How do you differ from canon?

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  1. #1
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default How do you differ from canon?

    Basic question, maybe. In your fanfic writing, particularly when it comes to trainer fics or fics that stick with a somewhat known formula, what do you do that differs from canon? Do you send your trainers out at an older age? Do you have other starters? Do you change the concept of gyms? What about the Elite Four? And so on.

    And even more interestingly, why do you change it that way?
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    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    Well, I tend to do what's called bent canon. That is to say, I follow canon generally, but change it in some way as I go. For example, my Fire Emblem fic starts out with Elincia married to Geoffrey, as she is able to marry him with an A support in Radiant Dawn. But I hate this pairing and decided that in my fic, they married mainly for political reasons (Elincia is a queen), and Elincia was actually in love with Ike. This kind of scenario was rather common in our own medieval ages, so obvously, this made sense. Elincia eventually decides that she can't live without Ike anymore and that she is not fit to be Crimea's queen, so she and Geoffrey annul the marriage and Elincia abdicates the throne.

    Another example is how I bent Ike's ending in Radiant Dawn. It basically just says Ike left to explore unknown lands and was never seen again. This is rather vague though, and I like to believe that it actually means he was never seen in Tellius (the continent which Radiant Dawn takes place in) again, not never seen period, because the chances of that happening if he went to explore unknown lands are rather slim. Other people from those unknown lands could've easily seen him, and even met him, so yeah. Because of his, I had a few Tellius characters, such as Elincia and Ranulf, appear alongside him in this fic.

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    ^^ Safe-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    Actually the current fic I'm working on doesn't resemble the canon in it's majority. It's more like a fantasy with pokemon.

    But when I do write, or think of ideas for the usual kind of pokemon fic, I try to make it natural in a way that's doesn't seem like the game or the anime/manga. Basically what I try to do is -while pokemon are indeed 'pocket monsters'- I try to make the stoy less about the trainers experiences and more about the pokemon, and not in the conventional way where the pokemon is like a servant or a friend, but more in a way that gives that pokemon individuality.

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    A long time ago (on a Game Pak far far away), I first got the Pokeflute in Pokemon Blue. Then I wondered 'What if the Pokeflute did more than just wake Pokemon up, and was itself a respected instrument in the Pokeworld?" I also re-imagined what it looked like and how you played it--I imagined it played end-blown like a recorder, and sounding like an Irish flute (eg. one of these) That then gave me the idea (or excuse) to have the tin whistle be the stepping stone to the Pokeflute, with some players knowing how to play both. (Ash can play both, and he plays both very well)
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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    Here's a short list of what and why I do differently (it's probably incomplete, but, eh), both major and minor changes, when it comes to your usual trainer fic or a fic set in the same time age - not counting added organisations and elements specific to a fic's plot (I'll leave them out for the purpose of not spoiling). Not everything will be presented directly in a fic, maybe not even mentioned at all, but it's still there in the back of my head. There's also several things that aren't directly changed, but introduced.

    (when I refer to trainers further down, I generally also include coordinators, unless otherwise is directly implied)

    Trainer basics and item/concept mechanics


    Gyms


    Trainer economy (yes, it's a big deal to me)


    Battles, stats and moves


    Pokemon league & E4


    Fic-specific changes (no spoilers present)


    Then there's a ton about coordinating, and rangers, more items, and stuff like that. But I'll leave it at this for now :P
    "People like you and me overcame the Neanderthals. People like you and me overcame the Ice Age"

    "You can hold [the brain] in the palm of your hands - and it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space"

    "Along some paths of cosmic discovery there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves"

    The Symphony of Science; a tribute to the marvels of science and nature.


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    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    I'll probably be giving the least interesting answer to your most interesting question.

    Nothing in canon is safe, and I mean nothing, when I write a fic. And it's all just because I want to, and it would make (in my mind, anyway) a better story. The fics I write sometimes border on original fiction. (Not that I've actually been writing much... too much Four Star Mon going on.)

