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Fanfic / Coward Trilogy

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The Coward trilogy is a set of three Creepypasta stories (one of which is still to be written), about two kids who used Gamesharks to hack Pokémon video games, and get into various paranormal troubles. The first was written by an author known only as Spiffy, the second written by an author named Daniel Ernston, and the third to be written by both of them.

The first story, titled Coward, can be read here.


The second story, titled Hero, can be read here.

The third story is titled Villain, and is currently being written, slated to be released sometime in 2013.

The first story, titled "Coward", contains examples of:

  • Anti-Heroine - Anat just wants to cheat without having to sit through a horror show. She worries about being a murderer, but is dissuaded by the implication that she couldn't cheat anymore if she wanted to do the supposedly right thing. She does talk about making Pokemon and items for her friends, though, hinting at Aunt Pennybags tendencies.
  • Catch the Conscience - Like countless Pokémon creepypastas before it. It scares Anat for a moment, but after contemplating the restricted life she'd have to live to get the approval of the Elites, she gets better.
  • Condescending Compassion - The Elites offer to put the protagonist's hacked Pokémon, who they deem unnatural, "out of their misery".
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  • Cowardly Lion - What the protagonist ends up being.
  • Deconstruction - In many Pokémon creepypastas, the protagonist cheats, awful things happen to them, and they swear off cheating. Coward is the story of a cheater who refuses to be scared away from her Gamesharky pleasures.
  • Dirty Coward - The Elites would have the protagonist think she is this.
  • Emotion Eater - Spiky says the Elites feed on fear.
  • Evil Virtues - Inverted. Anat's Greed for Pokemon and items and would-be Envy of those who could cheat without fear strengthen her resolve to stand her cheating ground and defy the Elites. Without these "Good Vices", she wouldn't be bad, but she wouldn't be good either - a sort of Cowardly Neutral.
  • Epigraph - The story ends with a quote from G. K. Chesterton.
  • Fluffy Tamer - The protagonist is given a pep-talk by her Gengar and protected by her Mewtwo.
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  • Hacking Blues - Averted. Psycher has no angst about being a hack, a trait shared by Scar in the sequel. Scar's owner, on the other hand...
  • Genre Shift - The second dream, with Spiky, starts the protagonist's quest to get the Elites off of her back, and has a distinctly children's fantasy feel. It darkens during the final battle, then lightens back up during the epilogue.
  • Ironic Echo - Psycher likes to repeat what the Elites say, like so:
    Lorelei: Screeching your precious cheats won't save you now. Don't fret, it will be over soon.
    Psycher: *uses Thunderbolt on Lorelei's Slowbro* It WILL be over soon, and we'll win.
  • Kill 'Em All - Psycher with the Elite Four and their teams.
  • Meaningful Name - According to The Other Wiki, Anat is a common female Israeli name, but not even many of the Anats themselves know it was the name of a vicious warrior goddess from Hebrew Mythology. "Shaked" is Hebrew for "almond", but in English, shaking is something that scared people often do. Similarly, Anat can be quite fearful, but is braver than she thinks.
    • In addition, the Greek word for almond, ἀμυγδαλή (amygdalē), lends its name to the amygdala, a structure in the brain that plays roles in both fear and aggression.
  • No Fair Cheating - The Elites try to enforce this trope. Ultimately, it's defied.
  • No Name Given - The protagonist is only ever called a coward, cheater, and a murderer. However, her name is said to be Anat Shaked.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend - The protagonist's Pokemon. The Elites are Not So Imaginary Enemies.
  • Obliviously Evil - The Elites scare the protagonist into thinking she killed them with her cheating, making her worry that she was this.
  • Off with His Head! - How the Elites eventually die.
  • Papa Wolf - What Psycher acts like to the protagonist.
  • Scare 'Em Straight - It doesn't work. The protagonist is scared by her nightmare and the thought that the Elite's accusations that she's a murderer are correct, but resolves to keep cheating. Since that was before she learned the true nature of the Elites, it might strike people as immoral. On the other hand, a big theme of the story is not letting fear control you, which Josiah of Hero didn't learn until after all of his Pokémon died.
  • Self-Insert Fic - Spiffy claims that the events in the story are loosely based upon things she did in real life.
  • Shadow Archetype - The Elites in Coward are actually the dark sides of the real Elites.
  • Shout-Out - "Was I going to end up like Sid in Toy Story, a few scary experiences denying him a normal life because nobody told him his toys were conscious?"
  • Spirit Advisor - Spiky tells the protagonist about the nature of the Elites, and encourages her to be brave.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech - Pretty much everything the Elites say to Anat is a reason she sucks. Predictably, she retorts and proves it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute? - Inverted. While the protagonist has a Mew in her team, we only see her interact with her Gengar and Mewtwo. Her Pikachu is impersonated by one of the Elites, who tries to convince her to stop cheating with sympathy ploys.

