Episode 107: The More Things Change

Cosmic Quest is back from summer break! Read the latest episode here.

Brenda is hard at work constructing her new style, but Damien, the creepy coordinator, thinks she’s wasting her time. These two may have their differences, but they’re forced to put them aside when Team Rocket abducts them, taking them into a forest full of angry Trevenant.

If this is your first time coming here for a while, be sure to check out the announcement trailer for Pokémon Sol Version, the Pokémon fan game made by me.

Team Rocket Movie Review

The idea for the Team Rocket movie first came to me nearly a year ago. I was contemplating Team Rocket (of which, as you might know, I am a big fan), and it occurred to me that they really do deserve their own movie. There was just so much potential. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was something I needed to make happen. The earliest concept was simply that I wanted them to “blast off for real” in the climax, and I worked from there. I decided to work in a plot I had initially earmarked for a future multi-episode Team Rocket arc. The plot have would Jessie, James, and Meowth attempting to impress Giovanni, and get serious like in Unova again. This would come with a joke that putting the black uniforms and taking them off works like a switch for Team Rocket, changing their personalities back and forth between silly and serious.

As an aside, I would like to explain that while there was many things I didn’t like about the show during Unova, it was the portrayal of Team Rocket that irked me the most. The entire purpose of Team Rocket was that they were this absurd, larger than life group who self-identify as evil, and yet fail miserably at it. Unova Team Rocket spat in the face of everything they were. The change made to Team Rocket would be equivalent to Ash suddenly deciding he no longer wanted to be a Pokémon Trainer and abandoning Pikachu. Obviously no one would be happy if that happened to Ash, so why should we be happy with Team Rocket’s change?

That being explained, I decided that if I wanted to write a piece that really dug into Team Rocket’s character and identity, I should focus on explaining why Unova’s change was wrong. I decided to focus the movie on demonstrating why a change for the more serious may seem good, but is actually disgraceful. With this concept solidified, the rest of the movie kind of just fell into place. I decided early on that I wanted a “celebrity” Team Rocket member as a main character, and settled on Pierce, as the sudden cancellation of Unova’s Rocket vs. Plasma arc left him as a complete enigma that people wanted to see more of. With that decided, I also realized that the story of the Meteonite was left unfinished and full of potential.

For another aside, for those who don’t know, Unova was originally set to have a pair of episodes called Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma (Part 1 and 2). They would have served as a finale of the Unova’s Team Rocket story arc up to that point. In an unfortunate twist of fate, these episodes were set to air right around the same time a major earthquake hit Japan. Due to the large-scale destruction of a city depicted in the episodes, it was decided it would be in poor taste to air the episodes so close to such a destructive disaster. The episodes were never aired, and later retconned as non-canon. this left several story plots unresolved, most notably, the Meteonite, a mysterious rock collected by Team Rocket in an earlier episode. Due to summaries and previews of these episodes, we know that the Meteonite’s purpose was to act as a replacement for the Sun after a volcanic eruption blocked it. And so The Team Rocket movie became a conclusion of sorts to Team Rocket’s uncompleted mission in Unova.

Another major aspect of the movie was its music. I decided that having musical numbers would perfectly drive in the ridiculous personalities of Team Rocket. In the beginning the only song I really had available to me was Double Trouble. But my brother, being musically inclined, had recently expressed an interest in creating some original music for Sol Version. I realized that it would be great if he could make an original song for the movie, and so, Blasting Off Again was added to the soundtrack. That was going to be it. If I could have a third song, I would, but there just weren’t any options. I could do Team Rocket Forever, but only a small portion of that song was ever translated to English. But late in the development of the movie, I realized that creating a full translation of the song wouldn’t be all that difficult, and so my unofficial fan-dub of Team Rocket Forever became the final addition to the soundtrack.

For those who don’t know, Team Rocket Forever was a song first released for a CD in Japan. Portions of it were later put into the show, leading to the dub to have a semi-translation of a small portion of it (You know us as Team Rocket, and we fight for what is wrong…). Since this portion of the song was translated out of context from the rest of the song, it isn’t so much of a translation as it is a completely separate song set to the same background music. When doing my translation, I incorporated this semi-translation with my own translations and reinterpretations to create what I am referring to as a semi-dub of the song. Perhaps I’ll make a post later explaining how I translated it in detail.

