May 17, 2018

Pokémon Let's Go push the genwun nostalgia fan-service hype-train to terminal velocity.

That title escalated quickly... sorry about that.

Like everyone else, I had my own spectrum of expectations as to what kind of games might be coming next for the core series of the franchise.

At the top there is my wish for seeing another initially detached fresh region/generation similar to Black&White.


Yes, I figure it to be an unlikely, unrealistic possibility, because of how the last 2 generations (XY, Sun&Moon) were pretty much playing it safe, twice in a row.
They had new regions like usual (granted, Alola felt way better thought through and properly developed and explored, not to mention quite exotic, despite coming out directly after ORAS) and while there was new PKMN, they were very much of the "complementary" type. Meaning that the additions are mostly fancy type combinations on creatures that show up every other route if you keep looking longer than necessary, while their number (~70ish) is almost rivaled by the other half of the new designs that tend to be a twist on older PKMN (cross-gen evolutions in gen II and IV, Mega evolutions throughout VI, and Alola formes in VII), while the common grass patches and caves are very much filled by familiar faces spiced up with old fan favourites in a huge regional dex.

I used to like pointing out how that was an alternating pattern, with the odd-numbered generations being fresh ones, while the even-numbered generations complemented and built on what came before them. That's why seeing this happen twice in a row started to make me worry that we might never see another "Black&White" kind of generation.

Which was honestly at least to me the closest they have gotten to recreating the original magical experience of playing a Pokémon game for the first time (with an accumulation of 4 generations of game mechanic improvements and without feeling super dated).
It's quite ironic that a huge part of the Fandom felt like Generation V was the least interesting one, when it was the only one that tried to go to the roots so to speak, while being surrounded by fizzed up apple juice bottles.

Somewhere in the middle expectation of more of the same balanced mix of new and old.


Continuing with another generation close to the beats of XY and SM would have been the safe way to move forward, as it add blends together a bit of everything, new toys, popular faces and some new spin on classic designs, while not focusing on any one aspect in particular.

I would be perfectly fine with this option, if the developers feel like it's what is needed to keep the franchise healthy in these times, especially with the potentially bumpy transition over to the Switch.

And then there are the (personally) less exciting nostalgia-focused options.


That would include any kind of remake, with the most popular fan suggestions/demands at the moment of course being a return to Sinnoh or to Kanto, as we haven't been to either of those in a decade (although one could easily argue to prioritize Sinnoh over Kanto simply due to Kanto having been featured in 4 different sets of main games, as well as it always being the most heavily referenced region out of all of them).

It's not that I didn't enjoy the last entry of this kind (ORAS), not at all, I found them as enjoyable as any other main game. Nonetheless, the "remakes" are starting to feel stale and uninspired, when they stick to the originals so much, with the "new" parts being more about details and integrating current gimmicks and fan-service, even though we have seen Black2 and White2 drastically raise the bar for how revisiting old places can be used to make such a surprisingly fresh experience regardless of being released right after the games they were a sequel of. There is no going back after that. A traditional remake will always have a feel of wasted potential if they don't even try to shake it up in some crucial way. Of course it didn't help that in the case of ORAS they went out of their way to pretend Emerald never existed (the single thing I still fail to comprehend out of all the decisions behind these games).

But regardless, I could see myself get really excited about revisiting an old region, under the condition that they really did do something creative with it. A new adventure set 20 years after the original (whether it was a Kanto&Johto or a Sinnoh game) with places somewhat reimagined, expanded, new locations added, the journey going the other way around... heck with how USUM decided to simply introduce 8 completely new PKMN in the middle of a generation like it was no big deal, even sequels like these should have no excuse to not introduce more never-before-seen PKMN native to their region. In Sinnohs case a return of cross-gen evolutions would actually be extremely refreshing to see, and with the introduction of Alola formes, the twists on that idea are something every fan would really love seeing as well, with post-gen-I PKMN that migrated to Kanto-locations and gained Kanto-formes.

Either way, even this option has great potential, it's just that at it is also the option with the biggest potential for being the least exciting one.

Nonetheless, my hopes were high that whatever is to follow, would be steering somewhat away from nostalgia for a bit.


And then this happened:


Registration of domains that imply the following to be new PKMN titles:
  • Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu
  • Pokémon Let's Go! Eevee
In my 20 years of being a Pokémon Fan, this is the first time that my reaction to revealed titles was anything other than utter excitement and hype. Instead it was a reaction at least partially of concern.

