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Fanfic / Pokémon XD Enigma Shadow Series

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The Enigma Shadow series by The Great Butler is a trilogy of Pokémon fanfics that was published from 2006 to 2011. Over the course of the trilogy, Pokémon trainer Rich Mistbloom, his wife Anabel and daughter Olivia do battle with the titular terrorist organization, Enigma Shadow, and the assortment of villains working for the group. In a continuation of details from Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, Enigma Shadow plans to take control of the world using corrupted Shadow Pokémon. It has three parts, but the writer considers XD^3 the best of the three, and no real knowledge of the first two installments is necessary to enjoy the story, as past events are referenced as needed. XD^3 features a mix of science fiction, thriller, and action, with plenty of Pokémon battles mixed in. It can be read here or here.


The trilogy, XD^3 in particular, suffered from being a Troubled Production through much of its existence. The author has admitted to having little planning in place and simply writing what came to mind at the time, leading to long gaps between chapters, at least one very long delay brought on by an unexpected canon event (the death of Pokémon Hunter J in episode 151 of Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl) and the runaway length of XD^3. He has voiced his dissatisfaction with the trilogy in more recent times and admitted that it did not live up to its potential, without ruling out the possibility of a rewrite sometime in the future.

XD^3 also spawned a Spin-Off, Pokémon Ranger and the Gardener of Gratitude, which has a slightly different tone and setting- a Two Fisted Tale in the spirit of Indiana Jones or National Treasure, centering on royal intrigue, powerful artifacts, and even more powerful Pokémon. It focuses on Matt Chiaki, a character from XD^3, and his adventures in La Ciudad Dorada as he searches for the lost Golden City using hints left by his grandfather, a legendary archaeologist, and does battle with a mysterious villain planning to destroy the kingdom using the Pokémon Heatran. It's shorter than XD^3 but retains the twists and turns of its parent story, and no knowledge of XD^3 is required to enjoy it, as it stands pretty well on its own, though the events and characters of XD3 are referenced in it (and likewise for Gardener in XD^3). Read it here or here.


Pokémon Ranger and the Gardener of Gratitude and Pokémon XD^3: The Waves of Truth later inspired a followup work, a new trilogy collectively titled Operation GEAR. Starring Matt Chiaki and an older Olivia in a world five years departed from the events of the Enigma Shadow trilogy, Operation GEAR began on June 21, 2011 with the publishing of the first part of the first story, The Firestorm Rebellion.

Please note that Japanese names are used occasionally, due to the six-month release gap between the Japanese and English games and anime. Though, as the first chapter was posted in 2007, there's really no excuse for spelling Hoenn as "Houen". Don't let that bother you.


Tropes found in Pokémon XD^3 include:

  • Accidental Misnaming: The running gag of people calling Satsukoro "Sesshomaru".
  • Adaptational Villainy: Many formerly heroic characters, including the Sinnoh Gym Leaders (sans Maylene and Gardenia), Pyramid King Brandon, and Judy, are willingly working for Enigma Shadow.
  • Abusive Parents: Paul (well, his dad, at least) and Matt and Amanda, who eventually ran away from home.
  • The Ace: Rich. His facade greatly decreases over time as his regrets come to the forefront.
  • Anti-Villain: Maria
    Olivia: I don't care! If you do bad stuff to my dad and mom, I hate you!
    Maria: I don't blame you.
  • Ascended Meme: Youngster Joey shows up with his top-percentage Rattata in Chapter 23.
  • Attempted Rape / I Have You Now, My Pretty: Sheena versus the drunk casino patron in Chapter 31.
  • Author Appeal: Subverted. Nando, one of the author's favorite characters, plays a fairly prominent role, but makes little significant impact on the story, is not given any backstory (unlike everyone else), and is the one to get his ass kicked by Rich and Anabel so they win the Grand Championship and Grand Festival.
  • Ax-Crazy: Do NOT piss off Skull unless you want him to ram his bone through your head.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Joe's transformation into an Empoleon (twice). He gets better.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Seeing a Rattata is one for Rich's Roserade.
    • Also, don't make advances on Anabel in front of Rich.
    • Eldes' very presence sends Skull into a rage. Case in point: "I never wanted to see your ugly face again, human! You are the person I hate more than anything and this time I'm going to KILL YOU!"
    • A subtle one, but Paul calling Silver's Magnezone useless and his Nidoking weak in the tag battle tournament proves to be one of the only things that can make Nando angry.
  • Big Bad: Maria
  • Big Damn Heroes: Skull of all people pulls one in Chapter 33 when he saves Rich's Roserade from being decimated by Brandon's Shadow Regigigas and even brings Anabel, Matt, Nando and Sheena with him!!
  • Big Eater: Anabel when she's pregnant. Lampshaded by Rich: "I remember when she was carrying Olivia. We were competing in a Pokémon Contest, and I swear, during every break between rounds she must've inhaled an entire cake. Each time."
  • Big "WHAT?!": Everyone's reaction when the identity of the strange masked Coordinator "B" is revealed. He's Barry.
  • Bishōnen: Nando and Satsukoro. The drunk casino guy in Chapter 31 even lampshades it when he calls Nando "the prettiest man [he's] ever seen."
  • Blood from the Mouth: Non-lethal version when Anabel does this after being affected by Shadow Sky in Chapter 31.
  • Blood Knight: Skull and Crasher Wake.
    Crasher Wake: be honest, I just love fighting with my Pokémon! Queen Shadow lets me fight as much as I want, and pays me handsomely for it!
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Skull refers to captured Pokémon as slaves.
  • Body Horror: Cyborg!J in Chapter 29. *vomits*
  • Boring Failure Hero:
    • Averted with Rich and Anabel when they win the Grand Championship and Grand Festival.
    • Played straight, however, with Nando
  • Break the Cutie: Anabel and Olivia
  • Break The Fourth Wall: Pluto and Dr. Yung are aware they're characters in fanfiction.
  • The Cape: Rich
  • Casanova Wannabe: Conway.
  • Celibate Hero: Nando and Matt
  • Chekhov's Gun: Brandon's Regigigas, and the gong Shadow Styler that control it, were seen at the very beginning of the story and not again until Chapter 33.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: The Shadow Stylers are first used by Lovrina and Maria, but after they fail, they aren't used or mentioned again until Brandon brings out one to power up his Shadow Regigigas in Chapter 33.
  • The Chew Toy: Nando is a unique/indirect example in the fact that it's not getting injured all the time that makes him a Chew Toy, it's the fact that he doesn't get nearly as much spotlight as the other characters, gets zero Character Development, rarely wins a battle (see The Worf Effect below), lost the Grand Festival and the Grand Championship, and will most likely not show up in any future stories. Ever.
  • Chick Magnet: Satsukoro
  • Children Are Innocent: Olivia. Partially invoked by Skull: “You’re only a child so I don’t hate you as much as I hate most other humans.”
  • Cloning Blues: Ardos's Shadow Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf in Chapter 32 were cloned from the DNA of Mysterial's Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf. And they're Shadow Pokémon, too. Geez, how much more messed up could you get?
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: When Satsukoro and Rosina die together, they are wearing white kimonos. White in Asian culture is a symbol of death.
  • Cool Old Guy: Satsukoro. 500-plus years old and still kicking, baby!
  • Cool Sword: Satsukoro has one. And it's made of gold. Did we mention that it can deflect electricity?
  • The Corruption: Enigma Shadow's Shadow Pokémon.
  • Costume Porn: The outfits worn by the characters for the Grand Festival and Partnership Festival.
