Last time on Pokemon Black, I have to go to Opelucid City to learn about reviving Reshiram.
You know what? I’ve got seven of the eight badges. I’m going to screw around with the time setting and check out winter. And go exploring.
Huh, apparently winter makes the trees…blue?
First, to the deerling guy. And collecting the surf-requiring items there.
Red and blue Basculin get along so poorly, they’ll start fighting instantly. These pokemon are very hostile.
And Mistralton Cave. Hm, the encounter rate here seems really low…
They use their tusks to crush the berries they eat. Repeated regrowth makes their tusks strong and sharp.
Not quite how regrowth works, but whatever.
And that brings my pokedex up to 80 pokemon caught!
I don’t think I’ll continue through this area, though. The pokemon are tough and I doubt I can take out the legendary at the end.
Okay, back to the plot.
Hey, in the city there’s a Team Rocket guy and his wife gives me candy.
Okay, back to plot for real.
Ooh, the route’s way harder to navigate with the puddles frozen. It’s like an actual puzzle.
Okay, really for real. There’s the building. And the Team Plasma guys have vanished. Now to enter
ARG. You’re here to tell me I’m entering it, aren’t you?
As I’ve been traveling lately, I’ve been thinking about things. Things like what I can do with my life, and what I want to do, but… I’m thinking about how cool it would be to be a model like Elesa. And then, how cool it would be to do research on Pokemon like Professor Juniper…
The worst part is I bet the Japanese creators thought this was progressive.
If that’s what I want to do, I’m gonna have to know a lot about Pokemon. Sooooo…would you please battle me?
Hey, good! I was actually kind of beat up from running all over the place, though I did just go heal.
Every time I watch my Pokemon battle, it ends like this. she says, with Musharna down to about one HP.
She says I’m amazing and gives me a full restore.
In Castelia City, my precious Pokemon was stolen by Team Plasma. So I really, really understand!
No you don’t! You said we shouldn’t go after them because you’d gotten your pokemon back and that was all that mattered.
If Team Plasma forces everyone to liberate their Pokemon, there will be nothing but sad people! Farla! Stop Team Plasma! Don’t allow Pokemon to be stolen from Trainers who love them!
I notice the game isn’t even attempting to say this is what the pokemon want. It’s all about the trainers.
I think that’s the truth–or ideal–that you’ve been pursuing, Farla…
Bianca: Oh dear, here I’ve come all this way, and I’m afraid I’m bothering you when you’re going through so much. All I wanted was to help you relax, Farla. Knowing you, you’ll be fine! Definitely! Totally fine! I guarantee it! Anyway, you know what I mean… Yeah… So, bye-bye!
My rival is apologizing to me for fighting.
On to the bridge!
It actually looks really cool, even more than the last one. It’s kind of scary because you can see through the grate to the trainers thundering by below.
The first person I meet says I should avoid this place on weekends? Maybe they mean there’s trainer battles then.
OOOH! It’s Ghetsis…and the dot dot dot ninjas!
Are you escorting me to someone right in front of me again?
Seriously, though, these cutscenes make no sense.
Ghetsis. We brought the one you wanted.
Ghetsis: Excellent. It seems that you have obtained the Light Stone. I congratulate you on a job well done.
It is my lord N’s thought that the two holders of the legendary Pokemon should put their beliefs on the line and strive to find which is the true hero.
That is not necessary, however. From his infancy, I provided him with the education required to become the hero of legend. Indeed, he has been so acknowledged by the legendary Pokemon. …Such purity of purpose is his.
The liberation of Pokemon of which I… Of which Team Plasma speaks is the separation of Pokemon from foolish people! That’s the truth! All trainers will become helpless to resist us! We alone will be able to use Pokemon!
The preparations are complete! When my perfect plan is set in motion, first a few gullible Pokemon Trainers who are unable to resist Team Plasma will release their Pokemon. Then that number will become a hundred, then a thousand… In no time, even the Gym Leaders and the Champion will become unable to fight us. Having a Pokemon will be considered a bad thing! Even people like the sad little Bianca, whose Pokemon were stolen in Castelia, will be unable to face public opinion and will release their Pokemon! That’s the kind of world we’ll make!
