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DISCUSSION: Overused Pokemon as Starters for the main character of a fanfic?

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I saw this somewhere else and decided to bring it here: Aside from the regular starters, what Pokemon are commonly used for the main character's starter? Can it work if done well? What about giving a character all three Starters (whether from the same region or different ones)?
 
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I've heard "unofficial" starters like Pikachu and Eevee are popular and so are other popular mascot mons like Riolu/Lucario and possibly Zorua/Zoroark. I think it can be done well as long as there's a point to them being there. Just don't have a beginner trainer start off with a legendary/mythic like Mew. It might be an old cliche from the early 2000s but it doesn't need to come back imo.

The main male character in my story has a Lucario as his signature mon but I have him operate as a stealth expert (think someone like Rambo or Solid Snake) which Lucario's ability to see the world through aura compliments extremely well thanks being able to detect targets through obstacles or in complete darkness. It adds a unique dynamic to their operations that wouldn't be possible with most other Pokemon.

As for giving someone all the Starters we have Ash in his early years to use as a reference. Getting one as the actual starter is as easy as stepping into a prof's lab and the rest can be caught in the wild. Recent times have been a bit more generous with making starter lines catchable in the wild so it shouldn't raise a lot of eyebrows, look at Legends Arceus for example.
 
@Steel_Justice
I agree that if there is a nonstandard starter is the Main Character's starter, it must have a good reason for being there. Of course, it does not HAVE to be at the Professor's lab. It can work if done well and the right place is used.

For example: Starting with Dratini in Blackthorn City. Seeing as the Dragon's Den is there (and also the Dragon Clan), it would make sense to start with a Dragon Type.

An example of a starter not making sense would be using a Fire type, while living in Snowpoint City. You would need a REALLY good reason for starting with a fire type there.
 
I agree that if there is a nonstandard starter is the Main Character's starter, it must have a good reason for being there. Of course, it does not HAVE to be at the Professor's lab. It can work if done well and the right place is used.
Agreed on the not having to come from a Prof's lab part. There are numerous characters who have had a non-standard starter received from a friend/family member. I believe the Starter Pokemon page on the main wiki also has a list of non-standard starters in the anime like Brock's Onix.

For example: Starting with Dratini in Blackthorn City. Seeing as the Dragon's Den is there (and also the Dragon Clan), it would make sense to start with a Dragon Type.
That is a good example. It is also similar to Iris having an Axew as a result of coming from (in the anime) a place called the Village of Dragons which is also near Opelucid City.

Something that would be harder to stomach would be someone from either locale from the respective culture (a Dragon Clan member) starting off with a Fairy-type that isn't native to Johto or Unova like any of the Fairy types introduced in Kalos.

An example of a starter not making sense would be using a Fire type, while living in Snowpoint City. You would need a REALLY good reason for starting with a fire type there.
I'd argue that there is a way to justify this example. Perhaps the person just recently moved there and hates the cold so they decide to start a journey to get away from the icy climate and pick the Fire type out of defiance. Or they have the Fire type to help keep the house warm.

If anything a Grass type would be harder to explain for someone who comes from Snowpoint City. Fire types could survive and have use there, a Grass type not part of the Snover line would be very difficult to keep there unless the plan is like with my example and the person has no intention of staying in Snowpoint City. Though the defiance as an act of revenge wouldn't be a strong or logical in this scenario.
 
Agreed on the not having to come from a Prof's lab part. There are numerous characters who have had a non-standard starter received from a friend/family member. I believe the Starter Pokemon page on the main wiki also has a list of non-standard starters in the anime like Brock's Onix.
I do recall the wiki having that now.

That is a good example. It is also similar to Iris having an Axew as a result of coming from (in the anime) a place called the Village of Dragons which is also near Opelucid City.
Thanks! Another way to justify a nonstandard starter and starting in a place that is not Pallet/New Bark/Littleroot/whatever is if the starter's type matches the town that has a Gym Leader of the same type. Like, having a Machop as a starter while living in, say...Dewford Town. The Gym Leader, Brawly, uses Fighting Types.

