Greetings, adventurers, and welcome to the next chapter of my deadly journey through the land of Hoenn. In my last journal entry for the Restartlocke challenge, I caught some new Pokemon and trained them up in glorious battle against the Winstrate family. Today I’ll be traveling with my new team through route 112 and the routes following, but this chapter may be a bit shorter than my typical entries in the series. I’ve been really busy with work this week and with my City of Mist session this weekend, and it made it difficult to play much of Pokemon Omega Ruby in order to make progress. Next time I’ll do my best to make some meaningful progress – my goal is to defeat Flannery at the end of chapter eight!
For now, let’s revisit the team. After defeating Wattson in Mauville, I had to choose either three, two, or one Pokemon and get rid of the rest. I chose to stick with Nancy the Minun and MaiMai the Tentacool, the two weaker members of my team, in order to give myself more of a challenge. After that I captured three new team members: Cookie the Illumise, Flint Cragley the Geodude, and Tank the Numel. Unfortunately, Flint Cragley met his demise in his very first battle and is now with Big Rock Who Watches in the afterlife. That left me with four team members to work with.
Route 112 appeared to be a pretty short route starting out. I only had two trainers to reckon with there, a Camper and a Picnicker. I thought these designations were odd because the characters had similar uniforms, but the boy was a camper while the girl was a picnicker. What, girls can’t go camping? Boys can’t enjoy a good picnic? I set my questions about Hoenn’s gender politics aside and instead devoted my time to defeating the children.
Camper Larry had a Taillow and a Zubat, and two flying type Pokemon meant that my girl Nancy got to show off her Spark attack all day long. At this point I started each battle with Tank in front in order to begin switch-training him. With Flint Cragley in the grave, Tank was my best choice for a defensive Pokemon and I needed to get him trained up pretty quickly. Picnicker Carol had only a Gulpin, a poison type Pokemon. If Tank’s level had been higher he could have been a good option here – instead, I had to switch out to MaiMai. The Gulpin kept trying to build up its special defense using the Amnesia move, so I had MaiMai focus on Acid Spray to cancel out the stat buff. Eventually Gulpin gave up on the stat boost and I was able to finish things up with Water Pulse.
After facing the two kids, a staircase led up to a rocky plateau where the lift to Mt. Chimney was located. Of course, I couldn’t go there because Team Magma was standing in the way. Instead, I simply had to reckon with the two hikers loitering around. Hiker Bruce opened my battle with him using a Numel – a tough opponent for my team. You see, the only Pokemon in my crew that wasn’t weak to ground-type moves was Cookie, who was weak to fire. Numel could hit anyone on my team for super-effective damage, so I had to manage this fight pretty carefully.
With Tank in the lead, I decided to guess that the AI would go for a super-effective ground move. I needed to get MaiMai into the battle but a ground-type move could seriously mess her up, so I switched Cookie in to resist the hit and to bait a fire move. Instead, Bruce and his Numel went for Flame Burst. Luckily, this super-effective blow didn’t do all that much damage to Cookie. Now hoping for another Flame Burst, I switched in to MaiMai. This time my prediction was correct and the Numel hit MaiMai with an ineffective fire attack. This gave me the opening I needed to use Water Pulse and take out the Numel. Bruce’s next Pokemon was a Machop, against which MaiMai was the best option thanks to her poison type resisting fighting. Unfortunately for me the Machop knew Seismic Toss, which does damage equal to its level and ignores resistances. MaiMai managed to win the battle, but with only 3 HP remaining.
Hiker Trent presented even more of a problem – all three of his Pokemon were Geodudes. Three ground types in a row? Also with a typing that’s super-effective against Cookie? I really needed to find an answer to these ground-types soon. I tried to handle things with MaiMai, but a Magnitude 6 from Geodude took her below half HP from full health – a stronger Magnitude could very well finish her off. Water Pulse would definitely kill in one hit if the Geodude didn’t have Sturdy. I couldn’t risk it, so I switched in Cookie and used her to break the Sturdy on Geodude. Geodude started a Rollout chain, would could have been a serious problem for Cookie, but luckily he missed the second hit. I was able to heal MaiMai to full health and take out the first Geodude, so I felt pretty good about the second one despite my crippling ground weakness.
