EXP. ShareDec 21, 2021
The New Pokémon Snap (#183)
Hi, it’s us, Todd Snap. (Not the hunk, a different one.) We didn’t want to leave you all high and dry for three weeks so we met up to play through the new Pokémon Snap! Then we had a few too many and went back to the studio to complain about it, mostly. Enjoy!
Crown Tundra: Legendary Clue #2, Legendary Clue #3, Galarian Star Tournament (#182)
In the season 8A (that's right, we're calling it now) finale, our podcast titans recount their trials and travails conquering the Crown Tundra; attempts to land that hot date with Miss Honey; the hideous Legendaries they fought in Dynamax Adventures; the Galarian Star Tournament and Ball Guy's bogus grand prize; and finally throw Drew England's Connecticut champions up against Wellington Smithsmith's wealthy industrialists to determine who has the most powerful team in the archipelago.
The Crown Tundra: Dynamax Adventures and Legendary Clue #1 (#181)
This week we downloaded some content from the eShop to continue our journeys for the hefty sum of $29.99 American, but you know what they say: do it for the Vine. And we’re glad we did, because we love this dang place. Some of us more than others.
Isle of Armor: Three Trials, Tower of Darkness, Tower of Waters (#180)
Wellington Smithsmith & Drew England make landfall on the Armor of Isle—sorry, that is, the Isle of Armor. They're immediately accosted by a couple of escaped circus freaks, who inadvertently introduce them to the locals' warriors path. Along with several children who have seemingly never wielded a Poké Ball before, they must complete three trials in order to ultimately take on the island's defender, Master Mustard. (And, in Drew England's case, win the affections of Miss Honey.) But it doesn't end there. They must also fall in love with a kung-fu bear and then climb a couple of scary towers so that it can finally become its truest self, or something poetic like that. Plus! Even more Wild Area antics.
Chasing Waterfalls in the Galar Region (#179)
It’s that time of the season once more are we set aside our goals and ambitions and finally just wander around the Galar region aimlessly just trying to find stuff we missed during our playthrough. I promise, it’s much more exciting than it sounds. If you’re expecting a battle, you’ll be sorely disappointed though, because Josh doesn’t have the chutzpah to take on Tanner’s All-Connecticut All-Stars.
Music: TLC - Waterfalls (SNES Remix), used with permission from Meme Music
Wyndon Stadium, Rose Tower, Postwick, Slumbering Weald, Hammerlocke, Energy Plant, Championship (#178)
30+ hours into the game, it appears that Pokémon Company finally remembered that they needed to have some bad guys in this game. So they crammed both the criminal syndicate and corporate overlord into one big, confusing plot that involves a bunch of guys in Oakleys, an underground power plant, and a non-Euclidean pile of poison bones. Oh, and Drew England meets someone(s) new from the Great State of Vermont.
Hammerlocke, Hammerlocke Gym, Route 10, Wyndon (#177)
A brief leg this week that we’ve bulked up with plenty of Wild Area shenanigans and by playing ahead to Wyndon JUST A LITTLE BIT. But you’ll be glad we did, because there was PLENTY to take care of this week, especially for Josh who toiled for hours to catch Tanner a Stonjourner that he doesn’t even like. Special apology to anyone from New Hampshire this week.
Route 9, Spikemuth, Spikemuth Gym (#176)
It's been a generation or two, but eventually the water routes come for us all. Fortunately, this time we have the aid of a beleaguered doctor who mysteriously controls all of the bike technology in Galar, and he's upgraded our Bikes into Water Bikes. Hope our indentured Rotom like to swim! On the far shore, we discover that Marnie is yet another nepo baby, who takes us to her family's private entrance to the giant garage that is Spikemuth—and away from the riot of challengers who she decided weren't worthy. Turns out her brother Piers isn't either, because his team is a joke.
Route 7, Route 8, Circhester, Circhester Gym(s) (#175)
Lock up your Hot-Mom-loving spouses and loved ones this week—at least, if you’re playing Shield, because Circhester (pronounced see-sir-shrrr-sr) Gym has plenty to go around! You ever just start writing a sentence just to see where it goes? I am surprised as you are by that last one. Anyway, the other game has someone called Gordie. ¯\(ツ)/¯
Glimwood Tangle, Ballonlea, Ballonlea Gym (#174)
Tough week for Drew England as we check in on all the various Wild Area competitions, but can he redeem himself in a head-to-head battle with Smithsmith’s team of titans? To find out, you'll have to follow us through the unsavory, drug-addled Glimwood Tangle, into Ballonlea (pronounced baloney-ah)—where we’re invited to battle in an opium den—and through a sidequest to secure a representative for the great state of Vermont. It’s quite a journey.
