Starting Location: SPROUT TOWER / VIOLET CITY
Starting Team: Cyndaquil (lv. 12), Zubat (lv. 2), Unown (lv. 5)
So I waltz into SPROUT TOWER. The lower level is occupied by sight-seers and old foggies. Talk to them for a little history about SPROUT TOWER, the head on up to the back left and on up the stairs. As you can imagine from the name of the tower, all of the people you face here will be battling with Bellsprouts. So you're in a lot of luck if you chose Cyndaquil as your starter, as I did (you can breeze through all the bellsprouts with "Ember" which Cyndaquil learns at level 12. On the second floor you can choose to battle the first Sage (you should battle them all, to level up before the first gym), or slip past to the steps when he's not looking. You're back on the first floor in a hallway.
Nab that PARLYZ HEAL and continue scooting on to the left. The next Sage is unavoidable, so make sure your team is well healed. Burn up his Bellsprouts, take his money, and head up the stairs below. When you pop out on the second floor again, head up and grab the X DEFEND, then head down to the third (second unavoidable) Sage. Same deal as the last two, kick his tail (my Cyndaquil is now at lv. 13) and continue right.
At this point I'm going to give my Cyndaquil a break and try battling with my level 5 Unown (henseforth known as K). Continue right, zip up the stairs and go immediately to the left for the POTION. Then head up through the last few Sages.
Unown K's 'HIDDEN POWER' is super effective against Bellsprouts! Level 5 K knocked out one level 6 Bellsprout in two hits for a full level raise to 6. WAY TO GO K!!!
Beating a second level 6 Bellsprout brings K just shy of level 7. The third Bellsprout (lv. 7) brings K well past 7 and 3/4ths to level 8, but the third Sage on the third floor has a Hoothoot, so I give K a breather and bring Cyndaquil back out. a couple tackles do the Hoothoot in. Head up around the center pole, but LOOK OUT, is it an earthquake? No... your rival is here, getting his FLASH HM before you!
After babbling about his pokemon for a minute he leaves you alone with the Sage without a battle. Shake it off and head up to the right corner of the room for an ESCAPE ROPE. Now face that final Sage (he has: two lv. 7 Bellsprouts and a lv. 10 Hoothoot), to obtain the FLASH HM05 (however, none of my current pokemon can use the FLASH HM... but I'll worry about that later, it's not needed at the moment).
At the end of the last battle my Cyndaquil reached level 14, and evolved into Quilava (one of the most handsome pokemon in the game).
Use the ESCAPE ROPE to exit SPROUT TOWER in a jiffy, then head on over to the pokecenter for a much needed heal.
At this point my starter is looking good, but I'd like a more rounded out team before the first gym, so I head out into the wild to see what I can catch. An electric pokemon would be wonderful for the first gym, but unfortunately there are none to be had yet, at this early point in the game. I could trade over a Pikachu from one of my other carts, but I'll just tough it out with what I have.
Exit VIOLET TOWN to the right and search the grassy area just outside the entrance. It's slim pickin's. A Rattata/Raticate might be good muscle for the first gym, and Spinark and Bellsprout might be useful later on in the game. Catch'em now, or just train what you have.
Train a bit out there, then head back on into town for the first gym, and your first badge~!
Ending Time: 2 hours 7min
Ending Location: VIOLET CITY / 1st GYM
Ending Team: Quilava (lv. 14), Unown K (lv. 8), Zubat (lv. 2),