The Overthinkerlocke Challenge, Chapter 2: Into The Forest


We made it to Viridian City and nearly died a few times!
We made some new friends!
That’s kind of it for now!

Don’t forget to review the rules (I know I have to keep referring back to them just to make sure) if you’re not sure why I have to do particular things.

Our party at the outset of this episode is: 

  • Sheldrake (Squirtle, M, lv9) – knows Tackle, Tail Whip, Bubble. Favourite move: Bubble. Best friend: Willow. This adorable little turtle seeks academia, knowledge, and wisdom in all its forms, and travels the world looking to further his education in the hopes of one day being a professor.
  • Mercury (Pidgey, F, lvl7) – knows Tackle, Sand-Attack. Favourite move: Tackle. Best friend: Sheldrake. She went down the wrong path for a while, but now Mercury shares her wisdom with the world in an effort to make sure that nobody else makes the bad choices she did.
  • Willow (Rattata, F, lvl5) – knows Tackle, Tail Whip. Favourite move: Tackle. Best friend: Mercury. Raised as the latest in a long line of uber-chefs, Willow escaped to pursue her dream of being a famed artist. 

Our next destination lies north; before we head out on our next route, I take a short while on Route 22 to get Willow up to level 7, at which point she learns Quick Attack. She doesn’t even need to be switched out all that much, since it’s just low-level Rattata and a couple of even-lower-level Mankey (one of those would have been nice to catch instead of her, if I’m being brutally honest, but I’ll never say that to her face). You might notice, by the way, that I tend to use the singular to refer to particular Pokémon in the plural. I probably won’t be consistent about this. If anyone has any strong thoughts about correctly pluralising ‘mons, shout.

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With Willow and Mercury at level 7 and Sheldrake at level 9, I head north onto Route 2. It’s a new area, so I can catch one more friend for my team. Our first encounter is a lone Pidgey, so (with apologies to Mercury) Willow just takes it out – remember that I don’t have to catch any ‘duplicate’ Pokémon, as per rule 2, subsection 1, or something. In fact, Pidgey are… all we find for a while, but I quickly pop ahead and learn that this seems to be the only patch of grass on Route 2 before I hit Viridian Forest (a new area), so I may as well not waste the opportunity to catch something here.

After a lot of Pidgeys (enough to get Willow and Sheldrake both levelled up) we come across a happy little Weedle.

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Bobross the Weedle was formerly known as Phil, but discovered Bob Ross’s series ‘The Joy of Painting’ one day and took a new name in homage to his new idol. He can’t actually paint at all himself, but he loves to watch other artists at work, and has adopted a smooth, reassuring voice just like his hero. Upon learning that Willow is an artist, he becomes extremely excited and hopes to learn a lot from her about her work. For her part, she finds it a little bit overbearing, but she’s happy that someone thinks her art is important (unlike most of the people in her old life, who just wanted her to pack in her passion for a predetermined career path). Despite his projection of Zen serenity, Bobross has an impish nature and occasionally likes a good prank.

So we need to do some best-friend reshuffling. Bobross naturally takes Willow as his best friend; Sheldrake was the one who had her before, so Sheldrake’s best friend is now Bobross, because he respects this little Weedle’s wisdom, calmness, and love of art and creation.

Our party dynamics are getting interesting, but everybody seems to be getting along pretty well! Bobross was initially a bit fearful of Mercury (birds and worms, after all), but she quickly reassured him that she’s not only not like other Pidgey, she’s one of the most responsible and conscientious ‘mons he’s ever met.

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I pop back to Viridian and pick up a few items, blowing literally all my money. Then it’s back to the forest, taking the opportunity along the way to quickly get New Friend Bobross up to level 5 (level 4 doesn’t seem safe). In the process, Mercury also gains a level. She still doesn’t know any Flying-type moves, which I was hoping she would before the Bug and Grass focus we’re likely to meet in the forest, but we’ll make do.

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Into the forest we go, and the first capture-eligible Pokémon we meet is a Caterpie!

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_08This young Caterpie is fabulous, and knows it. Growing up as the youngest out of a heck of a lot of cousins, Ru saw all the others in his generation turn into beautiful Butterfree and fly off to live their dreams, and he knows his time is coming to become the superstar he was born to be. He struggles with feeling uncomfortable in his little caterpillar body, but he’s oh-so-aware of the fact that there’s something much more ELEGANZA just bursting to be set free. His time’s a-coming.