Hammerlocke, Route 6, Stow-on-Side, Stow-on-Side Gym (#173)
Drew England spends some time chilling in the Wild Area, and Wellington Smithsmith recruits a new entrepreneur there after learning about another one of Chairman Rose's sham companies while touring Hammerlocke. Josh reveals a provocative new theory about Galar's Two Princes, and Tanner has some provocative thoughts about Gigantamax Gengar as well as Ball Guy (as usual). They also unveil a couple of new competitions—both of which Josh didn't know about—both for themselves as well as you, Bug Catchers. Check out the Rotom Circuit #1 on our socials @expsharepod, and send us your high score after YOU do the math!
*We'll be taking next week off for the Fourth of July, and back with your regularly scheduled episode on Tuesday, July 11th.*
Galar Mine 2, Motostoke Outskirts, Motostoke Gym, Return to Wild Area (#172)
Drew & Wellington push on this week into new ventures and new areas as they finish what they now know was essentially the opening tutorial sequence. With just Kabu left to stop them, a pitiful Fire-type gym leader, it’s only a matter of time before their sick machinations are unleashes upon the Galar region. (We’re talking mostly about Wellington Smithsmith here, obviously.) It was a pretty breezy visit for both gents, to be honest. But at least they got the chance to stop by and see Motostoke’s famous Fireman Octillery!
Route 5, Hulbury, Hulbury Gym (#171)
The route was short and yet, it was still full of terrors. Or maybe that's just the bit when we tried to figure out how to battle each other online for the first time. You be the judge, but please don't make fun of us too much. We're two grown adult men after all, how were we supposed to know that a hidden menu is what you use to fight each other, rather than the one on the main menu THAT SAYS "VS" ON IT. Please excuse us. We also have a controversial pick for Trainer Danger, but Joshy's Sweetie and Tanner's Ew Make Me Barf Pokémon of the Week certainly are not.
Route 3, Galar Mine 1, Route 4, Turffield, Turffield Gym (Ft. Greg Leatherman) #170
We’re joined by Greg Leatherman this week, aka Madison Sinclair, who is busy, busy, busy building the most fabulous team of “Pokémon Drag Race” stars. Meanwhile, Drew England and Wellington Smithsmith are just trying to make it to Turffield so they can take on *checks notes* J.K. Rowling? Huh. Along the way we learn about hawk in Timbs, a pretty complicated conspiracy about Gigantamaxing, and a Pokémon that’s just a big wad of, well, it’d be impolite to day what it looks like.
Notes: Thanks to Greg for joining us again! You can find him on Twitter @whitewing & Instagram @lysander03.
[Pokémon Sword/Shield] Postwick, Slumbering Weald, Route 1, Wedgehurst, Route 2, Wild Area, Motostoke (#169)
‘Ello guv! Welcome to a new season of EXP. Share on an all-new system, in an all-new region, and on a lovely emerald isle (close enough) FILLED with all-new Barfies and Sweeties. Join wealthy industrialist Wellington Smithsmith and New England ambassador Drew England as they make their way to Motostoke City for Galar's Pokémon League opening ceremony. Along the way they meet weird dogs with lovely voices, some rowdy and fun-lovin’ stans, and the single most dangerous stranger to date: The Ball Guy. Chip chip, cheerio!
Route 23, Victory Road, Indigo Plateau, Elite Four, Cerulean Cave (Ft. David Sims) #168
Season 7B/C draws to a close, even if maybe everyone participating in it didn't quite make it to the finish line. We've cleared the runway for David Sims, aka GringusD, to join us again after a brief hiatus to talk about Let's Go, the first time he played versus returning to it. Aside from traversing the surprisingly devastating Victory Road and taking on the Elite Four, we cover what we like and don't like both about the game and our own EXPLocke—with which one of our hosts once again struggles to keep a firm grasp on the rules of his own damn playstyle variant. You might as well call Josh & Tanner Pete & Chasten at this point because they're a family of Mayors Cheat.
