Pokémon Sun Nuzlocke Challenge - Chapter Six

Hey folks, and welcome to the sixth chapter of my Pokémon Sun Nuzlocke Challenge, a series of blogs chronicling my efforts to play through the latest release in the popular Pokémon series with a self-imposed Nuzlocke ruleset and no idea what to expect around every corner. If you're new to the series, or you've missed any of the previous chapters, you can find them linked in the handy-dandy table below (yep, we've finally got enough chapters to warrant a table). I recommend reading the blogs in order, since they form a continuous narrative.

Chapter OneChapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter FourChapter Five

If you're all caught up, then we've got one heck of a chapter in store for you this week. We complete our circuit of Akala Island and take on two more trials, but not without loss as another of our roster of pocket monsters joins Zeppelin the Drifloon in Pokéaven. Who will it be? Read on and find out!

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Chapter Six - Wela Begun Is Half Done

Alola, Diary! As usual, a lot has happened since my last entry. We've made a ton of progress, completing our lap of Akala Island and taking on two more trial captains along the way. Sadly it's not all been good news, though. The team has suffered another loss, and it's a difficult one to come to terms with. Maybe it's best if I pick up where we left off, and continue from there.

You might remember that last time I wrote, I was just about to head into Wela Volcano Park and attempt to beat captain Kiawe's trial there. I set off at daybreak and found climbing the volcano to be more difficult than I'd expected it to be. I pushed on though, battling a number of tough trainers on my way up the mountainside. At one point I took some time out from my ascent to just take in the atmosphere and environment around me. For the first time in a while, I got out my Rotom Dex and played with its Poké Finder function. I managed to get some cool pictures of a Fletchling flying around the mountaintop, and I can't wait to show them to Hau and Lillie the next time I see them both.

I finally reached the peak of Wela Volcano Park a little after lunchtime. I was starving, and so were my Pokémon, so we stopped and shared a Big Malasada before catching up with Kiawe and officially starting our next trial. Kiawe had command of a troupe of Alolan Marowak, who were all dancing around the volcano's crater and spinning their flaming bone clubs like batons. My trial from Kiawe was to watch these dancing Marowak, paying close attention to their movements and identifying anything out of the ordinary in their routines. To be honest I think Kiawe was having a joke at my expense in some way, because the differences were pretty obvious - he even got a Hiker to photobomb one of the dances!

During the final dance, the Totem Pokémon for the trial area appeared - a huge Salazzle, its scales glistening in the afternoon sun. The final trial battle began, starting with Leviathan, the Gyarados that I'd trained from a Magikarp specifically for this trial. We went in hard with Scald attacks, but the Salazzle managed to withstand the water better than I'd expected and quickly turned the tide by inflicting Leviathan with Poison. Desperate to re-level the playing field, I sent out L'Oréal, thinking that her Steel typing would resist all of the Totem Pokémon's Poison-type attacks. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that Steel doesn't resist Fire, and a single well-placed Flame Burst cut right through her defences and snuffed her out. Knowing I would need to wait to grieve for L'Oréal, I sent out The Ooze to tank the Salazzle's onslaught while I patched up Leviathan. When she was ready to go, I sent her out and took down the Salazzle with one final Scald. We were victorious, but we'd lost another friend in the process.

When the trial was over, Kiawe came down from his pedestal and put one arm around my shoulders to comfort me. I could feel the tears fighting to escape but I bit my tongue and held them back, rising from my knees to stand beside the trial captain. In his free hand he was holding a Z Crystal, a Firium Z, which he gave to me as proof of completing his trial. He also handed me another token for my Ride Pager, allowing me to call on his Charizard to fly me between the islands of Alola. He told me that the Charizard would be able to take me back to anywhere I'd previously been. Then, in a slightly more hushed voice, he suggested that I should go back to Melemele Island and lay L'Oréal to rest at the Hau'oli Cemetery. Cradling my dear departed Diglett in my arms, I thanked him and began to descend the mountain. By now it was evening and the sun was beginning to dip below the horizon, so I made the decision to spend the night at the Pokémon Center on Royal Avenue.

The next morning I got into my riding gear and summoned Kiawe's Charizard to fly me back to Hau'oli City. I brought Scorch, Feathers, The Ooze, Tinkerbell and Leviathan with me, and together we picked out a nice spot in the cemetery to bury L'Oréal, near Zeppelin's grave. When the ceremony was over and we'd all said our goodbyes, we headed back into the city. I thought about continuing on with five Pokémon for a while, but instead decided to recruit my Mudbray Troy to the team, ensuring we still had that important Ground-type coverage going forward. Before Charizard flew us back, I decided to pay a quick visit to Kala'e Bay and give my new Fishing Rod another outing. I got a few bites, including some Magikarp and a single Finneon, but I didn't manage to catch anything sadly.

