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Let's Play Dark Rising 2 and Order Destroyed (LP #4 / #4.5)


[Title theme for this go-around: Gradus Vita]

(Originally made on January 8th, 2017)

I've been waiting a long time for this day.

The beast has returned.

For the uninitiated, Dark Rising 2 is part of a Pokemon rom hack series made by the eponymous Dark Rising Girl - long story short, the first game was inhumanly buggy, lazy and laden with a difficulty curve so punishing and erratic that you might as well have fought an eighty foot tall mechanical Joe Frasier bare-handed. (Prime example: You start at level 5... and you end the game fighting a level 99 abomination with 1000 Base Stat Total and a 200 power Dark move. It's inhuman.)

The first game holds the lowest score I've given/could give to any game, fanmade or otherwise... so you're probably wondering why the hell I would be willing to go back into this series instead of casting it into the Thames where it belongs.

Well... for one, I like to stay positive and hope she may have improved as time passed, and second I want to get this dirt patch off of my list of games to let's play. The third reason is entirely because of how events I made unfolded in the last let's play - I liked them so much that I wanted to continue even if Dark Rising itself is irredeemably awful.

Oh well. Apologies to anybody who wanted to see the FFTA playthrough finished, but this was something I wanted to get off my chest the instant I finished the first Dark Rising. Couldn't hold back the temptation any longer, I suppose. (Of course, I'll finish FFTA in due time, but right now...)

Pack your bags and bring your pain pills because we're going to raise some hell.

Chapter 1 - Dawn of the New World

Yeah, I don't know what this is about. I have the right save file type and I can even do hard saves now, but I still get this message.

Oh thank god Pikachu's head isn't kaput this time around. I still have no idea how that glitch happened in the first game.

"If you're receiving this letter, you must be the person who defeated the Omni League Champion, Adrian. I am Professor Mercury and this world... is inhabited far and wide by creatures called Pokemon. You are embarking on a cruise here to the Omni Region to start your next adventure and overcome new challenges."

... Well, that's certainly different - a custom trainer sprite. I'll admit that it still has the shading problem from before, but this is a far cry compared to the simple recolors of existing characters that the first game had.

Essentially, the most you should take away from this is that an eldritch abomination called Darugis has plans to destroy the world with his personal army of idiots that your character had to slog through. You wind up here because you're still chasing the tyrant and now you're here to stop him for good, or so I hope.

I'm not even going to bother picking the genders this time, because if it's a direct continuation from the first game then of course I'm going as the girl. She looks way different in this game now that the graphics have taken a creativity upgrade.

Before, the female choice looked like Leaf with a Super Mario dress and minimal hat shading, but now they definitely look... different. Her legs aren't transparent, by the way - it just blurs together with all of this blue.

Long story short, Monica is - Christ what happened to your face, dude. We're not even out the starting line and we're already getting weird glitches.

Ahem. You are the son/daughter of a man named Jean Blake, a person said to have sealed Darugis away a long time ago... although the timeframe on that is extremely unclear because game canon Darugis is supposed to have created the universe with Arceus. (My renovations are a different story, however, and we'll cover that in time)

You assemble a rag tag group of losers to form a new generation of Team Dark Rising (yes, that's really what she went with, roll the credits already) so you can fight Darugis, but you're the only one who really matters in the long run so who cares am I right?

"I was also informed by your region's professor that you're coming with a friend."

Monica had a blonde friend? That said, he looks pretty average and has actual shading, so alright.

Believe it or not, I didn't recognize who this was at first. It's supposed to be your rival from the first game but thanks to the creativity upgrade and the blonde hair, he looks completely different. I even called him Jim without realizing it was the same guy.

What the hell happened to your palette, Noah? It's like someone spilled hot coffee all over his body.

"Please be sure you've filled out the questions correctly and have this letter sent back to me. I will see you soon!"

Alright, cool. I really have no idea of what to expect coming up - I know it's gonna be uber cheating hard, but let's hope everything else is decent enough so I won't be completely miserable.

"We have finally set sail in the Omni Region!"

Brand new region. Let's cross our fingers and hope that it's actually a brand new region and not just Kanto again.

"So much has happened, it seems like forever since I started on my journey. Dad, I'm coming for you... let's do this!"

So we're starting out on a ship of all places - cool, cool.

I'll give her credit, DRG could have easily made this an exposition dump about everything that happened in the first game and that would be horrible, but thank god that didn't happen.

This guy is a Nonverbal NPC when you talk to him from the side...

But when you try to leave, he actually responds. How does she do that?

Sailor: "As requested, your Dragon Pokemon and your Pokedex are being held by Professor Mercury of Arkaios City. Lady Florina and Master Dray are waiting for you at the dock. Before you leave the ship, here are you shoes. The maidens have cleaned them off well."

The way this guy talks is really fancy. It makes me feel like Monica and pals are actually respected around for what they did in the last game, which is good because it was torture.

Ooh, I like that they give you the Running Shoes right away. Any game that does that is cool in my book.

The pointer arrow is black and purple this time around. That's neat, I guess.

This dude gives you a potion for free. Can't complain.

"Because of this, all of their doors are locked."

Yeah, I figured. Don't want you to sneak into a mid-game battle from the original FireRed with no Pokemon.

Item Balls remain as presents. Still adorable.

You get a Stardust here, so that's cool. It's the least valuable of all of the items you could sell, but you still get free money. Good stuff.

The captain mutters something about going to Unova and that's alright. Though to be fair, I'd much rather go to Unova than wherever we might land in here.

... Excuse me? Then how do people go to and leave from the island? From airplanes? From Pokemon? Because I find it extremely unlikely that no nautical business has ever happened in the amount of time it takes to make a solid living here.

Oi vey.

"You left down in your room downstairs. Take this."

"Your room is the only one that's opened. Make sure you get your stuff before we clean up."

I'll do just that, my boy. Word of warning: You can still leave without said items, so it would have been better to create a script that stops you until you get them - I can believe she can actually do that now based on what we've seen already.

"I've decided to come to the Omni Region to expand my knowledge of Pokemon."

This should give us an accurate timeframe of when this game was made. Kalos stuff should be really interesting considering this game is still a straight hack of FireRed (I checked.)

A Master Ball right off the bat, whoo boy. This is gonna be a ride.

... Then again, if this is supposed to be a continuation from the first story, then I guess it makes sense that you still have a Master Ball from what you did. You're supposed to have two though, so what the hell happened to the other one?

(Future Dan: The Landorus you never caught used it up via plot contrivance. I knew that son of a bitch was up to no good.)

This weird green egg is actually supposed to be the Jewel of Life. I'm extremely glad she didn't forget about it and is still keeping it relevant in this game, but why would Monica just leave that lying around in the open? That's like putting the Hope Diamond on display for everyone to take it.

Hey, it's the loser crew.

Florina: [Sighs] "Be serious, Dray."

Dray: "What?! I'm excited for this. By the way, Monica. Did you do something with your hair? It looks different."

(I'm still not giving these guys portraits until I see their sprites in game.)

: "I look different? Noah is the one who dyed his hair blonde."

It is really weird seeing her as Leaf for the entire first adventure and seeing her now as this goth chick with purple hair.

Yeah, you're definitely cooler than the blue Brendan you were in the first game.

Sydney: "Enough talk! Monica, Noah, go get your Pokemon so we can defeat Darugis - now!"

Whoa, hey don't get so aggressive. We're getting to it. I should probably give a short summary of who these people are:

Dray and Florina are just there, Noah is your rival and Sydney is the only one with an actual backstory as she's a Dragon-user whose parents were killed by Darugis.

She was our enemy for the longest time, complete with an angsty, ultra combative demeanor... but she warmed up at the end. Thank god too because I was this close to using her as target practice.


[The professor from the intro walks into the group]

"You were supposed to be here an hour ago... come to my lab... Immediately!"

[She leaves the scene]

Pushy, much?

: "Hey, Monica! I'm going to the lab. See you there!"

Florina: "You better hurry up to the lab, also. We'll see you later!"

[The entire crew leaves]

: "Alright, round two of the big adventure... I just hope I don't have as much of a headache this time around."

Arkaios is a real word, by the way - it means "new with reference to a beginning point" in Greek. That's a surprisingly educated reference.

[Actual in-game music: Arkaios City]


There's honest to goodness custom music in this? That's insane. Not only that, this place doesn't look half bad! It's actually decent looking, although I'll admit that my expectations aren't incredibly high after the Hell that was the first game.

These are mistakes we all saw coming a mile away, but this is still hella neat.

A Mart in the first town that you don't even need the professor's permission to use? Good start.

"But it remains the most peaceful, quiet place in the Omni Region."

How long do you think it'll take before this gets proven wrong?

... Benga? As in this
munchkin here? He seems to pop up in a lot of these rom hacks, now that I think about it.

You can't go inside and trying to hack your way in kicks you into a fake Link Battle room. I find that fascinating because the game seems to use that as the default "don't know where to go" pointer.

"I don't think Professor Mercury qualifies to be the region's leading Professor on Pokemon. She's way too grouchy and assertive for young trainers to ask her for advice."

Well then, that's interesting. She's referred to as an asshole yet she's still the professor... I dunno, I find that more unique than just having her be a goody two shoes professor.

She's not named after a plant either, but when I went to look up "mercury trees" I found literal aluminum christmas trees. So uh... she's a rebel?

"Professor Ivan entrusted me with your Dragon Pokemon and your Pokedex. Although the Pokedex is here, I'm afraid that your data within the Core Region is not. It has been deleted..."

: "... Great..."

How the hell did the Pokedex data get deleted? To be fair, I completely understand why they had to do this - it's a brand new game with a new array of Pokemon. Still weird, though.

: "Don't you look at me like that!"

: "... Fine..."

: "Now, for your Dragon Pokemon!"

"My assistant over there has a Pokedex."

: "Is she really serious? What kind of a professor is this?"

Noah speaks the most sense.

: "Now, back to what I was saying. In the packages, I have your Dragon Pokemon. Which one belongs to you?"

They... they hand you the fully evolved versions of the starters from the last game right off the bat. That's really cool, but since I'm following a story here...

Yeeeeeah, boy!

Wait, what the fuck? Corin? Why are you level 10? What kind of wizardry is this?

The worst part is that in the real Pokemon games, amazing things like level 10 Salamence are perfectly legal thanks to the madness involving S.O.S Battles.

: ("I'm not quite sure myself actually. There seems to be some force that's cut my strength in half, because I'm positive I wasn't weak before we got here.")

: "Oh brilliant."

Nice. Let's get this show on the road!

[Monica flinched at the prospect of a rival battle but notices Noah didn't come after her]

... Huh. Now that's eyecatching.

DRG managed to remove the rival battle from the start of the game... I know it's not a big thing, but this gives me hope.

Not only does this town have a Pokemon Center, there's... a person here too.

"In the Omni Region. For example, I'm an extremist."

An... extremist? Okay, I'm staying away from you.

: ("She looks sorta familiar...")

???: "Well, I'll be leaving now..."

[The person disappears]

Hold on a second. Wasn't that the girl that you encounter at the gate to the Core League? The one that looked like a red-bandanna version of Shelly from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire? It almost makes me wish there was a Complete Edition for Dark Rising that ironed out all of the flaws.

It'd have less stupid bullshit in it, all be in one game and not be ungodly stupidly broken regarding the difficulty and bug-testing.

[This place has a custom theme too but I don't have it]

I don't like the route theme as much as I do the actual city theme, so what can you do. The fact there's even custom music at all is mind-boggling.

"You must be the other trainer we were told to look out for."

: "Who are you? Wait... those uniforms... You're a member of Team Galactic!"

How does Monica know what Team Galactic members look like if she doesn't come from Sinnoh?

Grunt: "That's right! We're back and we're taking over! Only this time, we're much larger thanks to Master Cyrus's pact with Team Rocket, Aqua, Magma and Plasma. But you won't be able to see us take over the world because I'm eliminating you right here!"

Oh lordy loo, here we goooooo. Right, I should explain this - in the first Dark Rising, there was a side plot element involving Giovanni and how he was going to make a pact with every other Team to take over the world and dethrone Darugis. I'm really fond of this idea and surprised that she's bringing it into the second game, but only two problems with it.

One, Darugis is already a major threat and powerful to the point where he can just breathe and people would die. All of the antagonists of the real Pokemon games coming together as one big group would be something that requires a story of its own, so they're wildly out of place in this game with a pre-established villain.

Second, the idea makes no sense if you take it at face value. If you pay attention to the actual series canon for Pokemon, none of the teams would realistically come together if they've been dismantled by the player characters. Galactic and Plasma are the worst examples of this because Cyrus is supposed to be hurtling through the Distortion World and Ghetsis is... well, let's just assume he lost his sanity to the point of being incoherent. (Have you seen him at the end of Black/White 2? His Hydreigon having a Life Orb is supposed to be symbolic, you know...)

There's Monica's new backsprite - she's a purple-haired Dawn with red clothes. Yeah, I never said the game was completely free from palette swaps of existing characters...

The Grunt themselves is cannon fodder. They're easy peasy no matter which dragon you choose or what Pokemon you get on this route.

Earth Power is normally a horrible choice for Garchomp as they're not Special Attackers, but there's no Physical/Special split function in this hack... so yeah, Corin has a free 90 base power move right at the start of the game, as she rightfully should being the Pokemon of a legendary heroine.

These guys give a ton of experience too - just one Stunky and it knocks Corin straight to level 11. I guess that's cool.

("I wonder where the others are.")

Yeah, where did Dray and the others go? Did they leave before the goons showed up?

... Exclamation boxes are also black for some reason.

: "I've heard it all before."

[One ass-whupping later, Monica receives a call from her phone]

: "Hello?"

: "Monica, I've got something important to give you. Go to the PC at the nearest Pokemon Center - it's a surprise."

: "Oooh, alright! I'll get to it."

[A message pops up on screen]

: "So you're really in the Omni Region, huh? You're gonna need some real firepower, so what better gift can I give than... The Crew?"

[Theme I would use here: Invitation of a Crazed Moon]

: "Yooo! Do you really mean it?"

: "Of course! Take a look for yourself!"

: "Damn! You got everyone here!"

: "I brought your best guys and hell, even some of my own. Can't be too safe, after all."

: "Nice. Hey, where's Sathala* and the others?"

*1: A Whimsicott that managed to be a complete badass twice in the DR1 playthrough.

: "They're at home with your mom. Amaterasu* and Sheol* seem to have vanished, so I don't know where they went... But yeah. Knock 'em dead, babe. You can do it."

*2: A Reshiram encountered at the end of DR1. She was part of something complicated involving the Tao Trio and mostly sat around to tell LP!Monica about Arceus being the real bad guy.

*3: A Giratina encountered at the 8th gym badge town. You were never actually supposed to capture them, but thanks to the game's impossibly broken nature, you can get one for free while it still acts like you caught it for someone else. Sheol was just... there for only two scenes - he went Lali Ho in the team set-ups and mused about Monica's power. That's about it.

: "Thank you, Jack. I'll make sure Darugis is six feet under in no time."

If we're really continuing from the last game, then having the whole team here plus some of the guys from the Snakewood let's play (Because as it turns out, this series is part of a saga with Snakewood thanks to DRG mentioning it at one point).

The amount of prep work I had to do before this first chapter went up was insane - I nearly spent the entire day on it.

Fun fact: Floatzel and Staraptor aren't normally in the game, so I had to expand the game's Pokemon count just to include them. I also added in some new surprises... so that's crazy.

: ("Let's get it down!")

: ("Let's save the world!")

: ("We're actually helping Monica, miss Bellamine! Maybe we'll see Sigurd too!")

: ("I'd like that.")

A cool thing is that there's Kalos Pokemon in here, although their sprites are a bit... off. Still, they're there if you want to use them.

Found a Buneary! So not only do we have old LP Pokemon here, we also have brand new ones like Iris here. Too bad there's no Mega Lopunny in this game, because you know I would wreck house with a monster like that.

