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Setting Out in Aspertia City

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From your front door head left and up the street where you will run into your best mate and his little sister, who will stop you to ask about you getting a Pokemon like they heard. There is a bit of backstory here: Team Plasma stole the Pokemon that belonged to Hugh's little sister. As you share your lucky break news with them Hugh's sister suggests that you take good care of your Pokemon whatever it is.

Hugh decides to accompany you as you locate Bianca and have your meeting with her, partly because he is your friend and partly because he wants to talk to you about some help that he wants from you. Head up the street and left then up and you will pass by the new Trainer's School – Hugh tells you that the School is finished and is just waiting for a Pokemon Gym Leader to take charge.

Head right and then up the street to the next intersection, then head left and up the stairs to the top of the lookout point, where you find Bianca!

Bianca greets you and tells you about who she is, then asks you if you know Recnef (actually your character's name – that is mine so that is what I will be using)? You tell Bianca that you are who she is looking for, and then she asks you if you are interested in helping them to complete their Pokedex?

The correct answer is yes, of course, and she reacts with joy at that. Talking to her again causes her to open the case that she had at her feet – the case contains three Pokeballs, which contain the Grass-type Snivy, Fire-type Tepig, and the Water-type Oshawott, and you now need to make your choice.

Obtaining your starter Pokemon

Before you do that let's take a look at these three starter Pokemon first...

Snivy is a Grass-type Pokemon – known as a Grass Snake Pokemon – whose Local Dex Number is #001 and whose National Dex Number is #495.

Snivy has the Hidden Ability of Contrary, which causes moves that are used on it that raise stats to actually lower the stats, while moves that lower the stats actually raise the stat, which can have phenomenal effect on battles when your opponent tries to cripple your Snivy's stats.

In addition to that, Snivy can have the Overgrow Ability – which kicks in when their HP falls below 1/3rd, at which point the power of their Grass moves increases to 1.5 times.

Tepig is a Fire-type Pokemon – known as a Fire Pig Pokemon – whose Local Dex Number is #004 and whose National Dex Number is #498.

Tepig has the Hidden Ability of Thick Fat, which causes all Fire and Ice-type moves to deal just 50% damage. In addition Tepig can have the Ability Blaze, which kicks in when HP is below 1/3rd, at which point the power of Fire moves is increased to 1.5 times.

Oshawott is a Water-type Pokemon – known as a Sea Otter Pokemon – whose Local Dex Number is #007 and whose National Dex Number is #501.

Oshawott has the Hidden Ability of Shell Armor, which prevents the opponent’s moves from making any Critical Hits. Oshawott also can have the Ability Torrent, which kicks in when HP is below 1/3rd, at which point the power of Water-type moves is increased to 1.5 times.

Now that you know about the basic facts of each of the three starters, we should talk about how effective they each are in the Adventure ahead...

The first important point that needs to be stressed is that the starter Pokemon are being presented to you in their first or basic egg form. As they gain XP they will level up and when they do, they gain new abilities and traits as well as new moves along the way. That is the most important – even critical – point that you should grasp when considering your starter, because the relative weakness of their first form quickly changes their effectiveness once they evolve and then finally evolve into their final form!

So let's examine the evolution and its effects upon each:

Evolution chain: Snivy > Level 17 > Servine > Level 36 > Serperior

As it evolves to its final form, Serperior stays a pure Grass-type Pokemon, which is not always the case as some Pokemon will pick up second type classes as they evolve. In the case of Serperior their true strength lies in their innate Attack Speed, which is very high. What that means is that more often then not when they battle another Pokemon they will get to attack first. The fact that it also has very good Defense and Special Defense Stats means that it can usually take a beating longer than other Pokemon can.

Unfortunately it does not really have a large selection of massive damage moves available to it, so that means it is less a DD type and more an Attrition-type fighter. It is best used and most effectively used in battle with a defensive strategy, to wear-down the opponent while chipping away at its health. If you are the sort of Trainer who likes to go in slugging, this is not the starter for you. If on the other hand you are the sort of Trainer who can play the long-game, you may want to consider Snivy as the obvious choice.

