House Krookodile: The Jaws of the Desert
Merneith: [squinting] So this is the place?
Ruby: Seems to be. Why else would anyone put a bunch of those giant mushroom domes out here in the middle of nowhere? This shouldn’t take long; we just need to take care of things here for Lavoisier and then we’ll be on our way back to Lumiose City by tomorrow morning.
Merneith: Typical of humans to inflict a blight like that on the landscape. It’s probably putting out mind-altering energy waves or mutating radiation or something. I’d tear down every last one in Kalos if I had the chance.
Ruby: Mmm; well, it’s not exactly easy on the eyes, but we won’t have to look at it for long; let’s get on with it.
Martial: I for one am glad to be engaged in a task of righteousness again – even if only briefly. This group spends too much time as it is pursuing your self-aggrandising fantasies of power.
Ruby: Hey, pursuing my self-aggrandising fantasies of power is just about the only damn thing this lot will ever amount to; don’t knock it. Now, there must be an entrance around here somewhere…
Spruce: Over there! See that little building on the other side of that outcrop?
Ruby: …no, Spruce, because the outcrop is in the way and the rest of us are on the ground.
Spruce: …oh. Right. Hey, I think there’s a fight going on over there! We should get over there and see if someone needs our help!
Ruby: Oh, for goodness’ sake, Spruce; you don’t- …and he’s already gone. Nidoking, you with the life-debt or whatever; go and make sure he doesn’t get himself killed or something.
Martial: Hmph. I need none of your instruction, witch.
Merneith: Come on; let’s go already! We have a job to do!
Ruby: Spruce, I am now almost 100% certain that she was not challenging you to a staring contest.
Ruby: Well, all right; to be honest, I was almost 100% certain of that before you started. It’s just stopped being amusing now.
Ruby: …he’s going to keep doing that until one of them blinks, isn’t he?
Fisher: Your magical sense did indicate that the stone we seek is in this Slowpoke’s possession, did they not? As odd as it seems, a staring contest would not be entirely out of step with the other trials presented to us by the various heathens of this island.
Ruby: If by ‘trials,’ you mean the group of Binacle who demanded an arm-wrestle, the Chatot who made Spruce sing for them, the Inkay with the overgrown hedge-maze, and the Exeggcute village that inexplicably challenged us to a riddle contest, then they prove only that life on this island apparently provides the indigenous creatures with no entertainment whatsoever. Well… and possibly that Azure Bay is home to a hitherto unknown Chatot subspecies that has tragically and against all probability been struck tone-deaf.
Fisher: Yet only after they heard of our goal did they pose these challenges. And the final riddle offered as a parting gift by the Exeggcute may yet prove important.
Martial: That lingers on my mind as well. What creature is it that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at midday, and three legs in the evening?
Ruby: Bah; the answer is plainly a male human. The question asks what creature can have three different numbers of ‘legs’ in a single day. In the morning he crawls out of bed on all fours, suffering from a hangover, by midday he has gotten to his feet, and in the evening-
Merneith: Don’t be ridiculous; the question is phrased to trick us. They never said it had to be the morning and evening of the same day! A two-legged Roggenrola might evolve into a three-legged Boldore one evening, and then again into a four-legged Gigalith the next morning.
Martial: Yet I was certain the riddle would refer to the stone’s guardian, and it seems she is neither a human nor a Boldore – nor do either of those species appear to be indigenous to this island.
Slowpoke: Oh… hello… I’m sorry; I didn’t see you there.
Ruby: See-!? We’ve been standing around you talking for over ten minutes!
Slowpoke: Well, that’s a relief. For a moment I was worried you’d been waiting a long time.
Spruce: Does that mean I win?
Merneith: …yes. Yes, you do.
Ruby: Don’t encourage him. You! Slowpoke! Reveal your identity to us!
Slowpoke: Hmm… For a long time I remember many Pokémon called me Hypatia… you may use that name if it pleases you… though it has been a while. I may only have imagined it… What do you believe you are called?
Ruby: …Ruby the Braixen, fiery jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supreme; perhaps you’ve heard of… oh, forget it.
Hypatia: Forget what?
Amaldos: Forgetting is a privilege reserved for those who are forgiven.
Hypatia: Oh… hello there, honoured master. How go your duties?
Amaldos: Every subject’s duty is his own soul, but no master’s soul is his own.
Hypatia: I see… And your exalted mentor? I trust he is well?
Amaldos: [sadly] He is banished from himself… a joyful thing for us, we who are wedded to calamity.
Merneith: You killed him. You literally killed him in front of us. Remember?
Amaldos: Remembering is a privilege reserved for those whose loss will be regretted.
Ruby: Argh; you’re all as mad as each other. Look, Slowpoke; you have a Mega Stone in your possession. Hand it over.
Hypatia: The stone…? But it was only just given to me to guard… only four or five generations have passed among the Exeggcute since I was left here by master Amaldos.
Spruce: Four or five… generations? [To Amaldos] …how old are you?
Amaldos: Enough to have seen mighty oaks grow from old chestnuts.
Spruce: Oaks grow from acorns. Um. Don’t they?
Amaldos: There is a time and a place for everything…
Ruby: Whatever; whatever; just hand it over.
Hypatia: …I remember once these stones were freely bought and sold as curiosities. And in another time, I think perhaps they were feared as terrible weapons. At one point they were considered an ideal base for a number of salads and chutneys. But I think I was left here because there was a time we thought them sacred… worthy of protection. Have our beliefs shifted once again?
