Poochyena Power! - Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team

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Day 1: Wherein Joat cheats on a personality test. <-- You are here.
Day 2: Wherein Joat encounters “Deus Ex Post Office.”
Day 3: Wherein Joat sends a Pokémon back to its home planet.
Day 4: Wherein Joat discovers what makes him so special.
Day 5: Wherein Joat learns the true secret to friendship.
Day 6: Wherein Joat gets a taste of power. Briefly.
Day 7: Wherein OH GOOD HEAVENS, MALCHOIR!
Day 8: Wherein oh good heavens, Malchoir…
Day 9: Wherein Joat demonstrates the power of rock.
Day 10: Wherein Joat earns the ire of produce.
Day 11: Wherein Joat finally gets even.
Day 12: Wherein Joat forgets to add 80’s training montage music.
Day... 12?: Wherein Joat fails back in time.
Day 13: Wherein Joat decides that putting a bear and honey in the same room will end well.
Day 14: Wherein the siren cannot resist the call of Joat.
Day 15: Wherein Reddybear reaches a new high.
Day 16: Wherein Reddybear encounters his arch-nemesis.
Day 17: Wherein REALLY, NINETALES!?
Day 18: Wherein Joat demonstrates that silence is pyrite.
Part 19: Wherein Joat has a howling good time.
Part 20: Wherein Joat proves that all love is fair in war.
Part 21: Wherein Joat passes.

Day 1: Wherein Joat cheats on a personality test.


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I hope that letter wasn’t important.

Welcome, everyone, to my playthrough of…

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As with my previously-posted LP, I shall note that this is a repost of a previously-completed LP posted on DeviantArt. As a result, my commentary may be changed and amended to reflect feedback (and I do hope to get more comments this time around, as it really does help to make the LP process more interesting to me), but my gameplay will not be changed (though I think I still have my save file, so some post-end-LP new content can still be made if warranted).

Anyway, let us jump right in, shall we?

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Narrator: This is the portal that leads to the world of Pokémon!

Pretty dark in here, isn’t it?

Narrator: But before I can let you through, I have several questions for you. I want you to answer them sincerely.

If one of them is a/s/l, I’m leaving.

Narrator: Are you ready? OK… Let the interview begin!

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SUDDENLY COLORS AND MUSIC!

cough Anyway, as for the actual answer, I shall be serious for a moment. In this case, I can say this with certainty because I actually was in this situation and stood up for my friend.

Funny (by which I mean sad) thing is, said bully was another friend of mine. Sort of. He was a troublemaking sort who I hung out with more out of fascination than the traditional “ooh, he’s such a bad boy, I wanna be like him” sorta thing.

Heck, if anything, the pettiness level of all his troublemaking may have been a deterrent from such a lifestyle. Throwing pebbles at some big metal thing you shall not even dent with them? Pulling out small posts from a decaying fence? Really? Sir, I do not think you are as hardcore gangsta as you think you are.

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visually inspects own bubblegum wings, tailfeathers, and beak

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I have tulpae, which are essentially “imaginary friend 2.0” to put it in incredibly super-oversimplified terms. So, I’m never truly alone.

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Turn it in, of course! Who needs money when I have GUM?

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Not really, though they may just be afraid I’ll make a pun out of it if they do.

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Funny thing is, about half the time, I do not feel the need to study at all. Rightly so, since I generally do well, anyway. However, when I do feel it needs to be done, I do so in advance.

This is a fun quiz, weeee…

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…I have wings.

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That is one thing I pride myself on, actually. No matter how boring the class, I have never fallen asleep during one of them. And trust me, some have been very boring.

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Bah! Gum has no need of your silly sexes!

Narrator: You appear to be… the hardy type.

Well, that’s… interesting?

Narrator: You do your homework diligently, and you know to eat properly.

Except when I forget my homework exists.

As for eating, bah! I do not need to eat!

Narrator: You have strong willpower that lets you complete tasks, however tough.

I have been struggling with laziness for most of my life.

Narrator: But, you can also be stubborn to the point of even feuding with friends…

Y’know, I’m beginning to think this nine-question quiz may not present an accurate representation of the fine details of my personality.

Narrator: Nothing will go right for you when you’re irritated, so learn to laugh it off.

Oh hey, it got something right for once.

Narrator: A hardy person like you should be…

…The ever-adorable Poochyena?

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Ah yes, Poochyena, just as I suspected!

NOTE: For anyone who wishes to be their own favorite pokémon in this game, the codes you are looking for are 02004894:XXXX and 02030c18:XXXX, where XXXX is the hexidecimal value of the pokémon in question, according to this page. That said, the first code is no longer necessary once you spawn into the world for the first time.

Narrator: This is the final step. Who would you like to have as a partner? Choose the Pokémon you want as your partner from this group.

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I’ll choose Pikachu. Say what you will, but it is iconic. I’d choose Eevee if I could, but I can’t, so I won’t.

Narrator: What is your partner’s nickname?

Hm, good question. A question which 90% of the world’s population would likely answer very immaturely. But really, hm… Y’know…

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Named after a mad scientist rodent character that one of my tulpae made for a Pathfinder game!

Narrator: OK! We’re all set! Let’s get you into the world of Pokémon!

FINALLY!

Narrator: Go for it!

I’m having flashbacks to that Nightmare/Atmosfear commercial.

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In the world of Pokémon. Weren’t you listening to the disembodied voice in the realm of wavy scintilating colors?

…Wait, did that actually happen, or did someone spike my drink?

Poochyena: Am I dreaming this?

You, sir, have very boring dreams.

Poochyena: I feel I pleasant breeze. …I hear a voice from somewhere…

Oh geez, I’m hearing the voices again!

…Actually, that joke doesn’t really work when I’m a tulpamancer, does it?

Yes, the term “tulpamancer” actually exists, because the tulpa community has a flair for the dramatic. Theoretically, this term should imply we use tulpae to predict the future, but hey, every piece of fantasy literature ever misuses the suffix “-mancer”, so why not us?

Poochyena: I wonder who it is?

???: … … … …Excuse me.

Fluttershy, izzat you?

???: Please, wake up. Come on, wake up.

Good morning, Crono!

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I would just like to point out that a sleeping poochyena is one of the most adorable things in the history of forever. That is all.

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…I did notice that, yes.

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Poochyena: (Wh-where is this…?)

Let’s see, judging by the surroundings, this is… the middle of nowhere.

Joat, Ace Detective!

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Cherithe: You were passed out here. I’m so glad to see you awake!

…Huh. I guess my slipped-something-in-my-drink theory holds water! ba-dum-TISH

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Cherithe: I’m Cherithe. Glad to meet you!

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Cherithe: …And you are? I’ve never seen you around before.

Out in this random place, not sure how many people you would see around.

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Cherithe: Huh? You’re a human?

…I don’t now about you, but usually, when asked who I am, I generally start with my name, rather than my species. I generally assume people who speak to me face-to-face can intuit that one.

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Cherithe: But you look like a normal Poochyena in every way.

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Poochyena: (It… It’s true… I have turned into a Poochyena!)

If I may rant for a bit… How, exactly, is this a surprise? I mean, assuming that the quiz from before is non-canon (safe bet), there are still a lot of signs. Let me count the ways…

  • You got up. That, right there, required you to get up on your four feet (yes, there are some two-legged forms, including what I would have been playing as were I not a dirty, dirty cheater, but there are also default forms with four legs, such as what I played when first I tried this game, mudkip).
  • You are a species that is known to have an exceptional sense of smell. Given how night-and-day the difference is between canine and human sense of smell, not sure how one misses that.
  • You can most definitely see your own nose.
  • You are conversing with a pokémon in its native tongue.
  • Your tactile senses are also a thing that exists.

I dunno. Maybe he’s just that much of a slow riser.

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Poochyena: (…But why? I don’t remember anything…)

That is the sign of a good party, my friend.

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Cherithe: Um… You’re kind of weird…

That is one way of putting it.

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Cherithe: Your name? What’s your name?

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Poochyena: (My name…? That’s right, my name is…)

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If I may go on another, perhaps more important, rant, this actually leads into the biggest issue I have with this game. It does not seem to really know what it wishes to do with its protagonist. On one wing, it clearly wishes for the player to immerse themselves in the role. Such is clear from the quiz. In fact, I originally filled out my real name, just in the spirit of this! However, the game did not very effectively create the blank-slate character necessary for this to occur. Rather, the game tries to create sort of a mix between that and the more traditional fleshed-out-by-the-plot JRPG character. Both approaches are fine, mind, but when they try to compete with each-other, both suffer. Which is not to say it is the worst of both worlds - there are some times when they actually manage to briefly have their cake and eat it too - but it is certainly far from the best of both worlds, as sometimes the two approaches conflict with each-other…

Also, in a way, me filling it out as “Joat” is the same now as “Jesse” was, then. Mentally, nowadays, I and my tulpae refer to myself more oft as “Joat” than “Jesse.” So, in a way, legality aside, Joat has become my more “real” name.

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Cherithe: Oh. Joat’s your name? Well…

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Cherithe: It’s a funny name!

I will have you know that Joat is a perfectly acceptable… acronym.

…You win this round, Cherithe.

???: Somebody! Please! Help me!

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Hark! The plot calls!

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Butterfree: It’s horrible! My Caterpie fell into a cavern! My poor baby!

That sounds like a job for someone who has wings.

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Cherithe: What?!

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Butterfree: A huge fissure opened in the ground, and my Caterpie fell in! He’s too young to crawl out by himself!

So, uh… HOW did he survive, exactly?

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Butterfree: When I went to get my baby, Pokémon suddenly attacked me!

…But they didn’t attack the Caterpie, apparently.

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Cherithe: Huh? You were attacked? By other Pokémon?

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Butterfree: They must be enraged by the fissure… and out of control! That’s what I think.

Then why do they never attack each-other?

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Butterfree: I’m not strong enough to fend off those wild Pokémon… What will become of my baby?

As a Butterfree, you are at least twice as strong as either of us at our current levels.

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Butterfree: Oh! What am I to do?! Oh dear, oh dear…

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Cherithe: This sounds bad! We have to go help!

Wait, we? Why us? Why not anyone else in the ar… Oh, right, middle of nowhere…

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Wait, where’s Butterfree? Is she seriously not coming to help?

Also, I do hope that the warning it gives is not prophetic of Cherithe’s usefulness in battle.

Anyway, this LP re-upload is sort of a second chance, and this time I should go ahead and do something along the way that I failed to do before: actually explain the game!

When it says to attack with image, this refers to the normal attack. Most Pokémon games lack this, restricting the Pokémon to their up-to-four moves, each of which has their own PP.

PP is the number of uses left for that move. If a move is out of PP, it cannot be used. If all moves are out of PP, then the Pokémon instead defaults to using the move Struggle, which deals damage to both the opponent and the user.

This does make sense, as otherwise the Pokémon wouldn’t be able to do anything at all… in the main-series game. In this game, however, it serves to make the player tear their hair out. Or if they’re bald, it makes the player spontaneously grow hair specifically for the purposes of tearing it out again. This is because, if memory serves, if an allied Pokémon is out of PP, they will use Struggle and knock themselves out, even if you try to instruct them to never use moves, despite having a perfectly-usable normal attack at their disposal.

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For any of you who were worried that the codes I recommended are purely aesthetic, this shows that the starting moveset has been altered to match being a Poochyena. Those numbers to the right are the aforementioned PP.

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Yes, Pokémon have money, apparently. Which randomly fell down into this cave in a convenient pile of 34!

Anyway, the player only controls the leader. The other characters are left to the whims of the AI, who uses the ever-popular Random AI to decide what to do in combat, while following the leader the rest of the time (or wandering if they’ve gotten separated). To be fair, there are ways to at least get some control over what they do. For example, you can toggle moves on and off (again, not including Struggle) for any party member aside from escorts.

This game is purely turn-based, as well. Characters only act when the player does something and time stands still otherwise (idle animations aside). Unlike in the main-series games, there is no separate battle screen, but instead Pokémon are battled as you explore, with each Pokémon taking up its own space on an invisible grid. Terrain shapes and relative combatant positions can factor into battles as a result.

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Oh hey, just a few Pokémon defeated while exploring so far and Cherithe already leveled up! Go her! She certainly seems happy enough about it.

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Oh, uh, good for you, Cherithe! I guess.

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Wait, how am I holding it?

Clearly not with my mouth, considering my idle animation is of me barking incessantly at nobody in particular.

Anyway, the dungeon has money and items scattered about. Rarely are items dropped by enemies, the only exception being when an enemy walks over and picks up an item by pure coincidence. In that case, the enemy also becomes more dangerous, as there’s nothing stopping them from using said item.

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Caterpie: Mommy… Where are you…? Sniffle…

Oh, just cowering on the surface while she sends two weaker pokémon to do all the work for her.

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Caterpie: Huh?

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Cherithe: Your mom’s waiting. Let’s get you out!

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Caterpie: OK.

Huh. Guess it’s a good thing she never told him not to talk to strangers.

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Cherithe: Oh, that’s OK! It has been dangerous lately with sudden quakes and fissures like that one.

If that is so, why was the news of this happening so surprising?

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Cherithe: It was great to find your little boy unharmed.

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Butterfree: Please, may I have your names at least?

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Cherithe: I’m Cherithe. And this is Joat.

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Caterpie: … Cool…

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Joat: (He’s, uh… Staring at me adoringly…)

And not at Cherithe, apparently, because she’s not the protagonist and also isn’t sharing her level-ups with me, the big meanie-head.

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Joat: (Those sparkly eyes… It’s a little embarrassing…)

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Joat: (But, this doesn’t feel bad, either. It’s like I’m a hero.)

I do believe this qualifies you as such, aye.

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Joat: (Helping Pokémon in trouble might be a good experience.)

Well, other than the whole “being in mortal peril” thing.

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Caterpie: Thank you! Cherithe and Joat!

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Butterfree: I know it isn’t really enough, but this is a token of our thanks. Please accept it.

Joat’s team received the promised Oran Berry.

Thanks!

The team also received the item Pecha Berry.

Oh, uh, thanks. Now, where do I…

The team also received the item Rawst Berry.

…Well, this is gonna be trouble to carry all at once. Maybe they could help us ca…

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Butterfree: Thank you so much. Good-bye.

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…Oh, uh. Bye, I guess.

Anyway, I’ll go ahead and explain, Oran Berries restore health (a lot of it), Pecha Berries cure poison, and Rawst Berries cure burns. By their powers combined, they are Captain Berry! Or something.

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Cherithe: You’re very tough. I sure was impressed.

A good thing, too, considering I pretty much had no idea how tough this body is until after I accepted. I could have been level 1, for all I knew. And this is generation three, so I do not think the experience underflow glitch is still a thing.

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Cherithe: So… What are you going to do? Do you have any plans?

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Joat: (…)

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Cherithe: …Listen, Joat. If you don’t have a place to stay, you should come with me.

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…I’m going to live in a birdhouse? I mean, I know this is short notice, but…

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Oh.

Still, that looks like it has only one room.

