pkmn theory

Pokemon theory: Komala is not actually native to Alola

The title says it all! Before you scoff and scroll away, hear me out. I think I’ve found direct, in-game proof of this.

One of my favorite things about Sun and Moon has to be the addition of cafes in the Pokemon Centers– which are not just a nice touch, but also a great way to score extra beans and status-healing items from past generations. I make a point of checking each cafe out when I stop in for the first time because of it.

In Seafolk Village, you can order a Komala Coffee, and as a result get a very interesting bit of text:

Here’s the text in plain print for anyone having trouble reading this:

“We blend beans that we import from a distant region. In other words, you can experience not just one novel flavor but several! It might not actually be correct to call this Komala Coffee.”

Take note of the words “distant region” and “import”, also the bit about several flavors, bc what follows is going to be a bit of a doozy.

Here’s what I’m getting at: I think they slipped this bit of text in to subtly hint that Komala is actually not from Alola!

As it stands, it makes no sense that we got a koala Pokemon in a region that is far from their real-life exclusive habitat of Australia. It also makes little sense that such a unique and long-awaited Pokemon…doesn’t have an evolution that would further it’s desirability and popularity. We all thought it was going to have one, but in the end, it didn’t. What gives, Gamefreak?

But that’s part of the point I’m making here. From just this bit of dialogue, I’m starting to think this: Komala may have first been *discovered* in the Alolan Pokedex, but it’s actually native to another region entirely– a Pokemon equivalent of Australia. However, somewhere along the line it was brought over - or should I say, imported - to Alola for whatever reason, and the species managed to make a living there, thus why it is seen as “native.” Said native region, however, is not currently “discovered”, and this move happened so long ago that it’s been forgotten– thus why there is no mention of it in Dex entries.

Furthermore, because Komala was taken out of it’s natural habitat, I speculate that Komala currently has no known evolution because it lacks what it needs to evolve in Alola– that something may be a special item, or a location, etc., but the point is that this something that Komala needs to evolve is found ONLY in it’s native region.

The tidbit about there being several flavors could also hint to multiple evolutions– maybe it has day and night evolutionary forms like Lycanroc, or it could have more than one evolution branch and need special items, etc. The list of possibilities goes on.

It’s also highly possible that an evolution (or multiple evolutions) were planned for Komala, but none of them made the final cut, so it will be pushed back to a new region for this reason, too.

This brings me to my last point in this theory, and while this is a bit of a stretch, I wanted to say it: by the previous points, there’s a good possibility we may see an Australian Pokemon region in the near future! Who knows when it’ll be, but when it happens, it’s also possible our cute new koala Pokemon could be way more competitively viable, as well as more popular!

4

People are saying Zygarde is a computer pokemon or they don’t get why it’s there and it’s a pointless thing

I’m here to drop some sweet truth bombs on you people because this guy is in my favorite top 5 and literally I have seen no one acknowledge this at all

Take a look at the patterns on the body, and the structure of it

The tail on this guy looks like base pair codons, and the patterns on it look like ribose and deoxyribose molecules.

The X legendary represents life matter, and the Y legendary represents death matter.

Therefore, Z accounts for genetics and science, matter itself.

Z legendary matters stop saying it is irrelevant and stupid thank u goodnight

N’s Backstory

Okay I’m just going to make it clear from the get-go that I’m going to be disregarding a lot of game canon in this post, particularly the stuff from Black and White 2. I didn’t much like the expansion they did on N in those games and take a difference stance on his and Ghetsis’ relationship. So. Here we go.

N is Ghetsis’ biological son (because how could he not be, let’s be honest? They look the same) and was born to a long bloodline of vaguely royal ancestry. The Plasma cult was established long before N was born, and his future as its king predetermined before he was even conceived. However, despite his place in a grander scheme, Ghetsis genuinely loved his son at first. He told him, constantly, that he was destined for greatness. He wanted him to succeed, to stand by his side and help him turn Plasma’s dreams into a reality.

It was a difficult birth. The Plasma cult was ancient and weighed down by tradition, so N’s mother was denied any form of pain relief, let alone the assistance of a medical professional. She made it through, but only just, and her general health grew worse in the following months as a consequence. She had always been a frail woman, but she was dedicated to her husband and his practices, and so proud to have borne him a son. 

Initially, N went by the name Neyiri. He was a curious child, bright and social, revered and adored by all in Plasma. Even at a young age, he was encouraged to play in the gardens surrounding the castle, which were populated by both wild and abused pokémon, brought there to escape the ruling of humans. N would wander the vast, woody forests and plains for hours at a time - accompanied, at first, by Concordia or Anthea or some other dedicated nursemaid. As time wore on, however, they felt able to trust the pokémon in the gardens, who treated N as one of them, to keep him safe on his expeditions. They kept as watchful an eye on him as any human, and certainly knew the dangers of the grounds better. 

