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Thread: Humans of Hoenn [Images over 500 KB]

  1. #1
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    Default Humans of Hoenn [Images over 500 KB]

    Inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York


    The use of images in this fanfic has been permitted by bobandbill and Dragonfree.

    A similar version of this fic can be found on Tumblr.

        Spoiler:- Author’s Notes:



    Table of Contents






    Humans of Hoenn




    Hello there! My name is Brendan, and I like listening to other people tell their stories.

    That may sound weird to you, but I think there’s nothing more exciting than finding out about how someone is doing and what a person is thinking. As someone whose chosen path involves a lot of traveling and meeting other people, I find that the few minutes that I spend conversing with each person I meet to be the most interesting parts of my day. In those short spans of time, our paths intersect, and for a brief and unrepeatable moment, a person is willing to talk about a fragment of their life that they find important enough to share. If that isn’t the most selfless and powerful act of humanity that a person can do, I don’t know what is.

    Of course, it wouldn’t be fair if the other person does all the sharing, so I also impart fragments of my own life, and most of the time it leads to even more fragments being exchanged. I tell them how I recently moved to Hoenn from Johto, and as a result, they recommend places I should visit, activities I should try out, and delicacies I should eat. I tell them how my dad is the new Gym Leader of Petalburg City, and we end up exchanging training tips and comparing each other’s styles over a battle. I tell them how I have a fear of giving speeches to huge crowds or how I wish I explored Johto as much as I’m exploring Hoenn now, and in return they describe their own fears, regrets, and doubts to me. There’s so much you can gain from a conversation and I believe that as humans, we are meant to converse.

    This project, which features the different people I’ve met in my travels around Hoenn and the conversations that I’ve had with them, is an attempt to share these ideas and to make them reach more ears and touch more hearts. Every pixel and letter I have documented has been authorized by their respective owners, and they are presented without any external editing.

    What can you expect from this humble project? I can’t say anything certain, but I can promise you this: what each human of Hoenn has to say is nothing less than interesting.
    Last edited by Dramatic Melody; 29th May 2016 at 2:31 AM.


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  2. #2
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    Default File 1: Trainers of Hoenn

    File 1: Trainers of Hoenn


    What is a trainer?

    It’s difficult to answer that question, as the definition that has been taught to us since we were younger—someone who raises Pokémon for battling—is far too general and perhaps even outdated. What does it mean to raise Pokémon? Does everyone follow a certain system and set of rules for raising Pokémon? Who says that battling is the end-goal of this raising? How absolute is that end-goal to all those someones? And perhaps most importantly, what types of people fall under that someone?

    You won’t get a concrete answer to any of those questions from the following conversations, but I assure you that you will get something much more satisfying.








    “I just caught my first Pokémon! I’m officially a Pokémon trainer! With a Pokémon that’s mine!”

    “That’s great! Congratulations.”

    “Thanks, but that was the easy part.”

    “What’s the hard part?”

    “Figuring out the ‘trainer’ half.”








    “What piece of advice would you like to give to your fellow trainers?”

    “Take a lot of risks! I only figured that out for myself when I started my journey a few weeks ago, but it’s been one heck of a ride ever since. Why, because of taking risks, I’ve gone to many different places, I’ve learned a lot about battling, and I’ve even been interviewed and photographed by a complete stranger!

    “Okay, that last part didn’t sound as nice as I thought it would, but I don’t regret saying it!”








    “How different is training now from training in the past?”

    “Oh, completely different. Back then, you didn’t have to know any of those vitamins or values or technical mumbo-jumbo kids these days keep on muttering in battles. All we worried about was when our Pokémon became too tired to battle! I don’t even think any of the trainers now know how to have a battle without worrying about winning or strategizing or getting enough experience. It’s like they’re taking the spirit out of battling, really, and it’s sad.”








    “There’s a girl in Trainers’ School who always shows off her Masquerain. She lets it do all kinds of weird things. The other day she let it lose in our classroom and she made it dance around the heads of our classmates. For some reason, all of my classmates enjoyed it even though it didn’t really do anything other than move and buzz around. And yesterday, she gave our teacher a sculpture of Mt. Chimney made of her Masquerain’s sticky web, and she got a bonus in art class even though she wasn’t the one who made it.

    “What really bugs me is how whenever anyone asks her for a battle, she says that she only likes to battle against ‘strong’ Bug-type Pokémon like her Masquerain. That’s why I’m training these two Nincada. When they become a Ninjask and a Shedinja, I’ll challenge her and beat her Masquerain, and my bug Pokémon and I will be the strongest and most popular team in the whole school!”








    “If you don’t mind me asking, why do you choose to train in secret?”

    “It’s a whole list of reasons, but let’s just say that I don’t like being judged while I train.”

    “All right. I can respect that.”

    “Can I ask you a question too?”

    “Of course.”

    “Why can’t all guys be like that? Why do guys have to be so insecure that being beaten by a girl in a battle is the most shameful thing for their testosterone-filled heads? Why do guys have to assert their dominance over a girl by breaking her spirit and making her feel worthless just because she defeated them in a battle? Why is it so damn hard for you guys to accept that being a man or a woman isn’t an indication of how good you are at being a trainer?”








    “You know lad, I started being a trainer at a very late age, probably when many youngsters like you would already be thinking about when you’ll retire. But a lot of those TV people would say that ‘you’re never too old to be a trainer’ or something like that, so I took them up on that offer and went on my journey with every little penny I’ve saved in my long life.”

    “What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had so far?

    “One time I battled an Expert who was around my age. She looked like she was thrilled to find me since she probably assumed I was at her level of experience, so I could feel her disappointment when all I sent out was my Shroomish. Of course, she defeated me with flying colors, but I can say that I still came out of that battle victorious.”

    “How so?”

    “I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie later that day, and she said yes. We’ve been married for almost a year.”








    “I already know what I’m gonna do when we find the treasure. I’m gonna have a huge house built on a cliff in Mossdeep, and that’s where we’ll live. It’ll have a private sauna that’ll be better than the hot springs in Lavaridge, and a view of the ocean that’ll beat any spot you’ll find in Lilycove. Beside the house, I’ll have a field made just for Volbeat and Illumise, where they can be as carefree as they want.

    “Then we’ll travel the world and visit all the regions. We’ll have breakfast at Olivine Harbor, lunch at the Striaton Restaurant, and dinner at the Sushi High Roller in Lumiose. We’ll walk across Amity Square in Hearthome and we’ll ride the S.S. Anne in Vermilion. We’ll be the most luxurious trainers in all of Hoenn—no, in the entire world!”

    “Those all sound like great plans.”

    “Hell yeah they are!”

    “What about you? What are you gonna do with the treasure?”

    “I’m gonna buy a ring.”








    “How often do you write to her?”

    “Twice a week.”

    “Do you call her?”

    “Not frequently. Both of us don’t have PokéNavs or regular access to a phone.”

    “How long have you been writing to her?”

    “Almost three years.”

    “Is it difficult?”

    “It has its ups and downs.”

    “I can guess what the downs are, but what are the ups?”

    “I’ve learned to appreciate the little things more. Like writing letters. At first I thought it was ridiculous, but when she moved away and it became my only way of talking to her, it’s become the most important thing in my life. And the news. I watch that all the time now, since I always make sure that nothing bad’s happening in Mossdeep. And my Wingull. I feel like I have a much stronger connection with him now, because when I see him smile after he gives me her letter, I see her smile, too.”








    “Can you tell me about how you caught your Zigzagoon?”

    “‘Rescued’ would be a more appropriate word to describe it.”

    “What happened?”

    “It was around three years ago. I was taking my morning beach walk when I heard a loud wailing. When I waded into the water, I saw this little critter’s head stuck between the plastic rings of a Soda Pop six-pack. Fortunately, it was low tide, so I didn’t have a hard time getting him out of the water and taking the plastic rings out of his head. But the moment I placed the plastic rings on the sand, Zigzagoon scrambled to get it and place it on a trash bin. That was when I realized that he must have gone out to the sea to get the plastic rings, but got himself stuck in the process. And yet, even if it already posed a threat to his life, he still knew that it didn’t belong to the sand or the sea.

    “After that morning, I made it a point to help in cleaning up this beach, and whenever I did, Zigzagoon would be there to help me. He spent many afternoons in my house after our morning beach clean-ups, and eventually he stayed and became my companion. I didn’t even need a Poké Ball to become his trainer. We both understood the situation we were in, and we were both satisfied with it.”








    “Can you tell me about how you caught your Numel?”

    “Oh, that’s a really interesting story. I can actually imagine it being a TV special! Picture this: I was taking a walk outside the Fiery Path one day when I saw Numel run toward me and grab my foot. One look at her and I knew that she was really worked up, so I got a Rawst Berry out of my bag and offered it to her to calm her down. She cried when she saw the berry, acting like it was the best Rawst Berry she’s ever seen in her life, and she ate it right out of my hand.

    “I was about to give her another berry when I heard someone shout, ‘You little pest! Where are you?’ Numel ran behind me and took cover, and I could feel her whole body shake as I saw a man in a red outfit with a black M on his shirt walk past me. When the man saw Numel behind me, he cursed at her and ordered her to stay put so he could catch her. I couldn’t let her be treated like that and not do anything about it, so I told him how a sweet Pokémon like Numel doesn’t deserve a rude trainer like him. Numel stepped forward and growled, as if she was showing her agreement, and he wasn’t too happy about that. Without warning, the man withdrew a Poké Ball from his pocket and threw it at Numel.

    “Then the part of the TV special that would make everyone gasp happened—Numel raised her foot and kicked the Poké Ball back at the man, hitting him directly on the face. I couldn’t help but laugh, and I could see the anger in his eyes. He threw another Poké Ball, but Numel did the same thing, except it hit him in the stomach. Finally, he withdrew what looked like an Ultra Ball, screamed something I couldn’t understand, and threw it very dramatically. Numel made what sounded like a snicker, then let out a huge Fire Blast attack that broke the ball in two.

    “The man shouted a lot of expletives and ran off, and Numel cried in response. I told Numel how amazing she was, and she looked back at me with a sweet smile. It didn’t take long before I asked her if I could be her trainer, and I’ve been raising her ever since.”








    “You know the thing about being a member of a group like Team Magma? It dehumanizes you. Your family, your friends, your dreams, your goals, your beliefs—they all become secondary to serving a group of people who replaces your name with ‘grunt.’ You get brainwashed by power-hungry ideas that border on being illogical, and you’re forced to treat them like they’re your life’s creed. In other words, you become their pawn.

    “You might ask, why would anyone stay in that kind of situation? It’s a valid question, and I’ve thought about it every moment since I joined the team. But there are a lot of reasons: you fear for the safety of the people that you left, knowing that they’re at the mercy of your power-hungry leader; you want to keep those people away from the destruction you yourself are causing; you can’t deal with the shame you’ll get from your fellow pawns when they find out that you’re leaving; you think of all the time you’ve wasted to accomplish nothing, so you choose to stick it out and hope that something will be somehow achieved; you can’t deal with losing your Pokémon, knowing that joining this team was the only chance you had in becoming a trainer, and leaving it means returning the Pokémon that the team probably stole but you’ve grown to love and care for.

    “It was hard getting into the team, but it’s even harder getting out of it.”








    “What piece of advice would you like to give to your fellow trainers?”

    “If you keep on going with the flow, you won’t get anywhere.”








    “I’m doing okay in Trainer School. Not too bad, not amazing. But it’s getting kinda frustrating.”

    “Why is that?”

    “It’s just that I have no idea if anything I’m doing is actually necessary. My goal is to become a Gym Leader like Roxanne, and the only class that feels like it’s helping me reach that goal is Competitive Battling. I could be learning about how to run a gym or how to act like a leader, but instead I’m stuck with memorizing the history of Hoenn and figuring out how to factor polynomials. They all sound so useless, and it’s making me lose the energy to go to school.”

    “Will it be all right with you if I share this with other people?”

    “Okay, but don’t make anyone see my face. If anyone in school finds out I think like this, I’m as good as expelled.”








    “It’s so hard being a Gym Leader. Every ten-year-old aspires to be one, but all they see are the epic battles and the presswork on TV. They have no idea how insane the role can be.”

    “What’s the most difficult part of being a Gym Leader?”

    “Definitely the image. There are a lot of things that you have to live up to once you start handing out official League badges, and it’s easy to lose yourself in the process. Your dad might have it easy since he already has the sturdiness of fatherhood backing him up, but all I have is reputation, which can make or break anyone. Lately I’ve been trying to mix being personal while acting professional in front of everyone, but that’s easier said than done. I always have to worry about whether or not I’m strong enough for my challengers and how I convey this strength to them, but at the same time I have to show them that even though I’m a Gym Leader, I’m still a trainer just like them.”








    “What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about being a trainer?”

    “It’s a very expensive role. I come from a poor family, and in my first few years of being a trainer, my team and I were blessed if we ate a full meal a day. Most days, we ignored our hunger by training against wild Pokémon, and never against other trainers since I couldn’t risk losing any money. All of that went to buying medicine and Poké Balls, which became more and more expensive over time. It took me a lot of begging, minimum wage jobs, and lucky wins before I could finally stand on my own feet, and it took me double the time before I started sending money back to my family in Fallarbor.

    “Was it frustrating getting to this point? Hell yeah it was. I battled trainers who had much less experience than me but had better teams and more badges all because they could afford the more expensive Balls and those costly power-boosting vitamins. But right now I’m doing okay, and I’m satisfied because I know I got this far because of my own blood, sweat, and tears.”








    “Isn’t this an unusual place to have a picnic?”

    “If I kept going to the usual places, I wouldn’t find anyone interesting enough to battle.”








    “What’s the best part of a battle?”

    “Definitely that moment of victory. There’s nothing more awesome than knowing that all your hard work paid off, and that every effort you’ve made in bettering your Pokémon was well worth it.”

    “What’s the worst part of a battle?”

    “Probably the moment right after, when you realize that that victorious feeling is so fleeting, and that you still have a lot of work to do and a lot of aspects in yourself and in your Pokémon to improve, and that you still have a long way to go before becoming the best trainer in the world.”








    “You know how many challengers strike a conversation with me?”

    “How many?”

    “You’re the first one in weeks.”

    “Why do you think that is?”

