After talking with a few people, I've reached a majority vote, 2:1, of continuing as a Nuzlocke. It's bending one of the fundamental rules a bit, but I'll be catching the next Pokemon I see and using only that until I reach new areas. This will necessitate catching a second Pokemon in an area I've already caught something in, but it's the best way.
Since I don't want to have to train too much more, I figure that I should go to the last place I caught a Pokemon in - the Ranch - and catch whatever comes first there, as that will likely have the highest level Pokemon (who aren't in the dark grass; I don't know enough about that area to try that yet).
...Which turns out to be a Lv.5 Mareep. I'm not disappointed. I nickname it Haggis, Send my other Pokemon to the PC, and begin training.
Once it's reached level 12, I continue on, this time avoiding the Dunsparce trainer until later. I'm not ready for that until I have something which resists Rock, or I'm around level 15-20 with a defensive Pokemon. Just past her, however, are a pair of girls - I assume twins... Who thankfully don't want to battle me while I only have one Pokemon. On to the next town!
In the gateway building thing before actually reaching the town itself, the woman behind the counter notices that Mareep is my only Pokemon, and gives me a couple of Great Balls so I can catch other Pokemon. Handy. A kid here also mentions Audino, who I've seen one of while training Mareep. Gave me an entire level of experience despite being less than half my level at the time.
In town, as soon as I enter, the Xtransceiver rings. As I wonder why they don't just call it a phone or videophone, I notice that it is Meither, who has called to refer to a "complex", whatever that is. I guess I'll find out later. A bit further into town I see somebody with weird hair... but then again, it's not really that bad when compared to Mei's own hair.
Turns out the she's Roxie, the local gym leader, and was trying to convince her father to not join the Pokestar Studios. Unsuccessful, she rattles off a strong of almost-expletives, all beginning with D. I bet that the original Japanese was "bakabakabakabakabakabakabakaBAKA!" She storms off to the gym before I can talk to her.
Okay. It seems that "Virbank Complex" is a place I can catch Pokemon south of Virbank City itself. Since it turns out that I can't check out the Pokestar Studios thing yet, and I don't want to enter a gym with one underlevelled Pokemon, I head to the interior of the "complex" to find out more about it (and why it has such an ambiguous name).
Okay... Looks like a guy at the front wants a few of his workers to be motivated, and since he's obviously too lazy to do it himself, he's gotten me to do it. Well, he asked first, but having a goal in this place is better than not having one. I head in and find... a trainer. Yay.
I'm a couple of levels below his only Pokemon, but a short display of decent tactics leads to my win. Another trainer has a Woobat of the same level, but the Lillipup earlier gave me pretty much an entire level's worth of experience. I win this easily enough.
Since I'm suspecting that the three lazy bums are also trainers, I decide to go into the grass here to catch something new, where I meet a Magnemite
. It's got Sonicboom, so not wanting to get hit by that too much, I use one of my Great Balls to make sure it's caught.
Now that I've caught a Pokemon based off an inanimate object, how will I be able to name it and yet keep my theme, you might wonder? By naming it Pica, of course! After healing, I head back to challenge the slackers.
First one beaten. Easy enough. Before meeting a second I come across a scientist type guy who talk about one of the machines in the area (a distiller) before walking off. Weird. After chasing him around a bit, he gives me an ether.
The second slacker fight is a bit harder than the first, but not terribly so. Thanks to this battle though, Haggis has evolved into a Flaaffy. Should make the gym easier.
...And the third battle is easy again. This may be because I used Pica for that one though. Returning to the slacker boss - on the way fighting an Audino which gave my Magnemite two level ups - he gives me the Rock Smash TM.
By the way, I still have no idea what the purpose of this "complex" is.
After leaving and healing, I head over to the gym, which is underground. Amusing, for what is also the front for a rock band (which according to a poster, only has one member, but is later proved to have three members). On a different note, it looks like this place is for poison types. Good thing I have that Magnemite.
I pick my first battle with the drummer, who goes down quickly, and the bassist (I assume; the guitars are hard to see) is called Billy Jo. Makes me wonder what play on words the other language versions used. She's got a Venepede with rollout, but Magnemite takes care of it.
Now that I've beaten the band members, I go back once more to heal before... going back to the trainers I missed! The Dunsparce and the twins shouldn't be an issue any more... Which they are not. To the gym leader!
...Which was also pretty easy. Makes me annoyed at the loss I had earlier against the Dunsparce. After getting the badge and the TM Venoshock, a spectator who was watching the band play comes up to me and invites me to the Pokestar Studios thing. Roxie, remembering her father, goes there ahead of me.
And once I'm there I see the worst pun I've read in months: The boss' name is 'Stu Deeoh'. You may all let out a collective groan right about... now. Oh, and here's a kicker: He greets me with a 'bonsoir' - that's French for 'good evening', in case you were unaware, and it's the middle of the day here. I think the localization team were trying to make him as campy as possible. :/
Next, I'm shown around. Of particular note is the example movie, starring Roxie's father... Who manages to clear half the audience and confuse the rest by losing a Pokemon battle. You'd have thought that a movie where the villains win would be considered interesting and thought-provoking, but clearly these movie-goers have no taste.
Seeing his own bad acting, Roxie's father leaves, returning to his ship. Mei, however, is lead further in to the studios for her own debut. Since I figure doing this is more interesting than the Pokedex stuff I was forced in to, I have a go at it.
This first movie was a simple thing, where I merely use a rental Pokemon - Riolu - to beat a Pawniard & Vullaby in one hit each. It was obviously designed to be won, which would be boring, but I suspect that later films will have more to them.
...Which I'll bother with some other time. It's more interesting than the Contests in Generations 3 & 4, but worrying about it now is too much of a hassle for lazy, lazy me.
Also, for a film which supposedly grossed 20 billion of whatever this currency is, why am I no richer?
Back in the real world, I head for the dock, where Team Plasma for some reason is waiting. Like in Team Rocket's revival, these guys have little conviction, so a quick pounding sends them away. Roxie, who fought one of the others, sends me and Hugh to route 20 in an attempt to find them, but before leaving, gives me Cut. It's a pity neither of my Pokemon can learn it.
After finding a beating the next loser, Hugh shows up (again having had done nothing) and suggests we go to the docks to find the boat they get around with. Once I get there though, it turns out that they already got away. I figure I'll head out to the next town after I do a bit more training at the "complex".
- Haggis the Flaaffy, Lv.16
- Pica the Magnemite, Lv.17