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A 'Mon of Letters: An Unown-Only Crystal Nuzlocke

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,249
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
I caught up just in time for the biggest challenge of this run. My prediction? You'll defeat Karen, but not with an Unown's heroic sacrifice. Also, Quiet for best psychic type specialist. Eat your heart out, Will. You gotta have more power!
 

QuietGuardian

Johto League Champion
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
33
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
1,428
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Ground
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #162
@YunUroko: Yes, to fall while helping to defeat the dreaded Karen would be an honorable way to go, indeed. But let's see if that happened to anyone…

@Spectacles: Yeah, my team can take hits better than I was expecting, too.

@RubyClaw: Well, I can't blame you for wanting a bit more excitement

@Obelisk: Well, the Houndoom is the biggest threat, yes. Umbreon has very good defensive power, but hopefully its lack of strong attacking stats will do us well. Murkrow I expect is too frail to be much of a problem. And that's all of the Dark types, actually. Vileplume is hardly a threat at all, but Gengar could cause trouble, indeed…

@MashedPotatoes: Yeah, you're about to see how I played it!

@SadisticMystic: That is true, and I may or may not have had that in mind when I actually played this fight. But you'll see how things turn out…

@Bowser's Family Vacation: Thanks for the vote of confidence!
I'm honored
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Oh yes, I know.


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OH YES, I KNOW.

(Real talk, though, Dark might be my favorite type. It's just so cool and varied!)


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I may be scared, but yes, I do think I can take them. One way or another.


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This is it, team. Our biggest hurdle of them all!


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Fortunately, we're well prepared. Ornery makes its Elite Four debut here against Umbreon. Its high Speed means that it should go first, and while Umbreon's defenses make it a formidable tank, its attacking stats leave something to be desired. So I'm confident Ornery can outlast it.


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Oh! That's half its HP! We're in a better position than I thought we'd be!


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And I see Umbreon's not going for the assault right away. Well, if this battle is anything like Koga's, that could prove to be a problem.


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Or I could take down one of the bigger threats to my team in two quick turns without it doing any damage. I guess that works, too.


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I'm not too worried about Murkrow; since it doesn't have nearly the defensive power that Umbreon has, Googol should be able to take it out in one hit.


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Yep, there it goes.


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Oh, boy. But here IT comes.


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And here IT is. All right, Cogent…this is what I trained you for. It may be faster than you, and it may have a type advantage and a strong attack, but you've got the defenses to withstand it (as long as it's not a crit, but if I'd wanted to grind to the point where a crit wouldn't kill, I'd be ready to take on Red). You've got a strong, super-effective attack of your own, which should be able to take it out in one hit. You're as ready as you'll ever be, so go get it!





















































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…Hang on, what?

Right, so this really confused me at the time. Cogent had a Speed stat of 102, and according to this resource, which I have no reason to distrust, Houndoom's Speed is 106—not really high, but high enough to be faster than Cogent. Cogent wasn't holding a Quick Claw, so I had no idea what could have caused it to go first. At first, I thought it might be a glitch in Gen II that considered two Speed stats equal if they were within a few points of each other. But I'd never heard of such a glitch and couldn't find anything of the sort on Bulbapedia. After that—in fact, when I was writing this for the first time—I thought that Houndoom must have used a move with reduced priority, i.e., Roar. That would hardly make sense, considering that it had an opponent right in front of it that was weak to one of its strongest attacks, but I figured that it wasn't out of the question for the AI to screw up like that.

But then I reviewed the above link further, and discovered the answer: it was something I'd completely overlooked, both when I'd occasionally consulted it and when I'd just been thinking about planning for the Elite Four:
When looking at your own stats, remember the badge boosts: Zephyrbadge gives you an invisible boost of 12.5% in Attack beyond the number it shows on the stat screen. Plainbadge does the same for Speed, Mineralbadge for Defense, and Glacierbadge for Special Attack. (Glacierbadge would boost Special Defense too, but this boost doesn't actually apply unless your Special Attack is at least 231 points, so it's pretty much out of reach except perhaps for the Red battle, or if you're using X Special setup.)
Also remember that each badge, including the Kanto ones, gives you an additional 12.5% damage boost, beyond the effect of the above stat boosts, when using moves of that badge's type (Earth Badge is considered Ground type, and there is no Dark badge boost).
I completely forgot about badge boosts. They’re just not on my radar—probably in part because they're not a thing after Gen III. In Gen II, though, they give an invisible boost of 12.5% to each stat. Therefore, rather than having 102 Speed and being slower than Houndoom, Cogent actually had Speed of 102*1.125, or 115 (rounding to the nearest whole number)…and legitimately outsped its opponent.

In other words…


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Cogent was able to take out this massive threat before it could inflict a single point of damage.

