Would it be possible for Pokemon to retire the concept of “fainting”? Originally, Game Freak wasn’t even sure what fainting even meant–when you tried to send out a fainted Pokemon it said “there’s no will left to fight,” and in the early anime trainers simply withdrew a Pokemon when it clearly couldn’t fight anymore. So what if “[Pokemon] fainted” could be replaced with “[Pokemon] gave in” or something?
I’m not sure that it matters, particularly? I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with changing it, but “fainted” isn’t a terrible word for what they use it to mean, and the condition itself is simple enough – the Pokémon can’t battle, full stop – that I don’t think it’s all that important to have precise language for describing it. You could do away with the entire concept, and replace it with a range of more specific ways a Pokémon can be debilitated, each caused by particular attack types, requiring specialised forms of care and having different lingering effects after the Pokémon is healed. I think you could build an interesting system out of that, although it wouldn’t be a very good fit with Pokémon’s general direction over the last several generations; it’s more of a “darker and grittier” mechanic. If it’s just changing the name to slightly better reflect what we already imagine is happening, I could happily go either way.
2 thoughts on “Tapu Wooloo asks:”
The original Japanese is closer to “unable to battle”, which you may remember from the anime in the tournament arcs at the end of each season.
“You could do away with the entire concept, and replace it with a range of more specific ways a Pokémon can be debilitated, each caused by particular attack types, requiring specialised forms of care and having different lingering effects after the Pokémon is healed.”
This sounds like a great mechanic for a roguelike/dungeon crawler kind of game. I’ve never played Mystery Dungeon, but maybe it would work well there? I agree that the mechanic would not work in the main series for reasons of tonal dissonance – in the framework of “battle pets”, it’d make the injuries and pain inflicted on Pokémon far too concrete for my taste. But in a game where the Pokémon themselves are more solidly characters, like in MD, I’d find it more palatable.
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