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Pokémon world

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For other uses, see Pokémon world (disambiguation).

An orbital view of the Pokémon world, seen in the anime. Note its resemblance to Earth.
Map showing only the landscape. Unova is identified by squared cursor. Note the obvious similarities to Europe at the bottom of the picture; Scandinavia looks practically unchanged

The Pokémon world is the main planet for the Pokémon franchise, set in the Pokémon universe. It bears some striking similarities with the real world, certainly deriving inspiration from it, but many factors set it apart as a different place from our own world. The world of Pokémon is based on Japanese culture but various other cultures are also added and mixed.[1]

History

Main article: History of the Pokémon world

It is said in many Sinnoh legends that the universe, Pokémon world included, was created by a single Pokémon, Arceus. In a void of nothingness, a single Egg came into being, which then hatched into Arceus. Arceus creates Dialga, Palkia, and possibly Giratina and gives Dialga and Palkia the abilities to control time and space. Giratina is banished into another dimension for its behavior. Then, during very early formation of the world, possibly sooner, Arceus creates Azelf, Uxie, and Mesprit to create willpower, knowledge, and emotion respectively, attributes that are in all modern humans and Pokémon. They dive to the bottom of present-day Lake Valor, Lake Acuity, and Lake Verity, respectively, dubbing the term "the lake guardians." Also in these early times Mew likely came into being, containing the DNA of every Pokémon. There are many scientists who believe that Mew was the ancestor of all Pokémon [2][3].

Groudon and Kyogre's great battle

The next to come into being are Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza. It has been speculated that Groudon was formed deep inside the earth, from magma, Kyogre was formed by the pressure in the deep sea trenches, and Rayquaza was formed by the minerals of the ozone layer. Another theory exists that the three already existed before the oceans, lands, and ozone layer did, and rather, proceeded to create these components of the planet themselves. Rayquaza proceeds to fly around in the ozone layer, occasionally coming to rest at the Sky Pillar. Groudon and Kyogre proceed to create landmass and fill the sea, respectively. A chance meeting turns the two into rivals, and a conflict for dominance over the Pokémon world begins. This battle continues until Rayquaza quells it, causing Groudon and Kyogre to retreat to special caverns, where they rest. The Red and Blue Orbs are created to prevent the reawakening of Groudon and Kyogre, and are left at Mt. Pyre for safekeeping. At this time, Mew may have been plentiful and lived in large numbers. Landmasses such as Mt. Coronet are created, and Regigigas moves the continents, forming various regions. The Sinnoh region is created around Mt. Coronet. During this violent procedure, Stark Mountain is created and Heatran is formed in lava. Arceus creates the Adamant, Lustrous and Griseous Orbs before falling into a never-ending sleep.

Ancient Unown seen in many different languages and ages

Many years after, the prehistoric era begins and the first prehistoric Pokémon come into being. Scientists have proven that prehistoric Pokémon roamed the land, as Fossils and other archaeological remains have been found to contain the DNA of Pokémon. It is possible that the Mew population may have decreased at this stage, as they slowly gave way to other Pokémon species. Evolution has come, separating humans from Pokémon, to create the first humans.

During the Stone, Ice, and Iron Ages, the legendary golems are created, and used as keys to seal away Regigigas in the Snowpoint Temple. Regirock, Regice and Registeel are hidden in the Hoenn region.

Brass Tower after the fire, 150 years later.

1500 years before modern times, the earliest known system for writing is developed and used at the Ruins of Alph, Tanoby Ruins, and Solaceon Ruins. Archaeologists are currently unsure whether the nearly identical Unown preceded or succeeded the writing system, but it is assumed they share some sort of connection. At this point the Magikarp population mutated and became weaker.

