Thousand Roads

A Pokémon fansite dedicated to the creative side of the Pokémon fandom, especially fanfiction.


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Chapter 32 Reply

After seeing the Serebii post saying chapter 32 would be out by the end of August, I bookmarked the last page of that thread and (probably from the middle of August onwards) refreshed it anywhere from 3-4 times a day. Not obsessive at all. At ALL.

Oh dear. D: Sorry it ended up being a week late after all that. At least 33 went up more or less on schedule!

The fight with Red reminded me a lot of my first time battling him in Mt. Silver. [...] It was eye-opening how much better he was than me, and I feel that exact same feeling in this chapter.

Awesome! I definitely wanted to evoke that feeling of Red being a real class above any ordinary trainer, sort of in a league of his own.

Although it’s very in-character for the protagonist to be so predictable in the way it uses its powers, I can't help but be disappointed.

Yeah, this was the primary reason the chapter took so long to get out: this was just never going to be a very interesting battle, and I kept rewriting it to try and make it less boring. The problem is that cheating really doesn't encourage the use of clever strategy. Creativity usually arises out of restrictions; when you have access to the most powerful attacks/abilities/whatever, it generally makes the most sense to just spam those, rather than trying for something fancy. The effects of serene grace, technician, iron fist, etc. are marginal when compared to the ability to completely ignore all your opponent's STAB super-effective attacks, so there's no reason to use them when e.g. water absorb is available. If it were free to from one ability to another, i.e. it took no time or effort to switch, then yeah, you could use iron fist and unleash a bunch of punches, then quick change into water absorb only when you expected a water-type counterattack, but the protagonist isn't able to do that; it's best to simply sit with the most generally useful ability and slug away. There were some more interesting strategies that I wrote in at various points, like one I was particularly fond of with ghost-type curse, but ultimately they ended up feeling too clunky, with too little pay-off compared to just defending against the opponents' attacks and slugging away. There are some more powerful options available, like wonder guard, but they tend to be obvious in one way or another (wonder guard gives you a little halo, which should have been described when the protagoist used it during the Rocket ambush a ways back). I do like the idea of galvanize + some normal-type moves against Charizard and Blastoise in particular, though! That's one I might have been able to use, but it didn't occur to me.

Anyway, all that to say that I don't think the nature of this battle lends itself to very interesting strategies, and so I ultimately tried to play up the creepiness of Red's team in order to add some interest to what admittedly is among the worst battles of the story. (Unfortunate that it had to be the final battle in the championship series!) That's my excuse, anyway!

The weird emotionless zombie nature of Red's pokémon also has me pretty curious. Given that the aura corruption is PURPLE, my guess is that Mewtwo has something to do with it.

Mewtwo does! Although he isn't what I was thinking of when I chose to make the aura purple.

Maybe Red gets some kind of psychic boost from having Mewtwo around all the time...

Yes! People who are exposed to psychic energy for long periods of time tend to become more sensitive to it over time, and may eventually gain some minor psychic abilties themselves. Flat aspect and funky purple auras aren't documented side effects, though.

I thought I remembered the protagonist turning into a pidgey in chapter 16, but looking back at it, I'm not actually sure what the protagonist does there. It mentions growing feathers and using the "illusion of a pidgey", but after it catches up with Mewtwo it also shrinks back down to its usual size. I'm not entirely sure why it would grow itself in the first place unless it was copying the shape of a particular flying pokémon.

It doesn't transform into a pidgey there, but instead uses the illusion ability to make itself look like one ("you wrap yourself in the illusion of a pidgey). At the time it was transformed into a member of Team Rocket, who was an adult, so when it eventually went back to its "usual" form it had to shrink. So it wasn't the case that it grew while it was getting ready to go after Mewtwo, only that it didn't bother to change its size at all, then later became smaller when it reverted to normal.

That's the only time the protagonist has used an illusion instead of just transforming into something, and it's confused multiple people, so I'm going to see if I can revise that scene to either remove the need for it or make it more clear what's going on.

I don't know how the protagonist isn't just a flat level 100 or level 0, though, since it's the only known member of its species.

It's because it's me as the author telling you its level. :P In-universe if you pointed a pokédex at it you'd get some kind of error message because it isn't a recognized species. The pokédex would still attempt to give a level estimate, but it would be based on the "average" amount of energy pokémon have at a given level, across all species. Because the protagonist has higher base stats than average, the estimate would overshoot its actual level a bit and probably be given as level 60-65 or so.

Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing how the protagonist handles the doublecross in the next chapter.

I hope it lives up to your expectations! As always, thanks for leaving such a thoughtful and detailed review! Sorry the battle was a bit disappointing, but I hope it at least wasn't too tedious to read.

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