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Old 04-03-2018, 08:37 PM   #51
Doppleganger
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IMV you should be allowed full customization for the second game in a series, but maybe/maybe not the first. Especially if the protagonists are the same. S/M shouldn't have allowed customization, so you know the canon appearances of Sun and Chicken-chan, but with US/UM it's an "upgraded feature" which doesn't matter so much anymore. I imagine, if you couldn't change hats in X/Y, it would have been featured in Z had it not been cancelled.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:39 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missingno. Master View Post
I've never found Game Sync to be particularly irksome. It's maybe a few extra seconds when going online. By far nowhere near as bad as saving the game in Platinum after doing anything with the PC.
This is what I'm asking about, so thanks for this, good feedback. People online who complained about it also seemed to insinuate that it repetitively phones home. That like ... every time you go from the plaza to the GTS, that it takes a long(er) time to connect, and not just the very first time. Is this true? Or is this also false?

Gen 4 saving was really bad and I had temporarily forgotten about that. Man. I forgot that it made us scared to use the PC, something we'd never had to be scared of before and have never had to be scared of since.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:27 PM   #53
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It will try to Game Sync automatically whenever you connect to the internet within the game, but if you've already Game Synced within the past hour, it immediately stops and informs you that Game Sync cannot be done more than once per hour, and it won't try to Game Sync automatically on you if you're already connected to the internet when you go from the Plaza to the GTS or something, so it makes an effort to not waste any more of your time than it needs to. And it doesn't disconnect you from the internet if you just go back to the plaza from the GTS, so it doesn't do that to you, so unless you manually disconnect, exit the plaza, go to the home menu, or put your 3DS in sleep mode, you'll stay connected.

I just went online in Ultra Sun to get a more exact feel for how long it takes to Game Sync, and it's about 9-10 seconds or so, whereas saving in Gen 4 could take more than half a minute, if memory serves.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:39 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
IMV you should be allowed full customization for the second game in a series, but maybe/maybe not the first. Especially if the protagonists are the same. S/M shouldn't have allowed customization, so you know the canon appearances of Sun and Chicken-chan, but with US/UM it's an "upgraded feature" which doesn't matter so much anymore. I imagine, if you couldn't change hats in X/Y, it would have been featured in Z had it not been cancelled.
(This entire reply is pretty off-topic with respect to USUM, so I'm going to place it inside of a spoiler box.)

Spoiler: show
I could get onboard with this, as it allows me to have my cake and eat it too.

Because I did play as default Serena all the way until post-game in Y.

And I played as default Brendan the entire time in Ruby, too. (As did we all, now that I think about it ... lol whoops, I forgot earlier that they had no customization in ORAS and this was a huge bitching point for a lot of people. )

And I played as default Sun in Pokémon Sun. (And he's still wearing his default clothes, even now, because fuck the men's fashion options. )

But I also enjoy player customization a lot, especially for online. So I'm glad it came back for SMUSUM, and I do hope it stays.

But I also agree that the last six years have seen a dearth of fanart of the player protagonists from SMUSUM outside of the SM female protagonist. And that's because the SM male and both the USUM male and female protagonists ... a) had really meh default costumes that b) weren't forced on anybody. A is also true for Gen 5's males (ESPECIALLY BW2's male, good God ^^; ), but everyone remembers them because the fan artists were there to make sure we would. Everyone can remember Hilda and Rosa, Hilbert and Nate even today. I can remember Calem decently okay, and Serena very prominently since she was one of the best female protag designs in ages and I enjoyed playing as her. But the SMUSUM leads? No one's been making fanart -- even SM female protag hasn't got very much as compared with, say, May, Dawn, or Rosa -- and that I think is largely because no one has an agreed-upon consensus view on what a SMUSUM protag should look like. Why, my Ultra Sun protag has tan skin, hazel eyes, and blonde waist-length hair right now. And I adore the ever loving shit out of her. But how many of you would look at those physical features and go, "Yeah! Me too! I wanna have a character who looks like that!" How many fewer of you could I expect to say, "This is my mental image of the USUM female protagonist!" Not bloody many.

Fan artists, to the extent that they have, liked the Moon design and went with it. I think it's cute myself, and pretty memorable at least to me even if I didn't ever play as her. But who the fuck is going to remember this little brat in ten years?

So yeah. In conclusion, I could definitely support a convention which said:
  1. 2+ releases of main series games per generation
  2. first release, universal protag designs, no customization, forces everyone to get on the same page
  3. second release, can be new protag designs or can be recycled ones (either/or), but customization is now enabled, and everyone can either choose to accept or reject the official designs to whatever extents they wish
But you know something? I think I have a better idea, one which would functionally achieve the same end result but with a lot less player grief: in any given main series game of a generation (even the first release of a generation), you may customize your trainer character ... but only for online battles, for your player avatar for the PSS, and other online features (customizations effective immediately) until you've beaten the Champion; after which point, your customizations may take effect in the actual game now and you can wander around the world map as your online avatar.

This would still force everybody to be on the same page re: "what the protag is supposed to look like", but it would also allow people to enjoy playing as "themselves" the rest of the time.

Want to make it even better? Make a flag in the game code for beating the Champion the first time; once the player has done this even once, if they reset their save file and start the game all over again, they can enjoy full customization from the start. This is essentially what games that have a "New Game Plus" feature have. You already did the first tour of the world the way we asked you to. Now you can tour it in whatever fashion you like afterward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missingno. Master View Post
It will try to Game Sync automatically whenever you connect to the internet within the game, but if you've already Game Synced within the past hour, it immediately stops and informs you that Game Sync cannot be done more than once per hour, and it won't try to Game Sync automatically on you if you're already connected to the internet when you go from the Plaza to the GTS or something, so it makes an effort to not waste any more of your time than it needs to. And it doesn't disconnect you from the internet if you just go back to the plaza from the GTS, so it doesn't do that to you, so unless you manually disconnect, exit the plaza, go to the home menu, or put your 3DS in sleep mode, you'll stay connected.

