It's Kanto time. Sadly, Kanto in WL is a giant mess of railroading, silly roadblocks, and terrible pacing.
It's also the land of funny NPCs. I'm not really knocking the engrish here, but I find it amusing that Oak is Birch and asking about Birch.
Below the Kanto healing centers is a room filled with these warp tiles, which is another thing that I legitimately like. Since he couldn't add more Fly points, these warp panels slowly fill up as you explore Kanto (and later Java) and make getting around both extra regions far less of a hassle than it could have been.
Sadly though, all good things must come to an end.
This is the first trainer you can battle in Kanto if you arrived here in the name of exploration.
He is level 42 on average, and there is absolutely no warning this is about to happen. For reference, the wilds in this area are 3~5.
Assuming you come back at level 43 or so to defeat the first trainer, NotBrock is level 55. Why are you allowed to enter this place so early? It would have made far more sense if you weren't able to come here until sometime around Juan instead of giving you a false impression of being allowed to explore. Wasn't that the main draw of this hack?
Sadly, a level 55 EX Yuugi is far too much for two level 3x ZYoumus to break down, so around this point I stop pretending that I care, revive them, then Surf it.
At least that's done and over with. I guess. I really don't know what to say, it's hard to give proper feedback on a game you don't really enjoy and never intend to play correctly when it does things like this.
The army of trainers one would normally snap into for free EXP after Brock in FR has been replaced with an army of generic NPCs, and is disturbing to me for some reason I simply can't pin down.
Well okay, I guess I was wrong. I guess the highest wilds you can run into so far are level 8, since there's no roadblock between you and this route. This very clearly makes a world of difference.
Sadly, after you pass through the (mercifully short) Mt. Moon, you meet a new roadblock in the form of Surfing.
Once again, why are you allowed to come here so early?
Here's NotMisty, who is actually everybody's first original character shortly after they get into Touhou roleplaying. She's Reimu's long-lost sister, has the ability to control time, and I'm going to stop now.
It ends about as well for the ZYoumu squad as you'd expect it to, so I just throw Cut at them because I came here and I'm not going home without facerolling something.
These are the first available non-rape trainers in Kanto, on Nugget Bridge. They were kidnapped from other areas in Hoenn, and weren't even scaled to the levels near their Gyms.
This is the single most pointless map edit in this game. At a glance it looks like a maze, but the solution is you walk to the southernmost row and hold right until you reach your destination, which, at this current point, isn't even relevant yet because I haven't triggered any arbitrary flags.
Here we have some more railroading at work. The average player would think talking to somebody in Hoenn would allow you to gain access and be able to get through to Vermilion, but the correct answer is to go back to Pewter and enter Diglett's Cave,
except you're not allowed to progress anyway because game design.
On a lighter note, the Lavaridge egg is randomized. My first playthrough I got a Chibi Kaguya, so that's one less mystery from the mystery egg.
It's not a Wedding Dress, but I guess it'll do for "Kawaii!" factor.
On the way to Slateport, I trip over this trainer.
400 attack at level 36. This was a great idea.
Cue a jump cut to the Weather Center, with Shelly being as non-threatening as ever. I shouldn't really need to say it, but every nearly grunt in the Weather Center just had Chibi Suwakos, because Aqua is after the power of LwSuwako and the player needs to know that Suwako!
Renko's team has a crippling weakness. Can you spot what it is?
(ps it's steel)
The awkward map edits are getting worse and worse as time goes on, and they're beginning to actively cut you off to force you to walk through another section of the map. If this was more than one row of trees I wouldn't be bothered by it as much, but what else can I really say about this now, other than
I'd normally give Aichiya credit for giving the lesser appreciated characters some screentime, but..
I'm only really pointing this out because Spikes is an open invitation for the AI to not try at all, and it's not even in the lead position STOP HAVING FUN GUYS METAGAME BASTARD IS IN THE HOUSE
Here we have the first enemy LW in the game. The main problem with it is that if you've been like me so far and only raising one or two guys, you'll be so grossly overleveled compared to everything else (and most likely EX) that it won't really matter that she's LW.
For royally decimating Winona's team, we get a TM for a move that wasn't used in the battle and isn't even the same type as she specialized in.
On the next route, Ghosts appear. It's not really a big deal and I find it kind of cute, so I guess I'll let it slide because it's not AW where you have to kill these things in the earlygame on trainers, but that's an entirely different nitpicking session best saved for the future.
This map edit exists solely to ruin your day. If you're the kind of person that ignores Cut due to it being optional in vanilla RSE, you have to fly back to nab the HM and walk all the way back here just because somebody thought this was a good idea. Of course, it only gets you the first time you play the game, but that's also implying you'll enjoy it enough to play it again.
Where did.. well, everything on Renko's team go? It's been maybe 20~30 minutes of actual gameplay since I battled her last, assuming I was playing at 100% and not 450%. At least the Marisa is back in time for the anti-climactic rival battle that's weaker than Winona.
At least they're not Suwakos.
Where's all the Nuzlocke Forum posters to make an immature joke when I need them?
Yes, yes. We get it. Team Magma wants to awaken Utsuho and summon an ice age or something. Other Fire types exist.
At least they're not Utsuhos. Still though, could we get some variety? Sunny, Mokou, Yuki, Mimi-chan..
This just comes off as clunky to me. Could you imagine Maxie saying this out loud? "ELL UTSUHO, PLEASE NO, I AM YOUR MASTER. COME BACK TO ME, I HAVE THE BLUE ORB. U BOW 2 DIS."
Oh look, more SA characters in Team Magma because flavor is more important than Fire types.
I think this is the only point in Emerald where that ? emote is used. And yes, Archie is still one of the worst villains, why do you ask?
Why are there Satoris in Archie's office? Wouldn't that make more sense in the Magma hideout? Suwako's not very special, just stick some level 75 EX Suwakos here or something.
Speaking of Suwako, she's the puppet you'll be sick of seeing by the time you're done here, because I've made this joke a few hundred times now and I still think it's funny.
I'm not even upset by this because at least it's something that's different and creative.
That's enough of that. It's almost time for the boss of Plot Zone, and I don't care enough to keep playing right now.