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Esserise
Esserise
I did, but it was a while back and I didn't get around to writing a response, so I'll read it again for a refresher.

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. Although my occasional dips into the Switch leaks thread still, more often than not, make me want to ram my head into a wall. I'm quite hungry for some official developments on that front. I admit that the rumors about the changes to the battle system have me a bit concerned.
Silktree
Silktree
Did you read the 4chan Kanto leak? It implies that the real-time aspect has to do with the Pokemon's Speed stats. It may not involve button mashing at all.

The PP meter would make sense, too.
Esserise
Esserise
Yeah, that’s the one I saw.

On the one hand, I like the general idea of giving the battle system a big shake-up, as I think the current system has become kind of stale, and has been diminished by various stat creeps. An overhaul like what the leak describes could give GF a chance to counteract that.

I’m unsure about the PP meter. I like the idea on paper, but it would take some getting used to.

I can believe the bits about being a Kanto “reimagining,” featuring RR, and the opposing groups. (Although I feel like the latter was lifted from a different leak? Can’t remember where else I feel like I saw it, though.) However, the open Badge challenge, veiled reference to M21 Girl as the protag, and a new DLC Mega for a Gen IV Starter (or the Battle Frontier, lol) all feel like pandering to open-worlders, movie theorists, and Sinnoh remake supporters, respectively.
Silktree
Silktree
The DLC part is odd all right.

The innovation/tradition part was first posted by Desdar. He claimed that it was from a "Japanese leak". No groups were mentioned, though. Apparently, it was circulated on that Chinese forum, too.

I hope that we get news this month. I know that it would be better for the games to be released in late 2019, but I just want to know what the games are.
Esserise
Esserise
So, if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I know that I said I was starting to get back into my regular groove some few weeks ago. Unfortunately, not long after that was I faced with a rather pressuring ordeal in my personal life, and at some point I slid into a depression. I just didn’t really care or have the motive to do much of anything. I think I’m doing better now, though. This kind of thing is something I’ve struggled with off and on for years, for brief periods at a time, but when it does set in, I feel sapped of my spirit. In short, it sucks.

But onto better news. I have re-read your two most recent chapters, and have reviews ready for them. But first, I want to say that while I can understand if it may not seem that way given my absence and my late responses, I remain very enticed by this story. I still genuinely think you’ve hit on a brilliant idea and approach, and can’t wait to see how it plays out. Secondly, I hope it is implied that my reponses will become more elaborate as the story grows - for the time being, it’s just a bit hard to give my thoughts on some of the non-protagonist characters in detail. I’m certainly liking most of them, and I think you’ve done a good job at giving them distinct personalities in such a short amount of time. They feel real to me. But I’m saying this because it is sometimes difficult to forge responses at these early stages.

Knowing myself, I’d say that if you want to know my thoughts about any particular part of a new chapter, I would do better if you asked me what you wanted to know. I function a lot better as an interviewee.

All that now said, let’s get at this - Chapter 6:

I’m finding Kris somewhat relatable, which is endearing me toward her even more. I already like her personality (it is a fierce battle between her and Ernest in my mind, I don’t know that I could pick a favorite), but the shyness about asking Elm for a place to stay, as well as her lack of a specific life plan and not having a satisfying answer to peoples’ questions, her struggles in school, and her desire to simply be with Pokémon rather than compete (or in a more general sense, to appreciate something in a non-competitive or non-gloryseeking way) is all familiar territory for me. I also noticed, she told Elm that she wouldn’t be reckless, but seems rather cavalier about the potential of wild Pokémon presenting a threat.

Roger is a lot of fun, and Lyra is intriguing - there’s got to be more to her, I’m sure. Gold is more distinctly cool. I assume we will check in on him from time to time? Not in the sense of a dedicated chapter (I imagine), but at least via the Pokégear. Although he’s the one who has set out to find Silver, which he presumably does at Mt. Moon, and part of my curiousity about this is because (I can’t remember if I already mentioned this or not) I am very excited to see your take on Silver, since I know you’ve been a fan of the character for a long time. But if Silver mainly intersects with Gold’s story, then I don’t have a guess as to where he could come into play in Kris’s. But I shall see.