I just went online in Ultra Sun to get a more exact feel for how long it takes to Game Sync, and it's about 9-10 seconds or so, whereas saving in Gen 4 could take more than half a minute, if memory serves.
Alright. Sounds like I will maybe avoid the Game Sync thing for now, then, but that I don't have to be paranoid about it when the time comes to register. 9 to 10 seconds sucks =\ , and is honestly pretty comparable with Gen 4. (May have felt longer to you, because honestly 9 to 10 seconds is excessively long for a Pokémon game to save data!) But if it's only going to do it once per sign-in to the Festival Plaza, then I can live with it. I don't use Festival Plaza that much. (My Sun one is horridly undeveloped. I think my level is between 10 and 17?)
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:33 AM   #55
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http://limitlesstcg.com/vg/teams/

This is a neat little find. :o BillaVGC has apparently put together a fledgling aggregate of VGC teams used in various VGC events along with QR rental codes that you can use to rent the Pokémon for a test spin in SMUSUM. I look forward to trying this out in the future. Those of you who are ready to give it a go today, have at!
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:03 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Alright. Sounds like I will maybe avoid the Game Sync thing for now, then, but that I don't have to be paranoid about it when the time comes to register. 9 to 10 seconds sucks =\ , and is honestly pretty comparable with Gen 4. (May have felt longer to you, because honestly 9 to 10 seconds is excessively long for a Pokémon game to save data!) But if it's only going to do it once per sign-in to the Festival Plaza, then I can live with it. I don't use Festival Plaza that much. (My Sun one is horridly undeveloped. I think my level is between 10 and 17?)
It's literally only when you either manually tell it to Game Sync in the plaza via a dialogue option or when you use online features like the GTS or Global Missions. The vast majority of Plaza stuff won't trigger a Game Sync.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:23 AM   #57
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Spent the past few days on Sun doing some breeding. Found a good spot to put it down for now and have hopped back on over to Ultra Sun. =)

Music: While I might not be the biggest fan of Generation 7, I have to give credit where credit is due. And the Iki Town theme song that plays throughout so many touching scenes is undoubtedly one of this game's greatest triumphs. It's a lovely piece, and I didn't realize just how much I loved it from Sun & Moon until getting reintroduced to it here in my budding playthrough of Ultra Sun. The night time version is too sad! ^^; Feels like I'm about to burst into tears watching Lillie tell the player-character good-bye whenever I hear this song. Lovely in its own way, but my preference is strongly towards the daytime version! :')

The Hakuna of Melemele Island: This fight felt much better than the one in Sun & Moon. It presented a serious challenge if one doesn't use any items mid-battle, especially with Hala using both potions and heal items to help his own Pokémon out. My team being essentially Litten, Rockruff, and four filler Pokémon, I had to rely on a filler (Butterfree) to help me out with this fight. I insisted on winning it with Litten, however, and that made for a tense final showdown vs. Hala's Crabrawler.

Hala as a character has grown on me a little since I last saw him. I already liked him, but only mildly. I'd say that love has gone from mild to slightly less mild. haha His character design and role in the story definitely paint the picture of a man with ferocious power and integrity. He's the sort of character we fans can really love, what with the whole fanon notion of "Gym leaders hold back in their gym battles with trainers; that's why they always seem to use such underleveled Pokémon and are 'so easy' for us to beat. If they were to fight at full strength, watch out ...!" Hala seems to fit that bill perfectly, and it's played into very nicely, of course, with his later role in Alola.

Ghost Stories: Game Freak seems to have heard the positive feedback from fans who enjoyed the creepypasta-esque insertions in XY and ORAS, and given us the eeriest outing to date with USUM's haunting at the grade school. Similar to the Trick House in ORAS, my only complaint is that it ended too soon. :')
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:02 AM   #58
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Currently at: I'm about to fight Dulce and Zossie for the second time, after having made the Sudowoodo run away in terror at the sight of Waterium-Z.

Rotom Dex: I'm not quite as annoyed by it as many others, but it's getting pretty bad. ^^; Every other battle I come out of, he recommends healing via the bag. I rarely heal out of the bag. Every few minutes, he recommends saving. I'm already a hyper-active saver, and there are times when even I don't want to save (because I'm doing something experimental). I would be very surprised if this feature ever returns outside of Gen VII remakes in the far future. It was already bad in Sun & Moon, but now it's bordering on toxic in USUM. And, apparently, for many players is toxic. Hopefully I won't become one of those. Right now, I'm only annoyed by it. It's not ruining the game for me. It's just detracting from it.

Water Trial Changes: Not a fan. The Water trial in its original form was one of my favorite bits of Sun & Moon, and every change was for the worse here. Sun & Moon? You didn't know you were doing a trial until SURPRISE, BITCH! (You rightly suspected it! But you didn't know know.) Ultra Sun, Ultra Moon? Nah, we're gonna tell you right from the get-go that that's what's happening. Sun & Moon? THE TERRIFYING TOTEM THAT IS SUPER WISHIWASHI, SCHOOL FORME! Ultra Sun, Ultra Moon? Yeaaaaaaaaaah we're gonna try to be cute and attempt to one-up the terrifying ante by having it be a giant spider ... even though the giant spider isn't nearly the visual spectacle that that fearsome giant fish was in SM. All around, it was just a disappointing downgrade. I like Araquanid -- hell, I want to try and use one, maybe, on this Story Mode team! But I'm just not seeing how this was in any way, shape, or form better than what they gave us the first time around. And "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Poipole: I came online to see what nature I would need Poipole to be before the URS gave it to me, only to find out that I'm mistaken in thinking that I'm about to get it now. Am I to understand, then, that you don't get it until later in the game? And that if you want to soft reset for a good one that you're best off telling them you want to pick Poipole up later? I've exposed myself to spoilers, I guess, but it was unavoidable if I'm wanting to minimize later disappointment.

Money, Money, Money: I've been using Happy Hour in nearly every single trainer fight, and now that I have the Amulet Coin equipped too it's been pretty grand ridiculous. I think I have $79,000 right now, with only two trials, one hakuna, and four Z-Crystals down so far, and this is also with me already having 70+ PokéBalls in my backpack and loads of other items as well. It's only going to get better as the payouts increase. C'mooooon, fashion upgrades!

