Enigma Shadow (alt. "Dark Shadow Gang") is a series of Pokémon fanfiction written by The Great Butler, a member of Serebiiforums and Bulbagarden, and is also the name of the villanous organization portrayed in the works. It is connected to Cipher as Cipher is just Enigma Shadow's foot soldier group.
The original concept of Enigma Shadow was concieved in late 2004 after its creator viewed the Nicolas Cage film "National Treasure."
Originally, the storyline was concieved to closely follow its real-life inspiration. A treasure hunting main character, allied with several friends, would have been collecting mystical "plates" as clues towards the location of a grand treasure hidden secretly in the desert region of Orre. An ending was concieved in which the villain was actually Evice, head of Cipher from Pokémon Colosseum, but this was quickly changed to be Mr. Stone, the president of the Devon Corporation. A second, true villain would immediately follow in the treasure's chamber, being one of the friends who had helped unearth it in the first place.
Much of this was quickly discarded in favor of what became Pokémon XD: Enigma Shadow several months later.
The First Installment
In March of 2005, the long-festering concept of a Pokémon adventure based on treasure collecting with secrets and plot twists finally came to life. With a title inspired by the newly-announced Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, Pokémon XD: Enigma Shadow began.
Set largely in the new Metalico Islands region with stops in locations like Larousse City in Hoenn, Enigma Shadow followed the adventures of the troubled Rich Mistbloom as he quested to find out the truth about the horrible deaths of his fiancee and parents in a brutal bomb attack four years earlier. Along the way he stumbled onto the trail of a sinister plot to manufacture Shadow Pokémon---dangerous fighting machines with sealed hearts---to take over the world by the Enigma Shadow organization. Using a Snag Machine provided by an Enigma Shadow defector, his goal became to not only bring closure to his pained past but to snatch away and rescue the Shadow Pokémon.
- Four years following the tragic deaths of his fiancee Maria and his parents, Rich Mistbloom returns to his former championship at Larousse City's Battle Tower with a personal friend, Steven Stone. They meet Anabel Linda Ein, the owner of the Tower, and a trainer named Ashley, both of whom join their travel group.
- Anabel's father, the original mastermind of Shadow Pokémon known simply as Ein, introduces Rich to the Snag Machine and parts of the Shadow Pokémon plot after he has an encounter with one in a battle. Soon it is discovered the champion who replaced Rich, named Adio, was a member of Enigma Shadow when he accidentally released his Flygon and ordered it to use the Shadow Rush attack during his rematch with Rich.
- After defeating Adio, Rich, Anabel, Steven and Ashley travel to the Metalico Islands and meet the Chancellor of the island region, a mysterious man named Lawrence. He describes to Rich a legend of five treasured "Element Plates" that can release the powerful Pokémon Ho-oh, and that Enigma Shadow seeks to do just that.
- Adventuring around the islands, the group collects four of the five Plates---Port Emerald's remains hidden---and meets Lynn Merrick, a beginning trainer who quickly becomes a powerful ally. Rich also finds another ally in a black Lugia that wants revenge upon Enigma Shadow for sealing it away.
- After finding the final plate Rich challenges Enigma Shadow's field boss, a former Cipher executive named Nascour. Nascour reveals that Rich was once a Cipher member, but defected when he learned of the original Shadow Pokémon plan. After Nascour is defeated, Lawrence reappears and reveals himself as another executive before also falling to Rich in battle.
- Finally, after beating Shadow Chief Noland and shutting down the source of the Shadow Pokémon, the leader's identity is revealed to be Victoria, head of the Larousse Museum who had informed Rich of the legend of Ho-oh at first. She is actually Shadow Leader Parfrida, and challenges Rich to meet her at their base on Halfmoon Cove.
- Halfmoon Cove was a bluff. After fighting through the Elite Guards Lovrina, Snattle, Gorigan and Ardos, Parfrida nearly escaped using a secret submarine. Rich's group managed to sneak on board, but Rich was ambushed and thrown out into the sea while Anabel, Steven and Ashley were captured and held prisoner.
