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Let's Play Pokemon Dark Rising! (Rated M?)

Posted April 22nd, 2016 at 8:55 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Updated August 6th, 2017 at 3:26 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Tags lp #3


Dear god, what sort of trouble have I gotten myself into now?

Pokemon Dark Rising is a FireRed rom hack created by the eponymous DarkRisingGirl in 2012. Dark Rising is supposed to be a darker and more serious take on the Pokemon series's plot, along with having tougher difficulty. I'll admit that my interest level in Dark Rising wasn't the same as Snakewood at first, due to Snakewood having morbid curiosity going for it and the fact I've been wanting to do that game for a long time.

However, the things I have heard about Dark Rising instantly prompted me to check it out. I won't spoil but not all of it is very flattering. That said, I'm sure to get some enjoyment either riffing stupid things or doing things my own way like I've done in the past.

I should mention that this has the potential to be much longer than my Snakewood let's play due to the fact there are two games to Dark Rising's name, and soon to be a third (apparently). Without any further ado, however, let's slam jam.

(I have Klippy to thank for letting me use the blog function! Thanks a lot, man. You made it possible.)

(Pokemon Snakewood let's play can be found here or in my signature.)

Chapter #1 - God Given Right
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Spoiler:



I know this isn't actually part of the let's play, but I see this all the time on hacks. What even is the "1M sub-circuit board"?

(Looks it up)

... Oh, it keeps track of hard saves. Looks like we wouldn't be able to do any postgame stuff that requires saving.

You can actually hear Arceus's cry if you press start on the title screen, which is really neat.



Ugh, tutorials. Like anybody needs instructions to know how to play Pokemon.



CHRIST! A LITTLE OFF THE TOP, I SEE.

Poor Pikachu didn't deserve to be glitched like that. Let this indicate the overall polish of the game.



Well, there's god. What better way to start the story than that?



[Song I would use here instead of the normal song: Opening Demo]

: ("Dear child, I have chosen you, one of pure heart, to save me and the world itself.")

Us, apparently: "Wh-what? What's going on?!"

: ("This world... Inhabited by humans and Pokemon, is in grave danger.")

[Arceus sends out a Pichu for some reason]



("An evil, dark entity has reawakened from its slumber. I've chosen you to free me from my chamber and wield my power. Quickly, the last of my strength is fading.")

You expect me, some average joe with no Pokemon, to help you? Sure, I'll consider it.



I must.



Since I was a guy in the last game, let's be a girl instead. Monica is a pretty name to me.

(The default names are much more reasonable here than they were than Snakewood, by the way. Oren and Orena may be kind of uncreative but they're infinitely better than Wraith, Eye, etc.)



He looks like Gary here, but he's definitely not Gary when we actually meet him. Let's give him a proper name.



I have no reasons for these names aside from just trying to make them sound nice.

: ("Ah, I see. Your best friend Noah is worthy.")



"A new chapter in your young life is about to begin. Free me and we will defeat Darugis!"

Darugis, huh? Not a bad name for a formless evil abomination.



[Theme I would use for Monica: Awakening]

"That was some crazy dream... Well, I'd better get going."

That we will. And no, I didn't choose the song because she just woke up. That's a bonus.



This is what Monica looks like. Honestly, I don't like how she looks. She looks like a bad cosplay between Leaf and Mario.



Oh, and I have to put this to Fast otherwise I'll definitely skip through the text. That's not good when the primary focus of the game is the story.



Poor Wii U. Everybody gives you muk.



Something tells me we'll be needing this. Technology in the Pokemon world is weird if we can already store items and living beings as data and vice versa.

I chalk it up to magic.



(Note, "Mom" has the blue colored text usually reserved for guys, which is really weird when you think about it)

"You were in dream land last night, huh?"

: ("Dream land?")

Mom: "You were talking while you were asleep, silly. You looked really cute."

: ("Talking to... myself? Also, eww.")

Mom is sort of a creeper.



Oh, and now she gets the correct color text? My kingdom for some consistency.



"I bought you new shoes."

Oh?



Nice. At least we don't have to wait, seeing as it usually takes forever to get Running Shoes in these games.

Mom: "Are you going to be with Noah? The Core region is undergoing a lot of unusual weather."

: "I'll be okay, mom."

Watch this line take a much darker turn later on when things get serious.



Our first step outside, and it's raining. Good start.



"Follow me."

Hey, it's our friend. He may look like a blue palette swap of Landon, but I swear he's his own character. Honest.



Hello, black-haired Professor Oak.

: "Well, you see... Last night, a strange event occurred and because of that, the delivery men became afraid to travel to the Core region."

Dark Rising Girl inexplicably capitalizes some words in the actual game, by the way.

: "What happened?"

: "I'll get to that later. But first... Monica, I need you to pick up my package at the station. And Noah, I need you to pick up some ingredients from the Twist Woodlands."



"The guard never lets anybody past without permission."

: "Don't worry, I'll send him a text to let you pass."

: "You text?"

: "That's news to me."

