To the left and up is the Floccesy Ranch, where you can find an Azurill in the grass, and even if you already have a normal type, it is worth capturing just to add it to your Pokedex – remember part of the purpose for our journey is to fill every entry in our Pokedex, right?
In the paddock in the middle left when you enter you are confronted by your rival, who wants a rematch. After you battle him, and take a sweet $800 off of him, you hand over the map and pass on the message from his sister. As this is a friendly rivalry and not the pitted nastiness that existed in previous games, he is happily appreciative.
Directly after that a group of Trainers show up that turn out to be the ranch owner and his wife, and they give you a Potion and then ask after their second Herdier who is missing… You talk to the wife to have her heal your team, then follow after your rival to help look out for the Herdier. There are additional grass patches here as well as Lass Molly who wants a battle and has a Level 6 Purrloin and a Level 6 Sewaddle for you to beat. In addition to some nice XP and your first exposure to the move ‘String Shot’ you win $96.
When you head up the north path, your rival joins you – at the top is Janitor Orville who wants a battle and has a Level 6 Lillipup and a Level 6 Mareep. Beating him earns a nice chunk of XP and $240, along with our first exposure to a move that can paralyze your Pokemon! Note that just because your Pokemon gets flagged as Paralyzed, doesn’t mean they skip a turn, it just means that there is a chance they will. If your Pokemon gets paralyzed, your rival will give you the gift of a Paralyze Heal, and continue to accompany you.
Follow the path east and south to hop down a ledge and as you pass through the grass here, if you have not already captured a Lillipup, here is an opportunity to do so! At this point you now have a full team of six Pokemon, but they aren’t the right six Pokemon! If you examine them you will note you have your starter Pokemon which is either a Grass, Fire or Water type, three Normal-types, (Azurill, Patrat, Lillipup) a Dark-type (Purrloin), and a Grass-type (Sunkern).
The friendly ranchers at Floccesy Ranch
Ideally you will want a diverse team, so you will need to decide which of the trio of Normal Type Pokemon you want to keep and continue to level with it. The Purrloin is a keeper for now, as it is a Dark-type, and if you did not pick Snivy as your starter, then Sunkern is a keeper for now as well, but we need to find a more diverse set of types to build a better team with more capacity to match the different types we will encounter down the road and at gyms.
Now that you have a full team any wild Pokemon that you capture will automatically be deposited in your PC storage that is accessed via the public PC at the Pokemon Center – so we will need to discuss how that works and how you should organize it, and we will, just not now. If your team are damaged, jump down the ledge and have the Rancher’s wife heal it for you then backtrack and continue along. The grass patches here contain more Lillipups.
Strategically there are a few key factors you may want to consider in deciding which Normal-type to keep. The first is abilities – for example your Lillipup has the pickup Ability, which means that as you walk around the world, it randomly finds things, like Potions, Pokeballs, Medicine and even Gold Nuggets! It can (and often will) find Rare Candy, which is a valuable consumable item that instantly adds one level to the Pokemon that eats it, and that Pickup Ability makes Lillipup an obvious choice to keep in your party for now. Patrat on the other hand may have the Run Away Ability, which guarantees you being able to successfully run away from a battle you don’t want to fight, while Azuril often has the Thick Fat Ability, which makes it very effective at resisting Fire and Ice-type attacks.
As you continue through the grass patches here you will encounter more Lillpups, some Patrats as well, and this may be a good opportunity for you to level up your Sunkern, which actually presents a bit of a difficulty as it has no offensive moves at this point! That’s ok though, because you can use a minor trick to level it.
Just place your Sunkern in the number one slot (top left) and then when you enter battle, immediately charge to a different Pokemon; your Sunkern will receive half of the XP from the fight because it technically participated by being present for the opening of the battle! Using this method you can easily level it up.
The first encounter with Team Plasma at Floccesy Ranch
In the process of leveling Sunkern you should encounter some Psyduck, so capture one of them; Psyduck can be a useful Pokemon once leveled, but it is one of the types you will want to breed for high stats and better moves – issues we address in the section on Pokemon Breeding later in the guide.
You will also encounter a Wild Riolu, but they appear a lot less than the other types; Riolu is a Fight-Type and an excellent addition to the team to replace a Normal-Type, so every effort should be made to capture one! Another fairly uncommon Wild Pokemon is a Mareep which is likely the first Electric-type you will encounter, and is easily worth it to add it to replace the other Normal.
The Pokemon who are coming into your team now each offer an interesting ability and/or move that makes them attractive in addition to their type – for example, Sunkern gets the move Grass-Whistle at Level 7, which allows them to sing an enemy to sleep, Lillipup gets Odor-sleuth and Riolu a similar move called Foresight, both of which when used on a Ghost-Type allow it to be hit by Normal and Fighting-type moves, which it ordinarily cannot be damaged by. Mareep has Thunderwave, which can paralyze the opponent, and in addition has the ability ‘static’ which has a chance to paralyze any Pokemon who attacks it as a passive ability.
