The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 16: A Proper, Sporty Chant

Update 17: A Proper, Sporty Chant

It occurs to me that I broke one of my cardinal rules in the last update! The last screenshot I posted was edited, and I did not make that clear. Canonically, at this point in the games <player_name> and Marnie barely knew each other, but in the LP Gloria and Marnie are already quite close. In the future, if/when I edit text in screenshots I’ll put it in italics, same as in the narrative. Also, if you’re looking to do the same I recommend using 17-point Bahnschrift SemiLight. Anyway.

My what?

You took so long to get here I went in, got the Badge, left bought a new bag, ate, came back, and watched Kabu school a few Challengers. I saw you two walking together and giggling while I was out. I assume your gut lead you wrong?

No! We just spent a lot of the day together. We were just… hanging out.

Just two gals being pals?

Yeah, exact– dammit Hop! It was not a date!

Yes it was.

Yes it was. Oh god, did I pressure her into a date? Wait – she suggested we go do something. Did SHE ask me on a date? Did I misread her? Does she think I rejected her? Aaaaaah Hop I am so bad at this!

Relax, mate. Look. Just talk to her, all right? I know you, once you let the panic die down you’ll be able to handle this.

Yeah, I know…

Hey, you know what’d make you feel better? Beating the pants off Kabu.

You’re right. Thank you, Hop.

It’s the least I can do.

Gym - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

The last two Gym Challenges presented us with puzzles. The Fire Gym, however, works entirely differently; it’s a Pokémon catching competition. Each patch of grass has one wild Pokémon and one Trainer in it. If you knock the Pokémon out, you gain one point, and if you catch it, you gain two; the goal is to rack up a minimum of five points, which means you have to at least catch two and beat another (and yes, you get to keep the ones you catch). The twist? Those Trainers always join the fight and make it a double battle, and they’re out to knock it out too. One long-standing quirk of the double battle system is that you can target friendly Pokémon with offensive moves, a natural consequence of making them targetable for helpful moves and a tactical consideration when using certain moves that strike all creatures on the field. The Fire Gym Challenge manipulates that quirk to create a three-way fight, something I’ve never seen before and that may be new to the franchise as a whole.

In theory, I can see why everyone in-universe hypes this Gym up so much. Since the other Trainers only have to take out one Pokémon to disqualify you, even one misstep can cost you the Challenge. In practice I saw other Trainers attack the wild Pokémon exactly twice, and one of those was with a move that had no effect. Instead, they attacked me. Which was an awful idea! My Pokémon are tough enough to take everything they can dish out without batting an eye, and with them absorbing hits I was free to tweak the wild Pokémon’s health until I could catch them. In the third fight, there came a point where, if the other trainer hadn’t wasted an attack on Murphy, they could have killed the wild Pokémon and cost me the challenge. They didn’t, and I succeeded.

Kabu always kind of jogs everywhere. It’s actually kind of endearing.

The fact that you are here means you’ve bested both Milo’s Grass-type Pokémon and Nessa’s Water types, too. That’s quite an accomplishment! Every Trainer and Pokémon trains hard in pursuit of victory. But that means your opponent is also working hard to win. In the end, the match is decided by which side is able to unleash their true potential.

He stops talking there. If this seems abrupt to you, you’re not the only one; when I was writing this update, I went back to double check and make sure I hadn’t missed some transition. Anyway, the fight.

Battle! Gym Leader (8-bit; VRC6) - Pokemon Sword and Shield

You know, I never talked about status effects – a bit of an oversight, given how Kabu opens the fight by Burning Murphy. Instead of (or in addition to) dealing damage or stat changes, some moves inflict one of several status effects, some of which expire once combat ends and some of which stick around until healed:
There are a few others, but they’re a lot less common and don’t matter as much. I mention this now because Kabu fucking LOVES inflicting Burn. His first two Pokémon, Ninetales and Arcanine, both have a move that specifically causes Burn and use it any time their opponent doesn’t have the status effect already. My original plan was to have Murphy hit his Fire-types in their weaknesses (Ground is strong against Fire) until I wore them down, then switch to Tiddles and Dynamax him to seal the deal. Unfortunately, since Burn reduces physical damage and Murphy only does physical damage, I had to switch her out early and try to wear them down with Tiddles. Halfway through his Arcanine, after burning several items just keeping Tiddles unBurnt, I gave up and Dynamaxed.

