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nuzlocke Ultra Calamity - A Pokemon Ultra Moon Nuzlocke: Episode 1 - Ultra Beginnings

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Yes, every episode title is going to have Ultra somewhere in it.  So, like with Episode 0, this was written several weeks earlier, so by this time, I'm already about halfway through the main story.  As with the first and pretty much every episode, I originally posted this on a site where I believe not many people have too much general knowledge on Pokemon, so please excuse me if my long winded explaining gets a little grating on the eyes.  Without further delay, let us begin.


You know, to be honest, I'm sort of worried.  I remember some details of how my casual playthrough went, and since we're doing a nuzlocke, I can't abuse revives on the more annoying lategame battles and postgame if we do it.  Well, this is the hole I dug.  Can't complain about it now, so let's get it started.

So naturally, I'm gonna play in English...because I'm American and I can only read and understand English fluently.  And now, somehow, the Alola region's professor has my number.  Seems legit.  He gives the usual opening game speech of "oh hey, welcome to the region, Pokemon, fun stuff."  You know, things like that.  Anyway, once he finishes the first half of his ramble marathon, it's trainer selection time.  Naturally, I'm going to use the female character because Nintendo has this habit of giving the female character the vastly superior customization options...and I like the Vacation Hat.  So yeah, we're doing it.

After that, Kukui goes on about Trop Kick or something, and we're on our way...is what I would say if there wasn't another cutscene right after at some place we aren't going to visit for a good half of the game, so the major details aren't important.  The important part is big chase scene, bags, and teleportation.  Oh, and people who weren't in the original games.  Then cue game title and three month time skip.

Gotta love that 12 hour time difference Ultra Moon has to real time.  It's nighttime in my game, my 3DS time is an hour ahead because I'm too lazy to change it, and it's 6 AM when I'm typing this.  So we get an intro to our mom, who will probably never unpack those dang boxes then get verbally assaulted by her Meowth.  Fun fact, it's a Kanto Meowth, not the variety will be seeing in the region.

Another fun fact, Vacation Hat as starting female character hat is vastly superior to that stupid chicken hat you got in the original games.  So after a little totally not tutorial talk with mom, we can go get our stuff and do some exploring.  I honestly just realized there's a Snorlax cushion in the main character's room.  Goes to show you how much I pay attention.  We get a warning about not walking in the tall grass (what is this, Sinnoh?) and we're on our way to Iki Town.

So up to Route 1 and without even walking into the grass ourselves, a thing comes.  A Yungoos, or as some people like to call it, mini Donald Trump.  I'm gonna keep any political comments out of this, but before this wild Yungoos can destroy our main character thirty ways to Thursday, our starter options come to the rescue and, I guess yell at him or something.  Hell if I know.  Whatever they did, it worked, and now Mr. "I don't wear a shirt and I'm a professor" shows up, AKA Kukui.  I prefer to call him the Sun Nuzlocke Cucklord, but for the sake of argument, I will from this point forth just call him by name.

He's going to give another speech and introduce our starter choices to us.  I won't always go super in depth here, but you never know if someone's following along who's playing these as their first Pokemon games, so I'd like to at least be a little informative instead of just blathering on for episodes on end.

So first up is Rowlet.  This Grass/Flying type eventually swaps it's Flying typing out for Ghost type, which can be useful long term if that's your path.  Unfortunately, it has good moves that don't come until you're around Lv. 45 outside it's signature move when it hits it's final evolution at 34.  Ultra Sun and Moon also gave it access to another priority move outside of one it gets at Lv. 38, but it's only available through a move relearner.  It'll be very weak to Ice for a while, but Ice is an uncommon type until mid to lategame.

Next is Litten, the only starter I never used.  Starts as a pure Fire type and then gains a Dark typing at it's final evolution.  It can learn Leech Life in this game, which got a massive buff from how bad it used to be.  This buff, however, leads to the Zubat line learning it later than at start.  If you want my honest opinion, this thing is going to suck for a while.  Weak to Water, a type that is very threatening pretty early, and it's early level movepool leaves a lot to be desired, especially since this game has a bad habit of locking out good Technical Machines behind postgame.  It's got potential, I guess, if you stick with it.  Not sure how it can do long term since I've never used it.

And then you got my personal favorite of this trio, Popplio.  I've used this thing in both my Moon and Ultra Sun casual runs.  When it reaches it's final evolution, it gets the addition of the Fairy type and eventual access to Moonblast.  However, I can't mindlessly sing praises about it's final evolution.  It's slow and can't handle physical attacks well.  Along with that, it's range of viable moves is...limited, for lack of a better term.  By the end of the game, you'll likely be running Moonblast, Ice Beam, a Water move like Scald, and your choice of Psychic, Energy Ball, or Shadow Ball.  It can slay dragons, but you need to avoid heavy physical hitters and strong Poison types who can swallow a hit.

