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Canonizing the Protagonists

The Azure Mystic
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Well before the game was released, Masters has established its intent to favor certain protagonists as canon. That is to say, at least for this title. With six protagonists that are currently playable, I figured now would be a good time to start digging through dialogue and other relevant information in order to figure out who this game considers canon. I’ll start with my own findings and, if anyone has anything additional to provide, please do so as this will be edited frequently.

Kanto: Red
Johto: Ethan
- He is not related to the Daycare couple. In concurrence with this, Lyra mentions having grandparents.
- Lyra is stated to own a Marill.
- Ethan describes the Johto player-rival interactions as occurring between himself and Silver.

Hoenn: Brendan
- Stated to be Norman’s son. In agreement with this, May is stated to be Professor Birch's daughter.

Sinnoh: Dawn
- Indicates that she is from Twinleaf Town.
- Explicitly states that Barry is her childhood friend.
- Implies that she had gotten her starter during the Starly attack that happens in Diamond and Pearl.

Unova: Hilbert and Rosa.
  • Dialogue from Chapter 18 indicates that he and Cheren know each other personally.
  • "The Ideal Formula" Story Event establishes that Hilbert has been looking for N since Black and White. In contrast, Hilda knows nothing about who N is.
  • During the Unova Event, it is directly stated that Rosa began her journey two years after the events of Black and White (i.e. When the player character began their journey)
  • It is indicated that Nate is the multi battle partner given his choice of Pokemon, that being one of his options in the Battle Subway, and dialogue.
  • Rosa is from Aspertia City and knows about the theft of Hugh's sister's Purrloin, something that Hugh personally tells the player in-game.
Kalos: Serena
  • Calem’s partner in this game is Espurr. Considering how most rival characters have been using their non-Starter mainstays (e.g., Hau’s Raichu), this practically confirms that Calem’s appearance in this game is as the rival.
  • Calem makes a reference to an event from X and Y in which he is in the rival role.
  • Serena describes Calem as being how he acts when he is in the rival role.
  • Serena indicates that she met the Elite Four during her initial journey through Kalos, something that would not have been possible if she was the rival.
  • The "Give and Take" Legendary Event establishes that Serena was the one who saw Professor Sycamore's Couriway Town message.

Alola: Unknown
- Hau indirectly mentions his rival but does not indicate their gender.

Galar: Gloria
- Her encounter with Zacian was under the exact same circumstances that the player meets Zacian/Zamazenta in-game.
- She describes the three Galar rivals as being her own. This is affirmed by Marnie's dialogue

Edit 1: Updated for the new story additions.
Edit 2: Edited in light of the Ho-Oh Legendary Event
Edit 3: Updated in response to Dawn’s addition to the game.
Edit 4: Adding one other detail that I felt should have been noted.
Edit 5: Updated in light of Serena’s addition. Also removed the fact that Calem’s dialogue is reflective of what he said as the rival since that ended up being true for both him and Serena.
Edit 6: Major Update.
 
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To tell the truth, I'm surprised they canonized Lyra instead of Ethan or Kris.
 
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To tell the truth, I'm surprised they canonized Lyra instead of Ethan or Kris.
I know, right? Reading that dialogue for the first time really threw me for a loop. That said, I’m gonna wait until Ethan comes out before stating it as such.
 
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The Azure Mystic
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I don't think that this canonizes anything because I don't think that Masters is canon to the main series.
You are correct. Whether or not this game is canon is purposefully being kept vague by the game's developers. As such, I am specifically referring to the canonization that occurs within the game (e.g., How Brendan is referred to as Norman's son), not how Masters shapes the core series' canon. In other words, this is specifically about what is established for the player characters in the context of Masters.
 
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What about canon Galar protagonist. It feels uneven that May is t́he canon child of Birch.
 
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What about canon Galar protagonist.
To my understanding, the Galar protagonists are not yet in the game--no one from Galar is--so it is too early to determine who is the canonized SwSh protagonist in Masters.
 
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To my understanding, the Galar protagonists are not yet in the game--no one from Galar is--so it is too early to determine who is the canonized SwSh protagonist in Masters.
Exactly, no one is there yet, which is pretty weird. I don't know if they want to bring them after all the others are in, or if they are saving them up for something.
 
