Wholesome Horror and a dead dog! Yomawari Night Alone Review

Greetings Mortals and those who have ascendent to monsters this month! For the blog’s birthday back in July I got a lot of birthday wishes, a bit of help on Ko-Fi and one gift! That gift came from a man that is now known as Indigo! That gift was a Japanese horror game! One I knew I would review for Halloween month! See.. sometimes I do plan ahead!

The Night’s Watch

Yomawari: Night Alone was a game that was developed for PS Vita and Steam spread around the world in October 2016. Although the Japanese PS Vita game came out a year prior to the Steam version’s World Wide release. The game has since seen a release on Switch with it’s Sequel : Yomawari: Midnight Shadows as the Yomawari Long Night  Collection, launching close to Halloween 2018.  I got gifted the Steam edition and as such will be reviewing that version and that version exclusively. The game scores about a 7,5 on Metacritic. Getting mostly Positive to mixed reviews and only a handful of negative ones. It takes roughly 3 to 5 five hours to complete this game, depending on if you are prone to use a guide on what to do if you are stuck yes or no. I finished the game in about 4  and a half hours myself, which included about one hours of pointless searching, including me exploring for some hidden items.  To gain all hidden items I’d say would take.. about two more hours depending on your skill and control scheme. 

 In this game you play a nameless girl protagonist who during the tutorial is walking her dog. It is shown we can toss items as well and when we toss a stone we just picked up our dog goes to fetch it and run under a truck. Left with only a big pile of blood in the road, a torn collar and a hole in the side rails.. the girl looks flustered and makes her way home. It is there that she lives alone with her older sister. When that sister asks where Poro is the little girl is too traumatised to remember and says she doesn’t know. The older sister goes to find Poro but doesn’t seem to be returning so the traumatised little girl has to search all over town for her dog that presumably died and her sister.. whom she claims will die if she is not found. It is a journey that is filled with mysterious and dangerous spirits which want nothing more than to eat a little girl.. or to exact their terrible revenge on those who took them from this earth to early.

A not so lonely Night!

This game is brought to life in 2d topdown anime like artstyle with the main character and her sister and dog having some chibi-like qualities while the ghosts and monsters take a more “realistic” detailed appearance. The town is more in style with the Main character, being made out of soft natural tones, while monsters usually take on red and black shades or look overly large or with “wrong” details. It helps convey the issue that what you are seeing on this night does not belong to this world and it is through this style of visual trickery the game really builds it’s tension. The game is set in a sleepy small Japanese town and it’s adjacent locations such as the rice fields, the factory, the school and the woods. 

Each chapter pushes you to visit a sub-location that makes you traverse to a newly unlocked part of town. Locations feel both unique and generic at the same time which conveys a great feeling of being lost yet does clearly show you what chapter you are working on. If you are outside the school there are a bunch of straight paths,  and sideways that all look alike but you very much know you are at the school.  You constantly need to search for the most effective route for you to get a new item or clue and while the same looking path causes panic and disorientation , the unique looking location itself does limit your search area thus never making it feel too daunting.

The sense of dread is aided by the fact that this game lacks a soundtrack! Except for maybe the menu and some very sparing moments there is no music playing at all during this game. All you hear is your footsteps on the asphalt or concrete.. and some monsterlike growls and grunts.  Here and there a dog will bark and you wonder if it’s your Poro or it’s some other dog. Cat’s will cross your path to fake you out but the game doesn’t really use jumpscares to be scary. Instead it builds up to this claustrophobic anxiety. The sound design helps with this!  Most monsters don’t even make a sound but if the MC draws close to a spirit her heart starts beating loudly and the closer it is the more panicked that heart rate it becomes

The character has access to three tools to shake them off. She can outrun them by having access to a limit sprint, she can toss an item to create a distraction and she can hide behind a rose bush or certain signs. When you hide the main character closes her eyes in fear and hopes the evil goes away. Instead of monsters we see pink swirls of mist  as our heartbeat races. While you are absolutely safe in these locations and even if a monster saw you flee inside the use of the heartbeat is absolutely fear inducing. The fact that a pink/red mist is used instead of enemies always makes it a gamble if they are far enough to come out yet.. is it that creature you just saw? Or is this something else? How will it react to you coming out of hiding? Sound.. and the light of your flashlight are in most cases the only thing that makes these ghosts appear.

The strongest element of the audio-visual design of this game is most definitely the monsters/ghost. They are all so weird and extreme.  A giant spider  that has no head but instead a very humanoid face on it’s back.. check.. A zombie-like creature whose head is almost alert like a flashing light.. you know one of those alarm light or flashing lights of a cop car. A ghost dog with a disproportionate head  so it looks like one of those stone guardians? Check! And these are enemies we encounter in the first chapter! Later we encounter many many more.. and everything feels unique and special. There are even spirits of children.. who look like children except it is as if their sprite is poorly covered with a black pencil and their eyes and mouth are now light sources. 