Birth Elimination? What the hell are these guys planning?

... Fancy name there.

By walking, you idiot.

: "My lab leads to a shortcut into Tabula Rasa. Never mind that now... You sure took your sweet time getting here."

(That guy from before wasn't kidding, sheesh.)

: "I was attacked by by a bunch of Galactic Grunts. What's going on here?"

: "Something very disturbing... Tabula Rasa is home to many newborn Pokemon. This team Galaxy, or whatever they call themselves, have decided to attack the newborn Pokemon and the new trainers that were planning to start their adventure today. In the Omni Region, new trainers must catch their first Pokemon in Tabula Rasa, it is not given to them. Today, many new trainers have gone there... I'm afraid for them."

Huh. Interesting world-building there. Also, how low do you have to be to attack baby Pokemon and young trainers? Like that's serious scuzzbot territory.

: "I'll handle it, don't worry. I think my friends are in there too. We'll defeat those grunts. (This has to be the work of Darugis. Has it really taken control of every evil group in history?")

Oh wait, Darugis is controlling the evil teams to do all of this - they're not functioning on their own. That makes a little bit more sense, but again...

: "Very well, make sure that you do."

Believe it or not, Tabula Rasa does stand for something - an absence of pre-conceived ideas or goals... a clean slate. Given how this place is supposed to be where young kids go and befriend baby Pokemon to make them their partners, that's actually excellent. Props to DRG.

[Actual in-game music: Tabula Rasa]

It's a pink cotton candy forest... that also has its own theme. Strange, but this whole beginning bit is still nice, all things considered.

"You're here to assist the group of people over there in kicking these weirdos out of Tabula Rasa. I'm right, aren't I?"

: "Who are you? Are you associated with Team Galactic too?"

???: "Do I look like one of them? Instead of conversing with me, you should get a move on. Your friends are having a tough time. I'll just watch from here."

: ("Instead of just standing here, she should be helping me. Ugh...")

Good point.

[Actual in-game music: Wild Pokemon]

I am consistently impressed by all of the custom music here. All of the baby Pokemon are at level 5, by the way.

Generous, much?

There were some more Galactic grunts around here, but they went down easy peasy.

Rocket Grunts are here too, apparently. They have different Pokemon from the Galactic guys...

But they go down just as easily. Getting poisoned sucks, especially when you remember that you're not going to have a team like I do right now.

Wouldn't say that, bucko.

Who just leaves these incredibly valuable healing items in the middle of a baby Pokemon forest?

Everyone's getting their time to shine.

: "Don't even try it."

Murkrow are blistering, and that's all I'll say on the matter. Out of all of the grunts here, this guy had the greatest chance to beat me and it was still something low like 5% or something.

: "That's cool and all, but just wait until I really get in the groove. There won't be anything left of it."

"She tried to protect me from the bad people, but she wound up fainting... They took Tommy and his Bonsly up to the play pen area."

I feel so bad for these kids. They just want to get some Pokemon so they can be trainers yet the plot of DR2 happened.

Okay, you guys are officially taking it too far. Although logically, shouldn't they kill their own Pokemon if they're going to be true to that message?

"Don't finish that sentence..."

Oh dear god, they're referencing Captain Planet. I'm howling here.

[Monica slaps her into oblivion]

: "Don't care. Next?"

"We've been ordered here by Giovanni himself to stop the birth of all Pokemon in the Omni Region."

What the hell kind of morbid plot is Darugis putting into everyone's brains lately? That's genuinely screwed up if ridiculous given the scale of it.

The battle went the way you think it did.

Holy shit, I caught a Happiny. I think they're a rare pokemon here, guys. Lucky Dan, eh?

A bit too generous, huh.

I'm uber suspicious of this game now.

Oh lord, here we go.

Cyrus: "Indeed I am."

Dray: "Monica, we'll hold off his grunts. You take care of him!"

: "Gotcha! Let's do this!"

Cyrus: "Your attempt to stop us now is futile. We shall rid the world of Pokemon entirely!"

: [Rolls eyes] "Yeah, we'll see!"

[Theme for this bit: Cyrus's actual battle theme]

The first actual boss in the game and it's with Cyrus of all people. Monica is almost getting PTSD flashbacks to that guy in the first game that looked a lot like him.

The Vengeance of the Rude Crude Dudes Alert

Cyrus is also a pain in the ass to beat. His Murkrow is the least of our problems and they're still strong enough to sweep through most of the team. Pursuit and Wing Attack really hurt.

Thankfully he decided to be stupid and use Confuse Ray. Ambes didn't hit himself once and wound up paralyzing the damn thing into oblivion. Nice.

His Sneasel is a mixed bag. Sometimes he's really smart and uses Icy Wind to beat through the team, yet other times he will randomly Low Kick Gale for piddly damage. I don't get it.

(While we're still at it, why does Garchomp's sprite have that weird thick outline?)


What a monster this thing is. Not only do you have the level mountain range at work again, you have to fight a fully evolved Pokemon... while the rest of your team should be around level 12 with one pseudo-legendary and about five baby Pokemon. It's ludicrous.

It gets worse, though. Just take a look at this:



Being difficult doesn't automatically make your game better, nor will people grind to meet with whatever threat you throw them with. You'd think with this being the second game she'd learn from the mistakes of the first, but apparently not.

A Level 20 Gyarados with 250 EVs and no real way to combat it other than grinding an Elekid that will most likely die in one or two hits? Come on. This is actually not the worst of it, because aside from having Scald (a STAB move that burns and is boosted by a held item), he also has... and stay with me when I say this here, but... HYPER BEAM.


Through a long and complicated series of events, I managed to defeat Cyrus with no casualties. I was stuck for an hour or so on this, and it's not even the first chapter... what a start, huh?

Yeah no kidding, how are you supposed to beat that??

"That Pokemon who's protecting the boy and his Bonsly is glowing!"

Cyrus: "Argh. Everyone, retreat!"

he be a pirate

Dray: "No way. Monica, we'll chase after them! Meet us later!"

Oh hey, they're legit helping Monica out. That's far better than whatever the hell they were doing in the first game.

"I was scared until you and the green Pokemon showed up."

: "Aw, it was nothing."

This kid managed to have both Virizion of the Swords of Justice and Monica show up to save him. Lucky dog.

: ("It spoke? It's communicating with me mentally just like Entei did in the Core Region.")

Virizion: ("You're this generation's chosen savior. Arceus does not make mistakes, you are the one. However, do not let anger fuel your motivation to win. That will give Darugis the edge in this battle. Goodbye, Monica.")

: "I'll try to keep that in mind."

But yeah guys, that's all I can fit into one chapter. Next time on Dark Rising 2, we're going to... do something that will likely wind up with me getting frustrated. I dunno with this game. See you then.

Team setup:

(Corin, level 14,
) - "Oh dear god, we're back at this again."
(Siegfried, level 11,
) - "Come on guys, we can do it! We just have to have faith in Monica and our new team members!"
(Gale, level 16,
) - "... That Cyrus battle left me a little winded, jeez."
(Wave, level 11,
) - "You did great, Gale. I don't think they could have done it without you!"
(Bellamine, level 13,
) - "The journey never ends, does it?"
(Ambes, level 13,
) - "Oh no. This is gonna be a lot harder than our adventure with Jack, isn't it?"


Back-up Team:

(Jeanne, level 7,
) - "Glad to meet you. It's always good to meet other strong Pokemon that aren't trying to rip our throats out."
(Ignell, level 6,
) - "I can say the same, wahahaha!"
(Arthur, level 8,
) - "Aye. You'd think they'd let up after a while, but no such luck."
(Beatrice, level 7,
) - "Monica seems like quite the capable leader... with our combined might, we should be unstoppable."
(Candelabra, level 7,
) - "I know, right? It's super cool! Oh, and by the way, my name is Candy. "
(Iris, level 6,
) - "... I feel like the odd one out. How about you?"
(Lucera, level 5,
) - "Oh, no question. It's like we stumbled into a reunion."
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Rainbow Chara X
This is going to be an exercise in frustration.

Chapter 2 - Your Thieving Heart

Unlike the last few Pokemon let's plays, I'm actively switching out Pokemon so everyone can get some screentime.

With a name like that, this place is bound to be sunshine and rainbows.

Yep, just what I expected.

I know I'm cheating to even have Arthur and the rest of the crew here, but I can't help but laugh when I see a level 10 Escavalier smash a Rattata with his forehead.

Jeanne is incredibly busted this time around because Ninetales in this game have Drought as a primary ability...

This is a vast step-up from her appearance in Snakewood and she was already the team carrier in that game so yeeesh.

Ah yes, something cool I should mention - DRG litters certain areas with rare starter encounter chances - she did this even in the first game. It's a nice concept, but unfortunately when you actually do find one, they're at level 10... In a game where you are forced to grind to level 99 to beat the game.

If someone else is a trainer, even something as innocent as saying hi will end up with blood flowing through the streets.

I show off how cruel I am by atomizing a poor Sewaddle. There is nothing left of it, christ!

You can find Carnivine around here, but aside from their kooky faces and existence as a flying venus fly trap... not much else going for them.

For context, Beatrice is a Pokemon that goes as far back as the Snakewood let's play but never had her full potential realized due to Roserades not existing in that game. She returned around the end of the first Dark Rising, but at that point I had already super-grinded and had a solidified team, so she couldn't really do anything there.

... Until this game, that is. She's not only an early team member with great moves and stats, but you're not even supposed to get a Roserade in the first place.

♫I love cheating, I love breakin' things ~♫

You know, it would have been really appreciated if you sold these in the mart that we just went to.

: "I don't even know you, but okay."

[Jeanne roasts every Pokemon of his indiscriminately]

There's just... Hoothoot everywhere. I think they're there for creepy(?) effect, but okay.

Small question - why is there a monk in the middle of the woods? He's just... there. Also, let it be said that DRG has not fixed her recolor problem, because yeesh those black robes.

Oh good let's make the death god fox even more powerful - Dan is totally fair

You see, since Jeanne comes with a free Sunny Day every fight now, I replaced the move with something far more insidious... In fact, just watch.

This is a real thing Ninetales can do, and it's glorious.

Have I talked about Gale yet? She's Monica's personal pilotwing, but is also easily the most powerful bird yet due to Staraptor's incredible 120 base attack stat.

Oh yes, there's also Kricketune - a Pokemon I like due to them being a conductor cricket with a big doofy moustache, but that's about all they have going for them.

... Is he wearing a Rasta hat or is that hair?

"You're one of them losers causing trouble in Tabula Rasa, aren't you?!"

: "You got the wrong idea. Me and my friends are actually pursuing those guys right now."

???: "Yeah, right! Who do you think you're foolin'? No one messes with the people of my hometown. You're going down, sucka!"

: "I don't have time for this, back off!"

This is the most reasonable line anybody has said in this series yet.

???: "No way, pal! My name's Benga and I'm the protector of the people!"

Wait, what?

Why does this guy appear in every fangame now? Although if I'm gonna be real with you, this is arguably his worst appearance yet not just because of the level curse but also because of plot complications. You'll see what I mean in a sec...

His first Pokemon isn't much of a problem - it's just a Nidoran... One that should be a Nidorino by now (they evolve at level 16) but I'm not complaining.

Arthur drills into the poor son of a bitch with his candy cane lances.

Larvesta's up next and to be honest, they're not that bad. I'd be much more worried if it were Volcarona because Volcarona is a beast, but right now?

Yeah, they're mince-meat. The most incredible thing that I've learned recently is that there is a functioning Physical/Special split working in this hack, which explains why Earth Power was doing relatively little damage earlier. Good on this hack.

Zen Headbutt has also been changed to be less game-breaking as it can no longer stunlock opponents into oblivion. In fact, it can't induce flinching at all anymore. It's really bizarre how hot and cold the mechanics for this one move have been as time passed.

Zangoose is easily the biggest threat out of Benga's team due to them having an impeccable attack stat and being level 22 (naturally). I swear, this game would be infinitely more accessible if you didn't have to do forced grinding.

These two duke it out for a bit before both of them get down to dangerously low levels of health. Then this happened:

Like damn, that was a close shave. Anything less and I would have been out a Staraptor.

"There's no way you're one of them losers then, they wouldn't be this strong. Who the heck are you?"

: ("This guy... he battles so aggressively. What's his deal?")

(Gale got burned in between frames because I had to keep retrying this fight multiple times just because of how unnecessarily difficult it was.)

: "My name's Monica. I just came to the Omni Region not too long ago to seek out a monster named Darugis. He's trying to destroy the world and has an organization working with him to destroy all Pokemon."

: "Uh-huh... The first part sounds like I need to investigate. But the second part... I could care less. Actually, the world would be better off without Pokemon. Deep down they're evil and just waiting for the right moment to strike all of us."

I can't. This guy cannot be serious.

Benga, you unbelievable hypocrite, what did you just use to fight Monica's team?

This has to be one of the stupidest plot threads I've seen in a game yet, because Benga hates every Pokemon out there despite having a team of his own and his beef primarily revolving around only four Pokemon in particular. It makes no goddamn sense no matter which way you look at it.

: "What are you saying? Pokemon are living creatures and our friends. (Hell, you even used some right now to fight me.)"

: "You're a fool. I'm out of here. I have a feeling I'll be seeing you again soon."

[Benga leaves]

Why, you little donkey. I imagine Monica and the team just staring at him with the biggest "what the fuck" faces they could make just due to how this guy's logic works.

This guy tells you to pick up the Pokedex or your Pokemon won't be able to evolve... To be brutally honest, if you have to put a person here to remind your players to pick up the Pokedex, then I'm pretty sure you're doing game design wrong.

Second town in the game and it's a Grass place.

: "Smells nice, though."

: "Uh... not necessarily."

Imagine actually having to take care of over 800+ Pokemon. You'd be so overwhelmed that you'd need a small country's worth of resources to satisfy them, and that's just for starters.

Unedited dialogue...

Complete with the Drowzee guy being exactly the same. Not very slick, huh?

"Ivy, is passionate about Pokemon battles just as much as she's into making our city smell beautiful. Don't get on her bad side, though, or you'll feel the wrath of her thorns."

Oh, I'm so intimidated. Then again, given where the levels in this game go, I probably should be intimidated.

(Makes a Spearow noise)

Well, uh... I'll leave you to that.

"Do not talk to my children either."

: ("What's his problem?")

You know, aside from entering his house as a stranger. I was gonna leave it at that, but as it turns out... this is actually building up to something interesting...

I hope, anyway.

You can get a Makuhita here, but neither choice is particularly useful. Now, if Mega Beedrill were in this game, that'd be an entirely different story.

Certain towns sell specific evolutionary stones. That's neat, but I don't really care for the Pokemon that utilize them here. (That, and I've got a team of fully-evolved Pokemon that I've already cheated in.)

Walked in and out of the city only to see... this. It's the same lady who tells you about Ivy, but she's been displaced behind the house for some reason.

... To be fair, it's at least a different layout from Erika's gym from the original Firered.

: "Cool. I'm a real big fan of battling."

: "As you can probably tell."

: ("Monica is quite the vixen - no wonder why Jack took a liking to her.")

These girls have never seen a real lady, apparently.

Especially when I swap out to Siegfried to give them a small fighting chance and to spread out the experience.

"I can tell you're no stranger to gym battles. But I'm sorry to say that you've never faced a gym leader like me before. I gracefully use my Pokemon's ability to cause status effects upon my opponent. You will fall to my venom!"

: "We'll see about that. I'm always ready for a battle!"

Hello, Cheryl. So this is what you've been doing after the Sinnoh games.

Cheryl was my second favorite of the partners you could get in the Sinnoh games, with Marley being first due to my crippling fascination with goth girls.

If I were higher-leveled, this would be a massacre... but instead it's merely a slaughter.

Ivysaur is bulky enough to survive a Drought-powered Flamethrower, but I attribute that primarily to the lack of levels.

