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Let's Play Pokemon Dark Rising! Bonus Chapter 2

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Let's Play Pokemon Dark Rising! Bonus Chapter 2

Posted August 14th, 2016 at 11:44 AM by Rainbow Chara X
Updated August 14th, 2016 at 12:43 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Tags lp #3

Who’s who by color:

Red: Rainbow Chara X
Purple: Her Imperious Condescension (AntipathicZora)

Let's cap off this ****fest so you can get to a better game. Yeaaaaah boy!

Bonus Chapter 2 - A Breakdown (Story and Gameplay)
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Spoiler:




(Chapter 1, Intro with Arceus)

Alright so… we’ll be alternating between story and gameplay for this one. Whichever comes first, I guess. The things I’ve done to the story to make it better (aka. The Sigurd stuff) will not count because that’s not fair.

In all honesty, I was kind of intrigued with the opening with Arceus. While my expectations weren’t too high, I was able to recognize that it was building up to something big. Hence why I even put a song for this opening. I think that’s part of what makes Dark Rising so disappointing. It starts off okay, really. But it quickly goes downhill.



(Chapter 1, Running Shoes)

They give you the running shoes right away. Small things like this add to the experience in a good way. One of the few things DR did right.



(Chapter 1, Custom tiling)


Now, believe it or not, unlike the 90% of the game, the mapping here is original and has custom tiling. Me and Zor were both genuinely impressed at the time because it seemed like the Core Region was gonna be this big brand new thing.

I later found out she probably grabbed this tileset off of DeviantArt without credit and it became significantly less impressive. To be fair, it was the prospect that she even put in custom tiling to begin with instead of just using defaults like Snakewood did.



(Chapter 1, Whatever is going on in here)

Not-Professor Oak explains that something weird happened in the Core Region and that deliverymen have become afraid to come to the place. I think this is supposed to foreshadow that Darugis is at work, but the way it’s handled makes it sort of unclear.

This really should have been our first clue that bad writing is afoot but at that time we were trying, trying so hard to be optimistic. Little did we know this garbage would make us miss Snakewood. Oh, without question.



(Chapter 1, DRAGON STARTERS!!)

I thought this was the coolest thing, even if I was aware of the 1000 BST Lugia Darugis at the end of the game. Too bad even this lost its cool factor when you realize that the Garchomp family get more buffs and better starting moves than the other two because DRG is biased. It’s still pretty cool and I’m a fan of non-standard starters, but that just isn’t fair. And I adore the Garchomp family. I love my big dumb landsharks.



(Chapter 1, Arceus explaining things nobody wants to hear)

Even a five year old knows how to play Pokemon, dude. This is in the vanilla game and I’d be willing to bet that DRG didn’t know how to or didn’t want to bother with cutting it so she just altered the text instead. But that’s where it gets weird, though. She could have edited the text to be less “tutorial”.

Like remember, this was the same sequence where Arceus says “I’ll use my power to pay the opponent for you” even though that’s completely unnecessary. She could have, but this is DRG we’re talking about.



(Chapter 1, The Core Region)

I think this is the point where we were like “wow the Core region must be neat” and honestly it kinda was at the beginning. They had Pokemon from other generations and everything. The downward slope here is astounding.

Like I just want everyone to understand that we didn’t hate Dark Rising at first - it only became that way once we unravelled every layer of bullmuk. It might seem unfair given how the game is four years old (as of writing), but I don’t think she’s improved that much as time passed? From the screenshots of DR2 and Order Destroyed (2.5), she really hasn’t.



(Chapter 1, The Nugget Minigame)

This is a surprisingly generous sequence. All you have to do to win a Nugget is to fight some trainers who have no hope of beating you. Little bit silly, but considering you can buy revives in the first goddamn town? Helps set the oh so wonderful tone of the game



(Chapter 1, Pete appears)

Pete is… at first I thought he was a relatively decent character. I mean, he’s way more of a rival than Noah/whatever he’s actually called given how it seems like he actually has a reason to go on an adventure. Sort of reminds me of Wally, actually. He sure started off okay, but then he just kinda… went poof. We’ll get to that in time.



(Chapter 1, surprisingly difficult already)

I had to grind a bit to deal with the first two trainers in the game. (Corin was level 5 when we got her) Major red flag right there. Bad sign, very bad sign.



(Chapter 1, Sydney)

Out of the “actually trying” characters, Sydney isn’t even that good. She literally has no reason to fight your main character aside from some ridiculous angst thing (granted she lost her family, but she’s still taking it out on Monica like…?)

I never like unnecessary angst in writing. Why do the Batman when you could, I don’t know, use a legitimate reason that hasn’t been done 5000000000000000 times? I mean, we’re both against the same villain and Monica hasn’t done anything to Sydney to warrant the violent behavior, so that makes it even worse.

-



(Chapter 2, “Oak’s Parcel”)

She’s not slick. I do like that she tried to write around it even if she couldn’t remove the event itself. That’s kinda neat. That said, the event wouldn’t even be that hard to remove.



(Chapter 2, This Guy)

Hoooh boy. Barring the fact he looks like an edgelord version of Lance, Light is by far one of the dumbest characters in the entire story.

WAH I DONT WANNA BE A CHOSEN ONE SO I’M GONNA BE AN EDGELORD MCGEE INSTEAD AND YOU CANT STOP ME ARCEUS YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD oh shut up. Pretty much. I wish that were an exaggeration but that’s literally all of his character. The following screenshot doesn’t make things better.



(Chapter 2, a Forced Loss Battle… in Pokemon.)

Is there ever a time when these aren’t annoying? These are always infuriating and if you disagree then get out of my face. Whoa, Zor. But yeah it’s like… it’s an artificial way to increase tension. Like you know that it’s not that hard to actually beat Tornadus, but the fact you fight one this early makes it insulting because it’s like a gut punch.

What I’m trying to say is that this doesn’t make me fear Light at all, even though that’s the point of a sequence like this. It’s such a dumb mechanic like, you couldn’t even think of a way to make this plot point happen and still be winnable? Even Snakewood kinda did that. She’s talking about the level 100 roadblock in the postgame that I somehow beat with the normal team, but yeah.

Oh, by the way? Tornadus knows Hurricane and they boosted its accuracy to 100%. So that’s a 120 power Flying move that has a 100% chance of hitting. But why. BECAUSE YOU MUST LOSE! Like… come on.



(Chapter 2, Salt in the wound)

What the muk. That’s all I can say for this one. Uuuuugh.



(Chapter 2, “Monica is a confusing character” theatre)

As it says. So, as it turns out, Monica actually thought she could take on a level 50 Tornadus with a Gible that she just obtained… and when she loses, she holds a grudge against not the trainer who used Tornadus, but the Pokemon itself. That’s like holding a grudge against the gun and not the person who shot you. Why not grudge against both.

I can… sort of see why DRG did this? Like Monica has a big ego and she had to be brought down a notch, but we just started the game. She hasn’t done anything that would be worthwhile or impressive yet… on top of being unnecessary because that muk is aggravating from a player perspective. It would have been fine a few badges in, I think. Really give her time to shape up. Actually do something impressive. Still infuriating because forced losses are bullmuk, but… better.

Classic Bond villain mindset - "If the main hero is severely incapacitated and I clearly have the upper hand, let's just leave instead of finishing the job."

Also, this. Ech.



(Chapter 2, The one time Mom is used in plot)

I liked that they actually cared about Monica’s condition after what just happened. Too bad this was like the only instance of it throughout the entire game. This was pretty good.



(Chapter 2, the presence of later gen mons)

It was more of an emphasis here than it was in Snakewood. Personally I adore the idea because using the vanilla set of Pokemon for Gen 3 is kinda… boring. Yeeeaaaah. That’s why 721 hacks are so good, tbh. Give you more to work with.

"You were hit pretty badly by that Pokemon. I searched the Pokemon in Google by the appearance, and I was able to identify it."

Immersion broken. Psyducking google.



(Chapter 2, the schoolteacher)

Apparently Monica has formal education? This is supposed to explain the ego from earlier, but it’s not good enough. I mean I like that she apparently has qualifications but really?



