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My take on the Pokemon Timeline (lore-heavy deep-dive)

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I realize this has likely been done to death already, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about my interpretation of the canon Pokemon timeline(s). Pretty much everyone knows that Mega Evolution constituted a 'reboot' of the series - however, what nobody else seems to be talking about is exactly how deep that rabbit hole goes, and the ramifications it has for the rest of the Pokeverse.

For the first six sets of games (G1, G2, G3, G4, G5a, and G5b), the concept was simple: Alternating groups of the first four (1+3, 2+4) took place concurrently and three years apart, starting with the events of Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen and/or Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. Three years later, the events of Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, SoulSilver and/or Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum occur. About ten years after that, the events of Black and White take place, with Black 2 and White 2 happening 2 years after that according to both concept art and in-game dialogue.

This order was confirmed in a (now-deleted) tweet by Toshinobu Matsumiya, a main game developer and writer for the Pokemon series.

VtNjwxtgr5wGcm7FsVHs1D9YtQ_180nqlsntiDnkr-o4ndzEiNvkRGigEQjB_XPA4IwLhZ5hJ5obQ-EZF8NMTXntRgnn1gs5z0FqGk3Gvd6U5J2T8KS5ahQDJ3ozuAIynm2wQbBk=s0


This can actually be expanded upon when it is realized that these oddly specific dates correspond roughly with the release timeline of the earliest games in each group: Pokemon Red and Green were released in Japan on 2/27/1996, Gold and Silver on 11/21/1999, Black and White on 9/18/2010, and Black 2 and White 2 on 6/23/2012. Additionally, the reason Black and White take place after a ten-year gap is because of an oddly-speaking Rocket Grunt who appears in Gold, Silver and Crystal to steal the Machine Part from the Power Plant, reappearing in Black and White to state that he’d moved to Unova and then his wife gave birth to their child, who mentions that he is nearly old enough to start his own Pokemon journey (commonly known to occur at the age of 10). Additionally, a cameraman in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum mentions that he was there for the recent appearance of a red Gyarados in Johto - something that happened in the course of Gold, Silver and Crystal. As such, the timeline is as follows:

1996: Events in Kanto/Hoenn
1999: Events in Johto/Sinnoh
2010: Events in Unova, part 1
2012: Events in Unova, part 2 / Kalos

However, X and Y introduce a discrepancy: With the advent of Mega Evolution, why hasn’t it been present in previous games? This is implied to be the result of the firing of the Ultimate Weapon, a machine that utilized the life-force of deceased Pokemon to create a blast so powerful it could fracture time and space. The firing of this weapon 3,000 years before the events of X and Y was enough to split the timeline in half - one where Mega Evolution was created, and one where it was not. This is also confirmed by Zinnia to be the point of the split in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:

  • “My people know it. From generation to generation, we pass along the lore about the distortions in the world borne by the Mega Evolution mechanism. And about the existence of another world, which we have long observed to be just like this one and yet not the same... That's right. A Hoenn region that's almost exactly like this one we live in. Filled with Pokémon and people like us. A world where maybe the evolution of Pokémon took a slightly different path, where Mega Evolution is unknown... A world where that war 3,000 years ago...never happened. A world where the ultimate weapon was never even built.”

This essentially states that the Ultimate Weapon retroactively altered the timeline at the point of split when it created Mega Evolution - in the alternate timeline, AZ never built the Ultimate Weapon to begin with because there was no war occurring, and events proceeded as in the ‘Original’ timeline. These timelines are also observable to other timelines, and even travelable via Ultra Space.

Thus, the timeline can now be split into two - the “Original” Timeline, consisting of the list presented earlier, and the “Mega” Timeline, consisting of the Mega-Evolution-containing remakes of the appropriate games. However, temporal placement has now been altered, as revealed by an event in Alpha Sapphire. Examining a photograph in Aqua Admin Shelly’s room reveals the following:

QALW0ruaz3oLSgqOavucXE_S4qN4GRlM0Tz2q9i3m_rRSGXUWPFuaK6wPyxsms7oUR6aAsdlJR79VJWu1Khpu1yab0ceGA1ubtJ0hh-ITZIs6ds3IGCXSDIRamdd4ODu4nepMMAV=s0
k8qpSQK0ORLxsTNFxeKzVDN7cwSFNIUfd8LJr0QuqzmwygJhFLXT6RazALplbifCw4HDYpKzQql6qHNbEHwKo7hsiBWW7R37_473u7qCPaNMDRB2V-R6wOkIA8aMko3S1G6bPYAT=s0
bsuLx2Zo3r9Gh4vPM_Ngr590evvVeMKDFUt1mi78EBFPTFgdSGZSzCouFeDslbtQ_NtHsz7Bx2sTG0Wx1t9_w4N2RWlRCK32LwtIIeeTqRExPlNuYUc0lAWcnKrQCmhI21wp5fva=s0


The last bit of text, given what we know, can be deciphered as: “The 7th day of the 7th month, 2002. With Archie and Jirachi.”
Jirachi is heavily associated with the tanabata festival, a real-world Japanese event that takes place on July 7th (7/7) every year. Additionally, save for the possibility of Pokemon taking place thousands of years in the future or past, the date referenced by the note must then be July 7, 2002. Remember, on this date, Archie was a boy, not a man - meaning the events of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire must take place at least a full decade later, and possibly several. In fact, this would line up well with their release dates of 11/21/2014, 12 years after this event. If Archie was between the ages of 6 and 17 during the original festival and Jirachi’s appearance, he would then be between 18 and 29 during the events of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire - young, but possible.

And if the Weapon split the timeline in half once, it could do so again. In the following games, the exact same thing happens - the firing of the Ultimate Weapon has split the timeline into two.

In one timeline, the Sun and Moon timeline, Lusamine becomes infected by the neurotoxin of a Nihilego, resulting in her progressively becoming more attached to Ultra Beasts to the point of forcibly opening Ultra Wormholes to become reunited with her precious Nihilego. Lillie, at the end of the game, leaves for Kanto to find Bill (who, in the G1 games and their remakes, had merged and subsequently unmerged with a Nidorino via a Cell Transporter machine) in the hopes of curing her mother’s condition. While Necrozma can be secretly encountered in this game, it does not have any interaction with Solgaleo or Lunala, and as such remains in its broken form.

In another timeline, the Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon timeline, Lusamine was never attacked by a Nihilego and thus never developed an infatuation with them. Instead, she opens the Ultra Wormholes to confront Necrozma directly, only to fail and have the player succeed in her place. By the end of the game, Lusamine is in reasonable health, and as such Lillie has no impetus to leave Alola in search of aid. Necrozma absorbs the light of Solgaleo or Lunala and eventually transforms into Ultra Necrozma, and is then defeated by the player.

Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon are not necessarily a departure from the Pokemon game formula in this sense - prior to Black and White, the games were well-known for releasing a third, ‘improved’ version of the stories they told (examples being Yellow, Crystal, Emerald and Platinum). However, they are unusual in the sense that the ‘remakes’ are also a pair, and aren’t sequels like Black 2 and White 2 - and, for all intents and purposes, that they result in completely different ‘official’ game endings, where former remakes simply included new postgame content (with the exception of Platinum). What this actually means is, at this time, uncertain, but it is weak evidence that this is a proper timeline split rather than just re-releases of the same story. Additionally, both sets of games mention that Porygon was created 20 years prior, which dates it to approximately 1996 - the same as its creation in G1 games, even if the Mega Timeline Kanto games take place significantly later. Lastly, Trainer Red's shirt in the Alolan Battle Tree has a logographic which can be interpreted as "96" - the year he became Champion of Kanto.

Importantly, the two new timelines are both able to interact with prior timelines, moreso than the Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire timelines were able to observe them. Anabel, the head of the Battle Tower (a feature only constructed in Emerald), is present and openly acknowledges that she is from an alternate universe. Mohn, who appears in all four games managing the Poke Pelago, is another Faller (the diagetic term for those who have passed through Ultra Space and ended up in a different universe than the one they began in). This, combined with Zinnia’s comment about the ‘distortions’ caused by the Mega Timeline’s existence, appear to suggest a continual weakening of the boundaries between universes - with each use of the weapon, the universes created are more able to overlap with others and each other. Moreover, there appear to be multiple Necrozma running around.

With the event of the Let’s Go! remakes of Yellow, however, the boundaries are proven to be further deteriorated than once thought, as now not only are courses of events altered, but also their temporal locations: Red and Blue finished their journeys years before Team Rocket attempted their plans in Kanto. Additionally, these games are confirmed to take place in the Mega Timeline:

LWS-hZOqV2gJMiodQl6GcLCw2zH_IPbj_fp8zg4ONAMArmSgOYTg3usT0Erc48p5erp2JAg8_nfqTOzWF54OSKzsE_kbx2CVIAP5NzsaOmM_jk8lJW6IG-t3p-YzX-n2Kdq1ReJq=s0


This is similar to what happened with Archie in Alpha Sapphire, as a Bug Catcher NPC notes that 10 years prior to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon Centers in Hoenn featured a second floor with a Cable Link Club, exactly as their appearance in the original Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald (the latter of which was released in 2004, 10 years before the 2014 release of OR/AS) - once again, temporal placement of events has been altered, though not as overtly. Additionally, both the Fairy type (something newly categorized as of X/Y) and Mega Evolution (known, but rarely researched outside of Kalos) are known to the Kanto and Hoenn regions, implying both word and possibly resources (such as Mega Stones) have spread.

Additionally, this placement of the games in the timeline completely solves a long-standing discrepancy of the original timeline theory: If Red and Blue have aged significantly by the events of Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (being present as adults in the Battle Tree in Alola), why hasn’t Wally, who looks identical to his appearance in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire? The answer, quite simply, is that Wally hasn’t visibly aged because it’s only been a few years for him, whereas Red and Blue ‘finished their journey(s) years ago’ in the Mega Timeline’s version of the Kanto events. Therefore, there is strong evidence that this altered placement in the Mega Timeline is accurate.

However, a problem with this placement of OR/AS after X/Y arises in the form of the peculiar NPC known as Mr. Bonding. Mr. Bonding shows up in the X/Y series to grant the player character O-Powers, bonus abilities which aid them with various tasks such as catching or battling. However, Mr. Bonding did not always have the powers he possesses in X and Y, and is, in fact, given them by actions undertaken during the course of Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire - five gentlemen bestow their O-Power-granting abilities upon a random stranger, turning him into Mr. Bonding and causing him to leave and spread O-Powers far and wide (presumably starting with Kalos, given that he bids the player adieu at the end of his cutscene before leaving). Thus, OR/AS (or at least a section thereof) must take place before X/Y.

Unfortunately, this introduces another discrepancy, in that Wally would have aged more significantly by the time of S/M/US/UM if OR/AS took place more than two years in the past, and should show this visibly. It is possible, at the very least, that OR/AS is somewhat concurrent to X/Y, and as such four years passes between Wally’s appearance in OR/AS and his appearance in S/M/US/UM, making him fourteen to fifteen years old. The height difference between a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old native to Kyushu, Japan in 2013 was an average of 27 cm or 11 inches, meaning Wally should have been roughly 120% his former size - a substantial change, but perhaps within the margin of error for the cartoonish Pokemon look. Incidentally, the height difference between a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old native to Kyushu, Japan is 14 cm or 5.5 inches, an almost indistinguishable 110% height change. Wally’s lack of physical aging may be explained by whatever ailment makes him so frail, as stunting (low height or weight for a given age) is commonly associated with poor outcomes in child pneumonia. Additionally, a scientist at Devon in OR/AS mentions he is working on a project to visualize Pokemon dreams, and that a rival of his (Dr. Fennel) is working on the same thing in Unova - something she has officially completed by Black 2/White 2 (and likely completed as early as Black/White), meaning OR/AS could theoretically take place in 2010 (however, this is not likely due to the other presented evidence).

This leaves Kanto’s place in the Mega Timeline uncertain, as where before it was concurrent to Hoenn, now Hoenn is concurrent to Kalos. Mega Evolution is a distant, yet known concept to Kanto, and is used by both the player character and their rival during the latter half of the game, similar to its use in the Hoenn remakes. Without anything else to go off of, Kanto would then be placed roughly concurrent to Hoenn once again, meaning Kalos, Hoenn and Kanto all take place approximately concurrently. We can conclusively say that the Let’s Go events take place before Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, as the Geothermal Power Plant in Alola makes reference to a Zapdos appearing in the Kanto Power Plant - additionally, the reference to the loss of a Machine Part in the Johto games means the Mega Johto games (if they ever exist) would take place before Alola events as well. Additionally, Kanto is well-known enough to Alola that several places have been (approximately) reconstructed for tourism - a traditional Gym modeled after Vermilion’s, Malie Garden after Nugget Bridge, etc. Furthermore, Sabrina (upon rematch at her Saffron City Gym) mentions that she won’t face another challenger like the player for another three years (referring to the 3-year time gap between the original Kanto and Johto games), meaning at least three years must separate the Let’s Go! Games and Alola games if they reference the events of Johto games in the Mega Timeline.

Thus, the Mega Timeline can be constructed roughly as follows:

2012: Events of Hoenn/Kalos/Kanto
2015?: Events of Johto/Sinnoh?
2016: Events of Alola (with or without Necrozma)

The events of Sword and Shield leave their placement in the time web inconclusive - there are no Mega Pokemon or references thereof, but the existence of Dynamax and Gigantamax raises a similar question to that of Mega Evolution - why was it never referenced in other regions, if it was known? As such, pending further evaluation, they are left unsorted. If they take place in the Original Timeline, this would indicate the existence of Fairy-types has also been discovered in that timeline. If in either of the Mega Timelines, they would indicate that Galar as a region is relatively isolated from the others in terms of Pokemon Dynamaxing versus Mega Evolving.

However, references to the events of the Alolan games exist in the Crown Tundra DLC, indicating that this instance of Galar is familiar with Ultra Beasts and Professor Mohn’s research on them. By transitive property, this should by rights place Galar in the Mega Timeline(s), similar to Sun/Moon/Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, but it may be that this is yet another version of Alola that also experienced similar events with Ultra Beasts. Notably, Necrozma is not obtainable in its Ultra form in Max Raids, indicating a stronger link to Sun and Moon than their Ultra remakes.

