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Pokémon: Reflections on Gym Leaders

Discussion in 'Pokémon' started by Zeitgeist, Aug 4, 2012.

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Which Gym Leader was the most difficult for you, in the context of the game?

  1. Brock, Yellow Version

    22.4%
  2. Sabrina, Red/Blue and Yellow Versions

    20.0%
  3. Whitney, Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver Versions

    35.3%
  4. Clair, Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver Versions

    14.1%
  5. Blue, Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver Versions

    9.4%
  6. Tate & Liza, Ruby/Sapphire and Emerald Versions

    8.2%
  7. A Gym Leader from Sinnoh [Fantina, Volkner]

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Lenora, Black/White Version

    2.4%
  9. Elesa, Black/White Version

    3.5%
  10. Other

    3.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Zeitgeist

    Zeitgeist High Inquisitor

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    In honour of Pokémon BW2's impending English release, this is a semi-whimsical thread which examines why we like Pokémon and how we found challenging in previous games from our nostalgic childhoods.


    REFLECTIONS on Gym Leaders
    [​IMG]


    Although now we're all older and wiser, we weren't probably the most astute gamers as children, failing at stumbling blocks which would no longer trouble us. The blocks to which I refer are the Gym Leaders from past Pokémon games: from Red/Blue/Yellow to Black/White.

    I thought about posting this in the main Games forums, but this place seemed Pokémon-centric already and this thread is probably a bit too puerile to feature heavily for non-Pokémon fans. So here it is.

    Who did you find most difficult to defeat the first time around?

    Feel free to use this nostalgic thread to discuss your past experiences with the Pokémon games, and how you managed to overcome those Gym Leaders.

    My main culprits were the following:


    1. Blue from HeartGold/SoulSilver

    [​IMG]

    Blue, Green, Gary Motherfucking Oak... whatever you call him, he is a magnificent troll, and he won't let you forget it. Although G/S/C has quite a few nasty Gym Leaders, including Clair and Morty, Gary takes a special prize for having the only non-Monotype team in the game. His choice of Pokémon featured diverse combatants, from Pidgeot to that stupid Arcanine, and all were highly leveled. Yes, his Gyarados was a lightningrod screaming for a Thunderbolt, but when you're underleveled (because fuck it, after fighting fifteen other Gym Leaders, you're want to get to Mt Silver already), STAB Waterfall hurts. It really does. Blue knows that he's the real thing – and he's damn-well going to remind you about it.

    I was underleveled because unlike G/S/C, I wasn't putting a lot of effort into level-grinding while playing HG/SS. To forget that Blue isn't just any old Gym Leader was a fatal mistake. Thank Arceus that I wasn't playing Nuzlocke, or else who knows what sort of a massacre I would have faced. And so close to the game's end too.

    2. Elesa from Black/White

    [​IMG]

    Despite its universal praise among the critics, Black/White hasn't received the greatest reception from the older generation of fans, even on DLP. In some cases, this hesitation is justifiable, since many of the Pokémon from the newer generations have been malformed and oddly shaped. However, one aspect of BW which didn't fail, in my opinion, was the Gym Leaders. They were neither too easier to beat nor boring. Elesa in particular was a utter bitch to face. Her twin Emolgas played a bloodcurdling game of "Volt Switch", the experience of which isn't too dissimilar to somebody offering you the chance of Third Base, before shitting on your face.

    The only way to destroy those winged monstrosities was to procure an Ice move (not an easy feat at this stage of the game) - or to level-up through grinding and lay the smack-down. Both prospects were equally irritating and for that, she was one of the more difficult Gym Leaders for me to take down.

    3. Brock from Yellow

    [​IMG]

    Now, I contemplated including somebody more popular like Whitney or Clair instead of Brock, but I could not disregard the struggle I had against this guy. Just hear me out. Pokémon Yellow was actually my first game; as a kid, I played it until its cartilage was crumbling and my Special, Pikachu-Edition Gameboy Color had scratches all over it from bringing the console everywhere. However, my enthusiasm didn't translate to thoughtful playing, and most of my initial days were spent in attempts to overcome Brock. Trollfreak was cruel in giving Pikachu (useless Starter against the Rock Snake) as the principal weapon of choice against Brock. My Pidgey, of course, was roadkill. Let's not even mention Rattata.

    In retrospect, a Mankey or a Butterfree would have been just what one needed. However, first-time players mightn't have known that Fighting beats Rock and would not have the foresight to specifically raise a Mankey. In my case, I had captured a Nidoran, which I eventually evolved into a Nidorino. Only then was I able to beat Brock, but the time I had used to raise Pidgey was in a vain, it seemed. I guess GameFreak was trying to impart important lessons about steep, rocky learning curves.

    .
    .
    .

