At a standstill (Whimsical Weekend #12)

Yeah…I’m not even ashamed to be posting this on Monday midnight. The truth is, I haven’t been motivated at all to come up with a proper post over the course of these two weeks. I’ve just been going through the standard routine of going to work every weekday and using my leisure time to indulge in whatever forms of entertainment may tickle my fancy. In particular, watching Twitch streams while doing some freelance coding is what I’ve been into lately. (Whom I watch depends mostly on the time of day, but twitch.tv/360chrism is definitely the stream where I hang out most.)

I suppose, if there’s anything I would have felt like writing about if I had taken more time to think, it’s Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1. Part of me wanted to save such talk until after completing the entire Re;Birth series, but later on I thought, “Well, it was recently that I decided that I had played the first installment to my heart’s content, so…” Wait, actually, I was considering optimizing the equipment of at least my main party members (Blanc, Noire, Vert, Ram, Neptune, and Nepgear), and I never really got around to that, so perhaps delaying that sort of talk is for the best.

I was also considering talking about the Conceptis Block-a-Pix app now that it’s recently come out on Android (I don’t have an iOS device), but there’s not much to talk about, considering I’ve done an entire analysis on the form of puzzle in question, so I’ll just say here what little I have to about the app. My main beef with it is: If you create a box around a number, the area of that box can exceed the number of tiles required by that number, whereas the site applet has a constraint for that. Second, in greater puzzle sizes on smaller screens (e.g., 30*45 on an 854*480 screen), it’s hard to tell ‘6’s from ‘8’s. The second one is not of dire importance and definitely not an easy fix (considering it’s the standard Conceptis font), but I’m hoping the first one gets fixed in a future update.

I guess that’s all for now.

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

…Hopefully I’ll actually have a substantial post by then…

Flash Game Speed Marathon: My marathon debut (Whimsical Weekend #11)

Two months ago, I talked about submitting for Memeathon X, specifically with an unofficial category of Phoenotopia that I call “69 HP RTA,” but my submission didn’t make it into the marathon.

Fortunately, not long before the end of March (I don’t remember the exact date), I happened upon a more esoteric submission form posted by Twitch user LaserTrap_ in the 360chrism Community Discord. That form was for a marathon initially named “Flash Games Done Quick,” but they had to change the name mid-marathon because “Games Done Quick” is trademarked. Regardless, considering that a vast majority of the games that I currently speedrun are Flash games, of course this marathon would be the perfect fit for me. So, I submitted Phoenotopia 100%, Rock Bottom All Levels, and Chompy All Levels; and I ended up being one of only seven runners in the marathon (including LaserTrap_).

It was my first time doing live commentary while speedrunning (granted I rehearsed a bit beforehand), but I’d say it went over pretty well. Highlights can be viewed below:

Phoenotopia [100%] in 1:47:16 — https://www.twitch.tv/videos/137592161

Rock Bottom [All Levels] in 7:53 — https://www.twitch.tv/videos/137592857

Chompy [All Levels] in 6:22 — https://www.twitch.tv/videos/137593444

(Other highlights of the marathon can be found at https://www.twitch.tv/lasertrap_/videos/highlights)

Because I rehearsed so little, it goes without saying that there was at least a little rust involved in all my runs. Prior to the week before the beginning of the marathon, it had been six months since my last Phoenotopia 100% WR (1:44:08), five months since my last Chompy WR (5:09), and three months since my last Rock Bottom WR (6:17).

Since the games that I ran are so fast-paced (well, not so much Phoenotopia, but still), I can’t remember off the top of my head where exactly I messed up in each run, but I do recall that I unfortunately didn’t get the 1-minute skip in level 14 of Rock Bottom. Also, apparently my keyboard doesn’t like me pressing down, right, and Numpad 0 at the same time, so I had a tiny bit of difficulty starting the timer for Chompy.

Another thing: I’m not used to talking in general, so running my mouth for practically two straight hours caused my voice to hurt over the weekend. Thankfully, though, it was nothing major.

Bottom line: I dragged myself into a change of pace by becoming part of an esoteric marathon, and the highlights linked above are the results.

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir? (Whimsical Weekend #10)

Still technically a weekend because I haven’t had work since Friday 

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir (alternatively known as Unlimited Fafnir, henceforth referred to simply as Fafnir) is a fantasy harem light novel series written by Tsukasa (ツカサ) and adapted into an anime for the winter 2015 season. I have already talked about the anime once before, but because I am currently reading through the light novel and have also rewatched the anime, I decided that I would go back and provide further detail, be it through rephrasing or adding on to what has already been said.

Back when the anime started airing, I was the type of guy who could (and would) chase breezes when it comes to anime series; I would pay no heed to clichés or minor animation faults or anything like that. Even though I had already watched Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, which is very similar in terms of execution (in the beginning if nothing else), I somehow decided that Fafnir was worth my attention. That, plainly and simply, was how I got into it.

The lore of Fafnir is centered around gargantuan beasts known as dragons (which are not quite comparable to the types of dragons normally depicted in mythical stories) and humans with dragon marks who are sometimes sought to become mates of the dragons (i.e., transformed into dragons themselves). The humans with dragon marks, who are also characterized by their ability to generate dark matter (a substance that can be molded into a different material by the user’s imagination), are called ‘D’s (with no connection to male genitalia, mind you), and the main character, Yuu Mononobe, happens to be the only male who fits this criterion. Initially a part of NIFL, a military organization meant for dealing with dragon disasters, he starts off having been transferred to Midgard, an island meant for housing an educational institute for ‘D’s, and becomes acquainted with the other ‘D’s who are all female. In particular, Yuu is assigned to the Brynhildr Class and becomes comrades with:

  • Mitsuki Mononobe, his foster sister
  • Iris Freyja, the first person whom he met on Midgard
  • Lisa Highwalker, a blonde tsundere who initially disapproves of him
  • Firill Crest, a (mostly) emotionless avid reader
  • Ariella Lu, a brown-haired tomboy
  • Ren Miyazawa, a red-haired laptop girl of few words
  • Tia Lightning, a transfer student (introduced later in the series) who starts off under the impression that she is a dragon and his wife (she is called Tear in some translations, but I prefer the name Tia because it’s more of a real name (I’ve never heard of “Tear” being a name outside of fiction) and, as mentioned in the light novel, is short for Tiamat (which is dragon-related))

However, Yuu finds himself different from the other ‘D’s not only in his gender, but also in his combat experience. While ‘D’s are usually trained for dealing with dragons, Yuu is initially only experienced in man-to-man combat. Fortunately, Yuu has a dragon living inside him (“Green” Yggdrasil) that provides weaponry for the destruction of other dragons in exchange for his memories. It does get the job done, but with the drawback of hindering his relationship with Mitsuki.

Throughout the story, it is made clear that decisions are to be made when a dragon attacks. The best case scenario would be to eliminate the dragon, but such is much easier said than done. Because dragons are such threats, the characters are occasionally stuck contemplating between two options: (1) killing the ‘D’ whose mark has changed color, or (2) letting that ‘D’ transform into a copy of the dragon in question. They obviously stand and fight to the end, but they always take care to prepare for the worst case scenario.

Anyway, I’d say that about covers it for basic plot elements. So, I mentioned how I got into the series, and the next step would be to talk about how it has managed to keep my attention for so long. The way I was the first time I watched through the anime, it was not hard for a series like this to do such a thing. However, a less common phenomenon is for such a series to leave a legacy even after I finish watching the anime. I would say that this series is nothing special…that is, if not for the existence of one particular character: Kili Surtr Muspelheim. Yes, she is the one depicted in the third panel of the image at the beginning of this post.

Kili starts off as a terrorist responsible for the death of Tia’s parents and the creation of Tia’s two horns, and she appears to Lisa (and is soon encountered by Yuu) in an attempt to kidnap Tia and force her to live as a dragon. In spite of her villainy, however, she is surprisingly attractive (especially with that long black hair), voiced wonderfully by Marina Inoue (who also voices Yozora in Haganai), and has some amazing super powers centered around the conversion of dark matter into thermal energy.

Through her mind alone, Kili can create fire and explosive dark matter, and she can melt material such as bullets and guns. She was confronted at one point by a direct attack from Lisa, but she deflected it as if it were nothing. As if that wasn’t enough, she is capable of biogenic transmutation, which allows her to take on any appearance she pleases, notably that of her mild-mannered alter ego [Honoka Tachikawa] (who actually becomes friends with Yuu [and, in the anime, the rest of the Brynhildr Class] before revealing her true identity), and even to heal her own wounds (a quirk that is sadly not seen in the anime). She can also do this biogenic transmutation to other people, which is how Tia got her horns. How is this all possible? In volume 4 of the light novel, it is explained [that she is made of dark matter]. (See those brackets? They indicate spoilers. Highlight the white text within at your own risk.)

So…yeah. The first five episodes of Fafnir were not all that interesting, but then when Kili made her first major appearance in the second half of episode 6, I was left thinking something along the lines of, “Wow…what an amazing character,” and then I became more invested in the anime as I continued watching (hence the image at the beginning of this post). The time between her disappearance at the beginning of episode 7 and the unveiling of her disguise at the end of episode 11 made me increasingly anxious as it passed by, but the finale was well worth it. Her final fight with Yuu made her seem like a pushover (especially considering how close she was to having her way in episode 6), but…well, that’s to be expected. I mean, the battle couldn’t be dragged out any longer because there were still some loose ends to tie up, especially the attack on “Red” Basilisk and the aftermath thereof. I mean, I will admit that it’s a bit disappointing, but hey, that’s just the way it is.

Primary thoughts on the anime as a whole:

  • The story was decent. I particularly liked how the conclusion played out and how the characters were affected.
  • While the nomenclature of ‘D’s is questionable and might turn off some (if not most) critics, I wasn’t the type to care about that sort of thing, and I’m still not.
  • I had no strong feelings about the music or visuals. The theme songs were meh.
  • The characters as a whole were…above average, I’d say. Tia was bleh, Iris was meh, Loki (NIFL representative, formerly Yuu’s commanding officer) and Lisa were okay, Charlotte (the principal of Midgard) was good, Firill and Mitsuki were decent, Yuu was great, Kili was awesome, and everyone else was darn near forgettable (although Ren stood out the most amongst the forgettable characters).

