I’ve bested my own creation and conquered the Black 2 Kingslocke run, but what of our heroes? There are a lot of them, after all; the point of the Kingslocke is very much that you never know who you’re going to end up relying on. Even those Pokémon who never actually saw battle or got to contribute anything are part of this story; let’s hear from them first.
Finally caught himthelf a tweety bird.
Remained on Victory Road and made a living selling fake gems to challengers as good luck charms.
Helped Carmen San Francisco fence her ill-gotten gains from the Elite Four mission and became outlandishly wealthy off of his 15% cut.
Left the Justice League to focus on his burgeoning career as a film director.
Never left the Nacrene Museum, gradually worked his way up from exhibit to assistant curator (but also still part-time exhibit).
Became! A! Court! Stenographer! But! Was! Fired! For! Using! Too! Many! Exclamation! Marks!
Devoured the rest of her family to gain their power, following age-old Vullaby custom.
Found a new gig sitting in front of the main entrance of a Pokémon gym to keep out low-level trainers.
Adopted by Lt. Derby and Pizza Rat, and eventually grew up to start a successful business supplying hot, fresh pizza to soldiers in war zones.
Opened Giant Chasm’s first gelateria and helped to revitalise the site’s tourism industry, until she was accidentally dunked in chocolate sauce and eaten by a careless holidaymaker.
Joined Pamela’s Bay Watch to help watch Undella Bay from the skies.
Like all Nosepass, sat motionless with her nose pointing due north until erosion wore her body away to a featureless nub over the course of several thousand years.
Became a best-selling YA novelist. Never evolved and never needed to.
Still asleep, and loving it.
Confounded all expectations, and likely the fundamental laws of biology, by evolving into a Jolteon.
Some of our Pokémon were with us only briefly; they may have fought only a few battles or trained with us for a little while. But for a twist of fate, these Pokémon too might have been heroes, might have been there for one of the great final confrontations – yet, alas, it was not to be. What happened to them?
Became a popular YouTube video essayist after his exposé series on the events of this playthrough went viral.
Arrested for briefly breaking the rules of the Hermit card; made a plea bargain and had to spend the rest of his days in a remote mountain monastery making yak cheese.
Served in the Justice League for many years, being particularly instrumental in recruitment and training as the League shifted from an accidental gathering of acquaintances to a paramilitary organisation.
Couldn’t cross the road alone to get back to Icirrus City. Stayed in Accumula Town and made a new life as a school crossing guard.
Vanished into the pages of history and legend, but continued to be revered as the divine patrons of the Justice League, and vowed to return when they will one day be called to save Unova in its hour of need.
Became the Justice League’s PR manager, on account of being extremely bad at fighting but also extremely shiny and capable of acting as a lens for a film projector.
Recruited a dozen like-minded Water Pokémon to watch Undella Bay. Suspicious things continue to happen there with some regularity and there is absolutely no plan to stop any of them, but at least now Pamela is watching.
Was never clear on why we had to go and wake them up in the first place; decided even before our final victory that they were obviously not needed, then returned to the Clay Tunnel sanctuary to sleep for the rest of time.
Founded an insidious cult centred around lucid dreaming and moonlight sacrifices that aimed to pull all of Unova into the dream world. Ultimately defeated by the Justice League and was later persuaded to join them in an extremely cliché redemption arc.
I don’t want to pick favourites, buuuuut… well, some of our Pokémon were more important than others in this story, right? Let’s catch up with some of the more major players.
After several weeks, Magic Joe finally came down from the trip that started just before Nefertiti defeated Iris and took over Unova. He couldn’t quite remember everything that he had done in that time, but was sure that, in his enlightened state, he had been instrumental in saving the region and securing its future. Satisfied that he was on the right path, Magic Joe promptly dropped an entire pint of LSD and sailed off into the sunset on a winged rainbow badger.
Zoroark was never here. And even if he had been, you could never prove he had anything to do with the string of political murders that followed the downfall of the Elite Four. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll forget you ever saw Zoroark. Maybe you already did. After all, memory can be so fickle. Who’s to say what you saw? That black shadowy figure could have been anyone. Or no-one.