Route 21, Pallet Town, Viridian Gym (#167)
This long and storied saga is finally drawing to a close. It was months in the making, but we’ve finally pushed through and all it took was some light penis trauma along the way. We are, of course, referring to Tanner’s kidney stone, but while we’re on the topic of penis trauma, we’ve got a HOT new segment for you this week and the best part is that we want to hear from you—so make sure to tag us when you take to Twitter and TikTok to tell us about your most #MountablePokemon. We also played a little Pokémon this week, but really, it was a VERY little amount. Yet somehow Josh managed to cheat for about half of it.
Route 19, Seafoam Islands, Route 20, Cinnabar Island, Pokémon Mansion, Cinnabar Gym (Ft. Daniel Golson) #166
Apparently seeking to clean up a Saffron City that's rotten to the core, Dorito Doug decides to burn it to the ground. After making such a move that's clearly not on-brand for Doritos, he's forced to cool his heels down south for a while. On the journey to Cinnabar Island, he and Caprica-Six are joined by "Daniel" aka Daniel Golson, whose team is like a delicious bowl full of pasta and named thusly. The trio debates saving the many struggling Swimmers on Routes 19-20 but ultimately decides that's the Kanto Coast Guard's problem, which may or may not exist. On Cinnabar, Caprica-Six is finally able to replace Golbat the Golbat after tapping into the Cinnabar Lab's resurrection technology. Then, they try to continue their gym challenge but are forced to scour the depths of the Pokémon Mansion in search of a key that lets them into Blaine's Gym, which is also a wildly fun trivia show. After those fun and games though, it's time to determine who will retain or take over EXP. Share's IP in the first guest battle of the season!
Notes: Thanks to Daniel Golson for joining us! Follow him and his sweet rides @dsgolson on Instagram & Twitter.
Power Plant, Saffron City, Fighting Dojo, Silph Co., Saffron Gym (#165)
Look forward to some, frankly, phoned-in eulogies because Dorito Doug lost a ‘mon none of you had even MET yet and Caprica-Six can’t manage to keep the ‘mon she lost this week alive even if the fate of the entire human—sorry, Cylon—race depended on it. Otherwise, we pulverized the Power Plant. Destroyed the Dojo. Saved Silph. Sacked Sabrina’s gym. And Tanner managed to do all of that while only cheating just a little!
Pokémon Tower, Routes 12-15, Fuchsia City, GO Park, Fuchsia Gym (#164)
First, the Rules Court convenes once again to look at the eligibility of our request for rerolls last week. To resolve the issues with Josh's Favorite Pokémon Is Mewtwo clause, we're joined by @asteroidera, aka Kel, who was the first Bug Catcher to volunteer and benevolently offer up their Mewtwo. They do EXP. Share's first-ever live trade on-air, and then after some fawning by Josh, we begin our journey in earnest. Although one of us whose name rhymes with Burrito Chug is a Mayor Cheat who had already gotten the Poké Flute and released Marowak's soul, we quickly recount our ascent up the Pokémon Tower and then move onto greener pastures—the endless sea of green and literal sea that is the southerly Routes 12-15. After we've wound our way down to Fuchsia City, we find a place that's both never looked better and also decidedly worse without its iconic Safari Zone, which has been replaced with the non-functioning (at least for these two grown adult men) GO Park. What's left but to see what kind of traps Koga and his gang of Jugglers and Tamers have laid... and whether we'll finally make it to our first episode this season without a eulogy.
Route 11, Diglett’s Cave, Route 9, Rock Tunnel, Route 10, Lavender Town, Routes 7-8, Team Rocket Hideout, Celedon Gym (#163)
The leg was long and our legs are tired. Yours must be too, traveler. Take a seat and rest your weary body. We’ll get you a warm meal and a cold drink. Just sit back and enjoy a wonderful evening of music we have planned for you, because we’re more or less a house of blues this episode with all the damned eulogies we need to get through for all those tragically lost on Route 8. That was AFTER the grueling trip through Rock Tunnel, and BEFORE the monotonous grind through the Team Rocket Hideout, of course. It’s not all bad though! Sometimes you get a great trade, or a digital Pokémon duck will just swoop down and essentially crawl into one of your Poké Balls for you. Win some and lose some.
