Hyper Beam asks:

How would you…in glorious detail…imagine kyurem, zekrom, and reshiram finally combined?

(Disclaimer first: I’m not a designer or an artist, and a Google image search would give you multiple answers to this question that are better than anything you’ll get from me)

The thing is, I actually like that Game Freak never gave us a final realisation of this concept.  Whatever they came up with, it would not have lived up to our expectations or done justice to the idea.  The original primordial dragon represents the totality of all truths and the realisation of all ideals, the reconciliation of every pair of opposites and the resolution of every conflict.  I suggest, though I obviously cannot prove, that the reason it never appears in the games is because Game Freak realised that there is no satisfying way to depict that, and decided it was better left as a mysterious background presence in the lore.  Sometimes it’s more effective to leave things to the imagination; there’s a reason some horror movies never show the monster.  A big mass of black and white wings and scales and $#!t is not as evocative or meaningful as the vague suggestion, buried in layers of mythology, of a primordial being who symbolises the impossible unity of all divisions.  Frankly I think Pokémon could do with more of that kind of restraint, not less.

Continue reading “Hyper Beam asks:”

jeffthelinguist asks:

Clownfish are all born male but in a group of male adult clownfish, one becomes bigger, meaner, and female. I’ve always thought clownfish would be a great fish Pokémon. (Granted we have a lot of fish Pokémon already but do we really need Basculim?) It could have an evolution method matching the gender changing and an anemone counterpart that it could mesh with in doubles. What do you think about this idea? How would you implement it?

First of all, an apology to this and dozen-odd other questions I have received over the past… month and a half, ish… which I will endeavour to answer over the course of the next week.

Now. I know one thing, and that is that we definitely do not need Basculin because Basculin is dumb.

Continue reading “jeffthelinguist asks:”

Robin asks:

You already did a Top 10 worst/least favourite Pokémon, but is there any chance you’d do a Top 10 best/favourite Pokémon?

Probably not, mostly because I don’t think I would be able to come up with a good rationale for it. When I did that top 10 worst Pokémon list, I chose Pokémon that were both extremely weak and (in my estimation) poorly designed or bland – and there’s really not that many of those. If you set something like Kricketune as your standard for power, you’re eliminating the vast majority of Pokémon right off the bat, and then it’s fairly easy to sort through what’s left and decide which ones are interesting enough to be redeemed on design grounds. That doesn’t really work for picking the best ones. I could start by getting a list of all the most powerful legendary Pokémon – Kyogre, Necrozma, Mewtwo, Reshiram, and so on – and maybe a couple of other top-tiers like Blaziken and Aegislash, then pick ten that I think are well-designed, but… well, for one thing, at that point we’re basically doing a list of the top ten coolest legendary Pokémon, which I don’t think is really what you’re suggesting, and for another, I don’t believe those Pokémon are actually good for the game. Well, obviously then I should start by ruling out all the Pokémon that I think are unreasonably powerful and start picking the best-designed ones from the upper echelons of what’s left. The problem is, I don’t actually know where that point is – and even if I did, I’m not sure how I would convince anyone to agree with me. The “worst Pokémon” list made sense because it was a way of talking about what makes a Pokémon bad, and how to fix the kinds of problems those Pokémon had in common. A “best Pokémon” list… ultimately would probably just be a list of my favourite Pokémon, which I don’t actually think is particularly interesting.

Katiecat asks:

I was reading your eeveelutions reviews. You mention the whole “adaptations” thing isn’t really done that well, since most of them don’t really match their environments all that well.
Theoretically, how would you design an octet of eeveelutions to go with different environments from scratch? I have my own but I wanna hear what you’d do first.
The other thing you mention is that they go for many different aesthetics, such as cute (flareon/sylveon), cool (jolteon), beautiful (vaporeon/glaceon), and mysterious, but kind of leave off a brutish aesthetic. I would also add they leave off the under-appreciated weird aesthetic- the dunsparces and exeggcutes of the world that end up in “top 20 worst pokemon” lists but a small number of us keep close to our hearts.

What catastrophically awful person puts Dunsparce on a Top 20 Worst Anything list?

