I Wanna Be The Very Best, Part 3

Greetings, duders, and welcome once more to my absurd quest to acquire every Pokemon in existence. This is part 3 of a series of posts I am making about my journey - if you want to get caught up, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2.

Bring it.

This entry won’t focus as specifically on a set of tasks as the last one, but I have hit an important milestone in my journey, and felt like it was a good time to check in. I now have at least 1 of every Generation 1 Pokemon in my possession in White. 151 Pokemon that represent the beginnings of the franchise back in the late 90’s. It all came to a close, fittingly, with my capture of the original badass, the pinnacle of psychic power: Mewtwo.

To Catch A Mewtwo

So, you know that Pokemon is about catching wild monsters, and you know that you use Pokeballs to do that. Most of you also probably know that there are a lot of types of Pokeballs, and that their effectiveness varies. But how many of you know how the math behind catching Pokemon actually works? I didn’t, until I looked it up recently, and while it looks complicated at first, it basically boils down to a few points.

  • All Pokemon have an inherent ‘capture rate’, which tells you how easy/hard it is to catch them. This number is an integer between 1 and 255, with higher numbers being easier to catch (in practice the lowest capture rates are 3 currently).

  • The bigger the difference between a Pokemon’s max HP and current HP, the easier it is to catch.

  • Each type of Pokeball provides a multiplier bonus to the capture rate. Regular Pokeballs are 1x, and Ultra Balls are 2x.

  • Any status afflicting the Pokemon also provides a multiplier bonus to the capture rate. Sleep is the highest bonus at 2x.

For the most part, that’s it, outside of some constants. Essentially, the best way to catch something is, get it as close to 1HP as you can without killing it, put it to sleep, and throw the best ball you can at it. Pretty standard stuff, anyone who has played Pokemon already knows that. They have, over time, added many different types of Pokeball to the mix that have different properties beyond the normal progression of Poke Ball, Great Ball and Ultra Ball. For instance, the Dusk Ball, if used at night or in a cave, grants a 3.5x bonus, but only a 1x bonus otherwise. My personal favorite, the Quick Ball, gives a 4x bonus if used on the first turn of a battle, and 1x otherwise.

Anyway, back to Mewtwo. I loaded up my Heart Gold file, and went and stocked up on some Ultra Balls. I don’t actually know if any of the fancier stuff is available to buy in HG, and I didn’t want to do any of the custom ball crafting to get anything better. Also, my Master Ball is better used on “runners” like the Legendary Dog Trio, who you have to find randomly out in the wild. So, I get 30 Ultra Balls, because really, I can just reset until I catch him.

The maze-like second floor of the Cerulean Cave.

I flew to Cerulean City, and entered the legendary Cerulean Cave where Mewtwo lies. I remember going through this cave back in the day of Red/Blue, and it was a really amazing, post game experience for me. Everything was super high level, and at the end was the promise of the most powerful Pokemon out there. From what I remember of the cave, the layout is completely different in HG. It’s basically 3 floors, with a maze of ladders and these crystal structures that make up walls, but honestly, looking at a map online it looked pretty lazily put together. Regardless, I didn’t spend long thanks to plenty of Repels, and found my way to the man himself.

Having a party of about 4 upper level 50 guys with me, I figured I probably wouldn’t hold out too long against the onslaught from the super powerful level 70 Psychic Legendary, but could hopefully get him down to lowish health and chuck Ultra Balls for a bit. To my surprise, this version of Mewtwo doesn’t care much for attacking, and only appears to have one offensive move: Psycho Cut. Since I have a trusty Houndoom in my party, this is pretty easy, because his Dark type makes him immune to Psychic attacks. So at least I don’t have to worry about that.

I whittle him down as he flounders about, unable to do any damage. Once he’s in the red, I start chucking Ultra Balls at him, and hope. 20 left. 10 left. Well, probably going to have to reset and try again, no big deal. 5 left. Sometimes they’re getting close, but no luck yet.

Last one, and he breaks free. Fine Mewtwo, you win this round. But… I have this random Dive Ball in my bag, might as well toss it. Wiggle.

Wiggle.

Wiggle.

Click!

Stunned, I go to the internet. I correctly remembered that the Dive Ball gives a higher bonus when battling underwater, or against Water Pokemon, neither of which was the case here. In this case, the Dive Ball gave a 1x bonus (basically no bonus) - the same as a regular old Poke Ball. Fantastic - I caught Mewtwo with a Dive Ball.

Moving Forward

So, with Mewtwo and all of the Generation 1 Pokemon in my possession, I move on to the next phase of my quest. What that exactly will look like I am not sure. I will probably more or less start picking the low hanging fruit for a while to fill out my collection more, until another milestone is in sight or I get too bored.

Filling out the long list of more common Pokemon is definitely a time consuming task, but I think I have enough experience now to do it fairly well. I think it is best to basically boil it down to a few steps.

  1. Catch as many forms of a Pokemon as are easy to find. 3rd Evolutions never appear easily in the wild, so generally this means catching a 1st and 2nd form (or two 2nd forms if there is a 3rd form).

  2. Breed any more you need. If some form is not in the wild, or hard to find, it is probably easier to catch the easiest one available, breed however many extras you need, and go from there.

  3. Evolve. That’s basically it - evolve until you have one of every form.

I find it easier and more entertaining to catch more Pokemon than to breed them, so I like catching the total number that I end up needed. If a type has 3 forms, like Machop, I’ll try to catch 1 Machop and 2 Machokes, and then evolve one of the Machokes. I don’t know if this is more efficient than catching just 1 Machop, or Machoke, and then breeding 2 more, but I prefer it, even though levelling things in order to evolve them is pretty darn fast.

So adorable! Now extract it's experience points!

For anyone who is curious, I basically level guys by going to one of the late (post-game) routes in White, giving them a lucky egg (bonus experience item), and fighting Audinos. Audino appears pretty much anywhere in B/W, but only in special “rustling grass”. Basically, you just run back and forth outside of a grassy patch until you see a piece shaking, then run into it. You’ll probably fight an Audino. They give good experience, combined with the lucky egg, and it only takes a couple of kills to get a newly bred level 1 Pokemon up to 20 or so. I think this method is quick, easy, and effective, and unless you really need to get something up to a very high level, the Elite Four is just overkill.

So that’s about it for now. I have the original 150 Pokemon now, and according to my record keeping I have 425 unique Pokemon species in my game after Mewtwo. Of course X/Y will bring more, but I am still probably over half way even including those.

2 Comments
2 Comments
Edited by crusader8463

Wish you the best of luck. I too once dreamed of catching them all, but since I never had anyone with the other colour of the games I gave up on it real quick. Not to mention the crazy number of them that now exist makes the task way more tedious than it's worth in my eyes. All that said, the 3D game coming out has sparked that Pokelust in me that has not seen the light of day since my Gameboy Colour days, so who knows where it will take me. Maybe I will set my goal at the original 152 and try to fulfill the dream that kid me once had.

Edited by Oscar__Explosion

@wess said:

So, you know that Pokemon is about catching wild monsters, and you know that you use Pokeballs to do that.

OHHHHH POKEballs. Ah now I see what I was doing wrong. All those hospital trips seem pretty silly now that I see my error.