Reviews for Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Hands of Creation
InkyDewott502 chapter 4 . 26m
Hands of Creation Trouble in the Woods and Ceremony of Advancement.

Hey, I'm here for Union's Review Tag. Yeah, this is my first time playing tag in like a decade.

Okay, now that we're in Trouble in the Woods things start to get exciting for Owen. And by exciting, I mean the dangers presented at the end of the last chapter with the Aerodactyl are very much real. The Pokemon line/species and Hearts to thief dynamics were shown off very well in this chapter, with Pokemon that don't evolve possibly being raised to think they are better. An OP busted item only used by the Hearts? Suspicious. Thankfully before it can get any worse for the poor Charmander the trio of Team Alloy arrives.

This section had some ups and downs, you described most of the actions of each Pokemon well, like Demitri's Dual Chop, and everyone's confusion daze, but then you suddenly hid the full impact of Mispy's final attack against the thief. It wasn't until after they called the Watchog, also suspicious, and how they were walking to Rhys home did I realize the move. Then Owen meets the Lucario… It seems the Charmander can see aura or different energies.

Good use of showing off everymon bouncing off each other, really getting a feel for the cast. The five Pokemon talk before dinner and Owen remembers he needs to go home. So now he gets to be alone with Rhys and the haunting dream is back.

My only gripe is how the length of the chapter contributed to the pacing. I'd say 6k plus long chapters can work really well if the whole chapter takes place in one area or idea, but this one is divided right down the middle. Fight and then downtime.

Now onto the Ceremony of Advancement.

Team Alloy is ushered off to bed, and a new dynamic between Demitri and Mispy is hinted at. Owen talks a bit with Rhys about the aura or whatever. The color pink definitely means something special... Perhaps related to certain pink Pokemon or representing something else.

More convenient Waypoint traveling and Owen starts to think again. The Charmander obviously has something going on with his mind and memories, unless you like pulling red herrings and slapping the readers with them. I suppose I’ll have to be patient. Owen asks Rhys if they’ve met before and I found this scene kinda cute. Slightly awkward wordage aside regarding some actions and thought statements. The pair reach Hot Spot Cave, I feel it wasn’t entirely necessary to mention the exact actions Owen made, maybe only half of them got to the point across that it’s goofy.

The Charmander goes back through his little community, and then home to his anxious parents. Again they allude to something regarding his past. In the morning we get some 1000 Hearts semi-lore dump and learn some new Hearts names, particularly the leader Anam, and Jack, who are a bit fun. More mysterious glowing and Team Alloy screen time before Owen and Nevren leave. Where is he going? To the Chunin Exams- okay not really. I think the test area could have allowed for one question to be listed for more impact, not just a list of what is important and what isn't. Then there's a decent fight scene in the dojo with Jack's Substitute and Owen, the exact flow of actions and moves got a little odd at times.

All in all this chapter felt like it was broken into around 4 nice compact-ish pieces so the reading wasn't a slog.

That's all I have for now!
InkyDewott502 chapter 2 . 1/25
Hands of Creation Act 1 A Fragile Identity, and Chapter 1 Kilo Village

Hi Namo, I'm here for the tablecloth, er V-Wheel for Hands of Creation. I'm only reviewing Fragile Identity, and Kilo Village so I can get all my thoughts in on time.

So first we start out meeting him in a gruesome battle scene, against a kinda hybrid Seviper. He is getting beaten by this Pokemon and doesn’t get a chance to fight back. So this establishes him as a weaker Pokemon, well against this foe. But it doesn’t help that his family can barely save him, his Gardevior Mother trying her best against the “poison” type. But the line between this being a dream and reality is wavering once his Magmortar Father has holes shot through him. Owen sustains more damage as he tries to process what in the world is happening. The Charmander is healed by his Gardevior Mother and solely succumbs to sleep. “Sleep”. Sure there is something up with that for later on.

We did get a look into his morning with his family, his parents are definitely tense when Owen mentions his dream and his Father especially. Now we are able to get a little bit of a better understanding of Owen. He is a late bloomer who wants to join a 1000-member Pokemon Organization called the Hearts. His parents have a realistic wish of him doing some peaceful work like being a farmer but the Charmander wants to prove himself.

I understand the setup is to put Owen in danger but these organizations should watch over their prospective members more. Naturally, his family worries for his safety as he goes out to do his Provisional Mission, alone. When Owen walks around the village and the surrounding area it feels like he might have a presence, much older Pokemon dote on him, while others in the brief seem to only find him a nuisance.

I do like the fact that he’s not the only one who is a late evolver, as revealed with Gahi, Demitri, and Mispy in Kilo Village, or else it would feel a bit cliche. Those three are interesting and I'm wondering how their dynamic with Owen will continue when we end up getting plenty more time with them in future chapters.

The Charmander is an optimist, but besides his unique status, he wasn’t really exciting on his own in these two chapters. He is just a little shonen protagonist, but those can usually end up great! We just have to wait till things go up. The beginning of the chase/fight scene at the end of Kilo Village was a great start and a decent dose of inspiration.

The pacing in Fragile Identity was fairly decent in the beginning but then felt a tad empty during the breakfast section. I understand this was to build up his parents, their thoughts on Owen, and their secrets. The start of Kilo Village was a little slow, some interesting bits about the Charmander possibly losing "progress" from previous days definitely came in, and then the chapter kept a steady pace once he reached the Waypoints and onward. Technology in this society is really cool.

So there are plenty of good scenes where characters, particularly Owen, are performing actions. These have really solid prose and never feel extremely drawn out. Unfortunately, whenever you opt to share a character's emotions I don’t really feel them. I know this ACT has chapters that are most likely two to three years old and have aged somewhat gracefully, but there are still some areas I’d like to point out. I know there are later chapters that will properly dive into the feelings and moods of characters, particularly Owen for a bit.

That's all I have for now!
kluebug chapter 160 . 1/17
Sorry if I’m a bit late to this, but congratulations on one million words! However convoluted this plotline may be, it’s kept me hooked all the same. Can’t wait to see what’s behind all of the little mysteries in this story.
DarkFireGeneral chapter 160 . 1/16
Wow, Owen's family tree is complicated. His adopted father is the son of his daughter. Owen was raised by his grandson.

