X Nuzlocke, episode 4: A Lot to Swallow

Route 5

Ruby: I’m telling you, I was fine.  There was just… a little more magical energy in the Charizardite than I anticipated.  I would have brought the explosions under control sooner or later.
Spruce: And when you say “under control”…
Ruby: I mean they would have been happening in a direction of my choosing.  Broadly speaking.
Fisher: I really must advise more caution, my lady.  A stone of fiery power, leading a young fox Pokémon down the path of temptation… that is a pattern the followers of the Blessed Helix know all too well.  I fear the hand of the Dome is at work in this matter.
Melissa: But we all need to get stronger and learn new ways to use our powers for the greater good!  The risks don’t matter!
Ruby: Please don’t tell me my only sensible minion is the over-excitable insect in fanatical service to an all-devouring hive mind.
Luna: Not at all.  I think you were doing a splendid job just as you were.  The smell of the humans’ flesh as it was atomised in your cerulean holocaust was nothing short of exhilarating.
Ruby: …somehow your approval is not as reassuring as I had hoped it would be, cat.
Spruce: Um… not that I don’t love hearing about Luna’s favourite smells or anything, but there’s a human just… standing in the road up there…
Boy: You there… stop…
Ruby: Who commands us so, insolent child?  Do you know to whom you speak?
Boy: No life… no voice… not without… the master…
Ruby: Hmm.  Vacant expression.  Limited vocabulary and poor sentence structure.  Glassy eyes.  Slow, laboured speech.  It’s remarkable; he’s almost exactly like ours.
Boy: Lie down… lie down and die…
Ruby: You know, in some respects this might even be an improvement.
Melissa: His thoughts smell… weird.  I can’t quite put my needle on it… It’s sort of like the parasites I stole from that wicked Vivillon we fought, how they don’t have any minds of their own.
Ruby: Mmm.  Probably because he’s being psychically dominated by the Kadabra that Lavoisier asked us to despatch.
Spruce: What?  He’s here!?
Ruby: Almost certainly. [Shouting] Come out of hiding, coward!  You are challenged to a duel of sorcery!
Kadabra: [Teleports into view] Ha-HA!  Sorcery-games, I’ve gotten so bored of, little-foxy!  Don’t we rather fancy instead a trifling little game of riddles?  Riddle me this, foxy: what walks on three legs in the evening, has a bed but never sleeps, makes some men blind but helps others to see, and is like a raven and a writing-desk?
Ruby: …you- I don’t- what?
Kadabra: You!  CONFUSION!
Ruby: That doesn’t even make s-aaaaaaaauuuughh!  Ooof!
Fisher: Treachery!  Villain, I shall smite you as the Voices will it!  FOR THE HELIX!
Kadabra: Your ancient fossil god has no power over me, little-shouty-duck-thing – for watch, and be amazed, as I bend the very nature of reality itself, and… THIS SPOON!
Fisher: …I beg your pardon?  The spoon bends, but- is it a metaphor for something?  Do you imply that I too, a faithful servant of the one true god, am like putty in your telekinetic ‘hands’?
Kadabra: CONFUSION!
Fisher: Aaaaaarrrrghh- oof!  Oh, alas, I am undone!  Bird Jesus, I implore you, send your divine wind to uplift the wings of your blessed child!
Ruby: …he means you, Spruce.
Spruce: I know, I know!  Face me, villain!
Kadabra: You have no hope!  BEHOLD, THE SPOON!
Spruce: Um… there… there is no spoon; you’re not actually holding anything.
Kadabra: CONFUSION!
Spruce: I don’t- you’re not even using an attack; you’re just yelling “Confusion!”
Ruby: It’s your Keen Eyes, you idiot; you can see through the illusions he’s creating with his Kinesis technique!  Hurry up and get him before he uses a real Psychic attack!
Spruce: Wow; neat!  Uh… hey, you!  It’s time you paid for your, uh-
Ruby: Oh, for- work on your combat banter later!  Just hit him!
Spruce: Oh!  Right!  QUICK ATTACK!
Kadabra: [thud]
Spruce: …did… did I… is he dead?
Luna: Hmm… let me see… [CRACK] He is now.
Spruce: …
Luna: What?

