once again pretty typical. With Kuro, I'd start by hitting Giratina with a Night Slash, then proceeding to chip away at his HP with Night Shade to avoid Scope Lens crits. If the first hit crits, it can save me some time, but a the second crits, it can KO Giratina. Thankfully, Giratina can't do much to Honchkrow who is resistant to Giratina's strongest attacks, so it typically just resorts to Slash.

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rNeBz7C.png                              

Once Giratina's HP is low, I can easily switch Ibutsu into battle to put it to sleep and start throwing poke balls. Giratina can fight back a bit harder against Ibutsu with Shadow Force, a two-turn ghost-type attack that causes the pokemon to disappear on the first turn, somewhat akin to fly. It can also hit through Protect or Detect, so don't try to work around it like that! If you need to, you can still avoid damage by switching into a normal type. Alternatively, Giratina can shut down your ability to heal with moves using Heal Block, but this doesn't actually block the use of items if you feel so inclined. It doesn't even stop Ibutsu's leftovers... wow, this move is kinda useless in gen IV, isn't it?

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nWvBAZI.png                              

In the event that Giratina manages to overcome Ibutsu, we've still got some pressure to apply! I can paralyze it with Hana's Stun Spore and then tough it out for the next several turns as I try to catch it.

As it turns out, though, Giratina was rather easy to catch. My first attempt I ended up KOing him with an unfortunate crit from Night Slash, but the second time, I caught him in my very first Luxury Ball! His catch rate is only 3, so I'm pretty sure I just got supremely lucky with this catch!

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inH70VT.png Void (Giratina); Lv. 70

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Item: None

Ability: Pressure | Moves: Shadow Force, Heal Block, Earth Power, Slash

===============

And with that, we've now officially explored every location in the Sinnoh Region that's currently available to us! We've explored the entire region from top to bottom, above ground and under, over seas and mountains. And, due to my ineptitude, we've done so several times, too. I really should've optimized this run a bit better. Maybe my lesson will be learned come Gen V.

Anyway, with the majority of the game completed, next time we can take that closer look at the Battle Tower!

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Today we had a mass outbreak of Makuhita on Route 225! I named mine Sumo.

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Battle Park

We've just about finished everything there is to see in Diamond! This will be our last post exploring any new areas. And this will be the remaining content at the Battle Tower! Now, we're not going to be pushing ourselves to take on the Tower Tycoon just yet. Just like in Gen III, I think it's best to save that for a future game so we can bring our A-game with us! But, there's a bit more to the Battle Tower I've yet to go over that I wanted to address now.

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Battle Tower

So, last time we were here, I only covered the Single Player format. Of course, there's also a double-battle format. I also wanted to go over the rules with a bit more clarity because I don't believe I did last time.

First of all, species and item clause are in effect, so you cannot enter battle with more than one of the same species of pokemon or item. Soul Dew is also banned. In addition, the standard bans from previous gens are in effect here. As for new additions to the banlist; Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina are banned alongside any Gen IV mythicals, including Manaphy. The Lake Spirits, Heatran, Cresselia, and Regigigas are all fair game, however. Of course, eggs cannot be entered, either.

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To clarify, the banlist for Sinnoh's Battle Tower in Diamond and Pearl is: Mewtwo, Mew, Lugia, Ho-oh, Celebi, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Jirachi, Deoxys, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Pione, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, and Arceus.

Naturally, we haven't covered some of those Gen IV pokemon at the end. Don't worry, we'll cover them eventually. But in the era of Diamond and Pearl, most of those pokemon aren't actually legally obtainable without exploiting glitches. In other words, you guessed it, they're event pokemon.

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And again, then the Soul Dew used to power up Latias and Latios is banned as well.

This isn't the complete banlist for Gen IV, but it is complete in respect to specifically Diamond and Pearl.

As mentioned before, any pokemon entered into the Battle Tower will temporarily be scaled down to Level 50, but will not be scaled up. Because of this, overleveling isn't nearly as big of a concern as it was in previous games. You don't even have to stress about your team not being the same level, either. A Level 50 pokemon can be just as viable as a level 100. I cannot stress how convenient this is.

As mentioned before, in single battles, you'll have to enter with three pokemon. But there are alternative play modes as well. First off is Double Battle Mode. Just like before, you have to enter with four pokemon instead of three. Unfortunately, these battles don't end up going as quickly as they did in Gen III due to the slower pace of Gen IV double battles where new pokemon aren't sent out until after all attacks have resolved. No Earthquake + Explosion strats for a quick win will work here! You've just gotta focus on dealing with what's ahead of you! To be fair, this is much more balanced, but it also means double battles are a lot slower. In addition, this gen no longer gives you extra BP for competing in a Double Battle format. You get the same standard 3BP with additional BP based on your win streak.

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My Team (Doubles):

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cG54TIY.png Senshi (Infernape M); Lv. 50

D5XowZL.png 5XOLOH9.png

Item: Life Orb i_old_life-orb.png

Ability: Blaze | Moves: Mach Punch, Close Combat, Flare Blitz, Taunt

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cG54TIY.png Hana (Roserade F); Lv. 50

YIfAKNa.png nWvBAZI.png

Item: Big Root i_old_big-root.png

Ability: Poison Point | Moves: Giga Drain, Toxic Spikes, Sludge Bomb, Stun Spore

-----------------------

TWus4kR.png Kuro (Honchkrow F); Lv. 50

MPFOJxC.png QdOF0Gr.png

Item: Scope Lens i_old_scope-lens.png

Ability: Super Luck | Moves: Fly, Night Shade, Night Slash, Haze

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TWus4kR.png Ibutsu (Bronzong); Lv. 50

EIhD5Um.png rNeBz7C.png

Item: Leftovers i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Gyro Ball, Hypnosis, Stealth Rock, Trick Room

=====================

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Battle Tower (Double Format)

Just like Single Format, your goal in Double Format is to win 7 battles in a row, with the battles getting harder depending on your current win streak. Even though it's slower than in Gen III, I still find Double format to be a lot easier since the opponent's teams are haphazardly spliced together, they aren't really built well for serious Double-Battle matchups.

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Battle 1: Idol Selena

My general strategy was pretty straightforward. I led with Ibutsu and Senshi. I more or less used Close Combat and Flare Blitz to deal with any pokemon that showed up and shut down problematic ones with Ibutsu's Hypnosis. If I needed a special attacker, I had Hana to lean into and if all else fails, I can hope for a crit with Kuro. Selena naturally couldn't put up much of a fight with this lineup.

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Battle 2: Tuber Tia

Tia's team was full of Water types which wasn't too rough to deal with. However, I did need to switch Kuro in to deal with Slowpoke since he would resist both Close Combat and Flare Blitz. Hypnosis was able to cover for me on the switch, though!

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Battle 3: Rancher Pierce

Pierce's team was almost made to be shut down by my leads. The most troublesome foe was Nidorino who could easily be taken out with a Night Slash from Kuro.

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Battle 4: Rancher Sheldon

Sheldon's team was actually even easier to pick off, and very similar to Pierce, for that matter...

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Battle 5: Worker Antwan

Antwan was one of the tougher foes, but again, most of his team was vulnerable to Close Combat and Mach Punch, allowing me to dedicate most of my resources to picking off Machoke.

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Battle 6: Picnicker Martha

Another team that felt like it was perfectly designed to be countered by me! ...Very strange.

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Battle 7: Cyclist Kaden

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Seadra, Lv. 50 & Wormadam, Lv. 50

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5XOLOH9.png rNeBz7C.png                                          

I opened up by reading Wormadam's Protect. I went for Close Combat to KO Seadra and went ahead and set up Stealth Rock with Ibutsu. Sure enough, Wormadam went for Protect, buying me a great lead to the battle!

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Gabite, Lv. 50

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5XOLOH9.png rNeBz7C.png                                          

I next went for Hypnosis to try and shut Gabite down while I went for Flare Blitz to pick off Wormadam while it was vulnerable. My Hypnosis worked, but not before Gabite got a Dragon Rage off to get some damage on Ibutsu.

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Bibarel, Lv. 50

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5XOLOH9.png rNeBz7C.png                                          

While Gabite was asleep, I went ahead and took the new Bibarel out with Close Combat while Ibutsu used Gyro Ball to weaken the sleeping Gabite.

                                          lIG2Stw.png                       

5XOLOH9.png rNeBz7C.png                                          

After the fact, a Close Combat was all it took to finish the battle, and we won! Not that clearing the first round of a Battle Tower format is anything too terribly exciting, it was nice!

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Battle Tower

Now, speaking with the receptionist on the left will lead you to what I think is the most interesting mode. Perhaps this one will demonstrate why exactly I wanted to hold off to cover these alternative modes. In the Multi Format, you'll enter with only two pokemon and team up with a partner. Your partner can be selected in one of two ways. You can either team up with a real-world friend using DS Wireless Communications, or you can enter the Battle Salon to seek out an AI partner. While the AI can be a bit unreliable, there's something a bit more interesting about your potential partners this time around compared to Gen III...

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Yes indeed, the partners you can select from here are all the trainers you've previously tagged along with in other areas of Sinnoh. Worth noting, each trainer will only appear after you've escorted them to the end of their respective areas. Cheryl in Eterna Forest, Mira in Wayward Cave, Riley in Iron Island, Marley in Victory Road, and Buck in Stark Mountain.

One thing you might have noticed is that each of these trainers specialize in a different stat. Cheryll in HP, Mira in Special Attack, Riley in Physical Attack, Marley in Speed, and Buck in Defense and Special Defense. Here in the Battle Tower, these trainers now use a wider variety of tough pokemon and lean toward pokemon that specialize in their respective stats. They still behave similarly to the NPC trainers you could team up with in Emerald, though. If you speak with them, they'll tell you the two pokemon they've entered with and one of their moves. I decided to go with Riley since I figured his offensive presence would compliment my aggressive battle style the best.

