Forum rules
Please do not post Nuzlockes in this forum.
Threads on this forum are for subjects related to Nuzlocke runs, such as the Featured Fan Runs. Feel free to post a run in one of the subforums below - each for a different medium. For more information about Other Adventures and Events, please check the stickied topic


Good luck on your journeys!
Shiny Dustox
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Joined: August 29th, 2014, 12:34 pm

July 8th, 2017, 4:03 am #101

I think it's not a bold statement to make when I say that a lot of us tend to prefer our protagonists to be good. I mean, they are the protagonists, right? Shouldn't they be good? Well, what if that wasn't the case? Would you still read it? Would you still follow their adventures if this protagonist... had no heart?

Let's answer some of the questions, shall we, as we take a look at:

Absence Makes the Heart is a Sacred Gold storyshot run done by Z-nogyroP, who was a panelist in the recently concluded screenshot panel event. Check the logs out if you haven't already! If his place on the panel doesn't convince you of how talented Z is as a screenshot run writer, this feature will do its best to do that. Absence centers on Alexis, a Trainer who grew up in Kanto for her entire childhood, and is now on her Trainer's journey... in Johto. Yep. And in this run, it makes all the difference. Just ask her parents.
Z-nogyroP wrote:David, please.
Please, David. I'm begging you.
I know this is a matter of great importance to you. But her attitude, especially towards Pokemon, is-
Believe me, I know. I know better than anyone. And I'm sorry. But this... this is her one chance to really experience being with them! This is our one chance at opening her eyes to the world!
Eloise, she was born in Kanto. She was raised there for seventeen years, and the region's perspective on Pokemon has rubbed off on her. Maybe irreversibly. I know you want to believe that she can change, but I'm not sure...
How could we know if we don't at least give it a chance?
So it was heavily implied in the text, but let me get this out of the way, because I'm already seeing the pitchforks and torches. To put this very, very, very nicely, Alexis can be a bitch. Because of her upbringing in Kanto, whose culture largely views Pokémon as tools and nothing more, she is constantly at odds with the opposing Johto mentality. And of course, this results in Good Times with her Pokémon.
Z-nogyroP wrote:

I'm Eric.
Great. Now shut up.
I can't believe- how are you allowed to be a trainer if you don't even care about my name?!
...Is there any way I could get a less annoying starter?
Honestly, I have never liked unsympathetic protagonists in runs, and I still don't, which makes my choice for this feature all the more intriguing. But allow me to explain why. A common mistake that a lot of writers do with these types of protagonists is that they never face the consequences of their actions. The world bends and breaks from the protagonist's arrogance, and it's all the worse for it. However, Alexis constantly faces the repercussions of her attitude and the decisions she makes, be it from her own Pokémon, or the people around her.
Z-nogyroP wrote:

I've seen quite enough out of you. Her courage here is admirable, and your reaction is more akin to what I would expect from a toddler.
But she-
I'm going to have to ask you to leave the lighthouse now and not return. If you do, I will give full permission for my Steelix and Bronzong to escort you back out. If you wish to challenge me, come to the gym. Otherwise, I don't want to see you in Olivine again. Do I make myself clear?
Z also defended why he chose to make Alexis the way she is in the recent panel. I'll quote the relevant explanation here.
Z-nogyroP wrote:writing a protagonist that people are intended to dislike is definitely not easy. mostly, i wanted to do it because of the implications it'd have for both her and for team dynamics. why is she the way that she is, in a society that thrives off of people who are kind and caring? what if anything could convince her that she's not necessarily in the right? it also allowed me to explore characters that would otherwise not be nearly as interesting without her to bounce off of, like altos. he constantly agrees with alexis because the way he was raised told him that obedience was vital above all else, and if alexis was a sympathetic person, nobody would bat an eye- but because she's not, he's suddenly a much more controversial character. the way her other teammates respond to her is another veritable well for conflict to spice things up.
We'll get to Altos in a bit, but yes, this run thrives on how Alexis interacts with the world that she is thrust into and this is reflected very well in Z's writing. He does not hold any punches when it comes to writing dialogue, allowing you to feel the raw tension and emotions that a lot of the scenes convey, and in a genre that's so heavily reliant on dialogue, this alone makes the run worth reading. The problems that arise are believable and never contrived, given the personalities of the characters involved. And some of those personalities are her Pokémon's.

What I love about this completely dysfunctional team is that the dynamics are ever-changing; there is always a challenge for supremacy between the Pokémon's well-being and Alexis' indifference to them. You are always on the back foot, looking to see if they will ever improve their situation... or not, as a lot of Alexis' Pokémon are as imperfect as she is. Case in point; Altos. Altos parallels Alexis in that his behavior reflects his upbringing; he relentlessly supports Alexis no matter what she does or thinks, and this puts him at odds with his other team members by joining in the browbeating. However, with some intervention, we see there are scenarios where the cracks in Altos' programming come to light, and this just makes for some wonderful storytelling.
Z-nogyroP wrote:

Altos. This is your evolution. You have a choice here! Speak up for yourself!
No, really, it's fine! She can choose. She's the trainer! Trainer knows best.
Yeah. Umbreon... maybe, but not optimal...
Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Yes, she's the trainer, but this is your evolution! You can't change this! This is permanent!
I know. But- Alexis knows better! She knows what's best for the team.
Come on! Haven't you ever wanted something for yourself? Isn't there an option you've always wanted to become?
...Well... N-no! No. She- it's up to her.
Altos. Look me in the eye and tell me you've never had a preference.
...I... I mean, I guess... I've always kind of wanted to... be a Leafeon...
And speaking of storytelling, Z doesn't let himself be restricted by the limitations that screenshot runs usually have. He has posted prose updates for more character-focused parts that allow him to go explore his characters beyond the pixels, and has employed screenshot editing to help portray the story as well as it can be. It's a wonderful technique that I wish a lot of other runs used, as this allows for more creative liberties that can't be achieved with just the screenshot button.
Z-nogyroP wrote:
Lastly, before I end this feature, one of the biggest reasons why I'm continuously captivated by this run is the 'will she or won't she' that has been woven in the narrative since the beginning. Will Alexis finally be able to change how she thinks or will she let her past dictate her future forever? I don't know about you, but I'm dying to find out.

Check out Absence Makes the Heart and you won't regret it; cross my heart. And if you have a suggestion that's near and dear to you, don't hesitate to PM any of our scouters, namely Bug, DoktorGilda, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase. We promise we won't be absent for it!

art by AgentNein
[+] Current Team
Liam Tierra Virgil Bree Aurora Helena
To view my Completed Runs, feel free to visit The Insectarium.

Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Joined: May 3rd, 2015, 5:47 pm

July 24th, 2017, 3:49 am #102

The coming-of-age story is perhaps one of the most relatable, universal forms of fiction—with examples going as far back in our history as the Telemachy in 8th century BCE Greece—that we have as humans (and let's all be real, humans love stories)! The transition of a youthful person to an adult and their moral, emotional and intellectual growth captures an inescapable part of the human experience, a journey that all of us as people must take. As far as exploring the Nuzlocke genre, there are similar roles at play in the trainer’s growth from chump to champion, but marrying the idea of the journey of a trainer and the journey to adulthood is more complicated than one might think.

And yet, today’s Feature covers a comic that does so with a subtle and organic beauty that makes you feel all of those bittersweet and beautiful memories of your own coming of age all over again. Today, we feature:

Although it's at first disguised with the charm and comic lightheartedness of your classic vanilla Nuzlocke run, Acceptance still establishes very quickly its focus on its characters and their personalities from the first page--there is no exposition, no overture. Instead, we get right to the heart of what makes this run such a joy to read: its wonderful cast of characters.
Lynslayer's art also is exceptional here--the colors are bright and fun, and the characters are distinct and vibrant. The expressions are especially dynamic and really help Lyn's cast show off their broad range of emotions, and the way that the comic is both wonderfully colored without being oversaturated and paneled in a way that is animated leads Acceptance to have the feeling of a premier cartoon on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network! But, to touch back to my point about the characters--the run opens focusing on our lead, Zoe, and her best friend, Brad. In a refreshing twist from vanilla, Brad is as sunny and expressive as Barry, but his energy is less of the boundless, hyperactive kind and more of the warm and bright kind--I mean, just look at that smile! In contrast with Zoe's expression, it really helps establish what we know of these characters just from four panels of interaction (and I'm pretty sure I've made that exact face playing Dark Souls, so it's totally relatable as a starting point on getting to feel comfortable with the protagonist).

This bright and exciting start to the journey is fast paced, efficient, and wastes no time getting to what makes this comic actually tick--the opening of a Nuzlocke is the opening we've played a million times over, but the characters belong to their owner, and Lynslayer rocks this! She uses her spectacular sense of characterization to show us a glimpse of Zoe without wasting any time and still letting the opening scenes and action play out--giving us a window of opportunity to ponder what kind of growth she has in mind for Zoe's journey in the meantime, because I think she's got battling covered!

I just love how badass Zoe is from like, page 3. Get 'em, girl!
Acceptance also has an amazing way of taking these vanilla events and characters and twisting them just so to fit the tone of the run, and it can be funny, too. And I mean REALLY funny. The panel of Zoe using the briefcase to smack some Starly around is hilarious and character defining, but Lynslayer also knows how to push the comic medium to its best potential for comedy in tandem with her characters. Her animated style really helps sell the comedy, too!
Even in just one panel, Lucas gets established seamlessly into the flow of the comic--dramatic bubbling, wildly unrealistic but effective posing to help get the drama of his character's a bombastic way to make an impression, and Lyn's comic just keeps this style of efficient introductions and flowing through the typically tedious tutorial segments to get her cast of characters set up and the tone of her run established. Little details in the way the scenery is drawn, the clean but rounded and organic panels and linework, the dialogue that's as conversational as my Discord PMs... these are all the things that give this comic its heartfelt roots and push you so close to these characters only a handful of pages in.

This conversation with Zoe's mother has a lovely touch of that sincerity that makes me adore this run--it's funny, it's sweet, it's real, and it ends with a bright and funny punchline that slaps an eager grin on your face to match Zoe's own expression. Four panels in, and we see so much about the relationship between Zoe and her mother and have a sense that this is a world we are only seeing a brief glimpse of; it's been moving before we were here, and it will keep going once the story concludes.

Not to mention, Acceptance just has a gorgeous sense of lighting, and in tandem with the soft, painted colors, it just builds up an awesome look when the scene expands out to show off, almost a Ghibli-lite look in how it both manages to be beautiful and inspiring:

Lynslayer has a great eye for showing off beautiful wilderness and the cities that make Sinnoh so charming, maintaining the same atmosphere of the game while nailing down her own sense of the world.

However, while I've shown all that makes this run beautiful, charming and fun, I can't sell the plot short, either. Like I said, I see this run as a coming of age story, and we're going to have to see some conflict every now and again to get that across, and man, oh man, if Lynslayer doesn't handle conflict with the same deft touch that she handles humor and happiness:
The expressions and lighting help the gut-wrenching feelings in the dialogue show all the more. And the conflict here is so real, so understandable, that it hits even closer to home--everyone's had an argument with a friend, and in that same vein everyone has had plans and dreams that don't exactly pan out when they come to fruition. These are the relatable experiences and it's all a part of growing. I love this aspect of Acceptance, and I love how Lynslayer subtly weaves this narrative alongside the fun and adventure of Pokemon, because she does it well! Her battle scenes show off just how dynamic her style can be:
And I've hardly touched on just how wonderful and fun the Pokemon are in this run, because hey, you guys are gonna have to see just how great they are for yourselves! But I mean, really, they're a great addition to this story, and they have their own personalities and arcs that are playing so cleanly into the main narrative that the complete picture is a delight to experience, and with Lynslayer's awesome updating pacing, you're kept entertained throughout!
The Pokemon are also just as expressive as the people, and that's not an easy feat!

Acceptance is a story that is tightly woven and told through an idyllic visual setup, and it hit a special place in my heart. I hope you will all take the opportunity to go out and read Acceptance for yourselves, and that you get to experience that nostalgic tug on your heartstrings as you watch these characters journey through Sinnoh and grow up, one way or another. So yeah, what are you waiting for?
Go read Acceptance now!

Do you have a run that floored you with feelings and you need it accepted onto the feature list? PM one of our Feature scouters: Bug, DoktorGilda, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase. We'd love to take a look!

Conqueror of the Mahogany Gym
Conqueror of the Mahogany Gym
Joined: March 12th, 2014, 2:01 pm

August 5th, 2017, 9:34 am #103

Hello all!

I'm here to bring you a triple interview! This time the theme is all about completing a documented nuzlocke run. Or several of them.

Finishing a nuzlocke in any genre takes quite a bit of time and dedication, but is definitely not impossible. We decided to contact three nuzlockers who have at least one completed run under their belt, and ask about their working process and how they managed to keep themselves motivated all the way through.

They are Master Bryss, dukfuk and Degree!

Check out their individual responses below.
[+] Master Bryss

Q: Name your finished runs and tell us a bit about them!

Master Bryss: The first run: Game of Chance Gold (currently borked by Photobucket), where I took a ruleset created by Nonparael and ran with it all the way through Gen 2.

The best-known of my hack runs: Dearly Me (currently half-borked by Photobucket), which is ridiculously long but made me, I think, the first person to successfully Nuzlocke Life of Guardians.

The written log run: Xpañol, in which I attempted to jazz up an often monotone genre to encourage others to give it another go, which... worked! Years later, admittedly.

The one everyone actually remembers me for: Dark Violet: A Social Experiment, a concept run where I pretended that DV was the first ever Pokemon game and got everyone to play along at home.

The other one people remember: Return to Jupiter, where I attempted to continue my fiancée's sterling work in pulling derpy faces.

The recent stuff: Time & Space, a run that aims high in the complexity stakes but it was the most fun I have ever had writing a run. I don't care that hardly anyone makes it to the end, ehe...

There's like twenty others but I'd like to think these are the ones that most encompass the way I write.

Q: This probably varies a lot, seeing you have so many, but how long does it usually take you to finish a run? Did you expect it to take as long as it did when you first started?

Master Bryss: I've completed a run in the space of a week (a Lunatone sololocke called Mysterious As) and I've taken actual years to finish others (the hiatus-prone Game of Chance White, which probably was a bit too complex for its own good). I expect to finish my ongoings in a year to a year and a half. Hack runs and loose 'commentary' runs tend to take about half a year, tops. I never try and set myself deadlines and instead believe that things will be finished when they're ready to be finished. Or at least that's what I whisper to myself every night to make the voices stop.

Q: What stage of completing a run do you find most challenging and why? (I.e., the beginning, the middle, the end)

Master Bryss: The middle's the worst. Sometimes that's to do with plotting, in that I'll suddenly have a new idea and everything will inflate. Other times it's the gameplay itself. With my Game of Magic run, I'm now at a stage where I need to do Rock Tunnel, which I'm sure is the worst bit of Kanto for more than just me. Everyone's got that one section where you're all 'can I just skip this?' and the game's like 'nah mate keep goin' in that exact syntax. You just have to suck it up and power through, because otherwise you'll never get to all the cool setpieces you planned out.

Q: How did you keep yourself motivated during the projects?

Master Bryss: Tea is a friend. Tea is a good friend. In all seriousness, I tend to flit a lot between three different things at once, which means that if I'm not motivated to do X then I can do Y instead and come back to X naturally. Also, write in the mood of what you're doing! If I ever have battle music in a run, it's probably exactly what I was listening to at the time of writing and it'll somehow relate to the mood of the scene or something about a character. Time & Space went one further and borrowed leitmotifs for certain characters, which really helps you get into character and speak from that person's viewpoint. Maybe it's because I'm also a comedy performer, but I find it a lot easier to write if you yourself have 'bought into' the scene. and if I finish my parts like a good human Escape will agree to play board games with me

Q: It’s quite an accomplishment to complete a project. How does it feel to finally post that last update?

Master Bryss: Depends on the run. If it's a hack I've really not enjoyed playing, or a run with a boatload of editing to do, there's a sense of FINALLY NOW I CAN STOP RUNNING and slamming fists on desks and crowing from the rooftop. With Time & Space, though, I was a teensy bit sad that I had to stop writing it. It really felt different to anything I'd ever done and it kinda existed in its own little (time &) space and I know I'm never going to be able to write anything like it again. Not that I'd ever write essentially the same run twelve times over or anything because that would be stupid. In general though, as soon as I've hit 'Post' that last time, I hear Dave Grohl screaming 'DONE, DONE ONTO THE NEXT ONE.'

Q: When you finished your first run, did you already know you wanted to do more? And since you've completed a lot of excellent runs, how do you manage such consistent quality?

Master Bryss: When Gold finished I was already in Rhyder's first Mirror World (probably also mostly borked by Photobucket now) and had at the very least started Dearly Me. I got bitten by the bug hard. I don't necessarily think I'm all that consistent, but that's why everything works? I always have to tweak something or innovate in some way, whilst also trying to keep the stuff people seem to like. That way, I'm always thinking creatively as opposed to thinking 'this is what I have to do this update.' With the current duelling log run I'm doing with Argon, France vs Spain, I've taken my old written log style forward with things like silly pencil drawings whilst making sure that they don't detract from the log itself. That way, everything seems fresh but at its core it's still me writing in the way I write. Having that new element, however small, makes you think a lot more about what you're doing with your previous style. And that way you don't get complacent.

Q: What would you say to someone who wants to finish a project?

Master Bryss: Write for you. Not anyone else, you. Even if no-one else looks at it, you did, and you'll be far more satisfied than if you'd abandoned it. Don't not finish something because you're not entirely happy with it, either. Maybe that one part looks a bit off now, but once it's put into the context of the whole work, you might look at it differently. Finally, don't be afraid to retool a bit! If you tried writing something in one way but it's maybe gone a different direction without you consciously realising it has, maybe that's because it works better this way. Or maybe you're actually more comfortable with this style than what you were trying before, which is good because it means it's playing to your strengths as a writer. Use them.

Q: Finally, do you plan to keep creating runs?

Master Bryss I don't see myself as done yet. For one thing, I keep promising GUNSTEVE 2 at some point, and I really want to write that firearm-obsessed midget again. I've got one more planned run as well and then after that is a blank space. Perhaps that's a natural end. Perhaps not. Writing all these runs has given me so much: a great group of friends and collaborators, a chance to improve on my writing... and then there's the fact that I met the person I intend to marry here. This place means a lot to me, and I intend to give a bit more back. Of course, first I need to finish my current runs. And make sure Argon finishes his. pokes Argon with a stick to update Yankee again.
[+] dukfuk

Q: Name your finished runs and tell us a bit about them!

dukfuk: My two story runs, Pestering Dualockes and Pestering Dualockes 2, are about a group of friends who manage to forge close bonds despite some being oceans apart, all through the magic that is internet messaging services. Both runs were inspired by the very real people I've talked to and forged close bonds to despite never actually having met them face to face, some being in countries very far away from mine. The central storytelling element and I suppose the format overall was borrowed from what was a popular piece of fiction at the time of the original PD's release (2012). I can allay fears, the story itself has no connection to that particular work outside of the name and style of its IM client.

