One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
So… I guess
it’s time to learn about native Hawaiian mythology, huh?
We’re on the home stretch of seventh-generation Pokémon now, and today
we’re talking about the four guardian deities of the Alolan islands: Tapu Koko,
Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini.
These four are deeply woven into Alolan culture and identity, and they
have a special relationship with the Alolan trial system and its
administrators, the four Island Kahunas.
They’re also the pièce de résistance of generation VII’s unprecedented
level of interest in taking inspiration from the culture, ecology and history
of the real-world region its setting is based on.
What do you think of Toucannon’s anger, both from an aesthetic and character standpoint?
Well, I think it… looks angry?
I don’t know, it has this really surly, grumpy look to it, like it hasn’t slept in days and has just been asked to submit its budget report a week early, but I don’t think it’s actually described or portrayed as an unusually angry Pokémon. The Pokédex even references the fact that it’s seen as a good Pokémon to have at an Alolan wedding ceremony because it mates harmoniously for life. So, I actually think under its gruff exterior it might be a sweet perfect cinnamon roll.
Could the giant Torterra in Detective Pikachu be linked to dynamax somehow? Arguably, they did not have much of a purpose in the movie…
Proooooooobably not. The movie was filmed in early 2018, and the
script was written in 2016-2017, at which point Sword and Shield would have
been in a very early stage of development (presumably Game Freak would still
have had all hands on deck for the release of Ultra Smoon later that year). I’m not sure even Game Freak would
have known about Dynamaxing at that point – or at least, it could have been only
one of several ideas they were tossing around for generation VIII’s flagship
mechanic. Even if they were
already certain that Dynamaxing was going to be a core feature of the next
game, Detective Pikachu was written by American screenwriters who would
have had no more special insight into Game Freak’s plans for the next generation
than the rest of us. Some higher-up at
the Pokémon Company could have told the screenwriters “hey, slip in a
giant Pokémon somehow – no reason!” (you wouldn’t tell them why, because
that’s an unnecessary risk of a leak), but honestly that seems to me like a weird
process to go through. I think it’s more
likely to be a coincidence.
I recently thought of something, though you may want to save this for the inevitable review. Considering it’s propensity for “absorbing all the light in the universe” and basically being the ends of said universes, is it possible that Necrozma is Pokémon’s equivalent to the phenomenon astrophysicists call the “heat death of the universe?” That being entropy inevitable cooling down every single particle in the universe until there isn’t a bit of useable light or energy left and everything decays until there’s nothing left so that there’s basically nothing left except complete darkness?
I will indeed talk more about
Necrozma when I get to the review, but I don’t know that this works with the
way it’s portrayed in Ultra Smoon, or for that matter in the anime. Necrozma used to be a being of light, a creative
and generative force. Its dark form that
steals light is a result of some kind of damage it suffered in the past, but
that damage is supposed to be fixable, resulting in the restoration of
the radiant form we know as Ultra Necrozma (which sort of clashes with the feeling
of inevitability that the whole “heat death”/entropy theme would be trying to evoke).
One thing I’ve noticed about Bianca and Cheren: Bianca always ends up being the more useful of the pair. In the Relic Castle sequence, Cheren just tags along behind you, ultimately adding nothing to the situation. Bianca, meanwhile, gets ahold of Juniper–which turns out to be really important since they find the dark/light stone. In the Elite Four sequence, the same thing happens. Cheren tags along and beats the Elite Four as well (not contributing much of anything to your predicament) while Bianca rounds up all the Gym Leaders (who save your ass). I think this was probably intentional, and it sheds light on how the writers wanted us to view Bianca and Cheren.
Hmm. I think that’s a little unfair to
Cheren; he does fight alongside you against Team Plasma on multiple occasions, and
fighting usually makes up most of the player’s contribution to advancing
the plot. And I don’t… think Bianca
is responsible for getting Professor Juniper involved in looking for the
Dark/Light Stone, or at least I don’t believe anyone ever says that’s
what she’s doing. I’d be more inclined
to assume that that was the elder Professor Juniper, who is present at the
Dragonspiral Tower when the player confronts N, and works together with his
daughter to identify the stone. There is
a general point to be made about Bianca and Cheren as foils to each other,
though. The early part of the game kind
of sets up Cheren as more organised, more ambitious, a better trainer, more…
well, frankly, more competent, whereas Bianca doesn’t really know what she’s
doing or what she wants. Over the course
of the game, though, Cheren comes to realise (through Alder’s example) that his
ambitions are basically hollow, leaving him somewhat listless at the end of the
story; Bianca, on the other hand, grows into herself, figures out what she wants
to do with her life, and becomes a researcher.
She’s ultimately the one who comes out of it with a stronger conception
of her own goals and identity. I think
the message is supposed to be about taking time to explore life, and figure out
what your goals are gradually and organically, rather than focusing on the
single-minded pursuit of just one aim in the belief that it will complete you as
a person (Cheren actually credits Bianca, as well as the player, Alder and N,
with helping him realise this).
Currently the only pure flying type Pokémon is a legendary. If you were tasked with creating a pure flying type Pokémon that isn’t legendary, what would you make?
what even is Flying
A few months ago I got asked about single-type Flying Pokémon and the final sentence of my answer was “no one planned for any of this, it doesn’t make sense, and it’s 20 years too late to do anything about it – but hey, that’s the type chart for you,” which… well, that sums it up, doesn’t it? I don’t think there’s a single thing that all Flying Pokémon have in common, not even the literal ability to fly, because Dodrio is a Flying-type (and frankly “flight” would also be a pretty generous description of what Gligar and Jumpluff do). The one single-typed Flying Pokémon we do have, Tornadus, is a sort of wind elemental, but it would be a stretch to say that wind is the unifying core of the Flying type, because a lot of Flying Pokémon like Fearow and Emolga have no wind-related flavour and can only learn wind attacks as egg moves, and now in generation VII we have Minior and Celesteela, who can’t even do that.