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Old October 1st, 2012 (3:58 AM).
Cutlerine Cutlerine is offline
Gone. May or may not return.
    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
    Age: 23
    Nature: Impish
    Posts: 1,030
    Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
    I am loving the hell out of this so far, and I owe you a review or three from like ages back. I clicked on this thread out of curiosity, and boy, was that a mistake! I'm meant to be working on Champion Game (which is WAY overdue for an update) right now, but I got stuck.
    You're here?! Oh, you have no idea how happy that makes me. I love your stuff, but owing to a combination of profound laziness and continual efforts to do as much writing, drawing and gaming as possible, I don't review it as often as I should. Hell, I haven't for a really long time now. I must fix that sometime.

    Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
    This story drew me in right from the beginning, which is something that doesn't happen often with fics. So well done on the beginning. I haven't actually read more than a few pages of your works before, which I regret somewhat now. This is mostly due to a not-at-all misplaced sense of envy of your writing skills and disgruntlement that you are, in fact, clearly better than me. I was hoping to have a rival of some sort in you, but I . . . well. Anyway, this is as much of a concession as you're going to get from me. Gosh.
    I've just spent five minutes attempting to formulate a coherent response to that, and finally I must concede I can't. The best I can offer is thanks, but it seems a mite inadequate.

    Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
    So, the fic itself. Well, to begin with, the concept. The world. The characters. Um, that's not making things any clearer. Let's go with the world. I don't know how much of this crosses over with your other fics, but this is my first encounter with your real-world-plus-Pokemon shebang. First off, it works. I am usually somewhat leery of real animals and Pokemon in the same fic. I barely even notice here, though, which means you've managed to blend the two pretty seamlessly. Same goes for the geography and culture - from the brief snippets of history you've given us here, I can see a rich, fascinating world. Nordic/Anglo-Saxon deities and pagan festivals in Unova? It's . . . absurd, but it's just crazy enough to work. And work it does. I believed Eostre when reading this; I saw the rush, felt the tradition and the tension.
    This is a world I've been building for a long time, and it's continuous right through my other stories. I've never had any truck with the theory that the Pokémon world basically replaces Japan; the individual regions have different climates, ideologies, and, to my mind, different people that indicate that while they might be situated somewhere near Japan and taken in cultural influences from it, they're definitely nations in their own right. Which gave rise to my decision that they were island states in the Pacific Ocean (except Unova, which I view as somewhere between the Canaries and Iceland, give or take a few hundred miles), which gave rise to... well, to these reimaginings of the stories. Things flow naturally on from that point: Unova is probably distantly related to Europe, and since I've placed it quite close to Britain and Ireland culturally, I thought I might as well stuff it full of Anglo-Saxon paganism. I view Hoenn as being close to South-East Asia, so I made the dominant religion Buddhism and the climate tropical. And so forth.

    As for Pokémon and animals... I just think there aren't enough Pokémon to create a viable ecosystem, and that Pokémon themselves have so many details and features that are left open to interpretation in the games that it'd be a criminal waste of resources to leave them all as they are in the official vision of their world. Besides, a great many Pokémon don't really seem suitable for farming. While probably useful for making electrical wiring, I can't see Ampharos wool being used in clothing (except as an incredibly devious way of murdering someone), for instance, so people must need to farm sheep.

    Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
    Okay, the concept. While it may seem unnecessary to mention it, I did come up with a concept rather similar to this once. I'm struggling to remember details, but it wasn't Pokemon. It sort of involved going to sleep on one side of the world to instantly wake up 180° E (or W) of where you were as a completely different person, then vice versa at the end of the day. Hmm, might be different enough to dig up and have a shot at. Anyway, I digress.

    To begin with, in any kind of art or literature I am fascinated by the concept of dualism - which is one of the reasons I loved Black and White so much. I can imagine the whole 'truth vs ideals' thing coming into play here, but who knows? I basically love you to bits for blending the two Unovas like this. I want to know more: do the Unovans in Jared's world have alternate dream lives like Lauren's do? He didn't mention it, but he probably wouldn't have cause to. Maybe he will when Halley wakes up tomorrow. :B
    I always try and recreate the spirit of the games in the stories I write about them. Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald were all about the clash of titans and the balance between artifice and nature, so I stocked the story full of fights, ended with a titanic conflict and made the crux of the matter a terrible natural disaster that was not at all inspired by Matthew Reilly's Temple. Diamond, Pearl and Platinum were less conflict-driven and much darker: in the end, the protagonist fails to save the world, and only the intervention of a higher power saves the day. Everyone loses: Giratina's world is stuck with Cyrus, Cyrus fails to change the universe, and you fail to stop him. So I made that story darker, more serious and more driven by character and mystery than by action.

