Sun Nuzlocke – Chapter 4 – Totem Trouble

< Chapter 3

Can emos be blond?

Not long after leaving Paniola ranch behind I ran into Hau who was annoying a new character named Gladion. I’m glad it’s not just me that finds Hau’s optimism irritating, even if the other person is a fictional character. Gladion looks like that kid that desperately wants to be emo and got his mum to take him to Hot Topic one time but he’s not allowed to dye his hair yet. He will wear that Hot Topic outfit every day for the rest of his life though, dammit. He’s also got a bit of a chip on his shoulder about… Something… I think it’s about being kind of a contractor henchman for Team Skull, but not a real henchman. Two Team Skull members came up after we fought to tease him about that AND ABOUT BEING HOMELESS?! Damn Team Skull, what the hell? That was harsh, and kind of brave considering he has a freaky-ass dog-fish-lizard Pokémon that is far better than their Ratattas.

I messed up…

After Gladion was done being dramatic and mysterious I got to move on and it wasn’t long until I was in the next area and ready to start the next trial. This was the one trial I could actually remember from my previous, generic playthrough I think because I had struggled a bit with it and been surprised by it. I knew the Totem was a water spider thing but unfortunately I couldn’t remember what level it was (or called), but my team were all about level 20 and I felt confident with that. I also had a pretty heavy electric/bird team so I went in without feeling I had to do too much grinding and was feeling pretty cocky about it overall. I was in for a shock. The Totem was an Araquanid, a creepy spider with a bubble on it’s head. I sent out Chops the Flaaffy to shock it into oblivion but it hit her with Bubble, not normally a threatening move, but in this situation it was. I had to switch once it summoned a Dewpider to help it. Pom pom the Oricorio was sent out but the same thing happened, and with the Dewpider in the mix as well it just wasn’t happening. Same issue with Peeko the Wingull. Then I thought it was time for the big guns and sent out my beloved Squidward the Inkay to deal with them. Squidward is an amazing Pokémon with the Contrary feat, so if you try to lower his stats they just get higher, and some really good moves that have been making a lot of fights very easy. I used Reflect because at this point I was clucthinc at straws hoping maybe Bubble was a physical move (it’s not) and maybe it could at least lower the damage being done but it didn’t help. Then Araquanid used Leech Life… Which one-shot Squidward. I was devastated. I thought Squidward was going to go all the way to the elite 4 with me, he didn’t even get to evolve yet. I had to take a minute to process his death before I could continue the fight. I was also really annoyed at myself because I had completely forgotten that bug type is super effective against psychic type because you know, Urie Geller can’t bend spoons if a fly lands on him I guess.

RIP to my favourite…

At this point I was getting genuinely worried that this would be the end of my challenge, if no one could stand up to Araquanid more were going to start dying, but I had one last hope (and second favourite) : Rudy the Brionne, my starter. I sent him out and had him just use Work Up to raise his Attack and Special Attack for 6 turns so he was beefed up then struck with Icy Wind and BAM the Araquanid was dead. I felt no joy at his defeat though, there was just a hole in my team that no totem defeat, or many new Pokemon could fill…

Magikrap to Magikal

Begrudgingly, I set about catching a Pokemon in the trial area. This could potentially be the Pokemon to replace Squidward so there was a lot riding on it, I didn’t really have anything in the Box that I felt could match him. A ripple in the water, a jerk on the fishing rod and I reeled in my new team mate… Magikarp.

I was disappointed at first, they take so long to level BUT then I realised that it was a level 21, just one level away from evolution and that was a game changer! Neville the Magikarp was added to the party and put under a gruelling training regime until it evolved into a Gyarados. Now we’re talking. In my previous Nuzlocke I managed to get a Gyarados but it was defeated almost instantly so I vowed to be a better trainer for Neville.

