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Pokemon Battle Thread

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Valin, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Pokémon fanfiction is a subject that, for the most part, I've been struggling in. Delivering an engaging plot... making the characters likable and believable... The thing that got me interested in writing fanfiction in the first place was to make teams of all my favorite Pokémon, like Gallade, Gardevoir, Blaziken, Roserade, Froslass, Eevee, most of its evolutions, and have them get into exciting battles. Next to that motivation, everything else, the things that truly make a story, were secondary.

    As one would probably expect, my story wasn't all that good, and it took me time to realize it. I look at the high praise other writers receive, and wonder, “Why can't they say that to me?” and I grow ever more frustrated when no one even bothers to offer constructive criticism, encouragement to continue, or anything for that matter. After so much frustration, it just doesn't feel like it's worth it anymore, and that I'm best off returning to my original fiction.

    However, there is one thing in my struggles that I have had confidence in: fight scenes. It's not like I'd received much in the way of external validation, but I just feel that's what I can admit pride in, so I decided to extend my tactics to the people that are struggling on the subject, and help make their Pokémon battles exciting and stylish.

    Before I begin, I should say that everything to come are just suggestions. I'm not saying I'm the final word in Pokéwarfare, and you'll agree with everything I say. Hell, some of you might even think I'm full of crap. Still, if you are able to combine some of this advice with your own style, then more power to you. Bottom line: these are the things that have worked for me. Your own preferences may differ.

    Now, without any further ado, let the training begin!

    Part One: A battle between still sprites? Yeah, that'll work!​

    I'm sure we all know better than this, but I'll cover it just in case.

    Don't get me wrong; the battles in the games are exciting, especially between two humans, doing what you think is the best move and trying to predict your opponent's intentions. This is something that would be a good aspect to incorporate into your fight scenes, but as for how the battles themselves are depicted, not so much.

    In the games, all you see are a pair (or four) of motionless spites exchanging attacks, and unless one's accuracy is lowered, or the other's evasiveness is increased, most of those attack will hit, not showing how the battle beyond that. You could argue that you could use the Stadium games, Colosseum, and Battle Revolution instead, but in a way, those are even more vexing. I can't help but frown when I see something like “Gallade uses Leaf Blade” and Gallade awkwardly runs straight up to say, a Rhydon, pauses briefly in front of it to extend its blades, and the Blade Pokémon delivers its devastating attack without the Drill Pokémon trying to dodge, counterattack, or even raise its arms to defend itself when it had more than enough time to do so. At least on the handheld games, you have more room to picture stuff.

    Now just because something has a 100% chance of hitting in the games doesn't mean it has an equal chance of hitting in your story, and I don't just mean attacks like Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, but even the attacks that hit no matter what, like Aerial Ace and Aura Sphere. If Pokémon are living creatures, instead of machines, like some critics say about 4th generation Pokémon (yeah, Gallade looks like a robot... a freaking cool robot! I wanna build one!), then they should feel pain. It's a known concept that the fact that living things can feel pain is actually a strength, because through that, they know what's dangerous and try to avoid it, and the same thing should apply to Pokémon (even the ones that come off as robots, like Porygon and Magnemite).

    A Pokémon should know when danger approaches and react accordingly, not a Grass-type acting like, “A Flamethrower attack is coming. It'll hurt, but that's alright, so I'll just stand here.” No, it will try to avoid pain the best it can. It may not always succeed in doing so, but it will at least try. It will sidestep long range attacks, it will jump if it sees a Ground-type attack coming, it will try to block and soften the blow from punches. Just make it believable.

    However, there is one thing in the games I suggest you follow... In the games, a Pokémon can only use four attacks in battle. Should this be the same way for your story? Actually, yeah. I'm not saying I buy into the idea that a Pokémon can only know four moves to the detriment of all others (Machop trains in all styles of martial arts, and yet, it can only perform four moves? I call BS on that), but for the sake of writing, please try to limit a Pokémon's repertoire to just four moves per battle, though, to be clear, the same Pokémon doesn't need to know the same moves for every battle, like in the games, once you've optimized your Pokémon's moveset. For example, a Charizard could use Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Slash, and Aerial Ace in one battle, and then in another one soon after, it can use Flamethrower, Fly, Flare Blitz, and Dragon Rush.

    Why do I feel this is necessary, you may ask? Well, I learned it the hard way. You see, in my story, I was writing a battle, where a single Electivire took on four of a trainer's Pokémon. The trainer sends out an electric-type, Electivire uses Earthquake, the trainer sends out a psychic-type, Electivire uses Thunder Wave, then Thunder, the trainer sends out a grass-type, Electivire uses Flamethrower, then Iron Tail, finally, the trainer sends out a ground-type, Electivire uses Ice Punch. That's six moves in one battle. I wanted to show how strong that Electivire was, but when I looked back on it, I realized, “Hey... this is actually kinda cheesy!” Yes, Electivire can learn all those moves, but when you have a Pokémon that is naturally equipped to deal with every single situation under the sun, it gets a little lame, hence you need to limit it a tad. Finally, if you see the need to exceed the limit, you may be having the battle drag for a bit (more on that later.)

    Part Two: The anime, and the things about it that bug me more than Caterpie (IT'S A PUN!)​

    It's been a long time since I watched the anime. Nowadays, the only exposure I get to it is in the form of AMVs that show struggles, with clever footage editing, making the battles look more epic than they probably were in the actual show, and awesome music to replace the 4kids dialogue and the voice acting that is physically painful to listen to (an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7bE6NebW3w. Aw yeah! Go, Gallade! You're my man! Subscribe to this guy. He does good work.)

    Now, the anime naturally does a better job depicting battles than the games, since we are shown more than just still sprites, but there is still something to be desired. Even after a full decade, there is one thing that had not sat well with me and has haunted me since. During the episode where Ash battles Misty at Cerulean Gym, Misty's Starmie (or was it Staryu? I forget) goes flying at Ash's Pidgeotto, and Ash commands, “Pidgeotto! Dodge!” and the Bird Pokémon obeys. What bothered me about that was Ash actually had to command Pidgeotto to dodge, as if it wouldn't otherwise. This seems to tell me that Pokémon are absolutely useless without directions from their trainers.

    Now, getting back to what I said earlier, Pokémon, and living things in general, try to avoid harm, and they should without their trainers' direct consent. After all, I'd like to believe that a Pokémon acting independently to ultimately maintain an advantage in the battle would please the trainer, regardless. Pokémon are creatures that can think for themselves, and are more than just mindless pieces to be manipulated in their trainers' game. The point I'm trying to make is that the trainer should not dictate every last action their Pokémon makes. If a Pokémon needs to dodge or block, it dodges or blocks. If it feels that it could get into a more advantageous position, it does so.

    Still, it's not like a caring trainer shouldn't try to encourage their Pokémon to avoid harm. Here's an example to illustrate my point:

    “This ends now!” declares Lance, “Finish it, Dragonite! Draco Meteor!”

    Raising its arms, Dragonite's body starts to glow. It takes to the sky and fires a volley of large powerful blasts, made up of an intense bluish energy. They start to rain down on Meganium's location.

    “Quick, Meganium!” yells Ethan, “Run for it! Get outta there!”


    See? In this context, Ethan isn't giving his Meganium an order. He's expressing concern, and trying to encourage it not to get hurt. If the trainer should shout out to his Pokémon about anything in regards to avoid damage, it should be in a way that shows that he cares, not just telling it what to do.

