Pokémon Crystal, Now With More Pain

Pokémon Crystal Maeson has decided that it’s going to throw the gloves off, and punch me in the mouth from minute one. I’m 2.5 hours in, and I’m struggling mightily. I’ve lost to the Rival, had to hoof it back to town a dozen times, and am learning to understand that I can’t use items mid-battle at all. Pokémon themselves have different strengths and weaknesses than in the base game, trainers are more apt to play on MY weaknesses, and debuff me before hammering away. I’m winning fights on attrition and grinding, and have had to reconfigure, and decide how to reorganize my team.

I’ve decided that I’m going to run multiple teams, due to build variety and what I’ll be weak and strong against will change through the game. Like right now, I have a SEVERE Grass-Type weakness, so, I swapped out Rattata for Bellsprout. Pidgey is waiting in the wings because HootHoot is better able to cover my weaknesses. I swapped out Spinnarak for Goldeen because it’s just not pulling its weight at all right now. I’m having to pivot, raise up multiple Pokémon just to have a chance.

It’s…it’s a struggle to get anywhere. I know Gen 2 like the back of my hand, so, the general points I’m okay on, just the details are fuzzy. It’s been 10+ years since I played Soul Silver, and even then, I never played Crystal, just Silver as a kid. My team back 20+ years ago wasn’t great. It was:

  • Feraligator
  • Furret
  • Graveler
  • Pidgeot
  • Lugia
  • Snorlax/Starmie/Rotating Sixth

Were their movesets even remotely competitive? Not a chance. But, I brute forced through all 16 Gyms, the Elite Four, and Red. My plan is to grind up multiple lineups depending on what I’m fighting. I want to make sure I’m not being caught flat-footed against any opponent, especially with this being a harder ROMHack. As of right now, my current team consists of:

  • Cyndaquil
  • HootHoot
  • Sentret
  • Goldeen
  • Geodude
  • Bellsprout

and Rattata, Pidgey, Spearow, and Spinnarak on “standby duty”. My plan is to have as many types covered as I can. There’s a Houndour I want to catch, but, RNG is fighting me on it. I’m currently in the Sprout Tower, and trying to shore up my weaknesses as much as I can do at this time. There’s certainly different Pokémon I can catch in areas than I’m used to, so, my “usual suspects” aren’t all I’m limited to.

With my internet wanting to battle me when I try to play Destiny, and my brother in WoW, that may be my best option as to what to play on this lazy Saturday. I feel like I’m 10 years old again, trying to figure out how I’m going to take on this Gym, mitigate the Leader’s setup, since I don’t know what he’ll use now. It’s nice, the game feels “new” in a way it hadn’t for years. It’s the game I thought I knew by heart, but, in a brand new form. Now, I’m going to ride out this storm coming, monitor the stuff I have in the crockpot, and get me a Badge or two.

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