Sabotages and Clues
You know what really annoys me? People. Yes, people. I'm really not a people person. Working in retail slash customer services does that to you.
On a side note you're here for some winners aren't you. Well ha, I'm going to delay you that information by talking about the series first.
Hmm? You could just scroll down and find out? Shush you.
PokéMole 5 was the biggest PokéMole project to date. The series was not thrown out in December 2007 on the presumption that breaks were needed. Both the format and me. While I liked PokéMole 4, I felt from my own point of view that the finished article wasn't the sum of the parts that had formed in my head. Still, in January 2007 Snover and co had entered my head and PokéMole 5 had been born. To write PokéMole can be everything. I love planning it, down to every last detail but as Joeno can tell you, I'm a perfectionist. I will worry about every last thing while writing it, change half of it at the time and then change it back about 10 seconds before it goes online. At the same time, finding huge holes in the middle of the 4,000 words of Episode 1 you've written and deciding to start again can be tiring. Overall it's a draining but completely worthwhile experience. Writing for this series started in June, stopped while I got over possibly the worst part of my 19 year life, and half resumed in August. The last two episodes were finished at the end of November this year - that's a whole 22 months or whatever since they were planned. Jesus. Yeah, I'm sure you wanted to know that.
Psychology of the series
After all the twists of the format in PokéMole 4, this series had to go back to basics. No hidden Moles. No hidden walls and hidden housemates who swap genders every week (sorry, wrong show there). Nine contestants, one PokéMole. Snover came first, followed by Pikachu if I remember correctly. Mime Jr., amazingly, was one of the last. ;-;. She really took off on (effectively) paper - far more so than I had ever planned.
Anyway, I read in the forums at some point that Snover was unlikely to be the PokéMole because "Mike had already done the quiet Mole with Jumpluff". Snover is nothing like Jumpluff, certainly from my point of view. Snover was not immune to a little trouble and the Snover in my head is not loud regardless. Confident and able to stick to his guns maybe (or maybe not, as we'll see below), but not loud. Besides, we'd have the usual party of early guesses built on nothing in particular, leaving the wise people as contenders to win. Something like that.
Sabotages and Series Walkthrough
Meet The Contestants
Yes reading the initials of the trainers in order gives you "I LOVE JAMIE". Yes, there was a trainer called Jamie. Ooh, maybe that's a clue! No, that's an easter egg. Google the term if you're wondering what chocolate has to do with anything there. Magmar was the first contestant eliminated with the aim of avoiding that mix up. Not that it helped everyone. Cough cough Alex.
In Super Sky Dive, Snover does hesitate before making the jump:
A completely understandable thing to do, but bearing in mind it's in full view of the other contestants, I doubt it would have helped. Snover even accuses others of doing it in his diary.
The little scallywag.
In With A Little Help From My Friends, Snover actually gives the contestants the correct answer.
He just doesn't bother sticking up for himself when the contestants decide upon choosing the wrong route, thus costing valuable time.
In What's In A Word?, Snover got his word wrong.
In Direct Me, Snover made sure he was one of the contestants attempting to walk across the platform - afterall, it's the easiest way to guarantee your team doesn't pass the challenge. Snover deliberately got paired with the nervous Buneary and blamed her for the failure.
In Deception, notice how Snover was not only awake but the first door on the corridor. Easy place for the PokéMole to secretly meet with Producers (thinking outside the box there ;)).
In In The Roll Of A Die Snover gave up during the challenge. Blatant, no?
Everyone seemed to overlook that one. Just like they overlooked the clocks. Surely the most "obviously a clue" of the series?
In Fluke, although Snover stood back and let the contestants pass the challenge, he was ultimately in a position of control throughout the whole challenge - the challenge could not be passed without his say so effectively.
In the battle, Snover uses Sheer Cold as a last chance attack. Not the best idea surely, give the odds are with it not hitting?
In A Man And His Growlithe, Snover gets his answer wrong.
The puzzle in Mirror Maze is, contrary to belief, solvable.
Add 1. Double. Add 3. Double. Therefore you add 5 for the next number, 19. Next number would be 38, then 45 etc.
In The Unreal Ghostbusters, yes Snover suggests the correct number that the Presenter ruled out. But who started that argument in the first place?
Snover loses the battle. Simple.
In Lost, it is Snover who encourages contestants to go and look for the excemption, putting the passing of the challenge into jeopardy.
In Sails Away, Snover has cut a hole in the raft, as the note hinted at (done while "searching" for the excemption). Being one of the contestants bailing the water out of the raft, Snover was in a position to ensure the raft sank and the challenge was failed.
In PKMN.NET, Snover gets his question wrong.
In Grabbit it was specifically never mentioned how many bags Snover collected.
Work it out - it's 2.
The PokéMole would never sabotage a challenge for charity - that's the full answer to a question Mushroom asked me on the forums a while ago.
