We’re on the scene in less than five.
After Elm’s call, all we need is a minute at the PokeCenter, and then Kain flies us to Goldenrod. Rocket is none too pleased to see us.
Make me. Have I introduced you to my sea draon here?
Y-yeah, okay. Right. Go on in.
That goon may let us in without any trouble, but there are plenty more inside who’re willing to throw down.
We’re winding our way up the floors of the tower, batting arboks, muks, and rattatas out of the way as we go.
We’re the cleaning crew. Heard some garbage has been piling up.
It’s going swimmingly until the first weezing appears.
He poisons Kain, so we switch over to Vivi. That’s when this happens:
Vivi is dead.
We’ll miss ya, buddy. Now who’ll get snot all over my the insides of my PokeBalls?
As tragic as the moment is, we can’t waste any time replacing Vivi on the team. Sabin’s been sitting this one out (since he’s already way overleveled and some other folks could use the experience), but now he’s one of the few appropriately-leveled Pokemon I’ve got back in the PC.
And we’re right back in the action.
On the next floor, one of the Rocket hostages informs us that their leader has locked himself behind this door:
We’ve got to find the director on the fifth floor to get it open.
Of course, it shouldn’t be a surprise when we find him that Mr. “Acting Strange” Director isn’t on the up-and-up.
I pretended to be the real thing to prepare for our takeover.
I am utterly unfazed by this revelation.
I’ll only tell you where the real director is if you can beat me!
You could also just… not. I mean, not that I’m complaining.
I’m telling you, man. This Rocket organization is totally misunderstood. I’ve never seen a crime syndicate so honorable. “Sure I could just keep my mouth shut and our plans would succeed, but if you defeat me fair and square in a Pokemon battle, then I guess we don’t deserve to take over the world.” Honor in defeat seems to be on page 1 of the Team Rocket employee handbook.
Whoa! This is the first 6v6 battle we’ve fought yet. May be harder than we thought.
…nope. It’s just five koffings and a weezing. Sabin crushes all six before they can even try to Selfdestruct.
Damn. Well, we stashed the real director in the underground passage. Here’s the key.
What a nice guy.
You know Rocket is trying to enslave all Pokemon, yeah?
If their plan is to disarm us with kindness first, let me tell you: it’s working.
Then it’s down to the underground tunnel. I knew it’d factor into this quest somehow.
Down below, Garland reveals he’s been tailing us. Probably in order to vicariously live the life of a champion Pokemon trainer, since we’ve dashed any hopes he had for himself.
…Wait a second. You beat me before, didn’t you?
Uh. You mean every time we’ve fought? Yeah.
That was just a fluke.
All three of them?
Sadly, this one goes even worse for our poor, intrepid rival.
Everything he’s got goes down in two or fewer hits. All except his fully-evolved totodile:
Galuf meets him on the battlefield for the kaiju battle of the century.
But when the dust has settled, Galuf is the one still standing.
The loss has… an effect… on Garland.
I’ve assembled the toughest Pokemon. I didn’t ease up on the gas. So why do I lose?
I know, right? How is it possible to lose so bad?
Love… Trust… Are they really what I lack? Are they keeping me from winning? I… I just don’t understand.
We’ve… broken his spirit. As incapable of realizing his own awfulness as Garland has been thus far, I think we’ve finally gotten through to him. He sucks. And he knows it.
He makes some comment about not giving up on his dream of becoming the best Pokemon trainer, and then quietly slinks off.
I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like we’ve finally done some good in the world. I can die happy.
Which is good, because just a little ways down the tunnel…
I think it’s for real this time, boss…
I’d be sad about this, but then you’d just mock me for having emotions.
…ain’t life… a bitch……
You were a true badass, Edge. I don’t know what we’ll do without you. Now it’s personal, Rocket.
Porom fills the hole in the party for now. I was kind of afraid of her evolving into nidoqueen and not being adorable anymore, but it occurs to me that we have an Everstone, which prevents her from evolving.
Now you’ll never grow up~
I can’t be your little princess forever, dad.
Our roaring rampage of revenge is put on hold due to this annoying switch/door puzzle. The switches supposedly do different things depending on the order you flip them. It generally makes no sense, but the brute-force approach avails us and we’re on our way again.
But to where?
We’ve ended up in what looks like some kind of warehouse.
And hidden away among the boxes is just the guy we were looking for.
The Radio Tower! What’s happening there?
Team Rocket’s in control.
Here, take this.
I’m begging you to help. Rocket may even be able to control Pokemon using a special signal. You’re the only one I can call on.
Wait. I’m sorry — “control Pokemon?” Like, they could turn Pokemon everywhere against their trainers? So they kidnapped you, stole your property, are holding your employees hostage, and they might be poised to kill thousands.
That sounds about right.
And it’s still not time to call in the SWAT team? I mean, these are legit terrorists at this point.
Shh! Don’t say that word. This is a kids’ game.
Back to the radio tower, then. It’s up to one kid to save Johto from the greatest terror plot they’ve ever faced.
Should we just start calling you Jack Bauer?
I’m into that.
The director’s card works. We’re in.
Any resistance we face from this point on is minimal. Despite some big talk…
Pretty soon, we’ve reached Rocket’s interim big boss man.
Seems their plan is to announce their return to power over the radio in the hopes that Giovanni will come back and take over again.
That’s… actually pretty harmless, compared to what we’ve heard they could be doing with the radio signal. But we’re here now, and they did kill two of our buddies, so Rocket’s going down one way or another.
The Rocket exec’s metal-ass devil dogs can’t even stand up to one Surf. It’s probably one of the easiest fights in a while.
And that’s the rather anticlimactic end to Team Rocket.
Still not clear on what those dreams were, exactly…
The director returns to thank us for single-handedly saving Pokemon across the nation, but we’re already looking back to the road. We’ve been distracted by this rocket nonsense too long. It’s time we got back to securing the championship.
…there’s just one more long, pointless distraction before we do that, and its name is Lugia.
Over in the sea by Cianwood City, there’s a series of islands blocked off by rocks and whirlpools. We can now get past the whirlpools using an HM we picked up at the Rocket hideout, so that’s where we head next.
I’ll spare you the boring details, but rest assured — we spend a good couple hours trying to navigate the maze of tunnels that run between the three islands.
Long story short:
After a long stretch of nothing but krabbies and zubats, we finally run into (and catch) a seel!
It doesn’t even occur to me until at least an hour in that I could Surf indoors, which would make this whole thing way simpler!
And at the end, we find that the only reward for the hours wasted is an encounter with a Lugia.
Which I’m guessing is a legendary Pokemon, being Silver‘s mascot and all.
Wow, a legendary Pokemon! So beautiful and majestic.
But we’ve already caught Umaro down here, so…
Great. Uh, let’s kill it!