Archive for March, 2010

Mondays

March 30, 2010

Mondays are fairly crummy days. I used to have six damn classes on this particular day, but from this week forward I have luckily only five. If we present week days as Monday being in the middle:

Friday – Saturday – Sunday – Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday

It would make sense to say that Thursday and Friday are the best days of the weeks, since they are as far removed from Monday as possible, given the massive crumminess value of Monday. Of course, the rest of the week days have their own plethora of unique craptastic obstacles as well.

The Monday last week (which would be the 22nd of March 2010) was a particularly craptastic one, at least from my point of view. It was the final Physics test that day. But not only had I forgotten to take the Physics book in school over the weekend, leaving me uncertain whether I could pass it, I had also no idea where it was going to take place. It’s usually in the assembly hall or the auditorium, but since my program, SMNV, is doing a bit of its own race, this was not the case. I decided to lock myself in a public bathroom and call my mother and inquire my mother about what to do. I began to cry. I hadn’t cry in a long time, so it felt… relieving. My mother finally told me to go to the school office and tell them I would go home earlier. I stood there in the bathroom a while after the call had ended. Just look into the mirror and observe that person standing there. And then, with renewed determination, I finally headed for the office. I walked there very deliberately and carefully, feeling like I really shouldn’t supposed to be there. I spotted the principal of the NV, SMNV and TE programs filling up his coffee in the teacher lounge, all alone as well. I finally gathered some courage and walked up to him. I wondered where I could call in sick. He told that he could write it down himself no problem. He asked me whether I had a stomach ache, a fever or something like that. I hesitated a second or two, and then finally said that it was more like depression. He asked me to come to his office. He inquired me about any problems I had in school, and I told him about not only the problems I had with Physics, but also that I was falling behind in the Mathematics C course. He said he would talk to my Math and Physics teacher about it, and told me to go home, but urged me to return on Tuesday.

Fast-forward to the Monday of this week. The day before, Sunday, I had had a headache. I didn’t really feel overly enthusiastic about going to school, but figured I better should. The night was somewhat uneasy. I went to the bathroom about 3-4 times. And after I had gone to bed I suddenly decided to aimlessly stroll in the kitchen, since I had a lot on my mind. I think I was near lying down on Vodka (one of my two kittens) at one point, but fortunately he walked away. I finally fell asleep. Now, on this particular Monday, I had an oral English presentation. It was so set-up, that there were four subjects. Randomly chosen subjects, which one was supposed to have formed an opinion of. I would then gather with a small group of students, and the teacher would record everything. I was quite nervous. The subject was finally “Genetic engineering should be used to create good citizens”. The three other students took turns in speaking, and then it was my turn to speak, I started out with saying something like “it puts a price tag in people”, and then I just froze. It wasn’t that I was ill-prepared for it, I lost my train of thought. The teacher finally stopped the recording. I mumbled something about being nervous, and the teacher said I would get a second chance to say something later. And so the recording continued, and the discussion continued. After a while, the teacher finally asked me to speak. This time, I actually managed to say something. I invoked Godwin’s Law, said something about a group full of ADHD students with one neurotypical, mentioned how, in Sweden, people had been forcefully sterilized from the 1920’s to the 1960’s and then talked about myself as an aspie. And so the discussion was over.

Later that day, my English teacher asked me to come to her office. She talked about how she would take my Asperger’s Syndrome into account, how I did manage to say something in the end, how I was doing good in English orally, and how it was highly unlikely I would get anything else but the highest grade in English. Ah, that’s a relief then. I don’t care overly much about my performance in other subjects (or at least that’s what I somewhat unsuccessfully try to convince myself), but English is fluckin’ personal.

Also, during the Psychology class that very same day, we took a small test to see what our degree of coherence in our lives were. The test, and the teacher himself, told us that we shouldn’t dwell overly much on it since they are heavily dependent on what mood one is in at the time of taking the test. Fair enough, I thought. The average score for Swedish students, as well as American, was 130. 110 was considered low and 160 high. I scored 104. True, it wasn’t the grandest of my days. But the test also mentioned that Israeli officer candidates had an average of 160, because they were and extremely selected group who were convinced of the meaningfulness of what they were doing. Now, if I had to compile a list of groups of people across the world I thought were doing a jolly good job, Israeli officer candidates wouldn’t be anywhere near the top. Even America is falling out with Israel these days. I gotta wonder about people who have such a great coherency in their lives. Do they never stop and consider if what they’re doing is good or meaningful? How can they be so certain about the direction their lives are going? To quote Oliver Cromwell, “I beseech you in the bowels of christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

And so, we’re on Tuesday. The good thing about Tuesdays is that Monday is behind it, giving one strength to get through the rest of the week. This Tuesday was the first day this semester in which I was supported by a teacher in Mathematics. She had been my Chemistry teacher. I had failed Chemistry last year, but with her help I was able to pass it, if only by the margin of a strand of hair. I’m quite happy she takes the time to explain things with me. I feel that I understand things much better when she points things out for me. I might just be able to pass both Physics and Mathematics.

What have I been trying to say with this blog post? Hmm, natural science isn’t my forté. Mondays suck. But, perhaps most importantly, things are perhaps not as bad as one think it is. Perhaps one can overemphasize on one negative thing, and feel bad about it. To say in a cheerful manner “after rain comes sunshine” (oh, the cliché) and realize that perhaps one’s life isn’t ruined, that’s, well, vital. Cough. Anyhow, that’s all the mad raving from me I can offer for now.

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Pokémon Emerald Update #6

March 27, 2010

Click here to go back to the index.

And so I begun the cross-breeding experiment. I wanna have a Nosepass with Magnitude. Where does Geodude keep his, hmm, stick anyway?

“Huh?”

I have brought another little demon into the suffering that is life.

The first batch is ready… RISE, MY MINIONS!

(Why are they all male? O.o)

Geodude is now in level 37 and Nosepass in level 36. O.o

The Stein family lived a happy life, until Mr. Geodude died in a scuba diving accident. This prompted Mrs. Nosepass to commit suicide. Except for one of their daughters, who would join Henny on his quest, and one of their sons, who would become a top politician in the Jeb Bush administration, none of their offspring would leave the island of Dewford.

Finally, I decided to stick with this little bugger, due to it being high in both Attack and Special Attack.

Satisfied with my Nosepass, I resume my journey. It didn’t take long until me and Breloom had eaten all the supplies we had taken with us. Fearing starvation, I try to seek shelter in a house. The occupants challenges me to four consecutive battles. Hoping the reward is food, I accept.

“This is not edible.”

The Macho Brace lets the holder gain double evaluation points in combat, but makes it slower.

“So hungry. Do you have anything in the way of food?” I ask the interviewer.
“Camera’s still rolling,” responds the cameraman.


“I thought I told you never to call this number”, I reply.
“But I love you!”, Dalton weakly says. I think he might be crying.

Route 112 – There’s a lift to Mt. Chimney and a Fiery Path, on the way to Fallarbor Town.
Numel – Very Common
Marill – Common

Numel/Camerupt: It is a pretty decent fighter, though it does have a 4x weakness to Water. Having high stats in both Attack and Special Attack can be beneficial. Has a fairly cool moveset. Numel is one of those ‘mons who could benefi from delaying evolution. And it is one of only four (!) Fire Pokémon in Hoenn, after all. (Fire/Ground, Oblivious [Magma Armour])
S- Growl
S-Tackle
11 – Ember
19 – Magnitude
25 – Focus Energy
29 – Take Down
31 – Amnesia
33 – EVOLUTION
33 – Rock Slide
37 – Earthquake
45 – Eruption
55 – Fissure
Alternatively, if Numel doesn’t evolve:
25 – Earthquake
41 – Flamethrower
49 – Double-Edge

Fiery Path: There are some rather awesome Pokémon around here. (“But I bet there isn’t anything to eat here”, whispers Henny. “Fourth wall, Henny. Fourth wall”, the author replies.)
Grimer – Rare
Koffing – Common
Machop – Common
Numel – Common
Slugma – Common
Torkoal – Common

Grimer/Muk: I love this beast, at least when I’m not at the receiving end. Not only has it heinous Attack, it has a nearly as heinous Special Defense as well. If you’re ever creating an all-Poison team in Pokémon Emerald (it’s pretty fun), using this one is a flippin’ must. (It can learn Brick Break! :3) Stench lowers the chance of encountering wild Pokémon. (Poison; Stench, Sticky Hold)
S – Poison Gas
S – Pound
4 – Harden
8 – Disable
13 – Sludge (65 Power!)
19 – Minimize
26 – Screech
34 – Acid Armor
38 – EVOLUTION
47 – Sludge Bomb
61 – Memento

Koffing/Weezing: It has only one weakness, due to its Levitate ability. It has slightly less overall stats than Muk. Has the same amount of Defense as Tentacruel has Special Defense. I personally prefer Muk over Weezing, but Weezing is quite decent as well. You gotta hand it to a Pokémon which learns four (4) attacks which successfulness depends on the user dying. (Poison; Levitate)
S – Poison Gas
S – Tackle
9 – Smog
17 – Selfdestruct
21 – Sludge
25 – Smokescreen
33 – Haze
35 – EVOLUTION
44 – Explosion
51 – Destiny Bond
58 – Memento

Machop/Machoke/Machamp: ‘Nother one of those “I can’t evolve unless traded” critters I despise so much. Machoke alone is somewhat decent, and it does learn a few cool moves. (Fighting; Guts)
S – Low Kick
S – Leer
7 – Focus Energy
13 – Karate Chop
19 – Seismic Toss
22 – Foresight
25 – Revenge
28 – EVOLUTION
33 – Vital Throw
41 – Submission
46 – Cross Chop
51 – Scary Face
59 – Dynamicpunch

Slugma/Magcargo: I like the straight forward moveset. The stats aren’t the best, but not the worst either. Too bad about the 4x weakness to water. And it does have four weaknesses. Note: While Flame Body gives the opponent 30% chance of burn at contact, it also gives Pokémon eggs less time to hatch. (Fire/Rock; Magma Armour, Flame Body)
S – Yawn
S – Smog
8 – Ember
15 – Rock Throw
22 – Harden
29 – Amnesia
35 – Flamethrower
38 – EVOLUTION
48 – Rock Slide
60 – Body Slam

Torkoal: Well, it’s a giant turtle powered by steam. That alone makes it awesome. It has fairly decent stats as well, with it’s absolutely sturdy Defense. Try to use Special Attacks on it. It’s a decent and trustworthy demon.
S – Ember
4 – Smog
7 – Curse
14 – Smokescreen
17 – Fire Spin
20 – Body Slam
27 – Protect
30 – Flamethrower
33 – Iron Defense
40 – Amnesia
43 – Flail
46 – Heat Wave (Slightly worse than Flamethrower)

“GRIMER! You’re mine!”