Route 5, Underground Path, Route 6, Vermilion City, Route 11, S.S. Anne, Vermilion Gym (#162)
After a frankly disturbing experience on the Cerulean Cape, our trainers needed the kind of mind-clearing reprieve only the open sea can offer. Or, at least being on a nice big boat that's adjacent to it. But from a fan club with a chairman who's a little too enamored of his Rapidash to another devastating encounter with a Machop, their troubles only seem to multiply before climbing aboard the S.S. Anne—where they will be once again denied the reprieve they so desperately long for. Caprica-Six & Dorito Doug might be the ones holding the tickets, but you, Bug Catchers, are the ones in for the real show this week.
Route 3, Mt. Moon, Route 4, Cerulean City, Route 24, Route 25, Cerulean Gym (#161)
Here's what you're looking for: https://giphy.com/gifs/YTa2CNIsZZP9x4Zb74
[Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee] Announcing EXPLocke: Our Ruleset & Characters, Pallet Town, Route 1, Viridian City, Route 2, Viridian Forest, Pewter City, Pewter Gym (#160)
We might somehow still be in Gen VII, but we're finally on the Switch, baby! And we're doing it big. We've put together our own Nuzlocke variation we're calling "EXPLocke," and in this episode we go over the rules in detail—perhaps too much detail—issue some rulings on some vagaries, explain our characters, and then let them loose on the road to Viridian City.
If you want to join in on the fun, we've posted the EXPLocke rules on our Twitter & Instagram @expsharepod as well as the text-only (and absolutist yet updating) version on Reddit: https://reddit.com/r/bugcatchers. May Arceus be with us all.
[Detective Pikachu, Pt. III] Chapter Seven: Ryme Wharf, Chapter Eight: Where R Goes, Chapter Nine: Pokémon Carnival (#159)
The week starts with a little light teen murder and only somehow gets more explicitly illegal as Detective Tanner Greenring and his trusty “concierge” Fjillish manage to sneak themselves aboard a luxury yacht anchored in international waters where an “Eyes Wide Shut”-style bacchanal can take place without any government oversight. Detective Pikachu and Trusty Tim fuck around and find out with a cool 90 million and secure a few bags along the way before securing the biggest bag of the all… the friendships we made along the way. Oh, and Keith. They caught Keith. But he wasn’t even the main baddie. It’s a whole thing, you’ll have to listen. It’s wild. Anyways, that’s it for Detective Pikachu. Case closed on a great game. See you back in Kanto for the first ever EXPLocke!
[Detective Pikachu, Pt. II] Chapter Four: Cappucci Island, Chapter Five: Fine Park, Chapter Six: GNN (#158)
After closing a slew of successful cases and nursing their celebratory hangovers, Detectives Tanner and Feebosh find their next lead: one Dr. Waals, who a tortured scientist reveals is the real brains behind the creation of R. He's living on the tropical island community called Cappucci, and everyone there is a suspect. The sleuths make landfall and immediately hit the ground running, interviewing a failing Pokémon Ranger, a scheming girlboss, a gross old man, a crooked cop, and then the notorious doctor himself. Of course, all was not what it seemed, and closing that case only leads to an even more disturbing discovery—it turns out that nearly a year ago to the day, there was a horrific incident at Fine Park during Pokémon Carnival. After chilling interview after chilling interview with the traumatized Pokémon who still reside at the abandoned theme park, they need to see just what triggered a Charizard to go on on a murderous rampage, leading them to Ryme City's local news outfit, GNN. But the trail doesn't go cold there, Bugshoes. It just heats the hell up. Whodunnit... all of it? You'll have to listen to find out.
[Detective Pikachu, Pt. I] Chapter One: Tahnti Park, Chapter Two: Litwick Cave, Chapter Three: PCL (#157)
The gleaming neon streets of Ryme City were buzzing with excitement as the detective duo of Tanner Greenring and his loyal Pokemon companion, Fjeloette, took the case in an exciting new episode of EXP. Share. Tanner's rugged exterior and sharp wit, coupled with Fjeloette's unwavering loyalty and fierce determination, make for a formidable team as the duo tracks down their elusive gumshoe Tim, who was on a mission to avenge the assault on an innocent Aipom. Along the way, Tanner and Fjeloette would face danger at every turn, including a harrowing ride on a Drifblim as they narrowly escaped the blasts of a crazed Glalie. But the real intrigue began when Tanner and Fjeloette stumbled upon a conspiracy that would shake the city to its core. With their wits and their Pokemon by their side, the hard-bitten detectives set out to ruin the career of a corrupt scientist who would stop at nothing to protect his secrets. In the seedy underbelly of Ryme City, Detective Greenring and Fjeloette will have to use all of their cunning and guile to uncover the truth and bring justice to the innocent victims of these Pokemon attacks.
