Beneath the crystal dome at the summit of Mount Lanakila, all is serene; all is peaceful. The dome sparkles in the midday sun, the air is still, pure white clouds drift softly past the mountain below, and the inlaid Pokéball design on my throne pulses gently with a warm azure light.
Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Epilogue: Responsibility” →
“…sweet Arceus, I’m SO BORED!”
Four islands, seven trials, four Kahunas, all behind me. In the old days, I’m told, that would have basically been it. I mean, there’s supposed to be a rematch against all four Kahunas up on Mount Lanakila. As far as I can tell, though, that’s traditionally less about the battles themselves and more about getting absolutely plastered on the beach afterwards. The after-party for Professor Kukui’s Final Trial is said to have been the stuff of legends, and saw the genesis of three new cocktails, twenty-four herbal hangover remedies, the Alolan form of Grimer, the character of the Masked Royal, and a devastating new Rock-type move that was instantly banned by sixteen different Pokémon Leagues. Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 18: In Which I Reluctantly Embrace My Alleged Destiny” →
At the end of the Vast Poni Canyon, the sheer walls open out into an enormous crater, with a stone spire at its centre and a magnificent – albeit ancient and crumbling – staircase leading up to our goal, the Altar of the Moone. The sun is setting when we arrive, and Hapu and her Mudsdale are already at the base of the grand staircase waiting for us… somehow.
“If you knew a faster way through the canyon, why didn’t you show us?” I complain as we walk up to her. “This is sort of important.” I pause for thought. “Well, to them, anyway,” I add, jerking my head at Lillie and B.
“And deny you the opportunity to face your final trial?” Hapu asks. “Our history tells us that the Vast Poni Canyon trial was the very first ever to be held… and you did a fine job clearing it, just as expected, Chris!”
“Only ‘fine’?” I respond, to a chuckle from Hapu and eye rolls from B and Lillie.
“Look at the three of you…” Hapu says, contemplatively. “I think this might just work out… No, I am quite sure of it!” Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 17: In Which I Explore The Disreputable Side Of Reality” →
Hapu and Mudsdale are waiting for us at the entrance to the Vast Poni Canyon, beneath a tall dead tree.
“Did everything go well?” she asks Lillie.
“Yes, it did! Though Chris had to help me out of all sorts of trouble, like usual.”
“Nothing wrong with that. People cannot survive all on their own. They have got to help one another out.” Hapu suddenly notices B, and pauses. “You are one of those Pokémon thieves, Team Skull,” she says in a calm, level voice.
“We ain’t no thieves just ‘cause we got a few tricks up our sleeves!” B objects.
“It’s fine, Hapu; he’s with me,” I tell her. That gets me a cocked head and a hint of a smirk. “That is, with us,” I clarify irritably. Hapu squints at B suspiciously. Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 16: In Which I Am Judged By The Forces Of Nature, As Personified By A Giant Angry Lizard” →
Poni Island, which corresponds to the real Hawaiian island of Kauai, turns out to be basically uninhabited. Gladion’s ship drops us off next to a group of brightly painted houseboats with Pokémon-inspired facades, clustered around a long pier. This is the Seafolk Village – a community of seafaring nomads and traders who visit Poni Island seasonally to gather berries. There are no permanent towns or cities – only Pokémon, and the ruins we’ve come here to see. The Seafolk have a perfectly serviceable Pokémon Centre, though, and Lillie and I are even greeted on our arrival by their chief, who knows a little about the island. Lillie explains that we need to see the Kahuna, and the Seafolk chief suggests that we visit Hapu, who lives a little way along the coast to the southeast, in the only permanent dwelling left on the island.
“Oh, we know Hapu,” I tell him. “She’s the Kahuna of Poni Island? She never mentioned that.”
“…I’m sure she can help you,” the chief replies, apparently hesitant to confirm or deny. Well, that’s not even slightly suspicious. Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 15: In Which I Awkwardly Attempt To Bond With A Strange Girl Of Dubious Usefulness” →
The teleport pad leads to what seems to be Lusamine’s private laboratory – a cavernous space at the heart of Aether Paradise. We’re standing on a massive white platform made of the same synthetic material as the rest of the Paradise’s superstructure, and we must be in some closed-off part of the docking level, since there’s sea water all around the platform’s base – perhaps we’re directly below Lusamine’s mansion. At the centre of the platform, Lusamine has several consoles displaying similar information on spatial anomalies to the instruments in Professor Burnet’s lab back in Heahea City. At her side is a black metal box, glowing from within with a strange blue light and floating just off the floor. And all around her instruments… Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 14: In Which Literally All Hell Breaks Loose” →
Where were we?
