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Skitty's Vlog

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by The Walrein, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. The Walrein

    The Walrein Member

    Skitty's Vlog

    Video 1

    Swearing, suggestion of tactical self-harm

    Hello internet! Welcome to my new channel, Normalized Life, where you can get the pro-est life tips from the cutest ‘mon! I’m Charly the skitty, and in today’s video, I’m going to share my secrets for finding an awesome trainer! Okay, so I realize that if you’re watching this video, you’re proooobably not a wild pokemon. But let’s be real with ourselves for a second – did you choose your current trainer because they were the best one for you, or because they were the first ten-year-old who strolled past your home with a pokeball and said you looked ‘top-percentage’ to them? Yeah, I thought so. You deserve better than that, and you know it! So let’s dive right in and start learning how to get the perfect trainer! Just, uh, make sure your current one isn’t watching this.

    The first thing we need to discuss is what makes a trainer ‘good’. Now, there’s been a lot of discussion about this from both humans and pokemon over the years, but there are a few qualities most people would agree on. Asking a random person will get you an answer like ‘A good trainer understands their pokemon’s needs’ or ‘A good trainer can see the potential within each pokemon and bring it out,” or some other brainless regurgitation of our culture’s dogma. Normalized Life, however, is a bullshit-free zone, so I’m going to tell it like it is: The most important aspect of a good trainer is that they’re loaded. And I don’t just mean that they should have enough money to afford luxury balls and wear designer clothing. Yeah, I’m talking private-mansion-owning, gold-plated-pokedex-using levels of rich here. Loa-ded. Okay, so maybe that seems a little shallow to you, but ask yourself: Can a poor trainer ‘understand’ their way to buying you naturally-sourced feebas fillets with saffron and caviar? Is being able to ‘bring out your potential’ as good as being able to bring out a wallet and send you to a luxury spa? Once you’ve seen what life’s like with the one percent, you won’t want to go back, trust me.

    Of course, there’s a very limited supply of super-rich trainers, so don’t feel bad if you have to end up settling for someone merely well-off. There are some other, less important aspects of a good trainer that can help make up for it. To start with, one of the things you should always do is ask your candidate to show you their badge case. If they have four or more badges in there, uh-oh, watch out! That probably means they’re some sort of battle-loving freak who’s going to try and drag you into matches against hulking, overtrained gym pokemon who get their jollies from beating the stuffing out of ordinary pokemon like you. But zero badges is a problem, too, since most trainers will insist on getting at least one badge before retiring. The number you’re looking for is around one to three, with two being ideal.

    Now, sometimes they won’t have a badge case at all if they’re planning on being a coordinator. You might think that this is a good thing, but trust me, it isn’t. You’ll have to train just as much as you would for battle, you’ll get absolutely sick of the taste of pokeblocks and poffins, and to top it all off, you’ll still have to fight other pokemon in some competitions! I’d have to do a whole other video to share all my complaints about contests with you guys, so let’s move on.

    Another aspect to consider is the age of the trainer. You’re going to want someone young, maybe twelve to fourteen years old, because younger humans tend to be dumber and easier to manipulate. “But Charly,” I hear you saying, “aren’t old humans also dumb and easy to manipulate?” Sometimes they are, yes! But not always. And old people are just a lot less fun, too. Trust me, you don’t want to get stuck with some wrinkled crone who never wants to play with you or do anything that involves standing up for more than a half hour. Especially not one who then proceeds to suddenly die on you and leave you in the care of their asshole nephew who feeds you the cheapest shit he can scrape out of the ‘short date’ bargain bin while giving the money rightfully willed to you to some fucking cult which he has the sheer gall to insist you join, too. …yeah.

    Okay, this actually leads into my next point. Don’t ever join up with any trainer who’s part of any sort of ‘team’. I don’t care if they’re called ‘Team Build Homes for Starving Orphaned Lillipup’, just don’t do it. There’s like a fifty-fifty chance they’re planning to use the lillipups as a blood sacrifice to Yveltal. And then there are the teams which are obviously evil, like Team Rocket. Now, I know some pokemon like the whole ‘edgy bad dude’ aesthetic, but trust me, there are loads and loads of humans who have that style without actually being part of a group that literally hacks off people’s body parts to sell on the black market. This is one of those times when the mainstream opinion is actually right, people.

    So, to sum up, you want a rich, young, one to three badge possessing, non-team-membered human to be your trainer. Where can you find humans like this? There’s a small chance that you’ll run across one by sticking to the routes, but you’ll have to spend a lot of time and effort dealing with all the ninety-nine percenters there, not to mention all the other pokemon competing for attention. And also the pokemon who are there for seemingly no reason whatsoever. This is etiquette one-oh-one folks: If you’re not looking for a human, get off the routes! The lack of anyone’s territory marking scent on the routes isn’t an invitation to piss your scent all over the place, and then act affronted when any of the literally fucking hundreds of pokemon or humans who use the route every day enter your ‘territory’. You can’t smell any marking scent because there’s an agreement that the routes are no-one’s territory! Why would you even want to lay a claim to them, anyways? Almost all the food sources there will have been picked clean by the aforementioned hundreds of humans and pokemon, and, trust me on this one, no potential mate is going to be impressed when you go ‘hurr durr durr look at all the territory I got here’. They’re just going to think you’re a shithead, and they’ll be right.

