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Storytelling Mechanics

ZeroGear

Member
I've recently noticed that in recent generations the story lines of the games have significantly improved. What started out as a simple, bland story of "beat all the gym leaders and then challenge the elite four" has changed into stories of averting world-level threats and taking down infamous gangs out for domination.

Generation three kicked it off by playing up the tension against teams Aqua and Magma, gen. four gave us the star-crazed fanatics of team Galactic, gen. five let us see Plasma bring the champion to his knees before freezing half the continent with the power of a legend, gen. six has us stopping team Flair form wiping out all life on the planet, and now gen. seven takes us against monsters from another dimension. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that Sun and Moon have had the best story in the franchise to date.

However, as great as the stories are, there is one thing that bothers me a little:
Throughout the games, we keep going up against the grunts of evil gangs, slogging our way through the mobs of their Pokemon, and managing to come out on top pretty much all the time. That's not much of a problem when it comes to the lower members of the gang, however the Admins are a bit of a different story.

It's always bothered me that often you face off against the leaders of these organizations multiple times in a game, and their Pokemon are lower level than those of the grunts at later stages. These are supposed to be the big bads of the evil underworld, why do they keep loosing to a 10 year old kid?
Its understandable that beating them is required to progress, however it makes no sense for them to keep playing the "be glad I held back" routine if they're supposed to be this merciless monster of a battler.
As such, there is one way to really drive home how much of a badass these bosses are: forced-loss battle.

I know that anyone reading this will question my sanity as almost evert gamer detests being put into a situation where defeat is mandatory, however here is a case where it would work really well: If the story has us running into the big bads early, one could be given the option to stand up to them or back down. In the event that we do fight, we are put up against mons way above our level where it is almost impossible for us to win (such as a level 20 going up against a level 60). This would demonstrate the teams true power and give us an understanding of how far we still have to go before we're strong enough to take down the boss, and the team feels scary sine there scripted to get away with the heist, and an ally could be nearby to heal your team after you black out without loosing money. In the off chance that you do beat them (such as having a high-level Pokemon traded to you or just grinding for no reason) there could even be alternate dialogue telling you how lucky you are.

What do you think? Could something like this happen in future games? Would it break the tradition of the franchise too much? Let me know your opinions on this matter.
 

Shinecune101

New Member
Yes, I do have to agree with the fact that the Pokémon games' stories have improved significantly from the first one (to be honest Diamond and Pearl had a bit of a rough start with Barry just being like hey let's get a pok e man cuz lols hue hue hue), and Sun and Moon has a great impression on me so far.

And honestly, while I do see your point with "why the heck are 10 year olds beating the villain who is supposedly super strong and tough", here is my point of view. So, the main character of the games are young, yes, but that doesn't mean they aren't strong. They're sort of like the "chosen one"; they're better than most other trainers and are destined to have pretty good ability. Generally, the main character is the savior of the world, and even though the villain may be big, bad and tough, it's not really synonymous for strong. Of course, compared to most other Pokémon trainers, the admins are pretty strong, that's why they've been able to come this far in the first place, but the thing is, the main character is stronger. The main character has a good heart, considering the fact that they're trying to stop them in the first place. The main character is very strong in this aspect. Their bond with their Pokémon is very strong too, so naturally they would be stronger than an admin who really has no reason to be with Pokémon other than to help them achieve their goal. I guess, in a way, getting beaten by a younger child sort of makes them think; what am I doing wrong and why am I not as strong as this kid?

And about that super overleveled idea... 40 levels above seems a bit of overkill. Yes, a video game must have a good story in order to be successful, but most of the time Pokémon is the kind of game that relies on the gameplay. In terms of video game design and a player's perspective, it really seems unfair for a boss to be impossible to defeat early on. I do agree they should be difficult, but that's all it should be: difficult. It shouldn't be mindblowingly hard, even if there is a scripted losing scene. If that's the case, there's really no point in having the battle in the first place.

In the end, the game is really aimed towards kids, so they probably don't really care about this fact, and they'd probably be more upset about the fact that the gameplay is a lot more difficult than it needs to be and that there's really no chance for them to win. I feel like Pokémon should stay true to the traditional aspect.

That's really just my opinion, but your thoughts are quite interesting to say the least. :) (also sorry if this didn't make sense; my thoughts tend to run together when I'm explaining them).
 

Nockturne

Well-Known Member
The levels don't really bother me because its kind of necessitated by how games work, and I suppose you could just say that late game grunts out level the early or mid game Admins because time progresses along with the story. So by that point in the game the Admins will likely out level the grunts even though for whatever reason you never battle them again. But was does frustrate me is when an Admin or even a Leader (looking at you Guzma) only has one or two Pokemon, especially if you first meet them a decent way into the story.
 

SkinnySweatyMan

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure about a forced loss just because of the nature of the game. With training and strategy, you'd be able to overcome pretty much anything, and that's also one of the main aspects of the games. I do agree that the admins are pushovers, though. I think they should be amped up a bit so you can't defeat them in the same mindless way that you defeat the grunts.
 

ancientus

New Member
I've recently noticed that in recent generations the story lines of the games have significantly improved. What started out as a simple, bland story of "beat all the gym leaders and then challenge the elite four" has changed into stories of averting world-level threats and taking down infamous gangs out for domination.

