The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Colosseum

by Lorak

Part 4: Phenac City, Part Three

Phenac City, Parts Three and Four, Outskirt Stand, Part Two

Phenac City, Part 3: The Pre Gym, Back-Story and Useless Politics

At the end of our last update, we were about to enter the Pre Gym (and we aren't referring to its ridiculously long name anymore).

> This is a place for trainers and Pokemon to not only sharpen their strength and skills, but also their body and spirit.

Easily skipped in the rush to head to the Mayor's office, walking around, talking to people and looking at things in the Pre Gym can give explanations to many topics and mechanics previously discussed in this thread.

> Gwaaah! I'm not the type that does his thinking in the head, so I'm stumped by stuff like this.
> I figure if I just keep battling, that sort of stuff will be conditioned into me.

You know, surprisingly, he's not all that wrong.

> By leveling up, Pokemon learn all sorts of different moves.
> It's up to the trainer to mix and match those moves to suit the opponent. That's how trainers can show off their skills.

Hit Pokemon with moves that work well against them, try not to use moves that don't work well against them. Simple enough.

> When you carry more Pokemon with you, you should pay attention to their ordering.
Thanks, kiddo, but we only have two. Still, knowing which has the higher Speed determines which attacks first. (Hint: it's Espeon.)

> A good trainer always thinks about the Pokemon that are in battle.
> Oh? You must be a trainer, too. Are you listening in on my class?
> Since you're here, I have something here that you might like. May I see your P*DA, please?

{Note: Pretend that asterisk is a five-pointed star the size of any other letter.}
♀: Oh! That's a Pokemon Digital Assistant! Or P*DA for short!
♀: {NAME}, you have one, too, don't you?
{NAME} showed the P*DA.
> Here you go. I've upgraded it and added the STRATEGY MEMO function.
> You'll be able to check the types and abilities of the Pokemon you've met at a glance.
> Come see me whenever you like. I'll update your P*DA with detailed data on the Pokemon you've met.
> I hope you make good use of the STRATEGY MEMO as you aim to be a great trainer!

Because of its location in the Pre Gym, the Strategy Memo is an easily-missed upgrade to the P*DA. I'll explain the functions of the P*DA near the end of this update, as there's still one more function it has yet to gain, at this point.

Sadly, though... you can't seem to read any of these tips, no matter how hard you try. The board is a reference to the portables, where status conditions (or other information) is usually posted for review.

> Judging by your appearance, I'd say that you're traveling, the two of you.
> Well, what do you think? Since you're already here, do you feel like having a battle?
> Okay. Then let me introduce you to the trainers of PRE GYM.
> When you're ready to go, go to the BATTLE AREA in the center, and stand at the left-hand side.

That pretty much sums up ♀'s usefulness. Can you see why I dreaded this tag-along?

> In all, you'll be facing four trainers. They're all a handful, I can vouch for that.
> And now, this is where your opponent enters!

We fight four battles, with the opportunity to stop and heal between each. Opponents come up to the stage via the elevator seen below:

Between each battle, we get the message:
JUSTY: So, what's your plan? Do you keep chugging on with your battle challenge?
Saying YES yields:
JUSTY: Okay, gotcha! Let's get the next battle started!

If you want, you can watch the battles of the four following trainers in this Battle Video. (Just don't go past the 5:20 mark.) The battles aren't particularly exciting, though an interesting circumstance comes up during the third one (at about 3:06).

{Botan > Botany, Grass-type user}
Sunkern (Lv.27, M)
Hoppip (Lv.28, M)
> How do you like that? You're more than strong enough.
> I'm going to toughen up some more. I hope you keep working, too!

{Liqui > Liquid, Water-type user}
Marill (Lv.28, F)
Surskit (Lv.27, F)
> I was impressed by your Pokemon!
> My goal is to become the ultimate WATER-type battler. Back to more training for me!

Spiffy Point: Surskit is the only Pokemon with Water/Bug typing.

> Well, it doesn't matter. You can learn how a proper trainer battles from me!
{Dugo > Dug, Ground-type user}
Trapinch (Lv.27, M)
Swinub (Lv.27, F)
> You're tough, even though you don't look it!
> The way you battle is... Uh... Interesting. You might say it's unique, or maybe it's just chaotic.
> Well, I wish you the best of luck!

