Some eons ago, I had made a concerted effort to complete Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team since I had completed the storyline and was making progress on recruiting every Pokemon in the game, and had a great setup for it since my starters (now a Typhlosion and Swampert) were over level 90 and I obtained the Friend Bow. I remember spending an hour farming Kecleons trying to recruit one to no avail.
But, in order to complete the task of recruiting every Pokemon, one would sooner or later need to traverse the most difficult dungeon in the game, a monstrosity known as Purity Forest, the home of Celebi. So I made a bunch of repeated efforts to beat it, and the farthest I could reach was around 55F before I gave up and never touched the game again...until a week ago.
Having read up on multiple guides that talked about ways of beating this dungeon, I decided to take on the task again a couple nights ago to see if I could beat my own record, or perhaps even clear the dungeon and shed this nagging monkey forever. So I chose Alakazam, which had high starting stats at level 1 as well as a solid movepool of Kinesis, Confusion, and Teleport. I believe his levelup rate was also decent, but I didn't make much use of it. My strategy here was to be able to outlast Pokemon in battle, and if I couldn't do that, just Teleport away (which is a good move to have if you're alone) and hope I find the stairs before I get surrounded again. Of course, a dungeon that forces you to become level 1, turns your brain backwards to 0 IQ, and prevent you from bringing items in makes you very reliant on items, so I had to constantly be on the lookout for Big Apples, Max Elixirs, a good hold item, Gravelerocks, Oran Berries, any other healing items I could find, and usable TMs.
The first twenty or so floors were no challenge, although attack-reducing Togepis and durable Skarmorys were occasional thorns. I was really conservative on using moves and probably didn't need to, as farming EXP a bit more here might have helped out later on. (In retrospect, I suppose it wasn't necessary, but I did have a number of close calls on the upper floors.) My initial hold item was a Zinc Scarf, and as it turned out, Big Apples and Max Elixirs weren't too hard to find throughout my entire run. One of those early items was the TM for Return, but at 0 IQ it does a fixed 5 damage...
Starting from around 25F was when things became interesting - a Kecleon Shop spawned and was selling a Def. Scarf, which is more useful than the Zinc Scarf since most of the attacks were physical in nature. I also acquired a Power Scarf that let me hit just a bit harder, though again I didn't make good use of it. A couple of Joy Seeds put me at level 5 around the halfway point of the dungeon, and I found the TM for Safeguard, which was really helpful in preventing a lot of potentially fatal status effects later on. I didn't make the best use of it though, since in my arrogance facing some poison-type Pokemon I ended up getting poisoned (even through using Confusion on a Nidorino with Poison Point, which I didn't think could happen, but I guess the mechanics on how that activates are just different, whoops). Since I never found a Pecha Berry or Heal Seed, the best I could do in that situation was just Teleport away and find the stairs ASAP. Also a useful strategy when dealing with bad weather. As for moves, I got rid of Kinesis when I found Safeguard, and Return was swapped out for Shock Wave, then Facade. Enemies got harder to dispatch, and I just stopped fighting anything I couldn't do more than 2 damage on, even with moves, entirely.
Around 70F was when things got interesting, since another Kecleon Shop appeared and it had a Warp Scarf. I played ring-around-the-rosie with an enemy Glalie and Slaking while trying to buy the item, then equipped it immediately and escaped to the next floor. From here on out, my strategy was to switch between my also-recently-acquired Detect Band and Warp Scarf, as warping mechanics made it so that you were always teleported into a room; I used the Warp Scarf if I was not in the room with the stairs, and the Detect Band otherwise. If I found myself trapped by enemy Pokemon (which at this point, as an Alakazam at a paltry level 6, could do over 10 hit points of damage), I had my ultimate trump card of Teleport to instantly escape. Safeguard was also essential should I run into Pokemon with status moves, such as Parasect. I teleported into a couple of monster houses and those two moves in conjunction saved me from certain defeat, and once I escaped from enemies, Warp Scarf would ensure I could continue taking my chances of landing into the stairs room. There were a couple of instances where enemies got in the way of the stairs, so instead of fighting, I would just warp away and come back later and hope they had dispersed by then.
With these tools in hand, I reached the last several floors, spent a lot of time warping around to escape a particularly nasty monster house on 96F, and celebrated with joyous exhilaration as I found the stairs on 98F. Finally, eight years after I started playing this game, I had beaten its most difficult challenge. An achievement I never thought I could actually accomplish back then.
Celebi asks to join you without any boss battle (a good thing; a boss battle would have been disastrous for me given the state in which I reached it). You can actually decline the request, but I don't think anyone who makes it here would really have the desire to make such an act of spite, so of course I let it join. Alakazam returned to the rescue team's base and took a very well-deserved rest. And with that, my journey was finally over.
So yeah, I feel like I got incredibly lucky at points through this run, particularly with finding the Warp Scarf as I'm positive I would not have escaped the later floors by completely relying on Teleport. (I did have a couple of spare Max Elixirs if that was needed, I guess.) But having a good strategy in hand and picking the right Pokemon are also important factors for beating this kind of dungeon. Next up, Zero Isle South?
Anyone else out there who has beaten Purity Forest or equivalent? How did you guys do it?
Yes, I myself have completed Purity Forest. I don't remember it all, but it was years ago. And just like with others, it was an Alakazam that got me through it. Teleport for monster houses is essential, and so is having good stats. Kecleon is also a highly recommended one what with its easy leveling early on and being able to use attacks like Fury Swipes.
With Zero Isle South and Destiny Tower in Explorers, you have Smoochum as the big fan favorite in that one. I have cleared both, and with the latter I remember being a HAIR away from wiping to a Miltank in the 80s of floors, but it thankfully missed with Rollout.