Hey, just something that’s been, pun very intended, bugging me- Paras and Parasect. We all know their deal, their horrible, horrible deal. But it’s weird, innit?
Why would a Paras let itself evolve, let its trainer do that to it? How come the Parasect *seems* to maintain all emotional bonds? (Saying that based on friendship/affection remaining.) If the Paras’ soul really gets sucked, and it’s a known fact, why isn’t it even frowned upon to evolve Paras?
This seems like one of the more trustworthy dex entries, the damp habitat thing seems realistic, Parasect’s eyes are too barren for comfort, but I can’t quite make up my mind.
This is on my mind specifically because now I’m playing soulsilver with a Paras, and I’m not sure if I can forgive myself if I evolve him. Thoughts?
(PS: I know there’s an anime episode about a girl who wants to evolve her Paras, but I couldn’t find your review, if there is one. All I know is that in the ep there doesn’t seem to be any drama OR soulsucking?)
So, Parasect is… a tricky one. Just to get us all on the same page, here are (by my reckoning) all the relevant examples of how the Pokédex talks about Parasect and its mushrooms:
Continue reading “Larry asks:”
- The mushrooms have “taken over” the host bug.
- Staying in dark and damp places is “the preference not of the bug, but of the big mushrooms.”
- The mushroom “extracts” nutrients from the bug until “nothing’s left.”
- The mushroom “controls” the bug. Notably, Ultra Moon also says this about Paras.
- “The bug is mostly dead, with the mushroom on its back having become the main body. If the mushroom comes off, the bug stops moving.”
- The mushroom “appears to do all the thinking.”
The Pokémon brand remains sheepishly heteronormative (ie, Steven Stone & Wallace are just best guy friends *wink*). On that note, the move Attract should be low-key rejiggered to also affect targets of the same gender, with its overall accuracy reduced somewhat (say down to 85 or 90%) to reflect the slightly lower incidence of same-sex interactions among animals. Frankly, it’s 2019 & kids across the globe are well-aware that LGBTQ people & same-sex “infatuation” (to borrow an in-game term) exist, stop pretending otherwise, Game Freak. Thoughts?
I mean, honestly, I don’t think there’s really any compelling game balance reason you couldn’t just have Attract work on all gendered Pokémon (or even just all Pokémon) with 100% accuracy. That’d still be strictly worse than Confuse Ray was in generations I through VI, because infatuation wears off if either the user or the target switches out, and an attack that fails due to confusion comes with some extra damage (in generation VII, the chance of a confused Pokémon hurting itself drops to 33%, so it’s a bit murkier now, but still; we can always nerf infatuation by a similar amount, just to keep “parattraction” from becoming a frustrating metagame force). All Pokémon are bi now. Really, why not? This isn’t even all that out of step with nature; there are species where same-sex sexual interactions seem to be more common (for one or both sexes) than opposite-sex ones, like giraffes. It doesn’t even have to signify homosexuality if people want to be prudish about it; you can just make it a joke, like “he’s so hot even the straight guys want him,” which is a joke the anime has made with Meowth and a wild Purrloin (also, like… straight guys… there’s one, right? You might not say it out loud, but there’s always one. We share this blessed earth with the corporeal incarnations of Hugh Jackman, Rock “the Dwayne” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Idris Elba, for goodness’ sake; you’re allowed one). The fact is, we don’t know anything about Pokémon sexuality. Nothing is canon and nothing is sacred; Game Freak have made sure of that. We know it usually takes a male and a female to produce an egg, but the games keep insisting that no one knows how it happens, and also claim that eggs “aren’t really eggs,” and permit all kinds of… anatomically improbable pairings (ArcheOPS WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THAT CLAWITZER). I’m not sure it would make the system any more implausible even if you straight-up allowed Pokémon to breed and produce offspring regardless of gender (there are single-gender species already, and they must reproduce somehow).
uh oh so [SWSH spoilers fwiw)
galarian ponyta just got Officially Announced and it’s described as having been “exposed to the overflowing life energy of the forest over many generations, and this is why their appearance became unique in this region”
it’s a psychic type
does this do anything to or for your Fairy-is-life-energy theories? or does it still also just kinda feed into “typing is nonsense”?
While we’re here, this will also serve as my answer to the question from another reader who gives their name simply as “Getting Shield!!!”:
Galarian Ponyta, thoughts?
