Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pokemon Y Playthrough: Mimi and FriendofMimi

Looker told me to come back later, so I decided it might be a good idea to re-acquaint myself with my pokemon.  I found a restaurant that specialized in double battles and ordered up a several-course meal and series of pokemon battles.  Please, it is what it sounds like and just allow me to skip over the explanation.

After the mealmatch (seriously, I'm not making this up), I got my call from Looker--we had our first case.

Chapter Two: Suspicious Alleys

The request was a letter from a concerned mother.  She was concerned about the growing number of children hanging out in the alleyways in Paris...erhm...Lumiose City.  She mentioned her concerns, specifically, for her precious honor role child whom she wants to go do a top Ace Trainer Academy.

All the sighs.

Looke rtold me to start in the Southern Boulevard.  It was there that I found the alley in question.  It was filled withPreschool trainers with greatly over-leveled pokemon.

Don't worry, Froakles is used to tight spaces.
My first battle was against a little girl who carried a level 53 Swinub and a level 53 Bonsley.  Are you kidding me?!  Next was a level 55 Igglybuff.  Ultimately I fought a little boy with a level 56 Spiritomb.  Christ, if I was eight years old with a level 56 Spiritomb, I don't know what I would do. Fuck, this kid must get all the preschool tail...or whatever the equivalent of "tail" is in preschool...coloring books?  I mean, for sure I wouldn't be hanging out in some crumby alley.

At the end of the gauntlet of the Children of the Damned, I found an Epurr named Mimi and a human who only referred to herself as "friend of Mimi".  Looker soon join

ed us and FriendofMimi explained that she lives there with Mimi.  Mimi is not her pokemon, though, because FriendofMimi is too poor to afford a pokeball.

Wow.  I had forgotten that this sort of issue would exist.  Even if you want to be theverybestlikenooneeverwastocatchthemismyrealtesttotrainthemismycause, this doesn't mean anything if you can't catch pokemon because you're poor.  Pokemon has a socio-economic component to it--and for some people, it might just be financially impossible to be theverybestlikenooneeverwastocatchthemismyrealtesttotrainthemismycause.

Looker offered Mimi and friendofMimi a home at his bureau working as his assistants, but Mimi ran off.  It would be my job to find and befriend Mimi.

Current Squad:

Greninja/Froakles/lvl 94
Pikachu/PikaPi/lvl 63
Flareon/Rox/lvl 59
Hippowdon/Leviathan/ lvl 67
Dragalge/Toxie/lvl 54
Aerodactyl/Scarydactyl/lvl 53

Monday, December 26, 2016

Second Tallest, Second Best, Second Richest

The Route 10 side quest was to help a lady corral all of her pokemon.  Apparently all eight of her Stufful were hiding somewhere along the grassy pathway and she wanted to offer me a Nevermeltice and $15000 to help her out.  Who am I to refuse the kind charity of a sucker in need?

I am a huge fan of all of these random side quests in this game.  One minute I could be working on gaining my island certification and the next, I'm helping a kid gain the acceptance of his father by defeating his grimer...or in this case, by finding eight red panda teddy bears.

The route up the mountain was reminiscent of the Hakone area that I had v
isited in Japan this summer.  A winding bus route up a tall, tall mountain that leads to a cable car that brings you over a volcano.  From the very top of the summit, my friends and I (I'm talking about real life right now, by the way, not the pokemon game) were able to see Fuji-sama in the distance.  In this game, Professor Kukui meets you at the top of the mountain, Hokulani, and remarks that it is the sec
ond tallest in Alola--but points to Lanakila summit in the distance...

"Right there! On the peak of Lanakila! That's where I'll establish our Pokemon League!"

Apparently, this game chronicles the very first Alola Region Pokemon League tournament--the inaugural matches.  He said that "'s time to get our own Elite Four and make our Own Pokemon League!"  He wanted to impress the world by gathering all the island challenge winners for one tournament that would bring in the respect of the other Pokemon Leagues.

I am getting really excited about this game.

I am also getting ahead of myself.

Along the route to the bus station, I was assailed by ninja Fearows that would attack from the trees.  It's always Fearow, isn't it?  The bully of the pokemon world.

Speaking of bullies, Team Skull was waiting for me at the end of the route.  Well, more correctly, I stumbled across them molesting the bus sign.  Their rationale was...something...they
said that they wanted to remove the bus sign so that the driver would "get to chill out".

And then they said it was time to get back to the mansion.