Then again, that puts it on par with most human housing in the pokémon world, so fair enough.

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Joat: (Wow! I can’t explain, but I’m happy!)

I can. I mean, come on. You have your very own house! When I was the age of this game’s target demographic, I looked on in envy at anyone who had even so much as a treehouse. To have an entire HOUSE to myself would be pure bliss.

And then I would realize I have to keep it all clean. And then I would cry.

…Maybe it being only one room Is for the best, actually.

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Joat: (I’m a human being, but I like this place. I feel weirdly happy! It might be an instinct thing for Pokémon…)

Well, it has a well-kept lawn, surrounded by shrubbery, interesting natural look… just about the only problem I can see, aside from being a single room (which is about standard for humans, as mentioned), is the lack of glass in the windows, which is… actually a significant issue. Something tells me that happiness may fade, come winter.

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Joat: (Maybe this is what it feels like to want to wag your tail…)

Nobody’s stopping you.

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Joat: (It doesn’t matter! I’m happy! Maybe I feel that way because I’m Poochyena!)

Or maybe it’s the fact that your prospects, earlier, were looking closer to “sleep outside every night forever.”

And the fact that it’s significantly larger than a birdhouse. That helps, too.

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Cherithe: Oh, Joat. You’re impressed, aren’t you?

Actually, I kinda am. Like, people just give houses like this away at a moment’s notice? Or is Cherithe actually filthy stinking rich and just never told me? I guess mad science is pretty lucritive…

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Cherithe: I thought so. I thought this would make a good place for you to live, Joat.

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Cherithe: I was sure you would like it.

Well, hey, I’ve seen smaller human housing in the series, so…

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Cherithe: This is your Mailbox. They deliver mail from Pokémon here.

Oh. So it’s not a birdhouse, then.

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Cherithe: You know, just like the fissure Caterpie fell into…

So, the fissure is a pokémon who will send me mail? Or, pokémon will mail me the fissure?

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Cherithe: For some reason, there have been many natural disasters lately.

So, what you’re saying is, I should probably not get too used to the house.

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Cherithe: Because of those disasters, many Pokémon are suffering.

Then why are you smiling?

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Cherithe: I want to help Pokémon in these tough times. I want to change things so all the Pokémon can live in peace. So, uh… Well, I liked how you handled yourself when we rescued Caterpie. Would you like to join me on a rescue team?

Well, if the title of the game is anything to go by, probably a good idea.

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I’m almost tempted to refuse just to see how the game attempts to salvage things, but nah.

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Cherithe: Perfect! That’s it, then! We’re partners in our rescue team from now on, Joat! Glad to have you on board!

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Cherithe: The team name… Well, I don’t have one yet. So, Joat. What do you think would be a good name for us?

I am sure that many of you are shouting profanities at the screen right now. Not out of rage, but as suggestions.

Well, okay, this is probably not nearly as applicable for the lp.zone community as most places, but I couldn’t bring myself to remove that joke.

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That is the default name.

There is nothing I can say to further highlight the absurdity of this.

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This is kinda my default guild name, so why not use it here? And hey, we already have two members, so it’s already doing better than the last one! Pity me.

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Cherithe: Zephyrai! I like it! It’s a good name! It’s perfect for us!

How? I mean, it sounds cool, but not sure if “fitting” is what I would call it.

Though, it is far funnier to imagine if I had gone with the default. Either way, though, I suspect sarcasm.

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Cherithe: Rescue Team Zephyrai! Let’s do good starting tomorrow!

I sense procrastination.

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Yes, we know you’re adorable, and thank you for turning around and reminding us of that, but would you mind doing something?

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Um, I can’t move.

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Um… help?

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…Well, that’s not normal.

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And then Joat was never seen again. The end.

…Okay, here’s what actually went wrong. See, there are certain poses that only the player character and their partner are expected to ever do. So, to save time and space, the spriters apparently only did sprites for those poses for the pokémon that the player character or starter can be. Since I chose a non-standard pokémon, the game froze upon requesting a pose that, for Poochyena, does not exist.

I can temporarily change back to Charmander for those moments and I can try to capture as much footage as Poochyena as possible, but if I later show a screenshot where I am inexplicably a Charmander, that is why. I cannot change my species on-the-fly, only between scenes. So, if a pose requires me to be a Charmander, I’ll be one from then until the scene ends.

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YEEEEAH!

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That is very

interesting.

I wonder how this will turn out as

the story progresses.

Next


#2

Previous

Day 2: Wherein Joat encounters “Deus Ex Post Office.”


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I forgot I wasn’t playing Hotel Mario. Thanks, game!

Narrator: The next morning…

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I must say, the artists did actually make the place look quite comfortable, while also letting it be simple and natural. Though, the tree stump table confuses me. It looks like it’s still rooted to the ground. Did they cut down a tree, decide “hey, this’d make a good table,” then build a house around it?

Also, sleeping poochyena is still adorable, and there is something about the straw that just makes it even moreso.

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Yeah, I’m afraid so, but don’t worry, you’ll level up eventually.

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Joat: The way I look… I’m still Poochyena.

Oh.

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Joat: But why would I be transformed into a Pokémon?

Because it’s adorable!

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Joat: … Hmm… I don’t understand this at all… … … I feel groggy and sleepy… Not feeling well… I need more sleep…

You just woke up. Also, I don’t know about you, but with the windows wide open and it being broad daylight outside, I would find sleeping quite tricky. Perhaps he plans on burying his head in the straw first?

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Uh, sure, I guess.

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Oh, well, never mind, then. I guess I’ll have to go through this entire game without saving.

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Admittedly, most of those save slots are mid-dialogue or otherwise “just in case I miss something and need to go back” save slots. But my point is, saving via this method is definitely viable.

Anyway, one quick nap later…

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Joat: Oof… I’m feeling refreshed!

“Oof”?

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Joat: I still look like a Pokémon, but… … Oh, that’s right. That Pokémon… I think it was Cherithe?

Oh hey, my in-game avatar is terrible with names, too! Well, terrible-ish. I mean, he got the name, but it took him a bit.

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Joat: We made a promise to form a rescue team together… I wonder what Cherithe is doing?

SCIENCE!

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Joat: I should go out.

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I think if I were going to sleep outside someone’s door, even inadvertently, I would have enough presence of mind to not sleep on the stone path surrounded on either side by much-more-comfortable grass.

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Cherithe: Hahaha, sorry! I was so excited, I came out here at dawn to wait for you.

Why is it that I am the poochyena and yet Cherithe is the one who reminds me of an excited little puppy?

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Cherithe: I must have snoozed off.

You don’t say.

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Cherithe: Anyway… Today marks the start of our rescue team! Let’s always do our best!

And try not to think about dying horribly.

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Cherithe:

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Cherithe:

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Cherithe: …But anyway… We don’t have any job offers yet… Hahaha…

Wait, does this mean she looked in my mailbox?

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Did Cherithe just spot Solid Snake?

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Cherithe: Oh, yeah!

…or perhaps the Kool-Aid man?

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Cherithe: Maybe there’s something in the mailbox…

Oh.

Wait, so she just assumed there were no job offers, despite never checking the place where job offers are sent?

Cherithe checked the Mailbox. The Mailbox contained a Rescue Team Starter Set!

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Cherithe: I knew it’d be there! It’s the Rescue Team Starter Set!

No you did not.

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Cherithe: They always give you one if you start a rescue team.

Cherithe opened the Rescue Team Starter Set. There was a Rescue Team Badge inside!

Presumably to be placed on one’s person somewhere, but how? There are no articles of clothing here. Maybe it’s a necklace-badge? A collar-badge?

Okay, since making that supposition, I did see the canon answer according to the animated special. Apparently, the team stores the badge in, uh… hammerspace. I personally like my necklace idea better.

There was a Toolbox inside!

Either that’s a pretty small toolbox or I think we may have a TARDIS mailbox.

There was also an issue of Pokémon News inside!

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Cherithe: Yes!

Getting excited about the news, in media aimed toward children who could not care less about the news.

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Cherithe: There are some good things here!

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Cherithe: First off, the Rescue Team Badge. It shows that we’re a rescue team.

Yes, I was able to intuit that one.

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Cherithe: This is a Toolbox. You use it for carrying items you find in dungeons. Let’s put the stuff Butterfree gave us in here for now.

That’s useful! Now all we need to do is find a way to conveniently lug a packed toolbox around.

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Cherithe: Items are very useful, so let’s use them on our adventures.

And then they find the Splash TM.

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Cherithe: And finally, a copy of the Pokémon News. It’s useful for rescue teams.

Well, yes, I suppose keeping up on the latest news is helpful. I am sure it must contain a lot of information on the latest disasters we can help people out of.

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Cherithe: I’ll put the Pokémon News in the Mailbox. You should read it later on. Anything else? Is there any other mail…? Maybe not?

Lass, I’d be surprised if anything else would FIT in the mailbox, given how much we got.

Cherithe checked the Mailbox. But the Mailbox was empty.

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Cherithe: OK, so there isn’t any mail for us after all…

Except, y’know, all the mail we just got.

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Cherithe: If there were any rescue jobs, we would be getting mail, but…

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Cherithe: Nobody knows about us since we’re so new a team, I guess. Hahaha…

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Cherithe: Oh? I wonder what it could be.

My guess is plot-convenient mail.

Wait, if this is today’s mail, does that mean we’re just now checking yesterday’s mail, which probably came in before we were a registered team?

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Joat checked the Mailbox.

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Cherithe: Maybe it’s a rescue job offer! What does it say?

“Dear resident, you may have already won one million PoKé…”

Joat read the letter.

Letter: BZZ BZZ BZZZ

Riveting.

I understand verbal tics, but writing that down?

Letter: I HEARD ABOUT YOU FROM CATERPIE. PLEASE, WE NEED YOUR HELP. MAGNEMITE IS IN TROUBLE. A STRANGE ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVE FLOWED THROUGH A DUNGEON… AND IT STUCK TOGETHER MAGNEMITE AND MAGNEMITE…

“And my brother Darryl, and my other brother, Darryl.”

Letter: THAT ISN’T ENOUGH TO FORM A MAGNETON. IT’S NOT COMPLETE THE WAY IT IS NOW.

So, if there were three, they’d be evolved now? Like, even if they were level 2?

Letter: PLEASE. WE NEED HELP. BZZ BZZ BZZ. FROM MAGNEMITE’S FRIEND

Well, that narrows it down.

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Sure! Let us go onward to… uh… some dungeon, somewhere.

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Cherithe: That’s the spirit! Let’s do our best!

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YEEEEAH!

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I wonder which one is speaking. Or are they taking turns speaking?

Also, which one of them wrote the letter? And for that matter, how?

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Either Magnemite or Magnemite: MY FRIENDS SHOULD BE ON B6F. PLEASE HELP THEM! BZBZBZZZT!

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‘Tis just a nod, but freeze-framing it like this, it looks like they’re about to duel.

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Ah, yes. Cherithe can level up even faster that way.

Also, once again, no help from the others.

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Ah, so I use the Blast Seed to demoralize my foes by hurling insults at them online, got it.

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Ow.

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12HP. Something tells me that the difficulty may have ramped up a TAD.

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At long last! I’m finally catching up to you, Cherithe!

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Y’know, that may sound good, but being level 99 near a muk may be an issue.

Also, that silly quote popping up every time I level up does make the whole immersion thing a fair bit harder, but then again, whose fault is that one, really?

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Oh. I guess I’m not catching up, after all.

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And I still have only two moves.

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Yeah, let’s rock!

…Sorry. (not actually sorry)

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*sigh*

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Woo!

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Fun fact: Poochyena and Pikachu, according to Bulbapedia, are in the exact same experience rate group. Just… thought I’d bring that up.

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A process which is skipped over, despite the dungeon no doubt being just as dangerous on the way out.

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I am so glad this is not voice-acted…

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Magnemite, Magnemite, Magnemite, or Magnemite: BE THANKFUL, YOU TWO.

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Magnemite, Magnemite, Magnemite, or Magnemite: YOU ARE OUR HERO. THANK YOU. BZBZBZZ!

Joat’s team received the reward 500 PoKé.

Okay, I have no doubts on how they can carry it, but how are they able to LET GO of it?

The team also received the item Reviver Seed. The team also receibed the item Rawst Berry.

On these, I am foggier on how they’re carrying them.

Anyway, the Reviver Seed, as long as it’s in your inventory, instantly revives a team member once they faint (that is, are reduced to 0HP). The seed then becomes a Plain Seed, which is mildly nutritious and refills Belly OH RIGHT, I SHOULD EXPLAIN BELLY!

Belly is, basically, a measure of how satiated the party leader is. Belly goes down over time and eating food increases it. If the leader runs out, they start losing HP. Technically, party members also have Belly, but theirs don’t go down over time and can’t even be viewed without switching leaders (which can’t be done yet).

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And I was only MILDLY the dead weight of the group, so that’s nice.

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Cherithe: Actually, since this was our first job as a proper rescue team… I was really tense and nervous.

Probably because the party leader who does the most combat is made of styrofoam and tissue paper.

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Cherithe: I’m exhausted now. I’ve got to go get some sleep. Let’s keep up our good work tomorrow. See you.

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I suppose I shall do same, then, especially since I took most of the blows.

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Look at the windows. That is SO not night.

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Oh hey, someone spiked my drink again.

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Joat: … … Where… Where am I? Maybe… Is this a dream…?

If so, it’s rather boring. And meta. Seriously, dreaming of sleeping?

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Joat: …Oh? There’s someone here.

Watching you sleep.

For the record, the only movement in this scene comes in the forms of the waving background and the sleeping Joat breathing. Joat has not moved otherwise, nor is anyone visible.

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Joat: Who is it…? Someone I know…?

Perhaps it’s Cherithe. Or Magnemite. Or Magnemite. Or Magnemite. Or perhaps even Magnemite.

Imagine having Magnemite nearby when you’re trying to sleep…

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Joat: …Hmm… I can’t remember. …

Yep. Sounds like me, alright.

Next


#3

Looks like the emulator hasn’t properly detected the game’s save type. Setting it to (IIRC) Flash 128K should solve the problem. Assuming you’re playing in VisualBoy Advance, you do that through Options > Emulator > Save Type > Flash 128K.


#4

I do appreciate the advice, and I do recall finding this out and trying to do it at a later time, but unfortunately it seems that VBA doesn’t allow doing that mid-game, meaning it does not seem the issue can be resolved without starting from scratch.


#5

Previous

Day 3: Wherein Joat sends a Pokémon back to its home planet.


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Joat: But I can’t quite remember what that dream was about…

Probably because it was extremely non-memorable.

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Joat: Oh well. Today’s another day of rescues!

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Joat: I wonder if I have any mail? Better check the Mailbox.

And then check it in again a few minutes later, because apparently they deliver mail more than daily.

Joat checked the Mailbox. But there was no mail seeking help from the rescue team

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I’m not sure. The sun shining through my windows 24/7 kinda threw off my internal clock.