In conclusion, we have the following time tree (I couldn't figure out how to merge columns in this editor...) :

YEARCLASSIC TIMELINE (NO MEGAS)MEGA TIMELINE 1MEGA TIMELINE 2
1996Red/Green/Blue/Yellow/FireRed/LeafGreen, Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald
1999Gold/Silver/Crystal/HeartGold/SoulSilver, Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
2010Black/White
2012Black 2/White 2, X/Y*X/Y**, Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, Let's Go! Pikachu/Let's Go! Eevee**-> Ultimate Weapon = timeline splits again
2016Sun/MoonUltra Sun/Ultra Moon
2019Sword/Shield?
*Assumed to be a version of events without Mega Evolution? Unclear, as this would presumably leave the Ultimate Weapon inoperable.

Lastly, we of course turn to the most recent entries in the core series. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have thus far shown no direct indication that they will be featuring Mega Evolutions, Gigantamaxed Pokemon, or any other notable series gimmick, but would be solid candidates for the Mega version of Sinnoh events (which would thus roughly place them as occurring in 2015). Legends: Arceus, on the other hand, shows clear signs of taking place during the Edo or Meiji periods, between 1603 and 1912. However, given neither game has been released, these placements are largely tentative.

What do you think? It's got a bit of a Zelda-timeline vibe to it, but I want to know if there's any evidence disproving or challenging any of the assertions I've made.
 

nickdt

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My take on the timeline is that we have four different timelines, with a fifth and sixth being hinted at, but are also the timelines we will never visit
OG timeline: R/B, G/S, R/S, D/P, BW, XY, SM, SWSH
Third installment timeline: Y, C, E, P, BW2, USUM
Remake timeline: FR/LF, HG/SS, ORAS, BDSP
Lets Go timeline: LGPE

Then the fifth timeline that was hinted via Zinnia in ORAS
The sixth timeline is hinted with Rainbow Rocket and is the timeline where the evil teams won.

But the biggest problem is that you basically cannot make different timelines, due to circumstances (Like Mina appearing in LGPE puts LGPE on the SM/USUM timeline and there are more examples, whereas ORAS needs to be on the same timeline as XY, due to Looker, but also because you create Mr. Bonding in ORAS, who also appears in XY).
 

Silktree

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The classic timeline involves the GB and GBC only. If you go with the remakes, then your table makes sense as per Matsumiya. The deviation between these particular timeline has nothing to do with the Ultimate Weapon. I'd say that abilities are a bigger deal than Mega Evolution.

LGPE can't be placed in the same timeline as any of the Alola games simply because Alola Red looks like an older version of FRLG Red, rather than the original Red design also featured in LGPE. Besides, you'd think that Chase/Elaine would get more fame than Red in the LGPE timeline.
 

nickdt

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The classic timeline involves the GB and GBC only. If you go with the remakes, then your table makes sense as per Matsumiya. The deviation between these particular timeline has nothing to do with the Ultimate Weapon. I'd say that abilities are a bigger deal than Mega Evolution.

LGPE can't be placed in the same timeline as any of the Alola games simply because Alola Red looks like an older version of FRLG Red, rather than the original Red design also featured in LGPE. Besides, you'd think that Chase/Elaine would get more fame than Red in the LGPE timeline.

I mean, if you take into consideration game mechanics, every generation is on its one timeline
Timeline 1 (R/B/Y)
Timeline 2: G/S/C (Introduced the Day/Night cycle and Shiny Pokemon)
Timeline 3: R/S/E (Introduced Abilities)
Timeline 4: D/P/P (Introduced the Physical/Special split)
Timeline 5: BW (Introduced seasons, which haven't been in any other game since).
Timeline 6: XY (Introduced Mega Evolution)
Timeline 7: SM (Introduced Z-Moves)
Timeline 8: SWSH (Introduced Dynamax/Gigamax).
 

PikachuPulverizer

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This is my basic timeline, this will change once BDSP and Legends rolls around. It's pretty similar to element's.
Also for X and Y, choose which one you'd like to keep for each timeline because it matters
Main Timeline: This timeline is in order of events. Keep in mind Ruby and Sapphire and Diamond and Pearl may be switched later, but for now it remains like this. In this timeline, the Ultimate Weapon fails as usual.
Red/Blue->Gold/Silver->Ruby/Sapphire->Diamond/Pearl->Black/White->X or Y-> B2/W2 -> Sun and Moon-> Sword and Shield
Timeline B: In this timeline Mega Evolution stones were spread over the world due to the Ultimate Weapon which will fail as usual. In this timeline, FR and LG take place at the same time as Red and Blue, however X or Y take place after this.
FR/LG->HG/SS-> X or Y-> US/UM -> LGPE-> OR or AS -> BDSP(Unconfirmed for now)?
Timeline 3: Small Anime tie in. In ORAS, Steven Stone makes reference to battling with a trainer with a Black Charizard. In the Mega Specials, he battles Alain and his Mega Charizard X. I don't think this is it and maybe Steven was with a trainer with a Shiny Charizard, but I think it fits well in the timeline.

OR or AS-> SM demo(Satoshi Gekkouga in it)
It can also be possible that Steven Stone may have lost champion and then come to Kalos for Team Flare in the anime although it is unlikely. So that's my take on the timeline
 

nickdt

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This is my basic timeline, this will change once BDSP and Legends rolls around. It's pretty similar to element's.
Also for X and Y, choose which one you'd like to keep for each timeline because it matters
Main Timeline: This timeline is in order of events. Keep in mind Ruby and Sapphire and Diamond and Pearl may be switched later, but for now it remains like this. In this timeline, the Ultimate Weapon fails as usual.
Red/Blue->Gold/Silver->Ruby/Sapphire->Diamond/Pearl->Black/White->X or Y-> B2/W2 -> Sun and Moon-> Sword and Shield
Timeline B: In this timeline Mega Evolution stones were spread over the world due to the Ultimate Weapon which will fail as usual. In this timeline, FR and LG take place at the same time as Red and Blue, however X or Y take place after this.
FR/LG->HG/SS-> X or Y-> US/UM -> LGPE-> OR or AS -> BDSP(Unconfirmed for now)?
Timeline 3: Small Anime tie in. In ORAS, Steven Stone makes reference to battling with a trainer with a Black Charizard. In the Mega Specials, he battles Alain and his Mega Charizard X. I don't think this is it and maybe Steven was with a trainer with a Shiny Charizard, but I think it fits well in the timeline.

OR or AS-> SM demo(Satoshi Gekkouga in it)
It can also be possible that Steven Stone may have lost champion and then come to Kalos for Team Flare in the anime although it is unlikely. So that's my take on the timeline

You do realize ORAS is set before XY, due to the player creating Mr. Bonding post-game and Looker also is a recent faller in ORAS (As opposed to XY, where he has been a faller for far longer).

LGPE also is before USUM, due to young Mina and younger Red and Blue appearing in those games.
 

