The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 35: Do You Have Any Idea Just How High A Hurdle That Is?

Update 36: Do You Have Any Idea Just How High A Hurdle That Is?

… I know the stereotype’s all thugs and hooligans, but even the rudest people there were mostly just defensive. Hell, I have a standing invitation to watch Hitmonchan Adventures with a couple of the Gym Trainers now.

Gloria, it’s kind of astonishing just how good you’ve gotten at talking to strangers this summer.

Thanks, mate. But it doesn’t hurt that I’m… I dunno, I’m in a position of power? We are some of the last remaining Challengers, it’s a nice stroke to the ego. But nobody really seemed to care in Spikemuth. I’m already getting a bit fed up of the hero worship, but they save it all for Piers there…

… Yeah, coming to investigate was probably not a brilliant decision, but we had it under control.

I’m still a bit blown over by that. You had a bunch of giant Pokémon breaking things, how are you so calm about it?

Eh. I mean, it’s not like they’d been soaking up energy in a Den for who knows how long or had a Trainer ordering them about. They were big, confused, and not even trying to hurt anybody, they just bumbled around until I knocked them out. Still, I can’t imagine the kind of damage they could do in a city. They were certainly big enough to smash up buildings.

Well, at least we can count on Sonia and Rose to try and deal with that…

… Oh, I finished my personal statement back at Circhester, actually. I mean, it basically consisted of me saying “I care so much about Pokémon biology that I made it most of the way through the Challenge”, so . Anyway, I went over to Sonia’s house a little bit later and she helped me get through the Clearing process, so I’m just waiting to hear back.

I’m genuinely proud of you, Hop.

I… Thanks.

You did just unleash a monster, though.


Now that I know that embarrasses you, I’m going to break it out as often as possible .

The concept of diminishing returns would like to have a word with you, mate.

Sure, sure, but while it lasts – oh, hi Sonia!

Sonia's Theme - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

And Hop, too! Heard back from anyone yet?

Nah. It’s too early yet, I think. But that’s beside the point – I want to know what happened back there and you lot are the most likely ones to know the answer.

Oh. Oh, you don’t know. Well, guess what, you two?

This doesn’t bode well.

I’m off the case ! I made the mistake of reporting my little fainting spell to Mr. Rose’s and he cut my fucking funding on the spot. Now he just wants me to disappear, I guess. So now I’m just waiting here until Gran swings by to pick me up!

Sonia, dear, I’m afraid you’re taking this all too personally.


Professor Magnolia's Laboratory - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Did the chairman tell you why, exactly, he let you go?

He DID mention me falling unconscious, so… Now that I say it, that sounds kind of flimsy.

I simply requested he transfer you into my care.

He never said anything of the sort!

He’s slipping. Something about the energy situation has been eating up more and more of his attention. He just can’t make good use of you right now. I, however, have much to study, and we have much to discuss; come along, Sonia.

Wait – what about the Dynamaxing Pokémon?

I can speak to that, actually. The chairman would like to extend both of you a job offer.

He believes this is all a flash in the pan, but in case it isn’t, he can use the services of a couple finalists’ help keeping things under control. It’ll be part-time, of course, but very well-paid. This is Macro Cosmos, after all.

I… Wow. I can safely say I wasn’t expecting that.

Trust me, we know you’re both capable and we could use your help. But it might just blow over. We just don’t know . But, well…

...Get to work!


Gym Lobby - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Time for our very last gym.

Oh really

And an encounter with the Ball Guy. We already grabbed their ball the first time we moved through town, so they doesn’t have anything new or useful to say. Tragic.

One last bit of Gym trivia for the road. You see those little statues on pedestals? Those have marked Gym entrances since the beginning. What are they, Rhydons? Who knows! They are PokéStatues, and that’s all that counts.

Final Gym Mix - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

I’ve alluded to this before, but there was a definite hierarchy of Types in Gen 1. Bug sat firmly at the bottom and was the only unambiguously bad Type (though it was possible to grind your Scyther or whatever until it kept up). From there, it gets a lot fuzzier; I’d say Normal was probably next, since its moves were generally unimpressive with a few glaring exceptions like Hyper Beam, but you can make arguments for or against most of them. In practice, Psychic was probably the single best for a variety of reasons, so much so they changed the entire Type calculus in the next generation in part to bring it under control. But I gather Dragon was ACTUALLY supposed to dominate. On the one hand, Dragon was weak to itself and to Ice without any other advantages, giving it few Typing opportunities. On the other, Dragon Pokémon and Dragon moves were some of the strongest in the game, and since Dragon and Ice moves were rather rare, many Dragon-types could just out-stat anything they went up against. The final member of the Elite Four, Lance, focused on the type, much to the dismay of some players (though I always got pasted by his Ghost-type predecessor, Agatha).

Oh man is the thread going to school me on this.

Raihan’s Gym has nothing to do with his preferred Type. Instead, it’s a series of fights with his three apprentices where its true gimmicks become apparent: double battles and weather effects. All of their teams have at least one Pokémon that breaks out a weather effect tailored to their two Pokémon. Unfortunately, they each have only two Pokémon, and so I just overpower them without trouble.

