Winter can't come soon enough
Well, lightning hasn't struck me down, so you're free to play catch up whenever you feel like it. ^^;Uuugh, wow. I had no idea how very behind on this story I was. I definitely read substantially farther than the last review I gave, soooo I guess I was just being lazy and not leaving any comments? =/ Let's fix that.
I did have fun thinking this up. I know it's a rather basic concept, so I tried to make it as enjoyable as I could.This episode is one you expect to see in pretty much any PMD 'fic: the main characters need to join the guild, and often they have to clear some dungeon-related mission in order to prove them. This episode was a solid execution of the idea and introduced us to a lot of interesting characters that I'm sure will be important later on.
I'm surprised at the response Null has gotten, because a lot of the stuff involving him came about through revisions. He was originally going to be much more of a background character, and I was worried my biases would cause me to really handle him poorly. As for Metagross, I really just wanted to make him about as opposite to Wigglytuff and Ampharos as I could.Null is probably the most interesting to me thus far; he really sticks out amidst a lot of generally cheerful, happy-go-lucky people, and of course his backstory suggests that he's going to have larger significance later on. I also like Guildmaster Metagross a lot. His continual deadpan and mind-reading abilities strike me as having a lot of fun potential.
That's a fair point. I probably should've just stuck to character introductions and not much out. I'll fully admit that I might've gotten a bit carried away with that one.It is always cool to see how writers adapt game mechanics to their stories, and you've obviously put a lot of thought into how the guild functions in this world, but I felt like the second chapter got a bit mechanics-heavy.
I'm gonna chalk it up to Shane just assuming that, yes, this world would function like his games, so all Pokémon of one species would look identical.I did like that you addressed the pokémon naming convention thing, although it did seem off to me that Shane was so skeptical of pokémon looking different from each other. He's a gamer, surely he's aware that the sprites/models all look the same because it would be hugely resource intensive to program in/make assets for a bunch of different variations?
I knew I didn't want dungeon crawling to bloat this fic, but I wanted to make this joke, so I knew I had to sneak it into the early parts of the story.(On the other hand, the bit at the beginning of the dungeon where he wanted to take the "wrong" path because there might be treasure is SUCH a gamer thing, it made me smile.)
Point taken. I'll definitely need to keep an eye out for that in the future, so I don't continuously muck it up. Sorry! ;~;One last peeve... This is something that might have improved in later chapters but which stuck out a lot to me here are dialogue tags that are redundant with the dialogue themselves.
That was definitely the intention. I do love the PMD games and the player/partner dynamic, but I didn't want "find a stranger, new best friend," with this story. They have to really work for it!This episode is only two chapters long, but quite a lot went on! A lot of exposition, but I expect things to pick up more in following episodes now that Shane and Tessa are in the guild and we've laid some ground rules for how things work here. It'll be fun watching the two of them struggle through their early missions, because as Yungoos pointed out, yeah, their teamwork kinda sucks.
That's a fair criticism. And it's entirely my fault, because I was definitely still trying to find my feet with writing this, so to speak. And I was still taking cues from the Explorers games, so I kind of followed that basic structure (do a basic mission, fight an outlaw), but with the deviation of Team Radiance struggling with their teamwork.A bit less going on in this episode. There's foreshadowing both in Shane's dream sequence at the beginning and Tessa's conversation with Milotic, but the actual mission-related stuff in the middle didn't feel like it was really building towards anything larger than itself.
Nah, you're not wrong. The Solrock and Lunatone were just there because I wanted to use those species. I just felt like I needed to start things off in a relatively low-stakes scenario, before going on to introduce the main threat and have things build up from there. But I can see how it might read a bit slowly.It was nice to see Shane seeing some consequences for his actions, particularly with regard to Tessa. It's great to see her stand up for himself and not take Shane's nonsense. The development in their relationship is something valuable that I think went on in this episode, although I think you might have been able to integrate it with some more plot-relevant stuff than the missions showcased here. (Although I could of course turn out to be totally wrong, and Lunatone/Solrock/the pearls may end up being super important later on!)
