– Greetings, Pokefans! Michael here, and something that mostPokemon players have done at some point or another is beat an entire Pokemongame using just their starter.
This is something more commonlydone by younger players, at least in mypersonal experience.
The first two Pokemon gamesthat I ever played as a kid, “Ruby” and “LeafGreen, ” I beat pretty muchonly using my starters, Sceptile and Blastoiserespectively.
However, I did not actually solo those gameswith my starters because I caught other Pokemon and I used them for variouspurposes in the game, but primarily for HMs inorder to clear obstacles to progress in the game.
That means that those solo runs weren't technicallycomplete solo runs.
Another place you've probablyseen these pseudo-solo runs are playthrough challengeshere on YouTube.
One of the most common formats is “Can you beatthis particular game “using only thisparticular Pokemon?” In the vast majority ofsituations, you can't.
There are very fewPokemon out there that can learn allof the necessary HMs to make it through apre-Gen Seven Pokemon game.
The creators of theseplaythrough challenges get around this limitation by adding in aclause in the rules that says they can useother Pokemon for HMs, just not in battle.
I've done that myself with oneof my playthrough challenges.
After seeing severalplaythrough challenge videos include that rule, I started to get curious about which solo runswould be possible without that rule.
Which Pokemon could you trulysolo a Pokemon game with, HMs and all.
I was specifically curiousabout starter Pokemon, because with them, you can attempt a truesolo run of a Pokemon game without having to do anysort of hacking or training.
You could attemptone by yourself on any legitcartridge right now.
So I did the research and I compiled a list ofevery single starter Pokemon that you could truly solotheir Pokemon game with because they learn allof the necessary HMs.
This list will obviouslystop at the end of Gen Six, because from Gen Seven onward, there are no HMs, so you could wholly solo anyGen Seven or Gen Eight game with any starter.
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And let's get startedwith Generation One, “Red, ” “Blue, ” and “Yellow.
” The HMs necessary tocomplete these games are, Cut to access LieutenantSurge's and Erika's gyms, plus to go east fromCerulean toward Rock Tunnel, Surf to get to Cinnabarand the Pokemon League, and Strength to getthrough the Victory Road.
So how much can the GenOne starters do here? Well if you're playing Yellow, your Pikachu canonly learn Flash, so you're not gettingvery far with it alone.
It can learn Surf via aPokemon Stadium move tutor, but I'm pretty surethat requires you to have a full squadalongside the Pikachu to use in the game.
Plus that still doesn'tdeal with Cut or Strength.
As for “Red” and “Blue, ” Venusaur can only learn Cut.
Charizard can learnboth Cut and Strength, plus Fly in “Yellow, ” but it cannot learn Surf.
Blastoise can learn Surfand Strength, but not Cut.
So despite being theonly one with Surf, it can progress theleast of the three.
Unfortunately, thatmeans it is not possible to completely solo aGeneration One Pokemon game with just your starter, which I honestly think is dumb.
Lickitung learns Cut and it's got one tiny littlenubbin of a claw on each hand.
Blastoise has threesizable claws on each hand.
How does Lickitung learnCut and Blastoise does not? Now onto Generation Two, the games being “Gold, “”Silver, ” and “Crystal.
” The HMs necessaryto beat these games are Cut to getthrough Ilex Forest, Surf to reachCianwood and Mahogany, Strength to getthrough the Ice Path, Whirlpool to reachthe Whirl Islands, if you're playing “Silver, ” and Waterfall toscale Tohjo Falls.
As you likely suspected, since three of the necessaryHMs are water moves, Meganium and Typhlosion are out.
Both of them can onlylearn Cut and Strength.
But what about Feraligatr? I feel good about this one since it seems like itshould be able to learn all of the HMs I mentioned.
Well in Generation Two, Feraligatr can learn Cut, Surf, Strength, Whirlpool, and that's it.
That's it? For some unknown andunjustifiable reason, Feraligatr cannot learnWaterfall in Gen Two.
They fixed that in the immediately followingGeneration, Gen Three, it can learn Waterfall then.
But in the original Johto games, Feraligatr simply cannotbe taught Waterfall.
That means that none ofthe three Johto starters can be used to completelysolo a Gen Two game.
Feraligatr can get you far, it can get you eight badges, but you can't complete the games since it can't get youthrough Tohjo Falls.
Next is Generation Three, starting with the Hoenn games, “Ruby, ” “Sapphire, “and “Emerald.