    Some examples of things that I've done, specifically in Generation 2021:

    Introduced a new town called Spectrum Town, right next to Pallet Town.

    Introduced Pokémon costumes that work the same way as the actual Pokémon, as closely as possible (these do not really exist in canon).

    Given lots of Pokémon moves that they can't legally learn in the games. ("Empoleon, use Gust!")

    Remove the six-on-six limitation as an official rule, although almost nobody has more than six anyway as a practicality issue.

    Rather than Team Rocket taking over the Mizuki Building (the name I gave the SIlph Co. building), it was an operating base for them.

    Voltorb Flip takes bets, and is available alongside the slot machines.

    The Gyms look at the badge count of a trainer to determine how easy to go. A trainer with no badges will face a non-battle challenge first.

    Although Rachel and Ken have gone through six cities and visited lots of Gyms, they only have one badge between them.

    The Elite Four are one per region for the four regions of Japan (Kanto through Sinnoh) rather than four per region. That fic was written before Unova, so... yeah.

    And that's just in one story. The second story in the series (which I won't even consider releasing until the first one is finished) has even more changes.
    Last edited by Zekurom; 18th May 2012 at 08:23 AM.
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    Good Bad Bug Glitchipedia's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    I defile game canon in the following ways:
    • Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness are placed before Generation I/III in the timeline.
    • The gym guide actually is a trainer.
    • Red and Leaf are presented as twin siblings going on the exact same quest at the exact same time and taking Team Rocket down together. However, only Red goes on to claim the title of Champion—Leaf keeps training Pokémon on the side, but mainly focuses on other interests.
    • The Orange Archipelago is mentioned, though it is never visited.
    • The Kanto and Hoenn protagonists meet in the Sevii Islands, leading to Red/May and Brendan/Leaf pairings.
    • The Generation II characters Carrie and Dude, omitted from HeartGold and SoulSilver, are reincorporated.
    • Route 23 still exists, but has been paved over.
    • Red's disappearance leads to many believing him dead.
    • Ethan loses to Red on Mt. Silver. His subsequent raving about the event leads many to conclude that he went mad inside the cave, driving even Lyra away from him.


    Most of my ideas are set between Generations II/IV and V, so I have yet to defile Black and White canon.

    As for changes to the actual universe itself....
    • Aura's properties are altered to be closer to Kido, a similar power seen in Bleach.
    • Pokémon can remember more than four moves.
    • Moves can be prearranged in sequences and combos to create more elaborate and confusing strategies.
    • Advanced trainers can teach their Pokémon to fight autonomously without the need for commands on the fly. This technique is famously mastered by Red.
    • The copy-protection mentioned in the Porygon line's 'dex entries has long since been cracked. Porygon are illegally downloaded and hacked routinely.
    • Legendaries are illegal to capture and train without a permit.
    • Glitch City is an actual location reachable by a difficult-to-locate interdimensional conduit on the coast of Cinnabar. Glitch Pokémon exist as well, but sightings are rare even in their home dimension.


    And probably loads more. I'll add them as they come to me.

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    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    My fic is based in A country called Kanto, but other than that, not much of it is canon aside from the premise of Pokemon and capturing them.

    I really enjoy focusing on a more realistic view of Pokemon, as I think the concept is awesome and could really suit an older teen/young adult audience if more mature themes and such were explored.

  9. #9
    Power Player RaiThunder's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    Oh lord, what haven't I changed from canon? Well, first I enlarged the regions - each one has many small and large cities in between the gym towns and canon cities. I did this partially because I thought it was silly that the regions are so tiny in game and in show have so many towns and areas to visit and partially because otherwise a person could cross the regions in a month or two and that doesn't give much time for a story.

    I added a contest circuit to Unova, because I loved the contest system and was highly disappointed to see it gone.
    I changed the government system of the regions - mostly by adding one.
    The champion's of each region are differently, mostly because time has passed. There are also two champions - the official, grand champion and a Champion who stays with the elite four and takes on the daily tasks and challenges. In my current story, Red and Lance are Kanto Champions, Gold and Lance are the Johto Champions, May and Steven are the Hoenn Champions, Dawn and Cynthia are the Sinnoh Champions, and an un-named-so-far character and Alder are the Isshu champions.