Aww, I'm really glad you like it. I'm always worried I'm overdoing it (i.e. "We get it, Amby, this is drawing from Gen VII"), but I really wanted to emphasize the sun/moon motif to this.I have to say I really enjoy the celestial theme you've kept up throughout the story, with the guild also being an observatory, all the sun/moon-themed livery, solrock and lunatone appearing in this episode (seriously, why were they not in SuMo), the Solgaleo and Lunala-themed music on the jukebox... It gives Horizon a strong sense of identity, and those sorts of heavenly-body-related references give things give me a mystical, high fantasy kind of vibe that I enjoy.
Yes! Snakes! <3I also like Team Captivate. Snaaaake teeeeeam~
If only Arbok had been in the Alola Dex at the start, I could've put one on Team Captivate. *sigh*
I see what you mean. Looking back, the earlier chapters have far more scene transitions than the current ones, so I'd like to think those transition scenes aren't happening as much. But you'll have to be the judge of that. <.<;One thing you might want to look out for are transition scenes that don't really do anything but move the characters from one place to another.
That's sort of why I wanted to have Episode 3 be lower-stakes. So that the stuff in Episode 4 would leave a greater impact. May have had mixed results, though.Ahh, now this is a more meaty episode. Lots of interesting things going on in this section, plot-wise, character-wise, and lore-wise, too.
I'm happy it ended up working out that way. I knew a lore-dump would be needed eventually, and thought this made sense as the right time.I really appreciated Chapter 8 in particular; while, yeah, it was basically all exposition with a bit of character development, I thought it was all interesting stuff, and with the amount of chaos that's been going on in the surrounding chapters I found it to be a nice breather.
One of the things I'm desperately trying to avoid is wandering into Mary/Gary Su territory and making my heroes perfect. But, at the same time, I don't just want to shoehorn flaws into them. I'm always worried about making a believable balance. If that makes any sense. ;~;In particular I liked the additional insight into Shane's character--that he's kind of a mopey, negative-nancy type in the human world, and the upbeat, arrogant attitude he projects in the pokémon world is overcompensation in an attempt to get people to like him more.
The only reworking to canon is that Horizon existed, but avoided the brunt of Yveltal and Dark Matter due to its isolation from the rest of the world. Everything else (i.e. the events of Rescue Teams, Explorers of Sky, Gates, and Super) happened as they did in the games proper.The lore development in that chapter was also good, I think. I don't mind reworking some canon events to fit with the story if the result hangs together well enough, and nothing really seemed off about what Magearna said. Then again, I've never played Super and don't know PMD lore that well, so it may just be my ignorance talking there.
Well, Magearna's exposition mode can be quite efficient, if she can get it to work. :VI thought the delivery was fine, too. Sure, it was just several paragraphs of exposition, but I don't know how you could have avoided that. Sometimes you just have to let characters talk for a while!
I think that's ultimately how he got thrown in with them for the revisions. That, and the idea of a few instances of a big chimera essentially babysitting an arguing Vulpix and Riolu seemed pretty funny.I also appreciated more focus on Null. He clearly has some larger plot signinficance, and I also think he makes a great contrast to Shane and Tessa.
Good, because, as I'm sure you're starting to realize with some of the later chapters, something doesn't add up between what Prisma's telling Tessa, and what you're seeing play out elsewhere. Your theories in the following paragraph are pretty much all the guesses I was wanting people to make.I was also frustrated by how vague Tessa's mother was being about what she was up to. "I can't tell you because it would be too risky" does make some degree of sense, but is also one of the most overused excuses for why characters can't talk to each other, so it still grated a bit for me.
Sorry about that. To be honest, I'm not going for purely intimidating. In fact, the original inspiration for the whole Prism Virus idea was, in fact, the Shroobs from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. So I was trying to emulate the "creepy appearance, but their actions and mannerisms are actually more comical/nightmare retardant," feeling that the Shroobs had. As for the Espy/Umbry bit, those are simply pet names (pulled from their species names) that they call each other, though I'm guessing you've already realized that.Speaking of, I'm not sure whether you intend for the infected pokémon we've seen so far to be intimidating, but thus far I haven't really been feeling it.
Correct! And, actually, it'd be more like since Super wrapped up since, technically, you can recruit them. Hell, Nintendo (UK?) did this really weird Super promotional trailer where these Jellicent brought the two of them in and apparently stated they were siblings and also madly in love with each other and I'm gonna shut up now. @.@I loved that Shane had basically the same reaction to hearing them talk about Entercards that I did, though. If they are, presumably, the Espeon/Umbreon from Gates, they've clearly gone through something pretty drastic since that plot wrapped up...