Some of the spirits  won’t harm you but if you bump into the wrong one.. bam you are still dead, MC gets eaten in a single hit. My favourite spirit feels like Nina Tucker and Alexander.. but missing the lower half of their body!  It crawls in a straight line towards you at lighting speed and the only way to avoid is is to sprint to  the side on time. It has some qualities of Samara from the Ring as well. Spooky creatures. Each time you see something you wonder to  yourself.. Oh My Arceus.. what the heck is that! Get it away from me! You are never truly alone on this night but you REALLY want to be! 

A whole night of wholesome!

While we have control of the main character most of the time , there are some in game cutscenes that take away that control. Sometimes it seamlessly passes over into you playing again and requires split second decisions and reactions. This keeps a tension to them I don’t often see, they are needed to let the character react to things. She can for example burst into tears, fall to her feet in fear or just look extremely startled. The anime style makes it feel cute and sweet and you genuinely feel like a very young girl.  She doesn’t dare to venture off the roads too much so invisible walls in front of patches of grass are explained that way. She just wants to find her sister but tries to follow as much of the normal rules as possible.

This is reflected in the way she handles ghosts. At many moments you can encounter a “boss” ghost of the area which is usually a tormented spirit of some kind whom the main character has to bring a little offering or distract , or even perform a little chore to put them to rest.  She wants to do the right thing and will place flowers on peoples final resting places as she acknowledges them and hopes they can find peace. It is really cute! Not all spirits are just evil.. most are just lost and while we journey we see this girl come to terms with that. She isn’t happy they are so scary..but they do not deserve to suffer either. 

The age of the main character is also reflected in your menus. Your inventory feels like it is drawn with crayon, just like your map of town. It’s all drawn by the main character. Her journal entries displaying your objectives and discoveries are all written in a very childlike manner as well. It creates an endearing effect , even though we do not know anything about this main character, she doesn’t even have a name. We want to see her safe.  She is so sweet and innocent, yet she did a terrible thing.. although not intentionally! She made her sister pay for her mistake! In the end we will find out that this will not come without consequences either… yet this is one of those horror games that ends.. pretty well. At least as far as can be expected. Weirdly enough the game also doesn’t shy away from darkness. A girl being pushed from a cliff and finding her broken body happens all the same as a spirit staring at the flower at her grave and being happy.  It doesn’t go as dark as the second game which big reveal made me super upset, but it does really do well to walk a very strange but believable balance of dark and sweet.  The main character is such a good girl and I had a smile when she befriended another spirit on her journey.. but I had my heart pounding in my throat when I first encountered them.

This wholesomeness also extends to the collectibles. During your journey by visiting places you do not HAVE to visit you can encounter stuff the main character seems to call treasures. Which are non functional collectible items. These can be simply crayons, but also pieces of fashion of things that she thinks look cool or special. The final treasure she can collect are those which belong to people who met an unfortunate end or whom she at least things belong to other people. Throughout the town you find numerous billboards that sometimes have rumors or missing person reports. A description of them is given in text .. for example “wears a red cloak”   and somewhere in the map in the last seen area you find a torn piece of red fabric.  These relics connect to the bigger world for those willing to pay attention, yet you do not miss anything of the main story if you choose to ignore it. Most of these types of treasures are spirits you will never “really” encounter. You just find rumors and more often than not proof that they won’t be coming home. The main character logs all these treasures in her little notebook even making little drawings for them.  Plenty of these treasures are hidden behind small sidequests, for example you can get an egg as a treasure if you find and bring home five chickens to a coop you unlocked but forgot to close earlier. That kidlike charm is in everything you do here  and I love it.

A Long Night or a Short Night

If you rush this game and stick only to the main goal and NEVER explore you can finish this game in 2.5 hours or so?! Which caused people to complain about it, yet I feel that is a bit of a lackluster reason to shoot this game down. People also complained that if they rushed they could complain about Pokémon Sword and Shield within 8 hours which was to short. Yet these games are clearly made not just to rush. That would be the same as saying Mario sucks because if you use warp pipes it only has like 5 playable levels in my opinion.  Just because you can rush doesn’t mean you have to. Plus people who say that finished the game that fast, I assume either had a walkthrough present on how to play or watched a let’s play because there really are some parts that require you to figure out some patterns or find well hidden items. The game makes it clear enough where you should go but if you don’t constantly use the map to walk the perfect route  you get plenty of bang for your buck.  Horror should not go on too long because you can not keep that fresh for 8 to 10 hours. You might with a jump-scare style game or some deep narrative story but not in this format.  So I believe this game actually has a great length. 