It worked. Plus, Max Geyser made it rain in the arena and Tiddles’s Ability removes Burn in the rain, so that made my life easier.

I missed it by a hair, but at this point Kabu’s eyes shoot out tiny flames for a split second, it’s pretty rad.

So, Gigantamax. Almost every Pokémon in the game can Dynamax (at least as far as I’m aware). A few, however, instead Gigantamax, which alters their appearance as well as their size and gives them access to a special move unique to that type of Pokémon when Gigantamaxed. Kabu’s Centiskorch here has access to one, but since it’s a Fire-type move it doesn’t bother breaking it out. Boo. And then it falls to nother Max Geyser. And that’s it.

Honestly, the Fire Gym kind of unnerves me from an analytical standpoint. They keep playing it up as a major roadblock in universe (I’ve been cutting out plenty of chatter), and if the AI used their advantages intelligently, I’d believe it. Instead, they don’t, so I don’t. In fact, it dovetails nicely with a theory I’ve been building. And no, I won’t tell you it yet, give me a couple updates to polish it.

Clearly, your talent surpassed my many years of experience. I still have much to learn! I now know that you and your Pokémon will become a fantastic team. I’m glad I could battle you today! Let me give you a Fire Badge as proof that you defeated me!

Thanks to the Dynamax phenomenon, our Pokémon battles have become part of the Galar region’s culture. And it’s the young Trainers who are responsible for keeping our culture alive. Of course, I hope that instead of just keeping it alive, you also help it become something better. We adults will be the pillars for you to build on.

Motostoke - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

I figured that if anyone could do it, you and Mudbray would be the ones… But still! That match had me right at the edge of my seat!

(He always names the first Pokémon in your party.)

…Can’t shake the feeling he was going easy on me…

Nothing. So, next up is Hammerlocke, right?

And to get there we have to go through the deepest parts of the Wild Area.

Race you? For old time’s sake – that looks like a yes!


Oh, I bet you can already tell that I’m the one who will become the next Champion, yeah?

There are many Trainers who never manage to gather three Gym Badges, and they just give up on the Gym Challenge altogether… So I make a point to see off any Trainers who are able to defeat me.

Gloria, Hop, congratulations! It’s pretty amazing you to defeated Kabu!

Not a lot of Gym Challengers are able to get a Gym Badge from Kabu. We like to get together to see them off, as a way of showing our support.

So, allow me to send you off with a proper, sporty chant!

The Gym Leaders you will face ahead are all tough opponents. But I believe that you will prevail! Believe in your Pokémon and keep pushing on!

Thanks, you all! We’re gonna keep winning if we want a face-off in the Champion Cup, after all! Come on, Gloria! Let’s head for Hammerlocke!

WILD AREA: North ► Pokémon Sword & Shield Original Soundtrack

Gloria! You planning on training up here or going on ahead?

I think I’ll – wait.

… Through the Gym Challenge, anyway. The Champion really must’ve been off his rocker to endorse the likes of you. I mean, it seems Hop here can’t even throw a Pokéball properly.

Really? That’s your standard for judging trainers?

Rubbish. More like you don’t know enough to recognize greatness when you see it. You can insult me all you want. But insult Lee?

Fine. I’ll battle you over there. Maybe that will help you finally understand just how weak you are.

You’re on then. I know you challenged Gloria to battle in Galar Mine No. 2 and lost her there. And I’m her greatest rival. In other words… There’s no way you’re beating me.

All this prattle about Gloria and the Champion and whatnot… Do you not have anything of your own to show?

I’ll show this wally my real skills in battle! Let’s meet up in Hammerlocke when I’m through with him!

Have fun! Kick his arse!

Don’t have to tell me twice!

This will turn out well. And with that, we’ve completed this section of the game and now have to go back through the Wild Area to reach our next objective. So, uh, see you later for a bunch of mechanics chat.