Chris: Wow!  That was an awesome battle!  Um… is… is your Kadabra okay?
Boy: …
Chris: …hello?
Boy: [staring at hands] …what… what have I done…?
Chris: Uh…
Boy: WHAT HAVE I DONE!? [runs away screaming]
Chris: …okay, seriously, what is with today?

Ruby: Human.  The Holo- no, look, I’m talking to you.  Yes, the- give me the- HUMAN!  Pay attention, you brain-dead simian!  Give me the damn Holo-Caster!  Look, just put it on the ground in front of- Thank you.  Ugh; and they say humans are as intelligent as any Pokémon…
Lavoisier: Heya, sis!  Good to see you back on your feet!
Ruby: My incapacitation was but a momentary inconvenience for a mighty sorceress such as myself – as was your rogue Kadabra.
Lavoisier: You got him?  Thank Arceus; there’s no telling what he could’ve done if he’d been allowed to walk free.  Was his trainer all right?
Ruby: His what now?
Lavoisier: …his trainer.  The… the human with him?  We were holding both of them, so we could try to break the Kadabra’s psychic control without hurting the human.  Poor kid’s been through a hell of a lot.
Ruby: Oh, I’m… I’m sure he’s fine.  He seemed… active.  Very active.  And, um… inquisitive.  When we last saw him.
Lavoisier: Well, I guess that’s a good sign.  Phew… what a relief that’s over.
Ruby: Indeed.  Perhaps we should discuss compensation for me and my servants.
Lavoisier: …ah.  I was… hoping we could defer that just a little.  The thing is, I don’t actually have anything to pay you with at the moment… like, at all… and, well, I mean, you know I don’t like to point fingers but that is mostly your fault.
Ruby: Neither of us anticipated the power that stone held, brother.  I am certain I can control the next one I find.
Lavoisier: I know!  I know!  That’s why I was hoping you might be okay with me paying you in… a lead.  I know where you might be able to find another Mega Stone and work on it.  Er… somewhere far, far away from my lab.
Ruby: Hmm.  Yes.  Yes, I suppose that will be acceptable, for now.
Lavoisier: Great!  I’ll send the coordinates to your trainer’s Holo-Caster.
Ruby: I’ll look at them as soon as I can.  I have to go, Lavoisier; the cat has discovered some pathetic local to torment.  Is… is that a Gulpin?  Ugh; they cannot be left alone for even a moment.
Lavoisier: Yeah, tell me about it.  I gotta go too.  Take care, Ruby.
Ruby: …you too, little brother.