And that was how N, barely older than three years old, found himself padding through the woods unaccompanied, with only wild Pokémon to supervise him. He had long since formed a close friendship with a zorua, which was barely older than him and pined whenever he went away, and it liked to follow him around, unwaveringly, as he explored the gardens. There were others, of course - a darmanitan, a liepard, an unfezant - that looked in on him and checked that he had come to no harm, but the zorua was his true companion. It never left his side. 

And it was this zorua that saw N die.

It happened suddenly, one lazy afternoon in July, the sun still high in the sky. N, about three and a half at the time, discovered a gentle stream in the middle of the woods, and set about to shedding his shoes and playing in it. The zorua joined him, darting in and out of the current, trying to jump across the water without falling in. It was only when N tried to copy it, leaping back and forth over the stream, calling for the zorua to watch, that he slipped on the grass and hit his head. 

The zorua froze. It barked at the boy, patted him, tried to get him to wake. When he wouldn’t, the zorua panicked, and did the only thing it could think of.

It cast an illusion over itself, and turned into the boy that it had just watched die. 

It took hours for the zorua-N to find its way back to the castle, so long that Concordia and Anthea were ready to venture out and search for him. He was eventually discovered in one of the castle halls, standing limply, blood all over him and completely silent. 

The place fell into panic. They steered N aside, scooped him up, asked and asked and asked him how he had hurt himself, who had hurt him, where he had been hurt, but he wouldn’t - couldn’t, as a young zorua - reply. It wasn’t until they washed the blood away entirely that they noticed he was unscathed.

He wasn’t like the real N. He couldn’t be. A young zorua has no idea how to be human. He couldn’t speak, turned his nose up at human food, lost all of his curiosity and social flair. It grew so concerning that regulation was broken, and an outsider was invited into the castle. A doctor.

The doctor explained that N was likely to have undergone a trauma. Not a physical one, as the blood hadn’t come from him, but something so psychologically unnerving that his mind had gone into shock. It wasn’t uncommon, he explained, to stop speaking in response to distress, nor to abandon your usual habits and seem completely disconnected from the real world. But until N started to process what he had experienced, or regain his speech to tell them about it, there wasn’t much they could do.

Concordia and Anthea accepted this explanation. So did N’s mother. But Ghetsis couldn’t. The more time passed, the more time he spent around N, the more convinced he became that this child, so silent and distant, was not his real son.

How he knew, it was anyone’s guess. But he couldn’t force himself to believe otherwise, and nor could anybody else. He grew resentful to N, accusing, would no longer call him Neyiri - not that name, not his son’s name. His wife pleaded with him, but she was growing weaker with the stress, and she knew she wasn’t long for the world. She died less than a year after her son, before making Concordia and Anthea promise to look after N, and to protect him from Ghetsis to the best of their ability.

They did their best, but the death of his wife only made Ghetsis worse. N became a pawn to him, something that he would use but not acknowledge. Even when N started to pick up speech, using broken sentences and mismatched grammar, Ghetsis did not relent. Upon listening to the boy’s stilted grammar, strange vocabulary, odd speech tempo, his suspicions were only cemented further in his mind - his son had never talked like that, never used those words.

So N was neglected, confined, controlled. Manipulated into believing exactly what Ghetsis needed him to believe, and tricked into thinking that he was the true leader of Plasma. Ghetsis couldn’t let this changeling take his son’s place as king, but he could use him to gain the power for himself. N was still the beautiful, innocent waif that people liked and listened to, the perfect public figurehead. If he wanted to pretend to be Neyiri, Ghetsis would pretend to make him team Plasma’s king, and take the power for himself once N’s work was done. In his mind, it was a fair exchange. It was revenge.

Somewhere along the line, N would have forgotten that he was a zorua at all, and convinced himself that he really was the boy he once befriended. That is why reshiram would present itself to him. To help him uncover the truth about what he was, and show him that the boundaries between humanity and pokémon are not, truly, black and white. He is the proof of that.       

youtube

Why is Brock Sexy in the new Sun and Moon anime? Watch and discover the awkward theory

Perish Song

Perish Song is not a fatal move, but it induces paranoia and anxiety in anyone who hears it - both Pokémon and human alike. A person under the influence of Perish Song will display signs of severe unrest, biting their nails, pulling their hair, pacing, and often fervently proclaiming that they are going to die. Attempts to calm them down are ineffective. The fear only disappears after they have passed out from the effects of the move; when they wake up, the memory of their agitation seems ludicrous to them. Nevertheless, Perish Song is still an illegal move, and any trainer caught using it can be heavily fined.

