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Thread: Humans of Hoenn [Images over 500 KB]

  1. #1
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    Mar 2006
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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.

    This fic is also on Tumblr.

        Spoiler:- ”Author’s Notes”:

    Table of Contents

    Introduction [scroll down]
    File 1: Trainers of Hoenn

    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; 24th December 2014 at 1:36 AM.

    Berries -- Humans of Hoenn [Blog] -- A Friday -- Escape Rope

    images were taken from four specific web pages of

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Area Unknown

    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.”

    Berries -- Humans of Hoenn [Blog] -- A Friday -- Escape Rope

    images were taken from four specific web pages of

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