PMD 20: Is This Game Over Yet?

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: How much longer do we have to do this?

s41: Give it another five dungeons.

abs: Come on, guys.  Cheer up a bit.  It really isn’t so bad.

: …You just keep telling yourself that.

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: …Are we even getting somewhere?

t3: Heh.  The game came up with that itself?

s2: The self-deprecation has been up recently.  This can only be a good thing… I hope.

abs: I think you’re reading a bit too far into it.

: …Spoilsport.

: Hey, Trielo.  You know what I’m thinking?  I think we’ve finally reached a place where there’s no-one but us…

: Please tell me the game came up with that one, too.

s41: Yep.  Leave it to Nintendo to swing from self-parody to Ho Yay

: Well, that’s better than the alternative.

: Even so… you have to wonder…

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abs: Yeah, hi.  Still here.  Right under the text box.

: Pokemon games aren’t allowed to have bad endings.  Bittersweet, maybe, but never bad.  They’re aimed at eight-year-olds.  But in the meantime?  We’re pretty much at the developer’s whim, so long as it’s family-friendly.

: You’re probably right.  I guess I really shouldn’t bother worrying about it; it’s not like we had a choice in the matter.

abs: Nonsense.  You always have a choice… right?

: No.  Welcome to linearity.

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t2: Augh!

: What is it!

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: Ah, hell!  I know this!  Run like hell, boys, it’s an Advisor!

: What?

:  Well, it’s one of those cultural references we like so much, you know?  Remem-

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t2: Ah!

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?: …Finally, you have arrived…

: Am.. am I dead?  Am I finally done with this terrible, terrible game?

?: No such luck.

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: ………Awwwww, merde.

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: I thought I was rid of you.

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(Yeah, they switch to the Earthbound background for a single text box and then switch back.  I have no clue.)

gardevoir: Finally, we get to meet.

: Don’t give me that.  We already met.  This isn’t quantifiably different from the time you used your magical dream powers to pester me.  Or any of the other times.

: Are you having another one of those plot-induced hallucinations?

: Looks that way.

abs: Is that normal?

: Only for me.

gardevoir: I am not visible to others.  Only to you.

: Noooooooooo, really?  Thanks for the valuable insight.  I never would have realized.

gardevoir: Any time.

: Cut to the chase, please.

gardevoir: There’s a jagged mountain range up ahead, topped by Mt. Freeze.  Inside its peak… Ninetales lives.

: You know, I never did get that.  I’m pretty sure there used to be more than one.

gardevoir: Ninetales awaits your arrival… but beware…

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abs: Learn anything useful?

: What do you think?

: I think we set a new record for links in a single sentence.

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: Uh… huh.  So, we’re going to travel to the top of yet another frozen mountain to talk to some fox?

: Evidently.

abs: Hey… hey, guys?  Wh… where am I?  I can’t seem to-

: Hush, you.

: Well, wait… if we talk to Ninetales, then…

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: Is that another conversation branch made entirely of ellipses?

abs: Wow, really?  I’m starting to see where the hate comes from.

s41: It’s not the first.

abs: Oh, you know what it is?  The game’s not expecting any sort of savvy, from us or the player.  It probably thinks you’re worried that you’ll learn something bad.

s41: You don’t really think you’re the human who abandoned Gardevoir, do you?

: Maybe.

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: No, you’re missing the point.  I don’t particularly care.  I’m the protagonist in this game, and since there’s no way they’re going to bother with questions of morality I’m basically infallible.  I just don’t see a pressing reason to go ahead, other than ‘the game wants me to.’

: Well, we’ll finally get out of the snow, so…

t3: Okay, chop chop!  We got a dungeon to clear!  No slacking!

(We’ve got another choice of the main path and a side path that just leads back here.  I’m not going to bother with the latter this time.)

Mt. Freeze 4F

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(Iron Thorns are pretty much Gravelerocks, only worse.  They don’t do much more damage, only travel in a straight line, and can damage allies.)

