hugh_donnetono asks:

What’s your opinion on the Beta Sinnoh Pokemon? (especially arceus)

I’m not sure I have an opinion on them, or feel I need to.  I mean, a lot of them are placeholders, right?  Many of the leaked sprites are just… clearly unfinished; that’s what a beta is.  Arceus especially; people meme on beta Arceus, but it seems pretty clear to me that no one ever planned for it to go into the finished game looking anything like that (likewise Rotom).  They knew they wanted Arceus to exist, and they had a rough idea what they wanted it to look like, but they hadn’t finalised the design or done proper sprites yet.  The only Pokémon that seem to me like they had a genuinely different design in the leaked beta materials – not just unfinished art – are Rampardos, maybe Hippowdon, Lumineon, Lickilicky (back sprite only), Togekiss and the Garchomp line, and most of them… well, yeah, they just kinda look like first drafts of the Pokémon that they are.  Beta Rampardos seems a bit less naturalistic, maybe a touch more manic?  Beta Togekiss has shades of Latias and Latios, and I do think it looks pretty cool, but I’m not sure it works as an evolution from Togepi and Togetic.  Beta Gible, Gabite and Garchomp have different colour palettes and are… I guess my instinct is maybe a bit simpler, a bit more gen I-II-like?  They’re fine, I suppose; I think the final designs are more visually interesting. 

The one thing I do think is kind of interesting is the mystery Pokémon, Kimairan, that seems to have occupied Giratina’s slot, whose sprite is clearly a draft but looks like a kind of six-legged griffin thing.  My guess is, Game Freak knew they were going to have another legendary Pokémon in that slot, but hadn’t quite figured out what the third piece of Space/Time/??? ought to be, or what role they wanted this Pokémon to have in the mythology of Sinnoh.  Even the final release of Diamond and Pearl is, in my opinion, pretty noncommittal about what Giratina actually represents (compared to, say, Rayquaza in Ruby and Sapphire or Kyurem in Black and White), so I honestly wonder how much, if any, of Giratina’s role in Platinum was sketched out in advance.  Kimairan might have represented… dreams, maybe, or the world, or life, or a fixed point of reference within space-time.  Maybe at this stage of the beta they didn’t even know they wanted this mystery Pokémon to be part of a trio with Dialga and Palkia yet, and it was just something completely different.  The point is, I think they probably ditched Kimairan and created Giratina because something clicked about the way they wanted to tell the story of generation IV, and they realised that the Pokémon they’d made wasn’t right for the role they needed.

[This question was promoted to the front of the queue because the submitter is supporting me on Patreon!  If you enjoy my writing and like getting my answers to cosmic dilemmas like this one – or just think I deserve something nice for my work – consider visiting https://www.patreon.com/pokemaniacal and signing up!]

5 thoughts on “hugh_donnetono asks:

  1. The Lickilicky beta is the most interesting to me because its entire torso appears to have turned into a Bubble Tape dispenser for the tongue, which is a funny image and also makes WAY more sense with it evolving after learning Rollout

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Frankly, I genuinely like the beta arceus better because at least it looks wild and inhuman. The design we have is a goat with a big ego that wears jewelry and is strong, and while it sure is strong, like. It’s a goat. And you can catch it in a pokéball. It seems a lot like a regular thing with bells and whistles, and it takes commands from humans so it just winds up feeling like an overhyped powerful animal.

    The beta has unreadable eyes and doesn’t have anatomy besides “head, body, legs, eyes”, which keeps it seeming like a force of nature, or, well, could if it was better depicted. A lot of people drew genuinely good pictures of it like a cloud of cosmic dust, and frankly that’s both something one could depict in game with some effort (gastly comes to mind) and a much better fit for an animal deity than a goat that you find in a golden hallway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Giratina seems to me to be a “stabilizing” force in the universe, as its world is supposed to be a mirror opposite of ours, kind of like the second helix of a DNA strand. Whatever happens to one, happens to the other, thus if Giratina notices a discrepancy in its world, it knows that it needs to go and fix that for the benefit of the other world. This seems to be backed up by its role in its movie (where it was tired of all the destabilization of the battle that happened between Dialga and Palkia) and even its role in Platinum (where it responded to Cyrus’ attempt to create his own universe by enslaving Dialga and Palkia) Not exactly something that represents an actual property of our universe(that we know of) but it still serves as an interesting concept for this fictional world.

    Like

Leave a Reply to hugh_donnetono Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s