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Oct 6, 2017

Music: Ranger Base

I'm really grateful that you recovered Percy's Politoed. And thanks to you, we're starting to get a little better idea ab0ut the Go-Rock Squad. So... Circe, I hereby certify you as Ranger Rank 5!

Music: Rank Up!

This unlocks Rock assists. Take a guess as to where we're going next.
I love how ridiculously stylish every rank up is.

Music: Ranger Base
Oh, that's right! Circe, I have to uncap your Styler's Partner Gauge to three segments!

Plusle is now even more dangerous!*
*Does not apply on some types

50% more

Your Leader Spenser, Joel in Fall City, and I all worked on the same team when we were younger. Spenser and Joel... Those two were outstanding Rangers even back then. I wouldn't be surprised if they went to work for the union eventually. ...Huh? What about me? Ahaha! That's not going to happen! The slow and laid-back atmosphere of Summerland is what's best for me. ...But with the Go-Rock Squad showing up in the Olive Jungle, I won't be able to kick back now. Oh, yeah, I'd better report this to Prof. Hastings.

Looks like, for once, we don't have anything to do. Which is why we talk to NPC leisurely.

Seeing as you're here in Summerland, why don't you kick back and enjoy some rest and recreation?
Let me thank you just this one last time. Thanks, Circe!
Weren't you scared of the bad guys in the jungle? I couldn't take it. I can't deal with anything like criminals or teams or gangs or anything like that. All I've done is help keep the sea natural and stuff like that.

I know keeping the ocean safe is important, but isn't it equally important to keep the jungle safe? You really should work on that
Forget about the ocean and jungle... it sounds like these guys barely keep the resort town they live in safe!

I've been hearing good things about your exploits. If it were up to me, I'd say it was high time you got to ride the Dragonite Bus. But you haven't got the Ranger Leader's approval yet, isn't that right? Rules are rules. It's surprising, but they're pretty strict about that sort of thing. Having said that, I honestly think you're real close to getting approved. I'll be looking forward to that.

Based on this, I'm predicting "after the next mission" for a bus pass.

In Fiore, Spenser's known as the Fearow master, while Joel's famous as the Dodrio rider. Our Leader doesn't have any sort of nickname that'd suit a Ranger like those two, though.

Why not use "The Wingull Flier"?

Music: Summerland

From: Spenser
To: Circe

I have a new job for you. I need you in Fall City immediately.

Eh, I don't think a direct boss' order is a good excuse not to talk to NPC.

If you're the type that doesn't talk to NPC at every opportunity (you monster) then you can scroll to when you see Spenser.

We can claim that every NPC in Summerland was between us and the Lapras.

Hmm... That suntan you have... Could it be? Something you picked up on a Marine Challenge?

No, we picked it up in a jungle. Somehow.

However, they won't grant me permission to explore the relic deep in the jungle. I may have to call off this expedition and simply enjoy the beach resort of Summerland for what it's worth.
You're not a Summerland Ranger, are you? But you're going to patrol the jungle for us anyway? That's good! Summerland's Ranger Base doesn't have enough people to cover everything.

They do have enough people. They just chose not to.
Get rid of Cameron and the problem will largely fix itself.

The Ranger Leader of this town and I have known each other since we were kids. Even as a kid, he already had a knack for finding weird junk, which he would then give away as gifts. He doesn't mean any harm, but...

But I think I've been exposed to too much briny sea breeze. I'm starting to itch all over.

I'm also the one most scared of Bug-group Pokemon in all of Summerland.
My big brother is good with machines, but he's unbelievably weak against Bug-group Pokemon. If he even saw a Wurmple, he'd run away like some cartoon character.

Maybe it sensed the Watcher within you?
Maybe it's getting ready to storm and the Phanpy is afraid of rain because of ground's water weakness.

With great gusto, he took to his mission. I believe the mission was called, "Build a sand castle!" I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.

If the sand castle is the same one on the beach, then Murph did that mission splendidly.

...You didn't hear that, did you? I was just talking to myself.
My husband's one of those people who don't know what to do with their time if they're not working. He doesn't know how to relax and take things easy.
(Sigh...) When we go home, there's going to be lots of homework waiting for me... I wish I could stay here forever...

Circe's tip: write 100 letters to Cameron about how you want to be a Ranger.
I bet if you just showed up to the beach trials/games or whatever they're called and asked Cameron, you could get in to the Summerland rangers that way.

With our faffing about patrol around Summerland done, let's go back to Fall City.

Music: Fall City Harbor

My Lapras seems to enjoy going for swims with you on board, too.

Cameron told me about that Politoed abduction. It sounds like you came up huge. I'll have to get the details from you later when we have the time. I'd like to assign you your next job, so swing by the Ranger Base when you're ready to go. I have to confer with others, so I'll wait for you there. *leaves*

Looks like we got permission to wander around

In fact, the rest of this update will just be talking to various people in Fall City.

I wonder what caused it to move so far away?

Tropical paradises are ideal places for a nap. That Snorlax knows what he's doing!

...That's a little song I made up.

...I should think you would be better informed than me by now.
If Summerland and Ringtown are both out, then there's only Wintown left. I think Wintown will be cold, but my dear Charmander will serve as my personal heater.
I can't believe my rotten luck... I decided to head for Ringtown because I can't reach Summerland. But now they tell me I can't go to Ringtown either because rockfalls have closed off the Krokka Tunnel. So much for my vacation.

Truly, Go-Rock Squad must be stopped.

Music: Fall City

How's Pokemon Fountain for a name? Is that too plain?

Falling Leaf Fountain.
That's an even worse name

I thought up a new souvenir item, but it's a disaster. No one's in a buying mood. It's my new Teresa-and-the-Skitty postcard set... Maybe her lovesick hubby will buy 'em!

But why? Who would buy a commemmorative postcard of the local crazy cat lady?
Her husband?

Back then, the Dusk Factory was tiny. People and Pokemon used to work there side by side, all friendly with one another.

Open your ears tower nomadic attracts! The rhythm of rage gets around! Let the melody of invasion cry to the skies! ...What do you think? Impressive, huh? I've tried memorizing the slogans from the band practices in the factory. I'm not sure if I got it perfect, though.

I see that it still has the AABC pattern. I'm sure someone is bothered by this...
I wonder what that one guy would do if the rhyme before his ended with "-ies". Would he still mess it up?

It's a special place only for Pokemon. People can't go in there, supposedly.

That's going to be a problem. I have to make a delivery to Ringtown.
The Capture Arena is just a little ways to the west. I'd like to see someone pull off a monster capture that wipes out Spenser's record.

The Capture Arena is still closed, though

Oh, for goodness' sake! Please don't talk to me! You made me lose count of my lovely-wubbly Skitty! I've heard there are more and more Pokemon kidnappings. That has me so worried!
There are people out there who abduct Pokemon. What a rotten thing to do!

Even I'm feeling a little discouraged...

I'm joking! I just wanted to say it!

Aye, there's no doubt about it. There's no mistake in what I say.

There is no way to read this line that isn't creepy as gently caress. Just how old is Circe supposed to be, anyway?
She looks to be a bit older than the PC in the mainline games. So 13-15 years old? He may just be reminiscing about his younger days, you know.
Being a young teenager arguably makes it worse. And there's still no way to read that line that isn't creepy as poo poo.

I was planning on taking my family there for a picnic on my next vacation...

I'm sure you all can guess where we're going next.

It's possible to observe and interact with wild Pokemon while living in a city.
Pokemon plush dolls are so cute, aren't they? Real Pokemon are even cuter, of course!

But today, his impatience is ten times worse than usual. He's gone back and forth between here and the Ranger Base, even though there is nothing to do...for now. The stolen Styler must be weighing heavily on his mind...

My wife's cooking up a delicious batch of cookies.
Were you drawn here by the delicious aroma? (Giggle...) You're like a Snorlax.

It worries me so much, I think I'm losing weight.

They come selling things like Go-Rock Squad insurance, Go-Rock Squad kitchen sets--stuff like that. I don't even know what this whole Go-Rock Squad is all about. Anyways, want to try some of my cinnamon tea?

Why do you keep preventing us from these snacks, game

Bragging about Pokemon with my friend in Ringtown is one of the few pleasures I have in life. It would be nice if someone young like you would come by to keep me company instead, but... I suppose you're much too busy what with your job and all.

He wasn't that way before. I don't know what's wrong.
Good workout coming up to the third floor, huh? It's pretty tough, isn't it? Don't push yourself too hard. The stairs are too much for me, so I get my little sister to do almost all my shopping for me.

Next time, we're going to see why we're called back here.
I can't wait for the fakeout where we're suddenly sent to Wintown instead of Krokka Tunnel.

1234567890num fucked around with this message at 14:43 on May 1, 2019


Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017

Generic Magic User

...yeah, the old guy is creepy as gently caress. I bet he wouldn't have said it if we were accompanied by something more intimidating than a goddamn Plusle.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013

1234567890num posted:

But I think I've been exposed to too much briny sea breeze. I'm starting to itch all over.

