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Mt. Coronet



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It's Happening

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 28 2017 · 74 views
DBZ, Super, excuse me while I and 2 more...
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OH MY GOSH

I wasn't sure what to make of the rumors of Kale and Caulifla fusing but it is happening and it's Potara Fusion and now I'm just so dang excited for next week holy Kanohi


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Gold Team Rules

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 24 2017 · 81 views
pokemon
(In which this morphs more and more into a straight-up Pokemon blog maybe I should find a new hobby for some variety)

I’ve still been playing VC Gold, though it’s been sort of an on-and-off thing. There have been a few places where I’ve realized I needed to buckle down and grind, and that’s…not the most fun you can have with a Pokémon game, so it was rarely a speedy event. But I managed to get past the League on my first attempt, and getting through Kanto after that was rather brief. Then came Mt Silver, which actually has high enough levels that I can get decent EXP, so grinding hasn’t been too bad. I also realized you can rematch Silver on Mondays and Wednesdays, and discovered the Trainer House in Viridian City, so those have helped me train. Other than that I’ve been slowly expanding my Unown collection—I’ve decided I want to get another complete set here, since it’s their original appearance…sorta. The best way I’ve found is using the Level Ball made from Red Apricorns, so I’ve been trying to check in every day to bring one of those to Kurt if nothing else.

Of course, there was still the ultimate goal of any Johto game: fighting Red. His levels aren’t quite as bad here as they are in HGSS, but still…73-81 is terrifying, especially when the second strongest trainer, Blue, doesn’t even hit level 60. I wasn’t sure how much I would need to grind, but after a while I decided that when my team reached level 60 across the board, I’d give it a shot.

Turns out, that did it. It was nerve-wracking, but my team was able to pull off a victory against Red himself. Wow. And everyone got to be in the battle for at least a little, too, which I was concerned about, and I rather like that it was my starter that took out his starter (even tanking a crit Thunder in the process). So, a round of applause for my team!

-Blaze V, the Typhlosion
-Will, the Crobat
-Mettaur, the Forretress
-Lurerre, the Lanturn
-Tau, the Xatu
-Gori, the Primeape

I still have a few more Unown to catch, and even once I’ve done that and Pokémon Transporter gets updated to send these Pokémon to Gen VII…I might hold off a bit. Being back in Gold has been wonderful, and now that I’ve proven just how awesome my partners are, I kind of want to enjoy where we stand a while longer.


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Personal Ranking of Pokemon Regions

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 19 2017 · 101 views
pokemon
Because why not. Subject to change as time goes on, surely, but as of right now, here’s how I feel about the seven main series regions.

1. Sinnoh, to the surprise of no one. You’re probably saying this is solely based on nostalgic bias, and that is a huge part of it, I’ll admit that. Pokémon Diamond was what brought me back into Pokémon, and it and Platinum were the first times I started to really consume all the data I could about the games, which set the trend going forward. Sinnoh’s the reason I’m playing Pokémon today, so it will always have a very special place in my heart. Of course, there is more to love about Sinnoh: personally I very much like the general design aesthetic of Gen IV Pokémon, I adore that the region is steeped in legend and myth, Cynthia, you can play your badges like a xylophone, and how could you not enjoy the Underground? I know Sinnoh has faults, but it’s very special to me, and I dearly hope the eventual remake is on a system I own.

2. Alola. Probably not surprising either. It’s a beautiful and extremely unique region, and it introduces many new twists on the Pokémon formula without rendering it unrecognizable. Many things I liked about other games/generations/regions were present in Alola, and while they weren’t all handled perfectly, I do think they were handled well, and it helps give the region a more “complete” feel. The plot and mythology are both engaging, though I do wish they’d intertwined a bit more. The Pokédex features favorites from every generation, and as for the new Pokémon…well, I’m a bit 50/50 when it comes to Gen VII’s design aesthetic, but that doesn’t weigh it down too much. And Alola forms are inspired (even if I can’t seem to get behind any that end up Dark-type). There are a few miscellaneous things from ORAS that I wish had stuck around, but Sun and Moon are improvements over X and Y in every conceivable way, and that helps me just really love this region. And judging from what we’ve seen of USUM, I’m beginning to wonder if it could even give Sinnoh a run for its money.