    “It’s part of being the first of the four that they battle. On one hand, I get to battle all the trainers who take the challenge, so I’m never bored. On the other hand, I get to battle a lot of trainers who have personalities as poor as their battling skills. Most of the challengers I defeat don’t even stay to hear my advice. They say things like, ‘I’ll beat you next time, punk!’ and leave without letting me get a word in, and that defeats the purpose of being a trainer in the first place.”

    “What piece of advice would you like to give to those trainers, if you got the chance?”

    “The gist of it is that trainers need to stop battling to win and start battling to improve. A battle has a winner and a loser, sure, but that doesn’t exclude either one from making the most out of it. Learn from your mistakes and lucky calls, as well as your opponent’s. Take note of your opponent’s strategy and ask them how they did it. Revel on what little they tell you and improve your own strategy from there. Training is an endless experience of learning, and it’s frustrating when I get challenged by trainers who don’t realize that. Makes me feel less bad for them when I beat them, though.”








    “There was this boy in my hometown who treated me like I was his future wife. He’d take me to a lot of extravagant restaurants and give me bouquets whenever he got the chance. My parents were even treating him like a regular occupant of our house. I couldn’t really blame him, since for a while I treated him like he was my future husband, too. We were pretty much ready to tie the knot if it weren’t for one thing.”

    “What was it?”

    “You know how I collect Match Calls, right? I have more Match Calls than you’d think a PokéNav could contain. I have a Match Call from every corner of Hoenn, and I make it a point to call them as often as possible. Three out of five calls say yes when I invite them to have a battle, and I make it a point to honor their request. If that means calling someone else who could lend me a Pokémon who knows how to Fly across the region, then I would, because when I get there and battle a Match Call, it’s the best feeling in the world.

    “Turns out, this was way too much for him. He didn’t like it when I’d be out for days, and he’d give me this look when I got back and told him that it was because of a Match Call. Finally he had had enough, and it happened to be on one of my overnight trips across the region for a Match Call. He called me up and said that if I didn’t stop spending all of my time with these Match Calls, he wouldn’t spend time with me ever again.”

    “What did you tell him?”

    “I told him to call back, since I was about to battle one of my Match Calls.”








    “These are your kids, right? They battle really well. Where did they get—”

    “You said that you live in Littleroot?”

    “I do, but I’ve been camping out in routes and staying in Pokémon Centers for the past few weeks. The only one who’s in our house in Littleroot right now is my mom, since my dad’s running the gym in Petalburg.”

    “Do you call your mom often?”

    “Yeah, almost every night.”

    “Why almost? Why not every night?”

    “Sometimes I camp out in a route where the reception is too poor to make calls. But I call her as soon as possible the next morning.”

    “Good. Keep doing that, all right? Your mom probably didn’t tell you this when you left for your journey, but one of the most painful things a mother experiences is seeing her child need her less and less. I remember when I was changing the diapers of these two like it was yesterday, and now they’re already battling other trainers with my Pokémon. It won’t be long before they go on their own journeys and catch their own Pokémon, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet. I know that as trainers, we focus a lot on going on an exciting and life-changing journey, but we tend to forget about what we leave behind. So you make sure that you always call your mom and tell her that you’re doing all right. And remind her how much you love her.”








    “My big brother’s one of the strongest trainers in all of Hoenn. He’s one of the few Pokémon League challengers who was strong enough to battle the Champion. He was one step away from being an official Hoenn Gym Leader, too, and I think he could’ve been one if there wasn’t a limit of eight Leaders per region. He’s even recognized by masters like Aaron and Bugsy as one of the best users of Bug-type Pokémon in the world. Right now, he’s going from region to region and competing in different Leagues to see if he can become a Gym Leader or an Elite Four member in one of them, and he’s done all that before turning twenty-five.

    “And then you find out about me, his sorry excuse for a little brother: the one who’s still training in the same place where he’s been training for the past few months; the one who’s still using one of his big brother’s Pokémon because he’s too inexperienced to catch his own; the one who still doesn’t know what kind of trainer he wants to be after losing in a million battles.

    “In three months, I’m gonna be fifteen. When he was my age, my big brother already had six badges and a full team, with two or three Pokémon deposited in the PC. I’m not gonna start a pity-party or anything, but it just sucks that I have so much to live up to and nothing to show but disappointment. I don’t hate my big brother or anything—I actually idolize him—but whenever I think about what I’ve done and compare it to his long list of achievements, I can’t help but feel disheartened.”








    “Your timing’s really funny, man. If you asked me how I was a week ago, I would’ve told you that I was pumped for challenging the Pokémon League, and I would’ve said something like, ‘I could taste the Hall of Fame already.’ Now I don’t even know if I still wanna be a trainer at all.”

    “What happened between last week and now?”

    “I took the Elite Four challenge and I made it all the way to Drake, but he was too much for me. After the battle, he told me that if I wanted to beat him, I needed to know what a trainer has to possess so he can ‘battle with his Pokémon as partners.’ I asked him what that meant, but all he told me was that I was the only one who knew the answer to that question for myself.

    “So I thought about it while I was training here in Victory Road, and I realized something: I didn’t know why I was doing this whole training thing at all. My family had been pushing me to be great this entire journey, but I realized that all my battles had been for them and not for me. Even if I do beat Drake and the League Champion and I become part of the Hall of Fame someday, it wouldn’t be because I wanted it, but because it’s what would make my family proud of me and proud of themselves.

    “Right now I’m figuring things out, or at least I’m trying to, and it’s terrifying. I haven’t told my family about any of this, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen to me from here, but it’s nice to finally talk to someone about it. So thanks, man.”








    “You probably want to ask me why I stepped down from my role as League Champion.”

    “I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t cross my mind.”

    “And I would be lying if I said that I know the reason for certain, but I don’t. What I do know is that I love rocks. I love collecting them, I love looking for them, I love finding them, and I love researching about them. I will probably bore you if I go any further, so I won’t. But I will say this: the most important thing for a trainer to do is to love what he or she is doing. I love rocks, so I went ahead and explored my love for them, which to me meant that I had to resign my position.”

    “Would you say that your love for rocks is more important than being the League Champion?”

    “I didn’t mean it that way. But a trainer has such little time to do all the things he or she loves and to love all the things he or she does. So trainers have to make the most of their time by taking to heart what they love the most. Whether it’s being the best battler or being the best coordinator, catching all the Pokémon or exploring all the regions, finding out what all the other trainers of Hoenn have to say or collecting all kinds of rocks, it must be your first answer to the question, ‘What do I love doing the most?’ Whatever that is, that’s what you have to pursue, no matter the cost.”


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  3. #3
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    Default File 2: Explorers of Hoenn

    File 2: Explorers of Hoenn


    In many ways, a person’s desire to explore is what drives that person’s growth. This desire is fueled by a lot of things: curiosity of the unknown, fear of the limitations of the known, the want of movement, the need to progress.

    Journeys are the result of a person’s aim to fulfill this desire, this drive to explore. And there are two types of journeys each person takes: one is measured by physical distance, and the other is measured by self-understanding. A person may have journeyed millions of kilometers physically but only traveled a sliver’s worth of distance otherwise.

    The following conversations take snapshots of different people in different parts of their journeys. Though they may not reflect our own, they are reminders that the most fundamental questions about our journeys don’t begin with where, but with why.







    “What piece of advice would you like to give to your fellow trainers?”

    “Never stop being curious. There’s a very long list of things in the world that haven’t been discovered, and it’s our duty as trainers—as explorers—to make that list shorter.”







    “I’m from Unova, and I’m here to research for my thesis.”

    “What’s it about?”

    “I’m studying the soil of your region and comparing it to mine, seeing what the differences are between the components that make it so that berries can grow almost anywhere in Hoenn but almost nowhere in Unova.”

    “Wow, that’s a cool topic! What made you decide to go with it?”

    “It gave me an excuse to go here.”







    "You know lad, I’ve been to many regions, and it won’t take me half a second to say that Hoenn is the best region in the world. Why, I would sail across the seas a hundred more times just to experience the joy of coming back to this beautiful region over and over again."

    "What do you think makes Hoenn special?"

    "What doesn’t?"







    “Right before I started my journey, a lot of my friends in my home town warned me that training was a lonely profession. They told me how I would spend a lot of days without human companions and a lot of nights sleeping alone. They might be right about that last part, but I’ve been making friends with so many trainers along the way, exchanging battling tips and Match Call numbers and whatnot. But even if I’m alone, spending an entire day just hanging out with Goldeen is one of the best parts about my journey. I may be traveling alone, but I’ve never felt more surrounded by great company.”







    “What’s the most difficult part about being a trainer?”

    “Definitely the solitude. I’m exploring all these interesting places and learning a lot about the world around me, but I can’t help but miss all my folks back home. I call my mom and dad a lot, and I write to them too, but it doesn’t come close to sitting down on the dinner table and eating with them. They write back to me about what’s going on in Pacifidlog so I could imagine that I’m still part of the community, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t see any of the Corsola and Tentacool amid all this sand...

    “Sorry, I’m getting a bit teary-eyed. It’s hard—hard to find a decent pair of Go-Goggles. Where’d you get yours?”

    “My best friend gave it to me back when I bumped into her in Lavaridge.”

    “Oh, you two see each other a lot?”

    “Yeah, we left Littleroot together for our journeys.”

    “That’s cool. At least you still have a piece of home nearby even when you’re far away from it. You make sure you two talk to each other a lot. Especially when—when you get homesick.”







    “Can you tell me about how you caught your Swablu?”

    “My mother gave it to me.”

    “That’s so sweet! Did she catch it for you or—”

    “I wouldn’t exactly call it sweet.”

    “Oh, why is that?”

    “She only gave it to me when we crossed paths in our individual journeys.”

    “That doesn’t sound too bad.”

    “That was the first time we ever had a conversation. Ever. When I was four, she left me and my sister under my dad’s care to go on her journey, and I went on my journey just so I could find her. When our eyes finally met, all the relief and excitement I was supposed to feel was replaced with anger and hatred. In the most unmotherly tone you could imagine, she told me that her journeying was all for her children, which was the same promise she told Dad when she left us eleven years ago. Thinking it would solve all of our problems, she gave me this Swablu that she caught that very day, and I was supposed to take it as her apology and her peace offering, because she left me as abruptly as she did before.

    “At first I thought about releasing the Swablu, but I realized that there could be a sweeter revenge than that. I’m gonna raise this Pokémon to be the strongest Altaria that ever was, and the next time we bump into each other, I’m gonna challenge her to a battle and defeat her so badly that she’ll regret that she left us. She’ll regret that she put her journey first over her family. She’ll regret everything.”







    “I’ve given up way too much to get to this point. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices, a lot of life-changing decisions, and a lot of mistakes, and it’s all led up to what’s at the end of this cave.”

    “Has there been anything that’s been pushing you to succeed?”

    “Oddly enough, my family.”

    “Why do you say ‘oddly enough’?”

    “I left them before I started my journey, and I haven’t seen them since. I had two daughters with this guy at a very young age, and no way in hell was I ready for that kind of responsibility, both emotionally and financially. But they meant the world to me, and I knew that my job as a Poké Mart clerk back then wouldn’t be able to support them, so I had to do something.

    “Of course, their dad and I had a fallout, so I left him. I decided to be a trainer and to go on a journey, hoping that I’d get recognized by the League and get the money to support them. But I knew that doing so meant leaving my daughters with their dad, since there was no way I could bring them with me.

    “At that point, I knew I didn’t have any other choice, so I set for my journey. But while I was raising my Pokémon, their dad was raising my daughters, which is why one of them acted so bitterly when we ran into each other a few months ago.”

    “What happened?”

    “I wasn’t sure at first if she was really my daughter, but when I saw her clutch a picture of me and her dad, I became the happiest mother in the world. But that feeling faded too quickly when she acted so coldly toward me. I could feel all her anger at me for leaving her, and I couldn’t blame her for any bit of it.

    “I had so many things I wanted to ask her, but I could sense that she didn’t want anything to do with me. So I gave her one of my Swablu, my favorite Pokémon in the world, in the hopes that she takes care of it better than I took care of her.”

    “If by any chance she sees this, what do you want to tell her?”

    “My sweet baby, this entire journey’s for you and your sister. I’m sorry I had to desert you because of it, but I swear that when I become the Champion, we’re gonna be a family again. A happy, unbroken family.”







    “How do you do it? How do you go through your journeys without ever feeling that you’re just…lost?

    “No, I’m not talking about getting lost in a city. I know what Town Maps are. But don’t you ever get scared that you’re just going from city to city, gym to gym, and contest hall to contest hall without actually knowing where you’re heading? Sure, a lot of people say that they’re going to be the League Champion or the Top Coordinator, but how many people actually reach that point in their journeys? How many people even get the chance to vie for those titles? I’d say five percent of all trainers and coordinators in the world is already being generous.

    “I think that’s why I’m so hesitant about starting my journey. Sure, I wanna see everything there is to see in this entire world and beyond, but I don’t know if I’m willing to throw myself into such an uncertain situation for it. I see all these hotshots with four badges or three ribbons oozing with pride, and I think, what if their journeys end with that? What if they work their hardest, and it still amounts to nothing? What if all their traveling and sacrifices lead to dead ends and regrets? It’s terrifying.”







    "I never wanted to be a trainer. I never found anything special in the idea of training and battling for a living. It just seems like so much work for something so violent."

    "What made you become a trainer, then?"

    "My parents put me through Trainers’ School, and I was one of the top students. They were both so proud of me, and they told me that I was going to be a fantastic trainer. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I wanted to take a different path, partly because I didn’t want to disappoint them, and partly because I didn’t really have a second path in mind if they asked me."

    "Do you have a second path in mind now?"

    "That’s the reason why I’m still in this journey thing, really. I don’t see myself being a trainer in the long run, but I’ve met so many people who went through so many paths, some of them a result of taking the trainer path and switching it up midway. I could be a teacher, or a gym guide, or even a contest judge. None of those plans are 100 percent yet, but I’m confident that I’ll take the right path someday. I mean, that’s what journeying is, right? Going down paths until you find one that works for you."







    “There will come a point in your journey when you realize that it’s time to pack your bags and head home. A lot of people think it would feel terrible, but for me it was a very calm moment. I know that I haven’t done a whole lot, and I know that I didn’t achieve all the goals that my ambitious ten-year-old self set way back then. But I’m content with what I’ve accomplished, and I think that’s all that matters, really.”

