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    Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen

    Game » consists of 6 releases. Released Sep 07, 2004

    Return to Kanto filled with a whole new chapter to the game. With a brand new features and new ways to capture Pokemon, it time for whole new revolution.

    Pokémon FireRed Nuzlocke Challenge - Part Six

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    danielkempster

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    Edited By danielkempster
    << Part Five - Grounded LightningBack to the Pokémon CenterPart Seven - The End Of The Road...? >>

    Hey guys, and welcome to the sixth part of my Pokémon FireRed Nuzlocke Challenge. Once again, I'd like to start by apologising for the delay in bringing you this blog. I was off work last week and had plenty of time to turn out an extra episode or two of this serial blog, but I ended up pouring pretty much all of my Pokémon time into Pokémon Y on my 3DS. I won't go into too much detail here, but I will throw some more information in at the bottom of this blog for anybody who might be interested in my current Poké-happenings. As always, if you're new to the Nuzlocke Challenge, you'd probably be best off starting with Part Zero of this series - it explains what a Nuzlocke is, and outlines which specific rules and caveats I'm using for this run. If you missed the previous episode (which, judging by its reception, may apply to a few of you), you can navigate back to it, along with other blogs in this series, using the handy-dandy navigation links at the top and bottom of this entry. To everyone else, welcome back to The Extended Adventures of Team Judi Drench. Let's pick up where we left off, with the team preparing to backtrack to Route 2 via Diglett's Cave...

    No Caption Provided

    Part Six - Tunnels Of Death

    Having just beaten Lt. Surge and earned the Thunderbadge with no casualties, Team Judi Drench are riding on a high as they take the next step on their journey - a return visit to Route 2 to pick up a gift from one of Professor Oak's Aides. Because I can't back-track through Mount Moon on account of some annoyingly-configured ledges, the only option is to travel through Diglett Cave. I perceive it not as an inconvenience, but as a good opportunity to earn a bit more experience and boost my blossoming party's levels a little higher. I put Kit-E-Kat, presently my weakest Pokémon, at the front of my party to pull in experience and set off through the cave.

    In the last part of this series, Diglett Cave was where I foolishly forgot basic Pokémon type match-ups and sent the Poison-type Monty the Ekans out to his death against a Ground-type Diglett. On this visit to Diglett Cave, I once again overlook one of Diglett's traits, and it's once again to my team's detriment. See, Diglett has a chance of carrying the Arena Trap ability, which prevents the player from switching their Pokémon out. It's not until Kit-E-Kat is trapped by one, utterly helpless, that I realise my mistake. The previously fool-proof 'switch in, switch out' training strategy has been spectacularly turned against me. Kit-E-Kat fights valiantly, but her Bite attacks aren't enough to subdue the Diglett before it issues a high-level Magnitude attack.

    And this... This is just the beginning...
    And this... This is just the beginning...

    For the sake of safety, I put Bird Jesus into the first slot (his Flying type guarantees immunity to both Ground-type attacks and Arena Trap), keeping Judi Drench in reserve, and move through the rest of the tunnel much more cautiously. Sure enough, the other end emerges at Route 2, just south of Pewter City. Not too far from the cave mouth is a small building, and inside I find Professor Oak's Aide. Upon showing him my Pokédex as proof that I've caught ten different kinds of Pokémon, he hands over the gift from the Professor - an HM containing Flash.

    No Caption Provided

    Flash is going to be crucial in navigating our next big obstacle - the dark, dangerous depths of Rock Tunnel. I thank the Aide for this handy present, and then head north to Pewter City for a little pit-stop. Kit-E-Kat is laid to rest in the Graveyard, and in her place I withdraw Clownbat, the Zubat I caught in Mount Moon back in Part Three. I'm a little apprehensive about bringing along a level 7 Zubat for the ride, but I've never trained one before, and another Flying type could be a useful asset in the upcoming gym battle in Celadon City. Having lost our Cutter, I re-teach that HM to The Mole, and I give Flash to Uri Geller. I also pay a little visit to the city's museum by way of its back door, and pick up the Old Amber. This gives us the choice of reviving either Kabuto or Aerodactyl when (if?) we finally reach Cinnabar Island, depending on which will better serve our team's needs at that point.

    Having a little freedom of choice should be a welcome change in the largely random context of this Nuzlocke
    Having a little freedom of choice should be a welcome change in the largely random context of this Nuzlocke

    From here I have two choices as to how to proceed - do we go back through Diglett Cave and take the Underground Tunnel north from Vermilion, or head east and revisit Mount Moon? I opt for the latter - it's a good opportunity to start getting Clownbat up to par, and less risky for the team as a whole. Our second time through is wholly uneventful, probably because my team is stronger and there are no longer any trainers looking for battles in these parts. It doesn't take me too long to get back to Cerulean City this way. After another rest stop at the Pokémon Center, it's time to head even further east and onto our next new destination - Route 9.

