fourhman.com weblog feature: Pokemon Pearl Journal / 20 entries
Pokemon Pearl Journal
This is an online diary devoted to the Nintendo DS game Pokemon Pearl. In the game - like previous Pokemon games - you take on the role of a rookie pokemon trainer. As you travel from town to town you catch and train hundreds of different pokemon, developing their skills in battles against other trainers. Although the game's most obvious goal is to work your way through the ranks of trainers to become the new Pokemon Master, there is enough open-ended gameplay after that to keep you busy for quite a long time.
The anticipation is high for Pokemon Pearl. There's a lot to see and do in this one, perhaps enough to rinse away the lame taste left by LeafGreen. I'm eagerly looking forward to the real-time day/night cycles (which debuted waaaay back in Gold/Silver and should never have left) and, of course, the WiFi play. Flipping through the manual, the only un-reported feature that I found of interest is the ability to customize the effect when one of your pokemon leaps out of the ball. Cool.
The beginning to Pearl is nearly identical to every other Pokemon game. A professor of some local reknown is introduced, he demands your gender and name, and hopes that you will "achieve personal growth." Then you wake up in your bedroom, where, you'll note, you own a Wii. Mom is waiting downstairs. She has your shoes.
I named my "friend" Wedge, not out of any affection for Star Wars but because he has a wedge-shaped head. He seems to be the most affable "rival" to date. Whereas previous rivals were bitchy and elitist, this one is one step ahead of you simply because he is impatient. Maybe his story will develop further along.
As you poke-fans know, once you pick your starter (from the expected grass-fire-water trio), then your rival picks the one that has a natural advantage over it. The jerk. So I chose Chimchar, the fire monkey thing, and Wedge chose Piplup, the March of the Penguins thing. Get this: a third character - Dawn, a friend of the Professor - claims to use the remaining starter (the leafy turtle thing). Maybe it is she who becomes your most hated competitor?
The world is in 3D now, but you'd never know it. The people are all 2D sprites and enough of the background elements are flat (trees, most notably) that you have to wonder why they bothered. Even if those buildings are 3D constructs, it's not like you're going to get to rotate the camera around to pick a nice cinematic angle anyway. The constant scaling of the 2D stuff creates an unpleasant wavy redraw effect as the screen scrolls.
There are some fancy embellishments (see below), but by and large, it's a very familiar first impression. Even the geographical layout of your hometown is identical to the other games, complete with the fat guy walking by the lake to the south.
Here's an early battle between my brave Chimchar and a wild Bidoof...
I really like how the grass parts and flutters right before the battle begins. More of that, please. Shame that the battle itself - aside from some tech upgrades - is the same old sprite-on-sprite action, with the usual comfortable distance between the two. I'm sure that halfway through the game, I'll turn the battle animations off.
I would have played more tonight, but my battery went red so I had to quit. I think I unnecessarily drained it after downloading the Meteos Disney Magic demo while I was waiting in line at EB.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to venture into the online stuff! GO CHIMCHAR!
I'm up to a small handful of pokemon, including my new favorite, Shinx. Shinx recently faced off against a Magikarp, whose fighting skills, as you can imagine, have not gotten any better in ten years of Pokemon games.
Jubilife City is really nice. It's a great visual antidote to the boring little hovels of the first areas. The awkwardly-named Poketch factory is in Jubilife, and it just so happens that you get a Poketch for free once you visit the Training School and then locate three clowns. The Poketch is super-keen and just screams to be made into a real toy. The starter Poketch comes with a clock, calculator, pedometer and pokemon life meter. There are twenty different features that must be collected separately, so I'm looking forward to that.
Although the life meter does not update in real time, which is stupid. I had that screen up, showing a slightly damaged party, when I went to heal at the Pokemon Center... and after the heal, the screen still showed the damage. I had to click out of the life meter and back in to get it to update.
Had a faceoff with Wedge and I barely won. In fact, had he not used a couple of useless Growl attacks, I would have lost. Regardless, he took off to the east after the battle ended, in the direction of Oreburgh. I followed, and found him standing in front of the door to the Gym. A few halting NPC conversations later, I learned that Roark - Oreburgh's Gym Leader - was working in the coal mine south of town.
After a quick run through the mine, during which I mistakenly killed an Onix that I would have liked to capture, I spurred Roark to return to his Gym. Somehow, by the time I got there, he had already battled and lost to Wedge. I defeated Roark's two Gym subordinates, evolved my precious Chimchar into a Monferno, healed up, and then challenged him...
Oreburgh must really suck for pokemon training, if this guy is the best they could offer. I guess that's what comes from living in an isolated mining town.
Anyway, after scoring a Gym Badge, I hightailed it back to Jubilife so I could hit the Global Trade Station, one of Pearl's vaunted WiFi features. Since I had some extra Geodudes in stock, I submitted one of them (with Rock Smash!) for a trade and asked for a Piplup (any level) in return. You can only request pokemon you have seen in the game, which is a rather clever way of stopping people from demanding Mewtwo over and over again.
My Friend Code, by the way, is 4381 8470 0450. Battle on.
While Wedge took off for Eterna City, I pushed north towards the small town with all the flowers... after breaking up a rumble with Team Galactic, Pearl's edition of Team Rocket. (Nothing seems to sound as iconic as "Rocket" though, does it?) This is the fight with the "massive damage" meme in it.
I planted some berries, my Starly and Shinx evolved, I rescued a scientist that Galactic was holding against his will, received more TMs that I will never use, blah blah blah.
What's truly important is that I already received a Piplup.
After clearing out the windmill place, I walked back to Jubilife to check on things at the Global Trade Station. I wanted to see if you can have more than one pokemon registered to trade at a time (you can't.) But when I logged in to the GTS, I was greeted by a newborn level one Piplup, straight from Shizuoka, Japan! Check this out:
Here he is, ready for some fast upgrading. I don't know if that's Japanese for "piplup" or if he has been given a nickname.
He was originally owned by Yuta.
He was hatched on January 3rd at the day care center, four months after the game was released in Japan (and four months before the US release.)
Here's a screen I rarely look at.
He already knows Surf, the precocious darling!
So what did I do next? I ran out to catch some more crap types to offer in more trades. I put a young Zubat on offer, hoping to score a Turtwig.
Remember how crappy it was to collect all the starters in previous Pokemon games?
To date, every trade I've asked for has come through, and always by a player in Tokyo or Osaka or somewhere in Japan. I've traded out Bidoofs and Zubats and Geodudes for a Turtwig, Piplup, Psyduck, Cranidos and a level 51 Skuntank. I am currently offering a level 3 Bidoof for a Chansey, which is my most aggressive request yet.