Everyone's interpreted the Prism Virus Pokémon but, as stated earlier, I was going for creepy appearance, not necessarily frightening with dialogue and actions. I was also trying to reflect that, despite the proper UB's having nutty appearances, they act really silly in the games (Buzzwole's flexing, Xurkitree's happy-wiggly dance and skipping around its Ultra Space, etc.)Likewise, I wasn't getting the real visceral sense of horror from the infected munchlax. The concept of them being sort of fused with Guzzlord was creepy, but they reminded me of Daleks more than anything (with the whole "Infect! Infect!" thing).
That's perfectly alright. I had a bad feeling it wouldn't be received perfectly. My approach to Legendaries is to veer more on the over-the-top side because I strongly believe that, at least as far as this universe in concerned, they are a bunch of children and behave as such, with a few actually acting reasonable.I'll also touch briefly on the bonus chapter here, since I think it fits in more with this episode than it does with the next... The legend itself works well enough as an origin story for a particular mystery dungeon, but I have to say that Zekrom and Tapu Koko's personalities seemed a bit too over-the-top exaggerated for my taste and seemed sort of out of place in what would presumably be a story passed down across generations, where I wouldn't expect things like dialogue quirks to get passed down.
That was pretty much the intention behind this one.But, overall, this is probably my favorite episode yet. Like I said, there's a lot going on here, and it all points towards interesting conflicts and plot developments in the future. Definitely getting out of the set-up portion and into the real plot with this episode!
It may be funny, but that's actually exactly the angle I wanted to go for. The whole point behind that special episode (and the remaining two that haven't been posted) is to answer the question "What's the deal with Tessa's family, anyway?" And to do so from different perspectives. I couldn't very well use Incineroar (since he's dead), and Metagross would've been beyond my abilities. Prisma was also not an option (b/c she may or may not be the focus of one of the later special episodes :V). So, that left Braviary.Kind of funny that, while this is framed as an episode focused on Braviary, to me it feels like the real meat of this part is giving some more backstory on Tessa's family. Which is perfectly fine, it just struck me as a little funny.
Correct. At least, as far as inhabitants of the PMD world are concerned. Ultra Space is an entirely different matter, as you've seen from Team Paradox.So now we have a more complete picture of her whole family situation: her father the incineroar is dead, and both her mother and her (adoptive) brother have faffed off for unclear reasons. And the whole "name" thing seems to be restricted to the Prisma clan, plus Shane.
Exactly. And, as you discover later, the names are given for a very specific reason.Prisma's backstory appears to strongly imply that she's also human, and that would make sense, if nicknames (despite what Tessa told Shane earlier) really aren't a thing for pokémon, or are so rare that Rufflet's never encountered anyone else with one. Tessa presumably isn't somehow human, but her mother carried the naming tradition on with her...
Those are all a lot of strong guesses and good ideas. I'm not going to say anything, of course, because there's still stuff you don't know about him.Which leaves Gallian.
Glad to hear it. I did have fun with it, though I can see Cutlerine's point that I got a tad bit carried away with it.Anyway, the episode itself. I actually didn't mind the extended use of Braviary's accent here, although I am known to be a lot more tolerant of odd speech patterns than other people, heh. I think you pulled the first person narration off just fine overall; in particular I liked how frustrated Rufflet was with Torracat's interest in Prisma the whole time.
Yeah, it may have been too Saturday morning cartoonish. That's kind of the inspiration I was using for this special episode.You maybe went a bit heavy-handed with how terrible Feraligatr was to Prisma the entire time, though.
I figured I needed to bring it up. I don't own a bird, but I seem to recall something about them doing really bad with tight spaces.A small random thing, I enjoyed how Rufflet was uncomfortable being buried under jewels. I mean, most of them aren't technically rocks, but close enough that I can see how Rufflet would be uncomfortable with them. An unexpected observation, but one that struck me as cute and spot-on.
That was definitely me getting a bit too carried away. I'm hoping that things have balanced themselves out a lot more with these more recent groups of chapters (Sp Episode 2 not withstanding). But if not, raise the complaint again. I should warn that the end of the fic will probably get battle-heavy too. But that's the "endgame" so to speak, so I'm hoping you'll be willing to overlook it and enjoy.One thing that stood out to me in this section was how battle-heavy this 'fic can be at times. There was a major battle in every one of these three chapters, and tbh not a lot went on besides fighting, aside from the puzzle sequence and intro/outro... Your action scenes aren't bad, but they take up a lot of space and I find it a little exhausting to have one pretty much every chapter.