Evolution chain: Tepig > Level 17 > Pignite > Level 36 > Emboar

Tepig is the obvious choice for Trainers who like to wade into battle and slug it out straight away, and the reason for that is that as it evolves into its final form, it picks up a second type designation, which is Fighting-type, making it a dual-type, Fire-type / Fighting-type Pokemon!

Having two types doubles the selection of moves that you can equip it with, and what is more, adds to the other opposing types it is strong against. Unfortunately that goes two-ways, because each type has its own type-weaknesses.

The Attack Stat for Tepig is its strongest trait, with very good Special Attack and HP stats, but the down-side is its Speed, Defense, and Special Defense Stats, which are lower than average. What that means is that while it is effective as a DD type, it has some weaknesses, which means that its Trainer will need to stay on top of health in battle and be prepared to shift it out when it faces a Pokemon whose type is strong against it.

Evolution chain: Oshawott > Level 17 > Dewott > Level 36 > Samurott

Oshawott remains a pure Water-type throughout its evolutionary chain, and at the end of that chain what you get is a very well-rounded battler who presents as a utility Pokemon, and that means that it is probably the Swiss Army Knife of Pokemon. If you are more interested in the challenge of completing the Pokedex and playing through the story and less inclined towards study and mastery of the finer points of battling, it may be the right choice for you.

The final point that needs to be made before you make your choice is this: Snivy has a weakness against most of the Gym Battle Pokemon, while Tepig has a weakness against three maybe four of them. While Oshawott does not have massive advantages over the Gym Battle Pokemon, it does have a better than average standing in that respect, so again, if you do not plan on putting into the game the efforts of building a tactical team, Oshawott may be the right choice.

Your first Rival Pokemon Battle

After the Choice

Now that you have made your choice and Bianca has presented you with your new special friend, she asks you if you would like to name your new friend – and you probably should, after all this is your first Pokemon...

Bianca then hands over your Pokedex, which is the PDA-like device that allows you to gather information about the Pokemon that you encounter and battle. The Pokedex does this automatically, there is nothing that your character needs to do to cause it to happen.

As you walk away Hugh runs up and asks what is taking so long? Then he notices your new Pokeball and your Pokedex, and he asks Bianca to give him one too. After Bianca gifts Hugh with the Pokedex she suggests that you two have a battle to celebrate you receiving your first Pokemon.

Talk to Hugh to begin the battle – and depending upon which starter you chose, Hugh will have one of the others, and it will be whatever type that your Pokemon is weak against. The are both Level 5, so you are on an even-footing with them in that respect.

If you win the battle you will pick up your first XP reward as well as Level your Pokemon to Level 6, then receive $500 from Hugh as your battle prize.

An introduction to the available facilities

After the First Battle

Bianca gives you a bit of advice on what you need to do and then takes you to the nearby Pokemon Center where she introduces you to the services that they offer, starting with Nurse Joy at the main desk, who will heal up your Pokemon – or your entire Team when you have them – and then she explains the public PC's that you find at Pokemon Centers, and the network and services that they offer Trainers free of charge.

Among other things the PC is where you store the Pokemon you are not using as active members of your Team. Those are stored and managed in the “Someone's PC” selection, while you can also remotely access your personal PC, which you use to manage your mail. Finally you can access the Professor's PC, where you can have your progress and Pokedex evaluated.

Bianca shows you the Poke Mart counter, then gifts you with 10 Regular Pokeballs to get you started. After that she asks you to follow her outside so that she can demonstrate the use of the Pokeballs. As you exit the center your Mom appears, greeting Bianca and commenting on how well you chose your starter. She then gifts you with the Running Shoes, which are a Key Item that allow you to run faster as you travel by holding the B-button down as you move.

Hugh's Sister is with your Mom, and she also has a gift for you: a Town Map! That will help you a lot as it shows you the different places you want to travel to and have traveled to, along with the details about them that you have discovered. After she gives you your Town Map she gives you a second one, and asks you to give it to her brother when you see him next.