    I do like the way the Pokémon games 'gate' their worlds, although I would like to see them move away from HMs and try something new that doesn't inhibit the party's battle potential quite as much
    I do like the way the Pokémon games 'gate' their worlds, although I would like to see them move away from HMs and try something new that doesn't inhibit the party's battle potential quite as much

    There aren't any new captures on Route 9, due to us having already caught one of every kind of Pokémon on the route in other places, but there are loads of trainers to fight, and therefore loads of experience to be had. Clownbat laps it up, rocketing up to level 15 by the time we reach the far end of the route, and the rest of the party get their fair share too. At its eastern end, Route 9 merges into Route 10, and here we have an opportunity to catch a new critter. Our encounter for the route is an Electric-type Voltorb, which I manage to capture with a third Poké Ball after it breaks out of the first two I throw.

    An Electric type would have been a cool addition, but Uri Geller has that base covered since I taught him Shock Wave. Still, good to have something in reserve. You never know what's going to happen down the line...
    An Electric type would have been a cool addition, but Uri Geller has that base covered since I taught him Shock Wave. Still, good to have something in reserve. You never know what's going to happen down the line...

    There's a Pokémon Center on Route 10, located conveniently close to the entrance of our next destination - Rock Tunnel. It's a good opportunity to rest up, and take stock of our party situation. We've got a great spread of types and builds across our team at this point in the Nuzlocke - hard hitting physical attacks from Rosie and The Mole, special attacks from Judi Drench and Uri Geller, and an impressively speedy team all around. I take a quick look at the Pokémon sitting in the PC, but I've no desire to change up this team right now. It's strong, it's fast, and it's proved very reliable up to this point. Happy with things as they are, I leave the safety of the Pokémon Center and take my first step into Rock Tunnel, a place I will soon come to equate with Hell itself.

    If you look really closely, you can make out the words 'Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here' just above the cave mouth
    If you look really closely, you can make out the words 'Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here' just above the cave mouth

    The inside of Rock Tunnel is pitch black, a situation that calls for the use of Uri Geller's newly-learned Flash. With the cave illuminated, it's a lot easier to navigate, It doesn't take long to run into my first encounter for the area, a male Machop. Again, it manages to break out of a couple of Poké Balls before finally coming to rest in a third, perhaps a sign that I need to think about using Great Balls from here on out. I name him Daniel-San, and he's sent straight to Bill's PC.

    He's called Daniel-San because he's a Karate Kid! Geddit?! Jeez, tough crowd...
    He's called Daniel-San because he's a Karate Kid! Geddit?! Jeez, tough crowd...

    So with our capture gained for the area and our party in fine fettle, all that remains to be done is focusing on making it through Rock Tunnel without any major setbacks. Can't be too hard, can it?

    ...boy, I could not be more wrong.

    Initially things are fine. Clownbat continues to pull in a decent chunk of experience from being at the head of the party, and I'm able to switch in party members as necessary to deal with threats in the most efficient manner - Judi Drench to deal with Onix, Rosie for Geodude, Bird Jesus for Machop, and Uri Geller for Zubat. It's logical, and it works. For a while. Then, in a routine encounter with a Geodude, Rosie switches into a strength 10 Magnitude - the most powerful form of that Ground-type attack. As if that wasn't enough, it's also a critical hit. Rosie is knocked to the ground by the strength of the quake, and doesn't get back up.

    No Caption Provided

    It's bad luck, pure and simple. Magnitude has just a 5% chance of being at its maximum strength, and only a 1/16th chance of being a critical hit. But however much the odds were in my favour, the outcome wasn't. Rosie, our hard-hitting, fast-moving, all-out-offensive Mankey, is dead.

    I try to shake off the shock and focus on pressing on. In the context of Rock Tunnel, Rosie's loss means Judi has to do a little more of the work. He's more than capable, but it's an unnecessary drain on his precious PP for Water Pulse. I check my bag. There's an Ether in there. We should be okay.

    There are a lot of trainers in Rock Tunnel, covering several different disciplines - alongside the expected Hikers, there's also an abundance of Campers and PokéManiacs, making it difficult to say with certainty what kinds of Pokémon the team will be up against. One of the trainers I encounter along the way has a Meowth, a Normal-type Pokémon with unremarkable stats and nothing particularly threatening up its sleeve. I send out Uri Geller to quickly dispatch it with a powerful Psybeam attack, but the spoon-bender's move leaves the little cat with a sliver of HP remaining. It's a fatal slip, as the opposing Meowth readies a deadly Dark-type Bite which tears through Uri's feeble defences and turns him into the second casualty of Rock Tunnel.

