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Fanfic / Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Guiding Light

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Guiding Light is a Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Fan Fic written by Ambyssin. It features an original story set in an Alternate Universe where most of the events of the canon games took place. More specifically, it places a heavy focus on ideas and Pokémon from the Generation VII games.

In the year 2015, Shane is a young adult, meandering aimlessly through life, who's quite obsessed with Pokémon. When returning home from his job one night, he's involved in a major car accident... only to wake up on the shores of a beach, having been found by a talking Riolu named Tessa. Sound familiar? Well, Shane quickly makes it clear to her that all of his memories are intact. In fact, he's downright ecstatic to learn he's become a Pokémon, since he thinks that means he's been summoned to save the world. With his knowledge of Pokémon media, he expects everything to be a cakewalk.

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However, he soon realizes this version of the Pokémon world has a lot of things he's unfamiliar with. The biggest being that he's an ice-type Vulpix. So, when Shane insists on forming an exploration team with Tessa, things go far from smoothly. The two struggle to work together properly. An issue that's compounded by the fact that Tessa's dealing with her own familial struggles. Meanwhile, Pokémon across the continent are getting transformed into vicious, bloodthirsty monsters with some elements of various Ultra Beasts spliced into their appearances. The culprits appear to be a certain Espeon and Umbreon duo. In trying to investigate, Shane and Tessa find themselves pulled into the middle of a conflict far bigger than either of them could imagine.

Early Installment Weirdness is in play for the first few episodes, which read more like a parody fic. Cerebus Syndrome hits the fic around twenty chapters in. The story can be found on FFN and Serebii. In addition, Ambyssin started up a blog for the fic in late 2018 where he posts trivia, has the cast answer questions, and roleplays with other Pokémon blogs in-character. While the fic is veering into Archive Panic territory, Ambyssin has lumped the chapters into episodes. In his own words, each episode is an individual arc, much like the story chapters in the source material.

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Tropes featured in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Guiding Light:

  • Abusive Parents: Before she left Aeon Town entirely, Prisma was emotionally abusive to Tessa and Gallian. This is partly due to the fact that she is a human who got trapped in the Pokémon world and, after falling for someone similar to her husband, tried to make her new family Replacement Goldfish for her old one.
  • The Ace: Team Captivate are considered the top active exploration team in the Horizon Continent, until Zero captures them and infects them with the Prism Virus.
    • Team Go-Getters certainly qualify. Both Blaziken and Swampert can mega evolve. And, despite their ages, they're able to take down the infected Team Poképals while bantering with one another.
  • Arc Villain: There are a few of these sprinkled throughout the fic, including Solrock in Episode 3, Feraligatr in Special Episode 1, Marshadow in Special Episode 2, and Primarina in Episode 13.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Employed liberally, especially with regards to Necrozma and Silvally's creations and some of their abilities.
  • All There in the Manual: Much like the Kirby games, chapters that feature boss battles have accompanying descriptions about the bosses in question. While most of it is fluff, the descriptions for the clones Ultra Tapu Lele summons offer important information. Namely, that Prisma fell into an Ultra Wormhole as a result of Rayquaza destroying the meteor that threatened the planet in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team, and Darkrai destroyed Temporal Tower by trapping Solgaleo and Lunala in nightmares and sending them to attack it.
  • Antagonist Title: In "Astral Rebirth," Team Radiance learns that "Guiding Light" is, in fact, what Necrozma was called before his light was taken from him.
  • Apocalypse How: Necrozma seeks to cause a Class X-5.
  • Arc Words: A variation on the alchemical tria prima, with, "Mind, body, spirit, and balance."
  • Ass Shove: When Tessa goes into shock following her evolution, Healer Salazzle needs to administer a berry juice suppository and asks everyone to leave. Everyone gets the memo, except Shane. He immediately runs off upon learning what Healer means.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina attempt to do this to Necrozma in "Defying the Legends." They fail.
  • Awful Truth: In "Lingering Sense of Doubt," Shane learns that Solgaleo and Necrozma caused his fatal car accident, then Necrozma vaporized both Solgaleo and his dying human body. Shane manages to avoid slipping into a Heroic BSoD thanks to Latias crash-landing on the beach with life-threatening injuries.
  • Badass Gay: Gallian and Zoroark. Best on display when the two work together with their friends to stop a Nihilego.
  • Bi the Way: Shane and Silvally, though the former needs time to come to terms with this.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: Zero and Necrozma. Though the latter starts out as The Dragon to the former, he eventually strikes out on his own and both end up trying to get to Temporal Tower, with Zero looking to hit the Reset Button and Necrozma wanting to destroy it.
  • Blessed with Suck: Gallian's disaster sense. While he can use it to sense impending trouble, his lack of control over it causes him a great deal of panic and anxiety. Best shown in Special Episode 3, where he chooses to frighten Tessa, then run away from home.
  • Broken Pedestal: Prisma became this for Tessa at the end of Episode 7. It gets taken Up to Eleven when she learns that her mother is Zero.
    • To a lesser extent, Espeon becomes this to Shane after she claims to have joined Zero of her own free will. He gets over it fairly quickly, thanks in part to having a crush on her.
    • Lugia's respect for Rayquaza disappears when he learns that Rayquaza physically assaulted Latias.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Espeon and Umbreon. Doubles as a Mythology Gag. Two Jellicent published a gossip article about their relationship, referencing this promotional video for Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, which claimed the two were in a Secret Relationship despite Gates depicting them as a Brother-Sister Team. Umbreon even admits that he had to stop Espeon from feeding the Jellicent duo to Kyurem!
  • Butch Lesbian: Seraph, a Zeraora working for the Ultra Recon Squad when Luxeira and Sticky join, is this mixed with shades of Drill Sergeant Nasty.
    Seraph: Alright, listen up dweebs! Rule one: you don't talk unless I say to talk. Rule two: you don't move unless I say to move. If you can't follow those, then I'm gonna kick your asses so hard your grandkids will feel it in their rears. Do I make myself clear?
  • Call to Adventure: Shane believes his arrival in the Pokémon world to be this. However, it's later revealed that Necrozma brought him here to unwittingly help get his core back.
  • Character Development: The fic's speciality. As one reviewer put it:
    eldestoyster: With such a huge cast, Ambyssin could be forgiven for letting some of his characters fall by the wayside – and while they do sometimes fade into the background to let others take centre stage, none of the main characters (and surprisingly few of the minor ones) last through the story unchanged.
  • Darker and Edgier: Eventually outclasses the source material, with heavy themes including mental illness, substance abuse, sexuality, and suicide.
  • Darkest Hour: By the end of Episode 14 several of the world's most important gods have had their light taken, Temporal Tower has been obliterated, and Zero is ready to use the Time Gears and Dialga's powers to forcibly reset the Pokémon world's timeline.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In addition to Special Episodes, occasional bonus parts — some of which are Holiday Episodes — put other characters in the spotlight, sometimes with a completely different narration style, to boot.