    …let's get back on subject. If you really want to find your dream trainer, you’re going to have to get off the beaten path. There are a few different places you can conduct your search, each with their own pros and cons. Let’s start with the safari zones. They don’t exist everywhere yet, but if the current competition between regions to see who can import the schlockiest version of Kantan culture the fastest continues, there’s going to be one near you soon. For those of you who don’t know, safari zones are these nature preserves with exotic pokemon trainers have to pay to get in. That entrance fee is the main selling point for our purposes, so if you have a choice, you’re definitely going to want to go with the ‘zone that charges the most cash. The second factor to look at is whether it’s targeted towards serious trainers or towards tourists, which you can tell by looking at the name. If it’s something like ‘Great Marshes National Wildlife Refuge’, it’s the former, whereas if the name makes you want to hurl, like the ‘Cute Encounters Friend Safari’ in Kalos, it’s the latter, and thus the more preferable option. Luckily, the touristy-ness and entrance cost of a park have a pretty strong correlation, so you shouldn’t need to choose between the two.

    Once you’ve found the best safari zone available, you can sneak in and start looking for your trainer. You won’t need to worry about getting caught by the park staff, since, especially if you managed to find a more tourist-focused location, they’ll be too underpaid to care as long as you aren’t making trouble.

    “But Charly,” you say, “aren’t the humans there looking for exotic pokemon and not some ordinary ‘mon like me?” Don’t worry, I’m going to go over some tricks for getting trainers to let you join their team in the next part of the video. But there are a few safari zone specific tips I have. First, the best time to search is just before the park’s closing time, since any trainers who were hoping to find a new team member there will likely have lowered their standards a bit by that point. Second, and this is the main reason for preferring the tourist-ier parks, if you can find an ignorant enough foreign trainer, they might not realize you’re actually common for the region you’re in, assuming you’re not a zubat, a rattata, a wingull, or something similar. If they’re gullible as well as ignorant, you should be able to convince them that the reason your species wasn’t listed in the park guidebook as one of the ones to look for was because you’re just so rare that they didn’t want customers to feel ripped off if they never got a glimpse of you. Third, if you are super-common, you can try to disguise yourself as some sort of weird foreign variant of your species, by doing something like sticking a lot of your grass to your fur with tree sap and claiming to be a ‘grass-type Almian rattata’ or whatever. Unless you’re really good with disguises, this is probably only going to work on the dumbest humans, but remember that you want a dumber human for a trainer. Of course, they’ll see through your lie pretty soon unless they’re truly cataclysmically stupid, but hopefully they’ll feel committed enough by that point that the good ol’ “I can’t believe you only liked me because you thought I was special” guilt trip will work on them. Oh, and fourth: Although the human staff of the safari zones shouldn’t care too much about you, some of the pokemon living there might take issue with you barging into their territory and poaching one of the good trainers, so make sure none of them are watching when you use any of these tricks.

    If the safari zones don’t work out for you, you can try going to a trainer academy. As before, there are several different types of these trainer schools out there, so you’ll need to choose carefully. Some schools are workshops, teaching students to develop battling strategies with the care and precision of rocket scientists building a space shuttle, refining and honing every move and order with hours of grueling labor, until all the pieces can be combined into a miraculous machine that ascends to the highest heavens of the tournament brackets. Others are sailing ships, bringing their passengers into contact with foreign lands with unique ways of thinking, constantly challenging them to communicate with strange people and strange cultures, eventually letting them integrate the ideas and pokemon they’ve encountered into a unique interpretation of life and a diverse, yet synergistic, team. And still others are places for rich kids to hobnob with each other and angst over their overblown teenage drama while all the other suckers are breaking their backs hiking through mosquito-ridden wilderness and trying not to die of dysentery. I’m sure you can guess which type of academy has the kind of trainers we’re looking for.

    Now, you might think it’s sufficient to just hang out in the wilderness around the academy – the academy you choose should definitely be rich enough to have acres of private lands – and hope you’ll get to meet trainers when they go out there for school exercises. But try taking a look at the other pokemon hanging around those wilds. What do you notice about them? That’s right – they’re all ‘common’, ‘weak’ pokemon whose main job is to be pathetic and make the rich kid’s exotic mons look even cooler than they already are in contrast. Trust me, you don’t want to get lumped in with those losers. You’re going to have to take initiative and get a little closer to the academy.

    Start by observing the trainers in the outdoor arenas and training facilities – the academy you choose should be rich enough to need to specify the outdoor ones – and take note of their relationships with each other. Who likes who, who hates who, and who ‘like’ - likes who. Your best shot at impressing one of these snobs is going to be by swooping in and humiliating their rival at a critical moment, either during an important battle or when they’re trying to impress a potential mate. Sure, that trust-fund kid with three shinies on their team might be reluctant to let the likes of you join them – at least until you dramatically leap onto his side of the battlefield out of nowhere when he’s about to lose to his hated rival when the most attractive female human in school is watching. Yeah, you’ll likely get your ass handed to you and the match won’t count even if you win, but if you make up some mumbo-jumbo about how you could just tell he had a pure heart and didn’t deserve to lose to that wicked rival of his, who probably kicks baby cleffas in his spare time - you just might find a spot on his team!

