Before we begin, let me apologize for another article coming a day late. I'm still getting used to my work schedule, and this got mixed in with some unforseen personal issues for a day in which I just didn't have time to complete this on time. Apologies all around. Now then, on to our topic.
Ladies and gentlemen, the interactions between Pokemon and humans is a broad topic, which was touched apon previously in the topic of man-made Pokemon. Today, we're doing something very similar. There have always been those who wish to tamper with the natural order of the Pokemon world, be it an evil orginization or a wayward scientist. Like the gentleman beside this text, the people who tamper with nature's little spawn tend to be portrayed in a negative light, as evil beings who take sick pleasure in messing with the way things work.
We honestly don't see too much evidence of direct human interference creating and altering Pokemon species, but there is much evidence in the detail and framework, between the worlds of the games and anime. And this is what we're going to examine a little today, finishing off by completing the discussion on Mewtwo from last article, including how his personality changed due to humanity's involvement, summing up a sort of positive/negative series of effects. So, into the science-mobile!
Rotom's alteration by mankind was actually a result of the first discovery of a Rotom ever recorded. This was by Charon, one of the charter members of Team Galactic. Charon made this discovery when he was only a child, when a Rotom possesed a toy robot young Charon was playing with. When the creature exited the robot and made itself known, Charon captured it and began to befreind it. As he grew into an adult with a lust for science, Rotom's physiology and habits began to fascinate him, and so he began to study it. After much studying, it was discovered that the creature could cause any piece of machinery to malfunction, through the act of possesion. Upon discovering this, he decided to name his discovery Rotom, a name which comes from a backwards spelling of the word Motor. This comes from the fact that motors enable many kinds of machines to function, while Rotom causes the opposite to occur.
Between growing up with the creature by his side and studying it and giving it its name, Charon became closely attached to Rotom. He created several machines for the creature to inhabit that would give it special abilities it could normally not posess. These were the five devices obtainable in the Galactic Eterna building in Platinum, and were meant to give Rotom more versatility in battle. Rotom was happy to have these devices to use, both in battle and in play. However, possibly because of his fascinzation with Rotom, Charon began to become obsessive over his scientific research. He became greedy, and was glad to join forces with the budding Team Galactic when confronted by Cyrus. In his obsessions, he forgot about Rotom, who was scared away to the Old Chateau.
Talking physically, Rotom has one of the more obscure designs I've seen. While obviously taking design from a common spinning top, Rotom's shape and coloring are actually based on Pulseman, a character designed by Ken Sugimori, the artist behind pretty much every official piece of Pokemon art we've ever seen. Pulseman starred in a game of the same name for the Sega MegaDrive, back in 1994. Fairly succesful, the game is now avalible worldwide on Virtual Console. Rotom's design directly resembles the design of Pulseman's helmet and body armor, and the Pokemon's blue electrical aura resembles the apprearence of many of Pulseman's electrical attacks. There are actually several other Pulseman references in Pokemon, which we may touch on at some point in the future.
Deoxys is one of my favorite Pokemon. Like, EVER. I absolutely love its physical design, the concept it's based on, its versatility as a team member, it's fluid movement and form-changing in the anime...
Okay, before the rest of this article turns into me gushing over Deoxys, let me get back on track. In the games, not a huge amount is known about Deoxys' origin apart from that it fell to earth as a virus on a meteorite, formed in the atmosphere of space. After entering earth's atmosphere, the virus was exposed to scientific radiation, which caused it to mutate into what we know as normal-form Deoxys. It may have first appeared as a more simplified, primordial version of how it now appears, recreating itself over time using its ability to regenerate any part of itself.
The anime took Deoxys' story farther, giving the Pokemon its own movie(one of my favorites, incidentally). In this movie, two Deoxys existed on earth; one with a purple crystal on its chest, the other with a green one. Both crystals act as the "core" of their respective creatures, and both were attached to the meteorite that crashed to earth in the beginning of the movie. The purple crystal manifests into a Deoxys, but the green one does not. Rayquaza, who witnesses the meteorite's descent, is agitated, and attacks the manifested Deoxys. The meteorite's crash led it right into a research lab in the arctic, where the battle ensues. After a long struggle, Deoxys loses the battle, and is completely obliterated, except for its purple core. This core is plunged into the sea, where Deoxys begins to slowly regenerate, while the green core is discovered by scientists at the crash site.
