Pokemon Ruby – The Challenge Begins!

Welcome to yet another amazing Pokémon Adventure! I know we haven’t finished playing Pokémon Black yet, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. You’ll see why in a second. Anyway, today we’re going to start our playthrough of Pokémon Ruby from the 3rd generation of Pokémon games. In retrospect I wish I had played Pokémon Emerald, since that’s basically the definitive version of the 3rd Gen games, but at the time of this writing I have about 15 hours of gameplay video already, and I’m not really willing to start over. I know what you’re thinking. “15 hours isn’t a long time.” Well, when you’re playing a challenge game, it can feel like an eternity.

That’s right, this is going to be a challenge playthrough. The Pokémon games are simply too easy if you play them normally, so there are a wide variety of rules you can impose on yourself to make the game more challenging. Some would even argue more fun. The most famous of these challenge rules being the Nuzlocke Challenge, where you have limited Pokémon, and you can never allow them to be knocked out. HA! Child’s play. No! What we’re going to do makes even the Nuzlocke Challenge look like a walk in the part. In fact, it may not even be possible to beat the game with the rules I am putting on myself. At least not without breeding a perfect IV Pokémon and EV Training them to absolute perfection. Neither of which I have the knowledge to do. So, what could this impossible challenge be?

Magikarp only! You heard that right. I plan to use ONLY Magikarp to beat the game. For those of you who may not know, Magikarp is useless. I don’t even mean they are weak Pokémon. There are lots of weak Pokémon that can be good if trained right. No. I mean they are quite literally useless. Until level 15, they don’t even have an attack. They can only use Splash, which does literally nothing. At level 15 they learn Tackle, one of the weakest, most basic attacks in the game. At level 30, they learn Flail, which has variable damage, but is in general not much better than Tackle. And that’s it. They don’t naturally learn any other attacks. They can’t even be taught other attacks through HMs and TMs. They will never, under normal circumstances, learn any attacks other than Splash, Tackle, and Flail.

So, let me make the rules clear for this challenge. I have found a rom editor that will replace the starter Pokémon with a Magikarp. Since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire introduced Double Battles, I plan to catch and train a second Magikarp when the option becomes available. Other than those 2 Magikarps, no other Pokémon will be used in battle. I obviously need other Pokémon to learn HM moves to make progress in the game. That’s just unavoidable. But those other Pokémon will not be allowed to actually participate in battle. If, for some reason, they do come out in battle, it will only be to give me time to revive and heal the 2 Magikarps. They will not, for any reason, be allowed to attack. Other than that, it will be a normal playthrough. I’m not using a randomizer or anything like that.

So, there we have it. This playthrough is going to be just straight hell. It may even be impossible. But let’s see how far we can get under these insane rules.

Table of Contents



Our adventure begins with a quick introduction by Professor Birch. He shows us a Pokémon as an example, in this case an Azurill, and explains the basics about how people and Pokémon live together. He goes on to explain that, even though people and Pokémon have coexisted for a long time, there is still a lot that we don’t understand about them.

Now that we know about the Pokémon world, it’s time to learn about our player character. I don’t usually name my character anything special, but I happen to be re-watching “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” right now. And since I’ll be the all-powerful master of life and death, forced to care for 2 tiny annoying creatures that make my life a living hell, I thought it would be fun to use that as my theme for naming this game. So, we will be playing as Grim, the new Pokémon Trainer who just recently moved to Littleroot Town.

Our first look of Grim is of him riding in the back of a moving truck with all the boxes. Not sure why we weren’t allowed to sit in the cab, but that’s going to be the least of our hardships going forward. At least we get our own room, or rather our own floor, of the new house. All our stuff is already up in our room, which makes me question what all those boxes in the truck were. But rather than worrying about that, we’ll simply gather our stuff up off the desk and head over to the lab to meet Professor Birch.

Before we manage to leave the house, our Mom calls us over to the TV to see our, surprisingly alive AND part of our lives, Dad. Apparently, he recently became the Gym leader of the Petalburg Gym, which is why we moved out here in the first place. Unfortunately, it looks like we missed seeing him on TV just now. Not that it mattered, we were heading next door to meet with Professor Birch right now anyway.

As would be expected, the Birch family was already looking forward to meeting us. Professor Birch isn’t home at the moment, but his wife suggests we introduce ourselves to their daughter while we’re here. With that invitation, we head upstairs, alone, to barge into the young girl’s bedroom, unexpected, and unannounced.

Rather than screaming at the sight of some stranger suddenly in her room, she’s actually happy to see us, or so she says. She introduces herself as May, and claims she already heard about us from her father. May claims she was hoping we would become friends. However, she’s acting very nervous talking to us right now and I’m not sure why. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact we are just standing here in silence staring at her after forcing our way into her room.

Suddenly she remembers she was supposed to be helping her dad with research and runs out of the room. Leaving us standing there alone to do whatever we want in her bedroom.

We quickly follow her out of the house, but she’s nowhere to be found. Luckily, there’s only one entrance into town, so she must have headed north. Sure enough, a child at the edge of town says he hears someone shouting down the road. Looks like she managed to get herself in trouble already. Side note, where does this child live? There are only 3 building in town, My house, The Birch Family house, and Professor Birch’s Lab. Is this child homeless?

No time to worry about homeless children right now, we need to go see what’s going on up ahead. To our surprise, instead of May, we find some older man being attacked by a Poochyena. It has him cornered as he shouts for help. Upon seeing us, he tells us to look through his bag for a Poké Ball.

Normally, this is where you would get to choose between Treecko, Torchic, or Mudkip as your starter Pokémon. However, we don’t get that choice. Instead, we get Magikarp. What are we getting ourselves into…?

With this terrible decision, we send Magikarp into its first battle. Unfortunately, Magikarp is useless at the moment. It knows only a single move, Splash, which does literally nothing. There is honestly nothing we can do in this battle other than wait for death.

Thankfully, this particular Poochyena got bored of the fight just short of killing our Magikarp and left on its own. So, we somehow manage to survive the encounter and “save” this man from being killed.

Turns out, this is actually Professor Birch, so it’s a good thing we saved him. Birch wants to talk to us some more, but considering what just happened, we probably shouldn’t stay here much longer. Instead, we take this conversation back to the safety of his Lab.

As a thank you for saving his life, we get to keep the Pokémon we used earlier to save him. So, this Magikarp is now ours. Since it’s a girl Magikarp, we will be naming her Mandy.

After this, Professor Birch tells us that his daughter May is out on Route 103. Since she is also trying to become a Pokémon Trainer, it wouldn’t hurt to have her teach us a few things to get us started.

With that, we head north out of town and quickly make it to neighboring Oldale Town. Here, we find the Pokémon Center, which we will probably be visiting quite frequently, as well as the Poké Mart, where we buy as many potions as we can afford right now.

Before we leave town, I also want to bring attention to this person at the west exit. They are blocking our path and preventing us from leaving town that way. Apparently, they have discovered a rare Pokémon footprint in the mud across the exit and wish to make a sketch of it before it disappears. We’ll talk to him again later and see how that sketch comes out.

Anyway, from experience, I’m guessing we’ll end up having to battle May when we find her. So, before that happens, let’s try to train up Mandy a little. This is when the reality of this challenge really set in. In order for Mandy to get stronger, she needs to defeat opponents. But she can’t defeat any opponents because she doesn’t have any damage dealing attacks. The only option is to use up ALL 40 uses (PP) of Splash, at which point Mandy will use Struggle. This is a default move all Pokémon can use if they completely run out of their other moves. But to use all 40 PP of Splash, she needs to stay alive for at least 40 turns in battle. We also can’t heal at the Pokémon Center between battles because that will also restore the PP of Splash. To make matters worse, we only have 12 potions, and no way of getting more right now. We’re going to have to plan it out carefully, or this game will be over before it even begins.

After running from a few battles, we finally find a Level 2 Wurmple. These will probably be the weakest Pokémon we can encounter in this area. On top of having a very weak attack, they also use String Shot quite frequently, which slows Mandy down, but does no actual damage. After a lengthy battle, Mandy finally uses up all 40 PP of Splash. Unfortunately, it also took 4 potions to accomplish this. If we continue the battle, we can probably defeat this Wurmple, but Struggle has recoil damage, and no matter what we’d end up having to use a 5th potion after this battle. Taking that into consideration, we flee instead.

Our only hope of keeping this adventure going is if we make progress. So rather than wasting our few potions training, we head straight for May on Route 103. As expected, she immediately challenges us to a battle. Fingers crossed we can make it through this.

Thanks to our previous prep work, Mandy is able to use Struggle right from the beginning of the battle. It does very little damage, but it’s enough to make winning at least a possibility. After a few close calls, and a couple potions, we actually manage to defeat May’s Torchic. OUR FIRST VICTORY!

