Released in 2004 for the Gamecube, Pokemon Colosseum is the first true Pokemon RPG made that shows the title creature fighting in full 3-D. Developed by Genius Sonority instead of the usual Pokemon guys at Game Freak, the oddly spelled Pokemon Colosseum features a trainer who has recently broken away from his membership in a rough and tumble Pokemon gang and sets out to capture and purify the shadow Pokemon of the world.
Category note: Collecting all snags is considered 100%.
Timing note: Timing for the 100% run ends when the last Pokemon is collected.
Best 100% time: 7:17 by Stephen 'Toothache' Stafford on 2009-09-22, done in 33 segments.
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Before recording this run, I did a test run which came to a time of 10 hours, 34 minutes. This helped me immensely in route planning, although I never really optimised the battles much I still blazed through pretty fast. I figured with some optimisation, a time of below 9 hours seemed a good estimate of a final time. Needless to say I was wrong, since this finished product came to a time of 7:17. Even with that time, there's still a fair bit of room for improvement, although the majority of that would come from even more luck than I was able to manage.
Here's a segment summary then:
This is the first of two soft-resetting segments. I wanted at least maximum SpA on Espeon, and maybe a bit on Umbreon. I was amazed to get a Mild Espeon with max SpA in just 4 resets, although the Defence was rock bottom, this actually saved my bacon in a few places where the AI behavior changed because of that low Def. Flinching in the second battle saved a few seconds too.
Perhaps the segment I would most like to redo, besides Segment 19. The menu movement was awfully slow, and I only accepted this cos I got three flinches from Umbreon and finished this segment with under 20 minutes on the clock (I could not get Umbreon to crit, no matter how hard I tried). Unfortunately thanks to Colosseum's secure saving I can't make backup copies and retry (without a different memory card at least).
The other soft-resetting segment is the Croconaw snag. This one took me many more tries than the first, but the results speak for themselves:
Rash #159 Croconaw (f): 20 - 23 / 30 - 31 / 30 - 31 / 19 - 21 / 21 - 23 / 24 - 27
I needed a female Croconaw too, which made the odds even lower of getting a usable mon. The SpA could have been higher of course, and that will likely have been a contributing factor to getting a lower time (I could avoid adding an additional battle before the Mt Battle section for example). I had to double check the stats so I made sure I wasn't seeing things (it would have killed me to have to redo Segments 1-3 again after saving on a badly IVed mon) so it cost a few seconds there, and I also got a bit lost making my way to Duking's house.
I needed to go talk to the guy near the colosseum to get Cail to battle me. I decided to leave as many snags as possible until I got the Master Ball. This had a dual benefit - I got more exp for the early game which helped me level up faster, and the Master Ball guarantees the snags. Anyway, Cail battle goes pretty good, although his Furret can really hit hard. After that, it is just some plot advancement to get to the point where you go to the Pyrite Colosseum itself.
Pyrite Colosseum battles. These are pretty easy overall, so I spend time here reducing Croconaw's Shadow gauge as much as I could manage. I want to have Surf by the time Segment 7 starts, cos it will save time in the long run. This means the battles themselves could have obviously gone faster, but I would have wasted more time in later segments.
Only two battles here to deal with, and the first is the only problem one.
Welcome to the longest segment in the run. Hoo-boy. 12 battles, 5 of which contain snags and no Master Ball, and since I don't revisit this place at any point I gotta do it all in one sitting. Oh yeah, and the save point is too far out the way until you've gone through all that. This was a nightmare to do, but overall it wasn't as bad as some of the later segments.
The few seconds of running around at the start are necessary to uncover Surf (it is faster than doing another battle to achieve the same goal). Surf is then immediately used in the first battle and as many subsequent battles as it would save time. I also make use of Croconaw's ability, Torrent, which gives me extra damage at low health. The Mantine battle could have gone much better, I wasn't very optimal with the battle itself, and for some dumb reason I do the ball-dupe glitch twice and lose the Great Ball I purchased! This left me having to rely on Pokeballs for Qwilfish, and I accept one failed snag here since the segment was so large. I take a detour for Ultra Balls (you can avoid the two battles here), and finish the rest of the segment.
An optional battle here, but it does give you 4 Vitamins. I could have probably sold one or two of them for cash since it is very difficult to get much money, and Croconaw can't use them until being purified anyway. Having more Attack and Speed early are always a good thing though. I finish up by snagging Swablu, ensuring Croconaw goes to Hyper Mode and saving. I need to go back here anyway, since Croconaw can't be healed with potions while in Hyper Mode, and keeping him at full health is next to impossible.
