Got through to the end of the game a few days before my birthday, whoohoo! Of course, I'm still several days late in posting this, but shh close enough. I think I almost sort of have a work ethic now, you guys!

This one might be a bit shorter than the rest (I'm not sure, maybe it's about the same length), but there wasn't altogether too much to say and it's the best stopping point you can ask for, so.


The Platinum Orb (I'm assuming it'll get a new name in English to match the Adamant and Lustrous Orbs) that allows Giratina to retain its Origin Forme is supposed to be somewhere in the Torn World, and I'm fairly sure that you need to get to it via Turnback Cave (hey, it's got to serve some purpose now that Giratina is captured elsewhere), but I don't fancy trying to fight my way through a maze full of level 60, high-speed and very annoying Pokémon just yet–I have better things to do. When I try to head over to Sunyshore, however, the Obligatory Fat Path-Obstructing Man is blocking my way with his girth, and I have no idea why he hasn't gone away yet. I suppose I have to talk to someone first, but I don't really know who; Professor Rowan seems as good a guess as any, though, so I swing by Sandgem and try that. Luckily for me, I seem to have guessed correctly. Rowan and Dawn are right at the door when I enter, and after a conversation that involves the number 60 (something like "In all my 60 years I've never seen..."?), the number 3 (the lake trio? the dragons?) and the number of Pokémon listed as "seen" in my Pokédex (about 170 as of right now) I can leave and move on to Sunyshore without being harrassed by Obligatory Fat Man.

Sunyshore and the events, people and places within are all just about the same–Flint walks up to me and asks me to cheer Volkner up, Volkner's still in the lighthouse, Jasmine is still standing on the beach by Route 223, all that stuff–so there isn't really anything for me to say right now. I battled all of the trainers in the gym but left before talking to Volkner. I want to spend a little more time seeing/catching more Pokémon and filling up my Pokédex so that by the time I battle Cynthia I will have seen all 210 Platinum Sinnoh Dex Pokémon. Most of this is pretty uneventful–just hunting down any trainers I haven't already fought, struggling to fish for Octillery and Lumineon, that sort of thing–but it also means I have to go through the hell of trying to catch the three pixies. It takes forever to catch Azelf but, luckily, only one try (still a fair few Pokéballs, but I didn't have to reset) to catch Uxie. Mesprit is the real pain, predictably. While it's true that I could just let it loose and worry about capturing it later, I really want it out of the way now, before I get around to releasing Cresselia and the three Kanto legendary birds, so that I'm not blindly chasing five identical dots across the Marking Map in five different directions. It takes dozens of resets, a few extra trainer battles so that Geist finally reaches level 50 and learns Discharge (thank god for 30% paralysis chance) and maybe a dozen more resets after that, but I do eventually manage to capture it.

With all of that out of the way I'm now confident that the only Pokémon I haven't seen are all hiding in Victory Road or owned by Volkner, the Victory Road trainers and the E4 themselves, so I fly back to Sunyshore to take on Volkner. As usual the VS artwork is cool, although the "lying down and then getting up" animation is a little annoying because it only has three frames and all that... it isn't a bad idea, it does a good job expressing Volkner's boredom and disillusionment with battling and all that, but... three frames. Bah. Volkner's team has been edited so that he now actually has four Electric-types, using Jolteon and Electivire over Ambipom and Octillery; it's fitting enough, and it makes it a lot easier for Ziska to bulldoze through them all with Earthquake (okay, Luxray's elemental fangs and Electivire's elemental punches sort of sucked for her, but Earthquake eats everything so it's okay), but I'm sort of bummed that he doesn't have Ambipom any longer. It's one of the few Pokémon I still haven't seen–and no way in hell am I going out of my way to those stupid honey trees to catch Monkey With Pedo Smile and then evolve it into Monkey With Pedo Smile And Cow Udder Hands (ugh why on earth did they do that)_—_and I'm not sure where I'm going to see another one. :/ Anyway, pedomonkey issues aside, Ziska kills everything with minimal help from the rest of my team and LAST BADGE, okay done with that.

When I head up to the beach to talk to Jasmine, Larry approaches me and says some stuff; he then turns around and heads back into town. Jasmine gives me Waterfall, which I teach to Levi (I don't really have a choice; if I want to get all of my team properly trained in time I can't afford to replace anyone with an HM slave) before setting sail, if you will.

