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Character Development: Yay or Nay?

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Old 1 Week Ago (7:41 AM).
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Just wanted to gather some thoughts on the character development in Pokémon Sun & Moon which seems to be a pretty common talking point for these games particularly. It's safe to say there are a fair few memorable characters from Sun & Moon such as Lillie, Guzma, Lusamine and more!

So which character do you think had the best development throughout the game? Do you feel like character development as a whole was handled well or not so well? Discuss.
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  #2    
Old 1 Week Ago (2:43 PM).
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I am glad that Red and Blue grew up i bet if Blue was nice to Red they can be best friends growing up but since blue and red grew up being main character and Blue was jealous of red
but i don't understand as both a pokemon fan & trainer i think they would make better friends then enemies .
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Old 1 Week Ago (11:16 AM).
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I honestly thought the character development in SM was the best it's been in the Pokemon games for years, perhaps even ever. Each character underwent difficult scenarios throughout the game that changed them, for better and worse. Gladion is a great example of this imo, he starts off as a typical antagonist/'bad' rival but ends up with a different outlook on life, I think GF did a great job.
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Old 1 Week Ago (12:17 PM).
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I agree the characters had some great development. I liked it, really, but thinking about it... did it changed my experience when I played? Maybe not... I am not a fan of RPG games with too much cutscenes and text so the way the Pokemon games were done before was fine for me.
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Old 1 Week Ago (7:01 PM).
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To me the characters were pretty fine. Naturally they were a little idealized, but displaying their internal conflicts was, however naive and straight forward, a very light and easygoing experience. Liked it.
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Old 1 Week Ago (8:37 AM).
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The only characters I feel actually developed throughout the story are Gladion, Lillie and Primula<- (however you spell her name, the Team Skull Admin lass)
Gladion started off being strangely like Gary Oak did in the TV series, only believing in himself rather than a team and neglecting people to make himself seem bigger and slowly developing into an actual human being showing remorse and justification in himself aswell as his pokemon. Basically he grew up in the short span of the story.
Lillie throughout the story was basically cowardly, but she had good reason to be, she was compassionate for pokemon and didn't want to see them hurt so she disagreed with battling, basically the pokemon version of the 70s. But like the 70s she realised that battles happen and it can be beneficial for both trainer(governments) and pokemon(soldiers) s she jumped on the bandwagon and has headed off to Kanto to go be a pokemon trainer and I wish the game expanded so you can find her later as a gym leader or such.
And Primela(whatever her name is X-D) shows up as a typical bad guy boss being all bad ass and stuff then she later in the game gives up and sees what happening to Guzma and kind of helps you out I guess? You get the Z stone for Poison from her right?

That's just my opinion though^^

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Old 6 Days Ago (5:23 PM).
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I love how developed the characters were, it was what XY WANTED to be. In XY, your friends were just there to battle you every now and then, and to chat. They were flat characters and I honestly wouldn't have seen a difference if there was only one of them.
In Sun and Moon, everyone felt real. I began to care for the professor, Lillie, and Hau from the beginning. Even the Kahunas were great. Gladion changed so much, and even made me laugh as we slowly became friends. (His face when you get the Dark Type Z-move made me laugh too much.) Lillie grew so much stronger, and I felt truly sad when she left for Kanto. Professor made me laugh on many occasions, I felt a strong love for nebby as time went on.
I'm glad they spent this much time on the story. Maybe one day, we'll get a story as good as the Mystery Dungeon's in the main games.
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Old 6 Days Ago (8:03 PM).
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Lillie felt kind of forced but I do appreciate it, and I'm glad that it's here rather than not. If that makes sense. But honestly my favorite changed characters were Red and Blue, I love seeing how different they were.
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Old 6 Days Ago (9:33 PM).
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I enjoyed the character development in Sun and Moon. My favorite was the bridge scene at Vast Poni Canyon with Lillie, where she runs across even with the Murkrow there. It was a nice advancement from the beginning where she was afraid to cross the Mahalo Trail bridge and confront the Spearow.

On the flipside, one character who I wished would've had some development but didn't was Faba. I absolutely can't stand his personality, and I don't feel like he gets taken down enough pegs. If you speak to him in Lusamine's room he asks whether you think an adult should be in charge, and in the Champion rematches he says he'll keep clawing his way back and IIRC something about "deserving" the position. The fact that he even got past the Elite Four kind of makes me mad.

If there's going to be a character with an ego this big, I want them to be publicly humiliated and have a massive mental breakdown. I can't stand people who think they're better than everyone else, whether it's something they actually believe or if it's a front to hide their insecurities. Blue and Silver learned from being beaten enough times, but Faba doesn't, making him one of my least favorite characters in the series.
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Old 6 Days Ago (8:50 AM).
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Yeah, I feel the character development in Sun/Moon was sufficient, a lot more so than previous entries in the series.

I have a hard time choosing between Lillie and Gladion, don't really know which of those two I think had better character development.
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Old 4 Days Ago (4:17 PM).
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I'd also have to say the character development in the story was pretty nice, perhaps much better than previous generations. I'd like to see them do something as deep as they have in future generations. The backstory for each character and how they overcame their difficult scenarios was a really nice touch.
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Old 4 Days Ago (5:02 AM). Edited 4 Days Ago by Meyneth.
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So I spent some time thinking about what to put in response to this, because I find the notion that Pokemon Sun and Moon have good character development as, frankly, laughable. But given the high levels of praise this is getting, as the only dissenter - again - I suppose I need to make some effort to explain precisely why I think the way I do.

