Pokemon Black, Day 3

Yesterday, I got my second gym badge, allowing me to control pokemon up to L30, and after a bit of wandering around set off to Pinwheel Forest.


I decide to check out the road first. My lovely dousing machine encourages me off the path through a gap in the fence (incidentally, what sort of weirdos put fence all over their forest?) toward where there’s a big patch of dark grass. Some old guy blocks the stairs down though.

Hm… I can feel it… The presence of fierce Pokemon.

…that’s all the more reason to get out of my way, old guy.

Can’t seem to get to whatever the rods are pointing at.

The other theme to the battles is applying what the person learned. It’s really getting annoying to hear that over and over, especially when the AI is so dumb.

Well, road done, it’s time to get into the twisty section.

…And hey, already there’s a Plasma guy.

Oooh. I haven’t been commenting much on new pokemon from trainers, but the sandile looks nice. The four-legged reptile is, oddly, one of the body types underrepresented among pokemon.

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Rustling grass produces a panpour. Fine, I’ll catch you.

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The water stored inside the tuft on its head is full of nutrients. Plants that receive its water grow large.

Should probably check pansage’s entry while we’re on the subject.

This Pokemon dwells deep in the forest. Eating a leaf from its head whisks away weariness as if by magic.

Or by drugs. Sounds like nummy coca plant to me.

Another Plasma member accuses me of doing this out of jealousy of their cool outfits. They actually are pretty well designed when you look at the battle sprite, a sort of new age knight templar.

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They look really silly in bighead overland mode, though.

In the grass I find a cottonee, which looks like a rehash of hoppip. I think someone asked for that back in the city in return for some similarly grassy sounding pokemon. Possibly they’re only found in each version?

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When attacked, it escapes by shooting cotton from its body. The cotton serves as a decoy to distract the attacker.

So I’m assuming it sucks as a fighter like hoppip too. I raised a hoppip once and I’m damned if I’ll do it again.

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Pictured above: the worst pokemon ever.

From the pokedex, it looks like it evolves once. I’ll just hope I can catch the evolved form and not have to bother with it. And yup, petilil’s listed as “area unknown”, so I’ll trade when I’m done.

Sewaddle. Bug/grass?

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Yup.

Leavanny dress it in clothes they made for it when it hatched. It hides its head in its hood while it is sleeping.

Presumably that’s its evolved form. I think the syntax is a bit off here, shouldn’t the clothes have been made before it hatched?

It’s weird to only be seeing bug pokemon by L15.

Actually, all of this feels kind of weird. It feels like usually I’ve done so much more by now. I mean, in the second gen, there’s the whole bellsprout tower affair before you even get your first badge.

If that means everything’s shifted to an overall higher level, that could be good. One of the problems with the game is leveling your pokemon once they’re at the higher levels, because the game’s really done with by fifty or sixty and there’s nobody to fight except one super boss, and that one requires a ton of grind because there’s nothing in that ballpark to mine for experience.

Still, I really like the low-level sections. There’s just something fun about the game in the early newbie bits, and when there’s only a tiny handful of moves to go around.

Pansage leveled up and learned leach seed. I love that move. Maybe I’ll keep him around after all.

Poisoning doesn’t seem to do anything out of battle. Damn, that was my favorite nonsensical thing.

Venipede! It looks a lot like a worm from Monster Rancher.

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Its bite injects a potent poison, enough to paralyze large bird Pokemon that try to prey on it.

From the pokedex, it seems it may evolve. Into a beetle like in Monster Rancher, or something else? Dammit, plant monkey, evolve already so I can get rid of you.

Also, the forest design is generally cool. I like the hollow trees.

By the end of the Plasma chain, I’m down to two conscious pokemon. But the final battle is a cakewalk, a string of L14 patrats. Gimme the skull!

Team Plasma: So the dream our king had– the dream we had– won’t come true…

Then some new guy appears. He’s wearing dark robes and he looks old.

Gorm: How are you holding up, fellow subject of our king?

Team Plasma: Gorm of the Seven Sages! I’m mortified that this skull, which we went to so much trouble to obtain, was stolen from us so easily.

Well, I’m still here. And I’m down to one and a half pokemon (plus healing items).

Gorm: It’s not important.

DAMMIT YES IT IS COME AT ME OLD MAN!

We can afford to abandon the Dragon Skull. According to the results of our research, this is not the legendary Pokemon for which Team Plasma is looking.

Yeah, I thought it was just a dragonite…

But we will not allow anyone to disrupt our plans and get away with it. We will fix you so you never interfere with us again.

YES.

