Episode 3 – Destiny can really bug you out sometimes.

Can’t just be an easy life, can it? Always someone in the way…

After the long walk back to Santalune City, I decided to explore a little, try and find the “Gym” people want me to face down. The symbol outside of this building looks all official and stuff, and someones stood outside of it so it’s likely a good shout.

Because everyone can skate apparently #nobalancesquad

No, should I?

The enthusiasm in this game is relentless

Not particularly but you’re not going to let me say no, are you? Oh well, let’s make this quick…

And quick it was. Phantump made short work of that battle, I can’t even remember what it was I fought!

I wouldn’t quite go that far, I’ve had my share of losses… and I will exact my revenge on Shauna for making my Shadow fall…

“Thank you for the roller skates, and for the compliment.” was my response instead

I’d best press on, and in.

Pokémon Gym or Art Gallery?

A Gallery? Guess my assumption was wrong. Not bad artworks though, imagine if Metapod and Butterfree were so small. They’re quite cute as they are.

Seriously look at the scale here. Metapod is ~70cm and Butterfree’s height is ~1.10m officially.

After briefly observing the art here, I talk to Louis at the front and see if he knows where the Gym and Viola can be found. He chuckles, welcomes me to the Gym Challenge and points me to the pole in the middle, warning me I will not be able to leave the challenge once I’ve started it.

I actually really like this gym design.

Great. A giant spider web. Which can only mean there’s a giant spider pokémon somewhere. Let’s have at it then and see if we can find Viola.

The first person we stumble across informs us that we must first beat all of Viola’s apprentices before we can challenge her, and directly challenges us. Time for Stumpy to make a show of these bugs.

Battle 1 went quite well. It was also here I learned I did a boo-boo…

Ledyba was quickly removed from a combination of Growth and Tackle. Onwards we go, with Shadow and Stumpy at my side we will show no mercy against those here who challenge us.

Spewpa can get in the bin.

I think this trainer must have heard my pep-talk. Spewpa was commanded to use Harden consistently, a move that prevents Tackle dealing as much damage. So, in turn, I command Stumpy to use Growth – for each increasing of its physical defences, Stumpy grew in size and mass, ensuring that Spewpa’s thickened skin would be no match for the inevitable crushing force.

Seriously it did this all 6 times.

Eventually, it was defeated. Stumpy requested a rest as such a growth spurt is incredibly tiring. I am of course, glad to oblige. Shadow was beginning to become restless and wanted to try her own strength against these bugs.

Shadow has always been my protector, now it seems she wants to ensure we succeed in the task that has been forced upon us.

Lick it into oblivion. Seriously Psywave does nothing here.
#SaveTheBees

Hardly a fitting challenge for my Shadow, it fired the occasional poisonous barb at her and that was it. The Combee that followed seemed to be a minor annoyance to her at best. The two seemed to be enough for her, however, as Shadow fixed me with a grin and informed me to let her do her thing in the next battle, as she had gained knowledge of an ancient curse.

Seriously this move is amazing and underrated. It’s one of my favourite moves in the games!

The apprentices defeated, the dewdrops shaken from the web, I approached this tent. The last person here, surely it had to be the Viola I’d heard so much about.

She’s a photographer, not a painter…

Seems those images up top were actually photographs. That’s some amazing forced perspective work.

“Yes, though admittedly it hasn’t been much of a challenge so far. I’d rather not take on this challenge and simply pass on to the next town, however, one of your cronies appears to be blocking the exit.”

“Have you never seen ghost-type Pokémon before?”

Rude.

“Fine, a battle it is. Shadow, Stumpy, let’s go!”

I actually love gym battles.

First out is a Surskit. She’s quickly covered in whatever ectoplasm Shadow secrets from her tongue and puts up a small struggle.

Spotted the mistake yet?

Shadow turns and gives me a wink, before summoning what seems to be a giant nail that impales her?!

I am actually disappointed in the graphics for Curse. It could’ve been so much cooler.

As I looked on stunned, I saw another nail driving itself into the Vivillion, seemingly causing it harm.

The curse mechanic is it deals 1/2 of your max health to deal 1/5 of their max health as damage every turn. Supposedly it’s 1/4 but look at the health bar.

Shadow continued to grin despite looking hurt by its shenanigans. I grabbed a Potion from my bag and sprayed Shadow with it, hoping it would help. After each and every movement made by Shadow, that nail manifested again, driving itself deeper and deeper into Vivillion as each Lick administered seemed to make it harder for it to flap its wings. I commanded Shadow to stop just as the nail finally drove itself fully into its target, causing it to drop to the floor lifeless.

I looked up to Viola who recalled her Pokémon back into its ball, grinning at me. These people truly know no mercy, her so-called friend has just fallen in battle and she’s grinning like a Cheshire cat.

She compliments my ability to fight in a battle before realising I wasn’t the one actually doing any fighting.

I get this is meant to be a feel-good vibe, but I’m not feeling it.

I am presented with the Bug Badge, which apparently forces some pokémon to obey me and recognise my strength as greater than theirs. I’m also gifted a Technical Machine that can teach a pokémon how to use a move contained within it. This one is apparently Infestation. After a brief “motivational” speech, I’m instructed of the exit to the area in loosely coded camera terminology and make my exit.

More enthusiasm.

Louis comes up to me as I exit from behind the strange Butterfree photo, hails me as the future champion and wishes me well on the journey ahead.

Bug Badge obtained!

Authors note: So turns out these two pokémon have the wrong trainer ID on them and are behaving like traded pokémon. I have fixed this as of Episode 5, so for now, enjoy exp boosted shenanigans.