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FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010


Explopyro posted:

According to Bulbapedia they're different words in Japanese, to the extent their information is trustworthy. The "bitter" that corresponds to the Smart contest stat might be more accurately translated as "astringent", I think.
I can't find where they claim that, but if they do, they're wrong. If you trust the item descriptions on the Japanese wiki to be a faithful verbatim transcription, which I do, it's the same word in both places.

FractalSandwich fucked around with this message at 09:08 on Apr 4, 2018

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Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




FractalSandwich posted:

I can't find where they claim that, but if they do, they're wrong. If you trust the item descriptions on the Japanese wiki to be a faithful verbatim transcription, which I do, it's the same word in both places.

This is what I get for posting while sleep-deprived, the fuckup is mine. I think my brain invented that out of thin air. I can't find any page saying something of the kind now, and dry is the one that it says translates as astringent which makes a whole lot more sense. Oops.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010


big enough
for the both of us





I think it makes sense if you apply even more real-world logic to it: I like beer quite a lot, and grapefruit, but I still won't voluntarily lick Nintendo Switch cartridges. Or, indeed, like bitter-tasting medicine even if it's good for me.

Haifisch
Nov 12, 2010

Objection! I object! That was... objectionable!



Taco Defender

Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Say what you want about the idiocy of Team Magma's plans (even if Team Aqua's is dumber),
I dunno, trying to erupt a volcano by throwing rocket fuel in it is pretty loving dumb.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Haifisch posted:

I dunno, trying to erupt a volcano by throwing rocket fuel in it is pretty loving dumb.

I meant general plan of expanding landmass. Not the rocket fuel thing. That was just pants on head crazy.

Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017

Generic Magic User



Haifisch posted:

I dunno, trying to erupt a volcano by throwing rocket fuel in it is pretty loving dumb.

You can't deny it would have made the volcano erupt just as predicted

And technically there would have been more land per person afterwards, too

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Part 21: That's a Lotta Water

Surfing



Are you ready for endless surfing? ARE YOU? We've got a Cold Gregg to train and what better way then up against many, many, MANY Water trainers.




While Cold Gregg doesn't have great stats, her moves are pretty good, so it balances out.



The tide ebbs and flows inside the SHOAL CAVE. By the way, it's about six hours from high tide to low tide. Did you know?



Standard skipping procedure activated, cause hoo boy, there's a fair few trainers on these massive empty routes.

"Are you going to see him, too?"

(IRIS) KIM, can you tell me what we're looking for out here?



Expect to see a lot of level ups in this update.



(KIM) A funny old man lives in the SHOAL CAVE, doesn't he? Let's go see him, IRIS!

(IRIS) Oh, we came sort of close. KIM, are we really going into the SHOAL CAVE? We'll get all wet.






...right, uh, well, this thing... what to- what to say about this Pokemon...? It focuses purely on Speed to the detriment of all its other stats and it has a super barren movepool, like it learns Tackle, Water Gun and Take Down. THAT'S IT. At least it learns all the good Water HMs, as well as Ice Beam, but that's it. Also you're not dealing any damage anyway, so it's all pointless, the only reason it exists is so you can reasonably farm Heart Scales at a 75% rate with Compoundeyes. That's it, don't use this Pokemon for anything else. Mainly because it can't do anything else, all it has are Water, Ice and Normal moves.



Wanna know how I got in this situation?



Timing this stuff is bullshit, lemme tell ya.



Definitely worth it though.



What a great little story.



And that's Route 125! It was pretty small, only like four squares or so. All the other routes in this update are bigger.



Back on Route 124, there's a billion dive spots to go down, so let's get started.

Diving




There's a lot of hidden items underwater, but they're all marked, or in very obvious locations. Unlike a certain remake... While a fair few of them are fluff, there's some good stuff down here and of course the music is just great, so it's not all bad. Just annoying to hear Nobunaga's cry over and over and over and



Some dive spots lead to not only seaweed to find Pokemon in, but also other parts of the route that are inaccessible otherwise.



It's usually shards, but those aren't that bad. Let's go get some underwater Pokemon.



There's only 3 underwater encounters and Dive Balls make getting them a joke.





This stoned grandpa isn't all that bad, despite being unable to use one of its STABs. Sure it can't learn Rock Slide outside of breeding like every Rock type ever, but it gets Ancientpower at level 43! That's, uh, something. It can at least use Take Down or Double-Edge, as well as Earthquake, but its special side will go unloved. It can take physical hits all day so long as it's not weak to them and it'll fall over if a Grass type looks at it, but it has the firepower and hard-headedness behind it to at least hit something pretty hard, if nothing else. It wishes for better STAB options though.





The final deep sea denizen doesn't have its crazy tricks from future generations, but is basically a stronger, slower Luvdisc, having Normal, Water and Ice moves to work with. Thankfully it can be proved upon by evolution, which you should do straight away since it doesn't learn anything by level up, ever, but both options have their ups and downs. The only other notable thing is the evolution items of Deepseascale and Deepseatooth, which double Clamperl's Sp.Def and Sp.Atk respectively. Obviously the tooth is the better option if you just want to use Clamperl, but again, it isn't too impressive at the moment. Shell Smash is a bit away, baby.



Now where does this lead?



Very nice, but this is a dead end. Cheers game.



This is a bit better.



Now where does this lead?



Another dead end, cheers game.



This is a bit better.



Pretty good haul overall, got plenty of drinks to force down Cold Gregg.



Now that we have some shards, let's get some good stuff.




We only need one extra Water Stone and one Leaf Stone to evolve all the Pokemon in the Hoenn Dex with the various freebies we get across the game. Now that we have some spare stones, let's have an evolution extravaganza!

Surfing



Onto the third route of the update and this one is a real short one, trust me. Definitely not one of the largest routes in the game, no sir.




Cold Gregg is slowly catching up.



If you have a rival, don't you get the feeling that you have to keep getting better?

Let's not talk about the rival.



Let's talk about this instead: it's cool. Uh, that's it.



There's a supermassive dive spot in this route that goes all the way down to Route 128.



Thankfully there's just the one item in it, the game is very good at not putting random stuff in impossible to know places.



