Part 9: The Fight for PhenacPart 9: The Fight for Phenac
There are six of us, so our sense of presence is sixfold! Our appeal is sixfold, too! We're not just bit players!
Oh hey it's the Hexagon Brothers again. Been a while since I've taken down all six of them, might as well do it again.
So do you think I'm a bit overlevelled, here, 10 levels above my opponents? Well I'm about to be even more so, since we can head into the Pre Gym and completely skip fighting anyone else! But where's the fun in that? We're gonna root out all the evil from this city and fight every trainer and get even stronger! Yaaaaaaaaay!
You haven't seen anything of our brotherly love yet!
We might as well fight them, since it's more experience and they each drop a Battle CD! You get these after saving Phenac and ignoring them anyway, but what if... we battled them instead?
Nonsense! For someone as elegant and gorgeous as I, only a setting this plush is worthy.
You... don't use that condescending tone on me. I'm older than you! And besides, we're both JUSTY now.
What the... what are you looking at? You think we're putting on a show or something?
But, what's been seen can be used as witness testimony. You can curse your luck, but we can't let you walk away!
I am starting to get a bit bored of being so strong.
I just finished the first Battle CD chunk and we're already getting the collection for the second one! I just can't win.
It's a different story when it comes to pests!
Despite what he says, Browsix is absolutely the strongest brother since his Pokemon evolve early. Everyone else's teams are basically identical, aside from a couple new catches here and there.
So hey, I take my first lot of damage in a while.
And we'll see what these exciting disks contain soon enough.
Hi, there! I'm JUSTY and I brawl for justice! If it's advice you need, I'm here for you, my friend! Huh? A LAB? In the desert, you say? I don't have the faintest idea. ...you don't believe me.
You little snoop! Why can't you just let certain things slide by?
No Shadow Quilava, but hey, this'll do.
Oh yeah, anyone who seems out of place is a Cipher Peon to battle. Completely optional of course, so lots of Pokemon at the level 20 mark because they don't want your Pokemon getting too strong now!
This ain't Gen 1 anymore buddy, that stuff won't fly here.
Since they're all optional, it also means no Shadow Pokemon. Eh, I'm not huge on Gen 3 Absol anyway.
All the women here and my comrades in arms! They all know me! There's no point in chatting them up!
Honestly, the one time you can attack and you whiff a Poison Gas. Or, uh, the opposite of that? Hmm.
This ego stroking from most characters is getting old. I get it, I'm strong.
Huh? You'll help me? Why, thanks! But you should be worried about yourself first!
I can't believe Dash was evil all along.
What's that?! You're taking on CIPHER in town?! I bet you could use an item for healing your POKEMON. I'll tell you what!
I'm sure you'll get something if you can beat me!
Oh hey Seviper is pretty tanky. Though that's cause I'm still using Thundershock. I haven't felt the need to upgrade just yet...
Alright, where are the store clerks? They're probably terrified!
No wonder we weren't getting any customers! Fine and dandy! In times like this, the things we sell truly come in handy!
This game is so fucking dumb, I love it. And hey, that's a good variety of stuff, we'll be coming back to Phenac pretty often.
Hunh?! I... I'm sorry! I must have nodded off! It's so quiet here...
Now these are some drugs we can use! Well, since we can just EV train in Emerald where you can get these for 1BP each, it's just not worth it. I'd rather spend my money on Poke Snacks.
Heheh! I can move freely again! Now I can battle without feeling squashed!
Good battle m8
In other words, I look just like JUSTY even without putting on a disguise!
Look at me! I look cool like JUSTY, eh? Come on, I'll take you on!
I'm blue, dabadee
Alright, now we'll never see the Hexagon Brothers for the rest of the game. Yeah I don't know why either. I suppose we can find them again in the depths of the desert, or something.
You should have just stayed happily entertained at the REALGAM TOWER!
I ran out of things to do! Cool team btw.
Hah? You're asking me if I'm a fake? How rude of you! How could there be any fake as handsome as me, I ask you!
There are many things that you'll be better off not knowing, little boy!
Okay, that's most of Phenac liberated. Place is a bit empty now though. Wasn't it fun at least? ...you're right, it wasn't, but hey, I got some sweet cash I guess.
We'll heal everyone up and... hmm, weren't we supposed to be going somewhere?
