Okay, so, if you made it this far, then you’ll know that this is a review for the fan-made Pokemon game, Pokemon Quartz. This was developed by a guy who goes by the handle of Baro and features 386 new Pokemon. That’s right, you heard me, new fan-made Pokemon sprites. Which is pretty much the only reason I agreed to play this game, otherwise I’d be off playing the actual Nintendo games which, I’ll admit, would whittle away at my productivity just as quickly as this one probably will.
I have my bottle of vanilla coke, some biscuits and the certainty of adult onset diabetes, so keep reading as I enter the world of Pokemon Quartz! Stay right there!
Just with every classic Pokemon game, we are greeted by the one we will soon call the Professor, sadly we are not greeted with the usual professor who is named after a particular type of tree, (Oak, Birch, etc.) instead our lonely old coot is named after the game creator himself, Prof. Baro. I’m sensing some vanity here. Soon after, he gives us a taste of the first of many newly created Pokemon, aptly named Plugpig. What does this gem of a Pokemon look like you may ask? Well, since I wasn’t taking screenshots at the time, I missed the opportunity to show you, but you’d be right in guessing it is pretty much just a pig with two suggestive crevasses running down its face, and with a tail that has a plug at the end. It may not be pretty, but at least it can stimulate itself in the event that I abandon it for another Poke that is younger, stronger and does things in the battlefield that it won’t.
Moving on, I had to do the usual BS of choosing a gender and picking a name, my result:
Yeah, I chose a female. Mainly because the male character option looked like the biggest douche on Earth. If I’m going to save the world from evil corporations using mystical animals, I’d rather not look like a high school dropout trying to cling on to the days of his youth when shades were still cool.
Eventually, we get past the dubious introduction process and finally arrive in Breeze Town. But not before witnessing grammar that would drive most avid gamers nuts, accompanied by some random dialogue:
Good old Prof. Baro wants you to meet him in his lab, then quickly changes his mind and reveals that maybe, just maybe, he won’t even be there. That he’s “hearing from here” which certainly merits an 11 on the creepy scale. Then we get shrunk to size and find ourselves in the truck, the good old truck from Ruby/Sapphire. This time we’re not alone, instead Prof. Baro stands behind you, staring at your cute youthful buttocks, within the confines of a truck; if this isn’t the precursor of a low-budget porno, then I don’t know what is. Upon speaking to him however, he tells me to go home and remarks that he’s going to take some stuff to his lab, given that this is a truck that’s moving my family’s precious possessions to our new home in Breeze Town, I can only imagine what the hell he’s taking back to his lab, though I looked frantically for the box labelled “panties and other sniffable lingerie” to no avail.
Upon leaving the gangbangmobile, the classic Pokemon music starts to play and nostalgia promptly hits you like a brick wall. Nothing is out of the ordinary though, the graphics are what you would expect from what Quartz is based on (Ruby) and I’m generally pleased by the outcome. You are then greeted by your mother and she assures you that this is the place you can call home, followed by some lovable grammar errors, fourth wall breaking and a creepy martial artist watching god-knows-what on your TV, though your mother assures you that they are Pokemon called Kinboxos. Something tells me that darling mother has been skipping her medication. Though speaking to the “Pokemon” provides for some humorous dialogue.
Upon entering our room on the second floor, we can interact with several objects including the TV, GameCube, the book on our desk and the monitor. Most of them provide the original script from Pokemon Ruby, bar the TV and the GameCube which instead provide some pointless dialogue even for an item that doesn’t have much relevance to the story in the first place, also some grammar mistakes but by this point I’m becoming less annoyed by it. Especially since the creator is Spanish and I can’t really hold it against him that much, for the most part the grammar is fine. Everything works pretty smoothly, too, no glitches involving the intractable objects that send me to a black void or crash my computer and force me to stop playing and actually pursue a worthwhile life. Nope, everything is good so far.
Then, we come to the framed picture on the wall, and as all Pokemon gamers would know, it shows the map of the region. So let’s take a look:
If memory serves me correctly, it’s pretty much just the old map from Ruby and Sapphire, but with a much lower quality. Even though its fan-made, I can’t help but wonder why they couldn’t have just used the actual map from the original game, seeing as it’s of better quality and this version shares the same design. Anyway, the region I’ll be journeying through seems to be called Corna, great. Let’s continue.
We came to this room for a reason! To change the clock, and by god I changed that clock. However, before I could, my character had a moment of schizophrenia and started talking to herself “What time is it, Powypoo?”, well, voice in my head, I’m not entirely sure. Probably time to put on my helmet and strap myself into bed, I’m not entirely sure an adventure into the wilderness is the best idea anymore. I pretty much just set the clock to a random time because, a) it has no impact on my enjoyment of them game, and b) and don’t even know what time it is in the real world, let alone in the world of Pokemon.