Mandatory Battle Royal

Our next stop was the battle royal stadium where you fight three people with the first Pokemon in your party. I walked in and triggered a cutscene with Hau, Gladion and ‘The Masked Royal’/The Professor in a wresting mask (whatever he’s into I guess, no judgment) and they all decided to battle then and there with me and the Pokemon at the front of the team. Realising that Chops the Flaaffy was the Pokemon at the front of my party and also injured, I desperately tried to claw my way out of the building but the cutscene was in full flow and poor Chops was thrown out the safety of her pokeball to fight a Rockruff, Type: Null, and Torracat. I was very scared. I like Chops and the wound from losing Squidward was still sore, I couldn’t lose Chops too. I tried to be as strategic as possible and used thunder wave on Torracat in the first round. Magically, none of the other Pokemon attacked Chops in that round, which was a huge relief. Round 2 I used thunder wave again on Rockruff as Type: Null was burned but Chops took a hit from Torracat that nearly wiped her out. With just 5 hit points left I resigned myself to Chops’s untimely demise, but she was going to go out swinging! She used thundershock on the Rockruff and… it was defeated, therefore ending the battle! I didn’t realise just defeating one would end it or I would have been more aggressive, I thought you had to be the last one standing. Phew. I ran out of there ASAP knowing that I would never return while on this challenge. I do think that in a normal game it’s a fun format though.

Next stop on the journey is the volcano park for a fiery battle!

Sun Nuzlocke – Chapter 3 – Food for thought

< Chapter 2

Anti-Climactic Rivalry

You might remember back in Chapter 1 I said how I was doing this challenge to relieve some boredom from my sofa-bound, injured boyfriend and that after each Kahuna battle we were going to battle each other. Well… That’s not worked out so much. After a week of me looming over his shoulder asking “have you beat the Kahuna yet?” in the most nonchalant way I could muster while desperately wanting to continue my own game, he finally gave me the go ahead to continue and he would ‘catch me up’. This may or may not happen but I’m going to continue the challenge myself either way. A downside to having a non-gamer boyfriend is that when he does play stuff with me he gets really into it for one or two nights then never wants to play again, which leads to a lot of frustration for my inner achievement hunter.

Ride Pokemon appreciation

After the first Kahuna I was given my very own Tauros to ride and rock smash my way through obstacles. The way this game dealt with HMs is THE BEST, It’s one of my favourite things about it. I hate having to sacrifice one of my party to HM servitude but in Alola you are given a Ride Pokemon to do what would normally be an HM move. You also get some funky riding gear that is… a look, but safety first I guess. There’s a Tauros to smash rocks, Stoutland to sniff out hidden objects, a Charizard for fly, Lapras to surf, and more.

Look what you made me do

I retraced my steps smashing through all the rocks I could find and got to a new area ‘Ten Carat Hill’ where I got a Mawile called Nancy, a Pokemon I don’t usually use but I was very curious so added her to the party straight away. Then there was the ‘Farthest Hollow’ where I COULD have got a Roggenrola, which would have been really cool, but Taylor the Ekans had other plans and 1 shot it. Taylor had become my ‘catcher’ Pokemon, what with her ability to paralyse and not hit too hard, but I guess she wanted to prove me wrong and what with this being the second time she had knocked out a potential team mate I retired her from that role with a stern warning.

Arriving in Akala

Smashable rocks exhausted I headed to the beach and surfed a Mantine to the next island, Akala. Little fact here : The only reason I got Ultra Sun and not regular Sun is because of the Mantine surfing, it’s a fun mini game and I’ve always liked surfing/skating mini games. Once we got to Akala I was greeted by the Kahuna Olivia who is VERY different to Melemele’s Hala. I have a bit of a girl crush on her, not going to lie.

Olivia - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia
Look at this queen

Lillie wanted to go off to a posh hotel for plot reasons, you have to follow her but once you’re there she just goes “yep… this is the hotel all right!” Ok??? Temporarily unburdened by Nintendo’s albino plot device I ran to the nearest patch of grass to get my new Pokemon… An Eevee! Eevees are adorable and I was very happy. I’d found the TM False Swipe and taught it to Nancy (the new catcher of the team) so it was an easy catch and Smoothie the Eevee was mine! (It was just what I was eating at the time, I don’t know, coming up with all these names is hard). I boxed her temporarily as I wanted to plan what I wanted her to evolve into carefully. There might be a particular type that isn’t very common in Alola or my team might be severely lacking something when I get to the next trials.

The realities of food in the Pokemon world

Next stop was the Paniola Ranch so I could expect a farm-like addition to the team, though isn’t that basically just stealing Pokemon from the ranch? Seems sketchy. Anyway, after some interaction with a farmer and his Miltank I had the disturbing realisation that everyone in the Pokemon world drinks milk from Miltanks. I was then informed by my friend that there are only male Tauros and female Miltank and they can breed with each other so… Miltank provides the humans with milk and the Tauros provides them with… Steak??? That must be why they don’t evolve either, they’re primarily a food source. I guess that’s obvious but I had never thought about it and for a second it took me out of the magical world where humans lived on berries. We looked into it a bit more and apparently Slowpoke tails are a snack you suck on and slowly chew, Farfetch’d were hunted to near extinction because they taste good when cooked with their leek and Basculin is ‘remarkably tasty’. So there’s some light horror for y’all.

