A silly, "nostalgic" playthrough of Pokemon Emerald

Video Games

So here we are. Gen 7 is behind us, and nothing known of gen 8 besides its existence. Perfect time to go back to the first region I came to love, Hoenn. This is still my original cartridge, dead battery preventing the clock from moving and all

So after realizing for the fist time that the boxes actually shift in the moving van, I climb out into Littleroot Town. Sometimes a family's gotta follow their work, and seems Johto's current Normal leader is a bit to (in)famous to replace. Doesn't take long for the local researcher to prove himself inept, but I have enough time to consider my first pokemon carefully. I know my stuff (possibly better than Birch) and decide that learning Earthquake without a currently-consumable TM is going to be important a lot later on, and so my starter is Mudkip.

Introductions to the neighbor go simply remember, lvl 5 starters don't have any STAB moves yet, I help another kid get on his journey, and stop a thug on the way to the first gym run by somebody who isn't my dad. I've picked up a few other 'mons by this point, but I have no idea what my final team is going to look like. As a kid, I thought wurmple's evolution was time- or version-locked, since I always got Cascoon. It's actually random, and I just had weird luck

Water gun wipes out both geodude, and I decide to use mud-slap and debuff accuracy on Nosepass. A few crits on the part of my opponent brings it down to the wire, but eventually poison damage from Silcoon takes them down

After another brief diversion in a tunnel with somebody who doesn't know what to do with their hostage, I get some shiny new tech given to me for free. So now I can listen to people talk to me all the time. I can't say I'll be impressed until I can start getting rematches out of them.

Rival 2:
Wingull was concerning, but I just beat it down with Mudkip's tackle. I had plenty of bugs to handle Treeko

It's been fun, but any shmuck can save the world and become champion. Half the reason I'm here is because Kanto wouldn't let me do it in style. I look at my Ralts, Huge Power Marill, Nincada, and the itinerary showing Granite Cave and decide to play with life and death. From now on, this journey is Ghost and those that would be Fairy only (and prevos, of course). Fortunately this is well away from the creepier aspects of the latter type (Mawile, especially mega Mawile, isn't concerning. you know exactly where you stand with them: ready to be torn to shreds by an effective base 200+ attack)

Pulled in a favour with a friend of the ex-hostage to get a free boat ride to Dewford. Time to check out the cave, since that's probably where the guy I need to deliver mail to is (if they had a normal location, they could have just used the postal system). I see a pair of glowing eyes in the darkness. I decide that I want it to be my partner for any future adventures. It pays off immediately when I noticed that there is nothing at all in the Dewford gym that is capable of damaging dark/ghost.

I swap train on him, except for meditite that would always attempt and fail Focus Punch just as I remember it. Night shade was nice since he kept boosting defence

Back on the mainland, I break up an attack by having my ground type wipe the floor with a group known for water types. I'm serious, everything they had was weak to Bug and they had no water moves. Weird that there was absolutely no questioning afterwards given this was in a public museum.

Though perhaps I spoke too soon about the relative lack of otherworldly mischief around here. I have no other explanation for the contents of the Trick House. Not even Psychics can pull that kind of stuff off. Worried, I train the team up for a while: Ralts to 18, the others to 16.

Rival 3:
Ah yes, the hard one. I lead ralts, and use a few potions while setting up Double Team. I get through Wingull, Grovyle, and chip Slugma before bad luck catches up with me. There's a reason evasion is banned in competitive. Marill finishes the job.

Plenty of trainers near Mauville, so I have all four members of the team at 23 before the leader fight. Ralts and Marill evolved, but I'm deliberately holding off on Nincada until 25 so that it'll have swords dance when it splits.

This battle was pretty messy. I had an electric immunity with no way to boost offence and no moves over an average power of about 50, and no other resists. And Night Shade from sableye and water gun from Azumarill were the only things not resisted by magneton. Oh, and half my team's sturdiness came from accuracy/evasion stuff, which works really poorly when every opponent knows a never-miss move. After more resets than I would like to admit, my strategy was this:

Lead nincada, sand-attack voltorb to have it miss rollout, heal back the damage from the early hits with Leech Life (when it was weak, mind you), dodge or tank selfdestruct with voltorb's poor attack and nincada's surprisingly good physical defence.

Send in Sableye against electrike, probably get paralyzed from thunder wave, heal through the 3hko and take it down with night shade

Chip magneton with sableye (sacrificing it), bring in nincada and sand-attack for sonicboom, send in kirlia and set up calm mind, healing through shock waves. KO with confusion only when you think you're set.

take out manectric before it howls enough to make quick attack threatening.

