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Somewhere deep in an Australian rainforest, a jeep was crawling through, occasionally getting stuck on tree roots, or simply unable to get over a bump because of one of its passengers being too heavy. "It's got to be somewhere around here!" Jimbo said optimistically, as he got out for the 28925th time so that the jeep could advance. And indeed, behind the next batch of trees was a beautiful wooden building. They instantly knew they were there, as they were greeted by a sign. A BIG sign with BIG letters on them, spelling out "KOALA CORP". Someone had vandalized the sign with graffiti. Jimbo noticed and read it out loud. "fuk worms... I hope whales are welcome at least."
Aldaron and Jimbo got out of the car, but Mekkah remained seated. "Sorry, guys, I can't come with you. I'm tired, I'm going to take a nap. After all, it's actually like 1am where I... zzzzz..." This meant the two of them had to go and do this all by themselves. Undaunted, they went inside, where, after a surprisingly long hallway, they encountered a door. In the room behind that door they found a desk with two large, mischievous-looking koalas sitting comfortably behind them. They had nametags on them: GOUKI and LOKI. Upon the entrance of our two brave interviewers, they exclaimed a loud "HEH" before they stood up and shook paws.
After they all had some comfy seats, the interviewers started firing their questions at the cheery duo.
Break the ice for us... what’s your name, where do you live, do you have a significant other, what does “Gouki” actually mean besides "gouKING"?
Well, everyone can get a better understanding of me by reading my Well thread, but I'll try to break it down. I'm a 21 year old named Bryan, living in Montreal. I have a lovely lady that I'm involved with, who luckily let me stay around even after finding out my Pokémon exploits. The name Gouki goes back to my high school days when I was into the Street Fighter games. Gouki is the Japanese name of the character I played as, and since picking it...
Gouki scraped his throat.
...and since picking internet names wasn't my strong point, I just had Jumpman give me that years ago. I don't think we'll be getting into what my previous name was, nope...
As Jimbo was taking notes as fast as his fat fins allowed him to, Aldaron decided to start with a daring beginning.
I’m throwing you right into the fire (effin') koala. What ACTUALLY happened with Yukari?
In response, Loki's eyes shifted downward in a sad way, and he began crying hysterically. The Smog's hidden cameras actually caught this juicy moment, as can be seen here, though we expect to be boycotted by Koala Corp. for it.
After his tears dried up, Loki gave his official answer.
Yukari... my one true love. I would give my corporation to have her back, I think of her everyday...
But what happened to her?
That story is not appropriate for a magazine such as this.
Under the table, Aldaron texted Mekkah to call the local police. However, not wanting to be disturbed during his slumber, Mekkah had turned his cell phone off.
Never mind that, let’s continue. Tell us a bit about the man behind the koala desk, the mastermind of the Koala Corporation.
Well, I'm 21 years old, I've lived in Michigan almost my whole life and graduated from college a month ago. I've been playing Pokémon for around 6 years.
University of Michigan for your undergraduate education, huh? Besides the yearly disappointment with losing to OSU, what were your most poignant memories of Ann Arbor?
Ann Arbor is like the quintessential college town; the whole city revolves around UM and the campus is built into the city. Some of my favorite memories are walking through the Arb, ice cream at Stucchi's, and of course meeting many of the people that I am still close with. Football Saturdays were also a Michigan staple, from getting up at 7 AM to tailgate to the inevitable loss (thanks, Rich Rod).
Loki's face showed a mixture of nostalgia and slight irritation.
What's your favorite alcoholic beverage? Also, what was your favorite post binge drinking food spot for, say, 2 - 4 AM in Ann Arbor?
If I'm feeling a little classy, it's usually a Jack and Coke for me. However, I am partial to cheap Long Islands as well... in Ann Arbor, nothing beats the $1 slices at Backroom Pizza, it's the stuff of drunk food legend.
Alright, then, let's talk about the community. What is your bigger gripe: the justifiably specist standards in #stark or the fact that a BRO (Philip7086) and 2 BRO affiliates (whistle and Aldaron) run #stark? If you ran #stark, what would be your first sweeping, dramatic change?
Gouki lit a joint at this point, intrigued by his partner's stories, though he also made a "what about me" gesture towards our interviewers. Aldaron silently assured him he will be up soon, while Loki formulated his elaborate answer.
I would like to use this opportunity to publically criticize the rampant specism that myself and others encounter in #stark. It baffles me that outright discrimination such as this still exists in the year 2010. However, just as women and African-Americans fought their way to justice in the 20th century, we too will continue to demand equality for all on this server.
Also, I lament the fact that Philip7086, a woman that I have documented FOURTEEN times exhibiting a complete lack of intelligence, is the one in charge of that server. If I were presented with the opportunity to run #stark, I would first ensure that all members of the server would be treated fairly and with respect. It is the least I could do after the mistreatment that myself and others have suffered there in the recent past.
