Well, when we left off, I was just about to challenge the entire Team Galactic Eterna City Headquarters building. No easy task for a small 10 year old boy. Especially since they have the strongest security systems known to man in the Pokémon world, small trees strategically placed in from of the building. Despite their size, these small trees are impossible to pass without cutting them down outright, which is exactly what we did.
Inside, I got the vibe that even most of the members don’t actually know what the plan is, they’re just going along for the ride. I guess it makes sense, only the really higher ups would have to understand things like stealing energy from evolving Pokémon to open up a portal in space to summon an ancient god, or whatever their plan is. Everyone else is just trying to pay rent. Either way I can’t let them kidnap the bike shop owner…oh, and stealing Pokémon, I guess that’s not good either. That means I have to defeat their boss, Commander Jupiter. Her Skuntank actually gave me a lot of trouble, wiping out half my party before I took her down. But she was defeated and everyone’s Pokémon were returned to them. Out of gratitude the bike shop owner even gave me a free bike. Now I can ride the cycling road with all the other cool Pokémon trainers. It also means I can finally use the direct path between Eterna and Oreburgh, not that it does me much good now. I don’t want to go too far just yet though, I remember passing someplace I want to check out first.
Back at the exit to the Eterna Forest, or I guess entrance if you’re coming in FROM Eterna City, there was a path blocked off with some of those impassible little trees. Past them is the Old Chateau, an abandoned manor in the middle of the woods rumored to be haunted. In fact, I know it’s haunted, I saw ghosts in there myself. In addition to the ghost type Pokémon Ghastly, who frequently appears, I also saw what looked like a butler float away after he saw me. Then there was a painting with glowing red eyes which disappeared when I got close. It’s all very creepy and I think I should run away as fast as possible.
So with the ghosts far behind me, it’s time to battle my way down the cycling road. There were a few trainers, though no one of great interest. What actually caught my eye was the scenery below the road. A few grassy areas, some berries, and to the very north a small cave opening in the side of the mountain. I don’t know why, but I really wanted to know what was nestled away in that little cave, a curiosity I would soon regret. The whole cave is so dark I can only see a few spaces around me, and the paths are very confusing in the dark and I quickly got lost. The cave is full of Bronzor which were dealing out quite a bit of damage to my poor Pokémon. I was sure this is where I would die. That’s when I go very lucky, I found an escape rope on the ground and was able to leave the cave. Back to town I went to buy a few more to keep with me. Never leave town without an escape rope!
Now that my wallet is empty and my bag is full of goodies, it’s time to press forward through Mt Coronet. I didn’t make it far into the cave before someone runs up to me and starts monologuing at me. If he said his name I didn’t catch it, but just looking at him I can guess he’s part of Team Galactic. He was going on about how Mt Coronet was the origin of the Sinnoh region and how people are weak or something. I don’t really know. I was mentally prepping myself for battle at the time. Because really, whether it’s a game or real life, if someone runs up to me and starts monologuing, my only thought process is along the lines of “I’m going to punch this guy in the face until he shuts up.” The mental prep was unnecessary it would seem as he shut up and walked away all on his own without a fight, leaving the rest of the short walk through the cave very uneventful.
Upon entering the next town, Hearthome, there was a fun little scene where I help a woman recapture her escape Buneary. While on its own, this is a cute little scene of being in the right place at the right time to help someone, looking deeper actually makes this rather dark. After being captured, Pokémon are loyal and obedient almost to a fault. They love their master and would do anything for them. For a Pokémon to actually RUN AWAY, that woman must have been horrible to it, and I prevented its one chance at freedom. But go ahead and see it whichever way you want.
The rest of Hearthome is actually very friendly, with key places like the Pokémon Fan Club, the Poffin House, Amity Square, And the Contest Hall. The last of which a fellow traveler was nice enough to guide me straight to. There was another brief interaction at the door, this time with a woman named Fantina. Fantina happens to be this town’s gym leader as well as a self proclaimed contest expert. She even taunts me that she won’t challenge me until I become stronger, and then walks off. I’ll show her stronger, but first to check out the Pokémon Contests.