Oh yeah, I completed an OA as well! Roy's Our (Only) Boy, where I conquer a personal demon that had been haunting me for years: Beating Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade on hard mode doing what is known as an All Girls Run, where I'm only allowed to use the main lord and female characters. Spoilers: I did it! Even the trial maps!

Q: How long does it usually take you to finish your runs? Did you expect it to take as long as it did (for example, your longest running run)?

dukfuk: PD started on January 1st, 2012, and ended June 3rd, 2012. So roughly 6 months.
PD2 took from July 18th 2016 to June 8th, 2017, closer to 11 months.
Roy took from January 22nd, 2017 to April 20th, 2017, so only 4 months, but again that's an OA.

So it's a bit all over the place, but to also be fair, there was a lot more editing involved in PD2. By which I mean there was actually an editing process in PD2, which involved it being shown to another living being and them reading it and pointing out mistakes and hashing out things that didn't really work. I thought PD1 took a much longer time than it really did, and I didn't expect PD2 to take as long as it did...but I suppose the proper answer is "They took as long as they needed to".

Q: What stage of completing your runs did you find most challenging and why? (I.e., the beginning, the middle, the end)

dukfuk: Climax. Jesus wept, the climaxes of each run, the run-ups to the climaxes and the wind-down after, even if both stories ended not too long after. The text-only IM format works really well for during the run to build character relationships and the like, but actual action? It's the format's biggest weakness. PD1's suffered for it and PD2's climax dropped the format entirely to try something completely different with the audio logs.

Q: How did you keep yourself motivated during the projects? And specifically, what motivated you to finish your run after you wiped?

dukfuk: PD1 was written at what is probably the lowest point in my life and it's not something I'm super prepared to dwell on. I was motivated to keep updating because at that point I was partially convinced I had nothing else left. I wasn't working at the time, the life goals were slipping away, everything felt impossible to do and it was nice to tell that story, nice that people liked it, nice I could do something other people appreciated. PD1 came from somewhere deep, and I think overall the run is better for it, even if the actual circumstances aren't ones I recommend copying.

PD2, however, was written at what is probably the highest point in my life and it's definitely something I'm super prepared to dwell on. What kept me motivated to keep posting was the same reason I even came back to the nuzforums after four years in the first place: someone I talked to a whole lot liked what I did and wanted more of it, so I picked it back up and kept going. It was nice to hear that immediate feedback, that "Hey, what you're writing is really good", and as responses came in someone going "Hey, someone else also likes your stuff, you should keep going". That outside influence is important. Just having one other person go "keep going" is deeply motivating. One person to go "Hey, this sucks change it" or "this is great, keep it". I feel, ultimately, personal opinion wise, PD2 is weaker than PD1 but that's entirely because PD2 was a continuation of an already mostly solid story. Most of the way through PD2 I was like "I already started this and I've got ideas for future runs but I should finish this because people do like it and even I want to see where this goes".

PD1 technically ended in failure. I wiped in Emerald right at the Champion battle. I could have ended the run there, but it felt barely unfinished. It only needed one last push to be why not push? It changed the tone of the finale for the better, I think. Having May fail but ultimately give her a bright future...I think the run needed that, the readers needed that, and in what was self-admitted the lowest point in my life...I needed it.

For Roy? I kept going entirely because of the memes. But also it was a fun challenge...up until FE6 remembered it was FE6 and thus not the best FE game out there. Ah well.

Q: It's quite an accomplishment to complete any project. How did it feel to finally post that last update?

dukfuk: I think my thoughts ran along these lines when I finally hit submit on that last post in PD2: "It's DONE. Holy shit it's finally fucking done. I actually did--" and then I fell the fuck asleep because it was late I think.

Overwhelmingly though, just that flood of relief. Releasing that breath you didn't know you were holding. It feels amazing. And then the comments come in. Those "Congrats" and "I liked this run". It's always nice. Comments don't need to be gigantic bullet lists of constructive criticism, although those posts are always appreciated and if you want to go full in-depth that's really good and helpful. In the end, all writers want is that tiny little bit of vindication. That someone out there saw what you did and cared enough to take a moment and go "Nice" and “That's awesome, but it can be better, here's how".

Q: When you finished your first run, did you already know you wanted to do more? What made you decide to keep going and make another?

dukfuk: Yep! I knew I wanted to keep the story going. Even as early as the third or fourth chapter, I knew I wanted to keep going and do more games in this style. But uh...2012 was a funny year to be living close to the Jersey Shore. Hurricane Sandy came by and I had to move back with my mother and most of what happened is personal. And then I forgot about nuzlockes.

I touched on it a bit earlier. Someone else reminded me of PD1. I thought I might as well go check it. Lo and behold, it was featured in the Featured Fan Runs thread. It also won an award during the 2012 extravaganza. I...yeah! I was a bit taken aback. "Holy shit, people actually LIKED what I did? ...huh. I think I remember wanting to do more of that." and then that person (Why am I beating around the bush? It's was Flopdisc, my fiancee and fellow storywriter. Go check out Trainer-Watching. I help with that story, too, like she has for mine) was like "Dude, do more of that."

So I did.

Q: If you could go back and talk to your past self right after starting one of your runs, what advice or encouragement would you give?

dukfuk: If I could go back to right before I started PD1, I'd fucking slap myself and go "DON'T USE THE FUCKING HOMESTUCK IM THING YOU CHUCKLEFUCK OR AT LEAST DON'T CALL IT PESTERCHUM". Also something about not gambling money away. But that's not entirely helpful to anyone else.

I think the big thing would be "Get more involved with the community". Which is advice I still need to take. But ultimately just have someone else look at your run, someone else to go "Why are you doing this thing here, specifically?" or "Why are they acting in this way?".

Also also, I think the biggest thing I'd say to my younger self or to any runner is "Don't plan too far ahead". I mean, I feel like I was always planning to do PD2 since the near beginning of PD1, and I almost think both stories could have done without that. Even PD2 was setting up a handful of small nods towards a potential Pestering Dualockes 3, but it turns out I don't have the energy for that nor the desire to make a third run in the same format. I wanted to do something new.

Q: What would you say to someone who wants to finish a project?

dukfuk: In short, grab a friend. Someone you can trust to actually tell you what you -need- to hear, not what you -want- to hear. Sometimes you need someone to go "That's fucking stupid, don't." but probably in a nicer tone. But ultimately, you need the encouragement. Whether that's someone giving you that all important bump to your topic, someone sending you a message in a discord server going "I like your run", or someone to grab you by the shoulders and shake you going "PEOPLE LIKE YOUR STUUUUUUUUUFF! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!"

Another bit of advice is this: Be interested in your own damn run. Pitch your own idea to yourself and stop and think. "If this was someone else's run, would I be interested in it at all? What does this story do that the other infinite number of comics, stories, screenshots, and written logs don't do?" If you can't find it in yourself to be interested in reading your own story, what makes you think anyone else will? If your own story bores you, you're not going to want to finish it. On the flipside, if you have an idea you think is interesting, there's a very good chance others will find it interesting, too. And you'll be more interested in seeing it through because even you will want to see how it ends.

For those of you writing stories, I have an extra piece of advice: Let your characters go and be themselves. Don't force them to do anything. This is going to sound like a crazy person, but your characters are their own people with their own thoughts and lives and likes and dislikes and experiences separate from you, the author. The instant you try to force them to do something, the reader WILL pick up on it and the story suffers.

Lemme drop an anecdotal story on you. Pestering Dualockes 2, Message Log 23 (HAIL GIOVANNI!) was something that never should have happened. It was written in only a few days in between the actual climax and where I wanted to get back to the main characters. It starred two characters who had not appeared in the story in any way up to that point and then never appeared again: Salon Maiden Anabel (as a detective for the International Police) and Rocket Executive Archer (Team Rocket's Head Boss in HG/SS). In that chapter, both characters bounced off each other, had history that was more or less invented on the spot, and a very simple "Honest Cop and Career Criminal" relationship was formed. Archer got to lay in some background information for both Anabel and the reader, fill in a few gaps such as Giovanni and Silver's motivations, and the type of person Giovanni was (He never had a speaking role in my runs, either, despite being so integral to the plot). Right at the end though, Archer says something that I didn't plan for him to say. A motivation, an action...something that surprised me. I was midway through typing the sentence and yeah, even I didn't expect him to say what he said and to be willing to do what he did, knowing the repercussions, knowing the consequences. It was powerful, it was fun, and it was unplanned, and it made that chapter feel strong despite containing two characters who were not part of the cast, main or secondary, up until that chapter and then never appeared again. Even Anabel reacted strongly, and had to leave the room, again, something I didn't plan until I realized that she wouldn't have anything to say, anything she'd want to say or do. She wanted to leave the room, get away from this she did.

It sounds weird. Like naturally, people are going to do what they want to do. Until you remember these characters don't actually exist outside of my mind. I had full control over them and their actions, so to be surprised by them is weird, isn't it? But that's what makes it fun, that's what gives life to your characters. Let them live. Let them be their own people. Let them have their own personalities, their own opinions, their own thoughts and lives and dreams. Too many people use stories and characters as a soapbox to shout their opinions and those stories suck as a result. Let your characters live.

Q: And lastly, do you plan to keep creating runs?

dukfuk: OA wise, I'm already working on Rhymes with Ike (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn All Girls Mode), and Gotta Catch 'Em All!, where I go through every game and catch every single Pokemon with every single little change and difference (Except Spinda, FUCK Spinda). Both runs are currently on a soft hiatus because I want to get my new storylocke run started.

Speaking of my new storylocke, Blind Prism is coming soon, if it hasn't already been released by the time this interview is released to the public! A story about a girl named Prism who starts out blind while I run a Pokemon Prism nuzlocke almost completely blind (I looked at a wiki article and an important story bit was spoiled for me and I'm slightly upset) and attempt to make a fun story out of it. I'm excited, the first chapter is in final draft editing right now and I just need long enough to sit down and actually finish it. It's a much more traditional prose story, opposed to the chatlogs of Pestering Dualockes and despite taking place in the same universe. The real fun is going to come from having to adjust and adapt the story, environment, and characters to new bits of information as I play through the game. In fact, I still haven't played much of Prism- as of this interview I've only just gotten to the first gym, so no spoilers, shhhhhhh.
[+] Degree

Q: Name your finished run and tell us a bit about it!

Degree: My run was titled The Long and Winding Road, an emerald comic adventure. It was your average joe style run-through of Pokemon Emerald version, with typical rules and nothing too fancy. The goal was to do something super low stress and humor based (due to humor being more my forte and plot being really not that).

Q: How long did it take you to finish your comic? Did you expect it to take as long as it did?

Degree: I think you’d be hard pressed to find a nuzlocke comic artist (although for myself especially early on, artist is a strong word) that actually finished in the parameters they thought they would. This dumb thing took so damn long it blows my mind. April 3rd 2013 to January 3rd 2017. Gang. That is four years. My comic lived longer than most hamsters. Is that a good thing? I don’t really know. But at least I can someday die knowing a small domestic rodent doesn’t have shit on me.

Q: What stage of completing your run did you find most challenging and why? (I.e., the beginning, the middle, the end)

Degree: THE MIDDLE. I think most artists get fatigued but man oh man. The number of times I almost dropped my comic is just through the fucking roof. You get to this point in the middle, and usually things haven’t played out the way you thought they would anyway (lost plotlines, plotholes, bogus art, unfunny gags) so you start to wonder if you even have it in you to reach the end. It can be incredibly frustrating.

Q: Comic runs are notorious for being dropped. Did that ever discourage you?

Degree: Listen, when guys like Notepad and Landwalker drop runs, you know finishing one is tough. Of course they also had completed runs prior to dropping the sequels so I guess that’s a garbage example. But I’m sure everyone out there has a run they loved that just vanished one day. And you’re sad about it right? But for me, I think I’m less upset for myself (and reading hella dank pokemon fanfic) and moreso feeling for some of those incredible artists and writers out there who got burned out enough to lose their gusto. Which, given that life is how it is, hectic and lame, is totally understandable. It CAN be discouraging. But I think in the end you work your craft in part for others, but hopefully primarily for yourself because you love it. And when you stop loving it, well, who can fault you for ceasing to slave over it.

Q: How did you keep yourself motivated during your comic?

Degree: Reading other amazing runs is absolutely my best inspiration. I love seeing how other people work and interpret the game plot (or ignore it entirely). It keeps me on my toes and thinking about my own work. “Oh that’s a sick idea, I wonder how they came up with that?” is the best thought process to have when reading so you can then incorporate the same idea when writing. Because as I learned the hard way, comics are just jokes and sometimes you have to do some real business and it sucks. If you’re planning a comedy run get ready I can almost guarantee you’ll get sucked into the plot. If you don’t, tell me where you live so I can siphon that power for my own personal gain.

Q: Did knowing you were near the end of your run make you tired of the comic process, or more inspired?

Degree: Both. I was fatigued with my characters (not that I don’t love them still, I just got sick of drawing them. To this day I am unsure of how to actually draw an anatomically accurate aggron.) But that said, I was weirdly happy to draws their success because we kind of did this journey together. Even though their fictional, your characters sort of come to life during all the drawing and writing.

Q: How did it feel to finally post that last update?

Degree: “In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any phony pokegod’s blessing. But because, I am enlightened by my newfound freedom.”

Finishing my run was a blast. I felt many MANY emotions hitting submit but relief was the most prevalent. With just a tinge of melanchollic bliss.

Q: If you could go back and talk to your past self right after starting your run, what advice or encouragement would you give?

Degree: “Hey Degree. Please for the love of god pace yourself. Also don’t put memes in your comic it isn’t funny. Take some drawing lessons, learn calligraphy and in the name of ALL that is holy don’t use real photos for backgrounds”

Q: What would you say to someone who wants to finish a project?

Degree: Try not to get discouraged dude. I know it’s easy to look at all the amazing runs out there and think to yourself “Why would I even bother. These people are so much better than I could ever be.” But that simply isn’t the case. Everyone brings something unique to the forums, which is what allows it to be such a cool place. I can guarantee you’ll have a ball starting a run and meeting all the other amazing artists and writers (who are all open to offer advice and support).

Q: Do you plan to keep creating more nuzlocke runs, or maybe something else?

Degree: Actually I have something sort of in the works nuzlocke-wise, but we’ll see if it pans out! Long term I’ve had an idea for a comic with original characters and story on my mind for a while but I don’t think I have the chops to take it on yet artistically.


Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
Joined: January 10th, 2012, 12:15 am

August 6th, 2017, 10:28 pm #104

There's a saying that there's only seven types of stories in the world, and that every bit of media we consume is just a rehash of those stories in a new, and hopefully entertaining, way. Some succeed in working with cliches and tropes, while others face the risk of fumbling with the execution.

Today's feature is an example of a somewhat common baseline still done in an exciting and refreshing way, and I'm glad to present to you:

CARDINAL invokes the feeling of a classic RPG, with an innocuous goal by the protagonist interwoven with a more universal plot hovering over the entire cast as we get further and further into the story, involving cults of Yveltal and Xerneas sending out prophecies.

There's a plucky protagonist with a somewhat mysterious backstory in the form of Ellie, the more cautious lancer-type childhood friend in Lyla, as well as a plethora of colorful cast members including at times (without getting into spoilers) a female Combee gijinka mage named Celica or a sly hunter Fletchling gijinka named Skir, or even a rebellious royal. There's also the obligatory psuedo-rival gang in the form of the somewhat comical Fortie Nirtoa guild. The run isn't just The Ellie Show, either, and each character gets their fair share of screen time. For example, Santalune's gym fight is all about Lyla, and multiple perspectives are swapped effortlessly with each new chapter.

Each of the characters have an establishing introduction scene that helps convey their characters nicely. For instance, for major characters like Skir or Celica:
wrote:“Shouldn’t a girl like you have a bit more common sense?”

Glancing up at the sound of a voice, Lyla noticed a strange bird staring her down. Actually, on closer inspection, it wasn’t a bird at all! It was a boy, roughly her own age, with large, eagle wings on his back. His auburn hair almost seemed to glow as the sun hit him at just the right angle, and his tan skin made him resemble a deity of some sort. Stupid grin prominent, he casually lounged on one of the few branches not covered in the disgusting silk.

“Excuse me?” Lyla wasn’t sure which she was more confused by, his appearance or his question.

“I’m just sayin’.” He hopped off the branch, landing in the white material next to her. He was actually quite short, shorter than Elliot even, and somehow this made him much less intimidating to Lyla. “Little girl like you should have the common sense to be careful.”

The word alone made it sound important. Derived from Arceus, ‘king of all things’, depending on who you ask. Arceism has a large foundation in the city. The royal family was blessed by the divine artifact of Xerneas, the Crozier of Life. Xerneas, an elder god, was perhaps the closest deity in terms of connection to Arceus.

Depending on what you believe, of course.

Celica wasn’t certain she believed in anything.

Her hand drifted to her gun. To her legacy.
Down to the side characters, silverif nails each one down with aplomb.
wrote:“You…” Lorelei made sure to point to each of them as she spoke. “You killed Apoedia? Witch of the Woods, Usurper of the Dark Throne?”

“Uh, yes ma’am.” Skir nodded, a goofy grin on his face. “Though I was the one who--”

“Because you stole our kill. And that makes me angry
The world isn't just made of gijinkas however - there's also normal humans (Empties), real life animals, as well as demons and gods. There's deep, dark, and mysterious forests that no one has ever seemed to have left, a small hometown as well as larger cities all suffering from their fair share of inequalities, as well as other locations such as the ruins of a cathedral that just so happen to have a plot item or two.
wrote:“Arceus, you won’t, you bloody cunt.” The voice came from the side of the room, where ‘Celica’ was resting. She was now sitting up and staring at the four of them, her eyes furrowed in frustration.

“Wow, we are really making use of that mature tag, huh?” Elliot’s wistful voice seemed to cut through the tension in the air.
And while the setting is par for course and would fit right in with the Etrian Odyssey series or most any other traditional RPG, and typically sticks to the seriousness of its slowly-blooming plot, it also doesn't take itself too seriously all the time and has a cheeky sort of humor that'd fit right in with games such as Final Fantasy V, the Atelier series, or Rhapsody: A Musical adventure.

There's a feeling of grandness in the way Silverif handles her world - the forest around the hometown seems truly imposing as the group has to travel for days, and once they pass by the Santalune-equivalent there's still a ways to go until they end up going to the next town, and when it's not being comical I'd put it more around the seriousness range of Suikoden or Final Fantasy IX. A good balance, essentially.

The rule set of the run also fits in with this RPG feeling. CARDINAL isn't like your average Nuzlocke but is instead a Chesslocke. While the entire ruleset is on the first post of the thread, the essential know-how is that you can only catch 16 Pokemon tops and have to assign them to specific roles that each have unique handicaps. This can be seen as somewhat of a parallel to different classes in an RPG.