Now, it's time for the moment of truth.  We get to choose one of these three as our starter.  To be honest, I thought over what I wanted to use ahead of time, and despite my earlier complaints, I may be digging a hole for this locke, but I have plans to use Litten as my starter.  Litten is the only Alola starter I've never used, and this is a prime chance for me to give it a try and see if it doesn't suck as much as I assume it does because of it's weak starting movepool.  Now let's just hope my game doesn't crash because I don't have the update installed and there's a bug where the game apparently crashes if you pick Litten.

We're in there, boys!  No crashes here.  So we got ourselves a male Litten because the gender ratio for starters is always pushed farther towards males even though a couple of starters should have a higher female ratio (Chikorita, Fennekin, Popplio).  Anyway, I'm gonna go with a Crash Bandicoot reference and nickname this Litten here Tiny.  You know, like Tiny Tiger.  Big guy, not very bright.  You know how it is.  Now let's have Kukui go on about how Tiny here is a gift from "the island kahuna."  To be honest, every time I hear the word kahuna, my mind immediately thinks of that one Scooby-Doo movie that took place in Hawaii.

Upon a single Google search, I found out the movie was called Aloha, Scooby-Doo.  Check it out if you got a couple of hours to kill and can find it on DVD or somewhere on the internet.  So before we go past the single round of tall grass to Iki Town, let's take a look at Tiny.  I have a curse of getting awful natures on my team members, so let's hope it's sunshine and rainbows for now.

...Quiet nature.  Less speed for more Special Attack.  For those who aren't sure what I'm talking about, it's bad.  It means that there will be chances that things can outspeed Tiny when normally, they shouldn't because he'll end up with overall lower Speed.  Welp, this is going off to a fantastic start.  But of course, we can't go to a town without some kid  showing up and talking to us.  At least he tells us his name is Hau after asking some stranger what Pokemon she's going to pick from Kukui.  Kinda sucks he was too late to the draw.  Now, any smart person would pick the Water starter knowing I have a Fire type.  Not Hau, though.  He's a special kind of kid who chooses to pick starters that mine can just obliterate in no time flat.  On another note, I swear this kid doesn't stop smiling.

And even after all of this, he wants to battle.  How cute.  He's doomed, so I don't think I need to explain how this is going to go.  We go to Fight, click Ember, watch Rowlet's HP decrease.  Rinse and repeat until I win.  His battle music is pretty ok, though.  Give it a listen if you want.

But it turns out that as a counter to getting a bad nature on Tiny, I just crush Hau's dreams even more by getting a burn on Rowlet turn 1 with Ember.  I said I was gonna destroy him, but geez, Tiny, it's the first trainer battle in the game, it's not that serious.  Anyway, apparently it's a universal law in the world of Pokemon that your opponents must give you their money when they lose.  I mean, I'm not complaining.  Money is money, right?  Anyway, Hau isn't the least bit sad after I just slaughtered his Rowlet, so let's slide on into Iki Town.

More like a village than a town.  There's only like, four houses.  Whatever, let's blow this town and go find a fun thing to do, like seeing guardian deities.  However, instead, we spot a girl who has something that spawned a meme, so she's instantly fine in my book.  Anyway, this is one of those rare earlygame differences from the original game.  The thing in the girl's bag is going to get out and go on the bridge while some Spearow conveniently show up and fly around it like jerks.  You didn't have a Pokemon yet in the original games, but this time, Tiny can show these Spearow how we did it back in Kanto even though Johto is the-

Damn this creaky old bridge!  Couldn't even take an explosion.  Luckily, some weird chicken Pokemon thing saved my character's life before she probably got killed by strong rapids.  Then again, this is an E rated game.  Only Gen 1 and X and Y were able to get away with talking about death and genocide respectively.  That's not the point, though.  The bridge is out, so it looks like we're not meeting with any deities today...or at all until postgame.  Although the girl, Lillie, hands over a Sparking Stone that is going to become an item I'm not allowed to use.  Anyway, after being sworn to secrecy about Nebby, who always gets out of the bag, let's go back to Iki Town.

I find it funny that Lillie thinks wild Pokemon will attack on a path where you can't run into any Pokemon.  She's so paranoid.  Apparently, this girl, who isn't a trainer and has a weird Pokemon who is also a meme, is Kukui's assistant.  Bro, you should honestly reconsider your choices in assistants.  With that little chat done, the guy we were waiting for, Kahuna Hala is here.  I swear, this game has tons of dialogue I would love to skip, just like the upcoming "forced tutorials because you clearly haven't played these games for almost 20 years."  Rambling aside, we get a Pokedex, which I am already dreading for reasons to be explained later, and an item that I don't need to explain.  On another note, Hala gets that Sparkling Stone because the chicken thing, Tapu Koko, left it behind, and we sure as hell can't do anything with it right now.  Nebby needs to learn how to stay in the bag, though.

So, skip back to home, where the grand Tiny vs. Mom's Meowth meetup takes place.  They're both cats...in a sense, so they should get along well.  I don't know.  I'm a dog person.  Dogs aside, we get our third free heal in the past hour of gameplay, and Kukui is walking inside without permission.  Dude, I know that the main character is allowed to do that, but just because you're not wearing a shirt under that lab coat doesn't give you permission to screw the rules too.  And now, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for everyone's favorite segment: learning how to catch a Pokemon for the 50,000th time even though you've been playing these games since Gold and Silver.  Well, at least I have.  Mom isn't going to unpack those boxes.