    No Caption Provided

    I'm in denial at this point. This isn't happening, I tell myself. But it is. Rosie is gone, and now so is Uri Geller. Between them their moves offered a huge amount of reliable and impressive coverage - Fighting, Rock, Ground, Psychic and Electric type moves, all but one of which are now nowhere to be found in my team. The strong, versatile party I've spent the last few episodes catching and cultivating is being torn apart by the evil residents of Rock Tunnel, and they're not finished yet.

    As we near the end of this hellish mountain pass, our party of six now reduced to just four, it's becoming more and more difficult to deal with the wide variety of types being thrown at me with every new trainer. Flying types in particular are proving really problematic in the absence of Uri Geller's Shock Wave. So it's with great joy that I stumble upon a Move Tutor at the end of the tunnel, who offers to teach The Mole to use Rock Slide. Ecstatic I now have something to hit Flying types with once again, I decide to try it out on a nearby trainer's Pidgey...

    No Caption Provided

    For the second time on this journey through Rock Tunnel, the dreaded critical hit claims another victim. The already-speedy Pidgey gets priority over The Mole with its Quick Attack, and the added power boost from the crit slices through our little Diglett's woeful defences with no resistance. We're now down to just three party members, one of which (Clownbat) still isn't really ready for battle. I think it's safe to say that this is the lowest Team Judi Drench has been since the Nuzlocke Challenge began.

    Judi Drench and Bird Jesus muscle their way through the remainder of Rock Tunnel, finally emerging into the warm sunlight of southern Route 10. This should be a joyous occasion, but the achievement is deeply tainted by the losses that the party have endured to reach this point.

    No Caption Provided

    A short walk to the south brings us to Lavender Town, a long-overdue opportunity to rest and recuperate from the ordeals of Rock Tunnel. While the staff at the local Pokémon Center patch up Judi Drench and Bird Jesus as best they can, I take my three departed companions to the Graveyard, and lay them to rest. Three of our most powerful, most important Pokémon, friends that were instrumental in winning us our first three gym badges. have gone before their time. In an attempt to bolster the ranks, I move our two newest acquisitions, Daniel-San the Machop and SparkyBall the Voltorb, into the party. They are not replacements, but new friends who will hopefully find ways to shine alongside the old guard in the challenges to come. With our new party in place, it's time for Team Judi Drench to start the journey west towards Celadon City, and the fourth gym badge...

    Progress Report:

    Time: 10:51 --- Location: Lavender Town --- Deaths: 8
    Time: 10:51 --- Location: Lavender Town --- Deaths: 8
    The Graveyard

    So now that today's episode of the Nuzlocke Challenge is done and dusted, here's a little more detail about those delays. Pokémon Y continues to have control over my gaming life at the moment. I was in pretty deep for about a month after its release back in October, but decided to put the game down for a bit until the Pokémon Bank launched and I could move all my Pokémon over from White into Y. That finally happened about eight weeks ago, and since then I've been importing, transferring, breeding and training in pursuit of that Holiest of Poké-Grails - a complete National Pokédex.

    Truth be told I'm still a long way from managing that, though, because I've also been caught up in the thrilling, tense world of competitive battling. I've tried my luck online a few times, and while I'm not amazing and am still prone to making stupid mistakes, I'm managing to hold my own in the majority of battles. I'm currently in the process of building my own dedicated competitive team, a wearisome endeavour that's resulted in me abandoning my last bastion of sanity and finally diving into the deepest of the Pokémon breeding holes - breeding for perfect IVs. So far I've managed to breed three of my team of six, all of which have either four or five perfect IVs in relevant stats, and I'm hoping to secure the fourth before this weekend is out. Then I'll hopefully be able to take them online and do a little better against the other competitive battlers.

    Anyway, that's enough Poké-rambling from me. Thanks are due once again to your good selves for reading and supporting this blog series. This continues to be a really fun serial blogging experiment for me, and I hope it's proving fairly entertaining for you guys too. I'll try to be a little more punctual in getting these things up from here on out - two per week (one mid-week and one at the weekend) seems like a reasonable schedule to aim for. So with that said, expect Part Seven some time on Tuesday or Wednesday, when I should be covering the Celadon City gym and Rocket Hideout portions of the game. Take care guys, and I'll see you around.

