06: Striation City - Pokemon Black
As you enter the city pop in to the first building on the right -- a bloke here will give you a Great Ball, which is an improved version of the standard Poke Ball. You can chat up the other Trainers and watch TV upstairs. When you leave pop into the building next door to chat and learn from the kid blocking the stairs that you have found the house that Fennel -- the Professor's friend -- lives in. Sadly you cannot pay your respects just now.
Head outside and south to the corner of the building across the street and walk along the back side of the fence here to find a treasure ball with an X-Speed hidden among the trees.
Back to the street and north and you will see ahead and to the right is the entrance to the Dreamyard -- more on that in a bit -- and the building across the street with the bloke out front is the Gym -- more on that in a bit as well!
Head west past the Gym and visit the Pokemon Center to heal and save, and chat up the Trainers here to learn important things -- like the more badges you have the more items shops will have in stock! The clerk closer to the door sells mail AND Heal Balls -- a special Poke Ball that instantly heals the Pokemon you caught it with, allowing you to battle with them without having to heal at a Poke Center first. Sweet!
The other Clerk has just Potions and Poke Balls at the moment, so when you are done shopping leave and then visit the Trainer's School next door to learn all about stat issues by reading the blackboard in the rear of the school.
Cheren is here at the board, and tells you that you just missed the leader -- then asks you to battle. Why not? His Oshawott is Level 8, and it has an Oran Berry to heal itself in battle! His Purrloin is Level 8 as well, and at the end he pays $800 so not bad indeed. Cheren gives you some Oran Berries as an extra reward -- cool of him but where did he get them from?
Take a quiz on stat items from the bloke on the right to win a Full Heal -- nice!
After you leave chat up the people in the street as some important info is gained that way... The Trainers in the house to the south tell you about the GTS, Badges, and give training advice. So far all of the trash cans have been empty --- just saying...
The nearby welcome sign reads 'Striation City -- Three Stand Together as One!' and the west exit of town loads to a park with topiary and a fountain. Your way north out of the park is blocked by a guard who requires you to have a Gym Badge to pass by.
A Trainer in the park tells you about TM's -- there is a second Trainer but you need Surf to reach them mate. That is all there is to see here so head back into the City. You are going to want your entire team trained to around Level 10 before you face the Gym Leader, so why don't we check out the Dreamyard now? I hear that some Trainers use that to level their teams...
-- The Dreamyard --
As you enter the Dreamyard the first thing you encounter is a trainer battle – auspicious beginnings!
Your battle with Lass Eri features a pair of Level 8 Purrloins, while Youngster Joey has a pair of Level 7 Patrats and a Level 7 Lillipup.
The third Trainer by the entrance gate is not there to battle – instead he asks what Pokemon you started with – and then offers you a Pokemon of an opposing type to make your team a bit more effective. In my case as I chose Tepig he offered me a Pansage, a Grass-type Pokemon. If you started with the
Oshawott you'll receive a Pansear, which is a Fire-type, and with Snivy a Panpour, which is a Water-type. These are a trio of elemental monkeys – a diverse set as they say in the trades. No matter which you get they make a decent addition to your team, though to be honest their attacks at Level 10 are not as high as the those of the rest of your party – though as this little guy levels up that changes.
Inside the gate you will see that the buildings here are practically falling down, and there is a treasure ball nearby on the ground that you will find an X-Defend in. Through a hole in the wall you will glimpse another treasure ball, but it is out of reach at the moment.
This is as far as we can go at the moment, as we need Cut to remove the tree blocking another hole in the wall near the entrance, and the path to the south is blocked by a pit.
You now have a team of five Pokemon – or you should – and you should have them all leveled to a minimum of 10 by now, and as the highest you'll face in the Town Gym is Level 14 you should probably train your team up a few more levels – but you do not actually have to.
The reason I say that is that the free Pokemon you got in the Dreamyard will be resistant to their designated type, and also have a strong attack versus it, so if you use the rest of your team to take out their non-type Pokemon, your free one should make really short work of their Level 14 strong-type. The one thing you absolutely must NOT do is use your starter against it!
So either do it that way, using the free Pokemon from the Dreamyard, or go ahead and level your team to a uniform Level 14, it is your call. Personally I see it as a coin toss since you are going to need to level the team to 15 or 16 after the Gym Battle anyway – but after you will have Cut outside of battle so you will be able to get into the Dreamyard back area, where leveling is a lot faster.
The Three Leader Gym Battle
– Striation City Gym –
The City Gym is right next door to the Pokemon Center, and as you approach you will see the Gym Leader waiting outside. Chat him up and he will inspect your team, note your starter, and then head inside to await your battle.