Hey, only Cold Gregg can level up now!




Secrets in the corner.



That's the good stuff, still got like 7 levels to go though...



Soon you won't be able to tell Cold Gregg has base 50s across the board.



That's all the underwater items, so now it's the rest of the trainers.




Now Cold Gregg has got a good Ice move too, she'll be team ready in no time.



Now for the other big square route. Route 126 is a giant donut, mmm, donuts, so let's go counter-clockwise.




Can finally fight those swimmers at the entrance from Route 124.



For whatever reason there's, uh, nothing around the left half of Sootopolis volcano. We'll dive under after we've found all the trainers.




Since there's a separate spot here, might as well explore it.



Alright, I'll just shove them into the PC, no need to make more stones.



Lotta guys flexing at children. Down into the deep we go.

Diving



Alright, what's up here?



Cool, what's down here?



We'll head into that ominous opening in a minute.



Even underwater the top left side is super empty.



What's in a remote place like this?




That's some pretty good stuff and another route down, so...



Welcome to Sootopolis City!


Sootopolis/Rune City: The mystical city where history slumbers.
From soot and polis (Greek for city), and rune, ru (flow), ruri (blue colour of lapis lazuli) and netsu (underwater soil that makes black dye).

Sootopolis City



The last Gym Leader, though the place is locked right now. Sootopolis is split in two, so let's explore the right side first.



But that also means I have many rivals for his attention. He's got appeal with a DOUBLE-EDGE. I couldn't even catch his eye. Please, let me teach your POKEMON the move DOUBLE-EDGE!



Cold Gregg will appreciate this boost, since everyone else is pretty set in their moves.



Now that I've become an old buzzard, my only amusement is watching young TRAINERS battle.

Worry not, this weird house that seemingly had no purpose in Mossdeep in RS has just been moved to Emerald. What is this house for? Sigh, I guess I'll have to go over the e-Reader in a Side Notes eventually...



You've brightened up my day, so I'll give you a big WAILMER DOLL. Take good care of it!



Never gonna say no to free stuff and saves us having to buy it at Lilycove.



My big brother says that SEEDOT is bigger. But that's wrong! Everyone knows that LOTAD is a lot bigger. If you get a big LOTAD, please come show me!

Here are two NPCs that wanna see some big Lotad or Seedot. I've already gone over how the game calculates size for those that rate it (it's ridiculously complicated) here and you get 2 Elixers every time you beat the size record. As luck would have it, Dots from Rustboro's trade is just large enough to count, at 0.01 inches over the threshold. What a coincidence.



... Okay. That's nice. My name is KIRI. My mommy and daddy named me that so I would grow healthy and warmhearted. That's what they wished. You can have one of these.




Spring, summer, autumn and winter. If you're born in springtime, do you like the spring, and if you're born in the summer, do you like the summer?

Checks out, I was born in summer and love it. I miss the warmth...



So Kiri is pretty interesting: she is Junichi Masuda's daughter, born shortly before the release of Ruby and Sapphire, which definitely added to his stress of when that game was being released. Her berries are pretty rare too, only given out by the Berry Master otherwise. Her second berry is either a Figy or Iapapa berry, which can only otherwise be obtained by the Beauty on Route 120 if you have the right ID number.



All endgame stuff, which is just what we need. I've barely sold anything this game and I'm just rolling in money, it's been quite nice.



Only a couple of interesting things on the left side.




Alright mate, it's not that amazing. Brick Break has 75BP, 15PP, 100% accuracy and shatters both Light Screen and Reflect, even if the opponent is immune to the move. It's pretty cool and gives some much needed Fighting coverage to a lot of physical attackers, but Nobunaga doesn't need it and also has no room for it because Water HMs!



Bit of a journey getting down here, so there must be something good.



The spirits of POKEMON, becalmed at MT. PYRE, are said to be revived here. Please leave.



Alright, we're finished in this city for now, so let's use the lovely fishing mechanics and take 20 minutes to find the one Pokemon I want.



Seriously, it's only a 20% encounter, but because fishing is poo poo in this game, it takes so much longer.

Surfing



Route 128 will be the final area we'll go over and thankfully it's pretty small. Still a lot to it like all the others, but it's a nice straight line.



Bah




Man, a lot happened in that battle. Cold Gregg continues trying to learn every Ice move ever.



It was suspicious, but for the right reasons.




The massive dive area from Route 127 finally stops around here, but we'll explore it in a moment.



Easy enough, now apparently there's a hidden item on this island.



We'll... get it later.



Have you noticed the Triathlete sprite features the same person doing all three events?




Maybe next update Wargreymon.



Hmm, looks like this buzzing metropolis will have to wait.



Bah



I might be able to start using my other Pokemon soon! What a crazy idea.



New area has new fishing encounters. We'll be going back through the region to pick up any leftover fishing Pokemon later on, among other things.



Hey, remember this Pokemon in the Hoenn Dex?



This better have a Heart Scale when I get back to a center!



With the route done, it's now time to enter this cave at the bottom of the sea. Or however you'd call it.



TEAM AQUA must have gone ashore here.



Next time, it's the end of the world as we know it.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Side Notes 09: The Ridiculous Rabbit Hole of the e-Reader (Part 1: Overview)



Right... the e-Reader. Do you remember this periphery? I sure don't, since Europe never got this thing as it nearly went the way of the Mobile GB. It's a GBA cartridge that can have special cards scanned onto it to unlock new features in existing games, or to play a wide (and I mean WIDE) variety of minigames on the e-Reader itself. Originally slated specifically for Pokemon TCG cards, Japan got a load of these cards sold in packs that had some come over to North America. Some. While it was pretty popular in Japan, as per usual, it wasn't in the US and Australia and so was never released in Europe, or in other languages aside from Japanese and English.

So what the hell did this thing do? Well, it unlocked a fair amount of features in FRLG and Emerald, as well as a few other Pokemon games, like Colosseum, Channel and Pinball RS. It still had the main use of scanning different TCG cards, with the short strip on the card detailing the card's Pokedex entry, a card summary and info on the long strip. The long strip contained data for various minigame applications, which, when combined with other similar cards with other data, could become playable. The biggest of these minigames was Construction: Action, where you scanned cards that had Player data and ones with Map data to navigate stages and catch Pokemon.

