Too Old to Lie

•April 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The floor of this level is conspicuously clean of bloodstains. Too clean. But the lack of any distinguishing red marks makes it laughably easy to spot the item that’s just lying on the floor, out in the open. I am about to pick it up when I realize something. This item is almost certainly cursed. After all, I’m in a fucking tower of terror. The wallpaper alone has claimed the lives of sixteen men. It has a lovely floral pattern and it reeks of evil. Come to think of it, that narrow corridor up ahead is probably trapped. Scythe blades will spring from the walls to gut me and then flames will blast down from the ceiling. I’m far too important to be scythed and burned so I force zubat to take point. Who gives a shit if she gets killed by a trap?

Well, she doesn’t get killed by a trap. She gets killed by a bellsprout. Not just an ordinary bellsprout, mind you, but a hippie bellsprout. Its cultist owner keeps going on about coexistence and cooperation. Hah! My dad says that “cooperation” is just another word for higher taxes and freeloaders. I’m betting that’s the sort of thing he says, anyway. I’ve never met him. And whenever I ask mom about it she gets all weird and looks at the wall and says I don’t have a father. But I know I do because Elm told me so and he’s too old to lie.

When the time comes and I’ve mastered the eldritch secrets, I don’t think I’ll save this guy. Dad wouldn’t approve. “Grell, my boy,” he’d say, “the world doesn’t need any more socialists. It’s time you did what this man’s mother should have done the day he was born.” I’m pretty sure I can’t go into labor, but I can certainly abandon him to a lifetime of magical servitude in this creepy death tower. Screw socialists and screw socialism. What have they ever done for me?

I’m so enraged that I mutter to myself all the way out of the tower, shaking my head as I go. Once outside, I head back to the pokemon center to take advantage of the free food and free health care.

Even From Earthquakes

•April 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Zubat tried a new tactic this time. It mainly centered around her not being so goddamn terrible. She didn’t do as well at it as I had hoped, but she got the job done.

Nico dismally says that he couldn’t beat me because he’s too weak. Great. Fan-fucking-tastic. Now, on top of everything else, he’s got an inferiority complex. I take pity on him and decide to spare his worthless life. We fall to talking and I ask him why he became a cultist.

“The flexible pillar,” he replies, “protects the tower.”
“Even from earthquakes?” I mockingly ask.
“Even from earthquakes.”

I’m impressed. He is clearly well versed in talking mystical bullshit. That, or he was an architect. I suggest that he goes back to this profession. He turns away. His silence speaks volumes to me. It’s all so clear now. Nico doesn’t want to be a cultist, but the elder’s powerful HM magic keeps him here. Once I learn the HM, I can free him (and all the other cultists) from the elder’s wicked bonds. And when they re-enter society I can blackmail them, threatening to reveal their former status as cultists unless they fork over huge wads of cash. Fear not, dear Nico, for help and eventual betrayal are on their way!

My zeal is so great that I take the stairs to the next level two at a time.

Psychopaths and Cannibals

•April 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The most prevalent features of this floor are a constantly-shaking central support column, massive gaping holes in the floor, and a mist as thick and coagulated as my mom’s (in)famous pikachu stew. I see how it is. The cultists have constructed a devilish pit of sacrifice here and are using the mist to hide the bloodstains. They probably eat their victims too. Sick. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for abusing the trust of my fellow man. But I go about it the Team Rocket way (a.k.a. the cool way). They’ve got matching outfits and catchphrases and a sense of honor. These people are just psychopaths and cannibals. They are an insult to the good name of crime and they must be eradicated.

There’s one of them now. He’s spinning in place, obviously trying to escape his guilty conscience. Sorry, buddy, but that won’t work. Luckily for you, I’ve got just the thing that will. I introduce him to my trusty knife. Repeatedly. Ignoring his pleas for mercy, I toss him into the same pit where the accusing remains of his victims await with rotted flesh and grasping hands. He screams as they tear at his flesh. Poetic justice and whatnot. It is very ironic.

Even more ironic is the fact that I can’t do that, since I don’t have a trusty knife. Actually, it’s not really that ironic. It’s just incredibly annoying. Lacking any knife-based alternatives, I walk up and introduce myself.

His name is Nico, or so he claims. If not for the whole deranged cultist thing, I’m sure he’d be a very nice old man. But he worships the tower we stand in. He attributes to it an indestructibility that I very much doubt it possesses. He has named himself after an herb. And he never says as much, but his very presence on this floor implies that he wants to feed me to his tower-god via its death-pit mouth. Irrational devotion, murderous impulses, and a crazy name? These are the window into a very sick mind. I attempt to cure it in the only way I know how – I throw zubat at him and hope for the best.

