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Review Pokemon Special Chapter 4 Review

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I realize that manga is a change of pace. This is a game preservation site. A review of a chapter of graphic novels seems weird.

In all honesty, I wanted to do this because the story in these was such a vast departure from the games, and if you try to ask if it's the same as the anime, no. The anime was meant for more general TV audiences and the manga was geared towards older, more "hardcore" Pokémon fans.

I say that because of some of the subjects in the manga. The overall tone of the manga is very mature and serious one. I say that not because they use "naughty words" or hand gestures that mean the same, but because they are quite violent. The VIZ translations are a bit more toned-down, but the Singaporean English translations and original Japanese versions don't shy away from anything at all.


Without further ado, I will do my plot synopsis and give my opinion on it. Spoilers, duh.

The manga starts off with Maryanne and Ty interviewing Norman. He comments on how his family is moving to Hoenn from Johto, and from some research, they loved in Goldenrod City before they moved to Littleroot. You then see his wife driving the moving truck to their new house, chuckling and watching Norman talk about her and their son.

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You don't know what you're in for...

We then meet Ruby, who she calls to the front to watch his dad on the TV in the truck. Compared to the games, there was room for him to ride in the cab with her, but he chose to ride in the back to work on sewing things for his Pokémon and groom them. It is here that we find that he is a Pokémon Coordinator and thereby hates his Dad for being a "Battle Maniac" and thinks that making Pokémon fight is "Barbaric". To keep his façade going (more to elaborate on later), he blows her off and they continue until they hit a hole in the mud where she asks him to come out and help.

Ruby, of course, says "No." Because he is too concerned with his Pokémon getting dirty. He then has his Ralts do it from the inside, and by the time that they get to their new house, he sits atop the moving truck and looks at the grassy fields and compliments on what a beautiful view it is.

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They get to moving their stuff inside, where his Mom asks him "Isn't it so great, being able to see your father again?" To which Ruby blows her off and is obviously frustrated at how he's been spending so much time away from the family (again, more on that later) and throws the gift that his Dad gave him as well as the letter away in his wastebasket beside his desk. He then gets his stuff and Pokémon together to get this elaborate plan of running away together, grabs the running shoes, apologizes to his mom for doing this as he knows full well she didn't deserve his revenge plan on his dad, and escapes with a sheet bend, prisoner style. (Going out the window with sheets tied together.)

He then runs into Professor Birch, who is being chased by Mightyena, a pack of them, and while admiring their beauty, he almost falls victim to them until Sapphire catches him in an outfit made of leaves, masking her identity. He then comes to, and when she approaches him, he rightfully is shocked and thinks she is a Pokémon. She then gets defensive, and with the Pokémon that he got from birch, he chose Mudkip to fight off Sapphire. Professor Birch calls right before the fight, and finds out who Ruby was because of how Ruby's shoes were a special gift and the first of their kind from the Devon Corporation.

They then make a deal for Ruby to get all the contest ribbons in 80 days and Sapphire to get all 8 Gym Badges. What would happen to the loser? Who knows. And then, while Sapphire is out of energy after a Seviper attacks the both of them, Ruby knocks it out without a looking at his Pokémon, measures Sapphire, and tailors some of his clothes while applying some bandages to her, so she goes out in public "looking decent".

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Ruby then heads off to Oldale Town where he picks on Mudkip for not being beautiful and gets his just desserts by waking up a sleeping Dustox and finds out that Mudkip helped him fight it off and found where it was, when it was hiding from Ruby and his Pokémon, where the rest of them were asleep. Ruby, using his Pokédex, finds out that the fin on the top of Mudkip's head works as a radar, and heads off to Petalburg City.

Meanwhile, Sapphire returned to her dad, Prof. Birch and Ruby's mom with the Prof.'s bag, extra Pokédex and Treecko. They then call Norman to tell him that Ruby's gone because Birch was able to identify him by his special shoes, and Norman is so angry that he crushed the phone in his hand, to which Ruby's mom says that he did it quite often. This is a sign of who Norman is later on. Sapphire then sets off to get all the gym badges, swinging on vines away from home all the while.
Ruby arrives in Petalburg, with Mudkip atop his shoulder, and for once through the story, wearing his glasses. His myopia isn't a big thing throughout the story, but him wearing his glasses does help him a few times. He hates wearing them though, because of how vain he is. If you ask me though, I don't mind them all that much, and they kind of add to his look.

Ruby runs into Wally, who is trying to catch Pokémon all on his own, and takes out a Nuzleaf who was harassing Wally.

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Ruby wants to be friends from that day forward. Cute.

Wally thanks him for his help, but tells him that someone else was going to help him with that. With Ruby getting a sense of urgency to get the hell out of dodge, Wally takes note of Satan Norman walking up to Petalburg Forest, where Ruby then hides Wally in the bush with him. After telling Wally that he is too weak with Ruby getting quite angry with his old man being an obstinate douche, Norman takes note that there is "someone else nearby", and attempts to find out who it was. Ruby is almost found but, a Breloom helps Ruby hide his location.

