Part 52: Wahahahah!Update 53: Wahahahah!
For all that the game implies time is running out to go help Sonia, as in most JRPGs, theres no actual timer involves and youre free to do whatever you want between story beats. See: leaving the Championship Cup halfway through to go do whatever. Im pretty sure thats normally considered cheating. But I wanted to take the opportunity now to go wrap up a couple loose threads.
For instance, guess what I found in the Wild Area?
Its trivially easy to catch; Ddraig Goch cuts through it without taking much damage. But in and of itself Applin isnt terribly remarkable. Its what we DO with it that matters.
You remember this guy? He asks for an Applin, which youd THINK was the lead-in to a trade. Trading is one of the original landmark elements of Pokémon. In-game, occasionally youd find some NPC whod really be hankering after some marginally uncommon Pokémon, so much so that theyd give you something either unique or wildly rare in exchange in Gen 1, for instance, this was the only way you could get Eevee or Farfetchd. More importantly, you could also trade Pokémon with other players using a special cable that connected your Game Boys. Feeding Nintendos already burgeoning obsession with forcing gamers to socialize, huge chunks of the Pokédex were unobtainable without trading; not only did you have to exchange starter Pokémon and Pokémon that only showed up in one version to fill everything out, but some Pokémon only evolved when traded. Trading Pokémon, at least among people I knew, was a mark of casual friendship. Its not like you were going to die for somebody who helped you evolve your Haunter, but it showed you liked them enough to share your toys with them.
As with every other part of early Pokémon, trading was surrounded by myths and rumors. The most common subject of debate by Gen 3 revolved around trading Pokémon down Generations; its been a while and Ive probably mixed a lot of the details, but this is what happened based on how I can reconstruct it. See, as Gen 2 games were essentially the previous generation with more features bolted on, it was possible to trade Pokémon between 1 and 2, something celebrated by much of the fanbase. But Gen 3 worked quite differently. Due in large part to the cutdown Pokédex and gameplay alterations, you couldnt trade Pokémon directly between Gen 1 or 2 and Gen 3 at all. This was no Dexit, you didnt get any attempted boycotts or anything, but this made a lot of players furious; some people still had their original starters from when they first played Gen 1 and were devastated they couldnt take them with them to the next generation, for instance, while others hated that they could no longer use their favorite Pokémon and worried that Ruby and Sapphire giving them the acts meant they also wouldnt show up in future generations. The fact that the game data necessary to use them was sitting in accessible in the games code just made matters worse.
Then comes the twist. At this point the Pokémon franchise had already started to explode outward; while the core games were still limited to Game Boys, theyd also released a slew of console-exclusive games. And with many of them? With the right equipment, you could trade Pokémon between them and the core game line. Thing was, whether or not you could backdoor your Pokémon between generations was never exactly clear; most players didnt have the money to pick up all the games, consoles, and equipment to conduct experiments, nor enough time to get far enough into all of those games to verify which of the many rumors swirling around the Internet had any truth to them. After all, this was during the rise of Big Mother; the wealthier your family was (and the more likely they were to blow money on hundreds of dollars worth of equipment), the more likely they were to pack a kids schedule full of homework and extracurriculars in the hopes of getting them into a good college. This definitely wasnt true everywhere, but where I lived, it wasnt unknown for even middle schoolers to, between school, homework, and extracurricular activities, spend 14 hours every weekday and 8 hours every weekend doing something school-related. We just didnt have time to futz around with anything that offered such a low return for investment. I never cared all that much; I was much happier to play Pokémon on my own instead of forcing myself to socialize. The only trade I remember making was with a babysitter of mine who offered me a level 70-something Kadabra in exchange for some Ratatta or something as a gift. As they did, the Kadabra evolved into Alakazam, and I used it to repeatedly sweep the Elite Four.
So anyway, this guy. We give him his new Pokémon and he calls his crush over to confess.
Guy: I.. Err H-hows your packing going?
Girl: Pretty much everythings been packed. Since Im moving away tomorrow
Guy: Yeah H-hey! Check out this Pokémon!
Girl: Oh, an Applin! Amazing! Did you catch it?
Guy: W-well N-no. Someone gave it to me. Im sorry! I really wanted to give you an Applin that I caught on my own! But, well Ah, just forget it! I cant give you this Applin.
Girl: Youre right. I cant take it.
Girl: Even if were separated and far away from each other Ill still be waiting for an Applin you caught yourself.
Guy: Wait do you mean ?
Girl: Ah, um Ill, uhIll see you later!
She runs off.
I confirm his suspicions.
Guy: Th-thank you? Does that mean what I think it means?! Really, really?! I cant believe it! Woo-hoo! Ah, sorry! I just never thought that we both felt the same way. Right, well, Id better give this Pokémon back to you.
He gives it back, plus an item that helps it evolve.
