Monday, March 16, 2020

Nibbles & Kiwi

The early days in Kanto were tough. I didn't have enough money to survive on my own for long. What little money I did have I spent on food, lodging and a meager collection of Pokéballs. Aside from my companion, Rascal, that's all I had. Even though I had a Pokédex on loan from Professor Oak, I was still a long way off from building the Sanctuary and filling it with Pokémon from all over the world. I remained in good spirits, but I had to make some tough financial decisions. I knew that Pokémon trainers dealt primarily in PokéDollars which were universally accepted, but in order to earn some I'd need to find other trainers interested in competitive battling for prize money. Losing was not an option, because the risk of losing money to another trainer would doom the entire adventure. Winning a competitive match certainly meant bolstering my team, so while I waited patiently for the Viridian Pokémon Gym to reopen its doors to the public, I set out to capture new companions.
Rascal was really thriving due to our training. He had grown much stronger from our first encounter in the fields beyond Pallet. His progress filled me with confidence. West of Viridian City in the foothills of the Indigo Plateau, we encountered an aggressive, little Nidoran. As absurd as it may seem, I think the Nidoran was weaker than Rascal when Professor Oak and I first caught him. He was puny and feeble, but he made up for it in sheer enthusiasm. I named that little fellow Nibbles and we began training as soon as he was rested. Nibbles was always eager to train and never shied from a challenge.
Now, I do recall the Pokédex made the distinction that Nibbles was male. I remember clearly because I pondered this several times throughout my journey in Kanto. Pokémon gender at the time was nothing more than hypothetical conjecture. There was no definitive study on the subject, and Professor Oak's Pokédex entry on the Nidoran species compiled by me and other contemporary Pallet Town trainers would spark a more conclusive investigation in the near future. I used the computer in the Viridian Pokémon Center to email Professor Oak several times about Nibble and the Pokédex entry. He requested I find a female variant of the species, but in all my searching of Kanto that year, I was never able to capture one. The closest I came to a female Nidoran was in trainer battles which collected a good amount of data, but unfortunately not as much as I'd be collecting on Pokémon directly in my care.

Training Nibbles was a lot of work. In those early days, he was pretty useless in a battle. We relied heavily on Rascal to teach him how to handle himself and get him ready for competitive battling in the future. Some days we were out in the south training against wild Rattata and Pidgey. On other days we made our way into the shadow of Indigo Plateau to the west and were fighting Rattata and other Nidoran. Eventually, Nibble's aggressive and enthusiastic nature paid off and he was able to protect me from all the wild Pokémon we encountered. He was ready, but unfortunately the gym was still closed. So we ventured to the north side of Viridian City for the first time to see what we could find, capture and study there.
On Route 2, Nibbles pinned down a Pidgey which I expertly captured. Kiwi was a welcome addition to the team. Kiwi was the strongest wild Pokémon we'd subdued so far, possibly stronger than both Rascal and Nibbles combined when I first met them. This made him a lot easier to train. He was able to steadily hold his own against wild Pokémon right away. The four of us continued to train around Viridian City until my two weeks worth of paid lodging expired. At that point, it was time to move on. There were no trainers to fight in Viridian City and I had given up on the gym reopening in time to rescue me from my financial crisis. I would have to take the team north through the forest to Pewter City and hope the competitive Pokémon scene was better.
I packed my meager supplies into my backpack and headed out the north gate. I would have been well on my way down Route 2 toward the Viridian Forest, except I had happened to overhear a conversation between two children. They noticed the Pokéballs holstered to my backpack and began excitedly chatting. They found it coincidental that I happened to be leaving just as a new trainer was arriving. I casually approached the children, trying to pretend I wasn't eavesdropping, but soon was crouched down beside them. With wide and eager eyes and perhaps a hint of desperation in my tone, I asked them where I could find this new trainer in town.
They began jumping up and down in excitement, asking if we were going to battle. Laughing, I told them it would be up to the other trainer, but I was hoping to challenge him. The next thing I remember, all three of us were rushing through the city streets toward Route 22. My heart was pumping at the thought of my first trainer battle. My finances were completely forgotten, too. My brain was a complete blur. The only thing I could think about was the challenge and the thrill. Despite building and training my team for two weeks, I really wasn't prepared for what we would find on the road to Indigo Plateau.

Current Team:
Attacks in Blue are recently learned.


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