Part 6: Mini-Update: Croconaw, I Snag You!Mini-Update: Croconaw, I Snag You!
Even though the star of our update is the Shadow Croconaw, I feel there is another Pokemon that deserves a mentioning, due to its horribly depressing flavor text from the portables:
Not-So-Spiffy Point: The Melancholy Life of Spoink
Spoink keeps a pearl from Clamperl on top of its head. The pearl functions to amplify this Pokémon's psychokinetic powers. It is therefore on a constant search for a bigger pearl. A Pokémon that manipulates psychic power at will. It loves eating mushrooms that grow underground. Spoink bounces around on its tail. The shock of its bouncing makes its heart pump. As a result, this Pokémon cannot afford to stop bouncing - if it stops, its heart will stop. It doesn't stop bouncing even when it is asleep. It apparently dies if it stops bouncing about.
Now, prepare for some mind-breaking plot developments!
BLUNO: That? It's a Pokemon that we turned into a fighting machine by artificially closing the door to its heart.
♀: No! You didn't! You artificially closed the door to that poor POKEMON's heart?!
Blackbelt Nob, I can fully sympathize. Seriously, though... what does that even mean? Artificially closing the door to its heart? Is that like abusing it without abusing it?
BLUNO: Humph. Knowing that's not going to help you do anything!
(BLUNO flees out the southward exit)
♀: I know! When I was little, I heard about that.
How did you hear about that? It doesn't even make sense.
♀: They say if any POKEMON closes the door to its heart, it can be gradually reopened by battling together with it.
♀: [NAME], let's go. Those guys are probably headed for PYRITE TOWN.
♀: After all, it was in PYRITE that they captured me.
Let's take a few moments to provide a plot synopsis here:
A team of bad guys decides to steal Pokemon from other trainers. Nice evil plan so far.
Have a secret hideout in the middle of the desert, great headquarters for such an organization.
Have no way of preventing secret hideout from being destroyed by explosives if found. Pretty sure just having a few Quagsires sitting around would solve this. (Quagsire, amongst a select few Pokemon, have an ability called Damp. It prevents the moves Self-Destruct or Explosion from being used.) I don't blame them too much, though; we still have people in reality blowing up buildings and no good way to prevent that.
Said team decides to "artificially closing the door" to the hearts of the Pokemon. Still kind of a nice evil plan, but apparently this manifests itself as one of its attacks being replaced by Shadow Rush...? The typeless attack is a good idea, the strength of it's pretty good, hurting itself not so much. One would have to heal their Pokemon more frequently, so maybe they just steal healing items instead of going to Pokemon Centers...? Plan's losing some quality points here.
Girl can see Pokemon tampered with by this process, someone in charge decides to kidnap said person. Probably would've been better to take her out, given the whole thing about Shadow Pokemon not being afraid to attack people. Definite loss of points here.
Mini-Pokemon Poopsock: The Snagged Croconaw's Stats:
From the Snag we got, our Croconaw's either Mild or Quiet. If it's Mild, it has crap Speed IVs. If it's Quiet, it has crap Defense IVs:
F Mild #159 Croconaw: 7 - 9 / 14 - 16 / 20 - 23 / 29 - 31 / 28 - 30 / 1 - 3
F Quiet #159 Croconaw: 7 - 9 / 14 - 16 / 0 - 3 / 29 - 31 / 28 - 30 / 18 - 20
Either way, I passed up some other females I had successfully Snagged, until I got one with a Special Attack-boosting nature with a high Special Attack IV.
A few things need explaining, related to this game, things you may have seen from the last update's video.
Spiffy Point: Purification, Part 1
A Shadow Pokemon has access to only one move immediately after being Snagged: Shadow Rush.
Shadow isn't a type a Pokemon can be, or even a type the game recognizes. A Shadow Pokemon, as a result, will not get STAB (same type attack bonus, or 1.5x damage) as no Pokemon is the same type as that attack. The technical term for Shadow Rush's type is typeless, but is more commonly referred to as ???-type, a type given to only one move in the portable games: Curse. Curse doesn't do any direct damage, however, making this the first move to actually do ???-type damage. No Pokemon are weak or resistant to this type, and the base power of this attack is quite high. In fact, it is as strong as if a Pokemon not of the Normal type were to use the attack Take Down. (Take Down is a 90 Base Power, 85% Accuracy Normal-type attack with 25% recoil; the only differences between this attack and Shadow Rush are the type and accuracy.) Unlike any other attack in the game, Shadow Rush will never run out of PP.
