Part 13: Key DevelopmentsPart 13: Key Developments
Here's our new team member. He's neat, but of course we need to get that gauge down, so to the front of the party it goes. It'll also need some slight recovery to stick around a bit more, though that's not a big deal to start with.
Cipher Key Lair
Let's continue on with more box pushing yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
Thankfully since Pokemon is an RPG for babies, its overworld "puzzles" aren't very difficult, which makes it easier for someone making screenshots of said "puzzles".
Pushing boxes onto switches to open doors is the easy part, now there's a trainer too? What difficulty!
Ah, letting the Shadow Pokemon do what they want while you draw all the fire. Nice, nice. Though Pokeballs thankfully ignore Follow Me since they go before it.
Are you starting to see a pattern yet?
Beedrill, 45 catch rate (78%, low health, paralyzed, Net Ball), starting moves: Shadow Blitz/Sludge Bomb, Shadow Hold/Baton Pass, Twineedle, Swords Dance
Ah the classic early game bug here in the late game to be... useful??? Surprising none of you that actually looked at its moves, Beedrill is... good in this game. Only because they felt generous and gave it Sludge Bomb AND Swords Dance. Lucky little shit. It even gets mediocre Bug STAB in Twineedle, but it's not the worst Bug move and if you get up a Swords Dance it'll do some damage, since it has alright Attack as well. Like, I'm using a Fearow, you can use some subpar stuff, since the game is giving you some subpar options with tools to work through that. Once you give it Brick Break you're done, it can boost away and attack away. It could use Protect since it's a fragile bee, but frankly, you're not gonna get a better dealt Beedrill hand than this.
Pidgeotto, 120 catch rate (78%, low health, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Blitz/Wing Attack, Shadow Panic/Refresh, Steel Wing, Featherdance
No Drill Peck? Pass. But seriously, out of the various birds we've encountered so far, Pidgeotto is as basic as they get. Thannkfully they gave it Steel Wing, but Return is still postgame, so you've got Wing Attack, Steel Wing, Double-Edge and... Thief? Man I am sick of having that move crop up as a vaguely serious option because THEY DON'T GET ANYTHING ELSE AHHHHHHHH. Sure, Fearow ain't exactly singing much either, but at least it hits harder and faster. If you want your basic birb to be more well rounded, then this is the mon for you, but that's its problem, it's just pretty mehhhhhhhhh and we've got plenty more of those to come, so if it can't stand out much, then there's not much reason to use it. Still, it's fine, it just doesn't really do anything much. And you know what, that's okay, cause that's what it does best.
We must be getting to the top if we're reaching the offices.
Oh? This should be interesting.
N-Never mind. Smeargle are so confusing sometimes...
We've had some nice items from Roosevelt, especially after it got some training on Death Mountain.
We have a... common ancestor.
Ooh more stuff to sell. I guess if I used all of the freebies it'd matter, but I really want lots of Revival Herbs...
Even now Shellder gives no shits about physical moves, which is just fantastic.
You know, you'll see more Chimecho in these games than you'll see in all the other games combined. And that's terrible.
Maybe these guys could be a bit more spaced out, going five steps into another unavoidable battle gives me Gen 1 flashbacks.
Downside is Shellder takes quite a bit of damage from even weak Fire attacks. Stats man.
Still, having Surf is always nice, even if it's not doing a lot due to spread damage.
Now that's a shame. On both counts.
Tangela, 45 catch rate (50%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rave/Solarbeam, Shadow Hold/Morning Sun, Sunny Day, Ingrain
Oh hey have you used one of these without evolving it? Well you could, its stats are actually quite nice and in a double games, weather is definitely a more viable strategy, as we've seen. The game definitely wants you to just sit in the sun soaking up health and then blasting foes here and there, but it's a lot easier with a Heat Rock. However, that's all it really does, though it does get all the powder moves. If you want any kind of coverage move that doesn't use its rubbish Attack then you'll be relying on Hidden Power, which is never a good sign. At least Sludge Bomb is postgame so you won't get sad when you use it. It does its one thing quite well, but if you need it to do literally anything else, then boy are you in for a surprise. The surprise is awful Pokemon movepools that still somehow persist to this day.
