Content of the article: "Pokemon in the UK Reimagined.. A Rough Draft"
Like most, Pokemon Sword and Shield were a mixed bag for me. I was very happy to see another pokemon game, and to see that the games were evolving and become more sophisticated – not enough though. As a result, I began jotting down some ideas about how I'd make a UK-based pokemon game. These are by no means final, polished, or that sort of thing, but I wanted to post it and see what other people thought and ask if anyone else had any other ideas to contribute or if they'd change anything themselves.
I'm not a game developper – indie or otherwise, and the only experience I have with game-design is loving games most of my life. Naturally, as a result, this is all really just a thought experiment and a fun little idea, and nothing will ever come out of it. If by some bizarre twist of fate anyone does want to make anything out of this nonsense or wants to incorporate these ideas into anything of any kind, if it's legal, please be my guest.
Anyhow, enough nonsense. Here are my notes:
Start in Small Town, Northern Ireland
(just immigrated, meet rival 1 – local, Blue-esque character, laugh at for no Pokemon and give 1 poke ball with taunt you’ll never catch one, says he’ll be champ)
Interest in Pokemon competition after playing in glade with starters (choose which to bond more with while playing) – after barely warding off big Pokemon, touches poke ball in hand with head to be captured. Set off to become best.
This introduces new mechanic – if Pokemon fighting with is friendly enough towards you, (play with, don’t K.O., heal with natural remedies, more bonded Pokemon) then option to ‘bond’ with wild Pokemon appears, making the catch rate 100% after calming, (3-9 turns of potential attacks depending on agitation/aggression and level). Pokemon bonded with have +25% exp gain rate & +10% stats.
Returning home to your mother and explaining your new pokemon, she talks about the competition in England and how another local from your small town set off long ago for fame and fortune. Inspired, you decide to do the same.
Travel by train / car to giant’s causeway with your mother who gives you some money and waves you off at the ferry to Dumfries (Dùn Phris), Scotland, because ferries to England all closed. There encounter rival 1 who challenges you. Beats you because he has three Pokemon, one type advantage.
Buy poke balls & supplies, () then fight along & socialise until come to Loch Ness & meet stranger talking about mystery until out of fog emerges giant ancient Aurorus. Fight, defeat, can’t catch, it leaves. Man surprised and remarks that he was surprised it was a Pokemon all along. Up past the loch is a lake-based ‘Wild Area’ with ruins, currently inaccessible.
Fight along until Edinburgh. Big City.
Clothes & Hair Customisation. Scottish Styles. Scottish food (replenishes Pokemon health, gives temp stat bonuses, improves certain type advantages). Register for NHS Pokemon health centres. Meet rival 2 – friendly, suggest you travel together down to England to visit relatives.
Up to Edinburgh Castle with new friend, rival 2, encounter the ghost when separated from tour. Litwicks filling the halls, alongside Honedges and such. Phantumps together turn out to be source of drumming.
Find friend and head down past Hadrian’s Wall and through Sherwood Forest. The latter is sprawling (another type of ‘Wild Area’). Iron Bridge closed for maintenance so have to go under. Encounter Large Grimmsnarl under bridge, but saved by the stranger who again comments on trolls under bridges being Pokemon in the end. Also somehow add in that some pokemon just can’t be caught, (pokemon that inspire local legends and such – somehow empowered by belief?)
Arrive with friend (rival 2) at Cotswolds, England. Meet family who encourage to compete in Gym challenge with Pokemon above lvl 20. Family talks about the history of the gym challenge and how different cultures and peoples come together to take part. Any trainer with all eight badges can compete in London to become the current Champion of the UK.. (potentially end-game challengers appear to claim the title, including both rivals?)
Each gym is 5-10 levels harder than last, but leaders will always have at least 2 Pokemon at a level above your strongest Pokemon. Each gym leader has 6 Pokemon. There are between 4 and 8 other competitors to face in each challenge preceding the arena. Healing areas on gym exits. Each gym arena individual but with space for audience. Losing against gym leader costs you 1/3 of all your money and resets the gym’s traps / trainers. Winning, however, yields 1/3 of your money each time. It very literally pays to be prepared. Talking to locals of the Gym towns will give you an idea of the pokemon used by each gym leader, and occasionally, one or two locals might actually have some tips for helping defeat them.
Robin (Flying) – bird watching challenge. first to encounter 10 flying type Pokemon in trees around the arena. fighting other competitors drops score by 1. Final battle involves a lot of increasing speed & decreasing player accuracy. gigantamax Corviknight. Beating Robin gets you a snap camera.