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Exactly, no one is there yet, which is pretty weird. I don't know if they want to bring them after all the others are in, or if they are saving them up for something.
Well, they could still add them while the prior generations don’t have every character. Who would you assume? Same goes with Elio, Selene, Chase, and Elaine. I know you think Chase and Elaine may not be canon but Leaf must be canon to LeafGreen (was introduced in that and is Sygna Synced with Venusaur, the mascot for LeafGreen) while Red is canon to Red and FireRed (not including Yellow because he’s synced with Charizard, for both games). How to determine Chase and Elaine is unsure (because starters are taken). Though if Trace WAS to appear, he’d be synced with which evolved partner Pokémon he has (Raichu or Jolteon). Misty (because of her attire) will mention which protagonist battled her. Just because of Chase and Elaine’s concept art have partner Pokémon with them doesn’t necessarily mean they’re canon to that specific game. As we know, Red is the only official core series protagonist. Kris only appeared in Crystal so she’s Crystal canon. Ethan is either HeartGold or SoulSilver because he’s in his current attire. Lyra is canon to the other game. We can get that whose which by mentioning they battled Lugia (Ho-Oh was taken
by Silver). Brendan is canon to OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire but he should mention which evil team he faced and/or Legendary Primal (because of ORAS attire) he had faced in Sootopolis City. While if May were to be canon, she’d do the opposite. However, it’s not likely because Brendan mentioned she’s a neighbor with Birch (because of him being canon):
Brendan from A Day With Brendan said:
Yeah, Professor Birch and May. They’re my next door neighbors.
Dawn is unsure but is canon to either Diamond and Pearl (because of her original attire). If she (in sygna suit) or Lucas are synced with Dialga (because Cyrus is synced with Pikagla), then that proves which one’s canon to Diamond. Dawn must be canon to a universe where Barry had a Chimchar (because she’s synced with Turtwig while Barry is synced with Piplup). Or Barry must be from a canon universe where the protagonist picked Chimchar. But it’s probably only because Flint was synced with Infernape. Lucas will be the canon assistant to Rowan (if he appears in his original attire) or the opposite game of Dawn’s incarnated canon game. Once again, it may not be possible like with May not being Master’s Birch child. So Hilbert is canon but only to either Black or White. We can find that out by which Opelucid City Gym Leader he battled and/or which Legendary Pokémon he caught at N’s Castle. Hilda would do the opposite. Nate is datamind to get a Vicinti. But if either one mentions which Kyurem (Black Kyurem or White Kyurem because their Black 2 and White 2 mascots) at Giant Chasm, then that’s which game they’re canon to. Also, Hugh and/or Bianca (if she appears) will give more info probably. Now an easy way of whose the official canon to X and Y is if Shauna will be synced with a starter. If Shauna has Froakie, Serena is not canon. If Shauna is synced with Chespin, Serena is canon. We could also do that by (sygna suit) syncing them with Xerenas or Yvetal. Can’t say that with Elio and Selene (because Hau is synced with Raichu). Though we can find out by their attires which game they are from. I assume they’re from Sun and Moon. Now, whoever mentions about going on vacation with their mother is canon to Masters. Now finally, we can assume which one Hop mentions he was friends with. We can also figure out by Victor and Gloria themselves by which Gym Leaders were in Stow-on-Side and Circhester when they came to battle, if they met Klara and/or Avery when visiting the Isle of Armor, or by battling Swordword or Shieldbert.
 
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Well, it's quite close to what I imagined, I'm just put off that they decided to canonize Brendan over May. She is incredibly more popular than him, not because of the anime but also she has the superior design. Well, Pokemon is a damn multiverse so any protagonist and team is canon in different timelines. Masters as well touched the multiverse things. Also I believe that regardless of who is the main character, both genders share roles similar to Pokemon Special manga, it's very explicit when they said that Lyra battled against Red and Kris encountered Suicine.

But I wonder if after all, this is what Gamefreak consider canon, even with the multiverse factor, since the developers mentioned that they kept in touch with gamefreak to flesh characters.

