It’s no secret that the main series Pokemon games have both revolutionized the handheld gaming industry, and the RPG industry. From it’s start 20 years ago, they have not only inspired gamers, but also challenged them. In recent years, the Pokemon games have greatly declined in challenge, and fans have gone back to earlier games to relieve some of the challenge. Below, are some of the battles within the game that made gamers cry, scream, and thrown their Gameboys across the room.
10) Brock-Pokemon Yellow
In Pokemon Red and Blue, Brock was really only a problem if you had Charmander, and even then you could invest in a Nidoran or Butterfree to help take him down, or simply just widdle him down with an onslaught of ember attacks. In Pokemon Yellow, all of that is thrown out the window when we instead get Pikachu, an electric type whose attacks will not affect his Pokemon. The reason why Brock ranks low on this list is for two reasons. First, most gamers know that in this version there are wild Mankey that can learn low kick to easily defeat Brock. The second is that every gym leader in this version except for Brock is slightly more difficult than their version in Pokemon Red and Blue. Brock’s Pokemon in Pokemon Yellow are actually two levels lower than his Pokemon in Red and Blue. Despite all of this, Brock was still a filter that weeded out all of the newbies who picked up a Yellow version for the first time.
9) Cynthia-Pokemon Platinum
In the Pokemon games, the champion battle is where the player demonstrates the skills they acquired throughout the game, and the potential their Pokemon have. Most champions have a theme to their Pokemon, or some sort of tip to how to beat them. For example, all of Lance’s Pokemon are dragons, so ice, dragon, and in some cases electric are your friends. For Steven, all of his Pokemon are based on stones, so fire, water, and earth will do the job. For Wallace, he only used water types, so if you use electric and water, you’ll destroy him. Cynthia is one of the rare cases where her Pokemon are a complete mystery. Although she is challenging in Diamond and Pearl, her team gets a major upgrade in Platinum where she receives a Togekiss instead of a Gastrodon. In order to beat Cynthia’s team, the player needs a well-rounded team who can surpass any challenge.
8) Koga-Pokemon Yellow
In the Brock entry, I mentioned that all of the gym leaders in Yellow got harder. In my opinion, the gym leader that got the hardest was Koga. In Red and Blue, Koga’s Muk and Weezing were bulky, and their poison attacks could prove to be a problem if they resulted in a status condition; however, he gets an entirely new team for Yellow. Koga has three Venonats and one Venomoth, which doesn’t sound that threatening on paper; however, his weakest Pokemon is 12 levels higher than the previous gym leader’s strongest. His Pokemon are at levels 44, 46, 48 and 50 (keep in mind he is the fifth gym leader). At this point in this game, you might have one Pokemon in its 40’s, but the bulk of your team will be in their 30’s and maybe even high 20’s. To make matters worse, all of Koga’s Pokemon know toxic and psychic, and two of his Venonats know sleep powder. Even if you have a Charizard, he won’t be at a high enough level to do any major damage. Your Pikachu won’t be able to lay a finger on any of his Pokemon.
7) Jasmine-Pokemon Gold and Silver
You can expect to see a lot of Gold and Silver battles on this list.
The second generation of Pokemon introduced us to two new types, steel and dark. The only dark trainer we have to deal with is Karen, who is definitely a giant pushover. For steel, we have f****** Jasmine. Steel is weak to fighting, ground, and fire types. By this point in the game, unless the player chose the fire starter, they probably don’t have any of these types. This is also when players learn a horrible truth, steel types are bulky as shit. That Feraligatr that you take pride in can barely scratch Jasmine’s Steelix. She also has two high-leveled Magnemite that will take him down before you can even get a chance to face him. Even if you do have a Typhlosion by this point, Jasmine’s steel Pokemon will beat the living shit out of him, and make your life a living hell.
6) Blue-Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green (post game)
In Pokemon Red, I always loved facing my rival Blue at the end of the game. He would begin by explaining he crafted a team that can defeat any Pokemon type. I would then beat him like the little bitch he was with my Articuno and Zapdos as his grandpa explained that he always thought I was better than him. In the remakes, I was excited to see that in the post game, the Elite Four and the champion all get higher level Pokemon and a few Johto Pokemon. At this point, you are able to get Mewtwo, you can help you rip through most of everything, until you get to Blue and his mother f****** Tyranitar. Being a dark type makes him impervious to psychic attacks. In case you have a water type to help beat him, he knows thunderbolt. Tyranitar is bulky and absorbs attacks like a beast. He requires hours of grinding in order to beat him. Once you beat him, he still half a team of other badasses that you have to trudge through.