“Er… sure. I already have one, but sure.”

A rest stop? I hope there’s food.





“You still haven’t given me food.”

I tried eating this TM, but it wouldn’t go down. So let’s see if this Secret Base thingy works, instead.

Thanks for asking me, inner voice. I wonder if Osama Bin Laden is using this TM.

…[expletive removed]

If there’s ever a Clear-Out sale in Lilycove Department store, you can buy a bridge.

Route 113 – Well, there’s a lot of volcanic ash and ninjas here.
Skarmory – Rare
Slugma – Common
Spinda – Very Common

Skarmory: It’s got eleven ([expletive removed] 11) resistances, and only two weaknesses. It is an overused Pokémon in competitive battling, what with it’s Spikes. You can make good use of it, if only because of the difficulty of killing it. Learns Drill Peck as an Egg move. (Steel/Flying; Keen Eye, Sturdy)
S – Leer
S – Peck
10 – Sand-Attack
13 – Swift
16 – Agility
26 – Fury-Attack
29 – Air Cutter
32 – Steel Wing
42 – Spikes
45 – Metal Sound

Spinda: A description is probably superfluous, besides that it sucks.
S – Tackle
5 – Uproar
12 – Faint Attack
16 – Psybeam
23 – Hypnosis
27 – Dizzy Punch
34 – Teeter Dance
38 – Psych Up
45 – Double-Edge
49 – Flail
56 – Thrash

Using Magnitude seemed like a good idea at the time…

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Blue Flute – Awakens sleeping Pokémon.
Yellow Flute – Heals confused Pokémon.
Red Flute – Heals Pokémon from Attraction.
White Flute – Attracts wild Pokémon.
Black Flute – Repels wild Pokémon.

These flutes can actually be used an infinite amount of times, so having all five gives you a great advantage. I find them kind of gamey.

Fallarbor Town – I distrust this town. I have no logical justification.

I can’t see any gardens. They must be really small.

“I’m a pissed off person who wants to access the computer. Would you like me to introduce you to Tentacool?”




And that’s how I found out she had a mental disorder.

I knew keeping my bicycle in the bag was a bad idea.

Route 114 – Come to think of it, I kind of distrust this Route as well.
Swablu – Common
Lotad – Common
Lombre – Common
Seviper – Rare
Nuzleaf – Very Rare

Swablu/Altaria: The first Dragon Pokémon you can lay your hands on. Pretty decent. It has Dragonbreath, the strongest Dragon move, and the best counter to those nefarious Milotic and Kingdra. Not a critter I normally use, but I suppose it’s pretty good. Teaching it Aerial Ace is key. Natural Cure heals Status problems if the Pokémon is switched out. ([Normal/Dragon]/Flying; Natural Cure)
S – Peck
S – Growl
8 – Astonish
11 – Sing
18 – Fury Attack
21 – Safeguard
28 – Mist
31 – Take Down
35 – EVOLUTION
35 – Dragonbreath
40 – Dragon Dance
45 – Refresh
54 – Perish Song
59 – Sky Attack (This move sucks)
Alternatively, if Swablu doesn’t evolve:
38 – Mirror Move
41 – Refresh
48 – Perish Song

Seviper: Not the worst Pokémon, but not the best either. It does learn Crunch. Shed Skin gives the Pokémon a 1/3 chance to recover its Status problem every turn. (Poison; Shed Skin)
S – Wrap
7 – Lick
10 – Bite
16 – Poison Tail
19 – Screech
25 – Glare
28 – Crunch
34 – Poison Fang
37 – Swagger
43 – Haze

As I entered the house, a great many boxes came falling down upon me. I had to struggle for my life, nearly suffocated under the treacherous boxes. Lanette eventually came around to helping me. For my troubles, I received a Lotad Doll.

Meteor Falls – What I mentally catergorize as “the cave outside Fallarbor”. Contains some, er, cool stuff.
Room 1:
Solrock – Common
Zubat – All Too Common
Room 2, Room 3, Room 4:
Bagon – Common
Solrock – Very Common
Zubat – Very Common
In water:
Barboach – Common (Good Rod), Very Common (Super Rod)
Goldeen – Common (Old Rod), Very Common (Super Rod)
Magikarp – Very Common (Old Rod, Super Rod)
Solrock – Common
Golbat – Common

Solrock: It has six damn weaknesses. And a highly erratic moveset. While it doesn’t suck, I’m not a fan. Some of these Pokémon may carry Sun Stones. (Rock/Psychic; Levitate)
S – Tackle
S – Harden
7 – Confusion
13 – Rock Throw
19 – Fire Spin
25 – Psywave
31 – Cosmic Power
37 – Rock Slide
43 – Solar Beam
49 – Explosion

Food.

Shucks. Everyone I hate seem to gather in one spot.

“I’m no kid, just vertically challenged. Do you have anything to eat, by the way? I like sausage.” He gave me an odd look and left. Apparently, they’ve tricked the professor into giving them the meteorite, and now they’re going to do something on Mt. Chimney. I bet it’s going to be stupid.


I suppose I’ll have to get that damn meteorite. If only to progress on my quest.

Now Kirlia might start pulling its weight.

“You didn’t do very well in Science class, did you?”

“Oh, how very mature of you. “I’m a [expletive removed]-up so I’m going to canalize my wrath on this vertically challenged man instead”. Aren’t you a winner.”

Current music theme.

I think this might be against the Geneva convention. You scare me, Tentacool. Show some mercy!

After Maxie’s humiliating defeat, I get to take this lil’ meteorite. But the only reason I examined the machine in the first place was in hopes it would have some food in it.

Next update: Two gym leader battles. :3

Forum Look-Out

March 24, 2010

In Swedish class, I’ve received the task of holding an oral presentation about: “Your “look-out” will be about some trait typical of the society of today. Describe the phenomenon and reason in a personal manner about it: what does this time typical trait say about people of today? Why has it arisen? Are there any dangers regarding it? Can it be further developed/create new possibilities? The phenomenon doesn’t have to include all people, but can be limited to a smaller group for example young people.” So that’s what I’m up against. Being a heavy procrastinator, as you should’ve guessed, the presentation is tomorrow (in the moment of writing) and I haven’t started yet. I’ve decided, therefore, to publish the raw draft (read: more or less final version) on my blog. Aren’t you lucky! Mind you, this won’t be the best school work I’ve ever done. Now, with pure, unbridled procrastination planting a smug smirk on my face, and the energy of stimming working its way down my arms into my fingers, let’s spin this [expletive removed]. Hoo-hah! (The bad news, of course, is that its in Swedish and therefore incomprehensible to most of you. English translation coming… eventually. :P)

Vad säger ordet “forum” dig? I ordets allmänna, och bredaste betydelse så betyder det en offentlig mötesplats. Men, mer specifikt, så är internetforum en diskussionsplats på en hemsida. Diskussionen går till så att man gör så kallade trådar. När en ny tråd görs så skapar författaren till tråden en inledning, som kallas Original Post, där författaren förklarar vad ämnet går ut på, möjligen lägger denne också fram sin egen åsikt om saken, och om det är speciella omständigheter angående tråden (till exempel om det är en lek) så klargörs också detta. Och sedan, om andra på forumet känner sig manade, kan de också skriva inlägg.

Hur skiljer sig då detta mot andra diskussionsmedium på nätet? Det finns ju till exempel bloggar och chattar. En blogg skrivs ju bara av en person, och även fast den diskussion som kan uppstå i bloggar har vissa likheter med den sorts diskussion som pågår på forum, så har den inte samma fokus, inte samma system som forum har. Och chatt forum? Där finns ju samma dynamik i diskussionen som det finns på forum, men till skillnad från forum, och för att inte säga bloggar, så publiceras ju aldrig chattmeddelandena någonstans. Dessutom pågår diskussionen i realtid. Medan forumdiskussioner ibland kan vara väldigt aktiva, så är diskussionerna mer långvariga och för att inte nämna konkreta.

Det är både enkelt och svårt att skapa ett forum. Den sorts skål som alla kan göra, exoskelettet, är enkelt att göra. Att attrahera folk som faktiskt är intresserade av forumet och faktiskt vill vara med där, det är betydligt svårare. Om det är få som är där så kommer få att vara där, en sorts ond cirkel. Hos internetforum och deras popularitet så har uttrycket “framgång föder framgång” aldrig varit mer sant. Så hur uppstår dessa populära forum med mer än tiotusen medlemmar? Viktigt är den inriktning som forumet har. Ett forum kan handla om datorer, husdjur, personlighetstyper, vad som helst. Ämnet kommer att i hög grad bestämma vilka sorts personer som kommer dit. En annan faktor är vilka personer, vilken grupp som skapade forumet från första början. Om det är ett forum som har baserats på en populär hemsida så kommer detta forum ha ett stort övertag. Och det är så många hemsidor börjar, som en del av en hemsida.

Det som jag är intresserad av i det här sammanhanget är när ett forum föder ett annat, ett mer abstrakt koncept. På engelska så kallar man det ett “community”, och på svenska skulle man kunna kalla det en gemenskap. Det är när ett forum handlar inte enbart om de diskussioner som pågår på forum, utan också skapar ett komplext socialt nät mellan olika medlemmar på sidan. Det kan vara av vikt att skilja mellan flyktiga medlemmar och regelbundna medlemmar. Flyktiga medlemmar, som verkar utgöra huvuddelen av medlemmarna på forum, är några som går med i ett forum, kanske gör ett par inlägg, och sedan lämnar forumet. De fortsätter i regel att finnas kvar i medlemsregistret, men de finns inte kvar. Regelbundna medlemmar kanske inte stannar kvar på ett forum för evigt, men de är i alla fall där en längre tidsperiod, och gör ett flertal inlägg. Det är de som utgör själva själen i ett forum.