Silktree

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I mean, if you take into consideration game mechanics, every generation is on its one timeline
Timeline 1 (R/B/Y)
Timeline 2: G/S/C (Introduced the Day/Night cycle and Shiny Pokemon)
Timeline 3: R/S/E (Introduced Abilities)
Timeline 4: D/P/P (Introduced the Physical/Special split)
Timeline 5: BW (Introduced seasons, which haven't been in any other game since).
Timeline 6: XY (Introduced Mega Evolution)
Timeline 7: SM (Introduced Z-Moves)
Timeline 8: SWSH (Introduced Dynamax/Gigamax).
Gold and Silver addressed the discovery of Steel types (Dark didn't involve a retcon), breeding and the trend of held items. No one seriously thought that Kanto was frozen in time in RGBY (or FRLG/LGPE for that matter), and shiny Pokemon were meant to be extremely rare. So no, GSC flow from RGBY much better than any pair of subsequent generations (except for maybe Platinum and BW, since once again seasons were just a game manifestation of what we'd always assumed about the Pokemon world).

Actually, it seems that RS were intended to take place after GSC:

Bill's letter to Lanette said:
Your Storage System offers more convenience than mine. It has a lot of user-friendly features that make it fun and useful, too. It makes me proud that I played a part in its development. Here's hoping that you'll continue research in Storage Systems.

Emerald fixed this so that Bill regarded Lanette as a co-developer of the system found in all GBA games, meaning that they worked on it together and there was no older version (anyone with access to Emerald is welcome to check this). HGSS also had him say something similar to the Emerald text, but I am not sure about ORAS (I guess they used the RS version, which would be consistent with the references to an older Hoenn). ORAS retconned XY in much the same way as FRLG did to RS, except only the latter got a third version to prove it. XY were originally meant to be in the same timeline as the GBA/DS games.
 
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takoyaki

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This is so cool!!!
You make a great point. I don't have anything much to say other than nice work!

I'm pretty sure that Legends: Arceus is set in Meiji Japan, not feudal. Even though many people are saying it's in feudal Japan.
If Hisui had a feudal system in place, there would be a shogunate heading the Hisui region, and there hasn't been any info on that plotline.
And I feel like it'd be a bit of a big story part, especially if shogun could be something like a champion/antagonist.
 

Silktree

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I'm pretty sure that Legends: Arceus is set in Meiji Japan, not feudal. Even though many people are saying it's in feudal Japan.
If Hisui had a feudal system in place, there would be a shogunate heading the Hisui region, and there hasn't been any info on that plotline.
And I feel like it'd be a bit of a big story part, especially if shogun could be something like a champion/antagonist.
Not to mention that Prof. Laventon and the Team Galaxy headquarters absolutely don't fit feudal Japan.

Hisui doesn't have much in the way of human population. We have Jubilife Village and the Dialga/Palkia tribes who live in random tents.
 

Esserise

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But the biggest problem is that you basically cannot make different timelines, due to circumstances (Like Mina appearing in LGPE puts LGPE on the SM/USUM timeline and there are more examples, whereas ORAS needs to be on the same timeline as XY, due to Looker, but also because you create Mr. Bonding in ORAS, who also appears in XY).

LGPE are pretty clearly off in their own little bubble. Mina showing up doesn't necessarily mean anything, because most timelines probably have their own version of her, same as how the timeline with Ruby has its own Maxie, while the Omega Ruby timeline has another, and the Rainbow Rocket Bad Ending timelines would all have their own as well.

That said, trying to integrate her poses other issues anyway. Her concept art refers to her as being in the 13-15 age range, but in the Alola games, she has to be somewhere between the ages of 11 (that being the age where children are allowed to take on the island challenge) and 19 (as 20 is the age at which Trial Captains are required to give up their post). Obviously she's not younger in SM/USUM than she is in LGPE, so that narrows her Alola game age range even further down to 16-19. So if one were to assume that LGPE takes place in the same timeline as any of the Alola games, then that would cause a pretty big problem, because even with the most generous assumptions of her being 13 in LGPE and 19 in SM/USUM, that would still mean that only 6 years pass between those two stories. The timeline would end up looking like:

Year ?: Red and Blue go on their journeys, but according to LGPE, this doesn't involve the Pokédex or Team Rocket or anything like that because that's all handled by Chase/Elaine in this timeline.
Year 1: LGPE take place, Mina is 13
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4: Johto and Sinnoh narratives take place
Year 5
Year 6
Year 7: Alola's narrative takes place, Mina is 19

That leaves only 2 years in which the Unova and Kalos stories can happen, which isn't very plausible because of Caitlin's obvious growth (she was 14 in Platinum), as well as the "Bye-bye a go-go" Team Rocket grunt having settled down and had a son who is old enough to run around and speak full sentences. Plus, you need at least 2 years to pass between BW and B2W2 anyway, and then more time to pass for Grimsley and Colress to get to where they are in SM/USUM.
 

Esserise

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These days I don't really worry too much about breaking things up into discrete "timelines" like a Classic timeline or a Mega timeline, because it seems to me that at this point, Pokémon is just using a many-worlds interpretation-style multiverse. There's infinite realities reflecting infinite possibilities. The games that we play merely present a general roadmap of what some archetypal events in many of those realities look like. So, a trend across numerous universes is there's usually a kid who steps up to stop Team Rocket in the Kanto region. Sometimes there isn't such a child, which is a permutation that can lead to RR Giovanni. But when there is a child, it's usually Red. Sometimes it's Leaf. Sometimes, Team Rocket take longer to rise to prominence, in which case the task falls upon Chase or Elaine instead. Hell, maybe in a different reality, it's some kid from Vermilion City instead of Pallet Town, and that's just not depicted in any game we can actually play. On a wider scale, some of these universes have Mega Evolution. Some don't. In one reality, the existence of Mega Evolution allowed the Draconids to peer into another universe where Mega Evolution was never discovered. That reality probably looks pretty similar to Ruby or Sapphire. While in a totally different universe, a technologically advanced Hau'oli City gets destroyed by an energy farming disaster and becomes an abandoned wasteland populated by Guzzlord. I'll bet there's also a universe out there where the Ultra Megloptians didn't fuck up and try to drain Necrozma's energy, and so they're probably still chilling in peace with the big space dragon.

Within that framework, all that really matters is the overarching chronology, which we know pretty well:
  • Legends: Arceus takes place in what seems to be the equivalent of the Meiji era
  • Fast-forward to the "modern" day for the stories of Kanto / Hoenn (Though I have to nitpick this one a bit, because Hoenn's events should be offset from Kanto's by at least a little, since Team Aqua/Magma have their hands on a Master Ball, whereas it was only in the prototype stage when Team Rocket invaded Silph Co., so maybe like a year or two later? As long as the Hoenn story still happens before the Johto story can occur.)
  • 3 years pass, then the events of Johto / Sinnoh happen
  • An unspecified number of years (though probably at least 4 or 5) pass, then the events of BW take place
  • 2 years pass, leading to the B2W2 / Kalos events
  • 2 more years pass, taking us up to Alola
  • Another unspecified period of time passes (long enough at least for Macro Cosmos to create their own Type: Null duplicate), and then the Galar story takes place
Lately I've been rather keen on the idea that the Alola story really could be set 20 years after the Kanto story. Porygon's Dex entries in the Alola games sort of suggest that, saying that it was created "roughly 20 years ago." Technically you could argue that this doesn't mean anything, because Porygon could have been created any number of years prior to the events of Red's journey, but personally, when looking back at the world of Red & Blue, I feel like it makes a little more sense for Porygon to be a relatively recent creation. Not literally brand-new, since Team Rocket are selling them at the Game Corner so obviously there's been some time for the black market to start making their own Porygon, but also not something that's been around for more than maybe 5 years.

