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VeggiePopper

Pokemon chronology - Do the Pokémon games follow real time dates?

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by , 10th May 2013 at 06:57 PM (1240 Views)
That's a bit of a curious question. What would dates in the real world have to do with the Pokémon games, and most importantly: if that were the case, then it must mean that the Pokémon world has some sort of relation to our world, bringing a second question into the soup (but first to need answering): is the Pokémon World an alternate version of our world?

I, for one, think it is, and fortunately, it's not a crackpot theory, but I actually have some in-game evidence to support my position.

First off, here and there we have mentions of real world places, specially in the early generations. I'm not counting the Pokédex mentions since we all can agree that most of the time, Pokédex content is bogus. However, in the original games we have two gems: first, when visiting the Pewter Museum, there's an old man speaking about the man landing on the moon; second, in Silph Co., there's an employee who claims the company has a branch in Russia. These lines imply that the Pokémon world is indeed our world (or, more precisely, a fantasy counterpart of our world). The fact that both lines were kept in the remakes despite many other retcons being done, means that they're still part of the games' canon.

Now, what about dates? Well, the fact that the Silph employee mentions Russia, not the Soviet Union, implies a modern setting. But the most important evidence comes from the man at the museum. Not only he speaks of the man landing on the moon, but also mentions the actual date that event happened in the real world (July 20, 1969 for that effect) and even goes to recount that he was so excited about it that he went to buy a color TV; the man's dialogue, analysed, brings us the following information:
1) He had enough money to buy himself a color TV, from which we can interfere that in 1969 he already had a stable source of money (i.e. a decent job), meaning we would at least be in his 20's of 30's; by 1996 when the game was released he would indeed be an old man on his 50's.
2) The moon landing was considered a big event in the Pokémon world, not unlike our real world.
3) Back in Poké-1969, color TV's were still a big thing, just like in the real world, where they didn't enjoy massive use until the late 60's, fitting again with the context from the man's dialogue.

All of this, put together, clearly confirms that Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and Yellow are set in the mid-to-late 1990's of a fantasy counterpart to our world, even if we don't get the specific date.

Now on the Pokémon world chronology. What do we know? What do we not know?

We know, for a start, that Gold, Silver and Crystal happen 3 years after RGBY, as well as their remakes. We also know that Diamond, Pearl and Platinum happen at around the same time, if only slightly later, than GSC, given that the Red Gyarados that appeared at Lake of Rage in GSC is referenced and treated as a recent event (the original DP only said "a Red Gyarados appeared at a lake", but Pt let you meet the camera man who filmed it and he confirmed that it was indeed the same Lake of Rage incident), that is without mention of Jasmine (from GSC) appearing in DPPt and her expanded subplot in the Johto remakes, which gives us further information on Jasmine's travel to Sinnoh confirming that DPPt happen between GSC/HGSS first and second halves (that is, between the Johto protagonist defeating the Elite Four and their travel to Kanto).

Also, we know that there is a 2 year gap separating Black and White to their sequels, Black 2 and White 2. And that's all we know for sure. It is hinted, but not confirmed, that the third set of games, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald take place at around the same time as the Kanto story, but that's all. Nothing else.

What we don't know is, for starters, the true confirmation that RSE are concurrent with the first generation games and, especially (and probably which has brought the most debates among the fandom when it comes to the Pokémon timeline), the exact amount of time between the second/fourth generations, and the fifth. We know that it's a long one, but not exactly how long.

On the Hoenn topic, originally I thought those games were set after GSC. There was no mention or even reference to any of the previous games characters or events, however, I came to that conclusion because of the Pokédex: in RGBY Oak says it's his latest invention, and even in GSC it is Oak, not Elm, the one who gives you a Pokédex, something that made me gues that by the time of the Johto story, Pokédexes were still developed exclusively by Oak; then in RSE, the Pokédex is handled to the player by Birch, with no mention of Oak's involvement, hinting that many years have passed since the Johto games and that by by that time, Pokédexes are mass-produced and thus they're more common among scientists; gameplay-wise, breeding (which was just discovered in the Johto games, and was still unknown in the Kanto games) was common in the third generation meaning that indeed it was set after GSC; finally, the player is said to be native from Johto but recently moved to Hoenn, which to me was a metaphor about leaving Johto behind, that region being "a thing from the past".

But then the Kanto games were remade as FireRed and LeafGreen and included many retcons to accomodate to the (then) current gameplay mechanics, namely breeding and the Steel type were not discovered in the GSC era, but rather were already commonplace in the Kanto days; plus, the player was able to trade Pokémon with the Hoenn games without any mention of a time paradox (something that actually was part of the Game Boy games when trading between generations, which was adressed by a deivce called the Time Capsule) and finally, there was a NPC that tells the player that they (I don't remember the NPC's gender) have their significant other in Hoenn; no such counterpart was present in the original Ruby/Sapphire, but was added to Emerald, RS's updated version. The retcons to the updated Kanto story, the ability to trade between FRLG and RSE without the mention of the Time Capsule (it still required a special upgrade for the transregional trade, which means that the developers just didn't ignore the matter of the trades making sense in-story) and the transregional couple were interpreted by the fanbase as hints that the Kanto and Hoenn stories were concurrent; plus, the protagonist being from Johto was removed in Emerald, meaning (at least according to my metaphor from the previous paragraph) that Johto was not a thing of the past anymore; indeed, since the Hoenn games happened at the same time that FRLG, then the Johto games were actually the future.

