Sammydodger here again with another Virizion’s Vision: Alternate article. This will hopefully be a mini-series in which we will view core Pokémon elements from a new perspective.
Prepare for trouble and make it double… okay maybe quintuple since there have now been five villainous organizations threatening the stability of the Pokémon world with in the main games. With each new generation we always expect to not only see new things, but also returning traditions. Who will be the new professor? Who will be the new Elite 4? Who will be the new villains? These are just a few examples of the main staples which form the Pokémon series. Today, I would like us to discuss the roles which the antagonists play during the stories; and what makes them fit within the Pokémon universe. To begin with, I’ll give a brief outline of each of the five criminal syndicates, followed by a few ideas of what could make a good alternate/future villain.
Team Rocket: The original bad guys are famed all over the world mostly due to the incompetent Jessie, James and Meowth from the anime. However, they’ve also made a big impact in the games too. They’re the only gang to appear in two generations and two regions. This makes them quite memorable, especially to veteran Pokémon players. Their main goals include world domination whilst making a tidy profit by stealing and/or exploiting Pokémon. This alone probably makes them the cruelest and most heartless of the 5 enemy groups. They were led by infamous leader Giovanni whom you meet at several points in R/B/Y. He is also the 8th gym leader, once beaten however you never see him again. In G/S/C, Team Rocket reform under the leadership of some admins. Their main goal is to bring back Giovanni so that he can return the gang to its former glory. However, their plans ultimately fall flat and you don’t get to see the big man himself. But in the remakes HG/SS you get to go back in time and visit Tohjo Falls where the Rocket boss resides. There you have a showdown which helps prevent him from rejoining Team Rocket. You also discover that your rival throughout your adventures in G/S/C is actually the Giovanni’s son!
Team Magma/Team Aqua: The third generation of Pokémon games R/S/E are probably the most unique when it comes to villainous organizations. There were two rival gangs whose opposite ideals made them clash and battle for supremacy. Depending on the version you played one gang would be your enemy, and one would be your ally (unless you played Emerald in which case you battled against the two of them). Both had similar aims; however they were very opposite at the same time. Magma wanted to expand the land mass using the power of Groudon; whilst Aqua wanted to expand the sea using the power of Kyogre. Unlike Team Rocket who specialised in “annoying” Pokémon, Magma used fire types and Aqua used water types (though there were still some annoying Pokémon mixed in). A weird thing to point out is that despite Aqua having the type advantage, both gangs were actually evenly matched. Once again you would battle them at different points during the game. Their plans are much more extreme than Team Rockets, and could be deemed more evil; however the reasons behind their desired expansions are far more understandable (though equally as barmy). They want to improve the way of life for both humans and Pokémon alike. Unfortunately neither considers the possible repercussions of their actions, so alas you must stop them.
Team Galactic: Generation four bought us Team Galactic; a bunch of space age geeks who are surprisingly ruthless which is reminiscent of Team Rocket though they have a slightly more intelligent look. Their main objective was to harness the power of time and space using the Sinnoh region legendary’s Dialga and Palkia. They would then use this power to destroy/recreate the whole Pokémon universe. Unfortunately for this futuristic themed syndicate they were too ambitious, and as is tradition they succumb to failure. This is most definitely the wackiest and most extreme plot to date within the main Pokémon games. It is quite similar to Magma’s and Aqua’s plans, but it’s on a grander scale. The reason for their madness is down to their leader Cyrus, whom believes there is too much “strife” in the world due to the humans having a “weak and incomplete” spirit. He thinks that mankind has ruined the planet through years of war and hostility. He dreams of a fresh start where he can rewrite history. However, once again he doesn’t consider the consequences, and his power mad ego is sent packing by the player. What is it with all these mad men? It’s just as well no one in real life has found a way of destroying the world… yet.
Team Plasma: With Galactic plotting the most absurd scheme possible, how could Plasma top it and become more interesting? Well for starters picking a more realistic target helps, however they surprised us all with a plan that actually made sense and made them look more heroic than immoral. Their ambition was to free Pokémon from humans. Led by a young guy named N, Team Plasma sought a new way of life where Pokémon and humans existed separately. Now you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s just a cover up for a much more devious strategy, however N is genuine in his mission for ultimate freedom. Although his views are very just, they were sadly misguided by a man named Ghetsis. N was raised by this man from a young age where he was bought up alongside Pokémon, and had little contact with humanity. Ghetsis who was the leader of the Seven Sages (a rank with in Team Plasma) manipulated N by making him believe humans were harming Pokémon, and that it was his destiny to save them. Once old enough, N was given leadership of the organization. With his newly granted power, it was your task to stop him. To make him realize the bond humanity shares with Pokémon, and the love the species have for one another. You have to prove to N that the majority of people care for Pokémon and vice versa. You eventually manage to make him understand, however Ghetsis’s true colours come to light when he sees N’s change of heart. He reveals how he was using N’s good nature to help rid the planet of trainers, so then Ghetsis would be the only person with Pokémon left, thus allowing him to take over the world as a dictator. Once you stop him, N simply disappears into the sunset, and Plasma is no more… for now.
Over the years we’ve seen some terrific villains with some outrageous goals, and with B&W we saw our first ever anti-villains (with the exception of Ghetsis). The one problem is how can they create something new and unique? How can they top what they’ve already done? Well what about having an organization that already has control of the region? We’ve seen numerous attempts where the bad guys have tried to take over in some form or another, so this would create an immediate twist to the story which in turn could give the game a much darker tone. Perhaps all the gym leaders, Elite 4 and champion could be part of this new gang, but it might be unknown to the player until he/she reaches the conclusion of their journey. For once the enemies would have achieved their major aims. You wouldn’t be trying to prevent them; instead you would be fighting for your freedom. This curve ball could create numerous story arcs with endless possibilities. So what name and costume could they have? We’ve already had Team “Rocket” and “Galactic” so continuing with the space like theme we could use the cheesy Team “Universe”. Another idea is something like Team “Victory” since they have total control. Again there is vast potential when it comes to names and costumes, but I’ll leave the ideas up to you.
[/spoiler]There is plenty of promise for future villainy, however I’ve babbled on for too long and you need your chance to have your say. Please don’t be afraid to comment, I love hearing your ideas and I welcome constructive feedback. Until next time though, good day to you!