- Rich was saved by elderly Mr. Verich and his son Eldes (Ardos's twin brother) and learned of Parfrida's being holed up in Larousse's Battle Tower, so he traveled there on Lugia.
- After beating Parfrida, rescuing his friends and finally getting up the nerve to declare his love for Anabel (which had finally freed his frozen heart after Maria's death), another person appeared suddenly and announced that they, not Parfrida, were the real Queen Shadow. Queen Shadow then unleashed the ultimate Shadow Pokémon, a Mewtwo codenamed XD-02, which Rich battled to a standstill with Lugia and managed to Snag with a Master Ball.
- Queen Shadow's identity finally became known....as Maria, Rich's thought-to-be-dead ex-fiancee. The Maria that he thought died was a fake, a clone to throw off the trail. Maria unleashed all sorts of vicious attacks on Rich, including four more legendary Shadow Pokémon, then a special machine powered by Jirachi to give her a powerful, altered, angelic fighting form, then Kyogre and Groudon, and finally simply freezing the earth and all on it. Rich only had Ho-oh, which was brought by a mysterious purple-hooded man, to fight with, but as Maria reveled in her freezing everyone and everything Rich loved, he was able to strike a decisive blow and destroy Maria's powered-up form, ending the fight. Jirachi then granted Rich's wish to reverse the effect of the freeze.
- A short epilogue depicts Rich and Anabel's wedding in his family's ancestral home, Sootopolis City, then the credits roll.
- Miror B.'s disc jockey is Jimmy T. from the WarioWare game series.
- The song that plays on Rich's music player during the scene in the Shadow Research Institute's basement is S.O.S. by Abba. An altered version of Abba's Voulez-Vous plays during Rich's battle with Jimmy T. on Ruby Island. Another Abba song, Lay All Your Love On Me, appears on the label of the record Maria shows Rich before revealing herself.
- Maria references the disco version of MacArthur Park by Donna Summer in the same scene.
- At Rich and Anabel's wedding, Rich's brother Wallace (Gym Leader in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Champion in Emerald) and teacher Juan (Gym Leader in Emerald) appear.
XD Madness Continues--The Second Journey
Pokémon XD: Enigma Shadow was a hit. So naturally, a sequel was to follow. At first a fic following Rich and Anabel in a new region was constructed, but it was discarded right away and rewritten from scratch. This time, using the Orre Region with both old and new locales contained within, the project became Pokémon XD^2: The Return of Shadow, set one year after Enigma Shadow's conclusion.
- Rich and Anabel travel to Orre for holiday on the luxurious cruiser S.S. Athena. They buy a hover scooter in Gateon Port and head towards the Pokémon HQ Lab to meet Professor Jeffery Krane, but on their way encounter two thugs beating up a girl named Rui. They have a Shadow Vibrava and Shadow Torkoal.
- After learning more about Shadow Pokémon from Rui and her husband Wes, Rich and Anabel finally meet Krane. Rich recieves a pass to compete in the Orre Colosseum Challenges.
- Enigma Shadow reappears, attacking Agate Village. Rich and Anabel defeat them and drive them away.
- The couple crosses Orre, Rich earning Colosseum Emblems by winning challenges. They also fight Enigma Shadow at various locales, including Pyrite Colosseum and Realgam Tower.
- While Rich is battling Justy at the Pre Gym in Phenac City, Anabel collapses. She stays behind, hospitalized in Phenac's Pokémon Center, while Rich heads to Snagem Colosseum in Eclo Canyon.
- Rich loses his first Snagem Colosseum challenge in the final round to the champion, a mysterious trainer called Juggernaut. After a day spent training exhaustively, he wins in the rematch.
- Anabel having been discharged from the hospital by the time Rich returns to Phenac, they go to Sorbera Island for the final Colosseum challenge. It is there that Anabel finally reveals she's pregnant with Rich's daughter. She also wins a Pokémon Contest on the island in addition to helping Rich win the last Emblem in a tag battle tournament.
