Tuesday 30 July 2019

The Return of Pokémon: Shadow Boom

Back when I first started this entire label – back when it was under Custom Digital Stories and a logo that would never stay the same – there were two fan-created stories on the site. An alternate timeline of the Star Wars universe where Darth Maul was never killed, and Pokémon: Shadow Boom – a story that aimed to add a third chapter to the Orre region and the Shadow Pokémon.

Both stories were confused messes – as my writing style back at the start never allowed any in-depth planning – and so the result was I was dumping everything I could into them to try and see where I could take them next. They still continually worked, but there was plenty wrong with them. For a while, I had retired Shadow Boom, but it eventually returned and was completed. I felt I could make a proper story from it, and while the ending was a bit a mess, there was still a clear timeline of events that lead to a conclusion [unlike with Star Wars: Darth Maul that tried too much to be like The Clone Wars but failed in its execution, which was then retired without a true ending].

While I could see that Darth Maul was a failed project (and I had the Doctor Who: The Stars Wars Chronicles universe to play around in), there still remained the feeling that the story of Shadow Boom could be crafted into a true story. One that wasn’t a mess and a clear case of fan service before structure. I did the same with TV and Film Residential Camp for it to become Secrets Behind the Truth, so now the next conversion is to begin.

Well, I say begin, but it already has. The first part of chapter one was chopped off to create a prologue for the story, covering the same event but with a few tweaks. Chapter one was added around a year ago, showing off the events that led to Ash, Brock, and Misty learning of the Shadow Pokémon and their investigation. Since the original writing and now, there has been two new generations of Pokémon games, with a new point within the TV series I could start this adventure from.

However, rather than just say Ash returned from Kalos, met up with Brock and Misty and was hanging out with them at Oak’s laboratory when the news breaks of the Shadows, I wanted a real reason why these three would be together and why they would be chosen. So I ended up creating an entire alternate universe where the three were more involved with each other – even upending the entire Diamond and Pearl saga to the point where Ash doesn’t even take part in the league in Sinnoh, the same also going for Unova. They were a team, and were called on as a team to stop the criminal teams from enacting their plans.

Since the three had experience dealing with criminal organisations, and part-time working for Professor Oak, they were on hand to immediately act when the news broke out. Off to Johto, where instead of following the route into Ecruteak City and down to the Ruins of Alph, they instead go straight from Olivine City into Violet City, then onto New Bark Town – which is where the chapter ends once Pikachu is turned Shadow. The method of Pikachu’s capture and the impact it has are similar yet different between the two versions, and to make Snagem more dangerous, a Pokémon of both Misty and Brock had also been turned Shadow.

Chapter two of this story will play out much the same way, with the story of the Shadow Pokémon and Orre being told, but this time I’m not doing a complete retelling of the plot of both games during it. I’m giving a bit of history from before Colosseum, a brief retread of the Colosseum plot, and a brief mention of Michael’s involvement in stopping Cipher within Gale of Darkness. I didn’t feel the need to retell the plots of both games as in-depth as I did in the original version, as all that needs to be shown is the progression of how serious a problem the Shadow Pokémon have become.

Beyond that, nearly everything else is being changed. Chapter three and four still remain in Orre, but for different reasons. Instead of going straight to Hoenn after chapter four, there’s a journey to Johto to settle the events from chapter one. While I’m unsure exactly how many chapters that will take, I’m aiming for around two or three. The final chapters will take the journey to Hoenn, where Snagem will finally be defeated. That Hoenn section will be completely redone, as that was perhaps the weakest of the entire story.

The professors of the regions being captured has been retired, as has the entire concept of the Shadow County. The professors being captured never went anywhere. They were just captured, then rescued some time later, barely getting any time spent on it. And while the Shadow County got an extended chapter worth of content fleshing it out, with how this story is now progressing, there’s just no need for it.

In the original version, the team get captured at the end of their journey across the Shadow County. That no longer needs to happen with this new version. There will be a few elements returning, such as the meeting with May in Littleroot Town and the final confrontation being at Sootopolis City, but most of the stuff inbetween will be scrapped. By the end of that final confrontation, there were too many characters to be managing. With the Orre section being changed, Professor Krane of the HQ Lab will no longer be with the team. Brendan will also no longer be with the team, and while Wes will still be apart of the team, Rui will have been taken to her grandparents in Agate Village.

Then there’s dealing with the Shadow Pikachu, and where that comes into the story. In the original version, it was right at the end, where a return to Pallet Town sees Jessie, James and Meowth holed up in the laboratory after having claimed Pikachu as their own with no way to control him. For the new version, that will be moved to the end of the Johto portion of the story, where the bond between Ash and Pikachu will be explored – which gives a chance to go into some of the alternate history I have written. Team Rocket still feature, though they do go under a new name here, as will be told when getting into that alternate history.

Chapter two of this story will be going up next month, where I hope to get one chapter out a month. While the writing of this story happens, I won’t be forgetting about my Kindle projects, with writing and planning of phase two going well. Look out for the appearance of it within the next month, along with a preview of that first book of phase two.

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