So, the pieces fit together; it's fair enough to recongnize that, while not outright stated, most probably the Hoenn and Kanto games are concurrrent. But that's not news.

The true nature of this post is to clarify the distance between the second/fourth generations to the fifth one.

Unlike many other chronology issues, here, there is only one hint, so it's harder to establish the true ammount of time that's passed. This hint is the infamous Rocket grunt. Let us recapitulate on him:

In GSC, as well as its remakes, in the second half of the game, after Team Rocket has disbanded in Johto, the player encounters a solitary Rocket Grunt in Kanto who (due to the distance, we assume) has not gotten the memo that TR is no more and is still causing trouble near Cerulean City; he's also somewhat peculiar in that he has a bad grammar, but at first we don't know why. Once the player finally defeats him for good in the Nugget Bridge, he says that he comes from another country (hence the bad grammar) and that now he plans to revive Team Rocket in his home country. We never see him again in the game.

Fast-forward to Pokémon Black and White. If we reach Icirrus City during the winter, we have access to a house where a family lives. There's a husband living with his wife, and there's also one kid, whose character model is that of a schoolboy, a trainer class depicted as 8-10 year boys. If we speak to the father, he confesses, with bad grammar, that he used to be a member of Team Rocket who intended to revive the criminal team in Unova, but there he fell in love and the rest was history. Note that Unova is said to be in a different country than the other regions visited so far in the series. Sounds familiar? Of course it does! He's the foreigner Rocket grunt from the Nugget Bridge.

And that's the only hint we get to the passage of time between previous games and BW. The answer lies in the kid's age.

As I mentioned earlier, he is a schoolboy, who are depicted as elementary kids ranging from 8 to 10 years old, however, some people lower their age down to 6, so that only worsens the matter, Or not? If we set a middle point between the range (6-10), the reuslt would be 8, so I say giving the kid the age of 8 is reasonable, even if some people claim that BW might be as close to HGSS/DPPt as only 5 years. But that seems too young to me; furthermore, being younger than 6 would make the kid a preschooler, who are a separate class with their own character model. So 8 be it.

Adding to the kid's age, we also have to count the 9 months that lasted the mother's pregnancy and that's not to mention the time that passed during courtship and engagement. I mean, the woman didn't get pregnant the first day his husband arrived in Unova. His dialogue in BW states that they first met when he came back from Kanto, so being already married before he went to Kanto/Johto to join Team Rocket is out of the question, therefore, the time they spent as sweethearts has to be added to the count. So, for those who say that there's only 5 years between Generations IV and V, it is impossible to travel to another country, meet somebody, court them, engage, get married and have a child in elementary school in only 5 years. Even a preschooler might be a bit of a strech. So I assume that, all in all, around 10-12 years passed between generations. That gives the couple enough time to properly meet each other, fall in love, marry and have a kid in elementary school.

Now, you might recall that at the start of this work I enthusiastly insisted that the Pokémon world recognizes real world dates, but then I abandoned that topic. Until now that it becomes relevant to my timeline theory:

If you pay attention, you'd find that in-universe, all the explicitly stated time gaps between games, correspond to the gaps between the corresponding games' releases (I mean, by first release date): Red and Green were first released in February 1996, while Gold and Silver were released in November 1999, three and a half years between them; in the Johto games, it is acknowleged that 3 years have passed since Red disbanded Team Rocket (which occurs late in the story, thus justifying the extra months). Then we have Black and White, released in 2010 and Black2 and White 2, released 2 years later in 2012, and again, in-game it's stated that the two stories are separated by 2 years.

Clearly there's a pattern of in-story events coinciding with real world time. If we recall that early on I proved that the Pokémon world not only acknowledges real world dates of previous events (the moon landing), but also corresponds to real life date (the man in Pewter Museum being the age he should be at the time of RB's release). Now if we put all these together, it could be assumed that the Pokémon main series follows real time to the point that they take place at the date they are released. Therefore, Gen I happens in Poké-1996, Gen II falls in Poké-1999 and so on.

However, this might be a bit of a problem, since Gen III debuted a whole 6 years after Gen I, yet they're supposed in-game to happen at around the same time, right? And the same goes for Gen IV in relation to Gen II, so, what happens here? Are the in-game references wrong and those games aren't contemporary to Gens I and II? That would make no sense! So... Are Gens III and IV exceptions to the "happens at the real life date of release" rule? Are Gens I and II the exception? If yes, should we pull back Generations III and IV to the earlier Generations timeframes, or should we pull forward the original Generations to the time period of the recent Generations? Well, doing the latter would mean moving the early games forward to Poké-2002 and 2006, which doesn't correspond to the traditional and well established 3 year gap, so instead let's move Gens III and IV to Poké-1996 and 1999 respectively. That's why, when I introduced this theory, I said that each time period corresponds to the "first release date"; therefore, I ignore third versions and remakes (which would make the timeline a mess that had to be retconned yearly, another reason why I used first relase rather than latest release as the basis for my theory) and stick strictly to the Generations/games earliest debuts.

