Pokémon weaponry in the world of Pokémon

Started by Venia Silente December 4th, 2021 5:10 AM
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Venia Silente

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This discussion came up a few days ago in another community I'm a member of, and a number of issues were brought up that were of interest, so I wanted to check for opinions, headcannon headcanon and ideas around here as well.

One of the allures of Pokémon as creatures is that they are, figuratively speaking, cute little critters that spit out elemental powers. These come on a number of fashions, from the simple but effective Hyper Beam to... well, whatever Metronome ends up being.

Still, a sort of defining factor that also writes itself into the lore and into the meta of how the franchise is treated is that, for the most part, Pokémon do this "by themselves". These powers are intrinsic to them, or they can be used by requiring only the materials and energy that their own bodies can provide. Unlike with humans, there's no need for Pokémon to pick up a weapon. There's no need for a Pokémon to use a sword or an AK-47 to dish out hurt: they'll just engage each other in a good ol' elemental fisticuffs.

...Or is it?


Some Pokémon certainly come equipped with weapons, or can procure their own. The list is not any small either: here are some examples.
  • A Cubone will pick up their own weapon — and even armour equipment — from their deceased relatives if the lore is to go by, even if somehow their evolution Marowak seems to ditch some of that, and they seem to use them as hammers.
  • Scyther comes equipped with their own dual blades, and their relative Scizor with their own, basically, dual hammers.
  • Just like Scyther, Dewott changes their weaponry with evolution, from Japanese war fans working as functional dual daggers, to equipping dual longswords plus the giant ass-spear mounted on their heads. Honestly, Samurott deserves some love.
  • Galarian Farfetch'd equips a giant leek as a longsword — something that becomes more patent with their evolution that looks like a weird longsword-and-shield combination... a charge blade?
  • Zacian equips a literal longsword as well, which is an important element in its lore.
  • Decidueye is a bow main which is made even more patent in their Pokkén portrayal that includes bow firing kinæsthetics.
  • Finally (and for those who are following the various Monster Hunter references in the lingo so far), Galarian Slowbro is either a heavy gun main or a gunlance main (in the latter case, we can adequately call him "Funbro").

A few Pokémon take this even beyond. Blastoise equips two fixed back-mounted cannons, three in the case of Mega Blastoise. And then there's cases like the Honedge evolution line who are literally swords, so they could even be equipped by other Pokémon as weapons! A Doublade-equipping Samurott certainly would be a sight to see.

Or you can be less... orthodox. Mewtwo in the manga uses a spoon as a weapon at least literally at some points, I think. I need some help from manga connoisseurs here.

So...?

In the end then, Pokémon are no strangers when it comes to weapons. One figures, in a world where Pokémon are sapient creatures, there would then be incentive to upkeep and develop Pokémon weaponry. Not only in a trainerverse where they would likely equip material similar to what humans could use, but also in particular a PMD or PMD-esque ("Pokémon centric") world. This is even somewhat canon with Explorers Of... PMD series games with the various Pokémon species-specific armoury, which includes everything from robes to throwing cards to wearable claws (à-la-Wolverine, I'd imagine?) and swords.

Once Pokémon develop a culture, it's likely they would come up with various concepts for weapons, armour, or various similes.

So, worldbuilders, how do you do in this respect? Whether you are writing for trainerverse or for a Pokémon-only world: do your Pokémon fight "hand to hand" or do they craft up a good +15 attack, molecules-thin long ass-blade to assist them in the fight? How are weapons or armoury designed for eg.: avian Pokémon or quadrupedal Pokémon? And for those who write trainerverse: what do the humans think of Pokémon arming up? What are your headcanons, and what are your Pokémons' head cannons?
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I think the closest I have to Pokemon weapons/armor is if a Pokemon has a Mega Evolution. Both Pokemon and trainers needed stones and some sort of armband/necklace/whatever to hold that item. Probably not different from any other held item. Otherwise I don't think of Pokemon using weapons unless they carry one/have one on them already like the ones mentioned in the first place. I don't do PMD verse writing but if I were it might be the same unless I have a plot where the Pokemon have to find a powerful weapon or that sort.
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Any held item can be a weapon if ur pokémon knows Fling :femme: But on a more serious note, theres items like the Razor Claw which could be considered weaponry. The Assault Vest and Rocky Helmet are also items that could be considered armor for pokémon.

