Pokemon Ruby - Cover

Since last time in Pokemon Ruby, I did a lot of training. A lot!

Game Freak Is Full of Trolls

Seriously. Why would the developers decide it’s a good idea to give most Pokemon on the Victory Road, which is probably the best place to train before the Elite Four, a move which allows them to kick the player’s Pokemon out of combat.

Pokemon Ruby - Torkoal

I told you it was going to get strong.

Sure, after a while, most of my Pokemon were able to sweep through the encounters in Victory Road, but it was still annoying. There I am, hitting Hariyama three times with Ice Beam already, only to be kicked out of battle and wasting those 3 PP.

Training in Victory Road

It was annoying, but I did it anyway. Pikachu, Corphish, Glalie and Swellow eventually got easier to train, and Torkoal was a breeze right from the start, but my starter, Grovyle, wasn’t able to be effective at all. It had a type disadvantage against mos of the Pokemon in there, so I ended up going back to the overworld, fighting Tentacools for ages just go get to level 55.

After about an hour of fast-forwarding in total (gotta love GameBoy Advance emulators), I got most of all of my team members to either level 55 or 60, because I like round numbers. I decided to give it one more shot, stocked up on potions and went for it.

The Elite Four

Sidney was easy to deal with. I got rid of his Mightyena, Cacturne and Shiftry with Torkoal, switched with Pikachu for his Sharpedo and then brought back Torkoal for Absol.

Pokemon Ruby - Final Team

I could have trained even longer, but this would have to do.

Next up was Pheobe, who used Ghost Pokemon. This time, I didn’t have any type advantage, so I ended up using mostly Torkoal and Glalie, my two most powerful Pokemon. I had one of my team members faint, but I had plenty of items in stock to heal after the battle.

Pokemon Ruby - Glacia

It’s like she was destined to become an Ice trainer.

After that, it was time for Glacia, who used Ice types. Pikachu did some major damage here, but I had to switch him out for Growlyle, who handled the two Sealeos with Mega Leech. Overall, this member of the Elite Four was the hardest.

Finally, I fought Drake, who was, obviously, a Dragon Master. This part was the easiest. My Glalie swept through his entire team without any trouble.

The End of the GameBoy Advance Chapter

After the elite four, I went to the final room, but didn’t heal and ended up fighting Steven mostly out of PP on my most important moves. Even so, thanks to some switching around and item usage at key moments, I got through it and came out on top. I also had a type advantage against most of his Pokemon, so that helped a lot.

Pokemon Ruby - Victory Screen

I don’t have to manually edit the victory screen any more.

The League was, again, won, and the GameBoy Advance chapter of my Follow Ash challenge is now over. Even though I ruined my Pikachu, this will probably be my favorite part of the challenge.

Pokemon Ruby - Ending

There’s a proper ending sequence.

Sadly, I now have to move on to the Nintendo DS, which means I wont be able to fast-forward as much. What’s worse is that I probably won’t be able to play the game on weekends, since my laptop isn’t really up to par for DS emulation, so I can only play it on my PC, which I don’t have access to during weekends. What I’m saying here is, I won’t be completing Diamond/Pearl or Black/White as fast as I did the first three generations.

Pokemon Ruby - Cover

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?

Pokemon Ruby - Cover

If you play a Pokemon game on an emulator, trust me when I say this, you do not want to start it up on a weekend. Well, maybe you do, depends on your priorities. I started playing Pokemon Ruby on a Saturday and I ended up playing all the way up to the Petalburg Gym in a single sitting. Just to elaborate, this is the fifth gym.

The Start of Ruby

As I sad in my previous posting, I picked Treecko, just like Ash did and then I caught a Pikachu with cheats, before genetically modifying it to resemble my Pikachu from Pokemon Crystal (i.e., I used cheats). Because of this, I didn’t train Treecko to much on my way through the first three cities.

Pokemon Ruby  - Zigzagoon

I’ll admit it, I used an HM slave this time. It’s just to annoying without one.

Yup, the first gym you can challenge is way up in Rustoboro City, which is the fourth city of the game and also the large metropolis of Ruby. Little Root Town is the starter town of the game, while Oldale city is the next town over. Petalburg is the third city and it does contain a gym, but it’s owned by the main character’s dad and it can’t be challenged until you get four badges.

