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The Lorekeepers' Club (An all-purpose thread for deep dives about how the Pokémon world works)

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The other thread says to me that there's potential in the overall continuity of the Pokémon games for good discussion. Here's a place to generate a dialogue and discuss your analyses and theories and anything else about the setting's continuity and world details. Keep it polite though!

For my part, here's my screed about the origination of Mega Evolution and Infinity Energy in Hoenn, which kicked this off:

Infinity Energy was used to create advanced technology, such as the motor for the Submarine Explorer I, a power source for the Mossdeep rocket, and teleport pads, but it certainly is based on research about Mega Evolution:

> Scientist: "We had to do a whole lot of research into Mega Evolution to develop Infinity Energy. It was all based on the legend of Rayquaza that the Draconid people passed down for the past several thousand years.

What do you say? Since you did work alongside us to save the world and all, I guess I could tell you about my research results... Want to hear about them?

Understood! Ahem... To begin... It appears that within Rayquaza’s body resides an organ with the same power as a Mega Stone. I have dubbed it the mikado organ. We believe Rayquaza usually inhabits the stratosphere, where its instincts prompt it to consume small meteoroids that fall into the atmosphere. The meteoroids merge with Rayquaza’s internal energy to create an effect similar to a Mega Stone. We believe that, thanks to its mikado organ, Rayquaza can undergo its own Mega Evolution, manifesting sufficient power to repel both Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre. As we can gather from legends, Rayquaza has swooped in to put a stop to their clashes many times in the long history of the world.

Those who saw the way that Rayquaza, possessing this special power, reacted to their Key Stones to transform itself, began research into the subject. It came to be recognized as a form of Evolution, a new possibility for Pokémon. And what we stitched together from all of this long research is the current theory of Mega Evolution. A part of Rayquaza’s entry in the Pokédex was even edited due to this bit of folklore.

...Ahem! And that, while simplified quite a bit, is what I have deciphered from the ancient records of the Draconid people about the relationship between Rayquaza and Mega Evolution."

The Mega Stones in Hoenn seem to just be meteoroids or stones that get infused with Hoenn's rich natural energy. Several of them are found just lying around throughout the game, long before anything involving Kyogre or Groudon kicks up. For example, Wanda's boyfriend gives you an Aggronite after clearing the rocks in Rusturf Tunnel and says this:

> "I found that when I was digging for the tunnel. I felt like there’s some mysterious power coming from it, but I don’t think I could do a thing with it."

Which means it was probably buried in there for quite some time, rather than being artificially created by the Devon Corporation. That being said, it's also revealed in the games that Tabitha/Shelly used to work for Devon, and Team Magma/Aqua was able to achieve a lot of their technical projects due to the information this gave them access to (ooo, corporate espionage, in my Pokémon?). Consequently, we know that Team Magma/Aqua were experimenting to figure out how to artificially engineer a Red/Blue Orb, which are similar in composition to Mega Stones. Take what Maxie says at Mt. Chimney, for example:

> Maxie: "So what is it that we must do to awaken this slumbering giant? Our research has led us here, to Mt. Chimney. Yes, here...to this very Meteorite. If we create the right conditions, we should find ourselves able to alter this Meteorite's qualities. Yes, even into a Mega Stone. Even into a Key Stone. And here, at Mt. Chimney— Hmph... I should not say too much. That is the end of today's lesson."

So it definitely seems possible that you could "forge" a Mega Stone using a potent source of natural life energy - which is what Infinity Energy is. According to Steven's dad,

> Mr. Stone: "The energy that could be gained by the sacrifice of so many Pokémon... There are surely many people who would call it reprehensible. But my grandfather, the president of Devon before me, said this... 'Couldn't we use the energy to improve the lives of people and Pokémon?' And so he developed our greatest creation here at the Devon Corporation: Infinity Energy."

