The Quest Blog


Commenting on: chapter 62

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06/23/2019: Commentary delay

Tonight's commentary is being delayed; I'm working on reading it over again and making edits but I have enough of a headache I kind of just need to stop and go to bed. Apologies for the wait! Hopefully I'll be feeling better tomorrow.

06/20/2019: Seventeen

Today (by which I mean the nineteenth because I stubbornly cling to the idea it's not actually tomorrow until I've gone to bed), it's been a year since I posted chapter 77, and seventeen years since I started writing the fic.

Happy birthday, my dearest almost-legally-adult fic. To commemorate, I drew the final scene of the story. Thanks again to everyone who followed it, and to everyone who's been following the commentary, which has been a blast.

06/17/2019: Commentary: chapter 60

Chapter 60: The Swarm (commentary)

In this chapter, basically an honorary Scyther spinoff, Razor reunites with Stormblade, learns what happened in The Fall of a Leader, talks to Nightmare again, they talk past each other as she accidentally overturns his entire worldview, and Razor finally manages to start to let go of his self-loathing and finds a real reason to live.

06/10/2019: Commentary: chapters 58 and 59

Chapter 58: Sins of the Mother
Chapter 59: December

The next couple of chapters are up, featuring Letaligon's resolution (or lack thereof), paternity revelations and Mark's efforts to help his Pokémon be happy, geeky Pokédex functions, a type reveal, a distorted legend, Alan being incredibly awkward, and setup for chapter 60.

06/03/2019: Commentary: chapters 56 and 57

Chapter 56: The Ouen Safari (commentary)
Chapter 57: Three Conversations (commentary)

A couple of oddball chapters this week, one a weirdly fillery trip to the Ouen Safari where the Safari warden spontaneously turns out to be Robin Riverstone's mom, sparking the entire thing where Robin's a main character in chapters 63-71, and one a disconnected bottle episode where Chaletwo admits his plan is terrible, Alan is extremely awkward, and May has her first talk with Stantler.

05/27/2019: Commentary: chapter 55

Chapter 55: Unprepared (commentary)

In this chapter, everything is awkward, Alan reaches his breaking point, Chaletwo tries to comment on Mark's drawing skills, they search for some dragons in caves (not to be confused with the other time they search for some dragons in caves), Mark re-extends trust to Gyarados and debates death with Chaletwo, there is an uninspired battle where I forget about Dragoreen's terrible ability, and May introduces us to the Waterberg principle.

05/19/2019: Commentary: chapter 54

Chapter 54: Reunion (commentary)

In this short chapter, Mark and May reunite with Alan and everything is extremely awkward, Molzapart and Chaletwo bicker some more while Chaletwo is bitter about being useless, some reporters are very bad at their jobs, I ramble lengthily about swearing, and we discuss logic problems, police investigations, and Pokémon-on-human crime.

I had originally been hoping to combine this one with chapter 55, probably, but it wasn't to be. I'll have to go build up a buffer again.

05/13/2019: Commentary: chapter 53 (for real)

Chapter 53: Away (commentary)

All right, here's the actual chapter 53 commentary. Read to see me ramble about how much I love my characters as they suffer, the way I dropped the ball on Spirit, the bits that I edited after the initial publication thanks to Negrek, my original amazingly mood-whiplashy effort at That Scene as I wrote it in probably 2004 or 2005, my regrets about not doing better justice to Tyranitar here, and the delightful line "Everything is going to be fine, and then we can just forget this ever happened."

We are now caught up with the amount of commentary I've actually done so far, so I'll have to get going doing some more reading this week. Chapter 54's pretty short, though, so I don't expect that'll be a problem.

05/05/2019: Commentary: chapter 53

Chapter 53: Away (commentary)

This week: the big one! The story's biggest twist and its aftermath happen as Mark and May grapple with emotions they're not sure how to deal with.

04/28/2019: Commentary: chapter 52

Chapter 52: The League Finals (commentary)

On this week's chapter of The Quest for the Legends, we set the stage for the next chapter's cruel twist, Mark learns about souls, I set up for chapter 75 in another unexpectedly plotty conversation, Chaletwo is very determined that Mew would never lie to him ever, Taylor continues to be a tragically oblivious dork, I get to write seriously about the Raichu superclone I made up when I was twelve, Tyranitar assures us he is not weak, and I tell you about Alexander the League Champion.