Anyway, I just want to say this is probably the most well written fanfic I've ever read, thank you for the time and effort you put into it. I would live to see Alexander finally defeated by Alex. Or a masochist, that'd really break the tone of the story, but it'd be hilarious.
Esen chapter 51 . 12/31/2022
(Covers 51 (SE4) to 57)


I'll go about how I'll do this review and the chapters that I've covered first. The first half of this is going to be segmented chapter by chapter on the things that I found particularly noteworthy ranging from Special Episode 4 to Chapter 51 (57 in FF land). The second half would contain my general thoughts and any subjective criticisms that I can muster. If you're pressed for time, just skip ahead to the second part of the review.

This return to HoC has been fun, I choose to go back to a segment that is closer to where I left off; with how you'd probably be inundated with reviews from your earlier chapters by now, I figured that I choose mid-segment to review instead. It's an odd starting and ending point, but I did have fun picking up on things with a finer comb.

P.S. I did try to stretch the review out into a giant spanning one between two special episodes- I can almost hear reality chortling in my ears as I write this.

Hold Mispy Like Baby, Hold Mispy Like Gun, Drop Mispy once Depleted. (Special Episode 4)

It didn't emotionally hit as hard as SE2, but the qualities that I appreciated about it are their implications to the plot and the shadows they cast in the following chapters. For that reason, I really like how the revisor contextualizes and gives Nevren so much more depth. He fails often, he fails a lot. But he learns. It grounds and makes Nevren much more than a one-dimensional ‘All According to Keikaku’ archetype, and the drama presents itself as not what he accomplishes, but the tightrope he walks to accomplish it. The tightrope also adopts a moral dimension as well, as shown in his balancing act of caring for Mispy and callously dropping her when she proves to be a lost cause. Nevren may not necessarily be the one I'm rooting for, but I really appreciated the new plot threads and food for thought surrounding Anam and Kilo Village.

As for the writing itself, you didn't really spare any expense in describing the damage done to Nev and Mispy in this episode, which provides a uniquely gruesome twist compared to the other chapters. Incidentally, there's a significant amount of vindication as we now adopt an insider's perspective as we have a better idea of how Nevren operates while others remain in the dark. Though the implications become much darker as the perspective decouples from Nevren as Rhys revisits him in the later chapters.

A minor nit-pick: Due to how the revisor attempts appear to blend together to convey the muddled passage of time. The logistics of Nevren 's failed attempts can be a bit confusing as to how he is able to access the Revisor in the first place; like the feral Haunter paralyzing Nevren from behind. Apparently, it's not a failed attempt as they were able to progress afterward, it's just that one of the previous lines: -and Nevren had to make a second attempt at the same moment a few times the further he went. The worst was when a Haunter-" make it seem like the feral Haunter was a failed attempt. They work for the most part, just that some of them are head-scratchers if you think too much about it.

P.S There is a typo in here somewhere and I can't for the life of me find where it is. Now you know.

Chapter 46:

It's a slower episode as we return to the main cast. We get more world-building this way, as well as more dangling plot threads like the waaaaaaaaar in hushed whispers. There's inevitably some drama and teenage angst between Team Alloy and their caretakers. Though there's an utterance from Rhys that I particularly liked:

You were born, one way or the other.

It sounds like a half-assed answer technically; but it gently nudges the notion that Team Alloy really are treated as children first, weapons second. The pitching in of their current found family with the rest of the guardians reinforces that. There's a contrast between an emphasis on 'born' and 'made from glass' which highlights a difference in perspective.

I won't begrudge the lack of action as the crew and story are in the necessary period of planning their next moves. However, you'd be hearing a lot of this from me in which I'd raise the sheer size of your ensemble as an issue. There is a conscious effort in the chapters I've read to have the Hot Spot crew participate in conversations and tasks one way or another, failing that, to display body language and quirks to convey their personalities. Regardless, it starts being a bit... crowded.

Chapter 47:

Typos: "I can only generate a (few) for the other Hearts" - Anam.

The first half is banter, it’s fun banter and helps with characterization though. Valle and Enet have amusing back and forths regarding Valle’s inflexibility and it’s a pretty fun and relatable read.

The second half is a wonderful continuation of Nevren's machinations taking root in Kilo village. A lot of things can now be seen as Nevren's influence, like the Mellowing of James the Decidueye from his appearance in SE4, the contrast between Anam's lumpy 'heart' badge given to Nevren and the more uniform shape of two ovals as the Thousand Heart's symbol, and the expansion of technology in Kilo's Village that runs concurrently with Nevren's influence.

There are a lot of delicious little details to pick at and it gets the imagination going. And I appreciated the false tension break with the appearance of Rim. Though, once they reach Kilo Village and meet Nevren and Anam, the rest of the guardians are just kinda... there. Even Step, who is the one being introduced to the rest of the staff feels slightly token in her interactions and mannerisms. I can understand why they would have reason to be there due to stir craziness. It’s just that I wish they had time to acclimate to Kilo in their respective ways other being trailing NPCs that are in the background.

Chapter 48:

To your credit, the dialogue of every character maintains mostly distinct from one another. The banter is standard light-hearted fare until Jerry takes it in a more serious direction.

Jerry is very quickly climbing up the ranks of my favourite characters in HoC. He serves as a good foil and critique of Kilo's Village policies and grounds them in a more selfish and pragmatic context. Jerry asks the right questions and offers valid rebuttals on the virtue of hard work and a good attitude being the deciding criteria for being a Heart. His history with the fire clan and his difficult circumstances makes him uniquely situated as an outsider looking in.

He can't really take care of himself, and his capacity to display the virtues that Anam is apparently looking for is hampered by systemic and environmental influences that shaped him into who he is. I think you wrote the conversation between Owen and Jerry well, and it develops organically with the recent SE4 plot threads as we look at Kilo and Anam’s philosophy with a more critical lens. Jerry might be a thug still, but I really enjoy his perspective considering adjacent real-world issues like class disparity / social mobility, his anger resonates well with it as his struggles are almost intrinsic, and yet they expect him to change at the drop of a hat.

Chapter 49:

I tend to bundle together chapters 48, 49, and 50 together in my head since they have a larger sense of continuity. Emily is a fun, goofy soul. All descriptions make her out to be
voluptuous, outgoing, radiant, and earnest. Would veritably like to know more about her.

