Pinkie Plays : Moemon Emerald Extreme Randomizer Nuzlocke (Episode 4) Errand Girl

Hello my Little Lights, I am back to playing Moemon Emerald, having lost Sakura last episode I have recovered well enough to brave the trails that come next with my magical girls?! How did Sakura die?! Well she fainted in the last episode during grinding .. and in a Nuzlocke when a Moe or Pokémon faints they are considered dead.  Read more details in the last episode! Which you can find at the bottom of this post! Today we are headed for Slateport  and hopefully all the way up until our next rival battle!  I haven’t played this in ages though.. so I am not sure what we will encounter! I do know our episode will start with a challenge on the beach!

Team Summary

Ace: Miku the Jigglypuff (Lvl 19)  Crush Claw, Camouflage, Flail, Super Sonic
Ability: Wonder Guard (Can Only be hit by Super Effective Moves)
2nd: Usagi the (C)Raichu (Lvl 18) Thunderpunch, Spark, Stockpile  Shockwave
Ability: Effect Spore (Can leave a Status Effect on Contact)
3rd C.C. The Gardevoir (Lvl 18)  Psychic, Light Screen, Psycho-Boost, Fake Out
Ability: Huge Power (Doubles the Attack Stat of this Pokemon)
4th Murmur the Porygon 2 (Lvl 18)  Earthquake, Vice Grip, Cut and Morning Sun
Ability: Poison Point (Can Poison when physically hit)
5th Souji the Corphish (Lvl 18) Rock Tomb, Pain Split, Pay Day, Octazooka
Ability: Rock Head (Does not take Recoil Damage)
6th Asuka the Spearow (Lvl 18) Sky Attack, Headbutt, Foresight, Milk Drink
Ability: Torrent (Powers up Water moves at low HP)

The Battle of the Beach Club

The Boat arrives at the beach of Slateport, a beach that is littered with trainers! I am pretty sure I get an item if I beat all the trainers here…or at least I think so.. so I challenge the first sailor I see. He calls himself Fisher Marilyn, his first Moe is a Minun.. since I lead Asuka.. it immediatly is a harsh reminder of our loss. Sakura would be so good against this. Right now the best swap is to switch in Jigglypuff again! His second Moe is a Graveler which  means I swap in Souji.It goes off without a hitch.. but then I get ambushed by a girl hiding behind a Parasol and I end up in a double battle! It makes sure Asuka is double attacked and takes some heavy damage with Souj taking out a Wailord leaving a Hypno alive. I decided to let Asuka use a Milk Drink and then I realised I read it wrong. It’s actually Souji who took the damage.. luckily everything ends up okay. But… stupid as I am .. I stumble into another double battle!…Fuuuuuu. Souji levels up but Miku needs to save everyone again!  She isn’t leveling fast  though!

My team ends up being so hurt that I have to go heal in the Pokécenter.. on my way back I decide to visit the Moemon Trainer Fanclub… which is kinda creepy! One guy offers to teach me Flame Wheel and Asuka can learn it.. so she learns… .Aerial Ace.. Oh.. that is weird! I knew Moves were randomised but I did not know static moves were replaced as well! Oh well at least Aerial Ace is more reliable then Sky Attack. We easily wipe most of these teams because they are at a kind of wimpy level!  I really expected trainers to be a bit closer to the gym leader but oh well! It will get through fast enough I bet! The Tate and Liza leap later on is huge anyway! We defeat the cutest little Voltorb.. BAM! It’s dead now! I win every battle of the battle of the beach and win a case of Soda Pops.. that might seem like a lame prize.. but in a Nuzlocke.. this is a godsent!

Pirates of the CariHoenn .. At Chores End

I go to the shipyard to deliver the Devon Goods but it turns out that the guy whom I have to give the package too is at another location and this guy that tells me also tasks me with delivering the parcel to this new location! …. So let me get this right! .. I SAVE your goods.. then as a reward you gave me a cheap cellphone.. then force me to go on a boat with an old guy  drooling over little girls… and I AM!!! A little girl! Then you make me deliver a parcel…but also force me to deliver a LETTER as an extra stop that forces me to venture to a Moe filled cave.. including insanely powerful ones like several Mewtwo and Moltres..then when I get the package on the location.. you ask me to go out of my way and find the guy in a museum or something?!  And I have to pay my own entry fee?! Jeesz .. no deed goes unpunished I guess! Reluctantly I head out.

Once I enter the Museum I see it’s taken over by an evil team….HOW HORRIBLE are the people in the pokémon world actually! The Museum attendants could have told me.. hey kid.. there is like a hoard of pirates here.. you might want to come back later… or HELP US an evil team is everywhere you are a trainer perhaps you can help us come in for free! But Nooooo Pinkie has to pay! Frick! How rude! The team seems to be quite nice though! The guy I beat earlier even gives me a move.. I wonder what it is! ….Sonic Boom! Huh! I am not having any luck there.. I am not using the two letter term because google docs shrinks it down to a trademark logo. So yeah! Sonic Boom only and always deals 20 damage.. but in a randomiser with full evolutions everywhere this move is worthless.. the only one who could use it was Sakura. Sniff.. I miss Sakura!

As soon as I go up the second floor of the Museum things change though! Team Aqua attacks as I want to give Mister Stern his stupid package.. now they want to take the items and since Stern doesn’t have any Pokémon on him.. I have to stop them!  I better get another reward for this! The Aqua Grunts are easy, but they are catching up in level very fast! They already use level 15’s.. then Archie the Pirate leader shows up and asks me if I am part of Team Magma.. What is a TEAM Magma?!  Why would they accept a 10 year old in their ranks! I fully expect to fight Archie as I am pretty sure I will fight Maxie in the Museum in Pokémon ORAS ..  but no Archie just bails. Finally something went my way.. time to get my reward…. a thank you from professor Stern.

I stomp outside and am greeted by a weird person named Scott! Scott wants to be my friend! He says he wants to follow me around… Scott is a grown man .. asking a 10 year old girl to follow her around! The HECK is wrong with the Pokémon World.. I mean sure I made the world a bit creepier by turning Pokémon into little girls.. but even then, people really take advantage of Children here! I guess it is time to go up North and find fame and fortune for myself! I stock up on a few super potions, and status healing items as well as five great balls!  Then it is time to leave this harbor town! Scott comes out of the battle tent and tells me if I want to try it! No.. I do not! It’s not that I don’t find it fun.. but it doesn’t do anything for the Nuzlocke and I can follow the rules there! So I am skipping it!

BrENDan

Encounter-Encounter-Encounter! I get a new Encounter!  I dive in the grass right away!  To find out what it is! I have a few great balls so catching should go smooth if I lead Miku! Using Flail she will not oneshot anything! Big Brain plays! It turns out to be a Tentacruel.. which is not bad. I name it Ika-Chan but decide to leave it boxed right now. Tentacruel is a bit of a tank and with Jigglypuff on my team I do not have a need for that role as for now!  Corphish will be a physical attacker when it evolves (if it would learn physical moves)  which is a much more needed thing in my team as Usagi and C.C are very much special oriented. Murmur right now is a physical attacker but her specialty will veer of into special.. She might get booted off the team if I get a better Earthquake user. 

As I move one a fat guy ask me if I have seen his son.. I tell him I haven’t and that I do not like to travel with boys! He acts surprised but says it is okay..giving me his phone number.. Okay thank you professor!  Let’s move on! I decided to hunt for items first on route 103 and I will briefly visit trick masters house as well. I want the items! They can be valuable! Asuka struggles in her fights.. but she manages to reach level 20 and evolves! She kind of likes pretty now! On Route 103 I also encounter a Lax Incense, an item that allows attacks to miss one of my Pokémon more often! I give it to Usagi! She is my dearest baby after all! Any attack she can avoid will be great! Miku now gets the Amulet coin! Trick Masters house is a puzzle house in the game that allows you to use your HM’s to solve puzzles.. a few good items are hidden in there… which for me now got randomised to berries. Everyone except for CC reaches level 20 with Miku and Usagi even reaching level 21.  The only one learning a good move is Murmur who learns Hyper Fang instead of Vice Grip!

Time to move up route 110 and fight my Rival! Brendan who likes to be called Bug Catcher Tia this time around .. is known to be the weakest rival in all of  the games and should be super easy…NORMALLY…  The first match is Gardevoir versus Primeape!  Okay That one I will easily beat.. but his Pokémon is level 18 already so it’s up to par with my team!.. Gardevoir should outspeed Primeape.. but it has Huge Power  and Starts with Protect.. I C.C. Should be able to live a fighting move from PrimeApe she is quad resistant..to fighting after all.. This wasn’t right! In this game Gardevoir is just a Psychic type.. it would not have mattered though.. Gardevoir  is killed by a critical hit after missing her own move.. Darn I was getting quite attached to C.C. .. this is a problem.. Primeape can kill Jigglypuff as well…

The only Pokémon that might kill it is Fearow.. IF it doesn’t outspeed me.  It does.. but Primeape goes for Focus Energy .. Aerial Ace is Super effective and finishes it off! Baltoy comes out.. and is easily finished off with Octazooka from Souji! My heart drops when I see Brendan’s last Pokémon…crabcakes.. he has a Lugia! Please don’t have Focus Blast! Miku I choose you! Lugia had Psycho Boost.. if I would have not had Miku.. I might have lost here! Lugia gets Crushed by Crushclaw… but I get Crushed by the loss of C.C.

C.C. was given a viking funeral on route 10. I asked Asuka to set her boat on fire with a Flame Wheel.. but since it was changed to Aerial Ace her boat was whipped away on the wings of friendship! As her body disappeared on the horizon, I noticed my heart already began to harden a little bit.. this death hurt less than Sakura’s… this journey would change me!  I already began to wonder if we should use Ika-Chan on the team.. but doing that would make my team EXTREMELY weak to most types. It will also be a hassle to grind her up! So we will wait until we get to Mauville!  Check out our encounters in that area near the daycare. That will determine if we will continue our journey with hope…or Despair.. but that is a tale for the next episode.

The Moemon Emerald Nuzlocke Series

Pinkie Played Monster Sanctuary : Pokémon ..but it’s a Metroidvania

My little lights! As you may have noticed.. or may not I have been using the term “Pinkie Plays” for my Let’s play style blogs!  This one is titled Pinkie Played.. past tense! That is because this will be the format for my game reviews.  I recently saw a let’s play of a game and I immediately fell in love with this game. It was a game called Monster Sanctuary. After completing the game… I am STILL in love with it. Oh Team 17 you made me one lucky moth.. I can destroy creatures and gather strength on my own! Happy days!

What is Monster Sanctuary?

Monster Sanctuary is a game published by Team 17, it was created by Moi Roi games and designer, Denis Sinner. If mister Sinner would fail as a game designer, he will always have a career in porn with a name like that. He might have to change the pronunciation of his first name a bit. Do I think he will ever need to go into porn?! Hell no! This game is whoops sitting meat.  Scoring an 8.1  audience score and a 7.5 score on Metacritic with a very positive review rating on Steam, this game is sitting well. Myself would probably even rate it a smidge higher than the Audience score.. at an 8.6 or 8.7 or so. Monster collecting games in general review a bit lower than most of their peers because there is also a lot of hate for the genre. People who know this type of game isn’t for them to review it anyway in the hopes to burn it down and that is a shame. Because even if you aren’t a big Pokémon fan there is a lot to love here!  With a 16 bit esthetic and the 2d exploratory platforming.. this is a monster collecting game like no other.

This game plays much more like Metroid than like Pokémon. Except there is no shooting. When you touch monsters, you engage in combat.. which is turn based and involves Monsters selecting their moves. These moves can either be magical or physical and belong to one of the four elements. (Air , Fire, Water and Earth). Some attacks can be neutral as well.  Every enemy has a set of weaknesses and resistances you have to work around and explore. To a Pokémon fan it would feel as if 4 types aren’t enough but it is handled remarkably well.With very deep combat, that is also very easy and much more intuitive to grasp. Each monster can be examined before a combat round starts and weaknesses are always available to you.. so no need to learn all 101 monster’s typings and stats. This game makes collecting monsters more fun than in Pokémon. If you want to beat Pokémon you need to catch a decent team of 6, and while here you also battle with a squad of six, you are constantly encouraged to find the eggs of more monsters. That’s right, you do not capture monsters in this one.. you hatch them! You  can gain eggs from random groups of monsters..by performing well in combat and using tactics and playing smart!

The reason why you need to capture more monsters is because there are plenty of monsters that offer you new ways to travel around the world.  In the first area you might for example discover a small crevice you can’t fit through. Samus would use her Morphball to get through but since you do not have a fancy suit.. you will need to capture a Changeling that DOES morph you into a ball.. or cuter, a Rainbow Slime that can turn you into a slime.  You might need a bird to hover to a treasure high above.. but your current bird can’t fly far enough. You might need to catch that derpy looking Dinosaur you saw flying in the other room.. but that one is hidden behind a switch with a lighting icon above it.. what monster do you need to activate THAT! While you can only train up 6 monsters at the same time you can travel with basically endless monsters so you can make sure you can use your favourite monsters to get past a certain obstacle. Wanna clean up . .you can always donate monsters to the army or bring some of the monsters you can not currently use to the farm. There are so many options! 

What do you do in Monster Sanctuary?

In the game you take the role of a nameless Monster Keeper.. a Keeper is the word use for those who try to keep the Sanctuary safe by taming monsters. Humanity lives in a sheltered habitat that is called the Sanctuary and it’s many zones are inhabited by many monsters, that for the most part have been ..fairly friendly but recently the creatures have become a bit restless. As more Monsters of “Champion” Quality appear. It is the task of a Monster Keeper to defeat these Champion monsters before they can rile up the monster populus and make the area uninhabitable for humans. You play a boy or a girl, who is part of one of the four important bloodlines.  There is the Bloodline of the Eagle, The Wolf, The Lion and the Toad. All belonging to a certain elemental bias. Such as the Eagle belonging to the Wind and Fire element. The Wolf of Water and Wind, the Lion of is Fire and Earth and the Toad is Earth and Water. I of course chose the toad.. why?! Well it’s a Toad that belongs to the grass element! That shall forever be my starter and my number 1.