The only legal use of Perish Song is among law enforcement. Rather than incapacitate criminals with tear gas or anything physically harmful, police will direct working pokémon to perform the move within the vicinity of the target, raising such crippling fear in them that they forget their motivations. Absol are most commonly used for this purpose, as they are stealthy and easy to train, but misdreavus are sometimes chosen to diffuse hostage situations, as they are smaller, harder to detect, and able to pass through walls. Perish Song is, however, only used in dire circumstances, when apprehension by other means is impossible. The distress it invokes can cause some criminals to act unpredictably.          

We were shown that Ash and Greninja not only share emotions when they “fuse” but they also share fysical pain and exhaustion.
That can be interesting when it comes to the Kalos League and the last gym (if Ash is going to use Greninja against Wulffric) If even 1full hit on Greninja causes such pain, how much will Ash have to endure in a real competitive battle? Maybe this will be the reason why he’s (very likely) going to lose against Sawyer and Alain; he can’t deal with the physical pain.

Laws of Pokémon Ownership

(Thanks to @koraevawastaken for suggesting I do a post on this. I hope you enjoy it!)

For the most part, Pokémon can be owned and traded without legal restraint, but some types and species are subject to more regulation than others.

Dragon types are the most heavily guarded. The salamence, garchomp, haxorus, and hydreigon lines are the hardest to lawfully train, as these species are regarded as highly dangerous in the International Pokémon Risk Directory, a classification system enveloping just under half of the world’s regions. In isolation, hydreigon is the most dangerous Pokémon that can, under strict conditions, be legally owned (see this post for a more detailed account on the hydregion family).

Highly dangerous dragons must be bred in captivity if they are to be legally sold, and any amateur who attempts to capture them in the wild faces the threat of a heavy fine. Illegal dragon sale is common both on the black market and out of it, hence why trainers are encouraged to thoroughly investigate any seller they intend to buy from. Aside from the potential legal worries, black-market dragons are often frustrated and dangerous, perfectly willing to maim the first person they encounter.

Reputable dragon breeders are required to have a Level 5 Pokémon Rearing Proficiency Certificate or equivalent, as well as an independent qualification centred on dragon care. Moreover, any trainer who buys from them must be in possession of a Caraway License, as proof that they are competent enough to train dragon types. In the event that a trainer wishes to purchase one of the more dangerous dragons, they must also obtain a signed form detailing permission, courtesy of the same Caraway Board.

The difficulty in obtaining dragons is a contributing factor to the inaccessibility of the type, particularly to those of lower economic status. Caraway Licenses can only be obtained through attending certain courses and battle-orientated colleges, most of which are too expensive for the majority. 

Furthermore, some believe that the Caraway system is inconsistent, as it does not exercise jurisdiction over the traditional dragon-taming communities found in Blackthorn, Sootopolis, Celestic, and numerous other areas across the Japanese regions. They are granted an honorary privilege, permitted to train and capture wild dragons as they see fit, so long as they do so within their ancient territories. Some protest this, claiming that no one should have more legal power as a birthright, but to no avail. Such communities are so old and integral to regional cultures that their rights are fiercely protected.  

Aside from dragon types, dark Pokémon have been subject to inconsistent legal regulation, with laws on ownership being repealed and amended every half-decade or so. Mightyenas, houndoom, and scrafties have attained illegal status numerous times in different regions, owing to their frequent use by criminals and gangs, but are now available to professional trainers for competitive use. Some argue that the Pokémon themselves are not dangerous, and should only be denied to those who intend to use them for ill means, but dark types suffer such prejudice that most avoid them anyway.

That isn’t to say that amateur trainers do not catch and train regulated dark Pokémon. Whilst sketchy in law, it is not wholly illegal to do so, so long as these trainers submit their Pokémon for temperament assessments before entering them in any official tournaments. 

Many of the milder dark types, as well as most ghost and fire Pokémon, are not illegal to own, but must be confined to pokéballs in public spaces. Failure to do so is said to result in a fine - but such offences are largely overlooked, so long as no harm is done to either civilians or the surroundings. 

Seeing as koraevawastaken​ mentioned it, I will clarify the laws surrounding legendaries. My personal belief is that such rare Pokémon are never used in battle - they are illegal to own or train, owing to the fact that there are so few of them (in most cases, there is only one of each kind). Furthermore, legendary Pokémon are of such formidable power that they, for the most part, can’t be caught. Whilst fables of amicable relations between legendaries and humans are rife in every region, the notion of actually catching a would-be deity and using it for a purpose as casual as competitive battle is unfathomable. Legendaries partner with humans for specific reasons, and rarely on a long-time basis. In any case, most legendaries have not been seen for many hundreds - or even thousands - of years. 

