Frequently Asked Questions

This section applies to the ILCOE.

I have received surprisingly many questions about this story. Here they are answered once and for all. If you have not read the ILCOE in its entirety, spoilers abound just by reading the questions!

How can Mark communicate with his Pokémon?

It is right there in chapter one - Pokémon speech is taught at school in this fic. It's set twenty-seven years after the anime (or, more precisely, the beginning of the fic, excluding the prologue, is twenty-seven years after the beginning of the anime).

Why can Mark only understand Pokémon speech sometimes?

There are several reasons it's not always translated. In Eevee's case, he was essentially speaking baby talk at the very beginning. Otherwise, however, not everything the Pokémon say needs to be translated. Sometimes the basic meaning is obvious from the context; sometimes it's just a roar that has no special meaning; and sometimes they're just not saying anything that really matters. Compare with the spin-offs Scyther's Story and The Fall of a Leader, where in accordance with the fact it's a Pokémon POV, all Pokémon speech is translated, including for example the random words they say in battle, which are for the most part irrelevant and unimportant.

Why don't you mark translated Pokémon speech specially, like by using « and » instead of normal quotation marks or something?

Why should I? I mean, it makes sense when nobody actually understands the Pokémon speech, as in most fics that do that sort of thing, just as a way to remind the reader that whatever the Pokémon is saying is unknown to the humans around; for example, I agree that it's a good idea to put telepathic speech in italics. But since in this fic, the humans and Pokémon all mutually understand one another, there is no such purpose to it and all it does is distract the reader by using quotation marks they're not used to. There is no need for you to keep reminding yourself that they're not actually speaking English - it never actually matters.

Why do you use levels and stats in this fic?

Pokémon are not actually made of a set of numbers, if that's what you're worried about; the stats are simply a feature similar to an IQ, an approximation of certain features of the Pokémon calculated by the Pokédex from the data collected when a Pokémon is scanned. They're not absolute or completely accurate.

Isn't it kind of lame for there to just "happen" to be a Pokéball on the ground when Mark needed it in chapter three?

It was actually Charmander's original Pokéball, which was still lying there. I'd still agree it was cheap to make him come across it if he'd actually used it, but as it is, its presence doesn't actually benefit Mark in any way; it's there merely as a reference to Charmander's story and to illustrate a point about the Agreement.

When will the next chapter be up?

Whenever I've written it, and I usually really can't tell you when that will be. But I suppose you can make an educated guess. First, check the Quest Blog, where I might be talking about my progress with the current chapter. You can also see at the top of the page there how many pages I've written of the next chapter (this is also my signature at the forums), along with a preview of the chapter and a rough approximate of how long I expect the chapter to be. This will give you a rough idea of how much work I have left.

If I've just posted a chapter and you're wondering how long it will take to write the entirety of the next, it varies a lot. The fastest chapter I've ever written took two days; the slowest took six months. Generally, these days I try to finish my chapters in something between a month and two, maybe three, but if I have lengthy stretches of no writing mood, it can become longer than that. If I have major writing sprees or the chapter is relatively short, it can also take only a couple of weeks, although you shouldn't get your hopes up for this.

Why are you always rewriting this fic?

I just realize one day that the first chapter is really bad, usually after some reviewer points it out to me, and subsequently can't stand the thought of everybody reading it like that. I'm a perfectionist, you see. I wouldn't stop rewriting it entirely until I found it absolutely perfect, which I don't think will ever happen.

You should stop rewriting! I'm reading the ILCOE and I'd much rather have more chapters of that than yet another rewrite of the first chapters.

It doesn't work that way. You seem to be assuming I have some sort of a "chapter quota" where I can only churn out so-and-so many chapters per year and thus every chapter I write of the IALCOTN some particular year means one less chapter of the ILCOE. (Or "word quota" or "character quota" or whatever it is you're thinking exactly.) However, that is quite simply not the case. Sometimes I'm in the mood to write the IALCOTN, sometimes I'm in the mood to write the ILCOE, sometimes I'm in the mood to write something completely different, and sometimes I'm not in the mood to write at all. I don't write the IALCOTN somehow instead of the ILCOE. If I haven't felt like writing the ILCOE, I just haven't felt like writing the ILCOE, sorry; it's not the evil IALCOTN making me write it instead.

Basically, if the ILCOE seems to be moving along very, very slowly, the reason is perfectly ordinary writer's block that would be there whether the IALCOTN was around or not. The existence of the IALCOTN has nothing to do with it.

(This question is kind of moot now, when the IALCOTN is the one I haven't updated in absolute ages while the ILCOE is flying along, but the stop-rewriting sentiment is still there.)

Why do you never update the IALCOTN? I'm reading that.

