Note that this only concerns the main series games, no spinoffs included.
3. Surf on Sharpedo (ΩRαS)
In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Sharpedo is insanely fast on water, and I mean faster than a Mach Bike on land. It also has high speed underwater, although not nearly as much (about the speed of an Acro Bike popping a wheelie if I had to estimate). Heck, it’s so fast, it doesn’t even have a Waterfall animation; it’s just a splash of a screen transition instead.
Therefore, when I hunt for Secret Bases (or go exploring anywhere, really), I do so with the help of two HM users: 1) a Sharpedo with Waterfall, Surf, Dive, and Strength; 2) a Hawlucha with Fly, Rock Smash, Cut, and Dig. Sharpedo is one of a kind, and of the five Pokémon with access to Hawlucha’s moveset (Charizard, Mew, Archeops, Smeargle, and of course Hawlucha), Hawlucha was the easiest for me to access. (All it took was a transfer from Pokémon Y.)
2. Voltorb Flip (HGSS)
In the Game Corner of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is a game called Voltorb Flip which, despite its location, doesn’t necessarily involve gambling (mainly in that you can’t lose coins, only gain a predetermined number of coins or none at all). I suppose it was part of the process of GameFreak abating any potential encouragement of gambling, hence the lack of any sort of Game Corner in gen 5 or 6 (which they even pointed out blatantly in ΩRαS).
It’s still fun, though. It’s based around a 5×5 layout of cards, each labeled 1-3 or with a Voltorb. Each row and column is labeled with two numbers, the first being the sum of all the numbered cards and the second being the number of Voltorb cards (which, by the way, prevent any winnings from being earned). The number of coins earned per round (given you don’t flip a Voltorb card) is equal to the mass product of the numbers on the number cards flipped. I don’t know a darn thing about level-ups, though, but it never really bothered me enough to be worth investigating. I do know that a higher level means a higher expected coin yield at the risk of increased board difficulty. I also know that Voltorb Flip has a higher level cap in Celadon’s Game Corner than in Goldenrod’s.
Ah, breeding. Introduced in gen 2, made more complicated in gen 3, somewhat improved in gen 4, pretty much unchanged in gen 5, and perfected in gen 6.
It’s always been interesting to me, the concept of two Pokémon creating another. It’s so mysterious that, even to this generation, the Daycare people claim to not know how Pokémon produce Eggs. On that note, can we just talk about how Ditto can breed with anything? How does that even work? How does it happen to transform into the opposite gender of any species? Heck, how can it breed with genderless Pokémon like Magnemite and Voltorb? It’s all very mysterious indeed…
Gen 3, with the introduction of natures, IVs, and abilities, teaches us a valuable lesson that genetics should not be taken for granted. With 25 possible natures, over a billion different IV sets, and sometimes multiple abilities, chances are no two Pokémon will have the same potential. Getting the right stats is difficult since everything is completely random (except, for whatever reason, the Everstone is a helper in transferring a parent’s nature to its child, and a child will have a greater chance of having its parent’s ability). Thankfully, as a sort of compensation for all of the complication it dragged in, gen 3 also introduced the abilities Magma Armor and Flame Body, which both have the overworld effect of making an Egg easier to hatch.
The improvements of gen 4 were more in HeartGold and SoulSilver than in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. In HGSS, the Power items—Anklet, Band, Belt, Bracer, Lens, and Weight (representing Speed, Special Defense, Defense, Attack, Special Attack, and HP, in respective order)—allowed a guaranteed transfer of a parent’s IV to its child, making things less random. Somehow, unfortunately, only one IV can be transferred from one parent to the child in this manner.
And now, we arrive at the present. The legendary Destiny Knot (which was thought to be next to useless before because it only had its original effect, i.e. infatuating a Pokémon that infatuates the holder) transfers a whopping 5 IVs out of 12 from the parents to the child, making it loads easier to find the perfect Pokémon. It’s also worth mentioning that gen 6 makes it possible to transfer TM moves from father to child and transfer Egg moves from mother to child (which weren’t possible in previous generations), as well as that a Hidden Ability can be passed down if a male with its Hidden Ability breeds with a Ditto.
Simply put, perfect Pokémon are relatively easy to get in gen 6 (definitely more so than any other generation) thanks to how breeding mechanics have evolved. Thus, it has become easier to find the right Pokémon to satisfy the needs of its Trainer, whatever those may be.
À la prochaine! (Until next time!)