Getting further into after-game material for Moon, and I have to admit, the suggestions of extremely fucked-up happenings in the Poke-verse have emboldened the personal Pokemon project, which I’m going to prattle disconnectedly about for a minute. I suppose you could consider this to be “spoiler” material for the project’s background, but because there is no real narrative, and I have no pans to “do” anything with it in the vein of BTWP or IO, I don’t particularly feel it matters much. In context of the project, Pokemon, much like Soylent Green, are Made From People. In the tightest of nutshells, Pokemon are built from human DNA, engineered to replace former natural flora and fauna and to be obedient companions to the advantage and service of mankind. This direction was taken back in 2013 or so when I took the project back up after its multi-year hiatus as a semi-cheerful trainer-journey comic. As a basis for the project, the idea has foundations in supporting in-game lore, in particular the production of synthetic Pokemon (with two especially big canonical instances in the form of MewTwo and Type: Null), repeated notions in the PokeDex that Pokemon arise from humans in some way (especially ghosts), that humans share some abilities with Pokemon (particularly Psychics), and the suggestion in Japanese lore text that at some point in the past humans and Pokemon were one and the same, with humans arising later and Pokemon being suggested to be a form of missing evoutionary link.
I took the theories of Ditto being failed results of attempts to clone Mew and essentially ran with them, creating a basic premise that all Pokemon were manufactured, but considered a natural part of the world as of modern-times in terms of when the “narrative” of Vance’s journey began. As for the “why” all Pokemon were manufactured and were replacements for once-natural flora and fauna, the reason was because there was no or very little “natural” flora and fauna left in the world, influencing mankind to create substitutes. From there the ideas spiral into wholesale-tubes-of-tinfoil conspiracy-level concepts of corporate monolithism, because why not, and “this is what happens when the world dies because you killed everything by trying to kill each other” also because why not. I thought this was a great idea, but kept it to myself because A: it was ridiculous (moreso than usual), and B: I’d probably get flak for it for it being so ridiculous, unrealistically dark, and being incredibly predictable coming from me. Regardless, this gave me all the excuses in the world to involve as many of the stupid ideas for “Pokemon as legit monsters” as I wanted, and a nice foundational reasoning for why so many Pokemon do / would end up looking suspiciously human once I was done having fun with their designs.
In terms of “unearthing secrets” by way of a loose narrative, Vance would have uncovered the “true origins” of Pokemon via Klaxxon and Kepolo, two Ditto that would become relevant to his story line primarily via violence and poaching. Klaxxon is a Ditto that haunts a Pokemon sanctuary just outside the grounds of a Pokemon gym. Klaxxon lures trainers by transforming into Timburr, goading them into fights and then eating the Pokemon sent out to battle it. Kepolo (Hawai'ian for “Devil” insofar as research has informed me) is a Shiny Alolan Exeggutor that dissolved into a Ditto and became a source of terrorisation on Alola’s main island, believed to be the incarnation of an evil king who had eaten Exeggutor fruit (brains) in an effort to become immortal and all-knowing. In context of the project, Ditto are rare and illegal Pokemon that are to be exterminated on-sight. Why? Because SIlph Co. said so - enough times that it’s regarded as just a fact of things. You see a Ditto, you report it, and it gets torched. Ditto are essentially the Pokemon world’s version of The Thing; they’re dangerous, ravenous, can hide in plain sight, and are a body-horror joy-ride once found out. Despite being largely no different than any other Pokemon that feeds off of other Pokemon and / or people and is perfectly capable of forming a companionship relationship with a trainer as can any Pokemon, Ditto is an exception in the minds of the populace because, as mentioned above, Silph says so. Silph has a personal campaign against Ditto’s existence, because Ditto can undo the elaborate obfuscation of history the company has performed to keep the perception of the world’s Pokemon culture people-friendly (CONSPIRACY). Ditto carries with it all of the genetic information of every Pokemon currently in existence and ever will exist, because all Pokemon are built from the human genome. This is what allows Ditto to breed with any Pokemon regardless of “fertility” (a fact that is hidden from the greater public) and, theoretically, create a human-Pokemon hybrid. While Ditto creating a hybrid out of errant genetic mashing (via consumation of organic material) is only a theory, the mere existence of the theory itself is enough justification for Silph to call for all known instances of the Pokemon to be exterminated. The capture of these two monstrosities would influence Vance to to do a little digging into the lesser-known angles of Pokemon life and the corporate colossus that perpetuates its culture.
The inordinate focus on Silph Co. is entirely attributed to the fact that they are responsible for Pokemon as a race of sub-human “human animals" and its consumer culture. Prior to Earth being reduced to a mess, people still waged conflict to kick the shit out of each other, but fighting via human lives was no longer acceptable, machines were all that was permitted to rip and shred at the opposition. Silph was an industrial science and supply company that produced and delivered high-grade organic and inorganic material with the brightest minds at the helm. As conflicts raged, someone got the bright idea that although mankind as a biological species was not able to enter war, leaving machines to duke it out with stalemates produced by inflexible programming reaching “logical” conclusions on either side (mirroring, more or less), something less than human but still able to think freely could go in mankind’s place to gain an edge by virtue of flexible, free thought and strategisation. Hence, sub-human engineering. One thing leads to another and we have proto-strains of what would eventually become Pokemon, armed with refined versions of the base abilities they possessed when fighting armies of machines was still a thing. These proto-strains resemble nothing akin to modern-day species, but they’re nevertheless the first step. Machines get wrecked, things escalate, and the earth suffers for it. There’s not much left, so man takes what is left and builds over top, creating artificially cultured terra over what they destroyed, leaving wreckage and escaped proto-subhuman creatures below.
Yadda-yadda, Silph is the reason Pokemon exist, and the world people see is not what actually exists under their feet. Silph continues to create Pokemon, but many have developed on their own from proto-species that have been left to their own devices. The creation and promotion of the PokeDex is an arguably underhanded method made by Silph to have its many wayward creations properly catalogued after all this time. What survived and what didn’t? Well the intrepid spirits of 10-year-old children will find out for them.
Despite what it sounds like, SIlph Co. itself is not an “evil” entity. Perhaps it is evil in the sense that it controls almost every commercial facet of Pokemon culture imaginable, creating disparity and classism, quashing independent business, but in terms of classic “evil”, Silph is not that. Silph does not share its secrets, arguably for the better considering the state of things in modern times, but this is considered the best option because any other options are not entertained.
Vance would dig deeper eventually, and discover what exists “underground”, though to what “end” would be unknown.
That’s the basic gist. If you read all of that, hot damn! Have a sketch of a Turtonator:
That was super fun playing Cards against Humanity Pokemon edition with all of you whilst doing the giveaway :D I’ll be hosting another Cards night with Kitsu’s Discord. If anybody from Tumblr wants a heads-up when we decide to play, drop me a message. Also if anyone wants to recommend some expansion packs go right ahead!
Looking back, I can’t remember the truth. I blew everything out of proportion so I could feel the hurt and betrayal and write about it in vivid detail. It was my own method of torture. My own undoing; and I enjoyed every second of it.