Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 11

Big rules here, little rules down there, let’s go.

So, most of route 215 – pretty uneventful.  Divine soloed most of the trainers without even taking damage (to be fair, a lot of them are Black Belts with Fighting Pokémon who don’t really know how to deal with a Ghost-type), which is good because I’m still not allowed to switch in battle or reorder my party.

These two at the end are a lot trickier – a double battle with a Gyarados and a Kadabra, both very strong mid-game Pokémon, strategically positioned at the entrance to Veilstone City to ensure that players fight them.  They really stick out in my memory as a surprisingly difficult fight for a pair of random trainers; I think I might even have wiped to them once, back in the day.  Both trainers open with less frightening Pokémon though – Glameow and Monferno – which means you can focus on taking them out one at a time.

And here we are – Veilstone City, the third of Sinnoh’s great cities.

Dawn is here too, apparently just hanging out, shopping at the department store, showing little interest in challenging the gym.  I think if you’re playing as Dawn, Lucas’ line here is about the game corner instead of the department store – remember kids, shopping is for girls, gambling is for boys!

Veilstone City seems to have been struck by a meteor shower at some point in the past.  If you have a Deoxys, these fallen space rocks allow you to change its form.  Originally, Deoxys’ form changed according to which of the generation III games it was on – normal for Sapphire or Ruby, attack for Fire Red, defence for Leaf Green, speed for Emerald – so every subsequent game except for Sword and Shield (where Deoxys is unusable) had to come up with some other mechanic for Deoxys to transform, and this is Diamond and Pearl’s.

Team Galactic has an even bigger building in Veilstone City than they did in Eterna City.

It really seems like at least some of them are trying to present the outward image of a legitimate research and technology organisation, and it must have been working to some extent, because… well… they have this huge office building in a major Sinnohan city.  So why, why the hell, do they also have people who go around stealing Pokémon and publicly spouting terrifying promises to plunder the entire region and crush anyone standing in their way?  What need do they have that is served by acting like brutish gangsters when they have this perfectly good façade of legitimacy?  Team Rocket were at least straightforward; Team Aqua and Team Magma couldn’t really pretend to be benevolent because their explicit goals are so obviously ludicrous on the face of things; Team Plasma make the disconnect between their public image and true nature into a key part of the story; Team Galactic… ehhhh?????  What is this group’s angle?  Were they more subtle until recently and only just started harassing and mugging people?  If so, why?

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I’m moving.

Just one last stop before the gym – raiding the department store and spending all my money on TMs.  I want to have some cool options available the next time I draw a Page.  Anyway, let’s get to this gym and draw us a card.

The Emperor: Catch the first Pokémon you see in this area.  That Pokémon ignores all other rules until this one is revoked.

Well, I guess that’s no change here, then.  As with most cards that let you catch a Pokémon (the Star being the exception), the Emperor does nothing if you happen to draw him in a gym or some other place with no wild Pokémon.  Kind of a shame to whiff on this draw because, as we saw with Andi earlier in the run, having even one Pokémon that ignores all the other rules can be really powerful.

The gimmick of the Veilstone gym is these sliding screens we can move back and forth by pushing on them.  Each screen has holes that we need to line up with the paths we need to take.

We need to get to the back left and back right corners of the gym to move these two screens that are blocking the way to Maylene, then head down the middle.

Piece of cake.  Now for the boss fight.

Maylene you need to get your $#!t together because I cannot stress enough what an embarrassment it would be for a gym leader to lose even one Pokémon to a fµ¢£ing Unown.

I know I should be happy for Effie here, but seriously Maylene burned a hyper potion on this and had, like, four turns when she could have just murdered Effie and she sat there meditating instead.

Oh well, let’s see how far this can go…

That wasn’t even a crit or anything, that’s just how much damage a resisted Brick Break does; I mean, the Machoke had used Leer once, but still.