Yeh wut?!?

Current Squad:
Brionne/Pako Pako/lvl 26
Crabrawler/Ppunches/lvl 25
Salandit/Sassy Sally/lvl 27
Oricorio/Ori-chan/lvl 25
Steenee/Bouncee/lvl 26
Sylveon/Star Fighter/lvl 26

On Rotation:
Mareanie/Meanie/lvl 25
Grimer/Sludj/lvl 26
Trumbeak/Pip Pip/lvl 27
Misdreavus/Missy/lvl 25

Pokedex: 125 caught

Let's all go to Ula'Ula Island!

"Has anyone been noticing that President Lusamine has been acting a little weirdly these days? ...Just me? ...okay." -Aether Foundation worker, probably
So I guess we're going to just ignore that strangely poignant diabolical laugh?  And the suspicious explosion that lead to the reality-warping supercreature that just entered our timeline too?

Okay, onward to Ula'Ula Island!
Our wonderful hosts at the Aether Foundation whodefinitelyarethegoodguysmaybe sent us off with gifts: food for Hau and the TM Psychic for me.  Please make up your own jokes for this instance, I've been concentrating on setting myself up for a "Let's all go to Ula'Ula Island" gag later on in this blog post.

When we landed in Malie City, a town that takes a lot of its architectural cues from the Johto region, Hau healed my pokemon and challenged me to battle.  Since our last match, he has evolved his Pikachu into a nifty Alola Raichu and his Eevee into a Leafeon.  His Torracat...well that just stayed as a Torracat.  Raichu was tough, but the rest of his pokemon were outclassed by my trademarked strategy of "Toxic-Protect-Repeat".  I'm forever in fear of the day when I will have to battle someone straight up.

From there, I had a meeting with Professor Kukui in the rest area of the Koi Gardens and a meeting with Lillie in the library.  Kukui told me where to go to get to my electric trial so that I may continue my island challenge.  Lillie was looking for a book about legendary pokemon.  I guess that means that the mission concerning the art on the game's box is going to start to unfold.

While there, we met another side character (there are a lot in this game--between all the Aether workers, the Team Skull members, the captains, and kahunas, Kukui and Scientist Woman, the Kalos kids; it's a lot to keep track of.  This person helped us find the book that Lillie needed and then said that she's a princess and that the book was her dad's.

The story in the book was standard fare for a pokemon game.  As a matter of fact, there is always some sort of macguffin like this in the series.  In Diamond and Pearl, it was a statue inscription "blah blah blah poetry, blah blah blah, a pokemon that can control space/time."  In Black and White it was the legend "blah blah blah poetry, blah blah blah, two pokemon that stand for ideals and will."  In X and Y, it was the Geosenge tale told by the Professor Sycamore "blah blah blah poetry, blah blah blah, a pokemon that looks like an X/Y."  In this game, it was "blah blah blah poetry, blah blah blah, a pokemon that represents the moon."

Glad to see them breaking new ground in the narrative department.

My trial was south, so naturally I went north.  There I found a waste disposal and recycling plant as well as a side quest concerning the manager of the plant and his lackadaisical son.  My involvement in the plot was to defeat his Muk and his son's Grimer, but the resolution of the series of events was that the son was finally deemed worthy of taking over management of the plant.

So heartwarming.

But I guess that heartwarming is the name of the game here on this island: Let's all go to Ula'Ula Island!
Fucking. Nailed it.


Current Squad:
Brionne/Pako Pako/lvl 26
Crabrawler/Ppunches/lvl 25
Salandit/Sassy Sally/lvl 25
Oricorio/Ori-chan/lvl 25
Steenee/Bouncee/lvl 25
Sylveon/Star Fighter/lvl 24

On Rotation:
Mareanie/Meanie/lvl 24
Trumbeak/Pip Pip/lvl 27
Misdreavus/Missy/lvl 24
Grimer/Sludj/lvl 25

Pokedex: 112 caught

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Vs. ???

Ultra Beasts are supposed to be etherial pokemon from another dimension that find their way in our reality either through accident or deliberate invasion.  No one is exactly sure of what their motivation is, but the guardian deities seem to view them as a threat.

Hau took aside President Lusamine and told me to hold off the "vagina elemental from the other side".  A tall order, but one I was ready for: I've dealt with my fair share of vaginas in my day.