Just because he's an adult doesn't mean he can't do cool kid things.



: "What?! You're just gonna give us your Pokemon?"

: "Yes. Due to the sudden disasters, I cannot risk both of you to be in danger... They are all dragon Pokemon. They will keep you safe from harm."



As amazing as this is, however, the fact that all the starters are Dragon-types should be a large red flag regarding this game's difficulty.

: "Monica, can you believe this?! We're finally getting our own Pokemon!"

: "Uh, Noah... I think he's just letting us borrow them."

Monica is surprisingly sharp already. I just hope she keeps this up.



You're the raddest professor ever!

: "Really!?"

: "SWEET! I can't wait to pick mine!"

[Noah turns his back to Monica]

:"You alright, Noah?"

: "Yeah, I just want to be surprised!"

:"No peeking, then!"

: "Of course not!"



You two are infinitely more adorable than any character in Snakewood.

But yeah, now we get to choose our rad-as-hell Dragon starter.



Very interesting starter choices. It's hard to choose just one, but I still made my choice anyway.



Garchomp is a beast. Of course I would choose them.

(In hindsight, this was actually the correct choice. As it turns out, Dark Rising Girl unfairly prioritized the Garchomp line over the other two due to it being her favorite. Bias already? Oh, this is bound to be good.)




I haven't even played FE Fates and my only reference for this name is Super Smash Bros., but screw it. It fits.

: ("Nice to meet you, Monica! I just know we're gonna be great friends.")



And Noah picks the Bagon. I approve, as Salamence is pretty kick-ass.



Oh boy here we go. The rival theme is playing in the background, by the way.



: "Yeah, let's do this!"

It's not a Pokemon game if the rival doesn't stop to fight you.



Our first fight, and it's with dragons. What a way to start the game.



: ("It's that voice from the dream!")

: ("When battling opponents such as these, simply attacking will not lead you to victory. Use strategy to overcome him.")

Very basic advice, but I'll admit: Rom hacks tend to have giant leaps of difficulty where the only way to win is to either overgrind or science the muk out of everything.

(Future Dan: Hahahaha.)

I heard somewhere that Arceus says "use strategy to overcome him" even when you fight something ridiculous like a level 50 Landorus with your unevolved starter. I'm definitely looking forward to that.



: "Okay, I appreciate the advice but give me some credit."



... It says Oak even though he's nowhere around. PHANTOM PROFESSOR!

Seriously though, that's a bit of an oops.



The entire fight was just me using Mud Slap while Bagon hurt himself on Corin's rough skin. I knew I made the right choice.



He's a very graceful loser, so that's good.



"Battle other Pokemon trainers to make you stronger."

: "Okay, I know. It's not that hard to understand."

: ("... Such an irreverent child...")



"Make sure to train!"

[Noah leaves]

We seriously need to heed that advice given what's up ahead. But for now, let's mess around a bit.



"I heard this place attracts Pokemon from every other region in the world."

: "Yeah, that's why I love this place."

Pokemon from other regions, you say? Interesting...



There's a weird tiling glitch where it looks like you climbed up to the roof of your house. I like it because it lets me do this:

[Monica stretches up her arms and looks up at the cloud-covered sky]

: "I'M THE QUEEN OF THE WORLD!"

: ("A-are you sure that's safe, Monica?")

: "Pfft, are you kidding? I've done this tons of times."



"How about we test it in a battle?"

: "Sure, let's go!"

Trainer Trio: "Wait, before we start here are the rules. We are called the Trainer Trio! You have to battle the three of us in a row. Don't worry, if you defeat one of us, we will restore your Pokemon back to full health and we will reward you with something special if you defeat all of us."


Oooooh, this is cool. However, we're on sort of a strict schedule so I won't be doing it now. I'll definitely come back later, though.



We live in Feels Fells Town, apparently.



"I know, take this!"


Oh snap.

I'll admit, though, all of these nice things are making me very suspicious of the road ahead.



Yep. A selling point of the game was that Pokemon from Gen 4 and 5 were going to appear. I'll say Snakewood did it too, but in that game it was more like a novelty thing that was tacked on at the end while in here it's an integral part of the setting.

Hey, at least I can get new Pokemon without being limited to just Gen 3's assortment of mons.



Corin learning Bite is actually a blessing in disguise as it still counts as Special. That doesn't sound like much, but she definitely needs something to counteract people who use Intimidate on her.



This lady gives you a Potion, which I skipped for some odd reason. Ooops.



"Don't you just hate the rain? My Quagsire loves it, but I can't stand much more of this."

: "Then why not just give it a shower?"

This woman asks all the right questions.

Oh yes, I should mention right now before I forget: Dark Rising does not have custom music - we're using the FireRed soundtrack from start to finish, which I've heard actively hinders the "dark and forboding" atmosphere that it's supposed to have. Oh well, I'm glad I have my own music for this.



"Sorry. By order of Blitz, no one is allowed to pass because of the three disaster Pokemon! We will let you pass after he has driven them all away."

: "Then why did Noah get in?"

