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Pokemon Ruby: Minimum KO Run
  1. So, you wanna do a pacifist run of Pokemon Ruby. Well, that's not quite possible. However, we can do the next best thing by only taking required trainer battles. This run is intense, and will require smart item usage and knowing where to find free items, since you'll be low on money for the majority of the time. I recently completed this challenge myself (inspired by Jrose11's run in Red with the same concept), so I'll walk you through how it works! With my own mistakes removed, we can hopefully make this a smoother ride for the rest of you. Without further ado, let's get started!
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  3. PART I. YOUR STARTER
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  5. Because catching a wild Pokemon counts as a battle, we will be using our starter for just about every battle. As such, we need to make sure to make the right choice. With the first gym being rock type, Torchic is a no-go. Treecko seems viable at first since it learns Absorb at level 6, but it's just too frail and has a weak movepool to boot. So, it's up to Mudkip. Who woulda guessed?
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  7. However, we can't just take any old Mudkip. When we get to Roxanne, we will only be level 8, meaning that we won't get Water Gun until beating her first Geodude. We'll be relying on Mud-Slap until then. This means we need a really high attack stat to make this run work. In my run, I got a Brave nature and an attack IV between 24 and 27 or so; this is about what you'll need. Don't take an Adamant nature, though, since special attacks will also be necessary (+Atk -Spdef is a viable nature, though).
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  9. PART II. THE FIRST BADGE
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  11. With your excellent Mudkip, you're ready to take on the first battle of the game: the wild Poochyena. This battle is pretty standard, so just KO it and nickname your buddy if you want. Your second battle will be against the rival since you aren't allowed to go west from Oldale yet, and you aren't allowed to grind against wild Pokemon. Another standard battle; spam tackle and take the 69 exp. Nice. Here, you'll reach level 6 and get Mud-Slap. This will be our friend for Roxanne.
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  13. Head back to the lab, get your useless Pokeballs and talk to Mom to get the running shoes. Our next stop is Route 102, and along with it our third battle: Youngster Calvin. He just has a Zigzagoon, so he's a cakewalk. You'll reach level 7 from this battle. Every other trainer on the route is avoidable, so just pick up the berries and move on to the Wally tutorial.
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  15. After that, you get to enter Petalburg Woods (after getting a few more berries of course). The only required trainer is the Magma Grunt, who has a level 10 Poochyena with Sand-Attack and Howl. Equip an Oran Berry and hope for some good luck. You'll reach level 8 from this battle and you'll have to take on Roxanne in this state since her Gym trainers are both optional. Make sure to pick up the X Defend outside the city gate and equip a Leppa Berry, then save in front of the gym leader.
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  17. Roxanne requires a gross amount of luck to beat. You'll want to use the X Defend on turn 1, then spam Mud-Slap. The equipped berry will prevent you from wasting a turn recovering PP on the move, allowing you to slowly whittle the rock down. Fortunately, you'll reach level 10 off this single 'mon, learning Water Gun. From here, the battle is much easier, though Nosepass can be kinda tough. Feel free to use Mud-slap a few times on it if you're scared. Once you win, you'll be at level 12 with an actual STAB move.
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  19. Battle Count: 5
  20. Current Level: 12
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  22. PART III. THE ROUTE 110 DILEMMA
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  24. No trainers on Route 116 are required, so we just rematch the Magma grunt and rescue Peeko. Pick up the Devon Goods and PokeNav, then head south toward Dewford. Oh, the rival will try to battle; ignore them. Pick up the Silk Scarf for later. Granite Cave is easy to navigate even without Flash, so just move on to Slateport and deliver the package. Make sure to get the Soft Sand from the tuber in the southeast. With your Mudkip, the two grunts in the museum are a cake walk, so just take them out and reach...level 14. And this isn't Emerald, so the Pokefan on route 110 is avoidable. Before reaching the actual dilemma, there's one trainer in Brawly's gym who's required. Unfortunately, you won't evolve off her so you're still stuck.
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  26. So now what? Brawly has high-level fighting types with powerful moves, and the rival has a level 20 Grovyle. I personally did Brawly first, relying on mud-slap misses and good luck, although the rival may be possible pre-evolution. However, doing this might put you at level 17 which would make you skip over Mud Shot. Feel free to experiment if you're on an emulator with save states. I think Brawly first is the safer path, though.
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  28. After getting lucky on Brawly, you'll need to do it all over with the rival. I picked the male character, so May lead with a Wingull. This has the unfortunate side effect of it possibly using Growl. If it does that more than once, it's basically an instant reset. You can live a single Absorb from full health, so use the opportunity to get up a mud-slap. Heal, hope for a miss, then repeat. After three accuracy drops or so, you can start spamming Rock Tomb. This is an unfortunate strategy, but it's the only one I could figure out with the available resources. The fact that this gen didn't have X Spdef sucks. Anyways, once you finally beat the rival, head on up to Mauville to get a bike and crush Wally's dreams. Thankfully, Wattson's gym has two required trainers (the Battle Girl and Rocker). Wattson himself is a joke, so just spam mud shot and take the Dynamo Badge.
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  30. Battle Count: 15
  31. Current Level: 22
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  33. PART IV. FINISHING OFF WEST HOENN
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  35. You'll need to teach Rock Smash to Marshtomp in order to progress. I got rid of Mud-Slap, and I didn't actually need it for the remainder of the game. Pick up Strength from Wanda's boyfriend, then head to Route 111. You can avoid every trainer until Cool Trainer Brooke, just before Route 113. Trigger the Team Magma cutscene in Meteor Falls, then head back through 113 to Mt. Chimney. You won't be able to go through Route 115 since you don't have Cut yet.