===================

FDERMOl.png 1gj0UTp.png

My Team (Multi):

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cG54TIY.png Senshi (Infernape M); Lv. 50

D5XowZL.png 5XOLOH9.png

Item: Life Orb i_old_life-orb.png

Ability: Blaze | Moves: Mach Punch, Close Combat, Flare Blitz, Taunt

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TWus4kR.png Ibutsu (Bronzong); Lv. 50

EIhD5Um.png rNeBz7C.png

Item: Leftovers i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Gyro Ball, Hypnosis, Stealth Rock, Trick Room

----------------------

XpEjDvP.png Hh2yFrR.png uj7gwfQ.png

Riley's Team: Slaking & Rampardos

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Battle Tower (Double Format)

Just like before, the goal is once again to clear 7 battles in a row!

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Battle 1: Picnicker Esther & Rich Boy Jaden

I was a bit caught off guard when Slaking zapped Mantyke with ThunderBolt! I suppose I should've known from the fact that he had Hyper Beam that he'd be a Special build, but the possibility didn't even cross my mind! I suppose they don't stick strictly to their stats, they just use pokemon that specialize in them! Anyway, the rest of the battle went pretty smoothly. A little bit of hypnosis and switching around adn things were golden!

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Qu96DCI.png oetNkWC.png YzkX2xV.png

Battle 2: Fisherman Braxton & Pokefan Brandy

Easy pickings once again! Just had to match the type disadvantage of Senshi with some hypnosis and aggression! Riley was pretty smart about picking off the more troublesome opponents. Piplup did have a Wacan Berry to survive a ThunderBolt, though.

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WkY7cUL.png f47P3QH.png VcL0zkl.png

Battle 3: Pokefan Dusty & Bird Keeper Elise

This one was a little annoying due to some parahax from Dusty's Clefairy mixed with Elise's Murkrow spamming Fly and exploiting Riley's AI. He kept targeting Murkrow with ThunderBolt even though it was in the air, causing him to miss and flounder on the following turn. Sometimes you really just gotta wish you could take control of your teammate for a minute, but I suppose it wouldn't be a multi-battle then, would it? Eventually, Rampardos came out and finished the job.

tZeRJun.png PchCjSF.png CQhG2s2.png

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Battle 4: Collector Davis & Tuber Rick

More of the same easy stuff. For some reason, though, Riley prioritized hitting Grimer with Hyper Beam rather than Clamperl with ThunderBolt which left me in an awkward spot when I planned to just switch into Senshi to Flare Blitz Grimer to death. Still, Close Combat was enough to deal with the rest, even with Staravia's Intimidate.

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Battle 5: Collector Jameson & Poke Kid Ruth

These battles really aren't leaving me with much to say, this was just another easy win. Piplup once again had a Wacan Berry but it wasn't able to do much with it.

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Battle 6: Idol Selena & Pokefan Tate

Plusle's Helping Hand could've been dangerous if it wasn't for Slaking's Blizzard! They didn't stand a chance!

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Battle 7: Black Belt Irving & Veteran Leslie

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Hitmontop, Lv. 50 & Tropius, Lv. 50

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I opened up with a Hypnosis on Hitmontop, but not before it went for a Mach Punch to get some quick damage on Slaking. Meanwhile, Slaking went for a Blizzard to take out Tropius and do some nice damage on Hitmontop!

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Swalot, Lv. 50

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Swalot admittedly had me a bit concerned the following turn when it immediately went for Stockpile. I thought my time would be best spent trying to take out Hitmontop while it was asleep, but I forgot all about Stockpile! If you aren't aware, Stockpile was buffed much more notably in Gen IV! It now increases the user's defenses by one stage each per use. This makes it much easier to build up multiple Stockpiles for Spit-Up or Swallow and it's now much more popular among defensive pokemon. The following turn, I immediately put Swalot to sleep with Hypnosis while Slaking went for Hyper Beam to KO Hitmontop. All Swalot seemed interested in at this point was using Sludge to attack Slaking. Let's keep it that way!

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Metang, Lv. 50

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I put Metang to sleep right away while Slaking was recharging. Swalot was still asleep, so I went ahead the following turn and swapped out while both o fmy foes were asleep. I figured this was probably the safest switch I'd get.

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During my switch, Slaking took care of Metang with Fire Blast. Now all I needed to do was hit Swalot with a Flare Blitz followed by a Mach Punch for the KO! And that's the Multi Format!

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Battle Tower

The final receptionist on the far right handles the Wi-Fi Format. This is an interesting format that's identical to the single-battle format except that you register the team you enter online and battle teams registered by other players who played this mode.

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Finally, I think it's time to address the elephant in the room. Yes, we technically could take on the challenge to defeat, or at least challenge, Tower Tycoon Palmer. Palmer being the father of our rival, Pace and the owner of the Battle Tower. If I'm being honest, I've been a bit wishy washy on doing this right now, though. It just seems weird to do the Battle Tower twice and I definitely want to wait until a future game to do this. At the same time, the game I want to do this in doesn't have as much in-universe connection to the main story. Still, I really think it's in my best interest to hold off until we talk about competitive battling in Gen IV to cover the Battle Tower. I might go back on this deicion in the future, but right now, I don't plan to take on the Tower Tycoon in Diamond and Pearl. We'll save that for the end of the generation when all of our options are laid out before us.

But, if you're interested in challenging the Tower Tycoon, it's just like any of the Frontier Brains in Emerald. You've gotta clear three rounds for a win streak of 20 before challenging him as your 21st win. And if you can keep your win streak up to 48, you can battle him at his peak! Just be wary that if you lose even once, you'll drop all the way back down to the beginning. It can be really tough if you aren't used to competitive battling, so be prepared!

Anyway, that's it for the Battle Tower for now! Next time, we'll do some cleanup stuff for Diamond version and then I do believe we're ready to move on to Pearl version! I'm excited to start building up a new team!

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Today is our cleanup where we finish up Diamond before springing ourselves into Pearl! At least, for now. After we've visited Pearl version, there are a few more things to explore in Diamond. I'm still a bit on the fence about when I want to handle Pokemon Contests becuase I do want to explore them a bit more thoroughly now that I have greater access to better berries. Currently, I think I am going to hold off on covering them until Platinum. We also still have the Odd Keystone and the last of the Underground Man's missions to worry about.

As for what we're doing today, we're going to be covering all of the pokemon available in the game that we've yet to touch on!

So, we've covered Mass Outbreaks of pokemon, a daily event in which rare pokemon are found in great numbers at a particular location for the duration of the day. I've covered the pokemon I found, but I thought it would be helpful to include a concise list of all the pokemon available through this mechanic in one post. Even though mass outbreaks of the same pokemon will always occur at the same location, I don't think it's necessary to list the locations since they only appear in one each and the location is always listed alongside the species whenever you talk to Dawn's sister in-game.

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The pokemon available through Mass outbreaks include: Pidgey, Magnemite, Farfetch'd, Doduo, Drowzee, Krabby, Voltorb, Cubone, Lickitung, Natu, Dunsparce, Snubbull, Swinub, Corsola, Delibird, Phanpy, Smoochum, Zigzagoon, Surskit, Slakoth, Makuhita, Nosepass, Skitty, Electrike, Spoink, Spinda, Absol, and finally, Beldum.

Of course, many of these pokemon can also be evolved to fill out more pages of the pokedex. We'll be going over all of that when we get around to national dex completion at the end of the gen.

Other than swarming, there's one other method of finding rare pokemon in the Sinnoh region that I've alluded to numerous times: Dual-Slot mode.

By playing the game with one of the main-series GBA Pokemon games, encounter tables for certain locations will be shifted to allow encounters of pokemon prominently associated with that game. Some of these pokemon appear in several locations around Sinnoh, but I'll take note of the locations I found to be most convenient to look for them at. Pokemon added with this mode are fairly rare, generally appearing at an 8% encounter rate. If multiple pokemon are added, this is split in half at 4% each.

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Route 201

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If you have FireRed in your GBA slot and make your way to Route 201, you just might find a Growlithe! I named this one Wan!

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Lake Verity

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At any of Sinnoh's lakes, you can find Solrock with Ruby. Hi is its name!

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Lunatone can be found instead with Sapphire version!

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Strangely, specifically at Lake Verity, having FireRed, LeafGreen, or Emerald in the GBA slot will allow Staravia and Bibarel to appear. I already feel like this feature is a bit redundant, but this is just a little ridiculous! Thankfully, this is the only example of pokemon that are available in-game without this mechanic, so there's that.

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Route 204

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At southern Route 204, just north of Jubilife, you can find Caterpie with FireRed. Her name is Kemushu.

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Weedle can be found here with LeafGreen. I named her Tsukisasu.

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Valley Windworks

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With FireRed, you can find Elekid at Valley Windworks.

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Eterna Forest

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Metapod can be found in Eterna Forest with FireRed, his name is Katai!

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Likewise, Kakuna can be found with LeafGreen. His name is Matsu.

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Old Chateau

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With any Gen III game, Haunter can be found throughout the Old Chateau. This is a bit redundant like Staravia and Bibarel, but this one's a bit special in that it's really just here to mask a special property of the Old Chateau. Specifically, if you check around inside the room with the painting that sometimes has its eyes glow...

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...You just might find a Gengar mixed in with all those Haunter! I named it Shibou!

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Route 211

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Teddiursa can be found on Route 211 with Emerald! Nuigurumi is her name!

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Wayward Cave

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As one of the more out-of-the-way ones, Sandshrew can be found with LeafGreen at Wayward Cave of all places. His name is Renga.

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Route 210

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On the southern part of Route 210 with Ruby version, you can find Nuzleaf and Seedot! Seedot's name was Donguri while Nuzleaf was Fue!

If you find Nuzleaf before Seedot, you'll find Seedot more commonly at Eterna Forest. Likewise, Nuzleaf is more common at Route 229 north of the Resort Area.

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Nuzleaf has a gender difference in that males have a larger leaf than females.

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With Emerald, you can find Pineco down here instead. I named it Shurydan.

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The northern section of Route 210, the foggy area, is home to Zangoose with Ruby version as well. I didn't need to catch one, though, since I'm trasnferring Zeal from Ruby.

