10 Years Later, I Still Love Pokemon Red

It’s been at least 10/11 years since I got Pokemon Red for my birthday and unlike all the cool kids in school, I never grew out of the franchise. In the interim where the game went from ‘cool’ to ‘gay’ to ‘retro cool’ I’ve always been a Pokemon fan. I’ve considered myself to be a ‘Pokemon Lifer’ much in the way that Ghostlightning is with Macross. Now, even though I’ve got a million stories to tell about things like my level 98 Venasaur and my bad experiences with GameShark Pro, I’m not going to stroll down memory lane with this post because A. It’s all been said by others before I’m sure, and B. this post would get very long, very fast. Instead, I’m just going to talk about my current playthrough.

The other day, my brother, No Name, and I decided to all go back and play the original Pokemon games. We all still remember the ins and outs from the old days, even if I easily spent 10x as much time playing Silver once it came out, so we knew it’d be fun to not only revisit, but to bring out future knowledge to the old games. The two of them are playing Blue on emulators, and since I use a shitty mac, I opted to use my good ol’ Red cartridge that’s been around since fucking ancient times (well enough, since my brother’s Blue died years ago.)

I decided this time to play the game how I had always wanted to but had never had the patience to when I was little. You see, the Pokemon games give you a monumentally overpowered starter Pokemon, and you can easily beat the whole game by leveling that fucker like mad and letting him stomp every single enemy you fight, which when you’re a kid is fun enough anyway. Even back then, I did like to spice things up, and would sometimes take a Pidgey or something and have it be my main Pokemon and let it get overpowered, but it’s still basically the same strategy.

Eventually, I’d started using a 6-mon party of equal levels, though I didn’t do this till Silver, and the 3rd gym leader was fucking impossible if you didn’t have at least 1 overleveled Pokemon so the plan always went to shit. This time, though, I’m playing the game the way I really feel the creators intended. I’m catching every Pokemon available in each area, and keeping a balanced-leveled team of six which gets switched out for different needs and areas. The game is much more challenging this way, and fun for it since you really feel like you’re accomplishing something while you play.

Neither of my party members opted to play this way. No Name wanted to rush through until he could get to the Pokemon he wanted, so he overleveled a Charmelon till he got to the point where he could catch a wider variety. My brother played it with a party-of-three strategy (as he always has), focusing on leveling those 3 dudes and blasting through with them. He has a Blastoise, Nidoking, and Fearow that he focuses on and since No Name and I had other shit to do in the past 2 days, my bro got way ahead of us and already beat Giovanni, the prick. I know No Name plans to do a lot more with the game, but not sure what my brother aims to do. Possibly just reset after he beats it and go again through.

As for me, I plan to use my strategy till the end, then once the world is opened up, go back and train all the other Pokemon to evolution so I can fully complete the Pokedex. I’m pretty sure we have a connector cable, so i might just buy a copy of Blue to get the exclusive Pokemon (or one of my compatriots may end up doing the same.)

As for me, I’ve been playing less than either of them, and my style of playing takes a whole lot longer. I’ve only just gotten the Sylph Scope and am about to fight the 4th gym leader, Erika. I currently have 30 Pokemon total, and my play time is 11 hours, 7 minutes (most of a game I’ve played in a long ass time.) Here’s my current team.


~ Potemayo ~ Pikachu ~ Lvl. 26 ~

Attacks: Mega Punch, Thunderbolt, Flash, Swift

Comments: Named after the moeblob from the self-titled anime. I caught him rally early on but he’s been the biggest pain in the ass to train since I haven’t gotten to the point where there are a lot of water-types to fight, and because his defense is total shit. Even against an opponent whose weak to him, he can take a lot of damage if they land a hit, so it’s important he finishes quick. Thankfully, thunderbolt and mega punch both work really well. I might just buy an assload of irons and spam his defense up. I’m waiting till he learns thunder at level 40-something to evolve him. I have always wanted a Raichu.


~ Claire S. ~ Ivysaur ~ Lvl. 27 ~

Attacks: Tackle, Poisonpowder, Leech Seed, Vine Whip

Comments: Named after Claire motherfucking Stanfield from Baccano. I don’t use Ivysaur too much because I try to keep all my levels balanced and he levels without even goddamn trying. For a while I was bringing him out only once in a while, but it was always to defeat that one too-strong oppoenent which would end up leveling him anyway. Vine whip is overkill and all of the other attacks are worthless, so I want my fucking razor leaf! As for why I picked Bulbasaur, it’s because most of my Red memories are tied to a Venasaur I’d almsot max leveled.


~ The Dude ~ Graveller ~ Lvl. 27 ~

Attacks: Tackle, Dig, Seismic Toss, Rock Throw

Comments: Name references The Big Lebowski. Graveller is the fucking BEAST of my team. He is a fucking tank. His defense is positively absurd – he can pretty much take a hundred blows while blasting away at the enemy’s life. However, you have to be strategic about it since special elemental water, grass, or psychic moves will devastate him. So he’s a lot of fun to use since you can put him out against the guys who use status effects or multi-attack moves and they won’t scrape him. Definitely one of the pillars of my team.