I mean, we are used to PKMN titles consisting of single words representing a colour, a gem or an extremely vague but thematically rich concept, yet here I saw titles that had at not less than three parts that are guaranteed to cause some eye-twitching.
  1. Pikachu. It's no secret that this electric mouse is undeniably the most overmarketed and overrepresented mascot of the franchise, as well as being excrutiatingly overused by the anime, where it has starred in literally a thousand of episodes by now.
  2. Eevee. Quite possibly the most beloved PKMN, that got its popularity without being pushed by the company itself, at least initially, but rather having its family expanded every now and then as a means of fan-service catering to its already steadily deserved appreciation.. although one could argue whether it has gone too far by the time we got to Sylveon.... in light of this however, the official "Eevee Twitter" account that has been selling Eevee as an important mascot itself for the whole year, suddenly in hindsight makes perfect sense... they were probably attempting to get Eevee as close onto a pedestal as possible to be a worthy "counterpart" to Pikachu for this very reason. Of course this is a valid choice when considering that Eevee was a pseudo-starter in the main-game-compatible Gamecube spin-offs before, similar to Pikachu taking the unconventional starter role in the Yellow version.
  3. "Go". /grabs a glass of water.

What could it mean?


So much for the likelihood of steering away from nostalgia for a while.

Clearly, the Pokémon company is going full throttle on employing its most valuable faces and pushing the nostalgia-milking to the extreme with whatever game they are keen on playing here.

It's only natural that the surrounding rumors and speculation all involve Kanto as the most plausible setting for these titles.

After taking this revelation in and giving it some thought, I have one main hypothesis on what is going on.

The most risky times for the franchise are times when Gamefreak is forced to transition to a new piece of hardware. They basically have to rebuild the core of the games from scratch and find a look and feel that needs to feel new while staying true to what the fans are used to.

This time however, we are not just talking about going to a more powerful handheld console. They have to move to an actual home console with the gimmick of "also being a handheld". This isn't just a challenge from the perspective of visuals and style, but also of concepts. Gamefreak has always been trying to make use of whatever features a piece of hardware has to offer. They take the situations into consideration. It makes sense that moving from a more "personal" handheld console to a console that is more often than not shared with multiple family members, especially in case of younger players (and I am honestly curious what the consequences will be... some serious co-op single-console multiplayer features?), would make them consider some fundamental changes to how the games are played.

But the point I was getting at, is that this transition is the biggest this franchise has seen.

And it doesn't help that ever since the "Core Pokémon Switch title" was revealed to be in development, the community has been over-hyping the potential of a Switch game and putting expectations beyond realistic, whether it's by referencing Breath of the Wild, by imagining completely unreasonable changes to the battle system by essentially turning it into Pokkén with an actual adventure, or by bringing up the same old "all the regions"-idea that just falls apart if one tries to dissect its viability from a developmental perspective.

It's gotten to the point where Gamefreak has been feeling so much pressure from so diverse and extraordinary expectations, making it impossible for them to please everyone, that they honestly told us in an interview to not get our hopes high. Which in the bigger context basically means that all they want is to make more Pokémon games, without this sudden pressure to deliver as many completely different revolutionary ideas as the number of fans one decides to give their thoughts and expectations about it.

How does this tie into the reveal?

Simple. Instead of trying to do both, a completely new game AND survive the technical transition, they perhaps realized that it might be a better idea to make the safest and most familiar and nostalgic game in terms of the content, in order to ensure that they can if necessary reinvent the game on a technical level and not fear to experiment and take risky opportunities where they see them.

It's a genius move and one I have been wanting to see for a long time (it bothered me for example how DP had the task of taking us to the DS, while the GS remakes had it all laid out and could focus on the aesthetics, the feel, and had the option of cramming more content into the games than anyone would demand... why not use nostalgia-fueled familiar settings as entry titles for new hardware, in turn getting all the old and new fans to buy the console, which in turn would make the actually new games after that way easier to sell?)

If that's the case, these games can be viewed as a safe bridge into a new era. And that makes me excited for the possibility of the games coming after the ground is set so to speak.