    Part Three: The harsh reality of Pokéwar​

    For the most part, I'm done talking about how to not follow the games and anime for your fight scenes. Now let's talk about how actual battle is conducted. Also, some of this advice may not just apply to Pokémon battles, but fight scenes in general.

    Now, the fights don't have to be realistic, at least not entirely. In fact, the less like a real fight, the better. After all, most real-life brawls are brief, messy, and hectic. It's not like watching a game of Street Fighter.

    I'll get to how long (and short) a fight has to be to be considered acceptable a little later, but for now, all I'll say is to not end it too soon, like simply having a Vulpix using Flamethrower on a Snorunt and ending it. Let the reader savor the scene, like then having the Snorunt jump over the Flamethrower attack and firing an Ice Beam down at Vulpix from several feet in the air, which connects with its back, freezing everything, except its head. However, Vulpix quickly thaws itself out with an Ember attack, and attacks with another Flamethrower, just as the Snorunt is landing and temporarily defenseless, and that knocks it out. A little more drawn out, but not too long, overall.

    Still, that isn't to say the fight should be completely removed from reality either. Do things that make sense in real life, like not having a Pokémon just rush in for a close-range frontal attack, and instead attempt to throw the adversary off with a feint, take advantage of the terrain, or attack an opponent's blind spot.

    Also, try to keep a firm sense of timing. If a Pokémon is using Thunderbolt, and the electric attack is rapidly approaching its target, the trainer won't have time to say something like, “That's not gonna work!” Instead having him quickly give his Pokémon a command to counter the Thunderbolt, have said counter be successful, and then make whatever taunts the trainer feels like.

    Now, let's talk about injuries. If you read even just a few Pokédex entries for Pokémon, especially the fully-evolved ones, you'll know that a Machamp can derail a train with one punch, an Alakazam has an IQ of 5,000, a Golem can shrug off dynamite blasts, a Hitmonchan's punches are so fast, they could leave a burn, a Flareon's internal temperature and the fire it breathes can exceed 3,000 degrees, a Gyarados can level an entire city if really pissed, etc. Clearly, Pokémon are super beings, and it wouldn't be a farfetched assumption that they can withstand quite a bit of harm. Of course, they have their limits, since they do eventually lose their will to keep fighting, and faint.

    Powerful they are, invincible they are not. While they can take far more harm than a human can, and still keep fighting, they should still react to some things in a way humans do. That means, they bleed when cut, their limbs can be fractured, they can be bruised if hit hard enough, and, as we all know, they can be poisoned, paralyzed, frozen, and burned. If things like that happen, they should react to those injures realistically, like limp if their leg gets damaged and unable to use an arm if it gets broken. If a Pokémon is in the “red zone” on their figurative life bar, they'll be tired and will themselves to continue fighting.

    Finally, seeing as Pokémon battles are not fights to the death, don't go saying things like, “Its deadly Flamethrower attack,” "Its fatal Fissure attack," or “Its lethal Slash attack.” Also, when describing damage, don't say it in a way that constitutes a mortal wound, like, instead of saying “The blade pierced its heart,” say, “It was slashed across its chest.” When it comes to injuries, you can be brutal, just not cutthroat. Besides, a Pokémon will be as good as new, no matter how badly it was beaten, thanks to some good old deus ex Pokémon Center.

    Part Four: Gotta catch 'em all... and then write about it​

    Trainers having their Pokémon battle is only a third of the formula. The other two thirds are training them, and, as we're about to cover, capturing them.

    Wanna hear something funny? I found the battles in the Pokéwalker to be more believable than the ones in the actual game. Why? Because the Pokémon you're trying to catch actually make an effort to escape.

    That's what it should be like in your writing as well. A wild Pokémon would attack, trying to find food, or whatever, but when the trainer's Pokémon prove to be too strong for it, it will try to run to avoid being captured. It might not succeed, but it makes it more realistic that way.

    Part Five: The pen typewriter Word program is mightier than the sword​

    Now that we've talked about the ins and outs of depicting a Pokémon battle, let's talk about the actual writing. This is probably where you may disagree with me, if you haven't already, so I'll remind you again that these are only suggestions.

    First, how battles are written may differ, depending on their presence. Now, no matter what, a battle needs to touch on the details, like what attacks look like, how a Pokémon had been damaged, what is running through the trainer's head, etc. However, how much detail is needed is a variable. If the story is generally about something like loving and caring for your Pokémon, and groovy stuff like that, and there are only a small handful of battles in the whole thing, there's no harm in being more detailed. On the other hand, if your story is generally about Pokémon fighting, like a trainer on the road, aiming for the top, and having to beat Gym Leaders, the Elite Four, and maybe an evil organization of trainers, and you want every battle to be an exciting rush of literary adrenaline, it may help to just touch on the most important aspects of the battle, and just a few other things.

    Why do I say that? Because if you want your battles to be exciting, it helps for them to be fast-paced. Again, people will probably disagree with me on this, but to me, reading something like, “With a resolute gaze, intent on victory, Matt commanded his Houndour to perform its dreaded Flamethrower attack. With an obedient bark, the fire-type obeyed. With a deep breath it released an intense stream of dazzling flames of red and orange, capable of melting even solid stone,” is like an action movie pausing itself in the middle of an awesome fight sequence, just to make the viewer admire the scenery. Changing it to something like, “'Let's finish this, Houndour!' yells Matt resolutely, 'Take it down with Flamethrower!' With a bark, the fire-type opens its mouth, releasing a stream of intense fire,” just makes the action flow much more quickly, and is therefore, faster-paced.

    As I said before, adding a little extra action for a fight to let the reader savor it is a good thing, but don't let it drag on for too long. Pokémon is not Dragonball Z, and it doesn't need to have a cornered Machop using Focus Energy, evolving somehow, becoming a thousand times more powerful and having the battle last another ten pages. A battle between trainers consists of several small battles between their Pokémon, and having four full pages talk about how an Ivysaur defeats a Steelix, when each trainer still has five Pokémon left to send out, is just annoying. If it does, a battle is no longer exciting, and just becomes long-winded and boring.

    Also, try to have each battle be significant to either the plot, the characters, or the Pokémons' progression, in one way or another. If a battle pits your main character against a nameless trainer, and during it, one of your character's Pokémon evolves or learns a new technique that proves invaluable for the duration of their story, or if the nameless trainer is impressed by one of your character's Pokémon, and he trades one of his for one of your character's resulting in a new edition to the team, it's worth it. If nothing of the sort happens, you're only wasting time, no matter how cool that battle may be.

    Besides the development of the trainer and his/her team, other times battle means something is if it's against a Gym Leader/Rival/Elite Four member/Champion/high-ranking official of an evil organization/some other major opponent, or if an important new trainer is being introduced, and you want to show his or her's personality, skills in comparison to another trainer's, and Pokémon through an introductory battle.

    Finally, be sure to space out the battles. Don't just have a whole bunch take place in rapid succession, as that would wear out the reader. Be sure to have a considerable amount of story go by before you move on to your next exciting encounter.

    Part Six: Pokémon Battle: Trainer's Side​

    So far, we've talked about the Pokémon's side in a battle, but a Pokémon battle is a two-fronted struggle: the physical battle between the Pokémon, and the battle of knowledge, wits, taunts, and deception between trainers.