Current Team:
Lv. 26 Torracat (Brave)
Lv. 25 Rockruff (Jolly)
-------------------
Lv. 22 Makuhita
Lv. 21 Charjabug
Lv. 21 Butterfree
Paniola Ranch Egg

The only keepers currently are Torracat and Rockruff. I won't be able to do the dusk evolution until tomorrow, but yes, I am well aware of it. As noted previously, currently looking at adding a Dewpider, a Fomantis/Bounsweet, an Alolan Vulpix, and we'll see who else. Noticing an overwhelming presence of physical hitters, so I might need that final slot to be someone more special. I might also have to lean away from the aforementioned Grass wants and into something more like Morelull, who I also like a lot (design-wise) but wasn't quite eyeing as hungrily (Story Mode-wise) owing to playstyle preferences. We'll see. I'd like a Shiinotic some day, and Story Mode might be as good a time as any to get one.

Fetching Some Synchronizers: Like the header says, it's time to do that. Up until now I've been capturing Pokémon sans Sychronizer, but it's getting in the way of me being able to build a lasting team with fun buddies because of how obsessive I am about the natures being ideal not objectively bad. So I think I will load Sun back up, create some Synchronizers to trade over to USUM via Bank, and then I can go back to Route 5 and find me a Dewpider, Morelull, etc.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:53 PM   #59
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Since you are spoiled, yes, when you get the chance to obtain Poipole, pass it up until later. You won't have been able to save for a while so many players make the mistake of getting it right there and not getting a good nature.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:18 PM   #60
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Yeah, you get Poipole later on, and yeah, if you want to go for an ideal nature and the right IVs, decline it when it's first offered to you.

Also, if you're still on the fence about Charjabug, it may interest you to know that (minor gameplay mechanic spoiler, no story spoilers whatsoever)
Spoiler: show
Charjabug, Nosepass, and Magneton now evolve at Blush Mountain rather than Vast Poni Canyon.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:13 PM   #61
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I have also used a Morelull in a nuzlocke before!

Shiinotic...gets a solid 7 out of 10 on its best day. Its poison weakness is a crippling worry and it really doesn't have much offensive presence. It's no Shuckle or Ledian, but it will definitely struggle to bring home KOs compared to the likes of Lilligant or even Roserade. That being said, it is a much more easily accessible fairy type than Clefable, doesn't force you to sit through a Cleffa-tier baby stage starting at Mount Hokulani, and isn't a stone evolution from what I recall, so there'a no need for the B button or withholding an item. If you're high and dry for something, anything to rip on Totem Kommo-o's double weakness (uh yeah-spoiler alert, that trial in and of itself didn't change a bit), then Shiinotic should have Moonblast by an acceptable level for that fight, but do note that my definition of "acceptable" tends to be a higher number than others, though that's mostly me covering for the fact that I don't remember exactly what level Moonblast comes at.

Strength Sap, I must stress, is a gimmick in Story Mode. I've seen it put to good use in competitive...in Balanced Hackmons...by literally anything butShiinotic...and in terms of Story Mode, sorry, this ain't gonna be of much use. I believe most enemies continue the trend of minimal stats, so you're never going to get too too much HP, and I tend to find that needing healing isn't that common if you're so much as on equal terms with foes in USUM level wise-again, because it seems as though you retain the advantage of not being programmed to be antiperfect. Add the fact that Strength Sap by its nature has severely diminishing returns, and it's just not worth keeping-stick to Giga Drain.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:23 PM   #62
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Just completed Kiawe's trial, got informed about the Charizard Ride Pokémon, and ran into Mohn at the foot of the mountain. About to begin rebuilding my Poké Pelago empire (RIP Sun Empire ); but before that, status update.

Current Team:
Lv.30 Torracat
Lv.30 Lycanroc (Dusk Forme)
Lv.24 Shiinotic
Lv.22 Araquanid
---------------
Lv.25 Charjabug
Lv.17 Cubone

Charjabug is this run's Gumshoos -- a Pokémon who has been faithfully with me from the beginning but who I give no respect. ^^; It's that Serious nature! Poor guy. Maybe I'll be convinced to make him a full member of the team. Unlike Gumshoos though, who I never liked but who put in a crapton of work, Charjabug I don't use all too often. It's mostly Rockruff/Lycanroc (money-making lead with Happy Hour and Amulet Coin), Torracat (my starter <3), Shiinotic (who I really like! ), and Araquanid (who is the definition of "glass cannon" with his frail physical defense and his monstrously powerful Hydro Vortex).

Shiinotic: I really like Morelull's design, and Shiinotic's is not half bad either. Reminds me of a Kirby character. Is also hilariously eerie/creepy with those soulless black eyes and that staring smile. ^^;

But never mind design -- Morelull is very easy to use well in Story Mode right out of the gate. Slow speed coupled with Effect Spore punishes a lot of wild Pokémon, all the better when you're trying to capture them since it means they can't call for help. (Relatively) high SpDef means you're walling all but the highest of Atk-statted Pokémon. (Relatively) high SpAtk means you're dealing pretty admirable damage with Mega Drain despite it being only base power of 40. I started off at Level 14, and I think by Level 17 I was already OHKO'ing most Water types who were 2x weak to Grass. Memorably Poliwag, but I think also Psyduck, Goldeen, and a number of other Brooklet Hill denizens. By Level 20, I was for sure OHKOing anything that was 2x weak to Grass and didn't have colossal SpDef. Which means the upgrade from Morelull to Shiinotic (just happened) and the upgrade from Mega Drain to Giga Drain (downstream) is going to be insane.

I like her. She may not have Regenerator, but offensive Grass/Fairy is a fun dual stab, she's plenty powerful, and she's (on closer inspection) the only Special Grass type introduced in Gen VII O_o , all of the others being physically oriented. (Decidueye, Lurantis, Tsareena, Dhelmise, even default Alolan Exeggutor who despite being built for Special Attacker with a SpAtk stat of 125 comes default with physical moves like Egg Bomb, Stomp, Dragon Hammer, Wood Hammer ... and an Atk stat of 105)

Araquanid: Paused right as Dewpider is asking to evolve, actually. So I haven't gotten to take this one out for a test spin yet. But assuming it works like Dewpider ...
  • it dies easily; you can't yoyo it in after calling back the moneymaker (Lycanroc)
  • but it nukes EVERYTHING with its Hydro Vortex
I wasn't even using a physical Hydro Vortex. I was using a special one, powered by Bubblebeam. And at Level 15 or 16 or so I OHKO'd a Level 17 Jigglypuff. O_o It was insane. I know Jiggles isn't the be-all, end-all of bulk , but like ... you don't expect an Adamant water spider with stats this small to be so strong! Water Bubble is no joke.