Well, Cogent, things may have gone differently than how I was anticipating, but you still did it. Thanks to you, the path to winning this run has had a huge obstacle removed! You are indeed The One!


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But there's one more thing for Cogent to do, and that's take out this Gengar. Now, when I played this, I thought there was no way that Cogent or anyone else on my team could outspeed, because Gengar has a Speed of 115 and the highest visible Speed stat I have is Ornery, at 112. Now that I know what I do, I see that Ornery or Harangue could have outsped, and Harangue would have been able to hit it super-effectively, to boot. But I didn't know that, so I went with Cogent, who may be able to win a speed tie, but isn't guaranteed to go first. Fortunately, Karen's Gengar doesn't have a strong Ghost move like Morty's did—in fact, its only attacking move is Lick. Unfortunately, it has something much worse: Destiny Bond. If it uses Destiny Bond right before I attack, then Cogent is dead. Since I thought I couldn't mitigate that risk, I decided to face it head-on by, heartless as it may sound, sending out my most expendable team member.

Now, don’t get me wrong—this is nothing against Cogent. How could I feel against it after it just saved our butts from Houndoom? But seven Pokémon come after this Gengar: Vileplume, which can be better handled by Googol, Harangue, or Genuflect; and Lance's team, every single one of which is completely immune to Cogent's Hidden Power. Genuflect and Ornery may have attacks that are weak against all or almost all of Lance's Pokémon, but they can at least inflict damage, which Cogent cannot. So if Cogent goes down now, it'll be sad, but it will make the minimum possible difference for the rest of the challenge.

Still, it's not like Cogent's completely screwed; if Gengar goes for Lick, Curse, or (no idea why it would) Spite, or if Cogent is able to go first, then it should be safe. What's it gonna be?

















…Hang on, is it obnoxious to do two long suspenseful pauses in one update? Maybe it is. Sorry; I'll stop here.


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Yeah, we're safe. It only used Lick, and there's no paralysis attached.


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Oh, and I forgot one other reason for why I used Cogent in this fight. A more complimentary one. You see, even though Cogent is the worst member of my team suited to fight Lance…


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…a strong Ground Hidden Power guarantees that it can take out Gengar in one hit.


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Since Genuflect hasn't had a whole lot of spotlight, I thought I'd let it fight the Vileplume. It might not be able to OHKO, but I doubt Vileplume will pose too much of a threat.


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Uh, okay, so Genuflect wouldn't have been able to 2HKO, either, had that attack not critted.


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But then Vileplume missed with Stun Spore, so it's all good.


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And that's the last member of the Elite Four.


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Gotta admit, that was a little anticlimactic. Not that I wanted anyone to die, but with all the hype I assigned to this battle, there's really not much that came out of it. Hell, Karen inflicted the least amount of damage to my team out of all the E4 members! Maybe I overgrinded a bit.

…On the other hand, now that I think about it, how awesome is it that a team of only Unown just took down the region's top Dark-type specialist with barely a scratch? As said specialist herself says:


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When you put in enough time and effort, Pokémon aren't divided into “strong” and “weak.” Some may have natural advantages over others, but not one is incapable of doing great things.


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And we're about to prove that once and for all.
I do actually feel kinda sheepish that this battle was so easy. I really should remember about badge boosts in Gens I-III. Sure, being overprepared is better than being underprepared, but some of the excitement in these challenges (at least in my opinion) comes from the danger. So I apologize if some of you feel let down—especially since I continued hyping up this battle after I knew how well it had gone. But I wanted to convey something of what I had actually been feeling while playing, and I was definitely nervous about Karen. Guess I really underestimated these guys, after all!

So, extremely overleveled or not, this team and I are heading for the Champion, and we won't leave without his title!
 
M

Memento

Guest
Wow. There's nothing else to say. Your team of letters are going all the way. It's an amazing undertaking you've done, you brave soul, and you've proven here that any mon can go all the way. This is what a Nuzlocke should be: taking the mons you never expected to go far, and go far with them.

Good luck against Lance!
 

Obelisk

no sleep only wepears
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
155
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
347
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
Pokédex Entry
Eccentric 'locker obsessed with Magikarp.
I think the anti-climatic outcome was the better one for everyone here. All of the letters are still safe and healthy, so all that's left is to pierce the shroud of darkness and find the light on the other side of the Lance battle.

Good luck!

(Karen's defeat quote is so true. Even in competitive.)
 
S

Spectacles

Guest
Omg, you just made it through almost the whole game training UNOWN. You never have to apologize for anything ever again. Even though the battle went smoothly in the end, there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong, which made it very tense to read. Plus, when I saw the "read after the chapter" spoiler, I was terrified that Houndoom ate everyone like alphabet soup and the run was lost. I',m so glad to see that's not the case.