Tutorial, tutorial, and tutorial later, and now...the time has come.  Kukui has given us Poke Balls, so now the nuzlocke has officially begun.  At any earlier point, if Tiny died somehow in some incident, we'd be fine.  Now, though, if Tiny faints, that's it for him.  Same goes for whatever my Route 1 proper encounter will be, and let's pray it's something amazing.

Grubbin.  This is both a meh and a very bad encounter.  Early game Bug type with no real redeeming qualities until it gets close to evolution.  Luckily, it's an early game Bug type, so it evolves fairly early.  The very bad news is that it's final evolution is absolutely unavailable...until the fourth island.  I'll be running around with a semi average Bug/Electric type until lategame, and by then, he'll fall behind.  Gotta take what you can get in earlygame, though.

So, nicknames.  It's a Bug type that eventually becomes something that looks fast, but in reality got screwed in terms of base speed.  I'm gonna name him...Spark Plug.  Neutral nature with a currently useless ability because Swarm only affects Bug type moves when you're at low HP.  Welp.  Better than nothing, I guess.  I'm gonna do a little bit of grinding for Spark Plug real quick and I'll be just a moment.

So I just learned that your mom gives you a Poke Ball when you go to heal the first time.  On another note, I'm glad that Spark Plug started at Lv. 4.  I got him up to Lv. 7 so now he has a semi reliable move in the form of Mud-Slap.  It's something, right?  Let's just rush through this route and get to the "festival" in Iki Town.  On the way there, though, there are a couple of weirdos, one with quite the mustache.  They mentioned a Blinding One, but otherwise, a couple of weird people dressed weird.

I just noticed there was a dude walking with an Alolan Exeggutor when you walk into Iki Town.  That's a bit weird.  On another note, there's a real lack of people for a festival, but whatever.  We're going to have another chance to completely blow up Hau's team because a part of this festival is to have people battle to please Tapu Koko.  Whatever floats their boats, I guess.  Unrelated, but Lillie loves to be a contradictory little stizh.  "I don't like to see Pokemon get hurt, but I'll watch a battle where Pokemon are going to get hurt because it's Hau and Ruby."  Nice logic she has there.

For some reason, mom is here too.  It doesn't change how badly I'm going to blow up Hau's team again.  He has a Pichu now...which would be intimidating if I had Popplio, but I don't.  Rowlet is the same song and dance as last time.  Spam Ember and you win.  No turn 1 burn, though, so eh.  After making Hau look like a joke in front of everyone, Hala hands over the Z-Power Ring.  However, I already stated I can't use it, so it's just going to be a nice accessory.  I honestly prefer the Ultra Sun and Moon version over the original game's version...even though it's just a color difference, but whatever.

Now with our island challenge amulet that only me and Hau ever have.  So let's go home and listen to weirdos talk some more about aura and light and the Blinding One.  At least now we know they're the Ultra Recon Squad.  Once again, though, mom hasn't done a thing with those boxes.  Instead, she's going to sleep and we get our fifth free heal in the span of an hour or so of gameplay.

On the next in game day, though, we get someone at the door who knows proper respect.  Then again, all she came to say was that the professor wants to see us.  Mom slides us over some money because destroying people's Pokemon and taking their money just isn't enough.  Lillie says a very foreshadowy line and we're on our way.

So Route 1 is one of Alola's rare examples of being split into segments.  We're going into Hau'oli Outskirts, another place with encounters for the catching.  Although, my encounter is something I used in my Sun Nuzlocke and it lasted me to the very end.  A Slowpoke.  Naturally, I'm going to name him Master Derp.

On a very unrelated note, I have not saved my game once yet and my 3DS fell off my desk while I was typing.  Lucky for me, it didn't freeze because I'm using a digital copy of Ultra Moon.  Master Derp on the other hand is actually pretty good.  He doesn't really need Speed, so Sassy nature doesn't hurt much.  In fact, it's pretty helpful.  His moves do leave a little to be desired, though.  That will change with time, but for now, let's pay a visit to my least favorite shirtless professor.  I promise this will be the last time I mention that for a while.

The lab is a little...beaten up.  Speaking of beating up, it sounds like Kukui is getting beaten up by his Rockruff inside.  His body is ready.  Lillie proves once again that she's a terrible assistant who's just living in the loft in Kukui's lab and we take a look inside.  To be fair, he's got a nice place.  Now, here comes the part where our Pokedex gets the ability to talk.  No, I'm serious.  A Rotom lives in it (even though you can't catch a Rotom in Alola) and now it can talk because Kukui fixed the dex up.  If memory serves, the first thing it says is something along the lines of "hands off the goods."  A shame they replaced that and another line that comes up not very far from here.  Oh, we get a map too, so that's cool.