Mt. Freeze 7F

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(See this here?  This is why random level generation is usually a bad idea.  Instead of a polished game experience, you get two enemies, a healing item, a projectile, and the exit in the room you start off in.)

Mt. Freeze 8F

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(Yay?)

Mt. Freeze 9F

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(So, I guess this is a good time to tell you about our new friend’s abilities.  He has Scratch, which does decent damage, Taunt, which taunts foes (‘taunted’ is a status effect which causes foes to do only use attacks that do damage; while it sounds like it’d be good for high-level strategy, anybody who’s played Pokemon knows that a good chunk of your strategy is hoping that the AI randomly picks a status-affecting move so you can whail on them for an extra turn), Leer, which is one of the basic moves that starters get a lot, and Quick Attack, which is nice because it has a two-space range.)

(Coincidentally enough, he picks this time to learn a new move.  It’s Bite; I drop Taunt for it because I refuse to believe that will ever be useful.)

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abs: Okay, then, I’ll just stop existing while you save.  Sure, let’s go with that.

Mt. Freeze Peak 2F

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(I’m tired.)

Mt. Freeze Peak 5F

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: …To a big, empty circle with nobody in it.  Stupid lying Gardevoir.

abs: Wasn’t there supposed to be a Nintales here?

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: Well, looks like this is it.  Brace yourselves.  If we get the jump on them, we might be able to take a few of them out before the deus ex machina kicks in.

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: Really?  You think so?  I suggest you take a step back and reappraise the situation.  You’ll find that, in reality, quite the opposite is true.  You can’t run away forever, Tyranitar.

al: …What the hell do you think you’re trying to do?

: You too, Alakazam.  Your fugitive act dragged us all the way out here, but it looks like your comeuppance is finally at hand.  It was a good chase, but ultimately?  You lose.

s2: Pipe down, Trielo.  We can finally settle this here.  I can barely contain myself.  I’m itching for a fight.

abs: Wait… what’re we-

t4: Rick…

abs: Erm…

abs: Listen, Charizard.  Don’t think badly of me or my comrades.  Our mercy lessons fell on senior skip day.

: Alakazam… I didn’t wish for this conclusion, but your time’s up.  It is not our right to make decisions for fate; it is only our duty to carry it out.

s2: The role of a rescue team is to bring peace.  We will…

abs: …No matter what it takes.

t3: Prepare to die.

al: …Nice try.  Do you really think-

ty: Wait.  I’m confused.

char: Weren’t we the ones chasing them?

al: …Just kill them.

: I didn’t really think that would work.

abs: Ah, well.  It was a nice try.

s2: Come on, then!  Let’s waste ’em!

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: Gee!  Somebody’s stopping the fight.  What a sudden and unexpected twist!

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t5: Hahaha, oh god!  You should see your face!

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t3: Heheh… okay, it’s not funny anymore.  You can stop now.

char1: N-Ninetales!

ty2: The legend was real!

: Of course it was, you dolt.  What the hell did you go through all this for if you didn’t think it was real?

: Buncha amateurs.

nine: Cease fighting at once, Alakazam.

al: …I don’t really-

nine: They are… my guests.

: With all due respect (or, rather, none at all), it’s kind of hard to call someone your guest when you’ve never communicated with them before.  Freaky ghost girl doesn’t count.

al: Tell us, Ninetales!  Who was the human who appeared in your legend?

nine: Haha, you actually believed that thing?  That was just me building up my mythos.  Like Walt Disney.  Or Houdini.

al: Wait, what?

nine: Nah, I’m just messin’ witcha.

: I’m not sure if I like this one or if she’s worse than all the others combined.

nine: I really don’t care if you lot think my curse is a legend.  If I did, I wouldn’t be living out here in the middle of nowhere.  There’s a reason I’m the only living thing within a hundred miles, you know.