Tropius also had a ton of health, but thanks to the sun influence, Siegfried punches her out in a flash.

(Future Dan: I've just realized. How can there be strong sunlight indoors? Are they using skylights?)

Meet Not-Cheryl's ace in the hole and a Pokemon that would otherwise be unobtainable if I didn't hack in Beatrice for myself. Roserade is just as tough as you think she is, and comes with a nasty assortment of moves that you've already seen Beatrice do.

Extrasensory and Sludge Bomb are the biggest problems here thanks to a crazy 125 Special Attack stat and being able to outspeed everyone due to the level gap. I swear Not-Cheryl is one of the most annoying Gym Leaders in the game just for Roserade alone.

And you. Well, I just plain don't like you.

Amoonguss isn't hard, especially compared to what came before them, but they're an eyesore to me anyway.

"As proof of your victory, I confer on you this... the official Pokemon League Thornbadge."

Nice. We can use Flash now (
) and...

We can also learn Giga Drain - an excellent move, but it's hindered by it only having 5 PP. I'm not even kidding. Giga Drain was boosted to have 10 PP and have 75 power after Gen 5, but what can you do? (You know, aside from changing it so that's not the case... laziness will be the death of me one day.)

You can meet the Fishing Guru in the route ahead and get a rod from him. That's cool and all, but your friend is a bit more interesting.

That Clauncher sprite is pretty good, although I attribute that more to the base that DRG used for this game. It's not even necessarily a surprise that this is built on a base either, because she lists it on the Pokecommunity page for Dark Rising 2.

Also, that poor Tympole had to suffer for our amusement.

I can give this one a break because they're not selling Paralyze Heals in stores... but it's still a problem because paralysis was being more of an issue than poison.

"Oh no, I'm running late! I should get into a Pokemon fight with this random girl, aaaaaaa!"

Like come on, dude.

Oh, so you meant like an X-Games guy, not a terrorist. Okay, that's easier to take in.

I do like how DRG switches up the fights by making them Double Battles sometimes... That, and you get to see both members of the Nido family. You know, I still can't get over how they're essentially poisonous monster bunnies.

Before we get the plot train going, there's some stuff I have to get first.

(Also, that weird tomato bird is supposed to be a Fletchling. It looks strikingly similar to a fakemon from Snakewood called Cinderco, though...)

You have this big pedestal with stairs... for a simple Ether. This is super underwhelming when compared to the Max Ethers/Elixirs that we got earlier.

: "I know you have a Dragon Pokemon. Let's see it!"

: "For the last time, no, I don't have any Dragon Pokemon!"

: "... Wait, I remember you. You're the girl I saw standing around the Malice Courtyard entrance in the Core Region. Are you following us?"

So that random girl back at the end of the first game did have a purpose.

: "I also saw you stealing from the Pokemart in Eden City. You're hiding something."

: "Hmph. So what? I steal, it's what I do, it's the only way I know how to survive. It's none of your business!"

For some reason I can't entirely get behind this girl despite the fact she steals just to survive. There's an underlying layer of "bitch" to it that I can't exactly pin down.

: "We're wasting time here. Dray and Florina already went on ahead to Volton City. We believe Darugis has a hidden base set up around there."

(Oh yeah, I played ahead and saw how these guys acted. They deserve portraits now.)

: "Hey, you. Let's have a battle. If I win, you return the goods you stole from the mart and we'll leave you alone for good. If I lose, you're free to go with the goods in hand."

: "What?! Monica, are you not listening? She has a Dragon Pokemon with some intense energy! She might be the third chosen one, not Light."

A refresher for who Light is: He's some prick that was raised to protect Arceus, but grew tired of it and joined Darugis because he didn't want to be a slave to god or something.

Noah is making the most sense, though. You'll see what I mean when we get to fighting this mystery girl.

Her sprite isn't half bad, although I'm concerned as to why she has fire coming out of her hand. Doesn't that hurt?

Much like Benga, she has a member of the Nido family... that goes down in a snap thanks to Earth Power.

Her Seviper is one of the easier Pokemon to deal with thanks to it being a straight-forward Poison type with no real surprises.

Then we have... Fennekin. Alright, it's a member of one of my favorite starter trios in the series, but feast your eyes on this madness:

+213 BST! (A normal Fennekin has: 40 / 45 / 40 /62 / 60 / 60)

That's insane. What, is this Super-Fennekin? This is almost enough to give Delphox a run for its money! I'll admit though, aside from their big head, the sprite looks great.

There's even a shiny programmed in, but given how you can't encounter Fennekin anywhere... I attribute this to the base that DRG used.

To add insult to injury, they nearly beat Corin (a pseudo-legendary with a type advantage). God damn, that's stupid. However, this isn't the worst that Bandanna Girl has up her sleeve. You know how Noah kept bringing up that she had a Dragon Pokemon?

Yeah, this is what he meant.

A level 30 Noivern?! A level 30 anything would be a huge obstacle, but a pseudo-legendary of all things? Someone really needed to step in when it came to the level scaling, jeez.

Oh, and to top it off? THEY HAVE SHADOW TAG.

Yes, a level 30 pseudo-legendary that you can't run from. That's pure evil and I hate every part of the thought process that went into it.

Wave has Ice Beam to clip their wings, but nearly died in the process. I'll give Bandanna Girl this - she stole a damn fine Pokemon to kick our ass with.

Raking in the moola~

"I cannot have Fennekin go hungry another night!"

Poor little super baby.

: ("That was a powerful Dragon alright, a unique one too. She has Pokemon I've never heard of before... Who is she?")

"But a deal's a deal, return the stuff you stole and come with us. We have some questions for you."

: "You sound like a policeman bringing a thief into custody."

: "Never knew you had jokes, Sydney."

In all seriousness, though... Huh.

: "No! Just leave me alone!"

: "H-hey! She's trying to get away! Monica, meet up with Dray and Florina at Volton City. We'll get the girl!"

: "Alright..."

[All three of them escape into the cave]

Well, that was fun. The level curve is still outrageous, but things seem to be taking a better turn than the last game.

The Lunar Cave, huh? Is it gonna be -

Huh. The name confused me there for a second because it doesn't seem to be a ripoff of Mount Moon at all. The layout is completely different and there's even a custom tileset (I think, anyway).

This water isn't animated and I don't think you can even surf on it. Peculiar.

True to its name, you can find Lunatones around here. Man, you'd expect the actual Sun and Moon games to do more with Lunatone and Solrock, but... nope. Just a cameo (by name) in the desert that nobody goes into except to get Tapu Bulu.

If there's any more moon stuff in the Lunar Cave, I'm going to bust a nut.

Hikers in this game wear all white and well... yeah. I'll let the screenshot speak for itself.

There was a bug guy around here, and lemme just say that I wish Leavanny was more powerful. I adore their design but their horrendous typing (Bug/Grass) makes them vulnerable to so many things that it's not even funny.

Maybe they'll continue Mega Evolutions by the Sinnoh remakes or something.

Escape Ropes are a necessity for dungeons, especially when they get all long and labyrinthine.

Oh no, I guess we should respect his property and le--

Psych! It's mine now, buddy boy.

You get all these cool things, but there's no real fight waiting for you at the end. The pace is certainly better at the very least.

Next time on Pokemon Dark Rising 2... Actually, I'm not at liberty to reveal what comes next. It's that much of a surprise.

See you then.

Team setup:

(Corin, level 23,
) - "Does it feel... weird to anyone else here? Like there's something in the air?"
(Gale, level 22,
) - "Yeah... It's kind of a familiar feeling."
(Wave, level 24,
) - "I can't believe I actually shot down that super dragon! I didn't know I had it in me."
(Arthur, level 23,
) - "Well, of course Wave. You're quite the strong lass, you know..."
(Bellamine, level 24,
) - "Hmm? This feeling... This aura... It's almost as if the person who's emitting it is right next to us. It's that powerful!"
(Beatrice, level 24,
) - [Stretches] "Aah! It's been a long time since I've really gotten to work. This is great exercise."


Back-up Team:

(Jeanne, level 20,
) - "Mmmhmm. Yes, we're gonna have a lot of fun this time around."
(Ambes, level 23,
) - "Whoa. Did anyone else feel that? That was like the worst chill I've gotten in a while!"
(Ignell, level 17,
) - "I'll be fine if I don't go to fight, really. Whatever the rest of the team is dealing is far too much for my blood now."
(Siegfried, level 21,
) - "Oh, so you can detect it too, Ambes? That's pretty good. It's been a long time, but I can never mistake those auras."
(Candelabra, level 22,
) - "Wait, what? You can't be serious! Is it really..."
(Iris, level 6,
) - "So is anybody going to fill us in on what's happening here?"
(Lucera, level 5,
) - "That would be appreciated, yes."
Rainbow Chara X
[Ripple Star Stage Select - Remix]

You know I mean business when I bring out this song.

No more waiting - it's time to get this show back on the road and we're gonna do it with style. There's some special events in this chapter alone that will change the course of the entire game, so you better brace yourselves.

Chapter #3 - Vile Omen

Last time on Pokemon Dark Rising, we braved through the Lunar Cave and fought a level 30 Noivern with Shadow Tag. Would you believe me when I say that's only a taste of what's ahead?

Let's ask around the town to see what's up.

"I'm a Rich Boy, you don't deserve to be in the same breathing space as me!"

Well then, you're a lovely little twat who thinks he's God's Gift. Good start.

: "I've beaten plenty of Rich Boys back in the Core Region. What makes you so different?"

: "Cause I'm better and richer than all of 'em! That's it, we're gonna battle right now and after I beat you, I'm kicking you out of my crib while I laugh at you!"

Why couldn't this guy be an actual villain? He's petty enough to be one and honestly with the way he talks he could really entertaining.


Dosh King Deter here has the skills to pay the bills, unfortunately. He's a very powerful opponent for some random dude.

Granted, it's not like I can really tell if that's my fault for not grinding, but still.

His Snorlax is a demon - it hits like a truck full of lard and can squish my puny humanoids with ease. I had to reset a lot on this fight before I could get it down - that's how you know he means business.

It took a joint effort between Beatrice and Arthur to really take him down, so hats off to both of them.

He also had a Raichu that Beatrice poisoned to death. To think, if this were an Alolan Raichu, the outcome would be very different.

"I'll let myself out while you're still crying over your defeat. Next time, be nicer to people."

In-Game Monica is an absolute savage.

[Monica walks out of the house with a wad of bills in her hand and a snide grin]

He was pretty tough though, so I'll give him that at least.

"Which leads to Helios Cave."

We'll keep that in mind for later. (Maybe not. I don't know.)

"It's very dangerous... Besides, you don't even have six Omni League Gym Badges. You'd get slaughtered in there!"

You know, telling me not to go is only going to make me go in even more. Funnily enough, this is another thing DRG got right because the guy does go away after you beat the appropriate amount of gym leaders.

"Lower your guard. My name is Zyiah. I'm looking for a notorious thief named Jalice. She has my Noivern."

(How do you pronounce that, by the way?)

: "I just battled a girl with a Noivern!"

(And they were totally not cheating, no sir.)

Zyiah: "Excellent. That means she's close. Thank you."

[She disappears]

Nice. Jalice and her Super-Fennekin are gonna be in trouble now.

By the way, you cannot walk under Zyiah and skip her because there is an invisible wall in the way. At least DRG thought that someone would try to do that.

Oh snap, here comes Team Rocket.

"Not this time, though."

How much you want to bet?

Silly Rocket Grunts never learn.

Yamask has always been one of the cutest but saddest Pokemon to me especially when you pay attention to the lore that says they were a human in life. Like jesus.

Oh, do go on.

Says the people who are aligned with some eldritch god of darkness with plans to destroy the world and make everyone else's lives a living hell. If anything you should be glad Monica isn't messing with you any more than she already is.

Oh? How so?

Ah. So I shouldn't be scared at all, then. Gotcha.

There's just a bunch of these guys all over the place, huh? Oh well, that just leaves me with more trash to throw away.

In all honesty, the Grunts aren't too bad. The levels are really piling up, but even that shouldn't be too much of an issue if you cheat repeatedly to get more Rare Candies grind your heart out. You know, I discovered a patch for the first Dark Rising that's effectively a Kaizo version with refined plot elements, difficulty and bug fixes.

(Yeah it's the Power Plant again. Hooray.)

The oddest thing about the Dark Rising 1 Kaizo hack is that they actually tone down the difficulty. You know how I complained about the game having obnoxious levels and cheating by having fake base stat legendaries at the end?

The Kaizo hack (on top of making revives not work in battle) debuffed all of them - the 1000 BST Lugia Darugis has been reduced to only have 700 BST (20 less than Arceus) and the legendaries have been restored to their canon stats - the best example of this has been Regigigas's Huge Power being replaced with Clear Body.

The levels are also more balanced in that they're not a complete nosedive into "good god someone save me" territory (even if you still wind up at level 100 by the end) - just take a look:

(Original) vs

Like jesus christ. You know the first Dark Rising was busted when the Kaizo edition tones DOWN the difficulty. Baby steps, but damn. Imagine if this is how it was like in the first place.

That said - dear lord in heaven, that is horrendous. At least the other maps in this were decent. You'd expect something better for this at least.

You can find Trubbish and Grimer all around here, so this place must smell rank as fuck.

: "I'm just gonna stop you right there."

: "Would a kid be able to do this, idiot?"

Then again, given how this is the Pokemon world, a teenager that's around Monica's age usually tends to be the hero in these kinds of stories.

Gale getting in some work - that Staraptor attack stat is fearsome.

Here we have a Max Potion! Excellent.

(There's no shops around, by the way, making this is the kindest gift the game has given me at this point)

"Don't worry yourself with the weaklings, deal with the leader."

Ooooh, they're actually helping us! This is a far cry from how they acted in the first game.

An Electrode that was hiding in a present box. Given how Electrode is three feet tall, that must be one giant-ass christmas present.

You can also find Klink here. Funny story: During a session of Mirage Island hunting in ORAS, I managed to find a shiny Klink right the fuck out of nowhere. The best part is that it was my birthday at the time, so thank you for the gift Random Number Goddess.

I would but you're in Dark Rising.

Thunder is more powerful than T-Bolt but the drop in accuracy kills it for me. 90 Power for 100% accuracy is far more reliable.

"I could beat a hundred of these small fries without having to go to the Pokemon Center once! I got this, just go find the Volton City gym leader."

Dray is cocky but in a way that's not pretentious this time around. Also, again, he's helping me instead of antagonizing me.

"But we managed to catch up with the others here. I planned on taking the leader out myself, but I'll let you have the honors. Good luck."

: "It's not luck, it's skill."

Damn, when did everyone start being so cool? I would have appreciated this earlier!

Florina talks about how the villainous teams are gonna put in an infectious toxin into the factory products, which might explain the presence of the Grimer here.

Anyway, let's go and -

Well hello there. What brings you into town, little zappy fella.

Yes, you really can find Rotom just wandering around this place! Good thing too, because Rotom is one of my favorite Gen 4 Pokemon period.

: ("Zzzup! How'zzz it going, pal?")

: "Pretty good. How about you?"

: ("Oh, nothing much... Just that some weird dudes barged into my house and got everyone riled up. Mind if I go with you to beat them up?")

: "... As good as an excuse as we'll ever get. Welcome aboard, uh..."

: ("Just call me Quote, doll. Nice to meetcha...zzt!")

: "Oh... alright."

Ooooh, look at that Hydreigon sprite. It's actually not too bad... Especially compared to everything else here.

"I wouldn't mind catching up, but right now we have bigger problems at hand. I battled both the Team Aqua and Team Magma leaders in a two on one battle, but I couldn't defeat both of them. I thought it was all over for me until your friends and that guy over there showed up."

: ("Kayo...")

Hot damn, we even got Not-Silver Kayo on our side! Also, in case anybody forgot (likely the case because even I almost did): Eon is a character that was introduced in the first game to hype up the sequel as he's a gym leader from the Omni Region that visited the Core Region for some odd reason I still don't quite understand. He's apparently famous or something, I don't know.

