Sunday, August 24, 2008

I BEAT THE ELITE 4, last minute stuff for school, website thoughts, etc

On Friday night, after my parents had picked me up after I got stuck in an unfamiliar neighborhood while book hunting (more about that later), I got my player's guide out and prepared to fight the Elite Four (again, I didn't win my first attempt). I'd gotten all of my Pokemon up to level 52, since I figured getting them a little over level 50 would lessen the level difference a little. I switched out my Rapidash for my Japanese Roselia (now a Roserade because I evolved it with a Shiny Stone). I somewhat regret not bringing Rapidash because there was one Elite 4 member I knew I needed a fire-type for, so I had trained Rapidash for that purpose. But with all the types needed to combat both the Elite 4 and the Champion, I couldn't cover them all with just six Pokemon, even when I made Prynne (my Empoleon) do double duty by teaching it Ice Beam from a TM so I'd have an ice attack for Cynthia's Garchomp and Roserade. (This is a situation where I wish I had a Lapras like I do in Silver, where it's water/ice and can thus cover both bases).

First, I'll mention my training a little bit (I wish I could've made videos like Marilland, but I don't have the equipment to do so).

For Prynne, I trained her primarily in places where there were lots of rock and ground Pokémon that she could demolish easily with Waterfall and Surf. (I'd had Aqua Jet too, but I had to sacrifice it for Ice Beam, because her other moves are HM's and couldn't be forgotten). This after I used 1 Rare Candy on her because she was level 46 and so 1 Rare Candy, administered after so much hand-training, wouldn't mess her up and would help speed up the leveling process a little. So I went to one of my favorite training places, Iron Island. There are rock and ground Pokémon galore there, especially Gravelers who have a nasty habit of using Explosion on random occasions and sometimes knocking out your Pokémon. The only hitch is that they are only in the 30's and 40's in level, so you don't get a lot of EXP from them even if you 1-hit KO them, so training there takes a long time (you can't use the Vs. Seeker there either, so fighting trainers for EXP is out).

After some time in Iron Island, I went to Victory Road, which also has a lot of rock and ground types (I think all the caves in the game do, although they usually also have a ton of Zubats). These were better level to train against, and I gained a lot of EXP there. I think I got her to level 50 there. Then I used her in battles for a while and finally got her to level 52. She was the last of my Pokémon to reach level 52 for some reason. I guess Empoleon is just hard to train.

Shii (my Luxray, nicknamed "Shii" when it was a Shinx; I accidentially selected "yes" when it asked if I wanted to nickname it and so had to come up with something) was a little easier to train. I took it out on Route 223 (the waterway from Sunyshore City to the Pokémon League) and let it loose its lightning attacks on the gazillion water Pokémon (mostly Tentacruels) that populate that route. I did this a couple times, and I think I might have taken it on some other route also (I think Route 222, since I went there to try to fight that sailor Marilland trained Saik, his Alakazam, on; I also tried the beach near Lake Valor). I even re-fought some trainers on beachy areas and waterways using the Vs. Seeker. Even if the Swimmers and Tubers don't usually give you much money, I was able to get more because Shii was equipped with Luck Incense, which doubles the amount of money you get from trainer battles if the Pokémon equipped with it participates in the battle.

Rapidash, my sole fire-type, was for a long time a EXP leech (if such a thing exists). In other words, I simply gave it the EXP Share so that it gained EXP from battle even if it didn't fight. This is because fire-types don't have a lot of types to train against. They are only good against Bug, Grass, Ice, and Steel, all of which are as rare as fire-types in the games. Though I took its EXP Share off of it after a while, it did level up pretty well, though I'm not sure how I trained it; I think I had EXP Share on it at the time.

Mac, my Machoke (I still haven't found someone to trade it with so it would evolve into Machamp), was also an EXP leech for a while, since it's Fighting and I wasn't sure where to train it. But I found that Fighting is super effective against Rock, so I trained Mac in the same rock-type-filled places I trained Prynne. Since its attacks (except for Strength) are all Fighting-type, it gets a same-type attack bonus, which helps.