Now, if you clicked that link to read all about the minigame, scroll down to the bottom to see all the various applications you could use with the TCG cards. It's a big box, right? The minigames take up HALF of it. If I sat here and described each minigame to you and what cards you needed to unlock them, I would be here all loving night. There is seriously SO MUCH to do with the e-Reader and did I mention these minigames could be unlocked by promotional cards? As in, ones that you could only get at specific events and are incredibly rare? And require other cards from those specific events? Like the Tokotoko Truck, which required 5 cards, all of them from the JR Train Rally held in August 2002. Remember, a lot of this stuff was only released in Japan, so there's even more ridiculously rare content that you've probably never heard of.

I'm not kidding when I say it's a rabbit hole. Other small features include certain TCG cards that have hidden attacks or Poke-Powers or Poke-Bodies when scanned into the e-Reader. Seriously. There are also miscellaneous TCG applications, such as a Coin Toss with a Chansey coin, or a Kitchen Timer, or just moving a random Pokemon around the screen using the d-pad, or a chess clock application, but for the TCG. If some of this stuff sounds familiar to you, that's because some of them were taken to become Poketch applications. So yeah, this is where the Poketch came from, from a TCG set in December 2001.

Now, before we go over the other big thing the e-Reader could do, let's talk berries. There are 12 berries exclusive to the e-Reader and only 6 of them were released in the US and thus have english names. These berries could be scanned in, held by Pokemon, had various effects, could be planted and grown, but could not be moved forward to FRLG and Emerald, or Colosseum, XD and Pokemon Box RS, since it only originates in Ruby and Sapphire. The Enigma Berry serves as its placeholder in Gen 3, though e-Reader berries traded forward to Gen 4 will become Enigma Berries and is the only way to obtain that berry unless you buy it in Battle Revolution or held by event Darkrai. All of these e-Reader berries can be made into Pokeblocks, usually having great flavour stats for it and they're mostly for that purpose, though some cure status and the Ginema Berry acts as a White Herb.

Next up is the Eon Ticket. Is there anyone reading who got it this way? During 2003, either at E3, or through the September issue of Nintendo Power, or Toys "R" Us (RIP), you could scan this card into the e-Reader and onto an RS game if you'd unlock the Mystery Gift (or Mystery Events), putting the Eon Ticket into your bag. Since Emerald doesn't have the Mystery Events option, just Mystery Gift, you needed to mix records with an RS player who had scanned in the Eon Ticket to get it in that game.

Then for Pinball RS, you could scan in 5 different cards to activate various events that were diffcult to trigger, such as being able to catch a rare Pokemon, increase low encounter rates, or basically cheat mode, picking from any bonus stage, or starting a game maxed out on everything. Finally, for Smeargle Paint on Pokemon Channel, there were e-Reader cards to unlock new line art to use while drawing, as well as palette patterns. These were only released in the US or AUS and one card was exclusive to each region.

Finally, we have the various cards you could scan in to battle new trainers in various locations in the game. Only one of these sets was released outside of Japan, the one with the berries. They came in booster packs of 9 cards, 8 trainers, 1 berry, each with different names, like the booster pack of a TCG set, though always containing the same cards. When scanned in, the trainers on these cards would appear in the basement of the old man's house in Mossdeep, with the Sootopolis house only available in Emerald and thus Japan only. These trainers could also appear in the Battle Tower and some had Pokemon not in the Hoenn Dex and could be fought as high as level 100. In just this single set alone, out of six sets total, spanning different games, there are 48 trainers. The second set for RS was pretty similar, having the second set of berries, as well as some trainers with Shiny Pokemon. Again, they came in six sets of 9 cards.

Not just Ruby and Sapphire got these battle cards. Colosseum got them for use in a postgame area exclusive in the Japanese versions. Remember that left door in Phenac Colosseum that never opened? Beating these battles also let you obtain 3 Shadow Pokemon that are otherwise completely unobtainable: Togepi, Mareep and Scizor. The next two series were for the FRLG and Emerald Trainer Tower/Trainer Hill, increasing its height from the default of 2 floors in the Japanese version, giving exclusive time trials in FRLG and rare HMs in Emerald. We'll go into more detail in Part 2, when we reach that area, but to fluff up the place in the international versions, like they did with the Battle Tower in Crystal, they made it perfectly accessible from the start and pulled a fair few trainers from those cards to use as opponents. There were also promotional e-Reader cards, with even more trainers to fight, for all 5 battle sets, just in case there wasn't enough trainers already.

And that is, at least, a glance over everything you can do with the e-Reader for the Pokemon games. It's a fuckin rabbit hole on which you can spend hours going over and there is definitely more to talk about. Later.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Feel free to keep suggesting Secret Base locations/items and when we're done with all the terribly exciting plot stuff I'll collate it together to make a goon hideout!

rannum
Nov 3, 2012



Hey! You should absolutely listen to the Diving music, it's fantastic. Diving in general is pretty nice in this game it's just a shame it has to share that space with long endless normal surf routes.


Ahhhh the e-reader, you sure were....an attempt. I guess Japan's love for cards (fun fact the amiibo figures sold better worldwide than in japan, but the amiibo CARDS sold very well in japan vs the rest) outweighed the nonsense that was actually using an e-reader, muchless with other games. And so many games, for that matter. Pokemon's the obvious focus here but animal crossing had them, pikmin had them, super mario bros 3, fzero, mega man battle network...
a quick side note, but when the pokemon rs cards came here, they weren't sold in individual packs. I think it was 3 packs, with 2 sets each. I guess to make them more enticing; the SMB3 cards were the same way here.

I also still have the Eon Ticket, though for some reason I remember there being an issue mixing records between RS & Emerald? Maybe I'm thinking of FRLG.

Jade Rider
May 11, 2007

All the pages have been censored except for "heck," and she misread that one.