Amaldos: Seeing is believing, and we who are blinded by the light see precious little…
Hypatia: Very well… I will trust your judgement, master. Sorceress… take the stone, and use it well…
Ruby: Ah… at last… and now we shall see what arcane secrets this mighty artefact can unlock…
Ruby: …right now.
Amaldos: If there is no time like the present, then only the absent have time.
Ruby: …no one wants to object?
Martial: I would rather save my breath for someone wise enough to listen.
Merneith: To be honest, I kinda want to see what this one does.
Ruby: Okay… here goes nothing…
Ruby: Look, it’s perfectly simple; as my personal minion, everything you know about the Mega Stones now belongs to me.
Amaldos: And so the stars belong in the sky, yet the sky never sought to constrain the stars to wait out the dawn.
Ruby: Yeah, but… that’s not… that analogy makes no sense.
Amaldos: Of course not; for my senses have taken leave of me.
Ruby: If you’re not going to help me find the stones, then why did you want to come along with us in the first place?
Amaldos: There is something new under the sun, old tricks learned again on borrowed time… and soon, a bolt from the blue. In a matter of life and death, sometimes a Liepard must find more than one way to skin a Purugly in order to change its spots.
Ruby: …okay, sure. And… the reason I can’t try using yours is…?
Amaldos: It is mine.
Ruby: Ah. Well. Fair enough, then.
Amaldos: When you despise something, keep it close; if it leaves you, it was never worth your hatred in the first place.
Spruce: But if the journey is more important than the destination, then why is the road less travelled… um… always blocked by construction workers?
Amaldos: [long silence]
Spruce: And how does someone who walks off the beaten path find their way up the garden path?
Amaldos: An Accelgor can never catch a Torkoal that has been given a head start. There is a place nearby where moss gathers on the wrong side of the trees. Come, blinded one; let us find your stone and set it rolling.
Ruby: [to Spruce] How the hell do you even do that?
Spruce: [shrugs helplessly]
Chris: Gosh; that tower’s incredible, isn’t it, Ruby? I’ve read about it but it’s even more amazing to actually see it!
Ruby: Mmm, I suppose even I must admit it’s rather impr- wait, hang on, you can read!?
Chris: Come on! Korrina said that’s where she hangs out most of the time; let’s go see her!
Ruby: Yes… yes, the human who travels with those two Lucario. They’ll not escape me this time. Whatever secrets they hold will be mine! MINE! HA-hahahahaha-HAH!
Fisher: …my lady, I must confess you frighten me sometimes.
Ruby: So… this is what that Lucario meant by “through the looking-glass,” I suppose. Load of cryptic nonsense… And there’s no other way to Shalour City, Nidorino?
Martial: None that I know of. But there may be a benefit to travelling through these caves. Somewhere within lies a Moon Stone that will allow me to evolve into a Nidoking. I was questing in search of it when I was attacked outside. [to Spruce] I would better be able to serve you in a greater form. However, you must not delay your own tasks on my account. It is your decision whether to search for the stone, my saviour.
Spruce: Sure, we can look for it! Right, Ruby?
Ruby: [raised eyebrow] He’s your minion, Spruce. What do you think? Is making him more powerful worth the investment of your time?
Spruce: Um… y-yes?
Ruby: Is that an answer, or another question?
Spruce: Uh… I… yes. Yes! We’d be a lot stronger with a Nidoking on the team, even if it’s only temporary! Let’s do it!
Ruby: As good a reason as any. Lead the way.
Boreas: If the asking be not injurious, what was thy former quest, good sir? To what end didst thou seek after thy lunar gem?
Martial: That is irrelevant now. If and when I am able to repay my life-debt, I will return to my former duty. Until then, it must be as though my life were forfeit.
Spruce: But maybe if you tell us, we can help-
Martial: I will not speak of it! If I had been killed, my cause would surely have been abandoned and lost. As things are, it is merely delayed. For that alone, my debt is almost beyond reckoning. I cannot and will not allow you to do more for me until it is repaid.
Ruby: [muttering] Hmph. Doesn’t know how lucky he is. What I wouldn’t give for minions like that…
Spruce: What was that, Ruby?
Ruby: Nothing, nothing. Let’s get moving, shall we?
Fisher: Truly, this place is a wonder… these marvellous crystal panes… like the great mirrors of ice in which Burrito the Lightbringer is said to have seen, reflected, the true soul of the Lazorgator, and the path for love to conquer hate…
Ruby: Don’t stare at those too long.
Fisher: My lady?
Ruby: There’s powerful magic here. Old magic. You shouldn’t play with what you don’t understand.
Spruce: But you do that all the time.
Ruby: …well, yeah, but…
Boreas: Thy care for thy fellows is admirable, milady, yet they are but mirrors.
Ruby: Hey, who said I care!? Fine, gaze into whatever you like for as long as you like, just don’t come crying to me when your soul gets sucked into a gemstone or something…
I could go either way on this one, really. Let’s see.
Today I’ll be talking about the desert crocodile Pokémon, Sandile, Krokorok and Krookodile. They are… well… crocodiles that live in the desert. That’s a good start, but it does seem to me like the designers have been reusing a formula again – and I’m not talking about the older crocodile Pokémon, Totodile, Croconaw and Feraligatr. What Game Freak have done is take a North African river animal, shift it a few hundred kilometres west, turn it into a Ground-type with a wave of their magic wand and said “eh; good enough.” Sound familiar?
(This is the point at which I remember that this blog is supposed to be readable for people who stopped playing Pokémon years ago) Continue reading “Sandile, Krokorok and Krookodile”