I think you put the wrong screenshot here, since both it and the text say the same and it doesn't seem like it'd start there.

Nov 4, 2010

1234567890num posted:

Why not use "The Wingull Flier"?
Pelipper Pilot.

1234567890num posted:

Maybe it sensed the Watcher within you?

Now is the time to feel the love of the Pokémon. A deep love. A great love. A love powerful and formidable. A love that crushes like a rollout!

Oct 6, 2017

Music: Ranger Base

After showing up in Summerland, they've gone back to hiding.
What worries me are the Stylers that the Go-Rock Squad were using. According to Cameron's report, they sound similar to my stolen Super Styler. One, it can capture any Pokemon without the expertise of a Ranger. Two, it enables the use of Pokemon abilities over and over, even for criminal deeds. While there appear to be minor changes, those Stylers are undoubtedly based on my Super Styler. Worse, there's something that's of an even bigger concern...
Professor... Is this what worries you? The Super Styler--which isn't fully developed--could harm Pokemon if they are forced to use their abilities.
Professor, do you remember what Cameron wrote in his report? When Circe captured the Go-Rock Squad's Pokemon, they were automatically released. Could that mean their Styler hasn't been perfected yet?
That's correct, Spenser. That reasoning is sound. It appears as if the Go-Rock Squad's Styler cannot fully control Pokemon yet. When a Pokemon under their control is captured by a Ranger, it appears to return to its natural state. The sense of justice in the hearts of Rangers must have an effect on such Pokemon. However, we still must do something before the Go-Rock Squad perfects their Styler. In other words, we don't have the time to waste chatting here! *leaves*
Professor, you're as impatient as always... For the time being, Spenser and I will concentrate on gathering more intelligence.
By the way, Circe. There is a new job I want you to handle. Circe, do you remember the Krokka Tunnel? It's the one that you escorted the professor through. The tunnel is a vital traffic corridor that joins Ringtown and Fall City. However, it's been blocked off by rockfalls. Citizens on eiher side of the tunnel are up in arms over this. Clear the rockfalls that are blocking the Krokka Tunnel. That's your newest mission. I think this mission will be difficult for anyone to handle alone, so I've asked a Fall City Ranger to assist you. The Ranger should be on the way to the mission site already. I'm counting on you, Circe.

Music: Mission Received!

Before we embark, let's finishing our talk to everyone. Spenser has nothing interesting to say, though.
Countdown until we get assigned to work with that snobby jerk Aria...

We've had so much happen in a row, we had to put off clearing the rockfalls in the tunnel. Having you back will help us a great deal, Circe.

But her parents were always busy with work, so I think she had a lonely childhood. Even now, I see her looking lonesome every so often.

Music: Fall City

Massive boulders have blocked the path completely to the Ringtown side, I hear.

Music: Mission Start!

I just realized that this screen has a special description that doesn't appear anywhere else.

There's absolutely nothing in this screen, so we go inside the tunnel.

Music: Krokka Tunnel

It's been incredibly inconvenient with the tunnel out. I hope you don't take long clearing those rockfalls.

Good thing there's no random encounters in this game. Otherwise, a tunnel mission would've been a nightmare.
Good old "take two steps, meet a zubat".

Quite a lot of these assists are clones of each other

The Marine Challenge involves us going through the sea on a Lapras. It's not a spoiler since it's told 5 updates ago.

In addition to the ones we've seen (Bellsprout, Magnemite, Poliwag, Paras), there's new wild Pokemon here.

*Notices Circe* Oh? Circe? Are you that Ringtown Ranger they said would join me later? You know, this doesn't look like a job that would take the both of us. I've already done this much, so you can take care of the rest by yourself, can't you? There are only three rockfalls left for you to clear. I'm very busy with that Go-Rock Squad case, so I'll leave you to it. *bails*

Spoiler: By bailing out on us, she just missed the chance to investigate more about the Squad.
Change my name to phone because I called that poo poo.

These are the rocks that basically started the whole game.

I don't think Diglett has any attacks. Diglett's movement doesn't break our line, which is nice.

Spoiler: We're still not going to see Diglett hides under the ground

Required Loops: 2
Possible EXP: 22/26/30/36

Good old Diglett. Nothing like a useless capture to drain our batteries!

Like before, we have to take the detour through Poliwag's room.

We could use Poliwag here, but...

...Geodude randomly turns into a rock, so we can just go to another room.
Hahaha. They deliberately set that up to mess with newbies at least once.

Beside that trick, there's nothing interesting about Geodude.

Required Loops: 8
Possible EXP: 20/25/30/36

Looks like Aria destroyed the rockfall blocking the upper path. Let's go there first.

Music: Go-Rock Quads!

See what you missed by bailing out, Aria?

Even if you're in a hurry, stop in your tracks!


Open your ears to our melodic attacks!


The rhythm of rage pounds the ground!


Let the melody of ambition rise to the skies!

Y'know, the joke stops being funny after the third or fourth time. Hopefully they don't run it into the ground...


If you don't know us, we'll cure your ignorance! Billy! Garret! Clyde! Tiffany! The Go-Rock Squad's hot-prospect band of key-shaker-and-taker celebrities! A name once heard and never forgotten! The Go-Rock Quads!


We nailed our performance this time, right? Anyways... We came running when we heard Union Rangers were active in the Krokka Tunnel. So we get here and what do we find? Our old friend from Summerland's jungle cleaning up rocks! Hahaha! Is that like a side job or something?
Somewhere with this cavern sleeps a legendary Pokemon... Have you heard such a rumor? Wouldn't you agree that is the most exhilarating and exciting of tales? Of course, mere Rangers would never be able to gain mastery over any such legendary Pokemon. You Rangers should stick to what you can do, such as play hide-and-seek with some Politoed in a jungle. Or perhaps cleaning up rocks in this tunnel would be more befitting a job for you Rangers.

Good thing they don't know about our early missions.

Ouch! Harsh diss! Big Bro Garret, you sure can put people down with the politest of words. Better yet, your words are absolutely spot on the money! When it comes to controlling Pokemon, the Go-Rock Squad has it all over the Rangers now. After all, we've got our new Stylers! We can catch Pokemon galore with them and rake in the dough by making them do exactly what we want!

...Go-Rock Squad would've won if they just used Pokeballs.
Is their plan really the Underpants Gnomes plan?

Step 1: Steal Styler
Step 2: Catch Legendary Pokemon
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!

...Well, it's not ready yet. It's still a prototype. What we're doing is partly testing, too. Ranger, you can look forward to the day when we get the real thing! ...Hah! That's all you'll get to hear this time! Bye-bye!

*They leave, including Billy this time*

Music: Krokka Tunnel

Going up the fork, we see a Magneton, It's no longer a full heal, but it's still nice to have.

That's all we can do here, so we go to the other way.

Music: Go-Rock Squad!
I'm looking for a legendary Pokemon! Don't mess with me!

Dealing with a Geodude is easy. Dealing with three of them at once is not.

Music: Go-Rock Squad Battle (Weak Grunt)

Poliwag/Bellsprout/Paras works well here. Yes, Grass assist works even though Geodude are clearly levitating. I guess they're not levitating high enough?

Music: Krokka Tunnel
Don't get all serious on me... *flees*

Krokka Tunnel has great color schemes.

There seems to be lots of 2 star rock smash field moves required.
I'm pretty sure this is our first, though
I wasn't paying close enough attention and mistook the boulders for 2 star rock smash obstacles.

Machop only has this basic attack. It's much less tedious than Machoke.

Required Loops: 6
Possible EXP: 25/28/31/35

We can't use Poliwag this time, but this rock works just like Geodude.

Graveler is pretty much just as easy as Geodude.

Required Loops: 11
Possible EXP: 42/49/56/66

Looks like we we don't need to catch Hariyama for the wall, after all.

Who's that Pokemon? It's Kirlia.
A Jigglypuff seen from above!

It can teleport and it attacks with light around it.

Teleporting isn't actually that bad since they still need some time to fully materialize (and break our line).

Required Loops: 5
Possible EXP: 36/42/48/56

Kirlia will be very useful against Hariyama. Once we manage to find them, that is.

Music: Go-Rock Squad!
You're a Ranger? What do you think you're doing here? Attack!

I'm going to be skipping most of these. Snubbull only needs 4 loops. 2 with Machop. Needless to say, they're dealt with quickly.

Music: Krokka Tunnel
No, no, I'm not upset. I'd be impressed if you managed to get me upset. *flees*

Moving up, we find...

...gently caress
Oh come on! I was joking earlier!
Well, phone, that's what happens when you tempt fate...

Zanzibar Ham
Mar 17, 2009

You giving me the cold shoulder? How cruel.

Grimey Drawer

Sheesh Aria, just because your Castlevania was better than Circle's doesn't mean you should let it get to your head.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013

It isn't a cave without Zubat. Even in spinoffs.

Jan 12, 2019

Knowledge is pain plus observation.

I wonder if the Quads have a few grunts waiting off-screen just to throw all that confetti.

