In Part 1 I went over the first five badges of the Johto region and some of the new stuff in Pokémon HeartGold, now it’s time to see the rest of Johto!
|Small villages hide big secrets sometimes too.|
|I wouldn't want to be the inhabitant of that lonely house|
at the top when the Gyarados show up in groups...
|Oh Hell no, your redness is not scaring me!|
Under that shop, there’s a small Team Rocket hideout. It’s time to toss the garbage out of Mahogany Town! Nicolas steamrolls the Rocket grunts and their Pokémon, and stops the wave-emitting machine. Once more, the day is saved! Well, not quite. One thing does happen in there; at one point, Keith shows up again, but someone else appears: Lance, a Dragon-type user! Lance easily defeats Keith and then berates him for mistreating his Pokémon. Yup, it seems that all this time, Keith was really damn nasty to the creatures he caught. This exchange opens Keith’s eyes, and supposedly sets him on the path to become a better person… Good for him, I guess?
And we can finally get into Gym 7 and challenge Pryce, a very cool guy. In more ways than one. After Pryce is defeated, Nicolas gets a call from Prof Elm indicating that a radio transmission from Team Rocket is going all around the regions, a message they’re sending to try and find their old leader Giovanni. Elm tasks the player with finding where the signal comes from and defeat the villainous Team once and for all. The first idea is to head back to Goldenrod City’s Radio Tower. But it’s infested with Rocket grunts, so we’re not allowed in. We can go in the underground zone of Goldenrod City, where someone will disguise the Trainer as a Team Rocket member. Time to sneak our way into the Radio Tower!
|Actually, I was willing to show them that they're not even|
worth the dirt beneath my shoes, but hey, if you want to
stop me from kicking all of their asses, go ahead.
So, what do we do? Well, there’s the second portion of this “dungeon” in the Goldenrod underground, which is where more grunts are hidden along with a few of their scientists and admins. But before we can reach them, we need to beat Keith again. Seriously, just give up. You lost the last time, you lost every other time, just abandon already, Keith. You’re my rival, I want to keep on hating you, I don’t want to start feeling pity. Anyway, past Keith, there’s a lot of grunts… and we finally meet the actual director of the Radio Tower, kept hostage in the underground warehouse. He hands Nicolas the key card. So, guess what? We need to go back to the Radio Tower and put this organization to sleep…. Forever!
In the Radio Tower, Nicolas fights off a few more grunts, a few more scientists, and finally gets to the Executives. Let’s see, one of them has a weak team, one has a full team of Koffing and Weezing (Can’t tell if fetish… or just insane), then one who has a more diverse team, and we finally get to Team Rocket’s new boss: Executive Archer.
|He looks as surprised as I was. I just imagine Sterling Archer saying|
"A lowly crook has my name? Okay, he's going to die."
The battle against Archer is suitably difficult for this point in the game, but he gets defeated quickly enough. Team Rocket’s blasting off again, for the last time! Now that the Team is officially disbanded, Nicolas can resume his adventure across Johto. To thank the player, the radio director offers him the Rainbow Wing (in HeartGold) or the Silver Wing (in SoulSilver). Once we’re back to Mahogany Town, we can finally get across Route 44, into the Ice Path, and towards Blackthorn City, home of Clair, the eighth Gym Leader and a Dragon-Type specialist. Blackthorn City was also the residence of a clan of Dragon users, which sounds impressive… That is, until you remember that Gens 1 and 2 had only four Pokémon with the Dragon type, and that other Pokémon who looked like dragons didn’t actually have the type, such as Charizard, Gyarados or Aerodactyl.
|...I hate when Gym Leaders don't|
accept defeat! IT'S A PART OF
THE JOB DESCRIPTION!
|...I hate this girl.|
|Ah, do I have to? I don't care about the Legendary|
Pokémon right now!
Yes! However, the Elite 4 is located outside of Johto, in a little place better known as… Kanto. Yep, we’re revisiting the roots! Our character heads down from Blackthorn City into Route 45, then Route 46 (possibly passing by the Dark Cave), and reaches Route 29 towards New Bark Town. From there, we can Surf on Route 27, which also allows us to visit the Tohjo Falls. Then there’s Route 26, which leads to the Pokémon League Reception Gate. In there, a Pokémon League official verifies that Nicolas has all of his badges, and then lets him through. No going to Kanto just yet. And for some reason, the left path is blocked as well. Fine then, let’s move on into Victory Road!
As usual, Victory Road is the final exam that tests the player’s exploration and puzzle skills. In the cave, abilities such as Surf and Strength are required, and there are many powerful Trainers awaiting. You know, it must be kind of a pathetic life; these Trainers have to wait in that cave, challenge every Trainer who’s on the way to the Elite 4… I have two theories. Theory one, these are employees of the E4 who, unlike the other Trainers everywhere, were hired to pose as an additional challenge as the main character is navigating through the cave. Theory two, these Trainers don’t have the level to take on the E4, so they lurk in what is the final dungeon in hopes of encountering Trainers with an even lower level than theirs. Easy preys. And thus their Pokémon level up. But the joke’s on them, since the player character is so strong.
Yes? Finally! Took well over five thousand words, but here we are. First is Will, a Psychic-type master. He’s dressed like a jester. Just my luck, I’m starting to hate those. Whatever. Next is Koga, ex-Gym Leader from Kanto, a ninja who specializes in the Poison type. He gave his role as Gym Leader to his daughter Janine when he was offered a spot in the Elite 4.
Whatever. After these four opponents are defeated, we can finally reach the Johto champion… and it’s none other than Lance. He’s back from the preceding Generation, where he was merely the fourth Elite 4 member… well, now that we’ve reached this point, better give it all we got!
|And last but not least... LANCE!|
Defeating the Elite Four reveals a whole new world of possibilities; the Oliville City Harbor is open now, and our character has earned a ticket to travel from Johto… to Kanto! There are quite a few things to do on the ship: Trainers to fight, Plates to collect (for Arceus)… oh, my memory of it is a little foggy by now, because I used the ship only once in the games, and I never got to use it again… and I can’t replay the game to explain it in greater detail…
Anyway, here we are: Kanto, where the franchise started. Where the greatest Trainer in the world began his journey, three years prior. The second half of this game takes place here! I’ll cover that in Part 3.