GEN II: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

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    Default Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    What prompts me to ask this is mostly the gym leader teams. They are made primarily of Generation I Pokemon, with no gym leader having more than 1 Johto Pokemon. In fact, the only Johto Pokemon used by any of the Johto gym leaders are Whitney's Miltank, Jasmine's Steelix, Pryce's Piloswine, and Clair's Kingdra. Out of the 8 gym leaders, there were only 4 Johto Pokemon on their teams. There were plenty of options they could have taken too. For example, instead of either Pidgey or Pidgeotto, which we had already seen more times than we would have liked to in the previous game and in this one, Falkner could have used Hoothoot, Murkrow, or Natu. Bugsy had Heracross (which may have been too powerful for that point in the game), Ledyba/Ledian, Spinarak/Ariados, Shuckle, Pineco at his disposal. But he settled for Kakuna, Metapod, and Scyther. Scyther is a cool Pokemon and deserved a spot on his team I believe, but the Metapod and Kakuna were just dead weight. Morty could have used Misdreavus, Pryce could have used Sneasel, the list goes on.

    Another example I'd like to bring up is the fact that many Johto Pokemon were very rare and only found in one or two locations, many in the Kanto region post-E4. Misdreavus can only be found in Mt. Silver with the added obstacle of only making it obtainable at night. By this point in the game, it would not be useful to catch and train for in-game purposes anyway. In Gold and Silver, Houndour could only be found on Route 7, at night, with a 5% encounter rate. This was bumped up to 20% in Crystal, but this is still very late in the game for a relatively mediocre Pokemon.

    So to go back to my original question, was Game Freak afraid to focus on the new Pokemon in the games over the previous generation's, and if so, why would this be?
    Last edited by Enzap; 19th August 2013 at 12:08 PM.

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    Jacen the Robot Floatzel Robo-Floatzel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Well, this was the first time that they had added new Pokemon to the franchise, so they were obviously unsure on how to handle promoting the new Pokemon over the old ones, now they anymore promote the newer Pokemon strictly and pretty much ignore any older Pokemon unless it's from Gen 1 or is popular like Lucario or the Eeveelutions are, and often makes me feel that older Pokemon don't get much love anymore.

    I do agree that the Johto Gym Leader teams were pretty bad, and for a generation that introduced the Dark type, the only one you had access to before the Elite Four was Umbreon (in fact, Espeon and Umbreon were the only Eeveelutions you could get, since the evolution stones were extremely hard to obtain in G/S/C), and while it's true that some of the Pokemon locations were fixed in HG/SS with the addition of new locations (getting Houndour in the Safari Zone for instance), I still feel like they screwed up in G/S/C with some of the Pokemon's locations, especially Pikachu, which you can't even get until Route 2, which is at the very end of the game when there's not that much left to do.

    But of all the things HG/SS fixed that were major problems in G/S/C because of technical limitations or just laziness, the Gym Leader's teams are something that wasn't fixed, since they were all the same, heck, you can just make Johto and Kanto the same region and not be able to tell the difference.
    Last edited by Robo-Floatzel; 19th August 2013 at 12:31 PM.
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    smile Enzap's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    I'm very glad that HGSS did fix a lot of the problems, but I agree that they should have fixed the gym teams. Just changing one Pokemon on most of them would have made a huge difference for me.

    At least I felt that the Elite Four teams were pretty well balanced. Even if they did make some odd choices like giving Koga more Bug Pokemon, the number of Kanto and Johto Pokemon felt about right. My main complaint about the Elite Four teams would probably be giving Will two Xatus, but that's not related to the topic.

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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Yeah, I think the distribution was very bad. It was ironic how you had Johto Pokemon, such as Houndour, that couldn't actually be found in Johto, only in Kanto and HGSS definitely did not go far enough to fix this.