    Another change is that trainers must have graduated high school in order to be a trainer and that battles can (and often are) to the death. Only one pokemon can be caught per route as well, ala Nuzlocke rules.
    I'll probably make a much more coherent list tomorrow, but I really wanted to try and answer this today.
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    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    I haven't written Pokémon in a while, but I do write Dragon Ball, and it's really, really hard to screw up Dragon Ball canon, since it's so loose.

    But you can thank Toei for making it that loose in the first place.


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    Registered User Chimchar98's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    Uhh... so far not much has changed.

    * Pokemon can learn more than four moves, but some of their older moves they learned when they were "younger" they use less often for practicalitys sake (why would a Charizard still use Ember when Flameflower is more powerful?)

    * More town and cities (my one Pokemon story is taking place in the Mystery Dungeon world), some of them being rebuilt from the ruins of towns destroyed by the Great Catastrophe years ago (like Nightmare Town is actually a rebuilt Lavender Town, quite literally a "ghost town" heh heh), while others are just built nearby (for example, the ruins of Saffron are used as training grounds, and Pokemon Square is a rebuilt Cerulean City)

    * Seeing as there are more towns, there are multiple Guilds and Rescue Bases (which there isn't much difference between them anyway), each with their own Guildmaster or Rescuemaster (like the Rescue Base you have in RBRT? it's actually owned by someone else and is getting started up and repaired). There's even a Guild under the ocean! (it's basically the sunken remains of Sootopolis City and Pascifidlog Town combined, called Leviathan City and respects Kyogre greatly)

    * Some of the dungeons are actually landmarks of each region (Mt. Ember= Mt. Blaze for example) given new names

    * Any species of Pokemon can breed with another, and can take after either parent (as seen by Timmy, a Pichu, who has a Raichu for a father and a Wigglytuff for a mother). Also, almost all Legendaries can breed (with a few exceptions such as Arceus), as seen by Grovyle and Celebi getting married and having kids of their own.

    * Pokemon use both their in-game cries and their anime cries, with the latter being like a "battle cry"- with some funny results when the anime cry doesn't seem to match with our characters voice- like Kirby for instance, who is stuck as a Pidgeot which, if you've watched the anime you know has a very high pitched cry, and even though otherwise his voice is naturally very low pitched (he IS voiced by the late Thurl Ravenscroft after all) when he first lets out his "battle cry" (he's facing off against the Guildmaster's partner, a Scyther)... yeah.

    * Pokemon can wear clothing (or things like glasses) if they so desire, although they prefer not to. For example, Colt's bandanna was given to him by his old trainer, and he wears it in memory of him.

    * There ARE still humans in this world... but, they're mostly in hiding underground in places like New Mauville and the Sinnoh Underground which were all interconnected when the Great Catastrophe happened. Pokemon on the surface, don't believe that any of them are alive. There are still Trainers and Rangers as well, but they mostly are around to get food and guard the tunnels alongside the Pokemon that went with them. In the Time Freeze future, the humans have decided that enough is enough, and try to stop this calamity from happening by forming the planetary investigation team that Grovyle mentions in his Special Episode "In The Future of Darkness". When the world is saved, the humans and underground Pokemon come out of hiding, and help restore the planet back to the way it was in an era of peace... until Team Plasma comes around that is, and almost ruins everything.

    * Mother Marowak isn't put to rest until the very end, and she still haunts the town of Nightmare (alongside her mate) to keep watch over it and her sons (one of who is the Guildmaster of Nightmare Town, the other is the Marowak of Marowak Dojo in Treasure Town).

    * Pokemon tower functions as both a graveyard and an inn. Somehow. And, when the world is restored, the humans are forbidden to tear it down and just build the Radio Tower somewhere else.

