Daily Archives: February 26, 2021

A Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Remake At Last!

My daughter and I have been hanging on and waiting for a remake of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl for several years now, so we were both pretty hyped up when the announcement finally came.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl will be a thing in 2021.

Diamond and Pearl remade

There are a few reasons that we’re feeling some hype for this.

The first is, of course, that Pokemon Diamond & Pearl is where we started playing Pokemon games back in early 2008.  It is the foundational experience for us with the series.

Then there is the fact that the Pokemon remakes tend to be pretty good.  HeartGold & SoulSilver might be the titles I spend the most time with in the series… the one time I caught them all… and OmgaRuby & AlphaSapphire were great remakes with a ton of depth.

And, as I said, we’ve been waiting for this remake for a while now.  There has been a pretty well established pattern of remakes over the years, and Diamond & Pearl now sit as the oldest titles in the series that have not had a remake.  They are due.

We expected them to be the next title on the Nintendo 3DS hardware after Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon back in 2017.  Then GameFreak announced that they were done with the 3DS hardware… just after I bought a brand new 2DS model… and it was off to the Switch platform, where they first had the Let’s Go, Pikachu! & Let’s Go, Eevee! titles in 2018, rather light fare compared to where the core RPG stood at the end of the 3DS era, before giving us a full blown entry in the series with Sword & Shield in 2019.

I now have a Switch Lite… my daughter and I both do… and we played through some of Sword & Shield.  It was a solid entry in the series, but didn’t really grab us and neither of us finished it out.

But now, with Diamond & Pearl coming back, we’re ready to give it another go.  The ship date is currently slated for “late” 2021, which I am hoping will put it before Thanksgiving, or at least before Christmas.  Then my daughter will be home on break from college and can perhaps find some time to play with the old man.  Watching the trailer, I am surprised at how much I remember from the old game.

Nintendo also announced Pokemon Legends: Arceus today as well.  Due in 2022, it is a new style of Pokemon adventure set in Sinnoh like Diamond & Pearl, but in an earlier era.  As Nintendo put it, first we get the re-make, then we get the pre-make.  Details on that were somewhat scanty in comparison, but in its trailer it looks to be an open world style game, akin to the Legend of Zelda titles, which is not a bad thing.

This all comes as the Pokemon franchise is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  That is covered, along with a more information about games and events, in the Pokemon Presents video from today.

So there is plenty to look forward to on the Pokemon front it seems.

Death on the Plains in Valheim

Having defeated The Edler, it was time to find a swamp.  However, the seed value of our server did not put a swamp in close proximity to our base camp, which meant it was time to go out and further explore our world.

Fergorin and Crowbar headed out to the east of our main base, something recounted in a post over at the now rekindled Potshot blog.  When I was on by myself, I decided to set out from the base we made to assault The Elder.  I sailed east from the base and started up a river which turned into something like a passage between two stretches of ocean, its steeps sides reminding me a bit of the Corinth canal.

This canal was a bit more twisty though

I passed through to the open water on the far side and sailed quite a ways, but did not spot a swamp.  I ended up taking a the boat back down through the open straights well to the east of the canal, ending up coming down the eastern shore of our original island (and passing a Fergorin corpse marker from the adventure linked above) and back to our main base.

Just a death marker along the shore

That showed me a bunch of coastline, but I decided I needed to fill out the interior of The Elder island, so I went through the portal back to the base and, with the coming of a new day, went exploring on foot.  I found some meadows and more black forest and a Dragur camp that I gave a wide berth to, eventually ending up at the northeast of the island at a tower that seemed to have a lot of copper nodes about it.  Always hungry for more copper, I set up a small base there with an eye towards mining the copper for a few days.  After I had it all ready, I would run back to the base with the portal and take a boat around to the shore near the tower, load the boat up with ore, then sail it back.  It was too far to run back and forth with ore in my inventory and the terrain was too rugged for a cart.  But I knew the boat could get there easy enough, taking the canal I had already sailed through.

The sailing route to my copper hoard

Once I had filled up a chest in my tower with copper ore, I filled up my inventory with as much as I could carry and still not be overloaded, and set about walking back to the Elder Base.  The route was through rolling black forest terrain with lots of wandering greys.  As I walked a storm came up and it got dark and rainy and when I crested a ridge and ran into a troll there was a bit of chaos unleashed.  I wasn’t quite prepared for that fight, and all the more so as had arrived with some greys in pursuit.

I ended up dodging around, trying to kill him, kiting him off as he and the greys pressed me.

Not paying any mind to direction, I kept on kiting him and going down the easiest route.  Eventually I decided to just ditch him and ran all out down the level path to get away.  This sent me wildly off course and, as I saw some water on my mini map, I headed towards that thinking I was at a different coastline that I was.  As the water came into sight I heard a buzzing sound a saw a large flying bug coming towards me.  It attacked and I died.  I had been introduced to the deathsquito.

My unfortunate route

I respawned at the copper storage tower, having built a bed there and set it as my spawn point.  I immediately started to run back to my corpse.  It was still dark and rainy and the place was still swarming with greys, but I found some blueberries on the way and avoided the troll, only to arrive at my corpse and die immediately to the deathsquito again.