I hit Geodude with Water Pulse and naturally the stupid thing had Sturdy, leaving it with one single point of health after MaiMai’s 4x effective attack. It then unleashed a Magnitude attack – Magnitude 9. Magnitude 9 has 110 base power, putting it at 165 with STAB, which then doubled to 330 with the type advantage…if Magnitude 6 did more than 50% to her at only 150 total power, MaiMai had no chance of surviving a blow twice as powerful. I watched as her health fell to zero and she collapsed to the ground, slain.
With MaiMai defeated, I had no one on my team with the firepower to take on a Geodude. Nancy’s attacks were either resisted or totally ineffective, Tank was too underleveled, and Cookie didn’t have anything supereffective to use. I had to hope that Geodude didn’t have any dangerous rock moves and left Cookie in. Luckily, she handled the fight like a champion – she was hit with a Magnitude 10 and a Magnitude 9 back-to-back and endured both with plenty of health to show for it. While her attacks were a bit weak and took some time to take down Geodude, she showed no signs of slowing down once the battle was won.
At the end of route 112 was a cave called the Fiery Path. A new location designation means a new encounter, so I readied my Poke Balls and started searching for an encounter. I figured once I got it, I’d head back to a Pokemon Center to heal up my new teammate and say goodbye to MaiMai. I wandered around for a bit and ended up meeting a level 16 Koffing. At first I wasn’t too excited about this prospect – a poison type Pokemon meant yet another ground weakness – but then I remembered Koffing’s ability: Levitate. With this ability, my new buddy would be totally immune to ground-type moves! This suddenly made catching this Koffing priority one, so I switched in Nancy to do the job.
I first inflicted Thunder Wave to make sure that the Koffing was paralyzed. Luckily she didn’t appear to have any attacks that posed a serious threat to Nancy – Smog has a chance to poison but does low damage, and Clear Smog isn’t much stronger (although its ability to dispel status changes is pretty helpful). After that I used a Swift attack to whittle her down, but “whittle” was a bit of an underestimation – it took something like 70% of Koffing’s health. Unable to attack again, I threw a ball in hopes of catching her. Luckily it worked on the first try, so Britney the Koffing (named for the illustrious creator of the song “Toxic,” of course) joined my team.
Once I took a trip to the Pokemon Center to heal up Britney and say goodbye to MaiMai, I made my way through the rest of the Fiery Path and onto…Route 112? Turns out that the same route continued on after finishing the path, so there’d be no new encounter here for me. Instead, I simply moved forward to face the young trainer here, who had a Mightyena – one of the few evolved Pokemon I’ve really had to face so far. Luckily Cookie had type advantage and Struggle Bug was able to mess up the ugly mutt with little effort.
Just when I thought I was making progress, though, Route 112 led into Route 111 – yet another route I thought I had already explored. At this point I was back on the same route where I ended the last episode, making a circle that put me just north of the desert. In this area I was challenged by an ace trainer named Wilton, who had three level 20 Pokemon for me to face: an Electrike, a Bagon, and a Makuhita. I decided to let Tank take on the Electrike even though he was a lower level because of the huge type advantage. The Bagon presented more of a problem – these suckers can run Dragon Rage, an attack that deals 40 damage ignoring resistances. With no Pokemon on my team above 80 HP, that would be a guaranteed 2 hit kill on any team member. Luckily, Bagon didn’t use Dragon Rage if he had it, and I was able to whittle him down with Cookie’s Struggle Bug. After that, Makuhita was a cinch to face.
At this point on the route there’s a cut scene with a guy named Aarune, who is a completely ridiculous character. He’s a grizzled fellow, a wandered who has been all over the world in search of meaning and purpose. He’s seen everything life has to throw at him and it’s left him jaded. How old is this world-hardened adventurer? Twenty-five. Twenty-five is not old! What the heck, Hoenn? Anyway, Aarune gives you the Secret Power TM so you can begin to create your own secret bases if you want. That’s not really something I intend to explore in a Restartlocke, though, so I moved on pretty quickly.
And with that, adventurers, I’m going to wrap up this chapter. As I said, today’s going to be a bit short, and during the writing of this post my internet started acting up amidst all the other crazy stuff going on – next time I’ll cover all the stuff I didn’t get to do today and I’ll do my best to adventure more than just a single route. As it stands, I’m ending on route 111 when I ended on route 112 last time – I’m nearly going backwards! But soon we’ll be in new territory. I hope you enjoyed today’s chapter – thanks for reading despite the lack of progress!