The big-two-oh! Took long enough for me to get here, eh? Again I laugh at the naive Phoenix of a month or so ago who thought she'd be able to breeze through this in a day or so. (Although maybe I could've if I'd done this in a different format...)
It'd be neat to wrap this up on a nice number like 20, but while we are nearing the end I don't know that that'll be how it turns out. Well, now that I've done that little bit of catch-up training, let's march into the gym and see how it goes! Maybe I'll even manage to not die after all and get through the whole thing in one go... even if I can't finish with this post, a good, meaty one should at least make up for all the waiting!
Been a minute since we've had a team shot, eh? This is everyone after the aforementioned spot of training. Dunno if ~18 is gonna cut it, but as I'm guessing I smell grass-types a 'comin at least it's handy that I picked the fire starter and don't have anything weak to grass. Probably won't be able to spam stun spore and poison powder, though. :(
Here's the gym! The music is mixed a little differently than it was in the Longspur Gym. Longspur's BGM had more of a guitary, folksy kind of feel to it, which sounded cool while surrounded by goats and hay bales but I thought might be a little odd in gyms with other themes, and I was hoping they'd have different music for each gym. It's a really nice touch. (If only the gym battle theme was also unique to each leader, eh?)
Anyway, I'm still kinda nervous, so let's see if Charlie the reporter has a good pep-talk for me.
...Maybe...? Uh, can we just skip ahead to the part where you tell me that grass is weak to fire, and then maybe something more helpful than that to go with?
Ooooor you could tell me that my assumption about the gym's specialty was completely off base! That works, too. Actually, it works out pretty great—on the one hand, I do have some things that're weak to bug (Halmar and Kilasdann), but on the other hand both of the STAB SE moves I was banking on (flame charge and wing attack) still work... and so does stun spore. >)
Charlie agrees with my plan. Excellent. Now that's the pep talk I was looking for!
He hands me another fresh water and wishes me luck. I still don't know how tough this guy's team is gonna be, but with a more solid level foundation and some STAB backing my super-effective moves this time I am definitely feeling better. I... could get this, maybe! Down the honeycomb hole we go!
AAAGH MY EYES. So much gold. Clearly Beckett fears my great and terrible fire-type and intends to stall for time by searing my retinas. I suppose it might be difficult to beat him if I can't find him in the first place, but I'm not going to let this stop me! Yo, bug catcher! Which way to your boss?
What gives? Why can't I walk this way? C'mon, she's right there, right there, walk over like three steps and punch some money and answers out of her! There's no other way to get there without walking into that hole that's in the way!
Looks like there's some sort of warp shenaniganry going on here—step into one hole, pop out of a different hole. Trying to blind me and make me dizzy with your ridiculous teleporter honeycomb, are you? I won't give up that easily! You've got bugs that need baking, pal!
Also, hellooooo, what's that little doohickey in the corner there? And... and a poké ball! Wow, there are items in this gym? Forget Beckett and the bug catcher, I need to get over there and get me some sweet free stuff (pun not intended).
Dammit, I don't even care about the first bug catcher any more, let alone this new one and her silly crushes! Get out of my way and let me get my free stuff!
Level 14, huh? Not too bad; at least it's on par with the people on Route 4, aside from that backpacker with the croaking chihuahua-terrier.
Dang, 16. And I was about to get hopeful, too. Ah, well... at least it's double-weak to wing attack. Good job it is, too; Malda's attack stat isn't actually all that high.
Down with you, pretender to the Eldritch Horror Beauty Pageant crown! You're not even missing the correct half, you're not scary at all.
Fighting the first bug catcher we saw, and after two polbee... what on God's green earth is that? Crap, a new thing in a gym. Better bring out the real firepower (pun intended) and nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Oh god it's big and pointy and level 17 and oh, wait, it's still flammable, never mind. Two flame charges took care of this abdoscus thing in short order, although unfortunately its twineedle attack did manage to poison Aenjara in between.
(Update: Abdoscus's sprite (as well as Maggona's) have been changed in the latest releases.)
