Shiny Living Dex (171-180)

We have some interesting ones this time around. Here are the new additions to the collection.

Number 171

From the beginning, this was going to be a process that I couldn’t do alone. After all, I only have one copy of Pokémon Violet. So getting the version exclusives is something I need to do eventually. However, there is another important thing to recognize. I needed to sort out the Pokémon with special evolution conditions. Thankfully my friend Denison was willing to help out so I managed to find to get a Shiny Slowking. It is a darker pink and has a blue and white collar and it is all mine. A special thanks to him for helping me out here.

Number 172

Of course, since I had the opportunity I wanted to get the other troublesome ones out of the way, so I continued to do some trades with some spare shiny Pokémon I caught in preparation for this day. So that is how I got a shiny Gengar. Although, I’ll admit that it might be hard to tell because its shiny form isn’t very good. It is just grayer than a normal purple Gengar. That’s about it. It does seem a bit more noticeable in this game, but I don’t blame you if you get them confused.

Number 173

There was still one last trade shiny Pokémon to go. This one is definitely my favorite as it becomes a metallic green instead of its usual red. That’s right. The one I saved for last is Scizor, the evolution of Scyther. As thanks for my friend’s help, I treated him to a couple extra shiny Pokémon I had. I figured if we were trading, why not help him with his Pokédex and give him the same shiny Pokémon he helped me get. Win-win.

Number 174

There was actually one more thing I need to take care of and that was the evolution of Finizen: Palafin. This Pokémon only evolves in union circles so I joined a game with him and managed to evolve my Finizen into Palafin. This Pokémon is interesting because at first the only difference in its appearance is the new heart on its body. However, it actually does have a different form. Thankfully, this one only applies to battle, so I don’t have to specifically hunt for it. So I can just relax knowing I have a special purple dolphin.

Number 175

I took a little bit of a break from actively hunting while I prepared for the Typhlosion raid. By that I mean, running around looking for Health Feathers again at the lake. However, just because I didn’t want to find shiny Pokémon, didn’t mean they didn’t want to find me. I got a bunch of repeats, and frankly, I was starting to get fed up. So I went to that autumn forest by the lake for a change of pace. So I hunted for Zoroark again, not really expecting anything. That is until fifteen minutes later.

There was a Honchrow by the cliff that my Pokémon wouldn’t attack. At first, I thought it was because it was by the cliff. However, every time I targeted it, my Pokémon wouldn’t budge. I was in shock. This wasn’t the first time I hunted for this thing. I had maybe done it twice before. But I never found a shiny during those attempts. That meant this was still the first phase. Was I really about to get a purple Zoroark this easily? The answer is yes.

Number 176

Now there were plenty of other Pokémon I wanted to find in this forest, so I decided to stick around for a little longer. This time I had an easier target in mind: Heracross. I figured finding a bright pink stag beetle shouldn’t be too hard to manage. So after the dark power sandwich wore off, I went for a fighting type one instead. The result… was nothing. However, I wouldn’t give up after just one sandwich. So, I made another and a few minutes later, I found something. It was a big blue mushroom. Okay, it was actually a shiny Amoongus. It wasn’t my target, but at least it was new and that’s all that matters.

Number 177

Unfortunately, that second sandwich did not net me a Heracross. I just happened to get lucky and find a random shiny Amoongus. However, I didn’t want to quit yet. So, I made a third sandwich. I was riding around hoping that I could spot one soon, but things weren’t looking good. After twenty-five minutes, this sandwich was already looking to be a dud. However, I always keep going until the clock runs out. So, I continued looking for the pink bug frantically. Maybe my earnest wishes reached the game’s code because a couple of minutes later I spotted some pink out of the corner of my eye. That’s right I finally found a shiny… Toedscruel. Wait, what? Seriously? Again, I am not upset or anything. In fact, this is one of my favorite Gen IX shiny forms, but how is this happening? You know what I won’t question it. Let’s move on.

Number 178

What. Okay, seriously this has to be a joke. I only had two minutes left in the sandwich after finding the random Toedscruel, so how did a shiny pink Heracross show up one minute later? I was already in shock and the game decided to give me a double whammy out of nowhere. Again, not complaining. I did go into a panic when I thought I failed it, but thankfully my shock didn’t prevent me from remembering to save before encountering it. It took two tries, but we got her. Man, that was some crazy excitement. I don’t think anything will rile me up like that for a while.

