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Individual Values: A Pokemon Feature - Week 31: From Z to A


Jonathan Higgins

Welcome to the thirty-first week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday morning.

 

NOTE: This week's Individual Values will slightly spoil some content for Pokémon X&Y and Pokémon ORAS. I'll be discussing plot details. You have been warned!

 

 

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From Z to A

 

 

The previous Individual Values was actually part of a massive piece that I split in two in order to prevent my feature from becoming a borderline research paper on the Sixth Generation Pokémon games. I spent last week detailing PROJECT AZOTH (Team Flare and Team Aqua/Magma“s efforts to make “everything as it was in the beginning”), the close relationship between the Hoenn and Kalos regions, and even the possibility of interdimensional travelling within the Pokémon games.

 

Now it“s time to detail what Game Freak could actually do with this stuff, as well as impart some new information I didn“t get to last time:

 

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Are brand new Pokémon or Pokémon Formes coming?

 

The movies have often been ideal opportunities to show off brand new Pokémon that have never been seen in the games thus far. Hoopa and the Clash of Ages is no exception. While #721 Volcanion hasn“t been officially announced yet, I don“t think what you“re seeing above is anything close to what hackers have uncovered.

 

The image is a screen-cap from the Hoopa and the Clash of Ages preview courtesy of CoroCoro in Japan. In addition to what CoroCoro showed, there's a new Pokémon that was sketched from a friend of Serebii.net who attended the film. What we“re looking at could be two new Formes of existing Pokémon, or even two brand new species of Pokémon not yet released.

 

I“m not about to speculate what they could be based on a tiny screen and a few sketches. I“m guessing the larger one may be a new Forme of Zygarde. But the other one has me a little perplexed. Rather than try to guess what it is — instead I“ll just ask this:

 

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Could it be possible that the 721-Kalos Pokédex is incomplete? Are there more Pokémon in the sixth generation that are lying in wait for the next game, instead of in a brand new region? There“s one specific pattern Game Freak follows that“s always bothered me about X&Y. Ever since Diamond & Pearl, there have been at least two sets of “Legendary Trios”.

 

In that game“s case — the Legendary Pokémon Dialga, Palkia and Giratina were also accompanied by Mespirit, Uxie and Azelf — the three Emotion Pokémon. In the Kalos Pokédex, there is only one Legendary Trio to be found--Xerneas, Yveltal and Zygarde. There are no Legendary Birds, Beasts, Emotions, Weather Pokémon, or anything go alongside the “Mascot Legendaries” in XY.

 

Are they going to be revealed in the next game? Or am I just thinking in patterns too much?

 

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Lysandre and Zygarde

Looking at Zygarde“s Pokédex entries ties this Legendary Pokémon closely with Kalos“s ecosystem. It says it“s going to appear whenever the ecosystem of that specific region is threatened. Since Kalos was never really in danger outside of when Lysandre fired the Ultimate Weapon after his defeat — and only used a fraction of its power, mind you — Zygarde never appeared. The protagonist of X&Y merely came to it in its cave, instead.

 

I think Zygarde“s Pokédex entry could yield a slight clue as to what the plot of a potential “Pokémon Z” could be. In order for Zygarde to appear, I think Lysandre — or any conceivable villain in the Kalos region, would have to succeed in actually threatening the balance of life within the region. If the game is a rehash of the story similar to Pokémon Platinum, perhaps the protagonist will fail to reach Xerneas/Yveltal in time, and Zygarde will appear to stop Lysandre instead.

If the game is a sequel... I“m not really sure how the events leading to Zygarde“s appearance would play out. But it could lead to seeing way more destruction in the next Pokémon game than folks saw in X&Y. The mere prospect of a Lysandre that succeeds in his endeavors — however briefly — is exciting, to me. Would AZ try to stop him? Looker? Zinnia?

 

Bringing up looker and Zinnia will actually be a fine way to wrap up this discussion.

 

XY_Looker.png

 

I think we“re going to see something besides Pokémon Z in the 6th Generation“s Story.

Pokémon ORAS just leaves too much open to interpretation for me to believe that“s all Hoenn has to offer. Looker“s still sitting there with no memory. Zinnia just scooted off to pursue other endeavors. AZ“s Floette“s flower is sitting under that tree signaling he could be in Hoenn, possibly.

I think it“s (slightly) possible that Game Freak could announce Pokémon Z for Winter 2016, but offer something unprecedented for those players lying in wait: downloadable content. A DLC episode similar to how the Delta Episode played out could do many things. First of all, Game Freak wouldn“t have to worry about confusing new players, since it“ll be downloadable content only available after beating the Elite 4. It gives them the chance to do crazy stuff like bring up PROJECT AZOTH again, and multiple dimensions. Instead of a brand new game, DLC that showcases new areas in the Hoenn region while revisiting key spots and developing plot, could offer enough to neatly wrap up Hoenn“s story…

 

...or leave players on a cliff-hanger that will be revisited in “Pokémon Z”. The third, final Generation 6 game could feature a separate story for the Kalos region that brings back Lysandre and welcomes new players/a new protagonist, but hides multiple allusions to the Hoenn DLC completed by returning players that are easily connected and understood — like Zinnia, for example. It wouldn“t be too hard to work in references and important people that seem new to some, but that returners know very well.

 

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It“ll be interesting to see what plays out. What do you think "Pokémon Z" will be? Next year marks the 20th Anniversary of Pokémon...so you know Game Freak is going to pull all the stops and show off plenty of surprises. I think DLC (I“ll dub it “Pokémon A”) preluding "Pokémon Z" (to make the full story “AZ” — beginning to end) is just one of those surprises.

 

That“s enough of my conspiracy theories. Be sure to share yours (or even tell me how wrong or crazy I am)! Next week is another Region Spotlight. Stay tuned!

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