The Quest Blog
Commenting on: chapter 19
Chapter 18: Enemies Forever (commentary)
In this chapter, May breezily acts like she didn't just leave Mark behind in Scorpio City, Mitch may or may not have remote soporific abilities, I poke fun at fourteen-year-old typos, we pointlessly watch Nurse Joy of Scorpio City transfer Sandslash, Marge gets a makeover, I clumsily try to justify making Mark not use Scyther immediately, Dratini gets to evolve after a very quick and kludgy paragraph acknowledging that he's neglected, the Scyther-Charmeleon subplot continues dramatically, I reference Satan, and I show you where, once upon a time, the fic also referenced George Bush and Saddam Hussein. Chapter 17: The Shark and the Serpent (commentary)
In this chapter, May leaves Mark behind, Mark finally learns about the Pokémon Festival that's like the biggest event in the entire region, Mark explicitly picks up on the fact Victor is lying to him but then does not react to this in any way whatsoever, there is a comedy routine pretty much straight out of the original, a sailor threatens to sue Mark, we see the sole appearance of the fic's most unnecessary fake Pokémon, and I muse on filler. Chapter 15: Darkness and Poison (commentary)
Chapter 16: The Third Badge (commentary)
Two chapters this week again! This time, I write in a character just to introduce another one of my ridiculously morbid fakemon; Sandshrew evolves and undergoes a sudden personality shift; May continues to not sound terribly competent but then actually does do something vaguely interesting, finally; I forget Dratini exists, again; we see the least interesting of the fic's gym battle twists; and Mitch is Mysterious™. Chapter 14: Thief and Victim (commentary)
This week on The Quest for the Legends, we learn of May's edgy past and get to know Taylor; I try to move as quickly as possible past the bit with the illegal training plot point; we see one of the fic's only references to Team Rocket (from the original); and I unexpectedly like the chapter a lot more than expected. Chapter 13: The Black Desert (commentary)
This week, Mark and May explore an ominously named desert because May socially awkward penguins Mark into it, I lovingly describe my very first completely original fake Pokémon, I properly introduce Mitch without having any idea what's actually up with him, Mew makes his most random appearance (or is it), and May almost dies, because mortal peril is a crucial component of all the best stories. Chapter 11: The Lizard and the Mantis (commentary)
Chapter 12: Let There Be Light (commentary)
In this week's two shorter commentaries, I talk about the fic's bizarre timeline, The Gamesharked Skarmory, the Scyther/Charmeleon rivalry subplot, prophetic dreams, kid me's efforts to write about mental health when I knew nothing about mental health, and my most hilarious failure at writing May being a competent battler yet. Chapter 10: The Mew Hunter (commentary)
This commentary features a lot of me complaining about my own characters being out of character, analyzing things I wrote in light of stuff I realized years later, nostalgic rambling, my amazing original Fangcat art and description, Mark's developing psychic powers, May being the best character, things I managed to make worse in the ILCOE, and ellipses. So many ellipses. Chapter 9: Mew's Escape (commentary)
This week, Mark has an incredibly half-assed battle against Rick, I show you my amazing graphic design skills in my early artwork of the Element Badge, Rick gives Mark the abused, brainwashed Mew only for the story to immediately swerve into an unrelated detour about fishing, I make a terrible attempt to excuse giving my characters pseudo-legendaries, and I take a scene about Mew being silly and playing with a lamp and replace it with Mew being a Serious Dramatic Important Legendary With No Personality. And in the middle of all this I go off on an overly personal ramble about bullying. Chapter 8: The Master of the Clones (commentary)
This week's chapter features even more tedious junior trainer battles, Mark still failing to pay any attention to Sandshrew, my English skills being amazing in a dramatic line, awesome foreshadowing, me being bad at writing Mark liking Lugia, me hoping readers will buy a very bullshit assertion that he's only beating these legendaries so easily because he's so obsessed with legendaries, Rick's baffling idea of security, a long sequence about infiltrating an illegal cloning lab that's pretty much exactly like I wrote it when I was twelve, and Catertwo's day in the limelight. The commentary also includes a look at pre-HMMRCIG Mewtwo^2 and Mewtwo and the posters I drew with Rick's superclone ideas. Chapter 7: Charmeleon's Trainer (commentary)
This week, May infodumps at us, I spend a lot of time continuing to build up drama about Charmeleon's evolution only to not really follow up on it, and I make a terrible, terrible writing decision in order to not have to write any actual strategizing and problem-solving. Chapter 6: The Mammal, the Monster and the Mental Change (commentary)
This chapter features an unnecessarily complicated alliterative title for no particular reason, Eevee being cute and having apparently entirely forgotten about his mom possibly being dead, Mark continuing to treat his Pokémon extremely inconsistently, Rick's irrelevant junior trainers who are directly based on particular trainer sprites, and some decidedly silly legendary battles.