Crosspeice posted:

Next up is the Eon Ticket. Is there anyone reading who got it this way? During 2003, either at E3, or through the September issue of Nintendo Power, or Toys "R" Us (RIP), you could scan this card into the e-Reader and onto an RS game if you'd unlock the Mystery Gift (or Mystery Events), putting the Eon Ticket into your bag. Since Emerald doesn't have the Mystery Events option, just Mystery Gift, you needed to mix records with an RS player who had scanned in the Eon Ticket to get it in that game.

I remember getting my Eon Ticket through Nintendo Power. I think I still have my E-Reader somewhere in a storage box with all my other outdated video game peripherals, too...

FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?



Oh good a gym! That will break up the monotony of all these water ty.....


... Oh.

Seriously, what the hell rse?

Some Goon
Jan 6, 2013

A golden helix streaked skyward from the Helvault. A thunderous explosion shattered the silver monolith and Avacyn emerged, free from her prison at last.



The water routes were boring and never got revisited after you found all the fly spots (and consequently full of secret bases that never got used), but the whole "exploring a vast ocean" but really did add to the personality and sense of adventure Honenn had.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




I had the e-Reader back in the day and loved that thing, for some reason. I'm not entirely clear why, now, but I always found it so satisfying to be able to rip open a booster pack, scan the cards and play NES games and the like (plus some of the promo cards were fun novelties, like Air Hockey). I still have the Eon Ticket card from Nintendo Power, too, though I've never actually used it; I had stopped playing Pokemon at the time and never had a physical copy of RS.

It's kind of a shame the e-Reader never caught on, because they really tried to do some cool things with it. Due to its unpopularity outside Japan, the US only got around half of the cards released and other regions didn't get any of it at all. In some ways I think it was destined to fail, though, because it was just such a pain to use and required so much hardware support for its most interesting functions (e.g. connectivity with other GBA games required you to have two GBAs and a link cable, though the Game Boy Player could substitute for one if you had that) that I think very few people got to experience that content even if they owned an e-Reader and had the requisite cards. It doesn't matter how good the content is if it's so much of a hassle to see that nobody bothers with it.

To make matters worse, the encoding systems for Japanese and US e-Readers were different (I suspect in part because of different alphabets), so the cards weren't cross-compatible. Japan also got two different versions of the device itself (Card-e Reader and then Card-e Reader+, adding link cable support. That's right, if you wanted the link content and bought the first version of the device, you were out of luck; the US only ever got the upgraded one, though it was just called e-Reader here).

Surprisingly, in a lot of ways the e-Reader can be thought of as an early precursor to DLC (and yes, amiibo, but honestly I think it has more in common with DLC). The thing about the e-Reader is that the game data is all actually encoded on the cards, rather than present in the games already (to be unlocked with an event flag or something), so it's mostly gameshark-proof and can theoretically add content after the game's development cycle has completed.

My favourite use of that was the level cards in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (what a mouthful of a game title), a lot of those were really well-designed and mixed together mechanics from classic Mario games in a way we wouldn't see again until Super Mario Maker (and, well, romhacks). The game didn't actually have enough memory allotted to store all the possible levels, so you'd have to pick and choose which ones you liked enough to keep (if you lived in Japan and had enough of the cards for that to matter). Incidentally, Nintendo finally made those levels available (including the ~2/3 of them that were Japan-exclusive and/or rare promos) when they released the WiiU Virtual Console version of SMA4:SMB3 around two years ago. If you like classic Mario and haven't played them, they're great and it's well worth a look (there's also a patch floating around for the ROM, for those who don't have the console).

There are some fun quirks you can see as a result of this, too. In Pokemon RS, the sprites for the e-Reader berries are encoded on the cards, and the game only stores the one for whichever type of berry you have in the game (you can only have one at a time on your file, though you can swap types by scanning a different card). So if you make Pokeblocks with another player who has a different berry, it'll show your sprite twice (for your berry and theirs) on your screen, and they'll see their berry twice. It still uses the correct stats and displays the correct name of their berry, so I guess this just wasn't a high priority for the developers or they thought people wouldn't notice (and to be frank, I'm not sure if anyone else ever did...). Still, I think it's interesting.

It always kind of surprised me that nobody ever seemed interested in hacking the e-Reader system by making custom cards. In theory, you should be able to print out dot codes and scan them, so it'd be one of the easier ways to play custom homebrew content on actual hardware. But I've never heard tell of anyone actually doing it, so other methods are probably easier in actual practice.

And that was a lot of about the e-Reader that probably nobody wanted to read. I apologise. I'm one of those weird people who actually liked it.

rannum
Nov 3, 2012



I don't think america got even half of all ecards. For pokemon alone we got series 1 of the pokemon battle e cards & 2 exclusive promos and that's it. Japan got a series 2, a 64 card emerald set, 24 colosseum cards, 44 FRLG cards and a seemingly wide assortment of promotional cards. Then of course there's all the other series that had cards that we didn't get...

If the gen 3 games ever get released on something like Switch, it'd be kind of cool if they made them available ala SMB3. There's so many, it'd be pretty novel.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Part 22: "As if nothing had happened..."

Seafloor Cavern



Welcome back to PLOT. Since Freesample is no longer with us, Wargreymon needs to learn Rock Smash again. Thankfully we don't need Cut for the rest of the LP. Or at least that's what my greatest wish is.




There's only a few grunts in this place, it's mainly navigating this maze. Oh yes, it's definitely a maze.



That submarine we jacked, man, it's brutal as a ride. It's way too tight in there!



Alright, we'll go right.



Lost it... I can't find the way out! I'm not afraid. Don't get me wrong!

I failed to win! My partner forgot the map in that submarine! How's that for being useless?



Hmm, going through that cave opening led us back here.



What's this way then?



...oh, it's gonna be one of THOSE caves.



Going up from the first room leads us here, so let's see where this goes.



Okay, loops are fun.



We'll head left first and ride the currents.



We've got an exit at the top left, or this cave island in the middle. Where does it lead?



GAMEFREAK!



Continuing on... we have a pretty simple strength puzzle, or this other exit back down.



Okay, this is the other current puzzle we could've done.



Since it's a dead end going that way, we have to go through it anyway.



Simple enough. There's now just one way left to go!



What an impressive child! But... it won't do to have you meddling around here. And, I do want payback for what happened at the WEATHER INSTITUTE... I'm going to give you a little taste of pain! Resign yourself to it!



