Pokemon Moon Day 48

…Yes? What is it? Do you need something from me? says a grey-haired man in the dull clothes of probably the hotel janitor. Oh… Ah… I see… So you know Kagetora? You would like a Pokemon battle from me? How…nostalgic. It’s been quite some time.

Good god, can this get more depressing?

A fire needs fuel to keep on burning. But once the fuel is burnt up, only ash remains. My working life is over. I’ve reached retirement. All that is left of my life is the ashes.

Holy shit Nintendo why did you greenlight this.

Me and Flareon are done with battling. I’d rather just go to lomi lomi and relax.

I guess it’s good that in Alola menial jobs still pay enough you can retire afterward…?

On to a jolteon! I’m guessing the geothermal plant.

Oh hey, nope but sitting watching the little info movie is an old guy. I suppose I should be moving… I’ll need to fix Esepon some supper… My, that’s a question I haven’t heard in many years. I am Ishaan, if that’s what you mean.

That’s actually a funny note. I was told X the Y user, but I’m just asking people if they’re Y user, having evidently discarded their names as the meaningless chaff they are.

Kagetora? Oh! Oh yes! I remember that boy! Now that is a tale that takes me back… And you want to have a battle with me? I suppose I could, but please keep in mind that I am an old man.

And he’s in the same outfit as the previous guy.

He’s also either senile or his espeon doesn’t have any attacking moves but psychic. Either way, my vullaby mangles the poor espeon.

Ah, no, it does have last resort, and chose to waste a dozen turns on power swap because senile.

There’s no need for two suns in the sky. Even the sun itself, who rises with such glory in the morning, must eventually set. So it is for human life, and I think… I think that I see the moon rising on the horizon. But what about that Kagetora? He’s not that much younger than me… Do tell him I said hello.

Okay, so maybe my first thought was right and the jolteon can be found in the observatory.

…nope! Okay, so what’s the most depressing outcome, that’s probably the better way of reasoning this out. How about the trailerpark area?

Oh, hey Plumeria.

Plumeria: That stupid Guzma… He really is a prime idiot, isn’t he!

Uh…maybe? But he’s back now…? Somewhere…?

I check around a bit more but no idea, so I’ll keep going and hope I run into her by accident. To the cemetery!

Cutscene…?

Hello, darling… says some weirdo cradled by a machamp. I brought you some flowers today.

Hyah! spiky-screams the machamp. Hyah! Hyah!

…What do you think, darling? They are lovely, aren’t they?

Hyah! Hiii-yah! Hyah! Hyah!

Shhhh, quiet now. There are many others resting in these plots.

Hiii-yah! Hyah hyah hyah!

Come now, dry those tears. We’re all done with tears, aren’t we? You and I. If we come here, we can see him again any time we want to. And as long as we don’t forget him, he will always be with us.

Hyah…

And Bonnibel trots up, perhaps assuming that this misery may be the mark of one of those we’re hunting or perhaps just generally a jerk.

Hyah?!

Oh! Hello, young trainer. I’m sorry for all of this one’s noise.

Hyah!

This is my husband’s grave. And this silly one here was his Pokemon.

Hyah! Hyah! Hiiii-yah!

It was…an accident. But my husband sent Machamp back into its ball at the moment of the crash. It was a miracle that Machamp survived. But my husband… Well, ever since the accident, Machamp here has hated being inside a Poke Ball. In fact it flung its own ball off somewhere.

Hi-yaaaaaahhh!

Of course I was devastated when my husband passed away. And there were times when I hated that other man, who caused the accident. But that man… He had a family, too. A young wife. When I saw her face, I just couldn’t go on hating anyone for what happened. Oh, I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to say all that… Thank you for letting an old woman ramble so. This belonged to my husband, but I’d be happy if you could use it.

So all of that was to hand me the fling TM.

Do you also use Ride Pokemon to get around? It is fun and quite convenient, but please do be careful not to get in any accidents. Take care, young Trainer.

Well, that sure was a thing that just happened.

