Monotype A Pokémon Red Poison Run

Lavaeolus

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Having just beat Sword after being gifted it, I thought it'd be fun to return to some of the earlier games. That, and I haven't played Pokémon in a while; I didn't grab Sun/Moon or their upper versions, I never beat XY, nor did I get any of the remakes or the Black/White sequels. I guess I've been on something of an unintentional break from the series. But I was still feeling a bit of a Pokémon urge! And given those other games cost money and also I want to revisit a bit of nostalgia, I thought to myself, let's have a go at replaying Gen 1.

And if we're going back and we want to mix things up a bit, hey, Poison types seems like they'd be fun. Gen 1 is actually a little interesting here: in RBY, Poison types are the most common type, just narrowly beating Water by one Pokémon. But unlike Water, this wasn't something the series kept up; I think a little over half the Poison types in the series come from Gen 1. The type also has some Pokémon I find cool, but never actually really used in-game: Koffing, Grimer, etc. So, you know, let's remedy that.

As a little extra something to do, I'm going to set myself the goal of creating a little Living 'Dex for the Poison Pokémon in the game. Partly this is just here so I don't fall into the trap of just using Bulbasaur or the Nidorans, and instead give all the Poison Pokémon of Red their due. But also so, at last, I can truly be the master of Poison Pokémon I was no doubt always meant to be. It's sort of like catching them all, except the only thing I'm catching are plagues.

The Rules
  1. This is a Poison monotype run. No using non-Poison types, obviously, and all other rules here apply. I am making one exception, which I'll get to in a moment.
  2. We're in Set mode, boyssss. When I launched up the game I spur-of-the-moment decided to switch it to Set mode. So, uh, hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me.
  3. No trading between games. We're limited to the Pokémon we find in Red, and we can't, say, evolve Haunter. On the plus side, this does simplify the next rule a bit...
  4. Within those constraints, create the fullest-possible Poison living 'dex. Taking into account exclusives, trade evolutions, and the fact you can't breed Bulbasaur, I believe we should be finish up at -- added together -- 27 Pokémon in our party and our box. While I don't intend on facing gyms and the Elite Four with 'doubled-up' Pokémon, the reality is that this kind of inherently goes against one rule in the linked thread: 'You can't use two Pokemon from the same evolution family.' Ah well.
Part 1: A Fistful of Nidorans
We load up, and I make the most important decision: I increase the text speed. A little pro-strat I know. Professor Oak pressures me for my name, and in a fit of uncreativity, I name myself POISE. Next, of course, the ever-important rival name. I thought long and hard about what our rival should be -- what sort of menace will truly risk terrorising me and my Poison team? What, indeed, sort of horrifying monster could terrorise this whole region, Gen 1 as a whole? Anyway, two seconds later:



...But we'll call him PSYCH for short. If you're like me you probably know how this section goes pretty well, so let's jump to grabbing our first Pokémon. You may recognise it.



Bulbasaur is, of course, Grass/Poison, like most Grass Pokémon in Red. Granted, that's a pretty intuitive combination, but still! The exceptions are the Paras and Exeggcute lines, and Tangela, the only pure Grass type in the game. We'll get to them later, but that leaves half the Grass families Grass/Poison.

Meanwhile, in the dramatic first rival fight, Psych goes for the tactical mastermind plan of solely using Growl. The guy's pretty pro. But when he finally does attack he scores a critical hit while I get a few misses, forcing me to either lose face or sacrifice a potion. Obviously I sacrifice the Potion; I refuse to go down this early in the game. Rival beaten, and after a quick fetch quest, Professor Oak politely informs me that he's old and tasks me to go fulfill his dreams for him, which is just typical.

But it's an excuse to continue our Poison quest. The next Pokémon we catch is Nidoran, not to be confused with Nidoran.



After catching five male Nidoran, I get annoyed and begin cursing and lamenting the fates, only to suddenly remember that in Red female Nidorans have a lower spawn chance. This is one thing Red has over Blue, fortunately. Worst comes to the worst, there should be a trainer who wants to swap Nidorans and a trainer that'll give a Nidorina for Nidorino; much better to be dealing with a surplus of males than the opposite. So, if need be, all I need is just one little female Nidoran, drastically reducing the grind. It's low chance, but this shouldn't be too bad, right?



OH SWEET RELEASE I NEVER WANT TO SEE A RATTATA EVER AGAIN. Ahem. Anyway, that should do for now. There's a rival fight up in this route, but before we do that I'd like to assemble the rest of the team and, while we're at it, get some levels.

My first encounter of Viridian Forest is a Pikachu, a Pokémon I should note was annoyingly elusive the first time I played this game and actually wanted it, and now comes here to taunt me. Our first relevant encounter is the ever-impressive Kakuna:



Despite being in the red, it actually takes about 5 of my Poké Balls to nab him. Sadly for Kakuna, he's going straight in the box. What we need to do now is grab two Weedles, and we'll train one up to Beedrill; it's simply going to be much easier to train a Pokemon if they can actually attack. Another little pro-strat. Once again, our choice of game should come in handy; Weedle is much more common than Caterpie in Red.

So naturally, Caterpie is our next encounter. He's not worth that much XP compared to Kakunas, but I take him out for his sheer audacity. It becomes soon apparent that I must've angered some sort of probability god. The forest's Kakuna population is being slaughtered en masse and yet no Weedle is in sight. 50% spawn rate my arse.



