So you’ve completed all four of your grand trials. Then go forth to the Pokemon League.
I just want to say, yet again, how utterly disgusted I am by your callous discard of your culture in favor of me-tooing the mainlands’ system. This whole game has been people talking about their glorious traditions and yet when one idiot suggests dumping that all no one else pushes back?
And…Gladion descends from the
heavens upper mountain?
Gladion: I’ve been waiting for you. To thank you. For what you did for Lillie. For our mother. I appreciate it. Maybe more than you know. And the only thing I can offer you in thanks is a great battle.
!!! Finally, someone gets it! God, Gladion, I can’t believe you win Best Emotional Intelligence. Wow.
So I’m going to show my full power… My real full power this time! With the Z-Ring that old man gave me!
Welp, I’m totally doomed.
He leads with a crobat, because Gladion is a skilled pokemon cuddler. I forgot to mention, but Lusamine’s clefable’s metronome picked frustration once and it did single-digits worth of damage, so presumably the whole family maxes friendship.
I decide to go poke around elsewhere. At Aether, I find I am barred entrance to the house.
I’m sorry, but I cannot allow you to enter. Bother young Master Gladion and Miss Lillie are doing their best for the president, but… Her condition is still unstable…
Mentally or physically? I still can’t make sense of what actually happened.
I return to Gladion, just in time for the weather to start hailing. Many losses and levels later, I reach the other side of the cutscene.
Gladion: You’ve got good Pokemon. I know what kind of Trainer you are now. And what kind of journey you’ve been through. Lillie wanted me to tell you something. She’s looking after our mother at the foundation.
So…Lillie escapes. She makes new friends and connections, builds a life despite the best efforts of her mother trying to drag her back…then, in the end, gets sucked back in anyway.
I suppose it’s not the worst end for Lillie – she only left because she had to. If you read how she talks about her mother as “never needed much from this relationship to be satisfied” as opposed to “desperately clinging to scraps” then I guess this is okay for her…but that kind of makes her her mother’s daughter, doesn’t it? For this to be a happy resolution, we’d have to say Lillie is happy having her mother there regardless of what condition her mother is in and regardless of if her mother wants her love.
I’m not really surprised – America is bad enough about blood being all that matters, and Japan adds in way more respect-your-parents on top. But god is everything about this awful.
She wanted me to tell you…that you’re the best Pokemon Trainer in the world, Bonnibel.
While normally I’d say it’s a bit mean to make your trainer brother tell your friend that, he did fuck off and leave us to go into a hellworld of jellyfish with just my pokemon for protection.
Gladion: She gave me this. For you.
…it’s a max elixir. I mean, okay, but…
Gladion: Hau’s working hard to get stronger, too. Hmph… If you two are going to get even stronger, then I guess I can’t let down my guard yet. I know we aren’t friends. But we aren’t enemies anymore either.
I was never clear on if we actually were enemies. I mean, supposedly you were working for Skull, but you never actually did anything to us in their name, and then it turns out they were working for Aether, who you oppose, so evidently you weren’t helping them out all that much.
Gladion: Keep winning. Maybe I’ll see you again if you do.
And off he goes.
And up I go! Where I discover an icy rock, but I forgot that the one spot with ice in it would have that, so I don’t have an eevee on me.
An absol appears!
Although it’s said to bring disaster, in actuality, this Pokemon possesses a calm disposition and warns people of any crises that loom.
why must all ambiguity be murdered
It uses its claws to poke holes in eggs so it can slurp out the insides. Breeders consider it a scourge and will drive it away or eradicate it.
That needs to come up in fic more. Really, anything about breeders besides them cuddling cute pokemon should.
I then go back down and get an eevee. Glaceon at last!
It freezes its fur into icicles, spiky and sharp, and tackles its prey.
With this in mind, maybe it’s not the dark half of sneasel that’s into eggs, maybe it’s the /ice that likes to stab the unborn and feast.
I continue upwards and suddenly, Hau, bringing up the rear once again.
Hau: Bonnibel! Hold up for me!
That’s rather what I’ve been doing all game.
Hau: So after we split up at Aether Paradise, I went and cleared all the rest of my trials, and then I even went back home to train with Ilima a bit. I was just thinking it was time to take on the Pokemon League… Then I heard from Gladion you were already heading here, Bonnibel! So I booked it here as fast as I could!