    Trainers command their Pokémon what moves they want them to perform (and not tell them to make an obvious dodge, hopefully), but, as you'd probably read elsewhere, it's boring if barking orders is all they do. What they should do is make occasional comments outside of issuing orders, like taunting their opponents, or cheering their Pokémon on. In fact, it's a good time to show the difference in their personalities. Since (most) Pokémon can't talk, their trainers will have to do the talking for them, and it helps spice things up, and even add in a personal twist, as opposed to just straight-up battling.

    Okay, when I said that battles are best when they're fast-paced, that was actually only a half-truth. The other half of the truth is, it's okay to slow the pace a bit when the time is right, like when a Pokémon is down and the next one is being decided on. As I said, just a couple paragraphs ago, a Pokémon battle is a struggle of wits, knowledge, and deception between trainers. That means, the logic they use to overcome one another is as much a part of the battle as the Pokémon that are fighting, so make sure the reader sees the reasoning behind their choices, like what Pokémon they will send out to counter their opponent's Hypno. In such a pause in a battle's flow, you can take some time, and take a paragraph or two, to describe what a trainer is thinking.


    Battle is a difficult thing to get down, as it's hard to think of decent choreography, and find the balance between too long and too short. Still, practice does make perfect, so good luck in your writings.

    If you have any other suggestions or counter-arguements, please be sure to post them.

    Other than that, I would like it if people used this topic to show off their literary depictions of Pokémon battles, whether they be ideas you had suddenly come up with, copied and pasted from a story you posted elsewhere, or if you were like me, and had great battles in mind, but weren't quite as invested in the rest of the story.

    Also, if the battle is part of a bigger story, it would be nice if you briefly talked about the important characters that will be shown, prior to posting the actual battle. Hey, if the battle is exciting and the characters and their Pokémon are cool, you just might attract new readers if you have the full story posted elsewhere.

    Actually, I'm writing a Pokémon battle to serve as an example, but it's still a work in progress, so I'll post it later.
     
    #1 Valin, Aug 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. This is a battle I was thinking of writing for the next installment of my story. Before I begin, however, I'll introduce the major characters that will be present, just so you get to know them.

    Richter:
    Age 29. The story's narrating character. A skilled trainer, who once aspired to becoming Sinnoh's Pokémon League Champion and being remembered for all eternity. He defeated seven Gyms, and as his dream came closer to realization, he became obsessed with victory. However, he kept losing to his eighth Gym, and in his constant attempts, he'd trained his Pokémon very harshly. Finally, he realized it wasn't meant to be. Defeated and humbled, he realized how horrible he was to his team, and greatly regretted it, giving half of his team to other trainers he was close to. He moved on to becoming a rancher in Solacean Town, however, when he was visited by his niece, Natalie, who wants him to be her mentor as a trainer, he finds himself back in the world of Pokémon battling. Still an intelligent and powerful trainer, though he's a bit of a loner and doesn't communicate well with some people. Fears that his Pokémon secretly hate him.
    Current Pokémon: Jolteon, Sandslash, Froslass, and (fanfare) Gallade. Used to own a Scizor and Roserade. Would later catch Starmie and Skarmory.

    Billy:
    Age 16. A Gym Leader-in-training, specializing in Fighting-types. Father used to be a Gym Leader in a faraway region, and inherited his Pokémon when he passed away and now travels to become more skilled as a trainer. Mistaking him for a weak trainer, he challenged Richter, hoping to make a quick buck, but was defeated and they became friends. Their paths cross frequently.
    Current Pokémon: Lucario, Machamp, Infernape, Toxicroak, Breloom, and Heracross

    Alice:
    Age 25. Richter's former rival. As for the rest, keep reading.
    Current Pokémon: As I said, keep reading.




    Leaving Natalie at the hospital with her mother, I decide to do as suggested and get some rest back at my old home, which is now where my twin sister raised my niece, and get some rest. I guess I need it...

    The sun is starting to set, and with everything that had gone on today, it's hard to believe it had all happened in a single day...

    Only a few minutes away from my old neighborhood, I pass through Oreburge City's town square, and there, I notice a large group of people are gathered, and I'm sure if the cheering happened to be any louder, it would cause some irreparable problems to one's hearing.

    With my curiosity getting the better of me, I decide to walk over to the crowd, and see just what is so special about the scene they are beholding. Looking though the tightly packed crowd, I see some lines on the ground. This is a field designated for Pokémon battles. Overall, it's a quarter of a football field's length, and the ground shows some wear and tear from previous battles fought on it. That's right... As a child, I remember this place being where members of a region's Elite Four visit and demonstrate their Pokémon, trying to inspire up-and-coming trainers. I should know, because that's exactly what happened with me back then.

    As it turns out, there is a Pokémon battle going on. One of the Pokémon is a humanoid blue toad, and the other is a blue dog-like creature with fish-like attributes. They slowly sidestep and stare each other down.

    The crowd is dense, so my view of the battle area is limited, thus the Pokémons' trainers aren't within my sight, but I hear a familiar male voice commanding the blue toad, “Attack, Toxicroak! Poison Jab!” The Toxicroak charges at its opponent, with its fists radiating purple mist. It throws a punch, but the blue dog-fish, Vaporeon by name, another evolution of Eevee, swiftly sidesteps it. It attacks with its other fist, but Vaporeon tilts its head to the side, causing that attack to miss as well.

    Vaporeon's trainer, obviously taking advantage of the fact that the Toxicroak is right in front of it, orders, “Vaporeon! Hydro Pump!” It takes me a few second to realize it, but I recognize the other trainer's feminine voice as well... and I should, since I can link that voice and the Vaporeon together.

    The Vaporeon swiftly dodges another poisonous punch from Toxicroak as its entire body starts to rumble. Finally, it opens its mouth and releases a powerful, highly pressurized, blast of water. Its hard to see what happens afterward, since the blast exploded on impact, and all I can see is water flying everywhere, splashing the onlookers.

    When the watery burst clears, Toxicroak is no longer in sight. Since it was hit with a point-blank Hydro Pump attack, one of the most powerful water-type techniques a Pokémon can perform, it was probably sent flying several feet, and would no doubt be hard-pressed to continue to battle after a hit like that.

    Out of sight, the Toxicroak makes a strained cry, and its trainer cries, “Aw man! Return, Toxicroak!”

    There is a loud cheer from the audience. The Vaporeon's trainer recalls the Bubble Jet Pokémon, and declares, “This victory is mine, but give Billy here a big hand! He, and his Toxicroak, totally fought well!”

    The cheering continues, and several people are chanting, “Pokécop! Pokécop!”

    'Pokécop?' Now I know for sure who the Vaporeon's trainer is...

    After the cheering dies down, the crowd disperses, and I can finally see the trainers. The trainer from the Toxicroak's side is Billy. It's surprising, but he did call me, saying that he was on his way to Oreburge City...

    The Vaporeon's trainer, the victor of the match, is a tall young woman with short blonde hair, in a police officer's uniform. I know her too well: Alice, age twenty-five, my childhood friend and a major rival of mine back from my days as a trainer. Back then, we had countless matches and she made it about as far as I did, winning seven badges, but failing to win her eighth, but instead of obsessively trying to overcome the final Gym, like I did, she decided to stop traveling as a trainer, and returned to Oreburge City to dedicate her talents to law-enforcement. Since she's well-known in Oreburge as a powerful trainer, and, through that reputation, a feared police officer, she had earned the nickname, Pokécop, though seeing as she's in her uniform, and therefore, on duty, but still battling for fun, she sure doesn't take her job too seriously. The reason she hadn't been fired is probably because her Pokémon are so powerful...