Number 179

I was wrong. Almost immediately in fact. I have set up many hunts that I go back to every now and then, but this one has been a long time coming. I started this hunt about two months ago and due to how long it was taking, I started several more since then. Today, that hunt comes to an end. I finally found the shiny Bounsweet. As usual, I was doing a sandwich in the usual spot and after five minutes, it just showed up. My hands were literally shaking and I honestly didn’t know if I am dreaming. Part of me still doesn’t. But that purple leaf is real as it is beautiful. I think I saved five times before catching it. At this rate, I might start crying when a shiny Flareon shows up.

Number 180

Since I finished an old hunt, it was time to start on a new one. This one is one of the more difficult ones, but I put it off because I didn’t want to do it. Well, it’s time to move forward. I decided to start hunting for Sinistea. I understand that I could do outbreaks, but I want to go for the Authentic Form as well so outbreaks won’t help me there. Since it is a ghost type, I hunted for it with a ghost-type sandwich and had no luck. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did find a different ghost Pokémon roaming around. It was a Banette towards the end of the night, and it was blue. Again, not my target, but I can’t complain since it looks good.

That’s it for now. Some hunts end and new ones begin, but they are all decided by RNG so who knows how long this will take me. At least I am almost halfway there, right?

Taking On Teslagrad 2

Alright, I doubt many people will remember this, but a while back I talked about this game called Teslagrad. It was a game I got with a bundle that I decided to try out and play on a whim and I ended up really liking it. Platformers are one of my favorite genres and I also really found the mechanics to be fun to mess around with. The game is built on manipulating platforms and objects through magnetic fields. There were two main ways to manipulate magnetic fields. You can either change the magnetic fields, or you can use become a magnetic field. I thought it was pretty fun and this week the sequel game was released. Teslagrad 2 doesn’t have a way to change magnetic fields like in the first game. Instead, it focuses more on using your natural momentum to explore the area and the game world is bigger to compensate. There is definitely a good amount more area to explore than in the first game and you are going to want to make sure to explore it as much as you can. There are a lot more hidden collectibles this time, and they are scattered everywhere. I am currently searching high and low for them right now, and I do mean high and low. Some of these are high up on the mountains, while some are hidden deep underground.

Don’t get me wrong. the game is fun. It’s just that it has a different focus. The puzzles were the core of the first game with the exploration being more of a side activity. In this game, it feels like exploration is a puzzle itself and trust me when I say that you should consider backtracking after you have unlocked certain items. If you are like me, you might forget how to get back to certain areas you visited previously. I am not sure if there is a way to use map markers or anything, but for right now I just hope I remember where I am going. Thankfully with the new abilities introduced in this game, you can travel pretty fast. I haven’t had this much fun with momentum-based travel in a while. Some abilities do have some limited uses, but at least they never seem to make other abilities irrelevant like in the first game. You need these abilities to explore certain areas, but creativity can help solve puzzles outside of how they were intended. After all, once you find a good way to build momentum then you are all set. There is something else that might be useful.

There are special abilities that you can find that can also be useful in your exploration. If you keep an eye out for areas that have these kinds of golden leaf-like flooring, that means one is nearby. Each of these seems to have a lock you need to open by using your suit to activate a time trial where you must reach a certain building within a time limit. After beating the trial you can enter a special area that will lead you to these special powers. So far I have only found three of them, but they are all pretty useful. My favorite so far is probably the double jump. I don’t think these are necessary for beating the game, but if this game has multiple endings like the first one, then I should probably try to get as many items as possible before beating the last boss. At time of writing, I am also missing six cards for completion. I have no idea where they might be, but I will have fun looking for them at least. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoy sliding everywhere. That’s about all I want to say so I’m going to go back to playing to make sure that this picture becomes a reality.

At least, I think that might be how it ends. Who knows? Have a good night everyone and I’ll see you next week. Hopefully, by then, I will manage to find the area I’ve been trying to remember all day. Really wished I had marked that down somewhere.

Quick Thoughts on The Super Mario Bros. Movie

So, I have finally seen the movie. I went with a couple of friends over the weekend so that we could experience it together. First, let’s get general thoughts out of the way. Is it good? Yes. Is it fun? Yes. Is it safe? Absolutely. Will it win any awards? Probably not. How was the voice acting? Fine. Okay, that is all the general stuff out of the way, but now I will go into more detail. I won’t really spoil anything if you are interested in seeing the movie for yourself so don’t worry about that. Now let me start with the first question again. Is it good? I believe the answer is yes, but I am biased. I have been a fan of the Super Mario Bros. series for over half of my life. So as long as the movie reminds me of the series, then I am going to have a good time. And boy does this movie have some good nostalgia bait. Every time I would hear a little bit of music from the games I’d secretly squeal to myself. Or maybe it was out loud. I’m not sure. The memories are a little fuzzy. Also, I really like the character’s designs and the animation in this movie. It isn’t anything crazy, but the characters feel pretty expressive, which is impressive when one of the characters is a talking mushroom. The movie is also very colorful and vibrant, but that should be expected for a kid’s movie. Especially this movie. It does what it needs to do to look and sound good. And trust me, the music sounds good.