All the lore actually is interesting, and it’s nice (and actually rather fitting with Alola in general) to see a story that takes into account a pokemon’s feelings so much. It’s just extremely weird to have it go “and because of survivor’s guilt, Machamp flung away its pokeball…so here, have that TM!”

Also having it only trigger in the endgame while I’m doing the depressing quest of old people whose dreams came to nothing is a bit much.

Speaking of, let’s go talk to somebody else.

I suppose that’s enough for today… I’d better hurry home or that son of mine will go berating me again for wandering off… …that tale is decades old by now. How old are you, girl?

Dot dot dot.

Well, you’re not wrong. I was once known as Braiden the Umbreon User. And you know young Kagetora? How is that little whippersnapper? Sure, I don’t mind battling with you… Though I’m due to check in to the hospital soon.

Based on the opening lines, I’ll interpret that as not a general statement of infirmity but that his son made an appointment because he keeps getting confused and lost.

At least he’s wearing a more fun shirt and has family members who are possibly berating him out of concern and not for abusive reasons.

…okay, his umbreon’s leading with guard swap just like the espeon spammed power swap, he’s some flavor of senile.

It takes a while, because my vibrava’s about ten levels lower, but when most of the time your opponent is just churning wasting time, you still end up winning.

While there are times when there’s a full moon, there are also times you can’t see the moon at all. No night can ever be endless. Dawn comes and snatches away the dark. I feel that light creeping into my life, blotting out the stars and stealing away the night. People used to talk about me once. Said I was immortal and such nonsense. I was just in the hospital a long time, that’s all. But human life does end. Anyway…you give Kagetora my regards.

So is this just a long, elaborate punishment for playing past the championship? Was I supposed to turn off the game as soon as the party ended?

Well, the next one’s supposed to be in a small Melemele village, so, Iki Town?

I find two Skull kiddos in full mating dance and Hau on the center platform. Is he being menaced by the pathetic children?

Hau: Bonnibel! Hey! No one told you guys to stop!

Ah, no he’s now menacing the pathetic children. Such character development. Much good.

Alright, Hau, I’m going to regret this but explain.

Hau: See, Bonnibel? Helping people like this is just another way I train myself to get stronger.

What?

Okay, kids, can you explain?

The kahuna grabbed us by the scruff of our necks and dragged us here, saying we got nothing better to do anyway, right? Like, OK, Pokemon battles are one thing… But Alola-style sumo? Come on!

Ah, so that’s why you’re both boys.

Also jesus christ Hau how can this seem like a good idea.

Other child?

What, you ain’t heard, yo? Our old Team Skull is done-zo. We got nothing to do now. Nope, nothin’, no. So we’re training up so that we’ll be tough enough to help out anyone in need of rescue… Then you can call us Team Reskull!

You don’t seem to understand what you’re actually here doing, but I’m glad you have some positive future goals regardless!

Okay, so there’s no old woman around outdoors, time to try indoors.

When is that grandson of mine coming home? Well… I am Rea, who used to always use a Glaceon in battle. You’re friends with that Kagetora? Sure, I’ll battle you. I’ll get it over with in no time, don’t you worry.

It’s amazing the varied ways you guys find to be depressing.

Summer ice is much sought after, but no one even glances at winter ice. Even the drifting snow will melt away. The only thing I want out of life now is to spend as much time as I can with my grandchildren. You tell Kagetora that’s my biggest worry now. I don’t want him sending more Trainers after me.

So the one person who does seem to have a decent life has it only by hating pokemon battles and completely embracing her role as caretaker to her offspring’s offspring.

Also my goomy evolved.

This Pokemon’s mucous can dissolve anything. Toothless, it sprays mucous on its prey. Once they’re nicely dissolved, it slurps them up.

Oh, and so’s my vullaby. Guess it’s time to get to work on rufflet.

It circles in the sky, keeping a keen eye out for Pokemon in a weakened state. Its choicest food is Cubone.