The second story, titled "Hero", contains examples of:

  • Aesop Collateral Damage - in order for Lance to teach Josiah the Broken Aesop of anti-hacking, Josiah's entire team dies, and he becomes a quadriplegic.
  • Applied Phlebotinum - the pasty substance known as "distortiform", which makes objects fizzle in and out of view as if they are derezzing or the result of a staticky signal. It is literally applied onto certain Pokémon.
  • Blood from the Mouth - Kafka starts bleeding in the mouth when he's moaning in pain.
  • Broken Aesop - both the anti-hacking Aesop of convention and the anti-anti-hacking Aesop of Coward are intentionally broken, both in and out of story, although the author says that the general attitude of the story is anti-anti-hacking, just like Coward.
  • Catch the Conscience - This time, it's super effective.
  • Chekhov's Gun - Subverted, with the Master Ball that Josiah snatches from Professor Elm's lab. It never does get used again.
  • Classical Anti-Hero - Josiah, of course.
  • Cowardly Lion - Josiah almost does this in the final battle like Anat, but gives out in the end and subverts it.
  • Darker and Edgier - much more than the first one. In fact, one of the reasons the sequel was ever written at all was to provide a darker, much creepier parallel. In the end, though, it's not so much creepy as it is this.
  • Deconstruction - played much like Coward (having to do with illegitimate gameplay), but subverted at the end. Josiah eventually does get defeated, and is the prime actor in destroying Scar, the thing that had "caused" all the trouble in the first place. In a way, it could even be considered as deconstructing a deconstruction, using a person of a slightly different personality type.
  • Dirty Coward - Josiah is told by the Elite Four that he is this for avoiding playing the game for five days.
  • Disproportionate Retribution - Compared to Coward, Josiah's "offense" is trivial, and yet he is punished much more severely for it.
  • Downer Ending - Josiah loses all of his Pokémon and so does Lance. In general it's a much less happy ending than the first one.
  • Hacks Are Pokémon Too - Scar's argument for why he is real. Also pretty much the main theme of the story.
  • Heel–Face Turn - Josiah, telling Scar to stand down while the Dragonite attacks it with a Thunder Punch. But depending on whose side you're looking at, it may also be a Face–Heel Turn, or if you're neither side at all, it might even be a Hazy Feel Turn.
  • Kill 'Em All - Josiah and Lance's teams. But see Not Quite Dead below.
  • Meaningful Name - Depending on whether you think the story is Kafka-esque, Kafka can count.
  • Mood Whiplash - from scared out to pep-rally back to horrified.
  • Motive Misidentification - Scene 12 reveals what Lance was really trying to do. (Prevent Elm from making an elixir of life.)
  • My God, What Have I Done? - Happens not once, but twice. For the exact same thing.
  • No Fair Cheating - The Elite Four actually succeed in enforcing this trope this time around.
  • Nominal Hero - Lance declares that Josiah is a hero at the end, but Josiah doesn't think so.
  • No Name Given - Not until the end of Scene 10 do we finally find out the protagonist's name, Josiah Eltavan.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication - Kafka's moans of pain are actually attempted warnings to Josiah, but Lance tells Josiah that they are moans calling for the death of Scar. And Josiah believes him.
  • Not Quite Dead - In Scene 12, we find that because Lance had won the battle with Josiah, he still had one Dragonite remaining...
  • Once More, with Clarity! - Scenes 11 and 12 are all about this, showing what happened in the meantime that was unseen in the main story. It's also where things really start getting creepy, revealing the Fridge Horror of the story before.
  • Playing with Syringes - the scene where Lance peels away at Kafka's skin using a surgical scalpel in order to apply distortiform on it.
  • Reconstruction - Almost. While the deconstruction-of-a-deconstruction intent is there, and Josiah eventually "learns the lesson" in the end that the original Construction of an anti-cheating creepypasta does, it doesn't actually try to play the original Construction straight while modifying things to account for the deconstruction.
  • ROM Hack - Like Coward before it, more like a Game Shark hack.
  • Scare 'Em Straight - Lance goes as far as to construct a whole apocalyptic scenario to make Josiah think the consequences of his actions are real and not just a scare.
  • Self-Insert Fic - while the author didn't initially intend for this, he acknowledges that it happened anyway.
  • Sequel Escalation - the sheer length of the thing. Hero is almost twice as long as the work it's a sequel of.
  • Shadow Archetype - Unlike in Coward, this time the Elites are for real, although most of them are simply doing it because Lance told them to.
  • Shout-Out - The story contains quite a few references to Coward before it, being a sequel that happens two years afterward with a different eight-year-old kid.
  • The Ending Changes Everything - in the form of one Reveal after the other at the ends of scenes 9 and 10, and the entirety of Scene 11. Even Scene 12 is this.
  • The Power of Blood - Type O, and typical of a creepypasta.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech - Lance, to Josiah. It lasts the entire battle that they have together, as Lance continues taunting Josiah and Josiah eventually caves in at the end, giving Scar up. Gets inverted afterwards after the end of the battle, when Josiah is lying in a hospital bed. Lance actually gives Josiah a "Reason You Don't Suck" speech, but by then, Josiah is facing an internal Reason He Sucks speech from within himself.
  • Time Skip - This story takes place 2 years after Coward. The next story, Villain, will take place another two years after this one.
  • Title Drop - in Scene 10. This is the only place the word "hero" ever appears in the story.
    "Wake up, our hero," said Lance.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere - Josiah wakes up in a hospital, at first thinking it was a Pokémon Centre. But then he discovers that knocking the back of his neck really hard into his desk way back in scene 5 knocked him unconscious and gave him quadriplegia, and that everything after that was his dream.
  • Was It Really Worth It? - Josiah is not convinced by Lance's "you are a hero" speech, in which he says it was "worth it" to destroy Scar and the rest of his team to save the Pokémon world.
  • Wham Epilogue - Scene 11 is actually a separate part of the story, that shows in detail what else was going on from Scene 5 to Scene 10, and twists abound.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame - When Lance calls Josiah a hero, Josiah isn't convinced that he really did anything good.
  • "You... You Monster!" said Elm. "You're Insane!" he cried. — verbatim quote from Scene 12
    • Coincidentally, the current image for You're Insane! also features somebody admonishing Lance for his insanity (albeit in a different generation, a different medium, and a different canon).