    One warning: not all humans attending expensive academies are rich, due to something called ‘scholarships’, an insidious invention that lets students get into academies by weight of merit rather than weight of gold. There really ought to be some sort of law against this, but until one gets passed you’re just going to have to avoid these annoying little underdogs. This is easier said than done, since it’s exactly this type of student who’ll be the most willing to recruit you, as they’ll relate your struggle to find a good trainer despite your (at least for ninety-five percent of you watching this) common species, to their own struggle to succeed despite their lack of wealthy parents. You might not understand human culture well enough to recognize these types by the clothes they wear or the way they speak, but you can identify them by the way they’re constantly pushing themselves and their pokemon to challenge their limits and transcend the bounds of social class. Which is another good reason to avoid them; all that challenging and transcending is way more work than it’s worth.

    Onto the next location: pokemon professor’s labs. Now, these places can have some pretty tight security, so you’re not going to be able to just sneak into one like you can a safari zone. …or, at least, the main science-y laboratory part will have security. You’ll probably be able to just walk right into the little ranch type of area where all the starter pokemon are hanging out. Yeah, you can guess where I’m going with this: On whatever day starters are distributed in your region, usually the day of the summer solstice, insinuate yourself into the group of pokemon hanging out in the ‘ranch’ part of the lab. Then, when the trainers start coming, make a beeline for the wealthiest one you can find. Most of the trainers who actually get starters from professors are the privileged type, so you shouldn’t need to wait too long. With any luck, your target will be so excited by the prospect of getting a pokemon who isn’t one of the ‘traditional’ starters like everyone else that they’ll overlook the local professor’s spluttered protestations that you aren’t supposed to be there.

    There’s just one more type of location to talk about, which I’ll try to keep brief since this one only works for members of popular – well, popular among humans, at least – pokemon species. Way, way back in the day, if you were a popular species, you could actually sell yourself to a pet shop, which basically meant that you got some candy, a bunch of TMs, and however many toys you could fit into your cage or enclosure or whatever. And in exchange, you had to sit in the pet shop all day and act cute all the time, and then you had to join the team of whoever coughed up however much cash the store charged for you, which hopefully was an awful lot. Of course, the system could be gamed if you just escaped the store after getting all your goodies, which wasn’t too difficult, walked to the next town, and sold yourself to another store to get more loot. It was great. Unless of course you got sold to someone abusive, or if the store itself was abusive, but that probably didn’t happen too often.

    Anyhoo, where I’m going with this is that today we still have that same problem of popular pokemon wanting to connect with rich trainers, and rich trainers wanting to get the most popular pokemon on their teams. These days, paying money for pokemon is a big no-no, so there are these institutions called ‘Pokemon Clubs’ now. The idea is that rare or high-status pokemon can join the club for free, and then get decent-to-good accommodations and food in a ranch or park-like setting. Then if humans want to join the club, which allows them to wander around and meet all the pokemon there, they have to pay a hefty ‘membership fee’. And of course the club puts a lot of pressure on you to join these humans’ teams if they want you on them, and will eventually kick you out if it seems like you’re just there to freeload. So, if you’re a really rare species, or a shiny of all but the least popular species, you might want to consider this option. My only tip here is that although the clubs will definitely catch you and boot you out if you sneak in in most cases, if you’re just riiiight on the borderline between popular enough to get in or not, and you can’t get in legitimately, sometimes you can slip in anyways and then people will just assume you’re supposed to be there.

    Okay, so let’s assume that with some combination of luck, persistence, and my brilliant advice, you’ve managed to find a suitable trainer. It’s time to move on to the hard part: actually getting them to let you on their team. The methods you’ll need to use will vary greatly depending on what type of pokemon you are. Since there’s no way I can cover every individual species, I’m going to focus on just two key traits, dividing pokemon into four different categories based on which side of the average they fall on for each one. The first trait is how much appeal your species has to humans. Let’s call this factor ‘cuteness’. ‘Mons like eevee and riolu are at the high end of this spectrum, while ‘mons like stunfisk and grimer are at the bottom. The second trait is how much overall combat potential you have, which we’ll call ‘strength’. Therefore, the four categories are cute and strong, cute and weak, ugly and strong, and ugly and weak.

    You can probably guess that cuteness is much more important than strength when it comes to finding a good trainer. This means that if you’re a species that starts off cute and weak, but evolves into something ugly and strong, like a teddiursa, you’re definitely going to want to hold off evolving until you’ve been with a trainer long enough that they’d feel guilty if they dropped you from the team. Conversely, if you’re one of the rare species that gets cuter when they evolve, like a scatterbug, you’re going to want to evolve ASAP. Another thing to keep in mind is that the cuteness of a given species varies by region, with foreign, ‘exotic’ pokemon usually being seen as more appealing, so if it’s possible, travel to a different region before beginning your search.

