Part 37: Day 27 - Mt. Blaze
Darn it! Where'd they go?
They had to go this way! Keep your eyes open!
A horrible roar. The sound of running feet. Then... silence.
...I think... They're gone.
Whew. I think we gave them the slip. But... there's no point hiding out here. We have to get over this mountain to get away. Jake, we need to roll as soon as we're ready.
Notice that Kangaskhan statue? Like the checkpoint statue we saw on Mt. Thunder, it lets us save. However, it has a more useful ability: we can access Kangaskhan storage! Time to offload the stuff we've collected that isn't going to help us survive the next dungeon.
Jake, are you ready to roll?
What's this? It looks like we've found an alternate path.
Let's try the Rock Path. It doesn't look as scary.
Sure thing! Let's roll on out!
(He sure does like saying that. It makes me want to roll him!)
Rock Path is a short side dungeon that's only available at this point in the plot. It's here in case we're in trouble as far as supplies go, since we can't exactly backtrack to get more food. The items found here are all common things like Gravelerocks and Huge Apples...
...though we do find one new thing. Hunger Seeds do have positive nutrition-- they don't make your Belly emptier-- but they decrease your maximum Belly, so they're not good to chow down on unless you're desperate. Like any good roguelike, there's a hidden use for these seemingly bad items. If a Pokémon who isn't you eats one, it'll become too hungry to attack! At any rate, four short levels later, we've acquired some more food, some more rocks, and a Max Elixir...
...and come right back where we came.
What the...? Isn't this where we started from?!
...I guess that path just loops back to the start. If we want to move on, I think our only choice is Mt. Blaze. Jake, let's give it our best!
Well, we did get some more goodies, so it wasn't a waste of time.
(The only way out is to be brave...) We'll have to go right up the mountain this time.
All right! Let's roll on out! It looks like one wicked place, but let's give it our best!
In contrast to the, frankly, rather boring Lapis Cave, Mt. Blaze has some new features besides a different assortment of wild Pokémon.
The first is lava. Lava is much like water in that only certain Pokémon, or Pokémon with certain abilities, can travel over it. Unlike water, however, being able to travel over lava isn't the same as being to travel over it safely. A flying Pokémon, for instance, can go over lava, but will acquire a burn (which does damage over time).
The second can also be seen in this screenshot. Notice the collection of cyan dots on our minimap? Cyan dots, as we've seen, are items, but what are so many doing in one place? The answer...
...is that they're being sold.
Wow, look at all this stuff!
What's this guy doing here?
Mt. Blaze is the first dungeon to have a random chance of a Kecleon shop appearing in it. Kecleon shops are run by Kecleons, who strangely enough don't seem to care about Jake's fugitive status. They sell a random assortment of goods at the usual prices, and we can also sell to them, though their inventory is limited by floor tile size; we have to drop an item on an empty tile to sell it, and pick an item up (which doesn't happen automatically in stores), then talk to the shopkeeper, to buy it.
WARNING! If you try to leave the Kecleon shop with unpaid goods, the shopkeeper will ask you to settle your bill. If you refuse to pay, or if you attempt to leave in some other way (like, say, using an Escape Orb after loading yourself up with goodies), an alarm will go off (and the Escape Orb will fail!) and a number of Kecleon will be summoned to the floor to punish you for shoplifting. These Kecleon put up enough of a fight to challenge a level 90 Pokémon, and the only way to escape their wrath is to reach the next floor. Furthermore, if they kill you, you're automatically ejected from the dungeon (no chance to send SOS Mail) and all of your possessions are replaced with Plain Seeds. Of course, you have to shoplift in order to fight Kecleon, which is the only way to recruit them (and even then, even at level 90 and with the Friend Bow, you only have a 1 in 1000 chance). It's not something to be undertaken lightly.
This really isn't the time to go shopping.
Yeah... he doesn't have anything neat anyway.
Whoops. That Torkoal was already holding some cash, so killing it with Pay Day caused the new pile of cash to bounce to a nearby empty tile... which was covered with lava. Easy come, easy go. (If money lands in water, you can get it back if you can persuade one of your water-walking buddies to step on it, or if you can move through water yourself.) At any rate, thanks to the X-Ray Specs, the 12 levels of Mt. Blaze go by quickly...
...and bring us to another statue. (This one only allows us to save, which is by no means bad.)
Sheldon, wait. I need... I need to sit down.
...I'm so thirsty...
It is pretty hot up here, isn't it? Hey, I've got an idea. Open your mouth.
Okay, one Water Gun coming up!
What--? *splutter* *gurgle*
...whoops. Sorry, Jake.
I think I breathed some...
...you wanna try again?
...won't you get thirsty?
I'll be all right. You need it more than I do anyway.
...okay. Thank you, Sheldon.
You're welcome, Jake..
...but I think we should keep going.
The sooner we're over the mountain, the sooner we can both get water, right?
...you're right. Let's do it!
Mt. Blaze Peak is more of the same: more fire Pokémon, more volcanic rock, more trickles of lava coming out of the walls (though, thankfully, no lava pools). It's only two floors long.
Is this it? Is this Mt. Blaze's summit?
This is one incredible place. I know this is a volcano, but the amount of lava is way more than usual. This might also be a part of the natural disasters...
Yowch! It's wicked hot! I feel like I'm burning up.
I don't want to be in a place this wickedly bad.
(He keeps using that word. I think he's using it wrong...)
Let's get through here quick.
Wh-what the...?! Why did it turn dark like that?!
I can hear the mountain's screams... It is shrieking in pain... Someone is causing Mt. Blaze to writhe in agony! Is it you?!
Hah?! We don't know what you mean! We're not doing anything! We just happened to be traveling through here! Who are you, anyway? Come out!
The mountain's rage is my rage!
I am Moltres! The warrior of fire am I! There is no forgiving those who befoul the mountain! En garde!
BOSS BATTLE #4: MOLTRES!
Sheldon! Use your water attack; I'll keep him busy!
R-right! (When did he start getting good at this?)
Hey, big bird! Over here!
(His taunting could use some work, though.)
A quick trip into Sheldon's moveset turns off everything but Water Gun, and since his IQ skill Exclusive Move-User is also on, he won't use his basic attack.
I found some of your money! Here, have it back!
(Now, while he's got its attention!)
*shriek!* You dare profane my sacred fire? I shall strip your flesh from your bones!
That was nearly half of Sheldon's HP, so I tell him to back off-- forgetting that Water Gun isn't a ranged attack (that was Bubble, which I traded away)-- and have Jake continue the attack.
You leave him alone!
You wish to be first to be cleansed? Very well, I shall oblige!
Fortunately, Protect, well, protects Jake. Unfortunately, it then wears off...
...and won't go back up. Only Jake's Quick Dodger skill saves him from a painful burn.
I-it's not working!
Hang on, Jake!
It's still not working!
I'm right here, Jake! Hold on!
You will perish in flame!
You can do this, Jake! I believe in you!
You will not deny my wrath!
You don't have the right to touch him!
Urggggh! I'm not done! I'm not finished yet!
Wait! Hold it! We didn't come to cause any trouble.
We came here because we were chased here. And listen, this mountain isn't the only place that is suffering. Natural disasters are breaking out all over the place. We can't do anything to help because we're on the run now... but we want to help Pokémon that are suffering from these natural disasters.
...Do you say that sincerely?
I'm not lying to you. Believe me. If you think I'm lying... look at my eyes!
...Fine. I trust that you aren't lying.
Whew... That was rough... I thought I would keel over.
You may pass. Get through Mt. Blaze. And... promise me this. Promise me that you will find the cause of the calamities that wrack our world... and stop the disasters from sowing more destruction and suffering.
All right. I promise. ...of course, we can't get to that right away, but...
Whoa, whoa, whoa! We'll get to it! Right away!
We're running from Pokémon who want to k-kill us, so we can't get to it right away... but we're a rescue team. We'll find out what's causing these disasters. I promise!
...I will hold you to that promise. You've made me believe that you will honor that promise. If you do not forget... the courage you showed in facing me.
Waaaah! Is... is there anything else?
No. I was only preparing to take off.
Oh... (Does it need to do that?)
Awww, sheesh, that was scary!
But I'm glad Moltres understood us. Really. So, anyway... we should get off Mt. Blaze ourselves.
(I hope we can keep our promise...)
Day 30 - unknown location
Gasp, gasp... We've done a lot of walking. I'm beat. Let's get some rest.
Haaah! The view's great here. Oh, hey! Jake, you have to see this!
Look at that. See how small Mt. Blaze looks? We sure came a long way... Hey, Jake. You remember how tough it was getting over Mt. Blaze, right? I don't think many Pokémon can get through there. And after that, we really went at it hard to get here. You know what I really think? Maybe there aren't any more Pokémon that can chase us all the way here.
...no. They can still find us.
What? Who might they be?
...oh, right. He's still out there. Their team should be able to get here...
We're not out of this yet. Let's get going. We'd better go somewhere nobody can get to. That'd be best.
(If nobody can get there, how are we supposed to...?)
Let's knuckle down and keep going.
...Huh? What's the matter? Aren't you coming, Jake?
...aren't you tired?
We're being chased! We can't rest. And... I told you, didn't I? I said I'd go with you, Jake.
...Don't look that way at me! I'm good. I'm good! Let's roll, Jake! I'll go with you wherever you go!
And so, Jake's harrowing journey continued. Seeking refuge in even harsher places, they fled north. They crossed row upon row of mountains... forded fetid swamps... scaled frozen cliffs... until finally, Jake's tiny team arrived in a world of snow... a frigid wasteland of driving blizzards.
Next time on Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: the obligatory ice level!