Needless to say, since the first time watching, Kili gradually ended up becoming one of my favorite anime characters of all time. As such, when I was reading through the Mondaiji light novel, I figured that Fafnir would be next on the list, especially since I had read some dissonant information on a certain character profile of Kili. I did mention that the Fafnir anime is an adaptation of the light novel, and it’s specifically based on the first three volumes, although with a few notable differences. There is also a manga adaptation of the light novel, although from what I’ve read of the manga (i.e., only a few chapters), it seems to follow the light novel more closely than the anime.

To summarize the light novel a bit, it’s a story told mostly from the first-person perspective of Yuu, although some parts are from the perspective of Mitsuki, and there are even a few third-person parts as well. As such, not only does the light novel explain and describe more than can be fit into twelve episodes of anime, but the first-person aspect of the light novel makes it so the character’s thoughts and senses are more vividly communicated. Additionally, as mentioned before, volumes 1-3 of the light novel differ in canon from the anime, not to mention the light novel canon carries on much longer (and, consequently, goes further beyond face value).

The main difference in canon lies in how Kili impacts the Brynhildr Class and is kept in check by Yuu. Specifically, Kili, who is initially taken into Midgard as her alter ego, reveals her true identity in the middle of volume 2 of the light novel, which corresponds to the middle of episode 6 of the anime. In the anime, however, she doesn’t reveal her identity until the end of episode 11, which would be more around the middle of volume 3 of the light novel. To elaborate, it’s almost as if the close encounter with Kili in the light novel was split into two moments in the anime: the encounter at Midgard where she appeared to Tia and Lisa as her criminal self, and the encounter on that one ship where she posed as her alter ego and unveiled her disguise. I say “almost” because the anime doesn’t perfectly simulate Kili’s battle tactics as described in the light novel. In particular, the light novel implies that Kili does not require any preparatory motion to generate dark matter and such; but in the anime, the explosions caused by her are heralded by a snap of her fingers. I would assume that this is partly for dramatic effect, and partly because implementing spontaneous combustion would look silly and be tough to find a way to explain. Even aside from that, the clash in the light novel is so much more fierce than the split clashes in the anime that I would go as far as to say that the split clashes collectively are an abridged version of the full clash. (Another case of the “light novel adaptation curse,” as I would like to call it.)

[As a side note, I mentioned in my primary review that I had trouble wrapping my head around the dual identity of Honoka Tachikawa and Kili Surtr Muspelheim, because the anime was rather vague about it. Having read the light novel, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that…well, actually, both are fake names. She needed a normal-sounding name to infiltrate Midgard, and she gave her havoc-wreaking form a more sinister moniker. Well, that’s how I see it, because the light novel is pretty vague about it as well, albeit less so. (Just before the full clash, Kili said that the name “Kili Surtr Muspelheim” was randomly chosen, and I’m thinking “Honoka Tachikawa” is in the same boat. She also said she liked the latter name, but Yuu refused to call her by that name when she revealed her identity, so she stuck with the former name.)] (Sorry, just had to belt out a lengthy spoiler. Once again, highlight at your own risk.)

Also worth noting is that during the Basilisk arc, when the Brynhildr Class relaxes at a hot spring, only Firill sees Yuu there in the anime, whereas in the light novel, Tia is involved as well. Oh, and I’d like to point out that Ren actually says more in the anime than in volumes 1-3 of the light novel (which makes sense, considering her only form of verbal communication in the light novel is “んん” (“Nn,” basically just a grunt) until volume 6, and the anime doesn’t go nearly that far). Wait, one more thing: Kili has purple eyes in the anime, while colored depictions of her in the light novel show her with green eyes.

As for volumes 4 and onward, needless to say, there is plenty of new content compared to volumes 1-3 / the anime: new dragons, new characters, new plot twists, new character development, new camaraderie, new lore, and did I mention the plot twists? What’s particularly great is being able to see the characters in a new light, even in such a way that I ended up convinced that all of them are awesome in their own right (even Iris and Tia, of whom I was not a huge fan when I watched the anime). With that in mind, I wanted to establish a new character ranking of the Brynhildr Class, including the four characters who are newly inducted as members thereof. (I won’t spoil any further than that Kili is one of those characters, so the other three will be hidden through the magic of white text.)

  1. Kili
  2. Ren
  3. [Vritra (given the pseudonym “Ritra”)]
  4. Yuu
  5. Ariella
  6. Firill
  7. Mitsuki
  8. [Shion Zwei Shinomiya (Kraken Zwei subdued)]
  9. Tia
  10. [Jeanne Hortensia (enrolled as Shion’s guardian)]
  11. Lisa
  12. Iris

With all that said, I think it’s time to wrap things up. To recap, Juuou Mujin no Fafnir is a fantasy harem series that I undoubtedly would not have found all too interesting if not for Kili Surtr Muspelheim. But alas, after having fully watched the anime when it aired, I got interested to the point of reading the first 12 volumes of the light novel and even rewatching the anime. Speaking of which, over the course of the rewatch, I have to admit that I noticed some animation faults that my former self didn’t care about: Firill mysteriously disappearing in episode 7, Lisa occasionally having Iris’s hair color when shown at a distance, and that Basilisk’s head skin looks like an unfinished Blender project.

But anyway, if this series is unfamiliar to anyone, I can totally understand that, because on the surface it totally looks like the type of series to be lost in a sea of fantasy harem series. I also wouldn’t openly recommend the series to anyone, but if anyone is somehow interested, all I have to say is:

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

What’s to come (Whimsical Weekend #9)

So, as of the beginning of this month, I have been privileged to work full-time, and my hours are similar to those that I had during the internship, only one hour later and with only half the commute. Because of this, and because I’ve been spending my leisure time in such weird ways, it’s become increasingly difficult to think of what to write for this blog. This is the second week after my most recent Poké Monday, but I can’t really think of anything that I’d like to write about at this time. For that reason, I will use this post to discuss my plans for the future. (I know this makes things less whimsical, but when I put my thoughts out front, it increases my inspiration to create new content.)

Memeathon X submission

Memeathon is a speedrunning marathon for meme categories and games. The duration of the upcoming Memeathon (Memeathon X) is from March 31 to April 2, and submissions (which opened on February 11) end on March 5. For that reason, I figured it would be the best opportunity to submit my main speedgame: Phoenotopia (the Flash game, of course). I mean, the game itself isn’t enough of a meme on its own, especially considering the non-meme categories range from 50 minutes to just above 2 hours long, so I submitted something shorter and more meme-related: 69 HP RTA. I’ve mentioned the category in at least one previous post, but the route has since changed for the better. Actually, rather than writing about it, perhaps it would be better to link a demonstration video:

I have done a few runs since changing the route, and I’ve completed the objective (getting a maximum HP value of 69) in less than 30 minutes on multiple occasions, although I don’t believe that it’s possible in under 29 minutes. Regardless, when I submitted the run, I used 34:30 as an estimate, although solely because it’s half of 69 minutes. Not a very generous estimate, but I’m hoping to make it work by rehearsing plenty. That’s assuming I’ll get accepted, though, and that’s not a 100% guarantee. If it does happen to be the case, however, I’ll make sure to post something about it on the Whimsical Weekend thereafter.

Phoenotopia any% post-commentated

Earlier this month, I did end up improving my Phoenotopia any% PB by roughly a minute; my record is now 50:53 RTA, 53 minutes in-game time. I streamed the run live on Twitch during midnight hours on that day, and the video without commentary can be viewed at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/119856238 (Sadly, Twitch videos cannot be embedded on this site quite like YouTube videos can.)

Currently, I am working on a commentary transcript so that I can eventually upload a post-commentated version to YouTube. The transcript right now covers about 23% of the video length, so there’s still work to be done in that department.

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir review

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but similarly to what I did with Mondaiji, I felt like doing a review of this series after finishing the 12th volume of the light novel (although the 12th apparently isn’t the last of Fafnir). It wasn’t until about a year ago that I delved into the world of light novels, and I chose this one second because I was so big a fan of Kili Surtr Muspelheim in the anime that I became insatiably curious about her. Currently, I am on chapter 3 part 4 of volume 12, making very gradual progress because I don’t read it all that actively (maybe once every few nights).

Other?

I have no idea, to be honest. Cinq du Soleil and Diamond Hollow II Story Mode New Save are still on the backlog, and I also plan on improving Phoenotopia categories other than any%, but everything else is up in the air.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

 

New PC + speedgames (Whimsical Weekend #8)

PC

I never really made this evident in any of my recent Vouiv-review posts, but I recently built a new PC! I spent roughly $1600 on all the relevant components, and it’s been working very well ever since I got the Windows 10 Home product key and Ethernet cable.

20170129_184232

This is my current setup. It may not be the most complex setup in the universe, but it gives me just what I need. As you may or may not be able to tell, in front of my bed, just near the window, I have a swivel chair facing a single table with the tower off to the right (which unfortunately hides the insides from view) and keyboard and mouse + mousepad in front of a dual-monitor setup on top. Because the monitors are of different sizes and odd angles (the 25″ one being HP brand and the 22″ one being Sceptre brand), I had to use Heroscape tiles (from my childhood) to adjust the heights and angles to my liking.

Also, since it’s a new PC with a resolution differing from that of the MacBook Pro that I would otherwise normally use, I decided that I would use a different wallpaper as well.

It’s from the same series as my laptop and phone wallpapers (that being Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo), and this particular image is from volume 11 of the light novel.

Another funky thing about the dual monitor setup that I have is that not only are the monitors of different sizes and odd angles, but they also produced different sorts of output in their initial state. Thus, I had to tinker with the settings of the 22″ monitor in order to make the outputs as similar as they can be. Even so, I’ve noticed that it’s easier to see darker colors on the 25″ monitor (a fact that I first came to realize while playing around with Phoenotopia Awakening Demo v0.06b), although the 22″ monitor actually has a speaker (whereas the other monitor does not).

How great it is to have a dual monitor setup with Windows regardless; it allows me to multitask better than I ever have before. For example, I can have a Twitch stream up on the 25″ monitor, some other form of web browsing (which sometimes involves writing, such as this post to this current instant of typing) on the left side of the 22″ monitor, and email and/or some other utility on the other side of the 22″ monitor. (Sometimes, I even have Notepad in the bottom-right corner with the rightmost Chrome window in the top-right.)

