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The Role of Mewtwo, Carnac and Lascaux in XY

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by , 1st September 2013 at 07:29 AM (11024 Views)
This theory has been in the making for more than two months now. It's taken me time to fit the pieces together, but several discussions with FANG-TAN have helped me become content with the result. I'm posting it here rather than in one of the XY threads because the theory is long (brace yourselves), and ultimately it stems from personal ideas inspired by facts. I can only hope that Game Freak have similar ideas, but either way, I'm interested in other people's input. The reason why this entry is so long is that I want to go through the entire thought process, so my apologies for that.

To start with, I have to say that I'm not very pleased with the discussion I've seen about XY's story. Unluckily for those of us who care, Game Freak are being very secretive about the story (more so than in the past), but I feel that most people are expecting it to be quite predictable even though Black and White surprised us. Several fans have voiced disappointment with Team Flare's expressed interest in money, even though they could turn out to have another goal or (preferably) be less focal than their predecessors were in the past three generations. The legendaries' plot does not have to revolve around the evil team, as we saw in the first two generations. Even though the legendaries from those generations weren't as involved in the plot as their successors were, they presented ample potential. It is never too late to do more with that potential, which is the main reason why I believe Mewtwo is getting the spotlight again. It troubles me that fans aren't speculating about Mewtwo's implied connection to Xerneas and Yveltal.

A very important ingredient of this theory is the existence of a second Mewtwo form. As a reminder, PokéBeach spread a rumor back in May, which has since had most of its tidbits confirmed. The source of this rumor, or rather leak as we can safely say at this point, is a forum user called MageLeif whose roommate play-tested the games early in the year. Water Pokémon Master actually did little more than paraphrase MageLeif's forum post, which had been passed off as a wishlist. He also contacted MageLeif for more information (for whatever reason, he later claimed that MageLeif had contacted him), and sadly this did not end well for MageLeif. But I digress, as the point is that MageLeif's post is actually more informative than WPM's paraphrased version:

Quote Originally Posted by MageLeif
Mewtwo to get two new formes, and each forme is gained through an item in the two different games.
This means that the two forms are version-exclusive. MageLeif later gave WPM another description regarding the second form:

If the previously revealed forme of Mewtwo can be said to look roughly similar to Mewtwo’s original design, the second supposed form of Mewtwo can be said to look roughly/vaguely similar to Mew‘s design.
With the discovery that the currently known form is actually Mega Mewtwo, some fans have started to believe that the second form is Mega Mew. That is definitely not what the rumor implies; Mega Mew wouldn't be related to Mewtwo via a version-exclusive item. The form's vague similarity to Mew isn't weird, since this is Mewtwo we're talking about and the current form already shows that it can look more like Mew. My guess is that the second form is supposed to look closer to Mew in terms of color and smaller details. Now, let's quickly go over the reasons why some people seem to doubt that a second form exists:

1. Only Mega Mewtwo is featured in the movie.
This is easy to explain: It makes sense to to leave one of the forms untouched if Mewtwo is going to play a role in the games' plot. This way, the anime may adapt Mewtwo's game story without necessarily invoking a sense of déja vu. Also, let's not forget that the movie isn't a reliable indicator of anything, considering that it referred to Mega Mewtwo as "Awakened Form" and basically went out of its way not to explain anything about it. It also made Mega Mewtwo look like a speed demon, even though only its Special Attack is increased as far as we know.

2. Only Mega Mewtwo is featured alongside the version mascots on the cover of the soundtrack.
I haven't seen anyone raise this point, but it has crossed my own mind. Yes, it is clear that TPCi want us to think that Mewtwo only has one form right now, but this could easily change in a few weeks. My guess is that there is another artwork featuring the second form which will be shown from the inner side of the CD jacket. This would be a good way of representing the forms' duality: They cannot exist at the same time, since they are two different states of Mewtwo's psyche. Xerneas and Yveltal may also be featured in that second artwork, which would illustrate a more peaceful side of their relationship. It is worth mentioning that more information about the soundtrack will be revealed in the future (specifically regarding the bonus tracks), so the second artwork could be revealed then.

3. Mega Evolution has been unveiled. Why haven't they revealed the second form yet?
It's a marketing strategy. The more they can surprise us, the better the strategy is. But I think that there is a deeper reason why the second form in particular is worth keeping a secret.

4. What would the second form be called? Why would there be two Mega Mewtwo variants?
Actually, I don't think that the second form is another take on Mega Mewtwo. It would be silly if they were called "Mega Mewtwo X" and "Mega Mewtwo Y", especially since the current form is being referred to as just Mega Mewtwo; it took them four months to reveal its name, so it should be the real deal. More importantly, I don't see any connection to the X and Y letters, and I trust that Game Freak didn't create a second form on a mere whim.