The story doesn't hold the reader's hand more than it absolutely has to, and balances showing versus telling very well. The prologue gives us a taste of what to expect plot wise, while the first chapter immediately thrusts us into action with the character leaving her hometown - one of the only people to ever have done so. Thanks to the protagonist being from a backwater town, there's an easy in-story justification for the reader learning things along the way with her as the other characters fill her in with what we both need to know. While most things are easy to understand and you're never overwhelmed with all the terms unique to the story, if you do end up lost, silverif always has worldbuilding notes both in the first post of the thread as well as her author's notes.

It's also quick paced, for those who want something light to read during your downtime. Two chapters in and Santalune is already covered, and while there are scenes written describing the downtime between fights, there's typically at least a little action in every chapter - whether through fighting the equivalent of the gym in this world or by facing down assassins or engaging (read: getting beat up by a Lucario) in a duel.

While only six chapters into the story, not counting the prologue letter, we're already a fair amount of the way into XY's plot, with the Lucario battle just out of the way. Every chapter leaves you wanting more as it leaves a breadcrumb trail of plot that can be fun to try and piece together while we're still working into the meat of things, but if you don't have a lot of time, each chapter can basically serve as its own self-contained episode that you can read at your own pace.

Even if you're not a huge fan of RPGs or high-fantasy settings, CARDINAL is still an easy to approach read with a good touch for worldbuilding, characters, and foreshadowing that gets better with every update. I can easily see those who don't engage too much in storylockes enjoying this run.
Do you have a run that you'd like to see featured? PM one of our Feature scouters: Bug, DoktorGilda, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase. We'd love to take a look!

Last Update - Mahogany Pt. 2 - August 22nd, 2018
Powder Snow - A Vega Storylocke
Last Update - September 9th, 2015 (NOT DEAD I PROMISE PROMISE)

Huntress Wizard
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Joined: April 5th, 2015, 11:58 am

August 18th, 2017, 4:17 pm #105

Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when...mapsal313 created a new event run, Clash of the Elements. That's right everyone, today's gonna be a little different! Since this event has gotten quite a bit of positive attention, with plenty of enthusiastic signups and creatively-formatted runs, we've decided to shine some light on a few of the runs from it.

Before we go further, though, let's shed some light on the rules of the event. The game is a randomized version of Black 2, with every participant given the same seed so that, when randomized, every ROM will be the same. Participants sign up for one of four elements (Water, Earth, Fire, or Air), that each have four types of Pokemon that can be used throughout the run (pure Normal-types can be used by all elements). Participants gain or lose points by fulfilling certain requirements, and at the end of the event, the element with the largest average number of points wins the Heart suit!

It's often said in one way or another that restrictions inspire creativity, and this event is no different. Nuzlockes as a genre are built on this concept, and the quadlocke format of the event takes it further by restricting the types of Pokemon one can catch, making the challenge greater and the rewards sweeter for its participants. There are also achievements players can go for, many of which revolve around defeating a Gym Leader/League member in a certain way. For example, the Strategist achievement awards four points for using only status moves during the battle. Rewarding players like this for playing a certain, riskier way is great for encouraging creativity and keeping interest high. Overall mapsal has done a wonderful job creating and coordinating this event, and it's been awesome to see the kinds of runs come out of it!

Now that you know what's happening, let's get into the four mini-features!

Does your spirit yearn for the open ocean, the crashing of icebergs, the tranquility of a grassy field, or the chemical beauty of toxins? Then you'd probably like:

The run is a written log, from the perspective of the player character, Lacy. Although the beginning of her story is fairly standard, the log is by no measure uninteresting. As Lacy's journey takes her through Unova, the format of the log changes, which adds an interesting dimension to the writing. Each update is full of content without becoming unreadable, and Lacy's personality shines through Seyuu's writing, which is a joy to read:
Seyuu wrote:-the aide turns to me with mellow eyes. as she notices that i'm a living being, though, she gasps and fiddles with her green hat. then she asks if i know a lacy.
-she offers me pokemon. specifically turtwig, charmander, and totodile. niiiiice wait
-there's a TOTODILE.
-Frills the Male Totodile. i love you already.
-obtain pokedex
-bianca mentions pokemon distribution having changed a lot since two years ago, so she wants me to go around the region and figure out why.
-BOOM. mind blown.
-(i didn't say that to her but i SHOULD'VE)
Lacy persists through any adversity she encounters, and readers will find themselves cheering her on through her trials and tribulations. And I mentioned that the beginning of her journey was standard; as she makes her way to Virbank, her journey gets a lot less standard. All in all, if you feel like reading a low-key written log with plenty of charm and personality, definitely give Blinded by the Tides a shot!

But perhaps you prefer the dirt underneath your feet, the sound of rocks tumbling down a mountain, the cool bite of metal, or the ache of sore muscles? If so, check out:

In a more humorous take, Emperor ServingSpoon blends commentary and small comments from the protagonist, a Hiker known as Terry, as he travels through Unova. Terry is charmingly optimistic throughout the few updates that are up so far, and Emperor's commentary makes a nice complement to it, with notes about the catches and notable battles. And there's even an extra little tidbit in the form of "A Hiker's Guide to Unova - Issue #1" in the second update.
Emperor ServingSpoon wrote:Out to Route 20, because there's more to explore!

That's literally exactly what Hiker's do. Maybe you should go back to Juniper and suggest she studies some Pokemon, while you're at it?

And it's inside a case which is then inside my bag... I'm impressed! That's some Devon Scope-level eyesight you've got there!
The updates move at a brisk pace, which is great considering this is an event run with a time limit, but not so fast that Emperor ServingSpoon skips over important details or a chance to make a joke. Overall A Hiker's Guide to Unova is shaping up to be a fun and lighthearted romp through the randomized version of the region.

Ah, or maybe you love a blazing bonfire, the crackle of electricity, deep shadows cast by the evening sun, or the fierce hearts of beasts of old? In that case, you should read:

Myz's run is another commentary run, taking a more relaxed tone without losing the fast pace. They waste no time or words within each update – but that doesn't mean the updates aren't worth reading.
Myz wrote:

"Look, Cheren. Everything the darkness touches, I will burn to the ground. Just like in the times of Ancient Johto, I will command lightning to strike this building and have fire consume this building until it's nothing but a smoldering pile of ash. Give me your badge to avoid this catastrophe."

"But we haven't even battled. And why are you threatening my gym?"

"Everything the darkness touches..."



Smart decision.
Myz's run is fast-paced, good natured, and brings a lot of fun and energy to the event. They're absolutely blazing through Unova, and riding along with them is a real treat. So definitely check out Burning Shadows if you want something fun and easy to wear follow along!

And if none of those sound like you, then surely you must enjoy the rushing air under your wings, a hive filled with buzzing bees, strange and mystical powers, or things that go bump in the night? Then check out:

Aozora has elected to do their event run in the written log format, but with a twist. Instead of the usual format of a somewhat-dry laundry list of events most written logs utilize, Aozora has chosen to treat it almost like a storylocke, using vivid descriptions to pull the protagonist through the story. And boy does it pay off!
Aozora wrote:The wind was blowing, leaves fluttered about upon the City of Aspertia. The sky was like the color of promise, and here we are in the Pokemon world that will not devoid of the story of the horizons.

Who was her name? The one whose story we tread upon in the shadow? Professor Juniper asked for it and we simply remember the name of that wine, ever present on people's life. The name of the woman who continuously challenged tyrannical fate. Her name was Lorraine de Saint-Laurant, and in her honor, we shall use her name.

Except the game couldn't accept name longer than 7 characters, and Lorraine was 8 characters.
In the end I went with Loraine. Kind of different but still acceptable. I will continue to refer her as Lorraine in the log.
Aozora's writing is an absolute treat to read here. Even though I've played through Unova several times before, experiencing it through their words feels almost as fresh as playing it for the first time. In addition, the gym battles and grinding sessions are condensed into a neat "log", much like a Discord chat log, which makes reading and following along very easy. Wine of Joy and Sorrow is as much a treat as a cold drink on a hot day, and it promises to be intriguing as it continues.

Now that you've had a taste of each element, it's time to choose. Water, Earth, Fire, or Air?

Or you could just read all of them. That works too.

Do you have a run that you'd like to see featured? PM one of our Feature scouters: Bug, DoktorGilda, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase. We'd love to take a look!

Unova League Champion
Unova League Champion
Joined: September 28th, 2011, 8:52 pm

September 1st, 2017, 7:56 pm #106

Hey, all! I know most of you will be expecting a feature right now, but today's going to be a little bit different - we'll be talking about a run, and telling you some good reasons why you should read it, but unfortunately you'll have to wait a bit to read it, because it's not been posted yet.

That's because today, we'll be talking about Westward, the collaborative nuzlocke run that we on the feature team launched back in January of this year. The concept, for those of you who don't remember, was that we wanted to unite the mediums of written runs, screenshots and comics, and create a run where all three of them helped to present the story, each in their individual way. The project brought together more than thirty different nuzlockers, and has been working steadily behind the scenes since mid-to-late February. Here's the full introduction thread, if you're interested!

Now, as you'll see if you open that thread, the first update for the run was originally going to be posted on the 5th of July. You might have noticed that this didn't happen, and we apologise for that! Real life hit most, if not all, of our collaborators hard and it's been difficult to get every part to flow together, since they've all been worked on by different people. But what I can tell you is that we've got most of the updates finished and ready to post - and we're really excited about what we've got. The project has come up with some excellent characters and has brought together some really talented screenshotters, storytellers and artists. So today's feature - won't be a feature, but a teaser presentation of what's coming up! We'll present some of the characters, some of the designs, and some of the ideas that the team has come up with. So, without further ado...


But it's still here, falling for forever / and it's still here, holding me inside...
Now, let's start off with the title. Why Westward? Westward is a Kanto run, and in Kanto, the Indigo League is the westernmost location. So even though a lot of the journey is rather circumspect, in the end, you'll end up further west than you did when you started. Furthermore, it's a reference to the works of Kanye West, whose seminal work The Life of Pablo was instrumental in inspiring the plotline of this nuzlocke.

Actually, I'm just messing with you. The reason it's called Westward, is because the protagonist's last name is Westwood and we wanted a silly pun. Yes, really. Also, The Life of Pablo wasn't instrumental, it had rapping on it. But anyway, since we're talking about the main character:

Those stockings aren't 100 Denier, they're at least 1000
Amelia Westwood is our main character, a shy and insecure teenager who likes basketball and possesses a nose that can cut glass. She's reluctant to start out on her travels, but finds herself forced to leave home on a journey that will, in many ways, change her life. On the way, she'll meet new friends and overcome great adversity, and if this sounds a bit like the paperback description of a terrible YA novel, I assure you that's just because I don't want to spoil too much. If it helps, she names all her Pokémon after basketball players, due to that aforementioned love for the sport! A lot of the story will focus on her personal development, and look at how she combats her own flaws and weaknesses. And I'm sure you're going to love her - she's a character that fits easily into both humour and drama, and we'll follow her closely through both.

The colours, by the way, are based off those of her starter - a Bulbasaur whose name is Leslie. But I'm not going to talk about her right now, because I think there's another Pokémon that deserves your attention a bit more. I'm going to show you a Geodude named Janine.

How rude!
Janine is a Geodude who lost her shoulders in an unfortunate mining accident, or at least she would've been, if this were a show created to showcase the horror's of Thatcher's Britain. In reality, she's a jovial and risible person who, despite her carefree exterior, cares deeply about her teammates and trainer. But eventually, as time wears on, she'll end up revealing some of her darker sides... In fact, since she's a rock, you could almost call her a conglomerate. Which, you'll be very pleased to hear, is not a pun that exists in the story itself. Her arms are detached from her body, simply because it was a damn good idea that one of the artists had.

You can see some of the other major characters up there - Leslie, Giovanni, the rival and his starter - but I'll leave them as teasers for now. Gotta keep some secrets until the run itself comes out! Instead, let's move into a more general, setting-wise description of the run.

The story will follow Amelia on a standard trainer's journey throughout Kanto - very few general things have been changed. Instead, the participants have focused on changing the small details, to make the journey feel fresh and surprising. On the way, you'll meet some inspired takes on gym leaders, you'll meet a fat Vulpix and a super cocky Butterfree, you'll meet a rival with a surprisingly extensive character arc, and you'll find a story that's told in a refreshing and new way in every update, simply because every time it's written by a new person. I'm making some fairly big promises here in this teaser update - but I honestly think that this run is going to be a joy to read from start to finish. I've seen the participants work on it, and there are so many interesting ideas and so much joyful improvisation on display that it's hard to not get caught up in it. So obviously, as soon as Westward comes out, I definitely recommend reading it.

But that's still a while away - we still have a last round of checkups to finish, as well as just getting the final updates done. This is just an update to let you know that the run is still being worked on, and to show you some of the brilliant stuff our Czars and other participants have come up with. So, to wrap this post up, I'm just going to share some of the sketches that the artists have drawn, and a couple quotes from the already-finished updates - not enough to spoil any details, but hopefully enough to get you interested! Look in the spoiler below:

[+] The Big Westward Bumper Book

Update 18 wrote:
Kyle’s tail wags rapidly. The kid’s been excited the whole day, and now looks like he’s ready to just about vibrate out of his skin. “Yeah! This is definitely the place.”

“A power plant,” Leslie says skeptically.


“Kyle, this isn’t exactly the right kind of habitat for a fire bird.”

“Well, this is what the map says!”
Update 6 wrote:
Steven had been floating behind her as she searched, and with a pointed claw he jabbed at a big green button on the panel with a tiny picture etched on it. Amelia snapped her head in front of the button as the Abra floated away, snickering. Her eyes went wide in recognition that that was almost certainly not the door button as she whirled around to face him.


Before she could even start chastising him a muffled screech sounded from inside the metal casing as it hummed and whirred. The lights in the small cottage flickered from the power consumed and the entire room shook from the floor to the ceiling, with books tumbling from their shelves and furniture falling over. Amelia almost fell forward herself, but she felt her starter's strong, rough vines wrap around her arms and she was pulled back upright just in time for the shaking to stop.
Update 11 wrote:

There you go, sir.
I- But...What!? Already? And your trainer...and the Vulpix...I’m confused now.
Don’t worry about it. Just focus on your class or whatever.
Calm down, Amelia, it’s just a Vulpix…Let’s just get to a Pokémon Center and relax.
Update 28 wrote:
Miss, do you intend on challenging the Elite Four and Champion today?
Yes, I do!
Then I’m going to need you to sign these forms.
Um, why?
It’s mostly an NDA contract. Once you enter those doors, any events or words spoken therein are strictly confidential.
Why all the secrecy?
It’s to keep the Elite Four’s teams and battling strategies from leaking to the public.
I don’t see anything wrong about signing something like that.
These forms also include a few waivers.
The Elite Four and Champion are not responsible for any harm that may come to your pokemon as a result of this challenge.
These are very high-level battles. The Elite Four must be able to use the full extent of their power and skill, and you are expected to do likewise.
It’s okay, Amelia. We’re ready for this.

(And you'll be able to figure out who drew or wrote each sketch or excerpt when the run is posted!)

(As for a new release date... No promises on when just yet. But we'll promise to give notice ahead of time!)
(updated 26.08.18)

~ you're all invited to the official nuzlocke writing chat ~
~ adrian ramos drew all my avatars, but not on purpose ~

"It wath anger from the patht" - Today at 4:44 PM
clock (32-bit) - Today at 4:44 PM
Aozora - Today at 6:22 PM

Johto League Champion
Johto League Champion
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 5:25 pm

September 15th, 2017, 2:52 pm #107

Sometimes it's easy to forget that Pokemon trainers canonically start their journey at the age of ten, especially since we read and write Pokemon fiction with death as a main focus. Many Nuzlocke stories feature older protagonists, the idea being that more mature protagonists better fit the more mature themes. Today's feature is a comic that not only sends kids on a Nuzlocke journey, but also makes them compelling, complex characters, and most importantly: badass heroes.

Blooming Glory by Spacey
Spacey's comic brings a lot to the table. It delivers a charming art style, balances storytelling with a large cast of characters, and expertly handles the gut-wrenching mountain of issues that the world has handed the cast.

Pokemon have started attacking humans indiscriminately, commercial healing items have become unusable, and in the absence of the beloved champion, gym leaders have become ruthless in weeding out challengers to the league. The world of Blooming Glory is tailored to match the drama of the Nuzlocke concept; it's a world desperately in need of a hero. I should also mention that this beloved champion happens to be the protagonist's brother.

Who better to drag then champion back than their kid sister?
But Championships aside, no 10-year old has it easy in this cruel region. Spacey does a wonderful job of exploring a world where kids are expected to be adults, shoved out into the world with just some scant schooling (sound familiar?). There's no time for coming of age in this story; children are thrust out into the wild and expected to support themselves. It's a mon eat mon world out there, so naturally Glory is reluctant to leave.

Where Blooming Glory shines is with the characters and their interactions with one another. Spacey's characters are strong as individuals, but especially shine in their interactions with one another. The Pokemon aren't excluded from this, either; Glory's team is often shown talking among themselves in a way that feels natural, all the while developing their relationships organically. The cast grows and develops individually and as a team, all the while being portrayed with realistic flaws.

One of the most impressive things about Spacey's characters is that they are all visibly dealing with their own ghosts. Sometimes it's just the little things, but for some characters it is a disorder that affects how they live their life.
Spacey's approach to mental illness is as natural as breathing. It never overpowers a character, nor is it thrown in as an interesting quirk for funsies. Spacey doesn't back down from it, either. While characters aren't solely defined by their illness or self image, it does color how they react to situations at hand... even if it's not always favorable.

But my favorite thing about how Spacey writes mental illness is in how there isn't just some magical panacea that makes it disappear. Glory has to deal with her problem, even when she learns to cope with it better.Sometimes she doesn't deal with it well, and sometimes it doesn't make sense why it happens, but that's just how mental illness is. For me, the most powerful thing that Spacey does with Glory's disorder is that sometimes Glory backslides. It's rough, it's painful, and it's real. But just because she may think she's back to square one doesn't mean she is. Regression isn't the end all be all, and that's a beautiful thing to read.
All in all, Blooming Glory is a fun read with great pacing. The heavy subjects Spacey writes on are delivered in a way that will leave you begging to know what happens next. Just to warn you, though, you should bring your tissues for this one, because it's a real tear jerker.

Got a run that you want to put in the spotlight? Shoot a PM to one of our scouters: Bug, DoktorGilda, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, and Pillowcase. We’ll be sure to take a look, and it may be our next feature!

Rob Zombug : A Snakewood VS Locke
5.30.2017 6-B : I am Fire; I am Death

Part 9 - Rolling in the Deep
[+] Spoiler
My NaNoWriMo 'mon!
Have a feature suggestion, or forum question? PM me!

Pokemon Comics Discord :watchingyou: Official SSWL Discord :watchingyou: Official Nuzlocke Writing Discord

Gangster Garchomp
Conqueror of the Ecruteak Gym
Conqueror of the Ecruteak Gym
Joined: July 14th, 2011, 6:59 pm

September 24th, 2017, 2:45 pm #108

Ahhh, 2014. It was a simpler time back then, wasn't it? The people were Fancy, Chris Pratt guarded the galaxy, and absolutely everybody had a serious problem with Let(ting) It Go. Also, Ellen took a selfie.