Oh yeah shit the Pre Gym. I am too easily distracted.
And that voice tells me to take that letter from you!
Since we're back on the main path, Shadow Pokemon appear again.
Natu, 190 catch rate (99%, low health, paralyzed, Pokeball), starting moves: Shadow Blitz/Future Sight, Shadow Shed/Baton Pass, Night Shade, Aerial Ace
The sun staring birb is back and it's about as meh as when I used it in Crystal. Well at least it's got Flying STAB to start off with and Psychic isn't postgame! It was in Colosseum, but from doing all the Realgam Tower stuff, I've actually got enough Pokecoupons to get a TM, so I can get Psychic right now if I wanted to. You'll also get it for free in just a little bit, so it'll be fine to wait, since it can do some damage with Night Shade or something. Otherwise it doesn't learn anything all that interesting, there's Giga Drain or Solarbeam and then Shadow Ball. So not much, but there's also Sky Attack and Thunder Wave from tutors, if you want some crazy options. But yeah, not a lot to say, since there's not many special moves to consider and its Attack ain't that great.
The way you battle... you play things too safe with your POKEMON.
Since you don't seem to hear what I'm saying, I suppose I'd better just beat it into you!
Ah, it's good to have Fire Blast PP again, they go so quickly.
More levels and more Shadow Pokemon. That describes this game quite well.
Roselia, 150 catch rate (78%, low health, paralyzed, Pokeball), starting moves: Shadow Wave/Magical Leaf, Shadow Shed/Sweet Kiss, Grasswhistle, Leech Seed
If you wanted a Grass attacker, it definitely has the SpAtk for it... but not much else. Since its Attack is pretty meh, it can't use its Poison moves all that well, but it can't get Sludge Bomb until postgame so it's not a big deal anyway. However that's all it does, the strongest Grass move it really gets is Magical Leaf, unless you want to use Solarbeam, which ain't a bad option as we saw last LP, and Petal Dance isn't until postgame. But uh, yeah, it's got Shadow Ball and Body Slam for its coverage moves, which ain't amazing, but you've got Grasswhistle, so what are you moaning about? Man Grass types kinda sucked before Energy Ball huh?
Even JUSTY couldn't do a thing when we showed him we had hostages galore. He's being a model prisoner along with the MAYOR and the rest of them right here in PRE GYM's basement. If you want to play hero and rescue them... well, you need to deal with me first!
A Shadow Pokemon? Meowth, that's right! ...mods put me in kitty jail kthnx.
Meowth, 255 catch rate (99%, low health, Pokeball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Slash, Shadow Hold/Sing, Pay Day, Bite
Time for cat puns? No? Well, Meowth is a fine Normal type, but without Return, it's not as good as it could be, but with relatively even stats and a wide movepool, it can do whatever it fancies. Getting Slash is a good compromise, since the RSE moveset both Orre games run on means it wouldn't learn that for a long time, and Sing is... there. Then you've got Water Pulse, Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, Aerial Ace and Icy Wind as coverage moves, which is pretty cool, but it doesn't exactly have the stats to use them well and they could be used on other Pokemon instead. At least it's fast, but the Gen 1 days of forever critting are long gone, making Persian... meowwwwwwt of luck!
You need the ELEVATOR KEY to get into PRE GYM's basement. Sorry to say, nobody trusts me with anything important like that.
Of course we're not done just yet, there's still one place left to go.
Whoops! Did I say recovery operation? Don't you worry about it! It's got nothing to do with you!
Why can't other evil teams use Pokemon as interesting and varied as Cipher?
Swinub, 225 catch rate (78%, low health, Pokeball), starting moves: Shadow Blitz/Ancientpower, Shadow Wave/Charm, Mist, Mud Shot
Shame Mamoswine doesn't exist still, but how's this little digging child? Well the only move it really learns through level is Take Down, since it can't use its Ice STAB very effectively, but at least it has a physical coverage move that isn't Rock Tomb. Cause that's what it could've gotten. Also not waiting a million years for a good Ground move is pretty good too, since Earthquake isn't too far away now. Ice Beam is literally in the next room, so even though it won't do a lot of damage, the type coverage is too good to ignore. Otherwise, there's Body Slam and that's about it. Pretty simple mon, but starting off with alright moves means it's not completely painful to get to the good stuff. And by good stuff I always mean Earthquake.