I tried another time, but with the same result.  That skeeter seemed to be patrolling the area.

Skronk was on and offered to help out.  I made a naked run back to Elder Base to meet up with him and get some food.  The word on the deathsquito was that they hit for 60 damage, so if you’re health is low then you’re done for.

The plan was to sail out and stop a bit off shore from my corpse, which was within sight of the water, at which point I would go ashore and try to collect my stuff.  Fergorin would stand off to pick me up, but would otherwise try to avoid getting mixed up with the hard hitting skeeter.

The expedition route

I sailed us up through the canal again, so Fergorin got to add that to his explored areas, and along the coast towards my corpse.  As we came to the headlands at the end of the island we saw a pair of giant bison.  As it turned out that tip of the coast was a plains biome, which is why the deathsquito was there.

In the hierarchy of biomes it goes meadows -> black forest -> swamp -> plains when it comes to difficulty, and we were still finding trouble in the black forest and only looking for a swamp.  Hitting the plains was a sudden step up in difficulty.

Our first run at the shore went about as expected.  I jumped off the boat and swam ashore and pretty quickly ran into the deathsquito again, dying before I could get very far.

Fortunately I was still set to spawn at my tower, so I was able to run to the shoreline so Fergorin could pick me up for another run.

Waiting on a rock for a pickup

On taking the second run Fergorin decided to see if he could kill the deathsquito from shore.  The wiki said that while they hit hard, they only have a few hit points, so killing them was supposed to be quick if you could get a shot in.  So this time we stood a bit off shore in the boat and Fergorin tried to shoot the skeeter.

This went about as well as expected.  After trying to call out the position of the deathsquito, he got a shot off that just brought the damn thing down on us.  In the mean time, a Fuling, a goblin looking creature, that had been on the beach, decided to join in with attacking us.  I jumped off the boat and made a run for my corpse and got there… only to find that my corpse could not be auto-looted due to the fact that my inventory was full.  I had a bunch of stuff, including my swamp key, the reward from slaying The Elder.  So I had to start going through my stuff, grabbing armor and a weapon.

As I was doing that Fergorin lost his battle with the skeeter/Fuling combo.  I ran to the shore to try and help with just a few things on me, only to have the deathsquito zap me dead.  The boat ended up getting destroyed along the way as well.

So, in the grand tradition of corpse runs, we now had two people with missing corpses rather than just one.  Fergorin felt that he needed to be geared up for the next run.  Also we needed to build another boat.  I, on the other hand, decided to just try to run and get my stuff again, something that surprisingly succeeded on the third try as I managed to sneak and evade both Fulings and the deathsquito.  I then ran back to Elder Base to meet up with Fergorin.

Getting Fergorin’s corpse promised to be a bit easier.  Having gone down with the ship out the water, he was far enough away from the shore that his corpse was expected to be easy to grab.  The corpse marker nicely floats on the surface of the water, so we just had to sail up to where we had been a couple of times already, make the pickup, and move on.

However, he wasn’t keen to go the long way through the twisty Corinth canal.  So, Fergorin at the helm of the new boat, opted to sail the other way around the island, sure that it would be a quicker passage.  It was not.

Going way out of our way

At least we discovered a swamp biome that was not too far down the coast from the Elder Base.  We just need to kill the Dragur… the house labeled “Bad People” due to my going ashore earlier to say “hi” and then fleeing for my life… and set up in the meadows biome next to the swamp.

Having gone all that way, as Fergorin decided to turn the boat back, we ran straight into a sea serpent.  He came after us and Fergorin ran the boat to shore where we got out and managed to slay it.

Fighting the serpent in yet another storm

Once it was dead I jumped in the water and picked up the serpent meat it dropped.  No point in letting that go to waste.

The Fergorin built a workbench, repaired the boat, and we headed back the way we came, stopping at Elder Base for resupply and so I could cook the serpent meat.

Some big serpent steaks on the fire

As it turned out, it gives quite a nice hit point and stamina buff even in its basic cooked form.

I also put my swamp key, bronze axe, bronze pick, and a few other items in a chest.  No need to carry any of that into danger again.

From there we went the other way around the island, finally catching some wind going our way… the predictive wind AI, which seems to know which way you are thinking about going and turns the wind against you had been working almost flawlessly up to that point… and managed to get ourselves back around the island and off shore from the deathsquito.  I was at the helm and edged us slowly towards Fergorin’s corpse.  We had eaten our best food, including the serpent, and were pushing past 140 hit points as we glided close, ready for trouble.

Corpse marker on the water

Once we got in range he was able to loot all the critical items from it.  Then I backed away from shore and we turned to head home.  Nothing had assailed us on our last run.  It was now about 11:30pm local time on a weeknight when I generally like to be in bed by 10pm.  We managed to sail home without issue, though when I turned in to take the canal back home we spotted a troll standing right at the shore so opted to take the outside route around the island.

And so it goes in Valheim.