(Chapter 2, Nigh guaranteed chance of poison with no way of healing it)

… Why? Why? This doesn’t increase difficulty at all - it just makes going through this place more of an annoyance than anything else. It wouldn’t kill you to put a few Antidotes around.



A horrifying thought - This one Nonverbal NPC is all that stands between you and the endgame of level 90+ ubers. That’s a pretty normal Pokemon convention because it’s the same deal with Cerulean Cave, though. The one at Cerulean Cave at least talks, though.



(Chapter 2, The Dark Thugs make their entrance)

They’re pretty much just repurposed Rocket Grunts… but apparently they were going to take over Tiki Village before you came? Why? It’s not even plot important.

This is also the first time the protagonist’s father is mentioned and… I dunno. They try to make him important throughout the entire game, but it doesn’t work at all.



It’s not hard to actually make the protagonist gender choice mean something… like it’s simple coding stuff. It’s like the easiest coding there is. I think it’s something like /boy; and /girl; or similar.

-



They mention a future gym leader here… Neat idea, but it loses its charm when you know what’s ahead.



(Chapter 3, The Portrayal of the Kami Trio)

They make Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus out to be bad guys for some reason I can’t hope to describe. Like I get the first two, but Landorus is the one who mediates between the three of them.

This was when I started doubting DRG’s ability to portray canon details, because if we’re already getting errors like these… It’s not going to go down well.



(Chapter 3, Revives at the first real shop)

This is a really extreme choice for the beginning of the game. This should be a huge red flag.



(Chapter 3, Named NPC trainers)

Imagine if there were more characters like Karla that are basically starting out just like you. That’d be a neat concept. I would actually really like that a lot.



(Chapter 3, Doctor Roy and Nurse Joy)

This was one of the things I thought was cool, considering how they serve two purposes. The doctor heals you and the nurse initiates a battle. This would be far more appealing if the difficulty didn’t escalate to Literally Impossible territory. The beginning of Dark Rising really did have some alright concepts that would probably be pretty good in a better hack.



(Chapter 3, Pete’s second appearance)

I liked that he got genuinely mad when he lost to you… even if the game itself doesn’t dwell on it. You tried, friendo. Sorry about that.



(Chapter 3, Drought Vulpix)

I should have been more wary of what this entailed, seeing as Drought effectively makes Ninetales a death god in the grand scheme of things. Pre-gen 6 Drought Ninetales is a death sentence tbh, especially if they’re running a sun team.



(Chapter 3, V’s first appearance)

Another bad one. V is like… They try to build him up as this figure that was scorned by Monica and her father, but the way he’s actually written makes him the most unlikable person in the entire cast without a doubt.

The fact he’s like “yeah i pity you - this isn’t even my real power” even though we beat him only adds to the pyre. Like this happens a lot. Sore losers are as sore losers will I guess. I do notice this a lot in other media. “That wasn’t even my true power” seems to be an unfortunately common trope even though it’s so stupid.



(Chapter 3, Flamen Town salesman)

So this guy tries to give you a Magikarp to help deal with the Gym in this town. Sounds like a neat idea in practice, but it all goes downhill when you realize just what kind of monsters Fiery and her team are. If you can bother to grind that far then Gyarados are psyducking beasts, but really it’s really not worth the effort it takes.



I did like how the different towns sold different kinds of evolution stones… but in this case, it completely unbalances a good portion of the game. You see, not only can you catch a Drought Vulpix, you can evolve them immediately without even having to level them up.

I find it amazing how there was no middle ground with the difficulty in this game. It’s either “painfully easy” or “cheating”. If you’re going to put in evolution stones, then put them later on in the game. The originals did it right with the Celadon department store.

-



(Chapter 4, Backstory reveal 1)

Ignoring the fact that Cole fights you when it’s completely unnecessary, I actually have some mixed feelings with this. See, I like that it tells us who the villain is (that, and telling Monica that Darugis is waaaaaay stronger than anything she could ever imagine gets a point in my book) and what Monica’s father did, but the Avengers reference and Ash’s presence in the story is what kills it for me.

In-Game Monica is also a very conflicting character for me - she has genuinely good lines, but the way she deals with a fair amount of situations come off as super contrived and stupid.

What ruins this even more is that this Emmet Cole stuff is completely optional, yet it contains really important story stuff.

I never like it when fangames reference the anime, which is going to make LPing Light Platinum very interesting when I get to it. I really hope it’s a good one. The Avengers reference is severely out of place and done incredibly poorly. If you’re going to make a reference you should at least try to veil it behind a good thick blanket of fictional counterpart and not reference real life things.



(Chapter 4, The first time “Tarea” shows herself)

Ahem. I’ll save our thoughts on this when the time comes.



(Chapter 4, Fire and Brimstone Hell)

My lord. If this isn’t a kick to the balls, then I don’t know what is. So… Fiery is the first gym leader (great name, by the way, it’s not like we needed something called originality) and damn she is harder than every other one in the game by a mile.

So… we have a Drought team at a time when Bug and Grass types are the primary wilds around the area. Not only that, the Heatmor is level 20 so there’s the level curve along with the disgustingly high attack that’s boosted by the sun being out.

Heatmor here is the most brutal Pokemon the team will have to face in a long time. Not only is the sun doubling their fire attacks, but they're fast and relentless. They also have perfect coverage, as they have Thunder Punch to shut down any water type you could conceivably have at this point.

This is not how you game balance. You don’t throw weather teams and level 20’s out at the player for the first badge. At most, a first badge should have a team going up to like, 15.



I don’t understand why there’s just a bunch of trainers lined up like this. They only seem to exist to get in your way. These early routes were legitimately altered, as far as I can tell, which I can only assume to mean that DRG was too lazy to delete the original trainers and just changed their dialogue. It’s mystifying to me, though, in an in-character sense, why they’re like this. It reminds me of those kids on route 8 in the originals that are just lined up outside of Saffron.



(Chapter 4, Sydney’s second appearance)

She’s still antagonistic toward Monica despite clearly stating that they’re both after Darugis. On the plus side, I like how she has a Riolu. Riolu are neat.



(Chapter 4, Grunt rematch and infected Tynamo)

This is supposed to be the same female grunt from the end of Chapter 2, and she says how Darugis infected the Tynamo. Not much is accomplished here in the grand scheme of things, to be honest. Besides explaining away why all the Tynamo have spots, no.

-



This man speaks the truth. We really should have listened.



(Chapter 5, Darugis possesses people?!)

So this is where my thoughts with Darugis err on the “wow this is stupid” side of things - he can possess people on a whim based on “negative feelings”. This is only a small part of a much greater problem we’ll have later on. My biggest problem with Darugis-As-Written is that he speaks entirely in allcaps, like, all I can hear is Skeletor’s voice. NYAAAAAH, HE-MAN MONICA



(Chapter 5, Level Sine Wave takes effect)

I mean just look at that. That’s insane. Mind, the rest of the team that wasn’t Sigurd were barely around level 20 to begin with.

What kills me is Rampardos. They outspeed everything you could have and have a terrifying 165 base attack. Granted, that’s not a stat edit made to make them more threatening, but it’s still amazing how easy it is to get outmatched in this game. DRG knows nothing about game balance. Sky blue, water wet. Film at 11.



(Chapter 5, Zero Balance)

I’m legitimately astonished - the game will straight out punish you if you don’t pick the right choices. I’m serious - the game is very bad at making player decisions mean anything if it’s not exactly what DRG wanted.

For example, choosing the Cover fossil nets you Tirtouga… who isn’t that impressive. Choosing the Plume Fossil, on the other hand, will net you Archen. Archeops in this game is a far cry from how they are in the real games, given that they have incredible strength and lack the Defeatist ability… which is replaced with INTIMIDATE.

I’m in shock because this adds more onto the “I did the right choice” plot thread that I put into the LP.

In a little bit of fairness, adding completely new abilities is very difficult considering the mechanics of abilities in general. You would have to know how to program entirely new effects.