Oct 6, 2017

Blaze Dragon posted:

It isn't a cave without Zubat. Even in spinoffs.

BisbyWorl posted:

I wonder if the Quads have a few grunts waiting off-screen just to throw all that confetti.

You mean like the Rangers who throw confetti every time we rank up?

Also, I found some website with scans of the dungeon's map. Here's the one for Mission 1.

1234567890num fucked around with this message at 12:15 on May 5, 2019

Oct 6, 2017

Music: Krokka Tunnel

I really don't want to deal with these Zubat right now, so let's see what's up with the Poliwhirl on the left...

...gently caress. Guess we have no choice

Fortunately, Zubat is very easy to deal with. And they're just in this one room.
That's... extremely kind of the game.

Required Loops: 2
Possible EXP: 18/22/26/30/34/38

Of course Zubat has no Field Move and the worst Poke Assist type. Why did you think it'd be useful?

Zubat's beam will confuse us which means that our controls are randomized. It lasts for like 12 seconds and the controls are randomized every 2 seconds. And there's no way to get rid of it other than waiting it out. And the duration is renewed every time we get hit.

In short: it's annoying and bad. And it's even worse in future games where getting hit will reduce our Energy

Okay, what the gently caress?
Looking at the bright side; at least they don't shoot the beam that often. Even with 4 Zubat, it's rare to see more than one beam at once.

As to Poliwhirl, it will jump back out after a while (this isn't the one from the previous picture). This also applies to Poliwag, but Poliwhirl is faster.

It has the same water jet, but it will do it multiple times rapidly.

It also has a jump, but it's so short that it doesn't actually affect anything.

Required Loops: 5
Possible EXP: 35/41/47/55

We could use it to get Graveler if we didn't figure out the trick.

Anyway, looks like we found Hariyama's spot.
It's cute that Hariyama's little spot is called its dojo.

Music: Wild Pokemon Capture

Hariyama's attack just like Crawdaunt (chases after our line) it takes a very long time.

Music: Capture Complete

Required Loops: 12
Possible EXP: 70/76/82/90

If you haven't known how to maintain your stylus even when attacked, then Hariyama will be a huge roadblock with that huge 12 loops.
Plusle will be very helpful here if that's the case!

Music: Krokka Tunnel

Down the stairs, there's two Hariyama, making it 3 in total here. That means we don't have to go back and forth through the Zubat cave!

With Kirlia, we can take both of them simultaneously. Without it, it's pretty much impossible due to their long attack duration. They're easy to bait out, though.

Plusle and Kirlia both. Clown on the punchmen all day long!

Just outside the Hariyama Dojo, we find this mushroom. There's unfortunately no Pokemon with Gust, so we'll have to leave this for later.
I'm imagining that Parasect has Cut, But Better.
Parasect has Cut, But Exactly The Same

Going through Zubat is either a huge headache or a non-issue. There's no inbetween.

The path south of where we fought the grunt with Snubbull brings us to some shortcuts, both the right and the wrong end.

Remember this statue? It's been a long time, hasn't it?

Music: Go-Rock Squad!

The legendary Pokemon hasn't shown up, it's dark, I'm hungry... I'm taking it out on you!

Music: Go-Rock Squad Battle (Weak Grunt)

Speaking of Crawdaunt, it's here in case you still don't get the message.

And no, Plusle won't trivialize it (right now) since it's Dark type and thus not weak to Electric.

Just a couple missions ago, it was a bonus boss, and now it's just something we find in our path. We're moving up in the world!

Music: Krokka Tunnel
I pick a fight, and I get creamed? Does this qualify as pathetic? *flees*


I know! Rather than fishing, I'll try to avoid catching anything!

We still can't get any fish
Does... does he have more fish than before?
Yes, he does. It doesn't matter since we can't take them, though.

Music: Go-Rock Squad!

That's not a fish

I thought it was a Pokemon, but nope, it's a person! Even better, a Ranger! You're perfect for trying out these Pokemon I caught with my new-type Styler!

As a reminder, Zubat needs no loops. And status effects in battles only affects the Pokemon.

Music: Krokka Tunnel
Um... Was the exit this way? Thank you, bye-bye! *flees*

And that's the last grunt in this tunnel. Now all that's left is to destroy the rockfalls.

Like I said before, Hariyama's attack takes a long time.

Apparently there's Spinarak under the rock. I have no idea how they got there
Finding insects under rocks is a common thing! So it makes sense that we'd find the arachni-sect down there.

The last rock is downwards from the Dugtrio Statue, right before the exit to Lyra Forest. I forgot about it and spent 10 minutes looking for it.

From: Spenser
To: Circe

I got word that the Go-Rock Squad is active in the Krokka Tunnel. I will get there as soon as possible. If you've cleared the rockfalls, let's meet at the Dugtrio statue near the Ringtown-side exit.

Video: Camerupt
Music: Go-Rock Quads!

Oh, right. We haven't had our boss fight yet.

Oh, I have so had it! There's no legendary Pokemon to be found! My big brother all left without me, too... And our grunts can't seem to deal with the likes of you! It's time I put things right! Get ready for my headline act! Camerupt, come!


Weren't you surprised to see my Camerupt come along when I started playing my violin? This is no ordinary musical instrument. It's an instrument-type Styler that our boss made for the Go-Rock Quads! Unlike your Styler, it doesn't need anything like a "sense of justice" to do its thing. It can control Pokemon through musical tension, groove, and stuff like that. ...Oops! Maybe I served up too much of that important information...

I would play a Pokemon rhythm game spinoff.
Elite Beat Rangers
Crypt of the Necrozma

Gitaroo Mankey

If you don't need to do anything, we can get started right away!

And then we get a chance to move around, save, and catch some Pokemon. It's nice how the game decides to give us this opportunity, especially since Camerupt is HARD.

Camerupt is a Fire type, so Ground/Rock/Water works well, all of which can be found in this tunnel. Not a good choice to bring to a cave, Tiffany

New Music: Go-Rock Quads Battle

Camerupt only has this one attack, but it's a dangerous one. It erupts fireballs from its back. It's dangerous because the fireballs spreads a wide area. And it erupts multiple times in a row, so even if you lucked out the first time, you're still not safe.
My first thought when I saw the screenshot was that its fireballs orbited around it like Options. I'm also not 100% convinced that won't happen later anyway...

Catching it without assists involve holding the line during attacks, reducing the line to avoid attacks, and luck. It's definitely doable on an actual DS, but there's a much easier way.

And that is to use assists. Poliwhirl lasts the longest time, so I went with that.

Using assists in this game normally have two results:
  • It trivializes the Pokemon
  • It does nothing (either due to type advantages or running out of time)

It's very useful and a great help in simultaneous capture, but in single encounters it feels broken. The sequels fixed this, but that's for another LP.

It's a single player game for actual children. Let stuff be broken!

One thing this series does very right is that it gives you immense satisfaction from a completed capture.

Music: Capture Complete

Required Loops: 10
Possible EXP: 150/156/162/168/174/180

That's certainly a lot of EXP. Not enough to level us up, though.

Music: Krokka Tunnel

Ow... You... You're pretty good... Why don't you join us?

Oh? Someone's coming...
There's trouble! Real bad trouble!

You lot... You got beaten by this Ranger first, then you got wiped by another Ranger? I doubt we'd win on our third try, so let's beat a hasty retreat. Bye-bye, see you again!

*They both leave*

But you're saying they were searching for a legendary Pokemon? What would make them do that?

Don't you know anything about the Underpants Gnome plan?
I love that that's become the title for it.

Anyways, you've cleared this mission. Let's head back to Ringtown.

Music: Mission Clear!

*They both leave*

Music: Lyra Forest

If you're heading back to Ringtown, let me join you. I want to hear about what you've been up to while we walk back.

*They all leave*

1234567890num fucked around with this message at 17:56 on Jun 14, 2019

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013

Instead of closing an [i] tag, you closed an [url] tag on Gitaroo Mankey, causing italic errors later on.

Oct 6, 2017

Music: Ranger Base

You've accomplished the mission without flinching from the Go-Rock Squad's interference. I'm hereby certifying you as Ranger Rank 6, Circe!

Music: Rank Up!

With this rank, we 'gain' access to Flying assist. And nothing else
But we did get 6 fancy stars! That's gotta count for something.

Music: Ranger Base
After all the running around we've done chasing after the Go-Rock Squad, it's good to be back home. Circe, it's your first time back in Ringtown in quite some time. You should unwind and relax a bit. That said, there's no telling when a new mission will pop up, so don't leave Ringtown.

You know what that means: it's time to make the rounds.

You know, Circe... You're looking more and more like a proper Ranger.

What a backhanded compliment.

They make a weird combination, but they actually get along really well.

Music: Ringtown

They've been known to sweet-talk people with promises of solving the trouble they caused in the first place... ...Only to demand exorbitant payments afterwards. They've also captured Pokemon using odd Stylers, and ruthlessly made the poor Pokemon work. Yes, indeed, the Go-Rock Squad is one despicable lot.
Did you know? MC Fielder, MC Arena, and MC Fisher are triplets? Did you know this, then? They're triplets, but they don't look anything like each other? You really knew that?