Now we have no choice but to go to the Trainer's School for tutorials nobody cares about.  All I care about over there is my encounter...and who turned out the lights for a sec?  That was a bit weird.  Whatever.  To the Trainer's School for an encounter!

However, on the way, we have to get our resident Pokemon Center tutorial.  I honestly did need a heal, though, so I had to go in either way.  Now, with that out of the way, we interrupt your short stroll to the Trainer's School for a Tauros roadblock.  Gotta love how they need to find ways to make the path as linear as possible.

So, let's cut to the chase here.  Trainer's School is a place for forced tutorials, but we also get one of the most overpowered items in the entire game.  This item is the Exp. Share, and this thing will make my life a little easier with level grinding.  Speaking of levels, let's go score ourselves an encounter.

Meowth.  The Alolan variety.  I used an Alolan Persian in my casual Moon run, but it kinda fell behind due to being frail.  Still, gotta take what we can get.  I'm gonna be unoriginal and give him the same nickname as my old Persian, Class Act.  He's another shining example of "Quiet nature strikes again."  At least Meowth and Persian already have boatloads of Speed to spare.  His Attack is kinda trash and he has no special attacks to take advantage of.  Raising him up is going to be a pain.

Anyway, we're gonna call it there.  I gotta do some grinding to raise up the party's levels so we'll be ready for the challenges ahead.  Suggest nicknames if that's what your heart desires and I'll see you all next time for Trainer's School and the road to our first trial.

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    • NyxAvatar69
      By NyxAvatar69
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      Spooky...I honestly had no faith you would live long.  You get almost no good moves for at least half the game, and you couldn't outspeed a Salazzle.  But, without you sacrificing yourself to Curse the totem, it may have been the end of the locke.  Even in your final moments, you tried to make yourself useful.
      And Class Act, yet another team member I didn't have much faith would last long.  You were our team's speedy, yet classy, cat.  You put the final nail in the totem's coffin, but sadly, it chose to take you to the grave with it.  Rest knowing you did put in a little bit of work.
      Welp, now we're in a spot.  I need to fill three spots, then level them up to around Lv. 24.  Let's think about what we got and who we can put in the team.  First is Tiny.  We already have a major Rock type problem, and that's bad.  The only things I have that won't get totally ruined by Rock is Magneto, Styles, Hex, Amphy, and Watchdog.  Amphy and Magneto share the same Ground weakness too, which is also bad.  At this point, Watchdog is looking like my best choice unless I really want to train Hex up to make him into an Espeon.
      Spark Plug still has a long wait before his evolution, and he really lacks in Speed.  Sadly, so does everything in my PC right now except maybe Buzz Buzz, but it goes back to the Rock weakness problem that is actually very bad at this specific point of the game.  Fire is no issue thanks to having Master Derp.  Speaking of him...
      Ghost, Dark, Bug, Electric, and Grass.  I have next to no solutions for those problems at the moment, which is pretty bad.  Our next trial is Mallow's Grass trial, and the totem there sucks too.  At this point, there are options.  We could go back to Melemele and get the encounter leftover from Kala'e Bay.  There are two static encounters on Melemele, but we can't access them until after Akala's Grand Trial.  This is bad because I need team members to balance out the team right now, not later.  I'll stop ranting and ponder on who I'll use in my own time.  For those who are still pushing through, even if it's a lot of me complaining about bad natures and 69 ways to not get screwed, I really appreciate it.  I may not say it out loud, but know that I do appreciate it.  So, I'll plan out what we're going to use and next time we're going to hit up the next route for, hopefully, something that can help balance out this mess of a team.

    • NyxAvatar69
      By NyxAvatar69
      The torment has yet to begin, but hold your horses, it's coming...very, very soon.
      So I think they lowered the encounter rate for Oricorio in Melemele Meadow, because grinding the team up a bit was honestly more of a pain than usual.  I still managed to get everyone up to Lv. 19, but it honestly took a lot longer than I had hoped.  So, without further delay, we're forced to go to the Alola Photo Club and get a picture taken before we head off to our next destination on our island challenge.  I still think this whole "forced photo club visit" is a total waste of time.  Let's just get it over with.
      So out of all my team members worthy of being in a picture, I had to pick the one who carried us through the Grand Trial.  The man, the myth, the legend...