What I particularly enjoyed about these few chapters is how the narrative shows how narrow-minded Amia and Eon are when it comes to their ownership of Owen. There are a lot of possessives thrown in, my son, my husband, etc etc. The shouting match between Amia and Eon hint towards their more selfish motivations to the point where it physically starts to consume the area around them and themselves.

Eon too, while appearing as the reasonable one, notably manifests his selfish tendencies through bits of his dialogue, such as dismissing cases where Team Alloy recently went berserk, and choosing to appear regardless due to his impatience despite the implications. His tunnel vision around Owen also carries some consequences for Gahi and the rest of Team Alloy. He acknowledges Gahi and would be happy to have him as part of the set. But I think I'm getting enough signals that Owen is a clear favourite of Eon's, and that little bit with Gahi in the aftermath ties together the theme of being left behind or left out really well from those looking in.

Speaking of being left out, I appreciate Gahi coming along for this stretch of Eon's surprise visit. But I think it'll be more poignant if chapter 49 can be told from Gahi's perspective instead. He has almost as large a stake in this, yet I think that small bit towards the end didn't quite dwell on that feeling of exclusion long enough before we're moving the plot along. I'll elaborate on that as we reach the second part of the review.

Chapter 50:

There's some understated body humour as Amia and Jerry flop about in Emily sans a few limbs. Having a keratin-esque protrusion running through your chest would fuck up your balance. No, I didn't really find the squiggly details all that disturbing, I blame you.

It's an easy read. Jerry has the eventual outburst that he had been charging up for a few chapters as they go through the motions of bonding and conversing. The spotlight remains on Amia, who is literally and emotionally stripped down. Her mannerisms are familiar, with a tinge of poignancy to them as she reveals herself as a lonesome figure. She does not remember her hatchday, the orb wasn't really meant for her, and her days with Owen have a real possibility of ending.

And she persists in her motherly demeanour towards Jerry of all people because I think that is all she has. Overall, it's somewhat predicable as a chapter, albeit well executed. Then after that moment of introspection, it’s back into partywide interactions again.

"We know that the Stable Scarf can keep you intact," Star said. "As long as you keep that on, you won't melt. In fact, I think it got enhanced a little by Emily. I think now if you wear it, it'll actually restore you back to normal if you take it off and melt. I'll call it… a Stabilize Scarf!"
Jerry wondered why the Creator was so uncreative. "And if I lose it, then what?"

"Then you'll melt."

I swear, this combined with the Pachirisu reference a few chapters before, Mew has some of the funniest and snappiest dialogue so far in the early acts of HoC.

Chapter 51:

This chapter... collates most of my issues when reading HoC. It has the unfortunate position of trying to set up a lot of moving parts and characters without letting the characters really breathe. I won't say it's a bad one, I just wish more time and space were given to flesh out the chemistry and emotional states of the characters.

Rhys and Elder's interactions pivot a little too suddenly to setup Eon's instability and Elder's fears without too much build-up. And then you have Dimitri and Mispy layered on top of them as they continue to deal with their post-evolution angst. The pairing of Rhys and Elder is cute initially and now the honeymoon phase is starting to wear off. I'm not particularly sold on their shared chemistry, especially when one of the first things Elder and Rhys does is to report on Eon. The interjection of Mispy and Demetri doesn't quite allow their conversation to develop their chemistry either, as Mispy and Demetri’s subplots start to overwrite whatever that is going on between Elder and Rhys. It’s not bad drama, I just wish the pacing allowed for certain relationships and moments to have a greater impact.

Something similar happens with Eon in this, as the chapter sets up more of Hunter's HQ and all its idiosyncratic and charming children. While you tried to telegraph Eon's state of mind in his half and haphazard transformations, the introduction of Hunter HQ's mutants started to distract from me investing emotionally into Eon. And when Eon inevitably breaks down a little in front of Rim, I feel like Eon shouldn’t have to speedrun his emotional outbursts before being interrupted by Hecto.
General Critique:

After mulling it over a few rereads, I think HoC's giant ensemble coupled with its quick pace is its greatest strength and weakness. Each character has distinct strengths and personalities (reinforced by concise idiosyncratic dialogue). The plot is also ever-evolving, rapidly churning out plot threads, concepts that build upon each other as we flit from one galivanting band to the next, sometimes between chapters.

However, that means that some plot points and characters like Manny and Willow inevitably fall off in terms of say... Owen and Rhys. Not to say that they should have equal narrative weight, I'm just sometimes left with the feeling that the story would be tighter if they sat one or two adventures out.

I've already harped on about your consistency and general quality of writing in terms of how each character would react. Even irrelevant characters have charming dialogue and written mannerisms that sometimes draw a chuckle or two, or that you somehow manage to recontextualize the world at large with a single special chapter. You're good at that.

Though at its worst, certain character subplots run the risk of being somewhat stifled. Gahi has that little moment of poignancy towards the end of chapter 49, but it got left in the fridge as more pertinent chapters and perspectives crowd that out. Even Eon occasionally gets the short end of the stick given how much he was hyped up as the big bad in Act 1. Little quiet moments and time that I sometimes felt should be given to introspection sometimes get smothered by an advancing plotline or the introduction of more of the ensemble. These are the times when I think the existence of additional characters is a detriment because a lot of them either abbreviate an otherwise intimate moment; or merely function to shuffle characters out of positions to the next plot point.

But I suspect that as long as you maintain that consistency, it won't develop into a pertinent issue. I also considered the genre of the story that you're going to tell, in which profundity might not really be needed in a one-million-word epic. It is by nature easy to read and understand, and a consistently enjoyable one at that. The only suggestion that I can offer is to perhaps pare down the sheer number of actors in one scene, which can prove difficult in such a huge fic. Special Episodes already do a good job of that, but I think regular chapters could use some introspective breathing room at times to really let the emotions of a particular character sink in.
Guest chapter 1 . 12/3/2022
Here for V-Wheel. This is a fic I've always been eye-ing to pick up, but funnily never got the chance until now. Interesting opening, with an apparent pokémon fusion, though judging by what it's called in the narration, and the reactions later on, I'm assuming these aren't commonplace, or if they are, they're not well-received. Due to the shortness of this chapter (although, of course, this is only the first chapter, obviously it's going to be short) it's a bit difficult to get any particular reads on any characters yet. Owen seems to be a standard PMD protag: wide-eyed idealist, perhaps naive, child (or at least an older person who is child-like). Not that that's a bad thing, of course, just it's very common. (Judging by how long this fic has been going, and from what others have said on Discord, I'm willing to bet this personality won't stick around for very long :P) Interesting ending as well... I wonder if Owen's parents/caretakers are some form of shapeshifter, like Ditto/Zoroark, or hell maybe one of them is Mew, judging by how apparently important that is to the fic.
Either way, this is a really good start! Keep up the good work!
Gyeig chapter 12 . 11/18/2022
Chapters 10 and 11 this time. Or 11 and 12. FFN numbering, man.

