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Esserise
Esserise
Well, it is true - I'm not sure what kind of "traditional" antagonist would work for a Kanto sequel, unless they wanted to have an evil team that tries to control Mewtwo in order to have a climactic fight against Mewtwo à la Groudon, Dialga, Xerneas, etc. (but that'd be extremely dull).

If they approached it as you've described, then I do think the plague plot could work in Kanto. You certainly seem to have thought it through, and I think that's key to making a good story.

I'd also say we're already somewhat into fanfic territory here. :p Though it's not as if some of the *actual* games' stuff doesn't read like fanfic when written out (and not even very inspired fanfic, at that), and lord knows I've made my share of those sorts of comments. I'm interested in what you have to suggest, since as I said, you do seem to have put a lot of thought into the idea of Kanto sequels.
Silktree
Silktree
My idea for the second mascot hinges on the inclusion of Johto. If the sequels stick to just Kanto, then I don't even think there's a good reason to wait until 2018.

So here it is: A corrupted Celebi form to serve as Mewtwo's counterpart. While Mewtwo is a separate species from Mew, it is actually quite comparable to Hoopa Unbound. And since Celebi is Mew's counterpart, a bigger and darker form would be Mewtwo's counterpart. And that form would solve the GS Ball mystery.

I am not sure you know this, but the GS Ball in Crystal didn't actually contain Celebi. Basically, the ball started to shake as Kurt was examining it, and even Ilex Forest itself became restless. When the player inserted the ball into the shrine, Celebi descended from the sky, implying that it wasn't already in the ball. So what was? I used to speculate for years that it was an undiscovered legendary, but what if it turned out to be a Celebi from another era or even timeline?

There is another interesting fact about the GS Ball distribution: It was unlocked by a feature called the News Machine in the Goldenrod Pokémon Communication Center. There was a nice story to this: A person called Chieko contacted the player through the News Machine. There were three requirements to obtain the GS Ball: First the player had to win against Chieko in a mini-game, but after doing that, Chieko would interrupt the communication by telling the player that they had to collect all 16 badges. Once the player had all badges, they could resume the communication, prompting Chieko to ask them a list of yes/no questions in order to test their "heart as a Pokémon trainer". I had someone translate the questions years ago:

1) Should Pokémon protect people that aren't their trainers? [Yes]
2) If a Pokémon is afraid of a person, is it the person's fault? [Yes]
3) Should a person who loves Pokémon strive for a goal other than being a trainer? [Yes]
4) Is a child a weaker trainer than an adult is? [No]
5) Do you think that the legends from the days of old are all a lie? [No]

If the player answered all five questions correctly, Chieko would recognize them as "a splendid trainer with a strong and pure heart" and tell them they were worthy of the GS Ball. The communication would end, but only upon leaving the center would a nurse approach the player to give them the GS Ball (that part was actually localized, but never used).

I've saved the real twist for last. The title of Chieko's activity in the News Machine was "a gift that transcends time", obviously in reference to the GS Ball. This implies that the GS Ball came from another time. The future or the past? What about Chieko herself? She curiously described herself as an Apricorn Maker from Azalea Town. Kurt is the only Apricorn Maker in Azalea, or anywhere in the games for that matter. If that alone doesn't make it obvious that Chieko herself communicated with the player from another time, then this does: In the anime, Kurt's grandaughter is called Chie (Maisy in the dub). Even though her name wasn't revealed in the games, it is safe to say that Game Freak gave her the name, and intended for Chieko to be her adult counterpart. It is hardly surprising that Chie would want to follow her grandfather's footsteps.
Silktree
Silktree
So what could the GS Ball have to do with my plague idea? Imagine that in some timeline the plague was never stopped and practically every Pokémon died out. With one notable exception: Celebi was able to survive since it was able to "skip" the plague by going through time. At first glance you might call it lucky, but it basically subjected itself to living in a world where it was completely alone, and people eventually forgot about Pokémon. That loneliness turned it confused, angry and desperate to alter time. In other words, it became completely different than before. I will now refer to it as Neo Celebi.

