hoennian asks:

uh oh so [SWSH spoilers fwiw)

galarian ponyta just got Officially Announced and it’s described as having been “exposed to the overflowing life energy of the forest over many generations, and this is why their appearance became unique in this region”
buuuuuut

it’s a psychic type

does this do anything to or for your Fairy-is-life-energy theories? or does it still also just kinda feed into “typing is nonsense”?

While we’re here, this will also serve as my answer to the question from another reader who gives their name simply as “Getting Shield!!!”:

Galarian Ponyta, thoughts?

So… I think it’s fine. Unicorns are an emblem of Scotland, so it certainly fits Galar as a Pokémon inspired by the culture and history of Great Britain. It’s quite pretty. It’s a point in favour of a prediction made by my esteemed PokéJungle colleague Jon that suggests we can guess which Pokémon are getting Galarian forms on the basis of new egg moves given out in Ultra Sun and Moon, so that’s quite nice if you’re interested in the prediction game. Psychic is a weird type to choose, in my opinion, for something as obviously “fairytale” as a unicorn – back in the X and Y era, Jim the Editor and I actually thought it was a bit weird that the base Kantonian Ponyta and Rapidash hadn’t been promoted to Fire/Fairy, because it would have made perfect sense and produced an interesting unique dual-type. But that brings us to…

…the life energy thing. This is an interesting one, because (in my opinion) which type is most closely connected with an abstract “life force” has changed a lot over time.  For a long time I would have said it was Dragon, and frankly I kind of preferred it that way, because back then my life at least somewhat made sense; in generation VI it’s pretty clearly Fairy because of Xerneas.  In generation VII, though… well, in generation VII (and presumably now in VIII as well) I think there’s an argument that it’s Psychic, because of Tapu Lele.  All four Tapu are Fairy-types, but Tapu Lele, the Tapu of Life, is Fairy/Psychic.  In my review of the four Tapu, I also made the (admittedly tenuous) suggestion that we can find another reason to view Psychic as “the life type” in Mew’s unique Z-move: Genesis Supernova, which represents Mew’s supposed status as the ancestor of all Pokémon, is the only thing that can create a terrain effect outside of the standard Terrain moves or the Surge abilities of the Tapu, and creates the same terrain effect as the Tapu of Life. So… where do we actually go from here? I can’t answer for Game Freak, and there might well be a bunch of stuff in Sword and Shield that will change my mind anyway, but at the moment I would like to view it like this: Dragon, Psychic and Fairy Pokémon all have an innate connection to life force and all have some ability to manipulate it, but they all do so in different ways, and none of them have a complete understanding of what life is or how it works. Maybe Psychic Pokémon understand life through the lens of genetics, as a self-propagating pattern; Fairy Pokémon understand it through the lens of the soul, as the animating force of individual beings; and Dragon Pokémon understand it through the lens of something like Gaia theory, as a force of nature that unites and permeates the entire world.

I mean… that’s clearly a shot in the dark, right? But it would make sense to me if it worked that way.

9 thoughts on “hoennian asks:

  1. “Psychic is a weird type to choose, in my opinion, for something as obviously “fairytale” as a unicorn – back in the X and Y era, Jim the Editor and I actually thought it was a bit weird that the base Kantonian Ponyta and Rapidash hadn’t been promoted to Fire/Fairy, because it would have made perfect sense and produced an interesting unique dual-type.”

    I don’t know, Rapidash doesn’t strike me as particularly unicornian. It’s more just a horse with a horn tacked on – obviously a reference to the unicorn, but it’s Pokedex entries, if I remember correctly, just tell us about it running like super fast…

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      1. And the Rapidash is probably going to sprout wings so that it looks even more like Princess Celestia. (Okay, that won’t be the actual reason but it’s a nice bonus)

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  2. Sense? What fun is there in making sense? -Game Freak, probably. (They’ve started outright trolling us when it comes to eggs, for instance)

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    1. I for one, fully support Game Freak’s (conjectured) philosophy.

      (And when it comes to the eggs, I think that it’s possible that those eggs aren’t the only, or even the primary, way Pokémon reproduce, which would also serve as an explanation for why the Day Care couple keep insisting they have -no idea- how those eggs got there.)

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  3. I was under the impression Dragon- pokemon were the *consequence* of “life force” rather than manipulators of it, which Psychic may well be. This mainly comes from the fact Dragon typing either comes later as a secondary type to pokemon who have been exposed (Kingdra, Alolaggutor), or the fact that natural Dragons all have incredibly slow growth rates due to how much more “life force” they need to grow (Dragonite, Hydreigon). This explains why, on my bullsh*t of legendary literalism, manipulators of Life tend to be psychics (Mew, Lele, Lake Trio) where as those *gifted* incredible power are Dragons (Sinnoh Trio, Zygarde).

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      1. Fairy Pokemon seem a lot more a consequence of capital-n Nature rather than capital-l Life which is where if you had to draw a line, I’d draw it.

        The big Fairy types are often tied to life *and* death. Whereas the dragons feel more more bound to a cosmic eternity. There’s a very headcanoney interpretation out there that Dragons are in some way a pure distillation of this mythical Life Force that the games encourage us to assume exists whilst never referring too, whereas Fairys go the long way, and are distillations of the natural environment that the Life Force is producing.

        So we could draw the line.
        Psychics manipulate the Life Force -> Life force produces natural plants pokemon and, in extreme cases, Dragons -> The natural order uses leftover Life Force to produce Fairys

        Basically idk let’s go with that.

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