Every path seems to lead nowhere. I seem to recall a similar point in Pokemon Blue, where the game stops giving you any direction about where you should be going next, and if you happened to miss a critical HM, your only option is to go back and comb the entire game world for it.
Which is what we’ve been doing for over a day now, and it hasn’t really gotten us anywhere. Aside from finding Flash (currently useless to us) and a new eevee, we keep coming up empty.
Surprisingly, it actually falls within my limited knowledge of Pokemon that eevee is special. If I recall correctly, you can evolve an eevee into a bunch of different Pokemon using different kinds of stones. A fire stone turns eevee into a flareon, and a… lightning stone?… turns it into a …volteon? Something like that.
Either of those would do, and it’d cover some holes in our defense, so I’d like to go grab a stone as soon as possible.
Our little eevee looks pretty cute and harmless at the moment, but knowing what it’ll be evolving into soon, I can’t think of any more perfect name than this:
Finding the stones, though, proves more difficult than expected. We check every shop in the region, and… nothing. In Blue, you could just buy them in the department store. We stop by the department store in Goldenrod… and nothing.
Stat boosters, healing and curing items, even a selection of TMs, but no stones. Now I’m convinced the game is just messing with me.
Where else could I possibly look for them? I suppose there’s nothing to do but continue the search for Surf and hope some stones turn up along the way.
Ecruteak is up next.
We never did go back to explore the two towers.
The inside of the Tin Tower is deceptively small, considering how tall it looks from the outside. Well, for now at least — until this guy moves off of what I think is a staircase up.
I’m trying to uncover the secret of the legendary Pokemon that is said to land here. I thought that if I had what the Pokemon has, it would be attracted by that item.
And what is that?
A Rainbow Wing! But where would I find one?
You’re not going to find it standing around here all day.
Which means he expects us to bring him the wing before he’ll get out of the way. So this tower, for now, isn’t much use to us. How about the Burned Tower?
There’s considerably more to this one, though it turns out even if we’d tried to go any deeper when we were here earlier, we wouldn’t have been able to. We need Leila’s Rock Smash just to get past the entrance.
There’s no way up any further, but we’re able to drop down into the basement, where we find three, erm… statues of Edge?
The resemblance is uncanny…
I don’t see it. What, do we all look the same to you?
I’m just saying… if anyone starts singing folksongs about you being the Hero of Ecruteak — I’m out.
I think we’re in the clear, because the statues promptly come to life and hop away.
Dwat a strange towb…
We head back outside, but they’re nowhere to be found. We’re zero for two so far in Ecruteak. But hunting around town for the escaped Pokemon does reveal something else:
Doesn’t sound very promising, but I seem to have missed it on the first trip. Can’t hurt to check it out.
AAAGH. It was right here the whole time?
This gentleman is willing to give us a “gift” if we can beat all the dancers in combat. (No reason why; I guess he’s just really into bloodsport.) Of course, the guy next to him drops that SUBTLE hint about Surfing.
Finally. I’m on the stage in a flash.
Five dancers, each with only one Pokemon. Easy pickins.
They’re ready with (oddly coincidentally) all the evolved forms of eevee: Espeon, Vaporeon, Flareon, Jolteon (oops), and finally…
And I’m actually surprised myself how easily Edge handles all five of them.
He’s only taken 27 damage across all the fights. Eager for our reward, we step off the stage and head back to Tophat Man.
The way you battled, it was like a dance. It was a rare treat to see.
Does dancing around here usually involve a pair of incisors buried in a spinal column?
Sounds like my kind of town.
Sadly, once he’s handed over the HM for Surf, we’re back on the road. Cianwood City awaits.
All six of us piled onto Galuf’s back, we float out into the open sea, “Route 40” — and into a swarm of tentacools.
We’ve got Rinoa already, so we pass on those. After a few more encounters, we run into one a little bigger…
Which we don’t technically have, even if it’s what Rinoa will evolve into. What the heck; let’s try–
Oops. Never mind, then.
The distance between Olivine and Cianwood seems endless, in large part because of how many dang tenta(cool/cruels) we have to fight to get there.
Are we even going the right way? Someone check the map.
The PokeGear says we have made progress. We are on Route 41 now.
41! When did we switch over?
How should I know?
I’ve lost count of how many of these squids we’ve killed, but somewhere in the mix there was also at least one goldeen. With no way of knowing which route the goldeen showed up on, I think we have to chalk that up as a missed catch for Route 41. Doesn’t seem fair any other way.
After much ado and confusion, we’ve reached land.