Mind Blown

This led me to a realization which, in hindsight, should have been obvious. In the anime, Petalburg is the first gym Ash challenges, but he doesn’t get a badge and also has to return to it later. The reason he doesn’t get it is because the gym leader’s son poses as a gym leader and ends up wasting everyone’s time, more or less. Basically, Ash ends up fighting and sort of defeating the main character of the third Pokemon game generation.

Catching Taillow

Overall, Pokemon Ruby allows for quite a faithful following of the anime’s story. I caught my Taillow in Petalburg Woods, just as Ash did in the anime. I also basically started with Pikachu and Treecko, just as Ash did. This means the first two gyms, Rustobro and Dewford had me in the exact same situation Ash was in.

Pokemon Ruby - Rustboro

Rustboro is the huge city of Ruby, but only in appearance. The important buildings are in later cities.

In Rustboro, I also had my first encounter with the game’s bad guys – Team Magma. Pokemon Ruby (and Sapphire) sort of mix things up when it comes to bad guys. There are actually two different teams – Team Aqua and Team Magma. While both teams have some strange ideas, in each of the two games, one of the teams is portrayed as the bad guys, while the other team fights them. This ties in nicely to each of the game’s colors, with the red Ruby going with Magma and the blue Sapphire going with Aqua. This also ties in to the two legendaries of the game.

The Rustboro gym was easy to deal with, since it was rock based.  The second gym, in Dewford Town, wasn’t as easy with mostly fighting types, but overall, picking the grass starter puts you in a very favorable early position compared to Pokemon Crystal, I think.

Cheating with Everstones

Of course, by this time, I had to start cancelling evolutions, so I ended up doing some more magic with Enciclopedia Pokemon and gave an Everstone to both Treecko and Taillow. Sure, it’s cheating, but it also means I won’t be using any attack boosting items, so it’s not like I’m actually improving my odds. I’m just making the circumstances less annoying.

Pokemon Ruby - Taillow

Taillow and its evolution, Swellow, have a good speed and attack.

The third gym was all the way in Mauville City, which means I did a half circle around the Hoenn region by now. This one was focused on the Electric type, so again, Treecko was very useful. Sadly, I had to deviate from the anime now. By this point, Ash already had a Corphish, but I can’t catch one until I get  the Good Rod, which only happens after the fifth gym.

Mauville City also contained a Game Corner as well as a bike shop, which offers two types of bikes in this game – the Mach Bike and the Acro Bike. I picked the Acro Bike at random, but I didn’t really care about it, since I won’t be using bikes for anything in this challenge.

Team Magma on Mt. Chimney

Before I could get to the next gym, in Lavaridge, I had to do almost an entire circle through the Hoenn region. First, though, I went to Verdanturf Town to try my luck with a contest (Pikachu won in the cool category) and to create a shortcut through the nearby cave with Rock Smash.

After that, I went back to Mauville and then further north towards Fallarbor town and further towards Meteor Falls. This is where I met up with Team Magma again, which then lead me to Mt. Chimney, where I finally had a proper boss battle with their commander. After that, I could access the Jagged Pass and finally get to Lavaridge.

Pokemon Ruby - Mt. Chimney

Cut scenes! A first in the series!

The Lavaridge Gym was, naturally, Fire based, so I didn’t have any type advantage. What I did have were a well-trained Pikachu and Taillow, so it wasn’t too hard. After I beat the gym, I immediately rushed back to the Fiery Path to get my next team mate – Torkoal.

Torkoal and Petalburg

Torkoal will be the heavy hitter and the tank of my team. It’s basically the first Pokemon with high level stat values I was able to get in this challenge, so I was very much looking forward to catching it. I spent some time to make him catch up in levels with the rest of my team, so now I had an amazing Fire sweeper.

Pokemon Ruby - Torkoal

This thing is amazing and it looks cool to.

It was now time to go to Petalburg to beat Ruby’s dad (remember, I’m Ash), so that’s exactly what I did. The Petalburg gym had a lot of Pokemon with varied types, but most of the trainers had only one Pokemon in their party, so I was able to go back and heal as often as I wanted. As expected, Torkoal was amazing in the final battle agains’t Ruby’s dad, being able to survive most of the hits which would one-hit any of my other Pokemon.

I had my fifth badge and I had about four or five hours of play behind me, so I finally decided to take a break here.

Pokemon Ruby - Cover

In my last post about Pokemon Ruby, I made a plan I’ll be following during this part of the challenge, so after that, I’ve spent some time figuring out how exactly I can follow this plan. The issue is, while the DS games have an excellent set of save editors, even one that’s completely online and can create ready for use and completely legitimate Pokemon out of nothing, this isn’t the case with the GameBoy Advance games. Heck, even the GameBoy generation has a large selection of tools.