      Master Derp.  And this is honestly the first time I've gotten a chance to show off my character...who still looks pretty standard for this point of the game because Melemele's apparel shop is lacking in good options.  Whatever, because where we're going, the best clothing item in the game will be able to be bought.  Speaking of which, we should go and see if Kukui and Lillie got the boat ready to go.  I may or may not do more random pictures with the trial MVP, but let's shelf that plan until we get closer to the next trial.
      Or Hau can be lurking outside when we walk out.  Along with that, his Rowlet evolved.  Guess it must've happened after beating Hala...is what I would say, but he didn't actually win...I think.  It's not important.  At the very least, Kukui got the boat ready, but Hau wants to go Mantine Surfing to the next island.  Once he's gone, Lillie goes on about how Nebby's home is far away and she wants to help it, but she's not a trainer, so she's going to mooch off our skills instead.  Welp, now that we got that settled, it's time to go to Big Wave Beach because once again, we're being forced to go there.
      So before we can go to Big Wave Beach so I can talk about it for real, we get interrupted by...a black guy who looks a bit like Professor Oak in a Hawaiian shirt.  He's Samson Oak, because of course, we gotta keep the tree theme going with these professors.  For some ungodly reason, he's looking into the Totem Pokemon.  He's the guy who will exchange your Totem Stickers for a Totem sized version of a Pokemon.  The difference is mainly just cosmetic, so their stats are the same as their normal sized varient and don't get unfair stat buffs turn 1.
      Anyway, Big Wave Beach is one of four locations where you can do Mantine Surfing, yet another mechanic exclusive to Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.  The short version is that, while riding a Mantine, you perform tricks to get points while you make your way to another island.  This first, required run will take you to Akala Island, our next stop, but in order to have access to the other two spots, you need to visit that island first when the story puts you in that direction.  So you might be wondering "what are the points all about, then?  Just for fun?"  Well, yes and no.  You get BP, or Beach Points, at the end of a run.  Sadly, I'm partly sure you can only get a maximum of 10 BP per run depending on your points.  You can use this BP for postgame items that people use in competitive battles, but that's not for a long, long time.  The main purpose would likely to teach moves to your Pokemon or get some items from the people behind the desks.  Only one island doesn't have one of these desk areas, though, and I'll point it out when and if we eventually get there.
      Along with the rest of my tiny ramble, if you can get the high score on all four Mantine Surfing spots, you can score yourself a special Pokemon as a reward.  Let that sink in when you consider whether or not you want to spend some time on Mantine Surfing.  It's fun, but it's very samey to me.  I'll probably only be doing it the once and not care much about it afterwards since I got the reward on my Ultra Sun already.  Without further delay, let's Mantine Surf.
      With about 25,000 points, here we are.  Welcome to Akala Island, or as I like to call it, hell.  Why do I call it hell?  Well, we'll get to that.  I ended up getting the high score first try, but let's be real, it's not hard to smash that first high score.  Now that we got that covered, let's slide into Heahea City, home of the Name Rater and the second best apparel shop in the game in my opinion.  Why is it the second best?  Well, we got story to cover first, then I'll talk about it.  On an unrelated note, my game lagged a bit when Hau came running up the road.  I doubt it's a problem with the digital version, but it was a bit weird to see that.
      Turns out we beat Kukui because his boat is garbage.   Anyway, it turns out someone agrees with me when I say Kukui should put on a shirt already.  Whoops, forgot I wasn't going to talk about that anymore.  Anyway, we got new faces.  Olivia, who is totally not the Big Kahuna of Hanahuna, but the kahuna of Akala Island.  With her is the bringer of my doo-I mean, Mallow, one of three captains.  Yes, there are three trials on Akala Island, and all of them suck.  That's why I said this island is hell earlier.  Let Mallow's little speech about "ingredients" be a bit of foreshadowing for her trial.  It's probably one of my least favorite in the game.  Hau's naturally going to curb his malasada obsession while Lillie goes shopping.  Looks like she and I are on the same wavelength.
      I'm beginning to think Lillie has some kind of window shopping habit.  I mean, sure, I do too, so I can't call it weird, but still.  Does she have other things to do except keep Nebby in the bag?  We're not going to be a Lillie, though.  We're gonna buy something after we listen to her talk about her problems some more.  Apparently, she's suppose to be meeting someone important to her at the Tide Song Hotel.  More foreshadowing, maybe?  Probably, but now, allow me to explode for a second here.  Please excuse me.
      In Moon and Ultra Moon, this apparel shop sells the striped Over-the-Knee Socks.  In my personal opinion, this right here, is one of, if not, the best clothing item in the Gen 7 games ever.  The Flower-Print skirt is also available here too, but another apparel shop towards the end of our Akala Island visit has better skirts there.  I mean, I'm not saying I'm not going to get one, but the ones in the other apparel shop are far better.  And, if you really want it, the stupid chicken hat (it's called the Casual Cap) is sold here too.  It's still garbage and I prefer the Vacation Hat.  Moving on.
