Home Editorial Pokemon Gold/Silver: The grindfest

I'm playing this version. Choose yours at your leisure/peril.

I’ve been playing these using an emulator, and I’ve noticed something. The game does not provide enough ways to level up your team for the latter portions of the game. The first two gyms are cake (as long as you didn’t pick Chikorita), but after that, things get messy.

Whitney’s Miltank is a Stomp whoring bitch, Morty’s Gengar will one shot Shadow Ball you into oblivion, Chuck’s Poliwrath takes way too much damage, and Clair’s Kingdra is just annoying. By the time I got to Chuck, my best pokemon, Quilava, was only around level 24, since I kept every one in my group around the same level. I still beat him, but it was at that point I noticed the gap between my power and that of the gym leaders’ really start to grow. When I got to the Elite Four, their first guy’s weakest is at level 40, and I’m still sitting with my best at around 38. This sucks, but it’s avoidable. Unfortunately, to counter the extreme lack of trainers to level your team up, you need to have patience and a lot of spare time.

In essence, you need to grind. A lot.

The grind

My plan for leveling up? Spend half an hour to forty five minutes before each gym just running around in tall grass, killing everything in sight. Level up one pokemon at a time to at or just above the toughest pokemon the Gym Leader hast offer. Do this for the two or three members of your team that’ll be most useful in the coming fight. For the others, get them to around two or three levels less.

By the time you’ve reached the Elite Four, your team should have an average level of around 43. While you won’t be at the Champion’s level, you’ll be close enough that when you fight him you should win if you play your types correctly. By the way, you want ice attacks, and lots of them.

The team

Of course, without the right grouping, there’s little hope of getting far. The best team I know of consists of the following, and I’ve played Silver/Gold enough to know this stuff.

First, take Cyndaquil as your starter. When you finally have pokeballs, catch a Pidgey, and get a Geodude as well. Get both to level 11, since that’s when Geodude learns Rock Throw. In Sprout tower, grab a Ghastly and once you leave Violet City, you should find a Mareep. Bugsey is cake for a fire type, and Bug is also weak to Flying, so your Pidgey/Pidgeotto can act as backup. Ater Azalea, pick up an Abra south of Goldenrod, and a Machop if you can’t take down Whitney without a fighting type.

The sixth pokemon is your choice, though you’ll want a water or grass type until you can get your hands on Suicune/Raikou/Entei or Lugia/Ho-oh. The red Gyarados outside of Mauville City would do, but personally I recommend Lapras in Union Cave, since it’s part Ice and you’ll need the HP and the Ice attacks to combat the dragon types you fight late in the game. When the opportunity to acquire Lugia comes along, do so. He’ll be a huge help. Get rid of Pidgeotto/Pigeot  and by this time you should be set fo the Elite Four.

The strategy

You can avoid some of the grind by skipping the fourth gym for a while. You need the badge to use Surf, but you don’t need it to leave the city and go east or west. This is by design as the trainers in both directions have pokemon around the level you’re probably at if you haven’t done enough grinding. If you have, this is just gravy. You can get to Olivine and go up the lighthouse and to Mauville and clear out Team Rocket.

If you do these things before Ecruteak, Morty, Chuck and Jasmine might as well be rugs to step on. Pryce is where Quilava/Typhlosion come into play, but keep Lapras up to speed as his Piloswine has Ground type moves to counter fire. Clair is where your Lapras shines, and if he levels up a lot, don’t worry. You’ll still need him for Lance, the League champion. He is a dragon master after all. If you catch Lugia/Ho-oh, your time with the Four should be easier, but not foolproof. Always keep a nice supply of Potions, Full Heals and Revives handy, and find as many TMs as you can. You never know when a strange choice becomes a powerful one. Good luck!

29 replies to this post
  1. Remember the good old days of Red, Blue and Yellow? When your Pikachu’s thunderbolt could kill anything and it was actually easy to catch the legendary pokemon?
    Those were the days
    Still have my GameBoy Colour somewhere around here with a copy of Yellow in it. Good times . . .