Spiffy Point: Trapinch can have one of two abilities. If it has Hyper Cutter, no moves that would reduce its Attack have that effect. If it has Arena Trap, a Pokemon cannot switch out while Trapinch is active, unless that Pokemon is Flying-type or has the ability Levitate.
Also, despite being a RICH BOY, DUGO gives you the least prize money. Figures.

{I have no idea. Maybe another Ground reference, for the two Ground/Rock Pokemon?}
Geodude (Lv.27, M)
Rhyhorn (Lv.27, F)
> I must commend you for a battle well played.
> My battling style must have been too sophisticated for you.

Cheap as heck with the prize money, aren't you, rich kids?

After all those battles, what is our amazing prize? A White Herb. This is a Hold Item, or an item that has an effect when given to a Pokemon to hold. It activates any time the Pokemon holding it is debuffed (i.e. Attack goes down, etc.). The White Herb activates, undoing all debuffs, before the item is used up. Not so useful in-game, seeing as we can't get more than one White Herb.

> That's when I will be your opponent. I'll be looking forward to it!
Despite beating up Justy's underlings, he refuses to take us on, until we have a full party (set of 6) Pokemon. Which, at the moment, is impossible.

Downstairs is accessable, but there is nothing of interest that we can interact with, other than talking with some people. The best thing anyone down there has to say is:

With that all done, we finally head to the Mayor's office.

♀: Um... Er...
ES CADE: Oh? What may I do for such a pretty young lady like you?
♀: I... I saw it!
ES CADE: Saw it? And what did you see?
♀: I saw a peculiar Pokemon... No, that's not quite right.
♀: What I saw was a Pokemon that was giving off a black aura. It was like a fighting machine!

♀: And, that Pokemon would attack people!
ES CADE: O-o-o-oh, my! Pokemon like a fighting machine? And it attacks people?!

Note: A Pokemon attacking people is not a common occurrence.
ES CADE: Now, if that were true, that would be truly frightening. However, it is a little hard to believe.
♀: It's true! It's true, Mr. MAYOR!
♀: Because I saw that Pokemon, I was made the prisoner of some frightening men just a little while ago.
ES CADE: Hmm... I see. I understand. I will order an investigation at once.
♀: You will? Thank you, Mr. MAYOR!
ES CADE: Oh, no, no. There is no need for thanks.
ES CADE: We mustn't allow thugs to do as they wish. Especially thugs that endanger a pretty young lady like you!
ES CADE: I'll ask that you give me a little time on this matter. I promise we will get some useful information for you.
ES CADE: Oh yes.
ES CADE: You appear to be Pokemon trainers yourself.
ES CADE: If so, I urge you to visit our city's pride and joy, our POKEMON STADIUM.
ES CADE: It's a breathtakingly beautiful STADIUM befitting our oasis city!

Err... okay. That wasn't all that helpful, but I suppose one can only expect so much from bureaucracy. Probably has his hands all tied up in red tape. Talking to him again yields:
ES CADE: I promise you, we will obtain useful information about those sinister POKEMON.
ES CADE: While we do so, I heartily recommend that you visit our STADIUM, the symbol of our civic pride!

We were THERE already! Nothing interesting happened!

The only interactive person or thing upstairs is a woman:

> Giggle... It must be nice to travel with a cute girlfriend.
You're more than welcome to travel with ♀. Really.

Well, we head over to the Stadium. Nothing has changed. Coming out, however, we run into these three:

> Wrecking the HIDEOUT wasn't good enough for you?! So you rip off the SNAG MACHINE? You've got some nerve!
♀: Who are these people? Huh? Are they TEAM SNAGEM?
♀: And what did they mean by traitor? [NAME]... You mean...
> That's right, pretty lady! He's from TEAM SNAGEL, just like us!
> But he's no ordinary member. He's a SNAGGER. He's the best in TEAM SNAGEM at Snagging Pokemon without fail!
♀: No way! Is this true, [NAME]?
YES: ♀: Oh, so it is true! That's a little shocking!
NO: ♀: I saw your lip quiver... It's true, isn't it?
> Hey, [NAME]! Come on, hand it over! Give back the SNAG MACHINE you ripped off from the HIDEOUT!
♀: SNAG MACHINE? Lorak, do you really have something like that?