Bianca heads for Route 19, which is the Route to the north, through the town gates. Follow her and you will be stopped by the gate guard, who starts to warn you that you cannot pass through the gate without a Pokemon to accompany you, and then notices that you have one! To celebrate that she gifts you with a Potion, that you put in your bag. Potions allow you to heal your Pokemon and restore HP when you cannot get them to Nurse Joy at a Pokemon Center – and they can be used both in-battle and out.

Route 19 Pokeball Lesson

Wild Pokemon

Dex No. Name Type
10 Patrat Normal
12 Purrloin Dark

After you exit the north side of the gate you meet with Bianca and she runs you through a basic tutorial on how to capture wild Pokemon using the Pokeball and your own Pokemon. Bear in mind that the process that she is showing you has several basic points – the most important of which is to try to lower the HP of the Pokemon you are battling without incapacitating it, so that you can throw a ball and capture it successfully.

Once the Pokemon is captured you get the chance to name it, and if your Team is already full it will be automatically sent to the PC at the Pokemon Center and stored in the last box you accessed in it. We already covered that in detail above... If you have an open slot in your Team however, it will be added to it rather than sent to the PC.

After she demonstrates the method for capturing wild Pokemon, she tells you that Floccesy Town is just along the end of Route 19, and tells you that you can find Hugh in that direction. At this point you should make a little effort to expand your Team by trolling the tall grass here for some battles and captures!

Before you head into the grass bear in mind that while you only need one Pokemon of each type for your Pokedex, if you plan on breeding later, you will need a mate and an alternate. Just saying… For now though, why not jump in and capture yourself a Purrloin now? Once you do, you get to see its Pokedex record get filled in, and then you get to name it – pick a good name, right?

If your Pokemon took damage, you should make a quick trip back to the Pokemon Center to heal your team up, and you might want to purchase more Pokeballs. If you buy them ten at a time, you will get a free Premier Ball as a bonus – and hey, free is good so you should try to always buy the regular Pokeballs 10 at a time.

With that managed you may want to hit Route 19 again because in addition to Purrloin, it also offers you a Wild Patrat, and in the second grass patch, your first Trainer encounter, which though not a battle encounter (they will not all be battles) does clue you in that tall grass is where wild encounters happen – but you already knew that. What you may not have known is that running through tall grass increases the likelihood of a Wild Pokemon encounter.

At the third grass patch is a trainer who will tell you all about ledge jumping and even show you how it works. See that Pokeball in the third patch? Walk over and use the action button on it to obtain a Potion from your first Treasure Ball! Well done!

At the moment your priority should be leveling up your new Pokemon so that they are all at least a as high a level as your starter. In fact this is a regular thing for you to remember: You want to try to keep all the members of your team at or close to the same level.

Speaking of levels, as you gain them, you will reach a point where your Pokemon stop obeying your commands. This will begin to happen when they hit the mid-to-upper teens. The reason for that is due to the fact that you lack the first Gym Badge.

In the world of Pokemon, each Gym Badge that you win will raise the level of Pokemon who will obey your commands, so obtaining that first Gym Badge will soon be very important to us, but for now building and leveling our team to at least Level 10 is what is really important!

Putting Together Your Team

To start with level your Purrloin and Patrat to match your starter, and once they are in parity, so that they are level with each other. The idea behind this is for your team to be at peak effectiveness, and so that you get them all to the target level for the next Gym so that your battle there will be less of a challenge than it might otherwise be if your Pokemon were all of different levels.

At this point you will have your starter, Patrat (Normal-type) and Purrloin (Dark-type), which is fine for now, but once you have access to a wider variety of types you will want to try to diversify your team, and one good way to do that is to utilize multi-type Pokemon. For example you will soon be able to obtain a Pidove, which is a Normal-Flying type Pokemon, and that will basically replace your Patrat, which is only a Normal-type.