I can’t help but wonder if the line about the Kanto Gym Leaders not being very tough is an Easter egg about the relative pushover-ness of the Kanto leaders in the Johto games. Deliberate or not, it got a laugh from me. :)

“She could probably keep playing all night if we humans weren’t in the way” - nice touch, got a small chill up my back on that line, but also a twinge of melancholy.

Pure, utterly frivolous trivia question - Smeargle is an interesting team choice. What moveset is Gold running?

Chapter 7:

Oh, I quite liked this one. Ernest’s family dynamic is really fun to see, and he’s such a sharp character in my opinion. I really liked the section where they talked about Vileplume over breakfast. Seeing Ernest getting thoroughly excited by a relatively casual chance to learn about Pokémon was a good character moment, and I like that he has settled in more at school. Oh and, did you intend for there to be a slight echo of Gold, with how Ernest noted the irrelevance of age on the Internet? It resonated with Gold’s idolizing of Red as coming from how Red proved that age can’t stop you from making accomplishments. Perhaps the term “echo” is a bit leading - it could just be characters making similar observations about battling and communicating, no matter the forms they take.

I also must ask you to clarify the family tree for me, since it has been so long. Cheiko would be Ernest’s... aunt, correct? Since Kurt is Ernest’s great-grandfather, that makes Kurt the grandfather of Mayson, and he is also the grandfather of Cheiko in the games. And then Vincent is Mayson’s dad. Do I have that correct?

Moving on, the forum section was inspired. Got a big laugh from me, which is good in these early stages (I presume the story will increase in seriousness and urgency as it progresses). And I don’t suppose the bee drones (excellent worldbuilding detail, at any rate) were a Black Mirror reference? If so, here’s my emphatic approval!

Giselle is nice - she reminds me a lot of some of the club hosts from back when I was in high school. Kind of laid-back and more sociable when not actively teaching. But hearing the perspective of someone who actually lost their Pokémon to the plague was very significant and yeah, that’s about how I would see it playing out for a lot of people.

Also, I liked that Ernest considered the possibility of reviving some of the Pokémon with more atypical origins - your decision to use (most of?) the Pokédex as fact seems a good choice. Normally, for the sake of continuity, when I play the games I just assume that the Pokédex is exaggerative and that Pokémon all form under a singular, uniform process with very few exceptions, but your method of taking the Pokédex verbatim opens up more possibilities and creates more flavor in the setting of a story like this. Although, Yamask...
Esserise
Esserise
Oh and, it is heinously late of me, but you posted these comments two months ago, and I never was able to get back to them. Never being one to want to leave loose ends, I’ll address them now:

1. The modern Poke Balls were invented in 1925 as per the anime, so that's my take on cyberspace as well. The Apricorn balls are a different story. Let's just say that they were invented around 100 years earlier.

> Good to know, and thanks for clarifying.

2. I think that the story will be around 80 chapters long, although it's obviously hard to say since the chapters are getting longer and I only have a road map. It won't be finished before 2019.

> 80 chapters! That’s what I like to hear; that’s about the sort of length I was hoping for. It seems like the right amount of space for a story of this scope.

3. Ernest and Vincent's dynamics are based on my relationship with my (deceased) grandfather, so it -should- feel authentic. And I was also bullied at times, for that matter.

> I kind of had a feeling that Ernest was rooted in yourself. Still, this is helpful to know, that you’re letting a personal relationship of your own inform the story.

4. Yeah, I knew that you'd appreciate Timegate Traveler. I won't reference too many post-Johto elements, but fun things like that can fit nicely.

> Agreed. I think you’ve struck the right balance - this should absolutely be all about Johto and Kanto, but some minor references are entertaining.

5. I feel like noting that the grandiose version mascots only exist as myths in the world I've created. I don't think I'll bother making that explicit, but Teams Magma, Aqua and Galactic are just fanatics that never accomplished anything. Mega Evolution doesn't exist, either. Necrozma has never appeared in Alola, so that crosses out Z-moves, too. The other legendaries are okay, but irrelevant. For one thing, the Unova, Kalos and Alola stories never happened.

> Personally, if I were writing, I would leave the other teams unmentioned. They’re all a little too over-the-top for what this setting seems to be. So, good call there. Also, you’ve ruled out those stories and elements, but just out of curiousity (even though I doubt it’d have come up anyway), do Ultra Beasts and Ultra Space still exist in this setting?

