Pokémon Shield Playthrough Notes VI

well, uh…

that… happened

It might take me a little while to process that. In the meantime, here are my immediate reactions to… it.

  • The tournament went pretty much according to plan, except that Bede showed up – not as a stand-in for Opal, but just to barge onto the pitch and demand a rematch with me, betting his entire career on result.
    • Opal has been training Bede with a frankly startling zeal, reshaping him into a Fairy-type specialist who can take over her gym. He shows up to Wyndon Stadium in one of Opal’s Fairy-type uniforms.
      • Bede seems to feel like his entire life has spiralled out of control and just wants it all to stop. His cunning gambit was to swear that he’d retire if he lost to me, and at least then he’d have an excuse to tell Opal to fµ¢£ off and leave him alone (if he won, he’d have a shot at becoming the Champion and finally his life would make sense again). Unfortunately, the entire stadium started cheering for him not to retire, so he’s stuck training with Opal to become the next Fairy-type gym leader.
  • First real opponent in the tournament was Nessa, which… well, Grass specialist vs. Water specialist is kind of a forgone conclusion.
  • Allister’s Giga Gengar is a tricky proposition for my Grass Pokémon, thanks to some big Poison attacks, but the rest of his team isn’t too much trouble.
  • Piers apparently managed to beat Kabu without Embiggening his Pokémon, which is pretty impressive, given that Kabu’s Giga Centiskorch could probably swallow half of Piers’ Dark-type team whole. He loses to Raihan though, so Marnie and Piers end up cheering for me in the final.
  • Raihan has mostly ditched the Sandstorm strategy and his team is now a clusterfµ¢£ of different weather effects that make no sense together.
    • this guy is Leon’s rival? Really?
  • In theory, I now move on to Leon himself, but it seems that The Plot has at last decided to raise its ugly head, in the form of Chairman Rose cheerfully announcing on the stadium’s big viewscreen that the tournament is cancelled because he has decided to bring about the Darkest Day. For the good of Galar, obviously.
    • uh
    • sure?????
  • Leon immediately heads for Hammerlocke to evacuate the city and fight the hordes of Embiggened Pokémon. It occurs to Hop, however, that we should go to the Slumbering Weald and try to find the two legendary Pokémon that saved Galar from the Darkest Day a thousand years ago.
  • In the Slumbering Weald, we see Zacian and Zamazenta (conspicuously sword- and shield-less), but they seem to be only illusions that vanish as we follow them deeper into the fog. We do find the shrine that was depicted on the last tapestry, the one from the Nando’s in Swansea. There’s a broken sword and a rusty, battered old shield lying on the ground. No magic, no ritual, no legendary Pokémon coming to save us or damn us. Oh well. Off to Hammerlocke, I suppose.
  • In Hammerlocke, we are met by Oleana, who has lost control of her own Embiggened Pokémon, and is afraid that the stadium may collapse, destroying the power plant beneath. She begs us to go down into the plant and save Chairman Rose.
    • Oleana explains that their plan was to awaken a mysterious legendary Pokémon – Eternatus – whose power is the source of the energy that Embiggens Pokémon. Rose has clearly lost control of it, and Oleana fears the consequences.
  • When confronted at the heart of his power plant, Rose goes into further detail. He believes that Eternatus will be able to provide Galar with unlimited energy, forever (or at least for the next thousand years), and has been collecting Wishing Stars this whole time to increase its power.
    • Rose battles me to prevent me from interfering, because… well, of course he does. Like most of his employees, he’s a Steel-type specialist, but unlike them he’s actually good at it.
    • Once defeated, he explains that Leon came to Hammerlocke to help him regain control of Eternatus, and is currently battling it above. He seems confident Leon will have the situation under control by now, and actually encourages us to go take a look.
      • He describes Leon’s actions as “like a knight in shining armour coming to rescue a princess from a dragon,” and… look, Rose, is there something you want to tell us about your relationship with Leon?
        • ’cause, like… I emphatically don’t ship it, but I don’t want to judge, buddy
      • so… wait, hang on. Why did Rose even need to battle me? What was he stopping me from doing? Was he afraid I would side with Eternatus?
        • I mean I’m not totally shocked that he might have somehow gotten that impression. Maybe he reads this blog. Still, I am a little bit hurt.
  • When Hop and I reach the top of the stadium’s tower, it becomes clear that Leon emphatically does not have the situation under control.
    • Eternatus is a sort of… giant skeletal dragon. It’s the sort of Pokémon a normal person doesn’t need to be told to run away from. None of those present are even close to normal.
      • At some point in the aftermath, I learn that Wishing Stars are fragments of Eternatus’ body (sort of like how Sparkling Stones and Z-Crystals are probably fragments of Necrozma’s). Whatever it is that allows us to Embiggen Pokémon, Eternatus is made of it.
  • Leon has worn Eternatus down, at the cost of most of his Pokémon’s strength, and is ready to try to catch it, but fails. Time for me to take a crack at it, obviously.
