The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 55: You Two Made It

Update 56: You Two Made It

(Ahahahaha! Ah, the temerity! Defeated with minimal effort before I finished my challenge! It’s like Alfred come again.)

(That’s that’s high praise…)

(He said the same thing when I compared him to the Gudelic.)

(Wait, the – sorry, I gotta deal with something real quick.)

My liege?

As one single favor to us.

Ya realize that, if you do, they’re gonna put you on trial for treason?

We do. We were just rejected by the thing we held most dear…

Whether we ask for the help or not, we have enough powerful friends that they will not find a way to execute us.

Life imprisonment and a devastated reputation await us.

Why put it off?

Elizabeth: Sonia…

Elizabeth: But I am truly sorry for deceiving you.

I was really hurt at first, but I’ve rallied. Thanks to you, I ended up learning quite a bit... Ah, that came off a bit more sarcastic than I thought it would!

Elizabeth: Hehe... Well, please continue to do your best as a professor.

Zacian roars in the background.

Zacian’s kinda slowing down now, but it’s still in a right state. I could use your help over here.

(She needs our help, child. We must be off!)

Zamazenta says we should go help.

Zamazenta says… What?

She can talk to me out of her Pokéball.

… How?

Woah, okay. Let’s get moving.

But before we do, let’s take a look at our new friend.

Like all Legendaries, Zamazenta’s all around impressive just to start. Like Eternatus, she has a special move that does double damage to Dynamax ‘mons, but unlike Eternatus, she can only access it through the gimmick unique to the Legendary Doggoes; they change forms when given the Rusted Sword/Shield (as appropriate). When you make them hold the right item, they add Steel to their typing, change appearances, and turn one of their moves into the aforementioned anti-Dynamax move. Eternatus is built around Speed, Zacian is built around Attack, and Zamazenta is built around Defense. In theory. The Internet is pretty emphatic about that one. And yet…

Maybe it’s just her Brave nature, but she’s one hell of a physical attacker, and that’s on top of the rest of her stats; she has higher Attack, Defense, and Special Defense than any other Pokémon I have, on my team or in my box. I’ve covered natures, right? Hers raises her Attack and drops her Speed. So she must be a real powerhouse, right?

Well, yes. But here’s the thing:

Zacian is demonstratably better than Zamazenta.

Zamazenta is Fighting-type, Fighting/Steel with her shield. And that’s a pretty solid typing in theory; Steel cancels out all of Fighting’s weaknesses while adding a fat swathe of resistances of its own, plus a broad type coverage as far as moves go. Or it would, if Zamazenta learned any Fighting-type moves before LEVEL 77. See, there’s a hidden quirk of Pokémon’s combat system known as the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) that substantially boosts damage caused by moves that share a Pokémon’s Type. While she has access to plenty of Steel moves, she can only use a grand total of four Fighting attacks: one that’s kind of weaksauce unless the opponent goes first, one that’s kind of weaksauce unless you’ve taken a lot of damage (for a Pokémon built around having high defenses), one that misses a third of the time, and one that drops your Attack every time you use it. That last one is the only one she learns naturally. So she effective only gets access to Steel as far a STAB goes. Meanwhile, Zacian’s Fairy/Steel typing has the best mix of resistances and advantages of any possible type combination, she has access to plenty of powerful Fairy AND Steel moves (STAB out the ass), and since she's built around Attack, she has the power to use them. Zamazenta’s absolutely a good Pokémon, but she just isn’t her sister.

But that’s beside the point.

After a short jaunt through the woods (Sonia is waiting by the entrance to teleport you all the way to the end)…

You don’t have to lose control. You can manage this.

Hop's Theme - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

You are a little late, though. I think it’s got it under control. Right mate?

I… Wait.

… I’ve just been informed that..

It really isn’t. If there’s anyone else in the world that deserves it, it’s him.

(But she didn’t subject him to some kind of trial by combat. Odd, that.)

(She was always a romantic.)

Is it… Is it really okay? All right, here I go, then…

His hands are empty. Animators .

I know I always lose.

And I’ll be asking you for them for the rest of our lives.