I can't really say much for setting up a treehouse without having seen the rest of the region, but I will gladly join this club. Right now, a TM I can repurchase for a respectable-damage physical move that has good coverage with water and ghost is too good to pass up. I head back to slateport and buy two more, noticably bumping the power of sableye, nincada, and azumarill. I do the second trick house challenge while I'm there, though this one makes a little more sense than planting trees on a tile floor.

What better way to celebrate going to a route raining volcanic ash than to finalize a teamslot with something that dies instantly to anything resembling fire? I'm so ready for swords dance + STAB shadow ball to be a thing in 13 more levels. In gens 2 and 3, Shadow Ball is physical. In gen 1, it didn't exist, causing the convention for Ghost moves to be set off of Lick

Everything I do, I look at it and say "this is stupid." And then I think "But boy am I glad I'm feeling that my dumb crap is actually dumb, and boy am I glad that I can do something as crazy as this in the first place

Is anyone even reading this? I'll openly admit I started this out of defiance, but I'm wondering if I'm telling the wall that this isn't over yet.

At Meteor falls, I run into another group of ne'er-do-wells, and as is tradition, decide to take the law into my own hands. Unfortunately for me, my bug type got a whole lot worse against dark types in since the last time I fought Team Poochyena. Azumarill takes on most of the trainers at the volcano simply enough

I lead sableye so I can Night Shade instead of caring about Intimidate. It's a 3hko, giving him enough time to heal and also attempt to sand-attack something with Keen Eye. Zubat falls to Kirlia's new Psyhcic, and base 50 SpA doesn't let Camerupt take a STAB bubblebeam.

Onwards to the Lavaridge gym, I'm expecting more or less an Azumarill solo, so I leave a few trainers unfought to even out my levels later. Wow, I still know the exact route through this gym

I don't quite one-shot camerupt, but it goes for tackle instead of something more useful. I attempt to get Secret Power's secondary effect against torkoal, but I don't and body slam paralyzes me. Fortunately, it puts in the range where two bubblebeams ko it without flannery healing

Unfortunately for evening out the levels, sandstorm isn't kind to shedinja. I see an old structure with fragile floors, so I do the completely normal strategy of reducing my surface area for more pressure while going full speed. I grab a fossil that isn't important right now and carry on.

Time to reap the rewards of playing mailman, Devon Stone has given me the Exp share! I don't have an explicit use for it, but it'll be useful if I ever bring my team above four members.

Well, the two trainers that were expressly told to go all out in Dad's gym were also the only two that couldn't hit shedinja.

Spinda has Teeter dance, both Vigoroth and Slaking have faint attack. Linoone is safe. I lead kirlia against Spinda. Luck is not on my side, and a turn lost to confusion at the same time as an opposing crit prevents the 2hko with psychic. Sableye is next, and I notice that it cannot hit me. Dad refuses to switch, letting me blow whatever X items I had on hand to buff sableye to the gills. At +3 attack, +2 defense, +1 speed and crit rate up, I attempt to kick butt. After one turn of confusion, (glad I didn't go to +6 and kill myself) Spinda drops in one more attack, and then vigoroth chips and takes a second Secret Power to ko. I get the paralysis on slaking, though it sleeps me through yawn. Since it can't ohko with faint attack, I effectively have him at my mercy until I run out of healing items. I Leer a bit to skip norman using a potion, and take the KO. The match is effectively over a this point, he can't hit either of my ghosts. I Swords Dance up with the one-HP wonder itself and take my fifth badge.

I get Surf right after the fight from Wally's parents being glad for my contribution to their son's life. I'm not going to say no to a mobility boost like that, especially since bubblebeam has started to fall off in relative strength.

Since apparently Wattson neither has anything with surf nor the foresight to build a bridge, maintenance in New Mauville falls to me. Nothing much, just hit a few switches, and I get a thunderbolt TM as a reward. I might use it to give kirlia Gardevoir some coverage before the flying gym, since I can get repeats at the game corner.