(Chapter 5, Kayo, aka. Not-Silver)

I think it was at this point that I developed a sheer hatred for these palette swap characters. Like design wise, you can’t get any more lazy than taking an existing character and slapping a different name on them.

Personality-wise, Kayo is bad… but he’s not V bad. Like he doesn’t see to have a rhyme or reason to why he acts the way he does aside from some edgy “I don’t want to have friends or family, they only make you weak” thing. That, and him calling you a noob unironically is irredeemably stupid for what’s supposed to be a serious story.

It was silly in Diamond and Pearl and it’s especially silly in this. Sorry, Shadow the Edgehog.



(Chapter 5, Everything is deadly somehow)

It sounds cool and gritty that your region is a dangerous place where people barely make it out alive, but in practice? It’s beyond stupid. Not only is it implausible for people to die in these places, given how they don’t even seem that bad, but it has the effect of trying too hard. If the Core Region were really that deadly, no one would be alive at all. No one would have settled there.

...Then again, real-life humans without Pokemon did manage to conquer the likes of Australia so maybe I’m full of muk. The difference is that Australia is actually that deadly while the Core Region pretends to be for the sake of edginess.



(Chapter 5, Eon and the devastating Sequel Hook)

The game doesn’t even try to demonstrate who Eon is or why the psyduck he’s important before this scene. He magically appears and Monica somehow knows who he is, and the worst part is that this only gets explained after you beat him.

The reason I’m barely talking about opponent team set-ups is because honestly, after Fiery and the level 30 Fossil Duo, it’s kinda moot until we get to the real offenders.

Sooo, what? Did she go into this knowing she was gonna make a series? Why not cram it into one game like Light Platinum apparently did. Oh wait, because DRG is incompetent. That’s why.



See, this is how Dark Rising was built from the ground up to lead into the second game. The thing is, with how… extraordinarily messed up the first game is, it sort of defeats the purpose. You can’t build a foundation on weak material, after all. There’s an old biblical proverb about the foolish man who builds his house on the sand and is surprised when it all crumbles away and I think that fits here.

(Plus, I called it)



"My cousin Paul used to have great battles with him."

(Chapter 5, More Pokemon anime references)

It just gets weird! Why did she have to do this? It doesn’t make sense because this wasn’t even necessarily connected to the anime before they started doing this. Sorry kid your cousin’s a huge douche.



(Chapter 5, Pete is developing as a character)

Right there on the tin. If anything, I like him more than Noah… who I forgot existed by this part. Pete did get some nice development before he vanished.



(Chapter 5, Typhoon and how he doesn’t compete with Hell)

So… you would think this would be the same thing but with water types instead. As it turns out, if you brought a Drought Ninetales here, the rain gets cancelled out for sunshine and the water team gets debuffed entirely.

It’s hilarious that Sathala managed to beat them all alone despite not even being close to their level, but Drought Ninetales would have just been humiliating. That’s like pissing on someone after you beat them. It’s just embarrassing and unnecessary.



Seismitoad knows Substitute, has the health for it and would normally get a speed boost from the rain thanks to Swift Swim. However, a four times weakness to Grass is what really kills them here.

Mind, Sathala is not meant to be a Whimsicott at this part of the game… for a reason I can’t hope to comprehend. Whimsicott is nowhere near as broken as Drought Ninetales, yet their evolution stone comes as early as the fourth town in the game, so that’s totally fair.

-



(Chapter 6, Brock being possessed and turned evil)

So Darugis possesses a recognizable member of society and makes them do all sorts of bad muk that ruins their reputation. This would be incredibly terrifying in a well-executed story, but in here it pretty much amounts to nothing given how Monica and pals save him with the power of friendship and blah blah blah.

This is so stupid. Apparently he got possessed because he was a pervert and like, why? Like psyduck you? You’re allowed to want to take a pretty lady… or several… to the bone zone. Brock is allowed to have boners without Mr. Skeletor Allcaps butting in.



Oh, and to top it off, everyone that’s possessed by Darugis speaks in all caps. They’re very loud, apparently.



(Chapter 6, Max and the totally cool but useless plot thread)

I don’t think anybody really likes this kid to begin with. His overleveled Ralts and other assorted Pokemon also make perfect sense for a kid who’s not even a trainer.

But the real offender here is the plot thread he brings up - essentially, all of the evil teams banding together to form an empire strong enough to overtake Darugis. Now, I know for a fact that this would be an incredible thing to do… if this were any other story than Dark Rising. There’s already too much going on with the Darugis stuff that adding in more antagonists would just complicate things.

A plot I have in the wings is very similar to this, with a certain spin on it. The difference is I have no plans to have multiple antagonists. You only need one.



(Chapter 6, Noah please leave)

Noah is a pretty boring character, but his team is always blistering. This is immediately after fighting Brock’s team, so you better be prepared if you plan on going ahead. This entire game may as well be Rival Battle Simulator 2012.



(Chapter 6, Blatant ripoff of the Nugget Bridge)

It’s also here where I noticed she just rehashed vanilla maps and called them something new. She started off making maps that seemed pretty different. Fells Town was changed at least. I’m not sure if I’m misinterpreting Sevii Island maps or what.



(Chapter 6, V’s second appearance)

In this one, he congratulates you for beating up his grunts and gives you an Ultra Ball before giving a G-rated “your father made me go through hell” speech.



Basically, V goes "yeah your dad was a dick" and Monica's like "THAT DOESN'T HELP". We didn’t miss anything at all.



"I got to talk to Ash!"

There's so many people around here that want to see/fight Ash for some reason. Sure, he's the champ, but at the same time the only thing he really has going for him is that he's the protagonist of the anime series. (Even then, a large amount of people don't even like him due to the objectively boneheaded decisions he makes...) Ash is kind of a huge weenis.



(Chapter 6, Ash)

Can we just agree that him being the champion in this is the dumbest thing? 100% absolutely.



(Chapter 6, Goon.)

That’s really the admin codifier you used for this? [SomethingAwful intensifies]



Okay, she wasn't kidding when she said she was stronger than the normal grunts. The best part about this is that the Goons don't immediately replace the Dark Thugs, so you'll have fights like this level 37 Houndoom at one point and then have to fight baby Croagunk and Houndours again. This is not how game balance works.



(Chapter 6, rare starter encounter)

You have a 10% chance to encounter any of the starters in a given area, so the fact this even happened is amazing. The bad thing is that they’re all level 10 regardless of where you go, which is absurd given how obscenely overpowered even wild Pokemon get in the future. I definitely like the idea of this. I am of the opinion that starters should be available elsewhere in the game.



(Chapter 7, Not even trying)

I’m sorry if I’m rehashing the stuff I said in the let’s play, but Christ on a psyducking pogo stick, how non-existent is your creativity if you use one of the most tired and cliche lines for this scenario? Like this is ignoring all of the other problems I have with this game (palette swap characters, glorified Kanto paint job, etc.).

As much as I hate to say this, Snakewood was infinitely more creative and even then it was still a bad game. Snakewood tried. It had the excuse of actually taking place in Hoenn. It rewrote all dialogue and made things different. It tried not to be cliche even if it was a mukfest. And I think that’s why it made for a more entertaining ride.



(Chapter 7, Level mountain range)

Who looked at this and thought this was okay? This thing is the same level as the forced loss battle at the beginning, but now you are requiredto beat it to progress with plot! You are only slightly more equipped to handle this now then you were at the start.



Thank god there’s at least Pokemon centers at the end of every major dungeon.



??????????????? A way life.



"Is this the Pokemon that attacked me before? Time for some payback!"

(Chapter 7, You can’t be serious)

Monica somehow confuses Thundurus for Tornadus… and decides to get payback against the Pokemon itself. This is what I meant earlier. They’re not even the same color. Get a grip Monica.



Atlantic City Monica: "I can't tell them about what happened or they'll freak out."

Now: "I'm going to spill every piece of relevant information to them regarding my dad and how he was captured."


It's a complete 180 from the last time they were around. If you're going to put in NPC text that doesn't need to be read, at least keep it consistent to what you're going to put in later on. She didn’t even proofread.

