Part 10: Chapter 5: The First Official Exploration Part 2
Last time, Michael and Babar found a super-secret undiscovered dungeon behind a waterfall.
But before we loot the place, the Recruitment Search option under Others in the menu is now useful. From now on, we'll be able to recruit Pokemon from most dungeons. Drenched Bluff's and Mt. Bristle's Pokemon are also now up for recruitment, as well.
You can't recruit anyone from Beach Cave... not directly, anyway.
Surskit's annoying. It can attack from a distance with Quick Attack, or with Bubble, which fires in a straight line.
Michael kills it as usual. The Surskit blinks, but doesn't vanish.
With its last shreds of life, it begs for mercy.
Michael bestows it, but at a price.
Indentured servitude. Based on your level, certain hold items, and a certain IQ ability, recruitable Pokemon have a set percentage to ask to join your team upon defeat. The team leader has to deal the final blow, however, and has to be on one of the eight adjacent tiles. The chance to recruit starts low, but goes up as you hit certain level thresholds.
Some Pokemon, particularly evolved forms, have a base recruit chance in the negatives, and require a high level plus some items to make them recruitable.
At least now we have those annoying moves on our side. Let's see what kind of stats Sk8r's bringing to the table.
Oh Jesus. Middling offenses for this point in the game, and wet paper bag defenses.
Starting moveset isn't bad, though.
Even so, Sk8r will probably just slow us down, so back home he goes.
Unlike PMD Red and Blue, as soon as you recruit a Pokemon in a dungeon, they're considered full-fledged members of your team. You can send weak newbies back right away to keep enemies from picking them off. And even if they die before then, they'll still get sent home.
Next, Michael meets some kind of nasty flying sausage.
Maybe he'll be better than the pond skater bug.
You poor fool.
Fish-wurst comes with four moves. Water and Mud Sport aren't that useful, but Mud-Slap and Water Gun nicely cover both of Barboach's STABs. Plus, they can be shot around corners, and Mud-Slap always lowers the enemy's accuracy if it hits.
Let's check his...
To the bench!
Let's try this one more time. Poliwag seems like a safe bet.
It's a plain Water-type that gets some stat-inducing moves. Also, it has a branching final evolution: Huge Tadpole or Actual Frog.
But you know what? Fuck recruiting.
Everyone on this list is going to have terrible stats. They can be raised to an acceptable level with some effort, sure, especially in Explorers of Sky. But starters aside, most Pokemon recruited from dungeons will be weaker than Michael and Babar, even if they're evolved.
I have a different plan for expanding Team America, which I'll explain in-depth once I can do it.
Waterfall Cave is an excellent place to stock up on gummis.
No, seriously. Tangela's base recruit chance is about 12%, which is pretty dang high by PMD standards.
Team America has no need for a tea tray.
Oh good, a Max Elixir. We haven't had a chance to get a lot of these yet.
This should come in... wait.
Something seems off.
It's not completely useless... only it is, because we don't have a Linoone.
Anyway, Michael and Babar reach the end of the dungeon.
They peer around in wonderment at their very first mother lode.
Look at all the gems sparkling!
Wow! I've never seen a gem this huge! This is an incredible treasure!
Urrrrgh! Urrrrgh! Ugh...
How the hell is he grabbing it? He's not even using his trunk.
Nope, it's not budging...
Can you give it a try, Michael?
(Woah! This is really stuck! It won't budge!)
Says the kitten with the clawless nubs.
(Urrrrgh... ugh... Nope, no good...)
You goons really messed up on this team combination. Why did I let you vote on anything?
But we can't just give up. If we try hard enough, we'll probably get some kind of result! I'm going to give it another go, Michael!
(Hmm... It's not budging one bit...)
(Huh? Oh no... It's happening again... It's...)
The mysterious figure from Michael's last vision enters the gem cavern.
They go for the giant gem, and something makes a click.
Then everything starts shaking.
And it makes an ominous click.
The shaking and rumbling begins. Babar stands there confused while Michael knows exactly what to expect.
Huh? What's going on?
They land with a splash.
You plopped down from nowhere! Oh, you startled everyone!
This is the Hot Spring.
The Hot Spring works wonders on tired muscles and creaky joints. Many Pokemon visit here. Tell me, youngster, have you a map?
Map? Oh, if you mean our Wonder Map, yes, we have one.
Unfold it for me.
There. We are here. This is the Hot Spring's location.
Oh. I see.
