Reviews for The Darkness Within
tracefan chapter 50 . 10/8/2013
Blaze has the best ideas, ever. And it should be noted that despite his ridiculous suggestions, he DID have the idea that they actually used.
tracefan chapter 49 . 10/8/2013
Despite Tarot remains one of my favorite characters, his introduction is beyond bizarre. I can't even remember why he was compelled to say he disliked caves, nor if that alleged quality was ever consistent from that point on.

His entire character, as well as other characters in a similar vein, originated from my tarot fascination around that time. Doing the readings for chapters did get extremely tedious after time, though, since I actually studied the meanings and then worked out a way how that interpretation might fit with characters without being open to severely different alternate interpretations.
tracefan chapter 47 . 10/8/2013
I guess we can muse that Blaze is honest, or deluded as to what stalking means.
tracefan chapter 45 . 10/8/2013
Ah yes, this chapter. Concept remains hilarious, and of course, it's wise not to consider just how horrible the logic must be for the Rockets to unify the genders for no real reason.

Blaze is more or less at his best here, as he's not nearly as annoying as he eventually became, while maintaining a fairly solid concept of being a shameless flirt that is nevertheless utterly ineffective at it. Blaze (author, not Flareon...this label totally began because of this chapter) might have been where I pulled the name from, but I honestly don't remember if it was deliberate, or if I just liked the name.

Rosa has her subtle, unnamed debut here, which brings up weird questions regarding her obsession.
tracefan chapter 42 . 10/8/2013
Okay, it's becoming increasingly clear that all of Diablos POV chapters were written with the intention of demonstrating that he's still an active antagonist. While the characters don't yet realize that Diablos is a recurring threat, they've received hints that they seem peculiarly quick to dismiss, which is a different issue not related to what I'm analyzing here.

The biggest problem I see with the Diablos POV chapters is how ridiculously petty he is. While the chapters seem to be trying to highlight his malice and cruel, manipulative nature, it's executed fairly poorly because he's only effective at hurting the equivalent of NPCs, and so far extremely ineffective at affecting the protagonists in a long-term manner.

As for Diablos' character, he has a theme of inner darkness, but he neither explains the concept, nor does anything visibly effective. Half the time, he simply possesses his target, and the other half, he's chaotic evil. On that note. Diablos' evil nature is so ridiculously hammy about how evil he is that he acts like a living cliche, such as all but abusing his underlings and using dialogue like "fool".

On a more serious analysis, Diablos seems incapable of concealing his true nature for long. Even when possessing others and pretending to be an ally, he's unable to resist prodding at their sore spots and giving incredibly non-subtle hints that he's malicious. Even more comically, his debate with Nightmare revealed that while Diablos has a firm idealogy about love and affection, he blatantly denies its value and cannot handle being challenged or pressed on the subject, which makes him seem completely irrational. Half of everything he does serves no greater purpose to himself other than sadistic amusement, and even that impact is so small-scale as to be stupidly petty.

Amusingly, the last section is the only real time Diablos is subtly cruel, with his idea of giving someone a taste of what they want, only to remove it again. This is ultimately a superior theme to just "hate and anger" that he preached to Dragonair and Ember. Despair is a better way of crushing someone's spirit than encouraging retaliation.

For continuity purposes, Diablos implies that Nightmare works under him for the sake of gaining power, but later chapters and backstory material reveal this to be false, as Diablos neither attempts to supply Nightmare with extra power, nor does the Gastly ever pursue it.
tracefan chapter 35 . 10/7/2013
I don't think I had actually meant anything special with Diablos' excuse of "looking for an old acquaintance to resolve an old conflict", it should have referred to Dragonair originally. But considering who is met near Celadon in a later chapter, this may have ended up being unintentional foreshadowing.

Portraying emotions, particularly anger, was definitely not a skill of mine back then...3
tracefan chapter 33 . 10/7/2013
Despite putting a large number of action scenes in the story, action scenes don't seem to be much of a strong point, writing wise. This chapter is notable as being the one that set-up Ember's aversion to Charmeleon, as well as highlighting her preference to claw techniques.
tracefan chapter 31 . 10/6/2013
I do vaguely recall that Diablos was notorious for using the approach of "cruelty for the sake of cruelty". Yet he should have an actual motive behind doing so, which this particular instance fails to indicate. He even states he's doing it purely for kicks, which makes him exceedingly petty.

By the time I had conjured up the concept of Dark Eons, this scene must have been forgotten, because its existence here contradicts Diablos' later (but chronologically past) shows of cunning.
tracefan chapter 27 . 10/6/2013
Waaaaay too easily forgiven, and not nearly enough focus on the fact Venomoth's personality did a complete 360 when possessed. Even though there was attention on it, characters shrugged it off with no real reason to believe she truly didn't remember the events.
tracefan chapter 25 . 10/6/2013
I'm getting annoyed of how many chapters end with unnecessary "dramatic" statements.
tracefan chapter 24 . 10/6/2013
Tsk. Obviously, this being written WAY too long ago, before I had even truly grasped what Diablos' shtick was, or even the correct concept with inner darkness. Dragonair's inner darkness is indicated to be rage, but that's not what inner darkness actually is. Inner darkness is what drives a person to do whatever is necessary to attain their desires.

Of course, that somewhat becomes problematic as Dragonair's character flaw is his selfish whims. If anything, power from rage would be his method of protecting his interests. Amusingly, this means while Diablos totally failed in his objective, he was actually completely correct in what should be able to tempt Dragonair: Fear of his loved ones being hurt without being able to do anything, and satisfaction drawn from aggressive defense.
tracefan chapter 21 . 10/6/2013
Spark somehow knows the word 'building' and can say it without difficulty. Nightmare's entry was trying too hard to be dramatic, which made Diablos' intro line horrifically weak.
tracefan chapter 20 . 10/6/2013
Retrospectively, Ember is almost comically OOC, granted, her backstory was not developed enough at that point. That aside, the 'romance' of Dragonair and Sapphire was a touch rushed and considering it's more or less a long-distance relationship with him being a colossal jerk half the time, she is WAY too tolerant.
tracefan chapter 16 . 10/6/2013
Only necessary commentary here was that Blaze wrote his chapter, and I based the entire chapter on that. Not super fond of Sapphire's dialogue, but that couldn't really be helped, since she hadn't been fleshed out much at the time, and it's the first of only two times we didn't co-work on the chapter using each other's material.

I'm not even entirely sure why this chapter was NEEDED on my end. It did little as an intro chapter, and any plot-serving fodder/drama it had was never built upon past one point.
tracefan chapter 14 . 10/6/2013
Apparently, random Raichu are top retrieval priorities under the circumstances. Or something. Clearly, it was to prolong the story arc involved because I had nothing better in mind.

Dragonair's rage at the drop of a hat would actually be absurdly out of character in retrospect, especially with the abundant emphasis that he's angered.
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