So…Ghetsis is just in this for the evulz. Wow. Worst villain ever. I was assuming this was a Team Rocket-eque plot hiding under a cult plot, not that Ghetsis picked Evil on the alignment chart.
Also, if he wants his group to be able to use pokemon after this, wouldn’t it have been a better idea to convince N that there should be exceptions for good trainers, instead of his current absolutist stance where he knows some people are good but he’s still taking their pokemon anyway?
You may have the Stone, but there’s no chance whatsoever that the legendary Pokemon will accept you as the hero. So, if you’re not willing to hand over your precious Pokemon, I suggest you search for some courage–because you’re going to need it!
But then he just walks off instead of trying to take it from me.
Onward. Right before I get to the city, a guy mentions he heard a legendary’s visiting.
…and there’s Douchy McFlamehair.
Alder: Hello, Farla. This way.
Looks like Ghetsis is giving another speech.
Ghetsis…what a liar. Desperately trying to con everyone with his speech.
I don’t see why, since N can just make everyone.
That’s correct! Our lord N has combined his power with the legendary Dragon-type Pokemon and intends to create a new world. We herald the return of the hero of Unova, founder of this region.
Crowd: Hero? Dragon? Legend!
Pokemon are different from people. They are living beings who contain unknown potential. They are living beings from whom we humans have much to learn. They are beings whose greatness we should acknowledge! Beings who should be freed from our oppression!
Crowd: Freed? Pokemon?
We, Team Plasma, invite you to join us! We all want to create a new world where people and Pokemon are both free. Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you now… Please, release your Pokemon. And so I end my plea to you today. Thank you one and all for your attention.
Crowd: Is it true? Have we been making Pokemon suffer?
Hm… Maybe we should release our Pokemon like Team Plasma says…
No way! Without Pokemon, I’ll be lonely and sad!
Well, that just about covers how fucked up this plotline is. “Are we hurting pokemon? But enough about them, let’s talk about me!”
The crowd disperses. Iris and some whitehaired old guy are still there.
What was that about? That speech was off-the-charts strange! The cooperation of people and Pokemon is how Unova came to exist to begin with.
And now the abuses of people toward pokemon is why Unova’s going to stop existing. That’s not confusing at all! Come on, Japan, look, I know this isn’t a big thing in America but you guys should get the concept. Mandate of Heaven? You guys must know at least that much about China.
If a Pokemon really didn’t want anything to do with humans, it would simply leave…
…out of the box where I dump almost all the pokemon I catch?
Also, if they can “simply leave” how can pokemon be stolen? Why, I guess they wanted to hang out with Team Plasma! Aren’t you narrowminded for trying to get them back. And why didn’t that munna Team Plasma was kicking way back when “just leave”? Why is it when it’s the enemy team, it’s evil and pokemon have no choice, but anyone else does the exact same thing and it’s all oh, they just want to be here.
Capturing a Pokemon in a Poke Ball doesn’t mean you’ve captured its heart.
Hey, old guy, try this: If a pokemon really DID want something to do with humans, it would simply go with you instead of NEEDING TO BE CAPTURED IN THE FIRST PLACE.
If catching them in a pokeball doesn’t mean that, then why do we have pokeballs? Why do no pokemon ever leave if it’s something they’re capable of? Especially when the games have a mechanic for how much a pokemon likes you, and lowering it enough will make your pokemon hate you! I’m going to make a wild guess here, but since the move frustration is still around, even pokemon that hate you don’t leave, do they?
If pokemon can leave, and none of them do, then that doesn’t say much for the whole friendship thing. That just means pokemon, for whatever reason, automatically trust and support anyone who’s human, regardless of if they deserve it. All it does is call into question if any pokemon/human relationship, even the ones that don’t seem to be abusive in the slightest, are real or just programmed on the pokemon’s part.