In the end, I was incredibly pleased with the result of the Team Rocket Movie. It might just be one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written. It demonstrated everything I love about Team Rocket, and put it in a great story. It is a piece that demonstrates everything I love about the group, while also further developing their characters.

The Super Smash Bros Ultimate Team Rocket DLC Pack

If you’re a fan of the Pokémon Anime and of Smash Bros, then the Team Rocket DLC Pack is for you! This free* DLC package comes with not one, but two new fighters, Jessie and James of Team Rocket, fresh off of their appearance in The Team Rocket Movie. In addition, it includes a new stage based on their famous balloon. Team Rocket blasts off at the speed of light, surrender now or prepare to fight!

Smash Bros - Jessie.png

Smash Bros - James.png

Team Rocket

To get this free* DLC for yourself, all you have to do is enter three download codes. Go to the Shared Content section of the Online hub and search for the following codes:
Jessie: 7C01NT6H
James: 46Q468Y1
Team Rocket’s Balloon: D57Q5QSR

And if you want some more original Smash Bros content, be sure to check this post out, detailing the various stages I have available for use. Even if you’ve seen the post before, many of them have been updated, and two new ones have been added.

 

*Disclaimer: While the characters themselves are free, in order to properly use them, you have to first buy the $0.75 Team Rocket Grunt Mii Costume DLC. In addition, a paid subscription to the Nintendo Online Service is required to download this DLC.

The Team Rocket Movie

Are you prepared for trouble? Well, you better make it double! The biggest summer blockbuster of the year has finally been released! Read it here!

Team Rocket Movie Poster

Just as our favorite villains are contemplating their lives, Giovanni calls to assign them one of their most important assignments yet. After their partner in the mission, Pierce, ridicules their incompetence, Jessie, James, and Meowth decide that it’s time to turn over a new leaf and get serious. But when they learn of world-threatening scheme, this “new and improved” Team Rocket must reassess their lives and core values. Includes the Meowth Short “Meowth and the Treasure of the Ancients.”

This movie is a musical with three songs, including a fan-made “dub” of a previously Japanese-only song, and a completely original song. Check out the Cosmic Quest Youtube channel for a playlist of these songs so you can listen along while you read. Author notes in the story will tell you when to play each song.

In addition, a new background based on the movie poster has been added to the Bonus Content page.

Team Rocket Movie Background

Also, the Pokédex page has been updated accordingly.

Episode 106 Review (Featuring ChaosProjectAuthor)

Hello, Cosmic Quest readers! This is ChaosProjectAuthor, but you can call me Chaos. Most of you probably know me better as the guy who makes the sprites you’ve seen around this website, and by extension, for the recently-revealed Pokémon Sol Version project as well. While I’ve been deeply involved in the development and planning of Cosmic Quest since the very beginning, this is the first time I’ve ever participated in the actual writing. So now I’m here to review the episode I wrote.

Continuing from where I left off on my own website (where fans of Yuni’s other works can get some behind-the-scenes info on Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium as well), when Yuni first suggested the possibility of a writer’s exchange, I was hesitant, but definitely interested. Who could say no to free advertising? Well for me, the first challenge was apparent. Yuni knew exactly what he wanted to write for my story. But what would I write for his? In order to be an effective advertisement, I would need to make sure that the entire episode reflected who I am as a writer, so that potential readers drawn to my stories could know what they’re in for. That meant coming up with an episode idea that is largely character focused, that has room for emotional growth, and that connects to the reader on that same emotional level. In my own writing, that’s always my goal. The style of the Pokémon anime isn’t quite so conducive to that as the Sonic universe that I’m used to working with, and that’s what made this a challenge. But on top of all that, I also wanted to show that I know what I’m doing, to take advantage of this opportunity, by writing a story that could only exist in the Pokémon world. In my own story, which tends to be at least somewhat grounded in scientific reality, I would never just have a flat-out ghost as a character. But in Pokémon, where we’ve already seen clear proof of ghosts from the Pokémon Tower of Kanto all the way to Acerola’s “Mimikins” my idea for Shinx in this episode fit right in. And of course, writing a story that can only exist in the Pokémon world also means relying heavily on the inherent bond between Trainer and Partner Pokémon, which, conveniently enough, allowed me to add a lot of emotional depth to the episode without much extra work. You don’t need to do much to show a bond like that, because any Pokémon fan will understand that it’s there.