Alright, moving on to the next question. Is it fun? Well, yeah. It is a fast-paced, high-energy kid’s movie with lots of fun scenes referencing the videogame series. So, as long as you just go along for the ride and don’t stop to think about anything, then you should have a good time. Also, certain characters get to have some great moments to themselves which can also be entertaining. One of them in particular looked to be having a lot of fun in the role, but I will leave you to guess who you think it is. That being said, as much fun as this movie has with Nintendo properties, the actual storyline is about as safe as the storyline in a mainline Mario game. In other words, pretty safe. It is their first movie, so I expected this. No one was expecting a movie scrutinized this heavily to be doing anything groundbreaking. It does what it came to do and that’s fine. It is not going to necessarily impress anyone because of that, but it isn’t really trying to either. I realize I have kind of already answered the fourth question, but let’s state it again anyway. Is it going to win any awards? Again, as fun as this movie is, it will have to compete with the depth and animation of the new Spiderverse movie. Things weren’t looking great on that front from the get-go. It does have its own charms though.

Alright, down to the last question. How was the voice acting? Again, it is fine. No one is particularly distracting or anything and some people actually really got into their roles. I know there was some contention, but honestly, no one in this movie phoned it in and you can be at least relieved knowing that. Personally, I went in with the mindset that as long as I didn’t find them distracting, I would be satisfied, but everyone did a decent job. Although one of them definitely stole the show in my opinion. Anyway, that’s all I want to say about it. I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are a fan of the Super Mario Bros. series or even just videogames in general, it is worth checking out. That will probably be the last time I talk about this movie unless some crazy news comes out, but that’s all for now. No, wait, there’s one last thing. If you do go see it, there is a mid-credits scene as well as an end-credits scene in case you are the type to stick around to the end of movies. Just thought I would let you know. See you next time!

Shiny Living Dex (161-170)

And we’re back with some more shiny Pokémon. Some of these I had been wanting for a while so it was nice to finally claim them.

Number 161

As I have mentioned before, each day I try and check the Spiritomb spawns to see if I can get lucky. On my way to the spawns, sometimes I come across a shiny Pokémon. This is how I found the Cubchoo from last time. This time, what I found is a shiny Bergmite all by its self. I managed to notice it was more blue than a normal Bergmite. Although, usually tend to notice it by its yellow features.

Number 162

While it tends to be rarer these days, every now and then I do find outbreaks for Pokémon I actually need. This time it happened to be a Persian outbreak. Now, you might remember that I have a good amount of shiny Meowths, but I still lacked a Persian. So, I got to work hoping I could find one with pink in its ears. Sure enough, I eventually found the pink-eared cat. I’m glad that line is finished.

Number 163

Now, it is a little absurd to think about, but I was in phase twelve of my Flareon hunt. I found eleven shiny Pokémon already searching for this thing, but I couldn’t give up just yet. One day I would finally find the shiny that I had been searching for all these weeks. This is not that time though. However, I got a green cub out of phase twelve at least, so that’s something. Who knows, maybe phase thirteen will be the lucky one?

Number 164

While I was hunting in that area, a new outbreak spawned one day for the Pokémon Brambleghast, the giant tumbleweed Pokémon. I saw no reason not to pause the Flareon hunt to look for this shiny plant. Thankfully, this outbreak didn’t take too much time and I found the shiny form. The white branches really stick out when compared to the brown ones.

Number 165

Sometimes, I just like to wander around and see what I can find. I couldn’t tell you what was going on in my head, but I just felt like cruising around and stumbled upon a shiny Pokémon. This time, I found a group of Fletching, and one of them had a brown body with golden wings. I honestly thought I would have found this sooner, but better late than never I suppose.

Number 166

Now, when I created this challenge, I realized later that I made a few oversights here and there, but there wasn’t anything too problematic since my ruleset was vague and I could adjust things as I went along. However, I ran into a big problem. Palossand existed on one small beach as a rare spawn in the wild. I can’t even hope to soft reset it. I just have to get lucky. I thought Slakoth would be the hardest, but it looks like I am getting a run for my money. anyway, I decided to try the hunt and see if I could find it. I didn’t, but strangely I found a shiny brown Naclstack instead. I mean, I’ll take it. Unfortunate about that hunt though. Another to add to the list.

