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Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

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Picking up a copy of Pokemon Soul Silver has been on my To Do List for quite some time (because I totally have one). The price however hasn’t really budged since its release nearly 4 years ago. The price; ranging from £36 used to £110 new on Amazon, coupled with the fact that I still have Diamond and White to finish, meant that I haven’t felt justified in spending the money on it. But after a particularly expensive and bad day last week (my first fillings), I decided to treat myself. I was able to pick up a copy at a CEX store for just £30, far cheaper than what Amazon or ebay could offer me. With the excitement of a brand new Pokemon adventure laid out in front of me, I decided I wasn’t going to play it the way I’ve always played Pokemon.

Instead, I wanted a real challenge. Those familiar with the culture surrounding Pokemon will be aware of the Nuzlocke Challenge; a series of rules as laid out in a comic series of the same name, designed to make the challenge of Pokemon games that bit tougher. The rules that I will be following are:

  • Any Pokemon that faints is considered dead and will be released.
  • I may only catch the first Pokemon encountered in a new area.
  • If I white out, game over.
  • All Pokemon will be nicknamed.
  • No trading.
  • Battle Style: Set.
  • Starting Pokemon will be decided on the last digit of my trainer ID (1-3 Fire, 4-6 Grass, 7-9 Water, 0 my choice).

Along with these rules, I also can’t save before a fight and just reload it if a Pokemon faints, that would make all of the rules pretty pointless.

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Over all the generations of the Pokemon games, I’ve always picked the fire starter. Before starting this challenge, I was actually hoping that I didn’t have to start with Cyndaquil as I finished Silver some years ago with Cyndaquil and I was hoping to experience a different start. Luckily, having an 8 at the end of my Trainer ID means that my first Pokemon will be the water starter, Totodile, which would be my prefered choice. Totodile and it’s evolutions learn a Dark and Ice move quite early on (level 13 for Bite and level 20/21 for Ice Fang). I named him Todd.

Heading west from New Bark Town to Cherrygrove City without any pokeballs and the threat of losing before I really started didn’t sit well with me. I spent some time grinding Pidgeys and Rattatas and popping back to the Professor’s Lab to heal to get Todd up to around level 8 or so. Rage and Water Gun were learned and things were going well. After running errands for what seemed forever (although it has nothing on Kingdom Hearts II) for the Professor and Mr Pokemon I was finally able to get my hands on my first pokeballs. Before I could use any though, I had to beat my Rival.. Rob. Todd was able to crush Rob’s Chikorita easily. I was free to continue my journey and I figured that since I wasn’t actually able to catch any pokemon until now, I allowed myself to head back through those first 2 routes and try and catch the first pokemon from each. Through Route 29 once again towards Cherrygrove and I encountered a level 3 Pidgey. Picking up a Flying type early was a high priority as grass and bug types are used widely by trainers in the early game. Having a type advantage against them would make my challenge that bit easier. My only concern was that having Todd so high in comparison to this Pidgey meant that it would just be one shotted. Using Todd’s lowest damaging attack Rage, he was able to wittle it down enough to be caught. Welcome Perty to the team.

The next Pokemon I encountered was a level 5 Kakuna along Route 30. I’m personally not keen on Bug/Poison type Pokemon, but at this stage, every Pokemon I can get is a bonus. With some low level tackling from Perty, Bumble joined the team, if only to be my Cut Pokemon until I find something better. Route 31 threw up a level 3 Weedle as my first encounter which I caught anyway but I forgot to give it a nickname (I’m so used to just spamming B at that point), so he’s now sitting in the PC. Once reaching Violet City and healing up, I decided to have a quick peak into Route 32 to see what Pokemon I would find. The first encounter was an Ekans, another poison type, which wasn’t what I was after but I decided to try and catch it anyway. Ekans’ poison sting was particularly annoying whilst trying to catch it and showed me just how difficult this challenge may well be. Becoming poisonsed or burnt could be one of the easiest ways to lose a member of my team. Swapping Perty out after doing enough damage so Todd could soak some of the damage whilst I tried to catch it meant that John joined our team.