  • Covert Pervert: Possibly Nando, given the way he dressed up his Lopunny in the Grand Festival...and the fact that he has a Gardevoir...and the Parental Substitute role he took up briefly for Olivia...
  • Crapsaccharine World
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Conway dons a maid outfit in the Partnership Festival. Lampshaded by Barry: "Don't make fun of my costume! You're the one dressed up like a girl, man!"
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Until Gardener of Gratitude, Matt is portrayed as a klutz.
    • Nando. He might be the most pacifistic and sweet-tempered member of Rich's True Companions, but when the chips are down, he can kick just as much ass as Rich or Anabel.
    • Amanda. She's blind, crippled, and has to use a wheelchair to get arou - holy Arceus, did she just engage battle with Rich, pull out six Unova Pokémon, and curb-stomp him six to zero?!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Rich's first battle against Satsukoro
    • Rich VS. Conway, then Paul VS. Barry in Chapter 29.
    • Rich VS. Grand Champion Amanda in Chapter 30. She uses five Unova Pokémon to stomp him so badly that he fails to even beat one.
    • Rich VS. Brandon at Castle Shadow is even worse, and would have had an ugly ending if Skull didn't come in.
  • Cyberpunk
  • Cyborg:
    • Matt's artificial limbs and Zero's lungs
    • J's transformation into a cyborg by Pluto and Zero following her death
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Satsukoro, Matt
  • Deadpan Snarker: Skull
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: When Rich beats Satsukoro at the Battle Casino.
  • Determinator: Rich's Roserade and Matt. Not to mention Rich himself.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Maria's capture of Palkia
    • Later, in the Grand Championship, Lynn's Absol beats the ever-loving shit out of Eldes' Latias with Flash, Shadow Claw and X-Scissor. Amazing...!
  • Distressed Damsel: Olivia and Sheena.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The slash scene with Nando and the drunk casino guy in Chapter 31.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Satsukoro doesn't like it when Luca keeps calling him Lord Satsukoro-sama.
  • Downer Ending: Rich dies to prevent Judy from accidentally destroying the world after she kills Dr. Yung. Anabel looks like she'll never be able to move forward and Olivia doesn't know a thing about what really happened to her beloved father. Judy commits suicide rather than spill her secrets. As if it couldn't get any worse after that, Dr. Yung is really still alive, and a group consisting of him, Mercury, Pluto, Zero and Cassy were doing the bidding of an enigmatic entity called "Father," aiming to get rid of Team Galactic and Enigma Shadow for an unknown goal. That's right, everything that happened in the entire story was a massive Gambit Pileup pulled off perfectly. The heroes' suffering was for nothing.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Dr. Yung to Maria.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Ein's heart attack.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Rich in Chapter 21.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Captain Liam Everton, who appears a few times on television late in the story, has been mentioned as an antagonist for the "Operation GEAR" stories.
  • The Empath: Sheena.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Maria and Yung are horrified when they find out Anabel was poisoned and miscarried her twins. They didn't do it. Or at least, Maria didn't...
  • Evil Laugh: The Raikou pelt dude in Chapter 9.
  • Expy: Amanda for Nunnally.
  • Eye Scream: Why Zero's right eye is covered by hair.
  • Face–Heel Turn: All the Sinnoh Gym Leaders are working for Enigma Shadow except for Gardenia and Maylene. Yes, all of them.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Satsukoro cutting off the fingers of two of J's henchmen in Chapter 17. Ouch.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Sheena, Nando and Olivia. In Sheena's case, she even has the power to purify a Shadow Pokémon!
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Freudian Excuse: Paul's abusive father. Dr. Yung is also revealed to have lost his parents in the explosion that Mewtwo created on New Island.
  • From Bad to Worse: boy, does it ever...
    • Anabel's entire pregnancy arc. She gets sick enough to end up wheelchair-bound, ends up poisoned by another person and goes into a coma, and then miscarries twins
    • Satsukoro's whole backstory. His mother was killed during a rebellion in his homeland, and his father was killed in a rockfall. Just when he finds his true love her father sends her into another dimension. Oh, and did we mention he's immortal now and still looking for her?
  • Genki Girl: Olivia
  • Girlish Pigtails: Olivia.
  • Gratuitous French: Courtesy of Fantina. Oddly enough, she didn't use it in her earlier appearance.
    • "Salutations, la fille Anabel! A long time since our last meeting it has been, tout à fait vrai!" (Greetings, daughter Anabel! A long time since our last meeting it has been, quite true!)
    • "En effet, it is moi!" (Indeed, it is me!)
    • "Je demande, show me that power you keep à l'intérieur!!" (I ask, show me that power you keep inside!)