  • Unfortunately, when it seems like I’ve knocked the bloody thing out, it Embiggens itself, transforming into a sort of colossal vortex of doom with one great big skeletal hand reaching out from it. Hop volunteers to help on this one, Max Raid style, but Eternatus’ power suppresses all of our Pokémon’s moves.
    • well, $#!t
  • Hop decides it’s Hail Mary time, and we start waving our rusty sword and shield in the air. Fortunately, this does not simply make us look silly, and actually does summon Zacian and Zamazenta. Now we have a four-person raid battle against Eternatus, and are free to fight normally.
    • Whatever else you think about this whole climax sequence, this is a cool fight. Legendary Pokémon are hard to handle in a way that feels suitably “epic”; everything in generations I through IV is just “try not to knock it out, put it to sleep, and then throw Ultra Balls for 20-50 turns, and probably soft-reset two or three times because it won’t work on the first try.” Not exactly exciting or stimulating. Teaming up with your rival and two legendary Pokémon to take down a third that’s threatening to destroy the world? Hell yes.
    • As in Max Raid battles out in the Wild Area, defeating Eternatus means we get to catch it.
      • is there something, like, deeper than the PC system that I can store this thing in
        • after the Poké Pelago in Alola and PokéJobs in Galar, the PC doesn’t feel like a secure enough space anymore
        • can we… maybe… encase the Pokéball in titanium and drop it into the sea or something
        • or maybe, and just hear me out… shoot it into the sun
  • That means we win! Rose turns himself in to the police, Leon and I can finish the final battle of the Championship Cup, and Eternatus, um…
    • wait, hang on, what exactly was Rose’s plan? Because it seems like we have successfully awakened and gained control of Eternatus. I mean, he did the thing he was planning to do, and we did the thing he was planning for Leon to do.
      • …do we get unlimited clean energy forever now?
        • And does any of this affect power spots or stadiums or gym battles or… anything? At all?
    • Also… was Leon in on this? Was this the plan about which he was saying “yeah, I understand, we have to do the plan, but I’ve got this whole thing tomorrow so can it wait?”
      • And was Rose so anxious to cancel the tournament because he thought waiting one more day might mean he’d have to break in a new Champion who could be less pliable?
        • I mean, this kind of explains why Leon was so cavalier about random wild Pokémon becoming Embiggened earlier; he knew that was a possible side effect of awakening Eternatus.
      • but… Leon. My dude. You were in on it and you said nothing and you are now not in prison?
    • Related: was Bede in on this? I mean, obviously he sort of was; he was the one collecting Wishing Stars. Then again, he knew Rose would need a trainer “as strong as the Champion” but didn’t seem to have been told why.
  • okay, let’s do this final battle thing and holy $#!t Leon is strong
    • no wonder no-one can beat this fµ¢£er; his Pokémon are even higher-level than mine, and I’ve had everyone else in the tournament completely outclassed
      • I feel like Game Freak just winked at me and said “oh yeah, we know you’ve been wiping the floor with almost every trainer you’ve faced for the entire second half of the game, and now we’ve got you right where we want you, you tree-hugging, green-thumbed pansy”
    • It also doesn’t do me any favours that my all-Grass team is up against Leon’s Gigantamax Charizard, and that Scorbunny he picked up at the start of the game, now fully evolved.
      • I mean, I still won. Close thing though; took a couple of Max Revives.
  • Aside from the legendary Pokémon, there are only three more Pokémon I’ve met since last time, one on Bede’s team and two on Leon’s:
    • Bede’s partner has reached its final form, Hatterene, and its hat has transformed into an entire witch-shaped body. It’s also now Psychic/Fairy, which is fortunate because otherwise Opal probably would’ve made poor Bede throw it out.
    • Cinderace, the final form of Scorbunny, who appears to have somehow resisted the unceasing pull of the Fire/Fighting curse and is just pure Fire. That’s three generations now, so we might be in the clear, but the last two have both been very close…
      • It is a very nice little touch that the third “unwanted” starter Pokémon gets to hang out with Leon instead of just fading into the background and never being spoken of again, like in generations I and II.
    • Dragapult, the final form of Dreepy, which… well, it… well, it’s a giant ghost Diplocaulus that attacks by launching Dreepy out of cannons on its massive head.
      • It is absolutely ridiculous and I love it.
  • We’re not done yet, though… after the Championship match, I figured I’d go back out to the Slumbering Weald, just to look around. Hop had the same thought, and apparently, so did Sonia – now a full Professor and running her grandmother’s lab.
    • We return the rusty sword and shield to the ruined shrine, only to be approached by two aristocratic-looking douchebags with ridiculous sword- and shield-shaped hairstyles, who call themselves… [sigh] Shielbert and Sordward. They claim to be descendants of Galar’s ancient monarchy and regard the ancient sword and shield as their property. I defeated Shielbert, but Hop lost to Sordward, who has confiscated the sword.
      • So I guess we’re doing this now!