However.. I am not super fond of their save system. In this you use a consumable coin to make an offer to an altar that works as a quicksave point.  From then on out using an altar  can allow you to save ..for one more coin or it can work as a quick travel point to other shrines you have uncovered. Quicksaves do record your progress but not your location upon a restart. If you want to go to bed (I play this LATE at night)  after playing this game for a bit you will respawn back at your home, then you have to find a shrine near you pray to it teleport back to the location you where at yesterday, which can be hard to read of a children’s map and thus make your way back. If you do not have coins because you tossed them as distractions or if you save too much you can not save. Getting killed usually respawns you at the last prayer too late.. with some exceptions after cutscenes or “instance” switches. For example in chapter five you will be able to transfer between the normal world and a red tinted one that houses a huge town-covering centipede… whenever you switch between worlds you gain a checkpoint there.. but not always. So it always feels a bit as a hassle to come back to the same chapter the next day which more than once forced me to finish an entire chapter before taking a break.

I do not mind the “ink ribbon” system  they go for with the coins, I think it does add some tension in Resident Evil , however in the age of streaming and let’s play respawning back at home feels really outdated.  As lazy as it may sound, I do not want to spend 10 minutes just to get back where I was before. Not only do I have to find a shrine to pray near my house I also must be sure that I have coins with me so I can pray to the altar I went to just so I get a respawn point up. So if I am out of coins I first have to venture into town to find a few, which are usually around vending machines and temples. Another issue I personally had was that I had a bad time with the controls, which more than once resulted in me tossing a stone at a shrine and  that douses the flame of the altar and negates the checkpoint. Since a few first encounters with ghosts result in certain death.. as you have no way how they work yet or how to flee from them, this means a lot of backtracking.. or at least going through hoops to end up where you were before. So sometimes chapters felt too long for the wrong reasons. Encountering new ghosts or seeing new attacks of a ghost I had no clue on how to dodge yet. It can cause a few of the trickier parts to go stale or frustrating real fast. Especially if you are out of coins!

Big Sisters Advice

The controls on PC are very clunky, walk with the arrow keys interact with z is fine but then the sprint button is mapped to E,  waving your flashlight is mapped to WSAD , tossing an item instead of cancel is mapped to X and item select is mapped to V while turning off your flashlight is mapped to B.  So the C button isn’t really used. Then through the item select menu you can switch items by pressing the sprint button instead of the arrow buttons..because you can still move when selecting items but you can not sprint?! Arrow keys Z is fairly normal for any type of game that favours a controller but the rest here makes no sense to me at all. At a certain point I just remapped almost everything! It’s fine since it’s an option to do that.. but my advice is.. play this one with a controller it plays so much nicer.  If you do not have a USB controller this game easily is worse for it.  This is also a horror game I now prefer to play earlier in the evening. Just so I can go on for stretches of an hour or so to complete a chapter. It is more enjoyable that way mostly because your journal does not update whilst in a chapter. Your goal will not update so if you forget where you were.. you are pretty lost. So play this game when you know you have a few hours available that month and you can play each chapter with the old clues still in your mind. Making notes could also be great  if you want to complete the game and get all treasures. 

This game comes with a manual and it’s not the easiest game to pick up, it is quirky and relatively slow paced. Fear doesn’t come from shouting in your microphone or a big husky man chasing you. Fear comes more in the build up of this chase, because of the unknown. It causes a sense of claustrophobia in a sense.  Will you sprint now to get to your location early.. or do you walk keeping and end out for that crawling spirit.. will you come out of hiding while the enemy is still that close? What way is his head facing?! These abnormal creatures are amazingly designed and you want to see them all, but how can you see them in all their glory without being killed.  The game wants you to have fun, explore a bit of the areas you already know.. while strictly tunnelling you in new areas to keep them feeling nice and claustrophobic and it is a formula I can deeply appreciate. 

There is however a feeling of distance you will need to be able to accept.. you aren’t seeing the adventure through the main characters eyes, you guide her, even the way you control her feels slightly less direct with a mild delay.. as if you are guiding her by her hand instead of actually controlling her. It feels unwestern.. which it is. This game really understands horror but it is very much its own brand of horror. It is a unique type of horror that I would recommend people to try out without a shadow of a doubt in my mind. The game built around it is pretty good as well, just at times it can feel a BIT too much like a Newgrounds game to completely put me under its spell.

Thank you Indigo for gifting me this wonderful game! It doesn’t rely on jump scares and more so has you actually fearing for this sweet innocent child that is one of the most adorable main characters I ever played with. For people interested in this game, you can check out the steam page here! Happy Halloween and spooky games to everyone!

What if Ash was a girl (Part 2)

Hey little monsters, today we return to one of my personal favorites stories to tell. What if Ash was a girl. Regular Ash was a stereotypical boy so for this story we use a persona Ash has used several times throughout the anime ‘Ashley Ketchum’ but rather than being Ash in a dress, like any 90’s anime did at the time, she is a typical girly girl.  In the last part we saw that being a girl made her much closer to her mother than Ash was and listened to Delia’s advice going to bed early. As a result Ashley unlike Ash did not oversleep and get her first pick! A Bulbasaur she nicknamed Flora. Quite infatuated by the young Gary Oak, Ashley determined to be a strong trainer who could beat Gary in a battle so he would fall in love with her. Yet Gary upon seeing Ashley’s pick decided to go Charmander.. putting her at a disadvantage. After failing to catch a Pidgey because her throwing skills suck the young girl gave it some thought and decided to catch a water pokémon first. This let to her staring at a young tomboyish girl that was fishing.  If you want to catch up on part 1 you can do so here.

