Not so for this run. I'm going to attempt to get absolutely everything. All the Pokemon, all the Warlords, all the Warriors, and all the Perfect Links for all of those.
So without further ado...
...let's dive right in.
Do be warned: I WILL NOT EVEN TRY TO HOLD BACK SPOILERS IN RELATION TO THE PLOT OR THE THINGS AVALIABLE IN THE GAME. Except the twist at the end of the main story (no, not the obvious one, the one involving Nobunaga's Ambitions - heh), and the way the last story works. Those will be kept hidden. As to the fact that the main story is basically an extended prologue, and what mons are available, yeah, I'm not going to bother holding back. You want to have that shit hidden, play the game yourself, and when you hit a wall feel free to come and learn how things go.
- [+] Part 1: The Beginning of the Extended Tutorial (Main Story Part 1)
- (don't expect that "main story part X" to leave for a while.)
This is the game's opening, which you see before anything else. If you like spoilers, take particular note of the last thing before the iris to "Pokemon Conquest" at the end at about the one minute mark - yep, that's Arceus alright. This spoiler is one of those ones that gets increasingly obvious for reasons of the region design though.
Really, the choice here doesn't matter, except, you know, for the fact that it will effect what one character looks like and is named for the entirety of forever. It definitely effects that.
With that in mind, I should choose a proper name that fits the setting and doesn't stick out really badly because that would break immersion and
yeah fuck that.
It replays the opening, I'm only here for this shot because it is fucking adorable. (If you pick the girl, you get a little kid girl here, it's also adorable.)
Each Warlord has like four or five different poses they can be in, some of which are rather funny. I'm saying unrelated shit now because there's not much else to say.
Anyway, on top of myself and mystery-lady-who-is-fucking-Oichi-and-I-feel-no-compulsions-to-not-spoil-that, there's also three little shits who come here and be annoying kids you can't recruit until the postgame despite their individual missions being REALLY ANNOYING gah I dislike them. This guy's funny though because of his later sprites.
Also, as he notes, Eevee are really fucking rare and it's difficult to get one. You know how Eevee has seven (well, eight, but this was Gen 5) evolutions? Yeah, getting all of those is a PAIN IN THE ASS - fortunately, only our boy Mattman ever needs to obtain them, no one else Perfect Links with them. I might shunt some Eeveelutions onto other people though, they're all solid mons (even if some aren't particularly amazing, looking at you Umbreon you idiot)
...what do I mean by that? All in good time, my friends.
Also, well shit, it's like my first day of being a Warlord in charge of this nation and already I'm being invaded. At least it's by the most pathetic pair of idiots in history, I could seriously just handle them myself right now if not for PLOT.
By the way, I'd like to point out a major plot point that this game REFUSES TO ANSWER - who the hell was in charge of Aurora (the kingdom we're in, the Normal kingdom) before the protagonist? The postgame answers this in missions without the protagonist by giving the kingdom to Oichi, but we all know for a fact that that wasn't how it was. I always assumed Motonari (we'll get to him) just gifted the place to us because he's a massive bro or something.
We're the defender right now. It's actually impossible, as far as I am aware, to get another battle like this in the main story outside of a single plot one later, which is a goddamn shame because of the way the game handles things (Basically, everything is stacked in favor of the Defender, but the AI is unable to abuse that the way I typically do - being a Defender makes certain things some people find unviable into horrifying monsters. We'll get to that in like thirty or so updates though.)
Oh, and the protagonist in this game is speech capable... but he'll never do it in cutscenes and plot bits, just little lines like this in battle. Basically he's a self insert tool, but honestly Pokemon's done that since the start and I'm not so dumb as to care.
You see that relative strength? That's a load of shit when it's close, but when the advantage is as open as it is now... I could very easily defeat this guy in two turns before he did anything worthwhile if the plot didn't require me to follow the asinine tutorial.
Also, Oichi shows up. She's computer controlled for this battle (I think the only time in the game an ally is computer controlled), but honestly a caveman could beat these two numbskulls. Even if that caveman was using a Jigglypuff.
blah blah blah tutorial stuff
Going to take my time out of this BUSY TUTORIAL - seriously, I played the Final Fantasy Tactics series, I know the basics here - to point out that this is the single time in the main game that we'll fight in Aurora. It's also not how an Aurora battle normally looks, which is a shame, I love this kingdom.
