RandomAccess asks:

I recently thought of something, though you may want to save this for the inevitable review. Considering it’s propensity for “absorbing all the light in the universe” and basically being the ends of said universes, is it possible that Necrozma is Pokémon’s equivalent to the phenomenon astrophysicists call the “heat death of the universe?” That being entropy inevitable cooling down every single particle in the universe until there isn’t a bit of useable light or energy left and everything decays until there’s nothing left so that there’s basically nothing left except complete darkness?

I will indeed talk more about Necrozma when I get to the review, but I don’t know that this works with the way it’s portrayed in Ultra Smoon, or for that matter in the anime.  Necrozma used to be a being of light, a creative and generative force.  Its dark form that steals light is a result of some kind of damage it suffered in the past, but that damage is supposed to be fixable, resulting in the restoration of the radiant form we know as Ultra Necrozma (which sort of clashes with the feeling of inevitability that the whole “heat death”/entropy theme would be trying to evoke).

jeffthelinguist asks:

Currently the only pure flying type Pokémon is a legendary. If you were tasked with creating a pure flying type Pokémon that isn’t legendary, what would you make?

uggggggghhhhhhhhh

Flying

what even is Flying

A few months ago I got asked about single-type Flying Pokémon and the final sentence of my answer was “no one planned for any of this, it doesn’t make sense, and it’s 20 years too late to do anything about it – but hey, that’s the type chart for you,” which… well, that sums it up, doesn’t it?  I don’t think there’s a single thing that all Flying Pokémon have in common, not even the literal ability to fly, because Dodrio is a Flying-type (and frankly “flight” would also be a pretty generous description of what Gligar and Jumpluff do).  The one single-typed Flying Pokémon we do have, Tornadus, is a sort of wind elemental, but it would be a stretch to say that wind is the unifying core of the Flying type, because a lot of Flying Pokémon like Fearow and Emolga have no wind-related flavour and can only learn wind attacks as egg moves, and now in generation VII we have Minior and Celesteela, who can’t even do that.

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Re: the XYZ Trio asks:

[Okay this question is really, really long, so I’m going to cut it down to a few salient points. No judgement on the person who submitted this, but I am starting to receive longer and longer questions, and there is a theoretical point at which I’m basically hosting other people’s articles with no filter or editorial process; I would rather say “no” to that before it happens.]

This is mostly just idle curiosity, but since I stumbled back into your piece on the Norse mythology theory for the Kalos mascots, I was curious to know if your opinion on them has changed at all since we saw Zygarde’s alternate forms.

[Basically this question brings up the “children of Loki” interpretation of Zygarde’s forms; 10% = Fenrir, 50% = Jormungandr, 100% = Hel. It’s all on Bulbapedia if you’re not familiar with it. The short answer is that I have indeed revisited the topic since those forms were revealed (though not actually in response to them) and still thought it was abject nonsense.]

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Toucannon asks:

You said that “Sentret frankly has a much more striking aesthetic and a more interesting design than Furret, which is a shame, and I don’t know how we can redesign Furret to make more use of Sentret’s distinctive bullseye patterning and ability to stand on its tail.”. That’s quite true. What would you think of redesigning Ursaring so that it would be an evolution of Sentret? Like, giving him a more “red pandaish” aestetic to be a bit closer to the base stage, with multiple concentrical rings in the belly instead of one, and maybe a pokedex line about how “Ursaring uses each other as target practice for their hyperbeams to decide their pecking order”, or some such?

Do you think such a design could work? And, assuming Sentret was still catchable in the early routes, what would a (relatively) easier to obtain Ursaring do to the games in which that happened?

