After picking up my first gym badge, the Trio Badge, from Striaton City, I journeyed along route three towards the next city with a gym to conquer; Nacrene City. Along the way I came to the Pokemon Daycare and a preschool. If I so desire, I can leave my Pokemon at the daycare where they’ll be attended to during my absence. When I return, depending on how long I’ve been gone, they may even have gone up a level or two. Or if I leave two there, I may come back to find a new Pokemon egg (which seems a little weird to me).
In any event, the teacher of the preschool was kind enough to heal my Pokemon, and as I explored the school yard, several of the kids challenged me to a battle. I’m not quite sure what was more disconcerting, that these little kids all had Pokemon and knew how to battle with them or that they were all so much better than me. That’s right, I got thumped by a bunch of preschoolers. But again, it’s nice that the teacher was nearby to heal my poor Pokemon. Sadly she could do little for my self-esteem. It’s here that I also encountered my first double battle with some preschooler twins. Let’s just say I needed more than two Pokemon to win.
Leaving the school yard I pressed on to Nacrene City, but I didn’t get too far before some Team Plasma goons went running by followed shortly by my friend Bianca and a little kid who just had her Pokemon stolen. Somehow Team Plasma seems to think the best way to right the wrongs of Pokemon being imprisoned is by stealing them from their owners. (Do two wrongs ever make a right?) I tracked the fiends to Wellspring cave and after some fierce battling recovered the purloined Pokemon. A little extra time in the cave also eventually led me to catching a Roggenrola, basically a rock with legs, and a Woobat, which looks like puffy cotton candy with wings.
After leaving the cave I continued (again) my journey to Nacrene City. Along the way I met a few trainers anxious for some battling time, and I also captured a Blitzle; an electric-type Pokemon that resembles a zebra crossed with a unicorn that has a lightning bolt for its horn (it’s actually kind of cool, really). I had to battle one of these during my encounter with one of the trainers along the way, and I was anxious to find one of my own. Having an electric-type Pokemon is rather useful and this is the first I’ve encountered.
So after many distractions and a few side-adventures, I finally arrived in Nacrene City. Apparently the town is made-up entirely of used warehouses that artists have converted into studios and homes. There’s also a quaint little cafe here which if you visit on Wednesdays, will present you with a complimentary soda which can restore 60hp to your Pokemon. (My wife didn’t like the idea of soda being conveyed as healthy in a “kids” game, and I reminded her that I’m not a kid, and she reminded me that soda isn’t healthy for me either.) Nacrene City also has a museum, which is where the gym is located. However, I learned from talking to various people that this city’s gym leader has some strong normal-type Pokemon and the best way to counter that is with fighting-type Pokemon. Seeing as I didn’t have any of those in my party, I headed off to the entrance of Pinwheel Forest where I hoped to find some.
My hopes were not disappointed. As I shuffled through the grasses at the Pinwheel Forest entrance I came across a Throh and a Timburr. I added the Timburr (named Timmy) to my party and worked on leveling him up a bit. I choose that one over the Throh because the Timburr just looked more intimidating holding and twirling that two-by-four. I also found a cute little tadpole Pokemon, the Tympole. After battling a few of the other trainers hanging around in the area, I eventually decided to head back to the Nacrene City gym to get my second badge.
Before I get through the museum door, who should I run into but that weird guy named for a letter, N. He blabbed on about some bright future and whether or not I’ll be a part of it, and then randomly challenged me to a battle. After making quick work of his Pokemon, he said something about needing the power of Reshiram to make his dreams come true, and then he ran off again. What a weirdo. Inside, I got a quick tour of the museum from Hawes. They have a Dragonite skeleton, which is interesting to me since I just recently beat the Pokemon Champion in the Johto region who used a few of those to cause me no small amount of trouble before I could finally beat him. Towards the back of the museum I found a library of sorts with several people doing research. Following some clues spread amongst the book, I eventually found the secret entrance to the gym leader, and after a pretty tough battle (good thing I had my fighting Pokemon along), I received my second gym badge, the Basic Badge.
Unfortunately my victory was short lived. A commotion in the museum drew the attention of the gym leader and myself and when we rushed back to the front, who should be there but Team Plasma. In a flash of smoke they stole the skull to the dragon-type skeleton and were gone. Gym Leader Lenora, who happens to be married to the guy who gave us our tour, enlisted our help to get it back. Team Plasma went deep into Pinwheel Forest, which after a quick stop for supplies and healing at the Pokemon Center, is where I headed next. What new adventures and dangers lie ahead?