Red - We all knew, right? No need to comment

Ethan: He is the only constant in all Johto game so it's quite clear that Lyra and Kris the assistants and rivals

Brendan- Again, I'm surprised with this one. That said Brendan also appear as the protagonist in Generations with the same starter so maybe it's what gamefreak consider "canon", unfortunately.

Dawn- Not surprised and she has better deisng than Lucas. The thing though is that despite her saying that Barry is her rival the starters of both don't match unless they are from different timelines further confirming that "all of them are canon" in different games/playthroughs.

Hilbert - Yes. Honestly he fits better and I hate what the fanbase did with Hilda making her a Mary Sue thristy for N, so regardless of N relationship with main character, Hilbert being the protagonist is great and a breath of fresh air.

Rosa - That's alright, it's quite nice seeing her getting more spotlight since, other than Kris, Rosa is one of the most obscure protagonists

Serena - She is also widely popular and has the best deisgn of the two, also we all knew right?

As for Sun Moon and Sword and Shield I suppose that Enio and Gloria will be the "canon" ones. Idk if the will add Ultra protags as different characters, I'm curious though.
 
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Well, it's quite close to what I imagined, I'm just put off that they decided to canonize Brendan over May. She is incredibly more popular than him, not because of the anime but also she has the superior design. Well, Pokemon is a damn multiverse so any protagonist and team is canon in different timelines. Masters as well touched the multiverse things. Also I believe that regardless of who is the main character, both genders share roles similar to Pokemon Special manga, it's very explicit when they said that Lyra battled against Red and Kris encountered Suicine.

But I wonder if after all, this is what Gamefreak consider canon, even with the multiverse factor, since the developers mentioned that they kept in touch with gamefreak to flesh characters.

Red - We all knew, right? No need to comment

Ethan - He is the only constant in all Johto game so it's quite clear that Lyra and Kris the assistants and rivals

Brendan - Again, I'm surprised with this one. That said Brendan also appear as the protagonist in Generations with the same starter so maybe it's what gamefreak consider "canon", unfortunately.

Dawn - Not surprised and she has better design than Lucas. The thing though is that despite her saying that Barry is her rival the starters of both don't match unless they are from different timelines further confirming that "all of them are canon" in different games/playthroughs.

Hilbert - Yes. Honestly he fits better and I hate what the fanbase did with Hilda making her a Mary Sue thristy for N, so regardless of N relationship with main character, Hilbert being the protagonist is great and a breath of fresh air.

Rosa - That's alright, it's quite nice seeing her getting more spotlight since, other than Kris, Rosa is one of the most obscure protagonists

Serena - She is also widely popular and has the best deisgn of the two, also we all knew right?

As for Sun and Moon and Sword and Shield I suppose that Elio and Gloria will be the "canon" ones. Idk if the will add Ultra protags as different characters, I'm curious though.
Now, if either Calem or Serena are in their rival incarnations, why are they both wearing their hats? When one of them is picked for the player, the other one as rival doesn’t wear a hat. Again, to tell who’s canon is if Shauna mentions she traded Froabbles to Serena or more if Shauna is synced with a Froakie. Also, it’s confusing why Dawn is from Twinleaf Town instead of Sandgem and she has a stronger starter to Barry’s. Though that’s because if she was synced with Chimchar, it’d evolve all the way into an Infernape. And Flint is already synced with Infernape. So either Dawn and Barry are separate characters from different universes or sometimes after the events of Diamond and Pearl prior to Masters, they traded. But does anyone think that Barry would be the kind of rival like Shauna to trade with a starter? Same with May. It’s possible she’ll be in her rival incarnation but synced with the weaker starter compared to Brendan because the player is synced with a Torchic. However, it’s possible that she’ll have no starter but another Pokémon from her party. So her full rival party in ORAS when player chooses Treecko (exc. Torchic and Raichu and Swellow (because we don’t see them in either Pichu, Pikachu, and Taillow)) are Wailmer and Shroomish. I don’t know which one would be great with her but because she’ll be probably incarnated as rival, she will have those Pokémon. Lucas is hard. Clefairy was taken by Lillie and Kadabra would evolve into Alakazam which was taken by Sabrina. My best guest is with Bidoof (even though he doesn't use that Pokémon in his party when he and the player battle Team Galatic).