Something that would be harder to stomach would be someone from either locale from the respective culture (a Dragon Clan member) starting off with a Fairy-type that isn't native to Johto or Unova like any of the Fairy types introduced in Kalos.
Perhaps the person has a rivalry with the clan and wants to take them out? Sure, it would not be easy to justify the person being there, especially since the ICE path is right there with several Ice types.

I'd argue that there is a way to justify this example. Perhaps the person just recently moved there and hates the cold so they decide to start a journey to get away from the icy climate and pick the Fire type out of defiance. Or they have the Fire type to help keep the house warm.
Never thought of that...why did I not think of that.

If anything a Grass type would be harder to explain for someone who comes from Snowpoint City. Fire types could survive and have use there, a Grass type not part of the Snover line would be very difficult to keep there unless the plan is like with my example and the person has no intention of staying in Snowpoint City. Though the defiance as an act of revenge wouldn't be a strong or logical in this scenario.
I do agree that any grass type that is not a member of the Snover Line would not do well at all at Snowpoint.
 
Thanks! Another way to justify a nonstandard starter and starting in a place that is not Pallet/New Bark/Littleroot/whatever is if the starter's type matches the town that has a Gym Leader of the same type. Like, having a Machop as a starter while living in, say...Dewford Town. The Gym Leader, Brawly, uses Fighting Types.
It would be even easier to explain a starter if it's native to the surrounding area and if the trainer studies under the gym in question. After all, many gym trainers use Pokemon from the same lines the gym leader uses.

Perhaps the person has a rivalry with the clan and wants to take them out? Sure, it would not be easy to justify the person being there, especially since the ICE path is right there with several Ice types.
If I wasn't clear I was suggesting (for example) a person who is wholly part of the Dragon Clan Swirlix as their main partner. No doubt something like that could cause strife between them and other clan members. I do not recall if it has happened on a grand scale like clan vs clan but type vs type rivalries are something that has happened in the anime.

Come to think of it. A Dragon Clan member having a Fairy type as their main partner and being hated by their clan to the point of possible ostracization sounds like the origin story that a main antagonist (or at least his second in command) would have. There's gotta be at least one anime villain out there that's got a backstory with similar beats to this idea.
 
It would be even easier to explain a starter if it's native to the surrounding area and if the trainer studies under the gym in question. After all, many gym trainers use Pokemon from the same lines the gym leader uses.
Does that always have to be the case, though? Maybe the person wants to use a different Pokemon than the others. Perhaps they moved there from somewhere else, where the Pokemon is more common. Using the Brawly example again. Someone coming from Kanto to Dewford with a Mankey.

If I wasn't clear I was suggesting (for example) a person who is wholly part of the Dragon Clan Swirlix as their main partner. No doubt something like that could cause strife between them and other clan members. I do not recall if it has happened on a grand scale like clan vs clan but type vs type rivalries are something that has happened in the anime.

Come to think of it. A Dragon Clan member having a Fairy type as their main partner and being hated by their clan to the point of possible ostracization sounds like the origin story that a main antagonist (or at least his second in command) would have. There's gotta be at least one anime villain out there that's got a backstory with similar beats to this idea.
I suppose I didn't catch what you were saying. Of course, if there is a Fairy/Dragon or a Dragon/Fairy type, then the Fairy using Clan Member could set out on a quest to find the Pokemon.
 
Does that always have to be the case, though? Maybe the person wants to use a different Pokemon than the others. Perhaps they moved there from somewhere else, where the Pokemon is more common. Using the Brawly example again. Someone coming from Kanto to Dewford with a Mankey.
Not really, I was just saying that a person from a city/town with a Pokemon matching the gym is very easy to justify.

I suppose I didn't catch what you were saying. Of course, if there is a Fairy/Dragon or a Dragon/Fairy type, then the Fairy using Clan Member could set out on a quest to find the Pokemon.
Mega Altaria is the only Dragon/Fairy on record. Unfortunately no longer available due to Game Freak's laziness. Closest you can get in modern games is using Tera types. Guess that person could try their luck and attempt to obtain an Altaria and its matching Mega Stone but they will have to stick to Hoenn and Alola for that.
 