3. Johto. Kind of bumpy getting here, but…nostalgia played a big part again. Gold version was the first Pokémon game that was really mine and I didn’t have to share, so it’s the focal point of nostalgia as far as I’m concerned. Yeah, some of my memories of Gold are hazy, I don’t feel like I excelled when I played HeartGold, and now that I’ve got VC Gold I’m just baffled by some of the Pokémon distribution choices, but the feel of the region is something that just works. Difficult to explain, but this is all subjectivity anyway. And there’s something interesting about this graphical style, something notably old but still in vibrant color, that helps it retain this feeling of being a refreshing update to Gen I. There are some great Pokémon here too, though it can be difficult to find some of them—Typhlosion will always be a favorite, and darn it, I love Unown, I know they’re utterly useless in a battle but I’m too fascinated by their concept to feel anything but love towards these letters with eyes.

4. Hoenn. Before ORAS, if you heard me mentioning Hoenn, it was only to disparage it. I lost interest in Pokémon during Gen III, a large part of which I still blame on not being able to send Pokémon from Gen II up to the new Generation, and even now a large number of the Pokémon designs introduced here just feel a bit odd to me. Again, this hatred was all before ORAS. ORAS, when they came out, were the utmost pinnacle of Pokémon games on a mechanical level, and are still pretty darn close. They took a great deal of the good things in X and Y and really drove them home, capitalized on everything people already liked about the region (except for trumpets), and introduced plenty of new things that all worked very well. I utterly adore soaring, I can’t speak too highly about that feature. Hoenn’s personality also shone really well in those games, and it’s helped me find a much greater respect for the region. Though, since nearly all I like about it is strictly from ORAS, Hoenn itself falls smack dab in the middle.

5. Unova. Really, I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Unova, largely stemming from the fact that during Gen V I was unfortunately going through a bit of a genwunner phase. (Thank God that’s over.) Make no mistake, I still stand by some of my criticism: Black and White try far too hard to distance themselves from the other games, worst of all by expressly forbidding us from catching any Pokémon from the first four Generations until we beat their main story, and that issue is exacerbated tremendously by the general design aesthetic of Gen V Pokémon, which I find to be, well…pretty terrible. (With notable exceptions—Chandelure, Gigalith, and Zekrom are some of my all-time favorites.) But there’s also a lot that Gen V does right. It was an enormous step forward in story and characterization—the Gym Leaders never felt more like an actual ensemble of people, to say nothing of Team Plasma, and it’s always impressed me that the plot actually interrupts your initial League challenge. There’s also a wealth of post-game areas to explore, and we’ve still only covered Black and White. Black 2 and White 2 (as opposed to the expected Pokémon Gray) were a unique choice in and of themselves, and retained the best of their predecessors while strengthening the mechanics, adding loads more content, and no longer restricting you to Unovan-original Pokémon, thank God. (Though now that I think about it, I did only use Gen V mons when I played B2 and W2…huh…) Taking a fairer look at Unova, it really is a wonderful place, and as that teenage inclination towards arbitrary bad decisions abates it might actually move up this list. Still…Gen V Pokémon designs…I haven’t gotten over most of you.

6. Kanto. Kanto is just, well…basic. And I mean, it’s the first Gen, it kind of has to be since it’s the template. But still, I just kind of…I don’t know, I guess I’ve used up all the nostalgia I had for it and feel like there isn’t really much else going for it? I’ve trekked through this region probably more than any other, but I don’t know that I really have anything in particular to say about it. The last two slots on this list were hard to decide between, and part of why Kanto’s here and not the bottom might just be extra slack for having the burden of getting the franchise off the ground. Again, I don’t know that I really have anything to say.

7. Kalos. And like, I like Kalos. I do. But X and Y left me wanting more from it in the worst possible way, and while I was focusing on the positives and giving it the benefit of the doubt when I was expecting them to do a third version or a second pair to fix that, they dropped this region like it was hot and moved right along to Gen VII. So ultimately, Kalos feels like a half-baked trial run for the rest of the 3DS titles and even GameFreak doesn’t really care about it all that much. And that sucks. Because there are a lot of things I like about Kalos: the Gen VI Pokémon design aesthetic is marvelous, its Pokédex being a collection of favorites across all Gens was a wonderful decision that thankfully seems to be the new norm, and I love Mega Evolution and have honestly docked points from Sun and Moon for being so quick to discard it. It’s controversial, but I’m very glad for the changes made to experience—I’m in my 20s, I don’t have the time or patience to grind and now I don’t have to. But for everything Kalos did well, there’s a lot that is just so sloppy. Characterization is a huge step back from Gen V. Plot is about as bare as Gen I. Can’t say there’s much of a post-game. X and Y, in hindsight, just feel like they could have been so much more, and while we can forgive that at the start of a generation, not following up with a correction just makes it look so much worse. Because now X and Y are all we have to judge Kalos with, and it doesn’t compare well. Again, there’s a lot that I like about X and Y and Kalos—I enjoyed playing these games. I just wish I could have had an even better Kalos game after that. Sun and Moon feel like far more complete games, and remembering how abrupt the transition from Gen VI to Gen VII felt at the time, that’s somewhat strange to me. So I guess my relationship with Kalos now is a bit like what I once had with Unova, and maybe as time goes on I’ll be less bitter about the lack of a third game and I’ll feel better about this region. Chances are there will in the distant future come a day when X and Y are remade, and I dearly hope those take better advantage of Kalos.