This only acts in favor of my theory about the amount of time between Gens II/IV and V. If we stick to real world dates of each game and apply my rules from the previous paragraph, we'd have that Gens II and IV happen in the Pokémon world's version of 1999, whereas Black and White would fall in Poké-2010, which is... 11 years apart, just like the in-game evidence (the schoolboy son) suggests. Now, with the only unclarified time gap explained this way, both of my theories ("the Pokéworld follows real world dates" and "the gap between games is around 10 years, Rocket's son is 8 years old") hold pretty tight, don't they?

Of course, with this in mind, I predict that, if any reference is given in XY to previous titles, it most probably would suggest (if not outright state) that Gen VI's main games will take place around 1 year after B2W2, 3 years after BW and so on.

In conclusion, here is my proposed Pokémon timeline:

Early 1996* - Red starts his journey.**
Mid 1996** - Brendan/May starts his journey.
Late 1996 - Red conquers the Pokémon League at Indigo Plateau. He then proceeds to visit the Sevii Islands.
Early 1997 - Brendan/May defeats the Pokémon League at Evergrande City. During his travel through the Sevii Islands, Red retrieves the Ruby and Sapphire which allows him to trade Pokémon with Brendan/May.
Late 1999 - Ethan/Lyra starts their Pokémon Journey.
Early 2000 - Ethan/Lyra encounters the Red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage. Lucas/Dawn and Barry start their journey through the Sinnoh region. Jasmine visits Sinnoh.
Mid 2000 - Ethan/Lyra defeats the Pokémon Leage and prepares to head to Kanto. At Sunnyshore City, Lucas/Dawn meets Jasmine, who is participating in Sinnoh's Super Contests. Lucas/Dawn defeat Cynthia at the Sinnoh Pokémon League. Afterwards, Cynthia travels to Johto to investigate the Ruins of Alph, where she meets Ethan/Lyra. Jasmine returns to Johto as well.
Late 2000 - During their travel in Kanto, Ethan/Lyra encounter a solitary Rocket Grunt who, after being beaten, announces he'll reform Team Rocket in his homeland. Later on, Ethan/Lyra defeat the 8 Kanto leaders and travel to Mt. Silver, where they encounter Red.
Early 2001 - The Rocket grunt is back in Unova, in his home country. Upon arrival, he meets a woman and falls in love with her.
Late 2001 - The Rocket grunt and his sweetheart get married. She becomes pregnant.
Mid 2002 - The grunt's wife gives birth to a boy.
Mid 2010 - Hilbert/Hilda, Bianca and Cheren start their Pokémon journey through the Unova region.
Late 2010 - It is winter. Hilbert/Hilda arrives in Icirrus City where they meet the Rocket grunt's family; he has now a wife and an 8-year old son.
Early 2011 - Hilbert/Hilda defeats N and Ghetsis, apparently disbanding Team Plasma. Then, after defeating Alder at the Pokémon League, leaves Unova in search of N.
Mid 2012 - Nate/Rosa starts their Pokémon journey.
Early 2013 - Nate/Rosa defeats Ghetsis and Colress. Team Plasma is (as of now) done for good.
Late 2013 - Pokémon XY starts.



* Early: January-April. Mid: May-September. Late: October-December.
** I set that Red started his journey before Brendan/May's due to respect of him being the first Pokémon protagonist, but also because in FRLG you have to beat the Elite Four before being able to trade with RSE, whereas in the Hoenn games you can trade to Kanto without story requirements, so it would make better sense if I let Red start ahead, so that he could effectively trade with Brendan/May during RSE's main story.

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Updated 3rd July 2013 at 11:11 PM by VeggiePopper

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  1. Ivysaur's Avatar
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    @VeggiePopper: Loved this. I do have two questions to ask, though:

    1) Is it outright stated the Foreign Grunt's child is, in fact, his own? Could he be a stepfather? And IIRC, the Rocket Grunt retains his accent in the Unova games, but both the mother and the child speak normally. Now, I'm just spitballing here, cause I don't know what a child's accent would be if he was raised by parents with completely different accents, but this just may be something interesting to think about.

    2) The PWT in B2W2 made the timeline even more of a mess, but even when we completely ignore that, Cynthia looks the same she did in DPPt and she appears outside the PWT. There naturally wouldn't be such a big difference since she's already an adult and aging wouldn't have the same dramatic effect as it would on a child or teenager, but if there is such a big gap between Gens 2/4 and 5, it's still worth something to think about. I'd imagine that there would still be a noticeable difference, but this is definitely debatable.

    I should add that, while I don't know whether the developers themselves have maintained a concrete timeline, or whether they themselves just throw in references and dates as they go along without paying any mind to the timeline and there isn't one that actually exists between all the generations, this one is about as well-developed and evidence-supported as I've ever seen. Really enjoyed the read!
    VeggiePopper likes this.
  2. VeggiePopper's Avatar
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    @Ivysaur: Thanks for the praising, now here's what I have to say:

    1) It is indeed stated that they are father and son. The kid says: "My dad used to have a cool job in a faraway region!". It's 'dad', not 'stepdad'; thus the natural and most logical assumption is that he is the biological father. Sure, you can say he might be his father through adoption, but there's no evidence to hint at that. Let's not forget how the scientific method works: you have a hypothesis, then you try at experimenting with it to prove your point. If you can prove it, it becomes a theory, and then, a law; if you can't, then your hypothesis gets discarded; same for argumentation theory: in he who states something lies the burden of proof. That's why I only used ingame evidence (as opposed to make up elements or bring fan seculation to the mix, since in my theory, mine is the burden of proof) to back up my theory, and similarly, if we are to speculate that the kid might not be his biological son, it should be proven or at least supported with evidence, and currently there's no proof of that, not even the slighlest hint at it, so currently we must discard that scenario and stick to the natural and most logical assumption: they are biological father and son until proven otherwise.