Luna: Ah, Yvonne, mon amie; c’est très bon de te revoir!  Ça va, chérie?
Yvonne: Hmph.  Assez bien, félin odieux, jusqu’à ce que tu es apparue.
Luna: Haha!  Yvonne, Yvonne, toujours tellement drôle!
Yvonne: Bah; arrête de souiller ma belle langue avec ton jacassement mensonger, félin, ou ferme ta gueule maudite.
Luna: Oui, oui, d’accord… Ah, Ruby!  Come, come, you must meet my dear friend here!
Ruby: Wait, you have friends?
Luna: Of course I have friends.  Let me introduce you – this vision of Gulpinity is Yvonne, one of the best fences in the business.
Yvonne: Ah can speak for mahself, félin.  And do not call me zat – I am ze rhespectable mershant, is zat clear?  And ‘oo are you, ‘oo trhavel with zis… ‘ow you say… guttair trhash?
Ruby: I am-
Spruce, Melissa, Fisher and Luna: [in unison] Ruby the Fennekin, fiery jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supreme.  Perhaps you’ve heard of her.
Ruby: …I hate you all.
Yvonne: Hmph.  Per’aps working in a grhoup will keep zis mangy cat out of trhouble, but I doubt it verhy much.  ‘Ave you any interest in mah wares, o mighty sorcerhess?  ‘Ah ‘ave berrhies both common and exotique, rhare ‘erbal medicines, jewels and gems galore?
Ruby: Um… where… where do you have all of these things, exactly?
Yvonne: ‘Ere, Ah will show you.
Ruby, Spruce and Fisher: AAAAAAAH!
Spruce: CLOSE YOUR MOUTH!  CLOSE IT!  CLOSE IT!
Luna: Hmph.  How squeamish can a person be?
Spruce: She- she- did you even see that?  Her jaw just- just- like a Seviper swallowing a whole Tauros, and- and- is- is she bigger on the inside?  It was horrifying!
Yvonne: Ah am still standing ‘ere, little bird.
Spruce: Oh.  Um.  Ah.  Sorry.
Yvonne: Ah take it we ‘ave no business togethair at ze moment.  Ah will take mah leave and search for less picky customairs.  Adieu.
Luna: Au revoir, sweet Yvonne!  Until we meet again!
Yvonne: Va te faire foutre.
Luna: She really is a wonderful business partner once you get to know her.  I do hope we run into her again.

Route 6

Spruce: I don’t understand why we’re fighting!  Can’t we just be friends!?
Star Furfrou: Fools!  You’ll never trick us into neglecting our duties, and you’ll never make it to the Snorlax King!
Melissa: What are you even talking about!?  We don’t know about any Snorlax King!  Why won’t you just let us pass!?
Heart Furfrou: The Snorlax King rules these roads and fields, and we Furfrou Guardians are his stylish protectors!  All intruders will perish before our incomparable fashion sense!
Spruce: Augh!  How can hair be so thick and tough!?  Melissa, these physical attacks aren’t going to work; use your parasite swarm on them!
Melissa: Can’t!  Not yet!  Need to save the little ones for something big!  Got a new trick to try out, though – TWINNEEDLE!  HA!  YAH!
Star Furfrou: Oh!  Your technique is so last-season, and those garish yellow and black stripes-!  You’re a crime against all true fashion, bug!  I can’t stand to look at you any longer.  Together, sister – rush her now!
Heart Furfrou: For Gaultier and Chanel!
Melissa: Aah!  Oof!  Ow!  [thud]
Spruce: Melissa!?
Melissa:
Spruce: MELISSA!  You- YOU- YOU’LL PAY FOR THAT!  GUST!  SAND ATTACK!  GUST!
Heart Furfrou: The wind-!  Such a terrible gale- MY HAIRDO!  NOOOOO!  Brother, help me!
Star Furfrou: Oh, the grit and the dust!  MY LUSCIOUS CURLS!  Sister, we must retreat!  We are powerless with our perfectly coiffed fur in such horrifying disarray!
Spruce: Don’t you run from me!  GUST!
Heart Furfrou: WE’RE HIDEOUS!
Star Furfrou: Sister, we- our style is gone, and with it, our honour!  You know what we must do!
Heart Furfrou: [nods]
Both Furfrou: SEPUKKU!  Glrrhk!  [thud]
Ruby: …I have literally no idea what just happened.
Spruce: Melissa… no!  Just- just don’t close your eyes!  Keep thinking of your home and your hive and everything you’re fighting for!
Melissa: It… it’ll be… okay… even… without me… the hive… is… everything…