Well, so starting off, Owen's still busy getting tossed around like a volleyball, lol. Dude just can't catch a break it seems. Also, I think this is the first time his fabled perception abilities have come into focus. Right now it's just a little more awareness at his surroundings, but with what you've said about how his abilities change, this probably isn't even 5% of what it eventually morphs into.

Speaking of not even 5%, trees casually getting obliterated in the middle of a fight scene. Pokemon in this setting are powerful, and those little nods go a long way to establish that. Though it is pretty anime/shonen-ish for my liking as well. Don't have too much more to comment on here.

Finally, the last chapter's sudden rug pull was further elaborated on with "well actually, that's the past", and these two chapters have a lot of two characters who hate/dislike each other (had bad blood at least) trying to diffuse the tension. Well one is, the other's begrudgingly going along with it. I guess that's a side effect of these characters literally being centuries old (might elaborate more on my thoughts about this in another review, too early for that now I think). So yeah, lots of history to cover here. No wonder this is a million words long.

These two chapters were nice for what they were. Still not at the point where the story really gets its hooks into you, but slowly getting there.
TheSnapDragon chapter 2 . 11/6/2022
I actually read up to chapter...10(?) or something around there of this story before. But it's been probably over a year since then and I can't for the life of me remember any of the names aside from Owen. Coincidentally, I remember some of the broad strokes of the narrative as well, but only in relation to Owen as well. Which is about the extent of my knowledge of this story up to this point-it's Owen's story, at least at the start.

So forgive me as this review comes from someone who knows a bit about the story at this point but from a very strange perspective. I know a few of the twists but not nearly enough to understand the extent of what's going on. Next time I come back to this story I'll definitely go through it quite a bit more before commenting on it.

The pacing of these first couple of chapters is very quick and mainly serves to introduce Owen as a sort of unreliable narrator, slowly peeling away at the uncertainty that both the reader and Owen feels. I'd say that the mystery carries it more than anything else, though there isn't a ton of time spent establishing a guise of a normal PMD fic from the reader's perspective. I forgot about that prologue entirely, but it sets the tone quite well.

I was mainly looking for hints of things that I might have missed my first time around, though instead the thing that stuck out to me the most was, like I said, the pacing. And while I don't have much more to say, I'm more interested in knowing where the story goes next knowing what I do now. Great work.
Luke924 chapter 154 . 10/14/2022
- But that also shielded them from the pleasant elements. They never truly felt the sun. What they felt from within the Voidlands was a sad echo of what they had been torn away from. But with Xerneas' blessing, with that final power to push them back to living, Owen finally felt the sun again.

It's been *so long* that I've forgotten what relief felt like.

...Okay I'm being dramatic but the whole voidlands thing left me bummed for a long while and I'm glad it's over for now.

- He cried. He didn't sniffle or sob, but the overwhelming sensation of warm stone under his feet and fresh air over his belly was too much.

Same. Except not.

- "Oh, that reminds me, do I have permission to kill Nevren later?"


- Owen had to admit, silently, that even the uncomfortable walking and wading through their old home's remnants was better than the Voidlands.

Nearly anything is better than the Voidlands.

- "It's all ruined…" Demitri fidgeted with his claws, head low. "I know we only spent a few months in there, but it's still hard to accept that it's all gone…"

- "It's not all gone," Gahi said. "We c'n rebuild it, easy! Especially now that it ain't all shrouded in evil anymore!"

Hotspot was nice but would you really want to live couped up in a cave? Wouldn't they rather live outside in the sunshine? i mean, Dragons make their lairs in caves but...

- Demitri let out a shriek of terror. Everyone immediately entered a battle stance and rushed over to him, only to find that he was staring at a beheaded stone copy of himself, the head settled nearby and cracked in a few places. "W-w-w-wh… what… h-happened? That's… me?! Is this a threat?!"

- "Oh, it's your old body," Owen hummed.

Petrification and Dark Matter do go hand in hand.

- "Lifeless stone…" Mispy approached the statue of Demitri, but then peered over it and stared into where the head had been.

- "Mispy?" Demitri asked. "Something wrong?"

- "Detailed," she commented.

That's grim, Mispy.

- "Ah, of course." Lucario nodded. "Well, certainly. Better sand. You know, sand is sometimes used as a symbol for the constant march of time. Hourglasses, erosion, eternity… I do like sand."

Buddy, you're going to *love* hourglasses!

- Why? How was this even happening? Why did he have to be Dialga?

- Why couldn't Dialga just let Rhys exist?

This is hitting close to home.

- Gahi…" Owen wanted to reach out, but his arms didn't move. It was a mess. Rhys had a problem with throwing things away. A lot of problems with that sort of thing, with how much of a mess his room was. This was an improvement.

- But… Owen knew Gahi didn't see it that way.

"It's real bad, guys. 'e was *tidyin' up!*"

- "Rhys loved this!" Gahi said, holding up a beaten-up looking doll with smudges and stains on it from the many years it had endured.

- "It's filthy. I'll get another if I must."

- "They don't sell'm anymore, this is old! Y'gotta keep it."

Worth something on the non-existent internet.

- But then Rhys picked up the letters. The letters Elder had sent to him for years and years.

- "What?" Gahi said. "What're you—"

- He tossed them all into the bin.


"Eon, had a similar power. I granted a weaker version of it to him, and a different sort of power to Nevren, long ago as a sort of… kinship. A gesture of trust. Which, of course, had been betrayed later, but I digress…"

Nobody in this world does background checks.

- "Kinda don't remember a whole lot. It's all scrambled so I just live in th' moment, y'know?"

We haven't been able to deliver your mail because "The Moment" isn't a valid address.

