Poochyena Power! - Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team

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#21

Previous

Day… 12?: Wherein Joat fails back in time.


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Well, Reddybear is awfully happy for recently having his face pounded in.

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I was wondering where ve was.

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Snubbull: You know what? The jobs on the Bulletin Board…

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A bit late for that tutorial.

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Snubbull: Oh, you already knew? That’s OK, then.

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“Take me! In your arms!”

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That said, not sure how smart it is to grind there , but…

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Interesting. Getting a lot of TMs, lately.

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As I thought, nobody in the group can even use this one.

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It is nice to actually be a strong member of the team, really. Even if it does give me less to snark about.

…And then I made a mistake.

During this run, I got knocked out and, rather than just let it play out as normal, I decided to go ahead and reload from the last time it asked me whether I wished to save (since, were I playing the cartridge and that happened, I would likely have reset the game and started from my last save). Problem is, the last time I ACTUALLY saved was right after doing all the dojo stuff. I did not save at the end of that day. And there is no “undo” function when it comes to loading a save state. So… yeah. Welcome back to day 12!

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Alright! A new beginning! Pokémon Mystery Delivery Service, go!

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Well, that was not difficult to find.

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…Huh. Well, okay, then. Not sure whether to call Farfetch’d a joke character still or not.

Well, interesting!

Funnily enough, though Farfetch’d is legendary for being a joke character, it is, more specifically, legendary for being a joke character by the standards of single-stage or final-evolution Pokémon. However, given the premise of this game, that will not be a factor for the time being. Heck, I’d probably use Farfetch’d after this if not for, well… Reddybear wins.

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Don’t worry, I won’t name it “Dux.” Though I was briefly tempted, just as a sort of historical gag.

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Given Farfetch’d’s legendary skill with a leek (say what you will about its power, but I’d like to see anyone else try to cut down a small tree with a green onion stalk), I feel it only fitting to name him after the greatest swordsman who ever lived.

Also, fun fact: I strongly considered using Farfetch’d for this run instead of Poochyena. I do find Farfetch’d rather charming. Like I said, I seem to favor the underdogs, in the Pokémon world. Perhaps another time, in another game.

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And still one less HP than the Level 10 Spoony.

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Go, Spoony! GO, GO, GO!

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Woo!

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I think he may lack the luck of his namesake, though.

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Of course she did.

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Leer? Really? That doesn’t sound so…

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Screenshot from a video by Noah Antwiler

Oh.

Never mind.

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Like Yoda, you are speaking.

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Oh dear. At least this isn’t old-school D&D, else we’d have to roll up a new Farfetch’d.

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Woo!

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Thankfully, Spoony is not, in fact, too stupid to eat.

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This is too perfect…

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Hypocrite

And no, I did not say for him to stay until after he had split up and would have gotten even farther away if I had not issued that command.

Separations in this game happen so oft, it seems, I am debating on whether I should even mention them, at this point.

Also, why is Farfetch’d blocked by water? He is both Flying-type and, y’know, a duck .

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That was with Reddybear initially at full health.

…Yeah, multi-hit moves in this game are broken. For some reason, they deal roughly as much as a normal attack per hit . How did that get past QA testing, exactly? I mean, at least stuff like F.E.A.R. requires a very specific setup, so I can see why that would slip past, but multi-hit moves are not exactly rare.

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Oh well. Victory is ours!

Got Max Elixir, 200 PoKé, and 30 rescue points.

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I’m kinda sad to see Spoony leave the party. It’s nothing personal, Spoony, so do not think of this as BETRAYAL!

Next


#22

Previous

Day 13: Wherein Joat decides that putting a bear and honey in the same room will end well.


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Well, that is certainly substantial.

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Insert predictable highly immature joke here.

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They make delivery service sound so epic.

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Of course he is! He got to meet Spoony in person!

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A decent haul.

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For some reason, me taking down Zapdos verself is not considered newsworthy. The importance of eating food is, though!

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Well, that’s convenient.

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He wuvs meeeee!

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Sweet, sweet irony…

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Useful! Though, mainly for fragile escorts. Like Reddybear at times…

Oh wait, actual escorts who are part of an escort mission can’t follow basic instructions, never mind.

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Cherithe is best bug-zapper.

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I was considering linking some moves, but then I rememebered that Reddybear does not need the offensive help.

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Yaaaay…

Okay, to be fair, Beedrill’s Fury Attack is quite remarkable, as demonstrated, but I kinda doubt we’ll be using Weedle for long enough for that to be relevant. Especially since, well, the premise.

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I decided to take inspiration from the final evolution and name her Honey, sugah.

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That said, neither honey nor weedles are known for their resiliency, so…

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Oy! I didn’t mean for you to keep your distance from me!

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I know rocks in water are a common sight in nature, but in this game, it is a truly tragic sight to see one land there.

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Well, this Ampharos seems quite happy that their package is close to delivery. That, or ve’s jumping for vis previous Hurl Orb which ended up being hurled and embedded into the ceiling.

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I do not want to let Beedrill get a word in, here, given what happened last time.

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The mean bee’s trying to take my Honey!

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And welcome to the jam.

That said, Cherithe has enough close-range moves and has enough trouble conserving PP, even with “Dedicated Traveler,” so I shall actually forgo that move, due to its low PP. Yeah, sure, Slam is likely more powerful, but Cherithe tends to take things out in a single Thundershock, anyway.

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Um?

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Oh. That was embarrassing.

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Blissfully unaware of how I tried to bean ver in the head with a rock.

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…Well, this is awkward.

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There she is, just walking in circles.

Rectangles.

Whatever.

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You’re welcome, Beedrill.

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You sure did, Honey!

No, not you, Red, the other “Honey.”

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Quite a nice haul, this! We received 600 PoKé, Max Elixir, 10 Gravelrocks, a Sky Gummi, a Power Band (ups Attack when held), and 50 rescue points.

And tomorrow, onward to more grinding training!

Next


#23

Previous

Day 14: Wherein the siren cannot resist the call of Joat.


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Two separate locations. That is quite inconvenient.

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I think this is the first one that actually resembles news in any way. Maybe the news is turning a new leaf!

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Nope, never mind.

That said, news entry #6 shows just how much grinding the game expected me to have done that I did not actually do. That news was supposed to have arrived presumably shortly after the Skarmory fight. Or possibly earlier, if this was intended to be foreshadowing.

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It is so nice to have my rock stock back up again.

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After the Decrepit Lab purchase, there is but one left. An expensive one, but still, so very close, now.

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Reddybear, what did you do this time?

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Is it Valentine’s Day or something? The first one is hitting on me, the second one wants to see their love, the third one wants me to save their relationship, and the fourth one is apparently will settle for anything that moves.

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Yes, it’s in an outdated location and there’s only one job there, but, well, this letter came specifically to me. If I don’t do this, nobody will!

…Yeah, I know, I am far too soft, even by bubblegum standards.

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Wee…

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But… But I already have a Malchoir!

sigh Oh well. Sorry, Zigzagoon!

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Funny I should gain a Spearow so soon after gaining what Spearow was traded for once upon a time.

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…Okay, I’m not that mean.

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According to its RSE Pokédex entries, Spearow can, to warn others of danger, let out a shriek audible over a half-mile away. Kinda like a warning siren! As well, Sirens in Greek mythology are hybrids of humans and birds.

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In any case, let us carry on!

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That’s my Reddybear! He keeps on tickin’, then gives a lickin’!

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Reddybear was following along just fine, then abruptly decided to go the other direction.

Was it something on my breath?

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At long last.

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She sounds like she’s trying way too hard to be hip.

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sigh

Anyway, we got 200 PoKé and 5 rescue points. There was only one level up, and that was our guest star…

Oh well. Onward, to tomorrow!

Next


#24

Previous

Day 15: Wherein Reddybear reaches a new high.


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Oy…

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On the bright side, we have a mailbox mission in a more high-difficulty, and thus high-experience, location.

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Too long without his beloved, I trust?

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Getting closer to that last friend area.

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Spinarak, you seriously need to keep better track of which strands are sticky, next time.

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Here’s hoping I get a rather good Gold Gummi haul…

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Personally, I’d be afraid of getting a splinter.

Okay, yeah, I know Sudowoodo is actually, well, pseudo-wood.

I wonder if anyone has ever made a fake potted Sudowoodo decoration as a joke, either in the Pokémon world or as real-world merchandise. If not, someone should, really.

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Good heavens, that’s a lot of food.

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Woo!

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The best kind of problem to have.

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A good strategic tool. I shall go ahead and have that replace Sand Attack.

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And still no Gold Gummi, yet.

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Useful, I suppose, though that’s a rather stilted name.

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And at long last, the average party level is 19!

