Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness (manga)
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness is a 16-page manga included in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorer's Guide book that came with pre-ordered copies of its corresponding games, written and illustrated by Ken Sugimori. It features an unnamed boy who was turned into a Chimchar that teams up with a Turtwig. Together they form the Team Poképals and explore the world beyond Treasure Town under the guidance of the Wigglytuff Guild. It was also available to Pokémon Daisuki Club members.
The theft of an artifact called a Time Gear has caused the flow of time to start veering out of control. The immediate area around the gear's resting spot becomes enveloped by darkness, while Pokémon around the world start to become wild and aggressive.
A Chimchar washes up on the beach, where he is woken up by a talking Turtwig. Some time after the initial shock, Chimchar insists that he used to be human, though he has lost his memory and doesn't know where he came from. Turtwig suggests that the duo join Wigglytuff's Guild and form an Exploration Team, in hopes of finding answers. Chimchar is reluctant at first, but agrees, and the pair form Team Poképals.
On their first mission, Team Poképals is assigned to find Oran Berries in Oran Forest. The pair are suddenly attacked by a group of Starly, but manage to escape and recall Chatot's warning that Pokémon are becoming vicious from the instability of time. The team is then attacked by a group of Wurmple, which Chimchar dispatches with Ember.
The pair continue and find a large amount of Oran Berries, as well as a treasure chest. However, before they can collect it they are ambushed by the outlaws Team AWD, who claim the treasure for themselves. Chimchar and Turtwig fight Arbok and Drapion for the treasure, but are quickly overpowered. Weavile suddenly calls off the attack, ordering her team to retreat and abandon the treasure, as she has an ominous feeling about the area.
Team Poképals is bewildered by the sudden retreat, and use some of the nearby Oran Berries to recover. Later that night, they bring several Oran Berries and the chest to the guild, where Chatot congratulates them and offers a reward of a Pecha Scarf, Reviver Seed, and 1,000 Poké. However, he separates this into the guild's cut and the team's cut, and tosses the team only a single Poké coin. Chatot and Loudred bring the chest to Wigglytuff, leaving Team Poképals to themselves. Nevertheless, the team celebrates finishing their first mission together.
Later that night, a thunderstorm keeps Chimchar awake as he ponders what to do next. He is able to recall losing grip of someone's hand, but cannot recall its significance, and he decides that continuing to work with Turtwig is currently his best option.
In a forested area, Grovyle snatches a Time Gear from its resting place, and disappears into the night.
Comparison with the game
- The manga omits the Relic Fragment and its associated scenes.
- In the game, Oran Forest is an optional dungeon unlocked through accepting an escort mission at Bronze Rank or above. The team in the manga is stated to only be Normal Rank, and are not escorting anybody.
- In the game, Team AWD are not portrayed as villains, though they would later play such a role in the special episodes of Explorers of Sky.
- Chatot takes the item rewards from the mission, as well as the majority of the money. In the games, he would only take 90% of the money, while the team would receive all items.
- The Time Gear that Grovyle steals is presumably the one in Treeshroud Forest, which is the first one he steals in the game. However, the manga's intro suggests that he has already stolen a different Time Gear before this one.
- This manga comes in two versions - one for Explorers of Time and one for Explorers of Darkness. The differences are very minor: Team Poképals' scarves and the treasure chest they find are blue-green in the time version, and red in the Darkness version.
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