(Which leads to an interesting fanfic plot – some stories have suggested humans came from another planet, what if pokemon aren’t truly native either, but engineered lifeforms programmed to obey colonizing humans when needed? Either they’re the modified descendents of whatever was there (and presumably reviving a fossil also adds in this) or, for a different take, the reason there are super powerful elemental monsters is because the planet wasn’t that suitable for terraforming and without constant care and adjustments, would slip out of livable territory for humans (or even if it did stay within survivable areas, would have such a wide range and such extreme weather it’d be a struggle). So you need elemental monsters everywhere shoring things up, and you need safety codes to keep them in line.
(There was a book I read once where this planet was terraformed and had nanotech and machines in everything in order to keep the ecosystem stable, but in that case the access codes were screwed up and the colonists dropped on a world where the robots didn’t recognize them as anything but potential interference. (The actual plot of the book kind of sucked, especially because the author decided most of it should involve offworld stuff and such, but the idea was great.) You could easily have something similar go wrong where pokemon aren’t supposed to be obeying a single person and leveling up wasn’t intended, so the initial civilization explodes into a mess of feuding warlords, and while a lot of their technology is robust enough to survive the crash, their history isn’t.)
But back to this plot.
Anyway, if pokemon are just there out of choice, why wouldn’t they stick around when they were released? Well? There should be nothing to fear from N because released pokemon would stay and live with humans on their own! He hasn’t said a thing about making pokemon do anything, even for their own good, all he’s talked about is what he’ll make humans do. It doesn’t matter if he orders them released or all pokeballs destroyed or any of that if you’re saying pokeballs and capture have nothing to do with why they stay!
Alder: Let’s go, Farla!
No I’m busy yelling at you about how you’re dumb! STOP IGNORING ME!
…we walk over. I would like to state that, in my mind, Alder is dragging me while I continue ranting about how stupid this is.
Alder: It’s been a while, Iris and Drayden.
Iris: Oh! Mr. Alder! …And that girl who helped out that time.
Haha game FUCK YOU
This kind of thing would have been clever about five badges ago. But currently I’ve one badge to go, I’ve stared down a legendary, and N chose me to fight him.
Drayden: What’s wrong? What does the wandering Champion who left the Pokemon League need from us?
Alder: Briefly, my request is this. Tell us about the legendary Dragon-type Pokemon!
Iris: Are you talking about Zekrom? Or Reshiram? What’s the sudden interest?
Drayden: Moments ago, a troublemaker known as Ghetsis was here. He said a Trainer named N has reawakened Zekrom…
Alder: Yes! That Trainer called N apparently told Farla here to search for the other Dragon-type Pokemon!
This isn’t even offending me on a bad game design level any longer. It’s shit writing no matter what it is.
One of the basic rules of writing is you don’t need to watch each new character get the same bit of information explained to them. You just assume it fucking happened! And they have phones! Drayden could just say he knows why I’m here and get a move on! Yet these cutscenes have been doing almost nothing but repeating information between NPCs.
Drayden: Let me check to see that I have this straight.
FUCK YOU GAME.
This N, or what have you, presumes to set the two Dragon-type Pokemon against each other in battle to test his convictions.
Iris: Oh, no! The Dragon-type Pokemon get along so well!
Alder: That’s right, Iris. The ones who make Pokemon battle are the Trainers…
So…we’re finally accepting that trainers are not 100% pure and acting in the best interest of their buddies?
And it’s so the Trainers and the Pokemon can get to know each other better.
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
THIS IS FUCKING ORWELLIAN WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY BULLSHIT. WORDS MEAN NOTHING. LOGIC MEANS NOTHING. PEOPLE JUST SAY SHIT AND FOR SOME REASON EVERYONE ELSE NODS LIKE IT’S TRUE.
THE HERO OF TRUTH GIVES PLASMA HER OFFICIAL ENDORSEMENT. TRUTH SAYS IDEALS HAS IT RIGHT.
BURN THE WORLD, N. A QUICK DEATH IS BETTER THAN THEY DESERVE.
I’m going to the Pokemon League.
Fucking finally. Get the fuck away from me.