Number 167

This shiny Pokémon was special. This was a redemption story. A long time ago, I had an outbreak for the Pokémon Whiscash. However, all I had to show for it after the fact was a shiny Psyduck. This time though, it needed to happen. I was determined to make this one mine. I spent over twelve hours hunting, to no avail. I had almost given up, but eventually I was blessed with a red W on the face of a Whiscash. Never before have I reacted so strongly to a fish. I nearly cried tears of joy. Thank goodness, I claimed it for myself.

Number 168

Another outbreak spawned later on that I still needed which I had to give up on before. This time it was Avalugg, the evolution of Bergmite. Unfortunately, this outbreak was in the water, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to spot the yellow streaks on its back and face amid the group. I was wrong, it is so noticeable. It took a couple of attempts, but I managed to catch it successfully.

Number 169

I just decided to do a different hunt on a whim. I decided to look for a Venonat to see if I could spot its blue eyes. It honestly didn’t take long at all. I found it in less than ten minutes. Don’t have much to say about this one. Even I was surprised with how fast this went. Well, only one more to go.

Number 170

This one is another bug type, but not for the reason you are expecting. The only other shiny I got with the previous sandwich was a duplicate Spidops. How I ended up finding it at an outbreak. A Charcadet outbreak spawned and while I was hunting for that shiny Pokémon unsuccessfully I looked over at one point and saw a flock of Murkrow with a yellow grasshopper in the center. Maybe the Nymble would have gotten away with its hiding spot if it wasn’t bright yellow. At least, I got something out of this outbreak. I didn’t find any blue-eyed Charcadets after all.

You know, it was nice managing to clean up a few of the evolution lines this week. Next week will be some more of the same so look forward to it.

Ditto Raid Event

You know, as much as I like talking about Pokémon, I usually don’t talk about anything time sensitive like this, but this information is too important for me to not bring up. Most people know that Ditto is an important Pokémon for breeding. It breeds with just about any Pokémon. Due to its unique nature, people have often sought after these guys for breeding stronger Pokémon. You can pass down individual values (IVs) to Pokémon you breed to allow them higher stat potentials, but it only works if one of the parents has the desirable IVs. You can find out more on this process using Bulbapedia, but the main point is that having a high IV Ditto can help you breed the best Pokémon. So that is why this event is very important. Now let me break down the specifics of the event.

Each of the Dittos will be in five-star events you can see in the overworld or using the Poké Portal. Every single Ditto you will encounter will have 5 perfect IVs out of 6. That means that each one will give you a really high growth potential. However, there are a few notable ones that are rare spawns. The first is a Ditto with five perfect IVs and the worst IV for the attack. The second Ditto is similar except that instead of its worst IV being its attack, instead, it is speed. These two are mainly useful for certain types of specific builds in competitive play. This last one though is really something special. It is a Ditto with 6 perfect IVs, making it the best possible Ditto. Again, these three are rare, but with enough time and luck, you should come across them.

Now as a strategy to help things go quickly, I recommend having the Ditto copy a level one Pokémon at the start and just allow the other Pokémon to beat it up and knock it out. It is wrong to beat up a helpless Ditto with this strategy. Absolutely. In fact, feel free to use a Magikarp so that it can’t do anything while the others beat it up. Note that the Ditto will copy the host Pokémon always, so if you aren’t the host you can just bring your strongest Pokémon to beat it down. Once you are done, you can check to see if you managed to get lucky.

Anyway, just wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of this special event by any means necessary. That’s all from me. Best of luck!

Shiny Living Dex (151-160)

Hey! It’s time for another one of these again. The amount of repeats is starting to really stack up. That’s a future problem I will have to deal with, but let’s get to the shiny Pokémon.

Number 151

Every day I try and remember to hunt in the mountains to see if I get lucky with the Spiritomb spawns. Sometimes when traveling between spawn points I find a shiny Pokémon. Usually, it ends up being a repeat. However, this time I got lucky and found a purple cub. Say hello to shiny Cubchoo.

Number 152

That weird thing happened again later the same day. You know, that thing where the outbreaks all reset for no reason. Well, I checked to see if there was a new one available. It turns out there was one. There was a Glimmet outbreak. This outbreak isn’t that rare, but in the past, I avoided it because I didn’t enjoy doing outbreak hunts in caves. I decided to go for this one though. The reason? When the game resets all the outbreaks it was 11:35 p.m. That means I would only be hunting for twenty-five minutes before they all reset. I decided to take it as a challenge to see if I could manage to find the blue one in twenty-five minutes. It took me six.

