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Fanfic / OverUsed

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A piece of Fan Art picturing Alex, The Protagonist

OverUsed is a Pokémon fanfic that attempts a more logical and serious world than Pokemon canon. It began on July 3rd 2014 and involves the character of Alex, an experienced trainer who's been through several regions battling Gyms, and has been taking a few years off the professional circuit to rest in Driftveil City. One day, while Alex is at his local pub, he encounters a trainer who has been stomping the local pub-goers, and he decides to battle her. Events conspire to reveal the new trainer, Sammy, as the owner of a Mew, and a hunter of some sort appears to capture it and her. Alex intervenes and takes Sammy under his wing, and they begin traveling and training together while fleeing the hunter.

After a long hiatus, the author eventually began a rewrite, now titled "Learnset".


OverUsed contains examples of:

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    Tropes that apply to both fics 
  • The Ace: Alex shows more then a few signs of this, despite being on a sabbatical.
    • For Alex's team, it's confirmed that Smile is his strongest Pokemon without a doubt, which will likely make her first battle interesting when she finally returns. In the meantime, Don is filling in this role.
    • Versailles fills this role on Sammy's team, if only because he's blatantly overpowered in normal combat though he's more of a subversion. He thinks that his status as a Mew allows him to get a way with anything, which Don puts a stop to and him being so overpowered causes severe self-esteem issues to Sammy's other Pokemon who believe that they're all worthless because Versailles does everything.
    • Red in the backstory is a absolute monster of a trainer who cleared the Kanto circuit in record time a decade ago. Alex thinks something was genuinely wrong with him, not to mention causing new trainers everywhere to have unrealistic expectations of what the gym run is like.
    • The rest of the Pokemon game protagonists count, especially the later games where the Protagonist has to fight his way through a legendary to finish the game. That means that yes, Nate did go a round with Kyurem, and we can only assume he won.
    • Lessened in Hilda's case, since her own legendary would have been dropped into her lap before the battle with N. Kalem might also have counted, as Xerneas allowed him to capture it in much the same way that Reshiram allowed Hilda to, yet he is the only ex-protagonist to consistently turn up on the top 50 trainers lists, and is the youngest to do so.
  • Adorkable: Alex seems to count, if the audience is to be believed.
  • Ambiguously Human: Sammy has pink hair (Which is admittedly not that strange), has Versailles protecting her for currently unknown reasons, needs to be reminded to eat (And when she does she eats very little), was raised by Pokemon and Eclipse the Absol mentally refers to her as "The Exalted One".
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Don the Honchkrow is as arrogant as all hell but man can he back it up.
    • Versailles also counts, in a way. Eclipse might, but the mind-whammy has exaggerated the problem.
  • Smile may count too. This is a Mawile whose response to taking a break was to start training again and express the desire to go beat up some Articuno in the middle of nowhere, after all. The author has also confirmed that she defeated Palmer's Regigigas one-on-one.
  • Broken Ace: Gold is this in the backstory. He ran the entire Kanto and Johto circuit in near record time and faced off with Red at the top of Mount Silver before retiring in quite a permanent way.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Smile and Don went from being a lab Rattata/Alex's starter Pokemon and a common street Murkrow to being able to face off against Legendaries and win.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Alex first figures out that Versailles isn't a Riolu when he uses Hyper Beam to knock out Lord.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: Highlighted as a means of keeping a good team together easily. The author's on record saying inter-team politics are even more important then its composition, and it shows given just which Pokemon are considered the strong ones in Alex's group.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Alex deals one to most of Sammy's team with Pow, shortly followed by Don dealing one to Versailles.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The hints are there that Alex has something big in his past.
    • Time will tell if Sammy joins him there, given how little we actually know of her past. Given the archtype she's parodying, its likely.
  • Dark Is Evil: Possibly the Hunter/Masked Man.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: On the other hand, Don and probably Eclipse are this. Thorns and Crack also probably fit this, but haven't really had enough screen time to properly judge.
  • Deconstruction / Deconstruction Fic: Overused through Alex depicts and hints at some of the consequences of just what being among the very best would have on a person.
    • The story also purposefully takes many of the cliches common in bad Pokemon fanfiction and plays them seriously.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Alex seems to be a variation of this, having grow disillusioned with the tournament lifestyle, but still unable to find something else to pursue.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The Hunter counts. He's chasing Sammy for some undisclosed reason, and is probably why Versailles tags along with her.. Time will tell if he proves to in fact be the Big Bad.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Alex is this. He's been a trainer for over ten years, has a large team of experienced, powerful, well-trained Pokemon with the old guard being capable of defeating low-tier Legendaries.