You got OHKOd by a Jigglypuff. That's bad enough, but you got OHKOd by a Jigglypuff IN POKEMON CONQUEST. You should honestly just reconsider if this Warrior thing is for you.
Oh by the way remember how I said every Warlord had a bunch of sprites? These guys? They're not even Warlords. They're basic Warriors. They get one sprite and that's it.
Positioning is as vitally important in this game as it is in every game like it, but when you can OHKO an enemy from the front without trying, nothing can stop you anyway.
Sweet Black fucking Sabbath that's a lot of EXP! Link Levels are this game's rough equivalent to Levels in the main game, albeit with cool stuff that comes every 20 levels (the coolest coming at level 100, but you'll never get there unless you showboat like a maniac - you should always do that at least once per full runthrough because the end results are hilarious and you'll love them). They are in every way the most important thing to raise in this game, and it should serve as no surprise that the game designers were dumb enough to leave in items that ratchet up the amount of EXP you can get at any outing. Some of them by a significant amount.
This is a Nobunaga's Ambition crossover, and it should serve as no real surprise that everyone, Warlords and Warriors alike, were based on actual historical figures from that time with like two exceptions (the MC, and one of the Warlords that's named "Kunoichi" - and with a name like that you can be sure that she represents a potter ) For instance, this character is Oichi Oda, sister of Nobunaga Oda and OOPS THAT'S A PLOT POINT. But come on, this is historical shit! Not like it's some big thing. I'll go over Warlords whenever we get to the postgame, no time near now, and as for warriors, if you care that much try Bulbapedia, it has all of them pegged.
Oichi being shit is no fault of her own and is more the fault of the thing in her hands, so sure, she can stay with the cool kids.
(But for serious, don't dismiss Oichi offhand. Wigglytuff is a net negative to an offense most of the time, but she's a legit terror if you know what you're doing, as every Warlord is in the end - yes, even the joke character Warlord, although he's a bit different.)
This is a pretty cool plot point and I'd love to see it used in another game.
Basically, Ransei is a perpetual warzone right now - albeit a lighthearted one in that population centers are never targeted, the battles are fairly out of the way and controlled for the most part. We beat back Hideyoshi's goons, but they were at the height of patheticness, and someone is bound to attack us again later. What's worse, there's a guy on the other side of the region making frightful progress in conquering the world, and if he gets to us, we're FUCKED.
The only recourse is to conquer it ourselves first. And by god we are going to do that.
So I decided to pop over to Hideyoshi's kingdom to see what he was hiding, and got a good look at the mooks he sent. Link level FOUR on both of them. We were TEN. Yeah, that's a slaughter and a half, I wouldn't send a Link Level 4 person to wash my dishes, much less conquer a kingdom.
Now, conquering Ransei isn't a pipe dream. Filling the gallery and Warriors list? Not really a pipe dream, though getting every legendary can be... difficult. But hooo boy, there's one thing that the gallery doesn't directly show, and that's what I consider 100%. I'm sort of close on my cartridge game, but I fucked up on that one, making the going slower - and my cartridge is actually fucking breaking up from how often I played Conquest. So yeah.
Attack animations in this game are really nothing special, so let me set this all up for speed.
One of the little shit trio comes back. let me recruit you and stop that one postgame mission from sucking please goddamnit.
Today we're doing plot mandated level grinding.
I'll explain how all the major mechanics of this game work next time if not later in the update, so don't worry about that.
For now, gaze upon this screen, see that it is the Level 1 Farm, and know that it will be our constant battleground for a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very long time.
Also I zoomed out a little to take that shot. You see those two buttons there, the magnifying glass and the arrows? Turn and Zoom In. Occasionally useful, more when screenshotting than normally though.
First big feature of the Level 1 Farm - you see this patch of ground? If you leave a Pokemon standing on it at the end of the turn, and they don't fly, you get an item from it. Usually that item is a potion or something shitty, but hey, it's something! If you have a Warlord/Warrior get an item in battle and they didn't have something equipped, they'll equip it automatically, which is occasionally useful.