    Accents in written media are depicted with alternate spellings ("'ello bruddah, how ya' doin'?", for example) so we can assume the grunt doesn't have a foreign accent, I don't see any problem with it or his son. I think you're refering to his grammar. But that was Game Freak pulling a viewers are morons thus keeping his bad grammar from GSC/HGSS as a story and gameplay segregation element only to make it obvious to us that he's the same Rocket grunt that stole the machine part back in Kanto. There's no other reason to keep the grammar, since the grunt outright states that Unova is his home region ("I my region went home"), so his grammar should not be bad anymore as he should be speaking his natural languaje/dialect by now; it was only done to help us recognize him.

    2) Yeah, the PWT made it a mess, but I think I can get around that one safely. As I see it, it's just another case of gameplay vs story segregation and viewers are morons: the characters kept their original looks so we can easily recongize them (and probably to feed our nostalgia for their native games), because otherwise, it doesn't make sense (even if we disregard my theory and say that BW is only set one or two years after HGSS-DPPt), the most egregious case being Tate and Liza: they still look EXACTLY THE SAME as they looked in RSE, when at the very least, 5 years separate RSE and B2W2 (3 years between Gens III and IV, 2 years between B1W1 and B2W2), which would make the twins at least teens, yet they're still depicted as kids, and the same goes for Red, so we can safely assume that the characters' looks in the PWT are irrelevant to the timeline (unless it works like the anime, where time passes but some people don't age).

    Also on that one, it seems (and again, this is supported by in-game evidence) that post-game content is not canon: HGSS gives us Mewtwo still inside Cerulean Cave, meaning that Red didn't catch it in FRLG; also in HGSS, Steven Stone and Oak's dialogue imply that the Groudon and Kyogre that appear on that game are the same ones from RSE, meaning that again, the Hoenn protagonist didn't catch them (which, in Emerald -the canonical game-, is post-game if my memory doesn't betray me), and finally, in B2W2 (which also means that this is still GF's practice), Kyuurem is still in the Giant Chasm and IIRC the story treats that place as if nobody had ever adventured there before Ghetsis' captural of Kyuurem, meaning that canonically, the B1W1 protagonist never visited that area which, again, is a post-game location. With all these elements, I guess it's fairly safe to assume that the old character's cameos in the PWT are not canon, as none of them appear during the main story, so there's nothing to worry about.

    OH! But then there's Cynthia! IIRC, although she appeared outside the PWT, all her appearances in Gen V still happened in the post-game, so my principle from the last paragraph applies to her too. Also, as you said by yourself, when you're an adult the differences are not that dramatic, especially when we're dealing with such low-res sprites, and since there is no official artwork for Gen V Cynthia, that's all we've got. Cynthia's artwork from DPPt can be interpreted depicting a woman from her 20's though her early 30's at the oldest. So I'm gonna go with mid 20's (just like in my original post, I take the medium) and say that Cinthya was 25 in DPPt, which would make her 35 in BW and 37 in B2W2. To me, a woman on her mid-to-late 30's seems believable by looking at her Gen V sprites, don't you agree? If we were dealing with a woman going from their 30's to their 40's (which is usually whan aging starts), then yes, I guess we'd have a problem, but fortunately, that's not the case.

    Cheers!
    Ivysaur and Muur like this.
    Updated 29th May 2013 at 05:49 PM by VeggiePopper
  3. Ivysaur's Avatar
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    @VeggiePopper:

    1) Ah, okay, thanks for letting me know. I'd honestly not visited the Grunt's house since BW first came out and for someone I remembered the son not specifically referencing the Grunt as his real dad, but looks like my memory is failing me now, haha.

    The Viewers are Morons perspective works in the case of his grammar, though I still find it strange they actually established the Grunt as originally coming from Unova... so why do none of the other foreign characters you encounter in Unova have an accent/strange grammar to show they speak differently? I think GameFreak's gone out and opened a whole can of worms here, lol. It's probably all for the sake of convenience for them but eh, whatever.

    2) I'm not quite sure I agree with that. If we go back to R/B/G/Y and then to G/S/C, all the Legendaries Red could've encountered in Kanto are gone--all of them optional encounters, and in the sake of Mewtwo, post-game. The fact they're all missing at least suggests Red either caught them or knocked them out, causing them to flee. Fastforward to FireRed/LeafGreen, I find it strange that Red/Leaf would've stopped their quest in the Sevii Islands after acquiring the Ruby (which was before the E4) and not the Sapphire (which was post-game). You also learn about what would turn out to be the Lake of Rage plot and battle the Rocket Grunts that eventually become the new leaders of Johto's Team Rocket. I find it strange they would throw in all these references if all this is non-canonical anyway.