Which brings me to the actual theory. Just what is Mega Evolution exactly? From the official website:

In the Pokémon series up until now, there has been a limit on how many times each Pokémon could evolve. However, Mega Evolution is a different kind of Evolution, one that surpasses that limit.
A Mega-Evolved Pokémon will be able to tap into a strength far greater than it could before.
Only certain Pokémon, under certain conditions, can achieve Mega Evolution. One of those conditions is a special item called a Mega Stone. These special stones exist for every Pokémon that can Mega Evolve, and each is named for the Pokémon to which it grants power.
In short, the Pokémon masters its potential via a power granted by a Mega Stone, combined with other requirements. And what are the mysterious Mega Stones? I think that they are tied to a certain location not far from the Tower of Mastery: the megalithic site that is based on Carnac. Not only do we see Korrina (who is tied to Mega Evolution) in said site, but there is a very simple connection to be made here: "Megalith" comes from megas (meaning "great") and lithos (meaning "stone"). I very much doubt that this is a coincidence.

What can we say about Carnac? For one thing, its Kalos counterpart (to which I'll also refer as Carnac for simplicity) should be pretty important considering that Junichi Masuda specifically mentioned that Game Freak had been to Carnac and studied about it. There are many theories about Carnac and megalithic sites in general, so to keep things concise I'll just quote brief descriptions of the main Carnac myths/theories:

Although the stones date from 4500 BC, modern myths were formed which resulted from 1st century AD Roman and later Christian occupations, such as Saint Cornelius – a Christian myth associated with the stones held that they were pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius when he turned them to stone. Brittany has its own local versions of the Arthurian cycle. Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin.
Mainstream archaeologists believe that the standing stones are nothing more than random tomb markers; however, the acidic chemical composition of the soils in this region is such that bones would dissolve over time – therefore the tomb theory cannot be determined.

Other researchers have theorized that the stones lie upon seismically sensitive areas and put forward a scenario that the stones could have been erected as earthquake early detection systems

The positions of the stones have also been examined with a view that they could act as a calendar for the solar and/or lunar year (as has been theorized was the original purpose of Stonehenge in the UK).
It has been more recently noted, when viewing the sites from above in helicopters that, the stones have not been as randomly positioned as believed, and the differing sites in and around the Carnac region have a co-ordination of design that seems unlikely to be put down to pure coincidence.

Based upon these bizarre findings, some researchers have put forward an intriguing hypothesis - could the geometry between the stones be a method of communicating with extra-terrestrial travelers, who would have viewed the site from above and understand the message within?
What I'm inclined to think that Game Freak took from these theories is that an ancient civilization gathered the mega stones to appease Yveltal. Carnac in part holds tombs that represent the legacy of the dead, and it is also possible that the Merlin myth applies here, which is to say that some of the stones may have originally been living creatures. Perhaps Carnac was built as a sign of accepting the inevitability of death so that Yveltal wouldn't feel the need to go on a destructive rampage. By that I am suggesting that Yveltal only destroys those who defy death or pretend to be gods.

What does Mega Evolution have to do with this? Mega Stones are found all over Kalos, and it is the Tower of Mastery that is said to be connected to Mega Evolution. I suspect that the emergence Mega Evolution is due to a human intervention that may be viewed as a threat, even though the bond between Pokémon and people is probably involved. The fact that the Tower of Mastery is separate from Carnac may mean that people have forgotten what their ancestors did in the past to keep Yveltal at bay. Yveltal may be enraged by the use of Mega Stones to make Pokémon stronger than they otherwise would be. This could be seen as defying death, or more generally breaking the natural limitations of one's life.

Is Carnac the only ancient setting in France that could be used for XY? As the title of this entry gives away, there is another such place: Lascaux. It is located in southwestern France, which should place it in the lowest part of the Kalos map which is currently obscured. Lascaux goes further back in history to around 17,000 years ago (compared to Carnac, which is around 6000 years old). It is a complex of caves, which are famous for their Paleolithic cave paintings - most prominently images of large animals. I recommend that you take the online tour to see how mystifying the images are.

The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, which can be grouped into three main categories: animals, human figures and abstract signs. The paintings contain no images of the surrounding landscape or the vegetation of the time.

