When last we left our hero, he/I was being accosted by a lame bully for no reason whatsoever.
Come on, man. What’s your problem?
Where’s this anger coming from, man? Do you want to talk about it? Is everything okay at home?
Shut up and battle me.
Alright, alright. Gosh.
Totodile versus our Cyndaquil. Everything I know about fire and water in videogames tells me this will go poorly. Faris doesn’t have any of her fire attacks yet, though, so hopefully Totodile doesn’t have any water ones.
Plus, we’re a level higher and we’ve got healing items. This may be as easy as wailing on him until he dies.
Faris, use, uh, Tackle, I guess!
What a great plan. I’ll get right on that.
Wow, that’s it?
I’m just doing what you tell me.
Barely a sliver of damage. Totodile follows it up with a Leer, which if I understand correctly, means we’re going to be taking increased damage.
Alright. Well, give it the evil eye right back.
Now we’re even, but Totodile’s the first to take advantage of the lower defense.
Seven damage. Yeah, we’re going to die right here.
I’m not sure what to do. We’ve already Leered, and I don’t know how well Leers will stack. I don’t even know what Smokescreen does. I think the best bet is…
We exchange hits again. Totodile’s down to about 60% and Faris is at 8 HP. But then something weird happens.
Faris heals 10 HP from a Berry… but I didn’t use one. What? No time to wonder, because the battle’s still raging.
Totodile’s doing seven damage every attack. We can take it for now, but I know that if he ever gets a critical in, we’re done.
I rifle through our pack for a Berry and find that we’ve still got two. So that last one wasn’t pulled from the inventory. Weird.
Here, eat this berry!
Totodile scores another hit in the meantime.
Oh god, eat this berry too.
For a while, Totodile just wails on Faris while I try to keep her healed. All our potions and berries are gone.
It comes down to this last round.
The next attack decides this whole thing. We’ve already missed two out of the last three attacks, and if we miss this one too…
This is it, Faris. It was nice knowing you.
Here it comes. A swing —
— and a HIT.
Totodile gives up the ghost, and the weird bully girl is defeated. Geez that was close.
Yeah, but I’m even more happy that you’re butthurt about it.
To further humiliate her for picking a fight with a stranger and losing, we even steal her lunch money. All $300 of it. Feels good to be on the other side of this bullying racket for once.
What, are your parents malfunctioning robots? Now I think I understand why you’re so angry all the time.
Laugh it up, funny man. I’m going to be the world’s greatest POKEMON trainer.
Might want to start by carrying healing items.
But she takes off toward Route 30. Guess she doesn’t want any tips.
Note to self: we need some lightning attacks before we face this kid again.
Anyway, we’d better get back to Elm. I get Faris patched up at the PokeCenter and pick up a few potions for the trip.
The road back to New Bark Town is uneventful. Back at Elm’s lab, it sounds like one of the other Pokemon was stolen. My money’s on the Totodile.
There’s a cop questioning Elm about it when we arrive. Apparently it was a “young male with long, red hair.”
Yeah, sh– he tried to jump me on the way here.
He said it was ???. Weird, right?
Oh, wait. The game’s letting me name this guy.
Okay — a dopey, ineffectual bully of a villain? I’ve got it:
Happy with the fake suspect’s name we just gave him, the cop takes his leave. Elm complains some more and then asks about what Mr. Pokemon had to say.
He gave me this dumb egg.
AN EGG? Holy heck, what a discovery!
And you met Prof. Oak! AND HE GAVE YOU A POKEDEX?
I guess, yeah.
Clearly you have what it takes to be a CHAMPION. Go take your Pokemon and force them to die for you in sick, gladiatorial combat at the various gyms across Johto. Then come back and thrill me with your tales of bloody victory.
Great. Why is everyone in this world a lunatic?
On the plus side, Elm’s assistant stops us on the way out and hands us five PokeBalls. Which means we’re finally in business.
Let’s go meet some new friends.
We head directly out to the tall grass outside New Bark.
We can catch only one Pokemon out here on Route 29, and whatever we run into first is the one we’re stuck with.
Alright. What’ve we got?
Rattata it is.
Faris takes him down to half with one tackle, and I’m afraid of killing him and losing him forever with a second attack, so we try the catch right away. Luckily, it’s a success on the first ball.
And our new friend’s name? Well, I hear Rattatas have super-sharp teeth. Plus, they’re rats — so presumably small, fast, and sneaky. Sounds pretty ninja-like.
Edge goes into the pack for now, until we heal him up at the next town, and Faris fights us through another Rattata and two Hoothoots before we reach the PokeCenter.
We also check the northward path on Route 29 that we skipped earlier. Turns out there’s a potion up there.
Next we hit Route 30. One step into the grass and we’ve got our next catch. Meet Kain:
And then we even face our first non-rival trainer battles heading further north.
(Little Joey has a Rattata who nearly kills Kain and Edge before Faris has to step in and save the day.)
Faris is easily able to carry us through all the random encounters and trainer fights until we reach our next landmark: the Dark Cave. Not very inspired, but the name is apt.
Great. I remember this part from the first game. I’m going to need Flash to see in here, but I’m going to completely miss where you learn Flash and instead have to bumble around in the dark for hours.
While we’re here, though… I’m not sure what to expect in terms of wild Pokemon, so we might die a horrible death… but I’d really like to keep rounding out my team, and this is a new area. So I’m allowed one Pokemon from here. Let’s see what we’ll find right around the entrance.
Level 4 Zubat. Shouldn’t be too bad.
Its leech life attack is super ineffective against Faris, so there isn’t much to worry about. One tackle gets it down to two-thirds HP.
One more time, Faris.
Oh, er, whoops. I got a little carried away.
Welp, that’s a dead Zubat. And our first missed opportunity to catch a Pokemon. We get one per area, and that’s one area where we’ve completely lost that chance.
I was starting to feel so good about this Nuzlocke thing too. But there’s my subtle reminder that things can go bad when you least expect it. And the consequences are permanent.