Once we’ve done that pointless task, we get rushed downstairs to see who’s on TV, and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s Professor Baro and mother seems to be following my opinion of him:
Apparently, it wasn’t in regard to his questionable lifestyle that led him to being on the sex offenders register, it’s because he’s being attacked by a mob of vicious wild Pokemon, but sweet old mama gives the best response I’ve heard in a while:
Of course, she naturally has a change of heart and wants you to go save the guy, but not before asking your neighbors for help, because, you know, why not? They clearly would have the answer to this particular dilemma. Not the local law enforcement or anything.
Oh and the neighbors are called the “Kabunchys”… Quartz certainly has a fine-tuned process of selecting the perfect names.
Upon leaving the house, I noticed that the background music tended to short out and remain that way. I entered and exited the house multiple times to test if it was some sort of glitch or programming error, however the music restarted upon entering the house and music continued to play when I left, only cutting out at random times, anyway. We then go to Ms. Kabuchi’s house; they apparently changed their name in the short time it took me to walk there, and tell her of the terrible news about Prof. Baro, but wait, she comes up with a fantastic plan:
“My kid has skates, so can run to PINK TOWN”
Yep, she wants me to steal her child’s skates so I can run, not skate, but run to Pink town. At this moment in time, I’m wondering if the skates even come into this master plan.
Alas, I complied, and went downstairs to swipe this poor guy’s roller-skates, bearing in mind that this guy lives “downstairs” when the first floor is already at ground level, I’m wondering what kind of troubled child this is, to be forced to live in a secluded underground room.
I thought it only fitting that I sneak behind and perform a stealth kill, snapping his neck and watching as his lifeless sprite falls to the floor, allowing me to loot the skates from his body. However, the command eluded me and I settled for talking to him instead.
Then, I realize that this is the same dude I avoided playing as, the super douche. His womanizing ways didn’t take too long to become apparent, either.
The conversation just escalates even more into the silly zone with some humorous grammar errors and even his choice of name got a chuckle out of me. As he names himself “Joseph Akira”, this family’s ever fluctuating last name is becoming a source of humor. Whether its Kabunchy, Kabuchi or Akira, he’s still a bit of a cock.
After a short exchange which puts a slightly more mature twist on that of the original script, he leaves. I’m not entirely sure if I ever got the skates or if they are even going to be referenced to anymore. The story seems to be a bit erratic.
Despite myself being an avid Pokemon gamer, I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to get out of the first town, so I pretty much just took the time to speak to some NPCs and its worth noting that pretty much all of the interactions are different to that of the original script, so it gave it a fresh feeling despite the familiar scenery and soundtrack. After some interactions, I attempted to leave the town and boom, I find myself hearing the cries of Prof. Baro.
Either his iJoder broke, or he is calling out to someone with parents who clearly hated them. Once I approach Baro, I find him trying to fend off a Pokemon, which interestingly is depicted with a completely original sprite. Which impressed me greatly, already I feel like I’m going to enjoy this game just like I enjoyed Ruby, and then we come to the iconic scene where we have to choose our Pokemon to battle off this fearsome creature. However, I didn’t do that immediately, I attempted to leave him to his fate until he shouted at me in Spanish, which was amusing. Now this is where it gets interesting, we get to choose three completely new starters, however, they were all designated as “Dino egg Pokemon” and almost looked like palette swaps of each other. Maybe they’ll evolve into completely different looking Pokemon, each with their own quirks and whatnot, but at this moment in time, I was disappointed. Even their names left little to the imagination, “SEEGG”, “FIREGG”, “AQUEGG”. Yes, we get it. They’re eggs.
I chose the FIREGG and went into battle; so far it wasn’t too shabby. It had pretty much the same feel as Ruby and the sprite for my opponent SEVER was almost expertly implemented into the game; it didn’t feel out of place in the slightest. Even my trainer sprite was appealing to the eye, this almost made up for the recent disappointment.
However, I cannot say that I loved the design for SEVER, it… Well… I just didn’t quite understand what the hell it was. Was it upside down or what? It looked like an artistic disaster, which is a shame since it looked so well-integrated into the battle system. Anyway, I battled this Pokemon and won, only to find Baro deeply pleased by his survival, spouting random Spanish as he did.
I then find myself back at Prof. Baro’s lab, and he offers me the Pokemon I just used to save his life. I obviously accepted the egg of flame and nicknamed it BewmPow, in the hopes that there might be an attack called Firepower. Later in the conversation, right off the bat he refers to “Samuel Oak”, and I’m not even entirely sure that was Prof. Oak’s name in the anime or games, but heck, by this point, I think Pokemon Quartz has a tendency to make up its own rules. Then, I’m forcefully pushed into becoming a trainer (I literally had no choice in the matter, talk about pushy) and my first mission is to go find egocentric Joseph, but that’s enough for now. My departure of Breeze Town marks the end of chapter 1 of this playthrough. If you enjoyed this, stay tuned for more!