Pritchard (Bugs) – compete against other challengers to befriend and catch as many bug type Pokemon as possible within a time limit and with limited poke balls. Final battle in the long grass with occasional bug Pokemon turning up to help either side, depending on who’s Pokemon likes them more. gigantamax Butterfree. Beating Pritchard gets you a better tent.
Doe (Normal) – challenge is one single much higher level Snorlax blocking the only path to the arena, then just her v you with massively strong Pokemon/moves. Final battle has no audience, just three judges giving scores. gigantamax Snorlax.
William (Ghost) – haunted house with 5 potential ‘spooky’ trainers. avoidable, but if you fight them, the last of your Pokemon disappears. could end up fighting with 1 Pokemon. Final battle win sees him toss you the badge and as you look back, both him and the audience have disappeared. gigantamax Grimmsnarl. Beating William gets you an award to put on your shelf back home, (drama mask thing).
Yogi (Fighting) – lose all Pokemon and find them in the dark by sound/vibration; avoid other competitors doing the same. Final battle involves all martial arts, 1 boxing Pokemon, 1 wrestling Pokemon, and 2 karate Pokemon. Gallade and Medicham secret final for psychic boost – train your mind and body. gigantamax Medicham. Beating Yogi teaches you how to meditate with your Pokemon at camps to improve catch rates by 20% for an hour.
Purdy (Steel) – factory challenge with conveyor belts. forge a key for the door out of gallium. as you pass through, water pours over the door and washes the gallium away. Final battle decked out to look like a mine with the occasional environmental earthquake, potentially hurting both sides, (20% chance she’s immune anyway). gigantamax Steelix. At the end of battle, Robin flies in & the pair fly off together.
Titus (Ice) – constantly snowing mountain to hike. outside, non-ice/water Pokemon receive debuffs every 20 seconds. open caves with campfires dotted around with the occasional challenger. campfires will heal frozen status some Pokemon receive. challengers sometimes up for fight. gigantamax Abomasnow.
Arthur (Dragon) – castle with ‘knight’ trainers to fight, with a portcullis/drawbridge/door opening after each defeat, (or correct answer to medieval question). Escavalier roam the halls and must be avoided. Final battle means no item use for an ‘honourable’ battle. gigantamax Charizard. Beating Arthur gets you a knighthood, which then allows you to return to Avalon as often as you like to battle other ‘nobility’ (parodies of famous knighted British celebrities).
Arthur, final gym, located on mysterious island of Avalon, at Windsor Castle, shrouded in mist (produced by Koffings). Arthur will impart wisdom about the importance of the ancient synergy between humans and Pokemon, (a la anti-villain) right before the main antagonist divulges his full plan and that he’s captured the Spirit of the Wilds, (from overhead blimp).
The Champion Title:
You apply and get a list of other trainers who have applied. You need to beat at least 10 of them to qualify to take on the challenge.
Losing to any of these trainers, (who will randomly find you after a day in-game if you haven’t found them) will cause your score to reduce by 1. Once you have defeated 10 trainers around the UK, you are then called in for your challenge.
You must face the Elite Four one after another, with time to use restoratives in between. Each one will have one mega-evolved pokemon – when they have multiple options, which one mega-evolves is randomised.
Irving (Grass): Ludicolo, Ferrothorn, Cradily, Abomasnow, Maractus, Venusaur. Very intense scottish guy who hates that people call grass pokemon weak.
Coral (Water): Crawdaunt, Wailord, Gyarados, Crawitzer, Starmie, Swampert. Older woman who talks about the importance of marine life, and the role of the sea in Britain’s history.
Azar (Fire): Arcanine, Ninetails, Talonflame, Camerupt, Delphox, Houndoom. Middle eastern man who is very kind and friendly and heals the player’s pokemon for them before their next challenge.
Beckett (Bug): Butterfree, Scizor, Drapion, Heracross, Beedrill, Vespiqueen. Older brother of Pritchard, and advocate of the power of bug type pokemon.
The Champion: the Champion turns out to be that same person from your home town who many years ago set out to compete in this exact same challenge. After a little talk on the importance of following your dreams and trusting in yourself and your pokemon, the battle starts. They will always be the opposite gender to the player.
Garchomp, Metagross, Aggron, Armaldo, Braviary, Tyranitar. The Champion is able to mega-evolve two pokemon, through the use of an item that he will give you one of should you defeat them. It will only function if every pokemon on your team has a high friendship level with the player.
When you have defeated the Champion, as they are about to name you their successor, rival 1 will burst into the room, having beaten the Elite Four and demanding to face the Champion. Explaining that you now hold the title, your rival will then step up to you and challenge you. Given that the Champion cannot technically refuse a fight in this capacity with the Elite Four having been beaten, the previous Champion to heal both of your teams so as to make it a fair fight and the two of you will then battle.