My idea for the games is that while Mewtwo will stop the plague in Kanto, in a mirror universe (the world of the original games) the plague did happen. Neo Celebi is the result of the failed timeline, where Chieko sealed it in the GS Ball and sent it to the past in order to give her world a future, perhaps with a new beginning for Pokémon. However, that action ended up creating a chain of events that evenually led to Neo Celebi not only being released, but also finding a way to the "better" timeline of the new games.

Due to its heart having grown darker throughout eons inside the GS Ball, Neo Celebi will firmly reject Mewtwo as a solution to the plague and opt for a primitive solution: killing off the initial hosts of the plague - humans.

The Johto segment of the sequels will be about stopping Neo Celebi. For that, Chieko will be a pivotal character - both in her new incarnation and the Faller version from the original timeline. The latter will take responsibility for her part in making Neo Celebi suffer, and will work with the second Chieko to find an alternative solution to the GS Ball.
Silktree
Silktree
I'll admit that these ideas are all fairly involved. But could Game Freak cook up something along the same lines? I think they could. Sun and Moon already did three things that show a non-linear approach to past elements:

1. Sending Lillie and Lusamine to Kanto as a tie-in to Bill's cell separation system. Surely the latter is more obscure than the GS Ball.

2. Making Prof. Burnet, a character from a side app, Prof. Kukui's wife due to her studying hidden dimensions.

3. Bringing Anabel back as a Faller.

"It all comes together" may be an exaggeration, but I wouldn't put it past them to connect Lusamine's disease and the existence of other universes to mysteries from the first two generations (the purpose for Mewtwo's creation and the background of the GS Ball).
Silktree
Silktree
Here are interesting repercussions to consider:

1. If Lillie hadn't saved Lusamine, there would have been no outbreak of the disease (in any timeline). That realization would be interesting to explore character-wise.

2. Transferring Pokemon from the VC games "saves" them from the eventual plague.
Esserise
Esserise
It took me a bit wrap my head around some of that. Not the time-travel stuff (I love time-travel in stories), but I had never, ever heard of that Chieko backstory stuff, so I'm kind of mindblown at the moment. That kind of stuff, the ideas that are hidden away in the beta, is fascinating to me, particularly with the first two generations, because I think they had a distinctly different tone, primarily in regards to Legendary Pokémon, but also generally. And while I don't necessarily prefer it over the current tone, I still find it very mystifying and engaging.

The thought of not knowing what was the in GS Ball is very eerie...

I'm going to briefly go on a bit of a tangent - Celebi is a Pokémon I've always been interested in. What is its life like, being able to hop from era to era without restraint? The idea you have, of a future without Pokémon, is wickedly grim. But it's a fantastic idea for the series to explore - symbolically, to make a case for its own continuation, but also, it's self-interrogating in the style of BW. Pokémon are integral to the world of the games. We start the games by "entering" a world with Pokémon, but the world you describe as emerging from the plague, that's a world where the script has been entirely flipped - what is it like when a Pokémon enters the human world? Brilliant stuff.

Additionally, the games have obviously been on a bit of an alternative worlds kick lately. And we've explored the deep past, and other dimensions, and we've seen a Pokémon that came from space. But we've never breached the future, or potential futures - it feels like a logical next step.

It also gives fans the villainous Pokémon they've been clamoring for for a while now. And keeps Mewtwo as a protector/healer, which I still think is an excellent idea that needs to be done. It's even better if juxtaposed against a Pokémon like Neo Celebi, which developed a "closed heart" naturally as opposed to being engineered with one. Again, I love that kind of inversion/contrast.

I also really like the first "repercussion" you point out - Lillie would technically be responsible for so much widespread harm coming to Pokémon, which we know is something that she couldn't stand to see. That's a perfect opportunity for more character development - she only wanted to save her mother. But in doing so, basically created her worst nightmare.

I would genuinely love to see something like this play out. It dives deep into the lore of the Kanto and Johto Legendary Pokémon that need it, while allowing good spaces for character growth, *and* presenting a more abstract antagonistic force without any "end of the world" bombast.
Silktree
Silktree
I'm both glad and relieved that you like these ideas. I was honestly afraid that you'd say that they might be too out there. I guess I have my own doubts about that; I don't want to build up expectations for something that won't come into fruition even remotely.

