Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:
Do you want to give Bulbasaur a nickname?
– Let Jim the Editor name it
As you walk through the soft, peaceful woodlands of route 1, you glance down at your Bulbasaur, plodding contentedly along at your side. You suppose you ought to give it – no, him, you’re pretty sure your Bulbasaur is male – a nickname; just calling him “Bulbasaur” seems so impersonal. You think about it for a while, mulling over the awesome responsibility of naming another sentient being. Nothing comes to mind, until suddenly you hear a voice, distant and ethereal, as if carried to you on a divine wind…
You think about it for a moment, turning the name over in your mind. You seem to be seriously considering naming your Pokémon after an onion. I’m… weirded out, but not going to judge. You say the name out loud, testing how it feels to say it, and it seems like your Bulbasaur is totally on board with this development. Scallion the Bulbasaur it is!
What do you do?
– Try to reach one of the meadows
After hours of winding through the woods, up and down hillsides, you recognise a tree stump with a marker flag from one of Professor Oak’s surveys, and realise that you’re near a meadow you’ve been to once before. There’s a distinctive type of bright pink iris that the Professor says is a strain from Hoenn, and as the woods start to get less dense, you begin to see the flowers popping up on the ground wherever they can snatch light through the canopy. Soon, you leave the trees and the meadow opens out in front of you – a wide clearing of nearly waist-high grass, dotted with bright flowers and bathed in clear sunlight. You can’t see any Pokémon, obviously – the grass hides them pretty well, and out here they’re not used to humans. If you were here conducting an ecological study, you’d set up a hide using plant materials from the area and get ready to stay perfectly quiet for a few hours, so wild Pokémon would feel comfortable acting normally and you could observe their behaviour.
You’re not here conducting an ecological study, so you can just clomp around in the grass making noise and collecting plant samples; whatever. If there are any Pokémon here that are upwards-of-lukewarm towards humans, their curiosity will outweigh their caution. Sure enough, before long you hear a rustling in the grass behind you, and turn around to find Scallion already sizing up…
Your Pokédex identifies it as a Minun, an Electric Pokémon native to Hoenn that is known for forming close partnerships with other Pokémon, both in the wild and in the company of humans. You crouch slightly to get closer to its level and offer a greeting. The Minun cocks its head slightly and gives what you think is a hint of a smirk before settling into a combat stance and making a squeaking sound that you think is supposed to be a fearsome war-cry. Well, you suppose they can’t all be easy. At your command, Scallion stretches out his vines and gets ready to fight.
The Minun darts around Scallion to attack his flank with a quick jab, then bounces back to fire a pulse of electricity that swirls out from its blue cheek pouches. Scallion is having none of this $#!t and punches a coiled vine straight out at its torso, knocking it back. Seeing a clear opening, you order Scallion to launch a Leech Seed that latches firmly onto the Minun’s shoulder. It keeps hopping around, striking at Scallion with its tiny balled fists and fierce yellow sparks, but its movements begin to slow and your Bulbasaur keeps fending off its attacks with deft vine slaps. Finally, it sinks to the ground on one knee, and you throw a Pokéball that zaps Minun into… well, wherever it is Pokémon go, while they’re in there. Honestly you get the impression from some of the textbooks you’ve read that no-one really knows. The ball rocks once, then settles.
Minun has joined the party!
Height: 39 cm
Weight: 4.1 kg
Moves: Growl, Thunder Wave, Quick Attack, Helping Hand
Special Skills: None/Unknown?
Mission accomplished! Your second Pokémon – and it’s a rare one, too! You bring Minun out of its (her? Her) Pokéball briefly for introductions, pleasantries and… well, frankly, making sure everyone is on the same page about the whole “capturing” thing. As far as you’re concerned, that’s only polite. You decide to move on pretty quickly, though; it’s already late afternoon, and it would be best to get to Viridian City before dusk. You’ve never actually camped out here before, and you’re a long way from the path. You know Route 1, but you’re not crazy.
And after another couple of hours’ walk, here it is: Viridian City. The Eternally Green Paradise. Hotspot for aspiring Pokémon trainers for more than a hundred years, and home of the best coffee in Kanto. I assume you’re old enough to drink coffee. I mean, legally there’s no age restriction and you’re, like… well, you definitely have some sort of an age; I can tell that much. Your first order of business is to head straight for the Pokémon Centre and get lodging for the night, but in the morning you’ll have your first full day as a Pokémon trainer ahead of you!