    As Billy turns to walk away, his gaze passes me, and then he does a double-take, “Hey! Richter?”

    Alice, who no doubt heard Billy shouting out to me, turns in my direction, “Huh? Richter?”

    Great... With their respective acknowledgments of my presence, the remaining onlookers, remembering my own accomplishments as a trainer, start staring at me, as well.

    With me as the center of attention, I speechlessly say, “Um... Hi?”

    “Well, well,” says Alice with a grin, her surprise at my sudden appearance fading very quickly, “I was starting to think you'd never return. You really should get out more, Richter. If you keep being so reclusive, no one will ever wanna marry you. Your good looks are seriously going to waste.”

    “I'd say the same thing to someone who had never once acted like a woman since the day I met her,” I retort.

    “What?” says Billy, “Ya know each other?”

    “Oh yeah, we do,” says Alice, “Richter here is one of the few trainers to make me feel challenged... or at least he was. So, Richter, how long has it been since you last battled? Eight years? I remember you being a real crybaby about how you could beat your last Gym and that you'll never battle again. Thank you for your Roserade, by the way.”

    “You're welcome,” I mutter sarcastically, “And I'm sure you'll be pleased to know I battled yesterday.”

    “Yeah!” yells Billy, “Against me!”

    “Is that so...” says Alice, straightening her police hat, “So, how badly did you lose?”

    “Oh, let me assure you, I won.”

    “Seriously?” responds Alice, who, despite her words, doesn't seem the least bit surprised.

    “His Gallade was totally strong!” says Billy, “I wanted it for myself!”

    Alice lets out a small chuckle, “Hmhm... I guess there's some thing you don't lose, even in your old age...”

    “Hey!” I yell, “I'm twenty-nine, and you're only four years younger than me, you hypocrite! Don't act like you're still a kid!”

    Alice, who is no doubt enjoying this, ripostes, “At least I don't talk like I'm fifty, and I don't have gray hair, either. Oh, and I think my granddad wears the same frames for his glasses!”

    “You know what? I take it back. Maybe you are still a kid, Alice. After all, you still haven't matured enough to know my hair is silver.”

    Alice pulls a Pokéball from her belt, and even though the onlookers are silent, I can practically feel their excitement. A possible Pokémon battle between two of the finest trainers in Oreburge? Hard to beat... I wanted to just go home and rest, but I want to put Alice in her place for calling me old even more. She always knew how to push my buttons...

    “Alright then, Richter! How about I prove my maturity by totally wiping you out in a Pokémon battle?” I don't bother to point out the irony of that statement.

    The crowd's silence is broken by a thunderous cheer.

    “Very well,” I say, which results in another loud cheer, “I'll gladly show you how immature you are for thinking you can beat me.”

    Alice's grin widens to extend across her entire face, “Okay! Thank you so much for giving in to my taunts. Here are the rules: Singles, four-on-four, one switch permitted. How about it?”

    “'Four-on-four?'” I ask. A four-on-four battle means each trainer will send out four of their Pokémon, which happens to be the exact amount of occupied Pokéballs I have with me, “You know what you'll have to do if you knock out all my Pokémon... not that it will happen.”

    “I know,” says Alice, “and I don't mind. I'll happily be the brave knight that protects Princess Richter from the evil dark-types on her dangerous journey through Oreburge to the Pokémon Center.”

    “Okay. Deal,” I say, deciding the best retort for Alice's latest swipe at me is through battle.

    With the onlookers yelling wildly, I step into Billy's side of the field. Some people, choosing sides, are chanting “Pokécop,” while others are chanting, “Richter.” I wonder why I never got a catchy nickname. I suppose I'll think one over later and find a way to advertise it...

    “Hey, careful,” says Billy, “She's really tough.”

    “She used to be my rival,” I say, “I should know...”

    The crowd simmers and watches intently. Yesterday, Billy thought I was an amateur and let me send out my Pokémon after he sent out his, but this time, it's a match between two trainers, well aware of each others' power, so we'll send out our Pokémon at the exact same time, and we won't know who has the advantage until the battle actually starts. That means there is no strategy involved. It's all a matter of intuition and luck.

    Who will Alice send out? I can see she's still using her starter, the Eevee she evolved into Vaporeon. If her team hadn't changed since last year (she showed me her Pokémon... we didn't battle, though she did challenge me), I should know all six of the Pokémon she has with her... of course, she probably has the same advantage, at least in the case of my Jolteon, Sandslash, and Gallade. I doubt she knows about Froslass, who I just got back...

    I decide to take advantage of that fact. She'll probably send out something that has an edge over the three she's expecting, but I'll catch her off-guard with Froslass!

    “Let's do this thing!” declares Alice, as she had made her own choice of who to send out first.

    We toss our Pokéballs into the field.

    “Let's show her we're still strong! Go Froslass!”

    “Let's have some fun! Go Altaria!”

    Froslass appears, and at the same time, a blue bird-like Pokémon with wings that look like fluffy clouds appears on Alice's side of the field. Altaria, the Humming Pokémon, a dragon/flying-type. Perfect! It's at a complete disadvantage against an ice-type like Froslass!

    Alice's grin fades as she realizes the position she's in, “Geez... I dunno about your skills and power, Richter, but I guess luck hasn't failed you...”

    “Froslass!” my Snow Land Pokémon yells at Altaria, and the Humming Pokémon looks worried.

    “Ice Beam!” I command. Froslass fires a beam of condensed cold air from her mouth at Altaria. The dragon/flying-type dodges to the side, the beam just grazing it. Altaria winces as a patch of ice forms on the side of its neck, and steam rises as if the ice were hot iron.

    “Again!” I command. Froslass fires another beam, but Alice's Altaria is surprisingly swift, and it dodges that one as well, “Press the attack!” Froslass keeps firing Ice Beams at Altaria, who keeps taking evasive action, dodging or being grazed, not that I'm worried, since it will be down when just one beam scores a direct hit.

    “It can't keep dodging it forever!” I taunt Alice.

    “Dang...” curses Alice, “Fight back, Altaria! Flamethrower!” Altaria attempts to obey while dodging, and one of its wings gets hit as a result, a small patch of ice forming on it.

    Altaria winces long enough for me to make a counter-command, “Hail!” Froslass raises her arms and suddenly, a tiny snowstorm forms inside the confines of the designated arena. It gets much cooler where I'm standing, but I can stand it. It's undoubtedly much colder inside the arena.

    Altaria blows fire at Froslass, but the blizzard activates Froslass' ability, Snow Cloak, and she vanishes out of the attack's path, reappearing behind the Humming Pokémon. Our advantage is evident.

    With one of its wings frozen, Altaria is helpless to dodge Froslass's next beam. It's a direct hit, and Altaria becomes encased in ice. One more attack, and it's down! We're off to a good start.

    Apparently, Alice realizes the same thing, “I have no choice... Return, Altaria!” She extends her Pokéball toward Altaria and it vanishes with a flash.