Huh, I guess that actually does make a degree of sense – ground types are a good prey for a bird.

I head for the hotel. I don’t see an older woman, but there are two younger ones ogling a machamp.

The Machamp seems uncomfortable… Should you stop them? You’ll probably get dragged into a battle…

YES. The machamp presumably belongs to someone if it’s here, so we still haven’t actually hit the criteria of helping non-property pokemon, but that aspect is unmentioned and generally, it’s only stealing pokemon that owners have feelings about anyway.

Um, excuse you? What do you think you’re doing? We hired this big fella to be our caddy. And we’re in the middle of something important right now, so how about you get out of my grill?

Yeah, just get lost, would you?

They have a pair of oricorio. They’re also only L25, so I guess I should’ve explored here earlier.

But still enough to get my sandygast up a level, which is also enough for an evolution into a palossand!

Buried beneath the castle are masses of dried-up bones from those whose vitality is has drained.

Would they really be that dry, though?

Back to what I was doing!

What is up with you…

I know, right? Just totally killed the mood. Let’s just go…

And so they do.

Geeze, you little… What was that, huh? You trying to be a hero or something? What’d you go and do that for, huh? I’m not a Pokemon… I’m a born-and-bred human being, duh!

It’s confusing how not being a pokemon is relevant to the issue of if the girls were acting in a way that made someone uncomfortable. Unless it’s that, like other forms of violence, sexual violence has been outsourced to pokemon, so a human considers themself completely safe and always capable of just speaking up and being listened to, which seems really unlikely as the reasoning that’s intended here.

This is just a costume! Like, seriously, lady… Are you just here to ruin my day? Going and blowing all the hard work that I put into disguising myself as a Machamp caddy… I was going to make some real bank off this job! And then…you had to come along and try to “rescue” me…

So the game tells us the machamp is uncomfortable, but actually the guy pretending to be a machamp was totally fine with it. And the moral is to just not step in, because if you see people who behave in worrying ways and are willing to defend their right to do so with physical violence, everyone involved is okay with the situation, don’t make a scene.

Man, I want to cry right now… But I know you were just trying to help. I can’t get mad for what you did… So here… Just take this…

The attract TM. Wtf, game.

Now get lost… And don’t you talk to me again…

Anyway, exploring further, I find someone saying that salandit’s gases are too deadly to use as a perfume, even watered down. So I guess it’s really mostly odorless poison with a dash of attractants.

Kahili: Bonnibel? What are you doing at my place?

Your place?/This is a resort, right?

Honestly I’m not sure why I’m even responding, it’s pretty obvious.

Oh, my dad owns the Hano Grand Resort, so…

Yeah, it makes sense that the actual owners of island businesses would be foreigners.

Kahili: Anyway. You’re the Champion now, right? So are you out there training every day?

Of course!/Uhhh…what?

Hm. Both of those answer seem unsatisfying – I’d really like something to the effect of “I don’t need to; I’m just that good.”

I guess Of course! I’m still training, since I am and also since she better not think she can take me on.

Kahili: Just what I would expect of a Champion! That is very wise thinking. I’m a top-ranking player in the golf world, and that is because I still practice every day.

The fact you have such a banal idea of what hard work looks like makes me think the main reason you’re top rank is that Dad bought you the best tutors and equipment, then built a golf course right outside your room so it wouldn’t be too long of a walk.

Also, I’d just like to say, once again, that I really, really, really hate having top trainers be doing it as their second or third choice hobby.

Kahili: I think it’s important to keep training every day, even if it’s just a bit.

Really. And here I thought you should put in no effort at all. Thanks for explaining this advanced concept.

Kahili: I’ll give you this. It should help you aim for even loftier goals!

I own God.

…and I now also possess the trick room TM.

Many Flying-type Pokemon are fast, right? That’s why I use Trick Room to up my handicap. It forces me to train in battles where the slower Pokemon gets to move first.

That is the stupidest thing you’ve said so far.

I should get going, though. I’ve got to get back to my daily training regimen. Ten more hours to go today.