So, some of the eeveelutions I actually am totally fine with; I’d just associate them with different environments to their canonical ones. For instance, although the core games don’t say much about Flareon’s habitat, spinoffs tend to put her in volcanic or lava areas with all the other Fire Pokémon, but if we’re thinking of eeveelutions in terms of being adaptations of Eevee to a specific type of environment, well, Flareon kinda looks to me like a cold-adapted form. Thick fluffy fur is useful in a cold place, and fire powers are useful if most of the other local Pokémon are Ice-types. Alternatively, and this is what I said when I discussed Flareon for my eeveelutions series years ago, I could buy that Flareon belongs in a temperate grassland habitat, using her fire abilities to scorch areas of dry vegetation and drive out prey. Whether Pokémon in general are actually suited to the kinds of biomes the games tend to put them in… is kind of a big and complicated question and not worth getting into at the moment, but I think if you’re going to do it, Eevee is the place to start, because her lore draws attention to the concept of adaptation and (arguably) to the problems with the way Pokémon portrays adaptation.

Which is my long-winded way of saying “this is too damn complicated to get right with a short post that I wrote in like an hour,” but fµ¢& it, let’s give it a whirl Continue reading “Katiecat asks:”

RandomAccess64 asks:

I personally always liked the fan Pokémon concept of basing a poison/ice type after a cold, with a counterpart poison/fire type after a fever.

And Anonymous asks:

When I think Ice/Poison, my mind first goes to pollution. Some sort of frozen sludge monster, perhaps, or a rotting corpse trapped under a layer of permafrost, its putrescence leaking into the surrounding environment.

Some interesting ideas!  The cold/fever one could definitely be played with in some neat ways… maybe as alternate forms of a single Pokémon, even?  If it’s a disease-based Pokémon, it might need to spread illnesses in order to keep itself healthy, which could make training one a challenge.  The rotting corpse might be pushing it for a Pokémon game – I don’t know if Game Freak would go for that one – but the sludge monster idea sort of makes me want to see a Polar Muk regional variant.

Anonymous asks:

Personally, I do see the Kalos Trio being based off of Norse Mythology, but more generalized, and not drawing inspiration from just the one myth. Like, eagles in general are associated with death in Norse mythology. Not just Hraesvelgr, but other beings such as the God of Death (who turns into an eagle), and the Blood Eagle ritual. (Also, Zygarde is more Jormungand than Nidhogg, with its other two forms likely being based off Fenrir and Hel.) Those are just my thoughts: you’re free to disagree.

Let the disagreement commence. [rolls up sleeves, cracks knuckles]

It is honestly baffling to me that this idea is so widely and unquestioningly accepted, because personally, I don’t think I’ve ever been less convinced by a Pokémon fan theory in my life.  I don’t even understand why people look at Yveltal and think “eagle.”  The “ruff” around its neck is almost certainly meant to make us think “vulture,” which is a much easier association with death.  Stags can be associated with nature without having to bring Norse mythology into it; birds of prey or carrion birds can be associated with death without having to bring Norse mythology into it; insisting that Norse mythology has anything to do with these Pokémon makes the concept weaker and more confusing. Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”

Anonymous asks:

Quick! Describe a concept for a Ice/Poison type Pokemon!

I feel like this has come up before… yeah, here we go.

I can come up with ideas, they’re just sort of hackneyed, and not really very elegant.  The polar regions aren’t known for poisonous or venomous animals in the real world, so there’s not a lot of inspiration that obviously lends itself to Ice/Poison.  You kind of wind up producing either a polar animal with venom slapped on it out of nowhere, or a venomous animal with ice powers slapped on it out of nowhere… hmm.

Okay, mild flash of inspiration, maybe something based on a glass frog, with hints of poison dart frog for good measure?  See-through skin made of ice, poisonous glands… steps on Toxicroak’s toes a bit, but that’s all right if we make it weird enough… maybe the skin splinters when it’s injured, and the shards inflict poison?  Maybe make it a stained-glass frog, with lots of bright colours?  But then you’re drifting away from anything that justifies making it an Ice-type… I suppose this is a start, anyway.