It seems that Pokémon are the most readily available source of this energy, but there are natural "wells" of it that also exist, such as Mt. Chimney and the Cave of Origin, and Team Magma/Aqua was hoping to exploit the former until they got confirmation of the real Orbs being kept at Mt. Pyre. The large meteor that slammed into Sootopolis in the distant past cracked open one of these wells, releasing natural energy which is what woke Groudon and Kyogre up that time. (And according to Zinnia, it seems that when the two clashed a millennium before then, Hoenn was "overflowing" with that energy, so I guess a lot of it got used up by their Primal Reversions and also maybe just by naturally settling and/or dissipating for the next thousand years, such that it was limited to just these specific wells by the time of the Sootopolis impact.) That meteor, of course, then became the massive Key Stone that allowed Rayquaza to Mega Evolve:

> Zinnia: "The people had a wish—a memory from a thousand years before... They wished that the Legendary Pokémon clad in emerald light would appear again. The huge Meteorite that lay at the heart of Sootopolis gave off a boundless brilliance. In its brilliance, it resembled a vast and powerful Key Stone. And once again, Rayquaza descended from whence it came in the heavens. The people fell to their knees before Rayquaza and made a wish for salvation. As they did, a great change came over the Legendary Pokémon."

... likely because it soaked up a huge amount of the energy that was kept in the Cave of Origin. Likewise, there's the Meteorite that you nick from Team Magma/Aqua at Mt. Chimney - as you progress through the game, it changes shape, increasingly resembling a Mega Stone, until it is finally consumed by Rayquaza, which gives it the power it needs in order to Mega Evolve again.

All of which to say that it seems as though soaking up natural life energy = Mega Stone or Key Stone. In Kalos, the huge influx of life energy channeled by the ultimate weapon seeped into the ground, irradiating regular stones and turning them into Mega and Key Stones. In Hoenn, there was originally an abundance of the energy all around, and meteors that would fall there would become infused with it just by impacting. (Quoting Zinnia again, in her account of the earliest Groudon/Kyogre clash: "And the meteoroids fell in their multitude upon a waterfall that had long been home to a tribe of Dragon-type-Pokémon users... [...] The meteors shone with a rainbow brilliance, as if some great life was held within. That was when, as if drawn by the brilliance, a Pokémon that shone in a blazing emerald hue descended from the heavens...") This gave us the Mega Stones that we can pick up from the start of the game. But additionally, the huge wave of energy that erupts from the Cave of Origin after we deal with Groudon/Kyogre ourselves seems to create an all-new wave of Mega Stones, as that's when a lot of new ones pop up all over the place, like the Mewtwonite X in Littleroot or the Scizorite in Petalburg Woods. Here's some more evidence:

> Wanda: "Do you remember how light came falling out of the sky a while ago? I found this [Gardevoirite] in the yard that day. Actually, I found two, and I gave the other to Wally. It’s a pretty stone, and I’m sure your Pokémon would be delighted if you let one of them hold it!"

> Mom: "Remember the night you went to see the star show? Well, I found this [[email protected]] in the grass out front the next morning! Isn't it pretty, the way it sparkles? It's like a rainbow!"

(Actually, in thinking about it, that second one might be one of the Litleonid meteors that we watch at the end of the Delta Episode, breaking through the atmosphere and soaking up the refreshed natural energy that's floating around because of the Cave of Origin event.)

I've also been thinking about the nature of Poké Balls lately, thanks to the debut of a new type of "ancient" Poké Ball in Legends: Arceus. As far as we know from the games, Poké Balls were originally created using Apricorns, with this practice being especially prominent in the Johto region. But it's a delicate process that requires a very skilled craftsman. (It is currently not clear as to whether the Legends: Arceus Balls use Apricorns in their construction - we'll have to wait and see!) Eventually though, modernized industry was able to replicate it in such a way that mass production of Poké Balls became possible, with companies such as Silph Co. and Devon developing specifications for all-new kinds of Poké Balls, and production lines like the Poké Ball Factory in Kalos pumping them out in large numbers. Even a piece of fairly crude modern technology - the Cram-o-matic designed by Hyde - can create Poké Balls out of Apricorns, although the Ball variants that a master craftsman like Kurt can produce can only rarely be replicated by this machine. Perhaps that's not a limitation of the Cram-o-matic, however - maybe there's just something about modern technology in general that can't quite accomplish what the ways of old can. After all, Apricorn Balls remain incredibly rare, despite companies like Silph and Devon having far more resources at their disposal than Hyde, who's operating out of a small, isolated dojo.

Or maybe these companies enforce an artificial scarcity on these Ball variants, in order to maintain their market value?

