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.
When we last left off, the cards had dealt me a new team of two Pokémon – Breeze the Pidgey and Trixie the Gastly. Trixie is only level 4, so we’re just going to time-lapse over some grinding in Ilex Forest and skip to the good stuff.
I neglected to screenshot the first line of this call from Picnicker Liz (which was something like “the Kimono Girls aren’t just good dancers, you know!”), but it seems like she’s plugged into some surprisingly deep gossip! The Kimono Girls and Professor Elm don’t even tell the player about this stuff until the end of the game, and you’re supposed to be helping them somehow!
Where we left off, I had just drawn the Three of Pentacles on my way into Union Cave, which will allow me to catch the first Pokémon I see. I’m hoping for a Geodude or Onix; either one would be a pretty significant asset going into the next two gyms.
Last time we were off to a very strong start, with four team members and only one nasty card in play (although it is the pseudo-Nuzlocke card, which can be fairly vicious). Let’s see if my luck holds.
This helpful little dude is Bug Catcher Wade, and he’s the second trainer you can exchange phone numbers with. He’s not really all that important (I don’t even think his Weedle is in the top percentage of Weedle), but I think we should ship him with Youngster Joey. It’ll be good for morale.
What would you like to do as you head out towards Mount Moon? [Choose up to two]
Catch a Pokémon
Study the environment and ecosystem
Ask the other guy to join you?
Sure, why not?
The other g- I mean… Indigo or… whatever his name is- look, are you gonna learn his name at some point? ‘cause if you’re not gonna, I’m not gonna, and at some point it might start to seem rude if you’re hanging out together.
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.
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.
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.
I thought about Pokémon ethics and something occurred to me, Pokémon are dangerous. Of course humans use devices to contain them, it’s the one way we can survive in that hostile world, where there are creatures that can destroy you mind, body, and even soul. The fact that they become tame after capture despite obviously still having free will is incredibly lucky on our part, and shows it’s mutually beneficial, because if they wanted to, they’d destroy us and be rid of us, and we couldn’t stop it
Ruby: I’m telling you, I was fine. There was just… a little more magical energy in the Charizardite than I anticipated. I would have brought the explosions under control sooner or later. Spruce: And when you say “under control”… Ruby: I mean they would have been happening in a direction of my choosing. Broadly speaking. Fisher: I really must advise more caution, my lady. A stone of fiery power, leading a young fox Pokémon down the path of temptation… that is a pattern the followers of the Blessed Helix know all too well. I fear the hand of the Dome is at work in this matter. Melissa: But we all need to get stronger and learn new ways to use our powers for the greater good! The risks don’t matter! Ruby: Please don’t tell me my only sensible minion is the over-excitable insect in fanatical service to an all-devouring hive mind. Luna: Not at all. I think you were doing a splendid job just as you were. The smell of the humans’ flesh as it was atomised in your cerulean holocaust was nothing short of exhilarating. Ruby: …somehow your approval is not as reassuring as I had hoped it would be, cat. Spruce: Um… not that I don’t love hearing about Luna’s favourite smells or anything, but there’s a human just… standing in the road up there… Boy: You there… stop… Ruby: Who commands us so, insolent child? Do you know to whom you speak? Boy: No life… no voice… not without… the master… Ruby: Hmm. Vacant expression. Limited vocabulary and poor sentence structure. Glassy eyes. Slow, laboured speech. It’s remarkable; he’s almost exactly like ours. Boy: Lie down… lie down and die… Ruby: You know, in some respects this might even be an improvement. Melissa: His thoughts smell… weird. I can’t quite put my needle on it… It’s sort of like the parasites I stole from that wicked Vivillon we fought, how they don’t have any minds of their own. Ruby: Mmm. Probably because he’s being psychically dominated by the Kadabra that Lavoisier asked us to despatch. Spruce: What? He’s here!? Ruby: Almost certainly. [Shouting] Come out of hiding, coward! You are challenged to a duel of sorcery! Kadabra: [Teleports into view] Ha-HA! Sorcery-games, I’ve gotten so bored of, little-foxy! Don’t we rather fancy instead a trifling little game of riddles? Riddle me this, foxy: what walks on three legs in the evening, has a bed but never sleeps, makes some men blind but helps others to see, and is like a raven and a writing-desk? Ruby: …you- I don’t- what? Kadabra: You! CONFUSION! Ruby: That doesn’t even make s-aaaaaaaauuuughh! Ooof! Fisher: Treachery! Villain, I shall smite you as the Voices will it! FOR THE HELIX! Kadabra: Your ancient fossil god has no power over me, little-shouty-duck-thing – for watch, and be amazed, as I bend the very nature of reality itself, and… THIS SPOON! Fisher: …I beg your pardon? The spoon bends, but- is it a metaphor for something? Do you imply that I too, a faithful servant of the one true god, am like putty in your telekinetic ‘hands’? Kadabra: CONFUSION! Fisher: Aaaaaarrrrghh- oof! Oh, alas, I am undone! Bird Jesus, I implore you, send your divine wind to uplift the wings of your blessed child! Ruby: …he means you, Spruce. Spruce: I know, I know! Face me, villain! Kadabra: You have no hope! BEHOLD, THE SPOON! Spruce: Um… there… there is no spoon; you’re not actually holding anything. Kadabra: CONFUSION! Spruce: I don’t- you’re not even using an attack; you’re just yelling “Confusion!” Ruby: It’s your Keen Eyes, you idiot; you can see through the illusions he’s creating with his Kinesis technique! Hurry up and get him before he uses a real Psychic attack! Spruce: Wow; neat! Uh… hey, you! It’s time you paid for your, uh- Ruby: Oh, for- work on your combat banter later! Just hit him! Spruce: Oh! Right! QUICK ATTACK! Kadabra: [thud] Spruce: …did… did I… is he dead? Luna: Hmm… let me see… [CRACK] He is now. Spruce: … Luna: What?
???: [calling] Oh, help me! Please, won’t someone help me? Spruce: Do you hear that? Ruby: No. Spruce: It sounds like someone’s in trouble! Ruby: Oh, the tragedy of this cruel world. If only someone could help them. Alas. Spruce: Ruby, we can help them. We’re powerful adventurers; this is what we do! Fisher: Surely this is divine providence, my friends! The Helix leads us ever onward to new challenges, and we must not shirk them! Melissa: Yeah! The hive sent me out here to fight and get strong, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do! Spruce: Well, that’s settled, then. Ruby: [sigh] I repeat: alas.