Fisher: Friends, compatriots, fellow travellers on the spiralling path of Anarchy, we are gathered here today to honour the life and memory of Melissa the Beedrill.  A devoted warrior of her great hive, her ferocity in defence of her people was matched only by her vivacity and the joy she took in every moment of life.  Though she has been taken from us, her memory shall always live on in those who knew her, however briefly. [Holds up a laminated card] May this sacred S.S. Ticket grant her passage to the heavenly vales where now dwell Blessed Abby, Blessed Jay Leno, and all of our Sainted Fallen – where, when our time comes, we will all meet the Helix together.  And now, since it has pleased the Voices to speak her life’s end, we commit her body to the earth, where our Lord slumbered for so long.  May his will be done; chaos from chaos, Fossil from bone.
Ruby: We don’t have all day, you know.
Spruce: [sniffling] Our friend died, Ruby!  She’s gone!  Don’t you even care!?
Ruby: For goodness’ sake!  She was a barely-sentient drone of a ravenous and destructive hive mind that manipulated us into removing its enemies and, need I remind you, threatened to kill us.
Spruce: That’s not true.  You know that’s not true!  Melissa was her own person too and she just wanted to get stronger to protect her people!
Ruby: She knew the risks, Spruce; this is the life she chose.  The life we all chose.  If you can’t deal with that, you had best leave my service now and return home.
Spruce: I- [sniffle] I-
Luna: As riveting as this line of conversation is… is it just me, or is her abdomen swelling?
Ruby: What?
Luna: There. [Points] You see it, don’t you?
Spruce: Do- do you hear buzzing?
Luna: [cocks head] Yes.  From… inside.
Ruby: [eyes widen] Meaning no disrespect to your crackpot religion, duck, I must insist that my servant’s body be disposed of by cremation – immediately!  FLAME CHARGE!

Spruce: Look, she never said anything, okay!?  We always talked about going on quests and helping people and stuff!  She never mentioned anything about her body exploding into a huge swarm of flesh-eating parasites two hours after her death!
Fisher: Well, my friend, perhaps recent events might suggest that she had not quite told you everything!
Luna: Much as I have to admire the Beedrill’s ingenuity and would love to wait around to watch her swarm in action, I can’t help but wonder whether the energy of this conversation might be better spent elsewhere – namely, RUNNING FASTER.
Spruce: She’s right; the cloud is gaining on us!
Ruby: Burn!  Burn, damn you!  Arrgh; this is no good!  There are too many tiny bodies; when I incinerate a hundred, a thousand take their place!
Yvonne: Luna!  Luna, putain de salope, what ze ‘ell ‘ave you done!?
Luna: Me!?
Yvonne: Yes, you!  One moment Ah am displaying mah wares to ze locals in peace, ze next Ah am rhunning for mah life from a cloud of flesh-eating death, and now Ah find you ‘ere as well!  Some’ow zis must be your fault!
Luna: For once in all the years we have known each other, chérie, you would be dead wrong!  Do savour the moment, but keep running!
Ruby: Argh!  That’s it.  The sorceress supreme does not run from her foes!  MORE POWER, NOW!

Glückwunsch!  Dein Ruby wurde zu einem Rutena!

Ruby: Ah… perfect timing.  Hmm… bipedal stance, frees the forelegs for spells with gesture components… a new wand… sharper senses and improved manual dexterity… yes, this form will do nicely.  And now… BURN.

Route 7

Yvonne: Now zat we are safe, more or less, Ah must advahse zose of you with weak stomachs to avert your eyes as Ah disgorge a piece of mah cargo.
Spruce: Wait wha- EEUURGH!  WHY!?  WHY!?  OH SWEET MERCIFUL CR@P WHY CAN’T I LOOK AWAY!?
Yvonne: [hiccup]
Espurr: Yuck!  Ew!  Eurgh!  I can’t believe I thought that was a good idea!
Yvonne: Ah ‘ave delivairhed you safely from ze dangeair, ‘ave Ah not, mademoiselle Temperhance?
Temperance: ‘Safely’ is relative!  But I suppose a few hours marinating in your stomach juices was a small price to pay for my life.
Yvonne: Ah ‘ope you ‘ave not forgotten zat zis was not ze ‘ole prhice we agrheed upon?
Temperance: Of course, fine – here, you bloodsucker.  A fine Twisted Spoon of purest silver, as I agreed.  Under duress, I might add.
Yvonne: Still a bargain for your safety, n’est-ce pas?  A pleasure doing business with you, mademoiselle.
Temperance: Hmph.  Likewise, I’m sure. [To Ruby, Spruce, Fisher and Luna] And who are you?  Travellers caught in the catastrophe that has just now claimed my home?
Ruby: I am Ruby the Fen- wait.  Hmm.  Ruby the Braixen, fiery jewel among- hmm.  Wait, I- I need to think this over; the line doesn’t flow the same way anymore.  Hold on.
Spruce: Er… what she means is… yes, yes we are.
Temperance: Then I thank the stars you have escaped safely.  I fear I cannot delay here any longer, though – I must gather allies to return, search for survivors, and fight the swarm.  May the light protect you in these dark times.
Spruce: You too.