As if it were a totem pokemon, ??? started the match by boosting its defenses with an aura flare.  I sent in Trumbeak and tested it out with the flying move Pluck.  Pluck scored a weak hit and dealt little damage.

Ultra-beasts are supposed to be incomprehensible.  Normally, I would posit that the pokemon is some sort of Rock, Steel, or Electric type because of the ineffectiveness of "flying", but I couldn't be sure of this.  Do Ultra-beasts even follow the same rules as pokemon of this reality?  Is there even such a thing as Steel or Iron in their dimension?  Does the periodic table exist there as it does here? Lusamine mentioned that the pokemon looked as if it were in pain to even exist, however briefly, in this reality.

I had nothing to go on, but when ??? used Venoshock on my Trumbeak (scoring an easy knockout against my lead), I had to start making assumptions about the thing.  It might not be a true "Steel", "Rock", "Electric", or "Poison" type, but it knew poison moves and it resisted "pluck".  I went on the assumption that it was some sort of Steel/Poison, or alternatively put: it behaved in such a way that I should attack it with poison and fire.

Even if it would normally be immune to poisoning, Sassy Sally's ability is Corrosion.  Corrosion allows it to poison any pokemon, regardless of its immunities.  Sassy Sally's move "Smog" wasn't very effective, but it did succeed in poisoning my opponent before eventually being taken out by another Venoshock.

??? had an ability called "Beast Boost".  The ability raised its special defense each time it defeated one of my pokemon.  Attacking it directly was no longer an option.  I was being massacred, but at this point, I knew that I could win.  Meanie and Sludj both know Protect: I could just stall my opponent to death.

It must have sensed that its victory was no longer tenable, so ??? fled from battle at this point, vanishing in a flash and twist of bending and flexing space.

...and Lusamine was licking her lips with joy.

Totally the Good Guys, Definitelymaybe

Kahuna Olivia met me on the doorstep of the sanctum of her god Tapu Lele, the guardian deity of Akala Island.  It would be her rock types against my team of specially chosen rock-destroyers in the company of nature and the supreme ruler of the island.

Battle Team: Bulky Offensive
Vs. Kahuna Olivia

Of the battle itself, there is little to mention:  Ppunches' "Powerup Punches" made short work of her rocky team.

I suppose that I have learned two things: 1) just because the setting of a match is epic, it doesn't mean the battle will follow suit.  And 2) rock types suck suck suck suck suck suck suuuuuuck.

I received Rockium-Z and my Akala Island certification and Olivia sent me on my way.  There is a lot of weird sexualizing of Olivia specifically in this game--from her battle intro to the way she describes her fighting style.  This sort of thing wouldn't normally stick out for me in a game except for the fact that this is a Pokemon game and has a different sort of audience from, say, Tekken.
I met a chap from the Aether foundation named Fab.  This fellow took Hau and I to the manmade floating island known as Aether Paradise.  This is apparently the main hub of the Aether Foundation--designed to give a safe haven to pokemon who are on the verge of endangerment.  He mentioned a facility there to take care of pokemon attacked by Team Skull and then he talked about a Pokeball design project in the lower levels.  He also mentioned, in a rather offhand way, that they were currently sending out a jamming signal so that our poke balls would not function on the island.

That line sort of stuck out to me.  It was quite the tour and it should have been a more positive sort of tour, but the dread started to sink in as soon as I noticed that this was the exact same facility as that shown at the start.  This means that this game has either already shown its hand and that the Aether Foundation is going to turn out to be the bad guys, or that Lillie, the office supply bandit, will.

At this point, we met the President of the Aether Foundation: Lusamine.  Lusamine sounds like the sort of vitamin that your weird auntie tells you you should take in order to stop age lines or regrow fingernails or something, but this Lusamine seems to be a nice lady who just wants to innocently "Bring all Pokemon into [her] love".

Was that diabolical laughter that I just heard?

Our schmoozing session was interrupted by an explosion from the lower levels.  Suddenly a portal opened near us and a jellyfish vagina monster emerged.

To Be Continued...

