Y’know, we’ve hit the biggest, most important questions already now – whether it would be a good idea to make Pokémon real, and what Pokémon’s core themes are. Since I’ve so recklessly squandered this format’s potential by clearing up the grandest conceivable questions in the first two instalments (and, in so doing, settled those questions in perpetuity and throughout the universe), I’d like to move on, for the third One of These Things, to something much more detail-oriented.
How do all the “genderless” Pokémon work?
Pokémon that are “genderless”/“gender-unknown” presumably must reproduce, because they don’t all immediately go extinct as species. Some of them might just be functionally immortal, but I have to imagine that most of them reproduce in some way that (for whatever reason) we just don’t see in the “day-care” environments we have in the games, some way that’s different from whatever the “standard” male/female Pokémon are doing. For instance, I like to think that Magneton reproduce by fission – that at the end of its life a Magneton will break down into several Magnemite, and there is some chance of either a new Magneton forming from fewer than three Magnemite or an old Magneton breaking down into more than three, such that their population can gradually increase to make up the difference when some of them inevitably explode or get eaten by bears.
What can you come up with? What’s a “genderless” Pokémon that you think might reproduce in an interesting way? Or (related) what do you think “gender-unknown” might really mean for some of those species (3+ genders that don’t neatly map to male/female? Fluid gender? Truly genderless?)?
[EDIT: I should clarify here I’m using the word “gender” because that’s the games’ word for the property that seems to dictate which Pokémon can successfully breed with each other, which is… eh… let’s just try to overlook the obvious issues there.]