Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

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Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by entrpntr » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:09 am

"I have plenty of faith in Nidorino; I don't have faith in Squirtle" -- Exarion University, 2015

Opening words

Squirtorino represents the last great hope to end Nidoran’s tyranny over Red speedruns. This route should be considered for sub-1:49 attempts in the future (for 1:49 times, the Nidoran route is clearly the way to go). It’s an alternative route to consider even if you’re not going for a highly competitive time, though it might offer more enjoyment for the viewers than for the runners.

I don’t definitively know whether Squirtorino is faster, but I suspect that it is … more on that later.

Route concept

[1] Use Squirtle/Wartortle thru Lavender Tower (L33) to exploit Squirtle’s early game advantage.
[2] Catch L33 Nidorino in 2nd screen of Safari Zone (it’s the only L33+ poke, so Super Repel makes this relatively trivial).
[3] Use slightly modified (but essentially identical timewise) Nidoking route for rest of game.


I conceived the central idea for the route in December 2013. Routed from scratch and worked on and off thru April 2014 (somewhere between 150-200 hours in total) and have had a few goes at refining it since then. There were a few major revisions to accommodate Mountebank’s Koga strat and to accommodate countless other optimizations that were found. I’ve fallen way behind on optimizations that other runners will know better, so I’m leaving it here in case others want to try to build off of it, for fun or for serious attempts.

I finished 4 attempts (2:07, 2:03, 2:03, 1:59) before realizing I had no interest in grinding for a real low time. Changed to doing attempts from a save file right before picking Squirtle, and eventually managed to get a high 1:54. I figured the route on its own wouldn’t be worth much unless it was coupled with a recording of a good time, but there was some interest from Exarion and his chat a while back. With the response to my Gold thread, I figured it was time to dump this here as well.

High-level notes

Not for the faint of heart
  • Need Squirtle to have 12+ Atk, 7+ Spd, 10+ Spc (11/10/11 @ L5) to be viable (~5.3%, 1 in ~19; 1 runnable Squirtle per ~36 mins).
  • Catching Nidorino isn’t a guarantee (3/256 encounter rate, 27.5% catch rate per Safari Ball, 41% to run each turn on average speed), and is over an hour into run. Nidorinos with 0 or 1 speed DV can’t beat the game, and 2 requires a lot of luck.
  • Nidoking lategame has moderately more risk (esp w/ bad DV Nidos). However, apart from speed DV, even the worst of the worst stats aren’t crippling (Horn Drill is a saving grace, and vitamins can help too).
  • Very similar to werster’s old Blue runs w/Squirtle, but there are more runnable Squirtles since you only need him for the first half of the game.
  • Good stats required still for Route 3 and Nugget Bridge (inevitable resets/time lost otherwise).
  • Can’t gain too much experience as L34 must be avoided at Poke Flute split (1083 short of L34 w/ no wild pokemon and no optional trainers)
  • Moves taught: Tackle/Tail Whip/Bubble/Water Gun/Mega Punch/Bubblebeam/Bite/Dig.
  • Route 3 and Nugget Bridge provide great redbar opportunities early into the game. Can grind out resets for really good Bill splits and go from there if going for highly optimized time.
  • Needs at least 2 speed DV to be able to complete run, but 3 DV to be realistic (without major route change / extra rare candy / different X items). 2 DV will tie Dugtrio and Jynx,
  • More constrained w/experience; best approach is to Rare Candy immediately after catching to check stats (to see if you need Protein, more Carbos). After that, you cannot Rare Candy until before the Drowsee/Hypno trainer in Koga’s gym, or you’ll lose L43 for Cinnabar Mansion.
  • Specific Carbos, X Item, and Gym order strats are needed to guarantee outspeeds (and guarantee levels don’t nullify needed badge boosts): Blaine 5th, Erika/Sabrina 6th/7th depending on speed DV.
  • No need for Thunderbolt until Lance; no need for Earthquake after Agatha, so Thunderbolt can be taught over it then. Allows the usage of Focus Energy on Koga’s Weezing (!), and Surf in a few places to preserve PP (Blaine, Viridian Rival) / save time (Rhydons). This also allows a very large time save opportunity on Lance by YOLO drilling Gyarados, and forgoing teaching Thunderbolt as well as healing (~26 seconds).
  • Since you need to hold on to a few items (Moon Stone, TM07, TM13) up until the Safari Zone, you lose item flexibility. It’s not possible to hold on to more than 3 of TM24 / Super Potion / Potion / Full Restore / Ether / Max Ether without losing significant time somewhere.

