Weird question time asks:

Really REALLY out of left field thought on my part… but I’m curious to see how you’ll respond or interpret my potentially mad rambling. Since USUM, I’ve never really gotten over the alien-humans from the Ultra recon squad. And as I have now been replaying Pokémon Platinum and stumbled across the ye olde Sinnoh myth of Pokémon and people being one in the same at one point. Which got me to think like “do humans in the various Pokémon multiverse have types?”. Which isn’t too far-fetched in some cases given normal and ghost for alive and dead people, or psychic for those few individuals like Sabrina. But now that there are technically canonical people that took a different offshoot of human evolution AND how some Pokémon types are based on humanesque myth critters. The idea of people in universe being like the fae or fair folk akin to Fairy types or other types could potentially be a viable canon thing given how darn big and infinite multiverse shenanigans actually are. Here’s hoping what I’m sending somewhat makes sense or isn’t too off the deep end!

So… to my mind that depends on what you think type actually is.  If they’re somehow baked into Pokémon biology specifically, then the answer is obviously “no, that doesn’t even make sense.”  Humans aren’t Pokémon, at least, not in any meaningful way; there are several things that all Pokémon have in common which humans don’t appear to share (I’m not convinced that we’re supposed to literally believe that Sinnoh myth; there are real-world cultures that have similar myths, and we don’t believe those; there are also compelling ideological reasons for a culture that relies on Pokémon training to create a myth like that).

But on the other hand, type clearly has nothing to do with ancestry or evolutionary heritage.  Ice-type Alolan Ninetales is presumably more closely related to Fire-type Kanto Ninetales than it is to any other Ice-type.  Ice-type powers must have evolved independently several times in unrelated lineages, so there’s no reason they couldn’t evolve again, in a species even more different.  So then the question is, where does type actually come from?  Maybe there’s a set of eighteen fundamental forces of the universe that Pokémon can adapt to tap into and control.  In that case, well, there’s no reason humans from Ultra Space couldn’t have a range of types, but I’m not sure there’s any good reason to think that they do, either.  Maybe there is something basic to all Pokémon, which humans lack, that gives them access to elemental forces, and types are just variations of that, which can develop in many different ways, convergent and divergent.  After all, Pokémon of one type can usually learn many techniques of other types, but human psychics or spiritualists don’t appear to have the same flexibility.  Maybe they’re coming at similar powers from a completely different direction that wouldn’t necessarily give them all the same properties.

Personally – and this is where I veer into the unorthodox – I think that type is something humans made up to describe how Pokémon fight and predict the outcomes of battles.  Pokémon don’t have weaknesses and resistances in common because of something fundamental to the physics of the world – they have weaknesses and resistances in common because they happen to have evolved similar powers that do similar things (but often by different means).  There is no rule of the universe that says “Grass beats Water,” but most Grass-types can do multiple things that most Water-types do not have an effective defence against.  “Type” describes the practical results as they pertain to strategy and tactics, not any underlying truth.  And in that case, the answer is… well, humans don’t battle.  It doesn’t make sense to describe them as having a type, because type is an artificial system with a specific purpose; it’s like asking how much horsepower a television has.  But if humans did battle Pokémon the way Pokémon battle each other, then it would make sense.

This isn’t an answer, because obviously there isn’t one.  It’s more… a collection of points that I think you need, in order to decide on an answer and figure out what it would mean. And… that, in principle, will in some way be good. (Is a thing that I hope.)

11 thoughts on “Weird question time asks:

  1. For me, I think the idea that they’re simply labels humans applied to them is an interesting idea, but not one I agree with. One argument against the idea could be made with fire-types. Common knowledge is water puts out fire, but this isn’t a universal truth. Grease fires get worse when you try to douse them for instance. This could be argued to be a game abstraction though, like how each Pokémon gets a turn before you can issue another command.
    I think a better argument could be made with Arceus. While one could make arguments about Arceus’s exact nature, it’s obviously a being working on some cosmic scale. It’s signature ability, to change into any type while holding a specific plate, to me suggests that types in this world are definitely cosmic forces being channeled, at least in the case of Arceus. Perhaps one could make the argument that it’s the reverse, and what Arceus is channeling is people’s thoughts about typing? The idea of ‘Gods’ gaining their powers through the thoughts of the people is somewhat common nowadays. This isn’t really implied to be what’s happening though, but it’s possible.
    Perhaps this will be something Pokémon will explain some day, but for now it’s content to keep things simple and obscure, so there’s no real clear cut answers. And until there are concrete answers on what types really are in the first place, we can’t really speculate with any certainty what can and cannot have types, humans included. But speculation is still fun regardless of certainty. If nothing else, the idea of humans with “alternate types” in Ultra Space seems like a fun idea to play with, even if not taken literally.


    1. Yeah the existence of things like Arceus’ plates, the type gems, even moves like Hidden Power – anything that can take on any type – is probably the strongest argument for thinking there’s something baked into the physics of the universe that makes types work the way they do.


      1. okay but consider that guy in XY who says “pokemon eggs… technically speaking they aren’t eggs”

        *what other eggs could he be using as a reference for what IS an egg*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I mean, how often do you casually drop into conversation “boy, I sure enjoy being a placental mammal!” I think the setting would actually be weirder if people weren’t pokémon. I mean,do you assume that pokémon are aliens that crash landed into the world, outcompeted every animal, and humans are the only survivors? Because that’s way weirder than “humans are a pokémon species”. Not all pokémon evolve, or learn many moves or TMs. Humans can have less noticeable abilities. It fits to me.


        1. Well, I’m happy to believe that “humans are Pokémon” may be a phylogenetically correct statement in the same way that “humans are lobe-finned fishes” is correct. But regardless of their evolutionary history… it doesn’t seem like they’re Pokémon *now* in any meaningful way.


        2. I somewhat actually do believe Pokémon are from “space”… or at least not from Earth (either from outer space or even Ultra Space). Quite a few Pokémon at this point are confirmed to either be from outer space or Ultra Space, and, if we’re assuming Darwinian Evolution is a thing, it seems more likely that Pokémon life originated elsewhere and came to Earth long ago than they evolved independently on entirely different words or realities. While recent games don’t reference animals, earlier games do, and if we’re trying to have any kind of consistent lore you have to acknowledge the different between Pokémon and animals – animals appearing less and less may mean most were already dying out (wow this theory got dark), but there’s a fundamental different in that an Indian Elephant cannot use Pokémon moves but a Gastly can. In this regard, humans, being the most adaptable “animals”, have managed to survive in a world with alien Pokémon life.

          Of course, we can also assume Darwinian Evolution is NOT a thing in their universe, in which case everything was “created” (either my Arceus or some other supernatural force), at which point it’s even easier to say humans aren’t Pokémon because the creator didn’t make them as Pokémon, just as it did with plants or even bacteria.

          Either way, the existence of multiple Pokémon that are strongly believed to be from space (anything evolving via moonstone, solrock and lunatone, deoxys, elgeyem, etc etc) to me tells me that Pokémon likely did originate elsewhere, and the early animal appearances and references implies to me animals did exist and likely are just becoming more and more endangered, if not extinct.


      3. Top scientists don’t even know where Pokémon eggs come from. Daycares and breeders don’t even know where Pokémon eggs come from. At this point, humans in Pokemon appear to be so ridiculously inept at understanding reproduction that I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t know where human babies come from.


        1. Considering that eggs can be stored in the PC and take up a party slot, I’m inclined to believe that they really aren’t eggs and the parents are doing a smaller version of what Arceus does in that one HGSS event. They share their energy and just *manifest* the “egg,” which is actually a generic pre-baby stage of Pokemon that “hatches” when it evolves into the true first form of the line. Nobody knows where they come from because we’re still not fully sure how all this energy/evolution stuff even works


  2. In the first generation, the Toxic TM is given to you by a ninja gym leader who specifies that it’s a human technique, presumably invented by his clan. This is presumably why everything capable of learning received it until the programmers of Sword and Shield forgot why that made sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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