Alright, let’s see…where was I. Ah yes. I had just received my insect badge and was heading out of the big city and into the desert. Well, I quickly discovered that Route 4 and the desert it crosses isn’t exactly a friendly place. First of all, there’s a constant sand storm, and any Pokemon not of the ground or rock type ended up taking damage when exposed to the storm. Secondly, there are a lot people along the way who want to do battle. And finally, I encountered a wide variety of Pokemon, some of which I wasn’t prepared for.
For some reason, someone decided to try and build a resort out there in the desert, and a quick check around the construction site yielded a few useful items and a couple of new Pokemon for my Pokedex. I captured a Sandile and Darumaka. The Sandile looks, well, like a sandy crocodile while the Darumaka appears to be a dancing cactus that can shoot out fire. Weird. Traveling a bit further, I made a quick detour from my journey to Nimbasa City to visit Relic Castle. Interestingly enough I ran into a doctor who was willing to heal my Pokemon…after battling with me. We became fast friends as I repeatedly visited him during my explorations of Relic Castle and the surrounding desert.
After getting past some random trainers who for some reason seemed to enjoy just standing around in the middle of the desert in a sandstorm, I made my way into Relic Castle. I found a few things inside. I found some scientists who were doing some sort of research, I found someone who was willing to give me a fossil (which I took to the museum in Nacrene City and had it magically restored to an Archen; an ancient looking parrot), and I also found some quick sand that plummeted me to the basement. In the depths of the ruins, I ran into some Pokemon that I wasn’t really prepared to fight. A Yamask is a creepy looking ghost-type Pokemon that I may not have defeated if one of my Pokeballs hadn’t captured it. I also encountered Sigilyph, which looks kind of like a totem pole come to life, who decimated my Pokemon ranks before I finally whittled down its health. Scary stuff, and truthfully, I was glad to leave Relic Castle behind.
Eventually I left the desert behind and arrived at Nimbasa City. It’s quite the interesting place featuring sports arenas and an amusement park. In fact, the city’s Pokemon gym is located inside a roller coaster; fun. One of my first encounters in the city is the man from the Pokemon Daycare. Some Team Plasma roughs were tying to cause trouble with him, but I quickly convince them to abandon their plot and I received a bicycle out of gratitude. I also met up with Bianca, who for some reason really wanted me to visit the Musical Theater. Here one can dress up their Pokemon in various costumes and put them in a musical. Why? I don’t know. What’s worse, after I get roped into doing a show, Bianca takes off and doesn’t even participate. Lame. Eventually I made my way over the amusement park where I run into non-other than N. Turns out this dude is the king of Team Plasma; all the pieces are starting to fall into place. He let some of his grunts run off while doing battle with me, and he happened to have a Sigilyph; the same Pokemon I had so much trouble with at Relic Castle. Fortunately I was able to beat the newly christened Lord N, and he made his escape to battle with me another day.
With that unpleasantness behind me, it was time to visit the Nimbasa City Gym. What a wild ride; literally. Hoping on the roller coaster to go from trainer to trainer before finally facing the Gym Leader was actually a lot of fun. Elesa, the Gym leader, carries with her a troop of electric type Pokemon, which fortunately I was able to counter with my own water-based Tympole. Still, the volt switch move of one of her Zebstrika caused me no small amount of grief. There were a few moments where I wasn’t quite sure I’d be able to pull out the win, but with judicious use of some of my items and a little strategy, I was finally able to defeat Elesa and pick up my next gym badge, the Bolt Badge. Hard to believe that meant I was already half-way through my goal of collecting all eight, but many more adventures awaited my on my continued journey to catch ‘em all.