Yeah, I know I was hoping for the minimum party level to be 19 by the end of all this grinding, but I need to be mindful of the audience, when choosing how much to grind.

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Sadly, that mission had to be left uncompleted. I was hoping the game would throw Gold Gummies at me like last time, but alas, no…

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Now seems like a good time.

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…I think I’ll keep it under the “strategic repositioning” bin and leave it at that…

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Is TPS a term that exists? I think I’d like to make TPS a term that exists.

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Reddybear shall have none of thy nonsense, good sir!

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Oh dear… You okay there, Red? Are you finding out what blue tastes like?

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Without the requested Gold Gummi.

Which means only one of the three missions has actually been completed.

Yaaaay…

Our rewards, as a result, are a mere Max Elixir and 10 rescue points. But at the very least, we went up in a decent number of levels. Mostly because I was spamming moves like crazy, trying to get anyone to join up with the team. I think the past few dungeon runs have spoiled me, on that.

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No, not really.

But tomorrow… PLOT HAPPENS!

Next


#25

Previous

Day 16: Wherein Reddybear encounters his arch-nemesis.


At long last, I have returned! Sorry for the unannounced break.

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It is time.

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I’m running out of creative ways to say “You already told me that and I’ve been using that mechanic for a really long time, now.”

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Don’t worry, Reddybear. I shan’t abandon thee.

Anyway, I have put the gummi quests on hold. It is time, indeed, to travel onward and face the dreaded canyon once more!

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Though, uh… this time, I’m bringing an exit strategy. Cowardice Safety first!

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Also, now I can afford this last Friend Area!

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Wigglytuff: Oops? Oh, too bad. I’m fresh out of Friend Areas.

“Oops?” Why “Oops?” I imagine my reaction would be more along the lines of “Time to go dive into all this PoKé like Scrooge McFarfetch’d.”

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And so, here we are once again, this time more prepared. Somewhat.

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This is why I am not too concerned when Cherithe walks off to attack something.

Anyway, doing remarkably well, this time! I have yet to hit any close calls.

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Sure, he may be somewhat fragile, but when he gets the first hit…

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It is nice to have some of that overpowered multi-hit move pool on my side, too. Not that enemies tend to survive more than one swipe, mind, but…

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Also, it’s nice that Doduo, the enemy multi-hitter of the area, seems to be somewhat on the fragile side, from what I am seeing.

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This move is a fair bit of a hazard, being a 100% damage reflect move unless the move being dealt to the defender is a KO, but at least there’s some ability to work around it.

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For example, throwing rocks!

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Speaking of broken moves, I’ll be putting this into storage instead of using it (I may change my mind if fake difficulty ramps up, hence me not outright selling it). So you know, since this game does not use gender, this move can hit anyone (unless they have the Oblivious ability, which very few do), and anyone hit by it is unable to act for a few turns.

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This seems quite fitting.

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Quite useful, aye! I wish Cherithe had that one. Especially since her status move does nothing else, whereas Reddybear’s at least also does damage.

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I think the game heard me and is now taunting me about it.

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But now, it is ours.

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Woo!

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I quite like owls. If I play Gold again, I should probably have a Hoothoot in the party, despite it not looking so cute, so I can have a Noctowl in the party later.

Heck, maybe I’ll do a full-bird party, since I already beat the game normally once (not including catching them all, because I am not that mad).

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That’s a lot of Oran Berries. Which is good, because I really need one right about now.

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Reddybear must be feeling quite left out, right about now.

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I do hope Murkrow joins us at some point in this dungeon. I quite like Murkrow, as well.

…Yes, I may have a bit of a bird bias.

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Something else I found, but sadly, this one is likely just going to be sold. It’s very rare for an enemy to be holding anything, too rare to justify this. And even if they are, would this even work if I’m holding something? I’d rather not trade away my poison immunity for the slim chance of denying an enemy their potentially-useless-anyway item.

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Serves you right for spraying your seeds all over my beloved!

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Apparently, it takes a Cherithe to substantially harm a Cherithe.

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Oh, now you give me one…

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Quite an interesting find! Even if likely to go unused.

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Yeah, I think Cherithe has this one covered.

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Oh wait, right, Poison Sting cuts corners and I’m the one with the Pecha Scarf. Tagging in!

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I should seek the truth behind my own past more often, because it’s quite profitable.

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Interesting, the things some people leave lying around.

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Though, what’s more interesting is that, somehow, all three of us can learn it.

That said, given that it deals no immediate damage and most battles do not last very long, this is another one of those moves that’s more effective when used against the players than when used by the players.

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…Yeah, I may wish to set my active move to something with more than 1PP.

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Actually remembering to select “Set” after taking a screenshot would help.

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Smooooke near the waaateerr…

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Apparently not hidden very well.

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You’d think the dog would be the one giving the licks, rather than taking them.

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Fun fact: Aside from bear and kitty form, Red has also been known to take bull form. So, this would have been another candidate for the Red name. Then again, Tauros is not exactly fond of the color red, so perhaps not.

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Oh, sure! My name’s Joat, her name is Cherithe, and his name is… uh… You can call him “Bear,” for short, eheheh…

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I suppose if you’re gonna be so anti-red, I may as well give you a name to match.

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Green is quite tanky, for that level, though I suppose I would expect that from a bull. I think I can safely set him to go on the offensive, considering that.

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Maaan, Green even channels his RAAAGE against the enemies. A perfect rival for Reddybear!

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OH GEEZ, VE’S MAKING ROAST BEEF!

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Cherithe: Yes! We’ve finally made it to the top, Joat!

All four of us, oddly enough. I heard it was supposed to be lonely at the top.

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Cherithe: This is the Hill of the Ancients…

You don’t say…

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Cherithe: Look! Over there!

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Why is this a surprise?

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Cherithe: Joat! Is that Xatu over there?

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Judging by the naming conventions of this land, yes.

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???:

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Cherithe: Hello?

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???: … …

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Cherithe: Maybe he doesn’t hear me? Hello?!

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???: … … …

Um, Cherithe? If that’s the case, Xatu is probably deaf. Perhaps try tapping its shoulder? Well, to the degree it can be considered to have shoulders, anyway.

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Is it truly wise to have such a tone toward someone who is in prime shoving-you-off-a-cliff position?

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???: … … … …

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Cherithe: It’s useless. He’s not responding at all. Maybe he’s sleeping while on his feet?

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Though it’s obvious that the latter is a bad idea, I’m pretty sure that the former is, too, when the Xatu in question is standing so close to the edge. Okay, to be fair, Xatu is a flying type, but still, causing someone to fall off the edge of a cliff is just plain rude.

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Cherithe: Huh? Tickle him? …OK. It’s worth a try.

My thought would have been to wait until the sun goes down. I mean, he stares into the sun all day, so he should be finished when it sets.

Then again, the protagonist is presumably meant to be a child and we all know how patient they are, so…

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Cherithe: Tickle, tickle, tickle.

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???: … … …

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Cherithe: Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle.

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???: … … … … … …

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Cherithe: Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle.

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Do it a bit more, Cherithe! Xatu’s dots will soon break free from the tyranny of the text box!

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Cherithe: Tickle, tickle, tickle…

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Cherithe: Gasp, gasp…

Apparently, Tickle only has 28PP.

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Cherithe: It’s no good, Joat. He’s not responding.

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???: Snort…

That or he has a really poor reaction time.

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Cherithe: Huh?

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???: Snort… Giggle… Bufufufufufufufufu…

Actually, no, I think he’s just laughing at us.

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Cherithe: He’s finally laughing now… Is he… just dense?

Actually, I’d say his density is pretty low, given the height and weight figures given by Bulbapedia.

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Cherithe: Yikes!

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???: Witness it… The sinking of the sun…

Y’know, I really should watch the sunset more oft, myself. Though, I admit, I am not in the best position to do that. My view is fairly obstructed, where I live. But, even to the degree I can, I tend not to. Nor the sunrise. 'Tis a shame, really.

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Eep! I’m sorry, I’ll stop bothering you, just please don’t glare at us like that anymore!

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???: I am Xatu.

You don’t say.

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Xatu: You discerned my true identity…

Well… yes. It was not very difficult.

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Xatu: You are not an ordinary sort…

Hear that, Snubbul? I am something special, gosh-darnit!

Well, that, or I am just a huge Pokénerd.

Yeah, probably that.

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Cherithe: Guessed your identity? That’s a bit much.

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Xatu: …No. I can tell this.

Well… yes, I am not surprised that you can tell that we figured out your identity.

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Xatu: You there. You are no ordinary Pokémon.

That’s a rather odd thing for him to say about a Poochyena.

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Xatu: You are… human, yes?

I am guessing Green is wondering just what it is that he signed up for, right about now.

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Cherithe: Huh?! How can you tell that?!