Sun and Moon are still light-hearted games, save for the climax and the Faller storyline. I guess that Black and White come closer to the tone I have in mind, especially as they deal with separating Pokémon from people. Somehow, that is scarier than the prospect of destroying a region or a world, which you know from the outset has no chance of happening. At least the idea of separation is more thought-provoking.

But more than the complexity of a time travel story or the grim fate of the original universe, it would be truly refreshing if Mewtwo and Neo Celebi were explored as characters rather than just strong Pokémon. That has only been done in Mystery Dungeon as far as the games are concerned. Come to think of it, I guess that my Neo Celebi ideas have some elements in common with Primal Dialga, but that one was really just a plot device that facilitated the main Pokémon (Grovyle, Celebi and Dusknoir).

If Game Freak aren't even planning sequels for whatever reason, I hope that another medium will serve that purpose instead. Maybe Generations is a test run for a series that really is about "unseen stories" taking place in the game world?
Silktree
Silktree
By the way, I imagine future Chieko being as old as Kurt. So that would make her era be at least 50 years into the future (she seemed to be younger than 10 in Generation II).

The sequels should be set 10-11 years after Generation II, so there would be quite an age gap between the new Chieko and her Faller version (let's say 40 years). It would be interesting to keep the identity of the Faller a secret for a while; she would recognize her younger counterpart, but not the other way around.

What probably requires a more detailed explanation is why the original Chieko sent the GS Ball to the past rather than keeping it sealed in her era. Perhaps Neo Celebi's powers were weaker in the past than in the future, so there was a smaller chance that it could break the seal from within. And what about the Celebi seen in Crystal? Did it send the GS Ball even further into the past? Was it in favor of Chieko's plan, or did it have no idea that the ball contained its own corrupted version? It's possible that the event is what made Celebi skip ahead to the future to begin with, creating the following loop:

Celebi sees the GS Ball -> Celebi is intrigued about its origins -> Celebi sees a future without Pokémon -> Celebi becomes Neo Celebi -> Neo Celebi is captured and sent to the past -> Celebi sees the GS Ball

The loop isn't really closed since Celebi didn't take the GS Ball with it. Of course, Chieko herself should remember the player bringing the GS Ball to her grandfather, which would explain how she came up with the loop idea. What she probably doesn't know even in the future is where the GS Ball ended up.
Esserise
Esserise
Firstly, again, sorry for the untimely response. I like to do these responses in one sitting, and I try to put more concentration into them than my regular posts, but that requires a larger bloc of time.

As far as your idea being potentially "too out there," well, if you'd have asked me a couple of years ago, I may have said so. I mean, I'd have likely still thought it was a strong idea - I just wouldn't have imagined it as being very plausible realistically. But, Game Freak have surprised me lately. I definitely didn't see the multiversal schism coming, and even then, I thought it'd be nothing more than a reference to the original games, in the spirit of ORAS being remakes. But then the Faller storyline happened. Suffice it to say, GF are more ambitious than I'd anticipated.

And as you say, there's precedent for some of the bigger obstacles. Fallers, Burnet, and other obscure references - they've proven that things like that can be mined for ideas in ways which are rewarding for the people who know some of the franchise's history, without being too confusing for the casual fans.

"Somehow, that is scarier than the prospect of destroying a region or a world, which you know from the outset has no chance of happening. At least the idea of separation is more thought-provoking." - Absolutely, absolutely. That's probably one of the best parts of this idea, is that it actually means something to the series. Titanic clashes, apocalyptic meteors, omnicidal nutjobs - what's the point if they don't tell us anything worthwhile? Well, I guess the point is that it makes the better ideas pop more. BW's story wouldn't be as noteworthy if it were the norm.