Unova: Leaning towards Hilbert and Rosa.
  • Dialogue from Chapter 18 indicates that he and Cheren know each other personally.
  • The fact that Rosa is the only BW2 character with a starter very likely means that Nate is going to show up with one of his Battle Subway Pokémon.
  1. Now given the fact that both Hilbert and Hilda have starters means that they’re canon to either Black or White. I think that Hilbert is White canon (hence that he has Zekrom in Generations) if @Pandora says if it's Game freak canon. They didn’t feature any protagonists from Sinnoh or BWB2 because they have Dawn and Rosa canon. But then, why did they include Kalos with Calem? Maybe Calem and Serena are both Canon but for 2 separate games.
  2. Seems like Rosa is a canon protagonist and Nate is the canon Battle Subway partner and they are from the same incarnated universe. Nate is synced with Braviary.

Now we know Gloria is coming. But since Generation 7, there have been no pseudo players, so she is likely canon. Same with Elio and Selene but we know one of them might be canon to Moon since player took Solgaleo. Now to determine if the player will be synced with Zacian or Zamanzeta, we can show what game Gloria is canon to. Palkia was taken by Cyrus so Dawn is likely Diamond canon. Barry is also referred to as Pearl so it would make sense he is from the opposite universe. As I mentioned above, GameFreak considers Hilbert canon and canon to White. If Hilda mentions she owns a Reshiram, then she’s what GameFreak considers canon to Black. Now again with Brendan, he is sometimes referred to as Ruby (if Norman was expecting a girl) and he was featured in Generations while facing Team Magma. But everything seems to change in Generations compared to the actual games.

Here’s my canonizing:

Kanto - Red (obviously because he’s the only known canon core protagonist)
Johto - Ethan or Lyra (either HeartGold or SoulSilver) and Kris (Crystal)
Hoenn - Brendan (either Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire)
Sinnoh - Dawn (either Diamond or Pearl)
Unova - Hilbert or Hilda (either Black or White) and Rosa (either Black 2 or White 2)
Kalos - Serena (either X or Y)
Alola - TBD
Galar - Gloria (either Sword or Shield)
 
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Brendan- Again, I'm surprised with this one. That said Brendan also appear as the protagonist in Generations with the same starter so maybe it's what gamefreak consider "canon", unfortunately.

Dawn- Not surprised and she has better deisng than Lucas. The thing though is that despite her saying that Barry is her rival the starters of both don't match unless they are from different timelines further confirming that "all of them are canon" in different games/playthroughs.
From what I remember, Pokémon Generations only features the male protagonists, and that's really bad.

In regards Lucas, I feel sorry for him, I believe that he is the most overlooked male protagonist, but not without reason, his design is very bad.
 
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In regards Lucas, I feel sorry for him, I believe that he is the most overlooked male protagonist, but not without reason, his design is really bad.
I don't know. I don't feel he looks bad, or at least not as bad as Nate.
 
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I don't know. I don't feel he looks bad, or at least not as bad as Nate.
Yeah, Nate's attire is horrendous, but other than it I think his design is quite fine.

On the other hand, the atrocity of his clothes makes him, at least, a little notorious. Lucas, on the contrary, is really overlooked.

PS: To this day, I can't understand from where Game Freak got that attire idea.
 
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Well, it's quite close to what I imagined, I'm just put off that they decided to canonize Brendan over May. She is incredibly more popular than him, not because of the anime but also she has the superior desig
The good thing about this is that she's the canon Professor's daughter who gets to keep the other two starters that Brendan doesn't pick. :)
 
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Let’s say that Brendan and Barry have traded their starters to May and Lucas. I mean. Barry could also have a Chimchar and some trainer could’ve traded a Pokémon with him to get a Piplup and May did have both a Torchic and Mudkip in the ORAS trailer (as what @SerenaToAlola said). Now, to prove that May will be synced as a rival is what Pokémon she has on her rival team. Obviously, it has to be one if the player has chosen Torchic. Bianca says she the adventure of she and her friends starting from Nuvema Town.

