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Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal - Low Encounter Run

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Inspired by JRose11 and Load97, I went for the sequels to finish them with the fewest amount of encounters.

 

Rules

- Beat Red

- Skip as many trainers and Pokemon as possible. Always flee from wild battles

- No using items in battle and no held items either

- No Daycare

- Battle Style is Shift

-No Buena's Password and Mystery Gift (otherwise there would be a limitless amount of Rare Candies)

- No elements outside the game (trading/events)

- No Glitches (manipulating the Game Clock to skip waiting time for Return is fine in my book)

 

Which version?

Crystal has less encounters, but two battles are tougher and it has an additional battle. Between Silver and Gold, the former is chosen, as it gives another user of Cut later on. In Gold (and to an extend Crystal), Cut has to be removed and retaught whenever it is necessary later on. Otherwise, there is no difference between those two. I only refer to Silver and Crystal from now on. I only tell the current battle count and Totodile's current level in the Crystal version. They are a bit higher in Silver.

Start

The Battle Style is changed to Set. The Clock is set on Saturday or Sunday, as Return will be bought in Dukatia City later on. If it is missed, waiting until Sunday or manipulating the Game Clock may be required.
 
Of the three starters, Totodile is chosen. It’s the only Pokemon that can learn Whirlpool. The Berry gets removed. Reseting for a decent one that has above average Attack and Defense is recommended, the third battle will be difficult otherwise.
 
After the visit with Mr. Pokemon, the Rival is encountered on the way back. The fight is in Totodile’s favor, though unlucky crits may result in a loss. Don't need to record that one, honestly.
 
After handing over the egg, the next destination is Violet City. There is but one forced encounter on the way, a Youngster with two Pokemon. He gives Totodile enough experience to learn the crucial attack Rage.
 
Battle Count: 2
Current Level: 7
 
Falkner
 
In the first gym, two Bird trainers and Falkner are fought. The first trainer has a Spearow and level advantage. Totodile can manage this fight barely with Rage. If not, a Reset to get a better one may be recommended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmc-rf97RpM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b8kegMXHTQ .
 
Like all Gym Leaders, Falkner uses a weak Pokemon first. This can be used to set the own Pokemon up to be properly prepared against the gym leaders later, stronger Pokemon. Totodile can set up Rage and gets enough Attack to beat Pidgeotto. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IGEb4hmUKM
 
After the gym, Togepi can be obtained. In Silver it is mostly useless, but Totodile can heal itself of confusion or if its stats are lowered by switching to it. Theoretically it can use Charm to weaken Pokemon with a threatening physical offense, but it is tricky to set up and not required. In Crystal, well, I tell you tomorrow.
 
Battle Count: 5
Current Level: 11

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Bugsy,
 
Route 32 has one forced encounter at the start. Not in Crystal though.
 
Union Cave has one Hiker with three Geodudes. Since he starts with the lowest leveled, Rage gets enough opportunities to grow. Only after the fight, Aqua Gun is learned. At the very least it serves to beat the following Firebreather and his Vulpix. Crystal allows to avoid these two trainers as well.
 
In the Slowpoke Well, four Rockets Grunts have to be dispatched. None of them are threatening, though one or two visits back to the Pokecenter may be warranted, if things go badly and poisonous.
 
The gym has two weak trainers on the way to Bugsy. The second trainer can be chosen between too different ones, the left one has only one Pokemon. The fight with Bugsy is simple, though it can go wrong. Metapod is harmless. Even if it uses Tackle more than anything else, it speeds up Totodiles Rage. Kakuna can poison it, but usually Rage is at this point of time strong enough to beat hit with few hits. Scyther doesn’t take too many attacks either, but critical attacks can kill Totodile. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm4k0tjtXGE
 
The victory over Bugsy makes Totodile evolve and its evolved form can learn Fury Cutter. In Crystal, i t doesn't reach level 18 yet, sadly.
 