Number 153

So, that last hunt was pretty quick. However, the luck wasn’t over just yet. After I caught the blue Glimmet, I decided to exit the cave. I didn’t want to continue staying there and headed out to the closest exit. When I left the cave, right in front of me, was a shiny Rockruff. I can’t be mad about back-to-back blue shiny Pokémon. Especially when he is such a good boy.

Number 154

The next day had some more outbreaks for me. Two of them had Pokémon I need to evolve to add to the collection, and one was just a new Pokémon. So naturally, I went for all three. The one I found first was also the one I visited last. It was a Drakloak outbreak and I needed another to evolve it to its final form Dragapult. It didn’t take very long to find and evolve it. This might honestly be one of the best yellow shinies I have in this game.

Number 155

After that, I went back to one of the other outbreaks to find more shiny Pokémon. The two remaining outbreaks were both in the desert, so I traveled between each one until I got lucky. Turns out Donphan was the one to pay out this time. So, I got myself a shiny bronze elephant. Funnily enough, I would get another shiny Phanpy later that day as if to congratulate me on getting its final form.

Number 156

It was a new day and so I decided to try out the Flareon hunt in a different location this time in hopes of having better luck. I decided to do it on the cliffs near Alfornada and it didn’t work. Like at all. Well, I guess we did at least get something new in form of a red Meditite the Sociable. A marked shiny Pokémon is nice, but now I am at double-digit phases for the Flareon hunt. Yikes.

Number 157

You might have been wondering something when reading that last entry. Whatever happened to that other outbreak he said he was doing? Great question. I did end up finding the shiny actually. It was another shiny Rellor by the way. The thing is, I forgot to evolve it until after I got the Meditite. Whoops. Well, at least I remembered eventually right? Anyways, I have a golden sage beetle. Let’s move on.

Number 158

Now that the unfinished business was taken care of, it was time to resume hunting. Not for Flareon though. I’ll try again later. Instead, I wanted to hunt for a fairy type near Alfornada. Last time I ended up getting a Gothorita using a fairy boost sandwich after getting Florges. The thing is, Florges is not a fairy type. So I went hunting and soon enough I found a brown bread dog. Try saying that five times fast. Oh, you did? Well, here’s a shiny Fidough everybody!

Number 159

After this, I decided to go for one of the best shiny Pokémon. Shiny Hawlucha is black and purple and just looks awesome. I went to the area I was hunting for Flareon and started a picnic. I figured that a fighting-type sandwich might work, but secretly I would have been fine with a Pawmo. The Hawlucha came in less than ten minutes though. Honestly, wasn’t expect that to be so quick. Then again, it seems that my luck is pretty good in that area, as long as it isn’t a Flareon.

Number 160

Now, I still had some time left on that sandwich. It was roughly twenty minutes. A starter man would have probably continued the hunt for Riolu or Heracross. You know, some of the more popular and impressive shinies. Is that what I did? No. For some reason, Crabominable was the first thing to pop into my head. I don’t know why the red-fisted yeti crab was my go-to, but clearly, it worked out. I did find it in about fifteen minutes. I even found another shiny Sneasel. Seriously though, why did I target this one? Whatever.

That’s the end of this installment. See you again whenever I manage to scrounge up more of these guys. Hopefully, it won’t take too long.

Finally Escaping Prison! (In a Videogame)

Hey, I decided to do another one of these to at least show that I am capable enough of escaping prison in a videogame, on the lowest difficulty. It felt a little weird to detail my whole plan without a proper conclusion, so now we have the conclusion. Spoiler warning, I do eventually escape. Well, I hope you figured that out by the title at least. So, there are a couple of things I would like to note. First off, my original plan was still very much rough around the edges. Actually, I can’t really even call it a plan. I just thought to escape through the vents and that was it, but I still needed a way to get off the premises, and a way to ensure I didn’t get caught. There were also a couple of things I didn’t know until afterwards that made me rethink my approach.

Now before I explain my approach, I want to talk about the items I used for this. After getting my hands on a bunch of crafting notes and materials, this is what I used for my final escape. Sort of. I already explained that I replaced the vent cover with a fake to allow for ease of access into the vents. However, I will explain the other items you can see in the top right of the picture. The first thing is a multitool which is a sturdy shovel and sturdy pickaxe tied together with duct tape. It is useful for both digging and breaking rocks underground. The thing beneath it is Sturdy Cutters, which are way more efficient than using individual files and are much faster too. After that is my grapple hook which I can use to descend from the roof onto the ground so I can start digging to escape. You might be wondering why I am using the roof when the last time I was there I got eviscerated. Turns out that only happened because it was daytime. The watchtower sniper isn’t active at night, so the roof is actually a viable path. The next thing is a bed dummy to make it look like I am still in my cell when I sneak out at night. It is only two pillows and a bedsheet, but it is effective. The last item is a trowel. It serves no purpose whatsoever. More on that later. Now, onto the plan.