No, I guess in this case I should say I’m “returning” to the Pokemon League!
I don’t give a fuck.
Of course, I’ll defeat N! I’ll teach him about to beauty of the world, where Pokemon and Trainers
WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE
live together in harmony! Also, Farla, I’ll await your arrival. Once you’ve obtained the Opelucid Badge, come to the League! The Opelucid Gym Leader is tough. Take care!
Farewell. I’m counting on you, Drayden and Iris!
I loathe this game. Who did these cutscenes? If they haven’t killed themselves in a failed attempt to remove the taint of shame, there’s something wrong with the world.
Iris: Aw… He’s gone.
SHUT YOUR STUPID MOUTH
Is he OK? He looked kind of scary.
God willing, we’ll never see him again. Eat the fucker, N.
Drayden: Don’t worry, Iris.
We’re really hit the level of sue where even when the character leaves he’s all anyone will talk about. Jesus fucking christ.
He is the strongest Trainer in all of Unova.
He is not. He hasn’t had a serious battle in a decade, you have no clue if he’s any good.
Well, Farla, is it? Come to my home. As Alder asked, I’ll tell you everything I can about the legendary Dragon-type Pokemon. Iris, child, please show the way.
Iris: You bet! If it’s Opelucid City, I can take you anywhere. As for the story of Zekrom and Reshiram, we’ll tell you all we know about it! This way!
…so, I go to her house.
Drayden: I’ll explain. What you are holding is the Light Stone.
Fucking hell Nintendo. Really.
Reshiram, who will likely awaken from the Light Stone, and Zekrom, who is already awake, were once the same Pokemon. That single Dragon Pokemon, along with twin heroes, brought a new region into being. And people and Pokemon had happy lives!
Drayden: One day, however… The twin heroes, the older brother who sought the truth, and the younger brother who sought ideals
Because Nintendo may let you personally pick your gender, but left to their own devices, it’s all about the guys.
began to argue about how to decide which one of them was right..
Is whatever they were called in Japanese subtly different? Because in English, the truth guy was right. Objectively so.
The single Dragon-type Pokemon that had been with them all that time split its body into two. One sided with the older brother, and the other with the younger brother.
Iris: In its pursuit of ideals, the black Dragon-type Pokemon sought to usher in a new and better world… Its name was Zekrom. And the other, the white Dragon-type Pokemon, sought truth, and to usher in a new world–a world of good… Its name was Reshiram.
Drayden: Because the two of them were once the same entity, their battle raged endlessly and neither one could be declared the winner. They simply exhausted themselves. The twin heroes proclaimed there was no one side that was right and ceased the conflict.
Iris: But, but… The two heroes’ sons started the battle again! And an instant later, Zekrom and Reshiram destroyed Unova with lightning and fire! Then, they disappeared! But, but… If people work with Pokemon, in the right way, we don’t have to worry anymore about the world being destroyed.
Then it looks like people haven’t been doing that, Iris.
I really don’t get this. They keep saying “the reason things work is because people and pokemon have a good relationship” and they keep saying “oh fuck things are about to fall apart” and no one seems to wonder if there might be some sort of link between the two.
I mean, Zekrom and Reshiram worked hard for everyone and made a new region! So, it should be all right, I think.
Drayden: True. Pokemon cannot speak. People may hurt Pokemon even more by imposing their selfish thoughts on them. But, no matter what, people and Pokemon believe in each other, need each other, and will continue to live together…
I’m not seeing what pokemon get out of this. Also, clearly pokemon can speak, because N knew shit about me as if he was communicating with them. So, evidently…pokemon spoke and everyone else’s said FUCK THIS SHIT HUMANS SUCK WE DON’T NEED THEM.
Your mandate has been revoked by Unova’s hero. Accept it and be glad N is gracious in victory and isn’t planning to destroy the whole place.
Iris: Yeah! So I’m never gonna forgive Team Plasma for trying to separate Pokemon and us!
Drayden: Sorry. We got a little off topic at the end. That is everything we know. Unfortunately, we don’t know how to wake up the legendary Pokemon…
I don’t see why I can’t just ask N.