-



(Chapter 8, Revenge of the Schoolteacher)

I sort of liked the teacher character, but when she started throwing out level 40+ Pokemon at me, I realized something was terribly wrong. The best part is that you don’t even need to confront her in the school to activate the event here - it will play out the same as if you didn’t… so imagine you’re walking along and suddenly you fight a superboss with no warning.

Why is there just a superboss in the middle of town anyway? There’s not really like, a point. At all. She’s just there.



(Chapter 8, Legitimate Hatred)

Outside of the Infinite Victini glitch, this sequence is infamous in its own right. So… Tarea is the “creator” despite Arceus being Pokemon’s actual god of creation. This doesn’t seem to make much sense until you realize that it’s Dark Rising Girl’s avatar and by Creator, she literally means the creator of Dark Rising.

That is absolutely shameless and… kind of dangerous, actually, given how it makes her a giant red target for humiliation. To make matters worse, this is where we learn that Monica is part of the chosen ones… an idea that is already stale made worse by the plot that’s already happening.

I am firmly of the opinion that game creators should appear strictly as cameos. Like Game Freak in every canon Pokemon game. Maybe, maybe you get a fun bonus boss battle ala the one guy in Gen 5. But you should never ever make yourself a major character.



Also, have some stuff that’s taken straight from the Pokemon movies without any real context!



“I am not apologizing for this” is practically my catchphrase for this entire let’s play. Every time I see this gif, Yakety Sax plays in my head.



(Chapter 8, Dray and the Obligatory Title Drop)

Even more rivals and palette swap characters. Dray tries to have a character, but he’s pretty much just Gary/Blue 2.0 made even worse. And to make it even worse apparently he’s a guy that gave DRG ass pats. So she’s inserting people who are nice to her too. Great.



I do not like how the levels kept increasing like this. Like okay, they try to explain that Dray is “the strongest trainer in the world”, but these are normally end-game levels and we haven’t even beaten the third gym yet. “Strongest trainer in the world” my pasty left ass cheek.



Roll credits.



(Chapter 8, Even the professor fights you)

DRG’s fascination with solid black and constant battling worries me. He’s probably the most egregious of the battles, seeing as the professor isn’t normally the kind of person to fight you. The professor never battles you. Like ever. The glitch with Prof. Oak in the original Red and Blue doesn’t count.



(Chapter 8, Sydney’s third appearance)

This is the part where they reveal that her parents were tortured and murdered. Stilllllll not a good reason to antagonize Monica. [Batman voice] MY PARENTS ARE DEEEEEAAAAAAD



Let me just list off the amount of people we've fought in sequential order:

Sydney -> Kayo (Not Silver) -> some asshole from the Omni Region -> Darugis Brock -> Noah -> V (Pink Cyrus) -> Darugis Brock with Entei -> Pete -> Dray -> Professor Ivan and now Sydney for a third time.

Can you psyducking CHILL IT with the rival battles? Like jesus christ, it's bad enough that there's practically no real plot aside from "Darugis is a bad guy we need to go take him down" but why do we have to fight every single person we know?

Why do we need to fight any of these people? ...Furthermore why do Pokemon games even need rivals? It was always a kind of redundant concept to me.



(Chapter 8, Asshole Grandpa)

So... Zachary holds a grudge against Monica because Jean Blake couldn’t stop Darugis years ago, something that isn’t even her fault, yet he’s still an uppity dick to her. Can you not with this? Sins of the father and whatnot. What a stupid concept that is.



Not only that, his Accelgor is illegal because they normally can’t learn Calm Mind.

-



(Chapter 9, Text blatantly copypasted from another NPC)

… I don’t even know what to make of this.



(Chapter 9, V’s third appearance)

Aside from having a “stronger” team, he mentions that the ship that we came to see is sinking thanks to a magic spell. My question is… why was Monica even concerned with going to a party if they know Darugis is on the move and doing horrible things? Even chosen ones need party breaks.



(Chapter 9, A hostage situation?)

First off, completely unnecessary. Second, isn’t the ship sinking? Didn’t we come in here to stop that?



(Chapter 9, Kayo vs Sydney)

This would be more intense if these characters were properly fleshed out. See, Kayo taunts Sydney about her dead family, but given how needlessly violent she was with it beforehand, it’s like… why does it even matter?

Not only that, beating Kayo somehow undoes the “ship sinking spell”. What, was it bound to his dignity? It was being held underwater by the idiocy of this plot and Let’s Play Monica breaking some skulls set things right. Clearly. It’s the only answer I’ll accept.



(Chapter 9, Not-Lucy)

After Fiery and Typhoon, the gym leaders sort of lose their intimidation factor (barring one instance later on)… mostly because of their outrageously high levels trying to substitute for good strategy. The AI isn’t that dumb, shockingly, on gym leaders, et al. You can put together a solid competitive set-up and it’ll make things actually difficult whilst also being fair.

-



(Chapter 10, Wow that’s bad mapping 1)

So what baffles me about this part of the game is that she pretty much took Cerulean Cave and dabbed a line over the water. She didn’t even remove the water altogether because we lack surf… she just put a line and called it a day. Imagine how much nicer this would look if the ground was completely filled in? It’d look pretty decent and also serve to differentiate it from Cerulean Cave a bit.



This is just annoying, though. No. Just stop with this.



(Chapter 10, fourth and final encounter with V)

This is where V shines in his awfulness (you know, before his gel-haired rebirth). So the game gave him a backstory where he was “betrayed” by Monica’s father, but that’s immediately made redundant thanks to V making a pact with Darugis to get back at Monica and her father.

Making a contract with Literally Satan to torture some poor girl will set you on my muklist of characters who need to die.

Also, when he loses, he gets turned to stone and gets sent to the Underworld… instead of dying and getting sent to Hell. I appreciate that she doesn’t want to take the Apex route of edginess, but this is still an incredibly ungraceful way of doing things.

This is why revengeance plots are so stupid. Like, there are better ways to take out your anger than making pacts with Satan. Have you maybe tried therapy? No? Okay.



THIS. THIS, THOUGH. THIS IS WHAT PISSED ME THE PSYDUCK OFF.

Monica shedding tears for a man who was unambiguously, 100% evil throughout her entire adventure with the pettiest reasons imaginable and, to top it off, sold his soul so he could keep going for eternity. Like seriously, am I being pranked on live TV or something? I’m Condesce Zora and this is Jackass. Oh my god.



Purple May is here, who cares.

A major thing they mention is the town of Salem and how Amaris, a member of Team Dark Rising, lives there. For extra tastelessness, there's this line they say about it:

"There's a lot of dangerous witchcraft going on there. I advise you proceed with caution."

It's not like the real life Salem had religious zealots that branded any poor woman a witch out of mortal fear, am I right?

Real life Salem can supposedly also be attributed to ergot poisoning. For the uninitiated, ergot is a mold that infects rye, and is notable for producing lysergic acid, which gets synthesized into lysergic acid diethylamide, or as the kids call it, LSD. So, what we ended up with were a bunch of religious zealots that were absolutely tripping balls and genuinely believed they saw these women performing magic.

Dark Rising Salem has no such excuse.



The thing I find disappointing about Salem is that it’s not a spooky town at all. There’s no buildup, no real… tension or anything particularly interesting going on. You’re here for about 5 minutes and you’re done. What a waste.



(Chapter 10, Bad Music for Forest)

The mist is one thing, but the music choice baffles me when there are perfectly good spooky themes even in the vanilla game. You could have used Pokemon Tower or something!



Gengar is a way to cheese this game, thanks to them knowing DESTINY BOND of all things. I’m not kidding, you could break even the final boss with this. Destiny Bond is a scary weapon when used in the right hands.



(Chapter 10, Light’s second appearance)

So from what I can gather, Light was groomed to be a protector to Arceus ever since he was a kid and he got sick of it. This is the kind of thing that deserves its own character arc - not just have it randomly pop up when you’re fighting the main hero… Less irrelevant characters and more focused arcs would have been appreciated here.