    Dan

    ---

    Currently playing - Pokémon FireRed Version (GBA)

    << Part Five - Grounded LightningBack to the Pokémon CenterPart Seven - The End Of The Road...? >>
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    Video_Game_King

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    If you look really closely, you can make out the words 'Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here' just above the cave mouth

    Kinda wish I could quote blogs more easily.

    All I see is a face on the left rock.

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    ThomasMayhew

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    The loss of Uri Geller and The Mole will shock the Pokeworld.

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    ArbitraryWater

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    #3  Edited By ArbitraryWater

    The Rock Tunnel has claimed its victims. Now you must rebuild. Gengar is a decent enough substitute for Alakazam in the physical sweeper department and it just so happens that you are near a building that has nothing but Ghastly and Haunter in it.

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    MajorMitch

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    Another fun read, Dan. After you originally predicted that Rosie would be the first to go, here I was hoping she would ironically survive the whole game :) Judi Drench is still going strong though -- what are the odds he survives the entire game?

    You've also taken competitive training one step further down the rabbit hole than I ever have with going for perfect IVs. I wish you, and your sanity, the best of luck! What's the team of six you're training, if you don't mind sharing?

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    danielkempster

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    @video_game_king: Not sure if this is sarcasm or oversight, so I'll assume it's the latter and bite - it's a quote from Dante's Inferno (not that Dante's Inferno) that appears above the gateway into Hell. I'm sure not many people have married the concepts of 14th century epic poetry and Pokémon, but hey, we're laughing and learning here.

    ...and yeah, there's totally a face in the rocks. Can't believe I didn't see that before.

    @thomasmayhew: I am still reeling mate. They were so young. So young...(although on a side note, 'Uri Geller and The Mole' sounds like the name of a comic book/kids' cartoon that I would definitely read/watch)

    @arbitrarywater: Unfortunately trading is out of the question here, meaning Alakazam and Gengar are, too. A Gastly or Haunter would be a very useful catch, but it's still a little way off yet, because I need to go through Team Rocket HQ and grab the Silph Scope first. A speedy Ghost type would definitely improve my chances for the upcoming Psychic and Poison gyms, though.

    @majormitch: Rosie definitely lasted longer than I expected her to. I think the big problem that I faced in Rock Tunnel was that a lot of my team were offensively powerful, but very defensively frail. That's the advantage Judi Drench has - he's sturdier than anyone else, so he can safely take hits that the other team members couldn't. Hopefully we can get a little more defensive bulk into the team now - I know Machop is slower than Mankey, but he's a bit more resilient too.

    The team that I'm building is centred on Mega Charizard Y, which I've had a lot of fun battling with, and a lot of woes battling against. It consists of Mega Charizard Y, Tyrantrum, Galvantula, Excadrill and Politoed, with the sixth slot still undetermined (although I think it's going to go to either Scrafty or Gallade). The basic strategy of the team is for Tyrantrum and Galvantula to set up Stealth Rocks and Sticky Webs respectively to support Mega Charizard Y and enable it to sweep more easily. Excadrill is there as a Rapid Spinner to protect my Charizard from Stealth Rocks. Politoed is there to switch in so its Drizzle ability stops opponents from taking advantage of the sunlight from Mega Charizard Y's Drought. All of these four supporting Pokémon can also hold their own in situations where Mega Charizard Y might struggle, with a decent amount of power and type coverage between them. Tyrantrum and Politoed are also EV trained in Defence and Special Defence respectively, so they're my (slightly unconventional) wall Pokémon. I haven't been able to think of a useful supporting role for the sixth slot, so I was going to go for purely type coverage, but I'm definitely open to ideas if anyone has any.

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    ArbitraryWater

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    @dankempster: No trading really does gimp you in the special sweeper department when it comes to gen 1, but I guess this challenge wouldn't be a challenge if you weren't constantly gimped. At least you can get Hitmonlee to replace Rosie (and he'll probably die too, but Hitmonchan isn't all that great until the physical/special split of gen 4). I'd also recommend getting a Dratini in Celadon from the game corner. The only outstanding Eeveelution you have access to is Vaporeon (and currently Judi Drench occupies the "bulky water" role) and Dragonite is easily one of the best pokemon you have access to.

