Posts Tagged ‘Pokemon’

Pokemon: My Life as a Gym Leader

April 19, 2017

I came up with the idea for this post after the release of Pokemon Sun/Moon and the release of Pokemon Go. Recent readers of this blog know that I am still playing Pokemon Go. After hearing about challenges where people play through the game only using one type, much like a gym leader. Last year I invented gym leaders based on a game I wanted to write. This year, I thought about what I could have been based on my life so far and the world of Pokemon.

Pro-Wrestler
Fighting Type – Heavyweight Badge

When I was younger, I had less control of my anger. I thought about taking up something like boxing but my obsession from a pretty young age was professional wrestling. In this version of me, I would have pursued that dream and used it to focus my rage. I would have formed a bond with my starter pokemon and we would have trained together to be stars and then I would train others. My gym would be a place where trainers could challenge me but also where people could train physically along with pokemon.

Emboar – A young boy with an anger problem, I eagerly picked the fire pokemon Tepig as my starter pokemon. We learned to master our anger together.

Primeape – The mankey I caught was the embodiment of the unbridled and untactful anger that I was experiencing but we learned to calm down after a bunch of losses.

Machoke – The art of grappling was my first foray into more disciplined fighting and taught me that there was more than swinging fists or throwing fire.

Hitmonchan – The sweetest science helped further develop conditioning and accurate strikes.

Hawlucha – Of course, I was going to hunt down a Hawlucha ally after gaining respect for the faster, high-flying style of lucha libre.

Mienshao – Catching a Mienfoo sparked an increased interest in the broader spectrum of martial arts. In return, I gained an increased ability to focus my negative emotions.

 

Parks and Rec
Ground Type – Park Badge

A couple people have said that I would have been well-suited for a career in parks and recreation. Whether it is designing activities for people to do or just walking the parks. I love walking around and exploring and lately I have been haunting my local city park a lot. In this version of me, I would have embraced the outdoors more and walked around protecting people. Gym battles would be done by appointment or if the challenger found me walking out in the woods or the fields. It would add a degree of challenge to not know the battlefield beforehand.

Golem – Most people say that Geodude is shaped like a boulder but I thought that she was shaped like a friend. She was a good starter pokemon as I started to hike through the wilderness looking for Pokemon.

Sandslash – As I journey off the beaten path, I sought out a Sandslash to cut through the underbrush and through the competition.

Krokorok – I grabbed a Sandile so I could train an enforcer with dark type moves.

Rhyhorn – Rhyhorn is useful for moving fallen rocks and trees off of paths and crushing the competition.

Gliscor – My eye in the skies on those days where I am deep in the woods and he fights like a superhero in the gym.

Onix – Opponents tend to quake with fear when they see my largest pokemon. In a pinch, Onix is also big enough to provide transportation for a wilderness rescue.

 

Theater Electrician/Designer
Electric Type – Spotlight Badge

For five years, I worked as a technical director for a regional theater in New Jersey. I could not have stayed there (the theater folded shortly after I left) but I could have stayed in the business instead of moving on. I love the theater and I loved hanging lights and making them do what I wanted. I loved seeing my designs (and hearing my sound designs) in real life stage productions. In this version of me, I would have stuck with the theater and would still be haunting a theater. In between swinging a wrench and drawing lighting plots I would take on challengers. I would get permission to use the theater stage as a battleground for big showy battles.

Electabuzz – When I started with my Elekid, he was not super impressive but he was a friend. Now that he has evolved, he is another hand on the job and a true partner.

Magneton – Levitation is handy in getting tools from the ground up to where I am up on a ladder or the catwalk.

Emolga – A little friend who can scurry up and check the plugs on the lights if necessary. He can also glide from pipe to pipe to check things out.

Rotom – The best board operator is one who can literally possess the board and control it from within.

Raichu – For a kid with a thing for electric type pokemon, a pikachu is a welcome addition to the team.

Flaafy – A gentle reminder of my family’s pastoral history and a personal symbol of my family. The lamb.

 

Agent of the Law
Steel Type – Marshall Badge

When I was a teen, I wanted a badge. My uncle worked with the police but I never wanted to be a cop, I wanted a little bit more freedom. Some of these feelings have been stirred up lately by my legal studies and my brand new career as a paralegal. Law enforcement in the world of Pokemon always seemed really mixed up with the world of champion trainers. In several of the games, members of the Elite Four investigate crimes and fight terrorists. In this version of me, I would help keep the peacce and troubleshoot criminal or terrorist threats. My battlefield would also double as a headquarters for crimefighting.