Well, you now know who he's working for, but you still don't know why he doesn't want Tessa joining the guild.I'm liking the developments with Gallian here. Again I have to wonder whether he's working for Necrozma (while apparently Necrozma-aligned, he doesn't seem infected) and potentially against his mom. I wonder if his freaking out about Tessa not joining the guild was his way of trying to prevent Tessa from coming into contact with Shane, or if it's something else entirely.
Right, I see what you mean. I guess I was trying to get across that Gallian's not willing to sit down and talk with Tessa, but maybe I didn't end up putting in a part where the idea of doing that sets off his disaster sense. Because it does, and the point is that he's fanatically devoted to it.It is pretty frustrating to see him being just as vague as Tessa's mom about what he's up to/what's going on, though. Some justification that he may not fully understand himself/his visions don't really cover that, but Tessa's family issues are starting to feel like one of those situations that could be resolved if the people involved would just sit down and talk to each other, which is annoying.
Yes, the point with that snap back was to partially set the dominoes for things to go really wrong in Episode 6, which leads to things getting worse in Episode 7. I won't say anything more than that.I also liked Shane really starting to feel the impact of his (I will admit that I totally missed the moment where Shane flashed back(?) to the human world until you mentioned it in a review response; I was thinking dimensional scream or something going on there.) It did kind of feel like he snapped right back to his usual self as soon as the Crabrawler's Café thing happened, though, which was a bit disappointing. I assume we'll get more exploration of his conflicting personalities and coming to grips with not being the awesome chosen one he was thinking of later on in the story.
I'm sorry. Forgive meeeeeeeee!This and no stepladder reference? For shame.
And he still wouldn't care, if he can make himself look good.I just wanted to take a moment to convey that SHANE, THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS! Confirmation bias is bad!
Because we've all been stupid enough to steal from a Kecleon, am I right? :VI also really enjoyed this moment of game mechanic savvy coming through. Kecleon being super-powerful terror creatures will never cease to amuse me.
The first half was more conspiracy-oriented, I'll admit, so I was going for a tenser, suspicion-filled atmosphere.I like this SE better than the last one. For one thing, I think you definitely did a better job of balancing the action with elements of the story, and as a result I found it more interesting to read the battles that actually were there. That was the big thing, really; having fewer action pieces (kind of ironic, given what genre you were going for here) gave the rest more room to breathe and for us to spend more time with the characters.
And then Team Captivate gets clobbered by a Buzzwear. :VAnd more backstory on Null! As soon as there was talk about waterfalls, I had a feeling that was where things were headed. His backstory here works quite nicely; pretty close to his canon backstory, but modified to work in this different world. It'll definitely be interesting to see how the team's discovery affects things going forward.
That is correct. It may not be canon characters you were expecting, however. Generally speaking, I feel fine giving canon characters from Gates and Super more prominence (since those games and there stories are divisive in the community), while Rescue Team and Explorers will mostly be cameos or brief appearances (because they're fan-favorites, and I don't trust myself to do those characters justice).And presumably this suggests the Expedition Society may play a larger role in the story later on? Seeing as they have Null's memories now, figuratively speaking, and I imagine that's going to have to come up again later on.
Dang it, Negrek. Now you've got me nervous I'm just going to disappoint everyone in the end! ;~;I also noticed earlier how two members of Team Radiance's little group are happiness evolutions... Will we bet getting a couple Big Damn Evolutions at pivotal moments of self-actualization and character development? You could definitely get some Crowning Moments of Awesome/Heartwarming going on with that if you play your cards right.
Which makes me glad I moved this episode, since having it take place after they got their tails handed to them by Buzzwear would probably cheapen things a bit.You also definitely did a good job of setting Team Captivate up as more seasoned explorers than Tessa and Shane. They clearly have a better idea of what they're doing and, in general, think things through a lot more completely and coherently than the other two. And, of course, they have much better teamwork, despite their minor squabbles.
Ah, nuts. I may have to go back and look that part over, then.I did think that you kind of undermined that at times by having the characters overexplain... Like, when Milotic was leading Marshadow on, and you have Dragonair literally explaining to Serperior what's going on, it feels like that bit is in there mostly to reassure the audience that you know what you're doing and haven't forgotten what happend earlier in the episode.