  2. I chose Chikorita (grass type starters are awesome) and had no problems beating the first 8 Gyms and the Elite Four. My problem is now that I’m in Kanto there is no way, apart from a ridiculous number of hours spent grinding, that I can level my team up enough to take on some the Gym leaders there.

    • Yeah, the Kanto leaders are rough. Especially Blue. I only say that Cyndaquil is the best starter since the first few gyms have advantages over Chikorita. Plus, I can’t use it for shit, so you’ve got me there.

      • Perfect guess, you’re right. Wondering if that was a serious question.

        —Don’t read the following if you think it might break your gaming experience—

        DV (Determinant Values) are explained to be the pokémons’ genes, which means that two identic pokemon on the same level will almost always have different stats. These differences may cause major advantages/disadvantages on lv.100, especially when playing online. In the end, players can’t do shit about it without cheating or spending at least 10 hours just to get one perfect pokémon.

        EV (Effort Values) are bonus points to the stats of pokémon depending on the pokémon they defeat. Each pokémon you defeat will raise a hidden variable of the winning pokémon by a specific amount of points, often ranging between 1 and 3. To each stat, there is one variable which can be maxed out to 255 points and altogether 510 possible points. For 4 points on one of those variables, your pokémon gains +1 on the specific stat on the next lvlup.

        Knowing about EV and DV made me restart a new game for at least 30 times in order to get acceptable DV and a fitting nature for a Piplup (nature=even another variable one has to be mindful of). After that, I looked up on the Inernet which wild pokémon on the first routes increases the appropriate EV points of my starter (sp.attack in Piplup’s case) and spent hours of grinding this one pokémon until I killed it at least 200 times.

        all above=gamebreaking to me

      • Actually, you’re not supposed to care about IVs and EVs, unless you’re trying to play competitively or something like that.

        With enough potions, X-attacks and stuff like that, you can solo the game with a magikarp, for crying out loud.

      • Yeah its a pain to do thats true, but as long as you don’t care about it shouldn’t effect you as much. XD i just play for fun and thats all that matters to me.

  3. I got sick and tired of Pokemon after they just. Kept. On. Adding. More. Pokemon.

    There are better ways of making a game good than just adding more shit. A poor multiplayer FPS won’t be made better by updating the graphic and adding more maps, for instance.

    • And what if you take a good FPS and add more guns, changing completely the metagame, while making small changes on the hitbox sistem, that also radically the gameplay if you want to play at high level, but doesn’t make that much more difference if you’re a casual player?

  4. But Gameboy Pokemon is just… so freakin’ easy. You won’t need this DV, EV and nature bs to complete it, only if you want to pew-pew online. And if you really want that, download pokemon online and be happy

    smile smile

    • You’re completly right, but the mere fact that my pokemon could turn out to be shit ass drives me crazy.
      I can’t concentrate on the game itself like in the old days anymore.

  5. The simple problem – None of the evil team minions EVOLVE THEIR POKEMON.

    If they had more evolved Pokemon, this wouldn’t be an issue at all, because the levels always seem to shoot up right after your big fight with the bad guys.

  6. Hhhaha I avoid grind my using a lot, a lot of potions and revives.
    You don’t look at the base stats of the pokemon before choosing them?
    I personally think legendaries are cheap to use.

    • THANK YOU. All my friends are like “dude wtf you don’t use legendaries? lol n00b.” I hate using legends, it makes it too easy, which is why I’m glad Black/White doesn’t give you your legend till late in-game.

      • To balance them out, legendaries have always needed way more exp to level up. But yeah, they’re not really much fun.

  7. I never had a problem with grinding. Then again, i never tried to keep a full party at the same level.

    Just choose 3~4 pokemons to be your main party and use the rest of the party as HM-slaves.

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