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Yeah, I'd be afraid of my Dad too if he was commanding sound effects like a Jojo character.

Later that day, after bringing an unconscious Wally back to the hospital because Norman was too focused on finding "whoever that was", probably thinking it was Ruby. Ruby then takes Wally out to catch a Pokémon, where he catches a Kecleon, and after a ledge crumbled under Ruby's feet, Ruby told Wally to take good care of Ruru, his Ralts. The next day, Wally woke up in the hospital again, with Ruru telling him that Ruby is not dead.

We then catch up with Sapphire trying to save a Castform that was sucked into a fountain because Team Aqua as well as Magma, has moles in every company, this one being a repair service for the park. It was going to be a kidnapping of the president for the "special part" for the submarine so it could go down deep, but the President gives it to Sapphire as well as a letter for Steven later on.

Ruby is found by Mr. Briney's Peeko, and we meet Briney who is no longer a frail little man but what I could only decribe as Goku as an old fisherman. Ruby ends up being a bit of a screw up on Briney's boat and is very, very seasick. After Mr. Briney gave Ruby a book about water types, Ruby got attached to a picture of Milotic and wanted one for obvious reasons.

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A Crawdaunt then got on board after Briney pulled it up, and using just his Skitty, Ruby took care of it while helping get Briney back on board. Ruby then pretends like nothing happened after giving Peeko a makeover in order to help her, and Briney realizes that Ruby is not all that he may seem and that he is hiding something.
Sapphire enters the Rustboro Gym to find out that in order to get the badge, she must get the highest score on the test of the trainers' school. Being the Pokémon researcher she is, she steamrolls the test and Roxanne challenges her to a battle that Sapphire only beat by figuring out Roxanne's strategy. Using her Nosepass against her, Sapphire beats Roxanne and sets off for Dewford.

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Ruby then finds Sapphire at Dewford, and heading into Granite Cave, they act like siblings by being contrarian and go different routes, with Ruby going straight into danger with a flock of Mawile and meeting Steven. Being that he is quite obsessed with his Pokémon, he doesn’t miss the chance to capture his Pokémon evolving, even though it was quite a dunderheaded decision to do as such while he's trying to get away from all the Pokémon rushing towards him and Steven.

The next day, Sapphire fights off Brawly in a similar fashion to what she did with Roxanne. After getting her second badge, she and Ruby set off for Slateport. Mid-trip, they get into an argument where Ruby gets pissed at her for her saying "Your dad isn't a wuss. Why are you?"

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After an argument, throws him onto the Abandoned Ship. Ruby finds a Plusule and Minun what were left there to protect the Detector and the Journal that Courtney and her cohort Mitch from Team Magma came to find. After they end up getting away with the Detector anyways, Ruby still has the Journal and Courtney can't remember Ruby's face because he had his glasses on at the time, and was out of the sunshine.

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After getting off and saying "Seeya!" to Sapphire, Ruby disembarks at Slateport with Sapphire pretty mad that Ruby "didn't even bother to say thank ya". Mack and Courtney (she's called Marge in the manga but nobody will know who Marge is) then beg to a Maxie to use the detector to engulf the streets of Slateport in flames, and with Maxie getting super intoxicated in his base, he tells them to wait for Mack.

Ruby runs into the Pokémon Fan Club president in Slateport, which is in vast contrast to the games, where the Contest Hall and the Pokémon Fan Club are located in Lilycove. Ruby and the President talk about getting a Contest Hall pass, which are only handed out in Verdanturf Town, which is super convenient for Ruby and the Fan Club President. Ruby then ponders whether trying to enter the contests would have been a good idea anyways, as he knows that his Dad would have IMMEDIATELY caught wind and come after him to beat him.

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If you're so concerned about that, then why did you run away from home to do specifically that?

After Ruby and the President and a couple scientists working on the submarine go to work on Pokeblocks, they are knocked out by a Torkoal and Ruby and the President are tied up and thrown in a back room while Mack tortures the scientists for the special sub part.

Ruby and the Pres break out of the back room, and using Ruby's innate senses, he tricks Mack's Slugma to follow him into the submarine, dropping his Pokeblock holder into the water behind him on accident. Ruby then knows that he's in over his head once he began to fight off Mack, but Mack decided to show off to Ruby his fire illusions, and who else does Ruby see but Norman.

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Ruby, as a young child, then begs for his illusion of his Dad to allow him to battle and train with him. Mack then tells him that it was supposed to be his worst memories, foreshadowing for later.

After then distracting Mack for long enough, Ruby and Marshtomp escape in the escape pod to the surface.