They each obtain different and interesting moves as they level-up, so until you start to obtain Pokemon that have multiple types these are a good fit for your team. Assuming that you kept Lillipup, you should be checking it after every battle, and periodically as you travel, in case it picked up an Item, since you need to take it from them if they did to free-up their item slot so they can get another! They can pick up items after battles and after walking through tall grass and double grass, just so you know.
Deeper in the upper section is Youngster Kenny, who has a Level 6 Patrat and Level 6 Psyduck. In addition to nice XP you get $96 for winning, and hey you need money to buy more Pokeballs, so winning is good! To the south of Kenny is a Treasure Ball containing X-Attack, which temporarily raises the Attack stat of a Pokemon in battle.
As you continue east and south, you hear the bark of the missing Herdier, at which point your rival comes to join you, and to the south and east you find a Treasure Ball with a Potion, and spot the missing Pokemon with an oddly dressed stranger… Stranger Danger! Stranger Danger!
As you approach it, your rival runs off to get the Ranger and you confront a Grunt from the evil world-dominating, mafia-like organization known as Team Plasma! If you played Pokemon Black or White (the games to which this is direct sequel) you already know who this guy is with. If not, when he asks if you know who Team Plasma is, just say ‘No’ and he will tell you: According to this grunt, they are “the Righteous Group that tried to conquer the region of Unova two years ago in order to liberate Pokemon.” In a fit of anger, the Grunt forces you to accept TM2I Frustration, and then quickly bails. Herdier comes over and licks your hand and then your rival appears with the Rancher – Mischief managed!
Your rival shoots off his mouth, and really perhaps he is not too paranoid after all, considering we found a Team Plasma Grunt trying to “liberate” the Herdier! The Rancher departs with his now rescued Herdier, and you get to do a little more leveling of your team. This last grass patch south of where you encountered the Grunt contains some Pidove, which is the first Flying-type you have encountered.
You certainly want a Flying-type to be able to rotate in and out of your team since it will eventually be able to learn the HM Fly that lets it carry you through the air to any destination city you choose, a critical capability you’ll need later in this grand adventure…Just saying, worth catching. It is also your first Dual-type, being a Normal-Flying type, but still…
At this point, you have completed the original side-mission of delivering the map to your rival, as well as the additional Side-Quest of rescuing the Rancher’s Herdier, found yourself introduced to Team Plasma, and had yourself some Trainer Battles. So hey, win-win! But now it is time to head back to town to visit with Alder and re-supply at the Pokemon Center as surely you are in need of more Pokeballs by now?!
Collecting Medals from Mr. Medal at the Pokemon Center
When you approach Alder, he stops you and asks for your help, then heads into the nearby building which you may have guessed is a Pokemon Gym! Before you go in though, grab the X-Speed from the Treasure Ball a long the side, then hit the Pokemon Center to re-supply, heal and save. Prior to heading back to help Alder now would be a really good time to finish the process of leveling your team up. Basically, you want to get them all to at least level 10 for now, and decide if you want to retain Sunkern, whose basic strategic combo is GrassWhistle and Absorb, making him a very ineffective combatant if the opponent is at or near their level. Once it reaches level 10 though, Sunkern learns MegaDrain, which makes it a bit more formidable.
- The Floccesy Town Gym –
If you assumed that the first Gym Battle would be here in Floccesy town with Alder that was a premature assumption. Though we did imply that Alder would lead us to the first Gym battle, and he will, it will just be via an indirect path because as you will shortly learn a new Pokemon Gym has opened in our hometown while we were away! But more about that in a bit, first there is the matter of Alder and his request for help to be addressed.
It would be a good idea for us to hit the Pokemon Center to re-supply, heal and save if you have not already done so, and then head to Alder’s Gym, where he introduces us to his two students, School Kid Seymour, and School Kid Cassie; The battle starts with a Level 9 Pansear and after you defeat it, Alder heals your team and you face a Level 9 Pansage with both offering prizes of $180 along with a chunk of XP as your reward.
Alder again heals your party while briefing you on type-strategy. After you exit the Gym a stranger is waiting for you outside and makes a present of a new item container that is called the Medal Box to you. The Medal Box goes into the Key Items case in your bag. The stranger reveals that his name is actually Mr. Medal. (or that’s what people call him anyway) and after touching upon the purpose of the Medal Box, he awards you with your first four medals to be put in the box.
Mr. Medal now briefs you on the subject of the Model Rally, which is an event that evaluates various activities of Trainers – activities he will only generally cover, and then he passes you your first two Hint Medals as well as explains that additional medals will be awarded when you earn them by meeting their conditions, adding that to obtain them you simply must find and talk to him at a Pokemon Center.
After Mr. Medal departs, Alder emerges from his Gym and tells you that a new Pokemon Gym has opened up in Aspertia City, and that its new leader has arrived, and he then advises you to head there straight away and “test how strong you’ve become!” Sound advice to be sure, and since we have done all that we needed to do here for the moment heading home is an excellent idea!
As we depart the town heading west Alder stops us again! It seems he forgot to tell us something – first he gifts us with some Oran Berries which we place in our Berry Case; Alder tells you about the berries and how they can be used, then he touches upon the Gym Leader Challenge for each city before once again walking off. All that is left is to head back to our home and our destiny! Sort of...