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Pokemon Evolution Conundrum

Discussion in 'Pokémon Chat' started by Curtkid, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. O.K, now this is something that has been stuck in my head for a while, at least ever since I got back into Pokemon little over a year ago. I asked my friends about it a while ago, had a bit of an interesting discussion about it, but now I want to ask you guy's. And that question is this:

    How do you think Pokemon Evolution would function on a more "realistic" or believable level? Evolution is a major staple of the Pokemon Universe and is also the one least fleshed out (hell, they even acknowledge this in game) and one I've seen the most subject to personal interpretation over the years. I mean, call me that guy, but I don't think it's possible (or moral) to hatch a baby Pokemon and then immediately send it into battle to cause it to metamorphosis into a mega-powerful monster with-in the course of a few days. Now, please keep in mind that these are just sort of "head-canons" that I like to keep in mind when writing my characters and I try to focus on when RPing or just writing stupid little stories. By no means am I stating that my idea's are in continuity with Game Freak's vision of Pokemon or what should be "right". It's just my take on the subject and the guidelines I personally follow while also asking you guys what you think on the matter.

    First off, I think that evolution is a completely different process from aging, being triggered by a Pokemon under going excessive training, battling, and reaching a high level of power (not counting Pokemon who use stones, trading, or other odd methods of evolution). A Pokemon can be born and live its entire life in its first stage without evolving, in fact, I believe this is the case for most wild Pokemon(though evolution can certainly happen to wild Pokemon, it's just a good deal rarer). A Pokemon under the care of a trainer can grow a good deal quicker (going with the series theme of humans being able to bring out a Pokemon's full potential) but it still requires a lot of training and battling to do. To get a rough idea for my idea of how much training and battling, for example, a starter Pokemon would take about 5-7 years of training and battling to reach its second stage, and then about another 8-10 years of training to get it to its final form. Though I believe an evolution can be triggered a bit earlier under situations of extreme danger or duress, basically having a Pokemon force itself to evolve a bit early to overcome the hazard, though the Pokemon has to still be very strong and experienced to do this.

    Of course, some Pokemon evolve quicker then others, I like to think that most bug Pokemon (I.E: Caterpie, Wurple) can reach their final form in about 2-3 years while Pseudo-Legendary Pokemon (I.E: Dratini, Larvitar) require decades of intense training to evolve at least. I also imagine that, as a Pokemon ages and gets farther and farther away from its prime, then it also become harder for it to evolve. Like, evolving a Bulbasaur that's sixty years old into an Ivysaur would be extremely difficult to do, but not impossible. However, don't bet on it happening unless you're an extremely good trainer and said Pokemon has an strong desire to evolve. On the other side of the age spectrum, I always thought that, again a more realistic approach in mind here, that a newly hatched/born/ect. Pokemon would be viewed as being in a sort of "infant" stage where one wouldn't even consider training it or putting in in battle until it's about 7-10 years old, but this is what I imagine for a starter Pokemon though, this can vary greatly by species (I.E: a Pokemon like Pidgey would be old enough to start battling in 3-5 years). This is, of course to give it's body a little time to develop and mature a bit, otherwise you could do permanent, life-long damage to the Pokemon.

    Of course, this is all just the ramblings of my bored mind putting thoughts into things that I really shouldn't. Naturally you wouldn't see any of this in the games or anime, I mean, that kind of time passage in your game would be ridiculously difficult to implement, not to mention tedious and unnecessary for the player, and if the anime followed this logic, then Ash would probably be in his mid to late teens by the time he challenges the Pokemon League for the first time. It's just a fun little head-canon I try to keep in mind when I'm RPing with my friend or writing stories, I admit, it might have a few flaws in logic here or there that I missed, but it's what I feel works for a more "realistic" view without taking the "magic" out of the Pokemon. Basically it boils down to: only the best of the best trainers in the world would have a team of powerful, fully evolved Pokemon. You sure ain't going to see little Timmy from down the street running around with a Typhlosion, that's for sure.

    But you know what, when all is said and done, I think Tumblr user Captainsnoops put it best:

    [​IMG]
    (Here's a link to his Tumblr : http://captainsnoop.tumblr.com/ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dab_(dance)) , check him out, he's a pretty funny guy)

    Anyways, thanks for letting me get this out of my system guys, and thanks again if you read that massive wall of text, I tried to make it as "not boring" as possible. Honestly, even this is sort of the abridged version, I've actually given a lot more thought on the subject(how stones work and how rare they are, the power differences in evolutions and how much of an advantage evolution gives a Pokemon), probably far more then is healthy for a guy in his early twenties. But either way, I'm curious to hear how you all think evolution works, share your thoughts if you want to.
     
