I invoke the power of Janus to answer a bunch of reader questions rapidfire while drunk

Okay, I’ve gotta-



I’ve got a very narrow window of time here, is the point

It’s 2022 in New Zealand but still 2021 in most of the rest of the world, which won’t be true for long, but I can use that time to invoke the power of Janus, the Roman god of the New Year, (and also some alcohol) for supernatural aid in answering the GREAT BIG DUMB PILE of questions from readers that I haven’t answered in the past… I dunno, fµ¢£in’ COUPLE OF MONTHS probably???

this is probably, like, super dangerous, spiritually speaking; I might end up owing my soul to a doorknob or something

ah, it’s probably fine


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A Pokémon Trainer is You! XLIV: A Wild Bunch

Catch up on the story so far here!]

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

What’s your next play?

  • Try to prepare another ambush

Use a different Pokémon?

  • Stick with Jane Doe

You could rush in, guns blazing.  After all, there’s only two of them now, even if they were good enough to beat Blue; you reckon you could take ‘em.  But why take the risk, right? You’re smarter than that.  You might not be able to split the other two Rockets up like you did the first one, but you may as well seize the element of surprise – especially now that you now have a really cool opportunity for another trap.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! XLIII: Rocket to the Moon

[Catch up on the story so far here!]

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

Do you want to give Paras a nickname?

  • Receive an AI-generated name

Okay!  Look at this, kid; you’re gonna love this.  It’s gonna revolutionise the whole business of naming Pokémon.  All you have to do is plug in some context data to get the AI started…

and presto!

Um.  Well, it… uh…

Look, it’s still in the experimental stages, okay?  Needs some… y’know, refining.  Work the kinks out.

I mean, your Paras seems pretty chuffed about it; she’s acting all bashful and her mushrooms are blushing.  Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.

Ah, whatever; Cutie it is!

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Kingslocke Rules: Second Revised Edition

Tremble, mortals, and despair, for the Second Revised Edition of the Kingslocke Rules has come to this world.

For those wishing to know the history of this most bat$#!t of all Pokémon challenge runs, see the intro to the First Revised Edition, which remains available here.  You can see those rules in action in my recently-completed run of Pearl, which inspired the changes in this edition; you can also read the Ur-Rules here.  If you want to know more about the Second Revised Edition and my thought process behind some of the changes, scroll down to the second half of this post.  If you just want to try playing a Kingslocke, read on…

You will need:

  • A Pokémon game
  • A deck of tarot cards (or a simulation thereof)
  • An observer to the game, willing to occasionally provide custom rules (optional, but recommended)
  • Sanity and a willingness to sacrifice it
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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 28

Okay, this is gonna be the day.  It’s gonna be.  I can feel it.  We got up to Cynthia on #24, we’re going to beat her.  It’s going to happen.  Let’s go!

Attempt #25

Anna can finally one-shot Aaron’s Dustox with Psychic, a milestone that has been a long time coming and will greatly reduce its ability to fµ¢£ me over.  Du Fromage is close to doing the same to Beautifly with Flamethrower, but that matters less, since Beautifly can barely damage Du Fromage anyway.

Bertha is pretty easy to beat without losses now.  Flint’s Infernape can still cause trouble, but the rest of his team is straightforward.

My new method for Lucian’s Mr. Mime is to open by switching in Du Fromage, who can basically ignore its attacks, use Sweet Kiss and wait for its Reflect and Light Screen to drop.  In theory this can open up an opportunity for someone else like Anna to jump in and take over.  In practice things aren’t usually so neat, but it still seems like a decent way to spend the first few turns.  Madame Malheur can also apparently one-shot Lucian’s Medicham now, which is a pretty big deal.  I still need luck on my side to beat Bronzong, and this time I don’t seem to have it, but we’re getting closer.

Remember: the further I can get in each run, the more my Pokémon will grow in strength for the start of the next run.  There’s a lot of experience between here and my next shot at Lucian.

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 27

…you all know the drill, let’s bash our faces against the Elite Four another thirteen times.

Attempt #14

Beat Aaron pretty routinely.  One concern I have is that I’m still usually beating his Vespiquen at the cost of a lot of PP from Du Fromage’s Flamethrower, which I might need later on to beat Lucian’s Bronzong.  But we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.

I was about to write that fighting Bertha feels a lot better now that I have a strategy for dealing efficiently with her Quagsire (and one that actually gives Effie something to do, even if it is just switching in and out to intercept digs, and even if it is something Madame Malheur could do just as well), but then her Hippowdon got a crit with Earthquake and one-shot Alexolotl, so no, this still sucks.

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 26

Big rules here, little rules down there, let’s go.

We’re probably only a couple more episodes from the end, and the last ones are going to be a little different.  As you might remember, at the end of the last episode I drew the Hierophant going into the Pokémon League, so I only use a Pokémon Centre after finishing a new area… and there are none of those left.  I can’t really train under those conditions.  That being the case, I have no choice but to simply fight the Elite Four over and over until I win, receiving pity-healing each time I lose and coming back slightly stronger.  I don’t really know how long this is going to take.  Previously in this playthrough I’ve been giving fairly detailed summaries of important battles against gym leaders and the like, but I don’t think that’s going to be practical here.  This is going to be more… let’s say, summaries and highlights of each attempt.  Hopefully I’ll have a pretty good sense of when I’m close to beating Cynthia, so I’ll be able to give more of a blow-by-blow for the final battle.

Well… here goes nothing.

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 25

Rules here.

Last time, I had just drawn the Ten of Pentacles, which lets one of my readers make up a new rule and get rid of some existing ones.  The lucky first person on the scene was jeffthelinguist, who offered the following:

(Also, for the record, here is my Facebook chat log with Jim the Editor from just after I drafted the previous episode)

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 24

Big rules here, little rules down there, let’s go.

We’ve successfully dealt with Team Galactic and saved the region (world? universe?), but there’s still a much more important challenge ahead: earning an eighth badge and defeating the Elite Four, as well as that goth lunatic with the Psyduck medicine.  Because of the plot, the east road to Sunyshore City (yes, one n, it feels wrong every time I type it) is now open.

But first, I have an important promise to fulfill.

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