    Which brings me to Crack'd. Black and White tell a story about old and new, truth and ideal, the clear-sighted and those blinded by visions of what should be; they also present two distinct versions of Unova, each of which is just as valid as the other. I couldn't decide between one or the other without sacrificing the heart of the games themselves, so I went with both - and that, in fact, decided the main thrust of the story in one go. It gave me Jared and Lauren, told me what the significance of N should be, and most importantly, gave me a reason to bring some of my favourite (and, I think, the most overlooked in terms of potential for stories) Unovan Pokémon into the things. I shall not yet reveal the precise species, since that would be far too big a hint as to what's coming, but I have a real soft spot for them.

    Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
    Ooh ooh, you know what this reminds me of? The Goron Temple in Phantom Hourglass - and well, a number of other similar ideas in games and literature. In the Goron Temple level, you can't get through the traps because the switches to deactivate spikes and lower bridges etc are in another hallway you can't access, and vice versa. So you have to control another character through the alternate passage, switching back and forth between the two to beat enemies and nullify traps. Matthew Reilly did it in his book Six Sacred Stones in an ancient Chinese temple in much the same way. Eee, duality again! Anyhow, that's how I can imagine this playing out; I picture Halley escaping with both Jared and Lauren, but not independently. Maybe to a certain extent, but I get the feeling they'll need each other's help.
    Reilly. Awesomeness. He's a big influence on the way I write action, as you might have noticed from the preponderance of long dashes that keep cutting sentences off, and while The Six Sacred Stones wasn't in my head as I started this, key elements from his thrillers do keep turning up in my stories - namely, big angry animals (preferably mutants), escalating consequences, ridiculous stunts and a few ancient traps.

    But that's not really relevant: the answer is yes. Lauren and Jared are different people with very different skillsets, as you've pointed out - and more differences are yet to come. Halley will need both of them in order to get through this.

    Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
    For that matter, what's up with Halley? My head is breaking when I think about this, but whatever. It's possible that there are actually two Halleys that switch places when they sleep - ie the Halley that Lauren rescued will wake up today in Black City wondering what the f*ck happened. Or, uh, you know what? This is making my head hurt a bit much, so I will leave the issue for now and assume that all will be explained in time.
    It will. Halley's concept has changed a lot since I first thought her up, and to be honest I'm still not entirely certain how her storyline is going to end, but whichever option I choose, it will all make sense in the end.

    Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
    Your characters in general are strong too, from what I've seen of them. Dialogue is realistic and consistent, with believable variation between characters. I love the name Cordelia, and knowing you, I am hoping for some Lear parallels. *crosses fingers*
    If only I'd been reading King Lear while thinking up Cordelia's character. She would have turned out so differently. I do want to get some Lear references in there somewhere, but it's not going to be easy.

    Actually, that reminds me of a wonderful piece of dialogue I read once. It's when someone is saying something incomprehensible to someone else.

    "You're talking complete Lear," says the someone else, frowning slightly.

    "King?" asks the first someone hopefully.

    "No. Edward," replies the other crushingly.

    Ah, that was a good book. A good, good book indeed.

    Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
    Well, I don't have much more to say, other than to briefly note that I have a very close friend named Lauren which makes reading this slightly uncomfortable. But that's not your fault, naturally. I just thought it needed mentioning. I'm not even sure why. Have a pleasant day, and I look forward to reading more. Your brand of humour is rather engaging, but I will elaborate on that in a further review; if I say everything now, there won't be anything left to say later beyond commenting on the story updates. :L

    So peace out.
    Everything needs mentioning, just like everyone needs a butler. There's just no arguing with it.

    Thank you for stopping by and reading - seriously; I write for pleasure and to please, and it means a lot to me that I can make people happy by doing so - and I hope I can fulfil your high expectations.

    Also, it seems I posted a new chapter just as you posted your review, so... enjoy!


    For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.
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