    Now, for these next tips to work, you’re going to need to be honest with yourself. I don’t want to start a comment war, so I’m not going to list specific examples of what species are in which category, but just keep in mind that if you talk yourself into thinking you’re cute or strong when you’re actually not, you’re only going to set yourself up for disappointment. Physically painful disappointment, if you overrated yourself in the latter department too much. And keep in mind that if you’re not sure where you fall on a particular trait, you’re likely on the lower side.

    With that said, it’s sometimes difficult to determine how popular you really are. A lot of the times, humans, especially on the internet, will say they’re fond of a particular species. But that same human who calls trubbish ‘adorable precious trash babies’ on tumblr will run screaming in the other direction should they spot – or smell – one in real life. And some species are naturally rare, so the fact that you don’t see them on trainer’s teams often doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t popular. So you’ll just have to observe how humans react to you.

    Okay, hopefully you’ve figured out where you fall on the strength and cuteness axes by now. Let’s start with tips for ‘mons in the category I personally fall into, cute and weak. This is the best category when looking for a trainer, since these kinds of pokemon can enhance their appeal even further by playing up their vulnerability, a strategy tougher pokemon can’t pull off. The most obvious way to do this is by pretending to be physically hurt or sick, which you can accomplish either by acting, or by actually hurting yourself somewhat. If you choose the latter option, don’t go too far with it, because, trust me, you do not want to get in a situation where your life depends on some spoiled teenager’s grasp of medical care.

    One thing I’ve discovered is that humans, especially the lazier sort who make for the best trainers, will often ignore issues unless directly confronted with them, so don’t just sit beside the trail mewling pathetically and hoping that someone will come to you. Instead, limp right up to your target human and demand help. Say that you’ve been hurt and need them to take you to a pokecenter. They might offer to just use a potion on you, in which case you should let them, and flatter them about how compassionate they are, but then insist that you’re still feeling pain and only a center can help you. If you’re comfortable with it, ask them to bring you there in a pokeball, since the more resources they’ve invested into you, the easier it’ll be to seal the deal later.

    “But Charly,” you’re saying, “won’t my lie be exposed when the nurses examine me and see that I’m not really hurt?” Nope! Most humans don’t want to admit to being deceived by a cute little pokemon, so your target will just assume that the nurses made a mistake or whatever tests they did on you erred somehow. Nevertheless, you should still refuse to submit to any advanced diagnostics – just say you’re afraid of them. Next, claim you feel better after whatever treatment they give you, although don’t be obvious and start immediately bounding around cheerfully saying you’re one-hundred percent cured. Now comes the important part. When lots of humans are looking – nurses, other trainers visiting the pokecenter, whoever – put on your most pleading, plaintive expression – if you don’t have one of these, you’re probably not actually a ‘cute’ pokemon – and tell your target that you’re so, so grateful that they helped you, and the last thing you’d want is to be a burden to them, but you really need someone to look after you while you finish recovering, so could you maybe join their team just for a little bit?

    Should your target refuse and make themselves look cold and callous in front of everyone watching, your options are to either start crying, or to ask if they can at least take you back to where they found you, which’ll give you a chance to make a second appeal after they’ve invested even more effort into you. However, your target will usually accept – in fact, sometimes they’ll even ask you to join their team instead of the other way around!

    If you’re not comfortable with feigning injury, there are a couple other tactics you can use. One is to act really shy and timid – maybe even throw in a bit of a stutter – and to seem like you’re applying truly azelfian amounts of willpower towards overcoming your nervousness when you go up and ask your target trainer to just try you out on their team for a bit. Most humans will eat this shit right up. If you’re successful, you can quickly return to your normal personality and say that you’ve gained self-confidence due to their skillful training. Another thing you can do is try to appeal to the trainer’s pokemon to let you on their team, and then let those ‘mons convince the trainer. Keep in mind that although you may be cute to humans, you won’t necessarily be so to most pokemon, and also try to assure them that you’re not planning on monopolizing all their trainer’s attention and resources. If you’re anything like me, you totally are, so try finding a moment where you can isolate the most gullible member of the team and convince them first. Once you have one pokemon on your side, it’ll be easier to persuade the rest.

    On to the ugly and strong category! ‘Mons in this category are going to have a tough time getting on the teams of anyone who isn’t a battle-freak, so they’ll need to use some riskier tactics than the cute pokemon. The first trick is to win your target trainer’s gratitude by using your strength to save them from some threat, which could be hostile pokemon or some environmental hazard like a sudden blizzard or a rockslide. Needless to say, you’re highly unlikely to come across someone right at the moment they need saving, so you’re going to have to engineer the threat yourself. Find a weaker pokemon or one you have a strong advantage over, and make a deal to mug your target trainer and split the profits. Say that the ambush will work best if you’re flanking the target, so you should take up positions on opposite sides of the road. Let your ‘partner’ leap out and attack, and then after they’ve taken a hit or two, jump in and knock them out. It’s critical that you do this before they have a chance to call you out on your betrayal, so make absolutely sure that this is something you can do quickly. Of course, there’s one more obstacle: The trainer might want to take the ‘mon you just knocked out over to a pokecenter to be healed, or, worse, try to revive them right on the spot! If this happens, say that there’s no time for that because the ‘mon who just attacked them has a bunch of compatriots bearing down on your position right now, and you need to run! Should the trainer ask you how you know this, or ask why they attacked alone if they had a bunch of allies, you can try to tell even more lies, but I’d just give up on that human at that point. They’re probably too inquisitive to make a good trainer, anyways.

