Pokemon Black, Day 4

Yesterday, I explored the big city and then dumb artist guy showed up.


Current team:

PhotobucketSwadloon L21
PhotobucketPurrloin L18
PhotobucketPidove L19
PhotobucketHerdier L19
PhotobucketRoggenrola L19
PhotobucketPignite L18

Apparently Team Plasma stole Bianca’s pokemon. Which was a munna. I should probably have checked the pokedex back then to see if munna appeared there, but when nothing showed up wandering the grass I figured it was one of those particular day pokemon and wandered off. Apparently Bianca had a little girl, Iris, rush to her rescue. Well, that’s better than getting rescued by a little boy, I guess…

The girl goes off on a rant about how this is terrible because it’s nice when people and pokemon are together.

They each have something the other doesn’t, and they help each other!

Oh my god game shut up already. Besides the pokemon’s still with people. Just different people.

So now we don’t know where Team Plasma ran off to…but luckily one appears right then, sees us and runs. Dumb artist guy says we should go after it, and Iris, who again, little kid, is left to guard Bianca. God damn. Bianca, you had other pokemon than that munna, didn’t you? Get over here and help!

Bianca: Oh, Munna, I can’t believe it. Here I am, a Trainer, and I can’t even protect my own Pokemon… I’m sorry…

ARG.

Screw you I’m exploring.

On the far end is someone who says that when you’re frustrated at someone, you should come here and scream into the ocean. Cannot find button.

On the third pier I find the last breakdancer guy and his unfortunate implications monkey pokemon. I’m pretty sure it’s just because Nintendo wants to beat the idea into the ground. I’m not completely sure why – it’s not the only pokemon they have that does the multi-type thing, the only difference is that the other ones are evolved forms of a single base pokemon. And we’re getting into the levels where evolved pokemon are acceptable. The eevee sisters had like L17 eeveelutions, didn’t they?

And now I has amulet coin! I loved this back in GSC. Mostly my magpie tendencies, really. I want to get all the experience and all the money, even when I don’t really need it. The only thing I ever use money for is coins, or, sometimes, buying a bazillion revives before the Elite Four.

There are also vending machines around. That’s cool, but they haven’t figured out I don’t want to order lemonade one by one.

So, on to the next route, where I assume Team Plasma ran off to.

Hey, it’s a red owl thingy! Darumaka. Localization team, what are we paying you for if not to rename pokemon?

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When its internal fire is burning, it cannot calm down and it runs around. When the fire diminishes, it falls asleep.

Kay.

Hey, it’s Cheren! Did you see Plasma up ahead? Are you just going to jump me for a battle???

Cheren: I believe it would be wise for me to catch some Ground-type Pokemon.

FFFFFFFFFF

I BELIEVE IT WOULD BE WISE FOR YOU TO STOP STANDING AROUND AND FIGHT ME!

Or perhaps I should strengthen my Pokemon. What’s my best path forward?

YES DO THAT. DO IT BY FIGHTING ME.

…wuss.

Fine, back to the sand.

A…scraggy? And it seems it’s not a ground or rock type either. How do these pokemon survive in a habitat where they’re getting HP chipped off every turn?

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And it’s dark/fighting it seems.

Its skin has a rubbery elasticity, so it can reduce damage by defensively pulling its skin up to its neck.

Don’t we already have a dark/fighting with rubbery skin?

Sandile!

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They live buried in the sands of the desert. The sun-warmed sands prevent their body temperature from dropping.

And it’s ground/dark!

You will be named Maka yes you will.

There’s a building and I can heal there, because god forbid I walk back to the pokecenter.

Going down the road some construction guy tells me that they’re busy and to go play at the gym. So I guess Team Plasma’s still hanging out in the city.

There’s some fishermen. Hm, that’s one thing I haven’t gotten yet, a fishing rod.

And now my pidove’s evolving!

Tranquill. Points for pun, Nintendo.

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It can return to its Trainer’s location regardless of the distance separating them.

And from the dex it looks like it’s a pidgey clone in all respects, so there’s a third evolution to go.

Back to the city. Ah, there’s dumb artist guy, in the park. Okay, and I follow him and there’s a bunch of Plasma grunts hanging around the entrance to a building. I think it’s the empty office building I went into earlier. They do the whole “there are definitely no Team Plasma guys inside and especially no sages” bit. This is less clever than you evidently think, game.

And now Iris and Bianca are here. And Iris is encouraging Bianca to go in to fight. Well, that’s something, anyway.

Inside there’s some sages and Ghetsis.

Ghetsis: My word, if it isn’t the Gym Leader, Burgh.

Burgh: So, what would you say is the guiding principle of Team Plasma, anyway? “Take what you want from people”?

Bronius: I thought it would be amusing to prepare a hideout right in front of a Pokemon Gym, but we were detected more quickly than I imagined.

