Pokémon Shield Playthrough Notes V

I’m gearing up for the final showdown now… but there’s some weird $#!t going on in the background.

  • First things first, though: the mysterious missing Dark-type gym leader of Spikemuth is Marnie’s older brother, Piers, a punk rock musician. Team Yell, it turns out, is made up entirely of his gym trainers. Unbeknownst to Piers himself and against Marnie’s own wishes, they have been working to ensure that Marnie becomes the next Champion by obstructing other trainers taking the gym challenge and blockading Spikemuth to keep anyone from challenging Piers and earning his badge.
    • Spikemuth is a… well, I believe the polite term is “$#!thole.” The members of Team Yell seem to think that having a Champion from Spikemuth would halt or reverse the town’s decline – and frankly they might have a point. Pro Pokémon battles are big business in Galar. They draw crowds, and the top trainers are people of influence.
    • More to the point, Spikemuth is apparently at something of a disadvantage in milking its gym battles for tourism value: unlike all the other towns in north and central Galar, it doesn’t have a stadium that can host battles between Embiggened Pokémon. This is apparently a bit of a sore point with Piers, who seems to think of it as a reflection of his own failings as a gym leader. That’s nonsense, of course – if Spikemuth doesn’t have a “power spot,” there’s not much he can do about that – but from his perspective, it’s his job as a gym leader (and a famous musician!) to draw crowds to his town… and he’s not doing that.
  • On the way back to Hammerlocke from Spikemuth, we learn that Leon is fighting wild Pokémon that have become Embiggened in the area around the city.
    • Leon continues to insist that everything is fine, so Hop and I should just get on with our gym challenge.
  • Meanwhile, Professor Magnolia has bequeathed her lab coat to Sonia and tasked her with figuring out just what the hell is going on here.
    • They also insist that everything is fine.
  • The last gym, in Hammerlocke, is interesting. Raihan is theoretically a Dragon-type specialist, but he and his gym trainers are also specialists in double battles and weather manipulation. His underlings each pair a Dragon Pokémon with a Pokémon that has a weather control ability: Turtonator with Drought Ninetales, Sliggoo with Drizzle Pelipper, Hakamo-o with Abomasnow (if that last one seems like a weird pairing, it kind of is, but Abomasnow justifies itself with Aurora Veil).
    • Raihan himself has a Sandstorm team, with a Sand Stream Gigalith and a Sandaconda alongside his dragons, Flygon and Duraludon (who both have secondary types that make them immune to sandstorm damage).
      • Raihan actually comments on it if you manage to wrest control of the weather away from him, as I did with my Abomasnow; I thought that was a nice touch.
  • After that, it’s off through the mountains to Galar’s largest and northernmost city, Wyndon, where the Championship Cup will be held.
  • The first battle is against Marnie, which did not go well for her. My Pokémon’s levels are starting to get a bit silly, and my Vileplume steamrolled her Dark-type team with Moonblast.
  • Meanwhile, Hop is wiping the floor with some unspecified fourth trainer who also managed to make it this far. When it’s our turn to battle, his more varied team (particularly his Corviknight) puts up more of a fight, but he still goes down pretty easily.
  • This is when stuff gets… weird. It’s the end of the day, so Leon offers to take me and Hop out for dinner. And then… just doesn’t show up. Piers, who is also in Wyndon for the Championship Cup, tells us that he’s seen Leon heading for Rose Tower, the headquarters of Chairman Rose’s corporate empire.
    • This leads to a whole thing where we – for some reason – devote all our efforts (with the full support of Piers, Marnie and Team Yell) to crashing Leon’s meeting with Rose. Meanwhile, Oleana makes a similarly zealous attempt to stop us, throwing a dozen Steel-type specialist trainers from Rose’s construction subsidiary, Macro Cosmos, into our path.
      • For some reason you need a special key or pass or something to take the monorail to Rose Tower, which doesn’t seem to be accessible by foot. Does Rose just… have his own private line on the Wyndon metro? That is some serious corporate dystopia $#!t.
      • All of this culminates in a battle with Oleana at the top of Rose Tower, during which she throws open the very gates of Hell to summon my ultimate nemesis, the Pokémon designed by Game Freak specifically to wreak bloody vengeance upon me for my nine hundred and ninety-nine sins against them over the last nine years: Gigantamax Garbodor.
        • I mean, it doesn’t work; my Trevenant stomps the awful thing, but they give it a go.