Current Squad:

Brionne/Pako Pako/lvl 25
Crabrawler/Ppunches/lvl 24
Salandit/Sassy Sally/lvl 23
Oricorio/Ori-Chan/lvl 23
Steenee/Bouncee/lvl 24
Sylveon/Sly/lvl 24

On Rotation:
Grimer/Sludj/lvl 24
Misdreavus/Missy/lvl 23
Trumbeak/Pip Pip/lvl 23
Mareanie/Meanie/lvl 24

Pokedex: 112 caught

Friday, December 23, 2016

"Not Sailor Moon"

I was supposed to meet Kahuna Olivia in the town hidden behind Diglett's Tunnel.  Konikoni City is a town that reminds me a lot of Miyajima Island near Hiroshima in Japan.  There are red structures resembling the tori gates, street markets on old stone roads.  There is a lot about this town that reminds me of my trip to the same place this last summer.
This is the second consecutive Pokemon game where I have found that I have actually been to one of the in-game locations in the very recent past.  I wonder if my travels are actually influencing the game design?!

I had found that I had missed Olivia by just a few moments when I got there and I swore right there in Konikoni that I would find her and have my revenge...

Now on with the chase, Miami, Dallas, New Orleans, then I came face to face with the rat in Niagra Falls...

Olivia told me to meet with her in the sanctuary where the Akala Island Guardian Deity resides.  I suppose that having god watch my battle is the ultimate in nerve-inducing audiences, but that shaking you see of me is probably just the cold.

On my way through another graveyard--this one infested with Gastly and Phantump.  Noteworthy amongst my travels was a near-loss against a tough Umbreon and a double blackout against what can only be described as the douchiest of Douchebag Gyarados.

I also came across a Trainer class called "Punk Girl".  Let's play a game of "Spot the Differences" between "Punk Girl and Boy" and "Team Skull Grunts"

Guys, I think we have finally figured it out...Team Skull is just real people!  Phew!

Speaking of those numbskulls, "Not Sailor Moon" showed up to chastise me for picking on her gruntlings.  Her name is Plumeria and apparently she's a leader of Team Skull.  She called her minions idiots a few times and then challenged me with her Golbat and her Salandit.

I actually had a little trouble with this match.  Her Golbat was faster and at a higher level than any of my pokemon and most of the pokemon I had with me at the time (Crabrawler, Steenee, Sylvan, ...) were mismatched against the Poison/Flying pokemon.  Luckily, I have the best pokemon ever on my team, so I was able to finish it off with a few powerful moves.  In this case, "the best pokemon ever" is my water starter Pako Pako, and "a few powerful moves" means Hydro Vortex and Scald.  

Yes, I know I am temperamental about this sort of thing.

Current Squad:
Brionne/Pako Pako/lvl 25
Crabrawler/Ppunches/lvl 23
Salandit/Sassy Sally/lvl 23
Oricorio/Ori-Chan/lvl 23
Steenee/Bouncee/lvl 24
Sylveon/Sly/lvl 24

On Rotation:
Grimer/Sludj/lvl 23
Misdreavus/Missy/lvl 23
Trumbeak/Pip Pip/lvl 23
Mareanie/Meanie/lvl 21

Pokedex: 101 caught

Pokemon of the Multiverse

Meanwhile, far away in Alola...
Retitled Blog Possibilities: Ben's Spectacular Pokemon Sex Puns
Partially, I am taking my little diversion down memory lane (via Pokemon Y) so that I don't get too far ahead of my little brother in his Pokemon Sun playthrough.  I've always been one step ahead of him from the very beginning: not just by being first "out the puss" as the oldest sibling, but also because I channel Pokemon Trainer Blue in both personality and practice.  I like being able to take-on his Grass/Bug heavy team (because I always end up with a poison team and he always ends up channeling Bug Catcher Tim) and also his Miltank.  He always ends up with a silly and fun pokemon like Miltank.

I'm curious about where he got that one though, because while my pokedex counts 89 registered monsters, I have yet to come across Miltank.

Professor Kukui met me at the "Dimensional Research Center".  He wanted to introduce me to "Scientist Man" who was going to tell me about science and about the fields of science and advancements in science.  I was delighted to find, instead, "Scientist Woman" who was there to tell me about science and etc etc etc.

As it were, "Scientist Woman" is Kukui's wife.  She told me about something called an "Ultra Beast". According to her totally legit, well-researched data that is definitely true maybe, these are creatures that were sealed away by the Island Guardian deities in a separate reality.

Honestly, I'm not super worried about them.  There's a certain someone I know who takes care of Ultra Beasts as his speciality. 
"If the warning light should stop blinking, Ultraman would never rise again"
In pursuit of my grand trial certification with Kahuna Olivia, I made my way south towards the Diglett's Tunnel--not to be confused with Diglett's Cave from Kanto.  I'm not even being sarcastic there: while Diglett's cave was populated entirely with Diglett and Dugtrio, Diglett's Tunnel has only Zubat.