Guy: Yeah! Id better get searching for an Applin! Thanks again, mate. See ya!
But weve fucked around long enough. Lets go actually help our childhood friend.
Sordward and Shieldbert - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST
They dont actually have a theme of their own; the game just reuses the Darkest Day theme every time they show up. This track went unused but it still exists in its files; best anyone can tell, it was something related to Eternatus that got cut. So I figured, why not use it for them ?
Im not going to let you just steal enough Wishing Stars to trigger Dynamax surges whenever you like! That shouldnt even be public knowledge!
Well, who would have expected to run into such exalted personages once again?
Not me, brother.
Im afraid youre going to have to leave.
Why, us? I am afraid I have no intention of doing so. Do you, brother?
Not at all, brother.
Im afraid this is private property, and you dont have permission to stay. Its probably wise for you to move along before the situation develops further.
Is she threatening us, brother?
No, brother, I believe she simply labors under a few misperceptions. Did you know that this lab is, in fact, government property? It is merely leased out to Pokémon Professors. Related to funding concerns, from what I understand.
We have filed all the appropriate forms to inspect this property, fully in line with standard procedure.
We did fast-track the permit through the system, brother. Perhaps they never received notice?
What a tragedy, brother. But I am afraid your objections are irrelevant anyway. We have every right to sit here, as we are doing.
Brother, I believe they might be considering calling the bobbies on us.
A very good point, brother. But I would advise against that, dear girl. We are simply visiting here, as we have every right to do. We have made no threats against anyone, and, why, someone attempting to evict us?
Us, fine, upstanding members of society?
Fine, upstanding members of society with power and connections and enough money to contest such an obviously illegal action in the courts?
Especially when the defendants are public figures who rely on public approval to operate at all? Preposterous!
But in all earnestness, brother, I just realized we may have made a terrible mistake.
How so, brother?
We did not explain ourselves to our new visitors!
Why, confound it! You are right! We must look like madmen coming into threaten them. Tell me, are you familiar with the chaos in the House of Commons?
That is a foolish question brother. Of course they are! It is not as if the parties have not been publicly disgracing themselves and each other in their frantic scrambling to distance themselves from the former Chairman.
Why, public approval of the government has never been lower! Especially given how he had his hand in half their pockets to begin with.
Of course, there must always be government. Why, anything else would be anarchy! But as we have seen, elected officials Well, we cannot always count on it to put honesty and integrity ahead of its needs.
Not that they do not have a place in government!
Of course they do! But, there is a better option! Is there not a wiser, more experienced body of leaders embedded within our very government, brother?
Indeed, brother! Very much so. We should know, after all, being a part of it!
We believe it is time for the Lords to take their place once again as leaders of Galar.
More than that, though. No nation is whole without a respected leader.
One can certainly ELECT such a leader, but then, they are just as vulnerable as any other elected leader to corruption or subversion. we need nay, we deserve a leader who rules by virtue of their connection to our fine nation.
A connection intertwined with our history and our culture.
We need a King.
Youre trying to have yourselves crowned kings.
Oh, heavens no! A King does not need to LEAD. He merely must be an inspiring figure, a man of talent and integrity enough to impress the hoi polloi.
He should leave power in the hands of those best prepared to handle it.
But I doubt they are aware of the good news, brother!
A very good point, brother! After so many years of searching, we have located Galars true king!
And who else could do so for us? After all, both fathers and mothers families were fathered by Zacian and Zamazenta!
Why, they must think we believe our ancestors reproduced with Pokémon!
Oh, how vile! Just the sort of assumption one would expect from those of such low birth. No, those Pokémon you encountered were not the Sword and Shield of legend. They were merely Legendary Pokémon ancient and powerful, certainly, but no smarter than your common Rookidee.
Oh my god.
Our ancestors came to the Northeast with Alfreds heirs as the Brother Kings usurped the throne.
Our fathers ancestors, the descendents of Zacian, became the Earls of Spikemuth.
And our mothers ancestors, the descendents of Zamazenta, became the Barons of Circhester.
We inherited their traditional hairstyles!
Upon their deaths, they passed their titles onto us by order of seniority.
Are you still bitter about receiving the lower title, younger brother?
Not at all, older brother. But our ancestors, to their eternal shame, lost track of their charges a few centuries after arriving in the region.
They thought the heirs of the great Alfred the Unifier were lost among the peoples of East Camer.
Indeed. It was only now, as the government grows weak and unsteady, that we finally traced the line of our lost liege lord down to its latest inheritor.
It was a sign!
And what an inheritor he is! A man of unimpeachable honesty and integrity, a born leader so charismatic everyone who lives under his influence cannot help but adore him and give everything they have to anticipate his needs.
In fact, we are honored to be in his presence now!
The true king of Galar is Piers.