Lucha! It's Miror B!
This battle was pretty tough to do, since I need a critical Shadow Rush + Helping Hand to OHKO his Ludicolo, and they all carry super-effective attacks to Croconaw, making his survival during the first half of the battle difficult to maintain. I also had to deal with Astonish, which can flinch pretty often. I wasn't too concerned with losing Croconaw at the end of that battle (if Sudowoodo hadn't critted, it would have likely survived). I got a Cheri Berry, which negates paralysis, but I never used it. If I ever redo this run, I'll just get a Persim Berry here, and another one in Segment 13. Confusion was one of my biggest run-killers.
I can't manipulate a berry here because of how the Berry Master works. Anyway, getting through this segment wasn't so bad, except for having to deal with Skrub's Wynaut. Espeon can 2HKO Hitmontop here (it is better to snag it later). After all this, I advance the plot so I can purify Croconaw, and it evolves to Feraligatr.
Solo Feraligatr fun. This is one segment that can be completely avoided by having a higher SpA IV. I did get an extra TM to sell out of it though.
Soloing here gives Feraligatr a nice jump in exp, and actually saves time since the majority of things here are weak to water which he can exploit via Surf (and therefore doesnt need a partner to rip through these battles). Only real trouble came from battle 6, since I need to manipulate AI behaviour in my favour and finish in Torrent range. The Dakim battle is probably my favourite battle in the whole run since it was planned to perfection.
More plot advancement, saved after manipulating a Persim Berry. I need some party members to ensure gatr actually survives, never mind snags the next two battles.
Ledian snag, and here's a bit of a doozy. This was actually a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Gatr can't solo this, but adding party members also adds the facility to ball-dupe again. Predictable AI behaviour once again works in my favour.
Another tough segment, the first Venus battle. Her battles are the reason why a female Feraligatr are even needed, mainly because of Attract. This required a fair bit of planning and some luck, and Venus was even nice enough to help herself, what with Delcatty using Double-Edge and Steelix Earthquaking the incoming Suicune. I even made use of the Ledian I just snagged to bring Espeon temporarily back into the fight, to once again affect the AI's behaviour.
I learn Blizzard, nuff said.
This is an amazingly tough segment, and went close to perfect, with a few errors. Since I don't have any revives, I have to be real careful about my partners taking attacks. I also need to use the Mystic Water here to guarantee some KOs (another byproduct of my average SpA IV), which affects Espeon's Exp gain in a positive way - I learn Psybeam by the end of battle 2, so it can be used in battle 3 to speed that up. Battle 4 is probably the worst of the four, but it was a difficult battle to plan for because the AI reacts according to your team. I finish up with arriving at the Pokemon Lab and messing up the PP Ups - I don't immediately grab them, then move laboriously slowly to use them.
More lab goodness, and now we have Electric Pokemon to deal with, one of Feraligatr's weaknesses. And we ironically don't get Earthquake until the end of the Lab. I want to snag Aipom with Pick Up here for some Rare Candy abuse, but I never actually use it for much other than getting another PP Up in the next segment. I need to snag Aipom now since I don't refight that trainer in the revisit to the Lab (I can but it would waste more time). Aipom also gave me a bigger chance to survive the next battle with those aforementioned electric types.
Yeah that basically sums up my thoughts about this one. I don't have any snags to do here, and I decide to go solo again through this part. This is perhaps the toughest segment of all, since there are a lot of battles, and quite a few super-effective moves to deal with, and it ends up with the first Ein battle which is a killer. Since the code for the lab door is fixed, I learned the code beforehand, but mess up entering it because I'd only partly remembered it by the time I got a succesful attempt to this point.
The other thing that made this segment challenging was my method of getting past the Scientist by the alarm. Electrode is too fast to use an X-Speed against, so I had to rely on Quick Claw to beat it. Torrent + Rain bumped up Surf's damage immensely, but I still needed some damage from the previous turn. Ampharos is one-shotted though.
Skrub refight was the part that almost made me hit the reset button - I chose Bite a second time to finish off Wobbuffet, but accidentally targeted Hitmontop with it, so Wobba decides to use Destiny Bond to waste some time. In hindsight using Surf to finish it off would have been the better choice anyway since it would soften up Hitmontop some.
Ein fight went as good as I could manage under the circumstances - it was a minor miracle I even reached this point, since I'd only got past Skrub once in about one and a half months of trying this segment. AI behaviour demanded I also manage to hit through confusion, which didnt help matters. I get a lucky finish though. This battle would have been easier and faster with a different starting order.
