Patch asks:

With regional variants no longer restricted to gen I Pokémon, it might be a good time to consider which of the Unovan Pokémon you rejected you would like to give a regional vatiant?

Hmmm… tricky…

There’s probably a fair bit you could do by building on the industrial revolution theme that some of the generation VIII material we’ve seen already seems to be going for.  I could see Heatmor getting some kind of region-specific evolution that builds up to a whole steam engine, maybe changing its type to Fire/Water or Fire/Steel (although the implied comparisons to Volcanion or Heatran would not be flattering).  Or even a Galarian form of… [ahem]… grbdr… that’s based on a sack of coal, making it a Fire/Poison-type that also gets Rock attacks.  Then, on another angle, we could have a Steel/Fairy form of Pawniard and Bisharp based on white pieces from the famous Lewis chess set from Mediaeval Scotland, to contrast the original black Unovan ones.  Possibly some sort of “royal” form for Swanna, but I’m not sure where exactly to take that.

James Crooks [Patreon cultist] asks:

In light of the reveal of Alcremie, who looks like an Eton Mess(?) what’s a dessert/series of desserts that you think could be adapted into a new Pokemon?

There’s kind of a… maybe theme that Game Freak might be trying to start, of having Pokémon that are based on desserts associated with the real world cultures that their regions are based on. Slurpuff is a meringue Pokémon for France and Alcremie is a strawberries and cream (or perhaps Eton mess, as you suggest) Pokémon for England. Vanilluxe… well, you can debate how fair it is to call ice cream cones American, but they were first popularised in the United States, and for Pokémon’s first non-Japanese region something generically “Western” is probably enough anyway, and Castelia City has a Vanillite-themed dessert that you can buy. Alola doesn’t really have one, but I think arguably Hau counts as an honorary dessert Pokémon for his obsession with malasadas (a characteristic Hawaiian dessert) and his diabetes-inducing personality. That being the case… we could look at some iconic desserts of other regions.

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Smugleaf 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.

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.