Restarted Heartgold, this time choosing the female character. Decided on Chikorita as my starter, even though I had resolved to use a Charmander instead. After completing Elm's little errand, I ran into some guy named Matt, who had predictably chosen the Cyndaquil. Chickorita beat it easily, and we sent Matt packing, heading back to drop the egg off at Elm's lab. Following Ethan's instructions on how to catch a Rattata (because I genuinely had no idea), I caught a Rattata of my own and a Hoothoot.
Back at Cherrygrove City, I met up with my character from SoulSilver and traded the Lv.7 male Charmander and the Lv.5 male Carvanha for the Rattata and Hoothoot. Depositing Chikorita in the box, I set out once again towards Violet City. The trainers along the way proved little challenge against Charmander's fire attacks and Carvanha's high attack stat, and soon I arrived in Violet City. I headed straight for Sprout Tower, eager to get the first badge before my two outsiders decided to go all rebellious.
Up the tower, the Sage's too couldn't stand up to Charmander's Ember, and he power levelled to Lv.11, as did Carvanha. During the fight with the Elder, both decided to be rebellious, although despite everything, the Sage just kept using Growth until Charmander luckily obeyed and burnt his Bellsprout to a crisp whilst Carvanha chewed on his Hoothoot. With both now in open rebellion, this made the prospect of Falkner's Gym somewhat daunting, even with their stats.
From the off, Charmander decided to obey, finishing Falkner's Pidgey with an Ember before he had chance to react. Sadly, it was a fluke, and the disobedient Charmander was quickly dispatched by Falkner's Pidgeotto. Carvanha went in next, but also started playing up and taking damage. Into critical HP, Carvanha obeyed, using a critical Bite that defeated the Pidgeotto. Falkner handed over the Zephyr Badge and Roost, and we departed, knowing that Charmander and Carvanha would only obey for another seven levels. After recieving the Egg and healing at the Pokemon centre, I saved.
Picking up the next day, I decided that my chances of reaching Azalea Town using only Charmander and Carvanha and having them still capable of obeying my instructions by the time we challenged the Azalea Gym were fairly slim, so I withdrew Chickorita from the PC and placed him first. Satisfied, we headed south, battling trainers and gaining levels. At the exit to Union Cave, Chickorita evolved into Bayleef, and we arrived in Azalea Town. A brief visit to the Pokemon Centre over, I found the Gym blocked by a Team Rocket grunt, and since everyone seemed to mention Kurt in some way, I went to see him. After assuming that all I wanted was for him to make Poke Balls - a not entirely incorrect assumption - he took off to the Well outside of town, vowing to chase of the Team Rocket Grunts who had taken over it.
Not fancying the chances of a sprightly old man against a group of professional - if a little scatterbrained - criminals, I felt it was my duty to go and make sure he didn't get himself killed. Turns out that he'd scared away the Grunt who'd been guarding the Well, only to have slipped on the rungs and fallen to his inevitable doom. However, since he was telling me this, he clearly survived, and he sent me in to deal with the felons who dwelled within whilst he applied ointment or something to his back.
The Grunts were easy pickings for Bayleef and Carvanha, and soon enough, I came across the culprit of the dastardly scheme to...cut off the tails of Slowpoke and sell them for a million dollars each (?), Executive Proton. He was going to make a grand speech about Team Rocket or something, but I wasn't really in the mood to listen, given that I was standing in a dank well on a floor slick with the blood of innocent Slowpoke. Long and short of it, Carvanha chewed his team up good and Proton and his Grunts ran off with their tails between their legs. Kurt thanked me, took me to his home and gave me a Fast Ball.
With Team Rocket's evil plan thwarted, I turned my attention to the Gym. With Charmander leading the charge, the filler trainers were easy pickings and around the double battle, Charmander reached level 16, learned Dragon Rage, and promptly evolved. The stage was set for an epic showdown with Bugsy.
As Gym battles go, this turned out to be arguably the least eventful. Charmeleon went in first against Bugsy's Scyther. Although it was fast, Scyther went for a Focus Energy first, Charmeleon responding with Ember, which cut into Scyther's HP. Scyther hit back with Quick Attack, and was hit by a critical Ember which burnt it, but didn't finish it. It recovered health with it's berry and struck with another Quick Attack, it's power blunted by the burn, and Charmeleon once again attacked with Ember. The burn damage defeated Scyther before Bugsy could grab a Full Restore, and his Metapod and Kakuna were easily defeated by further Ember each.
With the Hive Badge and a new TM in hand, I healed up and then decided to head into Ilex Forest. Before I could leave, however, a familiar face turned up
-- VS --
Trainer Amy | Versus | Trainer Matt
Matt was back and gunning for Team Rocket. Or me. Wasn't quite sure. Anyway, he immediately challenged me to a battle, starting with his Gastly. Carvanha finished that with Bite and also took down his Zubat. Just to mess with him, I took on his Quilava with my Charmeleon and won with Dragon Rage. He grumbled about weak pokemon and the walked off.