Back on Akala Island, I resolved to keep making forward progress. It would have been easy to sit and mope about the loss of L'Oréal, but I know that's not what she would want me to do, and I owe it to the memory of both her and Zeppelin to keep forging my way forward on this island challenge. From Royal Avenue we headed northeast to Route 7, and from there we went north through the captain's gate to Route 8. I'd barely set foot on this new route when my path crossed with an unusually dressed man. He introduced himself as Colress, a scientist from the Unova region. Noticing I was taking part in the island challenge, he wished me luck for my next trial at Lush Jungle, and gave me a Flame Charge TM which he assured me would be useful in my next trial. I considered using it, but Scorch had already learned the superior Fire Fang move, so I tossed it into my bag instead.

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A little further along Route 8, I was ambushed by a lone male Salandit. I was able to subdue him with a Bite from Scorch, and managed to catch him and add him to my roster. I've named him Nox and I'm really excited to have him along on our journey, although I'm a little disappointed that he's male (my Rotom Dex says that only female Salandit can evolve into Salazzle). From there the rest of our journey along Route 8 was pretty routine - we battled a few trainers, honing our battle skills in the process, and made it to the far end of the trail just as the sun was setting on another day. Conveniently, a Pokémon Center is placed between Route 8 and Lush Jungle, so I booked a room and gave my Pokémon in to rest while I stayed the night, knowing the next day would bring with it another test of our collective strength and resolve.

The next morning, which was this morning in fact, my team and I set off into Lush Jungle. We were met just inside the entrance by captain Mallow, who'd greeted us with Olivia when we first arrived on Akala Island. The trial that she set for us was again a little bit different from the others - she tasked us with scouring the jungle to seek out four ingredients - a Tiny Mushroom, a Miracle Seed, a Mago Berry, and a Revival Herb. I pulled on my ride gear again and summoned Stoutland this time, hoping that its super-sleuth nose would lead me in the right directions. Sure enough, it was able to sniff out all the items I needed. When I returned to Mallow with the ingredients, she was accompanied by Lana and Kiawe, and together we mixed the ingredients to create a 'Mallow Special', the captain's signature dish. The scent wafting up from the bowl was incredible, but unfortunately, we weren't the only ones to think so.

An enormous Lurantis, the Totem Pokémon of Lush Jungle, appeared from between the trees. Mallow explained that this was my real trial - now that we'd summoned the creature, I would have to take it out to prove myself. I started the battle with Tinkerbell, but my Cutiefly's attacks weren't making a dent in the Mantis Pokémon's armour. I tried switching to Scorch, but the Lurantis' relentless attacks wouldn't let me build up enough strength to fire off his Inferno Overdrive Z Move. I ended up resorting to a combination of attacks from The Ooze and Feathers, chipping away at its HP reserves before finally taking it down with a clinic Acrobatics attack from the latter. I smiled and brushed a tear from my cheek, silently thinking "That one was for you, L'Oréal." As the fight ended, Tinkerbell began to glow, then was surrounded by a blinding burst of light. When she emerged, she wasn't a Cutiefly any more, but had evolved into a full-fledged Ribombee.

After the battle, Mallow, Kiawe, Lana and I finished what was left of the Mallow Special. Mallow then presented me with another new Z Crystal, a Grassium Z which would enable me to use Grass-type Z Moves. As the captains and I left the jungle, I was greeted by a familiar face - Professor Kukui! He'd heard I was taking on the final captain's trial on Akala Island and had come to cheer me on, but he arrived just too late. By way of reward he gave me a new TM for a never-miss move called Smart Strike, and recommended I head back to Heahea City to visit the Dimensional Research Lab there. Beyond that, I guess my next task is to take on Olivia for the island's Grand Trial. Kukui tipped me off that she uses Rock-type Pokémon, so I'm sure that Leviathan and Troy are going to feature heavily in that battle.

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Just as we were leaving Lush Jungle, I was drawn back in by a rustle from a nearby bush. Upon investigation, it turned out to be a cute little Bonsly, the pre-evolution of Sudowoodo. I'm not sure if he'd managed to get separated from his family (what do you suppose you call a group of Sudowoodo? An 'orchard', maybe?), but he practically hopped into one of my spare Poké Balls when I offered it. I've named him Arbor, and he's currently resting up with my other Pokémon here at the Lush Jungle Pokémon Center, but I'll be adding him to my PC roster in the morning. Tomorrow we'll be setting off back down Route 5 towards Heahea City. I sense I'm not going to be here on Akala Island for much longer, and while I'll be sad to go, I'm also really excited to find out what the rest of Alola has to offer. Until next time Diary, Alola!

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So that's where we're at - two more trials down, one more death to mourn, and presumably a very difficult challenge on its way. I have to admit, this section of the game has been the most fun for me so far. Maybe that's because it feels like we're finally getting stuff done at a decent clip, and the game feels like it's starting to take the stabilisers off and show its real hand. I hope that trend continues the further we get through this (and a few more of the new Pokémon wouldn't go amiss, either). It sucks we've lost Alolan Diglett, but at the same time, it's made space on our team for one of Alola's new additions in the form of Mudbray. Here's hoping that little guy can survive long enough to evolve, because Mudsdale is one of my favourite seventh-generation designs and I'd really like to have one on the team. Anyways, thanks very much for reading folks. Join me next week for another chapter of the Pokémon Sun Nuzlocke Challenge. Take care, and I'll see you around.

Daniel

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Currently playing - Pokémon Sun (3DS)

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