And then it’s gym leader artist. I assume he’s here to heal me up for the battle? That I’m fine with. The plot is supposed to help out the hero.

…And now he’s claiming he defeated the Plasma guys? Uh no, I did. You’re a lying liar who lies. NEW RIVAL: Jerkass artist guy.

He’s followed by Lenora. Where are they coming from? They’re from behind me, in the direction I came from, so what, they walked back down the road to where I started then took the twisty path? Why not come here from the other direction?

Lenora demands to know who the guy is, and he repeats that he’s one of the seven sages.

Ghetsis, another of the Seven Sages, will liberate Pokemon with words alone!

Then he says the rest of the sages gave the order to take pokemon by force.

…then he says that that since he’s outnumbered he’s going to take off. Dammit. He says he’ll totally liberate our pokemon later, though.

Lenora asks if artist guy is planing on chasing them. He says that, well, “we” already got the skull (no I did. And don’t think I’m giving it up, either.)

and if we corner them, there’s no telling what they might do.

I’m sorry, did you maybe hear a different monologue than I did? Because me, I heard him say he was totally outclassed and retreating so he wouldn’t get his butt kicked. I think that’s probably all they’d be doing if we chase them now.

But no, artist guy is a lazy artist and he’s going off. He says he’ll be waiting for me at the gym, looking forward to it and all that bull. I will enjoy kicking your ass.

God damn it, I just gave her the skull. I didn’t even have time to look at it in my inventory.

Lenora says I’m kind and my pokemon must be happy with me. This kind of thing is always particularly hilarious to me, because my playstyle is to have my pokemon fight until they faint.

For my trouble she just gives me a moonstone. Okay, those are cool and rare, but you know what’s rarer? A dragon skull. Don’t give me a fetch quest where the item is something cool and expect me to like it.

Going right, I find a ledge. Ah, that’s why no one could come from that direction, traffic is one way only. So I’m definitely at the end, then.

Okay, off to trade my cottonee. First, to the pokecenter to get it.

I forgot to talk to the people here. The girl by the nurse tells me about audino.

It’s a Pokemon that I sometimes find when I’m walking. It jumps out of rustling grass. I can get a lot of Exp. Points. It’s kind of a friendly Pokemon, isn’t it?

So you’re saying you mug a friendly pokemon because it’s full of experience points. Seriously, this game works so much better when you don’t have friendship in the mix.

A guy tells me the museum fossils are from Twist Mountain and donated by Clay. So I need to get over there before he wastes any more of them as display items when they could be going on my team. Good to know.

Back on my first game in Blue, I failed to talk to the pokemaniac after I got a fossil, so I never heard him mention that he’d heard Cinnabar was where people were working on a revival method. Being new to the whole videogame thing in general, I then lugged it around for the rest of the game, worried about missing out on the pokemon if I didn’t have it on me when I found the way to revive it. After that I’ve always been very attentive to this subplot. It helps that I generally find the fossil pokemon incredibly cool, even if I’ve only raised them once.

The third guy mentions the HELP option on the pokecenter’s computer. God, game, if you have that why the endless handholding?

And I buy some pokeballs, because I’m almost out. I’m flush with money – even after buying a ton of pokeballs and an extra dozen greatballs, I still have ten thousand, and I haven’t sold any of the items I’ve found.

Okay, now trading for the petilil.

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The leaves on its head are very bitter. Eating one of these leaves is known to refresh a tired body.

…isn’t that basically the same thing as the pansage’s entry?

Well. On we go. Current team:

PhotobucketPansage L18
PhotobucketPurrloin L18
PhotobucketPidove L19
PhotobucketHerdier L19
PhotobucketRoggenrola L18
PhotobucketPignite L18

Hoping something evolves soon so I can kick it off. And the purrloin has been a terrible disappointment, though I kind of expected as much with it being a cat pokemon.

Exiting the forest gets me a cool sideways scene. This also reminds me of Digimon World! God, that was a fun game. Horrible mechanics, terribly punishing, but so very lovely. Unfortunately, I can’t do anything, not even pretend to sit on the benches. Hey, is this why the benches won’t let you near them, because having your sprite walk over them doesn’t look like sitting in sideways view? Because this is pretty and all, but not worth that.

Well. It is nice. There’s this suspension bridge stretching away in the distance with lights and in the distance there’s a very faint city.

The bridge itself also looks very nice. The curve is obviously there to show off the 3D thing, but it does a lovely job of it. And the up/down thing is the same, but again, very nice.

…now it’s just randomly jumped to sideways weird-angle view? No, game, that’s the most obnoxious of angles. You are not making me like 3D like this.

At least that’s over fast.