A Dire Task Indeed

•April 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I enter Sprout Tower. There is a mustiness here that seeps from the floorboards and grapples its way to the darkened, shivering rafters. It smells old, the kind of old that ferments in ill-tended gardens and the dark corners of libraries – gloomy places where time comes to die. If ever there were a building in need of haunting, it would be this one.

And if ever there were a guy who could do some serious de-haunting, it would be me. But I’m going to need some intel first. I shall require the scoop. I’ll have to ken the skinny, dig? What with information being so crucial to my mission and all, I spend a minute questioning the local bums who live at the base of the tower, jotting down key points in my notebook. I would do that, anyway, if I had a notebook. Instead I beat zubat savagely whenever anybody says something important. It’s much simpler, it’s far more therapeutic, and hopefully the trauma will brand it all into her memory.

The basic gist of what I discover is that Sprout tower was built long ago around the corpse of a giant pokemon. Initially, it was intended to be a place of training. Somewhere along the line, it (rather unsurprisingly) became host to a fanatical death cult. If you make it to the inner circle, a dire task indeed, you learn the HM of the cult’s grand master. Presumably HM means something along the lines of “Horrid Motive.” No doubt this secret knowledge that man was not meant to know will enable the swift removal of ghosts from the tower and will earn me the praise and admiration of humble townsfolk. It’s all rather exciting.

The thought of becoming a blood sacrifice inside a burning effigy is somewhat unappealing to me, but I decide to take the risk. Cultists are typically encumbered by robes, see, and I pride myself on my ability to speedily retreat. Besides, Giovanni wouldn’t be scared of some dumb ol’ cultists, so neither am I. And think of the power I could wield once the forbidden knowledge becomes mine. During the month or so it would take me to lose all vestiges of sanity, I could become a fucking crime lord second only to the big G himself.

I ascend the stairs to the outer circle.

It’ll Come out His Mouth

•April 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

One bloody battle later, I have money in my pocket, a dead zubat in my backpack, and a stranger’s number in my phone. I’m gonna wait three days to call. I’m not desperate.

I finally arrive in Violet City. In the pokemon center, I chat with an old man. He says that three years ago, Team Rocket was up to no good with pokemon. And if it’s wrong to be turned on by that statement, then I don’t want to be right. Apparently some goody fucking two-shoes prick broke the party up. If I ever find that kid, I’ll kick his ass so hard it’ll come out his mouth.

I chat up some other townsfolk. Their conversation is mostly tripe, but I do hear an interesting story about a haunted tower. This sounds like just the ticket for a handsome, manly adventurer-type such as myself. I’ll save this town from ghosts, and then maybe vandalize a few public bathrooms. Gotta keep up a reputation.

Omigod, omigod, it’s Wade! He’s totally calling me! Should I answer? I’m gonna answer.

Hi, Wade (omigod). You’re right, it is nice out. A bug catching contest? Oh, I don’t know. I’m kinda busy. But sure, whatever. I’ll go. Yeah, see you there.

Omigod! He totally asked me to go bug catching! Eeeeeeee!

Suddenly I realize that this entire exchange was outrageously homosexual. Grell Silverstein is many things (such as handsome and manly), but that is not one of them.

I delete Wade’s number.

Love You Too

•April 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ah geez. Mom’s calling me. Can’t a guy have a little peace? Is that so much to ask? No, you have to control every single second of my entire life. Ugh. What do you want now? Yes, I’m going on a long trip. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you mom, but… mom. Mom, I’m sorry. I said I’m sorry. I’m… what? You… um… I guess? Yeah, go ahead and save me money. Yeah. Thanks, mom. I know. Yes. Love you too. Bye. I know. Bye. Goodbye, mom.

Yeesh. Mothers.

I find another poet. This one’s going on about light and exploration. Moron. I also find some antidote, a far more welcome discovery. It’s high time I took a break anyway. I pop into a nearby cave and get ready to relax. When I awake, it’s nighttime. I have a blazing headache and I’m holding a zubat. That antidote must have been some good stuff.

The Meaning of Quick Attack

•April 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A brief trip to the life doctor later, I’m back in business. My resolve is still mostly firm; I long for revenge. And what better way to revenge myself than by stealing the very pokemon that so humiliated me?

This proves difficult. In addition to being a bug catcher, my foe is also some kind of ninja master. He smacks my poke ball right out of the air. “Don’t be a thief!” he exclaims. I cannot believe he just said that. Do I tell him to stop catching bugs? No. Don’t trod on my dreams, dickwad. I command rattata to take out my indignation on his pokemon. She teaches them the meaning of quick attack. For those of you who don’t know, quick attack means pain.

“You’re too strong!” he cries. This is correct.