Part 38: Victor of the SemifinalsUpdate 39: Victor of the Semifinals
So, as I said earlier, Ill be taking on these fights in an entirely different manner from their predecessors; while the team itself wont be customized to my opponents, Ill have done my homework and planned out my battles based on my research online. If my previous fights were like a first timer moving in with no knowledge of what comes next, these will be like someone whos already beaten the game and knows whats coming. Since this isnt the last time well fight them and theyll have teams I can fully dissect later, lets see how much of a difference it makes.
I know that theres been a lot between us, what with my big brother, Team Yell, helpin Spikemuth and all that Im not sure Ive ever connected with someone like Ive connected with you. Its like Im workin with an equal for the first time in my life, you know? Its LOADS of fun hangin out with you. And you have the towns approval, by the way, they appreciated you actually listenin to them. But the truth is, when alls said and done I really just want to become Champion for myself! Get ready, Gloria Im about to beat your arse!
Final Battle! (Marnie) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST
Our final confrontations with our rivals feature some truly sick remixes of their themes. Marnies cranks everything about her original theme up to 11 (appropriate, considering the source), complete with Team Yell losing their minds in the background.
Her Liepard goes first and does a little damage to Baklava, but his Bug-type move takes it out in one hit. When she switches her Scrafty in, I switch Mr. Blobby in and OHKO it with Acrobatics; same with her Toxicroak. Turns out, you know how I thought that move was disappointing? Id forgotten Id given Mr. Blobby a holdable item to boost his Ghost-type moves . Thats gone, and so are his opponents.
Jekyll here did something concerning; before Baklava could take it down with another X-Scissors, it hit him with Torment, which prevents him from using the same move twice in a row. For now, I shrug it off and keep Baklava in the field while she throws out her Grimmsnarl.
Her Gigantamax Grimmsnarl. The exchange goes like this:
To avoid Torment (even though Im not sure it still applies after you Dynamax), I have Baklava use the Fighting Dynamax move, which does a little damage.
Grimmsnarl uses its Gigantamax Move for moderate damage.
Baklava uses the Dynamax Bug move, dealing substantial damage and sealing the win.
This was practically a best-case scenario for me. All of her Pokémon had a chance to outspeed mine, and if they had they could have dealt some real damage, especially Jekyll; if it had used Spark on Baklava, it might have Paralyzed him, putting him at serious risk during the next phase of the plan. But even if worst came to worst, I doubt Marnie couldve taken out more than one of my Pokémon. Im not sure if Id put Marnies teams on the same level as Raihans, but they are at least comparable. Playing sloppily against Raihan, I had one Pokémon left at half health. Playing strategically against Marnie, none of them even dropped into the yellow.
I heard them cheerin for me and my Pokémon. It was nice I may have lost, but Dyou hear the cheer they came up with for me? Theyve been usin a version of that for nearly as long as I can remember. I came here for myself, not for them, but
Oh wait, youre feelin guilty! You feel like youre stealin my dream from me.
Oh, Gloria. I hear ya aint always clear on how Cup rules work.
What, did Sonia tell you that?
Shes been spendin a lot of time with Piers. So, you know how these are just the Semifinals?
I decided Im goin to take Pierss place as Spikemuths Gym Leader, for them as much as myself. But its the Finals that determine who gets to face the Champion, and all Gym Leaders get guaranteed entry! Back before Leon, at least, Gym Leaders that beat the Champion got to be the champion. The Semifinals just get you into the REAL tournament. As long as Im the Leader and I aint givin that up anytime soon Ill get another chance to knock you off your pedestal soon enough.
Youre assuming Im going to win the Cup, though.
If you beat me, I know you will .
Looks like she has the right of it .
By the way, once this is all over Can I take you to Spikemuth and give you the proper tour? Show you the sites, you know?
Stop giving me things to look forward to!
Think Ill join my brother in the stands and well watch from the sidelines to see who ends up challengin the Champion. See ya, cariad.
