Mr. F asks:

So there are octopus, squid, and ammonite Pokemon. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a cuttlefish to complete the bunch? Maybe a vampyroteuthis as well? Perhaps even a nautilus if Omanyte is too divergent. Come to think of it, the blanket octopus is so strange it could deserve its own Pokemon (maybe one with some of that extreme sexual dimorphism). There could even be an alternate version of Omanyte based on nipponites for some real bizarreness.

Well, as luck would have it, you have – purely by coincidence and the alignment of the planets – come to the right place, because when I got my readers to collectively design a Pokémon one time aaaaaaaaages ago, they came up with a lava lamp squid that attacks with boiling oil, which we named Krakentoa.  To put it another way – yeah, I’m kind of a fan of this.  Cephalopods are just inherently fun to play with, thanks to their alien intelligence and highly unusual abilities.  Although Omastar, Octillery and Malamar are all pretty cool and interesting Pokémon, there’s still a lot of unexplored creative space there, so even if we arguably don’t need more of them, I think there would be room for an eccentric designer to find some way of making additional cephalopod Pokémon conceptually distinct from their predecessors.  Camouflage, shape-changing, deep-sea adaptations, “vampire” traits for the Vampyroteuthis… I think it might be fun to have a nautilus Pokémon that somehow referenced the Nautilus, Captain Nemo’s submarine from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.  Not sure of the best way to go about that, though.

Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o and Kommo-o

Jangmo-o

I guess we’re almost at the end now, technically – today’s Pokémon are the last “ordinary” Pokémon of Alola.  On the other hand, we’re sort of not near the end at all, because we’ve got not only legendary Pokémon to do after this, but also Ultra Beasts, and I think I promised to write something about the Alolan forms as well, and… oh, let’s just get on with it.  Here’s Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o and Kommo-o: the Scaly Pokémon.

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Claydol asks:

Steven stone’s mega Metagross hits like a truck doesn’t he?

He sure do.  No Earthquake, though, unlike in the original Ruby and Sapphire, which makes him substantially easier to outmanoeuvre in terms of type coverage.  Giga Impact also creates a lot of openings for your Pokémon to come in and hit him hard before he can recover.  I have memories of much greater difficulty with the old non-mega Metagross, but that’s partly because on my first playthrough of Sapphire I had no idea what type the damn thing was, and pre-generation VI Steel-types resist pretty much everything (also I had a Sableye in my party because I didn’t understand the game very well yet).

Flareon asks:

Am I useful now that I finally can learn Flare Blitz?

Well, I’d say you’re arguably no longer the worst of your siblings, which is… something, right?  Your offensive movepool is still really bad, and that’s a problem that pretty much your entire family struggles with.  The best moves you all share are support techniques, so it’s your toughest siblings – Vaporeon, Umbreon and Sylveon – who are the most consistently useful.  Espeon gets a leg up from her ludicrous hidden ability, and Jolteon kinda gets by on his good offensive stat distribution and strong attack type.  Leafeon is pretty bad, but arguably still better than you because Swords Dance and Chlorophyll give him sweeping potential.  Now that you have Flare Blitz though, you can claim to be at least as good as Glaceon, who has a similar offensive power level but a very weak defensive type and generally poor abilities.  The problem with being you, Flareon, is you’ve got one hell of a Flare Blitz, but you’re lacklustre in both speed and defence, which makes you really easy to kill, and all of Fire’s weaknesses are to really common attack types (Water, Ground and Rock – including Stealth Rock).  In comparison with other physically-oriented single-type Fire Pokémon, well… Darmanitan is somehow faster, tougher and stronger, and has a better selection of physical attacks plus the ridiculousness that is Sheer Force; while Arcanine is faster, surprisingly tough, has Intimidate, is flexible enough for a physical/special mix, and can heal with Morning Sun.  Hell, even Rapidash is faster and has arguably a better physical movepool than you, but at least she has the decency to have bad abilities, average defences and a weaker attack stat.  You could go hang out with Rapidash, I guess?