Event Lycanroc: I'm at the unfortunate place where I have 3 Move Slot Syndrone, or 3-MSS, because the fourth slot is permanently reserved for Happy Hour. And it's like ... hrnghhghghghgh. ^^;; Because even with 4-MSS Lycanroc is really unable to fully flex its muscle. You want a powerful Rock attack (currently Rock Tomb , but later obviously something more like Stone Edge). You want Accelerock because it's the signature tech move of the species. You want Fire Fang because it's an event move, it plays nice with Tough Claws, and you're loath to delete it. You want Bite/Crunch because powerful moves, nice Dark typing for coverage, and again Tough Claws interplay. You want Thrash because holy shit 120 base power this early in the game, AND Tough Claws interplay, and signature move of the Dusk forme. But you can't have all of these moves because you've only got four slots. And then we come back to Happy Hour, and it's like, "F#*$! ", because you only get three slots to attack with. Sigh. ^^;

That stated, Happy Hour + Amulet Coin's amazing. I'm about to break $100,000 despite spending tens of thousands of dollars on clothes ... and I've not even gone to north Akala Island yet. Trainers who are supposed to award $500 to $600 are instead giving me $2,000 to $2,400. It's nice.

Fire Trial: This is the second one I'd say they ruined on the switch from SM to USUM. Totem Salazzle was probably the weakest visually of the original totems ... but Totem Alolan Marowak now takes the cake for that, because hooooooleeeeeeeeeee shit I could not tell the difference between him and a normal-sized Alolan Marowak. I mean, I could, but like barely. He scales really badly. He's a really unimpressive totem.

That stated, type-wise he has an interesting synergy with SOS buddy Salazzle. I forget if this was the same in SM (with Totem Salazzle and a possible SOS buddy Alolan Marowak), but at least here in USUM, we have the interesting interplay of Salazzle spamming status (specifically poison, via Poison Gas) whilst Totem Alolan Marowak packs STAB Hex. I was never statused long enough for him to get to use it -- hooray, max friendship! Lycanroc purged itself of poison every time before Marowak could try anything -- but the idea is there and it's an interesting one.

Ultra Recon Squad: I haven't really talked about these guys too much yet, so I suppose I should. I'm playing Ultra Sun, so my duo is Dulce and Zossie. The easy money (NO SPOILERS, PLEASE ) is on either a) both of them being villainous but Zossie comes to the light side, b) both of them being villainous, or c) both of them being villainous but both come to the light side. I'd like it to be C, because I feel like A is too predictable. That stated, I've avoided plot & character spoilers and I could be very wrong about my so-called "easy money" -- perhaps neither is villainous at all from the start. Perhaps they're both genuinely good people from the get-go. I just ... I get the impression that this is what's going to happen:
  • URS come from a world where there once was light but then it got stolen by Necrozma
  • URS's mission is to return light to their world, a noble mission
  • URS comes to our world to try and find a way to get their light back
  • "The plot twist" -- URS's plan is to kidnap our Necrozma, thereby returning light to their world but plunging our world into darkness
  • (in the scenario where Zossie has a change of heart and becomes good but Dulce remains committed to the mission and thus from our POV is evil) Zossie realizes that this is pretty cruel to us, so she has a change of heart. Dulce meanwhile is like, "Look, no hard feelings, but we have to return light to our world somehow."
  • USUM protagonist ends up finding a way for both USUM Earth to retain its light and for Ultra Megalopolis's world to get light returned to it
  • Dulce sheepishly admits he was wrong after the fact and thanks you; Zossie thanks you from the bottom of her heart
Something like that. That would be my current guess for the plot. That stated, I hope to be mistaken. A, 'cause I'd welcome the surprise. And B, because I think Evil Dulce (even if only temporarily evil; see also: Maxie and Archie) is a bit boring and it'd be more fun if he were a sweetie from the start only he's just super stiff and serious and has a hard time emoting. Sort of like Spock from Star Trek.

Anyway, I haven't seen too too much of them yet. The fight I wrote about last time where Dulce battles me with Poipole was the last time I believe I've seen them. Although come to mention it ...

Vs. Ducle with Poipole: HOLY COW this fight was impressively tough! I won't lie -- while I did beat it on my first try, I did also "cheat" in the senses of 1) Switch instead of Set (which is how I've been playing anyway because of Happy Hour Lycanroc, but I realize a lot of you are manning it up with Set Mode so this deserves to be re-mentioned) and 2) it took four of my guys to take down his one Poipole. 4v1 is hardly a fair fight! Very impressed with this. Not even sure how it happened given Poipole was only Level 25. But yeah ... I would like to see Game Freak give us more fights of this caliber in the future when they're tied to the plot, as this one was.

Hypno: ... What is with all the creepy pedo Hypno in this game? I guess it didn't stand out to me as much when playing SM as it does now playing USUM, but man ... first the Hypno at school (USUM only), then the Hypno outside of the supermarket on Royal Avenue. I dunno, it just ... it almost feels like Game Freak believes the fans view Hypno as a creepy pedo and they are trying to play into that deliberately. Which is weird to me, because I'd never really heard this until recent years (maybe Gen 5-ish onwards?) from the fandom, and I would've thought that Game Freak would've been pretty put off by fans making Hypno out to be some sort of child abductor. But *shrug* ... I guess they're okay with it, given how they went and created other Pokémon who explicitly specialize in the abduction of children.

Where did Lillie go?: I didn't remember Lillie being so uninvolved with the player character at this point in the story. I mean, nothing I've witnessed has conflicted with what I am reminded of from Sun & Moon. I just hadn't realized / I just had forgotten how little she's actually by the player's side until later in the story.