"It looks even more powerful."

Please, we took down this Hydreigon with one Aura Saber the last time we met. That, and he should be really lucky that there are no fairies in this game.

: "I'm sort of angered that you'd think otherwise. Not even one thousand of Darugis's puppets can stop me. Darugis will pay for brainwashing me. I'll destroy ANYONE who associates themselves with Darugis!"

He's still an edgelord, but the edge is on our side now. That's about what I'd expect from Not-Silver, really.

"This must be the other one we were told about."

: "Enough talking. Hydreigon - HYPER BEAM!"

Hydreigon: [Roars]

Damn, Kayo just pulled off a Lance! He really does mean what he said about people who associate themselves with Darugis.

Archie: "Ugh, I'm finished. Who is this trainer?!"

Maxie: "I don't know. We were not warned about him. Nevertheless, I'll settle for getting rid of this trainer here. For I, Maxie, leader of Team Magma, will melt the entire world into ashes!"

Hooo lord this is gonna get confusing once you take into consideration that canonically speaking, this whole series takes place after Snakewood. (Both in-game and let's play plot-wise too - DRG acknowledges "the Snakewood tragedy" in the first game.)

So crackpot theory because of this whole thing: What if Archie and Maxie appearing here is because they fled from Hoenn's zombie apocalypse? I mean sure, the protagonist of Snakewood solved that issue and everything's cherry, but it gets really really really weird when you start putting the pieces together.

Maxie is supposed to be a Fire-type powerhouse, but if you bring along a good water type then you should be fine.

Especially since he doesn't even evolve Lampent into Chandelure. But hey, he got some good hits off on the guys if their health dropping between screenshots is any indication.

Oh yeah, Rotom has the appliance forms in this too but I don't think there's a way to swap between them. What a shame.

... Wait, what the fuck? We beat all five of his Pokemon! What else could be left?

That uh... that is no normal Rattata.

[A deep, sinister voice echoes through the room, followed by a shadow appearing over Monica's shoulder]

[Demon King Odio]

: ("Why hello, Monica. Glad to see you've finally come along.")

: "It's you, isn't it... Darugis!"

: ("You're quite the woman if you're still going to do this even without Sigurd. Either you're the most reckless person I've ever met or you're one of the most confident. Either way, I expect you to give me a good show.")

: "Oh suck a chode, you so called Demon King. What even is this crazy Rattata, anyway?"

: ("Oh this? The start of something wonderful. You see, in the time it took you to get here, I had gotten so bored waiting for someone to defy me that I came up with an amazing idea - What if I created my own little army of Dark Pokemon to go along with all of the villainous teams I 'coerced' to come to my side? Just to make things more interesting.")

: "... You seem to treat this like a game."

: ("Living forever as a tyrannical god of darkness wears on your mind. Plus, I like to watch you squirm since I actually consider you a worthy opponent. In fact, I'm starting to take a liking to your other Pokemon...")

[Darugis chuckles before vanishing]

: "Lunatic! We have to do something about him soon, but -- Whoa!"

[The Darkrai-ified Rattata charges at Monica only for Gale to intercept it]

So yes, that's totally a thing that just happened! This is one of the major editions I put into Dark Rising 2 - Darkrai-ified Pokemon. Not only is it perfect for the kind of story we're dealing with, the thought process behind why I did it is gonna be a doozy. So one day I was sulking about trying to figure out what to do after Dark Rising 1: Would I play the sequel or not? I don't need to elaborate more on that, but there was something interesting I discovered while doing an archive romp of my friend's art stuff.

There were a ton of sprites for Darkrai-ified Pokemon - they were immaculate even for 2007 and I figured "hey we should do something with these". Cut to the LP of Dark Rising 2 where me and my friend, The Composer, made a whole bunch of new sprites just for the LP and put them into the game itself. This is gonna kick ass!

Anyway, the evil Rattata is
with Shadow Tag and comes with these stats:

100 / 110 / 50 / 25 / 49 / 110 (444 Total)

It's sort of the "prototype" of the Darkrai-ified Mons because while it comes with incredible HP, Attack and Speed stats, it is only slightly more durable than a real Rattata. Expect a similar theme with the other Mons down the line.

I went with 444 because it's supposed to start off easy... but at the same time, the number four in Japan represents death... so we have a Plague Rat of Doom right here.

Gale takes it out in a flash with her wicked Kung Fu Talon Chop. (Brick Break)

[The dark Rattata dissolves into dust]

... Now, I'll leave it to your imagination as to whether that was simply a spawn of Darugis's power or a real Rattata that he corrupted into his image. Whichever sounds more gruesome.

Yeah, you better run!

(You have to press A to continue the cutscene outside of battle. Sigh.)

"Tell me where Darugis's true lair is and maybe I'll spare you and your Pokemon's lives."

Archie: "Not a chance. We need to get out of here!"

Maxie: "We'll meet you two again."

: "You're not leaving until you answer my question!"

: ("... Kayo's gotten much more powerful since the Core Region. I hate to admit it, but right now he's stronger than me.")

Based on... what? We haven't actually seen his levels yet, unless I'm supposed to assume that he's level 90 while we're stuck at 30 something.

(Florina): "Hey, you guys! We've captured the other team members and we're waiting for the police to arrive and bring them into custody. Let those two go. Trust me, I've got a plan. I'll explain later at Gemstone City."

: ("She wants us to let the leaders go?")

That is not very wise, but what the hell it's not like we can't hunt them down like dogs anyway.

: "Uh, alright, Florina."

Maxie: "Aha! Goodbye!"

: "Not so fast! I won't let you escape!"

Kayo is the only smart one even after all that. He sure is growing.

[Everyone leaves the scene except for Monica]

[Monica notices a faint glimmer on the ground]

: "... What the hell?"

[Current OST: Sealed Door]

: "... A necklace? Did the Rattata drop this when we killed it?"

[Monica picks it up]

Ooooh boy, here we go. I had to pull so many strings to have this happen.

The Link Gem is an extremely important item whose full purpose I'd rather not share just yet, but keep it in mind for later. Just know that I had to edit it into place with Pokemon Game Editor.

The fantastic art piece used to depict the Link Gem in something that isn't just game graphics was drawn by my Best Bro, AntipathicZora. You might have already met her if you read through the bonus chapters of the first Dark Rising LP. So not only do we have The Composer for sprites, we also have art from Zor there.

I told you we meant business.

Clearing the factory unlocks the path ahead into the Helios Canyon. Helios is the personification of the Sun in Greek Mythology, so I gotta hand it to DRG for that reference.. considering what kind of area we're going to go into next.

There was this fella who doesn't seem to have a neck and lacks shading in all the places where it counts. The Dark Rising Syndrome, you could even say.

Oh. That is a funky looking Pancham. He stares into my soul.

"Trainers with awesome Pokemon who have no idea what to do. Before training Pokemon, trainers themselves need to grow up."

A nugget of wisdom from an unlikely source. You've done good, random karate man.

You can find wild Lopunny out here if you want them. I already have more than enough, thank you.

: "Huh. Thanks, I guess."

You can also find Fletchinder around here too, but oh. The Gen 6 Pokemon in this hack look pretty weird. I can't pin down why, though.

God damn it, Benga's back.

: "It's you again... what did you do?"

: "I finally captured the one Pokemon I've been searching for. The one who could defeat the three Pokemon that took my ancestors' lives away so many years ago... I've captured Heatran."

I'm still confused from earlier. Didn't he hate every Pokemon in existence? Why is he resorting to use a Pokemon to get revenge against other Pokemon? My brain is hurting and we're not even in the worst of it yet.

: "What three Pokemon would do that? And what's a Heatran?"

: "You're so naive and dumb."

: "Long ago, Pokemon attacked my homeland and the people in it as well. Terrakion, Virizion, Cobalion... They did it. They attacked them."

So you're going to use Heatran to get back against the Swords of Justice...

A relatively slow
type against three
types that all have 108 speed.

"My best friend has the power to connect to those Pokemon and I know for sure that they're all pure of heart just like he is."

: "So you're best friends with a guy that has control of those Pokemon?! Where is he? If you're here, he must be around somewhere."

: "There must've been some misunderstanding in the story you were told. There's no way Pokemon would attack humans. Not unless they were being threatened."

Reasonable argument.

: "Shut up! I've told you before, all Pokemon are evil creatures inside just waiting to strike us down! It doesn't matter if you listen to me or not. I have Heatran now. This Pokemon is a perfect counter to those who hurt my ancestors. Now, all I have to do is find your friend!"

Okay seriously, what the hell is up with Benga? He's so skewed and wrong that I honestly can't believe that he's being played straight right now. The hypocrisy is one thing, but does he not know that Heatran would get brutalized by the Swords of Justice in a real fight?

Is he literally supposed to be Wrong Genre Savvy? If that's the case, then the whole "all Pokemon are evil" thing is still brain-dead because... What does he use to fight Monica's team again?

That said, he got some direct upgrades to the other Pokemon he had... Not enough to be a real threat anymore, but hey he's trying.

Larvesta is still killer, so watch out for him.

Heatran themselves is very dangerous due to being damn-near level 50. They may not be fast (77 base speed isn't really something to write home about), but any fire attack this thing shoots out will char you down to the bone if you're not careful.

Beatrice and Corin team up to take out Benga and his stupid team for the second time.

"How could you defeat me with Heatran?!"

: "You need to calm down! Your intentions are clouded with anger. Anybody can see you're blinded and you need to chill."

When even In-Game Monica tells you to chill, you seriously need to do so. Benga throws another hissy fit and Monica's like "okay whatever tell me about the story".

"Tell me exactly what happened in this story and who told it to you."

Okay I'm just going to cut this short and summarize it for all of our benefits:

So the Swords of Justice (Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion) supposedly razed a village to the ground and massacred the humans that lived there. Alder, the champion of the Unova region, told this story to Benga seeing as he's his grandson.

Somehow, this one story told by his grandfather managed to make Benga doubt his entire perspective on Pokemon. Like "oh hey grand pap told me Pokemon could be bad? screw that, they're all evil".

At this point I'm wondering if he's not mentally unstable.

Monica's like "Bruh. Chill." and tells Benga about how Noah knows these Pokemon and how he's not a bad guy.

Benga, being the insufferable prick demon child that he is, decides to want to throw down against Noah despite not having any personal grudge against him in particular or the fact this plot point with Benga is entirely because he's too much of a sap to believe things at face value... even though we have the plot of Dark Rising to deal with.

Benga also tells us about how to get another Heatran for ourselves in the cave ahead, but I'm just like... wow. Dark Rising Girl, this is one of the dumbest plots you've put into the game yet. The logic is as sound as a wet toilet paper pyramid - aka. complete goddamn nonsense. The worst part is that you're doing much better than the last game, but even then... whoof.

: "That crazy guy is gonna do something bad to Noah... I better hurry up after him!"

[Monica runs into the cave but a tremendous pressure catches her attention and stops her in her tracks]

: "Wh... whoa! What's all this?"

[She looks towards the sky and notices two Lucarios standing atop the trees]

[Wings that Don't Reach]

[Monica is left speechless and drops to the ground with a gasp. The red Lucario's eyes widen as he notices Monica]

: ("I-it's you!")

: "Sigurd!!"

[The two Lucarios jump in front of Monica]

: "It's... it's really you, Sigurd. I've missed you and Signe so much!"

: ("You have no idea how lonely we were without you... so the feeling's mutual.")

: "You're... you're both idiots!"

[Monica runs over to them and ensnares both of them in a hug. She starts sobbing while the Lucarios give small smiles]

: ("... I'm happy to see you too, Monica.")

: ("I can't believe we've met you again after so long. I hope the others have been doing well since we were gone?")

: "Y-yeah! Everyone's been doing great! There's so many people that want to see you again, and it's just... " [She says as she wipes her tears]

: ("I'll admit, I'm not quite used to people wanting to see me... but we have a family to go back to now.")

: ("Of course. I can't wait to see the look on Siegfried's face when he sees that we're back. He'll go nuts, haha.")

: ("Oh, don't tease him. You'll make him cry.") [Signe giggles]

: "Poor little guy. But yeah, you two... What have you learned since you were gone?"

: ("Well... we've trained day in and day out since we've left. We've discovered things about out our powers that we couldn't have figured out alone. Basically, we've worked on our teamwork.")

: ("That and well... It was amazing in that we've actually bonded as brother and sister. It was some time where we could just be... together. Me and Sigurd have been gone a long time before you helped us, Monica. So I guess the only thing I can do is thank you too.") [She says as she gives Monica another hug]

: "Awwww, I'm glad I could help. But yeah guys, we don't have much time to waste. Now that you're finally back, it's time that we go save the world! Let's roll out!"

: ("Yes, ma'am!")

Hoooooooooooo boy, here we go! The heroes make a return and it feels so good.

For the uninitiated, Sigurd and Signe are two Lucarios that appeared over the course of the Dark Rising 1 Let's Play that I coded into the game myself to beat back the cheating difficulty.

The funny part is that they started off an anti-cheating measure... but then it snowballed and became a story inside of the LP itself, where Sigurd himself is the root of the entire story due to his trainer becoming Darugis, the demon king, in an attempt to bring him back from the dead. (Long story.)

The two Lucarios have an extremely powerful
move called Aura Saber that hits for 150 Base Power and has a 75% chance to burn, so you know they're gonna rip shit up. Sigurd himself has gotten a buff since the last game due to the training they went through:

100 / 150 / 120 / 150 / 100 / 120 (740 Total)

Like hot damn. I'm not messing around here, folks.

Anyway, we make it inside of the Helios Cave and discover it's a fire cave. Neat.

There's this dude that shares the same sprite as "Dark EEEEVIL Pete" from the last game. (Yes, that's really what he's called.)

You didn't do the formula right:

Respect isn't given. It's earned.

Especially when your Pokemon are like this.

Good, but we need far more than just one Repel to make it matter.

You know what, I'm gonna go back to Volton City for a bit. I don't want to deal with bootleg Candice. (Aka. the ice gym leader from Gen 4)

We have the Pokemon Fan Club!

And that's all we'll ever see from them again.

So in a twist nobody wanted, Eon's gym is Lt. Surge's but with some trainers switched around.

It is just as annoying as the real gym this is based off of thanks to the RNG associated with finding the second switch.

Yadda yadda official gym battle. Let's get this over with already.

He looks slightly better than he did in the first Dark Rising, but his sprite is still a mangled yellow Falkner.

Jolteon was the first to go thanks to Siegfried's incredible tiny person powers.

for a reason guys.

Ampharos was the ace of Eon's team, if I remember correctly. That or I put him to sleep before he even did anything.

Manectric is a cool Pokemon that got a Super Saiyan 3 Mega Evolution thanks to X and Y... That is unfortunately not in this game. Oh well.

(He gives us the Joltbadge, by the way.)

Back to Helios Cave, we find an Escape Rope just in case we have to backtrack.

He comes to meditate with a mime.

Now I can't get the image of a meditating clown out of my head.

Brute strength alone can only get you so far, dude.

It gets really weird when adults say this to you. Like really think about it for a moment - some grizzled hiker dude tells you that he's gonna beat up your Pokemon with his despite the fact you're far younger than him.

What a concept.

Oooh we made it out already.

Nice. This place doesn't look too bad, either.

"You must be tough to endure that cave."

How do people get around these places if they require being tough enough to survive? I'm just curious.

There's some Sawsbuck around here, which I guess is alright if you're into grassy deer. Their main gimmick (changing forms based on the seasons) isn't in the hack, but even the real games don't do that after they dropped the whole "seasonal" thing from Black and White.

Thankfully there was a Pokecenter here for us to take a rest in, because yeesh. I'd consider that a pretty eventful chapter!

These are what Sigurd and Signe's menu sprites look like by the way, along with a headcount of all of our guys.

Next time on Dark Rising, we're gonna brave some new territory with our unreasonably overpowered new Pokemon! Hurray!

