The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 38: Victor of the Semifinals

Update 39: Victor of the Semifinals

So, as I said earlier, I’ll be taking on these fights in an entirely different manner from their predecessors; while the team itself won’t be customized to my opponents, I’ll 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 who’s already beaten the game and knows what’s coming. Since this isn’t the last time we’ll fight them and they’ll have teams I can fully dissect later, let’s see how much of a difference it makes.

I know that there’s been a lot between us, what with my big brother, Team Yell, helpin’ Spikemuth and all that… I’m not sure I’ve ever connected with someone like I’ve connected with you. It’s like I’m workin’ with an equal for the first time in my life, you know? It’s LOADS of fun hangin’ out with you. And you have the town’s approval, by the way, they appreciated you actually listenin’ to them. But the truth is, when all’s said and done… I really just want to become Champion for myself! Get ready, Gloria – I’m 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. Marnie’s 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? I’d forgotten I’d given Mr. Blobby a holdable item to boost his Ghost-type moves . That’s 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 I’m 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 could’ve taken out more than one of my Pokémon. I’m not sure if I’d put Marnie’s team’s on the same level as Raihan’s, 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… D’you hear the cheer they came up with for me? They’ve been usin’ a version of that for nearly as long as I can remember. I came here for myself, not for them, but…

… I…

Oh wait, you’re feelin’ guilty! You feel like you’re stealin’ my dream from me.

… Yeah.

Oh, Gloria. I hear ya ain’t always clear on how Cup rules work.

What, did Sonia tell you that?

She’s been spendin’ a lot of time with Piers. So, you know how these are just the Semifinals?


I decided I’m goin’ to take Piers’s place as Spikemuth’s Gym Leader, for them as much as myself. But it’s 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 I’m the Leader – and I ain’t givin’ that up anytime soon – I’ll get another chance to knock you off your pedestal soon enough.

You’re assuming I’m 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 I’ll join my brother in the stands and we’ll 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 would’ve dreamed that I’d end up standing here… facing you, of all people. I’ll tell you, somewhere deep down, I didn’t honestly think I’d make it through the Challenge, that I’d fail to live up to my brother again. And yet… I feel I’ve learned so much on this journey. I’ve 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.

… You’re welcome, Hop. I owe you much the same; you gave me an outlet and support nobody else could’ve provided. You’ve done so much for me over the years, I couldn’t possibly make it up to you.

Ha! You say that like it isn’t mutual. …Which is why it’s such a goddamn shame that your journey ends here! I lost to you in our very first match.
But it’s time I finish what was started that day… Got it? The one who’ll become Champion is me!

Final Battle! (Hop) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

I understand a lot of people like Hop’s base battle theme, but of the rival themes, it’s actually my least favorite. It just doesn’t have Bede’s edge or Marnie’s force. But Hop’s 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 wasn’t.

He knows how to throw !

Stage one? Just Body Press Dubwool.

Oh? Take you by surprise?

Just you wait

Anyway, one Body Press isn’t 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 it’s weak to.

Turns out Steel IS weak to Electric .

Unfortunately, it nails Mr. Blobby with Swagger, confusing him. Since he isn’t 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 I’m 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 Snorlax’s 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 wasn’t enough to keep him alive for more than one turn.

One Max Flare keyed off Pyro Ball and he’s out for the count.

Once more, the difference between my performance against Hop and against Raihan couldn’t be more dramatic. While there are ways I could’ve 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 isn’t the last time we see Hop and Marnie in battle, and I won’t 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?

I’ve been accepted!

Oh, wonderful!



One of the best schools in the country… Bloody hell, Hop, congratulations!

Sonia had me apply. I didn’t think I’d get in, but apparently my A-levels were JUST high enough to qualify... You know, I’m not nearly as sad about losing as I would’ve been even a couple weeks ago. As much as I like battling, I think I just like working with Pokémon more. I think I’m ready to go down my own path now, and before we started the Challenge, I never even would’ve considered that.

It’s been an honor fighting you, Hop.

Same to you, Champion-to-be.