Pokemoaning YTF: My Unanswered Pokemon Questions

I have always admired the Pokemon series from afar – furtive glances from the “I’m too adult for kids games” side of the fence. Being a fan of turn-based combat and RPGs I always thought that the gameplay would appeal to me, but worried that the childish trappings of the setting would subtract from my enjoyment.

I want to make it abundantly clear upfront that I am very glad I took the plunge with Pokemon Y. I still have reservations about playing a “kids’ game” – to the point I was genuinely too embarrassed to take my 3DS out of my bag and start playing on the tube – but I was correct to think I would like the (albeit slightly unchallenging) combat and I am fairly addicted to the prospect of attempting to “catch ’em all.”

However, I am seriously confused about a number of Pokemon matters. Some matters of game design and some just in a complete absence of information that seems to (wrongly) assume this isn’t my first Pokemon rodeo.

Some questions I want an answer just to satisfy my curiosity, some I want answered so I know how to play the game better, some are silly and some are borderline troll traps. So, try not to take it too seriously, but also note that whoever answers the most questions to my satisfaction (which may be sated by correctness or comedic value depending on mood) will win themselves a £20 Nintendo e-shop voucher.


What the hell is a Pokemon? Is it a pet, a creature, a wild animal, a friend, an equal, a slave? I fought a Pokemon yesterday that was a sword. YTF? I have heard someone say it is a “Pocket Monster”, but was that considered in the original Japanese or is it just a convenient possible answer? Is the Japanese for Pokemon something other than “Pokemon”? From a health and safety perspective, is a pocket really a safe, protective environment for children to be raising monsters in?

Eating Out

What do the people of Pokemon-land eat? Do Pokemon eat other Pokemon? Is a grass Pokemon vegetarian? i.e. is eating one a vegetarian dish and does it only eat other vegetables – in which case does that technically make it a cannibal? I went to a restaurant and was served Pokemon battles. How the hell does that work?


Poking the World

What is the actual name of Pokemon-land? Can no one draw accurate maps of towns in Pokemon-land? Why are adults happy to let their young children wonder around a land full of wild monsters? Do the gardeners in the world not know how to cut long grass? Do lawnmowers exist? Why don’t Poke-Centers charge money for refreshing your Pokemon when they have a monopoly on the Pokemon recharging industry? Are they happy just making all their money on Pokeballs and potions?

Playing With My Pokemon 

What happens when you stop a Pokemon evolving? Will it still level up? Should I be making sure I have one main Pokemon who is ahead of the curve or is it best to have a balanced team of everyone at similar levels? It seems really difficult to make use of a Pokemon that is a significantly lower level than your other Pokemon, is there any way to level up without using it in combat? Why does a Pokemon faint when physically assaulted? What is a TM power and where do they come into the equation?

Why does evolving a Pokemon seem to make it look even stupider and more childish? My Fennekin now looks like it is wearing a dress and my Ivysaur looks like it had an unfortunate flower arranging run in with Poison Ivy.



Are the controls when not battling deliberately terrible? Why do I have to steer myself into a conversation as if I was a long boat on ice skates?

Is it acceptable for an adult male in his mid-thirties to be playing this in public?

(A) No, grow up.

(B) Yes, don’t let it get to you.

(C) No, you’re now on the Pokeregister

(D) Surely you’re getting too old for this ****.

How many people are nerd raging about my refusal to use the accent in the word poke and pokemon? Does it annoy you more that I say it wrong in my head too?

• Y X?

How do I catch ’em all, is this technically feasible? What is the difference between the two versions of X and Y? Is there some common Pokemon or are all unique to each version? Are there people that buy both versions or is it just a matter of finding someone to trade with?

Pokemon and on and on

That is the end of the questions I can recall, at least for now – but I don’t want others who may be in my position to be left feeling trapped and alone inside their pokeballs. So please feel free to add your own questions to this list – genuine or amusing – and I will count answers to other people’s questions as equal to answering any of mine.

Terms and Conditions for contest

I will keep this open for at least one week from the date of it being posted, but may keep it open for longer if still active. You must be a forum member for a valid entry, but can join when answering. The e-shop voucher will be provided in code form and can be sent out to you via email or PM on the BRB forums. All other standard BRB contest terms and conditions apply and can be read here.

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  1. Hopefully I can shed some light on some of your questions since I’ve played the games religiously since I was 8 years old and, honestly… I still watch the anime too.

    Q1 – Pokémonday

    A Pokémon could be everything you’ve listed right there. Some are pets, they’re most definitely creatures, some are wild and some are domesticated (just like real animals!), to some they’re friends and equals and unfortunately, some are slaves too.

    “Pocket Monsters” is the original Japanese term for the franchise. However, once the franchise went global the term “Pokémon” became more widely used. The Japanese refer to them as both “Pocket Monsters” and “Pokémon” today.

    Ironically, for being “Pocket Monsters”, they aren’t actually kept in your pocket. Most trainers tend to keep them on their belt or in their bags.

    Q2 – Eating out

    To answer to question of “What do the people of Pokémon land eat?” the simple answer is… most of the things we eat.