My Roserade (which I evolved from a Roselia I got over the GTS) didn't get a lot of special training since it was level 50 when I got it and didn't need much training. Grass is good against Ground and Rock, though, so I did train it against some of those.

Lastly, Gio (my Graveler, named "Gio" as a Geodude; again, I need to trade it for it to evolve into Golem, but I haven't found someone to do this with yet). Gio earned its EXP via the EXP Share, since rock-types, like fire-types, are only super-effective against lesser-seen types, except for Flying, which is common only in the early game and against some trainers. Ground hits electric well, but there's no one place to find lots of electric-types except Volkner's gym.

So...ANYWAY. I started the campaign while waiting for the pizza I'd ordered to come. I got distracted while fighting Bertha because the pizza arrived, and I shut off the game at that point so I could eat. But after I ate, I continued playing until after I won.

Aaron, the first Elite Four member, has Bug-types, so I used Star (my Staraptor, who got above level 50 before my first attempt at the Elite Four, which was ages ago) mostly. Having Rapidash would've been real useful here, but I'd forgotten it. But I used Gio I think too, since Bug is weak to Rock. I defeated him on the first try of my second attempt, and saved after the battle (I saved after all the Elite Four battles, so if I lost against the next person I didn't have to start all over).

Bertha was next. Unusually, she specializes in Ground-types (the other old-lady Elite 4 member I've faced, Agatha, has Ghost-types). I was prepared for her, with my Prynne for the Ground-types and my Roserade for her pesky Quagsire and Whiscash, which are both weak only to Grass. Anyway, as I said, I had to fight her twice, because I was interrupted in my fight by the arrival of my pizza. Despite the seemingly easy type matching, she was still really hard since her Sitrus Berry-holding Hippowdon seemed to be immortal and KO'd many of my Pokémon by using Earthquake (one of the most powerful moves in the game). But I did beat her, finally.

Third is Flint. This was my first time facing him, I think; I think last attempt I blacked out before I got to him. Though he's supposed to be a fire-type specialist, only two of his Pokémon are fire-type (Rapidash, which is pure Fire-type, and Infernape, which is half Fighting). His other Pokémon are Drifblim (a Ghost/Flying type), Steelix (Steel/Ground; coincidentially, Steel is actually weak to Fire-type), and Lopunny (a Normal-type, and the evolution of Buneary). I followed the player's guide's recommendations on this: Electric for Drifblim, Fighting for Lopunny, and Water for the Fire-types and for Steelix. Infernape was tough cause it kept using Flare Blitz, which hits for 120 power with 100% accuracy (meaning it never misses). I think I nearly blacked out on this fight.

Last of the Elite 4 is Lucian. Lucian is a Psychic-type specialist. Though Psychic-type is no longer super strong (like it was before Dark came along), it's still hard to type-match. The player's guide said to use Bug, Ghost, or Dark. I had planned to simply sweep it using Shii and its Crunch attack, but this didn't quite work out as planned. I think I had to use Mac or Gio against his half-Steel Bronzong anyway. His Girafarig kept knocking my Pokémon out with Double Hit. (I might have used Star against his Medicham too). So overall Lucian was very hard, and the fight came down to the wire. But I won!

After Lucian is the Champion, Cynthia. Thank goodness I'd saved after fighting Lucian, because I blacked out in my first fight with her. Instead of starting over against the Elite 4 after the obligatory "return-to-the-nearest-Pokémon-Center" scene that appears when you black out (something I really didn't want to do), I simply turned off my DS, turned it back on, and continued from my last save point, which was, as I said, in Lucian's room. So from there I went back to Cynthia for a second try.

Let me just say this: CYNTHIA IS REALLY, REALLY HARD. She's not the Champion for nothing. She doesn't specialize in a type (similar to the Champion in Red/Blue, Blue), so type-matching is not super easy. Ice-type moves work for her Roserade and Garchomp, Electric or Grass for her Milotic, Grass for Gastrodon. Her Lucario could go down to Fire-type moves as a half-Steel type, also Fighting and Ground, and Flying and Psychic due to its Fighting type. Her Spiritomb, though, is a problem, since as a Ghost-Dark type it has NO weaknesses whatsoever.

