The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 36: The Train's Waiting

Update 37: The Train’s Waiting

Professor Magnolia's Laboratory - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

You gave Raihan a good thrashing, and that means you’ve completed the Gym Challenge! Congratulations, from the bottom of my heart!

I really wish we could go celebrate, but I think there’re some things we should talk over.

I’ve been talking things over with Gran. She’s…

Gloria, Sonia’s told me all about the theory the two of you have put together… Gudelic, the Brother Kings, Alfred, the Darkest Day, and all that. How confident are you that all this truly happened?

… Ultimately, we don’t have any proof of this. It’s all just a bunch of assumptions that we cobbled together into a framework, and those assumptions are based on a pair of Pokémon determining the course of Galarian history over millennia. It’s a bit silly, when you think about it. But… I think there are too many coincidences and odd parallels to ignore. It’s at least worth looking into.

That lines up with my thoughts on the matter – hardly conclusive proof, but a springboard for further research. Now, what do you want to do with what you’ve discovered?

Get it to the chairman.

And then what?

I don’t know. That isn’t my job?

That’s a terrible attitude for a researcher to have, in the sciences OR the humanities. As I mentioned to Sonia, your work lacks a thesis. This all isn’t hard science; it need not be falsifiable. But your theories need to have a clearly articulated point, or your work will never gain any traction.

But if you, oh, for example, say that the appearance of Zacian and Zamazenta figures always accompanies major shifts in Galarian society and political structure? That is a thesis – a rough one, certainly, and one that would need elaboration and tightening for publishing, but a thesis nonetheless. Even though it’s rough and lacking in support, you two came up with something no one else could have even thought of. I’m proud of you both.

But there is one very important thing missing from your theory so far: what exactly causes the Darkest Day?

… I didn’t think about that. How did I not think about that ?

Sonia had much the same reaction. I don’t have an answer for you yet. But the idea that Galar particles have not only been accessible in Galar for a long time, but are influenced by some kind of cyclical pattern? It opens entire avenues of research for me, ones more promising than anything I’ve done in the last decade. But that means I have much to do and too little time to do it. Now that I’ve seen you have the potential to do truly original research…
Sonia, my dearest… My lab coat is yours now.

Pish posh, you’re the Galarian Pokémon Professor now, you can make your assistants do it for you. What was that old friend of yours from university – Elizabeth? See if she’s still available. You have the budget now.

Are… Are you sure it’s okay to just give me the title? I’m… I’m not as good a researcher or a biologist as you are. All I’ve done is help you out…

The Interregional Pokémon Professor Society only asks that its members be authorities in the world of Pokémon, it’s more than just scientists. I’ve already ran your credentials by them, they’ve already been approved, and I’m tired of your dillydallying. Just put the thing on so we can have a look at you!

I’ll still be within reach, dear. But it’s yours now.

Okay, Gran.

Time to make my first decision. I’m going to need to head back to the lab and go through Gran’s notes –

YOUR notes, now.

… My notes, to get a better grip on the situation. I don’t want to go off half-cocked, after all. Gloria!
You and Hop could be the one to take down Leon, and I don’t want to miss that! Not to worry – you can count on me to take care of everything! You just focus on getting to Wyndon. Go on! Head to the station, or you’ll miss your train!

… Don’t trains go to Wyndon every hour?

Come on, get into the spirit of it!

As we head along to the train station, we pass crowds of cheering fans. It’s always good to know you’re appreciated .

Railway Station - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

I had Raihan beat in no time. Once I got my head on straight and stop doubting every decision, I made, that is…

You’re pretty different from the Champion in that! But your strength is genuine, as proven by the Dragon Badge you one for me. You came at me with all the force of a raging storm, and even I was blown away!

Listen up, you two! Battle your way through the Champion Cup tournament to face Leon! One of you ought to!

I think I’ve finally hit my stride as a Trainer. I barely even care if I win or lose more – it’s the thrill of the fight that keeps me going. But that doesn’t mean I want to lose! So, I’ll bring out every last thing I learned during my battle with you, Raihan, to beat her! So, get a move on, Gloria! The train’s waiting!

Shut up, Hop!

Oh, I don’t think I will anytime soon. You really still thought Steel was weak to Electric!

Ooh, oh, did you know that Normal is weak to Fighting? Or – here’s an important one – Water is weak to Grass?

Piss off!

… I still can’t believe you’re actually talking to him.

He’s not the same person you fought at Stow-in-Side, Gloria.

And I still can’t believe you’re DEFENDING him.

You said it yourself, mate, he was already a changed man when Opal carried him off. Now… Well, he’s still a bit of a pillock, but he’s at least trying to be better. Like, genuinely, he’s really started to shake off Rose’s influence. He started offering me advice recently. Good advice, too, and then he trys to play it off like he doesn’t care. It’s hilarious.

You SURE he’s not interested in you?

Nah. He’s not nearly deceptive enough to pull it off. Plus, he’s mentioned someone he fancies in the Gym, but he says he’s not stable enough for a relationship with her yet so he'll hold off. And in and of itself, that says something.

…? Lose your train of thought?

Aye, something just occurred to me: between you, me, Marnie, and him, the prettiest boy is the only one who’s straight.

Ha! Daft, innit?

Route 10 - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Bet there’ll be Ice-type Pokémon crawling out of the woodwork in a place like this! Come on, Gloria! Hey, did you know that Ice is weak to Fire?


Welcome to Route 10, where this Mr. Mime walks up to me and just stops a few feet away, staring. I honest-to-God thought it was some kind of event instead of a random encounter, so I walked up to it to interact with it.

I caught it, of course. And then I promptly flew to the Wild Area.

Up until this point I’ve been pretty deliberately avoiding leveling my Pokémon to preserve any sense of challenge and not researching major Trainers before I fight them because I’m too lazy to look them up to keep a sense of surprise, but that backfired on me in the last gym. So I’ve decided to take the unprecedented step of gitting gud. It’s not like Bulbapedia doesn’t have an extensive list of exactly what’s coming up and every possible useful scrap of information. I’ll be stratergizing for once, checking Type advantages and disadvantages, making plans, doing other nerd shit. I will be grinding levels, but not much; I don’t plan for my team to go past maybe level 53 on average, which many Pokémon I will find in the next big challenge will surpass. My goal here? Show what happens when you take these mechanics a lot more seriously than I’ve been doing.

Route 10 is completely disconnected from the rest of the map; the only way you can get there is by riding the train up. You can’t even fly up there. It’s a trainer gauntlet disguised as a Route that leads up a mountain pass; I counted the better part of a dozen Trainers there, the bulk of whom you have the fight to proceed. And they pull no punches. Most of the fights aren’t terribly interesting – there’s a reason I haven’t written them up – but their ‘mons are tough enough to wear your team down through sheer brute force. I actually had to stop and make camp a couple times set heal my Pokémon up.

You also run into what I believe is the same camera crew you encountered just out of Turffield at the top of a slope. But once you give them the interview of their lives…

Route 10 (Approaching Wyndon) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

… You finally see your destination.