Okay, I see what you mean. Again, probably need to reexamine that one.I'm also not sure that you needed to devote as much space as you did to Chapter 16. It was cool seeing where Team Captivate crossed over with the "main plotline," but other than that a lot of the chapter was kind of administrative stuff in terms of getting them to the right place and hearing Zoroark's side of the story, plus the mission that ended up being a red herring anyway. To me this was definitely the least interesting of the chapters and where I might look to cut down on things a bit.
You've almost got it right. Since Horizon is a chunk of landmass that drifted across the ocean, it's been anchored to the seafloor. Most of the dungeons (on the surface) get their terrain altered by the Tapus whenever they feel like doing that (otherwise they're static). However, Glyphic Falls and the Nocturnus Catacombs (which are very deep underground) are permanently static. If their layouts were altered, the Tapus would risk destroying the continent's foundations and sending it drifting into the ocean again. But, as it is, both places are pretty big and labyrinth like, so they've never been fully mapped out.I was also slightly confused about the dungeon mechanics here. Zoroark left marks indicating how to get to the catacombs, but in an ordinary mystery dungeon story we'd expect those to be meaningless, because the layout would have changed by the time Team Captivate got there. But clearly it hasn't. Is that the difference between "wild" and "managed" mystery dungeons in the story? Like the tapus occasionally rearrange things, but otherwise keep the dungeon layouts static, whereas ones outside their control do much more of the mysterious rearrangement?
Glad to hear it. I did so very enjoy blasting James Bond music in the background while writing some of this. XDBut like I said, overall I think this episode works pretty well... It's entertaining as well as clearly being plot-relevant, and it's nice to step back and see things from other perspectives now and again. And I think you did get the secret agent/action movie feel down right!
That's how I wanted it to happen, hence why Shane initially snapped back at the end of Episode 5.A great follow-on to Episode Five, another one of those jam-packed episodes that I love. There's a ton going on here, and it's been great watching it unfold. More than anything we have a lot of great consequences here, and it feels like even extremely stubborn, change resistant characters like Shane are really starting to feel the impact of what's been happening and are kind of wavering towards maybe kind of actually not snapping back to the way they were before.
I really did want to invert that chapter from Sky. And I thought Midnight Lycanroc, being portrayed as super prideful, would be the best Pokémon for that.I definitely saw the parallels between Lycanroc and the "Team Skull joins the guild" bit from Sky, but I love how you made it so that Shane had been wrong all along, and only his heckling of Lycanroc eventually made the guy get so frustrated that he acted out just to spite him.
It's his firm belief that he can take out the Big Bad and free them without any sort of confrontation. As to the personal investment, I'm going to point to the joking comments multiple characters have made about him having a crush and ask that you hold that thought for awhile.Like, he does know from the games that they are (were once) solid pokémon, but he even floats himself the idea that they've been controlled, in which case... It felt like he had a real personal investment in their characters that in turn informed how he behaved towards Lycanroc, but I didn't really understand where that deep investment had come from or why he was so committed to it.
I know you're right. It's probably, again, a result of me sort of game-ifying things a bit and, again, taking that approach with these bosses. I know things have gotten a lot darker/serious as of late, but at its core I'd intended for this fic to be overall more of a humorous one than a frightening/horror one. With that said, I'll keep this in mind. There's one more Prism Virus boss that's going to be hammy (in fact, it's coming in the next chapter). But, going forward, I'll try to make them a bit more serious.What I said earlier about the infected pokémon being a little more hammy than intimidating continues to hold true with the bewear fight in this episode. I definitely like the fight itself; I thought there was a real sense of danger, and the feeling of overwhelming odds against Shane and his crew. However, at times I did think that the more comical aspects of the bewear sort of undermined its scariness and felt a little out of place with the tone of the fight.
Yeah, I wanted a literal shock to Shane's system, so messing with his nervous system felt like a good way to make that happen.I also do really love that this fight has serious consequences. The magic healing available in the various pokémon canons is kind of taken for granted most of the time, so it's an interesting twist to have a character actually suffer through injuries for any length of time.