I had just returned to Aether House in what I thought was triumph, only
to find Gladion there, screaming at everyone in the vicinity.
Something tells me this is not going to be the low point of my day.
After a rage-fuelled battle in which my
Raichu and Toucannon narrowly manage to overcome Gladion’s powerful Golbat,
Sneasel, and whatever the hell “Type: Null” is, Gladion calms down enough for
me to figure out what the hell is going on.
In perhaps the single cleverest feint ever executed by a Pokémon villain
in the history of time, it turns out that Plumeria’s abduction of Yungoos was a
ruse, intended mostly to draw me and Acerola away to Po Town. In our absence, Lillie and her adorable little
cosmic nuke were left with no one to protect them but Hau. Now, Hau is admittedly not without his
strengths. Indeed, if anyone ever finds
a way to convert optimism and doughnuts into a sort of tactical high explosive,
Hau will overnight become the foremost military power in the known
universe. However, given the way reality
has currently chosen to manifest itself, he couldn’t win a battle against the
Rotomdex, much less Plumeria, and she was able to double back as soon as no one
was watching and kidnap Lillie and Nebby.
Gladion is decidedly unimpressed, both at the fact that Cosmog was with
Lillie all along (he apparently knows her), and at Hau’s failure to protect
both of them. If nothing else, his
desire to keep Nebby out of the hands of his own employers seems to have been
sincere. Luckily, he not only seems to
know where they’ve gone, but actually has a way to get there: he has a boat
waiting in Malie City, and orders me and Hau to meet him there posthaste. I momentarily consider the possibility that
this is all some kind of complex bluff on his part – perhaps Gladion has been
working with Lillie all along and is now luring me into a trap? By this point I’m about 90% sure they’re
brother and sister, so he could well be involved in her treacherous plot to
rule Alola… but I also don’t really have a better plan than “spring the trap
and use Hau as a human shield,” so I agree to go along.
Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 13: In Which I Assist A Known Criminal In Raiding A Reputable Organisation of Conservationists” →
oh that’s GOTTA be an Alien reference with Sigourney the Golisopod
Got it in one! Something about
Golisopod’s hulking, chitin-plated form just brings the Alien movies to mind for me.
Once I’ve stopped shaking uncontrollably,
and the Rotomdex has reassured me that the horrifying undead Pikachu I just
fought is only another Pokémon (a Ghost/Fairy-type called Mimikyu), Acerola
offers me some suggestions on what to do next.
Although my success in her trial was in some respects debateable – I
was, she reminds me, only supposed to get a photograph of Mimikyu, not give its
lair a new back door – I did basically achieve its fundamental objectives, so
she presents me with her crystal, the Ghostium-Z. As Ula’ula Island has only two Captains, that
means I now have the right to challenge the island’s Kahuna. Acerola declines to explain who or where the
Kahuna is right away, though, and invites me back to Aether House to talk it
over there. Unfortunately when we get
there, with Hau just a few steps behind, someone who is definitely not the Kahuna is waiting.
Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 12: In Which I Infiltrate A Gang Stronghold” →
With no other clear direction obvious to
me, I leave Malie City and wander south.
The southeast coast of Ula’ula Island is dominated by extremely rough,
rocky, arid scrubland. Although the
Z-Crystal that I earned in Sophocles’ trial gets me through the Island
Challenge barricades on the southeast road, it doesn’t take long before the
rocks become totally impassable. Fortunately,
Hapu (who is almost certainly very important, though I’m still not sure why) is
on hand to offer me the solution: she allows me to freely summon her Mudsdale
as a riding Pokémon. Mudsdale is slow
compared to the other Tauros and Stoutland, but can move effortlessly over
rough terrain that would reduce them to uncoordinated stumbling. Hapu points me in the direction of Tapu
Village, at the base of Mount Lanakila, for my next trial, then bids me good
luck and farewell.
Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 11: In Which I Perform an Exorcism” →