As you enter the gym you will be approached by a cool dude named Clyde who is wearing black shades and who gives you a free bottle of Fresh Water – which if you played the previous games you know is a healing item! Free healing items! Say yeah! There is one of this bloke in every Gym so be sure to take advantage of that later, right?
Anecdote: In all of the previous games there is a bloke at the entrance to each Gym who old school Trainers call the Gym Greeter – though he did not always greet you. In most of the games he actually does and provides useful information, like the type of Pokemon favored by the Gym Leader. These guys and their free healing item though are much better than a simple greeting... I am just saying.
The inside of the Gym is decorated like some sort of twisted cafe – and the girl behind the counter will tell you that they decorate for the Trainer but what she really means is that curtain in the back, which has a Pokemon Type symbol on it. The trick here is to choose the most effective opposing symbol on the floor, but you already figured that out, right?
If you read the sign on the pillars you will learn that the Gym Leaders are Cress, Chili, and Cilan, and that there are no Certified Trainers – yet. Wonder where your two mates are? Clearly they have not completed this Gym Battle yet...
– Into the Gym Proper --
Picking the correct symbol causes the large curtain to open, which gives you access to the first area and Assistant Gym Leader (AGL) Battle. If you are confused or do not know the opposing types, water over fire, fire over grass, grass over water will work for you.
Your first AGL Battle is with Waiter Maxwell, who has a Level 11 Lillipup. If you run into trouble here remember that you want to use a Pokemon that does good physical damage (not bite) or elemental damage and you should take it down easily.
After the battle if you took casualties or are low on health, do a quick run to the Pokemon Center and get your team healed up, then save before returning to face the next AGL.
Waitress Tia is your next AGL Battle, and she comes with a Level 10 Patrat who will use Bide to KO you. Her second Pokemon is a Level 10 Purrloin that uses Sand Attack and Assist (which gives her access to any move known by a party member, so you may be facing Bide again). Their third attack is Growl, and she uses them in combination pretty well. Her last attack is Scratch of course, but you should be able to take a few of those no trouble...
Again after the battle if you took some hurt, head next door to heal and save.
Inside the final area is the main stage, where the Gym Leaders await – the gimmick here is that each of the Leaders specializes in one of the three main types, so you are going to face the one that is strong versus your starter. Pretty cool, eh?
Once they choose who you battle (the one in the center closest to you) walk up and begin the fight. Regardless of who you face, there will be a Level 12 Pokemon that is NOT their main-type sort, and a Level
You need to be careful to follow the 25% Rule in Gym Leader Battles – never damage their Pokemon below 25% health, or they will automatically use a potion to heal it. You want to get it as close as you can to 25% but not under, then use your strongest move to KO it in one go.
The next Pokemon is going to be their designated type, and will be Level 14. Simply change over to the free Pokemon Monkey you picked up in the Dreamyard, and you should easily beat it.
After the battle ends you receive your very first Gym Badge – the Trio Badge – possession of which will allow you to fully control Pokemon up to Level 20, including ones you received in trade. He also gives you TM83, Workup as a reward.
On thing you should be aware of about TM's in this game – they USED to be destroyed when you used them, but they are now treated like HM's, and can be used over and over!
– Doctor Fennel --
When you exit the Gym Fennel is waiting for you – follow her to her lab where she will give you HM01 Cut – thought you would get that from the Gym Leader, didn't you? Nope, works a bit different in this game.
After she gives you Cut, she asks you for a favor – if you will obtain something called Dream Mist from a Pokemon called Munna in the Dreamyard. Well, as we are going there to level and explore anyway, why not?
The little girl by the bed is Amanita, the tech who maintains the Pokemon Storage System, and she will explain the Battle Box to you in some detail if you ask her and tell her that you are not familiar with it...
The PC next to the bed is a Pokemon Center Unit, so you can access all three of the PC's from it, and you now know who the person is that controls the Storage System, so now you will see her name when you access the PC's! That was way faster than the same quest in the previous games, let me tell ya!
Another new feature in the game are the special bookshelves that will give you a tip if you “read” them – the yellow pair behind Amanita is that sort, so go click on them and you will learn about the C-Gear, and the name of the scientist in the Kanto Region who invented the Pokemon Storage System!
After your visit with Dr. Fennel head back to the Pokemon Center to heal and save, then check out the new and expanded selection at the Poke Mart counter! While regular Poke Balls should be sufficient for most captures it would be an idea to have 5 Great Balls just in case you run into a more powerful and difficult to capture Pokemon... Now is a good time to grab those and maybe a few stat-correcting utility sprays as well.