Anonymous asks:

Hey, longtime fan, do you think you would ever do another speed nuzlocke like you did for fire red a few years ago?

That was… sort of a unique situation.  Jim the Editor and I normally live on different continents, but for New Year’s Eve at the end of 2017 we were together, with no other company, in a Scottish winter with not a lot else to do.  So, precisely like that, no, absolutely not, or at least not in the next few years.  But I won’t rule out doing some lowish effort write-ups of Pokémon playthroughs in the nearer future. Which, uh… knowing me, will transition seamlessly into high effort write-ups that I can’t possibly finish. Che será, será.

Update on the Oncoming End of the World

so, I had what you might describe as “two weeks”

Shortly after my last post, I had a long conversation with my father, who is a doctor and sees the worst-case scenarios of the COVID-19 pandemic with frightening clarity. On the same day, New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly advised all New Zealanders travelling overseas to return home as soon as possible, since commercial flights might not be available for much longer. Now, that advice was clearly meant for tourists and people who were spending a few weeks in a foreign country, not so much people like me who have a home and a foreign bank account and so on, but our confidence in the United States’ ability to handle this crisis is… sufficiently low that the idea of getting stuck there was still worrying. Besides, all of my university’s courses are now being taught remotely and our libraries are closed, so all my teaching and research has to be online until further notice anyway. Long story short, in the space of 48 hours I went from sitting in my apartment in Ohio, talking to my parents about whether maybe I should fly back to New Zealand, to actually landing in Auckland. I am now quarantined alone in my grandmother’s empty house (she’s staying with my parents) and New Zealand has entered a full month-long lockdown. Frankly I don’t know what happens next, but in principle I’ll return to the US in August.

Anyway, I’m fine! How are you?

I’ve written an article on Hau, Lillie and Gladion, which I’m very happy with and will go up later today (the mood among my mysterious dark Patrons favours finishing up some more Alola stuff in preference to diving into Galar Pokémon reviews – if you want to influence those decisions, you can always join up; nudge nudge, wink wink). I’ll also be returning to reader questions in the next few days and mayyyyybe to A Pokémon Trainer Is You next week? IN OTHER NEWS, Jim the Editor is once again posting things on his Youtube channel, for the first time in, like, a year. He’s started a playthrough of Final Fantasy X, one of his favourite games of all time, with discussion and commentary, and he’s also posting videos of some kind of cricket-related game which frankly I don’t understand, playing with avatars of all the players in his university cricket club in St. Andrews (who have had to call off the rest of their real-world season on account of… y’know, the plague).

Oh, and if you foolishly pay attention to my Twitter you will have seen this already, but I’ve also recently written an article for PokéJungle about how Sword and Shield approach the history and mythology of Galar, which touches on some stuff I’ll probably continue to talk about if/when I write a character study of Sonia. It’s a bit shorter than a lot of my articles here, but talks about some themes that I really think Sword and Shield handled well, and might be a jumping-off point for future discussions of how other Pokémon games have handled their regions’ ancient past. If that sounds interesting, take a look!

Good luck, everyone, and remain indoors!

Detective Pikachu top 5 scenes

Hello Pokémaniacs, Jim the Editor here.

Now, I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for Chris’ thoughts on Detective Pikachu; well, I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that Chris has a very long post – so long that it might turn out to be 2 posts – with all the thoughts he can muster about the long-awaited live-action Pokémon adaptation. 

The bad news is that there were some minor structural issues I had with the draft and Chris has begrudgingly agreed to make a few changes here and there to ensure that we put out only the best content for all of you.   

In the meantime, because we promised Detective Pikachu content today, we decided to give you all a special Jim the Editor post containing my 5 favourite scenes from the movie!

There will be spoilers – you have been warned!

Continue reading “Detective Pikachu top 5 scenes”

Vaguely Curious asks:

Hi! Don’t feel any pressure to answer this if you don’t want (I know it’s a bit more personal than most of your questions), but if you don’t mind answering… Are you and Jim the Editor boyfriends? O:
(For context, I know you’re gay [I am too, so it made me so happy when I first saw you mention that], but I don’t know if it’s come up on the blog whether he is, nor if you’re an item.)
Again, sorry if this is too personal or awkward! I’m just curious, ahah.

I don’t think this is the first time it’s come up, but it’s definitely been a while.  Anyway, I can kinda see how people might get that impression, but with apologies to anyone who’s been shipping us – no, Jim and I are not a couple; he’s straight, and lives on a different continent.  We became friends in our last year of high school and studied classics together at university, after which we both went overseas to do our PhDs: me to the US, him to the UK.  He actually just handed in his thesis recently (US PhDs take a lot longer; I still have a couple of years to go), so you could start calling him Dr. Jim the Editor, if you like.  Also, by sheer coincidence (and we only found out about this when he met my parents), Jim’s dad, who is an anaesthesiologist specialising in epidurals, was one of the doctors present when I was born.

Jim the Editor is literally the editor – he proofreads pretty much everything I post here.  This blog was also actually his idea in the first place; we had a lot of friends who used to play Pokémon and thought they might get a kick out of my addled raving about them newfangled gen-V Pokeymans.  I suspect he and I will battle to the death upon the corpse of a fading star at the end of time, when the last words of the gods have faded from memory, but until then, he’s my best friend, and that’s a constant I’m glad to have in my life.