The Journey starts with you traveling across the land , searching far and wide to find enough Champion monsters to increase your Keeper Rank so you can finally live up to your three rivals and your grandfather’s reputation. However you soon uncover that an evil organisation of Alchemists is trying to destroy the Monster Keepers. Performing all sorts of weird and unsanitary experiments with Alchemy. One name keeps popping up! Marduk, a leader of the Alchemist that supposedly has found a way to make himself immortal. Now he seems to have found a way to take away monsters that are bound to people and his motivations seem to be rooted deep in Monster Lore.. something evil is coming! You have to increase in rank faster than any Monster Keeper before you.. to stop whatever is hiding in the dark.  Of course this is a retro style game so the story at times can feel a bit irrelevant.. but it is there and entertaining for those who choose to partake…but it is equally fun to go about and explore things on your own volition. Very little parts of the game are sealed behind linear progression, though you might wonder why you are hunting for a certain artifact in a new area if you do it all yourself.

The game counts 14 areas of which one works like a hub and safe house where you can shop, craft, get exposition and donate monsters to the army. Another one works as your  post/game  “bonus” content hub. Here you do things like challenging bosses you have defeated before to get greater rankings or fight against a series of challenging monster teams to see if you have truly mastered the game.. this area even has a room in which you can take your monster team online and battle other players. The other 12 areas are your basic Metroid like areas, in which you can find more monsters and sometimes items to explore terrain and overall find treasures and the likes. I only focussed on the story content part of the game and getting most of the monsters and I ended up putting about 30 hours in the game before reaching the end. I DID go out of my way to explore.. but I haven’t even scratched the surface off all the battle challenges, I have not done much of the postgame yet. This means the game for me is well worth it’s price of admission!

What is there to like about the game?

My response to the game is overwhelmingly positive. Let’s begin with the monster themselves. The games 101 monster count seems a bit lackluster at first, but when you realise that this game doesn’t really feature evolution that suddenly becomes a whole lot more impressive. Each monster is their unique thing.. except for the slimes there aren’t really any sprite swaps either. Only about 10 monsters evolve.. and in their cases it’s more like special ways to get a new monster, that require a specific monster and an item to create a new monster. Their designs can radically change so it really feels like there are 101 truly unique monsters. Later in the game you unlock the ability to swap monsters towards either the light or the dark. While it doesn’t change their ability a Dark Shifted Monk has significantly different stats than a Light Shifted Monk. So every monster has 3 slight variations. Unlike Pokémon their levelup path isn’t set either.. in this game you can choose skill trees.

Every monster in the game has four Skill trees, some with more abilities than others, but basically you choose how your Catzerker will develop. Do you let him focus on Neutral damage with a lot of points invested in getting more and more powerful critical hits? Or do you want him to use his Fire and Wind abilities to take advantage of enemies that are weak to that. Perhaps you want your Spirit Toad to be focussed on AoE Attacks with the chance to poison your enemies as you go.. or perhaps like me you want to build him like a completely support focussed tank, that can buff as he heals and heals as he buffs.  Are these choices not working out for you? Resetting their skills costs next to nothing!  Once a monster reaches the max level of 40, they get an ultimate and you can choose from three of them. This leads to one of this game’s greatests boons! All the monsters feel like YOUR unique monsters.  Yes there are Meta’s you can look up, yes some builds will work better than others.. but you can build your own challenge level here and my Toad isn’t exactly like any other Toad.

This of course also leads to a lot of depth in combat,which is reflected by the many areas of the game. Each of the twelve zones tend to have about two subzones.  For example in the great forest you first encounter a lot of woodland critters like monsters, bugs, bears and plant like creatures. More often than not they have a fire weakness, though there is some diversity, a bias can definitely be sensed. The second part of the woods is overrun by Goblins who all are strong against magic but weak against physical attacks.  Since each combat sequence sends out three monsters, you find you’ll have to swap out members semi regularly if you want to make it far. Luckily the game offers an easy level up token, that allows you to add levels to weaker monsters, for almost no money.. the downside to this token, you can’t use it to level higher than one level below your highest rank monster. If your highest monster is max level.. and it gains enough experience.. that is not wasted.. instead that monster now produces level-up tokens to save you from grinding. The diversity in the world, the leveling and the biodiversity in this game all come together. Which makes everything feel unique. 

The game is also very generous with rewards, there are lots of secrets for you to explore!  Remember that one room you could not enter before because you had no monster that could activate a pressure Switch?! Now you can.. and the reward in the chest is better if you get it at this level then later on. However if you choose to press on that item you find can later be upgraded to still be a viable find! Everything in this game oozes freedom. There are completely optional areas, but going there offers you some of the best gear. There are even secrets upon secrets which for example lead you to unique monsters such as the Team 17 iconic Worms to be added to your team who have skill trees that mimic the feeling of the little crawlers. There are plenty of cool references to the material the game maker “borrowed” from as well to show that this is a game made out of love!  And you can play it your way!

What is there to dislike?

Like any game this one doesn’t escape having a few downsides though. The most prominent one is the “loot chance” aspect of finding an egg.  Say you discover a monster that can cut through vines.. by performing well you get a higher star rating.. the higher the star rating the higher the chance is to get a rare item. Eggs always fall in this slot.. but many monsters also drop something else. So unless you get a five star rating (which guarantees a rare drop)  you getting a monster is already locked behind TWO RNG checks. To alleviate this a lot of monsters have overlapping abilities. Catzerker can cut the vines and destroy hidden walls, but Magmapillar can Burn the vines and light torches.  So overall progress is never locked away to harshly behind RNG but later on you will encounter elemental switches at hard to reach places. While my Frost-Slime can activate Ice switches it might not be able to hit a remote one.. because you need a monster whose “activate ice  switches” requires that trigger to be projectile based. There is no way to find out what variant a monster has until you catch it and if they don’t drop their egg due to RNG things can feel a bit frustrating.

A major grip I had with this game was not being able to put waymarkers on my map! It feels like the SNES metroid map, where you just have to remember that one room had no light and that the other room has a strange keyhole. On the one hand this really sells the classic vibe and in a way I like it but on the other hand.. since the map is so big that there is not a single screenshot of the entire explored map out there you can understand it might be kind of frustrating if you remember you encountered a room somewhere you can solve now.. but for the live of you , you can’t remember where. I have a good memory when it comes to those things, and since the areas look diverse enough it never feels atrocious but a quick reminder at times would have been nice. The game at times lacks those quality of life improvements modern games have.. I think just to be retro. For example the final boss is a two tiered fight.. if you lose the second you’ll have to repeat the first and since I work with a stall team that for me was a 20 minute fight I had to do over,  I had no trouble beating it. It just took time.

Which brings me to the final gripe I have with this game and that is the level of Tedium at later levels. This game HAS to be played relying on buffs and debuffs, if you focus on assault alone the enemy will debuff the heck out of you and it will feel like you are taking down a dragon with a potato peeler. While I had debuffers in the Underworld my debuff removers were weak to the enemies typing so I could not use them all that much.. which means in some fights my damage was reduced by 25% six times over or so.. When I  got that specific monster (a spider that ensnares you with web)  he became a staple in my team as well and I debuffed the heck out of enemies.. but combat can feel really slow. The game has a combo system.. the third attacker deals the most damage, and the first two build up your multiplier.. however if you have to switch because you are debuffed into infinity you also nerf your non impaired team members. While the game doesn’t punish you with DEATH too often, it does with a lot of delays.

So is it good?!

Overall it didn’t really kill my joy for playing this game, I loved it in the end and already want a sequel! This game is very dear to me!  I really enjoyed the time I spent with my monsters and have formed a bond with them. The combination of Pokémon and Meteoroid works super well and I would love to see more things in this universe. There is a lot of lore about every monster, like every “pokédex” entry is four or so pages long filled with much more text than in Pokémon, you can learn about their history and their current day use.. these monsters are very  concrete and well balanced out.. every monster feels different and you can make it stand out from its peers!  Adding platformer gameplay to that just made it more fun to me. 

It does make the mistake of going retro, just a bit to much in parts but for me as a retro gamer that is more of a minor annoyance something I have to do to get to the good stuff.. but the good stuff is worth it several times over, even if a sequel would not improve anything I would still buy it without a second thought.. and retro games all had that tedium or that sense of annoyance about them as well. It is just a shame that I do see this game take a lot quality of life improvements then skimping out on others. Perhaps if they had more static save points and leaned more into the retro I would be less upset.. which is kind of weird.. I would be less vexxed if the game was less good. Maybe I am just kind of sad I nearly got my perfect game.. and it JUST missed out on that. Kind of like getting that perfect gift for christmas.. the watch you want but there is this one tiny scratch you barely notice yet it gets under your skin! Regardless of that scratch though you should most certainly pick this game up!

Thank you for taking your time to read about me playing with monsters again! I do that a lot huh! If you want to help me get more monster games, consider supporting me on Kofi or Patreon! Of course you can also just tell how much you like Monster Games and I will probably be coaxed into it anyway.

Pinkie Plays : Moemon Emerald Extreme Radomiser Nuzlocke (Episode 3) A Brawl with Brawly

Hello once more little lights! It is time to continue my playthrough of a very special Pokémon game.. modded so instead of Pokémon it is all Magical Girls. We have had a great start so far and now are nearing the second gym with zero fatalities.. but a fair few close encounters! With our wonder guard Jigglypuff things are looking good for now.. but what about  the rest of the team! Will we be able to defeat Brawly.. what team and moves will he have.. and what will he be called! Find out in today’s episode..  or read back on the other Nuzlocke posts at the bottom of this piece.. Basics and rules are explained in Part 1. The entire series can be found in the post Carousel at the end of this post!

Poorly leveled!

We start the episode off with a Team Recap! Currently we have Sakura the Rhyhorn with the ability static, to paralyse her foes on contact. Currently she only has ground type moves which led her to be nearly killed by a Shadow Tag Zapdos.. a Flying Pokémon with an ability that prevents pokemon swapping out! Through the use of struggle she was saved and leveled to level 13.  We have Usagi the (C)Raichu  who is level 14 who can cry tears that causes effects if other Moe’s make physical contact with her. She only carries electric moves. We have got C.C. The Gardevoir who has the Huge Power ability and rolls with moves like Fake-Out, Psychic, Psycho-Boost and Mist Ball. Umara the Slowpoke has Keen Eye with some more basic moves like Water Gun and Bubble.. but she also rocks  Luster Purge and reflects! Murmur the Porygon 2  has the ability poison point and can attack our foes with Vice Grip and Earthquake while she also is the cut user of the team and can prevent swapping Pokémon by the use of mean look! She is level 13.  Our Ace is the Adorable Miku the Jigglypuff who with the Wonder Guard ability can only be hit by super effective moves (and thus fighting moves) She attacks with Crush Claw or Double Slap and can sing Supersonicly to confuse her foes. She also has the move Camouflage which can change her typing to get more mileage out of Wonder Guard …maybe!

Last time we were asked to deliver a letter to Steven Stone.. who hangs out in some strange cave in Dewford town and today’s adventure begins there.. with me strolling along the beach looking for hidden items, finding a Big Pearl AND a Big Mushroom! While it is nice to have some cash money Dewford town doesn’t actually have a Pokémart so for now they are useless.. it also means I can not purchase potions unless I travel back.. but then I would have to travel on the perverts ship again.. and an old man named Briney who has a very loving relation with a Moe Girl called Wingull.. so I decided to enter Granite cave. A hiker gives me the HM for Flash.. but without a HM slave to teach it .. this isn’t going on my main team! Time for our encounter.. with Umaru being on the hotseat of being kicked off the team things are exciting for her! She might become my flash user! That does turn out to be the case when I find out that my encounter is a Corphish (I love that Pokémon). I capture it  and since it is male.. looks like a girl and has twin tails I decide to call it Souji after Souji Mitsuka. Umaru disappears in the PC for now.. but not before finding a second encounter.. Squirtle.. darn that would have been better.

Souji has the moves Rock Tomb and Pain Split for now.. and is level 8 so we will need to grind her up!  Which is a cool way to discover what Pokémon I could have gotten. Umaru is quite happy to be in a PC with a Spearow I named Asuka. They have a little party with cheetos! In the cave I find Paras, Haunter, and Charmander as well as a Doduo.. I decide to forsake switch training and only use Souji to level up on Charmander and the Doduo. Souj almost gets killed by a Muk due to me using the speed up button a bit too much! I need to stop doing that.  Switching into Usagi she kills the Muk and levels up to level 15 while Souji learns Payday at level 10.. Free money for me.. but not a great move. It does allow me to grind on the Squirtle and Luvdisc that I encounter later as well and at level 13.. Souji learns the water move Octazooka! So now  he has a great move!  These Pokemon are hitting me hard though so I decide to grind the entire party out until level 15. The need for this is immediately shown because I STRUGGLE here.. at one  point Murmur gets poisoned with no more potions in my Inventory.. she would be killed for sure.. but apparently I failed to sell Morning sun! In a desperate attempt I teach it to Murmur and pray I encounter something before she dies of poison! It works. I heal her and barely make it to the Pokémon Center… I need to go back to get some potions!

The Search for Steven

I go back to Petalburg and Decide to level my weaker Pokémon in the grass there.. that other cave might just have level 8’s but suddenly Haunters and Dusclops started showing up left and right tearing my team to shreds. I pick up a couple of potions, a set of antidotes and some more Pokéballs… knowing fully well that Mr Briney is chasing the young girl around the table again! I can’t let this last too long! When everyone is level 14 I go back.. and will look for Steven. Things are going south fast.. as I descent further in the cave.. those Dusclops turn into wild Mewtwo encounters… who outspeeds Sakura so she can’t guarantee to run away. A hard fight later.. Sakura learned of the Earthquake.. and is on 2 hp!  I am trapped in darkness.. am I really supposed to take Brawly down first?! Well.. I am lost in the dark now! Might as well try to avoid using Flash whatsoever! Umaru is still having her party after all.. The wild Mewtwo is part of the same route as Souji was.. being in a granite cave.. so I can’t even try to catch it.. unless it is shiny.. but I think shinies aren’t in this romhack! (shiny clause is a special rule that states you can capture shinu pokémon even if the encounter is not eligible to be captured)

The way towards Steven is a gruesome trial , while my Pokémon are powerful.. My team is extremely weak to grass and has no good counters for ghosts yet.. and what do you know this cave is filled with these sorts of Pokémon!  It doesn’t help that I don’t remember this game very well.. but well on my way I at least encounter what Souji is going to evolve into.. for a brief moment I forgot Crawdaunt was dark type and I nearly got CC killed.. but luckily swapping into Miku is always the correct answer! Since I really do want experience on my Pokémon though I can’t constantly lead her. Every floor my HP is chipped of a bit more.. but I finally reach Steven. He gives me the move Uproar for delivering the letter.. which. .isn’t particularly useful to me!  I want to exit the cave with an escape rope I bought but I realise I have not taken enough screenshots in the cave yet.  I miss a few for my posts.. so I need to go back in and hope you don’t notice my Pokémon’s level… or read this line! While I do I encounter a Moltres..  Luckily C.C could one shot it with Psycho Boost. Well.. at least I found Steven.