I had taught Prynne Ice Beam, as aforesaid, to deal with Roserade and Garchomp, and this worked well in that respect. Ditto for Shii vs. Milotic and Roserade vs. Gastrodon. Lucario was a real annoying Pokemon since it was so fast it kept getting to attack first (despite Speed being Lucario's second worst stat in base stats at 90, after Defense and Special Defense, which are tied for worst at 70). It kept KO'ing my Pokémon using its four majorly-powerful attacks (Psychic, Earthquake, Aura Sphere, and Dragon Pulse).

As for Spirittomb? Well, weakness-less as it may be, you can still take it down. I found this out through a little experiment. I figured that, since the thing was just a big ball of gas, that an electric attack would be super-effective on it (I think this happened when I've fought Gastlys in places like the Lost Tower, which is why I would've thought of it). And so it was. Unfortunately, Cynthia uses a Full Restore on the thing at some point (I really hate when gym leaders and the like use recovery items on their Pokémon when you least expect it) and after a while, actually withdraws the thing and sends out something else. In the end, though, electric attacks did do a lot of damage to it, as did some other type of attacks I had (My Roserade's Petal Dance, I think, which seems to do some damage to anything simply because it never misses, has fairly high power - 90 - and can continue for 2-5 turns, though it confuses the user afterwards).

Once I beat Cynthia, I was ecstatic. After playing on and off since February (according to my trainer card, I started my adventure in February), I've finally beat the Elite Four. Yess!!

After you beat Cynthia, she takes you upstairs to register you and your Pokémon in the Hall of Fame, typical procedure for after you beat the Champion (as I found when playing Silver recently). The one difference is that Professor Rowan (the Sinnoh professor) shows up to witness the event. You also learn at this time that Cynthia has been undefeated for some time prior to your win (as she mentions to Rowan). After you register you and your Pokémon, the credits begin to roll. It begins by showing your character biking down the road in the morning and then shows black-and-white pictures of the bicycle, the characters' bags, and the Running Shoes, as well as silhouettes of the starters. Then it shows your character biking again, this time during the day. Then it shows the Pokémon team you just registered in the Hall of Fame. Then it goes back to the bike scene, but this time it's nighttime. Then the credits end and the game autosaves and then restarts, bringing you back to your house in Twinleaf Town. Now, you can do all the post-Elite 4 stuff, like getting Dialga or Palkia to complete the Sinnoh Dex (you "see" it via a picture in a book in Celestic Town) and getting the National Pokédex and a bunch of other stuff you couldn't get before. You also now can do the event which causes Cresselia to roam Sinnoh (Mesprit-style) so you can catch it. Like Mesprit, it is level 50 when you encounter it, and like Mesprit, any damage done to it before it flees stays. So far, it has been easier for me to encounter Cresselia than it is to encounter Mesprit.

You also get the Poké Radar around this time; Rowan gives it to you after Oak upgrades your Pokédex to National. This can help you find some really rare Pokémon (see here for a list). Pal Park is also open to you at this time, but to get Pokémon to appear there, you have to import them from the Generation III games (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and FireRed/LeafGreen) and then catch them in a Catching Show. Also, similar to how Bill gave you an Eevee in Gold/Silver, his D/P counterpart, Bebe, will give you an Eevee if you visit her at her house in Hearthome City after you get the National Pokédex (however, you must have an empty slot in your party to receive it; if you don't, just go next door to the Pokémon Center and clear a spot--Bebe will wait). I did this today. The Eevee is level 5 and comes with the moves Tackle, Tail Whip, and Helping Hand. Mine also came with the ability Adaptability, which "powers up moves of the same type." So far, only Eevee and Porygon-Z have this ability. Since all of the moves it comes with are the same type as it (Normal), this works out (although Helping Hand is only useful for double battles, since it ups your ally's attack).