That sounds quite at odds with the rest of how she talks about it.

Well, she’s gone now. On to hopefully better NPCs.

I’m the hotel detective for this establishment. But the people in Alola are so easygoing that nothing troublesome ever happens around here. There’s nothing for me and my Kadabra to do.

I think you’re mistaking a deep sense of futility and learned helplessness for “easygoing”. You’re the first person I’ve met who seems to have any interest in actually doing their damn job. After finding out every member of the police is only interested in giving tourists directions, they probably expect you’ll ignore whatever complaint they have too.

Possibly the same pair of identical blonde golfer girls:

A good Pokemon will listen to what others think around it and then discover its own mind. The same goes for a good woman, too.

What the fuck?

Anyway, so no luck, perhaps in part because the hotel appears to have a no-olds policy.

I check outside and find a woman pondering redoing her island challenge again, since she so enjoyed it back then, suggesting it isn’t officially age-locked.

Oh, and here’s a woman at the far end of the beach.

It’s about time for my appointment with the beautician…

Of course.

W-well…yes, I suppose I am. Who might you be, my child? Oh! A friend of sweet little Kagetora’s? Of course I’d be delighted to battle you! I still have some spirit left in me!

And she actually manages to battle coherently, unlike some of the others. The leafeon takes my team apart until Null finally finishes it off, and she doesn’t even throw out a full restore like some of the others.

Intense battle is a lot for my old body to bear… The flower that blooms will wilt and fall. The stalk will wither and return to the earth. But not for Leafeon and me! We refuse to accept such a reality. I will do everything that money and medicine can do to keep my looks! But my bones can’t help telling the truth. At any rate, say hello to Kagetora for me.

So, it’s shaping up that the only woman to be happyish in old age is the ice queen who gave up everything to be a mom and grandmom, while the girls more associated with appearance are now desperately clinging to past glories.

On to the sylveon.

Well, there’s a marked lack of old women around, but… Then I’ve got to go and get Sylveon some snacks at the malasada shop…and… …You’re looking for the Sylveon User Sakura? That’s my grandma! And that Kagetora guy asked you to come visit her? But my grandma died last year, you know?

jesus h christ game

Oh, I know! Here, I keep Sylveon now, so how about I battle you instead!

fine whatever let’s pretend anything matters in our short futile lives

The sylveon is L54, not 55 like the others. My L40 sligoo ends up winning – it only uses moonblast once, and affection keeps my poor slugdragon clinging to heath long enough to make the killing blow.

I couldn’t skillfully do what I learned from my grandma! says the preschooler I just crushed as I take their money. The sweetest part of life is when you’re cute. But the sweetest part of life is also the shortest. That’s what my grandma told me.

Your grandma needed therapy.

Maybe you can tell that to your Mr. Kagetora or whomever!

Oh, I’m going to tell him something.

I check online for the last one. I head back to Ula’ula and wander into a restaurant. I try ordering food.

Nanu: …You open?

Oh. Master Nanu. Thank you for coming.

Nanu: Bonnibel, huh? I’m buying, so come join me and eat. Hey, Sensei. Bring me my usual.

Okay, I’ll bring the food.

And soon, we’re seated at a table.

Here is the Z-Kaiseki. Sorry to interrupt.

Nanu: You done? Sorry for talking with my mouth full like that. Heh… … … … Mm. Mm-hmm. Good, right? Here. I’ve got no need for this nonsense.

And I get eight heart scales.

See ya, kid.

Right.

I head up toward the library, then find the community center next door. I don’t think I ever went in here before.

Are you a trial-goer? You should take this then.

I get another strange souvenir and confirmation I haven’t been here.

There’s also a classroom that’s weather-focused, which is what I was saying the school should have. It’s still not much – just a quiz on the held items which are then handed over.

Ya-a-awn… The old eyes are getting tired, says the woman sitting on a coach staring at a rack of magazines, the TV off to the side. Naturally, Bonnibel assumes this is depressing enough to be our final trainer.