Over 900 can be identified as animals, and 605 of these have been precisely identified. Out of these images, there are 364 paintings of equines as well as 90 paintings of stags.
There are various theories on the significance of the paintings: Some people believe them to be records of real life events, others an astro-mythical representation of the night skies, and there are those that believe them to be 'Shamanic offerings' or 'Hunt Magic'. Perhaps a little of each may be true. Today, we are left to marvel at their skilful execution and artistic beauty.
An alternative hypothesis proposed by David Lewis-Williams and Jean Clottes following work with similar art of the San people of Southern Africa is that this type of art is spiritual in nature relating to visions experienced during ritualistic trance-dancing. These trance visions are a function of the human brain and so are independent of geographical location.

Nigel Spivey, a professor of classic art and archeology at the University of Cambridge, has further postulated in his series, How Art Made the World, that dot and lattice patterns overlapping the representational images of animals are very similar to hallucinations provoked by sensory-deprivation. He further postulates that the connections between culturally important animals and these hallucinations led to the invention of image-making, or the art of drawing. Further extrapolations include the later transference of image-making behavior from the cave to megalithic sites, and the subsequent invention of agriculture to feed the site builders.
The trance-dancing theory isn't necessarily the most widespread one (that would appear to be the star chart theory, which you can read about here), but it is the most interesting one in the context of XY's Life and Death theme. As this video explains, it is safe to assume that Lascaux was a religious place reflecting the beliefs of the Paleolithic man. The rock paintings tie into the shamanistic rituals that were being performed around that time.

In another cave in Les Trois Freres, France, we see a 13,000 year-old wall painting of what appears to be a shaman from this same civilization, taking on such a ritual role, in which he is apparently supposed to represent an animal spirit.

The figure stares out at us from a stone wall, looking more than a little odd by contemporary standards, wearing an animal costume and a tail, with antlers on his head. He appears to be hopping or jumping along, perhaps lost in some kind of mystical state, possessed by the animal spirit he represents.
Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment.
If Mega Evolution is connected to Carnac, albeit not in the most intuitive way, what could Lascaux be tied to? A different kind of evolution, which doesn't represent the mastery of life but rather a bridge between life and death. I think that the famous double helix represents the balance between life and death. Game Freak alluded to something similar in Platinum:

Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus
Genes can be considered the blueprints of all life-forms. That includes humans and Pokémon alike. Genes are contained in a DNA strand. A DNA strand consists of 2 chains of opposing characteristics in a spiral. If one of the chains were to be broken, the other could replicate it. One or the other cannot exist without its opposite.
This was said in reference to the real world and the Distortion World, but the analogy is even easier to understand when applied to the world of the living and the world of the dead. Mega Evolution doesn't convey this concept by itself, which is why I think that there should be a second kind of new "evolution". I call it Para Evolution as it pertains to a paranormal transformation, rather than simply surpassing oneself. I am not suggesting that this should be a separate battle mechanic from Mega Evolution, but rather that it should exist for the sake of thematic differences. The main idea is that Mega Evolution and Para Evolution would be unlocked by different means.

Pokémon capable of Mega Evolution will gain access to their potential only if they first carry a Mega Stone into battle. Other things are needed for Mega Evolution to succeed, and those secrets will be explained later!
It is safe to say that the secrets in question are more involved than merely clicking a button. My guess is that certain requirements need to be met to unlock Mega Evolution, but after that the transformation only requires holding the respective stone. Something similar, but different, should be the case for Para Evolution. For one thing, the token items should be called Para Images as a nod to Lascaux. The individual item names could be formed by adding the word "Glyph" to the Pokémon's name, as is the case with the "ite" suffix used for the Mega Stones.

I think that the unlocking process will be tied to Pokémon-Amie and its effects. Let's list the known ones:

Critical Hit Ratio: The ratio of Critical Hits is increased.
Evasion: The Pokémon's evasion is increased.
Paralysis: The Pokémon has a chance of healing itself from paralysis.
Survival: The Pokémon has a chance of enduring a hit which would have knocked it out.

The Survival effect is particularly interesting since it could be seen as a defining moment, leading the Pokémon to see its life flash before its eyes. This could be compared to a shamanistic trance where the Pokémon takes a glimpse of the afterlife. This, combined with the Para Images, should trigger the Pokémon's ability to transform into a state where it can borrow greater powers from the dead, or alternatively healing powers associated with the spiritual world. Simply put, Para Evolution should be induced by a life-changing experience or epiphany.

What about Mega Evolution? I think that it should be triggered by the Pokémon realizing that it has untapped potential. A critical hit may be rather plain by itself, but a better requirement would be achieving a OHKO due to a critical hit (which is in turn a result of the Pokémon's bond with its trainer). It may be for this reason that all of the currently revealed Mega Evolutions specialize in offensive stats; only Mawile gains a defensive boost, but its Huge Power ability is more prominent. Perhaps Para Evolution should be associated with more defensive boosts and supporting abilities.