Following the battle, May compliments our abilities as a trainer. Of course we’re great, we just won a battle with a Level 5 Magikarp. Anyway, her Pokémon is dead now, so for her own safety she needs to head back to the Lab and report her findings.

We follow May back to the Lab since we really have no other options right now. When we arrive, Professor Birch compliments us for beating May on our first try. He mentions that she has been a trainer for a long time and is very knowledgeable. I find that hard to believe since she only had a level 5 Torchic, but whatever. Seeing as we are an amazing trainer, Professor Birch decides to give us the Pokédex he ordered to help his research. Any time we encounter a Pokémon, the Pokédex will automatically record information on it.

Now that we have the Pokédex, we might as well help fill it up by catching as many Pokémon as possible. With that in mind, May gives us a handful of Poké Balls to get us started, and sends us on our way.

Upon leaving the lab, we quickly find our mom waiting outside the house to catch us. She’s very happy to see that Professor Birch has given us a Pokémon of our own. She even gives us some Running Shoes to help us on our adventure. Because in this universe, the act of running is physically impossible if you don’t have the right shoes.

With that, we head back to Oldale Town and discover that the person blocking the west exit is done sketching the rare Pokémon footprint. We also quickly discover that this person is a complete moron. Not only was it NOT a rare Pokémon footprint, but it was literally his own footprints. How do you mistake your own footprints for that of a rare Pokémon?!

Whatever, at least we’re able to leave town now and head out to Route 102. Unfortunately, we still only have a weak Magikarp, no money, and few resources. We’re also quickly confronted with this unavoidable trainer battle we must win in order to move forward.

Thankfully, we haven’t healed since our battle with May, so Mandy can still use Struggle right away. Also, this trainer only has a single Level 5 Zigzagoon, so it isn’t a very difficult battle. Mandy even gained enough experience to Level Up and get a little stronger.

We sneak around a few other trainers in the area and head straight towards the most important thing we need for this game to become possible, an Oran Berry bush.

Berries in Pokémon games technically started in Generation 2. However, Ruby and Sapphire really overhauled the mechanic into what it is today. Throughout the region, we will find various plots of dirt where we can plant and grow berries that have various different effects. For right now, we are going to be focused on the Oran Berry, which restores 10 HP when consumed. Basically, we can grow an infinite number of weak potions to keep us going.

After we plant our only two Oran Berries we continue west, still avoiding the other trainers along the way. We quickly make it to Petalburg City and head to the Petalburg Gym. Obviously, we’re not challenging the gym yet, we’re just checking in with our dad. He’s a bit surprised to see that we managed to make the trip on our own, and honestly, that makes two of us.

We don’t get to talk much before we’re interrupted by a young boy named Wally. Apparently, he is going to be moving soon and thought maybe he wouldn’t be as lonely in his new home if he had a Pokémon to keep him company. I guess in this region handing out Pokémon is something the local Gym Leader would normally do. Unfortunately, our dad doesn’t have a spare Pokémon to give to Wally, so he instructs us to help Wally catch one for himself.

Our dad loans Wally his Zigzagoon and a Poké Ball, and together we head out to route 102 in search of a Pokémon. We quickly encounter a Ralts, which is surprising considering how rare they are, and Wally manages to catch it after a short battle.

Ralts in hand, we head back to the gym to report how things went. Wally thanks both of us for our help, and then rushes out the door since his mom has been waiting for him this whole time.

Now that that interruption is behind us, we can get back to the conversation we were trying to have. So, our dad is happy to see that we are going to become a Pokémon Trainer, and suggests we head to the next town to battle the Gym Leader there. Obviously, he is a Gym Leader too, but he doesn’t think it would be right to challenge us now. He’ll wait until we have a few badges already so it would be a fair fight.

After quickly checking out Petalburg and just as quickly deciding there isn’t anything to see here, we continue west to Route 104. Once again, we avoid all the trainers and make our way to the northern section where there is another patch of dirt with some berries growing.

If we keep heading north from here, we can go into Petalburg Woods. But at the moment, we really need to train Mandy until she can, at the very least, actually attack. So instead, we’re going to head all the way back to Route 102 and start fighting some random weak Pokémon.

Now we come to the main roadblock of this early stage of the game. After just a few battles, we do manage to gain a level, but we also burn through our entire stock of potions. Until those berries grow, we must stop playing for right now.

“How long could that take?” you might ask. Well, Oran Berries grow to fruit in 12 real world hours. Each plant will grow 2 Oran Berries, and I currently have access to 5 plots of dirt. Since I have to replant one of the Oran berries to grow a new plant, and each berry only heals 10 HP, that means every 12 hours Mandy can take 50 HP of damage before we need to stop training. Before anyone says it, yes, I’m playing on an emulator, so I COULD just advance the time. But I’m not going to do that. I’m really going to play for just a few minutes each day, training as much as I can with just the 5 Oran berries I can grow each day, just like I would have to on the real cartridge.

So, for the next couple days, I guess this is going to be my life. Pick a few berries, fight a few fights, then wait to do it all over again. Check back for more updates to see how long it takes for me to completely lose my sanity.

I hope you enjoyed Pokemon Ruby (GBA). If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

Pokemon Journal: The Celestial Tower!

Why have I been stalling on this update for over 3.5 years? I’ve barely done anything, and I basically abandoned my game halfway through because of it. Sadly, I don’t have an answer for that question. But we’re back now, so let’s see if I can remember what little progress I made all that time ago.

After arriving in Mistralton City, we hear there is a sick Pokémon in the Celestial Tower to the north of town, and we are invited by Gym Leader Skyla to help. Taking her up on this offer we head north to Route 7, fighting our way through all the trainers and wild encounters along the way. This leads to very slow progress through the relatively short route, which is counterintuitive to our goal of rushing to help the sick Pokémon.

Eventually we do make it to the Celestial Tower, but that doesn’t mean out battles are over. Despite being the final resting place for fallen Pokémon in the Unova Region, we still encounter several trainers inside itching to challenge us to battle. Seems disrespectful, but I guess we’re in the right place if we end up killing their Pokémon in the process.

In addition to trainers, we also manage to catch a Litwick, and I am so happy about that. I know Litwick wasn’t a very popular Pokémon at the time, falling under the argument of lazy design. “Oh, look, it’s just a candle, the Pokémon Company has run out of ideas!”. Shut up! Gen 1 had eggs, a purple rat that evolved into a normal rat, and not one but TWO different ducks that both looked like normal ducks. Not every Pokémon has a complex design. Anyway, I’m a sucker for ghost types, and Litwick is deceptively deadly. Just look at its Pokédex entry. “Litwick shines a light that absorbs the life energy of people and Pokémon, which becomes the fuel that it burns.” Yeah, that’s not just a candle, it’s a candle that is literally sucking the life out of you to feed its flame. So, move over Munna, Litwick has souls to burn!

Now that we have our Litwick, we finally make our way to the top of the tower. Here we find Skyla who, obviously, has already finished healing the sick Pokémon. Of course she did. We took 2 hours to walk 100 feet out of town and climb up 5 flights of stairs. But since we’re here, Skyla says we should ring the bell at the top of the tower. It’s said the bell’s sound will reflect the nature of the person who rang it. According to Skyla, the bell says we’re a kind and strong person, so only good things.

With that, Skyla heads back to town and tells us she’ll be waiting at the Gym to challenge us. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume she never expected us to spend 3.5 years on top of that tower, but that’s exactly what we ended up doing. I think she’s waited long enough. Let’s head back to town and see if we can FINALLY earn our 6th badge and continue on our journey.

Current Team:

Litwick Darmanitan Vanillish
Level: 36 Level: 38 Level: 37
Serperior Swoobat Seismitoad
Level: 39 Level: 36 Level: 37

Play Time: 31h 55m

Badges: 5

Pokédex Entries: 86


Pokemon Journal: Trouble in Chargestone Cave!

When we last checked in, we had just defeated Clay, the Leader of the Driftveil Gym, and obtained our fifth Gym Badge. Normally this victory would also earn us a TM to learn the Gym Leader’s favorite move. However, Clay has insisted we meet him at the end of Route 6, in front of the nearby cave first. It’s unusual, but it does give us our next destination.

Bianca Herdier
Level: 26
Dewott Pansear Musharna
Level: 28 Level: 26 Level: 26

However, as soon as we leave town and enter Route 6, we are immediately stopped by Bianca. She’s impressed with our progress, and wants to battle us to see how much she has grown as well. She is definitely getting stronger, but sadly she’s not keeping up with Cheren and I. As such, she is easily defeated, but she doesn’t lose hope. After our victory she also hands us HM02 Fly. Apparently her dad gave it to her so she could come home whenever she wanted, but having a copy for ourselves will make travel much easier as well.

Anyway, we continue on through Route 6, battling all the trainers we see and generally training the team as we go. With Vanillite as the newest member of the party, she still needs the most training. She’s still very weak, but it feels like she’s carving out a nice little spot for herself already.