This means another best friend reshuffle… is this rule too complicated? Every time I catch someone new, it’s effort! I mean, I’m sticking with my rules now, but I’m maybe learning that a rule that requires you to keep altering stuff is maybe a bit impractical. Speaking of, I’m going to ask commenters to tell me what each of my team’s favourite move is, so it’ll be reset after each episode rather than on the fly. Pokémon caught in an episode will not have a favourite move until the end of that episode.

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Anyway, RuPaul the Caterpie’s a huge fan of how Mercury managed to transform herself from drugs mule to role model, so Mercury is Ru’s best friend. Willow’s best friend is now Ru (she sees some of herself in him, what with that desire to break free and live as your own spirit and all). Sheldrake’s a bit cautious around Ru’s outgoing personality, but I’m hoping it’ll be a good influence and help him come out of his shell. Ha. As for Bobross, he’s known a lot of Caterpie, and RuPaul reminds him of one particular friend he had back in the army days. (Oh, yeah, Bobross used to be in the army.)

Our assembly of friends is now five strong, but we’re about to embark on a mission that’s going to have a lot more Trainer battles from here on. I’m a bit scared. Bobross is telling me that it’ll be okay and I should basically just be calm; Mercury’s there as a reassuring presence, too, someone who’s certainly seen worse and knows we’re all OK really.

We make our way through the forest, with a couple of our friends reaching new levels; Mercury learns Gust, her first Flying move, which is handy as we move through this largely Flying-vulnerable area. Not too much to report other than one case of poisoning – Mercury, who has a pretty bad time with it as it reminds her of some of the side-effects of her former life – but fortunately I picked up a couple of Antidotes before we came in. It shakes me, though: if any of my friends get poisoned and I’m out of Antidotes, there’d be no way I could make it back to a Pokémon Centre without them dying. I resolve at this point to simply flee from any wild Weedle rather than risk it.

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Speaking of Weedle, Bobross takes the next step on his beautiful journey by becoming a cute little Kakuna. (Hey, now I have a Kakuna and a Rattata. What a wonderful phrase.) RuPaul can’t hide a little bit of jealousy that Bobross got to evolve before he did, but he’s happy for his friend. Fortunately for him, it’s not long before…

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Huzzah! One step closer to being the Butterfree you were meant to be, buddy.

We emerge from the forest pretty much without further incident, beating a few Bug Catchers fairly summarily. I will say, though, that I’m noticing I’m much more cautious than usual thanks to the knowledge that a fainted Pokémon is gone forever. I didn’t think I was particularly reckless under usual circumstances, but I’m definitely being significantly conservative-r than I have been before. Annoyingly, when we get out, we’re back on Route 2, and since we’ve already caught a Pokémon on Route 2 (Bobross, just before entering the forest), ixnay on the atchcay here.

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_04We next find ourselves in Pewter City, wherein lies the first Gym of the game. I’m feeling OK about Brock, since I’ve got Sheldrake, but I’m not going to underestimate him. First stop in Pewter is the Pokémon Centre to rest up, then to the Mart where I buy an Antidote and an Awakening because that’s all I can afford. Clock my 18-dollar fortune!

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This done, I speak to a few of the citizens (never know what goodies they might have to give out), and I was planning to pop into the Museum but I can’t afford it. Brock it is!

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This Camper has a level 10 Geodude who goes down in two Bubbles from Sheldrake, and a level 11 Sandshrew who fares little better.

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Brock is feeling… rock hard. Good to know.

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_09It’s about this point, when Brock sends out his first ‘mon – a level 12 Geodude – that I realise I may be in more trouble than I thought. Sheldrake might be able to take a rock Pokémon out within a few hits as long as it’s not a stupid number of levels above him, but he might take some damage in the process.

The Geodude, fortunately, just uses Defence Curl and is done. Sheldrake levels up and learns Water Gun (I make him forget Tail Whip). Next up is a level 14 Onix! Its first Tackle misses, and Sheldrake’s Bubble takes its HP right down into the red. Then its next move, Bind… also misses! And that’s the story of how I beat Brock.

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Don’t you mean you took me… for granite? Aaaahaha. I’ll leave.

