Oh what a glorious night it was last night. The culmination of one of the major dream team plans I’ve had. Today’s post is a story time journey into part of what makes Pokémon such an amazing franchise for me. In Pokémon Black, I played through with what I would assemble as the weakest team of fully evolved Pokémon I could get.
Obviously a few ground rules had to be set: No Ditto and no Smeargle. Ditto is just too terribad, and Smeargle’s negatives are offset by his wondrous movepool. Also, he gets Moody. The next rule was that I need a flier and a surfer (a rule for any of my teams). I would select these first, taking the weakest fully evolved flier and surfer, respectively. Well, the weakest flier is Delibird, and not only have I used it before, but I was (at the time this began), planning on using it in White 2. The goal of this was to use Pokémon I never use, so I skipped on ahead to the next weakest flier: Farfetch’d. Shortly after Delibird is the weakest surfer: Luvdisc. The problem was, I was already using Luvdisc in a playthrough. So, once again, I moved on to the next weakest surfer: Corsola.
It was a good start. Two Pokémon I had never used before that I had always wanted to. The rest were filled in accordingly: Spinda, Mawile, Volbeat, and Ledian (Ledian is my favorite Pokémon ever, so there was no was I was going to do a low base stat total run without it.) Very early in this process I realized that I want to use all their hidden abilities, as they are all good. So I set out with a Defiant Farfetch’d, a Regenerator Corsola, a Contrary Spinda, a Sheer Force Mawile, a Prankster Volbeat, and an Iron Fist Ledian. Oh boy was this an awesome team. They looked like this by the Elite Four:
My motley crew and I waged an uphill war with Unova, but we came out on top. The Elite Four actually caused a lot of problems for me. Shauntal and Grimsley were fairly straightforward, but my big issue against Caitlin was the bulk of her Pokémon. It was difficult to get OHKOs on them, so they ended up doing a lot of damage to my team. Marshal was, however, by far the toughest battle in the whole game. Half my team is weak to Fighting and the other half is weak to Rock. By the end of the battle, all I had was a Farfetch’d with 8HP (that had been Max Revived already anyway). But I made it through. It was time for the real test.
I obviously made the decision early on that when I got to N and Ghetsis I would not use Reshiram. That would be cheating the intent of the playthrough. But, like all good Pokémon trainers, I had a game plan. I knew N would be leading with Zekrom. This gave me a huge advantage. I led with Spinda. As long as I could survive a hit from Fusion Bolt I would be ok. Turn 1 begins. Zekrom uses Fusion Bolt. Spinda survives to Superpower. Contrary boosts my attack and defense one stage. I know Full Restore my way back up until Zekrom runs out of Fusion Bolts. Now it’s go time. Superpower. Superpower. Superpower. Relentless stat-boosting assaults, healing as necessary. Zekrom, the Deep Black Pokémon, has just fallen to a panda bear that can’t even pass a field sobriety test. I was thinking that I could maybe make a Spinda sweep, but even at +5 attack it couldn’t OHKO N’s Zoroark with Sucker Punch. The Focus Blast hit and OKHO’d Spinda, so it was onto plan B: play the type matchups like usual. N didn’t go too badly, and the Team Plasma king fell. Well that’s all well and good, but the real challenge of Black and White is Ghetsis. Oh lordy.
Also what annoys me about the Ghetsis battle is that Cheren just stands there the whole time, even though his Pokémon are perfectly healthy. He could have at least helped. What an asshole.
Anyway, so Spinda goes out against Cofagrigus. This is not the matchup I want. Spinda uses Hypnosis, putting Cofagrigus to bed. I switch in Volbeat. Stupid BW sleep mechanics have Cofagrigus asleep for only one turn, so he uses Toxic on the switch-in. Well that’s ok, I plan on Full Restoring anyway. Volbeat uses Tail Glow while Cofagrigus wastes a Protect. I know he can’t OHKO me. He uses Shadow Ball. Toxic damage takes Volbeat to the brink. But I smile. I know he’s going to Protect again. Full Restore time. Cofagrigus’s Protect fails. And now, at +6 SpAtk, it’s time for Volbeat to kick some serious Poké-butt. Shadow Ball. Cofagrigus goes down easy. Ghetsis sends in Hydreigon. This is the real test. I know Fire Blast will OHKO Volbeat. But I believe in my shiny-assed partner. I click Bug Buzz. Volbeat outspeeds. Hilariously easy OHKO. Volbeat Bug Buzz’s Bisharp. Then Eelektross. Then Bouffalant. Then Seismitoad. Ghetsis, leader of Team Plasma, has fallen. The day is won. All on the vibrant tushy of a firefly.
Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites.
“Tales from the Pit” #547
Since my last post about the new Pokémon at E3, Game Freak has officially revealed four additional new Pokémon for the upcoming games Pokémon X Version and Pokémon Y Version. I figure today I will go through each of them like I did in that previous post and give my brief opinion on them and throw in a bit of speculation as well. So without further delay, here are our brand new Pokémon friends!
Scatterbug-Scatterbug is (presumably one of) the Kalos Region’s early game Bug types. It’s the base form of Vivillon, and is known as the Powder Blowing Pokémon. I’m wondering if this means a return of Shield Dust as the entire line’s ability. I’m sort of amused by Scatterbug’s design as it reminds me of the worms in Adventure Time with Finn and Jake. It’s got a pretty goofy looking mouth too. It’s not a very exciting Pokémon, but at least it’s different from all the other worm Pokémon.
Spewpa-And here we have Scatterbug’s evolution and the bridging Pokémon to Vivillon. First, I want to go on record that Spewpa is one of the most hilariously awkward sounding Pokémon names ever. I will never tire of it. Second, it learns Protect. That means it’s going to be just as annoying as Swadloon and Whirlipede were in Black and White. There’s not much to say about Spewpa. It’s not awful, but it’s not exciting. Like Scatterbug, it’s different enough to not be boring, but not different enough to be exciting.
Litleo-Ah, now here we go. Here’s a Pokémon with a lot to talk about. We’ll start at the obvious place: Fire/Normal typing. Like Helioptile, Litleo has a Normal secondary type tacked on to it. This is going to be awesome for the STAB Tackles early in the game. Second, it’s neat that we’re getting another lion-based Pokémon line. I’m hoping that, unlike Luxray, the final evolution of Litleo will actually have a gender difference with the presence/absence of a fiery mane. That is, assuming Litleo stays a lion. I want to draw attention to its tail for a moment. While the shape on the end might just be mimicking a tuft of hair, it also bears resemblance to a scorpion tail. While another lion Pokémon would be neat, I think it would be even cooler if Litleo evolved into a manticore Pokémon. Along with such an evolution could be a unique Fire/Poison typing (assuming there isn’t another Fire/Poison Pokémon in X & Y). I’m not sure which route Game Freak has taken, but it’s a Pokémon that I’m going to be very interested in following up on as we get more information.
Flabébé-Finally, we have another new Fairy type Pokémon revealed. Flabébé is the second pure Fairy type Pokémon we know about (Sylveon being the first) and comes with the distinction of being the smallest Pokémon ever (suck it, Joltik). It’s also part of the group of Pokémon that share visual differences between individuals, as there will be a variety of different types of flowers that a Flabébé clings to. It’s a facet I like about the Pokémon that have such distinctions (such as Spinda and Shellos), so in that regard I think it’s a fantastic addition to the game. I do, however, glean much laughter from the idea of Flabébé as a mighty dragon-slaying beast. That will also never get old.
And that does it for the post-E3 new Pokémon reveals. With each bit of new information we get I will make a post similar to this one, and maybe one of these days I will go back and look at the Pokémon we already knew about before E3. Until then, enjoy biting your withdrawal as the news for Pokémon X & Y slows back down to a crawl.
“Tales from the Pit” #546
Holy hell it’s terrifying when nightmarish things from fantasy turn out to be real.
For anyone who has played Super Metroid, there are few enemies that instill fear quite like the Yapping Maw. First encountered in the depths of Brinstar, these large, mandibled worms lurk just under the surface of water in a few passages before Kraid. At first they seem to be stationary enemies that are easily avoided by jumping over them. You stand nearby, planning your aerial trajectory in order to preserve your precious energy tanks. SNATCH! Before you know it, that stationary enemy has extended out and gripped you in its powerful jaws. It drags you down, chomping on your delicious human flesh as you try to escape. I bet you won’t make that mistake again. From now on, you’re going to do everything possible to stay as far away from those bastards as you can. The good news is, the Yapping Maw appears in almost every part of Zebes! Wait, that’s not good news at all. That is nightmare-inducing news. Oh well, at least we can go play other Metroid games and not have to be freaked out by their accordion necks of death.
…Unless we go play Metroid: Zero Mission. Zero Mission revamped the original Metroid, adding energy tanks worth of content and experiences. One of the major changes was adding a slew of minibosses for you to fight to help fill in the added abilities. Thankfully, two of these minibosses are callbacks to the Yapping Maw. Wait, not thankfully. That’s a terrifying allusion to make.