I don't know... They look just like recolored versions of each other.
Well, according to 10 seconds of Google research, fraternal triplets are more common than identical!

Unless you have a very good reason, you should keep out of that forest. There's no telling if a wild Pokemon will become startled and attack out of fear.

He was muttering to himself and went into the deep part of the forest.

It's sad when the elderly develop dementia. Also I'm pretty sure that's gonna be our next task.

It sounds like too much work to write letters to the Ranger Base Leader...

If writing letters is too much work, then you won't be able to find the Skitty or go into the sewers.

The Capture Challenge opened locally! It's just to the east of Ringtown. I was thinking you might enjoy it as a little change of pace. ...Was I being too nosy?
Oh, hi, Circe! Don't be a stranger! Come in, come in! Oh, you're already in! By the way, Circe, I've heard that you cleared away the rockfalls in the Krokka Tunnel? You know everyone in town was overjoyed to hear that! We surely appreciate it!

What's a Pokemon whose name starts with "Pika"? Can you guess? Pikachu! Was that a little hard?
They've been extorting money from people by intimidating them with their Pokemon. They've also been forcing people into buying junk they don't need. And they do these things where they can avoid the eyes of you Rangers!

Almost all this region's problems could be solved with pokeballs. Get some moderately courageous trainers and the Go-Rocks would not be a problem in the least. Or preteens. Preteens are good at dismantling pokemon gangs.

They call me MC Fielder, yo! You're Circe, yo? You're well known around these parts. People know your name, at the very least! Want to take part in our Capture Challenge riding a Doduo? There's only one thing to remember. Even if you have friend Pokemon with you, you can't tap their Poke Assists.

gently caress no, yo!

That's heartbreaking, yo! Well, if the mood ever strikes you, we're here waiting, PR Circe! ...PR? Pokemon Ranger, yo!

I prefer Pokeran
That introduction and sales pitch had 8 "yos" in it.

I've been ordered to head for Summerland. If we both end up there, let's hit the field together! *leaves*

Music: Ranger Base

There've been reports of a senior citizen wandering lost deep inside the Lyra Forest. I want you to locate the senior citizen and escort him to safety. That's your latest mission.

Music: Mission Received!

Why do you always give escort missions
Non senior staff get the worst jobs. Also because this was the mid-2000s and game developers everywhere thought escort quests were the height of game design.

Music: Mission Start!

Since we have nothing more to do in Ringtown (Field Challenge doesn't count), we'll that Lunick?

Music: Lyra Forest
Hi, Circe, I waited around for you. Let's go together for a while. I'm on my way to Summerland, but I don't have to be there right away. Besides, hasn't it been a while since we last worked together? Circe, you're headed for the deepest parts of Lyra Forest, right? Let me keep you company.
*When talked to* It's been a long time since we took a walk like this together.

Been a long time? This is actually our first time taking a walk together outside Ringtown.

*When talked to* Circe, did your parents give you a hard time about leaving your hometown and becoming a Ranger? Don't you get lonesome being away from your family?
*When talked to* I guess being in a Ranger is like being in a big family. There's our Leader, Prof. Hastings, and people like me and Murph. With people like that around, I guess it doesn't feel very lonesome.

I'm glad we're assigned to Ringtown Base

Otherwise we're stuck with rear end in a top hat Aria, Pathetic Percy, Lazy Leilani, or the Forgettable Fall City Rangers.

Even if he keeps giving us escort quests, at least Spenser does stuff!

There are so many mischievous Pokemon back there. It isn't possible to have a picnic with them around.

Chikorita, Zigzagoon and Mudkip are all still here, but they're not worth bothering right now.

She's my daughter. I don't think she's lost or in trouble, but I'd like to find her.
A little girl with two Jigglypuff? We haven't seen anyone like that on our way from Ringtown.
OK, that's fine, then. I'm supposed to meet her, but I'm too early anyways. If you happen to come across my daughter, can you tell her that her daddy's waiting here?
Sure thing! We'll do that. We're going deeper into the forest, so we'll likely see her soon. Of course, if you are worried, I can get in touch with the Ranger Base...
Oh, no, no, you don't need to do that. She's probably playing hide-and-seek with the Jigglypuff. Thanks for your concern, though.
*When talked to* She must be getting hungry now...

Going ahead, passing through Torchic...

The deepest part of the Lyra Forest is nicknamed the "Labyrinth Grove" because it's so confusing there. There's usually a Ranger here to warn people about that, but the Go-Rock Squad mission's left us short-staffed. I bet the lost old man wandered deeper into the forest because there was no one to warn him.

Like usual, I was kidding when I mentioned the old man being senile. This game is very easy to predict at times.

*Jigglypuff appears for a second before leaving*

Look! That Jigglypuff's going deeper into the forest! Let's go after it!

Lunick won't allow us to go toward Krokka Tunnel, so we go through the bridge that was blocked earlier.

Going down the fork, past this Mudkip...

Who's that Pokemon?!

I'm genuinely surprised if you're able to guess that.
You don't typically find Marshtomp in forest meadows, no.

Required Loops: 7
Possible EXP: 36/40/44/50

With that done, we'll go up the fork.

New Music: Deep Lyra Forest

Reminder that the map is completely useless.

*To the girl* Hi, little girl. What's wrong?
Waaah... My Jigglypuff ran away into the dark part of the forest! I had two, but now there's only one. My daddy's not here, and it's dark and scary in the forest... Sniff...
It's OK, it's OK. Your daddy's waiting for you. As for your Jigglypuff, let's see...
*To Circe* Circe, I'll stay here with this little lady. Please go find her runaway Jigglypuff.
*To the girl* OK, that's enough crying. This nice Ranger will go get your Jigglypuff. Let's play some games and wait here for her.
...OK... I won't cry anymore... Sniffle...
*When talked to* My Jigglypuff... Sniffle...
*When talked to* Jigglypuff are tricky to capture because they float and bob around. They eventually have to land, though. That's your chance to capture them.

Eh, it's not as bad as Machoke or even Politoed.

Anyway, this area is laid out in a circle with a few short paths to the side and a few to the center.

I'm starting to think the Ringtown Rangers should erect a gate in the path of the labyrinth forest to prevent people from wandering in.
They don't do that because otherwise they'd be out of job.

Unlike the rock in Krokka Tunnel, this one DOES block a path. There's nothing that can break it right now, though.

Moving counterclockwise, we find our final Johto starter.

Cyndaquil attacks around itself with a deceptively short range. It will attack consecutively, though.

Required Loops: 3
Possible EXP: 22/26/30/36

I see we're skipping Bulbasaur here.

It has the same attack as Tangela with the same reaction, but Ivysaur's accuracy is a lot worse so it's not that bad. At least in my experience.

Required Loops: 6
Possible EXP: 36/40/44/50

Oh look, we found Jigglypuff already. That was painless.

Music: Wild Pokemon Capture

...Nevermind (It has no attacks whatsoever, and that GIF isn't edited.)

Music: Capture Complete

Required Loops: 7
Possible EXP: 23/28/33/38/43/48/53/58/63/68/73

Who would go for 10 bonus style circles on the Jigglypuff?
It's me. When on a DS.

Music: Deep Lyra Forest

The exit of the area is at the left side, but we can't progress right now.

There's Phanphy, which we can use to tackle the trees.

I forgot to mention that, in addition to its Rollout, it can also Tackle.

There are three trees in this area: two in the middle and one on the top right. This one and the one on the top right contain Beedrill.

The third one contains a Ninjask, which can only be found by tackling trees. It is also the only Pokemon with that status.

And it can fly through the thick bush

Skipping the 2 minutes I spent chasing it...

Ninjask has no attack, but it moves extremely fast. It only needs 1 loop, though, so it's doable on an actual DS.

Using the right assist trivializes it completely, though

Required Loops: 1
Possible EXP: 60/64/68/74

That's everything here, so let's get back to that girl.
That's a lot of XP for a single loop. I'm guessing you can't grind on those?
We can, actually. But we have to chase it everytime we want to do that. Not to mention capturing Phanphy to tackle the trees in the first place.

It's my Jigglypuff! My Jigglypuff! My Jigglypuff! My Jigglypuff! My Jigglypuff!

Yes, she said it that many times.

Jigglypuff: Pu puuuh.

Thank you, Ranger girl!

Let's take your Jigglypuff and go see your daddy. I'll go with you. Would you like that, little lady?
OK. I want my daddy. Um... I saw a lost old man. He went that way. Can he go home? He was mumbling and talking to himself. Then he saw us, and he yelled at my Jigglypuff, "Get out of the way!" And my poor Jigglypuff got scared, and it ran away into the forest. Then the mean old man laughed, "Fwahahahaha!" I don't like that old man.
The lost old man this little lady's talking about must be the same one you're looking for, Circe. You'd better go after him before he wanders even deeper into the forest. I'd like to stay and help, but i have to get rolling to Summerland after escorting this little lady. Let's try to look good on our missions, Circe!
Bye-bye, Ranger girl!