Rival
 
The Rival has the rather non-threatening Ghastly and Zubat, but Bayleef can beat Croconaw easily with Razer Leaf. It is also fairly sturdy, so Scratch and Aqua Gun aren’t doing much. Rage can’t be used against Ghastly, meaning it is weak as well. Aside from lowering its accuracy with Mud-Slap, Fury Cutter works well, but starts weak just like Rage. But unlike Rage, it can be strengthened in the fight with Ghastly first. This is still an issue, as it knows Hypnosis and can paralyze with Lick. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOo41VPcj4Q
 
In Crystal, this fight is even more difficult. Totodile can theoretically beat Bayleef with Mudslap and hoping to not get hit with Razor Leaf, but it is unlikely. But there is one other Pokemon obtainable at this time, Togepi. Since Togepi has to evolve, it has to reach 220 friendship by going over 25000 steps. Then it can participate in one or two battles (like the first Rocket Grunt) and should get just one level to evolve.Totodile can weaken Gastly with Aquagun and then switch to Togetic, which can beat Gastly with Mudsplap (though it can sleep and Spite can remove Mudslap, effectively resulting in a loss). Next is Zubat, which Totodile can handle with Rage. If it gets lucky, it may be able to beat Zubat with Rage handily and inflict Rage on the Bayleef for some damage, but this is only to consider if it has enough HP to survive a Razer Leaf. Togetic has to swapped in and lower Bayleef’s accuracy with Mudslap. It can take some Razer Leafs due her type and high special defense and Bayleef may use Growl and Reflect, wasting time. Then Togetic uses Metronome for the rest of the battle (learned after the battle with Gastly). Metronome hopefully poisons it, as even regular attacks like a Fire Blast aren’t doing much. Totodile can also finish the job, hoping that Bayleef doesn’t hit after six Mudslaps.
 
Battle Count: 13

Current Level: 17-18

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Whitney
 
In the Ilex Forest, Cut is found. Only Starter Pokemon and Sandshrew (bought in the Game Corner in the Silver Edition) can use it, so Croconaw has to make room for it. It takes a while until it is able to forget it in Blackthorn City.
 
Route 34 has no forced encounters. Goldenrod City has plenty to offer. A Spearow can be obtained and it is the sole obtainable user of Flying, next to Togetic. Flying is not only saving time, it avoids to face one trainer battle on the way back from Olivine City in Silver, so Kenya the Spearow is a great contribution to the team. The Bike isn’t necessary at all.
 
The Underground has to be visited later on. The Coin Case found there enables to buy Abra, Sandshrew/Ekans, and Dratini. Abra is potentially almost good enough to beat the rest of the game, but Feraligator is a bit more balanced and has less issues with the two Houndooms and the Snorlax that are to come. Dratini is required later on, as it is the sole user of Waterfall. It also opens up to get Blizzard, Thunder and Fire Blast, though they aren’t required. In Crystal, Wobuffett could be useful, but it isn’t required.
 
In the Underground, one trainer battle is mandatory, as he lurks near the locked door that will be opened in the Rocket mission later on. There are two trainers that lurk near each entrance. Since the south entrance is blocked later on by a Grunt, it is forbidden to fight the southern trainer there. Croconaw can already beat the northern Pokemaniac and the Super Nerd for early experience.
 
At the Radio Tower, the Radio Card is required to overcome the Snorlax later on in Kanto with the upgrade.
 
The Department store offers useful TMs. Ice Punch is fantastic until the end of the game. It isn’t required to learn now, though, and would take the slot for Rage away (which may be used in the next gyms). Blizzard is theoretically better, but expensive. Of course, the coins can be won through gambling in the Game Corner, but it just isn’t necessary. Later on, the Return TM is useful for Feraligator. The Vitamins will be another way to spend the accumulated money, but the are too expensive for now.
 
