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Pokémon BAD EGG

BAD EGG

kyeugh

you gotta feel your lines
Staff
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. farfetchd-galar
  2. gfetchd-kyeugh
  3. onion-san
  4. farfetchd
  5. farfetchd
this story was written as an imitation of negrek, but i think it’s decent enough outside that context. hope you enjoy!
BAD EGG

It’s happening on another plane of existence—at once infinitely distant from and yet deeply linked to your own—so you couldn’t possibly know that somewhere, a young boy is pushing an Action Replay into his Nintendo DS, inserting his copy of Pokémon Diamond, and reviving your world from a stasis you didn’t realize it was in.



Your PC boxes tell a story.

The first box and a half are typical. Bidoof, starly, budew. You’d begun your adventure just like everyone else, after all. You fondly recall the line of seven shinx, back when you’d been on the hunt for a male with intimidate and a good nature. That hadn’t been easy. You miss the time when things did not come easily.

Somewhere around the middle of box two, you find God. The PC blasphemously reduces it to the name “Arceus”, a smattering of statistics, and a broken image symbol where its icon should be. (The creator of the universe has never been captured before, so the pokémon storage system does not have assets to accommodate for it.)

After that, it gets repetitive fast. Gods, myths, legends. Palkia, Giratina, Dialga, Rayquaza, Palkia, Rayquaza, Darkrai, Lugia, Giratina. All in amounts and with colorations that should not be possible. The list goes on.

It’s all so boring.



Rowan says words to you that you’ve always wanted to hear, but you can barely force yourself to focus on them. The BAD EGG is so distracting, all hatred and furious, pure-white incandescence that casts no light or shadow. You’re the only one who can see the anomalous thing, the only one who is forced to choke on its odious, ever-present scent of sulfur and rot. It requires conscious effort for you not to look at the thing—it wants you to look at it so badly—but you’re sure not to give it the satisfaction. You don’t want to look crazy staring at something that isn’t there, right?

“... outstanding work, my boy,” the old professor continues. “I have little doubt you will be remembered as one of the greatest field researchers ever to live.”

Remembered? Something about that disturbs you. “Thanks,” you choke out anyway.

“No, thank you,” Rowan insists. He’s still scrolling through your pokédex, bushy eyebrows perched high on his forehead. “I thought many of these pokémon to be the stuff of fairytales, but here’s the data, here are the photos. To think you were doing this all along without my awareness... I’m sure you have so many stories, and I must hear them. Another day perhaps.”

Well, it wasn’t that hard. You woke up one day with 493 masterballs in your bag, and you learned the hard way when you wandered into the grass and were accosted by God that the number corresponded to national pokédex numbers. Throw the masterballs away or destroy them until you have a number of them equal to whatever pokédex number you want, and you’ll find that pokémon in the wild without fail. Strange and awfully convenient magic, and you’re not sure why it picked you of all people, but in principle it couldn’t have been easier to do.

In principle.



The tree warps, and it becomes in front of you, behind you, and on all sides of you at the same time. There’s a dragon shuddering in the grass, its pearlescent scales gleaming in the morning sun, wings splaying and clamping anxiously. Space churns around it like froth-capped waves in a storm. Even though walking feels like forcing your legs through gelatin, you proceed and extend a hand to the cowering dragon.

“It’s okay,” you say.

The tiny dragon’s magenta-rimmed pupils dilate as they take in your face. The universe has not seen such a juvenile palkia in probably billions of years. It shouldn’t be possible. It feels like stealing a glance at something forbidden—a thrill races through you.

“WHERE AM I,” the little palkia demands, its voice a raging psychic projection that gives you a headache like a spear through the eye socket. The sky and the grass are somersaulting around you; it’s as though world has been placed in a blender and you’re somehow balancing ballerina-like on the blade.

“I know you’re afraid,” you say. And you do know. The juvenile dialga and giratina and arceus had been just as frightened. You’re pretty frightened yourself. You know from the way that your throat is constricting and your breaths are shortening and your ribcage is aching that that your life is balanced on a knife’s edge right now; the world is a tempest revolving around you, and the palkia can will that tempest to rip you apart atom for atom on a whim.

“I can make things better,” you promise. “Will you come with me?”