Speedgames

Also thanks to the new PC, I find it easier to toy around with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) for better quality footage of the PC games that I usually speedrun (where I would otherwise have to use the MacBook Pro). I currently don’t have reliable sources for external audio or keyboard overlay with the PC like I do with the MacBook Pro, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. I mean, just look at this sample footage in the form of a demonstration of most of the first Prince Tower segment of Phoenotopia 100%:

The splits are just there on the side to show that I can use LiveSplit (while I would normally use Llanfair on Mac) to show all 35 splits at once. (I probably could have done something similar if not the same with Llanfair before, but I couldn’t be bothered to figure out that sort of thing.)

With that in mind, I might actually go back and improve my times in Phoenotopia (and maybe branch out to that one “Most Dangerous Arsenal” category that I mentioned in an earlier post, or maybe even the glitchless subcategory) with the new PC, and I’m heavily considering post-commentating the any% run so that I have a helpful video resource for that category (in a similar vein to the tutorial series that I made for 100%). However, the critical issue in that department is that I would have to get used to the mechanical keyboard. As it stands currently, I have a harder time performing brief inputs (notably short-hopping) with the mechanical keyboard than I have ever had with the MacBook Pro keyboard, so…yeah.

Phoenotopia Awakening Demo v0.06b

But hey, the original Phoenotopia wasn’t the first thing that I considered running on the new PC. As a matter of fact, not too long after I built the PC, demo version 0.06b of the upcoming remake (Phoenotopia Awakening) was released, and the first thing that I resolved to do was write a guide on the demo. The guide is totally completed (at least as far as I’m concerned) and can be viewed here, but…well, the developer’s most recent blog post says that download links for this particular build of the demo will be closed.

Regardless, while the game was fresh in my mind, of course I was the one to submit it on speedrun.com, and that even led me to submit a series entry for Phoenotopia. On the demo v0.06b leaderboard, I established three separate categories: any%, All Collectibles, and All Pearlstones. (I decided to make the third one a miscellaneous category because it’s less sensible of an objective than any% or All Collectibles (similarly to how All Moonstones is a miscellaneous category of the original Phoenotopia).)

By the way, All Collectibles constitutes the following (as far as I know):

  • 7 Anuri Pearlstones (should be left with 1 after unlocking all 6 frog seals)
  • 2 Heart Gems
  • 2 Moonstones (specifically from the breakable tomb and the Giant Slime)
  • 2 Antique Bracelets
  • Energy Gem
  • Slingshot
  • Crank Lamp
  • Bombs

My PBs in the three categories are 4:29, 10:27, and 6:58, respectively. My any% PB was initially 4:59, but a competitor with a 4:56 led me to rethink the route and improve my time.

Here be videos:

Rock Bottom

I don’t think I ever mentioned Rock Bottom in any of my blog posts, but that’s another game that I submitted to speedrun.com. To be honest, though, I didn’t continue beyond 7:45.97 for a long time, and it was back in early November 2016, before I had even bought the parts for the new PC, that I had established that time. Meanwhile, SRCom user CreepinAtMyDoor was out shredding my time to bits, even accidentally discovering a skip in level 14 that saves more than a minute, and ended up with a time of 6:22.1 before the end of that November. I felt at the time that WR was beyond recovery, but then, about a week ago, I had suddenly regained the inspiration to take it back. One day I got 6:35.43, the next day I got 6:30.67, and then finally I was able to take back the WR with 6:17.87 (after a 6:25 run that I opted against uploading).

This game is difficult as crud to optimize, so I am very happy with this time, even though I got spiked in level 12 (and at a very unconventional point too). Man, my heart was racing by the end of that run. Imagine what my reaction would have been if the recording had external audio. (The skip is at 4:15 in the video, by the way. If you miss the hard floor and hit the spongy surface, the run is pretty much over.)

Chompy

Another speedgame in my repertoire, although I haven’t run it since the time I submitted it to speedrun.com. My current record is 5:09.73, which notably includes two deaths in the 21-30 segment and a botched entry into level 11. So, even though I felt at the time that it was a solid run, there is still room for improvement, so I might actually try to get better.

Diamond Hollow II

This one is more of an up-in-the-air case. I don’t own the speedrun.com leaderboard of this game, and the owner of the leaderboard has been inactive for over a year (and it doesn’t help that said owner has no links to social accounts in his/her profile page). Currently there are four established categories:

  • Story Mode – Any% (all seven levels of Story Mode, anything goes)
  • Story Mode – New Save (all seven levels of Story Mode starting from fresh data)
    • The leaderboard owner also imposed a rule against “glitches,” but I honestly believe that the rule is arbitrarily imposed, especially considering the category name does not in any way imply the exclusion of glitches. Besides, I haven’t encountered anything resembling a “glitch” in the game, and I tried asking about it in the forum 9 months ago but still haven’t received a response.
  • Boss Rush – Normal
  • Boss Rush – Heroic

About two weeks ago, I submitted runs for Story Mode Any% and Boss Rush Normal, which can be viewed below:

I specified both real and in-game times because it was ambiguous which to go with, and I used real time as the submission time for the leaderboard because there was only one field.

I might do Story Mode New Save in the near future, but that seems like it would be difficult if not impossible to route out. (I’m thinking it will help to know all the Red Diamond locations, though.) Plus I would have to delete save data, and I’m reluctant to do so considering how long it took me to get a 100% completed file.

As for Boss Rush Heroic…no. No. Never. Forget speedrunning that category; I can’t even beat it casually!

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

2016 anime retrospective (Whimsical Weekend #7)

Nowi Wins Happy new year! Farewell 2016, hello 2017!

Well, that’s what I would say, but when it comes to the new year, I can’t help but to reflect upon the old year. After all, reviews are more fitting for past happenings than for future happenings, right?

2016 has been a whimsical year as a whole—what with a dead gorilla becoming an Internet sensation, the crowning of a new 602 champion (Vallu111), and Donald Trump becoming president (just to name a few things)—and the anime aired throughout the year is arguably proof of that. This post will cover the anime that I have watched this year, as well as that which I didn’t watch before but might consider watching in the near future (excluding sequels, as usual). Along with giving a brief synopsis of each anime, I will mention some pros and cons thereof. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Winter

Musaigen no Phantom World

The Phantom World is a place where, simply put, illusion becomes reality. Workable premise for a fantasy story, right? It’s the sort of anime that alludes to real-life brain teasers while remaining faithful to the popular genre of fantasy. The trivia-dropping Haruhiko Ichijou, his fairy companion Ruru, the tomboyish but busty Mai Kawakami, the cute glutton Reina Izumi, the antisocial music lover Koito Minase, and the bear-loving child Kurumi Kumamakura band together to fight off rogue illusions that interfere with their daily lives and those of others.

+: Interesting concept
+: Likable characters (particularly Koito)
-: Not too stellar as a whole
-: Kurumi’s voice is annoying

Dagashi Kashi

Kokonotsu Shikada is an aspiring manga artist whose family runs a sweets shop in the countryside. Things are difficult for him because Hotaru Shidare, the representative of a sweets manufacturing company, wants to bring Kokonotsu’s father into her company, which would mean that Kokonotsu would have to run the shop all on his own. Kokonotsu, more interested in manga than the shop in question, is in adamant opposition of the idea, but circumstances threaten to change his mind. Oh, and his childhood friends, Tou and Saya Endou, get involved from time to time.

+: Odd but somehow mesmerizing art style
+: Comedic
+: Involves trivia centered around sweets
-: The way they sexualize Hotaru is…eh

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo

Shut-in Kazuma Satou dies a laughable death and is invited by the “goddess” Aqua to an RPG-like world to which he is allowed to take any one thing…and he chooses Aqua. So, this fledgeling shut-in and demoted goddess are stuck in the world to make a living and get stronger in hopes of defeating the demon king. On the way, they meet the explosion-obsessed chuunibyou arch wizard Megumin and the masochistic blonde crusader known as Darkness, and a stalwart(?) party of four is formed.

Say, the second season of this anime is airing really soon!

+: Parallel world fantasy
+: Comedic (more so than Dagashi Kashi, I would argue)
-: Art style
-: Outfits of the quest giver (Luna) and Aqua…what’s up with that exposure?

Spring

Uchuu Patrol Luluco

Each episode is only 7 minutes in length, and the content is so wacky that a simple description wouldn’t do justice for it. I’ll try, though: Luluco is a girl who just wants to live a normal life, but she becomes part of some space patrol and…um…becomes able to transform into a gun to fight baddies. Also, there’s light romance involved.

+: Short and sweet
+: So wacky it’s funny
+: Midori’s voice
-: So wacky it’s confusing

Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari!

Based on the Ace Attorney video game series (a.k.a. “Gyakuten Saiban”) centered around the budding lawyer Phoenix Wright (Naruhodo Ryuuichi) and his life journey to serve justice where it is needed…but of course, not without assistance from the Fey (Ayasato) sisters.

+: Nice refresher/storyteller for those not overly familiar with the series (like me)
-: The art style is a little…uncanny

Boku no Hero Academia

80% of the population is born with “quirks,” a pet term for super powers. Izuku Midoriya is part of the other 20%, but his obsession with heroes leads him to enroll into UA, a prestigious university for only the best of the best heroes. Although he is looked down upon (particularly by Bakugo) for such high aspirations, he has a fortunate encounter with All Might (a famous hero and his idol), who is secretly deteriorating and in need of a successor. As a result, Izuku trains hard to prove his worth as such a successor, and he eventually earns a fragment of All Might’s power. However, one other issue arises: being able to harness the power while not placing too much strain on his child-like body.

Say, this anime is also getting a second season soon, although not as soon as that of KonoSuba.

+: So many interesting super powers
+: Action-packed
+: Tsuyu Asui: such a cute little character!

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

Another story about a shut-in who dies and is taken to a parallel world, except this story is more morbid. This shut-in, Subaru Natsuki, falls in love with Emilia, a denizen of the parallel world, and darn near literally puts himself through hell primarily for her sake. He looks useless on the outside, and this much is reiterated throughout the first few episodes, but his curse—which not only revives him after death, but also makes it so that mentioning the curse causes some sort of witch to make direct contact with him—allows him to gain the upper hand in most situations.

