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Anyone else find the concept of "canon" among the fandom regarding the Pokémon games to be self serving?

WaterTypeStarter

Well-Known Member
Anyone else think "canon" is overrated? Like many people try to argue say that the canon starter of Red is Charmander (not everyone's favorite is the Charmander line) or that one game is more canon than the other (like I personally like Ruby better than Emerald, so I'd not want to say the third version overwrites canon). And that one protogonist is more canon than the other. And I like that Game Freak made the multiverse thing, and has both ORAS occuring in parallel worlds. With the original Hoenn games being in another world. Most fans who try it argue canon only really care about making their own selfish preferences canon.
 

mehmeh1

Give up on yourself and you give up on the world
I mean didn't BW pretty much confirm that every single copy of every single game is on its own timeline?
 

Akashin

Well-Known Member
Anyone else think "canon" is overrated? Like many people try to argue say that the canon starter of Red is Charmander (not everyone's favorite is the Charmander line) or that one game is more canon than the other (like I personally like Ruby better than Emerald, so I'd not want to say the third version overwrites canon). And that one protogonist is more canon than the other. And I like that Game Freak made the multiverse thing, and has both ORAS occuring in parallel worlds. With the original Hoenn games being in another world. Most fans who try it argue canon only really care about making their own selfish preferences canon.

I'll be honest, I don't think I ever knew that any notable amount of people considered Charizard to be his 'canon' starter; putting aside the fact that claiming any starter to be canon is weird at best, I'd have sooner said either Bulbasaur or Pikachu. Bulbasaur because of early promo material (and for whatever its worth, LGPE stuck to this), and Pikachu because its his highest level Pokemon throughout the series whenever battled, plus the rest of his team most neatly fits with Yellow.

So I guess to answer your question, no, I don't really think canon as a concept is overrated. But I also don't consider things that are up to player choice to be canon (except in cases like Mewtwo, where we can reasonably assume its capture by Red/Leaf to be non-canon because it is still there in HGSS), either.
 

Italianbaptist

Informed Casual
I didn’t think it was a personal preference thing so much as it made sense that the guy named Red would pick the Fire type starter. Then his rival picks the starter stronger to it which is Squirtle, and that works in the US where his name is traditionally Blue.

Either way, I don’t think it’s intentionally “my preference is canon” but if people were doing that you’d be right to be irritated. Personally I’m more irritated that the franchise was for a time following the rest of geek culture and going the “multiverse” route. It reached its peak in Gen 7 but I haven’t seen it as much in Gen 8. I gave up on trying to like Marvel and DC because navigating the different universes was just too much to wrap my head around lol.
 

octoboy

I Crush Everything
Personally I’m more irritated that the franchise was for a time following the rest of geek culture and going the “multiverse” route.
I'm inclined to agree with this - mainly because trying to use the multiverse theory as a free pass to not have to try to keep the series consistent and turn any failure to keep consistency into a "clever Easter-egg hint towards multiverse theory" or whatnot pretty cheap. Yes, RPGs with inter-player interactions in general have a few inevitable inconsistencies (it can't be definitively decided exactly who stopped the evil teams or captured mewtwo for instance - several players did so in their own respective game), but making it that, for instance, one player has to claim their gen 6 game and gen 7 game aren't in one collective universe, as there are clearly inconsistencies between the portrayals of the characters that appear in both isn't something that has to be done, and I'd personally prefer if the games were all made with each other in mind rather than using multiverse as a free pass for the creators to ret-con as they please and try to make like they're somehow enriching the canon that way. If you ask me, retroactive continuity is an easy way out, and trying to polish it up as an indication of a multiverse doesn't change that fact.

As for questions regarding what the "canon" iteration of the player character entails, that does seem a bit silly to try to argue - certainly regarding the games themselves. While some of these characters might have portrayals in non-game media (i. e. in the Adventures manga, Red's canon starter was a poliwag, and in the anime series, May's canon starter was a torchic), it does seem reasonable to treat separate media as having somewhat separate canons, while treating the games as not having anything which is left to the choice of the player as having a canon choice.
 

Divine Retribution

See who you are, where from, what of
I mean didn't BW pretty much confirm that every single copy of every single game is on its own timeline?
Unless I missed something huge in B/W, no. There are two confirmed timelines in the Pokemon series; one where the Ultimate Weapon was fired and Mega Evolution emerged as a result, and one where it wasn't. This means that, for example, R/S/E and OR/AS are both canon at the same time; R/S/E takes place in the timeline where the Ultimate Weapon was never fired and Mega Evolution doesn't exist, while OR/AS takes place in the timeline where it was fired and so Mega Evolution does exist. It was strongly suggested that the device the scientists created in OR/AS's Delta Episode would have sent the incoming meteor into the world of the other timeline, so even within the games this two timeline model seems to be present and acknowledged.

If you're referring to B/W and B2/W2 having different storylines, that's completely intentional, and both storylines take place on the same timeline with B2/W2 taking place after B/W. This is similar to how G/S/C takes place after R/B/Y and even references some events from it, such as the player character from R/B/Y taking down the original Team Rocket.
 

mehmeh1

Give up on yourself and you give up on the world
Unless I missed something huge in B/W, no. There are two confirmed timelines in the Pokemon series; one where the Ultimate Weapon was fired and Mega Evolution emerged as a result, and one where it wasn't. This means that, for example, R/S/E and OR/AS are both canon at the same time; R/S/E takes place in the timeline where the Ultimate Weapon was never fired and Mega Evolution doesn't exist, while OR/AS takes place in the timeline where it was fired and so Mega Evolution does exist. It was strongly suggested that the device the scientists created in OR/AS's Delta Episode would have sent the incoming meteor into the world of the other timeline, so even within the games this two timeline model seems to be present and acknowledged.

If you're referring to B/W and B2/W2 having different storylines, that's completely intentional, and both storylines take place on the same timeline with B2/W2 taking place after B/W. This is similar to how G/S/C takes place after R/B/Y and even references some events from it, such as the player character from R/B/Y taking down the original Team Rocket.
I meant the entralink, since with it you could cross into other players' worlds
 
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