"t would be truly refreshing if Mewtwo and Neo Celebi were explored as characters rather than just strong Pokémon. That has only been done in Mystery Dungeon as far as the games are concerned." - Indeed. It's something that I think the series is greatly lacking in. And, while I appreciate that they tend to treat Pokémon as less-conscious and more animal-like, there have already been exceptions to that in some cases, and a "villainous" Pokémon just seems like a natural idea to explore at some point. Clearly it was popular when Mystery Dungeon did it, and while they didn't make MD, I can't think that that escaped their notice. Besides, I think the occasionally-mentioned idea that Pokémon are incapable of being malicious is just a little too saccharine.

---

Personally, I think the biggest obstacle to all of this is as I said before, that I don't know how much GF actually care about Johto in comparison to Kanto. I think it is eminently possible that they may feel that a Kanto-only sequel is sufficient. And maybe it would be, but it'd be missing a fantastic opportunity for something like what you propose. I would really like to see something along these lines; there's a mountain of potential here. And I can't believe that they'd craft the Faller storyline for nothing - at the very least, having somebody meet their duplicate seems like a logical conclusion, but Looker and Anabel don't have enough weight to their characters for that sort of meeting to be interesting. A "new" plot-enigma character like Chieko, who would be written specifically with this purpose in mind, would make a lot more sense.
Silktree
Silktree
Hopefully they do feel inclined to include Johto for five reasons:

1. With only Kanto, the sequels could certainly be considered a step down from HGSS in terms of overall content. See the next point.

2. The sequels should feel appropriately "big" if the idea is to use them as the main incentive for Pokemon fans to buy a Switch system in the foreseeable future (until 2020). Even the movies need another mythical Pokemon other than Marshadow and Mew.

3. If they played their cards right, they could also make it an appealing prospect to buy both versions (due to the versions starting and ending in different regions).

4. The inclusion of Johto would alleviate the complaints about Kanto bias.

5. Go promoting Generation II next year. One would think that this would at least create demand for VC games.

Speaking of VC games, if they actually recreated the GS Ball distribution (including the communication with Chieko), that would go a long way to make it less obscure.
Silktree
Silktree
Two interesting points:

1. The Mega Mewtwo duo are the only Generation I Mega Evolutions introduced in XY that are currently unobtainable. They're also the only unobtainable legendary forms of any kind.

I can't help but wonder if this may be a way to make a new Mewtwo form look more appealing. It doesn't matter if they'll bring the Mega Mewtwo back just as an added bonus.

2. Spiky-eared Pichu has an icon (party sprite) in the coding, even though it didn't have any sort of data in the previous two generations.

Since Spiky-eared Pichu itself isn't very interesting, I don't see why they would bring it back outside of Johto. Its HGSS event established that Celebi brought it from the past. What if instead of regional variants, or in addition to them, the sequels introduced "era variants"? That is, forms that only existed in the distant past or will exist in the distant future, brought to the present due to Neo Celebi's interference. I feel that this would make the lore more interesting compared to Alola forms, and it would also be a sensible way of adding more Generation I forms.
Silktree
Silktree
Esserise
Esserise
Those five points all seem sound. I just have to hope that Game Freak come to the same conclusion - Johto may be awkwardly placed, but that doesn't have to be a problem if they don't let it.

I particularly like the idea of starting in opposite regions depending on the version, but it seems very ambitious. Then again, SM have now introduced the idea of having a more fundamental difference between the versions with the day/night cycle flip. That wouldn't really make sense in a Kanto(/Johto) game, but who says they need a temporal approach... a spacial one could work just as well, if not better in this case.

Regarding the Mega Mewtwo duo, I agree that they wouldn't be much of an issue. They're pretty much afterthoughts as it is. Which I think is a shame; I think they're neat, at least, and could have added an interesting element to XY. But as a fortunate side-effect of XY's failure to capitalize on the idea, there is still room for actual Kanto games to take a proper crack at a new Mewtwo form, and to give it the story it deserves.

That's interesting; I didn't know about the SE Pichu icon. As it happens, I had been thinking about "era variants" recently as well. While I love the idea of regional variants, I have to admit that they do feel slightly forced in regions that we've already been to, even if they're for Pokémon that were introduced later. This may just be me, but I just don't think the environments/climates of the other regions feel dynamic/volatile/extreme enough to justify such a change. But when you lift the boundary on time... then you can justify pretty much anything.

