The Quest Blog


Commenting on: chapter 52

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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

02/17/2019: Commentary: chapter 39

Chapter 39: The Workings of the War (commentary)

This week on The Quest for the Legends, we recap the plot, now that I finally knew what the plot was about (roughly)! In this chapter's commentary, I ramble about the story's time travel mechanics, wrangling this monster of a plot to not have planet-sized loopholes, the fine art of creating creatures unable to die but capable of feeling pain, my doomed efforts to keep the anime canon to the fic for as long as I could, the difficulties of serially publishing a story with twists, my realization that Chalenor is a Sir Barely Appearing in This Fic, and the amazing story of how a disgruntled Mewtwo fan complaining at me on MSN Messenger probably inadvertently sparked the entire plot.

02/10/2019: Commentary: chapter 38

Chapter 38: Volcaryu (commentary)

This week, the gang wake up early for their third legendary battle, Mark has to learn to fly on Charizard in the space of minutes, Chaletwo tempts fate, Mark tries to do a pep talk, Thunderyu gets to stretch his wings again, Pupitar spends most of a battle buried in lava, and we have to struggle through an unusual number of long, convoluted, confusing sentences with too many ambiguous pronouns.

02/03/2019: Commentary: chapter 37

Chapter 37: Carl (commentary)

In the fic's longest chapter ever, the power dynamic between Mark and Chaletwo makes itself clear, Carl punts Pupitar into molten lava, Mark and Alan have a really long battle, I get some actual volcanic accuracy points, Charizard gets Attracted again, and Carl locks Mark in his house with him.

01/27/2019: Commentary: chapters 35 and 36

Chapter 35: Suicune (commentary)
Chapter 36: The Crater (commentary)

In this duo of chapters, our heroes fight Suicune, Mark stands up to Chaletwo, I reminisce about that one time I inexplicably ruined a major twist for my readers, I fail to find answers about just how unrealistic my fictional volcano town is, and I get giddy about how much I still love this bit I thought up in 2003 where Mark bursts into a town meeting, everyone learns he's supposed to be dead thanks to a hilarious coincidence, and he improvises a story about how Chaletwo is trying to take over the world.

01/20/2019: Commentary: chapter 34

Chapter 34: Return to Cleanwater (commentary)

In this chapter, the gang make their way back to Cleanwater City to gear up for their second legendary battle in a day, I put Alan through the wringer, and I kill an innocent bystander to make everyone feel bad so the chapter will be less boring for me, which is possibly the most brazenly me thing I ever did in this fic.

01/14/2019: Commentary: chapter 33

Chapter 33: Thunderyu (commentary)

In this week's chapter, we battle our first legendary, Chaletwo is himself, May gets skewered as a human being, and there is dramatic wobbling. Apologies that this is a day late; been a bit preoccupied.

01/06/2019: Commentary: chapter 32

Chapter 32: The Birthday Party (commentary)

This week, in the fic's longest chapter yet, I go off on an irrelevant tangent about exactly when I made which crucial ending discoveries, Sparky is Sparky, Mark battles some pointless junior trainers for the very last time in the fic (thank God), I tragically bungle the chapter's most important moment, we see the triumphant return of drunk Scyther, and my sixteen-year-old self realizes why gym leaders kept giving Ash badges without him actually beating them in a gym battle. Is this where the fic starts to get better? …not quite, but we're getting there!

12/30/2018: Commentary: chapters 30 and 31

Chapter 30: The Dragons of Ouen (commentary)
Chapter 31: Spirit (commentary)

In these two shorter chapters, Scyther gets drunk, Mark has his birthday, I am very confused about Alan’s birthday, I find Chaletwo's conflicted love for his childish creations #relatable, we meet Spirit the Mary-Sue Ninetales, and I regret everything.

12/23/2018: Commentary: chapter 29

Chapter 29: Stormblade and Shadowdart

In the most self-indulgently Scyther-focused chapter yet, I use a truly torturous number of ellipses, Stormblade and Shadowdart swap concerns, there is a very annoying patch of grass, we have a random conversation about the animal world yet again, and I muse lengthily on the precise way I rearranged the contents of the UMR equivalents into this chapter.

12/16/2018: Commentary: chapter 28

Chapter 28: Scyther's Revenge (commentary)

On this week's Quest for the Legends commentary: the lost chapter between chapters 27 and 28 including the fic's original first legendary capture attempt, Mark's developing psychic powers, a perfectly serviceable terse paragraph about Hitmonchan replaced by a way worse one, a murder attempt featuring Scyther being especially poorly written, and lengthy musings on whether there weren't much better ways to torture and murder this teenager. (So, uh, content warning on that, I guess.)

I'm way ahead on the commentary by now, as you can see in my signature - I just can't seem to stop. There's enough words of actual commentary for chapters 28 and 29 that I'm releasing them separately to avoid overwhelming you guys, but 30 and 31 will probably be released together on the 30th.

12/09/2018: Commentary: chapter 27

Chapter 27: Past, Present and Future (commentary)

This week's commentary features Pokémon backstories, some edginess that was actually not my fault, some explanation of the other fanfic whose universe I hastily decided to merge with TQftL's in 2003 (resulting in the forest of Ruxido), gratuitous anime references, a bit with Alan's issues that got lost in the ILCOE, some me bungling Scyther's backstory, thirteen-year-old me's confident theories on psychology, and some angsty Scyther love poetry by thirteen-year-old me that I am physically unable to look at. Did you know that in 2003, I earnestly described the equivalent of this chapter as "like a tunnel: deep, dark, and long"? Well, now you know.

12/02/2018: Commentary: chapter 26

Chapter 26: Dead or Alive

In this week's commentary, we have possibly the fic's most delicious accidental foreshadowing, S U F F E R I N G, Mitch's actually relevant issues getting drowned out by irrelevant worldbuilding for the hell of it, some dramatic Pokémon biology, a lot of people not acting like human beings because I insisted on doing basically the same dialogue as in the original, references to drugs, general nonsense, our first glance at half of the official battling rules while the other half gets merrily ignored, and some battling involving a couple of cool creative bits and a lot of boring forgettable bits.

11/25/2018: Commentary: chapter 25

The Pokémon Festival - May 25th: Chaletwo's Arrival

It's time! In this chapter, Sandslash tells Mark how great he is for sending his Pokémon out to talk to them in the same breath as he complains about how Mark never lets them out of their balls, I lament the loss of the Chaletwo merchandise, I try to pretend writing extensively about pain is absolutely not a thing I'd do, Mark tries to argue with Chaletwo about whether he's dead, and the epic plot is revealed at last… when the legendaries can stop bickering for five minutes to tell us about it.

This is a fun one! A bunch of plot stuff and how it changed over the years, plus just the ridiculousness that is this chapter in general.

11/24/2018: THE CREATION MYTH FINALLY REVEALED

In case anyone's following the Quest Blog and not my Tumblr: somebody got me to dig up the creation myth that I told you all in 2007 that I'd be posting as an extra with the final chapter. It is a hokey attempt at mythical writing last edited in 2008, but if you're curious, you can read it here!

11/18/2018: Commentary: chapter 24

The Pokémon Festival - May 24th: The Threat

In this pretty uneventful chapter mixing pointless filler and ominous buildup, we finally see Mark's parents admit to the conspiracy they orchestrated, I pointlessly describe a starter giveaway, and Mark ominously draws Chaletwo in his sleep GASP WHAT DOES IT MEAN

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