Last edited by Talon87; 04-11-2018 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:02 AM   #63
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Yeah Lillie does sort of disappear for a large chunk of Akala. Akala is a lot more free rein after the crapshow that is Melemele. She comes back in on Ula'ula when what the games take for a plot starts to get in gear, basically just like SM. Lillie only ever really turns up for the plot.
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:25 AM   #64
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Speaking of Totem Alolawak.

COLLECT. TOTEM. STICKERS. I think you have been so far, but seriously, get every single one you can access ASAP. Since you're playing Ultra Sun, one of the rewards will be a Totem Alolawak. This in and of itself isn't that significant (beyond I think a guarantee of Rock Head for the ability).

What is a big deal is that it's given to you at Level 25. Meaning it can learn Shadow Bone without the Move Relearner. If you're thinking of using an Alolawak at all, taking along the Totem is your best bet for it to have good Ghost STAB before Lanakila.

Also unless my memory is off I think the Hypno outside the Megamart on Royal Avenue is just trying to make you go inside-it wouldn't surprise me, given the tactic the Discount Coupon uses once you do go in.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:28 PM   #65
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Hey, all! Haven't posted here in a while. Progress has been slowed by some of what I'll discuss below, but I'm currently back on track, I think, to progress at a rough rate of one island per week, maybe faster. Currently saved right outside of Hokulani Observatory, about to talk with Molayne. Will go inside soon after and kick Sophocles' trial's butt.

Inari: So, you may remember, I really wanted an Alolan Vulpix on my Story Mode team this time around. Normally I strongly dislike trading things over from other save files for use in a Story Mode run. But when I rediscovered that you can't actually get an Alolan Vulpix until far too late in the game in SM, I decided to sneak a peek for USUM's status, and ... yeah. So I said "Fuck it " and went ahead and bred myself a 5V ideal Alolan Vulpix on my Sun file. Born with the Egg Moves Freeze-Dry, Moonblast, and Hypnosis, she and her future sisters are pretty much equipped to become whatever I need them to be. For right now I want to have fun, and fun to me means having fun with powerful STAB attacks. This means "Sorry, Smogon and VGC conventional wisdom!" and ditching the Hypnosis and mono-Ice set for a mixed Ice/Fairy set that packs Freeze-Dry, Moonblast, Aurora Veil, and Nasty Plot. I'm still running 248 HP / 252 Speed / 8 SpAtk on this set per the wisdom of "maximum opportunity to set up Aurora Veil", even though it's only Story Mode, so I figured Nasty Plot would fit in really really well here since the EVs aren't there to help the SpAtk out and neither is Freeze-Dry's kinda crummy base power.

After drawing blanks for a name, decided to google Finnish girls names since she is an Arctic fox. Turns out that Inari, of all things, just so happens to be a girls name in Finland according to the Internet. ("Lake Inari" for the inspiration, or some such.) And seeing as Inari is also a Shinto deity associated with foxes, I figured this was meant to be. So say hello to Inari the Alolan Vulpix, my one and only Story Mode partner originating from Sun!

Current Team:
Lv.42 Lycanroc (Dusk Forme)
Lv.39 Incineroar
Lv.37 Shiinotic
Lv.36 Araquanid
Lv.31 Alolan Vulpix
----------------
Lv.36 Charjabug

Still unsure with Charjabug. I never use him, but I think Vikavolt looks cool. And I can't see myself using Vikavolt over Galvantula in comp. So I'm thinking "It's now or never" for poor Vikavolt, and that I may end up going back to Melemele Island in the near future with a Synchronizer and just catching myself a new, Timid Grubbin and upleveling it. We'll see.

Everyone else is a keeper, but sadly Lycanroc is too good for its own good; this coupled with my obsessive insistence on min-maxing my profits means I'm only really battling with Lycanroc 85% of the time. Disappointing to me, as while I like Lycanroc, I really wanted this to be Incineroar's run. Oh well. We'll see how things play out.

Really liking Shiinotic still. She's actually the No.2 most commonly used Pokémon on my team. Which I guess is not too surprising, seeing as until Vulpix arrived she was my only special attacker.

Kantonian Gym: Is this new? I don't remember this in SM. I half like it, half am embarrassed by it. ^^; Part of me thinks it's cute and a fun nod to good ol' Gen 1. But part of me also wonders if this is like ... Game Freak tongue-in-cheek making fun of some "Japanese" attraction they saw while visiting Hawaii and are poking fun at for how badly it failed to discern the Japanese forest from the Japanese trees. Like, I can just picture it being some sushi restaurant they were brought to (that they were told is like the No.1 sushi restaurant in all of Hawaii) and then when they got there they couldn't help but laugh at the foolish Americans and how badly they got things when it comes to Japanese culture. (E.g. lighting, music, decorations, tables, etc.) I dunno. *shrug* I really hope that's all in my cynical head and it's a 100% positively-intended inclusion. Because I do think it's cute. It brings a smile to my face every time I set foot in there. All ... two times so far. lol ^^;

Lack of Progress: So what happened over the last week and a half basically was:
  • I spent some time trying to capture a Hidden Ability Alolan Vulpix in Sun
  • failing that, I then went onto the GTS and got myself an Alolan Vulpix in a trade (and completely lucked out -- she already came Timid with all three Egg Moves noted previously)
  • I then set about breeding for a 5V ideal
  • times four, because 1) breeding seed to leave behind in Gen 7, 2) breeding seed to export to Gen 8, 3) Story Mode Inari, and 4) Comp Inari
  • I then set about EV training Comp Inari passively via Isle Evelup, because in my overuse of this facility as a working man, I had somehow completely forgotten that I can still gain EVs the old-fashioned way with power items and wild battles
  • I started using Story Mode Inari as I traversed Route 10
  • only after ruining her with bad EVs, I got cold feet about it and decided I wanted her to have perfect EVs too
  • so I started EV training her in Ultra Sun, again passively via Isle Evelup
  • only to discover, late last night, that I was only gaining 2 EVs at a time instead of 4, because my facility still isn't fully upgraded. God dammit.
  • traded her over to Sun this morning, powered through corrective EV training with her, confirmed her EVs were perfect (by visual comparison with Comp Inari, not to mention I was pen-and-papering my way through it the whole time), and traded her back over to Ultra Sun
and here we are. :') So I basically lost 6-7 days to detouring, but am now back and ready to have fun with the game proper.