      So our next destination is Route 4, where another prime and ready encounter awaits us.  Although, because it's a system that we must be interrupted every twelve seconds by someone or something in this game, a couple of weirdos standing in front of a fountain attack.  I know I call everyone in this game weird, but these are the people I was talking about in my Zygarde rant in Episode 2.  For people who have played X and Y, you can probably tell who they are from a glance.  Dexio and Sina, who I didn't care for much in Gen 6 and I don't care much for them here either.  We're gonna have to battle, though.  If memory serves, who you face depends on the game because if I recall, I faced Dexio during my Ultra Sun casual run.  Anyway, my whole team is Lv. 19.  We already know how this is likely going to go.  Just so I'm being at least slightly detailed, Sina has Ice types.  Smoochum got Bug Bit to death and Tiny blew up Glaceon.  Easy battle.
      Unrelated, but she has a female Glaceon.  I'm jealous because Eevee's gender ratio is leaned more towards males just like with the starters.  She also had a Mega Ring, so I guess they're just handing out Key Stones like candy over in Kalos now.  Kinda wish I could get one now with a Mawilite to sweep the game with Danger Zone, but it's never that simple.  We get a free heal and Full Restore out of the deal, though.  You'd get the Zygarde Cube in the original games, so I think this was a better deal than that abomination.
      Route 4 isn't totally huge, there's a few trainers littered about, and a fun chance for me to score a (hopefully) good encounter.  Considering last episode's awful track record with bad encounters, I'm hoping my luck turned around.  Without further delay, for Route 4, the encounter is...
      Pikipek, also known as this generation generic early bird Pokemon.  For some weird reason, this thing's evolution can learn Rock Blast.  I guess since it gets Skill Link, that's something.  Otherwise, it's Speed is generally terrible.  I named her Toucan Sarah because it's female and it's final evolution reminds me of Toucan Sam.  I swear if you don't know who Toucan Sam is, you either had no childhood or need to go get some Fruit Loops.
      Sadly, no Skill Link for me.  Keen Eye with a nature to increase Defense.  Overall, it appears my curse of bad encounters isn't gone at all yet.  I think it's just getting worse.  Welp, to the box with this one.  Let's race up Route 4 to Panolia Town.  So while blazing through Route 4, Spark Plug evolved at last into Charjabug.  Now we pray for his survival.  In the meantime, while wandering through, there's a place full of Pikachu.  A bit weird, but whatever.  You can score a Pikachu Shirt and cap if you talk to a woman and take an easy quiz.  The answers are easy if you know Pikachu...or use Serebii.  Whatever comes first.  Onward to the town, though!
      You know, this town reminds me of a place you'd see in one of those western showdowns.  I think Nintendo was thinking the same thing, because a few steps in and we have another encounter with everyone's favorite malasada fiend, Hau.  If he's coming to us, it can only mean one thing.  Yup, time for a battle.  Then again, his lead is his totally obvious starter, so Tiny can destroy that with no trouble.  Just be a little careful because now he has a Z-Power Ring too.  So, Dartrix.  Still Grass/Flying.  It shouldn't be that intimidating if you have a Fire type like me.  He still has Pikachu, which is still the same old game, also known as blow it up with a Ground move if you have one.  Our new and improved Spark Plug put it in it's place.
      Now, even though he has a dragon, I have Danger Zone, and Danger Zone can slay dragons while this thing slowly attempts to try hurting Danger Zone...and failing hardcore.  Last but not least, he has an Eevee now, which I'm pretty sure will always end up becoming an evolution that can beat your starter.  For now, it's just an Eevee, so bring those Fighting moves and put it in it's place.  For me, Tiny kicked it in the face a couple of times and it died.  Hau is still no threat at this point of the game.  For our efforts, all we get is a Dire Hit.  It could come in handy because it ignores the Totem's stat boosts if they get Defense or Special Defense boosts.  Once he gives the Jaden Yuki speech, we're on our way again, and our destination is Panolia Ranch, where we can score another encounter.
      On our way up the ranch, we, as usual, get interrupted, by some dude.  One of the captains is here, and it turns out it's Mallow, associating with demon cows we call Miltank.  When you have enough bad experiences with Whitney's Miltank, you learn to hate those things.  Anyway, she gives us a new Pokemon to use for our Ride Pager, a Stoutland.  It's basically an Itemfinder.  Anyway, she tells us her friend Lana is on Route 5 and then runs off.  Let's just get our encounter and be on our way, shall we?
      I got a Mareep!  I like the Mareep line.  The only real problem with this line is their speed.  Most Electric types (except all the ones I've caught so far) are generally pretty fast.  Mareep's line, not so much.  This is another shining example of a Pokemon that has a Mega Evolution when fully evolved, but because you can't use megas in the main story, it's like a middle finger to me.  Other than that, what sucks about this line is that they don't learn Thunderbolt by level up.  I'm still naming it Amphy because I always name my Ampharos after the one in the lighthouse in Gold and Silver.
      Sometimes I feel like throwing my 2DS out a window because of all the bad or absolutely trash natures I get.  Do natures that raise Speed in exchange for a useful stat have to follow me to the ends of Alola?!  Well, on the bright side, there is another static encounter we can get.  However, it's an egg, so it'll be Lv. 1.  It's better than nothing, and it's at the Pokemon Nursery up ahead.  So, I'll be back after the egg hatches.
      My god, that took an eternity.  For our efforts and mindlessly running around in a circle on Tauros for about five minutes, we get an Eevee.  This thing gets a bunch of different evolutions, so I have no idea what I'll eventually evolve it into.  For now, I'm name him Hex...because options?  I don't know.  I really can't think of anything at the moment because of the choices.  For now, he's going in the PC since he's Lv. 1.  Let's just make our way up to Route 5.