I mean, not just on the practical level that he obviously knows and he wants me to do this, but also in the sense that I bet he’d be less annoying to talk to.
Drayden: I made a promise to Alder. You must win the Gym Badge from the Opelucid Pokemon Gym. Farla, I’ll be waiting for your challenge at the Pokemon Gym!
God willing, we’re finally done with cutscenes. Now I just need to smash my way through the gym.
…but first, there seem to be random items around, so let’s grab them.
I talk to someone on the street. He says, Hey hey! That person called N had the legendary Pokemon with him, so he has to be the legendary hero, right? He’s going to change the world, isn’t he?
Yes, it does seem that way.
I actually have the sense that I shouldn’t interfere – that this is really N’s story, and I’m an interloper.
I mean, these people are talking about their love for pokemon, but it’s all just a game to me. They all have various opinions on what’s happening, and who am I to step in? I haven’t spent my life with pokemon. I’m an outsider. And even if we talk of my character – who’s really just an avatar, but say she isn’t – she never had pokemon before this either. She’s only recently had anything to do with pokemon, while N’s known them for a long time, and from the look of things, he’s known a lot more people as well. N traveled the world, he talked to pokemon, and he found things wanting. I’ve traveled too, but I’ve barely scratched the surface of this world, and I can’t say I have any idea how pokemon are really treated, just a lot of speeches about how important it is not to rock the boat and how much people need pokemon.
N’s gone through his journey, and at the end he was recognized by Unova’s creator and given the chance to fix things. I don’t think it’s my place to interfere.
Other street comments:
…No way! Without Pokemon, I’ll be too lonely and sad! But am I only using my Pokemon, then?
The legendary Pokemon is the symbol of Unova. Does that mean Team Plasma is right? …I don’t know.
See, this disappoints. It isn’t like that N’s found an eagle to cart around or whatever. It’s not just a symbol. If you believe the legendary pokemon really are godlike, if you believe it was by their will the present world was created, then it should mean a lot.
Okay, to the gym.
And Cubchoo’s evolving…Beartic.
It can make its breath freeze at will. Very able in the water, it swims around in northern seas and catches prey.
Keeping it, though. My team’s underleveled and struggling with the trainers. Going to go train, in fact.
It clenches opponents with its left arm and finishes them off with foul-smelling poison gas belched from its mouth.
Oh, and there’s some cave only the champion can get to because the pokemon are so tough. That really would come off better if I hadn’t met the champion. Also, if I wasn’t about to become the new one.
Blades comprise this Pokemon’s entire body. If battling dulls the blades, it sharpens them on stones by the river.
And it’s dark/steel, which is an interesting combo.
So…back to the gym. Hopefully Beartic will no longer get knocked out before moving.
Yes, my tynamo finally evolved! Eelektrik.
They coil around foes and shock them with electricity-generating organs that seem simply to be circular patterns.
…looks freaky. And apparently it evolves again by stone… Hm. To Bulbapedia.
…damn, looks like it learns a bunch of other moves. Well, let’s see if it still sucks in battle.
Hm. Maybe not, but it’s not good against any of the pokemon here…
The gym is very pretty and looks like it has a puzzle, but actually you just keep going in a straight line. And (like, I just realized, all the gyms to date) you can’t avoid any of the trainers either. I mean, sure, I would always fight them for the sweet experience, but I liked that being my choice.
…And now the gym leader’s introducing himself, like I don’t already know who he is. And apparently he’s mayor.
Dear god that beard.
It looks like his face tore open to reveal the void that is his true gaping maw.
…I take everything out with Beartic. The haxorus doesn’t even hit me, it keeps buffing itself.
Welp, that’s the last gym.
…and he just says go to the pokemon league.
Okay, look. Guy. Either you or I was stronger. So, instead of battling, wouldn’t it have made sense to just head right over to the pokemon league and both try to stop N? I mean, okay, I have no interest in doing so, but you don’t know that.
And cutscene again. At least it’s Professor Juniper instead of Douchy McFlamehair or Jerkface.