The palkia leans forward, considering you. It’s just the opening you need to pelt the little god with a masterball. The dragon disintegrates into a hazy red cloud of energy, and everything is abruptly as it was; tree ahead, grass beneath, sky above. The dragon will never see the outside of the PC again. A gust of wind caresses the back of your neck, and you sigh with relief.

The air is tinged, just slightly, with the odor of sulfur.



Rowan clears his throat, jerking you from your reverie. “Ah, interesting—I notice that your dex is missing an entry here.”

“What?” You snatch the dex from him and stare at it.

“Luvdisc,” he says. He’s right. There’s a blank row there, staring at you: luvdisc. Encountered, but never caught.

Luvdisc? You cannot be serious. What the fuck is a luvdisc?

You suppress a groan. This was supposed to be the end of all this. You were supposed to be done. But there had to be one more to go. You nod glumly, accepting it, and stuff your dex into your pocket.

“I’ll go get one, then,” you say.

“Oh, not necessary,” Rowan says, waving a hand. “You’ve done enough. No, I’ll have one of my aides go and collect the data. You should take a well-earned rest.”

“No,” you say. “It has to be me.”

Rowan gives you a concerned look, offers some assurance, but you’re ignoring him, already mentally subtracting luvdisc’s dex number from 493.

You have to be the one to finish this. You have to.

When you start thinking about meaning or purpose, you start to freak yourself out a little, so you just try not to. It’s easier to focus single-mindedly on your goal. Or it had always been Rowan’s goal, really, the one he gave you when this all began: capture every pokémon.

It’s the pipe dream of every starry-eyed schmuck who ever embarks on a badge quest, but no one expects to actually achieve it, not realistically. There are so many pokémon out there, probably most of them undiscovered, many of them legendary and maybe even long-dead. It’s hyperbole, symbolic: catch them all. It just means to do your best. And if we citizen scientists all do our best, maybe we can advance our collective knowledge just enough.

But you, lucky you, you’re doing it for real.

You could have stopped at any time. For some reason, you never did. You’re not sure what you’ll do when it’s all done and you’re finally forced to. Rest, you guess, if you’re capable of such a thing anymore. The BAD EGG occupies almost half of your vision now, spiteful and blinding. Its stench disrupts your sleep. Maybe all this time you’ve had to keep going, because you know that when you stop you’ll fall and fall and you’re not sure you’ll ever hit the ground.

You feel like a god sometimes, not because you’re all-powerful but because the divine and the impossible have become so mind-numbingly uninteresting to you. You’ve met the gods, seen them upside-down, as babies, in impossible colorations. You’ve thrown them against each other in nonsensical matches that could not have occurred in history just to satisfy your tepid curiosity about who would prevail. Sometimes you see people in the street clad in religious garb, or with their patron god’s iconography emblazoned on their backpacks, and you can’t even meet them in the eyes.

It’s not that you feel nothing at all—sometimes you feel that guilt, slight bemusement, and even depression—but nothing gets your blood pumping anymore. You think this must be what it’s like to be omniscient, to be God. Just...

Boring.



“Come on, Infernape. This will make you stronger. You need to eat it.”

Infernape pokes at his food despondently. It’s twinkling with cerulean shards of crushed rare candy. You’re not sure how many of them you ground up into his food, but it was a lot. More than enough to get him to maximum level. You thought he’d be excited about that; he’d always cared so much about strength.

“Look, you and I both know things are changing. I know it’s not the journey we set out for,but... we’re fighting serious pokémon now. Legends, gods. You need to be as powerful as possible if we’re going to stand a chance against them, okay?”

Infernape looks away, lip curling, and he pushes his bowl away with too-human hands.

“Stop being so stubborn,” you demand, the beginnings of anger itching at the back of your neck. “It’s just been you and me since the beginning, you know? Don’t you want it to stay that way? If you don’t do this, I’ll have to replace you with a more powerful pokémon. I’ll have to, or else I won’t make it. I know you don’t want that. You want to stay by my side, don’t you?”

The infernape’s head flame is sputtering barely an inch above his scalp, but it’s white hot. His shoulders are square, and he won’t make eye contact with you.

You never learned to speak with Infernape, but you know what he’s thinking as clearly as if the thought were your own: “I wanted to stay by your side. But not like this.”

He’s made his choice.