5) Red-Pokemon Gold and Silver
When I first played Gold and Silver, I was surprised that the Elite Four had Pokemon that were only in their 40’s, and only the champion’s top Pokemon was at level 50. In the post game, you face the gym leaders from the Kanto region, who really aren’t that tough as again, their Pokemon are in the high 40’ss and low 50’s. By this point, the player has a team of Pokemon who are probably in this same level range. You are then invited to explore Mt. Silver where it is said only the strongest of trainers go to train. After making your way through the elaborate maze that is Mt. Silver, you see a mysterious figure facing away from you.
Holy shit, it’s the main character from the previous versions. At this point, you’re ready and you think you’ll be able to rip through his team like tissue paper. That level 58 Typhlosion you’ve painstakingly raised is about to make his team your bitch. It is at this point his god damn level 72 Pikachu shoves his electrified foot up your ass. The rest of his team is made up of other high leveled badasses who have the sole purpose of making your life a living hell. The only way to beat Red is by grinding like you have never grinder before, and it is here that I say that Red is harder in the original games than in the remake. Your only source for training is constantly facing the Pokemon league. The remakes had hidden battles scattered throughout the game as well as gym leader rematches. In the originals, you had to battle the same five assholes over and over again until you even had a chance of getting through Red.
4) Tate and Liza-Pokemon Emerald
I am going to go right out and say that Tate and Liza are here for personal reasons. I never chose Mudkip. Sceptile and Blaziken were way cooler than Swampert. Despite being completely different Pokemon, they both had one common weakness, psychic types. It was here that Tate and Liza were true assholes. In Emerald version, the double-battling gym leaders were upgraded to get two additional psychic type Pokemon. All of their Pokemon are impervious to ground type attacks, which doesn’t sound like a bad thing until you find out that almost all of their Pokemon know earthquake, which will mess up your team without touching theirs. Ghost type Pokemon can help, and can be found prior to this fight, but one or two Psychic attacks will pretty much do them in. The only way I was able to beat Tate and Liza was by getting a Crawdaunt who was impervious to psychic attacks, and strong against the rock and ground types. Keep in mind, this was only after they kicked my ass about 40 times.
3) Ghetsis-Pokemon Black and White
In Pokemon Black and White, I was so surprised to see the game take a nontraditional path by ending with a fight against the main story villains rather than the champion of the Elite Four. Just when you think you are about to fight Alder the champion, the castle of Team Plasma rises above you as their leader N awaits your battle with his legendary Pokemon. N is a tough battle, and, in my opinion, the greatest battle in all of Pokemon. He is challenging himself, and only barely missed out in being on this list; however, he is nothing when compared to his father. After facing N, Ghetsis, the true leader of Team Plasma appears and challenges you. By this time, your supplies are quite low, and you are about to face the toughest opponent. If you chose to keep your legendary on your team, which you’d have to be an idiot not to take, he will lead off against his Cofagrigus, who will proceed to toxic whatever you throw at him. He also has no weakness and high defenses, so he will sabotage at least one of your Pokemon.
Let’s face it; Ghetsis is not on here because of his Cofagrigus. He has a god damn Hydreigon that will ruin your entire team. It has an attack for whatever Pokemon you throw at it, and enough defense to survive even super effective moves. The battle against Ghetsis starts at the beginning of the Pokemon League as all other final battles in the Pokemon do as they are endurance matches. However, Ghetsis is by far the most difficult battle out of all of them. The only way to beat Ghetsis is to plan out a team to beat him as early as the second gym.
2) Whitney-Heart Gold and Soul Silver
Miltank can burn in hell.
Imagine you are 8-years-old, and you are finally playing the next Pokemon game. It took you a great deal of time and effort to get through the first two gym leaders; however, you had yet to see a gym leader whose main Pokemon was from the new region (which makes no sense, but I’ll get to that in another list). We then had to face the third gym leader, Whitney. Whitney leads off with a Clefairy, who unless if it gets lucky with a metronome attack, won’t be a big deal. Then, Whitney brings out a simple looking cow, who you don’t think will cause you much trouble. An attack known as rollout proceeds to destroy every Pokemon you have on your team. Whitney is such a damn entry hazard to players, that some players rack up over 20 hours of gameplay just to have a chance to beat Miltank. However, I am not talking about Pokemon Gold and Silver’s Whitney, I am talking about Whitney from Heart Gold and Soul Silver. You could get a Gastly that could avoid Miltank’s stomp attacks, and potentially put it to sleep. However, that small sliver of hope vanishes in the remakes as Miltank now has an ability to make it able to hit Ghost type Pokemon. There is no clear method to beat Whitney. It takes grinding, and simply finally being able to overpower her, but once you do, it is the most satisfying feeling ever.
1) Clair-Pokemon Gold and Silver
If I am being truly honest, there is not one easy gym leader in gen 2.