Of course we still basically don't know ANYTHING about these initial Switch games at this point, but even if they end up being uninspired re-remakes merely with a Yellow/eeveelution-pandering twist (which I doubt. I don't think they would seriously go back to Kanto at this point without drastically shaking things up in some way), it makes me curious about what underlying changes are coming with that, that they would require such familiarity to ease us into it.


But what's the deal with "Go"?


My ommition of a comment on this earlier might imply that my opinion about Pokemon Go is so low that the mere possibility of something being a reference to it is not worth making a proper comment on... and well yes, that was at least the initial thought.

However, after proper consideration, it's actually pure genius.

You see, Pokémon Go showed the world that there is a bigger audience for Pokémon that for all kinds of reasons simply isn't playing the current games.

Of course with Pokémon Go being what it is, and being handled poorly by the outsider developer that Pokémon decided to put trust in for this cooperation.. it went pretty much downhill after the huge initial boom.

I believe that the PKMN Company and Gamefreak saw this, and afterwards kicked themselves for letting someone else waste a huge portion of potential fans that could have returned to the core series if done properly.

So what they may be attempting to do now, is to grab the "Go" symbol and rebuild its image, in order to use its potential themselves.

In other words: They are attempting to do what Pokémon Go promised and failed to do.

Bringing everyone that has ever had any interest for Pokémon, back together, to the same level, on the fancy console with exploding popularity that is finally making Nintendo look cool again.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this might be exactly the boost the franchise needs right now.

Exciting times.

December 04, 2016

What's next?

I haven't been posting anything here for quite a while, with the main reason being that the marketing for new Pokémon games has evolved to pretty much spoil way too much about the games months ahead of release.

... but with the dust from the release of Sun&Moon settled a bit (I'm not bothering to put spoiler warnings anywhere by the way) and all the fansites having covered pretty much everything about it by now... albeit hasty, I'll dive right into speculation about the next games.

We could assume that S&M will get follow-up games despite XY having caught us off-guard by not having any. But in addition to the lack of follow-up games in gen6, S&M themselves seem more "finished" and less rushed than X&Y did, so I wouldn't bet on it.

Before we got details about S&M, I was secretly hoping that these games would either function as XY-sequels, despite being a new generation, or that they and XY would get shared sequels after S&M. Turned out there is hardly any connection between the 2 games (with S&M being filled way more with Kanto-references and generation-I fanservice than any besides Gold/Silver-incarnations), and even Zygarde, while finally being given some time in the spotlight with its cell-collecting sidequest spanning throughout the whole game, doesn't even get any actual lore added (there isn't even a mention of Xerneas/Yveltal or Terminal cave or anything)... Sina and Dexio (Sycamores assistants) show up to merely explain the "sidequest", but other than that, they're used to reintroduce mega-evolutions in the post-game, in a rather quick manner as well.

Anyhow, adding the fact that S&M improved the graphical aspect of the overworld quite a bit, as well as essentially getting rid of the grid-like structure of maps, makes the idea of stitching together aged versions of Kalos and Alola go from practical to proposterous.

With SM looking less in need of sequels than XY (sure there is "Necrozma", a mysterious legendary that is clearly somehow connected to Solgaleo and Lunala...but after Zygardes treatment, that doesn't mean much in this regard), it might be safe to assume there won't be more Alola-based games coming in the near future.

3 bases for new games come to mind:

1. Going straight to Generation 8, which wouldn't even seem that strange, if they mean to continue adding "smaller" generations of ~70ish Pokémon (although I personally wish there would be another completely fresh generation like Gen5, especially after 2 generations of nostalgia-pandering...),

2. a return to Kanto. My hope is that most fans look at this option as the least exciting idea for a new Pokémon game ever at this point. Considering we've been to the region in 4 generations, as well as having had the option of returning to its initial incarnation via the virtual-console version of Red/Blue/Yellow (and possibly again if GSC show up on the e-shop as well..), which are even compatible with PokeBank. Add all the constant references and pandering on top of that (from Kanto-starters getting Megas and overshadowing Kalos-starters in their own debut game, to Alola-forms being given exlcusively to Generation-I Pokemon in S&M just now), should make anyone question the reasoning for what might basically be a remake of the first remake. Not even the fact that the story of Gen1 is now more outdated than any other generations story yet again, seems like a valid reason go there. So to this point, I'd say that the only way we are going back to Kanto this generation, is if they do something seriously drastic and refreshing with it. Whether it'd be a "20 years later" fully fleshed-out sequel (which could work as a sequel to Gen2 as well, including Johto in the postgame, and this way at the same time have a Johto-return covered with it already), or such a dramatic reboot, that it would be a different game than the originals.. at which point it's redundant to not just have it be generation 8 anyway.