Your brow twists into a scowl. “Fine,” you say, your voice quivering. In the last moment before he’s recalled into a cloud of red, Infernape meets your eyes.

You never release him again. He’s an icon in your PC now, somewhere between bidoof and your tenth copy of God, buried beneath dozens of other infernape you’ve summoned, fully leveled, so many of them shiny.

None of them can measure up to him.

Try as you might, you can never forget—or replace—your first pokémon.




You go to the water to catch the luvdisc. You’ve tried summoning fish on land before—it works, technically, but it isn’t pretty.

You made sure to destroy the correct number of masterballs ahead of time, so the gentle aquamarine waves that lap at the sugar-sand beaches of Route 219 were already crawling with pink, heart-shaped fish when you arrived.

Luvdisc.

You swear you have never heard of this thing before, and you’re unsurprised to find it’s unremarkable in every way. Slow-moving, aesthetically plain, and apparently not even particularly skilled at water manipulation. They’re just... there.

In a way, it’s fitting and profoundly unsatisfying at the same time that this should all end with such an unremarkable creature. Everything else has caught your attention by now, and you probably have five or more of each in your PC for good measure. It always had to come down to something like this.

You brush the minimized masterball in your hand with your thumb. This will be the last one you throw. You wade right into the ocean, waves splashing up against your pants legs and darkening them, running shoes squelching on the saturated sand. The luvdisc swim right up to you, dumb little things. The BAD EGG is hovering over the ocean, almost taking up the entire sky, but the sea bears no reflection of its vast and wicked light.

You toss the masterball lazily, and a luvdisc disappears into it. The ball bounces back into your hand.

Your last pokémon.

Your vision goes hateful white, and then all black, and the smell of sulfur and death lances through you and becomes the world, and that’s all there is.



“Truly remarkable, old boy. You did it. We’ll have a toast in your honor. This is a glorious day for science. Ah, here, I made you this—”

Rowan forces something into your hands. A thick piece of paper.

“What is it?” you ask. “Sorry, my vision has been screwy lately.” To say the least.

“A diploma of pokédex completion,” Rowan proclaims. “We wanted to honor all your hard work. Truly, thank you.”

A piece of paper.

You lean back in your chair.

“I was glad to do it,” is all you can say.



It’s happening on another plane of existence—at once infinitely distant from and yet deeply linked to your own—so you couldn’t possibly know that somewhere, a young boy is closing his Nintendo DS and returning his copy of Pokémon Diamond to its case for the last time, freezing you in this moment for all of time. Maybe it’s something like rest, something like death.

It’s over. You did it!

Was it worth it?
 
Last edited:

Negrek

komorebi
Staff
Ayy, glitchfic! Always happy to see more of that out in the wild. It's almost like it was written just for me. <3

I always love seeing how people play the game world straight--what would it be like for a literal video game character to go about their life, not realizing (presumably) that they are in fact in a video game? It tends to be pretty bleak, and it's no different here, with the protagonist propelled on a grueling quest he doesn't even understand why he's compelled to complete, ultimately receiving nothing in reward but a sheet of paper and something like oblivion. Good times!

I thought you did a great job of capturing a kid's experience with an Action Replay--where at first it's cool to be able to catch all the COOL SECRET POKËMON and get ALL THE SHINIES and cheat in a billion rare candies or whatever, but pretty quickly boredom begins to set in when everything comes too easily and completing the game's challenges becomes rote. It all starts to feel pointless... and how much worse is it for the person caught up in that quest who never had any real investment in the end goal anyway.

I enjoyed that the narrator shows some actual personality here, despite being an empty vessel. Or perhaps that's the personality of the pilot bleeding through? They're more than a little terrible (see, lying to terrified baby!Palkia and then bonking it with a master ball, ouch) but also trapped in a terrifying and dehumanizing situation, growing ever more tormented by the BAD EGG and not even enjoying their pokédex quest in any apparent sense. All it does is lose them what friends they might have had. Probably my favorite scene here was the one with infernape. I also have to give shout-out to "what the fuck is a luvdisc/?" because, yes, of course if you were going to forget any pokémon out of 493, it would be that one. (Or perhaps finneon, fish I most chronically forget. At least luvdisc is a memorably dumb fish!)

