Fan Fic / The Quest for the Legends

"Death is not to be feared, for it is the only thing we all have in common."

The Quest for the Legends is a Pokémon fanfic. It has been rewritten many times over its ten-year lifespan (11 revisions and counting!), but as the best-known, currently ongoing and to be finished version is version 3.2 (the ILCOE), all tropes on this page will be assumed to apply to that version until otherwise stated.

Mark Greenlet is a normal eleven-year-old boy with a passionate interest in legendary Pokémon living in the region of Ouen, except that he hasn't been allowed to go out on a Pokémon journey like all his friends. After finding a Charmander and persuading his parents to let him out, he's ecstatic to finally be a Pokémon trainer, but things quickly go downhill as he discovers a Gym leader's secret cloning lab, accidentally frees Mew from said Gym leader, is subsequently nearly murdered by a madman obsessed with Mew, and eventually gets entangled in a couple of desperate legendaries' nigh-impossible attempt to stop The End of the World as We Know It.

Tropes used in The Quest for the Legends:

  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: The revisions of the fic from 2.0 on are all acronyms:
    • 2.0: UMR (Ultra-Mega-Revised); 3.x: HMMRCIG (How Much More Revised Can It Get?), YAR (Yet Another Revision), ILCOE (I've Lost Count Of 'Em), ILCOTEM (I've Lost Count Of Them Even More)
    • 4.x: IALCOTN (I've Absolutely Lost Count Of Them Now), APO (Another Pointless One), WTHAIRTSTA (Why The Hell Am I Rewriting This Stupid Thing Again?)
  • The Artifact: Molzapart and Rainteicune.
  • Artifact Title: The legendary plot was thought up to avert this.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: All of Victor's Pokémon's names end in "ious".
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: The dilemma of tracking down a herd of eight unicorn legendaries gets solved when Ryan uses math and computer programming to find a migration pattern.
  • Back from the Dead: Mark. Scyther gets brought back by Mew.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Not the main conflict (yet), but the universally reviled (in-story) Taylor becomes League Champion.
  • Blatant Lies: Mark vents some of his frustrations with Chaletwo by totally fabricating a story starring the legendary as a homicidal maniac bent on world domination. This story serves as Mark's way of convincing the citizens of Crater Town to evacuate. Chaletwo is not pleased.
    Chaletwo: I have to hand it to you, that story was pretty good, but could you really not have, you know, antagonized me a little bit less?
    Mark: Oh, shut up. It’s not like they didn’t think you were evil and murderous already. Why do you even care what they think of you? It’s not like it matters.
  • Berserk Button: Spirit, while normally stuck-up and serene, will kick your ass if you slander the legendaries or being "chosen" when she's around.
  • Beware the Honest Ones: Robin's firm honesty is threatening to tear the team apart over whether or not May should tell the police about Tyranitar.
  • Bigger Is Better: With the exception of Mewtwo^2, Taylor's clones are all much bulkier than their normal counterparts.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted.
  • Blood Lust/Blood Upgrade: Mutark grows in strength, size, and ferocity at the taste of its own blood, and actively seeks out ways to injure itself to invoke this trope.
  • Body-Count Competition: Floatzel and Weavile get one going after the latter evolves.
  • Breaking Speech: It wasn't Carl's intention, but his honest and thoroughly airtight appraisal of his last encounter with the kids utterly eviscerates their already-shaky resolve. Chaletwo, Mark, Alan, and finally May come face-to-face with their worst flaws, and by the end of the scene, Nice Guy Mark is the only one still willing to recruit Carl. Good thing Sparky was the next person they visited!
  • Cain and Abel: The Color Dragons consist of three pairs of a brother and sister each whose hatred for the other carries with it some legitimately scary insanity and paranoia. And if you count the Dragons of Ouen as siblings, they take it even further.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Scyther asks Sparky for beer when offered a meal at the latter's restaurant, and gets a stockpot full of the stuff. He barely needed any of it. Sparky takes the image of Scyther passed out all over the table in stride.
    Sparky: Oh dear. I guess Pokémon are rather sensitive to alcohol. One more lesson in running restaurants, isn’t it?
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Megan Hayfield (at the Cleanwater Pokémon Center), Aaron White (at Ash's starter Pokémon giveaway), and Michael Willows (the Scizor's trainer at the Pokémon Frenzy Tournament) are all Trainers that Mark meets within the first 25 chapters, and also happen to be the first three Trainers Mark battles at the Ouen League twenty chapters later. It's never explicitly stated where Mark remembered Aaron from, only that he looked "irritatingly familiar".