    Keleri likes this.
  2. Yeah definitely the biggest thing to consider is that the game is happening at "the speed of story". You go from town to town and save the entire world and beat the elite four in like 36 hours played time. The scale of the game just isn't comparable to what "real life" must be like. The games also show us, due to japan's allergy for middle-aged women, lots of very young elite battlers. Unlike sports in our world, the physical fitness of the trainer doesn't really matter, and so I think it's much more likely that the elites would be weighted toward 1) older trainers with 2) the money and time to acquire the best pokemon.

    Shikoku, the model for Hoenn, has 88 temples linked by 1200 km of walking paths and it takes 1-2 months to complete. Add in some time spent at each town for training, healing your pokemon, resting, etc. and we see why it took Ash like a year to do the Kanto gyms (I mean, if Ash was permitted to experience the passing of time).

    The model I favor is that you get your junior trainer license as early as 10 years old, but it's hard work training and entertaining a young pokemon, let alone six, and you have to carefully ease them into battling, even wild pokemon-- no one actually battles to fainting/serious injury in the wild because there are no pokemon centers, it's like two swipes and then maybe you run, unless it's a serious battle to the death between hunter and prey pokemon. Young trainers take trips into wild areas with mentor trainers with higher level pokemon, and maybe that summer you take the bus to the first level gym. And you keep going to school!!! No one is living as a monster hobo as a fifth grader!!! lol Also you might have to catch multiples of the same pokemon before you meet one that clicks and stays with you.

    You work on it slowly, and so finally you get that 8th badge when you're 16-20 before you hit up the pokemon league, or maybe you've long since dropped out of the battling thing and you have pokemon for other reasons, like pets or using their power to manage natural resources or something.

    On the other hand maybe you start later and spend a lot of time on it and get the badges done in 6 months as an older trainer-- I like the idea that you can "level up" your pokemon with regular training and effort relatively quickly, but mastery, yours and theirs, still takes years of practice and fine-tuning attack techniques. It's cruel to force a baby pokemon to fight, but even outside of the ethical consideration it's just too much trouble-- you want to start with adolescent pokemon at the very least who have a few years (or more) of experience of fighting amongst themselves or with enemies rather than trying to train baby's first-ever vine whip.

    Pokemon ages depend on how you want to see pokemon-- is a sawsbuck just a deer with grass powers, or is it an animal with a complicated social structure and transferral of knowledge from long-lived elders to younger group members, or is it an elemental spirit that adapted to forest dwelling using the deer as a template? In real life, evolution has determined the maximum age of the body, with some animals only living a few years and some living for centuries. If pokemon have societies and there's an evolutionary benefit to keeping elders around, then maybe they live as long as humans or longer.

    Strictly keeping ages to the real world animal or mythological counterpart can be interesting-- do you have to get a new raticate every three years after putting down the old one, covered in tumors? Are you that 100-year-old blastoise's fourth trainer, and she knows the field better than you? Is a 1-year-old pidgey still an infant or is it a grown adult that's probably had two clutches of eggs already?

    I like to see pokemon final evolutions as the "adult" stage of a pokemon with exceptions where evolution drastically changes a pokemon's role in the environment/habitat/etc. Like nidorin@ are rabbit-sized, but when they evolve they turn into this giant who has to live outside in the rain and that needs vastly more food-- so maybe it only happens to chosen protector pokemon, and nidorin@ is a viable "adult" form. Or magikarp to gyarados-- what's with all those level 50 magikarps? Maybe gyarados has a vastly different and lonely life compared to gregarious magikarp and lots of them go "no thanks" to evolution. I like to see item/trading evolutions as possible in the wild with age as well, just for whatever reason there's also a way to trigger it artificially.

    Personally I think the early anime had this fixation on keeping pokemon small and cute and often dumping Ash's pokemon as soon as they were fully evolved, and so we got all these episodes justifying pikachu and eevee and bulbasaur not evolving and such. When I read the Pokemon Special manga it was such a breath of fresh air to escape all of that "charmander evolved and now he's an asshole" and "maybe YOU are cruel for MAKING pokemon evolve!!!" business and to see evolution as powerful and desirable.

    One concept I've seen is that pokemon battling puts stress on pokemon that allows them to evolve and change rapidly, growing stronger suddenly in ways that would happen at a much slower pace in the wild, where pokemon battle more infrequently and only to minor injury. Pokemon centers mean that pokemon can battle way more often with no consequences (well, depending on how you want to spin your story), and get stronger with a human much faster than their wild counterparts, propelling them into their adult, fully-evolved forms.

    I like evolution, but I do ask if that battling fast track is good for pokemon. The anime famously showed pikachu beating raichu where the latter was evolved too early, following the games' cutoff of naturally learned moves. Maybe it pushes them to grow up too fast. What kind of problems did Link have in Ocarina of Time, going to sleep at 10 and waking up 17 in an adult's body? I think it's good in writing/RPing for evolved pokemon to change their outlook and understanding slightly, especially if it carries a heavy transformation or you're judging that that pokemon has just translated from an adolescent to an adult form.

