Spirits were low as we moved towards Victory Road, the loss of Juan-Manuel fresh in our hearts. Pickles was back with us, his expert mastery of HM moves key in traversing the obstacles that would face us along the tough journey to the Pokemon League.
A few trainers were in our way on Route 21, but we brushed them aside. Flo and Impresario lead the way, swapping in Zeitgeist and Sandigator where appropriate. Flo had learned Ice Beam, which would be key later against the Elite Four, and both Impresario and Sandigator had learned the impressively powerful Earthquake.
We made it to the entrance of Victory Road without incident, showing the gatekeeper my 8 gym badges, and impressing him with the power of our fighting spirit. I entered the dark cave of Victory Road proper.
Flo and crew started chewing up all the Pokemon we encountered. Trainers and wild Pokemon alike fell in our wake. We emerged from one cave, traversed some ruins, and went back underground, finding a few items to help us on our way. A Pokemon Ranger healed up my crew, and as I walked east, Serena showed up to have a heart to heart. Of course, she wanted to battle. A combination of Flo, Sandigator, and Impresario knocked her Pokemon out one by one.
Back underground we went, traversing caves with lots of one-way passages, Pokemon trainers, and wild Pokemon battles. It was useful experience, as any level increase would gain us an edge against the Elite Four.
It took a while, but we finally emerged from Victory Road to the Pokemon League. I dropped Pickles in the bank and picked up Endbringer. We were going to need all the help we could get.
With Flo in the lead, I head in to start the fight with Malva, a user of Fire-type Pokemon. Hopefully, Flo could sweep the team, especially when powered up with the Mega Ring. Turns out, that’s exactly what happened. First Pyroar, then Talonflame fell, both of whose fast Speed stat let them get hits in on Flo. But then the slower Chandelure and Torkoal were hit with super-effective Surf, and were dropped in one hit without ever getting a hit in of their own.
I healed up Flo, and we headed on to the next area. Here was Water’s domain, Siebold and his team of Water types. I lead with Zeitgeist, who swept Clauncher and to our great fortune Gyarados with super-effective Thunderbolt. The going was easy until Siebold sent out Barbaracle, who had a high enough defense that Zeitgeist couldn’t knock it out in a single hit. Siebold used two restores in turn, then Zeitgeist took a hit from Rock Slide before finishing off the Barbaracle. Things got scary when Starmie, after using Light Screen to saves itself from a Thunderbolt, brings Zeitgeist low, into the red, with Psychic. I swapped in Sandigator, who was nearly finished off with Surf, and then finally swapped in Flo, who finished the fight.
With two down and two to go, I took the team, lead by Sandigator, to the chamber of Wikstrom, user of Steel-type Pokemon. Sandigator started off strong, using super-effective Earthquake to finish Klefki and Aegislash in turn. Scizor’s X-Scissor proved too powerful, and dropped Sandigator low, so I swapped over to Flo to finish out the fight.
On to the last of the Elite Four, Drasna, the Dragon-type leader. I don’t have any Fairy types, but I was hoping that Sandigator could lead things off with her Outrage, and then swap to Flo who knows Ice Beam. That plan worked out pretty well, with Sandigator downing Dragalge in one hit, and then Drasna sent out Altaria. Outrage wasn’t getting the job done, so I sent out Flo for the quadruple effective damage Ice Beam. Altaria dropped in one hit from Flo’s Ice Beam, and then Noivern dropped as well. Finally, Drasna sent out Druddigon, who got dropped to half and frozen solid via Ice Beam. With one final hit, Druddigon was done, and Drasna defeated.
The Elite Four defeated, all that stands in our way is the Champion, Diantha.
I lead with Flo. Hawlucha was the first Pokemon sent out. Flo used a super-effective Ice Beam to send the Hawlucha packing. Diantha then sent out Goodra. Flo’s Ice Beam was doing some okay work, but Flo was at half health, so I sent out Impresario to finish the job. Luckily, the Goodra’s Fire Blast missed, and a couple of Impresario’s Dragon Pulses knocked out Goodra, but not before Goodra got in a hit on Impresario, bringing him low in health.
When Diantha sent out her Aurora, I sent out Sandigator, hoping to buy some time and heal up both Flo and Impresario. I was able to use a Hyper Potion on both Impresario and Flo, before Aurora knocked out Sandigator with a super-effective Blizzard. I sent out Impresario, who returned the favor, knocking out Aurora with a super-effective Close Combat. Diantha sent out her fourth Pokemon, a Tyrantum, who after enduring a Close Combat, knocks out Impresario with a super-effective Earthquake.
Two Pokemon down to Diantha’s three, and things were getting tense. I sent out Flo, who finished off Tyrantum with a Surf. The tide was beginning to turn, as Diantha sent out Gourgeist, which is felled with a single Ice Beam from Flo.
Down to one last Pokemon, Diantha sends out her ace: Gardevoir, with a Gardevoirite. It’s Mega Blastoise versus Mega Gardevoir. Flo leads with a Water Pulse, which mercifully inflicts confusion, buying Flo an extra turn where Gardevoir can’t act. The next turn, Gardevoir snaps out of confusion and responds with Thunderbolt in first priority, dropping Flo to below a quarter of her health, and then Flo responds with a Surf. Gardevoir dropped slowly, slowly, until finally her health was gone. Diantha and her Pokemon were defeated. I was the new Kalos Champion!
My journey had taken me far, around the world, where we met new friends, and lost some as well. I had lost young Y2k, Champion, beloved Vlad, Icarus the mighty, my longest friend and starter Juan-Manuel, and in the final fight, both Sandigator and Impresario. Standing among the survivors from the Elite Four and the Pokemon League Champion were: Flo, the stalwart Blastoise; Endbringer, creature of legend; Athena, my shield; and Zeitgeist, the spirit of the moment.
There were many honorable mentions, including Pickles, the HM master, the stylish David Blaine, Cascades the Ducklett, and that Haunter I almost caught but totally wrecked.
Diantha entered the names of the six combatants into the Hall of Fame, and I looked back on the time I had with Pokemon Y. It was a great playthrough, more challenging than others I’d had, given the restrictions. I think the toughest was really using Set Mode. It’s very restrictive to not be able to switch after a trainer sends in a new Pokemon. Losing a turn to swap can put you behind in a fight in a serious way. Also, you can’t let a Pokemon faint and swap in another Pokemon that way, because of the no-revive rule! Very tricky.
I think I got pretty lucky in the kinds of Pokemon that I found, and I did bend the rules a little bit with Zeitgeist the Rotom. I think I would have been okay with something that wasn’t super-effective against Water, but it did make things a little easier. But I never saw a Grass type the entire game, and had some trouble with some other type coverage, but was overall okay.
I liked that I used different Pokemon in this game than I never had before. I was actually impressed with some of the types I’d never used before, Pokemon like Bibarel, Dugtrio, Beedril, Vespiquen, Aegislash, and Salamence really made a case for themselves, and I was happy to have them on my team.
I really enjoyed my time with Pokemon Y and the Nuzlocke Challenge. I’m already making plans to try it again with a different generation of Pokemon game, probably Gen V, using Black 2. If I do, I’ll record it here!