I imagine I got a bit too Magitechy here. But I do believe I mention (possibly in the next chapter) that Comfey learned things from her predecessor (Blissey). So, yeah, first aid stuff is something trained Pokémon teach to one another.On the one hand, that's not how the immune system works, but on the other hand apparently pokémon don't know what viruses are? And healing is pretty much limited to status effects and battle-related injuries? If that's the case, how does comfey even know how to deal with a fever? How could she know what an "immune system" even is?
Your wish will be granted. It'll be mentioned again this episode (and the next one, and the next one...)I have to admit that I'd completely forgotten about Shane's rainbow scarf until Espy brought it up in the bewear chapter. Assuming it's going to work out important to the plot, maybe make a point of mentioning it every now and again to remind readers it exists?
I think you are right, I just wasn't sure of a good way to have them pop back up into Shane's mind after he gave them no real thought for awhile.In a similar vein, this bit felt a little forced to me
That was pretty much what I was going for. That being a sense that, yeah, something really, really wrong here, so more pieces start to fall in place as to what Prisma might've ended up doing around the time she left the guild.There are a lot of plot elements, in particular, that look interesting. What on earth happened in Lucario's study is definitely one of them. Did she really pop back in there for a frenzy of research, or was it someone else going through her stuff, trying to piece things together? Whoever did it wasn't exactly subtle and/or very good at covering their tracks (and why wouldn't they have taken the stuff with them? Presumably they're going to need those diagrams etc. later?), but it's nicely ambiguous as to what's really going on there.
Yup. It's like we're playing Clue up in here!And what that research was about... definitely Ho-Oh related, of course, and Incineroar is the most obvious candidate for the "he" that could get brought back with the sacred ash, though I wouldn't rule it out being somebody else, perhaps Ho-Oh himself. If it *is* Incineroar, it more strongly suggests it was either Lucario or Gallian who was messing around in there... Although Braviary or perhaps even Metagross are also potential suspects!
The point was that Null was the means allowing that to happen. Because, with him, Tessa feels confident enough to continue working at the Guild. Previously, she was sticking with Shane because she knows she needs to have a partner to make this work.And Tessa is honestly thinking about dissolving the team and joining up with Null instead! It's been a long time coming, and tbh I was kind of surprised that Tessa didn't take her mom's warning earlier as the perfect excuse to get the hell away from Shane, but it's great to see it finally happening and knowing that even if Tessa ends up changing her mind in the end, there's a big shake-up down the line for her relationship with Shane. That was something that really needed to change (as Dragonair was so kind as to point out, lol), so it's gratifying to see things moving in that direction.
Dawn Wings Necrozma is indeed a proper fusion of Necrozma and Lunala. Like the Kyurem forms, it keeps Necrozma's stats/nature/IVs/EVs/moveset, but gains the signature move of whichever Pokémon it fuses with. And while yes, this fic is rolling under the assumption that there are plenty of other Lunalas lingering about in the depths of Ultra Space, I'll just straight-up say that I'm not doing the "it's from another world" thing. That is our Lunala that has been incorporated in Dawn Wings Necrozma.Finally, there's probably the biggest reveal of this episode, that being of Dawn Wings Necrozma. Unfortunately my ignorance of the mechanics of USUM is going to make it harder for me to say what's going on here...
Correct. When the story was outlined, I left this part open. And when TPCi confirmed that we were indeed getting Necrozma forms, I filled out the outline to accommodate that information. Necrozma's firmly in control here.And Ultra Necrozma's speech pattern strongly suggests that the Solgaleo Shane's been talking to is Necrozmafied... And apparently there's some "mistress" who's actually directing Necrozma and company? Mysterious and even less good!
Essentially, the "equal" bit takes some inspiration from Dragon Ball Super. It's an inversion of Zamasu's "Zero-Mortal Plan."It was interesting to see Espy/Umbry's take on Necrozma's plan, too. From the way they interact with Necrozma it seems like they're mostly going along with the guy out of fear of what will happen to the other if one of them resists, but the description of the dark world "where everyone will be equal" is also intriguing.
Ah, gotcha. I guess I was just paranoid (or worried the thread would suddenly get deleted if I messed it up). There will be some bad stuff coming (for starters, Null nearly causing Shane to drown).So, yeah, definitely a lot of cool developments here. For what it's worth, I didn't think that your descriptions of the battle were too intense or anything... There definitely has been a shift towards a more serious tone, though, and I look forward to seeing how that develops over time... I imagine things are going to get more dark before they start to lighten up again!