    • To the surprise of many, "Something to Sink Your Teeth Into" is this for Jangmo-o.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The death of Incineroar sent Prisma over the edge. She began making scenes in front of the guild and emotionally abusing her kids. This would ultimately lead to the chain of events that turned her into Zero.
    • Similarly, a hazing incident at a party in high school proves to be this for Nicky. He reaches out to Shane, desperate for a Hope Spot. When Shane ignores him, he commits suicide.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Upon evolving, Silvally dishes out a major Curbstomp Battle to the Unown swarm, which had been using their powers to switch between copies of Entei, Raikou, and Suicune.
    • So far, Necrozma has infected Lugia, killed Yveltal, and taken the spirits of Zygarde, Hoopa, Palkia, and Giratina.
    • Special Episode 4 has this in spades. First, the butterfly formed from Volcarona's remains one-shots Rayquaza. Then, in the next chapter, what's left of Necrozma appears to destroy Xerneas.
  • Doomed Hometown: At the start of Episode 10, Necrozma lays waste to Post Town and Pokémon Paradise.
  • Door Stopper: There are currently over a hundred parts spread across eighteen different episodes. The word counter on FFN stands at over eight hundred thousand. However, it should be noted that Ambyssin has author's notes and responses to anonymous guest reviews at the end of almost every chapter, which serves to inflate that number. Still, it's quite shocking when you consider the fic was only started in August 2017.
    • The blog isn't much better. In it's first six months, it accumulated over a thousand posts.
  • The Empath: Latias, by her own admission. It's apparently a species trait.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Aeon Observatory which, much like Wigglytuff's guild, consists of multiple sublevels, complete with bedrooms, a mess hall, an infirmary, shower and bathing areas, and a lab for Magearna.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Necrozma, full stop. It's revealed he's the result of Golem using alchemy to pump a human spirit full of ley lines and light energy. In Special Episode 4, it's revealed the source of Necrozma's powers (and Ax-Crazy mindset) is Void Termina.
    • A (eventually) friendly example lies in Null. In fact, he was Golem's first attempt at making a god killer.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: As expected in a Pokémon fic. Leads to several Wrong Genre Savvy moments when Shane thinks he knows a Horizon Pokémon's typing, only to be proven incorrect.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Shane triggering a Z-Move to save Tessa from being infected by Espeon and Umbreon.
  • Emergency Transformation: Describes each of the main trio's evolutions.
    • Happens to Gallian in Episode 14. He mega evolves and beats back the infected Team Paradise members before they can kill Zoroark.
  • Evil All Along: Metagross, though out of sheer paranoia. It wouldn't be Pokémon Mystery Dungeon otherwise.
  • Evil Plan: Zero intends to kill of all the gods. This later progresses into gathering up the Time Gears to forcibly rewrite the world's timeline so the gods never existed in the first place.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Happens to Temporal Tower, thanks to Zero.
    • There was one on Celestial Island that served as Zero's base, but it hasn't been seen since Episode 8.
  • Eye Scream: Zoroark had his left eye lacerated by Prisma as she was transforming into Zero. It's completely covered in scar tissue and, unlike most injuries Pokémon receive, can't be cured by Heal Pulse.
  • Five-Man Band: Team Radiance, of course.
  • From Bad to Worse: Things get bad enough in Episode 14 when Temporal Tower falls. Then, to add insult to injury, Metagross attacks Magearna's expedition crew to steal their Dawn Shard. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, the heroes lose all the Dawn Shards, thanks to Lycanroc swiping them.
  • Genius Bruiser: Metagross, whose mannerisms and behavior are reminiscent of an AI, but can dish out Meteor Mashes and Zen Headbutts like nobody's business. A pity most of them are directed toward Team Radiance and their friends.
  • The Glomp: Tessa does this to Gallian after they fend off Ultra Milotic and her Nihilego pair.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Gallian, after Tessa beats some sense into him.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Tessa after the Mellath Bog mission and Silvally after his evolution.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Shane struggles to do much of anything in his first few battles.
    Shane: Dang it! Why can't I make an attack? Where's the fire? Come on, stupid, girly Vulpix body. Flame on! Torch 'em! Get all fired up! Fire in the hole!
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Played with. Both Shane and Tessa confide in one another how badly they wanted to be world-famous heroes. However, after the events of Episode 13, Shane admits he didn't like getting a lot of attention and Tessa concedes that she never considered the burdens that come with being a hero and worries about what, if anything, she'll be able to do with her life if Team Radiance succeeds.
  • In the Back: Metagross kills Incineroar by attacking him from behind and knocking him off a cliff.
  • Jerkass: Shane has shades of this, initially. He gets better. Gallian also fits this trope and, unlike Shane, only softens up enough to become a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. And then there's Lycanroc...