But meddlers like you use the power of POKEMON to mess with us even at a place like this! Life just doesn't work the way we need it to!



It's our final fight against Shelly... and whoever the hell this grunt is.



Nothing particularly crazy, both of these villain teams haven't been that interesting, especially cause our team is just pretty drat strong.



Hopefully there's just two more Mightyena left to fight in the game, I think I've seen enough of them.



Ahahahaha! You're so darn strong. It's terribly disappointing that you're not a TEAM AQUA member. You could have enjoyed the fabulous world our BOSS has promised as one of us...

You know, we don't dare question the motives of our leader. But here you are, just some punk, going up against our BOSS. Maybe... you must be something...



Can you solve the puzzle?



Ah, finally. While a lot of our team would love this move, Nobunaga won't be getting it naturally for quite some time and could really use an excellent physical move instead of being covered in lovely Water HMs.



Y'all ready for an awakening?



Fufufu... so it was you, after all. Behold! See how beautiful it is, the sleeping form of the ancient POKEMON KYOGRE! I have waited so long for this day to come... It surprises me, how you've managed to chase me here. But that's all over now. For the realization of my dream, you must disappear now!

VS Leader Archie








Finally we're facing Archie, with a team identical to his Sapphire one. It's alright, I guess.



Enough with the Mightyena.



Another fast boy.



And again, I just don't get these healing items.



Should be easy enough regardless.



O-Or not...



Final Pokemon!



Alright enough with the crits.



Enough with the confusion too, sheesh! Just die!!!

Seafloor Cavern



Fufufu... I commend you. I must recognize that you are truly gifted. But! I have this in my possession! With this RED ORB, I can make KYOGRE...

Kyogre Awakens




I didn't do anything. Why did the RED ORB... where did KYOGRE go? Hm? It's a message from our members outside... Yes, what is it? Hm... it's raining heavily? Good... that should have happened. That is why we awakened KYOGRE, to realize TEAM AQUA's vision of expanding the sea.



It's raining far harder than we envisioned? You're in danger? That can't be... that's just not possible... Hold you position and monitor this situation! There's something wrong... the RED ORB is supposed to awaken and control KYOGRE... but... why? Why did KYOGRE disappear? Why?!



ARCHIE... you've finally awoken KYOGRE, haven't you? What will happen to the world if this downpour continues for all eternity? The world's landmass will drown in the deepening sea...

W-What?! Don't get all high and mighty with me! Wasn't it you, TEAM MAGMA, that infuriated GROUDON? So long as I have this RED ORB, I should be able to control KYOGRE... I should be able to control it...

We don't have the time to argue about it here! Get outside and see for yourself! See if what you're wrought is the world that we desired! YUKI, come on, you have to get out of here, too!

Abnormal Weather



DId I... make a horrible mistake? I... I only wanted...

Do you understand now, ARCHIE? Do you finally see how disastrous your dream turned out to be? We have to hurry! We have to do something before the situation goes completely out of control!



But the way things are now, I doubt that we humans will be capable of doing anything about it. But neither can we stand by and just watch helplessly. The responsibility for putting an end to this falls to ARCHIE and me... This defies belief. Those super-ancient POKEMON... their power is unbelievable. They upset the balance of nature...




After the scorching heat wave ended, this deluge began. If this doesn't stop, all of HOENN... no, the whole world will drown. This huge rain cloud is spreading from above SOOTOPOLIS... what in the world is taking place there? There's no point arguing here... SOOTOPOLIS might provide answers... YUKI... I don't know what you intend to do, but don't do anything reckless. Okay. I'm going to SOOTOPOLIS.



I'm sure whatever the problem is, I can just beat it up like always.



Ah.



Maybe another method is required.



Calm down! KYOGRE! It's no good! It's not responding at all!



I know the extent of your power now! If you keep going, all HOENN, not just SOOTOPOLIS, will be utterly ruined!



And now they are smashing each other with their uncontrollable energy... ...YUKI. You being here now I'll take to mean that you're prepared to become involved in this crisis. Well, then, there's someone that I'd like you to meet. Come with me, please.



Does seeing GROUDON and KYOGRE make you think POKEMON are to be feared? But that's not true. POKEMON are really more... ...why am I asking you this? You already know.



Inside here you'll find someone named WALLACE. I think you have what's needed to help him...

Cave of Origin



Since the two Pokemon are battling outside, I wonder what we'll find in the depths?



My name is WALLACE. I was once the GYM LEADER of SOOTOPOLIS, but something came up. So now, I've entrusted my mentor JUAN with the GYM's operation. GROUDON and KYOGRE, the two POKEMON wreaking havoc here, are considered to be super-ancient POKEMON. But there aren't just two super-ancient POKEMON. There is one more somewhere. Somewhere, there is a super-ancient POKEMON named RAYQUAZA. It's said that it was RAYQUAZA that becalmed the two combatants in the distant past. But even I have no clue as to RAYQUAZA's whereabouts...



Ooh, multiple choice. I think I know the answer to this one.

The CAVE OF ORIGIN? But that's right here! I need you to do better than that!



Hmm... oh, I know!



But when I met the old lady there earlier, she made no mention of it. I very much doubt that the old lady would try to hide something from me...



Man this is a tricky one. I'm not sure.



Alright Wallace, you're getting a bit annoying. How about this place I've never been to, never heard of and wouldn't be able to suggest in any way?



That's it! It must be the SKY PILLAR! YUKI, there's not a moment to lose! We'll head to the SKY PILLAR right away!

Abnormal Weather



That's a good question, where the hell is it? There are some water routes we haven't explored yet, so I guess that's our best bet.



A TRAINER who has knowledge and experience of many kinds of POKEMON. If such a person were to appear, I was instructed by WALLACE to lead that TRAINER to this CAVE.



Alright, let's head over to that small town and see if we can't find this Sky Pillar place. Can't be that hard to see, right?



The constant switching of rain and sun stop when we reach Route 129. It hasn't spread this far yet.



There's nothing for a loser. Time for me to beat it home.



I hope you're not sick of swimmers and water routes already.