    Here’s another tactic strong pokemon can use. Form an alliance with a weak but cute pokemon who’s also looking for a trainer. You’ll help protect them and find food for them, and in exchange, they’ll find a good trainer, and convince them to let them on their team, possibly using the tricks above. Just as the deal is about to be concluded, you appear and your cute companion announces that you’re actually a package deal. Of course, you run the risk of your comrade simply ditching you as soon as they’ve found a trainer, so watch out.

    Finally, you can simply flip the script on the old ‘trainer defeats wild pokemon to earn their respect’ trope. Leap out of ambush, beat the tar out of all their pokemon, and claim that by ancient trainer tradition, they now have to let you join their team. Almost every region has its own crusty ol’ code of conduct for trainers, sometimes written down and sometimes oral tradition, which almost all trainers pay lip service to. However, very few of them actually bother to read or listen to it, so you can pretty much claim whatever vaguely plausible crap you want is a part of it.

    Let’s talk about cute and strong pokemon next. At first, it might seem like they have an advantage over the weak and cute ‘mons. However, they need to be wary of any trainers who approach them with offers, since they could just want them on their team due to their strength rather than their cuteness. Those sorts of humans will likely make outrageous demands of you, like not leveraging your superior mobility to retreat to an unthreatened location when dangerous wild pokemon attack, a behavior they malign as ‘cowardice’. So, you should really only trust trainers you’ve tricked or cajoled into letting you on their team. You can use any of the previous tactics mentioned, but keep in mind that it may be more difficult to appear properly vulnerable and needy when your special attacks are strong enough to blast through concrete walls. Also, note that convincing the target trainer’s pokemon might be easier than if you were a weak pokemon, since you can lie and say that you’ll help take some of the load off them when it comes time for dangerous combat duties.

    However, there’s one strategy only pokemon in the strong and cute category can really pull off. It’s very simple: Walk right up to the trainer, brazenly declare that you’re a member of their team now, and completely ignore any protestations to the contrary. Travel alongside them, leap in to fight their battles instead of the pokemon they’re actually trying to send out, and help yourself to their food at mealtimes. Announce that you’ve had a vision that you should be together or were sent by the gods to recruit them for an extremely vague spiritual mission or whatever other bullshit you can come up with to justify your behavior. With any luck, they’ll quickly capitulate and declare you an official member of their team. Pokemon in other categories can’t try this because if you’re not strong, the trainer’s current team members will simply beat you up once you get too annoying, and if you’re not cute, your behavior will get classified as stalking and coercion rather than the playful antics of a free spirit.

    Finally, there’s the weak and ugly category. I’m not gonna lie: ‘Mons in this category have it tough, and they may need to lower their standards to a merely middle-class, or even lower-middle-class trainer to have any chance of getting on someone’s team at all. But first, there’s a slight distinction between pokemon which are ‘ugly’ simply due to their ubiquity, like pidgey or zigzagoon, and then there are those who are ‘ugly’ due to lack of aesthetic appeal to humans, like grimer or stunfisk. If you’re in the latter category, take heart! There’s a special type of humans called ‘hipsters’ who like species the mainstream doesn’t, because they don’t. You can find them in non-chain coffee shops, alternative clothing stores, or in the funkiest-smelling undergrad dorms of most universities. You’ll have more appeal with hipsters if you can find some way to separate yourself from the ‘average’ member of your species. This doesn’t have to be a physical difference – you can claim to be part of some weird counter-culture for your species. “Unlike all the mainsludge grimers, I refuse to eat industrial waste from Big Pharma and Big Nuclear, and only consume locally-sourced pollution from family-run chemical conglomerates.”

    But, what if you’re ‘ugly’ because you’re common? Out of all the tactics I’ve already covered, the only one that might work is the ‘feigning injury’ one – but there was a reason I said it was for cute pokemon. Trainers will go out of their way to avoid any ‘ugly’ pokemon they see injured, either pretending to not notice them or assuming they’re playing some sort of trick. And even if they do stop to help, you can bet that they won’t stick around the center they dump you off at to see if you get any better. So, you’re going to need to turn to much riskier methods.

    Do you have hands, or some other way to hold onto things? Are you small and agile? Have you embraced your wild pokemon roots and rejected the bourgeois human notion of personal property? If so, stealing could be right for you! What’ll you need to do is acquire a TM you can use and any unoccupied pokeball. Don’t try to nick them from a pokemart, though. Those kecleons you always see hanging around there aren’t just mascots, they’re bloodthirsty berserkers who will hunt you down and beat you within an inch of your life if you put so much as a toe outside the store with unpaid merchandise. …or so I’ve heard, but do you really want to test that rumor? It’s much safer to just steal from trainers on the road. Finding an unused ball should be easy, but you may need to trade to get a TM you can use.