Professor Juniper: …Hello! Was Drayden as tough as ever? Oh, I came to report on how to resurrect the legendary Reshiram. I thought it would be better to tell you in person than over the Xtransceiver. And as for the conclusion… Well, I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m sure the Pokemon will wake up when it deems someone worthy.
…so, by “figured it out” you mean “haven’t a clue”.
More importantly, aren’t you amazing!
Yes I am! It’s about damn time someone noticed.
You have all eight of Unova’s Gym Badges now, right? You’ve become so strong! You probably don’t even know it, but you’ve changed a lot since you left Nuvema Town. Well then, I’ll show you where such a strong Trainer should head next!
Ah, see, this is what cutscenes should be – a delicious compliment cherry on the end of the badge quest sunday. It’s sort of like when Oak shows up at the end of the first gen to say you’re cool. It’s a shame this had to come right after all the other sucky ones.
She tells me how to get to the League.
Farla? Do you regret setting out on your Pokemon journey?
Hell no! Weren’t you paying attention? I’m a prodigy who the legendary hero of Unova himself recognized as his equal! Then he told me I’m so awesome I should get a legendary of my own! Also, I just kicked the asses of eight gym leaders. And, uh, crushed the dreams of my two fellow kids, but hey, can’t make an omelet…
She’s happy with my answer. …and then goes on about how it’s because pokemon let you meet new people.
And then she gives me a masterball! Awesome.
As I walk toward the elite four, the person at the entrance tells me there’s a huge storm on Route 7. Hm, so, do I go there…? Hm, I’ll explore here a bit, then fly there to heal. …and my the pokemon and trainers sure are strong.
Ooh, it really is a nasty storm over on Route 7. No visibility. Doesn’t seem to have any in-battle effect, just regular rain.
Then when I’m walking past one of the houses the old lady comes out.
My, my, that Pokemon has come again, too…
Now, now, child, don’t you go heading into the tall grass. That Pokemon might be too much for you. We’ll catch cold standin’ around talkin’ in this wind and rain. It’s not much, but come stay in my home a spell.
Then she offers me soup. Naturally, I say yes.
In the Unova region, you see, there is a Pokemon called Tornadus that causes windstorms. It flies around the region while letting loose wild winds and pounding rain.
She goes on to explain it moves around throughout the day but it hasn’t been active for about thirty years – …was that the pokemon on Celestial Tower? Or is that something else?
So I guess this is a pokemon I have to chase around? Ah, and that’s the point of those billboard thingies, one of them explains I should look for mention of a route being super windy.
Oh, and when I walk out everything’s calm, then it appears in front of me. Looks kinda ridiculous, though.
And then it flies away. Back to the main plot, then!
And it looks like I can’t take the other exit out of Opelucid City either. So really back to the main plot now.
Oh. Maka’s evolving! Into t-rex croc! Or krookodile, whatever. I feel like I should rename it to whatever Maka’s mom’s name is, since she’s supposed to be a giant crocodile tank monster. Although apparently the dex thinks she’s only five feet tall…
They never allow prey to escape. Their jaws are so powerful, they can crush the body of an automobile.
And now Cheren and Bianca have appeared.
And Bianca doesn’t even fight. Damn.
She says that what’s really important is they all learned they have different skills. Like, she doesn’t have any. So Cheren shouldn’t be so down! And Cheren then spins this into how people help each other out in different ways, just like pokemon and people do!
Ooh, giant tauros. Bouffalant. …and it’s a normal type. So a straight tauros clone, then? Except this one’s female and I think I remember tauros being an all-male species.
Their fluffy fur absorbs damage, even if they strike foes with a fierce headbutt.
…but I just saw it use a headbutting attack that dealt recoil…
Also, it curbstomped my eelektrik.
Okay, guys. Here’s my current team. Should I keep raising the eelektrik until it learns thunderbolt, then evolve it, or is it going to keep sucking no matter what? Should I remove anyone else? What should I add instead? (Ideally, of the more recent pokemon I’ve run into, not ones that are L8 and going to take forever to raise.)