    As far as all the Legendaries go, I believe Gameplay vs. Story Segregation applies strongly here, but it is equally as likely that the protagonists simply chose not to capture the respective legendaries they encountered. We find the Legendary Birds and Mewtwo in HGSS, because the developers wanted us to be able to catch them. Kyurem is the focus of B2W2 so the developers had to throw him in there. This doesn't mean Hilda/Hilbert never explore the Great Chasm; it could just as easily mean they didn't choose/weren't able to catch Kyurem. Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus are also completely gone from Unova; Hilbert and Hilda could've caught them. There might be a few more examples that are escaping me now, but I think that's the bulk of them.
  4. VeggiePopper's Avatar
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    @Ivysaur:


    1) "so why do none of the other foreign characters you encounter in Unova have an accent/strange grammar to show they speak differently?". Probably because it wasn't relevant to the plot, thus putting accents and weird grammar here and there with no real purpose might be confusing for some people (and time-consuming for the writers). As you said it, convenience and nothing more.

    2) The Kanto legendaries being absent in GSC was retconned in HGSS where they are all present (not only Mewtwo, but also the birds), so it stays in line with my theory. However, you are right to a degree, as I agree that post-game quests are canon, but only when, as you pointed out, they add something to the story, being an expansion to that game's particular plot, featuring ties to other games and so on. I do believe that Red traveled to the seven main Sevi Islands and retrieved both the Ruby and Sapphire (as that subplot forshadows the events of the Johto games, as you just said), obviously the Johto character went to Johto (which is how you know of the Rocket grunt from Unova) and I believe the Sinnoh protagonist chased Charon to Stark Mountain where Team Galactic was finished once and for all; similarly, I think it is canon that after beating Ghetsis, the BW1 protagonist chased after the Seven Sages as well. However, I still think that the post-game events that don't add to the story, are not canon -post-game legendaries (as I have proven), Battle Towers, Battle Frontiers (if they were canon, Gen IV BF would make no sense as it would stand simultaneously in two regions; there's a reason Cattleya never states of being part of a specific BF), Battle Subway, Pokémon World Tournament and people who the player battles just for the sake of battling them, which includes Cynthia's cameo, as it not only happens post-game, but also adds nothing neither to BW/B2W2's plot nor the overall series story. There's a reason Red's team as a NPC is always based on mandatory Pokémon (starters, Lapras, Snorlax and Eevee, all of them are encountered mandatorily as part of the story): only the players actions that are strictly part of the story are canon. Since battling Cynthia is not part of the story (neither the main story nor the post-game subplot), I regard it as noncanonical.

    For example, contrast Cynthia's cameos in Gen V to Jasmine's cameo in Sinnoh and her HGSS post-game appearance in Kanto: her presence in Sinnoh, as well as her conversation with Erika in Kanto, give her character development (as she goes from the shy shrinking violet to a confident battler and contestant) and also serves to clarify how the two games (HGSS and DPPt)'s stories connect to each other and the order of the events of those games (that's why I heavily relied on that sub-plot in my proposed timeline). In contrast, what does Cynthia do in Unova? Does she reveal some of her backstory? No. Does she take part in the post-game subplot (searching for the Sages in BW and... I don't remember B2W2 having any post-game subplot at all)? No. She's just there for the sake of a cool battle with an old character (as PWT wasn't implemented in B1W1). Does she utter a mysterious line that sets a cliffhanger to be resolved in a future game? Not that I know. Therefore, I justify why I consider her cameo noncanonical, or at least not relevant enough to be consdiered as evidence against my theory.

    Anyways, even if Cynthia's cameos in Gen V were canonical, as I said earlier, her physical appearance in Gen V is still believable to the age she would be in those games should my theory be true.

    A little off-topic, but now that you insist on the legendaries being GpVsSS, I give you Mewtwo in XY. Sure, we still don't know what role will it play in the new games, but the games will feature it indeed, and it is probable that it is the same Mewtwo from Kanto (there's no indication that research on Mewtwo's creation was published, and its original creator is too old to create a new one). If it is indeed the same Mewtwo, it will be one more evidence towards my theory that canonically, post-game legendaries are not captured.
  5. Ivysaur's Avatar
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    @VeggiePopper

    2) Hm. I'm not quite sure I agree that only the strictly story-related events of all post-game aspects are canonical. This is more a personal sentiment than an evidence-based one, but I'm not sure GameFreak would throw in several different things into the post-game and only choose to canon-isize a select few of them. I've been playing devil's advocate up to this point and I do agree with the proposed timeline, but I don't think this is one of the things that can be either proven or disproven, at least until more evidence is brought up.

    I think it's too soon to say anything about Mewtwo in XY; we don't how it'll appear, whether it'll be a different one than the Kanto one, it'll be wild or given through an event, or even if it's included in XY's regional Dex. It'll be interesting to see how GameFreak handles this, especially since we'll (supposedly) be able to transfer our own Mewtwos from HGSS and even FRLG, and I really wonder whether they'll make a point to say that hands down, this is the same Mewtwo...
  6. Silktree's Avatar
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    @VeggiePopper @Ivysaur
    Quote Originally Posted by VeggiePopper
    and finally, there was a NPC that tells the player that they (I don't remember the NPC's gender) have their significant other in Hoenn; no such counterpart was present in the original Ruby/Sapphire, but was added to Emerald, RS's updated version.
    I wasn't aware of the Emerald addition. Do you recall where the significant other was found in that game? There is another Emerald retcon you didn't mention: The inability to trade with FRLG before the Elite Four. This suggests that Red completed the Ruby and Sapphire sidequest around the time Brendan/May defeated the Elite Four.