Chapter 5: The Tomboy and the Girly Girl. 

Misty stared at her line in bliss, not noticing the girl standing behind her. As she felt the wind on her skin and rustling through the grass she was grateful for this serene moment. That moment would be fleeting though as suddenly her line went tense as she had a bite. With a brisk pull she fished out a Goldeen out of the water. This pokémon looked somewhat similar to a horned goldfish. Most of its body was in a silverish white though.. but goldfish like patterns coloured it up top and it’s fanning tail. She grabbed a pokéball and before the fish pokémon could flop more she hit it dead on with the pokeball causing the pokémon to be turned into energy and being sucked up in the catching device. As the Pokéball fell into the grass Ashley back in the bushes could not contain her excitement anymore.  ‘That was amazing can you teach me how to do that?’ As our heroine tried to make her way through the bushes her dress snagged on a branch causing her to trip into a bike that was standing on top of the hill causing it to fall down. ‘Hey that’s my bike!’ Misty shouted when her pokéball opened at the second wobble. Being to distracted by the incident Misty was unable to prevent the little goldeen from bouncing in the water. ‘Well thanks for nothing.. you made me lose my second goldeen of the day’ Misty shouted towards angrily towards Ashley. Ashley not used of negativity sobbed a bit at how her plan failed and how awkward she must have looked. ‘I … I am … so.. sorry… I … did not know… it went into the pokéball right? So why did it not stay in there?. Misty scoffed ‘Well if you don’t even know that you best better go home and study instead of destroying my bike’ Misty walked up to inspect her expensive means of transportation.  Fortunately nothing to bad had happened to it.. the headlamp was a bit off position. Ashley had trouble fending of the mean comments and some tears brimmed in her eyes she had to spend all her focus on to ward off, Misty noticed. ‘Hey.. I didn’t mean to make you cry.. did you hurt yourself? Why were you there in the bushes?’ The ginger fisherman’s newfound compasion soothed the new trainer a bit as she began to explain her story. “I am Ashley Ketchum, from Pallet Town.. I started my trainer journey today… and I picked Flora my bulbasaur, but than the boy I like picked a fire type..and I really want him to notice me so I was looking for a water pokémon when I saw you..but I really suck at throwing pokéballs..so I thought maybe I should keep watching to see if I learn anything. Misty chuckled the girl that was so awkward and lost looking, she could not help to feel some compassion for the kid. ‘Sit with me kid.. .. Ashley right? I’ll try to teach you a thing of two then you can try for yourself.’ Ashley nodded and followed Misty down the slope. Misty looked at her and began. ‘Lesson one! All boys are dumb. They always think we like them anyway.. but dont show it that much.. when you see the boy again tell him he is stupid.. and it’s not like you like him or anything’

Chapter 6: Ashley catches a Pokémon.

The girls spend a long while talking about boys and water pokémon. Misty told Ashley that she and her sister ran the cerulean city gym but that she preferred to be a bit more free. She came here in the hope of catching a Magikarp as she really wanted a Gyarados to show her sisters that she in fact was the best trainer in the family. Ashley nodded and told Misty that if she would catch a Magikarp she would let Misty capture it. In the distance a bit of a thunderstorm rumbled. ‘Seems like there is bad weather around Viridian City’ Misty said, I know we are close but perhaps it is better if we camp here tonight?’ Ashley blushed a bit, she never really had friends before, her mom told her stories from before the war but in Pallet Town there only were boys of her age and they all thought she had cooties. ‘W-W-We?’  Ashley asked stammering. Misty frowned. ‘You do have a tent right? It will be like a sleep over.’ She looked and saw as the pink dressed girl’s face twisted looking completely puzzled. ‘What’s a sleep over’ Ashley asked. The Cerulean city Gym leader let out a tiny gasp and asked ‘Ashley don’t you have any friends?’. The girl from pallet town panicked, this would make her look bad , her brain wasnt working when she blurted out ‘Well mom is my best friend’ clearly this was the wrong answer as Misty began to laugh hysterically. Ashley puffed up her cheeks and stomped the floor at the girls rudeness when suddenly the water surface cracked and a tadpole with feet and a spiral pattern hopped out of the water. Looking startled at the loud sounds all of the sudden. ‘Ashley wait look it’s a pokémon’ Misty shouted loudly once more scaring the little poliwag into hiding behind Ashley.  “What do I do, What do I do?’ the pink dressed trainer asked panicking. ‘You capture it’ shouted her new friend. Grabbing for her pokéballs frantically our heroine felt how a ball slipped from her hand and plummeted straight down.. bonking the poliwag on the head. With a red light the poliwag was morphed into energy that would soon be contained into the ball. The ball wobbled three times while a red LED light changed green with a melodical ping. ‘What happened?’ Ashley asked. ‘Where did it go?’ Misty walked closer while ruffling the frantic girl’s hair a bit she picked up the pokéball and handed it to her. You just caught your first pokémon Ash.