Or maybe they could mass-produce them using modern technology, but it would be extremely costly to do so. After all, in Sun & Moon, the Aether Foundation develops the novel Beast Balls, but we are told by Looker that even a single one costs millions of dollars to produce (please ignore the fact that you can farm unlimited Beast Balls from him anyway). However, in Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, with access to the advanced technology of the Ultra Recon Squad, the Aether Foundation becomes capable of producing Beast Balls so easily that they can sell them for a mere P1,000 per Ball! Apricorn Balls could represent a similar phenomenon - maybe with the technology of Ultra Megalopolis, mass-production of Apricorn Balls would become more feasible, but right now, our current technology on its own would struggle severely.

But of course, there's also the question of how exactly Poké Balls work. Not only in terms of "Are the Pokémon stored in them conscious or not, and if so, what do they experience and perceive while inside?" (I would argue that the games very much suggest that the Pokémon are aware of the world outside of the Ball.), but also, what (scientific?) principles are at work to achieve the effect of storing a Pokémon inside of a tiny Ball? It may be easy to imagine that companies like Silph and Devon can create a mechanism that operates by converting matter into energy or data and vice-versa, but surely that sort of thing wouldn't have been around in the Apricorn and Legends: Arceus days. Sometimes I think that the principle may actually be something more magical or mythical - perhaps someone wished upon an Apricorn that a Pokémon could become their partner, and thus it came to be. Who knows?

Lastly, I figure I have to at least mention Drayden, who claims to have been alive since before Poké Balls existed. Presumably the writer of B2W2 just forgot about all of the Apricorn stuff, which seems to date back several generations, but if you're willing to look past the obvious real-world answer, it does make you wonder. Could Drayden just be unbelievably old? Who says humans in the Pokémon world have the same life expectancy as us in the real world? Sure, maybe he's referring to modern Poké Balls, but that seems unlikely to me, given what exactly he says: "When I was little, Poké Balls didn't exist yet. Sometimes Pokémon would run away from awful Trainers who didn't try to understand them."
 
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Humans in the Pokémon world can have psychic powers and no-one questions it, so longevity isn't outside of the realm of possibly, but I'm going to go with the Occam's Razor explanation that Poké Balls arrived in Unova later.
Probably so. A lot simpler, that.

Still, other than AZ (whose life was extended through the mystical power of the ultimate weapon), there is at least one example of someone living for an incredibly long time. A man in Ecruteak in Crystal, which dates the destruction of the Brass Tower to 150 years before, says that he was a Trainer at that time.

Again, simple answer is that he's just pulling your leg (He says, "Me? I was a trainer way back when. Hohoho!" which seems a bit joke-y), but at the same time, the oldest human in recorded history lived to be 122 and a half-ish. If the Pokémon world has better healthcare, diets, technology, care products, and a cleaner environment, all of which it seems to (and is, of course, a fantasy world), then I think we could probably stretch to cover 160-ish.
 
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Glad this thread was created.

Lastly, I figure I have to at least mention Drayden, who claims to have been alive since before Poké Balls existed. Presumably the writer of B2W2 just forgot about all of the Apricorn stuff, which seems to date back several generations, but if you're willing to look past the obvious real-world answer, it does make you wonder. Could Drayden just be unbelievably old? Who says humans in the Pokémon world have the same life expectancy as us in the real world? Sure, maybe he's referring to modern Poké Balls, but that seems unlikely to me, given what exactly he says: "When I was little, Poké Balls didn't exist yet. Sometimes Pokémon would run away from awful Trainers who didn't try to understand them."
Well, Apricorns and the Pokéballs they create from seem to be rare outside of Johto (You can get 1-2 in USUM, and while you can get Apricorns in the Isle of Armor, making the Pokéballs isn't done in the way it's done and Johto, and they're, again, very rare). Johto is based on the Kansai Region, while Unova is based on NYC. Assuming Pokémon geography is (loosely) based on real world geography, they're pretty far away.

So maybe he's not talking about Apricorn Pokéballs. Rather, he might be referring to Pokéballs in their modern form. I know he specifically says "Pokéballs", but maybe, to the player character and in the world of Pokémon, he's implying that older Pokéballs are too different from new ones to be considered "real" Pokéballs". Idk.

Older Pokéballs:

(40 years before the Celebi: The Voice of the Forest movie)

(200 years before Just Waiting On a Friend)

My theory is that, prior to the mass production/modernization of them, Pokéballs weren't as reliable, especially outside of Johto, so capturing a Pokémon was less about the ball and more about creating a bond between trainer and Pokémon, which is why he mentions Pokémon could run away from "awful trainers".
 