So, there you have it. Who’s offended? :P


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The Thing About Lillie

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 15 2017 · 103 views
Pokemon
You’ve played Pokémon Sun and Moon, you know who Lillie is, she doesn’t need much introduction. It surely comes as little to no surprise that I love Lillie, and while it is due to the main reasons anyone loves her (she’s Totally Adorable and a Well-Developed Character), I’ve recently come to feel that she’s actually rather fascinating when you look at her as a writing technique.

So: player characters in Pokémon. They aren’t characters, really. They’re consistently left totally and completely blank so that whoever’s playing the game can project themselves onto this avatar with as little friction as possible, taken to unnecessarily hilarious ends with Red’s silent reappearances in later games. Naturally, this approach has its fair share of pros and cons. On one hand, this aids immersion tremendously—you’re free to name this character whatever you want, command them to do whatever you want, interpret their behavior and thought processes however you want, and more recently even dress them however you want. Players turn that character into themselves, and are able to see themselves in the Pokémon world, albeit from a top-down perspective. It’s the ultimate extreme of role-playing, giving you a place in this world but then allowing you complete freedom to adjust to it however you like. But on the other hand, this might have some connection to the fact that Pokémon has never really been known for its story. It’s difficult to write a plot centered around an empty shell. The player does things to continue the story, but they’re very much watching it unfold before them, and only stepping in when given the opportunity as opposed to doing much to actively push it forward. Again, Pokémon’s pretty much always done it this way, and it seems to be working for them, so it may not be something you see a lot of people clambering for. But since there’s a boatload of Pokémon media that does feature main characters who are actually characters, I don’t know that we can say people are totally averse to the thought.

It seems to me that Lillie is GameFreak’s attempt to have it both ways. The player character of Sun and Moon remains a void who can be anyone the person holding the 3DS wants them to be, but they have a very close friend who has her own desires and faults, is heavily-entwined in the overarching plot, and develops greatly as a character. Granted, she doesn’t do very much herself in terms of actively driving the plot forward—she spends a lot of time reacting, and not as much time decision-making—but her character is written in a way that that’s actually part of her development. Which is…kind of ingenious, really. Is she meant to be a metaphor for the Pokémon main series games learning to be more active in their storytelling, as opposed to just being an observer? Well, maybe at that point I’m reading a bit too much into it.

For the sake of argument, let’s accept my premise as true: Lillie is an attempt to have a “main character” the plot centers on while still having a totally blank “player character” for absolute immersion. Then the only question becomes: Does it work?

I’d say yes.

People love Lillie. If you looked at a discussion of Sun and Moon prior to their release, you’d see people saying “This Lillie girl is off, we all agree she’s a Nihilego in disguise right?” Check them after its release, and you’ll see dozens of fans shouting about how wonderful she is. Like, I’m sure there are some people who don’t like her, no character can be universally-loved, but…I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone bashing her, and Sun and Moon have been out for close to a year now. When you have to go out of your way to find people who hate a character but get bombarded by people who like them without trying, it’s safe to say they’re pretty darn popular. Has the series had a breakout character like this before? Maybe with N? Certain Hoenn characters certainly had a resurgence when ORAS came out, but even then it seemed to typically be antagonists, plus Steven who just sort of pops in and out on occasion. Even when N does become an ally in B2W2, he’s only in, what…one scene that’s actually plot-relevant?

What I’m getting at is that there’s a novelty to Lillie’s role in Sun and Moon’s story. How big a factor that novelty is in her appeal is something we can only know if this becomes more regular. I do hope to see this technique or something similar employed in future Pokémon games, because while I do like feeling like I’m my own trainer, I enjoy stories as well, and Lillie’s story is one I really enjoyed. I’ve gone on record as saying there are aspects of Alola and its cast I wish we’d seen more of, and perhaps the focus on Lillie has a hand in that, but still: she’s very unique in this franchise, and very interesting. Hopefully, she’s a good sign of what’s to come.