Little Gym of Horrors

With everyone being at the abysmally low level of 15 .. it is time to face the gym leader. Note that the previous gym leader’s ace was this level as well so I assume that EVERYTHING here  will at least be this level.. if we face  Regi.. we might lose monsters here. Immediately I forget that Brawly’s Gym Puzzle in this game was darkness, I am more used to the “puzzle”  in Oras and I get in a Double Battle Unprepared for what is to come! As Sakura and Usagi come out, the opponent’s send in Swampert and Ampharos.. . This can kill Usagi!  I want to swap her out.. but Swampert has got the move Arena trap.. which basically means that Usagi is dead already! I need a miracle here! Round 1 I let Usagi use Stockpile to up her Defences.. the Ampharos Attacks her but the Swampert uses Water Sport … Bonemarang takes half of Swamperts Health… I am willing to lose Sakura here.. but Usagi is my Baby I need to keep her safe if possible! Round 2.. Usagi Stockpiles again.. the Swampert uses a thunderwave to Paralyse Usagi… thank Arceus! The  Ampharos uses minimize. Sakura finishes Swampert off with a second Bonemerang. With the taste of vomit in my mouth from stress I let Sakura sweep here.. while I swap Usagi out for Miku .. just to be safe because of the minimises.  This isn’t good I am way too attached to Usagi already! Looks like she won’t be the only one crying!

The next fight.. against a gym trainer which I make sure to battle Solo isn’t much easier.. the woman uses a Kyogre for crying out loud.. still leading Sakura I know I have to rely on Usagi to clutch this one! I need her to take a hit from a Legendary… she does so like a champ and did not even cry that much! The Kyogre lives a hit from Usagi though and brings her well into yellow health some tears flow.. but soon the tears are washed away by the blood of the slain enemy Kyogre.. The stress of it all is actually starting to get to me!  This isn’t an easy gym! The enemies are slightly lower level than me.. but these are all such powerhouses! The Third Trainer uses a Seaking.. he stands no chance against my team..but Sakura needs to swap out again!  This time I try to let Souji take advantage of Payday to rake up some extra coins .. I am going to need them! The final fight before the gym leader uses a Puppitar who has a sprite that has way too much work in it for a Puppitar! The Pupitar fight levels up C.C. and she learns Light Screen! I make room for it over Mistball! Praise be to  Baby Mew, I have both the barriers now! This will allow me to live so much more!  I just wish I had them on the same Pokémon!

I take a little breather before the Brawly fight before I move back in. Brawly tells me he would like the be called Bug Catcher Jill. I lead Miku as  I am  too scared to use anything else! His first Pokémon is a Houndour.. okay we can take that! It has the poison point ability and poisons Miku..so I am spending resources to keep her free of that status! Eventually Miku takes down the Houndour and she is up against a Wooper, who tries to put Jigglypuff to sleep.. how ironic. It is level 19 though.. I am 3 levels under!  I might need to grind again already! The last Pokémon is a level 16 Lombre! Since no one is super effective against it I decided to let Miku sweep the gym! What do I get as a reward for being scared to death half of the time?!  The Move .. Defence curl… Wow.. that sucks.. even for early gym standards!

The First Death

Before heading to Slateport I decide everyone needs to level up to level 18. I know the Gym in Mauville is a bit away.. but I am on the level of regular gym trainers right now .. if not a tiny bit over.. My team isn’t balanced enough yet to play around typings smartly and I do have a lot of unevolved Pokémon, only CC and Porygon 2 (in this Generation)  are fully evolved.  Well Usagi as well but she is my darling little baby! I don’t want to risk her! So a few levels on her won’t hurt! During grinding however.. something terrible happens! Sakura gets killed!…By A luvdisc! One of the weakest Pokémon in the game! It does outspeed Rhyhorn so Sakura failed to run from the Water Type which before I have only seen carry Water Pulse.. and my 2x it’s level Rhyhorn could survive one hit of that.. poorly but she could!  I was grinding and most of my other Pokémon were damaged so I felt running was the safer route.. when Luvdisk used Waterspout! A move that deals more damage the more HP you have. Since Luvdisk was at full HP.. Sakura got washed away… I am sorry girl!  You will be missed.. Asuka the Spearow joined the team for now.. which involved an awful lot of grinding! But I figured since I already had a Psychic Type and a Water type.. the Flying type would be better to deal with our weakness to grass.. though with Sakura gone.. the weakness was kind of fading already!

Usagi destroyed the Luvdisc and everyone caught up to the level of the Gym Leader we beat. Asuka learned Milk Drink which is one of the best recovery moves.. but other than that no real moves were learned. Jigglypuff learned Flail Over doubleslap. I told Flail is a bad move but if Miku gets poisoned I can let her take damage until she is really low health and use Flail with a high base power… yet low mortality rate (if I have staked out my opponents move) Wading through the mountain of Luvdisc corpses.. Sakura was buried looking out on the Gym.. she had saved her friend Usagi from the crazy Swampert before! The Gym where she pulled her weight hard but also was in danger a lot.. We all boarded the pevert’s ship again.. not even caring he was lewding his tiny girl again. We all felt empty and not just because we ran out of Power Points.. on the way to Slateport .. Usagi cried for the loss of her friend… and so did her trainer…..

Want to Read everything in this Series?!

A Very Poké Christmas

My sweet Island Guests, this cocktail will be the last round of drinks before the blog closes for Christmas! That is right!  I decided to not post anything on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  The latter in the Netherlands is called “Second Christmasday” It’s basically the day where you visit the other side of the family. So just another day of christmas festivities. While Christmas will be a bit sober and all I will get for Christmas is some good food, a good time AND a hangover, that is enough. I will not be able to respond on posts a lot and I assume a lot of view have gone to visit loved ones as well so I decided on a short two to three day break (depending on how I get through christmas)

That being said I did want to say Merry Christmas to all of you so I decided to do this with a little Christmas story of rhyme! Because I am the Pokémon girl and the anime-blogging girl of the community I decided to make a zaney, wacky rhyme! So strap in and here we go!

Twas The Night Before Christmas, when only on the island of Paradise,
bars were still opened serving cocktails on ice!
Kuro was working hard serving guests when they heard a loud noise!
A fat..android like creature showed up with a very menacing voice!

“Christmas is over, I put Santa’s Sled Firmly to the ground”
“Now that he is in Isolation, no Happiness will be found” 

Manager Pinkie , also drinking, spilled her drink yelling “How Mean”
When she looked at this presence she shrieked “Oh No It’s Covid-19”

“That is right” laughed the Dragon Ball Bootleg “That is me”!
“It’s not the Grinch or Krampus that will ruin christmas you will see”

The manager sighed and got up from her chair and put on her Santa Hat.
“If Santa is grounded I’ll save christmas..I am equally jolly just slightly less fat “

The Virus laughed and said “Half the world is in lockdown, there is nothing you can do”
Pinkie smiled as all Coconuts gathered “Luckily I got a friend or two”

Covid cruely grinned “You can’t even get close to people, christmas sleeps with the fishes”
Pinkie smiled back and said “We will save Christmas, strictly with warm wishes”

While Paradise, might only exists in the virtual space, 
it exists to be a happy place.

While Pinkie can’t board a boat and does not possess a magic sleigh!
There was yet another play!

The Manager looked at Indigo and said should with me!
Both looked up to the sky yelling Tamago Tomadachi “We needeth Thee”

A fried egg descended from the sky!
“Behold my glory, Tamago Tomodachi that is I”

The Pink girl bowed and said “My egg friend ,we need to save christmas in the blogosphere”
“Lets together spread some Christmas Cheer”

The friendly egg sprinkle some magic yolk on the island to make it fly
For some weird reason (because it rhymes) it also made the island smell like apple pie!

Pinkie cheered and picked up some Pokéball!
“Let’s travel around the blogosphere and bring monster friends to all”

So they departed on this epic quest,
To bestow Christmas greetings to many of you.. before we take rest.

Merry Christmas , my Senpai Irina!
I’ll leave you with a Book of Friends and an Alcoholic Primarina!

And to you , lovable Scott!
Happy Holidays! Have some fictitious Gunpla and an adorable Oshawott!

An amazing christmas for my blogging friend Naja!
My gift, non existing Amigurumi supplies and a Copperajah

And to that super swell fellow, by the name of Mallow!
Imagine me gifting you Guild Wars 3 and a Shiny Swellow!

Merry and Bright days, to my bestie Foovay!
Whom I will bestow unique Castle Cats and a Brand new Luxray!

To the wonderful unique Fred,
I wish you a wonderful winter hike  and a carolling Loudred!

A magical day to magical girl Lita!
I’d  give you some Yaoi and a lewd Gothorita!

Happy Christmas, to a Geeky Girl called Meg…
No Pokémon rhymes with that name so here is a Lillipup, still half in its egg!

Feliz Navidad to the just geeking Heather!
Enamel pins and Pikachu for you..but he’s not real he’s just a sweater!

Winstolf Happy Holidays to thee!
That’s right swapped it around so I can give you Cait Sith cosplay and a Goomy!


Rhyming was getting harder and Tamago Tomodachi was running out of yolk!
“This can’t be it” Pinkie said “We still have to wish Merry Christmas to so many other folk” 

Tamago Tomadachi who is always very smart,
Came up with a solution to make this endeavour a bit less hard!

“What if we pair people up by the two”
“You can combine some names so rhyming will be easier for you”

To my gaming friends Solaryo and Pix,
I wish you’ll get Playstation fives and christmas kisses from this Swirlix!

Joyeux Noël,  K (try rhyming with a letter)  and Curtis with the Iridium Eye!
Foreign Christmas movies for you. delivered by a shiny Cutiefly.

Best wishes to Master Mix Movies and Future President Joy,
I’ll give you two a Betty White Movie, with a cinema loving Baltoy!

Merry Christmas , Biblionyan and Lyn!
Manga Mystery boxes for you and Sky form Shaymin!

Blessings to Celestial Sparkles and Olive Unicorn! 
My Pinkie-Santa gift to you is sparkly make-up and a fun to ride Ryhorn!

Gingerbread Men and Cookies for Alyssa and Krystalina!
Who will we give a mental  manga library  and some Nidorina!

The merriest of Holidays to the great people called Yasuno Kuro and Crow!
My gift is an anime about a Kaiju Santa fighting Solgaleo!

My christmas greetings to Una and Lina from Hallyureviews!
K-pop tickets for you two along with Pachirisus !

“We aren’t going to make it in time” the manager squealed,
when two brave little helpers were suddenly revealed.

Sunny and Indigo rolled up their sleeves, 
while Kuro made the manager a Mojito, he was crushing some leaves.

“Do not worry manager-chan we are a team” was said by the STAFF
Suddenly the manager found the strength once again, just laugh!

Her giggles might have been more of  a HiHiHi than a HoHoHo..
There  was not even a rednose reindeer, but this crew was very merry though!

Merry Christmas to Emma and the Thoughts of Shoujo!
Our team will bestow you with adorable fanfiction read by Lucario!

Blessing of the Season to Moya and Wooderon!
My gift to you a night at the movies with the projector powered by Magneton!

A healthy wholesome day to Red Metal, Mari, Egghead Luna and  Jarilissima
I will show you the world, on the back of a Staravia.

A day filled with laughter, family and joy for Indigo, Ony, Jon, Nabe , Ashley and Annie!
I bestow you with ugly christmas sweaters made by your very own Leavanny!

The best of wishes to Kim, McKenna, 9Tailed and also Thero!
A happy night of drinks for you.. followed by Amnesia with Slowbro!

Stay strong and have fun,  Wren, Mike, Merlin and Aria.
Good times will come, so says Dialga!

Merry Christmas to those who are currently away, Raistlin, Karandi and Iskidee!
May you all recover from what troubles you, as if healpulsed by Indeedee!

The happiest of days who read who did not get mentioned because I forgot!
You have my apologies.. and a second merry christmas because Wynaut!

Fatigued but satisfied Paradise returned where it belonged,
We could mention more of you guys but the conclusion might be too far prolonged.

While Covid is a horrible Grinch who keeps us all apart..
This post is meant to illustrate how many people we have  close in our heart.

For this list is inconclusive.. but if you are reading this I DO appreciate YOU!
So the world might seem small, but you have a list like this too!

The monster we may like Christmas might make life seem like hell..
I hope that Santa Pink Illustrated.. that somewhere in the world will always wish you well.

Thank you everybody for being a part of my life, no matter big or small! I all wish you a very VERY happy christmas, be it in small groups or even by yourself. While we might not be able to do everything we want.. we can make the world seem prettier with just a bit of magic or make belief! I hope you enjoy my fictional gives in your fictional variants! ..Returning some of this stuff will be horrible!

Pinkie plays Poirot with Pokémon: Theft on The Magnet Train Express

Hello Island Guests, I played another Pokémon Fan game! A Detective one at that!  Based on the Hercule Poirot Novel, Murder on the Orient Express I shall have to investigate some thievery shennanigans on my way too of from Goldenrod city! I can’t completely tell which one.. but in this one hour romp I can most certainly  tell you I will be investigating a “Theft on the Magnet Train Express”

Going for Gold

Theft on the Magnet Train express is a fun fan rom game  that is set in the world of Pokémon Gold and Silver.  Using Gen 5 Battle mechanics.. but deliciously old school 8 bit graphics we immediately get something that distinguishes itself from all the other fan games. For the vast majority of fan games and rom hacks out there all use the gameboy advance (Gen III)  tilesets and sprite work.  So from the get go we get a very unique game. This comes with it’s own strengths.. such as having a great atmosphere, the excitement to see sprites of Generation newer generations get a downgrade to 8 bit and the delightful nostalgia factor.  There really are very few games feeling this unique when it comes to the rom hacking scene.It does come with some flaws as well though. This is arguably a non issue for those who do not dabble in Pokémon fangames on a regular basis.. but among all fan games there usually is a consensus on how these games are controlled.  z,x and c are your main keys to operate menus and save while a or s activates sprint and either the f-keys or the keys surrounding s are used for registered items.