Chapter 7: You’ve got a friend in me. 

‘I can’t believe I captured my first pokémon by accident’  Ashley moped a bit as she stared at her pokéball embarrassed. ‘Yeah you are pretty green kid’ Misty laughed. Say how about we travel together for a bit? You can use the help and I can use the company’ She gave the sad looking girl a pad on the shoulder. ‘You’ll become a great trainer I am sure, after all  you are my student and I am a gym leader .. and we are friends now.’ Ashley felt a bit better after those words and nodded. ‘Poliwag I choose you’ Ashley sad as she threw her pokeball randomly. The adorable tadpole Pokémon appeared again ushering it’s name’ poliwag poli’ Ashley picked it up and examined it closely. ‘Polly huh.. is that your name girl?’ ‘Poli’ said the water type in reply. ‘Okay I will nickname you Polly then… Polly meet Misty my first human friend and also meet Flora.. your sister and teammate’ She called her Bulbasaur out as well and the two pokémon seemed to happily converse. ‘See how happy they both look’ said Misty’ that must mean you are a great trainer greeny! You just don’t know it yet yourself’ She looked at the girl who stared at her new pokémon gleefully and asked’  You don’t know how to set up a tent I presume? So how about I set up the camp and you cook some food?’ ‘Oh that’s a great idea Misty’ Ashley said ‘Mamma thought me how to cook from when I was like six.. she told me she made Pappa fall in love with her through her cooking.’ She smiled as she got a small cooking kit from her backpack as well as some supplies. The orange headed girl unstrapped Ashley’s tent from her bag first and began to set it up with ease. ‘Tomorrow I shall teach you how to set this up okay, are you close with your father by the way?’ The awkward silence that followed cued Misty in on what the answer was gonna be in advance. ‘Dad left to fight in the war one day, he never returned it’s been me and Mamma since almost as long as I can remember. I remember he showed me a rapidash.. but that is my only memory of him’ Ashley said.  She wanted to tell more but suddenly two strong arms grabbed her and hugged her tightly as Misty had her locked in a strong embrace. ‘My parents also left me and my sisters, after the war though, not even that long ago.. but I could never go out because we had the gym to take care off.. we hoped they would come back but…..’ Her words were cut off by grief and sadness. As dusk began to set in the two shared a meal and some deep conversation about their parents their duties and such. Ashley told how she tried to befriend the boys in town by baking them cupcakes, but when she gave them they threw them at her saying they did not want cooties. Misty shared stories on how her sisters felt superior to her just because they were older and how she had not been happy for a long time. After Ashley told a few more stories of her lonely childhood Misty began to realise something. She had friends once, but when she became gym leader those had all faded because of her duties. She might have been Ashley’s only friend but the reverse was quite true as well, this rookie trainer now was her only friend as well. She would need a friend for the horrible part of her journey that was to come anyway but she decided not to tell her new best friend about this yet, she was the cool one of the two for now. After a long night of sharing the two retreated to their own tent falling asleep with a content smile. 

Chapter 8: Viridian City

The next day the pair would travel towards Viridian City. Misty told Ashley they would need to go shopping because Ashley’s pink dress was not ideal adventuring gear. They would need something they could climb in and something that would not snag at every tree while they are crossing a forest For some reason Misty did seem quite adamant on the option to avoid the forest. Even if traveling would take quite a few extra days.  The trainer from Pallet Town however disagreed with that, she had hoped to rush towards Pewter city as fast as she could to beat Gary in a battle using Polly so he could fall in love with her. Polly and Flora were taken out of their Pokéball and walking alongside the pair as they passed a police station that was surrounded by people. ‘What’s happening here?’ Misty asked one of the random bystanders. He was a chubby man, wearing a purple t-shirt and some jean shorts that were to short for him, big curly hair and a heavy morning shadow made the water trainer think this man did not go out a lot. ‘You see! Last night officer Jenny apprehended two criminals who were attacking the pokémon center but they had like a talking Meowth or so is said.. so people want to see and they want some answer on the recent thefts as well. ‘Oh a police officer stopped criminals last night? That sounds exciting’  Ashley said slightly holding her sleeves in front of her nose to drown out the man’s potent body odor’ Yes you see, she arrived at the scene a bit late .. the team had already snatched quite a few pokéballs along but this made them slow, giving officer Jenny enough time to take down their Balloon with her Growlithe. They attacked with ignitable gas so there was risk of explosions throughout the battle that could have compromised the structural integrity of the pokémon center but Jenny was to smart. Eventually her Growlithe went down and Team Rocket tried to steal her motorcycle but she had the keys so they could not flee. Stuck in the sidecar the man and the meowth where apprehended. The woman tried to fight again but she could not get passed the amazing Chansey of Nurse Joy! So I came here today to ask both on a date. The main straightened his thick glasses. ‘But they are way out of your league’ Ashley blurted out. ‘Girls want boys who take a bit better care of themselves you know’ The man ogled her with disdain. Do you not know who I am? My name is X! That’s right X Posure! The greatest pokémon complot theorist blogger there is. If I can date either of these two girls I will get insight in the government and can find out if they have just planted Team Rocket to seem capable themselves. These two criminals seem grossly incompetent in my analysis after all, so why would team rocket send these two?.  ‘That’s not the right reason to date a girl’ Ashley picked up. ‘You date a girl because you want to be with her and because she makes you feel special and in love.’ The man scoffed ‘Such naive.. could you possibly be a government spy trying to take me down?’ As Ashley wanted to begin to explain again Misty grabbed her by the ear and dragged her away. ‘Alright that’s enough of this insanity.. no need to keep up this stupid debate he is just there for Exposure…. the blog.

