Sitting in Lilycove City at the moment, having just cleared out the Team Aqua base in the bay. In theory I should now pursue Archie across the ocean to prevent him from ending the world or whatever, but I’m just not really feeling it at the moment; I think I might just hang out here for a while and enter some contests. I mean, a trainer can’t visit Lilycove and not enter a contest, right?
Thoughts and feelings:
- I CAUGHT A SHINY ODDISH
This is a Big Deal because, of course, Vileplume is my favourite Pokémon. Even has a Modest nature. Stats aren’t great, but hey, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth here (as Sinon said to the Trojans). Not going to use her right away though, because I want to keep her as an Oddish long enough for her to learn Moonblast (Gloom gets Petal Blizzard instead, which is not nearly as useful), which doesn’t happen until level forty-something. Might shuffle her into the team as I get close to the end; we’ll see what happens.
- Does anybody else think the Ninja Boys’ forest disguises are way less convincing than in the original games? I mean, in fairness to them, the updated graphics are a lot to keep up with, but really, who do they think they’re fooling?
- You can Fly to routes and landmarks now, not just to cities. Well, that’s nice to have.
- “If the whole wide word becomes ours, Team Aqua’s, then the 101 Skitty at my parents’ house and the Wailmer that live with me should be happier too!” I… I just… y’know what, yeah. That- that is a worthy cause. You go, random Aqua grunt. You do your thing.
- Archie and the two admins, Matt and Shelly, all appear to have their own rooms in the base. The room that I take to be Matt’s is a little ambiguous – it’s just an open, empty room with a cushion on the floor, a punching bag in one corner and a radio in the other, and it could be a training area, but I think it’s more likely to be his private quarters because 1) it’s decorated with a Team Aqua banner in the same way as Shelly and Archie’s rooms, and 2) there are no grunts using it. If we can agree on that, his rather Spartan room says some interesting things about Matt’s total dedication to Archie and their cause. Shelly’s room is totally normal by comparison, but interestingly there is a photo sitting on her chest of drawers which appears to show her and Archie as children… accompanied by none other than the legendary Pokémon Jirachi. This is… curious. There is some straight-up destiny $#!t going on here, I’m sure of it. Archie’s room is, of course, the largest, and is hidden behind a complicated series of warp panels; in the original Sapphire version there was an office here, but now it’s clearly a living space, and has an immaculate model ship for decoration. This is where the Master Ball is stashed, under the guard of a pair of high-level Electrode.
- According to their files, Team Aqua’s effort to return the world to a primordial state is codenamed “Project Azoth” – Azoth being an old word for mercury, which was thought by alchemists to have incredible transformative properties. Team Aqua’s documents on Project Azoth detail two critical components of their plan: their study of Primal Reversion, and their development of a huge drill to break into Kyogre’s chamber. Primal Reversion, their notes say, is basically similar to Mega Evolution, but works by drawing energy from the natural world, where Mega Evolution is powered by the bond between Pokémon and trainer. Hmm. Interesting, but if that ability really is limited to Kyogre and Groudon alone, it doesn’t change the picture too much.
- Team Aqua are playing with some pretty serious tech down here – apparently courtesy of Shelly, who is a former Devon Corporation scientist. Before swiping the original from Mount Pyre, they were apparently trying to create a synthetic Blue Orb from meteorites, and they’ve also built something they call the Aqua Suit, an advanced pressure suit designed to survive all manner of extreme conditions and physical stress. Finally, they’ve built that giant drill and mounted it on the prow of Stern’s submarine. According to the Project Azoth files, this thing is based on the technology of the Kalosian Ultimate Weapon (!!!), technology which Team Aqua stole from Devon (!?!?). This… this is worrying on so many levels. Okay, they need something with a lot of oomph to get past whatever power Kyogre is using to protect itself as it sleeps, but that $#!t is, like, nerve gas, land mines, napalm and nuclear weaponry all rolled together in one war-crime-a-licious package! And what the hell was DEVON doing with that technology? Maybe trying to build a resurrection device? Wait… $#!t, I really should have asked more questions about where my Anorith came from…
- Huh. A horde battle against trainers. That’s new. Also pretty sure it’s cheating, but whatevs.
- “I live to serve my bro.” Look, Matt, I don’t know what kind of f#$%ed up relationship you have with Archie, exactly, but someone you “live to serve” is not someone you call “bro.” This is just… like… two very different levels of personal commitment here.
- I have spent all of my money on Secret Base decorations and expensive TMs at the department store. However, I can now do silly and impractical things like teach my Gyarados Fire Blast. Yes, I’m considering it. Don’t you dare judge me.