Theft on the Magnet Train express uses x to cancel actions but spacebar and enter as confirmation buttons. This is quite annoying.  It’s very manageable but it feels very unnatural for me. There is this muscle memory and during that entire hour of playing this game it never really grew on me. I managed to pull it off but it never felt as comfortable as z , x , c. Now I could try again for the multiple endings this game has.. as it has 3 of them but  this branching path does not come into play until the very last moments, almost making it more feel like an Endscreen difference than a different route. Which isn’t bad ..but it makes back to back replayability low. I will go back to experience the other two endings and find the hidden Pokémon.. I just won’t go back right now.. or anywhere this week! It’s one of those “I have an hour to spare.. let’s give that another shot type of deals’.So while I do commend them for choosing the harder and untrodden path you can sense and feel that the lack of proper assets kind of played a factor into making this game. Going for Gold .. made it a title only worth the silver.

Inspector Pinkie on the Case

In this game you play a woman named Ellen. After a blackout occurs in the magnet train from Goldenrod to Saffron city…. or the other way…  Ellen goes out to investigate what is wrong and stumbles upon the best detective in the Pokémon world.. Looker! I love him and his theme has been given a 8bit rendition which made me squee with joy!  There is a lot of love for the franchise in here and it shows in the tiny details. He challenges you for a Battle and I discover I have a Shiny Vulpix on my team. I beat the lookers Croagunk.. which I love because it is his signature Pokémon, and he names his deputy researching the strange events on the train.  I will have to make way through the dangerous carriages of the train that are invested with trainers , Pokémon and even Team Rockett to solve a mysterious theft.. of something worth over 4 million Poké-Dollar.

Much more than just Pokémon battling you are engaged with solving this mystery! You do this by finding a certain number of items in each carriage.. Looker is such a good detective he exactly can expect how much evidence you can find in each carriage furthering your case.  Some people want to battle you and with 30 ultra balls on you.. you also have a chance to start catching your own squad of Pokémon to assist your Vulpix. Some follow the wild grass mechanics but for the special ones.. you will have to go through some effort. What makes this game shine so much is that the story is not told through you to the things you need to do.. but through the things you CAN do. The Evidence you find will not cue the player in on what’s going on.. it all seems random.. but then if you check that other bookcase and find some exposition you suddenly start to piece stuff together.  Depending on how well you piece things together you may get an ending for better or worse!

Inspector Pinkie is on the Clock!

Because of how the game is structured it let’s YOU do the work. It drops hints on what is going on, or where to go next but it never holds your hand.  That one character that mentioned an item may become relevant three carriages later and you have to go back.. but where was he or she?! The game doesn’t tell you… it just whispers to you.. did you not talk to a person mentioning said item earlier?! The same style is chosen for the battles. Every Pokémon hits hard!  You have a Vulpix so it’s defensive stats are not high even though it levels all wild Pokémon by level 10. It brings this new level of strategy to the table, you can easily knock out wild pokémon but trainers can easily knock you out as well. Even the wild Pokémon can!  So you are going to have to strategize. Use Will o Wisp to burn and weaken physical attackers, yse Payback when you are being outsped.. go for high damage with flamethrower. You have a lot of options.. but you will also need them. You will need to work for your success.

The game never gets insanely hard but you are not used to having a pokemon with 0 IV and EV investments at level 35..  so the game feels weird. You need to work for success. From beginning to end you need to keep your head screwed on straight.  There aren’t a bunch of  healing items you can buy.. you are stuck on a train you will have to do with whatever you find. Burn your resources too much and you might get a bad end. I ended up catching a Sneasel for my team which I named Tracy and a Skiploom which I named Nancy.. which later evolved into Jumpluff.  Tracy would use Hone claws to boosts it’s attacks and use Beat Down to strike down hard while Nancy would use sleep powder, mega drain and leech seed to stall my opponents to their doom!  Vulpix would inflict burns  and deal big damage with Flamethrower and Extra Sensory! I also had a Lickitung named Sherlick  but he was just there to power up Tracy’s beatdown! I would have loved to use him.. but I could not make him useful enough other than giving me more leech seed stalls and bigger Beat Downs! All of it felt more “designed” and “clever” than my average Pokemon teams!  So I like that here you really have to put in work.

Riding the Rails

While I do not mind putting in the work .. the game at times can feel a bit to chore like. That is mostly due to it being set in a train. You find enough evidence to unlock the next set of carriages go back.. talk to Looker..  and now you can access the next part.   There is a road block so you need to go back.. grab an item.. make progress again, find the evidence, go back to Looker and so forth. It is all due to the fact that you are only on a train. It makes for a great setting for a mystery but too many of your events are contained in these new rooms. I would have loved it if old rooms now would trigger new events as well.. maybe there is something going on in the engine room, perhaps some earlier passengers are getting rowdy and you have to pacify them with a battle. Give us a reason to go back to these locations other than to just fetch an item. Looker is doing his own investigation while you do yours, have him get into trouble, have him instigate an event instead of you it would help the world feel more alive. Other Pokémon games do this as well. In fact even in Gold and Silver .. other characters than you “further’ the plot and you stumble upon it. This game lacks that element and as a result.. it feels a bit “colour by numbers”.

The mystery is also not THAT nicely paced. About during the middle part of the adventure you will have all the clues you need to figure out what is actually going on and while that might actually be by design I think it could have been paced a bit better. Let that one bookcase stand in a carriage near the end not near the middle. Maybe I am too trained into these type of stories that I  figured out what was going on..but I think most of you would get it right away as well.  A good thing about that though is how it is all very much discoverable with in game resources.. you do not need to know lore about Carkoal or about the Magnet train from Gold to understand what is happening here. It is a satisfying plot that does feel like it can be lifted from an actual Pokemon game.. thus not being overly dark.. it feels like it can be a part of the world. Some fun characters are created both in the present and the past of Pokémon so while the ride is very enjoyable it arrives at the second to last station early.  Being early can be amazing..but since it’s not the station you need to disembark from you don’t get the benefits.. you know the train will just sit there and wait arriving at the end as scheduled. You can appreciate the environment a bit more.. but in the end it’s a bit of a  moot advantage.

The Usual Suspects

To properly find out how this Pokémon detective game did we need to check how it functioned as a Pokémon Game, as a Mystery and as a game in general.  Let’s start with the latter because that is where it scores the highest. For the hour that this game is long it is nice to see a non- hand holding game that lets you explore some rooms, uncover evidence but also sleuth for the REAL story yourself.. as you will notice inconsistencies. I really love that part of this fan game and I think this is my favourite short fan game all together.  As a Pokémon game however this game falls short. It is great that they use the gen II tileset but  Pokémon it plays into my nostalgia so hard and the music in 8 bit is FANTASTIC! I LOVED LOVED LOVED.. that..  yet it also comes with some hefty downsides. The Pokémon count is REALLY low! They had to make a lot of old looking sprites and while they do look amazing I would have wished for at least a few more.. Pokémon in it’s very concept is something of abundance… and while I do get that what I want makes no sense on a train I just don’t think the setting and core concept are that great of partners. 

As a mystery it offers a very satisfying story and the way the mystery unfolds before you , I have rarely seen done better.  Usually we all get all the important clues highlighted and here the important stuff is in the subtext! I adore that! We are just given a bit too much stuff to uncover that subtext. Some dialogue is a bit to on the nose. There are several characters that are aware of a situation that really tell you how everything works. It would have been more satisfying to encounter them closer to the end.. or have them experience the same confusion everyone in the train is experiencing.. enough to make you feel “hey something isn’t right here.. we got two conflicting stories here” At least it made me feel SUPER DUPER smart for figuring it out so fast!  So that is nice.. but I loved this little romp so much that I wished I ended up just a bit more surprised.. and that’s what makes me grade this game with a medium high score. It is still one of the better short games out there.. when it comes to Pokémon.. yet it also misses some crucial elements.. it hyped itself up in the beginning..  just to let it weaken in the mid-section!  it is passable by all accounts.. and it looked like it was going to knock it out of the park.. but the landing rough!  I would love to see them tackle another short detective game in the same vein in a bit more open setting. That way it is easier to miss clues, put in more pokemon and get that extra diversity! A nice demo for a hopefully bright future! Please make another Looker game soon guys!

Cyberpunk…Film Noir… Disney.. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Review

Konichi-welcome back  Island Guests!   This blog has been around for a year and a bit now and while I was just starting out fresh as a Pokémon Blog, a movie came out recently that I JUST missed out on being relevant about.  Before Halloween Month came along, I decided to review video game movies and.. luckily that Pokémon Movie was specifically based on a Video Game! Even Better .. it’s NOT a sucky Video Game movie! Hurray you guys, I finally reviewed Detective Pikachu.

Researching History

In February a short, almost demo like game called Detective Pikachu hit the markets in Japan. It gained a lot of popularity and in 2018 it saw a Global release in a much more fleshed out, full game  version because of it. In it we would play Tim Goodman, a do-good boy that solved mysteries with his gruffly voiced Pikachu! It did not take long before the rumors of this becoming a movie began to pop up! With a huge petition for Danny Devito becoming the hatted electric mouse. Ryan Renolds however wanted it more.. and with Justice Smith taking the role of ..what in the game was a very white Tim, we  in may 2019 we got Detective Pikachu the movie. I must say.. I am SOOO happy with these casting choices. 

The Tim in the video games was a super generic blank sheet of a character that was like Phoenix Wright if you take all his dialogue and charm away. Just a guy who responds to something and occasionally solves a puzzle in a very kiddy way.  The movie while still clearly aimed for kids aimed at kids at least decided to age the characters up a bit to give them actual stuff to do and make them feel like a cohesive part of this world. For that I am grateful. Ryan Renolds clearly cares more for Pokémon than Danny Devito ever would so we got a bland character that is made more interesting and actors who are really involved with the franchise! This is how you do re-casts and change up the status quo! Very well done!

Finding Evidence in the Story

The movie does follow the plot of the game for a big part, with some twists here and there! Since this IS a detective movie and there is fun to be had in solving this riddle.. even if it is quite an easy one, I shall try to maintain spoilers to a minimum but I will spoil what the plot of the movie is about. So if you think that is a spoiler, this review might not be for you. Tim wants to be an insurance guy and live without a Pokémon.. because having a Pokémon reminds him of his neglective father who Tim has since banned out of his life. That ban is put to a screeching halt though when Lieutenant Hide Yoshida calls him from Ryme City!  Apparently Tim’s father has been in an accident and he died!  Now Tim has to get there to wrap up some business and say goodbye to his estranged father.

However things do not turn out to be that easy! Tim finds some weird “drugs”  that turn Pokémon feral in his father’s apartment as well as a talking Pikachu. This Pikachu believes his father might still be alive..but is struck with Amnesia and together the two discover a plot that involves fighting many other pokémon including the most powerful pokémon off them all, Mewtwo. … but since it is not Mega Mewtwo… I gotta say that technically is not true..but hey!  We will roll with it. We will see a lot of interesting locations within and just outside Ryme city and are introduced to Pokémon in a way that is less intrusive or knowledge intensive in a plot with some interesting twists. While it all is very predictable there are enough events and plot threats to keep the movie interesting to the slightly older audience.  Even if you don’t know that much about Pokémon…because in reality.. Pokémon is just a dressing put over a cyberpunk story for children. Only instead of robots helping society it’s pokémon… or animatronics. It’s Blade Runner for kids!  

Interrogating The Pokémon

Without the whole Pokémon thing we have a 6/10 movie I’d say.  There is still some very funny jokes in the movie like the interrogation of Mr. Mime working even if you do not know anything about Pokémon. Detective Pikachu making jokes about Cocaine in a Pokémon movie.. and the whole litle “drug” subplot .. and the finding of the father that has gone missing/is dead  it can carry the story well enough. The movie is well acted and shines best when Tim is meeting with the lieutenant. Those two bounce off of each other REALLY well. Weird but some of those scenes really hit hard.  The heartfelt talk with Pikachu works well enough without any Poképuns with it alll feeling really endearing and there is enough sense of adventure and science for everyone… However the more you know about Pokémon the better this movie becomes. My Arceus the sheer number of easter eggs here in this movie are insane.  Everything oozes Pokémon.. even though it somehow is on a completely separate layer than the rest of the movie. This movie would have worked just as well for people not knowing about Pokémon if the plot was with little robots or something fitting in a cyberpunk Scenario.

From the moment Tim tries to capture a Cubone that is very sad and lonely.. right until the very last second of the movie there are some may callbacks to everything pokémon.  Mostly in Ryme city itself. The neon lit streets of this magnificent city feature so many pokémon.  Every single commercial sign is a reference to a pokémon or something in the pokémon world. From a call to the berries in the pokémon mythos to having brands based on pokémon names, pokémon models and so much more.  Pokémon are very much a part of this world.  The Jigglypuff singing at the bar.. standing on a table with guests who have fallen asleep. Pikachu riding into battle on a Pidgeot feels like a callback to the original opening of the anime, There is just so much to unpack here! So many layers and on a single view you will never see it all.  There is a cleverness in how this world has been built. For example there are Loudred at a club working as “speakers’. Machamp is being used on a crossroads because it can hold up four signs due to having so many arms.  Dodrio being a flightless bird thus being seen walking in the city all over and Aipom being mischievous little miscreants it all works wonders. 

It is a bit weird to place this in the Pokémon timeline though, as the rest of the regions seem to have the traditional.. capture a Pokemon system.. Ryme  city works on a Pokémon buddy system.. humans and pokemon befriend each other and walk across the city as friends and equal partners.. ..but outside the city it is the traditional pokemon world.. I honestly wish they left this scene out.. even though I love the Cubone in the beginning ogf the movie.. it means that Kanto exists in this universe and so the idea that Mewtwo exists suddenly happened twice.. it’s an implication that is tricky to unify. Luckily even then there are small visual cues that could provide an answer. Maybe this research station had a particular organisation funding them ..something from inside the Pokémon world. However since this is set in the future from Red and Blue a few problems still arise with that.. so let’s just not think about it and take a look at how cute Snubbull is! Yes, who’s a good pink doggie!

Effects under the magnifying glass

Like I mentioned before the movie does a pretty good job of following the plot of the movie though some significant twists are made towards the end. Which I think is a good thing, we get a new case with a new perpetrator and new developments. Which means even if you have played the game before the mystery is still yours to solve.. which also is quite in line with the puzzle type of game it is.  We do see Tim hunt for clues and little scraps of hints on what happened yet it never feels as Mundane and trivial as in the game.. which isn’t nearly as good as the movie. Not even close!  Strangely the video game movie is better than the video game.. as it feels a whole lot more love went into this one.   The game felt a bit cash-grabby but here there is so much attention to details it really feels like it is made for the fans.   While obviously there is a LOT of CGI in this movie a lot of the pokémon are also made practical. Their faces have been animated in later but there is actually something on set.   We get a strange atmosphere of effects that are decently enough to be believed.. but you are aware there isn’t anything there..