All of this online trading means that I've been walking back and forth between the GTS and Eterna City quite a bit. I can't wait for the Fly HM.
An old man gave me passage to the underground world, which is basically the Secret Bases from Ruby/Sapphire relegated to a Pac-Man maze. I think this is local-WiFi only (sucks), but you can check out other players' bases and play a weird little version of capture-the-flag... as well as set booby traps to keep others from taking your flag. Since the underground section takes place on the touchscreen (nice!), you can tap the walls to search for hidden gems, which opens up an odd little puzzle game. Unearth the gems and you can buy more decorations for your base. Interesting stuff - not as cool if this is truly local only - but can you even battle down there?
Longtime Pokemon Trainers will be excited to walk into Eterna City and see the ubiquitous Bike Shop. Of course, the place is empty and rumors persist of the proprietor somehow and somewhy kidnapped by Team Galactic, who have holed up in a mansion in the north end of town. The overgrown brush outside the mansion means you need to earn the Cut HM, however, and there's only one place to get that...
Jeez, did she even hit me?
Once you free the Bike Shop guy, guess what, you get a bike. Naturally there is a Cycling Road nearby that requires a bike, so it seems obvious that the next stop on the path to Pokemon Master will lie that way. Unless you're like me and you want to head back to Jubilife to see if the GTS paid out again.
Classic next-gen fumble: there is still only ONE item hotkey. You could always assign one of your cooler items (the bike, the VS Seeker, the watering can) to the SELECT button in previous games (as far back as Red/Blue/Yellow? I forget.) The Game Boy was always sort of button-challenged, so being able to map a single item to SELECT was very helpful. You'd think that the multiple buttons on the DS would have allowed the ability to map several items out to buttons, for even more helpfulness, but no such luck. You're stuck with choosing merely one item to attach to the Y button. What's SELECT doing again? Not a goddamn thing? Right.
Did anybody tell the devs that the DS has shoulder buttons?
And what's up with the "Move Pokemon" feature of the storage PC lacking stylus control? The hell?
But here's some good things:
The new Item Finder arrives in the form of a tappable Poketch app.
If you click any of the blue bike stands in any city, the game will ask if you want to switch to the bike.
I just received my absolute favorite item, the EXP.SHARE.
My sister picked up Pokemon Diamond this weekend, and found this unsettling tomfoolery going on at Wal-Mart:
That's taken directly from their Sunday circular, and my sister verified that indeed to be the in-store price. Wal-Mart is selling Pokemon Pearl and Diamond for $40, five bucks more than everywhere else in the country. What kind of dick move is that? Now, that's just the in-store price... if you order from their website it's $35 as normal, so make sure to ask for in-store pickup. I'd love to hear the story behind this unfair price hike, and I'd also love for Wal-Mart to be strangled in the night by a giant poisonous spider. (My sister wisely bought her Diamond from elsewhere.)
So I've made it to Hearthome City, where a traveller from Hoenn dragged me to the Contest Hall building. I really enjoyed the Contests from Ruby/Sapphire, so I'm happy to see them return WITH A VENGEANCE.
I never saw much online chatter about the contests, but they were a surprisingly detailed addition to the series. The whole concept seems intended to soften the battle-heavy image of the franchise, even though the whole thing is eminently skippable.
The original idea was that every attack move also doubled as a beauty pageant move, which meant that Gamefreak had to come up with alternate data for every single attack in the game, whether you actually entered the Contest Hall or not. So not only do you have to obsess about the four attack moves you grant to each pokemon, but you also need to consider their usefulness in pageants. Wow.
You had five categories of contests (tough, cute, smart, something and something else) and you could encourage any given pokemon to excel in any of those areas by feeding it pokeblocks. Pokeblocks were manufactured by harvesting berries and then tossing them into a fun rhythm-based blender mini-game. Certain combinations of berries created specific types of pokeblocks that could increase your pokemon's overall status in "cuteness," say. Feed one pokemon a ton of cute-enhancing pokeblocks, make sure its attack set favored cute-type moves, and you have a virtual shoe-in for winning the various Cute Contests.
Jesus, this game really is the most complicated thing in the world. Can you believe that parents used to get all hung up on it being some kind of bloody fighting game?
Anyway, the Diamond/Pearl version of all this manages to cock it up royally.
The contests themselves have been hugely expanded, which is cool. It's now a three-stage SUPER CONTEST with two entirely new modes. The first third lets you dress up your pokemon, using the accessory stuff you've been slowly collecting since visiting the TV station back in Jubilife. This is nothing more than a virtual Colorforms set (or one of those Dress President Bush! flash games, for you kids under the age of 25) but it is quick and fun. You're given a theme ("colorful", for example) and then you have to use your accessories to dress up your pokemon in the most appropriate way. So it obviously behooves you to buy lots of accessories. Somewhere.
The second part, the dance competition, is a little tricky. It's PaRappa. If you don't hit that beat, you get penalized. Not as neat as playing dress-up, but okay. Takes too long.
The third part is the attack move display that we remember from Ruby/Sapphire, although upgraded with the tweak of having to choose which judge you want to impress. Same as before, using certain moves in sequence or moves appropriate to your pokemon's natural proclivities will work the best.
So what sucks? Poffins.
Instead of blending berries into pokeblocks, you now must cook berries into poffins. Which are, I guess, vaguely cookies. The idea is the same: particular berries result in poffins that enhance certain attributes, and the process creates textures and flavors that may or may not be appreciated by your team. (Your pokemon may prefer "spicy" poffins, for example.)
The mini-game for making poffins, however, is a complete failure. You have to stir the batter with the stylus as it cooks, rotating either clockwise or counter-clockwise as you're told. If you spin too fast, you slop over the side (minus points) or if you spin too slowly, the batter burns (minus points.) And since the directional instructions change frequently, you will never sustain the proper pace to avoid screwing up, as a punishing inertia system makes it really tough to stir the batter in the opposite direction. Watch this:
So what am I doing wrong? This totally blows because I really dig the contest thing. I'm fairly positive that it will be impossible to win the higher level competitions (and receive ribbons!!!!) without doping up your team on the correct kind of poffins. Bleah.
In more exciting news, I caught a Gastly in the field immediately east of Hearthome. Guess who just got fast-tracked to be a major player in my team.
Ten hours just not seem like a lot of time when you're playing Pokemon. Unless you're entering Super Contests and losing, which is a gigantic waste of time. I did some multiplayer poffin-twirling and found it equally as annoying, but at least you get more poffins out of it. You made two level 8 Bitter Poffins! Hoo-freakin-yay!