In recent history, 700 years before modern times, the Tin Tower and the Brass Tower were constructed. These two nine-tier towers were built opposite each other in Ecruteak City. The towers were built to foster friendship and hope between Pokémon and people. The view from the top of the towers was said to be 'magnificent'. In the west was Brass Tower, which was said to awaken Pokémon and in the east was the Tin Tower, where Pokémon were said to rest. At the time, an immense silver-colored Pokémon, was said to make its roost atop the Brass Tower, while its counterpart, the glorious rainbow-colored Ho-Oh was said to rest at the Tin Tower. However, around 150 years before the games, a lightning bolt struck the Brass Tower. It was engulfed in flames that raged for 3 days. Lugia and Ho-Oh escaped to the skies unharmed. A sudden downpour put an end to the blaze. In-game lore states that three Pokémon died in the fire, but Ho-Oh was able to revive them as the legendary beasts, Raikou, Entei, and Suicune. At around this time, the first Pokémon League competitions started to take place. In the 1990s, the first Pokémon created by scientific engineering, Porygon, is created.

In contemporary history, some years prior to the date, Mewtwo is cloned from Mew, and later escapes and destroys Cinnabar Island's Pokémon Mansion. Soon after, an erupting volcano on Cinnabar Island causes destruction of many areas on the island. Along with that, the leaders of Teams Aqua and Magma reawaken Groudon and Kyogre and they continue their great battle, only to get stopped again by Rayquaza. Groudon and Kyogre retreat to the region of Fiore to rest after their battle.

In modern history, the Sinnoh region has become unusually colder, due to the strange circumstances occurring across the region. The legendary titans of Sinnoh are also awoken by a villainous team; Team Galactic use a Red Chain forged from the lake guardians to summon Dialga, Palkia and Giratina. Their efforts are halted due to interference from the player. At this time, a rip in time-space has occurred, opening a portal to the Distortion World. Giratina escapes into its dimension along with Cyrus, the Team Galactic leader. The entrance to the Distortion World closes returning the Sinnoh region back to normal. Some years after this, Team Plasma attempts to free Pokémon from human capture but for selfish reasons. Reshiram and Zekrom are awoken due to Team Plasma and the player. The player, siding with one of the two dragons, battles against N to test if N's convictions were correct. After this, the player defeats Ghetsis, and N leaves to a distant land with his dragon, while the player keeps theirs.

Culture

Culturally, the many depictions of the world all reflect a popular fascination with Pokémon and their interactions with humans, including catching them, training them, battling them, raising them, keeping them as pets, studying them, and utilizing their varied skills. Several myths discuss the relationship between humans and Pokémon as a very close one, and one folk tale even says that there was a time when humans and Pokémon were considered one and the same.

In a broad sense, Pokémon training is based on the answer to two questions: What should the relationship between a Pokémon Trainer and Pokémon be, and what is the best way to foster this relationship? Depending on their individual viewpoints regarding training, different Trainers follow different methods of training and focus on different areas. It is generally thought that there is no one right way to train, since many methods have valid reasons behind them and their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

However, in particular, many training methods will fall into one of two categories. The first category is methods which focus on the friendship and well-being of Pokémon and developing a bond of friendship. The second category is methods which focus on developing the strength and ability of a Pokémon and being able to control it masterfully. Trainers will often argue about which of these two views is best. In fact, this is a common theme in the canon, frequently supporting the idea that friendship is the most important thing in a Trainer's relationship with Pokémon, and a good Trainer can bring out the strength of any Pokémon with their love and care.

The history of the Pokémon world is notably different from our own, and seems to be dictated primarily between the interactions between humans and Pokémon. There does not seem to be a major world religion, but some believe in the ancient myths based around legendary Pokémon, so it is plausible that the population believes in Pokémon as their religion. Backing this up, most people are generally kind and respect Pokémon. Shinto shrines and crosses have both been seen. In Hearthome City the Foreign Building appears to be a Christian church. Also, Brock made reference to the story of Noah featured in the Old Testament of the Bible in Pokémon Shipwreck. In Pokémon Adventures in VS Vileplume II, a Hoenn couple had a Christian-like wedding.

However, there exist many individuals that wish to harness Pokémon for their own nefarious deeds. Some of these people are simply do so for material gain while others hold misguided ideals to help the world. In addition, war is not unknown to the Pokémon world, Lt. Surge having fought in at least one. Firearms and other weapons exist, but are not used as often as Pokémon are.