Do People Eat Pokemon? 13 Examples From The Anime Of Eating Pokemon (Or  Real Animals) - GameSpot

Any reserves I had about stealing Pokemon from a ranch were now gone (not that I really had any before) and I walked into some nearby grass to see which Pokemon I could save from the food industry and found a Mareep. I honestly did not realise until I started typing this despite all that ‘horrific realisation’ I then went totally absentmindedly went on to name the Mareep ‘Chops’ so… Yeah. Chops was saved from becoming its’ own name sake and we got out of there. Food talks aside, I am glad I got a Mareep as I think Ampharos can be a good Pokemon.

Now that I need to have a think about my Eevee, which is your favourite Eevee evolution? Or which is more useful? I’m also running out of name ideas, drop some ideas in the comments! Any comment on the food situation? What would a Pikachu taste like?

Sun Nuzlocke – Chapter 2 – Lots of firsts

< Chapter 1

Route 2

After my embarrassing performance in on Route 1 I was hoping for a better time on Route 2. A new route means new Pokémon so I set off optimistically. At the first patch of grass I came to, a man told me how when you can see rustling in the grass that means a Pokémon will run up and attack you, so rather than explore the route a bit more and select my grassy patch tactfully my dumb ass stepped right on into that first one, a shape sped towards me and it turned out to be an Ekans. I’ve never been a big Ekans fan but I’ll take it. Taylor joined the team and I sulked about untapped grassy potential a bit until I got to Sandy Cove. I thought it looked like a good place to come back to when I can fish or surf for a water type just as a Zubat threw itself at me. Has anyone ever not had a Zubat in a Nuzlocke? (Genuine question) My team was full at this point though so it went straight to the PC.

My next stop was the cemetery where I got a Driftloon, which I’ve never used before and their Pokédex entry is uh… intense.

I’m sure there are any number of cool characters that steal people’s soul in fiction/fantasy but the only thing that came to mind is that Simpsons episode where Bart trades his soul to Milhouse for some ALF pogs, so Driftloon is called Milhouse.

First death

Milhouse died immediately. My first casualty of the game. I thought being a ghost type it might fare ok against some physical attacks but… It did not. I spent more time thinking of its name than it spent in my party. I just sent it out, watched it get hit and deflate, zooming around in the sky above me making a fart noise before unceremoniously plopping to the ground, a wrinkled shell of a balloon. You know what though? It’s fine, we’re fine, I’m fine. I could have had a Ghastly but no. Whatever. It’s fine.

First Trial

The first trial is playing hide and seek with some Yungoos before taking on the totem Pokémon, a Gumshoos. I wasn’t worried really, I had been smashing through Route 2 with the unexpectedly effective combo of Squidward the Inkay and Taylor the Ekans: Squidward used reflect to lower physical damage done against the team then switched with Taylor who used Glare to paralyse the totem and its’ ally Yungoos, plus Wrap on the totem for some continuous damage, then we switched out again to Squidward to top up Reflect and then just hit them with Foul Play. I probably didn’t need to be so tactful, but I never usually am so I was enjoying feeling clever. We took them out nice and easy. I never thought an Ekans would be one of my favourites but that’s one of the reasons I subject myself to the emotional torture of Nuzlocke challenges; I’ve been playing Pokémon since I can remember yet I never bothered with an Ekans until now.

Pokemon 23 Ekans Pokedex: Evolution, Moves, Location, Stats

Bird Up

I wasn’t very worried about the impending Kahuna fight, but then I had been feeling confident about my trial with Llima and we know how that went… I knew that the Kahuna has fighting type Pokémon so I was pleased when a Spearow named Burdy joined the team on Route 3, that is until I saw his stats. His defence was shocking and I nearly lost him in his first battle, so he wasn’t even a viable option, too much of a wild card. Fortunately there was one area left: Melemele Meadows. Kind of unsurprisingly I caught an Oricorio in the meadow named Pom pom who immediately replaced Burdy as chief bird and was so much better. I think that Oricorio is actually a pretty cool Pokémon, at least early in the game. You can pick different flowers in different areas of the world to give it that turn it into a different type, sort of like a bird version of Eevee, at the moment Pom pom is an electric type but going forward hopefully I can adapt it to whatever upcoming fight we have.