04/21/2019: Commentary: chapter 51

Chapter 51: Fake-Out (commentary)

The commentary for chapter 51 is here! Read for anecdotes about that time I decided the characters would visit a safari and this led to me planning out the entire rest of the fic, Robin's origins as a genderswap retcon, Chaletwo forgetting about arrangements he made with Leah for reasons I can't for the life of me remember, Entei deciding on his own to spoil plot points I'd planned for chapter 75 (and for this I am grateful), some of my plans for Mitch from wayyyy before I started to figure out what was actually up with him, and me just being helplessly in love with everything Leah does.

04/14/2019: Commentary: chapter 50

The Ouen League - Chapter 50: Friendly Competition

In the final chapter of the labeled League arc, the League fails to conform to dramatic expectations and pits Mark and May against each other in the second knockout round, Scyther's issues make a return, Mark has a silly dream, I spend time talking about Mark and his Pokémon strategizing and then they go on to not make use of any of that for the whole first half of the battle, Mark has amazing paralysis luck, and Mark makes a decision for his future.

04/07/2019: Commentary: chapter 49

The Ouen League - Chapter 49: The Rage of a Scyther (commentary)

In today's chapter of The Quest for the Legends, I try to convince you it makes sense for Mark to qualify to the knockout phase of the League, Letaligon is desperate for validation, Mark spends a long time thinking about what moves all his Pokémon can learn before experiencing a sudden swerve in his feelings towards his parents, we get by far the laziest League battle wherein super-effective moves are spammed back and forth and Mark somehow forgets it is raining because I'd forgotten, and this chapter's fun familiar-trainer-from-earlier-in-the-fic cameo turns out to be the guy Scyther nearly murdered who is still suffering PTSD, bet you didn't expect to see THAT come back here.

04/01/2019: Commentary: chapter 48

The Ouen League - Chapter 48: The Second Preliminary

In this week's episode of The Quest for the Legends, Mark has two separate scares about Charizard, May lectures him on all the mistakes he made in his previous battle, we learn how Pokérus works, a mix-up leads to Letal fighting on a Flying arena, there is an über-Lunatone, and Letal ends up kicking some ass anyway once Mark chooses to believe in her.

03/24/2019: Commentary: chapter 47

The Ouen League - Chapter 47: The First Preliminary

The first chapter that is actually less than a decade old at the time of the commentary! In this one, we timeskip to when the League proper is about to begin, Mark strategizes with his Pokémon, Letal tries to make up for her lack of evolution by imitating May and trying to squeeze herself into battles where she doesn't belong, I lament the lack of Smeargle, I lament the lack of May's Blaziken being any kind of actual character, we get a glimpse of Robin as a throwaway trainer, there is lots of clunky, weird or awkward phrasing as Mark has his first League battle, huge chunks of ice can be evaporated instantly by Flamethrowers in mid-air, Mark wants to punch someone, and Taylor is delightfully oblivious.

03/17/2019: Commentary: chapters 45 and 46

Chapter 45: The Ouen League HQ (commentary)
The Ouen League - Chapter 46: Day One (commentary)

In today's two very hastily-titled chapters, Mark and May finally arrive at Ouen's Pokémon League, a bored employee reverses Mark's deceased status, Mark reviews the accommodations, Mark angsts, Taylor acts according to Taylorlogic, the League's drug tests fail to account for Pokémon being chosen by legendaries, the kids learn about the hypnotizing conspiracy set up back in chapter 14, May continues to be my problematic fave, Mark has an amusing mental image that is totally foreshadowing, and I ramble about resurrection mechanics, anticlimaxes, my precious chapter plan and the ridiculous rearrangements that chapter 46 went through, and the various happenings at the League that I'd been planning for a very, very long time (and the ones I hadn't).

03/10/2019: Commentary: chapters 43 and 44

Chapter 43: To Champion Island (commentary)
Chapter 44: Polaryu (commentary)

Another two-chapter week! My eighteen-year-old self continues to blaze ahead at an impressive pace as May spontaneously catches a Floatzel, Lapras gets the cruelest possible sendoff, I describe in detail exactly how Mark places his badges into a verification mechanism, Spirit is Not Okay, I refuse to use the fourth and fifth generation's awkward capitalization of item names, Chaletwo continues to have dragonfeelings, and I manage to make it completely unclear even to myself when the legendary battle is over.

Next week will probably be doubled-up too, before we get to the League proper and its much longer chapters. That being said, if you're having trouble keeping up with the two-chapter Sundays, please do let me know and I can try to resist the temptation to double up.

03/03/2019: Commentary: chapters 41 and 42

Chapter 41: Return to Scorpio City (commentary)
Chapter 42: Splitting Up (commentary)

Two shorter-ish chapters today, wherein Mark gets chewed out for letting Letal nearly get herself killed, I bungle my own region's route numbers, Mark and May get mutually defensive about accusations of Pokémon mistreatment, I worry everyone will figure out the entire plot based on one mention of somebody's eye color, Molzapart and Chaletwo bicker some more, and everyone feels bad.