"Huh, it's a giant honeycomb," I thought as I first laid eyes on the main part of the Avocet City Gym. "Guess it makes sense, what with all that polbee stuff going on south of the berry shop. I wonder whether there'll be any hunber... nah, surely not. They're not bugs, after all—in fact, they actively steal from polbee, so surely they'd be unwelcome in such a place—and anyway there was just one in the last gym. I'll probably never have to see another one anywhere important again."
At this point you and your tiny lackeys are clearly just doing this to torment me, Beckett. Well, no matter. I'll knock down whatever you try to set up in my path, be it bug or bear. I didn't let devil bears keep me from my badge last time and I don't intend to start now just because you're following a silly little theme, sunshine. Even if you do know teeter dance and double team, you're still getting double kicked in the face. Back to Hades with you, devil bear!
oh crap new thing new thing set it on fire
This ambloot is kinda adorable, I will admit, but I'm still going to set it on fire. I hope that sack of presumably stolen goodies wasn't too valuable, kid, because it's all so much charcoal now.
That's a very good question, especially considering that right before the battle you told me that it took you a lot of hard work to get into the gym in the first place. Also, ooh, more free stuff! Gotta figure out how to get over there...
I guess? Aren't crickets and wasps totally unrelated, though? And "spider-crickets" is awfully specific, as opposed to the broader "wasps"... weird.
Ba-dum-tish, canned laughter plays, etc..
I found a lever! Pull the lever, Phoenix!
As I suspected, the lever changed which holes are open and which are closed.
A little more jumping around takes me to the second lever, and then finally to the item! Ooooh, what is it what is it what is it gimme gimme gimme
...wow. I was expecting honey given the gym's theme/how excited I was at the prospect of free stuff, but... wow. That's useful! I wonder if any other gyms have free useful stuff lying around. Of course, now I'm also wondering whether this is a not-so-subtle hint that I'm going to need this revive when facing Beckett. Try and psych me out all you want, lumberjerk, but it only worked a little bit and I'm still takin' your stuff!
Looks like my random hole-hopping (I started writing the directions down but stopped because I'm tired and impatient) has dropped me off in front of the gym leader's room before it led me to that other mystery item. Was it another revive? Am I going to regret not turning around to go get it first? We'll find out after it's too late to be helpful! Let's go take Beckett on!
What what what what what?? Also, is that a glob of honey blocking my way out? Why is it necessary to block my way out? :( This isn't the Elite Four, buddy, get over yourself.
I noticed. It's very pretty. I was about to compliment it, too, but then you started yelling and sealed us both into this room. If you're about to get mad at me for accidentally kicking the leaves around, I no longer have any sympathy for you. Maybe next time use the honey to stick them to the floor instead of trapping people.
...then he says "it doesn't matter" and asks if I'm here for a battle. Way to yell at me for no reason and trap me in this room also for no reason. I'm going to enjoy sautéing your precious little pests.
Okay, so the honey-glob—if that's what it even is, it may just be an archway—just warps you back to the entrance, which I guess is useful for leaving if you need to heal first/have won, although it's not so fun if you step out just to check what actually happens after you finish telling people you were trapped. I guess I was just mistaken when I thought I saw it magically appear behind me or something. Still... the yelling was uncalled for! Regina yelled at me when I went into her room, too, and do you know what happened to Regina? Well, actually she kicked my ass at first, but then I came back and stomped her into the floor. Don't think I won't come back and stomp you into the floor, too, pal!
That's generally how these things work, yes. Am I supposed to be impressed?
Looks like my guess would've been right after all if I'd shown up here earlier.
Uh... okay? I'm not really sure why you're mentioning this? Are you bitter about the brief interruption of Bug-type service or something?
Why am I getting this faint vibe of dislike for the previous leader? Letting your grudges show isn't very professional, you know.
And I'll be setting your team on fire, hopefully spectacularly so I can be distracted by all the pretty flames and forget this weird conversation that much sooner. Bring it, Beckett!
Hey, he kinda reminds me of one of my former coworkers. Great, now I'm gonna be calling him Robert all day. Also, I got this!
Now you're brandishing an axe at me? Whoa, settle down, Robert, I was (mostly) kidding about setting your team on fire! We can discuss this civilly, can't we? (Also, nice touch with his battle base being the stump and mine being the leaf pattern on the floor.)
