“We do have a lot in common. The same air, the same Earth, the same sky. Maybe if we started looking at what’s the same instead of always looking at what’s different… well, who knows?”
Meowth, Pokémon: The First Movie
Don’t Touch That ‘dile!
Remember the last time I did this I said you can expect the next one in about 4 months? Let’s pretend that never happened shall we?
So yes, after some time I am finally sitting down and writing down my Top 5 for Generation 2 of Pokémon. Gen 2 added some really awesome stuff to the franchise: Full colour (at least what counted for full colour on a Game Boy), the day/night cycle and the awesome Dark and Steel types. It is still currently the only Gen (except remakes) to feature multiple regions which has cemented it in many people’s hearts as the best Gen to date (Pokémon hasn’t really had a decent post game since).
Christmas 2001 was awesome when I unwrapped my copy of Pokémon Silver, a new region, 100 new Pokémon and many many hours of adventuring with new friends. It felt like the start of exploring a vast new world and it kinda was and wasn’t. You see whereas Pokémon did carry on (7 Generations and counting), your Pokémon from the first two games were stuck in Game Boy Limbo forever. For whatever reason you couldn’t transfer Gen 2 Pokémon to Gen 3 and beyond like you could from Gen 1 to 2 and it broke my little 12 year old heart to leave them behind (I really need a life).
So anyway, here is my list of my Top 5 Favourite Pokémon from Generation 2 (Gold, Silver & Crystal). As always my list may differ from yours and that’s ok, if you can be bothered why not leave an angry comment and tell me why I’m wrong and let me know what you’d do to my mother.
6. Unown (Bonus Entry)
Yes I’ve done it again, a Top 5 with a 6th entry (I don’t think I’ve done a Top anything right yet) and I think they are going to stick around. I think I will use this slot in these lists for “Special” Pokémon, just like Blastoise in the first one was just me explaining my favourite Starter I shall find something interesting to talk about for entry 6.
Despite a lot of the weird and wonderful monsters we’ve been introduced to over the years Unown may be the strangest. It currently comes in 28 varieties (26 letters of the Alphabet and ! and ?) and just makes no sense, why would a Japanese game have the Latin Alphabet as a monster? And how does evolution make letters alive? Do we get our language from them?
That last question would make the most sense as in the anime and manga versions, no matter where we travel, everyone speaks the same language and there is no barrier to speech. However, in recent years there is a universal written language in Pokémon and it isn’t Latin, Japanese or anything, it is entirely made up. Now I know this is for animators convenience in real life (you don’t have to edit/change signs for different regions) but it makes Unown make even less sense in my books.
One of the reasons I find them most interesting is that they may be what holds the fabric of the Pokémon Universe together. To quickly sum it up, it is said that Arceus (the Pokémon God) created the universe with its “Thousand Arms”… but it has no arms? The theory basically states that the Unown are the “Thousand Arms” of Arceus and are a crucial component in the holding together of reality. On their own they are not that powerful but in the third Pokémon Movie we see that with enough of them, you can bend and shape reality. It is also shown that they live primarily in the Dimension where Palkia and Dialga live (Masters of Space and Time in Pokémon), who were also created to “manage” reality. Coincidence??? Probably.
Before I forget, another cool thing about the Unown is once you had caught all the varieties in Gold/Silver/Crystal you could connect the Game Boy Printer to your game and print out little messages using the Unown as the alphabet. It’s probably a good thing I don’t remember just how much me and my brother told each other to Fuck Off using these things.
Another one of the cool things they did in Gen 2 was to add new evolutions to existing Pokémon. Kingdra is one of those being the evolved form of Seadra (unfortunately it is a “trade evolution” so it’s still a bit of a pain) and is just awesome. Gaining the Dragon typing and featuring as the main Pokémon of the Dragon Gym, Kingdra is probably responsible for more wipes than any other Pokémon in Gen 2 (except perhaps that damn Miltank). Even though it doesn’t make Kingdra that special now, at the time with Kingdra was one of only 4 Dragon types (with three of them being essentially the same Pokémon just evolved from one another) which made it something special back then.
With its hidden ability Swift Swim (doubles its speed in Rain) Kingdra is a perfect double battler alongside anyone who can make it rain (not like that). Kingdra is a powerhouse and one I still like to use to this day almost 16 years later.
If Jolteon is my favourite Eeveelution then Umbreon is definitely the best looking (in my opinion). It looks so sleek and awesome, it could easily fill the part of “Loveable Wish Granting Pet” and “Horror Creature That Steals You Away At Night” (I think I just made both of those up). I can easily see this thing torturing a hero on a long quest ala Cheshire Cat only for it to turn out to have been helping the whole time.
You see Umbreon used quite a lot in online battles due to it’s “stalling” potential due to its high HP and Def/SpDef stats. Personally I hate stalling tactics and it always pains me (unfortunately) to see an Umbreon online cos it’s all they are really good for, which is a shame if you ask me.
