Long time reader; first time questioner asks:

You like baking right? How do you feel about the various ‘food’ pokemon? What food do you think deserves a Pokemon adaptation?

Well, how many even are there?  Vanillite, Vanillish and Vanilluxe, Swirlix and Slurpuff… I think that’s kind of it, unless you count Grass Pokémon based on fruit and mushrooms and the like, which personally I’d class as a separate thing.  I have kind of mixed feelings about them, because I’m not fundamentally opposed to the idea of food-based Pokémon like some people are, but actually developing that idea in any moderately interesting way is something Game Freak would probably be uncomfortable with.  That’s why Vanillite isn’t really an ice cream Pokémon at all, just a fairly generic ice-and-snow Pokémon that happens to be shaped like an ice cream for obscure reasons of its own.  Swirlix does better, but still runs up hard against the awkward question – “do we eat Pokémon?” – that the Pokémon games have no intention of ever firmly answering.  So Slurpuff end up working for human pastry chefs, constructing grotesque effigies of themselves, whose flavours are inspired by the taste of their own sugary flesh, for human consumption.  And then you also run up against another problem that I tend to have with Pokémon based on modern culture generally, which is “are we supposed to believe that the Pokémon inspired the cultural phenomenon, and what on earth is the timeline with that?”  It’s easy to make that work with Pokémon based on myths and folklore because you can just push everything back into the misty past of “thousands of years ago” but if you have, say, a hamburger Pokémon or something, we eventually have to ask: what kind of colossally fµ¢&ed up soylent-green-ass cultural moment caused people to suddenly decide, in the last couple of generations, to start modelling meat sandwiches after these intelligent creatures that they’ve been living and working alongside since time immemorial?  Who does that?

Continue reading “Long time reader; first time questioner asks:”

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.

Supman asks:

Hey pm! Ive been lurking here simce you denied or granted rights to exsist to pokemon, and i was wondering if you ever reviewed the secondary forms of zekrom and reshiram, when they are combined with kyurem?

Never did, and… I think probably won’t, though I’m not quite prepared to rule out a meandering series on legendary Pokémon generally.  There are some assorted thoughts on Reshiram, Zekrom and their relationship with Kyurem that you can find here:

Smugleaf asks:

I love Serperior. Do you have any idea for a Mega evolution or regional form for Serperior? Maybe make him Grass/Poison

Well I’m not exactly sitting on one that I’ve been saving for a special occasion or anything like that, but let’s give it ago…

I suspect we’re not likely ever to see regional forms of starter Pokémon, but on the assumption that we might, well, I think there could be interesting ground for a Kalosian form of Serperior.  Serperior is supposed to have a royalty aesthetic, and we know from interviews that elements of his design are based on French nobility and the symbol of the fleur-de-lis.  A Kalosian Serperior might have the blue and gold colours of the Bourbon dynasty, some kind of crown-like head crest, maybe a more ornate tail… it might be interesting if this version of Serperior had a focus on physical attacks and particularly on blade-like moves like Night Slash and Sacred Sword.  Typing could be Grass/Fighting, Grass/Steel, even Grass/Fairy, perhaps with a signature move to match (there’s nothing clearly wrong with Grass/Poison for a variant of Serperior, but we do have rather a lot of those already).  Contrary might be replaced with something like Defiant or Justified that provides a situational attack bonus.  And of course these Serperior would have been favoured partners of the Kalosian royalty in ancient times.

[Asks: Asks: Asks: Asks:] asks:

How do you feel about the lack of single type Flying pokemon? I’ve always felt it was odd that there is only one pure Flying type.

I tend to think Game Freak’s notion of what the Flying type actually is has changed quite a bit since generation I, perhaps to the extent that no one has ever quite known what it’s supposed to be.  All the generation I Flying-type attacks are bird-themed – Wing Attack, Drill Peck, Sky Attack (in Japanese, Goddo Bādo, a transliteration of the English “God Bird”) – which makes sense, since we have reason to suspect, on the basis of MissingNo and other bits of stray game data from Red and Blue, that it was originally called the “Bird type.” This, of course, is why Flying is strong against Bug.  Gust was a Normal-type attack originally, and Whirlwind still is.

Continue reading “[Asks: Asks: Asks: Asks:] asks:”

Albert Einstein asks:

You were right about Meltan…

I am as unsurprised to be proven right as I am unconcerned with the result either way, and equally so, I am pessimistic enough to point out that I was totally wrong (at least, given what we know so far) in predicting that Meltan would need to combine with different Pokémon representing other construction parts like washers, screws and bolts.

Honestly I think it’s sort of a shame Melmetal is just a big pile of hex nuts soldered together; there might have been some interesting “mechanical” (in multiple senses of the word) possibilities to be had with a modular Pokémon.  Melmetal might have several different possible stat profiles or movepool options unlocked by different combinations of “component” Meltan forms.  Of course, I suppose it’s possible that additional secrets will be unlocked in the generation VIII games.

Hyper Beam asks:

How would you…in glorious detail…imagine kyurem, zekrom, and reshiram finally combined?

(Disclaimer first: I’m not a designer or an artist, and a Google image search would give you multiple answers to this question that are better than anything you’ll get from me)

The thing is, I actually like that Game Freak never gave us a final realisation of this concept.  Whatever they came up with, it would not have lived up to our expectations or done justice to the idea.  The original primordial dragon represents the totality of all truths and the realisation of all ideals, the reconciliation of every pair of opposites and the resolution of every conflict.  I suggest, though I obviously cannot prove, that the reason it never appears in the games is because Game Freak realised that there is no satisfying way to depict that, and decided it was better left as a mysterious background presence in the lore.  Sometimes it’s more effective to leave things to the imagination; there’s a reason some horror movies never show the monster.  A big mass of black and white wings and scales and $#!t is not as evocative or meaningful as the vague suggestion, buried in layers of mythology, of a primordial being who symbolises the impossible unity of all divisions.  Frankly I think Pokémon could do with more of that kind of restraint, not less.

Continue reading “Hyper Beam asks:”