Yesterday, l got to the cave. Today, back to the cave!
I get a bit farther, only for Bianca and the professor to show up again. She explains the cave is quite old, but…
Data to prove that Klink existed more than a hundred years ago can’t be found. So that must mean… Klink suddenly appeared a hundred years ago!
That is not how you science.
This is honestly a pretty cool bit of plot, it’s just she shouldn’t be acting so certain.
Where Pokemon came from and where they are going…If we can learn that, I believe we can get along even better!
Why bother if everything’s great now the way people claim?
I think stuff like this is supposed to show Plasma’s wrong because people are doing everything they can to be good to their pokemon, but if that was really a concern they shouldn’t be dismissing Plasma out of hand like this.
For example, when Trainer A gets their pokemon stolen, and then Plasma says they took it because Trainer A is a cruel person, and the response is that this means Plasma is evil, that means those people do not care about the possibility Trainer A really was a cruel person. Even if you say it’s just they don’t believe it, if you live in a world where no one will believe a trainer can be cruel, that means any trainer who is cruel can get away with it.
The way they’re behaving makes it clear that improving relations is not something any of them care about, because they’re already so sure things are fine that they brush off direct accusations of abuse.
Bianca: Know what, Farla? Pokemon are mysterious! I wonder why these amazing little guys stay by our sides.
Maybe because we beat them up and stuck them in pokeballs?
I continue down and the ninja guys reappear and ninja-hustle me across a bridge.
There are stairs going down ahead. Team Plasma is waiting for you there.
Okay! Just give me a sec to finish exploring this area.
Pignite is L34 and still hasn’t evolved. I’m hoping it’ll evolve at L36 and not all the way up at L38
My palpitoad is doing great at this area.
Okay, down the stairs. And there’s two guys standing there who are apparently the nugget brothers, and I get two nuggets because…something. I was expecting something like they’d pay extra for nuggets, or sold them for less than the shops pay, or something.
Then a dust cloud! Well, actually the second one, the first one I got hit by a battle before reaching it. Inside is a drilbur. Considering I almost knock it out in one hit and then manage to catch it in a regular pokeball, I’m not too impressed.
It can did through the ground at a speed of 30 mph. It could give a car running aboveground a good race.
Now, that might sound impressive, but the series has played fast and loose with numbers since day one. Consider dugtrio.
A team of triplets that can burrow over 60 MPH. Due to this, some people think it’s an earthquake.
Its large body is over 26 feet long. Despite its size, it can squirm its way through the ground at 50 mph.
There’s a bunch of Team Plasma guys up ahead…and also a doctor. See, part of the difficulty curve in the games is the choice to trek back to the beginning to heal or keep going with a weakened team (I am firmly in the second camp there). Now, the trek back is tedious, yes, but that’s why the player has to pay attention and try to avoid that becoming necessary. If you just stick autohealing everywhere, it removes that.
Well. Now with my one injured pokemon healed, it’s time for Plasma grunts.
You… You came here because somebody manipulated you…
I…don’t think so? Are you projecting because that’s how you ended up here?
If you can win against me, I will tell you the secret!
So about that secret…
Ghetsis of the Seven Sages supports our king, and Ghetsis has three subordinates… They are the Shadow Triad!
Uh, yeah, N explained that already. Is the idea here that the grunt is dumb and telling us stuff we already know? Or is the bit about them being his subordinates supposed to be a hint that Ghetsis didn’t recruit them recently like we were told earlier? Because they can still be his subordinates if they’re recent hires…
The next one is more straightforward, just saying that if they win, I should release my pokemon. That actually seems quite friendly, seeing as we’ve been mostly running into ones stealing pokemon.
Upon victory, this one is surprised by how happy my pokemon seem to be. That’s because they know what’ll happen if they aren’t. We’ve had words.
Another dust cloud appears right beyond the line of sight for the next grunt….
You…You are the Trainer that my lord N is worried about!
Wait, he’s worried about me? I thought he wanted me to join and become a loyal follower.
After battle the grunt just says that N grew up with pokemon so he thinks about them more than anyone else. Uh, have you guys gone outside? Who in this world didn’t grow up with pokemon? There are preschoolers with higher level pokemon than me!