Oh, sometimes if you leave Warriors sitting over these patches after getting an item you get a second one. I usually never bother though, unless I have someone doing nothing.
Yeah I'll get to that ok?
The other big feature of this place is the trees, but expect them to be a thing in a lot of places. Trees can be knocked down by basically any attack (I think the main exceptions are Grass moves) and give items like half the time.
Positioning is vitally important, you cannot change what direction you face after you move (unless I'm forgetting something) or attack. And you deal more damage and hit more often if you're hitting from the side or back. There are attacks that work a bit oddly with that though - I still have no idea how Fire Blast consider's "hit from the back" at certain spots on its range, for instance.
The Starly just off to the left can hit Eevee from behind if I move it here, but that's no issue, that Starly is weak shit.
...fuck. Bidoof has Headbutt, which means it occasionally gets Flinches, which means I'll have to postpone victory by a little bit.
Oh, I should mention - one of this game's major flaws is that every Pokemon has exactly ONE attack. This is a PROBLEM! It severely hamstrings a lot of Pokemon, especially things like Electric types and other Pokemon who have an immunity to their offense. Also, range holes are going to be a big deal later. Also also, dual type Pokemon will sometimes switch what type they use every single time they evolve (Sewaddle does, at least).
This kills a lot of Pokemon in this game, but it's not ALL bad, at least. It does encourage you to not just make one murder-mon and sweep everything... or at least, to choose what that mon is wisely.
On the next turn, I have Eevee stop to have a party!
...na, not that. What I did was have Eevee kill Bidoof, and its ability, Celebrate, let it move again. This only works one time per turn, but it's pretty damn good and we'll use it a lot for Eevee.
Eevee beat both enemies, Eevee gets more EXP.
So each month, you can only have your Warriors/Warlords do a single thing (that the plot is forcing us to choose now, but we'll get freedom soon). Then they can't move until the next month. Each month is sort of like a turn, if you will.
There are very few scenarios you should ever see a Year count of more than 6 or so in, at most. I'd say 4 or 5 is more common for the big ones, but there's plenty that will end in Year 1 or early 2 and a good number of the smaller scale ones will end in 3 (as well as two of the bigger ones.)
Fortunately the game is sane and after you've moved your Warriors, it will automatically pop this up for you. But I won't let it hit next turn quite yet, because we have a little bit to cover yet.
Specifically, we need to cover our mons and Warlords.
EEVEE: A very basic mon, it's held up by the strength of its abilities, its high Range (4 Movement Range is huge in this game), and the fact that the only person who will ever use them is the MC, who will eventually have bullshit stats. Other than that... well, Eevee's not particularly amazing by itself. That changes after evolving! Quick Attack is very generic though, no side effects or things of note.
As for its abilities...
Sprint: Increases Range by 1. Horribly useful Ability, if basic. Unfortunately, the number of GOOD Pokemon who can learn it are relatively small. Learnable by: Eevee, Jolteon, Luxray, Riolu, Lucario, Zebstrika, Sceptile.
Perception: User evades all attacks used by allies. This might not seem useful, but it's a lot better than you'd expect. But the number of good Pokemon with it is, again, quite small. Learnable by: Eevee, Ralts, Kirlia, Gardevoir, Gothita, Gothorita, Gothitelle, Munna, Mincinno, Cincinno, Kadabra.
Celebrate: If you KO another Pokemon, you can move again after doing it. This is what our Eevee has, and it's FUCKING AMAZING - but unfortunately, to nerf it, only one fully evolved mon gets it, and that one is pretty damn bad. Still, on the way to any Evolved Pokemon, Celebrate will help tremendously. Learnable by: Eevee, Pikachu, Starly, Staravia, Shinx, Sandile, Gabite, Zweilous, Tepig, Pignite, Pansage, Pansear, Darumaka, Rufflett, Emolga.
(oh and since it's a good time to mention it - you CAN change your Ability. Can. However, it's not something simple to do, and we can't do it yet.)