    The rules of this match permitted Alice and I a single switch each. That means that only once in the battle, we can recall our Pokémon without them being rendered unable to fight first, and send them out later. While Altaria is at a disadvantage against ice-types, it has very few weaknesses otherwise. I'm surprised Alice was forced to use her switch so early in the battle, but she is probably trying to save Altaria for a better matchup.

    However, Altaria was frozen, and it will still be when its sent out again... or not. Oh right, its ability, Natural Cure...

    However, I'm still at an advantage, looking at the battle as a whole. One of Alice's Pokémon is weakened, and I still have my switch, while Alice just used her's.

    Alice sends out her second Pokémon, “Go, Blaziken!” On Alice's side, a red and yellow humanoid chicken with long feathers extending from its head, and a pair of powerful-looking legs, appears. Blaziken, the Blaze Pokémon... Alice spent one summer vacation of her training abroad in the region of Hoenn, where she caught the Pokémon that eventually evolved into her Blaziken and Altaria. Blaziken is a fire/fighting-type, perfect to counter an ice-type with.

    However, Froslass' blizzard is still in effect, so she can evade anything Blaziken can throw at her, disadvantage, or not.

    “That's not going to work!” I taunt Alice.

    “Oh yes it will!” taunts Alice back, “Blaziken! Sunny Day!” Blaziken extends one of its taloned arms to its side, and suddenly, an intense burst of heat extends from its body, which immediately makes me sweat. The wind and snow inside the arena disappears, and in its place, there is heat so strong, it distorts my sight of the battleground. Froslass looks discomforted by the change in condition, but she's still standing.

    Still, Froslass does know some techniques that can counter a Pokémon like Blaziken, “Froslass! Water Pulse!” The Snow Land Pokémon fires a blast of snow from her mouth, which instantly melts into a blast of water. However, Blaziken dodges it by jumping thirty feet into the air over it.

    “Blaziken! Blaze Kick!” commands Alice. Blaziken's legs ignite and it shifts into a flying kick position and rockets down toward Froslass.

    “Quick!” I yell, “Water Pulse! Counter it!” Froslass fires another Water Pulse up at Blaziken. The two attacks collide and struggle against each other. Finally, to my dismay, Blaziken's attack proves to be stronger and it breaks through Froslass's attack. Blaziken comes down like a missile and there's no way Froslass will dodge in time!

    The Blaze Kick attack connects and Froslass is sent reeling. However, the ice/ghost-type, after being knocked down and burned, manages to recover, albeit severely weakened. I guess the Water Pulse softened Blaziken's attack somewhat. However, there is still no way Froslass will beat Blaziken in her current condition.

    What to do...? Should I try to weaken Blaziken a little more before the Blaze Pokémon delivers the finishing blow, then take it out with my next Pokémon. It's not a bad tactic, but since Alice withdrew Altaria, she'll have to send it out again later. If Froslass is defeated, none of my other Pokémon will have a distinct advantage over Altaria. I guess I know what I should do...

    “Finish it, Blaziken! Fire Punch!” At Alice's command, one of Blaziken's talons ignites and it charges at Froslass.

    “Froslass, return!” I extend Froslass's Pokéball toward her, and she vanishes with a flash of light, just a split-second before Blaziken's attack can connect.

    Alice smiles, “So you decide to use your switch? That was a good move... Too bad you can only use it once.” That is true. Now that both of us have used the single switch we were permitted for this battle, our Pokémon will now have to battle until they faint.

    “Likewise,” I say, going for my next Pokéball, containing my best Pokémon to answer Blaziken with.

    “Go, Sandslash!” I send out Sandslash.

    Alice shakes her head and sighs, “I knew exactly what you were planning. You may have luck, and maybe skill, but originality has totally failed you...”

    “What does it matter, just as long as I win!” I yell, extending my arm, cuing Sandslash to charge at Blaziken.

    “Whatever. Blaziken! Flamethrower!” Blaziken extends its arms and releases a stream of fire from its beak, which rapidly approaches Sandslash.

    “Sandslash! Defense Curl!” Sandslash curls herself up and she plows through the fire.

    “Slaaaaaash!” Sandslash lets out an anguished cry, but at least her body is intact from the fire. She makes it through the inferno, and rolls toward Blaziken as a flaming spiked ball.

    “Rollout attack!” Sandslash springs off the ground and flies toward Blaziken.

    Just as the Blaze Pokémon is about to sidestep Sandslash's technique, Alice calls out, “No, Blaziken! Hold your ground!” Blaziken, without glancing back at Alice, nods and does as commanded. Just what is she thinking?

    Blaziken extends its arms and Sandslash slams into it. Blaziken lets out a sharp cry as Sandslash's quills sink in. However, it endures, and throws Sandslash upward. The ground-type unrolls to see what had just happened, as what she felt is different than according to plan, but that turned out to be a mistake as she left herself open to Blaziken's next move.

    “Sky Uppercut!” commands Alice. Blaziken's talons curl into fists and it throws an upward punch, which catches the Mouse Pokémon in the gut, and sends it flying several feet straight into the air.

    Alice smirks, “Awesome work, Blaziken. Now let's end this one in style. After it!” Blaziken jumps up into the air, after the airborne Sandslash, “Now, Richter, let's see your ground-type win an aerial battle with my Blaziken.”

    I grit my teeth and let out a discontented sound, “Tch.”

    Several feet above the battlefield, Blaziken reaches Sandslash's level.

    “Fire Punch!” yells Alice up to her fire/fighting-type. One of Blaziken's talons ignites and it slashes my ground-type.

    “Slaaaaash!” Sandslash lets out another pained cry.

    “End this, Blaziken, with another Fire Punch!” Fire erupts from Blaziken's other talon and it rears back to deliver a finishing blow.

    “Sandslash!” I call out.

    Suddenly, Sandslash recovers and it manages to duck its head under Blaziken's swipe. I hear Sandslash let out another cry. I imagine her head was singed, though I can't say for sure from the distance and angle I am standing relative to Sandslash and Blaziken's location.

    Still, Sandslash dodged the full force of Blaziken's attack, and the Blaze Pokémon is left wide open. Sandslash takes full advantage of the fire/fighting-type's lowered guard and, without a command from me, performs a forward spin, hitting Blaziken hard from above with a Crush Claw attack, spiking it downward.

    Blaziken is sent plummeting back to the surface very fast and hits the ground hard.

    “Blaziken!” yells Alice.

    “Blaze...” Not yet defeated, Blaziken is on its hands and knees, trying to get up. The air around it is starting to distort as its body heat rises ever higher in its desperation. Blaziken's ability, Blaze. If Blaziken is allowed to attack again, Sandslash has little chance. We have to end this now!

    “Finish it, Sandslash!” I yell up to my still-airborne Pokémon, “Earthquake!” Sandslash rolls into a ball again and rockets down toward the vulnerable Blaziken. It slams into the Blaze Pokémon from above with such force, I can feel a tremor from the ground.

    “Blaaaze!” Blaziken lets out a sharp cry of pain, just before its body goes limp. Sandslash rolls off Blaziken, which is about as defeated as it can be.

    Alice sighs, “Good job, Blaziken. Take a rest. It looks like Richter's Pokémon aren't the only ones that are gonna be in need of a Pokémon Center...” She recalls her Pokémon. Just as I'm about to make a I-still-have-four-and-you're-down-to-three retort, I notice that she's actually right. Sandslash is in rough shape from the battle with Blaziken. She's breathing fast, and some of her quills are on fire, while others are stained with blood, not to mention the nasty burns and cuts on her head. She's not in good shape for whoever Alice is gonna send out next.