I was a little unclear what was going on with the BAD EGG here; it seems to be some kind of corrupting entity that's increasingly scrambling the protagonist's code. A symbol of their guilt for the crimes they commit against the game world? But the heart of the story here seems to be the protagonist's own emptiness--it doesn't really feel like there needs to be more punishment than that, so I wasn't really sure what function the BAD EGG was serving. Ignore me if it's just a glitch reference I don't recognize. (Like, I know that BAD EGGs can't be released and clog up PC boxes, but how that works with its role in the story here I'm less clear on.)

Some lovely Negrek details here. I for sure noticed the "little god" moment. Sad that we're never going to learn the truth of the eternally-hanging sentence, though. :(

All in all, this is a really fun fic in one of my favorite obscure genres. I hope you had a lot of fun writing it! I think it's a lovely imitation.
 
  • Heart
Reactions: Pen

Starlight Aurate

Ad Jesum per Mariam | pfp by kintsugi
Location
Route 123
Partners
  1. mightyena
  2. psyduck
Hello! Since it is (1) Review Blitz and (2) this is an imitation of Negrek, (3) a fic by you when I haven't reviewed you yet, and (4) a glitchfic when I recently read Fl4k3s and am hungry for glitchfics and glitch lore, I thought this would be the PERFECT fic for me to take a look at!

The first box and a half are typical. Bidoof, starly, budew.
Well since I never played past R/S/E and all of my boxes in my games are neatly organized by Pokemon type, this is not, in fact, a typical box for me.

After that, it gets repetitive fast. Gods, myths, legends. Palkia, Giratina, Dialga, Rayquaza, Palkia, Rayquaza, Darkrai, Lugia, Giratina. All in amounts and with colorations that should not be possible. The list goes on.
I call haxx0rs

Remembered? Something about that disturbs you.
I think that most people won't want to be remembered for cheating!

“I can make things better,” you promise. “Will you come with me?”

The palkia leans forward, considering you. It’s just the opening you need to pelt the little god with a masterball. The dragon disintegrates into a hazy red cloud of energy, and everything is abruptly as it was; tree ahead, grass beneath, sky above. The dragon will never see the outside of the PC again. A gust of wind caresses the back of your neck, and you sigh with relief.
Ah, this is sad. To see Palkia so engulfed in terror and confusion, only for the protagonist to come to him under the guise of friendliness and safety--just to capture him and stow him away, never to see the light of day again. It's not just cheating that got the protagonist this far, but outright lying and trickery. It's also odd, when you think about it--the narration calls Palkia a "god," yet describes how easily he is fooled and captured. What kind of god is one that has no power and no strength? It certainly makes the narrator look greater (he can fool and capture gods!) but also reduces the concept of a "god" to something that is no more than other beings.

Luvdisc? You cannot be serious. What the fuck is a luvdisc?
An F-bomb! Getting some Nate vibes here.

It’s the pipe dream of every starry-eyed schmuck who ever embarks on a badge quest, but no one expects to actually achieve it, not realistically.
Hey, I completed the Hoenn Dex TWICE! Yeah, it's 200 Pokemon, not 386 or 493--but it's still something!

Sometimes you see people in the street clad in religious garb, or with their patron god’s iconography emblazoned on their backpacks, and you can’t even meet them in the eyes.
"Meet them in the eyes"? Do you mean "look them in the eyes," or "See them face-to-face"?

You think this must be what it’s like to be omniscient, to be God. Just...

Boring.
This is actually interesting to me! To be God--who knows everything that was, that is and will be, to have power to do literally anything--must be boring if He isn't invested in or cares about the lives of lesser beings. If He is invested in them--the mistakes and problems that humans constantly make and cause, the trials we go through, the battles we fight--that must be where it's interesting! Our lives are the ones that change, and we don't know what's going to happen--and, in many instances, what HAS happened. If a God is invested in and cares about the lives of His people, He would probably be "rooting" for people to make one choice or another, and so I imagine that would be where He wants to watch and be with His people. Since this protagonist is practically God but has absolutely no concern for anyone other than himself, of course he's bored! There are no trials, no challenges, nothing unknown, no decisions--it's all just bland.

He’s an icon in your PC now, somewhere between bidoof and your tenth copy of God, buried beneath dozens of other infernape you’ve summoned, fully leveled, so many of them shiny.