    I've included a poll for interest's sake. The Elite Four and Champions have been excluded, because I thought it'd be better to focus discussion on the Gym Leaders, since the Champions were designed to be more difficult than GLs, hence comparing them against Gym Leaders would be unfair. Plus any contest involving Red would be moot; the winner there is intrinsically obvious.
     
  2. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    Somebody stated "How easily a gym leader gives you their badge is not a representation of how good they are as a gym leader", I disagree and wanted to discuss this.

    1. A gym leader's quality, in terms of "how good or bad of a gym leader they are" is a judgement about the usefulness of something based on comparison.
    2. So when we talk about gym leaders, we should ask what the gym leaders are for. I think we can all agree on the very wide definition "Gym leaders are for giving gym badges"
    3. If the purpose of a gym leader is to give badges, then how good or bad a gym leader is is relative to the amount of gym badges they gives out.

    Using this criteria, we can conclude that all of the gym leaders in pokemon games are terrible because they only give 1-2 badges over the course of the game.
     
  3. LT2000

    LT2000 Alchemist

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    Elesa's Emolga are also weak to Rock. I think you get the Rock Tomb TM in the desert. Just catch a Sandile, level it up to par with her and wreck her shit. She's only potentially dangerous on Nuzlocke runs if you get unlucky and end up with nothing that can deal with her. But that really applies to any Gym Leader in any gen, especially before the halfway point of the games. Pignite with Defense Curl/Rollout also gets the job done.

    Hm....

    Clair. Fuck that Kingdra.

    Fantina can also be a bitch in Platinum. That Mismagius is a widowmaker so early in the game. She's the only Gym Leader I can recall in any gen that forced me to use stat boosters to set up to beat her ace.

    Whitney is also a bitch. Dat Miltank.

    Crasher Wake's Floatzel can wreck you also, surprisingly good type coverage on its moveset. I always keep my early game Shinx on the team long enough to deal with him.

    EDIT: Also Liza and Tate because I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate fucking HATE double battles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  4. TMNTurtwig

    TMNTurtwig Professor

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    Whitney and Lenora trolled the shit out of me the first time I fought them, Lenora's been a bitch almost every time since as well.

    Whitney, obviously her Miltank pissed me off, but after my first playthrough of g/s/c I learned to bring a geodude or an onyx and she's been cake ever since, barring those few times where she flinch locks me with stomp.

    Lenora on the other hand... I fucking hate Lenora. With a passion. First play, she OHKO'd my starter with retaliation and my other pokemon were underleveled. I was pissed, but I grabbed a throh and was ready to give her a beating. Then, all of a sudden, hypnosis. Hypnosis every where. She has succeeded in hypnosis locking me until I die in almost every play through of white, which makes no sense for a move with such shit accuracy. It should miss at least once after dozens of tries, right? Nowadays, I just grind for a sawk even if it takes for ever. The extra speed lets me kick her ass before she ever does anything.

    And yes, I am shit against normal gym leaders. Except Norman.
     
  5. LT2000

    LT2000 Alchemist

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    I think you can get some sleep cure berries in Nacrene City from Cheren. Hold one next time. I always grab a Roggenrola to tank Watchog's first Retaliate (and try to lower its acc. with Sand Attack in the one move I get due to Sturdy).
     
  6. Silens Cursor

    Silens Cursor The Silencer DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, I grew up on Yellow too - so that means I get to talk about the gym leader that royally pissed me off. Now, Brock was a contender for this, but in reality, in Gen 1, there was one gym leader that was much worse than Brock.

    Yes, I'm talking about motherfucking Sabrina.

    Her line up? Level 50 Abra, Level 50 Kadabra, Level 50 Alakazam. The Abra was nothing - I had power-trained my Haunter/Gengar high enough to take care of that thing in one hit. And normally, the Kadabra wasn't much of a problem either. But if you're trying to outspeed a fucking Alakazam who ALWAYS uses Psychic as its opening attack, particularly in Yellow before Psychic got balanced by the intro of Dark and Steel, you're going to run into a lot of problems.

    I don't remember playing Yellow a lot, but I do remember hurling my old GB Pocket Colour across the room at least twice because of that fucking bitch Sabrina. Seriously, lady, go fuck yourself on a trio of bent spoons.
     
  7. LT2000

    LT2000 Alchemist

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    Yeah, Psychic was flat-out broken in the original generation.
     
  8. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    God damn you people. Now I have to start another Nuzlocke Run.

    Also, Clair. Because fuck dragon type.
     
  9. LT2000

    LT2000 Alchemist

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    Well, more specifically...fuck Kingdra. Most dragons can be trolled by Ice. Not that piece of shit.
     
  10. Poytin

    Poytin The Arby's Hipster DLP Supporter

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    I'm going to have to agree with the Brock pick by Lutris because Yellow was also my first game.