There's also pokémon like Cramorant and Dragapult that use other pokémon as weapons. For Cramorant we actually had a conversation about how ammo for Gulp Missile came up in HS1's server and concluded that it uses whatever is brought to it after using moves like Dive or Surf instead of just Arrokuda and Pikachu that appear out of nowhere.
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Fling baybeee

My Nidorina in Spear routinely wields other Pokémon as weapons, my Charmeleon in Trainers uses tanbō, I've got many a Pokémon that uses equipment for either battle or utility- yeah! Love that muk. Generally in trainer-verse settings I tend to believe there are standard-practise and/or official rulesets that ban unapproved battle items from matches... I think Pokémon have to be taught the purpose of most equipment just in general; I'm unsure how much they would just Know to do with them besides Throw A Rock or Hit Using Stick. Of course this varies when you move into Poké-centric universes and cultures and I don't particularly care to reconcile the two of them- they're both interesting to explore and flesh out but I don't think they're super compatible while retaining the essence of both. But that's a different discussion lol.

anyway I love exploring how Pokémon can or would use weaponry or kind-of weaponry ye

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Alright, time to ramble.

So regarding weapons, mons in SC wouldn't really have need of them when it comes to the outside of moves, since they naturally can make moves and some even have a natural weapon like biological features (like Scyther). The sort of compromise I did make so that the world would make more sense is that any additional stuff would need to be a natural part of the mon. (Farfetched wouldn't have its stick and so forth).

That doesn't mean they don't have weapon development. Something very useful in the realm of SC is the ability to attack an enemy and deal whopping damage from afar. Ergo, stuff like "Mohvor" (think mortars) was invented specifically as places to encase synergy from mons moves to fire them as a raw energy projectile. It's easy to load since mons just use their own energy onto it and prep it for launching, like a kind of slingshot but used more so by activating the energy on one end via causing discharge at the end opposite the minor barrel.

Armor is a bit more useful since while mons have Protect there are ways around it and there are limits to what a mon's protect can do for oneself. Of course, maneuverability is very important and some mons already come with a good body of defense and armor (Aggron and other steel types), as well as there being a buff system for defense and special defense. So, any form of armor would either have to be extremely good, durable and protecting (stuff that hasn't gotten invented yet) or simply light armor that while can save you from a crucial blow wouldn't inhibit your movements too much. The amount of armor would probably depend on one's role in combat be it a defensive wall or a swift striker.

Of course, nothing beats using your environment to your advantage. Throwing things (physically or psychically) will hold the same use and sometimes it does pay to have a metal bar or something if you don't know a move to make it or have learned how to make one out of a move.

There are other technologies explored in trying to gain the upper hand in combat be it the Skyships or even something to enhance a user to do things they would normally not be able to (like use protect and an attack at the same time).

But generally, it all forms around mons and their synergy. Being able to use a move is so much more practical for mons than trying to build something up out of resources, so the only really useful for that is stuff mons couldn't use (like the mortars or skyships). Any non-natural material or armor would be made for that specific mon dependant on their role, as previously mentioned. Flying types probably won't get stuff to inhibit wings, but the more tanky ones would get heavier armor. Psychic types could have loose parts of their armor that they could use alongside their psychic abilities for added pressure if they're more aggressive in combat. It all really just depends on many factors.

That's about it for the unnatural weapons. There's plenty more regarding how moves work and how cultures, personalities, skills, and the like are built around that along with abilities and stuff, but we can save that for another time.

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Venia Silente

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I don't do PMD verse writing but if I were it might be the same unless I have a plot where the Pokemon have to find a powerful weapon or that sort.
Dunno if you know much about PMD but. What do you make of the per-species items in the first PMD games, some of which include weapon-like stuff ("Aqua Blade" for example)?

The Assault Vest and Rocky Helmet are also items that could be considered armor for pokémon.
Thanks! I didn't even recall those even though I played lots of G6.

There's also pokémon like Cramorant and Dragapult that use other pokémon as weapons.
Good point, I could make some of my Pokémon throw live Pikachu as ammo considering I dislike it enough to consider it not very good for anything else (other than evolving into Raichu). :p


For Cramorant we actually had a conversation about how ammo for Gulp Missile came up in HS1's server and concluded that it uses whatever is brought to it after using moves like Dive or Surf instead of just Arrokuda and Pikachu that appear out of nowhere.
I really like this, it's a good point.

My Nidorina in Spear routinely wields other Pokémon as weapons, my Charmeleon in Trainers uses tanbō, I've got many a Pokémon that uses equipment for either battle or utility- yeah! Love that muk.
You are mentioning it and I'm already starting to like it. You shall point me to this Nidorina, Nidoran screentime is always good to have.

