Pokeween 2019 Fic Reviews

It’s Halloween! Time to review the horror and suspense fic posted this month.

…and run headlong into the fact people still can’t manage either with their videogame creepypasta flailings, but the other stuff’s better than usual.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13400058/1/To-Befriend-Monsters (2)

[“I know. Run along, then.” The officer’s professional calm gave way to a quick smile. “I’ll call your Mother tomorrow and tell her I saw you in great health.”

Jen laughed. “Tell her about my six badges too, Auntie!”]

I found this rather confusing. She gets a “you there” like she wasn’t recognized, keeps saying “the officer”, and the fact she’s just mentioned “the local boy who had acted as her tour guide” makes it sound like she’s not from around here. It seems like it’s probably meant to be a tiny twist surprising the reader with the fact the officer is actually someone she knows, but I think the fact the story’s so much in Jen’s head makes it hard to awkward that the narration’s keeping something like that from the reader, and I still can’t make sense of her getting shown around.

Also, it’d be “your mother”.

[Whether they’d be of any use was another question entirely, but she was happy to grasp at straws if it meant having something at hand. ]

Nice.

[“Yeah, that’s how she gets you.” His words began as a sneer, but ended in a dry cough. When he continued, it was in a milder tone. “You stupid kids never suspect anything bad could happen at a Pokémon Center. But then, neither do the cops.”]

Even assuming he’s a complete asshole, and leaning hard on the idea of isolated scientists being less than socially adept, he just seems too blatantly villainous. On the immediate level, he knows he needs them to get out and he knows they’re capable of leaving without him (and given his own injuries, he’s also got to worry about getting abandoned during the escape if they feel no loyalty to him). On the longer term level, if they do escape successfully and get the police, he has a better chance of not being blamed for this if he sucks up to them about how he’s so horrified by this and never knew. And on a narrative level, him being so bad at representing himself to them makes him actually seem pretty trustworthy, since nobody who could lie half a damn would be talking like this. (Given Jen and Stu seem pretty competent, I don’t think the actual event flow would need to change – suspicion toward the guy who’s got every reason to lie about how he’s actually very nice and had no idea until now is understandable.)

[“Where are our pokémon?” she asked.

This finally made the man turn his head. “Worry about your own skin first!”

She stopped dead in her track, eliciting a small protest from Stu. “I’m not leaving without them.”

“Ugh.” Stu wavered from the pain, then steadied himself and nodded. “Neither am I.”

The man rolled his eyes. “And they called me sentimental.”

“It only makes sense for us to have our teams at hand in case we run into someone,” Jen argued.]

This, I think, could have used a bit more tension.

This is an evil lab doing evil stuff nobody knows about, and the only hope of it being stopped is someone getting out to alert the proper authorities. If trying to get someone else right now increases their chances of being caught, then it’s actually ensuring they stay trapped rather than rescuing anyone. Of course, that has to be balanced with how there’s also the possibility that they get out, alert the authorities, come back and learn that the lab’s been evacuated and their pokemon are gone.

[“Because I’m not leaving here without my research.”

The man straightened his back, his damaged face further contorting with pain. “They may have eroded my ethics and stiffed me on my payment, but those vultures are not going to benefit from my findings any longer. I’m taking my pokéball and leaving.”]

And I’m not quite sure how he’s picturing this going. Does he think he can avoid prosecution and get a new job in the same field if he just gets out thirty minutes before the cops arrive? The pokeverse does seem to be really, really bad at mopping up after the bad guys get beaten, but does this place not have an employees list? Is he actually planning to also wipe all the records and hope he’s so forgettable nobody else fingers him after they’re arrested?

[Right there, with the chimera’s fur a hair’s breath away from touching hair, ]

Very awkward – final one should presumably be “her” but having fur followed by hair doesn’t work well either. And why not just say the tips of the chimera’s fur was touching her? That’s even more oppressive.

[It closed its eyes closing its eyes. ]

Doubling.

[“Jen…” Stu had managed to get up on both his feet and had hobbled over. He still kept a safe distance from Grendel, one arm held over his torso. “The shards are keeping the blood in. You need someone who knows what they’re doing to help it.”]

