In a way it feels strange to do all three of these characters together – like, it makes sense to have Hau and Gladion together because they both fit Pokémon’s existing “rival” archetypes, and it makes sense to have Lillie and Gladion together because (uh… SPOILERS, I guess???) they’re family, but the three of them don’t fit together quite as neatly at first glance. In fact, though, they play off each other in ways that I think are worth talking about. Hau, Lillie and Gladion all act as foils to one another – Hau’s carefree optimism, Lillie’s self-effacing dutifulness, Gladion’s edgy pragmatism. All three of them also have certain issues with their parentage (granted, in Lillie and Gladion’s case, it’s the same parent), which is important not just in terms of their own characterisation but because tradition (and, by extension, ancestry and inheritance) is a minor theme of Sun and Moon. Lillie’s relationship with her mother is also basically what the entire climax of the game turns on. So let’s talk about these three, their personalities and what happens to them, and see what we can be come up with – starting with Hau.Continue reading “Hau, Lillie and Gladion”
Remember when you first encountered this Pokémon? Just wandering around Akala Island, minding your own business, when suddenly the lead guitarist of a My Chemical Romance cover band challenges you to a battle, enters some kind of drug-induced seizure-trance, and sends out what is clearly about six different Pokémon, stitched together by the bastard child of Victor Frankenstein and Josef Mengele. That first appearance makes quite an impact; it’s clear from the start that Gladion is an important character mixed up with some grade-A X-files $#!t, and that his partner Pokémon is not a typical Alolan species. In fact, it’s an artificial creature designed by the Aether Foundation, the antagonists (more or less) of Sun and Moon, with a very specific purpose in mind. Continue reading “Type: Null and Silvally”
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”
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?
Oh yes. 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”
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”
When I reach the entrance to the quiet valley of Brooklet Hill, a Water Pokémon paradise, I am greeted by none other than the local Captain herself: Lana, a dreamy young woman with blue hair. Lana needs help with something, and apparently won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Well, the sooner I make her happy, the sooner I can attempt her trial, and the sooner I can get out of here… I follow Lana down into the valley, past tranquil pools and rumbling waterfalls, until we reach a large pool being disturbed by a strange thrashing out in the deepest part.Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 6: In Which I Offer Charity To A Character of Dubious Virtue”
There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot to see in Heahea City. Part of the town is blocked off by some douchebag with a perfectionist Stoutland that won’t move until it’s sniffed literally every square centimetre of the main road, and most of the buildings I can access are standard services: there’s a Pokémon Centre, and a clothing shop, and a tourist bureau like the one in Hau’oli City. Hau just wants to find somewhere that sells malasadas, but Lillie, for her part, has more interesting ambitions: she wants to take Nebby to Akala Island’s guardian ruins, the home of the island’s patron god-Pokémon, Tapu Lele, and she’s hoping that I’ll accompany them when the time comes. For Nebby’s sake, I make a noncommittal “mrrmmhmm” noise and wiggle my head in a way that could plausibly be interpreted as either a nod “yes” or a shake “no.”Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 5: In Which I Agree To Help Resurrect An Ancient God”