Patreon milestone reached!

Just wanted to make a quick announcement: thanks to my first three Patreon supporters, we have reached our first (admittedly modest) funding goal: breaking even on the $5/month cost of hosting the blog on WordPress! Having apparently chosen just the right moment to jump ship from the godawful $#!tstorm that Tumblr, deep down, has really always been but has only now allowed itself to fully become, it’s fantastic to have secured the continued maintenance of the site for the future. It’s a great start for the first couple of weeks – so thank you to my patrons!

My next Patreon goal is to hit $10 per month. This is roughly the cost of a WordPress Premium plan, which (among other sundry minor features) will let me customise the site a bit more with CSS editing. Frankly I’m not sure why CSS editing is a premium feature, but it’s necessary for pretty much any meaningful deviation from the basic site themes offered by WordPress. There are loftier goals as well, but one thing at a time.

If this is something you might be interested in being a part of, then please consider becoming a Pokémaniacal Patreon supporter (see the site navigation links below the header). Patrons get special perks based on their level of contribution – from voting on my next projects to behind-the-scenes access to the work that Jim the Editor and I put into all my posts – and tiers start at just US$1 per month.

Anyway, that’s enough of that – we now return you to your regularly scheduled nonsense.

Bradley asks:

Hi Chris! I’ve been a big fan for years and you’ve been super informative on the history of Pokemon. I too am a big fan of drastically overthinking how the Pokemon universe actually *works* and recently went on a big tirade trying to explain it all. You were a big influence on certain parts of the theory so hopefully you’ll enjoy what I came up with! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0_3ButdKzw

[Warning: the following is far too long and contains copious italics for emphasis, in order to create the illusion that I am in the room with you, gesticulating wildly at my own string diagram]

Okay, let me say first of all I am genuinely flattered and I am sorry this has had to sit in my inbox for almost two months on account of my being a lazy piece of $#!t

In the grand tradition of overthinking pop culture on the internet, I’m going to apply my standard method of engaging with anything I find even slightly fun or interesting: passionately disagreeing in excruciating detail (for other examples, see: this entire blog; my life as an academic).

Arrrright. *cracks knuckles* Let’s break this $#!t down

Now, to begin with, this whole “figure out the Pokémon world’s cosmology and all the relationships therein” thing is a project I kind of have mixed feelings about, because on the one hand, it’s exactly my type of nerdy bull$#!t as a lifelong mythology geek and strange person, but on the other hand, I think there’s basic reasons any such project is doomed from the start.  But it’s still bloody impressive that anyone ever does it, because frankly I’m too scared to, although I might give it a go if I have any time left between finishing up generation VII and the release of generation VIII.  The general problems, then.  These days, I have this sticking point with a lot of other Pokémon fans, where people tend to point at some piece of Pokémon’s mythology and say “there, it’s in the games; it’s canon” and my response (other than to explain that I don’t even like the word “canon”) is “well, no, it’s canon that this is their mythology”; we should take these as stories told by people who understand no more about the Pokémon universe than we do, and possibly much less.  Arceus says he created the universe, but, well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?  The ancient Sinnohans wouldn’t know the difference.  There’s probably other historical cults in the Pokémon world that once worshipped Rayquaza, or Xerneas, or even Celebi as creator gods.  Further to that, all these different legendary Pokémon are from different regions of the world with different mythological traditions, so even expecting to be able to fit everything into one consistent mythology might be a stretch.  We’re not talking “Zeus, Poseidon and Hades,” who have a “canonical” relationship based on the traditional stories about their family history, respective powers or domains, and forms of worship.  We’re talking “Zeus, Freyja and Nü Wa,” who not only have nothing to do with each other, but aren’t even really the same class of entity, because their cultures of origin have incompatible ideas about what a god even is.  But let’s put all of that firmly aside, and talk about Bradley’s analysis on its own terms: on the assumption that there is a single consistent cosmology, elements of which are recorded more or less faithfully by the myths referenced in the games.

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