Locke On: Trainer Thatch
And now, coming to you prerecorded from outside the Lavender Town Radio Tower, the one, it’s the only, LOCKE ON!
And welcome to the 8th installment of Locke On, I’m your (hopefully) favorite interviewer, HexManiac Locke, with me today is (hopefully) your favorite PUCL President, Cool Trainer Thatch!
But seriously, this interview has been a long time coming. Over the past several weeks we have gotten to know some of our Blackthorn Hosts a bit better, now it’s time for the man who founded PUCL and crafted it into what it is today.
It took me some time to locate him, searching everywhere in the Lavender Town Radio Tower, even calling in some lingering spirits to help me track him down. He wasn’t in the studio, he wasn’t in his office. From several stories up, inside the tower, I finally noticed him through the window of his office, walking calmly through the light dusting of snow. I rushed down the stairs and out the door, raring to get that interview.
Locke: Hey, Thatch, I’ve been looking everywhere for you. I didn’t think to look out here until I saw you out your office window. Do you have a little time for an interview?
Thatch: Oh, hey Locke. Of course I have time, I always have time to talk to a PUCLonian.
L: Normally I open with asking how you found PUCL, of course, there was no PUCL before Ace Trainer Thatch, and so I suppose I should ask; how did you found PUCL?
T: Haha, well first, it was “Cool” Trainer Thatch, but I have since dropped the “Cool.” Founding PUCL is an interesting question. PUCL was first a small club that my friends, including our Professor Sycamore, and I started. As many of our listeners can tell you, playing Pokémon in high school wasn’t seen as cool. That didn’t stop us though. We would get together in our “underground” club and play once Diamond and Pearl came out. It was a pretty good time.
As for the podcast and community that many of our listeners know. That was later that year. I have always had an itch to do radio, being a DJ or whatnot. Podcasts were new at the time and I wanted something to talk about. Pokémon was one of my dearest hobbies and I decided to talk about it. Professor Sycamore, being my best friend, decided he would join me on my endeavor. The rest is history. *chuckles*
L: A very long history, almost 9 years of PUCL. How have you managed to keep producing as long as you have? What is it that kept you going?
T: Well, some of our veteran listeners will tell you I have not always been producing content nearly as consistently as we do today.
It was only in the past two years that we have been producing regular content. And this was due to Bocefus.
And now every time I get down, I always think of PUCLonians, and those that like having PUCL as a place to go. I can’t leave them. Not because I think they need me or anything that egotistical, but because they should enjoy this hobby as much as I have
L: Speaking of the Hobby, you’ve spoken multiple times about how you’ve found Pokémon, much like I found my favorite game of all time; the cover caught your attention. Do you remember what it was like playing Pokémon for the first time?
T: Playing for the first, time I do not exactly remember. I was fairly new to video games. This was the second one I had ever received. I didn’t understand the concept of overwriting a save file and therefore restarted the game about 4 times. When I finally figured that out, it took about 2 or 3 days before I understood how to catch Pokémon because I didn’t pay attention to the old man that was teaching me. Most importantly though, I remember that I chose Squirtle, because he was Blue, and at that time, Blue was my favorite color.
L: Your love of water type starters began then. It’s a known PUCL fact that Thatch’s signature Pokémon is the Feral Alligator, Feraligat’r, but is that Thatch’s favorite Pokémon?
T: Yeah, absolutely my favorite, there are several others. I’m still a fan of Electivire, and to be honest Greninja just about took Feraligat’r’s place. Feraligat’r holds a special place in my heart. I have good memories of my first Feraligat’r in Silver version. Unfortunately the battery has run out and he is no more.
L: Can you think of a particular moment of PUCL or of Pokémon that has been the most exciting for you, some memory that stands out beyond all others?
T: Oh man, I have so many memories of PUCL. There have been so many great people that have helped shape it into what it is today. I have to say my favorite moment in memory was recording episode 115. It was live, Bo and I hung out for hours before hand. Then the rest of us just had a blast playing Pokémon X and Y for the first time and just talking. It was a great way to start our consistent schedule.
L: Right around the time I started to listen, it was a community of people who loved Pokémon and seemed to be really good friends. Those aspects shined through on that episode, so I understand why you would pick it as one of your best memories of PUCL. What about the dark times? Was there a time when you were ready to pack in everything and let your microphone collect dust?
T: I don’t know that there was ever a time I was going to quit. There was a point in time there was 4 months without an episode. That was due to my own negligence, but I don’t think I thought about quitting. It was just a forgetfulness thing, and my life wasn’t following a schedule at that point. If PUCL were to go out, I would want it to go out big, and not just fizzle out.
L: That’s something I hope never has to come to pass. Moving on to something lighter; is there a Meta you’ve played that has been your favorite?