Weren't too many trainers on this route, nor really much of anything at all.



Route 130 seems like it'll have something totally wacky on it that we'll cover later. Or not.



A big chunk of it is pretty empty.

"the POKEMON CHAMPION."


It's been ages since Ranmaru tried to learn a new move and it's just Future Sight??? Ugh.



Goddammit, I get called on the tile I enter Route 131 and didn't notice.



Hmm, sounds intriguing, but we'll go searching in a minute.



Rip to this guy.



Preach, brother.



Oh neat, took long enough.





It's been a long road, but you finally have a defensive monster with the attack to back it up. The rest of its stats really suffer, but hey, it's only 4x weak to Fighting and Ground, what's the big deal? While you don't learn any more good moves through level up, pick any TM you fancy and Aggron can probably learn it. It's movepool is disgustingly large, but it will never have the Sp.Atk to use it, so just pick the best physical moves and go from there. No, you're still stuck with Rock Tomb. At least you can Surf.



Holy crap that Defense. It's only been 17 updates since we caught Wargreymon, but he's finally a big bad kaiju, just what I've always wanted!



I still despise the sea.



(IAN) I'm doing my best together with my sis!



(RELI) The people of PACIFIDLOG are together with the sea and POKEMON from the time they are born.

(IAN) I did my best with my sis, but we still couldn't win... You know PACIFIDLOG is a floating town? So, wherever there is the sea, that's a part of PACIFIDLOG!

Pacifidlog Town




Pacifidlog Town/Kinagi Town: Where the morning sun smiles upon the waters.
From Pacific, an inversion of gold and log, and ki (yellow), kin (gold) and nagi (calm).



Hey, I remembered to do this. I think our team's items are set for the rest of the game.



Pacifidlog is pretty drat small, but there's not nothing here. It's got a lot of important areas nearby, at least.

"younger brother."

I'm here enjoying my vacation with POKEMON, yes, indeed. Ah! Your POKEMON... it has a vicious look to it. A frightening POKEMON like that deserves a TM like this.



If it doesn't like you, FRUSTRATION's power goes up.

While we've already gotten Return from Prof. Cosmo, this is the only place we can get Frustration, which is like Return, but worse, since it's much easy keeping a Pokemon a full happiness than zero happiness. Only use it to screw over Imposter Ditto, since nearly all competitive Pokemon have full happiness from the hacki- uh, I mean, care and attention.



Oh, I can see that you want it! After all, it's priceless! I'll tell you what, I might be willing to trade it for a BAGON.

I dunno what that is, so no. Horsea can be fished up on Route 132, so this trade is kinda pointless.



Cool. Here's Sky Pillar.

Sky Pillar



In my haste, I didn't notice that I'd left you behind! I've opened the locked door of the SKY PILLAR. YUKI, let's be on our way!




This isn't good... the weather distortion is spreading even here... YUKI. RAYQUAZA should be further up from here. I'm worried about SOOTOPOLIS. I've got to go back. Everything is in your hands now. Don't fail us!



Seems pretty straightforward going up. Being the chosen one is pretty easy in this game!



Can you solve the puzzle?



There we go, pretty tough, but we did it.



Oh yeah, aren't there some cool Pokemon here?



Neat.



Alright, up to the top.



So do I need a Green Orb, or...?




I am not at fault if that giant green dragon destroys everything.

Rayquaza Descends Rayquaza Fixes Everything







Well... that's one way to end a villain plot in, like, 2 minutes.

Sootopolis City



Haha... hahaha... maybe what we were trying to do was something small, even meaningless, to POKEMON...

So the super-ancient POKEMON weren't only GROUDON and KYOGRE... after all our fruitless scheming and frantic efforts, that one POKEMON's simple action puts everything right again as if nothing had happened... fu... fuhahaha...

So that's RAYQUAZA... it's incredible how the two rampaging POKEMON would flee from it in fear... it looks like both MAXIE and ARCHIE have gone away somewhere. Perhaps they've gone to MT. PYRE to return those ORBS...

YUKI... the leaders of TEAM MAGMA and AQUA, I don't think they meant harm. YUKI... my eyes didn't deceive me. Thanks to your help, SOOTOPOLIS... no, all of HOENN was saved. On behalf of the people, I thank you. This is a gift from me. Please accept it.



If you have the RAIN BADGE, a POKEMON that has learned that HM move can force its way up waterfalls. And where does one get the RAIN BADGE? You know, don't you? That's right! You have to beat the SOOTOPOLIS GYM LEADER. When you're all set to go, step through that door.



Now that the plot is finished and I didn't get the chance to beat anything up, it seems there's only JUAN thing left to do. Haha, kill me now.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Yeah, I'll give Emerald props for having more of a plot, but removing the Legendary battle and making them postgame or optional or whatever is really lame.

BlackPersona
Oct 21, 2012




...Now that I think about it, if they made such a big deal out of stealing a submarine to get to the Seafloor Cavern, how'd Team Magma get down there too?

Thadius
Apr 2, 2010

ANGER HAS NEVER BEEN MORE MANLY THAN THIS


Clearly, Maxie's Camerupt created a bubble of earth for them to ride in to get to the bottom of the seafloor.

Don't look at me like that. It makes about as much sense as anything else they've ever done.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


BlackPersona posted:

...Now that I think about it, if they made such a big deal out of stealing a submarine to get to the Seafloor Cavern, how'd Team Magma get down there too?

Maxie remembered that he and Archie are literally the same character in Gen 3 and used the Sharpedo he undoubtedly has to Dive.

rannum
Nov 3, 2012



It wasn't until this LP that I realized that Groudon has been on the loose for quite a while now
The way Archie & Maxie argue you'd think Groudon had been messing things up, but no. Would have been clever to have random batches of intense sunlight around the region, at least.

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

Honestly, Kyogre could probably take both of them on

Solumin
Jan 11, 2013


Yay Aggron

I always thought Sky Pillar looked a little weird. I just realized it's because it has a shadow and no other buildings really do.

MightyPretenders
Feb 21, 2014



You really don't like Juan, do you? I don't either. At best, I appreciate that his existence develops Wallace's backstory a bit.