    Finally beat him with my level 28 Pikachu and level 27 Pidgeotto. No I'm not kidding.

    Liz and Tate are also pieces of shit.
     
  11. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I voted for Sabrina from Gen1, siply because of how retardedly hard I found it to navigate her gym. I found it hard (read; I didn't even try) to keep track of which leads where, so I couldn't leave after beating some of her trainers to heal. Getting in and out took me about x50 longer than actually beating Sabrina.

    Generally in Gen1 (my most played) Blue is much harder to face than Gym leaders or the E4, simply because his team can't be steamrolled by a single poke with type advantage.

    Edit: I never had problems with Brock in my Yellow, because I <3 Buterfrees, I always get one when I can.
     
  12. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Alchemist

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    The Tate and Liza fight from Emerald was a fucking nightmare. It wouldn't be as big of a problem if the double battle mechanic wasn't obviously new at that point. Having to switch out a fainted pokemon in the middle of the rotation, only for the sub to get hit by earthquake from fucking Claydol, is horse shit.

    Actually, any gym where you pass through the city before you can challenge the gym is irritating, because they'd usually have pokemon that are higher leveled than mine. Fantina from D/P/Pt is a good example.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  13. MattSilver

    MattSilver The Traveller

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    There's usually one or two per generation. Back in R/B/Y it was probably a tossup between Koga and Sabrina (Yellow version made them both worse, of fucking course. And Sabrina in FR/LG managed to wipe out half my team in a Nuzlocke run once; that wasn't fun). G/S was Whitney and Clair, no competition (bitches). In third gen, gotta be Norman, because he's seriously in the worst place unless you've powerleved already (Because there's no big training ground after Flannery, and his Pokemon are utter cunts if you don't have fighting types, and even if you do sometimes). Fourth gen, none really stand out as bastards, especially given they're overshadowed by Lucian and Cynthia: The Unholy Duo. Fifth gen, Elesa was an exercise in using a fuckload of Super Potions in my Nuzlocke run, and I had a bit of trouble with Drayden/Iris in both versions. Stupid dragons.
     
  14. LT2000

    LT2000 Alchemist

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    Koga? Really? I can't recall any time where I've ever had any difficulty whatsoever with him. Poison is such a garbage type. Misty can be an annoying bitch though. That Starmie can bring the rape, especially if you took Charmander. I also have never had any trouble destroying Lucian in the Sinnoh games, though I guess I ought to try doing it on a Nuzlocke run where I might not have something tailor-made to troll Psychics before I claim that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  15. TRH

    TRH Seventh Year

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    I voted Blue HG/SS, because when I went up against him I didn't have a good Gyarados counter. Up until that point in the game I really hadn't had any trouble using Meganium's Reflect and Synthesis to keep ahead of Gyarados' damage while wearing it down with Body Slam, but with Blue that failed for two reasons:

    1. His Gyarados had Dragon Dance, and after two or three boosts Reflect wasn't enough to protect me from his attacks.

    2. He had a shitload of Full Restores, so I couldn't wear him down.

    In the end, I had to resort to Specs-boosted Psychic from Espeon to win, and I'm pretty sure that I needed a crit to come out on top. I had plenty of trouble with Whitney GSC too, but I eventually realized that she could be done to death easily by having your starter kill Clefairy with Fury Cutter. By the time Clefairy dies and Miltank comes out Fury Cutter should be strong enough to OHKO. As for Liza and Tate in Emerald...I always picked Swampert just to get past those two.
     
  16. Exile

    Exile High Inquisitor

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    I just remember when I got yellow for my first Pokemon game I didn't utilize strategy at all. Pikachu just wasn't cutting it so I spent a really really long time grinding my pidgey into a pidgeotto and then whooped up on Brock.
     
  17. Koalas

    Koalas Squib Prestige DLP Supporter

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    In a normal playthrough the only gym leader I've had real trouble with is Whitney and that goddamn Miltank.

    Nuzlocke's though, Fantina takes the cake. Bitch has stopped 3 Platinum runs in their tracks. Its still the one Pokemon game I have NEVER been able to Nuzlocke. (Though Elesa without a ground type is a close second)
     
  18. LT2000

    LT2000 Alchemist

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    I'm glad I'm not the only person who loathes Fantina.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  19. EmbroElite

    EmbroElite Disappeared DLP Supporter

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    For Elesa in B/W I had trouble until I decided to open with a pokemon who knew Stealth Rock so that whenever the Emolga use Volt Switch they take a good chunk of damage.
     
  20. Solomon

    Solomon Heir

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    Whitney. All the damn way. There are other leaders who have given me trouble in the past, but none quite so consistently as Whitney and her fucking Miltank.

    I've even brought Geodudes a few times, but I still always have a shitload of trouble with her. Maybe I just didn't grind them enough or something, I don't know.
     
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