Once back in Unova, but with her position as the ruler of Super Hell still uncontested, Smelta was able to begin building a sacrificial cult dedicated to worshipping her. She named this cult the Injustice League, in mockery of the group whose incompetence had led to her damnation, and dedicated its efforts to uncovering the occult secrets that would one day allow the super demonic forces of Super Hell to invade and conquer the Unova region.
Salt and Pepper finally opened their restaurant in Driftveil City. Walrus steaks became their hotly-demanded signature dish – but not because Pepper was still bitter about losing the Knight’s Challenge in Humilau Gym. They’re just really tasty. Salt was just glad to be done with all that “adventuring” nonsense, but Pepper missed the excitement and romance of it (not the literal romance, because Lt. Derby was a piece of $#!t, but the romantic vibe of travelling and questing). She eventually left the restaurant in her brother’s capable hands and set off on a journey to reclaim her knightly honour, one which took her all over the world…
Although he continued to fight with Justice League in a part-time capacity, Dec’s true calling was showbusiness. He went on to host the next three years of Unova’s Got Talent, becoming a beloved TV personality who was known throughout the region and beyond for his acerbic wit, insightful commentary and ability to disembowel unpleasant contestants with a flick of his mandibles.
After our final victory over Nefertiti’s demented theocratic regime, Patracia found herself at a bit of a loss. The Patratriarchy’s bark had turned out to be worse than their bite; once Patracia and a few of her allies stormed their secret hideout in Striaton City, their cowardly leaders scattered to secure their own private interests, and the organisation collapsed. Full gender equality and LGBT liberation in Unova was still a long way off, but there was no longer any obvious enemy to SMASH. Eventually, Patracia would found an activist community and become a legendary organiser and logistician – but only after many years of further dangerous adventures, often alongside the Justice League, had taught her that persuasion and camaraderie can sometimes be as vital to the cause as SMASHING.
Melies and ROBOT disappeared soon after the conclusion of our quest and were never seen again. For about a month afterwards, a mysterious bright blue comet was visible in the night sky above Unova. Those who watched the comet reported a feeling of deep peace and universal love, as well as an intense, inexplicable but thankfully fleeting desire to perform a variety of lurid sexual acts upon the moon. Astronomers projected that the comet was on course to leave our solar system forever and head towards the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.
Yu’effoh was recalled to her mothership shortly after our victory over the Elite Four and made to account for her actions in Unova before a tribunal. Although her commanders voted to demote and imprison Yu’effoh for “going rogue” by openly befriending terrestrial Unovan Pokémon, she was able to start a mutiny with the help of some of her earthly friends and rally most of the mothership’s crew to her cause. After sending their disgraced commanders home in escape pods, they became space pirates allied with Earth.
As the embodiment of the celestial radiance of the Sun card, Invicta lost her divinity when the Kingslocke ended and the tarot deck ceased to influence the world. Newly mortal, but still the inheritor of the legacy of the Sun and wielding a fraction of its power, she found herself seeking the advice of her own paladin, Aurelia, who convinced her to adopt the questing adventurer’s life. Invicta became a celebrated folk hero and quasi-religious figure as she travelled Unova using her powers to heal the sick and injured, and her miraculous deeds and spiritual guidance became the foundation of several fire- and light-based cults around the region.
After a series of increasingly contrived romantic disasters, Lieutenant Derby finally found his ideal life partner in a magic rat who was just there for the food. From her, he learned to take life less seriously, bend without breaking and find value in himself. Meanwhile Pizza Rat, from her humble beginnings of just being here for the food, became a crucial voice of reason, pragmatism and the many virtues of junk food in their circle of friends. With the Lieutenant in her life, she finally had a place to call home and something other than pizza that was worth fighting for – and soon she had two, when the couple decided to adopt Waffles the Happiny as their daughter. Theirs was far from a fairytale romance, but both agreed that they would take something real over a fairytale any day.
Nefertiti quickly forgot that she had been deposed as Unova’s malevolent supernatural tyrant and continued to demand blood offerings and fancy chocolates from anyone who would listen. Most people, it turned out, were less willing to obey without the threat of region-wide spiritual calamity on the line. However, she found an anchor in her young lover Shoal, who had been totally on board with ruling the Unova region with an iron fist and a bloody sacrificial blade, but recognised that a less active lifestyle was probably better for Nefertiti in the long run. Together they rebuilt the ancient death-cult that Nefertiti had served when she was alive, and were able to gather a surprising number of followers (as well as some choice luxuries) by granting magical powers to any who would pledge them their souls. Their cult grew slowly, but their enemies were mortal – they could afford to take a long view.