First Kahuna

I needn’t have worried really, the Kahuna fight was pretty easy, Pom pom aced it and secured a place as one of my favourites. Rudy the Poplio also evolved (first evolution) into Brionne, who looks a like a clown that wants to be a trapeze artist but isn’t quite confident enough to fully leave the safety of the clowning career yet.

Brionne (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia

That’s it until next time! Which Pokémon do you not usually use but have been pleasantly surprised by when you have? Any advice for the road to the next trial?

Chapter 3 >

New Challenge! Pokemon Sun Nuzlocke

Hello! It’s been far too long! I’ve been suffering from writers block very badly over lockdown. Most of the games I’ve been playing are simulators (Sims, Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, etc) and anything I have to say about them has already been said. I’ve really missed writing and the blogging community though and didn’t want to give up completely. Finally, inspiration struck me for a new blog series: Pokemon Sun Nuzlocke!

The idea to start this came about because my boyfriend Dexter has hurt his back and has spent most of the week lying on the sofa, he’s understandably bored and frustrated so to pass the time he has been watching Jaiden Animations play though her Nuzlocke. He mentioned how it would be fun to play one with me where we battle each other after each gym so we would be each other’s ‘rival’. I wanted to do something to help him feel less bored, that and he doesn’t usually play games with me as he’s not a gamer so I got excited and started rifling through our combined Pokemon collection, which is one of the only games he does play. Between us we have quite a few but the only compatible ones were two copies of Sapphire or Ultra Sun and Moon. We settled on Sun/Moon as I have finished Sun but only once and I wasn’t that into it so I felt that a new perspective could change my mind, and he started it but didn’t get very far.

The Rules

As we were playing together, and the Alola region is a bit different to other games (trials and kahuna instead of gyms, ally pokemon, Z powers, etc) we reviewed the rules and came up with the following:

  • If a pokemon reaches 0 hp it’s ‘dead’ and must be released
  • You can only catch one Pokrmon per route and it must be the first Pokemon you encounter (if ally pokemon are summoned you can only catch the original pokemon)
  • The starter Pokemon must be randomised
  • A route is whenever the little blue box pops up to say you’re in a new area
  • Gift Pokemon and eggs are OK, unless you have already caught a Pokemon on the route it is gifted on in which case you have to release it or put it in the Gift Box on the PC, a thing I made up because gift Pokemon are usually babies and I feel like they wouldn’t last long in the wild, the gift box is a safer place
  • If I have a Pokemon that needs to evolve through trading then Dexter must also have one and agree to the trade, he has implied he might just choose not to because you know… He likes to antagonise me
  • You can use the Switch Pokemon setting (to be honest, I didn’t know that you could turn this off…)
  • No calculating damage before going into fights, this is mainly for Dexter, he loves numbers (nerd) and would do that for fun. I would not.
  • You can do some research before big battles to see what you’re up against and what moves they have
  • No legendary Pokemon
  • You can frontload
  • Daycare is not allowed
  • Can’t use X items
  • Can’t use Pokemon Care (I was upset about this as I like that feature but… fine)

We may add/remove rules as we go as well as we don’t know the game that well so we’ll see.

I Randomly Select You!

To kick everything off we randomised our starters. I was hoping for Rowlet, Dex wanted Poplio, but the reverse happened instead. Nevermind. I have nothing against Poplio I just think he looks like a clown and clowns are creepy. To get around this I named him Rudy after Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (he’s got a big red nose and will be leading my team!) That endeared me to him a lot more.

My First Catch

The part of the game I was dreading the most was the intro/tutorial. I remembered it taking forever. Unfortunately, this game is determined to have a plot and in depth characters, even if it means we don’t get poke balls for 40 mins. Finally I was able to catch my first wild Pokemon on Route 1… Drumroll… a Grubbin. I wasn’t super happy about that at first as I’d had one in my previous playthrough and it was good but it levels slowly, plus it can’t evolve into its final form until you get to Blush Mountain, and by the time you do that it kind of sucks. Having said that, as Bugsy Malone vice gripped her way to several victories I grew more confident, she’s probably one of the best Pokemon you can get on Route 1 after all. Unfortunately, Dex caught one too so I need to make Bugsy Malone the superior Grubbin.