On the other hand, however, I don't look at Red in SM and think "That's a 31-year-old." He looks more early-to-mid 20s to me. Plus, a potential gap of 12 years between Johto / Sinnoh and BW feels maybe a bit extreme. So somewhere in there, I think, is a happy middleground.
 

Glitchipedia

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I feel like Pokémon is one of those things where you can't take every detail of every game at face value. You have to take elements of all of them in broad strokes to construct anything resembling a cohesive timeline.

Character design discrepancies are particularly useless pieces of information. For anyone who appears not to age, assume they're just being kept recognizable. For anyone who ages too much or too little, assume writers cannot do math.
 
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I feel like Pokémon is one of those things where you can't take every detail of every game at face value. You have to take elements of all of them in broad strokes to construct anything resembling a cohesive timeline.

Character design discrepancies are particularly useless pieces of information. For anyone who appears not to age, assume they're just being kept recognizable. For anyone who ages too much or too little, assume writers cannot do math.

And ordinarily I'd believe you, except Red/Blue having visibly aged and Wally having not visibly aged at all take place in the same game - why is Wally being 'kept recognizable' but Red and Blue (arguably more beloved characters) aren't? I know the Pokemon devs can appear inconsistent at times, but I also know they're actually incredibly good with small details like this (as otherwise the timeline references between games wouldn't even exist) and this kind of discrepancy wouldn't have escaped their notice. (There's also evidence that the Let's Go! games were intended to be released on the Wii or Wii U before being redeveloped for the Switch, indicating they may have come out early enough for the lore piece that Red wasn't the protagonist in the Mega Timeline and 'finished his journey years ago' to have been developed much earlier).

(Incidentally, they absolutely can do math. Judging by Regice's Pokedex entries, they also know some pretty obscure physics since they're making references to the ice-XI phase transformation, and their attention to biology needs not be said.)

The many-worlds style multiverse is absolutely true - Red is different than Green, Gold is different than Silver, and Ruby is different than Sapphire. However, they share enough common similarities in their courses of events that a 'timeline,' so to speak, can be constructed from those of them that are essentially interchangeable, and that's what's being presented here.

LGPE are pretty clearly off in their own little bubble. Mina showing up doesn't necessarily mean anything, because most timelines probably have their own version of her, same as how the timeline with Ruby has its own Maxie, while the Omega Ruby timeline has another, and the Rainbow Rocket Bad Ending timelines would all have their own as well.

That said, trying to integrate her poses other issues anyway. Her concept art refers to her as being in the 13-15 age range, but in the Alola games, she has to be somewhere between the ages of 11 (that being the age where children are allowed to take on the island challenge) and 19 (as 20 is the age at which Trial Captains are required to give up their post). Obviously she's not younger in SM/USUM than she is in LGPE, so that narrows her Alola game age range even further down to 16-19. So if one were to assume that LGPE takes place in the same timeline as any of the Alola games, then that would cause a pretty big problem, because even with the most generous assumptions of her being 13 in LGPE and 19 in SM/USUM, that would still mean that only 6 years pass between those two stories. The timeline would end up looking like:

Year ?: Red and Blue go on their journeys, but according to LGPE, this doesn't involve the Pokédex or Team Rocket or anything like that because that's all handled by Chase/Elaine in this timeline.
Year 1: LGPE take place, Mina is 13
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4: Johto and Sinnoh narratives take place
Year 5
Year 6
Year 7: Alola's narrative takes place, Mina is 19

That leaves only 2 years in which the Unova and Kalos stories can happen, which isn't very plausible because of Caitlin's obvious growth (she was 14 in Platinum), as well as the "Bye-bye a go-go" Team Rocket grunt having settled down and had a son who is old enough to run around and speak full sentences. Plus, you need at least 2 years to pass between BW and B2W2 anyway, and then more time to pass for Grimsley and Colress to get to where they are in SM/USUM.
I think you're absolutely right about Mina, but keep in mind that the Mega Timeline moves stuff around - Red's journey gets shifted years before Team Rocket's takeover, Brendan/May start their journey 10 years later than normal (multiple references by NPCs to stuff present in the original R/S/E being around 'ten years ago' and etc. as well as Archie being a kid in the year 2002). We haven't seen any Mega Timeline games from Unova or Johto/Sinnoh, meaning if these games were to be released, they might also get temporally shifted. It could be said that until a Mega-Timeline game from a given region is released, their spot in the timeline doesn't change, and thus Grimmsley and Colress have had plenty of time (B2/W2 being concurrent to X/Y as according to the original tweet). This wouldn't be true for Johto, though, since LG!P and LG!E have to take place less than 9 years before S/M/US/UM and any presumed Mega Johto games would have to take place 3 years later than the Kanto remakes. I think if we ever got a full Mega Timeline, it might then look something like this:

T = -? years: Red and Blue have their journeys.
T = 0 years: Events of Mega Black / Mega White. Grimmsley appears.
T = 2 years: Events of Mega Black 2 / Mega White 2, X/Y, Let's Go! Pikachu/Let's Go! Eevee, Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. Colress appears, Wally is 10, Mina is 13-15, and Red finished his journey 'years ago.' Sabrina predicts she'll have another decent challenge in 3 years.
T = 5 years: Events of Mega Gold, Mega Silver. Sabrina gets destroyed again by Mega Ethan/Mega Lyra. Possibly also events of Mega (Brilliant?) Diamond and Mega (Shining?) Pearl.
T = (5-9) years: Events of Sun/Moon/Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon. Mina is 17-20, Colress and Grimmsley appear again, Red is now an adult (aged 3-7 years since last appearance) but Wally is still a kid (same).

This is so cool!!!
You make a great point. I don't have anything much to say other than nice work!

I'm pretty sure that Legends: Arceus is set in Meiji Japan, not feudal. Even though many people are saying it's in feudal Japan.
If Hisui had a feudal system in place, there would be a shogunate heading the Hisui region, and there hasn't been any info on that plotline.
And I feel like it'd be a bit of a big story part, especially if shogun could be something like a champion/antagonist.
I could've sworn the first mention of that was in or near the first trailer - but they might have been wrong or at least misleading about that. It's also worth mentioning the Meiji Restoration took place surprisingly late compared to European feudal periods, starting in 1868 and continuing into the Meiji Era which ended in 1912. 1868 seems a pretty reasonable time frame to me, even if the Tokugawa shogunate are nowhere to be found... but keep in mind that the Edo Period began colonization into Hokkaido by opening a settlement on the island's southern tip around the 1450's before eventually starting and winning a war against the indigenous Ainu peoples - not quite the same as Jubilife Village being the first human settlement in Hisui, but close enough. (Plus, they don't appear to have revealed any villains yet, except possibly Arceus itself if it's responsible for the 'red-eyed' Pokemon as implied by the blasts coming down Coronet?)
 

