Pokemon Pearl: The Solo Run – Ken the Bridge Troll (part 2)

It’s been a few more days of Munchkin and my journey to throw the ring into Mount D– take out the gym leaders of the Sinnoh region!

Following a brief partnership with Cheryl, we made our way throughout Eterna Forest in our quest for the second gym badge in Eterna City. It was on a bridge of fisherman where we encountered the most pain in the neck trainers of all time. Especially Ken the Bridge Troll. Or at least that’s the name I gave him. I think his name was actually Andrew.

This guy had a full fleet of nothing but Magikarp. Do you know how long a six Pokemon battle takes? And all of them were level 10! I’m currently sitting at level 25, which yielded me roughly 46xp each. Total waste of time! Thanks for nothing, Ken.

bridge-trolls
Pictured: Ken the Bridge Troll.

The good news is that at this point, Piplup has evolved into a Prinplup and is kicking Pokemon butt and taking names. This was the case at least, until I got to the second gym in Eterna City. See, this city is home to Gardenia, and if you can’t tell by her name, she and her loyal training assistants are completely decked out with Grass Pokemon. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem since I historically have chosen Fire-based Pokemon, but in this instance, my all-water Prinplup named Munchkin was going to see his first bit of difficulty.

As a side note…

One thing I’ve always liked about the gyms is how they seem to make a mini-game out of the whole ordeal. It’s all so official, and reminds me of watching the Japanese Iron Chef when I was a kid. The judges would talk about the food with such intricacy, that it all seemed so over the top. After all, you’re just talking about eating food.

I get the same vibe from Pokemon games. Every single person in the world talks exclusively about Pokemon. They literally don’t know a single other thing to talk about. The gyms are the pinnacle of this – trainers stand around idle all day and wait for kids to walk in, solve a gauntlet of panels that spin them around, scale a series of platforms, or walk across bizarre spider webs. Then they battle the leader, and get a badge.

Who’s paying them to do this? Where’s that money coming from? It’s the equivalent of having every single in society be a researcher. There’s gotta be grant money coming from somewhere!

Anyway, Munchkin saw his first death, tragically, at the hands of one of the trainers. I was using the Peck move to deal some heavy damage to most of the trainer Pokemon, but unfortunately, if the enemy ‘mon got a chance to attack, I was pretty boned. I especially ran into problems battling Turtwig, who kept ripping me apart using Razor Leaf. Eventually, following a dramatic scene in which Munchkin was torn down by the leafy shrapnel, I had to concede, reboot, and hit up the store for some Super Potions. This wasn’t going to be easy.

Keep in mind I was level 27 by the time I got here, yet I was getting slaughtered by level 19 Turtwigs. Very frustrating.

As I had, of course, not saved at all, I had to restart the gym, taking out each trainer again. I managed to make it all the way to Gardenia one-shotting everything that stood in my way! But then it happened.roserade

As Gardenia’s Turtwig fell to my vicious Peck’ing, she revealed her final Pokemon: Roserade. I was ill-prepared, to say the least. She was a level 22, and had Stun Spore and Grass Knot – both of which were devastating. She kept up the same routine – paralyze Munchkin with Stun Spore, then tear down with Grass Knot.

My attacks would inevitably miss, or never happen, due to the paralysis. The question kept popping up: do I use my turn to cure the paralysis, or play the odds and try to get another shot through? At this point, Roserade’s speed was slightly higher than mine, and so she had the advantage, pulling off double moves, where I would use a potion, and then she would get to go twice in a row, thus negating the potion. This enraging war of attrition guaranteed an expiry date for little Munchkin if I didn’t think of something fast.

gardenia-2

Eventually, I pulled off a minor miracle as Gardenia tried and failed twice in a row to Stun Spore, and both my Pecks managed to land. I ended up burning through 5 Super Potions before I took her down though, and I did so by the skin of my teeth. My heart rate hit 80 bpm from it’s 55 bpm resting rate, but I surfaced as a the victor!

gardenia-3
And don’t you forget it, Gardenia. Remember this face.

Of course, I was rewarded handsomely in the form of the Forest Badge and the ability to use Cut, who I promptly taught to another HM slave that I had to recruit, as Machop cannot use Cut.

In addition to the win, I can now take a well-earned victory lap on my new Bicycle! Courtesy of the owner of the shop who I saved from the Team Galactic building. I love how this thing has several speeds. So many nice little surprises in this game so far!

As for my next move? I’m headed for Maylene in Veilstone City to face her fighting fleet of Pokemon. Stay tuned for next time!

6 thoughts on “Pokemon Pearl: The Solo Run – Ken the Bridge Troll (part 2)

    1. Thanks Jennifer – I’ve been having a good time revisiting the old Pokemon formula after having played Sun/Moon. Particularly as this is my first foray into the pool of DS-grade Pokemon games!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words! I realize these kinds of posts aren’t for everyone, And I have the stats to prove it, but I’m trying to turn my adventure with Piplup into a bit of a mini-story to strengthen my writing muscle, if you will.

      The way the inhabitants of Pokemon games dramatize everything always made me laugh, so I guess this is just my way of making it even more over the top! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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  1. Oh boy, I feel your pain. I remember that second Gym very acutely from my own Platinum Piplup solo run; and needless to say, I suffered and struggled just as much as you. That Gym comes so early in the game that the benefits of overleveling are insufficient at that point to tackle it, especially with a Water ‘Mon. It took me a lot of luck and all the Battle Items I had garnered until that point to overcome that formidable hurdle, and I needed more than a few tries to do so.

    The funny thing is, I was a total Pokemon noob at that time and virtually didn’t know anything about elemental complementarities. I was thus totally unaware that I was pitted against ‘Mons my Piplup was weak to; and since that was my very first Pokemon solo run, I started fearing that I had been too arrogant and that maybe soloing Pokemon games was an impossible feat! Good thing I persevered (and you too), because things are easy-peasy after the Gardenia roadblock. Trust me when I say that you should have the smoothest of rides from now on.

    Can’t wait to read the next posts about Munchkin’s epic solo journey! ^^

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    1. Thanks for the reply! 🙂 And the inspiration to write about my adventures in the first place.

      Part three is almost here, And it proved to be a lot easier earning badges 3 & 4. I think at this point I’m sufficiently over leveled, So nothing seems to be much of a problem anymore.

      At this point since I just got ever oasis, I’m just trying to get through the rest of the game in one piece. With my hand still in recovery, Pokémon games are about as technically challenging as I can get! Since they’re essentially only require one hand it to play. Hah!

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