One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
How do you deal with the poachers? – Use your Bug Pokémon to create snares and set up an ambush.
If you get into a fight, which Pokémon will you use? – Scallion, the Bulbasaur – Nancy the Negator, the Minun
[AUTHOR TIEBREAK: Nancy can cheer for our other Pokémon from the sidelines, so let’s have Scallion take point.]
You think about the problem for a minute. Yeah, all things considered, Dane has a point; the five of you with all your Pokémon probably could take these clowns with a good battle plan, even if they do turn out to be a bit stronger than you individually. But why risk it? You all have Bug Pokémon that can spin silk (except maybe Ellis? You glance at him questioningly and he confirms that, yes, his Beedrill is still young enough to remember String Shot) – you can use them to create nets and webs, string them up between the trees, then lure the poachers into a trap. With any luck, you won’t even have to fight.
After receiving a mysterious “mission” from some potentially hostile Pokémon, what do you want to do? – Honour the agreement and investigate
…you really don’t know what’s good for you, do you, kiddo?
You’ve always been a curious kid, and there’s no way you can just let this go. A bunch of wild Pokémon, apparently asking you to… eliminate(???) another human in their territory? Who? And why? You don’t see how it can hurt to check it out; you can decide what to do about it once you know what “it” is. Besides, as you point out to persuade Dane, the Ariados could be watching to see if you’ll do as you’ve been told, and they can probably move faster than you through the dense forest. Before you leave, you take several more photos of the dirt-scratch map from a couple of different angles, just to make sure you’ll be able to find your way (and hey, if you have more images to show Professor Oak later, that’s just gravy). You notice that, quite close to the spiderweb symbol marking the Ariados’ nest, the map has another scratchy little glyph resembling a human caught in a web, which you realise is probably the campsite you just left, where most of your stuff is. If you hurry, you can get back before dark.
What do you want to do tomorrow? – Explore the deep forest.
Part of you wants to focus on getting to Pewter City so you can get that whole gym challenge thing back on track after your frustrating false start in Viridian City. On the other hand, though… this forest is fascinating to you. People in Viridian City called it a “natural maze” because of the way the vegetation swallows any artificial path that isn’t constantly maintained, leaving a tangled mess of Pokémon migration paths, treefall clearings and hill crests as the only real landmarks. No one alive really knows Viridian Forest, and even your new friends who’ve spent time here before are only truly familiar with a small part of the southern reaches. Still, with your scientific knowledge, their wilderness skills and a bit of luck, you’re confident you can map out a sector of the forest and gain some valuable data about the ecosystem – maybe even find a cool new Pokémon or some kind of, like, lost treasure or whatever. You all pack up your gear and set off northward, most of your Pokémon out of their balls and playing together as you move.
Which Pokémon will battle Ellis’ Beedrill, and how? – Use Scallion the Bulbasaur, and try to think of an unconventional strategy.
A Beedrill is a tough opponent, especially for a Grass Pokémon like Scallion, and unlike the other bug catchers, Ellis seems to have experience to balance your knowledge of Pokémon and battle tactics. You’re going to need to pull some kind of bull$#!t to win this one. You glance around the clearing – tents, leaf litter, a couple of hillocks, tall trees all around…
You glance down at Scallion, catching his eye, and jerk your head at the tree branches. He follows your gaze and looks back at you in confusion. You jerk your head again and make a motion with your hands as if pulling on a rope. Scallion stares, baffled, then something clicks and his eyes widen. He looks at you nervously and tilts his head. You nod vigorously and give him a manic grin.
I gotta tell you, kid, I do not like where this is going.
Who would you like to go with? – Help Stacey find a Bug Pokémon that’s rare in Kanto.
Once everything is settled, Ellis has elected to follow Dane and look for battles with wild Pokémon while doing general exploration, and you have volunteered to search out some unusual Bug Pokémon with Stacey. Rather than join either pair, Abner decides to stay at the group’s base camp so he can try his experimental evolution ideas on his own. Sticking to the ground, you can see tell-tale signs that the vegetation has been invigorated by the presence of wild Grass Pokémon, and occasionally you spot intriguing blackened marks near the base of tree trunks that look to you like electrical burns. If you want to find different Bug-types, though, you suspect you’ll need to get off the ground and into the treetops. You’re not much of a climber, and Stacey is only a little better, but using Scallion’s Vine Whips and Aura’s String Shot, you’re able to create makeshift ropes and nets that help you up into the highest trees without breaking your fragile child necks. Of course, you make an awful racket in the process, and you can tell there are Pokémon fleeing just out of your sight, but once you get used to what you’re doing, you can move from one treetop to the next with surprising ease, thanks to the interlaced branches of Viridian Forest’s dense canopy. You suggest focusing on trees with sweet berries and listening carefully for the low-pitched hum of Bug Pokémon wings; Stacey catches on pretty quickly and leads the way. After half an hour picking your way through the upper levels of the forest, you stumble into a tree filled with red, black-spotted beetle Pokémon, which you vaguely recognise as Ledyba.
