Article by Orville E. Wright
Hello again everyone, this is the next part of the Wonderful World of Monster Collection. This time, it will be on the benchmark of the genre: Pokémon.
Pokémon was created in 1996 by the former gaming magazine, now super gaming company, Gamefreak. It was the invention of Satoshi Tajiri, the current director, and Ken Sugimori, the one who came up with the idea.
Now, the first question is, what is a Pokémon? The word Pokémon is simply a portmantua of the Japanese name Pocket Monsters. So, a Pokémon is a monster or spirit that exist in the world of Pokémon. Thanks to the invention of the Pokeball or Monster Ball in Japanese, normal people can now tame and control these mysterious creatures.
The Pokemon world is, as far as I know, an alternate earth where all the monsters of myth and folklore are real animals and plants. Some of them are even real monsters. For example, Voltorb, the Pokémon that looks like a Pokeball, is basically a Mimic, the monster from D&D that looks like a chest.
Another such monster is the Pokémon Cubone, the one that wears the skull of its mother, is, though this is just personal conjecture, a skeleton. How else to have a monster made of bone then to have it use bone for armor. It is also based off a dinosaur and peoples from primitive cultures that wear things like skulls.
They even have such creatures in the most recent games. For example, Mimikyu, the Pokémon that looks like a Pikachu crossed with a bed sheet ghost, is based of an obscure British fairy called Bugul Noz. Bugul Noz (meaning Night Sheered) is an insanely ugly fairy that is so hideous that he is perpetually alone, despite acutely being a nice creature.
A more famous monster from a later generation (gen) is Primarina. Primarina is the final evolution of the water starter for gen seven. It is a sea lion crossed with a selkie and mermaid. This is best shown in its ability to manipulate water with its voice.
Getting back to the Pokeball, it allows you to catch a Pokémon. Once you have a Pokémon, you can participate in Pokémon battles, a competition between Pokémon that is a cross between a dog fight and boxing.
In a Pokémon battle, the combatant picks one to three Pokémon out of there six Pokémon team. The trainer then instructed each Pokémon on his team to perform one of four specific moves that the Pokémon knows. He can also trade out any active Pokémon for one he has in reserve; however, the new Pokémon will not have time to do anything before they take a hit. He can also use an item in any non-official fights. This means that you can not use items in PvP matches, only in PvE, like the Pokemon league or a gym fight. Pokémon can also hold a item, which can do anything from give you continuous healing each turn, to making your Pokemon able to be his by a move type it cannot normally be hit by. When a Pokémon faints, they are recalled, and a new Pokémon is sent in for free. The battle ends when the opposing team has no Pokémon that can fight.
Pokémon also have something called Type. A Pokémon’s type tells you what kind of creature it is, and what type of technique it can best use. For example, Voltorb is an Electric Type, meaning it is best at techniques that involve shooting electricity at the foe. This type of technique would do nothing to Cubone, who is a Ground Type. On the other hand, it would do a lot to Primarina, who is a Water Type. There are also some Pokémon whom it would hurt but not as much as if it, say, hit Mimikyu, who has no Type that is either resistant, immune to, or weak to, electricity.
Now, Pokémon has been the target of multiple controversy’s. The only one talked about in-universe is the ethics of a Pokémon battle. Is it right to capture wild animals and force them to fight for you in dog fights. The issue is not a simple one, so much so that is could be its own essay. I will not argue the point here, but I do not believe that, in the contest of the universe, it is bad.
There are currently seven generations of games. Each generation is divided into when they add new Pokémon. There are now 720 listed species of Pokémon, 802 in total. And this is why Pokemon is the game series to which all other are compared. This is a problem because, as Shin Magami Tensai proved, not all games in this genre are even similar to Pokémon. Many things called a rip-off of Pokémon are really their own games, with a catching mechanic. This is the point of this series, to put a spot light on this genre.
That is all for now. Next time, I will talk about Pokémon’s most famous rival, Digimon. Until then, go forth, young man, and enjoy the wonderful world of Monster Collection.
Next Up: Digimon
Orville E. Wright, the son of L. Jagi Lamplighter and John C. Wright, is a small Pokémon plush toy brought to life by mad science.