3. and now to the option everyone would probably have listed first: Sinnoh.



Personally, I love Sinnoh. And that's one of the reasons I'm worried about a "Sinnoh remake". It deserves better than a plain copy&paste+"all the new features added"-treatment, so I hope that these "games" will break the traditional take on remakes we've seen so far in the franchise. Have it be sequels to DPt or some new kind of twist, but not plain remakes with a Platinum-episode smacked on it and a "Battle Frontier Soon"-sign in the post-game...

But alright. Given that these would be Gen7-games, the question is, is there anything pointing towards Sinnoh in S&M?

As far as direct references go, there is the whole backstory about Type:Null, the "ultra beast killer" that was meant to be an artificial version of Arceus, but other than that, there is a crucial thematical connection to DPt:

The core part of the plot of SM is about the mascot legendary being able to open portals to another dimension called the Ultra-world, the home of the newly introduced "Ultra Beasts" of which a handful are released into Alola for the player to hunt down in the post-game.

Dimension being the keyword here. The mascot legendaries of DPt were also powerful creatures that manipulate space and time, and even seem to live in some other dimensions until summoned by Cyrus. The only other time we've ever been to a different dimension in the games before was when we followed Giratina into its lonely home dimension.


The distortion world basically feels like elements from the real world assembled in an unexpected way...

....but the same could also be said for the design of any of the Ultrabeasts. They have recognizable  real-world features, but the way they're put together to make a living creature seems abnormal if not downright creepy.

Now that we know there are many weird creatures inhabiting other dimensions, which are actually just a new category of Pokémon, it doesn't seem like a big stretch to imagine weaker more common equivalents of the UBs as "wild pokemon" in Giratinas distortion world for example, or for the games featuring the dimension trio as the mascots again, to let us visit even more worlds in other dimensions with further  kinds of beasts being introduced.

Let's not forget that after the climax of Platinum, Cyrus stays in the distortion world with his motivations unchanged... and after Lusamines bad deeds turning out to be the result of brainwashing by the ultrabeast known as Nihilego, and them even fusing temporarely at one point in the ultra-dimension...who knows what Cyrus could run into.


Oh, and speaking of expanding Sinnoh with things introduced in S&M... Sinnoh forms anyone?
A bunch of random examples that popped into my mind (I limited myself to Sinnohdex, while excluding the PKMN introduced in generation4):


-Ice/Flying Hoothoot-line would make nights in Sinnoh feel a bit colder (it's supposed to be a cold region, yet it has less Ice PKMN than most other regions

-Electric/Ice Raichu as a contrast to Alolan Raichu, while also representing Sinnoh with the type combination

-Dark variations of the annoying pests of Zubats and Tentacools to at least give them a new twist

-Clefairy gaining Psychic since it's closer to the stars on Mt.Coronet than anywhere else. What with Solgaleo/Lunala basically confirming the suspicion of Psychic type being the main type to represent "cosmic"-themes.

-Machop-line gaining a new form so it's not the only original trade-evolution-line that hasn't gotten a new twist yet what with MegaZam/Gengar and Alolan Geodude. Steel to make it an alternative to the overhyped Lucario for the still quite exotic combo.

-Fairy for Ponyta-line to spice up one of the few Fire-types (and Ponyta has always been one of these too bland designs in my view.. also Rapidash is basically a unicorn anyway)

-Poison Quagsire so it fits better with the swamp pokes like Skorupi/Croagunk

-Electric Mantine, because it would be the best that's ever happened to it.

-And Flying Azumarill, because... no idea, I just wanna see more primary Flying types I guess...

June 11, 2016

Formes for Xerneas and Yveltal?

First actual game-footage of Zygardes 10% and perfect formes has been released:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDTKAX-UcQs

Some things to notice:


So, apparently the perfect form, is a temporary in-battle-exclusive forme (like Mega evolution/Primal reversion), achieved by simply having HP lowered enough, and makes Zygarde transition from its 10% forme, directly to the perfect one.

To be honest, I expected something more unique and complicated, as well as involving the original 50% forme to at least some degree in the process.