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These days I don't really worry too much about breaking things up into discrete "timelines" like a Classic timeline or a Mega timeline, because it seems to me that at this point, Pokémon is just using a many-worlds interpretation-style multiverse. There's infinite realities reflecting infinite possibilities. The games that we play merely present a general roadmap of what some archetypal events in many of those realities look like. So, a trend across numerous universes is there's usually a kid who steps up to stop Team Rocket in the Kanto region. Sometimes there isn't such a child, which is a permutation that can lead to RR Giovanni. But when there is a child, it's usually Red. Sometimes it's Leaf. Sometimes, Team Rocket take longer to rise to prominence, in which case the task falls upon Chase or Elaine instead. Hell, maybe in a different reality, it's some kid from Vermilion City instead of Pallet Town, and that's just not depicted in any game we can actually play. On a wider scale, some of these universes have Mega Evolution. Some don't. In one reality, the existence of Mega Evolution allowed the Draconids to peer into another universe where Mega Evolution was never discovered. That reality probably looks pretty similar to Ruby or Sapphire. While in a totally different universe, a technologically advanced Hau'oli City gets destroyed by an energy farming disaster and becomes an abandoned wasteland populated by Guzzlord. I'll bet there's also a universe out there where the Ultra Megloptians didn't fuck up and try to drain Necrozma's energy, and so they're probably still chilling in peace with the big space dragon.

Within that framework, all that really matters is the overarching chronology, which we know pretty well:
  • Legends: Arceus takes place in what seems to be the equivalent of the Meiji era
  • Fast-forward to the "modern" day for the stories of Kanto / Hoenn (Though I have to nitpick this one a bit, because Hoenn's events should be offset from Kanto's by at least a little, since Team Aqua/Magma have their hands on a Master Ball, whereas it was only in the prototype stage when Team Rocket invaded Silph Co., so maybe like a year or two later? As long as the Hoenn story still happens before the Johto story can occur.)
  • 3 years pass, then the events of Johto / Sinnoh happen
  • An unspecified number of years (though probably at least 4 or 5) pass, then the events of BW take place
  • 2 years pass, leading to the B2W2 / Kalos events
  • 2 more years pass, taking us up to Alola
  • Another unspecified period of time passes (long enough at least for Macro Cosmos to create their own Type: Null duplicate), and then the Galar story takes place
Lately I've been rather keen on the idea that the Alola story really could be set 20 years after the Kanto story. Porygon's Dex entries in the Alola games sort of suggest that, saying that it was created "roughly 20 years ago." Technically you could argue that this doesn't mean anything, because Porygon could have been created any number of years prior to the events of Red's journey, but personally, when looking back at the world of Red & Blue, I feel like it makes a little more sense for Porygon to be a relatively recent creation. Not literally brand-new, since Team Rocket are selling them at the Game Corner so obviously there's been some time for the black market to start making their own Porygon, but also not something that's been around for more than maybe 5 years.

On the other hand, however, I don't look at Red in SM and think "That's a 31-year-old." He looks more early-to-mid 20s to me. Plus, a potential gap of 12 years between Johto / Sinnoh and BW feels maybe a bit extreme. So somewhere in there, I think, is a happy middleground.
I agree with most if not all of this.

But I also like to map it out in minute detail, for fun:

Red->Gold
Green->Silver
Blue->Crystal
Yellow

Ruby/Fire->Diamond/Heart
Sapphire/Leaf->Pearl/Soul
Emerald/Fire->Platinum/Heart->Black->Black2
Emerald/Leaf->Platinum/Soul->White->White2

Omega->X->Sun->Sword
Alpha->Y->Moon->Shield
Omega->X->UltraSun
Alpha->Y->UltraMoon

Pikachu
Eevee

Red: Failed
Green: Failed
Ruby: Failed
Sapphire: Failed
Black: Failed
White: Failed
X: Failed
Y: Failed

Failed games most likely represent a save file that was left incomplete, forgotten by a player, and thus the villains won unopposed.

The Anabel of Emerald/Fire jumps to the timeline of Sun, the Anabel of Emerald/Leaf jumps to the timeline of Moon. The Anabels of the Ultra games might be indigenous to those timelines? The Lookers of OR and AS likely come from B2 and W2 respectively, but are probably also separate from the Lookers that appear further along in those timelines-- the Lookers of Sun and Moon don't appear to be fallers like the Anabels are (or the Lookers that are paired with the Anabels are fallers and there's some subtext that I'm missing, that it's assumed the ultra beasts are only after Anabel when they are actually after the both of them).

BW can only come from Platinum because Cynthia specifically references the events of Platinum.

I'm iffy on Heart/Soul being attached to Platinum and almost left them off those branches, because the Kyogre/Groudon that appear in Heart/Soul are implied to be from the worlds of Ruby/Sapphire respectively, and thus not from an Emerald branch (where both legendaries are caught by the player).

I have of course spent an afternoon or two mapping out every possible variation (Green->Gold, Blue->Gold, Yellow->Gold, Red->Silver, etc), and wound up with like seventy timelines, but I like to keep the rarity per universe consistent (i.e., Sandshrew are more common in every Type 2 (Green, Silver, etc) universe and more rare in every Type 1 (Red, Gold, etc) universe, as opposed to just more common or rare in certain regions depending on the universe).

I've also considered the possibility that the universe breakdown is loosely by system-- Gameboy, GBA/DS, 3DS, and Switch-- Let's Go would then have started a new universe (er, set of universes) that contains LGPE, SwSh, BDSP, Arceus, and nothing else.

A recent Twitter discussion turned me on to the idea that the Unova games might actually be in the Mega Timelines-- certainly not the original intention, but A. wasn't the original intention for XY either, the idea was made in ORAS to justify them being separate from RSE, B. actually pretty consistent with Colress's throughline, C. BW were originally sort of a soft reboot anyway so it's in keeping with that spirit and D. we can then reason that Arceus's Sinjoh ruins cutscene was it spawning the Mega universes (Black/X/Omega/Sun coming from Arceus in Heart and White/Y/Alpha/Moon coming from Soul).

This version would then have the second universe(s) (containing the GBA and first DS games) end with the Sinnoh/Johto events and the third universe(s) would look something like:

Omega->Black->X/Black2->Sun->Sword
Alpha ->White->Y/White2->Moon->Shield

which is actually pretty consistent as it allows for both the Aqua/Magma couple to have their throughline still and for the Royal Unova setup in ORAS to have a payoff, and still leaves room for BDSP.

I've also tried to fit LGPE in, but it gets tricky-- while it kind of works in that we can reason that Red traded his Arcanine and Machamp to his rival to pick up Charizard and later acquired a Blastoise somehow, Red and his rival refer to themselves as former champions in SuMo and they kind of aren't champions in LGPE.