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"Our creators were very rigid beings through and through."

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 12 2017 · 84 views
writing advert
It is with great pleasure that I announce a new epic, Out of Bounds!

This story takes place roughly 200 years after the Reformation of Spherus Magna. When Turaga Nokama becomes frustrated with the limitations of Noble Kanohi, Vhisola goes looking for a way to work around the strict mechanics of the masks of power. Her best bet comes in a job offer from Nuhrii, and so she and Ehrye set out for the Northern Frost, where rumor has it they’ll find a lab with lost technology that just might be what she needs.

(This story is technically connected to one I wrote a few years ago, A Mind in Darkness, but there aren’t any explicit references to it—I made sure to write this story so that you could read one without needing to read them both. It’s more a spiritual successor than a straightforward sequel. Though, hey, if you enjoy Bounds, you might like Mind as well!)

I rather like how this one turned out. As I went I felt like I was finding more ways to make the story thematically cohesive, which is one of the many things I struggle with, so that’s promising. I’ve tried a few times to write a new Vhisola story but it never quite materialized until now. Of course, it started out involving all the Great Disk Matoran going on a heist of some kind, but I didn’t want to balance so many characters and ended up narrowing the scope. Tehutti almost made the cut, so I’m hoping to find something for him to do soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Speaking of posting, expect new chapters on Tuesday and Thursday, next week and the week after. There are five parts in total with a final word count of about 20k, so it won’t take too long to get through it all, but I wanted to space it out at least a little for dramatic effect. I hope you enjoy!


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802 Already

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 09 2017 · 101 views
pokemon, event reminder
It still feels like Gen VII just stared, but we’re already getting the last Pokémon in the current National Dex order!

Stop by GameStop between now and the 23rd to get a code to download Marshadow, the very first Fighting/Ghost type! It’ll also come with Marshadium Z, letting Marshadow use its unique Z Move, Soul-Stealing Seven Star Strike. How cool does that sound?

Just about a month until Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon! With the reveal of new Ultra Beasts, I can’t help but wonder if more Mythicals are programmed in as well, meaning we could get another few years of Gen VII. I hope we do, I can’t afford a new console.


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Alola Has a Post-Game Now!

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 05 2017 · 71 views
Pokemon
Holy wow. So we’ve got two new trailers for USUM, one that’s really dramatic and awesome (and in Japanese), and one that’s highly informative (in English).

Ha…where do I start?

-It looks like Necrozma’s goal is to steal light from the world. There’s a new area you can travel to where apparently it did just that, and it seems to be the gist of what’s going on in the dramatic trailer. Would also explain why it wants to absorb Solgaleo and Lunala.
-So, where is this lightless world, you ask? In Ultra Space. We get footage of the player riding Solgaleo and Lunala through a dimensional tunnel and into portals, ending up in places like the lightless city (which really gives me The World That Never Was vibes, I dig it) and a variety of habitats where the Ultra Beasts appear. I’m 90% sure this means that the post-game for USUM is all about charting Ultra Space and catching the Ultra Beasts there rather than them appearing across Alola one at a time. Which is awesome.
-The city is inhabited by a group calling themselves the Ultra Recon Squad. Two different members appear in each version, and since they don’t seem to do much to stop you from entering their city, I’m led to believe we’re on good terms with them, but we do have to fight them at some point it looks like. Who knows.
-So, the new Ultra Beasts! Burst is Fire Ghost and has a new move called Mind Blown, where it chucks its head at the enemy and it explodes, dealing some recoil. Okay. Assembly is Rock/Steel. There’s also a brand new Ultra Beast known as Adhesive, seen in possession of the Ultra Recon Squad. The design looks a bit different from the others, but I rather like it. It’s a Poison type.

This all looks very promising. I mean, I was already pretty excited for these, and now we’re getting into some real good stuff. I better get a head start on anything I want to get accomplish this year because once I get these games I might not resurface for a while…


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Guest Stars Wanted, Apply Within

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 02 2017 · 147 views
Olkir
Well, I think it’s time.

If you didn’t know, I’ve been putting together a new idea for an epic, taking place in a new world named Olkir. The full primer can be found here, but essentially the idea was to mash concepts from both generations of Bionicle, as well as Slizers, RoboRiders, and Hero Factory, into one fantasy world. (Though…since G1 has more content to play with than all those others combined, the end result is something that could probably be termed a fanmade Bionicle G3 story.) This world is populated by humanoid villagers made of a special kind of living metal who belong to eight Elemental Tribes, led by Coronets blessed with the power of Elemental Gods known as Slizers. Villagers have learned to mine minerals imbued with Elemental Power to craft special weapons, or they can go to a Rider to be made a proper Toa—though this is far rarer now, since automata known as Hagah have begun keeping peace worldwide.