    After you have the pokeball, you’ll need to capture yourself with it, and then either escape from it yourself or have a compatriot let you out. Once you’ve done so, take the ball and TM to a pokecenter, and say that your trainer was too busy to apply the TM themselves, so they told you to just go and have it done at the center. If this works, you’ll now know a TM move. “Big deal,” you say, but consider that not every human has memorized all the different TM moves every ‘mon can learn, especially the ‘weak and ugly’ class ‘mons like you that the sort of people who buy TMs never have on their teams. This means that you might be able to convince someone that your unusual move is the result of some one-in-a-million genetics or a divine blessing or whatever makes you sound the most special. Put on your best wild pokemon accent and pretend that you’ve never even heard of TMs before.

    Of course, obtaining a TM you can use isn’t all that easy, but if you can just get your paws or other appendage on a pokeball, you can use this other trick. It’s very simple: Put yourself in the ball somewhere ahead of your target trainer’s path, in a visible location. With luck, they’ll pick it up, see that it’s occupied, and release you. Get a friend to watch you in case this doesn’t happen. Should they go for it, claim that you got separated from your ‘old trainer’ somehow, and need their help to find them again. This should work better than the fake injury bluff, as most humans will be more willing to help a ‘trained’ pokemon than a wild one. The fact that you conveniently already have a ball helps too, because, remember, the humans who make good trainers are lazy. Don’t claim that you were abandoned – at least, not immediately. You don’t want your target thinking that you’ve got some abandon-worthy defect, and you want them to believe that they’ll only be carrying you around temporarily. Instead, at first insist that your old trainer loved you and you only got left alone due to some bizarre mishap, but slowly make it increasingly clear, through various subtle hints, that they actually ditched you. For maximum poignancy, seem to have a dim sense of this truth but be unable to fully realize it due to some combination of denial and stupidity. If you pull it off right, even the most cynical and edgy of teenage hearts will be moved enough to offer you a slot on the team.

    Well internet, that’s all the tips and tactics I know for finding a trainer. Okay, not all of them – a skitty’s got to keep his secrets. But just apply what I’ve showed you, put yourself out there, and think about how good it’ll feel to be sitting atop a satin cushion in a rich country villa laughing at all the suckers with no or poorer trainers whenever you feel tempted to give up. Remember, you can fail a dozen times, but you only have to succeed at getting on a good trainer’s team once. …assuming you’re not using any of the tricks where you get beat up or thrown in the pound if you fail, of course. Maybe save those ones for last.

    If you have your own advice for finding a good trainer, or if there’s a topic you want me to cover for my next episode, let me know in the comments below! And if you want to see more Normalized Life videos, be sure to click the like button and subscribe to my channel. …the like button is that human hand with the thumb sticking upwards, and the subscribe button is that big red rectangle, in case you’re illiterate. It’s okay, I am too! Thanks to my pal Rotomontheinternet93 for their help in making this video, and thanks to you, the viewer! Bye for now, and remember to keep it normal!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  2. NebulaDreams

    NebulaDreams Meme Stockbroker

    How? I might be looking too deeply into it, but I assume the Pokemon can’t speak human here, so I would make a clearer distinction on how they’re supposed to ask their trainers.

    That was hilarious.

    Okay, I can tell now that Pokemon are able to speak human in this universe. Is there an explanation for this later on?

    This sort of reminds me of the Kecleon shop from the PMD series. Is there some sort of crossover here?

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading this story. I like the sort of fics that pick apart the standard Pokemon tropes, even if there isn’t really a story here, just a Skitty talking in front of the camera. That being said, I really like how cynical you’ve made the main character, particularly with how cheerful you made them in contrast to what they’re actually saying which makes for some gut-busting moments in the story. The idea of the vlog, talking about what is essentially that universe’s equivalent of gold digging, was interesting and it was great to see all of the worldbuilding throughout, which takes a lot of influence from the real world and how wonderfully messed up it is.

    I thought the swearing was a bit distracting. That’s not to rag against the use of swearing in Pokemon fanfics in particular, but it was a bit too much here and could’ve been toned down. Plus, I’m pretty sure the Skitty would be demonetized because of it.

    But that’s just a nitpick in my view. In any case, this was an entertaining read, and I’m curious to see where you go with this in the future since I assume you’ll be writing more chapters. I wonder what else Charly will give their view on regarding the Pokemon world after describing how to blag your way into fortune.
     
  3. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Definitely a winter

    I feel the need to point out something a bit glaring here. I'm sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but this thought kept nagging at me as I read through this. As it stands right now, the title of your fic conflicts with what you've actually given us in the first chapter. You've titled this as a vlog (a visual medium), but what we actually have is a very long monologue from Charly. In essence, you've given us a blog. As I read the first part, I thought you were actually using tumblr as a basis for constructing this, until I saw the ending "like, comment, subscribe" bit straight out of YouTube videos.

