Saturday, May 30, 2009


I know I said that I was through with Pokémon, but... Apparently Pokémon wasn't through with me. Curse you, Game Freak!

Pokémon has made a few appearances in my "Gaming Oddities" series of articles, but after picking up Diamond again, I realize that it deserves a list all its own. There's just too much about this series that doesn't make sense. First off...

Pokémon: A proud supporter of interspecies relationships

-Trainer Jim sent out Smoochum!
-"Go, Charmander!"
-The foe's Smoochum used Attract!
-Charmander became infatuated!

Apparently Poltergeist isn't standard viewing at Game Freak HQ

Normal-type attacks do no damage to Ghost-type Pokémon. Okay, fine, that makes perfect sense. But Ghost-type attacks do no damage to Normal-type Pokémon? Take a seat, please, Mr. Tajiri. See, common stories involving ghosts not only include them scaring the crap out of humans (Sometimes literally), they also sometimes involve the ghosts making physical contact with their victims. Hence, Ghost-types can effect Normal-type Pokémon... Unless Earth is entirely populated by psychics, body-builders, goths, dragons, fire-eaters, swimmers... You get the idea.

Just got your butt kicked by that wild Skarmory? Don't worry, he's also a licensed air ambulance!

Having all your Pokémon knocked-out in battle causes you yourself to pass out and reappear at the last-visited PokéCenter. If that's not odd enough, how about the never-explained mode of transportation that miraculously teleports you to safety? It seems even the most wild of Pokémon has it in them to take you to that safe haven known as a PokéCenter while you're dozing off.

Perhaps even stranger is the fact that losing to a member of the local crime syndicate yields the same results. You'd think the group would rather jail you up to keep you quiet rather than push you out the front door and let you tell the whole world what they're up to. No wonder they're always so incompetent.

Alakazam has an IQ of over 5000 and a perfect memory, but does he know why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Alakazam is, by far, the most intelligent of all Pokémon. With an IQ of over 5000 and brain cells that multiply up until the day he dies (According to Pokédex entries throughout history), this Pokémon's intelligence and memory are unmatched by anything else. Alakazam has been referred to as "a living supercomputer" many times throughout the series. So if Alakazam is so smart and has such an incredibly memory... Why can he only learn four moves? Whenever a new attack is to be learned, Alakazam must "forget" a previous one. So much for that perfect memory.

The Pokédex: Simultaneously empty and all-knowing

At the beginning of Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow, Professor Oak gives the player a blank Pokédex. A Pokédex which he says is blank. Yet capturing any Pokémon suddenly fills it with the extent of the world's knowledge on the species. Doesn't make much sense, does it? So let's say that the Pokédex isn't blank, and instead contains all information relating to every known Pokémon. Why must we "unlock" said information by viewing the relevant Pokémon? It would be so much more helpful to know the types of all the Pokémon we're facing before we get into a fight with them.

So then, either Professor Oak is lying to us about the Pokédex being blank, or it's an amazingly perceptive and ground-breakingly intelligent device. Either way doesn't make much sense, does it?

Shoot first, then maybe breathe fire and bite later

The second generation of Pokémon brought with it many significant additions to the series. Genders, breeding, different Pokémon types, and perhaps most notably, a day/night cycle based on the real-world clock. This one feature introduced Pokémon that would only appear at certain times of day and a police force that becomes incredibly irritable when the sun sets. So much as walk in front of these "officers of the law" and you'll be forced into a Pokémon battle with them. Apparently the cops of Johto are of the "guilty until proven innocent" mindset.

Maybe things just materialize as needed?

The mountainous terrain, patches of tall grass and many rocks along the routes of the Pokémon world make for an interesting adventure... But spell disaster for any sort of vehicular transportation. Despite this, though, people miraculously have access to all sorts of technology and resources, no matter how incredibly difficult it may be to get there. Just look at the below image. East of Lavaridge are impassable cliffs and a path through a rocky and craggy mountain side. I'll never know why anyone ever settled in Lavaridge...

How the people of Lavaridge get anything at all boggles the mind

Land vehicles are certainly out of the question when it comes to shipping goods about (Yeah, right, tell that to the player's moving truck in the beginning of Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald...), so what about air? Nothing can stop the helicopters and planes of the world from flying overhead... Although plenty stops them from ever landing. All four regions in the main series are completely devoid of airstrips and helipads, so unless the entire shipping world is dominated by bush pilots, air is out of the question, too.

Heck, I think the only time there's ever been any sort of feasible means of shipment was via sea in Hoenn, and even then it was limited to the Eastern half of the territory. So... Maybe they rigged something up with the Pokéball teleporters to transport goods? Until I see proof, I'm gonna label that a theory and stick with the idea of people just randomly getting everything they need from thin air.

All Pokémon come with complimentary off-screen interpreter

"Go, Pikachu!"
"اخترت لكم ، Pikachu!"
"Elegir usted, Pikachu!"
"Je vous choisissez, Pikachu!"
"Ζήτω για το Google μεταφραστή, Pikachu!"

No matter how you say it, they understand it. So not only can Pokémon understand the words of all other Pokémon, they can understand every single language known to man as well. It seems Alakazam isn't the only one that qualifies as a "living supercomputer"...

"Hi, I'm Dory"

Beating the Pokémon League for the first time is a great, fulfilling achievement. You've managed to take out what are (Often) the five toughest opponents in the game, in a row, with no breaks. Such an upset is sure to send ripples through the land, and those once-elite four are sure to have some choice words for you upon your return to the League, right?

Well, no, not really. It seems everyone at the Pokémon League suffers from a severe case of short term memory loss, since they never seem to recall you having beaten them before. An amazing feat, really, since the Hall of Fame records accessible at any PC in the world can say you've defeated them. So not only do the Elite Four have no memory whatsoever, they don't even have an internet connection. Also, why do we have to take out the "champion" each additional time we challenge the League? Shouldn't the title belong to the player at this point? Maybe Gary just gets his Alakazam to brainwash everyone so he can keep his position as number one...

And now for something completely different...

If that doesn't look like a man lying down yet "standing up", I'm a monkey's desk lamp. I think the ESRB was asleep that day.

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Anonymous said... killed my childhood with your boat explanation. ;_;

Monodi said...

I inda imagine that when filling the Pokedex you would research stuf like theeir feet and all that like a nerd but the cartoon made it look likle a freking super scanner.

The case of Alakazam is like having a 1 Terabyte hard disk with only using 1 GB of memory.

Also I never saw that shape of the boat like, EVER. Seriously watching two pilot cabins was pretty awesome.

PsychoDuck said...

Neither of you ever noticed that about the boat? I remember I was ten or so and I saw a pic of it online, and it was the first thing I saw. I thought it was an, er, "excited" robot at first.

Kyle said...

Lol. Great article, there are some odd instances in Pokemon for sure.

But that boat... I never once thought of it that way. But now that you tell me, I can't see it differently.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to a very nice and entertaining article. It brought back some wonderful pokenostalgia.

I am an Italian living in Athens, now almost fluent in Greek -> 'Ζήτω για το Google μεταφραστή' means 'I am searching for a Google translation," which I do not think is not quite what you or Ash wanted to say. I have never seen the show translated here, but I think it would be something like this:

Εσένα προτιμάω, τον Πικάτζου!


PsychoDuck said...

Actually, my multi-national friend, that was a little joke I tried out, but seemed to have failed at. The intended translation was "Hooray for Google Translator, Pikachu!", but it appears Google Translator isn't worth quite as much of a celebration.

Thanks for the mini-language lesson, though!