This section applies to the ILCOE.
There are many interesting things about this fic that not everybody knows. This section is here to tell curious readers about some of my (thankfully) scrapped original plot ideas, changes that have been made during the rewriting process, the development of the fic over the course of the many revisions, what I was REALLY thinking when I made up all those things that seem to make so much sense now, and the horror that is Molzapart and Rainteicune.
Scrapped and Edited
- Originally, Mark's mother was going to be a Nurse Joy; however, I changed it just after writing that in because after all, it doesn't make much sense for a Nurse Joy to live in a city with no Pokémon Center.
- The original plan was for Mark to return to the Lake of Purity the night after catching Gyarados and catching Suicune - this was scrapped before ever being written because I was at least sensible enough to realize that would be a bad idea.
- Scyther was originally not meant to join Mark; I just loved him too much after the chapter to make that the last that was seen of him.
- I made up some huge background story for Victor, but unfortunately I seem to have forgotten it before it was ever written into the fic. Then I made up another one and I'm reasonably sure I remember that, although it's not exactly very relevant.
- Originally, the wording of the part about the rain in the first chapter was "It started to rain like a Blastoise using Hydro Pump." I soon took that out because it sounded funny.
- In the pre-HMMRCIG versions, I got fictional revenge on some boys I hated from school through May and her idiotic classmates. Those scenes didn't serve any purpose for the plot and weren't even that funny, so I took them out in the HMMRCIG; a part of it was also that I had stopped letting those boys bother me as much.
- In the pre-HMMRCIG versions, chapters 14 and 21 (equivalents of chapters 13 and 20 of the post-HMMRCIG versions) had a version called "Weird version - Special Crazy Edition". The title is a reference to Pokémon Yellow (its full title being "Pokémon Yellow version - Special Pikachu Edition"), but those versions had weird scenes added in where, among other things, Mark whined about things not being in the job description, Mitch tried to convince the author to write some romance between Mark and May, Mark interpreted Mitch's thing for looking up while he talks as a masonic signal and the narrator (who is "the third person") was revealed.
- Originally, I referred to all Pokémon as "it". Only when I was supposed to be writing chapter 23 but was randomly writing chapter thirty (equivalent of chapter 27 in the HMMRCIG onwards) in advance did I realize that this was getting really awkward once I was talking about Scyther's past with the whole Nightmare ordeal, as it makes it glaringly obvious that he is male. Thus, to solve my problem, I inserted a scene into chapter 23 where May of all people voices her recently-acquired opinion that Pokémon should be referred to by gender pronouns, after which I always use them. In the UMR onwards, that scene is removed, and they simply refer to the Pokémon by their genders right from the start.
- Some evolutions happened very, very early in the pre-HMMRCIG. Larvitar and Dratini evolved in the Black Desert, Sandshrew evolved in Rainbow Woods, Mark evolved Eevee before battling Rick, and Charmander evolved into Charmeleon during the battle with Gyarados (Mark doesn't battle Gyarados at all in the newer versions, but he did in the pre-HMMRCIG). I delayed most of them for the HMMRCIG. Charmander's evolution into Charizard remains in the same place at the Pokémon Frenzy Tournament, however.
- Originally, many of the names were nonexistent or different (and often quite awful, hence why I was fine with changing them). Examples of changed names include:
- Mark's original name was Mike; I changed that when I read another Pokémon story with a character called Mike, as then I thought my character couldn't be called the same thing. This was changed before the fic was actually started (see Origins below about where the character originated from).
- Ouen, the region itself, was unnamed until chapter eight of the original, "Fishing at the Lake". There May ranted at Mark for jumping into "the second-deepest lake in all of ____" and needed to make up a region name; as this was in 2002 when Ruby and Sapphire had just come out in Japanese, the region name Houen was high in my mind and I modified it to make a parallel to it. In English the region name was romanized as Hoenn, making the name theft not as obvious.