…Why, yes, I suppose I am. I’m Jane. Eevee? Kagetora? I’m sorry, child, I don’t remember them… I do remember Pokemon battles, though… Though I’m not sure if I’m still up to one…

She actually doesn’t do so badly.

When lightning strikes the earth, it is swallowed up…and it disappears. Even if you try to whip an old body into action, there are simply limits to what it can do. And besides…I really don’t remember anyone called Kagetora.

Well, this sure has been a pile of depression.

Back to Kagetora, I guess.

Oh, it’s you. Wait, what?! You beat them all?! What happened?! … … … … Time truly is cruel to us all, isn’t it? Fine then. I’m ready now. I have one last favor to ask of you. Would you let me have a battle?

Of course/Hold on

I feel a bit more grudging than that, personally, but like hell I’m drawing this out further.

If I do this, I think I’ll be ready…to let go.

His eevee’s L57. But on the other hand…it’s an eevee. My victory is even more inevitable than usual.

The bitterness of defeat…I must fully savor that as well. Enough. it’s enough. Our day has come..and it has gone. But I haven’t forgotten your reward. Here. I want you to take this.

oh boy a crystal for eevee thanks that doubly useless shard is definitely worth all that

I used that crystal back when I was a young Trainer, but I don’t need it now. You use it and you build a new age. I’ll stay here and take care of the mortgage and the old age.

So in conclusion, what the fuck.

Is this why the game made that big point of Bonnibel’s mom saying “oh you’re still here??? I guess your island journey doesn’t end if you refuse to let it go…”? Because we’re not supposed to keep playing, becoming the champion is the last thing we’ll ever get to do before the rot sets in, and if we do it’s just going to explain that if you’re ever happy you should know that is a brief instant before endless misery and then death.

19 Comments

  1. someone says:
    Also having it only trigger in the endgame while I’m doing the depressing quest of old people whose dreams came to nothing is a bit much.

    Nope. You can access that anytime you visit the cemetery at night after you’ve gone to the second island.

    The thing that gets me about this quest (other than it being super depressing) is that they’re very clear about it having been thirty years since their prime. Since how they’re talked about suggests the eeveelution trainers were in their prime in their teens to maybe twenties or early thirties, it seems a bit early for them to all be this old. Like, they’re implied to be maybe in their sixties at most but it’s written like the writers think being over fifty is the same as being eighty.




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    1. CrazyEd says:
      Well, this is the same company that won’t let Ash have his eleventh birthday because they don’t think the kids could handle having an older protagonist or a new protagonist that isn’t Ash, instead of just doing things like how Pokemon Adventures handles it.



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      1. I find it interesting that this is something the RPG Maker crowd (and possibly indie RPGs in general?) has largely moved on from, despite their heavy jRPG influences. I wonder if it’s differing cultural norms for Westerners, the fact that people competent enough to make good games are going to be older than teenagers, or some other combination of factors. Heck, even Pokemon Uranium explicitly has an older protagonist than mainstream Pokemon.




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  2. someone says:
    Also, there’s one other small sidequest-ish thing you can do if you find the old man in the desert, but otherwise the next stuff is meeting up at the hotel on Route 8 and this game’s version of the battle tower/subway/etc.

    There’s just so little to the postgame here compared to generations four through six that I really am wondering if they just wanted players to restart or stop playing after hitting the championship… except they actually do have a sexist postgame story and the ability to fight challengers to your champion title so they also clearly do expect some continuation after the credits.

    (Sorry for the double post, I just thought of the second point later.)




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  3. illhousen says:

    OK, this is officially hilarious now.

    Please tell me that if you play long enough, you’d get to organise their lonely funerals because there is no one else to do it for them. That would be just perfect.




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    1. Roarke says:

      “Hooray, you beat the game! Here, go beat up some old people.” That’s honestly the best post-game content I’ve ever seen in a pokemon game. It’s really a shame to see how the game treats old women, though. Just outright painful.

