The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

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Original Thread: This is Your Hair on Monarchism: Let's Play Pokemon Shield!



I have been informed that Sword is the better of the two versions, but Shield has Galarian Ponyta and is therefore superior.

I already know what Pokémon Shield is, but why don’t you describe it to me?

“Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are 2019 role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. They are the first installments in the eighth generation of the Pokémon video game series and the second in the series, after Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, to be released on a home game console…Like previous installments, they chronicle the journey of a young Pokémon trainer aiming to become the Pokémon Champion, this time in the new Galar region, which is based on the United Kingdom. The main objective of the games is to dethrone the Pokémon League Champion, Leon, in a tournament that various other Gym Leaders and rivals also take part in, whilst dealing with Team Yell and a nefarious conspiracy within the League. Sword and Shield introduce 81 new Pokémon alongside 13 regional variants of pre-existing Pokémon; Dynamaxing, which increases the size of Pokémon under certain conditions; Gigantamaxing, which additionally changes the form of certain Pokémon; and the Wild Area, which is a large, open-world area with free camera movement that contains co-op raid battles. The two games also reintroduce features previously seen in Sun and Moon and Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, such as regional variants and roaming Pokémon depicted in the overworld.

“The decision to not include all pre-existing Pokémon in Sword and Shield was met with backlash from a segment of the fan community, resulting in a controversy known as "Dexit", and calls for a boycott months ahead of their release. Despite this, Sword and Shield received generally positive reviews from critics. Particular praise was aimed at the creature design, new features, and the emphasis on simplicity, player freedom, and streamlined encounters, although some criticized the game's smaller Pokédex and a perceived lack of polish or depth.”

So why should I read this LP instead of watching my favorite screamy YouTuber play it?

I’m an OG Pokémon fan; I bought Red within a week of its English-language release, obsessively watched the anime when it first aired, and played each version of every generation up through Gen 3. I burned out around Gen 4, though, and only picked up Gen 8 during quarantine. And you know, I’m not sure I can go back. The gameplay was just smooth compared to what I remember, even through all the nostalgia; getting from place to place was a breeze, combat had been refined, and training was a hell of a lot easier. I’m used to older versions, where you had to spend as at least much time grinding as actually advancing the plot. This is better. Of course, since I still haven’t shaken those grinding instincts, I found this game piss easy, but you can’t win ‘em all.

I bought Ultra Moon after beating Shield and couldn’t get more than a few hours in. Compared to Galar, I found it slow and clunky, its difficulty based more on endurance than challenge, and its characters a lot less compelling. I really liked all three Galarian rivals but their Alolan equivalents just didn’t pop out like they did.

You didn’t answer my question.

This will be a narrative LP; lots of screenshots, lots of my own questionable writing. I’ll be tweaking the setting a bit (Gloria grew up in Postwick, Galar’s history is significantly more developed, all the protagonists are in their late teens because why the fuck would people let their 10-year-olds run off into the woods alone), but if you’re familiar with the game it shouldn’t be too shocking. If you aren’t, I’ll try to make this as accessible as possible for everyone reading it, it isn’t like this game is all that complex. Any text from the game will be in plain type, and any commentary or added dialogue will use italics.

As time went on, this LP also started growing more and more commentary on the Pokémon franchise’s history and culture. Like a tumor. I’ve seen some weird parts of Pokémon’s development and that leap I took between generations offers me a perspective most players don’t have. While the commentary and narrative reinforce each other, you don’t have to read one to enjoy the other; both have something to offer.

Also, just because I played a lot of Pokémon doesn’t make me good. I still don’t have a solid grasp on the newer type advantages and I choose my Pokémon based on looks, inclination, random chance, etc. I welcome mechanics chat about this or any other generation in the thread, though keep it civil, obviously. As far as the plot goes, spoiler tags belong around any characters or plot developments that haven’t shown up. That does not go for their Pokémon, however, or Pokémon in general (except the plot relevant ones). Feel free to talk about anything Pokémon – like just how disappointing Falinks is, for instance.

Then let’s compare Sonia and Nessa’s –

No. None of that shit. Not in my thread. Talk about Pokémon as much as you like, but don’t be a creeper. God knows how many websites you can go visit instead if you’re after that.

Back on topic: will there be audience participation?

Obviously. I’ll be taking suggestions for which Pokémon to catch and what to name them, though I reserve the right to pick and choose. You can even give me move suggestions! I’ll probably ignore them, though. The other part? Well, I need to learn how to write using British dialects.

Wait, aren’t you from Chicago–

Yes. My options for writing this LP are twofold; either I Americanize the shit out of everything, erasing the that makes this game so endearing, or I try and fail to imitate it. So that’s where you come in. I need the thread to make sure I’m not horribly misrepresenting how actual British people talk (even though I’m pretty sure the game does that too). If you catch me making any serious mistakes and can explain what they were, you get to pick one of two options:
I reserve the right to reject names I despise, but it’d take a lot to push me over that limit.

Additionally, I welcome anyone with something interesting to say about this game, British culture, or (preferably) both is welcome to give us a little write up in the thread. If they do, I'll link and credit them in the OP and give them either of the above choices.

For various reasons I use dictation software to write, and in the past I’ve had it misread me in hilarious ways. The first person to spot any particularly funny misplaced words also gets their choice of those two options. I also appreciate you spotting spelling/grammar errors in general (or just telling me what I can improve), but you won’t get anything special for that.

Will you be doing the postgame and DLCs?

Yes. Not everything in them; I won’t be catching all the Ultra Beasts or whatever, I’m neither a completionist nor a masochist. But I will be doing their main storylines.

So, do you, like, have an update schedule?

Ha, no. Work at my job comes in bursts; some weeks I won’t have a moment to myself, some weeks I’ll spend all day playing Pokémon during work hours (working from home has its perks). Maybe once a week on average? Maybe? Maybe more frequently. Who knows. We’ll burn those bridges when we get to them.

E: turns out I’m a filthy liar. For a variety of reasons, I’ve ended up updating nearly every other day

Speaking of which…

Update 1: You Silly Wooloo!
Update 2: Did You Already Know About Type Advantages?!
Update 3: Sweet Sleeping Wooloos
Update 4: It's Not Very Effective...
Update 5: Every Last Cell In Our Bodies
Update 6: Fish and Camp and Rough It Outside

Update 7: You Took the Time to Talk to a Pokeball
Update 8: Team Yell is Here to Help, After All
Update 9: The Guiding Light of the Wishing Stars
Update 10: A Chance to Shine
Update 11: I Heard That Trainer Was Hop's Rival
Update 12: It’ll Be a Scream
Update 13: The Secret Lost Update
Update 14: I Just Had a Good Idea, As I Tend To Do!
Update 15: You're Not Weak, You Just Lack Talent
Update 16: *Team Yell Members Slipping Out From Behind a Statue*
Update 17: A Proper, Sporty Chant
Update 18: Awaiting Your Instructions

Update 19: It’s Only Natural
Update 20: I’m Cheering For You
Update 21: The Gym Challenge Is About Having Fun
Update 22: You Should Feel Grateful
Update 23: I've Seen More Than Enough To Judge You
Update 24: Neath Shaded Boughs
Update 25: My Morning Tea is Kicking In
Update 26: PINK!
Update 27: Police Officer Bobby
Update 28: I Love the Snow So Much
Update 29: An Absolutely Fantastic Poster
Update 30: Think You've Got Me Cornered?
Update 31: I Have Deduced The Culprit
Update 32: A Punk Vibe
Update 33: Shut Your Gob!
Update 34: I Don’t Do Encores
Update 35: That Right?
Update 36: Do You Have Any Idea Just How High A Hurdle That Is?
Update 37: The Train's Waiting

Update 38: I Really Made It
Update 39: Victor of the Semifinals
Update 40: Good Thinking
Update 41: Something Truly Spectacular
Update 42: Ridiculous of Me
Update 43: Just Too Much
Update 44: Crumbs...
Update 45: The Key to Saving Galar’s Future
Update 46: Grown Tremendously
Update 47: Thank You For The Greatest Battle I’ve Ever Had
Update 48: Post-Credits Scene
Update 49: Compare and Contrast
Update 50: Denouement

Update 51: Something Was Calling Me Here
Update 52: Power Spot Detectors–Access!
Update 53: Wahahahah!
Update 54: Right From The Start
Update 55: A Calm Look
Update 56: You Two Made It
Update 57: Young and Super Energetic

Update 58: An Odd Ducklett
Update 59: Leave This Place
Update 60: H-how Cheeky
Update 61: With a One, Two, Three… This Poké Ball Will Grow Gigantic!
Update 62: Take Good Care of [JAPANESE TEXT]
Update 63: The Essence of Water
Update 64: I Definitely Wouldn't Call It Very Sticky
Update 65: My Heart Just Dancing in Anticipation
Update 66: Ceilidh Sent Out Angel

Update 67: Ultra-Mega-Charmin’
Update 68: Can You Imagine If I Actually Talked Like That
Update 69: Bang in The Middle of The Village
Update 70: Some Sort Of Fairy-Tale Creature
Update 71: And Yet My Powers Could Only Get One To Grow
Update 72: I Have Been Waiting, Human Child
Update 73: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Pokémon!

Update 74: Canon Roundup
Update 75: Conclusion


(Unless otherwise noted, all concept art comes from this page.)

The Rivals

Gloria : Our protagonist. Scottish South Cameran and proud of it. Hop’s best friend. Walks away from conversations without realizing they’re still going and misses obvious social cues. Her mother didn’t let her have Pokémon around the house when she was little, which might’ve been a mistake.

Hop: Gloria’s best friend. The endearing kind of annoying. Would probably be more confident if his brother wasn’t so good at everything. Worships him anyway. Gets extremely inconsistent grades. Heard Gloria forget what type advantages were a few years back and won’t let her live it down.

Marnie: Idol of Spikemuth and sister of Piers. Has the world's silliest/most aggressive fan club. Patriotic Welshwoman Munethic. Tries to be considerate. Extremely punk rock.

Bede: Rose's foster son/protege(?). Full of issues. Intelligent and capable, but still talks way too much shit to be able to back it up. Does not resemble his namesake at all.

Avery: Psychic Trainer, as in he both trains Psychic Pokémon and is a psychic. Not terribly secure and wildly self-important. Prone to viewing things in terms of Psychic moves.

Supporting Cast

Gloria's Mum: Wooloo herder and single parent. Has a really nice house for someone running a one person farm. Walking Pokémon center. Might be part of the nobility. Probably isn't.

Leon: Hop’s older brother and the Galarian Champion. Excels at everything he puts his mind to, even though he doesn’t put his mind to much. Gets lost the moment he loses sight of his starting point. Rich as hell due to all the endorsements and doesn’t do much with the money.

Sonia: Prof. Magnolia's unofficial assistant and official granddaughter. Old friend and rival of Leon. Still just a little bitter about losing. Did Pokémon Biology at University of Hammerlocke. Physically and mentally disorganized.

Professor Magnolia: the "Pokémon Professor" of Galar. No, I don't know where she fits in with the University system. Studying the Dynamax phenomenon, though she still can't make heads or tails of it. Wishes her granddaughter was a bit more together.

Mustard: Master Dojo master. Legendary former champion. Trained Leon back in the day. SO happy he can just goof off right now.

Honey: Lady of the Master Dojo. Friendly, sweet, and more than capable of herding students. Looks like a trophy wife. Isn't.

(No concept OR fanart for him on the entire Internet, as far as I can tell )
Hyde: Mustard and Honey's son. Good with his hands. Not good with the outside world.

Peony: Former Steel Gym Leader. Extremely dad. Father of Peonia (to his delight) and brother of Rose (less so). A famous explorer and legendary male model.

Peonia: Peony's daughter. Kind of sick of her dad's shit. Is a lot more like him than she cares to admit.

Gym Leaders

Milo: the Fighting Farmer. Runs the Grass Gym at Turffield. Highly respected local businessman and philanthropist. A big boi. Really into Wooloos.

Nessa: the Raging Wave. Runs the Water Gym at Hulbury. An old friend of Sonia's. Splits her time evenly between fishing and modeling.

Kabu: the Ever-Burning Man of Fire. Runs the Fire Gym at Motostoke. Twice as old as you and can still toss you over his shoulder. The sort of person who can say "you can do it" and make you believe him.

Allister: the Silent Boy of Mystery. Runs the Ghost Gym at Stow-on-Side. Can see ghosts due to a car accident a few years ago somehow. Caught the Ellipsis Disease from playing too many JRPGS.

Opal: the Master of a Fantastic Theatre. Runs the Fairy Gym at Ballonlea. Is 88 years old and will look you in the eye and tell you she's 16. Extremely fancy and has her eye on an even fancier successor.

Melony: the Ice-Cold Professional. Runs the Ice Gym at Circhester. Loves her 'mons, her son, and her town. About as bloodthirsty as you can get and still be a community leader. Vaguely amused by jokes about her name, but mostly just tired of them now.

Piers: no nickname. Runs the Dark Gym at Spikemuth. Punk rocker, community leader, and Marnie's older brother. Exactly as kind and gentle as he doesn't look. Thinks Chairman Rose is a self-absorbed ponce.

Raihan: the Tamer of Dragons. Runs the Dragon Gym at Hammerlocke. One of Leon's old rivals and his best friend. A case study in how it's possible to be both a genuinely competent professional and a wildly vain social media star.

Other Characters

Chairman Rose: Some rich prick. Organizes the League. Holds a monopoly on the energy industry (and the economy in general). Does not know how to go incognito.

Oleana: Rose's secretary. Focused, to put it charitably. Completely devoted to Rose. Usually hostile to everyone else.

Sordward: the Right Honorable the Earl of Spikemuth. Rich and famous nobleman. Shieldbert's elder brother. Posh as hell.

Shieldbert: the Right Honorable the Baron of Circhester. Rich and famous nobleman. Sordward's younger brother. Posh as fuck.

Zamazenta: Hero of a Thousand Battles. Thousands of years old. Watched Galar's greatest heroes come and go. Has more respect for Gloria than Gloria's comfortable with.

Calyrex: the King of Bountiful Harvests. One of the few Pokémon capable of speech. Ancient. Regal. Lonely.

Ball Guy:The best character in this generation. By universal acclaim, the true king of Galar. Neither human nor Pokémon, but something more. An unsolvable mystery.


Black Robe educates us on the intricacies of applying for university in the UK
(plus inflatablefish with the assist)
Black Robe briefly touches on the scale of British regional differences.
Tenebrais bottom-lines British stereotypes in East Anglia.
Black Robe discusses the origins of corgis and the United Kingdom’s most TV show.
Tenebrais explains the history of one of Britain's most beloved and terrifying mascots.
Inflatablefish reveals the secret behind Stow-on-Side's name.
Falconier111 expands on the history of Ballonlea.
Black Robe expands on the functions of the House of Lords.
Quantum Toast adds additional commentary.
Crosspiece brings it home and provides a full overview.

BONUS: Fuck Bewears
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