News Roundup: Shiny Rayquaza, Ronda Rousey, Constantine

It’s hump day but already, a lot has happened this week!  Unless you frequent the Pokémon subreddit or Serebii, you may have missed the news on the SHINY Rayquaza event happening as of today, August 12!  That’s right, this is no ordinary level 70 Rayquaza.  It’s the shiny form and it knows Dragon Ascent, therefore allowing it to Mega Evolve.  There’s no time frame set so hop on the Mystery Gift and receive this rare beast via an Internet connection.

Shiny Rayquaza
Shiny Rayquaza
Dragon Ascent --> Mega Rayquaza
Dragon Ascent –> Mega Rayquaza

Earlier this week, famed Pokémon/DBZ/WoW nerd and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey did an Ask Me Anything (AMA) and it was nothing short of glorious.  She named the fighting Pokémon Throh as her ideal opponent in the octagon and stated that she rather train with Vegeta than Goku in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.  She named Kitana to be her favorite Mortal Kombat character and we all know Mew is her favorite Pokémon.

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Throh
Throh

Big news for DC Comics TV universe.  Actor Matt Ryan has received the green light to reprise his role as Constantine on Arrow.  Some speculate that his involvement will help revive a deceased main character on Arrow.

Matt Ryan as Constantine
Matt Ryan as Constantine

Now it’s time to turn on ORAS and land a shiny legendary!

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Top 5 Weird Pokémon Evolutions

Evolutions (Leveling up, specialty stones, trade, etc.)

No one really questions the biology behind certain Pokémon and their evolutionary stages.  You simply power on the game, collect 8 badges, defeat some whack job criminal organization and become Champion.  Well, Nerd Swole broke down selected evolutionary lines and decided to bring you the Top 5 Weird Pokémon evolutions that GameFreak expects you to accept.

1. Three for One

Diglett is the tiny mole-like Pokémon that pops its head above some dirt and leaves you wondering what lies underground.  Upon evolving into Dugtrio, three heads with some attitude come together to exist as one entity.  Magnemite and Magneton are the same case.  So theoretically, find three wild Magnemite, glue them together and voila.  You now have the lazy man’s version of Magneton.

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Magnemite Magneton

2. Bro

The concept behind Slowpoke –> Slowbro was first introduced in the anime.  Once a Shellder bites on a Slowpoke’s tail, both beings create the bipedal Slowbro.  Slowbro does all the eating and feeds its leftovers to the Shellder latched on its tail.  Should the Shellder fall off, the Slowbro becomes Slowpoke once again.  This reversal is nonexistent in the games.

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Yet, check out Mega Slowbro.  The Shellder threatens to devour the pink guy.

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3. Shell Shock

Imagine a snake shedding its skin and then, that skin becomes a separate, living entity.  That somewhat describes the concept behind Nincada –> Ninjask and Shedninja.  Shedninja happens to be a shed exoskeleton.  It’s deemed a ghost type, implying that it once lived although GameFreak doesn’t consider ghost Pokémon to be dead.  Imagine if the shell of a Metapod left by a Butterfree became a Pokémon?

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4. Software Upgrade

Porygon is a result of programming code.  You’ll never see it or its evolution line in the anime thanks to Pikachu’s electrical attack that triggered seizures on young Japanese children.  Each stage is allegedly an upgrade, yet Porygon Z appears to be a failed, erratic glitch.  So it’s like getting the latest smartphone with all the glitches?

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5. Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

Vanillite –> Vanillish –> Vanilluxe

This evolution line looks someone at Cold Stone picking between “Like It”, “Love It” and “Gotta Have It”.  Someone a GameFreak was probably enjoying some ice cream when it hit them to turn the tasty treat into a Pokémon.  Just looking at any of the 3 will probably compel anyone to take a lick.  Is that weird?

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Do you agree with our list?  Feel like there are even weirder Pokémon out there?

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Diancie – Exclusive Event Pokémon

Here’s your chance to add an event-only Pokémon to your collection in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (ORAS)!  Starting on July 24 and ending on July 27th, you’ll be able to receive the dual type, Fairy/Rock Pokémon known as Diancie.  It will be available to you as along as you can connect to the Internet in-game. It will know the following moves:

Dazzling Gleam

Protect

Moonblast

Diamond Storm

Diamond Storm is probably the one move we all want to see in battle.  It has the capability of raising Diancie’s defensive stat by one for each Pokémon that it hits.  The probability is 50% for each Pokémon hit and it’s a powerful Rock type move with a base of 100.  This is complimented by Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) since Diancie is part Rock type.

