Gladion: …All right. Let’s go.
We sink down with Faba smirking at us.
Gladion: …Everything looks the same. I guess it’s only been two years, though.
Hau, either oblivious or having picked up that Gladion prefers to exposit randomly and not in response to questions, does not react to this and instead runs out shouting, Wow! It’s like a secret hideout!
Gladion: Don’t get too excited, Hau. Though I guess it’s better than freezing from fear or nerves.
Hau’s ongoing denial of everything does have some benefits, I guess.
Hau: So where do we go now?
Gladion: There are two labs up ahead. I’ll check the first lab, Secret Lab A. You two check out Secret Lab B. It’s the second lab, down the hall.
Hau: Why do you get the first one? And why do you know all this?
…so I guess it was just obliviousness.
Gladion: …Just focus, Hau. Think you can do that?
I really don’t.
Gladion: We can’t trust Faba. I’m sure he’s already told half the foundation all about us.
Hau: You didn’t even answer my question… I know what it’s gotta be. Nerves, right? I reckon you’re more afraid to be here than either one of us, huh, Gladion?
Again, you finally manage to catch up with the rest of us. Better thing to consider – Gladion is clearly more knowledgeable and also just generally more aware of things than you. If he’s flipping out, maybe you should take the hint.
Hau: Here, Bonnibel. You take this.
It’s a max revive. Well, that is useful.
Hau: Lillie must be scared right now… Let’s buckle down and do this!
With the cutscene over, they both disappear.
I enter one of the labs, where I’m immediately attacked by a trio of helmeted people. I defeat one and their muk.
There are only researchers like us here in the secret labs!
Not sure why you’re announcing that.
The next one says they’re working on a new pokeball. It is apparently to be used to catch Pokemon not found in Alola! I’m not sure what the distinction is here? I assume that this is in reference to the ultra beasts, but why use the name of the region for that? Is the issue that there’s no general term for this world? Why not just call it “this world”?
The final one says I’m clearly here for Cosmog and they’ll tell me what experiments they did if I win.
All I can tell you is that Cosmog is the key. It’s the tool needed to open the Ultra Wormhole.
See, that’s not really news. You guys are obsessed with ultra beasts, Lillie lives in fear of someone seeing Nebby, cosmog apparently have weird powers.
I go back to heal, then continue to find Gladion standing outside a door. He informs me it’s not here. Don’t even think about getting in here. Gladion, you wanted Bonnibel here to destroy whatever’s in front of her, you can’t get off the ride now. Me and Null… We’re more alike than we might look.
As if you don’t have a carefully cultivated look to go with Null.
We’re both what we were made to be…
I was like an ornament to my mother. Wearing whatever she told me to wear, acting however she wanted me to act… Null was crafted just as carefully. It was made just to battle the beasts. In this room…right here…
Right, right, trauma and abuse, so can I go in now?
Apparently not. This outrage will not be forgotten.
(Also…so we’ve got a major character specifically talking about being treated as an ornament, and still not one SYOC I’ve tried seems to think anything of describing Kazekami as viewing her pokemon as fancy accessories. Truly, pokefandom’s days of not really being concerned about the pokemon side of things have come to a middle.)
Well, since emopants is busy having his human emotions, I go to the other door. And apparently Hau has been trailing me this whole time.
Wh-what are you kids doing in here?! Don’t touch anything with your grimy hands! This research is our life! I don’t care if you’re a kid or what. I’ll send you flying if you threaten it!
I can’t believe we’re gone almost the whole game without facing adults who think problems should be resolved through proxy violence. God, is this a nice change.
Ah, and here’s the double battle time. Hau has a L38 raichu now, which is better than just about anybody.
It’s not a particularly original line, but wherever there is light, there is also shadow, says one of the scientists for no discernable reason upon losing. The female scientist is a bit more on-point, even if she does look like she’s caught in the middle of falling asleep: There is another world that cannot be brought about through idle talk… Got it?
They go on to make excuses about not being battlers, but the lab A folks are. After all, they spend so long researching that uncontrollable Pokemon…
Hau has no time for Null exposition: Hey. Focus, people. Where’re Lillie and Cosmog?
We may have lost, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to help you. I’m not telling you anything.
Sounds like someone needs a refresher in what happens to trainers once they don’t have pokemon!
She’s not here, is she? Even you can see that.
And they saunter off. What happened to defending the data? I’m going to touch everything.
Hau: Come on, Bonnibel! Let’s split up and look around.
Sure, just give me a minute to breathe on all the screens and push buttons.
