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  #1    
Old February 5th, 2013, 01:00 PM
bigtukker
 
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This is a funny thing I lately come across at fanfictions. Professor Pokémon gets visited by three kids and they have to choose their first Pokémon. In most cases Kid A takes Squirtle, Kid 2 takes Charmander and Kid III takes Bulbasaur. They walk out and have a happy ever after, but it also happens that Kid A wants Squirtle, Kid 2 wants Squirtle and guess what Kid III also wants a Squirtle. Problem is Professor Oak has only one Squirtle. The kids fight over Squirtle and Professor Tree watches in surprise.

But what I dare to ask is why Professor Oak never gets the idea to catch more Squirtle, or to breed them. I mean he's obviously a thousand years old, but he still don't get why he shouldn't stay with one specimen per species. Am I the only one who sees this problem with both the anime and fanfics?

I'm not trying to play the arrogant old guy here, I'm just asking...
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  #2    
Old February 5th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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Because he want's the trhee kids to be rivals and want to give each of then advantage over the another.
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  #3    
Old February 5th, 2013, 07:40 PM
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Nope, you're not the only one. In my own headcanon, the professors have access to multiple members of a species, like Elm having a wall of Totodile to hand out if need be. It just seems like something they would be ready for, you know?

But Fransferdy has a point in where the kids have a rivalry going on. If all three trainers have the same Pokemon (or if two kids have Charmander and one has Bulbasaur) it doesn't have that simple "my rival has a type advantage over me!" little bit to add to the storyline/character development. (If the author remembers that there are one/two/more than just the main character and the rival to deal with.)

Plus, maybe people are just afraid they're going to get bad reviews if they do something different than what's seen in the games/anime. Which is a shame, because this is a topic to think about.
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  #4    
Old February 5th, 2013, 08:06 PM
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RedWing
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For me, the idea of giving both the hero and the rival, and possibly the friendly rival, the same Pokemon, or having two of them have the same starter is just a bit...boring.

I mean, look at Ash/Richie. Both have a Pikachu, both have an evolutionary form of Charmander and both have/had a Butterfree. Watching the battle unfold between Ash and Richie was pitifully boring because both sides had the same Pokemon!

Giving diversity to your story's main characters is key, and that shows in their Pokemon just as much as in their personalities and appearances. Giving each main character a starter that has an advantage/disadvantage against the others allows the writer to develop a serious sense of tension when the main characters battle one another.

To me, it'd be more entertaining and fulfilling to read about how Red's Venusaur defeated Green's Charizard in a well-described battle as compared to how Red and Green's Charizards duked it out until the stronger one won.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 06:40 AM
bigtukker
 
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Well, I'm currently rewriting an old Dutch Pokémon fanfiction where the rival started half a year earlier than the protoganist. Both started with a Bulbasaur, but rival's Bulbasaur evolved into Ivysaur before the protoganist starts his journey. So I believe the type doesn't have to be the only disadvantage/advantage you can give your characters.

Also in my fic, the characters can choose, WHICH specimen they will travel with. Do they want the advantage of a strong and experienced Bulbasaur which can evolve into Ivysaur any moment, but with an authority problem or a Bulbasaur who is quite young, doesn't know many advanced moves, but is easier to raise and turns out more loyal towards his or her trainer?

Last edited by bigtukker; February 6th, 2013 at 06:48 AM.
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  #6    
Old February 6th, 2013, 08:17 PM
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Plus, some of the starting Pokemon might be more willing to battle than others. Like there's one Squirtle that really enjoys fighting to get stronger, but another Squirtle would be willing to help catch more Pokemon because they're a softer battler. Or a Hoenn/Sinnoh Pokemon better suited to contests over battling in Gyms. That's a way to get some personality to the Pokemon characters instead of just the trainers.

But yeah, what RedWing said about the trainer's personality being reflected through their Pokemon choices rings true. Like Gary had a lot of fully-evolved diverse Pokemon on his team and Ash didn't, and through that, you can kind of get an idea of what type of trainers they are.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 08:39 PM
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While that's true, and a very valid point, I still find the idea of more than one main character having the same Pokemon as rather blase.

I don't know, maybe it's just my idea of what's interesting, but having the same Pokemon battle each other, regardless of personality differences, is just boring.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 09:14 PM
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When I breed Pokemon, I usually end up with a box full of the one species of Pokemon until I get one that I really like or was going after.

My headcanon is the professors give us the box fulls of 'rejects' except they have multiple boxes.