So… I think it’s fine. Unicorns are an emblem of Scotland, so it certainly fits Galar as a Pokémon inspired by the culture and history of Great Britain. It’s quite pretty. It’s a point in favour of a prediction made by my esteemed PokéJungle colleague Jon that suggests we can guess which Pokémon are getting Galarian forms on the basis of new egg moves given out in Ultra Sun and Moon, so that’s quite nice if you’re interested in the prediction game. Psychic is a weird type to choose, in my opinion, for something as obviously “fairytale” as a unicorn – back in the X and Y era, Jim the Editor and I actually thought it was a bit weird that the base Kantonian Ponyta and Rapidash hadn’t been promoted to Fire/Fairy, because it would have made perfect sense and produced an interesting unique dual-type. But that brings us to…
Continue reading “hoennian asks:”
This is a slightly odd question (or set of questions), but I’ve been thinking lately about how Pokemon perceive or relate to their own type, and whether type distinctions induce some kind of cultural difference among Pokemon. Are Pokemon aware of their own type? Do type distinctions arise “naturally,” or are they simply human-created terms used to organize and taxonomize Pokemon by their salient features? Do Pokemon feel culturally closer to Pokemon who share their type? What about Pokemon from “allied” types, like Water and Ice, or Rock and Ground? Is a Pokemon like Abomasnow who has two types that are fairly “far apart” from each other able to “code switch” to an extent– to “lean in” to his Grass-type features when he’s hanging out with other Grass pokemon, and to his Ice-type aspects when he’s up on the mountain with the other Ice-types?
What do you think about this?
I tend to think that the world makes more sense if
Pokémon type is a construct created by humans in order to understand how
Pokémon fight and predict which Pokémon will have advantages against certain
others. If Pokémon type is a natural
thing that exists independently of humans, then you need to do a lot of work
explaining what it is and how it arises (especially considering that Pokémon of
the same type do not usually seem to be related species), and this is work that
Game Freak has not done. I think it
would probably imply that each type corresponds to some metaphysical source of
magical power that Pokémon can tap into – and honestly I think that might
be true anyway for some of the more mystical types like Dragon and Fairy, but for
most of them there simply isn’t anything that hints at it in official sources. Of course, because this is something that Pokémon’s
creators probably haven’t thought about, there are a few stray things that do
strongly suggest Pokémon types are in some way natural and absolute, like
Arceus having forms for every type, and Hidden Powers existing for every type
(except Fairy), and there being no exceptions to the type chart. So… basically, I know what the answer would
be if I were in charge, but I’m not confident in anything given the
world as we actually see it.
Continue reading “Osprey asks:”
did you notice that in gen 7 mega evolution was quietly retconned from an emotional bond-based transformation to being more of an energy-fueled mutation and generally a cruel thing to do to a pokemon? the SM and USUM pokedex entries for mega evos are pretty much all about how much pain the pokemon is in, how it’s been mutated into a grotesque form that distresses it, how it hates being in that form, etc. and none of them are positive or mention the pokemon’s bond with the trainer
Well… I’m looking through the Pokédex entries and I think
it’s a bit more ambiguous than that.
There are several Pokémon for whom this seems like a fair description of
the Pokédex text on their Mega Evolved forms, but they’re certainly not a
majority, and there are also two Mega Evolved Pokémon who explicitly like
their new forms: Mega Slowbro is said to be “pretty comfortable” ensconced
inside Shellder, while Mega Pinsir supposedly never touches the ground because
it’s overcome with happiness at being able to fly. There are two more that explicitly cite the
importance of the Pokémon’s bond with its trainer (Mega Charizard Y and Mega
Gyarados). I think that pretty well
rules out any general statement about what Mega Evolution is like for all
Pokémon; it affects each of them differently (which, well, makes sense). But there are also those more
disturbing entries referencing things like “sharp pain and suffering” or body
parts becoming “misshapen.” I think in most
of these cases it’s relevant that the Pokémon involved are… well, let’s just
say they’re not necessarily Pokémon you’d want at a child’s birthday
party. Mega Evolution is – in my opinion
– an exaggeration of everything distinctive about a Pokémon. Whatever a Pokémon already does, Mega
Evolution turns it up to eleven. I don’t
think they were designed with the intention that they should be proper viable
organisms in their own right; they’re ridiculous overpowered battle modes that
are supposed to be assumed for minutes at a time, at the very most. It sort of makes sense that they should often
be quite stressful. Furthermore, if you
have a Pokémon already known for viciousness or destructiveness… well, let’s
see what happens, starting from the ones that aren’t particularly objectionable.
Continue reading “kyurem asks:”
Why Nidorino & Nidorina evolve via Moon Stone? Clefairy, Jigglypuff and others are somewhat related to moon, night, or sleep. But I can’t find the connection with the Nido family.
Personally, I think it’s because they’re supposed to be – very loosely – based on rabbits (definitely the weirdest fµ¢£ing rabbits I’ve ever seen, though, I’ll give you that; maybe they’re influenced by jackalopes or wolpertingers or something). Rabbits are associated with the moon in China, Japan and Korea, because the shapes on the surface of the moon that we see as “The Man in the Moon” in culturally western countries are traditionally interpreted as a rabbit, often with a mortar and pestle, in east Asia. There are a bunch of different stories about exactly why the rabbit is up there and what the mortar and pestle are for, but the fact that it’s a rabbit is pretty well agreed, and this gets referenced a fair bit in Japanese pop culture (Dragon Ball had an anthropomorphic rabbit villain who wound up imprisoned on the moon; Sailor Moon’s real name, Tsukino Usagi, is a pun on tsuki no usagi, “moon rabbit”; Digimon World: Dusk gives the player a partner Digimon who is a rabbit with moon-related powers; etc). It’s a little tricky to be sure that’s the intent, but it’s the best explanation I can think of.