Glad he pointed this out.

[Jen shrugged, trying to think of something else to say. If she couldn’t keep their nemesis talking, she would once again focus on herding them back downstairs, or worse yet, taking aim. “A wound which you didn’t treat.”

The accusation seemed to do the trick: again, the nurse hesitated. “I did check on it and make sure it wasn’t infected. It’s not like I—”]

I like how you handled her rationalizations. She’s okay with hurting people in the name of medicine and hurting people in the name of other projects that keep the medicine project running too, but to justify something with “greater good” you have to have some sort of good you still care about.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13406802/1/Never-Catch-Gengar-in-Pok%C3%A9mon-Yellow (1)

[ the Anime ]

Just “anime”. Capitals are for proper nouns.

[As I was going through my collection of games, I found one that caught my attention: my old copy of Pokémon Yellow. Weird, since I remembered throwing it away because the save went dead, and I hadn’t gotten a new copy ever since. Geez, I still remember how upset I was about that.]

This kind of thing is unnecessarily over the top. If you want to hint there’s something wrong with the cartridge, you could have them express surprise that it hadn’t been thrown out ages ago. Otherwise, the usual standard of finding it at a yard sale or something and feeling the pull of nostalgia there is a much better way of getting a dubious cartridge without going so far as to tell the reader this is the Cartridge That Should Not Be.

[After that I got the Pokédex and caught myself a Spearow. As I was thinking about what other Pokémon to get on my team I suddenly remembered something, there was a Pokémon I always had on all of my previous games: Gengar. I always liked Ghost types as a kid, and Gengar was one of the best Ghost types, so naturally it was one of my favorite Pokémon.

However, I remembered that Haunter, Gengar’s previous form, only evolved through trade with another player, and no one I knew still had their Gameboys on them. I didn’t have another console for that matter. I also would have to wait all the way to Lavender Town to get myself a Gastly or Haunter at the Pokémon Tower.

Then I remembered something I once read on the internet. You see, in the original Pokémon games there are a lot of glitches you can get by doing certain actions, the best known are the MissingNo. and the Mew glitch, both of which I had done before. However, there was a certain glitch I had never tried before, one that you could only do in Pokémon Yellow and that allowed you to catch a Gengar at Viridian Forest, just before battling Brock, which was helpful because I didn’t have any Pokémon that would give me an advantage at that gym.]

This is all very contrived, especially for someone who supposedly forgot about the games and only just decided to boot up Yellow again because they stumbled across it in a box of old toys.

Why not have the character play a bit, feel bored, and decide to look up to see if there’s any new glitches they didn’t know about back then? Having them look at their options and have the glitch jump out because it’s a favorite of theirs would be much smoother than randomly thinking they want one, then that there’s no way to legitimately get it, then that it just so happens they already know a glitch to get what they want.

[I threw a Poke Ball at it and another weird thing happened: a text appeared saying “Are you sure you want to catch it? Consequences may be fatal for you…” ]

This is a smaller version of how the event sequence is important. Given the way the game plays, it would make so much more sense for this warning to be when you select a pokeball to throw (because that’s the part of the game where you’re supposed to be making decisions) than giving you the ability to decide at the end if the pokeball stays closed (something you have no control over whatsoever, to the laments of many a player).

[What? I didn’t remember a text like that ever appearing when you are about to catch any Pokémon, not even glitch Pokémon like MissingNo.]

MissingNo’s item glitch being removed from Yellow seems like it should be brought up here. It’s quite likely the character never tried to catch a glitch in Yellow. And given that the programmers went through the trouble of removing the main way kids could wreck the game, that they’d also put in a warning if those kids managed to find a new way to do it is surprisingly plausible.

[The guy that usually stops you from going to the next route out of the city didn’t stop me, in fact he completely ignored me like any other NPC. That got my curiosity, so I decided to talk with him. A text appeared, but instead of his usual dialogue, he said, “Get away from me! Go away from this city and never return!”]

