Project 151: One Badge Away from Victory

Forgive me universe, for I have faltered. It has been over a month since my last Project 151 post, and I still haven’t beaten the game. But goddammit if I’m not close…so freakin’ close!

No time to relax in the hot springs!
No time to relax in the hot springs!

Picking up from my previous post, I was faced with the option of going through Silph Co. for something unknown and the Seafoam Islands for something else unknown. Based on a couple helpful comments, I opted to head first to Silph Co. Holy crap, y’all, I did not expect to spend so much time there! Eleven floors of Team Rocket madness, for which I really wasn’t prepared. Though, actually, my team fared okay – it was the mental acrobatics of remembering where you had been and where you had to go that almost broke me. I didn’t have the opportunity to shoot through Silph Co. in one go, which would have been the smart thing to do. Instead, I played in fits and starts over about a week, and each time it started things up, I couldn’t remember exactly where I needed to go. So I spent a number of brief sessions just going around in circles. I was actually glad to see that ol’ bastard Lars again, because facing him meant that I had to be going in the right direction.

Silph Co. was great for leveling up!
Silph Co. was great for leveling up!
And then, of course, HE popped up again.
And then, of course, HE popped up again.

I eventually defeated my other old friend Giovanni in Silph Co., and then decided to go back to the Seafoam Islands, which I had previously started but not finished. Picking up with all the boulder-moving and water-redirecting in this icy dungeon, I made my way to a small outcropping and faced Articuno. And what a pretty foe it was! And what a stupid master I was! I was determined from the get-go to capture Articuno, but one bad battle move on my part cost him. Well, just…shit. I left the Seafoam Island all totally sad faced. 😦

I headed back to Fuchsia City without a clear idea of where I needed to go next. So I spent some more time roaming around the Safari Zone, where I managed to snag a couple Pokemon I hadn’t before. And then…I started wandering. This what I usually do when I don’t know where to go next, and I ended up revisiting a couple towns I hadn’t been to in awhile. And then I finally figured that I should just stop dicking around because I had a map, you dolt!

Wandering here...
Wandering here…
...and wandering there...
…and wandering there…

As I perused the map, I remembered that (aha!) I still another gym leader to face in Saffron City. So off I went on my merry way to the little yellow town where I soon met gym leader Sabrina in an intense head-to-head battle (though not really cause my near 60-level Charizard was tough as nails). From the battle I received the Marshbadge — woohoo! Six badges down, two to go.

I have a vision...of your DEATH!  What? Too harsh?
I have a vision…of your DEATH! What? Too harsh?
My visions are never wrong.
My visions are never wrong.

After coming down from that high, it was time to move on. Returning to the map, I noticed an island just off Pallett Town which I had yet to visit. Seemed like as good a place to go as any.

Surfing on my favorite Snorlax, I arrived at Cinnabar Island and was ready to face…a broken down mansion? Hmm. Also a gym, which was locked. So I opted to visit one of the island’s other four buildings (the fourth being a Pokemon Center), which turned out to be all science-y, and was a place where my helix fossil finally meant something! I traded in my helix fossil and a piece of amber for some special goodies, which was kind of nice. But there was still the matter of opening the gym and figuring out the mansion. One of the locals alluded to the fact that the gym’s key might be in the mansion, so mission given.  (And there I discovered the story of Mew and mad Mewtwo. Uh, bonus?) But I also got the gym’s key and went head-to-head with leader Blaine and his fire stash. I left the gym victorious and with the Volcanobadge in hand.

So there, seven badges achieved, just one more to go! Maybe I should have directly sought out the eighth, but instead I decided to pick up what ended up to be a sidequest involving other islands off of Cinnabar — the inventively-named One, Two, and Three Islands. It wasn’t a total waste of time as I did capture a few more Pokemon. And leveling up my own team slowly but surely wasn’t so bad either. I also faced off with what I guess was another special Pokemon in Mt. Ember: Moltres. I killed him too. 😦 Fuck if I’m not the worst ever at being strategic in this game.

Dammit, another mountain. Dammit, dammit, dammit.
Dammit, another mountain. Dammit, dammit, dammit.
Suppressing one's bloodlust is harder than it seems.
Also, DAMMIT.

I’m now back on Cinnabar Island, hanging out and getting a tan, and it’s time to figure out the resting place of the final badge. I’m guessing it’s in a gym that I’ve yet to visit. Or is it hiding someplace weird and/or special? If you care to drop hints in the comments, I’ll take ’em!

List of progress:

  • Fought Team Rocket in Silph Co; defeated Lars and Giovanni. Received Master Ball from Silph Co. president.
  • Fought and defeated Sabrina in Saffron City gym; received Marshbadge.
  • Faced Articuno in the Seafoam Islands – did not capture.
  • Went to Cinnabar Island. Exchanged helix fossil for Omanyte and amber for Aerodactyl.
  • Found gym key in Pokemon Mansion.
  • Defeated gym leader Blaine; received Volcanobadge.
  • Traveled to One, Two, and Three Islands.
  • Went through the Berry Forest yet did not find berries – did not look very hard though.
  • “Climbed” Mt. Ember. Faced Moltres – did not capture.

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