We get another quick break, but soon enough, we go back onto the field.
When we got our Pokémon from Lee that day, I never wouldve dreamed that Id end up standing here facing you, of all people. Ill tell you, somewhere deep down, I didnt honestly think Id make it through the Challenge, that Id fail to live up to my brother again. And yet I feel Ive learned so much on this journey. Ive become a better and stronger person as well as Trainer. And you supported me every step of the way, even though you were supporting someone who could cost you the Championship. Thank you, Gloria. From the bottom of my heart.
Youre welcome, Hop. I owe you much the same; you gave me an outlet and support nobody else couldve provided. Youve done so much for me over the years, I couldnt possibly make it up to you.
Ha! You say that like it isnt mutual. Which is why its such a goddamn shame that your journey ends here! I lost to you in our very first match. But its time I finish what was started that day Got it? The one wholl become Champion is me!
Final Battle! (Hop) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST
I understand a lot of people like Hops base battle theme, but of the rival themes, its actually my least favorite. It just doesnt have Bedes edge or Marnies force. But Hops final battle theme is easily their match. It takes every aspect of his regular theme and cranks it up to 11, making it just energizing like its predecessor wasnt.
He knows how to throw !
Stage one? Just Body Press Dubwool.
Oh? Take you by surprise?
Just you wait
Anyway, one Body Press isnt enough to finish the job, but even after he uses a Full Restore on it, I just take it down with couple X-Scissors to save PP for later. His Corviknight is up next, and out goes Mr. Blobby, who hits it with Thunderbolt
Which its weak to.
Turns out Steel IS weak to Electric .
Unfortunately, it nails Mr. Blobby with Swagger, confusing him. Since he isnt the linchpin of any other part of my strategy here, I decide to just tank it out and it works, I knock it out before it drops Mr. Blobby into the yellow. Next up is the Pincurchin, which I now know is Electric so a couple of Mud Shots from Tiddles takes it out.
I could probably take down this Snorlax in one Low Kick from Bruce, but Im saving him for later on, so I go ahead and take a slightly more risky strategy; I throw out Baklava to start slapping it with Body Presses and see how well it can stand up to Snorlaxs counterattacks. If Baklava fell, I was planning to switch over to L337, who has a powerful move called Draco Meteor which could probably seal the deal. But as it turns out, I heavily overestimated it, and it never even dropped Baklava into the yellow.
And now we face down a fully-realized John Bonham. I already knew Hop would Dynamax him at the first opportunity, so I toss out Bruce for one climactic clash.
He stumbles a little here .
Unfortunately, even Dynamax wasnt enough to keep him alive for more than one turn.
One Max Flare keyed off Pyro Ball and hes out for the count.
Once more, the difference between my performance against Hop and against Raihan couldnt be more dramatic. While there are ways I couldve made this fight even faster teach Tiddles Earthquake, for instance as it was, he went down even more easily than Marnie did. And yes, I know, my Pokémon are far stronger than his, but honestly, when I fought these battles in my first run, I was at least 10 levels higher on average and lost a Pokémon to them apiece. Once again, this isnt the last time we see Hop and Marnie in battle, and I wont be nearly as ruthless next time.
Commentator : Hopeful Trainers in the Gym Challenge is Challenger Gloria!
Yeah, that was about what I was expecting. But hey guess what I just got in this morning?
Ive been accepted!
At UNIVERSITY COLLEGE WYNDON
One of the best schools in the country Bloody hell, Hop, congratulations!
Sonia had me apply. I didnt think Id get in, but apparently my A-levels were JUST high enough to qualify... You know, Im not nearly as sad about losing as I wouldve been even a couple weeks ago. As much as I like battling, I think I just like working with Pokémon more. I think Im ready to go down my own path now, and before we started the Challenge, I never even wouldve considered that.
Its been an honor fighting you, Hop.
Same to you, Champion-to-be.