A Pokémon Trainer is You! XXVIII: Bouldered!

[Catch up on the story so far here!]

What should Scallion do?
– Just make it a straightforward fight – Scallion should be favoured.
– Brock’s tough; you should try to come up with something more creative.

[AUTHOR TIEBREAK: Well, it would really be a shame to waste all the interesting suggestions for option B that I got in the comments and my Q&A inbox…]

The next stage of the fight goes just as you predicted.  Geodude is already tiring, and after a few rounds of dodging, circling and jabbing, you spot it lowering its guard and call out.  With an almighty THWACK, Scallion springs a coiled Vine Whip forward and nails Geodude right between the eyes.  Geodude lurches back, lists in its formerly smooth hover, spins around drunkenly and crashes to the arena floor.
“Super effective, babyyy!” hollers Abner from the stands, tossing his Metapod up into the air and catching it in celebration.  The bug catchers all cheer, and out of the corner of your eye you even notice Lilac(?) slowly clapping, an enigmatic smirk dancing across his face.
Brock joins the applause as he strides out onto the field to help his Pokémon pick itself up. “Now that’s a Bulbasaur,” he exclaims approvingly, before crouching to take his Geodude’s hand.  “Good job as always, Geodude.”  He gives his Pokémon a quick once-over before recalling it to its Pokéball and returning to his end of the arena.  Scallion joins you back at your end of the field as well.  “Well, I guess that means it’s time to get serious.”  Brock suddenly has another Pokéball in his hand, and throws it high, higher, up towards the ceiling.  “Onix, go!”

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! XIX: The Larry Scenario

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

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.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! XVIII: Scallion of the Apes?

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

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.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! XIV: On the Road Away From Viridian City

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.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! X: A Huge Nerd is You!

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

What do you do on route 22?
– Train with Nancy, the Negator.
– Perform an ecological survey.

Once Nancy is recovered from her battle, you decide to do an hour or so of basic training – exercises, attack drills, dodging Scallion’s Vine Whip attacks, that sort of thing.  Everything you’ve seen from Nancy so far suggests that she’s a very gentle and mild-mannered Pokémon, but she takes battle and training very seriously, and celebrates her successes with gusto.  You suppose that shouldn’t be surprising, for a Pokémon who approached and challenged a human trainer.  It’ll take time for her to reach her full potential, obviously, but you can see some improvement even in the short time you have to spend.  Once Nancy starts to tire of training, you take another look at the relatively meagre information your Pokédex has on Minun.  The key words and phrases all seem to be about teamwork.  In their native Hoenn, Minun often live closely with a sister species, Plusle, each amplifying the other’s electrical powers, but they can apparently team up with just about any Pokémon, given time to establish a bond.  The Pokédex is considerably less clear about how a trainer might go about doing this, or exactly what advantages might accrue from it.  One thing is clear, though – Minun love to cheer for their friends in battles.  You try this out, getting Scallion to perform a couple of quick, very basic training exercises, and find that he is inexplicably faster and more accurate with Nancy’s active encouragement.  Hmm.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! IX: Pidgey Minus Minun Equals…?

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

How do you handle the battle between Thingummy’s Pidgey and your Minun, Nancy the Negator?
– Bring Pidgey down with Thunder Wave and fight it on the ground.

You scan the valley floor where Nancy is facing off against Sapphire’s Pidgey, flapping its wings energetically to stay in the air.  Nancy can’t directly blast Pidgey with a Thundershock or something – as far as you know, she just doesn’t know the techniques – and she isn’t going to be able to fight an airborne opponent effectively with basic physical attacks.  There are a lot of stray boulders, and Nancy can gain some altitude by scaling the wall of the gorge, but this will still be tricky.  So… don’t fight it in the air.  There’s more than one way to skin a Meowth, after all.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! VIII: Seriously, kid, you should know his name by now

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

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.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! VI: In Search of Caffeine

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

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

Or, y’know, 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.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! V: Making a New Friend, You Guess

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

Do you want to give Bulbasaur a nickname?
– Let Jim the Editor name it

As you walk through the soft, peaceful woodlands of route 1, you glance down at your Bulbasaur, plodding contentedly along at your side.  You suppose you ought to give it – no, him, you’re pretty sure your Bulbasaur is male – a nickname; just calling him “Bulbasaur” seems so impersonal.  You think about it for a while, mulling over the awesome responsibility of naming another sentient being.  Nothing comes to mind, until suddenly you hear a voice, distant and ethereal, as if carried to you on a divine wind…

Scallion

You think about it for a moment, turning the name over in your mind.  You seem to be seriously considering naming your Pokémon after an onion.  I’m… weirded out, but not going to judge.  You say the name out loud, testing how it feels to say it, and it seems like your Bulbasaur is totally on board with this development.  Scallion the Bulbasaur it is!

What do you do?
– Try to reach one of the meadows

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Anonymous asks:

If you could give any Pokemon a Mega Evolution, which would you choose?

I have a sort of rationale for this, which I outline here… basically I think mega evolutions should go to Pokémon 1) who are weak primarily because their stats are low, and 2) are unlikely ever to receive a conventional evolution.  Suggestions I put forward there are Ledian, Bibarel, Delcatty, and Plusle and Minun (disclaimer: I avoid spoilers on new Pokémon games, so if one or more of those Pokémon is getting a mega evolution in Sun and Moon, I don’t know and I don’t want to).  We could also add, perhaps, Seaking to that list, for most of the same reasons, and maybe Zangoose and Seviper (whose base stats are high enough that they seem unlikely to ever get regular evolutions, but not high enough for them to actually do anything).