    “If you don’t mind me asking, when did you realize that your journey should come to an end?”

    “Right before we started talking.”







    "I was scared. No, I was terrified. Terrified that I would never get the chance to follow my dreams and live my life to its fullest. Terrified that the only world I would ever explore would be the four walls of my bedroom, and that the only journey I would ever take would be through the lifeless representations on my globe. Terrified that the only battles I would ever participate in would be behind a screen, and that the only Pokémon I would ever catch would come from store shelves.

    "You have no idea how much that morning with you and your dad changed my life. When I went to Mr. Norman's gym, my body was filled with so much fear, and every word I uttered felt like ten thousand Cacnea spikes in my throat. But I knew that all my fears would come true if I didn't do anything, and that day was when I decided that I had to do something. That something turned out to be the best something in the world—catching Ralts."

    "How did you feel when you caught Ralts?"

    "I don't think I could ever describe it correctly. Not because I can't, but because I wouldn't be able to do it justice. When I caught Ralts, it felt like all the years of terror and isolation that tormented me every day just melted away from my thoughts. And the fact that Ralts understood what I've been through and how I felt—and I hope Gallade still does—made it all the better."

    "Do you think your journey would be any different if you caught a different Pokémon that morning?"

    "I think it would be very different. I can't imagine going on my journey without Ralts. In my trip from Petalburg to Verdanturf, it was only the two of us, and I found out more about myself in those ten days than in the ten years I've spent in hospital wards and bedrooms. And I learned a lot about Ralts, too, and the world of Pokémon as a whole, and I don't think I would've warmed up to being a trainer so quickly if it weren't for Ralts guiding me every step of the way. I couldn't even contain my excitement when I finally arrived at my uncle’s place, even insisting that I challenge the Mauville Gym with just Ralts! But wait, you were there to witness that, and you even have the win to prove it…"

    "But you’ve really grown since then, and become quite a skillful trainer. What piece of advice do you have for your fellow trainers?"

    "I'm not sure if I should be the one giving advice since I'm no Gym Leader or Pokémon Master. I'm sure you’ll give better advice than I would…"

    "Come on, you can do it! I’m sure you have a lot of wisdom underneath that green hair of yours."

    "Oh, all right. Well, uhh, a great way to, uhh, begin your journey is to, uhh, find the perfect partner, and, uhh, a great way to go through your journey is, uhh, to love that partner with all your heart. Uhmm, it may sound like really basic advice, but that, uhh, extra effort you exert in forming a strong bond with your first Pokémon goes a long way, Because of Ralts, I found it much easier to bond with Roselia and Skitty and Magnemite and Swablu. Because of Ralts, I found it much easier to apply everything I learned from reading hundreds of books to my entire journey. Because of Ralts, I feel like a much better version of myself, not just as a trainer, but also as a human being."


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    I've been following your tumblr for about a month, and I had no idea this was on here too! I love the idea, and the execution definitely does it justice.

    It's kind of difficult to review this, since there's really no large plot structure, and a lot of the stories are more like individual introductions to bigger fics, which is kind of the point. However, I'll do my best and hope that it somehow proves useful or satisfying.

    So first off, organizationally, I like what you've done here. I'm not sure if you wrote them with the chapter themes in mind or just categorized them afterwards, but I think it really adds some good structure to stories that are otherwise only connected by the fact that they take place in Hoenn. It's also interesting that you chose to do it thematically rather than geographically or based on RSE's plot, since the Wally post would seem to imply that the Brendan here is the Brendan from the game. It raises some questions, like whether or not he's interviewing these people after the main plot, or if the order in which they're presented (on your tumblr, which doesn't follow a theme as far as I can tell) isn't supposed to have any meaning. However, I recognize that Brendan's story is mostly secondary to the subjects of his interviews, so this is just a small concern.

    Anyway, when I first found your blog, I read through them all and got a dozen plot ideas, which really speaks to the strength of this fic. All of these trainers have distinct personalities and stories, from the girl's bitter Swablu training to the Team Magma Grunt to my personal favorite. It manages to build a really full world out of tiny glances at the people. Sometimes they can be a little too similar (here and here, for example), but I figure that's almost unavoidable when you're working with as many stories as you have here. Overall, I think their small sizes and hook-based storytelling beats any small shortcomings. Keep it up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] View Post
    I've been following your tumblr for about a month, and I had no idea this was on here too! I love the idea, and the execution definitely does it justice.
    Oh wow, thank you! I hope you enjoy the tumblr version, too. If it makes any difference, this version came before the Tumblr one, and while they largely share the same content, I'd like to think they're two sides of the same project, in that I approach one a bit differently from the other.


    Quote Originally Posted by [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] View Post
    It's kind of difficult to review this, since there's really no large plot structure, and a lot of the stories are more like individual introductions to bigger fics, which is kind of the point. However, I'll do my best and hope that it somehow proves useful or satisfying.
    Allow me to go off on a tangent here: Funny you should mention that, because one of the very first conversations I made - this one - was actually a more summarized version of a one-shot idea that was originally going to be my entry to the Alpha and Omega contest. When I decided to pursue this idea instead, that idea got partially shelved, but I made an entry for it just so I would tell myself that it's something I would expand on sooner or later. Turns out, another entrant in the contest had the same subject, so in my mind I was like *whew*.

    And I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on this! They're certainly useful and very satisfying.


    Quote Originally Posted by [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] View Post
    So first off, organizationally, I like what you've done here. I'm not sure if you wrote them with the chapter themes in mind or just categorized them afterwards, but I think it really adds some good structure to stories that are otherwise only connected by the fact that they take place in Hoenn. It's also interesting that you chose to do it thematically rather than geographically or based on RSE's plot,
    Thank you! File 1 definitely had the chapter theme in mind, as it's an edited version of the one-shot that I submitted to the Alpha and Omega contest. File 2, on the other hand, is more of the categorizing, because when I started the tumblr version, I was freer to emulate HONY with the blog format, so I treated each post there more as individual units rather than parts of a whole. I realize that this could create issues with flow when I decide to combine some of them into chapters, which is why I created some posts here that aren't on the tumblr yet, to give it a more natural progression.

    This is what I meant above when I said that this and the tumblr version are two sides of the same project. This version presents the project as chapters that try to forward a specific idea with each file, while the tumblr version presents the project as a continuous work being updated by a traveling narrator, much like the original HONY. I try to make sure that I meet both approaches with each conversation I create, so I'm glad that the sense of structure given by this version works for you.

    Sorry for cutting that last sentence in your quote, because I wanted to talk about the second part in the next quote:


    Quote Originally Posted by [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] View Post
    since the Wally post would seem to imply that the Brendan here is the Brendan from the game. It raises some questions, like whether or not he's interviewing these people after the main plot, or if the order in which they're presented (on your tumblr, which doesn't follow a theme as far as I can tell) isn't supposed to have any meaning. However, I recognize that Brendan's story is mostly secondary to the subjects of his interviews, so this is just a small concern.
    I've actually mulled over how big of a role Brendan would play in this project, and right now, I'm sticking with it being very minor, relegating his "story" to the files' introductions and a few referential mentions in some of the conversations (such as the Wally one you point out). While I'm confident in saying that this Brendan is the one in the games, I'm not too decided as to what point of the game he's in. I'd like to say that he's the Champion at this point, because it would explain why all these seemingly random NPCs would be so open to him, but since this follows the games' universe, all of the NPCs would already be ridiculously open about their lives even if Brendan doesn't ask them. :P

    Also, as I said above, the order of the posts in the tumblr version doesn't really matter, since I approach it as something continuous.


    Quote Originally Posted by [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] View Post
    Anyway, when I first found your blog, I read through them all and got a dozen plot ideas, which really speaks to the strength of this fic. All of these trainers have distinct personalities and stories, from the girl's bitter Swablu training to the Team Magma Grunt to my personal favorite. It manages to build a really full world out of tiny glances at the people.
    If this project means that you're gonna be posting more awesome fics soon, then I consider it a success, really. :P

    But in any case, I'm glad that you enjoy reading it. It's really fun fleshing out NPCs that barely have one or two lines to work with. And I'm glad that you like that post! IMO it's a subject that should really be explored more in fics.


    Quote Originally Posted by [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] View Post
    Sometimes they can be a little too similar (here and here, for example), but I figure that's almost unavoidable when you're working with as many stories as you have here. Overall, I think their small sizes and hook-based storytelling beats any small shortcomings. Keep it up!
    Noted about the similarity. I try to make them as distinct as possible, but I won't be surprised if I end up creating some similar ones down the line. I'll be sure to keep that in mind, though!

    Thank you very much for the review, [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]! I really appreciate it.


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    I really enjoyed looking at this. It was a pleasure to see the gen 3 screenshots to compliment the words because I think it gave it a wonderful atmosphere and almost makes it more nostalgic. This is really creative. It's a great idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChloboShoka View Post
    I really enjoyed looking at this. It was a pleasure to see the gen 3 screenshots to compliment the words because I think it gave it a wonderful atmosphere and almost makes it more nostalgic. This is really creative. It's a great idea.
    Thank you very much! I'm glad that you thought that the screenshots worked, since unlike HONY, I don't have facial expressions and angles and other photography mumbo-jumbo to work with. I definitely understand the nostalgia, especially if you approach this with ORAS fresh in your mind.

    Thank you, ChloboShoka! I'm glad you liked it.


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    “One time I battled an Expert who was around my age. She looked like she was thrilled to find me since she probably assumed I was at her level of experience, so I could feel her disappointment when all I sent out was my Shroomish. Of course, she defeated me with flying colors, but I can say that I still came out of that battle victorious.”

    “How so?”

    “I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie later that day, and she said yes. We’ve been married for almost a year.”
    Awww!

    “Isn’t this an unusual place to have a picnic?”

    “If I kept going to the usual places, I wouldn’t find anyone interesting enough to battle.”
    Okay, but your sandwiches are gonna be like 80% sand.

    “You probably want to ask me why I stepped down from my role as League Champion.”

    “I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t cross my mind.”

    “And I would be lying if I said that I know the reason for certain, but I don’t. What I do know is that I love rocks. I love collecting them, I love looking for them, I love finding them, and I love researching about them. I will probably bore you if I go any further, so I won’t. But I will say this: the most important thing for a trainer to do is to love what he or she is doing. I love rocks, so I went ahead and explored my love for them, which to me meant that I had to resign my position.”

    “Would you say that your love for rocks is more important than being the League Champion?”

    “I didn’t mean it that way. But a trainer has such little time to do all the things he or she loves and to love all the things he or she does. So trainers have to make the most of their time by taking to heart what they love the most. Whether it’s being the best battler or being the best coordinator, catching all the Pokémon or exploring all the regions, finding out what all the other trainers of Hoenn have to say or collecting all kinds of rocks, it must be your first answer to the question, ‘What do I love doing the most?’ Whatever that is, that’s what you have to pursue, no matter the cost.”
    I like the way you think, Steven.

    “Of course, their dad and I had a fallout, so I left him. I decided to be a trainer and to go on a journey, hoping that I’d get recognized by the League and get the money to support them. But I knew that doing so meant leaving my daughters with their dad, since there was no way I could bring them with me.

    “At that point, I knew I didn’t have any other choice, so I set for my journey. But while I was raising my Pokémon, their dad was raising my daughters, which is why one of them acted so bitterly when we ran into each other a few months ago.”

    “What happened?”

    “I wasn’t sure at first if she was really my daughter, but when I saw her clutch a picture of me and her dad, I became the happiest mother in the world. But that feeling faded too quickly when she acted so coldly toward me. I could feel all her anger at me for leaving her, and I couldn’t blame her for any bit of it.

    “I had so many things I wanted to ask her, but I could sense that she didn’t want anything to do with me. So I gave her one of my Swablu, my favorite Pokémon in the world, in the hopes that she takes care of it better than I took care of her.”
    Ohhhh man. Oh man. Cool that we got to see both sides of that story.

    I’m sorry I had to desert you because of it, but I swear that when I become the Champion, we’re gonna be a family again. A happy, unbroken family.
    Somehow I doubt that. On many levels.


    I like this format to little bitty pieces. And I like seeing all these npcs fleshed out like this. If I'd needed any help being in love with Hoenn, this would've done the trick for sure.

    Will definitely come back for more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sike Saner View Post
    Okay, but your sandwiches are gonna be like 80% sand.
    Pretty sure she won't have a problem with that :P


    Quote Originally Posted by Sike Saner View Post
    I like the way you think, Steven.
    Hah, I've actually been meaning to revise this a little, since I'm not sure if I want Steven to be a "resigned Champion" (a la Emerald) just yet. It makes for some interesting dialogue, though!


    Quote Originally Posted by Sike Saner View Post
    Ohhhh man. Oh man. Cool that we got to see both sides of that story.


    Somehow I doubt that. On many levels.
    Thanks for the comment! I've been planning something for the Tumblr about a set of posts that all relate to previous posts, with this being one of them. So I'm glad that you like it! And, well, yeah, make of it what you will.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sike Saner View Post
    I like this format to little bitty pieces. And I like seeing all these npcs fleshed out like this. If I'd needed any help being in love with Hoenn, this would've done the trick for sure.

    Will definitely come back for more.
    Aww, thank you so much! I definitely wanted to expand Hoenn in my own little way with this project, so I'm glad to see that it works. And it makes me smile how this could make you appreciate Hoenn more - that's a really huge honor for me, since Hoenn is such a fascinating region.

    If you haven't yet, you can check out the Tumblr for more posts! I approach it a bit differently there (as I described in my response to [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]'s review above), but if you'd like, you can take a peek, too!

    Thank you very much for the review, Sike Saner!


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    Can I come here and just gush over this? I really, really liked this idea (as I've seen a bit of HONY myself), and I think that the execution was great. So much of this was heartwarming, particularly the part iwth the young couple and the woman talking about all the luxuries she wanted to buy and the man only wanted to get a ring. I also loved the one with the old man who ended up marrying a woman he met, and the two kids who communicate between Fortree and Mossdeep with the Wingull.

    That said, a lot of it was heartbreaking too, such as the old woman talking about how all the spirit has gone from battling and people are just interested in using vitamins and TMs. I found it kinda funny that I happened across this, since I recently wondered how many people in the Pokemon world would consider it ethical to pump their 'Mon full of roids performance enhancers and teach them moves that they can't normally learn. I like the take you took on it, as it shows that not everyone agrees with it even though they're still clearly widely used.

