Looking back, it is a bit mind-boggling that the first Pokemon games showed up twenty years ago. I have vague memories of playing the games when they came state-side, so I suppose I must have been five or so. Good times… I doubt I was all that great at the game, but I certainly was good enough to beat the Elite Four, the Champion, and capture Mewtwo. However, you see, I committed a grave error while doing so, which is what I‘ll be talking about.
        See, if I recall rightly, I decided to take Mewtwo by force instead of just using the Master Ball. And I suppose I had right to be cocky- I’d fought my way through the Elite Four, my rival, who had become even stronger than they were, and Cerulean Cave, filled with wild Pokemon all in the high 40s and low 50s level wise. Given everything, of course I was cocky.
        But meeting Mewtwo stomped that preconception into the ground. Compared to it, literally every other challenge is a joke- it has reached an incredible level 70, more than ten levels higher than almost everything else in the game, and definitely more than my Pokemon- I’d won through, I will admit, not with the best team.
        I had the same Lapras you get back in Silph Co., still a level 15, exclusively for Surfing purposes. I had all three legendary birds, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltries, only barely leveled up past their natural 50, and that only because it’s inevitable when dealing with the Elite Four. And of course, I had my starter Pokemon, Charizard, but he was only at 46.
        Needless to say, I won through primarily with type advantages- Zapdos for the water using Lorelei, and Charizard for her ice type Jinx, Articuno to deal with the fighting and ground typed Bruno, Articuno again for both the poison types in Agatha’s team, and the dragons in Lance’s. As for facing the rival, while that was a closer match, these same combinations still won through, though it was far closer due to the higher levels and other issues.
        Naturally, Mewtwo proved unbeatable, due to its higher levels and since it doesn’t have a weakness to any of my Pokemon, being a psychic type. Psychic types are only weak to Bug type moves, and… well, there aren’t very many in the first generation games, and none that my Pokemon could use. There was only Leech Life, Pin Missile, and Twin Needle, all moves with high accuracy, but very low power.
        Making matters worse, Psychic is easily the best type in these early games. The only Pokemon that can resist the power of psychics are more psychics, they’re super effective against Poison and Fighting types, and while Ghost type attacks are made super effective in later games, here they do not effect Psychic types at all. And again, this means the only type that is super effective against Psychic is Bug, which only has three moves, so it may as well not have a type weakness at all in this game. You can see why Dark types were introduced later.
        Getting back to Mewtwo specifically, though, even among Psychic types it reins supreme. It has incredibly high stats, even its lowest, Defense, being above average. It has the sixth highest HP in the game, and is the second fastest Pokemon, beaten out only by Electrode. It also has high attack, but where it truly shines is the all-important Special stat.
        See, in the first generation of Pokemon, there wasn’t Special Attack and Defense; that was, like Dark and Steel types, another invention that benefited from hindsight. Back then there was Special, which determines how much damage you give and take from special attacks. And Mewtwo has absolutely the highest Special stat in the entire game.
        But let’s look at the fight itself and see how that translates into battle. Mewtwo, like all Pokemon, has four moves, in this case Swift, Psychic, Barrier, and Recover. Swift is a low power move that always hits. It’s a normal type move, so no one is weak to it, but with Mewtwo’s high Attack, it will still do a good bit of damage, specially since it never misses. In fact, despite other moves also having complete accuracy, Swift is the only one that ignores the stat altogether, meaning it will even hit when it shouldn’t, like when your Pokemon is using Dig or Fly.
        Psychic is, as you might expect, the best Psychic type move in the game, with a power of 90, and like Swift, it never misses. Even worse, it has a chance of lowering the target’s Special stat, making them even more vulnerable.
        The effect aside, this move’s power paired with Mewtwo’s amazing Special stat means it can wipe out almost anything in one shot, even other Psychic types. In fact, just to test this, I ran Mewtwo through the Elite Four, and it utterly decimated the competition, bar none. The only one who lasted more than one blow was the rival’s Alakazam, because it also has high Special, but even then it barely survived with only a tiny sliver of health. The only flaw in the Psychic move is that it only has ten uses, but that’s more than enough to wipe out any Pokemon or team.
