Gotta Catch Em All

I turn 32 this month. That’s weird for me, and I don’t really know how to process that. I’m at the very beginning of the annual “what the hell am I doing with my life?” It happens every year, and I think it gets a little weirder every year as I get further and further from that defining moment I hoped for as a child. The moment when I should have tried to walk into the tall grass only to be stopped by the internationally famous professor inexplicably living in the only other house in what is still somehow called a town. It didn’t happen when I was ten, but that’s fine. Pokemon wasn’t a thing when I was ten. But it was definitely a thing when I was 14, and still nothing. Nothing year after year, and now that I’m getting towards my mid-thirties, I’m starting to think it never will.

But let’s say that it did. Let’s say I live in Pallet Town, and let’s say I get over the fact that it is most definitely not a town. I was in a town last year called Springview, Nebraska that had 243 people, and that was barely a town. Pallet town has two families, and totals like 5 people unless the techs and scientists at the lab all live there, but they probably live in Viridian. Or anywhere else if they have a Pokemon with Fly. And that probably drives some of Blue’s hostility, by the way. There’s 3 people in town other than him and Red, and all three of them are super nice to Red. Red’s mom is nice enough to heal his Pokemon, Blue’s sister gives Red a map even though he isn’t family, and Professor Oak, Blue’s grandfather, even let Red pick his Pokemon first! No wonder Blue is kind of a dick, he’s been marginalized even by his own family in favor of their next door neighbor. Think of it like this: the jerk neighbor in Honey, I Shrunk The Kids was also a jerk to one of his kids because the kid wasn’t really living up to what his dad wanted for him. So Pokemon is just like that, only the jerk dad not only is a jerk to his kid, he also tells his neighbor’s kid how great he is like all the time.

So obviously when I get to pick a Pokemon, I pick Charmander. Sure, it’s harder in the beginning of the game, but overall it’s the best choice. You can go with Squirtle if you want, he’s useful against Brock and Blaine, and also Blastoise is pretty strong with a high defense. Bulbasaur is a bad choice. He’ll have the easiest time against Brock and Misty, but he’s essentially useless after that. Venusaur is useless. He’s like the (pop culture reference expressing uselessness) (I left that in on purpose. I can’t just come up with new references every three seconds, jeez) (okay, fine, I came up with one, but now it feels awkward so I’m just going to restart the sentence). Venusaur is like the mouse that gets to play for a split second on the Tune Squad against the Monstars.

So my final team consists of Charizard, Articuno, Raichu, Golem, Gengar, and Alakazam. That’s a lie. It’s Charizard, Articuno, Raichu, Graveler, Haunter, and Kadabra. I didn’t have friends. For those who don’t remember or never played Generation 1 of Pokemon, Kadabra, Graveler, and Haunter only evolve into Alakazam, Golem, and Gengar if you have a link cable and trade them with a friend. If you don’t have a friend and a link cable (it takes both!), then you’re not getting those three. Plenty of people will argue with my final team, and that’s fine, because I live in America, and you’re allowed to be wrong here. For example, almost 63 million people voted wrong in the last election. (Note: I did warn you that I’m allowed to change my mind about going political.) So yeah, people can be wrong. Hell, one guy on my facebook friends list had two Slowbros on his team. That’s stupid of him. Hear that, Chris Kladis of Fort Wayne, Indiana? You’re stupid and your team is stupid.

I’m going to skip past a few gyms, because it’s only when you get to around Celadon City that you start to learn what Pokemon are strong and how they evolve. I also don’t plan on discussing any of the dungeons like Pokemon Tower, Rock Tunnel, Victory Road, or the Unknown Dungeon, because you don’t really need anything special for them, just a high enough level team. And in the case of the Rock Tunnel, you need to waste a Pokemon slot with someone who has Flash, a completely useless move. So I won’t waste my time or yours with that nonsense.

We start with Celadon Gym, and a powerful showing from Charizard (who will likely only be Charmeleon right now). Gym Leader Erika uses Victreebell, Tangela, and Vileplume. Any fire type is going to dominate here, and at this point in the game Charmeleon is really the only fire type you’ve been introduced to. “But Dan, the Gentleman on the SS Anne has two Growlithe!” Yeah, but you can’t catch those so you should stop nitpicking. When I do, it’s funny. You’re just obnoxious, voice in my head that make me uncomfortable enough that I have to characterize you as someone else! So yeah, Charmeleon is the obvious choice here. If you didn’t choose Charmander at the start, then you’d better hope you have a strong Flying type. Kadabra is a good backup if your Charmeleon gets poisoned and dies, but Kadabra doesn’t have any advantage against Tangela. Also yes, I said “dies.” Saying your Pokemon “fainted” is absurd and stupid. I’m blasting plants with dragon fire, they’re not just getting knocked out. Those dudes are dying.