1EditedIt turned out that before I could challenge the Gym Leader, I needed to conquer Sprout Tower, home of Gastlys and trainers with Bellsprouts. Things were going well, Perty had learned Gust, so I was pretty confident heading into the tower…

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Technic Launcher is a fantastic launcher for Minecraft and contains a large collection of mods, all selected and made to work well together. If you’ve been playing Minecraft from when it was in alpha and find the game a bit stale at this point, the Technic Launcher really adds a lot to the game. There are a few different ‘packs’ of mods to choose from once you start TL up. In the drop down box in the top left, you can choose from Technic, Tekkit and a few others. Technic is designed (and only works) in single player, whereas Tekkit is the cut down version of Technic, desgined so as to work in multiplayer. I’ve only ever played Tekkit in multiplayer; to the point where I’m quite comfortable with most of the additions, but Technic is new to me.

Tekkit not only adds more ores, it also adds various machines. These machines can perform various functions, such as the Macerator, used to double the amount of ingots you get from your ore. You can also add various pipes and pumps to get items to be moved between chests and machines. There are also various magical items added that you can use to allow you to fly, or take huge chunks out of the world to speed up mining. I could spend some time trying to list every feature of Tekkit, but it would never be complete. Technic adds even more, including new mobs and pets.

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Before I started playing a Technic world, I made plans of what I’d hope to achieve within the first few hours of playing. Like vanilla Minecraft, you’ll spend your first moments punching trees and trying to get some stone. Luckily, the Technic pack includes a mod that will fell an entire tree if you take out the bottom log using an axe, so getting enough wood to begin with wasn’t too troubling. I tried to make sure I’d have enough wood to be able to build a reasonably sized house for my first night. All too often in Minecraft, I’d spend my first night locked in a dark small room made of dirt, or digging under my half finished lodgings looking for coal. Not this time.

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The main outline of my house took shape and then it was just a case of building it up. I had plenty of wood, I wasn’t worried. Except night was coming and I’d once again tried to build too much on my first day. Despite my best efforts, I spent my first night in a dark hole under my base, desperately trying to find some coal. It took some time and some changing of the lighting setting before I found my first collection of coal. I was able to continue mining further and further down through the night not in complete darkness. It was quite a successful first mine. I collected enough coal, iron, tin and copper to allow me to complete some of my early ambitions for this world.

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First thing after emerging in the morning I did was finish the house. I wasn’t prepared to spend another night forced underground. I then set off in search of rubber, one of the first Tekkit/Technic items you’ll be in need of. Rubber is required to make insulated copper cable, something that’s used extensively in a lot of the early machine recipes, but is also used to transport power between your machines.

A lot of the machines you’ll want to build to begin with require electricity. Electricity can be generated through various different sources, such as wind power, solar power and even nuclear power. To begin with though, the aptly named Generator will do. This will simply generate electricity from any coal you give it to burn. Because I’m familiar with these machines, I also wanted to add a BatBox to the side of the generator which can be used to store and hold electricity. This means I won’t have to worry about any excess power being lost or wasted as my BatBox will store it for later. I needed to get more tin, iron and rubber in order to build my first few machines.

I spent the daytime getting rubber and I spent the nights mining, finding strange new materials. I found various gem-like structures that turned out to be Vis Crystals. Even after reading the wiki page for these items, I still have no idea how to use them. They’ll be safe in my chests for now.

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I began to feel confident in spending the nights in my house (even if there were zombies riding zombie horses outside) to smelt and craft enough materials to build a Macerator, Generator, BatBox and Electric Furnace. My Generator and BatBox went in small basement I dug out and would supply power to the undersides of my machines. The Macerator would be fed ore to it from a chest, turn the ore into dust (you get two pieces of Iron Dust per Iron Ore) and then the dust would be fed into the Electric Furnace to be smelt into ingots and then fed into a final chest to hold my ingots. It’s a system that works great. Until ogres smash your house to pieces.

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Damn ogres. I couldn’t really bear to play anymore once my house and machines had been smashed into oblivion by a rampaging ogre. Usually you lose items or parts of your buildings through stupidity or not dealing with a creeper properly. But this time, there was nothing I did to contribute to this mess; and ultimately, time and effort wasted.

I think I might stick to Tekkit in the future, the version with less ogres.

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