Hoppip and Pay Day

Posted January 29, 2018

Hoppip is a Grass and Flying Pokémon introduced in Generation 2 (Gold & Silver). It’s an adorable little fluff ball that evolves into two other similar fluff balls (Skiploom and Jumpluff), and back in Generation 2, it could learn Pay Day. This is Hoppip:

Not quite the lightest Pokémon (that prize goes to Gastly), but close!

Hoppip hasn’t been able to learn Pay Day since Generation 2, so the wrinkle of how one would teach Hoppip Pay Day wasn’t a problem for PokémonCompDB back in Generation 6 (X & Y) because the import mechanism for bringing Pokémon over from previous games only starts in Generation 3 (Ruby & Sapphire). However, with Generation 7 (Sun & Moon), Game Freak also re-released Generations 1 and 2 (Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, & Crystal) on the 3DS Virtual Console. And they made it possible to import Pokémon from those digital versions of the classic games into Generation 7.

This introduced a bunch of new combinations of importable moves to the latest games that hadn’t existed before. Some were challenging from a data perspective, but others were just particularly difficult for players to do. Today, I’m focusing on one of the latter.

So, Hoppip and Pay Day. Pay Day is the signature move of Meowth, the visuals of the move itself mimicking the coin Meowth has on its head.

Also known as Team Rocket’s mascot

As I’ve discussed before, some Pokémon learn moves exclusively as egg moves, meaning one of their parents needs to know the move when the Pokémon is bred and then the new baby Pokémon will know the move straight away. Each species of Pokémon can only learn certain moves this way. Throughout all of the main series Pokémon games, if you breed two Pokémon together, the child will be of the same species as the mother (except Ditto, which follows its own rules). So if you breed a female Bulbasaur with a male Snorlax, you’ll get a baby Bulbasaur.

As an additional complexity, back in Generations 1 and 2, egg moves could only be passed down by the father. So you needed a female of the species you wanted and a male that knew the move you wanted the new Pokémon to learn. Pokémon are divided up into 15 egg groups. Each species belongs to one or two egg groups, and any two Pokémon that share an egg group can breed.

The true meaning of Pokémon

So, in Generation 2 Hoppip was introduced and it was able to learn Pay Day as an egg move. Hoppips are 50% female and 50% male, so catching a female Hoppip isn’t particularly difficult. Hoppip is in the Fairy and Grass egg groups, so to teach a Hoppip Pay Day, we need a male Pokémon in either the Fairy or Grass egg group that knows Pay Day.

Here’s where things get fun. Meowth and its evolution Persian are the only Pokémon that learn Pay Day by level up in Generation 2, and they’re in the Field egg group, which has no overlap with Hoppip.

There aren’t any other Pokémon that learn Pay Day in Generation 2, so you might think we’re just stuffed then. But in Generation 2, 24 hours after you meet Bill in Ecruteak City (that’s 24 hours of real time, Gold, Silver, & Crystal had internal clocks and the real-world-matching day/night cycle was one of the major new features), you gain access to the Time Capsule in Pokémon Centers throughout the game. The Time Capsule, presumably as a precursor to the import mechanisms we have seen in all of the games since Generation 3, is a mechanic that allows players to import Pokémon from Generation 1 into your Generation 2 games.

This feature is still available in the Virtual Console versions of the classic games and in classic Nintendo style, you’ll need two 3DS consoles to be able to use the Time Capsule in the Virtual Console Generation 2 game. And because games are tied to hardware, not your account, even though your account can only be associated with one console at a time, you’ll need to make a whole separate account and save and play through one of the two games on the other system for this to work.

Or you could have a friend help out, but that seems dramatically unlikely

Why does this help us? In Generation 1, Pay Day was a TM (TM16 specifically) which can be used exactly once per playthrough of the game, because TMs were single use until Generation 5 (Black & White). And of the 18 Pokémon that can learn Pay Day from TM16 (including Mewtwo, who can only learn Pay Day from that TM in Red & Blue, not in Yellow, for whatever reason), Pikachu and Raichu are in the Field and Fairy group, so they do overlap with Hoppip.

So you want a Hoppip with Pay Day in Ultra Moon? I’m sure you see the process now. You catch a female Hoppip in the Virtual Console Gold, Silver, or Crystal. You catch a male Pikachu (also 50%/50%) in the Virtual Console Red, Blue, or Yellow. You use your only TM16 in Red, Blue, or Yellow to teach Pikachu Pay Day. You import the Pikachu with Pay Day into your Gold, Silver, or Crystal game and then breed it with the Hoppip you caught before, to get a Hoppip that knows Pay Day. Then you use the Virtual Console import to bring it over from Gold, Silver, or Crystal into the modern Generation 7 game of your choice.

This chart comes up a lot

Simple! Why would you do this? Honestly, probably if you read this blog and wanted to try it out. If you wanted to bring a Jumpluff with Pay Day to a tournament to create a blip in the stats. Pay Day is not particularly useful on Hoppip. It’s not that strong to begin with - its primary defining trait being that you get more money in-game after using it, which doesn’t apply to tournaments, online battles, or post-game Battle-Frontier-style arenas.

But if you do choose to create a set in PokémonCompDB that has a Hoppip, Skiploom, or Jumpluff with Pay Day, then you will be dutifully told that you’ll need to go out and grab some more digital games to be able to do so!

Seemingly in an attempt to trick anyone who didn’t dig into the encoded egg move tables in the game, Pay Day did have another day in the sun in Generation 3. There was a Skitty that one could obtain from Pokémon Box on the GameCube that knew Pay Day. Skitty is even in the Field and Fairy egg groups, so it overlaps with Hoppip! Unfortunately Skitty was introduced in Generation 3, and by that time Pay Day had already been removed from Hoppip’s list of possible egg moves.

Could Skitty ever really let us down though?