This could have been an okay plot, but of course, DRG psyducks it up by throwing it in right out of nowhere with no build up.



Conarp is an actual goddamn fakemon with Wonder Guard. Granted, it has weaknesses to four common types and looks funky, but the fact they even went through the effort is astonishing by this game’s standards.

Plot-wise, this thing is trying to be Yveltal because it absorbs energy whenever the team gets hurt.

In fairness, Yveltal wasn’t a thing yet. Those brownie points are taken away by the fact that jesus christ don’t give fakemon wonder guard holy muk. I was going to say Dragon Ball Z based off of the scenes where the Z-Fighters’ injuries give Majin Buu the energy to come out of his weird egg thing, but Yveltal was closer. Oop.



Way to be a hypocrite, Mr. I don’t like Arceus so I’ll follow Darugis instead. Brilliant idea, there.



This guy will not live very long in Dark Rising.



(Chapter 10, V’s Children of all things)

They’re pretty much just Hilbert and Hilda from the real games but blue. The level 70 forms of Kyurem and the other two dragons only make this worse, because it really is amazing how little she cared for not only game balance but also common sense.

I’ve already raved on about these two random kids somehow got their hands on two ubers just out of nowhere, but what pisses me off the most is that this is even worse than the Forced Loss Battle from earlier yet you are still required to beat them.

Personality wise, they’re mad that Monica killed their father and want revenge but really, she did everyone a favor because that guy was obviously not a good father. If anything, I sort of wanted them dead too if I really wanted to be crass.

Plus isn’t it strange how his children were way stronger than him in every regard?

Their father tried to sell their souls, you cannot tell me he was loving in any way shape or form. Sorry, no. Nope. Nuh-uh.



Sydney warms up to Monica despite never having a good reason to fight her to begin with. That’s nice but it should have happened sooner. Like, after the first battle, sooner.

-



Dark Rising has a day and night system. That’s neat, but it’s too small of a feature to really care about at this point.



(Chapter 11, Level 99 Unown)

There’s trying to make lame villains look like a threat and then there’s this. What is even the point of this? Unown serve no purpose in the game’s plot whatsoever. Unown aren’t even strong. They’re worthless.



(Chapter 11, Diary entries)

This would have been more effective had the diaries told us things we don’t already know. The original diaries gave us neat factoids about Mewtwo and were hints for a postgame event. These are stupid.



(Chapter 11, More possession)

Amaris herself exists just as a plot point. This should have been much better executed than it actually was, to be frank. Blergh.



(Chapter 11, Map edits defying logic)

There really couldn’t be stairs there? I’m just sitting here slowly dying. Really? That’s what we’re going with?



Not only that, Waterfall is here not because it’s plot important (because thankfully HM usage is kept to a minimum) but because it’s a leftover from the original map this was pasted over. She could have at least bothered to change the items.



(Chapter 11, One of the many recycled scenes)

It was around here where DRG took the parts of the original games nobody seemed to remember, edited them slightly and passed them off as brand new events. No one remembers them because no one seems to play through the FR/LG postgame. One of my big hacking projects is an expanded version that makes these extra dungeons have more content to come back to because I love postgame muk, but no one else seems to.



(Chapter 11, Sydney’s fourth appearance and the levels going backwards?!)

What in Mother Mary’s name is even going on anymore? The ones immediately before this were both level 70 and way stronger thanks to being ubers. What in the fresh hell is this game balance?



At least Sydney finally becomes your ally, but it’s not like she was an interesting character to begin with. There’s just… nothing beyond the backstory and the angst. What we’re saying is you effectively acquire a blow-up doll as an ally.



(Chapter 11, This weeb kid)

So not only do you have elements of the Pokemon anime being put in, but you have this kid referencing other actual anime while still taking place in the Pokemon world. Just…This is what I think. Do you remember what I was saying earlier about not referencing real-life things in fiction unless they take place in real life? Exactly.

-



(Chapter 12, “You’ll lightly tickle me with your team of pre-evolutions”)

At this point in the game, you are expected to have a team of 70+. What the hell is this all about? What is this? A Pokemon team for ants?



This is also accurate.



(Chapter 12, Technically Kayo’s third appearance)

He mentions that a kid took a Plot Macguffin Ruby and we hear Pete’s scream in the distance. Why is this worth a fight again? Reblog if AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.



I find this incredibly ironic - he’s the one who blocks your path later on, yet he’s the one who also gives you fly.



Numassity sounds like a gibberish word. Zor, do you have anything on it? The only google results I find are for Dark Rising so no.



(Chapter 12, Dark EEEEEEVIL Pete)

Let’s ignore the super edgelord title and the emphasis on DARK EVIL. This was the closest thing the game got to actual quality, seeing as Pete got the most character development out of everyone in the team. He wanted to be a good trainer but Monica always showed them up.

This could have been really great if it weren’t for the whole “oh Darugis and a man in black possessed me” cop out answer they give so Pete doesn’t face any consequences. Like for psyduck’s sake, that ruined this whole thing.

That is such a psyducking cop out. Like, here we have this, we have this kid getting increasingly more frustrated as time goes on about not being better than you. He could have made a great villain without Darugis’ help. But noooo.



Pete actually loses his importance here. He doesn’t do anything significant other than try to teach you Double Edge… though given Dark Evil Pete, that’s hilarious. I would actually say Quadruple Edge.



(Chapter 12, Kai’s Father is also an idiot)

So we’ve gone through this entire game showing off how badass we are and it’s unquestionable that Monica is the chosen one… so why do we have to fight him? This only compounds my hatred for him when he blocks your way back. WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE PSYDUCKING FIGHTS JESUS



She wasn’t even trying with this one. Allow me to share my thoughts with an image:





Perfect.



The Fighting Gym is here because this was originally Saffron and they give you either a Throh or a Sawk if you win. It seems like a reward until you realize just how much of an asshole the actual gym leader is for this place. This whole game is an asshole.



Tackiest Gym I’ve ever seen. Even the NPCs comment on it, and it’s supposed to be justified because the leader is a young girl. None of this is justified.



(Chapter 12, Whitney 2.0)

Nora is that one partner girl from D/P/Pt that you found in a cave. Apparently DRG thinks she’s slick enough to use things nobody remembers, it seems.

It’s incredible how much Not-Mira straight up plagiarizes Whitney - A young pink-haired girl with a childish attitude that also runs a -type gym, armed with insanely overpowered Pokemon and EVEN A MILTANK. Oh, and to help prepare for her inevitable onslaught, the game throws a bunch of -type Pokemon at you.

The Meloetta was so ridiculously unnecessary oh my god. That makes me so psyducking angry. I don’t say anything regarding the cute legendaries because we get Siegfried, but it’s still beyond stupid.



(Chapter 12, Tall, dark and scary)

This is where spritework gets really janky. Look at how much he stands out compared to Monica’s standard Gen 3 sprite. Storywise, it’s obvious he’s the final boss making an early appearance. This guy must be psyducking gigantic holy muk. 10-foot dude.



This is a grown-ass man saying this about a young girl.



(Chapter 12, Danny Aiello)

He spouts off exposition and that’s fine. The absolutely baffling thing is that he’s named after a real life actor. Like what, did she think the reference to something that’s not video games or anime would make her look smarter? She could have referenced Shrek and the effect would have been exactly the same. Exactly.



(Chapter 12, something we should have covered in the glitch doc)

This is supposed to be a second Day Care Center, but they act as if you already deposited a Pokemon. To make things even weirder, it’s a different number for each playthrough. I have no idea what this is about.

-



(Chapter 13, Dark Rising Revengeance)

God damn it, they’re back. Surprisingly, beating them up makes them warm up to Monica a bit… which still isn’t enough for me to like them. They have a long way to go in terms of being likable, and being palette swaps of existing characters isn’t helping them at all. At least they’re better than daddy dearest.

They mention something about a new general for Darugis, but we’ll get to him in a bit.



(Chapter 13, Blatantly Silph Co)

It’s one thing to use a vanilla area, but why Silph Co of all places? Nobody likes going through mazes. No one likes teleporter puzzles either, but here they are in every psyduckin game.



