Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pokemon Black Part 13: Team Plasma's Deceit

So, there's about 3 cities left on the map that can't be accessed until beating the Elite 4... As I expected, there aren't many options for leveling up before this. The Pokemon League has always been the one part of the pokemon games that forces you to grind a lot. I'm not too big a fan of grinding, so I'm just gonna load up on potions and revives and take on the Elite 4 in one go!

Also there seems to be a lot of unfinished business still left at this stage in the game. Usually the bad guy team is beaten by around the 8th gym or so, but unlike the other games, the final climactic battle with Team Plasma's leader seems to take place after the Elite Four.

I have a feeling Reshiram will show himself at that time as well. I've already used my Master Ball on that Tornadus, because he takes after those cheapass dogs in gold/silver and runs away the second you see him. I've replaced Unfezant on my team with Tornadus.

Finally that egg that was found on the hidden island hatched into Larvesta, a fire/bug type.

... not very interesting, but check out its evolution, Volcarona.

When volcanic ash darkened the atmosphere, it is said that Volcarona's fire provided a replacement for the sun.

You mean this thing is hot enough to replace the freaking sun?! Sheesh talk about overpowered... If pokedex descriptions were really accurate this pokemon could melt the entire earth!

Onto the Pokemon League... here's my team so far:

Zweilous 51
Gothitelle 49
Tornadus 48
Carracosta 46
Excadrill 50
Serperior 52

There are four rooms in four different directions, and a statue in the middle telling you which pokemon type is in each direction. I decided to go for the Ghost type elite, Shauntal, first. Shauntal's room is a big dark library, with bats and spider webs... it looks very haunted.
I get carried away by spirits up to the platform where Shauntal is. Her first pokemon, Cofagrigus, is a real pain in the ass, and this trainer definitely knows how to use strategy. She'll burn my pokemon and lower my attack, then switch to another pokemon before I can land a good hit... her other ghost types have such a wide range of moves almost all of my team was being hit by a weakness... That was a pretty good fight.

Next I went up against the fighting type elite, Marshal. His room has a mechanical lift taking you up to a fighting arena.
He's mostly a piece of cake for Gothitelle, except for that Sawk pokemon with its sturdy ability... it managed to stay alive the longest because I kept getting it down to 1 HP and then he would use a full restore on it, again and again...

After that I took on the psychic type elite, Caitlin, who uses the force to levitate you over to her bedroom... uh... to battle pokemon of course.
She uses this weird purple pig called Musharna, smoking a bunch of pink-colored pot... it looks like something out of an acid induced hallucination.

Next I went to the dark type elite, Grimsley... his dark types are a pushover for Excadrill. The room you battle him in is literally lifted out of Castlevania.
"What is a pokemon? A miserable pile of secrets!"

Finally I'm passed the Elite Four and I can go on up to the champion... but when I get there, the place is destroyed, and N has already defeated him.

N: ...It's over! You won't wound and bind pokemon any longer. All thanks to my friend Zekrom!

Champion... you're too soft. You lost a pokemon to illness years ago, a partner. You wandered Unova searching for something to fill that hole... It's been quite some time since you last earnestly fought, hasn't it? That part of you may despise it, but... As one far, far stronger than the Champion, I shall give Unova an order. An order to all Trainers, to release their pokemon!

Alder: Please! Separating pokemon and people... Anything but that!!

N: ...You and I fought, with all our strength, for our own beliefs. And I won. So I'd prefer you don't say another word...

Warpio: ...

N: I've been waiting. Just as I foresaw, you have also obtained one of the stones.
That Light Stone... It reacts to Zekrom. However! This is not the appropriate place for the dragons of legend! Rise from the earth, Team Plasma's castle! Encompass the Pokemon League!

N's Castle actually rises up out of the ground, and surrounds the entire pokemon league... This is some insane turn of events! How did N manage to build such a huge castle, and right near the elite four's headquarters?

N: Team Plasma's castle has manifested itself! The king's word... It shall roar down on the commoners from such great height!

You must come to the castle as well. There, all shall be decided. Shall pokemon be made perfect by their separation from mankind?! Or will Pokémon and humans live together as if it were meant to be...? You and I shall see... whose thoughts are more powerful!

Cheren: Alder, you look beat! ...It's not very Champion-like of you.

Alder: ...You made it here too, kiddo?

Cheren: ...I managed to win my way through the Pokemon League somehow. It was pretty tough. I guess.

Alder: ...You didn't really, did you?