Victory Road itself is uneventful–the only notable thing about it is that they've packed its trainers with just about every Pokémon you haven't seen, more or less guaranteed unless you never fought any other trainers or something. Rampardos, Dusknoir, Porygon-Z, Tangrowth, the final stages of the starters... in fact, the only thing they don't have is Ambipom, dammit. It's still really helpful, though.

The combination mart/Pokécenter in the Elite Four's building has had... quite an interesting revamp. In most games it's just set up to look exactly like normal centers and marts, only combined and with more books and less merchandise. But this one is practically a technicolor dreamcoat, Chuck E. Cheese-sort of looking color scheme... bright colors everywhere, and the "red carpet" leading to the E4 now resembles a tarmac with green runway lights. I battle Larry and get the guy who checks your badges to get out of my way, but I don't go through to Aaron just yet. As I said a bit earlier, I really want my entire team to get some more training in. Specifically, I want them all to be at level 50 or above, and currently only Ziska and Geist are there. Since everyone else has quite a bit of catching up to do, and since I still haven't seen an Ambipom and I know that there isn't one in the E4, I back out to do some more leveling and to find one of those blasted pedomonkeys. Oh, and since I'd like the extra firepower of higher base stats to help out in the upcoming battle, I finally decide that it's time to stuff Geist into Pluto's lawnmower.

I won't bore you with the unimportant details of the quest for level 50; all that matters is that I finally get everyone there. I also end up having to check a DP trainer guide for the location of a trainer with an Ambipom; luckily, I was able to find one that hadn't had his lineup changed in Platinum. Probably for exactly that reason, actually. He's an Ace Trainer out on Route 216 and I have absolutely no earthly idea how I managed to miss him before (it's not like he was out of the way or hidden), but I beat him and, at last, my seen-dex is complete with the exception of the E4's rarer Pokémon, I won't finish the main game only having seen an embarrassing 209 little critters instead of 210, and the only thing left to do is hit the Eterna HQ for some serious lawnmower get.

As I mentioned waaaay back in Chapter 2 or 3 (whichever it was, I forget), the secret room in the back of the Eterna HQ building has the five Rotom appliances lined up in a neat little row, and you get the appliance Rotom by talking to whichever one you want. The game tells me that Geist is... I dunno, going into the lawnmower or something, and then asks me to forget a move for Leaf Storm. I ditch Double Team for it and wait to see what happens; I was kind of hoping there'd be some sort flashy animation or evolution-screen-looking thing, but the only thing that happens is that the screen flashes white for a second and then Professor Rowan magically knows to come in here, find me and I guess explain about Rotom's forms. Huh. Boring and a little odd, but at least I have my lawnmower and, at long last, I'm finally ready to go challenge the Elite Four.

The rooms the E4 members wait in have been redone to look less like bland arenas with tiles and more like something "natural" that would suit their preferred type. Aaron's room has a large, fallen tree trunk sitting to one side, rocks along the other and green grass covering the floor. The E4 also has much cooler VS-things, which appear in the right-center of the screen along with a snazzy picture of me on the left. When the battle starts, Aaron isn't on the screen; after a few seconds, though, he drops in from above and then strikes a pose (son of Giratina!). How he got up onto the ceiling without me seeing him leave his spot, eh, I'll figure that out after I kick his ass.

...which doesn't prove to be too difficult, really, especially not now that I've actually taken the time to not bring any Pokémon under level 50 and that the E4's levels have been reduced. Aaron's Drapion is only level 53 instead of 57 as it is in DP, for example. And before anyone starts complaining, remember this–in Fire Red and Leaf Green the E4's levels were lower than they'd been in RBY, and look at what happened with them on the second time through. ;P Anyway, Vespiquen is a pain because of all that Defend Order and Heal Order stuff, and as with Volkner it's a bit hard to switch Ziska in on Drapion with all those Ice Fangs flying around, but I defeat him soon enough and can move on to Bertha.

Bertha's room has been redecorated to look like a canyon of some sort, with a huge rocky overhang over on the left side. Her animation is substantially less interesting than Aaron's, though, just the usual sort of wave rather than falling off of the ceiling. She isn't especially difficult to defeat, either, although it was rather stupid of me not to account for the fact that her new Rhyperior might know Megahorn and be able to KO Ziska with it (fffff). Shortly before this her Gliscor had knocked Levi down to 1 HP (okay, after his Shell Bell kicked in he had 5, but still) before Levi was able to defeat it, and by the time I get rid of Rhyperior I only have said severely crippled Vaporeon to take on her Hippowdon; luckily for me, though, Levi's Surf doesn't miss in the sandstorm and knocks Hippowdon out before it has much of a chance to do anything.