Let’s spend our time in a more worthwhile way! Shopping! The pair visited the mall and looked at some cute boys and even cuter outfits. Ashley got two new outfits. A sky blue tank top with matching socks and a red turbine skirt. She combined this with some white clog-like walking shoes with cute red straps matching her skirt. To accessorise she bought a white felt boater hat and a cute little yellow purse to carry everything at the ready.. so she did not have to rummage her backpack all the time. Her other outfit was a black tank top and some jean hotpants of Misty’s favorite brand. The tanktop would have a sky blue collar leading into a fist size blue dot on her sternum. Sneakers in matching colours would be great for walking through the city. She would accessories by wearing some cute white flannel wristbands with a ring on the top. Each city she would visit she would buy a charm and add it to one of these rings. She found a cute one that was shaped like a silver feather that was split at the top. It was called the silver wing. After they were done shopping Ashley immediately redressed in her city outfit. ‘How do I look she asked’  Misty nodded at her approvingly and gave her a thumbs up. ‘You look super cute in that outfit Ash… still a bit Green though.

Ashley’s story might began quite a bit slower paced than the original or my other stories but soon the pair will have to travel Viridian Forest and from there on out Ashley’s  journey will truly begin. With no Ash to to blow team Rocket up and away.. Jenny was able to make the arrest as due to her function she would be much more focussed on apprehending the thieves than Ash ever would. Ashley unlike Ash.. never encountered Ho-Oh, but due her conversations with Misty being more open has gathered a lot of experience and information Ash would not acquire till much later. With very different motives and a very different persona Ashley will continue to go down a completely different journey with quite different encounters you never know what happens next. To find out you’ll just have to wait and read our next episode! Until then leave a comment and remember!

I am not weird. Just Very Pink!
Until we Read again!


What if : Ash was a girl (Part 1)

Howdy little monsters! Today is another wednesday so it’s time to explore another what if. This week we’ll be starting yet another story, as well as next week. Then their follow ups will all appear once a month. This gives me more time to think all the angles trough properly and get a feel of what of these stories you like best. Today we will do a strange one! What if Ash was a girl, or what if Ash was Ashley.
Now I know in essence, not a whole lot may change from just a genderswitch.
However keep in mind that Ash was basically given the personality of a standard 10 year old boy. So it would make sense that Ashley would be a typical girl.. more like Ushio from Sailor Moon than like original Ash.

Gender  Swapping the protagonist thusly would not lead to this:

This type of Ash would not influence the story THAT much.

But to this:

This Ashe is a screengrab from the anime which since has been adated to look more like Delia.

Chapter 1: Mother Daughter time
Ashley was a typical young girl, the daughter of Delia Ketchum could have almost been a straight copy of her mother were it not for one thing. Inside Ashley the adventuring spirit of her father burned deeply. This call of the wild had let her to sign up to become a trainer. Tommorow Ashley would  get her first Pokémon. She had long since dreamed about it and already knew which pokémon she was gonna pick. Yet tonight she would spent her last night with her mother together. There was a large plate of cookies on the table, along with two glasses of milk. The milk had a bit of honey in it so Ashley could get in some early rest before the next day. They talked about what they were gonna miss about each others.
‘I will miss how well behaved daughter very much, and my best friend in this world’ Delia would say getting a bit misty eyed. ‘I’ve heard rumors that professor Oak’s grandchild, is quite the troublesome one to handle’ Delia would add, she always added gossip when she felt uncomfortable. Ashley seemed to tune out and stare in front of her for a bit ‘I’m sorry Gary did what?’ she would ask her mother. ‘Nevermind sweety, you.. you will call every day right?’ Delia began to worry as the hour began to further. Ashley took a cookie and looked at her mother seriously ‘Mamma I can’t promise you that , some days I might need to camp somewhere like you told me dad used to do, but I pinky promise whenever there is a phone near I will call you each evening before I go to bed.’ Ashley at her cookie after she sat that and took her mother’s hand. ‘You are the best mamma in the whole world, I don’t want you to be alone in here, so maybe you should date again’ Our heroine wanted her mother to be happy, she had noticed how Delia looked at couples and just knew she was lonely. She also knew Delia would never look with her around, so perhaps it helped her if Ashley went away on this journey, she wants her mother to be happy.  Delia blushed ‘Oh dear, I am not sure if I am ready’. ‘Mom!’ Ashley puffed up her cheeks and stomped the floor once before continuing. ‘It’s been years, it’s okay to move on at least get like a pet Pokémon to keep you company’ The single mother saw the determination in the eyes of her daughters, one of the few traits she got from her father, she smiled at her daughter and hugged her. “Okay dear, I shall try for you, but it’s getting late off to bed with you’. Delia’s heart broke a bit when she knew this was the last time in a while she could send her dear daughter to bed. ‘Okay mom, I love you’ Ashley said as she went upstairs, tomorrow her journey would begin.