Because when you're a writer, it's hard to deny it's a little more interesting to write plot in full swing with all the characters you love that you've been looking forward to for years on end than to rewrite the beginning of the story for the ilcoeth time (let alone the IALCOTN'th). I definitely still have plans to continue the IALCOTN, but I'm afraid that might not be until I've finished the ILCOE.

Why don't you change the name of the fic?

I think this title is bad, but I have a hard time changing things. This is what everybody knows it as, including me - it would feel like a pretty drastic change if I changed the name. I also have no idea what the heck else I could call it. :/ It's just about so darn many things.

Why did you name May May when there is one in the anime?

My May came first, and I have no plans of changing it just because some pesky dubbers stole my name. :P (No, I don't think they actually stole it, but she did come first; this fic was started in the summer of 2002, when Ruby and Sapphire weren't even out in Japan. I couldn't exactly do anything about it when Nintendo of America decided to name Haruka the same thing I'd named my character, and changing her name would just feel odd.)

How do you pronounce "Chalenor" and "Chaletwo"?

See the Pronunciation Guide.

How do you pronounce "Mewtwo²"? It's not in the pronunciation guide.

You can pronounce that however you want, to be honest; that's why it's not in the guide. In my head it's "Mewtwo'two", with a tiny pause between the "two"s, but "Mewtwo squared" and just "Mewtwotwo" both make sense and you can choose to say it that way; I don't quite consider anything "correct" here. In fact, the originally intended pronunciation was "Mew-to-the-power-of-two", but that sounds awkward and is way cumbersome as a name, so that's officially uncanonical now, but if you prefer that, that's also an option.

Are Leta, Letal and Letaligon cats or dogs?

For God's sake, why must every four-legged mammal with claws be a cat or dog? @_@ When I created Letaligon, neither cats or dogs so much as crossed my mind. In fact, Letaligon was based on - wait for it - a horse. Yes, a horse. I narrowed the neck, changed the head shape and tail and gave it paws and claws instead of hooves, but originally the only real-world animal I was thinking of was a horse, hence the long legs and neck. Of course this doesn't make Letaligon a horse; it's just an abstract mammalian Pokémon, much the same way I think of Pokémon like Eevee and Absol. I don't understand why everybody must automatically assume they're cats or dogs, much less that it must be strictly either one or the other.

Who is Ash's wife?

You'll find out in the epilogue. I have no plans of making a horde of shippers yell at me until the fic is finished. ;)

So, the War of the Legends is going on now, right?/Did Suicune starve Gyarados because the War of the Legends was making him mad?/Is somebody going to die in the War of the Legends?

Okay, this isn't really a question. Nobody actually asked like this, precisely; this is just to answer the implication I see in far too many theories and suggestions about the fic.

The War of the Legends, since some of you seem not to have gotten what Chaletwo was going on about throughout the entirety of chapter twenty-five, has not started and is not gradually making the legendaries a little madder every second. The entire War of the Legends plot is about preventing it from ever starting. It has a very definite start, which is one particular moment during which suddenly a switch seems to go off in the legendaries' brains: one moment they're extremely weak (since their power has been gradually drained up until this moment) but perfectly sane, and the next they're twice as powerful as the the average legendary was just after their creation but barking mad, murderous and bloodthirsty.

A lot of you also don't seem to be getting exactly what the War of the Legends implies. It's not going to just start and then Mark and co. continue on their merry way walking around and battling the legendaries who now happen to be a little angrier. In chapter 33, Thunderyu single-handedly defeats seventeen Pokémon that had been ganging up on him. That's pretty damn powerful. But guess what? That's him weakened. He, like all the other legendaries, has been slowly drained of his power for centuries and is only a shadow of what he was when he was created. Now, during the War of the Legends, he'd be twice as powerful as he was when Chaletwo made him and additionally slave to an impulse telling him to destroy everything in his path and murder all the other legendaries. Basically, if the War of the Legends happens, they're screwed and the fic is probably over.

Are there going to be Sinnoh/Unova legendaries in this fic?

Chaletwo's speech in chapter 25 was specifically written so that any additions of more legendary Pokémon made in games after its writing would not cause any confusion. He lists the legendaries that are left; thus, all other legendaries, Hoenn, Sinnoh or any future regions, are automatically assumed to have been caught by the other kids.

Admittedly, this is with certain reservations: Arceus, Dialga, Palkia and Giratina do not normally reside within our universe, and therefore they have not been caught, but neither do they need to be - they are simply uninvolved with the War of the Legends.

How did Mewtwo²'s Psychic affect Tyranitar?

Because Mewtwo²'s psychic powers are so great that it can even throw Dark-types around with a bit of extra effort. This isn't the game, where there's a neat little multiplier of zero. If Mewtwo² were in a game, it would have an ability that would work somewhat like Scrappy for letting Psychic moves affect Dark-types, except probably turning them "not very effective" or giving an even lower multiplier than that, since it does affect them less than other types.