Aegislash – My Aegislash is evolved all the way from Honedge which was my starter pokemon. Usually, giving a sword to a child is a bad idea but I respected the blade and gained discipline.

Skarmory – My Skarmory has the advantage of the high ground and speed for ruthless attacks to hopefully end the battle quickly or chase down criminals.

Empoleon – Empoleon’s size is a great thing to have as back up and his water moves act as a non-lethal method for resolving tricky situations while also dominating gym opponents.

Registeel – Who doesn’t like a giant robot acting as a shield when necessary?

Lucario – A great partner for practicing hand to hand combat and a great tracker.

Bronzong – A literal heavyweight for protecting myself from criminals and challenges to my badge.

 

Haunted House Owner
Ghost Type – Scare Badge

I have loved Halloween since I was a little kid. Lately, I have visited some haunted houses and watched some documentaries on how they are put together. It has gotten into my head lately that I would love to design haunted houses given the chance. In this version of me, I would own and operate an ever-changing haunted house that people could get amazing scares and thrills from. The battles would take place in a spooky, dark basement meant to unnerve my opponents. The huge basement would be below the haunted house so that people could hear periodic screams and laughter while battling. It would be so fun.

Gengar – Travelling to real haunted houses as a spooky little kid, I would have embraced a Gastly instead of a ‘normal’ pokemon for my starter.

Mismagius – How could I not want a ghost that looks like a witch and evolves into a wizard.

Trevenant – Spooky plants are a must for a haunted house and I knew this guy would make a very scary tree.

Chandelure – A well-controlled fire can scare the pants off of visitors just as much as any other ghost in the house.

Dusclops – A powerful ally and a formidable scary opponent. You want to be on the right side of this creepy pokemon.

Sableye – A creepy little guy with gem eyes. Victims can see his eyes sparkle in the dark before he scares the crap out of them.

 

Professional Writer
Water Type – Penstroke Badge

I have thought about being a professional writer and maybe that still lies somewhere in my future. For now, I love writing here for whoever reads this blog and for myself when I am not working or out playing. If I had become a professional writer, I would want to live where I could take a break and swim in nature. In this version of me, my gym would be alongside a large lake. My chosen battlefield would be on the lake using a series of rafts so my water pokemon could swim among them. I would write pages and when a challenger came, I would take a break and we could have a lot of fun on the water.

Wartortle – A traditional starter pokemon, the squirtle evolution track always made think of superheroes.

Azumarill – A water pokemon with excellent hearing, it could help listen out for fellow fishy pokemon under the waves.

Kingdra – I could imagine this horsea hanging out in a bucket next to my desk sometimes.

Ducklett – A pokemon who can fly but can also dive deep to evade enemy attacks.

Sharpedo – Sometimes a writer needs to use a scary monster to further the plot.

Kingler – The krabby evolution line is surprisingly powerful, especially when facing moves like crabhammer or guillotine.

Pokemon Alpha and Zulu

April 18, 2015

What follows is a partial outline for a Pokemon game I’ve kind of created in my head bit by bit.

So we begin with the normal selection of the girl or boy model and name selection. Your character starts in the lab of Professor Cole. You select your starter pokemon. I would say Vulpix, Poliwag and Oddish for the sake of argument but it would probably be new pokemon.

Once you have chosen, the professor starts to explain your new duties as his assistant. He tips his hand and lets slip that he’s working for Team Rocket. He abandons you and leaves you to face a member of Team Rocket. After that, you swear vengeance and begin the journey to earn gym badges and take down Team Rocket.

Along the way you face down several Team Rocket threats and plans. You also meet and travel with a young trainer named Carrie whose family is kidnapped by Team Rocket. She travels with your character which provides for plenty of double battle and versus opportunities. She starts with one of the starter pokemon and builds a balanced team on her own.

The player is separated sometimes from Carrie. At these points the player is alone or joined by another NPC. The player fights gym leaders and the Elite Four and various Team Rocket bosses. What follows is a list of gym leaders.