About half way through Route 6, we come across a small research lab. This particular lab is researching the changing seasons and how it affects different Pokémon. During our visit, one of the researchers asks us to show them a Deerling to aid in their study. Deerling are fairly common on route 6, so it’s not much trouble to catch one. Even so, there is no reward for doing this, which was rather disappointing. The researcher basically just said “wow, that’s cool. Thanks” and sent me on my way. Maybe if I show him all 4 of Deerling’s forms we’ll get a reward, but that will take 4 real world months to accomplish.

Leaving the research lab behind, we continue to the cave at the end of Route 6. As we approach, we see that the whole entrance has been covered over by a large spider web, created by Galvantula. It’s only then that Clay shows up to assist us. Using his Krokorok, he clears away the webs and hands us TM78 Bulldoze. With that he leaves us to explore the Chargestone Cave on our own.

We don’t make it far into the cave before we are surrounded by members of the Shadow Triad who escort us to N. N Warns us that Team Plasma is waiting ahead to test us and then leaves. So that’s great, there’s apparently an ambush waiting up ahead for us. Actually, is it still an ambush if we know about it ahead of time? Either way, we continue forward and are quickly approached by Professor Juniper and Bianca, now acting as Juniper’s bodyguard. In addition to giving us a Lucky Egg, a held item which increases earned experience, she also informs us that due to the odd electrical properties of the cave, there are many floating stones which can be easily pushed aside.

After sharing that information, the two head off to research the Klink Pokémon which is abundant here in the cave. Actually, the Pokémon here in the cave are almost unnaturally abundant. We can barely take more than a few steps without getting into another battle. Due to this high encounter rate on top of the various trainers inside the cave, we end up having to leave and heal several times before making any real progress.

Thankfully, there is a Doctor on the first lower level who will heal the entire party. Of course, we have to battle and defeat him before he’s willing to help us. With his location nearly half way through the cave, he becomes a very valuable ally. That’s not even taking into account the group of Team Plasma grunts lining the path up ahead. We end up heading back to him quite often just to make it through all the Grunts.

N Boldore
Level: 28
Ferroseed Joltik Klink
Level: 28 Level: 28 Level: 28

Eventually we make it through all the Grunts and find N waiting for us near the exit of the cave. He makes some comments about his dreams for Pokémon and challenges us to a Pokémon battle. N of course is no threat at all. A big part of his gimmick is that he only uses local Pokémon whenever he battles, and we’ve spent the last couple hours killing dozens of these same Pokémon already. So many in fact that most of our team has evolved in the process. We quickly defeat him, after which Professor Juniper and Bianca catch up to us. N and Professor Juniper have a quick disagreement over their views on Pokémon and then N leaves.

We all head our own ways after this encounter, with Bianca and Juniper staying behind to continue their research while we head on out of the cave and into Mistralton City. Almost immediately we are approached by an older gentleman who introduces himself as Cedric Juniper, Professor Juniper’s father. He has heard great things about us, and as students of his daughter, he offers to upgrade our Pokédex to include new search features. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m happy to have the upgrade. He also introduces us to Skyla, the Leader of the Mistralton City Gym. After a quick greeting, she informs us that she’s off to help a sick Pokémon atop the Celestial Tower, so we won’t be able to challenge her at the moment. We are however welcome to come along and help the Pokémon if we want.

After this, the two leave us to explore the town on our own. It’s an incredibly small town, even compared to the other small towns in the game. In fact, most of the town is taken up by a rather large airstrip. This town apparently survives by growing plants in their greenhouses and then shipping them to other regions with the aid of their cargo planes. Other than that, the only other point of interest in town is the Move Family which has a house in town. One member of the family is the move deleter, who will help a Pokémon forget a move, while another will help a Pokémon remember any move they may have forgotten.

Anyway, we should be heading off to Route 7 to help Skyla with that sick Pokémon, but that is an adventure for another day. Join us again next time!

Current Team:

Seismitoad Serperior Darmanitan
Level: 36 Level: 37 Level: 37
Munna Vanillish Swoobat
Level: 31 Level: 35 Level: 32

Play Time: 29h 02m

Badges: 5

Pokédex Entries: 74

It’s time again for some Pokémon artwork. We’ve got two great pieces for you today. Well… one ok piece and one great piece.

First off, we have Lucario, the aura Pokémon. As a Fighting / Steel type, Lucario is known to be a very strong Pokémon to have on your team. However, I have never really gravitated towards Fighting Types, so I don’t really have any love for Lucario. Unfortunately, I feel that can be seen in this piece. I’m just honestly not very proud of this one.

This next one however I spent a couple hours on trying to make it as good as I felt I could. Even without introduction, I’m sure most people will recognize Charizard, the Fire Breathing Dragon (that isn’t a dragon for some reason). Naturally, Charizard is one of my favorite Pokémon. I think he’s actually one of nearly everyone’s favorite Pokémon. In this piece, we really focused on the contrasting lighting caused by its Fire Breath and I think it came out pretty good.

So that’s it for this update. Be sure to check in again for more updates!


Pokemon Journal: The Frozen Battle and the Big Dig!

Welcome back everyone! As promised, I’m back to regular updates for Pokémon Black. First things first though, it HAS been several months since I last played, so before moving on, I take a few moments to reacquaint myself with my current party. Thankfully there are a good handful of trainers on Route 5 ready and willing to battle. In the process, my Herdier actually evolved into Stoutland, so that made me really happy.

Now that I have my bearings again, we head across the Driftveil Drawbridge and over to Driftveil City. The trip across the bridge is rather uneventful, but there is an interesting gimmick in play. Many bird type Pokémon like to fly over the bridge and you can see their shadows as you cross. If you walk to these shadows you can actually pick up feathers that have drifted off of them, or on rare occasion actually battle one of them.

Upon reaching Driftveil City, we find Cheren and what looks like your stereotypical Texan businessman waiting for us. Turns out this is Clay, the Driftveil City Gym Leader and the person Elesa called to let the bridge down. While Elesa may have spoken highly of us, Clay instead instantly hates us. Apparently Team Plasma was causing trouble in Driftveil City as well, and Clay actually managed to stop them before our arrival. Unfortunately, while lowering the draw bridge, the Team Plasma Grunts took the momentary distraction to escape. Redirecting blame to Cheren and I, Clay refuses to challenge us to a Gym Battle until we’ve recaptured the grunts. He also hints to the fact that my may have escaped to the Cold Storage area to the south of town.

Before heading south, it’s time to explore the new town quick. There really isn’t much to explore here though, only a few houses and a small market. One of the people in the houses was actually a move tutor and offered to teach our starter Pokémon a special move, in my case Grass Pledge. Apparently the move is only decent on its own, but becomes much more powerful in double battles when combined with either Fire Pledge or Water Pledge. However, I currently only have one starter, and it’s not a GREAT move on its own, so I’m going to skip it for now.

The only other thing of interest is the Motorcyclist Charles who can be found behind the market place. When you talk to him, he introduces his brand new battle style which he has dubbed “Rotation Battles”. In these battles, both sides send out 3 Pokémon all at once. However, only one Pokémon will battle at a time. So it’s not a whole lot different from a normal battle other than the fact that you can swap out those 3 Pokémon at any time WITHOUT it taking up a turn on its own. It’s interesting, and shows the Pokémon team is at least TRYING to keep it fresh, but I don’t really see much lasting appeal to this particular gimmick.

With the city fully explored now, we head south to the Cold Storage area. Apparently a lot of the workers here are bored and just waiting to fight any children that happen to be wandering around. In addition to the few random trainer battles, there are also a few patches of grass where you can encounter some random Pokémon. But our goal is to find the Team Plasma Grunts, and with Cheren’s help, we figure out they are hiding in the southwest most storage building.

However, I’m not quite ready to enter yet. Why is that you may ask? Well, while wandering around the Cold Storage Area I happened to catch a cute little Vanillite! I know Vanillite isn’t a very popular Pokémon, most people are instantly put off by the simple fact that it’s a food Pokémon. But you see, I like that about it. If you’ll remember, I also used Cherrim back when I played Diamond, and it ended up being a powerhouse for me. I’ll admit, the one I caught seems incredibly weak, even for its level, and I’m having a hard time liking it as well. But I’m willing to give it a proper try before passing judgment. That means we have some quick level grinding first.

So a good hour or so of level grinding later, my Vanillite is caught up with the rest of the team. It still feels much weaker than my other Pokémon, but I’m willing to hold onto it a while longer. Anyway, Cheren and I both enter the Cold storage area in search of Team Plasma. Inside, there are a handful of shipping crates seemingly randomly placed around the room. There are also several large patches of ice which cause you to go sliding across the room as soon as you step on them. I’m sure the safety inspector would just have a field day with these kinds of work place hazards all about.