Re:Zero is perhaps the most controversial anime of the year; some people (like me) loved it for what it was, while others disliked its jaded ending. Some people were bitter about episode 18 when Rem confessed her love to Subaru, who responded with “I love Emilia.” Although I can agree that Rem is superior to Emilia, I have to say that I am indifferent towards that moment because it’s plain as day that Subaru has always been after Emilia and no one else. Regardless, I prefer other characters of the series, namely Crusch and Felt.

+: So many amazing voices (particularly Beatrice (voiced by Satomi Arai!), Felt, Roswaal, Puck, and the Pearlbaton kids)
+: Such craziness going on, especially in the middle stages of the anime
+: Even if some would argue that it didn’t end well (and, moreover, ended contrary to light novel canon (or so I have heard)), at least it ended conclusively

Summer

New Game!

Cute girls work together in a game development company, particularly newcomer Aoba Suzukaze, energetic and busty Hajime Shinoda, self-conscious Yun Iijima, and taciturn Hifumi Takimoto. Aoba, the main character, becomes a character designer under the guidance of Kou Yagami, a name that she just so happens to recognize right off the bat…

+: As someone obsessed with games and the idea of game development, this anime is a great fit for me
+: Likable characters (particularly Hifumi and Umiko)
-: Nene Sakura has an annoying voice

Kimi no Na wa.

Through some phenomenon, small town girl Mitsuha Miyamizu and city boy Taki Tachibana (tried to find the words to say and somewhat accidentally ended up with a Journey reference) are affected with a condition that causes them to swap bodies every other day. As a result, they become a part of each other’s daily life without meeting each other, but then a compilation arises with the possibility of Mitsuha’s entire town being wiped out. The two hope that someday, somehow they will unite, no matter how much fate tempts to separate them (physically and psychologically).

This anime has been #1 on MyAnimeList for a while now, but I didn’t really get into it until my brother suggested that we watch it together. It’s great, though, trust me.

+: It’s a feature length film, therefore shorter and easier to get into than a regular series
+: Not all superheroes wear capes
+: So much mystery and craziness
+: A few comedic moments here and there
+: Has a sort of…romantic vibe, I guess?

Fall

Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume

Agari Kamiya has always been the top member of the table tennis club at her middle school…that is, until Koyori Tsumujikaze comes out of left field and knocks her off her high horse (but, y’know, in a way that warms her up). Before long, it seems more like the two share the top spot instead of competing for it. They are not the only ones to be focused on, however; four other capable players—including the temporarily retired captain who had just recovered from an injury—are with them in their competitions against other schools to rise to the top.

This is another series that didn’t interest me immediately; although I had watched Ping Pong the Animation (also introduced to me by my brother, who also piqued my interest in the sport as a whole) and enjoyed it, I was skeptical about the loli version. However, when my brother talked about it one day, I thought that I would give it a try in due time. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but I have to say that I prefer Ping Pong the Animation.

+: Hokuto Itsumo and Kiruka Ushirode are particularly likable characters
+: Kururi Futamaru is voiced by Shiori Izawa
+: A few comedic moments (most of which poke fun at Mune Oomune)
-: Doki-doki (freaking Koyori)

Keijo!!!!!!!!

Keijo is a gambling sport wherein competitors are placed on a buoyant platform on water (known as a “Land”) and attempt to push each other off using only their butts and breasts. The competitors have their reasons for competing in such a crude sport, and that of Nozomi Kaminashi is…well, money. She had the opportunity to take up gymnastics, but she figured Keijo would be more profitable with its cash prizes. As a result of her interest in the sport, she ends up befriending Sayaka Miyata, Kazane Aoba, and Non Toyoguchi. The quartet, in spite of their initially low position, manage to quickly rise to the upper class with their own unique talents.

+: Perhaps it’s the sports aspect of the show that had me the most interested…
+: Likable characters (particularly Kazane, even though she always seems to lose by a hair)
+: Diverse body builds, not just slim figures (exhibit A: Nagisa Ujibe)
+: Rockin’ opening theme
o: It’s centered around the most sexualizing idea of a sport that can be shown on non-X-rated media
o: So many nonsensical moments
-: Also some not-so-likable characters, particularly Mio Kusakai
-: Plenty of manga canon was omitted in order to fit the pacing (particularly the untold dangers of the sport)
-: Is that enough exclamation marks for that title?

(I actually added some neutral points here because they are simultaneously notable and both positive and negative.)

Up for hindsight consideration

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (winter)

I tried to watch an episode of this, but I got bored halfway through. That’s a pretty lame excuse to avoid getting into a series, though. It’s supposed to be an MMO virtual reality series like Log Horizon, so I might give it a second chance.

Mob Psycho 100 (summer)

Similarly to the previous, I only watched one episode of this (granted it was the whole episode, but that’s not much different). It’s by the creator of One Punch Man, which is probably the main source of the hype behind it, but two main points deterred me from it: the art style, and Arataka Reigen. Art style as a whole usually isn’t enough to turn me off (and I usually judge that from the cover, in spite of the age-old saying to not judge a book by its cover), but I didn’t really like Reigen’s personality, and that’s the main thing that prevented me from going beyond the first episode. Apparently, though, he is the most popular character of the series, so I was thinking perhaps I shouldn’t judge based on my preliminary thoughts on him, and instead…y’know, watch more than one episode.

Stella no Mahou (fall)

I don’t know why I never bothered with this. I mean, I had already watched New Game, and why should this series deserve any different treatment? I mean, I didn’t even try to watch it; I just avoided it entirely. What was I thinking, assuming that I wouldn’t be interested in two series with the same sort of premise? I mean, it’s not like it’s exactly the same, because I’ve heard based on the synopsis that the company in this series is a doujin company, which should make me all the more interested. (As a side note, the cover art is reminiscent of Love Lab.)

 

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

I have been playing Pokémon Sun ((late) Whimsical Weekend #6)

(So much to write for such poor time management, so apologies for the late post.)

I made this evident in my update post before Poké Monday 11/28/16 (Mimikyu), but I have indeed been playing Pokémon Sun as of recently, and I wish to dedicate this post to elaborating upon my experience with the game.

To start, here is the team that carried me through the Elite Four:

20161127_163520

As you can probably tell by the word “Objets” (pronounced ohb-zhay) in the bottom-right, I did indeed decide to play the game in French, just as I always have ever since they introduced language selection (which was in X&Y). Although French is a second language to me (my primary language obviously being English), having the game in French isn’t too hindering, and it’s also fun that way. Besides, from what I know, the Masuda Method (a trick to increase the chances of getting a shiny from breeding) is only dependent on the language of the game from which the foreign parent originates, rather than the true nationality of the game. (My copy is North American.) So, playing the game in French is not entirely lying to myself, and it also has its benefits.

Anyway, on to describing the team (which is severely underleveled, and I will explain why later). I tried to make sure that the team was packing at least the following types: Ground, Ghost, Flying, Fairy, Steel, Dark, Fire, Water, and Grass; and, as usual, I wanted to avoid repeating types. Along with the six final team members above, there are numerous candidates that I considered and/or carried along prior to the Elite Four, and I will talk about those as well.

To bring back a certain formatting style from my Omega Ruby progress report two years prior (I can’t believe it’s been that long): Pokémon, natures, abilities, and moves will be named primarily in English with their French names in [] brackets.

Final team members

Algancre the Dhelmise [Sinistrail]
Level after E4: 49
Current level: 64
Nature: Lonely [Solo]
Ability: Steelworker [Expert Acier]
– Power Whip [Mégafouet]
– Shadow Claw [Griffe Ombre]
– Anchor Shot [Ancrage]
– Giga Drain [Giga Sangsue]

While I was considering the Grass part of my Fire-Water-Grass core (I had already decided the Fire and Water parts), this candidate was where my final decision, which I made just before the Elite Four, rested. I encountered it at level 43 and could not be bothered to grind it against wild Pokémon, so I brought it in pretty much as is. While it hits really hard and technically has three STABs (thanks to Steelworker), it is weak to rather common types (including one of its own), is extremely slow, isn’t quite up to par in terms of bulk, and has missed Power Whip way too many freaking times. Name is a portmanteau of “alga” and “ancre” (anchor), because that’s probably what I would have named it if I were in charge of the nomenclature.

snek the Zygarde [Zygarde]
Level after E4: 52
Current level: 64
Nature: Hasty [Pressé]
Ability: Aura Break [Aura Inversée]
– Thousand Arrows [Myria-Flèches]
– Rock Slide [Éboulement]
– Core Enforcer [Sanction Suprême]
– Dragon Dance [Danse Draco]

“A legendary? Blasphemy!” I wouldn’t be surprised if that were a thought lingering in someone’s mind right now. Well, I had been using Zygarde ever since I was able to obtain the 10% Forme on Route 16, mostly because it serves as my Ground-type and has great synergy with the rest of my team. Back when it was 10%, it was very fast and reasonably strong, but also rather frail. Now, however, it serves as nothing short of a backbone for the team. Respectably bulky in spite of its defense-hindering nature, still reasonably fast in spite of its lowered Speed, and still just as strong as ever (well, with a slightly stronger Core Enforcer). Above all else, Thousand Arrows is awesome; Ground has amazing coverage as it is, and Thousand Arrows does neutral damage to airborne targets before they are smacked down. Speaking of airborne targets, Rock Slide has been helpful against some Flying-types (particularly the fiery kind) as well. The nickname “snek” is a deliberate misspelling of “snake” (based on a meme). When this Zygarde was 10%, though, it used to be named FrankerZ after the big dog on Twitch. As for 100%…well, I’m not considering advancing that far until I’m done with the current Zygarde. As I have read, if you combine all 100% of the Zygarde cells, there’s no going back. (Make no mistake, though, I have collected all 100 cells; I just opt to keep the 50% Forme around until further notice.)