Butterfree, 45 catch rate (78%, low health, paralyzed, Net Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Psychic, Shadow Mist/Morning Sun, Sleep Powder, Aerial Ace
Well if one of the bugs is weirdly good, then the other one is going to be bad, can't spread too much goodwill around after all, don't want too much fun! Yeah Butterfree ain't that great since it can't use its STABs at all, despite learning Silver Wind later on, and only having Psychic and Giga Drain for attacks. Not that great, but it can still put things to sleep and with Solarbeam it can be Tangela... with worse SpAtk, a worse typing and Psychic. Coooooooooool. It's not Gen 1 anymore where a Psychic attack immediately puts you 2 tiers higher than you would be otherwise so you can use it, but compared to what its immediately competing against (Pidgeotto excepting), it's not a good look. Only thing to do is release it, I guess. DID YOU GET THAT REFERENCE NINETIES KID? Oh wait they've remade that scene twice since then, so never mind.
(that's not me, the text is randomly broken up here, dramatic effect?)
That's how we managed to deal with all the POKEMON from the S.S. LIBRA in this short time. We can keep doing it, too. If anyone tries to meddle with our fantastic plan, this is what happens!
We had our fill of good scientist in Hordel, so now we must beat up some nerds. Or at least, another nerd in this facility of nerds in this team of nerds.
Every trainer still has a lot of Pokemon, so this floor is taking a while.
I've also heard that the CIPHER HQ has completed final tuning of XD001, the ultimate SHADOW POKEMON. Looks like you got here just a little bit late. Ahaha!
If nothing's done about you, there's a 98% likelihood that this factory and the SHADOW POKEMON plan will be endangered. In that event, the danger to CIPHER goes up a whopping 54%. That's critically bad news. I suppose we'll have to coax you into giving up the chase right here.
Worth it, the sooner I beat this guy, the better.
Oh hey the vanishing floor glitch can happen in battles too.
And then it fixes itself? Regardless, in most Pokemon games, you always need a Gyarados answer since that mon pops up a bit. You still need that in these games, but you should also have a Shedinja answer. Not that that's difficult.
Magneton, 60 catch rate (62%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rave/Double-Edge, Shadow Hold/Refresh, Shadow Sky/Rain Dance, Thunder
We've had a few sun options with Grass types, but rain options are usually Water types, with this little exception. It's 50/50 whether it can use rain, since you do at least weaken Fire moves, but aside from Thunder, it doesn't do much else, so Thunderbolt can be a lot more reliable. The lack of a second special move is also a shame, since, like Tangela, Magneton has very little in the way of variety, it doesn't even learn a single Steel move bar Metal Sound! So against Ground types, you'll have to use Normal moves and up against Steelix... you're just fucked, despite what your ability might lead you to believe. So like with Tangela, if dropping down bolts is what you want to do, hey this mon is great at that! But if you want it to do anything else then you'll be very sad indeed. I can't even mention Thief! I suppose there's always Hidden Power...
Dunno what this is, but maybe we can knock out a guard with it.
Alright, the roof. We're nearly done with this place since we did a chunk of it last update. Honestly doing this place in one go is pretty boring and miserable, so I think it worked out.
Despite his model and powerful Pokemon, this guy is not a Cipher Cmdr. That is given to Exol only, but despite that we never see him again after the ONBS raid, which is really weird.
That's one negative about this game: Cipher is just pretty meh, since they have way too many peons and you never really see or refight most of them ever again, which is in stark contrast to the last game. It helped that they varied up the designs of the Cipher guys and they didn't have 99% of the Shadow Pokemon so you could go, oh, this trainer had that Pokemon. But it's whatever really, their design is still kinda neat and they're still fun.
You wait six parts to see this model again and then two come at once.
It's hilarious how bad Triple Kick is.
I always found it weird the AI used Psych Up for no reason. This is why I'm not worried about Skynet, the AI will just use Agility on a Poison type forever.
I think I have an idea where this S.S. Libra came from, but I need to be sure.
