Continuing our journey through the Sinnoh region, Munchkin and I have been getting along swimmingly! And in that way I mean that the Water-type Pokemon is absolutely demolishing everything in her swim lane.
Following some trouble with Gardenia, we sought out the next gym leader, Maylene, owner and operator of the Fighting-based gym (so kind of like an MMA gym?) to claim our next badge. Being leveled to the mid-30s point inspired a decent amount of confidence, and as the map seemed to splinter off a bit and “open up” like Pokemon games tend to do after the first two badges, we stretched our legs and traveled through several routes and cities.
HEARTHOME CITY was a beautiful surprise with the charming music to match, and of course was as welcoming as the name would imply. We spoke to everyone who were simply overflowing with kindness and generosity, and at a certain point unbeknownst to us at the time, we procured some sort of Pokemon egg that we didn’t realize until I went to teach Fly to an HM Slave.
As you can also tell from the screenshot, we ran into a bit of a snag wherein Fly was not able to be learned by any of my HM Slave Pokemon. I stumbled around for a bit trying to find a Flying-type Pokemon, and when I finally did, learned I already had stored a Zubat in the PC. Woops! Although I am a firm believer in “time enjoyed is not time wasted,” this was a slight waste of time.
Either way, with Fly equipped and the HEARTHOME GYM temporarily inaccessible, we anxiously moved on to Route 209, but not before a minor scuffle with our rival, Clint. Munchkin, naturally, made short work of Clint’s collection thus far, although Grotle proved to be a bit of a pain, as did his predecessor in the last gym.
We finally reached our third gym in VEILSTONE CITY after taking out countless trainers in ROUTE 209 as well as scaling the Pokemon Tower to claim the Strength HM.
The VEILSTONE GYM proved to be my favorite gym thus far. It consisted of a small sliding puzzle where you pushed around little blockades, thus forcing you to move into each boxing ring to take out a Fighting Pokemon-centric trainer. Eventually we made our way to the leader, Maylene.
She was actually a piece of cake, as my Peck move did a serious number on her Fighting-type ‘mon. That is, until, Lucario showed up. Being a Steel Fighting Pokemon meant he was immune to Peck, and even with my level advantage, he took a lot of hits to best. I suffered zero casualties, with the exception of a single Super Potion. With that, the Cobble Badge was mine!
Chasing the high that was brought by a relatively simple gym, Munchkin and I headed to claim badge #4 from PASTORIA CITY. The route to Pastoria was interesting – tons of trainers lay in wait on ROUTE 212, affording me several new shiny levels, and a full-size evolution for my once tiny Piplup. Meet Empoleon!
I didn’t waste much time before torpedoing straight for the gym. Why wait, right? After all, this is a solo run, so there’s no time to explore! This time, I was really in my wheel-house. A Water-based gym awaited me, so this should be a piece of cake.
…and it was! Nothing really stood a chance in here, to be honest. While I shared a base type with most of the Pokemon I was up against, Hidden Power (Normal-type) and my newly taught Aerial Ace dished out some serious damage. Enough to smash my way through Crasher Wake’s lineup and arrive at my fourth gym badge, and the ability to use HM Defog.
Wait, what the heck is Defog?
I don’t have it yet, and so I guess I’ll find out soon enough! Munchkin and I have had quite a bit of progress in this part, and being halfway done with the badges inspires some confidence for the eventual tussle with the Elite Four. Munchkin is now a full grown-up in her 40s, yet still kicking some pocket monster butt.
Following my last gym victory, I decided o replace one of Munchkin’s two Water-type moves with Brine, which was a victory gift from Crasher Wake upon his demise. This move does double damage when an enemy ‘mon is at half health or less, making it an incredible finishing move. Looking forward to having this one save the day!
Stay tuned for next time where we press onward by going backwards to HEARTHOME CITY! Thanks for reading, folks!