Wow, it’s almost like he’s psychic or something!

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Xatu: All day… I stare at the sun unblinking.

I’m no expert at clairvoyance, clearly, but I’m still pretty sure that’s not an answer.

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Xatu: It gives me sight for all things.

Oh.

I’m pretty sure if I tried that, I wouldn’t have sight for much of anything, myself.

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Xatu: The past and the future, too.

You can see the title screen and the end credits?

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Cherithe: If you know, please tell us, Xatu! Next to me is my friend Joat…

A lovely sentiment, but is an introduction necessary, at this point?

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Cherithe: My friend woke up one morning as a Pokémon. And, without any memory as a human. Xatu, you can tell, can’t you?

Xatu already knew, the audience already knew… Was that exposition dump for Green’s sake?

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Cherithe: Please tell us.

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Xatu: …The calamities of nature. There have been many in recent times.

Oh great, he’s chatting about the weather, now…

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Xatu: They occur because the world’s balance is upset.

Am I destined to bring balance back to the Force?

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Xatu: And your becoming a Pokémon… They are tied together. Inseparably so.

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Cherithe: Wait. Joat becoming a Pokémon and… the natural disasters… are related?!

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Cherithe: What do you mean?! What does Joat have to do with the natural disasters we’ve been seeing?

Wait a second… I’ve got it!

The natural disasters are caused by Bunny Link using the medallions! He’s tapping into their power, not realizing the environmental ramifications of his actions! Joat got caught in one of the Quake spells, but instead of turning into an onion with a face, he got turned into a Poochyena!

…Or maybe the narrator who gave the quiz is responsible for the disasters, or something.

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Xatu:

I think we need to insert another quarter.

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Cherithe: What is it?! Why did you clam up?! Please, tell us! Please!

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Xatu: There are bigger concerns… I am afraid… The world’s balance… It must be restored. Or the unthinkable shall befall our world.

And apparently the unspeakable, since he isn’t specifying what it is.

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Cherithe: Huh…? You’re serious?! The world… The unthinkable is coming?

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Xatu: Every day I see it. The same future every day…

Ugh… Reruns…

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Xatu: I dread it…

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Cherithe: Xa-Xatu…

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Xatu: I fear it… The world’s destruction.

…including the internet?

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Cherithe: The world’s destruction…?

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Gengar: That Joat… was human…

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Gengar: This is going to be useful! This should be interesting! Kekeh!

So, let me get this straight, Gengar. From what I can gather, your plan at this point is as follows:

1: Create a rescue team.

2: Defeat Team Zephyrai, who are the only other ones who know about the world’s impending doom and may, in fact, be vital to stopping the world from being destroyed.

3: The world is destroyed.

4: ???

5: Take over the world.

I cannot see how this plan could possibly collapse in on itself.

Next


#26


Oh, sure! My name’s Joat, her name is Cherithe, and his name is… uh… You can call him “Bear,” for short, eheheh…


OH GEEZ, VE’S MAKING ROAST BEEF!

I think these may be incorrect screenshots? They seem a bit out of place at least.


#27

I’m not sure how that happened, but it wasn’t just those two screenshots. Pretty much the entire end of the dungeon was mixed up, starting a bit before Green’s introduction. This has now been fixed.


#28

Previous

Day 17: Wherein REALLY, NINETALES!?


The next morning…

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Cherithe: Let’s keep on doing good… actually, I want to ask you something.

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“Nah, I’m perfectly fine with the fact that we just learned the end of the world is coming and also we didn’t hear anything about how to stop it because the conversation just suddenly stopped there, apparently.”

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Cherithe: Yes, I guess you would be concerned too, Joat. There’s supposed to be a link between the world’s balance being upset and how you became a Pokémon… And because of the world’s upset balance, natural disasters have been occurring… And more than anything, he said that the world will be ruined if the balance isn’t restored…

Yes, Cherithe, I was, in fact, listening too.

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Cherithe: I want to do something… But there’s something I don’t understand. So, uh… The world’s balance… What is it?

That’s a very good question. For Xatu.

Heck, even if she only just now thought of it, what’s stopping us from going up there again?

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Perhaps there’s a problem with the world’s inner ear?

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Cherithe: …OK. I guess so. You wouldn’t know. I can’t imagine what the world’s balance is about… To be honest, I don’t know what we should do…

Sacrifice a Gogoat to appease the Balance Gods?

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Cherithe: I guess we’ll just have to do what we can. One thing at a time…

We’ll do what we can. Because. We must.

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Oh sure… as a “charm”…

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Raided the candy supply again, huh?

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It’s been a while. Let’s visit Spoony!

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Reading certain D&D books again, hm?

Anyway, onward to town!

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Zapdos, apparently.

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Snubbull: I always thought it was only a legend.

Has there ever been a legend in the history of all media that has not been true? I mean, other than legends that are unanimously seen as true, which are almost always shams.

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Bellsprout: But could it be true? I’m having a hard time believing it…

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Cherithe: Hi, what’s happening?

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Lombre: Well, you know the Ninetales legend? That old story?

Apparently, they don’t believe Ninetales exists. ‘Kay, then.

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Cherithe: The Ninetales legend? What’s that?

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Lombre: What, you don’t know? You know, it’s that old fairy tale. How you’ll get cursed if you ever grab one of Ninetales’s tails.

Ninetales is kind of petty like that.

Also, why issue a curse for grabbing one’s tail and not for, say, trying to inflict bodily harm upon the Ninetales? And what about owners, especially those interested in contests? Wouldn’t it be kind of awkward, trying to brush a Ninetales’ tail without grabbing it? And what if it was falling off a cliff and the only thing you could grab in time was its tail? Would it curse you then? Is it even voluntary, or is it just some automatic thing their tails do?

Okay, mostly I am joking around, but given that I actually have a Ninetales character that I sometimes use for RPing, the nature of this curse would definitely be useful information.

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Snubbull: All this time, everyone thought it was just a legend. But lately, it’s been rumored that maybe it really happened.

Couldn’t you just find a Ninetales and ask them? I mean, granted, it could still just be a rumor they started to stop others from grabbing their tails, but still…

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Bellsprout: Well, it is still a mere rumor. I wouldn’t put too much stock in that story if I were you.

I know that this becomes pertinent information rather quickly, but in the eyes of Bellsprout, what decision would I encounter where this rumor would affect it? I mean, the only one I can think of is the decision on whether to grab one of Ninetales’ tails without permission, and I’m pretty sure common courtesy can provide a satisfactory answer, there.

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Bellsprout: Personally, I don’t believe in rumors of that sort.

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Lombre: If you want to know more about the Ninetales legend… You should go see a Pokémon named Whiscash. He knows the story well. Whiscash is uh… You know, in his pond.

…Is that a euphemism for something?

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Lombre: You should visit him if you want to know more.

Eh, sure, why not?

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Caterpie: It was fun.

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Metapod: The folklore was fun and interesting. Whiscash is very wise.

Very well, but if ve’s not actively telling a story or interacting with you in any way, why are you just standing here? Why not go and play? Preferably not deep in a dangerous forest without parental supervision, this time.

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Whiscash: Hohoho. Fine, then. Let me recount the tale. There once lived a Pokémon by the name of Ninetales.

Something tells me that is not a unique occurrence.

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Whiscash: Now, Ninetales had many tails, all of them imbued with psychic power… It was said that anyone so foolish as to touch a tail would be cursed for a thousand years.

I imagine most of those years of curse may go to waste.

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Whiscash: But there was someone so foolish as to grab a tail. And it was a human.

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Cherithe: A human?

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Whiscash: Yes, a human.

Well, having opposable thumbs does help, when trying to grab something.

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Whiscash: As one might expect, the human that grabbed the tail was subjected to a thousand-year curse. However, just when the curse was cast, a Pokémon named Gardevoir shielded the human…

Does that mean that the curse is a projectile of some sort that can be blocked or dodged?

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Whiscash: And sacrificed herself to absorb the curse.

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Cherithe: Why? Why would that Pokémon, Gardevoir, take the human’s place?

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Whiscash: To Gardevoir, that human was her partner. There exist strong bonds between humans and Pokémon.

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Cherithe: …OK. But humans… Aren’t there good humans and bad ones too?

Fancy that…

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Whiscash: Correct. Taking pity on Gardevoir, Ninetales asked the human this… “Do you wish to save Gardevoir?” it asked… But the human had already abandoned Gardevoir and fled.

I can understand being afraid and fleeing, but seriously, cursed or no, recalling a Pokémon is a simple matter of pulling a ball from your pocket and pressing a button, right?

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Whiscash: Ninetales became disillusioned with the human… And it made this prediction… “That human will one day be reborn as a Pokémon…”

That’s a rather specific edge-case effect of the curse.