One way 50% could come into play, is if this new ability can transform it into either higher form, depending on how much damage it took. For example:

Get the HP reduced below 50% but above 10% --> Zygarde 50%
Get the HP reduced below 10% --> Perfect Zygarde


No hints on where Zygarde Core fits into this... maybe it'll just be relevant in a "Z-episode" which will end with it gaining the 10% forme and the trainer getting it?

As for the mysterious 5 colored hexagons on perfect Zygardes chest.. on the 10% forme, we still have only a red hexagon, but even more curious is the fact that in the process of transforming, we see several red hexagons rushing to it among the green ones. Why red and not blue? Or cyan or orange. The 50% forme didn't have any additional colour whatsoever though, so perhaps red it's just a random detail exclusively for the 10% forme.



It would certainly be more interesting if there was as many as 5 different 10% formes, each resembling a different kind of animal (imagine a cat for blue, something aquatic for cyan and a bird for orange for example), which would also make more sense of why this one resembles a dog in the first place (besides the greek mythological hellhound/underworld theme of course).


The other new feature we see, is Zygardes (fourth now) signature move. It shoots a rainbow beam out of its chest (although the hexagons aren't showcased even remotely clear from this move alone), carving a huge green Z into the ground.



It's pretty safe to assume that (unlike Land's Wrath, Thousand Arrows/Waves, which are all Ground-type moves) this move is actually Dragon-type, due to hitting Garchomp super-effectively in the video.

And this brings me back to...

Xerneas and Yveltal

With Zygarde having a move involving literally carving a Z onto the opponent, it would make sense if Xerneas and Yveltal would also have signature moves involving their respective letters. And considering their initial signature moves, it actually does seem like there should be a second pair of moves for them. Because, Yveltals move, Oblivion Wing, isn't even of its main type (Flying instead of Dark, just like Zygardes previous moves were all Ground-type rather than Dragon), meaning it doesn't even get a boost from its unique ability Dark Aura. And Xerneas' signature move, Geomancy, while being Fairy-type, is a status-boosting move rather than a damaging one.

So it would only be fair if Xerneas had some ramming Fairy-type move that displays an X on its target, while Yveltal slashes a Y onto it with a Dark move.

But the chances of them getting new moves alone are slim. Unless they were to get some kind of new appearances as well, justifying the new moves to go along that in the first place.

Another minor hint towards some transformation for the XY-mascots could be their identical base stats. All mascot legendaries, even minor legendary duos and trios, have differently distributed base stats, with one exception. There was a version exclusive legendary duo in Black and White, that had identical stats: Tornadus and Thundurus. But even in that case, they each got a new forme in the sequels, each with completely different stats. (and to make the comparison even better, they have a third counterpart in Landorus, which started off with different stats while also having gotten a new form along with them)

Probably looking too deep into it though.


So we got more questions than actual answers from this reveal, but at least it's some confirmation that the Kalos mythos hasn't just been abandoned in favor of something completely new.


EDIT:

I've noticed that we can see Zygardes HP in the japanese version of the video.
It starts out with 125, takes 120 damage, then after transforming, it's HP are 167/287.

So it kept the "damage", but its actual HP increase drastically.
This is definitely due to the forms having different base HP.

The 10% forme seems to have quite low HP (base ~50), while the perfect forme has HP far above most Pokemon (base 190+), only being outclassed by Chansey and Blissey.

June 02, 2016

all things cosmic = Psychic

The types have been revealed.

Lunala (yay correct spelling confirmed as well) is not secondary Flying, and we have indeed what I expected in the case that both are dual-types: they share the Psychic-type.

Not just that, it is even their primary type. Consider the DP and BW-mascots for example. Both are a trio of Dragon-type legends, but for the DP-mascots, it's just their secondary type, adding a pinch of mythic/epic to them, while for the BW-mascots, being dragon is completely essential to their concept, hence they are primary Dragon-type, with their diverse elemental types being their secondary types. So in the case of Solgaleo and Lunala, it's more like the Unova Dragons. Psychic isn't just there to make them more legendary, it is there to represent their core aspect, that being their cosmic theme.

Their secondary types are their distinguishing (and as we will see in a bit, their contrasting) flavors.

As expected, Fairy is nowhere to be seen for Lunala, but the absence of Fire for Solgaleo even caught me off-guard.

I'm relieved to see Ghost as Lunalas flavor-type, because it would have been a shame for it being such a perfect match with its ethereal design. Which brings me to the next point.

