When we left off, I had just drawn the 10 of Swords, necessitating a pause so a commenter could give their own suggestions for changing the rules of this game. The first commenter on the scene was Pedro Luiz Cunha Marchi, who made these requests:
So, the simple consequence first: the Six of Cups is off the board; I can use male Pokémon again. The boys, as they say, are back in town.
A little bit more complicated: my Geodude, Andi Site, will no longer face the Knight’s Challenge on route 207, but on the next route with trainers. The next place we’re going is the Ravaged Path, the small cave area that divides the southern and northern parts of route 204, but there are no trainers there. After that, there’s the upland half of route 204, which leads north to Floaroma Town. We’ve already drawn a card when we entered the lowland half of route 204, and fought the trainers there, but the northern part has more trainers and higher-level wild Pokémon, and they’re divided by story progression. I think there’s a reasonable argument for treating it as a new area, same as the lower level of Oreburgh Gate.
But there is still more to consider! The thought occurred to me that Pedro’s rule change was a pretty modest one. When I drew that Knight on route 207, I could have interpreted it this way to begin with – as applying to the next area with trainers, rather than the route we were technically on. I didn’t, but I could have. So I decided that this was an unusual circumstance, and that I would accept one more rule change from the next commenter – who just happened to be the incomparable Shibarianne.
Well, if nothing else, it’s an easy rule to understand! I can’t use the same move twice in a row – as if all my Pokémon were under the effects of Torment.
That settles that; these are the rules as they currently stand, let’s get moving.
There’s still one more obstacle: I’m allowed to use my three male Pokémon (King Louie the Chimchar, Jerry the Bidoof and Brighteyes the Shinx) again, but I still can’t use them with Andi as long as Judgement is still on the board, because she’s gen I and they’re all gen IV. I have to choose between them and her. But to me, the choice is pretty obvious. Andi is already supposed to take the Knight’s Challenge – and if she wins it, she’ll become my champion and be allowed to do whatever she wants, ignoring all other rules. I’ll be allowed to use her no matter what the Judgement card says. All she has to do is solo everything between Jubilife City and Floaroma Town. Piece of cake, right?
This is also the moment for our first confrontation with Team Galactic, who are harassing Professor Rowan and Dawn in Jubilife City. This is a double battle alongside Dawn and her starter, which shouldn’t be a problem…
We couldn’t get through the Ravaged Path before because we didn’t have Rock Smash, but now we can. There are no trainers in this cave, but there are wild Pokémon and it’s definitely a new area, so…
The Hierophant: You may only heal at a Pokémon Centre once after clearing each new area. You can withdraw “fresh” Pokémon from PC storage, but any Pokémon that you deposit cannot be withdrawn again until you are next allowed to heal. This rule is overwritten if you draw the High Priestess.
Ouch; this is going to make things tricky – and make training up the boys a delicate operation. I’ll be able to use the Pokémon Centre in Floaroma Town once when I get there, then not again until I defeat Galactic Commander Mars in the Valley Windworks.
And as we emerge once more into the upper half of route 204, which we are treating as a new “area,” one more…
The Hermit: You may not have two Pokémon with the same nature in your party.
Well, I don’t think that will be a problem, even once we get the boys back; I don’t think any of my Pokémon share a nature yet. The Hermit seems like kind of a softball rule, because there are twenty-five different natures and only six slots for Pokémon in your party – how often are you really going to be forced to change your plans for that? Answer: more often than you’d think, because this is actually an example of the birthday paradox: if you choose six Pokémon at random, the chance that two of them will happen to share a nature is almost 50%.
The other thing to watch here is that we now have three Major Arcana cards in play – Judgement, the Hierophant and the Hermit. Under the current version of the rules, we only have three “slots” for Major Arcana cards (the Chariot can permanently give us two more). If we draw another, the oldest one – Judgement – goes away.
I have to start being careful here now. Andi’s overlevelled and can probably one-shot most of the stuff I’ll meet on this route, but Grass Pokémon are really dangerous to her, especially if I can’t go home to heal and can’t always use the best move thanks to Shibarianne’s torment rule.
Thankfully, Cherubi is pretty pathetic.
Selfdestruct is kind of an iffy move in single-player at the best of times… I think I’ll pass.
Hold still for a minute and I’ll show you.
Trainers who are intended to challenge you to double-battles just won’t fight you if you only have one Pokémon in your party. I think we’ll just have to move on, consider this area complete, and come back with another Pokémon.