Four years later, we pick up with Ash and co. meeting Tory in Battle Tower City, a city managed by AI and robots. Tory is a quiet boy who endured great mental and physical trauma when younger. It is later revealed that this is due to the fact that Tory was at the research lab where Deoxys crashed, where his parents were researchers. His parents still have the green Deoxys crystal, and are researching it. The purple Deoxys, finally fully regenerated, begins searching for it's green-cored counetrpart.
Homing in on it's friend, Deoxys heads towards the lab where the crystal is being tested. Rayquaza becomes aware of Deoxys' return, and hunts it down. This results in a large-scale battle in the city where Deoxys senses the presence of the green core, and Ash and Tory realize what Deoxys is searching for. Through magical Poke-science, the green-cored Deoxys is revived inside Torey's parents' lab. Meanwhile, however, the purple Deoxys' presence causes interference with the AI machinery that manages the town, and robots begin to attack Rayquaza. The two Deoxys rendevous, and join forces to save Rayquaza, who flies off. The movie ends with the two Deoxys departing as well, to places unknown. We never really know why the green-cored Deoxys couldn't manifest itself without the use of science. Maybe it has some disease, or unforseen reaction to earth's atmosphere.
Deoxys' awesome and unique physical design comes mainly from a large variety of portrayals of aliens and extraterrestrial beings. The wavy tentacles on the arms of its normal forme are based on the double-helix design of DNA. Speaking of DNA, teh name Deoxys comes from the word Deoxyribonucleic acid, the full name for DNA.
Genesect is the Mewtwo of generation five, with a somewhat similar origin. Genesect was originally another Pokemon, imagined as some sort of Tyrannosaurus-esque insectoid creature, who's fossilized body was discovered by Team Plasma. Genesect was engineered from the DNA gathered from the corpse, intended to be used as a weapon by Team Plasma. However, N called the project off, believing that a genetically rebuilt Pokemon would lose its "pureness". After this, one of the scientists commisioned to the project took the research and fossilized corpse, and continued development of Genesect in secret, angered by N denying him what could be a ground-breaking project. The scientist custom-designed a photon cannon to attach to the creation's back.
Genesect was a very sucessful killing machine. The power of the cannon on its back changes depending on what cassette it is equipped with. Cassettes were modifiers the scientist created to optimize Genesect's versatility in battle, similar to Rotom's appliances. We really don't know anything more about Genesect right now, as it has yet to be officially revealed by Nintendo. More information will hopefully come.
Genesect's design comes from the general concept of giant insects, such as the various kinds that existed in the Paleozoic era. The more metallic aspects of its design come from various designs for Japanese battle mech, seen in many anime and manga, such as Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion. The name Genesect comes from a combination of the words "Insect" and "Genome", suggesting that whatever species Genesect originally was may have been spliced with other species during Genesect's development.
Mewtwo's story, which was discussed in my last article, does not end after the first movie, no siree. In "Mewtwo Returns", a very popular movie-length TV special, we revisit Mewtwo in his new home, the vast Mt. Quena. Mt. Quena is in the region of Johto, where Mewtwo believes he and his tribe of cloned Pokemon, who still reside at his side, can be safe from the clutch of Giovanni and the judgement of humankind. Mt. Quena is virtually impassable, surrounded by steep cliffs, but its top is a utopian forest, with a pristene lake known to have healing properties at its center. Mewtwo and the cloned Pokemon settle, and begin to make a new life there. However, Mewtwo is not as safe from his old foe as he believes.
Giovanni has not, by any means, forgotten about his creation. He has long been planning a military assault on wherever Mewtwo has been hiding, and finally locates him. An agent is sent out to preform reconnisance, and scope out how difficult it will be to assault Mewtwo.