With the Hearthome Gym Leader ignoring all callers, I went east and followed the path to Veilstone City as urged by Wedge. The route takes you through Solaceon Town (and Sinnoh gets it's own unpronounceable city name, just like Pacifidlog in Hoenn!)
Solaceon Town is noted for two key locations, the daycare center and the ruins. The ruins are rather shabby, but they do serve to hold Pearl's collection of Unown. I have already captured about a third of them, and, although the out-of-the-way locale of the ruins makes me think that the Unown will have absolutely nothing to with the game's plot, they do provide an explanation of the Ball Capsule menu item that has gone unmentioned since the first time you turn on a Pokemon Center PC.
Once you capture some Unown, you have to show them to the boy who lives in the house closest to the ruins. (He is actually wandering around the ruins initially, so you first must talk to him so he goes home.) The annoying bit is that he can only see the pokemon in your party's lead position, so you must jockey them around to get him to identify multiple Unowns in your possession. But once he does, he gives you letter seals that correspond to the Unown you have shown him.
The seals are added to your Seal Case (which you also get in Solaceon Town) and that activates the Ball Capsule option. It lets you custom the effect when a pokemon hops out of a poke ball. Since I had captured the "J" Unown, I made a custom capsule that displays "J"s everywhere. I hope there's more seals to be found, other than letters, although I will enjoy collecting enough letters to form entire words.
As far as the daycare goes, I dropped off a male and female Meditite. They started making eggs almost immediately, which is worthless since it just makes more stupid Meditites. You also pick up a cute Poketch upgrade that operates as a daycare webcam. Look at 'em go!
I yanked the lovers out of there and left a Pichu and a Skuntank. What are the chances they'll get along?
I found a fossil in the underground and turned it in at Oreburgh, and after a few days of "research," they gave me a Shieldon. Caught a Chingling in a cave somewhere... is that a pre-evolved Chimecho? And, funniest GTS trade yet, I just got a Mime Jr. from Hokkaido, Japan, who was named Booger.
I lost miserably on my first shot at the Veilstone Gym Leader (the hell! A Lucario!?!), so I did some more exploring. First I avoided pokemon altogether by hanging out at Veilstone's casino, where I turned 100 coins into 2200 coins on the slots. There is some kind of weird Clefairy Bonus thing that goes on, but I don't know you achieve it. All I know is that you get an extra-awesome prize if you do ten bonus rounds, and I could only get nine. Crap. A couple times, the Clefairy that showed up to torment my slots game was actually a Ditto in disguise.
After that, I checked out that dead-pokemon tower that, for some reason, I never entered before. You get HM Strength in there, but you can't use it in the wild until you get a couple more badges under your belt.
Speaking of that, here's my second (successful) fight against Maylene, the Gym Leader of Veilstone City. Watch for some really clumsy mistakes against Lucario.
Now I'll go check out those warehouses in the north of town (at Dawn's request), because that's where the Fly HM is kept... and Fly is really all I want right now.
During all of this nonsense at Veilstone, I noticed that my larger pokemon were becoming unruly. So I figured I better book it to the next Gym - in Pastoria CIty - before the whole team levelled up beyond my control.
The southern path to Pastoria is terribly long. Initially, it's just the regular forest - rather hilariously patrolled by policemen whom you can battle - but it turns into a messy swamp as you approach Pastoria. Somewhere in the middle is the Pokemon Mansion, where some rich guy supposedly has a statue garden in the back. I saw nothing. But I did catch a Pikachu.
Speaking of statues, what is up with that generic monster statue that you see everywhere? It's been around since Pokemon Red/Blue and I've never understood what it is intended to represent. It seems to most resemble a Kangaskhan, but that is hardly a world-renowned pokemon worthy to venerate every single Gym and other assorted important structures. You would think that by now, the Gyms would have statues of the various pokemon most associated with their city and trainers... like an Onix in Oreburgh. Not some never-before-seen nondescript "monster" statue.
One thing I wanted to mention last time: I am sick to death of Pokemon's box storage system. We need to move past the concept of keeping extra pokemon stuck in some central location that you can only tap by running to a building with a PC inside of it. I don't think we should be able to have instant access to our entire collection inside of a battle, but we really should be feeling completely used as the game makes us run back and forth to hustle guys out of PC storage.
I advocate keeping the six-pokemon party system, and when you enter a battle, you're stuck with those six. But anywhere else, you should have complete access to every dude you've ever caught. It would be better for online trading and team-forming, better for quest NPCs who want you to show them specific types... just better gameplay all around. The game is plenty long enough without having to regularly hike back to a Pokemon Center and suffer through the box's sucky control scheme that was written for a Game Boy's buttons. Wouldn't that have been a nice philosophical upgrade for the DS series debut?
Anyway, after slogging through the marshlands, I stomped directly into the Gym and cleaned out all the subordinate trainers. Then I saved up and tackled Crasher Wake. It's a fair miracle that I got through, because this is my worst Gym battle ever. Several times I considered bailing, but I thought I might as well play it out. As you can see, my missteps and poor choices made the battle longer than YouTube's ten minute limit.
I'm of the opinion that you shouldn't really have to sweat a Gym Leader match until the fifth or sixth Gym, so getting pasted by three and four was kind of a bummer. DidI just have a lousy assortment of types for those two Gyms?
I had no business winning that battle against Wake... but, hey, I'll take it. Now I can get back to screwing around. I see there's a Safari Zone in this town...
Seems like the Japanese pokemon black market has dried up. I've tried several weaksauce deposits with no finished trades. I guess it didn't take long for every kid in Japan to assemble an English language set. To make matters worse, nobody has realistic requests available to browse... they'll give you a Glameow or a Murkrow, but they expect a Deoxys or a Palkia in return. It's crazy.
The only reasonable trade is for the starters, so I'm getting into the Chimchar breeding business. Chimchar itself might pale in comparison to cutesy Piplup, but the monkey evolutions are far superior to those ugly uber-penguins. Have you seen Empoleon? Holy crap, it's worse-looking than any given ten Digimon.
Where's the nickname changer? I've finally got some reasons to name my guys, plus I traded for a Gible with a silly name and I want to change it back. To Gible. Which isn't silly at all.
Did some trading with my sister, mainly tradebacks to get the trade-evolutions. WHOO GENGAR! But we did exchange Magikarps so we could accelerate towards Gyarados.
Here's my attack on Hearthome Gym. I just threw whoever I had for the first half, but pulled it together by the end.