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The fun doesn’t stop there.  According to a video on the Pokémon website, you’ll receive Diancie’s Mega Stone at a Pokémon Center.  Its Mega evolution has the highest base stat total of all Fairy and Rock type Pokémon.


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Don’t miss your chance to get this event-only exclusive Pokémon.

Here’s the video promoting the event:

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Funko POP – Funko POP Everywhere

Funko POP Vinyl Figures can be found everywhere,  You may have noticed that there are POPs for just about every franchise known to man,  If you can name a franchise that isn’t in POP form, chances are it will be soon.

What is it that makes these 3.75 inch figures so adorable and collection worthy?  Really, it’s a number of reasons.  The usual price tag is $9.99 and the availability throughout retail stores helps.  Their lines include popular franchises such as Star Wars, Breaking Bad and Harry Potter.  In addition, notice the huge, square head with black beady eyes and no visible mouth.  These figures can pretty much sit in an office, a room or in a box amongst others of its kind.

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For those that are serious collectors, the figures in an unopened box are a must.  Some figures have been discontinued while others were distributed in limited quantities.  At San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), Conan O’Brien held his TV show and distributed four variations of his persona in POP form to members of the audience. Each one goes for at least $100 on eBay and the set of four is easily listed at $600 or more.

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Think this is crazy? Check out some of the Freddy Funko POP variations.  These are usually released every year at SDCC in extremely limited quantities.  As the years go by, the usual asking price on eBay is a whopping $1000 or more!

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Nerd Swole recently experienced the long lines and craze for Funko POPs in our recent trip to SDCC.  We were given a checklist of which Funkos we wanted and in the end, we got most of the items on our list.  Sadly, some POPs sell out rather quickly.  The tiny SDCC sticker on the box is what makes them so sought after as they are labeled as “exclusives”.

Notice the SDCC logo
Notice the SDCC logo

While we could never dream of possibly ever collecting all the POPs variations in existence, we do feel these figures make a great gift for any age.

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Top 5 Questionable Pokémon Game Mechanics

The Top 5 Questionable Pokémon Game Mechanics is a list of some of the things we probably never questioned about the Pokémon games.  They are in no particular order and we invite you to chime in with your thoughts.  We at Nerdswole would like to know if you’ve ever pondered any of the following:

1.Fainting and Capturing Wild Pokémon

In theory, the best way to capture a wild Pokémon is to bring its health bar down to red along with a physical ailment of some sort (sleep, paralysis, frozen, etc.)  However, wouldn’t a fainted Pokémon be easier to catch?  It no longer has the will to battle and it won’t flee, so you could just chuck a Pokéball at it.  We think this game mechanic is probably for ethical reasons.

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2.HM Slaves

HM01 (Cut) always bothered us because we asked ourselves how is it possible that a small tree impends our quest to become a Pokémon Master?  In addition, some parts of the game require multiple HM moves for complete progress.  Thankfully, some Pokémon such as Linoone are the Jack of all trades in a sense.  That Pokémon occupies a slot in your party of 6 and chances are that it isn’t a part of your competitive team.  Therefore, you’re burdened with making a switch every time you need HM moves.

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3.10 Year Olds > Villains

How does a 10 year old trainer halt the heinous acts of an evil organization such as Team Rocket?  Easy, by taking on members in Pokémon battles.  Realistically though, why do these grown adults stop in their tracks?  We think it’s because a young and bold trainer makes these evil doers realize the error of their ways.

Just win and even buff dudes back off
Just win and even buff dudes back off

4.Gym Leader difficulty

In most generations, you start your humble beginnings in a small town with a Pokémon Lab.  You’re given your first starter at level 5, now go out and make everyone proud.  Sure, the initial wild encounters are Pokémon around the same level and these levels increase as you progress.  The same concept applies to gym leaders.  However, what about other trainers from other cities?  What if you’re not Ash, from Pallet Town but Maxwell from Lavender Town?  Therefore, your first gym would probably be Sabrina, in Saffron City.  To remedy this, we believe gym leaders have various teams, corresponding to the skill level of each challenger.  This can be seen in Pokémon Origins when Red battles the Pewter gym.  Brock sees that Red is  rookie trainer and battles accordingly.

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5.Owning Legendary Pokémon

In the games, you come across stories and hints regarding legendary Pokémon.  With progress, you eventually encounter and capture these mythical beasts.  These Pokémon are designed to be more powerful and godlike.  Now, you own them and no one questions this.  The bringer of rain, Kyogre,  nearly flooded half of Hoenn but now it’s yours to control.   Therefore, you now control the rain!  Yeah, no one is bowing at your feet.  Just go about your business and make mom proud.  We think this is possible because legendary Pokémon are mostly, one of a kind.  Therefore, few living souls have ever seen them, further adding to the divinity and mystery.

