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  • Broken Base:
    • Some people like the game's difficulty compared to the main series Pokémon games. Others hate it because they consider the hack very poorly-made; there are numerous bugs and glitches (or at least questionable design decisions), said difficulty is lazy and poorly thought-out with the trainers just being overleveled and overpowered (with moves and items you either don't have access to at that point in time or will never have period).
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    • The story. Posts by the romhack creator indicate that it was her primary concern when creating Dark Rising, to have a stronger and more ambitious storyline. Some people did enjoy the more serious plot and found the original characters interesting. Many other people consider the story an incredibly dull Cliché Storm with weak and forgettable characters, and that it has strong elements of bad fanfiction given the presence of characters from the anime (including Brock, Misty, and Ash who has become champion) and a special guest appearance by Yami Yugi from YuGiOh as a gym leader.
  • Complete Monster: Hoopa is an ancient Pokémon who manipulated the events of the first two games to get rid of Arceus and Darugis and gain control of the universe. Hoopa turned the world into a wasteland and inflicted the "Trainer's Curse" on anyone who owns a Pokémon, which will cause them to die and eventually become a zombie should they lose a battle. He has the zombies hunt down any trainers, seeking to remove anyone he deems unworthy of existing in his "perfect" world, with no mercy given to children. Hoopa also commits personal crimes, such as taunting Kaz that he's becoming a remorseless killer thanks to the Trainer's Curse and having Joel turned into a zombie, causing Kaz grief. At the end of the game, Hoopa tries to have the heroes killed, but he only manages to kill Kaz. A childish fiend that views his world as his playground, Hoopa proved to be crueler and more dangerous than Darugis.
  • Game-Breaker:
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    • Zen Headbutt will always cause an opponent to flinch due to the hacker setting Zen Headbutt's flinch rate to 100%. The only caveat is that the move only has 90% accuracy, but using an X Accuracy remedies that just fine.
    • In Dark Rising 2, Arceus is an intentional one. It's supposed to be the ultimate trump card of the game and the god of Pokemon, and it shows; its already impressive 720 base stat total has been buffed even further, and Judgment is changed to be a 200 Power move that boosts all your stats by one stage. As soon as you get Arceus, it's basically game over and nothing from that point on will pose any challenge, not even the final boss.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: After the Giovanni battle, he states his intentions to use his mind control powers to form a new organization made up of Teams Aqua, Magma, Galactic, and Plasma. In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, an alternate universe's Giovanni does just this with Team Rainbow Rocket, made up of previous villain team leaders under his leadership.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
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    • V tried to kill the protagonist when they first met, made a pact with Darugis to torture his hated enemies' souls forever, and tried to sink a ship with innocent people. When he is reborn, he mocks his children's' death or worse.
    • Light has kidnapped children from Salem and drained their souls.
  • Narm:
    • Some of the spritework is less than appealing. Especially Atem. The fact that Atem cameos in this game at all is silly enough.
    • The game is so buggy that there are some broken scripts that can be hilarious to watch.
    • Arceus: "Use strategy to overcome him." ...Against a level 50 Tornadus with an unevolved starter.
    • Three words: DARK EVIL PETE.
    • Light's evil creature of darkness is admittedly scary looking, but its called "Conarp."
    • The first encounter with V. He claims that he's taking no chances with the protagonist, but after he is defeated, he says he isn't using his full power.
    • The encounter with Amaris:
      • "A TAIL SUDDENLY APPEARS ON AMARIS' BODY."
      • "Greetings [player]. I AM DARUGIS!! ...Circle"
    • After Sakura and Kaiden were petrified...
      • "What's happened to him? He's stoned...
    • This dialogue right here between the player and V-Rebirth.
      • Player: What have you done to KAIDEN and SAKURA? They're your children!
      • V-Rebirth: FOOL!!! *battle begins*
    • Light challenging you with the Lass encounter theme.
    • If you know about My Immortal's existence, then the 4 Knights of Ebony's round table will inspire some stiffed laughs.
    • The leader of the knights might've been intimidating, if he wasn't called "boy with yellow hair", and if the protagonist didn't step on the unconscious body of your friendly rival.
    • The music in general. Dark Rising is trying to have a serious and dark storyline, which is completely at odds with the soundtrack from Fire Red/Leaf Green, which does not convey this sense of dread in the slightest. The game concludes with Pallet Town music.
    • After being portrayed as the unseen satanic archetype to Arceus in Dark Rising 1, we finally get to see Darugis's true form, and... Darugis's trainer sprite in Dark Rising 2 is that of a peppy red haired boy.note 
    • His Darugis-S and Darugis-X pokemon sprites (yes, Darugis sends out a Mega Evoution of himself, pretty narmy of its own) may be either sprite garbage or a somewhat creepy abomination though.
    • "I am Hoopa. Order is mine." Even funnier as it sounds like "Hooplah."
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The hack got a lot of attention as one of the best or at least most notable romhacks when it originally came out. However, it doesn't compare favorably to to newer hacks like Glazed, Liquid Crystal, Reborn and Zeta/Omicron (the latter two being even more ambitious due to being RPG Maker games); they are more polished, have fewer bugs, better original/custom sprites, more content, and features from future games like the Physical/Special split, generation 6 Pokémon, and music from newer/other games.