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Sapphire then makes her way to Wattson, but not before being trapped by Coil-boy's robots after being mistaken for a Donphan. Wattson, who Sapphire finds out is very unserious about badges, slaps the badge out of his hand because she wanted to actually earn the badge and not have it given out like candy. She knocks it into a Donphan and lodges it between its scales, pissing it off. After calming it down, they find New Mauville and find that Wattson has been taken hostage by... the generator...

After figuring out the generator's attack pattern, Watton and Coil-boy, his friend, figure out that the generator as well as the whole of New Mauville was built by Coil-boy's ancestor, Robot Man. Once they activate it, it turns into a giant amusement park, and Sapphire is thanked by the both of them for helping them find it. She then takes the badge as she then believes she has earned it, running off to her next battle.

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Ruby and Marshtomp surface, and after commenting on how much it stinks in there, Ruby wonders about whether the President and Captain Stern are ok. He then puts his glasses on sees that he's made himself famous for all the wrong reasons. After debating on whether to go back to Slateport, Ruby then realizes that his worst fears have been made true and he knows that now his Dad is on to him, with a visualization of... his dad abusing him. We then see his mom see that he was kidnapped after she wonders why he had to run away from home, to only then faint.

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We see Maryanne and Ty catch up to Mr. Abuse Norman in the Slateport Seaport, and he is NUCLEAR. After picking up Ruby's pokeblock holder from the bottom of the water, he figures out Ruby's trajectory and hops onto a jet ski to go kick his ass in battle and physically. Ruby, meanwhile, rubs into a swimmer who is trying to catch a Feebas, and after Ruby kept putting it back into the water because it was "so ugly" multiple times, the swimmer sees that he caught it, and they both make such a fuss that Ruby lets it back into the water as well as his Pokegear.

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They continue to fish for the Feebas and then see a Zangoose and Seviper fight until they unintentionally startle them and they chase after Ruby and the swimmer. With the Zangoose and Seviper chasing them, Feebas puts up a Light Screen. With the pursuing Pokémon puncturing the pokeballs with Ruby and the swimmers Pokémon in them, Ruby and co. make their great escape to the Weather Research Institute. Ruby and the swimmer argue about what helped save the both of them, and then the swimmer thinks about forcing Ruby to be his Feebas breeder and living lavishly while Ruby is his slave.

Fun.

Ruby then stresses about half of his Pokémon being groomed and beautiful while half are ugly and unkempt, pounding his fist against the ground. Marshtomp then sees his favorite kind of Pokeblock and runs off after them, continually munching on them. Ruby notices that he's gone, and goes off after him to find that HIS pokeblocks are there, and they are Zuzu's favorite.

Someone behind him finishes his thought for him and lets him know that his time is up, standing behind him like he's about to violently beat him.
That's not far from the truth, as Norman then proceeds to punch him down the stairs, with Ruby and his Marshtomp hitting the wall behind the stairs, shocking the swimmer. Ruby then says that it's about to become "the most violent family quarrel ever", which entails beating your son until he physically breaks, I guess.
Maryanne and Ty are taking care of the President's Castform for him while he's still in a coma, and are looking for Norman or Ruby. Castform tries to show them that they are at the Weather Research Institute, wherein they then realize the same. They run towards the building to see what is happening, seeing Norman at the top but not seeing him beat up on Ruby, I guess.

We then see Norman beating the shit out of Ruby for no reason other than the fact that he ran away from home. Norman begins grilling him for answers as to why he ran away from home and continues to beat him up until his Slaking picks up a set of stairs and Ruby has to fight his Dad. His Dad tells him coolly while he is fighting that "your attacks are of no use against me because I taught you them", but as he rightfully should have, Ruby uses his Marshtomp for some cheap shots.

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Yes, this is fucked up. And yes, this is real.

The battle continues on until the stairs that Ruby is standing on are swung over the ledge by Slaking, to which Norman uses to his advantage, to coax Ruby over to him. As Ruby continues to refuse, the stairs that that moron used his Pokémon to swing over the edge begin to fall off the side of the building with Norman and Ruby on them. We then see Ruby's mom talking about how Norman wanted Ruby to participate in contests, and how this was, (I guess) going to help fix up family ties, and that Ruby was too impatient.

To break away from the plot synopsis, I'm going to play devil's advocate for Ruby. Granted, his actions were rash. Yes, he was impatient. HOWEVER. Norman is an abusive father because Ruby is disobedient, and therein caused Ruby to want to run away from home. I will discount what Ruby did on the count that what Norman did was worse, probably fracturing a few bones and almost putting him out with a concussion or two. I am genuinely surprised that he wasn't completely broken from being thrown (or punched) down the stairs a few times.

While the stairs fall off the side, Norman holds onto Ruby's hand in order to make sure that neither he nor Ruby gets impaled. However, if he hadn't had the stairs thrown off the side of the building, this wouldn't have happened. Problem solved. As they are about to fall off, Castform dries up the stairs that Norman was holding onto, causing it instead to crack, and for them to fall. Ruby thinks fast and uses his shoes to move them to the ground where there isn't jagged broken pieces of building and tree trunks that are conveniently spiky, to which Norman thanks Ruby for thinking fast.