    After a few idle seconds, Alice grins and says, “Y'know, Richter, I think I'm gonna call in a special guest!”

    “What are you talking about.”

    “I guess I'll be like you and be uncreative for once...” Alice says with her next Pokéball prepared, “...I'm gonna send out a grass-type to battle your ground-type...” She sends out her third Pokémon.

    Well, it's a grass-type, alright... a grass/poison-type, to be exact. However, I wasn't predicting this one, and honestly, I should have. The grass-type I remember Alice using for a long time was Bellossom. However, this green Pokémon has bouquets of red roses growing on one of its hands, black roses on the other, and a large white rosebud on its head. I also notice a small black smudge on the white rose. It's Roserade, the Bouquet Pokémon... my Roserade! The one I used to train, but gave to Alice when I quit!

    Alice smiles a little too innocently, “Feeling nostalgic yet, Richter?”

    “Um... Hello...” I say to my former Pokémon, “It's been a long time, hasn't it? Have you been well?”

    “Rade...” Roserade turns her head to the side as if to say, “Hmph!” Well, I did mistreat her in my quest for power, and then give her to another trainer. I can't blame her for hating me.

    “Hey, is there something goin' on here?” asks Billy, a few feet behind me.

    “It's not important,” I answer Billy.

    “You sure have a sense for the ironic, Alice...” I glance at Roserade, “It's too bad we had to meet again like this, but don't expect any mercy!”

    “Roser!” Between her tone and expression, I can almost tell Roserade's words are, “Good. I am a proud Pokémon fighter and I don't want your mercy, Richter.”

    “Sandslash! Crush Claw!” I command. Sandslash jumps toward Roserade and slashes downward. Roserade steps back, avoiding the full force of the blow, but still gets grazed.

    “Giga Drain!” commands Alice. Roserade leaps toward Sandslash with one of her hands extended and grabs hold. Suddenly, both Pokémon's bodies emit green light, although how it affects them are completely opposite. The wound Roserade received from Sanadslash disappears completely and Sandslash slumps to the ground, unable to battle any longer. The count is now three Pokémon remaining for each side. I call back Sandslash.

    “So, who are you gonna send out next?” asks Alice. There's something that bugs me about her tone, as if she's counting on me to send out a particular Pokémon. She now knows I have Froslass, and that I also have Jolteon and Gallade as my remaining Pokémon. Since Froslass's ice-type has a big advantage over Roserade's grass-type, and Gallade's psychic-type has an advantage over Roserade's poison-type, she's probably expecting me to send out either of them, so she can use her remaining open Pokémon slot to send out a Pokémon to counter them if Roserade goes down. If she takes down Froslass, Altaria will be unopposed, in terms of type advantages, and Gallade is my strongest Pokémon, so the sooner in this battle I send him out, the better a chance Alice has of defeating him.

    It's a risky move, but I will send out the Pokémon she is probably not expecting, “Go! Jolteon!”

    Jolteon takes the field. Alice's eyes widen, “Um... okay... maybe you are a little creative...” At least I know I caught her off guard.

    “Are ya sure about this, man?” asks Billy, “Electric attacks aren't exactly strong against grass-types, ya know?”

    “I know,” I respond, “but this is my best chance, without playing into Alice's hand...”

    “Ah well...” says Alice, casually straightening her police cap, “Roserade! Petal Dance!” Roserade extends her arms and spins, releasing countless petals, of black, red, and white, from her flowers. Within second, she is completely surrounded by a storm of petals. Roserade's signature move, Petal Dance... The petals can be used to shield her from attacks, and also be used for offense, as each petal has an edge as sharp as a knife's.

    “Attack!” commands Alice. Roserade sends the storm of petals in Jolteon's direction. Jolteon starts to run, but even though he's my fastest Pokémon, he won't dodge the wave in time... at least at his current pace.

    “Agility!” I command Jolteon. My electric-type suddenly accelerates rapidly. The swarm manages to catch his rear, inflicting a few small cuts, but for the most part, Jolteon managed to avoid the attack. The petals chase after Jolteon. However, with the Petal Dance technique in offense mode, Roserade is left unprotected.

    “Attack Roserade!” I command, “Quick Attack!” Jolteon charges at Roserade and slams her hard with his flank. Roserade staggers, left open to a follow-up attack.

    “Hit her again!” I yell, “Quick Attack!” Jolteon delivers a second blow.

    “Quick, Roserade!” yells Alice, “Call back your petals! Defend yourself!” At that order, the swarm of dangerous petals start flying back to Roserade.

    “Quick! Get outta there!” I yell.

    Jolteon dashes away from Roserade as its petals return to swirling around it in defense mode and the two face off once again,

    Just as I'm about to give Jolteon a new command, however, I notice something is wrong. His legs are starting to wobble, he's beginning to sweat a lot, and he's breathing much faster than normal.

    “Jolteon?” I say, baffled, “What's the ma--” I suddenly cut myself off, realizing what's going on. In Jolteon's side, the side it used to attack Roserade with, there are two tiny thorns stuck in it, and a purplish liquid oozing from the wounds. I'm an idiot! How could I have forgotten my former Pokémon's ability, Poison Point? When Jolteon directly touched Roserade to attack her, her poisonous thorns pierced Jolteon. He's poisoned!

    This is bad! The more Jolteon fights, the worse the poison will get, until he loses consciousness, but if he doesn't fight, he will be at Roserade's mercy. This looks hopeless either way...

    “Heh...” Both Alice and Roserade smirk, knowing the advantage they gained.

    Well, there's no choice. I'd best have Jolteon damage Roserade as much as possible before the poison becomes too much.

    Electric attacks aren't effective against grass-types, but Jolteon is powerful enough to put a sizable dent in Roserade, regardless... at least I hope so.

    “Hang in there, Jolteon! Thunderbolt!” I command. Jolteon, doing his best to endure the toxins in his body, channels his electrical power, and fires a powerful bolt of lightning at Roserade. However, the petals absorb most of the bolt's power, and whatever gets through, Roserade just shrugs off.

    “Too bad!” taunts Alice, “It looks like this battle is now going in my favor. Nice effort, though. How saying that you surrender?”

    “Say it yourself,” I retort, “You should know me well enough to know I never give up when I still have a chance!”

    “I dunno,” says Alice, “You quit as a trainer. I thought I had you figured out pretty well. Oh well. Let's keep fighting. It's more fun that way.”

    I have to break through Roserade's shield if Jolteon is to harm her in any significant way... I think I have an idea!

    “Jolteon! Pin Missile!” Jolteon's fur suddenly sticks out to sharp points and they angle themselves in Roserade's direction, “Fire!” Jolteon fires the sharpened hairs on his body into Roserade's shield. They tear through the petals, reducing the amount defending Roserade. With the Bouquet Pokémon rendered vulnerable, I command, “Now! Thunderbolt!” Jolteon, using what seems to be the last of his remaining energy, fires another powerful bolt of lightning at Roserade, who is too slow to dodge. It scores a direct hit.

    Roserade endures the electric attack, however, she seems to be having trouble moving. She's paralyzed. She also looks exhausted, as her remaining petals flutter to the ground. That's the big disadvantage of Petal Dance: it wears out its user severely.