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Seviper can be found here with Sapphire version. I named him Teki.

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Route 214

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Vulpix can be found with LeafGreen on Route 214.

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Gligar can also be found here with Emerald, but I didn't bother since I already had a Gligar transferred, I didn't think it was a necessary catch.

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Gligar also has a gender difference in the size of its stinger, with males having larger ones than females.

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Great Marsh

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What's that? You thought we were done with the Great Marsh? Well, you're almost right. But there's one last thing to take care of. With FireRed, Arbok can be found! Thankfully, this isn't a rotating pokemon. Arbok is available in any area of the Great Marsh at any given time as long as you have FireRed in the GBA slot! His name is Hyoumen. And yeah, Arbok's sprite here in Gen IV unfortunately brings light to the disappointing truth that the devs seem to have all but forgotten the concept of Arbok from different regions having different markings. It's a shame because it was such a neat detail between Gens I, II, and III.

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Route 212

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At southern Route 212, with Sapphire version, you can find Lotad and Lombre! Lotad's name was Shibuki while Lombre's name was Ike. More commonly, Lotad can be found on Route 203 while Lombre can be found on Route 229.

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With FireRed, you can find Ekans! I named it Hebi.

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Iron Island [B1F]

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On B1F of Iron Island, notably not the entrance floor, but one floor down! You can find Mawile with Ruby! His name is Yuuwaku.

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And with Sapphire, you can find Sableye here instead. Her name is Houseki.

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Route 217

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With Emerald, Ursaring can be found on Route 217. Thanks to Friend from XD, there's no need to catch him for me!

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Male Ursaring have shorter shoulder fur than females.

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Route 224

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Shuckle can be found on Route 224 with Emerald. I named it Sukima, and no, that isn't a ligma joke.

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Route 227

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On Route 227, you can find Magby with LeafGreen. Entotsu is his name!

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Route 228

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Sandslash can be found on Route 228 with LeafGreen! Due to transferring Burrow, though, no need to catch one!

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Pal Park

Now, in addition to wild pokemon, there's one last feature of dual slot functionality I'd like to touch on that you might want to go ahead and deal with while we're at it. It involves Pal Park, but not actually catching shows. If you go up the stairs while you have various games in the GBA slot, a girl who enjoys your catching show will gift you a special accessory or backdrop unique for each game!

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A Crown for FireRed,

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A Tiara for LeafGreen,

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And for Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, you get the Underground, Seafloor, and Sky Backdrops respectively!

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Fight Area

Now then, one final detail I wanted to address before finally hanging up this game and moving on to Pearl, was one that I honestly had no idea was a thing until today but is quite frankly a really neat way to tie up the package in a pretty bow!

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On weekends at the Fight Area, you can find your rival standing in front of the gatehouse to the Battle Tower. If you speak with him, he'll battle with you!

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My Team:

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cG54TIY.png Senshi (Infernape M); Lv. 64

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Item: Black Belt i_old_black-belt_gba.png

Ability: Blaze | Moves: Mach Punch, Close Combat, Flare Blitz, Taunt

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cG54TIY.png Denki (Luxray M); Lv. 64*

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Item: Shell Bell B7Bow2u.png

Ability: Intimidate | Moves: Thunder Fang, Roar, Swagger, Crunch

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cG54TIY.png Hana (Roserade F); Lv. 64*

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Item: Big Root i_old_big-root.png

Ability: Poison Point | Moves: Giga Drain, Toxic Spikes, Sludge Bomb, Stun Spore

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fsNGD5k.png Uki (Floatzel F); Lv. 64

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Item: Expert Belt i_old_expert-belt.png

Ability: Swift Swim | Moves: Crunch, Aqua Jet, Ice Fang, Waterfall

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TWus4kR.png Kuro (Honchkrow F); Lv. 64

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Item: Scope Lens i_old_scope-lens.png

Ability: Super Luck | Moves: Fly, Night Shade, Night Slash, Haze

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TWus4kR.png Ibutsu (Bronzong); Lv. 64

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Item: Leftovers i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Gyro Ball, Hypnosis, Stealth Rock, Trick Room

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*Admittedly, since this battle caught me off guard, these two were still in the PC when I spoke with Pace.

===================

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Vs. Rival #6

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Staraptor, Lv. 58

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I led off with Ibutsu and opened up with a Stealth Rock, Hypnosis combo. I miss Hypnosis so I try to go for it again, but Staraptor switches out!

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Rapidash, Lv. 59

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Hypnosis missed again on Rapidash's switch-in which is unfortunate, but it's a much bigger risk to leave Ibutsu in for this matchup.

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I switched Uki in on a Will-O-Wisp. The Burn from the attack allowed Rapidash to survive a Waterfall, even with damage from Stealth Rock, thanks to my cut Attack power. This bought it the chance to hit me with a Fire Blast before I could finish it off the following turn with an Aqua Jet.

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Roserade, Lv. 59

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At this point, these two almost seem more like rivals than Pace and I! We always seem to end up in this matchup and it always seems to end the same way. I go for Ice Fang once again and, to my surprise, I'm able to get a freeze off to protect me from Roserade's attack! However, due to the combined damage from burn as well as Rapidash's Fire Blast, Uki is really low on HP so I'll need to let him rest a bit.

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I bring out Senshi and go for a Flare Blitz to take out Roserade's remaining HP with ease.

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Staraptor rejoins the battle and hits me with Intimidate! That probably doesn't mean much, especially given the Stealth Rock damage Staraptor just switched into, but I figure you can never be too safe, so I retreated into what I knew would be a pretty safe switch.

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Ibutsu switched in on a Close Combat and, when I tried to use Hypnosis the following turn, he used U-Turn to get out of there!

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Heracross, Lv. 60

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He isn't so lucky as to get out of a free Hypnosis this time! I put his Heracross to sleep and immediately switch out.

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Senshi came back out and wiped the floor with Heracross using Flare Blitz!

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Staraptor rejoined the battle, taking yet more Stealth Rock damage. Again, I could probably take this guy, but I didn't want to chance the long-term effects of my decreased attack from Intimidate, so I switched instead.

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Right back into Ibutsu! I switched right into a Close Combat, but that's fine because it only meant I'd be able to KO it with a Gyro Ball!

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Snorlax, Lv. 60

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I went for Hypnosis, but Snorlax itself went for rest to heal off the damage from the stones. Even though I missed, Snorlax was still asleep anyway! So, I took the opportunity to switch out and give Snorlax a rude awakening!

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Out came Senshi, no longer compromised by Intimidate! I let loose a full-powered Close Combat and even Snorlax can't hold up to it! He's down with one blow!

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Empoleon, Lv. 64

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This one was a joke, just another Close Combat and the battle was won!

---------------------

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And that's the end of our final battle with Pace! Technically, you can battle a harder version of this fight but it's more or less the exact same battle just with his pokemon 10 levels higher than they currently are. The main reason I'm not going to be doing this is that it requires you to enter the Hall of Fame 20 times which means 20 credit rolls and 20 battles with Cynthia... not happening, sorry.

So, next time we meet here again, we should be playing Pearl version unless there's something else I forgot to cover! Honestly, I wouldn't be shocked at this point. Let's let time do the talking!

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gWa1CTu.jpg

Pokemon Pearl Version

It's finally time to jump ship over to the second of the pair! This is Pokemon Pearl version! As always, this runthrough of the second version of the game is going to be a lot quicker than the first one with Diamond version. Rather than covering every little detail about the game, I'll be focusing mainly on the key battles and differences between these games.

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Last time, I played as the male protagonist, so I'll be playing as the female protagonist this time! So, just like with my Sapphire playthrough, I'll be highlighting the differences between playing as a male and female. These differences are mostly just aesthetic, but I'll be noting them wherever they pop up! As you've probably come to expect, her name is going to be Pearl!

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As for our rival, this time I'll be naming him Reach to correlate better with the theme of space and his aspiration to reach for new heights!

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Twinleaf Town

So our journey of course begins the same as in Diamond, in our humble home of Twinleaf Town.

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Lake Verity

We meet up with Reach and head to Lake Verity to look for a pokemon.

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This time, since we're playing as a female character, the male character, Lucas, serves as Prof. Rowan's assistant. The two walk off and leave Rowan's briefcase behind.

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And like before, we're attacked by Starly, forcing us to check out the briefcase and make our choice of starter!

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This is where our first significant difference is made! This time we'll be going with Turtwig as our starter!

===============

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Vs. Starly, Lv. 2

---------------------

                                        mrRLS0X.png

Spr_b_4d_387.png                                        

This battle is all but the same as it was before. Turtwig is a little bit different than most other starters up until this point. Normally, starters begin with a standard Normal attack alongside a status attack to hinder the opponent's offense or defense. Turtwig, however, foritifes himself with Withdraw to boost his own defense! As for his offensive option, it's none other than Tackle! Naturally, you can pick Starly off easily enough just by letting loose with Tackle. Starly goes down really easily!

==================

rXRZXfQ.png

Of course, Lucas returns shortly after and is troubled by us having used the pokemon inside the briefcase.

Lucas' theme is a bit lower pitched than Dawn's theme. Much like the difference between May and Brendan's themes in Ruby and Sapphire.

kcLyMr3.png

As things play out, we return home, get our Running Shoes, and make our way back out to cross Route 201 and make our way to Sandgem Town.

re5kgf6.png

Sandgem Town

And as we arrive at Sandgem Town, our journey's beginning is made official and we're able to give our Turtwig a nickname!

==============

cG54TIY.png Garden (Turtwig M); Lv. 5

XcTCNCc.png Spr_b_4d_387.png

Item: None

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Tackle, Withdraw

==============

Au9bbpE.png

Continuing onward is a little bit scarier in this playthrough. With my party plans this time, I'm not actually going to have a second party member for a little while.

ctbmEOn.png

Of course, we will be grabbing a little friend to help out with HM usage down the line.

bXdoxTV.png

Jubilife City

As we arrive in Jubilife City, we gather up some coupons from the clowns to get our Poketch!

b2uOm6D.png

As mentioned before, as a girl, you get a red poketch instead of a blue one.