    * Dittos can change into any Pokemon they want, even without seeing it.

    * Our heroes always have something that makes them recognizable from other members of their species. For example, Tom has a black tuft of hair on his head unlike the orange tuft that a regular Flareon. Others have things like glasses (Carl, Wittgenstein), or wearing a hat (Randy still has his signature "radio dial" hat even as a Kricketune).

    Ummm... what else?

  12. #12
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    Oh, I left out a very important thing wild pokemon versus captured pokemon.

    I generally operate with the fact that most pokemon live very long lives, in the scope of close to a century for the short-lived ones, to millennia for the long-lived ones (dragon pokemon, for one, can live for tens of them). With this it follows that they generally evolve much slower, so a wild, evolved pokemon may have lived for anything from 40-50 to several hundred years. Following this, pokemon must evolve much slower, and grow in power at a slower rate, in the wild than when captured, where they may evolve from newly-hatched to full-grown status in just a year (which would be unproportionally high even if they lived only for a few decades, like many pet animals do (10-30 years), so even without my thoughts about their long-livedness, there would be a marked difference).

    So what explains this difference? Basically, I've always fancied that pokeballs react to the pokemon, accelerating growth and evolution, so that it can evolve much faster. Power levels doesn't grow faster, though (aside those affected by evolution) - not directly from the pokeball's effect. It's unknown why the pokeball does this; it's basically a reverse-engineered apricorn ball, so not much is known about why it does things, only that it does. Naturally, the fact that a trainer's pokemon are much more exposed to battling and training, means they grow at a higher, in terms of power anyway. An approximate average estimate would be something like, if you have any pokemon, keep it for a year, use it a lot, and it's evolved once, then it's about as powerful as that evolution would be when newly-evolved in the wild (i.e. 20-60 years old for most pokemon). Certain pokemon, like dragons, that grow extremely powerful and evolve at slow rates in the wild (often only evolving the first time after two centuries of life), so the rates would be off there (the trainer's dragon pokemon would not be as powerful as a newly-evolved wild one, by far).

    This means that wild, evolved pokemon run the chance of being overwhelmingly powerful, which fits with how I interpret routes; they're generally traversable paths where the occurrence of such powerful (and thus dangerous) pokemon are low. While many aren't aggressive towards humans unless provoked, it's better to keep on the safe side. Only very experienced trainers (with at least a decade on their back) do not face recommendations not to travel "out-route", though even they act with care.

    I imagine most pokemon to have quite dangerous powers, especially evolved ones. Pokeballs have the ability to restrict a pokemon's powers to non-lethal levels, and only the most powerful trainer pokemon can severely harm other pokemon, if those pokemon are not well-trained themselves (thus the conceptualization of a senior league for more experienced trainers; imagine it like a 25-year-old boxer who can't fight a 12-year-old due to the difference in strength; he may as well kill the 12-year-old. Two 12-year-olds wouldn't kill each other, neither would two 25-year-olds {except in very unfortunate cases}). Again, the reason is unknown, we just know the effect to be there.

    As for why a human-made item made from a fruit have the ability to restrict pokemon powers to non-lethal levels, which suit the purposes of battling, exist normally in the pokemon world; that's a different story. It's a far-fetched reality that something like that would develop naturally in our world - except if we drag in mythological explanations, that is. Let's just say I envision the fact that pokemon neither breed normally (no sexual organs) nor grow normally (metamorphosis through "evolution", versus normal growth as observed in humans) to imply that they are connected to something otherworldly, and that the existence of this otherworldly phenomena to imply a reason for why apricorns could do just what they were able to. This also heavily implies why humans were able to come out on top as the ones who created civilization (when there exist pokemon who are a thousand times more intelligent, and with stronger powers, there have to be some reasons why they didn't end up expanding across the world and covering it with civilization) I plan to write a one-shot (or two-shot) detailing the circumstance around this.

