Sad Realisations About the World of Pokémon

Sad Realisations About the World of Pokémon

Sad Realisations About the World of Pokémon

by Steve Napierski to Articles

After posting the latest ‘Did You Know Gaming?‘ on Monday, I decided to locate something that I had read a while back about Red’s rivalry in the original Pokémon games. In my search, I also found an interesting entry about the Pokémon war theory. So I decided to share them both here.

First off, the Pokémon war theory which is the shorter of the two:

You have no father, and your best friend is an orphan.

Children are journeying all around the world.

Your mother accepts you as the man on the house, making your own decisions.

An old man warns you of dangers around the corner.

Most people you meet are children or gym leaders.

Most adult men are either very old, or have a job related to the military or organized crime.

Hospitals and gyms are everywhere, but no forms of entertainment such as movie theaters.

LT. Surge: “Hey kid! What do you think your doing here? You wont live long in combat! That’s for sure! I tell you what kid, electric Pokémon saved me during the war!”

You now realize that there was a war in Kanto.

Your father died, and your rival lost his parents.

You are amongst the first generation of people to live in peace at post-war time.

Dark right? Well, just wait until you read about your rival’s life:

In the original Pokémon Red/Blue, when you encounter your rival in Lavender Town, he asks whether or not you know what it’s like to have one of your Pokémon die. At this point in the game, he no longer has his Raticate that he used in previous battles.Your rival battle before this took place aboard the S.S. Anne. Your rival’s Raticate sustained serious injuries from the battle…but, because crowding and confusion on the luxury liner, he was unable to make it to a Pokémon Center in time and the Raticate passed away. The real reason your rival is in Lavender Town to begin with is to lay his deceased friend to rest.

Despite all of this, your rival never outwardly tells you that you’re responsible for the death of his Pokémon. He hides his grief and instead channels that energy into the motivation he needed to continue his quest to become Indigo League Champion. The death of his Raticate effectively destroys your rival’s impish, childhood innocence. Although he tells himself that he doesn’t hold you responsible, he subconsciously holds a great deal of resentment towards you which further fuels his ambitions.

Tearfully swearing upon his Raticate’s grave to not fail in what he set out to do, he trains hard in hopes of becoming better than you…defeating you…and to eventually make it to the Pokémon League. Mere moments after he became Indigo League champion, he was defeated…by you. Although he fulfilled his promise to his fallen Pokémon, it was only for a painfully brief instant.

In the end, your rival is scolded by his grandfather while you receive the professor’s praise. During the course of the game, you steal your rival’s innocence, crush his dreams, and ultimately snatch away the love of his own grandfather. Oh, and by the way, your rival doesn’t have any parents. He’s an orphan.

The best part about all of this is that the subtext has always been there. Most people just overlook it when they’re playing a “kids” game.

Discussion (20)¬

  1. Klaaism
    Klaaism says:
    December 26, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    A slightly less darker little detail is you never see regular animals like cattle, pigs, or chickens… so where did all the meat come from? Think about it >.<

    • sPiN
      sPiN says:
      December 26, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Taurus meat? :D

      • UNG
        UNG says:
        December 31, 2012 at 8:17 am #

        indeed, but remember that japanese people are not so afected by those kind of things like the rest, the Bambi movie is one, huge consequence on USA , but nothing on Japan.
        Remeber the shown? a farm of marieep for the cotton, farm of magnamite for eletricity, and theres one episode of a farm of Taurus racing against a farm of doduos… what are those farm for? big mistery…

    • Matt
      Matt says:
      December 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      In the game (and possibly in the show) they have a place where you can buy Slowpoke tails to eat, it was either in Red/Blue or Gold/Silver.

  2. BigLord
    BigLord says:
    December 26, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Don’t forget about the Coma theory! ;)

    • M.A.D.
      M.A.D. says:
      December 26, 2012 at 9:27 am #

      No, anything but that D;

    • PrinceJonathan
      PrinceJonathan says:
      December 26, 2012 at 10:18 am #

      Ah yes the Coma Theory, that first battle against the horde of Sparrows put Ash in a coma and the rest of the series takes place in a dream world where everyone is just another aspect of Ash’s consciousness. I tear up every time I read it.

      I imagine him waking up maybe 5 years later, old Pikachu curled up by his side. Pikachu is probably too old to battle now (how do Pokemon age? Like dogs maybe?). So instead of picking up where he left off, he just says forget it and stays in Pallet Town…and bangs Gary’s sister.

      • Triaxx
        Triaxx says:
        December 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

        Who can blame him? Gary had a cute sister. :D

  3. António Duarte Silva
    António Duarte Silva says:
    December 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    You made me cry over pokemon… damn…
    But you're right. I played it from begining to end and never gave it a second look. Looking back, "I" was an ass.
    And at the same time, after reading this I don't think the rival mourned his loss properly (Not that there's a proper way to mourn…)

  4. Paul D'Arbonne
    Paul D'Arbonne says:
    December 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    I… I'm a monster!

  5. Triaxx
    Triaxx says:
    December 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    I always thought about that. I was annoyed that Gary was the most helpful rival. All the others seemed to be just unpleasant for the sake of being unpleasant.

    I never really noticed that he no longer had Raticate. I’d actually just sent mine to live on Oak’s ‘Pokemon Farm’ after I picked up a Cubone. I always thought he’d done the same. Interesting hypothesis.

  6. The Hero Hartmut
    The Hero Hartmut says:
    December 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    You’d be surprised on the things you pick up on about Pokémon, especially if you play it Nuzlocke style. That the fact that Parasect is basically a zombie, for instance. Now, consider that it’s based on an actual thing, in reality.

    http://bulbanews.bulbagarden.net/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species:_Paras_and_Parasect

    • Phaelin
      Phaelin says:
      December 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      Great, now every time I look at Paras, all I will see is it saying “Please help me, these mushrooms are taking over my SOUL.”

      • Neospector
        Neospector says:
        December 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

        Still not so bad. Several types of Pokemon are said to be able to steal your spirit, Shedinja is the one I remember the best. It’s basically a shell that’s been brought back to life. Don’t look into the crack.
        http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/292.shtml

  7. Matthew Throatpuncher Webb
    Matthew Throatpuncher Webb says:
    December 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    I prefer the "Ash is in a coma" pokemon television series conspiracy.

  8. Steven Bonetopick Fisher
    Steven Bonetopick Fisher says:
    December 27, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    You forgot the Ruby/Sapphire versions… Where you beat wally or whatever his name was and he get sso sick he never makes it out of the cave at the end of the victory road and the gardevoir can't do anything to stop his death even pushing herself to her final form he was always sick and you killed him.

  9. Jesse Moreno
    Jesse Moreno says:
    December 27, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    But Lt. Surge's nickname is "The Lightning American", suggesting he's a foreigner.

  10. Seth Nicholson
    Seth Nicholson says:
    December 27, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    Right, and of course, militaries never allow foreigners to serve, and every war necessarily involves but a single country.

  11. Josh Phillips
    Josh Phillips says:
    July 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Daaaamn. That was harsh bro…nonetheless true. But damn. Props for telling it like it is though.

  12. Rylan Bricker
    Rylan Bricker says:
    October 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Seth Nicholson That was Sarcasm right…right? I went to boot camp with a guy from China.