02/24/2019: Commentary: chapter 40

Chapter 40: In the Dark (commentary)

In this flawed but fun chapter, some actual Pokémon training happens, May seems actually competent for once, Alan vanishes mysteriously a couple of pages in when I forget he is there, Diana is the most teenage rebellion gym leader, Mark and May solve a gym puzzle that I thought up when I was twelve, Letal’s arc kicks off, we set up some stuff with Victor that I had zero idea about at the time I wrote the chapter, and there is a puzzling amount of people not reacting properly to things.

02/21/2019: All the volcanic accuracy you'd ever need

You know how in the chapter 36 commentary I asked for anyone who knows volcanoes to please e-mail me about exactly how nonsensical Crater Town is? Well, I didn't expect anyone to take me up on this in detail, but someone did! Here is an explanation from Ang Vaiana for anyone else who is curious, published with permission:

Hi, Butterfree. My name is Ang and I'm currently in my second year of college studying geology. I saw in your commentary for TQFTL ch. 36 (I'm a little behind on reading them) that you wanted to learn more about how realistic Crater Town was, so I thought I could try to help out a little. If someone else has already responded that's fine and you certainly don't need to read this whole thing.

But first, I just wanted to say when I read this for the first time in high school, I thought Crater Town was to coolest thing (and I still think it's awesome). I love volcanoes, and what got me into them was actually a TV program I watched on volcanoes you have in Iceland, like Eyjafjallajökull and Laki. But now that I've actually learned about them in class, I know the sad truth.

Crater Town indeed makes no sense.

Mount Fever sounds like it's a stratovolcano (example: Eyja), given its size and that it's solid rock, which is a cone that has built up from the eruption of felsic (high SiO2 and therefore very high viscosity) magma. Stratovolcanoes have explosive eruptions because the magma has such high viscosity that gases can't escape easily, so the pressure just builds up until it blows. This all happens in an underground magma chamber. If the lava is exposed, the gases are able to escape, so there's no buildup and therefore no cause for eruption. The exposed lava would also cool and harden into rock relatively quickly.

So Crater Town would either not be over a pit of lava as it would have cooled or if it hadn't for some reason the gases released would make the crater uninhabitable. Another issue is that you state that the volcano is dormant, but have any lava from the magma chamber on the surface means that the volcano is currently erupting. For example, Kilauea in Hawaii is currently erupting because lava is coming out of it, even though it's not the explosive eruption that felsic volcanoes have. On a very minor note, I feel as though building the floor of the town out of wood isn't the smartest idea as a speck of lava that flew too high could easily burn the whole town (though I wasn't able to find a place where you mentioned how high up the town was I'm sorry if you did mention it).

When the volcano erupts, there would be a pyroclastic flow of hot gas, ash, and rock fragments that would cover a pretty large area of both the sky and ground, moving at 100-700 km/hr. Pretty much anything caught up in it would die, even fire Pokémon as ash is essentially small pieces of glass that would tear up their lungs. There would also be globs of lava and pieces of the mountainside flying through the air. Overall, not a great place for a battle (but cool as heck).

The other kind of volcano Crater Town could possibly be is a cinder cone (example: Cerro Negro). These are closer to hills than mountains in height, and are composed of loose rock fragments, usually scoria (dark, lightweight rock full of air holes). I don't think the crater of that kind of volcano would have either a large enough size or solid enough walls to support a town, though. But their eruptions are a bit more tame, producing smaller ash clouds and the gas they expel is way less concentrated since it can escape the magma easier. Lava will shoot vertically out of the crater and even seep out the sides and base of the cone as it's only made of loose rock. Bits of lava will still fly through the air and it's still pretty dangerous, but it's not quite as bad.

An alternative could be that Crater Town is over a shield volcano (example: Kilauea). The lava they erupt is mafic (lower SiO2 and lower viscosity). Their eruptions aren't as violent and there's no dangerous ash and the gas isn't as concentrated either. It's really just lava shooting out of the vent and then flowing away. The only problem is that they don't really form any sort of mountain or hill at all since the lava flows much faster than the felsic lava of stratovolcanoes. But maybe the town could be around the crater? Or if you're committed to what you have now that's completely understandable as it's a really neat concept.

I'm sorry this ended up being so long (I don't get to talk about volcanoes too often). Thank you for taking the time to read though!

Huge thanks to them! I have not decided exactly what I will be doing with Crater Town in the next revision, but it really helps to know what I'm working with. :D

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