    I would like to have seen

    Falkner - Natu & Noctowl
    Bugsy - Yanma & Ariados
    Whitney - Snubbul, Furret & Miltank
    Morty - Haunter, Murkrow, Misdreavus
    Chuck - Tyrogue & Hitmontop
    Jasmine - Skarmory & Steelix
    Pryce - Delibird, Sneasel & Piloswine
    Clair - Kingdra, Dragonair

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    Registered User Mermaid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    I don't know if Gamefreak was afraid, but I do believe the Johto Pokemon were shafted in both distribution and in their use to prominent characters. Not every gym leaders team is perfect. I'm pretty sure anyone could find better options of teams for gym leaders in different regions, but Johto seems to have them en masse.

    Falkner- could have used Hoothoot's family line or Natu's. Maybe both with one an evolved form (Noctowl/Xatu) and one a prev-evo (Hoothoot/Natu)

    Bugsy- had a much bigger pool to choose from. From Ledyba's line to Yanma to Heracross/Shuckle/etc. The fact that all of his pokemon are Kanto in origin including his signature Pokemon is ridiculous.

    Whitney- She did better by having Miltank as her main Poke, but she didn't need Clefairy. She could have/ should have used Snubull's line.

    Morty- Ghost is one of the typings that had the least amount of Pokemon at the time, with one family line, so, I understand why Morty overused the same Pokes. But, If a new gen introduces a new ghost pokemon and your a ghost type trainer: USE IT!

    Chuck- All I will say is that there were a Hitmontop and a Heracross that could have been used.

    Jasmine- Again like Whitney, she hadd a Gen 2 signature, but there were no need for two Magnemites. Jasmine was the sixth gym leader and could have raised the bar in terms of a challenge. Skarmory is a good option. I didn't recommend it for Falkner because he's too early of gym leader to use it, but Jasmine could have gotten away with it. Forretress was also a good option.

    Pryce- Same thing with Jasmine and Whitney and later Clair. Sneasel, missed opportunity.

    Clair- is the only team that was fixed in HGSS, that I wouldn't touch. They all fit her theme and nothing more you could have done because of the typing that she had.

    Elite Four:

    Will- Slowbro should have been a Slowking and be his signature. Drop one of the Xatus. Replace it with Wobbufett or Espeon.

    Koga- since he's technically from Kanto I'm not going to be as hard on him.

    Bruno- I think I had similar problems with him that I had with his team in Gen 1. The reason is that of the orginal Kanto Elite 4, he was the only one who could fill all 5 slots of his team with Fighting type Pokemon without issue, yet still managed to fit Onix in.

    Karen- Larvitar's line and Sneasel's line. I can excuse Gengar.

    Lance- so many issues, I'm not going to bother with his team.

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    (-, - )…zzzZZZ Reila's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    That is one of the reasons I didn't like GSC (and HGSS) that much. Game Freak added 100 new Pokémon to the series, but for the most part of the game you only find Kanto Pokémon. I am currently re-playing HG and I just left Azalea City and so far I only found one Johto Pokémon, which is Mareep. Goddamn Pidgey, Rattata, Zubat and Geodude are everywhere. Not to mention the character's teams. Falkner's signature Pokémon could easily be a Murkrow or Noctowl, but they choose to give it a Pidgeotto? I mean, really? Why? I mean, I actually can understand the problem in GSC, since it was their first time creating a new Generation, but why didn't they fix the problem in the remakes?

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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    I agree with most of the quoted post, so I'm only going to quote the parts that I feel the urge to respond to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post

    Falkner- could have used Hoothoot's family line or Natu's. Maybe both with one an evolved form (Noctowl/Xatu) and one a prev-evo (Hoothoot/Natu)

    Chuck- All I will say is that there were a Hitmontop and a Heracross that could have been used.

    Elite Four:

    Will- Slowbro should have been a Slowking and be his signature. Drop one of the Xatus. Replace it with Wobbufett or Espeon.

    Bruno- I think I had similar problems with him that I had with his team in Gen 1. The reason is that of the orginal Kanto Elite 4, he was the only one who could fill all 5 slots of his team with Fighting type Pokemon without issue, yet still managed to fit Onix in.

