Larry asks:

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:

  • 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.”
Continue reading “Larry asks:”

Don't Call Me Bradley [Patreon Cultist] asks:

Which of the Gen VIII Pokemon have taken your fancy early-on? Before all the research and all the fun stuff that comes with the reviews have any peaked your interest as fascinating right out-the-gate? Have you accepted our lords and saviors Falinks into your heart yet?

Y’know, I have weird issues with Falinks that are probably specific to me in particular, because I look at Falinks and think that it was probably designed for the British region, and plonked down in an “ancient ruins” area next to the town which is clearly based on Bath, as a reference to soldiers of the Roman Empire. And that’s great and all, but I’m a classicist and Falinks’ design and English name scream to me “classical Greek hoplite phalanx,” which is not the same thing, god damn it, so now I have to read this bit from Falinks’ Bulbapedia article:

and “Spartan helmets during the period of Ancient Rome” is… kind of a phrase that hurts my soul in a way that maybe will not be immediately apparent to a non-specialist

so yeah Falinks is a “no” from me, sorry

Continue reading “Don't Call Me Bradley [Patreon Cultist] asks:”

A Pokémon Trainer is You! XV: A Bug Catcher Is You!

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

What will you do tomorrow?
– Join up with some other trainers to explore.

You’re not the only trainer about to attempt a Viridian Forest expedition; a group of trainers from Viridian City, all friends, are also spending the night at the rest stop.  You decide to sidle over and introduce yourself while they’re all chatting before lights-out.  After all, Viridian Forest has kind of a dark reputation, and although you’ve already proven to yourself and your Pokémon that you can manage a couple of days in the wilderness on your own, it’d still be dumb to pass up company when it’s on offer.

Continue reading “A Pokémon Trainer is You! XV: A Bug Catcher Is You!”

KalosianPorygon asks:

I have legitimate, serious problems about Poké Balls that isn’t about what’s inside or how they catch Pokémon.
In all medias the humans have Poké Balls, video games, animes, mangas, when they want to send out a Pokémon, they throw it. When they switch Pokémon (fainting, Volt Switch/U-turn, changing Pokémon, whenever), they call them back in their Ball, with the Trainer holding the Ball.
I have a couple questions about Balls:
First, why do we never see Trainers pick up their thrown Poké Balls after calling their Pokémon? It’s not like they are one-use items.
Second, why do Trainers THROW their Poké Balls when sending a Pokémon in battle? Why can’t they keep them in their hands at all times?
Third, Pokémon Eggs are kept in Poké Balls as soon as you get them. Where do those Balls came from? Do the Pokémon Day Care have boxes of them? And why are Eggs always inside Poké Balls in the games?
Fourth, so Beast Balls are one of the only Poké Ball type that has a decent catch rate against Ultra Beasts. This would make sense, as Ultra Beasts are creatures from another dimension and not (initially) acknowledged as Pokémon. Except, the Master Ball can also catch UBs without trouble. So… how does the Master Ball keep its perfect catch rate against UBs?

Continue reading “KalosianPorygon asks:”

Lilycat asks:

Doesn’t Raihan look like Garchomp? Considering his sandstorm…weather team….do you think it was a wasted opportunity that he didn’t have a Garchomp?

I mean I suppose they’re saving him for the rumored diamond pearl remakes…but what are your thoughts?

Yeah, I guess I can see it?  Like, those particular shades of navy blue and scarlet, together with the white “spikes” on his hoodie… seems like it could be a deliberate stylistic reference.  I can think of reasons not to give him a Garchomp, but not fantastic reasons.  Like, as you said, if they were planning to release Pokémon: Timey Diamond and Spacey Pearl or whatever in 2020 or 2021, then those games would definitely have Garchomp, so there’s a decent argument for leaving it out of Sword and Shield, but I think you are allowed to put it in both; there are several Sinnoh-native Pokémon in Sword and Shield, including the iconic Rotom and Lucario, so there is going to be overlap anyway.  You could also argue that gym leaders almost always have a signature Pokémon that’s new in their own generation – in Raihan’s case, Duraludon – and putting a “pseudo-legendary” Pokémon like Garchomp on his gym team would overshadow his star player, which is clearly undesirable.  However, his Champion Cup team actually does include a pseudo-legendary Dragon, namely Goodra.  I don’t think it was necessarily a mistake to leave Garchomp out of the Galar Pokédex and thus deny Raihan the opportunity to use it, but I do think it was a weird choice to do that and then lean into what seems like a Garchomp-inspired character design, rather than picking one of the many other Dragon Pokémon that do exist in Galar, like Haxorus or Noivern.

