Freedom Run?

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Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:50 am

Freedom Run?

Post by Slowbro » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:30 pm

This may not be the most applicable to speedrunning but I didn't know where else to post it. Apologies in advance.

I've known the Pokemon games for quite a while and during this time I've played through quite a few times, never actually speedrunning but I am a fan of leisure running, where I tried out different strategies and such, and I probably have played through at least 10 times using different strategies.

Anyway, I have a bad habit of doing things to my game files which really messed up what I could do in the future (i.e. using up TMs, teaching HMs to Snorlax), which really messed up my game experience because I desired to build somewhat competitive teams on these games, or at least try stuff like the Mew glitch using the Slowpoke Youngster. Also I always found it convenient to have trainers left to battle in order to train my actual competitive team after defeating the game.

So each time I played, I sort of started playing more and more by principles which maximized my options available to me after defeating the game, such as not using up TMs, leaving trainers available, etc. I never took this principle to a huge extreme, as I always liked to accomplish stuff before beating the Elite 4, such as capturing legendaries, and doing the Mew Glitch. But after not playing Pokemon for a while I thought it'd be cool to sort of take these principles to an extreme in a new form of Pokemon run.

The idea of the Freedom Run is to leave as small of footprints as possible on the game, while leaving all the options open to do whatever I choose to do postgame. I thought it was still worth posting here because ultimately the goal is to devise an optimal strategy, although in this case optimal means:
a) reliable, rather than something with a really high risk factor that has potential for amazing results
b) the rules are meant to prioritize a quality save file upon completing the game, and fun while playing the game, over a high score

Here's some loose guidelines I wrote out for myself so far:
1. Limited Pokemon (starter Pokemon, Snorlax, trade Pokemon, etc) are:
a) if possible, to be left alone and unobtained
b) else, obtained and subsequently not used. The requirement needed to progress through the game (ex: 1 Snorlax) is the maximum allowed to be obtained.

This allows the player the freedom to decide what to do with them after beating the game.

2. Limited items (any item that cannot be obtained repeatedly from the same spot; ex: Bike Voucher, hidden potions, any Poke Ball on the ground) are:
a) if they can only be obtained within a limited window without exploiting glitches, obtained (example: the items in S.S. Anne)
b) else if possible, to be left unobtained.
c) else, obtained and subsequently not used.

This allows the player the freedom to obtain the items they see fit when they see fit, without taking up PC room. Items which only have one arc of use (Bike Voucher) may be used to travel down that arc as long as it isn't limiting options or leading the breaking of other rules (example: trading in Helix Fossil limits possibilities if you decide to obtain Aerodactyl, as a limited Pokemon [Omanyte] has to be obtained first). If something may be replaced and returned to its original state (example: Potion in PC can be replaced by buying potion and depositing it), then it may be used.

3. You must avoid the maximum number of trainers who:
a) can only be battled once, and
b) still can be battled after defeating the game.

This allows them to be used to train Pokemon after defeating the game. Certain trainers who can only be battled within a limited window that ends prior to defeating the game, can be battled at your leisure. This includes gym trainer's Pokemon for example, because after obtaining the badge, they can no longer be battled anyway. So by not battling them, you aren't increasing any post-game options.

There are some situations where you can choose to battle one trainer or the other, and either can be chosen. However, trainers which can be used to obtain Mew must be avoided.

Arbitrary decisions:
Bicycle must be obtained even though it breaks Rule 2, as the alternative involves battling many trainers who otherwise could be avoided, in opposition to Rule 3.

Since this is a leisurely and honest run, the full storyline should be experienced and no cheats used, and this means no using a Poke Doll on Marowak's mom.
So far I have to say it's a pretty unique and fun experience which is capitalizing on a lot of nostalgia, so I may be biased. Anyway I haven't done anything close to rigorous testing, but my goal is basically to come up with a strategy to almost guarantee defeating the game in say 3 (or less if possible) hours, using these very restrictive rules. So it technically is related to speedrunning, but just not in the most direct way. All 7 starting combinations (cartridge version, starting Pokemon choice) should be accounted for with their own strategy, because the goal is not to tell you who you should start with because that would take away freedom.

The strategies I have come up in R/B all involve:
a) starting with whatever Pokemon, intentionally losing to Rival so as not to gain experience points
b) capturing either Rattata, Caterpie, Nidoran (M), or Pidgey/Pidgeotto and training it to a point where it can defeat Brock
c) capturing either Abra (probably too difficult without Butterfree's sleep ability), Drowzee, or Diglett/Dugtrio, and using them to defeat the game, pretty much single-handedly

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Re: Freedom Run?

