Heart Gold Kingslocke: Episode 11

Introduction/rules here.

Last time I left you all in suspense, I was waiting to receive an answer from my own personal Devil, Jim the Editor.  As a reminder, the Devil card says:

The Devil: If you own eight Pokémon or fewer (not counting Pokémon in the Vessel) when you draw this card, or if you are using a party given to you by the Vessel, ignore it and draw another. Otherwise…
Immediate: Catch the first wild Pokémon you see in this area, then have an observer choose a new party of six Pokémon from all the Pokémon you own, except for Pokémon in the Vessel.  Revoke any ongoing rules that would make this team illegal.
Ongoing: All of the chosen Pokémon are compulsory.

So I went to Jim with a full update on all my cards and Pokémon, and here is what he said.

So those are the Pokémon designated by the Devil: Orbius, Vasya, Suey, Barkley, Lil’ Toby and Antares.  And in order to get what he wants, the Devil will revoke the cards that stand in their way: the Eight of Swords, because the freedom of Antares’ husband is a condition of 🌟’s service; the Ten of Cups, because most of these Pokémon are not Water- or Electric-types; and the Six of Pentacles, because this is a mixed-gender team.  So here are the cards I still have out:

But I also have two teams of compulsory Pokémon now: the Devil on one shoulder and Justice on the other (is this game turning into a metaphor for something?).

Vasya’s new squad meets with the Justice League in their Fortress of Justice to discuss the situation.  If you have more than six compulsory Pokémon, you get to pick which ones to use, and Champions always have the right to claim a spot.  Seeing as I have the Exp. Share now, I should probably give all of them a little bit of level-grinding while I have the chance, but I still have to decide who’s actually going to be on, well… The Team.  With apologies to Orbius, I think Wendolene’s Champion status will make her the more useful high-level Electric-type for the time being (but that could change any minute, since the Emperor is my oldest Major Arcana card now).  Barkley should probably have priority over everyone else, since he’s both a member of the Justice League and a servant of the Devil.  Three members of the Justice League are Grass-types, but I have to respectfully offer precedence to our true Queen.  Antares is non-negotiable as we’ll need Surf in Union Cave (🌟 is usable without 🌟’s husband, as long as he isn’t actually banned or petrified, but 🌟 won’t receive the special bonuses 🌟’ve grown accustomed to, like the ability to switch out of battle even with an Ace in play).  Jim the Editor will probably kill me and then himself if anything happens to Lil’ Toby, but I think he’ll still want me to bring Toby along.  The only question is whether to bring Diglette or Explodia to show the Justice League’s flag, or just finish the team with Suey… I’ll make up my mind in a little bit.

Hail to the queen!

The Justice League are the queen’s servants, and must stand ready to fight on her behalf if she should be incapacitated.

Hmm… I think this calls for a slight correction…

You can’t just hang up on me after that, Tiffany! What happened to your Clefairy!?!?

Right; I think this seems suitably prepared for further investigation.

Since I still have the Moon in play, I’m not going to look up the actual map of Union Cave or check which sections have their own encounter tables or anything like that: drawing cards in here is going to be purely vibes-based.  From memory, though, I think there are roughly two “branches” within the cave to explore, and I think that merits two draws (in addition to the one when I went through Union Cave the first time).  The area between these stairs and the last place I drew a card is very small, so I’m just going to keep moving for now.

Now, it’s Friday night, so hopefully…

My team is already a bit ragged just from getting down here, thanks to the combination of the Ace of Wands and the High Priestess, and the trainers in the depths being a little stronger than I remembered.  Hopefully we’ve still got enough left in the tank to catch this new friend, though…

There; no problem.

This seems to be the only Lapras in Johto, and it’s not clear how it got here – there must be some underwater entrance to Union Cave that we can’t access.  Either that or it’s a sort of Nessie situation, where Lapras got into the cave ages ago and can’t get out, or is the last remnant of a population that no longer exists.

These stairs downward are accessible from the first time you visit Union Cave, but most of what’s on this level – including all the trainers – is across the water, so I delayed drawing a card until now.  And of course the Seven of Pentacles means we get two!