Observations of best completed runs (Exarion, werster)

Surge / Poke Flute (leaving house) splits
  • In his Squirtle 1:54 console run, werster had 46:55 / 1:07:36.
  • 49:41 / 1:07:54 (Exarion console 1:49)
  • 48:50 / 1:07:57 (Exarion emu 1:50)
  • 49:04 / 1:08:30 (Exarion console 1:50)
  • 49:44 / 1:08:03 (werster emu 1:51)
  • 50:10 / 1:08:43 (werster console 1:51)
Guaranteed dead time post-Poke Flute in Squirtorino route vs Nidoran (~75-80 seconds with very good luck)
  • Encountering / catching Nidorino
  • Using Moon Stone, 1 Rare Candy
  • Teaching 2 TMs (Horn Drill, and possibly Thunderbolt before Lance)
  • Getting/Using needed Protein, Carbos, filler items
This is the section that makes me question if Squirtorino is actually faster (or by enough to be practical). Nidoking has a decided advantage in this section since it can safely redbar and 1-hit Pokemon. Werster’s relative time loss (to the Nido runs) in his Squirtle run from Surge to Poke Flute is organic; his luck is actually good, but his fights are longer and he doesn’t use red bar. This appeared to be the worst section in Exarion’s original 1:50 run; he also never got redbar and he still made up 94 seconds in this section vs Squirtle (the 1:49:xx made up 2:28 with the help of redbar).

That said, my route is significantly faster than werster’s for this section due to not teaching 2 TMs and not using 2 Rare Candies, meaning there is extra time to work with. However, I'm pretty certain there isn't any way to work in redbar here with Wartortle (aside from last 2 Rock Tunnel fights + Gambler fight potentially).

Ultimately, I’m guessing the best approach to maximizing this route is being reset-happy and playing risky as hell with Squirtle through Bill. If it is possible to finish the Poke Flute split consistently 2+ minutes faster with Squirtle, then this route has a lot of promise. Whether that is possible is yet to be determined definitively.

It’s worth pointing out that werster’s 1:54 is a sample size of 1, and his goal at the time was only to PB (sub-1:55). werster didn’t put in many attempts to get sub-1:54 with Squirtle and did not do many attempts in general with refined strats, so it’s difficult to tell how low these splits can be with Squirtle (I haven’t put in enough attempts to get a meaningful sum of bests, especially since my route kept changing). FWIW, werster lost 52 seconds between his Mt. Moon and Surge splits in his 1:54 w/Squirtle (compared to 1:55 Squirtle splits).

... More to come ...

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by entrpntr » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:36 am

Some more info for those who might want to look into this in the coming days; I would like to stream some runs using the route in the near future, but I'm bad at committing to such things.


You need 309 optional experience to evolve to Wartortle before the Rattata/Zubat Rocket. Some additional experience beyond this gains a few very useful levels for Squirtle:
  • 478 to get L18 for L19 Goldeen
  • 350 to get L20 for L18 Pidgeotto
  • 584 to get L23 for L15 Zubat
  • 412 to get L23 for L15 Machop
  • 475 to get L27 for L24 Raichu (72% -> 100% for 12 atk)
  • 564 to get L30 for L20 Oddish
  • 530 to get L33 for L26 Koffing (Dig 1HKO)
Best places to get extra exp:
  • Route 1 encounter (obviously)
  • Geodudes in Mt Moon (86, 98, 110, 122 for L7-10)
  • Mt Moon Hiker (597)
  • Elixer Hiker (Machop, Geodude) instead of Onix Hiker on Route 25 (+165xp)
My current approach varies based on Squirtle’s stats:

(10-12 Spc DV)
  • The Machop on the Elixer Hiker will be a range, and the Rocket’s L15 Zubat is not a great range at L22. Thus, fight the Mt Moon Hiker on floor 1 and don’t fight Geodudes. Get the Max Ether after Rock Tunnel since you don’t get the Elixer.
(13-15 Spc DV)
  • Machop is guaranteed at L23 and Zubat is 90%+ at L22.
  • Aim to fight 4-5 Geodudes (478xp gets L18 for Goldeen, also gives some useful Atk Stat Exp); if only fought 1 before the Mt Moon Hiker, fight him instead. Fight the Elixer Hiker on Route 25 and get the Elixer. This allows you to skip the Ether/Max Ether and have an additional HP healing item in your inventory instead.