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Cherithe: …So, was there anything? Were there any rescue requests?

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Cherithe: Huh? Empty?!

You are that surprised? I mean, our having a job yesterday was a stroke of tremendous luck.

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Cherithe: Hmm… I suppose so. We’ve only started, after all.

I guess I can sorta understand her being so excited. I imagine she had a hard time getting to sleep, visions of all the exciting adventures she would later have running through her head… Adorable, really.

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Cherithe: Well, too bad. Want to go to Pokémon Square?

Someone, during their time as mayor, simply did not care.

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Cherithe: I think if we go to the Pelipper Post Office, there’ll be jobs posted.

Then why are you so distraught at us not having jobs in the mailbox?

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Cherithe: Pokémon Square’s over this way. Let’s go.

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You certainly seem excited about it.

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They seem to be in short supply. They must cost quite a lot.

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Cherithe: You can buy and sell items there.

Oh.

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Cherithe: You can save your money there.

Fancy that.

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Cherithe: Huh? What’s linking? Well, if you link moves… You can use them at the same time. I think you should ask Gulpin if you want to know more.

Interesting mechanic, really. Too bad I have only two moves to choose from.

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I am reminded of the Suspiciously Specific Denial trope.

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Cherithe: You should store important items here before you go out on any dungeon adventure.

Well, items not important to the mission, anyway.

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Cherithe: What do you think? The businesses here help us.

I’ll say! From those descriptions, I think only one of these actually charges money at all.

…Well, okay, later we find out that Gulpin also charges money.

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Cherithe: Oh and there’s also the Pelipper Post Office. That’s up here.

I hope they’re more careful with our incoming mail than the title screen Pelipper was.

…I guess that would help explain why we got no mail today, actually.

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Cherithe: I think we can get some information on rescue jobs Let’s first go to the Pelipper Post Office.

Onwaaard!

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You don’t say.

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Cherithe: See? Have a look at this Bulletin Board. It lists rescue jobs. Check it out?

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How do these get here, exactly? Especially that fourth one, where the sender apparently does not know where they are. Apparently, the answer is “right next to a mailbox.”

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Plusle’s HP fell to 0!

Plusle pulled out a pen and paper, wrote a letter requesting help, sent it to the mailbox, then fainted!

Anyway, I am going to take three jobs, all conveniently in Thunderwave Cave (which is apparently all the rave).

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Cherithe: See? To do a rescue job, you first select it with Accept… Then, on the Job List, choose the job, then confirm it with Take Job to go on that rescue mission. If you don’t select Take Job, you can’t do that rescue job even if you go to the dungeon.

Y’know, this tutorial on the interface would have been more logical BEFORE I went to the job interface.

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Cherithe: Since we’re just starting up, we should handle the jobs that are posted here.

Well, either that or just go home, I guess.

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Cherithe: Our team name will get better known by doing that.

It’s a good thing I made our team name not something to be ashamed of, then.

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Cherithe: I think that will bring job offers to our Mailbox. And if you want to go on a rescue mission… Choose the job on the Job List… Then, select Take Job. Try to always do that before you leave!

Alright. So, we have a group of rescue jobs. Their very LIVES are at stake!

But first, let’s browse around town a bit.

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Snubbull: The Pelipper Post Office would be… Straight down this path. It’s out at the cape. You can’t miss it.

You mean the place I just came from?

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Lombre: I don’t know why, but there’ve been many natural disasters lately. A lot of Pokémon have gone wild and violent because the disasters scared them… It’s a mean world out there.

Y’know, for those who weren’t paying attention to the plot previously.

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Lombre: There was a forest fire not long ago. It was terrible. Luckily, Blastoise and Feraligatr were able to douse it quickly… But it could have been much worse if they were slower getting there.

It was a glorious triumph against great adversity for Smokey the Ursarang.

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Kecleon: We, the Kecleon Brothers, have a passion for selling items. Items are useful for your dungeon adventures. Use your imagination and discover innovative uses, please.

…Use my imagination and discover innovative uses? Like, instead of throwing a seed, maybe grab a straw and spit it at the enemies like a spitwad?

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Kecleon: Ah yes. If my shop sells out… New merchandise will arrive the following day. Until then, please go to a dungeon and spend some time Please visit on your return~♪

I do hope we have our badges out and he’s acting off the knowledge that we are a rescue team. Otherwise, this seems an awful lot like the PMD equivalent of “go jump in a ditch.”

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Kecleon: Ah yes. The Kecleon Shop is a nationwide chain.

Wait, what? Is this a species trait? All Kecleons own item shops? Or is this a nationwide family business, somehow?

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Kecleon: There are shops even in dungeons. Please do visit~♪

Oh, now I understand the dungeon comment, you sneakies.

Anyway, now to actually buy stuff!

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Kecleon: Oh my! You have no space for any more items!

Alright, I’ll go clear some room, just please don’t eat me!

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Kecleon: Thank you! Please call again~♪

I don’t know… I’m afraid of using up all of my Pokéminutes.

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I get the feeling that perhaps the face artist and the sprite artist were not in very close communication on this one. “RAWR SCARY RAWR oh hi, there!”

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Kangaskhan: I can store items that you found in dungeons, or that you bought from shops.

Well, that was a mood shift. “Oh hi, there, I’m very glad to… Oh. You want to know what I do? SERIOUS BUSINESS MODE ENGAGED!”

Speaking of business, how do you profit from this?

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Kangaskhan: If you faint in a dungeon, your items will be lost… But what’s in storage will be safe.

This building has no doors. I do not have much faith in it.

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Kangaskhan: I keep guard over the storage space, so anything you leave with me won’t ever disappear!

Except for, y’know, when you’re asleep. Which would be at night. When thieves are mostly likely to strike.

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Kangaskhan: If you have any items that you can’t bear to lose, be sure to leave them with me!

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Well, my inventory is full, so any port in a storm, I suppose…

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Kangaskhan: OK, stored away! You can count on me, honey.

THERE’S the smile again! I like happy Kangaskhan.

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I have only two moves and Cherithe probably wouldn’t use her moves very well (and also she is quite OP compared to me and doesn’t need the extra help), so I shall pass for now. Nonetheless, I’ll go ahead and ask for more information here, too!

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…We may be here a while.

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Gulpin: When you’re in a dungeon and you’re about to use a move… Isn’t it a pain to open the window each time?

Second only to when the batteries on my TV remote run out and I actually have to get up.

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Gulpin: You can avoid that! You can just conveniently “Set” a move for instant use! A set move can instantly be used with image and image! See? Isn’t that easy? Just set the move… Hold image and then press image to use it! It’s very convenient!

Yes, I did hear you the first time.

Alright, so next, the main attraction!

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Gulpin: When moves are linked… Two or more moves can be used one after another in one turn! For example, if the moves Scratch and Growl are linked… Both Scratch and Growl are use in one turn! See? Amazing, huh?

So, what you’re saying is, with the aid of a move tutor, a Mew could literally transform and rollout.

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Gulpin: Using links, heheh… Well, depending on the moves you link, you can get incredible results! Oh, yes. When moves are linked, they are used in sequence from the top one first. You can also separate linked moves by selecting the DeLink command. The sequence of moves can be changed by pressing image, then pressing up or down on image. Try to innovate with links. Try creating links of your very own!

The last time I tried creating a Link of my own, Uncle Nintendo grounded me for a whole week.

Anyway, onward to remembering moves.

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Gulpin: What if you had to forget a move, but wanted it back? Ever face that situation?

Oh yes, I so want to know all my disco moves again!

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Gulpin: I can help! Come to me, and I can make you instantly remember forgotten moves! I… Well, when Pokémon remember… I love seeing that instant!

On a serious note, I get why they originally had the move limit, and I can understand why the limit is still enforced (both for purposes of tradition and game balance, among other things, I imagine), but it’s the kind of thing that I really wish they would acknowledge as little as possible in the story itself. It does endanger the illusion by making the Pokémon seem less like living intelligent beings and more like piles of code. That, or just really stupid.

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Image from Pokémon Red.

…Not that the humans in this world are the sharpest tools either, mind.

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Gulpin: That look of enlightenment! That amazed look of pleasure! I run this business because I live to see that moment!

And also the money probably helps, too.

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Gulpin: Whenever you get the urge to link moves, please come see me!

Maybe someday, I shall have another move.

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Well, that looks like a face I can trust!

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Persian: Ah, you wish to know how the bank operates. Very well.

That face, the way ve said that… Why do I get the feeling that my asking for more information was all a part of vis master plan?

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Persian: If you are defeated in a dungeon, you’ll lose all your money. Did you know that?

Yeah, being defeated and without backup in some remote dungeon surrounded by hostile Pokémon is just so gosh-darn inconvenient like that!

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Persian: But you can avoid that! You’ve nothing to fear if you leave your money with Felicity Bank. Even if you return defeatedfrom a dungeon, your money will be safe with me!

“I’ll still snicker at you, though.”

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Persian: I assure you, my bank will keep your money safe. Simple, isn’t it?

Well, I still have shopping to do, so…

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Persian: I await your next visit.

It’s like ve is trying to hypnotize me with vis gaze…

Anyway, onward to shopping!

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“The Kecleon Shop – We Sell Rocks”

And I buy them. Because they are awesome.

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Kecleon: Wonder Orbs are very, very convenient~♪

I wonder why! *sitcom canned laughter plays*

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Kecleon: However, they disappear after one use… But they are useful in a pinch~♪ And moves… They are the ultimate power!

You realize that “moves” includes Splash, right?

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Kecleon: Smash rocks! Fly! There are many different kinds of moves, all of them dynamic, yet elegant!

Okay, maybe moves like Metronome are dynamic and a number of moves are elegant, but I am pretty sure that Splash is neither.

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Kecleon: There are even moves of obscure rarity… Simply gorgeous, they are! Now, we have those moves! They can be learned using our Technical Machines, or TMs for short! You see? Isn’t it exciting? Even dreamy?

Unless the move is called Brad, I somehow doubt it.

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Kecleon: Why, it gets me so excited, my color has turned to a rosy tint! I do hope you will shop with us–me and my brother next to me!

Anyway, let us see what ye’ve got!

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I can buy torment. That is so metal.

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Kecleon: Thank you so much! Please do visit again~♪

For some reason, whenever he speaks, the voice that narrates the text in my head is that of Tobli from FFX-2.

On another note, I almost forgot, there’s that news I never read through! May as well do that, before I go.

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…Or not.

You established I have the news. Why can I not read it?

Well, may as well check the mail. It’s been at least five whole minutes, so the mail may have come again.

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So, every rescue team badge has a built-in teleporter? Wha?

Also, I later learned that this is in fact the Pokémon news. It can be stored for later, at which point it shows up in the PKMN News section.

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Anyway, ONWARD!

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Awww…

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I’ll just let ver sleep.

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This message brought to you by the Pokémon Board of Tourism.

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Er, yes, that is kinda one third of the reason I came here to begin with.

The Rescue Team Badge shone on Plusle! Plusle gained a magical power!

Uh…

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Plusle: Thank you! Please come see me at the Pelipper Post Office later!

Plusle escaped from the dungeon!

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“But now I must go. My planet needs me.”

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We cannot stop now! ONWAAARD!

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Uh, yes, I am surely sure.

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Cherithe is so beefy now, nobody here poses a threat to her, anymore. And here I am, already having used an oran berry, hurt and poisoned…

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Y’know, I was hoping that would work.

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No berry to cure it… Now it truly begins… Now I must triumph over my greatest challenge yet, conquering the entire dungeon and rescuing the distressed Pokémon, all while…

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…Oh. Or not.

It turns out changing floors removes status effects.

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Ve certainly LOOKS excited, doesn’t ve?

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Wooo!

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Ooof course you did…

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As a reminder, I still only have two moves.

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Hm… I think I’ll have her forget Tail Whip. While I can understand a ranged debuff, a melee debuff seems not as useful in a game where so many things fall down in so few attacks.

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How can there be weather here?

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Fun fact: Other than Nidoran, there’s no gender in this game. This alters the functionality of certain moves.

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Hm… Nah! Let’s go for more XPs and obese loot!

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And in case you are wondering, that is significantly more EXP than Cherithe has.

In any case, the rewards, in total, were 200 PoKé, 15 rescue points (used to rank up, which in turn improves recruitment success rate), 10 Gravelrocks, and a Reviver Seed. A decent outing.

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Aww, Cherithe doesn’t want me to feel bad, so she’s using the word “we.”

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Cherithe: OK, see you tomorrow!

Well, may as well turn in for the night.

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Joat: … … …Again? Am I dreaming again…?

Are you seriously surprised at having dreams when you sleep?

For that matter, you are cognizant of this being a dream. Why you are not using this opportunity is beyond me.

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Joat: …It’s that Pokémon again.

WHO’S THAT POKéMON?

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Joat: Huh? They’re… talking to me? …I can’t hear them clearly. What are they saying?

Eh, probably just a telemarketer.

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Joat: Huh? It’s shaking. An earthquake…?

Oh. Must be a Snorlax.

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Joat: Whoa! It’s getting worse.

It’s getting closer! Quick, run away, before it eats you!

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Joat: For a dream, this feels strangely real, but… … …

…your train of thought, however, is not.

Next


#6

Previous

Day 4: Wherein Joat discovers what makes him so special.


The next morning…

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Well, looks like someone found the intercom.

???: Hello? Uhh… You are Joat…

I was aware of that, yes.

???: Aren’t you? …Oh! You can’t see us, of course! How very rude of us!

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I’d make comment about Dugtrio ruining the floor, but I’d have to throw in some qualifications on whether this counts as a floor, exactly.

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Why do Pokémon without nicknames bother with introductions?

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Dugtrio: Last night, during the earthquake…

Geez, don’t look at me like that, I didn’t cause it.

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Dugtrio: Our child Diglett was attacked… He was whisked away to the peak of a tall mountain. We couldn’t possibly climb somewhere so high up… That is why we must call upon you for your help, Joat.

Because Poochyenas are natural-born mountain-climbers! Apparently.

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Dugtrio: Diglett was abducted by a Pokémon named Skarmory

“So just beat up the first Skarmory you see and hope it’s the culprit.”

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Dugtrio: It’s a vilely vicious ruffian! Please do be careful.

“Ruffian” is simultaneously quite sophisticated and goofy. Like “fop.”

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Dugtrio: Please, we need your help!

Help us, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Dugtrio: We must go!

Well, okay, to be fair, at least this one, er, three, have a valid reason for not coming along.

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Joat: … …That was so sudden, there was no time to even say no… It’s too bad. I’d better go.

“It’s too bad”? Implying you would have said no? You are such a jerk, uh… me.

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Cherithe: …Huh?!

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Cherithe: You were asked to go on a rescue mission?

Puppy-Pikachu Cherithe is adorable.

???: Yes!

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Were you eavesdropping this whole time?

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Dugtrio: He was taken to Mt. Steel’s summit! Please, we need your help! Bye-bye!

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My sentiments exactly, Cherithe.

Though, first, I must go store items and buy some things.

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Oh.

