I have now defeated all of the gym leaders in Pokemon SoulSilver. There are 16 gym leaders in Johto and Kanto and defeating each of them is part of the path to completing the game.
Each town has its own Pokemon gym, and each gym has its own puzzle which you need to solve to reach the gym leader. Once you defeat a gym leader, you are awarded some cash, a technical machine (TM) which is a device that contains a move which you can teach a Pokemon, a special ability, and a badge.
I need a way to take screen shots in Pokemon. I had to borrow this “all badges won” shot, so I’ll link the site, Serebii.net as part of this post.
Of course, defeating all 16 gym leaders is not the end of the game. I am still working on various bits of end game. There is, of course, the whole “Catch em all!” National Pokedex aspect to the game, where you must catch each of the 493 different Pokemon, not all of which are even available in the game.
But the National Pokedex is a long term project.
One of the other events towards which I am working is the defeat of Red, the ultimate Pokemon trainer in the game. Red looks remarkably like Ash Ketchum, and some people (kids are people too) I know just refer to Red as Ash.
Two things make the battle with Red tough.
First, he has a formidable selection of Pokemon at his disposal. He isn’t a gym leader, so he does not focus on a single type. Instead, his band requires quite a bit of breadth to take on. And he will switch out his Pokemon mid-battle to bring out the one with the moves to which your current Pokemon is most susceptible.
Second, his Pokemon are all high level, ranging from the mid to high 80s. To put that in perspective, the elite four and the Pokeleague champion Lance, whom you face at the end of the Johto segment of the game, has a single level 50, with everything else in the mid to low 40s. Then the Kanto gym leaders cap out at 72 with the last one you face, Blue.
So there is a big of a gap between Blue and Red as well as the diverse nature of Red’s Pokemon. You have to get to Red, who is hanging out at the top of Mount Silver with a full group close to, or preferably beyond, the level of his group.
Which means leveling up your Pokemon.
Unlike Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, there is not an area of wild Pokemon that progress into the 60s and 70s, nor is there that restaurant where you can fight the patrons daily. If you want to actively level up your Pokemon, you have to do it through rematches with other trainers.
You can go back and face Lance and the Elite Four. Once you have defeated all 16 gym leaders, their Pokemon get a boost in levels, so you are at least facing a range of Pokemon into the low 70s.
You can call up trainers you met along the way, or wait for them to call you, for a rematch.
You can also set up rematches with the 16 gym leaders. That requires a bit of effort, as you have to track down all 16 of them and get their phone numbers first, then call them up on the appropriate day to schedule a rematch. Fortunately, somebody has already put together the when and the where for that, which you can find here.
And, finally, you can put one of your Pokemon in the pokewalker for a level a day, which is slow at lower levels, but not so bad at higher levels, or place two of your Pokemon in the day-care center, which is also slow, but at least keeps going when you are not playing.
So I am slowly grinding up to face Red. Defeating him is a must because once you do it, another rare Pokemon for the National Pokedex becomes available.