A rambling chat about game balance

In lieu of a Pokémon review (because what even is my life right now, arghghghl; next weekend my students are handing in essays and I have to write an exam for the week after that), here is a message log with a conversation between me and Jim the Editor about game balance in Pokémon (and elsewhere).  This is the kind of thing I might post regularly to a Patreon page, if I ever actually create one?  So, comments would be useful.

Screenshot 2018-10-21 at 6.41.51 PM.png Continue reading “A rambling chat about game balance”

Blog Status: Normal??

We haven’t talked in a while.  We should do that.

I spent most of the last year in Greece, participating in an intensive study program for PhD students in classical studies that takes us to archaeological sites all over the country and gives us opportunities for “backstage access” that would be impossible for almost anyone else (culminating in the incredible opportunity to spend three nights on the holy island of Delos – since there’s no modern town on Delos, any normal group would have to take the afternoon ferry back to Mykonos every day).  A priceless experience that I wouldn’t trade for almost anything, but… less than ideal for blog productivity, I have to admit.  Continue reading “Blog Status: Normal??”

Squidward Tentacles asks:

I’d tell you a random fact about fish, but I work with them every day. I hate them. I hate working at the Krusty Krab. I hate the nautical nonsense of a ninny that flips burgers right behind me every day.

Good day sir! I SAID good day!

Mmm.  I sympathise.  Unfortunately fish are often very stupid, and sponges, I’ve heard, are worse (though strangely proficient in fine dining and breathing).  Crabs, however, are the highest form of life in the universe, as demonstrated by the fact that evolution keeps trying to turn other animals into crabs, and you should feel honoured to work for one.  If you need something to take your mind off your coworker’s ceaseless blithering, try Jim the Editor’s randomised Kingslocke playthrough of Fire Red, now returning after an unfortunate but necessary hiatus to focus on work – or try out the rules yourself, and let me know how it goes!

Anonymous asks:

hi u ok

Yes!  Uh, probably.  Still living in Athens; for a little bit I was on Delos where no one actually lives and the internet is crap, and in a few weeks I’ll be going to Corinth for a dig (or, I mean, people will be digging; I’ve been promised a chance to sit in the museum and play with the Roman window glass from previous excavation seasons, so… yay!).  Not super busy this month, so you should see some more stuff here for once!  Want to try and do Mudsdale this week, and another one the week after.  And I’ve been working on… another minor thing… Greece-related rather than Pokémon-related… that you may all be able to read in some form in the months to come (apologies for being mysterious but I don’t want to promise things before I know I can deliver them). Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”

Also, an announcement

Jim the Editor (originally so called because he proofreads all my writing for this blog, but now he’s also learning sound and video editing and is thus multiple kinds of editor at once) has just started a Youtube channel and begun a Let’s Play of Pokémon Fire Red version, run through a randomiser, using the bull$#!t drunken card game Nuzlocke-lite rules I posted a few weeks ago (which he has dubbed a “KingsLocke”).  It promises to make about as much sense as everything else we do here at Pokémaniacal.  Check out the channel here, and be sure to let him know if you like the first video!

Anonymous asks:

They’ll have to make obtaining Alolan forms outside of Alola possible. Although here’s a question I have for you, do you think it’s possible that the Pikachu line is native to Alola? And that Raichu is meant to be a psychic type when it evolves, but without it’s Alolan Diet, ends up being a pure electric type instead?

I’m sure they’ll be obtainable in some way, yeah, same as the regular “Kantonian” morphs are obtainable in Sun and Moon.  But that’s not at all the same thing as finding them in the wild with no explanation for how they got there when they’ve previously been specifically described as unique to Alola.

Anyway.  Pikachu and Raichu.  Unclear.  The Pokédex tells us that diet triggers the manifestation of Raichu’s psychic abilities, but doesn’t really give us anything either way on which evolutionary path is the “original” one.  Thinking in terms of Alola being an analogue to Hawai’i I’m inclined to see rodent-like Pokémon like Pikachu as introduced by humans, but potentially quite a long time ago – long enough to have adapted in surprising ways to their new environment.  On the other hand, we know from direct empirical evidence that all Pikachu, regardless of their origin – Kantonian, Kalosian, everything in between – become psychic Raichu if they evolve in Alola (the only other Alolan form that works this way is Marowak, and that might literally be magic [EDIT: Also Exeggutor]).  If we assume something resembling a real-world understanding of genetics and evolution, then that suggests that the psychic abilities are a dormant ancestral trait, present in all Pikachu but requiring some environmental stimulus to activate.  Buuut it could also be that components of Pikachu’s Alolan diet – or even something else about Alola – are somehow mutagenic (or some mystical equivalent), and alter their genetics and powers in predictable ways.  Or it could be that, as I’m inclined to think for Marowak, there’s no genetic component at all and instead there are Alolan traditions that allow them, basically, to learn magic (because, like Marowak, the Alolan Raichu form is associated closely with a particular cultural practice – namely, surfing).  I actually had a massive argument with Jim the Editor over this one.  He thinks that the Pokédex must be wrong about diet being a factor, since Pikachu can evolve into Alolan Raichu after spending literally minutes in Alola and without eating anything; I think that this is an edge case that doesn’t reflect the designers’ intent, and is a result of Pokémon’s mechanics for time and eating being extremely unrealistic.  Also his interpretation doesn’t really suggest any other answer for why it happens other than Alola being surrounded by a magic field that gives Pikachu psychic powers for some reason.  Basically he thinks that if the designers had meant for Pikachu’s diet to be a factor, they should have represented that with a change in the evolution method (he suggests an item called a Thunderstone Cake, or something similar).

So I’m a solid “maybe” on this one.