After another Leer, a Foresight and a missed Rock Tomb, Maylene is forced to burn her second hyper potion fighting an Unown whose Hidden Power isn’t even strong against Fighting.

Well, you gave it one hell of a try.  Press F to pay respects.

Let’s let the professionals handle it from here.

Maylene’s Lucario is pretty high level (because she can potentially be the fourth gym leader rather than the third) and can be genuinely brutal – I have no doubt that it could have steamrolled Jerry and Testudo if it got anywhere near them, and even Divine might have struggled with its diverse attacks and Steel-type resistances.  So in a very real sense, Effie did good work in this battle by lasting so long against opponents who had every opportunity to squish them in a couple of turns.

Betcha wish you hadn’t used up your healing fighting the letter F now, huh?

Boom.  Badge three, done.

But what’s this?  Dawn’s gone and fµ¢£ed something up and we need to fix it.

Dawn has acquired some more Pokémon, so we can fight a double battle against the Team Galactic goons.  She opens with a Clefairy, but if that goes down I think she actually has a Kadabra as well, then finally her starter.  Lots of insurance here in case that Clefairy blows itself up with Metronome or something.

With those grunts beaten, we can get into this warehouse, but no further; we can’t get past the security doors.  This area will be important later, so it’s kinda nice that the game is setting it up in advance.  For now, all we care about is that Team Galactic just left an HM for Fly lying around on the floor here.

Time to move on from Veilstone City.  The next route takes us south, then back west, towards Pastoria City and the fourth gym.  And our card for this area is…

Seven – Lucky Sevens: Draw two more cards and follow the rules for both.

Always an exciting draw.

The Star: You may catch one Pokémon of your choice from each of the next three areas.  Areas without wild Pokémon (such as gyms) do not count.  If another card would allow you to catch a Pokémon from any of those areas, you get one extra.  This does not count as an “ongoing” rule, and you still get three Pokémon even if you draw the Tower, the World or a Ten/Rule Card before you can catch all of them.

Knight – Challenge: Choose one of your current party Pokémon to fight every trainer battle in this area solo.  If it ever loses, it must be boxed and cannot be used again until another card revokes this rule.  If it wins, it becomes your champion and ignores all other rules and restrictions.  Either way, drawing another Knight ends all effects of this card and issues a new challenge.

I’m happy to take the Star any day.  Let’s see… in this area, looking at Pokémon I don’t have already… I could pick up a Girafarig, or fish for a Goldeen.  Neither of those are really good, and I still feel like I have enough Water-types (plus, there’s more places I could pick up a Goldeen later) so let’s go for Girafarig.

As for the Knight’s Challenge…

hmm

…okay hear me out

If I pick Effie for the Knight’s Challenge and they lose, they’ll go in the box and I won’t have to use them anymore (well, unless the Knight of Wands gets taken off the board while Justice is still in play).  If I pick Effie for the Knight’s Challenge and they win, they can ignore other rules – including the Justice rule that says I have to keep them in my active party.

I’m gonna admit, this is not an interaction I ever really considered while writing these rules, but it totally works and I am 100% going to take advantage of it to get rid of this Unown.

okay for the record I did try, I spent some potions here and Effie did manage to get past Abigail’s Gastly; I promise I really would have preferred to do this by having Effie win the challenge and retire with honour, but gods, Unown is just so bad

Once again, press F to pay respects.

This, of course, means I can once again use my Gyarados (who was languishing in the PC because he had the same nature as Effie, making him unusable with the Hermit in play).

And now let’s pick up that Girafarig.

I feel like we’re at a decent stopping point here; it’s a pretty long way to Pastoria City.  But there’s one more area I want to check out quickly.

This is a pretty tiny little area, inhabited by only one NPC, a “ruin maniac.”  It actually interacts with the side quest to catch all the forms of Unown – the maniac’s tunnel gets longer and longer as you collect more Unown, until eventually he digs right through the mountain to the Solaceon Ruins and breaks into the chamber where you can catch the final two (the punctuation marks ! and ?).  We are… not doing that.  However, this weird little tunnel definitely qualifies as its own area thanks to its unique wild Pokémon – bizarrely, it’s the only place in mainland Sinnoh where you can catch Hippopotas.  I’m going to take advantage of the Star to get one, but I’m also going to need to draw a card here.