Ashley hugging her mother.

Chapter 2: Ashley is early
The next morning Ashley woke up by a knock on the door. ‘Dear are you awake, it’s time to get up’. Ashley jumped up, feeling energetic, she looked at her alarm clock, which was fine because she did not spend her last night watching tv, she had dreams about meeting a guy on her journey and her mom and her new boyfriend visiting the wedding. Mom you’re fifteen minutes early, Ashley moaned a bit. ‘I’m sorry dear I was just so worried you might be late, now get dressed I made you some breakfast.’
After an early morning shower Ashley slipped into her comfy pink dress, and put a pink ribbon in her hair. She wanted to look cute for all the trainers she would encounter, especially Gary Oak. She ate her breakfast with her mom and then walked to the lab together after they went over her bag one more time to ensure she had everything she could need’ Having arrived at the lab the gates were still closed. ‘Go ahead dear i’ll be waiting right here with everyone waiting to see you off’’ Delia caressed her daughters cheek, who kissed her mother on the moth before proceeding to push the button of the intercom. “Ah who is there’ Professor Oak’s voice would sound excited. ‘You are early and you know what they say, the early bird gets the worm’ Ashley shivered when hearing that, she really hated bugs. ‘This is Ashley Ketchum’ she replied to the intercom before being buzzed in. As Ashley walked up to the lab, she waved to her mother.
Inside she was greeted by an excited professor. ‘My my I like your enthusiasm, that means you have first pick, which of the starters did you had in mind.’  The girl however was mesmerised by the lab, there was this weird scent that smelled like cleanliness she really liked and these machine thingies looked very complicated. Samuel tapped her on the shoulders and repeated his question. Ashley blushed embarrassed by her zoning out again. “Oh sorry professor, I have thought about it a lot and I’ve decided to go with Bulbasaur’ Professor Oak smiled at her and said ‘a perfect choice for a rookie trainer, Bulbasaur is easy to raise and it has great defences. With a partner like that you’ll learn the arts of becoming a trainer in no time.’The young girl smiled at the compliment, even though she knew these things about bulbasaur already.  The pokemon professor tabbed some buttons on a machine they were walking trough and point at the appropriate pokeball. ‘That is your pokemon Ashley, I caught it when I was exploring viridian forest, it was being attacked by some Beedrill.’ ‘I hate bugs’ the teen would immediately bounce back. However seeing that pokeball of her pokémon compelled her enough to get over her fear. She opened the ball and her bulbasaur appeared. ‘Will you give it a nickname’ Oak asked to the girl. ‘Flora, I will name it flora’ Ashley replied. Oak smiled seeing such a prepared little trainer, his grandson could learn from her. ‘Very well then, Flora meet your new trainer Ashley’ The bulbasaur sniffed it’s new trainers hand and spoke it’s name enthusiastically.  “It’s nice to meet you to Flora’ Ashley said as she petted it’s head. ‘Will you come on a journey with me?’ Flora nodded ferociously, excited for it’s adventures.
Oak handed the rookie five new Pokéballs and a Pokédex.’Only five pokéballs? ‘Ashley asked confused, she thought she had to collect them all. ‘Ah yes a young trainer can only carry up to six pokémon so I have given you enough to fill your team. If you ever need more give me a call and I will send you new pokéballs but be aware, the seventh one will be transferred to my storage system. I can always swap them out for you.’ Ashley nodded in understanding and after running to a few more questions, she and Flora went outside.

Ashley hugging Flora, the pair gets along well from the start.