T: I mean, Little Cup, I absolutely love it. I literally played today because I was having a rough time on the Kanto Classic ladder and needed an Ego boost. I try to play as many as I can though. I love all of them. Though I have to admit, I haven’t spent nearly enough time in RU and NU.
L: What about Little Cup is so appealing to you?
T: Well, first, I am a big fish in a small pond. No one really plays so it is really easy for me to ladder. But, on a fundamental level, it also has a small pool of Pokémon, which makes it easier to memorize speeds. Speed tiers are much easier to remember. And it is super fast paced, not as fast as VGC, but still pretty fast.
L: Do you have a favorite Little Cup Pokémon?
T: I’m actually a big fan of Aipom, the teenagers ruling over the meta do not think as highly, but I think he one of the best Pokémon in that meta.
L: Have you ever thought about being a part of Smogon’s system, trying to make changes to the metas yourself?
T: I’ve thought about, but I’m pretty sure it is more complicated than it seems, I also like playing a lot of other meta’s.
Plus PUCL keeps me busy.
L: If you had to pick, what would the best and worst parts of PUCL be for you?
T: The best part would be the fans. I love interacting with other pokemon fans and I have made so many friends through the podcast and community. As for the worst, it is probably just always having the feeling that I could be doing more for the community.
L: Funny you should say that. *There is a rustling sound* There has been a little bit of a secret going on. I have here an unpublished recording of the others I have interviewed, I think, in light of what you just said, you should hear it.
*Click, a recording begins to play*
(Locke: What does Thatch mean to you?
Bocefus: Thatch, even though I’ve never met him in person, is one of my best friends. We talk everyday via Facebook, text or Skype about Pokémon, ideas for PUCL, or just whatever. Before during and after an episode we spend a ton of extra time just talking. I don’t think we’ve had a Skype call that was less than 3 hours long. He’s a good host, a good leader, a good friend and definitely a big reason I keep coming back around to PUCL every week.
DrShamu: To be honest, he’s a good friend to me. That’s pretty much all that comes to mind. If you want to make it all sentimental, go for it, but that’s all I can give you on that.
L: He knows you well enough that he’d spot my addition a mile away, and that would cheapen it. Even I can tell the difference between someone who is Shamu’s friend and someone who is Shamu’s good friend.
TheFluffiestWhimsicott: Thatch is my rationality bro. He understands certain things about me that many other people in my life don’t, even though we’ve never met, and he’s considerate. I admire his friendliness, dedication and practicality. To me, he’s a good friend, even if he comes from a weird universe where Whimsicott was a Flying type. (Plus, Shiny Soviet Him is the best thing since Nutella.)
MrMaximus: Thatch is an individual who listens to others and he lets our ideas mold themselves into amazing crafts. If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be here toady. I was lucky enough to meet him and we had a blast with the others. Hopefully the rest of us can help make PUCL as great in the eyes others that Thatch has made it to us.
Viger: Huh. I would say Thatch means “Shoot down all Viger’s awesome ideas,” but I think that might be a little harsh. #roastThatch. It’s all in good fun though, we both know that.
Scron: He’s the figurehead around here. Takes care of the media while I do the paperwork.
Ethan: Thatch is the heart and soul of PUCL. It was born out of his sincere love of Pokémon. He’s somebody that I look up to.)
*The recording ends, another click sounds.*
L: I think, you may just do exactly enough.
T: *Wipes tears from eyes* That may be true, but these are just 7 examples of people from the community, there are many more stories, I am sure more could be told. But complacency isn’t something I am cool with anymore. It is because of those fine people you have been interviewing all these weeks that I have been able to make the push for us to grow. Though I appreciate all of their fond comments. I am going to have to make it clear to them back at the office that the feeling is truly mutual.
L: Before I close out, is there anything you wanted to say to the readers?
T: Thanks, for taking the time to join our community. If I haven’t seen you already, I look forward to meeting you!
L: I suppose I can’t ask you the same secret question, so I suppose I will leave you with my answer. You’re a good example to follow Thatch, you care about this community, you do whatever is necessary to make sure people feel like they have a place here. You’re also a pretty Cool Trainer, if you ask me. Thank you for letting me interrupt your walk with this interview.
T: Not a problem, you have to take time to enjoy life. And there isn’t a better way to do it that by talking with friends.
L: Well, there we have it PUCLonians, the somewhat bittersweet end to this series of interviews. Thatch serves us pretty well each week, and I’m sure there are more stories like those of the hosts. Although this series ends here with Thatch, worry not, it will not be the end of me! Locke On will continue, though spread out a bit farther, with new and exciting interviews!
Until I Locke On to a new target,