Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 17

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

We now have access to Surf, which lets us go to not just Canalave City but several other side paths and hidden areas throughout Sinnoh, including one or two that are big enough to be worth drawing cards for.  So let’s have a little exploration episode with no dumb plot $#!t.

The beach just south of Sandgem Town leads onto a water area, route 219, and the card we get here is…

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 They are petrified; you can’t use them again until this rule is no longer in effect.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.

Not too bad – I was getting sick of the Waterfall rule from the Ace of Cups.  If Snake Eyes puts Effie’s F-shaped head on the chopping block, I’ll have the opportunity to change up my whole team again and perhaps start using my generation IV Pokémon again (remember that the Justice card requiring me to use Effie is the keystone that makes this team the only one I can possibly use), but I think Justice gives me an obligation to at least try to keep Effie around.

Oh.  Well, uh.  I guess that’s the end of route 219, then – a beach, an island with one double battle, a short stretch of water, and now we’re on route 220.  Well, as abrupt as it was, it’s definitely another area.

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 They are petrified; you can’t use them again until this rule is no longer in effect.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, that didn’t last long, but I guess the deck wants what it wants.

…this means I’m definitely stuck with Effie, doesn’t it?

…fine.

After a significantly longer stretch of water, we come once again to a new route: 221, where we make landfall.  This game has so many places where it considers a long and clearly divided sequence of areas to be all one “route,” but they seem so obviously separate to me that I’ve labelled them new “areas.”  In this one part of the map, for some reason, Diamond and Pearl are happy to make three “routes” out of territory that calls for two at most.  Still, it’s officially a new area, so let’s draw for it.

Ace – Waterfall: You cannot switch Pokémon unless one faints or is forced out of play, and cannot reorder your party except at a Pokémon Centre or other healing location.  This rule is overwritten if you draw a Nine/Snake Eyes, and ends if you draw another Ace.

Oh, for goodness’ sake, make up your mind

Maybe the deck just “knows” that this part of the game is only a side-trip and not actually relevant to the plot, so it’s trying to maintain the status quo.

This is the Pal Park, the special area that allows you to transfer Pokémon to a gen IV game from a gen III game by having both inserted into the Nintendo DS’s two different-shaped slots at the same time.  This is obviously not relevant or helpful here, I just thought it would be mildly interesting if you never played these games.  The Pal Park is what this sequence of routes was leading to, so I’m heading back now to search for some other surfable secrets.

Out the back of Floaroma Town, we can surf to the Fuego Ironworks, a busted-up old foundry that the rich owner is working to restore.  The game officially labels the outside of the building a new area as well as the inside, but there’s hardly anything there, just some grass with Pokémon we’ve seen already.  I’m going to make the executive decision that “Fuego Ironworks (exterior)” and “Fuego Ironworks (interior)” just get one card between them.

Eight – Mate: Box the Pokémon in your current party that has been with you the longest over the course of the game (this may be a judgement call).  You cannot use that Pokémon again unless another card revokes this rule.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t think Effie is the Pokémon who’s been with me the longest, thanks to that period when I had the Knight of Pentacles suppressing them – I caught Divine around the same time, and except for a short while around Solaceon Town when the cards let me use Madame Malheur instead, Divine’s been with me almost the whole time.  I hate to do it, but…

Damn it, he was easily the most competent party member I had, too.

Anyway, there are a handful of trainers in the Fuego Ironworks, all of them foundry workers.  The area itself is one of those zippy floor arrow mazes you might remember from the Team Rocket hideout in Celadon City, or the Psychic-type gym in Mossdeep City.

While we’re here, I just want to confirm that Effie continues to be 100% not worth the effort it takes to satisfy every other rule while keeping them in the party.  Unown resists all of Machop’s attacks and hits its poor special defence stat with Hidden Power, but this is still a close fight despite Machop’s unevolved status.

And you can just forget about this one.

(Press F to pay respects)

…ah, fµ¢£ no.

Y’know what, I’ll take victories where I can get ‘em.  It was attacking me with Slam (75% accuracy in theory, but from my own experience using the move with Alex I know that it’s actually south of 40%), Dragonbreath (works off Steelix’s abysmal special attack stat) and Sandstorm chip damage, and it wasted two turns boosting its own speed with Rock Polish, and I still had to heal Effie during the fight, but at this point I don’t care.  This Unown beat a higher-level Steelix and that’s what we’re putting on all the promo material.

Press F to pay respects, b!tch.

There don’t seem to be any wild Pokémon in Fuego Ironworks, which is surprising.  I mean, it shouldn’t be, because it’s an apparently active industrial site, but it also kind of is, because when has that ever stopped an area from having wild Pokémon before?  I thought I remembered there being wild Pokémon here; that might be a change from Platinum, or maybe I’m just remembering the outside.

Also, I… cannot for the life of me figure out this zippy floor tile maze; I know I need to get to this guy in the middle via the southeast, but… oh, okay, yeah, I got it.

…do ya have any idea why?

