Doing a Hardcore Nuzlocke challenge brings with it a sense of trepidation sometimes. It’s not necessarily because you always live in fear that a silly mistake will result in the death of your favourite team member either. Sometimes it’s the simpler things that get to you. I’ve played Pokemon X a couple of times now (mostly admittedly out of sheer boredom on trains and lazy weekends, even though it’s not the best Pokemon game) and that means that I know roughly where to find some of my favourite little critters.
Unfortunately, in this case, that also means I know where not to find my favourite little critters. Only being able to catch the first Pokemon you encounter on a new route sometimes brings with it the sinking feeling that you won’t get what you really want. I know the Rolling Stones sang a song about all this once, but just because Mick Jagger tells you that getting what you want isn’t always possible doesn’t mean you can’t feel just that little bit hard done by. If Jagger and Keith Richards are out there playing this challenge too, then I’m sure they’d understand. And that’s a weird image.
I’m standing at the north exit of Cyllage City and know that one of the best Pokemon in the game is out there, waiting. And that I might not get my hands on it. No, I’m not talking about everyone’s favourite eagle luchador Hawlucha, I’m talking about motha-effing Eevee. Eevee is the best thing since the sliced bread Pokemon I’m sure they’ll invent for the next game (look they’ve had ice cream, garbage and keys, a nice crusty roll isn’t out of the question…)
I go into the grass and it turns out that all this worrying was actually for nothing. An adorable little foxy jumps out at me and I squeal and I bop it on the head and catch it with ease. If you’re wondering why I was so choked up before, it’s because that’s never happened in any of my other playthroughs. I usually end up encountering a Sigilyph or Mr. Luchador before getting my Eevee.
I realise that Eevee isn’t a great Pokemon in it’s natural form. I’m not silly. What I am aware of though, is that after I’ve battled past a few psychics and a random member of Team Flare on this path, I can get my hands on a Thunderstone. That’s big news for me. There’s probably a few people screaming at me not to use it yet in dramatic slow motion but goddamit I want my electric Pokemon. I want Jolteon. The thunderous fox may have a few weaknesses but it’s also very effective against some of the most common enemies in the game. Considering how easy a relatively weak Emolga took down my Gyarados a while back, can you really blame me for wanting something that can shoot lightning out of it’s ears? Can you?
Okay, enough of that. I’ve spent 500 words talking about fear and the merits of Eevee, though to be honest, there’s not an awful lo more to say at the minute. The path to Geosenge Town isn’t exactly filled with excitement. There’s a couple of battles with trainers who have some interesting, if still underpowered, Pokémon and other than that there’s very little else to do. Geosenge itself isn’t too much better. You can’t leave the town until you witness a pointless little cutscene of a Team Flare operative going into the not-so-secret base to the north of the village. It’s weird how when your rival Calem talks to you asking where he went, he’s oblivious to the fact there’s a great big white dome not very well hidden under a couple of rocks. Instead, he’s more content to think that the man from Flare just disappeared into thin air. Idiot.
The only other event of note right now is that you get stopped by the gym leader of Shalour City upon leaving the town. I say this is an event of note… it’s not really. It’s just another small cutscene setting up the fact that one of her twin Lucarios has taken a shine to you. It’s real subtle, I don’t think.
I’m starting to realise why a lot of people don’t like Pokémon X. It’s really pretty boring, isn’t it?