Well, I can’t exactly say I’m delighted with going up to six Major Arcana slots, but it’s certainly good news for Wendolene’s tenure as the Emperor’s Chosen.

The ChariotOngoing: You permanently gain one additional “slot” for ongoing rules from Major Arcana cards.  The Chariot returns to the deck after being drawn, and drawing it multiple times continues to give you more slots.

And we’ve seen the Six of Wands a few times now, but let’s just remind ourselves anyway:

Six – ChicksOngoing: Your male Pokémon are banned (unless you have no female or genderless Pokémon).  This rule is revoked if you draw a Five/Guys and cancels out if you draw another Six.
Immediate: You may catch the first female wild Pokémon you see in this area.

Six of Wands: When you draw this card, roll a 6-sided die to randomly choose one of your Pokémon to identify as female for the rest of the game (if you roll a Pokémon that is already female or has already changed gender in the past, reroll, unless there are no eligible Pokémon in your party).  All cards and rules permanently treat that Pokémon as female, even after this card leaves play.

There are three possibilities, so I’ll just roll that die…

Huh.

Antares has informed me that, although her true gender remains vast, cosmic, and beyond the pathetic expressive limits of human language, the whole star-gender thing with the 🌟/⭐ pronouns is frankly a bit tiresome and she thinks it would be easier for… *ahem*… for my “ridiculous little three-dimensional mortal brain”… if I just referred to her as female.  This does not, she hastens to add, imply that either Long John Ruby or their marriage could ever be described by such an excruciatingly pedestrian adjective as “straight.”

Unfortunately, whatever the nature of their relationship, Long John Ruby is definitely male, and is definitely banned, and their marriage vows are clear on this: Antares is banned along with him (as well as Barkley, Lil’ Toby and Suey).  There are other members of the Justice League who will happily take up the cause in their stead; the trouble is, I’m now in a similar position to where I was before I drew the Devil – I can’t get a Pokémon with Surf into my party.  I have too many compulsory Pokémon and can’t take anyone else.  If Surf were essential for progressing the story here I’d be allowed to bend the rules, but it’s not.  I have to turn back.  Before that, though… I may as well at least catch the first female Pokémon I meet.  Of course, it won’t really be the first first, because I’m pretty sure there’s only one more Pokémon species in Union Cave that’s not a duplicate.

Anyway… I think we now have the tools at our disposal to make Jasmine at least worth attempting, so we may as well return to Olivine City and take a look inside the gym.  Who knows, I may even draw a card that gets me Antares back or something.

Oh god.  This again.

Seven of Cups: Draw until you find two Major Arcana cards or Kings.  Follow those cards’ rules and shuffle the other cards you drew back into the deck.

Four – ElementsOngoing: Your Pokémon’s moves that get a Same-Type Attack Bonus (STAB) are locked.  This rule cancels out if you draw another Four.
Immediate: You may catch the first Pokémon you see in this area that does not share a type with any of your current party Pokémon.

Four of SwordsFlying, Psychic, Ice and Steel Pokémon may use their STAB moves as normal.  Ground, Rock, Grass and Fighting Pokémon are banned.

ugh, the Four of Swords is going to put the cat amongst the pigeons; half the Pokémon in the Justice League are Ground- or Grass-types.  But we’d better see what happens with the Seven of Cups first (and remember that the Seven of Pentacles ends when you draw another Seven, so we’re back to drawing cards one at a time after this).

Well, isn’t this a fine mess?

TemperanceOngoing: Your attacks with a base power higher than 80 are locked.

The HermitOngoing: When you draw this card, choose one: your party must not have two Pokémon whose natures increase the same stat, OR your party must not have two Pokémon whose natures decrease the same stat.

And that’s two new Major Arcana cards, so even with six slots, we no longer have space for the Emperor and Wendolene’s illustrious career as my Champion is at an end.

Okay, uh… gimme a minute to figure this out… first of all, with no male Pokémon and with those “earthy” types banned by the Four of Swords, who are we actually allowed to use…?