  • Fantastic Racism: (Psychic) Type Supremacy, where Psychics are lauded as more important and those types with advantages or disadvantages are painted accordingly. (Dark-types being untrustworthy scumbags, Bugs being vile creatures worthy of scorn etc.)
  • Genre Savvy: Even if he's basing a large amount of his savviness off television programs, Alex counts as this.
  • The Juggernaut: Versailles is seemingly this on Sammy's team, to everyone who's not Don. By the reactions of the rest of Sammy's team, it's pretty clear that he'd never been beaten before by anyone they knew.
  • The Mentor: Alex is acting as this to Sammy.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: The Riolu that Sammy has in the pub? That's not a Riolu, it's a Mew.
    • Less so in Learnset, as we see Sammy's perspective before she first sends him out.
  • Moral Dissonance: More audience invoked then in story invoked, but present all the same. The potential scope of Sammy's power is horrifying, and Versailles doesn't consider it wrong in the slightest.
  • Nay-Theist: Alex, according to the author. He's well aware of the Legendaries' existence, he just believes they're extremely powerful Pokémon rather than deities.
  • Noodle Incident: Exactly what the "Big Crunch" was has not yet been made clear. What's known is that Alex (And whoever "Team Payapa are) were involved, and that there were large amounts of Psychics, possibly Type Supremacists.
  • Non-Action Guy: Consigliere the Slowking, who acts as a translator for Alex, and Nap the Hypno who, according to the author acts as a supervisor back at Alex's mother's lab.
    • Similarly, Solomon, Sammy's Eevee. The reasons for this status are different between versions, but as we never really learned the reasons for such in Overused, this isn't likely to be much of an issue.
  • Oh My Gods!: Alex swears by Yveltal and Xerneas, and occasionally by Darkrai and Arceus. This is because his mother (Who is from Kalos) raised him this way; Alex himself is a Nay-Theist.
  • Olympus Mons: Being Pokemon, the usual suspects apply, though it would appear there's more then one Mew, at least.
    • Physical God: That said, the higher tier legendaries are certainly implied to be this, with only 2 (Xerneas and Reshiram, though Zekrom is likely to still belong to N) known to have trainers. The rest are, for the moment, missing in action.
  • Only Sane Man: Out of all of Sammy's Pokemon Ember the Combusken is the only one that doesn't parody a cliche issue, has a mysterious secret, or is smugly superior, and is receptive to new ideas and methods to become stronger.
  • Parody Sue: Sammy is a gigantic Take That! at all of the bad cliches that appear in Pokemon fanfiction. She owns a Mew that is hell-bent on protecting her; her team consists of a cliche line-up of a Combusken, Absol, Beautifly, and Eevee; she has a male rival that has a Charmander and a Scyther that refuses to evolve; has some strange Mind Rape power that forces everyone to agree with her; believes that only her beliefs are right; and she thinks that all she needs to do to win a fight is to believe in her Pokemon without any hard work or strategy— but when she encounters anyone of basic competence she folds like tissue paper and is revealed to not be the perfect paragon she thinks she is. At least, when she can't use Versailles.
    • This is a Downplayed Trope in the rewrite. According to Word of God, the overall effect is supposed to run closer to "What, does she think she lives in a cartoon?"
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: One way of avoiding inter-party politics, as Pokemon of the same type are less likely to have a interest in eating each other. If nothing else, it is presented as a viable strategy.
    • Partially averted, as without the 4 move slot limitation, a Pokemon could potentially know any move in its move pool, which makes match ups more interesting, to say the least.
    • Also occurs upon capturing a Pokemon, which instinctively is more inclined to follow the goals of its owner. It certainly helps explain why mons like Garchomp and Tyranitar suffer having a new trainer.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The way Pow talks indicates this.
  • Raised by Wolves: Sammy say's she's this. Whether it's the truth or not is another matter.
  • Raised by Humans: On the flipside, Smile is this, having been raised by Alex's family.
  • Red Baron: Alex is also known by Midnight, and given the reaction to the name so far, he got pretty damn far.
    • This is justified given that it's his surname.
  • Retired Badass: Alex himself, taking a "Sabbatical" from the tournament scene.
  • The Rival: Sammy has one in Hoenn.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Sammy.
  • Super Strength: The Hunter throws one of the occupants of the bar clear across the room in his first appearance.
  • Take That!: Stone Edge and Focus Blast both bear the nicknames Stone Miss and Focus Miss, and Alex's thoughts make it clear that they do in fact miss quite a bit.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Sammy as a Trainer, mostly thanks to Versailles and Eclipse.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Sammy clearly thinks that the world functions like the Pokemon Anime and that she's The Heroine. It's pretty obvious to the audience that Alex is the main protagonist.

