Episode 78 Review

As is made obvious by this episode, Allen is a ufologist, a person who scientifically attempts to study and search for evidence of reports of UFOs and alien visitation. I figured, what better way to introduce a ufologist character than an episode based around a good old-fashioned alien/UFO/men in black story? The story wasn’t based off of any single story, though the ending was heavily inspired by the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Butch and Cassidy played the part of the men in black, shady figures dressed entirely in black who reportedly appear to people who claim to have seen UFOs/aliens in order to intimidate them into not telling anyone else of their experience. Fun fact, Team Interplanetary is also based off of the men in black.

Of important note in the episode is the two new Pokémon introduced in this episode, Eatyai and Yuifoe. For those who didn’t know, the names of Elgyem and Beheeyem are meant to be pronounced as one would pronounce the letters LGM and BEM. LGM stands for little green men, as in the classic term for the stereotypical alien, while BEM stands for bug-eyed monster, an old sci-fi term for aliens with big bug eyes. Both Eatyai and Yuifoe are meant to invoke this same naming pattern. Eatyai is meant to be pronounced something like ETI, which stands for extraterrestrial intelligence, as seen in SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Yuifoe is probably obvious, but it’s a spelling of UFO for unidentified flying object.

Speaking of SETI, that’s obviously what I based SETP off of in the episode. It’s a program that uses radio telescopes to search the skies for signals from alien worlds. The name Allen is a double pun. On one hand, it sounds like alien, but the other part is that one of SETI’s major telescope arrays is known as the Allen Telescope Array.

Episode 77 Review

For a while I’ve been messing around with the idea of Dragon/Poison-Type Pokémon that’s based off of a Gila monster and evolves into a Komodo dragon, but I was never able to come up with a solid concept. When attempting to come up with a name for said Gila monster Pokémon, I remembered that Gila is not pronounce gil-a, but rather hil-a with an h sound instead of a g. When trying to come up with names based off of that, I thought of the name Heala, and the concept of an antivenom Pokémon came to mind pretty fast. I felt like it was a unique enough idea to go ahead and make the Pokémon. Basically, this entire episode formed as a way to display this concept. It might have been a tad on the morbid/violent side for Pokémon, but that kind of came with the territory.

Episodes 75 and 76 Review

I’ve just got to say, writing those episodes were an absolute joy. It really gave me an opportunity to pull out all the stops and go all out.

I’ve was planning for these episodes for about a year. The idea first came to mind back when I was writing the franchise’s 20th anniversary episodes. I loved writing them so much, that I knew I had to take any chance I could to do something like it again, and I had to top it. I knew that the show came out a year after the games, meaning I had the show’s 20th anniversary coming up, so I started planning for it. My initial idea was simply Ash interacting with Ho-Oh in some way. I also wanted to do some sort of tribute to the first episode. The two ideas naturally developed into a time travel episode, and from there, the idea took on a life of its own and slowly grew to the state you saw it in. The idea of having the Celebi that sends Ash back in time be the Celebi contained within the GS Ball was actually a very last minute development that came to me while I was writing the episodes.

For those who don’t know, the GS Ball, which appeared in the show throughout the Orange Islands and the beginning of Johto, was originally planned to contain a Celebi in it, and was going to have an entire arc based around that Celebi. However, the decision to put Celebi in the movie Pokémon 4Ever led to that plot being removed from the main show. So the GS Ball was left with Kurt and forgotten about. I figured that a 20th anniversary special would be the perfect opportunity to finally resolve the GS Ball’s plot.

As far as this episode’s interactions with the past go, I actually re-watched the first episode a month ahead of time, and took note of every single unexplained event, and worked those into my plot. The two main examples being when Ash wakes up late and the thunderstorm. The problem with the scene with Ash waking up late, is that there is a crashing sound that wakes him up. They then show his broken alarm clock, inferring that it is him throwing his alarm clock that wakes him up. However, just before this scene, still in the middle of the night, the alarm clock is shown rolling into his hands in one scene, and then the next he in a post-throw position, inferring that he’s already thrown it. So if he threw and broke it in the middle of the night, what was the crash that woke him up? Apparently it was his future self and Cinder fighting. The thunderstorm has always irked me. The sky is completely blue, but out of nowhere, ominous storm clouds roll in and a thunderstorm starts. Where the heck did the storm come from? Since this is the Pokémon world, obviously a Pokémon is the answer. And since I’d already made a move that summons a thunderstorm, it seemed like the perfect solution.

As great as this episode was, I still had some disappointments about it. The biggest being the lack of Misty and Brock. Well, Brock technically had a few lines, so it was really just Misty. Sadly, there was just no way I could give Misty a role without messing with the canon. I just couldn’t make it happen. Brock would have been even harder to give a more substantial role, as he was far off in Pewter City. The other thing I really wanted to do was get the flock of Spearow that attacked Ash and Pikachu to play a role in this episode. My original idea was to somehow have Ash trick them into attack Fenghuang. This idea didn’t work out because the parallel placement of events meant that the Spearow were chasing past Ash at the same time present Ash was battling Fenghuang.