- "I suppose if we had a talk with Willow, she would have also been able to help, but…"

Don't give her the opportunity.

- "Gahi is coping," Lucario said with a sad nod.

If you could call that "coping."

- A cold sense of dread washed over Mispy's back. And at the same time, that autonomous aura copy of Rhys entered a mindless, practiced battle stance.

- Owen had to kill what remained of Rhys.

Well shit.

Despite some of the sadness, I am, again, so relieved that everyone's out of the voidlands and the suffering is at an end. It's like a weight has been lifted.

Yeah, it's weird. But look at it this way: you must be a good writer if you can make people emotional like this.
Luke924 chapter 153 . 10/14/2022
Qitlan really just came in and started blasting. Whatever sad thing happened to him doesn't excuse him being an asshole though. :/

- Jerry rubbed his eyes and glared at Eon. "Would it kill you to give 'em some social awareness to go with the killing machine stuff?"

"I—I didn't do that part of any designing," Eon stuttered.

- "Of course you didn't," Jerry muttered. "Does seem more like something Nevren would do, with how you guys talk about him… And how Palkia is." He shuddered. "Can't believe Barky picked someone like him to control space."

Tempted to blame Nevren. But then I'm tempted to blame him for everything.

- Gahi was a strange one. All of Team Alloy had their quirks. But staring at her at night was downright creepy. She was tempted to snap him out of it with a little pop of ice, but it was too weird. Her eyes darted to the others, who were asleep, and then back at Gahi, who continued to stare intensely at her. Focused. When they made eye contact, he tilted his head, looking almost conversational.

Certified "Weird one" in a whole group of weird ones.

- "Look, I just wanted to say, 'm kinda… probably not gonna be lookin' fer Owen in that way. Dunno how ter break that ter Azelf. But Owen and I, we ain't… I mean, maybe we were, but we're just buds, y'know?"

Nothing wrong with being just buds!

- "Keeping secrets and hidden agendas… That's what got the whole world in this mess in the first place, isn't it?"

Dodran Phantasms (2022).

- But how he cared for others, was she able to emulate that same compassion? Had she been in his position… there was simply no way that she could be so forgiving. To Eon, to Diyem of all people, where did it end? Where was his limit?

Being too forgiving is just asking for the worst sorts to take advantage of you. An endlessly tolerant society will inevitably have it's tolerance seized or destroyed by the intolerant.

Alternatively: Do no harm but take no shit.

- The ingredients were a little fresher here, though there was still that bitter Voidlands aftertaste everything had.

Pokémon who like Bitter food don't see the problem.

- "So, we headin' back?" Jerry asked impatiently. "Nothing's stopping me from heading back, actually. So I'm gonna go do that. You guys do whatever."

"Later, losers."

- It was nostalgic to think about heading 'back' someplace being only one Waypoint away. How long had it been since they'd been able to enjoy anything like that?

Again, please do not build your entire infrastructure around the power of one person.

- "Thanks," Owen said. "I get it, though. It's complicated. I mean, when has anything not been?" Owen rubbed his cheek, sighing.

Hands of Complicated.

- He has strange tastes," Zena commented.

- "His taste used to be me," Owen pointed out with a scaly brow quirking.

So a certain someone else has strange tastes too?

- "Xerneas is reviving everyone," Zena explained, and Owen tiredly turned his head to see if Zena looked similarly tired. And, indeed, she did, though she still had the strength to hold him.

- "Revive," Owen repeated. "Because… Right. He's the embodiment of life itself…"

- "It doesn't seem to restore memories very easily," Zena explained, "but it at least allows us to leave the Voidlands without evaporating. He said that some of us, those who already had 'light,' would be able to do it naturally… but he didn't want to take any chances."


Things really are looking up. Even if it's not *really* Rhys we have now.

Another short one, sorry. But I'm going the next chapter right now so hopefully that'll make up for it.
Luke924 chapter 152 . 10/10/2022
- Two-thirds of Migami were nervous about where they were flying. In a patch of barren land that interrupted the featureless black forest, there were mountains and empty fields of rock and dust. Those were the same fields that had left Demitri and Mispy stranded and starving for what felt like moons.

This did not help my sadness about the Voidlands. :(

- "I don't think so," Owen replied, though now he seemed puzzled, too. "I think what's going on is we're just living different lives right now. I guess when we reunite, we'll… average out? Hopefully, uh, we don't get too different. That'll get complicated."

Playing Dodra and reading HOC is amazing because they both help with understanding each other.

- "Alexander… I can't believe how horrible his aura was. How can the world be this way, where someone so awful can be so powerful?"

Zena honey, that's just life.

- "Yeah. Mew's blessing, and Void's blessing, or something," Jerry said dismissively. "Mom had the first part. Guess that's why it's so easy for me to channel all kinds of techniques on the fly. Others take a while to switch out what they can call quickly."

Oh that's the whole thing with him and Rock Blast (That Sword and Shield spoiled).

- "I maybe killed him," Jerry spat. "Maybe. There's no proof. So, I'm pretty much hoping he's a blob here in the Voidlands, so he doesn't get to live some cushy life oppressing someone else."

His body just *did that.*

- "Look, we heard the story. We're just skeptical," Staraptor said flatly. "Tree of Life in South Null? Legends being restored? Dark Matter, defeated? Yeah, right. That's got 'too good to be true' written all over it."

- "But it is true…" Migami frowned. "I'd swear, like, one of my souls on it."

I guess that's another thing fusing is good for.

- They all seemed to recoil at that, and Owen quickly interjected. "It's fine! It's fine! He's, uh, just… Southern! Southern Kiloan, lots of strange things down there, you know?"

I wonder if south Kiloans get offended whenever anyone does this.

- Maybe they were coated in something that made them more resistant to the elements? It certainly didn't look like Protect insulation…

It's like my third eye is open. WAIT-

- At the center of the room was a long table where they all sat. Demitri, Mispy, and Gahi, now split apart, were stealing glances at their counterparts. Owen watched all eight of them—Jirachi and Eon included—with morbid fascination.

This is...awkward.

- "Let me just ask this," Owen said first. "Do you really think that, if I let Necrozma end the world, he would have brought everyone back with Dark Matter purged?"

- "No," Uxie said.

- ...

- "Like Necrozma didn't really consider what would happen after the end… because he wasn't going to bother with it."

