I can certainly say it always feels good to come back to writing after such a long break, and I do apologize that it had to be the episode before the gym battle where I stopped.
I’ve explained before that each Tenno gym battle is supposed to show off a different positive trait of Ash’s. This gym battle was all about the improvised and unorthodox strategies that Ash is known for. Whether it’s Heala causing Yang-Xing to slip, Turtsol purposefully taking hits to absorb energy, Pikachu sacrificing itself to deliver one massive attack, or Heala blocking Lock-On, Ash always seems to have something up his sleeves. One interesting problem this theme caused my writing was that most of these strategies involve Ash’s Pokémon delivering a finishing blow without first being knocked out. So, if I wanted each of Ash’s Pokémon to get at least one of these creative moments, I would have to have Ash have a perfect victory against Astrid and lose no Pokémon. Clearly that would not make for a good battle, as there would be no tension, drama, or excitement. Not to mention, it would also make Astrid look somewhat incompetent as a gym leader. I kept that closely in mind as I wrote the battle, and was very careful to show off Astrid’s strength at every chance I could. Having Cyclpotic single-handedly turn the battle around helped with that issue too.
This last episode (which came out four months ago), was a bit of an awkward one. As you might have guessed, I really like outer space. To be more specific, I am studying to be an astrophysicist. There’s just so many crazy facts out there about space, and I wanted to use this episode to share them. Every single fact that Astrid shared about the distance scale is completely accurate to the real world, and it’s absolutely mind-boggling. Now, I unfortunately got a little carried away with Astrid’s lecture, leading to it taking up a very large portion of the episode, and leaving me with very little time to work on the actual story of the episode. This, unfortunately, lead to the rest of the plot being somewhat rushed and awkward. If you ask me, it was worth it, but I’m clearly biased.
First off, my most sincere apologies for how long it has been since the last episode. I’ve gotten a job for the summer, and have been extremely busy because of it. It shames me to say this, but it will probably be slim pickings on episodes for the rest of the summer.
Anyways, this entire episode stemmed from a random idea I had back when I first started Cosmic Quest. I thought it would be an interesting idea to have James compete in a gym battle. Obviously for this to happen I needed a good excuse. I soon thought that a good excuse would be to have a gym leader who was once a member of Team Rocket. I looked through all of my gym leader designs and decided that Halley was the one most in need of extra backstory, so Halley became an ex-member of Team Rocket. As for how this is reflected in the games, I decided to make it so that games never directly state that Halley used to be part of Team Rocket, but they do heavily hint at him having a hidden past. It would be left up to the players to theorize what that history is.
Hmm…it’s been so long…let’s see what I can remember.
The way Neutrina battled in this episode was based off of what I see her team being built to do in the games. As she has a team of Poison-Types with many different ways to cause damage over time, I really wanted to emphasize that here. As for the way I had Ash battle, I’m really trying to use gym battles as a way to show off how skilled Ash is, while also showing some growth at the same time. In his first gym battle against Crate, he won using mostly brute force with some minor strategy thrown in. His second battle, against Skyler, demonstrated that Ash can be adaptable. Now, this battle’s purpose was to show that Ash can keep a cool head and make the right choices when he needs to. You can expect this progression to continue as Ash continues his journey to the Tenno League.
Episode 42 can be read here.
It’s time for Ash to try to earn his third Tenno Gym Badge in a battle against the Starcore Gym Leader, Neutrina. Ash thinks he’s ready, but Neutrina has him second-guessing himself as she uses strategy after strategy to wear Ash’s Pokémon down.
Also, the Pokédex and Attackdex have been updated with the contents of the episode.
Episode 41 is here.
(But who knows for how long…)
When a Rotom reeks havoc on the systems of a nuclear power plant, it’s up to Ash, Brock, and Brenda, along with the Starcore Gym Leader Neutrina and a very special Pokémon to save the day from total meltdown.
Also, the Pokédex and Tenno League pages have been updated accordingly.
Sorry this is running a little late, I had something come up before I could post this earlier.
In case you didn’t notice, the episodes that spanned the gap from Ash’s initial battle with Skyler up until the actual gym battle was an episode arc of sorts. First Ash actually fights Skyler, then he relates about his loss with his rival Ryu, then he is inspired in a new strategy by Brenda’s Pokémon Contest, then he trains as well as captures a new Pokémon to help him further, he trains some more, and finally he wins the gym battle. I wasn’t initially attempting to make an arc like that, it actually sort of just worked out. About the time of the second contest episode, I figured out it could work that way, and decided that I might as well roll with it.