But I’ve gotten a little ahead of myself. I was faced with the problem of what to write, and there was no obvious answer. I’ve recommended episode ideas to Yuni before, and all of them have made it in, so in that sense, it felt like all of my best ideas were already used up. After a lot of brainstorming, I had a few preliminary ideas. I considered an episode involving Team Rocket shenanigans, but in the meantime, Yuni wrote an episode that felt a little too similar to what I had in mind. I considered an episode that would bring back an old character, but I was worried about that being in even more conflict with Yuni’s ideas than my previous consideration. Lastly, I considered an episode that would introduce a new Pokémon, as well as a character from Pokémon Sol Version that none of you know about yet! For quite a while, that was the idea I was leaning towards, but I felt like it would’ve fallen just a little short in terms of the emotional weight that I was looking for.

As it was getting down to the wire, just a couple of weeks before I needed to start writing, I had a dream. And that dream became Episode 106. How close was that dream to the final product? Shockingly close, actually. The story of Shinx and Pichu, the burned bakery, and Pichu’s attempt to get in the way, it was all there (though Pichu was a Pikachu in the dream, and it got a few ridiculous dream-induced plot points that naturally had to be removed). Rabbolt’s role in the story had to be added, but I was very happy to get the chance to work on Rabbolt’s character, since that’s been something I’ve been complaining about to Yuni for a while. And with the other Electric-Type Pokémon already there, it just made sense. What’s funny to me is that the inspiration for my own story, The Chaos Project, came to me in a dream in almost exactly the same way. That odd connection alone was enough to make me certain that this was the episode I had to write.

One other point of note is this episode’s integration with the rest of the story. At the time I started planning, I had no idea that Brenda was going to be experiencing any kind of overarching character development, but I knew how I could fit it right in before I was even done reading the previous episode. In fact, Yuni shared with me that he still wasn’t quite sure what do with his plans for the development of Brenda’s style, which means that I was not only able to acknowledge that plot point, but quite probably influence its direction for the rest of the story. But even I don’t know what the result will be! I guess we’ll all just have to stay tuned!

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to read Yuni’s episode of The Chaos ProjectOr better yet, if you’re interested in Sonic and enjoyed my episode of Cosmic Quest, read The Chaos Project from the beginning!

Episode 103 Review

The heroes and the villains switching places. It’s a fun little idea I had a while aback. I thought it would be interesting to see what things would be like if Ash and friends were the ones who had to steal from Team Rocket. My original idea went a little further in the concept and had the episode feature Team Rocket as the main characters attempting to help a random character of the week, while “Team Twerp” kept coming in and interrupting things. It would basically be your typical episode, but with the roles reversed. When it came time to write the episode, I decided that I should keep the focus on Ash and friends, or else it would be too difficult to justify them acting “evil.” By keeping the focus on Ash, Brock, and Brenda, I was able to better show their struggle to adapting to becoming thieves, and how bad they are simply because the only example they have to go off of is Team Rocket’s. Meanwhile, since it isn’t out of character for Jessie, James, and Meowth to do some good when it benefits them, they didn’t need quite as much focus as the twerps.

It’s All Connected… and a Word on The Team Rocket Movie

We have officially entered May, the month that will see the release of Detective Pikachu. In only a week and two days, this ground-breaking film will at long last be a reality. To celebrate, I made a second Detective Pikachu desktop background:

Detective Pikachu Background 2

It’s all connected, the only question is how. Find out in Cosmic Quest’s upcoming Detective Pikachu special!

 

Also, as you may know, the lack of new episodes over the past month have been due to me writing The Team Rocket Movie. I wanted to officially state that in order to make this movie as enjoyable as possible, I am delaying its release. Instead of coming before the Detective Pikachu special, it will come some time after. Hopefully not too long. Trust me, the wait will be worth it.