        Moving on, we have Barrier. This move raises Mewtwo‘s defense, effectively removing Mewtwo’s only real weakness, and it can be used repeatedly to raise it higher and higher. Mewtwo’s last move is Recover, which restores up to half its HP, and can be used twenty times.
        Bringing all this together, we have a Pokemon with high stats across the board, but with a slight weakness to physical attacks. However, it has a move that effectively erases that weakness. Special attacks aren’t likely to do much good either, due to the Special stat. Mewtwo can resist just about anything, and has virtually no type weaknesses. Both of its attacks always hit, and one is powered up by its type and Special, making it powerful enough to destroy almost anything you can throw at it instantly. And even if you do manage to do some damage, it can recover half its health, rendering all that work moot.
        Of course, maybe defeating Mewtwo isn’t your goal. Maybe you want to capture it, right? Who wouldn’t want to? Well, you’d still want to weaken it a bit, like any Pokemon, but lets say you take the risk that maybe, just maybe, one good Ultra Ball can capture it at full health. That can happen. Not with Mewtwo, though. In these games, if your odds of capturing a Pokemon are spectacularly low, the game will not go through with the capturing animation and simply tell you that you missed the Pokemon altogether. Put simply, until you do some damage to it, you have a zero percent chance of capture!
        Which is why you really, really, really want to hold onto your Master Ball. It automatically captures whatever you through it at, Mewtwo included, which means rather than becoming the worst boss battle ever conceived, it simply becomes yours. I quickly realized nothing I had could even scratch this monster- Mewtwo was simply in another league of its own, and so I used the ball. However, if you really must try to capture it the old fashioned way, I suppose I can give a bit of advice.
        While I don’t understand the mechanics of capturing Pokemon entirely- it involves lots of math- I do understand that the Ultra Ball is the best one to use period, Master Ball aside, and your chances go up as the Pokemon’s health lowers. But you knew all that. What you may not know is that when they are inflicted with a status condition, the chances of you capturing them go up as well.
        Paralyzing, Burns, and Poison all help your chances to a degree. I’d especially recommend using Toxic, since that particular move induces a poison that keeps getting stronger over time. This is referred to as being ‘badly poisoned’ and it is very effective. In some cases I found it too effective, but with Mewtwo’s high health that’s not as much of an issue. All you need to do then is survive until Mewtwo is weak enough to capture. However, as I said, the poison can work too well- Mewtwo is still tough to catch, and if the battle drags on too long, the poison will outright defeat Mewtwo.
        A better option would be Sleep- for several reasons. For a start, sleeping and frozen Pokemon have an even higher chance of being caught than the other conditions, and in both cases the Pokemon cannot fight back until the ailment is gone. With freezing in particular, Mewtwo will never escape from the condition, allowing you to do whatever you please to see it beaten or captured. The problem with freezing is there is no move, even now, that will reliably cause it. It’s a side effect of Ice attacks. The best you can do is hope it works on Mewtwo.
        Sleep, on the other hand, can reliably be caused by many moves, and some, like Sleep Powder, always hit. However, Mewtwo will wake up in anywhere from one to seven turns, so all you can do hope it doesn’t. Still, that’s batter than praying it will be frozen, since you can at least be sure you can put it to sleep. This frees up some time to attack Mewtwo in which it cannot retaliate or heal itself. If you’re especially lucky, its Barrier made fade during this time, allowing you to strike it with full force physical blows.
        Whatever your method, it will certainly be a difficult fight, but I’d capturing the strongest Pokemon in the game is very much worth it. No other battle will ever be a challenge again- and Mewtwo, as all Pokemon, can get stronger. While this is mostly just increased stats for Mewtwo, he does have two new moves yet to gain.
        At level 75, Mewtwo can learn Mist, a Ice move that prevents stat reducing moves from working, such as Leer reducing Defense. While this may be useful, I personally would they Barrier is much preferred. However, he has one more move to learn. This is Amnesia. In later games, this raises your Special Defense, but since there is only Special, it raises Mewtwo’s Special stat in the same way Barrier improves Defense, raising Mewtwo’s already absurd power and immunity to special attacks to even greater proportions. If it was nearly unstoppable beforehand, it surely is completely impossible to defeat when powered up even more. Really, the only moves it needs are Psychic, Barrier, Recover, and Amnesia, and you’d have an unbeatable powerhouse.

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