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.

Lizardman Lizardman asks:

Fun fact: one of the most feared Pokemon in Anything Goes is not Mega Rayquaza, or some Arceus forme… It’s Vivillon. Just thought you’d like to know.

Well “one of the most feared” is a bit of an exaggeration; she’s a bit niche and very high-risk/high-reward, but even that much is a hell of an achievement for a cookie-cutter early-game butterfly.  Honestly I think this says less about Vivillon than about how heinously overpowered sleep is in Pokémon, even after being nerfed in four out of six generations, and how completely we all tend to forget about that most of the time.  Smogon has a rule (and I think other communities use this as well) that you can only put one Pokémon to sleep at a time, and their influence on the competitive Pokémon community is so great that even in contexts where their rules don’t apply (like most official tournaments) people kind of act as if they did – partly, I think, because the strategies banned by rules like this are just incredibly dickish and make the game a lot less fun for everyone.  Of course, in Smogon’s “anything goes” tier… well, anything goes.  Vivillon is faster than Butterfree and gets Compoundeyes Hurricane, and Sun and Moon nerfed the cr@p out of Darkrai’s Dark Void, so if you want to spam a very high-accuracy sleep technique, she’s the one to do it with.  I mean, yes, Quiver Dance is part of it, because without it Vivillon would be outrun and one-shot by practically everything, but when you have all the legendary Pokémon in the game to work with, the offensive presence of a Quiver Dance Vivillon, while significant, isn’t that big a deal – which is why we would never have this conversation in the “uber” tier, where the sleep rules still apply.  Sleep really is just that good.  This is one of the reasons you shouldn’t automatically defer to the competitive zeitgeist when choosing Pokémon and movesets for single-player, not even in end-game battle facilities – it’s not actually the same game.

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.

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Anonymous asks:

Are you a superhero fan at all? Comics, movies, TV series, cartoons, games, anything?

Not particularly.  I’ve watched a fair bit of Arrow and The Flash, and some movies here and there (I really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy, which… I don’t know, is that still a “superhero” movie because it’s Marvel, or is it sci-fi?  What are the boundaries there?) but I don’t go out of my way to engage with superhero stuff, and I wouldn’t have called myself a fan of the genre broadly.

Alex-Littleboots asks:

Assuming you’ve met every new pokemon of alola, what do you think of the addition of signature move/ability for each pokemon(evo line) ? I think it’s very cool since it’s a good way to make them more unique

I think I’ve met almost all of them now (I’m further through than my write-up suggests; I’ve actually finished the Elite Four now).  I hadn’t realised they all had something like that, but yeah, I like it – I’ve kinda always had a habit of wanting to give signature moves to everything, and I think there is a point at which you just plain run out of unique ideas.  One of my old mantras, though, is that Pokémon “should be good at the things they’re good at” – that is, if we’re told a Pokémon has a certain lifestyle and fighting strategy, then those things should actually be a part of what it can do, and do well, and signature moves/abilities are usually a good way of doing that.

Anonymous asks:

Mimikyu’s become the fan favorite breakout star of this batch of Pokemon and I just don’t know why. Also, are you aware it has an official rap? Just google “Mimikyu’s song.”

Mimikyu is also one of Jim the Editor’s favourite Pokémon, and he thinks it is adorable.  I… confess the appeal of a horrifying undead Pikachu is a little lost on me, but I can appreciate the concept.  Its true form is so viscerally hideous that, in the anime, Meowth literally dies when he catches a glimpse of it, so it dresses up as Pikachu, the most popular Pokémon, because it just wants to be loved, and you can give it that love.  It’s a pretty compelling narrative!

VikingBoyBilly asks:

If you watch Treesicle’s What Are Pokemon – The Story You Never Knew the archaeologist and pokémon nerd inside of you will die a little. (spoilers: did you know mammals evovled from trilobites? Did you know the earth was once populated by typeless Mews who eventually became all the pokémon we have now? Just a reminder, Mew is the ‘New Species’ pokémon)

…it’s 14 minutes long, do I have to watch it?

Ugh, whatever…

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Anonymous asks:

What if, instead of an EV cap, there was a total stat cap? As in, “some Pokemon are naturally good at fighting, but all can achieve the same level of expertise through training” taken literally?

I think this has consequences beyond what you immediately intend. For one thing, under this system evolution and higher base stats are a bad thing, because they mean less flexibility – more of your stat cap is taken up by things you can’t change. For another, unless you have some sort of equivalent to the EV system – some limit to how far a Pokémon can advance beyond its basic capability in each stat – you’re going to end up eroding the differences between species of Pokémon. What’s the point of Alakazam if it can push its defence just as high as anyone else can, or everyone else can push their special attack just as high as it?