RandomAccess asks:

I recently found out that in Sword and Shield, they retconned some evolution methods, specifically the ones that require being in a certain area then leveling them up. They had Pokemon that evolve in a special magnetic field (like Charjabug to Vikavolt) evolve using a thunder stone instead, the one who evolves around a moss rock(Eevee to Leafeon) use a leaf stone instead, and the one who evolves around an ice rock(Eevee to Glaceon) use an ice stone instead. To my knowledge, this is the first time they retconned an evolution method to one that has already been used before (unlike the case of introducing a new method, like the prism scale item for Feebas to make up for not having the contest-dependent beauty stat in generation 5). I honestly think this is a good move, and really opens up the door to either making things easier for people who don’t like currently cumbersome evolution methods, or changing them in the future to make them reflect the lore better (hoping using a shelder to evolve a slowpoke can become a reality in the future) but what do you think about them suddenly becoming more open to changing long-standing mechanics that they’ve been careful not to contradict before?

It just seems like fairly straightforwardly a good thing, to me.  I mean, those weird location-based evolutions mostly exist, I think, to satisfy the rule that an old Pokémon getting a new evolution has to use a method that wasn’t previously available, to keep the games consistent.  That is a dumb rule in the first place.  Not only is it a dumb rule, though, it saddles us with a requirement that any game with Magneton in it must have an area with a weird magnetic field, and any game with Eevee in it must have a Mossy Rock and an Icy Rock, and so on.  Day/night mechanics are just standard now, but that was actually a problem in generation III because Fire Red and Leaf Green have no clock and it was impossible to evolve Eevee into Espeon or Umbreon in those games.  Even Pokémon that had unusual evolution methods when they were first introduced are kind of a drag… I mean, Inkay, for heaven’s sake; you can’t evolve Inkay if you’re playing on a big screen because there’s no way to turn it upside down.  Meltan’s evolution is tied to a completely different game that Game Freak doesn’t have direct control over.  Like… at some point, common sense has to kick in, just to keep us all from going mad… right?

6 thoughts on “RandomAccess asks:

  1. I was lowkey hoping ever since Gen 4 introduced the Mossy/Icy rock they’d go the *other* way. And throw out evolution stones wholly for location-based evolutions.

    In my headcanon, all Leaf Stone evolutions could be triggered by a Mossy Rock, all Thunder Stone evolutions could be triggered by a Magnetic Field. And they’d introduce new likewise locations for all the stone-types.
    You could even best-of-both-worlds it by having it be *both*. Like, if the Mossy Rock would give you a free Leaf Stone once a day that could do the same, but anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that; that could be very interesting for a game that took relationships with the landscape as a central theme (which Sword and Shield kinda *almost* did, by tying Dynamaxing to specific locations).

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  2. I sincerely think that they will introduced a new way for Meltan to evolve either when Home is released or with the DLCs. As you said, Game Freak has no direct control of Pokémon GO and it makes no sense for them to keep Meltan tied to it like that.

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  3. Common sense already sets fire to most of the central premise, so I don’t expect it to apply and am surprised when it does. Not always a PLEASANT surprise either; you presumably remember that puzzle from Phantom Hourglass that probably wasn’t even supposed to be a puzzle but took most people a really long time to figure out.

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