x asks:

Was Coalossal created for the industrial revolution, after the revolution, or did it inspire the revolution? Actually, did the revolution happen at all?

Well, the Pokémon world resembles the modern world in enough important ways that I think there has to have been an industrial revolution; like… they have mechanised agriculture, they have coal power, they have mass-produced textiles, they have modern urbanisation.  Maybe those things didn’t happen all at once and in the same place, the way they did in 18th and 19th century Britain, though?  I don’t believe that anyone at Game Freak – or indeed anywhere in Pokémon’s corporate structure – has a detailed idea of what the history of the Pokémon world looks like, outside of the explicit lore of each region (and even then, I’m not altogether convinced they care much about fitting the history of different regions into a single overarching narrative); maybe they used to, because a lot of early stuff suggested that the Pokémon world has the same history and geography as the real one, but much of that is overwritten or contradicted by later media.

So, like, if the industrial revolution was happening in 18th century Galar, what about the other things that happened as a consequence of that?  Did a Galarian Empire grow to cover a quarter of the world’s land area, enriching its rulers at the expense of indigenous cultures all over the planet?  Was a long period of peace and prosperity within Poké-Europe ultimately shattered by a devastating world war that ushered in the modern era? Did the replacement of traditional agrarian societies with industrial capitalist ones and the resulting immiseration of the working classes for the benefit of wealthy landowners spur a wild-bearded Poké-German philosopher living in Galar to write a “Communist Manifesto” that established founding principles on which two major world powers later built their entire political ideologies, setting the stage for a decades-long series of proxy wars and espionage conflicts between capitalist and communist superpowers?  Was Kanto slow to adopt the new technologies of the industrial revolution on account of the isolationist policies of a strictly traditionalist military government based in Johto, until that government was eventually overthrown by a resurgent monarchy with a religious fundamentalist bent which then oversaw a rapid modernisation of the country and establishment of its own overseas empire, finally bringing it into conflict with a region called “America” that dropped nuclear bombs on Hoenn and established a long-term military garrison in Kanto, leading decades later to the gym leader of Vermillion City being an ex-army lieutenant nicknamed “the Lightning American”???

Hmm?

Oh, right.  Coalossal.

Well, the Pokédex entries for Coalossal don’t tell us much, but the ones for Rolycoly and Carkol do have some hints here.  Rolycoly “was first discovered in coal mines about 400 years ago,” which would make it a new discovery of 150ish years before the beginning of the industrial revolution (give or take, depending on how you define “the industrial revolution” and how close Galar’s history is to Britain’s).  In Carkol’s case, we are told that “coal dropped by this Pokémon once helped fuel the lives of people in the Galar region.”  So it certainly sounds like there was a period of Galar’s history when coal was very important to the region’s economy, which probably began after the coal industry was revolutionised by the discovery of Rolycoly in the early 17th century – and we can also, most likely, imagine that this is the same period and revolution referred to in flavour text for Galarian Weezing, “when droves of factories fouled the air with pollution.”

5 thoughts on “x asks:

  1. Part of what makes this a bit hard is we don’t have much context for *when* the Pokemon World takes place compared to out own, if we’re comparing the two as relatively similar. Perhaps one could surmise the century and a half of time discrepancy isn’t because the Galarian people took that time to realize the use of coal, but because the ‘modern’ times of the Pokemon world are actually 150 years in the future? With the various technologies of this world, it makes sense for it to be some amount of time in the future

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    1. Which would also give us a century and a half for Unovan Yamask to establish their “current” habitat in Totally Not The Twin Towers Ruins.

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      1. Implying Yamask are the victims of 9/11 is…. creepy, to say the least. Also it does not make much sense. What does 9/11 have to do with ancient Egypt? Cofagrigus has to fit into that picture somehow.

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        1. And if we’re talking timetables, the ruins that Yamask are found in are said to be on the 3,000- to 2,500-year-old spectrum, which would be vastly out of step with any 9/11 equivalent even if we are assuming the “modern” Pokémon world to be about a century ahead of ours. (All this time we’ve been playing PokéPunk 2177)

          And I mean, for me personally, Yamask’s design has always sort of implied that they’re the result of an arcane death mask ceremony that might’ve been important in the ancient culture of Unova. More of a ritualistic interaction with death than a sudden tragedy.

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    2. Well, coal mining in England actually goes well back into the Iron Age, so I don’t think that’s a problem – if anything, they’ve brought the date forward. Exactly why the industrial revolution happened when and where it did is kind of a complicated question that I’m not remotely qualified to weigh in on, but it isn’t just because people figured out you could burn coal for heat; people had always known that.

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