I'm really happy to hear that. This episode just has made me beside myself with worry. It's supposed to be a turning point for the main characters, but I fear that I'm going to whiff or that it's not going to be believable. ;~;I love how much more vitriolic Shane and Tessa are towards each other here. You really get the sense that they're just totally done with each other at this point, and any friendliness there might have been between them has been completely eclipsed by resentment and disgust. Love it.
As you can see, they're getting time apart. I'm just warning you upfront that it's not going to be super long. But, if I do my job right, it serves an important purpose and will get Shane to learn a crucial detail that catalyzes some needed changes for him.tbh I don't even know that I'm really rooting for them to decide to stick together... I think they might benefit from some time to themselves to kind of sort out their own stuff, and then maybe they can try again at a friendship or team-ship that's maybe built on more solid principles than Shane deciding Tessa must be his partner because she found him washed up on a beach and that's how these things work.
I'm glad to hear it. I was keeping that one rather close to the vest.I also like the more depth we've gotten for Shane for the past couple episodes and how you go deeper with it here. The revelation that he's actually kind of bad at the Pokémon games he loves so much and generally has to cheat to win is spectacular and was totally unexpected for me.
Happy to see you're getting invested with it. Like I said, I really didn't want Shane and Tessa to be your typical "friend to everyone," archetypes that the PMD player/partner usually are.It's been fun watching him start to abandon that recently... I definitely started out preferring Tessa, but Shane has gotten considerably more interesting in recent chapters where we've gotten to see other aspects of his personality shining through instead of just the obnoxious put-on he was keeping up. Not that his more humanish personality is all that much more pleasant...
Heh heh... and just think. We still don't know exactly how/why Shane is here to begin with. ^^I also really like this bit. Don't honestly know why, for some reason the idea of getting sent to the PMD world being karmic retribution for wasting time on video games as a human really tickles me.
To be honest, I wasn't sure people would go along with the whole "in constant pain," bit. Nice to be wrong on that bit.I feel so bad for Null in the most recent chapter... And people say I'm mean to my characters. XD
I see what you mean. I should've been focused less on the overall appearance and more on the idea of "Dear god, I've never seen anything like this before. Is this even a Pokémon?" In Shane's case, it's more the size differential in combination with Null's mannerisms scaring him.I think you maybe go a little too hard on people being immediately repulsed by him, though. I mean, Type: Null is pretty weird-looking, but really, a lot of pokémon are somewhere in the range of "pretty weird-looking" to "seriously creepy."
Yes indeedy, though the full scope of that will become more apparent a bit later.In any case, now that Null's been made aware of his experimental nature, I have a feeling we're going to be seeing some repercussions.
They're based off the USUM group, but Luxeira and Sticky aren't directly based on any of the four URS members. Like, "Ultra Recon Squad," just sounds like the perfect name for an Ultra Space version of rescue/exploration/expedition teams.At least Tessa likes him! The introduction of the Ultra Recon Squad is also an interesting wrinkle... presumably this is an all-mon version of the one seen in the games.
It's a case-by-case basis. Much like the games (especially Gens VI and VII), I believe that fish can exist out of water and look like they're hovering a bit, so to speak. But their maneuverability is greatly limited. Bruxish is an exception. As a psychic, he can levitate, so he can float wherever he pleases, provided he's focusing enough.And then, since you updated AGAIN after I'd finished this section, some quick natter about 27: this chapter actually brings up something I'd been wondering about constantly with Bruxish: how are fish pokémon getting around in this 'fic?
Yessir. After all, if Sticky's to be believed, Shane's got a noticeably large ultra aura... for some reason.So this is where Null finally stops being able to resist his killer side and goes after Shane. Definitely a big Gollum vibe going on here, with Null's audible arguing with himself and obviously not really wanting to do this.
Aaaaaand this is very much why I'm nervous. I really, really, really hope you find the resolution to all of this satisfying. I don't want to disappoint you; especially when you're clearly putting a lot of thought into all of this. ;~;And then Tessa and Shane actually turn on each other for real! Things really do keep getting worse for them... I can't see how this mission is going to end with anything but the two of them going their separate ways (and one or both of them getting kicked from the guild, holy ****) unless something truly dramatic happens on this mission. At this point Shane in particular obviously cares more about getting back at Tessa than successfully completing Metagross' assignment, and in turn his position in the guild.