- Uxie nodded again. "That's correct. I came to that conclusion as well… but by then, it was too late. I was clouded by the fear of what Dark Matter would have done instead that I solely listened to Necrozma, and assumed you had been taken by darkness.

- "In fact, it was who came after you that made me realize you were not taken by Dark Matter. You were the one keeping Dark Matter at bay."


- I—I thought you knew?" Owen sputtered. "I guess that part of the news didn't get across… I left behind a potted plant that held some of my spirit, and that's what I grew out of. Most of me got carried to Cipher City. I'm also a tree."

- There was a beat of silence where nobody moved.

- Then, Jerry said, "Your friend's a freak, you know."

Because of this sort of thing (And Har), Dodra Owen could come back here and nobody would bat an eye.

- "That's your first question," Azelf growled, pointing an accusatory finger at Gahi. "Look what happened ter us! We're all… mutated! Twisted around!"

So rude.

- "Easy to do," Owen said. "…Then, I guess we should try to sort out how this… reunion part works. Because we need to keep the bodies, a-at the very least." Owen shifted uncomfortably. "It's needed for… something we could use, possibly, to counter Alexander. A massive spike in power…"

Yeah he's thinking what we're all thinking. Plus I'd prefer that. Meganium, Flygon and Haxorus are cooler than the Trio of Mind. Sorry, Uxie, Azelf and Mespirit fans.

- A pause. We don't have a Legend half, right?

- No, no! We don't. We're whole. Just you, me, and the Tree.

And a copy but I don't think that counts.

- Just telling them wouldn't hurt, right? Maybe… maybe start with Spice. She might be wondering about herself a lot. Maybe it'll give her some closure, or something…

It's just like the Void Eternas Namo YOU CAN'T KEEP DOING THIS

- Qitlan shut the door behind him, glaring icily. Owen had a good idea that he was still fuming over being outsmarted, so it was going to be another round of playing dumb.

Sore loser.

That meeting with the Mind Trio went better than I expected. And playing Dodra was probably the best thing I could have done when it came to reading HoC. It's like I understand everything now.
Luke924 chapter 151 . 10/10/2022
- Cipher City was behind him, and Qitlan was just ahead, like he knew he'd be back, smiling wryly.

I hate this guy, I really do.

- "Do at least have some decency. I know how primal you can get, and such a reunion would be very tempting."

I hate him even more.

- He was glad Qitlan's element was Water, because he may have been tempted to incinerate him otherwise.

Do it anyway.

- "He was the one who ended it, Owen," Mhynt spat. "Alexander saved Kilo when you couldn't. The world owes him a great debt, even if he'd been eroded by the malice he'd been forced to absorb."

- Owen flinched. Something about that didn't sound right. "Really?"

Yeah, really?

- And what I said… was a half-truth. He did save Kilo from Dark Matter, if only because he wished to rule it instead. That's all he wants, even before that power corrupted him further. He wanted power.

Okay not really. Good.

- Then, he was always this way?

- You know for yourself, don't you? Mhynt slid a long word in place.

- That was true, Owen thought darkly. Even before he'd been involved in actually using Dark Matter's power, Alexander had acted on horrible thoughts during the war, against Owen's orders. That had been what led to his exile to begin with.

So he really did a background check on this guy and decided that wasn't a deal breaker? Or was he just desperate enough for manpower that he was willing to look past one or two atrocities?

- Do you know where she is?

- I do now. Or, part of her. I think I met her a little while ago, and sent her away so Alexander wouldn't take her again. She took the form of a Salazzle wraith.

Well if it wasn't obvious enough already, there it is.

- A Salazzle with dark powers… Owen didn't know anybody quite like that.

Your daughter was running the same bakery you went to regularly and you somehow never picked up on anything?

- Well… Spice… was… She had a lightning scar from… something… Owen rubbed his head. I think I remember… she had trouble healing with blessed berries, so she used natural salves and her own body's healing, or something.

- Blessed… Necrozma's light, then.

- You can't mean she's Remi. But she did, and Owen knew it. His heart was racing again. Then why didn't she… tell me anything?

Better late than never figuring it out.

- She doesn't remember. She was Voided. She made a new life for herself. Remi is… gone. Maybe she might remember later, maybe that's why you remember her even across resets, but that isn't Remi anymore. And besides… it's only part of her.

Hey I've played Dodra I know how this works.

- Before I went to Null Village for the first time, Mhynt said. The Zoroark. Her spirit… had the same essence. A powerful feral, cunning and proud. She had Remi's essence, even if she lacks the memories. I do not know how she wound up there. I suspect… she planned this, somehow.

OKAY Didn't expect that

- And I found the final part of her, too. There are three pieces of her.


- Owen, you've had her the entire time, Mhynt said. I couldn't tell who, but she's within the tree you left behind in Null Village. That's her final piece. I felt it when I tried to connect. I'll never forget how her spirit feels… Though, clearly, you have.


- "That doesn't surprise me. You don't like being seen as a god. You never have." She gave him a wry, mocking smile. "Silly, when you still tried to command authority over the world's fate when standing against them."

Yeah because he didn't want everyone to die a slow death in a situation they had no say on being in in the first place.

- Mhynt wasn't talking, so Owen put another word down. 'Spear.'

Yo, the Absol?!

- "And if I took Necrozma's offer to let the world end, and then be rebuilt without Dark Matter's influence, then I never would have had to be erased. Alexander wouldn't have taken over; the Voidlands would be empty; everyone would have been spared."

Oh, was...was that the plan? I guess that would have been better, and the only thing we would have lost out on would be Diyem...

- But a much larger part of him would never want to have any memory suppressed again. The pain it brought to recover them was too much, and even if he could be confident in it being sealed away forever… some significant part of him couldn't bear it.

How can you ever learn from your mistakes if you never remember them? With all he knows now, I don't think Owen will be repeating any of them.

- Owen could register the words but not their meaning. Then, But I still could have stopped all this by just listening to Necrozma. He could have… killed everyone, removed Dark Matter, and then restored the world back.

- And for the first time, Owen felt Mhynt smiling. It seemed like a sad smile.

- Do you really think he would have done that?

-He… he wouldn't have lied about that, would he?

Alright maybe I was wrong.

- The kings of this deck of cards were just Alexander in different poses.

This guy is insuffurable.