Winning will cause rival 1 to be speechless and outraged. They will then run out. You are asked to wait a moment and then to please follow the previous Champion onto the balcony beyond, where you will be named the new Champion of the UK to a wild roar of applause from the crowd below and TV screens – every match inside the League is filmed and followed on TV.
At some later point, if you encounter the Champion again back in your home town, they will ask you for another match – this time friendly. Should you defeat them again, they will thank you and – if you have at least three pokemon with high friendship on your team – give you a Gibble as a reward, (10% stat boost).
Rival battles must be significantly harder.
Discover mysteries of UK really just Pokemon:
– Loch Ness just old giant Aurorus
– Giant’s Causeway caused by giant Gravelers
– Cornish pixies are all fairy Pokemon (boggarts, brownies, lubberkin)
– Beast of Bodmin Moor is an Absol
– Barghest is large mega-evolved Houndoom
– Bean Nighe / banshee is a shiny Mismagius
Pokemarts no longer a thing – each place has 1 or 2 shops that sell different things, including area specialities. Cheaper fast food / corner shop place for healing, (cheap but bad practices / recycling not a thing) and a more healthy / environmentally friendly alternative? London has shops with items / food from all over the world – different regions give different buffs.
Encounter hidden environmental Pokemon:
– sleeping giant Onix
– Stonejourner in Stonehenge
– Sudowudo in trees
– Oddish, Bellsprout, Bulbasaur/etc in plants
– Crustle on beach
– Lombre/etc in ponds
– Trubbish in bins
– Golem, Geodude/etc as rocks
– Muk as spilled stuff on city pavements
– Sableye in mines
Encounter environmental Pokemon: (disappear when close)
– flying Pokemon overhead, bug, bird, etc
– burrowing Pokemon in distance
– water Pokemon in ponds / lakes
– Wooloo grazing in fields with Miltank
– Pigeon Pokemon on statues / on buildings / flying overhead in London
Human morphed Ditto village in UK countryside. Don’t say anything. Only like this the first time you visit. Subsequent returns everyone back to normal and no one acknowledges anything wrong. Every halloween reverts to ditto village.
Hidden tiny village of Morelull in the forest..
Eeveelution fan club. Beat leader get gift Eevee, (20% stat boost).
Sobble (new evo) (water/dragon)
Meeting Gym Leaders Outside:
Robin birdwatching in Sherwood forrest.
Doe on a bench just hanging out with a big baggy jumper covering most of her body.
William protagonist of an RSC play, being hounded by reporters when leaving. Also random rumours of him having always worked at the theatre..
Purdy doing laps around town. (double amputee, metal legs).
Pritchard & Beckett exchanging notes in a bug exhibit at the National Museum in London.
Overarching Legendary: Spirit of the Wilds, Lefspreca (Fairy, Grass, Flying, Water) controlling the four under-legendaries, (Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England).
Overarching Story: industrialist tries to harness the power of mysterious powerful Pokemon to produce (power? energy? war weapon?)
Background TV news pieces on billionaire tech genius (villain / stranger).. maybe have the best items (while also being good value / cheap) made by that company. Then in final confrontation, all those tech products unusable?
How allow criminals to circumvent Pokemon rules..
– criminals will throw poke balls at your Pokemon, which you have to block with button.
– criminals have a 20% chance per match to do 1-2 extra attacks/moves while you’re choosing your move.
– main antagonist actually has 9 Pokemon.
Final fight will involve your two rivals fighting the underbosses while you fight the main antagonist.
When you’ve taken his last pokemon down to half its health, the fight will be interrupted when stampedes of pokemon flock in to release the Spirit of the Wilds from the power harness it is hooked into providing power.
In the lead up to the confrontation, you will join your friends and the Professor at the original domain of the Spirit of the Wilds, where everything is already beginning to decay and die. the Professor will explain that the Spirit of the Wilds maintained balance in the UK, and that with it gone, chaos would be the result. You will have to fight some manic pokemon when you leave.
As you go to face the Industrialist, you will notice (and npcs will remark upon) how much of nature is decaying around the UK: plants will be dying, the tides will be rising, some pokemon will be acting sluggish, while others will be going manic. Any pokemon out of their poke balls will be acting somewhat erratically. In battle, this means that both sides have a 10% chance of doing one of the following: getting distracted, hurting themselves, or hurting the opponent.
When the Spirit of the Wilds is broken out from the contraption by the other pokemon, it bursts out and hovers menacingly above, and approaches the Industrialist. He shuffles back in fear, but it simply reaches out a hand and touches his cheek. It disappears away, and the Industrialist, shocked, gets up and admits to his wrongdoings. In his overzealousness for man’s success and unlimited free energy, he neglected to realise that man and pokemon are intertwined and that everything has a price. He then vows to try and help built a better world for both pokemon and people together, no longer viewing them as tools or means to an end.