After slipping and sliding and battling our way through the building, we eventually come to an open container in the back where Team Plasma must be hiding. Inside, there are actually a total of eight Plasma Grunts all huddled around Zinzolin, one of the Seven Sages. Upon seeing Cheren and I, Zinzolin orders the grunts to defend him. We split up the work and each defeat four of the grunts, after which point Clay and a group of workers show up to take them into custody. Happy with our quick work, Clay finally starts to take a shine to us and agrees to let us challenge his gym. Unfortunately, the joy we just felt is quickly lost as we approach the gym and see a standoff between Clay and Ghetsis of Team Plasma. After a quick exchange, Clay reluctantly agrees to free the Team Plasma Grunts into Ghetsis’ custody to avoid a much larger clash between the two.

This set back doesn’t change Clay’s opinion of us, and we are still allowed to challenge his Gym. Once again, it’s a very unique and interesting level design. It’s set up as a mini puzzle where you ride elevator platforms up and down a dig site until you finally manage to make your way to the elevator which will bring you down to Clay himself. Most of the trainers use a combination of Sandile, Drilbur, or Palpitoad to battle, so my Servine alongside my own Palpitoad end up making short work of nearly all of them.

Clay Krokorok
  Level: 29
Palpitoad Excadrill
Level: 29 Level: 31

We battle our way through all the trainers above before descending deep below to a crystal chamber were Clay is. That single crystal behind him must be worth millions alone. Why is he still wasting his time with a Pokémon gym? He should be retired on some private island by now. Fantasies aside, Clay does give us quite a bit of trouble. His Krokorok and Palpitoad were easy enough to get past, but his Excadrill nearly wiped out the party. This is partially my fault for being a bit arrogant. I first swapped in Vanillite to give it a bit of the experience, but also swapped it out for my Swoobat, thinking it deserved some experience as well. That ended up being a deadly mistake. After allowing the Excadrill to perform a few Hone Claws, its attack was high enough to defeat my team before they could even get a hit in. Honestly, Servine’s Leech Seed was the only thing that saved the day, slowly whittling down its health while I tried desperately to keep everyone alive.

Graceful it was not, but a victory is still a victory as Clay admits defeat and hands us the Quake Badge as proof. This is where most of the other gym leaders would also give us a TM of their personal favorite move. However, Clay breaks the norm by insisting we meet him at the cave entrance past Route 6 before he will hand it over.

So I guess we know where we’re heading next, but that’s all I have to report for today. Join us next time as we head out to Route 6 and see what more Pokémon Black has in store for us!

Current Team:

Vanillite Servine Munna
Level: 31 Level: 35 Level: 31
Swoobat Palpitoad Darumaka
Level: 31 Level: 32 Level: 32

Play Time: 25h 09m

Badges: 5

Pokédex Entries: 60

It’s been a very busy week for me, so sadly there is no Pokemon Art this time. But don’t worry, there will be more to come next time.

Pokemon Journal: Fun at the Amusement Park!

Well this is a bit embarrassing… Due to my semi-unintentional several month long hiatus from working on the site, i kind of forget what happened the last time i played. Since then, I’ve intentionally not played any more so as to not cause any more damage to this journal than I’ve already done. With that in mind, let’s try to remember what happened as best we can.

N Sandile
Level: 22
Scraggy Darumaka Sigilyph
Level: 22 Level:22 Level: 22

When we last left our adventure, we were just about to chase a couple of Team Plasma Grunts into the Nimbasa Amusement Park. We don’t find them right away, but we do manage to run into N once again. At his suggestion we ride the Ferris wheel together in an attempt to spot the Plasma Grunts from the air. However, the ride turns a bit unpleasant as N reveals himself to be the leader of Team Plasma all along. Not only that, but upon exiting the ride N challenges us to a battle to further stall for time while the Grunts escape. I don’t remember N feeling like much of a threat, but the battle does serve its purpose of stalling for time.

Obviously, they all get away and there isn’t much more i can do about them right now. So for now, we head on into the Nimbasa Gym in an attempt to win our 4th gym badge. I don’t remember the details of the Jr trainer battles in here, but i remember it being one of the most fun Gym designs in any Pokémon game I’ve played so far. The whole gym is set up as a series of roller coaster platforms. In order to progress to the Gym Leader, you have to activate the tracks and actually ride the coasters from platform to platform. I really hope the rest of the gyms in this game can match this level of enjoyable level design.

Elesa Emolga
Level: 25
Emolga Zebstrika
Level: 25 Level: 27

After riding all the coasters, we finally make it to the Gym Leader Elesa. Again, i don’t remember much of the detail of this battle, so i can’t really comment on it much. However, i do remember that she specializes in Electric Type Pokémon, and that i don’t remember having a terribly hard time defeating her. For winning, we are presented the Bolt Badge as well as her signature move TM72 Volt Switch.

Cheren Liepard
Level: 24
Pansage Tranquill Pignite
Level: 24 Level: 24 Level: 26

With nothing left to explore in Nimbasa, we head out of town to route 5 and straight into another rivalry battle with Cheren. At some point in time he also managed to earn the Bolt Badge and once again wants to compare his team to mine. However, the results continue to be the same as he is once again easily defeated.

After that battle, Elesa catches up to us and offers some assistance in getting over to the next town. In the proccess she also introduces us to a street performer who just so happens to be the Unova Region Pokémon Champion, Alder. Alder gives us some insight into his philosophy as the Champion and encourages us on our adventure. After this, Elesa calls ahead to the next town’s Gym Leader and asks him to lower the draw bridge which connects the two towns.

With the bridge down, our path forward is open to us. But that will have to wait for the next entry. Hopefully it won’t take quite so long this time, so look forward to it soon.

Current Team:

Herdier Munna Servine
Level: 31 Level: 30 Level: 30
Swoobat Palpitoad Darumaka
Level: 30 Level: 30 Level: 30

Play Time: 20h 45m

Badges: 4

Pokédex Entries: 53

Also back from the long break is the Pokémon Art Gallery. It’s been a while, so I might be a bit rusty, but let’s see what I can turn out this time.

First up we have Eevee’s latest Eeveelution, Sylveon. Sylveon is easily the cutest of all the Eeveelutions, which should come as no surprise given the Fairy typing. This is another painting that was done with pastels like the Vulpix from last time. Personally I don’t really like using the pastels paints, but this one came out pretty good I think. I even went back and put some extra highlights which I think really made the picture pop more.

Next we have Lapras, the transport Pokémon. I’m sure many people remember getting their Lapras back in Gen 1 and have fond memories of it. Personally I like how it reminds me of the Loch Ness Monster. As for the picture, this was done in the comic style, which honestly is what I’ve been wanting to learn the whole time. I learned a lot of good shading techniques with this picture, but I’ll admit I think I got the face a bit wrong. Lapras is typically seen with a very kind and gentle face, but I feel I may have lost some of that subtlety with mine… Still, I think it came out pretty good and I’m mostly happy with it.


Pokemon Journal: Wandering the Deserts!


Welcome back everyone. When we last checked in, we had just cleared out team plasma from their base in Castelia City, Collected our 3rd badge, and defeated Bianca in another friendly rivalry match. Now we’re heading out to Route 4 and pressing forward on our adventure. Sadly, nothing very exciting has happened since last time, but I’ll update you on my progress anyway.


I’ll admit I was a bit surprised when I first walked out onto Route 4. I wasn’t expecting to be walking out into a desert. Especially since Castelia City is a thriving sea port. Of course, since it’s a desert, every battle has the annoying sandstorm weather condition. Thankfully there’s a small building set up where you can rest and heal your Pokémon whenever you want. So it wasn’t that bad.

cheren pidove
Cheren Pidove
Level: 20
pansage pignite liepard
Pansage Pignite Liepard
Level: 20 Level: 22 Level: 20

Of course, we can’t enter a new area without SOMETHING happening. In this case, it’s another friendly rivalry battle with Cheren. Since we both got our insect badges, he wants to see how strong he is compared to me. Obviously, Cheren is no match for my amazing team and I end up wiping him out without much effort. Really Cheren, just give it up already.