I met some workers from the "Aether Foundation for Misleading Opening Cutscenes" (Editor's Note: the Aether Foundation seems to be the same sinister white troupe from the start of the game).  They mentioned that Team Skull was out and about and that they were riling up the Diglett.

I healed my pokemon--and then I stumbled upon the gang.  I was excited for a 2-on-one-1 double battle, but Hau decided to show up as my partner.  I guess I'll never escape my "friends".

Current Squad:
Brionne/Pako Pako/lvl 23
Crabrawler/Ppunches/lvl 22
Salandit/Sassy Sally/lvl 23
Oricorio/Ori-Chan/lvl 23
Steenee/Bouncee/lvl 23
Sylveon/Sly/lvl 23

On Rotation:
Grimer/Sludj/lvl 22
Misdreavus/Missy/lvl 23
Trumbeak/Pip Pip/lvl 23
Mareanie/Meanie/lvl 21

Pokedex: 98 caught

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Pokemon Y Postgame: Looking for Looker Books (#nailedit)

Our story begins...for the second the Looker Bureau of Investigations.  Detective Looker is a character that was introduced in Pokemon Platinum as a member of InterPol.  I scummed his wiki page and he apparently also appeared in Pokemon White somewhere and Pokemon Omega Ruby.  Several Pokemon Generations episodes feature him; he is depicted in these as being involved with the Giovanni case in Pokemon Red among other side story tales.  I think this is revisionist history--he never really played any part of the story in any previous games that I have least as far as I can remember.

Looker asked me to be his partner as a detective He had been looking me up and was aware that I was the newest Kalos League Champion and that I was responsible for taking care of that...ahem...Team Flare problem.  He then casually told me to go back to school to become a detective.'re kidding me?

The schooling that Detective Looker mentioned apparently involved me tracking down and finding five books that he had hidden around the city.  He told me, roughly, where they would be found, but it still seems as though he just wanted me gone so that he could beat off or take his coke or something.

The books were hidden all around Lumiose City: the first in a Pokemon Center, the next in a medicine shoppe.  The final clue brought me to an art museum.  I found the book Easily enough, but stayed to browse through the exhibits: paintings of different scenes and locales in the Kalos region--places that I had been to before way back when I played this game for the first time.

I have to admit that being there with Froakles and the rest of my former teammates--pokemon that I had spent so much time with so long ago--was quite the experience.  I have to admit to smiling rather stupidly as I thought back to all the adventures I had had; I also thought of how happy I am to make those same adventures with my Pokemon Moon team and with Pako Pako.

Because of Pokemon Bank, I keep all of my past teams these days.  I have teams from Heartgold, Diamond, Black 2, White, Omega Ruby, and now X and Y versions all in there.  Pokemon that I had played so much with:
Pokemon I can't let go.

Quick shoutout to a few of my favorites:
"Jolty the Jolteon" who took care of me from Heartgold through Black 2.
"Yinkin the Alakazam" who single-handedly defeated the Elite Four in Pearl.
"Yako the Staraptor" whom I could always count on as a reliable switch-in in tougher Diamond battles.
"Zappy the Minun", they said I was crazy for picking you, but you were the MVP of my Sapphire replay.

I'm glad that I took this time to replay this game.

Current Squad:

Greninja/Froakles/lvl 93
Pikachu/PikaPi/lvl 61
Flareon/Rox/lvl 57
Hippowdon/Leviathan/ lvl 66
Dragalge/Toxie/lvl 52
Aerodactyl/Scarydactyl/lvl 51

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Pokemon Y Postgame: Once More unto the Breach

I didn't even know that there was a postgame bit in Pokemon Y until recently, when I saw Pokemon Generations episode 17.

Best Personal Time
It has been a long time since I have played my Y version game.  In the time between my Pokemon Y playthrough and the start of my Pokemon Moon playthrough, I have played through and Beaten Pokemon X twice, Pokemon Omega Ruby, much of Pokemon Red, all of Pokemon Yellow, and Pokemon Blue via speedrun.  When I played competitively, I used the endgame state from Omega Ruby.  I'm so far removed that I'm no longer on the same planet as Pokemon Y anymore.  But even so, I had this compulsive desire to complete that endgame.  Obviously, I have major psychological issues--namely in reference to leaving things in the forever state of "incomplete".