No, this is just a REALLY fancy coat sleeve.
> The SNAG MACHINE's built for trainers. When a trainer puts the SNAG MACHINE on, their POKE BALLS are converted.
> Ordinary POKE BALLS are turned into SNAG BALLS that can steal POKEMON from their trainers in battle.

> Hey, you blabbermouth! Keep that stuff secret!
♀: I get it, [NAME]. That's why these creeps are chasing after you.
> Creeps? What do you mean by creeps?
> Gah, this is getting us nowhere. If you won't give it up willingly, we'll take it back by force!

We get roped into a battle to defend the Machine. I can't actually say I've ever lost this battle, so I can only presume that if you do lose, you get returned to the previous save point. (Resume the Battle Video here, if you want to watch this battle. Otherwise, advance to 6:46)

Corphish (Lv.25, M)
Koffing (Lv.27, M)
> No! I'm not good enough?!

> We're going to get that SNAG MACHINE back. Just you wait!
Instead of getting into a fistfight, or making any physical effort to get the Snag Machine back... all three of them walk away. Great job, Team Snagem.
♀: Well, what do you know, [NAME]. So you're from TEAM SNAGEM.
♀: Oh, right. To be accurate, I should say former TEAM SNAGEM.
♀: It's okay. [NAME], it doesn't matter to me who you are.
♀: After all, you're my gallant prince who rescued me when I was in trouble.

Further proof that ♀ is messed up in the head.
♀: So, it doesn't matter. Besides, I thought up something after listening to those creeps.
♀: Listen, [NAME]. We should go shopping for some POKE BALLS.

But... that guy in the PokeMart said they don't sell Poke Balls in Orre?

Wait a second. We stole a device, which is used for stealing Pokemon, by catching them in Poke Balls that the device converts to Snag Balls... and we didn't think to steal some Poke Balls to go with it, too? What is everyone thinking!?

Returning to the guy upstairs in the PokeMart, after visiting Phenac Stadium, yields some slightly different text than the last visit:
> No one sells POKE BALLS around these parts. That's common knowledge.
> The guy that runs the OUTSKIRT STAND used to sell them before. But you have to keep that a secret.

Huh. Well, alright. Back to the Outskirt Stand we go.

So we head back out there. Espeon and Umbreon are stuck back in their Poke Balls, so ♀ has a place to sit. ♀'s really ruining the whole group dynamic, you know...

Spiffy Point: Why Is Everything Repeated So Much?

Upon asking the translator of this game (who did not come up with the absurd in-game character names) why things seemed so redundant, he had this to say: "The (frustrating) thing about (the Gamecube games), they broke up the text into single lines instead of paragraphs (like with the proper releases). So I couldn't trim out extraneous (material) like that. It was ... four separate sentences, each one that had to be translated and put into the game. It would've been much easier if they let me combine those sentences." With lines being translated one at a time, without the ability to merge the paragraph of redundant information into one simple, informative sentence, this alternative was forced.

Outskirt Stand, Part 2: A Whole Lot of Balls

Willie has something new, though not particularly interesting, to say, about a good few minutes too late:

> Some rough-looking characters came around asking about you. It made me worried.
> Those guys, they looked like they're from TEAM SNAGEM.

Thanks. After that redundant recitation, we head back inside the stand. The shopkeeper repeats exactly what he told us before, before ♀ interjects.

What part of "keep it secret" doesn't ♀ get, asking that while someone else is at the counter? (Not that pink-shirt ever gets up, but still...)
> Huh? POKE BALLS, you say? There's no call for those things around these parts... Where'd I put them now?
> Oh, yeah, here they are! A little dusty, I'm afraid, but otherwise perfectly usable.
> Here! Take these. I'll let you have them for free.
[NAME] obtained the 5 POKE BALLs!

Huh. Well... five gets us further than zero, but they'll probably run out at some point...
> Well, since I found them, I may just as well put them out with the rest of my merchandise.
> If you need more, well, how about buying them from me?

Oh. Well, that works too, I suppose. I sell back the five Poke Balls he just gave for P500 and the Torment TM for P1500. I buy three 10-sets of Poke Balls for P6000, getting three free Premier Balls (one for each 10-set), and five Great Balls for P3000, leaving my balance at P8,610.

The Poke Ball is your basic... well, Poke Ball. It has the lowest catch rate, but it works.