The only exceptions to these norms are in the cases of latias and latios. Whilst still rare, they are the most populous species of legendary, and tend to seek out trainers of outstandingly strong will and forge lifelong bonds with them. They are still illegal to capture, but ownership is permitted providing that they willingly partnered the trainer. So they are not unheard of in competitive play, but rare nonetheless. I can imagine May using a latias, but she would’ve been the first to do so in a over a century. 

According to a playful, Kalosian old wives’ tale, you should give your child an eevee on their fifth birthday, and whatever eeveelution it later assumes reflects the type your child was born to train. There’s little truth in it, but it’s a fun tradition that has since spread to other regions.

Although Gym Leaders are often strong enough to hold their own opposite Elites, they rarely utilise their full potential against amateur trainers. This is because Gym Leaders aim to advance their students’ capabilities, something that cannot be achieved through obliterating their team before it can land a hit. By battling a student in a downplayed manner that specifically exploits just one of their weaknesses, the student can recognise that weakness and learn to rectify it. 

For example, if a young trainer with a fast, hard hitting team showed up to a Gym, the Leader might focus on crippling said team with paralysis and then taking them down. This would show the young trainer that they had to devise a strategy to cope with status effects. Once they did that, the Leader would battle them in the same way and see if their student managed to defeat them. 

A good Gym Leader is one flexible enough to challenge trainers of a variety of strengths. They must be able to target the weaknesses of an accomplished trainer, but also to show a complete novice where they need to improve. There may be occasions where Gym Leaders go all out against students - some pupils may even request that they do so, to see how well they can cope in an honest battle - but the majority of Gym matches are considerably less intense than official ones. The way a Gym Leader would battle against students and the way they would battle at the PWT would be wildly different.

This is one of the reasons why the gulf between challenging Gyms and taking on the Elite Four is so wide. Elites are not teachers, and their reputation hinges solely on their number of victories and how they achieve them. They never accommodate their opponent’s battle style. For this reason, many trainers seek honest matches with a number of Gym Leaders before requesting a battle with an Elite. If you aren’t prepared, they will wipe the floor with you.

(This is also my fancy explanation for why the Gyms get more difficult as you progress through a region. It’s not that the Leaders increase in strength, but that they fight harder against those with greater ability.)

Pokémon Moves

The classification of moves is a process plagued with much debate and subjectivity, as it is difficult to establish the point at which one move turns into another. The boundaries between a powerful ember and a weak flamethrower are loose, and the ways in which pokémon perform the same move are always incredibly different - for example, some may produce a leaf storm that is widespread and difficult to evade, whereas others may channel the storm in a particular direction. This diversity can lead to the establishment of new moves, but deciding when unconventional move execution becomes a new kind of move entirely is very difficult.

Some of the moves most popular among professionals, alongside their origins and means of execution, are as follows:

Protect - This is the most common move among professionals, owing to its bread-and-butter function and the fact that almost every pokémon is capable of learning it. It involves the creation of a barrier, but exactly how this barrier is constructed is subject to variety. Water types may summon a veil of water, psychic types a telekinetic shield, rock types a dense stone blockade - the only requirement is that it must be designed to protect the user from attack, with no offensive intentions. Protect is a difficult move to maintain, so most trainers teach their pokémon to perform it in short bursts, only when necessary. Using it for too long or too often can cause the barrier to weaken, allowing the opponent to blast through it - always to the excitement and shock of the audience.     

Mirror Coat - Mirror Coat was established as a move a little over forty years ago, when a psychic trainer taught her gothitelle how to diminish the porousness of the barrier it produced in using Protect and make it more reflective instead. An ideal Mirror Coat protects the user from damage entirely, but performing it to such perfection in the heat of a real match is almost unheard of - in most cases, the user will take some damage, but manage to deflect a substantial portion of it back onto the user, often at increased power. It was referred to as an Offensive Protect for several years before being separately classified as Mirror Coat.

This move is considered to be one of the most difficult to tutor, but is common among the most established psychic trainers - Will, Lucian and Caitlin all have pokémon capable of using it. It can only be taught to pokémon with an advanced and subtle command of Protect. 

Double Team - Most commonly learnt by fast pokémon and psychic types, there are two forms of this move. One is illusionary, and involves the creation of multiple active decoys so as to shake the opponent’s ability to disern its foe. This kind is most commonly used by those with telepathic capabilities. The second kind is learnt by fast pokémon, and is achieved through consecutive, lightning-fast movements at such high speeds that the eye can scarcely follow them. This confuses the opponent and gives them the impression that the foe is everywhere at once. An electric trainer was the first to teach his emolga to use this technique, and when a commentator made a throwaway mention about how ‘it’s as if they’re using Double Team!’ the name stuck, and it became known as the agile variant of the move. That said, given how wildly different the strategies are in execution, it is thought that they will soon be classified as separate moves.   