Den här gemenskapen jag talar om, hur uppstår den? Det kanske kan vara ett omtvistat ämne, men själv tror jag så här: När forum först grundades, så såg man vikten av att införa regler, för att inte diskussionerna skulle sammanfalla i anarki. Man såg också snabbt att det vore mycket praktiskt att folk som gör inlägg och trådar bör ha namn, för att minska förvirringen och kunna stoppa de som säger taskiga saker och förstör för andra, med anonymitetens hjälp. Det var nu i alla fall olika författare som stod bakom inlägg. Alla medlemmar är ju inte likadana, och man märker snabbt att olika medlemmar har olika personlighet, bakgrund, åsikter och så vidare. Som den sociala primat som människan är så ville den ha mer konkreta och urskiljande drag som utmärker medlemmar. Det kom i olika former: Avatarer, små ikoner som finns av tradition vänster om inlägget. Signaturer, ett stycke text nedanför inlägget som automatiskt häftas vid varje inlägg, som kan innehålla länkar, bilder och så vidare. Det finns många exempel.

Forum blev mer personliga. På gott och ont. Till exempel så uppstod det troll och spammare. Troll är folk som retar upp andra medlemmar och förstör för hela forumet, för deras eget nöjes skull. Spammare är sådana som gör meningslösa och extremt korkade inlägg. Och så fanns det ju förstås de tillfällen då medlemmar bryter mot forumreglarna, men inte spammar eller trollar. Ett mycket vanligt sätt att bekämpa detta är att bannlysa medlemmen i fråga, antingen temporärt eller permanent. Men då kom förstås frågan vilka som bestämmer vilka som har brutit mot reglerna och eventuella straff. Det är då en sorts hierarki uppstår på ett forum. Administratörerna är högst upp, det är de som ser till att forumet fungerar som det ska. Oftast så är det de som utser så kallade moderatörer. Moderatörerna är de som ser till att reglerna följs. Det finns ett starkt autokratiskt element på de flesta forum. Men på vissa forum så kan medlemmarna själva rösta om moderatörer och regeländringar. Det är som ett samhällsexperiment i vissa avseenden.

Ibland så uppstår en särskild sorts gemenskap. Sammanbundna av ett visst ämne, men ändå diskuterar man mycket annat. Kanske är det för att en viss sorts människor, sådana som har liknande intressen eller värderingar, möts tillsammans. Då finns det en samhörighet inte bara på forumet, men också i chattrum, på YouTube, Facebook, bloggar och så vidare. Ibland så anordnar vissa medlemmar till och med möten ansikte mot ansikte tillsammans. Det är då det inte bara rör sig om ett forum, det inte bara rör sig om en gemenskap, utan någonting mycket mer.

Pokémon Emerald Update #5

March 21, 2010

Click here to go back to the index.

“Now, my mere acquaintance, we shall head for Slateport.”

Every little thing helps. While not useful to us right now, it could be useful later.

My Shroomish has become even more adept at sucking the energy out of opponents. He’s worrying me slightly.

As a reward for beating three crappy trainers, you’ll get six Soda Pops.

I get a strange urge to buy Harbour Mail. While useless to me at the moment, I have a feeling it might come in handy later.

I approach a balding man. Apparently he’s not very good at his job. Wanting to get rid of the Devon Goods, I empty it all on the table. The man, however, wants me to personally deliver them to Captain Stern. Well, looks like I’m everyone’s bitch…

I encounter the deranged sailor again. I think our last battle actually killed his Poochyena. He actually gives me TM46 Thief and says that “that TM, it suits you more than it does me”. I suppose that’s a more subtle way of saying “screw you for stealing my Poochyena’s life”. The deranged sailor is good people.

“Yes. They might have become a bit damaged during the trip, but the President of Devon Corp will have to pay for that. I hope we shall never meet aga-“

I am not a very lucky person, I suppose. There’s always some weird coincidences going on. Very well, what I lack in that area I shall make up in brute strength. I beat the two thugs, and a man named Archie appears. He tells me some stuff about Team Aqua and their noble objectives. I was hoping he’d battle me, but he promptly left. Anyway, Stern got his damn parts and I could move on.

My friend, this Scott person, strikes up a conversation with me as I leave the building. Apparently he just saw Team Aqua fleeing, apparently like they were stung (with Tentacool and his Poison Sting, it’s eerily accurate). He adds my number.

Route 110 – These Route numbers no longer make sense. This Route is pretty damn awesome.
Electrike – Common
Gulpin – Common
Minun – Common
Oddish – Common
Plusle – Rare
Poochyena – Common
Wingull – Rare
In the water:
Tentacool – Very Common; Common (Old Rod, Good Rod)
Wailmer – Common (Good Rod), Very Common (Super Rod)
Wingull – Very Common
Pelipper – Rare

Electrike/Manectric: A pretty good Pokémon to use at this point. Unfortunately, it doesn’t start with Thundershock, and learns Spark instead of Thunderbolt. Makes me want to have Pikachu instead. Having an Electric Pokémon is wise as type advantages go. I will not pick up an Electrike this time, as I feel I use it too much. Static can paralyse opponents on contact (a surprisingly good ability) and Lightningrod draws Electric-type moves to itself (an unsurprisingly useless ability). (Electric; Static, Lightningrod)
S – Tackle
4 – Thunder Wave
9 – Leer
12 – Howl
17 – Quick Attack
20 – Spark (Finally)
25 – Odor Sleuth
26 – EVOLUTION
31 – Roar
39 – Bite
45 – Thunder (Is worser than Thunderbolt unless it’s raining)
53 – Charge

Plusle & Minun: I wonder why the [expletive removed] the designers put them into the game. Don’t use them unless you’re feeling masochistic. The ability Plus raises Special Attack by 1.5x when faced with an opponent with Minus, and vice versa. Of course, this ability is incredibly useless. (Electric, Plus/Minus)
S – Growl
4 – Thunder Wave
10 – Quick Attack
13 – Helping Hand
19 – Spark
22 – Encore
28 – Fake Tears
31 – Charge
37 – Thunder
40 – Baton Pass
47 – Agility

Oddish/Gloom/either Vileplume or Bellossom: Another Grass Pokémon. If Shroomish didn’t strike your fancy (Breloom is more of a Fighting Pokémon, anyway), you could use Oddish. Since it has Sweet Scent, it makes a decent HM/TM slave, especially when you go to the Safari Zone. The difference between Vileplume and Bellossom is that Vileplume has slightly better Special Attack and Bellossom has slightly better Special Defense, Bellossom is pure Grass and can learn Safeguard through TM. I’d pick Vileplume personally. (Grass, Poison; Chlorophyll)
S – Absorb
7 – Sweet Scent
14 – Poison Powder
16 – Stun Spore
18 – Sleep Powder (A very useful move.)
21 – EVOLUTION
24 – Acid
35 – Moon Light
44 – Petal Dance
Leaf Stone – EVOLUTION to Vileplume
Sun Stone – EVOLUTION to Bellossom

Gulpin/Swalot: Er… em… ah. I don’t know why anybody would want this. Sticky Hold prevents the held item from being knocked off or stolen. (Poison; Liquid Ooze, Sticky Hold)
S – Pound
6 – Yawn
9 – Poison Gas
14 – Sludge
17 – Amnesia
23 – Encore
26 – EVOLUTION
31 – Toxic
40 – Stockpile
40 – Spit Up
40 – Swallow
48 – Sludge Bomb

As I head north, I see the fake professor again. He gives me his phone number, to “rate my Pokédex”. The lazy [expletive removed] is being paid to do nothing.

This battle was rather fun, actually. It was a war of attrition involving Leech Seed, Supersonic, Thunder Wave, Poison Sting and lots of Oran Berries.

While Tentacool’s Attack is still weak (Hmm, it actually has more Attack than Defense now), Acid’s 40 Power is far better than Poison Sting and Constrict’s 15 and 10 Power.

On my way to Mauville City, I meet the creepy girl again. Hmm, she’s starting to become a rather worthy adversary. I will not lose to her, it is below my dignity.

She has two new Pokémon. Depending on the starter, she has either Shroomish, Slugma or Wingull.

“Aim for the face!”

Well, that was a tough fight. She nearly wiped out my brave three. Our team isn’t exactly optimal as type matchups go, I should get a new little demon soon…

Since stupid people seem to drop items at an alarming rate, which my Zigzagoon can attest to, this might come in handy. Though the girl shouldn’t think she can bribe me.

Teleport is awesomely glorious.

I’ve heard rumours of Mauville City being corrupt, full of gambling addicts and lunatics. We’ll see how true the rumours are. It has a total of nine buildings – a sprawling metropolis no doubt.

“I’d be pissed off too.”

“…”

Note to self: There’s at least one lunatic in this town.

This one’s DEFINITELY a lunatic.

Lyssna och lär, missa inte chansen, nu är vi här, med Tentacooldansen!

This guy gives away bikes for free. Maybe he’s not a lunatic, maybe he’s just extremely generous. Maybe. Oh, at least I didn’t have to listen to a monologue of an old man being overly creepy in his description of his love for Rapidash. I wonder how I should fit this thing in my bag…

There are two bikes to choose from, though you can switch them anytime. The Mach bike can scale cliffs and speed over crumbling roof tiles. The Acro bike can go over ledges. If you jump up and down on a spot with the Acro bike in a spot of grass, wild Pokémon may appear; it’s useful in the Safari zone. The Mach bike is also faster, though the Acro bike is more controllable. I chose the Mach bike as it is more useful in accessing places. I’m not a fan of using bikes as transportation, though.

I meet a woman, who for some reason has an uncontrollable urge for Harbour Mails. Hey, wait a minute…

Who woulda thought? Hmm, I do notice a certain amount of lunacy due to her willingness to trade it for an elusive Coin Case…

The TMs sold here are so darn awesome. With the exception of Double Team.

TM32 = Double Team
TM29 = Psychic
TM35 = Flamethrower
TM24 = Thunderbolt
TM13 = Ice Beam

Whoever designed this crazy robotic roulette table is a lunatic.

“My name is Henny. You joined my father. Prepare to die.”

He sends out Ralts. “Two can play that game”, I say and send out my own Ralts. I command him to use Double Team, but the foe does the same. Holy [expletive removed], that’s a lot of Ralts copies. I can’t tell which one is which. Wally’s father appears to suffering from a heart attack. The Ralts! They’re in my hair, they’re in my nose, they’re in my pants. They’re everywhere…!

Who wouldn’t be? Nobody hits each other for a crapton of turns. But the bugger finally kicks the bucket, and Wally, that rotten agent of my father’s, decides to flee. And this Scott person, my pimp friend, got all impressed because I managed to beat a level 16 Ralts. Big deal. Before entering the gym I shall do a detour to Verdanturf town. These generous lunatics are scaring me.

