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What did the friends even do? [Warning: Harshness]

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Don't get me wrong, I really like Shauna, am ambivalent to Trevor, and tolerate Serena. It's not fair to compare them to past rivals, because all of then sans Serena aren't actually rivals. But what do these guys even add to the game? You barely even battle them, aside from Serena. Aside from a few things, it feels like Tierno and Trevor's roles could have been given to Shauna or Serena by the time you get to Laverre City with very few things lost. Aside from playing a generically supportive friend, they don't really add anything.

What does Trevor do? His goal is to complete the Dex, but in every instance where he compared our Dexes, I would tie or beat him without even trying. I guess he's the smart one of the group, but he just sort of becomes more and more irrelevant as you explore the world and learn things. His post-game role, telling you what Pokemon has a Mega Evolution, could just be handled by Sycamore or an NPC. It was nice seeing him come out of his shell during the Frost Cave story, but he was otherwise boring and ugly throughout the game.

Tierno is easily in the worst situation. Which is a shame, because I really loved his unique design and odd goal. He takes on a passive role and wants to make a dance team. Except do you actually see him do anything to further it? I mean, he catches 2 more Pokemon and talks about dancing a lot, but he's otherwise his goal isn't even expanded on. He's timid and doesn't battle much, aside from maybe off-screen battles against Team Flare I think? And when you battle him, he's pretty pathetic. His post-game role of giving you Heart Scales if you show him dance moves is probably like him learning about dancing. But otherwise, that role could also be given to some random NPC with nothing lost.

Shauna is actually my favorite of the friend trio + Serena/Calem, but that's not really saying much. She's bubbly, happy, and a lot like Bianca. (Except without the clumsiness, lack of confidence or backstory.) I'm not too upset that we didn't battle much because I felt that she had more of a presence than Tierno and Trevor. I spent quite a bit of time with her, and she wasn't so obnoxiously perky as to annoy me. We also learn that she's friends with Clemont and Bonnie [supposedly; the blond kids never told me anything about her. I just like to assume Shauna's lying to impress you, and picked the trick up from Clemont's website] and likes puzzles. A useless factoid about herself actually turns out to be a big help later on in the plot. But when you first face her, you have sheer type advantage over her. And by the time you battle her again, your team could obliterate her not only by sheer power and variety, but by numbers too.

Post-game, she trades you a starter and then just sort of waits in front of your house for the rest of her life, presumably waiting for you to get home while watching your mother's every movement. Considering you can potentially get Kalos starters in the Friend Safari, or over the GTS, her role is diminished somewhat. I hesitate to say that you could get a starter from an NPC, since it makes a lot more sense for her to have a starter, the child of her starter.

[6:03:44 PM] Johnny (Contrary): Guys. How would you describe Calem/Serena's personality and role in the games?
[6:04:40 PM] Johnny (Contrary): I saw on TVtropes (yeah I know, but I needed some research) and they made them out to be some tragic character, but I never saw these traits at all
[6:04:46 PM] Sorcerer Doctor Horrible, M.D.: Personality: Fiercely competitive, seems to have a strong sense of dignity
[6:04:50 PM] Sorcerer Doctor Horrible, M.D.: uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
[6:05:05 PM] Johnny (Contrary): Also they call you "neighbor" a lot and they're nice. That's all I got from them
[6:05:15 PM | Edited 6:05:41 PM] Sorcerer Doctor Horrible, M.D.: I mean, you consistently kick their ass throughout the course of the game, which they're pretty down about most of the time
[6:05:36 PM] Johnny (Contrary): oh yeah
[6:05:37 PM] Johnny (Contrary): thanks!
[6:06:01 PM] Sorcerer Doctor Horrible, M.D.: sort of reminiscient of ol' Cheren
[6:06:30 PM] Johnny (Contrary): Yeah, I liked it better with Cheren

At first I thought that TVTropes is extrapolating too much about Serena, like how they surmised that Paul is obviously a "Stop Having Fun Guy" or whatever and was meant to insult certain playing styles and treating this interpretation as fact. But after asking around and then digging into my memory banks, I managed to find some bits that make her stand out.

Serena was extremely bland, and I can only imagine Calem is about the same. Name all the traits Serena has: competitive, polite, has a sense of justice and believes in her friends. But here's where she gets unique: she loses to you.

I know, but here me out. She wanted the Mega Ring, and you took that from her. You beat her in that swamp, and she leaves the group to go train. So she's hurt and wants to improve herself, be an actual rival. Her commenting that she'll battle you every day in the post-game is her accepting her role as the punching bag and encouraging your talent for battling. At least her team in the post-game isn't so easy that I could beat her with just Chesnaught and Pangoro, as I did throughout the story.

Here's hoping the friends get the treatment they deserve in the next game(s), with a bigger presence, some development, and better teams. Give them all Klefki and Espurr.

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  1. Silktree's Avatar
    Since the next Kalos games will probably be sequels, these characters will most likely get even smaller roles, and I am perfectly fine with that prospect. Shauna says that she wants to go to a faraway region soon, so she will probably appear in a non-Kalos set of games, which is honestly somewhat daunting.
  2. Mijzelffan's Avatar
    I thought they made XY a lot more lively and enjoyed their presence even if they didn't do much. They helped immerse you in the game, I mean if you were to travel the world at age 16 in real life you'd probably do so with a group of friends too. They're your friends, you the player have friends in this world just like in the real world. And Serena was a good rival imo in that she actually behaved like an actual person. Blue and Silver are always super convinced they'll beat you, why is that? They've never beaten you once and don't even seem to care. "I really enjoy battling with you but I wish I would win for once", that's the exact sentiment I have with people I keep losing to in a game I like, and that's what I like about Serena. She's the most like what an actual rival in real life would be like.
  3. Karamazov's Avatar
    Blue was sort of cocky and competitive, so I assumed he was just too egotistical and thick-headed to accept your abilities until you assume the role of Champion and take it all away from him.

    They are lively, but I think that they'd make more of an impact if there were less of them to work with, or there was more to them. I love the idea of friends (especially if they provide fun battles), but they need to provide more than just unconditional friendship with few struggles and arguments. I'd have liked to see some friction, since that might give them more depth and explore the relationships.

    Unrelated, but did we ever get backstories on them? I'd love to see how they grew up and met.
  4. LightningTopaz's Avatar
    I'm going to try and flesh Tierno and Trevor out in "The Kalos Connection", but I thought Shauna got some development, although not as much as Callum
  5. Garren's Avatar
    I liked Tierno's dance.

    Also, Trevor's parents apparently abandoned him and his sister I've heard, so, there's that. Personally I liked him the most because he was earnest in his goal, plus his final team when you battle him on the bridge was pretty strong too.
  6. The Outrage's Avatar
    As much as people seemed to hate the path Cheren and Bianca chose at the end of the games, at least their characters developed. None of the XY crew did, except maybe for Serena who seems to have developed depression from constantly losing to the me.

    I mean, I've got to love how Shauna basically goes "BUT FRIENDS HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER! THAT'S WHY I LEFT TREVER AND TIERNO TO BE WITH YOU GUYS!!" and then right before the climax "SCREW FRIENDSHIP I'M OUTTA HERE!" when she gets scared off by the admins.

    Like what the fuck Shauna.
  7. L.L.'s Avatar
    @The Outrage ;She runs off to make the admins split up so you wouldn't have to do it all yourself. Calem/Serena does the same thing a second later following her.


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