Just like Umbreon up there, Houndoom is a Dark type (also Fire), a type that was introduced in Gen 2 and sorta stole the show. In Japan Dark type is known as “Evil” type and it’s easy to see why with their “edgier” designs, for a while people claimed that Dark types weren’t “Evil” but rather mischievous and tricksterish… and then Fairy type came along and ruined that. But despite the negativity around them, Dark types continue to be some of my favourite Pokémon (there’s two on this list and I bet there’ll be more in future lists).
When we got Mega Evolution in Gen 6 we were told that Houndoom was one of the lucky few to get a new form and hope was renewed that maybe now we’d get the three-headed hellhound we were hoping for… right?
My poor poor brain didn’t know how to react to this, on the one hand we didn’t get the Cerberus beast that I really wanted but on the other hand… Houndoom looks fucking badass like this, they really turned the “Hellhound” up to 11 on it and it looks great. I’ve seen people claim it’s a victim of overdesign but I’m really fond of its design (despite it missing two heads).
If memory serves (and my googling skills) Heracross is the first Pokémon Ash catches in the Johto region and was treated as comic relief for some bizarre reason (he kept trying to suck sap from Bulbasaur’s ah… bulb).
Heracross is a Bug/Fighting type Pokémon and was a good addition to your team with its 125 Attack stat and other than through trading was the only Fighting type you could legitimately get access to in Gen 2 to take down that DAMN MILTANK in the third gym (Many Nuzlocke runs end cos of that damn cow).
After that Heracross was still a cool Pokémon to have on your team but lost a lot of its usefulness due its lack of speed and defence, that was until Gen 6 and Mega Evolution…
Yes Heracross was another Pokémon that was given the power of Mega Evolution and he gained a whole new purpose, killing Blissey’s. To quickly explain, if you’ve ever played Pokémon online you will have at some point come across a play who plays purely Stall Tactics, usually a combination of Toxic (to poison you), Recover (to heal themselves), Substitute (to survive a free hit) & Minimize (So they are harder to hit). The idea is that your health slowly trickles away while they are protected and spam heals, it is ANNOYING AS FUCK and the worst Pokémon to be up against for this is Blissey due to its ludicrous health stat of 255 (which is max btw) giving it over 600HP with the right training. This is where Mega Heracross comes in to ruin stallers.
Upon Mega Evolving, Heracross gains the Ability “Skill Link” which for those that don’t know why this is awesome I shall explain. Remember Bullet Seed? or Arm Thrust? Rock Blast? Pin Missile? Well those moves can hit between 2 and 5 times, usually hitting around 3 times if your luck is as bad as mine. Skill Link bypasses the dice roll and makes these moves 5 times guaranteed (unless the Pokémon dies, which it probably will). Oh and did I forget that once Mega Evolved, Heracross’ Attack stat shoots up from 125 to 185 and it gets a decent boost to its defences.
Whenever I’m up against a “staller” I count my lucky stars if I remembered my big bad bug.
Ha, it’s a bat and I used a Batman reference, I’m so smart you guys.
Crobat is the final evolution of Zubat which for those of you who don’t remember (or more likely blocked it out) is the Pokémon that annoyed you the most while traversing caves, they constantly appeared and were a pain in the arse to train cos they only knew Leech Life for ages (which was rubbish before the massive buff it gained in Gen 7). People hate Zubat so much that it’s a Meme, you think I’m kidding?
Now the thing about Crobat is, despite being a third stage Pokémon it doesn’t have the best attack at 90, it’s defences aren’t great (both 80) but it’s speed? 130. Crobat is stupidly fast and is pretty much guaranteed to go first (unless up against Legendary Pokémon). It is joint 4th in the fastest non Legendary Pokémon and that makes it something special.
The other thing I love about Crobat? It’s a good Poison Type, did you know that Poison is the only Type not to get a Legendary yet? You can check, I’ll wait… Told you. In the upcoming Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon however we are getting this new Ultra Beast.
While technically not a Legendary, it seems this is the closest we may ever come to a Poison Type Legendary. Anyway I’m getting off topic… (Surprise Surprise).
Poison is such an unloved type but has become more popular in recent years due to it being Super Effective against the dreaded Fairy Type. Sure we got a couple of new ones in Gen 7 (more on them in a later post 😉 ) but Crobat is still the best for me. Remember earlier when I said Heracross is an anti-staller? Well so is Crobat.
Crobat’s Hidden ability is “Infiltrator“, which bypasses any sort of shield. Whether that be Reflect (halves damage of Attack moves), Light Screen (halves damage from Special Attacks) but my absolute favourite? It bypasses Substitute, the Ace in the Stallers Deck. When a Pokémon uses Substitute it sacrifices half its current HP to create a dummy that will take damage for it, usually used for Toxic to keep on poisoning you or to simply delay and spam recover while the dummy takes damage. I have been in battles where someone uses substitute and my Crobat is like “Nope, coming straight for YOUR EYES” and killed them cos they just spent 1/2 their HP Mwahahaha… I take this game way to seriously.
Crobat is a staple of my online team and will probably never move from there, it hasn’t for nearly 16 years so why bother now?
This brings my second top 5 around Pokémon to a close but you can look forward to Gens 3 through 7 at some point during the next millenium. Until then, thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys next time (whenever that may be).
Pretty sure I’ve already used this video, but I love it SO much. ❤