Apparently Mr. Fuego thought the zippy floor tiles would somehow increase productivity, but actually they just made everyone confused and miserable.  So, y’know.  Capitalism in action!

Yippee!  Loot!

I dunno what I’m gonna do with a Dawn Stone, but I got one.

There’s this whole big water area with neat twisty rock formations and some cool loot and quite a lot of trainers off the beach of route 213 (remember, south of the big hotel on the Valor Lakefront), and it’s… well, I mean, it’s the same route, but it’s much later in the game, and there’s more trainers here than on the land part of the route, and of course the wild Pokémon are different because we’re surfing now, so… eh, sure, why not, let’s go for it.

The Chariot: You gain two additional “slots” for ongoing rules from Major Arcana cards.  Drawing the Chariot multiple times continues to give you more slots.  These card slots are not lost when your ongoing rules are wiped by the Tower or the World, but an observer can choose to remove them if you draw a 10/Rule Card.

Ohhhh good; that means we’re up to seven Major Arcana cards that can be in play at once.  Outside of a few specific cards that wipe everything (the Tower, the World, sometimes the Devil), the only ways to get rid of Major Arcana cards are the mercy of the audience (and even that requires me to draw a Ten) or for all the slots to fill up (in which case the oldest ones fade away to make room).  Justice – the card forcing me to use Effie as long as the other rules allow it – is one of those cards.

Just while we’re here, I’d like to point out that one of the true joys of using Effie is that we’ve been under Waterfall rules almost this entire time, which means that I’m not even allowed to switch Effie out if they encounter a bad matchup.  Since Effie is an Unown whose only move is Hidden Power (Ice), their bad matchups are, approximately: “all of them.”

Anyway, I think I’ve exhausted the Surf-related possibilities of the rest of Sinnoh, for now, which brings us right back here to route 219 and the small stretch of water that separates us from the outskirts of Canalave City.  I think we can end the episode here for now, but before that, let’s just take a quick look at this area’s card…

Six – Chicks: You cannot use your male Pokémon (unless you have no female or genderless Pokémon).  This rule is overwritten by drawing a Five/Guys, and ends if you draw another Six.  You may catch the first female wild Pokémon you see in this area.

…okay, what I meant was, we’ll take a look at which female generation II Pokémon with compatible natures I have in my PC that I’m allowed to use with Effie (who is neither male nor female and is therefore still fair game), then we’ll end the episode.  Obviously Alex can stay, thank the gods, but Otto and Tiktok, after all that loyal service, have to go, along with the rest of this sorry lot…

And our choices are…

…okay, well this isn’t… so bad?  We’ve even got another Girafarig in here; I mean, she’s a much lower level and doesn’t know Thunder, but we can still work with that.  Docile nature works fine with Effie’s gentle and Alexolotl’s quiet too.  And now that we’re not using Tiktok (impish) we can bring out Du Fromage (careful)!  Who doesn’t love a Blissey with Hyper Beam, right?

…we can’t use Hyper Beam because that Four of Pentacles is still in play, but HER TIME WILL COME

Actually, come to think of it, neither Anna nor Du Fromage have any moves that are allowed under the Elements rule.  They can ignore it if it’s actually impossible for them to obey, but I have to make a good faith effort to find something in my TMs for each of them.  I’ve picked up a lot of pretty cool special attacks on that surfing trip, and many of them are compatible with Blissey’s solid special movepool: Water Pulse, Solarbeam, Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Focus Blast… Anna’s selection much more limited, but Shadow Ball and Thunderbolt are both options for her as well.  I think Thunderbolt kinda steps on Otto’s toes a little bit; Anna should forge her own legacy with Shadow Ball, and Du Fromage… well, it’s gotta be Flamethrower, right?  How can you not go for the Blissey with a Flamethrower?  And we’re heading for a Steel-type gym next.  What could possibly go wrong?

Oh, wait, actually, there is one final final thing.  I get to catch the first female Pokémon I see in this area.  I mean, I won’t be able to use her unless she’s a gen II Pokémon with a minus-attack or minus-special defence nature, but y’know.  I can hope; I mean, I have no fµ¢£ing idea what lives on this route and I bet you don’t either; seriously, who has the encounter tables for this $#!t memorised?

Just going to repel my way across the water without any encounters… check out this grass…

You know what, I’ll take it; I can’t use a Gastrodon but I never got a chance to catch a Shellos and I have zero issue with having one.

Okay, finishing now, for real, finally.

2 thoughts on “Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 17

  1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA F FOREVER

    but also like geez, is it just me or are eights kind of *incredibly brutal?* Your longest-serving team member is probably there because they’re the best pokemon you have, and there’s no inherent end condition…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are, and that is entirely the point. There are other rules that I think you could game by just over-levelling one really strong Pokémon and declining opportunities to catch others (e.g. the gender restriction rules can be ignored if you have no eligible Pokémon, the move restriction rules can be ignored if you have no eligible moves). I haven’t thought through all the possible scenarios in detail, but I like having a very strong rule that says “absolutely not” to one good Pokémon, and *only* one.

      Liked by 1 person

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