Nah, after being searched for by the Winona because the "Gym Leaders Committee" (or whatever, I'll get to them later) sent for him, he just berates Ruby and tells him to not come home until he's gotten all the ribbons. Oh, and to occasionally call Mom. Ruby then thanks his Dad for letting him do what he wants to instead of thinking to himself "fuck off, you old asswipe." And Maryanne and Ty (yeah their names are different in the manga, but I don't care, they are Maryanne and... Tyler... moving on.) take off to Verdanturf Town to get Ruby his Contest Pass, with the swimmer running after them because he wants his Feebas.
 

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Gameboi64

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Meanwhile, Sapphire is trying to get into Lavaridge Town's Gym, and Team Aqua's goons (who really seem to be more menacing as they actually fucking try) capture Flannery as they are looking for Sapphire, as much as she is. They then trap them in a cable car after finding Sapphire and make an attempt at drowning them...

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh???????

While Mr. Smugshit is cackling to himself while drowning a couple of girls, he then realizes that "oops, doing it in a place like this with someone that has escaped our grasp before, someone that has more than 2 braincells has figured out how to drain this cable car." because he used Sharpedo to murder them, and Sapphire's Aggron broke off some fangs. Sapphire then used those fangs to cut a hole in the car while he was laughing to himself (if ou ask me, they should have popped his bubble helmet and drowned him, then throwing him out the side of the car), foiling his plan.

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Flannery then compliments Sapphire on her heroism, but Aqua has already stopped the volcano with the meteorite. Aqua walks away scot-free, snickering. Sapphire then gives chase to Aqua, but Aqua is too fast for her and they escape. Magma shows up just afterwards to kickstart its heart (yeah, I make lots of musical references, see if you can find them scattered throughout my reviews), but with little success. Sapphire and Flannery then go into the last hot spring available, but find out that it too has gone cold. After Flannery sent her off with words of encouragement, Sapphire goes for her next badge.

We then flash back to the Team Magma base, where Maxie decides to finally take part in the action after Mitch reports that the volcano is dead, Mack is still modifying the detector and Courtney (I'm still not calling her Marge) mentions that she is finally getting impatient.

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Ruby is busy making waves in Verdanturf Town with his ability to wipe the floor with his opponents at Pokémon Contests. After trying to be interviewed by the duo of news, Ruby gets frazzled because he knows that Team Magma would come after him because of how he was the "kidnap victim", or maybe something else. After completing the Beauty Segment, with the power of myopia, Ruby spots Wallene, who he mistakes for Wally. After being brought in for the final contest, Ruby chases after her, to only embarrass himself in front of thousands of people.

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After recuperating in the news van, she explains that she was the only person he told about Ralts and their attempt at catching Pokémon (how convenient), wherein Wally saw Ruby being dragged out to sea by the current. Ruby then agrees to help Wallene rescue her husband, Riley. Once that was successfully done, Ruby screams his joy at Riley's care for all the Whismur that could not bear the sound that all of the power tools that were being used to make the tunnel were making.

It appeared to be a ruse set up by Courtney, who divebombs Ruby to capture him. She then fights him explaining who she is. During such, she, I guess in an attempt to arouse him, (or maybe she herself is aroused) asks him if he'd like to join Magma, but in a very, VERY obviously sexual way. Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Possibly.

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After trying to murder him for rejecting her offer "IN A BLAZE OF GLORY!" (guess she's a big Bon Jovi fan), Ruby then sets her up to be dropped into her own flames, after saying that he hates "righteousness and manliness and all that rubbish", which is a ruse I will get to later.

The Gym Leaders then all meet up together to figure out who is good and who isn't, only for Norman to then take no sides and to leave the meeting. Wattson, after making a really, REALLY bad joke, goes out to talk to Norman. Norman rejects it, as he hates the association for something that happened "seven years ago", which is A. another thing I need to describe later and B. a mistranslation, as it was supposed to say 5 years ago. The president then brushes him off as "that man again..."
Btw, fuck him. Remember that for later as well.

Ruby and the news duo are on their way to Fallarbor Town to take place in the contest there. Upon reaching it, Ruby takes place in all of the contests, except for Beauty, to his dismay. He then meets Wallace, who is basically Ruby's contest personality, but with a bigger budget. Ruby, jealous as fuck and as vain as ever, attempts to eat the stage out of anger. After finding out that that doesn't work, he tries to make Wallace his mentor, to which Wallace initially rejects, with his troupe of fan girls, but takes him in temporarily. After sucking up enough, Wallace is like "ah ok".

While Luvdisc causes some fossil Pokémon to escape on Wallace's command, wherein Ruby gives such a death glare (which is another thing he inherited from his father so much that Norman appears behind Ruby like he is actually there) that they become immobilized. Wallace then thinks of Ruby in a different light, and Wallace agrees to help Ruby. After the scientists call the news station to bitch at them for withholding crucial information, they then call the news station and get Archie on the line.