But also in 2014 was a slew of wonderful storylockes. Too many to name here, really, but that makes this story's fall from popularity that much more tragic. Which is why I'm here, to give it a rise, a resurgence, to come forth out of nowhere like the rapture itself, and also to get me to stop forcing puns into this introduction. But for those of you who love imaginative worlds in their Nuzlockes, this story's a helluva read. Today, in this retro feature, I shine the spotlight upon:
If it wasn't for Rise and Fall, I wouldn't be on this forum, actually. Her earlier story, Locke and Key, was actually the run that inspired the person who dragged me onto the forum, so by virtue of that little grapevine, I'm able to bring this full circle. Anyways, Rapture and Requiem is a wonderful story that combines two of my all-time favorite pastimes: near-apocalyptic war, and taking extensive hikes with talking superpowered animals. Rise and Fall does this incredibly well, with interactions even between species that characterize with the best of them:
wrote:“Don’t you see? Those people—they hate you! They hate Froakie, and they hate every Pokemon. And… I used to think we had a reason, you know. A reason to hate and fear you. But maybe we can change that.”

“There is a reason you fear us,” Rika retorted, a smile creeping over her face. “The reason was pretty clear to you last night, too, wasn’t it? When I was—”

“Stop,” Alena interrupted. “I know you want to act tough in front of me, but you can’t change my mind. Aunt Cory didn’t raise no coward… and she didn’t raise no closed-minded fool, either.” She clenched one fist and brought it towards her. “No, ma’am.”

“Ugh, too many names. My head’s starting to hurt,” Rika complained, sniffing and turning away. “Well, when you’re done having your little moment, let me know. I’d like to find something to wrestle with.”
Rapture and Requiem follows three drifters throughout Kalos, working with Pokemon (who most of the region sees as savage and unsalvageable) in order to try and restore the region to what it once was. Like in the game, Alena (our protagonist), Calem, and Shauna all cross paths without always traveling as a pack, and Rise does an excellent job of keeping tabs on everyone even while Alena and the meanest fox in Kalos remain at the epicenter. The story also does very well at setting its scenes, and really gives you that feel of an entire world gone totally untamed and more ragged than a doll in a landfill. Hope and hopelessness intermingle on the regular, and no matter what's going on in this world of Rise's, it always feels not just alive, but regularly daunting.
wrote:Central Kalos hadn't seen rain in far too long; from Lumiose to Vaniville, rain had been scarce. The roads were scarcer. The people were scared.

And the Pokemon…

The Pokemon are fucking insane.

But—then again—weren't the people, too?

Sycamore stared solemnly out of his window, into the darkening ruins of Lumiose, and he found himself doing something he hadn't done in years: he began to pray. Silently.

He began to pray for the swollen black clouds to spill, to burst and drench them with their quenching guts. He began to pray for cool days and warm nights. For the wild Pokemon near the city to keep their madness at bay.

He began to pray for the salvation of Kalos.
This is the exact kind of tale that can pull you in from the start and never let you go. Alena is a properly engaging protagonist, easy to root for and yet quite out of her depth and needing to overcome her inexperience in order to survive in this drifter's world into which she's been thrust. Her Pokemon (as well as others') are damn engaging as well, especially her gruff firefox Rika, making sure that everyone in this story is well-characterized even if they only appear for a scene. The pacing and tension in this story are both superb, only tightening its grip on you and keeping you interested without wearing you down.

And, of course, when legit action crops up, when fights break out (as they tend to do in worlds like this one), they're wonderfully depicted:
wrote:Not so fast, she thought with a cocky smirk. “Ember!”

The fireball formed between her teeth, then left her mouth with force. It pounded into Vivillon’s wing, which had seemed lustrous to her before, but was now just an insect wing. Not an angel’s. She’s nothing special. The sunlight poured through the thin membrane and exposed her weakness.

Just as expected, she let out a vicious shriek, and lost her balance midair.

“Surskit,” she said, frantically reaching for her composure, “get rid of this parasite for me.”

What the hell is a--

“Hah! Water Gun!”

She tried to whip around, but the water droplets found her fur first. Rika gave a pained snarl, losing her facade of control in one swift move.
Rapture and Requiem, even though it never finished, was almost two dozen chapters and one hell of a ride. It was one of the first runs I really remember reading and thinking "This story is the complete package right here," and there are so many things it does well, small and big, that make it worth a read (not to mention the fact that it's just such an enjoyable story to boot). You can get your fix right here if your interest in this story has indeed risen; I think it's absolutely a story many of you out there could fall for!

...I'll stop now.

Have you got a run in mind that deserves a piece of the spotlight? Well, shoot any of our scouters a PM and we'll take a look: Bug, DoktorGilda, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase. We'd love to take a look!
"When I walk down the street, I need everyone to like me so much, it's exhausting. My wife said that walking around with me was like walking around with someone who's running for mayor of nothing."
~ John Mulaney
(Credit to Shiny Dustox for the hella cool banners! <3)

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Joined: January 7th, 2012, 11:04 pm

October 6th, 2017, 2:04 pm #109

Long before the invention of the printing press, even long before the invention of a written language, people told stories. Myths, legend, epics, histories, all of these and more were passed on through oral storytelling.

Even now, despite all our modern inventions, people still pass on stories through word of mouth. We like to share our experiences, and often we like to hear about someone else's. And, if this is true in our world, why shouldn't it be true in the Pokemon world? So, take a seat and open your eyes and ears, because today we're here to talk about:

As hinted at in the introduction, The Kantonian Comedy uses a format not often seen in Nuzlocke runs. The entire story is narrated to the reader through dialogue, as the protagonist tells her story to an unidentified and unheard listener. Within this format lie many of the run's strengths.
H-hey hey!
Don't just LEAVE!
Aren't you curious how I got in that situation to begin with? Plus, don't you like...need something from me? To keep on going?


Yeah, that's what I thought. Now sit that skinny-ass down and listen up.
When it comes to a story like this one, the most important aspect to get right is the voice of the narrator, and CreativeBomb nails it. The protagonist, as seen in the excerpt above, has a clear, strong voice. Her personality shines through her narration, drawing you in and adding making the story lively. The narrator's voice also stays consistent from the beginning so that she comes across realistically. It's easy to believe that you're actually listening to someone tell their story.

In addition to getting a clear idea of the narrator's personality, CreativeBomb does a great job turning the Pokemon and other humans into dynamic characters. It can be tricky in a run told through narration to find the balance between showing and telling. However, CreativeBomb manages to express other characters' personalities well through how the narrator talks about them. What she says, and perhaps more importantly how she says it, portrays a lot about the Pokemon and humans included in her story.
She'd...occasionally jump onto the table, stuff her cheeks with whatever she saw first, and then barrel-rolled back under my chair. The first time it happened, I almost spat out sparkling juice everywhere, both out of surprise and sudden hilarity. But she seemed deathly serious, even going as far as to growl at the other two if they got too close.
I was going to put her back in her Pokeball and just let her eat later, but then Peter did, well, the thing that Peter always does. He sat a decent distance away from her with a few salted pecans in his hands and, slowly, pushed them towards the edge of the chair. There was this heavy moment of silence as the two stared each other down; even April's buzzing seemed to soften.
But, eventually, a tiny, white paw swiped the nuts underneath, and I got the slightest bit of Rattata nose poke its way out from underneath. Everything was fine after that; Tiffany seemed much more at ease in their presence, adding a squeak or two as Peter and April chattered joyously.

Fucking, cutest shit ever, my GOD.
CreativeBomb builds the Pokemon's personalities, as well as those of human characters, by describing their actions and their habits through the narrator. As a result, every character we meet in the story is colored by the narrator's bias, but that is exactly as it should be in a run like this one.

Another important character is as yet unnamed, but plays an important role as the story's main audience. Although the listener never has dialogue, we learn a little about them through the narrator. She often makes comments directly to the listener and references their reactions to her story:
So alright, you're thinking to yourself. You're backed into a crumbling corner; the sky's falling down and darkness has taken a sentient, physical form. This is the part where my eyes glow red and I tell you I'm actually deceased, right?


Hah, I'm just fuckin with yah. Your face for a second there. Christ.
These breaks in the narrative, aside from offering some great humor, also provide some foreshadowing. It's clear from the end of the prologue that what we're reading has already happened and has already had consequences. Implications abound in the way the narrator speaks to the listener and about herself. From early on, it's clear that the story is building up not only to the climax, but also to the afterward, to the present situation. Wherever the narrator is and what happened to her is something both she and the listener know, but not the reader, and that question hangs over the entire story.
We did manage to catch a few hours of sleep before actually leaving Viridian itself. It took an eternity to convince Tiffany the Gym of the town was abandoned...and, now that I think of it, a lot of trouble could've been avoided if I'd just reported that little curiosity. Could've been to the PokeCenter itself, the police--hell, even leaving a message in the over-cluttered inbox of The League was better than shrugging my shoulders and walking out with my rat by my heels and my monkey in arms.
Maybe I could've avoided it all, yah know? Just, bypassed all the bullshit, and...


But I guess my situation wouldn't change much, huh?
Part of what makes The Kantonian Comedy so enticing is this balance between the past, the present, and the future. Through the format, CreativeBomb is able to play with reader expectations. At times, the narrator gets ahead of herself, briefly skipping over events in her thoughts to drop hints about what's coming. Other times she starts on tangents, getting off-topic and having to backtrack to where she had left off in the main narrative. Not only does all of this add to the oral aspect of the story, but it also serves as a conduit for both humor and suspense.

The Kantonian Comedy is a unique run that's easy and fun to read. The format and the narrator's voice will draw you in and keep you satisfied. It's a run full of personality and humor but with grim undertones running throughout. Currently, the run is gearing up for the home stretch, and I highly recommend you check it out! Click on over and start reading listening to a well-told story!

Do you have a run you enjoy that you'd like to see featured? Send a PM to any of our Scouters and we'll take a look: Bug, DoktorGilda, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase We'd love to hear your recommendations!

Banner made by Rainey!

Shiny Dustox
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Joined: August 29th, 2014, 12:34 pm

October 20th, 2017, 11:46 pm #110

Life can get boring, can't it? Sometimes, the monotony of the daily routines, the humdrum of the world can just get so overwhelming and you just need break from all that. I mean, that's why we're here in the forum, right?

But other than that, there's nothing better to really escape the doldrums of your life than by role-playing a campaign with our friends. In that blissful space of time, you lose yourself in the adventure. You forget all about that midterm that you've procrastinated to study for, that e-mail to your boss you've been dreading, or that run update (*sweats*) that you've told yourself you were going to do last month. For the moment, you're a brave adventurer fighting for the greater good (or evil, I don't judge) and bahgawd, you're seeing this adventure through.

Well, funny enough, I may have just the thing for you. So grab your character sheets, pull up a chair, and ready your dice, because we're about to play:

Xanthus's run, set in Pokemon Silver, is a direct sequel to his first run, appropriately named Dungeons & Dragonites. While that plot does resume from where the first one's epilogue left off, you don't need to read it to understand what's happening. Xanthus is generous enough to offer explanations whenever there's something that harkens back to the first edition. But hey, if you have time to kill, why not? But before we go to talk about said plot, let's take a look at one of the biggest highlights of this run: its ruleset. The ruleset, which actually won Best Ruleset in the 2015 New Year's Extravaganza, is largely inspired by Dungeons & Dragons and how you carry out any action. But I'll allow Xanthus to explain it more clearly.
Xanthus wrote:

Now if you're a first time reader, this is how that D4 rule works. Whenever I decide to use a move against my opponent, I roll a four sided dice (virtual or physical). The number I roll corresponds to the move I use; in this case I rolled a two, and the corresponding move is Leer because it's second in the list.

After I roll, I have to use that move that was rolled. This is to prevent me from doing stuff like using an item because I didn't like the move that was chosen.

If I were to roll a 4, I would reroll since there is no corresponding move. That means every time I attack with Adoian, I have a 1/3 chance to use Tackle, a 1/3 chance to use Leer, and a 1/3 chance to use Smokescreen.
Yep, Xanthus puts the fate of his run in the heart of the cards - wait, wrong reference - I mean, the dice. One wrong roll can make or break a battle, if he's not careful. Hell, he even does this for switching out as well. Rulesets that put a lot of emphasis on random chances isn't something I'd personally do, but I love seeing how Xanthus works his way around it. Peppered throughout the run are his insights to maximize the chances of either catching a Pokemon without killing them, or making sure that the battle goes smoothly his way. It doesn't always, to be honest, but he tries his damndest. I think that one of the strengths of the screenshot and written log genre over others is that you can definitely put a highlight on complex rulesets such as this and Xanthus really shines here.

But the biggest highlight of this run for me is how he executes it. You see, this run is not entirely commentary, no siree.
Xanthus wrote:

"My name is Lord Jamtumal Chorster, often referred to by the people as 'the Hero.' I was but a simple half-elven weaver in life, but after being brought back to this world by an accursed necromancer, I have pledged myself for the rest of my existence to fight back evil!"

[Ricky] Wait a minute, Beatrice: your character is a Ghost Paladin?

[Beatrice] Yeah, so what?

[Ricky] So he's an undead being that specializes in using holy powers specifically tailored to hurt the undead?

[Beatrice] Nothing against it in the rules.

[Ricky] I....... never mind.
The run is sitting comfortably in a mix of commentary, plot, and a simulation of a campaign played by friends. While Xanthus is here to provide lovely commentary on his misadventures in the Tohjo region, in between the run shifts back and forth from the campaign players to their Player Characters and it's really an interesting dynamic. You're treated to not only the friendly atmosphere of the players with all their banter, the glib disagreements, and the meta moments that will make you think you're actually watching an actual game take place, but also to the Player Characters and their struggles on their noble quest to save the region. The commentary too is crisp and succinct and explains a lot of the happenings in great detail, but never to a point where it's overwhelming for the reader. Overall, reading the mix between the three never comes off as forced or a whiplash. The balance is well done and is a treat to see.

And another thing that Xanthus does well is the worldbuilding. Dungeons & Dragons is usually set in a fantasy world with elves and orcs and all the stuff you'd see in a Tolkien book, but not a lot of technology. So how does this translate into a Pokemon game? Very well, in fact. Xanthus goes into great detail about the lore early on, and does his best to make sure everything else follows suit. He explains how he incorporates each foreign concept into his setting and it never comes off as too hamfisted. And even with the screenshots, he uses his editing skills to force a little consistency in as well.
Xanthus wrote:

[Girl] "Would you be so kind as to go and request his assistance?"

[Fhamorel] "Wait, can't you just contact them via Pokégear or a basic sending spell?"

[Traroar] "Unfortunately no; Cianwood is an.... odd place. They're off grid and don't like to have much contact with the mainland if they can help it; they even have wards to prevent that sort of stuff."
So sharpen your swords, put on your armor, and ready your spells, an adventure awaits you in Dungeons & Dragonites 2nd Edition! And if you have any runs that you love to lose yourself in, no need to let the dice decide. Let any of our esteemed scouters know, namely Bug, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase and it too could be a featured adventure for the ages!

art by AgentNein
[+] Current Team
Liam Tierra Virgil Bree Aurora Helena
To view my Completed Runs, feel free to visit The Insectarium.

Johto League Champion
Johto League Champion
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 5:25 pm

October 28th, 2017, 6:09 am #111

Extravaganza season is right around the corner yet again, and with it will come-- once again-- that spirit of everyone supporting their favorite authors and 'oh god if I can squeeze out just one more update, god please.'

The event has been up and running for almost seven years now. That's seven whole years of history for our little forum. And today, the feature team was able to sit down and interview a member who was here, and participated in it all and so has their run.

[+] Interview!
Bug: You've been part of the Forum Extravaganza since 2010, which was also the very first one. Hint Hint You're In Nuzlocke Hell Forever
Which year was the most memorable to you?

Kynim: Actually I joined during the voting period of the first extravaganza (Dec 2010), so I didn't really participate in that much. this nuzlocke hell contract I signed and then made it my own hushhhh

The most memorable extravaganza for me...maybe the first one I participated in so the 2011 one? Only because I was a noobie in the forums and when I got the nominations for the categories I was like "ooh, my comic is part of the cool ones to be in this event thingy I remember seeing when I first joined the forum."

Bug: The extravaganza has been a staple of forum activities for awhile now. What's changed the most about it over the years, from your perspective?

Kynim: I think the biggest change over the years with the extravangza is people have increasingly taken the "winning" aspect of the extravaganza seriously. I have no idea what the environment was really like in the super early years but I felt like the first few extravaganzas I saw/participated in were fun and more light-hearted, probably because the community and the number of available comic/written/screenshot runs was smaller/fewer. Maybe it is because the community is bigger, so trying to get runs into the extravaganza nomations/voting is more competitive.

Another aspect of the extravangza that has definitely changed in the general audiences preferences for the types of least for comics (I am not sure about the written and screenshot runs). One year they would like comedy more, and then tastes would shift to more serious/edgy runs in the next year. Seeing it is super interesting.

Bug: Has being part of the Extravaganza ever affected your Nuzlockes in any way? Like maybe how you chose to work on them?

Kynim: Not really. My real life work/school stuff influence how I work on my nuzlocke WAY more than the extravaganza. But back in the day (when I was still in college), I did occasionally think about how a certain update could fit in an extravaganza category like "Saddest Death"....;)

Bug: What do you think about the community now versus the community then?

Kynim: I answered it in the second question a lil bit, but I guess I can expand on that a lil bit here. Obviously the community has gotten larger, resulting in a wider variety of runs that are being generated. You are more likely to find a run of your preference now more than ever. In addition to its size, the community has stayed around for long enough that people can discuss stuff about the "nuzlocke meta" in terms of Pokemon utility, grinding/training strategies, comic/writing planning, etc. I think its better in that sense.

But being a bigger, older community comes with its problems. I have seen a few "oldies vs newbies" stuff in the forums...which is unpleasant. And ofc, trying to make your own created runs stand out gets harder too and I do feel like some of the starting nuzlockers feel left out or ignored.

Bug: Extravaganza categories have changed a lot of the years. Are there any you would like to see created, or brought back?

Kynim: Maybe "Best Battle" or "Best Single Update"? I am also totally not biased about the "Best Worldbuilding" as well.....

Bug: You've been running in ganzas alongside a lot of prominent creators over the years. Do you keep in touch with any of them? Do you have anything you would like to say to them?

Kynim: I keep in touch with a good portion of them. Many of them have moved on to better things while I have stagnated in nuzlocke hell but I digress uh... We occasionally reminisce about the older days and joke about the silly things we had created...lots of secondhand embarrassment there lol

As for what I want to say to them...YA'LL ARE MEME-LOVING HOS BUT I LOVE YOU AND I AM GLAD I MET YOU ALL :)

Bug: How do you feel about being the first link to Nuzlocking for a lot of forumers?

Kynim: Weird???? I GUESS I SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISED but....still odd how people consider me the "gateway drug" to nuzlockes even tho I didn't create it first. I blame Jwittz and the OG Nuzlocke man for this

I do appreciate how this comic and its...widespread readership has helped me meet some cool people and my friends

Bug: Additionally, Do you have a favorite run? Who was your first run?

