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The game begins in a pickup truck parked in Littleroot Town. The player's family has just moved here from Johto. After exiting the truck, you will head into their house. Here, you can set the clock and visit with your mom. Once you have done this, you should then head to the neighbor's house. After learning that their neighbor, who is either Brendan or May depending on the player's gender, is not home, you should head north to Route 101 and rescue Professor Birch.
The player must choose their starter
After stumbling across Professor Birch, who is being attacked by a Poochyena, he will tell the player to select one of the Pokémon in the bag. The options are Treecko, the Template:Type2, Torchic, the Template:Type2, or Mudkip, the Template:Type2. The player must choose carefully, as this Pokémon will be their starter. Once the Pokémon is selected, a battle between the starter and a Poochyena will commence. After its defeat, Birch will take the player to his lab and tell them to go to Route 103 to meet their rival. If the player is male, the rival will be May. If the player is female, the rival will be Brendan. After doing this, the player should head home to access their PC and withdraw a Potion. Upon completion, the player will head north towards Oldale Town, the first town with a Pokémon Center.
Upon reaching Oldale Town, the player will continue north to Route 103. Along the way, the player will meet a Poké Mart salesman. After speaking with him, the player will receive a free Potion. Once this is done, the player should continue north, where they will have their first battle with their rival.
At this point, the rival will only have one Pokémon. What it is depends on which Pokémon the player chose at the beginning of the game. The rival character will have chosen the Pokémon with a type advantage over the player, at level 5. Since the rival's Pokémon has no special attacks in this battle, a good ol' Scratch/Pound/Tackle spamming session should do the trick. Upon the defeat of the rival, they will head back to Littleroot Town.
After following the rival back to Littleroot Town, the player will be given five Poké Balls. Before leaving town, the player's mom will appear to give her child a pair of Running Shoes. Once this is completed, the player may now head back up to Oldale Town. Once they arrive, they may now buy Poké Balls at the Pokémart, along with other goodies. Then, the player should head west, leaving Oldale via Route 102.
There are four easy Pokémon Trainers along Route 102. The player should battle them in order to earn experience and money.
Also along Route 102 are items and berries.
Continuing west, the player will eventually arrive at Petalburg City. After heading to the gym, the player will learn that their father will not accept their challenge until they have earned four badges. Instead, he recommends his child go and assist Wally, who will become another rival of the player, to capture a Ralts.
Once done with Wally, the player may now exit Petalburg City to the west by heading out on Route 104.
Route 104 is the last route before Rustboro City. It holds Petalburg Woods
, which is similar to Viridian Forest
in Kanto. It also holds Mr. Briney's house, which will be important later. In the woods, the player encounters a Devon worker looking for Shroomish
when a Team Aqua
(Sapphire) or Team Magma
(Ruby) Grunt assaults him. The player will then battle the Grunt, who will run away while swearing revenge. The worker will give the player their first Great Ball
. He will then realize what is happening and will run to Rustboro City. The player can then advance to the end of the woods. The last stretch to Rustboro City has: a flower shop
, two trainers, a double battle
, a Fisherman, and Berries
Badge 1: Rustboro City
Upon clearing routes 101, 102, 103 and 104, Rustboro City is the next destination. Rustboro City has various points of interest: the Cutter's house, in which he gives the player HM01 Cut, the Devon Corporation building, and of course, the Gym. The Gym in Rustboro City uses Rock-type Pokémon.
Main article: Rustboro Gym
Roxanne is the Gym Leader here. She graduated with top marks from the Pokémon Trainer's School.
Defeating the Gym Leader should be easy with starter pokémon Treecko or Mudkip. Alternatively, Shroomish can be used by those who chose Torchic as a starter.
Badge 2: Rustboro City to Dewford Town
After Rustboro City, there are two paths the player can take, Route 115 or Route 116. The player cannot Surf yet so Route 115 cannot be used. On the north-eastern edge of the city the Devon worker will tell the player that the Grunt has run to uncomplete Rusturf Tunnel, part of Route 116.
On Route 116, a great place to catch Skitty, the player will have to head a short distance east to the tunnel. Once there, it is seen that the Grunt is holding a Wingull captive. The player will bsttle the Grunt once again, and when he is defeated it is realized that the Wingull is Mr. Briney's Peeko.