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Crater Town is built in the crater of a dormant volcano which happens to erupt when Volcaryu breaks out.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Chaletwo says that the Waraider herd operates on some "strange moon logic" and immediately rules out the possibility of reasonable negotiation with them. While there's no dialogue or illuminating behavior from them in the fic yet, Ryan quickly discovers that they move around Ouen in a polygon-based pattern that he puts to good use in predicting their whereabouts.
  • Code of Honour: Scyther's swarm has a strict one. His major character development arc involves outgrowing it and deciding what he thinks is right and wrong.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Subverted. It's mentioned that Gym Leaders, which fall under Poor, Predictable Rock in the games and anime, know the ins and outs of their type so well that they know how to work around its weaknesses while still maintaining a team theme.
  • Crossing the Desert is a bad idea...
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Mark starts off the series as a quiet, wimpy type, but quickly shows a reckless side. Additionally, while he isn't a good battler on paper, a combination of trust in his team and sheer dumb luck have proven that he and his team are plenty dangerous.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Played with throughout the series.
    • Mark gets his ass handed to him by Carl in a Triple Battle, only succeeding in taking down Carl's Magcargo by exploiting its double weakness. The difference in ability is further emphasized by the fact that the Gym Leader won a Triple Battle against Alan at the same time.
    • Floatzel speedily takes down a paralyzed Feraltwo without suffering a single hit.
    • Tyranitar is utterly trounced by Mewtwo^2 in the last battle of the League Finals.
    • Mark assumes May will "wipe the floor" with him when they battle in the League arc. It turns out to be the closest match in the entire Ouen league arc.
  • Curtains Match the Window: May and Mitch.
  • Cute Kitten: Mutark, though only in its base form.
  • Darker and Edgier: Invoked by Diana when overhauling the exterior of the Acaria Gym.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Early lore says that Chaletwo's at least part Dark-type. He's also firmly one of the good guys.
  • Death Glare: Literally, in Chaletwo's case.
  • Destructive Savior: Mark, May, and Alan when battling Thunderyu, Volcaryu, and Polaryu, although it's more of the latter group's fault, with the Volcaryu battle being the most destructive. Lampshaded by May in Chapter 43:
    May: I wonder how long it will take us to set a world record as causes of natural disasters.
  • Distaff Counterpart/Spear Counterpart: Each of the Color Dragons has a corresponding sibling of the opposite sex.
  • Elemental Powers: Standard issue when it comes to Pokémon.
  • Expy: Taylor is one of Silver.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Mark and May at the Ouen League.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Volcaryu, Polaryu, and Thunderyu.
  • Foil:
    • Mark and May are foils to each other in the areas of battling skill and forming healthy bonds with their Pokémon. Mark is forgetful and unfamiliar with Pokémon battles, but instinctively and easily treats his team as equals. May, however, barely even thinks about getting to know her party, yet is by far the most knowledgable of the main human characters when it comes to competitive battling and strategy.
    • Tyranitar is a foil to Jolteon, both being Pokémon that began traveling with a trainer during their infancy and eventually grew to show the differences between how their trainers treated them.
    • Dratini and Larvitar are caught in the same area, at the same level, during the same chapter, and as a result of the same breeding program, easily suggesting to the reader that they are meant to be examined for similarities and differences. In-universe, they're viewed as counterparts, and they face off several times throughout the fic.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After meeting Victor and Precious, Mark is mildly horrified at the thought of facing May with a Mutark of her own, predicting that with his luck, he'd probably be left with Scyther. He's right about the situation – it happens in the League arc – but Scyther wins the battle.
    • A bit of training in chapter 40 leads to Letal and Tyranitar squaring off for move-tutoring purposes, despite Mark's complaints that "there's no way" she could defeat the Rock-type. Ten chapters and an evolution on Letal's part later, the matchup is revisited, and Mark is proven wrong.
  • God Is Flawed: The legendaries are as close as you can get to gods in this setting, and they are every bit as imperfect as the human characters.
  • Good Is Not Nice: May, whose determination to win Pokémon battles makes her a sore loser and borderline-abusive to her team until Tyranitar kills Taylor to "make her happy", and she gets set straight by Mark, Alan, and Stantler. Lampshaded by Mark in Chapter 52.