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Wallace and Ruby proceed to set out for Fortree City, where Sapphire is also heading. Sapphire, after showing Winona a good fight, sits with the newly beaten gym leader to see Wallace come in with Ruby. She then introduces herself to Wallace, and explains that she knows Ruby as they set up a bet together. Once Wallace and Winona set off to get to another meeting, Sapphire and Ruby attempt to make for small talk. A herd of Grumpig then attack the both of them as they were having too peaceful of a moment and too much of a good time together, for Sapphire to find out that Ruby's fighting spirit is there, but he hides it deep inside of him.

She gets sick of his bullshit and his ruse and calls him out. He goes on to pretend that he doesn’t care that the world is falling apart at the seams and just wants to win that bet. She sees this in him, thinking he is being serious, and gets intensively pissed at him. Upon her outrage, she takes off her clothes that he made for her, saying how she never wanted to see him again.

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Mack, meanwhile, is being an evil douchebag and steals the orbs from Mt. Pyre. Maxie and Archie then find out that they were both up to the same thing and agree to work together on tearing the world apart like a piece of paper with storms. Maryanne and Ty figure this out, but it's already too late. Sapphire is currently furious and using her fury at Ruby to fight Winona. Ruby then deals with his selfishness and the fact that his secret has slipped and that things can never be the same again. Ruby then peers in on Winona and Wallace having a similar situation like him and Sapphire, and runs off to get his final Ribbons out of frustration.

Team Magma and Aqua, meanwhile, get their act together and go down to upsidedownland in a submarine where they can wake up a bunch of giant tarantulas and other such beasts from Australia.

Wait, what?

I mean, they take Kaien 1 to the bottom of the sea with them with a bunch of grunts and their best admins.

Wallace finds Lilycove City partially submerged in water, in a similar way to Old Tokyo in Evangelion, just with people still living there and beasts not constantly attacking the world in a fashion that requires giant mechs piloted by unstable teenagers.

Uhhhhhhhhhhh.........

Ruby takes place in the Master Rank contests with the vain swimmer from earlier, and when his Feebas doesn't get the ribbon, he yells at her, with her to only swim away, and for him to be yelled at by Wallace for being a vain, unloving, obsessive contest maniac. Ruby then cries himself unconscious because of how much of a failure he realizes he has become, with the swimmer yelling at Wallace for doing such a thing to him, or at least causing him to cry himself unconscious. Wallace then takes him to a hospital and goes to help others.

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"I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I'm... sorry... I'...m... sorry..."

Maxie and Archie go to wake up their respective Pokémon in their respective caves. Maryanne and Ty go and meet up with Capt. Stern, with Aqua waking up Kyogre first. Maxie then wakes up Groudon, and the world goes to hell in a hand basket, almost literally, at Maxie's hands.

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That was quite the change of mood.
 
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All the gym leaders and Sapphire go to investigate and help as much as they can, with everyone that can, with others taking as many civillians as they can to New Mauville. Everyone talks about what is going on and goes to defend from their respective teams, with Sapphire going on a hunt after Maxie and Archie. Ruby then wakes up and sees that the President has been there forever, and sees inside of himself that he keeps running away from everyone and everything and never going to face something head on. After peering at Sapphire, who saved a Relicanth, Ruby knows that he is the person that can help. Meanwhile, everyone is frustrated that they can't do jack shit, and Ruby decides to not chip in as he knows that nobody would want to see him again.

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Ruby searches for his Feebas, to only find a blind kid's Magikarp, wherein the kid explains that he can always recognize his Magikarp. Ruby, after being complimented on being an amazing trainer, reflects on all the awful things he has done since he had gotten to Hoenn. All the people that had told him that he was selfish, all the times he didn't think of anyone else, all the times he refused to speak up about Team Magma. All the times he could have fought Magma and prevented this disaster from happening, coming to the conclusion that he has to help.

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He then sends a letter to Wallace saying that he will fight Team Magma.

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After showing up and raining on Sapphire's parade, telling her that he can show them a way to get to the Cave of Origin, explaining that Sapphire's Relicanth can help them. After Sapphire puts on a new set of clothes to match Ruby's change of clothes (new ones he had made for her), they go down to (I'm not making that joke again) the depths of the ocean, to the cave of origin.

The Gym Leaders Commitee President goes into the sky to continue his business, for Scott to pop by and say "howdya do, you think I wouldn't show up throught this entire story?" (to the audience basically) and Professor Birch is lost in the storm, with his Treecko and research being sent from him in the current.

Wally then catches it down at Pacfidlogloglog Town, using his Cacturne's Needle Arm. A shadowy figure then asks him why he did that, and Wally says "it's because I trust my pokemon not to hit the Pokeball!"