Talking to the counterwoman at the other end leads to her telling me about where the bridge leads to, ie, the places I just was at and know about. You just saw me come in, why would you say that?

The other is some girl.

I walked so far! My legs are sore! …Um, you don’t have to look.

Is this sort of thing why girlprotag and Bianca are shipped? I assume we’re still having the dialogue the same with either game. So, since the player’s assumed male, we’ll probably only get these kinds of things from female characters.

Oh god the city is showing off weird angles. Make it stop.

Ooh, Scientist guy. He tells me the pan monkey family actually evolves via stone. And he gives me a leaf stone. He warns me that evolving a pokemon with a stone will mess up its ability to learn moves. Specifically:

When a Pokemon evolves, it will be more powerful, but it will be slower to learn a new move. This is especially true for Pokemon that evolve with stones. So, it’s up to you: you can have it learn a good move and then evolve it with a stone, or evolve it with a stone fast and then have it learn a move with a TM.

So are stone-evolved pokemon unable to learn moves naturally after evolving, or just slower? It seems to be hinting at the former. I should probably have asked for a water stone, but whatever, I wasn’t planning on keeping the monkey around anyway. First, though, going to check this against my other pokemon to see if any of them evolve by stone as well.

None. And it doesn’t look like any can evolve by moonstone either.

Time to evolve.

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Simisage.

Ill tempered, it fights by swinging its barbed tail around wildly. The leaf growing on its head is very bitter.

…I hate it even more than before. Replacing with the cute little sewaddle.

Oh, also there’s someone standing between me and the counter in the pokecenter. I just didn’t pay much mind because evolving a pokemon is so much more important, you know?

Wanna recover Pokemon? Oh, soooooorry!

…but then they promptly get out of my way? Game, dragging out the vowels means sarcasm, not sincerity. I’m then asked about Geonet. Saying that yes, I do know doesn’t change the text, they proceed to tell me it anyway. It’s the register where I live thing. Game, for the love of god. There’s a giant spinny globe right there. Anyone who cares in the slightest will head over and click it.

Anyway. Going to one of the roads cause there to be all these people running in either direction who keep dodging me. I get the ice cream cone that heals all status problems, and then this gallery. I get a berry by producing the type someone asks for, but otherwise the place is a disappointment. You can’t actually view any of the paintings, you can only read the titles. I will again reference the lovely first gen, where you could look into binoculars and see a legendary, not get told you saw something cool.

Apparently the theme is Unova’s legendaries? It’d be nice to actually see this instead of just having them be called things like “Twin heroes” which I figure probably will end up being me and N, because whenever you hear about twins like this, it’s always two opposing people who both think they’re the chosen one. And one painting is called White Flame while another is Black Lightning Bolt, so…fire vs electric legendary? And one’s called Ideals and Truth, which seems like it’s not going to go well for N given he’s concerning himself with both and I’d bet they’re opposed when it comes to the whole pokeliberation business.

Then I find a trainer! Who is apparently a black breakdancer. With a L21 pansage.

My L15 sewaddle beats it in two hits. Hm.

There’s some empty office building. I try exploring but nothing I click says anything, plus the chairs are just in the way of most of the computers.

I try another place. And now I’ve become a statistician. Yay!

…I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do. It wants me to survey and/or walk by a bunch of people. I thought it was referring to the area of the endless pedestrians, but that doesn’t seem to do anything, even when I manage to catch someone for a chat.

To Bulbapedia, then!

Okay, so I’m supposed to use the C-gear to poll actual people. Oh well.

Then there’s another building, this one an office building of people who like to fight. My sewaddle turns out to be quite a bruiser. It hits L20 in no time and evolves.

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Really not a fan of the evolution thing. The quick switch between the two sprites was never a particularly clever idea, but it actually worked pretty well for me, since flipping them fast enough made it look like the pokemon was moving. But anyway, so, swadloon now. That’s cool, I don’t want to lose it from my team so a three-stage bug is best.

Forests where Swadloon live have superb foliage because the nutrients they make from fallen leaves nourish the plant life.

At the top, I fight the chairman, who’s dressed as a janitor and has a poison pokemon that looks like a trashbag. Not impressed.

I think I’m starting to get the hang of this city. It’s just laid out in a circle.

There’s also the Gamefreak building, which is actually pretty nice – when I go in, there’s someone reading a book that mentions zorua, then shows me an actual picture of it.

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I can only go to one other floor, though.

On it, there’s a game director who tells me to come and show him the pokedex if I fill it up. Will I finally get a mew out of this? Someone else tells me to come back for a pokemon battle when I’m strong. I wonder how high level that is? Or maybe it just means when I beat the Elite Four.