School starts at CSUSM tomorrow, and my classes on Tuesday. Because the check I received from CSUSM (which came last Thursday) was for only part of the money (I'll get the rest later, since the Pell Grant disbursement date is at a different time), I was in a bit of a pickle for getting my books. Long story short, I was able to get four of them, all of them novels I need for my Lit class, from a couple of used bookstores. I went to CSUSM yesterday to buy the package for my French book, but since I had to buy it new it was like $180. I regretted this deeply, especially since the package includes a CD for SAM, a program I used before in my CIS classes that we only ever used for reviews and tests, and a dictionary, which I don't need (I already have one). Therefore, I only really need the book and the workbook, since I don't need a dictionary and I really doubt we will actually use SAM for anything other than personal practice and such (i.e., I don't think we'll use it for homework or tests or anything).

Fortunately, when I went online to see if I could order the books I still needed, I was able to find the book and the workbook, both on their own, for around $30-$35 for the textbook and around $20 for the workbook. This is way better. So I am going to return the package tomorrow (Papa is going to take me to campus before work).

I just checked my bank statement and the purchase of the package is still in my holds, which may be a good thing. It might have been tricky if it had gone through already and then I returned the thing. I will have to ask the person who does my return what will happen, or call my bank, whichever is more appropriate to the situation. I remember when I had to cancel my Papa John's order because of a mistake in the online ordering, the bank told me that since the transaction was on hold they couldn't do anything about it, and that it was up to Papa John's whether or not to let it go through.

The reason the purchase bugged me so much is because, since I won't get paid this week (because the paycheck I would've gotten reflects last week, when I was on vacation), I need to make the money from my last paycheck last two weeks rather than one. And with that purchase, I would've only had a little over $100 for that period.

I do still need to watch my money in the next few weeks, since I need to pay Papa back for letting me use his credit card to order the rest of my books, since I didn't think I had enough money for all of them. I think that is only about $100 though. I'll also owe them the usual $90 soon (for rent and my cell phone bill), and I owe them money for buying me a new work shirt (that I might be able to pay them with this check if the return goes ok, since that was like $43).

I have learned my lesson, though, and I will try to do better at ordering my books sooner next time. Next semester, if I'm still at Stater Bros., I should receive an anniversary check around January 17th, which is close to the start of classes, so should I get stuck in this pickle again, I'll be in better shape. But then, knowing the system by then, I will probably be better with planning to have to spend money there and be able to order them ASAP after the booklist is released.


I was reading this article I found years ago that was in that old folder of mine that gave advice on making a website. It said not to try to do a general info site but to focus on a certain area. I think I can do that with Pokemon, using a site I made a long time ago and just re-discovered when scouring "Ami's Stuff," called "Misty's Piscine." That site focuses on Misty and on water Pokemon, with a full-on "Water Pokemon Database" with Pokemon from Red/Blue and Gold/Silver, the only games I knew about at the time (Ruby/Sapphire was available at the time, but I have yet to play those games).

I also want to do a personal site that features my writing; I was able to find a lot of my older writing, including old poetry, in "Ami's Stuff."

Other than that though, I am lost. Why? Because I want to cover ALL my interests. But my interests are many. Based on a combination of lists in my profiles at YouTube, Blogger, and Facebook, I have interest in anime, literature, languages, history, mythology, fantasy books, geography, tennis, reading, writing, trivia, singing, playing around on the computer, and books in general. That's a lot, and what with all the anime I've seen and the manga I've read, just that environ alone would need its own site.

I think I can narrow this down, I hope. Let's see. Well, first off, some of these things -- namely reading, writing, singing, and playing around on the computer -- are really not interests but hobbies. Besides, I plan to cover my writing on the aforesaid personal site anyway. So check those off.

"Fantasy books," "literature," and "books in general" can be lumped into one category, since "literature" is a kind of book, as are "fantasy books." The "fantasy books" listing comes from my backup YouTube account, and is somewhat deceptive as I read stuff other than fantasy books. I think I just must have been thinking of fantasy books that day. "Literature" is probably the same, as it appears on both my YouTube profiles. The "books" comes from my Facebook profile and is a little too broad of an interest. Besides, I can't see any of these being able to be covered effectively in a site (my attempt with fantasy books, a fantasy/mythology site I was planning called "Legend Became Myth," seems disorganized based on my outline for it). So scratch those.