Hm. You know, it occurs to me that Pokemon Yellow was unusual for being the one that was supposed to not only be based on the anime but have more of a plot as a result of that. If your character wasn’t familiar with Yellow at all, then this would again be very ominous but they wouldn’t know for sure it wasn’t how the game was meant to go. Even the fact this doesn’t seem to make sense in Pewter regardless isn’t too big of a deal – maybe the glitch is messing with NPC behavior and this is supposed to be said by someone else.

[I didn’t get what he was trying to tell me, however another text appeared which read, “Gengar used Night Shade!” followed by the attack’s animation. The Channeler fainted like any battling Pokémon would, only without any cry. The next text that appeared made my skin bristle, “Gengar has killed Channeler!”]

And again, just over the top. It’s not like you can’t have glitch battles where a trainer’s sprite appears and since you can’t flee trainer battles, short of turning off the game, the player’s only option would be to keep attacking. If you want this to be escalating quickly, the fact the text is now saying “killed” and not “defeated” does it, and that works well as both the point at which things are obviously bad and the point at which things are indisputably not a matter of a buggy game.

[This had to be some kind of twisted joke, right? Someone had to have replaced my game with one of those weird hacks, right? No, it was impossible. This was my original Pokémon Yellow cartridge, but how could any of this happen?  ]

If you wanted to lean on the idea of betrayal of a beloved item, I don’t know why you went out of your way to explain they vividly remembered their original one breaking and being thrown out.

[I went into the Pokémon Center and decided to deposit Gengar on the PC, since sometimes your game got fix if you left the glitch Pokémon out of your party.  ]

“got fixed” and also if you’re familiar with the item glitch and catching glitches, you’d be aware depositing glitches could as easily make things worse.

[I try and selected ‘release’ since that was the other option to get rid of a glitch Pokémon, but the text of “Gengar refuses to leave you” appeared, which was strange because I had more Pokémon on my party and Gengar didn’t know any HM. ]

You only mention the original generation in your opening, but what you’re talking about was only introduced in the third gen. (Having them actually be familiar with later games and then picking up an older one for the first time would also generally make it more plausible they roll with the weirdness. Rattata’s brown instead of purple, a red aura could just be how ghosts were back then.)

[ “Finish the game or Gengar will take your body.”

My heart froze. Was this some kind of twisted prank someone was pulling one me? This was just a game, there was no way of what it was saying… but I was too scared and decided to finish the game to see what would happen.]

So…they’re not put off by all the bizarre weirdness up to this point and make excuses for everything from a cartridge that shouldn’t exist to words that aren’t in the game’s text at all like a parody of a skeptic, but the moment there’s an explicit threat suddenly they’re completely willing to believe everything.

It also means they’re just a terribly boring character. They’ve had all of two opinions in this story – they decided to play the game at all and they decided to try out a glitch. Having them actually want to see where this goes, even when it seems to be going somewhere bad, would give them some minimal characterization, and it’d make for a bit of a character arc if despite willingly continuing the game and murdering their way through the NPCs, when they reached Agatha and she offers to get rid of it, they decided that now that they had a choice they’d throw the fight and let her.

[If I beat him, he will disappear forever.” she said. ]

Should be [If I beat him, he will disappear forever,” she said. ]

[I decided to use none damaging moves until I fainted. Pikachu used Thunder Wave to paralyze the opposite Gengar ]

“non-damaging” not “none damaging”. Also, if they don’t have outright useless moves, swapping between the rest of their team would let them avoid using moves at all until they’re down to just one.

[They told me I had a breakdown due to schizophrenia, however I know what really happened, I know what Gengar did to me and what he might do to others if they catch him. I wrote this on a piece of paper and gave it to a nurse so he could put it on the internet, if you come across this and read it till the end remember: never do the Gengar glitch in Pokémon Yellow. ]

Again, unnecessarily convoluted to say that they wrote it freehand then gave it to a nurse who then put it up on a fanfic site when you could just say that the character is allowed access to computers. Or at least say it was a family member or friend, who it’s more understandable would care about the character and maybe even wonder if it was true.