6. Have noticed a lack of setting descriptions? Someone complained about that, but since no one else did I am not sure it's that big a deal. It will get better when the scenery becomes more interesting, anyway.

> Hmm... I *suppose*, but like you said, it’s early on, so it’s understandable. I don’t think I’d have even recognized it without your specific inquiry.

7. Lol, I spoke too soon. The latest two reviews on BMGf pan Ernest for not being sociable. He will come out of his shell in the not too distant future, but geez. There are some extentuating circumstances to consider here, and a protagonist does not have to be universally likeable right off the bat.

> Agreed. Patience is the oxygen of storytelling.
Silktree
Silktree
I'm sorry to hear about your depression. I'll send you a PM soon.

If you find the observational part harder than reading, then just tell me you've finished with the latter and I'll ask you some questions. Not to add pressure or anything, but you're probably my most interested reader, and that helps me write more. I hope to finish writing Chapter 8 today.

1. I obviously relate to Kris, too, but I can't say that my life experience is similar in any way. Her nervousness around people reflects me for sure, though.

2. Both Gold and Silver will return to Johto eventually. And I actually plan to write special chapters from other characters' perspectives, but I don't know which ones yet.

3. I wasn't making fun of the Kanto gym leaders. I just meant that for a champion, they shouldn't be much of a challenge. Blue is an obvious exception, though.

4. Smeargle's moveset? Probably Spore, Sticky Web, Belly Drum and Baton Pass.

5. That Ernest-Gold echo was not intended per se, but they both believe that they aren't limited by their ages. I'd like to think that they don't seem haughty about it.

6. Mayson is Chieko! I had to localize the name, and since kid Chieko was called Chie in the anime (hence the theory) and that name was localized as Maizie...

7. I've watched most Black Mirror episodes, but not that one! I just read about bee drones online, since they're actually being developed: http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/15/technology/bee-drone-pollination/index.html

They aren't bee-sized at all, but give it time.

8. The biology of Ghost-type Pokemon is something that I will explore fairly soon. Are they really dead now?

9. 80 chapters would probably take me over 3 years to write, but what's the rush?

10. Ultra Beasts and Ultra Space exist because, well, they're in a different dimension to begin with. They're particularly easy to ignore. Do they have a history in Alola? Maybe, even if Necrozma and Z-moves don't.
Silktree
Silktree
The Switch speculation is as stagnant as ever. There are a lot of assumptions and bias floating around. The build-up is probably not even worth it, but who knows.

I wonder if Lugia's inclusion in the movie means anything at all. I know that the last movie meant nothing game-wise, but did they just pick Lugia since its original movie was the second most successful? Because it complements Ho-Oh? The latter might return judging from some merchandise.
Silktree
Silktree
What do you think about Alan?

Regarding Lyra, she is unique in that out of all characters so far, I am not intending her to be likable. It is no secret that I was more than a little peeved when Game Freak replaced Kris with Lyra (if there was a problem with Kris' hair color or something, they could have just changed it). So I can't help but view Lyra as, well, a bitch. But my version of the character is organically shaping up to be a lot more interesting than the bland NPC, who just walked around with Marill and was apparently meant to have a crush on Ethan.

Kageyama: "In my own imagination, the main character is the support character's first love. I wanted to write a song that sounds like your heart is going to burst, but I don't think I did a good job."

Yeah, he didn't do a good job and the scenario writer didn't help, lol. Speaking of which, have you noticed how all 3DS games have a romantic scene with a girl (Shauna/May/Lillie)?
Anyway, my Lyra does have a crush on Gold, but she's also pretty smart. And that is why she can't stand it when Kris gains Elm and Gold's attention. I am not sure where this will go, but the rivalry should be fun.
Silktree
Silktree
Do you think that USUM Giovanni is originally from that world? I'd say that the castle being warped almost confirms otherwise, although it's all a little too convenient seeing as Necrozma was the trigger...

The bigger question is if he's from an old world (HGSS?) or one where he never lost. He does consider battling the player nostalgic, but it's almost as if he doesn't even remember the specifics. So maybe the Red of his world (might be Leaf instead, lol) didn't even make much of an impression.

I just hope that when we see him next, which seems inevitable, his greatest foe will be a Giovanni that gave up on crime to be with his son.
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