The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 62: The Essence of Water

Update 63: The Essence of Water

You know I’ve never seen any of the Rocky movies? I know they’re about Sylvester Stallone getting punched in the face and that one or more of them have a famous training montage. To get an idea of what the next 30 minutes of gameplay looked like, imagine that montage song on repeat in three different tabs out of sync; see, I needed to get BartonWright up to about level 70 for this next bit, but I’d forgotten how god-awful boring grinding could get in Pokémon games. You’d think I’d know better by now. I ended up grinding experience candies off Dens in multiplayer – let me tell you, that makes taking even the most powerful Dynamax Pokémon down a lot easier. I caught a Gigantamax Centiskorch! But yeah, it took me longer than I expected to get him all the way up to the recommended level.

To celebrate my success, I finally ditched the dojo uniform and went back to my previous outfit. It’s not like Mustard cares (see: Avery). I would have incorporated parts of it into my outfit if it didn’t clash with absolutely everything. Oh well!

Tower of Waters - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Guard: It’s a training ground where Kubfu will learn the true essence of water. If you’ve raised Kubfu to at least Lv. 70, its training will go smoothly.

(He says 30 if you came here earlier in the game )

Guard: Once you enter the tower, you won’t be able to leave until you best five opponents...or are defeated yourself. What’s more, the tower you didn’t choose will be closed to you forever.

NOW can I go into the pagoda?

Guard: Yes.


By the way, you are only allowed to enter a tower if Kubfu is the only Pokémon in your party. Anything else and they turn you away at the door. The game actually checks to see where your Kubfu is if it isn’t in your party; the script has lines for if you’ve left it in the Nursery or sent it out on a job. If you lost/released/traded yours away, the game acknowledges that and lets you climb the tower with a Pokémon of your choice. After shaming you.


First Student: Such is the great cycle of water... It will swallow you whole!

Both towers are endurance matches that pit you against four students, each of which has only one Pokémon. As befits the theme, all the Pokémon here are Water-types in the mid-to-upper 60s; most of the fights aren’t particularly notable other than that philosophy the students spout at you.

After victory:

Second Student: Water is adaptable, changing form to match the opponent. Prepare to drown in its power!

After victory:

Third Student: Do you have the willpower to withstand the relentless torrent of my raindrops?

After victory:

Third Student: Each one of your raindrops hit like a Hydro Pump!

Fourth Student: Water changes its form and even its name on a whim. Can you contain it?

This fight. Unlike the previous fights in this tower, this fight is a bear.

Whirlpool here is one of those moves that does damage over time and this Poliwhirl isn’t shy about using it. Every Pokémon up to this point I’d taken down with Close Combat, a move that deals Looney Tunes damage in exchange for dropping your stats after. Unfortunately, Close Combat didn’t prove enough to knock it out and it ended up peeling off half Bart’s HP before I managed to put it down. Fortunately, I can use items and I immediately topped its health off after the fight, but, you know, had it got in a couple lucky shots, it would have floored poor Bart.

After victory:

Fourth Student:Impressive! You can now proceed to the top floor. He is waiting for you there.

Mustard's Theme - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

I figured you’d choose the Tower of Waters, so I decided to wait for you here.

It’s been a while since the last time I battled like this...but I think you can handle it!

Battle! Mustard [8-bit; VRC6] - Pokémon Sword and Shield

(No list because all he has is a Kubfu.)

There’s something I wanted to draw attention to real quick.

When I think of old martial arts masters suddenly kicking into gear and getting ready for a fight, I think of the first time anybody saw Master Roshi get serious.

There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s clearly pretty unrealistic. I know, I know, Dragon Ball? Unrealistic? Who’da thought? While it doesn’t detract from the scene, it does make it a bit comical due to how dramatic it is (which Dragon Ball was all about). But take a look at Mustard up there. He didn’t ‘roid out or anything after preparing for battle, but he’s still clearly physically fit in a way that strikes me as pretty realistic for an old man who’s still an active martial artist. I just really like that little touch.


His Kubfu is 70 to my 71. This is going to be a close fight, but one I have a good chance of winning, right?

Wrong. It turns out Bart has a Quiet Nature, which slows its speed growth and accelerates Special Attack growth – it’s one of the worst possible Natures for a Kubfu, and it’s too late for me to go back and savescum for something better. I don’t think it’s possible for me to win with my current loadout. It beats Bart unconscious, I pay Mustard 60 bucks, and he kicks us out so we have to fight our way back up the tower AGAIN. At least I got some experience out of it.

Made it back up, eh? Ready to try again?

That I am. But this time, I have a plan.

I figured out our greatest weakness, we turned it into a strength, and together we used it to turn the situation around.

What a team!

You have done well—very well indeed—in raising Kubfu to this level of strength! Leon was once my best student...a long time ago. He, too, attempted this trial…

Now it is finally time for Kubfu to evolve.

Ha! You’ve certainly grown, haven’t you? And to think, not too long ago you would’ve run and hid behind me the moment you got scared!

So, uh, hi there. Evolution: quintuples your mass in one easy step! With a Water-typing and boosted stats, Bart’s finally ready to take his place in my team; with him around, I can finally dump poor Lindworm, who I’ve been tragically neglecting. Urshifus come in both Rapid Strike (Water) and Single Strike (Dark) flavors, but mechanically both subtypes are very much the same evolution. As far as I can tell from my research, they only differ mechanically in their movelists, where Water and Dark moves are switched out. I couldn’t say which which variation is better. I just chose Rapid Strike to round out my Type coverage.

But let’s see what’s next on the docket…


Quackles posted:

Or Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Closest so far.