my very first full-odds shiny hunt

amazing artwork by my friend paige!!!

as you guys probably know, i really LOVE shiny hunting in pokemon. i don’t consider myself a super hardcore hunter by any means, but i have a page with all of my collected shinies (which, as of right now, i still need to update for my adventures in pokemon: scarlet - i have like, 30+ more shinies to add, but i’m waiting for the paldean pokemon to get pokemon: home art first, hehe), and i wrote up a little guide for shiny hunting in paldea to help out my friends who wanted to get into shiny hunting for the first time! typically, however, i try to minimize my odds as much as possible when i shiny hunt. that much is obvious by how i worded the guide, which is focused on helping people attain the best possible odds of running into a shiny. i’ve done most of my shiny hunts via the masuda method and go out of my way to get the shiny charm in each game, making the process as tipped in my favor as possible.

related to this, i recently started working on the totodile section of this site. part of that section is a page dedicated to totodile’s history. that essay isn’t quite done yet… but during my research, i noticed how much they changed the shiny totodile sprite from gen3 onwards. i won’t analyze this change too much here, since that risks repeating the stuff i’ve written about for that portion of the site, but it got me thinking about how cool it would be to have a gen2 shiny totodile in addition to the one i hatched in gen7 (his name is ‘matcha’) and the one i found during totodile community day in pokemon go (his name is ‘rawst’). that sentiment prompted these tweets:

when i tweeted this, i was pretty much just entertaining the thought. i didn’t think i really had a 1/8192 hunt in me - the roughest odds in all of the pokemon games. but i kept thinking about it. and then i was like, fuck it. i want one, so i’m gonna get one.

cue research into gen2 shiny hunting!

still daunted by the 1/8192 odds, my first approach was to look into how shiny breeding works in gen2. classic pokemon guide was a big help with that, as i learnt about dv breeding and how to maximize my chances. after the full setup, i could have a whopping 1/64 chance of hatching a shiny totodile! i had no idea that breeding could make shiny hunts in gen2 so easy. on top of that, i already had an in-progress file of pokemon: silver, so i could really just pick it up again and eventually have the right conditions for my shiny gen2 totodile. but it got me thinking… as daunting as the 1/8192 odds were… wouldn’t it be kind of iconic to do a shiny starter hunt?

i kept playing with this idea, going back-and-forth on if it was worthwhile or not. a huge con towards doing it was that i’m a massive softie and i didn’t want to restart my file of silver on the 3ds virtual console. so i looked into potentially picking up gold version on the 3ds eshop. during this search, i realized that POKEMON CRYSTAL was released on the virtual console!!! i had NO IDEA. i only picked up silver because i had no idea if crystal was ever going to make it to the 3ds eshop. how the FUCK did i miss it?! i had to get it IMMEDIATELY. shiny hunt or not, crystal is my favorite pokemon game of all time.

this started a whole new saga. the 3ds eshop is unfortunately being shut down along with its online services. i knew this was scheduled for march - next month :( - so i figured i was fine. but when i went to buy it in the eshop, it told me that i couldn’t put money directly into it. i had to go buy a gift card to do so. okay, i thought. i’ll go buy a $10 gift card and pick it up. i bought the card and put the code into my 3ds… and it immediately rejected it, saying that it wasn’t possible as the service was over.


luckily, i didn’t despair for long, as i realized that i could still put the money into my account by simply doing it on the browser eshop. i got my hands on pokemon: crystal without any more issues - thank goodness! if you’re reading this before march 2023 and you want to pick up a copy of it on your 3ds, be sure to get on it quickly!

after all of that, it really got me thinking about how much i love johto. i still remember the sense of wonder i had when i was a kid playing crystal in particular. i had played red, blue and yellow, as well as gold and silver, and i loved all of those games… but something about crystal just struck a RESOUNDING chord within me. even though it wasn’t my first pokemon game, much less the first bit of pokemon media i interacted with, i honestly credit crystal as a major point in my love for pokemon and gaming as a whole. it’s one of those formative games for me. as such, totodile, my favorite starter for johto, ended up being one of the pokemon closest to my heart… actually, no - it ended up being THE pokemon closest to my heart.

so, while crystal downloaded, i made my decision: i would face the 1/8192 odds as so many shiny hunters have, and i would get my gen2 starter totodile. i would give him (shiny totodiles can only be male in gen2!) an everstone, and i would take him up to the hall of fame with me and the rest of my team. no matter what… i would stick to the hunt and achieve this goal.

is this a dramatic way of approaching a shiny hunt? absolutely. but it sure did motivate me!

i started my hunt on february 6 with more than a little apprehension, since it was my very first hunt for a shiny starter. and, again, since this is one of the older pokemon generations, my odds of running into totodile were brutal. but as prof oak asked me this question…

…i knew that i was READY. (sorry i had to say that. the setup was too good to pass up. *sobs*).

