Saturday, December 31, 2016

Pokemon: Generation III (Part 9 - Elite Four)

What did the Geodude say to his girlfriend when they broke up?

"I'm tired of you taking me for granite"

Victory Road is a cave as usual, with several floors and plenty of ways to get lost. Unfortunately, it's the only way to and from the Pokemon League HQ. My question is...what do the Elite Four do when they need groceries?

The highest-level wild Pokemon show up here, and it's a good chance to capture...whatever this is

I managed to catch a Lairon for my team, because it looks formidable. Didn't have any real information on it, just went by the looks. I'm like a Front Mission: Gun Hazard character!

Since it's already a high level, it very quickly evolves into...

...Aggron, the badass that Steven was utilizing earlier. I wanted one of these, so it's pretty cool to stumble into getting it by accident. Aggron is pretty slow, but he hits hard.

At the end of Victory Road, I find myself face-to-snout with Wally (of Wally Bear and the No! Gang fame). He's essentially the boss of the dungeon, and not a welcome appearance...

The story here is how much he has grown since you saved him near the beginning of the game. It'd mean a little more if Wally didn't seem like such a creepy stalker, following the hero around and constantly trying to defeat them.

He manages to win with his last Pokemon at almost no health. Yikes. If it weren't for the magic of states, I would have had to re-do the whole Victory Road march. Won on the second try due to being slightly more prepared.

As for Wally... late at night, he calls Gardevoir "my princess". What a sicko.

After that ordeal (and Wally's sentencing hearing), we arrive at the Elite Four HQ. They haven't been able to get groceries in weeks and the food is running out. If I don't win the title, it'll be Kadabra burgers on the grill.

This is it. Here's my final team. It isn't exactly an optimal Pokemon team; usually you want your party's levels to be evened out at a decent point. Blaziken and Rayquaza are over-leveled and I'm expecting them to carry the fights. Kadabra and Aggron are also strong enough to do some major damage if used correctly. Unfortunately, Tentacool and Pelipper are only here as HM mules. Later gens increase the number of Pokemon that can use HMs, making HM mules less of a thing, but at this point I still need a third of my team dedicated to HMs because my main force can't use some of them (or has better things equipped).

::Psycho Sid's theme plays as a giant "SIDNEY" forms out of pyro in the background::

Psycho Sidney may be the master of the powerbomb, but he's also the master of Dark-type Pokemon. We haven't seen too many of those up to now (or bosses that utilize them) so this is an interesting fight.

Then again, they're weak to Fighting, so Blaziken can mow right through most of them. Rayquaza finishes off whatever's left at that point.

Mt. Pyre...wasn't that place in Chrono Cross?

Phoebe is in the running for "hottest Pokemon trainer". She uses Ghost types, pretty weird. I would have guessed Water or Fire. Usually the Ghost trainers are characters like Agatha.

Again, I didn't get too many shots of this fight because it was over fast. Since there aren't many Ghost types in this gen, she had to double up on Dusclops and Banettes (with a Sableye as the 5th).

This fight seems designed to counteract Blaziken a bit (his Fighting-type attacks don't do much here). Sidney has an optimal party for defeating Phoebe, which makes it kinda funny that she's ranked above him. Then again, these games don't follow any particular logic in that regard. Otherwise, what's stopping all these level 40+ trainers in the Victory Road area from going and dominating town gyms? How does Brock not get de-throned a couple times a day?

Moving on, the third trainer is the maiden of ice. ...presumably, since her name is Glacia. No word on if WCW spent six months hyping her debut with vignettes without ever actually, you know, debuting her.

Glacia also has to double up on 'mons, with two of her five minions being repeats of others. Since she uses ice-types that are weak to fire and fighting, you'd think Blaziken could totally run wild on them. Not the could almost say it's a trap. They all have high speed AND overpowered water attacks equipped, which means that while yes, Blaziken can dominate her Pokemon... he's more likely to just get mauled by water attacks before he can do any significant damage.

This means that we've got two Elite Four members in a row that are super-strong against Blaziken. This one is particularly humorous because on paper it looks like it'd be the other way around. The trend of bosses having new OP water attacks continues from here on, too. Looks to me like Pokemon Emerald served up quite a nerf to Blaziken's domination in Ruby and Sapphire...

The next (and last) member of the Elite Four is Drake (ft. Rihanna).

This guy is like an older version of Lance after becoming a pirate. I can only guess that the reason none of these super-elite trainers have six Pokemon is because they all had to put one slot aside for an HM mule too.