My True Rival

In the first battle with Hau, his Pichu unexpectedly gave me a bit of trouble. Bugsy Malone was paralysed and the Pichu kept lowering her attack and hitting her with Thunderbolt but we persevered and took it out, his Litten was no trouble after that. Hau is an exhausting character with overwhelming positivity. If someone is that nice in real life they must have something to hide. He opens your first battle with “it doesn’t matter who wins as long as we both have fun!” Outside of the gaming world I wholeheartedly agree with that statement but I was raised with Gary Oak as my OG rival so I want to crush you, and if you don’t care when I do it then it takes the fun out of it for me. I really came to appreciate the idea Dex had had in that moment, my anticipation for our future battle was growing, and while I thought he would best me as I have very little experience with fighting real people in Pokemon, I was looking forward to a competitive fight. Dexter is my true rival in this game.

Getting Schooled

In the game-enforced interest of trying to get to know Lillie better we were basically handcuffed together as she dragged me round town and we ended up at the Trainer’s school where it was decided for me that I should enroll. I fought my way through the students there and was then challenged by the teacher who, in a good twist I think in Pokemon games, fought me with the leftover starter Rowlet. Bugsy took care of it but it was a bit tricky and I had to use a fair amount of potions. Then Dexter fought her in his game where she sent out Litten against his Rowlet and… HE GOT KO’d!!! We both looked at each other, and for a second I was torn between laughing maniacally or offering an out. I offered an out. That is how annoying the intro of this game is. If Dexter had had to restart the game at that point he would have had to go through ANOTHER 2 HOURS to get back to this point and we both knew he wouldn’t do it. Instead we agreed to pretend this never happened but any other KO after this would definitely count.

Despite our agreement I did tease him and acted like I had the moral high ground, but Karma is a bitch. I met Llima in Hau’oli city and was taken out by his ridiculously aggressive Yungoos. It just kept coming at me, and when it wasn’t doing that it was lowering Bugsy/Rudy’s defence. I looked at Dex sheepishly and now it was his (rightful) turn to be smug. As he had been KO’d and I’d let it pass he did the same for me on the same conditions. I do feel guilty but… I can’t do that intro again so soon guys, I can’t, and I’d got too excited about finally having something to write about to give up so we’re doing it, think what you will of me. Guilt and failure aside I thought we had bigger problems. I genuinely did not think that I could beat Llima with my two Pokemon. Neither of us expected this game to be this hard so early on. When we made the rules we had done a bit of research on Reddit and there was some dispute on what is classified as a Route. We decided to use the rule where anything classified as being on Route 1 (i.e. the beach near Kukui’s house, the Trainer school and Hau’oli city) is all one area, we had also put a level cap where you could only be the level of the next big battle’s Pokemon (so right now we were capped at 10). However, in light of the aggressive Yungoos we decided to ditch the level cap (it was getting hard anyway as Rudy was leveling so dang fast), and that you could catch a new Pokemon in any area where the blue box appeared in the bottom of the screen saying where you were. This meant I could go back and get three new Pokemon in the city, the beach and the school.

My Hero

My first catch was a Wingull in the city, who I named Peeko (Sapphire throwback). Not the knight in shining armor I was hoping for. At the trainer school I caught a Meowth called Rocket, which is definitely not the best Pokemon I could have got there but it’s fine, I’m fine, we’re fine. My final hope was the beach near Kukui’s house. I had kind of given up hope at this point and had resigned myself to being a basic bitch trainer BUT Tapu Koko must have been smiling down on me. I caught an Inkay (Squidward). It did not take me long at all to realise that Squidward is KICK ASS. It has the ability Contrary which makes stat changes have the opposite effect and it knew both Reflect and Foul Play, meaning I could lower any physical damage being done to my team, then attack using the enemies’ strength against it (perfect for say… An aggressive Yungoos) AND when the Yungoos would inevitably try to lower Squidward’s defence he would just raise it instead. I sauntered back up to Llima and that is exactly what happened. I know you’re not supposed to have favourites but Squidward is currently top tier, the best, I love him. If anything happens to him I might cry.

A very bad start to my new challenge but we are both having fun so it doesn’t matter, right Hau? Have you ever tried a Nuzlocke in Sun/Moon? How did it go? Also, how are you in general if you were a previous Dragons Tea Party reader? I hope it’s been a good year for you all. Stand by for the next post where we will hopefully complete the first Island challenge!

Chapter 2 >