chels202 asks:

What are your thoughts on the topic of man-made Pokémon?

What about them, exactly?

I think they’re an interesting thing to have.  There’s an obvious moral dimension to the creation of new living things, or to repurposing created life thousands of years later as we do with ancient Pokémon that may be artificial like Sigilyph and Golett – let alone whatever Spiritomb is.  Ecologically they’re curious since you wouldn’t expect an artificial life form to fit neatly into any preexisting ecosystem, although for some of them, like Grimer (if we can consider Grimer “man-made”; it is a byproduct of human civilisation, at any rate) there is a ready-made niche for them to fill as a result of the circumstances of their creation.  The technological level that must go into creating Pokémon – even by accident, as might have happened in Voltorb’s case – is interesting to think about, particularly in terms of whether the ancient ones were created by “technology” as we understand it or by some mystical practice.  And equally curious are the Pokémon who aren’t explicitly artificial but look like they should be, like Klink and Magneton – what’s their relationship with human science and engineering?  There’s a lot of different directions you could potentially go with them.


26a15-sigilyphToday I get a tantalising glimpse of something I really wish the Pokémon games would spend more time on: the history of the Pokémon universe.  There are a fair number of ancient ruins in the Pokémon world left behind by some now-defunct civilisation and there’s not a whole lot we know about them – personally I put this down to the fact that the archaeologists of this world are (speaking as an archaeology student) even more frighteningly incompetent,  if that’s possible, than their zoologists.  What we can figure out for ourselves, however, is that Pokémon were quite as important in the past as they are in the present, and a few in particular – such as this bizarre-looking creature, Sigilyph.  Sigilyph’s curious appearance has a vaguely Native American feel to me but I don’t know a lot about American archaeology – I think a friend of mine said she looks sort of Hopi?  The text of her Pokédex entries doesn’t draw on Native American themes so an alternative possibility is that they just started drawing and kept going until they got something that looked entirely spooky and alien – and either way, it worked.  Continue reading “Sigilyph”