Generally in trainer-verse settings I tend to believe there are standard-practise and/or official rulesets that ban unapproved battle items from matches... I think Pokémon have to be taught the purpose of most equipment just in general; I'm unsure how much they would just Know to do with them besides Throw A Rock or Hit Using Stick.
To be fair, sometimes that is just enough; in particular in more fantastical settings where the weapons have abilities that can "proc" when you hit with them. Elemental staffs and the like. In Final Fantasy Ⅶ, Red XIII who is a cat/dog/gerbil thing, can wear and use combs and slicey-things as weapons without trouble. Then again the real weapon of his is that Howling Moon → Enemy Skill combo... dunno if the remakes will retain it.

But now that I mention it, this even works in "less" fantastical settings! Monster Hunter's palicoes and palamutes (cats and dogs basically) use elemental weapons such as maces, umbrellas, chains and staves without issues.

Of course this varies when you move into Poké-centric universes and cultures and I don't particularly care to reconcile the two of them- they're both interesting to explore and flesh out but I don't think they're super compatible while retaining the essence of both. But that's a different discussion lol.
Might be worth a good amount of conversation sometime. Sounds like material for a worldbuilding workshop IMO but yeah, it's a deeper, more involved subject for another time.


Something very useful in the realm of SC is the ability to attack an enemy and deal whopping damage from afar. Ergo, stuff like "Mohvor" (think mortars) was invented specifically as places to encase synergy from mons moves to fire them as a raw energy projectile. It's easy to load since mons just use their own energy onto it and prep it for launching, like a kind of slingshot but used more so by activating the energy on one end via causing discharge at the end opposite the minor barrel.
Fair point, I really hadn't thought of more "projectile"-like weaponry because I felt it came more with the territory of elemental attacks and the like, but I can see from your example that's something that can definitively be improved and developed upon into something more modern-esque.

But generally, it all forms around mons and their synergy. Being able to use a move is so much more practical for mons than trying to build something up out of resources, so the only really useful for that is stuff mons couldn't use (like the mortars or skyships). Any non-natural material or armor would be made for that specific mon dependant on their role, as previously mentioned. Flying types probably won't get stuff to inhibit wings, but the more tanky ones would get heavier armor. Psychic types could have loose parts of their armor that they could use alongside their psychic abilities for added pressure if they're more aggressive in combat. It all really just depends on many factors.
Well, resource exhaustion is a thing yes, and having a weapon has its own costs compared to just using your natural energy but so goes the other way around. The primary use case I could see for working with weaponry for mons specifically is when you need to cover for an elemental or for a vector of attack that you lack. As you mention for example, flying types would likely not get armour that inhibits their flying, but they would likely be interested in weaponry that gives them a slightly wider physical range, such as attaching talon covers or wingbone blades, because birds being birds they would likely prefer to hit the enemy with a weapon than using their own, less-denser and less-bonier bodies. I really liked how Kung Fu Panda built Shen (a peacock of all things) into a credible fighting villain simply by extending on what a bird would naturally have to fight like and giving him the tools to do that.

All in all thanks everyone for your input. I don't have much to comment on my own stuff since it's worldbuilding in development, but I'm taking the approach that — assuming there is the capability to sustain such an industry in-setting — weaponry specifically for mons would be more oriented towards covering for critical points more than anything else, simply because if the enemy can get close enough to engage in CQC, it's already too late to whip somehting out and use it and instead you have to focus on preventing enough damage that you can close the encounter (beat the enemy, or escape). "Weapony Armor" design so to speak: bladed or serrated wingbone covers for bird mons; tail pins or rings for those Pokémon that did not evolutively spec into ankylosaurus design; jaw shieldings for most bipeds since, IIRC from a kinestesiological standpoint the surest (not easiest!) way to disable a feline or a canine of any size is to just land a good hit on the chin or the neck.

If eventually I can write enough PMD for these things to show up it would be nice to have some consulting around here. Dunno what if much of it I would to in mainline: it's interesting to have and justified to have in setting, but Trainer stories would by design stray away from such happenings because those kinds of weaponry would definitively not be tournament legal.
Venia Silente - Consulting WorldbuilderSocial·🐘ⓜ · · Direct·
Looking for background art.
[World] The Suocéverse «Thread» «Wiki»

Fic stuff~
SWC Selections
: Playfield : As They Were : Simpler than Magic : Beyond Today :

Other Releases
: FF&W Library : Stories : AO3 :

The Meta Journey!
Nidoran : Carnivine : Trapinch