The waterfall is here, so...
Hey! Check this out, Michael!
The water carried us all the way over here.
My goodness! It was the water that carried you all this way? What a long journey that must have been! Let the Hot Spring wash away your fatigue before you make your way home.
Good idea. We'll do that. Thanks, everyone!
And so, they chilled in the Hot Spring. By the way, that's the same Teddiursa, Ursaring, and Vigoroth seen around Treasure Town.
Later, back at the guild...
Behind the waterfall, there is a cave. In the deepest part of the cave, there is a gigantic gem. When you pushed on the gem, it triggered a trap of some kind. And, surprisingly, you were flushed off to the distant Hot Spring? Is that the gist of your report?
Yes. It's really disappointing that we couldn't bring the gem back...
This is a major discovery!
Undoubtedly! ♪ After all, the presence of the cave behind the waterfall... No one knew about that before now! ♪
Oh, I see! We made a discovery!
(The shadow of that Pokemon I saw...)
Who's that Pokemon?
(I've seen that shape before... There's no mistaking it!)
(That was... Wigglytuff!)
Huh? You're saying Wigglytuff may have been at that waterfall before?!
If that were so, the Guildmaster wouldn't have ordered you to investigate the place, right?
It's important to be honest.
I should be used to it by now...
These apprentices are yet another strange crew, aren't they...?
What was that, Chatot?
Please wait here.
A few minutes pass.
When I asked the Guildmaster, he mulled it over for a bit. And then he said...
And then he said...
And that's just what the Guildmaster said.
I like to think Chatot mimics Wigglytuff's voice perfectly.
To sum it up, it's just as Michael suspected... He has indeed already been to Waterfall Cave.
Oh... OK. That's kind of disappointing... We really thought we'd discovered a new place. I wish Wigglytuff had told us right from the start...
The Guildmaster can be rather, uh, erratic at times... Even I can't quite fathom what goes on in his head. Well, that's too bad for you.
Nevertheless, I shall expect your best effort tomorrow! ♪
(I should get to sleep early.)
Sure, there was that huge letdown...
But it was our first exploration! I thought I was going to explode from excitement and anticipation the whole time. It made me realize I made the right decision in joining an exploration team.
That's the dream I have. If it ever came true, I'd surely faint from sheer happiness!
I can explore because of you, Michael. Yes...
Quick flashback to Michael daring Babar to jump through a waterfall. What a pal she is.
I'm the biggest chicken around, and even I managed to work up the courage! And it was all because you were with me, Michael.
Seriously, Michael, thanks!
...Oh yeah! You know, I was thinking... I noticed something about your dizzy spells, Michael. You always seem to be touching something when they happen.
(Come to think of it, Babar's right!)
The first vision happened after Michael picked up Azurill's apple.
The next one was after Drowzee bumped into her.
Then after she investigated the waterfall face-first...
...And after she tried to pull out the giant gem.
(It was always after touching something! That's when I got those dizzy spells!)
(When I touch something, I see something connected to it... Right?)
There's one more thing. When we rescued Azurill, you had a vision of the future... But this time, you saw Wigglytuff going into the cave, right? So that means...
This time, you saw an event that occurred in the past.
In other words, Michael... If you touch something, you see its past or future. You must have that kind of special ability!
This could be something totally incredible! You could use it in lots of ways! Not just for exploring, either! The ability could be useful for many things! It's fantastic, Michael!
(W-well, yes! I guess that's true... But that doesn't mean I always get a vision every time I touch something... It would be useful if I could have visions when I wanted, but...)
Too bad the plot controls Michael's powers.
The Guildmaster wants to see you right away.
Guildmaster, I've brought you Team America.
Your team went through a lot today! Yes, a lot-lot! But don't worry! I'm keeping watch on your activities! I should tell you why I called you here. We're planning to mount a full expedition soon! ♪
It's much harder than exploring our nearby area. That's why we need to prepare for the big trip properly. We carefully choose which guild members go on the expedition.
Usually, we would never, ever consider rookies to be expedition members.
That's why we're making a special exception this time! We decided to include you in the list of candidates for the expedition!
You haven't been chosen as expedition members yet. There is still time before we set out on the expedition. If you fail to do good work before then, you cannot expect to be selected for it.
I'm sure you two can do it! Try hard!
My heart is pounding all of a sudden! Let's try our best and make sure we get picked for the expedition!
Team America has a shiny new goal to aim for.
Next time: A new chapter!