    • "Ohhhhhh, décevoir, décevoir!" (Ohhhhhh, disappointing, disappointing!)
    • "Spiritomb, le beau Shadow Rave!" (Spiritomb, [use] the beautiful Shadow Rave!)
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The Milokaross Tower in Aquane City.
  • Green Thumb: Nando specializes in Grass-type Pokémon.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Oh my god, Skull.
  • Handicapped Badass: Anabel and Matt.
  • Happily Married: Rich and Anabel.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Following his final defeat at Rich's hands, Paul rejects his old ways and becomes Satsukoro's apprentice.
    • Miror B. Once an admin of Cipher, now a Contest judge.
    • Nando talks Crasher Wake into doing this in Chapter 32.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": "Chatot laugh at funny machine on Rich's arm! Funny machine throw funny balls! Hahahaha, Chatot say balls!"
  • Heroic BSoD: Rich gets hit with this hard after Anabel's miscarriage.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rich ends up sacrificing his life to save everyone in the final battle.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs:
    Drew: Well, look what the Skitty dragged in!
  • Humans Are Stupid Bastards: Skull's opinion. Not entirely without reason, too.
  • Hypothetical Casting: In a sense; every character is assigned a hypothetical voice actor.
  • I Have Many Names: At some point after he lost Rosina, Koronaku changed his name to Satsukoro.
  • Ill Girl: Anabel, Amanda
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Chapter 23, "Every Roserade Has Its Thorn"
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Eldes's Latias and Latios, Rich's Dragonite, Dramega and Salamence, Nando's Dragonite and Altaria, and Anabel's Kingdra.
  • Jerkass: Ice, Snattle, Paul, Skull, Joey...
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: And how!
  • Love Redeems: When Maria/Rosina reunites with Satsukoro and all of her memories of being Rosina are brought back.
  • Kid Hero: Olivia. She's the only one - everyone else is an adult.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Ein
    • Jackie also
    • and Rich
    • Satsukoro and Rosina
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    Anabel: I don’t know. What does he think this is, some kind of story on the Internet?
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Rich's Roserade has a bad habit of popping out of her ball at the wrong times.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Nando's Kricketune, taken almost to Willing Suspension of Disbelief levels.
  • Little Miss Badass:
    • Olivia is shaping up to become this.
    • Amanda - weak, crippled and blind girl ... or Grand Champion?
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Poor Satsukoro.
  • Lucky Seven: There are seven main characters in the story - Rich, Anabel, Olivia, Matt, Nando, Satsukoro, and Skull.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: When Ein is dying, he reveals to Anabel that Elita was her mother, not Venus.
  • Made of Iron: Matt. Jesus Christ, Matt.
  • Making a Splash: Rich specializes in Water-type Pokémon.
  • Manly Tears: Nando's breakdown in Chapter 21.
  • Massively Multiplayer Crossover: Anime, game (including totally unrelated games like Pokémon Ranger), and manga canons are used.* Meaningful Name: Rich Mistbloom.
  • Melodrama: And plenty of it.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: Raiquazados (Raikou, Rayquaza, and Gyarados).
  • Mood Whiplash: All over the place.
  • Morality Pet: Anabel for Skull (although it only comes up once or twice).
  • Mr. Exposition: Nando, natch.
  • Musical Assassin: The function of the Shadow Stylers created by Dr. Yung - they're essentially Ranger-style Capture Stylers in the form of different musical instruments that infuse Shadow Pokémon with extra energy when they're played. And, of course, there's Nando, who always uses music in his Contest appeals and is never without his harp.
  • Never Say "Die": The other characters don't have the heart to tell Olivia that Rich died after the final battle.
  • Oh, Crap!
  • Older Than They Look: Satsukoro. He hardly appears older than Rich or Anabel, but he's actually 500+ years old.
  • Olympus Mons: Oh my Arceus, where do we start?
    • Maria's Shadow Shaymin (it got Snagged by Rich)
    • Dialga and Palkia
    • Matt's Heatran, Tanya
    • Eldes's Latias and Latios
    • Darkrai
    • Volkner's Shadow Raikou
    • Gorigan's Shadow Heatran
    • Mysterial's Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf
    • Ardos's clone Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf
    • Lynn's Shaymin
    • Snattle's Shadow Cresselia
    • Brandon's Shadow Regigigas
    • Maria's Shadow Darkrai
    • Arceus
  • One-Man Army: Skull. He held off Brandon's freaking Shadow Regigigas with Shadow End during his Big Damn Heroes moment in Chapter 33. What more evidence do you need??
    • To say nothing of the aforementioned Shadow Regigigas, which took down Rich's Dragonite, Lucario, Melodic, Porygon-Z, and Ambipom without even breaking a sweat. Yikes.
  • On the Next: Chapters contain episode previews narrated by characters.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Basically any time Nando gets angry, sad, freaked out, or displays an emotion that does not involve his usual cheerful smile.
