Let's talk about Reimu (and by extention game design) for a little bit.
These are the wilds you have to prepare for Reimu with.
Her entire team (five members) is level 28, and has perfect IVs. Compare this to Marisa's level 23 team and the piddly wilds. Sure, there were trainers along the way, but there was nowhere near enough experience between them to prepare you for this.
On the item front, she has four Full Restores. Compare this to Marisa's two Hyper Potions, and that the best healing items you can buy are Potions. As usual this isn't as relevant since broken items, but it's still worth mentioning.
As you can guess, her team has good moves. Some notable examples are Mirror Coat on Sanae, Counter/illegal Earthquake on Sakuya, and Blade Flash/Shadow Ball on Youmu. Marisa is a little odd in that she has Swift instead of Flamethrower, but I'll take it.
Of course, I wouldn't be talking about all of this if there wasn't something I was trying to delay showing, and that something is this. I said in the last post that I would talk about the Zero forms as it became relevant, and now is the perfect time to do so.
Zero forms are the best of the best. They were custom tailored to provide a postgame challenge to the player in ways that Last Word forms can't, as the player gets EVs and the AI doesn't. They all sport 990 BST, killer typings and abilities, and are all very good at expressly killing you, with the exception being Zero Reisen because she always gets the short end of the stick.
Zero Reimu in particular has 220 HP, 150 Attack, 150 Defense, 170 Special Attack, 150 Special Defense, and 150 Speed. Her ability is Levitate, and her pure ???-typing gives her no weaknesses at the cost of having no STAB. This particular one has perfect coverage in Ancientpower, Extrasensory, Thunderbolt, and Brick Break.
I wouldn't normally mind seeing high-BST super bosses at postgame, but this is not postgame and beating Reimu is mandatory if you wish to progress the game's plot. You are expected to topple a 990 BST behemoth at a point in the game where most of your team is averaging 320~370 BST, not even fully evolved, and won't fully evolve until the mid 30s. There are people out there that say "well this isn't that bad honestly I didn't have any trouble with it" or "you're not even playing the game legitimately" or maybe even "just grind to 40 or something if it bothers you so much" and if you say any of those things non-ironically you are completely missing the point and probably think that grinding is fun. Even with a Lucky Egg, you're only getting ~150 EXP per kill off the wilds available to you.
Anyway, I'm not going to tolerate one second of this bullshit, and Toxic is the most reliable method I have for killing it in something resembling a reasonable timeframe. People playing legitimately wouldn't even have this option, so they have to strongarm it. I believe if you paralyze it the game will break and start trying to use Green Shards and Scarlet Tomes to try and cure its paralysis giving you free turns due to the item table, but if you have to defend awkward difficulty curves with glitches letting you bypass them then you should probably fix your game.
The icing on the cake is that your reward for beating her is $112 because Reimu being broke is a funny joke. This is especially insulting considering the most efficient way to train for her is battling her and wiping to ZReimu repeatedly, and if you don't spend all your money on Ethers or something at the previous Nitorimart you'll lose a good chunk of cash.
To say one good thing about this battle, it uses Touhou Sky Arena BGM. If you can get past it reliably, you can also repeat it however much you wish to train a bit more.
Beating Reimu makes Yukari appear in the other futon. As you could probably guess by her typical appearance in fandom, her only purpose is to be a plot device. In this case, it's to send you back to Kanto.
To do this she sends you to her "gap zone" which is a fancy way of saying "gigantic featureless void." You have to stumble around here until you find a warp that takes you to Pallet Town somewhere in the southeast corner, and if you don't pay attention you'll just end up back at the Hakurei Shrine.
There are obviously wilds as well, as if having to stumble blindly in a featureless room wasn't enough. The Chibi Yukaris even pierce the effects of Repel and cause Necrofantasia to play instead of the normal wild battle BGM, because her painfully loud remix of Ran's theme is the only song she is associated with and Evening Star doesn't exist since it happened in a fighting game.
After you finally escape, you have to battle a level 40 Kongara. Aichiya had some form of common sense for this encounter though, it has a capture rate of 120 instead of the typical 3 for legendaries.
The player also gains access to a ferry for Two Island, so you can now buy lategame items with all none of the money you have left from wiping to Reimu repeatedly.
Entering the main part of town, we get locked into a cutscene and our mother is unconcerned about our safety. I can't particularly blame her, if I had a daughter who left home on a magical Pokemon adventure without as much as saying goodbye to me and came back a few (hours/days/weeks) later claiming she lost her memory and traveled to a supposedly fictional land, I wouldn't believe her either. I could keep writing words forming gramatically awkward sentences, but that can only put off the fact that the Gensokyo plot is taking a back seat to vanilla Fire Red for so long.
The Viridian mart is back in line with what it would be in vanilla FR here. What's a Super Potion?
This bit all the way up to Brock is a breather level in that the game has forgotten all of the bullshit it has thrown at you so far and is primarily giving you unevolved opponents.
Even Brock isn't that threatening. In fact, he doesn't even get any items. It's almost insulting, but I guess if you wanted to defend this by saying "WELL EVERYBODY IN GENSOKYO HAS MORE POWERFUL PUPPETS BECAUSE THEY'RE NATIVE THERE" then I could smile and nod while silently calling you rude names.
This is hardly outrageous. There are plenty of people that would pay that much for a Yuyuko doll.
I know that you're not here for me to nitpick Fire Red, but it's only fair I pretend to cover it.
At least he fully evolved his Luna.
I like this sequence because there's no memes involved.
Misty suddenly remembers that Touhou fangames are supposed to be hard and resumes the silly pace. She gets two Hyper Potions, and the Sanae has Mirror Coat because CounterCoat is difficulty. It's not like 1.5 Sanae can do much else anyway.
Another level spike happens between Misty and getting the Dig TM.
I hope you didn't plan on leveling with the VS Seeker, because it was relocated over to Gensokyo. You purchase it from Rinnosuke after some flags are set, I don't really know the details.
Is this a difficulty curve or a difficulty parabola?
I'm sure this would make a few people angry.
Three rival appearances in one post? I know, I'm crazy.
Welp, let's get this plot advancement ov-