Where was I? Who was I? Everything was so foggy. I could not feel my arms, nor my legs though I could somehow feel sand under my feet. In the distance I heard someone complain about how much of a chicken they were... and then they saw me, ran towards me... and that’s when all the flames of hell went loose. Everything was so hot. I was dying. The world was a fireball. And as I slowly burned away, a mighty cry asked:
« HEY SHROOMISH ARE YOU OKAY??? »
This was my first try at the Explorers of Sky randomizer. I was so happy to have a moltres as a companion... except that abilities and moves were also randomized. It started with drought, and I had dry skin. So basically, my partner was slowly killing me. It didn’t help that my only move was water type, so I practically did no damage in the first dungeon. That was my first restart.
I changed random moves and kept random abilities, coz why not? I’ll tell you why not: so I got Buizel, cool, plus the artists at Skytemple project added a bunch of emotion portraits for Buizel so it was really nice (I love the portraits, it’s one of the reasons why PMD feels superior to Ranger imo) and my partner was a paras. It might not feel special, but it’s a pokemon I really like, able to dish out status effects, plus the species fits your partner being shy and terrified. The problem was my new ability was truant. Buizel wasn’t a bad pokemon most of the time. But skipping a turn each time you use a move (even if it fails!) in a monster house just means death.
So I started again...
« Man, I will never be courageous enough to go to the guild... oh? What’s that on the beach? A FREAKING SHARK? Oh poor thing I should prop it up on its feet, all this water must have been rough for it! After all it doesn’t look like a bad pokémon! »
Yeah if Sharpedo doesn’t look like a bad pokémon I don’t know what species does...
So first dungeon is easy enough. I only have bite as an attacking move but it’s got plenty of PP and it usually one shots everything. So then we go to he guild...
« POKEMON DETECTED! WHOSE FOOTPRINT IS IT? IT’S PARAS’S! YOU HAVE SOMEONE WITH YOU, MAKE THEM COME HERE! THE FOOTPRINT IS... IT’S erm... »Usually Kadabra was good at being a sentinel. It knew most species of pokemon. It could teleport easily from one spot of the guild to the next. Except in this weird world, there was something even a 9.000 IQ couldn’t do: recognize the footprint of a FISH. Or any floating pokemon for that matter. He had to be quick, though. Nobody in the guild ever wanted to attract Minun’s wrath, and his ridiculously loud voice from up close.
The guild itself is pretty cool. For the next post I’ll try to get a picture of all members. What I like the most is Drifblim being the replacement for Chatot, because once again, custom portraits have been made for it and they are hilarious. When he gets mad for example, his balloon explodes a bit. You really have to see it for yourselves.
So the next day we are off to our first mission: getting Magby’s pearl back. I do fail a couple of times (and get a cutscene I never had before where guildmaster Venusaur encourages you and gives you helpful healing items) because of monster houses and freaking makuhitas one shotting everything in their way. I do manage to get enough healing and thrown items to find the pearl. Cool.
But then it’s off to save the twins. Oh boy.
So I discover the town’s inhabitants. They’re pretty cool. There’s a trio of Moltreses that remind me of my first failure of an attempt, nice. Azurill and marill are replaced by bulbasaur and mantyke (sadly, because the randomizer was designed for english-speaking players, their names are in English as well) and they get « « « help » » » from a Lucario.
But here’s the fun part. Not only are there monsters houses every other floor. Not only is Paras dumb enough to attack pokémon I have immobilized with an orb instead of fleeing (apparently you have to unlock this tactic?). But there are FOUR CONSECUTIVE FLOORS OF DAMAGING WEATHER. So if floor 2 was bad, like the stairs were in a monster house, I was screwed. My Sharpedo was okay, he just didn’t heal. But because Paras had so few HP, it was slowly being killed like a shroomish on a Moltres (yes, still salty about that). And even at full health, a Blizzi (the grass/ice type from gen 4, dunno the english name) could one shot my partner from the other side of the room! I probably failed a dozen times before getting a lucky string of stairs right next to where I spawn. I had a lot of money selling rare items after Magby’s pearl. After the mountain though? NOT ANYMORE!
« We reached the Peak... we finally reached the peak... look! It’s Mantyke and Lucario!
-This looks exactly like my vision...
-What? Do you think the two of you can really take me on? Many explorers have tried and failed, what makes you think...
-Did they have rare fossils?
-Say what now?
-BY THE POWER OF ROCK AND EXTREMELY LUCKY ITEM DROPS! »
So yeah. I totally cheesed the boss battle, because there was NO WAY I would let him beat me after the hellscape that was this dungeon.
Fair spoiler warning: I don’t think I’ll ever do this dungeon again. Maybe with a rain orb but still.
So that was the first part of my playthrough. I may try to be a little more narrative in the next parts but there were so many fun technical things that couldn’t be explained with gameplay. Hopefully you were amused and will try the randomizer for yourself! It’s a blast, albeit a tough challenge.