I can’t even be angry now. He’s actually trying to be a proper rival here. I feel bad he has to, narratively, and gamewise it’s still obnoxious because working hard to improve over time is the player’s niche so having someone else fool around all game then powerlevel faster than me as soon as he does put in the effort is a bad idea.
Hau: That was, like, the fastest I’ve ever moved in my life, you know!
Also he’s literally hopping up and down in excitement. So he’s still not properly serious about this, AND he’s not someone I’ll feel good about crushing.
Hau: But that’s not what I came here to tell you!
Lillie has recanted everything she ever said about caring about pokemon and will be the final boss before locking herself in with her mom in Aether forever?
Hau: Bonnibel! We’re gonna decide which one of us’ll be the first to the Pokemon League!
See, comparatively that’s not even that bad.
Hau: You’re gonna need to use your full force if you think you’re gonna beat me and my team when we’re serious about winning!
Well, Hau, at least you’ll probably get a few wins along the way, even if you’ll never know you won.
Also you still have only four pokemon, so like, fuck you, you deserve your loss. Gladion was always in this just to hang with his pokemon friends, he owned it.
Ah, and my crabrawler’s finally evolving, into the /ice crabominable. So, did that require being on this mountain too?
It just throws punches indiscriminately. In times of desperation, it can lop off its own pincers and fire them like rockets.
Uh…this really isn’t sounding like much of an upgrade.
It doesn’t learn rocket punch or whatever upon evolution, just ice punch.
You know, all game it’s felt weird that crabrawler are pure fighting instead of fighting/water, and this just makes me feel it all the more. A /water type turning to a /ice type when exposed to the cold feels more fitting than a pure type gaining a second type, plus it’s similar to what we’ve seen with the oricorio swapping between secondary types.
I eventually claw my way to a victory with the help of my crabominable surviving a hit twice in a row thanks to the power of affection. I also get another look at the horrible thing adorable litten becomes. Even its signature move is ugly.
My team upon victory, by the way:
Hau, for once, does not look happy afterward.
Hau: Ooooh, and I really wanted my Pokemon to know how it feels to beat your team this time!
This has been an issue since the second gen! How have they not figured it out yet? There should be allowances for the rival character to win. They could do something like have the rival say to stop going easy on them and letting us have infinite rematches or something.
Hau: But being seriously frustrated will only make me stronger!
Why would you even think this? We’ve seen various adult role models, and the good trainers are all about being chill, doing what you love, and succeeding through innate talent, while the bad trainers are frustrated and evilly striving to overcome their shortcomings and succeed for once. Even Bonnibel spends the game smiling, she’s just doing so while winning unlike Hau.
Hau: So you’d better go and become Champion. ‘Cause I’m gonna train so that next time I can come beat Champion Bonnibel!
Ah, that’s another crime to lay at Prof. Labsafetyfail’s feet. The island trial system wasn’t designed to rank people. It was pass/fail. We can see that also in the captains having an age limit, so knowing who’s the best adult trainer is difficult, and it’s repeatedly said the tapu’s kahuna picks are inexplicable, so being or not being one isn’t a perfect measurement of strength either.
And we know that even on a pass/fail standard, plenty of people are unhappy with how they measure up. Now everyone but one can share that gnawing sense of inferiority as they’re all ranked and found wanting!
Hau: Good luck, cuz, and here!
Some max revives. Where are you even getting these?
Hau: I’m really glad that the kid who moved here to Alola turned out to be you, Bonnibel!
…I was about to say something about how yeah, otherwise you’d have had no one to save the world, but uh…it didn’t matter, did it?
Lusamine cracked open reality and then skipped off to be with her jellyfish waifu. Nebby would’ve been fine regardless, and although we’re shown that other ultrabeasts invaded, evidently they were handled well enough that we can’t do anything about it and have to wait for postgame. The only thing Bonnibel accomplished was drag Lusamine back – I’m sure Lillie could’ve enlisted Hau or Gladion to just play the flute, which would allow them to rescue Guzma just fine. And dragging Lusamine back was the wrong idea on every level. We were ignoring what she wanted and what made her happy, which is precisely what Lillie was railing against, and now that she is back Lillie’s been sucked back into the toxic relationship to the point she abandons her beloved Nebby to lock herself in her house with her mom.
Everything would’ve been better if Bonnibel wasn’t here.