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Is breeding Canon

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So like, obviously it is, since eggs have been part of like, plots and stuff

But sometimes I do wonder if it would maybe make more sense from a worldbuilding perspective to treat breeding and eggs as nothing more than a game mechanic, with Pokémon actually reproducing in ways that make sense for each individual species. I'm certainly not the first to point out some of the absurd implications of the existing breeding system if taken as an actual phenomenon that can occur within the world of the games. A whale mating with a cat, a whale mating with an acorn, parent Marowak existing alongside the children that are actively wearing their skulls, or Kangaskhan being born with child in a truly astonishing feat of reproductive efficiency. And perhaps the thorniest issue of Pokémon that are said to have been human at some point, like Yamask, Ninetales, or Spiritomb - does someone (or some nine, or some 108) in the world just happen to keel over whenever one of these things are born? And all of that's without even getting into the fate of all those mass-released breedjects that people keep unleashing onto the ecosystem.

The interesting thing is that sometimes, albeit rarely, the series does describe (or at least, alleges) the "bespoke" reproductive process for a species. From Entei's old Pokédex entry saying that they're born when new volcanoes form, to the official Sun & Moon site saying that Palossand's prey are thought to provide the lingering grudges around which new Sandygast are born. These, I think, generally make more sense than all Pokémon reproducing through the creation of eggs, though of course, when the series talks about that, I do at least get the sense that it's implying the presence of some sort of quasi-mystical process rather than, like, birds laying eggs after intercourse.

Then again, maybe these two processes could actually coexist with the worldbuilding? With the more individualized processes being what are more likely to occur in nature, and at the same time, coproduction of eggs being something that's more commonly enabled and encouraged by Trainers in controlled settings. I was actually curious to see if there were any real-world examples of animals with dual reproduction methods that could serve as a conceptual basis for this, but I couldn't find information on any such thing. (If someone else knows of anything like that, do please let me know!)
 
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I think breeding is one of those things that can be handwaved as just being game mechanics, for the reasons you've brought up. It also gets weird when we consider plant breeding too, since most plants are technically also hermaphrodites. Like, a female Vileplume producing pollen is straight up producing something that is by definition a gamete produced by "male" parts of a plant.

A point that kind of also bothers me when it comes to this: Mass breeding also probably wouldn't make sense for a lot of Pokemon for the additional reason that we'd be assuming the females are perpetually ovulating to produce so many eggs in a short span of time, which certainly isn't the case for many species irl.

I also kinda want to mention that in addition to sexual reproduction, some female animal species are actually capable of asexual reproduction through a process called parthenogenesis, which I find kind of neat. Not sure if it fits what you were looking for, but I think it's an interesting alternative to sexual reproduction that's not too many people think about. Most plants and fungi can also reproduce both sexually and asexually as well. I can't say I know any species that can alternate between laying eggs and some other form of birth though :unsure:
 
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I... guess this is one of those things we're not supposed to question... On the other hand, this is treated way better than in the DQM games, since it these ones the parents completely disappear from the game with no explanation and you pick one of the three descendants. I guess this is why it was translated as "fusing" for the DS games (it makes slightly more sense).
 
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I think Pokémon would reproduce in different ways since in the dex they’re said to have different origins. Like, shuppet line used to be dolls, the gen 6 spooky trees are lost children.

And that the eggs are more of cradles. I think that in nature, Pokemon only can breed within their evo line, the one gender Pokémon actually breed asexually and are only associated with a specific gender. And all babies of a species are born with the same movesets.

The humans in the series aren’t the same kind of humans as us and they aren’t Pokémon either, they’re literally anime-looking people, while Pokémon are most likely in a separate taxonomic kingdom or perhaps even dominium and everything in that taxonomic kingdom/dominium is a Pokémon.

I think there are only 12 regions in their world. And that the anime looking people are actually all the same ethnicity with the same native language, Pokérian, which just has a lot of slang versions, basically like homestuck quirk. From Pokémon origin battle with onix it seems like the pokerian names of Pokémon aren’t the same as the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, German, or international names. And for the Pokémon themselves, their evo line is also their ethnicity.
 
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I agree that the breeding we see in game is a placeholder for a more complex system, since that’s definitely not something any dev would want to put their hands on when there’s so many pokemon with differing genitalia.

I also prefer to believe compatible egg groups are a generic way to make the player’s life easier, otherwise a sword and a copper elephant making babies would raise some eyebrows (and I would rather not dwell on the implications behind Fallinks breeding)
 
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I also prefer to believe compatible egg groups are a generic way to make the player’s life easier, otherwise a sword and a copper elephant making babies would raise some eyebrows (and I would rather not dwell on the implications behind Fallinks breeding)
Doesn't help that Dragon Quest's system already works like that. Again, the least questions asked, the better.
 