Well, if that hate's strong enough, you could, I don't know, find an overleveled pokemon to use on him? Might be worth considering.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Hmm? I was just making a joke at the really downright awful pun I was making, I don't hate any character or Pokemon or what have you.

Honestly the fight against Juan went super well and we then finish off the last of the water routes, so next update is gonna be good fun to write.

Haifisch
Nov 12, 2010

Objection! I object! That was... objectionable!



Taco Defender

Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Yeah, I'll give Emerald props for having more of a plot, but removing the Legendary battle and making them postgame or optional or whatever is really lame.
To be fair this was before having a Big Plot Legendary Fight was standard. And this was also before box legendaries got boosted catch rates, so it avoided interrupting the plot with half an hour of "GET IN THE loving BALL."

Especially since there's a certain postgame trick you could use to never have to deal with that nonsense again(and keep it that way until they stopped letting you transfer items between gens), if you were wise enough to save your Master Ball.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




The story in this game is so weird. I appreciate what they were trying to do, and I think it's better than R/S in quite a few ways, but this is such an anticlimactic scene: one moment everyone is panicking over the world ending, but the contingency plan of getting a dragon to yell at the monsters solves everything, it's all over everyone go home now. They tried to make a dramatic cutscene and music, but I don't think that salvages the fact that this is literally a plot solved by waking up a dragon so it can yell.

Now let's talk about one of those weird video game tropes I really don't like: breaking immersion to give the player story information through menu options. There is literally no way for the player character to have heard of the Sky Pillar before this (this is literally the first instance of that text in the game as far as I know), so having them say it comes completely out of nowhere, and ends up breaking the story. Characters should have reasons for doing things! (I'd never seen the text for choosing the other options though, thanks for showing that! Those responses just smack of ) I kind of get why they do this, if they can't think of a better way to convey the information, but surely that should be an indication that the story/scenario planning needs some work still?

Then there's the hint for finding the place: you get a single vague call from the rival once, and you're supposed to deduce it from that? Here's the text (from Bulbapedia).

Brendan: "Hey, <player>! I was in Pacifidlog just now. I saw this huge green Pokémon flying across the sky. I've never seen anything that amazing before. I wish you could've seen it, <player>."

May: "Hi, <player>! I was just in Pacifidlog a little while ago. I saw a giant green Pokémon flying high in the sky. I… I've never seen anything like it. I wonder what it was. Is this maybe a major discovery?"

This, in the region that includes Tropius. Giant green pokemon flying in the sky shouldn't be a particularly unusual sight! (Plus neither the player nor the character should even know what Rayquaza looks like at this point, how should they know it's green?)

(Or, as my partner said to me just now: "Figuring it out isn't the problem, remembering it is the problem. Because that's an inane and pointless comment from an inane and pointless character and nobody would pay any attention." That too. Definitely that too.)

The only game I can think of where this kind of menu-delivered story information worked was Paper Mario (the first one), where they used the conceit of a quiz show (where multiple choice makes sense, and if you wanted to roleplay the character not knowing, the other contestants would answer the questions so the player would get the information regardless).

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Clearly, the PC received the information through the morphogenetic field from the Ruby/Sapphire protagonist.

Haifisch posted:

To be fair this was before having a Big Plot Legendary Fight was standard. And this was also before box legendaries got boosted catch rates, so it avoided interrupting the plot with half an hour of "GET IN THE loving BALL."

I guess, but it seems weird to break a trend that they had just set with the previous two versions.

Haifisch
Nov 12, 2010

Objection! I object! That was... objectionable!



Taco Defender

Explopyro posted:

The story in this game is so weird. I appreciate what they were trying to do, and I think it's better than R/S in quite a few ways, but this is such an anticlimactic scene: one moment everyone is panicking over the world ending, but the contingency plan of getting a dragon to yell at the monsters solves everything, it's all over everyone go home now. They tried to make a dramatic cutscene and music, but I don't think that salvages the fact that this is literally a plot solved by waking up a dragon so it can yell.

Now let's talk about one of those weird video game tropes I really don't like: breaking immersion to give the player story information through menu options. There is literally no way for the player character to have heard of the Sky Pillar before this (this is literally the first instance of that text in the game as far as I know), so having them say it comes completely out of nowhere, and ends up breaking the story. Characters should have reasons for doing things! (I'd never seen the text for choosing the other options though, thanks for showing that! Those responses just smack of ) I kind of get why they do this, if they can't think of a better way to convey the information, but surely that should be an indication that the story/scenario planning needs some work still?
If Emerald was released now there'd definitely be a huge build-up to the legend of Groudon/Kyogre and how Rayquaza is the only one who can calm them, with the Sky Pillar brought up around the time Groudon awakens. And instead of having to guess where it is, Steven or someone would bring it up and direct you there.

Although compared to previous gens at the time, I remember 2005 me being impressed at what we got. Gamefreak gets way better at storytelling each gen, even if they stumble a few times along the way. Even going from Gen 1's "You're stopping Team Rocket because you happen to come across them doing evil things, and are forced to fight them to progress. That's it, that's the entire 'plot'." to Gen 2's "Team Rocket's ing about Giovanni going missing, and you have a few barebones story reasons nudging you to stop them." was an obvious difference. Gen 3's far from perfect but it's still leaps and bounds ahead of both of those. And Gen 4's leagues ahead of Gen 3.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Gen 6 is pretty weak compared to Gen 5, though.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




Haifisch posted:

If Emerald was released now there'd definitely be a huge build-up to the legend of Groudon/Kyogre and how Rayquaza is the only one who can calm them, with the Sky Pillar brought up around the time Groudon awakens. And instead of having to guess where it is, Steven or someone would bring it up and direct you there.

Hah, yes, probably. I'm not sure that would've necessarily been an improvement, though, they've tended to get very hamfisted about that sort of thing to the point it makes all the characters look like idiots. (Then again, Emerald's also pretty good at making characters look like idiots... idiots in a different way, I suppose.) There must be some kind of happy medium, though thinking about it I'm sure this kind of writing problem isn't exclusive to Pokemon game.