Rotom then tells me to read everything because “who knows if we’ll be down here again”. Game better not be threatening to cut off an area once we’re done with it!
The computer informs me that cosmog is just another type of ultrabeast, and it can make wormholes in an attempt to escape if tortured. Apparently Bonnibel read that out loud because Hau gets all excited.
Hau: We should tell Gladion about this!
Yes. He definitely doesn’t know. Good idea.
Rotom then orders me after Hau. Haha no, Rotom.
I find another report on the wall. Beyond the Ultra Wormholes that Professor Mohn discovered lies a different dimension. By investigating changes in mass there, we can predict the existence of Pokemon-like life.
I’m not sure what they mean about mass there. Also, does this mean they can’t tell if non-pokemon life like humanity is possible, or that there’s a wide range of places pokemon could survive that we couldn’t and this is one? Because on the one hand, we know plenty of pokemon already live in environments hostile to humans or any other life found in the real world, so surviving in a place that has nowhere humans can would be easy, but on the other, the games don’t really want to get into how pokemon are separate and generally try to treat them like they’re just plants and animals, so it seems like “pokemon-like life” should mean a bit more than that pokemon are magic and can do anything so hey why not.
Gladion runs over. So, no longer guarding the door, I see…
Gladion: Did you find anything?
Hau: We learned a bit about Cosmog!
Gladion does not slap him in the face, so I guess he is pretty good at staying calm. Instead he just stands there while Hau continues to explain these super important cosmogy details that Gladion definitely was unaware of.
Like, it might be an Ultra Beast or whatever…and if you stress it a lot, it can create Ultra Wormholes! Maybe to run away or something?
Gladion: If you stress it… If you hurt it–is that what you mean?
No, it’s not, because Hau is too dumb to understand what the document meant.
Gladion: Was that why she ran away with it?
Dammit Gladion, here I am trying to defend you from this and no, you’re practically as oblivious as Hau.
Hau continues to point out the obvious by saying she’s not here, and Gladion says, Yeah… Fabu probably knew this would be a dead end. Darn… Did he outsmart us? And he rushes off.
Hau then complains about Gladion’s failure to explain stuff, as if we aren’t all on kind of a tiny bit of a time limit here.
I mean, not that Bonnibel cares. Gladion forgot to break the door so it’s time to go see what he didn’t want me to!
Here, the idea is that we’re finding “suspiciously” deleted files. I’m not sure who was deleting or why.
BKP Development Record #2 Anti-UB Fighting life-form, B (Beast) K (killer) The president has approved the proposed budget for this development project, so it will be implemented.
BKP Development Record #5 Materials for development have been collected from the Canalave Library in the Sinnoh region. Plans are being drawn up for the specifications of the Type change program, known as the RKS System. Work is underway on designing the specifications of special memories for said system.
Okay, I don’t remember specificly what was in the library, but Sinnoh + type change is enough to guess Arceus. Weird that it’s tied to memories. The plates do have those engravings on them, but it’s not a full set of engravings for each plate.
I guess this also explains why they made a normal type, although given porygon’s normal it didn’t require much explanation.
BKP Development Record #7 Collections of cells of all Types for genetic modeling has been completed. Blueprints for the skeletal structure have been approved, and incubation of the bio-frame is underway.
This sounds significantly more advanced than previous pokemon creation. Mewtwo was just fucked up cloning attempt, then you’ve got genesect being cloning + after the fact modification, and now apparently they’re so good at the modification part they can build parts of it themselves. From the sounds of it they actually made the hard parts and just grew tissue on top.
I wonder how much of this is the pokemon world building on advances and how much is that so much has changed in our own world that scifi premises have to advance really fast to have any hope of catching up?
Also, given how bad a job they seem to have done with Null, maybe the technology wasn’t just invented but other people avoided it because it just doesn’t work well enough yet.
BKP Development Record #11 Dummy test of the RKS System program has been completed. Type has been successfully altered with all 18 special memories. The transplantation of the RKS System to the models is underway. The BK’s official name has been set as Type: Full.
BKP Development Record #18 Production of three models has been completed. They are identified as serial number 01, serial number 02, and serial number 03. All three models rejected the RKS System upon initialization during testing. Shortly after these initialization errors, all three models of Type: Full went berserk.
So they tested it somehow, but it never worked on the thing it was supposed to, so, who were they testing the system on the first time?
BKP Development Record #44 Models have been fitted with control masks to mitigate the effects of their rejection of the RKS System. Due to the implementation of these control masks, our RKS System initialization tests have failed.