I know I keep beating the "senile" drum, but when the evidence is this overwhelming...

*The two leaves*

With that, we can go on ahead.

From: Spenser
To: Circe

I just received additional information about the missing senior citizen. He appears to have become lost as a result of being chased around by wild Weepinbell in the forest. The Weepinbell of the Lyra Forest try to scoop up intruders and spit them up outside their territory. Keep that in mind, Circe. Good luck with the mission.

So we have a maze without a map combined with a stealth mission. Terrific...
A maze, stealth mission, escort quest... Are you sure you want to claim this game isn't as bad as it sounds? Because this description isn't helping your case any!
I maintain that this game is still fun (albeit very difficult) to play. And, like I said before, the escort part of the mission has absolutely no effect on the mission. As for the'll see.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013

1234567890num posted:

A maze, stealth mission, escort quest... Are you sure you want to claim this game isn't as bad as it sounds? Because this description isn't helping your case any!
I maintain that this game is still fun (albeit very difficult) to play. And, like I said before, the escort part of the mission has absolutely no effect on the mission. As for the'll see.

It bears repeating that the sequels are much, much better. But I agree with 1234567890num here, even the original Ranger is fun, it's just...really rough around the edges. But you can say the same of a lot of first installments in otherwise great franchises.

Aug 9, 2013

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

I know it's because you don't have the best setup, but you could mention why you seem to dislike the capture challenges so much. I do think they're kinda fun, but I don't feel there's any real way to puzzle out how everything connects, and since there's not much time, it does get pretty repetitive.

Oct 6, 2017

Crosspeice posted:

I know it's because you don't have the best setup, but you could mention why you seem to dislike the capture challenges so much. I do think they're kinda fun, but I don't feel there's any real way to puzzle out how everything connects, and since there's not much time, it does get pretty repetitive.

The main reasons are that we can't use assists and there's a time limit that persists throughout captures. There are plenty of other reasons, but we'll get to that once I actually tackle those challenges.

On another note, here are more maps:

1234567890num fucked around with this message at 14:30 on May 18, 2019

Oct 6, 2017

Music: Deep Lyra Forest

The next area is an actual maze. With stealth. It's still not actually that bad, though.

The stealth part comes from Weepinbell, who will try to swallow us if they see us. We can capture them by approaching them from behind.

Weepinbell is unremarkable during capture, though.

Required Loops: 6
Possible EXP: 42/46/50/56

Captured Weepinbell will become harmless until we release them and leave the area (which causes them to respawn), so we can reduce the stealth required this way.
Lemme guess... if Circe gets swallowed, the area resets and all the Weepinbell return?
You'll see later. On another note, that tree is another Ninjask tree.

That Weepinbell was at a down/left fork, so we go down here.

Both Swellow and its gust moves very fast. That would be a problem if we don't have Plusle

Required Loops: 6
Possible EXP: 42/47/52/59

The only thing at the end of this path are a Beedrill tree and Pikachu.

Required Loops: 2
Possible EXP: 9

Less loops than Magneton but restores more same health? Looks like we found a better battery

Going the other path, we see this sign that would've been useful if it were placed before.

This sign is actually at another fork, this time a left/up one. The upper path has our last Ninjask tree and a Swellow. In other words: nothing interesting.

The left path, on the other hand, has another fork! And it's a three-way one. The upper one also has nothing interesting.

The path downwards has a bush (which we can't do anything about because for some reason Ninjask can't Cut) and a Weepinbell (which is actually our last one).

Honestly, it's not too hard not to get caught. Circe moves faster than them, and they have no peripheral vision.

That's not to say that this stealth is good. I'm just saying that it's not that bad.
At least the area doesn't reset. It still doesn't excuse a stealth section in a game that wasn't made with it in mind, however.

Basically, to get through the maze we just have to go left at every fork.
The opposite of the usual "just keep making rights" advice!

New Music: Dusk Factory

...Mutter... ...All Hastings's fault... ...Grumble... ...Get their comeuppance...just watch me... ...Mutter...

Hm... I see. You're a Ranger from Ringtown. It took you long enough to get here. Of course, I suppose I expect far too much of a Union Ranger. Let me get a closer look at your face... Hah! A mere child! The union sent a pip-squeak for me! Classic, I say! Classic!

Ah, but, child, this is no fault of yours. For it is I, Gordor, who lost his bearings in this forest and called for help. Now, return me the courtesy of telling me your name. ...I see. Circe it is. Now, guide me out of the forest.

He sure is...something.
Totally the leader of the Go-Rocks.

Music: Deep Lyra Forest

The mission description spoils his appearance, which is why I didn't show it.

And while we're at it, this is the assist we just unlocked. It's amazing when dealing with multiple Pokemon.

Since the Ringtown Rangers can't be bothered to make a ladder, we have to go even deeper.

Music: Wild Pokemon Capture

Unlike Cyndaquil, Quilava doesn't attack consecutively. Its fire are still lit just to gently caress with us.

Music: Capture Complete

Required Loops: 6
Possible EXP: 36/42/48/54/60/66

Music: Dusk Factory

Hm. Not too shabby. From what I understand, that device--Styler, was it?--is not something that just anyone can use. For a capture to succeed, the Ranger using the Styler must have "the spirit of justice," was it?

But--Circe, was it?--what exactly is "the spirit of justice"? Or, indeed, what is justice? Who is to say what is considered justice now will be the justice of tomorrow?

Well, Spirit of Justice is an Ace Attorney game with an amazing second case and a great third. Mediocre DLC, though

Justice, by the way, is the name of the main character in that game. And as far as I know, he never changed his name. That should answer your questions.

...(Snicker...) Perhaps that was too difficult for a child like you to grasp.

Circe just doesn't know because 3DS hasn't existed yet
Gordor, was it? Shut, was it? Up, was it? Please, was it?

Gordor's monologue happens before we release the Pokemon for whatever reason.

There's still only one way to go, so off we go.

Grrr... You Murkrow! How dare you heckle me!

You, you, you...
Buffoon of a Murkrow!

It appears that "crass" got to that insolent bird. That whole exchange has given me heartburn. Get me out of this confounded forest immediately!

Well, that sure is...something.
Holy poo poo, this dude has problems.

Hoh! Impressive. Perhaps your talents are somewhat wasted escorting this old man!

Gordor's Laugh: 3

Music: Deep Lyra Forest

Oh joy, an area that manages to be worse than the stealth section.

Beedrill are basically Corphish 2.0. Both are faster than Circe and there's not much room to wiggle around them.
I'm not sure which is worse, that someone playtested this and decided that, yes, a maze stealth escort quest followed by unavoidable annoying battles that waste resources was good design, or that the developers ignored their testers who complained about it. No part of this is excusable.
Between this and the sewer mission, which one would you think is worse?
Sewers are probably worse because they have ice physics.

It's pretty much impossible to avoid an encounter here, which is why I didn't bother using Phanphy to tackle their trees earlier.

This isn't as useful as the last few, but still neat nonetheless

Required Loops: 3
Possible EXP: 32/36/40/46

...I could've used this to crush the rock in the Jigglypuff area, couldn't I?

There are three trees here. The middle one has a Meowth for whatever reason. Is this supposed to be a "cat stuck in a tree" joke? (Notice how the capture won't initiate when we're Target Clearing.)

There are four Beerill here. Six if you count the ones in the trees. You'll get two if you're lucky. Thankfully, this is the only area with free-roaming Beedrill.
Please tell me the game stops being this spiteful at some point.
At some point, sure. Does it count if that point is right at the end of the game?

...I could've captured Meowth to cut this bush, couldn't I?

Oh, by the way, there's Hoppip here. I always forgot Hoppip exists for some reason.

Required Loops: 4
Possible EXP: 10/16/22/28/34/40

Hoppip is Jigglypuff but less extra EXP. And less dickish.

At this point I remembered to talk to Gordor.

Pick up the pace.
Pay me no mind. Pick up the pace.
If you have the time to chitchat, pick up the pace!

Such a lovely guy
Lovely's certainly one word for it.

1234567890num fucked around with this message at 19:13 on Jun 14, 2019

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013

I feel DoubleNegative is doing some serious living up to his name here. The game isn't nearly as bad as it looks from a distance.

Jan 12, 2019

Knowledge is pain plus observation.

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

Blaze Dragon posted:

I feel DoubleNegative is doing some serious living up to his name here. The game isn't nearly as bad as it looks from a distance.

I realized after this one that I'm basically making GBS threads on the game the same way I did King's Quest V. So starting with the next update I'm endeavoring to be more positive about it.

Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?

What I'm reading it as is that it's a heavily flawed game, but you still love it and find it enjoyable. Your commentary on plot stuff and dialogue feels pretty invested in the goofy, nonsensical little world even if you don't let it's flaws escape unmentioned.

Oct 6, 2017

Music: Dusk Factory

*Murkrow flees*

Is that the heckling Murkrow? Being called a buffoon must have stung!

Music: Deep Lyra Forest
*When talked to* We fail to attain our objectives, I get lost in the forest... One indignity after the other!