      So before we hit up the grass for an encounter, there's a bit of story to take care of first.  There's a required double battle beforehand, but if you have a Fire type, it shouldn't be hard.  Now, before we go into this, I may sound weird by saying this, but lead with someone who has a Fighting, Bug, or Fairy type move.  Just take my word for it.  I personally have choices, so I'm going with Danger Zone.
      So, going into this, Hau just got finished getting beaten by some edgy looking kid.  Somehow, he knows who we are.  That's a bit suspicious.  Maybe I've already gained an infamous reputation for blowing trainers up.  Anyway, Mr. Edgelord is Gladion.  Of course, he's working for Team Skull, so we're going to get dragged into a forced encounter with this guy.  Now, he will lead with a Zubat...is what probably what you're thinking, right?  Well, yes and no.  This is not a Zubat.  He has a Zubat, but his lead is a trick.  Allow me to explain.  Back at the Trainer's School, you have a chance at encountering a Zorua, a fox Pokemon with an ability called Illusion.  It'll come in disguised as whatever Pokemon is in your last slot.  It's evolution used to have some handy viability with that ability until team preview screwed it over since you know it'll be there, disguised as something.  This is a similar case, which is why I said moments ago to lead with something that can fight off a Dark type.  The game will tell you it's not very effective, but roll with it anyway and you should see what I mean.
      Once the Zorua is gone, he'll probably just throw out the real Zubat.  It's a Zubat, so killing it shouldn't be hard.  You have plenty of options at this point for a weak Poison/Flying type like Zubat.  I used Master Derp because he needed a level, anyway.   Last but not least is the Pokemon he brings up before the battle, Type: Null.  It's a pure Normal type, but it can actually hit pretty hard.  I luckily have Danger Zone with Brick Break, so it shouldn't be that hard.  It would be a lot nicer if I had Intimidate instead of Hyper Cutter, but whatever.  He has Battle Armor, so you can't get critical hits on him, so don't waste your Dire Hit.
      With a few Brick Breaks, we win.  Gladion also points out that maybe Hau didn't actually beat Hala...when he's serious.  Suddenly, Team Skull grunts who want to get blown up too.  Lucky for me, because Gladion knows I'll destroy them too, he gets them to back off.  Hau's going to hand over even more useless Revives after the Team Skull squad leaves and now we can hit up the Pokemon Center, heal up, and score an encounter for Route 5.
      On my way to the Pokemon Center, turns out having the Soothe Bell on Class Act jumped his happiness up quite a lot and he...already evolved into Persian.  That could be good for the upcoming trial, and unlike certain Pokemon that evolve through stones (looking at you, Raichu and Vulpix), it still learns moves by level up.  It also gets Swift right away, so I can finally put it's good Special Attack to use.  Now, let's go get an encounter for real.
      Lillipup.  I ran into a Pikipek and a Buttefree, both of which were dupes (since I already have Caterpie).  I mean, it's yet another Fighting weakness, which could long term be a problem.  I mean, it's more power in the PC, I guess.  Although, since one Fake Out from Class Act took out about half it's HP, I'm already worried about the nature.  I'm gonna name him Watchdog.  Once again, I'm slowly convinced I'm cursed to only get bad natures.  Bold nature, which is bad for a physical attacker.  Pickup is probably the only thing that's useful on him.  Oh well.  He's going to the PC and we're going to Brooklet Hill for our second trial.
      Pretty nice looking place.  Sadly, right across the bridge is the trial gate and some girl.  Turns out she's Lana, and she's the captain here in Brooklet Hill.  So, without further delay, it's time for...
      Trial #2: The Trial of Brooklet Hill! Splish Splash, what's in the water?
      Yes, I am making up these titles as we go along.  Anyway, the point of this trial is to herd the Pokemon found in the pools of Brooklet Hill downstream to lure out the Totem Pokemon.  How is it going to lure it out, I don't know.  To perform this task, Lana adds Lapras to our Ride Pager, so now we can surf around water, and by association, go back to Melemele Island and get our remaining encounter.  We'll save that for later.  Recall that until this trial is done, I can't get an encounter, so let's worry about the trial for now.
      This is another prime example of "Spark Plug carries the team because Electric move."  Spark Plug isn't my answer to every problem in this trial, but we'll get to that when we get to that.  Anyway, after an introduction, let's get to work.  We need to use Lapras to go to the super obvious splashes and blow up some stuff.  There are two things you will run into during this trial.  First is Wishiwashi while the other is Dewpider, something that wasn't actually in the original version of this trial.  If you have a Flying or Electric move, they shouldn't be too hard.  Wishiwashi is also totally easy to destroy.  It's a weak Water type...at least at the levels you face them at this point of the game.
      So anyway, just keep on going and picking off these Wishiwashi, but after the second encounter, it'll start raining.  That's a bit weird.  Let's make our way to the end.  Let me just say, though, that the totem in this game has actually changed.  It's, in my opinion, more dangerous than the old one.  Get your team healed and ready before you enter the Totem's Den.   Lana will catch up and tell us we've gotten the Totem Pokemon lured out.  Time to go for the kill.  When you approach the splashing, though, the rain will pick up and shortly afterward...it will appear.

