Q
So I read your June 13, White 2 Epilogue where Zinzolin converses with the main character on human stagnation and pokeballs with N. How much do you agree or disagree with it? (Yes I know you wrote it)
Anonymous
A

I did write it, and it is supposed to be a point of view that’s plausible and persuasive as well as appropriate to how I think the game characterises Zinzolin - but that’s a perfectly legitimate question, and no, I don’t agree with him.  I think that all human achievement is ultimately built on cooperation, and in the context of the Pokémon universe I think that humans’ capacity for teamwork, leadership and empathy is kind of their ‘thing,’ their ‘special power,’ if you like.  Those are the skills they should be honing and using.  That’s not to say the system necessarily works, of course, or that humans by and large are going about it the right way or relating to Pokémon in an appropriate manner.  But I don’t think separation, on the model of what anyone in Team Plasma was thinking, is the answer.


Q
Are there any particular Animals, Mythological Beings, Concepts, etc that you would like to see turned into a Pokemon? If so, what sort of type, role, and abilities to you imagine for them?
Anonymous
A

Well, today, I feel like this description of a hedgehog from a Mediaeval bestiary would make the most adorable Grass Pokémon ever. http://discardingimages.tumblr.com/post/100435666368/de-herinacio-on-the-hedgehog-the-first-nature


Q
If kreia was in the pokemon world, do you think she would have disdain for people relying on pokemon for everything?
Anonymous
A

Heh.  Actually, I was kinda channeling Kreia (from the Star Wars CRPG Knights of the Old Republic II) for a lot of Zinzolin’s dialogue in the 'epilogue' to my White 2 playthrough.  Short answer: absolutely.


Q
Instead of Mega Stones we should really have something called 'Relevant Stones'. These stones have the magical property to make any Pokemon that holds it relevant competitively. Just think, you'd finally be able to use Far'fetched and Spinda without being laughed at! :P
A

Alas, if only the game were that simple.


Q
Have you looked up Five Nights with Freddy, Interesting horror indie game.
Anonymous
A

Uh… should I have?


Q
would it bother you too terribly if i made a list of all region's pokemon with links to your entries for easier navigation? i'm ocd like that and thought i'll make it for my own enjoyment (?) but sharing is caring and all that
Anonymous
A

If you like, I guess?  There is actually a search bar at the bottom of the main page that you can use to find entries on specific Pokémon; I’m not very fond of it because it’s a bit useless and seems to only search for stuff in the tags of a post, not in the text itself, but for this purpose it works just fine.


Q
Do you think it would make more sense if Tauros was a Fighting-Type or Normal/Fighting Type?
Anonymous
A

Actually, no.  With certain notable exceptions (I’m looking at you, Primeape), Fighting Pokémon draw their power from discipline, control and martial study - like real martial artists.  Tauros is all about uncontrolled rage.  If anything I would consider putting him into Ground or maybe even Dark, but I think it’s most appropriate to leave him where he is in Normal.


Q
So, it seems in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the Latis' new mega form will allow you to actually fly to places with actual flight controls while viewing the region below you, rather than just warping there after an animation as the hm does. Not only that, this will allow you to reach new places in the game that were out of reach previously, and allows you to capture every non-event legendary pokemon in places called "mirage areas). So, best thing to ever happen to the franchise, or what?
A

I choose b) - “what.”

I mean, don’t get me wrong; it’s very cool and it’ll certainly do a lot to improve the atmosphere of the games and give people a good feel for what Hoenn is like as a region.  Moreover, it certainly isn’t lost on me that people have wanted something like this in Pokémon for a long time!  It just doesn’t strike me as a total game changer - you’re using Pokémon to travel to places you couldn’t on your own, which has been a big part of what these games have been about from the beginning; thematically it’s nothing new.  I’d actually regard, say, Pokémon Amie or Super Training as much bigger and more important features.