None of them can measure up to him.

Try as you might, you can never forget—or replace—your first pokémon.
Ah, so the narrator DOES have someone he cares about! But, as his actions show, he can find others that can offer him better utility. And he's allowed his love for Infernape to turn to hatred: because Infernape was his partner and stayed with him, he should've don what the protagonist wanted. And his refusal to do so is why he'll be punished for eternity. It's chilling and disgusting, but also a bit heartwrenching.

Ah, and what an ending! I have some thoughts in relation to Cress's Fl4k3s, but I don't want to spoil it if you haven't read it. Without the cheats, Pokemon games can become boring on their own over time--with the cheats, where you can do literally whatever you want, the boredom must accelerate so much more.

I also thought it was neat how you portrayed the glitch within the game: the BAD EGG hovering around the trainer constantly like its own entity, the one thing that he can't control. No matter what, it's always hovering above him, filling his nostrils with sulfurous odor, and making his vision screwy (and more lol). It's like the BAD EGG is god more than the god-Pokemon themselves are, since the protagonist has no control over it and is constantly suffering from its presence as a consequence of his own actions. I think it's especially shown in his interactions with his starter Pokemon, Infernape. That was (I assume) before he started hacking, so he actually had to put effort and work into leveling up Chimchar to become powerful. He actually loves what he worked for, and has nothing but apathy for creatures that are objectively more valuable but came to him with ease.

I realize I probably read much more into this than you intended lol. And I tend to do that when writing in-depth reviews ^_^; But I really enjoyed this! I've actually been looking up glitch lore lately and have been wanting to write a glitchfic myself, so thank you for providing more inspiration! This was an enjoyable piece.
 

Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Staff
Partners
  1. dratini
  2. dratini-pen
  3. dratini-pen2
It was fun to return to this one! The influence of Being Human definitely shows, with the focus on glitches and what navigating them does to a person, making them lose their sense of what's important. You've taken a somewhat different tack, though. The focus here is more on the sheer monotony of this power, the chore of it. The appeal of a game is the challenge, but when there's no challenge and you still have to play, what's left? A piece of paper, apparently. The narrator seems to both enjoy their own grandiosity and be disgusted with it all. The detail about the narrator encountering worshippers of the gods they're capturing was interesting. Rowan's portrayal seems very gamelike, but the idea of people with god iconoraphy on their backpacks implies a richer world the narrator is doing this on the backdrop of.

The scene with the infernape felt a little incongruous to me. I think it's because it doesn't seem like the protagonist here ever has to struggle to capture pokemon--it's all done through masterballs--so that didn't make complete sense to me as a reason to dump Infernape. Part of me thought it would be fun if you didn't go the classic PC route for this. Since the narrator doesn't need to use pokemon in battle, there's presumably some free party slots. I don't know about you, but in the first game I played, I had like three massively overleveled pokemon and then three low-level pokemon I liked filling out the team who never fought, like a cheering squad. I feel like it would be almost worse if the narrator just carted Infernape around in the party, without ever letting them out. See, I'm still using my first pokemon!

If the Infernape scene happened pre infinite masterball hax, though, that would cast a different light on it. That would have the narrator sacrificing what made the game meaningful for power even before they had ultimate power. (Was it worth it?) If that's the case, I wonder if that would be interesting to explore further.

I do agree with Negrek that I wasn't quite sure how to interpret the BAD EGG. At times I felt like it was the protagonist's true taskmaster--the thing preventing them from being able to stop this pointless pokemon completion quest. It seems to subsume them after the last capture, but then we get another scene. Did that final capture purge the BAD EGG?

Finally, this fic made me think of a Terry Pratchett quote:
“The price for being able to shoe anything, anything that anyone brings you . . . is having to shoe anything anyone brings you. The price for being the best is always . . . having to be the best. And you pays it, same as me.”


The BAD EGG is so distracting, all hatred and furious, pure-white incandescence that casts no light or shadow. You’re the only one who can see the anomalous thing, the only one who is forced to choke on its odious, ever-present scent of sulfur and rot.
Pretty disturbing descriptions here. The combo of no light or shadow, but smell is a creepy one. With the smell being ever-present, I wonder if occasional references to the bad smell or the protagonist reacting to that even when the EGG isn't directly mentioned would heighten the feeling that the egg is always there.