Officer: "He has permission from Dr. Ivan - that's why I let him pass."

I've just realized that Ivan never told us what the "strange occurrence" was. I can't really complain seeing as this isn't where we need to go, though.



... The station is a cave. The Core region is weird.

But hey, there's someone in front of the cave-station. Let's say hello, shall we?



: "Hey, Pete. I'm off to pick up a package for Dr. Ivan. I just got my first Pokemon, too!"

: "Really?! No way! Oh man, this is so exciting! C'mon, let's have a battle."

: "I guess Prof. Ivan's package could wait."

Oh, you wacky kids.



Pete, aside from being a victim to the Sudden Capitalization Disease, is actually a bit tough for a beginning trainer.



He has a level 10 Trapinch that hits like a linebacker due to how intense his Headbutt is. It doesn't help that he likes to keep using Sand Attack on you, which is very pleasant to deal with after a while.

At the very least I have Mud Slap so everything evens out.



In a fit of absolutely delicious irony, Corin bites Trapinch and takes him down. That's my girl.



Fun for you, painful for me. I had to use a Potion just to survive the first Headbutt.



Probably not. I'm busy.

If you talk to Pete again, he mentions something about a lady who's looking for Darugis... which is very interesting considering how nobody should know that name but us.



I love FireRed's area transition pictures. They're really well drawn for the Gameboy Advance.



The Mainland Cave is literally just the Altering Cave from the normal games. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Altering Cave change based on if you went to get a Mystery Gift Pokemon in real life?

It's always something that's confused me in Emerald because... well, I wasn't one of those lucky kids who had a Link Cable. I find it hilarious to imagine that Link Cables used to be cutting edge accessories while today they're an artifact of the past due to the rise of wireless connections.



With that said, there's not much here unless you want to grind on Geodude and Drilbur. Then again, I like Drilbur so I might be coming back here later.

[We move towards the exit only to bump into a blue-haired lady]


: "Kid? I'm not a kid... Who are you? I've never seen you around here before."

Since I doubt it'll ever be stated how old Monica is, I'll just assume she's like 18+. Old enough to travel on her own.

???: "Hmm, so you live around here? Do you mind answering some questions?"

: "Uh, sure. If you're not going to be rude about it..."



: "Darugis...? That name sounds familiar... Why is that?"

???: "Aha! So you must be under its spell as well! Prepare for battle!"

: "What?! A spell? What are you talking about? But if it's a battle you want... You'll get it! Let's do this!"

I love this woman already.



Hey, it's Mars from Team Galactic with blue hair. Look, I'm not going to criticize the palette swaps because it's not only too obvious but also because I don't have the same beef with DarkRisingGirl like I do with Cutlerine.

(Future Dan: Hahahaha. )

That said, I'm not quite fond of the palette on Miss Twenty Questions here.



Her only Pokemon is this Axew that knows Intimidate, which is clearly designed to screw you over as I doubt any of your Pokemon would know any Special moves at this point. Then again, Bite is a Dark type move...



Not only that, ???'s Axew loves to use... Razor Wind?? I assume this was done on purpose so that we could have a few free shots, but damn. One hit took out half of Corin's health and this is after we grinded a bit.



: ("If she didn't flinch, I would have been a goner for sure...")

The game wastes no time with the hard hitters, doesn't it?



That is a lot.

We're gonna be swimming in EXP by the end of this, aren't we?

(Future Dan: If you count swimming in Rare Candies then yes.)



: "And all I had to do to convince you was to beat you up. Like come on."



: "Wait! What is a Darugis? I need to know..."

: "Hmph... We will meet again."

I thought Monica paid attention to when Arceus told her that Darugis was some ancient evil creature. Oh well. Our mystery lady is still a pain in the ass.


[Mystery lady walks offscreen]




: "Wow, that lady was weird. I hope I don't get to see her again, actually."

As much as I'd love to continue, I'm afraid that's all the time we have for chapter 1. See you guys next time, where we deal with japers, capers and more pain.

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Team setup:

(Corin, level 11, , /) - "Don't worry about people like that, Monica. We're doing fine!"
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Total Comments 2

Comments

  1. Old Comment
    I really think they should clean up the narrations throughout the story. i won't specifically point out which npc's, since there are just so many at this point, but it's really hard for me to read it properly and not have to go back and think about that conversation to really grasp it in my mind.
    when they told me this game would make you frustrated up until the very end, I didn't think it would be through words lol. Overall, however, the game is intense. I couldn't believe all of a sudden a trainer with lvl 90+ pokemon appears and here i am with mere lvl 40s and my sprite pees their pants after losing. xD
    i love it
    Posted April 29th, 2017 at 5:05 PM by Ayano Trainer Ayano Trainer is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Rainbow Chara X's Avatar
    Yeah, I can't stand Dark Rising. Thanks for checking the LP out, though.
    Posted April 29th, 2017 at 7:48 PM by Rainbow Chara X Rainbow Chara X is online now
    Updated April 29th, 2017 at 7:54 PM by Rainbow Chara X
 

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