Flint's room is a bit simpler than the others; there's nothing huge towering over me as I enter, just a few holes in the floor through which a raging sea of flames can be seen. And Flint's animation sort of creeps me out–he sort of just stands there for a moment and stares before breaking out into a fit of sniggering with a pedomonkey grin on his face that, now I think of it, also reminds me of Larry. Eee. I'm actually able to get through the battle with Flint without any of my Pokémon fainting; it takes a lot of creative switching and some luck (I love how Ziska is able to survive all these Flamethrowers and Flare Blitzes from Flint's/Larry's Infernape), but Levi and Sabre manage to bump off his last few Pokémon.

Next is Lucian's room, which is very simple and quite possibly identical to the one he had in DP. His animation is another boring one, but his VS thing is pretty cool. His battle is better described as excruciating, however. Lucian is the hardest so far (well, I guess he's supposed to be, but still)–his Gallade and especially his Alakazam defeat all of my Pokémon multiple times before I can finally revive Levi, get him in against Alakazam and then wait for the blasted thing to run out of PP for Energy Ball before he can finally defeat it. Ugh.

Now all that's left is the Champion, Cynthia. Her room hasn't changed much, either, but her VS thing and animation are okay. What really struck me as interesting was her battle background: Cynthia appears to have one all her own, and one that doesn't really match her arena at all. It's a dull, grayish purple all over, and instead of the usual tiled ground you'd expect the floor seems to be covered in what is either incredibly fluffy purple shag carpeting or very eerie grass of some sort. The Asphodel Meadows of Greek mythology kept coming to mind, actually. Weird.

Anyway, the battle. Not quite as hard as Lucian, thankfully, although Togekiss, Milotic and Spiritomb take a little elbow grease to get rid of. The only actual "problem" is Garchomp, who does manage to go through a few of my Pokémon before the deity that is Levi beats it with a last-minute critical hit Aurora Beam. And so, the hax are with me once again, Garchomp is the 210th and final Pokémon I need to see, Levi the Best Vaporeon in the Universe saves my ass for the fourth time in a row and I am the Sinnoh League Champion.

Cynthia and Professor Rowan take me to the Hall of Fame to officialize everything, I pout a little bit when I see that the positioning of my Pokémon in the HoF shot puts Ziska's massive tree in front of Levi's face, the game saves and the end credits roll. Most of the end credits show me on my bike riding home by some trees and lampposts, with Drifloon and later Wingull drifting lazily overhead; towards the end, after night falls, a single Magnezone flies by and a distant galaxy thingie can be seen far a way. The flying Pokémon are occasionally interrupted by slightly faded screenshots of various things I've done throughout my adventure, like receiving my first Pokémon, a few battles with Larry, things like that. Not too shabby overall. The credits fade out and, with that, I've finally finished the game.

Mah boyz (uh and Ziska, Forte and Geist):

Ziska (F) Geist (X) Sabre (M) Levi (M) Seth (M) Forte (F)
L53, Quirky, Overgrow L53, Modest, Levitate L51, Rash, Steadfast L52, Timid, Water Absorb L51, Lonely, Flash Fire L50, Sassy, Keen Eye
 -Razor Leaf  -Discharge  -Psycho Cut  -Surf  -Bite  -Chatter
 -Earthquake  -Ominous Wind  -Leaf Blade  -Aurora Beam  -Flamethrower  -Sing
 -Crunch  -Confuse Ray  -Strength  -Bite  -Smog  -Hyper Voice
 -Rock Climb  -Leaf Storm  -Swords Dance  -Waterfall  -Rock Smash  -Fly

...I love how it took me four months to finally beat this game when it took about a week and a half to beat Diamond. My attention span, I do love it so. >>; Anyway, since I can't read Japanese and don't feel like trying to do any serious competitive training on this save file (everything's pointing to DP being substantially better for EV training anyway... come baaack, Cowgirl Shelley D:), I don't think I'll be able to get terribly far in the new Battle Frontier; I will try at least some of it, though (Battle Factory Battle Factory BATTLE FACTORY), and I'll try and write about all of the rest of the postgame and anything I've missed (Heatran, the new Trainer House or whatever it's called, the rest of the Wi-Fi Square, etc.). I also think I'm going to go catch Darkrai soon, so there'll be that to report on as well. I probably won't be back around the failblog until after my birthday, so see you when I'm twenty, I guess.

Note: This is the end of the run; there will be no more posts.