Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

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Thread: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

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    Default Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    One of the reviews of my Pokemon game adaptation fanfic in the past complained that my portrayal of Pokemon were like robots with no personalities and said that "Pokemon are people too" or at least something along those words.

    Let's forget about my fanfic and apply this to everyone: which portrayal of Pokemon do you prefer? As the wild creatures most of them are based on that act on instinct and less on emotion or as creatures that act more like humans than animals, especially when domesticated? I honestly like both.

    What do you think?

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    ^^ Safe-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    For me it actually depends on the pokemon (and I don't necessarily mean species) I mean their life and experiences. For example: look at meowth from the anime, you would treat him more like a person, a different meowth would just be a pet cat. While a pokemon like metagross would be treated like a computer.

    Though, for me personally I like to treat most pokemon like people and portray them as such.

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    Registered User blowsave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    I think that it depends entirely on what kind of Pokemon we're talking about. A Tauros or a Caterpie - they're based on existing animals, so even though you would probably need to increase the intelligence a little, you have a real life source to draw from that's interesting in its own way; writing a Pokemon like Tauros like it was a guy in a costume seems pretty lazy to me. On the flip side, something like Alakazam is supposed to be incredibly intelligent (probably far smarter than its trainer), so that opens up a lot of storylines (why would something so incredibly smart and strong waste its time fighting in really violent battles for some kid?). And for another example, take a Pokemon like Gengar, who probably has a completely different set of morals and ethics compared to a human, so that should get taken into account during the writing.

    Basically, I don't think you need to be stuck with writing a Pokemon as either some savage beast or something that is identical to humans in most ways. Some Pokemon should probably be written as animals because they're clearly based on animals, but when you're writing Metagross/Ditto/Arceus/etc., you've got the chance to go above "animal or human" and get into the psychology a little, and come up with a really interesting character. I mean, you need to figure that each Pokemon has a different history and different way of life, so writing them all as either "people" or savage idiots doesn't really work. You wouldn't write a poodle and a gorilla the same way, the same goes for writing Pokemon.

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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    I tend to treat minor wild pokemon as savage beasts without emotion. However, if I'm going to have a wild pokemon that has a major involvement in the plot of a chapter/episode, there would be emotion and reasoning behind what it does, how it acts, etc.

    This especially applies to a trained pokemon. You'll be seeing those quite frequently, and it would be a big mistake not to put character development into them.

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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    It's fairly obvious to me that you can't apply a universal rule here. You can't treat alakazam, gardevoir and others as wild creatures, given their human attributes and intelligence implying sentience. Mewtwo and at least one lucario in particular have been shown to be quite the conversationalists. And even the lowliest of pokémon can understand commands in human tongue.
    However, you'd be hard pressed to discuss philosophy with a magikarp. There's a balance to be found.

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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    I think that, not only does the species of Pokémon matter, the genre and tone of your story do, too.

    For example, if you're writing a rather semi-realistic story, similar to Legacy's, you'd probably be more on the animal side with regular Pokémon, whereas, if you're writing a cute little quirky adventure story, you'd probably go with the more humanistic approach.

    In this sense, I mean humanistic as having human characteristics. I don't actually know if the word can be used like that. >_>

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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    Quote Originally Posted by Elite Four Lugion View Post
    I think that, not only does the species of Pokémon matter, the genre and tone of your story do, too.

    For example, if you're writing a rather semi-realistic story, similar to Legacy's, you'd probably be more on the animal side with regular Pokémon, whereas, if you're writing a cute little quirky adventure story, you'd probably go with the more humanistic approach.
    I'm writing a fic that's leaning towards the latter while including depth to the overarching story and characters.

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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    I tend to portray pokemon as more ...'sapient' I believed is the most appropriate word. I don't portray them as human, per se, but they have similar intelligence and emotional range in my works. Each species has it's own understandings, moral/ethical boundaries, that make them distinct amongst each other. Pokemon can't exactly speak to humans, except for those who are psychic or born with certain abilities (the Viridian Power, White Forest's blessing, etc) and so that intelligence and behavior is explored in different ways.