Kynim: My favorite run...? I have so many runs I like but I can't really say I have ONE favorite...I guess I can post 5 favorite run titles because I am indecisive af. These are not in rank order. In hindsight I am realizing just now all these are runs with generic af titles bc back then makin fancy titles wasn't a thing LMAO
  • n8's istockphoto Ruby/White
  • Hale's Emerald
  • Landwalker's Sapphire
  • Oh Gosh! Platinum
  • Freddy's Blue
The first run that I read was Niishii's FireRed nuzlocke run in the old TegakiE imageboards

It got my curiosity and that run eventually led me to the Nuzlocke website and forums, and then the rest is history.

Bug: I know you're a busy person, but have you picked up any new runs lately? How do they compare to the runs from 2010?

Kynim: I have! Sadly IRL business means I stick to mostly comic runs...some of the newer runs I like are "Burn Away" and "Folded."

Compared to the old runs, the newer runs lately that I have read are more serious. They mostly seem to be very character/plot driven instead of resorting to memes, which was a huge staple in the earlier years. There is comedy in the new runs too, but they are usually limited to comedic moments that doesn't really break the 4th wall as often.

Bug: I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say this is Myths of Unova's last 'ganza. How does it feel to be so close to finishing your run?

Kynim: GOD I HOPE SO...

I am excited but also....weirded out. This project has been a part of my life for 6 years now and having that be gone will be a strange void in my art life

Bug: Do you have any plans to continue making comics of any sort after your current run is done? What about any other projects?

Kynim: Myths of Unova has been a big anomaly in that it has been a long-term art project that I have stuck to and will be finishing. As for what I will do in the future...all I know is that I probably won't be doing any more big nuzlocke or non-nuzlocke art projects like this nuzlocke in the future. BUT I will say that I have entertained the thought of a short side comic that takes place around the ingame BW2 setting...we'll see how I feel about that after my post-Myths of Unova break that I have planned after I finish.

Bug: How do you feel about the quality of your own work? What areas have you gotten better with over time, and are there any you still want to work on? Do you have any regrets or things you wanted to do in Myths of Unova?

Kynim: I think the quality has been satisfactory enough. I don't consider myself a professional storyteller or artist, and I don't think Myths of Unova is in a lower tier than other cool webcomics I have seen. But I do appreciate how many people have fell in love with my work either way.

I think over time I got better with paneling and background art. If you compare my first update with the latest ones...the quality is very very noticeable. I honestly cannot look at my old art without getting that good old secondhand embarassment because back when I started I thought the style I used in the first few updates was the best I could produce while still maintaining what I considered a simple style for comics (I feel like my series has a bad case of sameface from the get-go but that was kinda purposeful since drawing diff faces = increased update drawing time, which I wanted to shorten as much as I could without affecting the quality too much).

As for what I want to work on...I definitely want to work on my story execution more. There are so many things I have cut out because I simply felt like my artistic/storytelling abilities were too mediocre to execute it properly. I might write up a list of scrapped Myths of Unova ideas after the comic is over so you can see some of the lost potential (which may have been a good thing in hindsight, who knows). Oh and...paneling. My action panels sometimes felt disjointed with the non-action panels in some of the battles I drew. And many of the non-action, expository panels were pretty much boring talking heads...I feel like I didn't try to make those interesting enough.

Bug: What advice would you give to those who want to create such a long running story?

Kynim: It sounds cheesy as hell but I would it for the story YOU love, not what other perceive of it. I feel like that if you create a run just for attention for e-fame or whatever it kinda hurts your work, and you are more likely to give up on the project if you solely rely on external validation for your project. Sure a little encouragement from your readers is ok, but taking that positive reinforcement too far can be bad...I have seen several examples of this in the forums over the course of my posting there.

Oh and of course, IRL > nuzlockes. You might hate yourself for it but take care of yourself first. Nuzlocking is supposed to be FUN, not a job. The reason my run has been so old is probably due to my med school stuff interfering with the comic schedule but I can't let comic-ing take over my education. Granted, I am still awful at time management so I am probably not the best model for this LOL
A big thanks to Kynim for taking the time to sit down and answer our questions.

And as for everyone else, 'ganza season is around the corner. Are you ready?

Rob Zombug : A Snakewood VS Locke
5.30.2017 6-B : I am Fire; I am Death

Part 9 - Rolling in the Deep
[+] Spoiler
My NaNoWriMo 'mon!
Have a feature suggestion, or forum question? PM me!

Pokemon Comics Discord :watchingyou: Official SSWL Discord :watchingyou: Official Nuzlocke Writing Discord

Sinnoh League Champion
Sinnoh League Champion
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 8:09 am

November 4th, 2017, 4:46 pm #112

So the first feature I wrote was for Hale’s Nuzlocke run. For a long time, it was considered the best on the site, and for a lot of people, it still is. There are only a few runs that old that still command so much respect, but, today, I wanted to shine a light on a person who was responsible for two of them. I bring you:



I’m gonna start right away by throwing up one of the images I remember best from his Yellow run (the second of his, the first being Sapphire).
First off, it’s beautiful. To be completely honest, it didn’t start off that way in the Sapphire run. Back in 2010-2011, there weren’t that many people who put that much artistic effort into their comics, but as the story progressed and as Landwalker was able to put more time/effort into his run, it became clear that his art was a selling point. And if you can handle some spoilers for the Sapphire run, click this link this is a flash trailer for it that he did.

Second, it gives you a great idea of how big the city is, especially compared to the main character.

That sense of scale, of how big things are, is what I find to be the best, most impressive aspect of Landwalker’s comics. Literally and figuratively! All of the major battles, from the second rival fight in his Sapphire run to the Game Corner encounter with Giovanni in Yellow, each feel massive. A great example of this is is the Sapphire run’s final encounter with Archie, shown below.
Every single panel here serves a purpose. From the shot of May’s dejected expression, to the protagonist’s blood rushing from his face, to the bottom panel of Kyogre, an ancient beast rising from the depths of the ocean to serve a man proclaiming himself to be god, each one drives home that shit has gotten real. And there's so much more of that along the way. That's the second most impressive thing about these two runs: everything consistently gets better, whether it was the art like I mentioned before, or the major battles, or the characters, or even just the layers of planning that went into the run and the foreshadowing associated with it.

However, the whole comic isn't doom and gloom and seriousness. If you're someone who years for the days of old, of a time where one liners ran rampant, there are a bunch of those too. Here's one of my favorites, from Sapphire.

Unfortunately, the Sapphire comic is the only one that finished. There's a summary for the part of Yellow that went unfinished - it's not in the thread, but I'm linking it here because it is worth reading (parts: 1 2 3 4). What he was planning to do with the conclusion of the run was awesome. You know how I keep on going on about scale? The summary brings it to a whole new level. The themes Landwalker used to help form his story hit so close to home for me, and I think the depth and relatability they add to each of his characters makes them, and this run, special.


That's all for me today. If you have any runs that you think deserve a feature, let the following people know: Bug, Emilianite, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, and Pillowcase.

Banner by glancesherlock!

Johto League Champion
Johto League Champion
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 5:25 pm

February 3rd, 2018, 5:32 am #113

Happy 2018! It’s a new year, with plenty of new opportunities for new possibilities… in fact I’m here with one of our new featurers, BigRedLittleWolf, to bring you some new screenshot and written log runs we’ve got our eyes on!

Haiku Snafu
By Kajashi

This run has a twist
Every gen told like this
good lord, what a mad man
Kajashi makes it look so easy, but rest assured I cried many a tear trying to produce one haiku. It’s the dedication to a theme that made this log such an interesting read for me. Instead of an extensive recounting of how Kajashi conquered each challenge they faced, the whole run is delivered in easy to digest haikus. I could easily see myself printing myself a poem anthology at the end of this to put on my shelf for a good laugh from time to time.
Did I mention this run has jokes? wrote:Grind grind grind grind grind
The whole team needs five levels
Whose idea was this
This run is just now finishing it’s first generation in a long line of games to come. And if you’re lucky enough to be with us in this new year of 2018, you still have time to jump in and have some community fun in the comments!

Candles in the Dark
By Smoothie
There is nothing that gets me more excited than ingenuity in storytelling format… Aside from maybe a Bug-type or two. Candles in the Dark is a storyshot run that has the classic screenshot-dialogue format we’ve come to expect. But Smoothie is quick to pull out all the stops, showcasing a talent for screenshot editing that I find absolutely phenomenal. The story is immediately pulled away from the course of Emerald’s gameplay. And while you may find a few familiar hallmarks of the original game, this nuzlocke has already cemented that it is something new and all its own.
They have really gone above and beyond! wrote:
...And that's what you get when you get too arrogant.

Fang, buddy! Retu-

No. Do not return him to his pokeball. He followed your reckless decision so now he must listen the results of it.


Type Wars! Pokemon Ultra Sun Monotype Egglocke
By LassSharon
It’s not often that a Written Log run catches my eye. Most struggle to find a steady balance between simply giving a step by step recreation of what happened in run, and actually providing entertaining narration to their log. This is where Type Wars! Pokemon Ultra Sun Monotype Egglocke comes in. The premise of this run is simple. It’s a monotype egglocke, a style of nuzlocking where you trade in your route catches for a random egg of on of the Pokemon you've bred for the run. And of course, like all nuzlockers, LassSharon has decided to play through Ultra Sun eighteen times, each with a different monolocke type in alphabetical order of each typing!

Oh, wait. That’s not normal?

Remember that wrote:

Here he comes!

I lead with Dwebble because that seems to be my smartest move. The attacks of both Gumshoos and Yungoos don't do very much damage but there is one very annoying thing with is Bite. It just keeps on FLINCHING me. I swear the hax gods were not in my favor during this battle. Eventually I do manage to take out the Gumshoos with a few consecutive Fury Cutters but it leaves me with just 7 HP after a crit Pursuit + Bite combo.

Pursuit, remember that. It's important.
Dedication and passion for the games aside, the commentary for this run is lively and engaging. It's quick to draw the reader in with its upbeat and chipper character. This, along with the addition of well picked gifs (whether it be of gameplay or from the pokemon anime,) makes this run feel fresh and upbeat. It hits a nice balance of imagery and commentary, so even if you’re normally not one for reading in large amounts you’ll still find yourself hooked in on what she has to say.

Currently, LassSharon is only halfway through her first typing, but there's still more than enough to sit down and have an enjoyable read. Give it a chance, it's quite eggcelent!

Have a feature suggestion? Shoot a PM to Bug,Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase!

Rob Zombug : A Snakewood VS Locke
5.30.2017 6-B : I am Fire; I am Death

Part 9 - Rolling in the Deep
[+] Spoiler
My NaNoWriMo 'mon!
Have a feature suggestion, or forum question? PM me!

Pokemon Comics Discord :watchingyou: Official SSWL Discord :watchingyou: Official Nuzlocke Writing Discord

Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Joined: May 3rd, 2015, 5:47 pm

February 24th, 2018, 12:16 am #114

Hello, Nuzlocke Forums! I’m here today with a special treat for you all: a triple interview with three of our Other Adventures comic artists. We’re bringing you interviews from Jet, author of Jet's Black Nuzlocke, Agent Nein, author of Milos From Home, and DasUnicorm, author of Genesis, and we’re bringing them now, hot and fresh off the press for you, dear readers! So please, sit back, relax, and enjoy the world of OA comics!

[+] Jet

Q: So Jet, I know the Lenora reset is sort of the moment that spurred your shift to OA. How difficult was your decision to do this and make the switch to Other Adventures?

A: Man, the decision was very hard. Nothing against OA, but I always saw my run as an official Nuzlocke run. I suppose the only downside back then was that I wouldn’t be eligible for the Extravaganza, which was like a pretty big deal. Now they’ve opened it to the rest of the community, so I’ve still gotten nominated a couple of times, haha!

But I didn’t have to make the decision by myself, the forums is a great community, and I asked my readers what they thought and with their honest feedback I made my decision and stuck with it.

I think being an OA kind of frees my comic up in a way, I’ve felt less pressure to make every death an actual death, letting some of my more unfortunate losses get away with “leaving” the team rather than getting killed. I like to think it makes the story better, and not just me being weak.

I have to be honest, back then it felt kinda like a demotion, like my comic was less because it had lost its official status as a nuzlocke. But now, looking back, the change really had not impacted my growth as an artist in any real way. The Other Adventures is just a different category, not better or worse than a real nuzlocke. “Real” I say with the quotes.

So yeah, the decision to make the change was hard, but I don’t regret it one bit.

Q: I can definitely see how having a supportive community would help the change to OA, but what is the toughest part about having an OA run? Was there an adjustment period/did you notice any major changes from having your comic there as opposed to FCR?

A: Like I said, whether a comic is OA or not is not really any indication of its quality, so the change didn’t really impact the effort I put into my comic. But as for the community, some of it is stats and some of it might just be in my head. If I’m not mistaken, Other Adventures is generally for non-nuzlockes, so people looking for a nuzlocke don’t typically go there. And the runs that are posted there don’t necessarily follow the specific guidelines that is typical of a nuzlocke. So a run like mine, which is in essence a straight-forward vanilla nuzlocke, is a bit of a surprise to some people browsing the OA forums. It doesn’t really bother me, because the people who comment on my thread there are usually regulars, and I have my run on several other sites, too. So that’s the stats, people looking for nuzlockes are less likely to find you if you’re in the OA. I’m not so concerned with the numbers, so for me the adjustment was all mental!

Q: That makes sense! So, shifting gears a tad for our next question, what are the challenges you’ve faced with your comic that you appreciate most, and why?

A: Hm, challenges, eh?

Let me tell you something about Ghetsis. Pokemon Black and White have this incredible story. It almost makes you think, tries to make a morally ambiguous stance, and N is a great anti-villain of sorts to challenge you, and for a Nuzlocke that stuff is gold! I started playing Pokemon Black blind, I didn’t even know what the starters looked like. I kinda lucked out in that regard. But of course you can’t just tell a story as it is, that would be boring; anyone could just play the game in that case. So there’s some level of writing to be done, and as I’m scripting through the story I get to Ghetsis.

And this freaking guy is so generically evil. With his take over the world scheme, he might as well have a mustache to twirl. So that’s my main challenge, trying to deal with a really poorly written character and how to make him a little more nuanced. Other than that, it’s been unexplainable deaths, and I can’t get into those without spoilers.

I realize there was a second half to this question that I kinda forgot about: I guess we appreciate our challenges more once we overcome them, so in that regard I haven’t quite overcome my challenge enough to appreciate it yet, haha. Each episode is a challenge, but I appreciate every single one after it’s done. I dunno, it’s a hard question for me to answer. I don’t really focus on challenges after they’re passed, I’m too preoccupied with the ones I’m struggling with now!

Q: Wow, blind Black is insane, so you really just kicked it off the bat with challenges! And since you touched on in-game a bit in the question above: How closely do you follow the game’s events? Have there been certain things you’ve played with to make your story better or have you gone completely with what happened in your run?

A: I’ve tried to keep it pretty close to what happened to me in game, especially how I percieved a certain part of the game. Even the incident with Lenora made it into the comic as a dream sequence. But there are things I took out because I just didn’t feel were important or couldn’t find the time to fit into the comic. My friend still gives me a hard time for my decision to not have any sages in the story except Ghetsis! I just never saw them as very interesting, and as far as I can tell they don’t add anything to the story. I also wasn’t going to include the ninjas, which I thought were silly, but I've been convinced by several outspoken people to keep them in. But if I hadn’t thought of something interesting to do with them they wouldn’t been in at all. And of course the deaths that don’t really happen: everyone loves how my ducklett left the team.

Up until chargestone cave, I’ve had a pretty good idea of where the story was going, and it mainly followed the game, but as we near the second half of the story I’m starting to run out of script, so some more changes may be on the horizon.

But the fact that Lil’Dog was in the last update? It took me a long time to figure out how to script that in.

So basically I don’t always follow the game’s scripted events, but the ones that feel personally important to Jet’s story I will try very hard to stay faithful to. And the more important it was, the more faithful I will stick. A Pokemon that wasn’t on the team long will sometimes get a pass and be allowed to live. But if that Pokemon was on the team a long time and THEY die? Boy, will there be blood.

But either way, I usually let the reader know the comments and description what I changed and why. If I can remember to, of course.

Q: Of course! So,How much of an outline do you work off of? Is it super detailed? Has it changed at all, and if so, were there any major changes?

A: This is how my process went:

I played the whole game first, it’s all complete at this point. And as I played I had a notebook with me in which I jotted notes on who did what when and where, a list of Pokemon as I caught them and some of their stats. I made special note of battles, who fought who, when switches occurred, and any deaths. And as I went I would also make note of where I think the story would go, and how a certain element would affect the overall narrative. That all happened as I played. So if that is the outline, then I follow it VERY loosely.

The facts like where I caught a certain Pokemon and who I used in battle I keep, but other than that most of it is just there for inspiration.

I’ll look at a battle and note who fought in it, and if anyone died, and then I’ll just script the thing however I think makes sense. And right when I start drawing the sketch, I might discover a pose too hard to draw, so the character will have to do something else, or I’ll draw a pose I like too much and now the story is going a slightly different way because Sir Francis accidentally looked cute falling down or something.

Now, if it’s a dialogue heavy scene I might outline the conversation in a script and follow that to a T. So it kinda depends on the situation, but the overall feel is a tad loosey goosey. I have notes that will never make it into the comic, haha. I think my sister/Jet’s sister originally played a bigger role because as I played the game I would ask my sister for advice. Most people don’t even know Jet has a sister!

I actually don’t think I realized that myself! And I just called myself rereading your comic for this interview!

Haha, yeah, her name is Soren and Jet mentioned her maybe once?

I love the name! I’m going back to hunt for the reference after this!

Q: How long has gameplay been done for the Nuzlocke? What are the biggest challenges of having a project that has lasted for so long? Does the length of time motivate you to finish?

A: Man, I think it’s been at least five years now. I started the comic after I finished the gameplay so by the time the first episode posted I had already been done with the game for some time. My first post in the NuzForums was back in 2011!

Golly, gee wiz, the biggest challenge of having a project that long is getting it done! That time frame is a little inflated, there was a period in which I posted only twice a year, once during summer vacation and once during winter break. Now that I’m on monthly updates I’ve seen great progress in the story, but as Kynim-senpai finishes her run and Piyo close behind, it’s a little daunting the amount of story I still have left to tell. The length does motivate me to keep going in that it would be a great shame if I were to stop now, but the main motivation comes from the future events that have yet to be told! I look into the future of the comic and think, THAT moment is going to be awesome, I can’t wait to see what people think about THAT.

This comic is my passion, I love working on it and I love sharing it. In fact I love it so much it has become a burden. I spend all my time and energy on it that I can’t focus on creating original stories of my own, and I can’t even monetize it to take the strain off of what is essentially a very time consuming hobby. But there’s no way I’d let it die, so I’ll keep at it, until one day I too can say I’M FREE!