~ Lain I. ~ Pidgeotto ~ Lvl. 26 ~

Attacks: Gust, Swift, Quick Attack, Razor Wind

Comments: Name references Lain Iwakura from Serial Experiments Lain. I’ve always liked to have one of these guys on my team since they have reliable attacks and leveling and eventually will have Fly. I’ve been a little disappointed this round, though, since Pidgeotto has really moderate stats and gets poisoned I swear like every fucking time I use him. Still, he makes a good backup attacker when it’s needed and can get in the quick hits. I only just taught him Razor Wind so I’m looking forward to that maybe giving him more power.


~ TheChosen ~ Vaporeon ~ Lvl. 28 ~

Attacks: Tackle, Sand-Attack, Bubblebeam, Quick Attack

Comments: The newest addition to my team, this thing is fucking stupidly overpowered. You get Eevee at level 25 (average level of my team at the time) and it already had WAY more HP than any of my guys. It’s got pretty good resistance to most types, and since I still had the TM from Misty, I taught it Bubblebeam which is pure rape. It can take on just about anything and fucking destroy it. It’s almost just not even fun to use thanks to that. Thankfully, I’ve got Erika’s gym coming up so I won’t really be using it.


~ That One ~ Gloom ~ Lvl. 28 ~

Attacks: Absorb, Acid, Cut, Sleep Powder

Comments: The name is a reference to my old internet name ‘That One Odd Dude’ since it evolved from Oddish. Gloom is the second pillar of my team because like Graverller it is near indestructable. Against water or ground pokemon, it’s Absorb attack is like instant death and with it’s use it can fully heal itself. Combine that with sleep powder, and it can sit there and heal itself at the cost of the enemy’s life without taking damage. Plus, when it’s an enemy that doesn’t have elemental properties, I’ve taught it Cut which is a great general damage-doing attack. So the thing is certainly a tank.

I’m rally loving my team so far. So far, there have only been 2 major changes in the lineup – took out my Raticate at level 20 having just evolved becase it’s defense sucked, I had better heavy-hitters on my team, and it was hard to level. I also recently removed Dugtrio right after evolving to put in Vaporeon since I didn’t really need two ground Pokemon and, once again, Diglett’s defence sucked. If my lineup changes again, it may unfortunately be Pidgotto who gets kicked off unless he really picks up slack with the stats, though I don’t know of who would replace him.

I might need a fire Pokemon before I enter Erika’s gym becuase I don’t really have any definiteve strong-against-grass guys. Really, looking at my team, I may be fucked with this setup. I could actually end up subbing in a Ghastly since it’d be around the right level, or go for one of the nearby Growlithe, though they are only level 15 and a pain in the ass to catch since they always run away.

Expect more posts as I progress.


15 thoughts on “10 Years Later, I Still Love Pokemon Red

  1. I’m going at it quite nicely now. My pokedex says I got 51 pokemons so far. Spent an hour in Safari Zone catching whatever, stupid Chansey kept running away from me. My current team is around lvl 29-46: Charizard, Victreebel, Snorlax, Jolteon, Pidgeotto, Nidoking. I’m guessing my end time will be around 50 hours. I’ll catch as much as I can, but I don’t think I’ll fill up the pokedex.

  2. you should, dude. Fill that bitch up. We should do this together, dude. I’m so fucking into this right now, I’m ready to like fill up my dex, put in Silver, and do it again.

  3. Why two Grass-types? I always make it a point to capture an Abra in Cerulean myself.

    Also, Yellow is superior to Red and Blue, because you can get all Red/Blue starters.

  4. Please, bitches, Green is clearly the best version.

    Its funny, but it seems that the old versions have come back in a bit with people in general – my little brother was telling me that a shit-ton of kids have been playing Red and Blue at his high school this year, and I’ve been hankering for my Blue cartridge and old Gameboy Color (both of which are about a thousand miles away). I also have a few friends who’ve been jabbing away at the emulators online.

    Pokemon was a lot of fun; I think Gold and Silver were a bit much, though – 251? Really? Ruby and Sapphire are just absurd. I do like that in Crystal that you can play as a female character, but I never felt the need to cough up the cash for a Gameboy Advance.

  5. @schneider: 2 grass, because i don’t want to remove my Ivysaur from the team >_< Also I fucking hated yellow. It was tupid as fuck and pikachu as a starter can suck my thick nutsack.

  6. @a day without me – 1. crystal was a game boy color game. And yeah, after G/S/C I lost touch with the series. My brothers still get into it though.

    As for people getting back to it, it’s because it’s been long enough to become nostalgic and ‘retro cool.’ That’s why I made the point to say that I liked it even when it wasn’t cool, and took a a lot of shit for it growing up before it came full circle.

  7. Now this sure brings back memories. I don’t think I’d replay the games for fear of wanting to catch them all again (I somehow managed to finish the Pokedex in Diamond), but at the very least, it’s nostalgic. Unbalanced at times, usually easy, but still nostalgic.