I would like to compare it to seeing a ghost..  in real life and you know it’s a ghost.. but you can’t walk through it.. it is still there.. you can bump into it.. this movie feels a bit like that.  Pokémon have another wordly quality  yet also  something tangible. They aren’t there but it feels like you CAN touch them. I think this is the best way to go about this to be honest. Pokémon are strange and if we had to make them realistic they would lose lots of features that would make them so recognisable.  Feathery pokemon feel feathery, fluffy Pokemon feel like they actually have fur … and Mr. Mime has that sense of creepiness that his game counterpart has as well. Every effect is a bit like that.. in the fact that it really doesn’t feel like attack..but an effect yet if you saw it in 3d you’d probably still duck dip or dodge.  Almost on a seperate layer.. which calls back to how animations worked in the sprite based pokemon game that also was just another layer. So weirdly for me this level of fake.. sells it more as Pokémon. The Squirtles and Bulbasaurs are adorable.. and seeing Greninja, Charizard and Torterra.. gave me that sense of wonder again of first encountering them and thinking they were really cool!  Everything is just different enough.

 I DID have a few issues with some of the stunts though, it all feels just a bit safe.  The stuff human actors have to put up with is kept to a fair minimum except for one scene.. which is such a shame because I think that is a missed opportunity.  It would be hard to realise, but the idea of a human facing against the raw power of a pokémon or facing trouble from a pokemon seems very under explored here.  There isn’t as much of a sense of danger as I would like. That does fit the videogame .. but it fits the world a lot less. Oh well.. we always have the upcoming Monster Hunter movie for that type of stuff.. *cough*

One level short of evolving

I had a blast with Detective Pikachu but it has issues. The biggest gripe is the “Disney” vibes we get from some dialogue.  We get the classic boy whose mother died and now did not want to live with his father.. but now everyone is dead and he must go look for the truth.. while encountering a girl. Who tries to be way tougher than she is.. Luckily it isn’t the Late 2010’s “I can do everything” myself kinda woman.  No she acts like this .. but it is shown to be an act to be tougher then she is.. it gives her a sense of frailty and makes her different from most of her peers who are actually that sassy .. bratty ..I can do this by myself type.  No, she is actually the footwipe of her boss, not taken seriously in her career and dealing with actual problems instead of being strong enough to rise above them. Making her feel more real. She has some Misty vibes so giving her a psyduck is a bit unfortunate and feels as if this is Misty.. but if we look closer we can see she is different enough!  We just need to really look.

Other than that.. There are a few instances of weirdly written dialogue that are not akin to normal speech but are needed to further the plot in a certain way and create barriers. For example at one time Tim gets his hand on a part of dialogue.. which seems a clear indication of some dark motives, however later in the movie we see this message has been pulled out of context.. . this trope can work.. but with the reveal that is made later on.. it seems strange that the dialogue flowed like that in the first place. It is just a very awkwardly worded conversation that has been designed to sound confusing if you only hear a specific part of it. It is here that we realise this is a kid movie and then the writer did not want to bother making it more compelling and sensical. There are a few moments like these.  where “it’s good enough for children” It’s a shame because so much of this movie seems to be made for all and new fans alike.  I know that little kids will not notice this.. but most times kids movies are just as much watched by adults as Mommy and Daddy have to come along… or any combination of the two and not forgetting a non binary parent.. regardless of who sees it with their kid.. there usually is someone.. so that excuse.. it’s just a kids movie.. I find  a bad one.

In the end we got a delight of a movie that I had very gleeful feelings watching, both times.Yet it is also a movie whose faults are very apparent from the get go.  The predictable plot, the sloppy dialogue and the low stakes make me realise there is more potential in this type of story than we got out of it right now. This is good for everyone… adequate for the non pokemon fan and a blast for the actual pokémon fan. It does get better the more you know about pokémon and the more things you can spot in the background. Having seen it two times now though I doubt I will watch it again any time soon.. at best just to stare at the backgrounds of the more crowded scenes.  I would like to compare it to a level 19 Tyrogue. It’s cute.. can kick your ass and we know it has a whole lot of potential. It is not fully clear where this could go.. but it just needed that little push to be better! Now it still great but it will not endure indefinitely.  It still is one of the best video game movies made!

When Four Fish Beat Pokémon Sapphire

Hello Island Guests! Normally I don’t really do “news”  updates posts anymore! Yet last week a story happened in the world of Pokémon that is too fun not to tell! It might not be my most insightful post in the topic but with this post I will tell you how a fish beat Pokémon Sapphire. I might be wrong on some details because the stream was in Japanese and did not gather a huge audience. This information is a bit scarce or “google translatish ” So if you happen to be an expert on the subject.. let it be known that this is just an account from what I heard and experienced myself.

Pinkie?! How can a fish play Pokémon?

Well it all started in June when a YouTube channel named the Yutekimaru channel started streaming images of a fish swimming above what look like a strange sort of control scheme featuring several game boy advance button commands and what seemed to be Pokémon Sapphire.  It turns out that this fish, which is called Maurice and his friends already had been swimming in this tank for over 700 hours beating the first two gyms. Now let it be known that the version of Sapphire being played here is modded. Because of the fact that this translates very poorly I have no idea what exactly has been changed with the mod, but I would assume it takes complicated tasks such as activating hm’s away from the fish and it would cut down a tree and surf even if it doesn’t have the right pokémon.  Again.. I am not sure but that’s what I would do.

Because of how the stream only started SEVEN HUNDRED hours into the gameplay a few details were sketchy. And given that the stream itself lasted for 3185 hours still ..it is very hard to find a reference point on how something works exactly. It somehow managed to get a full team of 6 pokemon, beat all 8 gyms and even make its way through victory road and fight the elite four. All by random button inputs. It’s a lot like Twitch plays Pokémon.. just less chaos.. but also no sentient brain. It is completely random button inputs! But yes.. After many many hours of streaming the fish took down the champion.

That sounds kinda cruel to animals Pinkie?!

Actually it wasn’t that bad, the fish were allowed to go to sleep whenever they wanted, the keeper would swap them out if they looked tired or too confused, and several times during the stream he has made quality of life improvements for the fish based on crowd feedback.  For example the tank he used has increased in size since the start of the game when people commented the tank/fish ration was kind of wonky.   Evidence that emerged afterwards showed that Maurice and his friends were all doing really well and were quite happy little fish. People commenting would immediately have their comments validated and Maurice and friends were given proper treatment… the only one who was cruel to animals was Maurice!

You see Pokémon are animals too and Maurice hounded wild encounters down like it was nothing! It kept encountering so many new Pokémon that by the end he was nearly 20 levels stronger than Steven’s ace pokémon. It has hunted so many Pokémon that the Fish Squad encountered not ONE but THREE shinies!  Let it be known that I have been playing Pokémon ever since I was twelve years old.. and for 21 years now ( I am still 21 by the way)  and I have only encountered TWO shinies.  (Not including Shiny boosted fan games) .  The game Maurice played had NO increased shiny rates. So the chances of him encountering a shiny are 1 in 8195 or something close to that number

Meanwhile both shinies I have encountered so far in my life have been with boosted shiny rates. Counting all hours I have spent over all Pokémon games in my life, I think I would most likely have played over 3000 hours of Pokémon myself… well or something close to.Yet Maurice has more shiny luck then me!  Reee!  What is worse is .. A fish isn’t good at capturing a Pokémon. It is a miracle if he can catch anything.. so yeah when he faced the shinies.. he immediately killed them.. or even worse… he ran away. Shiny Zubat, Shiny Aron and Shiny Zigzagoon have all been passed that way… and to make it even more painful.. Shiny Crobat.. the evolution of Zubat is one of my favourite Pink shines ever.. and Shiny Aron is one of my favourite non Pink shines. ……

Wait Pinkie are you Salty at a fish?!

What… n-n-no! Baka! I would never.. it is just a dumb fish.. it just got dumb luck you know! Now  drop it or I will wack you with an aquarium or something! Baka! … Now if you are familiar with Pokémon.. you may notice something about the encounters i described.. these are all early route Pokémon.. and yes that is right.. all of these were encountered within 200 hours from each other……….Now I know I put more hours into pokémon than that!  With no shinies captured the squad moved further through the game. While the fish isn’t exactly setting any speed running records there is something that the aquatic creature did that NO ONE before has done in the game. That is right.. the fish accidentally discovered something NO one has ever managed to find in Pokemon Ruby or Sapphire.

Maurice and Pals discovered a stone duplication glitch.. that since seems to have been confirmed to be actually in the non modded version of the game as well…. Maurice.. is the first “person” in the world to discover a Stone Duplication glitch, in which a rock you roll around with strength instead of moving to the next tile stays in the tile it used to be in.. while creating a duplicate stone.. on the tile where it is going. This of course broke the puzzle and Maurice was stuck.. but it also caused the glitch to be acknowledged. So not only is Maurice the first fish that beat Sapphire.. it is also the first fish to find a “game breaking” glitch and will probably be marked as the one discovering the glitch… and it has encountered more shinies then me! How friggin unfair! Roughly around 2000 people followed it’s adventures near the end…so he even has more followers than me… 

How can a Fish beat the Elite Four?!


Well it wasn’t easy!  It took Maurice and friends roughly 16 attempts to have a winning run but the way Maurice beat the game is incredible…. he beat the game with a Water Type. Walrein was the victor! It chose Torchic as it’s starter so as far as I know there were little shenanigans on that front. There was also a Tentacruel and a Mightyena on the team.. and a Swellow I think so it wasn’t even that great of a team.. but by overleveling the first aquatic pokémofans managed to sneak on through!  Maurice’s strategy was to spam Iceball , a move that repeats itself and gains in strength. Perfect for such a randomiser.. While it seems too powerful of a move for Maurice to put on  this Pokémon himself.. he still managed to select the move and defeat all of Steven’s monsters in a perfect string. Right before that toxic ended the fish run… but yes a fish beat Pokémon with a water type. It feels so unreal to say.

Regardless of how much help the fish may have gotten, in the end it did manage to beat the game and do something quite unique. Depending on  if the 3185 hour mark is full game time or steam time, accounts differ a bit on that, that total amount of hours made it so that Maurice and his three friends needed 10x as much time to beat the game as Twitch plays Pokémon.. which already was pure chaos. If you have seen ANYTHING about that game  you know how much that game did NOT move forward. How much things did not pan out.. Well 4 fish are 10x slower than 35.000 people spamming in chat apparently. So the answer on how a fish beat Pokémon… Not Very Effectively. 

Was it entertaining to watch?

No! It was quite horrible! I stumbled upon it once and I think I lasted twenty minutes before I got sub-dermal itches and stuff. You know it’s like seeing your grandma play the most recent Doom game.  Stuff is happening but it hasn’t anything to do with the actual game and you can not help but to backseat the game a lot.. yet nothing changes.. You can yell … GO left! Left! All you want but that ain’t causing Maurice to stop swimming. He just keeps swimming, just keeps swimming.. and the entire Dory stick.. Maurice did! Is the stream worth the watch?! … No! Chat was nearly exclusively in Japanese so there were no interactions to be had,  and the fish beat the game about 100x slower than normal. Imagine Watching all extended cuts of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit combined.. played at 80 times slow motion with the rest of the screen time filled with extra duplicates of non exciting scenes. A few polish people are watching it.. but they only speak polish and already seem drunk and have a lot of insider humor because some seem to have watched so much of this… 

With that level of entertainment I can not recommend anyone in good faith to watch this. Even the summary news reports are kind of boring. Yet it is insane in the same vein.. it is completely random content and there is a market for that… not too big because Maurice did not even come close to the crowd that Twitch plays Pokémon drew.  Most of the times the number of viewers were in the hundreds. Plenty of fish activists , plenty of very hardcore Pokémon fans that stared at four fish for to long. This is one of those events that is incredibly entertaining for me to know .. yet it’s also something I would for the life of me not spend any more time on than I already did.  Imagine a magikarp.. as most of you know it has the move splash if you click it .. nothing happens. This game is the equivalent of a Magikarp using all his splashes and then struggling to make progression.. wiping out get his pp restored and starts splashing again .. for 3000 hours. 

For those of you who want to know.. this finally Maurice is a Siamese Fighting Fish.. It is a very pretty fish. It’s a fish that costs you about €10 or $12. It is also known as a Betta Splendens.. and making a fish play Pokémon I guess is a pretty Beta thing to do. You aren’t getting a lot of tail with those bragging rights! Yet Maurice has been featured on several gaming websites over the world , so at least it got its fifteen minutes of fame. I am not sure if fifteen minutes of fame are worth 191.700 minutes of random streaming action.. but hey! If you in your live have never beaten Pokémon Sapphire .. or a main-line Pokémon game ever.. know you will have to live with the fact.. that a fish beat you to it!.. If you have never beaten Pokémon Leaf Green.. you have about 3000 hours to do so because Maurice and his friends are now playing that game! He chose Bulbasaur as his Starter.. the madlad.. but we are 35 hours in and he hasn’t left Pallet Town since!

Revenge of the Ghost Pokémon Trainers Part 2

Sometimes you start a post and you can just ramble on because you really like the subject matter! That is what happened to me in my previous post! So here I will continue it. For Halloween I have been doing the ghost Pokémon trainer of canon a solid and I have been readjusting their team to fit their style! Yesterday we looked at Agatha, Morty and Phoebe and we established some rules. Today for all your basic info I refer you to the first post and we dive straight in as we re-evaluate Fantina, Shauntal, Accerolla and Allister.

Fantina

Fantina is all about style! She is one of the most classic Oujasamas/Himedere in Pokémon. A Hime-dere is a bratty spoiled princess archetype. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl she is a very scary gym trainer because with an ace at level 36, she has a fully evolved team of ghosts pokémon! That is pretty scary. However, while her hair is someone who looks like a Drifblim, I just don’t see a fashion queen using this pokémon. She has a gengar.. which is all about shadows and darkness so is about as far away from what she is about as you can think and she has a Mismagius..which is the evolution of a very femine pokemon but turns into a witch.. which again would not be the image Fantina wants! Luckily I am here to rescue her!