      Behold, Totem Araquanid.  It gets a Speed boost at the start.  If you're thinking of using an Electric move to end this fight quickly, I'd think again.  The game designers were smart and gave this thing a Wacan Berry, which weakens one Electric type move used on the Pokemon, likely to cover for it's weakness.  The permanent rain makes this thing's Water type moves hit like a truck and it's Water Bubble ability lowers the power of Fire moves and boosts the power of it's Water type moves even further.  Your avenue for attack options is pretty low for this point since amazing Rock type moves like Rock Slide and Stone Edge aren't around yet.  Flying type moves may be your best bet here.  Use a Roto Boost if you feel like you need it turn 1.
      I went with the turn 1 Roto Boost, but Araquanid's Bubble still hurts a lot.  If you have a Charjabug like me, you could always risk a turn 2 Bug Bite to eat Araquanid's berry, but be wary of a potential critical hit.  Spark Plug took a beating from the combined might of an Araquanid and it's ally Dewpider, but a Bug Bite and two Sparks was enough from a Lv. 21. Charjabug with no positive Attack nature to bring down the totem.  As for it's buddy, Acrobatics is always an option.  And with that, our second trial comes to a close with no deaths.  Spark Plug proving himself as leader of our squad once again.
      The rain will stop and we'll be one Waterium Z richer.  After another pose, we also get ourselves a fishing rod, thus increasing our encounter choices (and snagging a few Totem Stickers).  Lana will slide over some Dive Balls and now we are free to get an encounter on Brooklet Hill.  I chose to head right back to Route 5's Pokemon Center, but Lana will inform us that our next trial is with a guy named Kiwae at Wela Volcano Park.  She'll also tell us that the path in that direction is blocked by Sudowoodo, so now that we have the Waterium Z, we should slide over there.  First, let's get our encounter in Brooklet Hill before we go that way.
      It's a rainy day in both Brooklet Hill and my heart because all I got was a Wingull as an encounter.  I don't want to talk about this one.  I know I'm gonna name it Mailbird as a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon reference since Pelipper tends to be the mailmen in those games.  But of course, when the Pokemon is mainly a disappointment, it has a somewhat decent nature.  It has Hydration, though, which I'm pretty sure becomes Drizzle upon evolution.  I guess Mailbird could have his uses, after all.  Although, for the time being, I'm going to preserve her until her time in the sun is here...to blot out the sun with rain.  Anyway, before we end things off, let's go clear the path and gain access to another fairly decent grinding spot.  Back to Panolia Ranch with us.
      After scaring away the Sudowoodo, we interrupt this commentary with more Ultra Recon Squad weirdness.  They need to gather data to win battles when they could've just went to the...wait a moment, actually.  How did they even get on Akala Island?  Whatever.  We're going to have to battle against their Furfrou again and blow it up with-
      I'm sorry, what?  That's not a Furfrou.  That's a Poipole.  Looks like the Ultra Recon Squad is stepping up their game...even though this Poipole will never evolve.  It's on par with most of my team, though, so it's a little dangerous.  It can also eat the hits and it doesn't help that Soleria uses an X. Sp Def on it to cover for it's Psychic weakness by raising it's Special Defense.  It was also taking hits from Danger Zone well.  I still brought it down eventually, though.  Danger Zone and Spark Plug are already nearly on par with the next totem.  Still proving that Tiny is pretty useless.
      After more cryptic talk, off they go.  Route 6 is open to us now, though.  A few more trainers and an encounter await us.  Once again, before we get our encounter, we've got yet another Team Skull related disaster to handle.  Do these guys do anything with their time except cause trouble for others?  Oh look, it's those nameless, totally forgettable guys from Melemele.  I'm surprised it's been over a few hours since we saw these guys.  According to these nameless guys, stealing is a legitimate business.  Yeah, sure, and I'm the champion of Alola.  We already know what happens after this.  We win, same as always.
      After they run off like cowards, the Drifloon is going to fly off, likely to go steal kids since it's going towards the next town.  Anyway, introducing ourselves to this Hapu girl and her Mudsdale and something about a Battle Royale.  Once she rides off, we're free to get an encounter.  Let's do it!
      I got an Oricorio.  Lucky me, because in the main story, in a nuzlocke, you only get three chances in the entire run to catch an Oricorio.  Why three, you ask?  Oricorio is only able to be caught in very specific locations (and Route 6).  One of them is unable to be reached during the main story, so that's why I only say three.  This thing gets multiple forms, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him.  For now, I'll name him Dance Fever because it's a dancer with multiple forms.  Relaxed nature is...eh at best.  He's yet another example of something I don't want in the party right now because of weaknesses, so he's going to the box.
      So, with that, we're going to end it off there.  Next time, we'll slide into the new town and prepare ourselves for our next trial.  Offscreen, naturally, I'm going to grind up and get ready for it.  There hasn't been much of my torment yet, but I'm hoping that at least one person is enjoying this.  So, yeah, next time, trials and maybe a meeting with the best character in the game?  We'll see.

      And because Spark Plug was the real MVP of today's episode, here we go.  Gotta love how I bashed the Alola Photo Club and here I am using it.