Venomoth, 75 catch rate (78%, low health, Net Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Silver Wind, Shadow Mist/Refresh, Substitute, Psychic
I suppose since we're going over a lot of Kanto Pokemon, we'll have to start comparing the various Poison types we'll run into. Venomoth is like Butterfree except with slightly higher stats. It also can't use its STAB since its Attack is meh, but all it really gets is Psychic and Giga Drain to use. Like you can definitely use Venomoth, I should know, but no Sludge Bomb decides if you'll have an easy time with it. Though since you don't have to think about physical moves, it's not the end of the world, but you'll have to use them anyway to fill moveslots. So yeah, take your powder moves and your couple of special moves and your slightly better typing and your lack of sun and go do stuff, I guess. Sometimes it's tough talking about mediocre Pokemon when they're specifically placed at the end of the game due to the developers being cute. And be honest, you'd forgotten I'd even used Mothra, you monsters.
Weepinbell, 120 catch rate (78%, low health, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rave/Magical Leaf, Shadow Hold/Morning Sun, Sludge Bomb, Sweet Scent
So we've had Grass types, Bug types pretending to be Grass types and Poison types without Sludge Bomb. Weepinbell is a slow mixed attacker and is able to be pretty useful with the moves its given, mainly cause of Sludge Bomb. Like most stone evolutions, you can get the shiny new form right away, since you can relearn Sleep Powder whenever and then decide if you're going sun. It definitely fixes its Speed and lets it loose Solarbeam, but makes it really weak to Fire. Like other Pokemon, it can't do a huge amount, but what it can do is pretty good, since it learns good moves, makes use of its STAB(!) and will do you just fine for the rest of the game. Pretty good time to pick one up, honestly.
Ah, finally, one of the best moves in the series. None of our team can learn it... we should fix that.
Whoops! I left it on my desk! That's not smart... oh, hey! That's my SYSTEM LEVER! You went and got it for me! Thank you! ...wait! Who are you anyway?! You don't belong here! Darn! If the voltage goes up even a little, the computer controlling this whole facility will shut down! And, oh my gosh! If that were to happen, the SHADOW POKEMON production software could be destroyed! I can't let you lay one finger on this CONTROL MACHINE!
Hm? Did you say something? I was just trying to remember what Sassy did. Uh, +SpDef -Spd. Hmm, that's not bad actually.
Even Shellder falls after enough super effective physical attacks, though he doesn't go down easy.
That's actually kinda smart since Hotdog is out but I don't think it really matters. Because Hotdog is a monster.
He runs away regardless, so I guess he wasn't that bothered.
Pull the lever, David!
Oh, no! What the blazes?! The SHADOW POKEMON production software's been deleted! GORIGAN gets furious if things don't get his way! He's going to chew me out again!
Weird that Smarton is one of the few Cipher guys we actually rematch, with the Hexagon Brothers being the main ones. Well his mons were interesting, but whatever, no Shadow Pokemon.
Pretty good so far, let's wrap this up.
Hey wait a minute, you didn't have this earlier! Shame too, since it's our final team member!
Arbok, 90 catch rate (62%, low health, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Sludge Bomb, Shadow Half/Refresh, Glare, Bite
Okay good, it has Sludge Bomb, that's the first step, so what else can this snake do? Well, in a doubles game, it can Intimidate, which is really cool, but I'm fine not having it since it'd get repetitive during the game. It also learns some nice TMs, which a lot of Pokemon in this facility have been missing, such as Earthquake and Iron Tail and even Giga Drain! Shame we don't get FRLG Move Tutors for Rock Slide, but at least it can't learn Rock Tomb, so I'm not saddled with that shitty move. Of course since its stats aren't very impressive, it's not going to be too impressive and it'll need Protect to stay alive most likely. But hey, as far as Poison types go, it's alright, why not?
Well I'll be a monkey's uncle...
Cipher Admin Theme
Impossible! One kid took down all these SHADOW POKEMON we made? Urrgggh! In wrecking my factory, you smeared dirt all over my good name and standing!
It's final admin time!
Cipher Admin Battle
Ah the Protect Earthquake combo. I hadn't missed it.
Still, his team is quite weak to Pineapple, so it's whatever. Gorigan can be pretty tough, but we've been dealing with these attacks since Dakim! We'll be fine.
But I've also got Protect, you just forgot since I've barely felt like I had to use it until now.
Protect works better when you have teammates to cover you, which our team can't completely do right now, but we'll get there.