I tour the weather institute, wondering if there's a way to make Shedinja immune to sandstorm and hail damage. I find team aqua there, and take them wout while shed sits on the bench from all the zubats and dark types. This pattern is disturbingly common.

rival 4:
I have Sableye as my lead against her Slugma. Easy 2hko, and I see if I can set up as shed against lombre. She switches, showing that lombre cannot hit shed, but I'm pursuit trapped and taken out by grovyle. I get it in the red with sableye, but go down to a leaf blade crit. Gardevoir outspeeds and kos. I calm mind once before realizing that lombre is going for physical attacks in the form of nature power->swift, so then I OHKO at +1 with psychic. So more of the same, I have a good team of 3 and a way of scouting sets.

A little more stealth (to save trainers for after Mt. Pyre) later, I get a way of clearing the path to the Fortree gym. And yes, the kecleon does know a dark move.

I lead Azumarill, hoping to dent the team with rollout. Swablu goes for safeguard on its one available turn, and tropious loses its initiative charging solarbeam. Pelliper is one-shot by the fifth hit. I decide to keep Azumarill safe for altaria and use sableye's night shade against skarmory. I win a three-turn slugfest with 7hp. Altaria fails to deal enough damage to stop a 3-turn rollout from bringing it down. The battle went pretty much exactly according to plan.

Part 7

I finally reach Mt. Pyre, and can now have a full team. Well, theoretically. I'm locked out of Fly if I keep to a 6-mon combat team, and I'll run into problems If I try dumping all the water HMs on azumarill (since their main damage is physical, and all water moves are special). One of those is a later problem, so I can at least add shuppet to the team.

After finishing up the trainers near Fortree, I remember that there was actually something important to other people at the mountain. They got the orbs (maybe I shouldn't have been sidetracked as much), but it's still pretty sad that they managed 21 total damage, and that 7 of that was from rough skin.

Looks like somebody from team Magma left a personal belonging behind. No reason I can't try to return it, though everybody seems annoyed I just walked into their secret base and won't let me return it peaceably. Something about needing to awaken Groudon or something.

I lead Sableye, though his mightyena outlevels me. He misses swagger the first turn, though not after. I am lucky this time, and night shade him to 0 with only one self-hit. I switch to Gardevoir and ohko with psychic, especially nice since the attack and previous damage only left me with 7hp. Cameupt does not take a mystic water-boosted Surf from Azumarill

So apparently anybody can just walk up to experimental submarines and run off with them. Good to know, I guess.

And apparently I suck at editing these, good to know.

The time has come for the final showdown with the neighbor, because I have decided that I want to use the departmant store!

I lead shedinja against tropius. I figure based on its level-up moves that it doesn't have a flying move right now, confirmed when she switces to slugma. I get some more scouting done when tropius is sent out agian after azumarill KOs, showing that grovyle still has pursuit (and also that the move doesn't check confusion when used on a switching target?) Anyway, one calm mind while it hits itself allows Psychic to one-shot. It's not a completely flawless sweep, but Garde has no problem taking out Tropius and Pelipper at +1
And no, the battle on route 103 didn't help make me stronger at all. I'm not using any mon I had back then.

The hideout is pretty empty, so I decide to poke around a while and steal the Master Ball right off of Archie's desk. Nothing else to see here besides a few warp panels. And apparently, Aqua Admin Matt doesn't have any attacks on his Mightyena. I didn't find about Golbat, because it was KO'd instantly.

As is normal for questing, I went off to the Mossdeep Gym because I can't actually do anything about team Aqua until I beat it. Future sight doesn't check type matchups in gen 3, so Shed is threatened by both it and night shade

I lead Gardevoir to hit Xatu with thunderbolt, and newly-evolved Banette to mess with everything else's secondary STAB Raising a big team is taking its toll, with my lvls 36 and 37 against a team of 41s and 42s. I am outsped, so I get Will-o-wisp off after the first earthquake. Clever prediciton gets me some spare turns to KO xatu by constantly switching Shedinja in and out. Basically, both will go for psychic against most mons, which is absorbed by wonder guard. Then, xatu uses confuse ray (which dosn't matter if I switch out right away) and claydol uses ancientpower (extremely weak while burnt). Claydol is down immidiately afterwards on a further wasted turn.

With both rock types on the field, I make a final switch out to azumarill. Interestingly, lunatone lacks a rock move and solrock has flamethrower instead. But with azumarill asleep and the sun up, it won't be doing much. Fortunately +1 thunderbolt removes solrock, making the battle completely safe for both shedinja and sableye. As soon as either one wakes up, that is. 6-0 victory.

Since apparently preparing for a known attack isn't a thing that happens, it's time to bail the space agency out of a fuel robbery.