Overall, a huge part of creepypasta is about trying to sound plausible and ambiguous. There should be a host of things that seem kind of off but believably aren’t enough to know for sure, the sort of stuff that stands out to the reader because we know what we’re reading but wouldn’t think much of if it was happening to us. And as much as possible you want the sequence of events to feel like they could easily happen – getting screwed over because you felt like glitching the game is far more broadly relatable than having a favorite pokemon, which happens to be one you can’t get in the game normally, and also you remember off the top of your head that there’s a glitch that specifically gets you that one pokemon but that you never tried before. (Though it would work to have the character know about the glitch as a kid but never do it because they were scared, and now their older self is dismissing that as silly and intentionally doing it.)

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13407925/1/Yellow-Snaps (1)

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

[this little girl ]
[NOW YOU KILLED THE ONLY MAN I EVER LOVED?!”]

Yellow being a called a little girl and shouting that Giovanni killed the man she loved is, at best, incredibly awkward. Like, even aside from the age thing itself, there’s also how this is a kid with very little life experience so saying”only one I ever loved” is not actually that meaningful.

[He’d been called evil before. He thought he knew what the word meant. But he was wrong. Until he saw this little girl staring down at him with fury distorting every part of her face, grinning maniacally while her eyes burned holes into his soul, he’d been blissfully unaware of the visage of true evil. ]

I don’t really buy that a murderer seeing that the murder they committed has driven someone blind with fury has any room to claim that no no, that other person, they’re true evil for being so upset over murder and getting revenge on the murderer.

This also leans too much on her just being crazy. “He’s dead” “dead isn’t acceptable so bring him back from the dead or else” “look seriously that’s not how being dead works” “oh okay I murder you”. Either she should think Giovanni is lying initially or she should just go straight for revenge (in which case she could be batting Giovanni around because she thinks he should suffer first, if you don’t want the fic to be far shorter – it’d also be way better on the horror front if she was sadistic rather than frantic followed by a clean death). Plausible madness is way more disturbing than people having bizarre and nonsensical reaction.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13407982/1/Jewel-of-the-Seven-Pokemon (14, seven chapters long)

[“B-b-but don’t worry!” she stammered. “T-to make up f-f-for it, w-we’re offering one d-d-day only w-walking tours! As long as you follow the y-yellow lines on the ground…”]

So, it sounds like the trams are only down for this one day and also that they don’t have walking tours as an option normally. When did they have time to put down yellow lines everywhere? Given it’s already a guided tour it doesn’t seem like that’d be particularly necessary anyway – especially when people wandering off during a movie studio tour is almost certainly going to involve intentionally leaving the group to sneak into somewhere rather than legitimately getting lost, and consequently they’d probably have guards about who could would be very happy to escort anyone back to the tour if necessary.

It’s okay, four letters.

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

[“They’re the internationally renowned water ballet act known as the Water Flowers of Cerulean City,” said Cilan, instantly recovered. “A popular attraction, though I’m afraid my brothers and I considered them a somewhat shallow taste when they last toured through Unova.”

“Shallow, huh?” Misty raised an eyebrow. ]

Honestly disappointed you didn’t do a pun here given how very deep the actual water is. Especially given that so much of this fic is based around similar wordplay with the movie references.

[Misty had long ago gotten over her doubts about Ash’s friendship. The chance of anything more set aside, she felt secure, knowing he was her best friend and she was his, and they could stay that way without a lot of words about it. ]

This is nice. I much prefer when stories avoid having the characters jealous and sniping at each other.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13408974/1/PMD-Redundancy (0)

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

[Put bluntly, the chances of success for a ‘human’ is teleported to another world whilst being transformed into a Pokemon is very low. At best, a transported Traveller can be dropped within the general vicinity of the planet. For a statistician this might be highly commendable. For an organism, such low odds of surviving are not favourable. Being near a planet is not the same as landing safely on the surface by any means. Even getting to within one percent of the planet’s radius in height from the surface, there a mere one-in-two-hundred-thousand chance that a teleported human would survive the transposition. It’s more likely they’d fall from a few kilometers altitude and splatter against the surface.]