And wow, i love Karen's words at the end. What a perfectly fitting way to end that battle. Gave me goosebumps actually.
 

Xurkitree

'Dabs like a true gamer'
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
294
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,086
Location
In bed
Nature
Naughty
Pronouns
REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
  2. Fire
*awoke after months*

Good job in reaching this far with Unowns!

Badge boosts are a legit thing, and there are actual IVs for all trainers here somewhere...

Anyways, good luck in whatever gameplay portion you're doing right now - Lance is ded right?
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,249
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Cogent badge boosts for MVP of the run!
1536259069.3728-smiley.gif

Now that Karen has been defeated, hopefully, you'll be able to conquer the League deathless. :)
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker, Completionist and Rule Designer
🌱Featurer
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
22
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
2,158
Location
Kanto Route 1, 1% encounter rate (Israel)
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Psychic
No need to apologize, you did a great job preparing for this battle, and you are definitely worthy of this win. The end of the saga is so close!
 

Uberle

Lur King
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
209
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,567
Nature
Lax
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
Pokédex Entry
Stays in the distortion dimension where no one bothers him
Ah badge boosts
Everyone forgets about them.
And apparently they are very useful.

Well good job with Karen.
Even if it was a bit anticlimactic it was a well earned victory.
 
C

Chops1717

Guest
Nice win against Karen! Glad to see that this run is going all the way. If it were me, I probably would've quit 2 badges in.
 

QuietGuardian

Johto League Champion
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
33
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
1,428
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Ground
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #172
Replies for the end:
@Memento: That is totally what a Nuzlocke should be. Makes me think of my very first one, where my MVP was an Azumarill. Though that’s not as extreme as this run.

@YunUroko: Thanks much!

@Obelisk: Well, yes, anti-climatic is better than fatal. I just think it’s not as good as exciting but still not fatal. And nice metaphor!
(Even in competitive? Huh, I wouldn’t have guessed that—which is actually one reason why I’ve never gotten into competitive much. I like seeing the potential in all Pokémon!)

@Spectacles: Ha, thanks.
ngl I might’ve been partly going for a fake out with the “Read After Update” spoiler
Karen’s line is not uncommonly quoted, and for good reason!

@Natsu: Thanks! And yep, I’m glad that this run involves learning some new things instead of just being an invigorating challenge (though that’s nice, too).
Lance doesn’t stand a chance

@Bowser’s Family Vacation: badge boosts: the true hero of the Pokémon franchise
Yep, that is certainly a possibility now!

@RubyClaw: Why, thank you! And now, the end of the saga is here!

@Uberle: Yes, apparently they are.
Thanks! Ready for one more victory?

@Chops1717: Heck yeah, this run is going all the way! You might be surprised at the energy and excitement that comes from doing a big challenge like this.
Sorry for the delay here. I got caught up working on other projects, and then the migration to Tapatalk happened and I thought I’d give the site some time to work out the bugs that came along. Unfortunately, I also lost some of my steam, but it’s back now!

Before we get started, though, I’d like to give a shoutout to the wonderful Thirteenth, who actually wrote a short piece for this run for Fanwork Friday! Check it out here!

Now…time for the update you’ve all been waiting for.


Part 26: Zany conclusion to a zany run
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Here we are. The player character and six Unown in the Champion’s room. I wonder how many times that’s happened? I’m sure it’s happened at all in the 17-year history of this game, but I doubt there were that many times. Could be wrong, though.


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But I didn’t come here to win glory for myself. I came here because I set myself a challenge, and I intend to see it through to the end!


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And Lance knows it.

…You know, I only just now noticed that the doors behind him have a picture of a dragon on them. I feel like that’s something that should’ve caught my eye at some point before I started writing the final update of my second Crystal screenshot run.


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Here we go…


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The final battle of this crazy run!


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Here’s where Augur is going to be very important. Despite its not-very-strong Hidden Power, it’s the only Unown I have that has a type advantage against Gyarados. Gyarados is powerful, but its Defense isn’t stellar, so Augur’s got a good chance of clinching this fight. Take it away, Augur!


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Good shot! Hopefully damage variation will stay on my side to make this a 2HKO, meaning that Augur should only have to take one attack in order to win. And the strongest attack Gyarados could use is Hyper Beam, which, thanks to the 18-level difference, I’m reasonably confident Augur can tank.


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…Or it could do that, too. Silly AI, thinking I’ll give it another turn.


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One down. Five to go.


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And here’s Googol’s big moment. We’ve been through a lot, my friend, all leading up to this fight! Now…


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Give these dragons a reason to fear you!


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Half of Lance’s team is now defeated, and we haven’t taken any damage!