Bianca in “A Day With Bianca” said:
Yeah. I was just remembering the day my two friends and I set off from Nuvema Town together. Our first Pokémon, our first big adventure… Those were exciting times.
And she also mentions how the player rescues Musharna in Castelia City before taking on the gym.

Bianca in “A Day With Bianca” said:
One of my friends even rescued Musharna once when she was in a pinch.
Like what Hau says, she doesn’t say it was Hilbert or Hilda.

What do you think, @SerenaToAlola?
 
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Now, in the Gloria trailer that just came out, she says that her bag was from Mum. I don’t know if that’s the case if you actually choose Gloria as your player character. I’m a boy so I technically will choose boy protagonists. Anyway, when I chose Victor, his bag was his Dad’s (even though we never see him).

UPDATE: Yes! Both bags are different. Victor is Dad’s and Gloria’s is Mum’s. If Gloria is the canon Sword protagonist then Victor must be the canon Shield. I mean Hilbert probably is the canon White protagonist. Or, Zamazenra will be synced with Hop which is very unlikely. Or will Victor, Hop, and Leon just get the Galar starters?
 
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I knew they weren't going to actually do the whole Scottish Pokemon Trainer thing with Gloria (for obvious reasons), but I thought it was interesting how they used the Pokemon Camp & curry cooking aspects of the game to really flesh out her character. I had always headcanoned Gloria to be a lot more like Hilda as far as personality.

Maybe Victor, if and when he makes it in, will focus more on the Galar League side of the games?
 
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I knew they weren't going to actually do the whole Scottish Pokemon Trainer thing with Gloria (for obvious reasons), but I thought it was interesting how they used the Pokemon Camp & curry cooking aspects of the game to really flesh out her character. I had always headcanoned Gloria to be a lot more like Hilda as far as personality.

Maybe Victor, if and when he makes it in, will focus more on the Galar League side of the games?
Yeah, the whole main Galar region is based off of England. Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra are based off of Scotland and Wales. Even if we say Galar is UK flipped over. I mean, Viola has more of a French accent compared to the Anime. Koga has some sort of Japanese accent.

Well, the Anime has nothing to do with any video game with the exception of Puzzle League for N64.
And because Red’s only confirmed as the only known canon protagonist, all other protagonists could work (except Leaf or the trashed Green). It was DeNA’s choice to pick who would and wouldn’t be canon to Hoenn. I was upset about this too and did another thread but then, why not try this thread. I mean Brendan does mention May is a rival. But does he mention where he got his starter from? I’m with Pandora on that it was the developer or crew to think who was canon.

Hilbert is sorta canon. He mentions this:
Hilbert in “A Day With Hilbert” said:
I’ve had Oshawott since he was an Egg. I found that Egg a while back, after I had left a Samurott I had at a Pokémon Day Care. I think he wants to be like my Samurott. I can’t blame him. Samurott is really strong.
It’s unknown if he had received a Samurott from a trade and if the Samurott was a female. None of his Battle Subway Pokémon are a Ditto (likely because in Black and White, only new discovered species were in the Pokémon) so he must have had a rare female Samurott or got a Ditto in a trade. But I think Hilda is canon. I checked out her quotes and she knows Team Plasma:
Hilda in “A Day With Hilda” said:
But I remembered these guys who called themselves Team Plasma back in the Unova region.
Unless if the player has told their Battle Subway partner about Plasma, it would be impossible for her to remember Plasma as an opposing NPC. She even describes them:
Hilda in “A Day With Hilda” said:
They would make a fuss about how we should liberate Pokémon from their Poké Balls. I guess they saw it as enslaving the Pokémon using Poké Balls.
Also, she says about that Tepig was accompanying her on her journey:
Hilda if talked to at the Pokémon Center said:
My Tepig is a dear partner to me. She's kept me company through all my traveling.
This hints that she must have received her from Juniper at her house in Nuvema Town. And she mentions of Iris being a Gym Leader and rematching her in that even in June:
Hilda in her Special Unova Rally event conversation said:
Yeah, I feel the same way about how things are now! What surprised me the most is that Iris is now the Champion! She was still a Gym Leader when I was on my adventures around Unova! I thought she was strong back then, but now she's incredible! Ooh! Talking about Iris makes me want to have a rematch with her!
Since she says stuff like “Rematch” and describes her as a Gym Leader on her journey (only possible in White), means she battled her on her journey and hints she is canon the Black and White (or at least White) protagonist. So both girls are possibly canon. I mean, will Rosa even mention she and Hilda’s mothers were friends. When N appears, Rosa might say that Hilda was searching for him (hearing it from her mother).