Ao the Ninetales [Feunard] (male)
Level after E4: 51
Current level: 65
Nature: Bold [Assuré]
Ability: Snow Cloak [Rideau Neige]
– Ice Beam [Laser Glace]
– Dazzling Gleam [Éclat Magique]
– Psyshock [Choc Psy]
– Nasty Plot [Machination]

Like Algancre, Ao was another member whom I brought on board as late as just before the Elite Four. (Ao, however, was caught at a higher level: 47.) I was considering using the S.O.S. Battle mechanic to go for one with Snow Warning, but I decided that that Ability would be too much of a hindrance to my team as a whole. As for the reason why I included this member in my team…well, to be honest, I had been considering adding Alolan Sandslash to the team ever since my first encounter with Sandshrew, but, 3/4 through the game, I did some research and came to realize a vital and disappointing fact: Alolan Sandslash is Moon-exclusive.

I usually decide what version to buy based on the cover legends and how the titles feel in general, and that led me to choose Sun over Moon; in other words, I paid no heed to any other version exclusives such as Ninetales and Sandslash. To make matters worse, this isn’t the first time I’ve chosen a Pokémon game version preventing me from getting Sandslash; in fact, I would go as far as to say that the Pokémon itself has been eluding my version choices…even as early as Gen II, where I chose Silver (and Sandslash is Gold-exclusive). In Gen III, I chose FireRed, and Sandslash is LeafGreen-exclusive. So…well, after twelve freaking years, the curse of the elusive Sandslash returns anew. (Hey, man, I like Sandslash, and it would have been a great Steel-type addition to the team.)

Anyway, rant aside, since I was so bothered at being unable to obtain Alolan Sandslash, I decided to make do with what I had and get myself an Alolan Ninetales instead. It’s no slouch in terms of offensive prowess (and serves as the only dedicated special attacker of the entire team), but it’s actually slower than Zygarde, presumably because of Zygarde’s Nature advantage and extra EVs. The nickname “Ao” reflects the blue coloration of Alolan Ninetales, and it’s also based on an original character of mine (from a story that I discussed in a former Vouiv-review post) who is elementally affiliated with Spirit and capable of freezing things. (I mean, I couldn’t think of anything else to name a male Ninetales.)

Oh, and also: I had caught an Alolan Vulpix before the one that I ultimately settled upon, but I soft-resetted afterwards because I was not willing to put up with a Jolly-natured Ninetales.

Crusch the Skarmory [Airmure] (female)
Level after E4: 52
Current level: 64
Nature: Quiet [Discret]
Ability: Keen Eye [Regard Vif]
– Steel Wing [Aile d’Acier]
– Aerial Ace [Aéropique]
– Swords Dance [Danse-Lames]
– Autotomize [Allègement]

Named after Crusch Karsten from Re:Zero (my personal favorite character of the series) because of her affinity with wind and steel, this Pokémon was quite an oddity but also quite an asset to the team. I consider it to be an oddity because it possesses a terrible Nature and Ability and runs dual STAB with Double Dance (something that I never normally do in-game), not to mention I have never actually used Skarmory in an in-game team before. It has been of great help, though, with its awesome defensive typing, ability to take hits, and the occasions where it puts in work after setting up. It was caught on Route 17 at level 34, and it has served well since its debut.

Leonardo the Poliwrath [Tartard] (male)
Level after E4: 52
Current level: 64
Nature: Modest [Modeste]
Ability: Water Absorb [Absorb Eau]
– Scald [Ébullition]
– Brick Break [Casse-Brique]
– Psychic [Psyko] after E4; Poison Jab [Direct Toxik] currently
– Work Up [Rengorgement]

The Water component of my Fire-Water-Grass core ever since Brooklet Hill (granted it was after Lana’s trial), I caught this in the wild at level 14, and I was deliberately going for Water Absorb (and for a darn good reason). I also use this for super-effective damage against Normal-types thanks to its Fighting STAB (although it is a shame that I have to choose between Brick Break and Low Sweep—Focus Blast be darned despite the Nature), and Scald is arguably its best Water-type option in spite of the burn nerf as of the current generation. I had Psychic on it during the Elite Four, but after fighting Mina in Poni Gauntlet, I realized that having Psychic on Poliwrath was redundant with Ao having Psyshock, so I decided to replace Psychic with Poison Jab as I began to realize the value of having Poison coverage on the team. Work Up has come in handy on a few occasions, and my primary motive for using it is to prevent stronger Trainers from healing up if Poliwrath does less than half with any given attack. The nickname “Leonardo” comes from a chain association of Poliwrath with Battletoads and Battletoads with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I thought that the name “Battletoad” would be too predictable, so I shifted focus to TMNT and settled on the nickname Leonardo because both Leonardo and Poliwrath are associated with the color blue. (Another nickname idea I had was “Nyoron Cena,” but that sounded stupid the more I thought about it.)

Nyanta the Incineroar [Félinferno] (male)
Level after E4: 56
Current level: 67
Nature: Quirky [Bizarre]
Ability: Blaze [Brasier]
– Flare Blitz [Boutefeu]
– Darkest Lariat [Dark Lariat]
– U-turn [Demi-Tour]
– Flame Charge [Nitrocharge]

Goodness forbid, another anime-based nickname. It’s not even that good of a nickname for the final evolution, considering it’s awfully slow (although not as slow as Algancre) and looks more buff than its namesake, but hey, I couldn’t make a Cena reference because it’s been done before. I probably could have made a JoJo reference based on the French nomenclature of its Nature, but I haven’t watched nearly enough JoJo to dare to do so. I may have had something else come to mind, but I completely forgot, and it was probably dumb anyway.

Anyway, I settled upon the fire cat as a starter, simply because I’ve always been a cat lover. I was considering the grass owl as a secondary choice, but the second form of the evolution line turned me off. As for the water seal…to be completely honest, I just don’t like its design. I will concede that Primarina is the best final-form starter typing-wise and stat-wise, but the design is a like-or-dislike sort of thing, and I have to say that I am on the dislike side. At any rate, the fire cat has been strong throughout the entirety of its evolutionary cycle, but then it slowed down drastically when it hit the final stage of evolution. On most occasions, even Flame Charge couldn’t redeem its disappointing Speed. I think I was also using Flamethrower as primary Fire STAB before I got to Flare Blitz level, which is…perhaps not the best idea, although I would argue better than having to settle with the 95% accurate Fire Fang. The recoil of Flare Blitz is slightly detrimental, but the power side of the tradeoff is well worth the risk. Darkest Lariat is the best Dark STAB option, and U-turn in conjunction with Speed boosts from Flame Charge allows the fire cat to switch with style.

Regarding the name of Incineroar/Félinferno, I don’t really like the English or French name (especially English), but man, the German name, Fuegro, is freaking awesome.

Former team members

Note: These Pokémon are presented in reverse chronological order of being put into the PC. Also, the term “former” does not mean to imply that I did a Nuzlocke, because I didn’t. (I’m not masochistic enough to make a Nuzlocke of my first playthrough of a game.)

Doppel Jr. the Mimikyu [Mimiqui] (female)
Level: 47
Nature: Quiet [Discret]
Ability: Disguise [Fantômasque]
– Play Rough [Câlinerie]
– Shadow Claw [Griffe Ombre]
– Charm [Charme]
– Shadow Sneak [Ombre Portée]

Mimikyu was something that I’d been wanting to use ever since Acerola’s trial, but when I realized how popular it actually became later on, I decided to stray away from it while making changes to the team prior to the Elite Four. I will say, though: It has served well in spite of its subpar Nature, with its extremely useful Ability and awesome three-immunity typing making it a huge help in defeating Totem Kommo-o. (I will provide further detail later.) It’s had Shadow Sneak and Charm ever since I caught it (at level 30), whereas Shadow Claw was taught via TM and Play Rough was learned later, specifically after the Dragon trial (and I had to use Dazzling Gleam for Fairy STAB in the meantime). The nickname is inspired by the character Doppel from the series Monster Musume, and the “Jr.” part of the name comes from how Mimikyu’s disguise does not perfectly mirror Pikachu (contrary to the namesake of this one in particular).

Giroeuf the Exeggutor [Noadkoko] (female)
Level: 46
Nature: Quiet [Discret]
Ability: Frisk [Fouille]
– Grass Knot [Nœud Herbe]
– Dragon Hammer [Draco-Marteau]
– Sludge Bomb [Bomb-Beurk]
– Nature Power [Force-Nature]

I would have named it Girœuf if the in-game keyboard had a œ character, but alas I had to keep the “o” and “e” separate. (Regardless, I will henceforth write œuf because it looks nicer.) I had initially considered the nickname “Giriffraffe,” which is simply inserting “riff-raff” (branding for the craziest allowable posts of the KnowYourMeme forums) into the word “giraffe” (a creature that Alolan Exeggutor strongly resembles), because Alolan Exeggutor’s design is a literal meme. Later, however, I decided to keep it simple and just combine “giraffe” with “œuf,” the French word for “egg.” Like Algancre, it would have been a slow but strong and moderately bulky attacker, but I didn’t want to double up on Dragon-types and thusly ended up ditching Girœuf primarily in favor of Algancre. Speaking of Algancre, Girœuf was also caught at level 43, but since it was a temporary placeholder for the team prior to bringing Algancre aboard, it actually picked up a few levels.

Entoma the Charjabug [Chrysapile] (female)
Level: 41
Nature: Jolly [Jovial]
Ability: Battery [Batterie]
– Spark [Étincelle]
– X-Scissor [Plaie-Croix]
– Poison Jab [Direct Toxik]
– Thunder Wave [Cage-Éclair]

An odd little case, this one. First of all, its nickname is based on a character from Overlord whom I didn’t care about until the Ple Ple Pleiades special, just because it’s a bug and has an oddly shaped but likely-to-devour mouth. Second, I didn’t know how to evolve it at first (because I was trying to avoid looking anything up until just before the Elite Four, at which point I would reflect upon my team ideas and whether or not they’d work), so I just left it in its secondary form and slapped an Eviolite on it. Although I caught it at level 28 on Blush Mountain and took it through (I think) the entirety of Aether Paradise, it didn’t take me long thereafter to decide that its time was up. (I replaced it with Girœuf.) Still, it was fun to use with its paralysis shenanigans, decent bulk thanks to Eviolite, and passable offense.