    Similarly, pokemon eggs are weird-- you have to carry them around to get them to hatch. How does that work in the wild? Anyway, some people have proposed that eggs are an adaptation to living with humans and human battling, and the pokemon inside undergoes a rapid transition from their infant stage to the battle-ready one. In the wild, pokemon might not evolve all at once, if they're not induced to by danger or desperation, and they might have litters or clutches of infant pokemon instead of the battle-ready egg.

    There's some evidence for pokemon displaying innate behavior, e.g. pokemon attacks that they seem to spontaneously learn*, so I think it's possible that a pokemon hatched from an egg might at least be at a "child" level of development and able to learn to converse and socialize rapidly in comparison to humans, who take a while.

    *Arguably this is another thing that, realistically, you'd train toward. Pokemon slowly learn how to use their elemental powers instead of just being able to pull off a solar beam perfectly on the first try; a young pokemon is exhausted by using flamethrower even once whereas the elite battler can deliver a fire blast eight times.

    /end novel

    I dunno if all that was pertinent, but pokemon evolution, aging, eggs, etc. are something I think about often especially in terms of how it affects pokemon battling and the rise of young trainers. ;)

    Adds 1328 words to my NaNo count because fuck it, this counts.
     
    Teapot, Aura and Curtkid like this.
  3. Your comment about ages makes me just think of horse racing. A thoroughbred might only race from the age of 2-5 years old, yet it is fully developed as a horse by then. When I look at the ages you're applying to pokémon, it looks more like you are thinking of them as being like children, and humans are one of the species of animals that takes the longest to develop due to the fact our brain is the most important thing for us to grow, however look at a kitten, it's a fully grown cat within 18 months, by that logic a meowth would be ready to evolve into a persian within that time frame.

    Pokemon works on the idea of experience points, now obviously it's a bit far fetched, that a pokémon can evolve after not being in a single battle because it has experience share. But the key word is experience. Think about the most annoying children in the world (most.... most of them) they never stop asking questions, and they always want to see and do whatever it is you're doing. Now if you're a heartless bastard like yours truly you tell them to shut up and go away, so their experience is "avoid punks because they are scary and they will dangle you off the edge of buildings by your ankles if you don't leave them alone" let's assign that 5 exp. If however you take the time to show them what you're doing, let them try it themselves, and give them positive reinforcements, suddenly their experience is "punks are really cool and they play guitar! I want to grow up to be a punk, then I can play guitar in a band!" let's assign that 50 exp (and several hours of torture for yours truly). Say that's 2 different kids both the same age walking up to 2 different punks, up until that point they have the same amount of exp, now one is exponentially higher than the other, the kid that gets taught to play guitar (will then bug their parents until they get them a guitar) will keep playing, at which point they will continue to gain experience, the one that I scared off, will instead run every time they see a punk, they will continue to have 5xp. Both will continue to age, however one will continue to gain experience, they will develop into someone completely different to the other, think Yanma/Yanmega or Sneasel/Weavile, these were evolutions that required specific conditions, not just levelling up, the kid that runs will stay a normal person, the kid that learns guitar grows up to be a punk rocker.
    But yes, experience is what shapes us as people, in the same way as it would affect pokémon, say there's only a maximum potential a nosepass can achieve without the external factor of being in somewhere like mt coronet, which has such crazy amounts of magnetism present that a nosepass has to physically learn how to shift polarities just to be able to move, suddenly it evolves into probopass.

    The simple way of looking at it; is evolution is a response to genetics and environment, in certain environments you can expect certain pokémon to evolve in specifically different ways (Alola forms and split evolution lines are yet another example of this) whilst yes that tumblr post is intended as humour, and attempts to raise some interesting questions and points, the fact of the matter is, the games are not meant to be fully realistic in concept, the reason the protagonist is a 10 year old child is to help the player empathise with the in-game character, because it's aimed at children. Magikarps exist at level 50 to troll you. In a real pokémon world there would be a whole lot of differences to the games, as the anime always manages to show us. But you know what, there are child prodigies out there that are more intelligent than you will ever be, more talented at musical instruments than you will ever dream to be, gymnasts with better proprioception than you will ever have, and I'd like to bet I know a 15 year old that would kick almost anyone on this forum's ass in a fight (he's a patient of mine, world champion for brazillian kick boxing or something like that, nice kid). So I wouldn't put it past being in a pokémon world and there being kids out there with high level pokémon that they do spend their entire time training, and training in the correct way for that pokémon.

    Meh, I'll add to this when I can remember what else I wanted to say....
     
  4. Real quick I don't know how to make my Pokémon evolve can someone help me please
     

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