The World would be undone.
Katy Perry’s Roar and Dark Horse came to mind while I was writing this blog. Holy shit, the world would be undone if Nintendo gave us the forbidden fruit/holy grail. Just think about it:
- The world has 7 Billion People. Of that number, 3.5 Billion have access to the internet.
- Every single one of Nintendo’s handheld game systems (Game Boy/Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Advance/SP/Micro, Nintendo DS/DSi/Lite/DSi XL and Nintendo 3DS/2DS/3DS XL) have sold hundreds of millions of units during their respective lifetimes. As a reminder, I have two 3DS consoles myself.
- 20 Years Later, Pokemon is still a cultural mainstay and well known among ALL gamers even if they never played a Pokemon game themselves. In short: If you play Video Games, you’ve at least HEARD of Pokemon.
- At its peak, World of Warcraft had 14 Million Subscribers (Around 7.2 Million currently). Blizzard developers have said off the record the only MMO that could realistically top that number is a Pokemon MMO.
- The closest Nintendo got to a 3D Pokemon adventure were Pokemon Coloseum and Pokemon XD, both for the Nintendo Gamecube. It wasn’t until 2007 Nintendo finally brought online battles and trading to the Pokemon games with Diamond and Pearl. In short: We were not yet ready.
For the sake of the world’s stability, the further away that day is–and make no mistake it WILL come in MY lifetime–the better. In the meantime, let’s talk about how a Pokemon MMO *could* feasably work. This of course assumes ALL of the following:
- Like X, Y, OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire it would be released in all regions at the same time (WOOT!)
- The Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos Regions can all be visited and traveled between.
- All 721 (as of 2014) Pokemon are in it and can be caught in the game.
- Trainer Avatar’s Appearance is customizable as introduced in X and Y.
- Trainers and Trade and Battle with each other whenever they want and wherever they want (with obvious exceptions).
Those five are a given. Everything else you and I can think of would just be icing on the cake ^_^
Now let’s talk about that icing.
If I was sitting in Game Freak’s Board Room right now being asked what I would like to see in the Pokemon MMO, here’s my Wish List. I make no apologies in advance for the level of detail given to most of these:
- Choice of which of the Six Regions to start in. After creating my in-game Avatar, I’m asked to pick my starting region. Once picked, the introductory cinematic featuring one of the professors plays. If you pick Kanto for example, after the cinematic plays the game loads with you having just arrived in Pallet Town outside the Pokemon Center (new building since there isn’t a Pokemon Center in the original games). You’re then directed to speak to Professor Oak to receive your first Pokemon (Bulbasaur, Chamander, Squirtle or Pikachu) and the Pokedex for that region.
- Battles will be in real time. Once you’ve sent out a Pokemon, you will control it in real time. Pokemon Abilities will activate automatically during battle once the conditions are met. Since this is an MMO, Pokemon can have up to 10 moves at a time (hurray for keybinds!). In a Double or Triple Battle, the Pokemon you are not currently comtrolling will be AI controlled and act based on their personality until you switch to them.
- Mega Evolution will be in the game. Unlike the current games, if all of a trainer’s Pokemon can Mega Evolve they will be able to Mega Evolve them all in the same battle.
- The ability to choose to join one of the Teams: Rocket, Magma, Aqua, Galactic, Plasma (Led by N), Neo Plasma (Led by Ghestis) or Flare. Joining one of the Teams grants certain benefits. For example, if you pick Team Plasma your Pokemon have increased happiness towards you at all times and you can convince Pokemon to join you without fighting them. On the other hand, if you pick Team Magma Your non-Fire Pokemon can’t be burned ever and you can travel inside dark caves without needing Flash.
- Trainers have levels just like Pokemon do. What Pokemon you face at Gyms depends on what your Trainer Level is. For example, if your Trainer level is 10 or less in Johto you will face Faulkner’s Pokemon from Gold/HeartGold and Silver/SoulSilver. If your Trainer level is 55 you will face much stronger Pokemon instead. Trainer levels are also important for progressing through certain areas like Viridian Forest, Mt. Pyre and Mt. Mortar.
- You’re locked into the region you start in until you’ve collected all eight badges of that region. Once you’ve collected all eight badges, you can now enter the Pokemon League for that region. You will also receive a letter directing you to the region’s largest city (for example Slateport City in Hoenn or Luminose City in Kalos) to get a passport allowing you to visit the other regions. When you arrive in the next region, you will be directed to that region’s professsor (for example Professor Elm in Johto) where they will give you a map of the region and update the Pokedex to the National Dex for you.
- When you meet another player you can do everything you can in the handheld games with them. You can also form a group (up to six people per party) to take on a challenge too hard for just one person (such as a legendary Pokemon!) on their own. If you meet someone who started in a different region from you, you’ll be able to exchange Pokedex info with each other. You won’t see non-Regional Pokemon Data until you get the National Dex though.