      Organizing their funerals reminds me of Watchmen. No time for friends? Only our enemies leave roses.

      That bit with the Machamp is ridiculously creepy. Just what in the actual fuck. I can’t form coherent thoughts on that one.

       




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      1. illhousen says:

        The only way it could be better is if they were all protagonists and rivals from the previous games, though it would be difficult to justify continiuty-wise.




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        1. Roarke says:

          When’s the last time you got to fight the previous game’s protagonist/rival? Did that basically just happen in GSC? Because goddamn, Red being the final boss was even cooler than fighting Gary for the champion’s seat in RBY. 




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          1. illhousen says:

            No, I mean, you meet them, and they’re all old and moved on and don’t battle anymore and only have one pokemon each because the rest have died long ago (except one trainer who has a full team of cat-themed pokemon).

            I mean, post-game content is here to watch your dreams die, right? 




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            1. CrazyEd says:
              Maybe this is all just Pokemon’s way of telling people who were weaned on generation one that they’re too old to be obsessing over Pokemon anymore. I’ve seen it happen before. 2013’s Kamen Rider Gaim was literally about how twenty-somethings should stop pretending to be children, grow up, and accept their responsibilities.

              Of course, it was insanely popular with twenty-something weirdos on the internet who refuse to grow up.




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            2. Farla says:

              See, I really expected that it’d go that way, but the older characters didn’t find new, adult things to fill their time. They either spent their post-trainer years in unskilled labor they show no real enjoyment of, completely gave up on their own life and exist only for the sake of others, refuse to let go of past petty glory (and how sad is it that the leafeon trainer honestly seems the best outcome? She’s still living the life she wanted, at least), or straight up die. And we’re not meant to take this as an okay outcome, because the writers say, “Yeah, that was fucking depressing, wasn’t it? Their lives were only good for the couple years they were trainers and everything after it has been just dead men walking.”

              It’s telling us to give up and move on at the same time as it’s saying there’s nothing at all to move on to. The only point of adults is to slave away as cashiers for their kids, all so the kids can grow up to do the same.




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  4. Do you remember the house on I think it was Route 2? Guzma’s there if you want to poke him.




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  5. That crystal is actually good though. You need tailwind for it to have much hope of firing it off but then you can baton pass the huge boost to something that doesn’t suck. Of course it wouldn’t be so hard in game, but even if you just wanted to cuddle your hard hatched white eevee a little longer there’s not much to do that with in postgame. Humiliate challengers by annihilating them with a pokemon so tiny and hopeless that most 7 year olds give up and evolve it.



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    1. Farla says:

      …it doesn’t suck because with the help of another pokemon to set it up (and then get knocked out because I obviously can’t afford to switch eevee in), I can then use it to boost a third pokemon?




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  6. SpoonyViking says:

    You know, the actual execution is very depressing, but I think the initial premise of coming face to face with your future could be very interesting.




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    1. CrazyEd says:
      A wise man, long since broken by years working in the horrors of the urban Texan child protective service, once told me something I feel might be relevant. “Becoming an adult is what happens when you stop dreaming of going back in time to see dinosaurs and start dreaming of going back in time to slap yourself for being an insufferable idiot.”

      This seems like kind of the reverse of that.




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    2. Farla says:

      I dunno. I think it’s further hampered by the fact there is a postgame and the games, since the very start, have been designed to be played indefinitely after the end rather than restarted. In a more scripted RPG you could have other characters modeling possible jobs/lives your character might have after the conflict is over, and then the game ends and you picture your character growing up to do that. But here, there’s not much point in telling us about how when the character grows up they can be a doctor or a professor or a computer programmer, because the character is always going to be there for us to go battle people and catch pokemon. A message about how all things must inevitably move on makes no sense when your character has to never move on so you can breed the perfect team for online battles, and designing a game so it takes forever to breed the perfect team for online battles doesn’t sound like we’re meant to move on.




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      1. SpoonyViking says:

        Hm, point. Maybe something for a different game, then.




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