Pickymon, Chapter III: Boats, Boasts and Bikes

Based on a concept from @ZombieHam on Twitter, Pickymon is what happens when you decide to play the original Pokémon Red with a simple twist – you only get one team of six for the entire game. The rules are simple:
  • Including your starter, you may only catch or purchase 6 pokémon throughout the entire game.
  • No glitching!
  • Trading is not allowed, and you can’t release a pokémon to catch another – once it’s in your team, it stays in your team to the end.
  • This includes Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Kabuto/Omanyte and Lapras – if you pick them up, you keep them.
  • Evolution is not only allowed, but required – you can only obtain Flash (HM05) by having ten pokémon in your Pokédex!
  • The game is over when you catch or defeat MewTwo.
Our intrepid writer Charles has taken the challenge. This is his story.

With echoes of the Pokemom Fanclub Chair’s RapiSlash fading from my mind, it’s time to take on the SS Anne. The famous ship is less of a hardcore grinding opportunity than I’d remembered, but it’s nonetheless home to a few worthwhile battles, and the glitz and glamour that Bill so loathes has drawn some of the world’s foremost professionals from every field.

It also provides a fascinating insight into what the bow of a large cruise ship looked like in 1996.

[actual size]
The scrub passengers and sailors taken out, it’s on to rival battle #4, which I’d actually remembered about this time! This douche speaks French now.

Oh, sod off.

He gives me some helpful advice on catching more pokémon, like a BASTARD would do. The only reasonable response is to wreck him for the second time in a row. Which I do! SuperSalad doesn’t even get a look in, as Smol and FlappyNerd take centre stage and rock it. This is the battle that, according to the most harrowing fan theory ever, kills his Raticate – which you later find him mourning at Pokémon Tower. Here, Smol took it down with Confusion while it was asleep, which, I dunno, kind of maybe sounds like it’s what dying might be like? People who have died, please confirm/deny in the comments. Either way, he seemed pretty chipper afterwards, even directing me on to the Captain to pick up the vital first HM, Cut.

God, what a dick.

Cut obtained, it’s time to face the first real challenge presented to me by our Pickymon format – teaching an HM to a regular party member, limiting a quarter of its attacking output forever. It’s my dear starter that carries that burden – I’m hoping a couple of things he learns later on will mean he’s not compromised too much.

The shrubbery in the way now dealt with, it’s on to the Vermilion gym! SS and Smol dispatch Lt Surge’s underlings with ease, and the search for the electric door switches gives me some solid gold reaction meme fodder:

Me reading Jack’s tweets, etc etc

After healing up, I take on Surge himself. Smol gets through his Voltorb and Pikachu with barely a scratch, but his Raichu responds with a brutal Thunderbolt, leaving ‘Salad to polish things off. He does so with ease, scoring us the THUNDERBADGE!

Alright, FINE, I will.

With Vermilion City’s bounties reaped, and knowing there’s no point heading through Diglett’s cave to pick up HM05 until I have 10 pokémon in the ‘dex, I head out east to Route 11 to resume grinding. There’s some more odd sorts out this way, including a Youngster who claims to have “just become a trainer” despite having a level 19 Sandshrew! Like, where was my overlevelled starter? I totally could’ve used one for this!

Then there’s this guy…

Hell of a pre-match promo, big guy.

…who I obviously beat, leading him to claim…

Yep. Sure. Nothing to do with the fact that you’ve never won before, *this* one was luck.

Then we come to a guy who is literally just doing a poo right here in the middle of the path.

…can you maybe take a step to the right first?

Anyway, I keep beating these weirdos, including a gambler who’s apparently never lost! His assessment of me beating him easily?

It’s just luck! You get no credit for anything! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I know I can’t get past the Snorlax on the far side, but I decide to nip into the gatehouse to see what’s around. I run into one of Oak’s Aides! Maybe he has something I ca-

lol nvm

One thing I do have, though, is a bike voucher, so I head west and north all the way back to Cerulean City, and grab what’s mine.

As opposed to the bike voucher for a car

I then ride around on my bike. Because I’m a little nerd.

Look at this total nerd

I set up camp for the night just to the east on Route 9, my team toughened up and ready to take on the challenges in and around Rock Tunnel tomorrow.

Wait. Rock Tunnel. Don’t I need Flash for that one?

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About Charles Wheeler

Charles Wheeler is a casual and proud. He has exclusively owned Nintendo consoles for Zelda and Pokémon-related purposes, and invites you to consider the subjectivity of art instead of judging him. He is also a spoken word performer, socialist activist, pro wrestling referee, and owner-father to four rats.
View all posts by Charles Wheeler →

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