I was going over the Sinnoh myths, and the lines from the 3rd folk story, “There once were humans and Pokémon that ate together at the same table,” really struck me. Usually, these lines are used to say that Pokemon and humans were not that different, but I haven’t ever seen the exploration the suggestion that at one point Pokemon were civilized enough to eat at tables. Is it possible that when the humans split apart, Pokemon entered a more subservient role, rather than just humans advancing?

This question continues: “Perhaps you could suggest that there was some sort of falling out between the two, where humans who began to seek power through advanced tech, while Pokemon would still hold nature sacred? Also, maybe the Dungeon games tell of a time *before* the main series. Humans clearly exist and seem to be able to communicate with Pokemon (T&D) and perhaps the stories of the lake gardians are exaggerated through myth. (Uxie only being able to make people forget about the lake instead of everything.)“


The difficulty is that myths are always awkward to interpret – to begin with, we can’t really know whether they’re based on actual events or are purely allegorical, but to make things worse, how much the story may have changed since its original telling (or when that original telling was) is rarely known.  And that’s in the real world – here we also have to ask whether Game Freak intends us to take these myths as a source of ‘canonical’ information about the Pokémon world.  Often it seems that they do; the various legendary Pokémon of Hoenn and Sinnoh seem to match their mythical depictions to a tee, but then again, can we believe that returning a fish Pokémon’s bones to the river you caught it in will restore it to life?

Now, as to the myth in question… is there actually any reason a human-trained Pokémon *couldn’t* eat at a table?  Well, aside from obvious concerns of architecture and body shape, that is (I suspect that most Pokémon, given the option, would probably not build anything a human would recognise as a table).  The myth could simply reflect a society that had a very different view of Pokémon than the present day one depicted elsewhere, or it could reflect a time when the Pokémon themselves were completely different.  I’m not sure we can know.  The idea of a world like the one you describe certainly seems to be a staple of the Pokémon world’s mythology – perhaps unsurprisingly, since stories of a past age in which animals lived alongside people are common enough in our own world.  Then again, the idea that there was some kind of ‘falling out’ between humans and Pokémon seems to be at least suggested by the backstory of Cobalion and co., so…?

The dungeon games, I think, may actually be ‘mythical’ themselves – that is, the events they depict are known, told and studied in the present day as myths.  The tricky thing about the dungeon games is that, although the Pokémon characters are definitely aware of the existence of humans, no human characters ever actually appear (except for humans transformed into Pokémon), so clearly these stories depict a very different world from one in which humans and Pokémon “ate together at the same table”.  The stories might come from a different corpus of myths to the ones from the Canalave library – or the original tellers of the stories simply didn’t care.  Folktale is notorious for its general disregard for continuity.

I’m afraid I don’t *quite* see the direct relevance of the myth about the lake spirits to what you’re saying.  It could be an exaggeration, or an utter falsehood.  It could also be true!  Uxie never opens its eyes, so we wouldn’t know.  The player never touches Mesprit physically, or harms Azelf.  Pokémon in battles would harm Azelf, true, but the prohibition might only apply to humans.  Cyrus harmed Azelf when he created the Red Chain, of course, but the effect is supposedly delayed by five days… we never actually see him again after the events at the Spear Pillar, do we?

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