Now if Let’s Go! protagonists were to appear, who would be the canon? Chase or Elaine? If I were to guess Leaf’s Eevee and the player’s Pikachu aren’t know currently to evolve. So Trace a possible sync pair. He will be synced with either Raichu or Jolteon. Because Blue’s Pidgeot is fully evolved, May is hopefully going to have a Swellow or Raichu.

So here’s NOW my canonization:
Red for Kanto (RBYFRLG)
N/A for Kanto (LGPE)
Ethan for Johto
Brendan for Hoenn
Dawn for Sinnoh
Hilda for Unova (BW)
Rosa for Unova (B2W2)
Serena for Kalos
N/A for Alola
Gloria for Galar

I think I get who the correct missing canon are. Chase is LGPE while Selene is Alola. Why don’t you think it’s Selene who’s canon, @Pandora? I get why you want May to be canon. I mean, especially since Serena and Dawn (who both have Anime counterparts with Lyra) seem to be canon to their games too. But the only reason is because probably DeNA thinks Brendan is more canon than May. I hope that more protagonists are going to come to give us more who’s canon. For first 3 regions, boys are canon then Sinnoh onwards, I assume girls are canon (probably to respect to give girls the chance). I mean take a look at Gloria's quotes. She claims she's from Postwick when being recruited from Postwick, and claims Hop, Bede, and Marnie her rivals.

But now to think about it:

Hilda and Hilbert in "Fight or Flight said:
Hilda: Exhausted already? You're just getting lazy now, Hilbert. Remember how hard we used to fight on the Battle Subway?

Hilbert: Yeah, of course I do. But battling isn't what's making me exhausted... Listen, Hilda. I think you're confused.
Unsure if this claims whose canon. But because Hilda mentions she has battled Iris as a Gym Leader, it hints us she must be the official canon BW protagonist to Masters.


It's very explicit when they said that Lyra battled against Red and Kris encountered Suicine.
Well, we can clear out Kris of encountering Suicine because Kris only appears in Crystal Version. And I get about battling. Just because Lyra owns a Marill just means she caught one (in a location of Johto). This is her quote:

Lyra in a Random Conversation said:
One time, my Marill fell in the mud. And when I caught a whiff of its scent, it smelled like a dust mop! I was so surprised!
There seemed to be no mention aside from that of her Marill falling in mud. But because neither Ethan or Lyra have a Marill synced with them, we need to figure out whose canon to HGSS. I mean, they could’ve synced a Johto starter with Silver but they didn’t. To know why Serena is canon is because that Calem is synced with a Pokémon on his rival team, Espurr. If one player was synced with a Marill, that could’ve us more proof on who’s the canon protagonist.

Barry does however mention this:

Barry in a random conversation said:
Piplup really has a lot of pride. When I was just starting out as a trainer, he didn't listen to me at all! But now my relationship with Piplup is totally different! Piplup is my reliable ace in the hole now! Makes me wanna puff out my chest with pride!
Compared to what Dawn said with this means that they both had gotten their starters from the Starly attack. I mean, recent games, whenever you pick a starter, you don’t have a rival that has the starter with the stronger type. They all end up picking a weaker starter. I mean, Flint took an Infernape as a sync pair because none of his other Pokémon in Diamond and Pearl (not counting Platinum because they technically are showing the players and Barry in their original attires) aren’t a Fire type and Blaine took Poynta that can then evolve into a Rapidash. And the player is synced with a Torchic making May have to being synced with a Mudkip. It’s too good to leave all starters out.
 
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