And now I can use Surf. First thing I did was head to the south end of the map because the obvious deadend intrigued me. Turns out that's where the Pal Park sits, which is where you can eventually transfer pokemon from the GBA games. At this point, I can't enter, so I had to turn around and head back.
After beating Hearthome, Cynthia stops by with the big clue of Canaleve City. Who the hell is she again? I completely forget why she keeps showing up.
Hey, it just occurred to me that Nintendo doesn't seem to have a Pokemon mall tour planned this year. Betcha there's something in the works for next year. Given the huge sales of Diamond/Pearl, they really don't need any marketing events to sustain interest... but 2008 might be a good opportunity. What's this generation's equivalent of Mew, Celebi or Jirachi?
One of the hidden secrets of Pokemon is finding the special types that can learn multiple HMs. In Sapphire, I used Tropius and Golduck. A recent thread on Kotaku pointed out that Bibarel (the evolved form of Bidoof) is one of the HM mules in Pearl/Diamond.
So I rustled one out of storage and promptly taught him Surf, Cut, Rock Smash and Strength. Now I don't have to worry about keeping Empoleon (for Surf) or Torterra (for Cut) or Golem (Rock Smash) around whenever I want to go for an extended exploring trek. My beloved Staraptor is still running my Fly and Defog. (Will that be my nickname for my Staraptor: "Beloved"?)
I think I have about four Chimchar eggs in various stages of Egg Watch. I paired my female Monferno up with my male Empoleon and boy did they "find eggs." Within minutes, another egg would show up. I wish there was another way to hatch eggs aside from having to cart them around. I'm considering filling my party with eggs and then just do laps around Hearthome until they all hatch.
The GTS turned up an Afghani Drifloon for me:
Of course, that's just somebody claiming to be from Afghanistan. Although I would find it really cool if I did indeed just trade pokemon with somebody in Afghanistan, it seems suspect since "Afghanistan" is the first country in the list when you tell the game where you're from. What's the import scene like over there? More likely, if true, I just interacted with a US soldier stationed in Afghanistan. But more more likely, it's not true.
The Canalave gym fight was easy. The leader here is the father of the chump back in Oreburgh. ROLL TAPE.
I love the sound effect at the very end of the movie when I'm riding those panels around the room.
After that breeze of a fight (see, Joe, type advantages are worth researching beforehand), then I was led back to the Canalave library by Wedge for a meeting with Professor Rowan and Dawn. He assigned me to go check out Lake Valor, but once we got outside, an random bystander informed us that an earthquake or something just happened at Lake Valor... so Wedge bailed on his assignment (to head north towards the ice world) and went to Valor. Happily, Rowan didn't just send me to the north pole instead. I am still expected to check out things at Valor.
Apparantly there's a "mirage" pokemon there... one of three that holds the SECRETS OF POKEMON EVOLUTION.
So yeah, I'm pretty sure we'll get a third game in the D/P series now.
The GTS has paid off again for me... this time with a Finnion and a Murkrow. Both from Japan. I think I have seven different Japanese cities marked on my GTS globe, stretching all the way across the nation.
My new catches this week: a Sneasel, a Cleffa and a Clefairy. I just recently realized that the second countergirl in the Pokemarts (the one on the left) sells the special function Poke Balls, so I have been checking out her wares in the various cities. Those Clefs that I caught were both snagged with Dusk Balls, the one that offers an improved chance at a capture when used at night or inside a cave.
I'm working on evolving a Buneary, because I saw that its evolved form is some hot bunny chick thing. Even if it's male, as mine is?
I have investigated two of the three lakes... I found it hilarious to see all the about-to-die Magikarp flopping around in the drained bed of Lake Valor. You should be able to pick them up and chuck them around, Link-and-Cucco style.
The trek to Snowpoint was nowhere near as annoying as that swamp zone in the south of the map. Candice (candICE, get it?) is the Gym Leader of Snowpoint, and fire-type attacks do her in. I packed the party with my Monferno and my GTS Skuntank (who knows Flamethrower), but my Staraptor was just as useful. The Medicham she fields at the end was a surprise, but hardly a challenging one.
Have you noticed that the badges in your case all sound a chime when you tap them? Have you further noticed that they are all in do-re-mi order until you get to badge #7? Guh?
OK, since it's been so long since my last Pearl update, I've pretty much forgotten everything I did. So this entry is all about stuff I did, like, in the last hour.
I popped a male Chimchar (level 1) into the GTS and asked for a female Turtwig. Then plan being to breed Turtwigs, duh. After a few days, somebody in North Carolina completed the trade. This is my first trade within the continental US. I have seen put another young male Chimchar out there in hopes of scoring a female Pinplup.
I love that you can buy Poke Ball seals in Sunyshore. I buy ten of each type that is available. I'm guessing the seal store has different stock depending on the day you visit.
I read somewhere that you can achieve Prof. Rowan's "completed pokedex" goal simply by battling every NPC trainer in the game. Did the previous games do that? In contrast, I'm assuming that the Gamefreak Designer's "completed pokedex" mission means you have to have actually touched all 150 pokemon. But as you'll recall with Pokemon Sapphire, the reward is sure to be crappy.
I did some more WiFi battling with Ben, who put together a team of primarily ice-types. If I haven't mentioned it yet, the voice chat is truly nice. It is clear and loud; and it sounds better than my cell phone right now.
Here's my eighth Gym Leader fight:
Eh. Not too terrible. I didn't even bother using heal items.
After getting the eighth badge (again the music notes are off... why?), I got the Waterfall HM from the lost Johto Gym Leader in the north coast of Sunyshore. So now I'm going to go screw around looking for waterfalls that I previously had to ignore.
I'd like to go goof off in other ways, but the poffin thing sucks, the Super Contests take too long, and the Underground isn't much fun single player. Maybe I'll burn some hours harvesting berries to trade for junk back in Floaramamaseamaameweaaa Town.
What's up with finding a Pokemon Center that you can't Fly to?
I'm speaking, of course, about the Center that you find north of Route 223, the waterway that connects Sunyshore with Victory Road. Surfing is always a drag, since you're prone to getting jumped by Tentacools and such, so after finishing the route and healing up, I flew back to Sunyshore to buy some Repels and Potions... and then realized that I could not Fly back. Nonsense.
So I used one of those Repels on my surf back.
I also was pretty liberal with the Repels inside Victory Road, which, again, ought to be called Victory Big-Ass Cave. This edition seemed less obnoxously twisty than in previous games, but I'm sure the Repels made it more bearable. And once you clear it, THEN you find a spot you can Fly to, so you'll never have to do the Route 223/Victory Road trek ever again.