Route 117 – Has some new Pokémon, but none of them are valuable. Also a Daycare center.
Illumise – Common
Marill – Common
Oddish – Very Common
Poochyena – Common
Volbeat – Rare
Seedot – Rare
In water:
Corphish – Common (Good Rod), Very Common (Super Rod)
Goldeen – Rare (Old Rod), Common (Good Rod)
Magikarp – Very Common (Old Rod, Good Rod)
Marill – Very Common

My Ralts has some sort of metamorphosis. Now she’s apparently a Kirlia. While not as cute, she now has more ass-kicking stats.

“You’re feeling bad about the Skitty we tortured, enslaved and then put on fire in the cave, don’t you? You’re a weakling, Shroomish.”

I love this rod. First it pulls up my most elite of Pokémon, and then it pulls this up too. It looks absolutely fabulous. I must put it in my box.

Goldeen/Seaking: Its moveset is so incredibly weak. I don’t like its stats, either. Not a good Pokémon. Water Veil makes the Pokémon immune to burn. (Water; Swift Swim, Water Veil)
S – Peck
S – Tail Whip
S – Water Sport
10 – Supersonic
15 – Horn Attack
24 – Flail
29 – Fury Attack
33 – EVOLUTION
41 – Waterfall
49 – Horn Drill
61 – Agility

Volbeat: It’s not worthy of a description. Illuminate increases the chance of encountering wild Pokémon and Swarm raises Special Attack by 1.5x if its HP falls below 1/3. (Bug; Illuminate, Swarm)
S – Tackle
5 – Confuse Ray
9 – Double Team
13 – Moonlight
17 – Quick Attack
21 – Tail Glow
25 – Signal Beam
29 – Protect
33 – Helping Hand
37 – Double-Edge

Illumise: Same for this one, ‘cept it’s even more worthless than Volbeat. Oblivious means Pokémon can’t be attracted. (Bug; Oblivious)
S – Tackle
5 – Confuse Ray
9 – Charm
13 – Moonlight
17 – Quick Attack
21 – Wish
25 – Encore
29 – Flatter
33 – Helping Hand
37 – Covet

Back in Route 110, I encounter the following house. It has a really strange sign. It tells me to go three steps to the right, even though there’s a house.

“Your trees are no match for my lumberjack raccoon-thingy”, I say.
“Fine! Take this”, he replies and gives me a Rare Candy.
“Are you from Mauville, by any chance?”

The Trick Master gives you the following items, as you beat his challenges:

Rare Candy
Timer Ball
Hard Stone
Smoke Ball (Actually isn’t for catching Pokémon, but rather fleeing from battles)
TM12 Taunt
Magnet
PP Max (Puts a Pokémon’s PP in one move to the max)
Tent (Which is awesome)

“I’m sorry I called you a weakling.”

Volbeat, the rarer of the two bugs in Emerald, is now safely in my Poké Ball.

A Seedot, which I had neglected to search for back in Route 102, suddenly appeared.

My Tentacool has learned Bubblebeam. The world is now doomed.

“And I, HENNY, the LEADER of TEAM HENNY, shall cover you in bubbles! Also, why are we screaming?”

Wattson has a level 20 Voltorb, a level 20 Electrike, a level 22 Magneton and a level 24 Manectric. Er, I sort of doubt I’ll win, but we’ll see how it goes.

The Voltorb would rather commit suicide than stand another round of Bubblebeam. Coward.

I did not actually expect to win, but now I’ve done it somehow. Er, the Dynamo Badge and TM34 Shock Wave are mine, I suppose. And Zigzagoon can now not only Cut down bushes, but also Rock Smash boulders!

“No, I am bubblefying. And I hope all of what you said was meant metaphorically, or it doesn’t make sense.”

Make a functioning route between Rustboro and Verdanturf and help a couple’s dreams come true, or just gloat at a rock? Decisions, decisions…

I can now push boulders! With the help of a yet unknown Gym Badge, of course…

If only I had had a Squirtle.

It’s like it’s a small Christmas.

“Hmm… how about…”

“…[expletive removed]”?

“She’s got a Mudkip plush toy right next to her. Of course she isn’t smiling.”

Back in the Dewford cave, I mean Granite Cave, we are able to reach the upper part of the cavern with our bike.

I crash through the cave on a bike, in high speed, a couple of times. I think I’ve broken a couple of ribs. But before me is another Everstone.

I’m having fun making poor Zigzagoon smashing his little body against rocks when I happen upon this… thing. I capture it.

All right, my current team at the moment, HM slaves excluded:




The Nosepass is female. And Nosepass can learn Magnitude as an egg move. That kind of gives me an idea…

Pokémon Emerald Update #4

March 20, 2010

Click here to go back to the index.

We’ve got ourselves the fantastically creative Stone Badge! Only three gym badges until we can settle a score with Norman, and we can now go on a bush-killing spree with HM01 Cut. 🙂

Your advice might be completely useless for those with even a faint glimmer of knowledge in Pokémon game mechanics, but your choice of vocabulary on this particular occasion has imbued me with respect. Perhaps we shall meet again, in another place…

As I exited the gym, the Team Aqua goon I had met in Petalburg Woods runs north in a great hurry. It is clearly him, as I now hear crazy accordion music. The guy in the green suit I met shouts at him, pleading to give back his papers, as if the goon would run back and give it to him if only he said “please”. He actually starts to chase him. I don’t think the mushroom effect is quite gone yet. Also, both of them are terribly slow runners from what I can tell. Hmm, perhaps I should join this madness as well.

“I’m going to be frank with you”, I told Mudkip. “The whole journey so far, you’ve only been a pain in the arse. Team Henny only has room for Pokémon who can actually kick arse, HM/TM slaves, and possibly eggs. You’re neither of them. Since I’m in a good mood I’m only going to let you rot in this box. You better be thankful I didn’t leave you at the mercy of those murderous Shroomish.”

Route 116 – Wait, we’re on Route 116 already? But the last route was Route 104. Well, at least we have four (technically five) new Pokémon at our disposal.
Nincada – Common
Poochyena – Common
Skitty – Rare
Taillow – Common
Whismur – Common
Abra – Common

Abra/Kadabra/Alakazam: This is such an awesome Pokémon. The Special Attack of this beast is murderously high, and its Speed isn’t something to be scoffed at either. It can lay down a massive smack on anything that stands in your way. However, it’s hard to evolve it as you need to trade it, so Kadabra is usually the final evolution. Still kicks arse. The Inner Focus ability makes its user immune to flinching. (Psychic; Synchronise, Inner Focus)
S – Teleport (Abra can’t do much initially, unlike Ralts)
16 – EVOLUTION
16 – Confusion
18 – Disable
21 – Psybeam
23 – Reflect
25 – Recover
30 – Future Sight
33 – Role Play
36 – Psychic
43 – Trick

Nincada/Ninjask: The Speed of Ninjask is extreme. And it has an ability, Speed Boost, which raises it’s Speed every turn as well. Unfortunately, I have hard to see it’s usefulness in this adventure. It’s all too fragile to have much use of Fury Cutter anyway. (Nincada is Bug/Ground and has Compoundeyes, Ninjask is Bug/Flying and has Speed Boost)
S – Scratch
S – Harden
5 – Leech Life
9 – Sand Attack
14 – Fury Swipes
19 – Mind Reader
20 – EVOLUTION
20 – Fury Cutter
20 – Screech
25 – Swords Dance
31 – Slash
38 – Agility
45 – Baton Pass
Alternatively, if Nincada doesn’t evolve:
25 – False Swipe
31 – Mud-Slap
38 – Metal Claw
45 – Dig (Note that Nincada and Trapinch are the only Pokémon in Hoenn who can learn Dig without using a TM)

Shedinja: To get this Pokémon, you must have room in your party and a Poké Ball. When Nincada evolves, you should be surprised to see a new critter in your party. Its main strength is Wonder Guard. It means it’s immune to any attack to which it isn’t weak to; that means all attacks except Fire, Flying, Rock, Ghost and Dark are useless against it. The catch is that it only has one HP. It has superb strategic advantages, of course, and is the only Ghost Pokémon you can get this early in the game. (Bug, Ghost; Wonder Guard)
S – Scratch
S – Harden
5 – Leech Life
9 – Sand Attack
14 – Fury Swipes
19 – Mind Reader
25 – Spite
31 – Confuse Ray
38 – Shadow Ball
45 – Grudge

Whismur/Loudred/Exploud: Um… I’m not sure what to say about this one. It has equal Attack and Special Attack despite only learning Physical moves, it has a pretty crappy moveset, and doesn’t offer any type advantages. I’d say this is a fairly weak Pokémon. Soundproof is an ability causing immunity to sound moves like Roar and Sing. (Normal; Soundproof)
S – Pound
5 – Uproar
11 – Astonish
15 – Howl
20 – EVOLUTION
23 – Supersonic
29 – Stomp
37 – Screech
40 – EVOLUTION
40 – Hyper Beam
45 – Roar
55 – Rest
55 – Sleep Talk
63 – Hyper Voice

Skitty/Delcatty: Useful for annoying the hell out of opponents, I suppose? Other than that, it’s kind of useless. A waste of a Moon Stone, I suppose one might call it. The Cute Charm infatuates Pokémon on physical contact (the opponent or you uses a physical move [physical in the sense of non-ranged]), but only if they are of the opposite gender. Boo, Nintendo and it’s heteronormativity. 😛 (Normal; Cute Charm)
S – Growl
S – Tackle
3 – Tail Whip (Huh, got any level 2 Skitty?)
7 – Attract
13 – Sing
15 – Doubleslap (I can totally picture Skitty doing that)
19 – Assist
25 – Charm
27 – Faint Attack
31 – Covet
37 – Heal Bell
39 – Double-Edge

“I know you’re dying to kill it, but if you could please paralyse it and bring it to the brink of destruction? I wish to enslave it. Don’t screw this up.”

The Pokédex entry says “it threatens foes with a large fang”. I refuse to believe it. :3

“With the powers of Emo, these small bushes shall be exterminated. It’s for the good of mankind.”

An old man standing outside the cave entrance says something about a scoundrel walking into the cave with Wingull hostage in one hand and important papers in another. This cave happens to be full of sound-sensitive Whismurs who will raise hell if they are disturbed. That and an inebriated, foul-mouth sailor and a screechy Wingull doesn’t sound like the best combination.

Fool, your inane chatter has doomed us all. I am afraid I’ll have to use physical violence on you”, I say to him. He starts spouting profanity on me, and sends out his lone Poochyena. The thing is now level 11 somehow. I manage to kill it, rob him off the Devon Goods and have a chitchat with the deranged sailor (retired) before having to flee in the face of the oncoming Whismur hordes. I barely escape with my life. My ears are ringing.