When I saw the types flash on the screen in the trailer, I immediately recognized the contrast that I've mentioned in the previous blog-entry. Solgaleo is an animalistic, down-to-earth, fleshed out creature design, whereas Lunala is the opposite, a fragile, ghastly, skeletal, other-worldly one. So it makes sense for them to be the most physical (Steel) and the least physical (an ethereal Ghost) type to make use of this contrast.

May 19, 2016

Sun and Moon legendary types - Part 2

An interesting easy to miss detail has been spotted in an alternate shorter trailer for Sun&Moon:


As you can see, even though Solgaleo has the Sun-Symbol on its forehead, Lunaala has this symbol instead of the Moon-symbol.

And it looks far too reminiscent of the Psychic-Symbol to be ignored.

In part 1 I mentioned that I could see the mascots be dual type, only if they shared the Psychic type due to the cosmic association it has had in the past (Deoxys, Lunatone/Solrock, Elgyem, Psy Gym leaders of Hoenn and especially Kalos). In that case, I expected Psychic/Fire and Psychic/Flying.

But now this info changes it. Since only Lunaalas forhead symbol resembles the Psychic eye, I'm now convinced that Psychic will be Lunaalas core type, having the same importance as Fire for Solgaleo.

Nothing changes in it most likely having a secondary Flying type.



Although I'm sad that the chances for Ghost have dropped tremendously now (while the popular Fairy speculation has no chance at all at this point), Psychic does make sense to fit a more bright aspect of this legendary (weheras Ghost, or Dark, are sort of contradictory to it), better fitting the attack it uses, as well as the Moon thematically being a light-source worthy of rivaling the sun itself. It would also further reassure that the moon-association IS NOT exclusive to the Fairy type, and that Cresselia is justified in being a pure Psychic (there is Musharna who evolves via Moon Stone as well).

Also, the mascots being Fire and Psychic? There is our first GS-homage already.

May 13, 2016

Sun and Moon legendaries

So that's it, we're not going any place near Kalos, but on the complete opposite of the planet, Hawaii (as many people have been speculating based on plenty of hints).

But I'm surely not the only one feeling like Kalos still desperately needs some form of closure, right?

That's why I've been thinking lately, perhaps it is not that Gen7 IS the sequel to Gen6, but rather Gen7 is a mirror, a counterpart to Gen6. (with them both getting a closure together after Sun&Moon?)

If that were the case, what better way to show that, than by making the Sun&Moon legends contrast the XY legends? Xerneas and Yveltal (and Zygarde..) share one colour in their designs prominently: black. I watched the trailer, and sure thing, Solgaleo and Lunaala (or whatever the english spelling will be) are both part white.

I would not be surprised if we find out that there is a third white legendary, Sun and Moons equivalent of Zygarde, but we'll go deeper into that some other time.

Meanwhile, here is a graphic I made to represent the idea of Gen6 and Gen7 mascot legends being part of one family:
The Legendary Hexagon
As for the designs of the two revealed legends themselves, I've got to say, I love them!

A truly majestic lion design with a perfectly integrated octagonal symmetric solar pattern on its face, contrasted by a huge winged bat-looking creature with several crescent-shaped details, as well as it itself shaping a big crescent for attacks.

Both have a cosmic-coloured face with the Sun and Moon symbols appearing on their forehead.

Going back to my comparison to the XYZ-legends, I see a contrast of life and death in these two as well. The animalistic and pure design of Solgaleo makes it look like full of energy, while Lunaala is a fragile design with the core bodypart looking almost skeletal.

Just perfect.

Sun & Moon Legendary types

Since everyone is speculating on what their types will be, here is my 2 cents on the topic.

#1 Solgaleo


Fire is pretty much given and no one is doubting that (orange symbol, fiery background, the sun-theme itself, etc.). Of course as every generation, everyone wants to shove at least a secondary type onto that while speculating. Whether it's Electric (the actual sun having a lot of electric features), or Psychic (it's the type with the deepest "cosmic" association, in that case, we'dexpect both legends to be part Psychic), or even Normal (because it's so fluffy and animalistic I suppose?).

Here is the thing, and I've said this numerous times when we were speculating Xerneas'/Yveltals type back in Gen6 reveal: the main legends DO NOT have more than one essential elemental type.

Notice anything?