    However, you are right to a degree, as I agree that post-game quests are canon, but only when, as you pointed out, they add something to the story, being an expansion to that game's particular plot, featuring ties to other games and so on.
    Entering Cerulean Cave was the culmination of Red's journey; even after defeating Blue in Indigo Plateau, Red was told that he had to accomplish another feat (the Ruby and Sapphire quest) before he could be given permission to enter the cave. Why would Red encountering Mewtwo not be canon? Technically he could have caught Mewtwo only to release it later, but I believe that the encounter had a much different outcome that we never saw since the player was supposed to catch Mewtwo. Even in HGSS Cerulean Cave is said to have collapsed; it's certainly possible that this happened as a result of Red triggering Mewtwo's wrath. For all we know, this event might be the reason for Red's isolation in the Johto games.

    In Groudon and Kyogre's case, it is pretty easy to imagine that Brendan/May defeated them in their caves; they were still causing weather problems even after their battle. Being finally defeated might have made the titans leave Hoenn, explaining their HGSS appearance. Rayquaza may or may have not been temporarily caught; I'd agree that Brendan/May didn't necessarily return to Sky Pillar since there was no obvious reason to do so.

    Since battling Cynthia is not part of the story (neither the main story nor the post-game subplot), I regard it as noncanonical.
    Most in-game events hardly have any bearing on the story regardless of when they take place. Even though Cynthia's cameo was pretty pointless, she interacted with practically all the female Unova gym leaders and Elite Four members. She also referenced Lucas/Dawn and Giratina, as well as expressing interest in the Abyssal Ruins (which admittedly went nowhere). Finally, she foreshadowed the Champions Tournament, but that isn't saying much since the World Tournament is problematic. The only events that I'm sure have little to do with the story are those involving the various battle facilities; some of the events triggered by movie Pokémon are questionable, too. But I don't see a strong reason to be skeptical about anything else, especially when encountering legendaries doesn't necessarily entail catching them.

    Cynthia's sprite is too small to indicate aging. At the same time, I don't think that the Rocket kid's overworld sprite means much, either. Even if it did at some point, it's such a minor detail that it could be easily ignored if and when Game Freak decide to start being specific about the timeline. The gap wasn't important as far as Generation V was concerned, but it may be relevant to XY. If they want Mr. Fuji, Red or any character to have a role in the future without being too old, they will set the timeline accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivysaur
    It'll be interesting to see how GameFreak handles this, especially since we'll (supposedly) be able to transfer our own Mewtwos from HGSS and even FRLG, and I really wonder whether they'll make a point to say that hands down, this is the same Mewtwo...
    They certainly should do just that, even if the event is exclusively triggered by the movie Mewtwo or a new variant catchable in XY.
  7. VeggiePopper's Avatar
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    @Silktree:

    Quote Originally Posted by Silktree
    @VeggiePopper @Ivysaur
    I wasn't aware of the Emerald addition. Do you recall where the significant other was found in that game? There is another Emerald retcon you didn't mention: The inability to trade with FRLG before the Elite Four. This suggests that Red completed the Ruby and Sapphire sidequest around the time Brendan/May defeated the Elite Four.
    Unfortunately I don’t remember exactly where they were found, I think they were in one of the late Sevvi Islands and Foretree City respectively. Nonetheless, your point goes along with my theory pretty well, as I say that Red visited the post-game islands short before Brendan/May defeated the Elite Four, so it’s completely compatible with what you’re saying here, so thanks for adding that up.

    Entering Cerulean Cave was the culmination of Red's journey; even after defeating Blue in Indigo Plateau, Red was told that he had to accomplish another feat (the Ruby and Sapphire quest) before he could be given permission to enter the cave. Why would Red encountering Mewtwo not be canon? Technically he could have caught Mewtwo only to release it later, but I believe that the encounter had a much different outcome that we never saw since the player was supposed to catch Mewtwo. Even in HGSS Cerulean Cave is said to have collapsed; it's certainly possible that this happened as a result of Red triggering Mewtwo's wrath. For all we know, this event might be the reason for Red's isolation in the Johto games.
    You have a point, so fair enough. It might be canon. I already said to Ivysaur that I didn’t exclude everything that happens post-game, but only what doesn’t add to the story, so even if I didn’t considered it before, my thoeory is compatible with the possibility of Red and Metwo meeting in Cerulean Cave. As i told @Ivysaur earlier, the scope of that statement extends only to battling facilities, such as BF and PWT. With that, I acknowledge Red’s encounter with Mewtwo while still leave PWT’s nonsense depictions out of the canon.

    In Groudon and Kyogre's case, it is pretty easy to imagine that Brendan/May defeated them in their caves; they were still causing weather problems even after their battle. Being finally defeated might have made the titans leave Hoenn, explaining their HGSS appearance. Rayquaza may or may have not been temporarily caught; I'd agree that Brendan/May didn't necessarily return to Sky Pillar since there was no obvious reason to do so.
    That’s another alternative to what happened, however, why were they still causing weather problems after Rayquaza supposedly calmed them down in Emerald’s climax?