    I do believe you have to go on a case by case basis - several episodes/movies of the pokemon anime have shown us that many pokemon are more than simple animals, while the game presents a more limited viewing. A pokemon like a rattata is different from a pidgey is different from an alakazam is different from a magnemite, and so on.
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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    I don't remember who said this but "Pokemon are wild animals and could rip your head off if they really wanted to. I tend to treat them as such but different Pokemon have different behavior and I research this behavioral when writing about a wild Pokemon. Trained Pokemon however will act domesticated with proper training but I do believe that the Pokeball helps this process along but they are still somewhat wild when they are first caught.
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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    Pokemon are not poeople at all, but animals do have personality. think about a family pet. they love their owners, they wana have fun, they might be a lazy dog, or a curious cat.

    pokemon aren;t just animals but they are not people. they are monsters.

    My most developed pokemon was Kane the Cubone. He was honor bound pokemon who upheld his species traditions with great pride, and highly respects his trainer after he saved him from a sableye. Kane was very obviously an animal in the fic, but still had the personality you expect from a pokemon.

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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    I treat most pokemon as creatures of lower sentience. The ability to understand language does not necessarily imply sentience, and in many cases I prefer to keep their understanding on a simple basis (think pavlov; they associate certain words with certain actions and understand this). Most psychic pokemon I consider to have very well-developed brains, often equaling or surpassing human intelligence. I consider them unable to "talk" in the normal sense; while they use telepathy and this appears in any fanfiction of mine to be "talking", what they really are doing is conveying more complex emotions and ideas, so that you'd understand their meaning as well as or even better than someone who simply talked to you using words (I consider words imperfect conveyors of emotions and ideas).
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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    Like others have been saying, it mostly depends on the species I'm dealing with. I tend to give standard Pokemon such as Sandile and Archeops the intelligence of, I don't know, a well-trained dog—they can understand basic commands, and while their personalities aren't super in-depth, they're still present. Even then, I still imagine there's a wide spectrum of intelligence among Pokemon like that; like, a Persian would be smarter than a Bidoof. It would also depend from specimen to specimen—some creatures are just naturally more intelligent than others of their species. On the other hand, I like to depict certain legendary Pokemon (for example, Kyurem, but not Moltres) and species regarded for their intelligence (like Zoroark) at or above a human level. However, these Pokemon often struggle to show and understand human sentiment.

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    Default Re: Pokemon: Wild Creatures, People like us or perhaps both

    I suppose that either way works. I've seen good stories where the Pokemon are nothing more than dumb beasts, following orders blindly and returning to their Poke Balls once the battle's over. These sorts of fics tend to focus on the Trainers; you don't need to portray Pokemon as characters to have a successful fic. You can consider them to be weapons, giving them no more expansion or development than any of the range of swords or spells in a Final Fantasy universe. Alternatively, you can go the whole hog and give them personalities, emotions, development, complex motivations and a sense of reality, making them characters rather than accessories. This is rather difficult sometimes when you're dealing with creatures that - as a general rule - cannot speak, so I like to strike something of a balance. Personalities are somewhat determined by species, somewhat by circumstance. Ren's Zangoose is violent and rash, his Camerupt is solid and slow, Braviary is fearless and prideful, Manectric is level-headed and precise, Solrock is mischievous and immature, and Yanmega is . . . well, kind of up itself. But we can't show these through dialogue or complex emotional interactions, so we have to do so in different ways. When Ren's Pokemon are training together, Manectric follows orders to the letter, but it gets messed up by Solrock playing pranks. Braviary is so focused on beating Yanmega that it doesn't stop to think about any plan other than chasing it down mercilessly. And so on and so forth. I portray them as definitely sentient, sapient beings, but they lack the ability to communicate with their Trainers and there is a certain animal instinct that makes them - for the most part - be perfectly happy to spend their lives in Poke Balls, coming out mostly to fight.

    There are exceptions, of course - Psychic and Legendary Pokemon, in particular, are far more intelligent and often have some way of communicating with humans.
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