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I'm really interested in the Foreign Building in Hearthome City. I've got my theories on what it could be:

For those who don’t know, the Foreign Building is a building in Hearthome City that many have pointed out resembles cathedrals, with pews, and stained glass windows.

NPCs dialogue:
"We cannot need the minds of others, which causes us to feel fear and doubt. But to control the aspects of the world beyond our senses is an impossibility."
"There are still words that not everyone can describe... the words are 'love' and 'joy'."
"When people and Pokémon join hands, everyone's happy. It makes everyone come together. It could even make the world one!"
"That people are lonely is only natural. It gives me compassion for others. It's what makes me look forward to a better tomorrow. But there are still moments of fondness for the past. Though, time can heal some sadness..."
"And there do I see my father. My son. My life. And there do I see nature. Pokémon. The world."
"Mind and matter. It's no good if one is stronger than the other. Balance is what's needed. That's the key."
"The art of crafting things fatigues one's spirit. When the spirit is healed, the desire to make something returns. It is such a wondrous cycle."
"If the strong and able do too much, they limit the contributions of others. The strong must show restraint. This enables everyone to live together and share responsibility."
"Pokémon... People... It's only natural that we are all so very different. Make sure that you never judge a Pokémon on if it's weak or strong. You must always look for the good inside of them. That's what counts!"


The NPCs don't mention any particular deity (possibly to avoid controversy), including the Creation trio, so the only thing you can really go off of is the architecture and the NPC dialogue.

So what exactly is the Foreign Building supposed to be?

Theory 1. This is a church
Now, Sinnoh is based on the Hokkaido prefecture in Japan. Christianity in Japan isn’t unheard of, but it’s a minority religion, with about 1.8% of the population in 2020 identifying as Christian. The real life city of Obihiro has churches, so it’s possible that this could be a church Christianity also didn’t originate in Japan. It’s a, well, foreign religion. However, the Gym Leader of Hearthome City, Fantina, is not from Sinnoh or even the Pokémon nation (a nation composed of every region based on Japanese prefectures). Based on her dialogue, composed of French and broken, it’s possible that she is from Kalos (PokéFrance). In contrast with Christianity in Japan, Christianity in France is a majority, with over half of the French population identifying as Christian in 2016, so maybe Hearthome City has a population of Kalosian immigrants who brought Christianity with them.

1. This is a place where people worship the Legendary Pokémon of the region.
Instead of stained glass windows depicting biblical figures like in real life churches, the Foreign Building has two with square patterns and one depicting Mt. Coronet, which is an important location in the legends of Sinnoh. While it's plausible, I feel like the Creation trio is more so based on the creation myths of Shintoism rather than Christianity, and Shinto and Christian places of worship are very different from each other. Other locations in Sinnoh where the region’s Legendary Pokémon reside don’t have the same cathedral-like aesthetic as the Foreign Building. Also, the Foreign Building is specifically called a Foreign Building, which would indicate that it isn’t a house of worship for the religion of Sinnoh.

4. This is based on the Tokachi International Relations Center
As Hearthome City is based on the real world city of Obihiro (the inspiration for Hearthome City), I figured I might as well check to see if I could find any buildings in Obihiro that could be the inspiration for the Foreign Building, and sure enough, I found a place in Obihiro where people of different cultures come together in harmony. The architecture and facilities may not match, but the themes of love and harmony do.

Sources:
Religions in France | French Religion Data | GRF
Pokémon world in relation to the real world - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia
Christian Population and Statistics | GRF
Hearthome City - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia
 