- Rich and Anabel witness a battle between Eldes and Ardos inside the factory on Citadark Isle. It is revealed by Eldes that Verich passed away.
- Returning to the Orre mainland, Rich and Anabel save Krane's lab from Engima Shadow before going to the Orre Colosseum so Rich can compete in the Desert Cup.
- Partway through the tournament, Enigma Shadow attacks. Rich, Anabel, Krane and other trainers follow them to their base on the Nova Crater, where Rich defeats Shadow General Chobin and then the new leader, an old aquaintance of Krane's named Dr. Mitchell Yung.
- Rich falls into a pit while escaping the collapsing castle. Everyone else flees to Gateon Port, where Yung and Chobin attack with a giant robotic Groudon. Anabel calls the black Lugia to aid her in the struggle and critically damages the robo, but not before it captures Rayquaza and hits her with a nearly fatal amount of shadow energy. Lynn and Eldes save her and take her to the hospital on Sorbera Island. Rich escapes and defeats Yung with the help of Anabel's Metagross, then goes to Sorbera Island by borrowing the power of Celebi. On the island, Anabel's near death and their daughter is very sick as well---but when a tear falls from Rich's eye onto her chest, she becomes healthy again then gives birth. The baby girl is named Olivia Lynn, to honor Lynn for helping rescue Anabel.
- Rich loses to Lynn in a sudden-death tiebreaker in the final round of the Desert Cup. Lynn wins the gold, Rich the silver.
- Yung challenges Rich to another battle, at his personal Colosseum past the Nova Crater. Rich goes there and wins, but needs help from ex-Shadow Admin Lucy to defeat the Shadow Rayquaza he unleashes.
- Rich obtains a Riolu egg from Krane, and Anabel gets a Kirlia.
- Steven and Ashley from Enigma Shadow appear late in XD^2. They are now a married couple.
- Shadow Admin Vivian is based on General Aquarella from Pokémon Trozei.
The In Betweens: The Road to XD^3
Two seperate stories made up the short bridge between XD^2 and XD^3 known as The Road to XD^3. Together with XD^3 itself, they make up Project: Genetic Manipulation.
Anabel's Dream was a short oneshot story inspired by an AbilityShipping fic concept by Arrow, a member of Serebiiforums. It involved a time-travelling Anabel living her life in reverse, going from her deathbed to seeing Olivia off on her Pokémon training journey and back. After 'dying' in the dream she awoke and realized what happened.
Trivia for Anabel's Dream
- In the dream, Olivia already has an Electivire/Electabuzz and selects Totodile as her starter from Prof. Elm. It also is revealed that there is a pet Chatot living in Rich and Anabel's home.
The Curse of the Terrifying Glitch Pokémon
This mini-fic, The Curse of the Terrifying Glitch Pokémon: A Very Special Anniversary Celebration, served to commemorate both the second anniversary of the Enigma Shadow series as well as the Pokémon franchise's tenth year.
In it, Rich and Anabel travel to Cinnabar Island in Kanto for holiday but quickly stumble upon a mystery involving a frighteningly strong, never-before-seen creature known only as the "Terrifying Glitch." The "Glitch" possesses the power to turn Pokémon it defeats into zombies and can also shapeshift and multiply items. A cast of characters including Cinnabar Gym Leader Blaine and enigmatic and speech-impaired Professor Willow are along for the quest to uncover the answers behind the Terrifying Glitch and save its victims from certain doom.
Trivia for The Curse of the Terrifying Glitch Pokémon
- In this story, Rich's Riolu evolves into Lucario. He also captures a Roselia that quickly evolves into Roserade. Anabel's Kirlia evolves into Gallade.
- The forms of Missingno that Tawny encounter appear based on the letters in her name. In fact, all of the powers possessed by both 'M' and Missingno are taken right from Pokémon Red and Blue.