Now that that’s over with, it’s time to get back to our adventure. But in truth I didn’t stay here on Route 4 very long. Not because I didn’t like it here, but because of the Pokémon I managed to catch. The first encounter I had here was with a Darumaka and I just had to have it. I’ve wanted one of these guys ever since they were first introduced. I just love the concept of a Pokémon based on the Daruma dolls. For those of you who might not be familiar with the custom, Daruma Dolls are a Japanese good luck / encouragement tradition. When you buy a Daruma doll, both of its eyes are white. You then make a wish / set a goal for yourself and color in one of its eyes. Then you set it somewhere visible so it is a constant reminder of your goal. As soon as you’ve actually fulfill your goal, you fill in the other eye to give your Daruma his sight. Finally, on New Year’s you will burn the Daruma doll as part of the New Year’s festival and as a symbol of letting go of the burdens of the past. This is most likely where Darumaka got its fire type from. I know somewhere I have a Daruma doll from when I last visited Japan. Sadly I’ve forgotten what the goal was I got him for, so my poor Daruma will forever be blind in one eye.

pansage pansear panpour
Pansage Pansear Panpour

Anyway, my new Darumaka is a bit under leveled compared to the rest of my party, so we need to get him up to speed before we really press forward. Because he’s a fire type, I figured it would probably be easier to train back in the pinwheel forest than it would be to train here on Route 4. Also we can give another go to catching all 3 of the Elemental Monkeys. Kind of two birds with one stone. It took a little while, but I managed to accomplish both goals at almost the same time. Darumaka is leveled up to match the rest of the party, and I finally have all 3 of the Elemental Monkeys. They’ll stay in the computer for now, but I at least have them.

sandile scraggy

Now that everyone is back up to the same level, it’s time to actually travel through Route 4. That’s not very hard to do, it’s essentially a straight line from one end to the other. However, there are a decent number of trainers here, so we might as well challenge them now and get some good experience. Some of the trainers have also mentioned a Desert Resort as well as an ancient ruin off to the west. I have a feeling I’ll be forced to go there later anyway, so I’m going to ignore it for now. In addition to Darumaka, there are also a few other Pokémon I’ve always thought had interesting designs. Like Sandile which is a ground type crocodile Pokémon. I just think it’s interesting since crocodiles are typically thought of as water animals. Then there’s Scraggy which looks like a little kid holding up his pants which are clearly too big for him. So after beating up all the trainers, and catching the various wild Pokémon, it’s time to finally leave Route 4 and go to the next town.


As soon as we enter Nimbasa City, we witness Team Plasma causing more trouble yet again. This time it looks like the daycare man from back on Route 3 has come to visit Nimbasa for some reason, and team plasma figured a day care would be an easy target to steal a lot of Pokémon from. Naturally the day care man rushes to me for aid and I’m forced to beat up team plasma for him. These grunts were so weak they were hardly worth the time. Curiously they escaped into the Amusement Park after I beat them. I’d love to chase them but I think I should check out the rest of the town first.


There’s actually quite a bit to explore in this City. After running into Bianca, we decide to check out the Pokémon musical together. This is a mini game where you get to dress up your Pokémon and have them perform in a musical. Basically this replaces the Contests from the previous games. This was such a weird experience that I honestly didn’t know what I was looking at. I’m not sure if I’ll do this again. Anyway, after we leave the musical, Bianca is confronted by her father who is insisting she return home. At first, it looked like this was going to be the end of her adventure, but then the gym leader, Elesa, shows up and talks him out of it. She manages to convince him that she’ll be fine and not to worry so much about her. I wish random strangers would have talked MY parents into letting me run away from home at 10 years old…


There are also two sports stadiums in this City. Depending on the day of the week, each stadium has different sports playing in them. However, no matter what sport is being played, you have the opportunity to walk down to the field and have battles with some of the athletes. When I played, the one stadium was playing baseball while the other was playing tennis. This would probably be a good place for some regular trainer matches if I come back each day.


Probably the most interesting feature in this town is the Battle Subway. Here you can have long strings of matches against trainers while riding on the subway. These matches are designed to be all about your skills as a trainer. You are only allowed to take 3 Pokémon with you, and they are all set to level 50 so you can’t have any level advantage. You also aren’t allowed to use any items, so it really is all about your skills as a trainer. If you can manage to beat all the trainers on the subway you’ll be rewarded points which can be exchanged for items later. I tried this, but I only managed to make it through 4 battles before I lost. I’ll have to really plan out my party better if I want to try this again.

All that’s left in this town is the Amusement Park. Not only have team plasma escaped into here, but by the process of elimination it must also be where the gym is. We have a lot ahead of us, but that’s going to have to wait for next time. Look forward to our trip to the Amusement Park next time.

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Current Team:

munna herdier palpitoad
Munna Herdier Palpitoad
Level: 25 Level: 26 Level: 27
servine swoobat darumaka
Servine Swoobat Darumaka
Level: 27 Level: 29 Level: 30

Play Time: 17h 58m

Badges: 3

Pokédex Entries: 45

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It’s time again for some Pokémon art. This time we’re switching to using pastels


For the first pastel picture we’re drawing a Vulpix. I love Vulpix, he’s just so cute. Then of course he’s gorgeous when he evolves into a nine tales. This picture however I’ll admit I wasn’t very happy with. I know it was the first time using pastels, but I’m just not happy with the lack of detail in this picture. Also it was the first time it instructed me to go without any pre-drawn guide lines, not even reference shapes, so I feel like my proportions might have been a little off.

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Pokemon Journal: The Incompetent Team Plasma!


Welcome back to Unova! When we last checked in, Team Plasma had stolen the Dragon Skull from the Nacrene City Museum. Together with Burgh, Cheren, and Bianca we all set out to find them and return the Skull to its rightful place in the museum. Unfortunately for everyone else involved, I was being lazy and called it quits for the day. So now that Team Plasma has had some time to escape, let’s see how far they managed to get.


Obviously, Team Plasma has escaped through the Pinwheel Forest and is heading towards the next town, so Burgh and I head after them. However I was a bit disappointed when we made it to the forest. I was fully expecting Burgh to stay with me and we’d fight double battles for the whole duration of the forest, similar to what happened several times back in Pokémon Diamond. Instead, Burgh offered to take the direct route to the exit and block it while I took the long way on my own to try to weed out Team Plasma.


So I’m now forced to trek through the twisting path of the Pinwheel Forest on my own. Along with all the normal trainers in the forest, there are also a few Team Plasma grunts waiting to slow me down. Apparently they too took the long way through the forest, and one of them is carrying they Dragon Skull. But why? When given the option of a straight paved path out of the forest and to the next city, or an overgrown twisting maze full of monsters, why would they have picked the twisting maze? What level of stupidity do they possess that would make them feel that was the better escape route?


It takes some time, but we eventually make it through the whole forest, and there is one last Team Plasma grunt to fight. After defeating this final grunt, Gorm of the seven sages shows up. He at first seems displeased with the grunt’s defeat, but quickly reveals it’s not important. It turns out the Dragon Skull isn’t what they were looking for after all. So it really doesn’t matter that they had to return it to me. He is however annoyed with my interference in their plans. Before he can act, Burgh and Lenora show up and Gorm decides to retreat for now, admitting he would rather not start a fight with a pair of gym leaders. So everyone is happy now, Lenora get her Dragon Skull Back, Burgh is ready to head back to his own gym, and I get to follow after him and try to take him on.

skyarrow-bridge-entrance skyarrow-bridge

As we head out of the forest, I can’t help but be impressed with the journey over the Skyarrow Bridge to Castelia City. It really shows off the new dynamic camera angles the game uses. All the previous games have been purely tile based with a fixed camera. Starting with this generation the world is actually built as 3d models. Not only does this look a lot better, but it allows for some great shots with new dramatic camera angles. Whether it be spirally behind you as the climb the ramp to the bridge, or the way the camera tilts and dives as you’re crossing the bridge, it is a great addition to the Pokémon series and I want to see more of it.


I’m quite impressed when I finally get to Castelia City as well. This is probably the most heavily populated city I’ve seen in a Pokémon game to date. The town is quite massive, with several important buildings. A few restaurants, an ice cream stand, the Battle Company, the Game Freak Building, and even the Passerby Analytic HQ where you can poll people with street pass. The streets are also overflowing with people. Sure they’re just generic pedestrians, but it still gives a lot of life to the city. Eventually I find the Castelia City Gym, and it would seem Cheren beat me here and has already claimed the gym badge.


I would love to battle the gym as well, but Burgh follows Cheren out and makes an unpleasant announcement. Apparently he just got word that Team Plasma is causing trouble here in town and he heads out to find them. We make our way to one of the ports to find Bianca with another girl, Iris. It appears Team Plasma has actually stolen one of Bianca’s Pokémon, so of course we have to find them and get it back.


One of the Team Plasma Grunts was stupid, and returned to the scene of the crime. They were however smart enough to run away as soon as they saw us all gathered there. Unfortunately this led us straight to their hideout, which just happened to be directly across the street from the Gym. After forcing our way inside, we find ourselves face to face once again with Gorm, as well as another of the sages, Bronius, and none other than Ghetsis himself. Bronius admits to intentionally setting up the base across from the gym, thinking it would be a funny joke in the end. He was however surprised to be found out so quickly. I was fully prepared for a tough battle here, but Ghetsis proved to be a very reasonable person. He told us all virtually his entire plan, something about reuniting the hero with the legendary dragon. After that he very calmly told the grunts to return Bianca’s stolen Pokémon and then they all left town, never to return.