Sign <Labyrinth Grove> This scenery is confusingly similar. There are other signs like this, too.

Even though we're done with the actual maze, we're still not out of the woods yet. Going up...

Music: Dusk Factory

Did we not pass this spot earlier? Circe, was it? Surely you're not suggesting that you've lost your way? Aren't you Rangers trained for this sort of thing? Do something useful!

That's right; we now have a Lost Woods situation! And there's no indication whatsoever to which one are the correct paths!
Trying to not be so down on the game and yet...

Music: Deep Lyra Forest

Good thing that the game indicates which area we're in. The first area has the sign and save point while the second has Nincada.

Do you know that if you release the Styler when it's underground, the capture won't count? I didn't!

Required Loops: 3
Possible EXP: 25/31/37/45

I still don't know why Ninjask don't have Cut while Nincada does.
Ninjask are too busy getting faster to worry with trivial stuff like cutting grass!

In any case, we can now open the bush in the meadow. Looks like we don't need Meowth after all.

Our first fully-evolved starter!

Venusaur attacks with the Grass equivalent of a puddle.

But of course Venusaur isn't as simple as Muk or Marshtomp. Its 'puddle' lasts longer than other Pokemon.

The first vine mine will fade after the third one is made. The second after the fourth, and so on.

Required Loops: 10
Possible EXP: 130/140/150/160/170/180

With that done, back to the forks we go.
That's quite a lot of XP!
It is. In fact, this is a good opportunity to EXP grind.

The third and final area has a Taillow and a Swellow. If you're wondering, the correct paths are down-up-down. They're not randomized, thankfully.

I defended some things in this game, but this part is just pure guesswork

At least it's only three screens, and if you pay attention you can quickly see you're making no progress. As far as Lost Woods scenarios go, this is downright friendly.

Music: Dusk Factory

*Murkrow went up the tree*

That wretched Murkrow again? It bears a grudge badly. Impressive. But what is this dark haze? Why does it cling so? Get me out of this dank misery of a forest

Crows really do hold grudges! Be mean to one crow, and the rest of their murder will also bear the grudge.

There's no more forks here, so we'll just take the exit...


*Murkrow went up the tree*

What is this? We've returned to the same spot! And that Murkrow... Hear it cackle at us ominously...

We noticed

You're a Ranger! Do something about that wretched thing!

The game is kind enough to provide Phanphy around if we didn't carry one all the way back from Jigglypuff's area.

What the...? It dares to impede us? Well? what are you waiting for? There's your cue! Capture that irksome Murkrow already!

Video: Murkrow

Well, Murkrow should be easy. Fire Assists pretty much trivializes any Pokemon not resistant to it.

Music: Wild Boss Pokemon Encounter

...Or maybe not.

Well, Spinarak are all still weak to Fire, but...

Fire assist only works if we managed to make a loop around the Pokemon. Which is easier said than done with 5 Pokemon around.

Again, it's doable on an actual DS, but on a mouse it's very hard.

Murkrow's attack is pretty basic; it's pretty much just the dark version of Koffing's attack, down to obscuring the screen.

Anyway, since Fire isn't working out, let's try out Flying.

It's...messy, to say the least.

Pokemon hit by Flying assist's tornado (and Fire assist's loop) won't break our line, which makes them extremely useful.

Flying assist works only on Pokemon outside the loops, while Fire assist works oppositely.
Could you just doodle tiny circles and summon a bunch of tornadoes, or would that be casting too wide of a net?
Tiny circles work, but we can just draw lines to make them. Shame the same can't be said for Fire assist, though.

The key here is to focus on the Spinarak first. Each of them only requires 3 loops, so they should be caught quickly.
Divide and conquer!

Music: Capture Complete

Required Loops: 9
Possible EXP: 48/52/56/62

This is actually a very fun and hectic capture. And the best part is that using Flying/Fire aren't the only correct answers.

I didn't record it, but I managed to capture them (using a mouse) with Venusaur's help even though Spinarak are resistant to Grass.

Music: Dusk Factory

That dark haze lifted upon your capturing that Murkrow... Was it creating that haze?

Didn't you notice during the capture?
We wouldn't have been in this position had he not tormented the murkrow!

But it annoys me to no end to be toyed by such a wretch... Enough! Release the vile thing!

How much of my time must you waste? Get me out of the forest once and for all!

All right, all right! Sheesh...

Music: Go-Rock Squad!

*The grunt flees*

Music: Dusk Factory
Hm, that was the Go-Rock Squad... I've heard they are roundly reviled and ridiculed as wrongdoers. However, how much of that reputation is fair or warranted? Perhaps they are merely and grossly misunderstood? Why, they may be more useful than some worthless Ranger who can barely manage the simple task of a guide.

You're welcome
You asked me privately if I wanted to toxx over my guess that Gordor is the leader of the Go-Rocks. While I'm still not willing to commit $10, if this dude isn't the leader, then he's certainly high up in their organization.

Ah, I see where we are. I can manage on my own from here. I should say that you were successful, for what it's worth. I enjoyed our time together, you Union Ranger. Fufufu... Fufufu... Fwahahahaha!

Music: Mission Clear!

Gordor's Laugh: 6

Was that old gent the one that requested the mission? He sure came across high and mighty. Fwahahahaha! That's some laugh.
*Approaches Circe* Hey, hey, Circe! I just finished my mission, too! It sure was worthwhile doing it. Do you want to hear about it?

It was a big mission, too. I don't usually get to do anything important, but this one was! I went with Aria into caves and other places to get on the trail of the Go-Rock Squad. You know how Aria can be really moody? That really made the mission that much harder.

It's probably because she thinks she's more competent than she actually is.

...Are you tired? Want to go back?

*The two leave*

Some of Gordor has rubbed off on Circe. She could not care less about Murph's troubles.

1234567890num fucked around with this message at 19:14 on Jun 14, 2019

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013

1234567890num posted:

Some of Gordor has rubbed off on Circe. She could not care less about Murph's troubles.

Can't wait to see her fwahahaing.

Space Kablooey
May 6, 2009

I don't think anyone else mentioned it, but I love the stupid little dance Circe does.

Oct 6, 2017

Music: Ranger Base

Seeing you must have been a great relief to him in that dark, forbidding forest.

For some reason I'm having trouble believing that
Seconded. I get the feeling that Gordor doesn't like Circe very much.

You've also done well to put up with his ungrateful attitude. All in all, an excellent job. Circe, I hereby certify you as Ranger Rank 7!

Music: Rank Up!

That's more like it. This also lets us use Dark and Ghost assists.
Rank 7 is the spooky rank!

Music: Ranger Base
Another thing, Circe. You are now authorized to be accompanied by up to six friend Pokemon in addition to your partner.

There's one last thing. Circe, you are now authorized to operate your Styler with a 4-segment Partner Gauge.

Two actually useful rewards at once! Can this rank be any better?
Hot drat! That almost... almost makes up for the forest.

But what was that senior citizen doing where no one would dare to go? There's something not right...

From: Cameron
To: Circe

Thanks for helping Percy out with that Politoed rescue. If you're not on any important mission, can you come out to Summerland's Ranger Base? I've got something for you. It's something really awesome, so you can look forward to it, seriously!

What's that? You got a message from Cameron, and he wants you to visit him in Summerland? All right... This might actually be a good opportunity.

Turns out it can! It's an early Christmas!
Now all these rewards amply make up for the crappy design in the previous mission.

Come upstairs, Circe. *goes upstairs*
*When talked to* Wow, that is cool, Circe! You get to ride the Dragonite Bus already! I'm still too low in Ranger Rank, so I have to walk everywhere. But you know? Some missions go better if you're on foot. I just did one like that, actually. The mission was, "How far can you go in 100 steps?" I tested it out. You'd be surprised how far you can go!

Poor Murph...
Spenser is at least trying to give him missions that are at his skill level. Though, yeah, poor guy.

We can't go outside, so we'll just grab our reward.

You're hoping to get to Summerland, yeah? Well hop right on and hang on! ...Is what I'd like to tell you, but things are never as simple as that.

See, you can ride the Dragonite Bus only if Dragonite accepts you as genuine Ranger. And how exactly do you get Dragonite to accept you? Well, you're a Ranger, aren't you? Capture it, and get your feelings across to Dragonite.
That's how it works, Circe. Before you joined us, do you remember what you wrote in your seven letters?

Just seven? That's surprisingly few, honestly.

This is what you wrote in one of them. "Pokemon aren't tools. Pokemon aren't just vehicles. People and Pokemon can share their feelings and benefit together from it. It's not a one-way street. By sharing our abilities, people can even fly, and Pokemon can be made happier." I read that letter over and over. I have it memorized now. Well, Circe? Here's your chance to prove those lofty words to be sincere.

If we say no, we can get some more NPC dialogue.

Circe, I expect you to make a clean capture.
Hey, you finally earned the right to ride the Dragonite Bus!

There's absolutely nothing else to do, so let's do this.

Good answer! Here goes, then! Put all your feelings into this capture!

