This piece is in principle about the Aether Foundation, and we’ll start by talking a little about them. In practise, though, as I hinted last time in my review of Team Skull, it’s actually more a character study of Lusamine, since a lot of the real “villainy” happening in Sun and Moon is a result of her personal actions, either independently of the Foundation itself or abusing her position within it. The interesting thing about Sun and Moon is that, although Team Skull clearly aren’t the villains by the end of the game, the Aether Foundation aren’t really the villains either. In fact, I’m not even sure Lusamine is. Let’s talk about that.Continue reading “Lusamine and the Aether Foundation”
What did you think of the change to Lusamine’s motivations in USUM? I kind of preferred her SM version, but that’s mostly because Lillie telling her why she was wrong was Lillie’s best moment to me.
Iiiiiiiiii have mixed feelings. I don’t want to go into it in too much detail now because a full article on Lusamine and the Aether Foundation is on my to-do list for after I finish my Pokémon reviews, but I think both versions of Lusamine’s story get at aspects of her character the writers wanted to show. There’s an argument that a better writer would have been able to do that with a single cohesive plotline rather than two alternate versions, but I think there’s also an argument that showing how the same character’s story could have progressed in two different ways as a result of fairly minor changes in circumstance is kind of interesting – we’ve seen Lusamine both as the story’s primary villain and as an arguably heroic supporting character, and each portrayal is true to the other. I quite like the anime’s characterisation of Lusamine and its portrayal of her experiences with Nihilego in Ultra Space, but unfortunately it doesn’t get Lillie’s fantastic “the reason you suck” speech either.
The Alolan archipelago has at last surrendered all (or, well, most) of its secrets – so now the time has finally come for us to leave behind the world we know. The stars have aligned, the ritual is complete, the Dark Forces from Parts Unknown have imparted their mystic secrets, the Ultra Wormhole beckons, and the void opens before us, promising nothing at the price of everything. Yep – we’re figuring out the Ultra Beasts. There’s ten of these freaky bastards (not counting Lunala, Solgaleo and Necrozma), and they’re each getting their own entry. My aim over the course of those ten articles will be not just to review the Ultra Beasts individually, but also to, hopefully, figure out… well, something about them as a group. What are they? What exactly is Ultra Space? Why are they such a threat to Alola? Are they really a group at all, or just a random sample of the variety of life that exists in an infinite multiverse? All these questions, and more, will… honestly, let’s face it, probably not be answered here on Pokémaniacal, but we’ll bloody well give it a go – starting with probably the best-known Ultra Beast of all, Nihilego.Continue reading “Nihilego”
Pokémon Moon, Episode 17: In Which I Explore The Disreputable Side Of Reality
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”
I appreciate that even Lusamine thought it was terrible to make Hau cry.
Well, even evil has standards, right? Besides, Lusamine seems to be fond of Hau. I thought that was a good addition to the whole “wait, who’s the real bad guy again?” theme that I used for that “episode.”
Pokémon Moon, Episode 14: In Which Literally All Hell Breaks Loose
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”
Pokémon Moon, Episode 13: In Which I Assist A Known Criminal In Raiding A Reputable Organisation of Conservationists
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”
Pokémon Moon, Episode 9: In Which I Do Battle With A Demon Jellyfish From The Endless Void
I should really just get out while I’m ahead.
I got this sparkly bracelet thing, I got a bunch of weird voodoo crystals with a variety of dubiously magic powers, I got a bunch of… arguably cool Pokémon that I’d never seen before. Some of those things’d have to fetch a decent price if I just left Alola and never looked back, right?
And if you’re with the police, no, obviously I’m not talking about the Pokémon; they would stay with me back in Kanto and I would do my best to give them all a good life.
(If you’re not with the police, look, I know a guy who knows a guy, okay? Just be cool)Continue reading “Pokémon Moon, Episode 9: In Which I Do Battle With A Demon Jellyfish From The Endless Void”