Cheren: ...I've become stronger from learning exactly what I need to do.
Warpio! You need to talk to N! Tell him that people can become stronger by being with pokemon... And in helping me along, my pokemon have become stronger, too.

Alder: ...I lost. He speaks of a preposterous dream... I should've shown him the bonds we have with pokemon... I sorta wonder if his beliefs might not even be genuine? Put your soul into it! The guy's desperate about realizing his dreams of changing the world. So I'm begging you, Warpio!! No good will come from the separation of pokemon and people... Teach it to him good!

Cheren is like the sidekick that nobody ever wants to see, but he always manages to show up during the most important story sequences and manages to make himself seem relevant. This guy's obsessed with battling and becoming stronger, so I guess it was predictable that he would get to the pokemon league. Bianca on the other hand is probably off adventuring somewhere with the professor and catching tons of pokemon.

As soon as you go into the castle you get ambushed by 6 of the sages.

That which obeys the heavens lives. That which defies the heavens perishes.
There is honor in the obsolete.
Know one without knowing two.
To err and not change one's ways: this is what it is to err.
Wise men discern for goodwill. Ignorants discern for benefit.
The heavens have not two suns. A nation has not two kings.
Now... We have a serious affair with our king. A collapsing of Lord Ghetsis's perfect plan, you could say.
Lord N is dejected, but we six shall defeat you here!

They try to defeat me with their philosophical ramblings, but then suddenly all the gym leaders all bust in, ready to kick some sage ass!

Well, almost all the gym leaders anyway... They probably decided those restaurant gym leader guys aren't important enough.

N's Castle is just a big corridor with side rooms, and a bunch of Team Plasma members and other people who all seem to be urging you on to go battle N.

I am Anthea, goddess of love... Rest now, Trainer arranged with N...
You are now healthy. You and your Pokémon both... Trainers never fight to wound pokemon. N knows this deep in his heart, yet... Admitting it would bring much sadness to this castle...

I am Concordia, goddess of peace... You who will grant N peace... N has been apart from humans since a very young age, raised instead with pokemon. Pokemon betrayed, oppressed, wounded by evil people...

Those are the only pokemon Ghetsis would allow to approach N. N saw those wounds and came to seek an ideal that considered only pokemon. N's excessively pure and innocent heart... It's too beautifully pristine to be truly frightening, and yet...

Is Lord N the hero of the ideal? In your fight with him, you will know.
Does he want to protect this world where you now walk with pokemon...? That too you shall know.

Ghetsis: Welcome, possessor of the Light Stone. This castle, once concealed under the Pokemon League, is a sign that Unova will change. The lord of the castle has tamed the legendary pokemon and surpassed the Champion... the ultimate Trainer! And furthermore, his heart burns with ideas of what he wishes to do with the world! If you wouldn't call him a hero, then just who would you?

Once the stage has been put in order, we will capture people's hearts! A remarkably simple desire of mine... rather, of Team Plasma's! With only us in control of pokemon, we will rule the powerless.

It's been so long! I've lived in hiding so my plan would not be exposed... But those days of suffering are over!! Now, continue! And will you too become a hero...? Well, it couldn't hurt to try!

N waits for me in the last room of the castle, and gives me a chance to unleash Reshiram from the Light Stone...

N: What I want is a world of only pokemon... By separating pokemon from people, they will regain their natural power... Now. This will be our final battle. I am prepared! Even if my pokemon friends are wounded, my beliefs will prevail! Since you have come this far, certainly you must feel something similar? If you do, I ask you to come forth and show it to me! Prepare yourself!!

There's a cutscene where N sends out Zekrom, then Reshiram appears out of the Light Stone.

N: Zekrom and Reshiram... Originally one life... one pokemon. Distinctly opposite, yet exactly the same entity. Zekrom and Reshiram both appeared before ones they recognize as heroes...

...I see. And yes, as is the same with you. Do you hear the pokemon speaking? Let me tell you what he says.

"I want to fight you... Make me your ally!"

He wants to test if you have come this far seeking truth... I want to know your power as well... Now! Catch Reshiram... befriend him!!

Catching Reshiram was surprisingly easy, just got its health down and caught it on the 2nd try with an ultra ball. Usually the legendaries have such a ridiculous catch rate it takes forever to catch them with ultra balls. Maybe they made this easier since it's part of the story.

N: ...I see. It is said that power was lent to the hero who pursued truth. Reshiram has recognized your power and chosen to walk with you, then...