And of course there's still more Shadow Pokemon. Probably more than necessary, but hey, more chances for me to reset, right? ...r-right?
Of course this mon is a Shadow Pokemon. Yikes.
Just because they're his last Pokemon doesn't mean they don't hit REALLY HARD. Including a new move in Shadow Storm, which is a 95BP special move with 100% accuracy that hits both opponents. Upgrade to Shadow Rave, aye, but I don't know what Primeape also has it. We don't see it, but this is also Shadow Down's first appearance too, which lowers both opponent's Defense by 2 stages and has 100% accuracy. Pretty nasty, but it's also pretty uncommon.
Hypno, 75 catch rate (78%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Storm/Psychic, Shadow Down/Baton Pass, Meditate, Shadow Ball
Definitely one of the weirder Psychic types (which is saying a lot!), Hypno is specially bulky and, uh, that's about it. Being mixed, its moveset ain't as bad as you'd think, since a free Psychic and Shadow Ball is pretty nice. You'll be focusing on its physical side, since, of course, its only special moves are Psychic, but it can learn Brick Break and Body Slam, so it has some pretty damn good coverage. Though since its stats are so mediocre, it won't impress you much, but that applies to most Pokemon we've encountered this update, so I'm not too bothered about it. While you've probably never touched it, this mon is just weird enough with just enough good moves to kinda work.
Primeape, 75 catch rate (78%, low health, paralyzed, Ultra Ball), starting moves: Shadow Rush/Cross Chop, Shadow Storm/Helping Hand, Focus Energy, Reversal
The pissed off monkey sent out a pissed off monkey and it hasn't really changed since we used it a few years ago (man, has it really been that long?). It hits hard with Fighting moves and then learns... most TMs, what the hell? The standards are there, such as Earthquake, Iron Tail, Rock Tomb and Aerial Ace (though the latter two are postgame), but there's also Thunderbolt and Overheat. Well, no Shadow Ball kinda sucks, but I guess you could use special ape if you wanted to? As it is, it won't be doing much to the Levitate Ghosts, but its Attack is high enough it'll definitely put a dent into anything you point it at. While some of its coverage moves are still a while away and it won't be critting fools all day erry day, it'll still hit you just as hard as it used to, even as most things change around it.
Bring it, I'm a Super Metroid speedrunning superstar.
Oh... uh, w-wow! I totally did not see this coming!
I must say I am taken aback. I never once imagined that you would destroy our factory. But that's not important. Even though the mass output of SHADOW POKEMON has ended, our plan itself is unharmed. We have already completed XD001's final tuning. It now rests with me.
XD001?! The ultimate SHADOW POKEMON that's resistant to purification?!
Now, I shall prepare our final plan to activate XD001. Do you honestly think you can stop me? I shall be at CIPHER's HQ. It is on CITADARK ISLE off the coast of GATEON PORT. It is an impregnable fortress that repels all with cruel waves and thick clouds. No one can reach it! Come if you dare. I'll enjoy waiting for you. Hohohoho!
The place will be swarming with TRAINERS carrying the SHADOW POKEMON I made! ...even though there should be a lot more SHADOW POKEMON... If XD001 didn't drop that ship in the desert, we wouldn't have taken so long tuning the SHADOW POKEMON. Hyahyahya! But it doesn't matter. There's plenty of SHADOW POKEMON to welcome you in style! How many are there? Heheh, I can't tell you that. If I did, it'd floor you! It's just a matter of time before the world belongs to us. You'd better be ready for it!
Cipher Key Lair
If we wanted to know about every single Shadow Pokemon in this game, including all the ones we have yet to meet, it's now in our Shadow Monitor.
We're all done here, so we need to head back the way we came, which while a little annoying ain't a huge deal.
These two weird guys took off with a SHADOW POKMEON! One had like, a mohawk, and the other had hair like, a ball! Darn it! They made off with the last SHADOW POKEMON that came off the production line before it shut down!
If we had talked to the other worker upstairs, we would find out exactly what Pokemon that was, but of course that'd be spoilers. What isn't spoilers is more Battle CDs have appeared, because of course they have. These are the last ones for the main game, the next flag for the final ones is beating the game.
That's that. We'll head to the nearest Pokemon Center in Phenac and then it's to Gateon Port.