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Can you think of others?  Pokémon fans, please like us on Facebook! And follow us on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest!

Top 10 Most Frustrating Pokémon To Catch

Catching Pokémon to fill up the PokéDex is no easy task as there are unofficially 721 entries.  You would think running into a wild Pokémon, weakening it and chucking Pokéballs is all there is to it.

WRONG!

There are in-game mechanics such as event Pokémon and trading Pokémon from other versions.  However,  I’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Frustrating Pokémon to catch.  Some individual Pokémon are listed and some are grouped together based off similarities.  Some of these involve elaborate, step by step processes. So if you’re playing this game blindly, you’re going to be running in circles.  A strategy guide or the Internet help a lot here.

Top 10 Most Frustrating Pokémon To Catch

1.Abra

This was the first Pokémon that came to mind (psychic types, eh). Abra only knows teleport so your best bet is to chuck a Great Ball or higher and hope for the best.  An alternative method is to save up enough coins at the Celadon Game Corner to buy one as a prize.

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2.Mewtwo

You just beat the Elite Four and your rival.  Now what?  Well, head over to Cerulean Cave and try your hand at a level 70 Mewtwo.  The easy way out is to use a Masterball.  The manlier, alternative method involves weakening it and praying that it doesn’t use Recover.

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3.Safari Zone Pokémon (Dratini, Chansey, Kangaskhan, Scyther, Pinsir, Tauros in Generation I)

Forget weakening these wild Pokémon.  You can only use bait or rocks.  The former decreases the likelihood of capture whereas the latter increases your chances.  If you stall for too long, that Pokémon runs away.  You’re only given 30 Safari Balls and 500 steps so anticipate multiple trips.  The hardest ones to find include Chansey, Scyther, Pinsir, Kangaskhan and Tauros with an appearance rate of 4% or less.  Oh and don’t forget they’re exclusive to the Safari Zone.  Just how did Ash catch 30 Tauros in the anime?

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4.Self-Destructing Pokémon

You encounter a wild Graveler or Electrode. You don’t necessarily plan to use them competitively but might as well catch them for the PokéDex right? The worst part is when these Pokémon Self-destruct in your face.  Like really bro?  Captivity is that bad to prompt the use of that move?

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5.Porygon

Exploit the infinite item hack in Generation I, buy all the coins and treat yourself to a nice Porygon.  There is no such thing in Generation II.  Either try your luck at the Celadon Game Corner or save up money and buy coins but that’s really time consuming.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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6.Roaming Pokémon (Raikou, Entei, Latios, Latias, etc.)

This is now an extensive list. These Pokémon can appear in any patch of grass and change location every time you enter a new area in the game.  The easy way out is to use a Master Ball.  Otherwise, prepare for a Pokémon that will try to flee on the first turn.  If you’re looking for the competitive specimen (EVs, IVs, nature), you’re going to have a tough time.  These stats are locked in the moment from your first encounter.

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7.Feebas

The Feebas to my Magikarp, the Milotic to my Gyarados.  Feebas is unique in terms of encountering it in the wild.  In generation III, this wimpy looking fish appears in 6 out of 436 water tiles on route 119 while fishing.  In generation IV, the probability is 4 out of 528 water tiles in Mt. Coronet.  The 6 tiles vary by whatever trendy phrase you come up with in Dewford Town.  The 4 tiles in Mt. Coronet change daily.  Therefore, once you find a Feebas, stock up on them and you’re in the money.

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8.The Regis

Arguably, the Legendary Golems Regirock, Regice and Registeel are by far the most annoying Pokémon to catch.  The process is so extensive, you wonder just how did the game developers come up with such a dastardly way to torture gamers?  You can read more about the process here.

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9.Drifloon

This Pokémon isn’t hard to catch.  What makes it annoying is the specific conditions that have to be in place for you to catch one.  First, you must have already defeated Team Galactic at Valley Windworks in generation IV.  Secondly, only one appears every Friday.  If you’re really desperate, just set the in-game clock to Friday.  Otherwise, it’s easy to forget to head over on Fridays to add this balloon to your collection.