I’m really not seeing how getting turned into a pokemon is doing anything to worsen those chances. You’re listing off things that definitely kill humans while only possibly killing pokemon. It sounds like the universe-transportation should be deadly under normal circumstances and have a higher success rate if the person’s also getting transformed out of their frail human body into a definitely more robust and possibly capable of flight body.

The basic idea that this trope, taken more seriously, leads to a gruesome twist on raining men? Clever. But the way you lay it out as if somehow the PMD universe is less survivable and more prone to corpse meteors than all the others makes no sense.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13412248/1/Alolan-Sunset (2)

[The town was all post apocalyptic and the streets were empty.  ]

You really need to describe this better. It’s a videogame with fixed sprites. If the streets are just empty of NPCs, you can say that followed by having the character describe the emptiness as feeling post-apocalyptic, but saying it’s post-apocalyptic AND that the streets are empty means you’re saying that it’s post-apocalyptic for a reason other than the NPC lack, but if the buildings themselves are displaying different sprites, that’s far weirder. A good creepypasta should be designed right on the edge of what the games can and can’t do. NPCs disappearing is easy as both a glitch and as an actual event you might trigger while the town using a completely different sprite set is not.

[Charizard flees for it’s life.]

Its is possessive, it’s means it is.

[ I tried to summon Stoutland so I could make a speedy run to Mantine Surf or the Ferry Dock, but a text popped up and said: Stoutland is dead. You can’t use it.”. I was stunned. What had killed the fastest normal runner in the game? ]

Again, this is theoretically a game your character is playing. The only thing worse than how obviously implausible this is as a game event is how your character is thinking about this as if Stoutland’s imaginary running speed has any bearing on the impossible text description.

[I knew that rabies was incurable ]

So this is somewhat of a misconception. You know how we give people rabies vaccines after they’ve been bitten? Rabies has an unusually long incubation period, so being vaccinated well after the fact works in a way it doesn’t for most diseases, and in that way you can get and then be cured of rabies.

[However, the badger pokemon was covered in wounds, some of them infected and leaking a mix of puss and blood.  ]

It’s “pus”, “puss” is a term for cat, and rabies doesn’t correlate much with infected or open wounds. This is in part due to the long incubation period I just mentioned.

I’d really suggest looking up videos of rabid animals. The actual disease symptoms are lot creepier because it messes with the whole of the nervous system.

I’d also suggest thinking about what the point of your framing story is. The spooky cartridge thing is ideally supposed to make this sound like it’s something that can happen to you – a curse on a giant ruby isn’t a big deal because none of us have one, but lots of people have a game cartridge and if curses can be on objects than a cartridge is an object so hey, maybe.

An actual rabies outbreak is something that’s easy to be scared of while rabies suddenly appearing in a game cartridge and a whole bunch of overdone cliches that don’t make sense with how programming works happening followed by it somehow jumping into the real world is a lot less so.A trainer running into a rabid pokemon, their own pokemon getting infected and ultimately attacking them, and then finally waking up infected themselves would be far better, especially because you could properly describe and interact with things instead of a bunch of silly text boxes that just further remind the reader of how many layers are between this and reality. Also, you could avoid any issues with the portrayal of rabies, like the fact it shouldn’t be kicking in so fast, by having the character just not know what it is – and really, it’s also a lot spookier to have a rabid pokemon show up, rather than it happening because the player reads a clearly labeled warning sign and intentionally tries goes looking, since one is a thing that could happen anywhere and the other is only a concern for reckless idiots.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13402547/1/What-We-Lost-in-the-Fire (4, three chapters)

[And you can enjoy it even if you haven’t read any of my previous stuff! (Though it would really, really help make sense of certain things.) ]

Yeah, unfortunately it’s less ‘can’t make sense’ and more ‘this resolves around characters having feelings about events I have no context for’. The way you write them interacting makes me think this would probably be quite interesting if I knew all that unknown backstory and development so I could have investment in how it’s led them to now, but without that context it just feels like a story that’s taking forever to start.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13403890/1/Full-Moon (0, two chapters)

So, this is really terribly short and would probably be better put on the top of your first chapter instead. It’s less a prologue and more a preamble.