Finally to talk about, there’s the characters of Cinder and Ember. Having the children of Ash be the guest characters of this episode was also a relatively late development, but it worked wonders for the episode. I figured that if Ash really did become a Pokémon Master, then his children would probably treat him in one of two ways. Either they would worship him as a hero, or they would resent him and seek to step out of his shadow. The was the basis for the two characters. Through Ember’s eyes we saw her experience her father in a way she could never imagine, a time before he was “perfect.” Through Cinder’s we saw a more critical view of Ash and his current character. There’s way too many for me to discuss here, but I loaded these episodes with various reactions, actions, and words by these characters that can be analyzed to see a window into Ash’s future.

Episode 73 Review

This episode is of note because it was the longest episode written for Cosmic Quest so far. Most episodes average between 4,000-5,000 words, with some of the lager episodes, normally the specials, having a word count in the low 6,000s. This episode had nearly 7,000 words. It could have been split into two small episodes if I wanted. The reason it was so long is because I had to cram in three independent battles with two Pokémon each plus a battle against Team Rocket. That’s a whole lot, but I couldn’t cut any of it out, as all three battles had some sort of importance to them. Brock and James was James’ Astro Camp finale, to which he has been so dedicated, as well as a rare chance for Brock to battle. Brenda and Michelle’s was the true beginning of the next part of Brenda’s story arc. And Ash and Braydon’s battle was the start of their rivalry, which will continue on into the future, as well as Elgyem’s finale.

Episode 73 Review

I’m sure it’s obvious at this point, but the over-arching story of Professor Pine’s Astro Camp is the story of Ash and Elgyem. While the last episode focused more on Ash having to gain Elgyem’s trust, this episode was Ash gaining its friendship, and helping it to overcome its issues. Elgyem wasn’t timid simply because it was born that way, it went through a traumatic experience in its life, and this episode was all about exploring and paralleling that experience, which would eventually lead to Elgyem overcoming its fears.

Another aspect of this episode was the subplot with Brenda and Michelle. For now I can say is that it is obvious that something is brewing. Now if you had the feeling that this episode felt incomplete as far as their story goes, you would be right, but remember, we’re in the middle of a multi-episode arc, so things aren’t quite done yet.

Cosmic Chronicles Chapter 2 Review

First off, sorry about the wait for the review. And second off, sorry about the wait for this chapter. It’s been over a year since Chapter 1 of the Cosmic Chronicles was released, and in a perfect world, I would have preferred to have a gap in between episodes of no more than six months, or at least less than a year. The problem is that I need to evenly space these episodes across the release schedule of Cosmic Quest, so they remain in-line with each other on their respective plots, and so that one doesn’t finish way before the other. Because of this, I have a strict release schedule to follow, and the insane amount of time I was taking to publish episodes over the summer and fall lead to a larger than desired time between the two chapters. And in all honesty, it will probably take about as long for episode 3 to appear.

One of the major goals of this chapter was to establish a more solid character for Brandon. In chapter 1 he was simply some cool trainer with powerful Pokemon. I realized after writing it that this would not do, I needed to up his character. So this chapter gave some insights to what drives and hinders Brandon. The addition of Braydon and Galileo both also allowed for Brandon to have some character moments. As I have discussed in other posts, Braydon was brought into this episode as a way to connect it to the greater Cosmic Quest story, just as Chapter 1 served as a prequel to the first Cosmic Quest movie, this chapter, in a sense, served as a prequel for  the Astro Camp arc. Of course, that’s nowhere near as important as setting up for a movie, but I’m not quite ready to begin work on the movie yet, so I had to settle for less in this case.

Episode 72 Review

First off, remember that Cosmic Chronicles Review I promised last time? Sorry about that, I’ve been too busy to get around to it. Hopefully I’ll have it up within the next two days.

As you are well aware by now, this episode was the first of a multi-episode space camp arc. I was inspired to write these episodes by the fact that it seems like almost every region has its own summer camp arc of some kind, such the ones seen in the Sinnoh episode Camping it Up, or the Kalos episode Summer of Discovery. However, this being the Tenno Region, obviously that summer camp had to be a space camp instead. And on that train of thought, what better way to start off a space camp experience than actually travelling into outer space? That’s pretty much the origin of the episode’s plot.

Speaking of the Cosmic Chronicles from earlier, another important factor of this episode was the introduction of the character Braydon to Cosmic Quest. If you haven’t read the Cosmic Chronicles (which you really should), then you should know that Braydon first appeared in Chapter 2 of the Cosmic Chronicles. Braydon originates as the rival in Luna, Terra, and Sol Versions. As such, he is automatically linked to the character Brandon from Cosmic Chronicles, as he is the main playable character, so it was natural to introduce him there. But like other rivals from the game, such as Gary, Barry, and Bianca, it made sense to also introduce him to Cosmic Quest as a rival for Ash. As Braydon came from Launch Town, the space camp arc seemed like the perfect way to bring him into Cosmic Quest, and since the episode of Cosmic Chronicles took place immediately before this episode, it was the perfect way to make a connection between the two series. Braydon is actually the first major connection to be made.