Anyway, like I said, I agree with the broad strokes approach above (or even the "every cartridge is its own universe" approach in which the Red you fight in Gold isn't the Red of your old copy of Red version but a new Red specific to that Gold universe who merely went on a similar journey to what the player goes through in Red version), but thinking about this stuff is fun for me-- I used to be really deep into Zelda timeline theorizing as a teen, and I like to look at this stuff from all angles and try a bunch of different versions to see which feels best.
 

Fairy Type Arceus

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A few timelines are missing. For now it goes without saying but each save file is its own timeline, each copy of the game is effectively canon. Also you missed faller looker from or as. If looker is not in BDSP to me that means that looker is the one who became a faller. Will have to wait to see.

Also you forgot to consider the non mega versions of Kalos and Alola, the events of those games likely take place in the non mega timeline, but we'll never see them of course. Not much changes for Alola but Kalos would be pretty different, but at the end of the day Lysandre gets beaten and Calum/serena become champion.

Or as takes place at the same time as the original Ruby and sapphire, theres too many references to black and white happening years from them to not be. The royal unova being set to be complete in ___years, the battle chaplains not having yet moved to kalos (which take place the same year as bw2), the guy competing with fennel. To me there are some events we should separate as noncanon if they are a game mechanic thats not story involved. Wally and cynthia do not appear outside of the battle tree ever, even red and blue do, even if its just outside of it. Wally and cynthias appearances in USUM are non canon, as well as all those dynamax adventures legendary Pokemon.

And one last big set of timelines you forgot. The villains win timelines. In episode RR its implied no hero stepped forth and each villain destroyed the world in their own timeline, Archie says he beat Maxie, Maxie says he beat Archie they each came from a timeline where they won. We can assume if Ghetis was able to take control then the villains before him must have failed, or there would be no world for him to control. Same with lysandre and Cyrus. Curiously there is no mega timeline version of the villains winning for or as maxie and archie, I guess we can assume that in the timeline where they activated primal reversion with no hero to stop it they die pretty quickly so they lose no matter what.

Also curious is the case of Giovanni. The rainbow rocket Giovanni must come from the mega timeline version where he won (lets go pikavee gone wrong) and that Giovanni could never win in the non mega timeline version of events. Giovanni does reform to an extent in our normal timeline, seeing as he competes in public at the PWT.

Funny enough team Rainbow Rocket know of team skull so they exist no matter what but don't do much. I assume they must have traveled from their version of Alola, probably having taken control of the region and maybe fought team skull.

Honestly I wouldn't put to much stock in porygons dex entry either or in remakes referencing the year the original game came out. They are easter eggs not hard timeline years, otherwise we need another timeline to explain why Theres a Wii in johto when there should be a n64, or why Theres a switch in bdsp when there should be a wii. Does that mean bdsp takes place the same year as USUM, lets go, and SWSH? No its just there as a cheeky reference.

And lets forgot years even more because the franchise can't keep that consistent either Dreyden says pokeballs didn't exist when he was a kid. So unless legends Arceus takes place 40 years ago he's lying because they did. I know its a different region but he at age 60 should know if they were even around at all, or specified Unova. Thats not even the only hole, since Kurt says he was the first to make pokeballs out of Apricorns...well that was a lie.

Watch porygon appear in legends as well. Would be cool if it had like a paper origami Hisuian form though.
 

takoyaki

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otherwise we need another timeline to explain why Theres a Wii in johto when there should be a n64, or why Theres a switch in bdsp when there should be a wii. Does that mean bdsp takes place the same year as USUM, lets go, and SWSH? No its just there as a cheeky reference.
with a "different universe/timeline interpretation" of the Pokémon universe it's sorta like a "that's just how it is" situation imo
 

Esserise

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Anyway, like I said, I agree with the broad strokes approach above (or even the "every cartridge is its own universe" approach in which the Red you fight in Gold isn't the Red of your old copy of Red version but a new Red specific to that Gold universe who merely went on a similar journey to what the player goes through in Red version), but thinking about this stuff is fun for me-- I used to be really deep into Zelda timeline theorizing as a teen, and I like to look at this stuff from all angles and try a bunch of different versions to see which feels best.

(Answering this part of out-of-order; bear with me) Yeah, to be clear, I actually do like putting together timelines for the fun of it. I was mainly just trying to say that all the fan-made timelines and theories that have circulated about a "Mega timeline" or a "Classic timeline" or anything like that is likely far more meticulous than the game creators have ever probably thought of it. Certainly there's a multiverse in Pokémon, but I imagine the Game Freak team aren't too fussed about the particulars like "Does Yellow happen in the same universe as Ruby, or Sword?" Game Freak only really seem to worry about tracking the game-to-game chronology, and even then, that's never been a major aspect of the games outside of the two direct sequels. For instance, it doesn't matter all that much if you like to imagine X as happening some years after Black 2 rather than simultaneously with it, but obviously Black 2 can't happen before Black 1.

The Anabel of Emerald/Fire jumps to the timeline of Sun, the Anabel of Emerald/Leaf jumps to the timeline of Moon. The Anabels of the Ultra games might be indigenous to those timelines? The Lookers of OR and AS likely come from B2 and W2 respectively, but are probably also separate from the Lookers that appear further along in those timelines-- the Lookers of Sun and Moon don't appear to be fallers like the Anabels are (or the Lookers that are paired with the Anabels are fallers and there's some subtext that I'm missing, that it's assumed the ultra beasts are only after Anabel when they are actually after the both of them).

Funny thing about the Looker in ORAS - I almost suspect he's actually the Looker from USUM. In ORAS, the only thing Looker has to his name is a piece of Audinite. While I do think you could argue that "Audino = Gen 5 = This implies this Looker is from the Gen 5 games" (though you would have to assume it's a version of Gen 5 where Mega Evolution exists in the world, although as you say, there's technically no reason it can't exist during BW/B2W2, and the excuse is that the Gen 5 protagonists simply never came across it), I couldn't help but take note of something that Looker says when you first meet him in USUM:

"Alola is a nice place and so very peaceful. Most ideal for a vacancy. I was just in Konikoni City, where I got a most unusual stone at Ms. Olivia's shop! No one here is so terrible as to try to create a new world...or liberate all Pokémon from their Trainers. Yes, peaceful indeed... Though concerns I have about those reported sightings of the infamous Pokémon mafia... Ah! Forgive me for keeping you. I will give you this Thunder Stone if you forgive my rudeness. I bought three without thinking!"

He mentions receiving a "most unusual stone" from the jewelry shop. Initially, I figured he was just talking about the Thunder Stone he gives you, but then... I don't think Thunder Stones are particularly unusual, and he also says that he bought 3 Thunder Stones, whereas he refers to the "unusual stone" in the singular. Could it be that he also picked up an Audinite while he was there? Mega Stones aren't actually sold at Olivia's store, but in USUM, there is a man who will give you a Diancite if you show him a Diancie. Perhaps that guy also had a piece of Audinite that he pawned off onto Looker?