BaSiU9E.png

Naturally, there is no difference in functionality and the LCD is the same color, it's just what surrounds the screen that changes.

i_old_quick-claw.png

We also grab the Quick Claw from the lady inside the building just outside Route 203. There's no need to head up Route 204

giAuorK.png

As we step onto Route 203, we run into our first battle.

USJdoeC.png

That is, of course, our rival Reach! And with a new starter means he'll have a slightly different team composition as we progress through the game!

===============

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Turtwig M); Lv. 10

XcTCNCc.png Spr_b_4d_387.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Tackle, Withdraw, Absorb

===============

1QdxdMv.png

Vs. Rival #1

----------------------

mrRLS0X.png

Starly, Lv. 7

                                        mrRLS0X.png

Spr_b_4d_387.png                                        

Since I only have Garden, this battle is a little bit scarier than it was before with no safety net. I also have a disadvantage against both his pokemon. If all else fails, I can always drop a potion to keep myself alive, though, and Turtwig's defences are pretty high! To open up with, Starly and Garden just exchanged blows. My Tackles for his Quick Attacks, but my superior level was enough to make quick work of Starly with minimal resistance.

--------------------

SO3SpXC.png

Chimchar, Lv. 9

                                        SO3SpXC.png

Spr_b_4d_387.png                                        

For Chimchar, the strategy really didn't change much at all. Tackles for Scratches. Reach went for a Leer at the last second, but it was too little too late and I was able to overpower him with one last Tackle.

------------------

1QdxdMv.png

And there we have it! Reach has been defeated for the first time!

================

And that's the end of our first session. I'm excited to get this playthrough off the ground! Next time we'll of course be making our way toward Oreburgh City and claiming our first badge!

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YCz8Ch2.png

Oreburgh Gate

We continue our journey in Pearl version by passing through Oreburgh Gate!

i_old_hm--fighting.png

Of course, along the way we claim HM06: Rock Smash from the Hiker which will be important for exploration.

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Oreburgh City

As we arrive in Oreburgh, we'll explore around town and make our way down into the mines.

jqjVOMV.png

Oreburgh Mine

We battle our way through the mine. Garden is of course gaining levels along the way as he's still the only pokemon on my team. He's higher level than Senshi was, but Turtwig actually takes a little while longer to evolve. By the time we're finished down here, he's Level 17 but still a Turtwig.

Gcavkz1.png

We of course meet with Roark at the edge of the mine and he returns to his gym to prepare for battle. Onward!

=================

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Oreburgh City Gym

Once again, we battle our way through the gym with ease and make our way up to Roark. I'm pretty confident we don't even need to heal for this battle since, admittedly, Garden is rather overleveled at this point.

q8C5RC0.png

And it's now time to get prepared for our first gym battle! Though I don't really expect this one to last very long under the circumstances.

===============

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Turtwig M); Lv. 17

XcTCNCc.png Spr_b_4d_387.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Tackle, Curse, Absorb, Razor Leaf

===============

6gbmJeK.png

Vs. Oreburgh Gym Leader Roark

-------------------

mTwiPYY.png

Geodude, Lv. 12

                                        mTwiPYY.png

Spr_b_4d_387.png                                        

My only partner here is Garden, but I'm confident he's all I'll need for this gym! I open up with Absorb rather than Razor Leaf because Razor Leaf is actually a physical attack. Even though Garden's attack is higher than his special attack, Geodude also has much higher physical defense than Special Defense. I think Absorb would do more damage than Razor Leaf assuming I don't get the crit chance with Razor Leaf. Regardless, both attacks would OHKO Geodude without much resistance.

---------------------

S9BX7x6.png

Onix, Lv. 12

                                        S9BX7x6.png

Spr_b_4d_387.png                                        

Onix is where things get slightly messier. By that I mean, he survives the first Absorb. But all he does in retaliation is set up Stealth Rock... good for him. Another Absorb finishes Onix off with ease.

---------------------

CLQz4iq.png

Cranidos, Lv. 14

                                        CLQz4iq.png

Spr_b_4d_387.png                                        

Once again, Cranidos changes things up here. He's less defensive, so I'll need to change up my approach. I briefly considered setting up Curse here, but I figured it was unnecessary and that might give Cranidos a bit of an edge. I figured I might be able to one-shot it with Razor Leaf instead. I topened with Pursuit, but wasn't able to do much damage to me before I finished it off.

---------------------

6gbmJeK.png q2vnk4O.png

And that's it for our first gym badge! It was a total pushover, just like last time. Next time, though, we'll be making our way up to the Valley Windworks stepping in on Team Galactic's plans... We'll also be getting our first new teammate, so keep an eye out for that one!

XcTCNCc.png

MVP: Garden

I mean, I guess when you're the only pokemon on th eteam, MVP status is just part of the job description, huh? Though Garden handled this battle with quite a graceful sweep. Just Razor Leaf after Razor Leaf with even a crit at the end to really rub salt in the wound.

6LmwlBy.png 7rAqbT2.png

During this battle, Garden leveled up to Level 18 and so, at the end, he finally evolved into a Grotle! A little late to the party, but he's here now!

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bXdoxTV.png

Jubilife City

We return to Jubilife City after having obtained the Coal Badge from Oreburgh City! From here, we can head north and start making our way toward Eterna City.

N6kTpuF.png N6kTpuF.png

r2fhZh9.png rXRZXfQ.png

Of course, on the way out of Jubilife City, we're interrupted by Team Galactic harassing Prof. Rowan and Lucas. Surprisingly, as far as I can tell, Lucas' dialogue isn't actually all that different from Dawn's which is a little bit disappointing. I actually appreciated that Brendan and May had slightly different personalities in Ruby and Sapphire.

                               kpWERaD.png kpWERaD.png

pX1wALM.png 1gj0UTp.png                               

Anyway, this battle plays out all the same as it did before, only this time we're teaming up with Lucas!

                               NYwbg8k.png JlxwsXv.png

7rAqbT2.png B7Keo1P.png                               

The matchup is a little bit rougher for Garden than it was for Senshi, but I just tackled away starting with Zubat which I thought to be th emore threatening foe. Once Zubat was eliminated, it was just down to bullying Wurmple until it was KO'd!

===============

qPVWetY.png

Route 204

As we make our way up north through Route 204 and pass through Ravaged Path using Rock Smash and Shovel the Bidoof, I soon ran into a slight complication with only having one pokemon by this point in the game. Nothing major, but I thought it was kinda funny.

A624Nvn.png

                               2VYn5Is.png 2VYn5Is.png

7rAqbT2.png FbKCuqG.png                               

I ended up getting into the double battle with with the twins with just Garden and my HM-user Shovel. Shovel was able to survive two Quick Attacks from the Pachirisu, so when Garden took them both out with one Razor Leaf, Shovel gained a handful of levels! I don't intend to use Shovel for any battling purposes, but I thought it was pretty funny that he ended up gaining so much Exp purely on accident.

=============

ugnlCgL.png

Floaroma Town

We arrive in Floaroma Town! There isn't much to do here just yet besides claim our Pluck TM and get started on growing berries, so we just continue pushing onward!

mIlo4vw.png

Valley Windworks

And finally, after all that time waiting, we've reached the location where we're going to be grabbing our first party member! It's about time! Right here in this grass, our new teammate can be found...

-----------------------

RRMLh2K.png Paint (Shellos F); Lv. 9

K5M5Tps.png TwY8HXJ.png

Item: None

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud-Slap, Mud Sport, Harden, Water Pulse

Shellos is a really nice Water-type for early game. It's pretty slow but has a lot of bulk to it. More importantly, it knows Water Pulse from an incredibly early level! Considering a lot of pokemon like to have Water Pulse on their final moveset, it was always really surprising to me that they just made this move available so early on and I imagine this encouraged a lot of people to go with Shellos in their first runs if they didn't start with Piplup. For that reason, I wanted to include Shellos on one of my teams since it's another pokemon that I feel captures the Sinnoh experience a lot.

--------------------

Well, now we have two party members meaning we have a bit more of a safety net. Going up against a pokemon strong against Grass-types is no longer as scary.

kpWERaD.png

We go over to battle the Galactic Grunt in front of the Windworks building and he locks himself inside, so we need to recover the Works Key from the grunt in Floaroma Meadow. Off we go!

================

V11HnJW.png

Floaroma Meadow

kpWERaD.png kpWERaD.png

We once again battle our way through the two grunts.

RRtbge3.png

And we get our Works Key which we can use to make our entrance into the Valley Windworks building.

==============

JdLPmri.png

Valley Windworks [Interior]

WRBBXVW.png

Once again, we battle through the grunts along the way until we arrive at Commander Mars for our first battle with a Galactic Commander!

===============

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Turtwig M); Lv. 21

6LmwlBy.png 7rAqbT2.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Tackle, Curse, Absorb, Razor Leaf

------------------

RRMLh2K.png Paint (Shellos F); Lv. 11

K5M5Tps.png TwY8HXJ.png

Item: None

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Mud Sport, Harden, Water Pulse

===============

1z4GcJF.png

Vs. Commander Mars

--------------------

qQW7ZRN.png

Zubat, Lv. 14

                                        qQW7ZRN.png

TwY8HXJ.png                                        

I lead off with Paint against her Zubat. She hits me with a Toxic, which genuinely caught me by surprise. But, as payback, I hit Zubat with a Water Pulse and got it confused! The following turn, it hit me with SuperSonic to confuse me as well, forcing me to hit myself as it went for Leech Life to heal off some of the damage. I snapped out of confusion and hit it with another Water Pulse, while it hit me with another SuperSonic the following turn. I went for Water Pulse again to weaken it further. From there, Zubat took itself out with confusion.

---------------------

paHUEnY.png

Purugly, Lv. 16

                                        paHUEnY.png

TwY8HXJ.png                                        

Paint didn't have much HP to spare, so I went for Mud Bomb in hopes of possibly reducing Purugly's accuracy before getting hit by a Faint Attack and forced to swtich.