"outnumbered 3 to 1" he says. From where I'm standing, I outnumber them 6 to 3.

team fight:
Azumaill/sableye/gadevoir paired with metang/skarmory/aggron. Surf doesn't hit my ally yet, so I am free to 2hko Tabitha's camerupt, though previous chip and Maxie's Mightyena puts me in the red at the end of turn 2. I fall on turn 3 from tabitha's mighty, since maxie's one missed. I send out sableye and apparently go for a pretty useless leer since they swagger both me and metang. The conspicuous lack of dark moves helps survivability as metang slaps itself around. I take out Tabitha's mighty since it would allow for a 2v1 sooner. Steven instead focuses on the weaker mightyena so maxie gets a free switch to camerupt before I'm ready. Fortunately, I paralyze golbat with secret power, leaving it to be Ko'd by metang. I know garde can handle crobat, I just need to hope Steven goes Skarm to draw a fire move instead of another earthquake after the first one takes us both out.

He doesn't. He goes for protect so I don't get the power reduction for a spread move. Garde is alive in the red, but won't survive an attack from crobat anymore, which is accenuated by steven using a special move on a physical attacker when he could have used a physical STAB super-effective on the incoming bat. *checks moveset* Why do you have solarbeam on an aggron? I heal, hoping for low incoming damage. I get it, and aggron both hits and KO's with thunder. Yes, this thing has no STAB and special attacks only. What.

After that display of ...whatever that was, I quietly resolve that I am going to beat steven with a monosteel team. I'll wait until after the league, though.

With Dive in hand (until I use that moveslot for Waterfall later), It's time to find Seafloor Cavern. Oh, I need Rock Smash? Never mind, BRB. And by BRB, I mean "Let me just go to Sootopolis and Pacifidlog so I can fly there later" Due to the risk of flying moves from zubat/golbat, crunch from sharpedo, and swagger from mightyena, shed is benched for this one.

I'm not entirely sure why Archie wants to awaken Kyogre instead of just taking the real power sleeping in this cave, the only Earthquake TM around. Oh well, more for me

I lead Banette to mess with mightyena. Turns out having a dark type against a ghost with night shade only matters if you have dark moves. Turn 2 swagger gets one self-hit, but that's mighty's only source of damage. I take another swagger and another hit after Archie heals, then switch a bunch to clear the debuffs while the burn finishes the job. Crobat loses to Gardevoir, and I go azumarill against sharpedo. healing during rollout when you could have KO'd was a mistake, and one that cost him the match.

So apparently I can't just walk up and catch the legendaries even though I'm going to do exactly that at some point. Onwards to the Sky Pillar, I guess. Hopefully This won't completely screw my type-restricted run...

Alright, we've waited for this so-called master of the skies that flies slower than a level 14 taillow. Time to do the gym!

I clear inventory while waiting for Luvdisc to run out of Sweet Kiss PP. That was the only thing that threatened shednja. Even crawdaunt lacks dark moves. Easy. I think we have different ideas on what qualifies as an elegant solution though. Especially since victory relied on Juan going for the same move ten times in a row.

So now that we can use Waterfall and also have the TM for Outclassed-by-waterfall, I head briefly back to lilycove to swap the HM moves on azumarill and head towards Victory Road.

While trying to find the stairs, I run into Wally.

I had Garde out, and try setting up against Altaria. It has the same idea, with dragon dance and safeguard. Aerial Ace on turn 3 takes a little under half, and I 2hko at +1. He sends out Delcatty, and I one-shot with a crit. I swap to Shed against magneton, though it has supersonic. I swap again to Banette, though confusion and thunderbolt doesn't let me do anything. Sableye takes over half in one attack, so I use shed to buy time for healing (I'm only at risk if I attack). Luck isn't kind to me, so I don't get another hit with sableye on cycle 2. cycle 3 is much better, forcing a heal and getting all the night shades I need. Roselia is faced down by Gardevoir and one-shot by Psychic. Wally's own Garde has the species' characteristic lack of coverage, allowing for an easy finale with Shednja.
Once I finally find the basement, I can catch the sixth and final member of the team: mawile.

I'm going to train the team to level 50 for the elite four, which is going to involve some grinding (I don't currently have one mon above 45). On the off-hand chance that anybody is anxiously awaiting the next update, it may be slightly longer before anything interesting happens.