Ghetsis: Indeed…

Stop talking to him I’m right here!

No matter. We already have an exceptional base of operations. Is everyone familiar with the founding of the Unova region?

Nope! Tell me!

Isis: I am! It’s the black Dragon-type Pokemon, right?

Ghetsis: The truth is this… The black dragon appeared before a hero who sought the ideal way to knit together a world full of warring people. The black Dragon-type Pokemon shared its knowledge– and bared its fangs at those who stood against it. Together, the power of this Pokemon and the hero brought unity to the hearts of everyone in the land, and that is how Unova was created.

Ah, so it’s less of a “created the very land” and more like unifying Germany.

We shall bring back the hero and that Pokemon to Unova once again! If we can win people’s hearts and minds, we can easily create the world that I– I mean, Team Plasma– desires!

Ugh.

They’re so busy tripping over themselves to subvert the idea the cult believes what it says that they never actually establish that. So far, Team Plasma is bullshitting people about the liberation thing and Ghetsis is apparently further bullshitting them about their goals.

I’m already craving fanfic. I want to see an alt take on this where Plasma really is a cult, and a competent one at that. They have this lovely Sephirothy music and Ghetsis talks pretty and yet the content is so disappointing.

I mean, cult! That’s so cool. And you have the group existing legitimately so there’s no reason they can’t do stuff like lease an office building, because only people like the protagonist know they’re also doing evil stuff on the side, and so they do it right in front of the gym just to thumb their nose at how he can’t stop them. You could even have a whole public relations subplot where they insist that they aren’t behind the string of thefts and such, that it’s a splinter group and the official cult disapproves. And if they’re relatively popular, than that’s part of what you’re fighting against, not just a few individual thefts by the inner core of people but the portion of the population that’s being tricked into supporting them.

Burgh: Here is Castelia, we have a lot of different kinds of people. Everyone’s ways of thinking and lifestyles are very different. Honestly, there’s something about what you’re saying I don’t quite understand. One thing we all have in common is that we all care a lot about Pokemon. Even people meeting for the first time can talk about Pokemon. Talk or battle or trade…

Oh, well as long as they’re great conversation starters for everyone, I guess we just shouldn’t worry about if they’re being treated properly or not, because it’d be inconvenient to people to give them up regardless. All that really matters is they’re the excuse that holds this loveless marriage of different cultures together.

Remember your speech at Accumula Town? You were responsible for leading me to rethink my relationship with Pokemon. For that, I thank you. At that time, I made a promise… I swore to myself I would dedicate myself to Pokemon even more strongly. What you guys are doing… Aren’t you going to strengthen the bond between people and Pokemon even more?

Shut up already.

You know what this is like? GMPC. The game’s been inching in this direction since third gen, I’d say. Second gen with Lance was a great example of how you do this. Lance shows up, he says we’re awesome and he wants our help. We already like Lance because he was the hard guy at the end of last game. Then he gets out of our way and lets us beat down the mooks. They tried to replicate that in later games, but they were using new characters who hadn’t already proven themselves, and they were giving the characters more and more prominence.

Ghetsis: Myha-ha-ha-ha! You are quite hard to figure out– A little more intelligent than I’d expected. I am fond of intelligent people, you see. You’ll enjoy hearing about this…

I’M. RIGHT. HERE. Talk to me! I’m the hero, he’s not even one of the stronger gym leaders! And he sucks!

From every corner of the world, I have gathered knowledgeable people for our king’s benefit. You could call them the Seven Sages. Very well! We will submit to your opinion and be on our way. That girl over there… Return her Pokemon!

Bianca: Th-thank you! Munny, I’m so glad to see you again!

Bianca is the sort of person who’d be stokhomed within five minutes, isn’t she?

Iris: Bianca! Why are you thanking them? They take people’s precious Pokemon!

Thank you, sane girl. Do you want to be my rival instead?

Bianca: It’s just… I’m…I’m so happy that my Munna is safe.

Ghetsis: The friendship between Pokemon and people can be very touching. But, in order to liberate Pokemon from foolish people, we will revive the legend of Unova – and win the hearts and minds of everyone. Farewell…

What the hell Nintendo. You have a headquarters for the enemy team and all I get is two characters monologuing at each other and then they leave politely?

Iris: What are you doing? Why are you letting them get away?!

Burgh: Gah! What do we do if anything’s happened to the other stolen Pokemon?

Yes exactly. Let’s chase them down!

Bianca: It’s OK. Thank you, Iris! No one was hurt.

Bianca, we’re pokemon trainers. We solve our problems with violence. If no one was hurt, we didn’t accomplish anything here. Now get over here and help me beat people up.

More than anything, I got my darling Pokemon back again!

Iris: OK, if you’re happy…

Yes, as long as one person’s satisfied I guess it’s okay if they cut bits off the rest for money or whatever they’re planning.

