The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 25: PINK!

Tenebrais posted:

There's also a Stowmarket in Suffolk, with the same root of a significant place. So yeah, Stow-On-Side's name means an important place on the side of something (a river? A lake? A gorge? Who knows)

What a great lead-in!

Update 26: PINK!

Hammerlocke - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Though I suppose some Pokémon prefer it that way.

… And, that’s it. Bye, Opal! But don’t make it past the town square before…

Well, look who it is.

Bede's Theme - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

… Challenger status revoked?

Not really. I’m here on my way to Circhester and I just happened to run into you. The world doesn’t revolve around you, Bede. But I suppose you know that now, don’t you?

You know what? Congratulations, Gloria. You won. Everything I had really belonged to Rose, and he took it all away. I’m lucky he left me the clothes on my back and didn’t try to confiscate my Pokémon. I have nothing.

I just felt a tiny burst of pity. Then I remembered how you hurt Hop, and it drained away.

That’s fair.

… Did you just show remorse? I didn’t even know you were capable.

So sincere and straightforward and yet so twisted and misguided… I like it! That’s the kind of thing that gives people some depth!

There are a lot of things I’ve done that I regret now. But, whatever. I’m going back home, to Unova. I still have Unovan citizenship; I never bothered applying here. I figured Rose would handle it. Leave me alone, Gloria. Go on and enjoy your Challenge, because you’ll never have to see me again.

Wow. Do… Do you want me to pay your fare? I have more than enough money…

No, and fuck you very much for suggesting it –

Bede spots Opal and glances over.

M-Ms. Opal? What in the world has gotten into you?!

Let me guess: Rose promised you the world if you would only help him after he picked you up out of the gutter. He does that, you know; you wouldn’t be his first protégé. Where do you think he found Oleana?

I –

And let me guess, she stood up for you whenever he seemed to grow disappointed? She tries to mold herself completely to his will, but she just can’t follow through. Her will is too strong. He likes that, you know: he wants his subordinates competent, confident workers who still wholly believe he’s better than them. After all, that’s how he sees the world; other people can make good decisions, but he makes the best decisions of all.

Okay, hold up –

Don’t interrupt, young man. I bet you thought he was tolerant of your mistakes, that he would forgive you if and when you went astray. And I bet you thought he did, more than once. That’s not how it works. He tolerates imperfection, not incompetence. And if he thinks you’re incompetent? Even if you’re not, even if there are mitigating circumstances, even if it’s sheer bad luck? Then that’s it for you. You’re not the first person he’s done this to, you know. I presume you remember Milo?

Wait, him? But he –

Oh, he’s harmless now. But he has a natural head for business. Rose thought he could use him. He couldn’t; even then, at his meanest, Milo just couldn’t keep up. One day he made the mistake of passing up an opportunity to poach a whole line of business out from under Rose’s nose, thinking: I’m not going to undermine Mr. Rose! And he admitted to that when Rose asked him. Not ruthless enough, I’m afraid – within the week, he was out on his arse. Now he just herds Wooloos all day. It would be a waste if he wasn’t so GOOD at it, he keeps Turffield’s economy afloat almost by his lonesome.

I’m afraid you’re out of options now, child. You could set aside everything you’ve known for most of your life and go back to a home you barely remember, if you wish. Or,
I might be able to help you out. I could use you as a Trainer at my Gym.

Why would you even want me? I hurt people and break things. It’s kind of my only thing.

Pity back up and running…

Young man, you’re a misguided teenager, of course you break things. Your worst crimes are hurting people’s feelings and accidentally uncovering one of the greatest archaeological finds of the decade. Have you even seen all the hubbub around those statues?

My phone was the chairman’s property.

Consider a new phone a signing bonus, and of course you’ll get room and board. I truly believe you have what it takes to make it as a member of the Fairy Gym. Maybe even more.
Of course, it all depends on how much hard work you’re willing to put in, too.

You know what? Fuck it. Whatever. I don’t have anything better to do.