In the PokéMole 5 challenge, Snover gets his question wrong.
The Prisoner's Dilemma was an interesting one. The way I thought about it: stastically if you were unsure on what to do, doing nothing was the best choice, since it left a choice as to what the other contestants could do for the challenge to still be passed. Choosing the money, as Snover did, means the challenge can only be passed if both remaining contestants do nothing.
In The Prince Of The Sea the PokéMole is in the strongest position to sabotage the challenge, being the one looking for the actual chest. Ultimately though, Snover has the final day off to help the contestants. All heart really.
1. The first paragraph in Meet The Contestants ended with the line "Who is the PokéMole? " before introducing Arbok, Kingler, Aipom and Snover. Therefore reading: Who is the PokéMole? AKA Snover.
2. Where did the series start?
The sort of habitat of the PokéMole.
3. Let's have a look at the opening paragraph:
I do hope you're kicking yourself.
4. The correct answers to What's In A Word were crucially never given. They were (in not the order given): ibidem, triskaidekaphobia, salmagundi, stochastic, nostoc, oxymoron, wolkenband, epeolatry and yaffle. It's snowey.
5. Deception. Such a great challenge I think.
Therefore the challenge began at 4:59. Snover's National Pokédex number is #459.
6. How did Episode 3 open?
A few people noticed this line. Who is one step before Swellow in the eliminations (i.e. alphabetical order)? Snover is.
7. Those clocks? They spell SNOVER in semaphore.
8. From Snover's diary entry on Day 8:"I knew we'd have to be really lucky today"? Snover clearly knew what was coming.
9. In the Mirror Maze, the question read:
The last in terms of progression. If we think of evolution as progression, Snover is the last Pokémon in the National Pokédex who is capable of evolving.
10. Episode 5 opened with:
Four leaves? Ever heard of a four leaved Clover? Snover = Snow and Clover.
11. Episode 6 opened with a reference to Rule 20 - which talks about Santa. Cue the snow link.
12. The chest in Episode 8 opened with the combination 601. Snover's National Pokédex number is 459. Snover's Sinnoh Pokédex number is 142. 459+142 = 601.
13. Snover uses the word "PokéMole" in every single one of his diary entries.
14. A clue to a clue almost. The note in Episode 5 mentioned being "amazed" nobody had made the link yet. See Clue #9.
A few random interesting tidbits
- For more than a year, the series opened "As no version of the Pokémon games had ever touched upon the Sinnoh region before the recent release of Diamond and Pearl, it makes sense that the PokéMole be included in that move." Removed for being too obvious.
- The initials of the words in Episode 2 did originally read ITS SNOVER until about ten minutes before the episode went out, but I thought the use of the V word might stand out. I mean it's hardly a common letter is it.
- A Man And His Growlithe was originally called Taming of the Shrew - the same challenge but with Sandshrews.
- The system this year stores contestants individually so it can automatically generate all the elimination graphics (clever Joeno). So therefore when adding them it made sense to add them in the order they finished - easier to keep track. It was only when Episode 2 was released that we realised that the page used to submit a guess listed the same contestants in that same order. Big oops. It does it by alphabetical order now, thankfully.
- The whole "planted in the contestants" wasn't a deliberate clue. I'll happily take credit for it though.
- The original contestant notes:
Now you know why a female Pikachu sprite was used. Silly Mike.
What's that? Winners? Oh go on then.
See, I even underlined it.
Alex might have surrended his guessing crown in the first episode but he saves face by achieving the best quiz score. Here's the top bunch:
|3rd||PK|The speed of which cherry blossoms fall...||62|
|4th||The Firestarter. Arson about as always||61|
You came 11th on the timing rule Tim, but I thought I'd mention you anyway ;)
And the big one:
- 1ST: The Firestarter. Arson about as always (Episode 4)
- 2nd: French Salamence (Episode 4)
- 3rd: Crystal Walrein (Episode 6)
- 4rd: PK|The speed of which cherry blossoms fall... (Episode 7)
So congratulations to The Firestarter. Arson about as always who is the PokéMole 5 champion! To all of the winners (and Alex): if you ever come along to one of the official site meets, I'll buy you a drink. A glass of tap water, of course.
And that is that. I'd like to say thanks for reading and I hope you've enjoyed it. I'd like to give thanks here to:
- James - for sharing my love of The Mole and agreeing to let me try PokéMole six years ago.
- My Gran - afterall, it was her newspaper that introduced me to The Mole originally.
- Alex - for giving me someone to beat.
- Jamie - not sure why
- That comfy table near the window in the University of Manchester library - a lot of thinking about the series done there
- Joeno - Turned a pipe dream idea about quizzes into a reality, helped me to code the amazing system you're currently using to read this (i.e. did it for me) and scrutinised everything I wrote. I didn't necessarily take any notice, but the time was appreciated ;)
Looks like it's time to start on 6...