There is also a semi-secret alternate Poke Ball: the Premier Ball. Obtained free with each purchase of 10 or more Poke Balls at the same time, it has the same catch rate as a Poke Ball, with a different appearance. In a nutshell, higher catch rate = Pokemon easier to catch.

Also available for purchase at this time is the Great Ball. It has a catch rate 1.5x that of a Poke Ball. It also costs three times as much as the aforementioned item.

With more than enough Poke Balls, Premier Balls, and Great Balls in-hand, we continue back to Phenac City, and... you know. Further the plot.

Phenac City, Part 4: I Can Finally Un-Spoiler a Lot of Stuff

After purchasing a plethora of Balls, we finally head into the Mayor's office... not to find the Mayor there, but to find a whole bunch of weirdos in his place. The Battle Video from 6:46 on is vital to watch. Come back here, after seeing it.

What you just witnessed was a successful Snag. Snagging Pokemon allows us to increase and diversify our party, replacing the catching of wild Pokemon. Failing to Snag a Pokemon doesn't mean that you lose the chance to encounter it again, but it pushes another attempt at Snagging it far later into the game. One needs to be sure to keep a stock of Poke Balls with them, lest they run out in the middle of trying to Snag a Pokemon. (Or, you know, just keep exploiting that glitch, and never run out.) You will always encounter a Shadow Pokemon at its appropriate time, and be able to re-battle them at what is usually a much later time if you fail to Snag it.

Oh, and ♀ seems to be the only one who can see/identify Shadow Pokemon. Which means that is the only purpose in dragging her around behind us for the rest of the game. No, you don't get to ditch her once you catch all the Shadow Pokemon there are.


Pokemon Poopsock #6: Advanced Snagging Info
 If you fail a Snag, then save after it, the Pokemon will always have the same IVs, nature, and gender it had on the failed Snag attempt. If you're resetting for any of those traits, you have to either successfully catch it, reset, or be stuck with the inability to reset for it later. 

Spiffy Point: After the Snag of Makuhita, healing the party, and saving, accounting for all the slow-reading and other activities, the end of the first hour of game play has been reached with the end of this update.

I can say with a reasonable certainty that the Makuhita is Brave (+Attack, -Speed) from its stats, converted to IVs. Showing its base stats, and modification with nature:

This Pokemon is far less impressive in terms of stats, compared to Espeon and Umbreon. However, this isn't a fair comparison, as the Pokemon isn't fully evolved. When Makuhita evolves to Hariyama during its next level-up, actually!), the stats jump to...

Which makes for a significant increase in stats.

To give a brief explanation of evolution, a Pokemon has a base state. When it gets to high enough a level, the Pokemon will evolve into another Pokemon. This process can be canceled, allowing the Pokemon to not evolve until a time the trainer sees fit. The advantages of evolution are usually an increase in stats, different typing or types of moves if the Pokemon changes type upon evolution. The disadvantage is that a Pokemon may lose the chance to learn certain moves, or a lower-evolution Pokemon may learn a given move at a lower level than a higher-evolution. Certain Pokemon evolve once, others twice, certain ones don't evolve at all.


Now, as mentioned before, is info about the P*DA. It looks like the first image when closed, and expands into the second image.

Sometimes, I worry this is what the DS will evolve into.

Our newest function, the Snag List, reminds you what Shadow Pokemon you know about, if you Snagged it successfully, and how open the door to its Heart is. How the door to its Heart is opened (a.k.a. Lowering the Heart Gauge) will be covered a bit more in the next update.

The Strategy Memo upgrade allows the P*DA to act like a Pokedex. In the handheld games, a Pokedex lists the Pokemon in a region in a given order, usually listed in an order mirroring that of first location in game play to last, grouping Pokemon by evolutionary families. In this game, the Strategy Memo lists Pokemon in alphabetical order by default, ignoring all Pokemon evolutionary lines. It's useless to the story, but nonetheless a nice addition.

The e-mail function... is pretty useless, for almost all of the game. An e-mail will show up occasionally, and only to give you an advance on plot that you would otherwise have no reason to get from an NPC.