I'm not sure why I put "geography" and "languages," which both come from my YouTube profiles. I am good at both subjects, but that is all. Also they are very broad and also kind of dull subjects for a website or even a website section. There's not much you can do with either (even my "Learn French" website, done for a tables assignment in my webpage making class, didn't seem too fun to visit or make; it took a LOT of coding). Plus language resource sites are way too common. Even "geography" in Google brings up more than 91 million results, and the top ones all appear to be educational, whereas any site I'd make would be informative, but kids probably wouldn't use it for reports.

"Tennis" came from my backup YouTube account profile. Again, like with the "fantasy books" idea (which came from the same list; so did "geography"), I don't know why I put it. I think I was trying too hard when putting in interests in the profile to list every possible thing I could be interested in. I have only a slight interest in tennis; I enjoy watching it on TV, I did a speech on it for speech class, and I enjoy the Prince of Tennis anime and manga. So I don't think I could do a whole site on it, though I could do one on POT since there's not a lot of fansites for it.

"Trivia," which comes from my Blogger and Facebook profiles, is also kind of vague. I am a BIG trivia buff. But "trivia" seems like a hard thing to do a site about. There's so much trivia out there. I'm not even interested solely in a certain category of trivia; I like trivia in general. Heck, even Ken Jennings' official site isn't devoted to trivia (I know; I just checked). It's mostly about him (as it should be in his case). So I don't think a "trivia" site is plausible.

That leaves us with anime, history, and mythology. Technically, coming up with focuses on these three things IS possible. Well, mythology might not work as a site, thanks to the mythology-dedicated monstrosity that is Encyclopedia Mythica, which has info on every type of mythology that exists. Plus, though I do like mythology, it's a heady subject to do a site about. I don't know how I would focus it. I could focus it on Greco-Roman and/or Norse mythology, my main mythology type favorites. Or I could focus it on a certain story cycle, like the Trojan War, the voyage of the Argonauts, or the tales of one of the families (Oedipus cycle, etc).

Just checked -- typing "norse mythology" into Google shows 912,000 hits; "greek mythology" gets 756,000. Egyptian mythology is even less with 577,000 hits.

Well, I'll think about that one. Moving on...

History is definitely focusable. While I claim to love history in general, I am aware that there are certain historical topics that really interest me. World War II and the related Holocaust is the big one, somewhat ignited (I think) by my reading of Anne Frank's diary, among other books. Other than this, I have enjoyed a book about Maoist China very much, and just recently read a historical novel about Japan. I also was very interested in the history of China and Japan presented in my World History book, and in the references to Japanese culture and history in my Del Rey manga volumes. So I could do a site on those two topics. I would have to plan it through more thoroughly though.

Anime (and, by association, manga) is hard because I have seen so many anime (in whole and in part) and read so much manga since the days when I made my first few anime sites, like my attempts at Pokemon sites, my Tenchi Muyo site "Ayeka's Palace," and my Sailor Mercury shrine "Liquid Mercury" (for which Amy made the most awesome logo, using Photoshop). I still say that Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and Tenchi Muyo are my favorites, but out of those three the only one I have had unwavering interest in is Pokemon. I'm not sure what sort of content I put on "Liquid Mercury" and "Ayeka's Palace," so I wouldn't know where to start for sites on those animes. Yet if I only do a Pokemon site, I'll feel like the other animes I like should get a site too.

I think I shall have to give all of this a lot of thought. Probably even sleep on it.

I just thought that maybe I can combine the history and mythology stuff into one site. Not sure yet though.

Well, I think I shall go downstairs and get some dinner. After that, I am not sure what I will do tonight. Oh, I do need to make my sack lunch for tomorrow, I guess, even though I am on a non-full shift tomorrow (11-5 - that's six hours) and won't actually have a lunch break unless they ask me to stay later. Oh well. My menu for tomorrow? A bologna and cheese sandwich on a roll, fruit slices with yogurt, and some kind of chips (I'd planned for pretzels, but I couldn't get the little tiny Snyder's bags I was looking for; I'll have to substitute). I'll have to ask Mum where those cold packs are that she says we have (you know, those things they sell to put in your lunch bag so stuff stays cold).

Wow this is a long post. (I started writing it at 2:50 PM?! That's what the post time thingie says. Yikes). Goodnight for now.

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