i started up my file, saving right in front of the pokeball containing totodile in prof elm’s lab. this is the part of this post where i give a HUGE shoutout to miketroid’s shiny hunting for totodile tutorial, which taught me two crucial points of information: that shiny totodile would always be male, and that shiny totodile would always have a hp value of 20. this saved me tons of time in the long run! TONS! he has done videos on each of the johto starters in gen2, so be sure to check them out if you’re interested in shiny hunting for one!

anyway, that being said, my process for this hunt was simple. i would:

  1. interact with the pokeball i saved in front of.
  2. tell elm that, yes, i do want totodile as my starter.
  3. tell elm that, yes, i do want to nickname my totodile.
  4. check totodile’s gender on the nickname screen. if the totodile was female, i would reset my game and repeat from step 1. if totodile was male, i would continue onwards.
  5. button-mash through elm talking for a solid 20 seconds or so.
  6. check my pokemon party. if totodile had 21hp, i would soft reset. if he didn’t (and therefore had 20hp), i would examine him closer.
  7. check if the totodile was shiny. if he was, i would experience sheer euphoria that my hunt was over. if he wasn’t, i would soft reset by either pressing on the touch screen and selecting reset, or by pressing start, select, a and b together at once.

i did this for hours upon hours… days upon days. it was obviously a very simple process, but it had points where it got so incredibly gruelling. to make the time pass by quicker, i would watch pokemon videos on youtube. my friend paige (who also drew that lovely art at the beginning of this blog post!!!!) introduced me to absolblogspokemon’s content. absol is INCREDIBLY!!!!!!! cool!!!!!!!! i REALLY admire and relate to his totally sincere love of pokemon. i watched so many of his gauntlet videos and was also quick to follow him on twitch. i watched his stream last night, too, though i was a bit too shy to say anything in chat lmfao! he also recently made a neocities website, so if you’re a neocities user, be sure to give him a follow!

anyway, in addition to watching pokemon youtubers (and good ol’ jerma), i also talked with friends and watched stuff with them while i hunted. i even shiny hunted while playing elden ring… the grind never stops. except when it does. LFDGKFDKH BUT THAT BEING SAID here are a few more pictures of my hunt!

me shiny hunting in bed… with my golden totodile for luck!

me shiny hunting while walking on my treadmill!
this was actually really lovely and made hunting feel 100x less tedious vs sitting in the same spot.

i hunted and hunted. sometimes i was totally in the zone - distracted but not too distracted; motivated to keep on going for my rare totodile. at other times, i felt like i was wasting my time, and that totodile would always evade me. today, morale was high, for the most part - though it ended up dipping at around 4pm. when i really felt like i was in a slog, i got ready to take my 3ds to the treadmill for a change of scenery.

and, as i walked over there, i glanced down at my 3ds… and i saw him.

at approximately 5:17pm, and after 5 days and roughly 4600 soft resets, a the shiny totodile had finally arrived!!!

lmfao, that nickname is the consequence of my button-mashing after checking the nickname screen. it’s definitely not permanent! but i am quite attached to calling him a, so i might name him something that starts with a. right now, i’m thinking of ‘anchor’!

in the end, i was actually a bit over half-odds rather than hitting - or, god forbid, surpassing - the big 8192. i was INCREDIBLY lucky in that sense! and so my shiny hunt officially came to a close.

you may be wondering if i think it was worth it. my answer to that is a resounding YES! absolutely, 100%, it was beyond worth it. i cherish all of my shiny pokemon, but the rush that seeing this totodile gave me… it was indescribable. i think it might have been extra impactful because i was also in a bit of a slog with the hunt… the emotional whiplash of finally getting him was crazy! i can totally see why people go for full-odds shiny hunts now. its lows were very low, but its highs were incredibly high. and, tbh? after this success, i feel all the more motivated to try my hand at another full-odds hunt… someday. LOL. i think my next one is probably just going to be the odd egg hunt (i think i’ll aim for magby!), and i also want to try the 1/64 shiny breeding method in crystal, too. regardless of what my shiny hunting future holds, i’m super happy that my fav pokemon was my first full-odds starter hunt - in my fav pokemon game, no less!

in a lot of ways, i feel like this process really taught me a lot about shiny hunting. i learnt so much about pokemon during my research for it, as well as during the hunt itself. it’s probably pretty cheesy of me, but i feel like i love pokemon even more than i did before.

so, there you have it! a total recount of my very first full odds shiny hunt! now, with a(nchor) the totodile, i’m finally going to leave the confines of prof elm's lab and re-experience the incredible johto region. i’ll be sure to post another blog entry with my full team sometime - so far, i’m thinking of totodile, togetic, magmar, lanturn, umbreon and… some sort of grass type. i’m not too sure which one yet! i’m just so excited for everything that this file has in store for me!!

mood: loved
music: hope - daughter