Oh boy! A boss with no Friend Pokemon to assist us. I'm sure it'll go swimmingly.
Kind of a dick move, not gonna lie.

Music: Wild Pokemon Capture

...That's not sarcasm, by the way. Dragonite is like Ninjask but less severe.
...or not.

Music: Capture Complete

Required Loops: 3
Possible EXP: 100/106/112/118/124/130

And, to make it even easier, it's a Flying type instead of Dragon. Savor this mercy, because the game is about to be cruel very soon

Music: Ranger Base
That capture was quite the show. It sort of reminded me of the Leader's style somehow.
*To Dragonite* Dragonite, do you accept Circe as a genuine Ranger?

*Dragonite cries*

It seems to me Circe's feelings got across to Dragonite fine. Congratulations! You can now ride the Dragonite Bus anytime you like. It'll be a quick flight on this Dragonite to any of the Ranger Bases you've already visited.

So we can't go to Wintown? That's a bummer...

Say hi to Cameron for me when you get to Summerland. But you said he's got something good he wants to give you? ...Well, you'll see when you get there.
OK! Dragonite, it's showtime! Top speed to Summerland with Circe, all right? Hop to it!

Music: Summerland
Hi, Circe. Keeping up with your capturing? I bet you are! Our Leader called you to Summerland, didn't he? I'll go fetch him. Just sit tight!

*Percy and Politoed go inside*

We didn't thank you properly last time, so there's something I want you to have. I left it in the Ranger Base. Come on, go inside quick! *goes inside*
Poor Circe... Our Leader has an odd compulsion to give weird gifts that no one wants... He doesn't mean any harm by it, which actually makes it worse.

Uh oh... why do I have a bad feeling about this gift all of the sudden?

*Leilani and Circe go inside*

Music: Ranger Base

Well? Isn't it awesome? I found it in the Safra Sea. You can have it! It's a gift from me to you! But what is it, you ask? The mechanic behind you will be the best person to answer that.
That thing is an underwater vehicle. A submersible. It was made a good number of years ago. I think they named it the Aquamole. But the way it is now... It's nothing but a big pile of junk in anyone's eyes. Now, if I had the necessary parts, I might be able to fix it, but...
Now, hold on! Junk? You call this junk? I object to that!

Junk? No, no, no! Don't call it junk!

Um, thanks?
He gave us metal from the seafloor as a gift. Salt water does terrible things to structural integrity, so even fixed this submersible will be a death trap.
It's the thought that counts

*To Cameron* Cmaeron, I came across an ancient building deep in the jungle while on patrol. What is it?
That's the Jungle Relic. There's a legend about it named the "Four Challenges." Rangers over the years have gone there to see how they do on those challenges. Just be careful: the legend says you're not to clear the fourth and final challenge. If you do, a great calamity shall befall us, according to the legend. When they were younger, Spenser and Joel took the challenges to see how they measured up. ...Huh, me? I make a point of not going anywhere that's remotely dangerous. Hey, but if you've got the time, it might be good for you to visit.

Eh, I kinda don't want to go through those Gligar again.

But thou must...

That's the spirit! I knew you'd do it, Circe!
If you're going to tackle the challenges, I'd better tell you how to get inside the Jungle Relic. The entrance is on a raised hill deep in the jungle. It's where Circe rescued Percy's Politoed before. You'll find a weird stone statue there. There's a hidden switch on the statue. That switch exposes a set of stairs that go down into the Jungle Relic. Be careful in there.
A stone statue? Understood! We're off to the Jungle Relic!

And now we're free to talk to people. We can't go upstairs because of Lunick, though.

Four challenges? Not for me! Not a chance!
The Jungle Relic's challenges? I think the record holders are Spenser and Joel still.
Just remember, don't clear all four of the challenges. Call it quits if you manage to clear three challenges, and then come back. Just obey that rule...and you'll be fine.

Countdown until we're forced to clear all four trials...

I wonder what kinds of challenges we're going up against?

Despite Lunick stopping us from going upstairs, he won't stop us from going into people's houses for whatever reason.

Music: Summerland

He was picking up a big pile of junk. He was all sweaty! I thanked him for cleaning up litter, and he went away all embarrassed.

One is said to summon storms. One is said to bring forth lightning. And still another calls fire. There are some things in this world that have power far beyond the imagination of mortals.

Those are amazing powers, sure, but I don't think it's beyond imagination.
Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres? Suicune, Entei, and Raikou?
On second thought, shouldn't bringing lightning and calling fire be basic moves for Lightning/Fire type Pokemon, respectively?

I just now realized that Plusle has a plus shaped tail.

I've decided. This is where I want to grow old.
Ehehe. I made a new friend!

I feel the urge to swim in a cozy little pool for a change. Don't you get that way sometimes?

I never swim in the beach long enough to find out.

That's why when anything bad happens, our economy gets hammered.

Can I retroactively flag a line for rewriting? Because this one needs a little more time in the oven.

That's why the strange legend of the Jungle Relic so intrigues me. According to the legend, there are four challenges in the relic. If all four challenges are won, something will happen... It's the sort of legend that excites me as an explorer.
Supposedly, there's a small lake that's connected to the Safra Sea. This is just a hunch, but I'd guess that lake's water has a salty tang to it.

That's everyone, so into the jungle we go.

Music: Olive Jungle

The guy near the vines isn't there anymore and now Wurmples can be found here. Everything else stays the same, though.

I bet it's still there. I hope people aren't stuck trying to get around it...

But we haven't heard a thing so far...

Plusle! Minun! Where do you think you're going?!

Music: Trouble

Stop that! You're hurting Snorlax! Get off that Snorlax right now!

*Minun and Plusle get off of Snorlax*

If Belly Drum is anything to go by, Snorlax can retaliate hard. That would require it to wake up, though, so I don't think it'll happen.
I doubt the comatose Snorlax even feels two tiny mice jumping on its belly.

Music: Olive Jungle
You know you're not supposed to do that, Minun! And Plusle, you, too! Yes, that belly jiggles and makes a funny sound, but Snorlax isn't a musical instrument or a trampoline! Don't fool around like that! Sheesh!

Did Minun and Plusle... Did they do that because they thought people were upset by the Snorlax blocking the path?
*To Plusle and Minun* You two are Cheering Pokemon... Were you trying to help us do our jobs? If that's what you were doing, I'm sorry for getting angry with you. But you also have to consider Snorlax's feelings, too. Do you understand? Minun? Plusle? ...It looks like you do.

Minun: Mai maaaai!

Plusle: Pla plaaah!

Well, OK! How's this, then? If Circe or I'm ever in real trouble, how about helping us then? Can you promise that?

*Minun and Plusle jumps*

OK, gang! Let's move out to the Jungle Relic!

With that encouragement, we go to Jungle Relic.

...Of course, there's still some troubles on the way. I stand by my previous statement about Gligar

*Lunick looks around the statue*

This part's sticking out a little... Is this the switch? There's only one way to find out! Click!

The relic opens while the screen shakes

Whew, that was startling... Well? This looks like the entrance. Do we go in?

Of course we'll go inside.

This, folks, is the point where many people stopped playing this game.

If you've been wondering about what people have been talking about behind spoiler tags, it's about the thing we'll find downstairs: the hardest Pokemon in this game.

Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017

Generic Magic User


Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013

Yeah, this part. This part.

I've complained about the complaints but what's coming is well deserving of scorn. It's when the game's roughness in battle shows. It's the kind of thing that wouldn't happen in the sequels thanks to a much better battle system.

I completed it anyways but it was very much not fun.

Jul 20, 2017

This is what made me quit as a kid. Of course, I had just relied on friend assists up until this point, so I wasn't very good at the other tricks you can use to beat what's about to happen, but still!

Jen X
Sep 29, 2014

To bring light to the darkness, whether that darkness be ignorance, injustice, apathy, or stagnation.

this made me quit for a while too, iirc

Aug 9, 2013

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

First there came the Steelix, then there's this next set of challenges, then there's the rest of the game. No wonder my screen got scratched to hell.

Oct 22, 2016

I honestly can't remember if I had trouble with this part the first time I played but when I went through it again recently it was pretty easy. The part that really stuck in mind as being a lot of trouble from the first time I played is a ways away.

Oct 9, 2012


I actually... don't remember having any trouble here? Of course, I might have blocked it out. It probably helped that screen protectors were a must for my poor DS after the debacle of HM: DS and cow petting.

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

I'm still really glad my DS screen protector never fell off. Last time I was straightening up my stuff, I found my old DS and the screen protector practically had a rut in it from the circles that Elite Beat Agents asked me to draw.

Oct 4, 2015

We Have Unlocked Woke Junpei Mode
Fuck Up Cops 2020
Beloved Forums Poster
Evolved Heightened Level Junpei
Junpei Is Not Ironic And That Is Why He Is Good

I beat the game, but I think I remember having some problems with this section...

Oct 6, 2017

This series, for all the hard captures in it, still ruins my DS less than EBA and Ouendan somehow.

Those spinners are harsh.