    Where that becomes a problem for me is that you are leaving the "video" aspect of the vlog completely up to my imagination. It seems like Charly is talking in front of a camera... but is he doing that the whole time? Or does the video start showing random bits of footage Charly shot, possibly interspersed with some funny image grab edits (like a lot of Pokétubers do)? If not... what about his body language? What's he doing in front of the camera? How animated is he getting? There's an entire nonverbal element you're missing that could've gone a long way toward adding some additional personality to Charly outside of the snark and jabs at logic in the Pokémon universe. Don't get me wrong, you convey his cynical attitude and his "tell it like it is" style very well. And I think it's interesting that his advice wasn't necessarily "aiming right for the top," and seemed best-suited to Pokémon who didn't want to just battle 24/7. There are some interesting implications there. But the lack of anything other than Charly talking left me scratching my head.

    I realize that translating those things into prose is not easy. Which is why I think you may have put yourself in a difficult spot by titling this as a vlog. You're taking a visual medium and trying to convert it entirely into a written narrative. It's going to be difficult. If you want to keep approaching these as videos, then I think you'll need to put in the extra legwork to make them feel more authentic to what you're trying to imitate. As an example, the meta jab at evil teams (Team Rocket in particular) was pretty funny. But I think it could've been ever better if we actually knew what Charly was doing while he talked. Maybe he's holding up a poorly-drawn doodle of a dumb-looking Team Rocket Grunt?

    I hope that all makes sense to you. If not, you can just ignore me. You wouldn't be the first or the last. @.@
     
  4. ChloboShoka

    ChloboShoka Writer

    I like the premise of this. As somebody who's watched from vlogs, I liked getting into Charlys mind, and how he's getting pokemon to get trainers. But it felt like I was reading a script and I couldn't visualise any of Charly's movements.
     
  5. The Walrein

    The Walrein Member

    Hmm, the one person who reviewed this on Fanfiction.net also mentioned being surprised by Pokemon being assumed able to talk to humans. Maybe I need to put in a line saying something like 'Make sure to brush up on your human language skills, because they'll be needed for a lot of the tips I'll be giving you in this video' near the beginning.

    I don't have any in-universe explanation for this planned. The out-of-universe explanation is that it's like this because some of the particular tricks and tips I thought of required human-pokemon communication to work this way.

    Nope, this was just intended to be a funny reference to the PMD games.

    I don't know, I kind of like the image of a cute skitty having a terrible potty mouth. And even without the swearing, I think the explicit advocacy of stealing and deception would get it demonetized soon enough anyways. (Although I guess it might take longer to happen? I'm not sure if The Almighty Algorithm can detect that sort of thing or not.) I'll consider toning the language down a bit, though.

    Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! I do plan on writing more chapters, but there are a lot of other stories I'm working on at the moment, so I'm not sure when I'll be posting the next one.

    So, you're saying that the title is misrepresentative of the content? Sounds like a Youtube video to me!

    Seriously, though, you do bring up a good point. To be honest, the best medium for this story would probably be an actual video. Of course, given that I lack:

    1. Any knowledge of video editing whastsoever
    2. Any voice-acting ability whatsoever
    3. Connections to anyone who could provide #1 or #2
    4. The motivation to acquire any of #1 - #3

    that'll probably never happen. I briefly considered trying to insert little italicized descriptions of what exactly was visible onscreen between different parts of the monologue, but I dismissed the idea as being too clunky and disruptive to the flow of the narration. Another thing I could do is insert pictures periodically throughout the text, but that seems to be against the fan-fiction forum rules.

    Honestly, though, the main reason I made this an unbroken ramble by a single character is that I consider visual description to be one of my weakest areas, so part of the appeal of this fic was that it would let me completely avoid doing any of that. This was also supposed to be a sort of 'low-effort' thing to work on in between other stories, and I feel like the level of effort I'd need to add in visual elements or descriptions would both defeat that purpose and be too high for the amount of return I'd get on it. Am I just lazily attempting to maximize content while minimizing effort? Maybe, but that sounds like a Youtube video to me!

    Yet, why Skitty's Vlog in the first place, and not Skitty's Blog? Well, I just thought the idea worked more naturally as a Youtube video, what with its cheerful, conversational tone and gleefully outrage-baiting content, than a blog. Plus there's the fact that its target audience is pokemon, who are largely illiterate in the world I imagined for this fic. I guess making it 'Skitty's Podcast' would address some of these issues, but another thing is that I was planning on using various Youtube-related concepts for future chapters, like unboxing videos, challenge videos, and reaction videos. Obviously these would be difficult to do as pure text, but for some of those ideas, this would actually be the main joke. There's lots of interesting things I think I could do that would hinge around the fact that the reader can't actually see what Charly is watching or doing and only has his descriptions to go on.

    Well, I don't plan on making any changes to the format of this story, but I hope you don't feel ignored because of that. What you said did make sense to me, and it's understandable that this style of fiction isn't going to appeal to a lot of people's tastes.