Just a ways down the beach, we find Cianwood, jewel of the ass-end of nowhere.
There this photo studio that doesn’t work because my Game Boy isn’t hooked up to a printer. (You could do that?!)
How about a beach full of rocks with krabbys under them? Wow!
Since we’re in Cianwood now, we’re allowed to catch the first one.
Also there’s this guy who just recently got harassed by Garland:
He gives us his… shuckle for safekeeping. It’s a neat rock/bug Pokemon, but we end up finding out that it can’t be renamed to fit the naming convention of the Nuzlocke. So we release it into the wild. I’m sure it’ll be fine.
And finally, Cianwood’s claim-to-fame! …a pharmacy.
“500 Years of Tradition”
It’s just an Elton John impersonator in a shack, but he’s got the stuff, so I’m not questioning his methods.
Cianwood does also have a gym, though, and did you really expect me to leave town before grabbing the badge? Sick Pokemon can wait.
Not to mention that there’s a woman outside who’s ready to hand over the HM for Fly if we can just beat Cianwood’s gym leader: Chuck, master of fighting-types.
For whatever reason, our buddy isn’t here to give us any help, and I don’t know what’s good against fighting Pokemon. Psychic, maybe?
Kain’s got Hypnosis, at least, which is psychic. And according to my notes, fighting hasn’t been very effective against water or grass, so we’re bringing Vivi, Galuf, and Tifa along. We’ll see how they do against the minions.
Galuf does well enough against the first hitmonlee.
But the next fighter, hitmonchan, busts out the Thunderpunch and Galuf is not a fan.
Maybe Vivi would be better?
Vivi, you’re up front.
Obkay, bwat’s negst?
Oh my god, what a horrifying monster. Is that really the disgusting hellcreature Yang is going to evolve into?
The good news is that Vivi takes the machoke out with style.
I think we’re ready for Chuck.
WAHAHAH! So you’ve come this far! Let me tell you, I’m tough!
Confident one, this.
My Pokemon will crush stones and shatter bones! Watch this!
If this meathead has a hernia and can’t battle, does he have to forfeit the badge?
Chuck finally manages to… not “crush” or “shatter” anything, but at least toss the boulder a few feet, up onto the statue next to him.
The feat of strength has nothing to do with Pokemon battling, sure, but maybe Chuck just needs to psych himself up.
I would too if I only had two Pokemon. Geez. All that buildup and that’s all you’ve got for us?
Light ’em up, Galuf.
Galuf burns up the primeape in two shots of Dragon Rage.
Wait, what? Isn’t the poli-whatever line water-type? Weird.
Vivi would be super effective against this guy, but I don’t even bother bringing him out and giving Poliwrath a free hit. Galuf can take out the trash no problem.
For the trouble, Chuck bestows the Stormbadge and TM01 — Dynamic Punch. It’s a fighting move with low accuracy, but huge damage and 100% chance to cause confusion.
It goes straight to Yang.
And outside, the nice lady keeps up her end of the bargain.
We teach Fly to Kain and all zoom off back to Olivine.
After a quick stop at the PokeCenter, we hit up Jasmine.
She’s eagerly awaiting the secretpotion at the top if the lighthouse.
Here’s the cure from Cianwood.
Oh, I’m so relieved. Thank you so very, very much. I will return to the gym…
Anticlimactic. We’ll meet her there, then.
Now that Jasmine’s back, our fanboy tag-along tries to give us some more tips on the steel-types she’ll be using. But it’s a newly-discovered type of Pokemon and this is about all he can tell us:
Thanks anyway. I guess we can call this field research.
Let’s do it.
Oh. Magnemite? That’s not so scary — I know just how to deal with you.
Galuf, you’re out. Sabin, go!
The ground move wipes out the half-electric magnemite in one go. Then —
Well, that’s new.
With no hints what’s effective against steel, we switch back to Galuf. His Dragon Rage at least is moderately effective against every type. It may be our best bet.
A third of his health on each hit. Steelix counters with…
Excuse me? Sunny Day? How terrifying.
The next two rounds it goes for a more conventional attack — Rock Throw.
Despite being super-effective against Galuf’s flying-type, he doesn’t take near enough damage for it to be a threat. And two more blasts of Dragon Rage ends Steelix for good.
Jasmine throws another magnemite out, but the battle’s already won.
That’s two more gym leaders down in the last half-hour.
You are a better trainer than me, in both skill and kindness.
The first one, sure. But I don’t think she understands the part where all we were ever interested in was the badge.
Shh. You’re ruining the moment.