So anyway, here's the fight against my rival. It's blurry because I was testing one of those little mini-tripods and it sucked.
I've put some time trying to get a love connection going for both my female Turtwig and my female Piplup (both recent GTS acquisitions), but no luck as of yet. At least, I'm assuming that they will not breed based on what the old man outside the daycare tells me. So I defaulted back to breeding more chimchars... my Empoleon and Infernape REALLY like each other. They create a baby Chimchar egg every five minutes.
I bought the Prima Strategy Guide Volume Two... the one that has the complete Pokedex and "post-game" guide. It's the Pokedex stuff that interests me, because, aside from hunting and pecking on the internet, there's NO WAY you'd decode the complexities necessary to catch some of these guys. For example, Spiritomb.
As commonly reported, in order to get a Spiritomb to appear, you need to have chucked the Old Keystone into that ruined dirt pillar thing, east of Eterna. Then you have to go talk to 32 people in the Underground! 32! Not NPCs, either! Real people!
Thankfully, we discovered a trick - and yes, I did not read this part online and no, the strategy guide does not spell this out. My sister and I noticed that our "people met" count kept going up as we kept greeting each other in the Underground. So you can artificially inflate your count by talking to the same person 32 times. You just have to keep going inside your base or wherever each time; you can't just stand in the same hallway and Greet. So, after about half an hour of Greeting, walking inside, Greeting, walking outside, etc, we both had counts higher than 32... and when I ventured back upstairs to that pile of dirt and clicked on it, the Spiritomb appeared. Easy catch.
I know I'm getting close to tackling the Elite Four, but my team isn't ready. Out of the eight or so that I'm considering placing on the team, half of them are only in the high 40s, which just will not do. So lately I've been doing some training, mostly up in the snowy region where it's an easy 600-1200 XP no matter what stupid critter jumps you.
I also focused on catching those three legendary floating alien cat things, which cost me a lot of money and a lot of time.
I needed 30+ balls to capture Uxie, mostly wasted Ultra Balls although it was a Dusk Ball that did the job. Same story with Azelf.
Those two idiots at least have the decency to stay where you find them. The third one, Mesprit, vanishes as soon as you activate him, and you have to track him down using one of the Poketch's map screens. It's awful. You can see his current location, but if you Fly there, he moves. If you take too long to walk there, he moves. If you cross into a city, he moves. I headquartered myself in Jubilife and walked in and out of town until he flitted within a short walk. (I did like how the background music changed when you start a battle with Mesprit.)
You need to have somebody with a blocking move in your party, or else he escapes from the battle as soon as you find him (I used Gengar and his Mean Look move.) The only boon you get during this whole mess is that any damage done to him is permanent, so you can whittle his butt down to nothing and then concentrate solely on catching him.
Again, I went in armed with tons of heals, Ultra Balls and Dusk Balls... but I restarted after each unsuccessful battle that ended with either the Mesprit dead or my entire team dead. Read the following three screens a hundred times in a row, and you'll see what it was like.
Then I gave up for a week. When I tried it again, I was considering recording it for YouTube, as an example of how obnoxious it was to catch this freak.
And then I nabbed him on the first Dusk Ball thrown.
I really wish I had recorded that, because it would have been hilarious. And NSFW.
In other news, I finished off the Iron Island sidequest, using that trek to bring Gengar up to level 50. Already hatched the Riolu egg and evolved up to Lucario. CHECK CHECK.
Turned off battle animations. I'll turn them back on once I go after the League Championship.
Did some more breeding... three more male Chimchars for trading fodder, and currently working on mating a female Piplup and a male Glameow.
Tried out the honey-baiting technique and instantly added it to my Most Hated Ways To Catch Pokemon. You have to spread honey on one of a dozen special trees, then come back in twelve hours. And MAYBE the honey will have attracted a rarish pokemon. The first five times I tried it, I got NOTHING. Then I got a Wurmple. F.
Got a Munchlax, a Heracross, a Mantyke, a Skorupi, a Feebas and a Goldeen on the GTS.
Traded types back and forth with my sister. We're both working on filling out the Sinnoh 150 'dex, although she has already beaten her Elite and has already gathered plenty of National 'dex types. She is also breeding Eevees so we can try for all the crazy Eevee evolutions.
Also bought the first volume of that Prima strategy guide I mentioned last time. It's been worth it.
I get these email surveys from Nintendo quite a bit, and I always make a point to fill them out. You don't get anything for it, other than your chance to bake them over bad games. Like Pokemon Battle Revolution. Here's some screens of the survey (I skipped the dull(er) questions, like Are You Male Or Female) along with some additional commentary.
Boom! This assures they will pay attention to me, 'cause I'm a Power Buyer.
Hell yeah, son.
They seem to have forgotten about Pokemon Snap and the Puzzle League series, all of which are fantastic Pokemon tie-in games. I guess they're trying to narrow this survey down to the adventurey games.
The real story here is that Circuit City had the game on an unexpected discount. $40. Knowing what I know about Nintendo's history with console Pokemon games, I was really close to not even bothering with Battle Rev, but saving $10 pushed me over into a grudging "OK." That list gives you an idea how Nintendo would like to focus their advertising efforts. How about "Wii Preview Channel," guys?
Because they did something.
Because they didn't do enough.
The DS game integration was the big draw, and then that turned out to mostly suck. You would have to play Battle Rev for days to generate enough Poke Coupons to buy anything. You can't even buy crappy stuff for cheap; it's all expensive. I just beat the game tonight (first time through) and I have about 4,000 Coupons. The least expensive item on the shop list is King's Rock or Leftovers for around 7,000.
At least they made it nice and easy to sync up your entire DS pokemon collection with Battle Rev... although of course your team gains no experience for it.
"Accuracy of stylus"?
Some very mediocre ratings in the key areas. The endless parade of battles just sucks, as much as it did on the N64 games. To make matters worse, the few change-up Colosseums that they added are even more obnoxious. Seriously, randomizing your team? The hell?
Friend Codes for individual Wii games are lame. No voice chat. No trading. The only upside is that Battle Rev allows for random match-ups, which is very nice and isn't even possible in Diamond/Pearl.
What's up with this question? You tap menu choices on your DS. How could they have screwed that up?
To elaborate more on my last point: I can't even describe how disappointed I was when I saw that the entire game runs out of one crappy main menu. So much for the immersion of actually being inside a big awesome Pokemon amusement park. All you get is one boring virtual lobby.
If you're dying to see pokemon battles with cool special effects, here you go. (Gengar's Dark Pulse is especially awesome, by the way.) And coupled with the DS games, you get a couple of middling bonuses.