Oh dear.

Turns out money really is the root of all evil.

Anyway…

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I think the game wants us to go to Mt. Steel, guys.

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Cherithe: So, Diglett was whisked to its peak…

Y’know, just in case the player forgot already.

???: That’s right!

Oh, geez…

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Dugtrio: The peak is 9F! Thank you for helping! Farewell!

Oh. Huh. Actually useful information. Alright, then.

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Cherithe: … Uh… Let’s go.

Yeah, tall climb, I know.

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And so, two Wonder Tiles directly diagonal to each-other, also known as the Starbucks approach.

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Woo!

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I… I learned a new attack!

I LEARNED A NEW ATTACK!

I DON’T EVEN CARE THAT IT’S JUST A DINKY SAND-ATTACK!

I’m finally kinda-sorta catching up! Except, still not really.

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Cherithe sure can’t beat my sense of smell, though!

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She can sure beat my everything else, though. Surely, though, there must be SOMETHING remarkable about me, right? Let’s check my summary screen!

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…*sigh* At least I’m an ADORABLE ineffectual coward…

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I made jokes about it before, but seriously, I’m only two levels behind, so I kinda AM catching up.

I forgot to take a screenshot of it at the time, but as you can see in the log…

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I learned the tactic Get Away! So, y’know, I can share my running-away-with-your-tail-between-your-legs secrets with my teammates.

As for what tactics are, the idea is that each AI ally (once again, except escorts) has a certain tactic activated which defines how they behave on a broad level.

The default behavior is Let’s Go Together, which has the partner following close to the leader where possible. There are two others available at the start, one of which is similar but causes them to prioritize attacking foes over following the leader, potentially breaking off from the rest of the group to do so. The third default one is like Let’s Go Together, but the AI tries to avoid moving adjacent to an enemy and instead lets the enemy come to them. This latest one has them fleeing from any visible enemies. So, basically splitting the party, which is rarely a good idea.

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Anyway, now for the final showdown…

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You mean in this area where we were told we’d find ver?

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Cherithe: Hey! Are you all right? We’ve come to rescue you!

Let’s hope one of us is REALLY good at jumping, then.

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Diglett: …I… I’m scared.

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Unless you came over here super-fast (like, The Flash fast), I do not believe you were out of hearing range when we loudly declared our intentions.

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Cherithe: We’re here to rescue Diglett! Skarmory! Don’t do this! Release Diglett!

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Skarmory: How dare you! It’s their fault! I haven’t slept in days because the earthquakes frighten me so! Every night we had them! Those earthquakes are caused by this brat’s ilk running wild underground!

So you bring one of them closer to you, logically making the problem worse.

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Cherithe: That’s not true. Well, it’s true there have been many earthquakes lately, but… It would take more than Diglett’s family going wild under the ground to cause earthquakes.

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Skarmory: You be quiet! We’ll fight if you keep that up!

Threatening an electric type and a dark type. Bold, I shall give ver that.

Yes, I know said dark type does not have a dark type move to bypass steel-type defenses, but Skarmory does not.

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Cherithe: It’s no good. Skarmory is too agitated to listen to reason. We’ll have to fight it out!

Boss battle summary: I throw a rock, Cherithe uses Quick Attack, Skarmory uses Leer, I throw a rock, Cherithe uses Thunder Shock, we win.

Speaking of rocks, the Gravelrock item deals a fixed amount of damage, 20 with every hit, and is unaffected by weaknesses or resistances. For that matter, the normal attack is also “typeless” in this regard.

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Skarmory: Grr… I can’t keep up! I’ll flee for now!

By “keep up,” of course, ve means “deal a single point of damage.” Really, all ve did was glare at Cherithe for a bit.

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Y’know, in case you couldn’t see what happened a few feet in front of you.

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Cherithe: It’s OK now. Come down over here.

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Diglett: I can’t… I’m too scared to move…

And also, not stating Diglett is a bad Pokémon, but I imagine it is a pretty bad Pokémon at JUMPING.

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Cherithe: OK, no problem. We’ll come to you. Just wait.

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You just now noticed this?

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Cherithe: Joat, what’ll we do? We can’t get across this.

What kind of adventurer doesn’t bring rope?

Then again, how would they use rope, as Pokémon?

…Then again, how do I keep throwing rocks at everything?

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…How long have you been following us?

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Cherithe: Oh, hi! You’re the Magnemite we saved!

Ah yes, I’d recognize those faces(?) anywhere.

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Magnemite: WE GOT WORD OF THIS.

How? I think the only one who isn’t currently here who knows about this predicament is Skarmory. Did ve really stop in front of two random Magnemites to give a summary of what happened?

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Magnemite: WE CAN RESCUE DIGLETT FROM THE SKY. BZBZBZZ!

How convenient.

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With what?

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Magnemite: DON’T BE SCARED. WE WON’T MAKE THE MISTAKE OF ZAPPING YOU. BZBZBZZT!

You realize Ground types are immune to electricity, right?

Anyway, one fade later…

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I noticed that, yes.

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Diglett: Maybe because I was somewhere up so high… My feet feel like they’re still walking on air…

“I’m walkin’ on sunshiiine…”

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Cherithe: (Feet…?)

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Magnemite: (HE HAS THEM? FEET?)

Okay, with Cherithe, I can understand, presuming we started exiting before we could see Diglett plucked from the ground, but how does Magnemite not know this, exactly?

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Cherithe: Well, you’re safe now. That’s what counts.

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Diglett: Yes. Thank you very much.

???: Oh! You’ve been rescued! Great! Great!

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Cherithe: Huh? What was that? Am I hearing voice?

By the same token, I can understand Magnemite and Magnemite being confused, but how have Cherithe and Joat not figured out who is speaking yet? Heck, even if their pattern recognition is poor, they would still recognize the voice(s), right?

???: Whoops! You can’t see us? That’s terribly rude of us!

Does Dugtrio interact with society so little that they’re not used to this?

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We noticed.

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Diglett: Oh! Papa!

Singular. Somehow.

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Dugtrio: Diglett! You had us worried! You’re not hurt?

According to their portait, this angers them, apparently.

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Diglett: Nope! It was scary, but I’m all right. It’s all thanks to Joat’s team.

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Dugtrio: Thank you for everything. You’re heroes.

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Cherithe: You should be thanking our Magnemite friends.

“Too,” yes. “Instead,” no.

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Cherithe: This rescue was impossible for us to do on our own.

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Dugtrio: Oh, how rude of us! Thank you so much!

I think you’re confusing “rude” and “not clairvoyant.”

Then again, the two Magnemite somehow “GOT WORD” of our situation out of thin air, so I don’t know what to think anymore.

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Magnemite: NO, NO. IT WAS THE ONLY THING TO DO. AND… HOW BOTH OUR EVOLVED FORMS ARE JOINED TRIOS… I FELT A CERTAIN KINSHIP.

That’s a rather odd basis, but alright.

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Magnemite: AFTER ALL, POKéMON MUST HELP EACH OTHER.

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Dugtrio: I’m impressed. Sincerely, thank you. We must be going. Joat.

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Diglett: Cherithe.

“And you, the player.”

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Dugtrio: Thank you. Farewell!

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From where? They left.

The team also received the item Pecha Scarf

Fashion!

Also, it’s a hold item that renders the holder immune to poison.

On the topic of hold items, a hold item is an item “equipped” to a Pokémon. As in the main series, depending on what it is, it may have an intrinsic effect on the holder as long as it is held. Other items (such as berries) will be used by the Pokémon when certain conditions are met, though the list of such items is rather short in the main series games, as most consumable items were presumably too complex for Pokémon to use on their own. In the main series, the hold items are used even if it isn’t the Pokémon’s turn. In this game, the item is used during an AI ally’s turn if appropriate, as AI allies cannot otherwise use items.

The team also received the item Ginseng.

…’Kay.

Actually, I didn’t know this at the time I initially received it, but Ginseng is awesome. It gives a permanent boost to the leader’s currently set move. These are really rare and, so best to use it only when you are certain that the move in question will never become obsolete.

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Magnemite: WE’LL BE ON OUR WAY TOO…

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Cherithe: Oh, wait! Don’t go away!

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Magnemite: WHAT IS IT?

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Cherithe: Uh… Would you like to join our team?

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Magnemite: JOIN YOUR TEAM?

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Cherithe: Yes. We couldn’t have done the last job if you weren’t around, Magnemite.

Or if we bothered to bring rope.

Or we could have tossed over one of our many Escape Orbs we found.

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Cherithe: I thought we would need more help for doing rescues in the future.

I think Cherithe is finally catching on to my power level.

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To be fair, though, I do not disagree with her on that point, even if we are kinda doing redundant electric types, here.

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Cherithe: So, how about it? Will you join us as members of our rescue team?

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Magnemite: RESCUE TEAM… THAT SOUNDS FUN! BZZ BZZ BZZ!

Yeah, being pummeled by angry Pokémon is a blast.

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Magnemite: …BUT …IF YOU NEED US TO RUSH OVER TO RESCUES… WE NEED SOMEWHERE TO LIVE CLOSE BY. IS THERE ANYWHERE WE CAN LIVE IN THE AREA?

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Cherithe: …Um… well…

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Magnemite: OH… THERE ISN’T… TOO BAD. SORRY, BUT WE CAN’T JOIN YOU. SEE YOU! BZZ BZZ BZZ!

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…Really? I was given this house for free without a second thought, but not ver? Was it the last one? Or is it a matter of nobody wanting a noisy Magnemite as a neighbor?

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Cherithe: That is too bad.

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Cherithe: It looks like we need to find places for Pokémon to live if we want some to join our rescue team…

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Real Estate!

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Cherithe: I know! Let’s go out to Pokémon Square tomorrow. There’s an interesting place called the Wigglytuff Club. It wasn’t open the other day when we went to the square. It should be open tomorrow, though. It’s next door to Felicity Bank.

That bodes ill for the prices.

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Cherithe: Wigglytuff is usually there every day. We may be able to get some information. OK, that’s what we’ll do tomorrow. We’ll go to Pokémon Square.

And, y’know, perhaps also rescue folks.

Anyway, now to turn in for a nice, restful…

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DAGNABBIT!

Next


#7

Previous

Day 5: Wherein Joat learns the true secret to friendship.


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Joat: …Again… It’s that dream again.

Eeyup! Still the wavy green place with nothing in it.

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Oh. Well, that’s new.

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Joat: Huh? I’m hearing better this time… …What? Human? My role?

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No such luck. Guess we’ll have to actually play the game, then.

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Joat: … I can’t… Drifting off… … …

…Isn’t drifting off how you got here in the first place?

The next morning…

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Cherithe: Ahaha! What’s the matter? Haven’t woken up yet?

I think we’ve already established how much of a slow riser he is.

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Cherithe: …Oh? You’ve been having strange dreams? What was strange about them?

Dude. Seriously. Your dream must contain at least one rubber chicken, a baker’s dozen tap-dancing radishes, and a war between walruses and people named Paul where it turns out all the walruses were double agents in order to qualify as strange.

Joat told Cherithe about the dreams.

Short explanation, I imagine.

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Cherithe: Hmmm, OK… Joat, you said you’re actually a human, right? So maybe… those dreams have some connection to how you became a Pokémon, Joat.

I knew it! It was the narrator from the beginning of the game all along!

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Cherithe: By the way, Joat. What do you want to do?

The same thing we do every night, Pinky.

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Cherithe: Do you want to turn back into a human?

A gum phoenix, actually.

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Joat: (…It’s true… I haven’t thought about it much, but…)

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But humans aren’t as adorabllle!

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Cherithe: Huh? What’s wrong? Is this a dilemma for you?

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Cherithe: Well, I hope so! It sure must be more fun here with me!

Or painful. We always seem to get those mixed up.

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Cherithe: Anyway, we were supposed to go to Pokémon Square today. Do you remember? We need to get information on how we can add members to the rescue team.

Onward, to the club!

…During the day.

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I think Wigglytuff may be high.

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Wigglytuff: ,Oh? Is this your first visit here? …Oh, I get it! You started a rescue team too, didn’t you?

Was it the blatantly-obvious badges that tipped you off?

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Wigglytuff: You’ve come to the right place! I sell Friend Areas to add members to your rescue team.

No wonder Cherithe had a house to spare. Apparently, they sell real estate in bulk, here.

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Wigglytuff: You’ve come to the right place! I sell Friend Areas to add members to your rescue team.

A suspicious-looking Pokémon, giving the first two away for free… These friend areas are laced with something, aren’t they?

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Wigglytuff: Let’s do it! Wigglytuff~♪ Wigglytuff~♪ Let’s be friends… Taaaaaah~♪

There is nothing I can say about this to make it any sillier.

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Wigglytuff: Congratulations! You can go to Wild Plains now. You can also go to the Mist-Rise Forest. Now you can recruit Pokémon that live in these two Friend Areas. How do you recruit new members? Well, if you’re fighting Pokémon that live in a Friend Area… In that case, they may ask to join your team. Just keep trying!

Find some Pokémon and knock some friendship into ‘em, got it.

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Were they just following us around this whole time, staying safely in eavesdropping range?

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Magnemite: IF YOU’RE GIVING FRIEND AREAS AWAY… CAN YOU ALSO GIVE MY FRIENDS ACCESS TO THE POWER PLANT FRIEND AREA? I ALSO WANT TO JOIN THEIR RESCUE TEAM.

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Wigglytuff: OK! Gotcha!

For free, apparently, because giving away free stuff when people ask you to is a good way to make money, somehow.

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Wigglytuff: I’m giving it away today! Wigglytuff~♪ Wigglytuff~♪ Let’s be friends… Taaaaaah~♪

Oh. A promotional thing.

Then why didn’t you mention this until now? Do you even know how promotional giveaways work?

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Wigglytuff: Congratulations! You can go to the Power Plant now!

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Magnemite: YES! NOW I CAN JOIN THEIR TEAM!

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Magnemite: YAY! BZBZBZZT!

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Magnemite: SORRY. I KNOW MY FRIEND TURNED DOWN YOUR OFFER TO JOIN YOUR TEAM YESTERDAY… MY FRIEND DEVELOPED AN OVERWHELMING DESIRE TO BECOME YOUR TEAM MEMBER. I APOLOGIZE, BUT COULD YOU ALLOW MY FRIEND TO JOIN YOUR RESCUE TEAM?

Um, wasn’t the only sticking point a lack of housing?

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Cherithe: Oh, wow! Don’t forget, we were the ones that asked your friend to join us.

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Cherithe: So, yes, that’d be awesome! Glad to have your friend on board!

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Magnemite: ALL RIGHT! GOOD ON YOU! BZBZBZZ! DO YOUR BEST, AND TRY NOT TO HINDER YOUR RESCUE TEAMMATES!

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Magnemite: YEAH! I’LL DO MY BEST! YAY, BZBZBZZ!

Well ,that’s a promising sign. “Try not to be too much of a load, ‘kay?”

Magnemite became a team member!

Still, I suppose I shouldn’t complain. Party member get!