Delibird snagged, then onto Ein's refight in Realgem. Already? Yup, but thankfully he's a lot easier to deal with this time around. No confusion, but Toxic is the status of choice. I also have to work around Protect, which makes things a bit slower. Finish off by grabbing the Master Ball
Two admins in one segment. Dakim 2 falls without losing a single partner, and I grab his Entei. Then it's Miror B, which was the more difficult of the two and required an unusual strategy to get past (+1 Attack Earthquakes, even though Ludicolo resists it, is the best thing I have here.)
Quite a long one this one, and full of difficult battles. Sunflora is snagged, then on to Venus 2, which again requires a carefully planned strategy with a bit of luck.
Next, is to open the colour coded locks and fight another trainer who has Heracross. Following that is another enforced battle, no snag this time. After a bit more plot, its Gonzap!
Gonzap has a lot of heavy hitters, so you really can't afford to be sloppy in this battle. Skarmory became a linchpin of my lategame strategy though, so it would be nice to do an additional save beforehand and manipulate some higher Attack for the metal bird. I need to revive Entei to snag it though.
Its the not-so-Elite 4. Seriously, these guys are pushovers. First two snags take only 2 turns, a single turn for the third one. The fourth one was a bit tricky cos it is grass-themed, but not much of a threat.
Nascour really ups the challenge though. He has a full squad, one of the few trainers in this game to do so. The battle goes pretty nicely, with an early crit on Gardevior saving me from some Thunderbolt pain.
Evice went to a mere 5 turns, and is the only battle besides Miror B's first where I lose my Feraligatr. Thankfully I have revives to use, and losing gatr at this point turned out to save me time by having it immediately back up and in Torrent range to finish off the faster Slaking before it can move again.
Using Espeon over Plusle was obviously a better choice in the long run, so I cost myself a few seconds by not considering that before recording.
Final time by the credits: 4:53
Had to accept a couple of Blizzard misses here, but that's what you get when you're forced to use unreliable moves very often. Could have been a bit faster if luck was nicer to me, of course. Lots of snags here brings my count to 29/48
Off to Snagem Hideout, and I can finally pick up the Yanma, and get the second of the GSC starters.
Lab revisit and all the snags therein. Snag total is 39/48
It's back to the Snagem Hideout for more snags. I get the ones that first appeared in Segment 17, as well as Ursaring and Smeargle, and finish off by KOing Gonzap for the second time and getting the D-Disk. More Rare Candy woot!
First of the Deep Colosseums, it's Miror B. I also made a new couple of additions to my final squad - with my two Helping Hand users, I add Tyranitar and Tropius. Both perhaps slightly unusual choice (Sand Stream wastes a bit of time and Tropius has far from stellar attack stats), but they made these last segments a lot easier to deal with.
Next up is the Dakim Deep Colosseum, the least problematic of the admins. Apart from copious Protect abuse, this guy has nothing to write home about.
Venus's Deep Colosseum is next. Grabbing Suicune takes my snag total to 45.
Ein's Deep Colosseum. More confusion is not fun. Raikou raises the total to 46.
It's the fabled Deep King. This goes pretty well, despite not having the most optimal start. Tyranitar's presence means I dont have to waste an attack on Shedinja.
Final segment, the last snag is Togetic and I retried this segment until it came out first. After that, I kind of play around with the battle (it can obviously be beaten a lot faster). I let the timer run at the end so I could make the timing accurate.
Improvements? Sure, there are several. Segment 2 is definitely the one I'd most like to redo, closely followed by Segment 19. Segment 7's mistake on the Mantine snag also would be nice to fix. I reckon with a Feraligatr having max SpA range, and a bit more luck in battles, I could easily push the 100% run below 7 hours. For now, I'm pleased with what I have done. Most of the battle strategies I am happy with, especially the first Dakim and Venus battles since they went almost as perfectly as planned. I could definitely save time with less shopping too, and even omit all the optional battles I do, even the one that gives me 4 Vitamins.
I know I promised audio commentary before submitting, but I tried recording and each time I wasn't happy with what I had done, and then my microphone decided to give up the ghost, so I lost the motivation to record AC. Maybe if I get some guest commentators I could do some external commentary, but right now I'm happy the run is done.
Special thanks go to:
- UltimateDarius, for being my most enthusiastic supporter on IRc
- beenman500, for all his suggestions on the forums
- Everyone who posted in support of the run
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