Melemele Island, Akala Island, Ula'ula Island, Poni Island, Battle Tree, Tapu Hunting, Ultra Wormholes, Pokémon League Champion Title Defense (#156)
In our final Alolan episode, we might not be able to go chasing waterfalls, but we do chase just about every dang other thing. We go island-hopping and check in on all our old friends and foes; collecting Totem Stickers and Zygarde Cells; Charizard Gliding and Mantine Surfing to see if Skull Lord can retain his title as King of the Waves. We go hunting for Tapus—one of us in a literal sense—and hunting for Ultra Beasts to see if there's anything good in those Ultra Wormholes (spoiler: there wasn't). Instead, we rank those beasties in the hottest and probably most controversial new segment: "Fur Affinity, Sweetie, or Barf." Then, we defend our titles in the Pokémon League before determining who the real Kahuna of EXP. Share is in this season's final battle between Skull Lord and Parrothead.
Notes: Get your carts and cups of coffee ready because the next game up is Detective Pikachu!
Hau'oli Outskirts, Ancient Poni Path, Poni Grove, Episode RR (Ft. Greg Leatherman) #155
Notes: Check out Greg on Twitter @whitewing, @lysander03 on Instagram, and Most of his posts are really good, other than the Ribombee (just a fly) propaganda ones.
Mount Lanakila, Pokémon League, The “Elite” Four, Credits (#154)
Skull Lord has crushed the Alolan Region under his boot at last and Parrothead has kept the good vibes and good GOOD Pinap Berry juice flowing from sea to shred-worthy sea. There’s just one last obstacle to overcome for the disjointed duo. No, like, literally—they had to climb a mountain this week. And honestly? They both felt pretty ishy about it since it was apparently SACRED GROUND to the Tapus. (By the way, Tapu-hunting season is OPEN!) When we finally overcame every challenge and crested every summit, our hard work was rewarded with the shabbiest Elite Four we’ve ever gone up against. After dodging some thrown keys and cold approaches, we battled. Let’s just say it went VERY well for the guy writing this description. (Incidentally, Tanner has been called an inspiration and is considered a mentor and role model to many successful people.)
Altar of the Sunne/Moone, Ultra Warp Ride, Ultra Megalopolis, Megalo Tower, Mina's Trial, Hapu's Grand Trial (#153)
We take a quick moment to address the controversy spread 'round the internet last week, and finally give into popular demand for our official comment on Gholdengo's appointment as National Dex Pokémon #1000. Then, we set our watches back to Island Time and ascend the Altars of the Sunne/Moone to determine whether Solgaleo & Lunala and their alt formes Dawn Wings Necrozma & Dusk Mane Necrozma are as ugly as we originally thought. From there, Parrothead & Skull Grunt are sucked into an Ultra Wormhole and have to grind it (or cheese it) out to beat one of the toughest wild Pokémon encounters there is. Finally, Fairly High Mina unleashes her Fairy types, before unveiling the final trial: the fetchiest-fetch quest where the two trialgoers must visit every previous captain and fight 'em again—before battling each other.
Mantine Surf’s Up!, Ancient Poni Path, Vast Poni Canyon, Kommo-o's Trial (#152)
Welcome to Mantine Surf's Up! An honest-to-goodness quarter hour dedicated to the greatest Pokémon mini-game athlete(s) this side of Wela Volcano: Skull Grunt. And Parrothead was there too, and he was doing his best and we’re all going to cheer him on too, guys, c’mon! Emmy committee, you can send our podcasting Emmys to our agents’ offices and our prize money directly to Atlantic City because we’re celebrating tonight! And there’s no better place to soak in the victory over that poor, sweet, Yoshi-like Kommo-o than Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville! Conveniently located right on the boardwalk steps away from Wet Willie's Casino. This is not an endorsement of either, but a hearty recommendation of both.
Seafolk Village, Poni Beach, Poni Wilds, Ancient Poni Path, Poni Breaker Coast, Ruins of Hope, Exeggutor Island (#151)
The Aether Foundation is in ruins, Team Skull is under new management, Guzma is trapped in the Hell dimension, and little Nebby the Cosmog– er... Cosmoem is in the wind, but that’s not going to stop Skull Grunt and Parrothead from having a good time at the quaint little seaside resort of Seafolk Village. We picked up a few new villains and questionably chill teammates this week, as well as a couple of really sick flutes that may or may not influence the destiny of the entire Alolan region. Until then though, Skull Grunt likes his flute jazz like he likes the curves on his giantess Salazzle: smooth.