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Well, I guess. If nothing else, so I can tell ver apart.

My first temptation is to name ver BZZZZT, but I would like to think I have more maturity than that, however.

…Said the bird made of gum.

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I am a huge nerd.

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Tesla: I’LL BE RESTING UP IN THE POWER PLANT FRIEND AREA. IF YOU WANT ME ALONG FOR A RESCUE, COME GET ME AT THE POWER PLANT. OK! BZBZBZZ!

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Hopefully, it is sufficiently distant that I do not have to hear BZZBZZBZT all night every night.

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Wigglytuff: There’s a sign on the path to the left of your rescue team base, so you shouldn’t have any trouble. That’s all the giveaways today! If you want more Friend Areas, you’ll have to buy them now.

Alright, on to normal shopping activities!

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…Or not.

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Shiftry: Forget it. We’re not about to work for that.

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Jumpluff: But my friend needs a gust of wind! Please!

Are there no teams that have, like, a Pidgey in them who’d know Gust, or something?

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I believe Cherithe just crit-failed her perception check.

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Lombre: Huh? That scene there? Jumpluff’s begging for a rescue mission, but not finding any luck. See that guy? There, the one in the middle with the pointy nose.

Hard to miss, yes.

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Lombre: He’s a Pokémon named Shiftry. He’s got his own rescue team.

So I gathered.

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Lombre: But his team’s greedy. They don’t work unless they get paid royally.

He must be pretty good, then, if he actually stays in business.

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Lombre: Jumpluff’s been begging for help, but… I feel sorry for that poor Pokémon.

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I know for a fact that teams can have up to four members at a time and body size is not a factor here, so why are both of these groups only three members strong?

…Okay, with the benefit of hindsight, now I know the fourth member slot is purely reserved for escorts and new recruits. I didn’t recall that fact when first LPing this, though.

???: Oh! It’s Alakazam!

???: That’s Alakazam?!

…Yes. Yes, it is.

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Alakazam: Hey. Rather coldhearted, aren’t you? To save Jumpluff’s friend, a strong wind is needed. Your leafy fans can whip up powerful winds. It’s an easy matter for you.

Or, y’know, a fair number of other Pokémon.

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Alakazam: Help that Pokémon out.

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Alakazam: Grr… Tch! OK, we’ll do it.

???: Wow…

???: That Shiftry agreed without any argument…

Possibly because there was a strong fire-type present.

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Lombre: You seriously don’t know?! It’s Alakazam’s team!

Is that seriously what they’re calling themselves?

That almost makes me rethink my opinion on “Team Pokémon.” Almost.

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Lombre: They’re the most famous rescue team around these parts.

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Thereby flooding the surrounding area with lava and killing off a whole bunch of innocent Pokémon.

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…Not as impressive-sounding. Which is particularly jarring, considering, well…

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…Yeah.

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Lombre: Alakazam doesn’t like physical attacks. He fights with his psychic powers. He’s endowed with an amazing brain and an IQ of 5,000.

I’m no expert, but I am reasonably certain it is literally impossible, by any incarnation of the IQ test, to score that high.

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Lombre: Apparently, he’s memorized everything that’s happened in the world.

Including, dear reader, the color of underwear you’re wearing.

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Lombre: Alakazam does all the commanding in the team. He’s clearly in charge.

Of his own team and everyone else, apparently.

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Alakazam: No need for thanks. It’s only natural that you get help. If anyone turns you down again, come see me. Take care.

That Jumpluff could abuse that power so hard…

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If they’re commenting on what Alakazam just did, I’m pretty sure anyone can bark orders at other people.

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Why is Lombre cowering behind me? Especially when Lombre is nearly four times my size, even if the sprites don’t convey that very well.

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Alakazam: What’s up?

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Alakazam: … It’s fine. Nothing. Let’s go.

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Why? Are they known for regularly attacking civilians? Somehow, I doubt that gets one Gold Rank very quickly.

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Cherithe: …C-cool…

How?

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Cherithe: Whew, Joat! We need to become like them!

You mean having a premonition and then dismissing it as nothing because we are the most genre-blind people on the planet?

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Cherithe: Let’s recruit more members and make our rescue team first-class!

Oh.

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Why does ve care about us, specifically? Does ve have nothing better to do with ver time? Is it because I have a type advantage?

The next morning…

Huh. I guess we just went to bed after that. Okay, then.

Next


#8

Back

Day 6: Wherein Joat gets a taste of power. Briefly.


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No dream this time, apparently. Now to head out!

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Cherithe: Good morning, Joat!

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Anyway, may as well check our mail.

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Huh. Well, okay, then. A rather humble amount of mail.

However, that one mission is not enough. Let’s also check the board to see if there are more jobs in that area. And also pester random people along the way.

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Snubbull: Alakazam’s team has the Gold Rank. Isn’t that awesome?

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Gee, thanks for rubbing it in…

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Snubbull: I guess that’s true. It might be rude to say it… but you obviously look like you really are nothing special.

GEE, THANKS! Even if it is true…

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Snubbull: It just goes to show how incredibly awesome Alakazam’s team is!

I think ve may be a bit obsessed…

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Bellsprout: Did you know that a new training gym–I think they called it a dojo–opened in town?

Huh. Well, interesting.

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Bellsprout: You know how many rescue teams started up? To deal with the natural disasters? Thre was a group of concerned Pokémon… They wanted to support rescue teams. So they got together and built the dojo. You can find the dojo easily. From here, it’s just straight down this path. If you have a rescue team too, I highly recommend you pay the dojo a visit.

Well, okay, then!

After my other stuff, that is.

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Lombre: Alakazam and his sidekicks were sure cool before.

They barely DID anything!

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Lombre: That’s how a real hero has to carry himself.

Well, okay, they did help Jumpluff, but that was more by using their reputation than doing anything. A well-deserved reputation, perhaps, but why not bring up their past acts, then?

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Lombre: By the way… Apparently, it’s been impossible for us to evolve lately.

Well, at least my current form is adorable, so there’s that.

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Lombre: You know how we Pokémon evolve if conditions are right? But for some reason, we haven’t been able to evolve at all. It’s rumored that the natural disasters are to blame, but… I wonder what’s going on.

Odd for this to be brought up only now instead of earlier, and in such an easy-to-miss way.

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“Rub-a-Dub River”…

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Makuhita: The dojo was founded to support the efforts of rescue teams. Train in different rooms to level up… And toughen up your rescue team.

Helpful, aye!

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Makuhita: Also… In the Fire Maze you will find only Fire-type Pokémon. In the Water Maze there will be Water-type Pokémon.

And as for the Schnozberry Maze…

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Makuhita: In such ways, only one type of Pokémon will be in a given room. Study how types match up in battle. The Pokémon in this dojo, by the way, are all volunteers.

Well, yes, I wasn’t exactly suspecting slave labor in a Pokémon game… outside of particularly uncharitable interpretations of what being a Pokémon trainer entails.

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Makuhita: They are participating because they want to see rescue teams succeed. The only thanks they expect is to see you become stronger. Don’t let them down! There’s more. For a rescue team that successfully completes all training courses… I have a special reward!

A BRAND NEW CAR!

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Makuhita: Let that compel you to train harder!

Alright, let’s go ahead and try this!

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Hm… Perhaps start easy and go with flying, first. Even if that does nullify my Sand Attack.

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Makuhita: The Flying Maze! Your decision stands! Let the training begin!

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For once, I’m tanking and one-shotting like Cherithe tends to!

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If the rest of this maze is anything to go by, I doubt it.

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I AM UNSTOPPABLE!

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Ow.

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Makuhita: You’ve shown your worth! Without a doubt, you have grown more powerful from your training!

Well, actually, none of us leveled up in the slightest. Not even Tesla. Who is level 6.

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Makuhita: May this success drive you to train even harder!

Perhaps later, but for now, time for rescuing!

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Where, oh where could Aron be?

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Well, that was predictably easy.

For that, we received a Cheri Berry (cures paralysis), 10 Gravelrocks, a Reviver Seed, and 10 rescue points

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Okay, I guess.

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It’s tomorrow!

Next


#9

Previous

Day 7: Wherein OH GOOD HEAVENS, MALCHOIR!


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Well, that was anticlimactic.

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I’ve done two sets of bulletin board jobs by now, yes.

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Pokémon Mystery Delivery Service!

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Anyway, time for another dojo run. Let’s go with Dark, this time. My brethren…

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Oh look, a Poochyena convention!

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Oh hey, Cherithe leveled up! And Tesla didn’t.

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A team of four, this time! Let’s do this!

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Oh geez… I am so glad that was “not very effective.”

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Alright, so, that conquered, time to go!

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Training hath won the day!

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Woo! I got a zigzagoon, because violence = friendship!

Zigzagoon is also adorable. Not as adorable as me, though.

Anyway, now it’s time for another nicknaming. Hm…

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Image from Sandra and Woo

…Naaaah.

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Named after an RP character of mine! Now all that remains is to find a comically oversized sword for him to wield and sleep on the hilt of.

My mind is a strange place.

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I BLINKED and now he’s level 7.

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At long last, Tesla hath leveled up!

Y’know, I think Tesla has an even lower growth rate than I, which is simply sad.

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Keep in mind, this is the third level up on this floor alone!

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Ah, right, yes. “Found.”

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I forgot to take a screenshot of him learning Headbutt.

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I am beginning to think my leveling rate is being put even more to shame, here. Or, frighteningly enough, even Cherithe’s.

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*sigh* Eeeyup. The new recruit whose membership hasn’t even technically been made official yet has now officially out-leveled me.

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This is literally two Pokémon battles later.

And, like with Headbutt, forgot to show him learning Sand Attack, or forgetting Tail Whip

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Aaaand two more.

Oh, by the way, remember what I said about Pokémon intelligence seeming small, given the game mechanics?

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You need to feed Pokémon gummies to increase their IQ points before they learn this. It is not available by default.

Also, oh right, I should cover IQ Skills! This is another thing I didn’t bother to explain in my original creation of this LP, but now I have a chance to fix that mistake.

When first recruited (or at the start of the game, in the case of the protagonist and partner), each Pokémon has five IQ skills, which may be toggled on and off. These are:

  • Item Catcher: When the character is not already holding an item, it’ll try to catch any item thrown at it, though this won’t work with drinks (mostly elixirs) or seeds. This is not to be confused with how you can throw consumable items at allies to have them auto-use it (unless they dodge it, which they sometimes do because I-have-no-idea-why).
  • Course Checker: Check if anything is in the way of an attack or thrown item before using it.
  • Dedicated Traveler: Use moves and items less often, and prioritize moving closer to the protagonist over attacking (naturally, tactics such as Go After Foes are an exception to the latter).
  • Item Master: Uses their hold item, if it is usable. This is not necessary for passive hold items. Surprisingly, it does affect whether Reviver Seeds work on this Pokémon.
  • Exclusive Move-User: Exactly what it implies. Does not use normal attacks.

That said, what the game doesn’t say right away is that some IQ skills are mutually exclusive. And while I disagree with them choosing this combination, two skills mutually exclusive with each-other are Exclusive Move-User and PP Checker. Honestly, since PP Checker is more of a quality-of-life thing than anything else (the game is less fun without it), I think that should be a default IQ skill and not mutually exclusive with anything.

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Of course he did.

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I think the narrator doesn’t think too highly of us.

It’s impossible to go any farther. It’s time to go back.

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Mission complete!

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Cherithe: OK, see you tomorrow!

Hopefully I can get narrator-senpai to notice me tomorrow.

Next


#10

Previous

Day 8: Wherein oh good heavens, Malchoir…


The next morning…

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???: Is this the place? Where that Team Zephyrai is based?

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First the narrator, now you?

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Medicham: Depressing, isn’t it.

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Gengar: Keh! Who’d run a rescue team from a dump like this? Unbelievable!

Well, comparing to the buildings in town, I’d say about comparable, really.

Though, this makes me wonder where they operate from. I mean, this IS a Gengar leading the group, here. Maybe they have some impressive haunted mansion?

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Cherithe: Who are you people?

Judging by naming the conventions of the area, these fine folks are known as Medicham, Gengar, and Ekans, respectively.

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Medicham: Oh! Over there. A Mailbox~♪

That is not an answer.

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They are so jealous.

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Cherithe: Now wait a second! What do you think you’re doing?!

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Ekans: Yessss! Rescue job offers!

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Medicham: Oo-la-la! Isn’t that rather tasty~♪

Well, maybe with a bit of salt.

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Gengar: We’ll have them all.

Rescue job offers are available elsewhere. Were you banned from the bulletin board?

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Cherithe: Stop!

In any form of media, has that ever worked?

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Cherithe: Those were meant for us!

Yes, I think they could intuit that one.

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Cherithe: Don’t butt in!

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Gengar: Keh! It doesn’t matter who does it!

“Dear Joat and Cherithe, I need you find my friend by tracking them by scent.”

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Medicham: We’re a rescue team too, I’ll have you know~♪

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Ekans: …But all we ever get up to is no good.

This team needs a Stoutland. Yes, I know it wouldn’t be very fitting personality-wise and I know said Pokémon did not exist yet at the time of this game’s creation, but this team really needs a mustache to twirl and none of these three quite fit the bill.

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Ekans: Wanna know how it works?

Yes, please enhance my ability to stop your evil plans by spelling them out to me.

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Ekans: If we have the cover of a rescue team, we can get away with so much more!

Well, I guess I can see that. It might be a better plan if you were to, say, keep it a secret.

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Medicham: We have our eyes on world domination~♪

…Um?

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Cherithe: Wha… World domination?!

I concur.

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Gengar: Kekeh! You heard right! That’s why we’re raking in the cash and adding to our gang!

Apparently, business isn’t very good if you have to resort to stealing job offers.

Speaking of which, I can see that plan falling apart. “Hi, thanks for rescuing me, but why do you have my job offer when I mailed it to Joat and Cherithe?”

I mean, seriously, how else would they have gotten that letter, aside from theft?

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…Oh, right.

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Gengar: The world will be ours!

…Is that the extent of your plan? Because, if so, I think you may not have thought this all the way through.

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Gengar: The rescue team of evil! Team Meanies is who we are!

Is that actually the name on your badge? Because that might explain the lack of job offers.

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Gengar: See you around! Kekeh!

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Cherithe: Now wait just a second!

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Cherithe: …They took off.

Aw, maaan… Now we might actually have to leave our house in order to get job offers!

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Cherithe: What an unbelievable bunch.

I know I certainly have a hard time believing it.

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You don’t say.

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Cherithe: They took everything!

They even took the newspaper, as a Medicham snack.

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Oh hey, the Pelipper of Plot Convenience!

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Cherithe: We’re in luck! Pelipper delivered some mail! We can go on rescue missions again with this.

…Does the bulletin board no longer exist or something?

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Cherithe: But those guys… They’d better not try anything if we see them again.

As a note, as a Gengar, the leader is at least level 25. We have a while to go before we reach that level. Or we could give Malchoir about five more minutes of training.