Not really, I was just saying that a person from a city/town with a Pokemon matching the gym is very easy to justify.


Mega Altaria is the only Dragon/Fairy on record. Unfortunately no longer available due to Game Freak's laziness. Closest you can get in modern games is using Tera types. Guess that person could try their luck and attempt to obtain an Altaria and its matching Mega Stone but they will have to stick to Hoenn and Alola for that.
Why would they have to stick with Hoenn or Alola?
 
Why would they have to stick with Hoenn or Alola?
It was a joke, Altaria mega stones are available only in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon Sun/Moon+Ultra Sun/Moon. A fic could write an Altaria Mega Stone into a character's possession in other ways but I personally find an inherit charm in making them obtained in a relatable fashion. I do like Easter Eggs and references to other entries within a work's greater scope since it shows passion and detail.
 
It's already game canon that not everyone starts with the Grass/Fire/Water starters. Norman loans Wally a Zigzagoon so he can catch a Ralts, so I assume that's how a lot of trainers get their first Pokémon.
 
Hey, here is an idea on how to justify a beginning trainer starting off with an unevolved Pseudo-Legendary: The Pokemon was gifted to them as an egg by the champion, since they tend to have one.

It could happen. Just be sure to explain the trainer's relationship to the champion and explore the ups and downs of raising a pseudo-legendary from an Egg. One one hand, the bond between trainer and Pokemon is stronger than normal with the promise of a very powerful Pokemon in the future. On the other hand, Pseudo-Legendaries are difficult to raise and aren't very beginner friendly, there may also be a general lack of battle experience since it came from an egg.
 
It could happen. Just be sure to explain the trainer's relationship to the champion and explore the ups and downs of raising a pseudo-legendary from an Egg. One one hand, the bond between trainer and Pokemon is stronger than normal with the promise of a very powerful Pokemon in the future. On the other hand, Pseudo-Legendaries are difficult to raise and aren't very beginner friendly, there may also be a general lack of battle experience since it came from an egg.
True. That is something I agree with.
 
Hey, here is an idea on how to justify a beginning trainer starting off with an unevolved Pseudo-Legendary: The Pokemon was gifted to them as an egg by the champion, since they tend to have one.
This reminds me of the Pokémon Prism romhack, where the main protagonist gets a Larvitar. Although I don't know much more than that other than the awesome Gym Leader battle theme for this fangame.
 
A character starting with a fully evolved Pokemon can work if it's something like a Butterfree since it becomes fully evolved at Level 10.
I'd say a character starting with a fully evolved and big Pokémon can work too. Something like a Charizard. If the story acknowledges the difficulties of controlling and training that kind of Pokémon. It could be a very interesting story instead of the overused formula.
 
I'd say a character starting with a fully evolved and big Pokémon can work too. Something like a Charizard. If the story acknowledges the difficulties of controlling and training that kind of Pokémon. It could be a very interesting story instead of the overused formula.
Agreed. One way I can see a trainer having a Charizard is if their parents are killed, and they decide to go avenge them, and they take the Charizard with them, though they would need to overcome the lack of respect, unless of course the Charizard does care about the trainer and wants to help them.
 
Agreed. One way I can see a trainer having a Charizard is if their parents are killed, and they decide to go avenge them, and they take the Charizard with them, though they would need to overcome the lack of respect, unless of course the Charizard does care about the trainer and wants to help them.
That could be a really good story. You could even trace an analogy between the trainer unrelenting desire of vengeance and the unrestrained force of the Pokémon as both of them are obstacles to overcome and can hurt others unwillingly. Then, by learning to overcome their own hate and creating a better bond between trainer and Pokémon, they could start to improve as a team. It could be part of the reason why the Pokémon doesn't respect the trainer at first. (Because he lacks self control, unlike their parents).

Back to the topic, the most common I have seen is Lucario/Riolu. Like, I have read at least 100 fanfics with a Lucario as starter instead of the normal ones. Eevee and Kirlia are popular too.
 
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