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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, the Pokémon Trainer's School
, and of course, the Gym
. The Gym in Rustboro City uses Template:Type2
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 incomplete 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 battle the Grunt once again, and when he is defeated it is realized that the Wingull is Mr. Briney's Peeko. Mr. Briney then invites the player to his house and leaves. Afterwards, the President of Devon Corporation will express his gratitude with a PokéNav, and will then ask the player to deliver a parcel to Steven Stone, who is in Dewford Town.
After rescuing Mr. Briney
, the player should head to Mr. Briney's cottage on Route 104, where he will offer to sail the player to Dewford Town, the location of Steven Stone and the second Gym Badge. The sail covers Route 105
, Route 106
, and Route 107
. The player will then arrive at Dewford Town.
The first priority should be to deliver the parcel to Steven Stone, who is in Granite Cave
. However the player can also challenge the Gym to gain the ability to use HM05
Flash. It should be noted that some floors of Granite Cave are dark.
- Main article: Dewford Gym
Although Dewford Gym is dark like a cave, HM05 cannot be used yet because the player has not acquired the Fist Badge, given out at Dewford Gym.
If the player chose Torchic as a starter, the player can take advantage of super-effective Pecks here. If the player chose Mudkip or Treecko, Taillow and Ralts provide a decent alternative.
After the player has gone to Dewford City and defeated the Gym and delivered the parcel to Steven in Granite Cave, the player should go back to Rustboro City and get the PokéNav from the president of the Devon Corp. After that, the player should go to Slateport City.
In Route 109, the player will find numerous trainers and the Seashore House, a shop to buy Soda Pop.
In Slateport City, there is the Slateport Market, Captain Stern's Shipyard, the Oceanic Museum, Pokémon Fan Club, Name Rater's House, Slateport Harbor, and the Pokémon Contest-Hyper Rank. In the Slateport Market, one can buy an Azurill doll, Marill doll, and Skitty doll, each for 3000 Poké, TM10, and TM43, each for 3000 Poké. Also after buying TM43, a vendor at the northern end of the Market will sell the player extra items. The Contest Hall cannot be used yet because the player has not won any Normal Rank or Super Rank Contest. Team Aqua is blocking the entrance to the Oceanic Museum and will not go away until the player goes north of the city and returns. The player should then enter the museum (there is a 50 Poké entrance fee) and proceed up the stairs, where the player will find Captain Stern. However, shortly after the encounter, two Team Aqua or Magma Grunts will enter and battle the player, back-to-back. When the two Grunts are defeated, the Team Leader appears and promises the player that his plan is not to be stopped by a child.
Before, when the player first went north of the city, many Grunts were blocking the road. Now they are gone and the player can proceed.