Payback time. Team B, are you ready?
I am ready.
Uughhuh. Ugh’m reaby too.
We have some unfinished business with the Incredibly Pretty Trainer ™.
I know who you are. You killed my Pokemon.
Sorry, I don’t remember you. I kill a lot of Pokemon.
That’s… irritating. But you’re going down regardless.
Can we get this over with? I’m getting my nails done at 2:30.
Clefairy goes out first. Galuf turns it into a smoking crater.
And then it’s showtime.
Galuf, tag out! Make way for the secret weapon.
As soon as Sabin is out the gate, it looks like Miltank knows she’s in trouble — because she goes the seduction route this time.
I’ve never seen this move before, but the text afterward reads… “Sabin is in love with enemy Miltank.”
Great. Don’t you dare tell me that means he won’t attack her.
Huh. Guess not.
Nope. Not hesitating at all, actually.
Dang. That was fast.
…what? No. No! No, you can’t!
No! How could you kill Miltank? Your stupid, ugly monster was in love with her!
He’s a rock. I don’t think he understands what love is.
Now hand over the Plainbadge.
I hate you.
Oh, and break her legs while we’re at it, Graveler.
She had it coming.
Our friends are thoroughly avenged, and we can step triumphantly from the Goldenrod gym and toward new challenges.
And those new challenges lie to the north…
Route 35 fades off into the forest, and after we’ve hacked our way through the trees, we find ourselves on Route 36.
There’s a very small patch of grass here, an entrance to the “National Park,” and a certain tree blocking our progress further north.
In fact, it’s the very same tree that stopped us going west from Violet City earlier on our journey. It’s beginning to become quite a nuisance.
Will you cut down this damn tree, Vivi?
I woulb, but id’s ju’t too… wiggbly…
Since our forward progress is halted, might as well take a look at the National Park.
Turns out there’s a bug-catching contest going on. Catch the coolest bug Pokemon — win a prize.
According to this gentleman, we’ve got twenty minutes to run around in the grass, and at the end we’re allowed to keep the last Pokemon we catch, regardless of whether we win or not.
Of course, that sort of clashes with the Nuzlocke rules, where we’re only allowed to catch the first Pokemon in an area… so, uh…
I suppose we’re grabbing whatever we see first and sticking with that.
Edward — our soon-to-be-butterfree.
Then we find a cozy spot and… wait out the clock.
…For twenty minutes…
When the contest has finally ended, it turns out the caterpie catch hasn’t secured our victory. Shocker.
But at least we get to keep him.
We’ve also got that patch of grass on Route 36, where we capture this little rodent:
Porom somehow seems like a fitting name. That male Nidoran from Route 35, had we caught it, I suppose would have been our Palom. Hopefully he’ll show up again at some point and the twins can wreak havoc together.
That’s two new Pokemon in our arsenal, but we’re no closer to the next town. Some backtracking is required, but we finally find the solution in a random-ass house back in Goldenrod.
Yes? What about it?
Well, it gets super pissed off if you spray it with water. Try using this SQUIRTBOTTLE that you really wouldn’t have any idea I had here in this random-ass house.
Great. Back to the tree.
That escalated quickly.
Unfortunately, since we’ve already caught something on this route, we’re forced to kill the strange and wonderful new lifeform we’ve discovered.
Beyond, lies Route 37.
It’s probably worth noting that we’ve officially finished the big ol’ loop in the center of the region, as well as the road running out from it and to the east. All that’s left for us to conquer is that long stretch along the north and west. Five towns and five badges remain.
I honestly never even expected to make it this far.
We gather some nuts for Kurt to turn into PokeBalls and meet our third new Pokemon in the last thirty minutes, Strago:
I’m secretly a huge nerd for anything with antlers, so this is super cool with me.
But that’s the only interesting thing to happen on Route 37. A few more battles and we’ve reached Ecruteak.
In Ecruteak, all anyone seems to want to talk about is the town’s two towers…
The Tin Tower and the Burned Tower, where two legendary Pokemon used to live. The Pokemon are long gone, but the towers could be worth checking out while we’re in the neighborhood.
Okay. Just kidding. The custodians of the Tin Tower won’t even let us see the thing until we have Ecruteak’s badge.
That leaves the Burned Tower, where an old buddy is waiting to give us another one of his attempted cool-loner-guy speeches…
You say that like you haven’t been camped out here just waiting for me to show up.
No, shut up! I only came for the legendary Pokemon! I’m going to be the world’s greatest trainer, so a legendary Pokemon is perfect for me. And I’m tired of having a wimp like you always showing up.
Garland’s caught a new magnemite, and his gastly’s evolved into haunter — but otherwise this is the same team we faced a couple towns ago.
It goes similarly bad for him.
We may be missing Maria, but it turns out Vivi’s grass attacks are just as effective against Croconaw. Sabin’s the perfect counter to Magnemite and Zubat since he’s got rock- and ground-type attacks.
And the fight even teaches us a little something that’ll come in handy very soon:
Dark-type moves like Bite are super-effective against ghosts! Throw your whole body at a ghost with something like Tackle? No effect. Give ’em a massage with your pearly-whites? Death.
Thanks for the pointer, Garland. At least you’re useful for something.
Because it makes you feel like the ultimate wimp when you lose to them?
That’s what I thought. I’ll see you next time, alright? Whenever you feel like embarrassing yourself again.
We head back to the PokeCenter for a rest — and end up kind of distracted and leaving the towers for later. Right now I’m more interested in the Ecruteak gym; gym leader Morty presiding.
A psychic gym?
Even our helpful buddy at the entrance doesn’t have anything to offer about the types here.
What’ll it be, Sage Ping?
More ghosts. In that case, we know exactly what to do.
Galuf — sic!
These trainers have got gastlies, haunters, and gengars aplenty, but with Galuf’s chompers leading the way, they don’t stand a chance.
There’s the huge pit to contend with, of course, but even that’s simpler than it looks.
There’s a narrow, invisible bridge across, and it’s just a matter of trial and error getting to the second trainer. It doesn’t actually matter if you fall, since it just puts you, Zelda-style, right back at the beginning. And once we’ve beaten the next trainer, she tells us the trick to the bridge and we’re in the home stretch.
By the time we’ve reached Morty, I’ve discovered a second type that’s super-deadly to ghosts: ground. So Sabin and Galuf are just wrecking the opposition here.
The legendary Pokemon will only appear again for a truly powerful trainer. I only have a little bit more to go, and defeating you will get me there!
Not if the sea monster and the walking mountain have anything to say about it. You may want to just hand over the badge now, Morts, and save yourself the heartache.
He doesn’t take the offer, but it’s not much more trouble than if he had. Five minutes later, we’re walking out the door with the Fogbadge in hand.
Like taking candy from a ghostbaby.