The five purple-filled bars notable on the status screen represents how close that Pokemon is to opening the door to its heart. As the door to its heart opens, more moves become available to it for use.
At 20% open, the move in Slot 2 is relearned.
At 40% open, one can see what nature the Pokemon is. The nature cannot be altered by saving after the Snag, then trying to repeat this stage, as nature is determined as soon as the battle begins.
At 60% open, the move in Slot 3 is relearned.
At 80% open, the move in Slot 4 is relearned.
When the Gauge is empty, Shadow Pokemon's heart is "ready to open"... but it will be unable to do so on its own. In fact, at this moment, we have no way to fully reverse this process, only to bring it to this point. This means that the move in Slot 1 is rather locked and overwritten by Shadow Rush.
As ♀ mentioned, battling with a Pokemon represents one way to open the door to its heart, but it isn't the only way. A second way, one we can't access yet, involves purchasing various quantities of any of three items, held in a case item, for use on the Pokemon. The last way is walking around with the Pokemon in your party. This reduces the gauge at a constant, but slower, rate. It also involves zero thought at all, and is an easy way to purify a Pokemon if you have a lot of free time, as demonstrated in the following method:
Walk away, go play some other game not on your Gamecube or Wii, and come back after an hour or so. (Depending on the Pokemon, it could take a longer or shorter period of time.) When you check on it, the gauge will be lower, or perhaps completely empty. There's one last step to turning a Shadow Pokemon back into a normal Pokemon; more importantly, turning it into a Pokemon you can trade to your Game Boy Advance cartridge after the game's all through! That, Hyper Mode, and a few other details will be explained in the next update, when we head to Pyrite Town.
There will be one more poll before that update, and that will be on which of the immediate potential Snags to use on the team. There will be six available, and all of them from here on out can be Snagged without limiting our options in the slightest. With each update, you can vote to drop a member of the four-Pokemon team as well as a Pokemon to put into that slot. Croconaw and Espeon will be primarily used until the end of the next update. Only two Pokemon will honestly end up getting use during an update, so be sure to mention which you'd want to see. Feel free to vote on any Balls you want them in, as well. Likewise, while talking about voting, a reminder about two glitches: do you want me to exploit the Ball-cloning glitch, wall-walk thoughtless-Purification glitch, both, or neither?
Green-gray bars represent increases in stats found in the evolved form.
Noctowl is not graced by much. Its Attack is quite low, not a helpful thing, given both of its types are reliant upon that stat. Noctowl also doesn't learn many Special Attacks to put its lackluster Sp.Atk. stat to use. The ability Insomnia prevents Sleep-inducing attacks from giving Noctowl that status condition, where Keen Eye prevents attacks from reducing Noctowl's accuracy. Neither ability is too useful, but Insomnia is generally the better ability.
Its moves, in order of their recovery, are Hypnosis, Reflect, Fly, and Steel Wing. Hypnosis has 60% accuracy that puts the target Pokemon to Sleep. Fly is a two-turn moves, that protects the user from almost all attacks on the first turn, then hits on the second turn with a 75 bp 95% Accuracy Flying-type attack. Steel Wing is a 70 bp 90% Accuracy Steel-type attack that has a 10% chance of raising the user's Defense.
Flaaffy is arguably the best candidate for a team member. Flaaffy evolves into Ampharos. Its ability, Static, has a 30% chance of Paralysing a Pokemon if that Pokemon uses a contact Physical move that hits Flaaffy. (Most Physical moves are contact, but there are some noteworthy exceptions, including Earthquake. It is irrelevant in most cases if a move is contact or not.)
Its moves, in order of their recovery, are Thunder Wave, Cotton Spore, ThunderShock, and Thunderbolt. Thunder Wave is a status 100% Accuracy Electric-type attack that Paralyzes the target Pokemon, unless it is a Ground-type or has Volt Absorb as its ability. Cotton Spore is a status 85% Accuracy Grass-type attack that reduces the opponent's Speed by two stages. ThunderShock is a 40 bp 100% Accuracy Electric-type attack that has a 10% chance of inducing Paralysis in the target Pokemon. Thunderbolt is a 95 bp 100% Accuracy Electric-type attack that has a 10% chance of inducing Paralysis in the target Pokemon.