(Chapter 13, The part where I actually lost)

Noah’s personality is practically non-existant throughout this entire game… His team, on the other hand, only gets more insane. Like I’m not kidding - despite having the same levels and proper type coverage, Noah’s party completely wiped out the B-Team.

Also, where the psyduck did he get a Cobalion? Wasn’t he only supposed to have Keldeo? If that’s the case, then why doesn’t he have all of the Musketeer Pokemon?

What makes this especially aggravating is that Noah is way more powerful than the person we are practicing for.

Now, I like Cobalions. But they are ludicrous for an in-game team to have.



(Chapter 13, Kayo ambushing you in the elevator)

This legit surprised me, but not in a good way. YES I THOUGHT THE ELEVATOR WAS SAFE YOU PSYDUCKING TWAT MONGLER ELEVATORS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SAFE THATS THE PSYDUCKING POINT



(Chapter 13, Vlad the Impulsive)

The funny thing about Vladimir is that he’s completely incompetent and the games acknowledges this… yet he still tries to get in our way. What I find really annoying about him is that he thinks he’s a threat yet every action he does actually makes our jobs easier (he “gives us” the Ruby, for example) Christ. At least V acted competent. This guy is just a boob.



More edgy shock tourism.



(Chapter 13, Absolutely gigantic desert map)

I mean look at that. No wonder why people died here - it was out ofboredom. I would forgive this if the trek was more interesting with things to actually do, but as it was? The speed up button is absolutely necessary. I’ve got some very big maps in the hack I’m doing. None of them are quite this bad.



(Chapter 13, Light’s third appearance and Landorus)

Nothing we haven’t already heard out of this idiot before, but now he says that he fights whoever’s the strongest. To make matters even more confusing, there’s this:



It specifically mentions the Player and not Monica/the protagonist, the person who you are controlling. The fourth wall is non-existent. When you want to make the text acknowledge the PC, you put [PLAYER] in brackets where you want the name to go. DRG has done this before. Did she forget? Or is this intentional? Either way I am going to vomit.



Sprite issues aside, this thing is level 90 when fought as a boss but drops about 20 levels when you get to catch it. Consistency, please? A level 90 Landorus would have made things in this game at least slightly fair. Needless to say, we aren’t getting fairness.



(Chapter 13, Groudon - Important or not?)

Vladimir makes a fuss about Groudon/Kyogre and how he’s going to catch both of them without a Master Ball. The problem is that Strength isn’t obtained until after this dungeon, so ultimately any plot thread revolving around Groudon is stuffed away because it’s optional now.

This is one way the lack of care/effort sucks out any enjoyment to be had from the game, because if I’m able to recognize that you can’t really pull off any amazing eventing beyond some simple text and sprite edits… then playing the game sort of becomes moot no matter how interesting you try to make the edits.

Like this is supposed to be a brand new game yet it barely builds on anything and even steals vanilla scripts/maps out of sheer laziness.



It would have been very easy to attach a “heal all” script to this Chansey, but they didn’t do that. And it would have been very very useful, too.



(Chapter 13, This scene isn’t half bad)

Okay, this was actually kind of funny. Monica thinks this guy is going to jump when he's just going to throw his Pokedex off the roof because he couldn't stand trying to complete it. A relatable feeling, to be totally honest. I am this guy. It’s me.



This would have been cute had she not appeared in the actual plot several times by now. This is what I mean by creator cameos. See this is fine. This is great! Being involved in the actual plot is not.



(Chapter 13, Training Grounds)

Each part of this place has the levels go from 50 to 80, but what seals the deal is that they call this place better than the Safari Zone. Like okay, it doesn’t have the strange limitations that the actual Safari Zone has, but way to be condescending given how much you plagiarize from the real games.



(Chapter 13, It’s actually Misty)

She gives us the HM for Surf and everything. I’m astonished, really, because it’s not some palette swap that acts like her. Then it gets weird when you realize that if this is taking place in the same universe, the palette swap characters exist alongside the characters they’re based off of and -



My brain hurts. Bad.



(Chapter 13, This should be really exciting but it’s not)

Sprite criticisms aside, this should have been a major action scene. The atmosphere and the whole “mysterious people watching you fight” thing would normally add to this, but given how Kayo barely has any personality… it kind of makes the whole thing moot. Not only that, the “mysterious people” are shoddy enough in their own right that it makes the scene a laughingstock. Lord god king appleface still makes me want to die.

-



(Chapter 14-1, Kaede the nihilistic grandma)

I find it interesting that, out of everyone in the game, a random NPC grandma has more character than plot-important characters. That said, she would have been a great villain if she existed past this scene.

What’s stupid is that the whole blame-shifting thing happens here too, because Possessed Misty attacked and is supposedly the one who made Kaede like this. This blame shifting muk really needs to stop. Like, no one has a little evil in them of their own? It’s all Darugis? Bullmuk.



(Chapter 14-1, On the same screen too)

She didn’t even wait for this event to happen. That said, there’s even less going on here than with Brock… despite having Suicune in the same way that he had Entei. Leave poor Suicune alone please it’s one of my favorites. No? Okay. Fine. I see how it is.



(Chapter 14-1, The Twilight Zone)

Or as we’d like to call it, Not-Navel Rock. To be fair, the space background looks neat. Despite everything the background is a pretty neat effect.



(Chapter 14-1, Shameless taken to a new degree 1)

Not only are we fighting a self-insert of Dark Rising Girl, we’re fighting her as part of the required plot. Her presence in this is so overwhelming that it’s impossible to imagine what the game is like without her, and I’m not saying that as a compliment.

By the way, I like how she has all of the cute legendaries (barring Manaphy) and Deoxys as part of her team even if this is just to test Monica. I really hate this self insert bullmuk. Haaate.



Anyway, the plot part of this… So DRG unlocks an ability that Monica has - Ability Bonding, which essentially makes her able to talk to legendaries. That sounds cool until you realize that Legendaries can already speak through magic psychic plot devices.

Not only that, this is the reason why she was a chosen one along with Noah and Light. The whole “chosen one” plot thread means absolutely nothing given how Pokemon works, seeing as you, the player, are required to fight through scads of enemies regardless of whatever prophecy there is and ultimately have to face the main villain yourself.

There really didn’t need to be a Chosen One plot here seeing as literally every other Pokemon protagonist has just stumbled into the main conflict on accident.



I appreciate that she lets you get the four legendaries to keep for yourself, but given how busted the end of the game is… it’s practically useless. If they were a much, much higher level I would take it. Much higher. Matching trainer levels higher.



(Chapter 14-1, Dark Rising HQ)

How did they know you would wind up there? Not only that, they walk into a supposedly invisible ship that takes them to the Dark Rising headquarters.

That’s small beans compared to this next scene, though.



(Chapter 14-1, Please Nerf)

Darugis is so inhumanly overpowered that he can just possess all of the police officers in the Core region without trying. Not only that, there’s a bit that says where he possessed civilians too… even though that never plays any importance and I’m sure it got forgotten soon afterward.

They give you a police badge and a meteorite to help find the final gem in the list to power up the “anti bad thoughts” machine, even though both of them are completely useless.

Anti Bad Thoughts Machine sounds like a Care Bears device I swear. Also, I call bullmuk on Darugis being able to possess everyone in the world. Bullmuk I say.



The major thing that happens here is that they disable your PC usage for the sake of making sure the cops don’t track down the Dark Rising headquarters. The thing is that this applies to every PC in the game, so if you had a bum team or wanted to check out new Pokemon, you have to complete the sidequest that involves the “Emerald”.

Problem is, that is completely optional because I was able to complete the game without being able to use the PC.



Me too, Joseph Joestar. Me too.



(Chapter 14-1, Shameless taken to a new degree 2)

I thought it was bad when Dark Rising Girl did it. Hinkage, my man, you have no idea what you have gotten yourself into. The worst part is that this isn’t like some elaborately hidden cameo - this is here for everyone to see without even trying. What did he even make? Was he just a friend? This could have easily been stuffed into the Game Freak room and been done with it. That’s where the cameos go, don’tcha know.