See you then.

Team setup:

(Corin, level 39,
) - "Sigurd and Signe are back! How've you been, guys?!"
(Gale, level 35,
) - "We really missed you, you know."
(Wave, level 36,
) - "Hey, y'all are back! Good to see you're not hurt!"
(Arthur, level 35,
) - "Aye, let's celebrate!"
(Bellamine, level 33,
) - "Welcome back, Sigurd and Signe. You're among friends again. How does it feel?"
(Beatrice, level 35,
) - "It felt off without you two around for some reason. Glad to have you back."


Back-up Team:

(Sigurd, level 50,
) - [Blushes] "Awwww... come on. I can't even come up with something witty to say with all of you crowding us."
(Signe, level 50,
) - "There, there, Siegfried. We won't leave you again." [Cradles him between her arms]
(Siegfried, level 41,
) - [Incoherent messy sobbing]
(Quote, level 25,
) - "Hey guyzzz! I... uh... Don't know what I walked into, but I like it! So how about that Link Gem that Monica found? Anybody gonna... comment on thatzzz?"
(Jeanne, level 20,
) - "Isn't that lovely? Their family's been reunited
(Ambes, level 23,
) - "Whoaaaaaa! They're so cool looking! They're like superheroes!"
(Ignell, level 22,
) - "Haha, yes. They deserve to be back together again."
(Candelabra, level 22,
) - "Man this is getting me real sappy. It reminds me of when I had to take care of my brother and sisters..."
(Iris, level 6,
) - "The Link Gem? Never heard of it."
(Lucera, level 5,
) - "This is all very sweet... but there's something ominous hanging in the air that I can't really pin down. I'm getting chills."
Rainbow Chara X
You know... sometimes I'm reminded of why I wanted to stop after the first game, but damn it I have a let's play to do.

Chapter #4 - Stone Cold

Last time on Dark Rising 2, we made it to a conveniently placed Pokecenter next to a boiling magma cave. Great start.

I meant what I said earlier about the team constantly shifting just to show everyone off.

Good thing too, because there's like a million trainers on this route and 90% of them are unavoidable. Don't you just love padding?

It'd be really anticlimactic if we could say no, so I guess we have to.

Smeargle is an interesting Pokemon. They have stats that would make even Baby Pokemon point and laugh and are fragile to the point where any strong hit could kill them outright. Their primary use, though? They could copy any move in the entire game for keeps thanks to Sketch. Yes, this even applies to something like... oh, Dialga's Roar of Time. Yes, really. (Barring some exceptions)

The thing is that Smeargles are great for status effects and setting up, so the key to using them properly is hoping you don't get taunted or phased out with like roar or something... not like that means much here considering it's Gen 3.

: "Okay, so...?"

[The girl flies into a rage and attacks Monica]

I will take no other explanation for why this confrontation happens.

Good lord, did the Loser Club come out just to bother me? At the very least you can sneak past them if you're really careful but these guys are getting in the way of progress.

"To watch Robot Chicken. Maybe that's the reason why I lost? Hmm..."

Okay that's it, you referenced Robot Chicken in a Pokemon rom hack. We made it, boys.

Gemstone River, huh? Just what will this place have in store for us?

I don't understand the people who want to stay hidden but instead run up to you, shout and get into very conspicuous Pokemon battles that everyone can see and hear.

Good god, this is enough power to burn down the entire country.

I approve.

Oh goodie. Maybe we can seduce the demon king and stop his assault on the world with this.

Nugget bridge trainers again, but this time from the other side. I dunno, I find it really disingenuous when a rom hack does the exact same things as the original game but only slightly switched around. You'd expect far more effort and creativity, especially for a passion project... but nope.

The worst part is that when you take a look at extremely well crafted rom hacks like Metroid X Fusion, Pokemon Life Version and so on... it really does make Dark Rising look weaker than it already is.

I'll save the rant for another day because right now we have Water types to fry. It must suck being a monotype trainer in this world - if your opponent has your advantage then you're screwed.

: ("Back me up if things go sour, alright?")

: ("Gotcha, pal! Zzzzt!")

At the very least Mr. Fisherman tries to spice things up by throwing a Ground type here and there, but even then...

Ambes learned Grass Knot at one point and demolishes the thing.

: ("Ooof. Thanks for the save, uh... what'zzz your name again?")

: ("Ambes. Glad to meet you, Quote.")

: ("Oooh, you managed to catch my name before I could even say it myself. You're pretty sharp, bud. I think we'll make a great team if we stick together, bzzt.")

Mr. Fisherman still got some hits in despite my type advantage, so you know this guy means business.

Oh really? Guess I should take the kid gloves off myself then.

I mean, yep.

Signe is supposed to be the mage compared to her brother as reflected by her moveset above. Void Bomb is a 125 power
move that hits both opponents in a double battle, which is simply just whoof. This is what happens when you push me into cheating, folks.

Funny story, I was originally going to make Void Bomb inflict sleep instead of flinching to keep with the Darkrai theme... but instead of causing damage, it only put the opponent to to sleep. Since that involves messing around with a ton of code and it was such a small thing in the grand scheme of things, I decided to leave it at flinching.

On one hand, we're at a type disadvantage. On the other, we have a literal flaming goddess fox and a chandelier with enough magic power to rival the legends themselves. Hmmmm.

The expected result.

Oh damn that's right, I gave Candelabra Leaf Blade for some reason. You see, I still didn't know there was a working Physical/Special split even by this point in the game, so I just gave Candy whatever strong grass move for coverage even though Chandelures have awful physical stats.

Clumsy me.

But at least Beatrice picks up the slack.

"You should be proud. Take this!"

He hands us TM03, but things don't stop there.

Fisherman: "I bet you're exhausted and want to rest to Gemstone City, am I right? Well... YOU GOTTA BEAT ME! Yeah, that's right, you're not done. We have a reputation to maintain, we can't just let any trainer brag about beating us. You ready?"

: "Yeah... I guess..."

If there's anything I don't like about Dark Rising (quite a bit, but I'll save that tangent for the end), the primary one is that the (intentional) humor is pretty weak. Monica's reaction sells to me that this is one of those "if you bring up the problem, it's suddenly not as annoying" scenarios.

She's as annoyed as the audience would probably be, but at the same time that doesn't really fix or make the scene less annoying. I hate it when content creators do that kind of thing.

As for the fight itself, this would normally be an intimidating team if it weren't for the fact we have a psychic super Lucario on our side.

Two different 4x weaknesses that both end in the same way. I love these two, okay?

Oh my lord. It's like the claw part of Clawitzer is immaculate while the actual shrimp is a compressed JPEG.

Candelabra ends it with her magical fireproof leaf blades.

"I give you permission to pass!"

: ("This isn't something worth bragging about...")

You see what I mean? This entire sequence felt more like an obstacle than anything fun, to be honest.

Anyway, we're in the next town already. Its inhabitants include the mysterious Tomato Fletchling.

Then May shows up all of a sudden and comes to battle us.

She has a damn good sprite, especially for the standards of this hack... which makes me wonder where DRG and crew pilfered it from.

This Venusaur was still a real hassle to take down even with the sun in place... like damn.

Meanwhile, Candy melts a Glaceon into a puddle while Beatrice drains a Blastoise of their life. In hindsight, we should be really glad this series doesn't get graphic with Pokemon battling otherwise it'd wind up being really gnarly and not kid friendly.


Why do you do this to me, game?

If I didn't have Signe, this would have been absolutely miserable. You guys have to keep in mind that this is still only Chapter 4 yet we're facing what would be a champion's team in the normal games right the fuck out of nowhere. It really does make me wonder what kind of person was meant to play this game or what the hell Dark Rising Girl was going for with such an obtuse difficulty curve.

Thank god Snorlax doesn't have Pulverizing Pancake in this game otherwise the end result would be a nuclear explosion of lard, blood and tears.

I don't quite like your tone.

I'll just stop you there. The girls don't talk about anything significant, just that May is a famous coordinator and that Monica's mom is a big fan.

I'll just cut to the point where May gives us the Fame Checker... an item that would be a novelty even in the real games. May doesn't even show up later or have an impact on the plot, so in reality we had to fight a level 50 Blaziken for no goddamn reason.

You could omit this entire scene and the game wouldn't change in the slightest.

Given how this is obviously the rock town, this guy must be the Gym Leader. Gen 6 had a Rock gym leader too, but at least they had the decency to not just call him Granite.

The fun part is that the police bar you from going anywhere else, so guess where we're going?

What the hell kind of scuffle happened in here? Sure, this is the second time this destroyed house scene has appeared in the series so far, but you people have all of the crazy parties without me.

Sydney tells us that Noah's off somewhere else while Zyiah is here to snatch back her Noivern.

"Instead of focusing on becoming a master thief, you should be more focused on training your Pokemon. You're an embarrassment to them and yourself. You're one of the weakest trainers I've ever seen."

Okay, Granite is pretty badass for a character we'll meet once and never see again.

: "Ugh... you bastard. Whatever, I still got what I came here for. A fossil of an ancient Pokemon! I bet once I learn how to revive this baby, they'll be no stopping me."

[Granite shakes his head in disappointment]

Granite: "I feel sorry for your Pokemon. Surrender peacefully, now!"

He's pretty sharp. I like him.

"Gotcha back, Noivern."

: "No! It's mine now!"

Woman, can you not? You're surrounded by like three people who are all justified in either beating you up or sending your ass to the slammer. Don't push it.

Monica motions that Jalice should let herself get put into police custody, but guess what Granite says?

Granite: "No."

Sydney and Zyiah respond accordingly: "What?!"

Like what the hell, dude. You were doing really well before that.

Sigh. He rationalizes that Jalice is really childish and that jail wouldn't really do much to change her. So instead, he's willing to let her learn life lessons the hard way. Admirable, but if she winds up stealing more Pokemon it'll be on your head.

He looks over to Monica and challenges her to a gym battle, so hell yeah you know I'm there.

[Everyone leaves but Monica]

That could have gone better, but oh well.

... You didn't even change the text.

A little bit of playtesting wouldn't kill you, even if it means your game doesn't come out as fast.

Oh thank the lord for a Mart. We've been starved for one ever since Chapter 2.

A cool thing about this place is that they sell evolutionary stones... cause you know, Gemstone City. I do find it weird how Moon Stones are sold for nothing despite the fact they're an evolutionary item too... it wouldn't be very hard to change it either, unless I'm supposed to assume they're having a special sale.

: "..."

[Monica uppercuts the man into space]

The lamer the joke, the more backlash it has.

Oh snap, there was this too. This lady is willing to give away a precious little Eevee, so you know I'm gonna take that offer.

: ("Oh well, I guess this had to happen eventually...")

: ("Hi, my name is Johnny! You don't mind taking care of me... right?")

: "... I'm not even going to ask what happened that requires you to be handed off to a perfect stranger, but welcome aboard anyway."

"Both the son and daughter have no memory of what has happened... Ruko."

Huh. Remember the dad in chapter 2 who told us to leave him and his family alone? It turns out that's a reoccurring plot element that'll serve as foreshadowing later on for a major plot element. Good on DRG.

"Most of the Pokemon have been scientifically revived from their fossil state and now roam the mines endlessly. If you do choose to enter the mines, be very careful. All of them will attack you."

: "Alright."

I love how Monica has just been warned to not enter a mine full of prehistoric animals that will attack on sight and she just shrugs it off like it's just another walk in the park. Then again, compared to what we've already faced, it practically is just another walk in the park for us.

Well, we'll just have to save that for later.

: "What's going on? Where's Florina and everyone else?"

: "They went on ahead. Yo, Monica... I got bad news for you. Something's not right with Noah. I know you two are tight, so you're the best person for this mission."

Oh god, is Noah actually turning evil? Wasn't that one of the things I predicted back in the first Dark Rising?

: "Mission? What's wrong with him?"

: "I don't know, that's the problem! He was headed towards a place called Misty Trees, said to be shrouded in a dark mist. You have to be the one to see what's up with him. The rest of the team are headed straight for Hollowsville. Florina detected high amounts of negative energy coming from that city."

Hollowsville and Misty Trees, huh? Can't wait to go visit Not-Lavender Town.

: "We're taking the shortcut. You, on the other hand, should be searching Misty Trees for Noah. He said something about awakening his chosen power, whatever that means."

("Mine is Bonding, Light's is Creation, but...")

But wait, I thought Light's power was bestowed upon him by Darugis. In hindsight, that makes the whole Conarp/Blazard fiasco even more amazing because Light made that thing from scratch and it still wound up being terrible.

(Context: Light was a person that was raised to protect Arceus all his life but rebelled because he's a manchild that only believes he should ally himself with the strongest. Conarp, on the other hand, is a
fakemon that has Wonder Guard and a truly amazingly awful sprite)

Dray tells us about the tree behind him and gives us...

Cut, of course. He disappears afterward, leaving us to cut down the tree whenever we want.

Oh well, we might as well go fight Granite.

There's a sandstorm inside of the gym?! How does that work? Does he just have fans blowing wind everywhere in here? Also, this is what, like the second time Brock's gym has been re-used?

Wave hi to Dark Rising Girl, everyone. I say that because Tarea is literally her self-insert avatar that she tried to integrate into the plot back in the first game. I'm still reeling from that by the way.

Oooh nice, who's the lucky guy/gal?

... Then again, if a wedding ring looked like that, I'd hesitate to put it on anybody's finger.

Generic taunt followed up by generic beatdown.

Maybe you could have lasted longer if you had something tougher than a Rhydon.

He taunts us about his strength while Monica's just like "yeah okay whatever what makes you better than the ones we've faced in the past" - which only re-affirms my statement that Monica is a savage.

If you didn't expect Granite to be a black-vested Marshal from the Unova Elite Four, then I'm slightly disappointed.


His team is very blistering and powerful even with our matched levels. Sure, I could always unleash the Lucario duo, but I need to train up the other guys on my team in case Sigurd and Signe aren't enough.

His first mon is a Rhyperior that is decidedly more durable than the Rhydon from before, but it still goes out in a snap thanks to a generous dose of Sleep Powder and Giga Drain.

His next Pokemon, on the other hand, is a Relicanth that spams hazards like Stealth Rock...

Alright, real talk? I hate Stealth Rocks in the real games. They're the main reason why I keep a hazard ward and the only reason I really use them myself is because I might as well take advantage of it too.

In Dark Rising, though, they're simply Spikes with a Rock typing so... yeah, they're hilariously inept at doing anything because the caster might get knocked out before then.

Relicanth managed to survive getting blasted by a four times weakness despite being the same level as Beatrice, so that's hella impressive.

It could only help him for so long.

This was a tricky one. Arthur had to use Swords Dance while trying to survive Armaldo's onslaught, as they could easily 2 hit KO him. So I resorted to putting him to sleep while Arthur smashed him with Iron Head.

Signe, on the other hand, decides not to mess around and goes straight into dicing up the rest of Granite's team with Aura Saber. I actually sort of feel bad for that Tyranitar, although Cradily can rot in the deepest pits of the ocean for its stalling ways.

Barbaracle is a Gen 6 Pokemon that I like for how outlandishly stupid its design is and how blistering it can be if you can get a Shell Smash off. In here, though, it gets destroyed by...

Wait. Did it really just survive on a sliver of health despite a four times weakness? FUUUU--

Thankfully, Beatrice managed to survive his onslaught by a small margin and won us the match.

Yeah, no kidding. He gives us the Fossilbadge, by the way.

He also hands us the Stealth Rock TM, but I think I'll pass, thank you.

Now since that's out of the way, let's get moving.

Hey, Iris is actually being useful! I knew I brought her along for a reason.

We're switching up the team again to bring Sigurd along. This is actually the first time he's been in the team since the end of Dark Rising 1, so let's make things special by going to...

This place. Beating up a bunch of living fossils wouldn't hurt.

Oh dear, I think we're moving too fast for my liking.