Spruce: Why are you coming with us, anyway?
Yvonne: Ah am not “coming with” anyone.  We are merhely trhavelling in ze same dirhection at ze same time.  Besides, per’aps Ah may benefit frhom your assistance with certain obstacles – like zis one.
Spruce: Oh.  Wow.  I… I guess this must be the ‘Snorlax King.’
Fisher: By the Helix… I had heard of such Pokémon, but I have never seen one.  His girth is astonishing.
Ruby: Rivalled only by his sloth and stupidity, I’m sure.
Snorlax: [yawn] Mmm?  Who is this who disturbs the Snorlax King?  What boon do these peasants come to beg of me?  Speak, tiny ones.
Ruby: We beg nothing, you gargantuan oaf.  Step aside – or perhaps roll, if your tremendous bulk permits it – and allow myself and my servants to cross this bridge.
Snorlax: Ho-ho-ho!  The tiny one thinks to command the great Snorlax King?  This is my bridge, and all who wish to cross will pay my toll.
Ruby: Right.  That’s it.  Time to-
Luna: Ruby, darling… just stand back and let me handle this. [Wink] Oh, mighty Snorlax King, forgive my companions for their impertinence.  We are but simple folk, and have never seen the like of your magnificence.  Please, only grant me the privilege of serving your whims for a short while.
Ruby: What on earth is she doing?
Yvonne: Jhust watch ‘er.  Zis is one of ‘er ‘classique’ rhoutines. [Rolls eyes]
Snorlax: Oh?  You wish to serve the great Snorlax King, tiny cat?  Will you fight my enemies for me, or help to build my great palace?
Luna: Oh, great king, I am but a tiny Skitty!  I know nothing of battle or heavy labour, but please, there must be… other things I can do for you.  Don’t tell me you don’t recognise my… attractions?
Snorlax: Oh-ho-ho!  You would serve as a concubine?  How amusing!  Do you not fear to be crushed by my mighty girth?
Luna: Not at all, my king, for I am quick and would dart over every inch of your magnificent body with ease.  Here, let me just… massage you a little with my tail.  Doesn’t that feel nice?
Snorlax: Indeed… continue, tiny cat… your service pleases the great Snorlax King.
Luna: Why don’t you just relax and let me sing to you for a bit, my king?  La, lalala laaaaa….
Snorlax: Mmm?  Hrm?  Hmm… Zzzzz…
Luna: [schhhick]
Snorlax: Gllrrhk! [THUD]
Luna: Good gods that was satisfying.  Whoever came up with that slanderous old tale about “Skitty-on-Wailord action” would have been positively traumatised to see how the Wailord wound up in the end.  Well, shall we be off?
Spruce: [whispering to Fisher] What does your ‘Helix’ have to say about… whatever the hell that was?
Fisher: I… I confess I haven’t the foggiest idea.

