The first person when I enter the new area is yet another sketchy criminally guy. Trainers and Pokemon should be free! Freedom is good! Freedom is fundamentally incompatible with the entire trainer structure, buddy. Anyway, he’s got a pair of L46 pokemon.
Another character is perplexing in a wholly different way: Do trial-goers come all the way out here? What’s the deal with the kids in Alola? The same as in every other region, all of which have seen hero children smash their way through even the final gates to become champions? They refuse to clarify after battle, saying, Ah! There are still so many undiscovered Pokemon in the world! When you finish the island challenge, you should travel the world!
Some others cheer me on toward the altar, so, do they know what I’m doing? Did Bonnibel just tell them?
At L36, my bewear has finally learned his first fighting move, hammer arm.
Totem Pokemon seem to guard the favorite places of the Tapu–the guardian deities.
For the entire game so far, totem pokemon appear to be working with the trial captains in specific challenges for trial-goer kids. Ilima says For you to be able to defeat the Totem Pokémon that I had trained up to such a powerful state… I don’t know what I can say!. All of the captains call it “their” trial, we’re told that if there is no captain for an element there’s no trial for the crystal at all, and the captains describe how they designed the trial as well.
If it’s pokemon imbued with power by the tapu to guard their places, why aren’t the no-captain ones still doable? Why that godawful black-screen “trial” at the observatory? Why, if people are trying to please and respect the tapu, would every kid be told to invade each place the tapu hold sacred in order and beat up the guardian meant to prevent this from happening? Also, why is there one in the wrecked mall?
Anyway, back to the suicide march. I lose to a veteran woman (so experienced she had three whole pokemon) twice before finally winning.
Mareanie evolves into a toxiplex at last!
Those attacked by Toxiplex’s poison will suffer intense pain for three days and three nights. Post-recovery, there will be some aftereffects.
Well, it’s grim, but I was hoping for more about them cracking open corsola or such.
It then learns baleful bunker.
I make it to the bridge and find Lillie has somehow made her way up behind me.
Lillie: Phew… This canyon truly is a difficult path to walk. And you even make the Vast Poni Canyon seem like nothing at all, Bonnibel!
She continues toward the bridge, then stops and turns back to me.
Lillie: But you know what? I’ve overcome my fears enough to cross even a high bridge like this one! I am not going to be afraid of heights anymore.
…I wasn’t aware she was. I guess I was supposed to assume that was why she didn’t run out toward Nebby originally, but given the even more menacing spearow, I figured that was the issue.
Lillie: Next time I should even be able to tackle that bridge on Mahalo Trail! Watch this! This is my trial! And she does a fancy z-dance. The she steps out. Camera pans around. We see murkrow sitting on the cluff above. Lillie makes her way out, perhaps wondering what sort of builders don’t use railings, and the murkrow surround her because they’re dicks. She runs past them back to solid ground and apparently murkrow only attack people standing on wood because they don’t seem to pursue.
Lillie: Bonnibel! I did it! I made it all the way across! I’ve cleared my trial!
The camera then switches to Bonnibel standing by the three murkrow, bent a bit like she’s saying something. The murkrow run off. I guess she bitched them out in ditto.
Lillie: I completed my first trial! Amazing, right, Bonnibel?
Yeah!/It was all right
Jesus game. And after all that time you wouldn’t let me disparage Hau.
Lillie: Hee hee! Persian, do you want a rest, too? And now all my pokemon are healed. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered!
Not unless you actually walk behind me and do that after every fight.
Lillie: I have Hyper Potions and Revives and even lots of Ethers, too. Though I’m not sure I bought enough Max Repels for a path like this one…
Even as we careen toward inevitability, how good it is that Lillie spend so much of her money not on what she needed for herself, but what others might need from her.
Oh hey, a screaming carbink mistakenly summoned an opportunistic predator. Sableye get!
This Pokemon is feared. When its gemstone eyes begin to glow with a sinister shine, it’s believed that Sableye will steal people’s spirits away.
I reach a modestly difficult block puzzle, mostly because huge blocks makes it hard to see what you’re doing, and have to reset and try again. Then I climb a ladder to find a scientist guy who does know how to wear a shirt! Wow. If you know Pokemon, you may be able to travel here and there without battling. Interesting. I wonder if that’s partially what Lillie does.