Pokémon

People and Pokémon working together, as seen in the TCG

Pokémon are living creatures that inhabit the Pokémon world, living alongside, and usually helping, humans. Pokémon have been seen within this world as being both supplements and replacements for animals and plants that exist within the real world. Most people respect Pokémon and treat them kindly, yet there exist people who take advantage of them and exploit their abilities for their own gain. Pokémon have feelings and can also understand the human language to some extent. Recreations of natural ecosystems are done with Pokémon. While some Pokémon have abilities that are normal or only slightly distorted from reality, many more Pokémon have abilities that are completely original and have no counterparts within the real world. Other Pokémon are based on legends that exist in our world such as Ho-Oh being based on a phoenix.

Evolution

The final evolutions of the starters of Unova

In a Sinnoh myth, it is said that Pokémon and people were originally the same species. Over time, some of these creatures split apart from the rest and became humans. This theory has been explored many times throughout the Pokémon world, but not proven. Mew is said to be the ancestor of all life: it evolved into the other Pokémon. The first human recording was during the Stone Age, millions of years before the modern era. Biological taxonomies of cellular and genetic structure have revealed that Pokémon are all actually a single species of life form and that the individual differences between each creature are actually subspecies. This can also explain why Pokémon can variously interbreed with each other. This explores the myth of evolution in the Pokémon world and makes a reference to evolution of animals and humans in the real world.

In modern times, Pokémon commonly undergo a process called evolution. During the course of a Pokémon's development, under certain circumstances specific to that Pokémon's subspecies, it may become a different Pokémon. This change is not merely physical, however, as Pokémon of a higher evolutionary stage have different and usually more powerful base stats than their predecessors, may have different moves that can be learned, and sometimes change their types, though the primary type is usually preserved. Most Pokémon will undergo this process.

Evolution in Pokémon, for most subspecies, is more akin to metamorphosis than to actual evolution. The Pokémon whose evolution is closest to the real-world definition of evolution is Burmy, who takes on a different appearance depending on the environment.

Reproduction

Main article: Pokémon breeding

Nearly every Pokémon undergoes some form of reproduction. Fully developed, or Pokémon that passed their baby form can breed with Pokémon of the same Egg Group. Pokémon that have no genders can only breed with Ditto; baby Pokémon and legendary Pokémon cannot breed at all, with the exception of Manaphy and Phione. Like the majority of real animals, most Pokémon have genders which can sometimes be determined by markings and gender-differences. Usually, a Trainer's Pokémon will breed in a Pokémon Day Care. It is unknown how a Pokémon reproduces, as no one has seen a Pokémon reproduce. Based on this, it is safe to assume that they only reproduce when left alone.

Eggs of Togepi and Elekid

All Pokémon able to breed lay Eggs. Though, nobody has actually seen a Pokémon lay an Egg, they apparently appear by the Pokémon. Pokémon usually lay one Egg at a time, sometimes, in unusual occasions, lay various Eggs at a time. Pokémon Eggs are similar to birds' Eggs, as they have a hard outer shell that protects the growing, undeveloped Pokémon inside. An Egg's shell usually has a pattern reflecting the appearance of the Pokémon inside making each Pokémon Egg unique from one another. Pokémon, like animals, are rather protective of their Eggs. They sometimes nest them, but usually keep them close to themselves. The growing Pokémon incubates inside its Egg until the time come for the Pokémon to hatch. The time it takes for a Pokémon to hatch varies from each Pokémon species and the type of Egg. However, placing an Egg into a PC will halt the incubation process.

Some Pokémon species have a baby form when they hatch from their Eggs. Once in their adult stages, these Pokémon are able to reproduce and continue the cycle of reproduction. Most baby Pokémon can only hatch as a baby Pokémon. However, there are some exceptions. Some Pokémon hatch into a more advanced form most of the time, but can also hatch into a baby form when conditions are right.

Pokémon as food

It is stated in multiple Pokédex entries that some Pokémon are known to eat others, such as Pidgeot swooping down to catch a Magikarp meal from the water. Humans have also been implied to eat Pokémon, with the player's mother's Cinnabar Volcano Burgers and Team Rocket's plot to sell SlowpokeTails as a sweet treat in Generation II and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. Farfetch'd itself is based on a specific manner for preparing a meal of duck, with its rarity in the wild being a result of overhunting. Several of the Sinnoh myths also mention eating Pokémon, saying that they will be born again if their bones are picked clean and returned to where the Pokémon was found.