In another building, I talk to someone who checks out my dex. I was all set to feel accomplished and then it turned out he was just measuring how many pokemon I’d seen. Dammit, no. Catching and evolving pokemon is hard and I want my efforts rewarded. I get an eviolite stone, but I didn’t really earn it. Apparently it boosts the defense and special defense of a pokemon, but only if it hasn’t evolved. Huh. I guess that’s for stone-evolved types of pokemon while you’re leveling them? Or is there some particularly glass-cannon pokemon it’s for? Or just generally there because at this stage you’ll have plenty of unevolved pokemon, I suppose.

Upstairs, there’s some scientist guy who wants a password before he’ll let me near some special machine. There’s no clue in the trashcans, just the usual message it’s empty. Do any of the trashcans ever have stuff in them? And some clown.

My name is Mr. Lock. I’m a magical clown who can open anything. Your name is Farla. I’ll see you again, I’m sure.

Oooookay then.

In another building, there’s a party where some of the people are speaking in foreign languages. I don’t.

Then I run into Cheren. Apparently he just challenged a gym leader. Going to jump me for a battle?

Nope, he just says he’s awesome and going to beat everyone and everyone will know he’s a great trainer, then leaves. Failrival. Then before I can go in, stupid artist guy comes out and apparently Plasma’s appeared.

Eh, not done exploring. There’s also a boat docked, which always makes me excited. SS Anne was awesome. Hopefully this one isn’t just scenery.

So far, this game has had a lot of implications of the world being bigger than it is. Whenever I go into a building, the elevator takes me to some high numbered floor, even though there’s only one or at most two upper levels total. I guess some people might like that, but I don’t. I prefer being able to get everywhere. For example, it annoys me that I can’t go into the daycare backyard. There’s nothing to do back there, but I don’t care, I want in. And it annoyed me whenever a building’s higher levels are locked off. Sure, it’s reasonable that a company wouldn’t want me running around up there, but it’s also reasonable people wouldn’t want me barging into their house and that isn’t blocked off. The thing I love about games is slowly unlocking areas and then getting to explore every inch.

Anyway, over in the next dock is the dumb artist guy. I’ll deal with this tomorrow.

7 Comments

  1. C.C. says:

    Sewaddle looks like a vampire caterpie, complete with cape. I love it.

    I appreciate you posting pictures. I don’t know any of the new pokemon, so it’s nice not to need to google image search each one.

    1. Farla says:

      So there are people following along who don’t know them either!

      I can barely keep them straight at this point, it’s still the early part of the learning curve. Soon I’ll be babbling fluently away, though.

  2. Fool says:

    Zorua is event-only, sadly. Though if you gameshark it in, it might be a good substitute for your purrloin.

    You didn’t post a picture of swadloon. Did you mean to?

    1. Farla says:

      Fixed! And eh, it’s not that I care much about zorua, I just liked how it was shown. Designwise it just looks like an emo sue version of eevee.

  3. Ember says:

    “Is this sort of thing why girlprotag and Bianca are shipped? I assume we’re still having the dialogue the same with either game.”  There’s a girl who sometimes shows up in the Nimbasa sports stadiums who says she wants to be a powerful trainer so that she’ll be attractive to strong athletes.  When you defeat her she says you’re really strong and gives you a present, and if you talk to her again afterwards she says that strong people are attractive.  What makes it even better is that she shows up to the women’s tennis games as well as to the men’s sports.  There’s also a guy who says he wishes the players would fight over him like they fight over the ball, and when you win he tells you to stay away from his favorite player.  As far as I can tell, he ONLY shows up to the men’s basketball games.  Nimbasa is full of queers! o/

    “So are stone-evolved pokemon unable to learn moves naturally after
    evolving, or just slower? It seems to be hinting at the former.”  It is.  This has always been the case, from the very first games, and it’s much less of a hindrance now that we have reusable TMs.

    I still haven’t figure out what the fuck the deal is with Mr. Lock and the secret password.

    1. purplekitte says:

      As far as I know, the secret password thing is some HGSS event that the BW programmers apparently thought was going to happen, but didn’t, even in Japan.

  4. purplekitte says:

    Sandile is so cool. It is like Kamina in a pokemon and was one of my strongest party members.

    This one’s kind of weird with level versus plot. I think even more than before the game acknowledges that you finish the plot, then get back to the business of catching/evolving/trading for all 600-whatever of your pokedex entries.

    Poisoning only being in-battle is so weird; I still haven’t gotten used to it, because something is fundamentally wrong in the world.

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