I’m now three gyms in, and taking a break to train (and attempt to evolve) some of the new Pokémon I’ve collected. Meanwhile, the plot is thickening…
- Galar’s gym badges are fragments of a single large medallion. That’s pretty cool.
- Chairman Rose is apparently a coal baron who owns a majority of Galar’s energy production facilities. ALL OF MY CONCERNS ABOUT HIM WERE CLEARLY UNFOUNDED.
- Maybe more than that, though, Rose’s secretary, Oleana, is… kinda sinister. I get something of a “power behind the throne” vibe from her. She seems a lot more focused, more “on mission” than Rose; he kinda wants to bum around and enjoy being a celebrity.
- I’ve now had two battles with Bede, who seems to be a Psychic-type specialist and is partnered with a Galarian Pokémon, Hatenna, that resembles a wizard hat. He is… just as much of a prick as first impressions suggested. Not only that, he seems to have some kind of mission from Rose: he’s gathering and hoarding Wishing Stars, the special meteorites that allow trainers in Galar to Embiggen their Pokémon.
- Are they trying to monopolise the power? Why? And how can they possibly get all of them? The things literally just fall out of the fµ¢£ing sky. Then again, so far I’ve seen Bede looking for them in mines, so maybe you can also find them underground?
- Marnie, by comparison, seems admirably sane. Her fan club is annoying, but so far they haven’t even caused as much trouble as Team Skull did in Alola. I’m… honestly getting kind of suspicious. Like, I expected them to be basically “decoy” bad guys, but I didn’t think they’d be this harmless.
- In the absence of Alolan ride Pokémon, the bicycle is back – but it’s an electric bicycle that can be possessed by the same Rotom that runs our Pokédex to give it a turbo-boost. Galar has some huge areas, so I’m glad to have a quick way to move around.
- As part of the sports theme of the Galar gym challenge, you’re issued with a soccer uniform that you wear whenever you enter a gym. You can also win themed uniforms of each type from gym leaders, or buy uniforms of all the other types. Only… even if you have these other uniforms, you still have to wear the default one for challenges. Why even offer different uniform styles if you can’t actually use them in the events that require you to wear a uniform? It’d be great to show off my Grass-type pride by competing in the uniform I won from Milo, but if I can’t do that, what else am I going to use it for? I’d rather wear normal clothes when I’m not actively challenging a gym.
- Apparently our ability to Embiggen our Pokémon is a recent phenomenon (unlike Mega Evolution in Kalos and Hoenn, or Z-Moves in Alola, which have traditions going back centuries). Professor Magnolia discovered the strange phenomena of Galar that make it possible, and Chairman Rose used her technology to locate “Power Spots” where Pokémon can be Embiggened. Rose and Magnolia have presided over a revolution in Pokémon training in Galar… and, according to Sonia, her grandmother believes there’s still a lot about the science behind it that no one understands yet.
- I see no way this could possibly go wrong.
- Rose has authorised access for Sonia to something called “The Vault” in the next major city, Hammerlocke, where she’ll be able to continue her myth research. I get the impression Rose is so rich and owns so many companies that he basically low-key runs the entire Galar region.
- Turns out a competent Fire-type Gym Leader when you have an all-Grass team is fµ¢£ing brutal. Especially when you were planning to power through with your Lombre’s Water attacks and then his strongest Pokémon is a murderous centipede the size of a bus.
- According to several characters, Kabu is basically where the Galar gym challenge gets serious, and a lot of competitors never get past him. Unlike in other regions (where the situation is vague, but we often assume trainers can plan their own routes), the gyms of Galar must be challenged in a set order. The whole thing is more centrally-controlled, more top-down, especially in comparison to Alola.
- Apparently, Milo is first because he’s a huge softy and can’t bring himself to fight inexperienced trainers at his full strength. He is adorable and I am going to marry him.
- Further new Pokémon include:
- Sizzlipede and Centiskorch, who are centipedes BUT ON FIRE, which makes everything better.
- Arrokuda, the fish with a $#!t-eating grin whom we’ve seen halfway down Cramorant’s throat.
- A Galarian Meowth, Steel-type, with a very… “Where the Wild Things Are” vibe.
- Milcery, which is a Fairy-type… floating globe of milk? Possibly a pre-evolution of Alcremie?
- Toxel, an Electric/Poison-type… derpy baby dinosaur? Presented to me at level 1 as a gift from a random stranger in the regional daycare facility, and it’s now gotten to level 20 without learning any new moves, so my working hypothesis is a friendship-based evolution like a lot of other baby Pokémon.
- Corvisquire, intermediate between Rookidee and Corviknight, and definitely a birb.
- Greedent, evolved from Skwovet, who is a gluttonous squirrel. This may be the entirety of my review of this Pokémon.
- Carkol, evolved from Rolycoly, who becomes a Fire-type and turns into a steam-powered mining cart. Well, it’s certainly not another Graveler…
- Thievul, evolved from Nickit, who is a cartoon villain with a pencil moustache and a bandit’s face mask.
- Boltund, evolved from Yamper, who is an excessively Good Boy.
- I mean, I’m not even a dog person, but Boltund is perhaps the Goodest Boy.
- Applin, a worm in an apple, which is… Grass/Dragon? But also next-to-useless. I mean, it’s an interesting new Grass-type, so clearly I’ve gotta figure it out. According to the Pokédex, “the flavour of the fruit determines its evolution,” which implies a split evolution, and I’ve found “fancy apples” in the Wild Area… curry-based evolution, anyone?
Current state of the team:
Donkey the Thwackey
Level 27, male, Quirky
Double Hit, Screech, Razor Leaf, Knock Off
Oddment the Gloom
Level 27, male, Careful
Giga Drain, Toxic, Acid, Sleep Powder
Samba the Lombre
Level 28, male, Bashful
Astonish, Mist, Mega Drain, Bubblebeam
Hallow the Pumpkaboo
Level 27, female, Naïve
Shadow Sneak, Trick-or-Treat, Bullet Seed, Leech Seed
Leona the Eldegoss
Level 27, female, Timid
Leaf Tornado, Cotton Spore, Rapid Spin, Round
Lancaster the Roselia
Level 27, female, Docile
Magical Leaf, Toxic Spikes, Leech Seed, Pin Missile