Yesterday, I opened my discussion on the probable follow-up to Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the four hitherto-released games of what is called Generation VI, the Nintendo 3DS generation of the main series Pokémon games. Based on the history of the Pokémon main games franchise, two choices, which fans are debating on, are to be chosen from: a Pokémon Z, or a Pokémon X and Y 2.
Here, I present my views supporting a Pokémon Z.
Are you ready? Let’s go.
Background: Past 3 Versions
Pokémon Yellow did not build on the Red and Blue (or Green, if you’re a purist) story more than it was an inspiration of the anime – its unique selling proposition was Ash’s Pikachu, the Team Rocket Trio, and the in-game distribution of the three Kanto starters. Pokémon Crystal pushed Suicune, one of its Legendary Trio members, into the spotlight, introduced a female player for the first time, a new Suicune-related character (Eusine), animations, the Battle Tower… but not much story-wise, relative to Pokémon Gold and Silver. Pokémon Emerald and Pokémon Platinum, the next two (and last two, as of this point) third-version games, offered for the first time substantial changes to their respective storylines, with other features of course.
Pokémon Emerald put both Teams Magma and Aqua as antagonists, and both Groudon and Kyogre were awakened and caused hell for Eastern Hoennian residents; the player’s responsibility was to go to Rayquaza itself, the third member of their trio and also the internal master, to calm them down. Among others added were the Battle Frontier, a battle theme park that essentially gave the Battle Tower six new sister facilities with exclusive rules; the chance to get both Groudon and Kyogre post-game; the chance to get the other Fossil in-game; and have phone conversations with the Trainers who could be re-battled. Pokémon Platinum, on the other hand, also had both version mascots (Dialga and Palkia) awakened, with an all-new area called the Distortion World introduced for the third member of the trio, Giratina – which was also given a new form – to contribute to the storyline; the Battle Tower of Sinnoh was also replaced with its own Battle Frontier; Amity Square was enlarged and Hearthome’s Gym became the third instead of the fifth; the Legendary Birds of Kanto became available; and so much more.
Arguments for Pokémon Z
The games scream “trio” in so many ways, further making the scenario of a Pokémon Z likely. Let’s see how exactly:
The mascots of Pokémon X and Y are, respectively, the X-shaped Xerneas and the Y-shaped Yveltal. Xerneas is the Pokémon of life, while Yveltal is the Pokémon of destruction. The Pokémon that comes right after them is Zygarde, who is known as the Pokémon of preservation. Three things:
One, Xerneas is X and Yveltal is Y. X and Y do form a duality, such as in chromosomes, but it still screams of completion by Z, which is also the last letter of the Roman alphabet.
Two, observe the bases of the three Pokémon. They were inspired by Norse mythology: Xerneas on the stag Eikþyrnir; Yveltal on the eagle-giant Hræsvelgr; and Zygarde on the dragon Níðhöggr and the sea serpent Jörmungandr. But look more closely – Xerneas is the life Pokémon, Yveltal is the death Pokémon, and Zygarde is the Pokémon that maintains order.
Sounds like they were also based on Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu, the primary gods of Hinduism – Brahma is the creator, Shiva is the destroyer, and Vishnu is the preserver. The Hindu Holy Trinity.
If Xerneas, Yveltal, and Zygarde thus form the Kalos Holy Trinity, wouldn’t it make sense for the third member of the trio to get its own game as well? *drum roll Pokémon Z*
Three, Xerneas is colored blue. Yveltal is colored red. Zygarde is colored green. These are the original Japanese Generation I games, further connoting a relationship among the three of them.
Imagine a scenario similar to Pokémon Platinum, where Giratina opens the Distortion World to maintain the natural order of things and prevent Dialga and Palkia from destroying the world. Wouldn’t that just sound like Zygarde’s role – to preserve how things should be? Imagine Team Flare having secured both Xerneas and Yveltal to power the ultimate weapon, and Zygarde steps in to prevent it from causing the destruction of Kalos. Or Zygarde is the one captured by Team Flare, and Xerneas and Yveltal somehow step into the foray. This, over a situation in which Lysandre somehow survived the blast, and tried fixing the ultimate weapon again. Sounds more plausible and interesting, no?
Sure, we get the same choice of three starter Pokémon – twice. That’s two trios. Not just that, but your choice of starter Pokémon also influences the Legendary Bird you encounter (although so did FireRed and LeafGreen) – you get Articuno if you chose Chespin, you get Zapdos if you chose Fennekin, and you encounter Moltres if you went with Froakie.
What’s in a Name?
X and Y are named after the x- and y- axes of the Cartesian coordinate plane. The coordinate plane as we know it in elementary math is a two-dimensional one. However, the plane also exists in three dimensions, with the third dimension playing height to the length and width of the x– and y-axes. The third axis? The z-axis, of course.
With a Pokémon Z out, like Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, and Platinum, it would take features from X and Y, then build on them. Based on how the four past third versions augmented gameplay of their sibling twins, I’d predict – and wish! – for the following features to come out. Besides an updated storyline, of course.