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Cherithe: What?! A human turn into a Pokémon?!

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…Well, to be fair, would you be able to resist hugging one of those super-fluffy tails?

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Whiscash: “And when the human becomes a Pokémon… The world’s balance will be upset…” …And that is how the legend ends.

Wait, so what you’re saying is, not only is Ninetales so petty that it will curse one for about ten times the victim’s lifespan (if we take an optimistic look at their expected lifespan) for such a minor thing, but they are willing to do so despite being fully aware that, under certain circumstances (which, let’s face it, aren’t exactly one-in-a-million), it will potentially destroy the world.

Look, I can understand wanting to protect one’s prized tails, but couldn’t you, like, use a different curse on the offender? Y’know, one that won’t potentially destroy the planet? Or maybe just wound or kill them? Or write a very stern letter to them, or just… anything else! Some common sense, please!

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Whiscash: Well? Did you find it interesting?

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Cherithe:

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Whiscash: Ah-hah! You found it so interesting, you’re at a loss for words? Hohoho. There’s no need to wear such a serious expression. Certainly some rumors say that the legend may actually be true… But it is only ancient folklore, nothing more. If you feel the urge to hear my tale again, come see me. Hohoho.

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Cherithe: Want to call it a day now? I can’t seem to get motivated today…

Eh, no problem. The Pokémon scared and starving alone in a chasm can wait a bit longer.

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Cherithe: But I just can’t seem to get motivated. I guess it’s because I heard that story. Ahahaha…

Couldn’t we just have Spoony pinch-hit for this situation, or something?

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Cherithe: I guess I’ll go home and try to get some sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Cherithe: I started doubting you a little, Joat…

Given my performance early on, I believe that’s called common sense.

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Cherithe: But I’m not going to worry anymore.

Still kinda made of tissue paper, but my level has caught up, so at least I’m made of reinforced tissue paper now, I guess.

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Cherithe: I believe in you, Joat. Because you’re a friend like no other, Joat. You’re a friend… Like I’d never get again…

Aw… Lonely Cherithe…

I guess that explains why she was wandering out in that field all alone…

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Cherithe: OK, Joat! Let’s do our best tomorrow like always!

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Well, that was a short day! See you next time, everyone!

Next


#29

Previous

Day 18: Wherein Joat demonstrates that silence is pyrite.


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Joat: … … …Again.

And again, and again, and again…

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That’s not a silhouette. That’s blinking translucency.

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Joat: Oh? It’s saying something! But… I can’t quite make it out… It’s clearer than it was before, but…

I’ll try talking to it.

I’d ask why he expects this to work, since talking generally makes the other end of the conversation harder to hear rather than easier, but we’re working by dream logic here, so…

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Joat: Hello. Please tell me. You… Who are you?

Judging by the naming conventi… Okay, I think you know the drill by now.

image: …I am…

…all I am all I am.

image: I am Gardevoir.

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Joat: Ga-Gardevoir…?!

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Gardevoir: I’m so glad. Finally… I finally got to meet you…

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Joat: …? Finally met me…? You knew me from before? What about me?

“Met” implies a first-time encounter. Is this a translation error, or something?

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Gardevoir: I am your…

…Creepy stalker?

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Joat: I want to know more… No… It’s fading… … …

The next morning…

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You keep using that term, which makes me wonder how boring your normal dreams must be.

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Joat: It’s the dream I always have, but it was clearer than it was before… I think I finally learned who that Pokémon was… That’s it! Gardevoir! It was Gardevoir! Yesterday, Whiscash said…

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Whiscash: Yes, a human. As one might expect, the human that grabbed the tail was subject to a curse of a thousand years. However, just as the curse was cast, a Pokémon named Gardevoir shielded the human… And sacrificed herself to absorb the curse.

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Cherithe: Why? Why would that Pokémon, Gardevoir, take the human’s place?

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Whiscash: To Gardevoir, that human was her partner. There exist strong bonds between humans and Pokémon.

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Joat: …Maybe… Maybe, I… Maybe I was the human who was Gardevoir’s partner…

If I were in that situation, if I figured the dreams were in any way prophetic (and they are way too coherent to not be), I would not be using the term “maybe.” I mean, the evidence looks decently clear, here (provided we do count the use of the term “met” as a translation error), and there aren’t really any other plausible explanations floating about.

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Joat: Maybe I was the one who abandoned Gardevoir when she was cursed… Maybe that’s why I turned into a Pokémon…

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Cherithe: …Oh? You look pale. Is something the matter?

How?

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Cherithe: Well, anyway. As always, let’s try to do our best!

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Cherithe: Oh, yeah!

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Cherithe: When I was on the way here, I think there was a commotion at Pokémon Square.

Yesterday, Cherithe walked off to the left, implying her home is that way. Did she really take that big of a detour on the way here?

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Cherithe: I wonder if something happened…

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Why are you leaving all of my stuff completely unguarded, Kangaskhan?

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Cherithe: The town’s atmosphere is different somehow…

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Cherithe: Maybe something happened.

Zombie apocolypse, perhaps?

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Cherithe: Joat, let’s check it out!.

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Bellsprout: Let me tell you, I was amazed! It really was true!

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Cherithe: What was true?

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Bellsprout: The NInetales legend! I never believed the rumors, so you can bet I was shocked to learn the truth!

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Caterpie: Joat, Cherithe.

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Cherithe: Oh, hi, Caterpie.

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Cherithe: Even you came out, Caterpie?

Why is that a surprise? Caterpie is clearly an outdoorsy type. As are most Pokémon, I imagine.

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Snubbull: Ssh! Quiet. That guy there’s telling us. Keep it down.

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Cherithe: Huh? Who’s talking

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Caterpie: I-it’s…

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Caterpie, if you’re that scared of Gengar, why not just hear the story second-hand. Or… second… whatever those stubby things you have are called.

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Gengar: …So, I went up to the Hill of the Ancients.

For absolutely no explained reason.

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Gengar: And that’s where I saw it! It was shocking stuff, I tell you! Kekeh!

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Lombre: Shocking stuff?

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Gengar: This certain Pokémon was getting advice from Xatu.

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Gengar: That Pokémon… It looks like an ordinary Pokémon…

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Gengar: But get this! It was originally a human!

Huh. So the Xatu used to be human. Who knew?

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Bellsprout: What?!

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Snubbull: It really existed… A human that turned into a Pokémon.

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Gengar: There’s more. Xatu told the human… That how the human became a Pokémon has a lot to do with how the world’s balance is upset.

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Lombre: Wait a second… That’s exactly like the NInetales legend!

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Gengar: Kekeh! Don’t be too shocked yet. There’s more.

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Gengar: You all know how there’ve been many natural disasters, correct?

…Kiiiinda hard to miss.

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Gengar: According to Xatu, those disasters are caused by the world’s balance being upset. And if the world’s balance isn’t restored soon…

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Gengar: The unthinkable will happen to the world! That’s what Xatu said! Kekeh!

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Lombre: Wh-what?

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Bellsprout: The world… The unthinkable’s going to happen?

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Snubbull: What are we to do?!

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Cherithe: That Gengar…! He’s deliberately working everyone up…

True, but he hasn’t told a single lie thus far. And honestly, I think this is important stuff to know, even if expressed for the wrong reason, in this case.

Honestly, if we’d told everyone the tale like we probably should have done, we probably could have nipped this in the bud.

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Gengar: Now, now, people. There’s no need to panic.

It’s only the destruction of the world, after all!

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Gengar: Why, I think there’s a way we can do something about this. Kekeh!

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Snubbull: Wh-what can we do?

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Gengar: Oh, it’s quite simple, actually. If the world’s balance is upset by a human becoming a Pokémon…

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Gengar: Then, if that human is gone, then everything should return to normal, correct?

In Teen Titans, I remember an episode where Raven and Terra were arguing about whether or not to destroy a console. If memory serves, Terra wanted to destroy it, thinking that doing so would stop the process of a bad thing happening. Raven wanted not to destroy it, since they might be destroying their only way to stop the process.

Now, I was with Terra on that one, since a console you don’t know how to use is pretty much useless anyway, but the point is, if they get rid of that former human and it turns out they’re the only one who can stop it, the world’s kinda screwed.

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Lombre: Th-that’s true!

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Snubbull: When you put it that way… maybe you’re right.

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Gengar: Kekeh! And that human is the rotten coward that abandoned Gardevoir, correct?

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Gengar: I don’t think the human can complain about anything if we get rid of it.

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Gengar: Isn’t that right, Joat?

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Lombre: Who… What?! It… It can’t be!

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Bellsprout: Y-you… You were that human?!

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Snubbull: Is that true? Hey!

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Ah yes, I guess I can understand why you would think I was the coward who did that.