Low Tier 1: Misdreavus

Let’s take her Ace away and turn it into its pre-evolved. This Pokémon is like it’s evolution based on a Banshee but is much more in the style of a pretty woman that wears some elegant jewelry. This jewelry that Misdreavus wears is super important in her lore as it is what keeps her alive. It stores the energy that Misdreavus uses as sustenance. A Pokémon that withers without looking it’s prettiest seems to go very well with the whole Diva vibe Fantina has going. It would also balance her out a bit, Mismagius and Gengar are very good sweepers and have a better special attack than most pokémon you can encounter before facing her. So stick with this one Fantina it suits you a lot better than it’s evolved form! Which we will pass on to another trainer on this list.

Low Tier 2: Sableye

Sableye is called the darkness pokémon and belongs to the Dark Ghost type. An Incredibly strong defensive typing with only one weakness. This weakness however only was given to it in the sixth generation. While of course for the nature of this list that weakness is still in effect, the Sinnoh region doesn’t have a lot of Fairy Types available.. not even of the ones that were given the typing later. Since we are taking Drifblim away Fantina needs a new defensive Pokémon and a ghost that is all about sparkling gems seems like a perfect fit for a Himedere. Gems Jewelry and elegance is the theme that goes with Fantina and this pokémon seems perfect for that. It will offer the trainer a nice obstacle to overcome in the form of a hard to counter typing. In the rematches this could even have it’s mega form so it is actually decent. Still since I semi-started my first Randomiser Nuzlocke and I got Scott the Sableye, I began to appreciate this pokemon a lot more and it is great for a mid game gym leader.

Mid Tier 1: Cursola

Pokémon fans like me really like to come up with the strangest theories. Are Agatha and Oak a couple, could everyone’s  dad have died in a big pokémon war?! Is Cubone a slide evolution of a Kangaskhan cub?! So how about this one! Did Fantina kill a Corsola to get some jewelry and end up with a Galarian (Ghost Type) Corosola? Did she just hoard for Coral and cause it to die out cause Galarian Corsola to appear in the Sinnoh region as well?! However you look at it coral makes for some great jewelry at a pretty big price.  Galarian Corsola is all about that and while we could give her another defensive type.. that strategy only really works if it holds an eviolite. Since gym trainers usually don’t use held items except for maybe a berry or so.. evolving it seems the most logical route for her team. Cursola isn’t as exceptional of an attacker as Fantina’s normal team either and while it is good still I think this is a much more balanced pick for a mid tier then Gengar.

Mid Tier 2: Oricorio Sensu

Fantina has style and flare, so having a ghostly dancer on her team makes more than enough sense to put this fan dancing bird on her team. With a lilac colouring scheme it isn’t even that far off from Fantina itself.. but that being said a lot of ghosts are purple and we actually took all of the most purple ones away! With Fantina’s team so far there is a lack of speed and  Sensu Style Oricorio would fix that a bit. It would also give Fantina a wider moveset to use since the Oricorio’s can learn a bit of a wider moveset. Since the others really struggle against normal types. Fantina seems like the person who comes prepared for that. She does not want to lose face and stand no chance… she would stack the deck in her favor.  The look of disdain on the Sensu Style Oricorio also fits Fantina quite nicely.

Ace : Froslass

Froslass is based on the Yuki-Onna Yokai and is a female only pokémon that is all about an elegant appearance but a cold personality. It is perfect for someone like Fantina. It works as a speedy revenge killer so if you are on your last Pokémon when Fantina sends out her Froslass you are going to have a bad time. The fact that this pokémon freezes it’s victims to death and then uses them as decoration might be a bit too evil for Fantina but the whole idea of using people as tools for yourself does fit in with the whole Himedere esthetic that woman has going. A hard hitting but fragile pokémon seems more fitting then her more defensive ghosts and with those witteling you down a bit it seems like this stone cold Killer ghost would truly be something that Fantina could use as a main.

Shauntal

By design Shauntal is probably my favourite Ghost Pokémon trainer, she reminds me a lot of Willow from Pokémon. An adorable slightly awkward geek that spends too much time in her books and as  result comes across rather strange. Her sprite animations have a level of clunk to them as if she is really klutzy.. which endears her to much even more! Yet her team has always been odd. Golurk looks adorable on her in the comic but there is a lot you can do with her here. However they did not treat her as wrong as most other ghost trainers. For one I think we can keep her ace on the team. 

Low Tier 1: Haunter

Now this one seems a bit of a weird one for Shauntal because in no way it fits her personality. Haunter is a bit of Poltergeist which has nothing to do with Shauntal’s intellectual plight and her studious nature. However Shauntal seems to be a Pokémon Trainer that isn’t always in control of her Pokémon. There is this sense that she is a bit of a submissive character and having a Pokémon by her side that constantly pranks her and tosses her books on the floor seems like something very “anime” to do with the character. She actually is a very good trainer, she is elite four after all.. but she can not seem to get rid of this thing. She probably has some sort of attachment to it, maybe even claiming it was the spirit of a lost relative or a friend who always bullied her. That is also why she can not evolve it since she doesn’t want to trade it away.

Low Tier 2: Lampent

Shauntal once again seems the least dominant personality of all the ghost trainers so it makes sense for her to have multiple guiding lights.  Her poor eyesight and love for dark poorly lit places does help. Lampent would be that  light that helps her down and up some ladders and function as her mobile light. While I would love for her to have a Litwick I can’t justify that on an Elite Four Member. She probably would have one as a pet.. that constantly drains her life force without knowing it but yes.. Shauntal would crawl up in dark corners and get her Lampent out so she can read more! 

Mid Tier 1: Runerigus

In the official game Shauntal has a Cofagrigus and while that still makes a bit of sense the evolution of its Galarian form makes a lot more sense. This pokémon is based around ancient and mysterious symbols and an ancient wall of text. It also offers Shauntal the amazing ground type to add to her lineup to replace her less fitting Golurk. It is much easier to see Shauntal discover an ancient wall of text and wanting to bring that home and being super stoked when she discovers a cursed pokémon lives inside the text so she actually CAN bring it home, rather than see her catch an ancient stories high Golem and it using it Jet powered lags to fly her back  home.. That latter looks super cute.. but she is a nerd! She probably would get sick or something! No stick to runes because knowledge is power.

Mid Tier 2: Mismagius

Mismagius is all about casting and chanting ancient spells and has that book knowledge vibe that Shauntal has as well. Mismagius also has a bit of a good nature but not always.. which seems to fit the Elite Four member quite well. She would usually be engaged with her own little activities like reading and not really caring about the world around her. However if she would stumble upon someone in need she seems like the type that tries to help but might make it worse. Mismagius can bless people but also can make them go insane or at least super fearful with their chanting.  Just like how a socially awkward person can unnerve an extraverted person as well. Jeesz she is weird.  Shauntal and Mismagius would make great friends.

Ace: Chandelure

I am at a toss up if Chandelure or Mismagius should have been her ace, but I feel Shauntal would spend more time with a Pokémon reading than she would do the whole chanting mystic stuff. Like I said I can easily imagine the girl with a litwick so perhaps when she was young she had one and kept staring at it feeding it her life energy until it evolved. Somehow this never killed her as she always kept struggling on wanting to finish her book and as it got more strength and evolved her Ace Chandelure would start to enjoy this odd woman’s company and her fascination with books.  Since Chandelure has a dual typing and a wider moveset then Mismagius it also seems the better choice for an ace then  the previous one on this list.  It gives Shauntal a bit more chance to show off her intelligence by choosing some advanced strategies and calculations so yes this seems a great pick.. at least until we get an E-Book Rotom!

Acerola

By far the easiest trainer to create a theme for would be Acerola. This Trial Captain and Elite Four Member however is a bit hard to scale her in how she relates to everyone. Alola never had a league before so her skill isn’t that established plus she is a kid. That kid route is however the main hook we will take for her team! She is an orphan girl as well so she would probably desperately be looking for friends! Well look no further.

Low Tier Number 1: Sandygast

Alola is a beach region so playing in the sand is something a kid would very likely do! Especially such a wandering person like Acerola. It is not hard to see her making a sandcastle and talking to it, with people thinking it is an imaginary friend of a lonely kid but then one day she takes a pokéball and catches it with everyone being surprised. Acerola has that weird “would talk to inanimate objects” trait. She is odd and mysterious and very much a loner despite seeming to enjoy the company of others. One can easily imagine her going to the beach and be among other people , pretending they care for her.

Low Tier Number 2: Drifloon

With the risk of underpowering Acerola here.. (of course it would be a Drifblim in her Elite Four team) I can easily see her wandering about being held in the arms with a balloon. Now this Balloon is infamous for trying to drag children away into the afterlife. It would be a great allegory for the struggles Acerola has been through as an orphan and wandering child. It would also very much fit in the plaything estetic for her team. It could even enforce the story of loneliness upon her.. how she is playing with some kids and her drifloon and some worried mothers take their children away from the killer balloon. 

Mid Tier 1:  Polteageist

Yes she has some overlap with Agatha but a girl holding a tea party is a perfect way of playing. However Agatha would own an Antique Polteageist while Acerola would have a Counterfeit one.. and yes those are two separate forms.  Acerola’s one also does not use stored power or such clever tactics it is there to giga drain and shadow ball. Even though it might not learn it officially I am deciding her one would have the move “Trick or Treat”.. which turns others into ghosts.. It seems like a tactic that Acerola would use in “join the fun”  Of course she would need a couple of dolls to host her haunted tea parties.. luckily for us I got that covered.

Mid Tier 2: Banette

Banette is the spirit of a discarded toy that came to live to get revenge on the kid who discarded it. Acerola  of  course would not be the victim of that power but it does make sense for her to pick up a toy like this when wandering about.  She is an orphan and from the looks of it she isn’t really in a home either.. at least not all the time so she would be short for money and short for childhood items. So it would make sense that she finds a discarded toy and claims it as her own.  Now Banette might be whispering to her to be a trial captain to deal with ten years old who are possibly one that can help Banette put a needle through the head of that kid that discarded it.. it could also be more innocent. Acerola found Banette still full of spite but she gave it a loving new home as her doll!   Having tea parties with new friends the Banette slowly found it’s way to it’s heart again! Either way this clearly is a great addition to Acerola’s team.  That later might even be able to go mega.

Ace: Mimikyu

Of course Mimikyu needs to be on here as well, it is from her region, it is her totem pokémon and it is a Pokémon Acerola uses as well.. it makes perfect sense for this to be her ace. Like her it doesn’t have anybody like a family to love her.. and much like the other Pokémon in her team it has this “toy” like quality. While it is in fact a costume it has enough plushie estetic to join her tea parties. Mimikyu is also a lot more affectionate and could keep her safe from the “less kind” spirits on her team if there are any. A personal bodyguard of sorts she can carry around like a ragdoll. The ragdoll look works great with a poor little strange orphan girl that talks to her dolls and Mimikyu is a physical attacker unlike the rest of her team offering her some new diversity. She can use it in so many different ways and really can work as the best friend that she very much needs! A great Ace or Acerola.

Allister

Allister is a bit of an odd one here. Why .. because he is a version exclusive gym leader. His design is a lot cooler but he does not get the same popularity as Bea due to her charming episode of Pokémon Twilight wings. Allister hasn’t been really given that much flavor other than him being mostly “that creepy guy” Luckily that does make it very easy to build a team for him.

Low Tier 1: Yamask

This is a dead give away.. Alilisters trade mark is that he wears a mask. So Yamask would be a great pick for him to have as his first team member. Now Alilisters mask makes him look ghostly while the ghost carries a mask of their former human form. So there immediately is a great duality in this. I am not talking about the Galarian variant of course as only the Unovan variant carries a mask but it would make a great lead for Alistair. While not great in battle I imagine it functioning in a way similar to Morty’s original team that relied heavily on curse. Yamask looks at their mask and cries knowing they have died so them spreading a curse on the living seems quite in line with the behaviour of the boy and the very nature of this pokémon.

Low Tier 2: Gourgeist

Allister’s theme seems to resolve most about fear, above all the other ghost type gym leaders. So him slotting into the Halloween Pumpkin pokémon would make perfect sense.  We do link that pumpkin lantern to fear so often and over time it has become an icon for scary stuff. Like Acerola this would give him access to  moves that allow him to turn your entire team into ghosts which then can hit super effectively and that is a frightening scenario.It’s lore also says it loves to trick people and creep them out with scary songs. Allister while not a singer surely puts on a creepy act as well. A nice pair.

Mid Tier 1: Drakloak

Drakloak’s Final evolution Dragpult is scary as hell! Yet with it only being available after level 60 this Semi-legendary might be a bit out of the league of young Alistair. He is still a kid entering those awkward teen years. Drakloak is in a similar phase in it’s ghostly life span and besides that it also has a bit similar body language than Allistair does. It is a pokémon indigenous to his region too and given his young age , he should not have been able to travel that much! Perhaps this was the pokémon that got him started with his collection. Not really his starter.. but the second one.. after which he decided he would be a ghost Pokémon trainer and all! Plus lizards are always scary right?!  His legendary of choice would without a doubt be Giratina so this is a mini version of it as well!

Mid tier 2: Gengar

One of the few doubles on this list but for good reason. Gengar is very much connected to the concept of fear, plus he is a prankster and shown to often be rather infantile. All these elements connect rather well with Alistair. I feel where Agatha would use the pokémon mostly for Shadowball and powerful special moves like Focus Blast, Allister would go a “creepier” route. He would focus on the poison element, teaching it toxic alongside Venoshock. That sense of an impending combo and a unescape poison seem in line with who he is.  He isn’t a hard hitter.. more the guy that unnerves you and borrowing from Gengar’s poison element really works for that.

Ace: Spiritomb

This Pokémon is something I find one of the most fearful looking ghost in the entire game and thus I think it is a great choice for the masked boy. Formed out of 108 souls bound to an odd Keystone it has something ominous.. this isn’t just one ghost.. This is over 100 ghosts! It was also mischievous! Most Gym Leaders in the region also seem to have a weakness against one another, with a few options that protect against their greatest weakness.  However until now we had not given Allister anything that can resist the dark type at all! This Pokémon is only weak to fairy and eats psychic Pokémon for breakfast.It displays the same otherworldly quality that Allister has to himself and I think it would be truly amazing to see Gigantamax or Mega Spirtomb!  I have no doubts these two can work well of each other.. or drive each other to utter madness. Whichever it is this is one scary pair!

And with that we conclude this series of giving famous type trainers a themed team! What team do you support?! What would you like to see in a team?! Would you like to see this for trainers of others types? Let me know and I hope I showed plenty of ghosts! Boo!

