In Which I Digress Too Much
We’ve all seen the Professor Oak lecture before, so I think we can skip reviewing it.
One of the goofy things about this hack is that the version I’m using still has the default sprites installed for the character select. “Are you a boy? Or a girl?” involves blindly picking a character whose sprite you won’t know until you start.
Unless, like me, you have tried it out before, and know that picking “Boy” (or “Girl”, for that matter, since it’s an entirely moot choice) nets you…
Some people would write it off as just a lazily uncorrected piece of text. I, however, like making a big deal of smaller oversights, which is why I’m assuming that my avatar Weasel wakes up the morning after every new clothing purchase to find that his suitably manly suits have been replaced by gigantic purple dresses with falsies stitched in. In addition to baseline comedy value, this conceit makes it easier to explain something else.◊
Yes, the blue gender icons indicate that two of those four puppets in the shape of little girls are actually in the shape of crossdressed little boys. The developer of the Japanese version was apparently planning on replacing “male and female” with “yin-charged and yang-charged” (not sure if it was respectively or not), but whether it’s the J-version not having that implemented, laziness on the ENG hacker’s side, or an attempt at making things easier to understand mechanically, this little hack still has normal gender icons. And unlike the 1.5 version (where males only composed a small fraction of each species), the 1.8 version of this hack has balanced gender ratios – which causes situations like the above, where half of my party is dudes in dresses.
I’m writing it off as crossdressing puppets getting along well with crossdressing humans. See, when you make bullshit up, everything makes sense! Sort of.
ANYways. The initial sequence of “Don’t go into the grass!” and being handed a Pokemon
malignant puppet works exactly as it did in the original Fire Red, down to the hilariously inane text. There are three starter options, belonging to the new type triangle of Shinto beating Heart beating Reason beating Shinto.
I could take Sanae◊
, the Shinto type, a very tankish little thing with a predilection for learning moves that piggyback status effects...
, the Heart type, a high-speed Special sweeper…
Or if I’m feeling cheeky, Alice◊
, a resilient Reason-type who gains pretty good Special Attack as compensation for awful speed.
After watching the initial practice battle play out, I am feeling quite cheeky indeed.
Those sample screens were taken by savestating around in a New Game that never got a real save, after I started the playthrough, because I had forgotten to do so beforehand. This is why Lewis here◊
has a notably different stat balance – and, more importantly, a different ability – from the sample Alice.
If you aren’t playing competitively or Nuzlocking, an ability that blocks out stat debuffs is not that great. If you are, though, it lets you continue fighting without having your effectiveness sapped or wasting precious turns on switching out to another party member. As an added bonus, Nuzlockes involve fighting a lot of CPU enemies, whose A.I. Roulette
tends to leave them wasting turns themselves on futile attempts to lower your Defense. In other words, Lewis is pretty much perfect for this challenge, especially as I’m playing without the popular “immortal starter” bonus rule.
I’m lucky enough to rush from Pallet Town to Viridian City without any encounters. After returning to Pallet Town with the Package of Fed-Ex Quests, I happily snap up some Pokeballs
Touhou Orbs and head back to Route 1 to go catch my first reinforcement.
And even for the very early-game Tokiko species
, Yoriko (who would have been Yomiko
if I hadn't spelled it wrong) is actually pretty terrible◊
. She must have really low IVs.
That aside, I head to route 2 and encounter a Nazrin, who I promptly capGODDAMN CRITICAL HITS. I don’t capture it, it’s too dead.
So I head to route 22’s sole patch of brush and encounter a Nazrin, who I promptly capture.
is in better shape◊
, aside from the low HP, and Pick Up is always welcome… but she’s Beast type, and Beast type has a ton of really inconvenient weaknesses, relegating her to being bench fodder for most fights in this part of the game. Worse, the fact I knocked out the Nazrin on Route 2 and encountered Minnie on Route 22 means I can't exploit the "no duplicates" rule to wander the grass until the local Nature-type (think Grass-type with the serial numbers filed off) shows up to get captured.
Now armed with three violent puppets, I wander into Viridian Forest, hoping for the forest’s Water-type resident to be my first encounter.
…Oh, come on.◊
, a Luna by species◊
, is packing the Wind type, which is basically Electric with a fresh coat of paint. This will be great when I roll into Misty’s gym, but for Brock it’s utterly useless
. On the bright side, he provides a second klepto; Pick Up is amazingly useful in a Nuzlocke, since the berries really do help if you want to avoid getting rocked hard by every status-inducing enemy there is.
With a team like this, only one choice exists… to grind levels until I can power through both of Brock’s murderously strong oni without losing anyone I actually like having
. Yay for self-imposed rulesets
This entry has been edited to get past an interesting glitch in the liveblog code that was breaking my image links. The "% 20" (without the space) used to substitute for a space in link text gets converted to an actual space upon final posting, breaking the link after it looked just fine in the preview. The ultimate solution was to simply remove the space from the title of the Dropbox folder where I stash the pics.