Flamethrower - There are several variants of this move. A wide Flamethrower is the one that covers the most ground, and has a greater likelihood of hitting an opponent at the expense of doing the most damage. It is commonly used in double battles, where hitting both opponents is preferable. Another variant is the channelled kind, where the fire burns hotter and in a more focused stream - this is harder to direct, but has more power than a wide burst. The third, less common variety is the spitting Flamethrower, which involves shooting multiple, white-hot bursts of flame in rapid volleys towards an opponent, sometimes manipulating them in mid air into different formations. This is the most taxing variant, boasting both coverage and power, and is often used by pokémon that are learning to perform Fire Blast but have yet to fully master it.

Teleport - Teleport is predominately used as a method of evasion, and is viewed as a cheap get-out-of-jail-free card among those who don’t understand how difficult it is to teach. Wild abra and ralts use non-directional teleportation as an instinctive way to evade danger, but training a pokémon to control the landing point of their teleportation takes time and practice, as well as an incredible awareness of one’s surroundings. Most elect not to use the move because of how imprecise it can be, but Lucian favours it; his gallade is particularly renowned for its tendency to teleport directly behind the opponent and strike it in the back.   

Taunt - Taunt is not so much a move, but a strategy. It involves riling the opponent to such a point that they lose control and start attacking blindly, paying little attention to their trainer and losing sight of the long game. It’s common in all matches, but people stereotype it as a dark trainer’s move. That said, Grimsley is particularly fond of it - critics have hailed his liepard as one of the most accomplished taunters in contemporary battle.

Thunder - Thunder separates itself from other electric moves in that it requires the pokémon to draw the electricity from the air rather than from itself. One variant of the move involves the summoning of a storm cloud that strikes bolts down intermittently, but this is difficult and inaccurate - more commonly, pokémon draw solitary forks of lightning out of the air and attempt to guide them to the opponent. Whilst not necessarily more powerful than a standard Thunderbolt, it allows them to hit their foe from a greater distance and still do high damage; Thunderbolt weakens the further it has to travel.  

Disable - This can be performed in numerous ways. Sometimes the act of disabling is physical - a sharp jab to a particular part of the body, perhaps, that prevents the foe from using a crucial arm or leg for a short time. Other times, it involves telekinetic restraint, using psychic abilities to put a cap on a pokémon’s ability to spit fire or shoot water. The former variant of Disable is more effective in capping physical moves, the latter more influential on special ones.

Future Sight - A move that began as a variant of Psychic. It is typically executed by binding the opponent in an invisible telekinetic force, which remains inactive for a certain amount of time before clamping down suddenly on their muscles and causing pain in the entire body. Psychic trainers often teach their pokémon to use this move when they are backed into a corner and soon to be knocked out, as it is energetically taxing and weakens the user. Using it at the beginning would only put them at a disadvantage. Better to invoke it as a last resort, when they have little more to give.     

Starter Pokémon

(For @moonyowl. I hope it’s worth the wait!)

There is dispute about which region founded the initial concept of ‘starters’, but the term was popularised by the Kanto Trainer Access Scheme, which was put into place almost fifty years ago. The scheme was instrumental in giving young people of all financial backgrounds the opportunity to become trainers, and went on to spawn similar programs in other regions, acting as an early precedent to the LCP system. Those who successfully applied to the Trainer Access Scheme would receive discount cards, a PC system account, travel passes, a year’s exemption from education, a trainer card, and, most notably, one of three available ‘starter’ pokémon. In the case of the Kanto scheme, the choice was that of bulbasaur, charmander or squirtle.       

The pokémon were picked for their amicability, evolutions and flexible strength. They were suitable companions to a novice, and their three evolutionary stages set natural goals for the person raising them - they encouraged long-term commitment. They were also appropriate for trainers of all calibres, able to be raised by those of average ability and those of high standard, suitable to both casual teams and professional ones. In short, they could partner any trainer.

In response to the Kanto Trainer Access Scheme, similar programmes were put into place in other regions, each boasting their own benefits and starters. Although there was no reason for the specifics of the starter pokémon to remain consistent, the types and evolutionary stages became a motif - always one grass type, one water type, and one fire, all capable of evolving twice. 