Now that that is taken care of, everyone is happy again and I can finally take on the Castelia City Gym. The layout is actually quite interesting, though I’m not sure it would actually work in real life. The whole gym is set up to resemble a honeycomb, complete with sheets of honey stretched out between several gaps. These honey walls might look solid, but you can actually force your way through them with some effort. There are also several switches around the gym that need to be pressed in order to lower gates around the gym which impede your progress. After all the previous battles, none of the Jr Trainers were able to put up much resistance, and I quickly made my way to Burgh.

burgh insect-badge
Burgh Insect Badge
whirlipede dwebble leavanny
Whirlipede Dwebble Leavanny
Level: 21 Level: 21 Level: 23

Since Burgh is a bug type trainer, my Swoobat ended up being my go-to Pokémon for most of this battle. yes it is half psychic, which are weak to bugs, but that wasn’t much of an issue because the flying type attacks were super effective and took out Burgh’s Whirlipede in just one hit. Burge switched to his Dwebble which was also one hit killed by my Palpitoad thanks to Dwebble half rock typing causing it to be weak to water. Burgh’s final Pokémon, Leavanny, was the easiest yet. Since Leavanny is a dual bug / grass type Pokémon, it has a 4x weakness to flying type attacks. So you better believe my Swoobat was able to one hit kill that as well. Amazingly I was able to defeat Burgh without taking any damage at all, and with that I earned my 3rd gym badge, the Insect Badge.

bianca dewott
Bianca Dewott
Level: 20
herdier pansear munna
Herdier Pansear Munna
Level: 18 Level: 18 Level: 18

As soon as we leave the gym, we get a call from Bianca looking for a friendly battle. Apparently Iris has been trying to teach her to become a better trainer and she wants to show off what she has learned. We meet up inside the gateway between Castelia City and Route 4. After receiving permission to battle here, Bianca shows off the efforts of her training. She’s still fairly weak, especially after we just fought Burgh, but she’s getting better. It’s only a friendly battle after all, so she’s not too upset when we beat her.

After all this excitement, we can finally move forward with our adventures, but that’s going to have to wait for another time. So join me again next time as we head out to Route 4 and see what more trouble Team Plasma can possibly cause.

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Current Team:

swoobat servine liepard
Swoobat Servine Liepard
Level: 27 Level: 25 Level: 25
palpitoad munna herdier
Palpitoad Munna Herdier
Level: 25 Level: 25 Level: 25

Play Time: 14h 30m

Badges: 3

Pokédex Entries: 35

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It’s been a while, but i finally got a few drawings done this time for another Pokémon art gallery.


First up is the Legendary Pokémon Lugia! The Guardian of the sea, this Pokémon is the only thing that can calm the 3 Legendary Birds, as seen in the first Pokémon movie. Personally I’ve always thought his wings looked weird. They’re just so finger-like.


Next we have the Pokémon Series mascot Pikachu! This drawing was the final challenge for the apprentice level lessons. As such it puts together all the lessons learned so far for what is easily the best drawing I’ve done yet.

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Pokemon Journal: Battle at the Library!


Welcome back everyone! When we last went exploring in Unova, we managed to stop Team Plasma from roughing up an innocent little Munna. Then almost immediately after that we had to stop them again from stealing a random little girl’s Pokémon. We then traveled west to Nacrene city in hopes of gaining our second gym badge. Unfortunately, we were still very under leveled to even consider facing the gym. So off we went for some intense level grinding.


Most of the level grinding took place in the outer area of the Pinwheel Forest. I would have loved to train in the inner area of the forest, but Team Plasma is busy making a human barricade just inside the entrance. I’m not sure what they’re planning, but they’re mumbling stuff to themselves and it doesn’t sound pleasant.

tympole timburr

There were quite a few good Pokémon in this area, but I only chose one to add to my party, Tympole. These little tadpoles always put up quite a good fight, and the dual water / ground typing in their later evolutions makes them a great addition to the team. Of course the Fighting type Timburr would be a better addition to the team for the upcoming gym, but I simply don’t like to use fighting type.

throh sawk
Throh Sawk

Speaking of fighting types, I also managed to catch a Sawk while I was level grinding. These guys were really rare, and I got lucky to catch one. I’d love to catch a Throh as well to complete the set, but they are extremely rare in the Black version. They can only be found in rustling grass, and even then with only a 5% encounter rate. I found quite a few Audino for some good experience, but never managed to found a Throh.

n pidove
N Pidove
Level: 13
timburr tympole
Timburr Tympole
Level: 13 Level: 13

Now that I’ve gotten everyone up to a decent level, I think I’m comfortable heading back into town to face the gym. Before I can actually go inside however, I’m greeted by a familiar face, N. He challenges me to another Pokémon battle, and after all that training he was barely a threat at all. He does however make the first mention of the game’s legendary Pokémon Zekrom, so I’m expecting big things from him.


Inside the Nacrene Gym, it turns out it’s actually the town’s museum and library as well. After the damage we did back in my bedroom at the start of the game, I can’t imagine this would be a good idea, but to each their own I guess. The gym does have an interesting gimmick, you have to read the books to find clues to finding the gym leader. Turns out she was hiding in a secret room under one of the book cases.

herdier lenora watchog
Herdier Lenora Watchog
Level: 18 Level: 20

The Jr Trainers in the gym didn’t present much of a challenge, but I’ll admit I got lucky when I beat the Gym Leader Lenora. Or rather I should say she got lucky while fighting me. Her Herdier put up a good fight, but went down without defeating any of my team. Her Watchog on the other hand nearly defeated my entire party. The problem was that she had it use Hypnosis so often I couldn’t get any attacks in. Even after several sand attacks, it’s amazing how an attack with only 60% accuracy could hit me every time she used it. I finally managed to put it to sleep with Munna’s yawn, but it was still a struggle to defeat her. In the end, I only had 1 Pokémon left when I defeated her. But a win is a win, and that means I now have my second badge, the Basic Badge.



There’s no time to celebrate though, it would seem Team Plasma has stormed the museum upstairs and is causing trouble. We rush to stop them, but they manage to steal the skull from a dragon skeleton right before our eyes. We chase after them but they seem to simply disappear once they get outside.


By chance, we have a few guests at the gym entrance as soon as we head outside. First is Burgh, the gym leader of the next town over come to visit. He’s soon joined by my friends Cheren and Bianca. After a few quick introductions, we agree to split up into groups to search for Team Plasma. Bianca also gives me the Dowsing Machine as a gift from Fennel. I’m very happy to have this because now I can find hidden items on the ground.

Anyway, we need to get the Dragon Skull back from Team Plasma, so Cheren and Bianca head east back towards Route 3 while Burgh and I head west towards the Pinwheel Forest. I know it’s important to Lenora to get the skull back, but that’s going to have to wait till next time, because this feels like a good stopping point for me. So thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time when we once again try to teach some manners to Team Plasma.

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Current Team:

servine munna herdier
Servine Munna Herdier
Level: 22 Level: 20 Level: 20
liepard tympole woobat
Liepard Tympole Woobat
Level: 20 Level: 20 Level: 20

Play Time: 9h 30m

Badges: 2

Pokédex Entries: 25

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I know you’re all going to be heartbroken to hear this, but no art work this time. However I’m taking a bit of a break from the other articles right now to focus on this one for a while, so look forward to the next installments.

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Pokemon Journal: Let Go of That Pokemon!

Pokemon Black Logo

Welcome back to Pokémon Black. When we left off, we had just beaten the first Gym and received the Trio Badge. Then when we left the Gym, we were greeted by Professor Juniper’s friend Fennel. Fennel is also a Pokémon Scientist and is currently in the middle of researching Pokémon dreams. To do that she needs us to head out into the Dreamyard and track down a Pokémon known as Munna. This little pink Pokémon gives off a “Dream Mist” which is vital for Fennel’s research. So off we go to the Dreamyard.


We had already visited the dream yard once before, this is where we got our Panpour, but at the time we couldn’t properly explore the area. Now that we have our first badge, we can teach HM 01 Cut to one of our Pokémon to cut down the tree blocking the entrance. However, I wouldn’t exactly call this a safe place for children to be hanging out. It’s clearly the remains of a now dilapidated old building. We don’t have to come here alone though, Bianca is quick to join our hunt for the Munna and help out Fennel as well.

Team Plasma Grunts

However, things quickly turn bad when we hear the troubled cries of a nearby Pokémon. Turns out we’re not the only ones looking for the Dream Mist. A pair of Team Plasma Grunts are here too and they’re beating up on a Munna to force out some of its Dream Mist. We can’t just let this go on. Sure, battling Pokémon might not be the nicest thing to do with them, but straight out beating them up is just cruel. The grunts are weaklings, and go down without much trouble, but the weirdest thing happens after that. Out of nowhere their leader Ghetsis shows up and starts lecturing them. Not only that, but he starts teleporting around them. Now terrified of their own leader, the Grunts run off trying to gather up a good enough excuse to avoid punishment.