And that’s the entire thing. Three Trainer battles .

… Though I’ve got to admit I didn’t think it’d be you! But I guess I should’ve expected no less from a Pokémon Trainer that Leon saw promise in. And you aim to defeat Leon… Do you have any idea just how high a hurdle that is? As his greatest rival, I guess that I –Raihain – will have to show you! Gym Leader Raihan doesn’t simply control the weather. He also seeks two-on-two battles! You must be prepared for any situation against a foe like him!

The sandstorm does just a bit of damage every turn and boosts Ground-types, which Raihan has in spades. Briggs brings down that Flygon in one hit, but the Gigalith is far, far tougher. The latter also takes the opportunity to set up a trap:

Stealth Rock damages any Pokémon on a team that switch out while it’s active. But there’s no end to its nonsense. After tanking a bunch of super-effective hits like a champ…

… It manages to reduce Lindworm to one hit point, but since he managed to survive –

MOTHERFUCKER. Alexander’s up next, and he takes out the Sandaconda only after it Paralyzes and hits Briggs with an unexpected Fire-type move. At this point, my party looks like this:

Sometimes during Gym Battles, as the camera zooms around while you plan your moves, it will come to rest on random crowd members. It’s a relatively rare shot and it takes a while for it to show up, so I haven’t gone out of my way to grab a screenshot, but here you go. It’s kind of adorable .

We now have to go face-to-face with a skyscraper. Between the two of them, they knock out both Briggs and Alexander.

This is the first time I remember seeing this option. But yeah, it’s Mr. Blobby and Bruce. Naturally, Stealth Rock badly injures both of them before they even get involved. But I have a secret weapon. So secret, in fact, I didn’t realize it would come into play when I set it up, since I taught Mr. Blobby Thunderbolt mostly for irony value.

… I… I THOUGHT it was a secret weapon. Steel’s metal, so it must conduct electricity right? WRONG. It’s strong against electricity and I just made a terrible mistake . At least Bruce broke the rock with a Low Kick. Next turn I try out a Ghost Dynamax move to see if that does anything, then have Bruce Low Kick that monster.

See that? Bruce just tried to use Low Kick. I missed the screenshot by a split second – I think the Switch screenshot button has a delay – but the game stops to tell me that Bruce just took a look at that thing and literally shook his head .

Fortunately, after wrecking Bruce, its Dynamax finally wears off and it goes back to normal (but not before KOing Baklava). The ever-reliable Mr. Blobby, for all his inability to deal much damage to it in one hit, just outlasts the Duraludon and brings home the win.

Hey thread, what does the meta have to say about Drifblim? In both my playthroughs, they’ve been consistent MVPs. It’s pretty bonkers.

Yep, that’s Raihan. I kind of like how he’s such an Instagram model AND a legitimately intimidating Trainer. Also how genuinely enthusiastic his Rotom seems about the whole thing. But doesn’t it make sense that a good Trainer and their Pokémon are so in sync?

… I feel as pure and refreshed as when the sky clears after a storm. What can I possibly say? Calling myself Leon’s rival? Seems I’d grown quite conceited for someone who can’t even claim the title of Champion! Overconfidence in both myself and my team! I’ll give you what you want, then. The proof of your victory – the Dragon Badge!

And our badge is complete.

You’ve collected all of the Gym Badges from the Galar region! Now make your way through the Semifinals and Finals for your chance to challenge Leon! You must! You owe us that much at least, for beating us in battle here today!

Gym Trainer: I look forward to seeing how you all do in battle!

Hey! Gloria!

Challenger Gloria, Number 815! You’ve completed the Gym Challenge! Good on you, kid. Now, prove your strength to the whole region at the Champion Cup!

Raihan! I’m here to see just how good you are!

There you are, Leon’s little brother! Don’t worry – I’ll give you a battle that’ll make you want to quit the Gym Challenge altogether!

I’ve tried out lots of different strategies, and I’ve made up my mind about how I want to battle. I’m not gonna lose! I’m gonna beat you, and Gloria, and even Lee!

I’ll be seeing you, Gloria! Let’s have another epic battle someday!

Well that was a production. I waltzed in loaded for bear with Ice moves thinking that’d cinch victory for me. Ha ha, no. It’s at this point that it really becomes clear that I have no idea what I’m doing in this game. Granted, I am gradually learning, and at least in my first run I was so overleveled it didn’t really matter what I did so I had no opportunity to learn, but those are excuses, not explanations. I got my ass kicked so hard it dropped the r from the word.

Things I could have done better:
The funniest thing about this fight? It doesn’t feel like a surprise. In my first run, Melony was a surprise. In this run, Piers was a surprise. But I was expecting Leon’s chief rival to put up a much bigger fight, and that he did. At least Mr. Blobby remains completely terrifying. If it wasn’t for him, I would’ve lost that battle.

But I won. Hooray !