Puff Mama the Cottonee [Doudouvet] (female)
Level: 36
Nature: Brave [Brave]
Ability: Prankster [Farceur]
– Giga Drain [Giga-Sangsue]
– Fairy Wind [Vent Féérique]
– Leech Seed [Vampigraine]
– Stun Spore [Para-Spore]

Terrible nature and meh nickname (I would have named it “Puff Daddy” if it were male, because the cotton aspect of the Pokémon made me think of the word “puff”), but this ‘mon has been a bulky asset to the team until I decided to replace it with Entoma after obtaining Doppel Jr. (because I didn’t want to double up on Fairies). If I hadn’t traded it off, I would have kept it until it learned Moonblast, but then I recently realized that only its evolution learns Moonblast by level-up (and, unfortunately, not until level 50). Regardless, it was a valuable asset, the Grass component of the imminent Fire-Water-Grass core, since I caught it in Melemele Meadow at level 10. Leech Seed is an amazing move in-game, providing gracious recovery and helpful passive damage at the cost of 10% inaccuracy and being ineffective against Grass-types (and Dark-types thanks to the Prankster nerf), and the STAB moves do wonders in withering down the opposition. Because I didn’t bother to evolve Cottonee while I had it, it was my primary Eviolite holder until Entoma came along, and it was respectably bulky when it acquired the Eviolite. Good times.

Harem the Dugtrio [Triopikeur] (female)
Level: 36
Nature: Naive [Naïf]
Ability: Tangling Hair [Mèche Rebelle]
– Magnitude [Ampleur]
– Metal Claw [Griffe Acier]
– Rock Tomb [Tomberoche]
– Growl [Rugissement]

I caught this as a level 8 Diglett in Verdant Cavern, which I had initially named Blondie (obviously after its hair color and partially after the artist), but then I had the wild idea of naming it Harem after its evolution (because, y’know, it’s a multitude of female heads, and that’s what a harem is all about). My thought process was that it would fill the Steel-type and Ground-type needs of my team, but I came to realize before long that it was too frail considering how much damage it could deal (especially with its low BP moves) and just couldn’t pull its weight as a whole. With that in mind, I eventually set it aside and had Crusch fill the Steel-type role and 10% Zygarde fill the Ground-type role.

Praline the Oricorio [Plumeline] (female, Pom-Pom Style)
Level: 36
Nature: Bold [Assuré]
Ability: Dancer [Danseuse]
– Air Slash [Lame d’Air]
– U-turn [Demi-Tour]
– Roost [Atterrissage]
– Feather Dance [Danse-Plume]

Caught at level 9 in Melemele Meadow, this ‘mon filled the Flying-type role for my team for a long time, and I wanted to believe that it could learn an Electric-type move as well, but its gimmick move Revelation Dance takes way too freaking long to learn (and it doesn’t get any other Electric-type attacks). I tried to make do with what I had, though, and I have to say: Even with a hindering nature and base 70 Attack, Acrobatics hit really freaking hard. That said, I decided to shift the moveset to one that plays more off its strengths and uses special STAB in tandem with U-turn and other supporting moves. Nonetheless, it ended up replaced by Crusch due to its way-too-long-lasting lack of secondary STAB and the change in formation of the team in general. Its nickname is based on a character of the same name in Bravely Default, specifically because of its tendency to dance, the white part of its body, and the similarity of its French name to the name Praline.

Agatha the Misdreavus [Feuforêve] (female)
Level: 30
Nature: Mild [Doux]
Ability: Levitate [Lévitation]
– Shadow Ball [Ball’Ombre]
– Psychic [Psyko]
– Charge Beam [Rayon Chargé]
– Taunt [Provoc]

Used to be my go-to Ghost-type until I obtained Doppel Jr. I encountered it at level 9 in the Hau’oli Cemetery, and its decent special offense and three immunities made it a respectable part of the team. Sadly, though, as it remained unevolved for the entire duration when I had it, it just couldn’t pull its weight as the game started to get harder (and Dusk Stone is awfully far through the game, Poké Pelago be darned). Generically named after the Poison-type member of the Kanto Elite Four who is also infamous for using Ghost-types.

MasterSensei the Machop [Machoc] (male)
Level: 21
Nature: Brave [Brave]
Ability: No Guard [Annule Garde]
– Brick Break [Casse-Brique]
– Low Sweep [Balayette]
– Knock Off [Sabotage]
– Foresight [Clairvoyance]

Served as a Fighting-type attacker since obtained via in-game trade at level 9, but it ended up being replaced in favor of Leonardo. I didn’t have any real fond memories of this thing, just that it was there in case Rock-types (or perhaps Normal-types) would become a problem. It would be named Macho if I had decided to play in English, but the French counterpart is MasterSensei (apparently).

Straw the Cutiefly [Bombydou] (female)
Level: 10
Nature: Sassy [Malpoli]
Ability: Honey Gather [Cherche Miel]
– Struggle Bug [Survinsecte]
– Fairy Wind [Vent Féérique]
– Absorb [Vol-Vie]
– Stun Spore [Para-Spore]

This was my designated Fairy-type between Route 2 and Melemele Meadow, before I realized that Cottonee was a better fit for me (and arguably a better Pokémon in general). Plus, its Ability and Nature are evidently sub-optimal.

le toucan the Trumbeak [Piclairon] (female)
Level: 14
Nature: Bold [Assuré]
Ability: Keen Eye [Regard Vif]
– Peck [Picpic]
– Echoed Voice [Écho]
– Growl [Rugissement]
– Brick Break [Casse-Brique]

This is the Route 1 bird, which I planned to keep until it reached its final evolution (hence the nickname), but I lost patience with it when an issue arose with the low BP of its STAB moves and the faultiness of its Nature (and, now that I look back at it, its Ability), so I replaced it with Praline, which had a superior typing and damage output.

Nermal the Meowth [Miaouss] (male)
Level: 7
Nature: Naughty [Mauvais]
Ability: Pickup [Ramassage]
– Bite [Morsure]
– Scratch [Griffe]
– Growl [Rugissement]

Just a seldom used 6th team member until I had a full synergetic team to assemble. Pickup is always nice, but I didn’t want to keep this around because I knew that the Fire starter would eventually evolve into a Dark-type (admittedly because I was spoiled before I started the game). The Garfield reference in the nickname is far too obvious, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything else.

Sacapatates the Makuhita [Makuhita] (male)
Level: 13
Nature: Modest [Modeste]
Ability: Thick Fat [Isograisse]
– Brick Break [Casse-Brique]
– Tackle [Charge]
– Focus Energy [Puissance]
– Fake Out [Bluff]

Haha, Modest physical attacker. This was my initial Fighting-type from Route 2 until the in-game trade Machop in the Pokémon Center thereof (although I believe I conducted the trade after completing the first trial). In spite of its terrible Nature, it served well for what it was worth. The nickname is a shortening of the phrase “sac à patates,” which can be translated to “potato bag,” because that’s just the type of wording I would use to describe Makuhita’s appearance as a whole.

Miracle the Magnemite [Magnéti]
Level: 11
Nature: Quiet [Discret]
Ability: Sturdy [Fermeté]
– Tackle [Charge]
– Thunder Wave [Cage-Éclair]
– Thundershock [Éclair]
– Magnet Bomb [Bombaimant]

Of all the nicknames that I have given in this playthrough, I would have to say that this is the one that I’m the most proud of. The chief reasoning behind it is because of the song Miracles by Insane Clown Posse, which contains the phrase, “magnets, how do they work?” It also fits well because of the Ability Sturdy, which allows the user to survive at 1 HP as if by a miracle. Anyway, nickname aside, this was my designated Steel-type from the Trainer School until I caught myself a Diglett. It was fun to use while it lasted.

Profiteur the Rattata [Rattata] (male)
Level: 7
Nature: Naughty [Mauvais]
Ability: Hustle [Agitation]
– Tackle [Charge]
– Tail Whip [Mimi-Queue]
– Quick Attack [Vive-Attaque]
– Focus Energy [Puissance]

Nickname is a reference to another Bravely Default character, mostly because of the moustache, buck teeth, and black outfit. Only saw a bit of action, specifically because I fear Hustle and, again, didn’t want to double up on Dark-types.

The rest are filler members: Nom the Yungoos [Manglouton], Foxy Grandpa the Ledyba [Coxy], and Wormy the Caterpie [Chenipan]. They honestly just filled up space while I was in the process of assembling a team of six.

Honorable mentions

Pokémon that I may have considered before but did not end up making the cut:

Fire-types that I would have considered using if I hadn’t picked the Fire-type starter.

Same as above, but substitute Fire for Dark.

My teambuilding process was so immunity-centric that I didn’t bother with types like Alolan Raichu, but perhaps I would have considered it otherwise.

The Water/Flying typing and regular access to Drizzle were tempting, but I’m sure I’ve used a Pelipper before, and I didn’t plan on using one again. Besides, Drizzle would have had bad synergy with my starter.

Similarly to Alolan Raichu, my teambuilding process was too immunity-centric for this thing.

I like the idea of Accelerock, but I find pure-typed Pokémon to be less preferable over dual-typed Pokémon.

An alternative Water-type that I would have considered if not for the reasoning above.

Ground-type and has an interesting Ability in Stamina, but again, it only has one type. Moreover, I couldn’t possibly grind a Mudbray up to a comfortable level for the Elite Four at the point I was at while deciding my final team.

I was a fan of stuffed toys when I was a wee lad (and I still have pretty much my entire collection), and Fluffy is a very interesting Ability, but I had already decided that Poliwrath was going to be my Fighting-type before I could even encounter a Stufful. I won’t knock the design of this one, just because of how funny it is in the anime (and the moments with the Bewear and Team Rocket led me to appreciate its appearance more than I ever could have imagined).

Definitely an interesting ‘mon in terms of its typing and unique Ability in Water Compaction, but I had the same sort of too-little-too-late syndrome to deal with as I did with Mudsdale.

I might have considered this if not for how late-game it is (in spite of its pre-evolutions being in the demo) and if I hadn’t already been using Zygarde and Poliwrath.