You’ll definitely want to get the Protein with 0-5 atk DV. Up to 9 DV might still make sense to remove all ranges (Arcanine, Venomoth, L44 Nidoqueen, L50 Alakazam) but after that, there’s no real point.

Need 1 stacked attack badge boost for Blaine’s Arcanine in order to Earthquake it reliably, which means he needs to be fought 5th. Getting the special badge boost from Blaine also allows for using Ice Beam on Erika.

Up to 3 Carbos can be used to meet some speed thresholds — Alakazam (104), Dugtrio (101), Jynx (108), Gengar (137)

Speed DVs:
  • Reset: 0, 1
  • 3 Carbos: 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 13, 14
  • 2 Carbos: 5, 6, 10, 11, 15
  • 1 Carbos: 7, 12
2-5 speed DV will require you to use 1 Carbos on the Teach TM26 menu to outspeed a few Pokemon before the Dugtrio/Jynx (Kangaskhan, Nidoqueen, Kadabra).

7 speed DV is a speed tie with Alakazam at 3 Carbos. Almost certainly better to just get the 1 Carbos instead of 3 and have similar chances vs Sabrina anyway. (If you have to use an X Item on Sabrina (Mr. Mime), there is a ~43% chance of dying.)

2-7 speed DV fights Sabrina 6th (in order to keep attack badge boost from X Item) / Erika 7th.

8-15 speed DV fights Erika 6th / Sabrina 7th to get the levels to outspeed Alakazam (this gym order loses about a second to movement, but is obviously worth it).

13-14 speed DV only require 1 Carbos to outspeed Alakazam (15 DV requires 0). You can use 2 extra Carbos (3 for 13/14, 2 for 15) and delay 1 Rare Candy until just before Agatha, and be able to outspeed her Gengar lead. Probably worth the time investment to do this given how dumb the Agatha fight is. This requires a slightly modified PP route.

Tentative Shopping/Items

(Get Old Man Potion + Antidote)

3 Poke Ball
4 Antidote
8 Potion
1 Escape Rope
2 Awakening

5 Super Potion
3 Repel
2 Paralyz Heal

(Sell TM34, 2x Nugget, and extra healing items / Poke Balls)

1 TM07
10 Super Repel

1 Poke Doll

2 Fresh Water

12 X Accuracy
6 X Speed
1-2 X Attack (for Lavender Rival)
6 X Special

Required Items going into Safari Zone

Moon Stone
Helix Fossil
Rare Candy
S.S. Ticket
Super Repel
Fresh Water (too much time wasted getting rid of this early)
X Accuracy
X Speed
X Special
Poke Flute
Carbos (you’ll almost always get this before catching Nidorino)

+ 3 of TM24 / Potion / Super Potion / Full Restore / Ether / Max Ether

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by Mountebank » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:23 am

This is a really clever idea, and I think it may have the potential to be faster than the current route, but not without a lot of work. The biggest downside I see right now is that even if everything works out nicely with nidorino, it may not save enough time. From the splits you mentioned:

Werster 1:54 squirtle: 1:07:36 poke flute
Exarion 1:49 nidoran: 1:07:54 poke flute
Time save: 18 seconds = too small compared to nidorino setup time

This does open up a lot of flexibility with new optimizations and the squirtle route is not nearly as optimized as the nidoran route, but the main question is whether it will be enough. The squirtle early game is not that consistent: many of werster's runs have died trying to set up redbar for both mt moon and nugget bridge, and of course stat resets = Kappa. I also can't say that I like the extra risk: if we are going to use a riskier new route, why not just use a riskier old route? For example, we could not deposit filer and yolo xacc on dewgong or yolo drill the gyarados while in red bar. The current route is dangerous enough as it is.

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by entrpntr » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:36 am

It's definitely a question of how much time can be saved. There are a lot more data points for Nidoran runs; I think we'd need to see some consistent low 1:06 Poke Flute splits with Squirtle to give it a fighting chance.

As I mentioned, werster's split contains two TM moves that you wouldn't teach in this split (Ice Beam / Mega Kick), as well as 2 Rare Candies, so it would be more than 18 seconds when projecting to the Squirtorino route. I got a 46:55 Surge split as well in my 1:54 (didn't have a Poke Flute split at that point sadly), so I think it's safe to say this Surge time is by no means the floor for Squirtle (whereas we have a lot better idea for how low Nidoran can go). For a while, werster was resetting like 97-98% of Squirtles, so he really didn't get a lot of runs off the ground.

