Z-nogyroP asks:

i feel like you’ve almost certainly answered this question before, but how do you think abilities work? some abilities seem more like physical features (tough claws, thick fat, compound eyes) whereas others are a lot more abstract (pixilate, mold breaker, cloud nine). wouldn’t a tinted lens butterfree’s eyes be just as compound as one with the compound eyes ability? what makes a gluttony snorlax have less fat than one with thick fat?

I’ve tried to answer this one before; let’s see… here.

It’s a bastard of a question, to be quite honest with you.

My natural inclination is to say that abilities have nothing in common and they all work in different ways because… why would they?  As you rightly note, “abilities” covers a very wide range of traits and skills.  There’s no reason to expect that the rules governing a Butterfree’s vision would be anything like the rules governing Snorlax’s rolls of fat.  Continue reading “Z-nogyroP asks:”

Katiecat asks:

I was reading your eeveelutions reviews. You mention the whole “adaptations” thing isn’t really done that well, since most of them don’t really match their environments all that well.
Theoretically, how would you design an octet of eeveelutions to go with different environments from scratch? I have my own but I wanna hear what you’d do first.
The other thing you mention is that they go for many different aesthetics, such as cute (flareon/sylveon), cool (jolteon), beautiful (vaporeon/glaceon), and mysterious, but kind of leave off a brutish aesthetic. I would also add they leave off the under-appreciated weird aesthetic- the dunsparces and exeggcutes of the world that end up in “top 20 worst pokemon” lists but a small number of us keep close to our hearts.

What catastrophically awful person puts Dunsparce on a Top 20 Worst Anything list?

So, some of the eeveelutions I actually am totally fine with; I’d just associate them with different environments to their canonical ones. For instance, although the core games don’t say much about Flareon’s habitat, spinoffs tend to put her in volcanic or lava areas with all the other Fire Pokémon, but if we’re thinking of eeveelutions in terms of being adaptations of Eevee to a specific type of environment, well, Flareon kinda looks to me like a cold-adapted form. Thick fluffy fur is useful in a cold place, and fire powers are useful if most of the other local Pokémon are Ice-types. Alternatively, and this is what I said when I discussed Flareon for my eeveelutions series years ago, I could buy that Flareon belongs in a temperate grassland habitat, using her fire abilities to scorch areas of dry vegetation and drive out prey. Whether Pokémon in general are actually suited to the kinds of biomes the games tend to put them in… is kind of a big and complicated question and not worth getting into at the moment, but I think if you’re going to do it, Eevee is the place to start, because her lore draws attention to the concept of adaptation and (arguably) to the problems with the way Pokémon portrays adaptation.

Which is my long-winded way of saying “this is too damn complicated to get right with a short post that I wrote in like an hour,” but fµ¢& it, let’s give it a whirl Continue reading “Katiecat asks:”

Sandro asks:

Can you put together any reasoning for why Pokémon can learn only four moves? I mean, I can understand from game perspective but from in-universe perspective? I suppose complicated magical moves would make sense but some moves like Tackle or Peck are really just simple basic body movements. How does learning how to breathe fire or squirt water make you forget how to ram your face into stuff?

Obviously there are compelling gameplay reasons for it, and early seasons of the anime (which doesn’t need to care about that) actually do play fast and loose with this rule occasionally – Drake’s Dragonite uses no fewer than ten different attacks in Ash’s Orange League championship battle.  But cases like that are the exception, not the rule, and often seem meant to illustrate that a particular Pokémon is unusually powerful and skilled – most Pokémon can’t do it.  Why?  I think we need to compare how athletic skills and martial arts techniques work in the real world (because that’s basically what Pokémon attacks are).  Continue reading “Sandro asks:”

Anonymous asks:

They’ll have to make obtaining Alolan forms outside of Alola possible. Although here’s a question I have for you, do you think it’s possible that the Pikachu line is native to Alola? And that Raichu is meant to be a psychic type when it evolves, but without it’s Alolan Diet, ends up being a pure electric type instead?

I’m sure they’ll be obtainable in some way, yeah, same as the regular “Kantonian” morphs are obtainable in Sun and Moon.  But that’s not at all the same thing as finding them in the wild with no explanation for how they got there when they’ve previously been specifically described as unique to Alola.

Anyway.  Pikachu and Raichu. Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”

Heavymetalloser1 asks:

Do you think the daycare REALLY doesn’t know where the eggs came from, or are they just saying that because they don’t wanna have to tell the protagonist about the Pidgeys and the Beedrills?

Unclear.  In the original Gold and Silver, when eggs were introduced, a Pokémon egg was such a bizarre curiosity that Professor Elm was shocked and elated to be given the chance to study one, which suggests that the writers originally had in mind a world where most people honestly know almost nothing about Pokémon reproduction, but Heart Gold and Soul Silver seem to retcon that to some extent.  And then there’s a guy in X and Y who tells the player that Pokémon eggs “aren’t really eggs,” which I suspect is Game Freak winking at us and saying “yeah, whatever you think you know about this is wrong.”  I think there really is supposed to be a degree of mystery about how this stuff works even in-universe.

Random Access asks:

I once heard an interesting theory that all Pokémon may descend from ultrabeasts. Do you think it may have merit?

Well, I’d sort of need more than that.  Why might we think that all Pokémon are descended from Ultra Beasts?  I mean, it’s not impossible, but given that we have no idea what the Ultra Beasts’ relationship to modern Pokémon (if any) even is, that seems like the last place to start looking for the origin of all Pokémon.  What’s the reasoning?

Anonymous asks:

Do you think pokemon are carbon based life forms? I’m aware that it’s a make believe world with screwy physics but I just want to prentend we can apply some sort of logic to the world.

…yeeeeees?  I mean, most of them?  Like, there are a lot of them where that seems like a sensible assumption, but then there are also ones like Geodude that should perhaps be silicon-based, or ones like Bronzor that ought to be metallic, and then there’s Carbink who is carbon-based but in a very different way to what we’re used to.  I’ve given up on thinking that “Pokémon” is a biological category that implies common ancestry, so I’m okay with some of them being carbon-based and others not.