    “Why can’t all guys be like that? Why do guys have to be so insecure that being beaten by a girl in a battle is the most shameful thing for their testosterone-filled heads? Why do guys have to assert their dominance over a girl by breaking her spirit and making her feel worthless just because she defeated them in a battle? Why is it so damn hard for you guys to accept that being a man or a woman isn’t an indication of how good you are at being a trainer?”
    Granted, I've never been in a Pokemon battle before, but I feel like I would agree with this statement 100%. It's a bit sad that it comes to this, but find the whole "It's so embarrassing that I was beaten by a girl" think ridiculous.

    I really liked the story of the man saving the Zigzagoon and the woman rescuing the Numel; stories like those of how trainers grow to befriend their Pokemon and then the Pokemon deciding to journey with them are so sweet, and I think it helps humanize the Pokemon.

    Your mom probably didn’t tell you this when you left for your journey, but one of the most painful things a mother experiences is seeing her child need her less and less.
    I feel like this has to be very true. I'm no mom myself, but I'm one of the youngest kids in my family, and it's surprising how much my mom is willing to talk to me and help me with thin. My older brother even told me one time that it must be hard for a mom to see her last kids grow farther away from her. But I digress.

    And the homesickness of the guy in the desert hit my right in my left ventricle. Homesickness is definitely hard to get over, and it's sad that he's so far away and in a completely different climate, even!

    And the whole mother-daughter relationship... ouch. It kinda reminds me of Brave (not sure if you've seen it, but there is a lot of mother-daughter conflict there) and it shows just how much bad communication kills. Still, even though she left her daughters with her ex, it is nice to see that she still cares about her daughters. And especially after reading how hard and expensive ti is to be a trainer from the other files, I can definitely believe that she's been struggling all this years and was doing it because she believed it was right.

    But about being a family again? Well... Let's just say that I agree with Sike Saner on this.

    And the ending of the second file with Wally was just perfect. It was so heartwarming and sweet--I'll just leave it at that

    So yeah, pretty sweet fic you've got here! It would be hard to choose a favorite, though I'd say it's a toss-up between the Magma Grunt, Sidney, and the guy using a Wingull to write to his girl. I'm honored to have gone up against you in the ORAS contest, and best of luck in all of your future projects!


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    Hey there - I've skimmed this a few times and thought I'd finally leave some comments. Especially since I loved ORAS and I think a work like this has potential.

    Hello there! My name is Brendan, and I like listening to other people tell their stories.

    That may sound weird to you, but I think there’s nothing more exciting than finding out about how someone is doing and what a person is thinking.
    The transition is a little odd. There's not a direct, obvious correlation to "telling stories" meaning "this is how I feel and think" - I mean, what if they tell a story that has nothing to do about themselves? I think this could be worded differently to make that statement stronger.

    What can you expect from this humble project? I can’t say anything certain, but I can promise you this: what each human of Hoenn has to say is nothing less than interesting.
    Brendan certainly seems optimistic. He seems to be the type to get along with just about anybody, but I'm not sure how that will play out over the course of the fic (if you plan on adding conflict, that is).

    “What’s the hard part?”

    “Figuring out the ‘trainer’ half.”
    Definitely an effective, impactful first conversation to put in the files.

    I’ve even been interviewed and photographed by a complete stranger!

    “Okay, that last part didn’t sound as nice as I thought it would, but I don’t regret saying it!”
    Definitely doesn't sound too nice, but it did make me laugh. ;P

    “There’s a girl in Trainers’ School who always shows off her Masquerain. She lets it do all kinds of weird things. The other day she let it lose in our classroom and she made it dance around the heads of our classmates. For some reason, all of my classmates enjoyed it even though it didn’t really do anything other than move and buzz around. And yesterday, she gave our teacher a sculpture of Mt. Chimney made of her Masquerain’s sticky web, and she got a bonus in art class even though she wasn’t the one who made it.

    “What really bugs me is how whenever anyone asks her for a battle, she says that she only likes to battle against ‘strong’ Bug-type Pokémon like her Masquerain. That’s why I’m training these two Nincada. When they become a Ninjask and a Shedinja, I’ll challenge her and beat her Masquerain, and my bug Pokémon and I will be the strongest and most popular team in the whole school!”
    I'd read an Academy fic written by you. Just saying. This is a very creative and fun take on the daily life in a trainers' school.

    “Why can’t all guys be like that? Why do guys have to be so insecure that being beaten by a girl in a battle is the most shameful thing for their testosterone-filled heads? Why do guys have to assert their dominance over a girl by breaking her spirit and making her feel worthless just because she defeated them in a battle? Why is it so damn hard for you guys to accept that being a man or a woman isn’t an indication of how good you are at being a trainer?”
    Seems a bit odd that she wouldn't talk about training in private, but she'd ask personal questions like this. Especially since she seems passionate about both topics.

    “I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie later that day, and she said yes. We’ve been married for almost a year.”
    Finding love even later in life must be a wonderful feeling. That's what I thought while reading this, anyway.

    And the news. I watch that all the time now, since I always make sure that nothing bad’s happening in Mossdeep.
    As someone wh's been in a LDR for a while, I can say this is definitely realistic and true. Heh. Nice bit of detail to add in a small amount of space.

    I didn’t even need a Poké Ball to become his trainer. We both understood the situation we were in, and we were both satisfied with it.”
    Another nice detail. I think details like these will be the highlight of the fic for me.

    ou can’t deal with losing your Pokémon, knowing that joining this team was the only chance you had in becoming a trainer,
    I wonder what kind of situation would make a Magma Grunt think this is true? Seems interesting to me.

    “Will it be all right with you if I share this with other people?”

    “Okay, but don’t make anyone see my face. If anyone in school finds out I think like this, I’m as good as expelled.”
    Nice bit of characterization for a passing character there. I think my biggest complaint so far is that Brendan himself doesn't say much, and his character seems bland. Not sure if that's your intention - since the goal of the fic is to find out about other people - but I think you could make it work if you wanted to.


    “Isn’t this an unusual place to have a picnic?”

    “If I kept going to the usual places, I wouldn’t find anyone interesting enough to battle.”
    I think another aspect of this fic you're tackling is talking about unique places (ie the sand dunes) and then the more boring places (like any old grass route). You manage to make both interesting.

    I haven’t told my family about any of this, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen to me from here, but it’s nice to finally talk to someone about it. So thanks, man.”
    Ah, Brendan must feel happy hearing some kind of thanks for what he's doing. I know I would.

    “What’s the most difficult part about being a trainer?”

    “Definitely the solitude.
    I like how the previous trainer said something about not feeling lonely, then this one says the opposite. Really goes to show how everyone's experience is different.

    “If you don’t mind me asking, when did you realize that your journey should come to an end?”

    “Right before we started talking.”
    I think this was meant to be a bit impactful or I'm missing a point here, but I didn't feel too inspired by that line.

    Overall a great start if you plan on adding more. I definitely love little individual story pieces like this, so this was a pleasure to read.

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        Spoiler:- Review replies for starliteevee and diamondpearl876:


    File 3: Coordinators of Hoenn


    A friend from Johto jokingly asked me, “If trainers train, do coordinators coordinate?”

    I replied with a laugh, but it was just to mask my mulling over a very valid question. At first, I thought the title was a reference to how a coordinator and his or her Pokémon needed to be in sync in their appeals, hence pointing out how one needs coordination with one’s Pokémon to be successful with contests.

    But if any of the coordinators I have had the pleasure of talking with would answer that question, all their answers would have a unanimous message: that contests are more than just the ribbons, that appeals are more than just being appealing, and that coordinating is more than just being coordinated.





    “I go through a cycle each week. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I head out to the open sea to meet some trainers to battle. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I head to Slateport or Verdanturf to participate in contests. Sundays, I decide if I stick to that schedule for the next week or switch it up a bit.”

    “If you had to pick one, would you go for battles more often or contests more often?”

    “Definitely contests. I’d even say that the days I go out to train are just so that my Pokémon are well-rounded enough for the next contest!”

    “Why do you prefer contests over battles?”

    “It’s simple, really. When I win a battle, all I get is a simple congratulations and some cash. But when I win a contest, I feel like the whole world is applauding my victory, and it’s really mesmerizing.”





    “A lot of people want me to be a trainer. My parents brag to their friends that I’ll be the greatest trainer that’s ever lived. All of my friends are trainers now, and not a single day passes by without one of them calling and asking me if I’ve started my journey yet. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’m gonna commit a grave sin if I don’t become a trainer, which is taxing, since I don’t want to be one.”

    “Can I ask why?”

    “It’s not that I think it’s a bad profession. I actually think it’s cool. But when you put it side by side with being a coordinator, it just pales in comparison. I mean, why would I be a trainer when I could have the much more exciting role of a coordinator? No offense.”

    “None taken.”

    “See, I hope my parents and friends think like you do when I tell them about it, but I won’t count on it. I get fidgety just thinking about how they’ll react. I’m afraid it’ll break their hearts.”





    “I hate how people don’t take contests as seriously as battles. One time I lost to a camper pretty badly, and I told him playfully that I would’ve beaten him if we were in a contest. Then, without even so much as a second’s worth of hesitation, he told me that a win in a contest wouldn’t count because, and I quote, ‘contests are just battles with special effects and glitter.’

    “The sad thing is, opinions of contests like that camper’s aren’t really uncommon. I mean, you don’t really hear many coordinators talk about how many ribbons they’ve gotten, and it’s because they risk talking to deaf ears or even be scrutinized for making a big deal out of it. But when trainers brag about how many badges they’ve obtained, they’re treated like some savior that Arceus has blessed and given free Pokémon and free TMs and a free half-dozen of Soda Pop and whatever else.”

    “What do you want to say to people who view contests this way?”

    “Being a coordinator isn’t all sunshine and glitter. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that preparing for a contest is a lot harder than training for a battle. People devalue contests because of how easy they appear when compared to battles, but that can’t be any further from the truth.

    “To give you an idea of how hard it is: with battles, you can just ask some random person you meet in a route to practice with you, and you’ll have a basic picture of how your battles with Gym Leaders will be. That isn’t the case with contests—practicing for them is absolutely nothing like participating in them. You can rehearse your appeals and try to improve on them all you like, but you can’t just call someone and say, ‘Hey, let’s have a contest!’ to see if your appeal actually works. You keep on rehearsing until you step on that contest stage, and only then will you know if all that practice was worth it.

    “That doesn’t even scratch the surface of how tough it is to be a coordinator, and I hope more people realize that it’s just as hard to be a coordinator as it is to be a trainer.”





    “I hate how coordinators think so highly of themselves. Just because they can make Pokémon moves look theatrical doesn’t mean they’re kings and queens of the world. There was this one time I battled this Picnicker, and I already knew without asking her that she was a coordinator. Her outfit was neater than you’d expect from someone you meet in the ash route up north, and her Poké Balls were decorated with seals that you could only find in Sinnoh.

    “So anyway, we battled, and it was so one-sided that I felt a bit sorry for defeating her. But that sorry feeling disappeared real quick when she started ranting about how she ‘wasn’t in her element’ and how she ‘would pummel me if we were in a contest.’ Typical—she wanted to validate herself as a stuck-up, condescending idiot.

    “Okay, fine, that was a bit mean, and I’m sure there are a lot of coordinators out there who are real great to hang out with. I don’t get contests that much, but I get that coordinators like what they do, and that’s awesome. But they don’t have to be such jerks about it. Can’t we just let everyone do their own thing and be good in what they want to be good at and not complain about it?”





    “I’m not sure where this dichotomy between trainers and coordinators came from, but people have to stop believing it exists. The only thing that’s different about being a trainer and being a coordinator is being the best of either—that, and how people perceive them. The former won’t be changing anytime soon; the latter we can definitely work on. Besides that, we’re all the same people hoping to become the best version of whatever we aspire to be. What’s so hard about understanding that?”





    “Contests are really something else. I started out as a trainer, then I got recruited as a fashion model, and then I got a call from someone asking me to try out contests, and it’s been a crazy ride ever since. I thought I’d be used to all the competition from battling and to all the glitz and glamour from modeling, but they take all of that up to eleven when you’re in that contest stage.”

    “What has been your favorite moment as a coordinator so far?”

    “I’d have to say it was when I got my first ribbon. Shroomy and I had been to a few contests by then, but we lost in all of them pretty badly, so we vowed to rehearse and practice for two whole weeks before participating in our next contest. I fed her a lot of PokéBlocks, gave her a lot of grooming, and made sure that she performed the appeal to the best of her abilities. But most of all, I made sure not to let the pressure get to her, and to remind her that we were going through all of this because it’s what we love to do.

    “All of that paid off when Shroomy pulled off a great combo with Spore and Wake-Up Slap, and we won our first contest in Verdanturf. Sometimes, when I need a pick-me-up, I close my eyes and relive the events of that contest in my mind, and it never fails to bring a big smile on my face.”





    “I get a lotta funny looks when I tell people that I’m a coordinator. It shows how a lotta you guys have this fixed idea of what a coordinator looks like and what kinda people coordinators are. I even had this one guy tell me that contests are a ladies’ hobby, even though some of the greatest coordinators in this here region are dudes. It’s real close-minded, and even though I just brush it off, it sorta gets me down a lot.”





    “I’m a bit embarrassed to be here in my uniform, actually. I’d be in a more toned down outfit, but I forgot to pack one when I left the base this morning. I know I’d miss the schedule if I go back, so I’m just gonna toughen up and go for it.”

    “Go for what?”

    “Watch some contests. I know I’m gonna get a lot of cold looks from the fancy-shmancy audience there, but I don’t care. I only get one day off a month, and I’m not gonna let those prissy wannabes ruin it.”

    “Why do you like watching contests?”

    “It’s just a whole other kind of thrill, you know? The good ones, their appeals are out of this world, and it gets me excited right down to my bones. It’s all really appealing and spectacular, and there’s nothing in this world like it. And watching it live is a whole other experience from watching it on TV—when I watched my first live contest, I realized how I’m missing the entire point of contests when I’m behind the screen.”

    “Have you ever thought about participating in them?”