He was responsible for some scripting, so maybe some of the biggest failures in the game were his fault and not DRG’s.



(Chapter 14-1, More legendary gifts)

Why do we get these, yet the opponents have ones with fake base stats?



I’m convinced this is the same creepy scientist from Waters Cavern. “You’ve manage.”



(Chapter 14-1, Vlad’s third appearance)

I skipped over the second appearance back in Inferno Mountain because it’s not that important. I still find it dumb that his Archeops has Brave Bird when it shouldn’t be able to learn that. Can you imagine an Archeops with Brave Bird, that’s terrifying.



(Chapter 14-1, Buyable Ethers and Heart Scales)

This is like the first good news we’ve had in a long time. This would be a rad idea to have in a better game. I would be down with having this in a legit game.



(Chapter 14-1, The sudden reveal that V isn’t dead and ugh)

It’s obvious that Darugis would bring back V, but god damn if that second screenshot isn’t a kick to the balls. Go psyduck yourself, DRG, the switch behind the poster is a classic.



(Chapter 14-1, What’s happen to him? He’s stoned…)

So this is the final time you meet V’s children and they’re being controlled. When you beat them, they turn to stone just like their father did the first time. Oh well, that sucks I guess.

Oh yes, by the way, speaking about that… the sad Landorus and the “V’s soul drifted to the underworld” thing. Show, don’t tell. That, and the way things are written here makes what should be a tragedy(?) into a straight up comedy. Bye, friendos. Good riddance!



(Chapter 14-1, V-Rebirth)

They brought back this idiot of all people. Sigh. What makes it better is that he doesn’t even care about his kids, people who have hounded Monica ever since chapter 11 out of revenge for him. Seems like a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome to be honest. You know the deal, when you’re a hostage and you’ve been a hostage so long that you start to feel sympathetic toward your kidnapper. It’s a really psyducked up situation and I honestly feel bad for these kids having said that.

-



I still cannot believe that this happened. Roserade is an actual Pokemon in this area, but it’s hella rare - like the bottom most on the list in Advance Map. The fact my first wild encounter was one only makes this more amazing.



(Chapter 14-2, Dray and the whole Florina is kidnapped sidequest)

This is essentially just the Lostelle sidequest from the original game, but it makes even less sense because Dray is supposed to be a relatively decent trainer. Why was he just waiting here instead of going after Florina himself?

That said, I don’t know what the Chandelure has to do with any of this and saving her doesn’t seem to affect the plot at all. Chandelure didn’t deserve this muk.



You fight about four guys here along with G-Boss himself. The fact they get visibly terrified when they lose makes me feel good inside.

However, this is actually just the biker event from Three Island just with Goons instead. Remember when she actually gave half a damn at the beginning? It’s like, she was actually trying at the beginning, even if it was shaky. She was. But then it just turned into a mire of muk and that’s what I think infuriates me most, like, if you’re not gonna give a muk then why even bother?



(Chapter 14-2, Cheap Mart)

This is worse than even the first Mart in the game, despite this is being in the middle of a late-game town.



(Chapter 14-2, Magic.)

This cave somehow manages to teleport your character back to the Dark Rising Headquarters, but it’s one-way only. How the hell does that even work? Wizards.



(Chapter 14-2, The most dangerous path in the Core region)

You know, aside from the ones where people have been said to die. I just want to know who came up with the name for this one, because Darugis didn’t do bad things before the game happened. Is the Core Region just like the Australia of this weird AU of the Pokemon world where people from, I don’t know, Kalos, dumped all their criminals with all the terrible environments and dangerous wildlife?



The other two of the Kami trio are just… there, ready to be added to the army of legendaries the game thinks you should have. What happened to Monica’s revenge scheme?



(Chapter 14-2, The last time you fight Light)

Thank god. It’s a good thing we just go straight into fighting instead of pondering Philosophy for Idiots.



Conarp evolves into… that. It’s kind of stronger with a worse sprite, but damn if it isn’t goofy. This only adds to my problems with Darugis - not only are they capable of possessing whoever they want on a whim, they’re capable of creating brand new monsters even if they are made of “pure darkness”.

Both of these would be very threatening attributes on their own, but when combined into one person it becomes unreasonable. That’s cruising straight into Marty Stu territory.



I could sort of excuse this if the levels of the wild Pokemon were thanks to a machine, but you have to realize that DRG had to put in the values by herself / with her team. Which only indicates to me that these are, in fact, unedited wilds from the base game. Which is even worse because that’s just psyducking lazy.



(Chapter 14-2, Snakewood is actually mentioned)

Oh my god. Zor… what are your thoughts on this? aaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH NO. NO. SNAKEWOOD WAS A TERRIBLE GAME AND EVEN ITS A GODDAMN MASTERPIECE COMPARED TO THIS. Do not even.



(Chapter 14-2, Noah fights you again)

While we’re at it, Noah is easily the most boring character in this entire cast. He has no defining personality traits, he just appears to bother you for no good reason and somehow gets more powerful just because he’s the rival and the second chosen one. Just another cookie cutter rival who doesn’t even bother to be one of the interesting ones.



Also, just have Rayquaza here all of a sudden. I swear to god if this is supposed to be a reference to the one in Snakewood that died, I will lose my muk. Why did Rayquaza even die in Snakewood there was literally no point. Not really the place I know, but that will bother me forever.



(Chapter 14-2, Pharaoh Atem)

My god, where do we even start on this? If I try to comment on this it’s just going to spiral into me sobbing on the ground with a bottle of vodka to be honest.

I mean, if I can take a shot at this... The crossover thing has no reason to exist in the first place, for one. Secondly, if you absolutely had to put them in the game somewhere... please don't make them an actual plot-important character (Atem isn't even important after we beat him, but he's still in the main story so it counts). Third, the real muk nugget about this entire scene is that Atem being here destroys the credibility of this being a "serious story". Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon do not mesh at all, especially if you know how they work.

His sprite quality doesn't help much either, because if you're going to do all of that other stuff... at least contract someone who knows who they're doing. The lack of actual duel monsters doesn't help much either, so it's only his name and backstory that really matters.



At first I thought this was supposed to be answered “yes”, like DRG is a kid scared of ghosts or something but nope. WOULD YOU SMOOCH A GHOST ahem.



(Chapter 14-2, “Ice” Gym)

I don’t think you even have to fight this dope… and those badge levels make perfect sense for a game like this, yep.

That, and if his town is called Iceland City, then the inside of the Gym must be Greenland. B-but. But we already have. Level 100 Pokemon. No. No stop.



(Chapter 14-2, Blitz and Adrian)

They reveal that, shocker, Adrian the Omni League champion is evil. They tell us to prepare for Blitz with our own Dragon Pokemon, which, to be fair, would be cool under normal circumstances. It would be, and also, why do we even care about the champion of some other region? Because he’s the tall dark guy from earlier or something.



I thought it was really neat how he had all three of the dragon starters in the game, even if that made actually fighting him a cakewalk.

-



(Chapter 15, Railroading)

It’s bad enough that Blitz tells you to go after the “Draco Stones” in the last chapter, but since these idiots block your path, it’s not optional.

Why is it that the stuff that’s important for plot (V-Rebirth and the PC thing) are optional while muk that’s inconsequential isn’t? DRG doesn’t know what she’s doing, is why.



(Chapter 15, Draco Village)

The village is right next to the Malice Path, so why hasn’t Darugis taken advantage of the “Draco Stones” himself? LOL I DONT NEED THOSE I AM THE ULTIMATE POWER I AM EVIL I AM GOD LOLOL DRACO STONES MORE LIKE. UM. FAKE-O STONES. YEAH.



I still don’t understand the existence of this man.



I am legitimately grateful that she cut down on HM use, though. This was an actual blessing.



(Chapter 15, Baby Pokemon)

Just… again, why try to be realistic with all of the other muk that’s happened so far? This would have been great at the beginning of the game. But no.



(Chapter 15, Choices don’t matter)

She’s really bad at making multiple choice situations.