…the system wasn’t working, so we stuck masks on them, which meant the system didn’t work?
All three models of Type: Full are to be cryogenically frozen for the rest of eternity.
Given how extremely difficult it is to keep up cryogenic freezing even in the short term, this seems less like a statement of fact and more someone being really, really mad and making ridiculous threats.
The fact they stuck control masks on them first and then froze them in a tantrum suggests the masks didn’t work properly either, but this section really doesn’t seem to make sense.
The name of these models has been changed from Type: Full to Type: Null.
You know, wouldn’t it have been cool if they’d used ??? type? I mean, sure, ??? was a silly quirk that ballooned into a mess of unnecessary interactions with the rest of the game engine, but since they went through the trouble of keeping it around for several generations, they already did the work of figuring out those interactions, and its failure to interact with the type system would be a lot more fitting than normal type, which does have various strengths and weaknesses. Plus, it’d connect neatly with the bit about eighteen memories/type changes when normal-type Arceus only has seventeen plates.
I continue on to the computer.
This is the blog of F, a branch chief working in the Alola region.
Are you interested in success, dear readers? Then allow me to introduce myself. My name is F, and I am an elite, self-made man. Here on my blog, I will show you the way to succeed.
Currently I am working on the development of a special sort of ball, which I took over from my predecessor, in parallel with another project. Seeing how well I multitask impresses my subordinates and increases their motivation. Showing how skillful you are is a kind of on-the-job training for your underlings.
Title: Hedging risks
I once ventured to undertake a project without notifying my superior. I developed a device to restrain a dangerous life form, in case it became necessary to do so. I had it made for hedging risks to protect myself, but for better or worse, it was made public. It is always essential to consider the risks before one takes action.
I feel like “made public” should mean it’s an item we’ve already encountered, but it doesn’t seem so. I guess it’s something that’ll come up with the ultra beasts.
Title: Massaging the truth
My superior’s family stole the results of our research and ran off. However, I have chosen to never blow this issue out of proportion. I will only be reprimanded for my own mistakes, and surely my superior is also displeased with the actions of her family as well. When necessary, one must always be prepared to massage the truth to protect one’s own position. It is not an exaggeration to say that this skill is vital for success.
Not sure what to make of this at all. The title would suggest he’s being deceptive about something in his recounting of events, but it sure seems like running off with experimental pokemon because your mom is a jerk is an accurate summation of events, and Gladion didn’t say anything to suggest he got away with it in part because Faba screwed up. The other reading might be that massaging the truth is in the sense of not saying the truth about a superior’s screwup, but that’s really not what the phrase usually means. And there’s no clarification because that’s the final entry.
Or was I supposed to look at the computer first, then interpret the files in that light? Does this mean the reason the project failed was some huge screwup on his part no one’s aware of?
The pacing of all this seems weird. I’ve beaten all the gym-substitutes, and the official plot has only just started? Then again, maybe I’m wrong about what stage of the game I’m in? But I’ve been to all the islands already with just the snowy bit being out of reach.
I decide to go to the entrance, and suddenly Hau and Gladion are in the elevator with me.
Gladion is being cranky. Hmph. Even beaten down, old Faba doesn’t change, does he?
Ah, camera angles. I’m still staring at the dittochild’s unchanging smile.
Hau: What do we do?
Gladion: Beat whoever stands in our way. What other choice do we have?
Hau: Fine, fine. We can do that. But do you have to say “hmph” all the time?
Gladion, disappointedly, does not hmph at that stupid comment.
A bunch of Aether grunts surround us and explain they’re here at Faba’s orders.
Now that you’ve learned of the darkness at the heart of Aether Paradise, we’ll need you all to conveniently disappear!
Wasn’t Gladion already totally aware of this?
Hau asks me to battle with him. Dammit, Hau.
His raichu goes down, but it’s replaced with a leafeon. No idea if he’s finally got a decent team or not, as that’s all I see of them. God, double battles are so annoying when you’re low level. I could totally beat these guys, but it’d take time and strategy, by which point my “help” has destroyed them.
Ridiculous… Have the children of Alola always been this strong?
Gladion: That’s what you get when you go through the trials of the island challenge.
Uh…no, the Skull kiddos are obviously failures, are you even on a challenge yourself, and we haven’t even cracked L40 here in opponents, the trial system does not appear to be producing stronger anything.
Gladion: Now that you understand…how about you get out of our way?
And they just leave.