Dumdidumdidum, I’m not carrying any Devon Goods. Dumdidumdidum, I am a lawabiding citizen. Dumdi- damn, caught.

With great stress, I walk towards the President. I know the punishment of corporate espionage in Hoenn all too well. Death. If anything goes wrong, which I think it will, I think I can get out of the building by taking him hostage.

Wha…? He hands me a letter, gives me some cool gizmo called a PokéNav and fully heals my Pokémon. He doesn’t even take the Devon Goods back. And some scientist fellow messed around with my PokéNav just as I was leaving, hopefully improving it. Talk about jumping from the ash into the… candy. While I still have my life, he expects me to go on errands. One must pay with one’s freedom to keep one’s freedom, it appears.

As I walk out of the city, that girl harasses me again. I tried to sneak past her, but she spotted me. She even asks me about my number. She creeps me out…

At this point she insults me by calling my Pokémon weak. Very well, a battle she will have!

May’s Pokémon only manages to inflict damage upon me once, even though the battle raged on for 8-10 turns or so. The power of Double Team is mighty indeed.

“Take this seed thingy”, I command Shroomish.
“Shroomish?”, Shroomish countered.
“I don’t know how it works. It’s a miracle!”

“Er… am I interrupting?”

“The ocean reminds me of Mudkip. But fine, I’ll go with you. If only because it takes me further from Littleroot Town. Grah, now I remember that town again.”

My father managed to get my phone number somehow. He interrupts my lovely boat ride. The deranged sailor (retired) is even forced to weigh anchor hoping that my stream of expletives will subside. He asks me where I am, and I answer, in panic, Route 116. And those Wingulls have to screech and the boat have to honk at this precise moment.

Reading the sign of this town depresses me even more than “Where things start off scarce”. Oh well, it has five buildings. (But no PokéMart!)

“Its secrecy means it isn’t available to the broader masses. So I suppose not.”

Considering that I’ve just moved into Hoenn, and since I have a spontaneous tendency to speak overly short and in all caps, I yell “DON’T KNOW” at him.

Villager 1: What’s the current trend on this wacked up island?
Villager 2: DON’T KNOW.

With this ancient rod, one can pull up Magikarp and Tentacool, at least around this town.

My Shroomish tries to flee from the terrible Magikarp, but Magikarp put its Splash techniques to good use, meaning Shroomish had to try escaping five times before succeeding. The monstrosity will haunt his nightmares for the rest of his life.

I’ve decided to incorporate Tentacool into the team. Initially because I wanted to show Mudkip that even a jellyfish squid thingy could do better than him. But now I’ve also gained quite some admiration for it. I suppose it’s partly because of stories I heard…

It takes place during WWII, when the commerce raiding on Britain was at it’s peak. The Germans and their wolfpacks was the only thing Churchill was afraid of. When a ship is torpedoed, some of the sailors survived. With their water Pokémon they were able to get ashore. If they were unlucky, however, they were sunk just above a Tentacool nest. The Tentacool would come by the hundreds, slowly poisoning them to death through Poison Sting, strangling them by Constrict or Wrap, using Supersonic to mess with the sailors’ poor minds, and Bubblebeam to kill them outright. When they are finished, they use Acid to make the sailors digestible. It was horrible.

Also, that Special Defense is indeed impressive. It has as much Special Attack as Ralts does at level 14 as well. I am lost in those eyes…

Tentacool/Tentacruel: While not the strongest Pokémon, it is quite decent. Until level 25, its main role is being annoying in general. It is weak against Electric, Ground and Psychic and has seven wopping resistances. And one musn’t forget about that Special Defense. Clear Body negates foes lowering its stats, and Liquid Ooze inflicts damage if the opponent uses HP-absorbing moves. Clear Body is much more useful. (Water, Poison; Clear Body, Liquid Ooze)
S – Poison Sting
6 – Supersonic
12 – Constrict (10 Power, with 10% chance of lowering the foe’s Speed? Useless.)
19 – Acid
25 – Bubblebeam
30 – Wrap
30 – EVOLUTION
38 – Barrier
47 – Screech
55 – Hydro Pump

Magikarp/Gyarados: Attack is Gyarados’ strong point. It has a lot of points in every stat, though. Powerful in general. 4x weakness to Electric kind of sucks though, but it can be exploited if you were to battle them. It’s interesting to note that Magikarp has no Egg moves at all, and Gyarados has no Flying moves even though it’s part Flying. I’m not sure how that works, it doesn’t look like it has wings or anything. (Water, [Flying]; Intimidate [Gyarados], Swift Swim [Magikarp])
S – Splash
15 – Tackle
(Magikarp learns Flail at level 30)
20 – EVOLUTION
20 – Bite
25 – Dragon Rage
30 – Leer
35 – Twister
40 – Hydro Pump
45 – Rain Dance
50 – Dragon Dance
55 – Hyper Beam

I’ve noticed that some Pokémon prefer to commit suicide than be at the mercy of Tentacool. This Magikarp for example. It hurt itself, trying to kill itself. But Tentacool, unwilling to let a victim go down so cowardly, finished it off with a Poison Sting.

Granite Cave – I always forget the name of this cave. It will always be “the cave near Dewford” to me. Also, six new of the ‘lil demons can be found here.
On the first floor:
Abra – Common
Geodude – Common
Makuhita – Very Common
Zubat – Common
On the first basement floor:
Abra – Common
Aron – Very Common
Makuhita – Common
Sableye – Common
Zubat – Very Common
On the second basement floor:
Abra – Common
Aron – Very Common
Makuhita – Common
Sableye – Common
Zubat – Very Common
Geodude – Very Common (Rock Smash)
Nosepass – Common (Rock Smash)

You’ll receive HM05 Flash, the HM you actually don’t need to complete the game. But it’s useful.

Zubat/Golbat/Crobat: Perhaps one of the most hated Pokémon, considering its prevalence in caves and elsewhere, and its crippling mastery of annoyment. It’s a fairly decent Pokémon. Just don’t expect it to sweep up the teams of opponents. It also learns Quick Attack as an Egg move. (Poison, Flying; Inner Focus)
S – Leech Life
6 – Astonish
11 – Supersonic
16 – Bite
21 – Wing Attack (:D)
22 – EVOLUTION
28 – Confuse Ray
35 – Air Cutter (Worse than Wing Attack)
42 – Mean Look
49 – Poison Fang
56 – Haze
Happiness – EVOLUTION

Makuhita/Hariyama: If you don’t want to use Blaziken, Breloom or Machoke, but want a Fighting Pokémon, this is the one for you. Packs quite a punch. It can learn Cross Chop as an Egg move. (Fighting; Thick Fat, Guts)
S – Tackle
S – Focus Energy
4 – Sand Attack
10 – Arm Thrust
13 – Vital Throw
19 – Fake Out
22 – Whirlwind (How Makuhita does this is anyone’s guess)
24 – EVOLUTION
29 – Knock Off
33 – Smellingsalt
40 – Belly Drum
44 – Endure
51 – Seismic Toss
55 – Reversal


Vital Throw in action.

While looking up information about how Vital Throw works, I actually learned something new about Pokémon game mechanics: Priority. That’s how moves like Quick Attack, Counter, Pursuit and so on works. Vital Throw has a priority of -1, so it will usually strike after other moves, regardless of speed. Quick Attack has a priority of +1, which explains why it strikes before other moves. Switching out, using items and fleeing has a priority of +6, and if you switch Pokémon or attempt to flee Pursuit will gain a priority of +7, which means it can strike before that.

Aron/Lairon/Aggron: Some sturdy fellows. Has 4x weakness to Ground and Fighting, but has ten resistances, and 4x resistance to Rock and Flying. Their moveset leaves something to be desired, though. Sturdy means OHKO moves have no effect (when I talked about “useless” abilities in the beginning, I was thinking about this one) and Rock Head means the Pokémon doesn’t receive recoil damage. (Steel, Rock; Sturdy, Rock Head)
S – Tackle
4 – Harden
7 – Mud Slap
10 – Headbutt
13 – Metal Claw (Only super effective against Rock and Ice)
17 – Iron Defense
21 – Roar
25 – Take Down
29 – Iron Tail
32 – EVOLUTION
37 – Protect
50 – Metal Sound
63 – Double-Edge

Sableye: Its most obvious advantage is that it has no weaknesses, as well as two immunities. Awesome. And it has diamonds for eyes. Since it’s a Pokémon that doesn’t evolve, its stats are quite good this early in the game but don’t expand later. (Dark, Ghost; Keen Eye)
S – Leer
S – Scratch
5 – Foresight
9 – Night Shade
13 – Astonish
17 – Fury Swipes
21 – Fake Out
25 – Detect
29 – Faint Attack
33 – Knock Off
37 – Confuse Ray
41 – Shadow Ball
45 – Mean Look

Geodude/Graveler/Golem: Another one of those “won’t evolve unless traded Pokémon”. 4x weakness to Water and Grass, and five weaknesses overall. Not the best Pokémon, exactly. Still, I’ve found myself using it sometimes because it has moves which are useful on the journey. Attack and Defense are high, but the rest is fairly low. You just gotta love it, despite its shortcomings. (Rock, Ground; Sturdy, Rock Head)
S – Tackle
S – Defense Curl
6 – Mud Sport
11 – Rock Throw
16 – Magnitude
21 – Selfdestruct
25 – EVOLUTION
29 – Rollout
37 – Rock Blast
45 – Earthquake (:D)
53 – Explosion
62 – Double-Edge

Nosepass: Being pure Rock means it isn’t quite as vulnerable as Geodude is. Better Defense and Special Defense than Graveler, and has surprisingly high Special Attack. Its moveset is sort of… strange. It can learn Thunderbolt through TM24. Magnet Pull means Steel Pokémon can’t flee. Er, better than Sturdy I guess. (Rock; Magnet Pull, Sturdy)
S – Tackle
7 – Harden
13 – Rock Throw
16 – Block
22 – Thunder Wave (Darn useful)
28 – Rock Slide
31 – Sandstorm
37 – Rest
43 – Zap Cannon (So… [expletive removed]… bad…)
46 – Lock-On

I throw the three Great Balls I had got at the Abra I encounter. I might as well have thrown them into the sea.

“I’m Henny. I have a Tentacool.”

Brawly is much better than Roxanne “Poor Predictable Rock”. Comes with a level 16 Machop, a level 16 Meditite and a level 19 Makuhita. Will kick your arse unless you’re careful.