- A lot of town names were changed in the HMMRCIG. Sailance originally had no name and was simply credited as "a very small village". Alumine was originally called *shudder* "Metal City". (The originality! It burns!) Scorpion Valley used to be "Scorpivalley" - I figured the portmanteau was unnecessary. Scorpio City was originally just "Scorpion City". Aquarium City was "Aqua Town". Stormy Town used to be "Thunder Town". Crater Town was "Volcano City". @_@ Yes, those were baaaad. Not that I'm very good at names now either, but at least they're slightly more original than they used to be.
- Waraider, Dragoreen, Molzapart, Rainteicune and Chaletwo are the only ones of the original Ouen legendaries that kept their names between the UMR and HMMRCIG. The Waraider herd originally consisted of Waraider, "Flamer", "Hydrocean", "Electrone", "Leafer", "Freezer", "Psycon" and "Darkan". As you can see, two of those were kept with one letter added. The Color Dragons, likewise, were originally "Dracolor", Dragoreen, "Dragored", "Dragoblue", "Dragold", "Dragowhite" and "Dragoblack". How extremely original.
- Up until the HMMRCIG, the book about the legendaries included a Pokémon named "Hogia" which looked almost exactly like Ho-oh but learned Aeroblast. It also randomly learned Transform. Thankfully I could get rid of it entirely even before chapter 27 of the Good Battle Style (equivalent to ILCOE chapter 25) by simply having Chaletwo state it had already been caught by Rick, making it a one-time appearance only in the book and then with that brief mention. It was, of course, entirely removed in the HMMRCIG.
- In all the pre-HMMRCIG versions, chapter two ended with Mark suddenly declaring he was going to be a "legendary collector" who would catch all the legendary Pokémon in the world, and indeed that was the original plan, but luckily I realized that was ridiculous before he caught even one (see scrapped Suicune capture noted above). It is beyond me why I didn't remove it in the UMR, though.
- In the original, particularly early on, legendaries were frequently referred to as if they were non-unique, e.g. "a Suicune", which makes no sense in the fic's later legendary mythology where all legendaries are immortal and don't reproduce.
- Originally, the fic did not translate Pokémon speech as it famously does now. The first time I translated Pokémon speech without specifically noting I was doing so was in chapter 20 of the Good Battle Style (version 1.1). Before that, there was translated Pokémon speech in chapters eleven and twelve, but in both cases the narrative was interrupted with a comment in parentheses about how in the following conversation, all Pokémon speech would be translated. After chapter 20, however, I translated all Pokémon speech that was saying anything of worth directly without putting any sort of note up.
- In the original plan, May was supposed to win the League, which was also supposed to be based on an Elite Four-like system. This didn't change as much as you'd think: the finals were still May vs. Taylor, it still came down to Tyranitar vs. Mewtwo², Mewtwo²'s Psychic still affected Dark-types, and Tyranitar still resisted it while growling his first words ever, "Not weak!" The difference was just that he was actually supposed to successfully manage to bring Mewtwo² down after this, while later I decided that Taylor winning the League was more interesting in every way.
- Interestingly, even when May was supposed to win the League, the chapter 53 "rematch", complete with Tyranitar killing Taylor, still happened. I don't properly remember anymore what my justification for this was; maybe May just wanted to beat him again? I'm pretty sure it wasn't Taylor being a sore loser, at least.
(Also see the Revision History)
- The start has been gradually slowing down - in the pre-HMMRCIG, Mark is already out on a journey halfway into the first chapter, while the HMMRCIG through the ILCOE first let him become a trainer halfway through chapter two, and the IALCOTN has him first heading off at the beginning of chapter four. In fact, what keeps him for so long in the post-HMMRCIG after finding Charmander, namely his parents' refusal to let him become a trainer, isn't even vaguely implied until the UMR.
- Each revision has Mark's first Pokémon battle as pitting Charmander against a wild Rattata. In the pre-HMMRCIG, it takes place in chapter three, on the way to Cleanwater City. In the original, it is downright laughably bad - I frequently quote it to demonstrate just how bad a writer I was when I started out:
They kept walking for a while. Then Mark saw a pokémon – a Rattata.