    Most in-game events hardly have any bearing on the story regardless of when they take place. Even though Cynthia's cameo was pretty pointless, she interacted with practically all the female Unova gym leaders and Elite Four members. She also referenced Lucas/Dawn and Giratina, as well as expressing interest in the Abyssal Ruins (which admittedly went nowhere)
    The Gen IV reference was that, as you said, nothing but a reference, it adds nothing to the story- her travel to Unova serves has no reason whatsoever, she didn’t reveal who that trainer was (leaving unsolved the question on whether Lucas or Dawn is the canon protagonist), she still hasn’t revealed her home region and she doesn’t speak of the amount of time that passed since those events. Her mention of the Abyssal Ruins also adds nothing since, as you ackowledged, that goes nowhere, basically, she's just there for the sake of the fanservice and a battle. So I guess her appearance in the games doesn’t have impact on anything (hence why I deemed it noncanonical), let alone debunking my theory (even if we give it the benefit of doubt and consider canon, a scenario that I already addressed).

    Finally, she foreshadowed the Champions Tournament, but that isn't saying much since the World Tournament is problematic. The only events that I'm sure have little to do with the story are those involving the various battle facilities; some of the events triggered by movie Pokémon are questionable, too.
    That’s exactly what I have been saying. Since theya re problematic, there’s no way they can be taken into consideration into the series’ overall chronology.

    But I don't see a strong reason to be skeptical about anything else, especially when encountering legendaries doesn't necessarily entail catching them.
    I’m skeptical because there’s no acknowledge of such events. Skepticism doen’t mean to compeletly deny something,but rather doubt and question the idea until said idea is proving, which is what I’m doing: questioning those events until it is proven that they did happen. But ok let’s give you the beneit of doubt. Fine, they encountered them but didn’t catch them. It doesn’t contradict my theory yet. Also, while your point may apply to many Legendaries, definitely doesn’t apply to all of them. In B2W2 for example, the locals of Lacunosa say that no one has ventured into the Giant Chasm since Kyuurem landed there millenia ago, revealing that at least Hilbert/Hilda never went to the Chasm nor encountered Kyuurem in canon.

    Cynthia's sprite is too small to indicate aging.
    That’s why I’m taking her cameo and physical appearance with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, I still provided arguments that make believable that her Gen V sprite is compatible with the amount of time that has passed according to my theory.

    At the same time, I don't think that the Rocket kid's overworld sprite means much, either. Even if it did at some point, it's such a minor detail that it could be easily ignored if and when Game Freak decide to start being specific about the timeline.
    Oh boy it does mean much. Unlike the other cameos which were gameplay-oriented (Cynthia challenges the player to a battle, the previous Leaders and Champions are part of a battle facility), the Rocket Grunt’s appearance has no gameplay purpose, it’s exclusively story oriented (none of them give you any item or a Pokémon, challenge you to a battle nor activate some mechanic, et cetera), therefore, its sole purpose is to establish a link with the previous games and thus, the overall timeline. On top of that, since there is no other evidence to hint how long has passed between games, until further evidence is given, everything lies on the Rocket’s family’s shoulders and, following that idea, the boy’s age is the only true concrete hint to the passage of time. Don’t be fooled, Game Freak knew what they were doing when they added the boy, he was not an afterthought.
    After all, before HGSS everybody made the assumption than Gens I and III were contemporary based solely on the transregional sweethearts in Emerald, which is even vaguer than the Rocket’s child’s sprite.

    The gap wasn't important as far as Generation V was concerned, but it may be relevant to XY.
    It was important enough that the developers added three characters only to establish said gap to boot.

    If they want Mr. Fuji, Red or any character to have a role in the future without being too old, they will set the timeline accordingly.
    Yes, they will. Until then, this is what we have. And so far, it makes sense. Sure, I might be disproven and debunked later on (which I will happily admit if that happens), but as of now, my theory has enough evidence on its favor and I’m sticking to it.
    Updated 29th June 2013 at 04:41 PM by VeggiePopper
  8. FANG-TAN's Avatar
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    That's really good speculation. I always liked the idea of release dates coinciding with the year system that took place in-universe as well, but to do that my headcanon usually separated Gen I and II with their remakes (original games in their own self-contained retro timeline, the remakes in the current Gen III+ timeline). Your timeline actually works well by not separating them and doing the opposite, moving the remakes and contemporaries to the date of the original Generations I and II.
  9. VeggiePopper's Avatar
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    @FANG-TAN:


    Thanks for the compliment, I'm happy to know that someone does agree with me :)
  10. Dieter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeggiePopper
    @Silktree:
    Oh boy it does mean much. Unlike the other cameos which were gameplay-oriented (Cynthia challenges the player to a battle, the previous Leaders and Champions are part of a battle facility), the Rocket Grunt’s appearance has no gameplay purpose, it’s exclusively story oriented (none of them give you any item or a Pokémon, challenge you to a battle nor activate some mechanic, et cetera), therefore, its sole purpose is to establish a link with the previous games and thus, the overall timeline. On top of that, since there is no other evidence to hint how long has passed between games, until further evidence is given, everything lies on the Rocket’s family’s shoulders and, following that idea, the boy’s age is the only true concrete hint to the passage of time. Don’t be fooled, Game Freak knew what they were doing when they added the boy, he was not an afterthought.
    After all, before HGSS everybody made the assumption than Gens I and III were contemporary based solely on the transregional sweethearts in Emerald, which is even vaguer than the Rocket’s child’s sprite.


    It was important enough that the developers added three characters only to establish said gap to boot.


