Thunderbolt logo

The Unanswered Questions of the Pokémon World

Pokémon

Nintendo has been churning out Pokémon games for more than a decade now and the series hasn’t changed all that much. You’re still a gung-ho youngster setting out on a quest to be the greatest Pokémon master in the world. Along the way, you have to collect every Pokémon you see in the hopes of building a spectacular team that will allow you to defeat every other Pokémon master in the world. Yet, as formulaic and predictable as this series is, there are still a lot of unanswered questions that Nintendo really needs to address.

1. How do water Pokémon battle on land?

We’ve all been there. We’re walking through a cave, deep and dark, when a trainer challenges us to a battle. The screen flashes, we’re transported to a dry battle scene and he throws out – a Goldeen? This Goldeen then proceeds to kick our rock-type Pokémon’s ass as it flops around on a dry circle just beneath its fins. Where does the Goldeen get all that water? Perhaps it stores some inside, but after a while, that source must be exhausted. And, flipping this question around, how do rock-type Pokémon fight on water? Wouldn’t they sink?

screenshot

2. What kind of seedy Pokémon underworld exists?

The Pokémon world is nearly picturesque. Even though bad people exist like Team Rocket or Team Galactic, their antics are relatively tame and easily thwarted. However, we all know that somewhere out there, a Mafia-type organization is really running the show, using Pokémon of all variety to carry on their work. Are these Pokémon taken care of? If they misbehave or go to the police, do they get whacked? Are they starving? Does the Mafia run betting circuits, allowing people to gamble illegally on match ups?

And, most importantly, who out there is into Pokémon bestiality? You know one of those old people in those shacks you meet in the forest are totally into their Pokémon in more ways than one.

3. What’s it like inside a Pokéball?

A familiar technique amongst those desperate to “catch them all” is to throw a hard, plastic ball at an animal, which, upon contact, shrinks the Pokémon down and captures it inside of the ball. What happens to the Pokémon inside the ball? Is the inside of the ball illuminated, or do they sit in the dark? Do they get fed when they’re trapped in the ball? Does the shrinking reduce their size down to a level where they can comfortably roam within the ball, or are they cramped inside? Can the Pokéball be used to shrink other things, such as garbage or people? Imagine, planes filled with thousands of people stored in Pokéballs, it would save a great deal of fuel and allow for thousands of people to travel at once!

4. Do Pokémon rights organizations exist?

Let’s face it, capturing animals and forcing them to fight with one another for no good reason other than sport is a touchy subject. Just ask Michael Vick, star quarterback for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons now turned prisoner for dog fighting. During his trial, thousands of people came out and protested the star, preaching that it was cruel to fight animals for sport and entertainment. Where are these people within the Pokémon world? Do these people exist? Is there anyone fighting for the rights of Pokémon? Are there any people who vandalize stores that sell Pokéball and other instruments of slavery and death?

screenshot

5. How do people feel about eating Pokémon?

Traveling through the Pokémon world, you’ll quickly notice that Pokémon are the only animals around. Which leads me to wonder, who’s eating Pokémon? Someone has to be. The whole of the Pokémon world can’t be vegan. Someone is out there eating exotic Pokémon for lunch. Businessmen sit down for fancy meals to discuss deals and mergers over plates of fried Charizard and fillet of Magikarp.

6. How do people feel about the use of performance-enhancing drugs?

You want your Pokémon to be stronger? You could battle…or you could just give him a piece of rare candy and force him to level up without the effort. With all of the recent controversy over performance enhancing drugs in American sports, is there anyone in the Pokémon world out there fighting to bar the use of items that make your Pokémon unnaturally stronger? Are people silently angry at me for feeding my Bidoof loads of X-Up? Or for giving my Luxio an EXP Share to level him up without him battling?

7. What kind of strange diseases do people get from living with Pokémon?

What do bird flu, mad cow, and foot and mouth disease have in common? These three highly feared diseases infect human beings when we live in close-quarters with our livestock. Do these kinds of diseases plague the Pokémon world? Has Ash Ketchum ever woken up with strange spots on his arms, a symptom of some strange disease he was infected with because he cuddled with Pikachu?

screenshot

Of course, there are hundreds of more questions out there that need to be addressed. The world of Pokémon is a complex one, full of life and character, but many aspects of that life and that character have been hidden from our eyes, allowed to slip through the cracks for far too long. If Nintendo wants to keep me interested, they are going to have to start exploring some of the darker corners of the Pokémon world and answering the questions that the world is dying to know.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003.

Gentle persuasion

Think you can do better? Write for us.