Ash, Brock and Misty get involved purely by chance, by accepting a hot air balloon ride to the top of the mountain, along with Domino, a girl who appears to be another trainer. However, when the balloon nears the mountaintop Domino reveals herself to be 009, aka Black Tulip, an agent of Team Rocket. She pops the balloon, sending Ash and co. plummeting down onto the mountaintop, and returns to Giovanni's nearby militia to report in.
An assault on the mountain begins, and Mewtwo and his band of clones is brought out into the open to fight back. Ash and his friends are forced to help fight against Team Rocket, fighting for their own survival as well. Some of the cloned Pokemon are captured, and Mewtwo meets the same fate while attempting to save them. Giovanni forces Mewtwo to comply with Giovanni's plans, or else the other cloned Pokemon would be harmed in experiments and genetic messing-around. Mewtwo surrenders, and his fellow clones are taken into Team Rocket's custody, along with Ash, Misty and Brock. Giovanni decides to capitalize on the takeover of Mt. Quena, and immediately orders the construction of a Team Rocket base on the location.
The construction immediately causes dischord in the mountain's local Pokemon, which begin to uprise against Team Rocket. During the resulting chaos, Ash and friends make their escape, making their way to where Mewtwo is held captive. Giovanni has the clone attached to a machine that is supressing his power, and manages to help him escape Giovanni, who is distracted by the onslaught of wild Pokemon, now joined by that of the freed clones. Mewtwo's body is submerged into the lake, which begins quickly healing him, rejuvenating his body and restoring his powers. This is the moment where Mewtwo finally realizes that he truly is just as much a Pokemon as any other, for the water's healing properties affect him the same as other Pokemon. He rises out of the lake at full power, and with a massive burst of psychic power, moves the entire mountaintop sanctum underground. Mewtwo contemplates wiping the memories of everyone involved, as he did to the trainers at the end of the last movie, but Ash and Meowth convince him not to. Ash swears he'll keep the sanctum and Mewtwo's existence a secret, and Meowth reminds Mewtwo that the cloned Pokemon will need to remember their past if they have any hope of a future. Mewtwo agrees, and wipes only the minds of Giovanni and the Team Rocket members involved. The cloned Pokemon begin to make their own lives, many wandering away from the sanctum, and Mewtwo realizes that neither he nor they should have reason to hide any longer. The story of Mewtwo ends with the creature wandering the cities and routes of Johto, trying to find a new path.
Mewtwo's character in the second movie continues to change. When Ash saves Mewtwo from Giovanni's suppression machine, Mewtwo ask him why he would do so. He muses that Ash is unique, but Ash says that all people are. This sparks some realization in Mewtwo, that in many ways he is no more different and one-of-a-kind than every other person, animal, and Pokemon in the world. This leads him to have newfound respect for his fellow clones, allowing them to leave and make their own lives in the wild.
Another thing to think about is the fact that, throughout the second movie, we begin to see Mewtwo grow a cetrain sense of humanity, and show that he has a soul. When the island is first reached, we see Mewtwo conversing closely with the clones of Ash's Pikachu and Team Rocket's Meowth. This may be due to a lingering desire in the back of Mewtwo's mind to be treated as human, and so he holds close the clones who are most tied to humans who made an impact on him. Later, when the mountain is under attack, Mewtwo rises to defend it, with his life if nessecary. He develops, over the course of two movies, from a lab rat, to an emotionless revenge-seeker, to a troubled being with no sense of who he really is, and finally to a defined being, who understands hsi existence and seeks more out of life. In summary, it may not truly be right to call Mewtwo a Pokemon, or a human. He's somewhere in-between, his high intelligence granting him a superhuman capacity for not just knowledge, but emotion as well.
Wether it's a good thing or a bad thing, humanity and Pokemon will always be intertwined. Sometimes this causes terrible things like Genesect to be born, but other times it helps creatures to learn to associate with humans, like Rotom, or even pushes tehm to become more intelligent and whole beings, such as Mewtwo. The web of coexistence is vast, and there is undoubtedly much more information to be tapped into by Nintendo. These make for some of the best stories in the Pokemon universe.
Trying to juggle being the best there ever was with having a part-time job,
I'm IatosHaunted, spiriting away.
Concept Corner is (c) Jay Petrequin, 2011