The Plan

1. Wait out the day until lights out and then put the bed dummy on my bed to ensure no one is the wiser.

2. Head up the vent shaft using the fake vent cover and put it back in place without being seen. Then use the cutters to clear the path to the roof.

3. Once on the roof, head to the edge and use the grappling hook to lower myself to the ground.

4. Dig a hole while not being spotted using the Multitool and head underground.

5. Dig a tunnel to head underneath the wall and dig my way up outside of the prison.

6. Walk off like a champion.

Now, these steps should have been straightforward, but unfortunately, I made a few miscalculations. The first was regarding dirt. On my first attempt, I realized that when digging, dirt would automatically go into my inventory. That meant I would need to have some free inventory space to accommodate all that dirt. Well, you saw earlier that I only had two slots available once I used the dummy. Add in the fact that I forgot how to drop things and let’s just say that I panicked and reloaded the save. Time to make a few adjustments.

I realized two things about this attempt. The first was I was not efficiently managing my inventory. the second was the trowel was useless as the multitool was just better in every way. I originally brought it as insurance, but it became baggage instead. So, I decided to do two things. The first was to switch the steps around so that I used the bolt cutters to clear the path first, and then later that night make an escape. The second was to dispose of the items I no longer needed. These items would be the cutters and the trowel. So now I had a new setup. Just in case, for the rest of the day, I trained up my stats so this is what I looked like before my escape.

So, with this, I would only need to use the grappling hook and the multitool after placing the dummy on the bed. It would have been foolproof if I hadn’t gotten careless and run into a guard. Turns out that max stats don’t mean anything when you get caught. Thankfully, on the third attempt, I didn’t get so unlucky and everything went just as I planned. After two in-game months of being in the slammer, I was home free. It is on the easiest difficulty, but a win is a win. I will say, that I went back and tested this strategy again after to see if I could use it to get the no-suspicion achievement. Turns out the answer is yes, as long as you don’t stupidly get caught with contraband at your job or go through people’s cells and cause a ruckus. If you play it safe you can do it too. In my case though, I just reloaded the safe each time I screwed up. It worked out though so I’ll take it.

Anyway, that was a nice change of pace for me. I might look into other games in my Steam Library I should give more attention to completing. Although, I might have to swallow my pride and look up guides for a couple of them. If the Pokémon Violet raids have taught me anything it is that if you don’t have a plan, just steal it from someone on the internet. Anyway, see you next time!

Attempting to Escape Prison (In A Videogame)

Every now and then I like to spend some time and go back to some games that I used to play in the past, but never quite finished properly. I just want to get a sense of closure you know. For instance, last year I played through both games in the Portal series that I had just not finished for some reason. Another one was the game Bastion that I owned and yet never successfully finished. Sometimes I have trouble giving a game the attention it deserves and when this happens I decide to shelve it and try it again some other time. Sometimes I forget to do that follow-up and that leads to me forgetting about the game entirely. For instance, this one had been sitting in my games library for nearly seven years. The game is called The Escapists. As the name suggests, your main goal in this game is to escape from prison, although it probably won’t be as impressive as in The Shawshank Redemption. I remember scrolling through my list of games and remembering that I had never even escaped from prison. So, I tried doing that. This is how it went.

I didn’t remember anything about how to play, so I started a tutorial to refresh my memory. Then I jumped into an old save file. The first thing I learned was to make sure to not buy anything illegal and then immediately pick a fight with a guard. Thanks to that, I spent a fair amount of time in the infirmary having wasted money. I used to have a job in the game as a source of income, but because I didn’t know how the game worked I lost the job almost immediately. So my main way of earning money now was to do people favors so I could buy things and “borrow things” from other inmates. It didn’t really matter who I offended, so long as I didn’t overdo it. Eventually, I figured out a way to potentially make some actual progress. I realized that there is a vent system only eight hours into the game. However, I had no real way to take advantage of it until I did something by accident. Let me direct you to the picture below.

As you can see on this page, there is a recipe for a fake vent cover. This meant that if I opened a vent, I could put this down over it to disguise that I had busted up the original vent. The only problem was I didn’t have the material needed for the recipe. The tutorial taught me how to get through vents, not how to make paper mache. So we were back to square one. Until I experimented a little bit and used a toilet paper roll and super glue to find the recipe for paper mache on the first try. In hindsight, it makes sense. However, I wasn’t expecting the materials to actually combine, I was just testing my luck. Now, I could move forward with my plan.