No Forced Legendary Captures?: So, I did some light investigation into this (since we're coming up on it being relevant, at least in SM), and it looks like ...

Spoiler: show
... there are no requisite legendary captures during Story Mode proper in USUM. That while there are several requisite legendary captures in the game (e.g. Blacephelon and Stakataka?), that they come after you become Champion. That Solgaleo/Lunala, Necrozma, and Poipole (earlier discussed) can all be skipped for now. That Solgaleo/Lunala you encounter later with Lillie, that Necrozma you can later find on Victory Road, and that Poipole (as we discussed earlier) they'll just hold onto it for you until you're ready to take it off their hands.

If this is true, then this is pretty fantastic. Last time I got held up at the Altar of the Sunne for almost a month as I on-again off-again made attempts to get myself a 3V ideal Adamant Solgaleo. I finally did get one (and it ended up even being a 4V ideal, to boot!), but it took me a good solid three or four weeks to do so. I'd much prefer to avoid this if at all possible, so if USUM is going to make that possible for me, then fantastic.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:33 PM   #66
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The Kanto Gym is new and is sort of a joke I think.

The legend capture thing... It's a thing. And it's about damned time.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:59 PM   #67
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In regards to forced legendaries, your research is right, Talon, though there is one thing you should be aware of before you hit the postgame. No serious plot spoilers, but putting this in a spoiler tag regardless.

Spoiler: show
Type: Null. You get it right before the Blacephalon/Stakataka deal. And unlike Poipole, you're not given a choice- it's literally forced upon you. You can save before talking to the character who gives it to you (not Gladion this time) if you intend to reset for a good one, but if you don't know ahead of time that it's going to be given to you, you could get caught off-guard.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:02 PM   #68
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I save pretty frequently. As in, "enter a new room and save" frequently. Precisely because of a childhood of playing video games riddled with things like what you've just described. So, I think I should be okay knowing only what you've shared so far, i.e. you don't need to tell me any more than what you already have. But yeah. Thank you. It's good to know ahead of time that this is going to be a thing in the not-too-distant future.

Didn't end up getting to do Sophocles' trial yesterday, and still haven't done it just yet today either. But will be doing it pretty shortly, likely within the hour.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:03 PM   #69
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Something I wanted to ask - Talon, doesn't that Vulpix/Ninetails disobey you because your trainer IDs are different between SM and USUM? One of my pet peeves from RBY was when I transferred a Level 5 Nidoran male back to RBY, it would start to disobey right around Brock's gym. Even though, the whole point of that mechanic was to prevent someone from getting an over-leveled Pokemon to plow through the game quickly.

This was one of the reasons I didn't play RSE a decade+ ago, because I was firmly in the gewunner camp and wanted to use my old Pokemon, and didn't want to play Hoenn with any of the inferior Gen 3 Pokemon.

...

For those of you who have completed the game and did Acerola's trial:

Spoiler: show
There's a scene where you see a hallucination of Acerola that yells at you, and then you enter the back room to fight the totem. I think this scene is the same between SM and USUM. It's a strange scene because Acerola acts like you're crazy, but she had to train the Totem Mimikyu that you fought. When Acerola leaves there's a shot of a Mimikyu disappearing into behind the Thrifty Megamart. It's supposed to be spooky but it's weird?


This week's anime episode (SM073) has revealed wtf is going on in that scene:

Spoiler: show
In the anime, the totem is actually a Gengar, not a Mimikyu. The haunting of the Thrifty Megamart is actually caused by a female, shiny Mimikyu who is an ACTUAL GHOST, NOT JUST a Ghost-type Pokemon. This Pokemon (nicknamed Mimi-tan) is actually owned by Acerola.

So the scene in the game, which is confusing, basically goes: you confront the ghost Mimikyu, who tries to scare you, and take a picture that doesn't photograph anything. You enter the room with the Pikachu pictures and the Totem Mimikyu sneaks up on you for a scare. This photo (of the totem) is what you show Acerola.
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Old 05-04-2018, 01:32 AM   #70
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Starting with the original games, it's always been the case that (certain) gym badges confer degrees of obedience. Didn't you ever notice? The gym leader tells you after your victory, "Now all Pokémon Level 25 and below will obey you", or some such? That's saying that so long as your Pokémon doesn't pull an Elsa and cross the seal level up past the barrier that they'll obey you. #indianajones

From the moment I traded Inari over, her level has never been above the limit for obedience. She's Lv.55 right now but fully obedient and, I have to think, I probably enjoy all Lv.75s-and-lower obeying me right now. (Saved in someone's foyer. About to see someone's new hairstyle. If you analogize trials to gym battles, I'm already through six gyms and thus should have obedience of all Lv.75s-and-lower.) And this is with Exp.Share turned on. Turn if off and I'd be even safer.

If you traded in RBY prior to getting the Cascade Badge, that's your problem. You needed to beat Misty first, otherwise note even a Lv.5 would obey you if it came from a trade.
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Old 05-04-2018, 01:52 AM   #71
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It'd disappointing to hear that's still the case, because it's braindead stupid.

Of course, I've known about the level eligibility granted by badges. But that only applies to Pokemon where you are not the OT. If you are the OT, your Pokemon will obey you no matter what. Which breaks the internal logic of how obedience is supposed to work: the in-universe explanation is that strong Pokemon won't respect a weak trainer, but that is contradicted by OT Pokemon always obeying. In a metarule sense, obedience exists as an anti-cheese mechanism to prevent players from power leveling through the game, but 1) that happens anyway and 2) is easily side-stepped by breeding.

Granted, it's really only a RBY problem because there's no breeding in RBY, so if I have an Amnesia Nidoran, there's no way for me to clone it in Blue aside from cheating. But it's an annoying enough experience that I still hate it.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:53 PM   #72
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Obediemce in Alola is done exclusively via Island Stamps, ie by grand trials. Alola also notably departs series norms by not removing the cap until you beat the League. Granted, the Poni Stamp will set you up with a cap around 80, at which point cheesing with stuff brought up from wherever via Bank is still 100% possible, so.