(Now that I think of it, Dandy and Yolquelin, although they are Grass-types, aren’t banned by the Four of Swords because their secondary types are favoured by the suit of Swords.)

Her Majesty just can’t catch a break in this game… and I was really hoping the Diglettes would be my ace in the hole against Jasmine.  That means I’m left with… um… Dandy, Yolquelin, Orbius and Explodia are all still usable, and all compulsory (because of either Justice or the Devil)… but Dandy and Explodia are both Calm, so I’m going to lose one of them no matter which option I pick for the Hermit.  That means the very best I can do right now is to fit three of my eleven compulsory Pokémon into my team.  Anyone else I can cram in – out of my female Pokémon who aren’t Grass, Rock, Ground or Fighting, and don’t have a nature clash – is fair game!

Hmm, let me see… Friday is Hardy and Charlotte the Observer is Serious; those are neutral natures, so I can have one of them either way (Charlotte is an Ice-type, so she gets to keep her STAB moves under the Four of Swords, which would be very nice).  If I pick “no natures that increase the same stat,” then +Sp.Atk, +Sp.Def and +Spd are filled by my compulsory Pokémon, so I could fill +Atk and +Def with… Wendolene, and… no-one; no-one is +Def.  If I pick “no natures that decrease the same stat,” then -Atk, -Def and -Sp.Atk are already filled, so I can fill -Sp.Def and -Spd with, um… once again Wendolene (she’s Brave, +Atk/-Spd, which just happens to fit my current needs very neatly), and… Breeze, she’s Naïve.  So I guess we’re picking “no natures that decrease the same stat” and this is the team!

And let’s just check we can comply with both the Four of Swords and Temperance simultaneously…Explodia’s fine, Orbius is… “fine” is an overstatement, but sure… Breeze ignores all move restrictions because she’s in the Flying egg group and gets the King of Cups’ royal blessing… Friday ignores the Four of Swords but not Temperance (so Ice Shard and Water Pulse are fine but Surf won’t be, if I teach it to her so we can return to Union Cave)… Wendolene is more or less fine… Yolquelin will need a new move (Grass/Psychic doesn’t ignore the Four of Swords because it’s favoured on one side and disfavoured on the other), and I’m not immediately sure what I can get her.  Uh… Sludge Bomb won’t work with Temperance… I guess there’s always Hidden Power?

Upon testing, Yolquelin’s Hidden Power seems to be Water-type; I guess that might be useful.

Okay.  Exhale.  Release tension.

Now that that… chain-reaction… is resolved, I guess the question is, do I like this team’s chances against Jasmine enough that I’m prepared to train them up just to take her on, or would I rather put Surf on Friday so I can keep exploring and potentially meet with more changes?

…to be honest, I think they could beat her with more training, but I’m not convinced they’re the best I can possibly do.

This is a bit awkward… I need Surf for travel, but I can’t use it in battle because of Temperance.  I can’t use Body Slam either (it has 85 base power) but I don’t want to lose it.  I also don’t want to lose Water Pulse or Ice Shard, because I can use those.  Confuse Ray could be really useful too.

Hmm.

Y’know what, maybe I should teach Surf to Charlotte instead?  The Hermit makes her interchangeable with Friday in my team structure, and I’m a lot less worried about keeping any of her current moves in the long term.

And as long as we’re doing that, we might as well…

Well, let’s carry on, then.

I could just put Strength on Charlotte… then again, she’s got two HM moves already.  Hmm.  Oh, Pineco can learn Strength apparently (for some reason); that’s probably more useful.

What is this!?  Back in the Ruins of Alph!  Nowhere to catch wild Pokémon in this little section though.

Although there are many ways you could reasonably interpret the inscription “WATER” – Fresh Water, Mystic Water, a Water Pokémon – I believe this pillar will only open at the touch of a Water Stone, and I don’t have one of those yet (doubtless one of my worthless suitors will find one for me sooner or later).

The puzzle, of course, we can do.