They pretty much just hoard a ton of the newly-bred starters.
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  #9    
Old February 7th, 2013, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWing View Post
I don't know, maybe it's just my idea of what's interesting, but having the same Pokemon battle each other, regardless of personality differences, is just boring.
Oh, no worries. I definitely agree with you. It's always more fascinating to read a battle where one side has an obvious advantage over the enemy and still loses because the other side is just better skilled with what they have. Really, if it ever came up in my fics, I'd go the "type advantage" route over "facing the exact same opponent" one. It adds more to to the story, especially if the reader isn't sure just how the battle is going to end.

The thing with the Pokemon personalities like bigtukker had introduced and I added to was if one's writing where the professor has more than just one member of the species to hand out. Starting trainers could look over the various Bulbasaur that Oak has for them to chose from and pick a personality that fits them, rather than only having one Bulbasaur to pick from and having the possibility that it won't work well.
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  #10    
Old February 7th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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LOL that is Ash and Gary's story!
Oak gives Bulbasaur,Charmander,and Squirtle away
Gary Gets a Squirtle
Oak has no more starters to give
Ash comes
he wants squirtle(he does,check ep 1)
Oak gives him Pikachu
JUST GIVE THE KID A PIKACHEW TREE NAMED PROFESSOR(of gen 1)!
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  #11    
Old February 7th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astinus View Post
The thing with the Pokemon personalities like bigtukker had introduced and I added to was if one's writing where the professor has more than just one member of the species to hand out. Starting trainers could look over the various Bulbasaur that Oak has for them to chose from and pick a personality that fits them, rather than only having one Bulbasaur to pick from and having the possibility that it won't work well.
But that essentially ruins any chance for character & Pokemon relationship development.

If the main character has a choice between the Bulbasaur that is docile and obedient and the Bulbasaur that is brazen and hot-headed, which is going to yield a better experience?

Readers don't want a vanilla story about how Trainer Bob picks and meets Pokemon that have exactly the right personality to avoid any major conflicts between Trainer and Pokemon. They want a story about how Bob chooses Charmander and struggles to gain his Pokemon's trust because Charmander thinks its Trainer is too inexperienced and then, finally, a turning-point battle/event takes place that proves to Charmander that Bob is a worthy Trainer.
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  #12    
Old February 8th, 2013, 11:22 PM
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Right now, we're just looking at it being a "The need of the plot outweighs the need of the logic." It might be more logical for a trainer to pick the starter Pokemon they'd have the easiest time with, but if the plot calls for it, then have the character go the more "illogical" route and have them pick the starter Pokemon that will give them the most difficult time.

I was looking at it with the ability and want to choose because that's what I used for my own writing. My character got a starter Pokemon who would be willing to work with a new trainer that didn't know anything. Then again, most of the trainer fics I've read don't always deal with the "trainer and starting Pokemon struggle to understand each other." There's always some other interesting plot/conflict to the story to read about, and ways to develop the trainer/Pokemon relationship. Typically, there's more than one Pokemon on a trainer's team that needs to develop a relationship. Any one of them could be the one that gives the trainer the most problems. It doesn't have to be the starter. The starter could be the easiest one for the trainer to get along with.

I'm also stuck on the idea that these are the first Pokemon little Timmy and Tina Trainer are going to handle. To me, I'd think that the Pokemon chosen to be handed out are specifically bred and raised to be a little easier to handle than the wild Pokemon attacking others. They're not all going to be like Pikachu, who isn't a typical starter. (And, in any canon that mentions it that I know of, is a wild Pokemon without any/little human contact before Ash meets it.)

Though there is conflict between trainer and starter if the starting Pokemon is difficult to handle, it shouldn't always be the way to go. If everyone did that, it's not going to be interesting to see over and over again.

Then again, this whole discussion is moot if your fic doesn't have the option of choosing from multiple members of the same Pokemon species. If little Timmy is stuck forever with a prick of a Bulbasaur because Professor Tree is also a massive prick, then go ahead. But if the plot doesn't necessarily call for the illogical choice of little Timmy's prick Bulbasaur, and he chooses the Bulbasaur that helps him out to catch a prick of a Spearow as some other conflict for the plot happens, then I don't see any reason to use it. Unless little Timmy makes decisions like that, in which case... Good luck, Timmy.
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  #13    
Old February 9th, 2013, 09:24 AM
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Meh, to me, the idea of a Trainer's first Pokemon giving it a little bit of trouble is a more interesting route. Then again, I'm a bit of a sadist and enjoy having my characters deal with troubles very early on in their adventures.
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