Other than that, it's a non-event. Again.
Now that I've had my Wii dose of pokemon fighting, I'm going to need some serious evidence before I go this way again.
I decided that I wanted everybody right around level 60 before going after the League Championship, so I've been doing a lot of mindless training... initially up around Snowpeak and more recently just west of Sunyshore. Then I stocked up on Revives and HP healers. Although I bought a ton of Super Potions, I also picked up lots of those drinks cans you get at the top floor of the shopping mall. They're a better value.
I haven't necessarily been looking forward to this, which is why it took me so long to work up to actually sitting down and doing. I mean, the battle junk is the least interesting part of the game for me (well, second least since Nintendo bungled the Super Contest thing.) I'm more into catching all of the different types and uncovering all of the games little secrets.
Which is why I bought both Prima strategy guides and kept them by my side as I prepared for the Elite Four. I'm just going to waste time starting and restarting to get this done. I wanted to walk in at a very fat level, have a good idea of what I could do to maximize my team's type advantages, and barrel through all five matches without saving inbetween.
And of course I shot movies of each bout.
Elite Four #1 - Aaron He's a bug trainer, but he throws in a Drapion just to screw with you. The Drapion looks like it might be a bug, but it's not. Allowing for that little problem, this was all Staraptor's show.
I had tried the Elite Four a couple weeks ago when my guys were all high-40's, and I couldn't even get a toehold against Aaron. Having a flying-type getting its ass kicked by the first bug-type in the queue is humiliating, so that should explain why I wanted to do this solid. My high-50's Staraptor had no such problems, as you can see.
Elite Four #2 - Bertha She's all ground-type. I love when they stick to one type.
My Torterra - already the tank of the team - just went to town here. Didn't even switch anybody else in. Absolutely no thought went into this battle. Razor Leaf, Razor Leaf, Giga Drain. Razor Leaf, Razor Leaf, Giga Drain.
Elite Four #3 - Flint This was the first battle that gave me pause, so it went longer than ten minutes (which meant I had to break the movie in two to upload to YouTube). As fun as it is to just have one dude in there swatting down all comers, there's something to be said for a longish battle where you have to switch your team around so as to take advantage of the type match-ups.
Starting Empoleon against Rapidash and Infernape was a no-brainer... although I had expected to keep Empoleon around a little longer, so the fall against Infernape was not appreciated. Look at that guy's HP; my Surf should have killed him. And then Flint had the nerve to Full Restore the Infernape! God that pisses me off.
In the second half of the battle, I get really lucky on getting past a Cute Charm to score a killing hit on Flint's Lopunny. But my Gengar becomes the team's weak link, shot down by the Drifblim and my Toxicroak has to finish the job. I REALLY should have trained the Gengar up more. I figured his coolass ghostiness would lower his handicap in comparison to my other fighters, but I was wrong.
Elite Four #4 - Lucian I was dreading this one... the psychic specialist. I started Gengar for his Dark Pulse attack but like I said, he just wasn't up to it. He took out Mr. Mime on a lucky flinch, but was assassinated by the Alakazam. Then I jumped in Toxicroak who finished off Alakazam but then was slaughtered by the Girafarig.
At that point, I'm sweating, until I remembered that my Torterra also has a dark-type attack, Crunch. Then it became easy... Torterra > Girafarig, Staraptor > Medicham, Infernape > Bronzong.
League Champion Cynthia Another two parter because this was a long battle and I included the big victory celebration at the end.
My big scare here was the weakness-less Spiritomb. So I started with Staraptor, figuring I couldn't go wrong with the Intimidate ability. Staraptor almost killed the Spiritomb with a couple Aerial Aces, but Torterra had to do the finisher.
Milotic was the big problem. First he Ice Beams Torterra to death, and then Surfs Gengar out the door (there's an edit there because I literally sat and thought for a minute about who to drag out next). Toxicroak gets a laugh because you can't Surf against him, but even that doesn't help much and it is neck and neck between the two for quite a few turns.
I revived Torterra because I needed his grass-type moves against the Gastrodon, so that was no trouble. Similarly, Empoleon had an easy match against the Garchomp... but only because I taught him Ice Beam just before the bout started. Then it came down to Infernape against Lucario (easy) and Infernape against Roserade (yeah).
I think my Infernape really lived up to her nickname. And it is super cool that the one that ended the battle is the very pokemon that I chose at the start of the game!
Here is my winning team... and now I'm off to explore all of the funky post-game stuff.
Since beating the League, I've been doing a lot of critter collecting. Bringing old favorites over via Pal Park, slowly working through the little post-game sidequests and the weird new evolutions (Tangela evolves now? Tangela?) More on that later.
My sister has been continuing with her game as well and tonight we exchanged the final few types required so that we could both complete the Sinnoh Pokedex. Then I hustled back to the Game Designer at that hotel to collect my prize for finding all 150...
(That's my sister coming over and pointing out that the smegging background is even identical to the one you get for simply seeing all 150, as opposed to actually catching all 150. Cheap!)
Give us a rare egg, a unique item, some stupid ribbon or contest gear. Anything. You don't even get a nugget. Instead, you get a dippy certificate that you'll never see again. It's not even one of the accomplishments that adds a star to your trainer card. It really pisses me off that the game even has the nerve to play the "You Found Something!" sound when the guy says he has a (non) award to give you.
For something that is ostensibly the whole purpose of the series, Nintendo sure doesn't give a crap when you do it.
Unlike last year's Mew Day, this Pokemon Event was a piece of cake.
As hoped, the whole affair was run by WiFi download. Although most people showed up expecting a line, so they didn't know where to go. The largest clusters formed around this instructional sign and over by the RZone checkout (where they were handing out the $5 coupons.) Follow the Mystery Gift instructions and bammo, everybody gets a Manaphy. Then we all run right home and breed a Phione.
Obviously most of the people there did not have Battle Revolution (and Nintendo must know it, because there was Battle Rev signage EVERYWHERE) because the Mystery Gift menu was totally unknown. The whole Wonder Card thing is woefully under-reported. Where's the Nintendo Power two page spread explaining how you download, what kinds of gifts you can download, and where you have to go to download? Nowhere, that's where... because it would absolutely kill Nintendo to have to admit that they have all kinds of secret things hidden in these games, to be revealed only at special events to be named later. Or never.
Eh, I'm still bitter about Animal Crossing, leave me alone.
The Geoffrey birthday party stuff kicked off at noon. Yeah, Nickelodeon! Bend that air!
Free instruments for the kids. Clark picked the same kind as last year.
Here's the big bonus.