    • Then we find Rose and Leon and it’s, like, basically fine. They’re talking about some stuff. Whatever. Leon’s good to come to dinner now.
      • I feel like Oleana may have been overreacting a tiny bit.
        • In fairness to her, I think Hop may also have been overreacting a tiny bit by insisting we break into a heavily guarded corporate headquarters to find out why his brother was late for our dinner date.
          • does Leon not have a fµ¢£ing cell phone
            • could he not have texted us to say he’d be another hour at work
              • like
                • fµ¢£in’
                  • seriously, dude
      • From what little we hear of the conversation, Rose seems to believe that cancelling tomorrow’s events is going to somehow be crucial to safeguarding Galar’s prosperity for the next thousand years – something to do with exhaustion of Galar’s energy and resources. Leon seems to be saying something along the lines of “look, I hear you, but whatever this is, it can wait one more day.” They’re talking about Wishing Stars and Embiggening; this is related to whatever Bede was working on. Is Embiggening our Pokémon consuming some finite source of power that Rose wants to use for generating clean energy?
        • Frankly, considering Leon’s response to recent crises (“this is fine”), I’m sort of inclined to sympathise with Rose here, even if he is an oily Machiavellian plutocrat, but I still don’t really know what any of this is actually about.
          • Like, I don’t know if Rose is on the level, but frankly I don’t know if Leon even understands what’s going on.
  • Before I can fight Leon, it turns out there’s one last hurdle to clear: a tournament featuring all the gym leaders.
    • Opal seems to be sitting this one out, as she’s the only leader not hanging out in the stadium locker room with me. I kinda suspect she’ll send Bede as her representative instead, though.
  • Well… here goes nothing.
  • And finally, a few more new Pokémon I’ve met since last time:
    • Clobbopus and Grapploct, two Fighting-type octopus Pokémon native to the area between Circhester and Spikemuth. Both have a similar kind of masked wrestler aesthetic to Hawlucha and Incineroar, so that WWE-themed Pokémon team you’ve always dreamed of is one step closer to completion!
    • Duraludon was revealed pretty early in the hype cycle, but my battle with Raihan was my first time meeting it in person. I also met its special Gigantamax form, which seems to be based on a massive chrome-and-glass office building.
    • Galarian Mr. Mime are Ice-types and wear ties for some reason. They are, if anything, even more creepy than regular Mr. Mime.
    • I’ve now met the final form of Impidimp: Grimmsnarl, a huge, horrid troll-thing deployed by Marnie in the Championship Cup. I’m fairly sure being both a Fairy-type and a Dark-type means it can invade my nightmares and pursue me forever.
    • I still haven’t seen it in the wild, but I’ve finally learned the name of the elephant Pokémon that Chairman Rose shows us during the intro cinematic: Cufant, a pure Steel-type, which clearly evolves into Copperajah, the Pokémon that Bede used to destroy the mural at Stow-on-Side (Cu- in Cufant is therefore a reference to the elemental symbol for copper, Cu, from Latin cuprum).
    • I’ve evolved my Toxel into Toxtricity, the “Punk Pokémon.” Specifically, I’ve evolved it into the “Low Key form,” which is purple and blue – I’ve also seen a trainer use a purple and yellow version that must be the “High Key form.” Don’t know what controls the evolution. Could be something to do with Toxel’s stats when it evolves, like how Tyrogue works, or maybe something to do with which moves it knows.

Current state of the team:

Donkey the Rillaboom
Level 57, male, Quirky
Drain Punch, Screech, Drum Beating, Knock Off

Oddment the Vileplume
Level 57, male, Careful
Giga Drain, Moonblast, Acid, Sleep Powder

Samba the Ludicolo
Level 57, male, Bashful
Nature Power, Zen Headbutt, Giga Drain, Surf

Blight the Trevenant
Level 58, male, Hardy
Phantom Force, Will-o-Wisp, Horn Leech, Leech Seed

Douglas Fir the Abomasnow
Level 57, male, Quirky
Rock Slide, Wood Hammer, Aurora Veil, Ice Punch

Honeycrisp the Appletun
Level 58, male, Lonely
Apple Acid, Body Slam, Recover, Dragon Pulse

5 thoughts on “Pokémon Shield Playthrough Notes V

  1. Toxtricity’s evolution is based on it’s nature. Half of natures give you High-Key (electric guitar), and the other half give you Low-key (bass guitar) form. Remember those guitars, this will be relevant later.

    Also in a bit of worldbuilding news: it’s confirmed in that mobile game that isn’t Pokemon Go that Gen V’s Iris and Gen VIII’s Leon are cousins (and by extension, Hop and Iris are cousins as well)

    Like

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