Spruce: Ruby?
Ruby: What is it now?
Spruce: I… I’ve been thinking.  About Melissa.  And about… what you said.
Ruby: And?
Spruce: Well… you were right.  She was a fighter and she knew the risks we all took.  There’s no point hiding from what we do or pretending it’s safe.  And I’m not going to.
Ruby: Hmm.  Good to see you’ve seen sense.  Maybe we’ll make a decent second-in-command out of you yet.
Spruce: But… that doesn’t mean we can’t still be sad that she’s gone.  Or that we can’t take some time to remember her.
Ruby: I… no.  No, I suppose not.  She was… bizarre and sometimes disturbing, and as undeniably… impressive as her final legacy was, I cannot help but question whatever decision led to it.  But…
Spruce: But?
Ruby: She was… a loyal friend.  I… will miss her too.
Spruce: Thanks, Ruby.  That makes me feel better.  Um.  A lot better.  Wait, what’s-?

Glückwunsch!  Dein Spruce wurde zu einem Tauboga!

Ruby: …huh.  Perhaps I should be nice to you more often.

The Team:

Ruby the Rutena (Braixen)
Female, Bold nature, level 18, Großbrand (Blaze)
Kratzer (Scratch), Psystrahl (Psybeam), Nitroladung (Flame Charge), Jauler (Howl)

Spruce the Tauboga (Pidgeotto)
Male, Rash nature, level 18, Adlerauge (Keen Eye)
Wirbelwind (Whirlwind), Sandwirbel (Sand Attack), Windstoß (Gust), Ruckzuckhieb (Quick Attack)

Fisher the Enton (Psyduck)
Male, Brave nature, level 18, Wolke Sieben (Cloud Nine)
Aussetzer (Disable), Kratzer (Scratch), Konfusion (take a wild guess), Aquawelle (Water Pulse… I think)

Luna the Eneco (Skitty)
Female, Impish nature, level 18, Charmebolzen (Cute Charm)
Tackle, Imitator (Copycat), Gesang (Sing), Anziehung (Attract)

Yvonne the Schluppuck (Gulpin – but really Schluppuck is a vastly superior name for this species; it has this wonderful onomatopoeic quality to it)
Female, Rash nature, level 18, Wertehalter (Sticky Hold)
Pfund (Pound), Gähner (Yawn), Amnesie (Amnesia), Schlammbad (Sludge)

Currently inactive:

Bodkin the Dartignis (Fletchinder)
Male, Careful nature, level 18, Flammkörper (Flame Body)
Tackle, Glut (Ember), Agilität (Agility), Schnabel (Peck)

Lavoisier the Glutexo (Charmeleon)
Male, Relaxed nature, level 18, Großbrand (Blaze)
Zerschneider (Cut), Drachenwut (Dragon Rage), Glut (Ember), Rauchwolke (Smokescreen)

Temperance the Psiau (Espurr)
Female, Hardy nature, level 18, Adlerauge (Keen Eye)
Bezirzer (Covet), Silberblick (Leer – this is another one that sounds way cooler in German; it literally means something like “silver gaze”), Psystrahl (Psybeam), Lichtschild (Light Screen)

Graveyard:

Melissa the Bibor (Beedrill)
Female, Jolly nature, level 16, Hexaplaga (Swarm)
Giftstachel (Poison Sting), Duonadel (Twineedle), Energiefokus (Focus Energy), Furienschlag (Fury Attack)

Comments:

An under-levelled Kadabra (13, in this case) is a horrible thing to have thrown at you at the best of times, let alone in a Nuzlocke, but Spruce really lived up to the legacy of Bird Jesus by ignoring Kinesis and just barely surviving Confusion.

For all its flaws, Furfrou is a real powerhouse in the early game!  Stats comparable to a fully-evolved Pokémon, an awesome ability, and early access to a solid STAB attack, Headbutt – for a moment there I was sure I was going to lose Spruce as well, and if I hadn’t had a sack full of potions I probably would have.

Luna really was my MVP in the battle with that Snorlax!  I was so certain I’d lose someone in that fight, but she practically soloed him with Attract, Sing and Tail Whip.  I don’t have a new Pokémon for route 7, because of course the first one I encountered was Snorlax – and after losing Melissa I really didn’t want to take the risk of toughing it out long enough to catch him.

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