I eventually released that as long as favors didn’t require me to be in direct confrontation with wardens and if I hid certain items beforehand, then I could get enough money for items to break the vent. Eventually, at a time when the wardens weren’t nearby, I broke the vent above me and headed up while placing the fake one I crafted down. Everything was going according to plan. Except for one thing, I didn’t know how to open up the fake vent once I placed it. Unfortunately, I would reload my saves twice before I found that the answer was just right-clicking on it. Whoops. Anyway, I had finally made it into the vent system and I was met with a new problem almost immediately. I didn’t prepare well enough.

You see that wall in front of me. That is another wall that I need to go through. The first time I got up here, I thought that there wouldn’t be any more obstacles. However, it seems I would need to use up most of the files I brought along. My goal was to check out that ladder to see where it lead. Eventually, after going in and out a couple of times, I was able to clear out the path and destroy both barricades. Then I went up the ladder to find… the roof of the building. The sniper was not happy about that and I got destroyed and sent back to square one. Just kidding, I totally reloaded. So this time I took down a different barricade, only to realize there are a lot of barricades up here. I only brought enough materials to take down two of them. I still had a long way to go it seemed. Later on, I would eventually get caught again and get sent to solitary, but I learned something important. While they did replace the vent cover, they didn’t replace the barricades I had already destroyed. Thank goodness for that. Still, breaking out of prison isn’t easy. At least in a videogame. I don’t have any experience with the real thing.

That’s about where I am right now. I am still doing odd jobs while trying to prep more money to get tools and supplies so I can finally cross escaping a prison off my bucket list. Of course, in a videogame. Honestly, I probably will stop playing this after I finally escape the prison and complete some more objectives, but it is a nice little distraction from all of the shiny hunting I have been doing recently. Well, I promise to let you know if I ever manage to make it out. I haven’t gotten very far yet, but I am at least starting to make some progress, which is more than I can say for me seven years ago. For now, thanks for reading and I will see you next time.

Shiny Living Dex (141-150)

It’s time for the next installment of this series. Thankfully I had some good luck last week and got some more new friends to share with you.

Number 141

I decided to hunt with some sandwiches again. This time I went for one that boosted poison types. I went hunting by the lake, hoping to get the version exclusive Pokémon Gulpin. I would also be fine with Toxicroak or Swalot. I was riding around with the sandwich boost and I eventually found one towards the end of the sandwich. The strange thing was the blue Gulpin was by itself. I think I managed to turn around just before a group completely despawned and the shiny was the only one remaining. I will take it.

Number 142

The next day was outbreak day and we had some good ones to choose from. I don’t know exactly what happened with the outbreaks but they all paid out in less than thirty minutes. I just had some good luck that day. Anyway, the first one of the ones I found was a green Masquerain. I had originally planned to hunt this later, but I decided to take on the opportunity now.

Number 143

The next outbreak I went to was a Marill outbreak and this was the last one I needed to complete the line. It was in a bit of a weird spot and did take the longest of the three to show up, but I managed to find the green water mouse in the end. Then I immediately found another the next day as if the game wanted to mess with me. Go figure.

Number 144

The final one I hunted for was Gible. The outbreak was there so I figured I would give it a shot, but I honestly would have been fine hunting for it later. I figured I would spend a bit of time there to test my luck. It took less than five minutes for the yellow-bellied shark dragon to appear. What a weird day, but I got three new shiny Pokémon to show for it.

Number 145

The next day I decided I would focus on the starter Pokémon again. I had already started hatching a batch of eggs a couple days ago and I decided I should finish up the rest of them. Fortunately, this was a good batch as I finally managed to get the purple-eyed cat, which was the only starter line I hadn’t gotten anything from yet. I think this I one of the few times I did an audible gasp when finding a shiny Pokémon. Most of the time my reactions are internal so that should indicate how surprised I was to find a shiny Sprigatito.

Number 146

The same egg batch had another surprise in store as it also contained another pink crocodile which I evolved into its middle evolution form. The amazing thing was these two shiny Pokémon were only separated by six eggs. What a good batch, and with the addition of Crocalor I now have only four more shiny starters to go.

Number 147

Alright, make that three. I made a new batch and I managed to luck out by getting the third and final Quaxly I would need for the Shiny Dex. I immediately evolved it up to its final form: a shiny Quaquaval. It’s interesting how it kind of looks like the colors are more washed out on the shiny form, giving it a light purple body with light green feathers. Anyway, One line down, two to go.