Q
How would you feel about a Pokemon game set in te ancient past? No modern technology, totally different society? The main theme could be the discovery that Pokemon can be revived from fossils! Pokemon +archeology =win?
Anonymous
A

Well, I’ve always liked the idea of setting a game in the past; I think I’ve talked about it before.  I don’t think I see how reviving Pokémon from fossils would fit with that theme, though, since the games have always presented that as a very recent development made possible through modern technology.  The idea of setting a Pokémon game in an older version of the world, with a very different social structure, is certainly a big draw; in particular, if you’re working in a period where Pokéballs are a rare curiosity created exclusively by elite artisans, we’re bound to get a very different view of the relationship between humans and Pokémon than what we normally see - or, alternatively, a strikingly similar view that could say some interesting things about how that ideology developed.

Other than that, I think the main attraction of the idea for me is in working out replacements for a lot of the conventional systems that sustain the Pokémon world as we know it - there are no Pokéballs, so everyone has to rely on apricorns; there are probably not a lot of standardised items like potions and revives, so everyone has to use herbal medicine; there’s no PC network, so everyone has to store Pokémon in actual physical locations like farms; there’s no remote communication, so people in other towns have to be contacted by messenger or telepathic Pokémon.  The danger is that, in the process of working out all these ‘immersive’ systems, you inadvertently create something that’s just full of annoying chores - things like growing apricorns and preparing herbal medicine have to be parts of the game in themselves, things that can be fun to do and have potential for major rewards, and there need to be as many ‘convenient’ options as can be justified.  I’ve often toyed with the idea of a system where you can cross-breed apricorns, gradually gaining access to more and more useful strains that create Pokéballs with all kinds of fun effects - start with just Pale Apricorns, which just work like regular Pokéballs, then find each of the seven standard apricorn colours (blue, red, yellow, green, pink, black and white) and start crossing them together to create things like a Sky Blue Apricorn that’s especially effective against Flying and Levitating Pokémon, or a Deep Violet Apricorn that increases the experience growth of a Pokémon captured in it.  Basically, make the players work harder for stuff, but be sure to reward them for it!


Q
I don't usually enjoy compilations, but there's this one on Youtube called "10 Years of Pokemon" that's pretty gosh darned amazing. Any thoughts?
Anonymous
A

Meh.

To be honest, it’s just not easy to sustain the level of intensity that this video seems to be aiming at for as long as it tries to.  I sort of find myself thinking “I’m five minutes in, and there’s another three minutes of disconnected clips of big Pokémon attacks to go; am I really being given a reason to care about this?”  There were also a lot of points, particularly in the first half, where I found myself really questioning whether the extremely dramatic music was an appropriate fit for the clips being shown, several of which are much quieter in tone.  So… yeah.


Zygarde

Zygarde.

I’m down to the last few legendary Pokémon now (well, the last few legendary Pokémon… and Carbink, whom I’m still intending to do together with Diancie on account of their weird relationship).  By necessity, these final four entries are going to be… more than a little speculative.  There’s still a lot that we don’t know about Zygarde and Diancie, and heck, I don’t think we’re even supposed to know that Hoopa and Volcanion exist yet (I mean, we’ve all known about them for months, but no one dares tell Game Freak that, because it would hurt their feelings and they might cry, which would be awkward).  I may have to make up a lot of stuff.  Should be fun.  Anyway, let’s do Zygarde.

Read More


Noibat and Noivern

Noibat.

What would Pokémon be without bats?

Well, at the moment I’m picturing a pristine world of peace and harmony where everything is sweetness and light and nothing painful ever happens, but maybe it’s just a tiny bit unfair to blame all the world’s economic, social, military and ideological strife on Zubat.  Only a tiny bit, mind you.  Like it or (more likely) not, Zubat and Golbat have been fixtures of the Pokémon games since the beginning, their combination of high speed, confusion-inducing attacks making them incredibly and infuriatingly effective at harassing Pokémon trainers travelling through caves.  They appeared in practically every cave of every Pokémon game up until Black and White, when Game Freak were so traumatised by their absence that they had to create Woobat and Swoobat to keep us from suffocating in the horror of a batless existence.  In Kalos, the Pokémon region with by far the greatest biodiversity we’ve yet seen, Zubat and Woobat are both back – there’s no need for a Pokémon to fill their role as bloodsucking nuisances.  Maybe this made Game Freak excited about the possibility of a designing a bat who’s not an awful blight on the world, because they went and gave us Noibat and Noivern – giant dragon-bats with a mean streak a mile wide and a voice like dynamite in a thunderstorm.  That’s a new one.