- Star knows more about me. She knows… He nearly gasped, but suppressed it. That's… that has to be it. Oh, gods, it's… the aura. The Reset key.

Thank goodness he figured that out.

- "So, you can place any one card on an empty joker at the bottom," Owen repeated. "But that doesn't seem to be helping a lot…"

- "Sometimes a joker can get stuck with one card and nowhere to put it," Mhynt explained. "Then it's just a dead slot, and it can be useless for a while. But if I can just get it freed up…"

Okay it's a metaphor because Owen's the joker he can go anywhere

- How is he controlling you? That… dark power that you submitted to?

- Yes. Just as you can control your spirits as a Guardian, Alexander is a patron in the same way.

- Owen paused. …I can what?

Zena's spirits were always so agreeable because SHE WAS SUBCONCIOUSLLY CONTROLLING THEM

- Once power is granted, it can't be taken away, Mhynt said. Suppressed, weakened, maybe. But you can't simply take away power.

It's just like Dodra!

- Leph, Aster, and Star. We're freeing them, freeing you, and getting out of here. Today.


- Alright. Fifteen minutes. Let's make the most of it. Mhynt held a breath, then released it. But if we start, it's a final gamble. Failure means Alexander won't give us even the slightest freedoms.

- Owen smiled wryly. Then we have nothing to lose.

This is it! Turn the tide!

- He made it all the way to the great hall at the entrance to the castle, where he finally spotted a guard walking in, looking like he'd just gotten out from a swim. A large, bulky-build Swampert, more gut than muscle.

- "Him," Owen said spontaneously, pointing at Swampert.

- "Eh—uh?" Swampert asked, blinking.

- "He's my servant."

Oh this poor guy.

- But I guess in some ways, I'm a little joker.

Yeah, yeah! He sees it too!

Is this it? Is this finally the part where Owen turns things around and saves everyone? I've been sad about things ever since everyone got pulled into the Voidlands, but maybe...maybe we're finally seeing the light at the end of this tunnel.

Either way, I had a good time hanging out with Owen and Mhynt for an hour.
Luke924 chapter 150 . 10/8/2022
- It was surreal. If he wanted, he could, potentially, walk out of the city. But that wasn't something he truly could do, because it would endanger the team.

Yeah, don't do that.

- He passed by places called game corners that seemed to hold all sorts of table-based activities, and even some that used larger versions of the technology he now held in his hand, the communicator. He'd expect that sort of technology from Kanto or Orre.

He should try hitting up an arcade to relief some stress. You think they have Pokkén Tournament?

- The Trio of Mind didn't have the best track record when it came to asking to erase someone.

That's right, they have the *worst* track record.

- "Say, um," he said after placing the order, "where does the meat come from?"

- "Legal sources."

- That was possibly the worst answer he could have been given.


- Rayquaza smashed his head against the ceiling and winced, curling his neck downward to look upside-down at who had talked.


- "I have not. He passed out when I… told him the news."

A reasonable reaction.

- He realized Lucas was a feral of some kind, so he tried to adjust his body language, moving a claw forward for him to sniff.

Points for this being excatly what everyone does when they meet a dog for the first time.

- "Rim…" Rayquaza squeezed his eyes, trying to remember. So familiar. So very familiar.

- "Ahh, Celebi," Dialga murmured. "I think I remember, now… Rim. So glad to see you, er… Hold. Were you not an Espurr?"

Oh okay then.

- Lavender nervously looked down. "Um. I had an accident and turned her into a Cherrim when I put the wrong species in the Reincarnation Machine."

- Dialga blinked. "Goodness. That's… quite a mistake."

It' easy one to make I'm sure.

- "Hm? With?"

- "Xerneas."

- "I'd rather not deal with him for longer than I must."

You're not alone.

- "Can't have too many immortal Pokémon wandering about, now can we? Oho… ah. That has been happening a lot lately, hasn't it?"

- "I believe everyone here is immortal, yes," Dialga remarked, looking at Elder, then Lucas, Rim, and Lavender. "Ah, Houndoom may not be."

Half the cast at this point.

- Yveltal blinked at that, the great god of death dumbfounded by the words of an ice sculpture. Weak, delicate…

Not her fault Ice has so many weaknesses!

- "Step," she said again, so much softer. "What has time done to you?"

hey she said the title

- "I… I do not want to disappear, either."

- "With how strongly you want to remain… you will not," Yveltal promised.

I know a few other Pokémon with this problem.

- Her body was now a bright blue, coated in feathers of white and cyan ice. She was still Yveltal, but there was recognition in her daughters' eyes.


That last bit hits harder if you've read "Death is Lonely" beforehand. Very nicely done.

I've still got more chapters to catch up on...but I'll save them for later so I can get some more points for Dodra. Falling behind in levels. But that won't be far away.
Luke924 chapter 149 . 10/8/2022
Preface: When Dark Matter "killed" Rhys, he said that by sending that part of him back to Dialga he'd be "consumed" because Dialga had "existed so much longer than him". But now that I know more about souls and all that (Dodra helped a lot with that), I'm like...that's now how that works. That's not how any of it works.

- "Elder, correct? My name is Rayquaza, er, oh, this is quite awkward, but… Well, ah, oh, oho, I suppose I forgot my words. How silly of me…"

I see Ray got a hold of one of those things that lets wraiths leave the Voidlands. Palkia's been busy.

- Staying in the Voidlands was a possibility, but it came with its own perils and dangers.

No amount of tech is worth trying to live there if you ask me!

- "Lugia, right." Angelo was making a little sketch on a spare piece of paper to pass the time. Maybe it calmed his nerves. It looked like the page to a comic book.

Author's note: Sorry this issue of Druddigon Cube took so long to come out, the world nearly ended.

- "As part of our ascent, we discard our mortal names from memory." Cresselia nodded "It's a rite of passage that Arceus had given us, and that part of our memory is sealed so long as we retain these forms. I used to be a Venusaur, actually."

- Spice gawked. "That's a big transition."


- "Emily herself is a walking Dungeon in the same way anyone possessed by Dark Matter is."

I AM the Mystery Dungeon!

- He glanced in the direction of the bathroom and sank a little. "I hope nobody else shows up while I'm trying to relax…"

I doubt any more Pokémon are going to show up in his bathtub.

- …She had a feeling this was going to be something deeper later. With a frustrated sigh, she growled at the gods that were busy elsewhere to get her answers soon.


