Previously on the S.S. Anne!

Pokédrag: Digging My Style


Sorry for missing a week! Unfortunately, a Pokédrag trainer sometimes has to get her political machinations rolling. I dare say it was not nearly as fun as rolling around with my Pokéballs and training these little critters in the finer points of impersonation of the opposite sex. So, where were we? Ah, yes, I had left the non-party of the S.S. Anne in order to enjoy the beaches of Vermilion City.

Now, having gained the ability to cut down trees in my path, preferably while humming, “I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay...”, I took a look at the tree blocking my path to Vermilion City’s gym. Its leader appeared to be one Lt. Surge. After all the sailors with whom I tangled Pokéballs, it seemed I was getting deeper and deeper into the various chains of command. Perhaps one day I could aspire to be Pokédrag in Chief? After all, I was building my own army.

Anyway, the tree was cut down, I walked into the gym, and suddenly was greeted by rows of trash cans. Raising one perfectly plucked eyebrow, I surveyed the scene and approached a chap who stood nearby. He attacked — a reaction to which I was quite accustomed by now. After our battle, he made mention that I would have to dig into these trash cans and find buttons to unlock the electrical gate protecting the lieutenant.

Err, what?

Well, never let it be said that Denis, a.k.a. Leeloo Dallas MultiDrag, was afraid of digging in trash in order to lower someone’s guard. After many frustrating tries — with the buttons somehow moving on me, which I believe is a form of cheating — I managed to bring down the complete electrical field, only to meet a military man whose lineup included, surprise of all surprises, statically charged Pokémon. Thankfully I had Geodude with me, and she was more than glad to throw her weight around and prove she was top king this round.

Taking my Thunder Badge, which was perfectly flower-shaped for enjoying the illusion of being in a tropical paradise, I walked out and decided to see where I could go next. There was Diglett’s Cave, which apparently led back to Pewter City. Well, thought I, my queens and kings can now cut a bi– ... ermm, cut a tree, which would allow me access to previously unavailable areas. So it would be!

Now, knowing what I did of my own Geodude’s ability to set the ground shaking with her horrible, very bad, no good — I mean terriffic dance moves, I decided it would be best to take my flyers with me. I wasn’t long in the cave before I encountered Valentine, a female Diglett who fancied ‘80s films and due to her name considered herself a stick-in-the-mud Lothario. I wasn’t quite sure how it worked, but she assured me it would. Meanwhile, I could call her Val, because she liked keeping her gender confusing, which is why she liked digging about in the dirt and mud all the time.

While fighting off all these other stick-in-the-mud Lotharios, Kaiser, my very haughty Pidgey, decided she was done with the usual peck and grind, and morphed into a Pidgeotto with an absolutely fabulous mane. I’m not sure if birds can technically be said to have manes, but this was glorious enough that I think felines wouldn’t mind too much.

After what seemed like a fairly short trip for the distance that would actually be covered in a tunnel from Vermilion to Pewter City, I managed to come out into familiar surroundings. Walking south, I greeted the residents of Viridian City with a cheery gusto. They, in turn, ran from me rather fast. Of course, I had been digging around in trash cans and making my way through underground tunnels, so I’m sure I looked to be carrying Mugatu’s rather insensitive Derelicte fashion line.

After washing up a bit, I poked around town again, to find, as you can well imagine, a tree. It seemed a curious gate to my progress earlier, but like all good gates, had a key in the form of my ever increasing star power. Here Ms. Jumbo learned Dream Eater. It certainly sounded like it could be either a Pat Benatar or metal song. Looking at Ms. Jumbo, I could easily see it was meant to be both, and could only imagine the music videos he would play through enemies’ poor unsuspecting dreams.

Taking my time, I decided to re-tour the path I had already taken, seeing what other little, hidden-away items and abilities I may have missed. One of Professor Oak’s assistants gave me the ability to FLASH, for which I’d had the badge for what seems like ages. There was also an officer somewhere about the world who mentioned to me that it was difficult thinking up so many names for Pokémon. I don’t think he was having as much fun as I was, so I suggested he add a drag persona to the entire affair to add that certain flair to it.

The entire trip of going back and unlocking things that I couldn’t previously made me rather nostalgic for my time with Ms. Aran, and I debated finding out if I could place an intergalactic call, before realizing she was busy going through pseudo-mother crises, and I could only sympathize to a point. My little drag children weren’t causing me to hop around in skin-tight outfits in the middle of space, after all. Yet.

Upon reaching Cerulean City again, my trip through Mt. Moon this time less harrowing, I happened to recall having a bike voucher! Yay, bicycles! With a certain Freddie Mercury song crooning through my head, I decided to take my new bike out for a spin. While nobody asked me to name this wonderful new friend, I decided his name would be a simple homage: Queen. Appropriate in so many ways.

Now to decide where to go! While walking about and talking with people, I did hear one mention there was a Rock Tunnel east of Cerulean City which required the ability to flash. Well, I’m still not sure how having my pokéboys and girls showing some skin in a tunnel would help, but perhaps I will be enlightened when I finally make it there!

Clearly not having as much fun as I.
There they go with that flashing nonsense again.
Simply gorgeous.
I want to ride my bicycle...


Sometimes a queen's just got to cut a tree.

I want to thank you for these articles. They are funny, and anyone who's played the game knows right where you are. It brings a chuckle every time. But I also like them because they look at the game from a different viewpoint.

I've tried several times to explain the differences between how I play games as a woman with a family and how most of the other denizens of this site seem to play them. It makes for a very different experience.

Case in point, I was playing Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood with my younger son. He got tangled up in all that Machiavellian fun in there between the de Medici family and the Borgias. At one point, he told me that now he understood why I refer to one particularly memorable holiday meal that involved having my monster-in-law, my grandmonster-in-law, my mother and myself all trying to work in the same kitchen about two weeks before my divorce started as "The de Medici Family Christmas". Everyone was polite, but there were poniards in every word. And with their propensity for poison, he also now understood my ex's reference to a dish his mother makes that he doesn't like as Borgia stew. (for the record, my ex and I played WAY too much Merchant Prince in the early 90's )

Things like that rarely end up in the common discourse about games. But I think they're important. Everyone experiences all games from their own perspective, and each unique perspective adds a great richness to the experience. It's an important part of understanding how this brave new digital frontier actually works. Thank you for bringing your fabulous voice to the table.

momgamer wrote:

Thank you for bringing your fabulous voice to the table.

Another fantastic article! I'm excited for the next!

I enjoyed this article quite thoroughly. Heck it made me feel like digging out my copy of pokemon blue version and giving it another go for the 40'th time since 1996.

Thanks for such a good read! Keep it coming won't you?