We then find out that Norman is that man in the shadows. Damn. Thought it'd be someone of worth.
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Jokes aside, Norman then leads Wally up the Sky Pillar to wake up Rayquaza, but not without testing his skills first. Norman then gets a call from Scott, which will be a plotpoint for later. After complimenting Wally for growing stronger, I still can't forgive him for being an abusive father.

Maxie and Archie then fight over their orbs, sending their top admins after them. Archie then gets the Blue Orb, and shit gets real. Ruby and Sapphire then fight off a ton of wild pokemon, with Mitch and Amber setting off to cause more havoc. Well, moreso, Archie and Maxie send them in an imploding submarine (because it doesn't have that special part it so very much requires, which doesn't make sense at all how a part like that can strengthen it) to the surface. Courtney is then in the Mossdeep Space Center, looking at stuff that will be elaborated on later, commenting that while Ruby and Sapphire are quite courageous, but are only destined for death.

The gym leaders then fight off the teams with Amber and Mitch back, but with a twist. They are now superpowered with the power of the Red and Blue Orbs and go haywire. The gym leaders end up losing more and more of their cohorts to Aqua and Magma, with them being no match for the Team Admins.

Maxie and Archie, meanwhile, are taken over by the Orbs and quite literally are vessels of the Orbs, just with their intentions. Ruby and Sapphire end up being no match for them, and have their asses handed to them by the madmen. Maxie and Archie then have the orbs integrate into their bodies and use energy blasts to shoot at Ruby and Sapphire.

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That's called a Gameshark, and that is cheating, my good sir.

Archie and Maxie then ascend, holing Ruby and Sapphire by their necks to the epicenter (because Ruby hasn't gotten enough of that in a long time), Sootopolis City. With the gym leaders' fates looking grim, we then see the little blind boy from earlier talking to the elite four and Wallace. They then, after giving some backstory for Juan becoming Gym Leader and Steven stepping down, have the little blind boy read the slab with braille on it, conveniently. However, it's missing a piece, which is the envelope that the President gave to Sapphire.

Sapphire and Ruby, after being cast aside by Mega-Maxie and Mega-Archie, cower out and give up. They are then told to "never give up" and here we go, backstory.

LOTS OF IT.

Ruby and Sapphire reminisce on their past days where they were young. They talk about "a very agile and strong boy" and a "docile and sweet girl"

If it's not evident enough, this whole story has been hinging on a roleswap, and the reason being.........

Ruby and Sapphire knew each other for three days. They got to know each other while Norman was going to become a Gym Leader in Johto. After Norman's wife says that "today is your big day" it becomes evident to the audience that Birch afterwards saying "anything can happen during the test" was a classic case of murphy's law, because what can go wrong will go wrong.

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You jinxed everything.

As Ruby and Sapphire were minding their own goddamn business, a Salamence appears out of nowhere and attacks them, with Ruby having no holds barred to protect Sapphire. Salamence then dragon claws his head, and after fending of the Salamence, with blood gushing out of his head, Ruby declares that he defeated the Salamence.

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Sapphire, traumatized by Ruby's brutal way of beating the Salamence, runs away, and the badly damaged Salamence frees Rayquaza, like its trainer wanted.

Who was its trainer?

Well, as a tangent, this plot point was added in the ORAS chapter, and to cut the story short, it wasn't nearly as good as this chapter. It's revealed that the Salamence belonged to Zinnia, who was trying to break Rayquaza free, but it ended up attacking some children instead, but after beating it, Ruby just passes it off as it being "all alright". This coming from the same child that was beaten, abused, strangled, brutally slashed by a pokemon and then estranged from his father because some "draconid" decided to be reckless. Fuck her.

Anyways, Ruby and Sapphire look back on how their fathers became deeply engrossed in their work, with Norman being away from home after that for long periods of time, and Birch looking deep into his work. Wallace and Winona then give them words of encouragement and they come back to their senses. Funny that they didn't hear each others' stories, though.

Winona then finds that a stone that dropped from Sapphire's pocket was getting hotter, and they realize that it is a fragment of the grand meteor. After using some powerful attacks and magic coat reflections, they cause a giant white flash of light.

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Meanwhile, Steven gets the missing fragment of the slab for the blind boy, and they end up waking up the Regis. However, Steven loses Sapphire's grip after getting the piece (conveniently) and they both wake up on Mirage Island.

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Juan and the twins introduce themselves, and explain that Kyogre and Groudon are still battling. However, everyone is still fighting to keep them subdued. Juan then drops it on them that they are the ones to subdue the pokemon, because of course they are.

After learning the power of teamwork with Plusule and Minun and training their own pokemon, Juan then introduces them to a challenge of intuition which Ruby does poorly at but Sapphire does well at. He comments on how it is supposed to cleanse their hearts, but really to train them in their intuition. After that is over, while Sapphire is asleep, Ruby bring up to Juan that the Red and Blue Orbs are inside of their bodies. He reads the diary that Plusule and Minun bring with them, and mention that sometimes the orbs choose their controllers.