That said, there is some room in optimizing for Red Bar, but I don't think it's necessary to play so recklessly to get far enough ahead of Nidoran times. Route 3 is more annoying because Potioning on low health after Shorts guy means you won't get back into Red Bar. I've been toying with using a Potion on turn 3 or 4 vs Rattata during the Shorts guy fight to see if there's anything that gets more red bar consistency. L20 for the Nugget Bridge rival fight means you can "safely" enter that fight with 20-30 HP (just don't get Vine Whipped), which is pretty standard after Misty; if you don't take enough damage in the Rival fight, there are a few Quick Attacks / missed damage ranges that can get you there, and as a last resort, you can take a Karate Chop from Mankey. I don't know how the variance compares to the Nidoran route, but concentrating the red bar segments during the first 35ish minutes really isn't so bad.

The point about adapting the Nidoran route to be riskier (rather than take on a riskier overall route) is a valid point, and quite possibly would kill the viability of Squirtorino even if the other factors fail to. Will have to see how more runs play out in practice before making that judgment.

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by Sinstar » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:34 pm

I don't even care if this is faster or slower, it's just really fun to see something different in red.
Kappa Kappa Kappa Kappa

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by Keizaron » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:44 pm

Mr. Printer, I love your ideas, but not this one. HelenSquirtle fucks up enough. DansGame

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by entrpntr » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:15 pm

Admins, pls modify thread title to have it read "... prove Exarion and Keizaron wrong".

I really didn't know how to make this readable, but this is some information on how I'm doing the Nido side of things: http://pastebin.com/TtwjmAcE. Didn't include the Lance/Champion fights, but those should be easy to figure out. There are some conditional strats that may work out better, but I've tried to incorporate all the ones I know about from the normal Nido route. One possibility I'm aware of is with decent atk/spc, you can potentially change some moves around (EQ x3 on Koga and work from there), but it's a minimal time save and not worth writing out the extra text.

I don't know if getting extra Carbos is always worth the time for 8-9 spd DV (just to outspeed Alakazam), or whether the extra Carbos for 13-15 spd (and Rare Candy delay) is worth the time investment to outspeed Gengar. Other Nido route runners might have keener insight into the costs and benefits of the different options. My X Items are a little crazy right now so that you can account for either PP route (you don't know what Nido you'll get while doing Celadon shopping), but selling the extra Nugget gives you a lot of freedom anyway.

Aside from redbar, I think the fights with Squirtle are pretty straightforward with a few exceptions (which have a pretty small impact overall):

(1) Mega Punch or Dig vs Surge's Pikachu
(2) Route 9 Lass: Dig or Bite x2 Oddishes // Dig or Mega Punch Bellsprouts
(3) L23 Slowpoke: Mega Punch + Bite + Mega Punch?
(4) L25 Slowpoke: Bite x3 + Bite/Mega Punch?
(5) 1 or 2 X Atk vs Lavender Rival

The only other thing that I'm doing that deviates significantly from the old Squirtle route is in Lavender Tower (due to lower level, weaker moves). I'm using an X Spc on the first Rocket in Lavender Tower (L25 Zubat x2, L25 Golbat) then Bubblebeam x4; Dig, Bite x2 on the 2nd Rocket; Bubblebeam x5 on the 3rd Rocket.

I think that's most of the useful information I have (there's no shortage of minutiae, but I'll spare you all). This should remove a lot of the tedious parts for those who wanted to put a route together for themselves. I can answer specific questions if there are any, or give input on other possible ideas.

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by entrpntr » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:59 am

So I did my first stream of "attempts" (from save file before Squirtle) today, but either Twitch or Verizon caused half my frames to be dropped. Got 1 runnable Squirtle; I'll recap the run (times include the 1:16.0 added in from the pre-save sequence):

Squirtle was 13 atk, 14 def, 14 spd, 14 spc. You might be able to tell that's quite good.

Brock (9:32.7). Really good time; I think it's my third or fourth best ever. Best is 9:18.7.