Size/Presence of bag/pack increases size of inventory, and allows camping.
Camping no longer restores party health, but allows the following:
– gives you PC & gadget so you can trade Pokemon between box & team
– can interact with Pokemon:
– you can buy different toys. different kinds of toys for different Pokemon. they gain xp & friendship.
– you can heal status effects on Pokemon in different ways, (poison and burned with first aid kit, frozen with campfire, paralysed with leaves).
– you can hold competitions, on land, sea, or air. winner gets xp.
– UNLOCKABLE ability to take selfies with Pokemon or team. In London, you can buy accessories for these photos, that will increase followers & likes.
– can make basic food at campsite with ingredients. this will provide temporary stat boosts or xp gain
– if not camped or rested in hotel for two nights, character will be unable to run until camped
– UNLOCKABLE ability to meditate with Pokemon.
Decorations for the camp as well as aesthetic changes can be purchased, as well as Pokemon beds, but these take up (limited) storage – upside is they also provide small chance to heal slightly overnight.
At maxed out friendship levels, a Pokemon can follow you out of their poke ball, very small Pokemon ride on you, very big Pokemon can’t come out.
At certain point in story, you get taught how to ride certain Pokemon on land, and others on sea. No special moves or gear required.
Fossils could be revived either at Oxford Uni OR at the National History Museum in London (would be great, but would probably need more functionality to make it a worthwhile location). Maybe conflate all the museums in London into one in front of Trafalgar Square? Also a gallery with a wing dedicated to an exhibit of pictures of the gym challenge. About 40-60% of pictures will already be filled by ‘other competitors’. Adding your own pictures will gain you notoriety on PokeNet & cause people to recognise you & generate random encounter battles.
Wider routes / more hidden spots / clearing.
Pick a forest, call it haunted, and make it change randomly each new area and generate on forever, unless you’re holding a special quest item – make this the home of the Spirit of the Wilds? In similar vein, maybe have hidden caves / cave systems randomly pop up on different days around the UK?
Maybe a tube system in London? Where one tube could allow you to fight your way through the carriages with it getting progressively more difficult? Normal tubes allow fast travel through London where flying pokemon are not allowed to drop you..
Maybe old crypts underneath Oxford or another city that were filled with spookier Pokemon and it helps you discover hidden lore about the history of the different regions’ spirit Pokemon and cooperation with humans.
Water routes to smaller islands around UK? Dungeon caves on the islands.
Dark caves/mines (wookey hole?). Use phone flashlight UNLOCKED app to look around. Maze-like if possible. Find fossils to be revived in caves/mines, (4 region specific ones & possibility to uncover new ones after gaining some standing with Nat History museum).
GET RID OF ALL VERY HUMANOID Pokemon / DUMB NEW Pokemon. (obviously contentious, but seems likely there will be some universally agreed omittables..)
– old people: Herdier/Stoutland (or older gen?)
– builders: Gurdurr
– academics: Yamask, Golett,
– hairdressers: Furfrou, Rufflet, Deino
– restaurants & cafes: Swirlix, Alcremie
– farmers: Pumpkaboo,
– electricians: Chargabug
– pubs: Rockruff
– fruit & veg outdoor market: Bounsweet, Cherrim
Social media app for posting pics. Gain followers and people will occasionally recognise you while you fight your way up the rankings. Post-game, it becomes a way for people to send you challenges, (gym leaders can invite you back for friendly matches, along with any other rando – like ‘trainer phone’ from Emerald).
Able to fly around and encounter unique high flying Pokemon in hot air balloons.
Able to fly to some places in biplane – pretty cloud scene to see this.
Maybe a competitive battle scene in London?
Maybe a battle mode where both trainers use all 6 Pokemon at once would be interesting. Maybe have it so it differentiates between front-liners and rear guard, (e.g. only special / physical attacks depending on position).
An item that can be held when breeding to increase your chance at a specific IV or temperament.
– White Cliffs of Dover
– Eden Project
– Oxford Uni
– Roman Baths
– Stratford Upon Avon
More little quests like delivering the letter and more lore as flavour text.
So that's about it. Again, sorry it's all a bit muddled. It's just a bit of nonsense I'm enjoying adding to. Let me know what you think in the comments & I'd love to talk about it and mull ideas over!
- SIB: Pokemon Sword or Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- Is there a way to incorporate the “love and friendship” message of Pokemon into the game itself? Because right now it is an extremely hollow theme.
- When you realize D&D is a resource management game, the week long rest just makes the most sense.
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