So it has been brought to my attention that Red, Blue and Yellow’s implementation of stat stages is even more hilariously glitchy than I’d understood it to be. Whenever any stat stage is modified (either raised or lowered), all of that Pokémon’s other stats will have their badge boosts and burn/paralysis modifiers reapplied. As in, if the player has the Boulderbadge (which raises Attack), then for each time their Pokémon use Harden or are hit by a String Shot (provided they aren’t burned), their Attack stat will be multiplied by 1.125. This will just keep on stacking until something happens to recalculate the Attack stat. Speedrunners have known this for a while now, apparently, but I don’t follow the speedrunning community enough to have noticed until Zowayix (who does a series of very entertaining Worst Luck Possible Nuzlocke runs) e-mailed me to ask about it yesterday. I just tried it myself on a Yellow ROM and yup, it’s true. Good job, Game Freak.
But this made me remember seeing on this page (God I love it when pages I read more than a decade ago actually still exist on the Internet), years and years and years ago, a claim that the Pokémon games have a “revenge factor” built in, where if one of your stats is lowered you’ll notice your Attack is a little higher for the rest of the battle. When I first saw it I thought, “Huh, really? I’ve never seen that stated anywhere else.” It stuck in my memory regardless because it was an interesting claim. As I studied more guides about the inner mechanics of the game, I learned there was no revenge factor, and I chalked that page up to people seeing their Pokémon do slightly more damage than the turn before based on the random factor in the damage formula and making up something that sounded like an explanation.
As it turns out, however, holy crap they were right. This silly page of user-submitted tips that regards switching the order of your moves with Select as a cool secret and lists fishing in Gym statues as a thing that works in Yellow discovered weird glitchy behaviour in the battle system sometime in, like, 1999.
I feel like that time when I realized I’d seen the actual working Mew trick in some list of user-submitted cheats sometime in 2002 and shaken my head over how obviously fake it was.