Aether Paradise (#150)
Join us for "#150—the Mewtwo Episode" as we spend the entirety of our journey this week inside of the kind of place that Mewtwo hates—a big, sterile, human-controlled lab! Where we are dragged into some serious family drama between the Aether royalty, its founder and President Lusamine and her two (apparently) spoiled brats, Gladion & Lillie, plus executive Faba and also Team Skull's Guzma who is caught under Lusamine's thrall. Eventually, freshly anointed Team Skull Admin Skull Grunt & Parrothead have to fight pretty much everyone they've met in Alola so far just to get out of the place.
Haina Desert, Ula'ula Meadow, Po Town, Malie City, and Kahuna Nanu's Grand Trial (Ft. Greg Leatherman) #149
We’ve added another host from PKMNcast to our collection with Greg Leatherman (also of vre.show and Glitter Hearts fame) joining us for a fun chat about the Alola region this week. Actually, “fun chat” is a generous term because it’s mostly just Greg taking Tanner to task for technical, character, AND personal decisions he’s made this season. Actually, “taking-to-task” is a generous term because Greg tears Tanner to absolute shreds. Like, scorched earth stuff. We also played some Pokémon. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Routes 11-12, Blush Mountain, Ula'ula Beach, Route 13, Tapu Village, Route 15, Aether House, Route 14, Abandoned Thrifty Megamart, Acerola's Trial (#148)
Parrothead & Skull Grunt head back down one mountain and up another this week, where while Skull Grunt is spreading disinformation about how dirty geothermal power plants are, he also finally manages to evolve his Charjabug. Then, one trainer takes the lead in the Totem Tally count, and another ascends to the top of the Mantine Surf competition. But both have a variety of disturbing interactions with Swimmers, Veterans, and their ghostly companions—and that's before they even make it to Acerola's Trial that takes place inside of an derelict Walmart Supercenter? This isn't the kind of "island time" that we signed up for.
Malie City, Malie Garden, Route 10, Mount Hokulani, Hokulani Observatory, Sophocles’ Trial (Ft. Fionnuala Jones) #147
We’re joined by Fionnuala Jones again this week, and she’s brought a whole island’s worth of trashy Pokémon with her. (And, weirdly, we’re not talking about the islands of Ireland, Cork, or Bainbridge.) Meanwhile, the boys have found their way to a new island themselves—Ula'ula Island—where they face an ass-backward “Kantonian-style” gym, dodge golf balls on the side of a mountain, and encounter the most punchable face this side of the Festival Plaza. And what do they have to show for it? Well, a lovely home in Dublin and a budding romance with Jude Law, hopefully.
Hano Beach, Hano Grand Resort, Aether Paradise, Our First Ultra Beast (#146)
We're trying out the "route by route" versus "gym by gym" thing this season, and maybe we got it wrong this episode. The leg is short. We spend a lot of time discussing whether or not Pokémon like Hypno and Bewear are bad or chill guys, and encounter our first official (aka non-Pokémon Go) Ultra Beast, the least-hideous one Nihilego. Then, Parrothead & Skull Grunt have a rematch.
Route 5, Dimensional Research Lab, Diglett's Tunnel, Route 9, Konikoni City, Memorial Hill, Ruins of Life, Kahuna Olivia’s Grand Trial (#145)
To partially quote Rob Thomas feat. Santana: man, this is a hot one. Like, hot as in stolen because there’s a bit of a stir this week when it’s uncovered that Tanner is playing on non-regulation equipment. But as Skull Grunt always says, "you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few Exeggcutes and you can’t catch a presumably neon pink or green Poliwrath without playing the game at 2x speed." Or was that an Elon Musk quote? We meet a handsome old friend along Route 9, some not-so-handsome old friends in Diglett tunnel, and five new friends who can be whatever you want them to be... even bad guys. Then we cap it all off with a roll in the mud with Kahuna Olivia. (Not a euphemism.)