Reaching Floaroma Town means we can consider Andi’s challenge complete: she’s now my champion and can ignore the rules that bind my other Pokémon. I can use her alongside my three gen IV Pokémon, I can use her alongside another Pokémon with a brave nature, and she can use the same move repeatedly. It also means that the Hierophant will let me heal once at the Pokémon Centre to patch up Andi’s minor damage and restore her PP.
With my Pokémon Centre visits restricted, I don’t feel great about taking the boys out for extended training against wild Pokémon. I think I’m just going to buy some extra potions, move ahead, let them do as much as they can and switch to Andi if things look bad.
Although route 205 is a new area, we can’t access any of its trainers or wild Pokémon yet, because of the Team Galactic roadblock on the bridge across the river, so we won’t draw a card for this area until they’re cleared out.
Looks like it’s hero time.
No go. These Team Galactic grunts helpfully explain to us that their group is conducting operations in both the Valley Windworks and Floaroma Meadow.
The Valley Windworks is a distinct area with its own wild Pokémon, as well as Team Galactic enemies. Time to draw a card.
Nine – Snake Eyes: A temporary Nuzlocke: until you either earn your next badge or defeat the Elite Four, immediately box any of your Pokémon that are defeated in battle. They are petrified; you can’t use them again until this rule is no longer in effect. This rule is overwritten by drawing an Ace/Waterfall, and ends if you draw another Nine.
Well, well, well; looks like we’re playing hardball today. Limited Pokémon Centre visits, and I lose any Pokémon that faints – at least for a while.
There’s one Team Galactic member guarding the entrance to the Valley Windworks. He’ll fight us to keep us out, but then realises he can just hide inside the building and lock the door.
Glameow manages to get two Growls off as Andi switches in, so it survives a Rock Smash, but it’s in no condition to keep fighting after that.
Fortunately, this dummy is nice enough to tell us where the other key to the Valley Windworks is.
Floaroma Meadow has two trainers, but no wild Pokémon – I don’t think that quite rises to the level of a “new area” for me (after all, I ruled that the Trainers’ School in Jubilife City doesn’t count, and that’s exactly the same).
Swapping between Tackle and Leer turns out to work pretty well, actually.
…okay, maybe I spoke too soon.
Well, this is embarrassing.
No problem. Easy. Silcoon is an easy Pokémon to beat, right?
THIS IS FINE. THIS IS FINE.
Ya know what? YA KNOW WHAT? You get the bullet.
I could throw away a bunch more potions healing up the rest of the way, but… eh. This is fine. I can always keep healing them up after the next fight.
King Louie, Jerry and Brighteyes defeat the two Team Galactic grunts stationed in the building without Andi’s help, although there are multiple close calls with a Glameow and I end up burning some more potions to avoid losing anyone. By the time everyone is reasonably healed up again for the fight with Mars, I only have one left.
I was hoping the boys could deal with Mars’ Zubat without Andi’s help, but the level disparity combined with our torment rule is just a bit too much. 14 is around the level when Zubat learns Bite and stops being abjectly terrible, and Mars has taught hers Toxic as well, which is particularly nasty against opponents who can’t reliably attack every turn. It’s easy enough for Andi to deal with… but I was really hoping to save her energy for this.
Mars’ Purugly is a beast – evolved at a much lower level than should normally be possible for Glameow, with higher stats than anything you’re likely to have at this point in the game. It’s reliant on physical attacks, which is good for Andi, but it also Faint Attack so she won’t be able to bank on her Rock-type resistances.
Defence drop from the first Rock Smash, nice. And the Faint Attack damage isn’t too bad either. Time to roll the dice on Magnitude…
BOOM! In your face!
Ultimately that wasn’t too close – but that Purugly would have chewed up all three of my other Pokémon easily if I’d lost Andi, and with Snake Eyes in play, I’m not even sure what my options would be for continuing the game at that point. With Mars beaten, this area is finished and the Hierophant will allow me to heal again, although I think I’ll train against wild Pokémon outside Valley Windworks for a little while before taking that opportunity; might need to buy some more potions, but I think that’s worth it. That seems like a good stopping point for now – but let’s see what the next card will be when we head up onto route 205 proper.
yeah that makes sense
Ten – Rule Card: An observer to the game may revoke any or all of the rules currently affecting you, and either make up a new rule or change an existing one. If no observers are available, you may revoke a single rule.
It seems I am once again at the mercy of my beloved readers! Here are the current rules:
And, just like last time, the first person to comment can:
Take any number of these cards off the board, or none of them.
Make up a new rule, or modify the terms of an existing one (but not both).
Hurry, hurry, hurry – it could be you!