See, this is the thing about NPCs - they're NPCs. They cannot properly drive the story forward at the expense of the player's involvement, which is exactly what happened here, what happened in the last two generations, and what will probably happen in the next, because Game Freak have absolutely no idea how to write a different story or how to create a compelling cast. Same old each time might work for gameplay, but it does not work for plot, and characterisation will always be minimal if you are not directly witnessing and/or controlling a character for the vast majority of the game.

Just having a personality change all at once in response to a major event is NOT character development. Part of it, yes, but not all of it. It's something that happens gradually over time, in response to many different factors, and isn't focused solely on pivotal, life changing moments. The simple fact of the matter is that, because these characters were off on their own journeys, we never got to really see them develop properly as characters. We saw one or two defining moments. That is not character development; that's forced change with barely any context.

You also need to have a character initially to be able to develop it, and the NPCs in Sun and Moon were just as thoughtless and uninteresting as those in Black and White, and X and Y. Shove them in my face as much as you like, you can't create something out of nothing.

You cannot develop a character off-screen, and one or two pivotal moments does not define a well thought-out, well-written character. They need backstory, and gradual change to existing personality, and above all, they need to be in the player's story, not just in the player's face. Just bringing them in from time-to-time is not going to cut it; it's piecemeal development without context, and therefore utterly meaningless material. I see a start, and an end. I see hardly anything of the journey in the middle, and THAT is what makes character development.

One needs to see the whole process, not just select bits and pieces of it, and until that happens and these NPCs are made into player characters or proper travelling companions with a story that intertwines with your own that you witness in its entirety, I'm afraid that as far as I'm concerned, character development in Pokemon games will always be second-rate and a point against the games rather than a point in their favour.

So that's a resounding "nay" from me in response to this. Character development was handled no better in this title than it has been in any other. If anything it was handled even more poorly due to the frequency of appearance of some of the characters, which is hugely ironic. When Game Freak take the logical step and have these characters travel with you (and, regarding antagonists, give us proper backstory and infrequent story cutscenes that happen at times other than when you're about to foil their schemes) then they might begin to craft meaningful development and relationships. Until then, though? They're going to keep dishing up the same disappointing, mind-numbingly tedious rubbish each and every time.
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Old 3 Days Ago (5:19 PM).
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I loved Lillie so much! Her development from being very insecure to self-confident or her love-hate relationship with her mother have been just great. It's crazy, but I kind of really connected to this girl like to no other Pokémon character ever before. She was present from the beginning to the end and I was so sad about the ending.
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Old 3 Days Ago (4:51 AM).
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I'm not really sure how people feel that there was a lot or great character development in Sun/Moon? It's really not there. It had the potential to have some actually decent character development, but they did little with it.
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Old 2 Days Ago (1:38 PM).
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I feel the same as Nah. There were a few instances of okay character development but overall they didn't flesh out the characters at all. I'm not sure where this consensus that Sun & Moon great character development is coming from.
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Old 2 Days Ago (2:03 AM). Edited 2 Days Ago by TISSUEPAPERGHOST.
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Pokemon is one of the few major game series I follow, so the reason I thought there was character development in SM may be because I don't have much else to compare it to.

But even after reading the last few posts, I still think Lillie had a lot of character development. Responding to this specifically: "Just having a personality change all at once in response to a major event is NOT character development. Part of it, yes, but not all of it. It's something that happens gradually over time, in response to many different factors, and isn't focused solely on pivotal, life changing moments" I feel like Lillie's change was gradual. There were many times in the game where she had to rely on someone else (usually the player) to help her through situations. It wasn't really until Poni Island that the buildup from all those experiences had an effect on her, which is why her crossing the bridge in Vast Poni Canyon is one of my favorite scenes in the game. There was also her not liking battles for about half of the game, but eventually after seeing the player's connection to their Pokemon and not wanting to have to be protected by others all the time, she decided she wants to become a trainer herself.

To be clear though, I don't think /every/ character in SM had character development, and I don't think anyone else had nearly as much as Lillie did. When I said I "enjoyed the character development in Sun and Moon", it may have been more accurate to say "I enjoyed the development of some characters in Sun and Moon". A lot of characters in Pokemon games are the same from start to finish, though that's also something I'm okay with as long as I like their personalities.
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Old 23 Hours Ago (1:42 PM).
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It seems obvious that they're attempting to develop their characters a bit more than they used to, and plot is more important to them as well. That said I'd say the series has a long way to go if it wants compelling characters and plot. (and I'm not sure if they really want to go that far)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow View Post
I feel the same as Nah. There were a few instances of okay character development but overall they didn't flesh out the characters at all. I'm not sure where this consensus that Sun & Moon great character development is coming from.
It's probably because the bar for character development (and story in general) is set fairly low for the main Pokemon games in general. So anything actually resembling depth is really noticeable.
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Old 21 Hours Ago (3:04 PM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabrewulf238 View Post
It's probably because the bar for character development (and story in general) is set fairly low for the main Pokemon games in general. So anything actually resembling depth is really noticeable.
I don't think that's entirely true. Look at Gen 5. great character development and story. :p
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