[This is in response to me $#!tting all over Furret in a recent post (for which I absolutely do not apologise)]

…you know, this is a fµ¢£ing bizarre idea but for some reason I kind of like it?  Teddiursa and Ursaring’s hoarding theme actually fits with Sentret and Furret’s complex burrows, they have the ring motif in common, and if Sentret’s evolved form is something huge and brutish, they can have their lookouts call the muscle back from foraging if the troupe is attacked.  On the other hand, if we leave Ursaring as a bear, it’s a very weird jump from whatever kind of meerkat-thing Sentret is supposed to be, and if we make it into a red panda instead it’s… well, I mean, that’s not really Ursaring, particularly (it’s arguably something better, but I am also starting to lose track of what we’re actually doing); certainly it no longer seems like a good fit for Ursaring’s current statline.  Red panda’s also strange next to the burrows because they’re arboreal. I think it’s… probably better to work with what Furret’s got at the moment – the whole “fur snake” aesthetic and the maze-like burrow concept. I still don’t know how to do that in an interesting way, but the unvarnished truth is I don’t actually care about Furret very much, and that’s Furret’s own fault, so it’s just going to have to learn to live with that.

James Crooks [Patreon Cultist] asks:

Hi Chris,

Quick question: Looking at Vulpix’s pokedex entry from X, it mentions that vulpix are born with ‘just one snow-white tail’. Do you think this was foreshadowing for Alolan vulpix and do you think there is anything more you can make of this?

Hmmmmmmmm…

If that line were new in the X Pokédex I’d say yes, but it actually appeared previously in Leaf Green, and the idea of Vulpix being born with a white tail goes all the way back to at least the original Pokémon Stadium (Red and Blue specify one tail at birth, but not the colour).  It could be deliberate foreshadowing that they chose to recycle that particular line in generation VI, but X and Y reuse a lot of Pokédex lines from Fire Red and Leaf Green for the Pokémon that were around in generation III, so I think it’s more a nice coincidence than anything else.

Vulpix is a kitsune fox spirit, which grow more tails as they become older and more powerful, and turn white or gold when they get to nine tails, which is why Ninetales is a pale gold colour.  I don’t think their first tail is supposed to be white, though.  Nor are real foxes born with white tails that later turn red, as far as I know.  A lot of animals have special juvenile colouration that provides them with better camouflage while they’re young and vulnerable, but I don’t think white would help with that (unless you lived in a snowy area, which… well, Alolan Vulpix says hi).  It could just be meant as foreshadowing of the evolution to Ninetales, I suppose.

Not Me asks:

If you could pick an animal to base the next pika-clone on, what would it be?

can I pick something that doesn’t exist so it doesn’t get made

uggggghhhhh fine

obviously there is only one animal in all the infinite cosmos that is worthy of this… dubious honour

and that is its majestic lordship the capybara

Pros:

  • It’s a fat sack of $#!t, which I strongly empathise with
  • Can swim, which is an excellent excuse to have it be Water/Electric
  • Big enough to stack all the other Pikachu clones on top of it
  • I admit I’m not sure how that would be helpful, but it seems like a plus
  • Mysterious gland on its snout can be adapted for dispensing electric death
  • Often has a bird sitting on its head
  • Good excuse to do a Brazil/Amazon-inspired region
  • Despite being literally an obese guinea pig, can run as fast as a horse
  • Skin grease can be used in traditional medicine

Cons:

  • Literally none???

EDIT: I will it so, and it is done! Here’s reader voltorb1993’s take on “Zapybara”!

SkarmorySilver asks:

I remember a few years back when I challenged you to come up with a viable Dedenne evolution, but I don’t think I’ve ever asked you about one for Togedemaru yet. Seeing as you got burned out fixing up the worst of the Normal/Flying birds recently, though, I’ll spare you the pain and provide an idea for one I thought of a while ago – In some some parts of Asia and the Middle East, the hedgehog is credited in myth with bringing fire to man, so I combined that with the principle of electric heating and came up with a glyptodont/hedgehog hybrid critter with a spiny shell like a cartoon sun which could learn Fire-type attacks on top of the stuff Togedemaru gets already; it attracts lightning to heat up its spines, so it can gently warm its surroundings and allow life to flourish in cold nights (as well as learn Flame Charge or maybe even Flare Blitz if you’re daring enough). I still don’t know how to fix Zing Zap though, since I only thought about the pitch for Togedemaru’s evolved form, rather than improving the move itself (a damage boost is obvious, but IDK what additional effects if any could be included on top of it, just in case).

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