                                        paHUEnY.png

7rAqbT2.png                                        

Garden switched in on another Faint Attack. He also took a Scratch the following turn before dishing out a Razor Leaf which happened to crit for a KO!

---------------------

1z4GcJF.png

And with that, Commander Mars was defeated and Team Galactic was forced to evacuate the windworks.

=================

Now, last time, I mentioned that we'd be going up to here. The original plan was just to stop here, but I figured since this is a repeat playthrough, I could probably burn through things a little bit faster. I decided to just continue this session up until Gardenia. Because of the pacing issues at some points in this game, I'm not going to promise one gym per post like I used to try for, but for now, it doesn't seem too intrusive to keep going. Plus, there are a few more party members I'm eager to add to my team in the next stretch!

==================

icxNA3H.png

Eterna Forest

After defeating Commander Mars, things continue as normal until we reach Eterna Forest where we meet up with Cheryl! This is where our first version exclusives for Pearl version are, including our next party member!

-------------------

fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 11

sy35SSi.png 6zGSZ76.png

Item: None

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Growl, Psywave, Spite, Astonish

Misdreavus is the Pearl version-exclusive counterpart to Murkrow, available here at 20% only at night and only in Pearl version. Being a Ghost-type, it's actually easier to seek out and successfully catch than Murkrow since Cheryl can't actually do anything to it directly. Just pick off its buddy and then try to catch it like you're in a normal battle with it.

Anyway, I wanted to use Misdreavus because, of course, I wanted to fit at least one Pearl exclusive pokemon in my Pearl playthrough and, just like Murkrow, Misdreavus is a pokemon I've wanted to use for a while but never really got the chance to make it happen mainly because, as I've mentioned before, I generally prefer to use pokemon that have evolutions over pokemon that don't. Well, like Murkrow, Misdreavus does get an evolution here in Gen IV! In fact, we've already seen Mismagius in Diamond version thanks to Fantina. So, Song the Misdreavus is our next party member!

--------------------

fsNGD5k.png 2AEQFNT.png 0oOmZIU.png

In addition to Misdreavus, I also caught the soft version exclusive Cascoon and named him Mold.

===============

8AgZicY.png

Eterna City

It isn't too terribly long before we arrive in Eterna City.

LduKs1B.png Tb6G8zx.png

We grab out Cut HM, as well as the Explorer's Kit, but we're not going to get into that mess quite yet. It'll have to wait a little while.

===============

eW2aWwO.png

Route 211

Before we jump right into the gym, we have one more party member to meet and we'll find them on Route 211!

---------------------

TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 13

eERH91I.png Hz7GvKJ.png

Item: None

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Tackle, Growl, Tail Whip

My next party member is one that's admittedly rather infamous in Sinnoh for being, literally, your only other Fire-type option during the entire main story besides Chimchar himself. However, Ponyta is another pokemon that benefits greatly from the Physical/Special Split of Gen IV as it can now take advantage of its higher Attack stat to dish out damage against its foes.

Admittedly, I goofed a bit. I made the same mistake I did with Kuro in Diamond. I forgot to check the ability of the Ponyta I settled on. The Ponyta we use for the rest of this session is one that had Run Away instead of Flash Fire. For the rest of the series, I'll be using this one with Flash Fire. Just know that there may be some level discrepancies going forward from here.

--------------------

Anyway, with Fireworks caught, it's time to get back on track and take on that Eterna Gym!

=================

Z6Gxchp.png

Eterna City Gym

Unfortunately, since we literally just caught Fireworks, she lacks any Fire-type attacks. Still, her Fire typing helps her defend against the various Grass-type attacks we'll be dealing with among the trainers in this gym.

Bj3T17W.png

It doesn't take long before we've worked our way up to Gardenia herself for our battle!

================

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Turtwig M); Lv. 21

6LmwlBy.png 7rAqbT2.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Tackle, Curse, Absorb, Razor Leaf

------------------

RRMLh2K.png Paint (Shellos F); Lv. 18

K5M5Tps.png TwY8HXJ.png

Item: None

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Hidden Power [Bug], Harden, Water Pulse

-------------------

fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 18

sy35SSi.png 6zGSZ76.png

Item: None

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Confuse Ray, Psywave, Spite, Astonish

---------------------

TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 15

eERH91I.png Hz7GvKJ.png

Item: None

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Tackle, Growl, Tail Whip

================

xS4GwB0.png

Vs. Eterna Gym Leader Gardenia

--------------------

UwAc73X.png

Cherubi, Lv. 19

                              UwAc73X.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

Even though Fireworks still had yet to learn Ember, she was pretty close and I was hoping that leading with her would allow her to level up during the battle and learn the move! I immediately switched, though, figuring I'd want ot save Fireworks' HP for later matchups.

                              UwAc73X.png

6zGSZ76.png                              

Song came into play next. She was switched into a Leech Seed and took a turn to hit Cherubi with Confuse Ray. She was hit by a Grass Knot which wouldn't do much damage at all since Misdreavus isn't very heavy. Now that Cherbui was confused, I figured that might soften the blows a little bit and switched back to Fireworks.

                              UwAc73X.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

From here, it was a bit of an ugly back and forth. I used some Tail Whips and Tackles while Cherubi set up lots of Growths, SafeGuard, and Leach Seed. Eventually, I was able to power through with my Tackles and took Cherubi out, but it was anything but free. Even though I was thankfully never hit by a Grass Knot after all those Growths, Leech Seed certainly took a toll on Fireworks' HP. Even more unfortunately, Fireworks hadn't even leveled up from the KO. She was right on the cusp of the next level!

--------------------

XcTCNCc.png

Turtwig, Lv. 19

                              XcTCNCc.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

This matchup would probably not end well, especially while I'm still under the effect of Leech Seed, so I retreated right away once again.

                              XcTCNCc.png

6zGSZ76.png                              

Song rejoined the battle and switched in on a Reflect. That was fine since Psywave could easily work around that limitaiton. I hit Turtwig with a Confuse Ray to hopefully turn some of his attacks against him before pelting him with Psywave. It took a handful of turns, but Turtwig eventually succumbed to the barrage since its layered defenses could do nothing to reduce the damage of Psywave. The Exp from this KO was enough to finally level up Fireworks! Now we had something to work with!

--------------------

wifGCor.png

Roserade, Lv. 22

                              wifGCor.png

6zGSZ76.png                              

I was next met with Roserade. I immediately went for Confuse Ray and managed to evade a Stun Spore. Roserade hit herself in confusion a couple of times while I pelted her with Psywave. She ate her berry to heal off some damage. In the interest of spreading Exp out a bit more, I decided to switch Fireworks in for the finishing blow.

                              wifGCor.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

I switched Fireworks into a Poison Sting. The following turn, I was hit by another Poison Sting. Unfortunately, this final hit with Ember turned out not to be so final. Roserade hung on with some more HP. I expected her to heal the following turn, so I went for Ember again. Unfortunately, she went for Grass Knot and got a crit to KO Fireworks!

                              wifGCor.png

6zGSZ76.png                              

At this point, I didn't have a choice but to bring Song back out for one last Psywave to finish the fight.

------------------------

xS4GwB0.png rW0Er97.png

And with that, we defeated Gardenia and claimed our second badge!

sy35SSi.png

MVP: Song

As much as I wanted MVP to be Ponyta, it could be nobody but Song who modestly tried to play support for most of the battle but ultimately ended up doing all the heavy lifting when Fireworks wasn't quite ready to step up to the plate. Song demonstrated that she easily could've swept the entire team on her own with much less trouble because that's basically what happened here even with some disadvantages.

==================

And with that, next time, we'll be making our way forward taking the long stretch to Veilstone City. We got a lot of party members this time, but our next one isn't gonna be for a good while so we'll have some time to get used to all these new girls!

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After earning the Forest badge, we've got our work cut out for us for the next leg of our adventure! Since this is our second playthrough, there's no need to stop and smell the roses at every landmark along the way. So, I think it's much more reasonable this time to push myself to the third gym! Of course, the gap is still as infamously long as it was before, but there's not as much that's necessary for us to cover in this post that we haven't already discussed in Diamond.

YCXBF96.png

Galactic Building [4F]

NvQ6lbI.png

Now that we have access to Cut, we can make our way into the Galactic Building and work our way to the top where we can rescue the Cycle Shop Owner's pokemon from Commander Jupiter! Of course, this means another boss fight!

=================

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Grotle M); Lv. 21

6LmwlBy.png 7rAqbT2.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Tackle, Curse, Absorb, Razor Leaf

------------------

RRMLh2K.png Paint (Shellos F); Lv. 19

K5M5Tps.png TwY8HXJ.png

Item: SilverPowder i_old_silver-powder.png

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Hidden Power [Bug], Harden, Water Pulse

-------------------

fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 20

sy35SSi.png 6zGSZ76.png

Item: None

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Confuse Ray, Psywave, Spite, Astonish

---------------------

TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 17

eERH91I.png Hz7GvKJ.png

Item: None

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Tackle, Growl, Tail Whip, Ember

================

nKXBbRU.png

Vs. Commander Jupiter

---------------------

qQW7ZRN.png

Zubat, Lv. 18

                              qQW7ZRN.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

I led off with Fireworks against Jupiter's Zubat. It took a couple of Embers to go down, but I was ultimately able to overcome it without getting confused or anything of the sort!

------------------

y9aallc.png

Skuntank, Lv. 20

                              y9aallc.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

Skuntank was next! I used Ember to see how much I could manage against it and that unfortunately wasn't much. So, I switched up my tactic and pressed with Growl while Skuntank layered some Screeches on me. After two Screeches, I was confident I'd get OHKO'd even if she didn't crit with Night Slash, so I switched out.

                              y9aallc.png

6zGSZ76.png                              

Song came out in Fireworks' place. She took a Night Slash but answered back with a Confuse Ray. Skuntank hit itself in confusion the following turn, buying me the opportunity to swtich Song out!