    “Hell no! I can’t afford all those things that make you look more grand! My Pokémon can’t even attack properly, and you expect them to attack in a way to make them appealing? And besides, who’s gonna take an Aqua Grunt seriously in them? I’m already a loser in battles; I’d be a bigger and more spectacular loser in contests.”





    “I’ve been getting a bit too obsessed with contests lately. I’ve shelled out almost half of my savings just to get the flashiest outfits and the highest quality PokéBlocks and the most eye-catching accessories. I even shelled out a couple hundred Pokés for one of those expensive groomers so that my Pokémon would be in top shape. On one hand, I should really cut down the expenses, but on the other, I just can’t seem to be satisfied until I make my Pokémon the best the contest world has ever seen. And quite frankly, that’s gonna take a lot of cash.”





    “Contests seem so bland to me nowadays. I mean, sure, I still enjoy them, but I feel like I’m just seeing the same thing over and over again.”

    “How so?”

    “Ever since Wallace won the Grand Festival, all the coordinators seemed to not care about anything else but elegance. All the appeals became more sophisticated than the last, shifting the focus from how the Pokémon performed to how the Pokémon looked like while performing it. Skill turned into stylishness, and talent turned into theatricality.

    “What they fail to realize is that Wallace won because he used the elegance to highlight his Pokémon and not the other way around. All the pizzazz Wallace brought to the table astounded a lot of people, yes, but he knew that it wasn’t what brought his appeals to success. Nowadays, coordinators focus too much on that pizzazz, that appeal to the eyes, and a lot of times it becomes boring to watch.”





    “I’ve always loved contests since I was a kid, but I didn’t have a lot of exposure to it. Being a trainer, you don’t have that kind of problem since battles and gym leaders are heavily publicized, but it’s only very recently that contests were given the same type of attention. Suddenly, with contests being televised on BuzzNav and such, a whole influx of people got into it, and it’s breathed new life into the world of coordinators.

    “I say this because I feel honored whenever one of my challengers in the gym tells me that they tried out contests because of me, or that they watched one of my appeals on TV and are interested in learning more about them. It makes me happy that a lot of people are aware of it nowadays, and that people are treating it more seriously.”

    “What piece of advice would you like to give to your fellow coordinators?”

    “I tell this to a lot of my challengers who ask me the same question: don’t treat contests the same way that you treat battles. Sure, there are a lot of similarities between them, but if you approach one like the other, you’re bound to meet dead ends. For one, contests are much slower-paced than battles, and dealing with contests with the same aggression as you do battles isn’t going to translate nicely to the stage.

    “In other words, you can be both a trainer and a coordinator, but what those titles mean are completely different from the other, and you have to have the sensitivity—and sincerity—to recognize that.”


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    But if any of the coordinators I have had the pleasure of talking with would answer that question, all their answers would have a unanimous message: that contests are more than just the ribbons, that appeals are more than just being appealing, and that coordinating is more than just being coordinated.
    There's more than meets the eye in just about everything, huh? This should be an interesting coordinator chapter.

    “It’s simple, really. When I win a battle, all I get is a simple congratulations and some cash. But when I win a contest, I feel like the whole world is applauding my victory, and it’s really mesmerizing.”
    I wonder if this would be why most people aspire to be the champion.

    “See, I hope my parents and friends think like you do when I tell them about it, but I won’t count on it. I get fidgety just thinking about how they’ll react. I’m afraid it’ll break their hearts.”
    This kind of makes it sound like a really hard confession, which is, I think, what you were going for. I've just never thought of it as a hard confession to make.

    “To give you an idea of how hard it is: with battles, you can just ask some random person you meet in a route to practice with you, and you’ll have a basic picture of how your battles with Gym Leaders will be. That isn’t the case with contests—practicing for them is absolutely nothing like participating in them. You can rehearse your appeals and try to improve on them all you like, but you can’t just call someone and say, ‘Hey, let’s have a contest!’ to see if your appeal actually works. You keep on rehearsing until you step on that contest stage, and only then will you know if all that practice was worth it.
    Not to mention that you're facing, like, 4-5 other coordinators at once rather than just one trainer.

    My Pokémon can’t even attack properly, and you expect them to attack in a way to make them appealing?
    Made me laugh. Nice little detail there

    “I’ve been getting a bit too obsessed with contests lately. I’ve shelled out almost half of my savings just to get the flashiest outfits and the highest quality PokéBlocks and the most eye-catching accessories. I even shelled out a couple hundred Pokés for one of those expensive groomers so that my Pokémon would be in top shape. On one hand, I should really cut down the expenses, but on the other, I just can’t seem to be satisfied until I make my Pokémon the best the contest world has ever seen. And quite frankly, that’s gonna take a lot of cash.”
    I like how you explored expenses. I'm sure training is expensive, but contests even moreso! And it's not something explored in fics often.

    “Ever since Wallace won the Grand Festival, all the coordinators seemed to not care about anything else but elegance. All the appeals became more sophisticated than the last, shifting the focus from how the Pokémon performed to how the Pokémon looked like while performing it. Skill turned into stylishness, and talent turned into theatricality.
    Ohh, you incorporated Wallace's performance. I never would have expected that.

    “In other words, you can be both a trainer and a coordinator, but what those titles mean are completely different from the other, and you have to have the sensitivity—and sincerity—to recognize that.”
    Perfect way to end this. It really summarizes this piece - some have the sensitivity/sincerity, some clearly don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    This kind of makes it sound like a really hard confession, which is, I think, what you were going for. I've just never thought of it as a hard confession to make.
    Yeah, I wanted coordinating to come off as something that was his preference but not his family's, which is a pretty familiar point of conflict.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Not to mention that you're facing, like, 4-5 other coordinators at once rather than just one trainer.
    Ooh, good point. The horde trainer battles exist, though, but I don't imagine everyone would've experienced that. Haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    I like how you explored expenses. I'm sure training is expensive, but contests even moreso! And it's not something explored in fics often.
    Like I said in my reply to [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] above (about a conversation of the same nature in the first file), that subject's a really interesting one IMO. It makes for some good plot.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Ohh, you incorporated Wallace's performance. I never would have expected that.

    Perfect way to end this. It really summarizes this piece - some have the sensitivity/sincerity, some clearly don't.
    I figured I'd keep up what I did in the previous two files and end it with a more popular NPC, and Wallace was the perfect choice for this, what with his being a coordinator becoming game-canon in ORAS [instead of just anime-canon]. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for all the comments, diamondpearl876!


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    Hey. Bringing you a review for the Review Game; bet you weren't expecting that after all this time, eh? :P Anyway, I know you requested a review of the first file, but I figured you wouldn't mind a review for two/three instead, since I already took a look at one.

    Anyway, you're still doing a great job of coming up with a wide variety of stories to present for Hoenn's residents. I found the file on contests particularly good in that regard--contests really do get second billing in basically every canon ever, so it was neat to see you flesh them out a bit and give a sense of how coordinators relate to trainers and how people view contests in-world.

    I also liked that you've worked in some entries where a character mentioned in an earlier entry will appear and give their own side of a story. That's something that HONY doesn't have as much opportunity to do, since the chances of running into related people like that is low, and it's cool to see you experiment with some of the things you can do in this format that the actually HONY often can't. I thought you did a good job of getting across two disparate viewpoints of an event, where each person feels justified in their opinions even if they're completely different from the other person's. I think too much of this would kind of defeat the purpose of the project in the first place, but a bit of it here and there is definitely an interesting twist on the usual formula and gives you a nice opportunity to tell little min-stories even though the format makes it hard to build up continuity overall.

    I think my favorite entries tend to be the shorter ones; I think you do a nice job of capturing the essential idea behind each entry in a short space, and these entries tend to be the ones that most remind me of HONY itself. Probably my favorite entry was second-to-last one in the second file, with the trainer who's just decided to bring his journey to a close. It's a pretty mature perspective on the situation that you very rarely see in pokefic, and I thought the final line was the perfect way to finish it off, adding a bit of just-so humor to what's otherwise a more considered and introspective entry. Also, in addition to finding the connecting entries interesting in their own right, I had a bit of fun with the girl-with-a-swablu entry for what I assume are unintentional reasons--I kept cracking up at the magma grunt casually lurking around in the background. "NOTHING TO SEE HERE, FOLKS."

    Really, the only thing I really find myself wanting out of this project is pretty much what I mentioned in my contest review: more variety in the speakers' voices. I think this project gives you an excellent opportunity to work on conveying character through dialogue, and it's still something I think you're weak on. Again, the varied stories you've put together are great, but it sounds like the same person narrated almost all of them, and it's kind of a detached voice at that. Changing up the vocabulary and sentence structure you use for your characters can do a lot to distinguish one from another and give a sense of personality. You do this a little bit with the hiker entry in the contest file, but for the most part

    Also, at times the dialogue feels a little stilted, in particular when you get into the more philosophical entries. Take Wally's, for example: "I was scared. No, I was terrified. Terrified that I would never get the chance to follow my dreams and live my life to its fullest." That doesn't sound like something a person would really say to me; it's a bit melodramatic, a bit rehearsed for what I think of as genuine-sounding dialogue. Again, you don't have the advantage of working with people's actual words, and dialogue in fiction is a lot more polished than it is in real life, but I think you have a tendency to slip into dialogue that sounds more constructed than real. Again, I think this project is a great opportunity to beef up your dialogue skills, and I believe that polishing things in that department will really take the entries up to the next level. It might help to really dig into HONY as a reference--how do people's personalities come through in the difference in how they choose their words or construct their sentences? How can they manage to sound funny/sweet/profound but spontaneous at the same time? There's a ton of material there for you to study.

    But, again, I think it's quite good already. It's really cool that you're able to keep coming up with backstories for all these minor characters without much repetition, and also that you've been able to keep the project going for as long as you have. I hope you keep on trucking for as long as it keeps being fun. I bet you've managed to come up with a lot of longer story ideas just by coming up with all these little snippets.

    In which an undead trainer, a bloodthirsty super-clone, and an irascible ex-Rocket grunt set out to rescue an imprisoned Mew--if they don't end up murdering each other first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    Hey. Bringing you a review for the Review Game; bet you weren't expecting that after all this time, eh? :P Anyway, I know you requested a review of the first file, but I figured you wouldn't mind a review for two/three instead, since I already took a look at one.
    Definitely didn't expect it. I didn't think anyone would look that far back. XD And that's perfectly fine! I really appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    Anyway, you're still doing a great job of coming up with a wide variety of stories to present for Hoenn's residents. I found the file on contests particularly good in that regard--contests really do get second billing in basically every canon ever, so it was neat to see you flesh them out a bit and give a sense of how coordinators relate to trainers and how people view contests in-world.
    Thank you! I feel like it's a big issue in the Pokemon Contest world how underrepresented they are, especially when you're comparing it to something as second-nature as training, so I tried to explore that with File 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    I also liked that you've worked in some entries where a character mentioned in an earlier entry will appear and give their own side of a story. That's something that HONY doesn't have as much opportunity to do, since the chances of running into related people like that is low, and it's cool to see you experiment with some of the things you can do in this format that the actually HONY often can't. I thought you did a good job of getting across two disparate viewpoints of an event, where each person feels justified in their opinions even if they're completely different from the other person's. I think too much of this would kind of defeat the purpose of the project in the first place, but a bit of it here and there is definitely an interesting twist on the usual formula and gives you a nice opportunity to tell little min-stories even though the format makes it hard to build up continuity overall.
    Ah, that's really nice to hear, since I did a whole series of posts on the Tumblr that works just like that (in that, all of the posts related to a previous Tumblr post that it linked to), but I didn't really get any specific reactions to it other than some likes, so I'm glad to see that it's a good experiment. I do agree that I would overdo it if I kept on featuring them, so I'll probably just sprinkle in a pair every file or two. HONY does something similar with the subjects that have more than one post linked to them and posted consecutively, but yeah, it'll be a surprise if he does have posts that link to previous subjects. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    I think my favorite entries tend to be the shorter ones; I think you do a nice job of capturing the essential idea behind each entry in a short space, and these entries tend to be the ones that most remind me of HONY itself. Probably my favorite entry was second-to-last one in the second file, with the trainer who's just decided to bring his journey to a close. It's a pretty mature perspective on the situation that you very rarely see in pokefic, and I thought the final line was the perfect way to finish it off, adding a bit of just-so humor to what's otherwise a more considered and introspective entry.
    I do tend to work on the side of brevity a lot with writing - I feel like there's a particularly nice effect in conveying a lot of things with so little, so I'm glad that they worked for you! And if you scrolled above to one of my replies to diamondpearl876, I was actually debating on whether or not to remove that last line since I wasn't sure if it achieved the effect I wanted it to, so you pointing it out is really reassuring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    Also, in addition to finding the connecting entries interesting in their own right, I had a bit of fun with the girl-with-a-swablu entry for what I assume are unintentional reasons--I kept cracking up at the magma grunt casually lurking around in the background. "NOTHING TO SEE HERE, FOLKS."
    XD It wasn't intentional, but I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway. I don't really pay too much attention to the backdrop of the pictures I take in the game unless that particular setting is important (for instance, the next file has an awful lot of characters that are in the Trick House, but it isn't because it's a Trick House-based file). But thanks for reminding me that I should get to creating a conversation for that Magma Grunt. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    Really, the only thing I really find myself wanting out of this project is pretty much what I mentioned in my contest review: more variety in the speakers' voices. I think this project gives you an excellent opportunity to work on conveying character through dialogue, and it's still something I think you're weak on. Again, the varied stories you've put together are great, but it sounds like the same person narrated almost all of them, and it's kind of a detached voice at that. Changing up the vocabulary and sentence structure you use for your characters can do a lot to distinguish one from another and give a sense of personality. You do this a little bit with the hiker entry in the contest file, but for the most part
    Ah, this is duly noted. I'm a bit half-and-half about twisting dialogue physically because I'm not all too familiar with speech patterns, and I'm aiming to achieve that variety by using tone and voice instead of language. I do realize that I also fail even in that regard, so it's something I do try to improve on with each conversation. It's a bit hard since my default will always be this detached voice that I'm used to working with, so I do have to take note that not everyone would speak that way to Brendan. Thanks for that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    Also, at times the dialogue feels a little stilted, in particular when you get into the more philosophical entries. Take Wally's, for example: "I was scared. No, I was terrified. Terrified that I would never get the chance to follow my dreams and live my life to its fullest." That doesn't sound like something a person would really say to me; it's a bit melodramatic, a bit rehearsed for what I think of as genuine-sounding dialogue. Again, you don't have the advantage of working with people's actual words, and dialogue in fiction is a lot more polished than it is in real life, but I think you have a tendency to slip into dialogue that sounds more constructed than real. Again, I think this project is a great opportunity to beef up your dialogue skills, and I believe that polishing things in that department will really take the entries up to the next level. It might help to really dig into HONY as a reference--how do people's personalities come through in the difference in how they choose their words or construct their sentences? How can they manage to sound funny/sweet/profound but spontaneous at the same time? There's a ton of material there for you to study.
    Thank you so much for pointing this out, since I have the tendency to make unrealistic dialogue when I want to discuss something extensively. The melodrama is something I'm trying to tone down with this project (unless it's called for, though the Wally conversation doesn't), so I'll really take all of your notes on this to heart. I do agree with using HONY itself as a basis for this (I already do in terms of content), as well as in your above comment about putting variety in dialogue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    But, again, I think it's quite good already. It's really cool that you're able to keep coming up with backstories for all these minor characters without much repetition, and also that you've been able to keep the project going for as long as you have. I hope you keep on trucking for as long as it keeps being fun. I bet you've managed to come up with a lot of longer story ideas just by coming up with all these little snippets.
    If anything, the Tumblr is a huge part of the reason why I'm still so rife with ideas for this, since I feel that there's a lot of potential for this kind of project using the kind of endless medium that Tumblr provides, especially with such a populated world as Pokemon. There will always be a story somewhere that you can attach to every NPC, so ideally the project will only truly end if Brendan has interviewed every NPC imaginable in the game, but I'm not really sure if I'll have enough ideas by then. :P

    And hell yes with the story ideas. A lot of the longer ones are either products or sources of story ideas for me, though many of them I've shelved for future purposes. I also hope that reading these conservations would give other people ideas for fics, since the whole thing could be read as one long Pokemon-themed story prompter. XD

    Thank you so much for the review, Negrek! I'll keep all of those comments in mind.