... Nah just kidding, he actually gives it to his wife-to-be instead. He hands Monica something nice for her troubles, though:

Yep, we get Strength. This is how I assume we get Heatran, but I think I'll pass on that too.

I just now discovered the Helix meme. Now I can finally praise him.


l̴̗̹̞͖̰̑̀͊ͅa͂͗ͫͮ̎͋̄ͩ̿͏҉̹̟̜̙̲̺͕̺ ̭̪̤͎͍̖̣͈̦̅̚ļ̴͉̗̞͙̜̭̩̳ͣͩ̇̇̓̏̉ͅi̶̮̯ͭͯ͌̂̊̓̚͠ ͊̀͏̷̬͚̝͇̤̰̠ͅl̻̙͓͍͑ͤ͛͒̈͑͡͡ư͖͇͇͚͙̗͚͕ͮ̇͐̀͗̾̚͜ ̧̛̗͕̼̖̒̊̈́̎̒̑̉l̺͎̳̞͚̻ͦ̈ͦͨ͑̔̆̂͘e̳͇̝̬͕͂ͦ̏͢ͅ ̸̧͇̼̮͔̪͌̏̚l̴͇͈̺̎̄ͮ̊ͨ̍͂̿́͘ǫ̥̪͈̥ͩ̇͆͠

I mean yes. Steven's here because he's infatuated with rocks, but Monica recognizes him and figures that they should fight to train for the road ahead. Good idea, but...

Boy, are we gonna regret it in a second.

Steven is the champion of Hoenn and has all of the power to back it up, unfortunately.

Yep! No, really, your reward for talking to Steven is to fight LEVEL 65 AND ABOVE ENEMIES.

Just... christ, could it kill you to balance the difficulty a little bit? Sure, he may be the champion, but there's such a thing as "holding back". Hell, let me tell you why this "sudden superboss" thing is such a problem.

In the real Emerald, Steven is a superboss with a team of level 70s... but he was very much the exception rather than the rule. Not only that, you had to scour the deepest parts of Meteor Falls after you beat the game to even attempt to fight him, so just having him appear in an easily accessible area during the main story ruins the entire purpose of such a fight.

Casual reminder that DRG may not have any idea what she's doing here.

But hey, at least Sigurd is so mind-numbingly overpowered that he can somehow salvage a victory for us despite being 20 levels below his opponents. Good shit.

It gets really ridiculous when you take into account that Dark Rising Girl beefs up the effort values of every enemy Pokemon to 255. Normally, when you invest 252 EVs into a stat, it increases that stat by 63 points. That's a lot, especially when you take the level mountain range into consideration.

Then we have to deal with the legendaries with fake base stats just because Dark Rising Girl wanted to create a higher form of challenge... At the end of the day, that's not challenge, that's just being a sadist with too much power on your hands.

Thank god, too. I'm pretty sure if I tried to do this without Sigurd, I'd be drowning my sorrows in soda.

"This place feels like home to me."

Oh, that wacky Steven. Seriously though, don't come near me ever again.


Try me, kid. One of my favorite Pokemon is a Chandelure - have you seen what those things do to people?

There was a bug catcher just above this guy that gets ruined by Jeanne and Beatrice's wombo combo.

: "I think the person you're looking for is far more guilty looking than me."

Poor Vespiquen never stood a chance. Shame too, because she's otherwise a really cool Pokemon.

Wait, what do you mean your purse was stolen? It's hanging from your arm, you pillock!

Thankfully, we get a Max Potion to compensate for whatever the hell it was we just went through.

A storm, huh? We just gotta set that creepy mood in otherwise it just wouldn't be right.

You know, at the very least I can't immediately recognize these areas. Sure, it'll kick in eventually, but props to them for actually doing different map designs instead of rehashing the original game's.

OH that is a good sprite. It's like a clump of feathers that just barely resemble Talonflame.

"But they're so low leveled it's not even funny."

Don't even get me started on levels or I'll shove you in the freezer.

This Burn Heal would have been useful for Monica's opponents not too long ago.

Well shit, that freezer remark came into play when I didn't expect it to.

There was a dude around here who had a Rotom-Frost as one of his Pokemon and that's cool. [Is shot by the pun police]

Also, the return of the Supreme Saltlord. He always seems to show up when we get close to Lavender Town-esque places.

At the least this place has the decency to throw another Pokecenter at us instead of just making us go from point A to point B with no break in between.

Killer B or Killer Queen? (I am obsessed with Jojo, please don't fault me for it.)

Booooo, I say. You couldn't even change the sign to say something else?

Ooooh, how terrifying. I don't think that'll be enough to scare us away, though.

If there were a Pokemon in the entire series that I legit hate, Stunfisk is one of them. It's useless and has a dumb flat face.

Alright, let me have it. What does this place look like?

Ah. Custom tilesets! Cool.

Next time on Dark Rising 2, we're gonna brave this spooky forest and hope we don't get possessed by ghosts!

See you then.

Team setup:

(Corin, level 42,
) - "Ghosts, huh? I'm more scared of Sigurd's powers than I am of any ghost, really."
(Sigurd, level 50,
) - [Winces] "I can't tell if that's a compliment or not."
(Jeanne, level 39,
) - "My new drought powers are serving us very well. It turns our opponents into instant barbecues~"
(Wave, level 44,
) - "... Not gonna lie I do get spooked rather easily."
(Bellamine, level 42,
) - "Say, Beatrice. Doesn't this whole scenario remind you of the time when we had to go hunt zombies with Jack?"
(Beatrice, level 43,
) - "Huh? Oh yes, miss Bellamine - the good old days. Although... calling them 'good' would be a massive stretch." [She giggles]


Back-up Team:

(Signe, level 51,
) - "At the very least we take turns." [Signe stretches]
(Siegfried, level 42,
) - "You're doing great, guys! I'm rooting for you!" [Siegfried hops up and down with pompoms]
(Arthur, level 43,
) - "Hollowsville sounds very... pleasant. I wonder what we'll find?"
(Gale, level 36,
) - "I don't really expect it to be good."

(Quote, level 34,
) - "Oh hey! Ghosts? Zzzounds like my kinda jam!"
(Ambes, level 36,
) - "Oh yeah, that's right... you're a ghost-type, Quote. I have a bit of a personal question for you- what kind of Pokemon were you like when you were alive?"
(Johnny, level 25,
) - "Wow, so many cool Pokemon. Our trainer is really strong, too!"
(Ignell, level 22,
) - "Why hello, Johnny! Welcome to the team, lad!"
(Candelabra, level 37,
) - "Hee hee hee... This is gonna be fun. Maybe I should uh... contribute to the spookfest."

(Iris, level 6,
) - "... I don't like the way she said that."
(Lucera, level 5,
) - "Oh my goodness, Siegfried is so adorable. I'm tempted to cheer with him."
Rainbow Chara X
Let's have some fun.

Chapter #5 - Looming Evil

Last time on Dark Rising, we entered a ~spooky scary~ forest called Misty Trees. Is it gonna be as bad as I think? Probably. The game hasn't really impressed me so far outside of the brief beginning.

(Also, good god the game is being self-aware. We should put it down now before it becomes sentient.)


Sure, Shedinja is really bad outside of its ability and its only purpose here is to be a spooky ghost for the forest, but I must have it.

Ghost bug ninja friend. I doubt he'll do much, but writing another message at the end-of-chapter team set-up will be fun.

Either this was a wild Pokemon or a trainer's... Still, I've always found Rotom-Fan to be useless compared to its other appliances. It's Electric/Flying with friggin' Levitate as an ability - the redundancy blows my mind.

"Am I the only girl like that?"

Doubtful, but I'm glad you're in your element. I'm quite the connoisseur for spooks myself.

This initiates a fight, by the way. Why? I don't fuckin' know. You'd think the distressed mom in the middle of a forbidden, haunted forest would do something more productive than fight some random stranger.

This guy makes me giggle just because of how silly he sounds.

I should mention (if I haven't already) that the custom forest music in Dark Rising 2 is pretty damn annoying, so I just mute the game anyway. It doesn't help that the trainer battle theme isn't that good either and is used for every single fight in the game... even the ones where it should be replaced with something more intense.

Now that's just ridiculous. If anything, the more evil something is, the more interesting it is to study. That's sort of why villains tend to get more popular than the heroes (as long as they're written well, anyway).

Speaking of evil... if you try to use an Escape Rope here, you'll actually get teleported past the forest, skip an entire town and land in the one after it. So... yeah, that's one of the first major bugs we've encountered yet. I'd rather have this than the first major bug appearing in chapter 1, though.

But wait!

"He's pure evil... Not even Heatran could stop him."

... What did you expect? Heatran is a legendary, sure, but there's still the everything else that would put Noah at an advantage, especially if he has the Swords of Justice on his side. Idiot.

: "Oh nothing, Monica. Only that I've finally awakened my true potential!"

Aw jeez, he really is losing it. Although... I'm not surprised. I did sort of see this coming since the first game.

: "Ugh... this guy isn't normal. I felt every attack whenever my Pokemon were hit."

... Now that is a terrifying prospect, given the existence of OHKO moves.

: "I have unlocked the ability that was held dormant inside of me for so long. I now understand everything."

: "Noah, you don't normally talk like this. Why would you intentionally hurt another trainer?"

Monica, despite being the voice of reason, is met with:

: "... Shut up..."

: "What?!"

: "I was put on this hopeless planet so that I can destroy it and create a new one. You see, Monica... you have the ability to bond with legendary Pokemon, to understand them and connect with them emotionally. The other guy, Light, has the power to create Pokemon, even monsters if he so desires."

... Noah, did you have a bad day or something? Like come on, this is getting a bit too edgy even for you. That said, "has the power to create Pokemon, even monsters" is especially stupid when you remember Pokemon is short for pocket monster.

: "Looks like you got the short end of the stick when it comes to abilities, Monica. If what I felt in this battle was any indication of his ability, then his pwns yours as well."

God damn it with this game. It was bad enough when Diamond and Pearl did the whole internet speak thing, but it's especially frustrating here seeing as this is plot-related. In fact, one of the iffier aspects of Dark Rising is its mood swing problems.

I could give Snakewood a pass mostly because Cutlerine was pulling everyone's legs, but when you're having a 100% serious scene... maybe the best thing isn't to have random internet speak in your dialogue. Just sayin'.

"Stay out of this, seriously."

You know, just because Dray uses it doesn't mean it's any better... though I will give him credit for being comic relief in this game full of misery. (Mostly for me.)

: "I have unlocked the power of destruction! With this power, I can destroy the evil that stands in way and the world as well."

: "Do you hear yourself?! Snap out of it, Noah. This is the type of mentality Darugis feeds on! You're only making him stronger by destroying things. It feeds off of negative energy, remember?"

Yeah, what the hell? I know I should honestly stop paying attention and finish the game already, but DRG made this game because she wanted to make a story. Why did Noah's entire personality change just because he learned about his new power thing?

: "Good. I want it to consume as much negative energy as possible... so that it can pose a challenge to me after my ultimate plan is complete!"

What the fuck is wrong with you, dude? Have you seen in-game Darugis's power? Where did this sudden arrogance come from? He can't even beat Monica and it still took multiple Aura Sabers to take down Darugis's first form, so how in the world does this raving lunatic expect to beat what is effectively the Superdevil?

Also, ultimate plan? Ugh, I'll just let Monica sum it up:

: "You've... lost it."

Never have I agreed with a fictional character more.

[A shadowy figure hovers over Monica's shoulder]

: ("Oh excuse me. I didn't mean to intrude, but I heard someone speak my name. So this little man thinks he can beat me at my best?")

: "Wh- what are you-"

: ("Oh hush, it's not like he can tell I'm here.")

: "Lost it? Oh no, best friend, I've only just obtained it."

: ("... He isn't serious, right?")

[Noah releases the Swords of Justice from their Pokeballs]

: "No way!"

[Benga screams and vows to chase them down. Darugis breaks into laughter]

: ("Oh good god he's serious. Damn, I knew I made the right choice making you my arch-nemesis because this is priceless.")

: ("He plans on using Yveltal to kill me. Yveltal. Allow me to laugh even harder.")

: "What are you - get out of here!"

: ("Oooh, pushy.")

[Everyone but Monica disappears in the fade to black]

... Well, that was a thing. Noah's gone down the path of edgelord and I swear the only way to snap him out of it is to smack him with a two by four.

Sydney's here and offers to hand you an Axew. She also tells us about the new location of the Dark Rising headquarters, so that's cool I guess.

Alright we've made it to the spooky section of the game, everyone. I'm just praying it's not as bad as Salem from the first game.

[Theme I would use here: Dark Alley]

Long story short, this lady used to be the gym leader before she had to retire from old age. She offers to have a friendly match, so being the gentleman that I am, we do it.

True to her title as a former gym leader, she's tougher than your normal trainer.

That said, it's pretty unfair when I have a Sun Goddess fox on my side.

Her other two Pokemon were smashed in record time, although I will give Beatrice brownie points for fighting a Gengar while burned and at half health.

She has to be the nicest non-helpful NPC in the entire game because she's pretty much "gg" and doesn't complain. I'm just wondering how cool she must have been if she was still the gym leader.

The fancy tiling hides a horrible secret - the ground will eat you if you go to the wrong place. (I don't think this is that hard to fix, either.)

We get the Psychic TM for our troubles. Better than nothing, I suppose.

Everyone is gaga over the new gym leader in this town because they always cite how hot she is. I'll be the judge of that, thank you very much.

"Sure, it's spooky, but who cares?"

Me and this girl are synchronized. If nobody's getting hurt then I don't see any reason to complain.

Thank god for Pokemarts. We made so much money just from fighting random people that we have over 240,000 Pokedollars... and we must use every penny.

... One of our best Pokemon is a ghost type, you twat. Hell, even if a ghost hand appeared over Monica's shoulder, she wouldn't bat an eye.

"No one ever steps over it. It's said to be a cursed mark on this city, and whoever touches or steps on the grass will die a painful death."

Comforting. You can't step on it though, so you can't get yourself "cursed". What a shame.

Oh, so this is where the Omni region Name Rater is. Good to know. I'd say this place is the Not-Lavender Town, but they're actually way different aside from the ghost typing.

"The lady in there may be hot, but she's friends with ghost!"

Don't you mean ghosts? I don't see why being friends with ghosts is a problem in the same world where ghost Pokemon are a thing.

Plus, goth chicks are the best.

Oh goodie, it's murder time.

There's so much cheese going around that I might become lactose intolerant.

You can't go south because these spookboys will block your way.

This is gonna be fun. Who's this crazy guy?

(He's speaking in tongues. This is really scary now.)

"Did you come here to watch the murder of my sister, Morgana? Which Pokemon do you think I should use?!"

I don't like where this is heading.

: "What? Who are you people?"

???: "Booo! This trainer's no fun. Hmm... should I go with Cofa'grigus suffocating her inside its coffin? Or should I let Banette kill her with its nasty little tricks? Banette's my favorite!"

Dude, is this nutjob and Morgana lost members of the Addams Family or something? This is totally the kind of shit they would do to each other.

That said, this is a vast step up from the otherwise boring or insultingly dumb characters we've seen so far.

: "Look, I don't know what's going on here, but it sounds dangerous."

???: "... Get this trainer away from me! Grunt, do your job!"

Hot damn, that is a nice sprite. I refuse to believe this was made just for Dark Rising because it's way better than anything we've seen so far.

The only question I have is whether he's standing or he's kneeling. If he's standing, he has teeny legs.

True to the Gastly next to his trainer sprite, he has one that's at level 50. Not sure why you would even have a level 50 Gastly instead of a Haunter but you do you.

He had other members of the Gengar family but they went down without much of a hassle anyway.

What he lacks in soul he makes up for in style because even Mr. Loco's grunts are more visually appealing than 90% of the people we've encountered on this journey... including our main protagonists. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

"I just remembered my favorite show is about to come on. I'll come back and kill my sister later. Not like she has much to do anyway! Hahahaha, goodbye in my best AOL voice! Remember? Remember AOL?"