Then again, I can see an argument for that being kind of the point.  The Pokémon that are missing from Galar aren’t gone for good, and they even have fans in Galar; maybe Raihan loves Garchomp but has never had the opportunity to catch one.  Arguably his costume would look… well, over-the-top if it matched a Pokémon he actually used, but comes across a bit more subtle as a reference to a foreign Pokémon that he likes but doesn’t have.

Leo M. R. [Patreon cultist] asks:

You know how you can’t freeze a Pokémon during intense sunlight? What if we did the reverse and have it so that you can’t burn a Pokémon when it’s hailing (which I think makes quite a bit of sense); do you reckon that’ll make hail a more competitively-viable weather condition, considering many Pokémon rely on either burning others or being burned themselves? Happy holidays, btdubs!

Hmm.  I like it as a subtle buff to hail. I am wary because Sun and Moon already nerfed burn significantly by reducing its damage from 1/8 per turn to 1/16, to balance it with poison (which does 1/8 per turn but doesn’t reduce the victim’s stats), but hail is probably still niche enough that this is fine.  More importantly to me, it feels weird for hail to have this effect without rain also getting it, since it’s usually rain that weakens Fire attacks and thematically it makes just as much sense (if not more) for rain to soothe burns.  I think the issues with hail hint at a broader problem of the Ice type struggling to find an identity distinct from Water, which kinda goes back to generation I.  In a way, it’s actually of a piece with my old complaint that “Grass-types Don’t Get Nice Things” – the type’s identity has always been defined in such a rigid way that flavour considerations rule out a lot of good mechanical possibilities for rebalancing it, particularly in the case of buffing the hail weather condition.

Also, happy thing and stuff to you too, and to everyone else reading!

Riddler asks:

You have a Fenniken, a Torchic, and a bag of Sitrus berries to take across the river on a boat, the boat can only transport one at a time, the Fenniken is hungry but won’t eat the berries, the Torchic will eat the berries but is a noticeable few levels lower than the Fenniken, how do you get them all across the river when, while testing for deepness, you threw your pokeballs into the river and you can’t swim?

why the fµ¢£ would I throw my Pokéballs into the river to test the depth when rocks are literally free

besides which, listen, if this Fennekin can’t be trusted not to eat my Torchic when I leave them alone together, then it can fµ¢£ing swim across; I don’t care if it’s a Fire-type

hell, why am I even training a Pokémon that wants to eat one of my other Pokémon?  Throw the fµ¢£ing Fennekin in the river and let it drown; see if I care

EDIT: Riddler further asks:

What if you were trying to sell the fennekin and it was just bought, if you don’t bring it you won’t get your money?

Then I guess I would recite the extremely well-known solution to this extremely well-known riddle?

  1. Take Torchic across, return alone.
  2. Take Fennekin across, return with Torchic.
  3. Take berries across, return alone.
  4. Take Torchic across.

Was that what I was supposed to say in the first place?

(also why am I selling Pokémon? That sounds kinda fµ¢£ed up)

EDIT AGAIN: Riddler further asks:

The guy outside Mount moon sells live Magikarp, plus you are literally just given pokemon, not to mention Team Rocket’s black market.

Team Rocket’s black market is… well… Team Rocket’s black market; I mean, there are two very significant red flags in the name of the thing you are citing. The Magikarp salesman is also characterised as… pretty damn shady; like, in the anime he literally runs a pyramid scheme, and even in the original games, where he has like three lines, it kinda seems like he’s deliberately trying to mislead you about what you’re buying. I suspect that exchanging a Pokémon for money might be seen as kind of crass or unethical in a way that trading or giving away a Pokémon is not – largely because the best examples of Pokémon being sold are… well, not above board.

Also, this is a very annoying way to have a conversation; there is a comment section and you don’t need a WordPress account to use it.