Is that... Rayquaza Jr? I've got the real thing, but I'll let Kadabra handle this.

Blaziken is out for the next dragon. I have to say, this guy has a very cool lineup of rare dragon Pokemon that I never saw in the regular game.

Blaziken is continuing to take a pummeling. I was holding off on bringing out my ringer, but now they've gone and done it...

RAYQUAZA IS UNLEASHED. That'll do it for Drake (ft Future).

This trend of giving the player a high-level legendary Pokemon right before the final battles is an interesting one. In Gen 1 it's Articuno, in Gen 2 it's Suicune, and in Gen 3 it's...whichever one corresponds with the version you're playing. They function really well as ringers to make up for whatever endgame shortcomings your team has, but in Gen 4 they fixed this by having the legendary start at like level 40 (so actually lower than your team likely is by then). It isn't much of a ringer anymore.

After a long walk that reminds me of the walk to Magus in Chrono Trigger, I arrive at...

...the Pokemon champion. It's Wallace, finally answering the question of who the final boss is. I know that in the standard Ruby and Sapphire, the final boss is Steven, so this is a change-up. Steven moved up to uberboss, Wallace moved from Gym Leader 8 to final boss, and Juan got the Gym Leader 8 spot. Presumably before this Juan was a random trainer on a route.

Wallace is a lot like Juan, sporting a Vega-esque love of elegance and grace. I won't be fighting Steven (his lineup is super-high level and I've got no desire to level grind for a few hours), so this is the final battle.

THIS IS IT. The final battle. Will Renee become the first-ever female Pokemon champion, or will Wallace prance to and fro to victory?

"That Rayquaza is to die for!" says Wallace while tossing roses about. Truly, he is the Dandiest Lad.

I unleash Steven's chosen minion, Aggron. Besides having a badass name, this guy is great for unleashing ground damage. It's worth noting that Wallace's lineup, again, seems designed to make Blaziken a non-factor. an odd choice for a final battle lineup. It reminds me of one of those Martian walkers from War of the Worlds.

What is Milotic? I have no idea, but it's pretty strong. This calls for my legendary. Again, all of these Pokemon dish out major water damage.

Gyarados is the king of water Pokemen, and one-shots Blaziken with ease. Even Rayquaza is struggling at this point since he's essentially carrying the team.

...annnd I lose. It's safe to say that if I didn't have Rayquaza I wouldn't have a chance here. Considering the water-heavy new endgame, I think the grass-type starter would probably shine at this point. From what I've heard, it needed the lift after being easily the worst choice in Ruby/Sapphire.

On the next go, I make it to the only known Latino Pokemon: The festive monstrosity known as iLudicolo! This looks like what'd happen if my girlfriend created a Pokemon.

Once again, we're down to the wire...turns out the Ludicrous Cholo was way more dangerous than he looked too.

The final battle of the entire Year of Pokemon... is this thing. Why does it have a W on its head? This game DID come out in 2004, so maybe it's reppin' republicans.

Blaziken manages to get a turn off before the conservative catfish, and I win. At last, the Year of Pokemon has concluded. Onward to new things!

Brendan shows up to help Renee become Poke-champion. TOO LATE.

Everyone crowds around and celebrates. Even Wallace is thrilled at this turn of events, flicking his handkerchief daintily.

Brendan: "I'm totally fine with you becoming champion instead of me! I'm here to be safe and have fun! #livinglife #owningit #blessed"

Wallace now takes Renee into the secret champion room where the UFO secrets and nuclear codes are kept. Non-champions...aren't allowed.

Brendan: "That's okay! None of this bothers me at all! #gratitude"

All six of my Pokemen are now Hall of Famers...even the two HM mules. Jay Leno and the Japanese pleasure monster didn't even do anything in that fight!

Renee poses with her nonexistent title belt and super-tight shorts.

"You know what? I'm sick and tired of all this oppression! I work hard and nobody cares! I'M DONE WITH THIS SHIT. #BRENDANMATTERS"

After that, Renee spends some time riding the world's happiest bicycle.

Seasons change Mega Man style as she continues to furiously ride.

...wait, this game had braille? In any case, the sound of Rage Against the Machine can be heard as Brendan goes by on his own bike, swearing and spitting on the ground.

I half expect Wally to come creeping up next, but I don't think he's out of prison yet.

That concludes the Year of Pokemon. Tune in for something new in 2017: The Year of Final Fantasy. But first, we've got some unfinished business with Capcom and Bethesda.

No comments:

Post a Comment