Generation three kicked it off by playing up the tension against teams Aqua and Magma, gen. four gave us the star-crazed fanatics of team Galactic, gen. five let us see Plasma bring the champion to his knees before freezing half the continent with the power of a legend, gen. six has us stopping team Flair form wiping out all life on the planet, and now gen. seven takes us against monsters from another dimension. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that Sun and Moon have had the best story in the franchise to date.

However, as great as the stories are, there is one thing that bothers me a little:
Throughout the games, we keep going up against the grunts of evil gangs, slogging our way through the mobs of their Pokemon, and managing to come out on top pretty much all the time. That's not much of a problem when it comes to the lower members of the gang, however the Admins are a bit of a different story.

It's always bothered me that often you face off against the leaders of these organizations multiple times in a game, and their Pokemon are lower level than those of the grunts at later stages. These are supposed to be the big bads of the evil underworld, why do they keep loosing to a 10 year old kid?
Its understandable that beating them is required to progress, however it makes no sense for them to keep playing the "be glad I held back" routine if they're supposed to be this merciless monster of a battler..

i think they should add ages that are customizable. The possibility of playing as a kid or young adult, like Serena/Calem. Even if it's just the generic shonen ages and some characters doesn't have stated ages like Dawn/Lucas and Hilda/Hilbert, I still find silly playing as a kid. That's a minor detail, but helps a lot on immersion.
 

Orphalesion

Well-Known Member
i think they should add ages that are customizable. The possibility of playing as a kid or young adult, like Serena/Calem. Even if it's just the generic shonen ages and some characters doesn't have stated ages like Dawn/Lucas and Hilda/Hilbert, I still find silly playing as a kid. That's a minor detail, but helps a lot on immersion.

I think it would be a horrible idea to make age customizable. As it stands age is one of the few fixed features the Pokemon protagonist has and thus one of the few things any bits of story and (meaningful, non-generic) NPC interaction can be built upon. People of different ages are treated very different by those around them, so this is pretty much one of the few aspects where the game can draw your character into the world and make it a part of it rather than having it a featureless player avatar. Adjustable age would have prevented most of the plot of Sun/Moon, for example, the player character being 30-something would have completely changed the way they relate to their mother, Kukui, Hau, Lillie, the various captains, Gladion, Lusamine etc. etc. etc.

I seem to be in the minority on this issue, but I do not believe that story and character interaction should be sacrificed just for the sake of "immersion". I do not need to pretend that every game character I play is me or some sort of projection of myself. I actually dislike games like the Elder Scrolls series, where your character is just a featureless ghost, wholly separated from the world, because they have no set features the game could interact with.

I'm also in my mid-20s and take no issue with playing a kid in Pokemon. It just comes with the game.
 

Akashin

Well-Known Member
I think it would be a horrible idea to make age customizable. As it stands age is one of the few fixed features the Pokemon protagonist has and thus one of the few things any bits of story and (meaningful, non-generic) NPC interaction can be built upon. People of different ages are treated very different by those around them, so this is pretty much one of the few aspects where the game can draw your character into the world and make it a part of it rather than having it a featureless player avatar. Adjustable age would have prevented most of the plot of Sun/Moon, for example, the player character being 30-something would have completely changed the way they relate to their mother, Kukui, Hau, Lillie, the various captains, Gladion, Lusamine etc. etc. etc.

I seem to be in the minority on this issue, but I do not believe that story and character interaction should be sacrificed just for the sake of "immersion". I do not need to pretend that every game character I play is me or some sort of projection of myself. I actually dislike games like the Elder Scrolls series, where your character is just a featureless ghost, wholly separated from the world, because they have no set features the game could interact with.

I'm also in my mid-20s and take no issue with playing a kid in Pokemon. It just comes with the game.

I agree completely. Though with that said, I disagree about Elder Scrolls, at least where Skyrim is concerned. While your character is a blank slate in most ways, they also have the Dragonborn mantle tacked onto them no matter what, and that defines your character more than anything else and effectively pulls you into the story.

However, Pokemon doesn't work like that, so it's apples and oranges.
 
I think it would be a horrible idea to make age customizable. As it stands age is one of the few fixed features the Pokemon protagonist has and thus one of the few things any bits of story and (meaningful, non-generic) NPC interaction can be built upon. People of different ages are treated very different by those around them, so this is pretty much one of the few aspects where the game can draw your character into the world and make it a part of it rather than having it a featureless player avatar. Adjustable age would have prevented most of the plot of Sun/Moon, for example, the player character being 30-something would have completely changed the way they relate to their mother, Kukui, Hau, Lillie, the various captains, Gladion, Lusamine etc. etc. etc.

I seem to be in the minority on this issue, but I do not believe that story and character interaction should be sacrificed just for the sake of "immersion". I do not need to pretend that every game character I play is me or some sort of projection of myself. I actually dislike games like the Elder Scrolls series, where your character is just a featureless ghost, wholly separated from the world, because they have no set features the game could interact with.

I'm also in my mid-20s and take no issue with playing a kid in Pokemon. It just comes with the game.

I agree. The plot would've changed entirely if the protag wasn't at a set age. Plus, there would be so much text Game Freak would have to write, it would probably both drive them insane and make the game take much longer to code.
 
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