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10.Combee (Female)/Litleo (Male)

Vespiquen and Pyroar look cool but no true competitor would think to add these Pokémon to their team.  From a collecting standpoint, getting these final evolutions could take a while.  In generation IV, you have to slap a honey tree, wait at least 6 real life hours and see what appears (changing the in-game clock has no effect on this).  The Combee gender ratio is 87.5 male to 12.5 female and only the females evolve into the queen bee.  As for Pyroar, if you want the mane bearing alpha male, only 1 in 4 Litleos are male.

combee

400px-Pyroar

Are there other Pokémon that you feel should be included in this list?  Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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Pokémon Origins is Everything

Being Friday, I would like to flashback to an exciting time in our childhoods.  Remember playing and beating Pokémon Red and Blue for the first time?  Then, when it came to the anime, Ash was a scrub and lost at the Indigo League.

You had one job
You had one job

Fast forward to late 2013 with the 6th generation release in Pokémon X and Y.  While these games were amazing and I loved the mega evolution concept, I felt that my childhood concluded with the release of the 4 episode special titled Pokémon Origins.

Red and Blue( or Green in Japan)
Red and Blue( or Green in Japan)

This special was everything I wanted it to be.  Right of the bat, Red picks Charmander as his starter.  In the first battle with Blue, Charmander is easily defeated by Squirtle.  I hated losing to the rival in the games but here I think it was necessary because the rival is always supposed to be one step ahead. I was even more stoked when Red faced Brock and had a Nidoran (male) with the move double kick.  I recall that approach so well in my early days.

Less of a ladies' man, more of a serious leader
Less of a ladies’ man, more of a serious leader

Being a short special,  most of the other gym leader battles weren’t shown.  However, special events like the Fossil Maniac at Mt. Moon and the Lavender Tower rescue of Mr. Fuji were shown.  The latter is also Red’s first run-in with Team Rocket.  The death of Cubone’s mother Marowak was explicitly stated which is something I’m sure the original anime could not have done.

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My favorite sequence involves Red infiltrating and rescuing the Silph Company.  He receives a Lapras from the employees and goes on to face Team Rocket boss Giovanni.  Giovanni wins the battle with his Nidoqueen, allowing him to escape. I think this loss simply sets up the gym leader fight in Virdian City.  In a way, it illustrates how far Red has come and how fearless he is in the face of adversity.  Oh, and Red receives the all powerful Master Ball for his heroism.  One thing that stood out to me is the fact that the Red character is supposed to be 10 years old but looks more like a teenager in this special. cue Pokémon war theories

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In the 8th gym battle, Red triumphs over Giovanni with Charizard defeating Rhydon.  Giovanni admires Red’s strength and decides to disband Team Rocket for good.  Red then ventures off to face the Elite Four and rival Blue to become the Champion.  Just like the games, Blue’s title reign is shortlived.  Now, not only did Red complete the storyline quest but he managed to capture 149 known entries in the PokéDex.

Could not agree more with this
Could not agree more with this

Alas, the final nod to the games finds Red in the Unknown dungeon.   He is there to capture the 150th Pokémon in Mewtwo. Initially, we see Mewtwo wipe the floor on all Red’s Pokémon but in comes in Charizard.  Here we see what I believe is the intent of Pokémon Origins.  Charizard mega evolves into Mega Charizard X and its enormous power boosts weakens Mewtwo, allowing Red to catch it with an ultra ball.

TL;DR version: I relived my childhood playing Pokémon Red when watching Pokémon Origins.  However, I felt the special was made to promote Mega Evolution for X/Y.

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My Top 5 Random Pokémon Facts

I’m sure many of us are familiar with well known Pokémon facts.  Examples include the number pun with ArticUNO, ZapDOS and MolTRES. There is also the martial artist tribute in HitmonLEE and HitmonCHAN.  Allow me to share with you some of my favorite, most interesting top 5 random Pokémon facts.

1. Splash - Normal Type move
1. Splash – Normal Type move

Back in the day, I always wondered why “Splash” was listed as a normal type move.  It turns out the Japanese word for splash can also mean hop.  It explains why the grass type Hoppip or the psychic type Spoink can also use splash.  I suppose splash was initially used in the English versions because of its exclusive association to Magikarp.

2. Poliwag Swirl
2. Poliwag Swirl

The iconic swirl found on Poliwag is actually a nod to the visible intestine found in real life tadpoles.  The evolution line also resembles the real life Glass Frog.  This particular species has transparent skin, enabling visibility of its internal organs.

3. Azurill gender change
3. Azurill gender change

Azurill’s gender ratio is 25% male to 75% female.  The evolutions Marill and Azumarill share the same 50-50 ratio.  A female Azurill runs a 1 in 3 chance of evolving into a male Marill.  This is the only Pokémon to do this.  I think it was just an oversight.