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Q
I was thinking about phantom force and other two-turned attacks ever since the Phantump and Trevenant article, and I've been thinking of a way that could improve all of them and make them much more useful in competitive circles. Instead of these moves being two-turned, how about having the move preparation have high priority, and the move execution have low priority, making them less predictable, and allowing them to dodge moves like they're supposed to. So, a fair change, or too powerful?
A

So… as far as I can see, this actually makes Pokémon with Dig, Fly, Phantom Force and the like unbeatable except by Pokémon with (positive or negative) priority attacks of their own, or some kind of recoil ability like Ferrothorn’s Iron Barbs.  Step 1: Fly.  You automatically move first; you don’t get hit unless your opponent has Mach Punch or whatever and is also faster than you.  Step 2: Come down.  You automatically move second; you don’t get hit unless your opponent has something really weird like Vital Throw.  Step 3: Fly again.  You still don’t get hit.  Step 4: ???  Step 5: Profit!  Your opponent has plenty of free turns in there to switch in whatever they like to resist and counter your attacks, but who cares?  You can just pull the exactly same bull$#!t on that Pokémon unless it has a priority attack, or is outright immune (and even that just creates a stalemate).


Q
How do you feel about a "Luck" stat being added, something that can contribute a small boost to critical hits, dodge chance at no evasion stacks, possibly a side effect that works like the move Endure, you get a small chance that an attack that would KO your Pokemon will leave it with 1 HP, but only if it has more than 1 HP. The percent chances of these things would be determined by your opponent's luck, and could be given to weaker Pokemon like Farfetch'd and Furret
Anonymous
A

For the most part, I think my reaction to this would be basically analogous to what I said here about the idea of making accuracy and evasion into concrete, trainable stats rather than just bonuses and penalties.  More to the point, I’m not sure the effect on Pokémon who would receive high Luck stats would be terribly beneficial, overall - it would encourage a perception of them as Pokémon best suited to inferior players who value luck over skill, and perhaps ultimately lead to even greater marginalisation than they experience now.  Luck is always a tricky thing to play with in games of skill and strategy - the possibility of calculated risks for greater payoff is an interesting concept that can make games more varied, but adding too many luck-based elements just makes every move a risk, and then you lose the whole point.  It’s… awkward.


Q
i was looking into x&y's animation sprites in detail, and I think they give away a lot more about pokemon than the previous generations, what do you think of this? I love how archeops looks like it's struggling to fly, how water pokemon look like actually being in water (eelektross looks hypnoticing) and how pokemon stand by, it shows a bit of their personalities imo (standing there, swaying, dancing...)
Anonymous
A

I love these.  Earlier battle animations did a lot to show off the Pokémon’s personality to a greater extent than static sprites and art, but the constant movement and attack animations of X and Y are so much more fluid and expressive that there’s just no comparison.  You mention Eelektross, whose possession of the Levitate ability just makes so much more sense now that we can visualise him that way; I’m also a huge fan of the way Blastoise levels his cannons to fire, Inkay and Malamar spin and rotate, Espurr and Meowstic lift their ears when using special attacks, or Flying Pokémon in general make wide swoops and dives.  Some of them aren’t great - like Salamence just kinda… hangs there in the air, not bothering to flap his wings like most Flying Pokémon do… which looks a bit odd.  Xatu also can’t help but look a bit ungainly in flight. For the most part though, I think the animations are well done and help the atmosphere a lot.