Trainer Access Schemes revolutionised and expanded the battle industry, as had been the initial intention. Consequently, pokémon training is a much more accessible path than it used to be, and Access Schemes are no longer as necessary. Both pokémon and pokéballs are more affordable, so there is less demand for pre-determined starters - people can obtain their own pokémon with ease. Nevertheless, traditional starters are still among the cheapest and most widely-available pokémon in their respective regions, and remain immensely popular. Modern Access Schemes, usually targetted at those from particularly low-income backgrounds, tend to offer a wider variety of starters than those in the past, but the initial grass-water-fire trio is always amongst them.            

Technical Machines

(For @yarnoldschwarzeknitter! Thanks for the request!)

TMs are a means of artificial knowledge impartation, as is always written on the back of their packages. They contain digital information about how to execute particular moves, which can be transferred to a pokémon from within the PC system.   

The idea for Technical Machines emerged almost a decade after the invention of the PC system, when an IT technician found herself wondering whether pokémon, upon being converted into a digital form, would be able to respond to software in the way that technology did - could their knowledge be ‘updated’, for want of a better word? She began experimenting with the idea, her success patchy, and fifteen years later the first Technical Machine was built.

Despite many attempts, it was soon discovered that TMs could not teach pokémon how to use moves that they would never be able to learn by other means. They were only catalysts, building up a foundation of knowledge in the pokémon’s mind that they would otherwise have to acquire through months of observation and demonstration under a move tutor. One of the early rumours about TMs was that they destroyed the effort required in training, as they taught pokémon how to instantly execute moves without any input from the trainer. Of course, this is nonsense. Whilst TMs may form the basis of a pokémon’s theoretical knowledge, it is up to the trainer to bring out that knowledge and teach them how to perform the move in reality.

The cheapest TMs are single-use, but serious trainers often opt for ones that can be used three to five times, despite the expense. Theoretically, TMs should not be limited to a particular number of installations, but they are designed to break after so many uploads so as to prevent people using them indefinitely. Some savvy technicians have noticed this, and make their living by buying TMs, breaking the mechanism that caps the uploads, and selling them on. This is illegal, of course, but many think it more moral, shaming TM companies for deliberately limiting their devices in order to make money. 

Some TMs take longer to impart than others. Complex moves such as Trick Room can take days to install, and trainers are encouraged to do it in stages. Uploading it in one go can lead to disorientation - it is too much information to take on at once, and the pokémon will struggle to apply it properly.

The initial invention of TMs brought about a great deal of controversy - arguments that it wasn’t natural, that it treated pokémon like machines, that it was a means of indoctrinating pokémon to do what people desired. Most of these fears were a consequence of misunderstanding - people believed that TMs were a way of changing pokémon rather than a shortcut to teach them what they could, by way of traditional methods, already learn. Over time, the scepticism surrounding TMs has dwindled, but some groups still advocate for their destruction, and the belief that TMs are inferior to old-fashioned tuition is still widespread, even though research shows that its superiority is negligible.   

Not every move can be made into a TM, and there are several possible reasons for this. In some cases, a move is just too complicated and diverse - when there are so many different ways of performing a move, you cannot lay a standard foundation of knowledge about how to do it. Another possible reason could be that too few pokémon are capable of mastering it - companies would never waste time and money creating a TM  that only a handful of species could learn. Furthermore, some moves are too grounded in a way of thinking to be made into TMs - there isn’t a particular physical technique to them; they are a strategy dependent on context. For instance, I can’t imagine Calm Mind or Taunt being TMs (even though they are in the games) because such moves are just a way of behaving or thinking, not a way of doing. 

HMs are considered to be practical TMs, ones that serve a functional purpose. They are too basic to be forgotten - once you have taught your pokémon to swim, fly, or cut trees, they will always remember how to do it. They are often used to tutor working pokémon, and have made it easier to quickly develop the necessary skills in pokémon needed for mountain rescue, life guarding and similar jobs.

TMs also revolutionised the battle industry, for both trainers and pokémon alike. In the case of the former, TMs made it easier to widen the movesets of a party without the assistance of a specific move tutor, which were always expensive and difficult to find. In the case of the latter, many pokémon became competitively viable once they had easier access to a wide range of moves; starmie became incredibly popular, boasting Thunderbolt and Ice Beam and Dazzling Gleam and Flash Cannon - so many moves that the phrase ‘Swiss Starmie Knife’ came into being, playing on its ridiculous flexibility.

Protagonist/Rival Post-Game Headcanons (Gen 1 - 2)

This is the first in a series of posts kickstarted at the request of @bourgeorgeis-scum​. I hope it meets expectations!

Red

In his brief period as Champion, Red was regarded as one of the top three best trainers in the world. Despite his relatively young age (eighteen), his average victory rate was within the range of 85-95%, his array of previous tournament wins confirming both the breadth and depth of his skill. Critics and the public alike expected him to have a long rein. 