And you’ll get them, mate

You see that contrast? The clock struck 8 PM the exact moment that cutscene ended, shifting the lighting from “afternoon” to “night”. In fairness, this is the first time I noticed this transition in the 75+ hours I’ve spent in-game during this LP. In unfairness, it’s not exactly subtle, and in fact in the past I’ve had to go back and reshoot or heavily edit scenes after going through the screenshots and realizing the sun rose in the middle of a sentence. But that’s beside the point.

Battle! (Hop) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Welcome to my favorite battle of the game. Somehow, in the brief period between now and our fight probably less than a day ago (I think?), Hop managed to boost his party’s average level by about five. You know how I mentioned comedy sidekick nirvana? This right here is some cultivation shit. Anyway, I open with a bit of a gamble. The only fighting move I could get Zamazenta right now was Revenge, a middling move that doubles in power if it follows an opponent successfully landing an attack on them. Judging by what I know of his Dubwool, he’ll probably either have it use Cotton Guard, which drastically boosts its defense, or Double-Edge. Since it’s probably faster than our slowpoke of an ancient hero, if we get lucky it’ll attack Zamazenta and bring Revenge up to full strength.

We are. It goes down in one hit.

Snorlax comes out next, so I break out the traditional Low Kick – except it’s tough enough to survive and nails Bruce with a super effective earthquake. Hop tries to bring it back to full with a Full Restore, but another Low Kick drops it back down; it goes down the following move, but, damn.

… It’s time for me to commit to mine.

Risky, risky. If my Pyro Ball misses, John Bonham will probably wreck Bruce with High Horsepower’s Type advantage. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen. Thank fuck for Pyro Ball.

Another odd move, but I taught Zamazenta Dig, another move that had some prominence back in Gen 1; it was one of the few ways to get out of a dungeon without using an item and had a tunnel supposedly made by Digletts using the move connecting two important towns. Here, it’s another time delay move like Fly, one that nails Pincurchin in its Ground weakness. It lasts just long enough to break out its secret; it has a potent healing move that can restore half its HP in one go. Dig does more than half its HP in damage.

While Corviknight is just as weak to Thunderbolt as last time, it has loads more HP and Special Defense. It also throws up White Screen, which drastically cuts the damage special attacks (like Thunderbolt) do. Once again, I get very lucky; Mr. Blobby gets hit by Swagger, which Confuses him, but instead of wasting it turned hurting himself he manages to punch through it and finish his opponent off.

I feel like I can do this forever.

I think it’s time for a dramatic showdown, don’t you? Judging by the last time we fought, if I give Zacian a moment to breathe she’ll start boosting her Attack, and once it goes up a couple stages she’ll be able to OHKO my entire team, one by one. Ddraig Goch here is part of my three-step plan to take her on; I have it open with Flamethrower (which she’s weak two) in hopes of doing some introductory damage. Though it doesn’t last very long before she takes it out, I get lucky yet again with Affection, which lets Goch hold on long enough to get a couple Flamethrowers out; it’s enough to drop Zacian into the yellow.

You did good, kid .

Part two of my plan: Bruce. While Bruce can’t hope to stand up to Zacian if she lands a hit on him, he’s fast and can probably take her out if he lands his Pyro Ball. Unfortunately, she turns out to be faster than he is.

Part three, the last part. Ideally, Bruce would have outsped Zacian and KO'd her with Pyro Ball, but that didn't happen; I held Zamazenta in reserve just in case that happened. With Zacian already softened up, she’s open to a Dig, which would hit her only other Type weakness.

I get INSANELY lucky: Close Combat, which should have knocked her out, left Zamazenta with a measly seven hit points. That was just enough to let her Dig Zacian into oblivion, securing my victory.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this should not have been as decisive a win as it was. I’m kind of in awe. This was by far the hardest fight in the main game, blowing anything Leon had to offer out of the water. Every one of his Pokémon has something to offer; Dubwool’s Cotton Guard-driven Defense, Snorlax’s powerful tax and bags of HP, Pincurchin’s healing and Electric moves, Corviknight’s resistances and counters for Special Attacks, Rillaboom’s brawn, and Zacian’s freight train of an Attack stat. Had his Dubwool turned to Cotton Guard or Ddraig Goch not survived the first Behemoth Blade by the skin of its space mouth thing, I probably would have lost. You did damn well, Hop. I’m proud of you.