I'm actually two chapters ahead now, having almost finished the commentary for chapter eight. It's nice to have a buffer; it also gives me a bit of opportunity to look forward in a given commentary. Chapter 5: The Lake of Purity (commentary)
This time around, some things actually start happening, but only after a long sequence about exactly what buttons you press to set up a Pokédex and exactly what Mark and a hotel receptionist say to each other. I also tell you more about how bad the illegal training subplot is, how much better everything is in the IALCOTN, and how much I hated description. Also, there's May! And that one time Charmander gained two levels against a Rattata. Chapter 3: Vuiiii! (commentary)
Chapter 4: Cleanwater City (commentary)
These two short chapters feature melodrama, my English continuing to be amazing, me doing some Description™, a hilarious conversation about how Rick can totally take over the world but it's okay because he cares for his brother, and Charmander actually being a character in definitely the best scene to happen so far only for him to then spend the entire next chapter not being a character again.
I've almost finished commenting on chapter five too, so the pace is still going well! Chapter 2: The Book (commentary)
This one's got a lot of fun stuff about all my terrible fake legendaries (including the original art I made of the Color Dragons and the Waraider herd in MS Paint when I was twelve), the hand of destiny, Mark being a socially awkward penguin, and a lot of griping about how nothing in this chapter whatsoever makes any sense.
You'll probably get both chapters three and four next week! Prologue (with commentary)
Chapter 1: The Pokémon on the Road (with commentary)
And that's me, rambling about the beginning of the fic while rereading it. Hope you find some of it interesting!
I'm vaguely planning to try to release one chapter every Sunday, but I can't entirely promise I can keep that schedule - I wrote a lot more on these chapters than I thought, so goodness knows what I'll do with some of the longer ones.
Technically I've already finished the commentary for the prologue, but since the prologue is so short I wanted to release it along with chapter one. The prologue commentary is actually more words than the prologue itself, I'm pretty sure, but still not a very substantial read. I also need to refine exactly how the commentary is presented on the site, and I need to go to bed, so. Chapter 77: Home
Well, that's it. That's the end of The Quest for the Legends. Today it has been sixteen years since I started this story, and now it's done.
(Well, it's technically the twentieth over here by now. But I've always counted days by when I go to bed.)
Thanks to everyone who's been reading this over the years. I'm so grateful to have had people sharing this weird, stubborn journey with me. It really means a lot.
The chapter's mostly character wrap-up; not too much to say about it. I hope it gives you most of the closure you were hoping for.
I guess this is also where I officially announce the author's commentary. Because apparently just writing this thing for sixteen years isn't enough for me, I'm going to set out rereading the ILCOE from the beginning, writing commentary on each chapter, and making the commented versions viewable here for your reading pleasure. The idea would be that for anyone interested, you can read along with me and we can all laugh at how ridiculous it is together. It would make sense to do this on some kind of schedule (weekly?), so I'll probably attempt that. Knowing me I'll probably be impatient and start it this weekend or something.
The Final Stretch - Chapter 75: Mewtwo²
Chapter 76: Chalenor
I don't know if this is going to live up to whatever you may have been imagining or expecting or hoping for, but it's how this story goes. Chapter 74: Unraveling is out. It is also TQftL's fifteenth anniversary.
I wanted to be able to finish the fic today, or else post the climax (chapters 75 and 76) - alas, it wasn't to be. But in a way, this is a pretty appropriate chapter to post today. It's not the most exciting or action-packed chapter, but it's a very nostalgic one, including, referencing or calling back to several events, characters and places from very early in the fic (don't worry, I don't expect you to still remember any of that), and one of the scenes here I literally first thought up when I was twelve or thirteen, making it by far the oldest scene this late in the fic - it has evolved over the years, of course, but my thirteen-year-old self would still recognize it. That feels pretty amazing, and looking back on all that history and the little thoughtless, childish writing decisions from the early days that this chapter lovingly embraces and recontextualizes a bit is a nice way to celebrate the fic's fifteenth anniversary.
I confess I'd probably be spending more time on this chapter if it weren't the anniversary, but I think it more or less does what it's supposed to do, and I'm content with that.
Thanks to everyone who's been here for this journey, whether you started reading this year or a decade ago. I know I have readers my age who've been following this story since they were kids, and it's amazing to think something I wrote has been a part of their lives for so long. Thanks to everyone who's been cheering me on over the years, poking me about my progress until I got here. And of course, a very special thanks to elyvorg and opaltiger, who've been my beta-readers for the past several years.