Patchface asks:

Who would win in a fight to the death, all the Gen 5 Pokemon you allowed to live, or all the Gen 5 Pokemon you condemned to die?

Well, in general one of the criteria I used for letting them live or die was whether they were actually any good, so… well, the ones who lived get most of the legendaries, all three starters, Hydreigon, Excadrill and Volcarona… and the ones who died get, like… fµ¢£in’… Watchog and Emolga and $#!t.  I mean, it’s not all bad, they get Bisharp, and Bisharp is legitimately a lot better now than it was in generation V, but still… I dunno if I see it working for them.

Larry asks:

How much of the way our experience with “a pokémon trainer is you!” was based on the background we picked for our character? Obviously, there were the story beats with us doing ranger/biologist work besides training.

But I’m assuming that our capacity to find Pokémon that you usually only see in Kanto under special conditions (The Hoenn Radio In Soulsilver) is because our scientist background lets us examine the environment better? And our compassion is the reason we’ve had your first non-misanthrope character. I assume even if we weren’t a big battling fan we’d still know most, if not all, type matchups though? (The games and the anime pretending 10-year olds wouldn’t know that ground is immune to electric is just… the worst worldbuilding I’ve seen.. ever? )

Uh, but tangent aside- I meant to ask you about what you would do with each specialty! “Swords” seemed weird as fuck and I’m confused, but I’m pretty interested in Athlete- would that let us basically be our own HM pokémon?

[Before saying anything else: I do want to bring this back, but things are… well, crazy right now, as I think most people have probably noticed.  When I do, it will probably be a two-week schedule rather than every week, because that was taking too much time away from articles.]

[…what is my life]

But yeah, the point of that “choose your background” question was basically to decide what kind of story this was going to be, what aspects of the Pokémon world we were going to focus on.  Part of that is just dictating the kinds of details I emphasise and explore in the narration, but the character’s skills also determine some of the options I offer when we have a choice to make.  I didn’t have everything planned out, but for every “special skill” I had some idea of a few things that it would let us do to take the story of Pokémon: Red and Blue off the rails, and a few ways that our character would react differently to the events of the story.  The point is that the things we do to influence the world in significant ways should mainly come from those “special skills.”

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Anonymous asks:

Hey, longtime fan, do you think you would ever do another speed nuzlocke like you did for fire red a few years ago?

That was… sort of a unique situation.  Jim the Editor and I normally live on different continents, but for New Year’s Eve at the end of 2017 we were together, with no other company, in a Scottish winter with not a lot else to do.  So, precisely like that, no, absolutely not, or at least not in the next few years.  But I won’t rule out doing some lowish effort write-ups of Pokémon playthroughs in the nearer future. Which, uh… knowing me, will transition seamlessly into high effort write-ups that I can’t possibly finish. Che será, será.

Vox asks:

Could you link the start of the X nuzlocke? I found you via tv tropes…

You found me via… what, seriously?

Well, this should give you what you need: https://pokemaniacal.com/tag/x-nuzlocke/?order=asc.  I should warn you, though, that I never finished that story and currently don’t intend to, so you should be prepared for disappointment.  I don’t think the TvTropes page has been updated in several years, and even then it kinda gave disproportionate prominence to a project that was never really my main “thing.”  I… could update it myself, but, well… it just seems kind of crass, doesn’t it?  Editing one’s own TvTropes page?

Anon the Mon asks:

Are you ever going to release part 3 of your Uranium nuzlocke, or did you forget you started that?

Oh, I 100% forgot I started that and am 100% not going to continue it. Honestly it was a mistake to start a Nuzlocke when what I was really interested in was exploring the new Pokémon. And there were external factors, like the game basically didn’t function on Mac OS when it was released (not sure if that’s changed) and it was a hassle to change operating systems whenever I wanted to play it.

A man from Michigan asks:

Would you like to meet Serebii’s creator, Joe Merrick?

That would be fun!  I mean, there’s probably not going to be a lot of opportunities.  He lives in the UK; I live in the US for now, and would eventually like to return to New Zealand to live and work in the long-term.  There’s conventions and stuff in the US, but I’m usually not in a position to take time off for them.  But, I mean, in principle, yeah.  You kinda have to have a lot of respect for the guy; serebii.net is one of the most comprehensive resources the Pokémon community has, and Joe gives really sober, down-to-earth coverage of Pokémon news.

Also my new ‘boss,’ Paul at PokéJungle, is engaged in a long-standing Twitter campaign of lighthearted trolling against Joe, so clearly I would have to seize the opportunity to join in somehow.

Ash=Cash to GameFreak asks:

Hey, love your playthrough journals, have you ever done one on Pokemon X or Y, if so, I can’t find it here, and are you planning on making one for Sword and Shield?

I did, but it’s part of the 700-odd posts that I haven’t yet re-filed into WordPress’ category system following my relocation from Tumblr.  This link should work, though, assuming I gave all the posts the same tag at the time of writing: https://pokemaniacal.com/tag/xandy/?order=asc.

I’m probably not going to do a full narrative one for Sword and Shield, just because (even though they are fun) they take longer than I honestly think they’re worth.  The one I did for Sun and Moon really started to drag and kept me from getting down to business on the Pokémon reviews, which was a pretty big contributing factor to why I’m still finishing up my generation VII articles now, and probably won’t have time for everything I still want to write.  I’ll certainly write something for Sword and Shield, but it will probably be a much more pared-down “first impressions” sort of thing in the vein of what I did for Alpha Sapphire (you can find that here https://pokemaniacal.com/category/playthroughs/alpha-sapphire-playthrough-notes/?order=asc; Jim the Editor has just gone through these and jazzed them up with some new graphics for my team rosters, which is nice).

Rebecca Panks asks:

Do you ever do play-throughs where you have to stick to particular rules? Like the Nuzlocke challenge? If so, what are your favourites and what are the ones you vow never to do again?

I’ve done a few Nuzlockes.  They have… ended poorly.  One of them featured an Illumise spontaneously exploding.  Sometimes Jim the Editor will pick teams of terrible Pokémon for me (honestly, though, I don’t think I’ve yet had a Pokémon challenge experience that made me really firmly swear “never again”).  Once I even wrote a Nuzlocke story, which I never finished, and honestly I don’t know if I’m ever going to have time to finish it (maybe I should just tell everyone what I had in mind for the rest of the story, I don’t know).  But anyway, if you don’t mind that it cuts off about 3/4 of the way through the story, or think you might want to start bugging me to finish it instead of the other things I have in mind to do, you can read it here.

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