Red, however, was Champion for only nine weeks. Although his skill was unparalleled, League officials were concerned about his role as a figurehead and representative of the region’s battle industry. He interviewed poorly, didn’t engage in publicity events, and had an evident lack of interest in the more commercialised side of battling. Red’s entrance to the position came in the heat of another publicity campaign - League officials were still plugging Blue at the time of his defeat, so Red’s victory caused a great deal of disruption and a sharp u-turn in the direction of funds. The League had to publicise an even bigger, more dramatic campaign for Red, in order to maintain the attention of the somewhat disillusioned Kanto-Johtan public, who were suddenly being asked to forget all about the Champion who had dominated the media for the past few weeks and welcome a new one.     

The issue was that Red couldn’t match this publicity campaign. Unlike Blue, he did not revel in the attention. He was not naturally chatty or charismatic in interview, as engaging as he was in battle, so the public struggled to warm to him. For those first few months, opinion on Red was divided. Some argued that his personality didn’t matter a damn, and that he had a right to his privacy. Others claimed that a Champion, as one of the most important figures in the region, needed to establish themselves as a figurehead. 

The jury was still out when Red vanished. 

Only nine weeks after his victory, Red disappeared without a trace. He left no evidence as to where he had gone, but the absence of certain resources from his home suggested that his departure was planned. Officially, he is missing, but a fraction of the public suspect him to be dead. Blue and Red’s mother both refuse to believe that, but that doesn’t stop them worrying. It hits Blue out of nowhere, sometimes, and keeps him up at night. Especially the guilt. He and Red were not on good terms when the latter vanished, and Blue hates to think that he might never get to make peace with him.  

I’m not sure when Red would come down from Mt Silver. I’m sure he would eventually, but not for years and years, until he was sure that he had been mostly forgotten about. He’d have some serious apologising to do, in any case.

Blue

Blue was the first to break Lance’s long rein as Champion. His matches with the Elites in previous months had already generated considerable public interest - several battle magazines had labelled him as ‘one to watch’ - but his defeat of Lance was still a surprise. He very much represented a new, trendy type of battling (mixed-type teams were still a relatively modern concept in the Indigo League at the time, considered to be a particular trademark of the young), and to see such a contemporary style usurp the traditional nobility of dragon taming was a shock to the public. The publicity campaigns that followed Blue’s victory played up to this shock, marketing him as a fashionable, avant-garde trainer that would shake the traditions of the League to the core. Some responded well to this. Some did not. Blue’s good looks and witty demeanour made him a hit with younger members of the public, but traditionalists responded vehemently to the loss of Lance.

Love him or hate him, nobody had expected him to lose the position so early. His humiliation was absolute. He managed to remain his composure long enough that his fury wasn’t televised, but only just. He had never known anger like it. Red was a better trainer that him - both of them knew this, had always known it. He was the one person that Blue couldn’t defeat. And yet Red had still challenged him, knowing that he was snatching away the one thing Blue wanted most in the world.   

So he was furious. He said ugly things, things he both did and didn’t mean simultaneously, and cut Red off. He hasn’t spoken to him since then. 

Years on, the regret still gnaws at him. 

Red’s disappearance led to chaos within the League. They were quick to re-offer Blue the Champion position, seeing as he had been the last to occupy it, but he refused, having already been appointed as the Viridian City Gym Leader. The offer was then made to Lance instead, who accepted (hence why he is Champion in Gold and Silver).     

Blue probably remained in the Gym position for a year or two, but I always imagine him eventually taking his interests outside of battle and integrating himself in research instead, following (begrudgingly, as their relationship isn’t great) in the footsteps of his grandfather. Oddly enough, he’d be more comfortable in that line of work.

At the time of his departure from the Indigo League, he was ranked 9th in the world.

Leaf

Leaf didn’t gain her LCP at as early an age as Red and Blue, so she didn’t travel the region at the same time as them. Although a keen and skilled trainer with ample potential, she never had the same ambition to challenge the Elite Four, simply because her interests lay elsewhere. She has a general knack for using grass and water types, but is particularly good at training young, newly-hatched Pokémon that have no experience working with trainers. She obtained all of the Gym badges in the space of a year and was encouraged by Blaine, who took a shine to her, to challenge the Elite Four, but she refused. Instead, she went back to school, obtained ten SCEs, and went on to do a course in Pokémon rearing. Nowadays, she works in the largest Cerulean City Daycare, as both a breeder, a minder, and an aide to those who are learning to manage newborn Pokémon. Some people make disparaging comments about her ‘cosy’ job choice, to which she normally responds by showing them the numerous scars and burn-marks on her arms, gifts from the many untamed Pokémon she has reared. 