[Legends say that the night I was born, the brightest shooting star ever to cross the land of Alola coursed through the sky, never to be seen again. ]

Also, like…shooting stars generally aren’t seen again, because what you’re seeing is it burning up as it falls through the atmosphere. If you want something weird that’d be if it was seen over and over again.

(Also, she’s nine, I don’t think it’s exactly “legends say”what happened nine years ago, and also you claim she was abandoned when she was one year old, so nobody would know when she was born let alone the time of day it happened.)

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13403890/2/Full-Moon

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

[I head to class for first period history. Today we are wrapping up Unit 9, “Other Regions.” And we have a test today.

Fortunately, it is not too hard. I breeze through it, determined to keep my good grade of 109.91% on this class. This is my best class, learning about the past, because I already know everything about it, including the efforts of Abin III of Aurora to unite the Ransei region, and the struggle for Unova and the splitting of the Original Dragon five hundred years ago. I even get the bonus point for where a town bursted into bloom by the Gratitude Pokemon.]

Okay, so whether or not there was a bright shooting star a nine years ago is a matter of legend but their grasp of history hundreds of years ago is flawless enough that there’s not one single discrepancy between what she remembers actually happening and the history books – not even something as minor as her remembering a detail that simply wasn’t written down.

[Liam was the jerkiest jerk in middle school ]

Aren’t they ten? Which is also the age they can leave to be trainers, so it really wouldn’t make sense to have them going to middle school early just so their final year of school before they start a pokemon journey involves getting shoved into a brand-new building and host of older students – older students who you’d really think would have at least one or two kids jerkier than ones who are younger and still settling into being in a new school.

[You are challenged by PKMN TRAINER LIAM!

PKMN TRAINER LIAM sent out PIDGEY!

Go, ROWLET!

Pidgey… a Flying-type. That’s bad news for my Rowlet. But I’ll try it anyway, to beat up the jerk.

“Use Peck!”

PIDGEY used PURSUIT!

ROWLET used PECK!]

You’re really better served just not writing battles entirely if you’re going to do this.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13408148/1/Chosen (1)

[ She really wasn’t supposed to leave the sanctuary. She was far too weak. Miss Kida and the others at the orphanage would surely be furious with me. ]

[I reached out my hand, nuzzling my little eevee under her chin. She cooed and pressed into my hand as I lavished attention on her. I willed the tears away, forcing myself to enjoy my last night with her. ]

I can’t quite tell what’s going on with the setting/people around him here. It seems like everyone agrees that the pokemon’s bonded with him and it seems very unlikely that he could know she’s dying to such precision all on his own, so, why not let her spend her final hours with him? It makes it seem like he’s actually in a very abusive situation where they’re denying him access to the eevee just for the sake of it, but from the rest of the story I don’t think it was meant to go that far. And the bits about how he’s not supposed to have the eevee at all just seem like distractions from the main angst of a beloved friend dying and after such a short life no less.

The main angst is quite nice, though. Sad sick puppy! And a surprise happy ending after it all.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13411106/1/Reincarnation (1, but it’s spam)

Hm… So I can’t quite make out which direction Marcus’ issues are really going in. His first impulse is to go completely Replacement Goldfish and give the ralts the same name as his dead gardevoir and it’s only that they’re polar opposites that stops him, but later it seems like his issue is that he doesn’t feel it’s right to replace Gardenia and the ralts being around at all is too close to that. And grief is weird enough that I could believe even he can’t decide which one he wants, but these are so brief that I can’t say if he initially wants to replace Gardenia and the rest is him pushing the ralts away in self-loathing for that first impulse or if he’s back and forth throughout or if he’s definitely rejecting the ralts for not being her but feeling guilt over that or…

[One thing was clear. If he wanted to give Gardenia peace, he had to acknowledge her wishes. Wishes he didn’t understand.

He summoned Artemis. He doubted he could ever love him. But Gardenia had been kind.

He would try.]