Post by Keizaron » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:12 am

I heard Clefable's pretty viable.

On a more serious note, this doesn't really seem too much different from, say, the old Squirtle route, except with arbitrarily added restrictions. There's also a Raticate and a Pidgeot route around somewhere for sure (more akin to what you're suggesting), and I'm pretty sure that Charmander has been routed to an extent. Just, like I said, without the restrictions. Maybe hunt around for this if you're looking for some routing ideas.

(Also I'm aware I mentioned Squirtle and Charmander, and you don't want to "dirty" up the starters, just pointing you in different directions for ideas)

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Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:50 am

Re: Freedom Run?

Post by Slowbro » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:20 pm

Ha, so you remember Clefable? I still haven't made an AI for that but I'm not all that interested anymore tbh. For this obviously, Clefable and Nidoking both require a Moon Stone and TMs which are not very good. (Same with Raticate who needs TMs to hit ghosts)

The restrictions are barely arbitrary at all to me, because they are all unified around "have fun with the game and don't fuck up options for post-game play". But I could see how one would take these restrictions.

I didn't see anything about a Pidgeot route but I looked at the Raticate one which relies on Squirtle to beat Brock.

Defeating Brock is quite difficult with Rattata (it seems near essential for it to have Hyper Fang, which still doesn't do all that much. I generally send in Squirtle to Tail Whip Geodude, and have a few extraneous Pokemon captured in case if I need to sacrifice them to escape Onix's Screech. These are Pokemon that give little experience for defeating that I'm able to pick up with high success rate after Rattata leaves them in low HP when training. They both die quickly and don't give out much exp for defeating them, making them ideal for this role. Onix using Bide is a great thing because then Rattata can get in there with Tail Whips.

Pidgey on the other hand, yes it may be level 16 or even 17 by the time Rattata gets to 14, but no Tail Whip and Hyper Fang make things quite a bit more difficult. In the somewhat short period of time where Pidgey is Pidgeotto while Rattata hasn't evolved, it is arguably superior even if it may not hit *quite* as hard, but that is all erased when Rattata evolves into Raticate.

It's possible that it actually takes decently longer for Caterpie to reach level 12 than it does for Rattata to reach 14. There is no clean method that doesn't require tons of PokeCentering, and tons of repeated blows on wild Pokemon with its awful attack and no STAB. And Metapod is even worse in that regard. There is one method which involves training in the Nidoran area and then fighting your rival when reaching Butterfree, which also works out pretty well in terms of getting Confusion for Brock if I recall correctly.

Butterfree and Rattata are both in the Medium Fast experience group which is way slower than the Medium Slow group (Squirtle, Nidoran family, Pidgey) at early levels.

Kadabra seems quite a bit superior to both Hypno and Dugtrio, mainly because it gets Psybeam while Drowzee/Hypno are stuck using Confusion, and can also use Psybeam quite a bit to conserve PP. It also gets Psychic quite a bit earlier than Hypno, but by not evolving it, Drowzee beats it by a level.

Dugtrio has both a PP problem with Dig, and learns stuff too late. It also has pretty bad stats and may completely fail against Lorelei/Lance's Gyarados.

Fearow is something I've thought about but it has difficulty with Brock, and poor Fearow doesn't get Drill Peck until level 34. Drill Peck is a nice move (high PP especially), and using that, Fly and Take Down, it's got decent attack potential (which I think would make it outclass Pidgeot), but it's not without its troubles, particularly its relatively weak attacking and defensive power. It's special defensive power seems particularly problematic in the Elite 4.

Upon further reflection, I think Diglett is the weak link of this bunch, and Pidgey/Pidgeot doesn't have much of a purpose but I can see how the other 3 options each have their advantages in Pokemon Blue, those being:
Butterfree -> Kadabra
Raticate? -> Hypno

In Pokemon Red, you're left trying to snare Teleporting Abras without any reasonable mechanisms, which is very unreliable.

In Pokemon Yellow, Abra cannot be obtained until later, and is at a low level. Drowzee also can be obtained at a higher level, and Pokemon like Mankey, Nidoran, and Butterfree all are much better at defeating Brock due to their improved level-up moves. This makes Spearow significantly worse relative to them. Hypno seems like the clear winner in Pokemon Yellow, unless I'm missing something.


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