Pokemon Gold and Silver: Janine Should Not Have Replaced Koga as Fuchsia City Gym Leader - Fanboys Fix It | Fanboys Anonymous

I've been watching SilphSpectre's True Power tournament on YouTube and after checking out the most recent episode, Janine vs. Brock, something dawned on me: Janine as a character shouldn't even exist.

Indulge me as I go down this rabbit hole with another edition of FANBOYS FIX IT where I'll address why that problem is an issue and how to remedy the situation with a few tweaks that change as little as possible, while making what I think are the best alterations.

Janine Pokemon Gen 2 gym leader soul badge

Koga Graduates

As it stands with Generation II, the return to Kanto was one of the biggest selling points. Not only was it interesting to see that the Indigo League was actually on the Johto side, too, but that when you step into the Elite 4 challenge, you're not actually fighting the same group.

It wouldn't have made much sense for you to fight Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha, Lance and then Blue, anyway, as Red had beaten Blue. Theoretically, you could have set it up so you beat those 4 and then Red, while Blue goes off and does his Viridian City Gym business, but I think they had a decent idea with Will and Karen and so forth. It still doesn't help that Bruno is a Fighting specialist with his Rock types and all, nor does it make much sense Lance is the champion, but whatever. We're in the interest of changing as little as possible, remember?

So let's say we keep everything the same as far as Koga moving up to the Elite 4 and making the Poison/Psychic/Dark/Fighting quartet happen. I'm cool with that. It's kind of neat to see Koga move up the ranks and fill in the void left by Agatha, especially as she was supposed to be a Ghost-type specialist who actually had all Poison types on her team, anyway.

But with Koga moving up to the Elite 4, who takes his place in running the Fuchsia City gym? It would be too hard to create a whole new area for Gen 2 just to give another location a different gym (unless you went with Pallet Town having a gym now with Red as the leader, but that stops you from having Mount Silver's epic showdown).

Janine is Koga's Clone

Game Freak's response was to have Koga's daughter Janine replace him in what amounted to one of the least interesting scenarios imaginable.

Everything stayed basically the same. Fuchsia City went from having a Poison-type ninja-themed gym to having a Poison-type ninja-themed gym.

Even the Pokemon weren't different. Take a look at their teams:

Koga in Red and Blue:

  • Koffing (x2)
  • Weezing
  • Muk

Koga in Yellow:

  • Venonat (x3)
  • Venomoth

Koga in Gold and Silver as Elite 4 Member:

  • Ariados
  • Venomoth
  • Forretress (Bug and Steel??)
  • Muk
  • Crobat

Now look at Janine's team:

  • Ariados
  • Venomoth
  • Weezing (x2)
  • Crobat

Every single Pokemon she has is something Koga has had, and it didn't even need to be that way! She could have had Arbok, Beedrill, Nidoqueen, Nidoking, Tentacruel, and Qwilfish. That's a full team of six Poison types that aren't used elsewhere at that point in time.

I think this pretty much means Game Freak didn't have plans to put Koga in the Elite 4 spot. It probably would have been Agatha again, with Koga still operating out of Fuchsia City, and they just decided to put him in there on a whim. Then, out of laziness and not wanting to redo the Fuchsia City gym layout, they just said "eh, it's his daughter, so she inherited everything."

At the very least, giving her different Pokemon should have been done. But it's also a missed opportunity to do something else and that's what I'm suggesting should have happened instead.

Where's the Ground-Type Gym?

Outside of some tweaks to their teams, most Gym Leaders in Kanto didn't change. Brock is still in Pewter, Misty is still in Cerulean, etc. Cinnabar Island was messed up with the volcano, so that gym shifted, but it's still Blaine and he's still a Fire-type specialist. The only ones who really changed were Janine replacing Koga and Blue replacing Giovanni.

By doing so and getting rid of Giovanni, the Earth Badge for the Viridian Gym no longer makes any sense. Of course, it never made sense to begin with, as it's a green leaf or feather, but whatever. Blue isn't a Ground trainer by any means and shouldn't give out that badge. Likewise, without Giovanni in the mix, Ground is the only type that we don't have a Gym Leader or an Elite 4 member representing.