Also…it really seems like the solution is to trade the poor guy away to someone who can see the ralts as himself as opposed to simultaneously a dead pokemon and nothing like the dead pokemon. Especially when one of his pokemon is also rejecting the ralts, and especially especially when all this emotional drama is happening with a ralts of all pokemon. Mind you, given this fic is all Marcus coping badly so ending on him resolving to do something he possibly can’t at all and isn’t really the best idea even if he does eventually manage isn’t exactly OOC, but given ghosts are realish and it’s possible that’s actually Gardenia and not just a grief hallucination it’s weird she’s pushing for this.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13420835/1/Take-a-Walk (1, different spam)

Hm. This feels like it’s two similar stories that are stepping on each other’s toes, if that makes sense. Or perhaps it’d work if they were flipped around.

So we open with Morty doing a risky thing but thinking he’s safe, only to be betrayed by his pokemon team and killed. Then the second half is Eusine finding Morty in bad shape and trying to deal but…we already know Morty’s dead, because you said so. 90% of the suspense is missing as a result – it doesn’t matter if Morty’s found in time, it doesn’t matter if the hospital will be able to treat him, etc. The only uncertainty is how much Eusine’s going to be messed up by this. If the fic were Eusine finding Morty, then there’s tension at every step – why hasn’t he been seen…oh no, is he dead…okay he’s not dead but oh no he could die at any moment, will he get to the hospital in time…oh no he’s there but can the hospital treat him…oh no they did but he still won’t wake up and no one seems to have any solution… That all works well when the reader doesn’t know what’s going on and has to watch it play out at the same rate as Eusine.

And you could probably follow that up with Morty’s side of things – bit redundant and means there’s not the horror of lingering unknowns, but I think the reveal this wasn’t an accident but his pokemon turning on him probably adds more extra horror than you lose from certainty.

[ His Gastly, Haunter, Misdreavus, and Gengar ]

So you’re not capitalizing the general word, but these shouldn’t be capitalized either. Capitals are only for when they’re being used in the way of an actual name. “It’s Gastly!” vs “It’s his gastly!”

[Was he on any medications? Had he taken any drugs?

Eusine heaved out a sigh. Why did so many people discredit his friend’s abilities? Sabrina in the Kanto region did not receive the same reprimand.]

Given what’s happened is fatal and it sounds like Sabrina’s still alive, this seems a weird line of thought. How can Eusine know what reprimand Sabrina would hypothetically get from paramedics she’s never met faced over a situation she’s never been in? Also, while I do get what you mean by “reprimand”, it isn’t, it’s a question with some negative implications. Something like “assumptions” would work better.

[Eusine gazed toward the western sky as the sun prepared to dip below the horizon. Morty had only one medium of salvation at that point, and that could only appear in the form of a rainbow across the sky.

Eusine could hope. Months passed, however, with little change to Morty. A new gym leader, appointed by the league, took Morty’s place to satisfy awaiting trainers. Monks and mediums in

Morty’s ilk prompted pulling Morty off life support. They- the league, gym leaders, and Morty’s teachers- had accepted his fate far before Eusine did.
Ho-oh never came to revive Morty like Suicune and its brethren.]

Similarly, I’m not sure how much this makes sense. Morty got his soul ripped out. Ho-oh healed the bodies of the three pokemon. Ho-oh may have no soul retrieval abilities at all – the healing was right after the pokemon were killed and we don’t know how long it takes for a soul to cross over, and Ho-oh’s thing has always been focused on healing, not ghosts. Or Ho-oh’s soul retrieval powers may be limited to fishing the soul out by silver cord, which was shredded in Morty’s case. Or the power could even be able to fish out souls just floating about but not ones being actively pulled the other way by several ghost pokemon.

I can see why you want to bring up Ho-oh for the additional misery, but that could probably be accomplished by saying that this is beyond Ho-oh’s power – that even if the pokemon Morty loved so much did appear, the one that can bring back the dead, Morty’s soul would never return to his perfectly healthy body.

One Comment

  1. illhousen says:

    Video relevant to your interests:

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