Training is complete.

the team:

Sableye @ nothing
Keen eye

confuse ray
shadow ball
night shade
secret power

Azumarill @ mystic water
Huge Power


Shedinja @ nothing
Wonder Guard

Swords Dance
Secret Power
Shadow Ball
Confuse Ray

Gardevoir @ nothing

Calm Mind

Mawile @ silk scarf

Iron Defence
Baton Pass

Banette @ Spell Tag

Shadow Ball
Night Shade

I did do some digging on what the E4 are capable of, though I didn't go any farther than what threatens Shedinja. Sidney's crawdaunt, Glacia's walrein, Drake's Kingdra, and Wallace's Wailord, Wishcash and gyarados are safe.

Mawile vs mightyena. Sand-attack keeps me from setting up comfortably, so I go Sableye. I outspeed and 3hko, but I'm in the red. I swap mawile against shiftry. after a two-sided setup match involving the yellow flute to abuse my opponent's swagger, he reveals his only pure damage is psychic-type. I baton pass +6 attack and defence back to sableye. After PP stalling swagger, I get through the evasion boosts surprisingly fast. Cacturne gets me with Leech seed before going down, so I confuse absol with shedinja on the switch from crawdaunt. It works in my favour, only letting absol get one attack before it goes down to Azumarill. I finish off crawdaunt with shedinja.

It's at this time I realize I forgot to buy X Speeds for my planned strategy for the ghost user.

Mawile is the lead once again. Unfortunately, Dusclops' Curse puts a damper on my ability to stack defence boosts. I crunch through with little extra damage. The second Dusclops is played more aggressively, with banette winning the duel of Shadow Balls. My sableye OHKo's her first banette shortly thereafter, and I go Azumarill against her sableye. Poorly spaced damage has her heal and take out Azu in the next cycle. I go Gardevoir for speed reasons and drop it's few remaining health. The second Banette is removed just like the first one.

I lead Azumarill against Sealeo #1. Easy +2 attack from X items, but I miss rollout 2 and need to heal, and get paralyzed by Body Slam at that time. Healing on Glacia's part means that I need to use rollout 3 on a very small amount of hp (because rollout 2 took it down to the red). Glaile 1 uses Light Screen of all things before getting rolled, and I outspeed Sealeo 2. Glaile 2 uses hail, so it doesn't look like shed'll see action even though walrein's the only one left after it Explodes its second turn out. I only chip it with Garde before it lands Sheer Cold, due to the earlier light screen. It misses Banette, letting me play the damage-over-time game with Curse. I go down after (big surprise), but my opponent's berry works against it, preventing a heal. Mawile and Banette's Curse finish the job just as hail runs out.

I lead Banette against Shelgon, who I know carries fire coverage. I burn it to mess up its offence and punish it for spamming protect, then dodge a heal and take a crit, surviving in the red and KOing. Flygon is next, because it has Crunch. It also has earthquake, which is capable of hitting Azumarill for nearly half. It also also has flamethrower, preventing an intimidate-based solution. I go Gardevoir and am extremely lucky to get my stuff off rather than dying to -1 earthquake or crunch. Salamence comes out, and I heal and dodge the first rock slide, enough to win that fight. I repeat the strategy against Altaria. I get it to the red in one Psychic and get a calm mind off on the healing turn. I then make the massive miscalculation of assuming another double-edge instead of a second heal and switch, losing my boosts. Awful play on Drake's part lets me get a 3HKO with Azumarill, though only barely (3HP). Kingdra is the victory lap, though it takes a little longer thanks to smokescreen.

I won 5-0, though with 3 in the red.

Wailord is his lead, and so Shedinja is mine. He doesn't immediately switch, letting me Swords dance up. I only go to +4 because I'm expecting to need to switch later. As expected, Toxic-wielding Tentacruel is next. Garde 2hkos with Psychic. Ludicolo is next, another thing I want rid of. I curse it with Banette as it double teams, then go mawile to bait it away from using either Grass move. It works and Luicolo falls, though I only barely survive Surf. I go Shed on Wishcash and revive Banette, since I might need to curse down Milotic. The reluctance to switch is still there, and I have enough PP to go to +6. He brings out gyrados instead, and I simply cancel out intimidate with another SD and keep going. Milotic's threatening move is Toxic, which means it can't avoid one last +6 STAB shadow ball. It can't survive it either, apparently.

I am intending to do various Battle frontier events on this file, though at a higher level of optimization. There would be too much grinding for meaningful updates, so I'll probably stop posting after I have all (nonmobile) legendaries and have beaten Steven. There's still going to be some grinding though, since I want to show that fool how to make a monosteel team.

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