Enter Mt. Moon (17:28.3). 7:55.6 segment. I Potioned 1 turn later than intended on Rattata and get a "good" Shorts guy fight, so I never get a chance at red bar. On top of that the other fights go badly (1/256 miss, the rare 5-turn Caterpie, missed all possible places to save a turn). Only things that are good are the 14 special made the 3rd trainer a 12-turn fight (Bubble x3 on all), and the flier went cleanly. This split is 34.5 seconds worse than my best segment time (7:21.1).

Misty (27:05.6). 9:37.3 segment. 4 Mt. Moon encounters including a Paras, and nothing went badly with the fights. Fought the Hiker for experience since no Geodudes. Like 6 seconds lost to dumb execution mistakes. Pretty much perfect Misty gym (3 turn Goldeen, 2 turn Staryu, 5 turn Starmie; no need to Potion before or after fight, but I did heal off Goldeen Peck damage). This split seems pretty insane for catching Paras and fighting the Hiker. My best segment is 9:23.2, which I'm pretty sure fought the Hiker but did not catch Paras. Entered Rival 2 fight with 22 HP.

TM28 (38:03.6). Rival 2 fight goes extremely well. No extra Quick Attacks from Pidgeotto or Rattata, no Mega Punch misses, and only see Tackle from Bulbasaur. Leaving this fight with 14 HP leaves good chances to have red bar most of the way through Bill. I get to red bar from the 2nd Nugget Bridge trainer's Nidoran-F. I crit the L16 Nidoran-F and L18 Mankey, which can't be one-hit by non-crits, but this means I get taken me out of red bar when I get L23. I purposely take damage from the Elixir Hiker's Machop to get back in and the rest of Nugget Bridge goes perfectly. I used to split at Bill and my best segment time was 8:41.6; this was about 5 seconds faster. They aren't directly comparable because I delayed the Rare Candy this time (~16 seconds), but I also fought the slower Hiker and got the Elixir (+? seconds). Unremarkable fight with the Rocket Dig trainer.

Surge (48:13.0). Things start to go quite badly with luck and execution. A grass encounter, 2 bad Quick Attacks and miss the ranges on both Raticates. At least 20 seconds lost from bad execution and spent a minute and a half on trash cans. Surge fight goes fine. The best Bill -> Surge segment I had was 10:33.5 (or if you add 16 seconds for the delayed Rare Candy, 10:49.5). Bill -> Surge here took 12:14.4, so there is at least 1:25 to save. I'm pretty sure I caught an Oddish in my best split too (every single Surge split I've ever done has sucked), so this probably has the potential to be much faster.

From there, execution and decision making became laughable (doing sections of the game you haven't done for 5 months without notes isn't a great recipe for success), and it's not worth commenting on. Only thing worth mentioning is that it was about 59 seconds spent catching/naming a Nidorino (that ended up having a speed DV of 1, and thus was unrunnable), which felt average.

It's important to note that my best segments were far from optimized (apart from maybe the first two). Exarion's sum of best thru Surge is ~43:45; mine is 45:18 and I don't see how Squirtle would possibly be slower than Nidoran. werster's 1:54 had:

9:39 Brock
17:02 Enter Mt. Moon
26:59 Misty (with Paras)
38:22 TM28
46:55 Surge

This suggests there's at least 1:37 I could save between TM28 -> Surge, and that was not his best split (in fact it lost a couple seconds to his 1:55; he spent 23 seconds on trash cans in the 1:54). His 1:55 also had a 9:12 Misty split.

I'm not sure what to make from this; I'll have to do more runs to see what's possible, especially on the Surge split. Apart from Route 3, the luck felt really good through TM28, so I'm not sure how low the Surge split can plausibly go. On the other hand, it was a single run, and my execution is nowhere near the top Red runners, so there is probably more time to be saved than I see from giving it a quick look-over.

Definitely reconsidering whether fighting that Mt. Moon Hiker would ever be worth it. For entry level runs with the route, sure, but that's an awful lot of time to spend just to make fights & red bar consistent (and marginally faster) later on. If the difference between the two through Surge isn't as much as I had believed, the route may demand eking out every second of raw advantage Squirtle has over Nidoran in order to get through Poke Flute far enough ahead -- if it aspires to be the better option anyway. I had been thinking it would be about 3.5 minutes faster by Surge; for reference, Exarion's 1:49 run had a 40:45 TM28 time, so my run tonight was about 2:42 ahead at this point.

