The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Shield

by Falconier111

Part 66: Ultra-Mega-Charmin’

Update 67: Ultra-Mega-Charmin’

Before we head out, I want to real briefly touch on something I missed back on the Isle.

Once you finish the DLC’s storyline, characters from the main game will start showing up on the island. There’s only ever one present (they change daily) and they don’t seem to do anything for you unless I missed something, but if you want to exchange two lines of conversation with a random Gym Leader, the game’s got you covered.


The Crown Tundra - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Oh, this was the best idea you ever had, Gloria.

What, it’s April? Of course there’s nothing to worry about. It’s spring, after all!

No, you won’t need a heavy coat, you’ll only be up there for a few days until you have to head back to Uni.

And besides, it’s a warm spring elsewhere in the island, surely it’s exactly the same up here in the fucking tundra!

You’re only here to yell at some old people and then leave, you don’t need to plan ahead!

You’re pure Cameran, you’re smart and tough…

…So of course you can go haring off into the Highlands unprepared like a BLOODY STUPID IDIOT!

Welcome to the Crown Tundra, the local equivalent of Scotland. Apparently, this DLC was specifically designed to take the place of the traditional third version. Why, back in my day, the third version fixed a lot of the major issues the previous release brought up and augmented the game as a whole instead of being five hours of content slapped on to the postgame

Anyway, we immediately walk into a family dispute.

Peony's Theme - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

… My neck! I’m here to battle loads and loads of rare Dynamax Pokémon!

Come on, Nia! Be reasonable!

Just keep walking, too cold to get involved –


My dad is stubborn as steel, and he won’t leave me alone! Back me up, would you?

Sorry, I just have to –

Brilliant! Have a great time with this geezer, then!

Now hold on, lass!

Brace yourself—I’m pretty ferocious in battle!

Battle! (Peony) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

This… This really isn’t all that much of a fight. His Pokémon are hardly worth dismissing; level 70 Copperajahs and Aggrons are no joke.

But he only has two Pokémon, and those two Pokémon are weak to Fire. He goes down tragically quickly.


Of course! My Nia’s the sweetest, darlingest daughter a dad could ask for! I brought her out here so we could have a proper father-daughter trip. Our very first! And now that we’ve got here, she grabs the first Trainer she finds, makes ’em a decoy, and legs it! That’s my dear Nia for you!

That’s the type of girl she is! Ultra-mega-charmin’, isn’t it? Still, without her, I can’t start this Adven-tour of legendary spots I’ve planned for us!

Sounds to me like she wants good old Papa to chase after her! Well, she needn’t worry— I’m not one for wastin’ time! Which means it’s time I got a move on. Cheers for a fine battle!

…God, it’s so fucking cold out…

And now we get our first opportunity to explore the Crown Tundra. Like the Isle of Armor, it’s basically the Wild Area come again, complete with Dens and wild Pokémon wandering around –

Oh no. Oh no, tell me they didn’t –

One of the standing arguments genwunners roll out is how newer Pokémon designs are dumber and less original then the first ones. The fact that the first generation of Pokémon contained an outright Goddamn blackface Pokémon is a living example of how much bullshit that it. Yeah, yeah, I know it has different cultural implications in Japan, Pokémon is a feature of the international market and has been for 30 years! They should know better than that by now!

Anyway, this particular bastard gives me the chance to illustrate something interesting (except for the fact that, like an idiot, I missed the screenshot). While I’ve struggled to catch wild Pokémon in the past, usually they succumbed after a couple balls at most or I couldn’t catch them the first place. But this thing… Drop it into the yellow? Nope. Drop it into the red? Escapes after one shake as opposed to the customary three. Put it to sleep? Now it goes to TWO shakes. I couldn’t tell why it was such a nightmare. And then something unexpected happened: when one of my balls sucked it up, it shook in the air, let off some stars, landed, shook once, and successfully caught the Pokémon. That’s what’s called a critical catch, the equivalent of a critical hit as applied to catch rates. As you can probably guess from the name. Too bad I don’t plan on using it.

Aha! This must be the Max Lair that Nia was talking about. Which means my darlin’ daughter is in there right now, havin’ a giggle with some rare Dynamax Pokémon!

Well, kid, maybe you ought to come as well! Right! Just you hold on, Nia, my dear!

…Right then, let’s weigh my options. On the one hand, I can follow a man who I’m almost certain is the younger brother of Rose and a former champion in his own right, or I can head off to Freezington and – wait, there’s infrastructure around that cave, which means there’s people in it, which means it’s probably warm in there. Decision made.

Max Lair - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

My precious daughter’s in there, and I’m goin’ in after her!

Scientist: I understand, sir, but—

But what?! I’m here to have an adventure, and I want to kick it off right now!