Time for a four round bout.
Oh thank god it's the fourth team member. Took long enough, sheesh.
Spearow, 255 catch rate (99%, low health, Pokeball), starting moves: Shadow Blitz/False Swipe, Shadow Panic/Baton Pass, Leer, Aerial Ace
The Spearow line can be rightly described as a poor man's Doduo line, but there's nothing bad in that, after all, Drill Peck determines if you're a good Flying type or not until that was moved to Brave Bird (powercreep yo) and since it gets Drill Peck, hey it's good, I guess. Though unlike Dodrio, Fearow gets Drill Peck a lot later and doesn't really do much aside from that. Since there's no Return or Steel Wing, you'll be using Double-Edge and you will like it. Maybe Mirror Move if you're feeling fancy. And I will be feeling fancy. At least it has Drill Peck, otherwise its best move will be Sky Attack, and no one wants that.
Yeah yeah yeah, looks interesting or whatever, let's look at our newest team member!
We haven't encountered a huge amount of Shadow Pokemon since we got Shroomish, but it sure as hell feels like it. Sure I could've come here almost immediately and picked up Spearow, then faced everyone in town, but one, I only just thought of that, and two, it would've been a little disjointed, I prefer things looking nice and smooth while we explore a new area.
I came into this area with 5 Pokemon since I knew Spearow was the first Shadow Pokemon we'd encounter, so it works out quite nicely, since instead of 2/3 of our Pokemon being on the field getting exp, now only 1/4 will be for the moment, which is going to hopefully cut down on our team's levels. Though to begin with, Spearow is a bit fragile to stay out.
Grimer, 190 catch rate (99%, low health, paralyzed, Pokeball), starting moves: Shadow Blitz/Sludge Bomb, Shadow Hold/Helping Hand, Shadow Punch, Minimize
If you were tempted by Gulpin at the start of the game, but decided on something else, then this is the Pokemon for you! Since it gets Sludge Bomb, it's a good Poison type and Helping Hand and Shadow Punch are just neat bonuses. When you add in Brick Break and, ugh, Rock Tomb, then you've got some pretty nice coverage here, since you're ignoring all of the many special moves it can learn. Good, its SpAtk is terrible and it has plenty of moves to keep busy with, such as Body Slam and Selfdestruct. It'll need Protect, being weak to Earthquake after all, but it's a pretty good physical attacker that can help its team if you want and has the coverage to keep up, even if those options are a little weak. It evolving pretty late is a shame, but Grimer has enough Attack that it won't be awful, but you'll be embracing a bigger pile of sludge soon enough.
Before we head into the center, hot damn there was a stash of good shit here. We'll be using all of these items soon enough, maybe even on the same Pokemon!
I have been promised the position of ORRE's GOVERNOR by none other than MASTER GREEVIL. So, you must understand, it wouldn't do to have it be known that I have muzzled the citizens of PHENAC. If that got out, imagine what harm it would bring to my pristine political record. Now, hand over the videotapes, please.
I don't care about your sick aspirations! Don't you dare underestimate the power of the free press! ONBS stakes its very existence on delivering the truth for justice! I will get this news out!
It's so sad that you won't listen to reason. Very well, I suppose you leave me with no option...
Sir, yes, sir! MR. SNATTLE, sir! Aye, aye, sir! Hey, boy! Playtime is over!
I don't have any reason for Portobello to keep Mega Drain, but it's still being weirdly useful. That might be because of my level though.
Look at this crazy high damage flying around everywhere!
Hey, let's see what else Spearow has. This Shadow Panic move seems pretty good.
Seel, 190 catch rate (99%, low health, paralyzed, Pokeball), starting moves: Shadow Wave/Surf, Shadow Mist/Helping Hand, Safeguard, Ice Beam
Ususally placed a bit awkwardly to make use of, Seel is actually pretty good, not only getting Surf, so making it a good Water type, but also coming with a free Ice Beam, so you can spend your TM elsewhere. And due to its mediocre even attacking stats, it can use its Normal coverage also. Cause that's all it gets, Normal moves. Since this is based off Emerald movesets, it can't learn Signal Beam from the move reminder since that was FRLG only. What a dumb concept. In any case, Water and Ice moves are pretty damn good and nearly all you need in life, so it's not a huge deal that it does literally nothing else. At least you've got Helping Hand. It also evolves a little bit late than its stats would allow and it won't be blowing you away with damage output, but hey, you could try your luck with Sheer Cold! It's nothing amazing, but seriously, when was the last time you used a Dewgong? And you call yourself a Pokemon Master!