Finally, the gym waits with one forced trainer (just with a Snubbull) and the leader. Whitney’s Miltank is as usual quite the challenge when confronted unprepared, but Croconaw can set up Rage in the battle with Clefary beforehand. Fury Cutter could work as well, but Miltank could disrupt it through flinching or attraction, Rage isn’t bothered by that as much. Clefairy can ruin things with Metronome, Croconaw faced a Petal Dance in the first attempt and became too weak to beat Miltank. On the successfull tries, Double Slap’s multi hitting attacks complimented the way Rage works. It gets a boost with every hit, not just the single attack.
 
 
 
Battle Count: 17

Current Level: 20-21

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Morty, Rival 3
 
With the obtained Squirtbottle, the next step would be Route 35 to reach Sudowoodo and Teak City. But there are a number of trainers in the way and Sudowoodo can be reached from Viola City. This means some annoying backtracking, but it isn’t too bad. And for future visits to Goldenrod City, the Fly HM will suffice. In Crystal, all trainers can be avoided and it is even mandatory to approach Sudowoodo from this site to get the Squirtbottle.
 
After fleeing from Sudowoodo, Teak City is almost in reach. Only a sole Psychic with a Drowzee will be fought (not in Crystal). By the way, the two entrances of the National Park can’t be entered in Silver because of some trainers. No Dig TM on that playthrough.
 
Teak City offers the Dance Theater to get Surf and the gym to use that outside the battle. This is required for the two separate ways that can be chosen randomly.
 
In Crystal, the gym only opens after the Rival fight, which is mandatory in this version. Croconaw can battle the Kimono Sisters and four trainers on the way to/in Cianwood City and the Lighthouse beforehand. It may also replace Rage with Ice Punch to beat Bayleef easily.
 
The four gym trainers fall quickly to Croconaw’s new Bite move, but for Morty, it may be better to fight the five Kimono Girls first for the extra experience and Surf move in Silver. The one with Jolteon requires a lucky crit and not getting paralyzed. Surf is stronger than an effective Bite, though it doesn’t flinch. It is the better move if it OHKOes and/or hits last. Bite may still be more useful if both moves 2RKO, if it inflicts flinch.
 
 
Battle Count: 32
Current Level: 28

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Chuck, Jasmine, Pryce
 
 
Next, it is possible to go east to fight the Red Gyarados and clear the Rocket Hideout and the Ice gym. If going left, backtracking quickly is forbidden in Silver, as a trainer is in the way back to Teak City. Only after the Cianwood gym is cleared and Fly was learned, it is possible to exit that side of Jotho (maybe a bought Abra can fix this with Teleport?). In Crystal the male Pokefan on that route has to be defeated anyways, so backtracking is possible in this version.
 
Both sides have one or two nasty fights. The east is pretty easy with the exception of the Red Gyrados, which smashes the current level 28 Croconaw. It may be possible to survive its onslaught of Dragon Rage and Trash. The latter may even confuse it, though to survive that, Croconaws teammates have to swap in. The best method would be to hope for a lucky Ice Punch that freezes it. In Silver I went left, in Crystal I went right.
 
In Olivine City, Strength is gotten for Shuckly soon. If going west first, three harmless battles in the Lighthouse wait first (and the male Pokefan in Crystal). Surfing to Cianwood City, Shuckle (remove its item) and the Potion are obtained.There, 4 gym trainers and leader Chuck are waiting. The first two gym trainers are surprisingly difficult, as they are battled in a row with no rest to cure Croconaw. Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are durable enough to avoid a 2HKO and hurt rather much with Jump Kick and Thunder Punch. Some Surf crits and Hitmonchan using other punches make this possible. Croconaw finally evolves, but the gym isn’t over. Chuck’s Polywraths is unimpressed by Feraligators Surf, Bite and Cut. Rage is once again the way to go, especially when Primeape used Fury Scratch to trigger Rage as many times as possible (Leer can be dangerous in the following battle). Still, Poliwrath’s Hynose and Dynamic Punch have good chances to beat Feraligator. In Crystal, Feraligator had a higher level from the Rocket hideout and Pryce gym, so he could manage them with Surf.
 