I honestly still like the original Team Rocket best, because they were just gangsters and at best a subplot; speaking for myself at least, I'm not sure how much of an overarching narrative Pokemon games need, and I might prefer as little of it as possible. Just let the world exist, drop the player in and let them raise their goddamn monsters; the gyms give enough of a structure and level curve, as well as checkpoints/subgoals to motivate the player, that I'm not convinced more is needed.

Then again, there's probably a reason I don't write games.

Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017

Generic Magic User



Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Gen 6 is pretty weak compared to Gen 5, though.

Gen six would be fine if the pacing were better - I'm replaying it at the moment. You get little hints and encounters throughout a lot of the early/mid game (though nobody else sees most of it) but then out of nowhere as you walk out of a gym a character announces to the world via universal phone call that he's a crazy villain and he's starting the apocalypse now. The plot itself isn't bad as Pokemon plots go, it's just somewhat poorly implemented.

And interestingly handled quite well in the anime, I remember being surprised and impressed by the drama and scale of the arc finale.

rannum
Nov 3, 2012



Black Robe posted:

Gen six would be fine if the pacing were better - I'm replaying it at the moment. You get little hints and encounters throughout a lot of the early/mid game (though nobody else sees most of it) but then out of nowhere as you walk out of a gym a character announces to the world via universal phone call that he's a crazy villain and he's starting the apocalypse now. The plot itself isn't bad as Pokemon plots go, it's just somewhat poorly implemented.

And interestingly handled quite well in the anime, I remember being surprised and impressed by the drama and scale of the arc finale.

The anime also had the benefit (the Generations shorts did too) of showing Lysandre not being obviously & transparently evil to everyone

My favorite thing about XY's plot was wrapping it up and literally having the characters state almost verbatum: "so hey now we can all get back to what we were already doing, lets go yay!" At least it had the decency to continue mentioning stuff about it afterwords

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010


Explopyro posted:

Hah, yes, probably. I'm not sure that would've necessarily been an improvement, though, they've tended to get very hamfisted about that sort of thing to the point it makes all the characters look like idiots. (Then again, Emerald's also pretty good at making characters look like idiots... idiots in a different way, I suppose.) There must be some kind of happy medium, though thinking about it I'm sure this kind of writing problem isn't exclusive to Pokemon game.
Players don't read text. Even in big, serious hardcore strategy games, players don't read text. Even when they do, they don't internalise it unless it's information they have to immediately act on. And then sometimes they take a weeks- or months-long break in the middle of your 50-hour RPG, and forget everything you told them. So if there's something in the story that you want to make absolutely sure every single player understands, repetition is really important, especially if you're thinking about accessibility and some of your players might not be able to read the text very well, for whatever reason.

hopeandjoy
Nov 28, 2014





Yeah it's important to remember that there are kids who play Pokemon who can't quite read yet. I know that when I started playing Pokemon, I had only learned to read the year before (and thus misinterpreted a ton of lines).

Pokemon is in the unfortunate position of having to appeal to both 5 and 25 year olds and make sure they both have a good time.

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



The problem with Gen 6's story was that generation 5 had happened. That generation focused on the story more than any other generations to that point, so the bare bones plot of X and Y stood out more.

Zuzie
Jun 30, 2005

I got this for a Ratatta on GTS.



FractalSandwich posted:

some of your players might not be able to read the text very well, for whatever reason.

I know this probably has more to do with reading comprehension or vision issues, but the latest games seem to have a problem where if certain dialogue boxes have too much wording on them, the words get all "fuzzy". I'm not sure what it is, but I find that very bothersome and distracting.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



hopeandjoy posted:

Yeah it's important to remember that there are kids who play Pokemon who can't quite read yet. I know that when I started playing Pokemon, I had only learned to read the year before (and thus misinterpreted a ton of lines).

Pokemon is in the unfortunate position of having to appeal to both 5 and 25 year olds and make sure they both have a good time.

I had no issues with my first Pokemon game. I had a lot of issues with my second Pokemon game, moving from Pokemon Azul to Pokemon Silver. That is, from Spanish to English, at a time where my second language was not exactly great, being a child and all. I constantly got confused about attack names, if they were similar enough, I thought they were the same (Screech and Strength is one I can't forget). I also failed to follow instructions at times and once I thought I had hosed myself over by entering SS Aqua after I had gotten to Kanto, not to mention how before that I had no idea how to get to Kanto in the first place and I thought I had to keep challenging the Pokemon League until Professor Oak appeared. I don't know how I got to Kanto, I genuinely cannot remember, but I do remember getting stuck so badly my Feraligatr ended up a level 100 mon from grinding the awfully low level Johto League.

BlazeEmblem posted:

The problem with Gen 6's story was that generation 5 had happened. That generation focused on the story more than any other generations to that point, so the bare bones plot of X and Y stood out more.

XY's problems come from not trying hard, but it's true that those problems show a lot because they came after BW, the games that took the usually very light-on-writing Pokemon and decided "hey, we can add a genuine plot and characters to this game" and goddamn succeeded at it beyond expectations. Thankfully, SM was even more ambitious than BW and went back to having an actual story, as...Lillie-centric as it may be.

Zuzie posted:

I know this probably has more to do with reading comprehension or vision issues, but the latest games seem to have a problem where if certain dialogue boxes have too much wording on them, the words get all "fuzzy". I'm not sure what it is, but I find that very bothersome and distracting.

That hasn't ever happened to me but it sounds very annoying. It's probably on your end but that's genuinely a good argument for more text settings if people are going through that. Let the player change font sizes, that's a pretty basic option and it may help on that since less text would appear on a textbox with a bigger font.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Is there even any lore for Xerneas and Yveltal beyond being glorified batteries for a WMD?

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Zuzie
Jun 30, 2005

I got this for a Ratatta on GTS.



Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Is there even any lore for Xerneas and Yveltal beyond being glorified batteries for a WMD?

They go through a bizarre life cycle of death and rebirth where they enter a dormant state for 1000 years, causing life to flourish (Xerneas) or decay (Yveltal).

Aside from that they're pretty bare-bones lore-wise. Zygarde had even less in-game in X and Y but expanded in the anime and the Sun and Moon games. But even then its interaction with the other two is minimal.

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