I have seen the future! I WILL win!!

Now for the battle of black vs. white Zekrom's ideals vs. Reshiram's truths. The contrast of the two different opposing viewpoints held by N and the main character, both of them seen as heroes, are parallel to the contrast between black and white. Without black there is no white, without white there is no black. The main theme behind this game is the fundamental relationship of opposites... the same theme represented by the Yin-yang symbol.

Pokemon Black and White also contrast each other in these sorts of ways, like one game taking place in the future while the other takes place in the past. (as evidenced by Opelucid City and Black City/White Forest)... and using the Entralink feature you can travel between the two worlds, where one world's reality is the other world's dream...

Speaking of dreams, N's dream of changing the world contrasts with the reality of me beating the crap out of him.

N: ... ... ... ... ... ...
...Zekrom and I have been beaten.
Your thoughts... your truth... Is that what has bested me...?

Reshiram and Zekrom... Those two chose heroes upon varying qualities... Is that the case?

Two heroes in the same era, one seeking the ideal, one seeking the truth, coexisting... is that correct?

...I don't understand. I would not deny differing ideas. In fact, in accepting differing ideas, the world will experience a chemical reaction. This... is the formula that can change the world...

I beat N quite easily, but... it doesn't seem like I've won just yet. It was too easy. In fact N seems to be content with me defeating him. I wonder what's going to happen.

It turns out Ghetsis, the leader of the seven sages, actually has his own agenda different from N's, and he wants me out of the way no matter what.

Ghetsis: Even still, are you not of the Harmonia name, the same as I? What a worthless son...

From the very beginning... N's revival of the legendary ideal-seeking Pokémon in our time... It was all for the glory of MY Team Plasma! To manipulate the fearful populace!

You did well to come that far. But you wanted to fight a fellow, belief-driven trainer who could also subdue a legendary pokemon, to see if you were a true hero...
And in the end, you were beaten by a petty commoner for it, you utter fool! It seems being raised with pokemon only made you a wretched and imperfect human in the end...

Warpio! I had not the slightest conception of the legendary pokemon choosing a trainer like you... Yet nothing will impede me toward my goal! I will not falter! So that I shall rule the world with an iron fist! So that I can manipulate the hearts of those humans who know but nothing!

N has served as the king of Team Plasma. But you know the truth of why that is... And for getting in my way, I will have to eliminate you!

(Alder and Cheren come in.)

Cheren: ...Rule the world? Wasn't Team Plasma's goal to liberate pokemon?

Ghetsis: That was but a lie told to help in the construction of Team Plasma. What good would come of letting useful things like pokemon free? But by manipulating pokemon, the potential of humans grows tremendously. You must acknowledge that! And so! It would be most pleasing for I to be the only one using pokemon!

Alder: ...You dirty, deceiving...!

Ghetsis: Regardless. Now then... that which is called a god, but is ultimately only a pokemon... And Warpio, the one it has recognized! You have much to fear... Now, have at you! I wish to see that glorious flash of despair upon your face!

Wow, so it turns out N wasn't the evil mastermind after all... he was just a dumb kid who was tricked into becoming a false hero in the hope of helping pokemon. N befriended the pokemon who were betrayed by humans (Team Plasma), and because of that he wanted to separate pokemon from humans. Ontop of all that, he was able to construct a huge castle and gather up legions of followers believing in N. Ghetsis is really the true badass of the game.

After defeating Ghetsis, Alder and Cheren take him away, then N tells us about his true intentions, how he was never really a bad guy, and doubted which side he was on the whole time.

N: ...There's something I want to talk to you about. When I first met you back in Accumula Town... I heard the voices of your pokemon, and they shocked me...

Why do these pokemon... Why do they claim to be... fond of you...? They said they wanted to be with you... I couldn't comprehend. That there were pokemon in this world who liked people... I had no knowledge of such pokemon until that moment... And from then on, as my journey continued, my feelings swayed...

Pokemon and people were all selflessly joining their hearts to help each other... So I wanted to fight you, to ascertain my belief... I wanted to face you as a fellow hero. That I desired...

I considered only pokemon... no, only those poor pokemon I had known, even... I should never have opposed you when you were surrounded by pokemon who love you...

...Well, the Champion has forgiven me, but... My life is now in my own hands...

You said you had a dream... That dream... must be realized! Your wonderful dreams, your ideals... have the power to change the world! Warpio! You can do it!!

Well, then...

The end... or is it?