Believe it or not, this is my mom. She looks like she’s 12 years old, but she’s somehow my mom…
Yet another surprise inside, apparently my mom has come to enter into the Pokémon Contests as well. I didn’t even know she had her own Pokémon. Usually your mom just stays home and lives in the kitchen. After a brief conversation with her and Keira, the woman I helped earlier, it’s time to enter the contests. Normally I don’t bother with these, but I felt like giving it a try. I entered my Pachirisu into the “Cute” competition. I didn’t know what I was doing, and Pachirisu is apparently more suited to the “Cool” competition, but somehow I managed to win. That was actually kind of fun, maybe I’ll come back and do more some other time.
With that out of the way, it’s time to show Fantina I’m no weakling… or not. I guess she was serious when she said she wouldn’t challenge me until later. Oh well. After a quick walk around to see the rest of the sites, I guess there’s not much else to do here until I’m strong enough to actually fight Fantina, so off we go. But not before talking to the random hiker by the gate. He gave me an egg which I’m just compelled to hatch now. So time to jump on my bike and get this egg hatched. It felt like it took forever, but it was worth it when it hatched into a happy little Happiny, Chansey’s pre-evolution. The Chansey family is notoriously hard to catch, and are actually pretty good defensive characters. Maybe I’ll have to swap her in at some point if someone in my party just isn’t working out.
Anyway, I finally get back to my adventure to the next town, but it doesn’t take long before I’m sidetracked again. Just before the next town lies the Lost Tower, a Pokémon cemetery building. Why does every game have a cemetery? I still have nightmares of Lavender Town from the first game! The Lost Tower isn’t as big or as creepy as Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town, but some of the trainers inside are a bit questionable. Like the young couple apparently on a date. Who goes on a date to a cemetery?! Upon reaching the top, one of the old ladies gave me the HM Move Strength. It’s an odd choice if you ask me, but I’m happy to have it none the less.
Immediately north of the Lost Tower we find ourselves in Solaceon Town. This small little town is home to the daycare center, the only place where you can breed Pokémon. I haven’t mentioned this before, but I actually go out of my way to catch only female Pokémon for the purpose of breeding them. Not for any perfect Pokémon like some people do. I don’t even fully understand IV’s and EV’s and egg moves and all that other competition level metagame stuff. I just breed them so I can have a full Pokédex. Then when I play the next game, I can trade a baby Pokémon to the new game and get a full Pokédex there too. On a side note, I love how no one in the Pokémon world will admit where babies come from. No matter who you ask “no one has ever seen a Pokémon lay an egg, so no one knows where they come from.”
Of course, it’s a bit early to be worrying about breeding for a full Pokédex just yet. Instead I thought I should go check out that cave on the east side of town. This cave is actually the Solaceon Ruins, an ancient structure with mysterious ancient writings on the wall. I can’t even tell you how happy I am to see the Unown return as the ancient language of choice. If you never played it, the 3rd generation used Braille for the ancient ruins, a decision that pleased no one. Ignoring the fact that Braille isn’t old enough to be used as ancient writing, very few normal sighted people can actually read it, and any blind person obviously can’t see it or touch is as it’s intended, making it useless to virtually everyone.
The inscription on the first floor wall reads “Top Right, Lower Left, Top Right, Top Left, Top Left, Lower Left.” I took these instructions to indicate which of the four stairs to take while exploring the ruins. I followed them and found myself in a room with 4 items on the ground as well as another inscription on the wall. “Friendship. All lives touch other lives to create something anew and alive.” a wonderful message, unfortunately, now I’m lost in another cave. I guess I could explore a bit, but for now I think I’d rather just escape rope out.
A quick visit to the Pokémon Center back in town and it’s time to keep pressing forward to the next town and the next badge. But that will have to be for another time. I hope you’ll join me again as I explore the world of Pokémon Diamond.
Play Time: 15h 10m
Pokédex Entries: 59