Gym Leader 1: Matt the Immovable Gym Leader
Type: Normal
Badge: Huge Badge
Pokemon: Snorlax, Slaking, Munchlax, Ursaring, Stantler

Matt is a lazy gym leader who enjoys his power as a gym leader more than he enjoys actually battling to keep his position. When the player arrives at the gym, Matt’s Slaking is blocking the door and taking a nap. After he is beaten, the player double battles him and Cooper before reaching the fifth gym. He was beaten by a trainer named Carrie who he wants to impress so he made her gym leader and is now trying to whip himself back into shape.

Gym Leader 2: Cooper the Party Gym Leader
Type: Grass
Badge: Party Badge
Pokemon: Ludicolo, Leavanny, Tangela, Roselia, Grovyle

Everybody in town loves Cooper because he throws the best parties or that’s how it used to be. The townspeople are tired of Cooper throwing all night parties all the time and have become embarassed that he isn’t trying harder to excel as a gym leader. He feels no motivation to try any harder since he has never lost a battle before. When he is beaten by the player and then Carrie, he sees that he must try harder. You and Carrie double battle him along with Matt later on as both have banded together to help each other train.

Gym Leader 3: Leo the Power Station Gym Leader
Type: Electric
Badge: Power Badge
Pokemon: Rotom, Pikachu, Emolga, Zebstrika, Galvantula

Leo is a hard worker and maintains the largest power station in the region. He is an expert in electrical engineering and splits his time between maintaining the power grid, battling and helping to teach less experienced trainers. After the player beats Leo, Team Rocket attacks the station and Carrie and the player must defeat them. In the ensuing battle, machinery is damaged and it is revealed that a legendary electric pokemon has been assisting in the operation of the power station. The player must then fight this legendary pokemon.

Gym Leader 4: Ariana the Circus Gym Leader
Type: Poison
Badge: Center Ring Badge
Pokemon: Arbok, Seviper, Skrelp, Victreebel, Nidoqueen

Ariana grew up as a child of circus performers and took her parent’s passion as her own. She combines that with her passion for pokemon and holds gym battles as part of her circus. Ariana loves snake pokemon in particular and they can be found crawling all over her circus and two of them are part of her team. She isn’t invested in the main storyline but is more than happy to battle the player for her badge. Before that she really puts the player and Carrie to the test in a series of double battles and solo battles.

Gym Leader 5: Jack the Sanctuary Gym Leader
Type: Flying
Badge: Wing Badge
Pokemon: Talonflame, Aerodactyl, Noctowl, Skarmory, Staraptor, Altaria

Jack’s gym sits on the roof of the Cindelle City department store and is a sanctuary for flying pokemon and also a research center. Jack balances the responsibilities of being a gym leader with trips into different regions and areas to look for flying pokemon. He is friendly but always determined to come out victorious. The player can meet him again on Victory Road where he’s all to happy to get a second chance at winning.

Gym Leader 6: Alex the Fighting Star Gym Leader
Type: Fighting
Badge: Spectacle Badge
Pokemon: Hawlucha, Hariyama, Mienshao, Hitmonchan, Gurdurr, Sawk

Alex comes from a long family tradition of fighters and has incorporated that into his Pokemon battling. However, when he was five years old he got bitten by the showbiz bug and started working toward the first television station in the region. When he inherited his family dojo, he converted it into a television studio as well. He eventually also made it a Pokemon gym when he earned that title. His family wants him to treat the honor with more respect but he is blinded by the lights of the cameras. Eventually he’s able to compromise and bring honor to his TV show.

280 sq ft/18 boxes

Gym Leader 7: Captain Heather the Enforcer Gym Leader
Type: Steel
Badge: Iron Badge
Pokemon: Doublade, Lucario, Bisharp, Metagross, Steelix, Escavalier

Captain Heather is a detective for the police and hard on the trail of the new boss of Team Rocket. She appears at the end of most of your run-ins with Team Rocket to arrest any members left on the scene. She also teams up with the player and Carrie during the battle to take down the boss once and for all. She’s more than pleased to take a break and battle the player for her badge. Once she has been met she hands out sidequests to the player.