    Karen- Larvitar's line and Sneasel's line. I can excuse Gengar.

    Lance- so many issues, I'm not going to bother with his team.
    Noctowl would have been nice I think. Or maybe Murkrow as the strongest since it has some impressive attacking stats compared to early-game Pokemon.

    Hitmontop would have been perfect as his ace I think. I do like his Poliwrath, but it didn't need to be his strongest. Especially since Hitmontop is a Gen II Pokemon and Poliwrath isn't.

    I agree completely about Will. I'm glad they used Wobbuffet and Espeon on Sabrina's team, but they could have easily used one for Will too instead of awkwardly having two Xatus.

    I felt Karen's team was pretty solid. Sneasel would have been cool, but I feel like it would have made her a bit too easy if it had replaced Gengar or Vileplume due to it's mediocre stats and multitude of weaknesses. Tyranitar is the only Dark type out of that line, and I don't really think they would use Pupitar just because it evolves into a Dark type later. Tyranitar would be much more fitting for a champion I think. Although I guess if they made it her strongest instead of Houndoom it would work alright.

    I thought Lance's team was ok. They didn't have many Dragons to work with, so they used a lot of powerful Dragon-like Pokemon. The three Dragonite's does seem a bit lazy, but I think it made it more challenging, which is what the champion is supposed to be like.

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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enzap View Post
    I felt Karen's team was pretty solid. Sneasel would have been cool, but I feel like it would have made her a bit too easy if it had replaced Gengar or Vileplume due to it's mediocre stats and multitude of weaknesses. Tyranitar is the only Dark type out of that line, and I don't really think they would use Pupitar just because it evolves into a Dark type later. Tyranitar would be much more fitting for a champion I think. Although I guess if they made it her strongest instead of Houndoom it would work alright.
    I do agree about Tyranitar. I only recommended it because of its typing, but I personally find it better suited for Lance. Vileplume is the only Pokemon that feels awkward in Karen's line up. Even though Gengar is not a Dark type Pokemon, it still seems to fit in with the rest of her team.

    I thought Lance's team was ok. They didn't have many Dragons to work with, so they used a lot of powerful Dragon-like Pokemon. The three Dragonite's does seem a bit lazy, but I think it made it more challenging, which is what the champion is supposed to be like.
    I did over exaggerate the problems of Lance's team, but my issue stems from their levels and the choice of Pokemon. Level wise, it just doesn't make sense for a guy who is champion to be weaker than his Elite Four counterpart in Gen 1. Not only that, but his illegal Dragonites. In Gen 1, his levels matched his Pokemon. Gen 2 not only do the levels not make sense, but I'm suppose to believe that same 2 Dragonairs that were lv. 56/55 in Gen 1 evolved at or prior to level 47.

    I think it is possible to replace the two Dragonairs. Like I said above, Tyranitar could have been a nice option and Kingdra also since it was a new Dragon Pokemon at the time. Kingdra is not his signature Pokemon, so I don't think it ruins Clair's team.
    ArginX and Enzap like this.

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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Many of the Johto Pokemon were either too rare or too weak, and overall the Kanto Pokemon overshadowed the Johto Pokemon in the Dex (seriously, there were 3 Kanto Pokemon for every 2 Johto Pokemon, that's absolutely pitiful by modern standard). That being said, the gym leader rosters could've been better. Falkner should've gotten a Hoothoot, Bugsy should've had Spinarak and Ledyba instead of Metapod and Kakuna, Whitney should've had Snubbull, Morty should've had Misdreavus, Chuck should've had Heracross, Jasmine should've had a Skarmory, and Pryce should've had a Sneasel.
    ArginX likes this.