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by werster » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:45 pm

I thought it would be cool if you could get Nidorina instead and then do an IGT(rade) for Nidorino and get Boosted EXP lol. But the trade is the other way around, I thought they switched them depending on the game you're playing =( It prob wouldn't have been faster anyway but it would've been a cool idea lol

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by Zowayix » Fri May 01, 2015 5:43 am

^Unfortunately, the switch based on game version only occurs in FR/LG. BibleThump Too bad, would have been an amazing idea for a timesaver.

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by entrpntr » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:31 am

General update

With the discovery of Bike Shop Instant Text, Squirtorino appears to have made a significant amount of time (Exarion's very rough estimate was on the order of at least 15 seconds last I saw). I don't know if I have desire to do thorough rerouting of this, but I will try to provide as much information and clean up the notes I had in case other runners wish to give it a serious test.

Mumpfel did some routing/runs back in May, and I helped where I could. Independently, he and I reached the conclusion that the route almost certainly could not have enough of an advantage to rival the standard Nidoking route at the time, given the additional luck factors it assumed. On my end, I had not realized how critical Silph red bar was for a top time (and this turns out to be harder to pull off with Squirtorino due to Nidokings being weaker, adding a good deal more RNG than I had accounted for). And while I never did precise timing of my own, I dug up werster's old theory TAS splits for Blastoise and Nidoking that showed the Blastoise route to be roughly 3:15 ahead after Surge; in my most recent post in this thread, I mentioned a rough estimate of needing to be at least 3:30 ahead to have real promise (very roughly ~2:00 for time lost thru Poké Flute, and ~1:30 for Nidorino catch/setup on good-luck outcomes relative to standard Nidoking good-luck outcomes).

Bottom line: If Bike Shop Instant indeed saves 15 seconds for the Squirtle route compared to Nido, and especially if it's a great deal more in actuality, I think runners that actually care about whether or not they are running the faster route should start to think about giving Squirtorino a more serious look.

Strat update (May stuff)

Mumpfel and I really only found a few strat improvements over the route I had come up with. First, 9 speed at L5 for Squirtle turns out to be good enough to run with; you only need 5 DV to hit all relevant speed thresholds (the major one being Surge's Pikachu; need 5 to outspeed and 3 to tie). You find out at L8 if you have 6 DV (13 spd) and after Brock (L11) whether you have 5 DV (16 spd). Even if you strictly reset for these stats, the resets become more efficient than resetting for 11/10/11, but if you have a good Brock time, there's no reason you can't continue with 0-4 DV as well (though 0-2 DV looked particularly unappealing on paper). This cuts down significantly on the resets, which was one of the primary turnoffs to Nido runners (6.4%-9.4% instead of 5.3%; you will have a runnable Squirtle after less than 30 minutes on average, rather than ~36 minutes with old assumptions).

Additionally, we came up with a way to make 0-1 speed DV Nidos (and thus 100% of Nidorinos) runnable without wasting too much time. The only way it is feasible, considering experience and battles, is to (1) defer going to Warden after Koga, (2) only candy to L44 after Cinnabar Mansion, (3) Fight Blaine/Erika/Sabrina in some order, (4) Fly back to Fuchsia sometime after Erika to get/teach Strength and pick up the Warden candy as well, (5) Use your last 2 Rare Candies after the Blackbelt fight to get L49 for Giovanni (maybe pick up Revive on way out of the gym ... not sure if it came out faster than getting Fissure from Giovanni). That way Dugtrio and Jynx are outsped on 1-2 DV, and speedties on 0 DV.

Strat update (Nov stuff)

As for Bike Shop Instant Text, I have only played around a little, but I don't think much changes (which is a good thing, since there is very little compromise to accommodate the timesave opportunities, unlike with Nidoking). I still don't see further loosening of acceptable stats being a good play when going for a good time; for instance, even the drop from 10 to 8 special DV is massive for Bubblebeam ranges on Nugget Bridge (which are even more crucial now). You'll definitely want to skip Moon Hiker and only fight wild Geodudes for exp. I think you would still center before Cerulean Gym (unfortunately Bike Shop Instant Text is almost certainly impractical here), then Potion and teach Bubblebeam before getting Instant Text from the Bike Shop and heading to Nugget Bridge.

Since you absolutely cannot Potion anymore on Nugget Bridge because of cancelling Instant Text, you will want a bit more health than old strats; maybe 40ish heading into RIval 2? So long as you got some extra exp in Mt Moon, or if you fight the Elixer Hiker instead of Onix Hiker, you will learn Bite on the Oddish Lass right before Bill. This means not having it for Bill's insane rant about not being a Pokémon, which is a bit more time given back (~5 seconds in total including Lass text?). But you can't delay learning Bite, or you'll learn it on the Dig Rocket and lose a bunch of time through Surge as a result.