Hypothetical alternative team

You know, the previous section has me thinking: What if I had chosen Moon with Rowlet as my starter? Then perhaps the final team would look more like this:


Gaebora (Decidueye)
Ability: Overgrow
– Leaf Blade
– Spirit Shackle
– U-turn
– Roost

Cocytus [Hokuto if female] (Sandslash-Alola)
Ability: Snow Cloak
– Icicle Crash
– Iron Head
– Earthquake
– Protect

Kirche (Salazzle) (F)
Ability: Corrosion
– Flamethrower
– Sludge Bomb
– Dragon Pulse
– Toxic

Ty [Saya if female] (Pelipper)
Ability: Drizzle
– Hurricane
– Scald
– Tailwind
– Roost

Teddy (Bewear)
Ability: Fluffy
– Hammer Arm
– Facade
– Shadow Claw
– Pain Split

Intérieur (Krookodile)
Ability: Intimidate
– Earthquake
– Crunch
– Rock Slide
– Taunt

Legendaries and similar

Thought I was done talking about obtained Pokémon? Nah, man. I still haven’t covered the legendaries (and similar) besides Zygarde. (Note: All of them have their default movesets.)

During the main story, of course I had to catch this. Because I didn’t have any Adamant Synchronize users at the time, I had to soft-reset for the Nature the good old-fashioned way. It didn’t take too long, considering Quick Ball had a good chance of capturing and, failing that, I could just weaken it with snek and capture it in a Timer Ball or similar. The whole legendary-catching process makes me glad for two new mechanics:

  1. Upon capturing a Pokémon and being taken through the nicknaming process, you can view its status before sending it to the PC or including it in your party. This means no more having to put up with the rest of the game’s crud before being able to access the nearest PC. I feel like checking status could stand to be before the nicknaming process, but hey, you can’t win ’em all.
  2. Hyper Training means not having to worry about IVs anymore (barring Hidden Power types, and IVs kept purposely low (such as Attack for strictly special attackers and Speed for purposely slow attackers)).

I generically named this Solgaleo “King” for lack of anything better.

I don’t know whether to call this a legendary. There is only one, and it cannot be bred, but it can evolve into a Pokémon that has rather poor base stats for being fully evolved and is not banned in battle facilities or online play. Just as I have my doubts about it being a legendary, I named it “Gry” even though it’s not exactly a gryphon.

I also got the Nature for this one without Synchronize, and I went for Jolly, keeping in mind that I would evolve it into a Silvally. I mean, Eviolite Type: Null theoretically seems better, until you realize that not only is its Speed significantly lower, but it lacks reliable recovery. Taking that into consideration, my initial idea would be to run a Choice Scarf set with Return / U-turn / Parting Shot / Explosion (even though apparently Parting Shot, along with Memento, is banned from online play due to a glitch with Z-Parting Shot and Z-Memento that mysteriously causes the battle to disconnect…though I personally think it would have been a better idea to ban Darkinium Z). A set taking advantage of RKS System would be nice too, like with Ground Memory and a set of Swords Dance / Multi-Attack / Rock Slide / Fire Fang.

On the flip side, now that I reflect further on the potential of Arceus 0.5, perhaps a Timid nature could have worked with Z-Heal Block working as a makeshift Nasty Plot and benefitting its respectable Special movepool notably containing Tri-Attack, BoltBeam, Surf, Flamethrower, and Shadow Ball.

Prior to catching Nihilego was when I decided to go to the Hau’oli Market and go through the painful process of catching one Synchronize Abra for every Nature excluding Gentle, Lax, and the neutral Natures. Afterwards, it was obvious what Nature and nickname to give Nihilego. Its base stats have “Timid” written all over them, and its appearance has “Lilie” written all over it. (Her French name only has 1 L in the middle.) I decided to go for Hidden Power Ground as well, because it seemed to have the greatest coverage with its dual STAB. (I was also considering Hidden Power Fighting, but that Hidden Power is impossible on legendaries in Gen 6 and onward due to the mechanic of always having at least 3 perfect IVs.) This was reasonably easy to weaken with Leonardo’s Brick Break.

Because there were two Buzzwole in the Ultra Beast saga, I decided to get one Adamant and one Jolly, named “JOHN SQUITO” and “Protein” respectively. Base 79 Speed might not be all that impressive, but neither is base 53 Special Defense, even fully invested. It’s a shame that Pheromosa is Moon-exclusive (because Pheromosa is much more my style), but hey, at least Buzzwole presented a great opportunity for a Cena-inspired pun. I believe I weakened this one with Ao’s Dazzling Gleam and let Crusch take hits during the catching process.

Another Ultra Beast that presented itself as a pair. Obviously, I wanted both to have Hidden Power Ice, with one Timid and the other Modest. (The Timid one is named “Lanky” based on its body structure, and the Modest one is named “Créé” after another original character from the story I mentioned earlier.) This was easily weakened with the help of snek.

Okay, now this is just overkill. Not one, not two, not even three, but freaking four of the same Ultra Beast, let alone one of such a predictable nature as Kartana. Because it can really only play a role of semi-fast physical attacker based on its stat distribution, I decided to catch two Adamant and two Jolly—named “o,” “ri,” “ga,” and “mi” because I couldn’t come up with anything else. I used Crusch to weaken this one, and I have to say that Leaf Blade does impressive damage even when quad resisted.

Now this was a real pain to get, not only because of the reduced catch rate, but also because of the requirements that I imposed for it. Specifically, I wanted it to be Brave-natured with an exceptionally low Speed IV (0-2, tested based on turn order using Algancre’s Speed at the time) because…well, its stats are really weird, and I figured the best use for it would be as a Trick Room-based slow attacker. Its attacking stats are not all that impressive, but it is sluggish and lacks a reliable form of recovery, so an offensive set is honestly the best way to go with it. I was considering a set along the lines of: Draco Meteor / Crunch / Heavy Slam / Protect (with Life Orb). As for the nickname, I decided on “Utsu-P” based on their song EAT.

After the very annoying process of obtaining the right Guzzlord, it was the perfect time to redeem the event Magearna. What intrigued me most about this Pokémon is that it is the new slowest user of the rare combination of Trick Room and Volt Switch. With that in mind, of course I would go for Quiet Nature with low Speed. Surprisingly, after just a few resets, the Speed IV turned out to be in the 4-5 range! (No nickname, obviously, because it’s an event Pokémon.)

Then came the Tapus. Tapu Koko is another unfortunate case of having stats and movepool mixed up. Although its Attack is higher than its Special Attack, its physical movepool is pretty much limited to Electric/Flying/Bug (it gets Steel Wing and Thief, but those are pretty weak), whereas its special movepool is notably more colorful and actually has Fairy STAB. Sure, it could be possible to run a mixed set, but I felt like it would be better to go purely physical with a set like Wild Charge / Brave Bird / U-turn / Roost. Nicknamed “Falco” because it’s bird-like and lives on Melemele Island (which very much resembles “Melee-melee,” and Falco is a notable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee). By the way, I’m so glad that the game allows you to re-challenge Tapu Koko if you KO it after the Pokémon League.

Timid, please. Psyshock / Moonblast / Focus Blast / Taunt, or perhaps some other fourth move. As easy as it was to come up with a set for Lele, nicknaming it was not so easy. I mean, it’s supposed to be based on a butterfly, but what’s so “butterfly” about it? I dunno, I just ended up choosing its nickname based on the fact that it seems to be hiding in a pot-like shell…thing. Therefore, I named it “Magick Pot” (after an enemy in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 that behaves similarly).

Another addition to the physically-oriented-Fairy-that-doesn’t-get-physical-Fairy-STAB club. Honestly, why do they still not have a physical Fairy attack besides Play Rough? Regardless, I was debating what nature to run on Bulu, whether to just roll with Adamant or go with something bulkier, or perhaps faster in spite of its base 75 Speed. Even after a bit of research, I ultimately settled upon Adamant, and I nicknamed it “Wizpig” (after the villain of Diddy Kong Racing).

Argh, this one was such a pain to deal with. I had three difficulties in trying to get the right Tapu Fini:

  1. Catching it. I circumvented this difficulty using the Master Ball, and I will explain why. The primary reason is because of this darned move called Aqua Ring. The passive recovery makes it so that I would have to burn it to keep its capture rate in check, and obviously it’s protected from burn as long as Misty Terrain is in effect. My normal capturing process is to use Leonardo (taking advantage of the fact that Nature’s Madness is Tapu Fini’s only damaging move that works, courtesy of Water Absorb) to weaken it using Poison Jab and its STAB(s) to reduce it to as low HP as possible without KOing it, applying burn if it uses Aqua Ring. Even though all Tapus have the same capture rate (3), Fini is the only one against which I had occasions of failing to capture it before it KO’d itself with Struggle.
  2. Getting the right Nature (Timid). 50% is lower than you may think.
  3. Getting the right Hidden Power type. I was initially considering Fire based on research, but I feel like Ground has the best coverage overall. I mean, the only resistant typings to both of its dual STABs are Grass/Poison, Grass/Steel, Water/Poison, and Water/Steel; and Volcanion is resistant by Ability. Fire covers the Grass-types and hits Water/Steel neutrally, but it’s resisted by Water/Poison and (quad-resisted by) Volcanion. Sure, Shadow Ball hits all five neutrally, but Ground hits the Water-types super-effectively and the Grass-types neutrally. Regardless, of the 42 possible odd/even IV combinations on any given legendary Pokémon, 3 yield Ground, so the chances of getting such a Hidden Power are roughly 7%. (Note: Special Attack and/or Special Defense being perfect is a clear indication that it does not have Hidden Power Ground, so if it’s obvious which 3 IVs are perfect and SpA or SpD is among them, or if I see a characteristic like “Coquin” or “Un peu vaniteux” (which mean “Mischievous” and “Somewhat vain” respectively), I know to soft-reset and repeat the capturing process.)

Regardless, after many, many grueling attempts at getting the right Tapu Fini, I decided to nickname it “Kraken Zwei” as a reference to the Unlimited Fafnir light novel (specifically starting from volume 7). I don’t want to spoil too much, but the purple coloration, human-like appearance, and silvery hair are what influenced the nickname.

 

Dang, that was a lot, and it’s not even the end yet. I have yet to obtain Necrozma or Cosmog, but I will get to that shortly. Speaking of Cosmog, now that I think about it, Solgaleo with Z-Splash and Flame Charge seems awfully threatening.