I’ve begun setting up the plot, but I was curious to see if anyone out there wanted to contribute characters to this story, so before I go any further I’m going to put out the call. If you’re interested, I’d recommend glancing over the primer to get a clearer idea of what’s going on before posting your form in the comments here.

What I Need:
-A name for your character, of course.

-You can be a villager, a Toa, or a Hagah unit. For the first two you will need to pick an Element: Fire, Water, Ice, Metal, Lightning, Rock, Jungle, or Sun. However, for plot reasons, no Toa of Metal or Sun will be accepted. (Hagah can be associated with a particular Element if they wish, but it isn’t required.) Also, before you go jumping at the chance to be a Toa, there’s something specific about how Toa work that you need to know. A Rider turns a villager into a Toa and they are then free to do what they want for the rest of their life. When they die, however, the Rider takes them to an area at the edge of the afterlife where sixteen canisters are stored. Each Rider’s existence is stabilized by harmonizing with the souls of two Toa. When a Toa dies, their soul is put into one of these canisters to provide this effect, and the canister’s previous inhabitant is then sent into the proper afterlife. The stasis is by no means uncomfortable, and again, it is temporary, so maybe it isn’t a dealbreaker—but it still requires a degree of self-sacrifice, especially since the lack of Toa lately means the stasis can last for quite some time. In short, if your character is a Toa they must be someone who would agree to putting off their eternal reward for a while, which is something that should be reflected in their character.

-Appearance. Villagers and Toa are humanoids with metal skin, and can magnetize armor to their bodies. Hagah can have more diverse appearances if they’d like.

-Now’s where we get into powers and weapons! Obviously a Toa will innately have command over their Element. As mentioned previously, the villagers have learned to create weapons imbued with Elemental Power, so anyone can have access to those. Using these weapons also allows anyone, even villagers, to develop unique Element-derived abilities all their own, typically referred to as Plays. I want to be pretty open with weapons and powers, and would encourage you to think up some creative ones! Though, an Elemental Weapon can only power abilities of that one Element, and a villager is typically only proficient in the Element of their Tribe. Examples of weapons and Plays and how they work are detailed further in a read more below if you want to look them over. This section of your form can easily be tweaked as the story progresses, so for now, come up with whatever you want, and I’ll discuss modifications with you if I feel the need.

-Related to that, on the topic of masks. Masks of Power do exist in this world, but they are rare treasures found in hidden temples that can only be obtained by passing various traps and tests. So your character might have a mask, but only one, and said mask must have only one specific ability. Some masks have already been decided on, and those will be listed in a read more below. (Of note, it’s entirely possible for two characters to have the same mask—a new one is forged for the temple each time one is removed.)

-And a bio, for, you know…everything else. Gender, character traits, history, all that good stuff. Naturally, a good chunk of this will probably be used more as a guideline than put in word for word, but I plan to discuss my ideas on adapting your initial information with you in detail as we move forward. So please, give your characters some interesting pasts or quirks, and potential paths of character development! I won’t be accepting any applications for important figures like the Coronets, but that still leaves a lot of other options. Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the Priests of the Slizers yet, but that’s a thing if you’re interested. You will have to main disks, though.

-Oh, uh, one last thing…on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most likely, how likely would you say this character is to be a member of a cult dedicated to Shark Demon Pridak? Just a survey, you know, for demographic research and whatnot. Totally not a spoiler.

Weapons, Elemental Facets, and Plays


Masks of Power


That should about cover it. So, anyone interested?





Recent Works and Writing Collections

The Twins of Justice (9/12)
A story introducing the Temple of Justice into the world of Olkir.

Out of Bounds: Part V (10/26)
Vhisola and Ehrye trek across Spherus Magna in search of a promising rumor.

Shooting Star Sonia 3: Red Joker: Chapter 3 (12/16)
A Mega Man Star Force fanfic where Sonia takes the lead role.


Full Library
One big collection of everything.

Okoto 579
A few connected G2 stories.

Divine Strength Collection
An original idea I'm trying to build.

FFFC Collection
Flash fiction from when we had contests for that.

Unsorted Works
What doesn't fit into the above three collections.

I Have Approval Now?!

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