Also, you know what was cool? That thing where you collected factoids about important people in FireRed/LeafGreen. We could have N factoids in there!
Ooh, just found a thunderstone. I wonder what this evolves… I’ll have to wait to get out of the cave and back to a PC though.
And a tynamo’s just appeared! Eh, doesn’t seem too impressive, one crunch from Maka and it almost faints, then it goes right into a pokeball.
While one alone doesn’t have much power, a chain of many Tynamo can be as powerful as lightning.
Okay, first, we already have pokemon capable of generating lightning bolts on command, so that’s not impressive. Second, as a trainer I can’t have a chain, I can only use one or sometimes two pokemon at a time max.
Hoping whirlipede evolves soon, it’s starting to become a drag.
N: Many different values mix together, and the world becomes gray…
Uh, that’s a bit random.
That is unforgivable! I will separate Pokemon and people, and black and white will be clearly distinct! Only then will Pokemon become perfect beings!
I feel like the problem here is that there are way too many subplots getting stuffed into one team.
So: Team Plasma is pretending to be concerned for pokemon happiness to trick others into giving them up, but really are happy to abuse any pokemon that’s in their way. Also, they’re sincerely doing this for the good of pokemon. Also, they don’t care about pokemon’s happiness, they’re concerned about their ability to become perfect. And they’re trying to find a legendary pokemon to rewrite the world at large. AND now N hates diversity, and the real reason for separating people and pokemon is to get rid of that.
Yes, that is my dream! That is the dream I must fulfill! Farla, do you have a dream of your own?
You have a dream… That’s wonderful. I’ll learn just what kind of dream you have– in battle!
N asks if I think pokemon battles help us understand each other. Well, each other’s battling strategies, yes.
He says he’ll show me that the love for his friends permeates every cell in his body. Oooooookay N.
I suppose this is the problem with him only using local pokemon, if you have your team set up to handle the wild pokemon he’s pretty easy. My L31 palpitoad took them all out easily.
At the least, he should have a full team and for them to be higher level than this. Especially since this was a battle I could see coming, so there’s no chance of getting jumped with your team injured.
N: Tsk! Why?
See above, N.
Is it impossible for me to win while feeling bad about being a Trainer?
Well, in a way, yes, that is sort of the problem.
As if I could pursue my ideals with something as meaningless as a battle! As if that could make me worthy to become friends with the legendary Pokemon!
…does this mean you’ll stop fighting me? No, N! You’re the only good character in this!
Oh god, now Bianca’s showing up.
Bianca: Farla! Just a little further to Mistralton City!
…you showed up to tell me this? Game, for god’s sake I would have found out in a few minutes when I walked in. I might already be there if not for this cutscene.
Professor Juniper: Bianca, you have good ears. I can’t believe you heard Farla’s voice from that far away. Farla, who is this Trainer?
He’s my rival and you can’t have him!
N: Professor Juniper, what are you thinking? You appear to have no qualms about the relationship between Pokemon and people. You put Pokemon into categories using arbitrary rules and think you can understand them like that…The very idea of a Pokedex revolts me. What do you have to say for yourself?
Professor Juniper: Oh, my. Looks like you’re not my biggest fan.
N <3< Juniper? I think that works. He’s clearly angling for matespirtship with me, anyway. Juniper continues: Your opinion is understandable. It just happens to be different from mine, which is equally understandable.
No, I’m pretty sure N’s is more batshit than understandable.
How about if all people get to decide for themselves how to relate to Pokemon?
Is that where the aesop’s going? Because I’ve got to say, that’s a terrible one. What if I decide the best way to do it is to abuse them?
I mean, seriously, it’s actually a valid option with my playstyle. A combination of fainting and revival herbs and I could probably manage to swing a max power frustration pretty easily. Most of what keeps my pokemon happy is the running around I do and the levels they gain, and leveling slows down as time goes on.
This is especially bad because this kind of thing centers the issue on the person. “Let everyone decide for themselves what works for them” is an understandable view. “Let everyone else decide how to treat you” is very different. I don’t think N cares all that much what people’s different views on pokemon are, because he doesn’t care about people much, he’s concerned with what it means for pokemon.
N: You’re saying I should just allow people to think whatever they want and treat Pokemon however they want, no matter whether the Pokemon suffer?