Man it really has been a loooong time, hasn’t it? I’m trying to think, if I keep at the pace I’m going, I should be able to finish this in two years! I’m almost scared to think what I’d do without it. For the past five years, whenever I had artist block, it’d be there for me to work on!

Q: What do you find harder to get done: the writing aspect of your comic or the drawing?

A: Hm, as an artist I have to say the drawing part is more physically exhausting, but it’s the writing part that keeps me up at night. Freaking Ghetsis, and ninjas, and deaths that don’t make sense. I’ve never been very good at storytelling, I hide it well with my art, I think, but writing is a big struggle for me. But the part that makes me grind my teeth is the drawing.

Sometimes when I do the shading I wonder why in the world I’m spending so much time on touch-ups when the same story could be told with just the flats, and sometimes when I’m coloring I wonder why I’m doing all this when I could get away with just the line art, and sometimes as I’m rendering the line art I wonder why I didn’t just go with a more sketchy style!

But in the end I look at the final product and it’s all worth it. There’s just something final about a fully fleshed out, finished, rendered comic strip that makes the script behave. Like, ah yes, there’s no changing that now. It just feels finished, you know? I have pages and pages of script and planning and character studies, but nothing is set until it’s in color. And sometimes the art tells the story better than I can. I had no idea what to do with Skyla, I had not given that character much thought. BUt when I started drawing it out and she made those silly faces, and put on that awesome jacket that I understood who she was and how she behaved. Words on a page are too easily changed, but the drawing almost has a life of its own, and I can’t always control it. You could say that makes me a bad artist, and I would agree, but it’s part of the process. So what if I can’t draw this pose so the character has to do something else and now the script needs to be rewritten? I’ve heard of poets that had to catch their muse by the tail, pull it back, and pen the draft backwards. I think it was in a TED Talk, I don’t remember what it was called.

The point is, they’re both hard, but the hardest is doing both! But if I had to pick, I’d say the writing is harder. There’s a reason I chose to do a comic run instead of a written one.

Q: So, I loved that bit about the muse. It’s so true of creative work! So, tell me, how do you pen your draft backwards? Can you walk us through your page process?

A: I can certainly try! Though I would be a fool to say I fully understand it myself.

I need each page to service the whole, so I don’t work on this month’s update without considering how it’ll affect the end goal, which is the Jet vs. N in a battle of Truth vs. Ideals. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that, anyone who’s played the games would know that. So, how does this thing that is happening to Jet later impact her understanding of what “truth” is, and how do the past episodes impact the story now?

So, with all that swirling in my mind, I then look at that notebook I mentioned before, the one I kept during my playthrough. I figure out what needs to be done in that episode, how I can cut it without it feeling awkward (too often I have to end an episode because otherwise the file would be too large and I would run out of time, but if I can help it I want the episode to have a beginning, middle and end, and for something to change.) Then, if it’s a dialogue heavy scene I might open a text edit and write a script, if it’s action heavy I may just jump right into the sketching. A lot of the times I may sketch without dialogue and just leave space where words should be andpray it’s enough for what needs to be said. This is the critical part of the process, when the whispy ideas floating in my head take shape on the canvas. If I can afford it, I like to do several of these at once.

I don’t keep a buffer of completed episodes, I’d be too tempted to just post all of them, but a buffer of sketched episodes allows me to breathe easy, because writer’s block is the bane of my existence. After that then it’s just tears, sweat and elbow grease. Turn on that youtube playlist and line, color and shade that sucker. And then, at the very end, about a week before the deadline, I start to panic and write all the dialogue. Along the way I might throw the in-progress stuff at my friend who’ll give me a second opinion. And that’s the monthly routine!

Q: Your style has evolved so much during the progression of the comic--what do you feel pushed you to improve the most, and how do you think it polished aspects of your work that already defined your style (such as your amazing expressions!)?

A: You know, drawing a long-running comic like this is a great way to find your style. Having to draw characters over and over again forces you to become more efficient with your designs, you get practice drawing poses, every panel is a new composition, and characters interact with each other which helps with expressions and stuff! Now, personally? It’s harder to say, but I do notice a difference when I look back at the first episodes. I guess the thing that pushed me to improve the most is just not wanting it to stagnate. If the expressions get more crazy, it’s because I feel like I’m making the same face too many times and I have to change it up. And in doing so I get so much positive feedback that it inspires me to keep going further.

But sometimes silly expressions can be a crutch, and the comic has also forced me to work on more subtle, real expressions, like N using intimidate on Jet after the Ferris Wheel scene, or Jet’s breakdown in the chargestone caves.

Speaking of caves, different environments wot wot!

Cities, caves, carnivals, arenas, forests, bridges, all sorts of different environments I never wanted to draw but had to and it’s been a good exercise for me in that regard. Haha, it’s kind of a strange question, I feel like I’m just tooting my own horn at this point!

You know, one could look at the difference of my comic today and where it started and say, yes, this comic has improved and the artist has polished her style. But in a way, I sometimes look at it and think, man, I’ve gotten sloppy. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective. My lines look cleaner, but Jet’s rarely ever on model. And Sir Francis is so complicated now that just having him on screen is a pain. But I will say, the most important thing this comic has helped me achieve is not style (because that’ll probably change if I do a different series) but process. I am pretty much an expert with photoshop and a lot of that is thanks to working on this comic so long! Yet there’s still so much to learn, and you know, maybe my next project should have a completely different process. Who says there’s one way to do anything? Only just recently I changed the way I sketched out the nuzlocke. At first I would expand the canvas down littel by little as I sketched it, now I use layers with a fixed page size. It thought it was great, but then I reread some of the episodes and the flow wasn’t quite right, so I keep working at it

Q: So, process has been your biggest takeaway from your own work, but what about others? Who are your biggest influences?

A: When I consume media, I look for two things:

It may be superficial, but I adore style.That’s number one, a comic or show needs to have either a charming or unique style that appeals to me.

And number two, I need at least one character that I can root for. A character that has such a winning design, such an interesting personality, or maybe they undergo a change. If I can fall in love with a character then you got me!

Many of my influences are older comics in the community, I don’t read much these days, so when I think of good nuzlockes I sitll think of Petty, and early Kynim, and Landwalker, and even some that never got that far like Shelly and Azure. I have a list of my favorite runs on my website, by the way, I really need to add to that. What I remember most are the big moments: Gary losing an arm, an army of zigzagoons, I love those WAM moments, and I want to have moments in my comic that make people throw up their hands or clutch their chest like I did.

But really, I’m inspired in different ways by every run I’ve stuck with. I have to make mention of Folded, since I am Silver’s number 1 fan (officially), but that run was so simple and yet so enduring. I’m sitting here trying to figure out how Jet can save the world and Emilianite’s run reminded me that it’s the little things that make the story important.

My main senpais right now are Kynim and Piyo, two fellow fith-gen nuzlockers, they’ve really blazed the trail for me in a way as one has finished her run and the other is close behind. I feel driven when I see their work, because I have some amazing artists to catch up to.

[+] AgentNein

Q: Since you’ve mentioned in a recent update that this is a gameplay-based run, what challenges did you face playing through as an eevee in PMD? It’s definitely not one of the easiest characters to use!

A: The first thing that comes to mind is the very limited movepool. Eevee gets Tackle to start, Quick Attack at level 23, Bite at 30, and Take Down at 42. That's all the attacking moves Eevee gets naturally in the game. I can't remember when Milo learned the Quick Attack or Bite, but it would've been around the last half or third of the game. For an idea of what the level scaling is like, the final boss, Rayquaza, is level 35, and the highest leveled regular pokemon in his dungeon is Metagross at 30.

The highest range you get is 2 tiles ahead with quick attack, a move you won't be getting for a good while, and none of these moves are particularly effective on rock or steel types, which there are plenty of earlygame and beyond. The game isn't kind enough to limit the attack ranges of enemy pokemon the same way either. I distinctly remember in the second dungeon, before you're given any chance to grind, battling Elekid where they could get in a hit with quick attack before Milo could even get in range to hit back. Not a fun time.

Q: Jeez! That is absolutely brutal. It doesn't help that PMD has a pretty impressive difficulty curve, so kudos to you for being able to pull it off! With the gameplay being a prominent aspect of your story building, how closely do you follow the game’s events? Have there been certain things you’ve played with to make your story better or have you gone completely with what happened in your run?

A: Hoo buddy, I think it's pretty safe to say at this point canon's become more of a jumping off point than anything. I'm not actually done writing up outline for Milos, but in my efforts to fix up plot holes that bothered me and duct tape events together sensibly, the run is probably more duct tape than original gameplay. This will probably be most evident in the story right after Mt. Steel actually. In canon, the dungeon progression leading your team from fighting Wurmple in Tiny Woods to fighting Zapdos at the peak of Mt. Thunder just doesn't seem like enough time or experience to have that victory make sense. So, to give them some more of that in story, I've had to look at other smaller missions in between plot and other places to piece together story missions for the comic.
This is an older image from outlining but probably shows this best:

Q: What inspired you to alter (or maybe “build on” is a better term here) the PMD world in order to better suit your story? Why did you make the changes that you made? What difficulties with worldbuilding have you had as a result?

A: Honestly, just things that didn’t make sense or sit right with me. Like with evolution for instance, in the game, evolution isn’t possible until a piece of the meteor destroyed by Rayquaza hits, and suddenly by using that, a Subbull is able to evolve into a Granbull and it’s some sort of huge shock. But also in the game, there are plenty of Pokemon from all stages of evolution, included the fully evolved Team A.C.T. The only reason to do something like this was so that your team would not be able to evolve in the main storyline, but this seemed like a pretty flimsy excuse to me. So, I expanded the idea of stones being used for evolution as a pre-existing part of their universe and explained the in-story inability to use them as a symptom of “the world’s balance being upset.” Most changes I’ve made have been for similar reasons, just trying to make sense of the most important elements of the game and tie it together.

The biggest difficult I’ve had with worldbuilding and writing in general as a result is probably that I’ve cornered myself into having to do a lot more without the game giving me a basis for it.I chose nuzlocking because working a story from gameplay helped ground me and give me focus and direction. I do alright, I think, at expanding on ideas and events that are already there, but I struggle to come up with something from nothing. It’s why I’ve never really done original characters or stories. Milos has ended up dipping a lot more into creating story from scratch than I intended, but hopefully it’ll come out alright in the end.

Q: I think you’ve done a fantastic job at creating a world like this. Creating is never easy, especially from scratch. How much of an outline do you work off of? Is it super detailed? Has it changed at all, and if so, were there any major changes?

A: Haha, thank you! For outlining, hmm, when I started I mostly had a vague idea of where I wanted to go and a lot of what I did for the actual comics was just, on the spot. I’m not very organized, so I’ve got pieces of outlines in various stages of completeness over the whole story, mostly dealing with the first half of the game. I don’t really know how to describe the amount of of detail I use, and that can vary depending on how solid an idea I have of that part. I tend to focus on event progression, whatever the important points are of a section or what it needs to accomplish. Essentially the minimum I can get away with saying about that part to give me a sense of its place in the overall story and knowing what happens there. This is for main outline, where for each chapter or section as I come to it, I’d work out a more detailed outline I can board from and script as needed.

There’s definitely been major changes, and as I sit down and consider the story as a whole, especially with a particular major change I’ve been considering, well, we’ll see where it goes

Q: So, since boarding and scripting are a major part of your outline process, what do you find harder to get done: the writing aspect of your comic or the drawing?

A: Writing. Easily, by far, writing is the hardest part for me. Dialogue and the actual planning of the story, trying to figure out how to get information across and effectively tell the story, how to not end up boring the readers or losing focus. In that sense I consider boarding to be an aspect of writing, despite the fact that it’s something drawn. It is, I think, where drawing and writing meet, because when planning how to draw out the scene, I’m deciding what’s being shown and said, and what actually happens. I have a lot to learn with drawing as well, but a large part of that is technical skill which comes easier with time and practice.

Q: Very true! I’ve never thought of storyboarding that way, so I love looking at it through that point of view. From that, can you walk us through your page process?

[+] Process Pics

Q: This is absolutely fantastic! Thank you for such an in-depth look at how you work through your pages. It obviously shows the time and effort you put into crafting the comic. Slightly shifting gears, it seems like with the time and energy you give to Milos, it’s here to stay for the long haul. What are the biggest challenges of having a project that will presumably last a long time? Does the length of time motivate you to finish?

A: Oof, I’ll admit looking ahead at how long this takes me and how far I have left to go it can be demotivating, but it’s a story I really want to tell and hopefully I”ll be faster and better at creating comics with experience. I’ve made good friends in the community as well, which I think helps a lot in motivating each other and exchanging ideas and tips.

Q: Motivation is key, or at least having someone to help drive motivating your discipline, haha! Speaking of those someones, who are your biggest influences as a creator?

A: Hoo boy, there’s a question.

It's hard to pinpoint my biggest influences as a creator honestly. My pokemon comics are my first major creative projects and I take a lot of my inspiration from people I've met through doing that. Specifically for Milos from Home, off the top of my head I'd have to point to Woo and Pika. On Borrowed Time by Woo was the first PMD comic I read and what inspired me to start Milos when I was itching for a more low-key side project from Journey for Truth. I met her and Pika later in a PMD discord server, where I got to talk to both of them about our comics and soon got to read Pika's The Stars Shine Bright. Pika nails really strong character interaction and dialogue in her comic, one that isn't PMD exactly but operates on similar ideas. (Pokemon are the focus, they have their own towns and social structure, no humans have appeared, etc.) Both of them have given me really good ideas from chatting with them and I can't thank them enough for the help. They're far from my only influences of course, but I don't think we're looking for a novel, so I'll stop there.

Q: Of course, it’s so hard to even come close to listing the things that inspire us, much less the people! So, how about how you inspire yourself? In Milos you’ve seen huge strides of improvement in your work. How do you feel this comic has helped you evolve as an artist? What motivated you and how did you tackle the things you wanted to grow in your style?

A: Oh lordy, inspiring myself is a little far, but I'd Milos has helped me relax with my art in a sense? I'm still working on figuring out a balance between quality and efficiency, and learning when to say something's "good enough." The comic was always meant to be a little more experimental so I can play around with things, and it's certainly helped me learn how to draw pokemon better since it's 100% pokemon, no humans here. I never was shooting for any particular style really, I guess that sort of happened on its own? The lean towards realism came with studying animals to learn to draw better and having more investment in the comic, and the switch to mostly monochrome was meant to make the comic easier, partly inspired by On Borrowed Time and Emillianite's Folded, and I thought it'd look cool to have the only color in Thunderwave Cave be from glowing blue rocks.

Q: I can’t wait to see where your work goes if this is the step that let you relax your work. My final question for you shifts gears a little bit, but it still fits in with these ideas about motivating and tackling these challenges, whether it be with writing or drawing or anything else. What are the challenges you’ve faced with your comic that you appreciate most, and why?

A: I'd say that pretty much is the biggest challenge I've faced, about not pushing for perfection with every page. Especially with the weekly schedule I put myself on, time management and figuring out how to work ahead and just, general organization are all things I've struggled with and I think working on the comic has helped a lot. I freeze a lot, getting caught up in minor things and getting stuck in loops, so it's good to have practice breaking out of them.

[+] DasUnicorm

Q:So, what was your biggest source of inspiration for Genesis when you first started writing it?

A: Lol that's a good question. I just started off by designing gijinkas for my Y team during an October costume challenge thing and it kinda snowballed from there. Once I started thinking about all the unknown factors that could possibly surround mewtwo, I started looking around for stories and couldn't find many. So I decided to create my own and just wondered about what kind of things that would happen to someone in a lab situation like what my Mewtwo was in. Especially since you find this particular mewtwo in Kalos, not Kanto.

Q: Since you mentioned this got started designing gijinkas for your Y team, and that the run is loosely based off this game, I'd like to ask how closely you follow the game’s events? Have there been certain things you’ve played with to make your story better or have you gone completely with what happened in your run?

A: Oh, the events of my run are currently happening, we're just not seeing them yet. And a good chunk of stuff where the game play gets involved is spoilers, but I have plans to incorporate them, so let's see how much I can divulge. I've played with quite a few things relating to the general pokemon game canon, especially seeing as I'm playing with gijinkas lol. Like how the leagues are set up. There are actually 2 leagues, one that focuses on 'mon fights and the other is specifically gijinka fights. Gijinka/pokemon battles are extremely dangerous and illegal because pokemon don't have as much control when it comes to fighting (they are animal equivalents in the Genesis-verse) and are generally more powerful than their gijinka counterparts LOOKS POINTEDLY AT A CERTAIN LADY SCIENTIST.

Q: Ooohoho, how spicy! And you know, it's stuff like your two leagues that makes the universe of Genesis so incredible! What sort of process do you go through for worldbuilding, and how do you choose what to include in your story? What do you choose to include through showing, and what do you tell us directly?

A: I've just kind of slowly been building it up as I've been going along, adding bits here and there that I think are cool/interesting/both/throws it in there because why the heck not. An example that I can think up off of the top of my head would be how I handled fairy types. Alcina is a gardevoir, yet she didn't have the fairy typing, just the pure psychic typing gardevoir had before Gen 6 came around. I needed to find a way to explain this (and this is one of those "why the heck not ones") and then I remembered that, although I had played Y, Xerneas is still something I can play with. So fairy typings became a genetic mutation that had done very well over the course of time, specifically in Kalos due to Xerneas' Fairy Aura that had infused the land. And I knew that she was eventually going to get into a fight where her Moonblast attack wouldn't get a STAB, as this was pointed out to readers via witty combat dialogue.

Q: That is a really, really cool way to show how typing works in a really cool and subtle way in story! You obviously put a lot of effort into this universe, and it shows (and tells (; ) . What do you find harder to get done: the writing aspect of your comic or the drawing?

A: Definitely the writing, as I've had at least 3 other comic ideas have bits and pieces to them but huuuuuuge gaps of nothing in between them that I didn't have any idea of just what to fill them with. I feel that are still gaps in the Genesis story that I'm still beating at with a stick, but there aren't as many nor are they as big.

Q: How much of an outline do you work off of? Is it super detailed? Has it changed at all, and if so, were there any major changes?

A: It varies. A lot of it is just

- [Character A] talks
- [Character B] responds (action/panel prompt here)
- (more scene specifics)
- [Character B] continues

back and forth. That's how a lot of the general overarching plot is written down. I script out each page specifically before I actually start it. And sometimes it takes interesting turns. An example of this would be during the whole thing with the kangaskhan. I did not have anything written in my script about hurting Wonk, the baby kangaskhan. I had originally planned it out the whole scene to go quite differently (though the actual reason why the kangaskhan were upset and the end result were the same).

Q: That makes sense! It seems like a pretty intuitive process, but I do love how things can always take a turn! And since you mentioned that you go page by page, why did you decide to do your comic as pages as opposed to long strips?

A: Oh that's easy. I have a short attention span :'D When I was getting serious about maybe starting my own comic, I was reading a lot of webcomics (and still do) and was more familiar with getting a single weekly or bi-weekly update, with the occasional exception of course. Long-form strips that a lot of comic runs use wasn't something that I even knew about, so it was just my go-to format. I'm also busy, as I'm either working full-time or a full-time art student, so keeping the pages short works well with my varying schedules. Plus having to update weekly means that I get to draw again at the beginning of the week, which lets me flex a different set of art muscles and I think that's one of the reasons why I've been improving so fast lol.