For that matter, didn’t these incidents start before my arrival? I mean, I don’t think it was ever stated, but it was at the very least strongly implied.

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Cherithe: W-w-wait… This is, like… There’s a good explanation for…

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Snubbull: We’re not asking you, we’re asking Joat!

Ah, yes, time to clear my name!

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Snubbull: Hey! Joat! So what is it?!

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…Oh, right, silent protagonist, crap…

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Cherithe: Joat…

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Caterpie: Joat…

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Gengar: Kekekekekekeh! Looks like you have nothing to say in your defense, Joat!

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Gengar: That’s how it is, fellow Pokémon.

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Gengar: Let’s get rid of Joat and regain peace. Kekekekekeh!

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Cherithe: Wh-what? E-everyone, what’s gotten into you? What are you going to do?

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Lombre: Joat, forgive me!

I just missed getting a screenshot of it, but Lombre attacked with a fierce punch which, well, missed. And then the other Pokémon close in for the attack, taking their sweet time with actually attacking.

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Cherithe: Wah! What are you doing?!

I think it’s rather clear. I mean, what did you expect them to do, if their plan was to get rid of the human in question? Give him the keys to a shiny new spaceship and kindly tell him to go to Mars?

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Cherithe: Waaaaah! Joat, run!

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Gengar: Serves them right! Kekekekeh!

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Cherithe: I never expected anyone to attack us like that.

“Us”?

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Cherithe: But listen, Joat.

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Cherithe: Why didn’t you say anything? Why didn’t you argue that it’s not you?!

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Ugh… Okay, no jokes about this one. Instead, a bit of a rant.

Remember what I said at the beginning, about the game not knowing what they want to do with the protagonist? There’s a reason why the protagonist in the main series games is silent. It’s so they don’t say something the player would not say, or in a way the player would not say it, and such is a good way to go about things, otherwise this happens.

This game, by the quiz at the beginning, clearly wants me to be able to put myself into the role of this character, but even if I were 100% convinced that I was guilty of dooming the entire planet, I would never say either of those things. Not even close. Nowadays, I would just come right out and state my suspicions. When I was 10, I’m not sure what I would have done, but unless I planned to heroically sacrifice my life to potentially save the world, I’m pretty sure I would not want to go it alone. Even way back then, I understood the concept of safety in numbers.

With the thing before, with the character not speaking, I could at least see myself locking up under such a situation or something like that, but with this…

*sigh* Well, I guess I’ll choose the first option.

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Cherithe: Wh-what’s the matter? What makes you say that all the sudden?

The script.

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Cherithe: Give up our rescue team? It’s not like you to say that, Joat.

Say what you will about how I wouldn’t say that, but honestly, I think that it’s a logical thing to do. It’s kind of hard to maintain a rescue team when you are a wanted fugitive.

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Cherithe: Is something the matter?

You mean other than the story yesterday and me being nearly beaten by a mob just now?

I mean, for crying out loud, say what you will about whether I should be the leader of a rescue team, but my Run Away ability was pretty darn vital back there…

Well, that, or I could have pointed out that we recently took down Zapdos. I mean, would you want to mess with that team?

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Cherithe: …Huh? You had a dream? And Gardevoir appeared in it?

“And you were there, and you, and you…”

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Cherithe: …And that made you think that maybe you were that human after all…

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Cherithe: …So that’s what it is. That’s what happened…

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Cherithe: Listen, Joat. Did your dream make you remember what you were like as a human being? Since it didn’t, you don’t know what really happened.

Much as I appreciate the sentiment, were I in that position, I do not think that would be a very convincing argument.

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Cherithe: I… I have faith in you, Joat. You know that? So…

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Alakazam: After that scene in Pokémon Square… We held a town meeting… On what we must do to save the world… And we arrived at a consensus. We must get rid of you.

This is actually fairly dark. I mean, consider the target demographic. Sure, I was 25 at time of original writing, but the target demographic is about 10. And though they haven’t outright stated it, I kinda doubt they plan to simply make the former human faint.

In short, for most of the people playing this game at the time, the town has unanimously decided to murder a small child. Without conclusive proof, at that.

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Cherithe: You’re kidding!

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Alakazam: I was incredulous too… I had hoped it would not come to this, but… It is unfortunate. We will… Defeat you with all our might!

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Cherithe: (W-we’re fighting here…?)

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Alakazam: We will give you tonight.

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Cherithe: Huh?

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Alakazam: Pack your supplies and get out of here.

It’s a good thing I’m pretty well-prepared for travel, considering that all of my supplies that aren’t already packed are, well, in town.

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Alakazam: Come tomorrow, rescue teams of all sorts will take up the chase… And attack you without hesitation.

Are you and the rest of the town set on this or not? I mean, I could understand if only this team are sparing them for now, delaying and only later going out to save face, but apparently all of the rescue teams agreed to this.

Either you are fully certain that Joat is the cause of all this, in which case you are endangering the entire world (at which point Joat would die along with the rest of the world, for that matter), or you aren’t and therefore shouldn’t be attacking Joat yet, instead perhaps imprisoning them and trying to figure out the truth while you have them in containment. Or, if you’re really desperate, kill Joat right now. Either way, you are either delayed in killing Joat, during which time the disasters are still going on, thus making this objectively worse than just killing him now, or you are letting him get away, but wasting a whole bunch of resources trying to find him again, making this objectively worse than doing nothing at all.

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Alakazam: And not just you. Anyone that goes with Joat will be considered an enemy. The trackers will attack without mercy. That goes for us too. We will join the hunt to be rid of you.

Against all odds, you must run. Run, run… And survive. You must run till you discover the truth.

So you’re reasonably certain that we’re innocent, and… Actually, I take it back. Even keeping up appearances isn’t an excuse. First off, unless you have an audience nearby, if you meet up with Team Zephyrai, you can simply “fail” to apprehend them, and secondly, if you’re reasonably certain I’m not guilty, why did you not speak up? And if you did, why didn’t they listen? Are they seriously taking the hearsay of a team called Team Meanies over the word of a well-respected gold-rank team whose leader is explicitly stated to be very knowledgeable? Wouldn’t that at least give the town pause for thought?

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Cherithe: Alakazam…

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Alakazam: There will be no mercy the next time we meet. Farewell.

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Cherithe: In their own way, Alakazam’s team has faith in you too.

In their own incredibly confusing and nonsensical way.

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Cherithe: Didn’t I say this before? I’m not going to worry anymore. Whatever happens, I’ll always have faith in you, Joat. Even if we’re attacked by other teams, I won’t be scared.

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Cherithe: What good will it do if you don’t believe in yourself, Joat?

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Cherithe: Caterpie…

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Caterpie: Joat… I made a promise, remember? That we would make a rescue team base here. That I would join your rescue team when I grew up. Joat… Don’t give up. You’re a hero to me, Joat. I believe in you too, Joat.

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If they’re only superficially going to give the player options, why not just have the character speak up without having the player select an option? I mean, these aren’t even really different flavors of affirmation. I could at least understand it if one of the options were something like “Alright… I’ll try my best.” At least then, you’re doing some role-playing, because one option sounds confident and the other sounds a bit more uncertain and scared. Which, let’s face it, would describe me through pretty much the entirety of this adventure.

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Cherithe: Yeah! That’s right! That’s more like it! That’s what we expect from our Joat!

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Cherithe: We’ll have to leave for the time being… But let’s be sure to come back! And we’ll bring the truth back with us!

And also probably large sums of cash, because that’s generally how this sort of thing goes.

Next


#30

Previous

Part 19: Wherein Joat has a howling good time.


Yes, “part,” rather than “day.” Here is where the time-skips start coming in, and the game is not clear how much time passes with each skip. I considered making this “Day 19+X”, adding a new variable for each time-skip, but I imagine that joke would get old rather quickly.

The next dawn…

I’m not sure I’d be able to sleep very well, with a bunch of Pokémon within walking distance who wish me dead, but that’s just me.

Speaking of sleep, I wonder what would happen if I chose Delibird as the protagonist. I mean, that one has no sleep sprites, I think. Would it crash every time it tried to show my character asleep on that big pile of hay? Or would it, like, show me standing up, or something?

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Well, I’d better be, really.

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Cherithe: Yup. Looks like we’re ready. From now on, we’re fugitives. This is goint to be a dangerous trip…

Then why are you smiling?

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Cherithe: I don’t want to get our team members involved…

Bah! Who needs safety in numbers, anyway?

Actually, us, but apparently that’s not an option, so…

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Cherithe: Let’s not tell them… We’ll just leave by ourselves.

But… But Reddybear…!