    And let me take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for Humans of Hoenn in the 2014 Fanfiction Awards! Though it did not win either category it was nominated in, I'm extremely grateful that it was even recognized for the two categories I thought really sums up why I'm optimistic about the project - originality and canon expansion. You're all awesome!

    I mentioned it a bit above, but File 4 should be posted in a few days! I hope you enjoy it.
    Last edited by Dramatic Melody; 6th May 2015 at 12:40 PM.


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    File 4: Children of Hoenn


    A number of politicians and League officials have advocated raising the minimum age requirement to become a trainer. Their reasons rarely vary—they emphasize the dangers of travel, the complexity of expenses, the necessity of a full education, and more recently, the naivety and immaturity of children.

    What all these adults fail to realize is that a trainer experiences the most meaningful growth he or she can get when journeying at the youngest possible age. The dangers we are exposed to prepare us for challenges down the line. Managing expenses makes us wise in dealing with our own money and lessens the need for us to be dependent to our parents or resort to criminality. Education within four closed walls cannot replicate the education an entire region could give us.

    And, perhaps most importantly, the naivety and immaturity they point out as hindrances are things that journeys will help children improve on and ultimately overcome.






    "My parents are so lame. They won't let me start my journey because they think I'm not ready for it. But all my friends from Trainers School already have Pokémon and badges and all that stuff!"

    "What would you like to say to your parents?"

    "Come on, Mom and Dad. Let me go on my journey! You guys started when you were ten years old, so why can't I? Besides, you're both overreacting when you say it's gonna be difficult. How hard can it be to catch some Pokémon and win some badges?"






    “What’s the most difficult part about being a trainer?”

    “Traveling, traveling, traveling. When I was at home, I took things like yummy food and clean clothes and cozy beds—especially cozy, cozy beds—for granted because they were always there. But now, except when I stay in a Pokémon Center—I don’t even remember when I slept in one last—I have to do all the cooking and cleaning and finding a place to sleep all by myself, which are much much much harder than I thought. I got the hang of cleaning my clothes easily, but the finding a place to sleep and the cooking—oh, especially the cooking? I’m as useless as a fainted Pokémon.”






    “I think I’m too thin-skinned to be a trainer.”

    “What makes you say so?”

    “You know that look your opponent makes when they're defeated? Even if it only lasts for a really short moment, that look haunts me for days. It tells me that my victory wasn’t right because I made my opponent feel bad. It makes me regret winning and feel like all the smart choices I made in those battles were actually dumb.

    "I know, I know, it’s a stupid problem, but I can’t help but be affected by it. Sometimes I wonder if I should just let my opponents win so I wouldn’t have to deal with it, but then I think of how my Pokémon would feel about that. I think they’d give me even scarier looks.”






    “What piece of advice would you like to give to your fellow trainers?”

    “Let go of your fears! It’ll make your journey more exciting!”

    “Was there an instance in your journey when you let go of your fears?”

    “Just last week! I have this huge fear of bugs, but when I found my Beautifly as a cute little Wurmple, that fear melted away. If I gave in to my fear, I wouldn’t have met my favorite Pokémon in the whole wide world!

    “Now I plan on catching more Bug-types like a Surskit or a Volbeat or even a Heracross. Or maybe I should get all three! I’ll have the best Bug-type team ever!”






    “I get nervous when I see other trainers groom or play with their Pokémon. For some reason, I just don’t have that kind of relationship with mine. Sure, we battle well together, but when we aren’t battling, we never spend our time with each other.

    “It makes me wonder, am I being a bad trainer? But wouldn’t I be an even worse trainer if I forced my Pokémon to do things they don’t want to? It makes me real confused.”






    “What has been the most interesting part of your journey so far?”

    “When I had to release one of my Pokémon.”

    “Oh, what happened?”

    “There wasn't anything confusing about it. From the moment I caught Mawile, I had doubts on her sticking around. Sure, she was a powerful Pokémon and she pulled her weight in battles, but there was always this distance between us. Unlike the rest of my team, whom I can all gauge the emotions of pretty easily, the only emotion I could get out of Mawile was indifference, if not discomfort.

    “I felt really bad about it since it was indication that I wasn’t a good trainer, but all the factors led to the decision of me releasing her. It wasn’t as eventful as I thought it would be; she came out of her Poké Ball in a beam of blue, and something clicked within her. After a few moments, she looked at me with a vacant expression, nodded, and walked away.

    “I didn’t think much about it at that moment, but later that night when I was about to sleep, I couldn’t stop mulling over it. What did I do wrong? What did I fail to do? What did she think of me? What would my other Pokémon think of me? Was releasing her really the right decision? I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.”






    “When did you start your journey?”

    “More than a week ago.”

    “What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made so far?”

    “That I can’t live in a world without Pokémon.”






    “Do you have a trainer role model? Someone who inspires you as a trainer?”

    “Oh yeah. You said you came from Johto, right? You know Karen, from the Elite Four there?”

    “Yeah, the Dark-type master.”

    “Well, I saw one of her interviews on TV, and she said something that really hit home for me. She said how labeling Pokémon as ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ were only for trainers who weren’t serious about training. Hearing that was a huge deal for me, since in Trainers’ School I was pressured to pick a ‘strong’ starter and avoid any ‘weak’ Pokémon for my team. But she threw all of that pressure out the window when she said something I’ll never forget: ‘Truly skilled trainers should try to win with the Pokémon they love best.’

    “I think I wouldn’t be a trainer today if I didn’t watch that interview and hear those words. That’s how much it meant to me. If I meet her someday, I’m gonna shake her hand and thank her for convincing me to be the kind of trainer I want to be.”






    “Those adults should really make up their minds.”

    “Why is that?”

    “All of them tell me to follow my dreams. But when I tell them what my dreams are, they make them seem like they're bad things. I tell them, 'I want to be a Pokémon master!', and they'll say, 'Ooh, look at silly little Keigo having big dreams!' So which one is it? Do they all want me to follow something bad or what?”






    "When I told my parents that I was going to be a Gym Trainer for Wattson, all they said was 'Don't screw up this opportunity. You can replace him someday.' No congratulations, no good job, not even a do your best. No nothing."

    "If by any chance they see this, what do you want to tell them?"

    "I'm doing all of this to make you proud. The least you can do is tell me that's possible."






    “It’s hard, right? Being the child of someone well-known? In the short trip I’ve had from Littleroot to here, I counted thirty-three people who asked me, ‘Hey, aren’t you Birch’s girl?’ And I had to say yes to each and every one of them just so they could stop asking. I’m sure you’re the same, with your dad being a Gym Leader and all.”

    “It isn’t as often, but I do have some conversations that start with, ‘Wow, you’re Norman’s son!’ I mean, it’s flattering, but...”

    “...but you’d rather be known for who you are rather than who your parents are. It’s difficult making your own name when people associate you with someone else’s.

    “I guess that’s why I want to be the Champion, or a Top Coordinator, or a Dex Completionist. Or maybe even all three, if I work hard enough. Maybe when I achieve all of that, people will come up to me and say, ‘Hey, you’re May!’ and not ‘Hey, you’re the professor’s kid!’ I love my dad to bits, but it’s about time I stepped out of his shadow and became more than his daughter.”


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  18. #18
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    Their reasons rarely vary—they emphasize the dangers of travel, the complexity of expenses, the necessity of a full education, and more recently, the naivety and immaturity of children.
    Sounds like that last bit came after lots and lots of experimentation, and hope that child aren't, in fact, naive and immature. XD

    Managing expenses makes us wise in dealing with our own money and lessens the need for us to be dependent to our parents or resort to criminality.
    Dunno, I could easily see a kid trying to manage finances resort to criminality, so their moral codes aren't as strong as a teenager's/adult's.

    I got the hang of cleaning my clothes easily, but the finding a place to sleep and the cooking—oh, especially the cooking? I’m as useless as a fainted Pokémon.”
    Lol, that last line. This kid needs to invest in a fire-type.

    “You know that look your opponent makes when they're defeated? Even if it only lasts for a really short moment, that look haunts me for days. It tells me that my victory wasn’t right because I made my opponent feel bad. It makes me regret winning and feel like all the smart choices I made in those battles were actually dumb.
    Ohh, this is a really interesting take on older gym trainers beating up on little kid trainers. :P

    “Now I plan on catching more Bug-types like a Surskit or a Volbeat or even a Heracross. Or maybe I should get all three! I’ll have the best Bug-type team ever!”
    I SUPPORT BUG-TYPE TRAINERS

    “I get nervous when I see other trainers groom or play with their Pokémon. For some reason, I just don’t have that kind of relationship with mine. Sure, we battle well together, but when we aren’t battling, we never spend our time with each other.
    I think a lot of growing up is realizing that you can be different from others. Not sure if that's what you were going for here, though.

    “I didn’t think much about it at that moment, but later that night when I was about to sleep, I couldn’t stop mulling over it. What did I do wrong? What did I fail to do? What did she think of me? What would my other Pokémon think of me? Was releasing her really the right decision? I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.”
    I can't imagine "releasing" one of my pets, so I resonate with this.

    A short but sweet addition to the Humans of Hoenn. A couple entries seemed out of place and I'm not sure if I got out of them what you wanted me to (and I pointed that out above), but you did a good job not making this too whiny or too naive, if that makes sense. I mean, naivety and immaturity are generally seen as annoying traits, but that doesn't carry over to your writing - instead it's interesting and compelling.

  19. #19
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    A number of politicians and League officials have advocated raising the minimum age requirement to become a trainer.
    For whatever reason, I first read this as "minimum wage." So this is what economics classes do to me >_<

    When I was at home, I took things like yummy food and clean clothes and cozy beds—especially cozy, cozy beds—for granted because they were always there.
    I feel like this is true for anyone who has to spend time away from home. I know that I didn't really realize how great it is to be able to eat delicious food whenever you want until I first spent a week away from home going to a work camp with my church.

    “You know that look your opponent makes when they're defeated? Even if it only lasts for a really short moment, that look haunts me for days. It tells me that my victory wasn’t right because I made my opponent feel bad. It makes me regret winning and feel like all the smart choices I made in those battles were actually dumb."
    I feel like I would struggle with this exact problem, and I don't even consider myself a child.

    On the whole, this was really cute ^_^ This may be just me, but sometimes I felt like the children had a bit of an adult vibe, with using words like "mulling" and "flattering," and sometimes the structure of the sentences just made me feel more like I was reading from an adult. Though "child" can have a broad definition (I'm going to assume this is a group of kids aged 10-13) so it's not as unbelievable, and it's still more of a personal thing for me anyway.

    I especially thought the bug trainer was adorable, though. And it nicely ties in to the guy who wanted to meet Karen, since Bug-types aren't thought of as strong (especially not in Hoenn) but she's determined to win with them anyway. This was definitely the cutest file you've put up here (though I guess that's to be expected :P) and I really enjoyed it. And, to finish off:

    “What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made so far?”

    “That I can’t live in a world without Pokémon.”
    I don' think I could, either.


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    “Being a coordinator isn’t all sunshine and glitter. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that preparing for a contest is a lot harder than training for a battle. People devalue contests because of how easy they appear when compared to battles, but that can’t be any further from the truth.

    “To give you an idea of how hard it is: with battles, you can just ask some random person you meet in a route to practice with you, and you’ll have a basic picture of how your battles with Gym Leaders will be. That isn’t the case with contests—practicing for them is absolutely nothing like participating in them. You can rehearse your appeals and try to improve on them all you like, but you can’t just call someone and say, ‘Hey, let’s have a contest!’ to see if your appeal actually works. You keep on rehearsing until you step on that contest stage, and only then will you know if all that practice was worth it.
    This is pretty much exactly how I see it. I don't think I could ever be a coordinator myself--never mind that that's impossible anyway, pfff.

    And watching it live is a whole other experience from watching it on TV—when I watched my first live contest, I realized how I’m missing the entire point of contests when I’m behind the screen.
    Whereas going to see a contest... yeah, that I'd be totally down for. I wonder if admission would be expensive as all frell, though.

    I got the hang of cleaning my clothes easily, but the finding a place to sleep and the cooking—oh, especially the cooking? I’m as useless as a fainted Pokémon.
    That wouldn't be the case if "cook" were made into an hm. :B

    Fun fact: having scenes/interviews take place in the trick house causes me to immediately begin thinking of the trick house music. (Though this time it only lasted for a short time before being driven right back out by the 10 a.m. music from ACNL.)