Q: Oooo, well, I totally get that! Working full time and art is a challenging duo to work with! You definitely have great consistency, and I really admire that about your pages! Can you briefly walk us through your page process?

A: No problem! I usually start by blocking out my panels and scripting out dialogue/roughing in loose sketches of what I want in the panels at the same time. I plan ahead and write out my dialogue with the rough sketch in this phase so that I know I have enough space later to keep the text from getting cramped. Next comes sketching, then inking, and then color flats. After that, I switch from characters to the backgrounds. That way, when I go back to finish the characters for shading and special effects, I can keep the mood and the tone of the atmosphere where it needs to be. Once that's done, I go through and add text and speech bubbles and then I have a page ready to post!

Q: Awesome! Thank you for sharing the secrets to the magic of Genesis! ;D I want to quickly go back to before you do the backgrounds and talk about your character art: You have a very dynamic art style in drawing humans--how do you find yourself tackling difficult poses, perspective and expressions? Are there any of your gijinkas who are more difficult to draw than others?

A: If I'm struggling with something in a page, it's usually a pose, often hand-in-hand with a tricky perspective. If I can't get what's in my head down on the canvas right, I go and dig through google images. Reference images are your best friends, because there's no way that you're going to get everything right all the time on the first pass.

Everyone has their own little things that are tricky for me: Heph's bald head was a long time struggle for me and glasses are annoying to keep consistent. Most anyone who comes to my streams knows that I hate Alcina's necklace with a burning passion. AND THEN THERE'S MEWTWO'S PROSTHETICS ENOUGH SAID.

Q: You have a great eye for details, though! This is where your character work really shines! So, shifting gears, though, what helps inspire you? Who are your biggest influences?

A: Just being around a bunch of creative people, honestly. Getting excited about comics, be it mine, friends', or a different comic entirely is great fun and keeps the creative juices flowing. A few comics that have definitely caught and held my interest over the years would be Minna Sundberg's A Redtail's Dream and Stand Still Stay Silent, GaMERCaT, Awkward Zombie, Paranatural, and Daughter of the Lillies, to name just a few. A lot of these authors have been longtime favorites of mine and are big time inspirations for long-term comicking goals also good places to pick up tips and tricks for seeing different to do things.

Q: That is totally true! And I guess since you’ve noted that these caught your interests over the years, it leads perfectly into my final question for you: Genesis is shaping up to be a long-term comic. What are the biggest challenges of having a project that will presumably last a long time? Does the length of time motivate you to finish?

A: Probably knowing that it's gunna be a while before I finally get to parts that I just can't wait to share with others. I thought that I was going to be done with Genesis in two, maybe 3 years tops. Genesis turned 2 about a month ago and it's looking like it might be closer to 4 or 5 years now :'D But I've been having fun and the payoff to a big buildup is definitely worth it. Also I can be pretty stubborn when I want to be, I want to see this through to the end XD

Thanks again, you lovely trio, for allowing me to interview you! Remember, if you want to catch their runs, click the links above! I highly recommend them all!

Have another adventure to share? Send it to Bug,Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, or Pillowcase!

Gangster Garchomp
Conqueror of the Ecruteak Gym
Conqueror of the Ecruteak Gym
Joined: July 14th, 2011, 6:59 pm

March 2nd, 2018, 6:18 pm #115

When you think of fickle, cranky creatures, two things come to my mind right away: old men and cats. Take an old man who loves cats, and baby you've got a stew going. But seriously, we've had a history of wonderfully crotchety protagonists in Nuzlockes, and this run about continuing a lineage, well, continues that lineage too.

That's right, folks! Clean out those litter boxes and clear out time on your next Nothing Day, because today's feature is for:

If you haven't guessed already, this run's primary narrator is none other than Nanu himself! His mopey, downbeat little world is rocked by Tapu Bulu, the guardian for whom he begrudgingly works and... let's say he's not thrilled about the turn of events. He's suddenly saddled with Sam, an energetic kid who's been apparently chosen by Tapu Bulu to become Ula'ula's next kahuna... at just ten years of age. That means that Worlds Of Fun Nanu gets to accompany Sam on his journey around Alola in an attempt to give him a crash course on kahuna-hood.
wrote:Sam won’t stop bouncing. First he’s on the seats, staring at the water, then he’s grappling at the railing, then he’s running the length of the ferry, trying to outspeed the flock of Wingull flying starboard. He’s like a jumping bean—full of spasming moth larvae and boundless glee.

I’m convinced he’ll fall overboard eventually. I’ve promised his parents I’ll keep him safe, but I’m already regretting letting that weight fall on my shoulders. My threshold for personal responsibility stops at Tapu Bulu, my own health, and the health of seventeen odd Meowth.
Nanu's narration is predictably excellent. MissMarquise infuses the narrative with sharpness at every turn, and with a wonderful mixture of a world-weary attitude and tons of dark wit. I'm an absolute sucker for narration with punch, admittedly, so it's no surprise that I'm fond of this run, but it's the kind of thing that makes this such a breezy read in the lighter moments, and an incredibly engaging one whether it's in a bright spot or dealing with some emotional heft.
wrote:“You’ve known these Pokémon barely a week,” I say, “and look at you. You’re fretting like a mother.”

“So I’m lame?”

“Is your mother lame?”

“What? No, she’s—“

“So you’re not lame.” I spin my own Z-Ring around my wrist. “And even if you are, I’m sure your Pokémon appreciate your lameness. Just don’t go overboard, kid. Underestimating opponents is a problem. Underestimating yourself and your team gets people zipped up in body bags.”
The way Nanu and Sam act as foils for each other throughout the run is absolutely phenomenal. It's a classic case of two people being on totally opposite ends of the spectrum in just about every way, from level of optimism to age... but both of them have these key similarities that really elevate their relationship. They're both stubborn, one in a jaded way and the other in that wonderfully naive way, and they each have a kind of low-key practical, analytical mindset (that best comes out when battling and training occurs) that shows how much Sam can learn from Nanu on that front... if, y'know, their myriad of differences don't get in the way.

The fact that this run centers so heavily around just two characters and yet feels incredibly fulfilling to read at every turn, in the overarching narrative as well as the relationship between the duo, speaks to the strength of MissMarquise's writing and character development, and while I'm sure as hell not gonna spoil anything, just know that there is definitely some stellar development all-around.

That's not to say that the supporting cast isn't great as well, though!
wrote:“Anabel?” I do my best not to stammer.

“You actually recognize me out of uniform?” She shares a warm smile. “I suppose I should be flattered. It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?”

That’s the understatement of the century—or the decade, rather. The last time I saw Anabel, we were working together as field agents for Interpol. But this meeting can’t be a coincidence.

“Sure,” I say. “Are you here with Looker ‘on business’? Have you been following me?”

“Following you?” Anabel asks. She remains composed, and I can’t tell if she’s lying. She’s changed so much, gotten taller, matured. In fact, she stands like a general: shoulders back and squared, feet apart, sturdy. “Why in the world would I be following you? I’m just as shocked we bumped into each other as you are. Well, actually that bump was intentional, but only after I’d spotted you by chance. I have to get use out of that covert tactics training somehow.”
The way Anabel and Looker are woven into the story is phenomenal, both veeery interesting characters with complex relationships to our narrator. They really develop Nanu even further (both in his backstory and the present-day happenings), and their effect on the story just grows more tangible with time. These character relationships and interactions all feel so well thought-out and so natural, that it's honestly just such a joy to read.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the prose in general is wonderfully descriptive, right from the get-go. Just the prologue alone, set in beautiful, scenic Haina Desert, does wonders for the imagination:
wrote:The desert around us turns a spongy green, leaves unfurling and moss flowers blooming in precise, traditional patterns. Pink and red and yellow.

The boy laughs as flowers twine their way around his head, a crown blossoming in hibiscus and drooping jewelweed and curlicue fiddleheads. A cape of fronds settles soft over his shoulders.

I stand frozen, sand dripping from my hair. “You’re choosing him?” Déjà vu blindsides me from fifty years in the past. The smell of greenery is the most potent trigger, dense and overwhelming. My fists clench. “You’ve chosen the next island Kahuna, and he’s a little kid?”

Bulu looks to me and gives the slightest of nods. Then they vanish in a cloud of mist—morning jungle fog. The sand gives us a grace period as I walk over to the boy.

“Do you know what this means?” I ask him. Most adults tend to bend down to a child’s height when talking to them. I never bother.
This run's already well into the third island but has only barely eclipsed 20 chapters, so it's a very nicely-paced read for sure, and now's a great chance to hop on-board! If you wanted to see more from everyone's favorite Meowth-loving kahuna, or if you just want a fantastic character-driven narrative romp through Alola, then be sure to check out The Heir, Ap-purr-ently!

And remember, if you have any great runs that you feel deserve a little spotlight, well do I have good news for you! Let any of our highly-acclaimed, handpicked, elitest of the elite scouters know, namely Bug, Huntress Wizard, Revenant, Shiny Dustox, SilverDoe, Thirteenth, BigRedLittleWolf, or Pillowcase, and that could have a feature in the making!
"When I walk down the street, I need everyone to like me so much, it's exhausting. My wife said that walking around with me was like walking around with someone who's running for mayor of nothing."
~ John Mulaney
(Credit to Shiny Dustox for the hella cool banners! <3)

Conqueror of the Cinnabar Gym
Conqueror of the Cinnabar Gym
Joined: February 14th, 2016, 8:34 pm

April 7th, 2018, 12:21 am #116

To be able to break the rules, you first need to know what the rules are. And today, I've brought you a run that has mastered exactly that.

Over the course of the years, nuzlocke stories have evolved with the times. What started as a quick and simple way to document your run evolved into an authentic story telling method. People began coming up with heavy plot ideas, putting genuine, heart felt effort into their stories, and creating beautiful worlds to sink your teeth well and deep into. Of course, these people deserve the recognition for the skill and time that goes into their comics. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a sucker for a some deep world building!

But every now and again, we all need that light hearted comedy run that we can sit down and have a good laugh at. And right from the beginning, you can tell that this is going to be one of those runs. In Pashy's own words, from the first post of her run-
Pashy wrote:
I'm making a nuzlocke comic! As a lot of people have already noticed, the style and writing is very much inspired by the original Ruby Hard Mode.
I started making the first couple of episodes in february of 2018 when i played through Black 2, and it was never intended to be a big thing,
but due to the great response i got from you guys, i'll hope to continue making these until you grow tired of it!
It was also made as a kind of response to the countless nuzlocke comics i see nowadays that are overly serious and dramatic.
Well, goal accomplished if I do say so myself.
Pashy's Black 2 Run is simplistic. She seems to be someone that knows exactly what she is doing when it comes to art. From the composition of the panels, to the anatomy of her characters, her art drips with the simplistic skill all artists can only hope to master.
While Pashy has mentioned her inspiration comes from the OG nuzlocke, I'd put my own two cents in saying that it reminds me heavily of western animation styles. And while she has mentioned that she wants this comic to be simplistic and sweet, the art still manages to grow and evolve with it! Not without loosing the original charm it had, of course.
Page 1 vs Page 14

Pashy's humor is distinctive of nuzlocke's I remember seeing pushed out from 2010-2012. It has that old fashioned charm, but in a way that feels original and fresh. If you don't laugh at least once during your reading, you'll at least have a smile on your face throughout the entire thing.
That said, the OG nuzlocke influence is undeniable. I'd be comfortable saying that Pashy has managed to master the type of humor Nuzlocke's original comic had to a T, if not better! It fits in a nice, gentle balance between random in your face humor, and comprehensible, lovable characters. It's a talent and a skill, and one that deserves all the recognition it can get!

Theres one more thing I'd like to touch on before leaving you off to have a go at this wonderful run. That being, the subversion of expectations.
Subversion of expectation is what keeps people reading. In fact, maybe people would say that humor, in the most simple of terms, IS the subversion of expectation. An idea in itself can be laid out to the world, given in only concept and theory. However, taking that idea and making it your own? That's what creates something special. This run has it's intense moments. Even with the comedy being as it is, Pashy still manages to create dramatic sequences and battles that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Pashy's Black 2 Nuzlocke is simple. It's sweet. But it's effective in all the right ways. And for that, I will personally be following this run with each new update.
Have you seen a run you think deserves it's time in the limelight? Send a PM to any of our Scouters and we'll take a look! BigRedLittleWolf, Bug, Huntress Wizard, Pillowcase, Revenant, or SilverDoe.
We'd love to hear your recommendations!
[+] Spoiler

(Psst, You Should Click Pet Him)

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Joined: January 7th, 2012, 11:04 pm

April 27th, 2018, 12:47 pm #117

Hello all! As many of you probably know, creating and posting a run is a lot of work, involving a lot of time. It's always impressive when someone makes it all the way through the project - and even more so when they decide to keep going!

Today, we're bringing you an interview with a writer who has done just that. Washi, the author of the completed written run Wonderwall and its current sequel Leather & Lace joined me to talk about her experience in the community and in writing her storylockes over the past several years.
[+] Interview!
Q: So, to start things off, want to tell us a bit about yourself?

Washi: I'm Washi! You've probably seen me haunting the Writechat Discord, where I'll post pics of my cute cat, Reed. I unironically love long walks on the beach, getting caught in the rain, and curling up with a good cup of tea and a Disney movie. I also cry a lot over Kingdom Hearts. I joined the nuzforums since 2013, when I began posting the storylocke Wonderwall, and am now publishing its sequel, Leather & Lace!

Q: As you say, you've been around the forums (and have been posting storylockes) since 2013. Over the years, in what ways have you seen or experienced change in the forum community? What about changes in any trends of the runs themselves?

Washi: I think the biggest change has been the inclusion of Discord servers, both for the general Nuzlocke community and the different mediums. It's been a great tool for members to connect with each other and discuss story and technique--I know Writechat has had a long-running tradition of daily Q&As where members can really dive deep into their stories and share thoughts about their runs and other runs. It's been especially nice since our membership has grown so much; I've found runs I loved thanks to recommendations from chat members, whether that be Shout Outs or even the Panels hosted through the Official Nuzlocke Server.

As far as any trend changes, I've definitely seen more of a focus on drama and plot development versus gags and commentary. That was a trend picking up speed when I first joined the forums but it's definitely in full-swing now, and I love it. (I'm a sucker for drama, what can I say!) There are runs out there that wouldn't be out of place among published fiction, and it's a joy and a thrill to see. I attribute that to the community building that we've all done, where run creators can find support in their fellows.

Thirteenth wrote an amazing article a few weeks ago tracking the changes in popular runs that lines up perfectly with my time here, and it was fascinating to see those trends put into data!

Q: I was thinking of the article as well! It's interesting to see some of the changes in what's been popular over the years. I would agree with your observation about drama and plot development being a trend that's definitely in place now, and I find it interesting that you say it was picking up speed when you joined, as I'd say your run fits it well. Did that play any part in your decision to start a run, and to write the run you did? What about any of the other changes you mentioned, what effects did they have on your writing?

Washi: Hilariously enough, I hadn't read any storylockes before I began posting my own--my first introduction to nuzlockes was through deviantArt, with Petty's LG and Kynim's Diamond. I loved the idea of writing stories based on gameplay and I knew I'd be more comfortable writing prose instead of drawing comics, so I whipped up a few chapters and just posted without knowing what I was doing.

I don't think that trend towards drama affected those early chapters, because my writing style was naturally dramatic and character-driven; I will say that I got braver about introducing twists and moving away from the game's vanilla plot as I read other runs, especially Thirteenth's Ascend, bravenheart's Medium Blue, and British Air Snails's Blood Wish, because my natural instinct was "just report what you did and don't change anything!" And thankfully I moved away from that, using my own headcanons as plot points and introducing new characters to raise dramatic stakes for both my protagonists. Finding friends who were taking similar risks with their runs and having it pay off, and chatting about technique and worldbuilding, helped me come out of my shell as a writer. My content's absolutely been better for it.

That's not to say that there isn't room for humor in a dramatic run, or any run, because there absolutely is--the stuff I like to read and write most is a balance, and by reading and talking with other community members I learned how to find that balance in my own stuff. I know it's cheesy but listen to your English teachers when they tell you, "to write well you have to read well" because they know what they're talking about!

Q:Strangely enough, most of the time it seems they do! It's great that you feel you were able to come out of your shell as writer through the community here and seeing other runs taking risks as well. Becoming a bolder writer is definitely a fascinating change, but are there other specific ways in which writing Wonderwall, and carrying the story through to completion, helped you to grow as a writer? What areas do you think you've improved in the most?

Washi: Wonderwall was definitely an exercise in finishing something. I had done a lot of play-by-post roleplay before joining the forums, where you started a story and then kept going and going without necessarily having a stopping point. So whereas I would always have at least one partner to collaborate equally with where we each had our own plans for our separate characters, now I had a cast of my own OCs and my own storylines I was wholly in charge of. That was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying, but thankfully I had a great close-knit group of writer friends who were willing and able to help me when I got too overwhelmed.

I mentioned balance earlier, and I think that's been the biggest area of improvement I've had. I ended up with a gigantic cast with Wonderwall, between the main team and deceased teammates and the main rival and his team, background characters with their teams, and learning how to give each character their opportunity to shine was an exercise in prioritization. I made the decision early on that no matter how chaotic things got, I had to keep the overall focus on two things: the character arc of my narrator, Casey the Pikachu; and the relationship between him and his trainer/close companion, True Fargone. Finding and keeping that heart prominent through the run is something above all else I'm extremely proud of.

Eventually I also learned how to edit out parts that weren't advancing the story forward; that came a little too late for Wonderwall (which ended up with a word count of around 382,000 words, or 1.5 Order of the Phoenixes OTL) but it's helped tremendously with planning Leather & Lace because I'm better at knowing how to prioritize and highlight the truly juicy bits of the story I want to tell.

Q: Speaking of Leather & Lace, how did that story come about? When did you decide to do a sequel story to Wonderwall?

Washi: Pokemon Moon came out the year I finished Wonderwall and I was still thinking about it. I fell in love with Alola almost immediately and made a joke with a friend about "wouldn't this be a great vacation for True and Sherri? an Alolan gaycation?" And the thought wouldn't leave me alone! Throughout that first playthrough I kept taking mental notes about possible shenanigans and story beats I might cover if I rebooted the game. After a good six months of ruminating on the thought I finally rebooted the game and started taking actual notes for what would eventually be Leather & Lace.

I was really interested in exploring True and Sherri's relationship--they had just started maybe becoming something at the end of Wonderwall, and in Leather & Lace they've been in a long-distance relationship for a year and a half by the start of the story. While Wonderwall was told from the point of view of a Pokemon who wanted absolutely nothing to do with battling while wanting to support his closer friend who finds real meaning in the sport, Leather & Lace is told from the point of view of a woman who finds joy in her non-battling life but also wants something more. What that "more" is... well, you'll just have to stay tuned!