Scientist: I simply can’t allow it, sir!


Nothin’s all right, and everythin’s the matter! This ultra-mega-numpty of a scientist insists on gettin’ in my way!

Scientist: “Numpty of a—”? I beg your pardon, sir!

Scientist: Dynamax Adventures are quite fraught with peril, I’m afraid, and—

Gaaah! I’ve got no patience for standin’ here listenin’ to you rattle off the fine print!

Scientist: You seem to know this gentleman. Would you simply listen to my explanation? If so, then I could allow the two of you to enter as a pair.

Aha! Now you’re talkin’! Go on, then. Let’s hear what the good lady’s got to say! And then we’ll go find my little Nia together! Right? Right!

At this point the game describes what’s coming (and halfway through Peony legs it into the cave on his own), but I think I’ll take over from here.

Dynamax Adventure - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

Basically, Dynamax Adventures are a revised, restructured version of Dynamax battles scaled up in almost every way.

First off, though Adventures also involve four players, they don’t get to bring their own Pokémon; instead, everyone gets their choice of a few rental Pokémon with preset movelists. You have to give them back at the end.

Instead of just fighting one Dynamax Pokémon, you actually fight several split between various paths through the cave (some of which contain Trainers or other events that offer you various things). All the players vote on which path to follow after each battle. It’s worth noting that though the game tells you one of the Types of each Pokémon you might face, it only tells you one. It’s entirely possible to get blindsided by an unexpected Type combination. That’s happened to me. Multiple times.

Each of those battles sits somewhere between a standard Dynamax battle and what you might find in a Den: like the former, they lack the ability to throw up shields or use multiple attacks per turn, but like the latter, the Dynamax never wears off and the Adventure ends if four friendly Pokémon faint.

After you finish one of them off, you have the standard option to catch it. If you do, you get the chance to try and switch it for their current Pokémon, but even though everyone can catch it only one player will get it; since Pokémon don’t heal between fights and you often burn through PP just trying to keep everything under control, players often end up competing over Pokémon late into the Adventure.

Battle! (Legendary Raid) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST

After three fights, no matter what route you take, you end up at the culmination of your journey: a fight against legendary Pokémon from a previous generation. These guys have a built-in advantage over your team already, between their level (all other Pokémon in the Adventure, rental or fought, sit about five levels lower) and the high stats being a Legendary gives them, but they also break some of the rules; once they drop into the yellow they get a second attack per turn and start dispelling your stat alterations like Den Pokémon do. Combine that with the fact that you’ve probably already lost a couple Pokémon making your way there… Catching a Legendary with AI partners is not IMPOSSIBLE, but you really have to hope you get lucky.

Yeah, I think I’m going to take home a Nidoking instead of a RAYQUAZA. Win or lose, after the Adventure wraps up you get to take home your choice of the Pokémon you caught during your journey and, unlike earlier, multiple players can take home the same Pokémon. God, can you imagine the industrial levels of salt this shit would produce otherwise?

Even if you don’t choose to take a Pokémon home, you always get a few pieces of Dynite ore for wrapping up the journey (you get more for things like defeating the Legendary and joining other human players). You can then blow them on a mixture of things you can buy elsewhere for the PokéYen coming out of your ears at this point or several fabulously expensive items with limited utility. You see those costs? You get three pieces for going through an adventure without winning and 10 or so if you hit the various reward conditions.

I have to say, I like this process significantly better than the standard Den system; you get more options of stuff to catch, you don’t have to put up with shitty AI Pokémon even if you go it alone, and, of course, you have the chance to catch Legendaries. I even enjoy the fights more, since you don’t have to wade your way through layers of shields and ridiculous amounts of health while Martin boosts his useless Pokémon’s stats endlessly. It’s well designed like its predecessor never was.

Worth noting: during one Adventure with several really incompetent human players, I decided to stress-test the Adventure system, half to record the results for the LP and half because fuck those people; I quit the game mid-Adventure and rebooted the game to try again. When I talked to the scientist again, she tried to guilt trip me for abandoning my comrades and I was like, “fuck those people” and tried to start another multiplayer Adventure. Funny thing? Normally it took about 30 seconds of the five minute time limit to find enough eligible players to kick things off. After bailing like an asshole, I ended up sitting there for the whole five minutes staring at the screen until the game just provided me with AI partners anyway. Subtle, petty, and passive-aggressive: I like it. Not that it stopped me from beating the Adventure, the only time I’ve done so while not in Multiplayer. And in return, I got one of the signature Pokémon of Gen 3, my favorite generation! Speaking of which, I need a name for this Rayquaza. I also caught the Ho-oh and Xurkitree, but I’m less likely to use those. E: I also caught a Xerneas which I will DEFINITELY use.