Part III: PokéCommunity Dairy
In this part, we spend way too long gambling despite the target audience being underage and beat up a teenager’s pet cow. Wow!
Ilex Forest Revisited & Route 34
Recommended Level: 13-17
Because you’ve already solved the annoying Farfetch’d puzzle (you did, right?), you can just Cut the tree and move on.
Only relevant thing here, besides more mysterious plot, is the Headbutt tutor. Headbutt is a field move that can be used on some trees to summon a Pokémon, although you may have to try other trees or be lucky for the Pokémon you want. Anyway, this mechanic unlocks access to Exeggcute and Pineco. Pineco is a defensive Bug-type monster, but doesn’t have a high Attack. Exeggcute should be alright in theory, but this is Johto and Exeggcute is still half Grass, and requires a Leaf Stone to evolve (hard to come by in Gold and Silver before the Elite Four!).
Emerge from the forest onto Route 34 to find the first decent selection of new Pokémon in a while. The three new characters are Abra, Drowzee, and Ditto. Ditto is excellent for messing around, and is really quite fun to use sometimes. Abra also requires a trade to reach its final evolution, but Alakazam is just really freaking good.
If you don’t have an Onix or Geodude, and you don’t want to quite literally get Stomped on by the next gym, catch a Drowzee for another in-game trade once we get to Goldenrod. Just do it. I mean, if you like losing repeatedly to a twelve year old, sure, be my guest. Whitney is rightfully feared however.
There is a Day Care here too, but that’s not terribly useful in-game. Other than that, 34 is just another run-of-the-mill filler route. Go North.
Recommended Level: 14-18
Finally, another Pokémon Center. Use it.
Anyway, the biggest city in Johto has some good stuff. I mean, there’s a shopping mall, a bike shop, and a radio tower. But more interestingly, there is a Game Corner. While this may be at odds with current games lacking such features, this totally kid-friendly mechanic unlocks Dratini. As a Dragon-type, Dratini is good on the surface and your only chance to use a Dragon type for a long while. However, it has a poor movepool (Wrao and Twister, followed by Dragon Rage which is only useful for so long) and will not evolve into Dragonite until level 55 (likely well after becoming Champion). This is also the first (and only) chance Gold players have to get themselves a Ekans.
When you finish your gambling spree, visit the Bike Shop to (finally) get your Bicycle, hit the Radio Tower to get a radio card. Before we take on Whitney however, we’re going North for training. Three more routes to cover (well, two more and a park)!
If you caught a Drowzee, trade it for a Machop in the Department Store. Use the next few Routes to train it.
Route 35, Route 36, & National Park
Recommended Level: 14-18
Route 35 has all the wonderful things Route 34 had, plus Nidoran and the other Nidoran. The latter do have Double Kick which is useful for the Gym. The only other thing here is the 1% encounter Yanma, which doesn’t evolve in this game so I’m hard pressed to care. Next!
National Park normally contains nothing new outside of Sunkern. The Seed Pokémon, in addition to the previously stated problems of being a Grass-type in Johto, has the distinction of being the WORST Grass-type in Johto. It also has base stats of 30 (very low) and needs a Sun Stone to evolve into an okay Pokémon at best. Do not use unless you want a challenge.
That said, if you go to National Park on Tuesday or Saturday, you can enter the Bug-Catching Contest! This adds a metric ton of new Bug-types to the park, including the exclusive Scyther and Pinsir. Scyther requires the Metal Coat to evolve but is still good. Everything else is pretty much a generic bug. Venonat is new too, and this is the only place you can catch the opposite version of the game’s generic caterpillar family. Moving on!
Route 36 finally offers a Fire-type to Chikorita and Totodile users, Growlithe in Gold and Vulpix in Silver. I honestly don’t advise either unless you’re really desperate for a way to beat Steels and Ices, because the Fire Stone they need to evolve is post-game only. Stantler takes up the 5% slot in this route, but it isn’t very strong.
Anyway, there is a weird tree in your way, and apparently you can’t even attempt to Cut it. Ugh. One nonsense tree was bad enough…
Recommended Level: 17-21
Welcome at last to the infamous Goldenrod Gym. This place is horrible. This is a Normal-type gym. Whitney has one Pokémon that doesn’t matter often (a Clefairy with Metronome) and a Miltank that does matter. As mentioned above, any and all Rock types are highly recommended, plus that Machop you traded for in Goldenrod. Gastly can try to troll Clefairy because of its typing, but Miltank has Rollout, so that’s out the window. Pretty much everything else just gets smashed. I hope you power-levelled. Clefairy isn’t that hard to beat, either punch it or throw your strongest moves at it. It’s the OTHER one that’s scary.
I’ve written a very good piece that totally wasn’t an April Fools article on the competitive power of Miltank. Sure, this focused on the modern version from HGSS (the most notable addition being the Scrappy ability), but most of the points remain the same. Quoting that article:
As I said, Rollout is the most powerful attack in the game, so why wouldn’t you use it? Stomp is there to represent how much you will stomp your enemies with this Pokémon, as well as cause flinching. Attract helps with those pesky evolutions of Starter Pokémon, as they are almost always male, as well as any other annoying things that come your way. And in the event your top-class Defenses are broken, just push Milk Drink. Easy game, easy life.
Whitney follows my suggestions in that article very closely, which further increases the difficulty of this fight. So how do you beat it? Rocks. That or punch it with the traded Machop.
Upon winning, go to the flower shop and getting the watering pail. It is an easy to miss point of the game. Get the watering can and head back to Route 36.