Juan then mentions how the Mind Challenge was supposed to ready them for such, and once Ruby tries to force the orb out of his body, his hat slips a little, revealing his scar just an itty bit. Juan then tells him that they were the best fit, but not the strongest trainers. After Ruby then leaves, Juan thinks to himself that Ruby is very considerate of not bringing it up while Sapphire was awake, and that Ruby is not all he seems, and that it was thoughtful of him to not just bring it up to Sapphire.

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Sapphire however, was eavesdropping the whole time. After forcing the Orb out of her body, Sapphire decides to stare at Ruby’s face, to which he realizes his hat isn't pulled down sufficiently enough. Time then synchronizes with Mirage Island and the real world, and...

Wally is still being trained by Norman, for the last 21 days or so. Wally then asks why he is being trained by his fake Dad, wherein Norman, after trying to protect Wally from the Sky Pillar falling to pieces is rang by Scott once again. Scott drops a truth bomb on Norman that Ruby is one of the chosen ones by the Orbs, and Norman then realizes that he needs to get back to work.

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Looks like life just hit him with a metric ton of bricks.

After sending Wally through a series of puzzles to wake up Rayquaza, Wally realizes that Norman wanted to do it with Ruby. However, the audience knows that that was never gonna happen. Norman hitches a ride with the green god of the sky, towards the epicenter of the battle.

...Sapphire reveals to Ruby that she actually likes him. She tells him that she wanted to meet up with a "brave boy who saved me from a Salamence", and Ruby realizes that "it all clicks now." After they go over the sentimental things they like about each other, Sapphire asks Ruby to go back to Littleroot with her. Ruby gets Sapphire to force the Orb out of her after going through the time portal, and Ruby reveals that he was the brave boy she remembers the whole time.

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Ruby then traps her in Wallace's aircar to protect her, and heads into battle with Courtney, with Norman heading there as well. Ruby reflects on his meeting with Courtney on Mirage Island, and how Sapphire roamed Hoenn on her own while he was a hitchhiker to anyone that wanted to take up a well dressed young man in their vehicle. Ruby agrees to protect Sapphire by working with Courtney after Courtney makes him think about Sapphire going nuts because of the Orbs as well.

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Ruby and Courtney go to subdue the ancient pokemon, but because Courtney was not chosen by the Orb, it does not work. She hands him the Blue Orb and her memory lighter to let him know that the person that was piloting Rayquaza this whole time was his dad. Ruby has a moment of shock as Courtney's memory lighter tells him that she looked into him, everything about him, including the reason why he was estranged from his dad all those years ago.

Ruby rides on top of Rayquaza and then drops himself into the two ancient pokemon, putting them to sleep. Steven and Norman, however, were not spared, and the power of controlling the Regis and Rayquaza respectively took a toll on their bodies. The president, however, sees it as just a casualty of war, essentially.

With Norman's last dying breaths, he explains to Ruby everything that needs to be explained, and how he couldn't truly control Rayquaza. They explain that the green jewel was in order to control it, however, that leads us into the final part of Ruby's story that was missing the whole time.

The person who was the instigator of all of this, the one that cause the dominoes to tumble to this point in time, was Ruby all those years ago.

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"you gave up everything because of me?"
"Yes."

Norman explains the rest of the story and how he saw that Ruby took out the Salamence, but the Salamence crashed into the Pokemon Research lab, which was its original intent. After realizing that Ruby caused all of the attacks, Norman took the blame for all of it, and the asswipe of a president forces him to go find it and tells him that "what we were doing with Rayquaza is none of your business."

If I may take a moment to talk about this walking, talking stack of shit, I hate him. I hate him more than is probably thought possible because of how cold and emotionless he is. He treats his members like pawns, just to be replaced. He treats everyone lower than him like shit because they aren't him. What's worse is that he is the reason why Ruby and Norman stopped getting along, and inevitably tore the family apart. He's a sack of shit with a cold attitude and he is nothing less than shit himself.

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"nyeh. it's none of your business."

He looks very punchable.

Norman then tells his wife and Ruby that he has to leave, with Ruby trying to come with him. He firmly tells Ruby no, and that he need to train himself, for Ruby to only cry for him to not leave him.

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Fuck the president of the association. What a waste of air and space in that world.

Anyways, Ruby questions why Norman threw five years of his life away just to protect Ruby, and Courntey's memory lighter tells him that "Love makes the world go round, it's the same reason why you trapped Sapphire in that aircar."

Ruby then watched his old man give out his last breath, which I will admit is depressing and sad to see.

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Once that happens, Maxie and Archie rise from hell to barbecue Norman's dead body, and strangle Ruby with Tentacruel's tentacles. They then try to continue the madness, where after Sapphire breaks into the atmosphere with the help of Coil-boy and the New Mauville generator (what about all those people that need the power, huh?) they break into the battlefield. Wallace tries to take them down, but after being taunted with Winona's dead body, they seal his Pokeballs shut and kill him too, saying that it’s “cool and refreshing”.