This actually raises an interesting question.  I already drew a card for the underground hall the first time I visited the Runis of Alph… but every time you complete another puzzle, more Unown forms start to appear here.  Does that count as changing the encounter tables?  And if it does, is that a significant enough change to be worth considering this a new “area” for purposes of Kingslocke card draws?

I’m going to say “no” here just so we can get on with it, but let the record show that I consider this one a matter of interpretation.

After dropping down to the underground hall, we can’t climb back up to the Union Cave entrance we just left, so I may as well look around the Ruins of Alph a bit more.

Hmm… I know I taught someone Flash, but I don’t remember who… and even if I did, I’m not sure I could go and get them right now.

You gotta love Aerodactyl; it flies through the sky and doesn’t afraid of anything.

I suppose I could now catch wild Pokémon in the water, or from headbutting trees, although I’ll have to go back around through Union Cave again to reach the only long grass in the ruins.  May as well draw the card now.

Oh, sweet!  The Six of Swords cancels out the Six of Wands, so all my male Pokémon can come back.  Well, most of them – the Four of Swords still messes with the ones who have “earthy” types.  I’ll just have to check again who I’m required to use by Justice and the Devil, and what the Hermit thinks of that…

As you can see from this handy arrangement, none of the Pokémon I currently need to use have the same nature penalty as Wendolene (speed), so she can stay with me.  Barkley is still compulsory because of two different cards, so he should once again take priority over the other Pokémon with -Attack natures (Dandy and Explodia).  Since I’m allowed to use Wendolene, I’m inclined to take Lil’ Toby (Adamant) over Orbius (Jolly).  Antares (Serious) and Yolquelin (Mild) are non-negotiable.  And that leaves me with one free-ish space for a Pokémon with a -Sp.Def nature…

Let’s see… Breeze, Long John Ruby or William… I think it has to be Long John, right?  If Antares has her husband on the team they’ll both be a lot stronger; they won’t have to worry about Temperance, the Four of Swords, the Ace of Wands or even the High Priestess.

And of course I get to catch the first female Pokémon I see in the Ruins of Alph.  After a quick detour back through Union Cave…

Here we are, the only long grass in the Ruins of Alph.

…yeah I’m gonna have to pass on that one.

May as well finish this, though.

Okay… we’ve cleared Union Cave and the Ruins of Alph; I think there’s now just one more area I can usefully explore…

…fµ¢£, it’s dark in here.

…and the Moon means I can’t look up a map on the internet.  Great.

Well.  Onward to adventure.

With Strength I can get through to this exit…

…and I’ve been on route 46 before; this is the same route you can reach the bottom of from New Bark Town, and I have drawn a card here, and there aren’t any new wild Pokémon, but there are some trainers here that I haven’t met before… so this is a bit of an ambiguous one, but in the heat of the moment I’m going to say it counts.

Oh, it’s so good to have him back; after all, he’s never caused me any problems before, and I’m sure he won’t have any sanity-fraying interactions with the Hermit.

The FoolOngoing: Whenever you catch or receive a new non-legendary Pokémon, that Pokémon becomes compulsory.  The Fool can make up to three Pokémon at a time compulsory; if you obtain a fourth new Pokémon while the Fool is still in play, the first one stops being compulsory. In addition, as long as the Fool is in play, whenever another card tells you that you “may” catch a new Pokémon, you must catch one (or at least attempt to, if you are told to catch the first one you see).

The good news is, my slots are full, so now the High Priestess is gone; I can use healing items again.

This is Picknicker Erin. Her thing is that she’ll sometimes call you and tell you “come back for another battle!” when she has no intention of battling you.

b!tch

I don’t think Alfred is a bad person, but I do think it’s weird and somehow slightly offputting that his reaction to being reunited with a Pokémon he hadn’t seen in years was “oh-ho-ho! Well, you know what they say!”

Anyway, if we go back around and enter Dark Cave again from the Violet City side, we can also Surf across some water and enter this deeper section.