Bearing in mind that in addition to offering you its two types, you will want a Flying-type on your team anyway as once you obtain the HM Fly you will need it to teach that HM to it, so that you have better mobility and shorter travel times.

Floccesy Town and Alder's Gym is your first major destination in the game
Floccesy Town and Alder's Gym is your first major destination in the game

Floccesy Town

Continuing along Route 19 past the third patch, you will encounter the Gym Leader Alder, who shares his philosophy on Pokemon with you. He then asks you to follow him and you do, right into Floccesy Town!

Grats! You have just added a new town to your world! That is actually a significant achievement in that it allows us to now demonstrate one of the functions of the Town Map that Hugh's little sister gifted you with. If you open the map you will note that the different buildings you have discovered in Floccesy Town are now noted in its entry on the Map just as the different buildings and facilities are listed for your home town. If you check a town you have not yet visited however, you will note that those listing are conspicuously absent. They will not be included in the Map listing for that town until you actually visit and discover them.

Alder tells you that his house is near, but invites you to visit the Pokemon Center first to heal up your party if you need to. If you need to heal your team head inside the Center and do so, and then after you exit – or if you did not need to – visit the house directly to the right of the Center, where you will find an old man watching TV who, when you talk to him, gifts you with a Potion.

In the park across from the Clock Tower you will find some citizens you can speak to, one of whom will share information that Alder taught them – chiefly that the Pokemon in the top left spot of your Team Roster is the one who is “active” for battles and will go out first each time. You probably already knew that, but talk to him anyway since you should get used to talking to the people you meet both for battles and to obtain any information that they can provide you with!

When you head up the stairs north of the Park and Clock Tower you will encounter Alder again, but before he takes you for training he notices the extra Town Map you have – and tells you where you can find Hugh, suggesting that you deliver that map to him on Route 20 first. You may as well do that – Hugh will appreciate it and you can capture a few additional Pokemon while you are about it.

Route 20

Wild Pokemon

Dex No. Name Type
36 Audino Normal
35 Dunsparce Normal
10 Patrat Normal
14 Pidove Normal-Flying
12 Purrlion Dark
17 Sewaddle Bug-Grass
20 Sunkern Grass
43 Venipede** Bug-Poison

** Found only in the Dark Grass Patch.

At the bridge is your first Trainer Battle with Youngster Terrell, who has a Level 4 Patrat for you to battle. In addition to the XP, you also win $64 for beating him.

Above Terrell is a set of ledges you are on the bottom side of, so you cannot pass. Cross the bridge for another trainer battle, this time with Lass Isabel, who has a Level 4 Purrloin, and beating it gains you some XP and another $64.

In the grass above is a Treasure Ball with a Paralyze Heal in it, and the Youngster Petey, with his Level 4 Patrat to beat. You get another $64, which is nice, but you also have the opportunity to add a Sewaddle and a Sunkern to your team in this grass patch, and there is your fourth team member!

A Note on Trainer Battles: The point to these is not just to gain XP, which you do in abundance since they tend to have a bit of an extra bonus amount, but also to win money, which you will need plenty of as you progress through your Adventure, and that is why it is generally considered a very good idea to have every Trainer Battle you can. Just saying.

The Hiker past the patch points out to you that a trainer without a single Gym Badge really has no business going any farther along the Route, or down the stairs here… To emphasize that point he blocks you from going down the stairs at all, so that way is not open to you just yet.

If you head north into the short path here you will see some rocks – stand by the left-hand rock and press the action button to obtain the hidden Pokeball.

The Audino and Dunsparce that you can obtain on this Route are found in Shaking Grass, which you obtain by running through or near regular Tall Grass, but right now you don't know about that so you cannot trigger it. Soon though...

As you follow the path left and up you will reach the Floccesy Ranch, so after you have leveled up your new Team member – we are assuming you chose to adopt a Sewaddle as part of your Team since that is a dual-type Bug-Grass which adds better flexibility than the Sunkern, which is just a Grass-type.

When you are ready, head to the Ranch.

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