Er, wait, Malchoir is Normal-type and thus has trouble hitting Ghost-types, never mind…

For that matter, Gengar also requires trading to get to that stage. How does that work, in this setting?

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Sorry, Cherithe, no rescue job offers here, just someone hitting on me.

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Oh.

Well, to be fair, this one’s more plausible than Plusle’s plight, at least.

Anyway, one bout of shopping about for a few friend areas, storing and withdrawing items, and getting more jobs from this “bulletin board” thing that we apparently keep forgetting exists (on which I only found one other job in Mt. Steel)…

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Well, I’m glad I wasn’t around to hear what a worried Magnemite sounds like.

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I wonder what makes that specific bit of grass so special.

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Onward we go!

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…Or not.

Alright, well then, I suppose I shall drop Tesla. It kinda pains me to do so, a bit, actually, but, as pointed out before, we already have an electric type.

Also, I like cute things, and Malchoir wins on that front.

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Naturally.

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Even taking the Growl into consideration, that is one heck of a damage gap. Why am I leader, again?

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Ah, right.

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Ooh, hey, again! Maybe there is hope yet for my leveling rate!

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Well, sort of.

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I think I have found someone more fragile than me. I mean, this is the third time in critical HP this dungeon. And he used a Reviver Seed the first time.

Still puts my offensive abilities to shame, though.

Okay, to be fair, that may be partially due to me setting his AI to “Go After Foes,” but if I don’t do that for my party, it tends to result in only one ally getting near the enemy, with the rest not taking the leap of logic to, say, take a step forward to get to the enemy.

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I have been finding a lot of white and orange gummies in these dungeons, but I do not think I have once seen any other type. Why is that?

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The way Pincer is laying on its front an raising and lowering its body makes it look less like it is sleeping and more like it is panting and barely staying conscious after receiving a beating, soon to receive its second wind and defeat its foes using strength, determination, a lot of shouting, and regrettable fashion decisions.

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…Or that.

Though, I am a touch disappointed at the lack of recruitment on Pincer. While it’s not one of my favorites, it still holds a place in my little gum heart, because it was my first bug-catching contest entry, my first victory in said contest, and, since then, a part of the roster for a fair chunk of Pokémon Gold. Along with Butterfree, Raticate, Pidgeot… I really have a thing for the underdog, don’t I?

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…Did Malchoir seriously only gain one level during all of this?

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Zephyrai went up in rank from the Normal Rank to the Bronze Rank!

Woo!

I must admit, that genuinely does feel fairly nice. Even if Bronze still isn’t exactly all that impressive-sounding.

Sadly, Cherithe gives no response to that. I wanted to see her reaction. I would imagine it would be quite adorable!

Next


#11

Previous

Day 9: Wherein Joat demonstrates the power of rock.


The next morning…

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??? Joat! Cherithe!

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Cherithe: Huh? What was that?

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And where are your parents?

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Caterpie: Please! Please help my friend!

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Cherithe: What’s the matter?

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Caterpie: I was playing with my friend Metapod…

How?

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Caterpie: But Metapod got lost in the woods… He’s still lost out there…

Don’t worry; I doubt he went very far.

???: Oh, I see, I see! That does sound bad! Kekeke!

Oh geez…

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How long were you guys watching us?

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Gengar: Have no fear! We’re here to save your chum Metapod.

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Cherithe: Hold on! Caterpie came to us for help!

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Gengar: Keh! You think you can do this rescue with your amateur-level skills?

You have to get jobs by stealing them, and you saw us as a threat even when we were Normal Rank. Even taking into consideration that a ghost-type has reason to fear a dark-type, I have doubts about your rank.

For that matter, it’s a basic search-and-rescue in a random forest. This is not exactly the most daunting task, especially for, say, someone with a heightened sense of smell.

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Cherithe: What did you say?!

Normally I would take this as insulted, but given how Cherithe has been doing on perception so far…

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Gengar: It doesn’t matter who does the rescuing, see?

You state we are not up to the task of doing the deed, then you state it does not matter who does the deed.

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Gengar: The guy that does the rescuing gets to be the hero.

…And then you go on to speak of why it matters who does the deed.

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Gengar: Listen, Caterpie. How about we do this? How about you give the reward to the team that brings back your chum first?

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Caterpie: But I… I don’t have any money…

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Gengar: Oh, don’t worry about that, my little friend! I’m sure we can persuade your parents to reward us with interest afterward, kekeh!

A few things:

  • His parents have no legal obligation to give you a reward. Yes, you could try to force them into it, but they would either report you, or if you try to “silence” them, others may notice their disappearance. The only way to guarantee it is to make an agreement in advance. Preferably in writing, provided Medicham doesn’t eat it.

  • For that matter, why the Caterpie’s parents? Why not the Metapod’s parents? I don’t have hard numbers, but I’m pretty sure that, in general, a parent would be willing to pay more for their own child’s return than for their child’s friend’s return.

  • Punctuating an agreement with evil laughter is not good for public relations.

  • Interest does not work that way.

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Gengar: Oh, yeah. You can even join our team. There’s an offer you can’t refuse.

Does this Caterpie really seem like the fighting sort?

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Gengar: When you join us, Caterpie, we’ll let you be a big wheel in Team Meanies, kekekeke!

I know they are trying to sow discord, but if I were trying to take over the world, I would be more picky about who I put in a position of power within my ranks. I could see them recruiting the Caterpie as a grunt, because an evil empire needs a vast army, but anything beyond that…

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Gengar: That’s the deal, Cherithe. The first to rescue wins!

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I concur, Caterpie.

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Cherithe: Don’t worry. We’ll save your friend first. Joat! Let’s get going!

Indeed! But first, some preparations.

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They addressed that, and said that would go to your parents.

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Caterpie: I don’t want to join those Meanies…

I’d bring up child labor laws, but I imagine the default age for the protagonist is about 10 or so, so never mind.

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Caterpie: Please, Joat, help us…

Don’t worry, Caterpie. We’ll save you from their complete lack of understanding of how agreements work.

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Anyway, first some shopping!

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Good heavens, I have a lot of rocks!

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Sounds like the best place to go play with a friend without any form of parental supervision, to me.

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You know it’s sinister because of the… sinister mushrooms, I guess?

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Cherithe: Gengar’s gang should be in there already. We need to hurry.

Follow my nose!

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Woo! Having a portable way to restore all PP is a helpful thing.

On another note, while I personally have not been too impressed with the soundtrack thus far (it’s not bad, mind, but not great), I must admit that the track that plays here is fairly nice and helps set the tone.

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…DANGIT MALCHOIR, THAT’S MY THING!

Still, I must admit, it’s an okay move, so I guess dropping Sand-Attack for it. Basically, it allows the user to nullify enemy evasion boosts and hit Ghost-types with Normal- and Fighting-type moves.

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That was over half of his hit points.

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Huh. For once, I don’t feel super-fragile.

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As the group ventures deeper into the forest, the field of view is lessened. Nice touch.

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I may perhaps be regretting my decision to let Malchoir use this move at will. The AI has no concept of when is appropriate for it.

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At long last, another variety!

Still not favoring dark, though…

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Of course he did.

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Woo! I finally have a full moveset!

Also, it’s about time I actually got a dark-type move. This one’s also just plain more powerful than Tackle, though it has a lower PP count to match.

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I think this is the first time that’s been relevant.

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Sure, why not? Not exactly one of my favorites, but oh well. I shan’t be picky!

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Because Ledyba’s white ball things and color scheme kinda remind me of Pulseman. Rather appropriate, given that game, too, was made by Game Freak.

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Given his low level and the high risk of losing him if he gets knocked out, best to keep him on the defensive.

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Wow, two-hit paralysis combo, on Cherithe and I…

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And quite unfortunate, when it triggers on the leader, in a hallway.

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It begins.

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I feel validated a bit, on the name choice.

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You’ll enjoy Malchoir, then.

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One Sky Gummi later, because Candy = Brains.

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No room, so I may as well eat it.

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Well, this could be a bother. But at least the light level is up again, for whatever reason. But now we have the introduction of water.

Sinister water.

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Or they could go down quite quickly and easily.

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Two things to note with that log. One, Malchoir leveled up because of course he did, and two, it’s quite nice how much more damage I am doing now that I have a better move.

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Double Team is tempting, but it’s defensive and Cherithe is already tanky enough without it.

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Note the floor number. And Metapod is not on this floor, so this means they were playing even deeper in.

Caterpie’s parents are the worst parents ever.

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Now would be a good time to run, Scyther.

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Ow.

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When I first learned of Hoothoot, I was simultaneously pleased there was an owl Pokémon and disappointed that it looks so silly and non-cute to me.

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Cherithe seriously ended up way over there.

She also keeps trying to use electric-type moves which do not affect it.

I have no words.

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I finally got her to finish the fight by turning off every move she has PP for.

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Honestly, it’s so much better if it is not in a hallway. The rest of us can help, in this case.

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Good heavens, it’s so loooong…

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Oh no, whatever shall I dooo…

I mean, using the normal attack is most of what I’ve been doing, so not much worry here. And plus, I have items to use as well.

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Oh. That makes it even less scary.

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Paralysis blocks any attacking, but apparently that does not include throwing rocks. Loophole abuse!

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I did not really need to do that, but I did it anyway, just to show how little I care about Encore.

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They really love to target me, specifically, with that, it seems.

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To state it mildly.

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Cherithe: I wonder if Metapod is ahead…

???: Hold it right there!

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You got a head start and Gengar is presumably a higher level than us. Why are you not a long way ahead by now?

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Gengar: So, for you to go ahead… Well, we can’t let that happen.

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Cherithe: Wh-what!

You are surprised, Cherithe?

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Cherithe: Hey, Gengar! Why do you always mess with us?

I was tempted to do a captain obvious joke here, then I remembered that such is actually a legitimate question. Seriously, why us, specifically?

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Medicham: Oh? Didn’t we tell you? Our aim is world domination~♪

Well, yes, you did, and I still have yet to discern what made you think it was a good idea to tell us that.

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Ekans: Caterpie’s mama will give us a generous reward…

How do you know?

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Ekans: And Caterpie will join us too… That brings us closer to our goal.

Like, seriously, am I missing something? Did these guys read some ancient prophecy where that Caterpie is The One?

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Gengar: Keke! And for that, your lot is in the way! So sorry to say, but your party’s over right here and now!

…Does that mean no cake?

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Gengar: Say good-bye, Cherithe!

…I’m feeling a bit left out, here.

Though, to be fair, Cherithe is the more talkative one who’s actually, y’know speaking to them. That, and she’s probably the bigger threat.

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It makes no sense for that to work, but I do not care.

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Behold my biting power and despair!

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That said, I should probably take out that Medicham before I or Malchoir receive a super-effective Medicham fighting move to the face.

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…That works, too, actually.

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I might be a bit more intimidated by that threat if our group had taken a single point of damage during that fight.

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???: Um, excuse me…

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Metapod just bounced up to us.

My mind is a bit blown, but hey, that makes the premise of this quest make more sense, at least.

It also makes the world a whole lot less sad for Metapod. I mean, keep in mind that, for who-knows-how-long, possibly forever for all anyone knows, nobody can evolve.

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Metapod: Did you maybe come looking for me?

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Cherithe: You must be Metapod.

That is a safe guess.

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Cherithe: Let’s get you home. Caterpie was worried about you.

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Metapod: Yay!

“Hooray for making my friend worried!”

Also, that has got to be the most bored-looking, or possibly angry-looking, “Yay!” I have ever seen.

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Metapod: Thank you, Caterpie!

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Caterpie: And thank you, Cherithe and Joat!

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And not Malchoir and Pulse, apparently.

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Caterpie: But I don’t have any money…

The sweat drop that came before that indicates nervousness at being unable to fulfill an expectation, even though you made it quite clear in advance that you have no money.

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Cherithe: On, no, no. We don’t need a reward.

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Cherithe: We’re happy to see that Metapod is back safe and sound.

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Caterpie: … Cool…

Why is this a surprise? You knew in advance that we knew in advance that you had no method of payment.

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Caterpie: You’re even more cool than I thought!

Wait, if you didn’t think we were that generous, why did you come here?

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Caterpie: I want to go on rescues when I grow up!

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Cherithe: Hahaha! That would be great! Chase that dream!

Just… Don’t be surprised if it leads to a lot of bruises. Trust me on this one.

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Cherithe: I have an idea! Joat, we should do something with this place.

Like put in some window panes?

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Cherithe: We should make a proper rescue team base here. Something impressive.

…Does this mean we have to get rid of the hay beds?

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Caterpie: That’s cool! A rescue team base is cool! I want to work here when I grow up!

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Metapod: Me too! Me too!

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Cherithe: Haha! That’s what we’ll do!

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Cherithe: Let’s work hard and build our own rescue base!

I get the feeling the biped among us may be doing most of the work, if it’s a DIY project.

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Metapod: Joat and Cherithe, thank you again!

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Cherithe: OK, bye! Be careful going home.

And so, the two depart.

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Cherithe: Sigh… Well, we ended up working for free, but that was the right thing to do

I think you’re forgetting all the free stuff we find on the ground. I haven’t run the numbers, but I imagine that probably adds up to more than the rewards themselves, on average.

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Cherithe: And we got to show Gengar’s team a thing or two, so it’s all good!

For example, that opening a fight by throwing rocks is a highly effective tactic, even against ghosts. Somehow.

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Cherithe: That was a tiring day. Let’s do more good tomorrow! See you!

More tiring from the walking than the battle at the end, admittedly.

Next


#12

Rock damage works against Ghosts just fine, IIRC. It’s just Normal and Fighting damage that doesn’t.


#13

Indeed, that is true. So Gravelrocks working here make as much sense as Rock-type damage working here. Which is to say, still none. But hey, game balance.

Now I’m imagining a variant of Ghostbusters where they pelt the ghosts with rocks until they surrender.


#14

IIRC, in this game Ghost Pokemon can’t walk through walls or anything, either. What if Ghost Pokemon can only phase through flesh? That still causes problems for a few attacks, like Bite and Crunch, but rocks and leaves still hurting them now suddenly makes sense.


#15

Previous

Day 10: Wherein Joat earns the ire of produce.


The next morning…

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???: Umm… Hello?

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Cherithe: Huh? Who could that be?

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We should really install a sign. Or maybe plant some flowers in the shape of the word “Zephyrai.” That would be lovely.

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Cherithe: Huh? That’s right… Huh? Wait, aren’t you…

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Cherithe: I remember now! Jumpluff, we saw you in Pokémon Square. We watched Shiftry agreeing to take on your rescue job.

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Jumpluff: Yes. But Shiftry… He hasn’t come back yet from the rescue mission.

And yet, you feel we would be a good rescue team to call for backup. Either rescue teams around here are more sparse than I thought and thus we’re the only backup on paw at the time (which would admittedly explain Team Meanies’ fixation on us) or I am quite bewildered as to how Shiftry’s team gets hired for anything ever if we’re considered the next step up and they require an exorbitant fee.

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Cherithe: Are you serious?!

