Camper Smoke asks:

I know you have said India is ideal, but how would you feel if game freak made a Pokemon region out of scandinavia?

I guess predominantly “fine”?  Like, I have multiple preferences ahead of that, and particularly if we’re thinking generation IX – that is, immediately following another northern European region – I don’t think it makes a lot of sense in sequence.  But I’m not sure I can think of any place on Earth that I’d be offended or upset or even really disappointed to see as the setting of a Pokémon game.  Scandinavia’s got a lot of affluent multilinguals who are part of Pokémon’s global community, it’s got distinctive modern aesthetics that fit in well with Pokémon’s distinctive blend of tradition and techno-utopia, it’s got Vikings, it’s got fjords, and what else do any of us really need in life, when we’ve got fjords?

Jim the Editor remarked on this that it could be interesting to have a very cold region, and it certainly would.  On the other hand, the cynic in me says that Game Freak would shy away from creating a region with very few habitats for desert and tropical Pokémon, and especially from having to deal with the polar day-night cycle, in favour of just putting in a few more snowy areas than most games in the series, and otherwise keeping the climate mostly temperate.  Which… I think is an issue not just with this idea in particular but more generally.  There are things that the Pokémon games like to keep formulaic – say, having a variety of biomes to slot a large number of existing Pokémon into, or having a certain ratio of small towns to big urban centres – and if a region doesn’t obviously have those things, I kind of suspect they would get shoehorned in anyway, potentially at the expense of its unique character.  Not that it wouldn’t be great just to see Poké-Stockholm and Poké-Copenhagen, but… y’know, I think if you want to have a Scandinavian region, you want the northernmost areas to experience midnight sun and polar night, and you want that to be mechanically and narratively significant somehow; you want big parts of the map to be sparsely populated like the Crown Tundra, and you want the player spending a lot of time in those areas and thinking about them; you want the ocean to be important as something you explore and learn about, not just travel through.  Honestly, now that I’m saying all this, can we have, like… a sprawling Pokémon region based on the whole Arctic Ocean, something with big environmental themes, maybe some light survival mechanics?  Can we just put that one on the list, after India and Brazil?  I’ll just pop over and let Shigeru Ohmori know that I want that on the list.

7 thoughts on “Camper Smoke asks:

  1. The Gulf stream kinda keeps Scandinavia from being “very cold”, at least where most people live.

    I’d go for Iceland. I’m not sure if Iceland is much colder than Scandinavia’s average, but – there are fjords there too, and volcanoes, and they can even make up some BS about scientists using volcanic energy to establish tropical microzones where you can catch Tropius or whatever.

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    1. Chris and I are both from Auckland in New Zealand. To us, anything under 10 degrees C is cold and below 5 counts as very cold…. but point about the Gulf Stream taken.

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  2. To me, I think that it could work, if you give every pokemon that can be found in the wild in this hypothetical region a colder form, say a Tropius that is grass/fire type and keeps it’s temperature localized inside it’s body, or an area that has warmed due to all the imported fire types in the area, letting the more temperate types like grass or water or bug live there.

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    1. It seems Pokémon adapt to could enviromentsby becoming ice types. See Alolan Vulpix, Alolan Sandshrew, Galarian Mr. Mime and Galarian Darumaka. I think Chris made some very good points about this in his article on them.

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  3. When it comes to India, I’m a bit wary of the prospect of it getting the Pokémon treatment. As in, “this gym is the Eiffel tower!”, or just about everything in Alola. I feel like Pokémon regions have been getting increasingly theme-parky. (Can’t tell if I’m at all correct about this – Kanto-to-Sinnoh may seem less theme-parky to me due to the older games’ hard+software limitations or limited knowledge/familiarity on my part. Or maybe just because Poké-Japan was the franchise’s initial setting, making it appear more neutral by default.)

    Can’t help but think that translating the entirety of India into a single Pokémon game-sized region would go awry. Not necessarily due to lack of sensitivity or knowledge, but just as a result of scaling down such a massive and diverse country. It is likely to get completely crowded by landmarks and “ooh look at this!” stuff, exarcerbating the theme park effect. A region based on a part of India (say, ±Maharashtra) might work better in this regard, and also makes sense since even the US gets to have multiple regions.

    Personally I’d love a region based on Nepal though. Architecture in particular would be a perfect theme for the region, in the way sportball is for Galar. The lack of a coast is obviously a drawback from a game design perspective, but on the other hand, mountains! A well-designed mountain range is probably my favorite thing to explore in any video game (so no freaking bus please!). A mountainous region works perfectly with Pokémon’s convention of linear routes: you can have gorgeous scenery as well as a logical reason for limiting where the player can go, unlike those Gen VI+ borders of slightly taller grass.

    (…Next up: visit Slovenia NOW 25 % off on prime hotels!)

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