Part IV: Not a Poison Gym, I Promise
I swear, this game gets faster from here. Of course, that means this guide ALSO gets faster.
Recommended Level: 19-23
So remember the strange tree in your way? Water it. If you did it right, this happens:
This is your chance to capture Sudowudo, who is a Rock-type at the part of the game where Rock-types start to be bad. It isn’t a totally useless character though, so catch it if a Rock tree appeals to you. Ideally do catch it as it is the only Sudowoodo in the game!
Before proceeding, head a few steps east and talk to the man there. This gets you TM Rock Smash. You can heal up in Violet if you want.
Route 37 contains literally ZERO new Pokémon. Go north, avoiding grass if possible.
Recommended Level: 21-25
There are a ton of things to do here, but first things first go to the Pokémon Center. You should meet a guy named Bill. You might remember him from Red and Blue. Anyway, he leaves for Goldenrod. FOLLOW HIM. NOW. Go to his house in Goldenrod for a free Eevee. Trust me, it’s worth the trip. Your choices for evolution are essentially limited to Umbreon and Espeon due to the lack of evolution stones, and either is good. If you’re going Umbreon, you miiiiight want to evolve it BEFORE this gym though. Something to the effect of Dark > Ghost. Espeon can wait, as Eevee base form still has Bite and is immune to Ghost rather than just resisting it.
We have three more things to do here, which I believe can be done in any order.
The first is defeating the Kimono Girls at the dance theater. Expect five Lv17 evolved Pokémon. This nets you HM Surf. Now is as good a time as any to get a Surf user if you don’t have a Croconaw or something. Poliwag, for example, can be acquired from the lake in town.
If you want a Lapras, head back to Union Cave and Surf in the lower levels on a Friday for a Lv20 Loch Ness. It’s a solid Water/Ice type user. If you explore further you can also wind up back at the Ruins of Alph and find a wild Natu – not a bad choice at all.
Recommended Level: 22-26
The second thing we need to do is go pet some dogs that are hiding in the Burned Tower. Of course, mean old Silver is in your way. This time, he’s added a Magnemite to his roster that can very easily be removed by Ground types, but Fighting or Fire will do in a pinch. Otherwise, refer to the Azalea Town fight for a guide.
Once you’ve beaten him, go through the cave and meet some cute dogs (Legendaries!). Sadly, they run away before you can pet them. Oh well. Now we get to go chasing them around Johto later.
This area has a few Pokémon too. The new additions are Magmar and Koffing. Neither are my favorite, but if you are still lacking Fire damage Magmar might not be a bad idea.
Let’s be real though, we’re actually in this city for the third task: the Gym.
Recommended Level: 23-27
Ghost Gym has invisible platforms (see the General Guide for a map if you’re really stuck) and a ton of Gastly and Haunter, plus Morty’s Gengar. Eevee or Umbreon should basically be able to solo this gym. Espeon, if you evolved it that way, can easily beat anything slower than it, which Gengar clearly isn’t. If you want to use more conventional means, the Gastly line is STILL weak to Geodude’s STAB (though Ground rather than Rock this time), Kadabra should have a similar effect to Espeon, or feel free to just overlevel and plow through this with your starter. I’m not judging. Croconaw may have Bite at this point for instance.
Regardless, once you get the Fog Badge we’re done with this part. I suppose with the badge you could visit the Tin Tower, but Ho-Oh isn’t there yet and there are no new encounters.
NOTE: Parts V and VI can be reversed should you chose to accept it. Basically, there is a path split here. You can go West to Olivine City and Cianwood City, or East to Mahogany Town. The former will be Part V, while the latter will be Part VI. Click on the one you want to go to. Personally, I’m a fan of going to Mahogany and the Lake of Rage before ditching to go to Cianwood on account of the EXP Share, but that’s just me. In either case, Part VII starts after your seventh Gym Badge, whatever that may be.