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.
I recently found out that in Sword and Shield, they retconned some evolution methods, specifically the ones that require being in a certain area then leveling them up. They had Pokemon that evolve in a special magnetic field (like Charjabug to Vikavolt) evolve using a thunder stone instead, the one who evolves around a moss rock(Eevee to Leafeon) use a leaf stone instead, and the one who evolves around an ice rock(Eevee to Glaceon) use an ice stone instead. To my knowledge, this is the first time they retconned an evolution method to one that has already been used before (unlike the case of introducing a new method, like the prism scale item for Feebas to make up for not having the contest-dependent beauty stat in generation 5). I honestly think this is a good move, and really opens up the door to either making things easier for people who don’t like currently cumbersome evolution methods, or changing them in the future to make them reflect the lore better (hoping using a shelder to evolve a slowpoke can become a reality in the future) but what do you think about them suddenly becoming more open to changing long-standing mechanics that they’ve been careful not to contradict before?
It just seems like fairly straightforwardly a good thing, to me. I mean, those weird location-based evolutions mostly exist, I think, to satisfy the rule that an old Pokémon getting a new evolution has to use a method that wasn’t previously available, to keep the games consistent. That is a dumb rule in the first place. Not only is it a dumb rule, though, it saddles us with a requirement that any game with Magneton in it must have an area with a weird magnetic field, and any game with Eevee in it must have a Mossy Rock and an Icy Rock, and so on. Day/night mechanics are just standard now, but that was actually a problem in generation III because Fire Red and Leaf Green have no clock and it was impossible to evolve Eevee into Espeon or Umbreon in those games. Even Pokémon that had unusual evolution methods when they were first introduced are kind of a drag… I mean, Inkay, for heaven’s sake; you can’t evolve Inkay if you’re playing on a big screen because there’s no way to turn it upside down. Meltan’s evolution is tied to a completely different game that Game Freak doesn’t have direct control over. Like… at some point, common sense has to kick in, just to keep us all from going mad… right?
Spruce: …but we should still make sure we didn’t get turned around in those caves! I hate not being able to see the sky! Ruby: Argh. Fine. If it will shut you up, I’ll ask for directions. You there! Meditite, Inkay! This is the Muraille Cliff Road, is it not? We are heading in the direction of the Glittering Caves? Inkay: Yes on both counts, traveller, but if the caves are your destination I must advise you to rethink your plans. Meditite: Aye, there’s a right lot o’ Barney brewin’ down there. ‘tid be Mae if you’d just turn round and ‘ead for Pope, mate. Ruby: I have no idea what you just said and I think I’ve somehow become stupider by hearing it. Meditite: Wot, don’t understand me chitty? It’s well Glenn if you keep yer Donalds open. Inkay: [sigh] He says the Glittering Caves are dangerous and you’d be better off returning home. Spruce: …are you sure? Inkay: Members of Sid’s… erm… ‘order’… speak a sort of patois based on rhyme. They claim the constant wordplay keeps their minds sharp. We’ve known each other a few months now and I’ve… gotten used to it. Meditite: An’ yer a right fruit for it, Rommy, even if you do waste all yer grease ‘n’ grime on starin’ at the lah-dis ‘stead o’ thinkin’ ‘bout wot’s Isle and Pete. Spruce: Order? Just who are you, anyway? Inkay: Oh. Yes, of course; where are my manners? My name is Andromeda, and my… friend, here, is Sid Arthur. Sid Arthur: Wotcher, mates. Ruby: And I am Ruby the Braixen, fiery jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supreme. Perhaps you’ve heard of me. Sid Arthur: Aw, we don’t really ‘ear of much at all up my way, not for donkey’s. Andromeda: Both of us are too immersed in our respective studies to keep up with current events. I am an astronomer, and Sid is part of a monastic order of sorts, making their home in these mountains. Sid Arthur: Aye, we be seekin’ to rid ourselves o’ corruptin’ worldly things like bees an’ ‘oney, an’ give up our Jekyll ‘n’ ‘yde to reach an ‘igher two-an’-eight. Ruby: Yes, yes, and I’m sure you do that very well, whatever it is, but what’s this about the caves? If you mean to stand in my way, I promise you won’t be standing for long. Sid Arthur: ‘ere now, there ain’t no need to be so Jodie; it’s just a bit o’ friendly advice is all. You lot’ll be son-an’-daughtered if’n you take to read-an’-writin’ wit’ those ‘eapies wot’re takin’ over down there. Andromeda: What Sid means is… human scientists have worked in the caves for some time without troubling the inhabitants. I have ‘spoken’ with them a few times in the course of my studies, as far as one can speak with humans, and they have always been cordial, but recently they’ve started moving in heavy machines that have been threatening the caves’ integrity and frightening the local Pokémon. Spruce: Ruby, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Ruby: I try not to. Spruce: We’ve got ourselves a new quest! Ruby: [sigh] Well, if nothing else, I can’t allow the humans to get their sweaty pink hands on my Mega Stone first… since we’re going there anyway, we may as well incinerate those responsible for this nonsense. Sid Arthur: Oh, we don’t want no-one Simon! The locals need ‘elp, and that’s eyes o’ blue all right, but a mince for a mince leaves the ‘ole world bacon; that’s wot I say. Ruby: …yes. Quite. Come, minions. There’s work to be done. Andromeda: Good luck! And be careful! Sid Arthur: Aye, Friar Tuck to ye! Spruce: Um… lamb shanks! Sid Arthur: …you wot, mate?
One of my companions for much of my X playthrough, Malamar is one of the more eccentric Pokémon out there. Inkay has one of the weirdest evolution methods yet – reach at least level 30 while holding the 3DS upside down (heaven knows what that means from an in-universe perspective – possibly that Inkay’s evolution is, appropriately enough, completely unpredictable). Add to that several unusual and subversive skills, a unique type combination, and a personality midway between Niccolò Machiavelli and Oscar the Grouch, and this Pokémon is anything but typical. Let’s take a look.
Well, Kore the Floette has been replaced by Daphne the shiny Floette (named for a nymph who turned into a tree as an excuse to get out of a date with the god Apollo) – clearly a superior choice in every way imaginable by virtue of her shininess. Nothing else of great interest happened during my training program, though. Once I am satisfied that my off-duty Pokémon have learned enough, I move on to check out the Battle Château, a magnificent old castle straddling what I’m still pretty sure is the Loire River.