Skiploom isn't great, but isn't too bad a Pokemon either. It and its evolution, Jumpluff, work more on applying disabling status conditions rather than doing outright damage. Instead of relying upon strong defenses, it instead has a high Speed stat to try and disable the opponent before it gets to attack. Its ability, Chlorophyll, doubles its Speed stat during sunny weather, making it even more effective. Had we chosen Quilava, using it as Skiploom's partner would allow for a highly-beneficial combo. The sun does adversely affect Skiploom, though, making it even more weak to Fire-type attacks (as an effect of the weather, not its ability).
Its moves, in order of their recovery, are Sleep Powder, Cotton Spore, Mega Drain, and Synthesis. Sleep Powder is a status 75% Accuracy Grass-type attack that puts the target Pokemon to Sleep.
Mega Dtain is a 40 bp 100% Accuracy Grass-type attack that gives half of the HP damage done the target Pokemon to its user. (Like recoil damage, except healing instead of hurting the user.)
Admittedly, I have a bias towards Quagsire, who I would rank as the second-best Snag of this grouping. Its only weakness as a Water/Ground type is to Grass, to which it is 4x weak. Having a Ground-type provides an immunity to Electric attacks, something Water-types are usually weak to. Its better-than-average Attack stat allows it to use Earthquake well, an attack that hits all Pokemon but itself in a Double battle. It can use Surf decently, though its Sp.Atk. stat isn't doing it any favors. Quagsire has two possible abilities. Water Absorb negates all damage from Water attacks, and instead restores 25% of Quagsire's maximum HP, if it were to be hit by such an attack. As mentioned before, Damp prevents the moves Self-Destruct or Explosion from being used, and has severely limited applications in this game, seeing as those moves are used quite infrequently.
Its moves, in order of their recovery, are Amnesia, Slam, Surf, and Mud Shot. Amnesia is a status Psychic-type attack that targets the user, and boosts its Sp.Def. Stat by 2 stages. Slam is a 80 bp 75% Accuracy Normal-type attack. Mud Shot is a 55 bp 95% Accuracy Ground-type attack that lowers the target Pokemon's Speed by 1 stage.
Slugma is the Pokemon of this set least-beneficial to our team, or nearly any team, for that matter. When it evolves to Magcargo, it gains a Rock type, which make it quad-weak to Ground and Water attacks. Its Speed is abysmal, and even the boost to Defense it gets won't help it much against strong Ground-type attacks, given its low HP undermines any defensive boost. Slugma has two possible abilities. Magma Armor prevents the Pokemon from being Frozen, an uncommon status condition that only has, on average, a 10% chance of occurring. Flame Body is like Status, except replace Paralyzed with Burned.
Its moves, in order of their recovery, are Yawn, Rock Throw, Flamethrower, and Sunny Day. Yawn is a status 100% Accuracy Normal-type attack that works over two turns. During the first turn, the attack hits the target Pokemon. At the end of the second turn, if the Pokemon hit by Yawn does not switch out, it falls Asleep. Rock Throw is a 50 bp 90% Accuracy Fire-type attack. Flamethrower is a 95 bp 100% Accuracy Fire-type attack that has a 10% chance to inflict the target Pokemon with a Burn.
Misdreavus is a Pokemon I consider to be quite useful. Its Ghost type provides immunity to many of the Normal-type attacks that exist in this game. Its ability, Levitate, provides Misdreavus with an immunity to Ground-type moves, something that combos well if you intend to use Earthquake with your other Pokemon. It is unfortunate to have better Sp.Atk than Attack, given its typing, but it is capable of learning a few good special moves through TMs.
Its moves, in order of their recovery, are Confuse Ray, Mean Look, Shadow Ball, and Psybeam.
Confuse Ray is a status 100% Accuracy Ghost-type attack that confuses the target Pokemon. Mean Look is a status 100% Accuracy Normal-type attack that prevents the target Pokemon from switching out, and is mostly useless in this game, given the AI's general unwillingness to switch Pokemon in the first place. Shadow Ball is a 80 bp 100% Accuracy Ghost-type attack that has a 20% chance of lowering the target Pokemon's Sp.Def. by one stage. It is unusual, in that in second- and third-gen games (the latter of which Colosseum is), it is a physical attack, because typing determined whether an attack was physical or special. Psybeam is a 65 bp 100% Accuracy Psychic-type attack that has a 10% chance of confusing the target Pokemon. Espeon will learn move at level 36.