Now that the Munna is safe, it is joined by what I presume to be its mother, a Musharna. The Musharna comforts the injured Munna and the two float off together. Left behind however, no doubt as a thank you present, is some Dream Mist we’ve been looking for. Fennel is quick to arrive and retrieve the Dream Mist, having done no work herself, but she invites us back to her lab to see the good results. Of course, I need to catch a Munna for myself while I’m here, it just seems like it would be a good idea to have one. Before we leave, I would like to comment on the backwards tactics of Team Plasma so far. They were preaching that Pokémon are unhappy being slaves, but then we see them literally punching and kicking a baby Pokémon to get an item from it. Maybe some Pokémon are unhappy with their trainers, but I’m pretty sure all Pokémon are unhappy being punched and kicked. Furthermore, for driving away Team Plasma, that same Pokémon willingly gave to me that same item they were punching and kicking it for. Some people are just hypocrites I guess.

Dream World Friend Board

Back in Fennel’s lab, she rewards us with a C-Gear, which is a device used to interact with other real world players. She also grants us access to the Entralink and by extension the Dream World. Unfortunately, the Dream World services are no longer supported because the servers have been taken down. However it was an amazing feature at the time. You could put your Pokémon to sleep and enter their dreams. Then by logging onto the Pokémon Dream World website, you could play minigames online to win items and even catch Pokémon. The best part was that you could then send those items and Pokémon back to your game. This was an amazing feature that let you catch a wide variety of Pokémon that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to catch during normal play.

Dream World Garden

Another great thing about the Pokémon Dream World was that you could have your own berry garden there to grow and harvest as many berries as you wanted. This was a great feature at the time, and is especially devastating now that the services are no longer supported. Without the Dream World, there is now nowhere to grow berries in Pokémon Black and White. This isn’t a huge problem, but if you read my Pokémon Journals for Pokémon Diamond, you already know that I love having a healthy supply of Leppa Berries on hand. I’ll just have to make do without them this time I guess.

Unova Route 3

With nothing more to do here in Striaton City, we head north towards Route 3. Here we encounter the Pokémon Daycare which has been a staple of the series since the very first game. Here you can leave your Pokémon and have them gain experience and levels while you’re out exploring. More importantly, this is where you can breed Pokémon to get more of them. Some people would even go so far as to try to breed the statistically best Pokémon possible, mostly for competitive playing. I however am unconcerned with such things. I play for fun and that’s it. I don’t need to waste hours and hours breeding the “Best” Pokémon. I’m happy getting the best I can out of the Pokémon I already have.

Tepig Cheren Purrloin
Tepig Cheren Purrloin
Level: 14 Level:12

Anyway, after a few battles with the preschoolers (don’t judge me), we’re once again challenged by Cheren. He just won his Trio Badge as well and wants to show off how much stronger he has become. So it looks like we’re going to have yet another rematch with him already. What is this, our 3rd battle with him already? Whatever, if he wants another beating, who am I to tell him no. He has gotten a bit stronger, but not significantly. He also still only has two Pokémon. How he managed to beat the Gym leader is a complete mystery to me.

Wellspring Cave

As soon as I beat Cheren for the 3rd time, a pair of Team Plasma Grunts rush past us. Following close behind them are Bianca and a young girl. Apparently the Plasma Grunts stole the girl’s Pokémon and ran off with it. Cheren is quick to chase after them, and it looks like I’ll have to follow him. Together we chase them into the Wellspring Cave and corner them. Now Cheren and I fight together for once in a doubles match to teach those grunts some manners.

Wild Double Battle

Together, we’re virtually unstoppable against those grunts and we quickly rescue the stolen Pokémon. After returning it to the little girl, we can finally continue our journey towards Nacrene City. Along the way we’re introduced to another great addition to the Pokémon series, dark grass. In dark grass there is a possibility of random double battles. I love this idea, the doubles battles are such a great concept, and they make training go twice as fast.

Nacrene City

And so we finally make it to Nacrene City, the “City of Art”. Here many of the buildings are actually repurposed warehouses, and it is this unique cityscape that draws the attention of many artist types to the city. While exploring the new town, I learn pretty much the only thing I’m interested in, and that’s information on this town’s Gym. Apparently the leader of the Nacrene Gym specializes in Normal Type Pokémon. That means I won’t have any special type advantages with any of my Pokémon and I’ll just have to overpower them. As it is, I don’t think I can do that, so I’m going to end this journal here so I can go level up my party.

So thank you for reading this far. Be sure to join me next time when we face off against the Nacrene City Gym.

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Current Team:

Snivy Lillipup Pidove
Snivy Lillipup Pidove
Level: 15 Level: 15 Level: 14
Roggenrola Purrloin Munna
Roggenrola Purrloin  Munna
Level: 14 Level: 13 Level: 13

Play Time: 4h 20m

Badges: 1

Pokédex Entries: 16

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Time again for the Pokémon art gallery! There’s only one again this time. working with the paint is a lot different than the pens, and it’s taking me longer to get it to look good.

Art Chandelure

This time we did Chandelure the Fire / Ghost type Pokémon which resembles a Chandelier. This Pokémon is actually kind of creepy. The Pokédex entries state that the flames it burns are actually fueled by souls, and that all the souls it burns lose their way and are forced to wander the world forever.

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Pokémon Journal: Welcome to Unova!

Pokemon Black Logo

Welcome to another one of my Pokémon adventures! I took a much longer brake than I meant to since my last adventure ended, and now I have doubts I can meet my original goal of beating all the main series games from generation IV onwards by the end of the year. But that’s ok, adventures aren’t supposed to have time limits. You’re supposed to enjoy it for however long it lasts, and I intend to do just that. Anyway, I’ve begun to ramble, so let’s get this adventure started.

Pokemon Black Boxart

First, a quick introduction. I’ll be playing Pokémon Black from the Pokémon main series generation V. Released in North America on March 6th, 2011, Pokémon Black and White improve on the groundwork set by Generation IV’s Diamond and Pearl to bring out the full potential of the Nintendo DS. This time around we’ll be exploring the new region of Unova which draws inspiration from New York City and the surrounding suburbs. I’m actually really looking forward to this new take on the series, especially since I’ve lived in New York nearly my whole life. I hope it can live up to my expectations. There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by jumping right into the game, so let’s get going!


Before anything else, the game welcomes you to the Pokémon World and introduces yet another new Pokémon Professor. This time around we’ll be guided by Professor Juniper. If I’m not mistaken, this marks the first time the series has had a female Professor mentoring you in the games. Very progressive work on Nintendo’s part. Anyway, just like with the other generations, she will be guiding us as we play and will provide us with our first Pokémon as well as our Pokédex.

Cheren Bianca







However, the way we receive our first Pokémon is a bit different than usual. For the first time since the first game, we are actually eagerly awaiting becoming a Pokémon trainer. As such, the Professor has left a present at my house to celebrate the occasion. And not just for me, but for the two other new trainers in town as well. First there is Cheren, who is one of your childhood friends, and is very much the intellectual type character. But he has a strong desire to become stronger, and will no doubt be a tough rival throughout the game. As such he is already waiting at my room at the start of the game, also eager to start his own adventure. Unfortunately, not everyone has arrived yet, and it would be rude to start without them. This brings us to Bianca, another childhood friend. Unlike Cheren, Bianca is a much more flighty and lighthearted character, which also explains why she is late to such an important occasion.

Snivy Tepig Oshawott
Snivy Tepig Oshawott

Bianca does eventually arrive and together we open the present left behind by Professor Juniper, the three starter Pokémon of the Unova region. Our choices are Snivy the grass snake Pokémon, Tepig the fire pig Pokémon, and Oshawott the sea otter Pokémon. Since the Pokémon were left at my house, and because I’m the main character, I get first choice of Pokémon. Choosing a starter is always a tough decision because it can impact your whole game so much if you let it. So we have to be really smart about this. First off I’m eliminating Tepig as a choice. As much as the concept of self cooking bacon makes me drool uncontrollably, I don’t think I should pick a Pokémon I’d be tempted to eat. Plus I don’t like the fact he’s a Fire / Fighting Pokémon in his later evolutions. Before anyone comments that I’m just jumping on the bandwagon with everyone else that hates the Fire / Fighting starter, I want to knock that down now by saying I rarely use Fighting types in my party when I play. I generally prefer the Ghost and Psychic types instead. Now I guess I’ll eliminate Oshawott too since I used the Water starter last game. So I guess that means we’ll be adventuring with Snivy this time. I think he’ll be a good Pokémon, the Grass types usually have a lot of diversity in their move sets.