If you've ever been to any kind of organized Pokemon event, you've probably seen the little Pokemon Fan magazines they give away. They're cute little adver-mags, occasionally about selected Poke-fans, mostly about tips and tricks for the games (video and TCG), and always about the latest merchandise for sale.
The mag's article on Battle Revolution has a secret code in it to transfer an Electivire into your Pearl/Diamond. It's the same code that's on the official website, as if you check there with any regularity. I imagine this will show up in Nintendo Power as well. Since Battle Rev doesn't have any kind of obvious "ENTER SECRIT CODEZ HERE" screen, you have to input the code on your profile page.
And by the way, you can find the dash on the WXYZ button. Thanks again for not including a real bloody soft keyboard, Nintendo!
As with the Surfing Pikachu and Manaphy itself, the Electivire comes through as a Wonder Card, meaning that I now have the maximum of three. I assume I can just dump one of them, now that I have all of those guys in my game.
Can Battle Rev generate Surfing Pikachus and Electivires for other copies of Diamond/Pearl, other than the one that is paired to the game? I would bet not - why would Nintendo allow everyWii to become a Surfing Pikachu generator - but I'm definitely going to test it out.
Hilariously, both the website and Pokemon Fan promise to have a new code "next month"... and it's purportedly "hot." Guess what that will be. COUGH*magmortar.
Anyway, this sure is easier than finding those stupid rare items that evolve Electabuzz and Magmar. I figured that you'd have to play Battle Rev for a million days to generate enough in-game money to buy them.
This totally validates my Battle Revolution purchase, by the way.
So what are they going to give away at next year's event (assuming there is one)? Darkrai? Ho-oh/Lugia? Raikou/Entei/Suicune? Deoxys?
The last time I posted a Pearl Journal entry was back in September 07 when Toys R Us did the Manaphy download. This particular entry was started in November! I kinda fell out of the game around then (although five+ months of dedicated play ain't shabby at all), although I did keep some old notes about where I was, to wit:
The big news for me in November was that I finally started Pal Parking in captured pokemon from LeafGreen, Ruby and Sapphire. Like, a ton of them. First I brought over all my legendaries, then a ton of duplicate cheapies (Mankey! Rapidash! Manectric!) just for Pokedex purposes. That's really all the game is for me at this point: to see how close I can get to identifying all 480+ pokemon in my 'dex.
So I have to ask: why the ball preamble to Pal Park? The Park Balls are an instant capture, and finding the imported pokemon hidden inside the park grounds is not difficult. Another weird design choice from the people who turned Pokemon Contests into something fun into something painful and twenty minutes long.
Last November I caught Cressalia and Regigigas. I nabbed the Cressalia with my lv58 Gengar using his Psychic attack and a couple heals to keep him in the match. Took two Ultra Balls and Ten Dusk Balls to catch her. I do all this stuff at night to fully leverage the Dusk Balls.
I used my lv70 Mewtwo from LeafGreen to catch the Regigigas. Psychic, Swift, Swift, Recover and only six Dusk Balls.
A few lingering answers from last fall. Yes, you can have Pokemon Battle Revolution send out Electivires and Magmortars to other game paks. I still don't get the whole Wonder Card thing. Battle Rev itself can send out three Wonder Card pokemon (the two I just listed plus Surfing Pikachu), so why is the DS game limited to only display three at a time? If you want to download something else, you have a trash one or more of your existing Wonder Cards... which does not affect the pokemon you downloaded, so why even "keep" Wonder Cards at all?
That's my Wooper, waiting to be snapped up in a trade. I forget how it turned out, although generally online trading is a foregone conclusion. Somebody, somewhere, will give you want you want.
Here's my stats as of last November (current AMAZING stats to follow):
Now to get current.
The big impetus to play Pearl again was - ta-da - Pokemon Ranch.
Since Ranch requests certain types and then gives you hints on how to find them, it has inspired me to keep at my Pokedex completion quest. I'm even capturing total junk - like lv7 Starlys with first-turn Nest Balls - just to fill up the Ranch. I can't wait to see how big my Ranch data file gets.
Got my Heatran and Giratina. Bred a couple Phiones using the TRU Manaphy. Been abusing Pal Park (my LeafGreen cart is almost completely empty, and Ruby has been restarted so as to collect all the R/S starters... and currently Clark is "playing" Ruby, so it's almost like I've hired him to goldfarm Pokemon for me.)
We had two more download events since last fall... Toys R Us provided Darkrai and GameStop was handing out Deoxys. Darkrai is in the 'dex as number 491. I think the only remaining secret pokemon is a legendary named Arcaeus... no doubt to be found inside the upcoming Pokemon Platinum, the third pillar to the Diamond/Pearl series.
Deoxys provides a use for those four meteorites on the east side of Veilstone City. If Deoxys is in your party when you touch a meteorite, he will change to one of his four specialized forms.
With the help of some other Pokemon players, I've done a bunch of strategic back-and-forth trades solely for Pokedex purposes. During Origins, I had Alex breed me a set of the original Red/Blue starters!
I have every Eevee evolution except Flareon, because I only have one Fire Stone. I trying to dig up more underground, but I keep getting Water and Leaf Stones instead. I have like ten Leaf Stones and almost no reason to use them.
Lately it's just been more Pal Parking, and a bunch of breeding. I'm either breeding out the first stages of the bigger types I already have (last night I hatched a couple of Teddiursas), or I'm manufacturing various starters to use as trading fodder on the GTS. I've become proficient at running in circles without looking at the screen, so I can hatch eggs while watching TV or reading a book.
Oh, this GTS trade just about broke my heart. I needed a Kangaskhan for Ranch, so I put something crappy up for trade, like a Magcargo or whatever. The Kangaskhan I received was a lv67 beast, named Kangourex (which is French for Kangaskhan, so this gal probably originated from a French game). Kangourex's data sheet says that she was transferred from LeafGreen (or FireRed) in November 2007 at lv65... and that she was part of a Championship winning team in both LeafGreen/FireRed AND Diamond/Pearl.
Is this somebody's precious, hand-trained fighter? Why would they toss her aside for a junky Magcargo? Did somebody's older brother get ahold of their game and trade out all their favorites? I feel dirty participating in this. Nelly, if you want your Kangourex back, please send me an email. I'll send her back with a free Leaf Stone.
Look at how those stats have jumped in the month since Pokemon Ranch came out. Almost fifty more hours of Pearl playtime. Pokedex +140. Another five thousand points to the score, as if I had any clue how that is computed. And my money is dropping (somewhat) because I have to keep paying the daycare lady as I shuffle monsters in and out of her poke-hookup center.
