[Media Meandry] Mechanical, Narrative Surprises

As we approach the end of my playthrough of Pokémon LeafGreen, let’s consider that we begin with an innocent search for easier living. What we can objectively see is that these essays evolved into something I didn’t predict, as evidenced by their non-serial labeling. They went from searches for easier living into minor reclamations of what makes this hard life we live easier for me: writing fiction. So I did find that easier life… right?

Not yet, but I’m closer than I was a month ago.

Not just because I’ve been on medical leave throughout that entire process, but I’ve used that time to heal my physicality [lower-back and spinal problems are no joke] and mentality. I am not in a condition to write fiction, nor was I in a condition to take the past month off to write another novel, even if I weren’t sick. I don’t have the characters, settings, or anything else planned for that Novel 02. Even if I did, this apartment-mansion has too many responsibilities within it. The only way I could ideally write more novels going forward is to ready myself to move into cheaper residences, not because I need the money right now, but because all it takes is one misstep in this whole medical leave process to completely wipe out my bank account.

I’ll save the medical concerns for the Tripping On… series.

Here, let’s talk about wrapping up LeafGreen.

I’ve defeated the Elite Four with my party of Sammohini/Raichu, Honora/Exeggutor, Josh/Gyarados, Adriana/Kingler, Nessa/Slowbros, and Burn/Magmar. This was not an ideal party. Since I’ve decided that I am not going after Pokémon mastery, I spent enough time to check for the most obvious potential mistakes in this party, then went ahead. Even after I spent some time leveling up everyone to 64 after experiencing some difficulty at level 60, and giving them what moves I could afford, I still had enough difficulties to where when I came across a Swinub, I decided to level up one last Pokémon to enough of a level to…

I suppose replace Nessa/Slowbros with Zhanna/Mamoswine?

I’ve had trouble remembering that playing this game should serve my narratives.

That’s why I’ve been so forthright with using a strategy guide to guide me along. Through playing this game, and comparing my playstyle of ENDLESS WAR with others, I’ve realized that I have no problem being spoiled gameplay mechanics, but felt cheated when I had the ending of Moby-Dick spoiled for me. I’ve tried to avoid any major spoilers here. I suppose I did have a spoiler in the leading picture with having a Swinub, but hey, the same argument could be said for Moby-Dick, right? Everyone should have read it by now, right? These sorts of thoughts are what separate concerns over being concerned over specific mechanics and narratives. If I wanted to prevent being spoiled some kind of unique gameplay mode, item, or Pokémon, then I wouldn’t consult a strategy guide.

It contains narrative spoilers, but I’m going after my own narrative here.

I want to play videogames for pleasure or to learn how to tell better stories.

I guess I haven’t read much lately because I look at reading as only the second thought, where I don’t read much for pleasure, but I play hours of videogames doing stupid things just for fun. I’m not sure if there’s a way to change that thought process, because I see playing videogames as an inherently easier task, whereas reading had up until current events been focused primarily on book-reading. I haven’t liked reading on my computer because I can often get distracted. I like the physical act of reading, but I need to – similarly to separating my priorities of narrative surprises from gameplay/mechanics surprises – separate my enjoyment of physically touching paper with my enjoyment of reading. Then I can read digitally and get that additional pleasure from reading a physical book.

That’s probably why I’ve never felt particularly obligated to read, even as a writer.

Will that change in the future?

I imagine so, because I do appreciate a well-written sentence that changes the meaning of a sentence more than I enjoy shootin’ some dudes in a videogame. It’s easier to boot into a game and do so, though, so that’s where this playthrough has helped me decide the needs for assessing my moods. Not only logical stuff like having a headache or wanting to play something more leisurely but for subtler stuff. That’s actually the same for writing characters. You can write broad generalizations about character personalities, but that doesn’t work as well as actually digging into the subtlety of their fictionalized humanities. The more we think of a character’s humanity, the less we think in terms of how ‘they always act like X’ or even ‘they generally act like X and Y.’

When they act like Z, wouldn’t that destroy the illusion?

When I wrote Novel 01, I knew objective character generalities and not much more.

It is important to have a vague, if not solid, narrative structure. I credit a good narrative structure with the major reason for my novel’s completion, besides my tenacity to work through ailing health as a secondary credit for its completion, but, let’s focus on that primary. With a good narrative structure, you can introduce new characters or find out their intricacies. I’m building up this new character Zhanna almost as I might some kind of role-playing character, but that’s intentional, so I can test out where those boundaries are between objective character generalities and obsessive character psychologies. I would almost rather learn about whether Zhanna acted like Z through a narrative curveball than planning out her personality to be X and Y only, then to find out she’s actually more Z.

Well, that wasn’t a whole lot about Pokémon, was it?

Zhanna is my last planned new Pokémon in LeafGreen. I passed on a Slugma and may even skip the new Legendaries.

I’d rather finish LeafGreen soon so I can get onto narratively-denser games.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and gameplay experiences.
Inspirations: This went in a weird direction, maybe, but that’s because I’d rather focus on writing about fiction than writing about gameplay elements, so you’ll have to excuse that.
Related: Essays building “The Story.” Also, other Sammohini Arc and Media Meandry essays.
. . . Pokémon LeafGreen Series:
01 – “Easy Mode Living
02 – “Real Life Grinding
03 – “Had To Play
03.5 – “Fiction Inspiring Fiction
04 – “Videogames Aren’t Ambiguous
04.5 – “Level Up Yourself
05 – “Catching What’s Next
06 – “Recatching Escapist Tendencies
07 – “Inconsequentially Building Characters
08 – “Incidents Build Characters
09 – “Generic Character List
10 – “Meditative, Competitive, Narrative
11 – “Preparation Versus Scenarios
12 – “Testing Out Characters
13 – “Main and Sides
14 – “Plan Or Overplan?
15 – “Mechanical, Narrative Surprises
Pictures: I dumped some pictures here primarily for memento reasons and secondarily so I can wrap-up my playthrough here soon.
Written On: 2020 May 26 [12:23pm to 12:30pm – prep] [12:30pm to 1:21pm – writing]
Last Edited: 2020 May 26 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.