Melemele Sea, Seaward Cave, Kala'e Bay, Dividing Peak Tunnel, Route 8, Lush Jungle, Mallow's Trial (#144)
Parrothead & Skull Grunt go their own way this week, with Parrothead keeping himself and his flock roosted on Akala while Skull Grunt takes to the sky with Charizard Glide and goes off on some misadventures back on Melemele. Then they explore the newly unlocked northern half of Akala, encountering a string of strange characters, past and present—from the robots to Colress's confounding hair, to Kukui's wife and some mysterious golfers who practice their swings in a parking lot outside of a jungle. Eventually they make their way into that jungle and go on a hunt for some soup ingredients, which somehow means you're a talented enough trainer to pass Mallow's Trial.
Notes: Features "Welcome to the Jungle (8 Bit Remix Cover Version)" by 8 Bit Universe.
Route 6, Royal Avenue, Route 7, Wela Volcano Park, Kiawe's Trial (Ft. Daniel Dockery) #143
Josh & Tanner are joined by actual Pokémon Lore Master, Daniel Dockery, author of the book "Monster Kids"! They chat about their own Pokémon origin stories; some of the most interesting anecdotes Daniel learned while writing the book about the series' beginnings; whether or not the anime is good; and of course learn his Sweetie and Barfy. Plus, he gives a vibe check on if Parrothead & Skull Grunt's teams actually fit the themes they're trying to embody. From there, we head down Route 6 for this week's journey "route by route." We encounter seemingly haunted doll Hapu, learn and quickly forget about Battle Royals, and then meet a lot of bad and or sexy guys in Wela Volcano Park. That's right, say "Alola!" to this season's first Fur Affinity Check.
Notes: Follow @dandock on Twitter for great Pokémon (and non-Pokémon) tweets alike, and buy his book detailing the first several years of the Pokémon and monster-catching frenzy, Monster Kids, wherever books are sold!
Heahea Beach Surf Spot, Heahea City, Route 4, Pikachu Valley, Paniola Town & Ranch, Route 5, Lana's Trial at Brooklet Hill (#142)
We say “Heya!” to Heahea City and the surrounding area this week, including what remains of Westworld now that HBO has decided they’re done with it; a big, mean spider who really put the hurt on us; and a disgusting/lovely little donkey (depending on which cohost you ask). We take on our third trial this week, and were promised a silly giant fish made out of silly small fish, but instead met a whole army of Barfy (and notably NOT bad-guy) Pokémon. Here’s a pitch: what if there was a Pokémon that was a sea cucumber, didn’t evolve into anything cooler, and primarily interacted with the world via barf. No brainer, right? Game Freak thought so too.
Route 3, Melemele Meadow, Seaward Cave, Kahuna Kala’s Grand Trial, Ten Carat Hill (Ft. Tony Smith) #141
Okay, so we’re still calibrating with the whole “no gyms” thing, so an oddly short leg this week, made to feel fuller and richer by the presence of our guest, Tony Smith, returning for his Gen Seven debut much earlier in the season than we’re accustomed to. The only thing keeping us on this little rock called Melemele Island is the Kahuna’s Grand Trial, so that’s the one and only thing on the agenda this week, but first we have to get caught up on Tony’s journey, learn about the new and improved Ultra Skull Grunt, and look on in horror as Vullaby messes its little skull diaper AGAIN. Being a villain has its downsides, I guess.
[Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon] Hau'oli Outskirts, Iki Town, Route 1, Trainers’ School, Hau'oli City, Route 2, Hau’oli Cemetery, Big Wave Beach, Verdant Cavern, Ilima’s Trial (#140)
Alola, Bug Catchers! We've made landfall on Melemele Island, and after a sort of strange interaction with a shirtless professor and his little sweetie Rockruff, we'll tell you about our new characters for this season. Although they're both Kanto transplants, their vibes couldn't be more different. One trainer is on a quest to find a like-minded flock to chill, grill, and hopefully not spill his drinks with; the other is looking to make his name in Alola's seedy underbellies. Join us for the SEASON SEVEN premiere, as we set off into a vibrant, tropical paradise to seek fame and fortune, or maybe just wherever the next round of Pinap Juices are coming from.
Pokémon Go Interstitial Finale (Ft. David Sims) #139
We’ve been tirelessly catching, training, battling, and in some cases even falling in love with Pokémon Go behind the scenes for the past 12 weeks, and we’ve brought our friend and Pokémon Go lifer David Sims on to discuss the ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies, and bursting sticker books from our summer with the game. Have we enjoyed Pokémon Go? Yes! Very much so! Will we keep playing Pokémon Go daily as David has for the past six years? Almost certainly not! We got a lot of truly disgusting Barfies spoiled for us, but we also got some very enticing previews of the kind of Sweetie talent we can expect to see over the next couple of generations. But for now, the Yellow Wave subsides and order is restored to our quiet, sleepy Brooklyn and Connecticut neighborhoods.