Gym Leader 8: Mira the Studious Gym Leader
Type: Ghost
Badge: Spirit Badge
Pokemon: Mismagius, Haunter, Hoopa, Golurk, Spiritomb, Litwick

Mira is a bookish and quiet young woman who regularly communes with the dead, creeping out many in her community. Still, she’s fiercely loyal to her town and her region and protects both with a furious vengeance. Most think of her as a meek librarian type but when she’s challenged she is a dominant opponent who easily eliminates many threats. She secretly helps the player against Team Rocket by sending her Mismagius and Litwick to help with puzzles. She also fights alongside the player and Carrie on Victory Road.

This Week in Steves

February 11, 2015

TWS

I was given the name of Steven when I was born.  It’s a Greek name even though I don’t have a drop of Greek blood in me.  It means “crown” or “victorious” which are two words that never really applied to my life much.  Well, like most humans I’m occasionally victorious, of course, but I was never royal.  Names are our birthright but they really don’t mean anything but I find it fun whenever I find another Steven or Steve.  So I thought I’d explore different characters or real people who share my name.  For now, this does not include Stephen because I don’t belong to that rival tribe.


Steve the Monkey from the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies

I remember reading Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as a kid and the book was definitely surreal and fun but it was more of a  poem than a story.  I have to hand it to the makers of the movies who completely spun straw into gold.  They took a very simple story and made it into a great animated movie.  Not only that but they filled it with puns (the lowest form of comedy) and it ended up being hilarious and not annoying.  Truly there was some dark magic involved there.

The character of Steve is a Vervet monkey and lab assistant who talks through an altered speak and spell (performed by Neil Patrick Harris).  I specifically chose to talk about him because a friend of mine often does an impression of him when somebody says my name.  Now, Steve mostly wears his heart on his sleeve, literally saying his emotions, his desires, what he’s doing at the moment or his own name.  That’s not me.  I tend to keep a lot of things to myself and I’m less impulsive unless I let my rage problem get the best of me.  In some ways I try to be a little more like Steve the Monkey by joking a little more and hanging out with people more.


Steve Urkel from Family Matters

I haven’t met somebody from my generation who hasn’t heard of Family Matters yet.  We pretty much all watched it along with the other shows on ABC’s TGIF line up.  It was a wholesome show that had a semi-realistic depiction of a family.  The Winslows loved each other and looked out for each other but they weren’t afraid to show the parents yelling at their kids for doing the wrong thing.  They also weren’t afraid to show the members of the family making fun of each other which is something my family does as well.  Sure it was a sitcom so everything was often exaggerated and more extreme than anything I experienced.  Still, it was pretty relateable and it gave us a handful of jokes when we watch Die Hard each year.

Now, before anyone called me Harry Potter (ok it happened once), I hated sharing a name with Steve Urkel.  Urkel was a character that exploded pretty soon after his first appearance and is probably the primary reason that Jaleel White primarily did voice acting for a while.  Urkel was a technophile with poor coordination and low social skills.  He didn’t care about being cool, being a nerd was cool to him and he loved being himself.  However, when people compared my name to his it was an insult.  Urkel was an outcast on the show who none of the Winslows wanted around because, frankly, he was annoying.  However, eventually his good qualities won over his annoying ones and he wormed his way into the hearts of everyone.  Urkel probably was the first time that I started to embrace my nerdy side and not care so much what people think.


Steven Stone from the Pokemon games

I love Pokemon.  I first experienced Pokemon as a video game as most people did but it wasn’t long before I was exposed to the anime.  I got to see the adventures of Ash Ketchum and then my brothers and I could strive to become Pokemon masters ourselves.  My brothers had Red and Blue and I got Yellow as soon as it came out which was more like the anime.  I loved battling Team Rocket and putting together effective and dominating teams.  I favored fire and electric types most.  I eventually graduated to Pokemon Gold and I check in on the anime to this day but I never did play any games.  If I had, I would have found about Steven Stone before this past weekend.

In current Pokemon game continuity, Steven Stone was the champion of the Hoenn region and thus the main boss of the Ruby/Sapphire games.  He is a trainer who specializes in Steel-type pokemon, a type I hadn’t really mastered until lately.  Now that I see them in action, Steel-type pokemon are hard hitting and formidable in battle and some of them look awesome.  Steven Stone is a champion and is very intelligent in the anime (which isn’t saying much when compared to Ash Ketchum).  Where he really shines is the Mega Evolution special (see above video).  There’s not really enough character to compare myself to but at least there’s a Steven like me in the Pokemon world.


susanne matthews

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