    However people also eat Pokémon too. In the Pokémon anime episode “So near, yet so Farfetch’d” the entry for Farfetch’d in the Pokédex goes as follows: “Farfetch’d, a Wild Duck Pokémon. Farfetch’d makes a delicious meal, especially when cooked with leek. Because of this, Farfetch’d is nearly extinct.”

    In Pokémon Gold/Silver, at one point in the story arc you come across Team Rocket cutting off Slowpoke tails and selling them as a “rare delicacy”.

    In multiple Pokédex entries and in the anime it is implied that Pokémon do indeed prey upon each other too. In the early days of the anime there are implications that a Pidgeotto could eat a Caterpie and that an Ekans might eat a Pidgeotto. In the games it is stated that Ekan’s favourite food are the eggs of Spearow and Pidgey and in Pokémon Black/White, the Pokédex entry for Heatmor states that it preys on Durant.

    Grass Pokémon are by no means vegetarians. One such Pokémon called Carnivine is based on a venus fly trap and dangles from trees to wait for prey. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that eating a grass type Pokémon would not be considered a vegetarian dish and that cannibalism would only be considered so if it was between the same species of Pokémon (i.e. some hot Bulbasaur on Bulbasaur action).

    Q3 – Poking the world.

    Whilst there is no name for the world which Pokémon is set in, many fans have dubbed it either “Pokémon World” or “Pokéarth”. It’s a completely separate entity from our own world, however in the early days of the franchise it was implied that they were one and the same. Apparently the legendary Pokémon, Mew, was discovered deep in the jungles of South America. In Pokémon: First Movie, Ash also exclaims that Vikings are “…mostly found in Minnesota”.

    Town Maps are one of the few items given to you right at the start of the Pokémon games. Though “Town Map” is putting it loosely as it shows a complete view of the overworld and nothing more. No detailed maps on how to find your way around a certain city. Maybe we should get Ordnance Survey to help out with the town maps in Pokémon Z?

    It’s widely accepted that on Pokéarth the education system is held in universal contempt. One widely rumoured theory on why parents (read mothers, since every Pokémon protagonist is fatherless) are so happy to let a random professor send off their 10 year olds on a journey is so that they can let said professor get into their pants. Take that as you will…

    The main reason a lot of long grass exists is because it is a Pokémons natural habitat. It’s also out in the countryside for the most part (or at least is implied to be).

    Fun fact time! As of Pokémon Black/White the Poké Marts where you buy supplies have been absorbed into the Pokémon Centre, they were previously separate entities. They may not need to charge you for healing your Pokémon, but with the shop right there next to them it’s hard not to buy something, and that’s when they’ll nickle and dime you when it comes to buying Ultra Balls and Hyper Potions. It’s just like the NHS in a sense.

    Q4 – Playing with my Pokémon

    When a Pokémon stops evolving it will still level up and even continue to learn moves it would learn at it’s later stages (sometimes earlier than usual).

    It’s best to have a balanced team of a variety of types around the same level. This is even more easy to accomplish in Pokémon X/Y, which brings me on to your next question…

    …yes, you can level up low level Pokémon without using them in combat. An item called the Exp. Share has been present in the games for a long time. Before Pokémon X/Y, Exp. Share was to be held by one Pokémon and it would gain Exp. even if it didn’t battle. Now, in Pokémon X/Y the Exp. Share is a universal item that applies to all Pokémon in your team no matter what. Only used one Pokémon in a battle but have 6 in your team? All of them will gain Exp. and this is what makes it easier to create a balanced team in X/Y.

    Whilst the games use the word “fainted” to describe a Pokémon with no health, I feel a more appropriate word would be “Injured” or maybe even “Exhausted”. The fact of the matter is your Pokémon are too weak to battle any more.

    TM’s (or Technical Machines) are attacks and abilities that can be taught to any of your Pokémon that are capable of learning them. For the most part, these are moves your Pokémon wouldn’t normally learn by leveling up. If you wanted to use the TM for Thunder on a Pikachu that was level 10, then you could do so. TM’s are now infinite use items as of Pokémon Black/White, so you don’t need to constantly buy new ones.

    Whilst some evolution’s are indeed, a bit silly, there are a lot out there which are quite cool.

    Q5 – Pokéwrong

    The controls aren’t deliberately terrible, but yes, they aren’t great.

    “Is it acceptable for an adult male in his mid-thirties to be playing this in public?” The correct answer is “B”.

    I don’t get annoyed when people don’t add the accent to Pokémon. I’ll admit, a lot of people don’t know how to type it (Hold “Alt Gr” whilst pressing “E”). But if you call Pokémon “Pokémans” or “Pokeymon” then I’m afraid there is a special place in hell reserved for you. </3

    Q6 – Y/X?

    It is not technically feasible to catch em' all in X/Y yet, but come December when Pokémon Bank and the Poké Transfer app become available, then it will. This will allow you to bring across all your Pokémon from the past 3 generations (From Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald back in 2003, up to Black/White).

    On paper, both X and Y are the same game with minor changes, such as Pokémon only available in one game over the other and slight (albeit minute) differences in story. It's designed this way to encourage trading between players.

    Yes, people do buy both versions just to trade with themselves. It's much more easy to trade with other players in X/Y though with refinements to the online modes that have been made.

    Hopefully this answered a lot of your questions. <3

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