Pokémon Scarlet and Purple: The Hidden Treasure of Zone Zero, Part 2: The Indigo Disc – Practical

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“It’s very loseable.” That’s how the Nintendo representatives sitting next to me described my meeting with Amarys, one of the Elite Four members of Blueberry Academy. Naturally, I decided to test how loseable it was. I was already leading an unknown team, but I went further. I also made a few moves that I knew were at a disadvantage, just to see how punishing the response would be. They weren’t joking; I lost, only eliminating four of his six Pokémon, although his ace made an appearance. It wasn’t the outcome I was hoping for, but I was impressed by the difficulty of the fight and how the team and Amarys’ decisions placed the “Elite” in the Elite Four. I may have lost, but as any trainer worth their salt will tell you, there’s always a way back, and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of The Indigo Disk.

Indigo Disc is the second DLC for Pokémon Scarlet and Purple. Unlike The Teal Mask, you cannot play it until you have completed the base game. This is an end-game DLC; you will need to complete the main story of Scarlet and Violet as well as The Teal Mask to access it. Once done, you will travel to a completely new area, Blueberry Academy, a sister school of Naranja Academy. There you will reunite with old friends, meet and compete against new and exciting trainers. Oh, and there are new (and old) Pokémon to catch, too. It’s all very Pokémon, in the best way.

My time with The Indigo Disk may have ended with a battle against Amarys, but it began with a trip to the Blueberry Academy Terarium, a massive facility that recreates several distinct environments, from tropical beaches to frozen tundra. Naturally, the Terarium is populated with Pokémon native to this environment. Part of the appeal is the large amount of Pokémon here. All starters from previous generations appear, providing a great opportunity to fill out your Pokedex and see how these Pokémon behave in the wild. They don’t just come from Poke Balls provided by friendly teachers. Who knew?

This is an end-game DLC; you will need to complete the main story of Scarlet and Violet as well as The Teal Mask to access it.

Of course, the Terarium isn’t just a place to catch Pokémon, although you can certainly spend an awful lot of time there if you want. The Indigo Disc not only adds new evolutions like Archuladon, which evolves from Duraludon, and new Paradox Pokémon like Raging Bolt and Iron Crown; it also brings back a host of returning Pokémon that go well beyond just returning older starters. I can’t give exact numbers without getting banned in Zone Zero, but suffice to say it’s a big number, and catching them all will take you some time.

Still, I think the real draw for many will be the Terarium itself. It’s absolutely huge and full of detail, and I had a great time exploring it. I can’t talk about many of the more interesting details as of this writing, but there are plenty here, and I look forward to spending some time exploring the Terarium when I get the chance.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games at Blueberry Academy. It’s a school, which means there are classes you can take, and from what I’ve seen, they seem pretty hands-on. The one I stopped at was being held in the Terarium and had tasked me with catching an Alolan Pokémon and bringing it back. I managed to get my hands on an Alolan Grimer and an Alolan Exeggutor before heading out again, leaving everyone with homework. Oops.

And then of course, there are the fights. Blueberry Academy emphasizes dual battles, adding an extra layer to your tactical and team-building decisions, so you better be ready to throw two Poke Balls every time you encounter an opposing trainer. I’ve only played a handful of battles during my career with The Indigo Disk, but each one was a memorable fight that challenged me to manage my team, type matchups, and select movements.

The Indigo Disc seems to add all the post-game content a Pokémon fan could want.

Once I was more or less comfortable, it was Elite Four time. Like the base game’s Gym Leaders, you’ll need to complete a task known as the Elite Trial before you can challenge individual members of the Elite Four and face them in Pokémon versus Pokémon battles. In Amarys’ case, that means racing either Koraidon or Miraidon through a series of aerial rings in what often reminded me of one of Spyro the Dragon’s obstacle courses. Oh, did I mention Koraidon and Miraidon can fly now? They can fly now, and you can use it to navigate the Terarium in an orderly manner. Amarys’ Elite Trial wasn’t too difficult, but it was a nice change of pace from traditional Pokémon gameplay and gives you something fun to do before you face off against a member of the Elite Four.

I didn’t win this battle against Amarys, but it just made me want to come back to The Indigo Disk even more. With over 230 new and old Pokémon to see and capture, an exciting environment to explore, and strong trainers to battle, The Indigo Disk looks to add all the post-game content a Pokémon fan could want. Personally, I can’t wait, which is why I started my copy of Pokemon Scarlet as soon as I got home. I have a rematch to train for.

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