None of the "epic" legendaries so far have had 2 "elemental"-types combined. They always have one important type that relates to their theme.

Yes, alot of them are dual-types, but EVERY TIME the other type is either Flying (because it is literally Flying) or Dragon to make it more epic and mythological.

So since Solgaleo is neither a Dragon, nor is it airborne, my bet is:



At most it might be Fire/Psychic, but only if both legendaries are /Psychic (which I doubt).

#2 Lunaala


I see speculation about combinations of everything from
- Dark ("darkness duh")
- Fairy (Moonblast, Moonlight)
- Psychic (general cosmic association)
- even Water (blue symbol, and to contrast Solgaleo perhaps),
as well as people actually saying it might be a repeat of Yveltals type combination of Dark/Flying.

I'm surprised that I haven't seen any speculation about it being primary Flying type, that could work better than most of these.

But everyone seems to be forgetting the single most obvious choice for Lunaala: Ghost.

It's the type actually associated with night-time and literal darkness (rather than Dark, which is about being mean at its core) and it's the only really creepy type in the chart (the skeletal pattern on Lunaalas body certainly gives it that feel, as well as the fact it looks like a dream-catcher in certain stances).

The simplest prediction here is


with Flying being added for the same reason as it has been for Ho-oh or Yveltal, because it actually flies.

March 04, 2016

(Radical speculation) Alternate Starter types

(This series is about imagining interesting, perhaps quite unrealistic, possibilities for certain otherwise "traditional" features/mechanics in Pokémon. In other words, "what if Gamefreak added a fresh twist to >insert feature<?")

Grass, Fire and Water.

Every generation, a new trio of Starter-Pokémon are introduced, and after the cover-legendaries, they're the closest to being the mascots of their generation.

They're the first Pokémon you obtain for your adventure in every main-series game, and because of that, Gamefreak takes more time for their designs than for most other Pokémon in an attempt to make them as balanced between friendly/cool and as appealing as possible.

It's one of the most fundamental traditions in Pokémon.

The reasoning behind their primary types is that they are meant to convey the mechanics of the type chart to new players, since Water being strong against Fire etc. are some of the most intuitive examples of type-match-ups.

Starter-fatigue?

When a generation meant ~130 or more new Pokémon designs, a new set of such traditional starters at the beginning made perfect sense. However, with the 6th generation (X&Y) being the smallest in size (~70), the newer starters make up more than 10% of the generation. And if current speculations turn out to be right (that Sun&Moon will start another short generation that acts like a second half to Generation 6), the ratio of starters is going upwards. And the fact we've seen this trio of elements/colours/themes 6 times in a row, doesn't help in keeping the concept exciting.

Of course there is still the option of simply NOT introducing a new set of starters and using the ones for Kalos a second time, but anytime a new generation is even just hinted at, the hype surrounding starters is too big and important to be confronted with that level of disappointment.

So I thought...

What if "Sequel-generations" used an alternate set of starter types?

There would still be the standard new Grass/Fire/Water starter-trio we all know and love for the "main generations", but a different set of types (perhaps even different each time?) for when there is a shorter "sequel generation" (like possibly Sun&Moon) after a shorter completely new generation (like XY).

It would be exciting and refreshing to see the "luxury" (of a guaranteed inclusion of a well-designed 3-stage Pokémon) extended to some other types for once.

The weakness/resistance-cycle

Not many groups of three types have that signature triangle of weaknesses with each other one way and resistances the other way that Grass/Fire/Water do, but that's not a surprise, considering that they were designed with that in mind.

The only 2 other suitable trios (Rock/Flying/Fighting, Fairy/Fighting/Steel) therefore feel rather arbitrary and unintentional.

That's why it would make sense to leave that aspect out for an alternate set of starters altogether (Another option however could be to make sure the types have neutral match-ups with each other).

It loses the "type-chart introduction"-part, but since that's only relevant very early in the game anyway, an obvious and convenient solution to that would be to demonstrate type-advantages with the elemental monkeys from Generation V. Anyhow...

Let's look at some examples.

(I'll use silhouettes of existing Pokémon for demonstration purposes. Think of them as silhouettes of new Pokémon with similar basis, which would act as the first of a 3-stage starter-like evolutionary lines of their respective type.)

The first possibility that comes to mind , is taking 3 just as colourful and elemental types as the traditional ones.