    I didn’t think much about it at that moment, but later that night when I was about to sleep, I couldn’t stop mulling over it. What did I do wrong? What did I fail to do? What did she think of me? What would my other Pokémon think of me? Was releasing her really the right decision?
    I'd say so. Relationships of any kind can't be forced, after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Sounds like that last bit came after lots and lots of experimentation, and hope that child aren't, in fact, naive and immature. XD
    As much as I'd want this to actually be a precursor to a dystopian novel... XD

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Dunno, I could easily see a kid trying to manage finances resort to criminality, so their moral codes aren't as strong as a teenager's/adult's.
    Hm, good point, and you gave me an idea for a conversation! I haven't really explored crime in any of the conversations yet. Maybe I'll use Markus as inspiration for this one...

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    I SUPPORT BUG-TYPE TRAINERS
    #bugtypes2015

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    I think a lot of growing up is realizing that you can be different from others. Not sure if that's what you were going for here, though.
    Partly, yeah. I guess it fits with how he hasn't really realized that, and he needed a bit of a push from someone to know that he can forge his own identity. That someone just happens to be Karen.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    A short but sweet addition to the Humans of Hoenn. A couple entries seemed out of place and I'm not sure if I got out of them what you wanted me to (and I pointed that out above), but you did a good job not making this too whiny or too naive, if that makes sense. I mean, naivety and immaturity are generally seen as annoying traits, but that doesn't carry over to your writing - instead it's interesting and compelling.
    Thank you! Noted on the out-of-placeness of some of them. Reading through it again, I do agree that the connection of being kids isn't really strong enough to hold the entire file together, so I should've added more to that. I'm glad that you liked how the file danced around the naivety though - it's certainly an issue it tackles, but it's more of a misconception it aims to break. Thanks for the review!

    Quote Originally Posted by starliteevee View Post
    For whatever reason, I first read this as "minimum wage." So this is what economics classes do to me >_<
    Don't worry - I've been researching a lot of finance-related stuff for work recently, so I know exactly how you feel. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by starliteevee View Post
    I feel like this is true for anyone who has to spend time away from home. I know that I didn't really realize how great it is to be able to eat delicious food whenever you want until I first spent a week away from home going to a work camp with my church.
    Thanks for that! Oddly enough, this entry isn't one of the ones where I use real-life as basis - most of it was from observations and assumptions. I'm glad it resonates with someone who's actually gone through it!

    Quote Originally Posted by starliteevee View Post
    On the whole, this was really cute ^_^ This may be just me, but sometimes I felt like the children had a bit of an adult vibe, with using words like "mulling" and "flattering," and sometimes the structure of the sentences just made me feel more like I was reading from an adult. Though "child" can have a broad definition (I'm going to assume this is a group of kids aged 10-13) so it's not as unbelievable, and it's still more of a personal thing for me anyway.
    Thank you! I'll definitely take your notes on the voice of the children to heart. Like I said in my reply to Negrek above, voice and tone are factors that I'm still working on, and like what she said, this project is a great way to practice that. I've actually had a similar comment for another work of mine, so now I know that I should be more mindful of it. Yes, they are mostly preadolescents, but I still get that you'd want a more child-like quality in their voices. Thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by starliteevee View Post
    I especially thought the bug trainer was adorable, though. And it nicely ties in to the guy who wanted to meet Karen, since Bug-types aren't thought of as strong (especially not in Hoenn) but she's determined to win with them anyway. This was definitely the cutest file you've put up here (though I guess that's to be expected :P) and I really enjoyed it. And, to finish off:

    I don' think I could, either.
    Thank you! Those two conversations seem to be the ones that work the best out of these since both you and diamondpearl876 point them out, so I'll definitely see how I can apply what I did to those conversations to the others. Thanks for the review!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sike Saner View Post
    This is pretty much exactly how I see it. I don't think I could ever be a coordinator myself--never mind that that's impossible anyway, pfff.

    Whereas going to see a contest... yeah, that I'd be totally down for. I wonder if admission would be expensive as all frell, though.
    I don't think I'd ever be a coordinator either. I'd be an avid fan of it though, and I'll probably sit with you in the audience! Though I do think they'll be as expensive as theatre tickets.

    And no, nothing's impossible. Contests are real. There is no war in Ba Sing Se.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sike Saner View Post
    Fun fact: having scenes/interviews take place in the trick house causes me to immediately begin thinking of the trick house music. (Though this time it only lasted for a short time before being driven right back out by the 10 a.m. music from ACNL.)
    I didn't think much of ACNL's soundtrack at first, but when I listened to all the hours at work I fell in love with it. My favorite's the 5 PM one. It doesn't help that Mario Kart 8 has ridiculously amazing arrangements of several themes, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sike Saner View Post
    I'd say so. Relationships of any kind can't be forced, after all.
    Couldn't agree more. Thanks for the review!


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    I LOVE THIS, FOR REASONS THAT MIGHT BE A BIT OF PERSONAL APPEAL. I actually have a lot of fondness for the way the NPCs in third generation in particular turned out, the way the dialog boxes give an extremely limited space to express character, and how the game usually doesn't manage to convey a whole lot of it, mostly using that space for little gags or foibles, descriptions of what the characters were doing, the barest hint of daily life. I'm glad theres so much work in fanfic to expand these characters into 'what they do' -- narrations of what they're involved in right now, descriptions of backstory, etc. But I feel like this HONY-style approach comes closest to what the game wanted by putting all these characters everywhere with which you can have tiny conversations -- an attempt at conveying how fleeting and partial the connection is with the people you come across in your daily life.

    I think another of the things that appeals to me is that it just populates the world of the game itself. If you were writing a long fiction, you would have to take matters into your own universe, if you know what I mean. But this seems to have some of the challenge of taking the limited world that the game can represent, along with any maybe hard impossibilities that you might have to face, and creating a moving story out of it. If I'm not being too frank, I usually feel like the game is being spited when most fanfics use it to create a better story. Of course the story is objectively better, but the writer has to relegate the story of the game to a childish level of amusement that can't sustain their interest anymore. I like how your stories really are better, more moving and deeper while taking almost as little space, but you keep talking in the vocabulary of the game.

    Even if the characters themselves aren't exactly compelling (I'm going off on a bit of tangent here), there's a lot of joy involved in imagining being in their situation. I think you're supposed to wonder about the life of a Student, or a Sailor, and what kind of places they see.

    I also want to imagine second gos at these conversations! (Not that they're likely to happen, since this is by nature one off.) I just had a very strong feeling the picknicker in the middle of the desert didn't tell you the whole story. ; )

    I loved the talk with Wally, and also the talk with Flannery. I also love that over time this project is building up such a huge heap of different kind of people with different desires and values; if there's one thing that the games don't manage to do, it's represent the experience of any trainer other than The Perfect Trainer: who comes from a small town and dedicates their life to it and gets better and better until, just as they're destined to, they beat the E4. And you can tell they really want to show company employees with pokemon, preschoolers with pokemon, busy housewives with pokemon, but it's not until you can make a good story for these characters that their worldview starts to really matter.

    Or in other words, I just might be happy that this is a fanfic with no agenda or overarching plan? Yet? I really like the interview kind of formats you take, btw.

    Anyway, sorry I didn't really have any critiques; I'm getting more and more out of touch with that concept these days. My fault!

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    Oh my god, Luphinid? It's been such a long time!! How are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxiteles View Post
    I LOVE THIS, FOR REASONS THAT MIGHT BE A BIT OF PERSONAL APPEAL. I actually have a lot of fondness for the way the NPCs in third generation in particular turned out, the way the dialog boxes give an extremely limited space to express character, and how the game usually doesn't manage to convey a whole lot of it, mostly using that space for little gags or foibles, descriptions of what the characters were doing, the barest hint of daily life. I'm glad theres so much work in fanfic to expand these characters into 'what they do' -- narrations of what they're involved in right now, descriptions of backstory, etc. But I feel like this HONY-style approach comes closest to what the game wanted by putting all these characters everywhere with which you can have tiny conversations -- an attempt at conveying how fleeting and partial the connection is with the people you come across in your daily life.
    Heh, thanks! I never really thought about the restriction of the textboxes as a factor in their limited characterization. All the more that we as fanfic writers should expand them, yes? I think the fleetingness of the whole situation is part of the appeal of the original HONY - from a simple conversation, you get a load of interesting insights from a person that someone just happened to bump into and take a picture of. I try to capture that sort of magic with this, so I'm glad you point it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxiteles View Post
    I think another of the things that appeals to me is that it just populates the world of the game itself. If you were writing a long fiction, you would have to take matters into your own universe, if you know what I mean. But this seems to have some of the challenge of taking the limited world that the game can represent, along with any maybe hard impossibilities that you might have to face, and creating a moving story out of it.
    I do have to say that the core of this project is making the wealth of characters that the Gen 3 games have as rich as the region they reside in. It's both interesting and challenging to sort-of "borrow" each character from where they are and work with what they've got. Most of the time, I do use their limited dialogue, their team, their location, and whatever else is available for them as basis for the conversations, but I admit that there have been several times where I just got a character and made a completely unrelated story from what they present. In that case, I do make it a point to ground it in the universe they inhabit, but this latter way of approaching gives me more breathing room in the types of conversations I can create (such as in almost every conversation in File 3).

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxiteles View Post
    If I'm not being too frank, I usually feel like the game is being spited when most fanfics use it to create a better story. Of course the story is objectively better, but the writer has to relegate the story of the game to a childish level of amusement that can't sustain their interest anymore. I like how your stories really are better, more moving and deeper while taking almost as little space, but you keep talking in the vocabulary of the game.
    That's a really interesting way of putting it, and I'll have to thank you for opening yet another layer of this project for me to explore and love. Like I said above, though, I do have to go beyond the plot of the story for many of the conversations, but I do try to make a healthy mixture of both cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxiteles View Post
    Even if the characters themselves aren't exactly compelling (I'm going off on a bit of tangent here), there's a lot of joy involved in imagining being in their situation. I think you're supposed to wonder about the life of a Student, or a Sailor, and what kind of places they see.
    That's what I hope for the readers, since I have a hell of a lot of fun doing that as the writer. The student one in particular is noteworthy since I'm planning a future File based on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxiteles View Post
    I also want to imagine second gos at these conversations! (Not that they're likely to happen, since this is by nature one off.) I just had a very strong feeling the picknicker in the middle of the desert didn't tell you the whole story. ; )
    Believe it or not, I'm also planning something like this, though this time it'll be for the Tumblr. I've been thinking of some conversations I do want to revisit. And yeah, that Picnicker in the desert sure looks like she has more in her mind. Haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxiteles View Post
    I loved the talk with Wally, and also the talk with Flannery. I also love that over time this project is building up such a huge heap of different kind of people with different desires and values; if there's one thing that the games don't manage to do, it's represent the experience of any trainer other than The Perfect Trainer: who comes from a small town and dedicates their life to it and gets better and better until, just as they're destined to, they beat the E4. And you can tell they really want to show company employees with pokemon, preschoolers with pokemon, busy housewives with pokemon, but it's not until you can make a good story for these characters that their worldview starts to really matter.
    Thank you for that! That really sums up the original project, which transformed into File 1 - a sort-of breaking down of the trainer mold and trying to bring up aspects that seem overlooked in the games. I feel like there's so many types of trainers that are still left unexplored, and this project is my way of exploring them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Praxiteles View Post
    Or in other words, I just might be happy that this is a fanfic with no agenda or overarching plan? Yet? I really like the interview kind of formats you take, btw.

    Anyway, sorry I didn't really have any critiques; I'm getting more and more out of touch with that concept these days. My fault!
    I don't really think there's an underlying agenda or plan for it - just the aim of expanding the world more and more. I hope that doesn't become a problem down the line, since I do want the focus to be on the conversations themselves rather than in how they're put together. And no problem at all!

    Thank you so much for the review! I'm glad you like the project.


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  24. #24
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    File 5: Villains of Hoenn


    There is something peculiar about the title of villain. It is a title that is never bestowed upon oneself, but rather one that is thrown onto others. It is a descriptor of one whose actions do not coincide with the norm, a norm set by self-proclaimed non-villains. It is contrasted with the title of hero, and heroes are often depended on to stop the villains from winning, from getting their way.

    But what are villains, really? Aren’t they the victims of the evil brought about by those who villainize them? Aren’t they the people who are brave enough to challenge the norm and its imperfections? Aren’t they the heroes of their own lives, the protagonists of their own stories? And aren’t we all just the heroes of ourselves and the villains of our villains?






    "I'd stay a few steps away from Poochyena if I were you. He doesn't react warmly to most people."

    "Do you mind if I ask why?"

    "When one of the townsfolk found him in 113, his whole body was covered in bruises. His mouth was tied up, his fur had blank patches, and his tail was cut off. That kind soul brought him over to the Center, and it took weeks of intensive care for him to recover.

    "Everyone was wondering who could've caused this since the Nurse said that his bruises could've only been inflicted by a human. That's when someone brought up how he saw a bunch of those Team Magma fools herding Poochyena down south, and how none of the Poochyena looked like they were willing to be herded.

    "We all think it's their doing, those scums. They're saying that they're improving the world with their fantasies, but they're doing it in a real bad way. And it only got worse when they kidnapped Professor Cozmo and stole his research that one time. Whenever we see one of those Team Aqua fools pass by, we make it a point to make them feel as unwelcome in Fallarbor as possible."

    "Oh, it was Team Aqua? I thought you said it was Team Magma who did this?"

    "Team Magma, Team Aqua, whatever. They're all just a bunch of no-good villains."






    “Man, I got a real bad lecture from Admin Tabitha yesterday. I was supposed to join the team for an undercover mission to Mossdeep the other day, but I had to call in sick because my Poochyena wasn’t in his A game. He was pretty beat up from our faceoff with Team Aqua last week. Since I don’t have enough money to buy Potions and vitamins, I’ve been making him rest in my bunk since then.

    “So I had to back out from the Mossdeep mission last minute because he still hadn’t fully healed by then, and the mission involved a lot of battling. I didn’t want them to do anything to Poochy, so I faked being sick and got myself out of the mission team. Admin Tabitha made sure to give me the long speech on loyalty and honesty when he found out, and demoted me to a guard grunt.