Classification

Pokémon have been enumerated in several different regions by their local Pokémon professors, taking their primary example from Professor Oak, the developer of the first Pokédex. While Oak's initial development only counted the 151 Pokémon native to the Kanto region, by collaborating with the other professors to develop separate Pokédex listings for each region, the National Pokédex, which counts all Pokémon known, currently catalogs 719 Pokémon.

Pokémon are also classified according to several different types, depending on their strengths, weaknesses, and the moves they learn. Each of these types has certain strengths and weaknesses against others, with a total of 18 types identified so far. Pokémon are known to have either one or two types. Pokémon's types can be changed by moves like Soak and Conversion, and through abilities like Color Change.

Geography and nature

A map of the nation in which the games and anime take place

The Pokémon world looks and acts like the real world in terms of geography. Each have landforms, oceans of water (the Oceanic Museum has an exhibit claiming over two-thirds of the world is covered by water, the same as Earth), and temperatures to support life - meaning that the Pokémon world is about the same size and same distances from its sun as the real world. Misty even directly refers to the Pokémon world as Earth in Pokémon Heroes. However, if the Pokémon world is not Earth, it must be similar, having a similar moon, similar climates, and so on, which explains the similar tides. Many different theories exist as to exactly how the Pokémon world relates to our own.

Humans and nature in the Pokémon world are linked to each other, as many towns are built around the natural environment. A point of interest, unlike the real world, is that people's links with the nature are strong and they never try to affect the natural environment, with the exception of some villainous teams. Some Pokémon such as Groudon and Kyogre can affect and shape nature causing unexplainable droughts, storms and earthquakes that can affect the continental plates.

Arcanine's Pokédex entry states that it is considered legendary in China; in the anime, Jessie's mother was said to have been lost in an expedition in the Andes; and lab reports in Pokémon Mansion state that Mew was discovered in Guyana, South America. These observations imply some possibility of the Pokémon world being the same as the "real world", only with extra regions.

Structure

In-game map from HeartGold and SoulSilver showing the connection between Kanto and Johto

The Pokémon world is split into several regions, Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos among them. These regions are large landforms much like continents in the real world, which support a large political region. Off these regions are islands that are not part of any region. These islands are grouped together to create one small region like the Orange Islands and the Sevii Islands. Though there are many similarities between them, there are some major differences between the regions, such as what Pokémon are located there and what legends there are waiting to be uncovered. Visitors from another region quickly realize that the region they are visiting is far from their home, both in the way of the climate, and in the culture of the people there. The regions are generally thought to be part of a larger country because of the term National Pokédex, but they are all perhaps part of a world nation. There are, as of Generation VI, only six primary regions, yet others such as Orre and Fiore have been introduced in other games. Several small kingdoms have been introduced in the anime as well, most of which keep themselves secluded in remote or difficult to reach areas.

Regions in relation to Japan

The geography of the regions is strikingly similar to Japan, but in a much larger scale, as seen in the fifth movie (the only time when the entire planet is clearly shown). The Kantō region of Japan is not only identical in name to Kanto in the Pokémon world, it is also very similar geographically; however, the western part of Kanto corresponds to eastern Chūbu. In Japan, the Kanto region is often contrasted with Kansai, which is like Johto, to the west. However, Johto is geographically more similar to the combined region of Kansai and western Chubu. Hoenn is based on the southernmost parts of Japan—Kyūshū and Okinawa—with the latter highly condensed. Sinnoh has been said to be an island like Hoenn, rather than a peninsula. It is based on the northernmost major island of Japan, Hokkaido, part of Sakhalin and Kunashir Island. Unova has been said to be based on the island of Manhattan and the New York City Metropolitan Area, and the latest games, Pokémon X and Y, take place in the Kalos region, which is based on Northern France, with many cultural similarities between the country and the region, such as language, music, and architecture. Regardless, the games have referenced real places on Earth, such as South America, Australia, China, Antarctic, the United States, and the Pacific Ocean, while the anime (and related products) have referenced places such as Hollywood, California, Minnesota, England, and Paris.