    Yes, they will. Until then, this is what we have. And so far, it makes sense. Sure, I might be disproven and debunked later on (which I will happily admit if that happens), but as of now, my theory has enough evidence on its favor and I’m sticking to it.
    Minor detail, I'm pretty sure the wife of the Rocket Grunt gives you a RageCandyBar. Though of course, this could have been by another NPC. It might even further establish the connection between HGSS and BW, as those things are produced in Jotho and mainly sold there as well (I think there's a few other places that sell them, or say they sell them but lack stock at the time)

    Apart from that, I think this timeline is very plausible
    VeggiePopper likes this.
  11. Infinity Mk-II's Avatar
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    You rely too much on the Rocket (whom as a minor NPC, I really don't try to put much weight on i.e. everything about him could be handwaved), but there's another character that also shows the time gap which, while more vaguely in how many years, much more explicitly in that a considerable amount of time passed.

    We don't know Caitlin's exact age in Gen V, but aside from obvious appearance changes, it's also enough to fit an independant journey in Unova, succeed in her own training to control her Psychic powers, AND gaining enough recognition in said region to become an Elite 4.
    Granted, that may not mean much, but for comparision it seems Koga became an Elite 4 somewhat recently in GSC from being an stablished Gym leader. So while Elite 4 trainers seem to have disperse origins, they must have been notable enough for a time within the region to become so.

    So yeah, this is pretty vague, but the way she talks about her past being definitely at least a little distant makes me think it points on the general idea the games may take place 5~7 years later or something.
    So eight years later seems to fit that.
  12. VeggiePopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinity Mk-II
    You rely too much on the Rocket (whom as a minor NPC, I really don't try to put much weight on i.e. everything about him could be handwaved), but there's another character that also shows the time gap which, while more vaguely in how many years, much more explicitly in that a considerable amount of time passed.

    So eight years later seems to fit that.
    Since you get a key item (the Rage Candy Bar) from the Rocket and his family, he's not as minor as you think; not to mention that he was part of a mayor main villain team. The reason I rely too much on him is because so far, he is the only concrete evidence we have. If we had more concrete evidence (as you acknowledged, Cattlin is very vague and doesn't hint towards anything other than "a long time"), we could compare and contrast said evidence to establish a better range. But as of now, that's all we have, and since there is nothing that contradicts or disproves it, it still counts, no matter how minor his role is. On the contrary, it's the minor details which always give the details away (a random cameraman in DPPt to establish the connection with HGSS for instance). Actually, as the piece says, the only reason why everybody believes that the Kanto and Hoenn games happen simultaneously is the trans-regional couple that appears in Emerald (Hoenn) and FRLG (Kanto); other than that, there is no evidence, not even the slightest hint that points to that, yet everybody and their grandma are so sure that the couple is the definitive, undisputable proof, that the two stories are concurrent. If the community relies so heavily on two minor NPC's in that case, why not on the Rocket too? Why rely so heavily on two random NPC's, but blatantly ignore one that actually played an important role in the past? That's hipocrisy. Let's keep our logic consistant, don't you agree?

    Anywhoo, so... why do actually believe we should ignore the Rocket and put it at "only" eight years? The ten-eleven years I suggest also fall under the "a little distant" category you suggested... plus that actually has some support behind it.
    Updated 12th October 2013 at 11:34 PM by VeggiePopper
  13. Infinity Mk-II's Avatar
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    Actually, I had been questioning the widely accepted "Kanto-Hoenn at the exact same time" theory all the time. However, it's Steven appearing in HGSS what indicates to me that Hoenn must have taken place before Johto, since he does acknowledge RSE events. (And to an extent, the Hoenn legendary trio only makes sense placing Hoenn before Johto)
    I didn't even know of the couple, but I'd say that the Kanto-Hoenn situation doesn't necessarialy have to be instantaneously simultaneous and rather roughly on a similar time, even acknowledging trading and whatnot.

    So with that I'd give probably around a year or so of margin for what's considered "simultaneous" and the progression of the adventure (As you kind of did, anyways).


    As for why eight and not ten? ... I misread THAT part of your theory and thought for a second the release dates matched with eight. Whoops.
    I guess it still works? I wasn't arguing.



    Although on that note, I personally use simply Diamond and Pearl's date instead and fit FRLG before RS and HGSS before DP, giving a 4-year gap.

    There'd have to be a quite considerable stretch to correctly place the mid 2006 Johto (since the Red Gyarados is a recent event) with the early 2002 Kanto on when did Red actually defeat Team Rocket and it disbanded. Not to mention plenty of handwaving.


    But this is where the relevance of a character comes in play: An absolutely minor character can be handwaved with little problem because they're hardly influential and have little focus to them. It's a character that actually has a focus on what does place hard limits on the handwaving and wild guesses. (Which is why with Steven and the legendaries we all can say Hoenn must absolutely take place before Johto.)


    My point is that in this case, these limits are broad enough. You may call handwaving the rocket as having some crazy background or the generic sprites or whatever rather than going with a more straightforward theory pure speculative nonsense, and it IS, but ultimately, it would not contradict anything explicitally pointed out nor be inherently less valid than your speculation.



    So to answer, I preffer to go 4 years over 10 because that's closer to the range I percieve as better for Caitlin and it's an specific number I can attach to the release dates. That's it.

    I do NOT ignore the Rocket. I merely handwave his situation with a little wilder speculation as it does not explicitally contradict this nor itself in any way I percieve as meaningful enough.



    I'm sorry if I give the impression that I'm arguing. I was actually confirming.
    VeggiePopper likes this.
    Updated 13th October 2013 at 10:38 AM by Infinity Mk-II

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