One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
So how much of the mythological capabilities of a given legendary Pokémon DO we actually believe in, anyway? (If you can’t get into that question there, get into it here! I’m curious!)
so… what I was alluding to there is that I would eventually
like to do a series on legendary Pokémon, where I look at everything we know
about each of them (core games, TV show, movies, even spinoff games and the TCG)
and decide “well, what actually are this Pokémon’s powers and how does
it fit into the world?” And in
particular, I would like to take seriously the idea that characters in the
games and anime don’t know the truth either. Because I’m not convinced Arceus
created the universe, and I’m not convinced Kyogre created the oceans,
and I’m not convinced Yveltal can destroy all life on earth, and I’m certainly
not convinced that Mew is the ancestor of all Pokémon. As far as I’m concerned, all we know is that
there are people who, rightly or wrongly, believe those things. But there isn’t a simple answer to this question,
because… well, that word “given” is important. The answer’s not the same for all of them,
because we don’t have the same information about all of them. And I don’t even mean, like, some of them
have appeared in a larger number of movies or episodes of the TV show; I mean in-universe
the sources and reliability of the information are not the same. Like, in Arceus and the Jewel of Life,
the unreliability of history and legend is a theme of the story; in my
opinion, that movie kind of invites us to disbelieve stuff the
characters tell us about Arceus, in a way that isn’t really the case for, say, Manaphy’s
role in Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, which seems pretty
clear-cut (although the nature of the titular Temple is less so). You kinda have to look at everything we know
about each one – or at least each duo/trio/quartet. And the truth is, I don’t know when I’m going
to be able to do that properly. My
schtick is the Pokémon reviews and, wouldn’t you know it, there’s gonna be a
whole bunch of them that need doing in about two months, and I feel like more
people care about those. You can see why
I might be interested in maybe coming up with a shorter format for them.
Anyway, the question is: Which Legendary Pokemon do you think would most likely win in a Battle Royale scenario where Pokedex Entries are assumed to be true (i.e. do you agree with the video), and also in a scenario where they aren’t true (because the Pokedex really doesn’t seem like a reliable source of information) and you’re just using their in-game combat capabilities?
…I think I might love this
But yeah, to answer the question… well, I don’t think I need
to agree with the video for it to be great, because it’s supposed to be funny
and not, like, a watertight argument for a position in a “who would win”
debate. But let’s talk about it anyway.
Do you think there is a case for objectuve morality exsisting in the Pokémon world given that a literal creator god exsists?
I think I reject the premises of the question, which is
something I have a bad habit of doing and try
not to do, but sometimes I’m just too stubborn and argumentative to avoid it.
‘cause, like, 1) most people alive on Earth today would say
“but a literal creator god does exist
in the real world,” and that hasn’t solved the problem for us, 2) some people
who don’t believe in a supreme being still think that morality is objective
anyway, and believe you can discover moral truths through scientific means, and
3) apart from anything else, I’m not
convinced that Arceus is a literal creator god – just that some people in
the Pokémon world have claimed that
it is, which to my mind is not conclusive proof of anything (and this is
something I used to be willing to accept but have become steadily more and more
sceptical of in the years I’ve been writing for this blog).
Remember when you first encountered this Pokémon? Just wandering around Akala Island, minding your own business, when suddenly the lead guitarist of a My Chemical Romance cover band challenges you to a battle, enters some kind of drug-induced seizure-trance, and sends out what is clearly about six different Pokémon, stitched together by the bastard child of Victor Frankenstein and Josef Mengele. That first appearance makes quite an impact; it’s clear from the start that Gladion is an important character mixed up with some grade-A X-files $#!t, and that his partner Pokémon is not a typical Alolan species. In fact, it’s an artificial creature designed by the Aether Foundation, the antagonists (more or less) of Sun and Moon, with a very specific purpose in mind. Continue reading “Type: Null and Silvally”→
I’m familiar with your thoughts on how the games try and paint Mew as the ancestor of Pokemon and how backwards their logic is claiming it’s due to Mew having the DNA of all Pokemon. That, as you’ve pointed out multiple times, is not how ancestry works.
