I did a speedrun race of a Pokémon randomizer hack with my friends the other day. You can find the hack over at sanqui.net/randomizer. It’s a randomizer for Red that randomizes virtually everything about the game. Seriously, if I went in-depth on everything it changes, we’d be here all day. Just check the website for yourself. It’s optimized for speedrun races, and I had seen some videos of said races on YouTube, and it looked fun, so my friends and I, despite not being pro speedrunners by any means, tried it out. Here’s what I learned from that experience:
The Most Unlikely Pokémon Can Be Completely Run-Changing
Upon starting the race, it seemed that some of us were going to be much better off than others. For starter Pokémon, Friend A got a Dialga, Friend B got a Zygarde, and Friend C got a Torterra. Meanwhile, I was stuck with a measly Floatzel. Or so I thought. I ended up pulling pretty far ahead early in the race, thanks to one lucky move: Clamp. Clamp is no big threat nowadays, but in the first generation, along with its brothers Wrap and Bind, it’s a downright broken move, the kind that makes you yell obscenities into the screen. That alone was enough to push me ahead of the competition, who were struggling with their inferior movesets.
You Probably Aren’t Going To Finish
Of the four people that went into the race, only one truly finished. Friends A and B fell pretty far behind and ended up quitting, while Friend C and I were neck and neck for a while, I fell behind, lost to Lance, and decided to quit, though I got pretty darn close! Not everyone is cut out to be a Pokémon master in the wild world of the Sanqui randomizer. Even after quitting though, nobody felt unfulfilled. Simply sharing your weird experiences, even if only for a little while, is so much fun that you don’t even care that much about finishing.
Little Things Can Give You Huge Leads
My detailed memory of pointless things finally came in handy for once during this race. I was assisted in getting an early lead by using a trick I had learned from watching countless speedruns: the grass tiles in Viridian Forest with flowers in them can’t produce encounters. That alone was enough to help me pull ahead and be the first to beat Brock. (Or Lorelei, in this case. With a bird for an overworld sprite.) Later, I had lost some time in Celadon City by going on a somewhat aimless shopping trip. I was able to make this up by using another trick I learned from watching speedruns: the Poké Doll skip. When you get to the Marowak ghost in Pokémon Tower, you can use a Poké Doll on it to skip the fight, therefore also skipping the need to go through the Team Rocket base in Celadon City. Doing this alone got me back on pace with a slight lead.
Your Memory Will Fail You In The Heat Of The Moment
Sadly, even my memory isn’t infallible. My run was basically over by the time I got to the Pokémon Mansion, a dungeon I had so thoroughly forgotten about that my rival, Friend C, was already at the 8th gym by the time I was barely getting out of it. Things like this happened a lot; Friend C forgot to get the Bicycle and the Fly HM, Friend B forgot how to get through Mt. Moon, etc. It’s crazy how much you can forget about a game you think you know so well.
It’s A Surprising Amount Of Fun
Call me a pessimist, but going into the race, I expected to really get stressed out. I guess that’s kinda just how my brain works. But to my surprise, it was a really fun, and surprisingly relaxing experience! I got into almost this trance-like state, and was determined to do my best, as was everyone else. It was a great experience, and something I’d definitely do again. You should try it out yourself!