Pokemon Ruby [2] – Getting to the Pokemon League

Last time in the GameBoy Advance part of my “Follow Ash” challenge I just beat Ruby’s dad (as Ash) and won the fifth gym badge.

Fishing for Corphish

As soon as I got the Petalburg badge and was able to use Surf, I went to Route 118 (I think), to get to Good Rod. I then spent some time fishing at Route 117 and finally got my Corphish, three gyms to late. Of course, I now had to train it until it caught up with the rest of my team, so that’s exactly what I did.

Pokemon Ruby - Corphish

Corphish wasn’t supposed to evolve, so it wouldn’t be very strong, but Surf helps.

Once that was over with, I went past Route 118 and 119 towards Fortree City, where my next gym was waiting. On the way there, I stopped by to Weather Institute to fight with Team Magma for a while. I got a Pokemon as a reward and sent  it directly to the PC, since Ash never had anything to do with Castform.

Fortree City Gym

I gotto Fortree City, but wasn’t able to enter the gym because something was blocking my way. Spoiler: It was an invisible Kecleon. I had to walk a bit past Fortree City on Route 120 to meet Steven and get an item which revealed the Kecleon and made it run away.

Pokemon Ruby - Fortree City

I love the way Fortree City looks.

The Fortree Gym was a Flying type gym, so Pikachu kicked some serious butt here. Once it was clear, I didn’t want to waste too much time, so I immediately went towards Lilycove city, where the next part of the story was waiting. Once there, I saw Team Magma stealing a submarine and entered their hidden lair nearby for a few moments, just so I could find out where to go next. The destination was Mount Pyre on Route 122. This was the graveyard area of Pokemon Ruby, but I wasn’t there for as long as in the previous games. I climbed to the top and fought the Magma Commander there, only to find out I now have to go to an underwater cave. However, to get there, I had to use Dive and I wasn’t able to use it without the next gym badge.

Mossdeep City Gym

Mossdeep City was relatively close by, so it didn’t take long to get there. This time, it was a Psychic gym, so it gave me some trouble, but thankfully, though psychic Pokemon can hit hard, they can’t take a lot of damage so I ended up sweeping through most of them. I got the badge and I was able to use Dive, but I didn’t have a Pokemon to teach it to.

Pokemon Ruby - Zigzagoon

And I just got rid of my first HM Slave…

Sadly, this meant I had to catch another HM Slave just for Dive and further deviate from the anime. I ended up catching a Tentacool, and using it to get to the underwater cave, where the Team Magma commander freed a legendary Pokemon. As I said, the legendary is different in the two games. For Ruby, it was Groudon and for Sapphire, it would be Kyogre.

The Pokemon disappeared and I had to go to the next city where the final showdown would happen and the final gym was at. Before going to Sootopolis, though, I remembered I have to go catch my final team member – Snorunt. For that, I went to Shoal Cave which was conveniently at low tide right now, so It didn’t take too long to find and catch a Snorunt.

Sootopolis City, The Cave of Origins and the Final Gym

Just like Fortree, Sootopolis was another cool looking city. The graphics of the Pokemon games were never top-notch, but the upgrade to Gameboy Advance really allowed the games to shine. The gym type was Water, but before I could challenge it, I had to go to the Cave of Origin and capture or defeat Groudon.  I ended up just using the Master Ball and sending it straight to the PC, since Groudon has nothing to do with my challenge. I also found the final HM of the game inside the cave – HM07, Waterfall.

Pokemon Ruby - Groudon

Not having a reason to save the Master Ball really helps.

Unlike the cave, the Sootopolis Gym gave me a lot of trouble. Technically, Pikachu would be perfect against Water but most of the Pokemon here also had secondary types and some hard hitting attacks, so my badly trained Pikachu couldn’t cope. In my next game, I’m definitely redistributing my IVs.

My Pikachu is now physically strong mainly because in the first generation, all damage was determined by the Attack stat and the Special affected defense only. Instead of duplicating the Attack IV and transferring it to Special Attack, I decided to copy the Special into both Special Attack and Special Defense which, in hindsight, makes no sense. Ash’s Pikachu is tough, but it also has extremely powerful Electric attacks, most of which are special based. In addition to this, the only way for Pikachu to learn a physical Electric type attack in Ruby is through breeding, meaning I’m stuck with what I have. In my next game, I’m giving him high Attack and Special Attack with medium Defense and low Special Defense. The only thing I got right was the speed.

I did some googling on EV training and found out the Spindas outside Fallarbor town give 1 Special Attack EV each. Since most of my Pokemon use special attacks and have high IV in those stats, I decided to spend some time training there.

It was well worth it. Torkoal became extremely powerful, Snorunt actually started to hold its own and Corphish was able to sweep a lot of its enemies thanks to Surf and the now much higher Special Attack. Still, I wasn’t able to evolve it yet, so he wasn’t to helpful against Sootopolis’ Dragon gym.

Pokemon Ruby - Team

Spindas also give a decent amount of experience.

Somehow, after some persistent reloading, I managed to get through it and was able to finally go to the Pokemon League. For that,. I had to use Waterfall to get to Ever Grande City, which can’t really be called a city, since it only had a Pokemon Center and nothing else. At this point, I got rid of all of my HM slaves, but kept Strength on Torkoal and Rock Smash on my Grovyle so I could get through the Victory Road ahead.

The two lower levels of the victory road were dark, so I was tempted to use Flash, but I ended up navigating through the area without it somehow. As soon as I got to the League building, I saved my game, spent all of my money and decided to just go for it.

Suffice to say, it didn’t work. Time to train.

 A GameBoy Advance of My Own?

By the way, I love the GameBoy Advance games so much, I’m actually thinking about buying a console. I’m not sure which one I should get, though. The GameBoy Advance SP supposedly has a better screen, but the regular version looks a lot sturdier. Anyone have any ideas?

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  • Get yourself an SP, if you can find one. I had both flavours, and while the ‘classic’ GBA was okay, the lack of backlit screen really hurts it’s usability. SP is a little more finger-cramping, but the backlight and true pocket-size make it a winner.

    Conversely, you could also grab a DS (original or Lite), since they have full GBA support (aside from a few accessory problems), backlit screen, and DS support (obviously). They dropped GBA support in the DSi, though, so don’t go that route.

  • I have a DS Lite, but it broke a few weeks ago. I’d like to get a 3DS XL sometime relatively soon, so it feels a little “counter productive” to get another DS right now. Plus, here in Croatia, a DSi or DS Lite in a good condition can still go for about 150 USD or more. On the other hand, a GBA or a GBA SP go for about 30-40 USD max.I’ll think about it.

    The thing is, even without these consoles, I have more games than I can play right now, so it might not be very prudent.