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October 28, 2013

Is The Pokémon World A Good Place To Live In?

So, um... After the big review of Pokémon FireRed, I realized... wow, a lot happens in the Pokémon games. And even then, guess what? The Gen 1 games - and Gen 1 remakes - are still those with the simplest plot. The problem with the Pokémon games in general is less that there's a simple plot based around collecting eight badges and defeating a criminal organization; No, it's the gigantic amounts of railroading that is used to make sure you HAVE to follow the normal path. Everything seems to get in your way, from trees that grow in the wrong places, to ponds of water that you cannot cross - because your hero never learns to swim! - and, of course, that's when the Pokémon don't also join in on the fun. Remember the bridge-blocking Snorlax? Reember the Sudowoodo who conveniently decided you couldn't pass in a narrow forest unless you defeated it or caught it?

And that's not counting the criminal organizations, the thieving rivals, and all the Trainers who will not give you a break even if you need one. The Routes are all "dangerous", the Gym Leaders range from noble and nice to crazy or short-tempered. Some horribly powerful Pokémon cause trouble, sometimes unwillingly. Hell, some of those horribly powerful Pokémon are COMMON in some places! Really, all this begs the question: Is the Pokémon World a good place to live in?

When you ask regular people in the games, it usually seems to be. When do you see people in trouble? Not very often. I mean, yeah they're complaining against the evil Teams, or they're angry because a wild Pokémon has defeated them. Otherwise, people seem mostly happy with their lives. Many of them play, others inhabit the cities. The people can trust their Pokémon, those allies they can always trust... Life isn't so bad, after all...

WRONG! Those Pokémon are the Number 1 reason the Pokémon world is a watered down Hell! ...Okay, I exaggerate. By this point, you know I like to exaggerate stuff. Still, let's take a look at some of the Pokémon's Dex descriptions. Of course, we could list the dozens and dozens of descriptions that reveal how harmless to humans some Pokémon are. But it would be too easy of a counter-argument. How often do you hear of heroic Pokémon going against other Pokémon that are dangerous? Not very often, right?

It's not just that. When the harmful Pokémon's descriptions aren't leaving you with a feeling of awkwardness, they straight-up spell out the danger for you. Never leave your child near an Hypno. An angry Gyarados can destry large natural zones, and can even destroy the cities in its way. Quite a lot of Poison-type Pokémon have a poison that could theorically kill humans. Many Pokémon have a physical strength similar to Herakles from the Greek mythology. The list goes on and on. Also, ghosts and dragons are not only an accepted fact, but they can also get very powerful and dangerous.

That's not talking about the even creepier aspects of some of the Pokémon mythos. A legend states that a Kadabra was once a human. The Unown are harmless alone, but put them all together and you get a powerful psychic force that could potentially destroy the world. Do I even need to state that the Yamask are HUMANS holding a mask of their previous face? A huge lot of Pokémon have Dex entries that are downright terrifying when you think about it.

And then, there's the Legendary Pokémon, which are also an accepted scientific fact in that world, but are also highly sought after. By criminals, no less. Those creatures are so incredibly powerful that they shaped all the aspects of the world: Time, space, earth, water, air, good and evil... Arceus is the freaking GOD of Pokémon, having most likely created mankind as well! Luckily, it's a benevolent deity. ...Most of the time.

That's not counting the oddities that still haven't been explained by that world's science. You know, the things you can only find by hacking your games? Could it be that those oddities are also a creation of Arceus, or are they an invention of Darkrai or Giratina trying to cause trouble to the Pokémon universe as a whole? You never find out what's inside the bad egg.

Is the Pokémon world a good place to live in? To be fair, most of the troubles caused by Legendary Pokémon will never hit the regular citizens of that world, as there's always a Trainer traveling around and trying to prevent the Armageddon. You. Thanks for all the pressure, Game Freak. As for the more common Pokémon, we can assume the children are warned to be careful when those species are around. Life seems fairly good to those who ignore the major problems of their universe, or for those who know those problems but won't really care as long as it doesn't concern them personally. Or maybe there's those who know the problems, but can't do anything about it, so they just go on with their everyday life.

Kind of like the real world, in a way. Out there, on planet Earth, our universe, there are thousands of unacceptable situations going on. We can't always do a thing to help. Sometimes we can just acknowledge the situation, and live with it. We can try to help, but hardly will we ever be able to solve the major problems of the world. Poverty in many countries? Heavy pollution in many places? Deforestation? World hunger? We can't always help. But we need to know that those problems exist, we can't ignore them either or fake that we didn't know.

I guess a large part of the population of the six (known) regions of the Pokémon world lives that way... Yep, just like we do.

Poké-Month is almost over. Wednesday, we'll get a final Fun Stuff aricle for this month, and then you'll get the Halloween special. I hope you enjoy the final days of this monthly celebration of Pokémon.