Gold

Gold was a Champion that nobody expected. One of several rising trainers in the industry, he was mostly ignored until his match with Lance, which he won by inches. Although Lance argued that Gold had won fair and square, the latter was flustered and attributed his victory to luck, barely able to believe it had happened. As a consequence, Gold refused to accept the position of Champion immediately, spending several weeks training alongside Lance to ensure that he felt comfortable in his ability before taking over.

Eighteen is not a particularly unusual age for a Champion, as most trainers begin their careers early, but the media emphasised Gold’s youth a great deal. He was perceived as being younger than he was, mostly due to his sweet-natured and slightly clumsy demeanour in interview - jokes about the new ‘twelve-year-old champ’ circulated for weeks after his victory. He was a sharp contrast to Lance in almost every way, but the public responded well to him, admiring the extra training he underwent and how seriously he seemed to take the position. 

Gold’s humble character initially led some, both locally and overseas, to doubt his ability, but he shattered these uncertainties with his strong debut at the PWT, where he finished third, only losing out to Cynthia and Volkner. Since then, he’s become something of a national treasure, with a large online following and a solid place in the rankings. He is currently rated 6th in the world.        

Silver

Silver has always been a powerful trainer, but he lacks the patience and sensitivity that Gold has, as well as the eagerness to learn from criticism. He’s skilled with temperamental types of Pokémon - the dark-types and the more mischievous ghosts - but he struggles to be flexible in his training approaches. Because Gold so often tagged after him and pestered for battles that he would always win, Silver began to underestimate his own ability and think himself weak. Partially because he’s horribly insecure in most ways, but partially because Gold being stronger than average was something he couldn’t contemplate - not at first. 

Silver challenged the Gyms at a similar pace to Gold, but he is yet to achieve his eighth badge. The reason for this has nothing to do with his ability, but with the fact that he and Clair clashed so much upon their meeting that he refuses to go back to her Gym and challenge her. Years on, he still avoids her at League functions, which he sometimes attends as Gold’s plus-one.     

As for his career, I don’t know what it is, but I doubt it pertains to battle. He still has his Pokémon, but he never enters tournaments or trains them any more, though Gold sometimes nags that he shouldn’t let his talent go to waste. In truth, however, the industry probably wouldn’t suit him. He’s too much of a bad loser.

Crystal

Crystal got her LCP around a similar time that Gold did, but her battle style is a little zany and off-key. She struggled to gain Gym badges at first because of her dazy attention span and her determination to do things her own way, but did eventually establish a weird, wild technique that, oddly enough, would lead her to victory. Her team isn’t completely balanced due to her preference for bizarre, slow-to-train Pokémon - quagsire, dunsparce, slowpoke, sudowoodo - but she has an uncanny ability to make what shouldn’t work work, and her party is no exception. 

Her strange technique could only carry her so far, however. She obtained all of the badges, much to the Gym Leaders’ surprise, but never challenged the Elite Four. She contemplated the idea at first, and booked an all-out match with Chuck (who she thinks is just great) to test herself. When she was brutally obliterated, she just shrugged her shoulders and decided that she’d better start being interested in something else.

Nowadays, she’s probably cheerily working in an allotment or reading stories in exciting voices to nursery kids, or selling woollen creations on Etsy, or doing whatever else takes her fancy. Nothing to do with Pokémon, but she’s happy, I’m sure.

Lyra

Lyra began a voyage around Johto at the same time as Gold despite not being hugely interested in Pokémon. Rather she wanted an excuse to get away from home and school and gain some independence. Nonetheless, for someone without much enthusiasm, she wasn’t bad at battling, quite handy with neat, pretty little strategies and a tricky marill. She gained three of the badges at a dawdling pace, preferring to sightsee rather than train, before one of the aides in Goldenrod City Gym saw her battling and told her that she ought to try her hand at coordinating. After one visit to Goldenrod’s contest hall, she completely abandoned battle and set herself on a new path. Her and her marill were a success in beginner’s tournaments, and their partnership gained more and more popularity over the years. She was marketable, due to her cutesy good-looks and her pretty, home-made outfits, but boasted enough skill and potential to make it big in the industry with proper coaching. By the time she was seventeen, she had been scouted, and eventually travelled to Sinnoh against her parents’ wishes to make her name. Whilst she never achieved the household-name status she was hoping for, she did do fairly well as a contest star, winning a few of the smaller championships. 

Coordinators usually zip in and out of favour quickly, having firework careers, and she was no exception. She did, however, manage to remain within the industry after her time as a coordinator was over. Having always made her contest outfits herself, she now has a steady career designing bespoke costumes for new competitors.