That’s the spirit, boy. As for you,
farewell for now, child. You should head to Circhester. I trust you know the way.

And they head out.

Hammerlocke - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

You know what? They deserve each other. Fuck it, I have a date to catch.

You know, Marnie’s right that the hat clashes with the outfit, but I like it anyways. She was right about the haircut, though.

We’re back in Hammerlocke, folks. Previous games usually laid out their map in a single circuit, passing through every Gym along the way and a giant circle (albeit with a bunch of detours and skips along the way). The way Galar’s laid out as a tree with branches strikes me as kind of –

Sonia's Theme - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

That’s not all that’s going well .

I imagine. You’ve been keeping up with the news? On the statues?

On and off, I’ve been a mite busy, but yeah. Do you still need my input? I mean, the whole town’s crawling in experts now…

And you’re the only one who knows about the Darkest Day. Shoot.

Fair enough. Alfred… Honestly, I didn’t know as much about that time period as the other two, I just never got interested when I was younger. But I did some studying after the tapestries, and… Look. Things were bad for Gudelic and the Brother Kings, but they were a human-scale sort of bad. Alfred’s Galar, though… We’re talking about crop failure, disease, massacres as state policy, Pokémon going on spontaneous rampages – and that one sounds familiar. Before then the biggest state in Galar was the Kingdom of Sied–

Like Stow-on-Side?

Spelled differently, but yeah, it was named after its most important river. Anyway, a lot of the trouble boiled down to the Side River being overused for irrigation; did you know that used to be the single most agriculturally productive part of Galar? The Old Unovans spent a lot of blood keeping it under control. Anyway, it was already running low, but the whole region underwent some rapid desertification right as harvests started failing elsewhere. And it stuck, too. Do you know what Stow-on-Side’s name was in Old Galarian? Grenestowe. Or, roughly, the Green Place. And if that’s what the Darkest Day does…

Aye. But! Alfred the Unifier managed to bring an end to the worst of things just a few years after coming to power in modern Wedgehurst. He’s especially famous for never shedding blood or going to war; he did defend itself when attacked and he did politic pretty ruthlessly – loads of nobles died in exile after crossing him – but he peacefully united Galar Proper. In fact, his Kingdom of Galar’s borders are how we define Galar Proper today. But that’s the postscript. The interesting part? He had a pair of bodyguards that followed him everywhere. You can probably guess their names.

Yeah, I noticed that in my own research. Do you think it’s them?

Well, here’s the thing. A lot of elements lineup, but those two bodyguards were almost certainly humans. They even had families, and those families ended up following some of the Alfredic Dynasty’s last members to Muneth after the Brother Kings took over. And yet… We also know they both came from the area around modern Postwick. And, I swear one of those wolves is a dead ringer for the one I ran into in the Weald.

So, do they, like, shape shift? Did they both work with the real Zacian and Zamazenta?

Search me. That –

What was that?!

That’s where Chairman Rose’s powerplant is, isn’t it? Something’s buzzing in my pocket… It’s gran’s Power Spot Detector. Uh. Apparently, Hammerlocke is currently knee-deep in Galar particles. That… There’s enough here for Pokémon to spontaneously Dynamax.

Seems Chairman Rose is testing something again.

Leon, PLEASE make them stop. Do you WANT half the Pokémon in Hammerlocke to spontaneously Dynamax? ‘Cause we’re dangerously close to that happening!

What? Yeah, that would be bad. I’ll go throw my weight around and stop the experiment now. Can you come with? I’ll probably need you explain your readings there.

Absolutely – plus we don’t want you getting lost. Gloria,
I’m really looking forward to seeing you compete in the Finals. We’ve got this under control. Head to Circhester and get that Gym Badge!

Good luck! Don’t die! Running running running...

As a reminder: if you spot any vocabulary or expressions that aren’t present in British, I’d appreciate you pointing them out to me so I can fix them. Not sure if it’s a problem in this post specifically, but I do want to keep this at least marginally authentic.