Returning to Olivine City, Jasmine should be skipped for now. The Magnemites survived Surf on a new Feraligator, it should have completed the other two gyms to have as much levels as possible. While Feraligator could take one Thunderbolt, Thunderwave was also most unwelcome. The Steelix fight is usually easy, with Feraligator weakening it with Surf, but if it survives a Surf, Paralyse, Screech and a critical Iron Tail an make this a threat. The Sunny Day can be removed by sending other Pokemon first. Overall, it is better to wait one or two level more to beat them cleanly with Surfer. But one may want the experience for the Gyarados fight.
 
On the way to the Lake of Rage, there are no forced encounters. The Red Gyarados can possible 3HKO Feraligator with Dragon Rage, but it used weak Bite attacks this time and flinched more than once. If it is tackled first with a Croconaw, it gets much tougher. Hopefully it uses Leer and hits itself from confusion. Other team members like Togepi (Charm) or Shuckle can weaken it and Croconaw could freeze it. In Crystal, Croconaw isn't evolved yet and has a harder time. Thankfull, the AI is even worse with wild Pokemon than with Trainers.
 
The Rocket Hideout isn’t noteworthy, with them having Pokemon on low levels, while Feraligator ditched Rage for Ice Punch to deal even more damage against mooks. The Executives weren’t a challenge either. Only one Grunt could be avoided. It isn’t possible to escape from the three Electrodes, so they are beaten. In Crystal, the two Scientists near the Grunts with the Passwords and one Grunt before the room with the first Executive can be avoided.
 
About the Mahogany gym even less is to say about. Pryce’s Pokemon can’t hurt Feraligator and Dewgong can drag the fight out if anything.
 
 
 
Battle Count: 51
Current Level: 36

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Rival 4, Clair
 
Next destination is the Radio Tower. While the Rocket’s Pokemon are a bit higher leveled, none of the Grunts or Executives are anything to write home about. On the second level, one of two Grunts can be skipped, the lower one has five Pokemon, the upper one merely two. In Crystal, an additional female Grunt has to be fought. On the third level, one Grunt can be pulled away and he only has one Pokemon. This avoids fighting a Scientist with three Pokemon. But when this room is entered again, the Grunt is in the way and the Scientist must be fought on the way back. To avoid this, Feraligator has to die and “teleport” to the Pokecenter after the Executive upstairs is beaten and dropped the Key. This is possible through poisoning. Teleport through an Abra doesn’t work. To avoid losing too much money, it is saved by the Mum beforehand. This is all complicated and doesn’t avoid a battle, it merely allows to have a battle with less opponents.
 
Going underground, the Rival puts up a mild challenge, but it doesn't require any smart setup to beat him. His team can beat Feraligator in a group effort, if it gets lucky. After that, eight Grunts, two Burglars and three Executives have to be fought until Team Rocket is beaten.
 
Going to Blackthorn City, only a sole Bird Keeper lurks at the entrance of the Ice Path, who is avoidable on Crystal. Waterfall is found there, which a bought/given Dratini will need to use soon.
 
In Blackthorn City, Feraligator can finally forget Cut and could learn Return. It sticks with the decent Strength for now, which can be removed. The four not skippable Cooltrainers and Clair aren’t threatening. One of her Dragonairs survived an Ice Punch, but it seems unlikely on average. Avoiding a Thunderbolt is certainly desired. Kingdra can’t hurt Feralgator much and its defense isn’t too impressive. In Crystal, a Cooltrainer has to be fought in the Dragoncave.
 
 
 
Battle Count: 78
Current Level: 46

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Rival 5, Elite 4, Lance
 
Going to Victory Road, five trainers are on the way, though the first four can be avoided in Crystal. Earthquake is found in the Victory Road and can replace Bite. Return can replace Strength, if not done already. The Rival makes a final appearance in this run. Five of his Pokemon get OHKOed by Return, Earthquake and Surf,, only Meganium survives one Ice Punch.
 
