No really, the game said so:
Folks, I DID IT! I BEAT POKEMON LEAFGREEN!!!!!!!
And never have I been so happy to type so many exclamation points.
After my last post, my sense of defeat was a little overwhelming. True, I tried to put a positive spin on things – after all, I did manage to beat the Elite Four a handful of times. But getting to the real last battle with that big showoff Lars only made my stomach churn with thoughts of imminent failure. No matter how much I psyched myself up for the battle, each time I lost….hard. Like, I couldn’t even make it past two of his fighters.
With my tail securely stuck between my legs, I retreated to the Internet for advice. Not spoilers…just advice based off of a couple comments on my last post. Namely, one about electric Pokemon.
I desperately wanted an electric type on my team.
Yes, I had Jolteon. But he was at a measly level 26 when my team rested safely and necessarily in the 50s and 60s. I put him into the Day Care, but as I discovered, that process was ridiculously slooooooow. (As of this post, he’s only at about level 35. The Day Care is a nice idea, but boy oh boy I can’t imagine anyone relying on it to level up.) So it was up to me to figure out where to obtain a high-ish level electric Pokemon.
Or rather…it was up to the Internet, because I really didn’t want to waste time re-exploring the whole damn world again. That’s how I discovered Zapdos.
In my travels, I met two Legendary Pokemon – Articuno and Moltres – aaaand…I ended up to killing each. When I read about Zapdos, I was d-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-e-d to catch him because he was exactly what I was after.
One of the bad things about being me is that I have almost no visual memory in games. For example, if I come across a unique place early in a game and I think to myself “I need to come back here later,” the thought might remain, but the image of the place completely dissipates. And eventually I’ll forget about making that “special trip” altogether. That’s what happened when I stumbled across the Power Plant outside of Rock Tunnel. At the time I had on my Snorlax blinders. Nothing else mattered except getting that big, sleepy oaf onto my team. I passed the Power Plant thinking “I need to come back here later.” And then I promptly forgot about it during my quest for Mr. Snorlax.
Finding out that Zapdos was in the Power Plant some 60 hours in led to me thinking “where the hell is the Power Plant??” Sure enough, it was right on the map, just sitting there being ignored. I fixed that straightaway with a visit.
After several meet-ups with the plant’s electric Pokemon, (which included the capture of a Pikachu — don’t think I could have called the game complete without one.) I faced Zapdos, and I fought with brains rather than brawn, as the opposite had totally not worked with the other Legendaries. Without too much hassle, Zapdos was mine! And onto the team he went.
With my absolute and final team now in place – Charizard, Pidgeot, Victreebel, Persian, Snorlax, and Zapdos, it was off again to the Elite Four.
Well…almost. See, I wasn’t too keen on Zapdos’s move set. Even at level 50, he didn’t possess the powerful electric attacks for which I had hoped. I had read about the TM Thunderbolt and how that attack came in very handy during a couple of the Elite Four battles, especially Lorelai’s, which I simply dreaded. Getting this particular TM was another matter, as it could only(?) be obtained from the Game Corner in Celedon City, and it wasn’t cheap. My wallet had been completely sapped by paying for losing repeatedly to the Elite Four, so…damn…what was my poor Lora to do?
This is when I pondered that most games, from Mario to Pokemon to GTA, are exercises in madness. How many times have we spent completing miserable steps A, B, and C just to get to Slightly Special Prize #1 that May or May Not Help AT ALL?
Have I mentioned that I HATE grinding?
Sometimes I don’t know why I play video games at all.
And then, just as thoughts of utter despondency began to set in permanently, a glimmer of hope appeared. The AMULET COIN. Remember too many paragraphs ago about all my bad gaming memory? Well, that was another perfect example of my stupid brain not doing a goddamn thing to help. Going online with the search phrase “how to make money in Pokemon LeafGreen” resulted in going to a long-forgotten Professor’s Aide to retrieve this Amazingly Special Prize #4 That Was Oh So Good. Equipping one of my Pokemon with the Amulet Coin resulted in gaining double the money after battling trainers. Then it was just a matter of figuring out who to battle. The Internet helped there too. I registered my also-forgotten Vs. Seeker to find trainers I could battle again, and I spent several hours grinding back and forth between members of the Elite Four (except Lars) and other big-money trainers elsewhere in the world until my wallet burst forth with juicy goodness!
With enough money, the first order of business was getting TM Thunderbolt, which I happily acquired, and which, not so happily, drained my funds once again. So it was back to using the Vs. Seeker and the Amulet Coin (and Exp. Share to assist in leveling my members of my team) to rebuild my bank account.
I should have figured off the bat that one of the keys to beating the Elite Four AND Lars was having enough potions, because that’s exactly what helped me soar through to the soft ending of the game. Between using electric attacks throughout all the battles and equipping enough heal and restore potions, the final battles proved to less problematic, if just as challenging. (All the trainers seemed to have endless supplies of Full Restores, and they were more than happy to use them just as I was about to issue my final blows. So goddamn infuriating.)
And as I was crowned the Pokemon Champion, a huge sense of happiness and relief swept over me. It had been awhile since it felt that good to complete a game.
Of course, just because the game was over, it didn’t mean it was over. There were still new things to do, new Pokemon to capture, and new places to explore. So with my new game plus in order, I sent Lora back out into the wilds. Since beating the Elite Four, I’ve explored all Seven of the Sevii Islands, obtained the Ruby and Sapphire for that guy on One Island for that machine that does that thing, and discovered the secret of Sevault Canyon. Most recently I’ve been capturing all those funny little Unowns in the Tanoby Ruins. There must be a whole set of them or something.
So there you have it my dear readers, followers, and Pokemon fanatics. Though I’ll probably go back to the game now and again, with this lengthy post I’m calling Project 151 done…and a success! If nothing else, playing LeafGreen has totally changed my perception of Pokemon generally, and it’s opened up a whole new gaming vernacular! Can’t say I’m ready to jump into a newer Pokemon game just yet, but I’ll certainly no longer pass off the games as things unworthy of my time.
Playing LeafGreen has been a distinct and overwhelmingly fun experience, and it’s been quite the ride sharing my ups and downs with everyone here. My sincerest thanks go out to everyone who offered up advice and words of support. And if you liked what I did here with the whole “follow along as I play through [X] game for the first time,” stay tuned! I’m hoping to return to the concept this summer with a brand new game.
Stay awesome, you awesome people! 🙂
P. S. Here’s a compendium of all my Project 151 posts, mostly because I like reviewing my accomplishments in list form. I’m sorry…narcissism? What’s that?
Project 151: A New Initiative
Project 151: The Game and the Starter Poll
Project 151: The Starter Chosen
Project 151: First Impressions and a Question
Project 151: Slow going but making progress
Project 151: Get while the getting’s good
Project 151: Round and round (with Pokemon, not Ratt)
Project 151: One Badge Away from Victory
Project 151: The home stretch…maybe? Maybe not.