As reparations for the mistreatment we have suffered, I would implement a new world order: Koalas in their rightful positions at the top, ruling the mindless Broletariat.
While Loki took a deep breath, Aldaron now turned towards Gouki as promised.
Gouki, I know you follow various sports, like football, hockey, basketball, and apparently soccer. How has participating in / following sports affected your life? Has it affected your competitive aspirations in Pokémon at all?
Sports have definitely been a huge part of my life, going back to my role models when I was a little kid. I played soccer and basketball for a couple years in high school, and I was a pretty talented hockey goalie, but had to stop playing at 16 for a couple reasons. I'm a really competitive guy, so I can't say sports affected how I wanted to succeed with Pokémon, but it has definitely influenced me. Sports played a big part in showing me what attitudes and goals I respect, which influenced how I'd like to be seen when I'm done playing. I can't say I'd care so much about proving skill over just winning no matter the cost without my background in sports. And as most of us know, Pokémon can get pretty damn shady, so I'm thankful for that.
You’re known as quite the humorous individual in the community... give us your top 3 all-time favorite quotes!
Man you're asking me to choose between my kids here. There are so many classics, and believe it or not seeing the stupid things people spout was one of the biggest reasons I stuck around at smogon. I've done my best, here they are in no order...
Suddenly Gouki's pupils faded and his voice changed to a metallic, robotic sound with a Brazilian accent as he cited his NetBattle idols.
Ouadie lugia forceXD: regarder mo site
Ouadie lugia forceXD: C:\Documents and Settings\Mitsukoji89\Mes documents\ouadie\site ouadie\index.html
Ouadie lugia forceXD: www.C:\Documents and Settings\Mitsukoji89\Mes documents\ouadie\site ouadie\index.html
saske-narto: some mother wonts fight, welll are alls a chikens!!!!!!
saske-narto: all are a sockets
alonketchum 13: WHY AMPAROS DONT HAVE WOOL?
alonketchum 13: prepare to get pawns like dog
alonketchum 13: PAWNS UR DOG SAID
alonketchum 13: GET THE REPTILE TO ME
alonketchum 13: CAN U TEACH THE LOG
alonketchum 13: U HAVE PRERODACTYL RIGHT?
His trance breaks with the last word, and he quickly slips in a final note.
Oh, and of course a special shoutout goes to a certain Brazilian rant, but that one's a bit mature for Jimbo here...
Jimbo kept writing, a bit more furious than normal, and ended up dropping his pencil. He flailed to pick it up while Aldaron directed a question at Loki again.
What is your favorite nickname you’ve given someone on Smogon? I hope you don’t disappoint me here.
Loki requested time to think up his best, and Jimbo took the opportunity to ask Gouki an embarrassing question in revenge for the condescending remark.
Who is your favorite One Piece character, what is your favorite scene including this character, and why?
Aldaron encouragingly patted Jimbo on his back fin, vehemently approving of this verbal war. Gouki didn't flinch, however.
Well, I'm not one to lie about myself, and One Piece is awesome, coming from someone who generally doesn't like anime. Zoro is definitely the man, but for a more original answer I'll say the real laid-back, cocky admiral Kizaru. I could actually go on and on with this so I'll restrain myself. Everyone reading this should give One Piece a shot even if you're biased, it worked out for me!
Meantime, Loki had found the answer to the nickname question!
I really can't choose between these three, so I'll just give them all. The oldest nickname is calling husk sanjaya, there's just something timeless about it... I know Aldaron has sanjayawet.jpg bookmarked. I'm also partial to calling Atticus Geoff, that was always my favorite character on Fresh Prince and Atticus is a fine butler. Finally, you've got LonelyNess and Squidward; much like Squidward, LN is a great straight man. And of course there's doggie Aldaron...
Aldaron still had no answer from Mekkah or the police, so he urged Jimbo to go outside and take a look, assuring him he can handle the rest by himself. Jimbo leaves the room, leaving Aldaron with the two koalas.
Gouki, what was YOUR personal all-time favorite troll?
Loki getting all the best questions, and sticking me with cartoons. Really though there's no way I can properly decide this one... Smogon was practically built on trolling. There are some really memorable ones on Shoddy, and I could tell some pretty good real life trolls I may have been responsible for, but the quickest one off the top of my head is the #PokeCommunity one that chaos posted. There are so many details that bad trolls just don't get, and makes me wish chaos posted more, and maybe that Smogon goes through the biggest dropoff in internet history so the admins can get away with that stuff again.
Alright, I now have some questions I'd like you both to answer. First, what is "skill" to you in competitive DPP Pokémon, and how would you change the game (mechanics wise) to help the community better "maximize" this "skill"?