What should happen instead is that Blue should give out a different badge instead of the Earth Badge and a Ground-type Gym Leader should take Koga's place in Fuchsia City.

In regards to Blue, let's give him something that isn't type-specific. My three main suggestions are the Pride Badge (I know, it's in Pokemon Masters), the Honor Badge or the Glory Badge. The idea behind the name is that he's a former champion who used to have a big ego, but learned how to carry himself with the right sense of honor after his defeat as champion. He should instill that knowledge to you as a teacher and you should have pride in defeating a former champion in him.

The design could be something simple. It has no real theme, so you just make it look classy, as if it's something a champion would want to pin on his or her lapel. But you make it green in color, as it's Viridian City, after all, and Blue is technically named Green in the original Japanese games.

In regards to this new Ground-type Gym Leader for Fuchsia City, though, how do we go about that?

I say since the Safari Zone is decommissioned in this game, let's tear it down and have the Ground specialists as the ones responsible for closing it off. They're doing construction in rebuilding that whole place or possibly tearing it down entirely and won't let anyone in there, as it's hazardous.

To make things less confusing, I'd get rid of the Earth Badge entirely. The design just doesn't work as "earth" in any fashion. This also means the Soul Badge has to go, too, since that wouldn't make any sense. Again, it never made sense why Sabrina's Psychic gym has the Marsh Badge while the Poison gym has the Soul Badge, so this at least gets another one of those issues out of the way.

Instead, let's go with the Quake Badge (the next logical step that they would take as evidenced by future games). If not that, maybe the Hazard Badge where it has a hard hat or a construction tape vibe to it. Or maybe the Terra Badge or even the Dust Badge. Hell, you can even still call it the Earth Badge but just change the way it looks so it is brown and looks remotely ground-related.

The character who is the Gym Leader almost doesn't matter. Go with whatever you want. He/she should have Hikers and such in his gym and he/she should look like a construction worker of sorts. Want to go super punny? Make it a woman named Tera.

As far as her team, our options at this point in the series are:

  • Sandshrew / Sandslash
  • Nidoqueen
  • Nidoking
  • Diglett / Dugtrio
  • Geodude / Graveler / Golem
  • Onix / Steelix
  • Cubone / Marowak
  • Rhyhorn / Rhydon
  • Wooper / Quagsire
  • Gligar
  • Phanpy / Donphan
  • Swinub / Piloswine
  • Larvitar / Pupitar

Onix is a staple for Brock and Bruno, while Steelix is Jasmine's ace, so that line shouldn't show up here again. Blue has a Rhydon on his team, so let's take that out of the equation, too. The same goes for Swinub and Piloswine since Pryce has that covered for his Ice gym. I'd also say since you can't go with Tyranitar, you should skip Larvitar and Pupitar. That still leaves us with plenty of options to pick from.

  • Sandshrew / Sandslash
  • Nidoqueen
  • Nidoking
  • Diglett / Dugtrio
  • Geodude / Graveler / Golem
  • Cubone / Marowak
  • Wooper / Quagsire
  • Gligar
  • Phanpy / Donphan

My ideal situation is to get rid of Forretress on Koga's team and replace that with Nidoking. Then, we can have this Tera character have Nidoqueen along with Sandslash, Dugtrio, Golem and either Quagsire or Donphan.

Why not Gligar or Marowak? Well, Gligar being Ground/Flying and a base-form with no evolutions at that point seems contradictory and less amazing. Marowak also has the Lavender Town stuff on its own and doesn't need more of a focus. I'd certainly have trainers in the gym have those Pokemon, though, so they're still featured as part of this theme.

So that's it. You close off the Safari Zone by having the new Ground Gym Leader doing construction, you feature some of those Pokemon and make sure all the types have a character that represents them, fix the Soul Badge and Earth Badge issue and prevent Koga from being copied and pasted with this Janine character.

What do you think? Is this a good change in retrospect, or do you still prefer the way Game Freak set things up with Janine? Drop a comment below and let me know!

THIS POST WRITTEN BY: ANTHONY MANGO

Tony Mango is the founder, editor-in-chief, head writer and show host of Fanboys Anonymous as well as all other A Mango Tree branches including Smark Out Moment. He is a pundit, creative director/consultant, media manager and more. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Extended profile here.

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