And that is how I found myself blowing the dust off the Pokemon Y cartridge that I had erroneously marked as completed.

Let's start with squad building.

I pulled up my list of prior teammates: Greninja, Venusaur, Gardevoir, Flareon, Hippowdon, Lucario, Pikachu, Dragalge, Scrafty, and Aerodactyl.  I decided to exclude Venusaur since I have, since defeating the Chapion, changed his moveset to use him as a support pokemon for seeking out horde pokemon with hidden abilities.  On the other hand, I excluded Knives because he is level 100.  Greninja is not optional.

Current Squad:

Greninja/Froakles/lvl 93
Pikachu/PikaPi/lvl 61
Flareon/Rox/lvl 57
Hippowdon/Leviathan/ lvl 66
Dragalge/Toxie/lvl 52
Aerodactyl/Scarydactyl/lvl 51

Time for the

Pokemon White Y Moon Y Postgame Playthrough

Once more unto the breach, my pokemon friends--or close the wall up with our dead.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Vs. Lurantis

Against a Bug and grass type, there is no shelter from my team.  Go Team Foul Wing!

Vs Lurantis: The Hedge Trimmers
I led with Sludj as I always go, spreading poison to Lurantis--and then to its ally partner Trumbeak.  The fact that the mantis pokemon summoned Trumbeak should have been my firs cue that the battle was going to be longer than I expected, but I didn't get the memo.

See, my squad is so strong against grass that I actually started writing this post before I even started the battle.  The original transcript read simply as:

"It was easy and I won easily."

I could not have anticipated that the pokemon would have Synthesis.  Stalling does not work, at the most fundamental of levels, against an opponent that can heal itself. Grimer was able to injure the two, but Lurantis healed itself and Trumbeak took out my lead.  

I switched to the more direct approach.  I sent in Sassy Sally and used the Fire Z-move "Inferno Overdrive".  Against a bug/grass type (even a bug/grass type that is several levels higher) this would be an easy KO.  Apparently however, Lurantis is only grass-typed, and so Inferno Overdrive mortally wounded it.

And then Lurantis just healed itself.

Solar Blade is basically Lurantis
calling upon Divine Intervention.
Obviously this wasn't working; I wasn't losing yet and none of its moves were hurting my pokemon much, but I couldn't keep this up.  Its second ally summon pokemon, castform, had used Sunny Day--thereby making Synthesis doubly effective.  I turned my attention towards the castform and took it out handily enough--but lost Sassy Sally in the process.

I sent in Ori-chan and ate a move called Solar Blade.  Seemingly, this is a two-turn charge move like Solarbeam, but dealing physical damage.  I used Feather Dance and Feather Dance again, then baton-passed out to Trumbeak.  The Feather dances were to weaken that Solar Blade attack.  The baton pass was to ensure that Lurantis' move would target Ori-chan before it switches out so that Trumbeak would enter the battle undamaged.

I knew I had the eventual win at this point.  Trumbeak has Pluck, Flame Charge, Roost, and Work Up.  I could boost my attack and speed and heal off the damage I took with roost--and then take out Lurantis with one attack.  

I'm not going to lie, I felt pretty good about myself after this win.



Mashing Mallows: The Lush Jungle Trial

Anticipating a grass trial, I started putting together my team of lawnmowers.  I was surprised at how strong my team is against the "grass" type.  This should be a cinch.

Battle Squad 5: Hedge-Trimmers

Despite the fact that I always choose water, I never really ever manifest a weakness to the grass type. Partly this is because I love the poison type (I have three separate poison pokemon on my team already in Grimer, Salandit, and Mareanie).  I suppose the other "part" would be how much I love birds.

I like to play this game with people I meet where I bait them into asking me what my top five favorite animals are.  I suppose I derive some sick pleasure in forcing conversations to follow the paths that are most convenient to me.  As it were, those five are the Crimson Shrike, the Toucan, the Cardinal, the Bone Vulture, and the Pangolin.  Four of those are birds.  I have issues.

"What's that, Sport?! Timmy's in the well again?"
I met Captain Mallow with my two poison pokemon and my two birds and set to completing her task.  I was to find four herbal ingredients in the jungle by using Stoutland to sniff them out.  I found the tiny mushroom easily.  When I picked it, I was attacked by a disturbingly gangly pokemon called Shiinotic, which may be based on the shititake mushroom.  I find it kind of funny how these trials are all about doing things other than battling--and then battling anyways.