Climate

Autumn in the Unova region

Most regions have different climates. Regions and islands like the Hoenn and the Orange Islands further south in the Pokémon world have a warmer climate than northerly regions, possibly due to an equator, much like on Earth. It gets so hot in Hoenn that there is a desert with a raging sandstorm. Meanwhile, the Sinnoh region is cooler than other regions, and becoming colder due to climate change in the region. It is snowing constantly in the northern area of the region. Some Pokémon such as Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza can affect climate and weather.

Weather conditions still apply in the Pokémon world, and as clouds and rain exist, so must the water cycle. Many weather conditions that appear on Earth are also in the Pokémon world, such as rain, hailstorms, snow, fog, and sandstorms. Given that plants and trees seem to grow in a normal manner, it can be reasonably assumed that the other major cycles, such as the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle, exist as well.

Environment

Mt. Coronet, the tallest mountain in the Sinnoh region

The natural environment in the Pokémon world is much similar to the real Earth's environment. Areas with a high density of trees make up forests, landscapes that receive very little precipitation create deserts, while loose broken-up particles of rock make large coastal beaches attracting people and Pokémon alike. The Hoenn and the Sinnoh regions boast many dramatic environments ranging from rainforests to deserts.

The Pokémon world is mainly green and lush, based on factors such as plant structures including trees, shrubs, and grasses. Grass is usually uncontrolled and makes tall grass patches that form prime habitats for wild Pokémon. There is a Sinnoh Myth that explains why Pokémon appear when people walk into the tall grass: When Sinnoh had just been created, a Pokémon proposed that they should always be ready to help the humans. There are also large mountainous areas that tower above low lying land areas. The largest mountain range is Mt. Coronet, which stretches from the top to the bottom of Sinnoh, splitting the whole region in two. Man-made and natural occurrences form caves in the mountainsides that are able to be explored or passed through to get to other cities. Many natural phenomenons appear in the Pokémon world such as snowing ash that covers the area is caused by the nearby volcano that smokes and rains down on the area.

Humans and nature in the Pokémon world are linked to each other, as many towns are built around its environment and they never try to affect the natural environment. Pacifidlog Town, for example, is built on wooden rafts and logs that float on top of a Corsola colony, while Sootopolis City is built in the crater of a hollowed, erupted volcano. An ecosystem is formed when all plants, Pokémon, and people in an area function together with all of the non-living physical factors of the environment. It is said that Pokémon are more in tune with nature than humans.

Physics and technology

A Time Capsule, used to teleport Pokémon back in time

Science and technology in the Pokémon world is more advanced than the real world. Technological advances have evolved the Pokémon world, scientists have created ways to store Pokémon on computers, send Pokémon around the world, send Pokémon back in time and clone Fossils to create prehistoric Pokémon, yet people's lives in the games are simple and very natural. Scientific achievements such as cloning and energy conversion mingle with magical elements such as spontaneous evolution and flowers that can replay a short time sequence, giving one the sense that the Pokémon world is very different from our own. The state of technology conceivably places the timeframe we see in either the present day, or perhaps in the future, but this is merely speculative. Scientists at the Devon Corporation and other companies are still working on more advanced and slightly impossible inventions like a Pokémon Dream Projector that makes a visual projection of Pokémon dreams, Pokémon Speaker that allows communication with Pokémon, and a Pokémon Transformator that turns people into Pokémon (which Bill accidentally did when testing his teleporter). Antigravity machines exist alongside basic means of travel such as bicycles and trucks.

One of the most advanced and commonly used technology in the Pokémon world is the Poké Ball which transforms a Pokémon into energy so it can be contained in the small ball. In a battle, once the opposing wild Pokémon has been weakened, the Trainer will throw a Poké Ball at it. Assuming the Poké Ball hits it and is not dodged or hit back to the Trainer, the Poké Ball will open, convert the wild Pokémon to an energy form, pull the energy into its hollow center, and then close. The wild Pokémon will then be given the chance to struggle to try to escape the Poké Ball. Poké Balls originated from Apricorns, which is a non-synthetic Poké Ball. Old Apricorn Poké Balls were able to be unscrewed at the disproportionate top and manually be released, to let the Pokémon out. There are now several different kinds of Poké Balls, each for different occasions, including the Master Ball which is able to capture a wild Pokémon without failure.