: "What is wrong with you? You're psychotic."

I agree with Monica, but this is making me smile like a moron due to how silly this is all getting.

???: "Me... psychotic... hahaha! I love it! See ya, Monica!"

: "Wait, how do you -"

[Crazy Guy and his grunts vanish]

... Now that was an experience. I want to see that guy again just to see what kind of wacky shit he'll say next.

Oh god is this a flash dungeon mixed with Sabrina's teleporting gym?

Oh, that is so much nope. I'm using walk through walls to skip to her and there is nothing you can do to stop me.

"A young, fresh challenger ready to be devoured in fear of my Ghost Pokemon."

: "Lady, I've faced much worse. Let's do this!"

Morgana: "Mwahahaha! Yes! Yes! I love it! But tell me... How will you defeat what you cannot attack?"

Now that's a truckload of bull. There's like a ton of ways you can hurt a ghost Pokemon. In fact, I had to make sure Candelabra doesn't get smashed by rocks or spooked by other ghosts all of the time.

The way she talks makes her brother/sister relationship with Mr. Nutso more obvious, although she doesn't seem to be as much of a psycho as he is.

rude crude dudes alert

Oh. Oh, that looks amazing.

It's literally as if they squished her and stretched her out afterward, because yikes that resize is not good looking. For those of you who aren't aware, this is Sabrina's character from Pokestar Studios (Black and White 2) where she played an evil queen called Belleba. That said:

Yowza, now I know what everyone else was talking about earlier. You can't fool me though.

Sigurd evaporates this Mismagius from the face of the earth. For those of you at home, imagine being trapped in a bubble of inverted colors where all life as you know it suddenly stops in one giant explosion of black dust.

That's how intense his critical hits are.

Jellicent is a Pokemon I always found interesting due to how they look and what they're capable of, but in here they're just gonna be a hassle due to Giga Drain's reduced PP and the fact it doesn't go down in one shot due to their bulk.

Beatrice tagged out and put this Spiritomb to sleep so Candelabra can roast it without worries. Good thing too because Candelabra will be in extremely dire straits once her substitute runs out.

Trevenant is another interesting one, although I don't really know of any interesting ways it can be used aside from the good old Harvest spam. (Sitrus + Recycle)

... Uh. Apparently enemy Chandelures are invisible. Believe it or not, this is because they're wayyy up in the sky due to their Y positioning being something crazy like 102+.

I don't know why DRG had it like that.

That said, I had to swap out to Sigurd because Candelabra can't stand up against another member of her species by herself.

Ooooh, Gourgeist. They're like one of my favorite ghost Pokemon behind Mimikyu and Chandelure due to their different sizes and their cute looks, but I will admit they're not that good for fighting. What can you do?

Not-Sabrina of the Addams Family hands us the badge and we go on our merry way.

Does it actually raise the defense of the team or is that just a line that they kept over from the original Red and Blue? I don't see much of a difference. We can also use surf out of battle, so

Morgana is also sweet enough to hand us a Shadow Ball TM.

Thanks to the working Physical/Special split in this game, we slap it onto Candy without a second thought. She sort of deserves it for carrying us this far.

God bless you random trainers.

Sure we're in the middle of nowhere and I have more important things to do, but it's all in good fun I suppose.

I cannot say the same for what Sigurd does to this poor Houndoom. All he does is prick them with the edge of the blade and they go flying into space.

More vendor trash! Good for me.

Skill Swap is the epitome of cool but situational because it involves outplaying your opponent... not that you can really do that with all of the DBZ shenanigans in Dark Rising.

What building in particular? There's a lot of them.

"Please enter the Dark Rising base."

... This is the new base? We're on top of a lake. I guess I can't really complain if it works.

This dude gives you the Itemfinder. Thank you, but no.

This guy, on the other hand, hands us the VS. Seeker which I doubt will actually help. I don't really trust DRG with the finer details of changing random trainer teams up for rematches.

Oh boy, the loser gang's all here now that Noah's flipped his alliances. Sydney said something about wanting to fight us earlier.

"This is the room where we'll have our battle."

: "Alright..."

: "Monica! Shake it off! You won't be able to help Noah if you're not at your best. I will not be holding back!"

: "Yeah, Monica! Don't pull a Naruto on us!"

God damn it Dray, can you not.

You know, at the very least, everyone is trying to actively help Monica by making sure she's prepared for the road ahead. That's a huge step forward from the mess they were like in the first Dark Rising... which I will forever hold in spite as Rival Battle Simulator.

: "Ah, nevermind. Let's get this battle started!"

: "Alright, let's do this!"

[Theme I would use here: Last Surprise]

Sydney is a blue Jupiter now and I kind of like how she looks. It's better than the first game, at least.

Despite being paralyzed and below half of her health, Candy is still a force to be reckoned with.

(Ooops I forgot to give Sigurd 4 moves.)

: ("We finally meet after so long! I'll get you after all the times you and your friends beat me up! How are you even so strong?")

[Sigurd makes a slight frown and gets up in the other Lucario's face]

: ("Imagine roaming the earth for over three thousand years, cursed with some ungodly power that puts even the legendaries to shame. Everyone you meet is afraid of you and all of your close friends have either died or turned against you, including your sister and the trainer that loved you. I don't even know how I made it this far.")

: ("O-oh. I'm sorry to have asked.")

: ("... Sorry, I went a little overboard. Let's just get this over with already.")

: ("Maybe I shouldn't hold a grudge against the guy that can beat up Darugis.")

Haxorus was here too, but that fight was like:

Kyurem is cool now that it doesn't have two clones that are also fused with Reshiram and Zekrom (seriously, that was one of the dumbest plot elements in the first game - two ripoffs of Hilbert and Hilda just had Black and White Kyurem while it took Sydney an entire adventure to find the real one)

Beatrice wrestles with a Kingdra for a bit and slams them with a Sludge Bomb. You know, it's funny.

She did nothing in the game she debuted in (Snakewood) as she was only a Roselia then. She re-appeared towards the end of Dark Rising 1 but didn't accomplish much beyond just being a cameo.

Then we get to Dark Rising 2 where she's not only really strong, she's a damn-near permanent team member. Imagine how much easier Snakewood would have been with this kind of firepower under my belt.

Damn skippy we did.

Monica shrugs it off with all of the finesse of
and vows to save Noah and her father one more time.

Dray volunteers to chill and watch some anime (the dork), but Florina points out that the next place to go is Aster Prairie due to the strong concentration of negative energy coming from there.

Nice. Florina says something about a friend in the next room, so I wonder who it is?

It's Pete! He made a miraculous recovery from his edgelord phase.


Really? This again? Oi.

But hey, at least there's a nurse to heal our wounds after what we did just to get here.

The TV exploded from the sheer amount of chili dogs we just witnessed.

He's doing great ever since he broke out of Darugis's spell and mentions that Monica can break Noah out of whatever fix he's in. Only problem with that is that Noah genuinely seems to be up his ass on this one, so that might complicate things.

Pete mentions that he brought another friend along from Dr. Ivan. You're not gonna believe who it is:


: "Wait a minute, something's not right here"

: ("But... but I'm right here.")

As it turns out, it was actually just a plush toy that Dr. Ivan confused for Siegfried. Ooops.

(The Victini is supposed to be the same one you obtained halfway through the first game, but seeing as Siegfried already fills out that spot and he's been with us since the game started... yeah, having a second Siegfried wouldn't make much sense.)

This dude fights you because he decided to take his anger of not finding rare Pokemon on you.

There's not any rare Pokemon that I really care to get anyway... so go ahead, mister Rage Machine.

They're a necessary healing item for stone wall types, but a lot of the Pokemon I use tend to be on the "lean and mean" side of fighting anyway.

Not gonna stop me from getting the Leftovers here, though.

Yeah, people tend to like other people that aren't douches.

So... we're here. You know, despite everything else that's happened in this game, the town areas are well made. They're a far cry from the mere copy and pasting from the original game... although I wish the same could be said for the interiors/dungeon areas.

This dude hands us a bike in exchange for a voucher I spontaneously had. I don't remember when I got a voucher, but I'll take that bike, thank you.

Okay, stop. We get to the Flying gym and the name of the gym leader is friggin' Feather. Man, that's not even trying.

You could have named her Heather or Grace just so you can have a little bit of subtlety or something.

There's our target, but let's not go there just yet. We have a city to explore!

Interesting. We'll have to check up on these later, because for now?

Monica pays a visit to the local bar.

Next time on Pokemon Dark Rising, we deal with more shenanigans and start our new life of crime. See you then.

[Monica orders a drink]

[Current OST: Midas River]

: "After all the junk we had to do since this started, I need a b-break."

: ("Oh no, I know where this is going!")

: ("Monica, please, I just want to go to bed. We're all tired.")

: "Man, whooo needs a bed when you can just - hic - take another shot?"

: ("I don't like this. Monica, you need to stop before -")

: "Taaaaaake on me to the moooon~! hic"

Team setup:

(Corin, level 43,
) - "Oh... jeez. She's really killing it with the drinks there. How's she supposed to find Noah when she's buzzed to hell and back?"
(Sigurd, level 53,
) -"Didn't you say this happened before?"
(Bellamine, level 49,
) - "Good lord, imagine if her and Jack started drinking together. They'd be unstoppable."
(Candelabra, level 51,
) - "She's pretty funny like this, though."
(Beatrice, level 51,
) - "It's a good laugh until she breaks her liver. We should stop her."
(Siegfried, level 42,
) - [Hugs the Victini plush doll]


Back-up Team:

(Signe, level 51,
) - "So who is this Jack you guys keep talking about?"
(Jeanne, level 39,
) - "Oh... hmm~ Since you brought him up, he's our trainer. He's a great man that's guided us through a difficult time, not unlike you and Monica."
(Arthur, level 43,
) - "Ah. Wasn't it the same man who fought the undead with you?"
(Gale, level 36,
) - "I still can't believe zombies are a thing in the world we live in. Sure, ghosts because of the obvious, but... I don't know, the thought never occurred to me."
(Wave, level 44,
) - "I don't think my heart can take having to deal with something like that. I'm scared of the corpses that don't move as it is."
(Quote, level 34,
) - "Hey guys, maybe we should go after Noah or... something? No? Alright then."
(Ambes, level 36,
) - "Monica drinks too? Oh boy, we're in trouble now."
(Johnny, level 25,
) - "I agree with Quote. I never met Noah before but he doesn't seem to be in his right mind?"
(Shadow, level 45,
) - "... I'm a ninja." [Shadow hides behind a table]
(Ignell, level 22,
) - "She can really hold her own with a can of beer, wahaha!"
(Iris, level 6,
) - "... Dude. Maybe we should hurry up or something? I don't think the big evil guy is gonna let this happen."
(Lucera, level 5,
) - "Granted, we're goofing off and nothing bad seems to be happening. But I see what you mean, Iris."
Rainbow Chara X
We're gonna be the best spies ever, guys. Just watch.

Chapter #6 - Wretched Hive

(Zor made these too, by the way)

: "Ugh, my head... what happened?"

: ("You made some bad decisions and passed out. Come on, we have to go.")

[Monica glances at the clock and the empty glasses]

: "... Wow, it's late. Yeah, I see what you mean."

[Bellamine helps Monica up]

Seriously though, last time on Dark Rising we went through the ~spooky~ section of the game and found out Noah turned cuckoo crazy. Now we're going to go gambling.

Our friends are taking part in the fun too. Dray definitely seems like the kind to ruin his wallet, so I'll leave him to it.

May doesn't say anything really interesting aside from "challenge every gym leader even if it's not important". The casino itself isn't a 'sekret hideout' either unlike the vanilla games - that guy back there wants to trade you Castform for a Xatu.

Not that fair a trade, to be honest...

This fella wants to train alone and is one of the few generous NPCs in Dark Rising.

He hands us Rock Smash, to be precise. I don't remember if there's any required HM usage in 2 aside from surfing, but still.

Before we check out the Fight Dojo, let's snag a Max Ether.

Straight and to the point. I mean, I find it weird to just recycle the dojo from the vanilla Firered all the time. You could totally make a brand new map with a different gimmick, but no.

Sorta comes with the territory of being the protagonist of a video game. We have to explore every inch even if it's not necessary.

oH that pangoro looks good

Yikes, the person behind the sprites for this Gen 6 base should have polished them a bit. Then again, I have no real timeframe of when Dark Rising 2 was released. The earliest I could find was March 2013 - a whole seven months before X and Y were even released.

Was the Gen 6 stuff put in the game after the fact or is DRG a timelord?

Wrong person to say that to, buddy.

[One beatdown later]

Hey, they at least tried to spice things up by having a chick as the master instead.

She's a sprite from Ruby/Sapphire that's not mangled at least. Hooray, I guess...?

I don't think this fight would be hard even without the Super-Lucario.

Also, Hawlucha straight-up has no shading. That's pretty bad, made even worse that it fits with the other sprites with no shading in this series.

She lets us have a Hawlucha for our troubles. Good deal too because I actually really like the luchador bird thing.


Never mind then. I don't feel like making a new character slot anyway, so

This is one of the few "mini-areas" I brought up in the last chapter. The Astraeus Garden is the smaller of the two and doesn't really offer much.

For example, all it took was fighting a bunch of horribly underprepared trainers (I say that for anybody who has to fight Sigurd) and that's it. At the very least you get some very nice things at the end.

This guy sucker-punches you when you get into the other place, so I don't quite appreciate that.

[One pimp-slap later]

I hate it when someone says this despite the fact you beat them three ways to Sunday.

Anyway, the Fight Dome is definitely more involved than the garden, but... it's just more fighting-type Pokemon. I'd rather not.

I still can't believe they went with Feather.

Hallelujah, we finally got rid of Earth Power. Corin is now super-good again.

"This gym leader's name is Feather. She uses flying type Pokemon, so you know what to do."

: "Zap 'em, freeze 'em or knock 'em down with rocks."

This conversation amuses me for some reason.

Thankfully we have not one, but two Electric types on the team.

At least the people in this gym are sneaky enough to throw curveballs like Gliscor to anybody who doesn't have an Ice type.

Then there's this poor sap that demonstrates how not-scary Gyarados becomes when you have good Electric Pokemon. You'd think a giant city-destroying serpent would get more respect than this, but nah.

I'll just leave it at that.

... She has a Santa hat.

She's not even plot required so I'll just cut straight to the fight.

Wow Caitlin, you've seen better days. Shame too because she was like my favorite Unova Elite Four member aside from Shauntal.

That said:

Rude Crude Dudes Alert

She's actually pretty damn tough for some random gym leader. We were around the same levels yet it still took quite a bit to maneuver past her without losing a Pokemon.

Rotom-Fan gets annihilated by Corin though... which is the expected result if you pit an animated fan against a landshark dragon.

I've just realized a major weakness Sigurd would have if this were actually Gen 6 - fairy types. They would counter everything he can throw at them even if Aura Saber is ridiculously overpowered.

Then again, Togekiss is still Normal/Flying in this hack because of reasons, so thank god for that.

Braviary is a pain to fight thanks to Brave Bird. Even when they're paralyzed, they were still really terrifying to fight with Ambes.

Then again, that's why we have two electric types.

: ("I got your back, yo.")

: ("Thanks for that.")

Long story short, she hands us Aerial Ace. There is literally nothing else to this - Feather could have been a random-ass trainer in the middle of the woods and the impression would have been the same, mostly because Gym Leaders aren't required to be fought in this game.

Anyway, we should stop messing around and go to the place where we have to go.

I can never get over how something so innocent can end up with a duel to the death.

As far as I'm concerned, it was in self-defense.

She does mention something about Bulbasaur and Chikorita hanging around here, but if you're at this point of the game then there's no reason to go after them.

... That is actually not too far off regarding a person I know. The only time I would lead with Lopunny is if they were mega, but this was way before that was a thing.