    At the same time, Jolteon reaches his limit, and faints. I recall the Lightning Pokémon, “Good job, Jolteon. Take a rest.”

    “Well, you sure improvised on that one,” says Alice, “however, I now have the advantage in this battle: I have three Pokémon still standing, and you have two.”

    “I know...”

    Well, Roserade, my former Pokémon, managed to defeat both Sandslash and Jolteon... I suppose I should be proud to know she's as strong as ever...

    Anyway, who should I use next? Only Gallade and Froslass are left. Either of them can finish Roserade off easily. It's who Alice will send out next that's the issue. She has to send out Altaria again, plus she has any one of her other three remaining Pokémon to fill in her forth slot.

    Froslass is badly injured from her battle with Blaziken, while I hadn't sent out Gallade, my strongest, at all in this battle, so he's at full strength. The choice is obvious...

    “Go, Froslass!” I toss my Pokéball, and Froslass takes the field again.

    Alice smirks, “Saving the best for last, Richter?”

    “Wouldn't you do the same?”

    “Roserade!” Alice calls out, “Approach Froslass and hit it with Sludge Bomb!” Roserade, attempting to obey, takes a step in Froslass's direction only to be stopped by paralysis and fall to the ground. “C'mon!” Alice yells out, “Resist it!”

    Roserade, with determination, gets back to her feet, stumbles toward Froslass a few feet, and then fires a large glob of poisonous goo before the paralysis seizes her again and she falls down. However, the distance between Alice's grass/poison-type and my ice/ghost-type is still very great and even weakened, Froslass dodges with little trouble. Roserade tries to get up again, but it keeps getting harder for her.

    With a shrug, I say, “Well, I said no mercy... Finish her, Froslass. Ice Beam!” As the Snow Land Pokémon is about to fire her beam, I say, “You've become so strong, Roserade. I really am proud of you.” Froslass fires her beam and within a second, Roserade is covered in frost, defeated. Now, Alice and I both have two Pokémon left to send out.

    Alice recalls Roserade, “Very touching, Richter. I guess you really have gone past your 'Pokétyrant' phase...”

    “We all have to grow up sometime...”

    “Totally...” Alice draws another Pokéball from her belt.

    Who will she send out next? She does have Vaporeon, which should stand a more than a good chance against Froslass in the condition she's in, but if replacing her Bellossom with Roserade was the only alteration she made to her old team, the best Pokémon she'll have to counter Froslass with is Weavile, an ice-type to match my Froslass's, but also a dark-type to overcome her ghost-type. Froslass would no doubt be beaten, but then I'd send out Gallade, who, as a fighting-type, should be able to defeat Weavile easily. The only Pokémon Alice would have left to send out, according to this match's rules, is Altaria, which has a type advantage over Gallade, but seeing as it was weakened by Froslass at the beginning of the battle, Gallade should stand a very good chance. Yes! If Alice will just send out her Weavile next, this battle should very well be mine!

    Alice sends out her next Pokémon... and it wasn't as planned, “Come back out! Altaria!” Alice calls Altaria back to the field. What?

    As expected, Altaria used its Natural Cure ability, and is no longer encased in ice...

    “What are you thinking?” I demand of Alice, “Do you honestly believe you can win this round?”

    “Totally!” answers Alice, “C'mon, Richter. Look at Froslass, and then at Altaria, and tell me what you think. Don't be shy, now.”

    I do what Alice suggests, and I almost immediately see what she's getting at. Both Pokémon are weakened, but while Altaria is just enduring some freeze wounds, Froslass, on the other hand, is an absolute wreck. Even if she has the type advantage, Altaria can still win through sheer attrition.

    “Oh man...” mutters Billy, “She's really good. I never would have done that...”

    “She's not the victor yet,” I remind Billy.

    Alice extends her arm, “Altaria! Dragon Dance!” Altaria's body begins to glow bright yellow as it becomes more powerful then before. Shoot... If Froslass takes even one blow from the dragon/flying-type, she's down. However, Froslass has a move that can turn this battle on its head.

    I issue a command of my own, “Froslass! Destiny Bond!”

    Alice's eyes widen, and she grits her teeth, “What?”

    Froslass's body pulses with gray energy, which then expands to cover the field. The energy reaches Altaria, and its body starts to pulse too. Altaria looks like a shiver just ran up its spine. Destiny Bond... if Froslass runs out of energy to keep fighting, that effect extends to Altaria. Win or lose, it will go down.

    No doubt knowing this, Alice clenches her fist tightly in frustration. She then takes a deep breath and sighs, “Okay... It looks like this battle will be decided in the very last round... Still, Altaria, let's make Froslass regret that move! Take to the sky!” With a resolved nod, Altaria starts flying above the battlefield.

    “Ice Beam!” I command, “Keep it coming!” Froslass fires several beams up at Altaria, but its Dragon Dance made it faster, as well as stronger, and it evades the attacks.

    Finally, high above us, the Humming Pokémon pauses and hovers. “End this!” commands Alice, Draco Meteor!” Altaria's body glows red as it is about to unleash its strongest attack.

    However, now that Altaria is hovering still, it's our perfect chance to counterattack, “Once more time, Froslass! Ice Beam!” Froslass's body glows bright blue as she is about to unleash an extra powerful beam.

    The two Pokémon unleash their powerful attacks at the same time, with Altaria releasing several large blasts of powerful dragon energy to rain on the battlefield, while Froslass fires her Ice Beam up at the Humming Pokémon.

    Froslass tries the best she can to dodge Alaria's attack, but there are too many blasts, and one finally hits her, delivering a finishing blow. At the same time, the Ice Beam scores a direct hit on Altaria and it plummets out of the sky and slams the ground, defeated by both the ice-type attack and Destiny Bond. Both Pokémon are down. Now the battle his reached its final stage, with both Alice and I with one remaining Pokémon to send out.

    We recall our respective Pokémon and face off. No witty banter, nor taunts, this time. Neither of us is certain of victory now. The crowd isn't making any noise either, as the tension and anticipation rises.

    With a Pokémon standing on neither side, the rules dictate that we send our next ones out at the same time, just like the start of the battle.

    Of course, I only have Gallade left, but since Alice has only sent out three of her Pokémon, she has a choice of which of her remaining three to send out.

    Will it be Weavile? I seriously doubt it. Alice should know full well that Gallade is my last Pokémon, and that an ice/dark-type would be at an enormous disadvantage.

    Vaporeon, then? Possibly. However, it's probably still resting from its battle against Billy. Would Alice really leave the most important stage of this match to a weakened Pokémon, even if it is still very much in fighting condition?

    Assuming no other alterations had been made to her old team, besides switching Bellossom with Roserade, Alice's team should consist of Vaporeon, Blaziken, Alataria, Roserade, Weavile, and...

    We toss the Pokéballs containing our final Pokémon into the field.

    “Gardevoir! Let's win this thing!”

    “Go! Gallade!”

    Gallade appears before me, and on Alice's side is a Pokémon with an appearance close to that of Gallade's, only much more... feminine, I suppose, with a slender frame and appearing to be wearing something that can only be looked at as a gown. Gardevoir, the Embrace Pokémon, a psychic-type, and Gallade's... counterpart, of sorts. I used a Dawn Stone to evolve my Kirlia into Gallade, but without that, a Kirlia would have otherwise evolved into Gardevoir.