Current state of the team:

Donkey the Rillaboom
Level 63, male, Quirky
Drain Punch, Screech, Drum Beating, Knock Off

Oddment the Vileplume
Level 62, male, Careful
Giga Drain, Moonblast, Acid, Sleep Powder

Samba the Ludicolo
Level 63, male, Bashful
Nature Power, Zen Headbutt, Giga Drain, Surf

Blight the Trevenant
Level 62, male, Hardy
Phantom Force, Will-o-Wisp, Horn Leech, Leech Seed

Douglas Fir the Abomasnow
Level 61, male, Quirky
Rock Slide, Wood Hammer, Aurora Veil, Ice Punch

Honeycrisp the Appletun
Level 64, male, Lonely
Apple Acid, Body Slam, Recover, Dragon Pulse

4 thoughts on “Pokémon Shield Playthrough Notes VI

  1. I’m going to guess that both of those Max Revives went to Samba, because STAB Surf has always been a good attack even when it’s not on a Grass-Type team against a guy with two different Fire-Type starters.

    Also, Leon’s battle theme is a remix of the classic Hall of Fame fanfare, including the original RBY chiptune in some places. As far as everyone in-universe is concerned, this fight is a forgone conclusion in Leon’s favor, and it’s not like they have any reason to believe otherwise…

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  2. I too was shocked by Leon. I didn’t have a mono type team but predictably bulldozed the late game and was worried I was massively over leveled when the semifinals started. I had to sacrifice a Pokémon to heal another just to take out his Dragapult and… like, it was closer than I expected, I had to use a semblance of strategy. And it was a rather large spike in strength from the previous fights.

    But at least that guy can’t use the adjective “champion” everywhere now. I’m banning that word as reigning champion- damn it, I said it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s have a CHAMPION TIME, everyone! [shit-eating grin]

      (I think there was actually a time when the way Leon uses “champion” was idiomatic in UK English, but I don’t *think* it is anymore)

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      1. “Champ” is kinda common in the north, where Leon technically is from, even if the North of England is the South of Galar >.>. But it’s pretty much used to refer to people who you want to do something very very mildly inconveniencing like if you want to walk past them. A non-sapient thing cannot be “champ”.

        Liked by 1 person

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