• Magnificent Entertainer supercharges his team with some new TMs. Watch here as he wishes that the player character was wearing a trench coat.

POPULAR: Cliches in Pokémon Fanfiction

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Not sure if this is a cliche or not. Probably it’s an overused trope more than anything, but here it is: Legendary Pokémon being some kind of big group and having meetings and conferences from time to time, as if they were some international leaders.

They are usually portrayed in the games as forces of nature, territorial beings capable of flooding continents or summoning everlasting storms and who fight for supremacy or are forced into a deep slumber to keep their immense powers at bay, and to simply have them just meeting up like simple businessmen is… simply bizarre in my eyes.
Bizzare? Try hilarious.

Well, when it's done well, at least.

It probably has to do with the fact that most ancient pantheons did have meetings like that. Or, at least, that's what modern media tells us. Heck, way before the Greeks the gods of older peoples were exactly like the Legendaries in the games. They were just forces of nature that you appeased or died. But then the Greeks come along with their neat little pantheon (well, about as neat as a dysfunctional family can be) and now that's how we see gods (though, to be fair, it was really the Romans that popularized it).

Feel free to inform me how absolutely utterly wrong I am.
 
Silently judging
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Not sure if this is a cliche or not. Probably it’s an overused trope more than anything, but here it is: Legendary Pokémon being some kind of big group and having meetings and conferences from time to time, as if they were some international leaders.

They are usually portrayed in the games as forces of nature, territorial beings capable of flooding continents or summoning everlasting storms and who fight for supremacy or are forced into a deep slumber to keep their immense powers at bay, and to simply have them just meeting up like simple businessmen is… simply bizarre in my eyes.
Oh these usually work best in fics aimed to humor or parody.

The idea of stuff like Groudon or Dialga sitting tight for a meeting and calmly voicing debates doesn’t work... at all in my view.
 
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Well, Lugia's job is basically to reign the three legendary birds in (at least, that's what the anime says) so I could see a hint of bureaucracy there.

"So, Lugia, how are things holding up with the Birds."
"Oh absolutely wonderful, Arceus. Except for the fact that they got caught up in another argument. Threw the area's weather patterns completely out of wack. I swear, it's always something."

Or Rayquaza

"So how're Groudon and Kyogre doing."
"Well, they've been fast asleep since that incident 20 years ago. Groudon had a nightmare that almost woke him up, though. Personally, I suspect Darkrai pulling a prank."
"I'll have Crecelia look into it."

Oh, whoops, I wrote a fanfic by accident.

I was going to say something and forgot it. Dammit.
 
Princess of Dorkness
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Here's a cliche. Dark-type pokemon or trainers of dark-type pokemon who are so moody and sinister and they did BAD THINGS and may or may not FEEL BAD ABOUT IT
This is probably one of my favorites, because I am absolutely doing everything in my power to flout it. Got several dark-types I was planning on working into my story before I rewrote, and most are likely to survive into the new narrative:

Pangoro: Intimidating through his size, but just a big dumb jolly babby with boundary issues
Murkrow: Smartass parrot who likes to crack jokes and insult people, but is extremely loyal
Dark-type Sentret: Viewed as a distrustful and spooky oddity by those around him, but he just wants belly scritches, food, and to please those around him.
Houndour: Didn't get to use him as much as I'd have liked in Storm Island, but the idea behind him was a faithful protector of the innocent, as raised by his trainer.
Haunter: Not really a dark-type, but kinda lumped in with the rest because ghosts are mysterious and evil in my setting. Loves pranks and scaring people, but feels bad if his victims are upset by his actions.

The only downright evil with no remorse dark-type I had was the Mightyena in Storm Island, but that was more a case of it being really, really pissed off because it was afflicted (and augmented) by the dark arts.
 
The #1 Deerling Fan!
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This is probably one of my favorites, because I am absolutely doing everything in my power to flout it. Got several dark-types I was planning on working into my story before I rewrote, and most are likely to survive into the new narrative:

Pangoro: Intimidating through his size, but just a big dumb jolly babby with boundary issues
Murkrow: Smartass parrot who likes to crack jokes and insult people, but is extremely loyal
Dark-type Sentret: Viewed as a distrustful and spooky oddity by those around him, but he just wants belly scritches, food, and to please those around him.
Houndour: Didn't get to use him as much as I'd have liked in Storm Island, but the idea behind him was a faithful protector of the innocent, as raised by his trainer.
Haunter: Not really a dark-type, but kinda lumped in with the rest because ghosts are mysterious and evil in my setting. Loves pranks and scaring people, but feels bad if his victims are upset by his actions.

The only downright evil with no remorse dark-type I had was the Mightyena in Storm Island, but that was more a case of it being really, really pissed off because it was afflicted (and augmented) by the dark arts.
I can see Dark types being portrayed as evil being rather cliche. Heck, even the anime went against this every now and again (Scraggy and Inkay, anyone?). I actually plan on introducing some dark types into my Pokemon fic that aren't evil or moody or solemn. One Pokemon I wrote, an Umbreon, is mistrustful of people because he was caught by an abusive trainer and wasn't going to stand for it, leaving her on his own terms. But he does leave his sister with nice people, knowing he can't take care of her forever, and is happy when he sees her grown up and well cared for. One of my main character's Pokemon is a Murkrow that's rather mischievous, but still friendly and outgoing.
 