Okay, so maybe that's too much of a stretch, and you can just chalk the singular/plural thing up to Looker's weird speech patterns. But I have a contingency! Even if we assume that the "most unusual stone" he's referring to is indeed the Thunder Stones he bought, we also know from XY that there's a theory about Mega Stones being formed when evolutionary stones are exposed to special energies. What if Looker gave one Thunder Stone to you, one to Anabel, and then had the last one on his person... when he got sucked into the ORAS world through an Ultra Wormhole, with the newly-released Mega energy in Hoenn transforming the Thunder Stone into an Audinite? In USUM, we last see Looker during the post-game, up by the Poni Gauntlet. By that time, there's definitely been some recent Ultra Wormhole activity in Alola because of the whole Necrozma and Team RR incidents, so I think it's plausible that Looker could've had the misfortune of stumbling into one.

The thing that I like most about this theory is that it inverts the Looker/Anabel dynamic from SM. Think about it - in SM, Looker is not a Faller, but Anabel is, having originated from the world of Emerald where she served as a Frontier Brain. She is discovered by Looker and Nanu, joins the International Police, and eventually rises to become Looker's superior. Meanwhile, in a parallel world - the world of USUM - Looker ends up getting pulled away from Anabel (who I'm assuming is still a Faller in that reality, but you're right that it's ambiguous) and his native world, and winds up... wouldn't you know it... at the Battle Resort, where the Anabel of ORAS is likely to show up soon since Scott is recruiting people for the Battle Frontier.

I'm iffy on Heart/Soul being attached to Platinum and almost left them off those branches, because the Kyogre/Groudon that appear in Heart/Soul are implied to be from the worlds of Ruby/Sapphire respectively, and thus not from an Emerald branch (where both legendaries are caught by the player).

Yeah, and then there's also Steven's cameo. You can link HGSS to Emerald and still make it work - Steven introduces himself as "the Champion from the Hoenn region," but I think that's said in more of a "Surely you'd know me for that at least?" sort of tone, which doesn't necessitate that he be the current Hoenn Champion - but it is just overall a smoother connection if you assume he is indeed still the acting Champion (with Brendan/May presumably having ceded the official position back to him).

I've also considered the possibility that the universe breakdown is loosely by system-- Gameboy, GBA/DS, 3DS, and Switch-- Let's Go would then have started a new universe (er, set of universes) that contains LGPE, SwSh, BDSP, Arceus, and nothing else.

I've thought about that possibility too. At least for now, I think it actually holds up pretty well since SwSh didn't really make any specific references to previous games, meaning it's possible that, in SwSh's reality, Red wasn't the one who defeated Team Rocket in Kanto.

A recent Twitter discussion turned me on to the idea that the Unova games might actually be in the Mega Timelines-- certainly not the original intention, but A. wasn't the original intention for XY either, the idea was made in ORAS to justify them being separate from RSE, B. actually pretty consistent with Colress's throughline, C. BW were originally sort of a soft reboot anyway so it's in keeping with that spirit and D. we can then reason that Arceus's Sinjoh ruins cutscene was it spawning the Mega universes (Black/X/Omega/Sun coming from Arceus in Heart and White/Y/Alpha/Moon coming from Soul).

This version would then have the second universe(s) (containing the GBA and first DS games) end with the Sinnoh/Johto events and the third universe(s) would look something like:

Omega->Black->X/Black2->Sun->Sword
Alpha ->White->Y/White2->Moon->Shield

which is actually pretty consistent as it allows for both the Aqua/Magma couple to have their throughline still and for the Royal Unova setup in ORAS to have a payoff, and still leaves room for BDSP.

I do think there's one snag with this though, which is that Aqua/Magma couple. In B2W2, it seems like they aren't actually aware of each others' past affiliations, because they tell the player to not mention it to their partner. The joke there is that somehow, a Team Magma and Team Aqua grunt ended up together, but neither of them realize the irony of that because they're both trying to keep their past deeds buried. Whereas in ORAS, the couple are very clearly aware of each others' affiliation, and the joke in that instance is that they feel conflicted by their loyalty to their respective team versus their affection for each other. So I think those would have to be two different instances of those characters in different universes... well, either that, or they are in the same universe, but it's not the same couple making a reappearance in B2W2; it's a different pair of grunts who ended up together.


Honestly I wouldn't put to much stock in porygons dex entry either or in remakes referencing the year the original game came out. They are easter eggs not hard timeline years

Realistically, yes, this is true. It's just that my mentality when it comes to this stuff is that, since we already have an ultimate practical answer - the Every Save File interpretation - that readily resolves every conceivable change or contradiction between games, then trying to nail down anything more specific is the purview of overly-invested hobbyists. Being an overly-invested hobbyist myself, I think part of the fun and the challenge of making a fanon timeline comes, then, from really flexing those anorak muscles and taking every minute detail at face value and trying to make them all line up. That is to say, if you're in, why not go all in, you know?

otherwise we need another timeline to explain why Theres a Wii in johto when there should be a n64, or why Theres a switch in bdsp when there should be a wii. Does that mean bdsp takes place the same year as USUM, lets go, and SWSH? No its just there as a cheeky reference.

Well with different universes, you could just imagine that the pace of video game tech development is different between each one. Or maybe Wiis do already exist in GSC's universe, we just don't happen to see any, and Red is just really into retro gaming. (Actually, I'm headcanoning that now; that's a fun character detail.)
 

Silktree

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Legends seem to have a lot in common with LGPE mechanically. I don't think it's a true prequel to DPPt or BDSP... Did abilities just pop into thin air? There are lore inconsistencies, too, but I guess they could be explained.

SwSh are a different story. You'd think that someone in Galar would compare Dynamax to the previous two gimmicks, but nope. Kalos is right around the corner.
 
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Esserise

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When it comes to Abilities, I never really thought of them as just outright not existing in Gens 1/2 + LGPE + Arceus. I think they probably do exist, they just aren't being expressed mechanically, because so many Abilities seem designed to mechanize something that is just a natural aspect of a Pokémon's design or behavior - think Levitate, for example. Weezing is obviously capable of levitating even in RBY, because that's part of its design. That is to say, I don't really interpret Levitate as a unique sort of power that is meaningfully distinct from physical levitation (although granted, there is room to argue against that, with cases like Magneton). Other abilities like Flame Body, Sturdy, Air Lock, Schooling... they're usually just taking a quality that is inherent to that Pokémon anyway and giving it a role in battles/the overworld. It's not that Magmar in GSC or LGPE literally don't have a high-temperature body anymore.
 

Jimothy

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Legends seem to have a lot in common with LGPE mechanically. I don't think it's a true prequel to DPPt or BDSP...
About this-- I thought it was very peculiar that the website for LA seems to position it as a prequel to DP specifically, and not BDSP, which is the other game they're promoting. Specifically, they talk about the ancestor of Rowan from DP, complete with DP artwork and not say, the BDSP-style 3D model art.

That combined with the fact that BDSP isn't actually made by Gamefreak, almost reads as though LA is specifically a prequel to the DS games, and there exists a possibility that it might not line up as well with the world of BDSP. But my instinct is that that can't possibly be the case, because it would be insane to release two Sinnoh games and not tie them together-- which, granted, they do seem to be tied together based on the Sinnoh Language thread.

Probably won't be too terribly interesting at the end of the day, but I'm a bit curious to see how it all shakes out.
 
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