A Poké Ball, the most common technology used in the Pokémon World

Despite the amount of advanced technology available, comparatively few modes of transportation are seen. This may be because the world is often shown through the eyes of a Pokémon Trainer, who usually travel on foot for a variety of practical reasons such as cost and finding wild Pokémon. However, there is a possibility that some transportation such as cars and trucks are harmful to the natural environment and Pokémon by the poisonous pollution from the vehicles. The most common transportation used to get to other regions or islands is by sailing by boat or ship, as it is a quick and easy way to get to other lands, while most regions have their own ferry. People can also use Pokémon for transportation by flying or swimming.

While Pokémon are generally tolerant of human settlements being constructed, most will often react with hostility to any human attempts to truly cause harm to the natural environment. In Dig Those Diglett!, not only did a large group of Diglett and Dugtrio constantly hamper construction of a dam that would have destroyed much of the local habitat, the Pokémon of several Trainers invited to the scene to deal with the attacks refused to come out of their Poké Balls, and is one of the rare instances of Ash's Pikachu refusing to fight, which prompted Ash, Misty, and Brock to investigate further. In return, Pokémon are often seen providing several services that in the real world are performed by technology: Water- and Ground-type Pokémon are often used to fight fires, Electric-type Pokémon used as a clean source of electrical power, and so on.

In the anime, the physics of the Pokémon world are sometimes stretched to unrealistic degrees. Some common examples are unusual feats of strength and agility, surviving lethal attacks, and hammerspace.

Trivia

  • Kanto and Johto are the only regions known to be adjacent to each other.
  • The existence of foreign Pokédex entries, different Unown markings, and characters like the Meister, Fantina, and Looker point to the fact that there are other languages in the Pokémon world (although it is unknown what other language(s) Looker speaks, his speech patterns indicate that he is not a native speaker of the language used by people from the Pokémon nation). The Kalos region is implied as a bilingual region, with many signs being written in French such as menus, and people often drop occasional French words into sentences.
  • Regular animals have been seen in some of the older media while regular plants like apple trees or pine trees are still seen often or even daily. There is a possibility that both animals and Pokémon exist within this world in a complicated ecosystem; often real animals are referenced in a Pokédex entry, especially if the Pokémon being referred to is based on an animal. Humans and plants exist, helping this theory.
  • Junichi Masuda once stated in an interview:
"We actually don't think of the world of Pokémon as Earth. If we were to do that, we would kind of be limited by what we could do. By thinking about how physical objects work on Earth and how various elements work on Earth, we would kind of be limited to that if we thought of it as Earth. We think of it as a place that is really similar to Earth, but is a different planet of its own with people in it who may be similar to people on Earth, but they have different values so they care about different things. It's the type of place, the Pokémon world, where problems we face on Earth just wouldn't happen. There wouldn't be global warming, water shortages, or anything like that. It's a world where the people in it really want to work together with each other. Their value system is such where they would prefer to work together and eliminate these problems rather than feud."[4]

External links

On Bulbagarden forums

References

  1. Hidden Power of Masuda: Director's Columns
  2. Because it can use all kinds of moves, many scientists believe Mew to be the ancestor of Pokémon. Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum Pokédex entry
  3. Because it is able to use every move, there are many scientists who believe that it is the ancestor of all Pokémon. Pokémon Black and White Pokédex entry
  4. Pokémon's Burning Questions
Regions in the Pokémon world
Core series KantoJohtoHoennSinnohUnovaKalos
Sevii Islands
Side series Orre
Anime Orange ArchipelagoDecolore Islands
Spin-off games TCG IslandsFioreAlmiaObliviaPokémon Island
Mintale TownMystery Dungeon worldPokéParkRansei
TCG Southern IslandsHolon
Sovereign states in
the Pokémon world
Pokémon nationRanger UnionGuyana
Lucario KingdomMirage KingdomRota