Oct 6, 2017

Music: Mission Start!

New Music: Jungle Relic
Who would've guessed there'd be something like this? I mean, under the ground and in the jungle?
*When talked to* This place, though... You can feel history here.
*When talked to* It feels as if time has stopped here...
*When talked to* If I was alone, I might get too creeped out to stick around.

I sure wouldn't. Let's see what we have here...
Awww yeah. I love underground jungle ruins and caverns. It's an aesthetic that almost never pops up, though.

If only we can bring Primeape here, we could've gone through here. The doors leads to the challenges, but we'll explore this area first.

There's another set door and boulder above the previous one. The door has a different symbol, though.

There's essentially two halves of this area connected by this bridge.

What is that thing? It looks like a statue...

It's the legendary Pokemon. They say one is born every time a new volcano appears. I don't know of a more noble-looking Pokemon.

Seems like Lunick is reciting Entei's Pokedex entry from Silver or FireRed.

But this is strange... Why would there be a statue of an Entei here? Cameron never said anything about a statue like this, did he?

It's an old abandoned jungle ruin. Maybe they worshipped Entei?

Statue It's a statue of an Entei. It appears ready to give its mighty mane a shake and roar at the skies.

Nothing we can do with it right now, so let's move on.

(Right) I'm so sorry. We're conducting a research program. It's a very important study. I can't let you in there while we're conducting our important study. ...What are we studying? Um... This researcher will be able to answer that question better than me.
(Left) W-what? Don't foist this on me! Uh... We're studying our topic very intently, and it's very important, and, uh, you're just not allowed in there. We'll be finished before too long, so if you could come back then... Actually, please be sure to come back then.
(Right) *When talked to* I'm so sorry. No one's permitted to enter now.
(Left) *When talked to* We'll be finished before too long, so please be sure to come back then.

Yep. They're totally legitimate scientists who perfectly knows what they're doing and are definitely not related to Go-Rock Squad.
At least they aren't a "One always tells the truth, the other always lies" puzzle. I hope.
I'm pretty sure that kind of puzzles are impossible with only 2 people.

If we brought Treecko or Grovyle, we could've cut this. But apparently this is considered a different environment to the jungle. Unlike Lyra Forest with Krokka Tunnel...
Makes sense. They didn't want you "cheating" in the challenges by bringing in outside help. Making it a new environment means they'll know at all times what you have access to.

And here's the door to the last challenge, along with the second save point (the first was just by the entrance). The other path here isn't blocked, but it just leads to a dead end. You might notice that there's no wild Pokemon we can capture here, so we'll have to make do with Plusle.

Looks like we have Challenges of Water, Earth, and Wind with the Challenge of Fire blocked off. We'll do it from the easiest to hardest, which means we'll start from the one right here.
It had to be Earth, Water, and Wind huh? It couldn't have been Earth, Wind, and Fire?

Video: The Challenge of Wind (Flygon)

"The Challenge of Wind" From four directions do strong winds blow. At times oppose them, at times accept them, and your path you shall find. Awaiting your arrival shall be the wrath of one that represents wind. By your hand you must becalm the fury that drives the savage beast. Whence the beast is so calmed, the seal of stone shall be no more, bringing conclusion upon the challenge of wind. In the chambers of trial there shall be no record saved, for that in itself a challenge is posed. ...That's what the tablet says.
*To Circe* Did you sort of get that? It might be better if you read it yourself, Circe.

By "no records saved", the game means that even quicksaving is disabled inside these rooms, so no cheating by making backups of them. It doesn't prevent savestates, though I won't be using them anyway.

Despite what it seems, this challenge is not a maze, though. Both paths have no forks and both leads to the exit. The left path is shorter but narrower and vice versa for the right.

There's also the wind to test our movement skills, but it's not a big problem. It's easier than the ice physics from the sewers, actually.
So far this doesn't seem too bad. And judging by the video, it doesn't even seem too hard to stay on the path?
No, this one isn't hard at all. Remember that I'm doing this from the easiest.

I feel for Circe here. Having long hair in especially windy areas sucks.
At the end of each challenge, we're going to face a boss. Our boss this time is...

...Flygon. You know, the Ground/Dragon Pokemon? A Flying Pokemon would've been more fitting. Such as, for example, Salamence.

Music: Wild Boss Pokemon Encounter

Just like the trials, the bosses also tests an aspect of our skill. In this case, it's pattern recognition.

Flygon files around very quickly. And, unlike Ninjask, it needs more than 1 loop. Plusle won't help because of its type. This means there's no chance of looping it during this time.

This means that the only safe time to loop is during its attack. It shoots out tornadoes 2-4 times consecutively, so the time between those shots are when we should loop.

Additionally, if we don't keep our line short, there's a bigger chance of Flygon flying into it, so this capture also tests that technique.

That... doesn't sound like a good test.

Even with all that, Flygon is the second easiest Pokemon we'll face here.

Music: Capture Complete

Required Loops: 6
Possible EXP: 350/356/362/368/374/380

Though the rewards are pretty good!

*The pedestal fades*

When you captured the Flygon, the stone seal disappeared! We've cleared the first challenge!

Goodbye, level 3 Gust

Music: Jungle Relic

Up next, The Challenge of Water.

Video: The Challenge of Water (2 Kingdra)

"The Challenge of Water" The wrathful streams of water-dragons you must elude lest you lose your way. What awaits are the familiars of water whose angry spirits seek serenity at your hands. Whence they are so calmed, the seal of stone shall be no more, bringing conclusion upon the challenge of water. In the chambers of trial there shall be no record saved, for that in itself a challenge is posed. ...That's what the tablet says.
*To Circe* It sounds pretty mysterious. Why don't you read it for yourself, Circe?

The reason this challenge is potentially much faster than the last one, but the main difficulty here is...

...seeing the evolved fish, again out of our reach

Oh, and those evolved fish shoots waterballs that can knock us off the platform.

Circe, focus!

This brings us back to the stairs at the room with the tablet. Which means that we have to start over the challenge every time we fall. This applies to all of them, but Lunick will only say this the first time.
Owww... if you break your tailbone, that's the sort of injury that can't easily be mended! Poor Lunick.

Basically, this challenge tests our projectile-dodging skill (and patience).
A timing challenge doesn't seem too bad, either.
On an emulator? It's not too hard. On an actual DS with its small screen and no savestates? This can take a while.

And our boss this time is...

Music: Wild Pokemon Capture

Yes, 2 Kingdra. As you might've guessed, this tests our ability to deal with multiple Pokemon at once.

This is the first time we see it, but some Water Pokemon can dive. It's pretty much just like Ground Pokemon's dig, right down to not being able to be captured during it.

This is a big reason Marine Challenge sucks, by the way. But we'll talk more when we get to it.

Hydro Pump is Kingdra's only attack. It's very basic.

You might remember that Kingdra is a Water/Dragon Pokemon, so there's a 50-50 chance of Plusle actually being useful.
This doesn't sound too bad so far. Basic attacks, two pokemon... sounds like some challenges we've already faced and conquered.
It's less hectic than the Murkrow + 4 Spinarak, that's for sure.


...gently caress.

I ended up doing this regular way. When one of the Kingdra is underwater, the other is ripe for capture. They only require 6 loops each, so it should be done quick.

I even manage to get maximum EXP for the second one

Music: Capture Complete

Required Loops: 6
Possible EXP: 160/166/172/178/184/190

*The pedestal fades*

When you captured the Kingdra, the stone seal disappeared! We've cleared the second challenge!

Goodbye, level 3 Soak

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. These challenges so far if anything sound like "final exam" boss fights. So now I'm curious about what makes this so onerous.

1234567890num fucked around with this message at 05:53 on Jun 11, 2019

Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.

Yeah this was about the point where I ended up putting the game down for a good while. And about the point where anyone coming from Ranger 2 and 3 to 1 would also probably put the game down, if they didn't get fed up with everything else beforehand.

Apr 15, 2016

Your lovely shrine maiden fox wife, Tamamo no Mae, is here to help!

...What's with all this "we" stuff from Lunick? Circe's doing all the hard work!

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013

I don't remember having any issues with Flygon, Kingdra or their respective challenges. These really are the easy ones.

Can't wait for the next update! There the fun begins. Oh boy does it...


1234567890num posted:

It's the legendary Pokemon. They say one is born every time a new volcano appears. I don't know of a more-looking Pokemon.

It sure is a very looking Pokemon.

Blaze Dragon fucked around with this message at 02:51 on Jun 11, 2019

Oct 6, 2017

serefin99 posted:

...What's with all this "we" stuff from Lunick? Circe's doing all the hard work!

That's the price for having no gameplay repercussions from escort missions, I guess...

Blaze Dragon posted:

I don't remember having any issues with Flygon, Kingdra or their respective challenges. These really are the easy ones.

Can't wait for the next update! There the fun begins. Oh boy does it...


It sure is a very looking Pokemon.

Should be fixed now.

Before the next update, here are some more maps.


Nov 4, 2014

I won this avatar on a technicality this thick.

And now the update will be on the next page.

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