“Charmander – Scratch! And again and again!”
“Char! Man! Der!”
“Rattattatt!” Rattata used Tackle.
“Charmander – keep scratching until you win!”
“Charmander! Charmander! Char man der!”
“Raaaatt!” Rattata fainted.
“That was easy!” said Mark and they went on.
- The longest I've gone between two revisions was between the IALCOTN and the APO, with fourteen and a half months in between. I hope that indicates I've been improving enough for my perfectionist-bell to have stopped ringing so much... but then again there are only three months between the APO and the WTHAIRTSTA.
- What has been changed the most often in the whole fic is Mark's parents' reaction when he brings Charmander inside. In the original up to the beta-UMR, his father thought he was joking; in the UMR to ILCOTEM he's asleep or half-asleep. In the original, his mother believed him immediately without even questioning him at all; from then until the beta-UMR she walks down the stairs to check what was going on; in the UMR she takes over the role of thinking he's joking at first but then comes down the stairs; and in the HMMRCIG to ILCOTEM, she thinks he's playing a game, comes down the stairs after he goes on, and then drops the cup of coffee she's holding. Then in the IALCOTN, they are both eating dinner when he comes inside, and when he tells them that he found a Charmander, his mother turns around and shrieks and his father comes around the table, his mouth falling open as he sees Charmander. I don't really know why I keep feeling the need to change this particular thing; obviously it's unimportant enough that I don't feel any nostalgic need to keep it the way it was, but I never seem to feel I've got their reactions right.
- Mark was originally just a random character I made because I thought Ash was annoyingly clueless at the start of his journey. Mark (or Mike, as he was called at that point; see Scrapped and Edited above) was basically just an Ash-clone with the exception that he already knew "everything" when he started out. This is actually the reason Mark has dark hair. His eyes didn't become green until sometime in the ILCOE.
- The Mew Hunter was based on an idea for an entry for the Gym contest at Mew's Hangout which I don't remember whether I sent in or not. The idea was basically a Gym leader who trained dangerous Pokémon with sharp claws/fangs - ideal for somebody who threatens to kill the main character.
- Chaletwo was originally made as a kind of parody of the entries in Mew's Hangout's fake Pokémon contest that said something like "This Pokémon is rarer than all the legendary Pokémon put together" - basically, assuming that the legendaries are one-of-a-kind, those entries would be less than one whole Pokémon. I wondered how that was possible, and found out the answer: it would travel through time so that it only exists for maybe one minute every year! Those fake Pokémon entries were also all very powerful, so I gave Chaletwo the ability to kill with his gaze. My original mental image of this Pokémon, before I gave him the name or anything, was basically a black and green Celebi - I'm not sure why exactly I decided to turn him into a Mewtwo with deadly eyes, but the whole story of the War of the Legends didn't exist then so yes, it was just me being unoriginal. His name was originally "Chaz", but I changed it to "Chaletwo" sometime after I gave him Mewtwo's body. The "Chale" part of his name was actually a tweaking of Celebi's name because of the time-travelling abilities. Chalenor was made much later.
- The basic plot of chapter ten - person A has information that person B wants but can't get from anyone else, person B captures person A and threatens to kill them if they don't tell, person A realizes at the last moment that the threat has to be empty because person B would never kill the only one with the information that is so important to them - was originally thought up as a non-Pokémon story. I didn't plan any details for it at all; I just thought of that basic plot structure, and never made up what information it was or the characters it dealt with. Then sometime when I was writing this fic, I decided I could adapt that idea to my Pokémon story.