Whoa, what's that? Color scheme implies that it might evolve from polbee, maybe? Also, level 20... that does not inspire confidence. Type chart don't fail me now!
Wait, what's going on?
Why on earth does a cocoon thing have sand stream? Does it even have anything to do with polbee at all? What is golicoon? What is happening? I'm so confused...
...of course, if it has sand stream, it's likely to be a type that doesn't take damage from sandstorm, and it looks more ground than steel to me. Ground is weak to water. Malda has water gun as well as wing attack. And Malda's special attack is her better stat. >) Not that it's stellar, but still. >) >) >)
It's super effective! And barely did any damage! Maybe it's rock instead of ground and it's getting a SpDef boost? :(
Then it used a move called "pollinate", which did no damage but "pollinated" Malda. Then the game threw an error message. It looks like that move isn't working (and I think I recall seeing somewhere that the team already knows about this), although the error seems to imply that some stat of mine is supposed to go down at the end of the turn; the error happens at the end of every turn that Malda is out, too, so I guess it's supposed to constantly lower whatever stat this is, kind of like a reverse speed boost. Well, it's unfortunate that a bug (pun not intended) happened in the middle of a gym battle, but if pollinate being broken is going to work in my favor then by god I'm gonna plow ahead. Let's trying bringing Zin Falza out. Gear grind is physical. It also has an effective 150 BP thanks to technician.
Damn it. Gear grind wasn't super-effective, and it knows mud-slap. Looks like it is ground-type after all. Good thing I resisted the urge to try thunder wave first... I guess its special defense is just really high. Time to bring Malda back in after all, I guess... at least it doesn't seem to be able to do anything to her with the three moves it's used so far (the third being harden, natch).
A hyper potion. Lovely. We're gonna be here for a little while, folks. Also, the sandstorm seems to be hanging around for longer than five turns. Wonder whether that was intentional, or they just haven't added in the shortened duration yet? (Or maybe Golicoon is holding a smooth rock just to make this extra fun.)
In the end I decided to hit it with supersonic and got lucky with it hurting itself pretty much every turn, so that's one down! What next, Robert, I mean Beckett? Gonna bring out something to set up a little hail?
No idea what a mosachuset is, other than possibly the state of Massachusetts. Massachusetts is in New England, which gets pretty snowy, so maybe it is a hail-setter after all.
Well, it looks like it's about the size of Massachusetts, so I still say my guess is at least partially accurate. It also looks like it, as a rock-type, is A Bad Thing for Malda to be facing. (At least it makes more sense as an off-type than Regina's opaby.) Hm... what to do... I'm sure it has a rock move that will mess up my frail little albaloo, and both of her moves are probably neutral against it... Falza is the logical choice, especially since thunder wave can still paralyze grass-types, but it has 2 HP left. Durvas still has double kick and rock smash, but with permasand up and this thing probably hitting like a truck I don't want to rely on hustle not screwing me over, at least not yet. I could just let Malda take one for the team while I use that fresh water on Falza, but I'd rather keep her around just in case she's useful against Beckett's final pokémon...
This probably won't end well for Halmar, but hey, if he survives a turn or two he might be able to soften it up with baby-doll eyes.
Oh god damn it this thing knows rollout. That's bad enough coming from Whitney's miltank, and in that case it's not even STAB! You know what, let's go for the baby-doll eyes now, just to be safe.
Okay, baby-doll eyes used, Halmar did in fact survive another turn and let me use the fresh water before fainting, let's see if we can't at least paralyze this thing.
Yessssss Falza is faster! And then it was fully paralyzed and stopped the rollout! Whew!
Nice! Second hit didn't crit, unfortunately, but all Massachusetts here did in response was use pollinate. Look, buddy, I'll grant that those error messages popping up every turn can get pretty annoying, but it's not gonna stop me from using gear grind again.
All hail Zin Falza, destroyer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! That ought to put those uppity New Englanders back in their place. Where do they get off being a "commonwealth" when the rest of us just have plain ol' states, huh?
Malda hit level 19 and learned water pulse. Sure, pick up the stronger water move after the golicoon is already gone. No, it's fine. I'm not bitter at all.