” The HMs necessary tocomplete these games are Rock Smash to progressnorth of Mauville, Strength to get throughthe Victory Road, Surf because it's Hoenn, you obviously you need Surf.
Dive to reach theSeafloor Cavern, and Waterfall to reachthe Victory Road.
Unsurprisingly, therequirement for Water HMs immediately eliminatesthe non-water starters.
Both Sceptile and Blaziken can learn the necessaryRock Smash and Strength, but neither can learn anyof the three water HMs.
As for Swampert, it can actually learn theexact five necessary HMs to complete a Hoenn playthrough, meaning that for the firsttime in Pokemon history, we have a starter thatcan truly solo a game.
Well actually, justbecause a Pokemon can learn all ofthe necessary HMs, that doesn't mean that it's for surepossible to beat the game with just that Pokemon.
If there's some kind of conflict where you need to getrid of one of the moves but you don't have accessto the Move Deleter yet, then it's not possible.
However, thankfully inHoenn, that's not an issue.
After finishing all of thenecessary tasks in Sootopolis, specifically getting the badge, your Swampert would knowat least Surf and Dive, but likely Rock Smashand Strength as well, if you've not deleted them.
Then you simply Diveout of Sootopolis, Surf back to Lilycove, deleteDive at the Move Deleter, then teach it Waterfall.
Surf, Waterfall, RockSmash, and Strength are the only four necessary HMs to get through the Victory Road.
And then once you'reat the Pokemon League, you can actually replacethe unwanted HMs.
Alpharad accomplished thisin his Mudkip-only challenge by going back throughthe Victory Road, Surfing to Lilycove, deletingthe HMs that he didn't want, then intentionallylosing a battle, causing him to wipe outback to the Pokemon League, which I thought was brilliant.
That video is my favorite solo-run playthroughchallenge out there because I thoughtit was super cool that he used theMudkip for everything, not just the battles.
It's actually the videothat inspired this one, because I thought thatwas so interesting, I wanted to seeif it was possible with other startersin other generations.
But in the end, the Swampertline is the first starter line that you could use tocompletely solo a Pokemon game in main series Pokemon history.
I love Sceptile a lot, but damn, I must say, I respect Swampert.
Next is “FireRed”and “LeafGreen, ” and the situationwith these games is very similar tothe Gen One games.
Really, the only change is that you now needRock Smash and Waterfall in the Sevii Islands.
Venusaur now learns Strength, Rock Smash, and Cut, plus Flash, but it still lacks thenecessary water moves.
In addition to Fly, Charizard also gets Cut, Strength, and Rock Smash, but it too lacksthe water moves.
And then just like in Gen One, Blastoise covers all of thenecessary HMs but one, Cut.
So just like with Gen One, it's impossible to solo”FireRed” and “LeafGreen” with any particularstarter, which is so dumb.
Blastoise should learn Cut! Now onto Generation Four, starting with the Sinnoh games, “Diamond, ” “Pearl, “and “Platinum.
” The HMs necessaryto beat these games are Rock Smash toreach Floaroma, Cut to reach the EternaGalactic Building, Surf to reach Canalave, Strength to getthrough Mount Coronet, Rock Climb to reach Lake Acuity, and get to Spear Pillar, and Waterfall to reachthe Pokemon League.
Torterra and Infernape canboth learn Cut, Strength, Rock Smash, and Rock Climb, all the necessary HMsexcept the water ones.
That leaves Empoleon, who can not only learnthose four moves, but also all of the Water HMs, including Whirlpool in”HeartGold” and “SoulSilver, ” and Defog.
Empoleon can learnevery single HM in the Sinnoh games, except the unnecessary Fly.
So it's gotta be possibleto solo a Sinnoh game with an Empoleon, right? (laughing) Wrong.
You could get veryfar with an Empoleon, in fact, all the wayto the Victory Road.
However, the Sinnoh VictoryRoad is an insurmountable wall, because to get allthe way through it, you need five HMs, Rock Smash, Strength, Surf, Waterfall, and Rock Climb.
So while Empoleon canlearn all of those moves, it can't know allfive at the same time, since a Pokemon can onlyknow four moves at once.
And since you can't deleteHM moves in the field, so you can't swap one for theother part of the way through, it is simply impossible to get through the SinnohVictory Road with just Empoleon.
In fact, because of thisfive-move requirement, it is impossible to getthrough the Sinnoh Victory Road with just one Pokemonof any species.
This disgustinglyhigh HM requirement makes it so it is impossible to completely solo a Sinnohgame with any Pokemon out there.