Now, do you remember the three odd-outfit-wearing people that walked out with the guy with the huge afro? Each one of them is blocking an exit out of Phenac City. In order to get out of the city, and follow Miror B. to Pyrite Town (FINALLY), we have to defeat one of these three trainers (and, preferably, Snag their Pokemon):

Spiffy Point: Pokemon in Alternate Balls
Pokemon Colosseum allows for the Snagging of Pokemon into types of Poke Balls they might not usually be able to be caught in. Examples of this are the first evolutions of the Johto starters: Bayleef, Quilava, and Croconaw. These three Pokemon form a triangle of types (Grass, Fire, and Water), with the type of each super effective against the second, but not very effective against (and weak to) the third. Normally, these Pokemon would be found in Poke Balls only, as bred Pokemon are automatically put into Poke Balls upon hatching (that somehow doesn't subtract from your supply on-hand when hatching), and the only other version of these Pokemon are given you you in Poke Balls. Poke Balls, and all alternate varieties, cannot be reused upon throwing at a Pokemon*. Once you throw a ball, you either catch it, or you don't, and the quantity of that variety of Ball decreases by one. Also, only one Ball can be thrown per turn, so you can't try to catch a Pokemon twice in the same turn. (*There is a glitch in this game that actually allows you to re-use Balls, which was shown off in the Battle Video) In this way, Pokemon Colosseum allows for the only legitimate case of any starter trio being caught in alternate Poke Balls, in this case, the Johto trio. Bayleef, Quilava, and Croconaw (and their evolutions Meganium, Typhlosion, and Feraligatr, respectively) are the only ones that can be in alternate Balls, given there is no way to "un-evolve" a Pokemon in the main franchise.

Pokemon Poopsock #5: What Starter is best?
This Pokemon Poopsock is far from the other minutia discussed in the first four, but it does get a little nit-picky. It also contains spoilers for something that we haven't gotten to yet.
 After Purification, Bayleef gets the moveset Sunny Day/Synthesis/Razor Leaf/Body Slam. Sunny Day causes sunny weather for 5 turns, Synthesis heals as aforementioned, and Body Slam is a 70 BP (Base Power) Normal-type attack that has a 30% chance of causing paralysis of the target. Razor Leaf is a 55 BP Grass-type attack, with a critical hit ratio double the usual amount (about 12.5%, compared to about 6.25%) However, Razor Leaf hits BOTH opponents; as a result of this, its BP is weakened to about 41 (75% of its usual power). Bayleef isn't the best or the worst; it makes for a middle of the road Snag, better that Quilava, but not substantially enough to put it near the same footing as Croconaw.

After Purification, Quilava gets the moveset Sunny Day/SmokeScreen/Dig/Flame Wheel. Sunny Day causes sunny weather for 5 turns, SmokeScreen lowers the accuracy of an opponent by one stage, and Flame Wheel is a 60 BP (Base Power) Fire-type attack that has a 10% chance of causing a burn of the target. Dig is a 80 BP Ground-type attack that prevents all damage and effects to Quilava from almost all types of attacks on the first turn, then does damage during the second turn. None of Quilava's attacks hits both opponents. Of the three to Snag, Quilava's usually considered the worst of the three in terms of moveset, due to its inability to hit both opponents in an entirely-Double battle-based game.

After Purification, Croconaw gets the moveset Rain Dance/Scary Face/Bite/Surf. Rain Dance causes rainy weather for 5 turns, Scary Face reduces the opponent's Speed by two levels, and Bite is already known, from Umbreon. Surf is a 95 BP Water-type attack. However, Surf hits BOTH opponents; as a result of this, its BP is weakened to about 71 (75% of its usual power). Croconaw doesn't have a great Special Attack stat to back up Surf, but it is considered the best of the three starters because of that attack. Rain Dance, followed by Surf, does extraordinary damage to both of the opponent's Pokemon, compared to the attacks of the other starters. 

So, before I work on the next part of the game, I want some feedback on how to proceed.
What species and gender of Johto starter do we want to Snag at this point?
In what Ball do we Snag this Pokemon? (This question will not affect the gameplay, just what Ball the Pokemon will come out of and go back into, and a few differences in shimmers as it does so.)
Which do we use in-battle during the next update, Makuhita, or the to-be-Snagged Johto starter?

I'll wait a few days before continuing the playthrough with the results of the voting. I'll also have a graphical stats representation of the Johto starters by the end of tomorrow.