The loss of Icarus weighed heavily on our minds, but we pressed on. One final gym badge waited in Snowbelle City, and after that, the Elite Four. We promised to honor the sacrifice of Icarus, and do his memory proud.
Before heading off to Route 18 and our next gym badge, I made a stop again at the Lost Hotel. In a rare exception to the Nuzlocke Challenge rules, I was going to make a second capture in this area. A rare Pokemon makes its appearance here on certain days, and given that it is one of my favorites in the entire game, I was going to cheat a little.
The team and I cautiously approached a trash can in the basement of this ruined building, seeing it shake from some unknown force. Pokeball at the ready, the lid flipped open and out shot a Pokemon: Rotom! This unusual Ghost/Electric type Pokemon has the ability to inhabit different electrical devices, and in doing so, change its shape and type! I sent out Champion to soak up a few hits and weaken it with Flying type moves, a type that Rotom resists naturally. A few hits later, and Rotom was in the red, a perfect opportunity for capture. It took a few tries, as Champion’s health dropped with Rotom’s hits of super-effective Electric moves, but we finally captured the unusual Pokemon. I gave it the name of Zeitgeist.
A new member of our team now along for the ride, we headed to Route 18. This route is pretty short, but has some cave areas to explore in addition to the open spaces. On our first trip into the tall grass we encountered a Torkoal! With Champion out front, we took some serious hits from Lava Plume, and I had to swap out to Flo, who could take the Fire-type hits. Flo got burned, even though being a sea turtle, but who says Pokemon ever made sense? After a long battle, we capture the Torkoal, naming it Carbon Tax.
I took the team into Terminus Cave, because I knew an item inside was key to one of my Pokemon’s evolution: a Dusk Stone. My Doublade, Athena, could use the Dusk Stone to evolve into Aegislash. However, this quest would come at a cost, I would soon learn.
In the cave were lots of trainers, as well as wild Pokemon battles. Our first encounter with a wild Pokemon was a Graveler! I sent out Flo to soak up some damage and use Bite to whittle down its health. When finally low enough, a couple tosses of Ultra Balls got the job done. I named the Graveler as Geologophile.
Many of the trainers in Terminus Cave were those with Fighting types, so often I lead with Champion, to get those sweet, sweet super-effective Flying moves. What I wasn’t expecting was a Rock-type move from one of the trainers. With Champion somewhere around two-thirds health, she got hit with Rock Slide and I watched as her health dropped rapidly and she was dropped to 0. I was overconfident and didn’t expect such a move.
I finally found the Dusk Stone, and used it on Athena to evolve her to an Aegislash. But we were now short a team member who had been with us a long time.
Finishing Route 18, I entered Couriway Town with the team. Professor Sycamore was there to meet us, and told us how he regretted the incident with Lysandre, but was happy my Pokemon and I saved the world and his misguided friend. He battled us with his Kanto starter trio of Venusaur, Charmander, and Blastoise. My team didn’t have too much trouble with his monsters, and we emerged victorious. The Professor wished us continued luck, and we headed out to Route 19.
Rivers and cliffs surround a swampy glen that makes up the bulk of Route 19. In the swamp, we encountered a Haunter. I tried using Aegislash and my weakest moves, but a 15 level difference proved too much, and I knocked out the Haunter in one shot. Guess I won’t be using that Gengarite.
On the bridge on the way out of the area to Snowbelle City, three of the group of friends caught up with me. In turn, Shauna, Tierno, and even Trevor lined up to battle, and I knocked each down in turn. Onwards to Snowbelle City and the last of the gym badges.
Once I got to the gym in Snowbelle City, I learned that the gym leader, Wulfric, is out right now. Time to go find him!
West of Snowbelle City is Route 20, a forested, maze-like route. The first area has a lot of tall grass, so we wanted in! A wild Noctowl drew near! I sent out Athena and used a weak Rock Smash on it, dropping it to low health. With the first toss of an Ultra Ball, it was captured. I named it Keen.
After wandering around the maze of Route 20 for a while, we emerged into the sunny vale of the Pokemon Village. A refuge for abandoned and abused Pokemon, the Pokemon Village is watched over by Wulfric, who is here currently checking on the village inhabitants. Roused from his reverie, Wulfric heads back to Snowbelle City. I follow, but not before searching the area. In the yellow flowers, we encountered a Zoroark! A couple Slashes later, and it was ours. I named it David Blaine.
Enough goofing off. The last gym battle was nigh. I flew back to Snowbelle City and headed in.
Things were cruising along nicely. Juan-Manuel lead the charge, his super-powered Fire attacks knocking out Ice-type Pokemon left and right. Unexpectedly, one of the trainer’s Pokemon, a Mamoswine, unloaded a super-effective Ground attack on Juan-Manuel. My starter, my friend from the beginning, was knocked out.
This game mode is harsh.
I pressed on, switching in Impresario, with more super-effective moves against Ice, this type with Fighting moves. Against Wulfric, I unloaded a super-effective Close Combat against each of his three Pokemon, knocking each of them out with a single shot. With some measure of redemption, I collected my last gym badge, carrying Juan-Manuel’s lifeless body along with us as we exited the cold hell of Snowbelle City.