I wanted to share with you an idea I’ve had about how I’d handle the Mew situation and what your thoughts about it are. For me, since Mew is the only Pokemon barring Ditto that can learn transform, I really like the idea that Mew could be the ancestor of all Pokemon, or at least the Mew species. In how I’d handle it, Mew would be #1 in the Pokedex and would be the original Pokemon that could change shape at will. As the curious creatures as they are, mews explored endlessly, tackling any environmental challenges by changing shape into the various Pokemon species we’re familiar with to suit that environment. Over time, those mew who grew older and decide to settle in their areas in whatever shape they were in, over thousands of years, lost the ability to transform and remained in that shape as whatever new species they were. Because so few environments are comfortable for Mew’s natural form, and/or so few mew continued to travel endlessly, modern day mews are fairly rare, hence their legendary status. This would really help explain a lot of artificial Pokemon since the mew that originally became that species took on an artificial form for one reason or another somewhere down the line, rather than Pokemon like Klinklang, Electrode, and Klefki existing and being able to breed in some degree for no particular reason.
So (almost) all Pokémon evolved from Mew. What about the rest of life, did Arceus created humans and/or other animals separately? If humans came from Mew as well (I mean humans supposedly married Pokémon and I think there were other hints that early humans didn’t see themselves as that different from Pokémon), then what type are humans? If they have their own type… what would their weaknesses and resistances be?
This is an area where I have a few old sticking points that make me possibly the wrong person to ask. I’m on the record as not believing the standard line about Mew being the ancestor of all Pokémon and thinking that the Pokémon world’s scientists must simply be wrong about that. They believe it because Mew’s DNA has been shown to contain the genetic code of all known Pokémon – which is not something that any real-world geneticist or evolutionary biologist would expect a common ancestor to have. In fact it strikes me as basically impossible for a common ancestor to contain the genetic code of all its descendants, barring some kind of bizarre time loop in which Mew is somehow also descended from every known Pokémon. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that genetics and evolution don’t work the same way in the Pokémon world, and that the idea of Mew being the original ancestor must be correct given the unknown biological laws of that world. Or it’s literally magic, in which case, who knows? Continue reading “Jeffthelinguist asks:”→
Hey apparently I can’t post links here so if you click on the reddit page for Pokémon conspiracies, there’s a great read called “Pokémon Cults, Infinite Energy, and how it shaped the Pokémon world”. There’s part one and two. I hope you enjoy the read!
(oh god there’s been a third part in the time since you sent this question in; that one deals with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, which I haven’t played yet, so I’ll stay away from that for now)
I feel like this is going to be one of those things where a detailed response/discussion would take me hours, so let’s… try and just see what I think of the main points, shall we? Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”→
I like the idea of trying to put all the pieces together, and I’m certainly always impressed by the effort, but to be honest I’m a little iffy about these attempts to create big schematic maps of the whole cosmology because I’m not totally sure it’s all meant to fit together in a consistent way. Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”→
What’s your favorite Legendary Pokémon, and why? We all know it’s not Rayquaza (because of Emerald) or Arceus (because of The Jewel of Life), but which one’s your favorite (or favorites, in the case of duos or trios)?
That’s a hard one… You’re right that it’s not Arceus because Jewel of Life can rot in hell, and also because the whole “god Pokémon” thing just does stuff to the setting that I don’t really like, and which I’m not convinced anyone ever thought through. It’s also not Rayquaza, although I actually feel that Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby quite satisfactorily redeem the mess that was made of Rayquaza’s involvement in Emerald (though Deoxys is just a total Giant Space Flea from Nowhere). I like the designs of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, but I’m less keen on the fact that (in the games at least) they have nothing to do with anything. Similarly, I’m fond of Cobalion, Virizion and Terrakion’s backstory, which I think is really interesting, but I was incredibly underwhelmed by how little they had to do with the story of Black and White, considering how directly invested they are in the ideological conflict behind the plot. You know, all things considered, I actually might go with Xerneas and Yveltal as joint winners; the designs are really evocative, they enabled an interesting story with some cool themes in X and Y, and the way they’re described hits a good spot on the “cosmic power” scale, where you can appreciate that these things might have region-wide significance, but they don’t necessarily place the power to unmake the universe in the hands of a ten-year-old trainer the way Dialga and Palkia do.