Ok, so I know this isn’t a big deal, but I’m super excited and didn’t have anyone else to share it with! I played a ton of Red/Blue, but sadly gave up before Gen 2. Picking it up for the first time over 20 years later, I had a blast going through all the story and puzzles with no prior knowledge of where to go or what to do. I found a sense of adventure for Pokemon that I haven’t felt since my first playthrough of Red/Blue.
You might have spotted a couple weird things in my screenshots. Since it was my first playthrough, I added a couple self-imposed rules that might seem a little weird to some people:
Talk to everyone. Read everything. Explore every corner. I was in no rush to speed clear a game I’ve never played before, so I decided to talk to every single person I could find and read every sign. I even talked to trainers after every battle.
Evolve Pokemon at double its normal evolution level. I always felt that Pokemon evolved too quickly and it didn’t feel natural. You can get your starter to level 16 incredibly early on in the game, but I wanted to follow a slower evolution progression. That means I evolved my Chikorita into Bayleef at level 32 (16 x 2) and would have evolved him into the third form at lvl 64 (32 x 2). All of my Pokemon felt super weak at that stage in the game, but it felt more realistic. When it was finally time for them to evolve, there was this huge power spike that felt so satisfying! Hoothoot evolving at level 40 was the biggest one.
Don’t train. I did my best to not train in the wild as much as possible. I fought every trainer, but didn’t walk in the bushes to level up. That’s why I ended up at the elite four at what felt like a low level. I ended up spending all of my money on revives and hyper potions to finally beat them. Unfortunately, Flaaffy was at such a low level that he wasn’t very helpful in the end.
Use only Gen 2 Pokemon in your lineup. No guides. This was a little tough. Without using a guide, I had trouble finding certain types of Pokemon to fill out my team. I finally had to give up on looking for a fire Pokemon and none of the water Pokemon looked interesting to me. I caught Lugia, but thought he would be too strong so I didn’t use him. Krabby and Poliwag were my HM buddies. I never did figure out how to break those rocks. Noctowl and Sudowoodo were the MVPs!
Have fun! There were some side quests that I thought were boring, so I just skipped them. For example, there’s this fisherman that wants you to bring him a big Magikarp. After about the 10th Magikarp, I got bored and just gave up. I have no idea what he gives you if you complete it.
I hear there’s still more to do in this game like beat the Kanto gym leaders and fight Red I think? I plan to do that, but wanted to post this first.
I plan to go through as many Pokemon games as I can. Next up on the list is Pokemon Trading Card Game for Gameboy. I actually beat this one when I was small, but wanted to replay it anyways. My rule for that one will be to pick one deck type and only play that type as much as possible. I’m considering either Water, Grass, or Colorless.
Here are some others on my list in no particular order:
Ruby Sapphire Emerald (never played)
XY (never played)
Black White (never played)
Sun Moon (only played about 25% of the storyline)
Trading Card Game 2 (never played, this was released in Japan only, but I found a translated version that I plan to play)
Fire Red Leaf Green (never played)
Heart Gold Soul Silver (never played)
I don’t have a Switch, so I can’t play those…
I had a ton of fun and invite you all to do the same!
I’ve never seen anyone impose rules like this on themselves before, so that’s interesting. I’m glad that you had such a good time playing through an old classic Ruby/Sapphire are also very good so I hope you play through those as well. I would also recommend playing Pokemon Colosseum and XD Gale of Darkness for the GameCube. They’re my favorite Pokemon spin-off games
Oh my god I need to pick up a copy of Silver, I loved it so much as a kid. The self-imposed rules playthrough is so great - I’m currently playing through Sapphire again with Nuzlocke rules in force! Makes you so much more invested in the gameplay/strategy.
Reminds me of the YouTuber Jrose11 who imposes a rule on himself of only using Magikarp in battle throughout the main Pokémon games of many a generation. Here’s his take on Pokémon Silver:
He has a lot more variations on this by setting other rules or using other Pokémon and so on. In the end it’s all about having fun of course, and you had a ton of fun so that’s amazing! If you haven’t tried it yet, might I suggest you have a go at “Pokémon Card GB” and/or “Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR!”. They’re some of the most awesome spinoff games Pokémon has to offer.
@ascendedbidoof, Unfortunately, I don’t have a GameCube. I’ll save those for last.
@thevenusaurgarden, I love the Nuzlocke rules and considered doing it for this run, but decided against it since it was my first playthrough.
@celestialdragon, This is a little embarrassing, but I don’t really know what Crystal is. I assumed it was just Gen 2 with very small differences, kind of like Yellow is for Blue/Red. But you make it sound like it’s much more than that. I’m intrigued!
@melchior, I love Jrose11! Good to see another fan! I plan to play Pokemon Card GB next! My rule for that one will be to pick one deck type and only play that type as much as possible unless they force me to use another deck. I’m considering either Water, Grass, or Colorless.