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  37. On Mt. Chimney's peak, you need to fight a Magma Grunt, Tabitha, and then Maxie. Maxie's slightly tough since you'll be underleveled, but using a Guard Spec to avoid Sand-Attack makes it much more manageable. Take advantage of Torrent to take out Camerupt, then make your way down Jagged Path and enter Lavaridge Town. You can take the egg if you want, but you won't be using Wynaut for anything but fodder. You'll be at level 25 for the Flannery fight since none of her gym's trainers are required. Having a big ol' type advantage makes this easy; just look out for Attract if your starter isn't female and use an X Special if you're feeling nervous.
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  39. After getting the fourth badge, May will come along and give you the Go-goggles, opening up the desert on Route 111. There's no required trainers obviously, but you'll want some items from here. Take the clear path to the right and pick up the Rare Candy in the nearby rock. Go to the northeast corner and pick up the Claw fossil. On your way back to Petalburg, revive this into an Anorith to become your Cut/Rock Smash slave.
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  41. Norman's gym is straightforward: battle three trainers then kick ur dad's butt. Just avoid the recovery room since Slakoth has awful Exp output compared to everything else. In this game, Norman's pretty easy since he doesn't use that annoying Spinda with Teeter Dance. Instead he leads with Slaking. Use an X Defend on turn 1 to minimize damage. Set up a few X Attacks then play around Truant to avoid Counter. From here the fight is easy unless you get critted by Slash. Once you win, replace Water Gun with Surf then get the Ether and Rare Candy on the southern bank of the western pond in town.
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  43. Battle Count: 24
  44. Current Level: 28? (I didn't keep good track here)
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  46. PART V. THE GREAT WIDE WORLD
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  48. With the majority of Hoenn opened up to us, our first destination is...the abandoned ship? Yep, there's no required trainers on the way over there nor to get TM13 Ice Beam. This will be imperative for the rest of the game; I removed Rock Tomb for it. Now we can go to Route 118 (after stocking up on X items) and enter the jungle area. None of the route trainers are required (to my surprise), so carefully make your way to the Weather Institute. Fight the lower Magma Grunt on the first floor then only the first grunt on the second floor. Finally, you'll fight Courtney then receive Castform. It's another fodder 'mon, but the Mystic Water it's holding will be very helpful.
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  50. Now that the bridge isn't blocked off, we can have our third and final rival battle. Set up two X Speeds and an X Special against her lead then fish for a critical hit or freeze on Ice Beam against Grovyle. It knows Leaf Blade now, so there's no chance of surviving at our level. Go to Route 119 and run from the Kecleon before getting the Devon Scope. Before battling Winona, you should clear out the Mt. Pyre storyline. I went right over to the Fortree gym from there, but you can do the Lilycove base first if you like. Tabitha's a joke anyway. Regardless, you'll want to fight Winona before going to Mossdeep for the extra experience. She's a pushover anyway after an X Special thanks to Surf and Ice Beam.
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  52. At Mossdeep, the only thing to do is challenge the gym. There's a path that only requires you to fight the female psychic next to the top middle switch and the male one to the right. After these battles, Marshtomp should evolve. When doing this, I found that I had to use two Rare Candies on him to reach the next level boost; there's like eight candies total so it's not too big a hit.
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  54. Tate and Liza are an interesting fight. They only have two Pokemon, but they're both level 42 and you have one real offensive hitter. What worked for me was using an X Speed on Swampert and setting up Rain Dance with Castform. If the weather isn't set up, it's an instant reset; Solarbeam is simply too strong without the halved damage from rain. From here, you can just spam Surf while the opponents spam against your fodder Pokemon. Assuming that Solrock doesn't use Sunny Day, anyway. This is the last real luck-reliant battle in the run, thankfully.
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  56. Battle Count: 38
  57. Level: 36+
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  59. PART VI. GROUDON AND THE LEAGUE
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  61. With access to Dive, we need to teach it to Swampert. We also need to teach him Strength if you haven't already replaced Rock Smash with it. At this point, my moveset was Surf/Strength/Ice Beam/Dive. Anorith has Rock Smash and Cut. Bring both these dudes into the Seafloor Cavern. You can avoid the normal grunts and only need to fight Courtney and Maxie. Make sure you pick up TM26 Earthquake; you'll need this for later. With the climax of the game's story underway, go to Sootopolis and enter the Cave of Origin.
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  63. I know that Jrose said that wild encounters count as battles so no captures are allowed. However, in Red there are no forced encounters that are capturable. I made a clause in this run that, so long as I immediately throw the Master Ball, I am allowed to catch the box legend since it's mandatory to encounter it. If you choose not to allow this, you can still beat the game, albeit with much more difficulty. You won't be able to remove Strength on Swampert in this case because you can't fly out of the league to remove it. In either case, you'll want to just use Swampert against Wallace since he's a water-type leader.
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  65. After beating Wallace, replace Dive with Waterfall and go to Victory Road. I followed a map from a speedrun resource to find a path with four required Cool Trainers then Wally. I used Groudon mainly for grass types, and before candies my levels were 44 and 46 respectively. At this point, you just need to stock up on healing items and the league is pretty easy. I was a moron and forgot to buy stuff before challenging and I still made it through with 3 super potions, 1 X Defend, 2 X Attacks, and 4 X Specials to use on Steven. I ended up having to use Double Team strats. Don't be like me.
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  67. No matter what you do, this is the end of the run! I hope you can all have fun with this; I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!
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  69. Final Battle Count: 52 (51 without Groudon)
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