Professing Comprehension

Before leaving for Lumiose City, I check out the route east of Santalune (Détourner Way – another interesting change, all of the routes now have French names as well as numbers; I think I like this).  This route apparently leads to the headquarters of the French Pokémon League, so I don’t get very far, although I do pick up a Psyduck, a Riolu, and a new Pokémon called a Litleo as I explore.  Litleo is, as the name implies, a little lion who has been lit (on fire) – the game’s first Fire/Normal dual-type.  This might be interesting enough to be worth a spot on my team, at least for the time being.  I attempt to name her Ishtar, after a Babylonian war goddess whose sacred animal is a lioness, but the game rather impudently tells me “you can’t enter that word,” not deigning to give a reason why, so I opt instead for Astarte, the Phoenician name of the same goddess, and spend some time training her up a bit.  Litleo appears to be a balanced all-rounder with a bias towards speed and special attack but decent defences as well.  I wonder whether the males and females look different when they evolve (no manes for the females)?  While mucking around here, I get my Spewpa to level 12 – and she evolves into a deep green Vivillon.  Hmm.  I admit I was focussing more closely on the Infestation attack, but I’m pretty sure Viola’s Vivillon was pink.  The Pokédex helpfully explains that Vivillon come in different colours and patterns depending on their environment – Viola’s was a meadow Vivillon, while mine is a garden Vivillon.  Initially I thought this was basically the same kind of thing as Shellos has and was all set to be totally underwhelmed by it, but, in between writing this bit and actually posting the entry, readers have explained to me that Vivillon have different patterns depending on where in the world their owners are from – so my garden Vivillon must be what New Zealanders get (the internet suggests that we have this in common with Tasmania, Britain and parts of Eastern Europe). 

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La Ville Lumière

My path is clear: travel to nearby Camphrier Town to learn more about this Mega Evolution whatever stuff.  As I go to leave Professor Sycamore’s building, however, I meet someone new.  He is well-dressed, in an immaculate black suit with red piping, and has ridiculous hair, bright vermillion, sweeping back from his head in a sort of V-shape, so he will surely be important to the story. 

Definitely an important character.

This man is apparently interested in meeting Professor Sycamore’s recruits, and introduces himself as Lysandre – a French derivative of the ancient Greek name Lysander, which means something like “liberator of men;” the most famous historical figure by this name was a Spartan general at the end of the 5th century BC responsible for creating the great Spartan fleet that broke the naval supremacy of Athens and ended the thirty-year Peloponnesian War (I’m a classicist; so sue me).  He doesn’t really say why he wants to meet us, but does explain that he’s working to create “a more beautiful world,” and seems to think we could somehow be part of that.  He leaves fairly promptly, allowing Serena to monopolise my time instead.  Apparently she wants to talk to me about something but wants to do it somewhere more private, so she asks me to join her at the nearby Café Soleil.  Um.  Did I just get asked out on a date?  Sorry, Serena, but I think I’m already in a committed relationship with the Lumiose Transport Authority guy who randomly fell in love with me earlier this afternoon.  Still, I suppose it’s polite to go and let her down in person…

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Into the West

Well, Kore the Floette has been replaced by Daphne the shiny Floette (named for a nymph who turned into a tree as an excuse to get out of a date with the god Apollo) – clearly a superior choice in every way imaginable by virtue of her shininess.  Nothing else of great interest happened during my training program, though.  Once I am satisfied that my off-duty Pokémon have learned enough, I move on to check out the Battle Château, a magnificent old castle straddling what I’m still pretty sure is the Loire River. 

The Battle Château
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All that Glitters

A deep, dark cave filled with beautiful blue and green crystal formations, the Glittering Cave is a treacherous place – you move through it in a first-person perspective, so you can only see what’s right in front of you, making it a lot more difficult to keep track of exactly where you are (luckily, the tunnel systems aren’t that complicated, but this could get tricky if a similar perspective is deployed for, say, Victory Road…). 

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