Nothing significant changes post-Bill thru Surge for keeping Instant Text active (assuming you have Spearow or Paras?). I had been buying Awakenings in Pewter (werster had waited till Vermillion) because of the Dig Rocket's Drowzee, but now you would not use one on the fight since it kills Instant Text, meaning buying them in Vermillion should be best. From memory, it's not uncommon to be in a risky HP position for SS Anne Rival fight without having Supers and without healing beforehand, and I haven't measured how much time you would lose by Potioning before/during the fight. But the normal route doesn't menu for the entire duration, and will teach TM28/teach HM01/Super Potion/use Cut (and do a useful item swap) after the Vermillion Shop, at the Surge gym tree. I don't think Gentleman candy is a real consideration for a top time, but worth mentioning anyway (so long as you stay at L33 after Lavender Tower).

Closing thoughts

I haven't followed the Nidoking Bike Shop Instant Text routing very closely, so I may very well be missing some other considerations. In any event, I will certainly help anyone who is serious about giving the route more of a test, and try to compile old and new notes so others don't have to route things from square 1 for themselves. But apart from that, I've pretty much distanced myself from this game, so it likely won't go much further than that unless there's some interest from others. (***EDIT: nvm, see follow-up post)
Last edited by entrpntr on Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by Exarion » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:58 pm

I may or may not route/run this in the coming days -- watching Kev's 23-minute Fly+Poke Flute section the other day was a bit of a turn-off -- but I'll at least help with the route if others are active.

First thought: Do we really need Awakenings? As I understand it, they complicate item management and are useful in only three places: the two Oddishes in Rock Tunnel and the Drowzee in Pokemon Tower. Each Pokemon is quite unlikely to put you to sleep, and if they do, you have a Full Restore. If you use your Full Restore and get put to sleep again, it's not necessarily run over. I suppose you could also use them on the Route 9 Bellsprouts if you choose not to Dig them.

This comes to mind because status healing items were among the first things taken out of the Nidoking route during its late 2013/early 2014 rerouting phase. That's not because they didn't have use -- a good run is usually Lv. 29 for Oddish and locks into Thrash -- but because they were too slow to go for optimized times.
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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by entrpntr » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:18 pm

I don't think Mumpfel was buying any Awakenings; at least at one point he wasn't. And the item management required selling everything unnecessary at Celadon Mart, so you don't even have an Awakening in Pokémon Tower. Now that using one for the Dig Rocket is out of the question, maybe you wouldn't buy any. Not going with anything except the leftover Antidotes and Full Restore sounds really dangerous to me, but I thought the same about Silph redbar at the time, so clearly I never got a solid feel for the right risk/reward profile in this game.

In any event, those are the types of considerations I think will be most useful in pushing this, since the battles and PP route seem hard to improve by much.

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Re: Squirtorino Route (or, the quest to prove Exarion wrong)

Post by entrpntr » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:44 pm

So it looked like some people much more familiar with MODERN RED STRATEGIES were starting to look at things as of Monday (wasn't looking super-promising, but neither was Nidoking). I'm not going to be active in rerouting this, so leaving my old notes here in case others are planning to continue:

(1) Old Route file: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/460 ... e_4.0.docx. This is from October 2014 I think, but couldn't find anything newer. This underwent 3 or 4 iterations of updates, but I guess I kept those updates elsewhere. Major things that I immediately see that are outdated: no consideration of Mt Moon Hiker or other optionals, I was still getting Body Slam, and the entire lategame with Nidorino was unrefined (I had routed out PP Up since then, for instance).

(2) Supplementary notes: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/460 ... entary.rtf (should open in Word or Wordpad). These have a bunch of things I wrote down between October 2014 and June 2015 and should take precedence over the route file where there are differences. It doesn't look like I ever tried to figure out Silph redbar with Nidorino and I was trying Rare Candy delay/skip strats for good speed that I'm fairly certain were dumb, but those are the only glaringly outdated things I could see. Some parts may appear to be gibberish and probably aren't too far removed tbh. Anyway, stuff in this file + my posts in this thread should contain all the major updates to the route file, and hopefully save some pain in case anyone wants to push this route as far as I hoped to in a previous life.


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