Will is the first of the Elite Four. Feraligator is unable to OHKO any of them with the exception of Jynx (who can get a Reflect, though). So, it takes at least one attack every battle. A couple of Psychics can kill it, so hopefully they waste their turns using Confuse Ray, Leech Seed, Amnesie, Curse or get critted.
 
Koga is an easy battle, but a bit of a matter of luck. His Pokemon aren’t OHKOed with the exception of Muk. They usually don’t harm Feraligator aside from Psychic and Explosion, but Doubleteam can stall this battle in Koga’s favor, if Toxic works.
 
 
Bruno has a rather durable Machamp though Return beats it in two hits. The other Pokemon go down with no effort. Hitmontop usually wastes his turn using Dig (countered with Earthquake) and Hitmonchan only gets a weak Thunderpunch in. Hitmonlee and Onix are OHKOed by Return and Surf respectively.
 
Karen is the easiest member of them. 3 Pokemon get down in one hit. Umbreon is too weak to do much damage and Vileplume only gets one attack through (hopefully not hitting with Stun Spore).
 
Lance is a tricky one, if his Dragonites survive a single Ice Punch. They can retaliate with Thunder Wave, the last one thankfully not. Aerodactyl and Charizard go down with one Surf each, though the former out speeds Feraligator. Feraligator can easily be beaten by this groups combined attacks. It depends on the Dragonites and the Gyarados. The latter can be 2HKOed with Return, but may be healed and has some turns to retaliate. Expecting a Hyperbeam and switching out to get a turn may be worth it. If Feralgaotr's Special Attack is too low, buying Blizzard may pay off.
 
 
 
This completes the first part of the game with 94 forced encounters in Silver and 86 battles in Crystal. There is still Kanto.
 
Battle Count: 86
Current Level: 53

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In all my years of Pokemon, I don't think I've ever ran into a low encounter fun. Seems interesting. Good luck with Kanto and Red!

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Thanks. Kanto will be summarized in only two posts, but after that I will show what Soulsilver and Heartgold offer.

-----

Blue
 
The second part in Kanto isn’t challenging with the exception of the last two trainers, Blue and Red. I won’t comment on any other trainer or gym leader, all their Pokemon get down in one or two attacks and they are even lower leveled than the Elite Four. Surf, Earthquake and Ice Punch are good enough if hitting effectively and if the opponent has low defense, Return makes good use of Feralgators high attack stat.
 
It is a minor issue to travel through Kanto facing the least number of trainers. On the way to Kanto, one Sailor has to be fought on the Ship. The Power Plant can be reached in two ways. The long one through the Rock Tunnel (a pain without Flash) requires only one Hiker with a Machamp to beat. Fuchsania City has to be reached later on through the south side. Entering it from the west or east would require to beat at least one trainer!
 
In the gyms, a total of five trainers have to be confronted (three in Erika's gym, and one in each of Brock's and Sgt. Surge's gym). Seven trainers are fought to reach Misty at the Nugget Bridge. With the already mentioned Sailor on the ship and the Hiker before the Rock Tunnel, this makes 14 trainers. With the 8 Gym Leaders and Red, we have 23 trainers in Kanto. A total of 117 encounters in Silver, if adding the 94 encounters in Jotho. Its 109 encounters in Crystal, adding the 86 in Jotho.
 

Blue’s team is partly harmless and partly dangerous. Rhydon gets OHKoed. Pidgeot doesn’t deal much damage and Exegguttor wastes his turn charging up Solar Beam, both die in two hits. The threat is Alakazam, who can outspeed Feraligator and  can use Reflect. In that case, some Pokemon should be traded in afterwards so that Reflect disappears. If it isn't using Reflect, it hurts with Psychic at least once. Gyarados survives two Returns and deals plenty of damage. Once again, switching and hoping to get a Hyperbeam so that Gyarados has to recharge one turn can save a turn. Arcanine can survive a Surf barely and a weakened Feralgator may be beaten with Extremespeed. Some luck and crits are appreciated, furthermore the fight differs how well Feraligators stats are distributed. On my silver fight, Arcanine wasn't OHKOed but Alakazam was outspeeded. It is also possible to give it some rare candies and vitamins, as long as its level is still low enough that it manages to get enonough experiene for a level in this fight.