The Detective returned to Castelia City to resume his duties. It was all in a day’s work for him – which made it somewhat embarrassing that he’d been working this case for over a month. In his defence, his usual tactic of getting close to the murderer using performative naïveté before unmasking them with a few armour-piercing questions turned out to be strangely ineffective against a supernatural deck of cards working through a senile tomb ghost who readily and gleefully confessed to every one of her crimes. His wife gave him an earful when he got home, he can never catch a break from her, but his colleagues were just glad to have him back on the force. He would continue to serve with honour and distinction for many years, and his greatest exploits, as it turned out, were still ahead of him…
Qaqortoq remained a powerful and influential member of the Justice League long after our quest ended. By all accounts, he was actually quite talkative once you got to know him, which suggests that he just intensely disliked me in particular. This an impressive feat considering that I wasn’t even really a character in this story. Regardless, although many found him intimidating, his wisdom was proverbial amongst younger members of the League. He regularly served as a voice of reason in meetings of the leadership, thanks to his clear-sighted awareness of when to extend the hand of forgiveness, equality and redemption, and when to swipe with the massive, crushing, icy bear paw of vengeance.
Timmy Hoffa soon left the Justice League so he could enter politics, recognising that it was probably a bad idea for a local politician to also be a member of a powerful vigilante paramilitary group, even one committed to justice. He quickly became a popular figurehead for the labour movement and sought higher office, and a clumsily botched assassination attempt by the remnants of the sinister Patratriarchy only bolstered his support. He was soon elected Mayor of Twist Mountain, a position he used to strengthen workers’ rights and raise wages across northwestern Unova.
Fartstink returned to her simple home on the outskirts of Castelia City, where she tended to her garden for the rest of her days. She never went on another adventure again, always protesting that she was much too old for such things and that her back couldn’t take it. However, she always looked back fondly at her time in the spotlight as a legendary champion and cherished her many young friends, who visited her often for her worldly wisdom or simple conversation. Her life would never be as exciting as it had been for those brief few weeks, but nor would it ever be boring, or lonely.
Emboldened by her newfound powers, Calafia returned to Reversal Mountain and, with the hapless but stubbornly loyal Dr. Ill in tow, ousted the usurper government and re-established her kingdom. It was significantly more difficult to root out the insurgent fire-cult that had backed the original coup against her, but here she had the assistance of many of her new allies, especially Pizza Rat, Alanis, Patracia and Aurelia, who each had reasons of their own for wanting to see her back on the throne. Calafia soon appointed new and more trustworthy advisors, and in particular a frighteningly competent spymaster whose name is not recorded, to ensure that she would not be so easily deposed again, and subsequently ruled wisely and well for many years.
And then there’s the final six – the Pokémon who were there at the very end, when the Elite Four were defeated for the second time.
ManBatBug decided that being The Night wasn’t really worth the trouble. Frankly, he didn’t deserve to be stuck being the hero Unova needed, didn’t deserve, wanted to have deserved to need, but didn’t want to need to have deserved. When Maggie tried to recruit ManBatBug to the Justice League, he firmly and somewhat irreverently declined, and instead went on to use his phenomenal strength and agility to pursuing his true passion: winning at fairground games in every town in the Unova region.
Ironically, Alanis’ role in saving Unova was mostly a blip in her creative career. She never did succeed as a novelist, ironically because she never quite figured out how irony works. However, she did unexpectedly and ironically manage to transition into a very successful few years as a singer-songwriter. Her grating metal-screech voice was, ironically, just what the Unovan pop scene needed for a particular brief moment in its development. Alanis thought that this was all quite ironic.
Maggie emerged from the aftermath of our final victory as the clear leader of the Justice League. Although she had been forced into this role by circumstances, she came to believe quite firmly that someone had to take care of the business of fighting evil and protecting the innocent, and after everything she and her friends had been through, it might as well be them. Under her leadership, the League expanded and professionalised, training and preparing for the next apocalyptic threat to Unova – and then, when that one was thwarted, for the next, and the next after that. Though the work was exhausting, Maggie uniquely also seemed to find it invigorating, and hoped and expected that she would continue training and advising new heroes well into her old age – which, for a Steelix, could easily be several hundred years into the future.
