Anon the Mon asks:

Am I the only one that noticed that, while in Pokemon, they have the ability to digitize creatures and heal them from burns, poison, and even being trapped in ice with one machine, how come they don’t have cars, or any regular means of transport that does not rely on pokemon power, except for boats (which might be pulled but we never see), hell, even the technological marvel that is the Aether Foundation is held up by a metric shit ton of pokemon, any thoughts to why this is?

Don’t have cars?

Uh?

I mean, they definitely have cars in the anime, right?  Gary has one in the very first episode (despite being, to all appearances, not significantly older than Ash, who is explicitly ten years old).  We don’t see cars often in the games because it’d be kind of intrusive to our experience of the games’ city areas as pedestrians, but I don’t know if there’s good reason to suggest that they don’t exist.  And Gold and Silver had the bullet train between Goldenrod City and Saffron City.  And in Ruby and Sapphire we arrive in Littleroot Town in a moving van.  And Black and White had the subway system in Nimbasa City, and Skyla’s cargo plane.  So I think the premise of this question is just wrong.  If the focus of what we see in the games and anime is on things that are in some way Pokémon-powered, that’s probably because those things are more interesting and worth giving more attention to than things that exist in the real world, work the same way as they do in the real world, and are pretty mundane parts of our own everyday lives.  Like, they definitely have cars, but ultimately who gives a $#!t?  Riding Pokémon is just cooler.

11 thoughts on “Anon the Mon asks:

  1. There’s also The Truck from the first-gen games, which honestly has no logical reason for existing. The sprite appears nowhere else in the game and the means to reach it is questionably intentional. It’s even still there in the remakes! They made a sprite for this thing TWICE, and the only justification I can find is to make this particular anon look even stupider.

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    1. Y’know, Jim the Editor brought this up when we were discussing this question, and I decided it’s sort of… enough of an odd easter egg that I think you can argue it doesn’t really count as part of “the text” of the game. I’m not sure whether or not its presence actually indicates anything about the developers’ early assumptions about the existence of motor vehicles in their world.

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    1. And you can find lots of cars throughout the Alola games. A bus is used to transport people up and down Mt. Hokulani. The use of cars in the games’ world has been pretty strongly established by now – I always assumed the relative lack of emphasis on them was in part because, as said above, there’s just more interesting things to focus on, and also because walking on foot and riding on Pokémon are more environmentally friendly options.

      Also, I’m not sure that Aether Paradise actually is held afloat by Pokémon – Faba describes it as being made entirely of human technology, and an employee at the site gives an accurate description of how VLFSes such as it function. I’m pretty sure the only person who talks about it being suspended on live Pokémon is Hau, who admits he’s trying to get a reaction from you.

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  2. What I was asking was what are the ethics of using pokemon for industrialization, like the Aether foundation literally being held up by corsola, or training sharpedo to headbutt water rocks, or using Corviknight as a taxi. What are your thoughts on that?

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    1. Well, I *think* the one about the Aether Foundation is something that we only ever hear from Hau, and Hau (in spite of his many other admirable qualities) is an idiot. The rest… I suppose I don’t find it any *more* objectionable than Pokémon battles, or than using work animals in the real world (horses for transport, oxen for farm work, pigeons for communication, dogs for police work, etc); Pokémon are more intelligent than real animals and you ought to treat them as such, but it’s basically just having a job like humans do. For some Pokémon it’s a way into respectability and prestige in human society – the Squirtle Squad in the TV show after they become firefighters, for instance.

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      1. In the map it says that it floats on the backs of Corsola. Also, thanks for answering so fast, I wrote that question at like 4 am, so I forgot about cars.

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        1. Wait, what map? Sun and Moon don’t have a Town Map, as far as I’m aware, and the description in the Charizard Glide interface just says it’s a “very large floating structure” where the Aether Foundation has its research facilities; nothing about Corsola or any comment on what holds it up.

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