Thread: Thematic Motifs
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Old February 12th, 2013 (07:53 AM).
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Every generation and region had its own thematic motif. I was just wondering which one people liked the best?

Descriptions below from Bulbapedia:

Generation I
Spoiler:
The first generation of Pokémon games were more directed towards genetics and engineering. The three starters, Bulbasaur (dinosaur-plant hybrid), Charmander (salamander), and Squirtle (turtle), are all reptilian in nature, and take some elements from the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are reptiles, and were one of the most successful groups of animals to exist. Bulbasaur, the most similar to dinosaurs of the three, is the first listed in the Pokédex. Other Pokémon in the generation continue this theme. Eevee is capable of evolving into multiple forms due to its unstable DNA; Voltorb is the result of a Poké Ball experiment gone awry; Porygon is a virtual reality Pokémon. These games also introduce three Fossils, the most introduced of any generation, which can be resurrected into prehistoric Pokémon: Aerodactyl, Kabuto and Omanyte. Finally, out of the five legendaries that appeared, the most powerful was man-made through genetic engineering: Mewtwo. It remains the only legendary Pokémon, apart from Genesect, created through artificial means. The uncatchable legendary, Mew, also has the DNA of every Pokémon in existence.
Bill himself invented the sophisticated PC used in most regions, and accidentally turned himself into a Pokémon. Ditto could also mimic the abilities and structure of any Pokémon it encountered, making it capable of breeding with most Pokémon from Generation II and onwards. The Master Ball is the most powerful Poké Ball in the franchise, and was first engineered by Kanto scientists as well. With this generation the very foundation of the Pokémon franchise, most successors have only expanded upon Kanto's basics such as trading, leveling-up and stone evolution.


Generation II
Spoiler:
The second generation of Pokémon games were more directed towards mythology and tradition. The three starters were all "pure" element types, fitting the classic Water > Grass > Fire cycle all starters adhere to. Unlike two of the fully-evolved starter Pokémon in Generation I, and at least one of every starter trio since, the fully-evolved Johto starters maintain their single typing.
This was the first installment that put emphasis on legendary Pokémon being actual legends in-game, in contrast to Mewtwo and the legendary birds of Generation I. Ecruteak City fleshed out the legends of Ho-Oh and the three beasts, their relationship with one another and the story behind their departure (the Burned Tower). Suicune was, unlike Raikou and Entei, unavoidable in Crystal Version if the player wanted to beat the game; the remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver give the same treatment to Ho-Oh and Lugia respectively. Lugia was also glimpsed by an elderly man in Ecruteak City, and others, who stated it looked like a dragon in the sky. Even the uncatchable Celebi was mentioned as the "Forest's Protector" at the shrine in Ilex Forest.
The Kimono Girls upheld ancient tradition in both battling Pokémon and dancing. The buildings in both Ecruteak City and Violet City have an older structure to them as well. The player must navigate Johto and Kanto, beating the new Elite Four, sixteen Gym Leaders and the original Pokémon Champion Red. This is after defeating the newly revitalized Team Rocket, searching for the fallen Giovanni. The second generation expanded upon trading through use of held items evolution through the addition of friendship, and breeding to attain pre-evolution or baby Pokémon. Kurt offered a more traditional means of creating Poké Balls via Apricorns which proved variably superior to manufactured Poké Balls. Johto is physically connected to Kanto and these games added depth to both regions.


Generation III
Spoiler:
The third generation of Pokémon games were more directed towards nature and relationships. The three starters were collectively more symbolic to their elements than previous starters: Mudkip is based on a fish which thrives only in Water, Torchic is a chick (which, in the real world, needs warmth in order to hatch) holding its Fire internally, and Treecko is a gecko that lives only in forests with Grass. The main antagonists were either Team Magma or Team Aqua who want to expand the land or sea respectively. Once they awaken one of the legendary Pokémon Kyogre or Groudon, the world is flooded by rain or dried by drought. It's up to the player to set nature back on course by defeating their version's mascot or capturing it. Hoenn's people are far more attuned to nature than previous regions: Fortree City is built alongside Pokémon in the trees, while Pacifidlog Town is built on wooden rafts in the sea atop a Corsola colony, even though Corsola cannot be found there in the games.
There are far more Pokémon that share relationships with other Pokémon in this generation of games, especially the legendaries. The legendary golems are more obvious of this; however, the version mascots all share a relationship with Rayquaza as the weather trio. Latios and Latias are both Eon Pokémon that must be chased around the region. Pokémon such as Lunatone, Illumise, Plusle and Wailord are related to other Pokémon, namely Solrock, Volbeat, Minun and Relicanth, in relationships ranging from explicit to loose symbiosis. Zangoose is rivaled by Seviper. With Secret Power, a player can make a secret base out of trees, caves or clumps of grass.


Generation IV
Spoiler:
The theme of this generation is history of the universe, and myths and legends. The three starters' evolutions have references to myths and legends in themselves-- for example, Torterra is based on the legend of world turtle, Empoleon has references to the god Poseidon, and Infernape is based on Sun Wukong. This also reflects on its legendary Pokémon, as Arceus is the literal creator of the universe and created the rulers of time, space and anti-matter, who are Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, respectively. All three of them are involved in Sinnoh myths, as are Uxie, Azelf and Mesprit: the embodiments of knowledge, willpower and emotions.
Some standard Pokémon are also connected to myths and legends, such as Drifloon and Drifblim that in folklore are said to take children and people to the Underworld and Spiritomb who is said to be made up of 108 spirits.
Some towns still preserve their history and myths. Celestic Town is said to be present since the beginning of Sinnoh, and has a shrine that dates back to ancient times, as well as a cave painting. Some other examples are the Solaceon Ruins, which contain Unown and is said to be as old as the ruins of Johto; the Snowpoint Temple, which was created long ago to contain Regigigas; Eterna City, which contains a statue of Dialga/Palkia; Floaroma Town, which was said to be a wasteland long ago, but then was transformed into a beautiful landscape by Shaymin; Mt. Coronet; and the Spear Pillar. Canalave City houses the first Pokémon library, which transcribes many of the legends of the region. Sinnoh was meant to establish the origin of the Pokémon universe and be more mysterious and historic than other generations.



Generation V
Spoiler:
The fifth generation of Pokémon games focuses on the relationships between opposites, such as nature and industry or humans and Pokémon. This comes from the concept of Yin and Yang, which the legendary mascots of Pokémon Black and White, Reshiram and Zekrom, are based on, with another reference being that Reshiram is the mascot of Black and Zekrom being the mascot of White-- both are opposite colored to the game's color, while version mascots beforehand had always matched. The Swords of Justice also represent this theme as they are trying to prevent Pokémon from losing their natural habitats to human industry. The generation's main antagonists, Team Plasma, also fit in with this theme, as their goal is to separate Pokémon from humans. Some of the cities also reflect this theme by being aesthetically different depending on the version of the game; two major examples of this are Black City and White Forest, two version-exclusive locations. The Dream World, which is supposed to combine dreams and reality, also fit into this theme.



I personally didn't think abou thematic motifs until 4th gen, which went all out on the mythology aspect of the Pokémon World. I got really interested in Sinnoh myths and started researching the previous regions and what they represent. I personally like Generation I's genetics motif the best.


I guess you can also consider side game regions, but I'm not sure how well everything is planned out in them compared to the main regions.





Which thematic motif do you prefer, and why?
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