When you get down to Fuschia City, a lot of opportunities open up. You don’t need any of them. You can walk past the Safari Zone that has a Voltorb on display because apparently the Safari Zone thinks we’re a bunch of fucking hillbillies who get excited because we see a moving Pokeball. The only reason to go to the Safari Zone is for the items. Otherwise, just go wander around the perimeter fighting the worst hidden ninjas ever until you get to Koga.

This silly little fool just brought three clouds and a puddle to a Pokemon fight. Half your team can decimate this idiot. I don’t know how he made it into the Elite 4 in Generation 2, because he’s useless here. You can walk through this entire gym with Graveler, Kadabra, and Haunter. There’s not a lot else to say here. If you lose here you should probably put the game down and never play again. Is it too harsh to tell you never to play a game that came out 18 years ago again? No. If you lose here, you’re bad at this and you should feel bad.

As you double back to Saffron City, you’ve gotta get ready for what is probably the hardest gym battle in the game. Psychic Pokemon don’t have a weakness. In theory they’re weak to bug, but all the valid bug Pokemon are also poison and weak to psychic, and the Dark pokemon type doesn’t get introduced till later. So Saffron City and Sabrina are a very hard fight that you kind of just have to slog through with your heavy hitters. Graveler or Golem are essential here, with their strong attack and defense, Raichu’s strong special attack and paralyze moves are also very useful against opponents who can use Recover.

As you cruise down to Cinnabar Island, make sure you grab Articuno. After that you can either finish the Seafoam Islands puzzle and finish Surfing to Cinnabar, or you can fly back to Pallet Town and surf down. But you’ve gotta get Articuno so you have something useful against Lance. The only other Pokemon that’s particularly useful against Lance would be Dewgong, but that’s an otherwise useless Pokemon, which you already know because it isn’t on my list of the best Pokemon.

Golem is your best bet against Blaine. Sure, you could have Shellder, Slowbro, or even Seaking if you were stupid. But you’re not stupid, so you went with the powerful rock/ground type that I told you about. The reason Golem is so perfect here is because none of the moves are effective. Blaine’s Pokemon all only have fire and normal type moves, and none of those are effective against Golem. So he’s all you need. Moving on.

Viridian City and Giovanni. This gym is also kind of a waste, to be honest. Alakazam and Gengar can do most of the work here, with a little bit of help from Articuno when Rhydon and Dugtrio come out to play. But overall this is not a hard gym battle. That’s why this paragraph is so short.

I’ll be honest, I’ve kind of gotten bored with this topic. I’m mostly done, and I’m just not having fun with it anymore. I think that’s also fairly obvious from how short the paragraphs have gotten. Please allow me to finish on a high note and end with something fun.

 

—****—-*****—-*****—-*****—-*****—-*****—-*****—-*****—

 

I’m three whiskey and cokes in and watching Girl Meets World, and I’ve gotta tell you this show is probably the best thing. It gives me every emotion, and that’s rare for someone as emotionally stunted as me. I’m on the series finale, and I don’t think I’m prepared for this.

A few minutes ago I shouted at the TV “Is Auggie getting bullied?! I’m gonna find the writers of this show and give them a talking to about this.” A few seconds later I laughed and said “aww” about young love. Gross, I know. But this show is perfect. I wasn’t wild about Fuller House, it felt like they were trying to continue Full House but it had lost some of the magic. Jodie Sweetin found some new magic of her own, but I’m still nervous about talking about her online.

Boy Meets World was a far superior show to Full House. Even IMDB knows it, Boy Meets World has an 8.1 rating, Full House has 6.7. Those are legally binding ratings, it’s in the Geneva Conventions. And Girl Meets World is a perfect follow up. It has all the characters we grew to love, like Jack, Eric, Minkus, Feeney, Corey, Topanga, and most importantly, Shawn Hunter. But it’s not just about them. Their appearances are interwoven expertly through the stories of their children, and I’m amazed how good it is. Especially the Shawn arc. Holy crap, how good is the Shawn stuff?

OH GOD IT’S EVERYONE! I’M ON THE LAST EPISODE AND THEY BROUGHT BACK EVERYONE!!!!!!! I’m gonna go. Love and Kisses!

 

For anyone who is interested in the other projects I’m working on or wants to be more involved in the creative process, I’ve created a Patreon account! This blog will remain 100% free, so there is no obligation to sign up, but there are exclusive members-only rewards. Check it out! http://www.patreon.com/danwestcomedy

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