  • Papa Wolf: Rich towards Olivia.
  • Parental Substitute: Nando becomes one for Olivia in the wake of Anabel's miscarriage because Rich is having a Heroic BSoD.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: All of Lisa's Pokémon except for Bayleef.
  • The Pollyanna: Nando. Dear Arceus, Nando. He literally cannot stay upset for more than three seconds.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Maria/Rosina when playing the Azure Flute at the climax to heal Arceus, restore Dialga and Palkia and prevent The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Power Trio
  • Precision F-Strike: "You don't have a sorry bone in your damn body."
  • Psychic Powers: Anabel specializes in Psychic-type Pokémon and can also communicate telepathically. Sheena has the ability to read the hearts of Pokémon, and Rich and Satsukoro have the power of Aura.
  • Pun-Based Title: Chapter 23, "Every Roserade Has Its Thorn" and Chapter 10, "Like A Walk In The Palkia"
  • Put on a Bus: Jackie. Briefly became The Bus Came Back before Dr. Yung sentenced him to Bus Crash.
    • Put on a Bus to Hell: Mason, the leader of the Ranger Base, got the same fate as his employee, just without ever coming back.
  • The Hero Dies
  • The Reveal: Rich effortlessly defeats Lynn's Altaria and Vileplume... then she whips out a Sky Forme Shaymin. Uh oh.
  • The Rival: Paul
  • Scars Are Forever: Poor Satsukoro...
  • Sequel Hook: The meeting between Dr. Yung, Cassy, Zero, Mercury, Pluto and Ghetsis - who had no role in the story prior to the very end - and their leader "Father" appears to be one.
  • Shout-Out: Too many to count. Among those that pop up:
  • Slow Clap: after Rich defeats Satsukoro
  • Smug Snake: Conway.
  • The Soulless / Empty Shell: Shadow Pokémon as a whole (an exception being Skull), but special mention goes to the (cloned) Shadow Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf in Chapter 32. After Rich's Lucario defeats it, Sheena even states that she can't sense Uxie's heart.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Satsukoro and Rosina
  • Start of Darkness: For Paul, it was when his dad (Tobias) set their house on fire and left Paul and Reggie to fend for themselves.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Nando, Nando, Nando.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Janus for Matt. Doubles as a Meaningful Name, since the Greek god Janus had two faces. Dialga also transforms into Primal Dialga in Chapter 26.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: "It’s pitiable, this poor clone Uxie having been born only to be a weapon..."
  • Talking Animal: Skull, Satsukoro's Lucario, Team Rocket's Meowth, Dialga, Darkrai, and Palkia.
  • Taking the Bullet: Rich's Roserade jumping in front of him and Olivia to save them from being hit by Janus's Heatran's Flash Cannon.
  • Tender Tears: Nando sheds some after he finds out about Anabel's miscarriage.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Olivia's Combee has a red dot on its bottom face, which shows that it's a girl.
  • Time Skip
  • Title Drop: The second-to-last chapter is called Rich vs. Maria - The Waves of Truth.
  • Together in Death: Satsukoro and Rosina
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: "I told you before...I am not a woman! I'm a man!"
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Dr. Yung and Paul.
  • Verbal Tic: Anabel puts an ellipse...between every few this. Justified because still recovering from...the miscarriage.
    • Conway ends most of his sentences with "desu".
    • A " ~ ♪" often appears to indicate Nando speaking in singsong.
  • Villainous Breakdown: As of chapter 29 Maria's completely lost it.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Volkner and Gorigan watching the Grand Festival, and Lovrina doing whiteboard drawings.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Near the end, Judy reveals that her final plan is to prevent the Day of Reckoning, an admirable goal. Unfortunately, her method of doing so is less than admirable: capture Arceus with a Dark Styler and harness its power to stop the Day of Reckoning.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 21
    • Looks like this is going into overdrive towards the end. Chapter 30 reveals that Rich still has his Dragonite and Amanda is the Grand Champion, while in 31 Olivia is kidnapped by Yung and brought to Castle Shadow, setting the stage for the final chapters.
  • Wham Line: "She was carrying twins."
    • "That's why I'm putting my faith... in this one!!"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What became of Rich's Pokémon after his death at the end?
  • White Shirt of Death: Rosina dies in a white kimono.
  • The Worf Effect: The number of times Nando hasn't been screwed over because of this trope can be counted on one hand.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Rich has blue hair. Anabel, Satsukoro, and Olivia have purple hair, and Dr. Yung has turquoise hair.

Tropes found in Pokémon Ranger and the Gardener of Gratitude include:


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