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Legendary Pokémon being some kind of big group and having meetings and conferences from time to time, as if they were some international leaders.
This really is one I've seen a huge number of times, and I honestly don't care for it. These are massive, primal creatures that generally react violently to ther problems. They are not civilised! And I don't want them to be. Nature isn't bureacratic, it's chaotic neutral. The exceptions I'm happy to entertain are generally things like "Mewtwo invests in dressing sharply and talks his way to what he wants".

most ancient pantheons did have meetings like that.
Citation needed there, bud.

Houndour: Didn't get to use him as much as I'd have liked in Storm Island, but the idea behind him was a faithful protector of the innocent, as raised by his trainer.
I like all of yours, but this is my favourite.

I have several dark-type characters in DE, but so far the important ones are the purrloin protagonist who just wants people to give her affection and is terrified of it being withdrawn, information-fixated and spies a lot to feel in control, and a sneasel whose deal is ambition for leadership and willingness to fight dirty, but who is fiercely protective of her in-group and makes friends easily.
 
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Going on the dark types, in my failed fiction, my character had a Houndour due to a scenario from childhood, where the Houndour helped him
 
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Well, I have three Dark-types that come to mind from Delta Dossiers, and none of them is “evil” per se. However, they all have to struggle with in-universe prejudices. These are the most revelant ones.

Barbara, the Zorua: The main character of my fanfic and former human. While she has a troubled past and other “issues”, she is actually a nice person who is willing to help when needed. Also, when she’ll learn how to use her illusions, she will use them for good causes.

• Terrence, the Krookodile: Unlike other members of the Sandile line in the PMDverse, Terrence is the chief of the detective organization. He’s a good-natured and optimistic crocodile that can see the good in everyone’s heart, and who doesn’t let prejudices cloud him (which is ironic, since Dark-types are usually the prejudiced ones).

Dorothy, the Zweilous: Another former human, reborn in the Pokémon world after she died in the human world. Her issues come from the fact that she is a former vegan forced into a carnivore body, which seriously put a dent on her beliefs and fuel resentment toward what she has become. She is actually a pretty sweet girl, who has to resort to feeding on any scrap of meat she can find or even hunting. And due to being carnivorous, she is hated by herbivores who see her as “yet another evil type”. So, others see her as a monster, when all she does is desperately trying to survive.
 
Small ripples lead to big waves.
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I'm only planning on including one major Dark-type in Digital Access Network: Dimensions and Darkness, and she's a canon character, Weavile from Team AWD. People rarely write about the secondary and tertiary characters from Mystery Dungeon, and I've wanted to write a "loyal only to their friends" group of Sneasel before.
 
At least you tried...
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Well, in the story I'm working on (let's call it Mystery Dungeon adjacent--it's all human-like Pokémon but not exactly the same setting) the most prominent dark-type is a Weavile named Sylvia. She'd not moody at all and is generally quite friendly--likes to hang out at cafés and trade stories, maybe buy everyone a round once in a while.

However, she's an adventurer (to some extent a polite term for a mercenary though she's of the more reputable "guarding a trader's caravan, not robbing them" brand) and those aren't the most forgiving people in regards to, say, not getting paid for a (probably dangerous) job or being cheated in some way, especially since they often operate in frontier towns without any real authority to resolve disputes. Most adventurers therefore cultivate a reputation that crossing them like that will not end well for you, and she's no exception. It's not type based, and for comparison her brother is a sweetheart who dotes over his Espurr son (his mate is a Meowstic) since instead of an adventurer he's a berry-farmer living near a major city with actual law enforcement--if someone does something he can file a complaint with the police so he doesn't need to cultivate a "don't mess with them" reputation.

Generally I tend to associate dark types with being cunning (hence immune to Prankster) and maybe fighting dishonourably, but not with moodiness or being more dangerous than other Pokémon.
 
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As of currently I have one dark type Pokemon in my fanfic. She's an Umbreon named Athena and she has a very calm personality and is very polite. So... averting stereotypes, I guess? I dunno. I came up with her without even thinking because Umbreon is one of my favorite Pokemon.

Edit: So from what I gather, a lot of fics seem to believe that Dark Types are all Shadow the Hedgehog?
 
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Generally I tend to associate dark types with being cunning (hence immune to Prankster) and maybe fighting dishonourably, but not with moodiness or being more dangerous than other Pokémon.
Aye, I associate dark tyes with unpredictability, self-interest, mischief, chaotic neutral vibes, stuff like that. You can easily have a hero with these qualities.
 
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I sometimes wonder whether this is a dead cliché. I see far more complaining about Dark-types characterised as inherently evil than I see inherently evil Dark-types
 
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"Dark types are misunderstood!!" is a cliche, but dark types being understood is not.
 
Silently judging
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Not sure if this counts as a cliche, but there’s the fics of people who think Ash is a bad trainer and utilize the first chapter to list the 200+ mons he’s caught offscreen and that will scarcely show up in the story to show the reader just how badass he’s become.
 
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I don't read Ash fics these days, but I can believe that's a real cliche. It's the same vibe as "fix-it fics" where he never releases his pokémon and forces them to stay with him. When will people understand that "catch 'em all" is marketing to sell toys and not a compelling character motivation, nor indeed Ash's actual motivation outside some of the theme songs?
 
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What do you mean by fix-it-fics?
Those are fics which have the literal purpose of "fixing" a story, and are usually written by people who are unhappy / angry about some events from official stories or series. Some of them can even reach revenge status, where some character(s) who have been mishandled or got away with it gets their "deserved" treatment.

For a minor practical example… a lot of people disliked Ash vs Tobias from the anime, so a fix-fic could have Ash winning against Tobias.
 
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Ash v Tobias fix fics are a cliche in and of themselves.
 
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