Meditite spams Focus Punch. Just use any directly damaging move and it will lose its focus. Brawly wasted all of his Super Portions trying to save Meditite from the wrath of Tentacool and her inefficient Poison Stings.

I almost feel a bit guilty using Leech Seed. It seems like such a horrific move. Those parasiting plants… argh.

Two Vital Throws were enough to put Tentacool and Shroomish out of commission, but the combined effects of Leech Seed, Paralysis and Confusion meant that was the only hits he was able to inflict. An “It hurt itself in its confusion” and a “Foe MAKUHITA’s health was sapped by Leech Seed” later and the poor fellow died. The Dewford gym badge is ours!

And I who thought Double-Slap was odd.

I’ll be damned. Despite frustrating me before, Abra is now in my possession.

Holding Everstone, a Pokémon won’t evolve. This is a valid strategy sometimes, since you can learn moves faster, and get some moves which you otherwise cannot.

Walking into the cave room, I encounter a man looking at a completely ordinary cave rock. He introduces himself as Steven, and says that he has a very large interest in stones. It seems to be a quite popular pastime in Hoenn. I give him the damn letter and he gives me a Steel Wing in return. Works for me.

And that’s all for this update.

Cheatalympics

March 16, 2010

The sport events known as Olympics has had a long affair with doping. Some substances can signficantly increase the capability of athletes, at least in the short-term. These substances are banned, however. Ignoring the potentially harmful effects of certain drugs, why? If the whole point of Olympics is to be the fastest, jump the highest and so on, why wouldn’t people be able to use these substances to aid them? The answer would be something along the lines of that the athlete should derive his results through committed training and dedication, not “cheating”. In other words, it’s deemed to be too much of an unfair advantage.


Even if all the competition ran faster than Asterix, Asterix won because he didn’t use the magic portion.

At that point I’m starting to wonder. It’s undeniable that the athletes who win medals would never be as good as they are if they didn’t have the genetic disposition required to do so. Not only is genetics a very strong factor, but the socio-economic aspect as well. The Soviet Union, for example, had a pretty impressive track record on winning Olympic medals. But, as can be seen here, Russia’s medals have decreased since then. Does this mean that Russians suddenly got inherently worser at sports? No, it’s mean that the resources committed by the Russian state have not been as good. In this sense, the Olympics can be seen as a sort of nationalistic masturbation because it’s divided along the lines of nation against nation.

If certain athletes have such an advantage in genetics, doesn’t the concept sort of fall on the ground? They say that sports is a test in how far one can push the human body, but that is at variance with the policy on doping. And then the line gets even more blurry.

The International Olympic Committee has seemingly been playing catch-up for years with athletes who use sophisticated means to mask their use of steroids, human growth hormone, erythropoietin, or EPO, and other performance-enhancing drugs.

Now, through the World Anti-Doping Agency, the I.O.C. wants to anticipate the possibility that athletes will begin re-engineering certain genes to strengthen their muscles, increase their oxygen-carrying capacity, block their pain or speed their pace of healing from injury.

”The best way to deal with it is to prevent it and move quickly to the forefront of the technology,” Dick Pound, the anti-doping agency’s chairman, said yesterday in Manhattan after a conference on genetic enhancement in athletics at Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., that was attended by scientists, sports officials, educators and ethicists.

The use of drugs, and, perhaps, more startling, the engineering of genes to enhance performance, raises questions about the notion of what an athlete is. Is he the product of his genetic makeup, environment and training?

Or can he add to his natural stew with the latest in scientific advances?

Pound, a former Olympic swimmer and longtime I.O.C. member, said, ”Sports are designed by people for people — people are not designed for a particular sport.”

Still, that purism has been tainted by drug use; altering genes appears to represent the latest temptation.

Research into genetic therapy for legitimate medical purposes has been taking place for years, with only limited success so far. Pound said there was no evidence that the emerging genetic technology had been used by athletes. Some experts wonder, though, if illicit efforts are under way to harness the emerging techniques for athletics. ”It’s impossible to say there isn’t clandestine work in genetics going on,” said Theodore Friedmann, professor of pediatrics at the University of California’s Center for Molecular Genetics in San Diego.

Christopher Evans, director of the Center for Molecular Orthopedics at Harvard Medical School, raised the question a different way. ”Could a rogue person be doing this in his basement?” he said. ”Probably.”

Pound suggested that genetic enhancement could be widespread among athletes within five years, underscoring the need to develop ways of detecting such abuse before it occurs.

The scientific and sports communities are faced with a dilemma: the same genetic transfer techniques that would be used for legitimate medical therapies — think of an anterior cruciate ligament that does not tear when a ton’s worth of defensive linemen tackle a running back — could also be used illicitly.

”How do we distinguish enhancement from treatment?” said Joseph Glorioso, director of the Pittsburgh Human Gene Therapy Center at the University of Pittsburgh. ”Athletes should have rights of access to therapies. But we have to control the length of expression of the gene, and that will take a lot of judgment.”

Friedmann said therapy and enhancement were part of a continuum in which a genetic treatment to heal a short-term injury could also lead to the long-term enhancement of the athlete’s genetic makeup.

So, the peeps who are in charge of the Olympics think that people shouldn’t be allowed to make up for their genetic shortfalls – since it’s an enhancement it’s apparently automatically a no-no. At the same time, Kenyans appear to have better genetic capabilities for running, and people are thus interested in getting Kenyans to train and become runners in support of their nations. What’s the difference between genetic enhancement and deliberately looking for certain genetic populations who perform better? Evidently the Olympic committee finds it to be a very large distinction.

Paralympics has also started. Yet again I find this strange, the people who participate in the Paralympics wouldn’t be able to stand up to the people who participate in the Olympics. But not just about everyone can participate in the Paralympics, one needs to be handicapped. So this is like a game where the limits of the human body is tested – but only for the handicapped? Divided along nationality, of course. May I perhaps propose that we start the Decentlympics, for people who perhaps aren’t the best, but are otherwise healthy and physically well? At that point it becomes pretty obvious how silly the Olympics is.

Dick Pound is an amusing name, BTW.

Pokémon Emerald Update #3

March 14, 2010

“You were nearly wiped out by a puny bird!”, I scream at him. “Damn, you suck!”
“Mudkip…”
“I am not pushing you too hard.” *whip lash*

Since time is frozen in my game, replanting seeds is totally ineffectual. I’ll just wreak down those bushes and leave barren wasteland behind… to the tune of that cheerful melody. 🙂

I enter the streets of Petalburg City. It has a total of six buildings – a place bigger than anything I’ve ever seen before. My abusive father runs a gym here. He used to beat me up a lot when I was a kid. I shall never forget his horrible whiskey breath. Hoping my father hasn’t seen me yet, I sneak out of the city as soon as possible. However, I am being stopped in the tracks by a “rookie trainer” (an agent of my father’s, of course) who, at gun-point, suggests I should check out the gym in town. Well, damn. I enter the gym and see my father, standing there. The look he gives me petrifies me. He is about to say something when a kid, wailing, enters the gym. He requests that my father help him catch a Pokémon. I expect my father to break his neck at this preposterous request, but instead he calmly borrows him a Zigzagoon and a shiny Poké Ball (which he had promised to give to me) and suggested that I instruct Wally to catch a Pokémon. The old man’s just screwing around with me. Me and Wally walk out into the tall grass and encounter a Ralts. I try to give him as crappy advice as possible, but he manages to catch it anyway.

Steaming mad, I slap my father with a silk glove and challenge him to fisticuffs. Too much of a coward to fight, he calls me a “greenhorn” and says he won’t battle me unless I can show him four badges. Very well, but he is only procrastinating on his own inevitable defeat and humiliation.


Some dude asked me about my “profile”. I gave him two phrases in hopes that would be it. Also, as I was leaving the town a pimp calling himself Scott complimented me for my incredibly clean clothes. I spouted my new profile at him, and he fled.

Route 104 – Contains the cabin of a deranged retired sailor, a forest and a flower shop.
Marill – Common
Poochyena – Very Common
Taillow – Common
Wingull – Common
Wurmple – Common
In water:
Magikarp – Very Common (Old Rod, Good Rod, Super Rod)

There are two parts of Route 104; they are seperated by Petalburg Woods. In the first part, note the empty cabin. It’ll be of interest later.

Taillow/Swellow: The belated early bird. The strongest quality of it is that it learns Wing Attack, a 60 power move, as early as level 13, and fully evolves as early as level 22. It doesn’t have many other advantages beyond that, however. The Guts ability raises Attack if the Pokémon has a Status Effect. (Normal, Flying; Guts)
S – Peck
S – Growl
4 – Focus Energy
8 – Quick Attack
13 – Wing Attack
19 – Double Team
22 – EVOLUTION
28 – Endeavor
38 – Aerial Ace
49 – Agility

Azurill/Marill/Azumarill: Don’t use this unless you want a real challenge. This is a really crappy Pokémon. Thick Fat decreases the effectiveness of Fire and Ice-type moves and Huge Power increases the Pokémon’s Attack power in battle. (Water; Thick Fat, Huge Power)
Azurill is a quite special baby Pokémon. Have a female Marill hold the item Sea Incense to get hatch it. Azurill is the, on average, second weakest Pokémon, only Sunkern having worser stats. Since Azurill has a different gender ratio than Marill (75% female compared to 50% male), one in three Azurill will turn male when they evolve. Azurill evolves through happiness.
S – Tackle
3 – Defense Curl
6 – Tail Whip
10 – Water Gun
15 – Rollout
18 – EVOLUTION
24 – Bubblebeam (65 power isn’t something to sneeze at)
28 – Double-Edge
36 – Rain Dance
45 – Hydro Pump

Petalburg Woods – We’re finally starting to see some decent Pokémon. The cocoon Pokémon are good training.
Cascoon – Common
Shroomish – Common
Silcoon – Common
Slakoth – Rare
Taillow – Rare
Wurmple – Common

Shroomish/Breloom: While it’s the Grass moves which are most useful in the beginning, Shroomish becomes a Fighting type once it evolves, and the Fighting moves become more useful at that point onwards. It’s a very good Pokémon this early in the game. The Effect Spore ability is pretty cool, considering it can inflict Paralysis, Poison or Sleep every time it attacks with a Physical attack. (Grass, Fighting; Effect Spore)
S – Absorb
4 – Tackle
7 – Stun Spore
10 – Leech Seed
16 – Mega Drain
22 – Headbutt
23 – EVOLUTION
23 – Mach Punch (The Quick Attack of the Fighting type)
28 – Counter
36 – Sky Uppercut
45 – Mind Reader
54 – Dynamicpunch (Which sucks, I might add)
Alternatively, if Shroomish doesn’t evolve:
28 – Poisonpowder
36 – Growth
45 – Giga Drain
54 – Spore (100% accuracy to put an opponent to sleep? *drools*)

Slakoth/Vigoroth/Slaking: While it has the worst ability ever (can only move every second turn), it’s Attack is simply monstruous. You shall have to meet these foes later on. Note that because Vigoroth has Vital Spirit (can’t be put to sleep) instead of Truant, it’s an evolutionary stage potentially more useful than the final form. I wouldn’t recommend using this Pokémon in the main adventure, though. (Normal; Truant [Vital Spirit])
S – Scratch
S – Yawn
7 – Encore
13 – Slack Off
18 – EVOLUTION
19 – Fury Swipes
25 – Endure
31 – Slash
36 – EVOLUTION
36 – Swagger
37 – Counter
43 – Flail
Alternatively, if Slakoth doesn’t evolve:
19 – Faint Attack
25 – Amnesia
37 – Counter
43 – Flail
Alternatively, if Vigoroth doesn’t evolve:
37 – Counter
43 – Focus Punch
49 – Reversal

I’m not sure what the difference between a forest and a regular Route is, but I suppose they’re more maze-like and has more crazed Bug Catchers (possibly crazed through consumption of mushrooms). As I walk through the forest, I encounter a corpulent, middle-aged man. He asks me if I have seen any mushrooms. Suddenly he panics, and I wonder if maybe he has had some already. I see the cause of his panicking: a sailor emerges from the darkness.