Q:I, for one, will definitely be staying tuned! That difference between Wonderwall and Leather & Lace is intriguing, though for me, and I think many others, the biggest difference between the stories is that Leather & Lace is being published now. It's been five years (with the official anniversary on May 6!) since Wonderwall started, and nearly 2 years since it ended. In that time, I think it's safe to say it's become a model example of a Completed Written Run. How does it feel to know your run is pointed to as a classic and is still being read by those who have only ever experienced it as a finished run?

Washi: It feels strange and exciting and wonderful and oh my god what if this was all luck and I'm really a fraud! and--

Ahem. It's a complicated mix of emotions, but ultimately positive! Every so often I'll get pinged on one of the servers and find someone reading Wonderwall for the very first time and I'll just step back a bit and wipe my eyes. Knowing that something that I made brought joy to someone or made them feel something is the single best feeling. Sometimes I feel that it's easier to enjoy a story when it's completed, because you can settle down and read straight through without worrying about hiatuses.

Q:It definitely is nice to be able to read straight through the cliffhangers! I'm glad that ultimately it's positive emotions! Finishing such a long run is quite a feat. Do you have any advice for nuzlockers who want to finish a run of their own but who may be intimidated by the prospect?

Washi:You have to do it one step at a time! Breaking things into arcs helped me not only plan my story, but to also keep from getting too overwhelmed--think of it as planning seasons in a TV show, where there's rising action and a climax and fallout and each piece builds on the former. Having multiple things to look forward to is much more motivating than having that ONE HIGH POINT and when you reach it... well, the story doesn't motivate me anymore, time to stop writing.

The other big piece of advice I have is to have fun with your work. The goal is to create something that, at the end of the day, you are going to enjoy; whether that's because of your characters, your plot, that one line you can't believe you wrote but it's an awesome line, it has to excite you to bring you back to the chair and that space of creating. If you're having fun with your run, chances are good that other people will read and have fun too!

Q:Having fun does seem to be a very important piece of the puzzle! What's been your favorite part about writing your two runs? And do you have a favorite chapter or scene from your own work?

Washi: Absolutely no question, my characters are my absolute favorite part of writing both runs. They're always the meat of my writing, and most of my drama comes from them acting and reacting to each other. Some of my best moments have come from little side comments or interactions that ended up becoming more significant--Jackson and Clara's relationship, Sherri's growth from a one-off character to the narrator of a sequel run, everything about Hyde, Haro and his puns--and discovering that new surprise brings a rush like nothing else.

As far as favorite chapters and scenes... I don't know if I can pick just one favorite? For Wonderwall, Chapters 39, 48, and 80, were all intense to write and extremely rewarding when I finished them; two take place in the Saffron arc, with Chapter 48 as the climax to that arc. As far as Leather & Lace goes, one of my favorite scenes of the entire run is coming up in Chapter 9.

Q: I'm looking forward to seeing it! I could sit here asking you questions all night, because you've been pouring out some great answers, but I think it's probably to time draw this interview to a close. Thank you so much for your time and your thoughtful answers! Any last words to share?

Washi: The Nuzlocke community is honestly one of the most talented I've seen, and I'm honored to have learned so much from so many people who make such amazing things FOR FREE, as well as the people who comment and help those creators improve their craft. It's truly inspiring and keeps me motivated, and I can't wait to see what the coming years bring for us!

And a shameless plug: keep an eye on my runs on May 6 for a special anniversary surprise!
A big thank you to Washi for sitting down to do this interview! I hope you all enjoyed her answers as much as I did. If you want to check out either of her runs, please click on the links above!

As always, if you have a run you'd like to see featured, send a PM to one of our Scouters and we'll check it out: BigRedLittleWolf, Bug, Huntress Wizard, Pillowcase, Revenant, or SilverDoe. We'd love to hear your recommendations!

Banner made by Rainey!

Huntress Wizard
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Joined: April 5th, 2015, 11:58 am

May 4th, 2018, 10:36 pm #118

You all know him. The man, the moth, the legend. That's right, today's featured run is by Shiny Dustox himself, who recently left the Feature Team! As we bid him a fond farewell, we thought it best to look back at the run that started his foray into plot-driven nuzlockes. That's right, today it's time to talk about...

As described by Dusty himself, this run is a "sequel" to his first run, An Inordinate Fondness for Bugs, starring Aaron of the Sinnoh Elite Four before he became a Gym Leader. It isn't a proper sequel, per se, as the predecessor was commentary-heavy and BiBB is a proper narrative, but it does star Pascal, Aaron's Dustox, as the starter. The protagonist is Cliff Beckett, who is Aaron's younger brother. Pascal comes to him after Aaron disappears, and the two must set off on a journey to find the missing Bug-type specialist.
Shiny Dustox wrote:
You see, on what I thought was just another day, I find this weary little guy at our doorstop.

And the strangest thing happened.

He spoke to me.

He spoke to me of a journey, just like this one. A journey to find something mythical, something dangerous. A journey that had gone horribly, horribly wrong. And a journey taken by someone I had known from long ago.

I don't have a choice, really.

Tomorrow, I will have to go out on another journey myself. Because this is something I need to do.

I have to find him.

I have to find my brother, Aaron.
Oh yeah, one last important detail; this is a Bug monolocke.

Of Blaze Black 2, a Drayano hack.

I'll give you a minute to put your eyes back in your sockets.

Right out of the gate, Dusty builds an extremely strong cast of characters. Cliff is nervous, unsure of himself and his battling prowess, and Pascal picks up on that easily and takes over as the team leader... for a while. We also get several wonderful catches, like Athena, the haughty Leavanny; Cleo, the sassy mom friend Butterfree; and Lyra, the sweetest Kricketune who has ever graced our presence. And Dusty is not afraid to let the team annoy and bother each other with their different personalities and foibles. Like, for example, when Cliff gets annoyed with Pascal for being so bossy.
Shiny Dustox wrote:By the way, Pascal, this is Roxanne. She's the Rustboro Gym Leader. Do you know what the Rustboro Gym specializes in?

Damnit, Cliff. You could have shared that information before we did this!
I tried, didn't I? But, you wouldn't listen as usual.
Speaking of, Cliff himself is an extremely interesting protagonist. I mentioned earlier, but it bears repeating that he isn't undertaking this journey for himself; he's undertaking it to find his brother, who has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. He doesn't consider himself the best battler, but his love for his brother is enough to push him into action. And I really, really love that; it's really cool to see a character with that external motivation, and I think it makes for a unique growing process as the story goes.
Shiny Dustox wrote:I know I'm not a great Trainer, like you hoped I was. I know Aaron was this great battler and everything. He always was. But, I'm not like him. I never was like him. I never...trained for this. I never knew how to battle until now. And honestly? I'm still trying to come to terms that my big brother is missing out here. So, you can' can't expect me to be so good at this.
I know you want to find Aaron and I do too. But I'm doing my best...really. But, I can't be better at this when you're always there, second-guessing me or taking over. Pascal, please. You have to have some faith in me.
You're right.
You're right. I do need to have faith in you. I wasn't being fair to you. I'm just...really worried about Aaron, okay? I don't know where he is or if he's safe or if he's even still alive!
Don't think that. And I worry about him too. But the two of us aren't going to go anywhere far if we keep second-guessing the other. How about we help each other then for real this time?
What do you mean?
You’re pretty much the most experienced in battling out of all of us. I’ll definitely need your advice. I don't want to risk the safety of anyone on this team. But you have to help me do it on my own, okay?
Sounds good. ...But you have to do something for me too.
Try to enjoy this experience.
And oh, boy, does the story just keep going and going. The second set of Unova games are not exactly known for having the strongest plot – though, really, having to follow BW would put anything in a bit of a shadow – and Drayano, in classic Drayano fashion, mostly edited the gameplay. Undaunted, Dusty played the hand he was dealt really, really well, painting his own story of danger and intrigue on Black 2's canvas. Not even supporting characters like Colress and "the ex-Team Plasma guy" are safe – Dusty gives them all a makeover. And that’s just the beginning!

There’s so much more to this excellent run than I can possibly cover in just one feature, and the more time I spend talking about it, the less time you’re spending reading it. So buzz on over to check out Back in Black, Bug here!

Got a run you want featured? Fire off a PM one of our Scouters and we'll check it out: BigRedLittleWolf, Bug, Huntress Wizard, Pillowcase, Revenant, or SilverDoe. We always love hearing your recommendations!

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 2:17 pm

June 1st, 2018, 7:54 pm #119

Protip: lack of sleep is bad. Be it because your sleep schedule is screwed up beyond repair, because of acute earache (am there, doing that), or because of constant nightmares about towers burning and people dying, lack of sleep is bound to make you inattentive, irritable, and just plain unpleasant to be around. So, in short: don’t be like Elliot. And most importantly, try not to get...

This week’s featured fan run is of the written persuasion, and it brings us back to a HeartGold-flavored Johto. And yes, the protagonist of Lost in the Stream is a young man with... mild issues when it comes to sleep, a job he's not particularly in love with, and an attitude which at times could make a raging mankey look like charming company in comparison. Well, okay, to be fair to poor Elliot, the nightmares are most likely not his fault to begin with, and neither is that weird voice that keeps talking in his head whenever he dreams. And to be even fairer, his job does suck quite a bit. Because you see, Elliot here happens to be a Rocket grunt, and the story starts with him as part of the latest of Team Rocket's get-rich-quick schemes: slowpoke tails.
wrote:A handful of grunts loitered around a set of cages, prodding slowpokes in and out. A pile of freshly cut tails sat nearby, a gross reminder of how far the criminals had sunk. Everytime any of the grunts looked at it, their faces scrunched up in varying degrees of disgust and frustration.

"Seriously, how come these things don't even move when we saw their tails off?" Anton held down a slowpoke on the 'operating' table, the creature offering no resistance. "Kind've creepy. Doesn't talk, doesn't squeal. Just stares."

Elliot rapped a knuckle on its head. It turned to look up, mouth agape and eyes unblinking. "Empty skull, that's why. Watch your fingers now." He set the saw and pumped his arm, cutting through the meaty flesh. He winced when he hit bone, the crunch bothering him far more than his victim. The tail tore off with a wet slap against the table and he moved it aside.
Bet those "Join Team Rocket! See the region! Steal pokémon!" flyers a much younger Elliot got didn't mention this, huh.

I hope you weren't looking for yet another retread of the usual story about a young trainer taking on the Johto League and beyond, because you're not getting that here. This isn't even a case of perspective switch, putting us in the shoes of the bad guys as the meddling kid du jour comes to stop them from getting away with it. No, there are no heroes in Lost in the Stream, at least so far. The focus here is completely on Elliot, his human and pokémon colleagues and superiors, and the kind of organization (using the word loosely here) that Team Rocket has become since Giovanni decided to book it. And let me tell you, that's one heck of a gigantic mess.

The Rocket side of the plot revolves mainly about the infighting among the Admins and the different missions they send their pawns, namely our grumpy grunt and company, in order to achieve their goals. There's still enough space for Elliot's personal issues to be explored, though, and there's a lot in there to deal with: those weird women dressed fancy who keep popping up spouting religious-sounding nonsense and forcing eggs and stuff onto him, his crush on a certain gym leader, and the donphan in the room of his nightmares and the hints of timey wimey shenanigans contained within, with or without a certain onion fairy's intervention.
wrote:Rain fell in stinging droplets. A hurricane raged around him, wind shrieking in fury. Desperation demanded finding cover, but he remained stuck; fear roiled in the pit of his stomach, convincing him there was none to find.

His knees buckled. Something was different.

Conflict waged above the clouds. Bestial cries roared louder than the storm's thunder. The sky rumbled with power, his significance paling in comparison. What was he to those creatures locked in struggle, their splendor turned black with malice?

Don't think like that!

He felt pressure on his chest, a tiny finger prodding him.

It is in there still, and that is a treasure of its own. It is never lost, no matter how hard time tries to drown it. Stand strong in the stream, let it flow around you.
The place where Lost in the Stream shines the brightest, though, is in its characters. AstroDeath performs constant perspective shifts, allowing us to get into the heads of basically every relevant character in the story, all of them memorable in their own, usually very flawed ways. Special mention to the pokémon, a dysfunctional motley crew who happen to be the perfect match for their trainers and the group they work for. From the energetic and way overeager Celina to the stuck-up Abzu, every single one of them is a treat.

It helps that all those characters have their own distinctive narrative voice, to the point that it's easy to guess who we're piggyback riding with way before their name is stated. Elliot’s narration almost always reads angry and tired, coming in short bursts of sarcastic complaints and defeatist remarks. Meanwhile, Kelsey’s narration is spacey, almost oneiric, yet strangely insightful and warm. Probably the closest any of us will ever be to knowing what goes on inside the head of a slowpoke, at least without hallucinogenic substances being involved.

And then there’s Vivian the misdreavus. The witchiest witch to have ever witched, and this sentence remains true if you replace the w's with b's, too. She's a riot, and she does wonders for team morale, too!
wrote:"See anything, Eliza?"

"I'm blind, Vivian..."

"Open your eyes wider. Maybe you'll see something eventually."

Low hanging fruit was the best!

Vivian laughed as the zubat fluttered away into the treetops with a whine. Eh, she'd grow a spine sooner or later. Or not, maybe. Wouldn't much take away her joy from toying with the bloodsucker, and irritated or not, judging by the intermittent screeching Eliza was doing her job.

"Why do you do that?" Gabriel asked. He floated at her side, shifty eyes never quite meeting hers. "She's one of us too."

She winked out of sight and reappeared on top of him, letting her hair fall in front of his face. "What's a team without a low man on the totem pole? You're above her and Anton if it makes you feel any better."
I'm sure she cares deep down. Almost sure.

So in summary, Lost in the Stream is well written, has a plot that’s different enough from the norm to keep you guessing where it’ll go, and features a bucketload of interesting characters we get to experience both from the outside and from the inside, so to speak. Oh, and it updated, like, two days ago. What more can you ask for? Go read it already!

Oh, and if you know a run you think is good enough for a feature, you can either keep the secret for yourself until the end of days or shoot one of our scouters (BigRedLittleWolf, Bug, Huntress Wizard, Pillowcase, Revenant, or SilverDoe) a PM so we can look at it and share the goodness with everyone. Come ooon, you know you want to...
In progress: One Manager, Fifty Years, All the Cups: Neon plays Football Manager 2016 (Last update: Oct 8th 2017)

COMPLETE: Friends don't let friends kill each other - Let's Play Higurashi When They Cry! (Upd: 09/25 - Matsuribayashi-hen, Extra Chapter 2 ~ Other extras and final goodbyes)
COMPLETE: The gold, the witch, and the corpses in the wardrobe - Let's Play Umineko: When They Cry! (Upd: 05/21 - Final extras (II) ~ Final extras!)
[+] Spoiler
On hiatus: Glimpses of an Unfamiliar World - A Touhoumon Blue Storylocke (Upd: 04/16 - Chapter 4-2)
On hiatus: Magical Monster Captor Chihiro - A Magical Girl Obsidian Storylocke (Upd: 06/25 - Chapter 2)

Conqueror of the Cinnabar Gym
Conqueror of the Cinnabar Gym
Joined: February 14th, 2016, 8:34 pm

July 7th, 2018, 5:54 am #120

Comics take time, and seeing a comic develop over the course of years is a special privilege that comes with being in a comic community. Of course, it only makes sense. Any art form takes time, and comics are a medium that you need love and energy to work in. Today, I'd like to bring to your attention to a comic that planted its roots in the ground a little under two years ago, and has continued to flourish to this day.
Would you like to sit down for some tea before we start?
Even just from the beginning few pages, Making Matcha show's its potential. Xj2z9- or as he’s more commonly known, Ramen- is quick to show what a fantastic grasp he has on witty, quick humor, as well as character design and interaction. The aesthetic of Making Matcha is unique in every sense of the word, creating a dynamic and thriving world, with wonderful character designs and personalities to fall into it.
Making Matcha’s worldbuilding feels natural. It’s not forced or in your face, rather told in small, bite sized bits and pieces. You learn as the characters do, giving you a chance to experience the way the world seems to grow and bloom around them as they do. Ramen has an excellent grasp on not only how to introduce smaller concepts that lead into a bigger picture, but also does it in such a way that it doesn’t drown out the rest of the comic with noise.
The gijinka designs feel natural, while still having that touch of fantasy that gives them appeal. It’s a mix of simple and complex. Ramen use of the pokemons colors is excellent, skillfully picking skin-tones and styles that match the palettes already been given. The clothing is recognizable as the species, while not having a flood of detail. Being able to create unique designs like this time and time again is a talent on its own, and only helps to add to comic and world.
Pokemon of the same species have their own distinctive designs, managing to hold strong when placed next to one another. Even the side character and gym leaders that pop-up are more than just blank slates, time and energy placed into designing every character to fit into the role they’re given.
The humor for this run is on point. While it’s not in your face, I laughed at least once per page while rereading through this run. It's based entirely around the characters and the way they interact. It’s the type of humor that comes naturally. It’s hard to pull off humor in a serious run that doesn’t ruin the pacing, and Ramen manages to keep it running smooth and easily.
Which, speaking of characters.
The characters are engaging, each one having their own personality and depth. Even just taking away the distinct designs, each and every one of them can stand their own ground. The world and the plot doesn’t carry them, the plot is their stage and they’re what you’re here to see. Having an amazing plot is one thing, but having strong characters with individual personality to go with it? You WANT to watch these characters grow, you want to see the way they work into the world that’s being laid out.

And boy, does Ramen deliver on that.
The character’s interactions feel natural, bouncing with ease off of each other. Each conversation absorbs you, sucking you in with small details while still adding to the story. You can feel the way the characters' relationships are beginning to flourish and grow over the course of time. Yes, there are hiccups in their relationships. But that makes the story-telling stronger. No relationship, even casual ones are perfect or without quarrel, and the back and forth between the characters as they attempt to work out their dynamics both between each-other personally and as a team shows realism in his writing.
All of the battles you see are just flat out fun to read. While it’s undeniable that Ramen improves in both the pacing of his battles and the way the attacks and poses are drawn, even the beginning ones are a blast to look over and read through. Currently, my favorite battle is the most recent gym battle. His improvement over the course of the last two years shows especially well in this fight, and watching it progress update by update left me jittery and ready for more with each strip.
Finally, Ramen's art sticks out to me because, while he’s absolutely improved and gotten more confident with his art and poses, even the beginning pages are charming and fulfilling to look at. His art style is one that grows steadily, and over the course of the time. Watching as his lineart and shading gets more confident, and the way he settles wholey into this style is a gift of its own.

Chapter One - Page One

Chapter Two - Page One
However, even just from the beginning, you’re gifted with a fun art style, engaging characters, and a plot that sinks itself into your skin and lingers, promising to bloom into something bigger eventually. This is a comic you could sit down and read more than once, and each time find yourself just as drawn into it as the last.
Seeing as we’ve just finished the first gym, there’s more than enough time for you to catch up and follow the comic as it develops. I know I’m personally excited to see where the road takes our group of adventurers.
[+] Spoiler

(Psst, You Should Click Pet Him)