House Kartana: Draw Your Blade
I thought you were going to talk about something similar to what you said in the celesteela article…
See, this is why I keep him around.
Right, let’s talk about that now. So the thing about Ultra Space that I think is a bit weird is that it’s… not altogether clear what it actually is.Continue reading “Jim the Editor asks:”
Aside from our brief encounter with Deoxys just outside the planet’s atmosphere in ORAS, we’ve never been to outer space in a Pokemon game. This feels strange, especially now that there have been multiple games where we spend long periods of time in alternate dimensions–space feels like a much more natural area for a Pokemon game to explore in comparison. Why do you think Pokemon hasn’t yet really explored outer space in a game?
I suspect there’s often not a good answer to questions of the form “why didn’t Pokémon/Game Freak/Nintendo do this?” A lot of the time, the truth is that the answer is just “because they did something different instead, and one choice isn’t obviously better than the other.” There’s not necessarily a logical progression that says you have to have outer space before… whatever Ultra Space is. But I think if we want a real answer… well, what would be the consequence of going into outer space, rather than using Ultra Space as a proxy to let us explore the universe? For one thing, we would in principle be able to touch back down anywhere on our home planet; there’s not really any good reason we’d have to return to the region we left from (things like Ultra Wormholes provide at least a handwavey justification for always coming back to the same part of the world you left). But I think a deeper consequence is that we see the solar system. And Game Freak is a bit weird about whether or not the Pokémon world is supposed to be Earth. After generation I, there are very few references to real places on Earth, but all the regions we’ve visited in the core series are based on real places, and the world has a single white moon that looks the same size as its sun (only I think Pokémon might believe that the moon is an independent source of light, since moonlight and sunlight are distinct sources of magical power with different effects). If we leave the planet… well, do we see Mars? Other iconic planets of the real solar system, like Saturn? Are there Pokémon on Mars? If we can visit the moon, does that force definitive answers on things that have previously been deliberately left as the subject of rumour and conspiracy theories, like the origins of the Clefairy? Do we have to answer questions about how moonlight and Pokémon with moon-related powers work? What about the gas giants? How would they even support Pokémon? Is Pluto a planet? Can the games show us Earth from space without having a clearly defined world map? Will the answers to some of these questions accidentally confirm that the Pokémon world is definitely not Earth? Granted, Ultra Space and the Distortion World raise lots of questions too, but I think for the most part they’re questions that are relatively easier to ignore. I don’t think you can let players travel the solar system without being forced to immediately take a stance on a number of things that Game Freak would probably rather leave ambiguous.
Today’s Pokémon is a bamboo alien, a moon rocket, and an ancient Japanese princess.
…no, I promise it makes sense.
Celesteela’s rocket-booster arms, long flowing hair, steel gown and tiny head make it one of the most bizarre of all the Ultra Beasts, but once you dig through its lore and inspiration… well, you can see where they were coming from. Let’s take a look at the Launch Pokémon.Continue reading “Celesteela”
House Celesteela: The Stars Await
So apparently “Galar” is a Scots-Gaelic word that means disease. I wonder if Game Freak knows this?
You know, I would love it if they did know this. You could make it an early hint at a kind of hidden dystopian reality behind Galar’s very standard happy-go-lucky Pokéverse façade, where Poké-Scotland is being oppressed by the Poké-English bastards and they call the united region by a name that means “disease” to express their true feelings about it. I’m just not sure Game Freak have it in them to be so delightfully subversive, though! Jim the Editor says “Galar” reminds him of galahs, which are a sort of very noisy pink and grey parrot they have in Australia, and that’s probably not what Galar refers to either, but at least you could conceivably make a Pokémon out of it.
One of the perennial hazards of modern life is having to keep all of our different wires straight. Everything you own has a different charging cable, and all of them, if they are ever moved or placed in a bag or, gods forbid, allowed to come into contact with each other, will instantaneously morph into eldritch spaghetti as soon as your back is turned. Xurkitree is, as far as I can tell, the result of letting too many of your different charging cables get tangled up until they achieve a collective malevolent sentience, then steal your Christmas decorations and elope with a bunch of zip ties. But now, just when you thought the lunatic nightmare was over… Xurkitree has returned from outer space. For revenge.Continue reading “Xurkitree”