Pokémon Trainers of Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Part 4: Church of Seiros)

(Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)

Welcome back to this thing I’m apparently doing, where I create Pokémon teams for all the characters of this other game I really enjoyed, which has loads and loads of characters. We’ve covered the titular “Three Houses,” so part 4 (of 5, although 5 will be a pretty short one) is for the characters who are part of the Church of Seiros, the dominant organised religion of Fantasy Europe, which has worked with the nations of the continent to maintain peace and order for a thousand years (to greater or lesser degrees of success). As part of that effort, their headquarters, Garreg Mach monastery, plays host to the fantasy RPG school where all the kids we’ve met so far are studying, theoretically ensuring that the young nobles of the rival countries are all friends with each other and might be less willing to start a massive bloody war. Fingers crossed on that one.

Rhea

  • Archbishop of Garreg Mach monastery, which basically makes her the Fantasy Pope
  • Wise and mysterious mentor figure
  • Kind and nurturing to those in her care, but has a worrying tendency to go extremely “Spanish inquisition” on rebels and heretics
    • Might somehow turn out to be the villain
  • Really likes Byleth for some reason she seems unwilling to explain
    • Strictly speaking this is probably a good thing but it still feels ominous
  • She is perfect and I am terrified of her

Favoured types: Dragon, Fire, Ghost
Most of my reasons for the Pokémon I’ve chosen for Rhea are pretty spoiler-heavy.  Let’s say that dragons and fire both have religious significance in this world, and that reverence for the dead is important for Rhea, and leave it at that.

Disfavoured types: Dark, Bug, Normal
Rhea has a very Knight Templar attitude to anything she perceives as dark, evil or heretical.  Her extremely high station also means she sometimes has trouble connecting with the day-to-day lives of ordinary people.

Partner: Reshiram
She’s the Pope.  She gets to have a holy white dragon as her partner; I think that’s fair (if you’ve played the whole game you will recognise… additional reasons… for this choice).

Other Pokémon: Dragonite, Runerigus, Golurk, Ninetales (K), Charizard

Runerigus and Golurk both relate to some tricks she’s got up her sleeve for the second half of the game.  In a way, so do Charizard and Dragonite.  Ninetales has mystic powers and a vengeful bent that suits Rhea’s darker side.

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A Pokémon Trainer is You! XXI: Spider’s Fang

[Catch up on the story so far here!]

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

After receiving a mysterious “mission” from some potentially hostile Pokémon, what do you want to do?
– Honour the agreement and investigate

…you really don’t know what’s good for you, do you, kiddo?

You’ve always been a curious kid, and there’s no way you can just let this go.  A bunch of wild Pokémon, apparently asking you to… eliminate(???) another human in their territory?  Who?  And why?  You don’t see how it can hurt to check it out; you can decide what to do about it once you know what “it” is.  Besides, as you point out to persuade Dane, the Ariados could be watching to see if you’ll do as you’ve been told, and they can probably move faster than you through the dense forest.  Before you leave, you take several more photos of the dirt-scratch map from a couple of different angles, just to make sure you’ll be able to find your way (and hey, if you have more images to show Professor Oak later, that’s just gravy).  You notice that, quite close to the spiderweb symbol marking the Ariados’ nest, the map has another scratchy little glyph resembling a human caught in a web, which you realise is probably the campsite you just left, where most of your stuff is.  If you hurry, you can get back before dark.

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Pokémon I have cooked and eaten

If you have ever made the dreadful mistake of paying attention to my Twitter feed, which you should be able to see in the sidebar on the right side of my main page, you may have seen instructions for cooking and eating several Pokémon. These are my submissions to a podcast I listen to, I Chews You, where the hosts compete each week to come up with the most appetising and creative recipes for cooking a predetermined species of Pokémon (because I think we all know deep down that, just as Pokémon are smarter and more powerful than real animals, they also taste better). I’m normally not really a podcast person at all – it’s just not a format I particularly enjoy – but Pokémon and food represent a… very specific combination of my interests that don’t normally intersect. I Chews You is nothing intense or super-analytical, just good relaxing fun and generally pretty zany: four friends chatting about Pokémon and food, $#!t-talking each other and, for some reason that I honestly think even they have forgotten, discussing the pros and cons of La Croix sparkling water.

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to have all my recipes in one place, where they might provide some passing amusement to any of my readers who haven’t come across them before. If you enjoy these, maybe give I Chews You a listen, and if your own creative juices are stimulated, you can always send in your own recipes (on Twitter to @ichewspod or by e-mail to ichewspod@gmail.com) for their Wailord’s Mail Hoard segment – next week’s dish of the day is Walrein. I usually submit something each week, and it’d be nice to hear someone from my own audience join in now and again.

So, let’s get cooking:

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hugh_donnetono asks:

Where do you see yourself in seven years?

I guess that depends in large part on whether I can evade Doom for that long.  Like, in theory it would be nice to be ruling the world as a deranged sorcerer-king by then, but frankly I’ve offended a lot of deities and unleashed several ancient sealed evils, and that $#!t catches up to you.  Obviously I want to finish my PhD, probably sooner rather than later, but I’m not sure I want an academic career anymore.  It’s unlikely I’d get a university position in New Zealand or Australia within my first few years on the academic job market, and I don’t want to keep working in America any longer than I really have to; it’s also really difficult to return to an academic career after a few years working in another field.  This, of course, assumes there will be an America to go back to so I can finish my degree, so I’m gonna need all my readers there to step up and do everything you can to stop the country collapsing into totalitarianism or civil war.