The Pokémon back here are a much higher level, and I think there are a couple of different species (in particular, I think you can catch Wobbuffet here).  So let’s draw again and get…

…back to girls only.  And I don’t think we’ve seen the Five or Six of Cups yet; I’m not sure I even remember what the special rule is.

Six – ChicksOngoing: Your male Pokémon are banned (unless you have no female or genderless Pokémon).  This rule is revoked if you draw a Five/Guys and cancels out if you draw another Six.
Immediate: You may catch the first female wild Pokémon you see in this area.

Six of Cups: All female Pokémon you own from species with gender ratios that are more than 50% female are compulsory.

Oh, right, it’s this one!  Uh, do I… have any?  I’m not sure.  Fortunately, when I wrote this rule I had the foresight to include a list of all the Pokémon this would apply to:

  • As of generation VIII, Pokémon with female-skewed or female-only gender ratios are: Nidorina, Clefairy, Vulpix, Jigglypuff, Chansey, Kangaskhan, Jynx, Snubbull, Corsola, Miltank, Skitty, Azurill (but not Marill), Illumise, Luvdisc, Latias, Glameow, Wormadam, Vespiquen, Froslass, Cresselia, Petilil, Minccino, Gothita, Vullaby, Flabébé, Litleo, Oricorio, Salazzle, Comfey, Bounsweet, Hatenna, Milcery, Enamorus

So… no, I don’t think there are any.  Jynx is a possibility if this card stays in play long enough, but this is probably just a default Six.

Let’s revise once again…

(Yes, Antares is female but she’s banned in solidarity with her husband)

So I can pull out… a Pokémon with a neutral nature, which can be Friday, Delphi (Serious) or Charlotte… and a Pokémon with a -Atk nature, which can be Phoxy or Lavalene (both Timid).  I think we’ll be in a good spot if we take Charlotte for now, swap back to Friday for the gym if nothing else has changed by then, and also bring Lavalene.

Turns out I can’t actually go very far into this deeper part of the cave because there are ledges in the way, but I can still catch the first female Pokémon I see.  Most of the Pokémon in here are duplicates, but as previously discussed…

The Fool will want me to use Madame Mirror if I can, but we’ll have to check her nature first… hmm; timid, so she can replace Lavalene, who isn’t compulsory.  Ah well.

This little hidden area of route 34, where these three Ace Trainer sisters hang out and train their Water Pokémon in secret, probably shouldn’t count for a card draw; I just want to mention that it’s here because it’s fun.

Anyway.

I don’t think I can put this off any longer.

The Ace of Wands will make this… difficult.  But I have some ideas.  I think we can handle it.

Oh yeah, Magnemite can do this awful bull$#!t to you. Maybe this was a bad idea…

Heheheh; get wobbed, jerk.

Whoo!  I knew Madame Mirror could do some serious damage if she reflected a Thunderbolt, but I didn’t think she’d be able to beat both Magnemite!

…y’know, I have hyper potions… do I just try to wob Jasmine’s Steelix as well?  Do I dare to dream!?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

GET WOBBED

WOW; Wobbuffet can be awkward in single-player because it can’t do anything proactively, but it is amazing at what it does.

Well, I think that’s a good place to stop for now.  I have seven gym badges now, which means there should be an ominous phone call waiting when I step out of the building… but for now, let’s just review my cards.

4 thoughts on “Heart Gold Kingslocke: Episode 11

  1. How am I supposed to explain to my child that a starfish who goes by she/her pronouns – although her true gender remains vast, cosmic and beyond our pathetic human comprehension – is married to a jellyfish pirate captain and that they can use Surf even with Temperance in play as long as they’re both in the party together? *clutches pearls*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A proposed change to the 5 card rules (if you draw a 10): Planeteers — because there are 5 of them. Instead of banning female Pokemon, a 5 now bans Pokemon that are not of the Planeteers’ elements’ types (i.e., Earth, Flying (wind), Water, Fire, and Fairy (heart)). In addition, you must go through your deck and remove The World–Captain Planet himself–from the deck. 😉 This rule is canceled if another 5 is drawn.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s