                              y9aallc.png

TwY8HXJ.png                              

And here was my heaviest hitter! I was prepared this time around to deal with these obnoxious Poison/Dark types! Skuntank hit itself in confusion yet again here. I went for Mud Bomb the following turn and was met with a Screech. I dropped her accuracy with the Mud Bomb. Though she healed up some with her held berry which allowed her to survive another hit. But, she didn't do anything with the extra turns she'd bought herself. She just kept layering Screech until my final Mud Bomb landed for the KO!

================

8AgZicY.png

i_old_bicycle.png

With Jupiter defeated and the Cycle Shop owner's pokemon saved, we can claim our Bicycle and make our way down Route 206!

==============

liOcVLO.png

Route 206

Along the Underpass of Route 206, I'd like to take special note of the fact that you won't be finding Stunky down here in Pearl version. If you recall, Stunky was a Diamond exclusive. Its counterpart in Pearl version, Glameow, is not available here, so instead you'll just be running into Geodude more frequently. Anyway, I did do the run-through of Wayward Cave real quick, but there's nothing really worth talking about there.

==============

iNoPU3E.png

Hearthome City

op9Khix.png

Of course, things continue to play out the same all the way up to Hearthome City where we of course have to head up to the Contest Hall to speak with Fantina just so that she can tell us we suck and that she'll only battle us when we stop sucking. But that's fine. More importantly, she'll clear the way so that we can get inside the Contest Hall!

NsxvIPv.png

The only reason I wanted to address the Contest Hall was to draw attention to the fact that, as a girl, you'll be given a dress instead of the Tuxedo the male character receives.

USJdoeC.png

Anyway, as we try and make our way down south, we'll bump into Reach once again! Last time, this was where we got to see his party really start to grow. This is where we can expect to see some new pokemon on his team we didn't get to see before!

===============

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Grotle M); Lv. 24

6LmwlBy.png 7rAqbT2.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Bite, Curse, Absorb, Razor Leaf

------------------

RRMLh2K.png Paint (Shellos F); Lv. 24

K5M5Tps.png TwY8HXJ.png

Item: SilverPowder i_old_silver-powder.png

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Hidden Power [Bug], Rain Dance, Water Pulse

-------------------

fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 24

sy35SSi.png 6zGSZ76.png

Item: Chesto Berry i_old_chesto-berry.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Confuse Ray, Psybeam, Spite, Astonish

---------------------

TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 24

eERH91I.png Hz7GvKJ.png

Item: Cheri Berry wGAwOpS.png

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Stomp, Growl, Tail Whip, Ember

================

1QdxdMv.png

Vs. Rival #2

--------------------

mrRLS0X.png

Starly, Lv. 19

                              mrRLS0X.png

7rAqbT2.png                              

I led off with Garden and actually got pretty lucky with my Quick Claw with it triggering twice in a row to help me pick off Starly pretty quickly with two Bites and a flinch! Good to know I wasted all that good luck on a battle like this one, huh?

-------------------

B1vh9We.png

Monferno, Lv. 21

                              B1vh9We.png

7rAqbT2.png                              

It's always a bit surreal to see the rival with the starter I just used in the previous playthrough. Anyway, this was obviously a matchup I wasn't gonna stick around for, so I switched.

                              B1vh9We.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

Anticipating a Fire attack, I switched into Fireworks to take advantage of Flash Fire. Unfortunately, I was met instead with a Mach Punch! Thankfully, Ponyta is bulky enough to shake the hit off. I started hitting Monferno with Stomp while it tried its best to hold me off with Fury Swipes and Leer before ultimately going down.

-------------------

Sw1okcO.png

Buizel, Lv. 20

If your rival doesn't start with Piplup, then it turns out his water slot is taken by Buizel!

                              Sw1okcO.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

Once again, this was an unflattering matchup, so I switched expecting a Water attack.

                              Sw1okcO.png

TwY8HXJ.png                              

I switched into Shellos expecting to take advantage of Storm Drain and yet again it seems I was read! Buizel went instead for Quick Attack! A couple of Mud Bombs later, though, and Buizel went down anyway.

-------------------

fdXI456.png

Roselia, Lv. 20

                              fdXI456.png

TwY8HXJ.png                              

Once again, an unflattering matchup means another early switch!

                              fdXI456.png

6zGSZ76.png                              

This time, into Song! This time, I switched in on a miss with Stun Spore. I then followed up with a Psybeam for an easy KO!

----------------------

1QdxdMv.png

And that's that for our second battle with our Rival! But this isn't the end of our post today. We've still got a lot more ground to cover before we arrive at our next gym! So let's carry on!

=================

UvVQedZ.png

Route 209

Once again, Route 209 brings us another version difference.

3PZCLpt.png

You'll now find Bonsly in place of Mime Jr.! Mime Jr. can still be found in Pearl version, but just like Bonsly in Diamond, it's only available in the Trophy Garden after getting the National Dex in the postgame.

================

gR4NSvC.png

Lost Tower

sy35SSi.png

As we climb Lost Tower, I probably don't need to explain that you'll naturally find Misdreavus up here in the place of Murkrow. Quite frankly, Misdreavus is a bit more fitting to find here than Murkrow, I'd say.

================

o1VRzyP.png

Veilstone City

There isn't much else of interest to talk about until we get down to Veilstone City! Finally, we can get some story progress out there!

i_old_tm--grass.png

I went ahead and bought a TM for SolarBeam from the Dept. Store figuring it might come in handy in the future, but I won't be using it just yet. Of course, we've come a long way to get here, so let's finally get that Gym over with so we can rest our bones a bit!

===============

nY5eHrn.png

Veilstone City Gym

Here it is! With Song, this gym is a total pushover. I, of course, tried my best to use my entire team, but mostly just found myself switching back to Song in every battle because she was just the obvious switch-in when expecting a strong Fighting-type attack. Psybeam could make quick work of all the Fighting-types as well.

IjyCEqh.png

But of course, standing at the end of it all, was our third gym leader Maylene. Let's see how she fares this time!

===============

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Grotle M); Lv. 28

6LmwlBy.png 7rAqbT2.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Bite, Curse, Mega Drain, Razor Leaf

------------------

RRMLh2K.png Paint (Shellos F); Lv. 28

K5M5Tps.png TwY8HXJ.png

Item: SilverPowder i_old_silver-powder.png

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Hidden Power [Bug], Rain Dance, Water Pulse

-------------------

fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 30

sy35SSi.png 6zGSZ76.png

Item: Chesto Berry i_old_chesto-berry.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Confuse Ray, Psybeam, Pain Split, Astonish

---------------------

TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 28

eERH91I.png Hz7GvKJ.png

Item: Cheri Berry wGAwOpS.png

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Stomp, Growl, Fire Spin, Ember

================

OI3Oj2S.png

Vs. Veilstone Gym Leader Maylene

------------------

a3jtDSt.png

Meditite, Lv. 27

                              a3jtDSt.png

7rAqbT2.png                              

I decided since Song was such an easy switch-in, I'd probably want to keep her on the backline so that I could have an easy escape if anything went south during the battle. I led off with Garden against Maylene's Meditite and opened up with Bite into her Detect. Fair enough, I went for Bite again into her Meditate. I switched up with a Razor Leaf the following turn and was met with another Detect. My Quick Claw triggered the next turn letting me land a Razor Leaf, but it wasn't quite enough to get the KO. I was met with a Confusion followed by Hyper Potion on the following turn. With a couple more Razor Leaf, I was able to secure the KO!

--------------------

8H0Sldg.png

Machoke, Lv. 27

                              8H0Sldg.png

7rAqbT2.png                              

Machoke came next and, for now, I chose to start setting up some Curses to build my bulk. I set up three Curses and followed up with Razor Leaf. I hadn't boosted my attack quite enough to KO Machoke in one shot, though, so she was able to recover with a Hyper Potion. I probably should've used one more Curse, but instead, I opted to settle for the THKO and just went for a few more Razor Leaf attacks to seal the deal here.

--------------------

bpB3cJ7.png

Lucario, Lv. 30

                              bpB3cJ7.png

7rAqbT2.png                              

Lucario was up next! He'd put up the biggest fight of all, but I didn't want to retreat after setting up all those Curses, so I just started hitting Lucario with Razor Leaf and, even with his resistance, it only took two Razor Leaf attacks to get the KO!

--------------------

OI3Oj2S.png gx8afG4.png

And before I knew it, this battle was over! I recall this battle leaving me a bit nervous at times in my Diamond run, it really is interesting just how much a different team composition can really change things up.

6LmwlBy.png

MVP: Garden

After using Song in every battle throughout the gym, I was expecting the MVP to be Song as a no-brainer! But, it turns out, she wasn't even needed! Garden was just supposed to be a temporary lead, but after he got all those Curses up against Machoke, Maylene was totally helpless against the brick wall before her!

And with that, we've claimed our third gym badge! Next time, we start making our way down south toward Pastoria City! You see, I told you this playthrough would go by a lot faster. We basically skipped right over the longest part of our first playthrough. It pays off not having to stop by and cover every little thing as we pass through.

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o1VRzyP.png

Veilstone City

Now that we've completed the Veilstone Gym, we'll need to help Lucas get his Pokedex back from Team Galactic!

N6kTpuF.png N6kTpuF.png

Of course, this means battling those two Galactic Grunts again!

                                         kpWERaD.png kpWERaD.png

pX1wALM.png 1gj0UTp.png                                          

Vs. Team Galactic Grunt & Team Galactic Grunt

-----------------------

egaWMb8.png xn2Tim4.png

Dustox, Lv. 25 & Beautifly, Lv. 25

                                         egaWMb8.png xn2Tim4.png

TwY8HXJ.png wGIUu6Y.png                                          

This battle was pretty straight-forward. I led off by focusing Paint's Water Pulse on Beautifly to take it out first, figuring I may want to switch Song in to deal with Dustox more easily. Beautifly this time would be the bigger threat with Mega Drain.