What will you do tomorrow? – Join up with some other trainers to explore.
You’re not the only trainer about to attempt a Viridian Forest expedition; a group of trainers from Viridian City, all friends, are also spending the night at the rest stop. You decide to sidle over and introduce yourself while they’re all chatting before lights-out. After all, Viridian Forest has kind of a dark reputation, and although you’ve already proven to yourself and your Pokémon that you can manage a couple of days in the wilderness on your own, it’d still be dumb to pass up company when it’s on offer.
You think that was the name of a hit song. Something like that, anyway.
Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:
What will you do as you head north? – Train with your Pokémon.
You decide to set a relaxed pace and train with your three Pokémon as you move. You have Scallion punch berries off tree branches and toss rocks around with his Vine Whips, get Nancy to do progressively faster and harder Quick Attacks, and tell Aura to try to restrain you with her String Shot. That last one… turns out to work better than you anticipated, and you spend the next fifteen minutes trying to pull gluey threads of silk off your limbs and face with hands that are, themselves, covered in gluey threads of silk. You get some of it in your hair. It is awful. Kid, this kind of $#!t is why Larry was such a lost cause (rest in peace, man). Once you get all the webby gunk off you, Aura immediately – unprompted – starts spewing more silk everywhere. You open your mouth to tell her to stop, but realise that she’s no longer aiming at you; in fact, most of the silk is winding around her own body. You watch, fascinated, as she spends a full minute wrapping herself in tight swathes of silk. There is a sudden flash of light, and your Wurmple is gone, replaced by a silky-skinned white Pokémon the size and approximate shape of a football, with sleepy-looking red eyes beneath shaggy lashes. She blinks once and makes a satisfying low-pitched humming noise.
What do you do next? – Camp out here so you can investigate the invasive species.
other concerns besides continuing your journey.
The evidence you’ve collected suggests that there are non-native species
in this habitat, and while that isn’t necessarily a problem per se, you want
to rule out any possibility that they might be harming the local ecosystem. Viridian Forest and Pewter City aren’t going
anywhere, and there’s always some chance that the mysterious Viridian gym
leader will return in a day or two. You
find a sheltered spot by a small pond and set up to spend the night here.
Do you want to give Wurmple a nickname? – Let Pokémaniac Chris name it.
What do you say to Whatshisname? – Ask about the health of his Pokémon.
You’re honestly not sure how trainer etiquette is supposed to go in these situations, but it seems to you like the polite thing here is to ask the other guy about how his Pokémon is doing.
“Uh…” He blinks, fumbling for a second. “Squirtle’s doing great. Uh, aren’t you, buddy?” He glances down at Squirtle, who is poking
around some brush with Scallion.
Squirtle looks back up at him and replies with an affirmative-sounding
squeaky grunt. “You know a bunch of nerd
stuff, right? Think you’d be able to
tell if a Pokémon was sick or hurt?” You
do, of course, know a spectacular amount of dumb nerd $#!t, but most of it
isn’t directly related to Pokémon health.
You can certainly observe a Pokémon’s behaviour and take note of even
fairly subtle changes, and it does occur to you that Squirtle seems to have a
little more spring in its step, so you tell Prussian(?) as much. They’ve only been together a day and a half,
but some Pokémon seem to become more lively just from being in the company of humans;
it’s a phenomenon that Professor Oak has always been fascinated by.
Do you want to give Minun a nickname? – Let the Narrator name it.
Me? Uh… I mean, yeah, I guess. Honestly I’m a little surprised you can ask me to do that; are you even consciously aware of me as a voice in your head? Whatever; by the power vested in me by… narratorial omniscience, I guess? I hereby name this Minun:
Nancy, the Negator
just Nancy to her friends.
Whatever. Nancy seems a little
bemused, like she thinks “The Negator” might be slightly grandiose for little
old her, but she does also think it’s kind of badass, so she’ll give it
ago. Well… by that, I mean she cocked
her head and made an inquisitive squeaking noise; I dunno how you got the rest
of it, but maybe you really are some sort of “Pokémon whisperer” or some
bull$#!t like that.
What will you do in Viridian City? – Seek out coffee.