That said, doing my “pick out a team of 6 before hand, bank them it at level 1 and go go go!” runs usually sees me getting to be careful:

Right before Hala, especially if I’m toting an Alola Starter. It’s not uncommon for those to be evolved once by the normal trial what with the Bank EXP boost, and that’s with incredibly minimal wild grinding. Level 20 will come on you faster than you think, and obedience from ORAS on is not a mechanic you want to trifle with, it is very much a fickle mistress nowadays.
Sort of before Olivia, depending. Cap up to her is around Level 35. You really only need to be around 30, but sometimes you can come in a little too hot and overshoot that mark.
Before Nanu. Cap up to Nanu is around Level 50. Which is a pretty big gap from 35, as many Pokémon start to grow considerably slower starting around Level 40. But just as much, Ula’Ula is BIG. There is a LOT to do here, and by this point you’ll likely have a Refresh EXP multiplier going on top of whatever else. I’ve had to turn off the EXP share on this island multiple times before-usually around Po Town, AND had to skip as many Skull Grunts as possible.

That just about covers it, though. From there, Poni doesn’t have quite enough between itself and Aether to make you worry about level caps before you face off with Hapu-it definitely helps that Vast Poni Canyon is always after fighting her.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:45 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather View Post
Obedience in Alola is done exclusively via Island Stamps, ie by grand trials. Alola also notably departs series norms by not removing the cap until you beat the League. Granted, the Poni Stamp will set you up with a cap around 80 [...].
*eyes Lv.62 Ninetales nervously*

Quote:
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Poni doesn’t have quite enough between itself and Aether to make you worry about level caps before you face off with Hapu-it definitely helps that Vast Poni Canyon is always after fighting her.
Ummmmm ... *is ascending the Altar of the Sunne steps and still hasn't fought Hapu*

(It was changed in USUM. Her fight isn't supposed to have happened yet, per my experience. But that means I have to wait that much longer for her life-saving stamp!)
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:47 AM   #74
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So that explains why people are always saying "I turned off EXP Share" when it otherwise makes zero sense: they're using ported mons, and don't want to risk disobedience until they get the final stamp.

But that also plays very insidiously into GameFreak's hands. And I don't like the implication that they've made the disobedience penalties worse in the 3DS games. Why? Do they hate emergent gameplay or something?
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:19 AM   #75
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I'm saved atop the steps to the Altar of the Sunne. It's been a while since my last status update. ^^; Let's go!

Vikavolt: It's official -- Vikavolt's a proud member of the final "current final" squad of six. I'm sure someone's gonna get booted off to make room for Poipole eventually, but for right now Vikavolt gets to be a full-fledged member of my team that is Elite Four-bound.

Spoiler: show
(TMI, feel free to skip.) Because my Charjabug was at Level 41 already, had the wrong Nature, and it doesn't look like there's any way to use Heart Scales during Story Mode in USUM to help it remember the Bug Buzz it missed in favor of X-Scissor, I opted to deposit the poor guy and swap him out for a new capture made outside the geothermal plant. First I got a Timid Lv.30 (so it learned Bug Buzz and Thunderbolt at the same time on evolution), only to later realize I'd accidentally gotten Timid when I meant to get Modest. So then I had to go back and re-get a Charjabug only this time make sure it was a Modest one. Some time later, I finally had myself a Vikavolt.

Gender changed, though. ^^; Went from a guy named Zapper to a girl named Dazzler.

Sophocles' New Trial: I like this a lot. I like it a lot more than the one in SM. I just wish that, canonically, this one were the SM one and the SM one had been the USUM one.

Master Bewear: I forgot all about this, but I really loved the martial artist training under a Bewear said to be Hala's great rival.

Poké Pelago: I've gotten every island upgrade, have 386 Plain, 190 Patterned, and 60 Rainbow Beans, and have over 425 copies of the six EV-reducing berries so far, as well as over 425 copies of Leppa Berry and 150 copies of Lum Berry. Not doing too badly. :3 It's just not the same as my Sun collection. ^^; But that's okay.

Festival Plaza: Currently at Level 21. I neglected this a lot in Sun. I decided to give it a try here in USUM, but honestly, I don't think I'm going to need it very much. I'm a hardcore breeder, so I really don't have much need for bottle caps. I'm a master of experience points gain with Lucky Egg @ Roto-Power @ trademon, so I don't really have much need for the restaurants either. And I insist on catching legendaries in Premier Balls, so even if it'd be nice to say I have 2+ Master Balls I really don't need any extra.

Mantine Surf: I think this is very cute. Easily one of the best throwaway mini-games they've ever put inside of a main series Pokémon game. Sounds like it's worth my effort to get good at this so I can rake in massive amounts of BP. I only wish they would have made it more mandatory during Story Mode.

Spoiler: show
I appreciate that they still allow us to fly as early as they do. But because they do, it consequently means that we never have to Mantine Surf again following our introduction to it if we don't want to. And since flying takes you places within seconds vs. Mantine Surfing's five minutes, most players are never going to touch Mantine Surf again aside from the occasional flirtation with a minigame or (more likely) post-game BP farming.

It's obvious what they should have done: they should have reworked most instances of speedboat usage from SM into Mantine Surfing in USUM. They did it the very first time and then never again. I don't understand. The most obvious application they missed out on was during the part where Gladion, Hau, and the protagonist invade the Aether Foundation to try and rescue Lillie and Nebby. They arrived by speedboat (fine), but what should have happened next is ...
  • when they return to the dock, the children discover that their speedboat is missing. Faba must have done something to it!
  • the children make their way to the surface, where Gladion spies several friendly Mantine in the waters -- they have come to the children's rescue!
  • Gladion encourages the protagonist and Hau to jump; he leaps off the Aether Foundation ledge into the ocean below; he then climbs onto the back of a helpful Mantine and begins surfing away
  • Hau nervously jumps
  • you and Lillie jump together
  • the four of you Mantine Surf your way to Poni Island

Acerola's Trial: According to Bulbapedia, the Acerola ghost is a USUM addition. I didn't remember it until I saw it ... yet I felt like I then remembered it. So I'm not really sure what that's all about. Anyway, the trial is mostly the same as before, and it remains one of the most memorable trials in the entire game.

