Episodes 81-82 Review

Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve written these episodes. Let’s see how much I can remember to bring up here.

Originally, these two episodes were planned to be only one, but they went on for so long, that I was forced to split them into two episodes. Even after the split, the second episode became the longest episode I had written up until that point.

As I explained way back in the episode 80 review, these episodes were based off of an event in Luna, Terra, and Sol. Team Planetary’s attempt to take the Grand Meteoric shard and Showakusei forces the player and Cosmo down into a previously unknown chamber beneath the Crater Cave, the Den of Mega Evolution. Just like in these episodes, the player and Cosmo are forced to team up with each other and a mysterious Raichu in order to escape, both obtaining the ability to Mega Evolve in the process. Just as in the episode, the first chance to Mega Evolve comes when battling a non-Pokémon Entity called the Abomination, which can only be damaged by Pokémon that have Mega Evolved. Because you’re paired with Cosmo, it’s a double battle against the Abomination and a randomized Phantom Mega Pokémon. Of note with this entity, the episode took a liberty in relating it to Nemex. This was something I did purely for the sake to lead into the movie. There isn’t normally an explicit link between the two. This part of the game did not exist in my original concepts for Luna, Terra, and Sol, due to the fact that I made them before Mega Evolution existed. I liked how X and Y and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire made your first battle with a Mega Evolution a special one, so I decided to take it to the next level and make it very special. Not only that, but I made sure you built up a bond with the first Pokémon you Mega Evolve before actually performing the Mega Evolution, by making it so the Raichu is the only Pokémon you can use until you escape the Den of Mega Evolution. After doing so, the Raichu will become the player’s permanently.

I’ll get around to writing a review for the movie at some point.

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Episode 80 Review

First off, I’d just like to apologize for the wait. First I had to deal with finals in school, and now I’m on summer break, which readers from last year may remember is a very inactive time for me as a writer. I will strive to write as much as possible this summer, but don’t expect more than an episode a month, possibly less. Sorry.

Anyways, this episode honestly doesn’t have too much to talk about. It served to set up the coming episode more than anything else. Once again, this is a direct translation of an event from my game concepts. Just as Team Planetary captured Ryusei before, they have now moved onto the second Cosmic Guardian, Showakusei. However, the capture of Showakusei isn’t even the biggest event going on here. But to see what the bigger event is, you’ll just have wait until the next episode.

One thing that is of note from the episode is Braydon’s reappearance. Despite his serious and competitive side, Braydon is also a bit of a conspiracy theorist and has a personal issue with Team Planetary. This side of him was shown briefly in the Chapter 2 of the Cosmic Chronicles, but this is the first showing of this side in Cosmic Quest.

Episode 79 Review

It should be noted that I took some liberty with the gym battle, when compared to its in-game counterpart. Mainly, the battle with Allen is not normally a double battle. What actually inspired me initially to do so was trying to solve a problem. In addition to the two of Allen’s Pokémon seen already, Allen also uses a Lunatone and Solrock in in the games. The problem is that since the show uses three-on-three as its battle standard, Allen needed a third Pokémon, but couldn’t use his fourth, and it would be very awkward for him to use either Lunatone or Solrock, but not the other. So I needed an excuse for Allen to only use two Pokémon. The solution was a two-on-two double battle. Another benefit of this format that became apparent to me was that I would be able to show off the partnership between Arborrior and Eagladiator that I’ve been building up. The other liberty I took was actually Eatyai. Way back when I first made my game concepts, Eatyai was supposed to be Allen’s signature Pokémon. But when thinking about it recently, I realized this couldn’t work. The problem is that Elgyem doesn’t evolve into Beheeyem until level 42, and therefore the minimum level for an Eatyai is 43. But being the fifth gym of a region means that Allen’s Pokémon should be somewhere in the range of level 35. 43 is just pushing it too much, and I didn’t want to give him an impossibly under-leveled Pokémon either. So I made Yuifoe his signature Pokémon instead and gave him an Elgyem to fill the last spot. But for these episodes, I knew I wanted to use Allen in order to introduce Eatyai.

As I say in every review of a gym battle episode, I like to have each one show off a different skill and/or trait of Ash that proves how good of a trainer he is. This time around, it was Ash’s ability to not take the easy option, and instead prioritize a more clever one, as shown by his choice of Pokémon. One would assume picking to Fighting-Types to battle against to Psychic-Types would be a bad choice, but Ash knew that any short-term gain he could achieve with type advantages would be outweighed by the long-term advantage of the strong partnership of his Pokémon.

Also of note in this episode was Pikachu’s participation in the battle, despite the fact that it didn’t actually battle. I like Pikachu taking part in as many gym battles as possible, but I just couldn’t give up either Arborrior or Eagladiator’s spots, so Pikachu needed to sit out this one, but I still wanted it to contribute to Ash’s win. So I took a page out Ash’s battle with Olympia in Kalos, where Pikachu was instrumental in Ash’s victory, due to its ability to predict when the Future Sight attack was going to land. I tried to replicate and expand upon that concept. I think I improved on it myself, as anyone could have figured out the amount of time it takes for Future Sight to inflict damage, but only an Electric-Type like Pikachu could detect the Eerie Impulse.

Speaking of Ash’s battle with Olympia, an interesting fact of trivia that someone pointed out to me in a review, is that of Ash’s three battles with Psychic-Type Gym Leaders (Sabrina, Liza/Tate, and Olympia), two of them were double battles (Liza/Tate and Olympia). So, in a way, making this a double battle served to continue a tradition.

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.