Delta Episode, S.S. Tidal, Battle Resort, & Elite Four Rematch (#138)
With the Primal titans put back to bed, the criminal syndicate dispatched, and Steven still as sultry as ever, Admiral Squirt thought he and his beloved Mrs. Squirt could finally enjoy their golden years; Papa Cultura had already packed his bags and hopped on his personal Concorde, Latias, back to Italia—but it turns out there's a bit of an "Armageddon"/"Deep Impact" situation and they have to save the Pokéarth once again. While not as compelling as either of those films, the Delta Episode does take the trainers on one last ride from the edges of Hoenn to the edge of space. Will their Pokémon survive the journey? Will Josh's Mayor Cheat allegations against Tanner be vindicated? And who will win the final battle to determine the season's champion? Bug Catchers, we'll answer all those questions and more, other than whether either of us won the Contest Spectacular because honestly we forgot about that whole thing.
Mauville Hills, New Mauville, Routes 129-134, Pacifidlog Town, Ever Grande City, Victory Road, Pokémon League, & Elite Four (#137)
“And so we’ve come, to the end of [Victory] Road.” –Boyz II Men.
A jam-packed leg and a jam-packed episode this week and we see ourselves to the exit of the game via an absolutely wild number of unstoppable water routes, a totally useless town on Corsola stilts, and an equally useless city outside of Victory Road. Wattson needed a little help with a power surge under his luxury condo in Mauville Hills, Sidney needed help figuring out how to sit in his chair, and May needed some help building a usable Pokémon team for once in her life. We were less accommodating of that last one. Oh, and we finally took on Bug Catcher Jonny of Anime Territory fame! Go check out his show but also join /r/bugcatchers for a chance to go head-to-head with us at the end of next season.
Shoal Cave, Routes 127-128, Seafloor Cavern, Sootopolis City, Cave of Origin, Sootopolis Gym (#136)
Hot on the heels of Team Magma/Aqua, the time has come for Hoenn's endless ocean-faring leg, folks. Even in 3D with the addition of scuba divers and overworld Pokémon sprites, it's still no picnic—well, except for Admiral Squirt, whose (mostly) Water team has made it an unstoppable force on the high seas. Meanwhile, Papa Cultura is still working on finding some more A-listers for his celebrity team. They get the job done thanks for Team Magma/Aqua's evil admins having a change of heart and realizing they've gone too far with the whole unleashing primal energies upon the Pokéarth and turning the whole thing into one continent or one ocean... who would have thought. After, our heroes finally gain entrance to Wallace's gym and leave him sleeping with the fishes. And then, in their own battle, one trainer's entire team joins him down there.
Routes 120-121, Safari Zone, Mt. Pyre, Slateport Harbor, Lilycove City, Team Magma/Aqua Hideout, Route 124, Mossdeep City, Mossdeep Gym (#135)
We didn’t have to look very hard to find Team Aqua/Magma’s secret headquarters outside of Lilycove City and we didn’t have to work very hard to unravel their entire criminal syndicate, but it wasn’t all a walk in the Safari Zone this week. Papa Cultura had to say a tearful arrivederci to a beloved friend, Admiral Squirt really took to Hoenn’s controversial “stand your ground” laws, and Kid Nation was disappointedly under-recognized as a brilliant and subversive piece of art cinema and I can’t believe it only got 13 episodes before it was canceled. Real swing and miss canceling that one, Moonves.
Route 123, Route 119, Weather Institute, Fortree City, Fortree Gym (#134)
With Surf and their HM Friends in tow, Papa Cultura & Admiral Squirt head over into eastern Hoenn and begin to settle into what could be their endgame teams... if no-one dies, that is. (Spoiler alert: someone does.) They head into the jungles of Route 119 and get inspired by its triumphant score and a variety of totally bangin' trainers, which the Team Aqua/Magma stooges at the Weather Institute certainly are not. Finally, blocked from accessing Winona's gym in Fortree, they are treated to a delightful little hike and a gift of a Devon Scope from the charming Steven Stone. Visors on, they send Winona's flock to the great birdcage in the sky and then battle each other.