Pokémon Sun Nuzlocke Challenge - Chapter Five

Hey there folks, and welcome to the fifth chapter of my Pokémon Sun Nuzlocke Challenge, a series of blogs documenting my efforts to play through the latest generation of Pokémon with a self-imposed Nuzlocke ruleset. If none of that makes any sense to you, I'd advise you to start reading this series from the beginning - Chapter One is here, Chapter Two is here, Chapter Three is here, and Chapter Four is here. While you catch up, the rest of us will continue on our adventure across the Alola region. In this chapter we take on the first trial on Akala Island, fight in our first Battle Royal, and add some new members to our team. Find out all the fine details by reading on.

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Chapter Five - You Kanto Always Get What You Want

Alola, Diary! I've made a lot of progress around Akala Island since my last entry, and have added loads of interesting new Pokémon to my team (although not the ones I've been hoping for, as you'll soon realise). I'm writing this from just outside Wela Volcano Park, all the way over on the east side of the island. How did I get all the way from one side of Akala to the other? Well, I'm getting to that...

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I woke up at the Pokémon Center near Brooklet Hill to find Hau had already left without me. Maybe since he was up early for a change, he decided to head along to the next trial without me. Whatever the reason, I didn't want to be any later than I already was. I grabbed my bag, retrieved my Poké Balls from the nurse and headed up to Brooklet Hill. On my way into the area I almost tripped over a Paras who was gorging herself on Tiny Mushrooms. I wasted no time in hurling a Poké Ball at her and adding her to my team. I've named her Bolete, and added her to the reserve roster in my PC.

As I reached the stream there was no sign of Hau, but I did meet a woman named Lana, the trial captain for Brooklet Hill. She presented me with a new contact for my Ride Pager - a Lapras who ferries trainers across bodies of water! I thanked her for this incredible addition to my roster of Ride Pokémon, and made a mental note to more fully explore the waters at Kala'e Bay the next time I'm back on Melemele Island. For now though, there was a more immediate reason for Lana giving me access to Lapras' services. There had been reports of unusual splashing coming from the trial grounds. Perhaps something was aggravating the native Water-type Pokémon in the area? Lana wanted me to investigate. Always eager to help, I pulled on my ride gear, called on Lapras, and set out across the stream.

I found two isolated incidents of splashing upstream, both of them caused by lone Wishiwashi that I guessed must have been separated from their school and become agitated. I subdued them both by battling them with my Kadabra Oracle, who I'd recently taught the Electric-type Charge Beam attack from a TM I acquired back on Route 5. My quest took me further downstream, and before I even knew what was happening, I'd passed under the Brooklet Hill trial archway! It started raining, and Lana caught up with me to tell me that my trial had now officially begun. In order to pass and earn a new Z Crystal, I would need to take on the real cause of the mysterious splashing - an entire school of Wishiwashi! Feeling more than a little nervous, I healed up Oracle with a couple of Potions, hopped back on Lapras, and made my way into the very centre of Brooklet Hill.

Based on the Wishiwashi I'd encountered in the moments leading up to this trial, I'd expected to be fighting a lot of small but weak Pokémon - a test of stamina, but not really of power. How wrong I was. What I didn't know about Wishiwashi is that when they swim in schools, they synchronise to the point where they all behave as one giant fish. That means they can hit hard, and take a lot of punishment, as I found out the hard way. I came very close to losing Oracle at one point in the battle, when it looked like he was going to be overpowered by the Wishiwashi's collective Water Gun. Then at the critical moment, I had a brainwave. I instructed Oracle to use Disable, crippling the Wishiwashi by rendering them unable to use their most powerful attack. The Disable bought me enough time to heal Oracle and unleash a critical Charge Beam attack, dispersing the Wishiwashi and bringing an end to the splashing and the storm.

As we paddled back to shore, Lana came to meet us at the water's edge. She congratulated me and my Pokémon for passing her trial, and presented us with a new Z Crystal as our reward. I've heard people say that this is one of three trials on Akala Island, the other two being centred on Fire- and Grass-type Pokémon. I'm particularly relived to have this one out of the way, since choosing Scorch all the way back in Iki Town put us at a natural disadvantage against Water-types. In addition to the Waterium Z, Lana gifted me with a Fishing Rod, allowing me to fish for my own Water-type Pokémon along the island coastlines. I thought about trying it out there and then in Brooklet Hill, but instead decided to head back to the nearby Pokémon Center to rest and recover.

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I slept in again the next day. I still hadn't heard from Hau at all, so I figured the best thing to do would be to keep pressing on with my journey. My Rotom Dex hinted that our next port of call was Wela Volcano Park, off to the east. To get there, I'd have to travel south on Route 6, then cut east through the Royal Avenue to Route 7. With my Pokémon at my side and a fresh stash of Potions and Poké Balls in my bag, I set out to the south. Arriving on Route 6 I was met by a couple of Sudowoodo blocking the road. I was beginning to lament not bringing by Squirtbottle with me, when a nearby trainer suggested I should show them my Waterium Z. The Rock-type Pokémon must have taken this as some kind of threat, because as soon as I flashed my new Z Crystal they uprooted and disappeared back into the tall grass, leaving me free to explore Route 6 at my leisure. On my way south I met a handful of trainers in battle, and finally managed to get my hands on Alola's national rodent - a Yungoos who I've decided to name Sherlock. He's keeping Bolete and all my other reserves company in the PC right now.