 

Battle Count: 108

Level: 61

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Red
 
With Blue out of the way, the last obstacle is Red. In preparation, all eleven (or ten) Rare Candies will be used. They are all rather easy to find with a guide even without Flash. Though the one at the Light House is only accessed by entering the room from above by jumping down. Using the stairs up would require fighting trainers. In Crystal, the one in Teak City isn’t obtainable, as the place is guarded by three trainers. Combined with the lower amount of battles, Feraligator in Crystal is two levels weaker than the one in Silver.
 
Finally, Feraligator gets three-four of each vitamin and four-five HP UP. I honestly don’t know how those work and as long a I can beat Red, I don’t have to.
 
Pikachu seems like a threat with his speed and thunderbolt, but being unevolved its stats are just too low. A single Return takes it down.
Venusaur can take two Ice Punches (Blizzard may be better), but it wastes time charging Solar Beam or using Sunny Day. By swapping Pokemon, Feraligator can avoid a nasty Solar Beam.
Espeon gets one Psychic in before it falls in Silver with a second Surf. In Crystal, it outspeeds Feraligator. Hoping for a Crit or Reflect may work. In the latter case, the other Pokemon have to be switched in so Reflect wears off. Reflect shouldn’t be there when Snorlax is around.
Snorlax is the largest threat, as it takes some Returns, while retailing with a mean Bodyslam. It can also recover. The solution of this is Dynamic Punch, which puts it in range to be beaten by another Return. Confusing it makes it even better. It also wastes its first turn with Amnesie.
Blastoise is sturdy. Gambling with a Dynamic Punch to confuse it is possible, a weakened Feraligator may not beat it fast enough with Return.
Charizard survives one Surf and its one attack can beat a weakened or unlucky Feraligator, even more so if it is a crit.
 
Espeon, Snorlax and Blastoise can easily beat Feraligator, so some luck is required. Going for Dynamic Punch was the biggest surprise. In Crystal, Feraligator didn't even survived this battle. Out of all 12 participants in this battle, only one survived.
 
 
 

 

 

The challenge ends with a total of 117 battles and 284 faced Pokemon in Silver. Feraligator wasn’t able to reach level 74, being short of 20 exp. In Crystal, the challenge ended with a total of 109 battles and 267 faced Pokemon. Feraligator loses out on two levels, but may get to level 72, if it beats all six of Red's Pokemon.
 
Battle Count: 109
Current Level: 71-72
 
 
Spreadsheet with all Encounters and their number of Pokemon:
 
 
 
Totodiles learning set, HM Distribution
 
Each of the four lines represent the place in the attack menu, so Scratch will be replaced by Cut, then Cut will be replaced by Return and so on.
 
Silver
 
1. Scratch      6. Cut              10. Return
2. Leer            5. Fury Cutter 7. Bite              13. Earthquake  14. Dynamic Punch
3. Rage           9. Ice Punch
4. Water Gun 8. Surf             11. Whirlpool  12. Surf    (one Rare Candy requires Whirlpool, switch back to Surf afterwards)
 
Kenya the Spearow has Fly
Shuckie the Shuckle has Strength
Sandshrew has Cut
Dratini has Surf and Waterfall
 
 
Crystal
 
1. Scratch     5. Cut            9. Strength        10. Whirlpool            11. Return
2. Leer           6. Bite          12. Earthquake  13. Dynamic Punch
3. Rage          8. Ice Punch
4. Water Gun 7. Surf     (Cut is needed in Kanto and for some Rare Candies, switch back to Surf afterwards)
 
Togetic has Fly
Shuckie the Shuckle has Strength
Dratini has Surf and Waterfall

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That was a really interesting challenge run. Also having extreme speed Dratini finish off the Crystal run was amazing, my jaw dropped, and as a Dratini fan I was overjoyed to see her save the day!

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