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Jumpluff: Our friend Jumpluff got wedged between some rocks. We Jumpluff can go anywhere if we can catch a wind, but… Even though the skies are filled with thunderclouds, for some odd reason, the winds haven’t blown.

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Cherithe: Not even a breeze? That is strange…

I know there have been a lot of disasters lately, I did not suspect “unusually calm weather” would be among them.

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Jumpluff: Shiftry’s leafy fans can whip up powerful winds. We thought Shiftry’s wind would be able to dislodge our friend, but…

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Cherithe: But Shiftry hasn’t returned…? It doesn’t sound like all that challenging of a rescue mission… That is strange…

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Cherithe: Oh? That’s the spirit, Joat. Your expression tells me you’re ready.

Funnily enough, Cherithe is right, given Poochyena’s default expression on its sprite in this game looks rather determined. And/or angry. Adorably angry.

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Cherithe: OK, then! We’ll go look for them!

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Jumpluff: R-really? Thank you!

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Cherithe: No problem! You can count on us!

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Cherithe: Let’s go, Joat!

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Jumpluff: My friend is stuck in a place called Silent Chasm. I hate to burden you, but you’re our only hope.

Help us, Puppy-Wan.

Anyway, onward to town!

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Bellsprout: I’m afraid Shiftry’s team is always about the money. They went out on that rescue only because Alakazam told them to… I don’t think they were very entheusiastic about it.

I do believe that was quite evident, yes.

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Lombre: We heard.

“We hear all things.”

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Lombre: Shiftry hasn’t returned? I wonder… Did Shiftry maybe just run off?

I somehow doubt that would be good for team credibility.

Anyway, some errands around town later, let us gather our team!

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Like a true superhero would.

Also, it’s a tree with glowy spots. Which is quite beautiful and cool. And also possibly like they host some alien parasitic goo or something.

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Or maybe it’s not a tree? Huh. That said, the fact that you can climb a bit of the way up is a nice touch!

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I think he’s going through giant magic sword withdrawal.

And that makes a full team of four! Too much for the quest itself, perhaps, but just enough for something I have been neglecting…

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Oh, wow, that is a significantly expanded list.

I suppose we may as well go ahead and go with the water maze first, though we must be careful, because

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Screenshot from Pulseman

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…Really? I mean, the other missions, I understand, but is it even possible to recruit members from the dojo? Unless I am mistaken and it actually is, why do I need to have that slot open?

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And so, removing Malchoir from active duty. Sure, Malchoir is cute, and “Water can destroy Pulseman,” but apparently everything can destroy Malchoir, so…

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Ow.

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I think Makuhita is trying desperately to keep a straight face, at this point.

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I think she’ll be fine.

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Tactically speaking, confusion on the enemy is advantageous, but it still does not mean that it is a tad annoying when the enemy will simply not hold still.

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Oooof course.

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Not the best place to move, Cherithe.

Also, again, of course.

Also, there are other water Pokémon you intend to use aside from Polywag, right game?

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…Apparently not.

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And without a single level up, actually.

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Anyway, onward to the mission!

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Then why are you standing so close to the edge?

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Cherithe: Your friend Jumpluff is lost deep in this canyon?

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Jumpluff: Yes… I’m sorry to ask, but please help.

Didn’t we already accept? I mean, that’s why we’re here, right?

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Cherithe: It’ll be fine. Let’s go, Joat!

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Jumpluff: …Wait!

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Cherithe: Yes? What is it?

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Jumpluff: There’s something I forgot to mention… This canyon is known as the Silent Chasm, but… It’s rumored that an amazing monster sleeps here.

Ah yes, I can see why this detail would have been so forgettable. And why you also evidently forgot to tell Shiftry’s team. And probably why Shiftry’s team hasn’t returned.

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Cherithe: M…monster?!

Perhaps even a… Pocket Monster? *dodges tomato*

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Jumpluff: Yes, but! It’s only folklore!

If you don’t believe it, why did you bring it up?

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Jumpluff: It’s also true that Shiftry hasn’t returned… I just thought I should let you know…

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Cherithe: Owowow! My stomach! It hurts…

It seems consumption of one’s own pride gives one indigestion.

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Jumpluff: Oh! What’s wrong?!

Don’t worry. Cherithe is just being yellow-bellied. *leaps behind cover to avoid tomato hailstorm*

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Cherithe: It’s my stomach! It suddenly cramped up! Owowow…

This is absolutely adorable. I want my own Pika-cherithe.

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Cherithe: I think my breakfast was spoiled or something…

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Cherithe: Say, Joat, you’re feeling sick too, aren’t you?

If I were Jumpluff, I would be able to call that bluff in a heartbeat. Yes, true, it is reasonable to assume that Joat and Cherithe had, if not the same breakfast, food from the same source, given they do their shopping together. However, given the phrasing and the abrupt nature of that line, she may as well have added a loud “HINT HINT” at the end of it.

For that matter, what do Pokémon eat, in the Mystery Dungeon continuity? I mean, I doubt any Pokémon eat other Pokémon in this version of the Pokémon universe, so… do they all subsist on berries, seeds, apples, and gummies, as the mechanics suggest?

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It’s rather unfortunate that my two dialogue choices in this case are “be a complete coward” and “be incredibly dense.”

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Cherithe: Huh…?

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Cherithe: What’s the matter, Joat?! I need you to back me!

I do hope Cherithe is whispering that line.

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Cherithe: If you’re my partner, you need to read my cues better!

The funny thing is, the original incarnation of Cherithe (the Pathfinder character) has, in her brief time in use before the game fell apart, slain a dragon and two demons without really batting an eye.

Mind, the original was armed with various science gadgets, along with a mix between dragon scale armor, chainmail, and a fancy ballroom dress, so…

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Jumpluff: Wh-why this sudden outburst, Cherithe? Don’t you have a stomachache?

…I don’t know how much brains I expected anthropomorphized cottonweed to have, but I expected more than this.

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Cherithe: Uh, yes… Owowow… I guess the cramping settled down…

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Cherithe: Hahahahaha…

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Cherithe: So, anyway, you said there may be a monster. What is it like?

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Jumpluff: I don’t know very much at all… It is an old folktale. I wouldn’t know if it existed or not.

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Cherithe:OK… Well, it can’t be helped. Let’s just hope that monster doesn’t exist.

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Jumpluff: My friend Jumpluff should be around B10F. Please take care!

Well, that’s thankfully a shorter distance, this time. Even if we don’t have Malchoir’s sticky paws to help with making inventory management more of a nightmare restocking items.

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Cherithe:OK! Gotcha! Let’s get going, Joat!

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This may not be the water maze, but I think things are getting leeky in here. *dives for cover from the gum-seeking tomatoes*

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Quite a nice find!

I’ll go ahead and equip it, since my offense is behind by an embarrassing amount.

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And another one! This one shall go to Pulse.

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…I so wish I had this when Cherithe was halfway across the floor from me and counting.

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This is just too perfect.

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Much as I would like to give a quip, considering this is not all that well-known, I suppose I should give an explanation, instead. My beloved, at the time the original version of this LP was made, was known as Red. For any who have read it, he is the one pictured in the image near the beginning of the Bunny Link to the Past LP. Though he is, nowadays, most often a kitty (roleplay-wise, not actually, obviously), he used to spend a fair while in bear form (and still occasionally does) and bears still hold a spot in his heart. It is from this form that an alternate nickname, Reddybear, was born.

Sorry, Pulse, but you’re getting removed from the main roster, it looks like. I need some time with my beloved.

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His higher-offense-than-defense stats seem appropriate, for Red.

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He also has an ability that is quite helpful and appreciated, but does make things a bit more complex. Which I suppose is also appropriate for Red, come to think on it.

That said, that low HP is concerning, considering that he’s lost forever if he falls before we leave the dungeon.

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Tempting, considering it raises Special Attack, but the main one who would benefit from it is Cherithe, and she does not need the help, since whenever she breaks out the lightning, it tends to be a one-hit KO anyway. A Pecha Scarf seems more suited to her.

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Huh. For once, an attack dealt more than minor redness and irritation to Cherithe.

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And so, Reddybear’s tapestry of battle begins…

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And another one…

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Even if not very effective, I think this is the first time Cherithe used Thundershock and it was NOT a knockout.

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…I think Reddybear got a bit overzealous.

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*sigh*

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Choice most definitely validated.

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Right here, specifically? How do you know? On this floor, perhaps, but I do not think we have a map with a big red X anywhere in our inventory…

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Ve’s playing peek-a-boo, apparently.

While shivering, but still.

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Cherithe: We came for you! Are you alright?

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Jumpluff: Yes… I’m fine, but…

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Cherithe: Great! Your friend is waiting for you.

Speaking is a free action, but sadly, so is interrupting.

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Jumpluff: Shiftry is in the back…

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Cherithe: Huh? Shiftry?

“Oh yeah, the entire other half of our mission!”

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Cherithe: Let’s go!

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If someone is unconscious for any reason other than sleep, shouting to them is unlikely to work.

Then again, neither is a bucket of water, I imagine, but that doesn’t stop that from working in most media.

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Shiftry: …Urrrgh. Forget about me…

Cherithe apparently already did, before.

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Shiftry: Get away from here!

Is ve going to turn into a zombie?

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Cherithe: Get… Get away?!

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Dangit, Dumbledore!

???: Gyaoooooh!

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Shiftry: It’s coming!

Oh no, anything but… it!

???: Move aside, you!

Good sir, if you would turn on the lights, that would help. Otherwise, I may have a hard time ensuring that “aside” does not translate to “right into you.”

???: He dared to disturb my sleep!

Oh geez, it’s Skarmory…

???: I have no mercy for meddlers! And that includes you!

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Cherithe: Shi-Shiftry’s gone!

Then the lights turn off again and another Pokémon is gone, and then it repeats until it turns out the butler was the murderer.

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Zapdos: I am Zapdos! The embodiment of lightning! If you wish to save Shiftry, then scale Mt. Thunder!

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Why are you not just attacking us here? If ve doesn’t want to be disturbed, why is ve setting verself up to be disturbed again later on?

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Cherithe: Zapdos… So that’s the legendary monster…

Good thing we don’t have to worry about type disadvantages with our party, at least.

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Mood whiplash!

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Jumpluff: But even though I’m safe, Shiftry is still in trouble…

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Cherithe: Please tell us. Exactly what happened?

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Jumpluff: …Yes… Shiftry whipped up winds with his fans… and released me from between the rocks. But those winds tore a thundercloud in two… and that was when that monster appeared in the sky.

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Cherithe: That monster… It said it was Zapdos…

???: Did you say Zapdos?

“That’s the secret word!”

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I’d give another joke about eavesdropping, but with them, I can see it a bit more, given we live at apparently the edge of town and they have good reason to be coming and going a lot.

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Alakazam: Zapdos…

“My arch-nemesis…”

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Alakazam: It’s one of the legendary bird Pokémon. I heard it had been sleeping a long time…

From where, exactly? Nobody could see it, apparently. Did ve post it on Facepoké?

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Cherithe: So Shiftry woke it up?

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Alakazam: No. Shiftry’s winds were only the trigger. To begin with, the absence of winds there was unnatural.

If it’s normally riddled with potentially cloud-destroying winds, why did Zapdos feel that would be a good napping spot, again?

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Alakazam: It must have been caused by the rash of natural disasters recently. Zapdos is enraged from having been awoken from its sleep.

Well, maybe if we get a really big cup and a whole lot of coffee…

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Tyranitar: But Zapdos won’t be easy. His electric attacks are wicked nasty.

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Alakazam: I know that. We will need to be cautious.

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Cherithe: We’ll go too! We’ll help Shiftry!

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Alakazam: What?! That is dangerous!

I hate to be a buzzkill, but… yeah, pretty much.

I mean, sure, it’s dangerous for them, too, but the difference is, they’re Gold Rank, and we’re… not.

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Alakazam: Zapdos is powerful. It will be too much for your skill level.

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Cherithe: Hey! We’re not that weak!

“We”?

Okay, I may be selling myself a bit short, at this point. I really have been feeling a fair bit more powerful since I got that second offensive move and thus didn’t have to use PP attacks so rarely. Still, though, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m kiiinda squishy.

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I think the game is confusing “fear” with “cowardice.” A common mistake, really. Personally, in this situation, I would like to think I would step up to the task. But I’d be terrified while doing it. And the rest of the missions, for that matter.

Did I mention I don’t like pain? Because… I don’t like pain. Pain hurts.

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Charizard: Have you ever been hit with an electric blast?

Honestly, I don’t think I recall being hit by any electric-type moves. I got decimated with a green onion stalk, though! Is that close enough?

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Don’t worry! I have rocks!

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Tyranitar: Zapdos is wickedly tough!

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At 1’ length, that’s about all I would qualify as.

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Cherithe: We’re a rescue team too!

Just… maybe a slightly lower rank.

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Cherithe: We want to help Shiftry!

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Alakazam: … Fine. I see that you have courage.

“Maybe not brains, but…”

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Cherithe: Yes!

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Alakazam: Our two teams should make our ways separately through Mt. Thunder. We will go when we have geared up for battle. Knowing how strong our opponent is, we have no choice but to be cautious. You should make way for Mt. Thunder only when you are fully prepared.

I’ll go get my finest rocks!

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Alakazam: Our objective is to rescue Shiftry! Let us find success!

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Cherithe: Yes! I’m getting excited over this!

Now that sounds like the Pathfinder Cherithe I know!

Except… wait. Weren’t you cowering earlier, when there was only maybe a monster? Yet now that you know there is, you’re all gung-ho?

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Cherithe: Joat! Let’s do our best!

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YEEEEAH!

Next


#16

Actually, that’s not true, which makes Ghost-types incredibly annoying in this game.


#17

“Unusually calm weather” also ends up becoming a problem in Dragon Quest 7 for a while, and for much the same reason.

It’s like a sissy-slap fight where nobody’s doing any damage.


#18

Y’know how a storm tends to brew when the main characters of a work of fiction are about to get into a big, epic fight?

Considering the unusually calm weather, I suppose this was inevitable, really.

I wonder if that’s why it was an issue in DQ7. The weather was too calm and ruined everyone’s epic fight scenes. So the party thus has to go on an epic adventure to, uh… be able have epic adventures again.

That’s how logic works, right?


#19

Part 11: Wherein Joat finally gets even.


The next morning…

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Cherithe: OK… We should be heading to Mt. Thunder to do the Shiftry rescue, right? But Alakazam said that we should be properly prepared before we try…

Just like we do before every mission, yes.

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Cherithe: What should we do? We can go to Mt Thunder right now or later. It’s up to you. But anyway, let’s do our best like always!

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Oh… Oh good heavens! I didn’t know where Red was going to end up, but I certainly hoped it wouldn’t look so… MS Paint.

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Contemplating cuddles?

Anyway, back to town!

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Snubbull: I’m glad to see you’re back safe.

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Jumpluff: Thank you. But Shiftry is in trouble now… Shiftry came and rescued me…

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Other Jumpluff: I hope he is safe…

That reminds me. He didn’t go alone, right? He had two others with him. What happened to them?