Like it says in the screenshot above, there's no end to Pokemon. At least, until I get 491 in the Pokedex. Which is really close. I think the biggest challenge will be locating the Gold/Silver starters.
I only need 19 more pokemon before I have officially caught them all. And amazingly, I've already been through all the truly hard or impossible ones.
My big concerns were the Gold/Silver starters, a few scattered legendaries like Lugia and Raikou, and the handful of crappo types that you can only get by plugging in Game Boy games that I don't have. Well, thanks to poke-pals like Ben, David and Alex... I was able to cross all the toughies off my list.
And when I needed extra Fire and Dawn Stones, my sister Marci came to the rescue, donating the items and sitting through a lot of trade evolutions.
Now, it's almost a certainty that a selection of the pokemon who passed through my DS were cheats. It's the Pokemon Gray Market. Nobody freakin' played Pokemon XD: Gale of Boredom, but yet everybody has plenty of Lugias to pass around. So somewhere along the line, probably well before any of my trading partners got involved, Lugia and Chikorita and other hard-to-get types were hacked out of Action Replays and then set loose in the wild.
It's an ethical puzzle, and it necessarily taints my accomplishments. But Pokemon is as much about trading as battling and collecting, so I find it a fair piece removed from, say, time travelling in Animal Crossing.
Breeding Teh easiest. Not even an issue, really. Just a time investment. I have a designated Ditto and I can only assume it enjoys its job. I'll be breeding a Staryu (I know I could fish for one of these, but I hate fishing) and a Beldum. And I think I need to breed another Lickitung, because the one I got on the Global Trade Station was level 34, and I need one at level 33 so I can teach him Rollout and trigger his evolution into Lickilicky.
GTS My favorite way to find stuff. You just need to have seen the type, and then you can ask the world to deliver it to you. Over the last few weeks, I've picked up a Stantler, Granbull, Vibrava and a level 100 Porygon2... all traded for Piplips and Chimchars. I still need a Tauros and Seadra, both of which could be caught via other means, but this way is just too easy. I currently have a request in for an Ekans, so I can evolve one up into an Arbok. After that, I need to beg for a Pineco, so I can get a Forretress.
Leveling Up See, I just find this tedious, but at least it gives me something to do while waiting for pokemon to breed or eggs to hatch. I do almost all of my random battling up on Route 228, north of the Resort Area. All the wild pokemon are 50+, so it's a decent EP hunting ground. The types I need to evolve up in this fashion are Bayleef, Meganium, Typhlosion, Croconaw, Feraligatr, Jumpluff, Combusken, Blaziken, Metang.
Item-based Most of the item evolutions are no problem, but I seem to be lacking a Sun Stone, which is required to evolve my Sunkern into Sunflora. I need to look up the location of the damn Sun Stone. Also, I need to give my Razor Fang to Gligar so he can evolve into Gliscar, I just haven't gotten around to that yet.
Radar I hate the Pokeradar. It's supposed to rustle up rare types, but it's still random... so you have to go through a lot of wasted radar scans and random battles before you find something cool. This is why I'm trading for a Tauros, not using the radar to find one on Route 209. The only radar-exclusive type I need is Smeargle. So at some point I'm going to kill an hour hanging out on the Hearthome side of Route 212. Sigh.
Dual-Slot, Mass Outbreak I'm only including these because I like the "suicidal" graphic so much, as these are all achieved. Not owning Pokemon Emerald or FireRed makes their associated Dual-Slot hidden types impossible to find, so I had to go find somebody who owns those carts.
The Mass Outbreak is another classic unrewarding Nintendo moment... every day you have to talk to a specific little girl, who will randomly name a type that is experiencing an OUTBREAK somewhere in the world. Then you have to go to the outbreak site and start searching. I needed a Smoochum and it took at least two weeks of asking her before I randomly got her to do it. The important bit is that it's all behind me now.
So really, most of my list is just get-to-work leveling up time. Which is all very doable.
And yes, I know the game will do nothing special once I hit this milestone. But I will have done it. And that will have to be thanks enough.
Also, I have to think that this will help me in the next Pokemon generation.
That's some serious pokeccomplishment. There's not much left to do, and once I get these last few, I will have officially completed my ultimate goal. This is not unlike finishing the catalog in Animal Crossing, except this is actually doable.
More success on the GTS. Even today, gang, you throw up a Turtwig, Chimchar or Piplup, and you are almost guaranteed to get what you want. I traded thusly for an Ekans, Pineco, Gligar, Tauros, Smeargle and, hilariously, a Lugia.
So what's left? Gliscar, which should be an easy evolution. Lickilicky, Forretress, same story.
Last night I went looking in Sapphire for an old Combusken to Pal Park over. Couldn't find it. I knew I had one somewhere, because I remember bringing it over from Ruby. Then I remembered; I left it in the daycare a long time ago, hoping to breed a couple Torchics. Although back then, I didn't know much about pairing pokemon, so I dropped a male Combusken in with a female Torkoal. The resultant egg was a baby Torkoal. Yawn.
The big one - and I did not see this coming - was the Sunflora. You get a Sunflora after using a Sun Stone on a Sunkern, and I did not have a Sun Stone.
Sun Stones can be found in the underground, and are occasionally held by wild Solrocks. You can guess what the word "occasionally" means in the Pokemon world: never. I scrounged up a bunch of empty-handed Solrocks before I gave up on that idea.
The underground was also a strikeout. I guess if I did another few hours of dedicated underground digging, I may turn one up. Remember, I have Pearl... I think Sun Stones are rarer in Pearl.
Apparently you can get a Sunflora out of Pokemon Colosseum for GameCube, which I do own. But forget that. Those game sucked.
And you get a Sun Stone in Sapphire (at the Space Center) but I checked and I must have already used that particular Sun Stone. Most likely to evolve out a Bellossom.
Clark is still pacing in his Ruby game... is it worth me taking over his Ruby just to advance the story up to the point at which I could find a Sun Stone? Not hardly.
So I IMed my sister one night, to see if she had one. She helped me out before, and she is not at all concerned with catching 'em all. Here's the conversation.
Her: OK, I'll check.
Her: One moment.
Her: I have 4.
Me: How in fuck?
Her: But I think I'll need all four..... ;)
Me: Sun Stone.
Her: A peculiar stone that makes certain species of Pokemon evolve. It is as red as the sun.
Me: Yes, yes, I need it to make Sunkern evolve into Sunflora.
Me: Did you dig them all in the underground?
So she graciously gave me one of her four Sun Stones (and a Weedle) so I can get that awful, junky Sunflora. What a game.