Chapter 3: The handsome Gary Oak
Outside three other trainers were waiting, one of them she recognised as Gary, her heart skipped a beat, as she approached him. ‘H-Hi G-Gary, look I just got my first Pokémon’ Gary looked down at Flora and scoffed “Jeez Ash, thank you for letting me know what starter to pick, I was gonna go for squirtle but now that I know YOU picked a Bulbasaur, I’ll just pick Charmander. I can’t lose to a girl..or a Ketchum’ Ashley just grinned sheepishly, staring into his blue eyes. Ever since they were kids, she had fantasies about marrying Gary. ‘I.. doubt… I could ever defeat someone as good as you G-Gary’ she ushered. ‘You’ve got that right Ash..but I can’t waste more time on you.. I’ll get my starter now.. smell you later’ Gary pushed the other two trainers aside and went in to visit his grandpa. One trainer cleary annoyed turned to the girl and said ‘Thanks a lot stupid, I wanted Charmander! Now I have to pick squirtle! At least I can beat Gary Oak now…but if Squirtle is weak it can go rot in a ditch somewhere’.  “That’s mean, you are a bad trainer if you think like that’ Ashley said, getting angry. ‘Heh… says you. a bad trainer is one who sticks with weak Pokémon’ was the reply she got. The sound of a slap broke the morning silence as Ashley hit the guy in the face. ‘There are no weak pokémon , only weak trainers and scum like you’. Her victim turning red with anger, trying to punch her only to be grappled and floored by Bulbasaur.
‘Just wait until I get my pokémon Ash! You’ll die!’  Ashley stared into his eyes and said ‘I will never lose to a trainer like you’.  The guy crawled up just to be knocked down again by a blue sleeved arm. ‘Whoops sorry Damian, didn’t see you there pal, guess I must be loser blind’  Gary stood there spinning a Pokéball on his fingers, as Ashley swooned about how cool he looked. The handsome boy turned to the girl and told her ‘Hey that’s pretty cool what you did! I can’t stand losers like him, you are alright Ketchum, now excuse me I got some fans to please’ Gary would walk off towards the gates and his cheerleaders. Ash puffed up her cheeks and stomped the floor at the sight of them. Gary was HER handsome encounter!

Ashley’s daydream

Chapter 4: Ash throws like a girl
Having arrived at the gate Flora was introduced to Delia and Ashley’s neighbours who came to support her. ‘Shouldn’t Pokémon be in their pokeball Delia asked”  prompting Ash to indeed withdraw her Bulbasaur. It happily went back into its pokéball. Ashley had prepared a little speech. ‘On this day I promise to have a great adventure, catch a lot of cute pokémon and together we shall have a great adventure! I will make lots of friends and become the most lovable pokemon trainer and I will get like super rich! So me and mamma can live easily!’ The group chuckled, this girl was so endearing, sweet and and the same time somewhat superficial, she would amuse people everywhere she goes spouting her convictions and dreams.  After Ash and Delia said their tearful goodbyes they hugged together intensely one more time. ‘I love you Mamma’ Ashley said before she finally wandered in off towards the dirt road out of town, her journey was about to truly begin. She put on a brave face but in truth she was terrified, what if she would rip her dress or encounter perverts.
A good while into her journey Ashley was looking around and she saw a pidgey. She opened her pokédex and looked at it’s entry, finding out it could create gusts of wind and be classified as a flying type, she knew it would be a bad idea to send Flora out.
Taking her partner out of the pokéball anyway, she told Flora to watch her stuff, which croaked as it obeyed. Sneaking up to the Pidgey she managed to land a pokéball on it after which it broke free. Flora used a vine to tab her pokédex which stated she would need to damage a pokémon before trying to capture it. Flora offered to do it for her, stepping up bravely, however Ashley being afraid of the type disadvantage told Flora to keep guarding their stuff, it was to dangerous. Flora begrudgingly obeyed.  Flora picked up some rocks to throw at the pidgeys after all they were weak to rock type moves. Her first pebble missed scaring three birds away. Yet a silhouette, in the distance revealed she had another chance.
She carefully aimed and threw the rock, which landed quite a bit short of the bird. The spearow looked at the rock that landed a few steps from it , pecked at it once and flew off. ‘Shoot! I really need to learn how to throw better’ Ashley said.  Maybe it’s for the best though! I only have five pokéballs, I don’t want them to like be locked up in a box all day long.’  Flora made a few sounds in agreement. ‘You know what Flora? I want Gary to like me, he seemed impressed when I was strong, so if I can defeat him in battle, he might fall in love with me! Water beats fire, and you beat water, so for our first Pokémon let’s search for a water type! Flora jumped around excitedly seeing Ashley’s spirit flare up. Together they began following a small river, walking past a cute little waterfall. Trying to find a way to spot the water pokémon out there. Initially their ventures proved unfruitful, the fish being deep below the surface. As they passed a hill with a bright red bicycle their luck began to change however, when they saw an orange headed girl fishing.

A new encounter for a new episode.

This is where the story ends for today. I really liked writing this one, the stronger bond between mother and daughter having a major impact on the story and the protagonist following some more  stereotypical girly motivations on her road to success.
We see a much more careful and calculative Ash, who took after her mother more than her father. Using some girly tropes for Ashley, like the orginal used boyish tones for Ash, we have embarked on a journey with a completely different tone already.  I hope you are as curious as me to find out what this story will bring in the future. Do you think Misty well help Ashley? What kind of “What If” would you like to see? Let me know in the comments, leave a like, and STAY PiNK!