Allerglen? Buh? This whole gym battle is just one whole big "what on God's green earth is that", isn't it? Surely this is the polbee evo. After all this honeycomb and polbee hive nonsense, there's no way it isn't. Well, whatever it is, hopefully it's thunderwaveable!
oh my god look at the giant poofy fatbee oh my god oh my goooood~ :D
The new fatbee is rude enough to use double team right after I finish squealing over it—I guess attitude problems run in the family—but then makes amends by showing that it is, in fact, thunderwaveable. It also takes sand damage. Permasand seems like such a strange strategy for this gym... sure, it has the surprise factor, and it can potentially make that mosachuset a real bear to take down if you don't have physical SE moves to use on it, but what does it have to do with bees or lumberjacks? Why would you set up a permaweather that hurts your own signature pokémon? I guess the only weather that "makes sense" is sunny day, which would just turn this into a cakewalk for anyone using a fire-type and doesn't benefit any of these as far as I can tell, but... it's just kinda weird, is all. At least the sand damage problem can be fixed by upgrading to Gen VI weather, if that's going to happen.
Whatever the case, while I'm sure Zin Falza would do all right for itself if I left it out, I said I would be setting bugs on fire and I intend to keep my word. Let's see just how flammable that fluffy poof of pollen is.
Ooh, that turns into tri attack indoors. This is problematic... or, it would be if it hadn't been fully paralyzed as soon as the called move was declared. I don't think nature power is supposed to work like that—once nature power itself is successfully used I'm pretty sure the called attack is also guaranteed to be used—but I'll take it! I joked about hail before, but I sure as hell don't actually want to see any ice in this battle.
what the hell just happened to the fatbee :(
Hm. You'd think that losing the fluff armor would make it faster and more fragile, but flame charge actually did less damage than on the first hit so it looks like its defense goes up. (I can't say whether the speed does in fact change; I doubt a base stat increase would help much in this case given that it's paralyzed and Aenjara already had +1 speed from the first flame charge.) Poison sting also did a decent amount of damage, so maybe its attack goes up, too?
Whatever! Thanks to the sandstorm that Beckett himself set up (what is that golicoon thing), the third flame charge is the charm. That's what you get for throwing away your adorable fatbeeness and going around all grumpy like that! Ilario and Sparkly Ilario will tell you that I have zero patience for cranky fatbees. I do, in fact, got this.
Falza's level 19 move. It gets the tech boost but won't hit as hard as gear grind, although the perfect accuracy is appealing over gear grind's 85%...
Eh, I never use focus energy anyway.
Yes, you have. Now please put that hatchet away.
It's only fair after what you did to my eyes with the floor out there.
Beetle Badge? More like Bee-tle Badge, am I right? *wink wink nudge nudge, ba-dum-tish, canned laughter*
Badge get! Two down, six to go!
Uh... thanks, I guess. (He did say that the grass gym leader was a "young girl"... maybe that's part of why he seems mildly annoyed by the thought of her?)
See this, Sparkly Ilario? Now you have no excuse not to keep that naughty naked butt in line!
I'd be more excited about this if it weren't, y'know, cut. I already goofed by teaching rock smash to Durvas right before she learned double kick. Gonna have to figure out who gets the dead moveslot this time.
Oooh, a broken TM! The fancy gifts just keep on coming!
Signature enough that you're not going to explain what it's actually supposed to do? Thanks.
Not if those lazy lumberjerks don't get that tree out of my way!
Why do all you lumberjack people think I'm your gofer? Tell her yourself!
After Charlie congratulates me at the entrance, I realize I forgot to check out the statues:
That would've been pretty intriguing if I'd read it when I was supposed to.
This is what pollinate is supposed to do, by the way. (I didn't actually teach it to her; I just couldn't read the description in the bag due to a glitch that sometimes makes the font really tiny.)
Nothing tells me the demo is over immediately after leaving the gym, so it looks like there might be a bit more to do. I'll have to go check on the lumberjerks' progress, if nothing else. That'll have to wait for later, though! I'm tired, this post is already long (long enough that the post editor is lagging as I try to type this), and defeating Beckett first try sounds like a good stopping point to me. The last few updates should hopefully come a lot sooner!