: It’s because you wanted to make us walk all the way here, isn’t it?

nine: That’s just a happy coincidence.  I’m here because I hate people.  Like Santa Claus.

nine: Anyway, it really did happen.  Normally, I’d go and recap it again, but nah.  That’s what we’ve got a table of contents for.

al: So… the human in the legend…

nine: Hell if I know.  Well, actually, I do, but that’s not important.  All you need to know is that it’s not this kid.

: What was that?

nine: It’s not Trielo.

abs: Could you say that again?

nine: It’s not Trielo.

s2: Hey, Trielo!  Did you hear that?  It’s not you!  Awesome!

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t2: AH GET IT OFF GET IT OFF

: Sorry.

: Okay, seriously, what the fuck, man?

: Don’t blame me.  Blame our obligation to remain faithful to the creepiest parts of the original.

: ……..I got nothing.

al: But… w-wait… how…

nine: Dammit, it’s not him.

abs: Gotcha.

nine: …Okay, see?  This is why I moved  here.  That and people who can’t understand prophecies.

al: …Huh?

nine: Well, you see, I once prophesized that the world’s balance would become unstable, right?  Right.  You all knew that.  But, see, here’s the thing.  Everybody just assumed it had something to do with my curse, and no amount of telling them that they were wrong could help.

ty: It’s… not related to the-

nine: Yep, that’s right, your entire crusade was based off of lies and misinformation!

al: …

ty: …

char: …

abs: Welp.

: You guys look pretty stupid right about now.

al: We… erm… apologize.

ty: We got worked up by that Gengar.

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char: Trielo just doesn’t look like the treacherous type!

abs: …Seriously?

: You ‘knew’ and you didn’t say anything?

: I’m not sure, but I think that pretty much makes you even worse than everybody else.

abs: For your sake, I hope you’re lying.

al: But… you know, on the bright side, you must be commended for surviving through this journey and finding the truth.

: …Seriously?  We went through four and a half dungeons, two bosses- both of which kicked our asses twelve times over- and somewhere around eight or nine cutscenese, and that’s the best you can do?  ‘Good job, you managed to pull it off?’

abs: What the hell is wrong with you people?

char: Hey… hey, wait a second!  I’m still confused.

al: Yes, I suppose there is still one thing we need to take care of.

ty: Yeah!  We never did figure out who was hunting who!

: …I’m pretty sure they had something else in mind.

char: Not me.

al: Well, I did.  If your curse didn’t turn Trielo into a Pokemon, what did?

: Who’s to say I wasn’t one in the first place?  Why am I the only-

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(You can’t tell from the screenshot, but there’s a “shaking” effect onscreen.)

nine: Oh, right.  That.  Well, you see, the planet’s crust is shifting.  Unfortunately for us, there happens to be a fiery beast sleeping beneath the ground.

al: You mean…

nine: That’s right!

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ty2: Groudon!?

char1: Groudon is rising!?

: What’s a Groudon?

al: It’s a legendary Pokemon.  Big, powerful, lives in magma, smashes stuff.  You get the picture.  The thing is, it’s ludicrously powerful.  If it wakes up, we’re all dead.

: And we get to fight it.  Great.

al: No.  We will go.  You must stay behind.

: Fine by me.

abs: Normally I’d disagree, but I happen to enjoy not being dead.

char: We’re Gold Rank.  We can handle it.

ty: We’ll just take care of Groudon and be back before you know it.

al: Then we agree.  Let’s go quell Groudon!

[Exeunt ACT]

abs: Well… I’m glad they’ve got it under control.

: Heh!  As if.

: Just wait and see.  Pretty soon, we’ll have to go save their sorry asses.

And thus…

Alakazam’s team made their way underground to quell the awakened Groudon…

Meanwhile, cleared of all suspicion, Trielo’s team…

: I’m pretty sure I was the only suspect.

Put an end to their long and arduous journey…

: Finally.

And returned to their welcoming rescue team base.

Next: Everything goes south and we’ve got to clean up the mess.

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