Player Bedroom Mess

Naturally, now that we all have our very first Pokémon, we just have to battle them and see what they’re capable of. Bianca is the first to challenge me, in fact the whole battle was her idea. She ended up picking Oshawott, so my Snivy made quick work of it for a nice victory. Unfortunately a battle inside up in my bedroom wasn’t exactly the brightest idea. The whole room ends up trashed. But if it’s already destroyed, there really isn’t any harm in having another battle here. By process of elimination, Cheren ends up with Tepig, which he claims is the one he wanted all along anyway. Normally his Tepig would be cause for concern for my Snivy, but at these low levels they don’t know any special moves to take advantage of the type difference, so my Snivy ended up winning yet again.

Unova Route 01

After our battles, it’s time to go meet up with professor juniper and get our proper send off into the Pokémon World. In her lab, she finally gives us each a Pokédex and asks us to help fill the pages. And so, the three of us set out together on our journey. It’s apparently the first time any of us have ever left our home of Nuvema Town, so we take the first steps together. Along the way to the next town, Accumula Town, we make a competition out of catching as many Pokémon as we can. There aren’t many different Pokémon to catch along route 1, but I managed to catch 2 Patrats and 2 Lillipups on the way. I dominated the competition since they each only caught one new Pokémon, but there was no prize for winning or anything.

Accumula Town

In Accumula Town, Professor Juniper gives us one more lesson before sending us out on our own. She gives us a brief guided tour of the Pokémon Center in town and all the things we can do there. Even as a veteran of the series I’m so glad to see the changes they’ve made to the Pokémon Center. Now, the Pokémon Center and the Poké Marts are all under the same roof for some nice one stop shopping. They’ve also incorporated the Global Trade System into the Poké Center as well, not that it does me much good now with the services being discontinued. Either way, it’s a welcome change. Now that we know where to go if we need help, Professor Juniper sets us loose, and advises we go see her friend Fennel in the next town.

Ghetsis Team Plasma Grunts







Upon leaving the Pokémon Center, we find ourselves confronted with a public demonstration by Team Plasma, this game’s main villain team. They’re holding a public spectacle in the town plaza where their leader Ghetsis gives a speech to the people about Team Plasma’s ideals of Pokémon liberation. Basically they seem to be the PETA of the Pokémon World. They believe that all Pokémon should be free. It’s a noble sentiment at least, but much like their real world counterpart, their noble ideals are lost in their psychotic methods. I’ve only just met them, so there’s nothing bad they’ve done yet, but any group dressed in full medieval armor can’t be up to any good.

N Purrloin
N Purrloin
Level: 7

As team plasma leaves and the crowd dies down, we also get to meet this games other antagonist, N. having never played the games, I don’t know too much about N, but his reputation definitely precedes him. He’s a rather odd character, but one that seems will have a very interesting story line ahead of him. After commenting on how he can understand Pokémon, he challenges me to a battle. It’s a quick battle, but I’ll look forward to our future encounters.

Unova Route 02

With nothing more to do in the small Accumula Town, it’s time to head out through route 2 towards Striaton City. As soon as we enter route 2 we get a quick visit from our mother. She came all this way to hand us over our running shoes. I’m so grateful to have them, it’s honestly torturous to be playing without the ability to run. Even with the new running shoes, I spent way too much time in this short route. It’s not that it’s a difficult route or anything. It’s just that I really wanted to catch a Purrloin and for whatever reason none were showing up. Then when one did show up I got a critical hit and accidentally killed it. So I had to go hunting all over again. But I did eventually catch one, and I got some good training in, so it all paid off in the end.

Lillipup Bianca Oshawott
Lillipup Bianca Oshawott
Level: 6 Level: 7

In fact I’m glad I got all that good training in, because as soon as I try to step out of route 2 and into Striaton City, I’m stopped by none other than Bianca. She’s done some training of her own and wants to have a rematch already. She has gotten stronger, but not strong enough to beat me, and that makes another victory for me.

Striaton City

Finally inside Striaton City, I’m ready to face off against the first of the Unova Pokémon Gyms. Unfortunately for me the Gym Leader isn’t around. Apparently he has gone over to the local Trainer School to help teach some of the aspiring young trainers.

Tepig Cheren Purrloin
Tepig Cheren Purrloin
Level: 8 Level: 8

Inside the Trainer School however, we still find no Gym Leader. Instead we find Cheren intently studying the notes on the blackboard about status effects and items. In an effort to put his new found knowledge to the test, he too challenges me to a battle. Much like Bianca, he has improved a bit since last time, but not enough to beat me. After his defeat he mentions that the Gym Leader was just here and that I must have just missed him.

Pansage Pansear Panpour
Pansage (Grass) Pansear (Fire) Panpour (Water)

So once again we head back to the Gym and sure enough, the Gym Leader is standing outside to welcome my challenge. However, it’s not time to face him just yet. Before heading back inside he mentions that I might want to train out in the Dreamyard first. In any other situation that would just be a helpful suggestion, but I know better. For a Gym Leader to suggest you not battle him yet, he means it. And that means we’re off to the Dreamyard. Without the HM 01 Cut, you can’t actually enter the yard to train. However, there is a person outside the yard that will offer you a free Pokémon. In this game there are three different elemental monkey Pokémon, one each to represent grass, fire, and water. This person will give you one of them based on your starter Pokémon to make the first gym a hell of a lot easier. Since I chose Snivy as my starter, I got the water type Panpour to add to my party. I don’t really like using traded Pokémon in my team, but I can’t deny that he’ll be a valuable asset for the gym battle.

Striaton Gym

Now that we have Panpour, I think it’s about time we head back to town and challenge our first Gym. The Striaton Gym is actually a very interesting one even compared to the other Gyms in the series. For starters, the Gym also doubles as a cafe, so there are tables and chairs set up around the building. Also all the trainers are dressed as waiters and waitresses. More importantly, the Gym is set up to teach new trainers about one of the game’s primary mechanics, the game’s complex variant of Rock Paper Scissors. Rather than simply tell you about it like the other games, this one tests your knowledge of the different type match ups. Water is good against Fire, Grass is good against Water, and Fire is good against Grass. Only after proving you understand this basic fundamental of the game will you be allowed to challenge the Gym Leader.

Cilan Chili Cress
Cilan (Grass) Chili (Fire) Cress (Water)

Speaking of the Gym Leader, this Gym is again unique in the fact that it has 3 gym leaders instead of 1. Each of the Gym Leaders specializes in either Grass, Fire, or Water and you’ll face off against the one that is strong against your starter’s type. Once again this Gym is designed to teach new trainers about the important of type advantages.

Lillipup Chili Pansear
Lillipup Chili Pansear
Level: 12 Level: 14

Since I picked Snivy as my starter, I’ll be facing off against the gym leader Chili who specializes in fire types. I was hoping to win this battle without having to use the traded Panpour, but that proved to be impossible. However, thanks to Panpour’s help we were able to score a victory against the Striaton Gym and Claim our first Gym Badge.

Trio Badge

With the Trio Badge in hand we’re officially on our way to becoming the Pokémon Champion of the Unova region. We can also use HM 01 Cut outside of battle now… if only we knew the ability. It would help us get into the Dreamyard to train properly.


I thought that would be it, we’d head outside and continue our journey, but the game has other plans in store for us today. Outside the Gym waiting for us is actually Professor Juniper’s friend Fennel. As it turns out Fennel is also a Pokémon Researcher who specializes in trainers and Pokémon dreams. Since Professor Juniper asked her to help us on our journey, she offers us the HM 01 Cut. We can put this to good use right away since we already have the Trio Badge. She also gives us the best news I think I could ever hear this early in the game. Starting with this game there is a major change to one of the game’s mechanics. The TM items which teach Pokémon new moves are no longer one time use only. They can now be used infinitely just like the HM items. I’m sure any seasoned Pokémon player knows what that means. HYPER BEAMS FOR ALL THE POKEMON!!!!


Of course, all this wonderful news comes at a cost. In return for helping us, she wants us to help her too. In the Dreamyard there are Pokémon called Munna, and she wants us to collect some dream mist from them. It’s a simple enough task, and we were heading there anyways. But that’s going to have to wait for next time, because that’s enough adventure for right now. I hope you’ll join me again and explore the Unova region with me.

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Current Team:

Snivy Lillipup Panpour
Snivy Lillipup Panpour
Level: 13 Level: 13 Level: 11
Level: 9

Play Time: 1h 59m

Badges: 1

Pokédex Entries: 8

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Now that I’m doing the Pokémon Journals again, that means the return of the Pokémon Gallery as well. So let’s get right to it.

Art Jirachi

Only one picture this time, but i think it came our really well. For this one we started learning how to use paint. So here we have my first Pokémon painting of the wish Pokémon Jirachi. I think it cake our really good. A lot of good shading and blending for a first time i think.

So that’s it for this first entry into Pokémon Black. I hope to see you again next time.

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