    Also it's good to know that you've gone down frightening avenues to get really good at competitive battling in X/Y. I stopped myself right around the time I realized what breeding for perfect IVs actually meant. (also: everyone knows Mega Charizard Y is a chump compared to Mega Charizard X. Solarbeam and double strength heat wave is nice and all, but stealth rock will still eat you alive)

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    MikeLemmer

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    @dankempster: Ugh, breeding for perfect IVs. I dislike it because it tacks on a serious time investment to seriously compete and contradicts the Pokemon theme of "every pokemon is useful if you care for it" by making 95% of pokemon weaker. Uncharted had nothing on the ludonarrative dissonance of mass-breeding competitive Pokemon. I wonder how the IV & Nature system could be changed to let nearly any combination be useful instead of just "perfect IVs plus one of two Natures".

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    Video_Game_King

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    Not sure if this is sarcasm or oversight

    It's neither. I've read the Inferno; it's just that the face demands my attention.

    I'm sure not many people have married the concepts of 14th century epic poetry and Pokémon, but hey, we're laughing and learning here.

    I should do that more often. Maybe make my own series of bl.....OH MY GOD.

    Kantobery Tales.

    It must be done.

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    danielkempster

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    #9  Edited By danielkempster

    @arbitrarywater: You know, I'd completely forgotten that Pokémon can be obtained at the Celadon Game Corner. I guess if I can pick one up from there it would technically count as my capture for the area, and I don't really mind skipping Eevee for a potential Dragonite. As for Mega Charizard Y, I know it's got its down-sides compared to the X variant, but a lot of the fun has come from trying to compensate for its weaknesses by building a strong, supportive team around it. Hopefully Excadrill's Rapid Spin should help to keep those pesky Stealth Rocks at bay, and with Galvantula's Sticky Web on the other side of the field, it's able to outspeed a lot of other Pokémon (providing they aren't Choice Scarfed) and either KO them or restore its HP in relative safety with Roost. I've given it a few test runs alongside my Tyrantrum and Galvantula, and I'm happy with how it's performing so far.

    @mikelemmer: Not gonna lie, it's a huge time-sink, and not something I think I'd be prepared to do again after I get done breeding these six. The Pokémon I've been using online up to now have simply been bred for the appropriate Nature and Ability and then EV trained, and for the most part they've held their own well enough, so I'll probably revert to that approach in future. It's mainly curiosity, to see how deep the rabbit hole really does go, that's put me in this position. I agree with you that competitive Pokémon battling is very much at odds with the franchise's narrative ethos, but I'm not sure how that could be addressed at this point without completely overturning the series' established mechanics, and I don't think an overhaul of that magnitude would please the competitive battling community at all.

    @video_game_king: I wholeheartedly endorse the concept of The Kantobury Tales. That is something I would definitely read.

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    MikeLemmer

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    @dankempster: I think this would be a good start:

    • Turn IVs from a range system to a point-buy system: instead of each stat being 0-31 individually (and having no relationship with the other stats), give a set amount of points spread out among the stats. If a Pokemon has an extremely high Attack IV, it has lower IVs in its other stats. Turn all max-IV Pokemon into evenly-balanced Pokemon (average numbers in all stats).
    • Turn the Natures from a percentage modifier (+10% to a stat, -10% from another stat) to an additive modifier (+X to a stat, -X to another stat). Percentage has an obvious optimal solution (+10% to your highest stat, -10% from your lowest stat), but a straight additive modifier could make for more interesting combinations, such as a surprisingly speedy Graveler.
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    ZombiePie

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    So I have a funny story about the Rock Tunnel. Back when Pokemon Red has just been released there was a debate that I had with a couple of friends pertaining to the Rock Tunnel. The debate pertained to if one could traverse through "Flash recommended" tunnels without using Flash, or if the game secretly placed a "gate" for these tunnels and didn't recognize user directional inputs unless Flash was active or already implemented in those specific tunnels.

    So on my first attempt to get through the Rock Tunnel...on my first playthrough....I decided to trek through the entire Rock Tunnel without EVER using Flash. Armed with a Prima Games Guide and plenty of escape ropes I embarked on a ~4 hour experiment (mind you I was a child, and doing this alone) to get through the tunnel.

    You can totally do it by the way, but exacerbates every other difficult aspect about the tunnel you have already mentioned in this blog.

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    Video_Game_King

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    @zombiepie:

    If I remember correctly, you could technically see all the features in the cave. It was just really, really dark. And on a Game Boy screen.

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    ZombiePie

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    #13  Edited By ZombiePie

    @zombiepie:

    If I remember correctly, you could technically see all the features in the cave. It was just really, really dark. And on a Game Boy screen.

    "Visible Features...Sure"

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    Video_Game_King

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    #14  Edited By Video_Game_King

    @zombiepie:

    Besides, I was half right. I thought you could see more than just the walls and exits, but at least that's there.
    Besides, I was half right. I thought you could see more than just the walls and exits, but at least that's there.

    This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

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