 

4. Foreshadowing?
4. Foreshadowing?

In Red/Blue/Yellow and the remakes, a Picnicker trainer mentions that she wants to have a pink Pokémon with a floral pattern.  Perhaps game developers must have kept this in mind when the Pokémon Munna was introduced in Black and White (generation V).

5. Rhydon #1
5. Rhydon #1

Ever wonder what Pokémon was in statue form inside the gyms?  It’s Rhydon!  That Pokémon was actually stated to be the first Pokémon ever created.  It even predates its previous stage Rhyhorn.  I think its statue inside the gyms is a nod to its first one status.

Extra trivia  

Speaking of Rhydon, ever wonder why Rhyhorn’s cry sounded virtually the same as Charizard’s?  That is because in generation I, 37 unique cries were used for the 151 types of Pokémon.  Pitches, speeds, echoes and sound channels were manipulated to differentiate Pokémon cries.  For reference and nostalgia, here’s a YouTube video.

 

Thoughts?  Any random facts you would be willing to share?  Anyone want to take part in Pokémon battles?! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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Top 5 Creepy Realities if Pokémon Were Real

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if Pokémon were real?  While the concept appears highly exciting, there are some disturbing scenarios to keep in mind.  I’d like to share you my Top 5 creepy realities in a world where Pokémon are real.

1. Gambling – Throughout its run, Pokémon battles have been a subject of controversy.  Critics have said that battles promote cock fighting.  In the real world, this is essentially what Pokémon battles would be.  On top of that, the winner earns money while the loser has to scurry to the nearest Pokémon Center.  Let’s not forget the Game Corners, another form of gambling.

Gambling-Addiction-061909L2. Collateral damage -Flying and normal types seem harmless.  Now, think about fire, rock or water types.  A Pokémon battle in an urban or a suburb setting just seems like a terrible idea.  Charizard, use flamethrower, but watch for the trees!  Maybe Pokémon battle insurance could become a thing?

Imagine
Imagine

3. Minors journeying on their own – In the early days, every 10 year old trainer embarks on a journey, through the wilderness and perhaps alone.  Is a ten year old even mature enough to make day to day decisions on where to eat and sleep?  I think it is silly that a 10 year old could possibly thwart the plans of an entire criminal organization.

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4. Pokemon actually fainting – You win battles by knocking out all of your opponent’s Pokémon.  What if they can’t make it to a Pokémon Center in time and Pokémon succumb to bad injuries, poison or burn?  Think of how traumatic such a loss can be on a 10 year old.  Hopefully Pokémon Centers would still be free of charge.

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5. Eerie ghost Pokémon– Remember Cubone’s dead mother storyline from Generation I? How creepy would it be to be haunted by a dead Marowak?  I think it would also be creepy to try and capture ghost Pokémon.  By definition, they are already dead.

Probably more sinister than this
Probably more sinister than this

Can you think of any other disturbing scenarios?  Let us know what you think!

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My Top 5 Old School Pokémon Habits

Hey Swole Patrol, do you ever develop habits while playing a video game?  Being a lifelong Pokémon fan, I’ve had my fair share of habits over the years.  I would like to share with you my Top 5 habits from playing Pokémon on the Gameboy (in no particular order).

1. Pressing and holding down + B while catching a Pokémon

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I’ve heard various button combinations but I believe down + B is the most common. Basically, inputting said command would increase the likelihood of catching a wild Pokémon.  I still believe in it and chose not to test its validity because I like to think it still works to this day.

2. Saving before an epic battle! (Gym leader, organization boss, Elite Four, etc.)

High five if you can hear the theme in your head
High five if you can hear the theme in your head

This habit developed as a result of being cautious.  At one point, Gameboys relied on Double A batteries and accidental bumps would cause a battery to fly out.  Secondly, any sudden bumps to the game cartridge would cause the game to freeze, thus losing all progress. Nowadays, I like to think of saving as taking a moment to strategize or restart the battle should it go south. (0-100 real quick)

3. Raising the volume for epic theme music associated with special trainers or Pokémon

It’s go time! In my opinion, epic themes make special trainer battles much cooler.   Nothing tops the original Kanto gym leader theme though.

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4. Restarting the game file and playing with a different starter.

I’m Team Charmander (most other fire starters included).  However, upon completing the game, I got nostalgic and wanted to see how life would be like with a different starter.  Often times, this let me experiment with different type combination for my team of 6 Pokes.

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5. Fully volving the starter before anyone else

In the end, my final team of 6 ALWAYS includes my starter’s final evolution stage.  I never sent my starter to the PC because I like to believe that starter is my go-to, come through in the clutch Pokémon.  With that being said, I always like to fully evolve that Pokémon first.

It's about to go down!
It’s about to go down!

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