Oh, for... this is precisely the time your camera should be rolling! Show some journalistic guts!
Cut! Cut! If MASTER GREEVIL were to see this, he would be most displeased! I have no mercy for anyone in my way, even for a child like you! You answer to me now!
Cipher Admin Battle
It's nice to see the game is finally trying to crawl out of the low 20s. Snattle can be a bit tough to face if you haven't been doing much, that's quite a few evolved Pokemon after all, but... well... you can probably guess how this might go.
He's mainly a bitch due to this Shadow Lunatone being annoying to catch. Still, we'll get our proper fighters out in a moment, I only sent out Spearow to lower its gauge, since Lanturn is about to knock it out.
W-What??? I... hate the AI in these games. Beating thick shit AI is never rewarding.
Anyway, we've got a new Shadow move here and this one is a real annoying one. Shadow Sky is weather move with 100% accuracy that damages all non-Shadow Pokemon at the end of the turn by 1/16th of their max HP. So a more picky Sandstorm or Hail. However, like Rain Dance and Sunny Day, it'll boost certain moves (in this case Shadow) by 50%. It can be pretty dangerous, since later Shadow moves are also pretty dangerous.
What is this AI doing??? Well I don't mind, since Spearow's moves are boosted and I can lower his gauge more AND it makes this battle vaguely tougher.
It also means there's one less Pokemon to get hit by Shadow Sky, so yeah, this is working out weirdly well, actually.
Does this guy hate mushrooms or something?
Shadow Panic working its magic there.
I would've sent out Pineapple to make catching Lunatone easier, but Spearow is only taking damage from Shadow Wave, so it's not going anywhere! Also, while Castform obviously doesn't have a Shadow form under Shadow Sky, Weather Ball is boosted to 100BP and becomes ???-type. Not Shadow type like you'd think, but this is the only time in the series that the ???-type's effectiveness becomes a thing. Spoilers, it's neither effective against nor resisted by any type. I'd rather they made it Shadow type.
Sheesh, finally. Let's bring out the big guns.
Lunatone, 45 catch rate (41%, low health, paralyzed, Great Ball), starting moves: Shadow Wave/Psychic, Shadow Shed/Baton Pass, Shadow Sky/Rain Dance, Rock Tomb
A bit of an odd Pokemon available to us, but perfectly usable and maybe even pretty good. You just got some pretty good coverage in Ice Beam as the only other special move it learns, but Rain Dance and screens are pretty helpful for the rest of the team. It can also use some physical moves, I guess, but the best it gets is Rock Tomb, so that's actually worse than nothing, but there's also Earthquake and Shadow Ball and even Explosion in the postgame, so that could be fun. From the relearner, you can also get Rock Throw and Hypnosis and, uh, that's about it. Sure, Psychic and Ice are a weird combo and it doesn't really do much else aside from that, but it's not a bad thing. It'll start to fall behind in the endgame, but for right now, this crescent moon is a perfectly fine choice, though its weaknesses are everywhere.
Today, we will leave quietly. But don't you forget about us!
But there's a silver lining in this--we managed to capture your heroics on tape! We did, didn't we?
Hehehe, yeah, you bet we did! I got everything on tape this time.
Okay, we need to rush back to PYRITE and get this news out on the air as soon as possible. Let's meet again! Thank you for everything!
MARCIA! Wait for me!
Oh no! He dropped the ELEVATOR KEY!
Alright, let's restore this town back to normal, the emptyness is giving me the creeps, like being at school late when no one's around.
Oh, my! So, you, DAVID, sent that scoundrel SNATTLE packing? That is quite amazing! Does that mean we can finally leave this miserable place? Everyone! I need your attention, please! Let us all thank DAVID heartily, then get out of here! DAVID, I thank you sincerely!
On behalf of the whole city, I sincerely thank you. In fact, I can't thank you enough right now. If you could, please visit me at my home later.