    What do people think of this line of reasoning?
    "People like you and me overcame the Neanderthals. People like you and me overcame the Ice Age"

    "You can hold [the brain] in the palm of your hands - and it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space"

    "Along some paths of cosmic discovery there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves"

    The Symphony of Science; a tribute to the marvels of science and nature.


  13. #13
    One lost to time boondockArtist's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    Can ya count a Pokemon comic as a fan work?
    I write alot in it/them, even if comics aren't supposed to have big wall of text on a page.
    The comic's a nuzlocke, so it follows the course of the said game it is played on, but that don't stop me from limiting my creativity.

    Let's see...

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    Now you have to go"

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  14. #14
    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama_Guy View Post
    Basic question, maybe. In your fanfic writing, particularly when it comes to trainer fics or fics that stick with a somewhat known formula, what do you do that differs from canon? Do you send your trainers out at an older age? Do you have other starters? Do you change the concept of gyms? What about the Elite Four? And so on.

    And even more interestingly, why do you change it that way?
    There is no canon. *trollface* I think we've had that discussion enough times, though~

    Trainers in my 'headcanon' have idiosyncratic lives. A starter could be a pet, or an adopted stray, or a befriended feral, or a gift from the family, or even randomly acquired from the local professor tree. They could start early after only basic education, or go on a journey in their gap year. I dislike hard and fast rules about how training works. I don't think I could ever write a straight-faced journey fic with traditional starters. I'd probably use kids in their mid-teens if I wrote a journey fic now, with completely unconventional starters.

    Gyms and the Elite Four are an interesting one, though. The League is usually government-run in my fics, for one, and regulates trainers and pokémon ownership, but it's not something that features all that much - yet - in DE, so I haven't put a great deal of thought into it.

  15. #15
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you differ from canon?

    There is no canon. *trollface* I think we've had that discussion enough times, though~
    I must say, there's a lot of changes people have made to this nonexistent canon

    Trainers in my 'headcanon' have idiosyncratic lives. A starter could be a pet, or an adopted stray, or a befriended feral, or a gift from the family, or even randomly acquired from the local professor tree. They could start early after only basic education, or go on a journey in their gap year. I dislike hard and fast rules about how training works. I don't think I could ever write a straight-faced journey fic with traditional starters. I'd probably use kids in their mid-teens if I wrote a journey fic now, with completely unconventional starters.
    I like some certain rules, some certain conventions. In many ways a trainer journey can, in my eyes anyway, be considered a rite of passage. Also, since pokemon can actually be really dangerous (of the lethal kind) in my canon, some rules need to be there. And no, I don't write Nuzlocke. I agree with the starter thing though. I dislike the notion of only a few pokemon being starters. I also dislike the notion of having to acquire them from a professor. Though most kids in my canon get theirs at trainer school, there are those who've met them in such "unconventional" ways as you describe.

    Gyms and the Elite Four are an interesting one, though. The League is usually government-run in my fics, for one, and regulates trainers and pokémon ownership, but it's not something that features all that much - yet - in DE, so I haven't put a great deal of thought into it.
    In my canon, the pokemon league is an annual tournament no different than national sports tournaments in our world (in essence, anyway). I imagine it to be run by a government-run organization for pokemon battling (and a likewise one for contests) - just like national sports organizations tend to be in our world. There's also an international organization of which most countries are a member, which regulates pokemon leagues worldwide, setting somewhat uniform rules and objectives for the national instances. It also organizes the various world cups.

    The E4 serve as an inspiration for younger trainers, they are role models of pokemon training and the best there is in a country. Among those who challenge them, that is, there's often stronger trainers who simply do not want the role, as it involves some administrative work, public appearances and fame - not everyone wants that. It also involves having to settle down, which many trainers simply do not wish to do.
    "People like you and me overcame the Neanderthals. People like you and me overcame the Ice Age"

    "You can hold [the brain] in the palm of your hands - and it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space"

    "Along some paths of cosmic discovery there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves"

    The Symphony of Science; a tribute to the marvels of science and nature.


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