- Step had the sense that Gami didn't really want to deal with her for too long, and that was fine. Those mutants were probably doing scouting again, and were far too eager to leave and satisfy more of their primal, Battleheart needs.


- "Wait!" Cent said. "You walked into our home and sat at the table like a creepy old weirdo because you're actually our dad?!"

- "I was not creepy and I'm immortal. I can't be old in that way," Xerneas growled back. "Show some respect."

Nah that was totally creepy.

- "Dad looked cooler!" Cent amended. "Dragons are better!"

Yeah they are.

- Yet, he had nowhere to go. Despite this, there was an odd elation, a little smile, that he couldn't hide. Then, a determined fire followed from his tail and in his eyes. They were trying to psyche him out, somehow. He wouldn't let that happen; he was going to take this opportunity to see where it would carry him.

- Everyone, he thought, hang in there. I'm doing fine.

- He hoped his words would somehow reach the others. Perhaps, at the very least, his fragments could feel it.

I'm happy things are looking up for Owen, at least a little.

Sorry this review wasn't very much. I haven't done one for a while and I have a lot to catch up on. But I'm gonna review the next chapter right now so that should make up for it.
Insane Dominator chapter 153 . 10/4/2022
Here we are at a new chapter of this exhilarating Pokemon Mystery Dungeon fanfic. This chapter had a lot of central meaning around Owen especially, given what he’s been going through after so many lives and how he was more than becoming aware of what he is looking more of towards others. This chapter also served as a meaningful way to help clean up the air between a few characters to better help ground them as individuals, more so with Zena and Owen and Gahi altogether. While they all had a central tie around Owen, this helped remind them that they had their own problems that they need to sort out individually in terms of their dynamics and lifestyle.

The chapter started off with Qitlan’s physically abusive demeanor being cast upon Owen. It turns out that he has a nasty habit of shooting people out of bad habit of being disappointed in them. Understandably, Qitlan doesn’t have the most stable means to hold back, and while there is still a degree of respect between himself and Owen, it doesn’t save the latter from his abusive antics. Hypothetically, Owen could do so much more to stand up for himself, but after all the crap that he’s been through and numerous lives that he went and lived, this was absolutely nothing. Qitlan was just another Pokemon who was empty to him, and he was just trying to mend whatever he could of him so he wouldn’t live a life of utter shambles. Noble was Owen’s way, no matter how much abuse he would have to endure from others; he still would do whatever is in his power to ensure that there will be levity.
Having created two Gone Pebbles, Qitlan used one as a test and ascertain a very painful if not meaningful memory. He took the second stone from Owen by force and then took his leave, expecting more in the future. We’ll be seeing more of Qitlan later on, but for the time being, he seems to have gotten what he wanted out of Owen for now with Gone Pebbles being accessible.

The next part of the chapter had the whole group finding themselves a large spacious domain to rest themselves. With actual cover this time, they were all able to spread out and not cluster in a large group while one or two worked in shifts. This allowed selective characterization to take place between Zena and Gahi, with the subject involving Owen and his influence on both of them in the past.

Gahi’s case was that there was a misunderstanding between them. He figured that he and Owen were a thing before, but once the air gradually cleared and they had time to clarify, it was assured that they were just friends. Though this did bring Gahi down significantly, it helped him realize that there were steps to be made in this kind of bond that they all share. Owen had been in relationships with so many other Pokemon before, and that made Gahi want to take a step back and think about his position and what he meant to Owen if it isn’t as a relationship. While talking isn’t a strongpoint of his, Gahi knows that it’s something that he needs to work on in general if he wants to better understand others and himself.
Zena’s case is slightly different. In her case, she was once in a relationship with Owen and backed out because she figured that it was out of desperation and salvation. She had no independence of her own and was weak, and Owen was just coincidentally there for her to get attached to. To that degree, this flaw came to light, so she, like Gahi, had to take steps backwards to help herself reevaluate herself and become more independent on herself.
Both of these characters are borderline tragic based on their past fallouts with Owen; however, that doesn’t mean that they are completely hopeless. This chapter helped served as a reminder that they have functional brains and have enough moral compass inside their heads to figure out right and wrong. Good work on focusing on these two.

The next biggest scene in this chapter were the events that transpired the day after their sound slumber. With them on a time crunch, they had to find Other Owen or risk him and their current Owen suffering from reconditioning. They all readied the Waypoint, and readied much of the Fairy-type Legendaries that were ready to go. Though, to my aspect, that isn’t a wise move to be pulled. As pointed out in the chapter, that would leave the domain exposed, and while there are some enemies around, they are more or less neutralized. But even so, that doesn’t guarantee total safety. It was a risky play made.

As they all readied for departure, this was where Zena and Owen were finally able to e alone and cleanse the air between themselves with what their history brought upon them. The conversation felt very normal and down-to-earth; ironically, this helped compliment Zena since she was the most normal aspect of the whole group dynamic. To Owen, she was his anchor that helped remind him that while abnormal Pokemon exist, there are still regular Pokemon too that don’t have anything special about themselves, yet they are still able to make do in this chaotic adventure. Valid and ideal references were made to help Zena realize her importance to Owen, even when they now just friends.

The last bit of the chapter had everyone gather at the Radiant Tree of Life, where even much of the Legendaries, exclude Giratina and a few exceptions, were present for this upbringing. You really showed the sheer level of impatience and to-the-point Xerneas was. Using its powers of life and vitality, everyone in the small group underwent a quick but also painful procedure that would restore their vitality. This would enable them to leave the Voidlands without risking evaporating. This will undoubtedly be an important aspect to come later on in the story.
But this section also served as a twist and sudden upbringing for Owen as well. Much to his chagrin, Dialga suddenly made himself known and transformed into Lucario, leaving a state of relief to everyone who thought he was gone, exclude Owen.

So, overall, this chapter helped clear up some misunderstanding between Gahi and Zena and Owen. Owen certainly had a lot to go through, but even if that were the case, he was able to keep a stable conscience and remember that despite the misfit group they were, they had a bond. This served well with Zena especially with reaffirming her position and importance to Owen. And we move the plot slightly more forward, with Xerneas giving all of them vitality to help press further onto their path.

Looking forward to seeing more soon! Keep up the good characterization!

~Insane Dominator
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