“I am not a kid, I am just a bit short. *snivels*” I reply. I send out Mudkip, and he sends out Poochyena. I swiftly defeat him. I wait for his next Pokémon, but he hasn’t got any! Possibly he has had some mushrooms as well. “Maybe you should bring more than one Pokémon next time, idiot”, I scream at him while he scurries away. The green-suit gave me a Great Ball as thanks. I was just about to rob him of his important papers, when he ran away. Goldurnit.

Well out of the forest, I walk into a florist shop. They give me a Wailmer Pail, a berry and advice about making berries grow. Perhaps subtle hinting that I should make my own flowers instead of harassing them.

Approaching Rustboro, you have your very first Double Battle set up. It’s like a normal battle, but with four Pokémon instead. Moves like Surf and Growl can affect both of the opponents, while Earthquake and Selfdestruct can affect everyone in the battle, so be careful.

Rustboro City – A total of twelve buildings! A metropolis no doubt. Home of the first Pokémon Gym and the Devon corporation.

“You know my intentions all too well.”

Roxanne is the first gym leader. Commander of Rock Pokémon, her defeat will mean you can finally use HM01 Cut, and you will get Rock Tomb. You might notice the gym leaders in Emerald are better than those in Ruby and Sapphire. She has two level 12 Geodude and a level 15 Nosepass.

“Hasta la Vista, baby!”

My level 10 Shroomish managed to disassemble her whole team single-handedly, and gained three levels in the process. Stun Spore negated the speed-lowering effects of Rock Tomb, and Leech Seed was of great help as well.

And that concludes this update.

Nail Soup

March 11, 2010

I suppose you’ve all heard of the story about the old man making soup out of a stone? In Sweden, instead of a stone, there’s a nail. I’m not sure what the reason for this odd cultural difference is, but I suppose details in oral stories shift shape a lot as they get passed along the generations. It’s like that whispering game, but more slow and far-reaching. Apparently in Russia they have an axe instead, which just shows how awesome they are.

In any case, I think the nail seems to be a good metaphor for religion. Religion is one of the most prevailing cultural structures in our civilization. It seems to be an effective motivator for people to do things – be they good or bad. Religion has a memetical quality into it, it’s an idea that spreads like a virus, the success of the memes battling it out against each other. That it is a meme doesn’t say anything about whether it’s true or not, of course; many other ideas like political ideologies are memetical.

I often hear people say that while science is of course an invaluable tool for understanding the world, religion apparently has a lot to offer which the scientific, materialist peeps won’t understand. What is that, I ask? What does religion have to offer to our understanding? Nothing. It has no explanatory power. There are of course quite a few religious people who dispute this, but many religionists have given up the struggle against scientific knowledge, and instead started to focus on the sociological aspects. Religion, they argue, gives people hope. They give people meaning. They give people inspiration. But surely that is not something which is unique to religion? Me, and many nonreligious people have all those things. As a counter to this, I have gotten the response that while I can do that, not everybody can. They have me believe that without religion, they wouldn’t be able to have this hope. It all reminds me of the old, well-known folk tale:

Once upon a time there was a tramp walking through a deep forest. He made his living selling a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Now he was cold and tired and hungry and what was even worse, he had nothing left to sell. All he owned were the ragged clothes he wore and an old, bent nail.

When he came out of the forest he saw a little cottage, with smoke rising from the chimney. He knocked on the door, the door opened and a woman looked at him suspiciously.
– Please, could you be as good as to give a poor man shelter for the night, he asked.
– I know your kind, she said, if I let you in you won´t leave before you have eaten everything I have. And I tell you, I´m so poor I haven´t had a bite for three days. So you just go away!
But the tramp was a clever fellow, and the woman was so greedy that she immediately invited him when he said that of course he didn´t want to eat the little she had. On the contrary, he wanted her to share his evening meal.
– But first I want to see the food you say you want to share, she said.
– This is all I need, he said, and took an old, bent nail out of his pocket. Just bring me a pot and some water, and I´ll cook the best soup you ever tasted with this nail.
The woman brought a pot and looked with amazement as the tramp made a fire, cooked some water and dropped the nail in it.
– The soup might be a little thin, he said, you see I have been using the nail for seven days now. It is a pity you don´t have a little salt, that would surely make the soup taste like a soup fit for any gentleman´s house. But what we lack, we don´t have.
– Now that I come to think of it, said the woman. I might have a little salt left since Christmas.
– How lucky, said the tramp and put the salt in the pot. Well I was thinking that perhaps you could even serve this soup to the priest, if we only had some vegetables also. But what we lack, we don´t have.
– Now that I come to think of it, said the woman. I might have some vegetables in the cellar.
The tramp praised the wisdom of the woman and the excellent taste of the soup.
– I think it would even be fit to serve the king, if we only had a little meat to add, said the tramp. But there is no use longing for the impossible. What we lack, we don´t have.
– Now that I come to think of it, said the woman. There might be some dried meat left somewhere.
The tramp happily added the meat to the by now sweet-smelling soup, the woman made the table with her finest silver spoons and her best plates. When she came to think of it, there was actually some wine left since her husband´s funeral.

So she felt almost like a queen when they shared the soup the tramp had cooked with his nail. The next morning the tramp left without his nail, because the woman wouldn´t let him go before he agreed to sell it. And still to this day, the nail has been very useful. Not only can you make a wonderful soup, but you can also use it for cooking tales with. True, what we lack we don’t have, but if you add a little of this and a little of that it will certainly be a story fit for telling to a king!


(image)

To put the nail in more concrete terms, we might instead call it a crutch. Because that’s what it is. People are of course entirely healthy and don’t need the crutch, but they feel they need the crutch, so they cling onto it. I say you don’t have to. You can pick up that crutch, and toss it aside, and walk with greater steadiness as well as more freely. Because I cannot believe that people would need it, I have higher hopes of humanity than that. I’m not asking you to stop having the head up in the clouds; but rather to stand with both feet firmly on the ground at the same time. The nail will only contaminate your soup.

Pokémon Emerald Update #2

March 9, 2010

Click here to go back to the index.

If you’re ever doing a “Let’s Play” of Pokémon, if you let people vote for which starter Pokémon should be used, you can bet your sweet ass they’re going to pick Mudkip. I blame the “I herd u liek mudkipz” meme. I secretly voted for Torchic myself, since I like the idea of having a giant cock Pokémon, but fine, you shall have your smelly Mudkip.

I have a fairly blitzkrieg (or more like berserk) attitude when it comes to stats; offense is the best defense. Knock out your foes before they have a chance to retaliate. Thus, I like the idea of a starter with a heavy Attack value. The Mudkip family’s offensive Ground moves (Mudshot, Earthquake) are better than it’s Water moves (Water Gun, Surf).

As gender goes, it’s no surprise Mudkip is male. Starters, as well as other rare non-legendary Pokémon (Eevee, Snorlax etc.) have a fairly odd gender disposition; only 1/6th of the population is female. The reason for this is that the designers reasoned that it would be harder to hatch new starters from eggs this way, since the hatchling is the same as it’s mother, unless a Ditto is used. The gender ratio seems fairly odd from the perspective of natural selection (which might be why they’re so rare in the first place ;)).

Ah, Zigzagoon. I both love and hate it at the same time. In Ruby and Sapphire, it’s Pickup ability was incredibly gamebreaking. Pickup works in the manner that after every battle, Zigzagoon may pick up an item, making it an ideal HM slave. It was very good items as well, giving the player powerful items very early in the game. In Emerald, this was reworked quite a bit, the items Zigzagoon being able to pick up now dependent on it’s level. If you level a Zigzagoon up to level 100, you may be able to get a Leftovers or Earthquake if you’re lucky. There’s no way I’m going to post the whole chart here, so click the link. The reason I hate it is because it’s this game’s Rattata, except much weaker. It’s extremely common (though luckily less common than in Ruby and Sapphire), and annoying. Doesn’t even give much EXP. Blah.

Regarding describing the Pokémon’s moveset, I’ve done it a bit more flexible so that I list for example the levels Zigzagoon learn new moves until it evolves to Linoone, at which point I list Linoone’s moves instead. Some Pokémon learn certain moves only when they neglect evolving, which I shall make a note of. I shall also list the Pokémon’s abilities. Sounds good?

Zigzagoon/Linoone: Decent speed but low in everything else. (Normal; Pickup)
S – Tackle
S – Growl
5 – Tail Whip
9 – Headbutt (70 Power and 100 Accuracy that early in the game ain’t bad, I suppose)
13 – Sand Attack
17 – Odor Sleuth
20 – EVOLUTION
23 – Mud Sport
29 – Fury Swipes
35 – Covet
41 – Slash
47 – Rest
53 – Belly Drum (I suddenly get a weird mental image)

The man was very thankful for me saving him from the extremely intimidating level 2 raccon-thingy, which admittedly seemed more eager to lick him in the face than killing him. He introduced himself as Professor Birch. I’m guessing he got his PhD from a box of cereals, or a degree mill in Texas. He invited me back to his lab, and asked if I wanted to go see his daughter May, that girl who interrupted my looting.