  8. (A Day Without Me’s Comment got lost in the server change, so here it is)

    from Comments for Fuzakenna! by A Day Without Me

    The thing is, though, many of the kids playing it now were too young to have caught it on the first run-round – they are playing on the cartridges elder siblings have had stashed away for years, not picking up their own ones. These kids, after all, would’ve been in the four to seven range or so when Pokemon was first farting around, with the bulk of them on the lower age limit – kind of hard to play a game like that when you can’t read yet. I find this interesting because I feel that things such as clothing have more appeal when viewed as ‘retro’ than do video games for those who were not a part of the generation that used them. Consider, for instance, the way in which many casual fans treat older anime – how boring! the animation is so bad! the music sounds old! Its one thing for me to dust off my Pokemon Blue, but its another kettle of fish when the fourteen year old is digging up their older sister’s copy of Red.

    Yeah, and I realized I flubbed the Crystal thing – I remembered afterward being irritated with the fact that half the thing stuck out of the back of my brother’s Gameboy Advance. Lame.

    @ADWM- Interesting. I didn’t realize we were tlaking so young. Well, I’m glad to see it.

  9. I *LOVE* POKEMON~ /walloftext/

    /assuming fully evolved and you’d be playing against people at some point rather than just going through the game./ Pretty decent team with a bunch of underrated R/B pokemon. If your pikachu didn’t have *flash*, it’d be awesome. If I recall correctly, you can hook up a raichu with surf and it’d be the only electric pokemon to LOLGROUND in the pre-hiddenpower era of pokemon. Venusaur makes a good lead because it’s a really fast sleeper. You can even rig it to be a physical sweeper with hyperbeam + swordsdance for shits ‘n giggles, and razor leaf’s crit rate is awesome for ohko-ing the generic overused waters like Starmie. When graveler->golem, it’d easily be the most solid pokemon on your team. STAB’ed earthquake makes people cry, and once you drop their gengar, there’s *always* an explosion threat. It can grab substitute, or if you’re confident about it’s *freakin’ imbalanced* defense stat, you could even rockslide if your raichu isn’t enough to drop flyers. Pidgeot doubleedge win. ’nuff said. Vaporeon is kinda bad in the R/B generation. It can only really do special sweeping and there are an assload of pokemon that do it better. Consider investing in a starmie instead. Vileplume is just a shit venusaur clone that can’t razor leaf. The moveset is decent, but they should really be on your venu. If you insist on sticking with it, find another gloom and drop cut for bodyslam. It’s like… 60ish% stronger and you won’t be getting STAB from either of theme. Consider dropping your ‘plume for the dugtrio back. It’s *brokened as fuck* speed stat makes it an *amazing* starter. iirc, the only thing it can’t outspeed in R/B is electrode. Also, in the R/B generation, your crit rate is based on speed, so a slash from dugtrio will almost *always* crit.

    Also, dropping Erika should be easy if you buff your pidgeotto a bit more. STAB IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.

  10. @Psyc: I’m kind of excited that I understood all of that!

    Well I’m a little farther since this post, but yeah my gloom has started to show it’s ‘meh’-ness as I’ve left the parts where every enemy was weak to it, so it could be on the chopping block. And I fully intend to be rid of vaporeon since it’s sooooo boring, but I haven’t gotten to the point where there are water pokemon readily available. I was thinking of taking something from the safari zone or possibly letting my newly-caught snorlax join the team. What says you?

  11. Lessee~
    Good from the Safari Zone are… An exeggute->exeggutor with sleep powder and ‘splosion, Rhyhorn->Rhydon makes an excellent physical sweeper… Tauros with earthquake/blizz/bodyslam/hyperbeam is ideal if you can stand the 4% encounter rate and catching the damn thing. I freakin’ *hate* the Safari Zone.
    If you’re in need of a special sweeper, a rule of thumb I usually go with is any pokemon that could learn both thunderbolt and surf/icebeam. If you’re confident in predictions to make up for the 4x weakness to electric, Gyarados is an obvious choice. Some awkward pokemon that could learn thunderbolt include Starmie, Lapras, and the always-overused Gengar. A must-get in Safari if you want to be an asshole is Chansey. Special attacks don’t *touch* the damn thing, and nothing’s more fun than having your opponent realize it can learn *ice beam*.
    Don’t always choose pokemon based on weakness/resistance, either. A decent moveset with status inflictions can level the playing field just as quickly without needing to sacrifice team synergy for I HAVE ALL THE ELEMENTS COUNTERED – WHAT NOW?!

    …Maaan, writing this makes me wish my GBC didn’t go through the washing machine. ;_;

  12. Pingback: Pokemon SoulSilver – ‘The Journey Begins’ and ‘F*cking Up Faulkner’ « Fuzakenna!

  13. Pingback: Pokemon’s Fifth Generation Grants My Best Wishes For the Franchise – MINNA DAIJOUBU! | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

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