What I am hoping will happen is that Stars will introduce more Alola forms. I still wish there had been more, but I'm not asking for a lot more. Stars can add 10 or so and personally, I'd find that satisfying. But *after* that, regional variants as a concept can be stored in the toolbox, and era variants could take the stage in Kanto sequels (and even in DP remakes, given how much DP talk about the past through myths, but that's something for much later).

Speaking of era variants, I can't help but notice that Magearna's original color form from 500 years ago is in the coding. There doesn't seem to be any way to change Magearna from its modern coloration to its former appearance, and there's nothing in the story text about the original color. Perhaps this could be juxtaposed with era variants - if Kanto sequels would show us Pokémon from the past, then hey, there's a sort-of example right there. (And this is really beginning to veer off the subject, but maybe Eternal Floette could be considered an era variant. It is still in the coding, after all, and while I'd hate to slather AZ all over the otherwise-fantastic idea of Kanto sequels, pretty much the only thing he *is* good for at this point is filling in little bits of world history, so it's something they could tap into if they were so inclined.)

Gosh, I'd forgotten how much that wooden Celebi monster used to scare me as a kid. Amusingly, the bottom section reminds me somewhat of Darkrai. But yeah, I think something withered such as that could work very well, if scaled down. Any thoughts for its typing/Ability, or for Mewtwo's form, for that matter?
Esserise
Esserise
An era variant of Magikarp with its original power intact would be a fun idea for one of the "obscure gag" examples à la Alolan Exeggutor.
Silktree
Silktree
Psychic/Poison for Neo Celebi and Psychic/Water for Cure Mewtwo, to represent the pollution and purity of their minds. As for abilities:

Untamed Mind: The opposing Pokémon disregards the orders of its trainer due to its mind reverting to its days as a wild Pokémon.

Immunization: The player's party is protected from status conditions as long as this Pokémon has not fainted.
Esserise
Esserise
Good choices for the types. Though I could also see Neo Celebi coming up Psychic/Dark, since it's bent on destruction. I wouldn't totally hate that because I think it's a cool type combination, but personally, I don't use Legendary Pokémon anyway, so that'd be of no practical use to me, and in general, I'm more interested in seeing how they communicate a Legendary's powers through the mechanics. So it'd be more important, I think, to retain the "polluted" connotation that you mention - and it'd be our first Poison-type Legendary Pokémon. (Nihilego doesn't count as far as I'm concerned.)

Those are creative abilities, too, and are suitably powerful for the Pokémon involved. I'd have never thought to formally intergrate disobedience into the battle mechanics, but it's a neat idea and that'd be a great way of doing it.
Silktree
Silktree
Psychic/Dark would be a little boring due to Hoopa Unbound. In contrast, Psychic/Poison would be a first not just for a legendary (Poison alone would be new unless we count Nihilego), but in general.

Untamed Mind would probably be broken... but I don't care. Mascot-tier legendaries shouldn't be used, anyway.
Esserise
Esserise
True, true. Not only would it be the first Poison-type Legendary, but also a new type combination. Even if we didn't have Hoopa-U, I'd still prefer the Psychic/Poison combination. Plus it keeps them more balanced toward each other, instead of having another Xerneas >>>> Yveltal scenario.
Silktree
Silktree
It's also really tragic to think about a forest guardian gaining a type that is destructive to its environment, although I don't think Neo Celebi should be destroying anything other than people. Not deliberately, anyway.

By the way, Johto promotion is starrting in Japan, no doubt in conjunction with the Go expansion:

http://www.pokemon.co.jp/info/2016/12/161209_p03.html?i0014=news

http://www.pokemon.co.jp/info/2016/12/161209_p04.html?i0015=news

Alolan variants for Stars should be expected. Virtual Console in early 2018?
Esserise
Esserise
I certainly hope so, but could they sustain the publicity for that long? We're not even in 2017 yet, so the Go update is bound to happen in the first half of 2017. It'd be a year until the VCs, but I'd think it'd be much more preferable to strike while the iron is hot and get the VCs out in conjunction with Go.

Damn, just seeing Johto stuff like that gets me really excited.
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