My answer was naturally no, but the old man kept persisting. “Oh, don’t be that way. You should go meet my kid.“, he said, in a manner that let me know that he meant serious business. I decided to lie, and told him that sure, I would go see that brat. I sure as hell won’t go meet her.

Route 101: What a fitting name.
Poochyena – Very Common
Wurmple – Very Common
Zigzagoon – Common

Poochyena/Mightyena: Attack is it’s strongest stat, even though it’s a Dark type. Most Dark types are like that. Go figure. (Dark; Run Away(Poochyena)/Intimidate(Mightyena))
S – Tackle
5 – Howl
9 – Sand Attack
13 – Bite
17 – Odor Sleuth
18 – EVOLUTION
22 – Roar
27 – Swagger
32 – Scary Face
37 – Take Down
42 – Taunt
47 – Crunch
52 – Thief

Wurmple’s a special case, since it evolves to Silcoon at level 7, and eventually Beautifly at level 10, during the day and Cascoon and Dustox during the night. I covered Beautifly in the previous update, so here’s Dustox:

Dustox: It’s strongest stat is Special Defense, with Defense right behind. It is equally strong (equally weak?) in Attack and Special Attack. It’s Shield Dust ability is fairly awesome, since additional effects in certain moves (such as Thundershock causing Paralysis) has no effect. Not as good as Butterfly, but a worthwhile substitute if you desperately long for that special insect… *goes nostalgic* At least it learns Silver Wind earlier. (Bug, Poison; Shield Dust)
10 – Confusion
13 – Gust
17 – Protect
20 – Moonlight
24 – Psybeam
27 – Whirlwind
31 – Light Screen
34 – Silver Wind
38 – Toxic

Ah, I have arrived in the amusingly named Oldale Town. The motto is “Where Things Start Off Scarce”. Well, that’s quite an understatement. Since Oldale Town has four buildings as opposed to Littleroot Town’s three, I suppose it’s slightly larger.

“They look suspiciously similar to your own footprints”, I told the eccentric nerd.
“Fascinating, isn’t it?”, he replied, visibly excited.
“And I suppose you won’t let me pass until you’re done?”
“Precisely”.
“Well, damn. To vent my utter frustration, I think I’ll go beat up May.”

Route 103: You can take a shortcut to Route 110 once you have Surf.
Poochyena – Very Common
Wingull – Common
Zigzagoon – Common
In water:
Magikarp – Very Common (Old Rod, Good Rod)
Pelipper – Rare
Sharpedo – Very Common (Super Rod)
Tentacool – Very Common; Common (Old Rod, Good Rod)
Wailmer – Common; Very Common (Good Rod, Super Rod)
Wingull – Common

Wingull/Pelipper: Wingull is best in speed, and to a lesser extent Special Attack, but once it evolves it’s more predominant in Special Attack and Defense. Can be useful if you don’t pick Mudkip, but now you just happened to do so, which means we will not bother with it. Beware the 4x weakness to Electricity. Keen Eye means the Pokémon’s accuracy can’t be lowered, a fairly nifty ability. It doesn’t learn Surf however, which sucks for a Water Pokémon. (Water/Flying; Keen Eye)
S – Growl
S – Water Gun
7 – Supersonic
13 – Wing Attack
21 – Mist
25 – EVOLUTION
25 – Protect
33 -Stockpile
33 – Swallow
47 – Spit Up
61 – Hydro Pump (5 PP and 80% accuracy? No thanks.)
Alternatively, if Wingull doesn’t evolve:
31 – Quick Attack
43 – Pursuit
55 – Agility

“There you are, friend! Let’s battle!” May exclaimed as soon as she saw me.
“Sure. I love easily gained money”.
I send out Mudkip, and she sends out Treecko. Damn. I am at a type disadvantage. I knew I should’ve picked Torchic. May commands her Treecko to use Absorb, leading to Mudkip’s surely death since it’s 4x weak to Grass. I’m doomed. Hmm, the Treecko appears to not know the move – all it knows is Pound and Leer. How lame.

As far as the battle with May goes, Pound/Scratch/Tackle the Treecko/Torchic/Mudkip to death, and use the Potion if you’re running low on HP. You’ll also notice that Mudkip has learnt Mud Slap. Torchic learns Ember at 10, which is the most useful early move. Treecko learns Absorb at 6, a move I don’t fancy too much. Mud Slap at level 6 is the most useless early move, though – I would rather have a move which actually does damage, alternatively Sand Attack.

After humiliating May, I return back to the lab. Birch gives me a digital encyclopedia which I have to fill out myself. Hooray. May gives me some balls. Freud would be proud.

Ah, it appears I was wearing shoes made of lead, which explains my absurdly slow movement. Very well, these shoes will come in handy.

Before going to Route 102, you could go to the Poké Mart. If you buy 10 Poké Balls or more, you’ll also receive a free Premier Ball. Also fill out the questionable questionnaire, and you will unlock Mystery Gift.

Route 102: On this route we find a few new Pokémon, as well as the very first batch of trainers.
Lotad – Common
Poochyena – Common
Ralts – Rare
Seedot – Rare
Wurmple – Common
Zigzagoon – Common
In water:
Corphish – Common; Very Common (Good Rod, Super Rod)
Goldeen – Common; Rare (Good Rod, Old Rod)
Magikarp – Very Common (Old Rod, Good Rod)
Marill – Very Common
Surskit – Rare

Ralts/Kirlia/Gardevoir: A favourite of mine. It’s Special Attack is devastating as soon as level 6, and will make a good addition to your team. If you want a Psychic Pokémon (and who doesn’t?) either pick this one up, or wait for Abra at Route 116, but keep in mind you probably won’t be able to fully evolve Abra. If you’re feeling masochistic, you could wait for the weak Spoink in Jagged Pass. Regarding it’s abilities: Trace is absolutely awesome because it copies the opponent’s ability, but keep in mind that it backfires sometimes. Synchronise passes your own Status Effect onto the enemy. (Psychic; Trace/Synchronise)
S – Growl
6 – Confusion
11 – Double Team
16 – Teleport
20 – EVOLUTION
21 – Calm Mind
26 – Psychic
30 – EVOLUTION (Surprisingly early)
33 – Imprison
42 – Future Sight
51 – Hypnosis
60 – Dream Eater

Keep in mind that both the Lombre and Seedot family evolves through evolutionary stones, which means they won’t learn any moves through levelling up after they’ve evolved to their final form.

Lotad/Lombre/Ludicolo: Intrerestingly enough, it has both strong Special Attack and Special Defense. However, it’s moveset is cringe-worthy. I’d recommend avoiding this Pokémon. While raining, Rain Dish can heal the Pokémon and Swift Swim can double it’s speed. (Water/Grass; Rain Dish/Swift Swim)
S – Astonish
3 – Growl
7 – Absorb
13 – Nature Power
14 – EVOLUTION
19 – Fake Out
25 – Fury Swipes
31 – Water Sport
37 – Thief
43 – Uproar
49 – Hydro Pump
Water Stone – EVOLUTION
Alternatively, if Lotad doesn’t evolve:
21 – Mist
31 – Rain Dance
43 – Mega Drain

Seedot/Nuzleaf/Shiftry: A bit like the Lotad family, but with Attack and Speed instead of Special Defense. Also like the Lotad family, it’s moveset absolutely sucks. Early Bird wakes the Pokémon from sleep earlier and Chlorophyll doubles the Pokémon’s speed while it’s sunny. (Grass/Dark; Early Bird/Chlorophyll)
S – Bide
S – Pound
3 – Harden
7 – Growth
13 – Nature Power
14 – EVOLUTION
19 – Fake Out
25 – Torment
31 – Faint Attack
37 – Razor Wind (Never use this move. Never.)
43 – Swagger
49 – Extrasensory

I’ve finally decided that Ralts will be a new addition to our team. That’s all for now.

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2010

I am not a Monday person. As I ate breakfast today, I heard on the radio that it was International Women’s Day today. I asked myself if this would be a good subject for a blog post. “I’m too fatigued on Mondays, fuggedabatit” was the reply. As the radio program kept on, it mentions this day marks the 100th year since the first international women’s conference, which was held in Copenhagen. I finally gave in, and told myself “Oh, all right, I’ll [expletive removed] do it”.

While the pendulum indeed swings the other way sometimes (as in, men are the center of discrimination instead) it cannot be denied that as far as gender-based discrimination goes, a very vast majority has been targetted at women throughout history. There seems to be a wide-spread misconception that women’s rights activism suddenly started in the 1970’s; it has had a rich history.

The day appears to have had a more distinct role in Russia. After all, the day was started by socialists, even though Karl Marx himself perhaps wasn’t the most avid supporter of women’s rights, saying that a woman’s place was at home. In 1913, women in Russia observed the day for the first time. In St. Petersburg, they demonstrated, demanding the right to vote. In 1917, the big year when the revolution in Russia begun, the mass demonstration by women on this day is considered by quite a few historians to have been the spark that lit the gunpowder keg. Alexandra Kollontai, a Bolshevik, persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the USSR. In 1965, it became a non-labor day. Alexandra Kollontai is also famous for having been the Soviet ambassador to Norway, making her the first female ambassador in history. Incidentally, Khertek Anchimaa-Toka was the Chairman of Tannu Tuva (a small country in Siberia which was independant from 1921 to 1944 [which I happen to have a peculiar interest in]) from 1940-1944, making her the first elected female head of state in the world. International Women’s Day in the Soviet Union eventually became more, hmm, lame, becoming more an apolitical event in which motherhood, spring and so on were focused upon. But there’s no questioning that today, in the Russian Federation, it is a bigger holiday than in other countries.

https://i0.wp.com/www.radiofeminista.net/mayo07/notas/images/presid1.jpg
The woman. The myth. The legend.

Now, through combined efforts of women rights activists, we have come much closer to gender equality. We still have a long way to go; even though the laws in many places around the world have been modified, the domination of men in positions of power are still strong, with lines of graying men. Breaking this norm will be hard, and perhaps we’re taking a step backwards in many areas, but I think that if we’re passionate and conscious, as well as unwilling to bend to old paradigms, we can take a huge step on the way towards real progress.

Also, don’t forget to celebrate International Men’s Day, the lesser known day, on November 19th. 😉

Before I forget: I saw the following comic today:

Guys' Night

I know that the author and most people reading it find it amusing, and I do find it a bit amusing too, but I cannot see the joke as far as the comic applies to me. 😛