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Another thing I think is worth pointing out is how, at least the sense I get from their respective worlds in USUM, is that Ultra Beasts don't lay eggs. Not even just from a mechanical perspective as a result of their Egg group, but like, if you look at Celesteela's World, they clearly grow and develop in a manner similar to bamboo instead, and then take off into the atmosphere once they reach maturity (presumably releasing fertilizing elements back down to the surface while doing so?). In Nihilego's world, the crystalline columns look very much like developing jellyfish polyps. In Kartana's world, the trees are budding with leaves that resemble Kartana iself. And of course, the quasi-Ultra Beasts Solgaleo and Lunala are witnessed creating a Cosmog out of thin air. Which I suppose helps my hypothesis that eggs are just a game mechanic, although there is part of me that likes to think this is actually one of the things that sets UBs apart from regular Pokémon.

A point that kind of also bothers me when it comes to this: Mass breeding also probably wouldn't make sense for a lot of Pokemon for the additional reason that we'd be assuming the females are perpetually ovulating to produce so many eggs in a short span of time, which certainly isn't the case for many species irl.
Somehow I hadn't even thought of that!

I also kinda want to mention that in addition to sexual reproduction, some female animal species are actually capable of asexual reproduction through a process called parthenogenesis, which I find kind of neat. Not sure if it fits what you were looking for, but I think it's an interesting alternative to sexual reproduction that's not too many people think about. Most plants and fungi can also reproduce both sexually and asexually as well. I can't say I know any species that can alternate between laying eggs and some other form of birth though :unsure:
I was aware of parthenogensis, although you've gone and made me think it would have been a cool detail to make Salazzle capable of producing eggs by itself, without leaving another Pokémon in the Nursery with it.

I've done a little more reading and I guess some jellyfish can reproduce both sexually and asexually, depending on what stage of their life cycle they're in. Still not quite what I'm proposing, but it's sort of close.

(and I would rather not dwell on the implications behind Fallinks breeding)
Oh my~ :eek:
 
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I think this is one of those things that can only be solved with headcanons. But as far as evidence goes:
  • Across the franchise, there have been examples of "Pokemon raising their child" as well as "Eggs being found randomly", but the latter is way more common. This leads me to believe that breeding is just an instinct to keep the species alive and is possibly unrelated to Pokémon falling in love and wanting to raise families (with a few exceptions). Eggs and baby Pokemon can usually survive on their own without parents.
  • In the games, breeding only happens in specific locations, and some smells and objects can influence breeding. Also, some genderless Pokemon can breed. Therefore, I doubt breeding involves sex, and is more the cause of smells amplifying a Pokemon's "breeding energy" that makes it combine with its partner's, magically forming an egg without physical contact.
  • If the above point is true, then mass breeding isn't a bad thing, since Pokemon are more than glad to give their "breeding energy" as many times as possible in order to assure the species' survival. And if Point 1 is true, mass releasing isn't bad either because those Pokemon are capable of surviving in the wild and its parents have no emotional attachment to it.
  • Pokemon in the Undiscovered Egg group are able to breed (with some exceptions) but only by special methods the player can't replicate.
  • Pokemon can be made from non-Pokemon materials, but once something becomes one, it is subject to Pokemon rules. Individuals can choose whichever method feels the most efficient. It's possible that Pokemon like Sandygast had initially the Undiscovered Egg group but evolved (in the Darwinian form) to have other egg groups in order to assure survival.
 
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And if Point 1 is true, mass releasing isn't bad either because those Pokemon are capable of surviving in the wild and its parents have no emotional attachment to it.
There's still the factor of what impact it could have on the ecosystem. We've seen that Pokémon is not immune to these kinds of consequences, with pollution leading to the rise of Grimer and Koffing in Kanto (and subsequent efforts to repair that pollution reportedly endangering Muk's conservation status), overhunting pushing Lapras to the bring of extinction, and the Rattata/Yungoos phenomenon in Alola along with that region's concern over invasive species in general. Galarian Corsola is a consequence of prehistoric climate change, and we know that there have also been ice ages and extinction events in the distant past. So carelessly releasing hordes of a certain species into the wild could still be problematic. (It's why I made a post somewhere else on here about how I think the legal restrictions on breeding might work according to my headcanon.)
 
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In terms of how Pokemon breeding works in-universe, I don't see any inanimate object Pokemon producing eggs whether they have genders or not. For example, it doesn't make sense for a haunted sword to just lay an egg. I fully believe that the Honedge line only have genders because of the spirit inhabiting them, not because they can (strangely) breed.
 
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IMO, breeding =/= mating. The breeding that happens at the nurseries that produces the eggs is not how pokemon in the wild reproduce. It is a chemical/magical reaction that takes place within the nurseries which is why its surprising to the breeders when they happen. Eggs found in the wild are created through the same process albeit rare. Such process is not entirely dependent on species and gender but they are factors that affect the probability of it occurring.

As for the release of bred pokemon to the wild, I imagine that they'd have no difficulty assimilating to these natural habitats but I believe there may be some interference from the PC storage system in the safe execution of this as well. Perhaps they will determine when and where would be a suitable time and place to actually release those pokemon into the wild and whether they should be released at all (in that case they may be left in the labs).
 
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