    Tropes that apply only to Over Used 

  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The second interlude, unlike Same-Type Attack Bonus, does not involve Alex and Sammy at all, and instead follows Smile the Mawile, Alex's starter Pokemon back home.
    • The Warstory segment details Alex's first big tournament battle.
  • Ax-Crazy: Eclipse under the effect of the mind-whammy and, according to the author, Don.
  • Mind Rape: Not quite, but Sammy's ability to afflict Capture Instinct to a much higher degree than any other human, even applying it to other humans. It's most easily seen when she defeats the thug in early chapter 2 and some more of the effects can be seen in 2.7. The author has confirmed that of the people mentioned or seen so far, Eclipse has been affected fourth-worst and Sammy's rival Jack's Scyther (Aka the 'psychotic bug') is second-worst. Curiously, the ability was described as "Pushing a Person to aknowledge suppressed thoughts that they already know to be true on the forefront." by Versailles. In theory, if one goes by the assumption that this limitation is firm, it wouldn't be capable of changing a Person fundamentally and could only make someone repent who is talking himself into thinking that this or that is bad/good.
  • More Than Mind Control: What happens when people are affected by the mind-whammy. It constantly pushes thoughts that fit the intention laid on them, while removing or editing ones that don't. Eclipse's section in 2.7 is a good example of this.
  • Painting the Medium: If a character has been affected by mental editing, their thought process appears in a different font. The thoughts that have been deleted also appear as invisitext.
    • Alex also occasionally redacts his own thought process, usually represented by a strikethough.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Alarmingly seems to happen whenever Sammy wins a fight.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In the backstory, Waverton the posthumous namer of the Waverton Effect attempted to punish his Feraligatr shortly after evolving. It didn't end well.
  • Zerg Rush: In the now non-canon chapter 3.4, the Hunter tried this. He's likely still capable of it, given the author's comments, but he's not likely to be trying it again soon.