    [May] refused to be interviewed, telling the journalists who approached her that she had better things to do, such as actually training for the battle (unlike a certain someone, said with an irritated glare). Mark figured that was probably a good thing; May’s actual personality wasn’t very conductive to being held up as a paragon of hope and justice.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: In the first part, the plot is Mark's Pokémon journey and the various adventures on the way; then in chapter 25, Chaletwo comes along and explains the main plot, and while the Pokémon journey then continues, it is eventually completed and leaves the main plot alone.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Following the talk during chapter 61, Mewtwo resolves to knowingly go into the past – and, by extension, to his death – should Chalenor come for him, to avoid breaking the time loop.
  • Hidden Supplies: Raichu keeps a Shuca Berry in his mouth for the battle against Taylor.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dragonite wins a friendly battle against Tyranitar by pulling him into his own Stone Edge.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Word of God says Letal's line was based off of horses.
  • Immortality: Legendaries are normally The Ageless (though like all Pokémon, they recover unusually quickly from injuries), but Mew, Chaletwo, and (probably) the Destroyer have Complete Immortality through ridiculously fast regeneration.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The fic introduces us to the Color Dragons, who need less than half a chapter to curb-stomp the heroes and force them to retreat and devise strategies built for taking on multiple targets at once. The Dragons of Ouen easily provide the same level of excitement.
  • Invisibility: The Waraider herd has close to perfect invisibility, but it isn't enough to stand up to Xatu's Miracle Eye.
  • Irony:
    • Polaryu's crystals were shattered with fire and electricity, the same elements his two murderous siblings have control over.
    • May uses Tyranitar to teach Letal the move Metal Burst in chapter 40. Come chapter 50, when Letaligon is squaring off against Tyranitar, Mark instinctively orders the move against May's Pokémon, and internally remarks on how useful the move is.
  • Item Farming: May casually trashes the in-game transactions with move relearners in chapter 40.
    “How do people normally do this?” Mark asked in frustration. “There has to be some method to get it right, hasn’t there?”
    May shrugged. “Normally people go to eccentric professionals who make you pay in some silly items they happen to collect.”
    Mark looked at her strangely.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Scyther's the first one to say goodbye to Letaligon.
    Scyther: Good luck. It’s been an honor fighting alongside you. Your father won’t know what hit him.
  • Just Between You and Me: The Mew Hunter randomly decides to tell Mark his entire life story when he's captured him in chapter ten.
  • Kiss of Distraction: Carl's Charizard pulls this on Mark's Charizard during their Gym battle, in order to get him to relax his grip on her while she simultaneously climbs out of the lava pit and pushes him below the surface.
  • Laughing Mad: May's last Poké Ball is thrown amid "crazed-sounding" laughter in the League Finals.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Robin Riverstone is initially mistaken for a boy by both May and Mark, which she enjoys for reasons May can't quite figure out.
  • Meaningful Name/Punny Name: Except for Mitch, the Ouen Gym Leaders are par for the course.
    • Richard Lancaster, the Cleanwater Gym Leader, fights with legendary clones that only the rich and powerful could create.
    • Rob's sharp and pointy Gym may not be official, but he still qualifies for this when he robs Mark of his Pokémon.
    • Christopher operates a Steel-type Gym in Alumine with the gimmick of blinding light. His name's Greek origins happen to mean "bearing Christ", and as one of the religious figure's epithets are "the light", Christopher's name could be retranslated as "bearing light".
    • Marge is the region's Water-type Gym Leader, and the word or prefix "mar" is associated with many aquatic words across a few languages.
    • Flora specializes in Grass-type Pokémon, and her name is a catch-all term for plant life in a given area, as well as the name of a Roman goddess associated with nature, flowers, and spring. She immediately rage-lampshades this when introducing herself to Mark.
    Flora: My name is my parents’ fault, not mine! It’s not MY fault if my parents happened to give me a name that sounds like a pun! I hate it! I hate it all!
    • Sparky, the Gym Leader of Stormy Town, lives up to his name by both specializing in Electric-type Pokémon and having a warm spark of a personality that cheers and livens whoever he meets.
    • Carl is the Fire-type specialist of Crater Town, and his name is audibly similar to coal, a widely-known combustible energy source.
    • Diana, the last Gym Leader, trains Dark-type Pokémon; the "die" in her name matches well to the rough and savage nature of many Dark-type Pokémon. Additionally, Diana's namesake, a Roman goddess, was commonly associated with the moon, a symbol of nighttime and darkness (although the Pokémon world's moon now lends its power to fairies).