  • Just for Pun: Many of the chapter titles. They're inspired by the anime's English dub.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Averted in Shane's case. Instead, we get Magearna and Mewtwo, who are the only remnants of the original world that Arceus wiped out. While we don't know how Magearna lost her memories, we do know that Arceus is responsible for erasing Mewtwo's.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: As is usually the case with lengthy fics like this.
  • Madness Mantra: Metagross descends into this when his plan to steal the Dawn Shards begins to fall apart.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Necrozma, Devourer of Light.
  • No-Sell: Thanks to the RKS System, Silvally is able to do this in battle. A villainous example lies with Zero, whose Ominous Visual Glitch attacks frequently do this.
  • Offstage Villainy: Happens on occasion, such as Necrozma killing Zygarde and capturing Yveltal.
  • Olympus Mons: Play huge roles in the story. One's even a main character!]However, many of them have their spirits taken by Zero or Necrozma.
  • Primordial Chaos: Ultra Space, according to Necrozma. This is because it was created from a big bang accidentally triggered by Void Termina.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Tessa has hit this twice so far. First, when Gallian calls her useless, she responds by curbstomping him to the point where she nearly kills him with a Z-Move. Then, in the next episode, her temper slips again and triggers a mega evolution she can't control. She comes dangerously close to stabbing Shane with her Metal Claws.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Team Radiance, especially once they team up with Gallian, Zoroark, and Team Paradox.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Necrozma has three of them.
  • Ret Gone: Zero intends to purge the gods from the timeline. She gathers the Time Gears and captures Dialga in order to make it happen.
  • The Reveal: Several big ones throughout the course of the fic.
    • Special Episode 1 ends with two major reveals. Tessa's mom is human and her dad was Dead All Along.
    • The first Christmas special, "Snowfall," shows us that Incineroar, Tessa, and Gallian are Replacement Goldfish for the human family that Prisma lost.
    • At the end of the Episode 7, we learn that, Shane's only friend committed suicide, and he failed to realize said friend was depressed.
    • Then, after numerous hints, the 2018 Valentine's Day special confirms that Zero is Tessa's mom and Shane's human friend, Nicky, is Necrozma.
    • The bonus part "Heart & Soul" shows us that the world's creation myth is a lie. Arceus made the Pokémon world using the remnants of a world he accidentally destroyed. Said world had humans, the original 151 Pokémon, and Magearna living in peace. Somehow, Magearna and Mewtwo survived, but neither remembers the old world.
    • After heavy foreshadowing that Solgaleo's spirit is inside of Shane, Episode 13 reveals that not only did Solgaleo have a hand in causing Shane's fatal car accident, but Necrozma vaporized him alongside Shane's dying human body.
  • Running Gag: Shane's fur getting wet, messy, or Covered in Gunge. This is usually followed by him throwing a fit, then freaking out about the fact that he's so concerned with his appearance.
  • Shout-Out: Ambyssin is a huge Kirby fan. The fic's got so many nods to the series it's led to reviewers joking that Guiding Light is actually a Kirby fic. May be intentional, since Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon featured a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for one of Kirby's fan-favorite villains.
    • The fic isn't even subtle about this. The Jambastion sigil is on everything related to the Prism Virus and Void Termina is the fic's Greater-Scope Villain... even if its name hasn't been properly dropped.
  • Spanner in the Works: The reason why Shane was going to be summoned into the Pokémon world. Necrozma wanted him to be this to Zero's plans, so he could get his core back from her.
  • The Stoic: Null, before shattering his mask. Metagross acts this way, until his Sanity Slippage kicks in and it's shown to be a facade.
  • True Companions: Played with. It takes Team Radiance a while to form solid bonds. Even in the later episodes, they find themselves wondering if their friendship is truly genuine.
    Tessa: There's a voice in my head that keeps telling me that this 'friendship' of ours isn't really a friendship.
    Shane: Urk. I, um, as corny as it sounds, I'd like to think that the struggles we've faced are what's brought us closer together. [beat] Oof, yeah that really does sound lame.
    Tessa: Yeah. I guess that's where the problem is. I can't help but wonder what would happen if we were to defeat Necrozma... and you were allowed to stay here, of course. Would we still get along?
  • Villain Episode: Special Episode 4 is mostly centered on Necrozma and Void Termina.
  • Watching the Sunset: Team Radiance does this together in the "Memories" bonus part.
  • Wham Episode: Episodes 7-9 and the back half of Episode 14.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Zero and Necrozma are locked in a game of this for several episodes. Both are trying to work behind the scenes to get the means to control time. Eventually, they end up facing off and Zero takes advantage of Necrozma being weakened from battle to purge him from Lunala using Manaphy's Heart Swap.
  • You Fool!: Being a Large Ham, Necrozma is particularly fond of dropping these when he's Chewing the Scenery.

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