Revenge of the Ghost Pokémon Trainers Part 1

Hello again Mortals! I already have run dry of creepy Pokémon Rom hacks.. I planned a review of Pokémon Dark.. for you all but this ended up being edgy dialogue in the first two towns and then reverting to a normal Pokémon Ruby run. Since I already did a ghost pokémon top 5 .. twice.. and talked about their pokédex entries a lot I needed a new angle! During the Pokémon Games we have encountered a lot of Ghost Pokémon Trainers.. but most of them have been odd! Either by the lack of ghosts in their respective generation. Everyone of these trainers has a clear theme going on in their appearance.. yet non have a theme matching that! Today we will fix that.. at least for the first three! With Part 2 coming the day after.

Rules

For this post I will give every trainer a team of five Pokémon.  Most Elite 4 members run around with themes of that approximate size. Teams will never have doubles but previous forms of Pokémon are allowed. Each member will get two lower tier Pokémon, two mid tier pokémon and an ace. This doesn’t mean the High  tier pokémon actually have to be Amazing or the low tier entries having to be bad monsters.. it all has to do with their respective level.  I will not go in depth on movesets but will discuss their fighting style..which names some moves. For description of those moves, feel free to use google or ask me in the comments.

I will not take their original aces into account as that would give Agatha, Morty AND Allistair a Gengar as an ace. Usually aces have some overlap with their generation while in hindsight other pokémon are clearly better fits.  This one is all about the air a trainer has. All will be placed around an Elite 4 ish level or “rematch” team level to have access to the widest amount of Pokémon.  None of them have legendaries but since they have a sixth slot still available you can tell me what Legendaries they should have in their final party slot or something. I do not look at generations and more or less assume a timeline as if made as a present day remake. The type of ghost is more so determine in what kind of environment they would be in rather then their actual region.

Agatha

Agatha is the O.G. Ghost Pokémon trainer appearing in the first game and the many many remakes  and rom hacks of Kanto. She is the one who least follows a theme and is just “the old ghost lady”. She is famous for her quote to tell people not to use the strongest pokémon but their favourites. Which might be an element we can use.  So if we consider Agatha as a grumpy old lady.. who showcases  using favourite pokemon and not just the strong I think this is the team we would get.

Low Tier 1: Sinistea

Obviously an old woman would drink a lot of tea in the world of stereotypical anime characters. So it would make sense for her to have the tea pokémon.. and yes the fact that she has the cup does indeed mean that the pot is higher on her team list but no one has just a teapot or just a teacup it’s kind of a set. I imagine Agatha’s elite four room having one of these cast iron bistro tables where she is sipping her tea and when a trainer steps in she taps her cane on the floor and the teacup comes flying to her aid. This is where she proclaims she is a ghost pokémon trainer and about the power of using your favourites. The teacup would then fly into battle as the match begins.

Low Tier 2: Shedinja

This Pokémon is famous for only having 1 hp , but the ability wonderguard, which only makes it take damage from super effective moves, hazards and status effects.. and weather.  If you do not come prepared for a Shedinja though you will have a very bad time. I think Agatha would want that to be a lesson we learn! Always be prepared. Since Shedinja is a Bug and Ghost it would hard counter the Psychic type that Gengar is so known to be weak too, it is likely that a trainer would have such a pokémon because Bruno is the trainer they fight before. While Shedinja can be deemed a terrible Pokémon Agatha is all about making it work. It can fall very easily but if ill prepared you will suffer inevitable defeat. Almost like a lecture!  I think that fits Agatha quite well.

Mid Tier 1:  Gengar

The third Pokémon Agatha is likely to send out, unless the AI smartly swaps would be Gengar. It is the defining pokémon from her generation and the way she summons a Gengar from the shadow of her staff is too cool not to use. It might no longer be her ace because I think that is a bit too cliché it still fits her pretty well as a monster. Something that is almost as old as she is. She would not run it in any Mega form or Gigantamax form  because she feels those new methods are poppycock.. revealing a bit of a Genwunner style of thinking would really fit with Agatha’s older mind thus justifying this Pokémon.

Mid Tier 2: Decidueye

I remember my dad’s aunt collecting owls, and it seems like a pretty grandma thing to do. I know a few old ladies that collect owl statues or even owl macrame and stuff like that, plus  the whole theme of Wisdom applying to Agatha makes a lot of sense as well. We can even go further and explain that this archery owl pokemon has been based on an extinct and ancient owl that used to live on hawaii in some of it’s glory days before it was tainted by tourists etc. The old versus the new world is once again a theme that really can work with our old little lady trainer.

Ace:  Polteageist

Obviously this Pokémon would be Agatha’s ace. Not only is it a perfect pokémon for an old lady, it also is VERY VERY powerful if used properly with stored power. So it fits for what is most likely the most powerful ghost trainer out there. It’s ability that will boost it’s stats when taking physical damage/decay is a perfect allegory for Agatha’s age as well. While her body withers her experience only makes her stronger and stronger.You can easily imagine the anime  Brock going “That’s Polteageist ability Weak Armor, as it’s body crumples the spirit goes so much faster”  and then Agatha saying “That is right.. just like me.. while my body crumbles my mind has already figured out what you will do next.. I will always be one step ahead of you”. Black tea is also her favourite flavour of tea.. so it really works out very well!

Morty

Morty is the “cool” guy of Pokémon trainers. He is fairly noble and caring for pokémon. He is engaged with the whole death at the burned tower and feels more like a guy who watches over the dead. So his team would have a few members that follow that theme a bit. He still is a bit bland and is by far my least favourite ghost trainer. He feels like he might have some things in common with Spark from the Pokémon Go memes, but instead of talking to an egg he still talks to the dead. Other than that.. he just is some blonde dude!

Low Tier 1: Phantump

Morty is the gym leader of Ecruteak city, which is near a fairly forested area. While it isn’t officially a forest he still lives fairly close to Ilex forest as well and seems like the type that would go pray at a shrine. So either if it is the woods in front of his town or the forest of Ilex he seems the wandering type. Phantump is the spirit of a boy or girl who got lost in the woods and starved to death.  Being a sort of guardian figure of the dead it makes perfect sense if Morty picks one of these up and soft core uses it as his “Pikachu” but a bit weaker. 
He seems like the type that would have a pokémon sitting on his shoulders to me at least and this would be the one!  Of course it would not be a great member of his team but he can still annoy you with leech seed.

Low Tier 2: Doublade

While he doesn’t have that much flavour Morty does have a bit of that J-RPG protagonist look. Wandering into dangerous places  to help the dead it seems like he should use a physical tool that allows him to fight with his pokémon. As to me he seems like the type that would do that.  He misses the mystical qualities most of these ghost trainers have so his ghost team would most likely be focussed on a more physical approach. Not completely but still! We don’t have a lot to work with here! He does seem like the type he would be very friendly to his pokémon so I see him being very touchy and affectionate to his pokémon so it makes sense if he would litteraly carry as many of them with him as he possibly can. 

Mid Tier 1: Golurk

While this pokémon officially belongs to Shauntall I never really saw the connection! It looked cute to see her fly one in the Manga but it is more of an opposites thing. With Morty however Golurk works like an ancient protector.  Once again a physical attacker that is more straightforward than most ghost pokémon. Golurk is also one of the most good natured ghost pokémon out there being truly created as a protector and laborer and I think those are values that belong to Morty WAAAAAY more than they would ever do to Shauntal!

Mid Tier 2:  Dusknoir

This one is mostly on the list because everyone seems to think this ghost pokémon is really cool looking and i have to agree! It is however a pretty worthless battler that has a horrible moveset… Which makes it perfect for Morty as he probably canonically is the weakest trainer of the lot. He is the fourth gym trainer which is only matched by Fantina.. but she as a trainer in the games has actually been hard!  She is trying hard while Morty is more laid back. Dusknoir embodies this feeling quite a bit as it is not so much about attacking but more about out-stalling it’s opponent. Even better for Morty this Pokémon is said to take lost spirits in his body and guide them home! That does seem to fit Morty!

Ace: Rotom

This cheerful little pokémon seems like a perfect ace for Morty! It might be a bit mischievous but it is also quite the workhorse. It seems to have the right vibe for Morty trough and trough! Once again it seems like a spirit he can take care off. It could even be his gym puzzle. Where Rotom possesses all sorts of electrical appliances or electric doors and you have to make him jump to a new object to pass. Befriend a spirit and make it move on. It could be a fun way to tie in puzzles with the gym leader and the team.

Phoebe

Phoebe is the least spooky ghost trainer ever. When you see her you think you are facing a water pokémon trainer.. but no you already faced that in Ruby and Sapphire, even in Emerald. Maybe fire then as she is one of those Hawaiian Hula girls and Volcano’s and all? No Flannery took care of that. So how do we fix Phoebe?! Well it’s quite simple! Hawaiian Beach theme …for GHOSTS! Phoebe feels bright and bubbly! With a charismatic personality, a healthy skin colour and what must be a purple deficiency among ghost trainers it is time to do her right and give her a great team.

Low Tier 1: Pink/Female Frillish

There is a surprising amount of Pokémon that fit Phoebe like a glove! However not a single one stems from her generation!  It would take two generations before there even came along a pokemon that even remotely fitted her. While  once again the fact that I used a non fully evolved pokémon indicates that I indeed have taken its evolution as one of her squad as well and arguably the Blue Frillish would be better given her dress.. I chose the pink one because I do not like the evolution of the female version, while I do like the look of the male evolution. To give her a bit of diversity! Ghost Water isn’t an amazing typing  so Phoebe probably is worse with this team than she was before it really does fit her like a glove. Aqua Jelly ghost! Just look at her! She even has a little pink element! And Frillish looks tropical enough to boot!

Low Tier 2: Dhelmise 

While Dhelmise is not a low tier Pokémon but since it will get Gyro Ball we put this on the lower level themed slot so the speed difference is larger.  Dhelmise being a ghost Anchor once again ties in with Phoebe’s all tropical theme..Perhaps she dives for shipwrecks and fights of pirate ghosts.. it seems like something she might do! Heck even if she just hunts for pearls at the bottom of the ocean her ghost pokémon can help her here. With Dhelmise helping her sink faster. It is a Ghost Grass type which means Phoebe will end up with a Fire, Water, Grass core making her seem like a somewhat justified Elite four member!  

Mid Tier 1: Blue/Male Jellicent

Frillish evolution looks kinda strange in it’s male form but at least it does not have that weird lipstick mouth it’s evolution has. I do not mind Wobbuffet having that or even Jynx ..despite the questionable design ethics on her in general.. but a water pokémon having a puckered up lips sticky mouth seems wrong. It lives underwater.. and it’s a ghost!  Why! I do not get it.. but hey Phoebe’s Dress is blue and that staple that female trainers can only use female pokémon in the game is outdated and should be taken out of the game anyway so now we have some incentives for that as well. I can imagine really cool visuals that part of her dress is the Jellisent slowly manifesting from it’s ectoplasmic shapes! We should make this happen! Now I need an animator who loves pokémon and works for free!

Mid Tier 2: Palossand

With a Ghost, Ground type that mimics a sandcastle I do not think I have to try hard to convince you it belongs to this girl, although it’s pre-evolution will be given to a trainer on the second half of this article. The ground typing gives Phoebe gives an answer to electric types and as a good Elite 4 member you should have a varied mix of secondary typings to make your opponent sweat! Where  Agatha focusses a bit on mixed strategy with a bias on good special attack, Morty focusses on Bulk and Physical attack, Phoebe even more so seems like the defensive ghost type specialist. This makes her a great early elite four member because her role is not persé to win but to burn you out of resources, something that seems like a nice little challenge for a second elite four member. Palossand is an embodiment of that role as well as it fits her quite well.

Ace: Alolan Marowak

Phoebe at least to me has a dancer estetic, it seems like she might have been born in the Alola region given her dress style and more pigmented skin fit the location quite well. So it seems to me that giving her the fire dancer pokémon that also happens to be a ghost type is the perfect fit for her ace. I could easily see them dancing together. Like  Morty, Phoebe seems one of the better and more socially natured ghost type users so it also makes sense that she would get a good guy or girl ghost as her ace.  While most Gym Leaders are good natured with phoebe it seems a bit more a dominant trait. At least when we compare her to Allister, Shauntal and Fantina even compared to Accerolla. Fantina is flashy and cocky, while Shauntal is more an egghead and a slight clutz. Accerolla is more of a child and Allister is just creepy. Phoebe seems much more the type that rescues lost animals on her island or fights pokémon poachers or something. You know.. the main character’s  female friend from one of those ecological awareness cartoons of the early 90’s.  Alolan Marowak is easy to unify with that.

Tomorrow we will finish up this list with Fantina, Shauntal, Acerola and Allistair!  What is your favourite team so far? The day this post goes up live I am still in the mid of a move so I might be slow in replying to your comments! do not let that stop you though! Speaking of not stopping I could always use more money to help me move! If you have some money you do not seem to be using, consider supporting my Kofi! I thank you all and have a good fright night!

A Pokémon Urban Legend: A Look Lavender Town Syndrome

Greetings once again mortals! Pokémon is a tricky subject to put in a Halloween context, I could talk about Creepy Pokedex entries but I have been over those several times already so it is time for something a bit different. A creepy story surrounding Pokémon. A Urban Legend if it were. A legend called “Lavender Town Syndrome”

A mysterious event

In the year 1995 Junichi Masuda was working on a track for a spooky town in the game of pokémon.  However his hearing doesn’t pick up certain frequencies that are in this mix.  Little did they know this would have serious consequences. February 1996 Pokémon Red and Green are released in Japan and everything is great, the game is a huge success. Yet in the spring of that same year the country is suddenly terrorised by a string of suicides of young children. They have no real connection or so it seems.Many of these suicides came completely out of the blue with some of the childerens having never even displayed somberness before. 

A link with these children however is made when more and more children  start showing up at the doctor’s office complaining about serious headaches. As it turns out, all these children have been playing Pokémon Red and Green! By the time a link is found over 200 Japanese children are said to have committed suicide. All of them have their game files saved in or near Lavender town. The theory was made that in a high frequency register there were a few tones that could only be heard by the untainted hearing of your youngest. On a binaural level their little brains were harmed. Nosebleeds headaches and various mood swings were detected in the children all across Japan, and Nintendo and Game Freak rushed out a fixed version where the tune had been changed into a lower register, cancelling the effects of this cursed song. 

A risky test!