It took me a while, but eventually, I found the tool for me.

Enciclopedia Pokemon – A Generation III Save Editor

I tried a couple of different editors, most of which are Japanese in origin, clearly not made for the western region and very poorly translated. The Pokemon Encyclopedia, however, is perfect. It has a nice and simple interface with a bunch of extra features as well, it works, and it does what I need it to do.

Pokemon Ruby - Treecko

The choice of starters was much easier this time – there was no choice.

I did what I did with Pokemon Crystal. First, I started a fresh game in Ruby and picked Treecko as my starter, according to the plan. Then, I played through all the way to the point where I was able to freely roam between Littleroot and Oldale town. Then, I googled and found some Pokemon Ruby Gameshark cheats. Most importantly, the one for infinite pokeballs in the first PC slot, and the one which causes Pikachu to be the only Pokemon that appears in the wild.

The code for 99 Pokeballs in PC Slot 1:

[code]BCDEC2FB 74886C64[/code]

The code for making Pikachu appear in the wild:

[code]39E924C4 4136A9DD
9D4A1BFF 05120D39[/code]

With that, I had a brand new level 2 Pikachu in my party.

Pokemon - Pikasav

My Pikachu’s stats in Pokemon Crystal.

Next up, I opened up Pikasav and loaded my Pokemon Crystal save. I took note of Pikachu’s stats in there. The mechanics change a lot between Generations 2 and 3, so I had to do some calculations.

IV – Inherent Value

Believe me when I say I’m no expert and this might be completely wrong, but the way I understand it, Individual, or inherent value, the way I call it, means the potential a Pokemon has. In the first two games, the IV’s ranged from 0 to 15 for each stat, and the higher an IV was for a single stat, the higher that stat would be as the Pokemon gets stronger. In generation III, the IV range increases to 0-31, and the formula changes to, but instead of stressing about it to much, I just doubled all of the IV values for my “reincarnated Pikachu.

Thus, I ended up with 14 for his HP, 30 Attack, 22 Defense, 4 in both Special Attack and Defense and finally, 28 for speed. My Pikachu will end up being physically tough and extremely fast. All of this is translated from back

in Pokemon Yellow, where I assume Pikachu’s stats where the way the developers imagined them in the anime.

EV – Effort Value

Effort value, unlike inherent value, can be trained. Each wild Pokemon my Pokemon manages to defeat increases his effort value in some stat by a few points. Each Pokemon can collect a total of 510 effort value points combined, so hardcore Pokemon fans actually do EV training to maximize the strengths of their Pokemon. To maximize a single stat, you need to invest 252 points into it, so the option is to maximize two selected attributes of a Pokemon, or to spread the 510 points in some other way between the attributes.

Now, this mechanic was introduced only in generation 3 and before that, it was completely different, so I couldn’t really transfer what I had to the new game. Well, technically, I could have, but this would mean I would just end up evenly distributing all of my EVs between my Pikachu’s stats. Instead, I figured out how far along my  Pikachu was in Crystal and figured out this would translate to about 427 EV points earned up to that point. I then distributed those points between my attributes based on the already existing inherent values. Basically, the more inherent value a stat had, the more effort value it would get.

Enciclopedia Pokemon - Gen III Save Editor

The final stats of my “converted” Pikachu.

This got me 58 in HP, 126 in Attack, 92 defense, 18 in Special Attack, 16 in Special Defense and finally, 117 in Speed. I had some rounding errors, so I added the final two points to Special Attack, which is why it ended up being different from Special Defense. Now at this point, I have my doubts, since Pikachu is supposed to rock with Thunder attacks, but I have my math and I’m sticking to it. I can always grind some more if Pikachu ends up to weak.

How to Edit the Pokemon Ruby Save?

Well, as I said, I opened the Pokemon Crystal save in Pikasave, saw the stats and did the math. Then I opened the Pokemon Ruby save with Enciclopedia Pokemon and edited Pikachu’s values there. It really is as simple as that. I had one minor issue after I did this, though. Loading the game with Visual Boy Advance gave me a message about my save file being corrupted and reverting to the last save, but the game loaded up fine anyway and I didn’t find any issues.

Pokemon Ruby - Cover

It’s been some time since my last part of the “Follow the Anime” challenge, so I think it’s time to start planning for another one. Since I’ve recently attempted a Nuzlocke Challenge in Pokemon Emerald, I decided to go with Pokemon Ruby as my third generation game of choice.