    I'm glad you liked some parts of it, at least! Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed this.
     
  6. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    After reading about your progress in the "What did you write today" thread, I was really curious about this story. It's great to see you actually posting it!

    This is a really neat idea. I enjoy fics that mimic the kind of media they might have in the pokéworld, and it's doubly cool that this one's presented from a pokémon's POV. As other people have mentioned, you do a great job with the worldbuilding here. There's a ton of neat stuff in here, from how pet shops (used to) work in the pokéworld to stuff about the route system or the fact that wild pokémon have an accent. More than the specific topics that Charly actually touches on, though, you manage to hint at some of how the broader society works--how pokémon relate to their trainers, how pokémon see themselves and draw distinctions between each other, how pokémon fit into society. tbh it's kind of a depressing picture, but some of that has to be down to the fact that it's Charly relating all this to us, and he clearly doesn't have a very high opinion of either humans or pokémon.

    I must object to stunfisk being called out on the "ugly" list, though. I would be that trainer getting lured in by the cute injured stunfisk flopping around by the side of the road. A soft target.

    As far as the wisdom of doing a vlog as a purely text-only project, I can see pluses and minuses. It's unfortunate that you can't really make use of the visual dimension of the medium, but I do think that including stuff about what Charly's doing at various times would be hard to integrate well with the text. I think it would be possible to pull it off well, and alluding to some visual elements that are common to vlogs (which... I don't actually know any because I don't watch them, heh) could be a good source of humor, but it would also be quite tricky and need to be done pretty sparingly, I think. My gut on this one would be to go for "blog" over "vlog," but since you've mentioned wanting to do episodes that draw on specific vlog archetypes, I can see why you'd want to stick with the current format. Overall it doesn't bother me much; you aren't utilizing the idea of a vlog to its fullest extent, perhaps, but it doesn't get in the way of anything as far as I'm concerned.

    I did think it might be nice to break the text up a little bit, though. This entry read a bit long to me. I think some of it is that I tend to like characters with very strong personalities, like this one, more in smaller doses; quick, snappy updates along the lines of short videos would work best with the sarcastic tone, to me. The other is that if this were a blog post, it would almost certainly be broken up into multiple different sections; as it is it's kind of one big wall of text. If this were a normal narrative you might have one long unbroken text-wall of this length, but there would almost certainly be more movement to break things up, some kind of transition going on even if there aren't any actual scene changes. Since this is a vlog, it's basically Charly sitting in place and talking for ~6500 words, which for me was a little much. This particular episode seems to me like it actually breaks up pretty cleanly into "where to find good trainers" and "how to get on a trainer's team once you've found one," if you were inclined to split it somehow.

    Overall you do a great job of keeping up the tone, though, and the humor works well. The little evil teams bit was my favorite joke. It's nice to see a comedy fic around here; we just don't get all that many anymore, for whatever reason. Another thing I liked is how strong you are on the characterization of Charly. You give him a nice, clear voice, and he's certainly an entertaining narrator. Throughout the chapter I often felt myself actually feeling sorry for him; I'm guessing you weren't going for that, but Charly's just so cynical and bitter and blatantly self-serving that I have to guess he's had a pretty rough time of things. I doubt we'll be exploring that at all over the course of the series, but it adds an extra dimension to the story for me. I don't know, I probably just read darkness into everything because that's what I always end up writing, haha.

    All in all I think this is a promising start to a fun fic. I'm definitely curious about what other topics Charly will cover in future vlog posts. Hope you keep making your writing goals; I look forward to following along with this one.
     
  7. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    I think the others have very well covered their criticism of the story. I want to add in or reiterate a few points of my own, but first of all:

    I laughed a lot while reading this. And since there aren't really plot or characters to speak of, that's kinda all that mattered? I'm not saying that the lack of those things is bad, either, especially in a short-runner. If anything it gives things more narrative focus. I thought that it was a clever sort of satire of journey fic conventions re:new pokemon, and I think that it's one of the few satires that's really managed to land for me without just feeling like it devolved in to going over the top.

    I found the idea of clubs to be interesting, since that sounds like something that really might exist. And your headcanon on routes, academies and the like was also interesting. And skitty is entertaining and adorably stuck up.

    On to some points of contentions:

    How would Skitty know all of this? She sounds like a very comfortable house pet, so I'm not sure why she'd know the details of marking on routes or how the battle academies work. It's something that's bothered me a little since I read it this morning, and comes in to one of the hard parts of worldbuilding in a first person narrative: there's a limit to how much one person would realistically know about what's going on around them.

    Stunfisk is definitely cute-strong and you need to take back all claims to the contrary.

    Do pokeballs break or can 'mons break them? Because some of your advice to probable-runaways is to get themselves captured in a pokeball.

    And I'm iffy on the whole "pokemon have human intelligence" thing, but I think others have covered that well so I'm not going to use Beat Up on the dead Mudsdale.

    One final note: I felt like this would have been a very long vlog, and as a reader without any visual formatting to break it up it did start to drag on a little. I might've cut this in to two or three smaller parts if I were you.
     

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