Eventually, eventually, one shows up. Fortunately, by this point the Kakunas have made my Nidoran powerful, powerful beyond words. Almost a little too powerful, but Weedle's quickly captured. A second Weedle occurs shortly after, thank my unlucky stars.

With that, we have all the Poison Pokémon we need for now, and thanks to Kakuna's futile resistance I just about avoided running out of Poké Balls. At this point, one of the male Nidorans has reached level 10, and I still haven't torn my way through the trainers. But fortunately, we still have one bug that needs to be put through some training, and in the meantime I can try and figure out which of my sins has resulted in this apparent karmic backlash.

Next time: The ultimate tests of strength begin, as we face showdowns with rivals, Brock, and three whole Bug Catchers.
 
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Dregran

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This is very interesting and as a user who has no idea who you are I hope you continue to update this thread for my sole entertainment.
 

Lavaeolus

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Part 2: Grass Beats Brock

Bulbasaur, a level 7 plant-dinosaur thingy.
Weedle, level 5, the ultimate trump card.
Nidoran (male), level 10, wiped out a forest.

In storage:
  • A different Weedle
  • Kakuna
  • Nidoran (female)
  • 4x Nidoran (males)

Last time, we collected the initial set of Poison Pokémon; having put some in storage, now it's time to train the others and put them to use. Nidoran's high enough for now, so it's Weedle and Bulbasaur's time to shine now.



Here's a fun fact about RBY: the super-effective notices lie to you. While the game itself calculates dual-type resistances fine enough, that doesn't apply to the messages. Weedle is a Bug-type, so he triggers the Super Effective message when doing Poison attacks, but being Bug/Poison actually takes normal damage from it.

This is, of course, a good feature, and all future generations are lesser for changing it.

On that note, Bug and Poison are mutually weak to each other in this game, taking double damage from the other's attacks. I guess it's a reference to pesticides and the like? But come Generation II, this was downplayed to Poison-types just being resistant to Bug moves. I'd be curious about the change. Maybe because so many Bug-types have a little venom or Poison splashed in? I don't know.



By the time I've wrapped up the Bug Catchers, Weedle has of course evolved into Kakuna, and with that I face my rival. Just to shame him, I beat his Pidgey with a Kakuna. A Kakuna that's one level lesser. Another blow to the food chain. After that, my Nidoran easily takes down his Charmander and Psych leaves to rethink his life.



On our way back to Pewter, I let Kakuna complete his lifecycle. With that, we've completed one family for our living 'dex! He's still kind of useless to us, though, because at this point he only knows Poison Sting and String Shot -- Metapod/Kakuna not learning Harden upon evolution in this Gen. The Generation 1 trivia train never stops, baby.

At this point I'm feeling cocky so, despite Bulbasaur maybe technically not learning a Grass move until level 13, I head into Pewter's gym. I've got a team with three whole level 10s now; what can stop me now?



It turns out that type advantages are actually pretty useful. Brock's one gym trainer starts kind of wrecking Bulbasaur with a slighly higher-levelled Diglett, so I switch him out, though not before getting off a Leech Seed. With that, Nidoran is able to take things from there thanks to Horn Attack, but not before taking enough damage to basically guarantee his death in the next fight.



I let Nidoran get taken down and then send out Beedrill. At this point I'm a bit nervous, since all Beedrill has is Poison Sting; the Sandshrew will almost certainly outdamage him during the fight, and I stubbornly don't want to use a Potion, for no particular reason.

Then Poison gets applied on my Beedrill's first attack, giving me a shot. Beedrill's Poison ticks away, as do the continual stings, whittling away the Sandshrew's health. Sandshrew is down to his last ticks of health just as Beedrill dies.



In goes Bulbasaur, on his last legs. All either enemy needs is to get the first shot off and they win, essentially. I take the gamble that it'll be Bulbasaur.

And I'm right, which bumps up Bulbasaur to level 11. Who says pointless risks never pay off?



This was maybe a little close, so I bite the bullet and get Bulbasaur to level 13, where he learns Vine Whip. But will it be enough to take down Brock?



Of course it is. The guy solely uses Rock Pokémon. In went Geodude -- got one-shot. In went Onix, it used Bide. Then got one shot. What sort of moron only uses one Pokémon type?



I didn't think we were that close, Brock.


Bulbasaur, level 14, knows a Grass attack.
Beedrill, level 10; his name secretly alludes to being a bee with drills.
Nidoran (male), level 10, still a Nidoran.

Still in storage:
  • Weedle
  • Kakuna
  • Nidoran (female)
  • 4x Nidoran (males)
 
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Gokudera

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I like the run so far. I really like your sense of humor.
I feel pretty bad for Psych, though.
Pidgey going down to a Kakuna cant be good for his ego.
 

Typhlosion

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I love this run so far. It's especially interesting to me since Poison-types don't get much love, and I plan to start a Gen I challenge of my own sometime in the (hopefully near) future. Keep it up, can't wait for more!
 

Gamoholic

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I considered doing this challenge (minus the Pokedex bit) but settled on a snake pokemon challenge in Pokémon X instead. Good luck with everything. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
 

Calaf

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Having done a Poison Monotype through Kanto myself (albeit on the remakes), I can definitely vouch for this challenge being a lot of fun.
I'm loving your style so far and I'm looking forward to seeing more of this challenge! Best of luck!
 
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