First we have the King Worm. This armored guy attacks Samus in Brinstar, blocking her path on either side with its very long and very pointy body. The head then pokes out and snaps a pair of very familiar looking mandibles. The attack style of the King Worm is very similar to the Yapping Maw (with the caveat that it’s on the ceiling instead of the floor). It stays mostly retracted into the rock, and then launches its jaws at Samus in a similar fashion to Super Metroid’s death-worm. The bristles that cover its body also shoot off to damage Samus (and provide some useful pickups if you need them). Upon defeat of the King Worm, Samus is rewarded with the charge beam.
But I did say that there are two minibosses that reinvent the Yapping Maw experience. The second of these demons is the Mua (also referred to as the Acid Worm). After powering up Brinstar Depths’s zipline system, the Mua traps Samus in a room with a large acid pool. It then tries to grab Samus with its toothy maw and drag her into its acid home for dinner (not the friendly kind, the murderous kind). The Mua’s basic attack pattern is just like the Yapping Maw’s. It sits mostly retracted, but then quickly lashes out sideways to attack Samus.
What’s largely terrifying about all three beasties is the lack of control you have in a situation where you’re struck by their attacks. So much of Metroid’s sidescrolling gameplay is rooted in quick, but smooth, action: running, jumping, shinesparking, all in a fluid-like dance. To get ripped out of this constant motion against your will is unsettling at best.
It’s a good thing these aren’t real. They’d be even more terrifying if there was an actual animal like this. Good news that this is all fiction then. Oh crud, that’s not true either. Meet Eunice aphroditois, also known as the Bobbit worm. It burrows its 3’+ body into the silt on the floor of shallow waters and waits for prey to pass nearby. Then, when one of its five antennae senses a nearby meal, it launches its head in that meal’s direction, clamping down on them with very large and powerful mandibles. It then drags the helpless critter down into its burrow for consumption (assuming it doesn’t accidentally chop it in half with the power and speed of its strike). Did I mention that the longest one on record was over 9 feet long? Did I mention that their bristles also cause permanent nerve damage, so you can’t even touch one without getting severely injured? Did I mention that they occasionally wind up in home aquariums because they hide in corals and rocks and accidently get transported into your place of dwelling? It’s a good thing I missed all those points, because otherwise you might throw up in your mouth a little out of sheer terror.
And that’s it. I have to stop this phobia-inducing knowledge-train. Even I can’t take this anymore. Enjoy your nightmares, folks.
“Tales from the Pit” #545
Let me begin today’s post by adding a bit more to yesterday’s entry. I forgot one obvious inclusion that will be updated with the Fairy type: our lord and savior Arceus. The introduction of the new type will likely also be the introduction of the 17th plate item. I can only assume Arceus will take on a more baby pink color scheme.
With that out of the way, let’s move onto today’s topic: the brand new Pokémon revealed in Nintendo’s conferences at E3 this year. I’m just going to go one-by-one and share my opinion on each Pokémon. Without wasting any more time (besides this sentence), here they are:
Vivillon-Let’s get things rolling with the newest addition to the “early game Bug type” club. I, for one, enjoy that this new butterfly/moth Pokémon looks drastically different than the others. Its stark magenta and black color scheme really separates it from the other early Bug types. The hard edges on the top of the wings is also another subtle characteristic that differentiates Vivillon from the rest of the pack. I think the name also has a nice ring to it, being a combination of vivid and papillon, the French word for butterfly. If it keeps basic moveset trends from the other butterfly/moth Pokémon, then it will also learn Quiver Dance, which is always fun.
Noivern-Our first real badass/grimdark/whatever Pokémon to be revealed, Noivern is a Flying/Dragon type. It’s obviously based on a bat, utilizing sound based attacks, but also shares many visual cues with traditional European wyverns (notably the spined tail and “spiney” back hair). I think the most interesting thing about Noivern is that Flying is listed first in its typing. Every single other Flying type has it as a secondary type (barring Tornadus and Arceus-Flying). What could this mean? Given Noivern’s size and general look, it seems to be an evolved Pokémon. Could its pre-evolution be a pure Flying type? I guess we will have to wait and find out.