So not only is this silly, the original line belonged to a gambler. Game Freak edited out the reference to gambling when they were adapting the script from the gameboy games over to FireRed/Leafgreen, hence why gaming doesn't rhyme at all.

That is one silly looking Heliolisk and I don't think that was the intention.

"There's this guy I'm trying to impress, so don't tell anybody ok?"

: "My lips are sealed."

Fun fact: The person who started this fight mentioned that we look silly doing this. I agree 100%.

"Tried hitting on me over there. It was so gross."

Ech. We should probably do something about that.

If this were any other series and if Monica wasn't the protagonist, Badass Grandma would have certainly won.

That said, your reward for beating an old woman('s Pokemon) is being able to access the Day-Care Center. That's nice.

Something about that Cyclist's sprite reminds me of a character. I can't pin it down, but it at least looks better than most of the other sprites in the game. (Barring the shoes and the hat, yuck.)

Oh boy, here we go! Team Aqua's finally making their move.

... Not that I can even pretend the grunts will be able to do anything to me.

Archie: "Prepare to get washed away, Monica!"

Short, sweet and to the point. Why can't more of the dialogue in this series be like that?

I do find it cool how we fight all of the evil team leaders in the game, I just wish that we didn't have to face them in such a stupid way.

That said - wow what the fuck?

What's the level 17 Pupitar for? One, I thought Archie was the water guy. Two, why is it level 17? Did we catch Archie in the middle of a training session or something?

If that's what's really going on here, then that's amazing.

That moment when you realize Wailord would be bigger than even the area where we're fighting in.

I also find it strange how DRG changes things to Double Battles from time to time, but at least that keeps things from getting too boring.

It is clever how he has a Rotom-Wash even though it'll get ravaged by Grass types.

That seems about right. But wait, he still has one more trick up his sleeve...

100 / 135 / 95 / 116 / 85 / 135 (666 Total)
[Theme for this bit: Amalgam Dual Mix]

Behold, another Darkrai-ified Pokemon! Yeah, all of the stronger ones from now on will have stats that add up to 666 because I'm an edgelord, sue me.

So what I figured is that all of the Evil Team Leaders would get one and that they would serve as the dark counterparts to Monica's Pokemon... just to make things more interesting.

Evil Wave is a
type with, believe it or not:

Shadow Tag. Yes, really. You better be glad this isn't actually in Dark Rising (aside from the Noivern from earlier) or that I'm not a sadist if we ever had to make a hack of our own.

D-Wave doesn't seem like much since she's alone, but that will change quickly if you don't take her out.

On top of having ridiculous health and defenses, she also comes with this fancy Devil Flame attack that is guaranteed to burn you. Hell, it nearly killed Sigurd despite him being the OG super-uber.

: [Panting heavily while purple fire envelops his body]

: ("To think there's an entire army of those wretched knockoffs... We could be in serious trouble now.")

[Monica applies a Full Restore to him]

: ("Yeah, no kidding. Out of all the times we've fought, he's only pulled out the dark clone army bit once or twice before...")

As a side note, I love it when a series introduces a serious threat that turns out to just be a regular member of a much bigger army. I'm a big nerd, can you blame me?

Anyway, taking out the D-Wave finishes the fight.

Archie runs away because he is a big baby and takes his grunts with him.

The entire loser crew is here, so this is going to be some squad-type shit.

"I can't believe we're about to take down an entire super group of bad guys. This is going to be a huge showdown!"

Dray echoes my inner child.

"Grunts from various organizations in history have come together, along with their leaders, to build a super group. We believe they're being controlled by Darugis."

Sydney, on the other hand, needs to represent my cynical adult self.

[Theme I would use here: Ghost Hunt]

: "What's the plan?"

: "Stealth."

Oooooh, the game is actually getting interesting now. I'm listening.

: "Oh come on! I want to go in there like a boss and wreck that place with Druddigon!"

Dray, please. Strong-arming your way through an enemy fortress is only fun when you have an army backing you up.

: "Not a good idea. There's countless grunts in there, not to mention their bosses. As good as we are, there's just too many. We're going to have to sneak in, Monica. Take this member's badge - with this, you should be able to walk away in the Utopia without attracting too much attention to yourself. But don't try the guard over there, his sharp eye can detect a fake badge just like that. You're going to have to go in through the basement."

Cool stuff.

Basically, we can't heal or buy items because the bad guy mart has badge scanners. Something else about negative energy and the guys leave the scene. We're actually doing something cool for once so I can't really complain.

: "You're so getting fired after this. That's if there's anything left of this place after I'm done here."

Why can't in-game Monica be this savage all of the time?

Huh. Would you look at that? The game actually decided to cut out the frustration for us by giving us the Card Key right off the bat.

I guess it's obvious that we're going back into the Not-Silph Co. building again, but this time we're going to have a much easier time getting around.

"Don't get in our way!"

Yikes, even the janitors are hardcore. It's a good thing they're not gonna rat us out or anything.

Another sky-bound (or in this case, ceiling-bound) enemy Pokemon. How does this keep happening?

This would make an excellent out-of-context screenshot. Just pass this to your friends and nobody will understand what's happening.

I guess the janitors are here for a reason if there's Trubbish and Muk everywhere. What I am not 100% on is why their garbage is strong enough to fight a vanilla elite four team. Their garbage is that deadly?

You can also find Goomy our lord and savior

Ah shit, the jig's up boys.

"A member of any organization within the Omega Utopia. Why are you here?!"

: ("I thought Florina said this fake member's badge would work!")

In hindsight, this was kind of a dumb idea.

: ("This could be bad... all of the teams will know we're here!")

"You must be a member here, but you're out of your work clothes. Sorry about that! I didn't look at you good enough. I see the badge now."

: [Speechless]

... I'll take it. To be honest, Monica looks like someone that would belong here with her goth clothes and hair.

[Theme for this place: Slam Shuffle]

Might as well, am I right?

The guys in white are supposed to be Team Plasma grunts, but I figured DRG noticed that Gen 5 sprites look awful when they're put in the same room as the Firered/Ruby sprites.

They stop us from passing because we're not in uniform and we don't have an assignment. Makes sense, I suppose.

Not gonna lie, this is actually my favorite part of the entire game. We could have totally gone through and done it the boring way (aka. fighting through everyone) so I'm grateful we're using our sneaking skills. Thank you DRG.

What could it be

This lady tries to teach you Softboiled and nearly gave me a heart attack when she said she saw us before. You don't necessarily want those words coming out of the grunt of a villainous team that's hunting after you.

"The leaders and the scientists in the Omega Facility aren't telling us grunts anything!"

... Interesting. What kind of crazy doomsday villain shit are they doing in there?

"It's not like we're still holding a grudge from years ago..."

Awww, that's nice. Two grunts from opposing teams put their differences aside. That sort of reminds me of the scene in the actual Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby where an aqua and magma grunt were secretly hooking up... except you know, it's in Dark Rising.

: "I'll do just that, chief." [Snickers when back is turned]

"In search of a group of young trainers who think they can stop us. It's pretty boring if you're not out on an assignment."

[The Rocket Grunt looks over Sigurd and Monica]

RG: "Say, that's a pretty wicked-looking Lucario you've got there. He sort of looks like one of those weird super-Pokemon that our leaders use. You must be an executive or something, huh?"

: "... Oh yeah, it wasn't easy. He's a real killer, though." ("I'm so sorry, Sigurd.")

: [Unamused stare] ("... Smooth.")

It gets especially terrible/hilarious when you remember Sigurd's like the nicest person in the entire story.

"We'll be the only ones with Pokemon in the world! Excited?"

: "Yep..."

The motivations of this group confuse me to no end sometimes. That said, I'm still having a lot of fun.

"Our leaders destroyed them!"

Oh damn, is Monica the only person that's not captured? This went south fast.

"They've got in our way for too long!"

: ("Yeah, good luck with that, buddy.")

You can go behind this tree to get... a normal Ether. I guess it's better than nothing?

"Are we really doing the right thing by killing all Pokemon?"

: "Hell no - I mean... yes we are!"

RG: "Right, right!"

This is darkly humorous and I approve.

"Our bosses have found the secret of another Pokemon type. That's the biggest rumor I've ever heard! Like there could really be another type we've never known of for so long. Ha!"

I swear if this is the Fairy type, I will bust a nut.

I figured I should show off the bicycle while we're here and christ, who sliced the rocket grunt in half?

Ooooh, some R and R. Monica and the guys sort of need it.

"I need a hot shower."

That does sound pretty good, yes.

Oh my god, more Yugioh.

"He heard some ridiculous story about dueling monsters from some spiky haired guy in the Core region. Now he believes monsters inside cards are real!"

I should probably play The Sacred Cards in the future as an LP.

That said, ugh. Please don't remind me of Pharoah Atem from Dark Rising 1. I still have nightmares of that thing.

Except for yourselves apparently. Is it all of them or just the ones you don't use?

A group intent on mass genocide and the part I'm the most focused on first is how many they're going to go after. I sure have my priorities straight.

"What our leaders are discussing in the facility."

Given how this LP has gone so far, they've probably deciding on making Darkrai-ified versions of legendaries.

"Kinda weird, don'tcha think?"

Oh right, they do name-drop the fairy typing. I do remember the game being made as a beta that got worked on multiple times... so maybe that explains all the X and Y stuff? I don't know man.

There's two grunts blocking the way into the facility, so I guess that only leaves us with one option.

Calling it a night. Monica and pals need their full strength to take on the forces of evil. (No, this doesn't count as healing because they stop you in-game)

Next time on Dark Rising 2, we're going to sneak into the deepest part of this scumlord hive and blow it up from the inside. See you then.

Team setup:

(Corin, level 59,
) - "Alright Corin, pretend you're some heartless Garchomp that eats baby Pokemon for a living..."
(Sigurd, level 59,
) - "We should be lucky that they're not smart enough to tell who we really are."
(Signe, level 59,
) - "This sneaking stuff is really fun, though."
(Wave, level 59,
) - "Golly, the evil me from earlier looked really fearsome. Sorta glad I didn't go to fight it if I'm going to be honest..."
(Beatrice, level 60,
) - "Hmm... if I knew we were going to infiltrate the evil teams, maybe I should have been painted in Team Rocket colors."
(Candelabra, level 59,
) - "I know, right? I've always wanted to practice my 'spooky ghost' act..."


Back-up Team:

(Siegfried, level 50,
) - "Man, I wanted to go sneak into the evil team place too."
(Bellamine, level 59,
) - "I'm honestly mortified. What if they get discovered?"
(Jeanne, level 43,
) - "These Darkrai Pokemon are rather terrifying if they can take anyone's appearance..."
(Arthur, level 50,
) - "Aye, miss Bellamine. Then again, they're a very capable team. I wouldn't worry too much."
(Gale, level 36,
) - "He has a point."

(Quote, level 51,
) - "I'm with Siegfried on this. I could have played the bit of a haunted TV to freak people out."
(Ambes, level 51,
) - "Why is it so much fun to talk about all the ways we could have posed as evil Pokemon?"
(Johnny, level 25,
) - "I dunno about you two, but I don't think it's very smart to take light of a situation like this..."
(Shadow, level 45,
) - "... I approve of Monica's ninja sneaking."
(Ignell, level 28,
) - "Johnny is right, although I will admit it would be rather fun to fight a Darkrai-ified version of myself."

(Iris, level 6,
) - "Oh wow, they actually did it."
(Lucera, level 5,
) - "How long can they keep up the act before they just decide to beat everyone up, though?"
Rainbow Chara X
We're gonna hit them where it hurts.

Chapter #7 - Enemy Retreating

"We're both supposed to be on break right now but the guard who covers the next shift isn't here yet! This is the third time this has happened."

Oooh, sucks to be you. Also, hello everyone

Last time on Dark Rising, we infiltrated the super-base that belongs to all of the evil Pokemon teams. Now we're gonna do something about that.

"Are we... grunts allowed inside the Omega Facility?"

RG: "No, we're not... Wait... NO WAY! I forgot it's my turn to guard the entrance! Gotta go, gotta go! I have to use the bathroom first. I just hope nobody tries to sneak in before I get there. C'ya!"

Smooth move, killer.

Now Monica and pals can get in without a problem thanks to your bladder. You should feel honored.

If you were thinking "recycled Silph Co Building"...

Then you'd be right. Granted, you probably didn't expect it to be in red.

Oh damn, they actually put a guy right in front of the stairs. This has to be their finest security work yet.


Galactic Grunt: "Here you... What's this?"

: "Guess you can't make it to the top being sneaky, huh?"

Galactic Grunt: "IT'S A FAKE! INTRUDER ALERT!"

Well boys, we've been had. It's do or die now.

[Darkest Night]

Sorta wanted to sneak in, but I guess this is good enough. I had to pull out Darkest Night for this because I love that song plus it kind of fits for what we're doing.

The amazing thing about the Omega Facility is that unlike the other Not-Silph Co. Building, she gives you the Key Card before you even walk inside and removes all of the teleporters. She actually did a good thing for level design and I just have to say that I'm amazed.

My hat's off to you, DRG.

There was a lady around here that gives you Thunder Wave. Is it convenient? Yes. Do I need it? Nah.

: "I've been wanting to do this all day." [Cracks knuckles]

True to normal Pokemon, the grunts aren't much of a hassle. But you have to remember that there's no healing spots unless you leave back to a previous town... if they get any good hits off on your team and you don't have any (good) healing items, things could snowball for you.

The Plasma Grunts in all of their glory... okay honest question, why the hell does DRG remove the shading from sprites? Is it because she thinks they look cooler without them or is it a legitimate attempt to remove unwanted pixels when they were converting stuff over?

I'm not familiar with the kind of tech she used to put stuff in, but it's really bizarre when you compare it to the one good sprite of that hooded kid trainer from a chapter or so back.

: [Laughs derisively while walking away]

Make 'em feel bad.


I love this woman.

I've never found Torment to be useful. If we were in any dire spot for cash, then maybe I'll consider using it as vendor trash.

It is also relevant to what playing this series is like over extended periods of time.

I'll take all of these though. Oh, the wonders of stealing from criminals.

Yikes. Reminder that they were doing experiments on fairy types, so that only makes me wonder what the hell they were doing in here.

"So that I may find the origins of the Fairy Type, not something like this!"

: "The Fairy type?"

- Monica channeling everyone's reactions pre-X and Y.

"That's you, right?"

: "And proud of it. Everything in here needs to be shut down and quick."

Hooray, a vitamin that won't do anything due to how many Pokemon we've beaten at this point. Nice cash, though.

You've already lost to another solo trainer and that one didn't have a Super-Lucario and his sister. Law of averages put Monica at an advantage; sorry, mate.

No use to me personally, but I love it whenever someone pulls off a Substitute and manage to land a scumbag Focus Punch because of it.

"You think you can take that away from me?"

: "You're being controlled. Team Magma was the past, it's time you get over it and quit this power trip you're on. Let's do this!"

Power trip, huh? Maybe you can say that about me too.

[Battle With The Four Fiends]

Maxie has gotten quite a boost thanks to Drought Ninetales. There's also the middling detail of his new "surprise"...

Of course, our team is more than capable of taking him down... even if Signe's burn worries me.

He also had a fire Quote for all the good that entails. Beatrice standing up against a fatal Fire weakness makes her even more of a badass in my eyes, though.

100 / 130 / 111 /130 / 85 / 110 (666 Total)

Oh fuck here we go! Here's Maxie's real (surprise) ace in the hole - Evil Ignell. He is
type with Intimidate of all abilities.

As you can see from the stats, they're even more powerful than both Mega Evolutions for Charizard and the Intimidate makes him even more of a tank to physical attackers. Combine all of this with Drought and you may as well be fighting with a literal demon.

Just be glad he isn't actually in Dark Rising 2.

Thank god for Aura Saber because I dunno how you could have taken out that beast without getting seriously crippled in the process.

By the power of love, determination and cheating.

: "I'm old enough to drink, shut your mouth."