Number 148

Now this one was one I was conflicted about for a while. You might remember that I mentioned that I found two shiny Grimers when I was searching for a shiny Ditto. The evolution of this Pokémon, Muk, cannot be found except in two circumstances. The first is in raid battles and the second is in outbreaks. I only said I would consider getting Pokémon that spawned in the wild for this challenge so I wasn’t going to use raids to find the shiny form. However, I was torn if I wanted to hunt for specific outbreaks of Pokémon to complete this challenge despite the odds of finding them being quite rare and annoying to hunt. With all that said, here is a big green pile of sludge for the Shiny Dex. I might have one less shiny Grimer, but I will live with it. At the end of the day, I do want to have some fun with this challenge.

Number 149

This Pokémon was another edition to my ever growing collection of pink shiny Pokémon. I happened to stumble across this Sneasel in a group with her friends when checking the Spiritomb spawns after finishing egg hatching for the day. I caught it with no trouble and finsihed checking the other spawns. My luck was pretty good that day.

Number 150

This last one was when I was experimenting with build for the Decidueye raid last weekend. I failed on my first build and so I reset the game to save resources. I remembered that there was a Bellibolt den somewhere that would be good for the upcoming raid, so I went hunting for it again. Only, I forgot exactly where it was and had to go searching dens I had already visited. Turns out that this time a yellow Shinx was waiting by one of the raid dens. She was an unexpected surprise, but a welcome one. Oh, and I did find the Bellibolt den I was looking for eventually. I used that Bellibolt to beat the raid too.

That’s it for this installment. See you next time for the next one of these. Hope you enjoyed and have a nice day!

Why Metroid Fusion is Scarier than Metroid Dread

Now that Metroid Fusion has been released on Nintendo Switch Online, I decided to take the opportunity to play it again. Now, in my opinion, Metroid Fusion is one of the easiest games in the Metroid series. The game is built with a more linear story progression in mind and so there is a lot less exploring you need to do to beat the game. The sequel, Metroid Dread is very similar in this respect. However, most of the encounters are a lot more difficult to face, especially the boss encounters. I assume that due to Samus’ versatile moveset, they decided to allow more difficult enemy encounters. However, even though Metroid Dread was a harder game, I still found myself tenser playing through Metroid Fusion. At least, for my first playthrough. First, let’s start by talking about the unkillable enemies.

Now both games feature certain enemies that you cannot fight against or you will be killed. The first is an organism called the SA-X, an amalgamation of X parasites that possess all of Samus’ abilities at full power. The second is some Federation robots called the E.M.M.I.s that are said to be indestructible. They are both foes that you cannot take on normally throughout the game. The difference is how you deal with them. With the E.M.M.I.s, you are taught how to fight them early on using the Omega cannon and need to defeat them for plot progression. Not only that, but they act as a way to recover/upgrade your abilities. However, every time you face an SA-X until the end of the game can only be safely bypassed with two options. You can hide, or run and hide. Any other option and you will die. It does not mess around. The number of times you have to deal with it is low, but you never really know when it will show up. In Metroid Dread, they have zones basically advertising them. At least you can prepare yourself as opposed to dropping down in a room and finding it right below you.

Let’s also talk about the music for a bit. As most people who have played Metroid Dread know, music is its weakest aspect. However, the problem I have with the music, in this case, is more due to how it is used. In Metroid Fusion, anytime you encountered the SA-X, the music, and atmosphere would change, regardless of what sector you were in. You would go into a room and suddenly the music and atmosphere would change to one of foreboding and dread. Then the music would pick up again if it caught you to let you know to run for your life. In Metroid Dread, the music is different when you go in and when it catches you as well. The difference is that you always can tell the music is going to change because you are going into a different zone. It just does a bit less for the atmosphere of the game as a whole knowing what you are getting into each time.

Although the biggest reason why I am more fearful of running into the SA-X than an E.M.M.I. is how they are introduced. When you first start Metroid Dread, you run into a tutorial E.M.M.I. that you are required to kill. So not only do you realize that this thing can definitely be killed, but you need to do so for progression. At that point, they are not just an obstacle, but also an objective. This is further reinforced when you get abilities from them later on. Here’s how you encounter the SA-X. You go down the main elevator. Then the cutscene plays and something that looks like Samus busting through a station wall. Then you get a zoom-in of the visor and below is what you see. Then it busts through a door and moves on its merry way. I think I’ve made my case. This thing is nightmare fuel.

You know, if they ever remake this game in the future. I would want there to be more encounters with the SA-X, because not only is the music great but it also could lead to some intense chase scenes. That’s a long way off though. Just enjoy this lovely picture as you go to sleep tonight. Have a good night and see you next time!