Outside, I find a pink-haired punk girl without a skull logo, presumably because she’s not a failure. Of course, thanks to having to be the last roadblock, the regular Skull kiddos are also more powerful than almost everyone I’ve encountered so far… Upon beating her, she says, It’s the fighting spirit, yo, the fighting spirit! Z-Power is fighting spirit, too, right? I assume this is a legitimate question because she didn’t use any z-moves during the battle and so presumably can’t at all.
Also, my toxiplex’s baleful bunker is great, if unbalanced feeling. Being protected and doing something to your opponent is effectively like having two moves in one, and the fact it’s specifically poisoning which triggers toxiplex’s ability to critical hit…I mean, my mareanie wasn’t exactly a weakling. Toxic + venoshock worked already. Baleful bunker means I effectively get a free turn to set up the combo.
I find some not-Lillie stoned painter on the bridge. She stares at me, presumably tripping balls.
???: Oh! Now that’s a great composition! I could pain a picture of you–the visitor to Poni! Guess I didn’t introduce myself though. I’m Mina. I’m the captain.
Is this one of those things where the real competent challenge was inside us all along?
Mina: I mean, I sort of am.
Mina: I actually just wander around doing my art, so I don’t have an actual trial or anything…
That’s very interesting. Do you know what is also interesting? That there are no railings. If someone was to fall, it wouldn’t be unexpected. Don’t you think? Especially not someone too flakey to even manage their one goddamn job. It would be a tragedy, but really, what else did anyone expect would happen running around up there at all hours of the day. That’s what I think. Closed-coffin funeral, of course. All the mudsdale and machamps wouldn’t be able to put someone back together again after a fall like that. So sad, how I just couldn’t reach you in time, hands outstretched as you slipped and fell.
Mina: But Vast Poni Canyon sure is a wonder, huh?
I’m sure the exclusive club of people who got Hapu’s grandpa’s permission years ago have been enjoying it, yes.
Mina: Once you’ve been through this place, you can really get to understand why that Ilma boy designed his trial the way her did, right?
Given he actually fucking designed one, no, not so much. And also there was a totem. If we’re arguing plowing through the various hazards here counts, does that mean it ends in a totem battle?
Mina: Oh, yeah. Ohhhh, yeah. Here. Take this as a token of our acquaintance.
And now I have a fairium. Because I mean, who wants challenging pokemon battles showcasing particular synergies between pokemon when I could just get a crystal I won’t use handed to me???
Seriously I’m pushing you off a cliff.
Mina: It’s the Fairium Z. Get your Z on!
She does not bother to do the dance, which I hate so much I’m not even offended by her laziness.
Mina: I’m the captain and all, so I’ve gotta come up with a trial. Maybe it could involve painting pictures and picking flowers… Maybe a trial like that could be cool?
If you like ripping off better captains, sure.
See you later then! Alola, alola!
How does the whole trial thing even work?
We have to defeat the captain’s trials to get a chance at the kahuna to be allowed to move on to the next island, but here’s an island with no kahuna and a trial captain who’s sticking to a place that hasn’t been accessable to new people for years. Did this island just not count for the journey before now? Is the trial system so arbitrary that you have to defeat a random number of trials based on which captains bother to get up in the morning, and sometimes that’s three people and sometimes it’s sixteen depending on what year you’re doing it?
I continue on and finally catch a murkrow.
Seen as a symbol of bad luck, it’s generally disliked. Yet it gives presents–objects that sparkle or shine–to Trainers it’s close to.
But also an illustration of how nothing about type makes sense. The pokedex’s description is of a creature who’s mistakenly viewed as bad, yet somehow it is, objectively, dark. So is any negative connotation with “dark type” just similarly mistaken? My persian just learned “nasty plot” which explicitly says it works by evil thinking.
And indeed, I evolve it to a honchcrow.
If its Murkrow cronies fail to catch food for it, or if it feels they have betrayed it, it will hunt them down wherever they are and punish them.
And yet pangoro are gentle sweeties to their friends.
Since I did that by swapping out a fainted pokemon, time to fly back to the bottom and redo my team yet again.
I bring along my charjabug, who finally evolves into a vikavolt.
It produces electricity via an electrical organ in its abdomen. It overwhelms bird Pokemon with shocking beams of electrical energy. Despite clearly flying, it remains bug/electric, reminding us that the two-type system, while generally decent, has some major flaws as well.
Alright, I’ve managed to get far enough to come back to the original entrance and shove a giant stone block into a hole to make a shortcut. Going to quit for now.