A creepypasta that came out  in the year of 2010 dubbed “This the Lavender Town syndrome” While this disease was confirmed to be a hoax there might be more to this story.  The song actually does seem to wors on a binaural level. As tested by several people, standing long enough in Lavender town with the original rendition of the song leaves people with a mild sense of dread.  In some cases with more troubled listeners it is even said to have provoked anxiety attacks. This song has since leaked to YouTube so of course I decided to listen to this song for an extended period of time. I can feel rather somber, and I have over the past year on several occasions considered self harm or even beyond. So obviously I would be vulnerable if I had perfect hearing!  Would it affect me?! I could post the link here, but just in case there are very sensitive person with a compulsion to click on every YouTube Video.. I rather not!

When I started this test I did not not believe the myth. It has been more or less busted already, yet something did not sit right about me about the theorie! But more on that later. I listened to the song while I was doing other research for this post. About twenty minutes in I started to experience something!  No it was not  melancholy or headache, in fact it might not even be dread, instead I began to feel rather vulnerable. I was super grateful for my can of diet coke.. glad I still had that and that it was properly cold!  I also really loved my little snack I had with me. I did not experience a forced emotion but I felt slightly amplified in my own. That was still pretty weak though! I could just be under the influence of my own body craving something sweet.  So I took a risk and I looked up an edited version which claimed to have an amplified effect.

Once more up until the twenty minute mark nothing really changed..except for the fact that since I appreciated my snacks so much they depleted rather fast and I was upset about it. Yet 21 one minutes in I began struggling with my internet research, I did not remember what search prompts to type anymore. I forgot the existence of some of the simplest words.  I began to feel a vague feeling of dread but as it progressed it almost seemed as if I was experiencing sleep paralysis while I was awake. For some reason I felt I was going to die. The enhanced track is 11 minutes long and after the fear set in I finished the track but after that I had to turn it off.  That certainly was an odd experience.

The explanation of Lavender Town Syndrome is rather wrong but the creepy pasta is cleverly developed. The Version of the Pokémon game we got in the west, is basically a 2.0 or 1.5 version from what Japan originally got. The first version they had was quite a big mess filled with even more glitches, ugly sprite work and other flaws. This let to an update being published that did include a slightly altered version of the original lavender town syndrome. This already creates a credibility that there was something wrong with that song. It was something that had to be fixed. Yet there is no real clear explanation of what happened with the real song. It seems some complaints were shared between the real reason and the fake one.. but we do not know for sure. Yet why would you release an entire new game that just has some slightly better sprite work?!  In 1995 the Virtual Boy was a thing and those complaints about headache induction were also never fixed.

My grandpa used to be a hypnotist and while I never really had the audience or the patience to read trough the dry material that he had on how to practice that he told me that we can make people do just about everything if you can set up a suggestion well enough. For example he would do this act where he drew a circle on the floor and put people in. He would tell them they could not exit the circle. He experimented a bit with that and found out that a black or red circle.. or a white one worked more consistently than if he used other colours. Green and Blue were less efficient. Red means stop.. so it is much easier to convince the brain to stop!  This to an extend can explain “validation” of the Lavender Town Syndrome as well.  We KNOW something is wrong with the song.. so it’s not hard to be fooled into thinking it is more harmful than it actually is. Could we be hypnotising ourselves into these effects without knowing it? Or is someone else trying to hypnotise us?

The Science of Sound

The issue with the legend is that it only seems to apply to kids! This is where things go wrong. It is implied that in the high frequency range subliminal messages are hidden. Soundwaves CAN affect the body, however when it comes to sound the higher the frequency  the easier it effect is “scattered” and lost. What is inaudible to us most of the time means  you have to touch whatever is causing the sound. So already can see the chance of it having an effect being decreased. However Pokémon did appear on the Gameboy, a handheld device.  Making range.. improbable but maybe still possible. If  ever played a Gameboy in the dark you know how close you need to hold it to your face or how you have to play with it. The second problem is that in my research I never found a documented proof of high frequencies, being used as tools to induce depression. So the myth that kids here do something that tells them to kill themselves seems busted. It is most likely something to make the story a bit scarier!  As it targets something so innocent as a kid! If we assume that Lavender Town Syndrome could affect to everyone though it strangely becomes more realistic.

 There is a counterpart to Ultrasound sounds in the form Infrasounds. These are tones played at a frequency of below 20 hertz and are outside of our hearing range. However these tones have a big range and can reach you more easily. It seems that these sound waves can affect the gasses in your lungs and to a lesser extend the liquids in your body as well. Turbines or certain engine sounds are known to have these types of low tones and these can result in people getting headaches and experiencing nausea. Prolonged exposure can also produce feelings of anxiety and confusion. These symptoms are all very similar with the beginning stages of Lavender Town Syndrome. Could it be that the original Lavender Town song did not use high tones but instead got it’s effectiveness from it’s low tones? Could they have accidentally put in these sounds that make people anxious and can give headaches?!  Well a little more research shows it might not even have been accidental. While an engine/generator or a Wind Turbine creates sound as a byproduct there is one fairly well known entertainment source that in fact uses Infrared for it’s anxiety inducing effects. Infrasound is fairly commonly used in haunted houses!

Lavender Town is the haunted town so it makes sense and even seems that they probably designed their song like one in a haunted house. It hits that brief for me as well. So maybe they just overdid it and a few sensitive kids got sickish. Yet could it drive people to suicide? Unlikely.. at best it might be able to push people over the edge. Which is much more likely to happen from something constant like a Turbine than a limited area song such as lavender town.  Can sound make you depressed?  Well .. I did not find any documented causes of a song or sound causing a full on depression however.. the counterpart of Infrasound.. the earlier mentioned Ultrasonics have gained results in combating depression. People exposed to high doses of Ultrasonic sound can get cheerier. With these two sounds basically being counterparts I think it is fairly plausible that in high enough doses the opposite can occur as well.  It will probably require serious extended time that is unlikely to occur but it might be possible.

Over the Edge

Now for a possible hands on experience with what I shall refer to as “sound poisoning”. It occured about 11 years ago. Over my life I have experienced a few times where I wanted to end everything.. but never did I have difficulty to fight off that compulsion except for one time. I was on a vactation with friends! I knew I was prone to seasickness but my friends really wanted a boat trip and did not believe I would get super sick. They wanted to have a fun day with me.. so I took some travel medicine and hoped for the best.

We decided to sit in the middle of the boat as much as possible as a compromis so I would not get sick.. however since my motor skills are clunky I was slow in navigating the ship and the bow spots were taking So we had to move to the back. We were sitting close to the motor  and this boat had the engine basically right beneath us. Just 10 minutes of shore I began to feel queesy and before we even began to talk about the stop at the “secret” beach.. I was sick as heck! I was so sick and nauseous that I just wanted to stop feeling like that .. at any cost. I REALLY wanted to jump  headfirst into that screw so this horrible feeling would be over. It wasn’t THAT long of a boat ride either just about an hour…and by the time I was giving up the ghost we were already halfway there. Still even a minute seemed to long! I wanted to end it all right now just to stop feeling so increddibly sick! I have never been AS sick on a boat.

In actuality , I should be in a rather favourable spot! I had taken medicine to alleviate travel sickness and I knew I was prone to this so the night before I even went light on the drinks and the partying. Yet for some reason.. I felt so horrible to the core that I still remember that feeling as the most misserable I have ever been..and I’ve been trough a few other things.
It got to a point that I asked my friends to go deeper in the boat with me and not sit by the screws or things I could harm myself with because I needed a way to stop myself. My friends told me to fuck off because they wanted to look over the water and did not feel like moving to a spot with less view, one friend saw how bad I was and decided to come along though. We looked for some crew and in my best Spanish I tried to explain what happend..he helped me to an English sailor who took me to an off limits cabin in beneath the bow that the crew would use to get away from the annoying drunk people on their boat and have a little moment of quite. It also doubled as a lot of other things… but there was at least a table and some chairs in there.

My friend went back and I had a brief talk with the sailor who got me some water, as by then I was full on crying and so colour shifted that small kids on the boat were scared of me. I spend the most of the remainder of the trip there alone, and later on the way back I was completely alone.. but within a minute or 2 of being in the room and sipping my water I began to fell better. The secret day at the beach was wasted for me.. there was free barbecue and booze but I may have drank two small bottle of water and other than that spend the day recovering from my feeling horrible.

On the way back I thought. .. I am gonna die again.. but while in the cabin I felt was less sick. Sure I just lay on the floor of that room with my eyes closed waiting for the trip to be over.. but when I emerged as we were docking.. all my friends were sick. Except for one. They came to check up on me and after they took a stroll across the boat, spending some time in the front. My friends who sat above the engine all felt sick and one even glum. Could it be that our negative feelings were amplified by the Infrasound?! I can’t confirm it.. but while I have been forced on a boat after that.. I never felt THAT horrible! I did not even feel the same on return trip when I was “less” exposed to a source of Infrasound. So while I did not end up jumping to my death.. I am fairly certain that IF it was “Sound Poisoning” that day.. prolonged exposure can definitely push you off that edge. There are also sound devices that make you sick .. as some sort of prank device.. and my friends who never get sick plus some other people in the back got sick as well…so I always assumed it was plausible.

Theory

In an extrapolation of that let’s take a look at the Lavender Town Syndrome again and make it sound a bit more probable. From experience I have experienced anxiety and a crippling effect to my mental fortitude by a prolonged exposure to the original and enhanced Lavender Town Song. It triggered a need to escape from it and after which within minutes my fortitude returned to me. It also was nothing strong enough to compel me to any acts.. it just made me feel significantly worse. More so an amplifying effect for the negatives than creationary.
However from first hand experience I have also been pushed very close to that edge with similar complaints with or close to a possible source of Infrared sounds. So the myth is not without ANY merit. While playing through the game however the song isn’t played long enough to really receive a high enough dosage of sound to notice any effect as they only become apparent after the 20 minute mark. The way the town is structured no one will be out that long and exaggerated effects only trigger after 40 minutes.. which makes it near impossible.

However if we apply a simple modifier to this story things begin to make sense again. You see Pokémon released in February of 1996.. and in the early spring of that month the suicides have been registered. So these suicides happened somewhere in between February and the end of April.  So I wondered.. could people feel bad in that period?!  A little research does show that those months are within the Japanese flu season. It would account for the increased amounts of doctor visits as it already is flue season more people will go to the doctor. “Sound Poisoning”  enlarging your complaints seems possible so that kids felt sicker than with normal flu sort of makes sense.  My dad told me switching a device on and off uses more battery power than letting it run for a bit so if I took a five minute break I would often leave my gameboy running.  When your sick you play more sluggishly and eat soup in between and  maybe watch some tv as well… shiver in a blanket who knows.  So if we assume these are just sick children staying at home playing video games and idling about a bit .. I can see their symptoms get worse. For those very susceptible to these things I can see them get VERY sick and hopeless.

Perhaps they semi doze off with their handheld besides them and take on longer concentrations of sound. The need for peace and quite in Japan is already a bit higher so there being little to compensate might be possible and given how stressful the japanese school system can be they are already more inclined to depressive thoughts, as a known statistic. It requires some unlikely change of events to occur but the myth might not be fully impossible. If we take the super gameboy into account for example, the SNES peripheral that allowed you to play Pokémon in semi colour..with pokemon having their correct base colour all of the sudden.. it makes a lot more sense on why you would not briefly turn off the device when you eat a bowl of soup. That is also THE way to play at home without draining your batteries.  In a set up like that Lavender Town Syndrome would be more likely to occur.  One does not simply get up when feeling super sick to turn that off.. you just go limp and wait for the strength to turn that off.  as for how effective sound can be.. there are prank devices that use Infrared sound that are pretty crippeling. There are devices using it that are as effective as a bottle of Epikek and I have experienced how depressing intense nausea can be. 

So while it is unlikely that there is a Pokémon induced string of suicides.. it is  not impossible. It would be improbable enough that this could easily be covered up or discredited as a hoax. By simply helping spread the rumour that it is from high tones and making it exclusive to kids it becomes an impossible story. However!  Pokémon back in the first generation was almost exclusively played by kids, whom are both under a fair amount of pressure with the school system an are much more prone to become sick due to flue season. Back in those days, consoles had no sign of stand by mode and often a game could not even save as amazing as Pokémon could! You would lose a lot of progress so by instinct we already let our game run if we could not play for a tick. Prolonged exposure is quite possible in the mindset of the time.

How Pokémon would look on the SNES

So if we explain the myth that way, let’s look at actual change it would have caused in Japan. If we look at the suicide rates in 1996 in Japan about 3500 people in the age of 10-19 (deemed kids)  commited suicide in Japan.  That equals 291 each month. Now it is hard to exclude teens here as those take the biggest chair. .but children suicide is a HUGE problem in japan.  Let’s say teens take 75% of that figure that still would mean that somewhere between 140-and 210 kids would end their life in the period Lavender Town Syndrome was said to occur. This is within range of the myth’s 200! This doesn’t even include younger people still so even if teens take a bigger slice of the pie (and when I say teens I count 16 to 19 year olds) the number of 200 never fully seems out of reach. It’s on the high end of the estimate but if we consider that  Lavender Town Syndrome simply makes you more likely to take your life rather then forcing you to do so.. it doesn’t seem that odd that suicide rates would be at that specific number.  The numbers of the myth DO work out.

Lavender Town in the first game requires you to get a certain device to make progress, however this is the most cryptic part of your journey so far so I can see it as a bit of a bottleneck. It makes sense that children get stuck there for a bit. Especially in the first wave of players with no guides out yet. So among those unfortunate souls that were lost it would make sense in a way that they are in our around that part. Except for maybe victory road it is the most cryptic and tricky part of the game after all. So perhaps Lavender Town Syndrome could simply be a statistic that got interpreted the wrong way. Perhaps it is a mere case of unrelated events happening at the same time… yet perhaps everything did influence each other , more then we can ever know. In that case Lavender Town Syndrome would be less about killer cartridges and more about a freaky.. Final Destination like event…which would go mostly unnoticed.

So could it be that Lavender Town Syndrome is in fact real?! No.. most likely not. Yet there are situations surrounding it that make it simply less impossible than one might think! Given that a suicide in Japan is 3x more likely to be caused by a health induced concern than anything else only adds to this story for example! We might have misunderstood or told the story wrong but there might me more to this myth than we might think! Nintendo  or the Pokémon Company if I have discovered something I am fine with deleting this discovery.. in return for a trip to Tokyo and visiting the Pokémon Café and Poké Center at your costs! .. After the world has returned to normal of course! Because I also want to hug Chef Pikachu or server Pikachu!
Of course if you want me to investigate more Ghost Stories about Pokémon my dearest Nintendo I am also very willing to that.. same price!