Burgh: What is everyone planning to do now?

Bianca: Oh, it would be sensational to look around Castelia City, but…

Iris: Don’t worry! I’ll keep being your bodyguard!

Bianca: Iris…

Burgh: Uh-hm. That’s great! Iris is a dazzling Pokemon Trainer, but maybe not at home in the big city yet. So, a little give-and-take, hm! People and Pokemon need to help each other out!

Iris: Also, thanks for looking for the Pokemon! Here, this is for you!

And they rush out. At least I got an item out of it.

Then dumb artist guy leaves too, saying he’ll be waiting at the gym.

There’s still nothing upstairs. You can’t click on any computer or the papers on the desks, even though this is their headquarters.

Well, the gym is weird. The honey thing is random, but the animation’s nice. And the first trainer is called Harlequin Jack…

There’s no real puzzle, though. Although the maze is okay.

But compare this to the third badge of the first game. I actually skipped the badge because I couldn’t figure it out, I didn’t understand that the thing was random so when I saved and tried both without it working I decided it was unbeatable. I only got it once I got stuck when trying to get into the Elite Four. That one was punishing, but I feel like a sort of middle ground with puzzles would be better.

Oh, and there’s a weird hermit crab pokemon. It just doesn’t look right, too much like an actual hermit crab.

Pignite and Purrloin just hit L20 together. New move, smog! Now I can poison opponents.

Oh. And my purrloin’s evolving.

Liepard. That is a lovely pokemon.

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These Pokemon vanish and appear unexpectedly. Many trainers are drawn to their beautiful form and fur.

Hm, her stats are almost decent now. Almost the same attack (44) as my herdier, slightly lower defense(30), good special attack(45), even worse special defense(29) than defense, and speedy(45).

Of course, she’s fully evolved and the herdier’s evolving again. And her moveset still sucks. Plus she’s not even good in this gym… I’ll replace with venipede.

Already, gym time.

PhotobucketSwadloon L24
PhotobucketVenipede L15
PhotobucketTranquill L22
PhotobucketHerdier L20
PhotobucketRoggenrola L21
PhotobucketPignite L20

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He really does look dumb.

…wow, that was ridiculously easy. His pokemon are about the same level as the last gym leader, even if he has more. Admittedly I do have the fire starter, but I took out half his team with my roggenrola and never even used my tranquill.

On my way back, I check the pillar. Cheren’s name is on there above mine, but Bianca isn’t. So she’s officially Not The Rival, then.

But then she appears. And she says she’s going to get stronger and will fight me at the entrance to Route 4. So she’s going to step up and become a decent rival?

She still has the same failsprite, though.
Photobucket
She has a L18 herdier, L20 servine – ooh, that looks much better than my dumb pig – and L18 munna.

Ie, a piece of cake. And the game knows it’s a piece of cake because she’s way weaker than the gym leader I just beat.

Bianca: I’ll never be a strong Trainer like you or Cheren or Iris, but…

And then she goes on about how new experiences and it’s really about the journey. Because god forbid the female character have goals or ambition.a

I mean, I guess you can say that Iris’ inclusion makes this less sexist, but…not by much, unless Iris becomes my rival too, and even then Bianca’s storyline is just such a mess.

Ah. It looks like Cheren’s willing to fight now.

L20 pidove
L22 demott …some sort of cat/fish/beaver?
L20 pansear
L20 liepard

The demott was the starter evolution, wasn’t it? Freaky.

So yeah, Bianca is definitely not the rival.

…Just reached the Desert Resort area, and ran into a L22 sandile.

So I get the impression here that the idea is to keep catching new pokemon at every area instead of really raising your own. Which I guess is helpful in that you aren’t locked into your team, but it does beg the question of what the point of playing is, if it’s not to raise your particular bunch.

Anyway, I think I picked the wrong direction, so I’m going to backtrack and try going straight.

And it’s Juniper! And Cheren. She’s just there to hand out ultraballs. Do people ever stop handing you things? Cheren explains that the whole pokedex thing is really just an excuse to get us out in the world. Well, that’s patronizing, and it also undercuts any sense of accomplishment I get with the pokedex if it’s just a pretend task.

Cheren, being dumb, is super grateful and wants to “show his thanks” by going and catching a new pokemon for her. Shut up, Cheren.

Okay, so there’s Nimbasa City. Healing, then back to explore the Desert Resort area.

Oh. Team Plasma again. Hi guys!

They seem to be menacing some old guy about the Day Care. They say he must have a lot of pokemon, and they want a lot of pokemon. So he runs over to hide behind me. Yes. Accomplishing time!

I win, and they run off while shouting where they plan to hide.

I get a bike as a reward for beating them. Wow, that sure was easy. Usually you have to go on a bit of a quest to earn a bike, not just walk into town.