It requires conscious effort for you not to look at the thing—it wants you to look at it so badly—but you’re sure not to give it the satisfaction.
I like the weird personification of the EGG. It wants things--what does it want?

Luvdisc? You cannot be serious. What the fuck is a luvdisc?
Luvdisc Is a Many Splendored Thing.

It’s hyperbole, symbolic: catch them all. It just means to do your best. And if we citizen scientists all do our best, maybe we can advance our collective knowledge just enough.
Loved this line. Something about "citizen scientists" particularly got me. Just the sarcasm dripping off of it.

You feel like a god sometimes, not because you’re all-powerful but because the divine and the impossible have become so mind-numbingly uninteresting to you. You’ve met the gods, seen them upside-down, as babies, in impossible colorations.
Really nice flow here.

“Look, you and I both know things are changing. I know it’s not the journey we set out for,but... we’re fighting serious pokémon now. Legends, gods. You need to be as powerful as possible if we’re going to stand a chance against them, okay?”
Missing space. Not sure I follow this. It seems like the MC has been throwing masterballs since the beginning. How much fighting of legendaries does that involve?

A piece of paper.

You lean back in your chair.

“I was glad to do it,” is all you can say.
Love the understated reaction.
 

Arukona

A Scribe Penning His Brainworms
Location
Ardalion
Pronouns
He/him
Partners
  1. aggron
  2. sceptile
  3. lucario
So this one caught my attention while scrolling through oneshots that still count for the Week 3 bonus of Review Blitz 2022. It’s about the consequences of Action Replay, hm? That concept is intriguing. Very intriguing, indeed.

So let’s get into it…

—-

Of course when you have absurd power at your disposal, having countless legendaries, even the shiny ones, would be a boring existence.
a broken image symbol where its icon should be. (The creator of the universe has never been captured before, so the pokémon storage system does not have assets to accommodate for it.)
Interesting acknowledgment of this fact. I’m only surprised the system didn’t glitch out and brick itself.

It feels cruel to lock these Legendaries away in the PC never to be seen again. But then again, we’re ones to talk; don’t we do that all the time when we catch Legendaries ingame? Also, it seems this is where it begins; the creation of the BAD EGG.
Luvdisc? You cannot be serious. What the fuck is a luvdisc?

I suppose when you have all of the Legendary Pokémon, something like Luvdisc would slip you by, forgettable a Pokémon as it is.

Infernape looks away, lip curling, and he pushes his bowl away with too-human hands.
Plenty more fish in that pond to despise, Trainer.

Oh, so this Trainer still has feelings for his Infernape. Still, though, there’s a definite cruel underside to it; even when the Infernape’s flames are ‘white hot’, and even when he does reach Level 100, he still won’t compare to the millions of Legendaries locked away in PC Boxes.

The ever-present BAD EGG really does give an almost apocalyptic feel to the world.

Moments like the ending paragraph gave me a moment to reflect. There are many times where we close a game for the final time without knowing that it will be the final time. We all have many games at home where we have accomplished everything and have put them away, never to play them again. In that sense, it does feel like sentencing that cartridge to a grave. And that’s certainly the case for this game. Why replay it again when they have everything?

This was definitely a fascinating read. I never did have Action Replay growing up, nor have I ever gone near it, so I can’t really say I understand the context fully or maybe some nuances over what the BAD EGG means. Even so, I did find this to be a nice oneshot to read, with intriguing perspectives on the meaning of the boredom of having all of the gods in your possession, to the point that even they become forgettable.

Good job!
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. purrloin-salem
  2. sneasel-dusk
  3. luz-companion
  4. brisa-companion
  5. meowth-laura
  6. delphox-jesse
  7. mewtwo
  8. zeraora
So. This was a good fucking read. Tragic and offbeat and gripping.