-------------------

GDu1XkO.png

Stunky, Lv. 25

                                         egaWMb8.png GDu1XkO.png

TwY8HXJ.png wGIUu6Y.png                                          

Stunky was easily dealt with using Mud Bomb, but in the meantime, the grunts had successfully KO'd Clefairy by ganging up on her.

                                         egaWMb8.png GDu1XkO.png

TwY8HXJ.png pfHGuX6.png                                          

While I focused on taking Stunky out, Prinplup was able to get some damage on Dustox off.

                                         egaWMb8.png                      

TwY8HXJ.png pfHGuX6.png                                          

Another Peck and Water Pulse and Dustox was out of the way!

-------------------

YxxJ4Ew.png

Croagunk, Lv. 25

                                         YxxJ4Ew.png                      

TwY8HXJ.png pfHGuX6.png                                          

All that was left now was an easily defeated Croagunk with Mud Bomb.

------------------

kpWERaD.png kpWERaD.png

And with that, the two grunts were defeated and we got to make our way into the warehouse, grab our Fly HM, and move on toward Pastoria!

===============

ugnlCgL.png

Floaroma Town

Before we move on, though, I wanted to head back and cover my daily berry run because something absolutely unbelievable happened to me today!

bese1Sw.png gL0mMST.png J3Nsz2g.png

I found a Munchlax!! I cannot stress enough how rare this little guy is. I've gone on a whole tangent about him when I was covering Honey Tree Pokemon in Diamond version, and I was putting Honey on trees throughout this playthrough in hopes of maybe stumbling accross one by chance, but I never expected it to actually happen! I found this one in the tree in Floaroma Meadow. I want to stress how absurd it is that I found this guy so quickly. Again, only four honey trees in the entire game are randomly selected for each save file as special trees and one of them happened to be the very first Honey tree in the game. Beyond that, even if you happen to find a Honey Tree, it's only a 1% chance you'll find a Munchlax in the first place, and Munchlax is in its own encounter table separate from any other pokemon, so you can't just keep using honey on one tree over and over.

I want to stress that, in Diamond version, I had been spreading honey on trees I suspected of being special trees due to the rarity of Wurmple and Silcoon on them the entire game, even on days I didn't update my thread. I kept on top of at least the daily events multiple times a day. I'd narrowed it down to just one tree, the one on Route 214, as the only one I was confident was a Munchlax Tree and focused exclusively on that one, being sure to also spread honey on a second honey tree to avoid this one being the last one I spread honey on every day. (Again, remember that Munchlax appear in their own encounter table and the last honey tree you spread honey on is most likely to pull from the same encounter table it pulled before, meaning just spreading honey on one tree makes it nearly impossible to find Munchlax unless you found Munchlax in the previous encounter on that tree at which point it's a bit redundant anyway.)

In this playthrough, I started by going through the same elimination process I used in Diamond. If my first encounter with a tree was a Wurmple or Cascoon, I simply assumed it wasn't a special tree (not exact, but the odds of eliminating all four munchlax trees by such a method are extremely slim). Beyond that, I would eliminate any trees that I end up encountering three Wurmple or Cascoon in a row at. Excluding the last tree I spread honey on. The last honey tree I make a point to be a tree I've previously eliminated and that tree can make it back in the running if I happen to encounter a rare pokemon on it next.

I just got to the point were I was even able to spread honey on trees two days ago. Due to the wait time needed, I was only able to encounter two sets of pokemon on these honey trees. The first set, I only eliminated two trees out of the 10 trees I'd passed and 21 trees across all of Sinnoh. Normally, I can only be confident I've found a special tree after eliminating most of the other trees which can take around 3-5 days of meticulous tree checking and still lead to accidental pruning of special trees. Not only was I lucky enough to find a speciall tree before even being able to be confident in the location of any of them, but on that tree I just happened to get a 1/100 chance on my very second try!

This thing is the most infamous pokemon for catching all the wild pokemon in Diamond and Pearl. And again, it's a struggle that's completely unnecessary thanks to the ability to simply breed for one. But I always like to catch as many pokemon as I can out of the wild and I'm so thankful to have this burden off of my shoulders.

Anyway, with Munchlax captured, I named him Culinary. With that, this tangent is completed and we can get back on track!

===============

gthYIGH.png

Route 214

bese1Sw.png 8aoleSb.png VzRp04p.png

In place of Stunky on Route 214, you'll instead find Sudowoodo! I caught one and named her Theatre!

cHRT3AZ.png 8aoleSb.png

Sudowoodo has a gender difference in the length of the twigs branching out from its head! Males have longer twigs than females.

E7Sgw30.png iROVOSw.png

While traveling across this route, Paint evolved into a Gastrodon, giving her a Ground typing and thus allowing her to get STAB with Mud Bomb!

================

Ema9IWf.png

Pastoria City

There really isn't much else to talk about here until we arrive in Pastoria City! There is the Move Maniac here that I'd love to use later on to teach some moves to my pokemon, but they'll need to evolve before they can get the moves I want, so we'll be coming back here a bit later.

Of course, we'll need to dip into the Great Marsh to pick up our Defog TM, but there isn't anything of interest in terms of pokemon there for us, either.

And so, why don't we go ahead and jump into the gym, shall we?

==================

hcF9vzv.png

Pastoria City Gym

Ironically, I actually battled through most of this gym using Fireworks' Take Down. The recoil left me running back to the Pokemon Center a couple times, but Fireworks just happened to be the pokemon at the lead in my party. But of course Garden saw some action here, too. In fact...

kbnvJWP.png OQFpv2f.png

Right up at the very end of the gym, Garden reached level 32 and evolved into Torterra! Turtwig might've been the latest bloomer for its first evolution, but it also spends the shortest amount of time in its second stage! Like Paint, Garden now gains a powerful Ground-typing alongside an incredibly powerful move to just be giving us for free so soon: Earthquake! I can see this guy making some powerful moves in the near future.

IwR2I5L.png

Of course, at the end of it all, it's time to face off against Crasher Wake! I think this is a fantastic opportunity to see what Garden can do as a Torterra!

================

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Torterra M); Lv. 32

kbnvJWP.png OQFpv2f.png

Item: Big Root i_old_big-root.png 

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Bite, Curse, Mega Drain, Razor Leaf

------------------

RRMLh2K.png Paint (Gastrodon F); Lv. 31

E7Sgw30.png iROVOSw.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Hidden Power [Bug], Rain Dance, Water Pulse

-------------------

fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 31

sy35SSi.png 6zGSZ76.png

Item: Cheri Berry wGAwOpS.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Confuse Ray, Psybeam, Pain Split, Astonish

---------------------

TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 31

eERH91I.png Hz7GvKJ.png

Item: Shell Bell B7Bow2u.png

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Take Down, Growl, Fire Spin, Ember

================

FvRqJPG.png

Vs. Pastoria Gym Leader Wake

----------------------

SahmGVX.png

Gyarados, Lv. 27

                              SahmGVX.png

OQFpv2f.png                              

I led off with Garden against Gyarados and opened up by trying to set up Curse. He surprised me with a Swagger which further boosted my Attack. I decided to stay in, though, figuring my own defenses would help offset any self-inflicted damage and my defense boost from Curse would help protect me from Gyarados' attack. But while I was confused, I didn't want to continue layering more attack boosts, so I went on the assault with Razor Leaf. I was met with a Dragon Rage which did a fixed 40HP to me, but I was able to attack through confusion and hit Gyarados. He survived and went for a Super Potion, but I snapped out of confusion. The potion hadn't healed him enough to survive another hit from Razor Leaf, so Gyarados was down!

--------------------

lAzNb5w.png

Floatzel, Lv. 30

                              lAzNb5w.png

OQFpv2f.png                              

Floatzel was next and I honestly braced myself for an Ice Fang. Instead, perhaps Wake thought he'd pressured me enough with Floatzel and went for Pursuit expecting a switch. I just stayed in thinking my defense would help protect me from at least one Ice Fang. With Razor Leaf, I took Floatzel out in one shot after the Pursuit did next to nothing to me.

-------------------

kBVAUId.png

Quagsire, Lv. 27

                              kBVAUId.png

OQFpv2f.png                              

After Floatzel, Quagsire was a total joke. Just a single Razor Leaf and he was outta there!

--------------------

FvRqJPG.png LQgZm2u.png

And there goes the battle! Crasher Wake was defeated and the Fen Badge is now our fourth badge!

kbnvJWP.png

MVP: Garden

Yet again, Garden hogs the MVP spotlight! I didn't even get to use Earthquake! I have really good feelings about how well this guy will be performing for us in the future.

Well, next time we'll be working toward our fifth badge, but as you know, that'll require a bit of a detour. See you then!

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Pastoria City

With our fifth gym out of the way, we're actually not going to be detouring along Route 212 like last time. We'll save that this time for after we can use Surf.

Real quick, is topped by the move maniac here to teach Garden the move Wood Hammer using a Heart Scale! It's one of those secret moves that can only be taught this way! It's a powerful physical Grass attack that deals recoil damage.

N6kTpuF.png

Instead, we'll be jumping straight into chasing the suspicious Galactic Grunt delivering the package to Team Galactic.

USJdoeC.png

But before we get ahead of ourselves, of course Reach will show up for a battle before we can leave Pastoria.

===============

uEwudpB.png pX1wALM.png

My Team:

-------------------

cG54TIY.png Garden (Torterra M); Lv. 33

kbnvJWP.png OQFpv2f.png

Item: Leftovers* i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Earthquake, Curse, Mega Drain, Wood Hammer

*The Leftovers was held by the Munchlax I caught!

------------------

RRMLh2K.png Paint (Gastrodon F); Lv. 31

E7Sgw30.png iROVOSw.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Hidden Power [Bug], Rain Dance, Water Pulse

-------------------

fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 31

sy35SSi.png 6zGSZ76.png

Item: Cheri Berry wGAwOpS.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Confuse Ray, Psybeam, Pain Split, Astonish

---------------------

TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 31

eERH91I.png Hz7GvKJ.png

Item: Shell Bell B7Bow2u.png

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Take Down, Growl, Fire Spin, Ember

================

1QdxdMv.png

Vs. Rival #3

--------------------

mrRLS0X.png

Starly, Lv. 26

                              mrRLS0X.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

Leading off with Fireworks against Starly, Reach's Starly went for a Quick Attack to do a bit of damage before being taken down with Take Down!