Whinnifred: I went and made a Mudsdale. She was a backup while I was EV training various Pokémon. Right now she's just hanging out in the PC. She has an Impish nature, and so for shits and giggles I decided to make her 252 HP / 252 Def so that she's a hilariously defensive wall. I am well aware that this is competitively silly and doesn't work as intended, but my intention isn't to use her in Comp -- it's to use her against idiot NPC Ultra Beasts who swing physical. Just send Whinnifred out and laugh as their puny attacks do nothing whilst I chuck Premier Balls at them. Will I really use her for this purpose? We'll see. lol (Probably not. It's too bad horses can't learn False Swipe.) But the idea at least is amusing.

Lusamine: USUM seems to be trying a little (too?) hard to underline that Lusamine is a complex character, a woman who we can't simply label "good" or "evil". And by this I mean, they're going out of their way making a few but very noticeable changes to the game's dialogue to make it clear that Lusamine has goodness in her. In SM, she's mostly acting out of selfishness, obsessed with the Ultra Beasts (and in particular Nihilego) and wanting to be with them. In USUM, the few but significant changes to her dialogue take her from that selfish Elmyra to a more planet-minded conservationist who is fighting for a good cause (the salvation of our world and all the Pokémon in it) and that the only problem is her messed-up methodology (sacrificing Cosmog to do it). I am perfectly 50/50 right down the middle regarding these changes. Part of me likes the subtlety(?) of SM more. Part of me likes the blunter clarity of USUM more. I can't really decide. I like both, and I guess I am glad that I got to experience both and in the order I did.

Guzma: With Guzma I've had a somewhat similar experience as I did with Lusamine, even if in Guzma's case his dialogue is mostly the same. For example, that line of Plumeria's where she tells the player, "Guzma really likes the president" ... I didn't remember something so blatant in the original SM, but sure enough it was a line there. Unlike Lusamine's dialogue which has truly been altered in places, with Guzma I think it must simply be me replaying the game for the very first time. All I know is, in my personal USUM experience it has felt even more obvious than it already did in SM that 1) Guzma's really just a disgruntled good guy, not a bad guy; and 2) Guzma probably has feelings for Lusamine.

Lillie: I know I mentioned this before, but ... I am still really surprised that Lillie doesn't join you join you until Poni Island. It felt like she was adventuring alongside us when I first played Sun for over half the game. And yet here we are, where it's not really until Poni Island that Lillie is backpacking along with us.

Clothes: Sad that I've run out of clothing stores to discover. I'm far away from being able to own everything, but ... *sigh* ... I never did find a top I liked for my kogyaru more than her pink tank top that I've had since Melemele Island. I guess my final frontier will be unlocking the full Luran costume. Still, I'd rather we were able to wear costumes like Cynthia's, Diantha's, Sabrina's, Erika's, and so on. Hopefully this is coming in Gen 8.

Money: That stated, I have over $700,000 right now and I've purchased 90-95% of the purchaseable TMs I've come across so far. I have 235 PokéBalls and 39 Premier Balls. I have 12 Hyper Potions, 9 Max Potions, 20 Revives ... I would say I am good. And that I've reached the point where I just need money to purchase all of the $100,000+ clothes. Oh, and I guess vitamins and such. (Never got around to that in Sun. :o But ofc I did a ton of that in XY, ORAS, and before. I'll need to do that again, to help with finer EV training.)

Current Team:
Lv.59 Incineroar
Lv.62 Lycanroc
Lv.57 Araquanid
Lv.58 Shiinotic
Lv.53 Vikavolt
Lv.62 Alolan Ninetales

Lycanroc has been the lead for a good 90%+ of this Story Mode run, for better or for worse. But now that I have more money than I know what to do with (and the local trainers are still handing out peanuts, e.g. $5,000 per fight even with Happy Hour and Amulet Coin), I'd like for Incineroar to get to have more time in the sun.

Araquanid FINALLY learned Liquidation. Good God that took too long. -_- That move seriously needs to be learned sooner in future generations. Otherwise it makes Araquanid boring and pointless to use in a Story Mode run. (As, sadly, he mostly was here. Or "she" in my case, as I have a female right now.)

Shiinotic I continue to really, really like. Badly underappreciated Pokémon IMO. It packs a powerful dual STAB with fun coverage. It has health recovery in both Giga Drain and Dream Eater. Spore is super useful when trying to capture wild Pokémon. And Moonblast is a good old-fashioned heavy hitting move.

Vikavolt is sadly sort of the opposite story. You'd think I'd be more impressed, what with that base SpAtk and all. But surprisingly, Vikavolt has a hard(er) time OHKOing things. Thunderbolt and Bug Buzz usually do the job with things that are 2x weak to Electric or Bug, but anything else tends to be a 2HKO at best. I dunno. I think part of it is that (s)he's almost ten levels lower than my most common lead, and that I'm so used to OHKOing everything with Tough Claws + Stone Edge, Crunch, or Fire Fang. And I think part of it might also be that my Vikavolt's SpAtk IV isn't the greatest. But EVs aren't to blame, as neither Lycanroc nor Shiinotic are EV trained. I think it may be more expectations than anything else. You see that sky-high base SpAtk and you just think, "OHKO." And then when it doesn't do that, it's a lot more disappointing than when other Pokémon who you never assumed to have guaranteed OHKOs also fail to OHKO something that isn't weak to their STAB. Like, Shiinotic I've never gotten upset with for failing to OHKO something neutral to Grass. So I wonder if it's just an unfair double standard I have for poor Vikavolt. *shrug*

Alolan Ninetales has been gaining on Lycanroc and Incineroar in levels. It's that trade status! She's been okay-fun to use. Could be better, could be worse.

Totem Stickers: I believe I have 91 right now. It's 91 at a minimum for sure, but it could also be more than 91, I dunno. Getting close to the nailbiter point where I'll have to wonder whether I naturally found them all or not and, if not, where the one(s) I missed are located. Will suck to have to revisit all 100 spots just to identify one or two missing stickers. So here's hoping I'll flawlessly hit 100 on the first pass!
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