And then Bianca shows up. She says she’s heard there’s lots of stuff here. Iris is nowhere in sight, though.

The Desert Resort is a cool area.

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It’s really showing off the whole 3D thing well, with pits and mounds of sand.

And my venipede evolved! Into whirlipede.

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Protected by a hard shell, it spins its body like a wheel and crashes furiously into its enemies.

From the pokedex, it looks like it evolves a third time.

Ooh, and I found a fire stone! I’m not sure if I have anything that evolves with that, but I’m sure I’ll get a fire monkey soon at least.

What the fuck.

Sigilyph.

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They never vary the route they fly, because their memories of guarding an ancient city remain steadfast.

But seriously what the fuck. I honestly froze up a second when that thing appeared on screen. It doesn’t help that it reminds me of Yume Nikki.

Dwebble. That’s the hermit crab I mentioned earlier.

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This Pokemon can easily melt holes in hard rocks with a liquid secreted from its mouth.

It’s another bug/rock, like our friend shuckle.

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I don’t know if it’s just nostalgia, but shuckle just looks better to me. It looks weirder, more given over to the pokemon aesthetic. Dwebble looks like a cartoony drawing of a real hermit crab.

One of the trainers has a cactus pokemon that looks similar to cacturn.

Ah, there’s our promised ruins. Some weird round statue things and an staircase.

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Inside are yamasks.

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Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry.

There’s also this sinkhole effect where you fall to the next level.

And hey, fossils! Someone offers me one. There’s the cover fossil and plume fossil. Plume sounds interesting so I’ll go with that. I figure bird and I did always like aerodactyl. When I pick it, I’m informed that yes, bird, but it couldn’t fly. Hm.

Trying to get to the staircase leads to some guy telling me no. So I can’t explore here for now.

The other ruin is even less helpful. It’s solely an exit. There’s a staircase beyond a ledge, so I guess once I get down in the other area, I’ll be able to come out here. There’s also an item I guess I’ll get then.

Well. On to the Team Plasma thing and exploring the city.

Current Team:

PhotobucketSwadloon L25
PhotobucketWhirlipede L24
PhotobucketTranquill L23
PhotobucketHerdier L24
PhotobucketRoggenrola L24
PhotobucketPignite L22

8 Comments

  1. Ember says:

    “Don’t we already have a dark/fighting with rubbery skin?”  I don’t think so?  Maybe you’re thinking of the poison/fighting type croagunk.  Well, anyway, speaking of unfortunate implications, I’m fairly sure the concept behind this one is “ghetto streetfighter with saggy pants.”  If it’s not obvious now, it will be when you see the evolution.

    Sandile are awesome.  <3  I named mine Nak Nak and she's stayed on my team all the way to the endgame.

    Oh Jesus, sigilyph DOES look like something from Yume Nikki.  I never found them particularly unsettling before (yamasks are way creepier) but NOW I DO.

    I expect you will be pleased when you find out what comes out of that fossil.  It made me so happy to see a pokémon with that concept.

    1. Farla says:

      Yeah, I was thinking of croagunk, I remembered it using a lot of dark moves so I thought it got the type.

      And that’s…worrying. At least they didn’t give it to the breakdancers?

  2. Fool says:

    Agreed on dwebble. It does look too realistic, and therefore boring…

    I was also rather weirded out by sigilyph. It looks like it’s made in a completely different art style, and all the feather-like appendages make it look really big. I never thought of the Yume Nikki comparison before, but now that you mention it, it does look like something out of it, doesn’t it? D:

    What do you think of yamask? I think they are quite creepy. It kind of adds a difference angle to the whole pokemon freedom debate if some pokemon used to be human…

    1. Farla says:

      Yes. It looks HUGE when it shows up on screen. I thought I’d tripped some once in a blue moon superpokemon that was going to oneshot my team and maybe delete my save file for my audacity.

      Honestly, the pokedex has been dropping references to pokemon being the souls of people for some time. Ninetales apparently has nine saint souls stuffed in there, however that’s supposed to work.

  3. Fool says:

    Also, it’s a good thing you picked the plume fossil, the other one is really boring.

  4. Morieris says:

    If you like Servine, you’ll love…whatever the final evolution is. I have one, I just don’t remember the name…

  5. purplekitte says:

    Sandile and Scraggy were my favorite. So much kickass. Sigilyph looks a lot like my dream catcher so it doesn’t freak me out. Also, weird, fossil-bird can’t learn fly but its evolution can, so I don’t know why the pokedex would emphasize that.

    That fanfic would be so much better than the plot and I’ve been really wanting it. Maybe it exists and I can only find plotless MC/N romance fic, but I can’t find it.

    1. Farla says:

      Well, I’ll be going through the category soon, so I guess I’ll see if I find any decently plotty fanfic.

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