Our team is now nearly complete. Once everyone's purified and got cool moves then we'll be ready to finish the game. I didn't fancy going all the way back to a PC when we were right at the end of the Key Lair, so we'll be using Arbok for quite a bit. Oh yeah, Shadow Half is a very rare move that halves the current HP of all Pokemon on the field, so a very potent Super Fang. It has 100% accuracy and the user has to skip a turn, so while it's risky, being able to halve both opponent's HP is super good. We'll be using this one.
Make sure to take these items for the greater good. Weird that the Metal Coat is the Steel boosting item, but is also the only one with another purpose. More random trivia, the Magnet is the only one that doesn't appear in any way in Colosseum. Weird, right?
While we have a list of every Shadow Pokemon now, I'll let you guys have a sneek peak at the next one on the list. Uh, not the next one we'll encounter though.
What in the ham sandwich is going on?
Once Grandpa get down to it and got serious with it, he put together something kind of amazing. Come over here, guy! You have to listen to my grandpa! I tell you, it's great! Look, I'm even giddy!
...well, I'll be! CIPHER's headquarters is on CITADARK ISLE? And you intend to go there?!
CITADARK ISLE, huh? When it's on a place like that, it's no wonder nobody's found CIPHER's base. The currents around the ISLE are swift, and the weather is always storming. The place can't be approached by sea or by air.
PERR. That was certainly true before. But, now, however...
I get it, Grandpa! The ROBO KYOGRE, right?
Precisely, PERR! Our ROBO KYOGRE will be able to reach the ISLE! All right, we must prepare to launch the ROBO KYOGRE for DAVID! Come, PERR!
Oh hey, remember those characters at the HQ Lab we haven't seen for over half the game? Yeah, me neither.
It's all ready to go. You can leave whenever you're ready. Perhaps the ROBO KYOGRE was always meant for you to ride from the start.
There's no telling what you'll run into on CITADARK ISLE. You be careful. If the going gets rough, you scoot back right away, okay? Don't try to overdo things. Oh, yeah. I think the POKEMON MART has added new merchandise. Stock up on supplies before you go!
Oh, no! I beg your pardon! Uh... MAX POTION, and uh... FULL RESTORE! Would you like some?
We definitely need to stock up, Citadark Isle is going to be quite the long one. But of course we're not heading there straight away. There's still a fair few things to do around the region before we finish the game. Colosseum might've been this long, but XD still has a good chunk left.
Pokemon HQ Lab
It's a secret to everyone!
Usually takes some stories a lot longer to get into the basement.
I think the situation calls for a special solution. DAVID, there's something here that I'd like you to use. Go on, open that box and take what's inside.
You should only use it if you're sure that is the right thing to do. Keep at it!
Thanks dad. I won't be using this on the first Shadow Pokemon we see, it's a really good idea to save this until later. But not for what you're thinking.
Ah, that's why he hasn't messaged us for a rematch.
Well, how about that. CHOBIN didn't need to send an E-MAIL. But, that's fine. CHOBIN has successfully upgraded the ROBO GROUDON. What modification has been made is a secret, though. Let's begin!
Alright time for our... sixth battle against Chobin. That seems like way too many, but that's how it ended up. Let's start with Shadow Half.
Mmm that's the stuff. It's not a big deal if Arbok faints, he can't earn exp right now anyway.
Shellder is getting closer and closer, but no Ice STAB is annoying.
Chobin has been getting stronger and stronger, but his sun team is a bit disjointed, so it's not that bad.
Skiploom is annoying, but only as annoying as Skiploom ever get.
Our wombo combo is just too much.
Better luck next time champ. Because of course there's a next time.
Soon this Battle CD search will end. But not today.
This is JOVI's diary! CHOBIN's not allowed to write in this!
KANDEE's a good singer, and she's really pretty. JOVI wishes JOVI could be a star like that. JOVI knows! JOVI will get big brother to take me to ONBS! When people at ONBS see JOVI, they'll try to recruit JOVI for sure. When is big brother coming home?
Yep, there's yet another Battle CD in this area, after the two separate times we've already been here getting Battle CDs. Mental.
But that's it for this time. We'll cleanup Orre some more and then probably head to spooky isle.