JIGGLYPUFF: Is pretty bad. But I'll grant you, it has amazing HP, and its evolution (when we get it, whenever that happens - before this run ends for sure) is a fairly solid mon that I'd still not bring if I wasn't forced. It's great on defense though (only after it evolves, look at that pre-evolution defense!). Doubleslap hurts it a lot, because good god it is a weak move, even for something like Jigglypuff. It even has the same shitty accuracy it does in the games too, 85% base, so with Jigglypuff's terrible Speed expect it to miss a fucking lot later on.
Lullaby: Every so often, enemy Pokemon next to the Lullaby mon will fall asleep. This is rare, and Sleep is kind of shit, so whatever. This is what our Jigglypuff has, and if I ever get a chance, we're getting a better ability. Learnable by: Igglybuff, Jigglypuff, Wigglytuff, although there are two similar abilities that do the same thing learnable by other mons.
Mood Maker: Every turn, the Tension/Energy of all other Pokemon increases a little. I haven't gone into that yet, but Mood Maker is absolutely fucking amazing because increasing Energy is a lot bigger than a rookie might think. This is what I'd want our Jigglypuff to have because it's the main reason to use this line. Learnable by: Magikarp, Pichu, Igglybuff, Jigglypuff, Wigglytuff, Dratini, Mincinno, Cubchoo (and that's why Wigglytuff does it best.)
Confidence: Increases ally Defense. I don't 100% remember how this works, but it's sort of like Mood Maker except without the range IIRC? It's pretty solid, but unlike Mood Maker there are good Pokemon who get this. Learnable by: Gardevoir, Igglybuff, Jigglypuff, Wigglytuff, Ampharos, Dragonite, Mincinno, Cincinno, Leavanny.
We'll get to the "Rank" stuff later. The game will explain it partly in the main game and then will never let you do anything with it until this part is out of the way anyway.
MC is a pretty damn solid Warlord. Amusingly, the choice between Male and Female does effect one thing... and that one thing literally never matters because a lategame MC is only ever going to use Eeveelutions and Arceus. (it's link level with other randoms) The main thing of note is that they can rank up two times, and only one other Warlord can do that - and him only with the help of a... well, I'd say "event", but I'll explain what I mean later. It's important because we need to do it for 100% completion.
Anyway, MC is rock goddamn solid, but don't get too used to them - after the main story, you're going to have depressingly few scenarios in which the MC is playable. ALWAYS RECRUIT IF POSSIBLE THOUGH, getting Eeveelutions should be your #1 Priority at any point in any mission in the game. Their current ability, "Top Speed", increases Range by 2, which is really nice, but when we Rank Up we'll get a better Ability (those links spoil precisely what it is but that's no big deal.)
Oh, and the "Emotion" button changes what sprite that the gallery shows. The "Perfect Link" button?
Brings you to a tiny field where you can interact with the Perfect Link mons you've seen and given to the Warrior/Warlord at some point. You can poke them and they'll either do part of their battle animation or a hit animation.
It says "Perfect Link Found" because for a Rank 1 MC, we found the single mon he Perfect Links with. He gets the most of anyone, with a total of NINE POKEMON thanks to Eevee, its evolutions, and his eventual Legendary. The next highest? IIRC gets 3. Not even a challenge.
Oichi may not have all the Power of the MC - her Power will consistently be an issue - but I'd like to take a moment to point out the many things she can get up to at least 70% Link with. 70+ is about what you need to viably link with things, and Oichi hit the damn motherload in that regard - this makes up for her only Perfect Link right now being Jigglypuff (not even Igglybuff!) and her Rank 2 adding Wigglytuff only. Her current ability, Sweet Song, heals every ally for 50 HP... which works kind of shittily with Jigglypuff's massive base but whatever.
Oichi and the MC are going to be forced into every story battle, so be absolutely sure to pick her up at least one fucking mon that isn't a Jigglypuff at some point. I think the usual favorite is Aggron for the main game, and I'd say Dragonite for the other scenarios, since no Warlord actually uses that one and she does well with Dragons, but she has four slots not used on her Wigglytuff if you want to make her offensive, there's room to have a decent team developed. And you definitely want to do that, she's in EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN MISSION IN THE GAME EVER. No, that's not me exaggerating. Every single one. Even when she makes no sense.
Next time: February, Year 1. I explain more important stuff like in battle behavior and hopefully we eventually move to kicking Hideyoshi's shit in.