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I've also been thinking about the nature of Poké Balls lately, thanks to the debut of a new type of "ancient" Poké Ball in Legends: Arceus. As far as we know from the games, Poké Balls were originally created using Apricorns, with this practice being especially prominent in the Johto region. But it's a delicate process that requires a very skilled craftsman. (It is currently not clear as to whether the Legends: Arceus Balls use Apricorns in their construction - we'll have to wait and see!) Eventually though, modernized industry was able to replicate it in such a way that mass production of Poké Balls became possible, with companies such as Silph Co. and Devon developing specifications for all-new kinds of Poké Balls, and production lines like the Poké Ball Factory in Kalos pumping them out in large numbers. Even a piece of fairly crude modern technology - the Cram-o-matic designed by Hyde - can create Poké Balls out of Apricorns, although the Ball variants that a master craftsman like Kurt can produce can only rarely be replicated by this machine. Perhaps that's not a limitation of the Cram-o-matic, however - maybe there's just something about modern technology in general that can't quite accomplish what the ways of old can. After all, Apricorn Balls remain incredibly rare, despite companies like Silph and Devon having far more resources at their disposal than Hyde, who's operating out of a small, isolated dojo.
I think the Cram-o-matic looks too small and primitive to actually make dozens of items out of others, my theory is that Hyde lied and the Cramomatic is just a pile of abandoned items with a programmed algorithm that gives you something valuable depending on what you want to "recycle".
But of course, there's also the question of how exactly Poké Balls work. Not only in terms of "Are the Pokémon stored in them conscious or not, and if so, what do they experience and perceive while inside?" (I would argue that the games very much suggest that the Pokémon are aware of the world outside of the Ball.), but also, what (scientific?) principles are at work to achieve the effect of storing a Pokémon inside of a tiny Ball? It may be easy to imagine that companies like Silph and Devon can create a mechanism that operates by converting matter into energy or data and vice-versa, but surely that sort of thing wouldn't have been around in the Apricorn and Legends: Arceus days. Sometimes I think that the principle may actually be something more magical or mythical - perhaps someone wished upon an Apricorn that a Pokémon could become their partner, and thus it came to be. Who knows?
I'm not sure if I'll call it magic, but Pokemon definitely have a connection with ethereal energies that give them types and allow them to do their moves. Also, some of them are directly affected by electricity (trade evos) so it's not Farfetch'd to think that the Pokeballs are just inventions that facilitate the process of transforming Pokemon into energy, but they can already do that with their powers.
Still, other than AZ (whose life was extended through the mystical power of the ultimate weapon), there is at least one example of someone living for an incredibly long time. A man in Ecruteak in Crystal, which dates the destruction of the Brass Tower to 150 years before, says that he was a Trainer at that time.

Again, simple answer is that he's just pulling your leg (He says, "Me? I was a trainer way back when. Hohoho!" which seems a bit joke-y), but at the same time, the oldest human in recorded history lived to be 122 and a half-ish. If the Pokémon world has better healthcare, diets, technology, care products, and a cleaner environment, all of which it seems to (and is, of course, a fantasy world), then I think we could probably stretch to cover 160-ish.
Remember that Opal is trying to retire at 88, so it's possible that people live longer but not by much. I doubt she would be looking forward to 76 years of boredom.
 
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I think the Cram-o-matic looks too small and primitive to actually make dozens of items out of others, my theory is that Hyde lied and the Cramomatic is just a pile of abandoned items with a programmed algorithm that gives you something valuable depending on what you want to "recycle".
I don't know why, but this gives me such whimsical vibes, like the backstory for a character at some theme park or in an 80s movie with puppets and stuff.
 
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Humans in the Pokémon world can have psychic powers
This reminds me of the Canalave Library. I think some people have special powers like this in the Pokémon world because the Sinnoh myths tell of people having evolved from Pokémon, just like humans in real life evolved from animals (specifically apes).
 
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4. This is based on the Tokachi International Relations Center
As Hearthome City is based on the real world city of Obihiro (the inspiration for Hearthome City), I figured I might as well check to see if I could find any buildings in Obihiro that could be the inspiration for the Foreign Building, and sure enough, I found a place in Obihiro where people of different cultures come together in harmony. The architecture and facilities may not match, but the themes of love and harmony do.
I think this is the most appealing possibility for me. It suits the vibe of the place, "Foreign Building" could be a condensed translation of what it's trying to get across, and I do think it would be weird for a place with no inherent relationship to Sinnoh to have a giant stained glass image of the lake trio around Mt. Coronet. So the idea that it was built by Sinnohans but with the hope of fostering good relations with others makes a lot of sense.

(also, I always thought the quote about crafting things was very poignant and thought-provoking. I really like it.)
 
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I think this is the most appealing possibility for me. It suits the vibe of the place, "Foreign Building" could be a condensed translation of what it's trying to get across, and I do think it would be weird for a place with no inherent relationship to Sinnoh to have a giant stained glass image of the lake trio around Mt. Coronet. So the idea that it was built by Sinnohans but with the hope of fostering good relations with others makes a lot of sense.
That's what I figured. If I had to bet money on what the Foreign Building was supposed to be based on, I would definitely say that.

