The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 33: I Don’t Do Encores

Update 34: I Don’t Do Encores

Spikemuth - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Oh, Gloria! The lot from Spikemuth’s tellin’ me they locked down the city for my sake. Sorry for all the noise… I’m givin’ them a piece of my mind.

Grunt A: We didn’t do it for no reason, Marnie. Spikemuth just keeps gettin’ worse and worse. And all Piers says is, “Don’t worry”…

Grunt B But we figured if you was the Champion, you’d bring some attention back home, maybe get some people investin’ in the town. And we know you wanted to win your whole life. So… So we decided to disguise ourselves as Team Yell and sabotage the other challengers.

Grunt A: We thought, if we could stop the other Gym Challengers from reachin’ the Gym, then Ms. Marnie would be the only one to win and make it to the Champion Cup!

Grunt B: And we figured that’d increase the chances of our wonderful Ms. Marnie becomin’ the next Champion!

That’s… That’s the stupidest, most condescendin’ thing I ever heard. How DARE you try and cheapen my victory like that! What, you think I’m a shit Trainer?

Grunt A: No –

You think I can’t do anythin’ on my own? I’m still a helpless little girl?

Grunt B: No, ‘course not!


Grunt B:

I thought I was a good Trainer! I thought I got here on my own merit! I thought you lot were tryin’ to cheer me on and just making a right pig’s ear of it. But no! Now I find out you all been actively sabotagin’ other trainers! How the hell do I know if I’m a worthy Trainer or if the only reason I got this far was because you lot paved my way?

Grunt A: But – but you beat all the Gym Leaders –

And who else might have if you didn’t drive them away?! Gloria here and her friend Hop are the only other Challengers still competin’. You know that’s less than half as many as usually make it to the end? When I win, how do I know it’s ‘cause I’m the best Trainer in Galar and not ‘cause one of you lot managed to scare ‘em off before I could even find out?

Grunt B: We already know you’re the strongest Trainer in the League, Marnie!

You know, eh? Well, I DON’T! That’s why I’m in the damn Challenge! I’m here to prove myself and my skills by doin’ somethin’ I love! It’s literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! And now I find out you’ve been makin’ things easier for me? You took that chance away from me!

Grunt A:

I love all of you. You all know that. You all helped to raise me, and I’ll never forget it. You changed the course in my life, and that’s the truth. But I’m not that little girl who has to crawl into a corner every time somebody talks too loudly and won’t wear heavy clothin’ anymore. You takin’ a look at all the progress I made and decidin’ I still need you to put on stabilisers for me… I’m disappointed in you. I’m disappointed in all of you.

Grunt B:

Grunt A:

Sorry you had to see all this, Gloria. I got a little carried away there.

Nah, honestly they deserved that bollocking.

Look, go on ahead and have your scrap with Piers. I’ll be along once I’ve finished up here.

Grunt A: Ms. Marnie’s scoldings last for ages…

I heard that, Reese!

Grunt A:

Figured that’s why nobody was comin’ to challenge me. I have good ears, so I overheard the whole thing about the city bein’ shut up. When I was alone, it was like my soul was weepin’. This is a simple Gym Stadium. We can’t even Dynamax our Pokémon, but, well… I still hope you enjoy the battle.

Then this song’s for you, foolish Trainer!

Battle! (Team Yell Captain) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST
I still don’t know why they couldn’t just slap Piers’s name on this song. Is he even a member of Team Yell?

I felt I had to include all of these screenshots because I love how they shot this – hell, I love this whole scene. The way Piers switches from fatalism to such a clearly fake but still imposing challenge mode right before the fight is deeply compelling. Also note he’s the only Gym Leader to get his own music.

His Scrafty is legit imposing; it beats L337 unconscious without losing a third of its health bar. I take the opportunity to demonstrate something and switch out to Bruce.

You can use TRs on the weirdest Pokémon sometimes. I mean, I sort of get it, but it’s definitely good old-fashioned Pokémon moon logic. Back when HMs were still a thing, Fly, the move that let you fast travel between Pokémon Centers, worked almost identically to this move in combat, just a little less powerful and a little more accurate. I mean, plenty of moves still use that turn-skip mechanic – hell, Mr. Blobby’s Phantom Force is in my party right now – but there’s something surreal about seeing my footballer rabbit use something so similar to what I used to travel to Ever Grande every time I felt like getting my ass kicked by Wallace.

He’s not kidding; it takes out Dadliest before I switch in Briggs for the assist.

You can’t see it in screenshots, but the screen shakes as it roars . There’s a reason I like this fight. Every Pokémon has its own mini intro. And that Obstagoon? It managed not only to tank a Low Kick from Bruce, but use a move called Obstruct to intercept the follow-up Low Kick, taking out half of Bruce’s HP. Didn’t even know that was a thing. The next Low Kick finishes the job, granted, but nobody else ever managed to halve Bruce’s HP in one hit like that before.


Bruce doesn’t go down like that. This is the first time he’s ever fainted in a Trainer fight. It nearly takes down Baklava, too, before I manage to beat it down.

… It’s kind of ironic that I hyped up Melony so much when the real challenge was one gym forward. I don’t remember Piers being this formidable when I last played Shield. I was definitely sloppy on my end, this time around. I didn’t have a single type advantage on that Skuntank, for instance, and I hadn’t gone over my party’s moves to make sure they were ready for prime time. All of that is true. It is also true that Piers cut his way through my party like a hot knife, knocking out almost as many Pokémon on my team as I did on his. You know that Piers canonically can go toe-to-toe with Raihan without using Dynamax? Skill-wise, he’s one of the best trainers in the Region. It shows; every one of his troops is tough in some fashion.

I also love how he’s a genuinely likable character. He’s a nice person! He looks out for his community, he raised his sister to be an upstanding member of society, he’s true to himself and does what he loves. But… Well… He isn’t perfect, by any means. As we’ll see.