N is being a bit absolutist with the “think whatever they want” hate, but he’s got a pretty good point.
I refuse to tolerate the existence of a world like that!
And N leaves in a huff.
Professor Juniper: Well, I didn’t expect him to change his mind right away. But I hope he’ll spend a little more time trying to understand how others feel.
But you’re not at all interested in changing your mind.
Look, you can’t have this both ways. It’s fine to say decisions should be made based on facts, in which case it’s perfectly valid to try to convince someone you’re right while rejecting their ideas. But if you’re just preaching some nebulous idea that everyone’s viewpoint is valid, that means the person you’re arguing with has a valid view too. Why don’t you try to understand how he feels?
Now then… I think I’ll collect a little more data. For Pokemon and people to get along better, we need to take steps to learn more about them!
But why would learning new facts help if you’re in the “everyone’s entitled to their opinion” camp? If facts matter, then surely if N can factually prove that people are abusing pokemon your whole individual choice about pokemon treatment thing falls apart.
Bianca: Umm, Farla! I’m gonna go with Professor Juniper now ’cause I’m her bodyguard!
Well, I can see why Bianca is easily slashable. That’s, what, three female characters for her while all Cheren’s done is be a bit mad at the league champion. The bodyguard thing is definitely cute.
I think N left by the way out. I’m going to head downward first, though.
You know what I miss? Seeing all the trainer’s remaining pokemon each time they send out a new one. Now I only see it at the start of battle, so if I miss it, I’m in the dark the whole battle.
Yes! Whirlipede is evolving!
With quick movements, it chases down its foes, attacking relentlessly with its horns until it prevails.
Hm, I wonder who I’ll replace you with?
And…huh, looks like I’m done with this area already. And wow, I exit right into a town.
Checking the dex, ooh, looks like the sea turtle pokemon I’ve been eyeing is actually the other fossil. Ah, always with the picker’s remorse. I could have stuck it on my team as the water type. But I suppose this worked out better, since palpitoad are immune to almost everything in that cave.
Tynamo is the final entry in my current dex, so I can’t tell if it evolves. I guess I’ll go with joltik for now, then. At L27, it’s not even that far off the rest of my team.
When I try to walk further in, I trip another cutscene. Game, what makes cutscenes special is that they’re rare.
A man and woman are walking along. The guy comes over to talk.
Oh, hey! Farla, right? Let me see your Pokedex for a moment. What do we have here? So, you’ve found 72 Pokemon, eh? Staggering! You’ve seen a Klink! You’re becoming quite the Trainer. Excuse me! I was a little excited and forgot my manners. My name is Juniper, too! Cedric Juniper. Ha! The professor who gave you the Pokedex is my daughter! That girl has told me a lot about you.
This is pretty minor, all things considered – but, with the male professors, they’re adults and in charge of others. But earlier Juniper was talking about getting forced into doing the klink research, although she didn’t mind, and now we’re actually introduced to her dad and presented with her as a girl and daughter. A far cry from Oak, who’s a grandfather.
I’m not sure if it’s directly because of her gender, or indirectly, since as a female character who’s drawn as attractive, she’s just younger than the rest so she lends herself to this kind of treatment.
Then he upgrades my pokedex. Is this going to do anything useful for me, though?
Mm, sorta? It’ll let me see different forms now. Eh.
???: Professor, who’s that Trainer?
Cedric: Oh! I forgot my introductions! Skyla, this is a friend of my daughter’s. Farla is traveling around Unova to complete the Pokedex.
It’s the gym leader. Oh, apparently Cedric was using her plane to go to other regions? She’s annoyed, and he tells her to stop frowning so much or her face will freeze like that… I don’t think I much like Cedric, either.
Oh, and he’s the world-renowned pokemon professor. Not our Juniper.
Skyla says she’s sorry but she has to deal with something first.
I saw something on top of the Celestial Tower. I’m sure it was a sick Pokemon! If it is, I can’t just leave it there! I have to look into this right away.
Can I come? Sick pokemon are extra easy to catch.
I’m leaving for Route 7’s Celestial Tower. You can come along if you want.
Wait? Seriously? YES! Sick possibly legendary pokemon, you are so mine.