The Emperor: Catch the first Pokémon you see in this area.  That Pokémon ignores all other rules until this one is revoked.

Huh.  I guess I’m not missing out after all.  Well, the first Pokémon I’m meeting here is…

Because I caught her off the Emperor, I could add Sandra to my party now if I wanted, even though I’m not allowed to use female Pokémon.  For now I think I’m fine with what I’ve got, but it’ll be useful to be able to turn to her if some other nastier rule comes into play.  Anyway, I can still catch a Pokémon of my choice thanks to the Star… may as well pick up a male Hippopotas; the only other Pokémon in here are Geodude and I have three of them already (as delightful as it would be to continued the themed naming I’ve got going with Andi Site, Guy Gneiss and Gran Nite).

(I forgot to get a shot of Mr. Sandman during the actual battle; you’ll just have to trust me that he’s real)

Okay, for real now – end of episode.  Things are looking pretty good at the moment!  Sure would be a shame if something absolutely fµ¢£ing ridiculous happened and messed them up…
(disclaimer: I am writing this bit in real time, I have no idea whether something absolutely fµ¢£ing ridiculous is about to happen or not)

12 thoughts on “Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 11

  1. I always felt like Team Galactic’s contradictory antics are a deliberate part of their identity. Cyrus has enough weird charisma to attach people to Team Galactic, but he’s more concerned with that then actually coordinating and leading the little guys.
    Same with how the admins all seem to know different bits of the plan, Cyrus telling them just enough about what Team Galactic’s about to get them on his side. Which could also have to do with the contradictory nature of their grunt’s actions, each admin is coordinating them differently.
    That’s just my read though

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There might be something to that… but then again, the ones who *do* seem to know Cyrus’ real plan – Mars and Jupiter – are the ones involved with the attention-seeking bull$#!t that doesn’t further their ultimate goal at all. It’s Saturn, who claims to have had no idea what was really going on, who actually has the sense to keep his head down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OP again; I’m not sure I agree with that entirely. Mars mentions building a new world, which might indicate she knows most of the plan, but Jupiter mentions that Cyrus will become the ruler of Sinnoh, which implies to me she only knows as far as ‘Catch super powerful Pokémon so we can do what we want’ without realizing that means destroying Sinnoh, and everything else in existence.
        I think it also makes some sense; Mars and Jupiter both think that their reputation won’t matter in the long run, while Saturn thinks that they’re a more or less regular crime organization that should stay under the radar for as long as possible. Again though, that’s just my interpretation

        Liked by 1 person

        1. But they are both at the Spear Pillar, and don’t seem shocked by what’s happening. Saturn isn’t there because he wasn’t in on it. I mean, I’ll re-evaluate this as I go through and replay, because I don’t remember all the dialogue perfectly, but honestly I always got the impression that Mars and Jupiter knew what was going on – or at least that the game doesn’t give us solid reason to think they didn’t. Hell, Saturn could also just be straight-up lying.

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  2. So I didn’t believe you that Lucas talks about the game corner instead of shopping and remembered that I have the recordings of my Nuzlocke from this summer… and never mind, you’re right, he absolutely talks about the game corner, dang it Game Freak, don’t be sexist, boys can shop too! (And girls can develop crippling gambling addictions as they spiral out of control- I mean, boys can shop too!)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Does that emperor that didn’t do anything stay on as an ongoing rule anyway or did you just discard it?

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  4. I’m shocked at Sandra being your first encounter in that cave – it’s only got a 5% encounter rate. (You can improve that rate by catching Unown and extending the tunnel, but you just waltzed right in there!)

    Also, for Effie: FFFFFFFFFF

    Liked by 1 person

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