Pokemon Journal: The Frozen Battle and the Big Dig!

Welcome back everyone! As promised, I’m back to regular updates for Pokémon Black. First things first though, it HAS been several months since I last played, so before moving on, I take a few moments to reacquaint myself with my current party. Thankfully there are a good handful of trainers on Route 5 ready and willing to battle. In the process, my Herdier actually evolved into Stoutland, so that made me really happy.

Now that I have my bearings again, we head across the Driftveil Drawbridge and over to Driftveil City. The trip across the bridge is rather uneventful, but there is an interesting gimmick in play. Many bird type Pokémon like to fly over the bridge and you can see their shadows as you cross. If you walk to these shadows you can actually pick up feathers that have drifted off of them, or on rare occasion actually battle one of them.

Upon reaching Driftveil City, we find Cheren and what looks like your stereotypical Texan businessman waiting for us. Turns out this is Clay, the Driftveil City Gym Leader and the person Elesa called to let the bridge down. While Elesa may have spoken highly of us, Clay instead instantly hates us. Apparently Team Plasma was causing trouble in Driftveil City as well, and Clay actually managed to stop them before our arrival. Unfortunately, while lowering the draw bridge, the Team Plasma Grunts took the momentary distraction to escape. Redirecting blame to Cheren and I, Clay refuses to challenge us to a Gym Battle until we’ve recaptured the grunts. He also hints to the fact that my may have escaped to the Cold Storage area to the south of town.

Before heading south, it’s time to explore the new town quick. There really isn’t much to explore here though, only a few houses and a small market. One of the people in the houses was actually a move tutor and offered to teach our starter Pokémon a special move, in my case Grass Pledge. Apparently the move is only decent on its own, but becomes much more powerful in double battles when combined with either Fire Pledge or Water Pledge. However, I currently only have one starter, and it’s not a GREAT move on its own, so I’m going to skip it for now.

The only other thing of interest is the Motorcyclist Charles who can be found behind the market place. When you talk to him, he introduces his brand new battle style which he has dubbed “Rotation Battles”. In these battles, both sides send out 3 Pokémon all at once. However, only one Pokémon will battle at a time. So it’s not a whole lot different from a normal battle other than the fact that you can swap out those 3 Pokémon at any time WITHOUT it taking up a turn on its own. It’s interesting, and shows the Pokémon team is at least TRYING to keep it fresh, but I don’t really see much lasting appeal to this particular gimmick.

With the city fully explored now, we head south to the Cold Storage area. Apparently a lot of the workers here are bored and just waiting to fight any children that happen to be wandering around. In addition to the few random trainer battles, there are also a few patches of grass where you can encounter some random Pokémon. But our goal is to find the Team Plasma Grunts, and with Cheren’s help, we figure out they are hiding in the southwest most storage building.

However, I’m not quite ready to enter yet. Why is that you may ask? Well, while wandering around the Cold Storage Area I happened to catch a cute little Vanillite! I know Vanillite isn’t a very popular Pokémon, most people are instantly put off by the simple fact that it’s a food Pokémon. But you see, I like that about it. If you’ll remember, I also used Cherrim back when I played Diamond, and it ended up being a powerhouse for me. I’ll admit, the one I caught seems incredibly weak, even for its level, and I’m having a hard time liking it as well. But I’m willing to give it a proper try before passing judgment. That means we have some quick level grinding first.

So a good hour or so of level grinding later, my Vanillite is caught up with the rest of the team. It still feels much weaker than my other Pokémon, but I’m willing to hold onto it a while longer. Anyway, Cheren and I both enter the Cold storage area in search of Team Plasma. Inside, there are a handful of shipping crates seemingly randomly placed around the room. There are also several large patches of ice which cause you to go sliding across the room as soon as you step on them. I’m sure the safety inspector would just have a field day with these kinds of work place hazards all about.

After slipping and sliding and battling our way through the building, we eventually come to an open container in the back where Team Plasma must be hiding. Inside, there are actually a total of eight Plasma Grunts all huddled around Zinzolin, one of the Seven Sages. Upon seeing Cheren and I, Zinzolin orders the grunts to defend him. We split up the work and each defeat four of the grunts, after which point Clay and a group of workers show up to take them into custody. Happy with our quick work, Clay finally starts to take a shine to us and agrees to let us challenge his gym. Unfortunately, the joy we just felt is quickly lost as we approach the gym and see a standoff between Clay and Ghetsis of Team Plasma. After a quick exchange, Clay reluctantly agrees to free the Team Plasma Grunts into Ghetsis’ custody to avoid a much larger clash between the two.

This set back doesn’t change Clay’s opinion of us, and we are still allowed to challenge his Gym. Once again, it’s a very unique and interesting level design. It’s set up as a mini puzzle where you ride elevator platforms up and down a dig site until you finally manage to make your way to the elevator which will bring you down to Clay himself. Most of the trainers use a combination of Sandile, Drilbur, or Palpitoad to battle, so my Servine alongside my own Palpitoad end up making short work of nearly all of them.

Clay Krokorok
  Level: 29
Palpitoad Excadrill
Level: 29 Level: 31

We battle our way through all the trainers above before descending deep below to a crystal chamber were Clay is. That single crystal behind him must be worth millions alone. Why is he still wasting his time with a Pokémon gym? He should be retired on some private island by now. Fantasies aside, Clay does give us quite a bit of trouble. His Krokorok and Palpitoad were easy enough to get past, but his Excadrill nearly wiped out the party. This is partially my fault for being a bit arrogant. I first swapped in Vanillite to give it a bit of the experience, but also swapped it out for my Swoobat, thinking it deserved some experience as well. That ended up being a deadly mistake. After allowing the Excadrill to perform a few Hone Claws, its attack was high enough to defeat my team before they could even get a hit in. Honestly, Servine’s Leech Seed was the only thing that saved the day, slowly whittling down its health while I tried desperately to keep everyone alive.

Graceful it was not, but a victory is still a victory as Clay admits defeat and hands us the Quake Badge as proof. This is where most of the other gym leaders would also give us a TM of their personal favorite move. However, Clay breaks the norm by insisting we meet him at the cave entrance past Route 6 before he will hand it over.

So I guess we know where we’re heading next, but that’s all I have to report for today. Join us next time as we head out to Route 6 and see what more Pokémon Black has in store for us!

Current Team:

Vanillite Servine Munna
Level: 31 Level: 35 Level: 31
Swoobat Palpitoad Darumaka
Level: 31 Level: 32 Level: 32

Play Time: 25h 09m

Badges: 5

Pokédex Entries: 60

It’s been a very busy week for me, so sadly there is no Pokemon Art this time. But don’t worry, there will be more to come next time.