Next up is “HeartGold”and “SoulSilver, ” which like theoriginal Johto games, require Cut, Surf, Strength, Whirlpool in “SoulSilver, “and Waterfall.
However, they also nowrequire Rock Climb, but not until you're scalingMount Silver to fight Red.
Meganium and Typhlosionlearn the exact same HMs, Cut and Strength like before, the unnecessary Rock Smash, since it's now an HM, and Rock Climb.
That means, like all grassand fire starters so far, they lack thenecessary water HMs to make it through the game.
But as for Feraligatr, Gen Two's mistake hasnow been remedied.
Feraligatr learns all theHMs it could in Gen Two, but now it's finallybeen given Waterfall, a move it should havehad the whole time.
As the cherry on top, Feraligatr also gets Rock Climb, meaning it learns allof the necessary HMs, in fact every HM except Fly.
But as we saw with Empoleon, just because a Pokemon canlearn all of the necessary moves doesn't mean it'spossible to beat the game with just that one Pokemon.
However, I looked into it, and thankfully, inthis situation, it is.
To reach the Move Deleter, only Cut, Surf, andStrength are required.
If you're playing “SoulSilver, ” you can teach itWhirlpool to reach Lugia, then delete it forWaterfall right after, and if it's “HeartGold, ” you just teach itWaterfall right away.
Then you can traversethrough all of Kanto with just Cut, Surf, Strength, and Waterfall until receiving Rock Climb, at which point youcan traverse back to the Blackthorn MoveDeleter, delete Cut, teach it Rock Climb, and head to MountSilver to fight Red.
Congratulations, Feraligatr! You get to join Swampert inthe Can-Solo-A-Game club.
You should have beenthere in Gen Two, but at least you gotthere eventually.
Now onto Generation Five, starting with”Black” and “White.
” And the HMs necessaryto complete these games are Cut and that's it? Wait.
That's it? “Of all the HMs, “only a single use of Cut “is required at the Dreamyard “for completing Pokemon'Black' and 'White.
'” That is insane! I had no idea! Holy crap, that means you mightbe able to solo these games with a non-water starter! First let's look at Serperior, which can learn Strengthand the necessary Cut, which means it is thefirst non-water starter that you can solo a game with.
Next is Emboar, whichonly learned Strength, so it's not possible with it.
Man, Emboar, this is the easiest pre-Gen Seven gameto solo out there, and you still can't do it? Come on! Then finally is Samurott, which can learnevery HM except Fly, so it absolutely couldbe used by itself.
So “Black” and “White, ” making HMs almost not mandatory means that they are thefirst games out there that you could solo withmore than one starter, and I respect them for that.
However, that trenddid not continue into “Black 2” and “White 2, ” because to beat those games, you need Surf and Strength, which means it'sdown to just Samurott for the starter thatcould solo those.
Now onto Generation Six, starting with “X” and “Y.
” And the only HMs requiredto beat these games are Surf and Waterfall.
And you can guesswhere this is going.
Chesnaught only learnsCut and Strength, while Delphox only learns Cut, and none of those HMsare even necessary.
The one starter to learnboth Surf and Waterfall is obviously the waterstarter Greninja, which can learn both thosemoves plus Cut and Strength.
So Greninja gets addedto the list of starters that you could solotheir game with.
Also, before you moveon to the next game, I think it's worth mentioning that you arerequired to be given a Kanto starter in “X” and “Y, ” so you could do it withthat Squirtle as well.
But like as the casewith any solo run throughout all thesegames, any gift Pokemon, it's kind of assumed you wouldjust box them immediately.
Then finally is “OmegaRuby”and “AlphaSapphire, ” the last main line Pokemongames to require HMs.
The situation for these games is identical to theoriginal Hoenn games, they need Rock Smash, Strength, Surf, Dive, and Waterfall, and the only one to getall five is Swampert.
And then came Gen Seven, which seeminglypermanently got rid of HMs.
In the Alola games, you use ride Pokemon, in “Let's Go” you usesecret techniques, and in “Sword” and “Shield, ” you just get a bikeupgrade or two.
So therefore, in these games, you can solo themwith any starter.
So to recap, the starters that youcould truly solo a game with HMs and everything, are Swampert in allthe Hoenn games, Feraligatr in “HeartGold”and “SoulSilver, ” Serperior in”Black” and “White, ” Samurott in allfour Unova games, Greninja in “X” and “Y, ” and all starters fromGen Seven onward.
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So until next time, Pokefans.
(upbeat music) Gotta catch them all!.