Miscellaneous

My in-game identity is a male Trainer named Toru. The reason? I’ve been intrigued by that name ever since the first time I played FireRed, when I gave that name to my rival as one of the defaults. (Ah, the good ol’ days of playing as BEELEE♂…)

As for my experience as a whole, everything before the Elite Four was pretty much touch-and-go, barring a few select battles. Specifically, Totem Wishiwashi took a painstakingly long time to defeat (even with Puff Mama, which was my best bet for taking it on), and Totem Kommo-o was pure craziness. To elaborate further…

Against Totem Kommo-o, I led off with Mimikyu. Dazzling Gleam didn’t do much (especially with Mimikyu’s laughable Special Attack), and I learned that Kommo-o had Flash Cannon thanks to the Disguise. To make matters worse, Kommo-o even called a Scizor as an SOS Partner, so I just had to switch out. I switched specifically into Nyanta, which took negligible damage from Kommo-o’s Flash Cannon and Scizor’s Bullet Punch. Next, Kommo-o went for Sky Uppercut, which Nyanta survived at 1 HP thanks to its affection level and proceeded to destroy the Scizor with its Fire STAB. (I don’t remember whether it was Flamethrower or Flame Charge, but that doesn’t really matter.) Afterwards, I had to sac Nyanta to get a free switch into Leonardo, which inflicted chip damage with Psychic as Kommo-o summoned Hakamo-o and had it set up and clean up shop (mostly the former). Then I felt comfortable finally bringing Mimikyu back in, and it ended up barely surviving Flash Cannon (and apparently Hakamo-o had nothing to touch it) and securing the victory with Dazzling Gleam.

I have to say some of the music is good, especially these three particular tracks:

And speaking of the Elite Four, that is where I really started having problems. Throughout the prior stages of the game, I would use the Exp. Share sparingly, specifically only against Totem Pokémon and major Trainers such as the Kahuna, because of how ridiculous it was in Gen VI. However, when I realized how underleveled I was in comparison to the Elite Four, as well as how experience gain in Gen VII is more akin to that of Gen V, I wholeheartedly regretted not using the Exp. Share more often.

In spite of the circumstances, I did manage to push through the Elite Four without much worry (barring the way too many freaking times Algancre missed Power Whip), but the main issue was that freaking Champion. Honestly, his Primarina alone would have swept my entire team under ordinary circumstances, so I had to go into Algancre, give it my only X-Sp.Def at the time, and—get this—stall it out of Moonblasts. Yep, that was my strategy for eliminating that threat: just spamming healing items until it had used up all 15 Moonblasts. Braviary also gave me grief, considering Crusch was down (I think) and snek couldn’t take two Brave Birds, not to mention Ao wasn’t fast enough to outspeed. Thankfully, Brave Bird has the risk of recoil, which is what ultimately caused it to faint at the expense of Ao. But man, what a painful experience.

The post-game Dexio fight was also quite a bother. In fact, I was so ill prepared for it the first time around that I had to reset the game, and the last time I had saved was after beating the game. Heck, even when I actually gained some levels in the Ultra Beast saga, that Mega Alakazam darn near destroyed my team; I had to stall it out of Focus Blasts using Nyanta and Crusch, and then destroy it with a Darkest Lariat from Nyanta. Thankfully, though, that’s really all I struggled with (outside of the competitive facilities, for which I don’t even have a properly EV trained team). Now I know to actually use the Exp. Share instead of struggling to survive without it.

Another recent post-game project I’ve been considering is breeding for Snow Warning Alolan Vulpix with Freeze-Dry and Moonblast. I already did the Snow Warning part with the help of an Absol that I caught and made my designated SOS Battle abuser.

Kili the Absol [Absol] (female)
Level: 46
Nature: Jolly [Jovial]
Ability: Pressure [Pression]
– Night Slash [Tranche-Nuit]
– Bite [Morsure]
– False Swipe [Faux-Chage]
– Thunder Wave [Cage-Éclair]

Having looked up information about SOS Battles, I learned that three key components are essential: Adrenaline Orbs, the right Ability, and reducing the lone target to the right HP value. Thankfully Adrenaline Orbs are nice and cheap, and the Ultra Beast saga rewards you with a whopping 1 million PokéDollars, so I could just simply buy until I had 99. As for the Ability, Absol is the easiest Pokémon to acquire with any of the three SOS-provoking Abilities (Intimidate, Pressure, Unnerve) that also has access to False Swipe. As a bonus, Absol gets Thunder Wave to prevent a potential capture target (if applicable) from calling for further help and to make said target easier to capture. As for the rest of the moveset, since Dark-type moves have good enough coverage on their own, I decided to run two STAB moves while finding the right balance between PP, power, and not hitting both targets at once. Night Slash and Bite combined have 40 PP total, each having no less than 60 BP and only hitting a single target, making them ideal in this case scenario. Leftovers (stolen from a Munchlax on Route 1) helped in that I wouldn’t have to worry as much about damage taken, because I was hunting for Alolan Vulpix in Tapu Village (which also made it easier to tell whether an Alolan Vulpix has Snow Cloak or Snow Warning). By the way, the nickname “Kili” is another Unlimited Fafnir reference, and its namesake is pretty much the reason why I like the series so much in the first place.

So, with a Snow Warning Alolan Vulpix in tow (and a female no less), I just have to get the appropriate Egg moves onto it (and a better Nature considering it’s Jolly). However, therein lies a conundrum: The only conventional way to breed Freeze-Dry onto an Alolan Vulpix is by chain breeding from Aurorus to Lapras to Delibird, and Aurorus is not native to Alola. Therefore, the only (currently) possible way to breed Freeze-Dry onto Alolan Vulpix is by getting a Smeargle to learn it. Still, therein lies another conundrum: Double Battles are not as prominent in Alola as they are in other regions. The best way to circumvent this conundrum is through the use of SOS Battles. In other words, my plan for obtaining a Smeargle with Freeze-Dry is to get a Smeargle to 1 HP, bring in Glalie (which was the easiest way to get Freeze-Dry: to simply catch a Snorunt in the wild and give it a Rare Candy), and, on the turn the 1-HP Smeargle calls in a male SOS Partner, KO the 1-HP Smeargle with Freeze-Dry, allowing the other Smeargle to Sketch that move. As for Moonblast, I initially planned on using the SOS Sketch method (as I’ll call it for simplicity) with Tapu Lele for that move (which is what led to the recent catching spree of Tapus), but I would rather EV train Tapu Lele beforehand, and that would be a real pain considering I don’t even have Pokérus yet. So, I think I would rather raise a Sylveon to learn the move at level 37 (and perhaps make sure that the Eevee is Timid for Nature transfer purposes).

Finally, here are a few closing thoughts:

  • I can think of two minor annoyances in booting up the game:
    1. On non-New3DS systems, the game (as well as the demo) takes an exceptionally long time to boot up for the first time. It’s not as bad as Nintendo Badge Arcade, but still.
    2. I don’t see why you can’t use the touch screen to advance from the title screen to file selection. I mean, the intro starts off covering the bottom screen and leaving the top screen black.
  • How glorious it is that they got rid of HMs in favor of Poké Ride. I never would have guessed such a wonderful change in mechanics.
  • Pokémon Refresh actually convinced me to get into the whole business of affection, just because of the close calls and ability to heal off status conditions during/after battle (especially the latter). Something that annoys me, though, is how affectionate Pokémon tend to fall asleep when you move things around in the PC.
  • Festival Plaza is like Join Avenue 2.0, only it’s marked with a green (!) bubble in the menu when the residents want to talk to you (which is every freaking hour). Also, the shops don’t level up like they do in Unova’s Join Avenue; they’re just randomly suggested by Sophocles every time the Festival Plaza levels up (except for a few major milestones). The green bubble triggers me at times, but I can’t really diss the feature otherwise.
  • Poké Finder is a nod to Pokémon Snap (which, although I don’t remember fondly, I watch 360chrism speedrun from time to time) in that it involves taking up to six photos of one Pokémon and getting points for whichever photo you choose. I did actually get 1,500,000 total points for the Trainer Passport stamp, and the highest score I’ve gotten for a single photo (specifically the Mimikyu photo shown below) is just above 16k.
    mimikyu
    Something I noticed about Poké Finder is that the photos taken make a different jingle for 0-1000, 1000-3000, and 3000+ ranges of points.
  • By the time of the Elite Four, I was honestly expecting Acerola to have a Mimikyu, and boy was I disappointed.
  • Something I find annoying about the game is how it lags so much on any system not named New3DS. Double Battles, Battle Royal, Z-Moves… You name it, it lags the game. But hey, at least Sun and Moon are not New3DS-exclusive games, because that would be even worse.
  • As much as they lag the game, Z-Moves are quite interesting. Supposedly the attacking moves bypass accuracy checks, and some of the status moves have interesting effects (especially Splash and pretty much anything that grants an all-stats boost (à la Ancient Power).)
  • Admittedly, I laughed at every part of the Firium Z trial. Not just the photobombing of the Hiker and Salazzle, but I found the dancing Marowak goofy as well.
  • The Poké Finder segment just before the Totem Mimikyu battle spooked me.
  • Poké Pelago is pretty cool. Collecting beans, finding wild Pokémon from out of nowhere, growing Berries in the most convenient manner possible, hunting for treasures, training Pokémon, and increasing the happiness of Pokémon…all while being reminded of Pokémon who are normally left to rot in the PC. It’s good stuff. (But y’know, I find it odd that you can get Golden Bottle Caps but not regular Bottle Caps through the treasure hunting.)
  • Speaking of Bottle Caps, I feel like a complete idiot because I thought they were undersea treasures returning from B/W (and therefore sold them whenever I happened upon them). It took me until after beating the game to realize that they’re those things that allow you to Hyper Train.
  • It’s so weird that the Move Reminder is so far into the game (just before the Elite Four), but it’s understandable considering this one actually teaches moves that Pokémon have yet to learn.
  • My top three list of favorite characters:
    1. Lana
    2. Sophocles
    3. Anabel
  • My top three list of favorite Gen VII Pokémon:
    1. Mimikyu
    2. Alolan Sandslash
    3. Bewear
  • Overall rating? 9/10. I would say it’s the best installment of the franchise (mostly because I have a high tendency to prefer newer games), but it’s still not quite perfect.

 

Phew, 8000+ words and I’m finally done. What a whimsical weekend it was indeed, considering I had to delay my post until Wednesday. But anyway, I think that’s all I have to say for now.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)