Okay, realistically, I can understand this. Whenever a non-critical character is lost normally, they are sent back to their friend area. Not only does that not mesh well with the plot (if they tried to help us, they’re not safe anywhere near town), but that means that once you lose your third member, you’re at a disadvantage for quite some time, since the group cannot return to retrieve that member and, not being an active rescue team, cannot recruit more members along the way. Not to mention, from a game design perspective, since you do not know whether the party still has their third member or not, which scenario do you balance the game for?

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Cherithe: We have to get away from the rescue teams hunting us. We have to get away at all cost.

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Joat: (…Yes. We have to escape. Like Alakazam said that time…)

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Alakazam: Against all odds, you must run. Run, run… And survive. You must run till you discover the truth.

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Joat: (Yes… Who am I? Until I discover that truth, I have to run and survive. Even if it means going to the edge of this world…)

Oy! I know you’re an amnesiac, but do you seriously not remember that the Earth is round?

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Cherithe: OK! Let’s get going!

image: Joat!

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Cherithe: Oh, and even Jumpluff!

And also Jumpluff.

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Caterpie: Wow, I’m glad! We made it!

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Jumpluff: We wanted to see you off, Joat.

image: M-me too!

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Diglett: I wanted to send you off too.

How did you even know what’s going on?

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Cherithe: Everyone…

No, not everyone. Where are Dugtrio, Magnemite, Magnemite, and Magnemite (not including Tesla, who is probably still in the Power Plant)?

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Cherithe: It’s a letter. Joat, can you read it?

Joat began reading the letter.

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Joat: "Take care! It’s farewell, but only for now. Until the day I can deliver mail to you again… I’ll always be waiting.

“- The wandering postal carrier, Pelipper -”

Okay, interesting, yes, but when and how did Pelipper ever develop a bond toward Team Zephyrai? They never exchanged one line of dialogue! Heck, I don’t think Pelipper ever even looked directly at the team…

Well, at least it wasn’t “I prepared Explosive Runes this morning.”

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Cherithe: Even Pelipper…

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Cherithe: Sniff… Everyone, thank you!

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Diglett: The other Pokémon will be waking up soon. You have to go! Hurry!

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Cherithe: Yup. Joat! Let’s go! Hit the road!

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Caterpie: Take care!

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Jumpluff: We’ll be waiting for both of you to return!

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Cherithe: Yup! Thank you! We’ll be back! That’s for sure!

Perhaps not in one piece, but…

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Thus began Joat’s cruel and arduous journey as a fugitive. Over forbidding mountains…

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That is not a mountain. That is flat land with a fissure in it.

Across fields of fire…

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Cherithe: The forest fire is still raging…

And yet we’re walking through it without any discomfort at all.

But throughout it all, Joat’s team kept their heads held high.

Well, as high above the ground as they get, anyway.

Without a complaint, they marched on.

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Cherithe: But while we were moving, I couldn’t help thinking…

I’d imagine you’ve done a lot of that, considering how little of a conversationalist I’ve proven to be thus far.

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Cherithe: All sorts of places have been affected by the natural disasters. I’m sure many Pokémon are suffering because of the calamities. I wish we could get back to doing our rescue work…

Don’t worry, Cherithe! There are plenty of other rescue teams who can do all of that rescue work!

…But instead, they’re hunting for us, completely ignoring the work for which they are named.

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Cherithe: Sorry, I shouldn’t complain. We have to get away now, period.

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Cherithe: Huh? I hear voices…

image: I think they went this way.

image: They can’t get away. Not from all of us.

image: We have to get rid of Joat quickly…

How are they within hearing range, but not line of sight? Or within hearing range and not able to hear Team Zephyrai’s conversation, for that matter?

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Cherithe: Aww, no! Are they catching up to us? Joat, we’d better go.

Quick, into this cave which has no obvious method of escape!

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I know brevity is the soul of wit, but really?

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Zubats… Zubats everywhere…

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Something tells me they may have scaled back the difficulty A TAD, for the party size.

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And we have triple digits, ladies and gentlemen!

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I got a roar TM, yaaay…

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AAWOOOOO!

…Sorry, had to.

Also, sorry for taking the screenshot at the wrong time and missing, y’know, the actual moon graphic.

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Again, the sort of move that’s more useful when used against the player than when used by them.

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Ow. Okay, maybe this isn’t so much easier…

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Unless I involve Cherithe, that is.

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Nnnnope, even that’s no guarantee.

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Ow. Again.

…At least it wasn’t a fighting-type move?

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Hm…

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So it seems.

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Cherithe: Where’s the Pokémon mob that was after us?

Behind us, presumably.

image: Hey, look! There they are! Over there!

image: Catch Joat!

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Cherithe: Whoa! Here they come! Run!

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Cherithe: They expect us to stop and wait for them?

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Apparently, we decided to do exactly that.

That, or we somehow got winded by running a few feet.

Like, seriously, the exit we just came out of is barely off-screen. Did the developers really think people wouldn’t notice?

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Next stop: Mordor, apparently.

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Cherithe: It… It’s a mountain of fire!

Cherithe, that’s called a volcano.

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Cherithe: Look at all that lava pouring from the crater… Can we even make it through there? But they’re catching up to us… What’ll we do, Joat?

Is there seriously no way to just go around the active volcano?

image: Look! There they are!

image: Get them!

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Cherithe: There’s no choice now! Let’s go, Joat!

It’s settled, then. Next time on Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team, we shall simply walk into Mordor.

Next


#31

He got news from the underground.


#32

Previous

Part 20: Wherein Joat proves that all love is fair in war.


image: Look at them go! They’re running for Mt. Blaze!

image: Are they insane? Mt. Blaze is doomed desolation!

image: No one’s ever come this far before!

Then how does anyone know it’s so dangerous? More dangerous than a normal volcano, I mean.

image: I don’t wanna go anywhere like that.

image: It can’t be helped. Only those brave enough will give chase!

Or water types, ground types, fire types…

image: Darn it! Where’d they go?

Wouldn’t the fact that you saw them go to Mt. Blaze be a pretty good indication that they went to Mt. Blaze?

image: They had to go this way! Keep your eyes open!

image: Rooooooaaaar!

Tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp!

Suddenly, Godzilla.

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Cherithe: … … …I think… They’re gone.

That, or they finally figured out what stealth is.

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Cherithe: But… There isn’t any point in hiding here. We have to get over this mountain to get away. Let’s go as soon as we’re ready, Joat.

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Well, it’s a good thing someone apparently put this inexplicable magical storage save point here.

Wait, if these are a thing, why wouldn’t all of their stored belongings have been confiscated?

Anyway, going ahead and pulling a lot of Rawst Berries out of storage, because, well, something tells me that burns are a thing that might happen.

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As ready as one can be, when lava is involved and any sort of heat-resistant suit is not.

Oh wait, right, ambient heat doesn’t exist in video games, never mind.

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…Um?

Okay, I actually looked this up, because this genuinely confused me, considering how recently she said that Mt. Blaze was the only option. According to Bulbapedia, Rock Path is pretty much just meant to help level the player up if they need it. I suppose I’ll do it anyway, especially since, well it makes sense in story as well. Not only is Mt. Blaze super-dangerous, but there are implied to be two types of pursuers: Those who turned tail and fled, assuming we would be going to Mt. Blaze, and those who are headed to Mt. Blaze. Either way, Rock Path sounds better.

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Well, that’s highly useful!

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Interesting. That said, combined with gravelrocks, this could be a decent way to finish off a single opponent with relatively little risk.

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Cherithe: … I guess that path we took just loops back to where it started.

I have the mental image that those who moved on with the chase are already halfway through, and will be long gone by the time we’re through, because they expected us to know where we’re going a lot better than we actually do.

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Cherithe: It looks like we have to go over Mt. Blaze to move on. Joat, let’s do our best!

One storage management session later…

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I suppose I should actually move on with the plot, now.

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Cherithe: OK! Let’s go! It sounds very rough, but let’s try our best!

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Well, record time, that. Not even past the first floor.

I’ll try to conserve my Rawst Berries and just head to the stairs, since I’ve already located it and it is not that far.

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…Seriously?

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I seem to be getting a lot of duplicate TMs in this game.

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Ah yes, I was wondering when I’d encounter lava. Other than seeping from the walls, I mean…

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Speaking of duplicates items…

Well, I think I remember it selling for a rather respectable price, so I shall try to keep this if I can, until I can store or sell it.

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Hm… While I’ll normally want to hold the Pecha Scarf, I do not think poison will be much of a concern in this dungeon, so switching to this.

I really wish I had a Rawst Scarf or two.

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C… Could it be…?

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*happy-dances* I found a gummi of my tyyyype!

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Weeee…

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NOM!

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That sounds like a British insult, to me.

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Ha!

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Take care what you wish for, good sir.

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Who put this here? I mean, not that I am complaining, but still…

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I’m not surprised this Fearow fell asleep. The music here sounds quite… chill, ironically enough.