  • Mission Control: Chaletwo uses his psychic abilities to give updates on the upcoming War of the Legends, and general matters pertaining to the legendary Pokémon, to the human characters. Since he's linked to Mark and May for a brief time, he can also provide commentary and directions based on whatever they're looking at.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Tyranitar is shocked and saddened to hear that his attempt at making May happy by killing Taylor was not only horribly misguided, but means that he will have to be released from her team to escape the consequences.
  • Neologism: Chapter 48 refers to blue-haired girls as "bluettes".
  • No Antagonist: Chances are that if someone is causing trouble in the fic, it's because of their own flaws and insecurities, not evil intent.
  • Not a Morning Person: Mark never wakes up before May and Alan. Ever.
  • Not Completely Useless: Chapter 48's battle comes down to Letal battling a Letaligon. Mark assumes that the battle will be slow and long until Letal reminds him that he'd taught her Rock Smash, which ends up being surprisingly effective on the Normal/Steel Letaligon that only uses moves of its own types. (In the games, a doubly super-effective Rock Smash hits with higher Base Power than a resisted Iron Tail or Tri Attack, even factoring in STAB – that's not counting the one-in-two Defense drop per hit, which may or may not exist in the fic.)
  • Odd Friendship: Alan is the poster-boy for political correctness and interacting with Pokémon as equals, while May could write a book on harsh training that pushes one's party past their limits whether they like it or not. Despite this, they get along very well until Alan finds out just how messed-up Tyranitar had become as a result of being a part of May's team since infancy.
  • Oh Crap!: A few of these moments happen during the League arc. May has one right before Taylor's Sciztwo delivers a Superpower on a Roosting Skarmory. Mark names the trope when Megan's Delibird is about to hit Letal with a Brick Break; he has another moment when May's Skarmory is about to land a Rock Slide on Charizard.
    "Skarmory, use a Rock Slide!"
    "What?" Mark blurted out in a panic. Skarmory weren't supposed to know Rock attacks! How did everything have Rock attacks when he had Charizard out?
  • Olympus Mons: As usual, the legendary Pokémon. When Mark scans Thunderyu with his Pokédex, the dragon's stats are described as "crazy".
  • One of the Kids: The close-to-a-thousand-years-old Chaletwo has emotional maturity roughly on par with the teens and tweens he recruits.
  • Panthera Awesome: You'd better believe a cat Pokémon that powers up at the taste of its own blood qualifies as this.
  • Patricide: From the moment she's caught, Mark can see that Leta wants to prove herself to her father. The exact nature of how becomes apparent later on.
  • Pokémon Speak: Humans are able to learn to understand it, including the body language, syllable stress, and changes in voice tones the language relies on. Averted with Gyarados and Spirit, who are able to speak human, and Chaletwo and Molzapart, who bypass the language barrier with telepathy.
  • Power of the Storm: Thunderyu's signature move, Thunderstorm, and by extension, the storm clouds over Stormy Town.
  • Power Trio: The main human characters usually find themselves traveling in threes.
  • Practical Taunt: Users of the move Taunt automatically provoke the target into a blind rage; in some cases, such as when Pamela taunts Scyther, the user inexplicably knows exactly what will hit their foe's Berserk Button the hardest.
    Pamela: Come get me, Scizor!
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Tyranitar is revealed to be the 'dumb muscle' type.
  • Pun:
    • Chapter 65 involves Venoir shooting a "poisonous glare" at Mark.
    • From chapter 62:
    “Liar,” Puragon said, icy disdain in her voice.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Carl, in both definitions of the word "reasonable" – on the one hand, he's a man whose logic borders on the mechanical, and on the other, he's a Leader who lends his Fire-type team to a legendary battle without a second thought when he realizes his town is at stake.
  • Retcon: The story's written so that content from new video game releases can be added seamlessly, rather than treating them as sudden new discoveries. A casual nod to the new generation, such as a wild Beartic, the fourth-generation moves that kick off the battle in chapter 36, and a mention of Fairy-type moves, serve to inform the reader that new mechanics and elements are in play in the fic.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock:
    • For the "brute force" version of this trope, Mewtwo^2's ability lets it totally ignore the foe's type immunities, allowing it to throw around even Dark-types with Psychic moves given a small bit of extra effort.