The switching back and forth between different 'modes' is a fanfic device I've always loved, and it's done so well, here. The contemplation about the progression to this point, the interactions with Rowan in the present day, the past encounters with pokémon, so real and so unpleasant. Each differently melancholy and unsettling. What I think you've done really well here is to make this fic simultaneously about the narrative and literal strangeness of a hacked pokémon game in-universe, about the dreadful ennui of endless power with no point and no emotional investment for the game character, and the same dreadful ennui it reflects that one experiences as a hacker of these games. There's a sense of intense guilt pervading this fic, a guilt that orbits the BAD EGG, that shameful mark of the chronic cheat. I like that it's never really explained. How could the protagonist ever know what it means, except that they're doing something wrong, but something they can't repair or reverse, something that forces their miserable commitment? It is such an empty victory, and that alone – frozen in rest or death without true achievement, a piece of worthless paper, nothing more – would be enough. The simmering horror at betraying an infant palkia and that starter infernape, though... That hits so much worse.

I used to read a lot of glitchfic back in the day (circa 2006 or so), endlessly searching for stories that would get into what it was to hack your way to worthless outcomes in these games I care so much about. Very little of it left a lasting emotional impression on me. I feel like BAD EGG might.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. lucario-shiny
  5. incineroar-starr
Oh hey, I read this back when you posted it, but I never commented! But man, it's stuck with me after all this time. I love how thoroughly you covey the wrongness of the world, and the BAD EGG is sort of the perfect representation of it--sure, they don't actually do anything in your PC, but man does it burn seeing it sitting there and not being able to get rid of it, and not being able to ignore it. A permanent stain that demands to be acknowledged, so having it start occupying the entire sky while still refusing to actually do anything but just sit there, all hatred and furious, pure-white incandescence..

What's most striking to me is the way that the protagonist is sort of both the one doing all this, and yet also not at the same time? He's a video game character, he's being controlled by the player, but there's no clear separation between his wants and the player's aims. There's a resignation to it all--this is the path he's on, and there's no clear reason why he's doing any of it because he's not aware of the player, but... this is just how things are. And it's easy to believe that everything from his sheer boredom at catching em all with no effort to the sad desperation to not have his starter be irrelevant is sort of like, what the player would be feeling, but filtered through the lens of someone seeing it firsthand. Something like that.

Oh and I love everything about the Palkia scene and just how vivid and wrong everything is at the same time. While also being "AAAAA" at the poor bby being locked in the PC. ;-;

Good stuff, thanks for sharing~
 

Dragonfree

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I wasn't really going to read this but I clicked it just to see what it was and then I did, whoops.

I quite enjoyed the imitation of Negrek's style here, to start with; I think you've got some very Negrek-ish descriptions and turns of phrase in here, and there are some quite amusing Salvage child vibes to the narration at least at times. (Is Negrek's review suggesting at one point you had an unfinished sentence in here too? I didn't spot one reading but if you did have one, perfect)

As a story apart from that I think you did a lovely job on the horror vibes of the whole concept. It's all pretty unnerving and weird, particularly the Palkia scene, and the hovering, all-encroaching presence of the BAD EGG is some real eldritch stuff. I was amused by how the protagonist had just failed to catch a Luvdisc of all things - honestly not really a Pokémon I'd consider forgettable, since there is the whole thing about how you kind of have to farm them to get Heart Scales, but I guess for a cheater they may not have bothered with the Move Reminder.

I did find myself questioning some of it given the explicit way it makes the protagonist literally a video game character; the bookends, I feel, sort of make me expect the whole story to conform to that logic, to be based on what would happen when cheating on a genuine Pokémon game. So exactly what was the real-life Pokémon Diamond equivalent of the protagonist's Infernape refusing to eat the Rare Candy-infused food? It's hard to tell, even if there's some kind of glitch effect that could plausibly manifest as that in-universe. And while the BAD EGG as this looming thing in the sky is very creepy and can be treated as somewhat metaphorical, I was surprised to find the story not showing or referencing anything happening that would actually create a BAD EGG in the game - it's just sort of there, with no mention of where it came from. I think part of what I expect/want from a glitch-based fic in general is for it to pay homage to how the glitch happens in an actual game in some way, and that feels especially fundamental when it's literally being presented as happening within a game.

The whole theme of how everything is kind of boring when it was all done this way is neat, though, and "Was it worth it?" takes on new layers in light of the strange corruption creeping up on the world as a result of the cheating. All in all, a memorable little fic, and a great effort to stylistically imitate Negrek.

Forgot to add this minor typo correction:

I know it’s not the journey we set out for,but... we’re fighting serious pokémon now.
Missing a space after the comma here.
 
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