  • Electric is a perfect replacement for Fire, being the other bright energetic type in the selection (well demonstrated as opposites with Reshiram and Zekrom). With Pikachus fame and role as a pseudo-starter, the types suitability is even more evident.
  • Ice is another high priority choice, due to the type having just as much conceptual potential, while getting barely any attention in terms of basic Pokémon-designs. It would benefit extremely from being a starter-type, whereas Water is already the most common Pokémon type altogether.
  • With those two acting as Yellow and Cyan, the appropriate choice for the third type would be Magenta, hence Psychic, which is not out of place, being a more direct "supernatural abilities"-type. And while it has had a handful of relevant 3-stage lines, none of them have taken on the "Psychic" palette that is supposed to be it's cliché-colour.
(and they also happen to not have any relations with each other in the type chart, which makes them even more of a favourite example).



Another set of types that could work as an "advanced starters"-type-trio, would be 3 types that are based around a strategy/approach to battling rather than clear elements.

And while the old fan-idea (that sort of got realized, as secondary types for the Kalos starters) of Fighting/Psychic/Dark as a trio is a good match, I'd personally switch out Psychic for something as gritty/grounded as the other two types: Poison (a type that's also rarely featured with an important 3-stage line, or even as the primary type in a Pokémon in general).



For the third example, the underlying theme is "creatures".

As a big contrast to the traditional starters (which tend to be based on more familiar and pet-like animals), the alternate starters could be of the types that relate to a Pokémons own biology.

by one of them being perhaps a beetle or an arachnid (Bug type), a prehistoric animal or a mineral-based lifeform (Rock type) / a metal and alloy based, perhaps artificially created lifeform (Steel), an extraordinary supernatural creature (Ghost or Fairy), or even a mythical Dragon type.

February 26, 2016

Sun and Moon

From the Presentation in the Direct, it's very clear we are dealing with Generation 7 here.

And if there is anyone actually still doubting it, there is this part on the official Pokémon site:


Even further, the direct showcased a new, easy to miss (or mistake for Fletchling&co.) glimpse of a woodpecker-inspired Pokemon design:

All that's missing now is a further connection to Zygarde and emphasis on direct connection to Kalos.

Sun&Moon Logos "leaked" ahead of Pkmn Direct

Love 'em.

They pretty much confirm generation 7, as expected. Now if only they would also somehow show a relation to the "Z-hype" to confirm that they're at the same time still tying up the plot from XY and Zygarde...

Well, they do, indirectly. The actual logos just so happen to be light blue and orange, the "other two" colours on Perfect Zygardes chest.
(also, remember that pink crystal SUNdial from Anistar seen in front of Zygarde on this poster? as well as an NPC mentioning a moondial..)

Also, what happens when the sun and moon get to close in the sky? Eclipses. Seems fitting for that giant black mecha-kaiju I'd say.

THE HYPE TRAIN IS REACHING FULL SPEED.

February 14, 2016

XY-sequels = Generation 7

I've come to the conclusion that I've limited myself to thinking based on generation 5 too much in regards to generation 6 speculation (in that Z-themed games would end generation 6 before we move on).

So let's take a few steps back.

The first Pokémon sequels we've seen, were Gold & Silver.
They took Generation I, its region, its Pokémon, its story, and expanded it all.
In other words, GS=Johto=Generation 2, did to RBY, what we've been expecting from XY-sequels to do to XY.

But there is nothing preventing Gamefreak from "finishing" generation 6 with the 7th generation. It may sound contradictory, but it would explain a lot of things.

It would explain, why we're starting to get reveals of Pokemon that are not part of the current generation with no game-announcement in sight.
It would explain why Zygarde is not the star of Movie 19, but its "story" is instead still being stretched out in the regular anime for months to come.
It would explain why they decided to develop ORAS first, instead of doing it the gen4-way.
It would explain why ORAS was made with the consideration of making all Pokemon obtainable between the games of X/Y/OR/AS (which is done for each generation as a whole).
It would explain why they're distributing ALL mythical Pokemon of all 6 generations one after another for the coming 8 months.
...

Pack your bags folks, we're going to the neighbouring region of Kalos. (I have a feeling it might be kind of industrial and german~)

A new game, in a new region (and Kalos), with a new generation (new Pokémon), that also happens to delve into the story behind Zygarde et al in the post-game and "ties up" all the loose ends of Gen6 "in a unique way".