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Lombre: Shiftry was abducted? That’s shocking news!

Now it’s my turn. *grabs a tomato*

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Bellsprout: Is that right… Shiftry was taken to Mt. Thunder… I wonder what that place is like? It sounds rather horrible?

It also sounds like where Zapdos would logically have been more likely to rest, but oh well. Maybe the constant thunder was too much even for ver to sleep through?

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Bellsprout: Oh? Me? I couldn’t possible go rescue him.

…Implying that we honestly asked ver to do so?

Anyway, I just remembered, we need to give Reddybear some brain-gummies!

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Even as a bear, he still has that mischievous kitty grin…

Reddybear’s IQ helped it learn how to use PP Checker!

Reddybear’s IQ helped it learn how to use Efficiency Expert!

This one causes the user to prioritize lower-HP targets. It is mutually exclusive with Dedicated Traveler.

Anyway, let’s do some appropriate training and do the Electric Maze, this time!

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One of Reddybear’s main attacks is Lick.

That is both adorable and appropriate.

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Guys.

My level is even with Cherithe’s.

MY LEVEL IS EVEN WITH CHERITHE’S!

Eeee! happy-dances

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And then we took zero damage from the fight. Heck, I even no-sold an attack. Me, of all Pokémon!

But sadly, Red did not level up here.

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It is time.

Even if Reddybear is still only level 10.

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Cherithe: I wonder… Is Alakazam’s team already on the way?

Maybe we should have specified a time or something.

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Cherithe: Zapdos… It sounds very tough…

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Cherithe: Brr… I’m shaking…

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Cherithe: I can’t be scared now. Joat, let’s try our best!

“Oh, and Reddybear, too, I guess.”

I must say, I like the music here, too. Subtle, yet suitably climactic.

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Oft-underappreciated, but useful!

Just… too bad that I had to get poisoned, without any berries left to cure it, in order to recruit him.

My first idea was to nickname him “Burger King,” but no, I am not so cruel.

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The once and future Nidoking.

Okay, maybe just future.

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Normally, I would explore more of the floor, but poison is a meanie.

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Weee…

Also, that thing at the bottom of the screen is a Pidgeotto. Might I suggest a different place to call home?

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…How did that make it past QA?

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Woo! At long last!

Alas, Reddybear, this does not bode well for your experience rate.

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Woo…

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Cherithe is still not quite done being ahead, though.

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Alas, items do not appear on the sprites, so we cannot even use it for fashion. Still, money is nice!

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Oh, wow, that is quite interesting!

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Wow! This is actually happening to me, for once!

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This is a bit bittersweet, in a way. Yes, I now have it and it is more appropriate for me than for Malchoir, but at the same time… this is REALLY situational.

Then again, in most cases where I would use Howl, I would otherwise be able to use either Sand Attack or a rock, so I suppose I shall go ahead and get rid of Howl, especially since I have a normal-type in the party.

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He even sounds noble upon level-up! “I am most pleased, good sir.”

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The second time… To be fair, this time, he was forced to fight Ampharos alone, because we were flanked in a hallway. Get Away does not exactly help, there.

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Those are always quite nice!

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…Um?

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Well, okay, then. I guess that is a sign of what is to come.

Though, this non-grid-movement section also probably means we’ll be starting after this with full PP!

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Nah, I think I’ll just live here.

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The peak, in itself, is a dungeon. Lovely. Nice music, mind, but still…

It’s a good thing I found so many apples earlier, because otherwise, this would be… bothersome.

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…Honestly, I am neither surprised nor heartbroken. Arthur honestly did more to decimate my Reviver Seed stock than to contribute in battle. His final moments were spent using Focus Energy and Leer.

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Honestly, best to restart, at this point, from the last save point.

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The king lives again!

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Man, I am burning through my rock supply…

This is quite difficult, really. With only two damaging moves available, I need to be really conservative with them, and, well, I am playing as Poochyena and I have two rather under-leveled party members with me.

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Tempting though the stairway is, we clearly are in desperate need of items and especially experience. I do think that, upon returning to town, I really should finish up the rest of the dojo maps. Reddybear needs a lot more training.

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Arthur nearly fell yet again. Oy…

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Yet, sometimes, he earns his place on the throne.

Only sometimes, though.

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Oh! So, the game decided to have mercy on me for once, and made the third floor the destination.

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Cherithe: Hey! Zapdos! Where are you?!

For that matter, where is Shiftry?

Or Alakazam? I mean, there’s not much ambiguity as to which way the summit is. Then again, for all we know, they have yet to even set out.

Yeah, we probably should have agreed on a specific time.

Or, y’know, traveled in one big group, because there’s no real reason not to. It’s not exactly a “split up and search” situation, here. We know exactly where our destination is.

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Cherithe: We came to rescue Shiftry! Come out!

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Zapdos: Gyaooooh!

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You act as if you did not expect that.

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Cherithe, why are you cowering behind me? That’s like a tank cowering behind an infantryman.

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Cherithe: Not scared… You don’t frighten me!

Cherithe, you are the one who has the least to fear from Zapdos’ damage output.

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Cherithe: Hey, Zapdos! Release Shiftry! We’re a Pokémon rescue team!

I doubt that alone will be very intimidating to a legendary.

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Zapdos: You must be determined, to utter such words. Then you shall answer… to my great and righteous fury!

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I would normally open with a rock, but Cherithe is right in melee range. So, going in!

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Well, um… ouch in sympathy. That Arthur did not go down immediately is quite fortunate.

Again, I think we may be a bit under-leveled.

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Ow.

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…Well said.

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5,000 IQ, ladies and gentleman!

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Zapdos: Urrggh! Uwoah!

…Quite.

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Zapdos: Enough! That’s enough fighting. I’ve calmed down. Take Shiftry back. You kids… You’ve impressed me.

You impressed me, too! I think this is the first boss battle that actually dealt damage to us. Bravo!

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Zapdos: But… Things won’t be this easy next time.

He intends to attack us again, apparently. Why, though, if ve’s calmed down? Especially since ve is clearly cognizant that ve is attacking children.

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Zapdos: I will go all out next time, so you’d best be prepared!

Bravo for holding back, but still, that’s pretty faint praise.

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Zapdos: Until then, you’d better hone your skills!

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I failed to capture the beam that Shiftry teleported in by.

Legendary or no… Zapdos can do that?

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Cherithe: Look! There’s Shiftry!

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Charizard: Are you OK?

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Shiftry: Ungh… Uh, yeah… Somehow, I am…

After all we went through, you’d better be.

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Cherithe: I’m glad you’re safe!

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Tyranitar: But that was an eye-opener. Driving off that Zapdos.

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Charizard: I agree. You’re awfully strong for a plain Poochyena.

Speaking of faint praise…

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Alakazam: … I sensed it when we first met…

And yet you did not bring it up.

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Alakazam: Perhaps… You aren’t a Pokémon, are you?

Well, you are using present-tense, so you are incorrect. Even if you meant past-tense, or in terms of the soul, well

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Cherithe: Wow! How can you tell that?!

It’s like he’s psychic or something!

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Cherithe: But you’re right. Joat isn’t a Pokémon. Joat is a human.

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Shiftry: What?!

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Charizard: A human?!

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Tyranitar: Is that possible? Can something like that happen?

“It happened one morning - a boy with extrasensory powers awoke in bed transformed into Kadabra.” – FireRed Pokédex entry on Kadabra.

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Cherithe: Joat doesn’t understand very much, either.

No “about this phenomenon” qualifier on that, Cherithe?

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Cherithe: Joat woke up one morning here as a Pokémon…

Oh right, I guess that morning kinda gives her every right to imply I may not be the sharpest sort.

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Cherithe: …And doesn’t remember anything about being a human.

Wait, did I miss something? When did that come up? Like, seriously, that’s a pretty big plot detail to wait until just now to bring up.

Actually, upon reflection, I suppose there is the line “I don’t remember anything”, but I think I can hardly be blamed for mentally appending “about how I got here”, given the context under which it was said.

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Cherithe: Oh wait! Lombre said something in the square! He said Alakazam knows everything! Alakazam, could you figure out why Joat became a Pokémon?

If we’re going by what Lombre said, shouldn’t he already know?

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Alakazam: … No… I can’t determine that.

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Cherithe: Oh… I thought you would know…

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Alakazam: However… There is a way for unveiling the truth.

Odd syntax, there.

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Cherithe: Oh, really? How?

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Alakazam: Make way to the Hill of the Ancients.

There, you must defend it against an enemy group of Pokémon with an Ancient of their own.

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Alakazam: There, you will find a Pokémon that stares into the sun all day…

“And somehow all night. We’re still trying to figure that one out.”

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Alakazam: A Pokémon who is said to see into the future.

Apparently, the future is bright.

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Alakazam: Xatu is his name.

Well, that narrows it down.

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Alakazam: He should shed some light on your puzzling friend.

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Cherithe: OK! So we should go see Xatu. Joat, let’s go! Off to the Hill of the Ancients! We can’t waste any time! Let’s go back quick! Shiftry, you too. Let’s hurry back.

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Shiftry: Uh… Yeah… I guess we should…

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Cherithe: Joat!

Did I just space out there, or something?

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Cherithe: Don’t just stand there. Let’s go home.

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I should certainly hope so, by this point.

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Charizard: I don’t think you’re completely ignorant about this. … You know something, don’t you?

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Alakazam: There is something that concerns me. But it should go unspoken for now.

“At least until we’re off-camera and the player can’t hear us.”

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Alakazam: …For their sake…

Oh, by the way, we got zero points for that rescue.

Y’know, the one where we took down Zapdos.

Next


#20

Previous

Day 12: Wherein Joat forgets to add 80’s training montage music.


The next morning…

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Cherithe: Yesterday, I did some checking around. It turns out that the Hill of the Ancients is apparently in the Great Canyon. We should go there right away! Off to the Great Canyon!

Right! But first, we need to train.

…A lot.

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I imagine this decision would have more emotional weight if the player even knew.

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This clarifies why the player was not told in advance, but this is still clunky, since the player still did not know the available questions.

Anyway, I suppose I shall go with the second.

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…It’s a valid question.

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…What?

Like, seriously, who else? I mean, Reddybear certainly never inquired about it.

Neither of these responses make any sense. I’ll just go with the second one. That’s more likely to get me an answer, I imagine.

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Cherithe: Someone else? Come on, what do you think I am? We’re friends, aren’t we, Joat?

Oh, it’s a cover story sort of thing.

…Does this mean that the game is shipping the protagonist with the partner? Rather bold, considering the game knows the gender of only the protagonist. That the two are opposite genders is kinda luck of the draw, in this case.

Also, Joat and Reddybear OTP.

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Cherithe: I want to do my best because it’s for you, Joat. That’s what this is about. So, as always, let’s try our best to do well!

Wait, so this is about friendship more than saving others? I mean, friendship is fine and all, but when we started this whole thing, we barely knew each-other.

Heck, given how little I’ve spoken, you still barely know me.

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Would he be smiling if he knew he was going to be so busy today?

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Jumpluff: Joat, your team is fantastic! It’s shocking to hear that you’ve beaten Zapdos!

Oooof course.

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Lombre: Xatu? I wouldn’t know. There’s really a Pokémon named that?

Pretty much my reaction when I got to the Elite Four in Pokémon Gold.

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Bellsprout: I must say, I’m very impressed. Your team is surprisingly courageous. It casts you in a new light!

And yet I still get no points from it.

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Starting with Bug, I suppose. And I think Fighting should go last, because… yeah, type disadvantage.

Except wait, Bug has the same thing on me. Bleh. Oh well.

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Choice to train validated!

Also, I have, thus far, seen Pinsir, Weedle (which I use a move for every time because I most definitely do not want to have to deal with poison), and Beedrill. There’s actually more than one, for once!

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I should probably consider using moves on Beedrill, as well.

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Well, uh… Thanks, Reddybear?

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Sort of.

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Here, though, Weedle is not much of a target, since poison would not be likely to damage the target more than once in this fight.

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The opposing team made the strategic error of focus-firing Cherithe.

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Yes, I dare. I may regret this…

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It looks like I should be poisoned just be being here.

Though, that may be partially due to me playing Pokémon Conquest before this.

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We somehow managed to get through these floors without being poisoned once. Even considering Cherithe’s Pecha Scarf, quite impressive.

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Well, that was a lovely brief thing while it lasted. At least the poison itself was even more brief, due to a gift from my beloved.

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And next, the Grass Maze!

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I think they could have made the Grass Maze more, well… grassy.

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…!

I SURPASSED CHERITHE!

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Why does there have to be enemies around? I cannot cuddle and fight at the same tiiiime!

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She’s not exactly falling behind quite yet.

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Well, now come the painful ones.

Going with Steel next, which two of us have some way to bypass the defenses of, at least. Not Reddybear, though, and I don’t exactly think licking the enemy is a good idea if this place ends up being very cold.

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Pffft!

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Now I know how Cherithe feels.

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Next, let’s rock! dodges tomato-shaped rocks

Anyway, nothing of note in that one.

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Well, here goes…

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…Yeah, I think I should have Reddybear do this.

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GOOD HEAVENS!

Can we get some steroid testing, here?

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Well, here goes. Reddybear’s still only level 12, but here’s hoping it all turns out well.

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So it seems.

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Cherithe: The peak is called the Hill of the Ancients.

Just in case the player forgot.

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Cherithe: According to Alakazam, the Hill of the Ancients is on 13F.

Hoboy…

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Cherithe: Xatu should be there. Joat, let’s do our best!

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Yeah, sounds about like my best.

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At least with this, there’s some way to work around it.

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Lovely…

Honestly, I think I should be the one with the Pecha Scarf.

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He needs this.

And so do the rest of us, honestly. Really, we’re getting destroyed, here…

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How appropriate.

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Very helpful, considering I am the one most getting destroyed, here.

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I believe our third party member is made of glass.

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But when he gets an attack in…

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Interesting.

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Yet another way in which rocks rock.

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I think the universe just imploded.

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Honestly, an idea presents itself.

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Yes, I know, this reduces the amount of different types of things I can do, but as the leader, I need all the attacking moves I can get.

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Eeeyup. Reddybear just got one-shotted by a non-critical, non-super-effective move.

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…Yeah. I hate to say this, but we need to do some more grinding before we continue the story. Yeah, theoretically, these two might suffice, but do I really want to continue without my beloved by my side?

I’ll try to make it interesting, at least, but still, kind of a downer.

As a note, after writing the above, I went ahead and looked up recommended levels. One guide gave me the recommended level for Mt. Thunder of Lv.19, keeping in mind that is the entry level, whereas I was still under-leveled at the conclusion of the dungeon. The guide also has a similar recommendation for this dungeon, and while we are good on Joat and Cherithe… Reddybear suffers from being a late entrant. So, yeah, I will be taking the guide’s advice and grinding Reddybear up to level 19. Maybe then, he won’t go down if an enemy sneezes in his direction.

Next