    Tropes that apply only to Learnset 
  • Amplifier Artifact: Here, the Hunter's mask is an apparently unmodified Mind Plate. Exactly how he wears it as a mask is not clear, nor is how he sees.note 
  • Backseat Driver: Apparently his tendancies to apply this to Pokemon battles this nearly got Alex's nose broken at one point in the past. Being a world-class Pokemon trainer and sitting in the same room as hobbyists and unskilled amateurs probably doesn't agree with him.
  • Badass Bystander: Technically, Alex starts as this. At first glance, you wouldn't think he's particularly impressive. He was once counted among the fifty strongest Trainers in the world before his self-imposed retirement.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sammy lost much of her faith in Versailles after he lost to her rival, followed up the next time she meets someone too strong to beat on her own by his rather insulting speech to her as he pressured her into using him, followed swiftly by his losing hard to Don, and by his attempts at sucking-up to her after Alex and Scrape downed the Hunter.
  • Compelling Voice: The Hunter's main method of removing obstacles. He's foiled by Alex's anti-psychic drink and Consigliere's Safeguard when he tries it on them though.
  • Control Freak: Versailles. This is something of an interesting case, as these tendancies apparently lead to a falling-out between him and Sammy sometime before the story began.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: According to Word of God, Alex's battle talents as compared to the original version. He's only average compared to even regular Trainers at most battle skills, but his ability to actually train Pokemon is pheonomenal, enough to propel him into the top 50 worldwide Trainers.note 
    • The "Crippling" part comes in with the particularly vicious tradeoff that for being so good at training, he's a known element; due to both his issues with and his philosophy on catching new Pokemon, he has a very limited selection of Pokemon, which means other top Trainers know exactly how to counter him. And while he could strategise himself out of these situations, his poor callouts and commands make it very difficult for him to communicate the plan without his opponents knowing exactly what he's about to do. This means that a good deal of his training has to go towards teaching Pokemon to fight for themselves, instead of improving their actual combat abilities.
  • Crutch Character: Versailles and Eclipse for Sammy. It's noted by Word of God that, had Sammy's story gone on the 'standard' path, that Sammy would have learned An Aesop about how using her team for more normal battles was okay, but that she needed to use Versailles for the 'big' battles. Instead, she ran into Alex, and learned that she was using Versailles as a crutch.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Even more so than the original, in fact. When the Hunter appears, Alex flattens him with Scrape in about ten seconds flat, with some timely help from a Safeguard from Consigliere.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique / Power-Up Letdown: Sammy taught Ember the Combusken Overheat based of watching Flannery perform a training excersise for it without really understanding the reasoning behind it. As a result, all Fire typed moves drain Ember's stamina the same way that Overheat does for only a marginal increase in the effective power of the technique. It's been stated by Word of God that this is one of the reasons Sammy and her team are dismissive of doing actual training, along with the suffering actually undertaking the training put Ember through.
  • For Want of a Nail: Alex is the nail. Without him, Sammy's story would have gone on in the vain of your standard Mary Sue story.
  • Game Changer: Red's superstar run of the Kanto League was this on a societal level. Before, while getting Trainers licenses was possible for ten-year-olds, it was expected that they would do very little actual training until they were older. And then Red made his record-breaking run at the League, and a generation of trainers attempted to follow his footsteps. This had the mildly ironic effect of actually making things safer on average in 'bad' areas of cities for younger travellers; After all, it was now possible that the young kid you were trying to mug was now fully capable of beating you up.
    • The resulting corruption allegations (Over Red taking Blue's title in record time, followed by leaving and Lance taking the title of Champion) also caused a shift in attitude towards valuing innate strength over the title you held, leading to the rise of Battle Frontiers and the professional tournament scene over the more traditional leagues.
  • The Gift: Described by Word of God as 'the touch'- What allows most truly top-level Trainers to instinctually understand their Pokemon and give complex commands without needing a paragraph, complex codes, or special powers. It's also something that Alex explicitly lacks, and has spent his entire career adapting his battle style to mitigate the impact this has on him.
  • Hero of Another Story: Sammy, to a surprisingly large extent. Word of God explains that Learnset picks up about thirty-thirty five chapters in to a hypothetical cliche-ridden Mary Sue story focusing on Sammy and Versailles, in the middle of a pretty standard arc where Sammy is upset with Versailles and is trying to avoid using him. If Alex hadn't been around then the story would have gone on in a similarly cliche manner, with Sammy leaving the Kadabra's Spoon with enough money to return to Hoenn, and Versailles fending off the Hunter and all parties involved learning a bland (and rather inaccurate) Aesop about how it's okay for Sammy to rely on him for the stronger foes. Of course, instead Alex got involved and the whole story went Off the Rails.
    • There's even an omake written about the hypothetical Fanfiction.Net reviews said story would get on the chapter that Alex was introduced in.
  • Jerkass: Don, by explicit Word of God, is basically the anathema to Sammy's worldview by being an unrepentant jerk but being able to back it up with raw power and then some.
  • Noodle Incident: Occasionally crops up in Alex's narration, such as exactly how Alex learned that a certain diner has a psychic-proof cage for privacy. Similarly pops up in the occasional Word of God post; Sammy gaining Roxanne's badge note  apparently involved 'Shenanigans'.
  • Olympus Mons: Legendary Pokemon have a fair spectrum on how 'Legendary' they are. Alex's thoughts indicate that Mew are edging toward the side of "Very much so", and doubted that they actually existed before meeting Versailles.
    • Particularly notable as this is coming from a man who has fought (and beaten) a Regigigas.
  • Painting the Medium: In a different manner from Overused, but still present. Versailles still telepathically communicates in purple, and Sammy follows suit with orange, but the invisitext previously present in Eclipse's narration is now gone. Alex also now has three major affectations in his narration; Normal text is the standard first-person narrative, in-combat italics are his current train of thought on combat, bracketed italics are his out-of-combat observations and thoughts and bracketed strikethough text is essentially reflections and meta-commentary on his own thoughts.
    • Additionally, Sammy's narration is designed to invoke the style of a poorly-written Mary Sue, with brackets being just a stylistic touch.
  • The Power of Friendship: An area where Sammy is explicitly superior to Alex (And always will be; Alex lacks the "touch" that most other Trainers his skill level have of intuitively understanding his Pokemon and bonding with them, leading to some of his problems with combat communication, and no amount of epithanies and lessons will be able to change this.).
  • The Rival: Sammy's as-yet unseen rival in Hoenn. Mentioned again here because his defeating Versailles seems to have been what caused Sammy to end up in Unova in the first place, and thus kick-starting the plot.
  • Seen It All: Alex is less surprised about the fact that Versailles is a Mew than he is about he's in the possesion of such an unskilled Trainer.
    • It is mentioned that he wouldn't have been nearly as calm as he was if he hadn't been in the middle of battle.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Alex talks like this when stressed or distracted, and to a lesser degree all the time. It's apparently a bad habit he never quite managed to fully break.
  • The Strategist: Alex again. It's one of the few aspects of Pokemon battling he's very good at.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: After watching Sammy's team "training", this is Alex's view of Eclipse. Relatively powerful, with good instincts- but hundreds of bad habits ingrained by a life of fighting, such as winding up for and pulling back from attacks that should be smooth and fast, or failing to properly capitalise on weak spots. Or, as Alex put it: "It was still basically wild."



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