    • Mark comes very close to qualifying for the "trickery and strategy" version of this trope when he and Jolteon almost succeed in beating May and Flygon in the League quarter-finals, despite a tremendous type disadvantage.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: The commentator for May and Taylor's match, Robert Witham, refuses to provide commentary for the battle as an act of protest against the League for allowing Taylor to make it to the finals. He didn't know that the League officials were hypnotized by Mewtwo^2 into letting Taylor compete.
  • Scary Scorpions: Scorplack.
  • Send in the Clones: The trainers of Cleanwater Gym have cloned legendaries.
  • Shapeshifting: Charlie is capable of evolving and devolving at will.
  • Ship Tease: Downplayed. May and Alan get along very well at times, and are rather irked when Mark compares them to a married couple.
  • Shout-Out: The Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer.
  • Signature Move: The three human protagonists have their own preferred style of fighting.
    • Alan makes use of trapping moves to prevent the opponent from switching and ease prediction as a result.
    • May doesn't allow for improvisation on her Pokémon's part, preferring to give all of the orders. Her strategic, demanding fighting style is akin to something you'd find on Smogon.
    • Mark is the opposite of May, and allows his Pokémon to improvise freely, forcing the foe to keep up with both his own decisions and those of whoever he has out at the moment.
  • Skeleton Key Card: Chapter 49 involves May telling Mark she broke into his room with her name tag to get him out of bed after wasting twenty minutes trying to wake him up from the other side of his door. Mark only partially doubts the truth of this.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Mark and Chaletwo, especially after Mark stops letting Chaletwo walk all over him.
  • Soul Jar: The soul gems that Entei and Suicune end up in.
  • Sore Loser:
    • May absolutely cannot stand losing or setbacks in any form, and the author plays this flaw for as much drama as she can.
    • For a more comedic example, Preciure is not happy upon realizing his target is using Destiny Bond while he's still locked into Outrage.
    Preciure: Cheating scum.
    • Mark, being a foil to May, is a notable aversion within the story in that he takes losses and difficulty in stride.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Scyther, especially in chapters 27-30. Got somewhat fixed when he got his own spin-off.
  • Stress Vomit: Happens to poor Mark in chapter 53 when the events of the chapter hit him all at once.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Of the 'third-person limited' kind, though the primary POV is Mark's. Throughout the fic there are occasionally brief scenes from other points of view (Eevee in chapter 3, an omniscient narrator in chapter 13, Taylor in chapter 14, Victor in chapter 16, Michael Willows in chapter 49, and May in chapter 57); however, chapter 60 is entirely from Scyther's POV, and chapter 64 and the second half of 63 are from May's POV.
  • Techno Wizard: Downplayed with Ryan, whose admittedly spot-on computer prediction of the Waraider herd's location is offset by the months it took him to analyze the data and construct a program to find patterns in their sightings.
  • This Cannot Be!: A variation: May screams "You can't do that!" at Taylor when Mewtwo^2's Psychic works on Tyranitar.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: A huge one involving Mewtwo rolls onto the scene in chapter 61.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Mark's parents, along with Mark and May (though they're just friends).
  • Tournament Arc: The Ouen League chapters.
  • Translation Convention: Employed for Pokémon speech.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Tyranitar's murder of Taylor marked the point where May finally began to grow as a character, though this was done far from gently.
  • Underwater City: Aquarium City.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • The Mutark species, according to the forum's Ask the Characters thread; most of their moves have low strength in the Pokémon games, several being Night Slash, Sucker Punch, and the elemental fangs.
    • Taylor's entire team, both in terms of how they battle and with which moves. The nature of Clone Balls means that none of them are capable of improvisation, and their trainer is far from good at battling. Both classic Unskilled, but Strong Pokémon moves, Hyper Beam and Giga Impact, see use among them as well. However, the clones' sheer power allows him to battle on par with May, even when he's restricted to four Pokémon instead of six.
  • Unstoppable Rage: According to Chaletwo, this is what the legendary hunters will be facing from any remaining Olympus Mons.
    “You have no idea what a legendary at double its full power is capable of.”
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 35, when Suicune dies, and Chapter 53, when Tyranitar kills Taylor.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mark's daring streak eventually gives him enough of a push to call May out on what her training methods do to her Pokémon.
  • Winged Unicorn: The Waraider herd, and they're quicker to use flight than most other examples.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: May, Marge, and Sparky have blue, and Mitch has silver. Sparky's is justified, as it's dyed.
  • Younger Than They Look: Mitch looks about three or four years older than he actually is.

Alternative Title(s): The Quest For The Legends