We get the Boulder Badge and the Rock Tomb TM off Brock, mosey over to the Pokémon Centre for some healing and then back to the Mart, since we have some more money. I spend most of it on an Escape Rope – I really don’t want to get caught out in a cave somewhere. I have 83 Pokédollars left, so I toy with the idea of paying the Museum’s entrance fee, but instead I figure: beating a Gym Leader seems like enough fun for one chapter, but let’s wrap it up in style by checking out the next Route and catching our sixth team member!

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Oh, yeah, and I even get some Running Shoes while I’m on my way out of the city.

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_14We have to beat a few more Trainers to get to the first patch of grass on Route 3, but… there’s really nothing worth mentioning about these battles (save to note that one of ’em is with a kid who likes shorts because they’re comfy and easy to wear), which I guess is nice! I shouldn’t get used to it, though. Complacency kills runs, or so I hear!

We make it through the Trainers (of whom there are more than I thought, actually, but most of them are Bug-users so Mercury gets a lot of action) to the first bit of grass, where we find a Spearow who’s up for joining our merry band.

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Spearow are known for eating bugs (Bobross and RuPaul are justifiably nervous) but our new friend Bruce thinks bugs are friends, not food.

Calm of nature, Bruce has always thought that eating something that’s capable of saying its own name is a bit weird. He comes from a pretty liberal family who were happy to support his decision to go non-verbaltarian, and in fact still pops round to his mum’s house for tea most weekends. Lately, though, he’s been looking for a change of pace, something to get him out of the house and out to see more of the world, which he knows is beautiful but which he’s thus far appreciated mostly from a distance.

A good addition to the team! I do now have two Bugs and two Flying-types, though, which probably means that the next two Pokémon I catch are going to be replacing either Bobross or RuPaul, then either Mercury or Bruce. (My ruleset doesn’t say anything about being unable to store Pokémon in the PC, though, so they may make a return later.) Still, Bruce is just happy to be here, and everyone else is ecstatic that there are now so many of us all on this journey together! Bruce’s best friend will be Mercury, as they’re both birds doing something different with their lives; RuPaul, who previously had dibs on Mercury, now has Bruce as a best friend. Ru respects people who don’t do what they’re expected to do, see.

With that, it’s time to call a close on Chapter 2. It’s all going… a little too well, so far. Tune in next time when things probably go horrifically wrong!

Oh, and I need favourite move votes. Or, actually, first person to comment gets to decide everyone’s favourite move – or to tell me that the favourite move rule needs doing away with and I should either default it to their first-listed move or just say balls to the whole thing. It’s not come into play yet because nobody’s died, but we’ll get there.

Chapter Closing Stats

Badges: 1

Pokémon gained: Bobross, RuPaul, Bruce

Pokémon lost: None

Current team:

  • Sheldrake (Squirtle, M, lv15) – knows Tackle, Water Gun, Bubble, Withdraw. Favourite move: Bubble. Best friend: Bobross. An aspiring academic, Sheldrake travels the land searching for knowledge of all kinds.
  • Mercury (Pidgey, F, lvl14) – knows Tackle, Sand-Attack, Gust, Quick Attack. Favourite move: Tackle. Best friend: Sheldrake. Having escaped a life of dirty deeds, Mercury hopes to be a role model to youngsters who might otherwise choose the wrong path.
  • Willow (Rattata, F, lvl10) – knows Tackle, Tail Whip, Quick Attack. Favourite move: Tackle. Best friend: RuPaul. Chef by lineage, artist by nature. 
  • Bobross (Kakuna, M, lvl8) – knows Poison Sting, String Shot, Harden. Favourite move: TBD. Best friend: Willow. Cool, calm, collected, infinitely in awe at the beauty of the world.
  • RuPaul (Metapod, M, lvl8) – knows Tackle, String Shot, Harden. Favourite move: TBD. Best friend: Bruce. RuPaul’s always been a Butterfree at heart, and soon he’ll be one at wing as well.
  • Bruce (Spearow, M, lvl6) – knows Peck, Growl. Favourite move: TBD. Best friend: Mercury. Bugs are friends, not food.


  1. These names are killing me. In a good way!
    The favorite moves get locked if someone dies, right? Maybe just do “Tackle” on everyone who has it so that if someone gets knocked out, no one on your team can Tackle. Easy to remember, at any rate!


  2. Yeah, it seems like a lot of tracking to do for a rule that seldom comes up. Plus once your team has a lot more variety, the likelihood that multiple ones will know the same move in order to lose it will go down.


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