  • Shocking Swerve: You thought Dark Rising 1's ending was a downer sequel hook? Get a load of Dark Rising 2's ending! After you defeat Darugis for real, and seal him for good, you'd think you finally accomplished your goal. "Arceus" tricked you. He wasn't really Arceus, he was Hoopa, who had no foreshadowing whatsoever. The protagonist dies, and Hoopa declares that "order is mine." All your effort in beating this game is rendered null and void, because of a last minute, out of nowhere villain.
  • So Bad, It's Good: It's quite the cliche storm, and has some pretty broken gameplay, but it has its unintentionally funny moments.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Dark Rising 2 is generally a bit more polished compared to the first game, with the physical/special split implemented, Zen Headbutt no longer always cause flinching, better mapping, etc. The story is more self-aware about how anime and over-the-top it is, and even has one or two unexpected twists, one of them being The Reveal that your father actually failed in his role as a savior and refused to end the threat of Darugis, because he was too selfish and cowardly to give up his own life.
  • That One Attack: Dark Chaos. What we have here is a 200 Power dark type attack, with 25 power points unlike most powerful attacks, that has a 100% chance of poisoning a pokemon, and the poison will take out some HP from the same turn, often ensuring a pokemon will faint. What's worse is that this move is the main villain's signature move that gets STAB, so it is going to hit 300 Power, which is very close to explosion. The only pokemon that can even withstand that are Umbreon, Tyranitar and Arceus, with their high HP and special defense. Everything else just dies in at least two hits, and the very few ones that have a double resitance will be hit by a coverage move. You will probably be heal spamming endlessly until it eventually runs out, or give up in frustration.
  • That One Boss:
    • Fiery may be the first Gym Leader, but she gives you as much trouble as she can. Her Fire-type team is enhanced by a Drought Vulpix, powering up all her Fire-type attacks for massive damage at this point in the game.
    • Typhoon, the second Gym Leader, has a Drizzle Poliwhirl to enhance his already formidable Water-type Pokémon's power and speed up the ones that have the Swift Swim ability.
    • Light qualifies as a "guide dangit" example. Two fights have him use a signature Pokemon that is a dark unnatural creature (or fakemon), that has a really annoying ability; WONDER GUARD. And unlike a certain pokemon with the same ability, it has a different typing, and has really good defensive stats, making it tank even super effective hits. Both are dark/fire types by the way.
    • The game's "Elite 4" (The 4 Knights of Ebony's Round Table) as a whole is exceptionally difficult. You are warned that they will have Pokémon with moves and abilities they aren't supposed to have. This proves to be true; among the threats are a Regigigas with Huge Power instead of Slow Start (meaning its Attack and Speed stat aren't halved for the first five turns) and a Focus Band, several Pokémon (Scrafty, Ferrothorn, Dusknoir, etc) with Cosmic Power and Recover, an Eelketross with Ice Beam, a a ton of legendary and pseudo-legendary Pokémon, etc.
    • If you manage to get past the Elite 4, the final boss is infamous for being completely ridiculous; not only does he have a team full of legendaries, he also has a Shadow Lugia with inflated base stats (170 HP, 150 Attack, 170 Defense, 160 Special Attack, 210 Special Defense, and 150 Speed) carrying a 200 Power move to make it the ultimate Lightning Bruiser. To put this in context, it has a base stat total of 1010, which is 230 higher than Mega Mewtwo X and Y, who have the highest base stats of any Pokémon. Beating him without a team full of legends yourself or at least without a team tailor-made to counter him is nearly impossible.
    • Giovanni in Dark Rising 2. He is the first boss that uses a mega evolution. Of course, this mega evolution is that of Mewtwo Y. Despite bad AI, its base stats are actually larger than the original uber, and it has perfect coverage.
    • Brandon in Dark Rising 2 has all of the legendary golems. Including a beastly Pure Power Regigiggas that is only slightly less broken than Wrath's. Oh and you fight him twice, the second time is a double battle.
    • Dark Rising 2 Darugis, being the Big Bad of the anime-like game, would qualify. He'll give you a taste of what is to come with a very rare example of using only one Pokemon. One OBSCENELY POWERFUL Pokemon, himself. Said Pokemon has base stats that are well above Arceus normally, with the utterly overpowered Dark Chaos STAB move of 300 power with no drawbacks, and perfect poison chance. He has full restores, and perfect coverage, and he comes immediately before you can level up Arceus, and will probably massacre you if you aren't ready. That's just the mandatory preview battle. His final boss fight team is essentially Adrian on steroids.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Knights of Ebony never really had much presence in the plot despite being revived underlings of the big bad and penultimate bosses. The idea of sins could've worked much better as gym leaders. How? Seven sins for Seven gyms, instead of just 4 out of the 7, and could've been a great idea.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: V. After he sold his soul to Darugius, and lost to the protagonist, he is sent to the underworld. The protagonist sheds a tear for his death... Of course the reason why V worked for Darugis is so that he can torture the protagonist and his father's soul forever. Doesn't help that he's a murderous leader who wants to sink a ship filled with innocent people. After he is reborn, his reaction to the death of his children is conceit and contempt. He is still this in dark rising 2; The brief moment he shows up, he dies again, and the player grieves for him and his kids.

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