I know, I know, I said I would update the fan fiction by yesterday, and it never happened. Guess I got lazy.
Actually, one of the main reasons I haven’t thought about the manuscript for Prof. Ginkgo Chronicles is because of a related project: making my Vileplume in-game! I recently learned about competitive battling for the Pokemon franchise and how to optimize stats and move sets for the best chances at winning. Now, I’m not really a competitive player myself, but I decided to apply the same logic to create a tailored Vileplume just like the one Prof. Ginkgo has.
The biggest hurdle was coming up with a 4-move set that made sense. Unfortunately due to game mechanics, pokemon in the video games are only allowed four moves maximum (of which Vileplume uses at least 6 or 7 in the fan fiction at any given time, not that I’ve been counting). I decided to go with the following move set because they relate most to Vileplume’s character in my story:
Moves: Aromatherapy, Attract | Toxic, Petal Dance, Teeter Dance
Aromatherapy was chosen because I am told that competitions tend to get very hairy, especially by passing around lots of stat changers. I also mention briefly in Chapter 1 of the fan fiction that Vileplume uses this to help soothe pokemon used in experimentation at Prof. Ginkgo’s lab. Petal Dance, of course, is Vileplume’s trademark attack, and serves as its only offensive ability in this move set. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a dark petal dance technique in the video game, so that was definitely not going to happen. I also decided to add either Attract or Toxic to the mix so I can ruin my opponent’s pokemon in various ways. Toxic is preferred since Vileplume is a poison type as well as a grass type, but I also am giving my Vileplume the Effect Spore ability from the Dream World, so poisoning (or any other stat) could be done in that fashion regardless.
The biggest hurdle though was Teeter Dance. Vileplume in the Prof. Ginkgo Chronicles story uses this attack a lot, and in my opinion, makes my Vileplume more unique than almost any other Vileplumes in a pokemon battle. In competition, Teeter Dance works best against any pokemon, particularly in double or triple matches, because it affects all pokemon (including your own) except the user in a state of confusion. It also hits with 100% accuracy. The only problem is, this is an inherited move in the breeding process, and in order for me to teach my Oddish Teeter Dance, I need to breed a male Spinda with Teeter Dance with a female Cacnea or Cacturne. The offspring from this pairing must then be a male Cacnea for it to then breed with my Oddish or Gloom with the hidden ability, so that the offspring will inherit the move and the ability.
This is a very tedious process, since Spinda can only be caught by PokeTransfer or Dream World; but luckily a friend of mine traded me his male Spinda on the day of my birthday! He had to jump from his Emerald version to Diamond to Black; and one of his games along the way had its data erased, so he had to cheat his way to quicken the process. Oh, the things my friends do for me! 😀
To sweeten the Vileplume I had, I also am in the process of optimizing its stats to fit for combat as well as my own role play. This means tinkering with the nature, characteristic, and of course, effort values!
Fortunately for Pokemon Black/White versions, tailoring these stats is simple, but once again, tedious. A parent can pass on its nature to an offspring by holding an Everstone (yeah, those things people never seem to never use other than to level up their Dragonair without pressing B to stop it from becoming Dragonite actually means something). Natures determine a stat that multiplies its growth by 10% while pushing another stat down by 10%. You can also pass on one of the parents’ six Initial Values (IVs) by having it hold a Power Weight, Bracer, Belt, Lens, Band, or Anklet, each one affecting a different stat, of course. The highest IV stat is determined by a judge in the Battle Subway and also affects the pokemon’s Hidden Power and Characteristic. The highest value is 31 for any pokemon, and if you want to optimize the right way, you’d best want 31 IVs in your favorite stat.
Lastly, of course, is Effort Value training, and that’s the points a pokemon earns in battle which affect additional stat growth. The mechanics of the Pokemon video game allow you to have up to 510 EVs for any given pokemon, but only 508 of them are useful, since for every 4 effort points, there is only 1 extra stat point. The six stats: HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed also only allow for up to 255 of these EVs in this fashion. So if you’re still doing your math, only 252 points should be given as a maximum in any EV stat build. By this logic, any pokemon can receive a maximum of 127 additional stat points through EVs, with only 63 of them given to any particular stat. In case you’re wondering why such odd numbers, my logic tells me these are determined by data bit-rates: 8 bits (0-127) for the total and 7 bits (0-63) for each additional stat. The EVs are determined by a separate bit counter made up of roughly 10 bits (0-511, subtract 1 bit) and 9 bits (0-255), respectively. Don’t believe me? Go look up binary coding!
So after a lot of toiling away at research and stat training that I will eventually do, this is Prof. Ginkgo’s Vileplume:
ID: Vileplume (No. 045)
Sassy nature (Sp. Def +10%, Spd -10%)
Capable of taking hits (31 Def in IVs). I wanted “Good perseverance,” but that only warrants 29 IVs.
Ability: Effect Spore
Move set: Aromatherapy, Attract | Toxic, Petal Dance, Teeter Dance
EVs (HP/Atk/Def/SpA/SpD/Spd): 152/0/104/0/252/0 (+2 remaining for whatever)
Yeah… probably not the best Vileplume for battling purposes (and to be honest, this can also be pulled off by Lilligant), but it works for the Professor!