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    アルギンX ArginX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Even-numbered generations have thus far been extremely consistent in that they seem reluctant to use the majority of their coolest Pokemon in the actual games. This is pretty damn apparent in GSC, and even more obviously so in DP. Had Crystal gone the Platinum path, perhaps we could have been able to see this issue fixed, what with a Matsuba with Muma or a Karin with Bangiras. Sadly, we all know that never happened.

    So in short, the answer to your question is almost certainly yes.

    I will say it made Pokemon like Muma a hell of a lot more cool to me back in the day--that thing wouldn't have made anything like the impression it made on me way back when had it been available early in the game instead of in the final cave. But that's GSC's (and DP's) problem--they make way too few new Pokemon and then to make up for it they make those Pokemon all elusive and unseen in-game so as to create the illusion of there being more new stuff than there really is. It worked to an extent, and certainly didn't ruin the games or anything, but it's still a major pet-peeve.
    Last edited by ArginX; 19th August 2013 at 10:39 PM.

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    Revert & Reverberate Miar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Johto was only 40% of the dex. Clair and Morty had too few choices, and some Pokémon overlapped in GL/E4 types (Foretress, Heracross, Xatu...)
    Even the trainers didn't make use of what was available. (ex. Bugsy's gym didn't have Pineco or Yanma)

    I'd say GF didn't know what to do with them. Suddenly there's all new Pokémon, but you got to stick with the classics too.
    Oddly, some Johto 'mons weren't even available until Kanto (Slugma, Houndour, Larvitar...)

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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    I agree they could have used more Johto Pokemon on their teams. I think I will make new teams for them.

    Falkner- Hoothoot and Noctowl
    Bugsy- Ledyba, Spinirak and Heracross
    Whitney- Snubull and Miltank
    Morty- Haunter, Misdreavus and Gengar
    Chuck- Hitmontop and Poliwrath
    Jasmine- Skarmory, Magneton and Steelix
    Pryce- Sneasel, Dewgong, and Piloswine
    Clair- Dragonair, Dragonair, Kingdra
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    The Darkest Magikarp Karpi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Guys, you're ignoring the real reason why the Johto gym leaders used mostly Kanto pokemon:

    The Johto region is clearly a puppet state of the Kanto government, so all the gym leaders actually come from the Kanto region and therefore use their own pokemon that come from their home region. Those that have 1 Johto pokemon have it because it was probably their latest capture after being told to move to Johto.



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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karpi View Post
    Guys, you're ignoring the real reason why the Johto gym leaders used mostly Kanto pokemon:

    The Johto region is clearly a puppet state of the Kanto government, so all the gym leaders actually come from the Kanto region and therefore use their own pokemon that come from their home region. Those that have 1 Johto pokemon have it because it was probably their latest capture after being told to move to Johto.
    That doesn't explain why the Kanto gym leaders have more Johto Pokemon than the Johto gym leaders, though.

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    Registered User Stratelier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Game Freak Afraid to Use Johto Pokemon?

    Quote Originally Posted by PKMNXY!! View Post
    I agree they could have used more Johto Pokemon on their teams. I think I will make new teams for them.

    Falkner- Hoothoot and Noctowl
    Bugsy- Ledyba, Spinirak and Heracross
    Whitney- Snubull and Miltank
    Morty- Haunter, Misdreavus and Gengar
    Chuck- Hitmontop and Poliwrath
    Jasmine- Skarmory, Magneton and Steelix
    Pryce- Sneasel, Dewgong, and Piloswine
    Clair- Dragonair, Dragonair, Kingdra
    Can you imagine going up against a Hypnosis Noctowl as your first Gym Leader battle? That would be like Lenora's Watchog all over again.

    In HGSS at least Bugsy's Scyther got U-Turn. Even though Kakuna and Metapod were effectively dead weight to stall your team with, he always sent Scyther out first and then immediately swapped it in for the cocoons (effectively giving his Scyther a few free strikes). And Whitney's Rollout still sent you to bed crying if you couldn't find some way to protect (pun intended?) against it.
    Last edited by Stratelier; 1st September 2013 at 01:25 PM.
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