Starting up, this game is the same as Pokemon FireRed. We get the help screen explaining buttons, an introduction to the pokemon world, and then Professor Oak pops up.
Unlike in FireRed, he then informs us that he's ZUN's representative. ZUN is drunk right now. Surprise, surprise. He then explains that "this place" is inhabited by youkai known as "puppets". We get the usual spiel from here and are then asked to introduce ourselves. We get an option to choose Rash or Calm. If we pick Rash, we play as Renko. Calm, we play as Maribel. It's purely aesthetic, really. I go for Renko and name myself "Nerd".
We then get to name... some random blue haired girl! I haven't the foggiest idea who she is. She's Karen now.
We're then told our own "epic" legend is about to unfold and are brought into the game proper now.
Starting off I go to the PC to get the potion. It's practically routine by this point. Finding five full restores instead, however, is a bit unusual...
Leaving home we find ourselves in... Youkai Town! It's actually a bit different from Pallet Town. The buildings are rearranged in what I guess is just some lazy attempt to make it look different and there seems to be an extra house with a Reisen in the backyard. Inside this house we find an item ball with an Oni Bracer (Mach Brace), 3x Demon Egg (Lucky Egg), and 12x Fresh Water. Geez, for such a hard game it sure is being nice to us! Also, as you might have noticed from that picture, the graphics have actually been touched up rather nicely.
From here, you know what happens. We try to leave. Oak stops us. We go to his lab to get our first puppet. Our rival, Karen in this case, whines as usual. We pick our first puppet. Our choices are a cReimu (Normal), a cSaku... err, a cSanae (Grass/Water) apparently, or a cMarisa (Electric). I figure, for a game like this, Marisa is the best choice. I hate to start with her since it seems like everyone starts with cMarisa in Touhoumon games but she's easily the best of the three. I name her Athena because... well, no reason really. I'm willing to take suggestions for future nicknames though I'd have to get them before I even make the catch. Of course, they can be renamed when I get to Lavender Town anyway. Or whatever it's called now.
After choosing my puppet, Karen chooses Sanae. And now that both puppets are chosen, time for the customary first battle. Normally this battle wouldn't be worth mentioning. For this particular hack, I think a video is in order: http://youtu.be/RPDVJYuk_3w
As you can see... this battle is utter bullshit and serves no purpose other than to waste five minutes of the player's life. It's even easier to win than in the main games. Your rival has three healing items and an EX Power (read: X Attack) but you have EIGHTEEN healing items anyway! Five Full Restores, twelve Fresh Water, and an Oran Berry. Yeah. After recording the video I reloaded from a save and lost intentionally this time. Why? Because all I miss out on by losing is a bit of experience, easily attained from the wild puppets, and I get to keep my berry and other healing items.
After losing the battle, I give Athena her Oran Berry back and head out.
Route 1 Puppets: cChen (Ground), cAlice (Psychic), cMystia (Normal/Flying), cNazrin (Normal). Level ranges are 3 - 5. Pretty easy exp. Not feeling that lost battle at all. Got a potion from a Rinnosuke wandering around this route. Not that I needed it.
Do a bit of grinding. Lose my Oran Berry battling a cAlice. They have Trance (read: Confusion, weak Psychic-type attack) which does a pretty painful amount of damage at this point. Avoiding cAlice's, I reach level 8 and move on. cMarisa learns Thundershock at level 7, so I'm in pretty good shape now I think.
With only Athena at my disposal, there be more grinding before I can take HER on without losing too many items. So, reload from my last save and grind a bit more. Hit level 11 pretty quickly, learn Steal. Gives me a better option against that cChen at least. NOW I'm ready!
Amanda's cChen proves to be difficult. It managed to survive 3 Steal's, getting off two Tail Whips and a Quick Attack. Full Restore gets used on the cChen and I end up using a Potion, but then manage to take it down with Steal. Her second puppet was a cMystia. I had Thundershock. Guess how that went.
Really though, WHY is there a trainer on the very first route? This bitch basically just forces you to GRIND MOAR before you're allowed to get to the first city. Or, I suppose, you could use those healing items. Personally, I'd advise just grinding. Your healing items are pretty valuable at this point and if you don't grind you're going to be using a lot of them in this battle. Especially if you're going into it with a level 5 or 6 puppet, which isn't entirely unlikely. If you play it at 2x speed like I tend to grinding will go by pretty quickly anyway, especially with those Demon Eggs you got at the start. Really though, this trainer is just a dick move. As was the first rival battle. I really don't think this guy knew what he was doing...
Anyway, next installment we run an errand and then fight our rival again.