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Fearow knows a multi-hit move. I should most definitely not hold back.

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I think that would be pretty easy to verify simply by looking around to see if there are any parts of this volcano above you.

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Cherithe: Wow. This is incredible. I know it’s a volcano, but the lava flow is much higher than normal.

Have you ever been to any volcanoes before now, though, that you can compare this to?

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Cherithe: This might also have a link to the natural calamities…

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Thankfully, the lava does not come back down in the form of lava rain.

Or at all, for that matter.

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Cherithe: Oogh! It’s like a furnace! I’m getting roasted!

Well, yes, naturally.

Okay, realistically, more like a kiln, but we’re not following logic too closely, here.

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Cherithe: I don’t want to spend any time in a place this dangerous. Let’s get through this quick.

After a lengthy monologue.

image: Halt!

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Cherithe: It suddenly turned dark!

How? There’s lava all around!

image: I can hear the mountain’s screams… It is shrieking in pain…

Or bubbling.

image: Someone is causing Mt. Blaze to writhe in agony! Is it you?!

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Cherithe: Huh?! You’ve got it wrong! It’s not us! We just happened to be passing through here!

Admittedly, given how few outsiders dare travel here, not sure that sounds like a very plausible story.

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Cherithe: Who are you, anyway? Show yourself!

I’d rather it not show itself and instead let us pass by peacefully, Cherithe, but that’s just me.

image: Gyaaaaaaaaaaaah! The mountain’s rage is my rage!

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In charge of writing Moltres’s dialogue, Yoda was.

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Moltres: There is no forgiving those who befoul the mountain! En garde!

To be fair, I can at least kinda see why Moltres would jump to conclusions. I mean, with Skarmory, the idea was grasping at straws, but here, this is an incredibly dangerous location, inhabited primarily by fire Pokémon and most definitely not by any Poochyenas or Pikachus, and this is not exactly a prime tourism spot. In fact, few rescue teams are willing to set paw in this place. Then, suddenly, everything turns sour at this location, at the same time when two complete strangers show up who are most definitely not from around there. Mind, I’d still prefer to try to get more proof, or at least hear their side of the story, before going straight to violent retribution, but…

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*has officially stopped playing fair*

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And that sort of thing is a major reason why. Ow.

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Nothing can beat the power of love!

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And food. Food is also an important part of this mid-combat balanced breakfast.

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All’s fair in war, even love.

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Love hurts…

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Wow, this is just not ver day, is it?

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Moltres: I’m not done! I’m not finished yet!

Drat! And I’m almost out of PP for Attract!

Er… uh… Think fast, Joat, think fast…

Uh… Your eyes are like pools of molten lava! Your lips are like… wait… crap…

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Cherithe: We’re not here to cause trouble.

Why do all the shouting portraits in this game look like sneezing?

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Cherithe: We’re here only because we were chased here. You have to realize, this mountain isn’t the only place that’s suffering.

“We have absolutely no proof, but, uh… take our word for it, I guess.”

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Cherithe: Natural calamities are occurring all over the place. We’re fugitives now, so we can’t do anything…

Were I in Moltres’ position, the phrase “We’re fugitives” would not inspire confidence that these two mean well.

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Cherithe: But we want to help other Pokémon that are suffering from these natural disasters.

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Moltres: … Do you say that sincerely?

What does ve expect her to say in response?

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Cherithe: It’s true! Please believe me! If you think I’m lying… Look at my eyes!

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Moltres:

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Cherithe: … …

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Moltres: … … …

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Cherithe: … … … …

Cherithe… don’t blink… please

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Cherithe: Aiyiyiyi!

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Moltres: …Fine. I trust that you aren’t lying.

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Quite the drama… king? Queen? What does one call royalty that does not have a gender?

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Cherithe: Whew… That was scary… It felt like my knees turned to jelly.

What knees?

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Moltres: You may pass. Get through Mt. Blaze. And… Promise me this. Promise me that you will find the cause of the calamities that wrack our world… And stop the disasters from sowing more destruction and suffering.

I’d make a joke about that being a rather tall order for ver to ask of a Poochyena, but that Poochyena actually managed to successfully beat ver up (even if not solo), so fair enough.

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Cherithe: OK, I promise. …Of course, that’s not possible right now, but…

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It appears that Moltres wishes for us to go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb.

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Cherithe: Waaah! We will! We’ll get on it!

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Cherithe: We’re being hunted, so we can’t get to it right away… But we’re a rescue team. We’ll investigate what’s behind the natural calamities. I promise.

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Moltres: You may pass. Get through Mt. Blaze. And… Promise me this. Promise me that you will find the cause of the calamities that wrack our world… And stop the disasters from sowing more destruction and suffering.

If we don’t deliver, how will ve find us? I mean, ve clearly doesn’t keep track of the outside world in the slightest. How would ve know where to look?

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Moltres: If you do not forget… the courage you showed in facing me.

That was self-defense, actually, but close enough, I guess.

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Cherithe: Waaaah! Is…is there anything else?

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Moltres: No. I was only preparing to take off.

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Moltres would be quite awkward at a formal dinner party.

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Cherithe: Oh… (Does it need to do that?)

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Moltres: Farewell!

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Cherithe: Whew…

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Cherithe: Ewwwwwww, that was scary!

“Eww”?

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Cherithe: But I’m glad Moltres understood us. That was key. Anyway… Let’s get off Mt. Blaze ourselves.

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Cherithe: I’m bushed. Let’s rest up.

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Cherithe: Mmm… The view’s fantastic.

Well, now that the view does not involve being in close proximity to super-heated molten rock.

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Cherithe: Oh, look! Joat, look over there!

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No, I do not. We really need a new cameramon.

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Cherithe: We’ve come a really long way, haven’t we?

…Joat. Do you remember how hard it was to get across Mt. Blaze?

Indeed. Nothing like third-degree burns to etch something deep into one’s memory.

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Cherithe: I don’t think too many Pokémon can get through there. And then we gave it our all to get out here. Do you know what I’m thinking?

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Heck, Tyranitar could level the mountain, if ve felt like ve needed a new nest.

Okay, the lava would make it less practical, there would be a lot of collateral damage, and they’d tick off Moltres, but the point is, Alakazam’s team is probably still after us.

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Cherithe: Oh? There’s someone else?

There is another jedi?

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Cherithe: Well, who do you mean?

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Cherithe: …Oh, I get it. There’s Alakazam.

Even if it weren’t for them, the surest way to make sure someone else gets through is to assume and state aloud that surely nobody else could have gotten through.

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Cherithe: You’re right. Alakazam’s team should be able to get here.

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Cherithe: Yup! We don’t have a choice. We have to keep going. I think we need to go somewhere no one else can get to.

That’s… rather amibitious. Even for Team Zephyrai. Who are somehow super awesome and able to defeat legendaries (or at least weaken them) despite being Bronze Rank.

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Cherithe: Let’s be positive and keep moving.

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Cherithe: …Huh? Am I tired? They’re chasing us down. We can’t afford to rest.

Lovely sentiment, but you’re not a Delibird. You need to sleep sometime, y’know.

Wait, why are there no Delibirds working for the postal service in this setting?

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Cherithe: And… I told you already. I said I would go with you, Joat.

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Cherithe: …Oh, come on. No need for that long face. I’m fine.

Did you just make a muzzle joke?

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Cherithe: Let’s go, Joat! I’ll go wherever you go!

And so, the duo departs, moving further away from the launch site. Some say the lava columns are still in flight.

Next


#33

Previous


Part 21: Wherein Joat passes.

And so, Joat’s harrwing journey continued. Seeking refuge in even harsher places…

They fled north.

Ooh! Are we off to find Santa Claus?

Yes, Santa is canon. Well, at least, according to the amine.

They crossed row upon row of mountains…

There sure are a lot of mountains in this region, aren’t there?

Forded fetid swamps… Scaled frozen cliffs…

Till finally, Joat’s tiny team arrived in a world of snow… A frigid wasteland of driving blizzards.

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You don’t say.

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Cherithe: Hachoo!

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Cherithe: Yuck… My nose is running, and it’s freezing.

I know that feeling.

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Cherithe: Isn’t this one lonely place?

Then suddenly, the snow ninjas attack.

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Cherithe: See how deep the snow is.

Bah! This is nothing, you pansy! I’ve lived with lake effect snow before.

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Cherithe: I haven’t seen any other Pokémon for a while, either. Maybe we’re all alone here.

You having said that aloud significantly reduces the odds of that.

Well, that and the fact that someone apparently put down salt to thaw this path out.

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Cherithe: Wh-what’s that?!

That, dear Cherithe, is Absol, who is primarily a messenger of coming disasters. I can understand ver being a bit late. I mean, I’m guessing ver schedule is… full, as of late.