    “I don’t really mind. I mean, at least I’m still part of the team. What matters is that Poochy recovers properly. He’s much better now, though it’ll be a while before I let him battle again. Since I won’t be doing outside missions anymore, at least we get to spend a lot of time bonding here. And that can only be a good thing, right?”






    “It’s wrong. It’s all wrong. Everything I do is freaking wrong. Joining this damn team was wrong. Letting my father pressure me into following his nonsense cause was wrong. Leaving my family behind was wrong. Attacking that parasol lady for that Numel was wrong. My entire life’s just one big goddamn mistake.

    “Look at me. Look at how pathetic I am. They decide to give me the absolute worst place to guard in this hideout—I can’t even feel the left part of my body anymore. They decide to brainwash me into doing their dirty work because they know that I’m a directionless piece of scum. I’m the epitome of Team Magma—a big pile of Camerupt sh—”

    “Well, did that make you feel better?”

    “...actually, it did. Thanks, bro.”






    “I think I’ve hit a dead end with Team Magma. Everything I do for the team has the end-goal of being promoted to admin in mind, but as each day passes, that end-goal gets farther and farther. I know that the road to success is long, but you start to question where that road is leading to if all the people you entered the team with have either quit, been fired, or jumped ship to the other team. And when you realize that Team Magma hasn’t had a change in their administration in eleven years, you’ll start asking yourself how reasonable that end-goal is.

    “I know it takes action to make change, but right now I don’t know what to do to get out of this static situation. Do I ask Leader Maxie outright if I have even the tiniest chance of being an admin? Do I jump ship to Team Aqua and try my luck there? Do I quit and go on a journey like what all the young people do these days? I really don’t know.”






    “There was this girl I always saw in the Lilycove Department Store whenever I went there on Saturdays. She was really pretty, and whenever I saw her, I felt this calmness that I couldn’t explain. At first it felt like she was trying to avoid me, but when the glances became more frequent, I took a chance and asked her if she wanted to have a Soda Pop with me in the rooftop. To my relief, she said yes, and we had our first rooftop date—if you can even call it a date, since all we did was talk and drink our Soda Pops. It was a really interesting talk, though.

    “It became a weekly thing—I found out she only went there on Saturdays, just like I did—and I’d never had more personal conversations with anyone before. At some point I even told her about my issues with my dad, and I haven’t talked about that with anyone else before. Our rooftop dates became longer and more memorable as the Saturdays went by, and for me, the other six days became more of a waiting game for the next Saturday.

    “But something this amazing couldn’t go without its consequences, and that came a few Wednesdays ago, in the peak of Mt. Chimney. I didn’t expect to see her, but I did expect her to look beautiful, even if she wore the uniform of our rival team. I caught a glimpse of her trying to avoid mine, and her dejected look was all the answer I needed. Still, I felt bad when I had to throw away a full Soda Pop bottle in the Saturday that came after, and the feeling worsened as I threw away more full Soda Pop bottles in the Saturdays that followed.”

    “If by any chance she sees this, what do you want to tell her?”

    “I’m so much more than this uniform, and you know it.”






    “I met this guy while I was shopping in Lilycove one Saturday morning. He seemed nice, though he carried himself in an assertive way. But he had a certain gentleness in his voice when he invited me for a Soda Pop in the roof deck. We talked about our stress, our families, our dreams—basically big slices of each other’s lives. When I told him that my shopping in the Department Store was on a weekly basis, he told me that he’ll see me here at the same time next week, making sure he’ll pay for more Soda Pops. Assertive, but gentle.

    “That went on for a couple of weeks, the Soda Pops becoming plentier and the talks becoming deeper. We talked about what we had in our minds, and shared things we hadn’t shared with anyone else before. What started out as waiting until the sun was too hot became watching the sun set on Lilycove Bay.

    “None of my teammates knew about it, so these ‘Saturdates,’ as I like to call them, felt like my personal escape. I mean, I’m loyal to Team Aqua and all, but it’s rare to find your own thing within the team if you weren’t an admin or a promoted grunt. So this was something for me and only me. And obviously, it didn’t last.”

    “What happened?”

    “A while ago, we had a face-off with our rivals, Team Magma, atop Mt. Chimney. Of course, I see him in a red uniform, and of course, team policy means that I’m forbidden to speak to him ever again. I was too distraught to go to the Department Store the Saturday that followed, and all the Saturdays after that. But I’ll go there someday, when I’m ready to face him.”

    “If by any chance he sees this, what do you want to tell him?”

    “That I miss you. And I’ll see you soon.”






    “I joined Team Aqua because I thought it would be a good way to show my love for the ocean. But, truth be told, this day in this museum has been the only time in my entire time as a grunt when I actually feel like I’m loving the ocean the way that I want to.”






    “I don’t get it. Sir Archie says that humans have done so much unforgivable wrongs to Pokémon, so it’s Team Aqua’s job to eliminate these wrongs by taking away the land that the humans took away from the Pokémon. His idea of a perfect world is one where Pokémon can live free of the torments of human advancement—a world of new beginnings.

    “But here I am, someone who’s tasked to train these Wailmer to be vessels for Team Aqua’s vision, a vision that implies that these Wailmer are better off without a human like me. So what is all this for? Am I training them to fight for their own freedom, a freedom they cannot attain under the hands of a human? Or is it the other way around? Are these Wailmer preparing me for the separation of humans and Pokémon in Sir Archie’s world of new beginnings? Are they making me feel the thrill of being a trainer for one last time? Or are they—

    “No. I have to stop. I can’t keep thinking like this. I can’t show doubt whenever I feel that something’s off. I swore an oath to trust Sir Archie and everything he believes in, and I’m gonna stand by him no matter what. Long live Sir Archie! Long live Team Aqua!”






    “The guys have it so much easier than us. They get Matt, the fun goofball who would join you for a night out in town and drink with you in bars. We get Shelly, the perfectionist prodigy who makes sure us girls work just as hard as she does.

    “Don’t get me wrong—she’s an amazing admin. A lot of the progress we make in this team is due to her leadership, and I’m learning a lot about Pokémon and technology and team operations from her. But when I see the guys chilling in their bunks and hanging out with Matt, and I compare it to how we have a curfew and strict assignments each night, I can’t help but feel a bit jealous.”






    “What the hell, kiddo? You’re asking me questions in the middle of an operation? Who do you think you are?”

    “I’m sorry. It’s just that, uhm, I thought, all the other grunts didn’t seem to mind, and I rarely get an opportunity to talk to admins, and—”

    “And we rarely get an opportunity to succeed in our missions. This is the farthest I’ve gotten in a mission of this scale, and I’m not gonna let some curious Magikarp ruin it. I won’t let you screw up my opportunity to be recognized by Archie for my hard work. Not in a million years!”






    “They told me it was impossible. You shouldn’t waste your time thinking about such fantasies, Maxie. You should get your head out of the clouds, Maxie. You should start thinking about what you can actually do for a change, Maxie. Everyone doubted me, and everyone thought I was crazy for pursuing a nonsensical goal.

    “But this Meteorite is tangible, irrefutable proof that all those close-minded comments were wrong. My dream of expanding the landmass is possible, just as much as that oaf Archie’s nightmare of expanding the seas. When I harness the power of this Meteorite, and when I awaken that fabled legendary Pokémon, all of those nonsensical goals they attributed to me would be finally achieved.

    “And now, those same humans who mocked me are the ones parading around calling me maniac, calling me villain. But what is so villainous about pursuing dreams? What is so villainous about putting effort to achieve what you desire? Is that not what every human does in their daily life? Why chastise my dreams if everyone has that very same impossible-to-achieve dream they wish to prove as possible?

    “And to think, all this hard work about expanding the landmass is for humanity’s development. Am I being a villain for helping the very humans that love to chastise their own kind’s dreams? The very humans that make it their aim to tear other humans down?

    “I only wish you would all think about that before villainizing me. Perhaps I am proof that any kind of dream, however outlandish, is possible, and you are showing your envy with criticism. Perhaps I have already won by turning all expectations of me around, and you are showing your frustration by making sure I don’t achieve my dream. Who then are the villains? Who then is the hero fighting for what he believes in?”


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  25. #25
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    I love love love love LOVE this! Villain teams of Hoenn are the best! And you just managed to capture everything so well (in my personal opinion, but I'm a total sucker for these :P); this was such an enjoyable read I liked how the little blurb at the beginning really contradicts the first entry; whatever villains may be to themselves, the "heroes of their own lives," it's clear that their actions really do hurt other people. So they do deserve the bad reputation they get.

    The second entry was especially heart-warming, as it shows that the grunt truly cares about Poochy. And the image of a Poochyena sleeping on his bed is just so cute ^_^

    “It’s wrong. It’s all wrong. Everything I do is freaking wrong. Joining this damn team was wrong. Letting my father pressure me into following his nonsense cause was wrong. Leaving my family behind was wrong. Attacking that parasol lady for that Numel was wrong. My entire life’s just one big goddamn mistake.

    “Look at me. Look at how pathetic I am. They decide to give me the absolute worst place to guard in this hideout—I can’t even feel the left part of my body anymore. They decide to brainwash me into doing their dirty work because they know that I’m a directionless piece of scum. I’m the epitome of Team Magma—a big pile of Camerupt sh—”
    You just got to let it all out, bro. I know how therapeutic ranting to someone about something can be. I really feel sorry for this guy I can't really relate (thank goodness), but I can easily imagine being pressured into something you don't want to do, and being bound to teh sense of duty to family and later completely regretting it.
    I also liked how you cut his curse short :P

    “I think I’ve hit a dead end with Team Magma. Everything I do for the team has the end-goal of being promoted to admin in mind, but as each day passes, that end-goal gets farther and farther. I know that the road to success is long, but you start to question where that road is leading to if all the people you entered the team with have either quit, been fired, or jumped ship to the other team. And when you realize that Team Magma hasn’t had a change in their administration in eleven years, you’ll start asking yourself how reasonable that end-goal is.

    “I know it takes action to make change, but right now I don’t know what to do to get out of this static situation. Do I ask Leader Maxie outright if I have even the tiniest chance of being an admin? Do I jump ship to Team Aqua and try my luck there? Do I quit and go on a journey like what all the young people do these days? I really don’t know.”
    Poor girl. Having your life just stuck somewhere and no end in sight is really hard. And man, eleven years?! That's a LONG time (and slightly suspicious...)

    “There was this girl I always saw in the Lilycove Department Store whenever I went there on Saturdays. She was really pretty, and whenever I saw her, I felt this calmness that I couldn’t explain. At first it felt like she was trying to avoid me, but when the glances became more frequent, I took a chance and asked her if she wanted to have a Soda Pop with me in the rooftop. To my relief, she said yes, and we had our first rooftop date—if you can even call it a date, since all we did was talk and drink our Soda Pops. It was a really interesting talk, though.

    “It became a weekly thing—I found out she only went there on Saturdays, just like I did—and I’d never had more personal conversations with anyone before. At some point I even told her about my issues with my dad, and I haven’t talked about that with anyone else before. Our rooftop dates became longer and more memorable as the Saturdays went by, and for me, the other six days became more of a waiting game for the next Saturday.

    “But something this amazing couldn’t go without its consequences, and that came a few Wednesdays ago, in the peak of Mt. Chimney. I didn’t expect to see her, but I did expect her to look beautiful, even if she wore the uniform of our rival team. I caught a glimpse of her trying to avoid mine, and her dejected look was all the answer I needed. Still, I felt bad when I had to throw away a full Soda Pop bottle in the Saturday that came after, and the feeling worsened as I threw away more full Soda Pop bottles in the Saturdays that followed.”

    “If by any chance she sees this, what do you want to tell her?”

    “I’m so much more than this uniform, and you know it.”
    This entire thing is heart-melting. It's so sweet and cute and perfect! This and especially the next entry are some of my favorites that you've produced at all. I remember reading these a while back on your tumblr, and now that I get to leave an actual response, it's just so good. Kudos!

    “I joined Team Aqua because I thought it would be a good way to show my love for the ocean. But, truth be told, this day in this museum has been the only time in my entire time as a grunt when I actually feel like I’m loving the ocean the way that I want to.”
    Aw! This is also sweet and sad... bittersweet, I guess. Thing is, if I were to join Team Aqua it would totally be to express my love for the ocean. Can't imagine the disappointment and regret you get when it turns out you haven't actually been helping it the entire time you were on the team :/

    “No. I have to stop. I can’t keep thinking like this. I can’t show doubt whenever I feel that something’s off. I swore an oath to trust Sir Archie and everything he believes in, and I’m gonna stand by him no matter what. Long live Sir Archie! Long live Team Aqua!”
    This last line is just so perfect. This is exactly the mentality I would expect a Team Aqua grunt to have, and it's so sad because he's bound by his sense of duty but he can't stop questioning all of the questionable things that go on.

    “The guys have it so much easier than us. They get Matt, the fun goofball who would join you for a night out in town and drink with you in bars. We get Shelly, the perfectionist prodigy who makes sure us girls work just as hard as she does.
    Oh my gosh, this sounds exactly how I've written the admins to be in my fic XD I don't recall if this is how they were in the games (or if they were like this in the remakes?), but I really like how you and I both wrote them out to be this way. I know I haven't shown much of Matt, but the "fun goofball" who would go out drinking just sounds like how I envision him. ^_^;

    “What the hell, kiddo? You’re asking me questions in the middle of an operation? Who do you think you are?”
    She's got a good point.

    “And we rarely get an opportunity to succeed in our missions. This is the farthest I’ve gotten in a mission of this scale, and I’m not gonna let some curious Magikarp ruin it. I won’t let you screw up my opportunity to be recognized by Archie for my hard work. Not in a million years!”
    And then they battle, right?
    I love how you wrote Shelly, especially since you referenced Archie and made her seem really devoted to him and the mission ^_^

    "Who then are the villains? Who then is the hero fighting for what he believes in?”
    This last bit makes me feel like Maxie wrote the blurb at the beginning :P And if not, then he at least inspired Brendan to.
    This last one is good, as it does put him in a non-villainous light and really showcases his desires and goals and makes him seem like a realistic person.

    ...Wow, I cannot believe I quoted and commented on every single entry here. If you didn't think I was in love with these guys before... well, guess this proves it XD Thanks so much for this, I just loved this!


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