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.
Tag: jim the editor
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!
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!
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.
Tired of Nuzlockes? Try this bull$#!t
Jim the Editor and I created a convoluted rule system loosely based on the drinking game Circle of Death (more commonly known as “Kings” in America) for a Pokémon challenge that is more forgiving than a traditional Nuzlocke but nonetheless causes all kinds of random fμ¢&ery. You need a deck of cards (or a simulation thereof) and draw one every time you enter an area where you expect to see a reasonable amount of fighting (i.e. not just routes with wild Pokémon, but also gyms, Team Evil bases, etc – some judgement calls on what counts will be necessary). Each different card instructs you to do something, as follows: Continue reading “Tired of Nuzlockes? Try this bull$#!t”
The Pokémaniacal New Year’s Speed-Nuzlocke-stravaganza IX
So… we meet again.
NOOOOOOO! NOT EVIL STEVE! HE- wait, he was a mob boss who smuggled illegal weaponry, bought and sold slaves, and has literally threatened to kill us a dozen times.
Nonetheless… true evil never dies, and his spirit shall have revenge…
Continue reading “The Pokémaniacal New Year’s Speed-Nuzlocke-stravaganza IX”
The Pokémaniacal New Year’s Speed-Nuzlocke-stravaganza VIII
We have travelled across the world to find a new Pokémon to fill the gaping void left in our hearts by the Fat Controller.
Continue reading “The Pokémaniacal New Year’s Speed-Nuzlocke-stravaganza VIII”
The Pokémaniacal New Year’s Speed-Nuzlocke-stravaganza VII
Behold the glory of Legatron, Bionic Hitmonlee!
Time for Gym Number 3!
Continue reading “The Pokémaniacal New Year’s Speed-Nuzlocke-stravaganza VII”