Both my friend, Steven Stone, and I battled Morty within the past 24 hours. My way to him was quite easy, Noctowl was able to take on the gym trainers pretty much single-handedly. In the battle against Morty, I used my trusty Miltank to take on his Gengar, and I managed a lucky paralysis on the first Body Slam (My Miltank has scrappy! Yay!), and it was rather trivial from there. So four badges in the bag now, with no more deaths so far.
My friend wasn’t so lucky, however, as his Zubat fell against Morty, after taking on most every trainer in the gym, so there’s a bunch of XP down the drain too. He is lamenting the loss of his trusty Zubat, but he soon thereafter caught a Tauros to add to the team, so all is well. Rumour has it that his nigh-legendary Arbok got to avenge the death of Zubat through a quick pair of Crunches. Sweet.
As an aside, might I add that Ecruteak City Gym might be the series’ least inspired? And this is from someone who likes Johto a lot. Granted, there was no sense to make a Ghost type gym in the first gen, which is why I thought it was cool that they made one in the second gen, but the grand total of Ghost type pokémon available in the original GSC were four (!), three of which belonged to the same evolutionary line. These days it’s a lot better, and Ghost is a pretty neat type, but they didn’t take advantage of this in the remakes but instead chose to re-do the exact same gym – with the only difference in they swapped the gender of two trainers, meaning we get to battle four Mediums instead of two Sages and two Mediums on the way to Morty. On top of that, for some reason they chose not to include Misdreavus in any of the trainers’ teams in GSC, meaning all the gym trainers have nothing but Gastly and Haunter, and Morty has a Gastly, a Gengar and two Haunters. It’s a missed opportunity in GSC to show off Misdreavus, and it’s a dang shame they didn’t fix that in HGSS.
With Surf available to me, I am exploring new parts of Johto not previously open to me – for example, the lower level of Slowpoke Well (where I got my encounter for that area finally – a level 13 Slowpoke. If it makes it onto the team, I’ll be making it a Slowking, since I haven’t used that pokémon before), parts of Union Cave etc., and it’s been a blast. A terrifying, nerve-wrecking blast. For example, trainers with suicidal Geodudes haunt Union Cave, so Golem has had to step in to take a Selfdestruct or two, I accidentally got into a battle with a level 22 Raticate using my level 24 Espeon, and the Raticate was equipped with among other things Sucker Punch and Pursuit. I escaped that one alive, but it was really close, Espeon was down to red HP before I could heal back up with potions and KO from a safe range.
Two types of crawls in the game in the last day, thus, a slow crawl to the Fog badge which was boring, and lots of dungeon crawling, which has been great fun!
Lastly, our progress’ so far: