The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 10: A Chance to Shine

Update 10: A Chance to Shine

Route 3 - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

And we’re back on the road. I know this is completely irrelevant, but I do like how smooth the transition between overworld areas is in this game, in that there isn’t one. The music changes, and the background probably does too – and then you’re done. It works like this in the original games, too. Pokémon Red and Blue were made for the OG Game Boy but came out near the end of its lifespan, meaning it had to be tweaked for its successor console, the Game Boy Color: see, this was a prior era, one where you could use discs or cartridges from up to a couple generations back along that console line without much issue, and when backwards compatibility was just assumed. As far as I can tell, that tweaking consisted entirely of making it so that the screen changed colors every time you entered a new area, while the old Game Boy was practically black-and-white. This was your daily dose of

In part, though, I’m resorting to this because I don’t have much else to talk about on this route. I went ahead and caught that Mudbray first thing. We do learn that some parents really are irresponsible enough to let their 10-year-olds wander off into the wilderness.

Didn’t even give me 400 PokeYen. Tragic. We also see a bevy of brand-new, fascinating Pokémon for us to catch that I couldn’t give two shits about. There are hundreds of the things in this game, man. What do you want from me? Oh, I know, you want a Mudbray! A Mudbray that doesn’t have Own Tempo as an ability! Unlike the first three Mudbrays I caught! After hunting them down one by one ! And the funny thing is, that’s nothing. Experienced Pokémen in the crowd are probably laughing at my naïveté, but I genuinely forgot just how grinding the process of catching a specific type of Pokémon is. Someday, I’ll talk about Shiny Pokémon and start diving into that rabbit hole. Not that that means I’ll catch one.

Oh! On a lighter note, Abilities. Briefly, every Pokémon comes with a special modifier to their functioning in battle, as chosen at random from 1 to 3 abilities inherent to that type of Pokémon. We’re talking things like “boosts the damage caused by a specific type when under 30% health” or “removes all status conditions when switched out” or “heals when it’s raining” (weather is a thing in this game), all of which I’ve run into before. Since they’re the types of things that have small impacts that build over time in combat, a lot of players shop for Pokémon with specific Abilities before settling in with them to train them up.

Also Quoth hit her next form. Good for her.

Let’s bite this bullet and give it a good chew right now; if you aren’t reading this in November 2020 (or are militantly opposed to spoilers), just skip ahead until you see our characters’ beautiful faces. We only touch upon it lightly here, but we’ll be dealing with these issues more and more as the LP goes on. Chairman Rose is not Trump, not in the original and especially not here. Both of them are shady businessmen with a great deal of power and plenty of skeletons in their closets. However, Rose’s skeletons are of a very different nature and his goals and means vary in ways I’ll explore in depth as we get deeper into the LP. On the other hand, Rose was a villain in the original and he’s a villain in this; some parallels are inevitable, and if you draw them, you'll probably have grounds to do so. You’ll get no true apologia here.

On that note, we run into Sonia a little bit down the path.

You looked real ace is out there during the opening ceremony! Oh, but where’s Hop?

He ran off. He does that.

Still can’t sit still, can he? Always trying to catch up. Actually, while you’re here…

Just past Route 3, there’s a mine where they dig up ore. That building over there processes it into energy. In other words, the chairman is responsible for providing the Galar region with its energy, too.

All of it, yes. Mum tried to order one of them home solar panels for the farm a ways back and found the MC logo on the back. You can’t escape them!

We could definitely do worse, though. He could be jacking up prices and such, but he is keeping everything affordable.

“Is” doesn’t mean “will”. And it’s not like everything he does is helpful. Just ask Marnie about the Spikemuth economy…

Wait, Piers’s little sister?


That rat bastard?


We were rivals back in the day and I haven’t heard a peep from him in three years! Honestly. I know I switched over to Rotomphone before him, but it’s not like I didn’t give him my new number. Did I give him my new number?

Just texted Marnie, Marnie says no.

I know you have it, can you relay it?

Already did, she says he’ll call soon.

I – oh, sorry Gloria, I have to take this. Nice talking to you, ta!

But I wasn’t done arguing

At the end of the conversation, Sonia gives us an Escape Rope, an item that lets us escape the dungeon we’re in. Shocker. In fairness, Pokémon dungeons usually function as route extensions with different kinds of Pokémon that you can’t Fly out of, so its role in the game is a little different than that of equivalent items in the much of the genre, even if they are mechanically identical.

You can also fight mailmen in this game. Sorry, “postmen”.

Galar Mines - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Speaking of caves, welcome to the Galar Mine, where people use Pokémon to extract Pokéfossil fuels as part of yet another PokéBritish tradition. As in, there are multiple coal-themed Pokémon you can find/catch here, even though, judging by the background, this mine mostly extracts glowing gemstones. According to the workers, their troops are work Pokémon, not companions or battlers specifically. I can tell the right because I school each and every one without trouble. Lots of rare materials on the ground to pick up and sell, though…

… As well as nightmares. And an even mix of male and female miners! Good on you, Shield, for championing gender equality.

Bede's Theme - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Coming this way? I’d advise against it. Any Trainer with a Wishing Star is in for a beating from me and my Pokémon!

Well, well, well, look who it is. We try to give him a wide berth to get to a Pokémon Center, only for a cutscene to kick in.

You. You’re the one that the Champion endorsed. What a joke. You are aware that the chairman is more important than the Champion, right? I was chosen by the chairman himself, so that makes me more amazing than you!

Good Lord, mate, stop a moment and take a deep breath.

I suppose I should prove beyond doubt just how pathetic you are and how strong I am.

Battle! (Bede) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Welcome to our first battle with a rival that isn’t Hop. Also, in a game with a lot of stellar music he has two of its best tracks. Go listen to them (especially the battle theme). Most major Trainers (especially Gym Leaders) have a theme, a specific elemental type all their Pokémon either share or dovetail with in combat. Isn’t that a terrible idea, you ask, considering type advantages? Absolutely. In past games, your rival (and usually major bosses, like the Team leaders) averted that trend, but while Hop does, the other two rivals don’t. Bede here favors Psychic types, which favor powerful moves that use Special Attack and have very few weaknesses – so few weaknesses, in fact, that Gen 2 introduced two new types (Dark and Steel) in large part to counteract Psychic dominance. I will be using the first of those types against him today.

… I WILL be using the first of those two types, since I forgot to switch out which Pokémon comes first.

I’m giving your Pokémon a little chance to shine. That’s all.

Sorry I gave you that impression, pal. See, L337 is a Dragon type, but he has access to Bite, a powerful Dark-type move (for this point in the game) that messes up all of his Pokémon. This one creature I have used exactly once before this point (against the wild Pokémon) soloed a battle that supposed to be a major roadblock. I’m not kidding when I say this game is easy.

its not like i was trying to beat you or anything, b-baka

Well, that was unexpected. I suppose you’re more able than I thought.

Must say, given the shite you were talking back there, I thought you’d take this loss a little harder.

Shows what you know. The chairman taught me better than that; “failure is an opportunity to succeed more later”.
Naturally, I’ll remember your battle style and strategies now. I’m sure to easily defeat you if and when we face each other in an official match. Now that we’ve established that, I won’t waste anymore time on you.

And the arrogance is back.

I’ve already gathered every Wishing Star in this area.

…Good for you?

Can you take this seriously? I’m demonstrating my superiority.

Honestly, between the battle, attitude and haircut, there isn’t much to feel superior about.

Rose helped me pick this haircut! He said he wore his hair like this when he first got started!

Maybe it worked for someone with a completely different body type, but on you it looks like absolute shite. Gonna copy his paunch to close the distance?

I am going to DESTROY your Pokémon next time we meet, asshole

And with that, he just buggers off, letting us out of the mine…

Turffield - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

…And into the outskirts of idyllic Turffield.

PS I’ll rename ‘er Murphy once I hit the Center.