- Defeating the Elite Four and its Champion grants certain benefits depending on your region. Beating Red in Kanto for example grants you access to the Cerulean Cave (more on this in a moment), giving you the opportunity to battle and capture Mewtwo.
- Encounters with Legendary Pokemon such as Mewtwo, Rayquayza and Giratina would be called Fateful Encounters (just like the data for them in the game says). There are certain prerequisites to being able face them. Here are a few:
- Mewtwo: In order to face Mewtwo, you will need to have become the Pokemon League Champion of Kanto. You will also need to have a Trainer level of 70 or higher and at least one Pokemon on your team at level 70 or higher to enter the Cerulean Cave. Once those conditions have been met talk to Blue, the Viridian City Gym Leader. He will tell you about a freakishly powerful Pokemon he once saw in Cerulean Cave and say that only a Trainer as powerful as the Pokemon League Champion could face it. If the mentioned conditions have been met, Blue will go on to tell you since you beat Red, you should be ok and will give you permission to go to the cave. Go to the cave entrance and tell the guards, who will move aside to let you in. If you are in a group, all of the group members need to have also beaten Red, have one level 70+ Pokemon on their team and have their trainer level at 70+. Once you find Mewtwo, the battle is on! If you are in a group, after Mewtwo is caught or defeated a new one will spawn a short time later. Since Mewtwo is one of a kind, trainers may only catch one per Region (Mewtwo can currently be caught in Kanto and Kalos for example).
- Rayquayza: Same as Mewtwo. Once those conditions are met, Professor Birch will tell you about the Sky Pillar. If you encountered Groudon or Kyogre (you will automatically be locked into one or the other if you joined Team Magma/Aqua in Hoenn) he will tell you about the third Pokemon, Rayquayza and direct you to Lilycove City to take a ferry to the Sky Pillar. Waiting for you at the top will be Rayquayza. Alternatively, you can catch Rayquayza in the Embedded Tower in Johto if you saw Kyogre and/or Groudon in the cavern already. Leave and come back in to find Rayquayza waiting for you.
- Raikou, Entei and Suicune: After you’ve visited the Burned Tower in Johto, you will see a cinematic in which the Legendary Beasts of Johto awaken and make a break for it. The cinematic is slightly different depending on weather you started in Johto or not. If you started in Johto, all three Pokemon will be in fixed locations: Raikou will be waiting for you in Ilex Forest, Entei on the Violet City side of Route 36 and Suicune on the beach north of Cianwood City. Otherwise, you will have to look for them in the grasses of Johto. Once you’ve found one, it will attempt to Roar you away but if you have any Pokemon with Soundproof, Suction Cups or Arena Trap it will not work. You can then work on weaking it enough to catch it.
- Once your Trainer level hits 15, you will be able to chose what type of trainer you want to be: Hiker, Doctor, Policeman, Breeder, etc. Your Trainer type grants you unique abilities but it can be changed for a price. For example if you pick Doctor, you can heal your Pokemon and those of your party members while on the field with your portable healing machine. If you’re a Breeder, you can breed any compatible Pokemon with no wait time and have a high chance of getting multiple eggs at once.
- Pokemon will be made in proportion to their listed sizes in the Pokedex. For example: Groudon is 11’06”. I’m 6’1″ so Groudon would be almost twice as tall as me (LOL!). It goes without saying the Pokemon would be visually stunning to behold.
- Trainers can elect to have up to two Pokemon follow them around outside their Poke Balls. Not only that, trainers can switch control to their Pokemon to either scout ahead or even ride them if the Pokemon is ridable.
- Going with the above: Once a Pokemon is taught an HM, it is permanent but does not make the Pokemon untradeable in the MMO. HM moves like Fly and Surf can only be used outside of battle if the Pokemon is big enough to be ridden. With certain large Pokemon like Lapras, Wailord, Torterra and Lugia, multiple trainers can ride a single Pokemon (WOOT!).
- That said: Trainers can use Fly to travel to other regions once they have both a passport and a Regional Flight License, the latter of which is given to you after you’ve beaten the Elite Four and the Champion in two regions.
That’s just my short list!
Man…the world of Pokemon is big and getting bigger still. For the third time, we’re going back to a world remade 10 years later. I’m referring to Pokemon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire. The question of the day might be what comes after OR/AS: Pokemon Z with Zygarde as the feature legendary (as many assume) or a new gen? We got two gens on the DS so it would be a safe bet Gen 7 (sorry but it IS gonna happen eventually) will be released on the 3DS eventually. I just hope 6th Gen’s online services and apps are allowed to last longer than the 5th Gen’s did XD