For goodness’ sake, I wanted to be a novelist.  You don’t really get paid up front for that sort of thing, though, so you sort of need to support yourself with a “real” job, like some sort of peasant.  So it would sort of be nice if I could convince more people to pay me for my writing here… but that’s a long enough shot that saying it’s where I “see myself in seven years” seems grandiose at best.  For now I’ll settle for finding a job, and if the world ends I can always rule its ashes from a throne of jagged glass.

[my miltanks bring several existential thoughts to the yard and they’re like, “moooooooo”] asks:

it’s pride month and we’re all stuck inside so i was wondering which place in the pokémon world would throw the baller-est pride parade?

yeah this is how long my question queue typically is these days; don’t ask me anything that’s specific to the time you’re asking it unless you’re okay with a margin of error of, like, a month

But yeah, um… I dunno, what’s the campiest city in the Pokémon world?  Saffron City and Goldenrod City are way too straight and business-y, likewise Wyndon in Galar; Ecruteak City’s probably too conservative; you’d want to get out to, like… Celadon or Olivine.  Mauville City’s glitzy and glamorous; Slateport and Lilycove have robust Pokémon Contest traditions, and you just know all the top competitors in those are queens; same goes for Hearthome City in Sinnoh (also… Fantina).  Sootopolis City and Castelia City have the campiest gym leaders – I mean… you could almost decide this with a lip-sync battle between Burgh and Wallace.  Spikemuth is probably a strong dark horse contender, ‘cause they know what it’s like to be oppressed and even the straights would be allies (less so Po Town in Alola, ‘cause Team Skull are still kinda working through their toxic masculinity baggage; Marnie wouldn’t put up with that $#!t).  Lumiose City has the highest concentration of coffee shops in the known universe, which is a very important resource, as well as the best clothes, makeup, etc.  Hau‘oli City is probably a good bet for similar reasons; it’s modern, it’s trendy, also their Captain is Ilima and just look at him; if that boy’s completely straight then I’m a shiny Wobbuffet.  The biggest regular pride parade in the real world is the São Paulo one, but there’s no Brazilian Pokémon region (yet?) and New York is also really big because of Stonewall, which is a point in favour of Castelia City.

Listen, I think there’s a lot of strong contenders here and honestly I don’t feel confident making a call.  We can turn this over to discussion in the comments; I just think the most important thing is for us not to lose sight of the fact that all the major characters in Pokémon are some flavour of queer, except for a few of the villains and, like, maybe Brock.  I don’t make the rules; I just enforce them.

Ghetsis

Ghetsis’ original design from Black and White.

The Dark Council has convened, and by the will of my mysterious Patrons, my fate is ordained: we’re talking about Ghetsis, the villain of Pokémon: Black and WhiteBlack and White have always been games that I have very mixed feelings about, for all sorts of reasons, and Ghetsis and his role in the story are inextricable from those feelings.  I love the story of Black and White and their sequels; taken together I still think they have the best plot a core Pokémon game has yet produced (although more recent games have different strengths of their own).  I also think they’re deeply flawed and could easily have been so much more.  Ghetsis is a fantastic character – but he and his relationship with the games’ anti-hero (anti-villain?), N, are at the heart of what holds Black and White back.  I’ve talked about Team Plasma, N and Ghetsis before in places, but that was ages ago and some of that old stuff is a little patchy, so this has been a long time coming.  Let’s talk about what makes Ghetsis arguably the most evil character in Pokémon’s history and how he shapes the story of these now-classic entries in the series.

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Some notes on Ghetsis’ design, and the colour indigo

I’m just finishing up a character study of Ghetsis, the villain of Pokémon: Black and White, at the behest of my shadowy masters on the Dark Council. I have some thoughts on his character design, which I didn’t want to put into the main piece because the visual design of the human characters isn’t really something I’m normally interested in and it wasn’t especially relevant to the thesis of the article, but I also don’t want to not post it at all because I think I might have noticed something new here. So… here’s… that!

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Not Final Fantasy Friday

Tomorrow morning I am not streaming Final Fantasy X with Jim the Editor, because he is on holiday in Wales and I will be busy performing a dangerous ritual to wrest vast amounts of spiritual power from the land itself at tremendous risk to my life and sanity making toast. But if watching us play a classic game and listening to our opinions on its gameplay, characters, themes, world, story, etc sounds like something you might enjoy, this might be a good time to catch up with the story so far, which you can do here!

Ace Trainer Fox asks:

How would you feel if game freak made a region based on Mexico or Spain, it has many of the same points as India for a candidate, a rich cultural history, interesting landscapes, heck, you could even have some really cool regional forms, like a water grass type maractus based on cacti that store water, or a chatot evolution based on a macaw, or even a fairy type happy phantump & trevenant based around a pokemon themed festival similar to the day of the dead. Sorry, I went off on a but of a tangeant there, but something like that would be rather interesting, just some food for thought.

Yeah!

Uh

I don’t know; I feel like I should have something to add to this but… um… well, yeah, there’s all kinds of cool things you could do with a Mexican region.  I’m a history and archaeology guy so obviously the first thing that occurs to me is that it would be cool to have some Aztec-, Toltec- and Olmec-inspired stuff; maybe a Nosepass regional form (or a totally new Pokémon) using the Olmec heads from La Venta, or an Aztec “jaguar warrior” Pokémon, or a legendary “feathered serpent” (or even just a resplendent quetzal Pokémon).  Modern Mexico would have a lot of cool natural and cultural inspirations for Pokémon too.