    Gallade is a psychic/fighting-type, while Gardevoir is just a psychic-type, but with Gallade's fighting half, Gardevoir actually has the type advantage, but it's not so great that we have no hope of winning.

    Gallade and Gardevoir slowly sidestep, facing off...

    “Gallade!” Gallade looks more on guard.

    “Garde...” On the other hand, Gardevoir's pose is somewhat more relaxed, with a sly smile. The Embrace Pokémon looks every bit as haughty as her trainer...

    Finally, Alice's command breaks the tense silence, “Gardevoir! Use Shadow Ball, and keep 'em coming!”

    I issue my counter-command, “Gallade! Dispel it with Night Slash!”

    Gallade draws its blades and strikes a defensive pose as Gardevoir extends one of her dainty arms and a large black ball of ghostly energy grows in front of her.

    The Embrace Pokémon unleashes her attack, Shadow Ball, a ghost-type attack, which would harm Gallade considerably if it hits... which it won't, as Gallade responds to my command, and its blades start to emit a bright purple light, the dark-type energy he needs for his Night Slash attack. Gallade swings one of his elbow weapons downward, cutting through the Shadow Ball attack unharmed.

    “Advance!” I command Gallade.

    Gardevoir prepares another Shadow Ball attack and fires it at the charging Gallade, who defends himself with equal success, despite the reduced distance between them.

    “Gardevoir!” yells Alice, “Don't bother charging! Just fire!”

    Gardevoir stops taking the time to power up her Shadow Ball attacks, and starts firing off a number of smaller blasts in rapid succession. Despite their considerable reduced power, however, Gallade will no doubt have a harder time defending himself against a much more merciless onslaught.

    Gallade manages to defend himself against a couple blasts, before one finally gets through his guard, stunning him. He gets hit by several more Shadow Balls and gets knocked off his feet.

    Alice smirks, “Awesome work, Gardevoir. Let's finish this! One more Shadow Ball... Make it a big one and get him while he's down!”

    “Voir!” responds Gardevoir, as she pours her energy into making one last Shadow Ball attack, making it as strong as possible in little time.

    Gallade is on his hands and knees, slowly rising... no good. He won't be back on his feet by the time Gardevoir unleashes her devastating attack. No, it can't end like this...

    I brainstorm a number of possibilities over the brief amount of time Gallade has. Finally, a incomplete, but promising, thought pops up, “Earthquake! Now!”

    “Gall...” Gallade raises one of his arms and a blade extends from his elbow.

    “Finish it, Gardevoir!” orders Alice, “Attack now!”

    Gardevoir fires her Shadow Ball, but not before Gallade juts his blade into the earth, making the ground rumble violently. Gardevoir is thrown off-balance, as are me, Alice, and the onlookers, and her Shadow Ball is misfired skyward. Afterward, she's knocked off her feet as Gallade is back on his.

    I command again, “Advance! Reach Gardevoir and deliver the finishing blow!” Gallade dashes toward the downed Gardevoir.

    On her hands, Gardevoir fires a small Shadow Ball, which Gallade narrowly dodges.

    “Gardevoir!” yells Alice, “Don't bother fighting back just yet! Just focus on getting back to your feet!”

    Gardevoir is back to her feet, just as Gallade is two seconds away from reaching her.

    “End this!” I yell, “Night Slash!”

    “Reflect!” commands Alice quickly, “Defend yourself!”

    CLASH!

    Gallade's blades connect with a psychic shield that Gardevoir materialized in front of her at the last possible second. Gallade's blades and Gardevoir's shield are deadlocked as the two Pokémon struggle to overpower each other. However, in terms of physical power, Gallade has the clear advantage, and it isn't long before the Blade Pokémon pushes Gardevoir back, prepared for another attack.

    “Brick Break!” I command, “Shatter that shield, then attack!” One of Gallade's blades glows bright red, and he thrusts it into the psychic shield, which shatters almost instantly, leaving Gardevoir defenseless. Gallade swings his other blade at Gardevoir quickly, not taking the time to power up for Night Slash, but just delivering a quick Slash attack, which cuts Gardevoir across her upper torso.

    “Voooiiiirr!” cries Gardevoir in pain.

    “Gardevoir!” yells Alice.

    “Excellent work, Gallade,” I say, “Press your attack and finish her off!”

    Gallade's blades glow purple again, as he prepares to deliver the final blow with Night Slash. However, Gardevoir recovers surprisingly fast, and she manages to step back, just out of the range of Gallade's swing. Gallade steps in for another Night Slash attack, but this time, Gardevoir vanishes instantly. She used Teleport. She reappears behind Gallade, and extends her hand forward as she prepares another Shadow Ball attack at point-blank range.

    Luckily, Gallade instantly senses Gardevoir's presence behind him, and he whirls around, swinging his blade in a Night Slash attack, dispelling Gardevoir's Shadow Ball. Gallade attacks again with a high slash, which Gardevoir manages to duck under, though it manages to graze her head, and then tries to maneuver around the psychic/fighting-type, but Gallade easily keeps pace with the Embrace Pokémon's actions. It's over. As long as Gallade is close to Gardevoir, he has the advantage.

    Alice, no doubt aware of this, commands, “Gardevoir! Use Psychic attack! Get him away from you!”

    Gardevoir thrusts her arms forward and unleashes a blast of powerful psychic energy, which sends Gallade flying several feet away from her and landing on his back.

    Gallade gets up and the Blade Pokémon and Embrace Pokémon face off, both clearly weakened from their battle. Neither of them will be able to stand it if this battle drags on any longer. It's all going to come down to the next attack...

    “Galla-- Huh?” Before I can give a command, Gallade, acting on his own, charges straight at Gardevoir. That's weird... He's usually so obedient...

    “Gardevoir.... Hey! Wait!” At the same time, Gardevoir disobeys Alice, and starts powering up one last Shadow Ball attack.

    “Huh? What's up?” Billy asks no one in particular.

    Why are they acting this way...? Suddenly, an idea occurs to me. They are counterparts to one another, and neither of them can stand the idea of being outdone and being proven inferior. This has become personal for them, and they are taking it upon themselves to take the other out.

    Alice and I silently nod at each other. This is out of our hands. It all comes down to what the Pokémon decide for themselves.

    As Gallade charges in, Gardevoir powers up her Shadow Ball, but is not releasing it.

    Finally, As Gallade is only a few steps away from reaching Gardevoir, the psychic-type finally fires her ghost-type attack at a range where Gallade can neither dodge, nor defend., and it slams into him.

    However, despite the force of the blow, Gallade maintains his footing, although his legs are wobbling beneath him. He desperately tries to keep stand, as if he falls down, he won't have the energy to get back up.

    “Ga... laaaaaaade!” With a loud battle cry, Gallade wills himself to resume his charge. Gardevoir attempts another attack, but the Blade Pokémon is on her before the attack can even form. His blades turn purple one more time as he attempts one last Night Slash with the limited energy he can still muster. This one connects, slashing the exhausted Gardevoir across the chest. He steps past, using his other blade to slash her flank, leaving two wounds with smoke rising from them.

    Both Gallade and Gardevoir struggle to keep standing. Finally, Gardevoir can't take it anymore and she collapses, soon followed by Gallade. Both Pokémon are down, this battle ended in a draw.

    I recall Gallade and Alice recalls Gardevoir, the battle over.

    ---

    Well, what did you think? If there are any battles you want to write, post them here.
     
    #2 Valin, Aug 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013

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