Molzapart and Rainteicune
While this could technically belong under "Origins", it deserves a whole subsection of its own. The fact is that the characters of Molzapart, Rainteicune and Alan all originated from the first piece of Pokémon fanfiction I ever wrote, which was also the first thing I ever wrote in English of my own free will (i.e. not a school assignment). Even after more than nine years (it was started on December 14th 2001), I think I have yet to read a worse piece of Pokémon fanfiction written by an author who is still writing - it was so bad that it's hilarious. It can be read in full here if you're interested, but if not, here goes a brief explanation of what happened in it.
It started out as less of a fanfic and more of an essay: specifically, it was an essay about Molzapart, the most powerful Pokémon in the world, and how awesome it was, going into bizarre detours and otherwise being generally ridiculous. After the Molzapart essay, I repeated it in Icelandic before going on to the Rainteicune essay, which was on a similar note except that the explanation of how it was discovered gradually became a story as I went into more and more irrelevant detail. The story is about Alan Ketchum, Ash's son, who receives a Master Ball and Charlie the Charmander from his father before heading out on his Pokémon journey. The first Pokémon he runs across is the super-powerful Rainteicune, which he catches with the Master Ball and brings it home to his father, where some research is done on it; he gets to keep it, and even by this point I continue going on about Alan's journey, although I did intend to return to the subject of the essay after I had finished writing about the release of Rainteicune - I just never did finish that, as then I had already started The Quest for the Legends and was more interested in that.
One of the many lovely little detours that the essay takes is about Alan's pet Arcanine, Aaron (then called "Aron" because I wasn't aware that the English version of the name had two A's; the Icelandic version doesn't). He was originally owned by some nameless trainer as a Growlithe, and that trainer traded him to a trainer called Peter. As Alan was bringing Pamela home from the pet shop where he bought her as a Meowth, he met Peter as he was using a Fire Stone on Aaron. Aaron chased Pamela around, but she evaded all his attacks and ended up beating him and evolving into a Persian. Peter then suddenly started crying and told Alan that he had evolved Aaron because as a Growlithe Aaron had hated him and missed his old trainer, but then Peter had realized that the old trainer might want him back and felt horrible for having evolved his Pokémon without asking ("I feel like a killer"). Then (and this is the most nonsensical of all) Alan said that he'd take Aaron because his old trainer would feel better without seeing him as an Arcanine, and he'd ask his father if there was any way to devolve Pokémon. In the end, the plan was to have Molzapart devolve Aaron and then presumably he would be returned to Peter, although I never got that far.
In the original chapter 22 (equivalent to the ILCOE's chapter 20, where Alan tells his story), amusingly enough, the entire detour about Alan in Molzapart and Rainteicune was pretty much retold with small tweaks, including all of this story except that it added that Alan was really just tricking Aaron out of Peter by saying that stuff about finding out how to devolve Pokémon, because he already knew it wasn't possible (or so he thought). He had just wanted an Arcanine.
Both Molzapart and Rainteicune also have quite ridiculous creation stories in their respective essays; Molzapart was created when Mew and the legendary birds were "playing" in Seafoam Islands, found a Mist Stone (a stone from various fake R/B/Y cheats that was supposed to evolve any Pokémon into some sort of a "Pokégod"), bizarrely thought it was a Geodude and then all attacked it at the same time with their most powerful attacks. For the HMMRCIG, that was changed so that Mew found the Mist Stone and intentionally called upon the legendary birds in order to destroy it so that it would not evolve an ordinary Pokémon into a scarily powerful creature, but when they attacked it, they found themselves facing the "evolved form" of their attacks, which was a new Pokémon that seemed to be a fusion of all of them. Rainteicune, on the other hand, was apparently born when Raikou, Entei and Suicune all crashed into one another with such force that they all died, with Raikou's last Thunder attack apparently containing a spark of life which caused a new creature to be born, and I came to the conclusion that this story was just so laughable I created a new one from scratch for the HMMRCIG, explaining it as Rainteicune being a failed experiment of Rick's that he mistakenly threw out when he thought it had died.
It really is quite entertaining in its awfulness, at least in my opinion, so by all means check out the real thing if you're curious.