The outrageous loot Carmen San Francisco stole in our second run at the Elite Four was enough to support her in the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed for almost four months. She spent most of that time in an expensive Undella Bay hotel, enjoying the finest food, drink and beaches the Unova region has to offer. The moment her bank balance began to run low, she abruptly disappeared and was never seen in Unova again. On her neatly made bed, she left a tip of over 2 million Unovan dollars for the housekeeping staff, as well as a pamphlet for an upcoming exhibition of priceless renaissance art at the Lumiose Museum in the Kalos region…
As an accomplished and extremely powerful paladin of the radiant Sun, many expected that Aurelia would join the Justice League as Maggie, Qaqortoq and Paul worked to forge it into the Unova region’s shield against evil. However, although she did fight alongside them on several occasions and generally worked for similar goals, Aurelia politely rebuffed every suggestion that she actually join the League. She preferred to travel alone, or sometimes together with Invicta, as a knight-errant, conducting her own personal investigations into smaller and more subtle malevolent forces that often escaped the League’s notice.
Cumulus went to Galar and got into civil engineering for a few years. He would forever look back at the events of the Black 2 Kingslocke saga as some stuff that he was briefly involved with. Look, I think Cumulus made it pretty clear that he had a lot of other stuff going on; obviously he was happy to save Unova and all, but that was definitely a “hobby” project; he doesn’t want heroism to be, like, his “thing.” Well, maybe he’ll dabble. You know, if it comes up.
Who are we forgetting…? Oh, yes – of course…
Woshua, Alvin and Mulberry returned to Floccesy Town and were married in a quiet ceremony attended by a few of their closest friends (and officiated by Aurelia who, as a paladin of the Sun, was technically qualified to act as a celebrant). Although adventuring had brought them together and they had many friends who were still in “the business,” none of them had any desire to get back on the road again. Woshua was occasionally called upon to lend his blades to local missions against robbers or kidnappers, and once or twice even joined minor operations of the Justice League in the area, but always flatly refused any request that would take him away from his husbands for more than a day or two. Alvin and Mulberry, of course, were perfectly capable fighters in their own right, and had become, if anything, more accustomed to the spotlight than Woshua over the course of our journey. However, most people tended to assume that Woshua was the only one of them with serious combat experience, and all three were happy to let those assumptions go unchallenged. Mulberry instead became a tailor, like countless generations of Leavanny before him, doing a brisk trade in scarves, hats and shawls for the local Pokémon – and, more quietly, using the supernatural strength of Bug-type silk to craft bespoke lightweight armour for members of the Justice League. Alvin became a food columnist and human-interest (/Pokémon-interest) writer for a local newspaper, and eventually wrote a popular novel loosely based on the events of the entire Kingslocke saga, which (with the benefit of hindsight and no obligation to record events accurately) was a much better read than my version. As “happily ever afters” go, theirs was busy and at times confusing, but they never again had to deal with a magic card locking them in a mysterious tower, turning one of them to stone, or forcing them to pay outrageous prices for basic healthcare.
From afar, I surveyed the chaos my ridiculous challenge rules had wrought. I had done good work. Thanks to the EXP. Share podcast, the madness has already spread further than I could have ever hoped. The rules page, on reflection, could use some streamlining; I never really anticipated that the Kingslocke would break out “into the wild” and be played by people who hadn’t followed my Pearl run, so I should at least give people a fighting chance by making it as easy to understand as I possibly can. And there’s a few things I want to change; the Fool is dumb and too complicated and doesn’t work very well in edge cases; the Hanged Man is a little too frustrating and too hard to play around; the Queens can get weird around other rules and are usually boring after the early game; I don’t think the rules as a whole give you enough chances to use TMs; Josh from EXP. Share had a fun suggestion I want to add to the Wheel. But basically, I thought as I looked down upon the forever-changed Unova region, the essence of the Kingslocke had proven strong, and that essence was of chaos, and of bull$#!t.
…but what if it could be even more bull$#!t?
For when the Third Revised Edition comes – and it is coming, for the hour grows late and the shadows grow long – the dreaded and prophesied Advanced Rules shall come with it. And all Unova… nay, the entire Pokémon multiverse… shall quake in fear with its coming…