(also, I always thought the quote about crafting things was very poignant and thought-provoking. I really like it.)
Yes, it's such a good line.
 
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This may seem like a stupid/short question, but are humans treated in Pokémon Centers, or are there human hospitals?
Can Nurse Joys treat humans? I'd assume they can, because trainers probably get hurt on their Pokémon journeys. (I worded that really stupidly. Of course trainers get hurt.)
 
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This may seem like a stupid/short question, but are humans treated in Pokémon Centers, or are there human hospitals?
Can Nurse Joys treat humans? I'd assume they can, because trainers probably get hurt on their Pokémon journeys. (I worded that really stupidly. Of course trainers get hurt.)
The anime has shown that there are specific hospitals for humans. I believe Nurse Joy has been shown providing limited medical attention to people, but she only specializes in Pokémon.
 
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The anime has shown that there are specific hospitals for humans. I believe Nurse Joy has been shown providing limited medical attention to people, but she only specializes in Pokémon.
Maybe there's a whole family of human doctors called Nurse... Happiness.
 
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Oh my gosh that sounds amazing! Now I wanna research different Pokémon and how they could heal human ailments (the Chansey line is an obvious one)
 
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Ghetsis is from poke-greece (his name is evocative of the Greek word for sorcery, his last name is outright Greek). Team plasma's imagery is supposed to invoke the knights of Malta specifically (Chi Rho emblem aside, which also is very important in Greek culture, their original uniform looks like what early knights wore under their mail, and in the sequels they've outright turned to piracy and have a ship. The knights of Malta often engaged in raiding ottoman shipping routes as a form of proxy war).

The reason the mega-evolution tower is in a place that corresponds to Normandy indicates the technique was brought to Kalos by poke-normans, which would indicate mega-evolution has its origins in either poke-Scandinavia or poke-germany.

There are other cultures of ultra space inhabitants yet to be seen. As well as more ultra beasts.

A translation convention is used in the dialogue. In every generation prior to V, the characters were speaking Japanese. In XY, they were speaking French. In Orre, Unova, and Alola they're speaking English.

The distortion world is not hell, it's giratina's personal prison. Giratina is also less satanic and more of a lovecraftian entity, not evil but more alien. However, other legendaries were involved in it's rebellion against arceus and were similarly banished. As with their leader these legendaries are more lovecraftian than truly demonic.

Eternatus and Ultra Necrozma are artificial, manufactured beings, and were made by the same creator. Necrozma was made to be a God, and Eternatus a destroyer. There are also pokemon made by the same source to counter them: knights made in the same design (energy given form by armor plating).

We will return to the original timeline at some point, but we probably won't notice it.

Team rocket is not the poke-yakuza. They're more of a biker gang without the bikes. The actual poke-yakuza is far more shadowy and powerful.

Gary's Raticate did not die from battle injuries, likely from some illness or accident. Gary simply lashes out at the player for catching him mourning rather than blaming you specifically.

In some poorer regions of the world, pokemon training is a way of of life, not a hobby. Hence, most people in them stay trainers and affiliated with the league their entire lives.

The lack of pokemon diversity in the later regions is more indicative of those pokemon originating outside the regions they were originally introduced into.

Even people who cannot journey train. Journeying is actually somewhat rare. Whilst most people train, to go on more than one journey if one does not wish to be a trainer as a career is unusual (or a sign that it's a pretty big hobby).
 
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What is Plusle and Minun's relationship? They can lay each others' eggs, and are the only non-gendered counterparts to do so. Are they different castes of the same species?
 
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...I could've sworn that was the case, but I can't see any mention of it on Bulbapedia.
 
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...I could've sworn that was the case, but I can't see any mention of it on Bulbapedia.
Well, even if it's not, I certainly wish that's how it worked. I'm perpetually a bit annoyed by Nidoran and Volbeat/Illumise being the only ones to demonstrate this quality, even though there are a handful of other species that I'd say are pretty clearly direct relatives (Lunatone/Solrock, Throh/Sawk, Tauros/Miltank most infamously). It's like, either commit to the idea or don't do it at all - as it stands, it just seems like a niche-albeit-still-needless annoyance for anyone specifically trying to breed the right Nidoran/Volbeat/Illumise.
 
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