Pickymon, Chapter V: Exposition Overload

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.

Ghosts postponed and Mr Fuji temporarily trapped wherever, it’s time for me to head to Celadon City and get ALL OF THE THINGS.

Celadon’s gym is grass-type, so I need to bring FirePupper up to speed. Fortunately his native Route 8, our route to the big city, is full of opponents susceptible to ground-type moves, and pretty soon ‘Pupper is heckin’ them up with his new favourite move, Dig.

Where he goin’?

I want to mine as much XP as possible here, which means sacrificing the potential for exploiting the Mew glitch:

Hey, y’know what’d be neat is if someone used the concept of chance as an excuse when I beat them

I also realise that I’m neglecting to take many scenery screenshots, so here’s me levitating above some ledges:


A trip through the east-west branch of the Underground Path later, and I reach Celadon, the game’s second-biggest city. I immediately spot a black-clad figure wandering around. Wonder what he’s up to?

Why, did you have urgent evil business with that bush behind me?

Now, onto those important acquisitions! I head to Celadon Mansion in search of a certain someone, but first, I run into this weird slice of meta:


I eventually remember that it’s the back entrance I’m after, and that this building doesn’t really do normal:

Bet the postman loves this dude.

Turns out that what he knows is mostly about TMs and trading, but whatever, he’s got a present for me:

Woah this one was a hard catch

That’s right, my team’s penultimate slot has been filled. Welcome aboard…

Steevee the Eevee.

One IMPORTANT THING up, I head to Celadon Department Store, the game’s megashop:

It strikes me suddenly that I’ve never seen a department store with that many windows.

Inside, I run into some more meta (which I just miss out on screenshotting), when a guy at the counter tells me he’s “finally finished Pokémon!” Imagine, just for a second, being ten and being confronted with this world after growing up in a village with four buildings. Imagine it. It’s friggin’ weird.

Anyway. Shopping!

Electric Pokéland

Doesn’t take a genius to figure out my plans there. There’s some levelling to do first, but my final squad is slowly becoming visible on the horizon…

After browsing the TM selection and picking up some stuff for later, I head up to the roof to see if there are any goodies up for grabs there.

Once again, Pokémon Red, I may not need you to spell everything out for me.

As luck would have it, this simple exchange gives me something I actually need:

Ice Beam!

Right then. Time for a proper look round the biggest city I’ve encountered so far. I do wonder what Team Rocket might be up to that I need to stay out of the way of, but I’m sure whatever they have going on will be subtle and difficult to come across.


Well, never mind, I’m sure they’re keeping whatever that’s a front for well hidden and out of public knowledge.


Well. I’m sure that if I wander into a random house in the city, I definitely won’t find a bunch of them inside waiting to casually explain their entire well I’m sure you see where this is going



Okay. Alright. Fine. I’ll go and check out this poster at the Game Corner. I’m sure they’ll have some well-hidden security systems guarding it subtly and–

are you even trying

That guy challenges me to a battle, and upon being defeated, keeps up his top-notch guard job:

you… better keep guarding the switch?
Oh no, come on, surely
oh o… okay…

Now, I hate to be a didactic narrator, but at this point I’d like to invite you to read the following dialogue as if it’s being spoken by my character, out loud, dripping with venomous sarcasm:


On we go, then, into the belly of the beast. The confused, word-vomiting beast who is lethally allergic to keeping any secret about anything.

Mate, how did I not get here like three days sooner

To sum this one up: battles easy, floor puzzle harder.

Imagine being the fire warden in this place.

Keeping with the theme of missed screenshots, I don’t manage to catch the Grunt who drops the lift key behind him and makes no attempt to stop me walking round him to get it.

We take out the remaining Grunts without incident, strengthening the team as we go – FP and Smol both level up, with the latter learning the very handy Psybeam.

After exploring the super-secure building a little more…

Oh dear!

…I head to the basement to take on the boss man. Giovanni isn’t too tough a prospect at this point, so I’m able to switch my team about, scoring more XP for FP and Steevee and leaving my team toughened up before I hit the gym:

Imagine them all flexing.

I also grab the Silph Scope! Because everyone knows the scary thing about ghosts is when they’re nonspecific.

Gym time! I find this guy outside, who I’m sure has an excellent relationship with the country’s women-only police force:

Erika’s underlings prove to be the toughest gym crew so far, making FP work for all the experience he gains with a slew of status-changing moves, and a particular fondness from Bellsprout evolutions for the very frustrating Wrap. FP holds his own, though, and Steevee gets herself a few bits of action too. Eventually, we work our way to the top:

Spoiler: this one only *sort of* looks like what it’s called too

…all of which leaves the crew looking tough, and surprisingly even!


And that was the day on which I took apart Team Rocket with what can honestly be described as their very willing assistance. 9:14 deep, and I’m halfway home on the badge count with a nearly full team.

Next move: over the weekend, back to Lavender Town for a lovely spot of ghostbusting.

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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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