Single Status Update
I know it's been a while since episode 18 is out, but I still have one anecdote to tell about my personal experience playing it.Spoiler
The first time I engaged myself in the struggle against Shelly and Cain, I was kind of surprised as well as a little unsettled because I didn't have the most appropriate Pokemon at the beginning of the fight to counter Shelly's Ribombee turn one. But I didn't have to restart the game because I eventually took advantage from the battlefield to boost Shock Wave with my Spiritomb pretty easily and made it even stronger thanks to Nasty Plot while I took out the most frail Pokemon of my opponents with my Drapion (I can't do much but recommend this sweet combo involving the Sniper ability and Scope Lens). Volcarona was the most important threat at this part of the Gauntlet, but the increase of my Spiritomb's Special Attack was actually enough to knock the firebug down in one hit. Then came the second battle against a mysterious person named "?????". My first reflexe was to think at ZEL's revenge with PULSE Hypno as his ace. This fight was actually easier than the previous one with powerful attackers at the enemy's end, but as long as I could outspeed my adversaries, I didn't encounter any real difficulty. My only bad move was just to not have cured Spiritomb from the poison triggered by Umbreon's Toxic. Overall, everything went relatively smooth until I found myself in another double battle. As it started, I quickly noticed that my Spiritomb was still unhealthy, so I started to use some Full Restores here and there to not get overwhelmed too much and too fast. Most of my mons used single target moves to inflict massive damage to their foes (Wink at you Night Slash) and the best strategy at this point was to be faster than them at all cost. This was made possible thanks to Pangoro's Bullet Punch and Honchkrow's Sucker Punch. By doing so, I was sure to almost always make one adversary faint per turn. Since my Honchkrow is a mixed attacker that has Moxie as its ability, I could readjust my strategies without worrying too much regardless of what foe Pokemon was standing in the field. The only striking thing I remember about this fight was this Bronzong succumbing to one of my Pokemon Dark type moves which led me to the victory after three consecutive and unpredictable battles. Pride was real, I managed to beat everybody in one try. And shortly after, the biggest surprise I could have seen in the game popped up right before me. Everything went weird in a somewhat twisted way and I reappeared in the middle of a dark, void-like environment with stars surrounding me. And... well.
Do I have to go further in detail? I thought I wasn't supposed to beat all these people to such an extent that I thought I had unlocked a secret branch of the story with ten million of relationship points earned for Anna and Shade!