If Hoenn introduced a Battle Frontier in Emerald (it was under planning in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire) and Sinnoh in Platinum, perhaps it’s nigh time for Kalos to have its own Battle Frontier too in Z. Or, at least add a couple more battle institutions in Kiloude City. Hoenn’s Battle Frontier has seven institutions, Sinnoh’s has five… I hope Kalos doesn’t follow the pattern and have just three. But I’d certainly be glad to have another institution or two as one tends to get bored with repeated battling with the same rules over and over again.
Perhaps a Battle Factory, just as in Hoenn and Sinnoh, where you pick rental Pokémon. Another institute with in-house inventory or currency only, like the Battle Pyramid and Castle. Another tournament tree institution like the Battle Dome (which was my favorite overall from the Hoenn Frontier). Or maybe, they’d even add on Psychic Inver’s Inverse Battles and create a whole institution based on it.
I would like for Pokémon-Amie to be updated – with new ways of playing with your Pokémon (or new ways to boost its affection), and with new mini-games – perhaps add two more. I admit I got bored quite easily already with going back and forth among the endless levels of the three existing mini-games.
Updated Super Training
If Pokémon-Amie receives updates, so would Super Training. Even if just aesthetically – for example, the Balloon Bots are colored with the Pokémon’s natural colors (or you can even choose your color scheme)! Some of the Balloon Bots themselves could be updated (for example, the HP series would be Happiny, Chansey, and Blissey; while the Special Defense series would be Flabébé, Floette, and Florges; and the Speed series would be Zubat, Golbat, and Crobat – or the Secret Super Training challenges could be changed). More types of Training Bags could also be added.
Perhaps the player characters’ customization features could be enhanced – more hairstyles, differing facial and skin features, and of course more clothes. I certainly enjoyed styling my male character in X (as a sandbox for how I’d dress up in real life :p), and I hope I can keep enjoying said experience (I plan to use Calem again in Z).
On a side note, both Brendan and May received costume updates for Emerald, and Lucas and Dawn in Platinum. Perhaps this is an indication that Z would also update Calem’s and Serena’s style…
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire brought almost as much Mega Evolutions to the foray as X and Y did. Being a standalone game, Z may bring in less, but bring in nonetheless.
I would expect the following, due to their counterparts (official or otherwise) already introduced:
- Mega Butterfree (to complement Mega Beedrill)
- Mega Slowking (to complement Mega Slowbro)
- Mega Milotic (to complement Mega Gyarados)
- Mega Froslass (to complement Mega Glalie)
And even Mega Dragonite and Mega Hydreigon, since the other pseudo-legendaries (Tyranitar, Metagross, Salamence, and Garchomp) already have Mega Evolutions. Mega Goodra would be an anomaly, though, given that Diancie is the only Generation VI Pokémon so far to have a Mega Form.
What if, as its Z starring role, Zygarde would also receive, like Giratina, a new form? Or a Mega Evolution, even. Xerneas and Yveltal could either also receive Mega Evolutions or Primal Reversions. Given Team Flare’s idea of a beautiful world, and Primal Reversion’s drawing from nature, there could be some sort of relationship forged there.
Perhaps Z is the right time to début AZ’s Floette, or Floette Eternal as Smogon currently dubs it. If the storyline is to go deeper and it does involve AZ, it would be interesting to see how his Floette contributes to the story – and to your player.
The FireRed and LeafGreen Move Tutors returned in Emerald, and those who appeared in HeartGold and SoulSilver also appeared in Platinum prior. I would expect the Move Tutors introduced in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to appear in Z, most likely in Kiloude City.
Shauna, Trevor, and Tierno
It was very nice to have near-constant traveling companions in X and Y where, at key points during the game, Serena/Calem, Shauna, Trevor, and Tierno met up with you and journeyed together for a short while.
I’d like to see the backstories – or more developments – on Shauna, Trevor, and Tierno. After the Elite Four, they became rather unceremoniously relegated to the sidelines. Although unlikely, it would be nice to see them each with a Mega Evolution.
Updated Trainer Rosters
Yellow, Emerald, and Platinum updated the levels and teams of some of the more prominent opponent trainers. I’m hoping Z does the same, especially for the Elite Four. I’d like them to get stronger, too, post-game – and all of them with a Mega Evolution to boot.
The Easy and Challenge modes Black and White 2 offered were very innovative. Needless to say, I chose the Challenge Mode for both games as soon as I got them, as I do like a challenge. I hope Z makes things more interesting this way – such as perhaps lower slightly the levels of opponents at first (as Platinum did), then increase them all post-game.
Perhaps Clemont would become the second Gym Leader, just as how Fantina became the third from the fifth leader from DP to Platinum. He, Grant, Korrina, and Ramos would thus substantially change their team levels.
This is my discussion for Pokémon Z. Do you agree with it, do you want other features, or do you think an X and Y 2 is more likely? Comment below!