I also think that due to its nature, Para Evolution may lead to more unexpected type changes. This brings me to Para Mewtwo, which I believe should be purely Fairy-type. The type change would reflect a departure from Mewtwo's focus on its brain and psychic powers, in favor of magical powers derived from the spiritual world (as opposed to the intellectual one). The official Japanese website states that Mega Mewtwo's tail has been re-positioned to enhance Psystrike's power; Para Mewtwo should take a very different approach. Before I continue, this is as good a time as any to present FANG-TAN's illustration (click on the image to enlarge):

blogs/1970/attachments/89577-d9s5dzf.jpg


Its primary color is supposed to be white, which along with the more refined features should make it more reminiscent of Mew, while still looking like Mewtwo. The cane it holds is what used to be its tail, and the cloak is another reference to wizards and shamans (not to mention the anime Mewtwo). You may also notice the stone etched on its chest, which is the Philosopher's Stone:
The philosopher's stone has been attributed with many mystical and magical properties. The most commonly mentioned properties are the ability to transmute base metals into gold or silver, and the ability to heal all forms of illness and prolong the life of any person who consumes a small part of the philosophers' stone.
We know that Mega Mewtwo has a Special Attack boost, so I imagine that its base stat is greater than 180 and that it might lose Attack points to keep its base stat total no higher than 700 (it doesn't need physical attacks when it has Psystrike, anyway). But as I see it, it would be more interesting if Para Mewtwo retained Mewtwo's base stat total while having a more balanced distribution, like for instance: 115/100/100/135/100/130. At first sight one could argue that this would make it worse than the original Mewtwo, but the idea is that its ability should more than make up for it:

Transmutation: If the user faints due to a physical/special attack, the remaining Pokémon in the party are enveloped by a silvery/golden aura that sharply raises their Defense/Special Defense. This effect lasts for 8 turns.

This would make Para Mewtwo an excellent supporting Pokémon, as one would expect from a shaman or a wizard that holds the Philosopher's Stone. Aside from its ability, Para Mewtwo should also get access to a Fairy-type version of Psystrike, which I would call Magical Harness to represent the tail becoming a cane. I think that the dual-type moves MageLeif mentioned (without any explanation) might be related to type changes induced by Mega/Para Evolution, meaning that certain moves might "evolve" with the user. Psystrike would be one of them, turning into Magical Harness and thus having two types in a way.

I should probably stop at this point, even though I have yet to explain Mewtwo's role in the story and how it would be affected by each transformation, which would make for notable version differences. If my theory isn't completely off, I'll write another entry after we get more information.

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Updated 1st September 2013 at 03:09 PM by Silktree

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  1. Silktree's Avatar
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    It's being referred to as a "shocking revelation" of Mega Evolution, meaning there's a good chance other Pokemon have two Mega Evolutions as well. It's pretty much Para Evolution without a distinct name or vastly different concept.
    I don't know about other Pokémon having two Mega variations (that seems excessive unless there is a good reason for it), but I agree that we're most likely dealing with an item distinction which would essentially create two sub-classes of Mega Evolutions. Mega Stones and Mega Images?

    I think that the two Mega Mewtwo variations will have distinct story-related names. Perhaps the movie didn't make up "Awakened Mewtwo", after all. I'd call the second variation "Reborn Mewtwo".
    Updated 8th September 2013 at 01:02 AM by Silktree
  2. The Outrage's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what the difference would be statistically if there are two types of evolution considering that Venusaur is a Mega Evolution and clearly marketed as more defensive with it's +Def/SDef and Thick Fat.
  3. Scarftail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silktree
    I think that the two Mega Mewtwo variations will have distinct story-related names. Perhaps the movie didn't make up "Awakened Mewtwo", after all. I'd call the second variation "Reborn Mewtwo".
    Doesn't that mean that the name Mega Mewtwo is an incomplete name after all?
  4. Silktree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Outrage
    I'm not sure what the difference would be statistically if there are two types of evolution considering that Venusaur is a Mega Evolution and clearly marketed as more defensive with it's +Def/SDef and Thick Fat.
    We know that the second Mewtwo is also called Mega Mewtwo in battle, so there aren't two evolution kinds per se. The question is if there are different items other than Mega Stones which may be associated with non-offensive boosts. We actually don't know that Venusaur is linked to a Mega Stone. Curiously enough, the Japanese official website has yet to be updated with information about the Mega Kanto starters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarftail
    Doesn't that mean that the name Mega Mewtwo is an incomplete name after all?
    Yes. I think that's the inevitable conclusion at this point since the idea of both forms being called Mega Mewtwo, with absolutely no distinction, is very hard to swallow. But we need to remember that even Formes don't have their unique names displayed during battles.
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