(Chapter 15, N.)

He’s just… there. What makes this turn from “confusing” to “infuriating” is the fact he suddenly has level 99 versions of both dragons. They both know Earthquake despite that being illegal and they have levitate to ignore a potent weakness.

Oh, and you have to deal with both of them at the same time. Have fun. I mentioned earlier about abilities being incredibly hard to code in, but Levitate of all things? That’s what we’re doing?



(Chapter 15, Not going to help)

So your reward for this are either one of the dragons. Again, it’s not like this would have mattered with the fake BST legendaries right at the end. At least these ones are at endgame levels and are at least useable for this point in the game.



(Chapter 15, Who is this??)

Is this supposed to be a character that appears in Dark Rising 2?



(Chapter 15, Badge Checks replaced with Goons)

It’s disappointing more than anything else. It sort of makes me wonder why we even had to get the badges aside from being able to use Surf, Strength and Fly. To add to the ever-mounting string of battles and also because the HMs are hard-coded to be attached to the badges.



(Chapter 15, Kayo’s final appearance and the end of game balance)

He has a change of heart… out of nowhere, I guess. But what he explains to Monica about the Four Knights of Ebony (snrk) is just plain insulting. I had to try oh so hard not to quote the first paragraph of My Immortal. I’m sorry, I am garbage. But you’re my garbage.



(Chapter 15, Ash is a cheating little pissant)

How the absolute blood-soaked Hell did Ash even get this strong? The only possible way I can make sense of any of this is that he was secretly working for Darugis all along just like Not-Sephiroth (Adrian), because just look at these stats:



Like this would fit with the hacked Elite Four members. One hundred percent psyduck that noise. Psyduck it.



(Chapter 15, The entire backstory drop for Darugis)

While I appreciate that DRG at least tries to explain where Darugis came from, the actual backstory itself is hideously banal. It’s pretty much the Bible but with Pokemon and Darugis is a really lame Lucifer with even pettier reasons to hate God. (That, and snatching Giratina’s spot as the actual Lucifer of Pokemon is just plain insulting)

That, and I find it incredibly unreasonable that it took until Monica’s father to foil Darugis’s plans. Like what, was the universe created in the span of a few months? Giratina isn’t even Lucifer, it has a place in the world and an important role as the lord of antimatter and the void. It’s a balance thing. That said, pseudo-biblical bullmuk is just exhausting.



(Chapter 15, Gym Leader Roundup)

You know, now would be a perfect time to list the levels of the gym leaders since you can all fight them here -

Fiery: 17/17/20
Typhoon: 26/27/26/32
Serena: 50/54/54/53/56
Kai: 68/69/69/70
Nora: 72/74/74/74/74/75
Bruce: 88/88/88/88/88/89
Atem: 94/95/94/93/95/95
Blitz: 96/96/96

Talk about painting yourself into a corner. There’s also Vladimir and V-Rebirth, but they’re not really worth talking about. What the psyduck is that level jump? Like Fiery and Typhoon start off kinda normal-ish, but holy muk, straight to the 50’s.

My best guess is that DRG kept making the levels increase even outside of Gym Leader battles even though logically that doesn’t make sense. Like imagine me shooting up levels because I thought I was being clever even though that youngster shouldn’t have a level 50 Garchomp.



I love this moment, though.



(Chapter 15, Giovanni and the rejected plot)

In a massive Sequel Hook aimed straight for my face, Giovanni explains that he’ll contact the other teams to form a new empire. Again, he’s not going to get very far thanks to Darugis. I mention again I have a story idea revolving around this very concept in the wings, and I am insulted that it’s being executed like… this.



Also, I’ve learned something about Kai’s father and the “you’re stuck” thing. Apparently there is a way to backtrack to old areas, but it involves a lot of tedious walking through Inferno Mountain and catching Groudon as he blocks the way back to Flamen Town. Still, that’s really stupid. So, as good as stuck.

------------

I have a short break before we get onto chapter 16: Here’s some glitch stuff we missed!



Apparently there was a Sydney fight at the bottom of Poseidon’s Cave. Her being violent towards you this time doesn’t seem to make sense because isn’t she your friend at this point?

But that’s not the disaster here.



She speaks in demonic tongues.

Not only that, I’ve heard that if you check out this particular Sydney set with a trainer editor, the editor will crash. You can find Kyogre immediately after this and, of course, if you run away you get the “Audino dug underground” message. The same thing happens with Rayquaza. Sydney was taken right the hell over by Missingno and I will accept no other explanation. No, really, I was explaining all the bugs and I legitimately can’t explain this one. Holy muk.

-------------



(Chapter 16, The Knights of Ebony’s Round Table)

These idiots. Alright, so… the Knights would have been entertaining characters had they been far more developed and had better sprites. Not only that, like I said in the actual chapter, it would have made more sense to have 7 Sins as part of the gym leaders with the eighth being someone else entirely.

A small nitpick, but Lust is called Lust but she doesn’t even have like a Gardevoir. Just sayin’. But no, seriously, though - Wrath is just power, Gluttony is only Gluttony because he’s fat and Envy… I don’t even know. They don’t even try to fit the themes and that’s really dumb.

Their Pokemon, on the other hand…



(Chapter 16, Cresselia)



Normal Cresselia is a hassle to begin with. The fake BST version of her would have been an absolute nightmare, even with Sigurd. Even if Corin maxed out her attack with Swords Dance, Stone Edge still wouldn’t be enough to get rid of Cresselia.

That’s the kind of muk we’re dealing with here. It doesn’t help that because of the “oh the Knights have Pokemon that don’t obey the normal rules” thing that Kayo explained, practically every Pokemon in the final stretch has illegal moves that only exist to ruin your day. I get wanting to be a difficult game, but this is stupid and ridiculous.



(Chapter 16, Regigigas)



I’m still in shock from this. I have no psyducking words from how much of a scumbag move this is. Not only that, he knows Bulk Up so… you have this literal transcendent beast that can make itself even stronger.



(Chapter 16, Dialga and Palkia)



Surprisingly enough, Dialga and Palkia being changed don’t seem to matter much. Sure, they both have 200 Special Attack, but compared to the last two they’re relatively easy to beat. This makes me sad, honestly. I adore the Sinnoh trio, why did they get treated like this?



Steppin’ on him, dudes. What a place to take a nap.



(Chapter 16, The Final Battle)

Here we go. So… aside from the naming error, Adrian is biggest cheater in the story. He has all of the Knights’ aces (Cresselia, Regigigas, Dialga and Palkia) along with an uber Mewtwo and Lugia Darugis.



Super-Jesus Mewtwo is a force to be reckoned with.

But even he is peanuts compared to the real threat of this team:





(Chapter 16, The Ultimate Enemy)

One thousand Base Stat Total, topped off with a whopping 200 power Dark move that can poison 100% of the time.

That is absolutely nightmarish and, again, the reason why I created Sigurd as an anti-cheating measure. Who was meant to fight this monster, let alone beat them? This was the sole reason Sigurd’s plot even happened. This right here. 1010 BST. A load of absolute goddamn horse muk.

Believe it or not, I didn’t edit Darugis’s stats at all barring the removal of the Ghost typing. What Sigurd fought was how it was “intended” to be.



(Chapter 16, The devastating Sequel Uppercut)

This is where it gets blatant that DR2 was going to be a thing. Not only that, we get one final condescending remark from Darugis that “this isn’t even half of my real power” and that he was toying with us for the entire adventure.

If he was that powerful then why not just nuke everything already? How is there even a story if this psyducker was that strong all along? If he’s actually that strong, then the world should just be kaput.



Ultimately, Dark Rising is in many parts wasted potential and straight up garbage. The only memorable character I can think of were Pete and Monica themselves, with everyone else being an ungodly edgelord, forgettable or both.

Wow, what an absolutely infuriating ride. I’ll be honest, Dark Rising makes me so angry just based on its gross negligence of the tenets of rom hacking that I struggled to force my way through this bonus chapter even after I had so much fun tearing the bugs apart. I like dissecting things I guess.


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