Along the way, I fought plenty of the pokemon Fomantis, and sadly no Vitreebel.  I always envisioned Victreebel to go really well with Jungles, so this was a legitimate hole in my world view.

Thanks Obama.

I've found that I really like using these small teams for the trials.  It makes the experience really personal.  It's about you and your four mates.  Counting on your pokemon--making sure that they stay healthy.  I guess this is what being a real pokemon trainer would feel like.  Right now I'm on a safari in a jungle teeming with life and I'm having a personal adventure with Sludj, Ori-chan, Sassy Sally, and Pip Pip.

"God damn it, Sludj, stop dying on me!"

After recovering the final ingredient, I regrouped with Mallow at the entrance to the jungle.  Lana and Kiawe were both there for the grand finale where we would summon the totem pokemon with the herbal cooking--but not before Mallow came on to the three of us in the weirdest way possible: pleading with me to pound the ingredients with my stiff bone (Editor's note: the "rare bone" is, indeed, an item in the pokemon series, but the author has left this information decidedly ambiguous for the purposes of comedy and because he's an asshole in general).
Uhm, I know she likes Grass pokemon, but a little bit of a trim on that underbrush might help us both out...

Sigh...if I must...
Ultimately, though...

Would this five-star recipe turn out to be a recipe for disaster?!

Tune in next time to find out!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What Lurks at the Bottom

You find her far from home in cold, dark corners.  Once you have left civilization, once you have left the farthest reaches of the sun--then you are nearly there.  Deep in the ocean depths--far below the waves and secluded from watching eyes--in a world of its own.  That's where Mareanie lurks.
Having Completed my Fire Trial and taking the Firium-Z as my prize, I was free to move north to greener pastures.

I took that Firium-Z and made my way south to catch a Happiny.

See, I really do like the collection aspect of these games.  It gives me this perverse sense of joy to see my Pokedex fill up with new captures.  The new pokedex completion interfaces introduced in this game only make this compulsion even more strong.  Not only do they give you a completion percentage for the entire pokedex, but completion percentages for each island you visit.  In addition to these, the game shows you a sort of trophy case arrangement of all your catches.  A lot of the presentation in this game reinforces the gameplay tenets.  I know that Gamefreak has long ago abandoned "Gotta Catch 'em All" as the slogan for the franchise (it is currently "Train On"), but I really relish the thought of working to truly snag one of each.

I found Mareanie in the Melemele Sea.  I suppose "found" would be slightly false of me to say: perhaps "tracked" would be more correct.  Truthfully, I knew it was there because my pokedex had guided me to that spot.  Indeed, it had even indicated that I would need to fish for it.

I hooked a Corsola.  While I was trying to capture it, it called allies.  One of these allies turned out to be the Sea Star pokemon "Mareanie"

Turns out, Mareanie was a pretty horrible ally because the very next turn, the pokemon turned on its partner; it used "Bite" on Corsola.

I looked it up and it is a pokemon that is based on the Crown-of-thorns Starfish.  This is a venomous echinoderm that consumes coral as its primary source of food.  I told my students this and then had to continue by explaining that coral is actually a creature related to the jellyfish (they are both cnidarians) which absorbs silicates from its environment and incorporates them into its body structure.

This starfish, like all starfish, has an water circulatory system.  This means that the water it lives in helps with circulation--and also that much of its body's structure is seawater.  If it is ever taken out of its habitat onto dry land, it would deflate.  Even its sharp spines, so stiff that they could make short work of exposed flesh, lose their stiffness when not immersed.

Luckily, Meanie the Mareanie didn't deflate once I brought it back with me onto dry land.  I added her to my team.

She has an ability called "Merciless".  This ability causes all of her moves to cause critical hits on opponents that are already poisoned.  Coupled with her attack "toxic spikes", she is going to be a fun and brutal pokemon to use.

I arrived at the "Lush Jungle".  Who thinks this is going to prove to be a grass trial?

Current Squad:
Brionne/Pako Pako/lvl 22
Crabrawler/Ppunches/lvl 21
Salandit/Sassy Sally/lvl 21
Oricorio/Ori-Chan/lvl 22
Steenee/Bouncee/lvl 21
Sylveon/Sly/lvl 20

On Rotation:
Grimer/Sludj/lvl 20
Misdreavus/Missy/lvl 19
Trumbeak/Pip Pip/lvl 21
Mareanie/Meanie/lvl 17

Pokedex: 89 caught