Thank you. I'll be in touch. I've been thinking. I think PHENAC was targeted because CIPHER wanted to quash rumours that were spreading in town. People in the city have seen shady characters coming and going in the desert. People were talking about it.
Our desert travels continue. Though surely we would've seen whatever's there when we visited the Rock Poke Spot.
Thank you so much. We can finally return to AGATE.
I was going to visit AGATE with my grandma, but then those people came and locked is up. I'm going to run a DAY CARE just like my grandma when I grow up. Thank you, DAVID! If you visit AGATE, please come to the DAY CARE.
I got seperated from my POKEMON when they held us prisoner. Hey! Where are you?! Come on, TRAPINCH, come back!
Our city was saved by your selfless actions. I sincerely thank you! This is a mere token of our appreciation. Please accept it.
Honestly, if you hadn't arrived, I shudder to think what could have become of our city.
They left behind all sorts of things in their haste. Please, if you find it useful, do take it with you.
We'll be using the Exp Share on Spearow when it can actually gain exp and when it doesn't need the Sharp Beak to not be left behind in damage output. Also, when we reach certain points in the story, more Battle CDs become available for us to find, either in bookshelves around the region, or on the ground in places we've been before. There are lists for Battle CD locations, sure, but not when they became available, I had to piece that together myself and put it in a document so I wouldn't forget. Freeing Phenac is the first story beat and there are plenty more to get plenty more CDs.
Huh? Trapped underground? What are you saying? I just got back from a stay at MT. BATTLE. I haven't the faintest idea what you're trying to say.
At least Dash is okay, that's all that matters. We'll check on everyone to make sure they're alright and then head north.
At least the center is back for some quick healing, but we can't trade Pokemon between games still.
It would give me great pleasure to battle the hero of our fair city. Ah! You'll grant me my wish? Then, let us begin!
It's nice to use another Pokemon on the team, I'd missed it.
Alright, let's see whatever this is!
I knew this shitty thing would ruin me one day!
What did CIPHER want to keep secret much that they would imprison us all? Oh! Could it be... that they're building a new base in the northern desert?
Gah! Uh, well, since we're a bit stuck right now, I guess we can head back to ONBS!
Might as well check how everyone's doing after our crazy adventure.
Poke Poke Pokemon
I hope you'll learn this song and sing along with me.
DAVID, if you don't mind, please hear him out.
Hi, DAVID! Thank you so much for helping MARCIA. Speaking of help, these people here came to us for some.
They wanted our help find a POKEMON that went missing with the S.S. LIBRA. This is where it gets exciting. They say it's a POKEMON that's never been discovered before. Yow!
You're familiar with the news about the ship S.S. LIBRA's disappearance? My granddaughter's POKEMON was on board, and it vanished with the ship. The POKEMON is one I found while tending to my garden. It was among my tiny bonsai trees. It's a new species, I'm certain of it!
...can I catch it? I mean, this Pokemon was in PMD as well, but only as a statue. If you're gonna endlessly tease these Gen 4 Pokemon at least let me use one!
My granddaughter has a photo of BONSLY. Please ask her if you may see it.
We'll try collecting information on our own, but to be honest, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
For the time being, there may be nothing we can do but gather information while tracking CIPHER's movements. DAVID? Your clothes are covered in sand. What happened to you?
But it may be too difficult for an ordinary scooter to cross the desert. It won't be easy getting there to investigate.
Well, for help with something like that, how about PERR in GATEON PORT? If anyone can help...
Oh, yes, that's it! Good idea, BITT!
PERR's an old buddy of ours. He runs a mechanical parts shop with his grandpa, MAKAN. Huh? You know the guy? Well, then we can cut right to the chase!
I'll get in touch with him. I'm sure he'll come up with the means for you to cross the desert.
Alright well don't hold your breath. I get very easily distracted.
What kinda overdesigned rubbish is that? Is it the baby form of Rhyhorn or something? Honestly, Game Freak are just running out of ideas.
In the meantime, DAVID, you should speak to PERR about your scooter. It would be best if we could get information on what's happening in the northern desert as soon as possible.
We didn't expect you to know about PERR. Small world, huh? PERR's grandpa used to run a junk shop in a town named THE UNDER. If it's anything to do with machines and parts, leave it up to those two. There's nothing to worry about with them.
Alright, let's turn this shitty dinky thing into a real machine! Next time!