At the very least, though, I imagine ver job is a lot easier than usual in this case, since ve’s delivering word to Pokémon. I mean, the whole thing of them being considered, by humans, to be a bringer of doom rather than a predictor is due to the language barrier. In this case, though, that’s not an issue.

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*ahem* AS I WAS SAYING, THE FACT THAT ABSOL CAN CLEARLY COMMUNICATE VIS MESSAGE MEANS THAT oh forget it…

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Cherithe: …What was that? It looked like a Pokémon, but… Did I imagine that? No, I don’t think so. I’m sure there was somebody there. I wonder what they were doing in this lonely place?

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Cherithe: I guess thinking about it won’t help us. We should keep moving.

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Cherithe: Oh! Joat! Look! See that? Those trees are frozen!

You mean like the ones directly to the left and the right of us?

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I agree that falling snow is beautiful, but has she really never seen it before?

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Cherithe: It looks pretty, but… It must be harsh there…

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Cherithe: It will be horribly cold. I’d rather not go if I didn’t have to… But hiding out in this area isn’t the answer either…

Especially considering that out here is horribly cold, too.

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Cherithe: We can only go forward. We’ll just have to keep our spirits up and keep going, Joat!

And hope beyond hope that nothing inflicts the frozen status on us.

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Going to Snow path first, for a bit of experience and to see what it looks like.

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Kinda nice, actually! Even if the path itself is more ice than snow.

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Nom!

Seriously, look at that image and tell me that’s not what it looks like is happening.

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Ow.

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Cherithe: …I guess that path we took just loops back to whre it started. It looks like we have to get through the Frosty Forest to move on. Joat, let’s do our best!

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I wonder…

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Cherithe: OK! Let’s go! It’s going to be freezing cold, but let’s try our best!

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The coloration makes it look, to me, more like a wasteland than anything frosty.

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Ooh, another one! Useless at the moment, but useful to hang onto.

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That’s a rather unfortunate thing about this area. Furret is ubiquitous here and tends to flee when at low HP, meaning I often need to use up rocks to finish the job, lest I get snuck up on later by same Furret. And, as seen earlier, it even knows a multi-hit attack!

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The water does sort of help make the area look more frozen and less wasteland, at least. Sort of.

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Well, that’s interesting. Who is it using as a base, though? Doesn’t it usually strive to copy its opponent?

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Someone has intruded upon the forest… The enfeebled flow of icy winds… Is the intrusion to blame? It must be stopped. For it is to protect the forest…

We’ve faced Zapdos and Moltres and we’re in a frozen area. Who could it beeee…?

Like, seriously, I imagine that even someone completely new to the series would be suspecting an ice-themed bird, right about now. Heck, during this very LP (and, so you know, this is farther than I got on my prior playthrough before being distracted by something shiny), I suspected Articuno would be showing up from the moment we were shown walking in a winter wonderland.

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Uh… This is the first move used.

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That was the ditto? Like, seriously, does Transform not give PP to any moves? I mean, unless it happens to have a PP-restoring item, the only moveset advantage one gets from Transform is being able to get Transform out of the way, in order to have the privilege of using Struggle.

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The game sure loves this TM, doesn’t it?

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Interesting! A fight against a Mightyena.

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I imagine this fight would be a lot more difficult if it actually, y’know, attacked at some point.

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As if this fight needed to be any easier.

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Uh…

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Aaaaand another one.

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And we know what this means…

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I do kinda wish the actual snow effect were present for the entire time, but I do understand, hardware limitations and all. That said, with the subtle tinting, this finally actually looks like snow!

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Huh. I know this is a RhyHORN, not a RhyDON, but this still highlights the absurdity of Pikachu’s striking the horn with a lightning attack and winning.

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Cherithe: I think we’ll be out if we can get through this part. It shouldn’t be afar. Let’s keep going.

Er, you look to be more on a plateau than in the forest at this point, but alright.

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Cherithe: …Huh? Joat, did you just say something?

I did not. Nor did anyone else, for that matter.

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Cherithe: …I didn’t think so… I thought I heard a voice… I must have imagined it.

image: … …Turn back. You may not pass…

…Nah, not gonna make that joke. Too easy.

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Cherithe: Who’s there?!

image: You are forbidden to pass… If you persist in trying to pass… Then, so be it… but only after you have defeated me!

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Cherithe: The ice around us is reflecting the light!

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Articuno used Flash!

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Fancy that.

Interestingly, Articuno is one of my many favorite Pokémon. Sylvanus’ (one of my tulpae), too.

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You mean aside from all the other Pokémon who have entered the forest, who we fought through to get here?

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Because of course I open the fight with that.

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It seems I have melted vis heart…

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I think I came on too strongly. Ow.

Fortunately, I have a Reviver Seed, but still, ow.

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Cherithe: We have to get through. No matter what it takes. Please, let us pass!

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Articuno: No! I cannot allow your passage!

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Cherithe: Why? Why can’t we pass?

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Articuno: The frigid forest’s air… It has warmed considerably in recent times.

It seems that being beaten up makes Articuno much more reasonable to talk to. Who knew?

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Cherithe: W-warmed up? (I’m still freezing, but…)

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Articuno: The flow of frigid air has been disturbed in the forest. Snow has started to melt.

Snow is melting. Snow that has never melted before.

Such as all of the snow on this plateau, apparently.

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Articuno: This has never happened, even once.

Well, yes, that goes without re-saying.

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Articuno: Then you appeared in the forest. Is this not your doing?!

I do wonder exactly how ve suspects we would have done it. Or how ve can be so certain that violence will solve the problem if we did.

Yes, I know, I said Moltres’ deductions sorta made sense, but here, we arrived only after this stuff was happening.

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Cherithe: W-we don’t have anything to do with that! It’s a coincidence!

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Cherithe: It isn’t our fault that the snow started melting here. It’s not just here. Natural calamities are taking place everywhere right now. The forest’s frigid airflow would have been disturbed even if we hadn’t come.

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Articuno: Is that all? You expect me to believe that?!

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Cherithe: Waaaaaaaah!

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Articuno: Enough of your foolish talk! Prepare for your end!

Again, for the target demographic, someone is about to, with virtually no proof, murder a child. I mean, yes, I know, you take your job seriously, but come on, Articuno, that’s just cold. *ba-dum-TISH!*

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…learned Teleport, apparently.

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Absol: There is nothing false in what they said. Calamities are indeed occurring in nature everywhere.

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Articuno: Is… Is that true?

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Absol: Yes. I have the ability to sense natural disasters. The calamities taking place now are of a special nature. I’ve never experienced such before.

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Articuno: …So, there are calamities besides this…

…Fine. I will choose to believe you.

While this is quite convenient, why does Absol get special treatment? I mean, Absol clearly travels, so is very likely an outsider, and Absol has no more proof than we do, so…

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Articuno: You may pass.

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Cherithe: Articuno!

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Articuno: However!

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Cherithe: Waah!

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Articuno: You must try to prevent the calamities from spreading. I’m counting on you!

Speaking of flimsy deductions, how does Articuno come to the conclusion that some random duo, one of whom is a Poochyena, would be able to do anything about this, even if they were tough enough to get this far? I mean, I doubt ve’s addressing Absol, so…

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Cherithe: Yup! We promise, Articuno!

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Cherithe: Thank you. You saved us.

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Absol: …Rather than saying thanks, focus on stopping the calamities before they worsen. If they are left unchecked, worse will befall us… My instinct warns me so.

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Cherithe: Groan…

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Absol: I sensed the terrible power of the natural calamities…

Rather hard to miss, really.

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Absol: I was led here by my feelings of foreboding…

…I think it would be best if we combined forces… I will join you.

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Cherithe: Huh? You will? Really?

Is it that surprising?

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Absol: Really. To put an end to the calamities, cooperation is vital. Let me lend you my powers.

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Cherithe: Sniffle… Thank you, Absol.

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Arcus is a Pathfinder character created by Sylvanus, one of my tulpae. Arcus is a tengu summoner who is a follower of Damerrich, and for those who know what that means, it should speak a fair bit about the character. In any case, like this Absol, Arcus is rather grim, serious, and determined, but is, in the end, a kind-hearted sort, even if not very social.

The tulpa who made Cherithe (the Pathfinder character) is named Fluffy, by the way.

Anyway, next time, we shall continue onward to find Santa! Onwaaaard!


#34

I love how, as an added “take that” to the anime, Rhydon’s main Ability is Lightning Rod. It’s like the devs themselves were making a joke about how dumb that bit was.

SoM_Light


#35

Now it all makes sense! In order to make a fancy entrance, Articuno pulled out the Sword of Mana!

…Does that mean that Zapdos put the sword IN the stone when first appearing? Is that why it went all dark?