Talonflame-The evolved form of Fletchling, Pokémon X & Y’s new regional early-game bird Pokémon. Talonflame has one major distinction, however: it’s a Fire/Flying type. I like that this breaks the mold of one of the standard categories of Pokémon that appear in every generation. Overall, it seems like it’s going to be a pretty cool Pokémon, although it’s catching a lot of flak for its name. I just want to remind people that this is the game where we have Seel, Spheal, Mr. Mime, Deerling, Sandshrew, etc. I think it’s a bit of a lackluster name, but not because of the kenning. I don’t think it really rolls off the tongue smoothly enough for an official name. At least it’s not Cofagrigus. Name aside, Pokémon X & Y might be the first time I incorporate the regional bird into my initial playthrough team.
Clauncher-Speaking of names, Clauncher is already one of the best the localization team has ever come up with. Unsurprisingly, Clauncher was shown to know Crabhammer at E3. This is awesome, as Crabhammer is one of my favorite moves. It’s also nice to see a crustacean Pokémon that isn’t red-orange for once. Clauncher clearly looks like a basic Pokémon, so I am expecting an awesome evolution (at least on par with Crawdaunt). Hopefully it has a name as awesome as Clauncher too.
Skrelp-The last of the new Pokémon revealed at E3, Skrelp is a Poison/water type seahorse. Based off of the leafy/weedy sea dragons (like Kingdra), Skrelp has that ragged design that lends itself well to the Poison type. I also think its head looks sort of like an Octorok from the Legend of Zelda series. This is probably the one I’m least excited about, but I also assume it is going to evolve at some point. I may like the line as a whole more, but for now Skrelp just doesn’t do it for me. Not to mention Skrelp’s typing just reignites my Tentacool PTSD.
There you have it, an introduction to the brand new Pokémon revealed this week at E3. Check out the official Pokémon X & Y website for even more new information, and look for the release of this month’s CoroCoro Magazine for even more news (I hear you can probably find some leaks if you look.)
“Tales from the Pit” #544
Today I’m going to continue talking about the new information revealed about the upcoming games Pokémon X Version and Pokémon Y Version to be released globally on October 12th. During yesterday’s reveals, a new type was announced: Fairy. This new type is super effective against Dragon Pokémon and was revealed to be the type of the new Eevee evolution, Sylveon. In addition, Jigglypuff, Gardevoir, and Marill were revealed to be gaining the Fairy type. Today I am going to take some time and look at other existing Pokémon that may possibly be updated with the Fairy type.
Our first stop should be obvious: Cleffa, Clefairy, and Clefable. These are the original “fairy” Pokémon, and if they don’t get an update to be the Fairy type, then I will seriously question the mental states of everyone at Game Freak. There isn’t much more to say, because the choice is so obvious.
The next seemingly obvious choices are Togepi, Togetic, and Togekiss. They’re already described as somewhat magical Pokémon that seek out happiness, and Togetic itself has a sort of fairy-ish design already. In addition, Togepi is a Pokémon that gets pushed by Game Freak a lot in marketing, so having such a high-profile line become the new hip type would be a solid publicity move.
Also in the second generation are Snubbull and Granbull, who are classified in the Pokédex as the fairy Pokémon. Now, we all know how accurate the Pokédex classifications are (Blastoise the shellfish Pokémon, for instance), but being this specific might be enough of an opening to update their typing. Snubbull also has the benefit of being one of the first revealed second generation Pokémon, so it’s a potentially good publicity move like the Togepi line.
A Pokémon that’s been rumored to gain the Fairy type is Mawile. It’s an interesting idea, and would give a neat little Pokémon some more use. Mawile certainly has the cute factor to be some sort of fairy-like Pokémon, but also has that menacing side that could add some depth to the characterization of the new type. Personally, I think Mawile is a neat little Pokémon that doesn’t get a lot of support, so any kind of attention and change would be nice.
Milotic is another Pokémon that has potential to be a Fairy type. As a counterpart to Gyarados, Milotic already has a mythical feel to it. Given that Fairy typing brings along the mystical baggage like Dragon type does, and Milotic isn’t a Dragon type, Fairy is a potential upgrade. Milotic’s characterization of grace and elegance also meshes well with the Fairy type’s mystical allure.
Finally, as long as we’re talking about grace and elegance, I might as well mention Lilligant. Another Pokémon that would become dual typed with a Fairy update, Lilligant could also benefit greatly from an expanded movepool. Currently, it almost exclusively learns Grass type attacks. A Fairy type update would grant it access to a more diversified movepool, and it seems that Fairy is going to be a pretty decent attacking type.
Well, that’s all for today. I’m sure other people can rationalize other Pokémon to gain the Fairy type, but they can start their own damn blogs about it if they want. I, for one, am looking forward to the coming reveals of the new Fairy type, and all the other Pokémon X & Y news too. I hope all you trainers out there are too!
“Tales from the Pit” #543