In Which Random Number God Is More Dangerous Than Gym Leaders
My four brave servants follow me back into Viridian Forest, where I proceed to grind them all up to about level 8 or so in the grass patches. This is important - the Trainers in here all pack level 7 or 8 followers, and being underleveled relative to anyone you’re fighting at any point in a Nuzlocke run is Bad News.
This pays off fairly well, as I proceed to stomp my way through the yet-to-be-renamed Bug Catchers. They pack the same three girls (or boys the other fifty percent of the time, as it were) in assorted combinations, and none of them are that threatening. Luna has junky defenses, Sunny tends to spam Tackle (which, having been moved into the new Beast type, is highly ineffectual against Yoriko), and Star’s Water type lets Endymion spam electricity for quick kills.
I say these things, but a surprisingly well-fated Sunny manages to force Yoriko into missing several attacks via a single application of Sand-Attack. This continues until my little birdgirl is tackled down to about two-thirds HP, at which point it finally lets loose an Ember.
Yoriko has fainted.◊
This is the irksome part about playing a Nuzlocke run. I was hedging my bets on Yoriko, since Flying type is absolute Kryptonite to Brock’s Earth types. Now I have to grind the daylights out of Lewis and Minnie, since Endymion is still useless in that matchup.
But that’s just the irksome part. The truly awful part is laying your poor girls to rest.◊
So it’s grinding time, and grind I do, taking advantage of the fact that nothing in the forest actually knows moves that are super-effective against my surviving puppets. Between this and the wonder of having an emulator speed booster mapped to the spacebar, I rapidly grind Lewis up to 16 and Minnie to 17.
This is pretty much exactly what I need to curbstomp everything in the Pewter Gym. The first (and only) generic trainer of the gym is packing two Yamames, which is bad for him because Yamame’s Miasma type makes it weak against Lewis’s mind bullets. As for Brock himself…
Brock packs two minions – a level 15 Suika and a level 17 Yuugi. Both are Earth types, and with the absence of a separate Rock type, that means they both get the dreaded Same Type Attack Boost on Brock’s signature-for-his-team move, Rock Tomb. However, there is a surprise benefit to all of those former Rock moves being rolled into Earth, and that is that they only do half damage against Beast types. This will be important to exploit.
The Suika gets to tangle with Lewis. I know from a previous attempt at the game – which ended on the same day that I posted the zero entry of this blog, due to that computer finally giving up the ghost – that this particular Suika has a bad habit of spamming Harden as long as it has higher speed than my goon, and throwing Rock Tomb until the speed debuff brings my goy’s speed under its if it’s on the slower end.
Remember how Lewis had really low speed?
Suika endlessly spams Harden as I gleefully ignore its physical defense entirely, grinding it to nothing with Lewis’s mind bullets.
Yuugi is much more aggressive, and winds up facing Minnie instead. The little mouse knocks off a third of the oni’s HP first turn, to which the oni responds by yelling really loudly
for an attack boost. A second round of vicious, toothy biting knocks Yuugi down to about a quarter health, but the oni responds with a dreadfully powerful Rock Tomb…
…Which, thanks to Minnie’s Beast type, gets its damage cut in half, not quite leaving enough damage to take half of my mean little mouse’s HP off.
One last bite finishes the fight.
Funny, I don’t remember Brock ever being this painless. If only Random Nonentity Trainer #3 was like that...
And now you've proven why I don't like the idea of doing a Nuzlocke run: having your entire long-term gameplan wrecked by one bout of bad luck with the RNG does not sound fun to me.