Near the south end of Route 6 I encountered a young girl accompanied by a huge Mudsdale. She introduced herself as Hapu, and explained that she was on the look-out for Pokémon thieves. I didn't have a chance to wonder who they might be before they appeared - the two members of Team Skull that keep crossing my path, and this time one of them had a struggling Drifloon under their arm. The memories of my poor Zeppelin came flooding back, and suddenly I saw red. I called on The Ooze and surrounded them with Poison Gas, forcing them to flee and leaving the Drifloon behind. Hapu thanked me for stepping in to rescue the Drifloon, which floated off in the direction of Royal Avenue in search of its trainer. Before she left with Mudsdale, Hapu suggested that I should consider taking part in a Battle Royal before I press on with my island challenge. Curious, I changed direction to the east and set off towards Royal Avenue myself.

I arrived outside the Battle Royal Dome just after midday, and was considering going to the nearby Thrifty Megamart to grab some lunch when I heard a familiar voice coming from the Dome's entrance. I looked over to see Gladion, the blond guy who'd given Hau and I some trouble back on Route 5, making his way into the Dome. Curiosity got the better of my hunger, and I followed him in. Inside the Dome I was reunited not only with Gladion, but also with Hau! Before I could ask him what had happened back at Brooklet Hill, we were interrupted by the appearance of a man in a Luchador mask calling himself 'The Masked Royal'. He dragged Hau, Gladion and myself into the arena and challenged us to my first Battle Royal. Knowing defence would be important against three potential attackers, I sent in my bulkiest Pokémon, The Ooze. Thankfully she withstood the attacks from Gladion's Type: Null, Hau's Dartrix, and The Masked Royal's Rockruff, coming out on top in the four-way fight.

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As we made our way out of the arena and back into the foyer, Hau and I were stopped by a heated-looking young man. He introduced himself as Kiawe, the captain of the Fire-type trial at Wela Volcano Park! He complimented us on our battling skills, and said that he was looking forward to seeing us take part in his trial. When we turned back, Gladion had gone, leaving only The Masked Royal (who, now that I think about it, looked and sounded a lot like Professor Kukui) to say goodbye to. After a quick rest at the nearby Pokémon Center, I headed out onto Route 7 in the direction of Wela Volcano Park. This route skirts Akala's east coast, making it the perfect opportunity for me to test out my new Fishing Rod. Unfortunately there weren't many bites to be had. The only thing I was able to reel in was a Magikarp, which I've named Leviathan. Given the upcoming trial is supposedly focused on Fire-types, I've decided to keep Leviathan in the team, returning Oracle to the PC for the time being.

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By this time it was getting late, so I made my way back to the Pokémon Center on Royal Avenue to rest for the night. I woke up the next morning (this morning, in fact) determined to put Leviathan through her paces with some rigorous training. We started out on Route 7, and when the Pokémon there stopped biting, we moved just inside the entrance to Wela Volcano Park. I managed to catch a Kangaskhan here, who I've named Ruby. I know I should be more excited, since Kangaskhan are so rare back in Kanto, but I'm struggling to get worked up about it. When Mom said she wanted to move to Alola, a big part of that was her desire to meet new and interesting kinds of Pokémon. Instead, all I seem to be catching are the same kinds of Pokémon I'd be meeting if I'd stayed at home. Hopefully things will start to turn around soon, but right now it doesn't feel like Alola is living up to its reputation as a unique ecosystem for all sorts of weird and wonderful Pokémon.

Apparently Kangaskhan aren't the only things dwelling in Wela Volcano Park though. Not long after catching Ruby I ran into a fiery Salandit, which almost decimated my team of Pokémon with its powerful Dragon Rage attacks. After this I relocated to Route 6 and continued training there. It took most of the day, but eventually Leviathan reached evolution point and became a full-fledged Gyarados. I've taught her Scald from a TM I picked up back in Brooklet Hill, which I'm hoping will be a good starting point in seeing us through Kiawe's trial. I wish I had a bit more Water-type coverage, but I have faith in Leviathan. I'm writing this from the Pokémon Center on Royal Avenue, where I'm about to turn in for the night. Tomorrow I'm going to head straight for Wela Volcano Park and take on Kiawe's trial. Hopefully the next time I write in here, I'll be doing so with another Z Crystal under my belt. Until next time Diary, Alola!

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Current playtime: 20:46 - Deaths: 1
Current playtime: 20:46 - Deaths: 1

Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to this one folks. I've been a bit caught up in other stuff over the last couple of weeks, between making some decent headway in Grandia, pumping time into 100%-ing LEGO Star Wars, and establishing the new Backlogbook blog series (the next instalment of which will be up at some point tomorrow). To be honest I'm really starting to regret playing by Nuzlocke rules with this game, since it seems to be locking me out from using most of the new (and therefore the most exciting) Pokémon in favour of a lot of well-worn first-generation alternatives. But we're five chapters into this series, so it would be pretty defeatist of me to abandon the ruleset now.

My plan going forward is to put chapters of the Pokémon Sun Nuzlocke Challenge up on a weekly basis (or possibly fortnightly at times, depending on how much progress I make) on Saturdays or Sundays, with The Backlogbook retaining its Monday slot for the remainder of the year. It's kind of nice to be back on a regular, more productive blogging schedule. Having discipline here makes it slightly easier to transfer that discipline into other aspects of my life, and while this probably isn't the right space to be discussing it, discipline is something I'm going to be needing a fair amount of throughout 2017 if I'm going to end up where I want to be by the end of the year. And on that cryptic note, I'm going to take my leave from this blog post. As always, thanks very much for reading, and I hope you've enjoyed this latest instalment in our Alolan adventure. Until next time, take care, and I'll see you around.

Daniel

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Currently playing - Pokémon Sun (3DS)

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