--------------------

Sw1okcO.png

Buizel, Lv. 25

                              Sw1okcO.png

Hz7GvKJ.png                              

Another unfavorable matchup I didn't want to encourage.

                              Sw1okcO.png

OQFpv2f.png                              

I've actually realized a detail I'd forgotten about Gen IV! Storm Drain does not actually protect you from water attacks in this gen, that's a change added in a future game! It works just like Lightningrod where it attracts Water attacks but doesn't actually nullify them. So, instead of switching into Paint expecting to absorb a water attack, I switched instead into Garden who I was confident could take it and dish out a lot of pain in return. Garden switched in on a Quick Attack and all Buizel could do was hit me with a Growl before going down to a powerful Wood Hammer to the face!

--------------------

B1vh9We.png

Monferno, Lv. 28

                              B1vh9We.png

OQFpv2f.png                              

I have a counter ready for Monferno! His Fury Swipes was nothing compared to the havoc I was about to wreak with Earthquake!

-------------------

fdXI456.png

Roselia, Lv. 25

                              fdXI456.png

OQFpv2f.png                              

Roselia was even more laughable, unable to outspeed me, it had no choice but to take an Earthquake and go down.

-------------------

1QdxdMv.png

And with that, Reach was defeated again! Now we can continue following that grunt!

=================

GB9t5WH.png

Valor Lakefront

kpWERaD.png

We of course catch up with and battle the Galactic Grunt at Valor Lakefront where he escapes past the researchers at the entrance to Lake Valor.

ZVEosYN.png i_old_secret-potion.png

Of course, Cynthia arrives shortly after and gives us a SecretPotion to give to the Psyduck on Route 210 to ease their headaches and get them to move. With that, we get to move onward toward Celestic Town!

==================

vjyTGVJ.png

Route 210

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After using the SecretPotion, Cynthia arrives again to thank us and gives us the Old Charm to deliver to her grandmother in Celestic Town. So, off we go!

Now, you might be curious what pokemon I'll be using to make my way across the foggy area of Route 210. In Diamond, I used Stunky, but he is no longer available here in Pearl.

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Since it's Friday, this trek was lined up perfectly with the appearance of Drifloon! After a bit of thought, I settled on Drifloon to be my HM-user for Defog. The main reason being, with a bit of investment using the Exp Share, it's not too far off from evolving into Drifblim at level 28!

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This is signiciant because Drifblim is capable of learning three particular HMs. Two are shared with Drifloon -- Cut and Defog. The third, Fly, is just useful to have. The downside to Drifloon over Stunky is that it can't actually learn Strength. But, of the pokemon available in the Sinnoh Region pre-national dex, no pokemon besides Stunky and Skuntank can learn Rock Smash and Strength alongside Defog. In conjunction with Bibarel, I can have Bibarel use Rock Smash, Strength, Waterfall, and Rock Climb while Drifloon uses Cut, Fly, and Defog. In the postgame, I generally had to have both Bibarel and Skuntank with me in Diamond anyway, so I figured with this approach I could at least have all my bases covered whenever I do that. The only exception is the move Surf, so I'll have to make sure to always have a Surf user with me everywhere I go.

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Celestic Town

Our next stop is Celestic Town.

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Here, we'll have another standoff with a Galactic Grunt, deliver the Old Charm, and in exchange...

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The HM Surf! We'll immediately teach this to Paint and after we clear today's gym, we'll be able to explore the waters of Sinnoh!

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Hearthome City

And now we fly back to Hearthome for today's gym battle!

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Hearthome City Gym

We push our way through the gym, once again getting every question wrong on purpose to battle all the trainers before we climb our way to the top to have our battle with Fantina!

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And you're in for a treat, because this is the first time I've really felt pressured in a gym battle this playthrough! There's no clean sweep with Kuro this time!

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My Team:

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cG54TIY.png Garden (Torterra M); Lv. 34

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Item: Leftovers i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Earthquake, Curse, Mega Drain, Wood Hammer

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RRMLh2K.png Paint (Gastrodon F); Lv. 34

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Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Hidden Power [Bug], Rain Dance, Water Pulse

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fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 34

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Item: Cheri Berry wGAwOpS.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Confuse Ray, Psybeam, Pain Split, Payback

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TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 34

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Item: Shell Bell B7Bow2u.png

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Take Down, Agility, Fire Spin, Ember

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Vs. Hearthome Gym Leader Fantina

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Drifblim, Lv. 32

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Right off the bat, I wasn't really sure who would be best to lead with, so I opened up with Song. It seemed like a good choice early on. My plan was to get the KO on Drifblim using Payback, then use Pain Split on Fantina's following pokemon to heal off some of the damage from Aftermath and get a leg up. However, Payback didn't do nearly as much as I would've liked, namely due to the fact that it's still a physical Dark-type attack and the fact that its power isn't doubled since I'm going first. Even more concerning, Drifblim started to go for Minimize. So, I switched up tactics and went for Confuse Ray before going back to hitting Drifblim with Payback. If I was lucky, I could get it KO'd quickly if it hit itself a couple times in confusion and I didn't miss. Unfortunately, I was hoping for a bit too much. Even though it hit itself once, I wasn't quite able to KO it yet before it snapped out and hit me with Astonish. I went for Confuse Ray again, but it attacked through confusion and not only took me out with Ominous Wind, but got the boost to all of its stats on top of that! Yikes!

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Knowing Drifblim was gonna be a bit dangerous now, I decided to bring out my hardest hitter second to Garden since Drifblim was immune to Earthquake and resisted Wood Hammer. I got the Quick Claw trigger and Surf actually surprised me with its damage output, allowing me a KO on Drifblim! There was a lot of luck on both sides, but I did have some layered luck between the Quick Claw and Confusion, so I wouldn't say this was too much luck to be a satisfying KO.

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Mismagius, Lv. 36

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Mismagius was up next! I just went for Surf knowing she had Levitate. It did a bit less than half of her HP and I was hit by a Shadow Ball which I took fairly well. I was hit by another Shadow Ball which dropped by Special Defense, but my Surf critted and took Mismagius out! There's a bit more luck in my favor that time, but I'll take it at this point!

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Gengar, Lv. 34

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Our toughest foe might be gone, but we've still got a toughie to get through! She opened up with a Confuse Ray which caused me to hit myself. A Poison Jab on the following turn was enough to KO me. I suppose Paint could only hold on for so long. But things are getting dicey now! I only have two more pokemon left!

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My biggest concern at this point was that Fantina would heal her Gengar with a Hyper Potion, so I wanted to devise a plan to surprise her with a powerful attack to KO Gengar before she thought to heal it. I started by chipping away at Gengar's HP with Ember. I got her down to the yellow with a crit, but I was worried weakening her more might convince her to heal up. So, I switched.

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I switched Garden in on a Spite which was useless since I hadn't made any moves yet. I followed up with Wood Hammer which, despite the resistance, managed to do enough damage to KO Gengar!

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And with that, Fantina was defeated and her Relic Badge was mine!

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MVP: Paint

Everyone pulled their weight really nicely for this battle, but I think Paint contributed the most! She surprised me a lot with her damage output against both Drifblim and Mismagius! Drifblim was also the opponent I was most concerned with due to not really having any convenient outs for it. I was a bit worried about how to deal with Gengar once she went down, but I still managed! Perhaps if I'd trusted the power of Wood Hammer a bit more, Garden might've made MVP again, but Paint was the one my gut told me to go to and it paid off!

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Anyway, we can now use Surf outside of battle so next time, we'll be doing some exploring again as we work our way toward Canalave City!

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Route 212

Now that I could use Surf, I felt like this was the best time to go back and explore Route 212.

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While doing this, I could go ahead and grab the Sunny Day TM which I technically could've gotten a while back since it only needs Cut, but I wanted to wait for a more convenient time so I could get everything in one trip. But this, in conjunction with that SolarBeam TM I picked up at the Dept. Store, allows me to help Fireworks to cover her weakness to Water-types as well as a better option for dealing with Rock and Ground types. It is a special attack, but it's something.

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The Soothe Bell we get from the Pokemon Mansion here will also prove useful soon enough.

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Route 218

As we move on with our story, we'll head onto Route 218 where we've go tour next version exclusive!

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You can find Glameow here in Pearl version, I named her Crochet.

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Canalave City

Canalave City is home to our next gym, but like before, we've got a little bit to do before we go there.

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Of course, our first obstacle is Reach who we'll be dealing with across the bridge.

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My Team:

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cG54TIY.png Garden (Torterra M); Lv. 35

kbnvJWP.png OQFpv2f.png

Item: Leftovers i_old_leftovers.png

Ability: Overgrow | Moves: Earthquake, Curse, Mega Drain, Wood Hammer

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RRMLh2K.png Paint (Gastrodon F); Lv. 35

E7Sgw30.png iROVOSw.png

Item: Quick Claw i_old_quick-claw.png

Ability: Storm Drain | Moves: Mud Bomb, Hidden Power [Bug], Rain Dance, Water Pulse

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fKetzng.png Song (Misdreavus F); Lv. 36

sy35SSi.png 6zGSZ76.png

Item: Cheri Berry wGAwOpS.png

Ability: Levitate | Moves: Confuse Ray, Psybeam, Pain Split, Payback

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TWus4kR.png Fireworks (Ponyta F); Lv. 36

eERH91I.png Hz7GvKJ.png

Item: Shell Bell B7Bow2u.png

Ability: Flash Fire | Moves: Take Down, SolarBeam, Sunny Day, Ember

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Vs. Rival #4

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Staravia, Lv. 31

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Leading off with Paint against Staravia, I was able to take an Aerial Ace just fine and took him out with a single Surf.

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Roselia, Lv. 32