Hau thanks me and the pokemon I used. When you’re fighting a battle you can’t afford to lose, you really can’t waver at all, huh…
Gladion, sick of other people having emotions around him, says, Let’s go. You know… I know we aren’t friends. But I’m glad you two are here… I remember what you said at Battle Royal Dome that day, Hau. About how people can achieve more if they do something together. Looks like maybe you were right.
Or in other words, Gladion isn’t actually a believer, but he’s cautiously considering the possibility that literally having more people do a thing means more of a thing is done. Normally this is some sort of multiplier or about personal growth or whatever, but apparently Gladion was so committed to lone-wolfing it that he’s still trying to digest the basic concept that two people could maybe do as much as one AND one person at the same time!
She is smiley. Hau is flabbergasted because as established, he doesn’t pay attention to anything.
She chats cheerily and heals all our pokemon. Gladion demands Lillie info.
I…imagine that she is with the president.
Given apparently Faba manipulated Gladion despite being an incompetent idiot, I feel like it’d make sense for this to be even more of a trap.
Gladion: Then that’s where I’m going. That’s all I need to know.
Really. All you need to know is that a third party imagines Lillie’s location to be somewhere.
Hau: The president? That’s Miss Lusamine, right?
In a hypothetical version of the game that let you toggle tutorial mode off, I imagine Hau probably just wouldn’t exist.
Hau: She’s a really nice person, so I’m sure she’ll listen to us if we explain everything.
In slight fairness, I’m not sure how much Lillie hung out with Hau, so he may not have heard her talking about her mom dressing her that he could connect with Gladion’s rant, and he definitely didn’t get the zoom on Lusamine’s face when the weird jellyfish appeared. On the other hand, we just read a paper about how wormholes are made by torturing Nebby, so on balance, he’s an idiot.
Gladion: Yeah, she’s real nice…as long as you mean nothing to her.
An interesting way of putting it.
I wonder if this casts a different light over her scene with the pokemon? Is her love inherently harmful and what’s not harmful is her just acting loving for a good photo op? Or is she simply inconsiderate, and so it’s entirely possible she does love the pokemon and they are happy, but it’s because they happen to be happy with the way she would act regardless?
Wicke informs us that the doors are locked, as as always in pokemon games, we may have elemental monsters capable of juggling room-sized blocks but breaking down a door would be just rude.
Gladion: That’s not stopping me. and he runs off!
Oh man I hope he actually does just smash down a door.
I chat with Wicke.
Please look after young Master Gladion. When he is worked up about something, he doesn’t consider the consequences. Even going to far as stealing Pokemon… Those two truly are very much alike…
So either she so totally doesn’t give a shit about pokemon she really doesn’t get why anyone would do this, or that’s her hoping to discredit anything Gladion’s about to do and convince his allies that he’s just unstable and, for his own good of course, should be stopped, just so he doesn’t hurt himself or get into more trouble.
I catch up with the others, who have been stopped by a bunch more grunts and Faba. Apparently everyone waited politely for me to arrive before the speechifying began.
Faba: My, my…what naughty children. You should just lay your heavy heads down. But I knew that you would struggle onward–I could see through every action you would take. So I knew you would try to reach the president. And that is why! I knew that I would be able to ambush you here and remedy my previous failure. The only reason I let you in the lower floor was to buy time to gather more staff to stop you.
Hau, for once, uses his obliviousness for good: So, uh, Mr. Faba, do you have the key to the president’s rooms? Because yeah, who cares what this idiot is saying?
And the idiot immediately confirms he has the key. Aw, I was really hoping for some door smashing.
Hau: So…if you’d just stayed hidden, we would’ve been stuck here anyway, right?
Maybe you. I want to believe in Gladion at least putting practicality over whatever honor code bars door-smashings.
Faba is shocked by this statement and decides it’s battling time.
Gladion: We don’t have time for this. Help me out here, Bonnibel.
And then we do.
Faba continues to be shocked, and Gladion decides that yes, the experiment of working together with people is not actually the most painful thing he’s ever done, he guesses maybe.
Then he tells us to deal with Faba and books it.
Faba now has three pokemon, and his hypno has apparently had some rare candy stuffed in its mouth because it’s L40 now. I mean, I know levels are just about an appropriate challenge, but I’d like them to have some sliver of justification. For that matter, why does Faba legitimately have some of the strongest pokemon in Alola? He’s obviously a puffed-up coward, and getting swarmed by Aether grunts would’ve been a perfectly adequate challenge.
Gladion, for some reason, is still here. Hau then grabs the key off Faba, who complains this exact sequence of events is why he doesn’t like children. I can only assume he pretty regularly gets his candy stolen by babies.