Well deep strategy, originality, and success with team building is important, but using other people's teams kinda makes it moot. To get to a high level in battling, you need the basic good immediate predictions, knowledge of teams, and other well known skills. But I think what seperates the best players from the very good is being able to predict how a similarly skilled opponent would react, while always knowing the safest move as well as the risks of each move for not only themselves, but for both players. What impresses me most in a player isn't blowing out average battlers or getting nice team matchups, but facing a bad situation and being able to plan and then execute a win anyway.
In terms of how I'd change the game, I mostly agree with Loki on the game being a bit too dependent on the teams now, but getting rid of Stealth Rock, or at least nerfing so that a battler can always play their way back into a match if they pick right, without being punished for every switch.
I think, more than other gens, there is more skill in team building when it comes to tournaments. With the nature of DPP and the variety available, a well crafted team with a few intelligent, well-executed surprises can go far. I don't know if there is anything that can be changed to de-emphasize the heavily team-matchup based aspect of DPP. It is just a natural consequence of the greater number of Pokémon available.
What about the significant amount of probability inherent in battles? Would you do anything about critical hits, accuracy, secondary effects?
In my opinion, they are just part of the game. People have to understand that this is not a game where the "better" player always wins. It is more like poker in that success should be measured in the long term, not over one battle. It's good to see that tournaments are beginning to embrace the bo3 model.
In all the tournaments you’ve joined, has there ever been one move you’ve done in battle that you wish you could take back and do again? I don’t mean regarding luck, I mean do you remember one instance where you picked the wrong move and it cost you and you really wanted it back? If so, what was the tournament, who was the opponent, and what would you change?
I can't say I remember costing myself any big wins, and if I did I definitely learned from my mistake anyway. My tournament performances have always been my proudest accomplishment, regardless of how my luck turned out for end results. There are definitely some big games that I remember badly, but I'm not going to call out names. I don't mean to come off as cocky; I just barely remember my own teams sometimes. I'm sure I've screwed up plenty of times along the way!
There are actually a couple instances that I remember but I'll focus on the most recent one. This was last year in my WCoP playoff battle against panamaxis and those dreadful Aussies. I foolishly assumed his Tyranitar was Choiced when it was actually an Expert Belt variant and ended up getting my Latias killed very early in the game needlessly. If I had won that game Aeolus would've had a chance to tie it and we could've had a chance at a tiebreaker. This also broke US Central's streak of 3 straight 2nd place finishes, so it was a bit disappointing.
As two of the most accomplished tournament participants on Smogon, do you have any useful advice for aspiring competitive battlers? I don’t mean the standard "just practice" stuff; I want something that isn’t obvious to "generically good DPP battlers" that can help them get over that "bump".
I think at some point it's more of a mental thing; it's important to be confident and relaxed. I hear about how people get nervous before big battles; a little bit of nerves is a good thing to keep you sharp, but there's also a point where being overly nervous can take you out of your game. In some cases you get so focused on individual turns that you lose sight of the big picture. It's important to stay cool and relaxed... lest you be labelled a choker.
If you look back to my earlier answer about skill, I gave what I feel is the most important thing to always be thinking when battling. In terms of tips, I always try to battle in a pretty different way than what might be obvious. When a match is tight, especially when facing someone I know will make smart choices, I pretend I'm battling myself, instead of the opponent. What move would I fear most if I was facing my own team? What should I switch to that works without being too obvious? To pull this mentality off you need to have knowledge of what kind of Pokémon are usually paired together, and then there's still a lot of luck when assuming what else the opponent has, but it's definitely a very dangerous way to think for your opponent.
With a devious look on his face, Aldaron popped the next "question"...
I'd like you two cutiepies to turn towards each other now and ask each your own question!
The koalas blushed, giggled, thought for two seconds, then asked each other at the same time...
What's for dinner tonight, honey?
What's for dinner tonight, honey?
More laughing and poking ensued, with Gouki restoring the situation.
How embarrassing is it to always be riding my style? It's getting kinda creepy now; I think we might have to talk this relationship over, babe...
After they calmed down enough to be normally responsive, Aldaron asked the real final question.
Who IS the MAN in the Loki x Gouki relationship?
Hehe... I always say I wear the pants, take from that wat you will...
The sealed razor tries its best to lie, but she really was a looker back in the day. As everyone in the room knows well, I'm ALL man. Are we done now? I'm hungry.
Aldaron thanked them for the interview, shaking their paws again, and left the room. Not surprisingly, on the other end of the long corridor, he found the large Jimbo stuck in the outside entrance. "Could you give me a hand?" he asked. After Aldaron freed Jimbo from his position, the two still found Mekkah snoozing. They dumped all the notes of the interview in his lap and drove away in the sunset...
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