The Blood Moon quest almost redeems the Pokémon Scarlet & Violet The Teal Mask DLC
Honestly, the Teal Mask didn't really appeal to me. It suffers from the same issues as Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, and it fails to introduce enough new ...
Honestly, the Teal Mask didn't really appeal to me. It suffers from the same issues as Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, and it fails to introduce enough new characters, stories, or monsters to justify its existence. The characters are dull, the region is uninteresting, and there are only eight new Pokémon, half of which are legendary and poorly designed legends.
The redeeming factor for the Teal Mask lies in its monster designs, intriguing characters, and unique quests, particularly the Blood Moon quest. In the city of Mossui, there is a photographer named Perrin who will only engage in conversation with you once you have registered 150 Pokémon in your Kitakamian Pokédex. This accounts for 75 percent of overall progress and presents a rather challenging task, meaning you will most likely be able to interact with Perrin only after completing the main storyline.
However, it is worth the wait. I have just described Perrin as somewhat eccentric, but unquestionably, she is the standout character in the DLC. As a photographer who has lost her passion, she is determined to hunt down the Blood Moon Beast to reignite her love for the hobby. It is a beautiful quest motivated by the character, and Perrin is warm enough to convey her feelings towards photography.
There is a particular section that stands out, especially as you approach the misty forest where Bloodmoon Ursaluna lurks. Perrin sets up her shots and calls for a Poliwag to position itself, directing it to work with the camera so she can capture her snapshots. You can simply stand and observe as her passion becomes evident.
Then there is a mini-game: Think of Pokémon Snap, but somewhat lacking. It doesn't live up to the original, but wandering around a spooky forest and snapping photos of wild Pokémon is an enjoyable activity and a diversion from the main tasks in The Teal Mask, which ultimately amount to "go here," "go there," or "battle this boss trainer who inexplicably uses unevolved Pokémon."
I intentionally took the worst photos, yet Perrin showered me with praise – I suppose she took pity on me and my innate lack of artistic talent – but she truly listened when I told her that I just wanted to capture the animals as they were.
The quest culminates in a battle against Bloodmoon Ursaluna itself, providing the opportunity to capture the best-designed new 'Mon.' This is the most derivative part of the entire quest, a boss fight like any other, but the unsettling design of Bloodmoon Ursaluna and its unique signature move make it thrilling – the mist-shrouded forest backdrop only enhances the eerie atmosphere.
Perrin's photos turn out to be terrible: blurry and distorted. I'm sure the mist didn't make it any easier for her, but she surprisingly seems content with the results. She captured Ursaluna in the wild, in the midst of a heated battle, and you helped her reignite her passion for her favorite hobby. She says she'll see you again, and I can hardly wait for her appearance in The Indigo Disk. If they can execute the Snap-like photography better, we're in for a treat.
This quest gives us a glimpse into what open-world Pokémon games can and should be. Imagine if Paldea were populated by such unique missions instead of aimlessly wandering the land before raiding a few bases. As you stroll between the Asado Desert and Casseroya Lake, if you were to encounter a peculiar figure enticing you westward with the promise of hidden treasures or secret monsters. Rather than spending hours collecting stakes in the ground for the Ruins' treasures, wouldn't we prefer a character-driven quest to uncover each one?
Paldea was devoid of anything interesting between its towns and arenas. While it is an open world, it pales in comparison to games like Breath of the Wild. If it were populated by characters like Perrin, offering custom missions to search for unique Pokémon, it would feel much more vibrant, and we could overlook the flaws and performance issues.
In many ways, the Blood Moon quest is like Perrin's photos of Ursaluna. It's not perfect, not the finished piece yet, but it may have reignited my love for Pokémon.