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That’ll change here, though. While it’s true that both Googol and Augur have a type advantage against Aerodactyl, they’re also both needed for another fight after this. This opponent is fast enough to outspeed any member of my team even with badge boosts, so whoever fights it is all but guaranteed to take a hit, and I’d rather keep my two most important fighters fresh. Plus, Ornery has only gotten to take on one opponent this whole time (Karen’s Umbreon), so why not give it another chance? It at least inflicts neutral damage, and Aerodactyl’s Defense is nothing to write home about.


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Ah, yep. There we go. This shouldn’t be too bad, though, so long as Aerodactyl doesn’t get the stat boosts.


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Nope. Just a little over 30 damage dealt.


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Not bad at all. That’s a solid 3HKO. Looks like our Hidden Power surpasses our opponent’s Ancient Power, huh? What do you say to that, Lance?


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CRAP HE’S CHANGING TACTICS


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Phew. That didn’t go as badly as I’d feared. Wouldn’t have even killed on a crit!


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Ornery still hasn’t landed the finishing blow, but this battle is still won—because Aerodactyl failed to finish off Ornery with Hyper Beam.


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Take it away, buddy.


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Only two left. And both of them have a rather glaring double weakness.


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First up, Charizard. It’s fast and it hits hard, but tap it with a rock (or something rock-themed) and it goes down. So Augur is the clear choice here. And while Augur may not be very fast by itself…


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…badge boosts are still a thing.


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Now, only one Pokémon stands between us and victory.


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And there’s no one I’d prefer to Googol for taking it down. Googol, let’s show everyone what Unown can do!


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Gather your power…


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…and FIRE!


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That’s it.


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We’ve done it.


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I have successfully conquered the eight Gyms, Elite Four, and Champion of Johto using nothing but Unown. And using the Nuzlocke rules. It’s not the craziest thing that’s ever been attempted on this forum, but it’s up there.


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Furthermore, it, like many other crazy things, has been proven to be in fact possible.


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So that’s it! That’s my Unown-only run, finally complete. Despite the challenge, this truly was a fun experience, and I’m glad I did it, for that reason and several others—not the least of which is how many other people enjoyed it, too! Maybe some of you will want to try your own Unown run; though that’d be pretty difficult in games that don’t take place in Johto.

But that’s not the main thing I want you to take away from this run.


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I want you, my readers, to not underestimate potential. And I don’t just mean for Pokémon in these games (though I did just beat the game with a team full of Pokémon with a BST of 336). I also mean for people like yourself. Because with some determination, dedication, and logical thinking…


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…and a whole lot of time and effort…


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…you can accomplish the seemingly impossible.
Thank you to everyone who read and commented on this run at any point! Your interest and support really meant a lot to me, and I'm glad to have brought this run to you!

I probably won't do another challenge as demanding as this again, but you never know—I come up with a lot of Nuzlocke ideas. I'll probably take a break from posting runs for now, but I'll be back before too long with something else. Maybe I'll see you there, maybe not, but I hope you enjoyed this one.
 

Obelisk

no sleep only wepears
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
155
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
347
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
Pokédex Entry
Eccentric 'locker obsessed with Magikarp.
Congrats! Bravo to you for your impressive win over the Johto League.
 
S

Spectacles

Guest
Honestly you deserve a statue in your honor for beating this entire game with only Unown. Like even the real life non-Pokemon world should know of this feat. And I love what you wrote in the ending, wow. What a perfect way to end. Very well written. I'm honored that I got to see this crazy journey from beginning to end!!
 

Xurkitree

'Dabs like a true gamer'
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
294
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,086
Location
In bed
Nature
Naughty
Pronouns
REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
  2. Fire
Heck yes, this thing is over! Good job on beating Lance with Unown, now they will never be Unknown, and no one will Un own them.

Red when?? 
 
L

Lumaeus

Guest
Grad school pulled me from the forums last fall. I finally thought to reopen them on the day you posted your victory. Remembering your Limitd Challng (which I will be catching up on and finishing next), I suspected you'd be a good read for my return. And now two days have passed with me getting way too little sleep to follow this. 

Very well done! You have doubtless unearthed glory and honor few ever knew to be the Unown's. Many congratulations. I look forward to Red your next project.
 

Thirteenth

eternally crying over the botw trilogy
Writer
Pokédex No.
14
Caught
May 20, 2019
Messages
1,812
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Ice
Pokédex Entry
The reason she guides people all the way down to the mountain's base is that she wants them to hurry up and leave.
You madman you did it! Massive congrats for accomplishing this, I almost can't believe it. These little guys did so much, it's incredible.
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,483
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
I am so glad I took an afternoon to read through this, because holy shit, my dude: you really made it happen. Part of me is curious if you could have made it to Red with this team, but the rest of me knows: of course you would have. You've shown that you have the strategy, patience and determination to make anything happen with your powerful lil bowl of alphabet soup!
 

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