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Yes. This is legit.

Feebas then appears out of nowhere and tries to fuck up everything, to only be kicked to the side by Archie because of its "ugly presence", to which Ruby then learns the true meaning of beauty. Feebas then evolves into Milotic and they take out Maxie and Archie, who make their great escape, but not without one last thing.

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Ruby reveals that he always has an empty slot in his party because duh duh duhhhh! It was Celebi the whole time. Celebi then gets the jewels, smashes them, and changes time, where they are not living in a hellish desert of noting, where many important characters are dead or missing.

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Ruby and Sapphire then wake up in the President's airship, where Sapphire begs Norman to fight her, and Ruby begs Wallace to help him get his ribbons. Ruby then looks at his empty pokeball, and questions whether it came to him because it knew that he needed it, and Courtney flies off after saying her goodbyes.

Seems plausible, as Celebi can control time after all.

Sapphire gets her last badge, the Balance Badge (which is the 5th in the games), and comes back to her secret hideout all decked out by Ruby. She then asks him whether he still likes her, to which we then see them focus on the TV, whee Ruby's mom is begging him to come home, tearfully, because it was going to be a party for both Ruby and Sapphire, as Ruby had run away from home when she wanted to celebrate his birthday initially. All the characters that were god throughout the story are seen in their respective places, including Courtney, who is watering berries.

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Pursue your dreams... or something.

Ruby and Sapphire run back to Littleroot Town, mocking each other playfully, with the manga wrapping up.

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...but not before Giovanni grabs the Orbs, which were reverted back to jewels that had washed up on Kanto's shores. He then laughs to himself about what he's going to do next, foreshadowing for the FR/LG manga.

The End.

Without a doubt, the story does quite a lot. Many things that would never get airtime, nor would the anime put their precious main character through unless it was just to end up in the same way as the manga. Granted it was a giant ass pull (see also: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Asspull), but if you look back on it, Hoenn was a wasteland because of them, many crucial characters were murdered, and overall it was all a lot of very, very grim and horrible conditions to live in. Everything was basically wiped away by either flooding or incineration. Norman, Wallace, Winona, Steven as well as many gym leaders were dead.

The big problem with that is that it was also a lot of "You see these characters you like? Well see them die!" Granted, I did not like Norman, but I did end up still feeling bad for Ruby, probably because of the fact that at the end of the day, he did still love Ruby, and probably regretted his actions (although he never, ever shows it, not even in ORAS). Steven you don't get to really get attached through throughout the story, and many of the gym leaders, either. I can play devil’s advocate for the part of the story where Ruby used Celebi to warp time and change everything. Otherwise, it would be an immensely depressing ending where nobody had anything.

"What about the anime?"

The anime is shit and I really really don't like it. My big problem is that I never got attached to Ash as a main character, ESPECIALLY after reading this. Ruby ended up resonating very well, mostly because I just liked him and his character progression. He is an asshole most of the time, but he hides it. Does he really have to hide it after Sapphire knows? Does he really have to pretend like it never happened? No, but that is inherently a part of his character.

There is a theory however, that he doesn't remember any of the final battle, but he definitely remembers his Feebas evolving into Milotic, he remembers the bet, and he remembers Sapphire, so that theory really doesn't seem plausible. I am assuming this, though, but Ruby does make mention of his "last battle with a Salamence" in the Emerald chapter, showing that he's just bullshitting Sapphire. She almost knows that he's intentionally being dense because he wants to continue living the way he does and that he does love her, but she knows that if he doesn't want to pursue it, there is no point in her doing as such, either.

One thing though that has always bothered me about this story was the confrontation between Norman and Ruby, as watching the main character having the shit beat out of him by his Dad was, at the very least, not the most enjoyable to read. It does sure though show that the manga was willing to go to places that may have been uncomfortable. Was it any good for them to do that? Eh, probably not, but they sure hadn't gone to that extent since. Sure, the main characters are constantly put in perilous situations. CONSTANTLY. But there is something more significant about domestic child abuse than just a life or death situation if you ask me.

I did overall enjoy reading through it, even if I felt like the ending dragged on forever. It was definitely an appropriate accompaniment to the games, much better than the anime ever could have been. Whereas in the anime, everyone takes a backseat to Ash and everything is peaches and gravy until he loses to the champion where he leaves all of his pokemon except for his Pikachu for being failures. And yes I know that he recently won, but I live in the real world where fantasy is a figment of your imagination.

If you enjoy Pokemon, you'd enjoy this, but approach with this in mind if you've never read Pokemon Special. It's not an especially easy thing to slip into and just read. If you want the story to be lighthearted overall and just easy to digest, this is not the thing for you.

Otherwise, I'd recommend at least a read. And no, I'm not linking anywhere you can read it here. Go look for that yourself somewhere else.

-Gameboi64
 
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