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Normally there's a fairly big level gap between the gyms in Pokemon games, but in this one, since there's a fork in a major route leading in opposite directions to two gyms on one path and another gym on the other path. Since there's nothing to stop you from going either way, the level of the gyms can't be too far off. Preparation can allow you to do a rush called the triplet, where you do all three gyms right after the other. The first two didn't put up much trouble. The fighting gym was hit hard by my flying type and the steel dropped quickly from graveler and feraligatr. The third in the set, the seventh in the game, was an ice gym and one Pokemon gave me some real trouble. Piloswine is an ice and ground type meaning my ampharos can't even hit it and it is super effective against my fearow and my graveler. I had to weaken it with my raticate and finish it off with my feraligatr. Was close at one point.

As far as catching goes, there hasn't been that much. I've made it over the ocean and caught a tentacool, and unlocked the safari zone. In here I caught a misdreavous and a psyduck. I'm going to backtrack a little now that I have fly and do a nice clean sweep of wild Pokemon. I'm not evolving any if it can be helped since I'll have to do it in white again anyway.

As I briefly mentioned before, I've evolved my flaaffy into ampharos and my croconaw into a feraligatr. My party levels are all around 35 and I'm nearing the end of the Johto region. One more badge to go and I go to the league and fight Lance. Lance sucks. I've got nothing really suited to fight dragon pokemon and he carries three dragonites. THese guys are fucking hard. High special attack, high speed, and hp like a tank. Oh, and they can learn almost any move. My best bet is to send out ampharos and hope that the flying half of dragonite will be zapped well. I'll have to work on that later. Been thinking of switching something in my party for a magmar anyway.

As I venture through, the game keeps up with the strange reactions from world events. My rival has apparently been on the island before me and not only beaten one of the homeowners on this island, not a trainer mind you, just a home owner and stole his pokemon. his reaction? I look strong so I should have his other one. Really?! One trainer stole one Pokemon so he gives his other away? He even says that they are for his work. He raises shuckles and uses them to make berry juices. Why the hell would he give away his livelihood? Shortbus people.

Team rocket is back, too. They've taken over the Goldenrod radio station and are trying to make Pokemon evolve with radio frequencies. I don't know why I can't just let them go with it and make dratini feasible to train. I like how you have to grab one of the uniforms and infiltrate, but it's kinda pulled when you can't leave the city with one and you only go past the first guard before Wanker shows up and blows your cover. You can set your pokegear with a team rocket skin, why can't I keep the uniform?

The Safari Zone opening leads me to one of the exceptions of the rules set forth at the beginning of this mission. No pokeballs in the safari zone, only safari balls. The layout becomes customizable later on and I can get a bunch of new guys there later, but that's not until after I get the national dex.

It should be mentioned here that things will slow a touch, as I am moving in two weeks.

I'll have to come back with a list of all the new captures and evolutions, but right now my pokedex stands at...

Johto Pokemon: 63
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Each of the Pokemon generations has a trio of mythical legendaries and usually a protector Pokemon. In the first generation, it was the three birds, zapdos, moltres, and articuno. Here in Johto, it's the legendary dogs. When you get into Ecruteak city and investigate the burned tower, the legendary dogs see you and run off, leading to a new type of legendary hunt. They randomly run around routes and you find them in wild encounters. This is made nice and simple by the ability to track them on your Pokegear map. Just run back and forth on a route border until you overlap with one of them and the first wild encounter should be the legendary. It could be one of either raiku or entei. The third, suicune, is at a fixed location like normal legendaries.

Went to the dance studio in ecruteak and pummeled the rocket thug there, then leveled my Pokemon for the gym. Ghost type, making gastly dangerously effective and weak at the same time, and rattata, now raticate, effectively useless. This gym was actually a decent challenge. I'm under leveled and my party isn't quite situated for heavy ghosts. The upside is that the gym leader having a gengar at that low a level makes his special defense nice and low. Pop in flaafy and zap away. Got the move shadow ball from the gym leader and immediately used it on my gastly. It's one of the best ghost moves there is. Base of 80, plus STAB, making it 120. That and the fact my gastly's special attack is twice it's normal attack and this is it's first special move essentially means her power is tripled.

After I cleared the gym, I went back into burning tower to catch a few more and train a little. Needed to catch up after the struggle to win at this gym. Caught a magmar and a koffing, then evolved my party. Spearow is now fearow, geodude is now graveler, gastly is now haunter, and rattata is raticate. My levels are averaging around 25. I like having my raticate following around behind me. Fluffy. Feral. Kinda relaxing.

After I was happy with my party, I revisited Route 37 and caught a stantler, then moved over to Route 38 and caught a magnemite, a miltank, a tauros, and a meowth. Also recently added a machop, nidoran male and female, and caught a pinsir for the bug catching contest. Big one and I didn't even place in the top three.

traveled around Mt. Mortar and arrived on the other side in Mahogany town, then cut north to the lake of rage. Here is the only guaranteed shiny encounter, the red Gyarados. Catch it or kill it (caught it) to move on with the story and receive the red scale, useful later. After this, you meet Lance, the dragon trainer and he tells you about team rocket doing weird stuff to the Pokemon with radio waves, somehow forcing them to evolve. Maybe this explains the weird wild raticate at level 16 on route 38 when rattata evolves into raticate at level 20. I caught one there and I'm using it as an HM slave. Raticate is compatible with cut, strength, and rock smash. Caught a voltorb in the rocket hideout. Gotta check if I can get a grimer here, too.

I'm currently about to fight the executive of the rocket base and I'm contemplating rearranging my party. I'm more than halfway done in Johto, but only a quarter of the game in. I'll have to do some comparison with types and see what lines up. may add a fire type into the party.

all this evolving and catching makes my new total...

Johto Pokemon: 52

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