Actually, I'm surprised, because I did use an Ace Attorney character as a reference for Oranguru. If you figure out which character it is, you might have a stronger idea of what's about to happen.I'm eager to see what happens with Oranguru. Is he really that much of an oblivious, crotchety old man, or is he totally trolling the team?
Cute was what I was going for, there. And, I didn't consider that Sandygast bit. o.o;A quick word in here on the most recent extras: the one with Tessa's family was very cute, and I enjoyed getting to see Prisma and Incineroar's relationship in particular. I was also very amused by the mention of the sandygast sandbox, because that sounds like the fridge-creepiest sandbox shape possible, heh. (Enjoy your souls while you still have them, kids!)
That's fair. Probably a result of me approaching these bonuses more as "deleted scenes" and just kind of splicing them together. I'd say it's best not to focus on it as a chapter, but that's a weak excuse and I'll need to try and do better for future bonuses.Bonuses five and six felt a little scattered, although I generally liked the individual scenes.
This is just silly on my part, but as a Mega Man fan, I read this and read DWN as "Dr. Wily Number," b/c that's the serial code system Dr. Wily uses for his Robot Masters. DWN-800: Necrozma Man!This is where we get to see very clearly that Solgaleo doesn't talk like "Solgaleo" in Shane's dreams, but DWN does, uh oh.
Fair enough. I'd just ask you hold onto that scene; keep it tucked away in your memory. Trust me on this one.Likewise, I thought the Shane scene at the beginning of six was out of place. We get to see that little Shane had a friend (!) and is bad at Pokémon (lol), but it doesn't really fit with Prisma's scene
Yup, ****ed up is 100% what I was going for. I did say it was probably not what you were expecting in a Christmas special. XDOn the other hand Prisma's scene is very interesting. So Gallian definitely isn't a former human, he just has a human name because Prisma has been trying to recreate her human family in the Pokémon world holy **** Prisma that is so ****ed up.
Happy you think I'm improving. Of course, if I veer off course, don't hesitate to smack me up and put me back in line!Now, the story overall. I definitely think you've improved a lot since you started writing this. In my opinion, the story kind of came into its own around the fifth episode, and it's been roaring along since then. In particular I think you've gotten better at using battle scenes than at the beginning, when they happened a lot, and also making appropriate use of tropes/meta humor.
I want to say something about Necrozma's motivations, but I'm going to stay mum. As far as behavior, he is supposed to be ridiculous. As Dawn Wings, he is based off of Aku from Samurai Jack; so, yes, super-hammy is what I'm going for. But that's to contrast another character that hasn't appeared yet. And, hopefully in the next couple of episodes, you'll understand why he's acting pretty stupid.But there are some elements that still seem a bit over-the-top hammy for the more complex, morally-gray tale you say you're going for, and the elephant in the room there is definitely Necrozma.
Wonderful! I know it's my first fic (and I'm not versed in what deconstruction fics are, to be honest), but I was setting out to defy a lot of the PMD story conventions. Why? Mainly because I thought it'd be fun. Yes, I know I'm crazy.The general subversions of the PMD genre you've been doing have been really great, though.... In particular you've gone in a very different direction with the partner relationship than in most stories...
Glad to hear it. And, yes, the Guildmaster's leadership decisions are questionable by design. And there's a reason for that!Null continues to be my favorite character, although as I said, Shane's grown on me quite a bit. Characters are another area where I think you may get a little silly at times, with the very pronounced speech quirks and all, but all the important players are solid in terms of their complexity. I also continue to like the guildmaster, even though I strongly disagree with some of its leadership decisions (I don't care what it says, punishing somebody's partner for them being a ****up is bullshiiiiiit).
Ah, dang it. That was just a blatantly stupid mistake on my part that I'll clearly need to pay attention to. So thanks for bringing all that to my attention. And thank you for all the feedback. I consider it a little birthday present that made my heart flutter. :3I haven't been talking about the prose much since this is a more bird's-eye-view kind of review. It's generally pretty solid, but you do end up with some awkward turns of phrase, and that dialogue tag thing I mentioned way back at the beginning of the review, while it's gotten less prominent, still isn't gone. There are also some words and phrases that you consistently misues. "Shirk" is a big one: you don't "shirk" back or away from something, you "shrink" away from them. Shirking is blowing something off.
(responses extended into next post b/c arrrgh character limit y u do dis?)