The Pokemon

In the Hoenn region, Ash manages to acquire even fewer Pokemon than in the Johto region, with me being able to count only four in total. Three of those evolve during his travels through the region, but even so, that’s a tiny number. On the other hand, this might also mean I’ll have an easier time with outleveling my enemies. We will see.

The Starters in Pokemon Ruby

The three starters of the Hoenn region are Treecko, Torchic and Mudkip. While I had a tough choice in Pokemon Crystal, what with either having to start with all three of the starters via cheats or step away from the anime by only picking one, which is what I did in Crystal, there really is no choice in Ruby.

Pokemon Hoenn Starters

The hoen starters have the coolest grass type, in my opinion, though as a combatant, it still sucks.

From the three starters, Ash only gets Treecko. This means my choice is simple and I actually won’t have to cheat to have my roster follow that of the anime in this game. Of course, I’ll have to cheat to transfer Pikachu over, but that’s about it.

Treecko’s Moves

  • Pound
  • Quick Attack
  • Bullet Seed
  • Leaf Blade
  • Solar Beam
  • Agility
  • Leaf Storm

Treecko will evolve some time between gyms number four and five – Lavaridge and Petalburg. He doesn’t evolve to its final form during the Hoenn journeys.

Taillow / Swellow

The rest of the Pokemon are also relatively easy. I probably wont be able to catch all of them at the right moment, but outside of that, all of them are available in all three of the Hoenn games, I believe.

Pokemon - Taillow

I always need a flyer in my team.

The first of the remaining Pokemon is Taillow. I’ll have to catch him in Petalburg Woods if I want to follow the anime, though I could do it earlier in the game. This is well before the first gym, so I’ll have three Pokemon by the time I get there. Taillow will evolve into Swallow some time between gyms number five and six – Petalburg and Fortree.

Taillow/ Swellow’s Moves

  • Peck
  • Wing Attack
  • Quick Attack
  • Aerial Ace
  • Double Team

Of course, I’ll need a Pokemon which can learn Fly, so Taillow will have to sacrifice a move slot for that.


Corphish will be my surfer, provided I don’t miss to Good Rod needed to catch it. Ash catches it on the way from Dewford City and gym number three, to Mauville City and gym number four. I can fish for it on routes 102 and 117, or even in Petalburg Town, but I need a good rod to do it, which I can get at route 118, so I’ll probably catch it in Petalburg, after I beat its gym, which is gym number five.

Pokemon - Corphish

I can only get Corphish a bit later in the game, after I get the Good Rod.

Corphish’s Moves

  • CrabbHammer
  • Bubble Beam
  • Vice Grip
  • Harden

Harden will, of course be replaced with Surf the first chance I get.

Snorutn / Glalie

Snorunt is the final Pokemon Ash catches in Hoenn and this happens between gyms seven and eight – Mossdeep and Sootopolis. It evolves to Glalie only after gym 8, so if Phanty has anything to say about it, Glalie will probably be useless throughout the game. Then again, it’s an Ice type, which means it might be useful against any dragon masters, so I hope I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Snorunt / Glalie’s Moves

  • Icy Wind
  • Headbutt
  • Double Team
  • Ice Beam

With such a poor list of moves used in the anime, I’m seriously considering to abandon this “rule” I made up in the last game. I need variety in my team and it seems the team I’ll have in Ruby wont have it. We will see.

Pokemon - Glalie

Despite the lame appearance, an Ice type might be fun.


Though Snorunt is the final Pokemon Ash catches in Hoenn, I decided to save the best for last while writing this. Ladies and gentlemen, we might actually have a proper powerhouse in the Ruby part of the challenge. Torkoal is a tough Pokemon which I’ll be able to raise quite well, since I get it about half way through the game. I’m looking forward to this one.

Pokemon - Torkoal

I’m looking forward to getting this one.

Torkoal’s Moves

  • Flamethrower
  • Overheat
  • Iron Defense
  • Body Slam
  • Heat Wave

It’s a tough Pokemon with great moves. What else is there to say? It also get’s Flamethrower very early, so it will be kicking ass  throughout the game.

In any case, this is the plan for Pokemon Ruby. Right now, I need to figure out the best way to import my Pokedex and my Pikachu into a fresh Ruby save. Hopefully, it’s no harder than it was for Crystal, which I think was already hard enough.