Reviews Comments: The Problem with Ruby/Sapphire

The Problem with Ruby/Sapphire
Terrible villians.

This is probably the single worst thing about Ruby and Sapphire. The simple fact that the antagonists are just... lame.

Team Aqua is an organization that wants more oceans.

Team Magma is an organization that wants more land.


I dunno. I really... I really don't know. Maybe the guy who started Magma's parents drowned or something? I don't know.

Team Rocket was a criminal organization that stole Pokemon for profit. That doesn't make them great villians, but they at least have a clear goal, and you can understand why they would have that goal. You might question their methodology, but you don't have to question their reason.

You constantly, constantly have to question everything Magma and Aqua do. They're almost pathetic, what with their childish squabbles. Hell, they are pathetic. They're arguing about land and sea like nerds over Star Wars and Star Trek.

Sure. Their plans would have been more dangerous, more deadly than anything Rocket could come up with. But honestly? That somehow makes it worse. A lot people would die because some moron wanted more water. That's about as bad a death as you can get.

The whole thing feels like an environmental message. A very bad, very poorly written environmental message with no connection to the real world.

I could mention how the Pokemon new to this game all seemed kind of lame, or how having a space port but not letting you go to space is a real kick to the balls, but those are just little things. Story's never been important to Pokemon, but this game was just a little too weak for me to stomach. And I blame it on Magma and Aqua.


It also kind of feels odd how the villain of one game becomes the protagonist of the other unless you're playing Emerald.
comment #8483 eveil 7th Jul 11
I think that just kind of goes along with what I'm saying.

Neither side is evil. Evil is grandiose. Evil stands out. Magma and Aqua's squabbles just aren't big enough to be evil.

Their like children playing with matches. What their doing is dangerous, but their too ignorant to understand that.
comment #8502 CalvinLuther 8th Jul 11
It's a religious conflict between land and water-worshipping zealots. No wonder no one likes the villains.

"The whole thing feels like an environmental message. A very bad, very poorly written environmental message with no connection to the real world."

And here I thought the lack of a real-world connection usually indicates a lack of a real-world message.
comment #8507 eveil 8th Jul 11
And that's the worst kind of message of all.
comment #8579 CalvinLuther 11th Jul 11
...I meant there probably was no message.
comment #8586 eveil 11th Jul 11
I just feel like I was supposed to learn something from it.

Like, "Hey guys, let's all take care of the environment!" or something.
comment #8589 CalvinLuther 12th Jul 11
I actually liked Team Magma and Team Aqua as bad guys. Unlike the six games that came before the bad guys actually have a logical end to their goal, aside from Team Rocket and the generic "take over the world" plan. Team M and A were cults who knew exactly how to meet their goal and that makes them a lot more focused and dangerous than team rocket.

I figured the message they conveyed was "think before you act," rather than "take care of the environment." The people running both organizations were letting their blind zealotry get the best of their logic (which many NP Cs state) yet the fact that they had so many followers and support showed how many people failed to realize this.

Calvin Luther, you have a good point, their goals are completely ridiculous and inane and their squabbles with one another are stupid, yet that's the point. They are supposed to be seen by the player as total idiots yet a viable threat.

In terms of taste though I agree, they are my least favorite Pokemon Bad Guy Organization.
comment #8590 n00bmaster1000 12th Jul 11
It boils down to this:

I just don't care about them. I don't care what they're doing, and I don't really care why they're doing it. I just want to be left out of their petty bullshit.

But the game keeps shoving them in my face, like it's trying to force me to think about them. I'm being forced to solve problems being caused by idiots that I never wanted to be involved with in the first place.
comment #8595 CalvinLuther 12th Jul 11 (edited by: CalvinLuther)
As petty as their squabbles are, they're capable of screwing over the world. So unless you want the world to be screwed over, yeah, you have to fight them.

Which actually is relatable to real life in some ways.
comment #8596 eveil 12th Jul 11
It's relatable up to the point that a 10 year old kid can save the world using magical animals in pit fights.

And you know what? A world that easy to screw over isn't a world that would be sorely missed.
comment #8602 CalvinLuther 13th Jul 11
The Pokemon franchise never was well-known for its story...
comment #8625 eveil 14th Jul 11
I've never let that stop me from complaining before.
comment #8629 CalvinLuther 14th Jul 11
Just a consideration, perhaps this article (and argument) would be better in the Worse Than It Sounds rather than a Review.
comment #8658 n00bmaster1000 15th Jul 11
I always saw magma's plan as making the most sense, the only thing I questioned about them was how they planned to beat a Water-type team with Fire and Ground-types.
comment #10593 VeryMelon 6th Oct 11
^ most of the pokemon of either group were dark or poison anyway (what's the evil group's fascination with poison types)
comment #10598 marcellX 6th Oct 11
IIRC, Their plan was to Make Land/Water habitats for pokemon, so it's definitely an enviromental message.

But yeah, the squabbles are stupid.
comment #10599 stargirl93 6th Oct 11
I agree with n00bmaster1000. They were indeed the lamest villains in the main Pokemon games but I didn't think they were that bad. In concept, they could have worked. It's just that the Fridge Logic behind how Archie and Maxie were able to form entire teams of people who shared their ideals without a single member ever realizing the flaws in their incredibly stupid plans is never adressed. Archie and Maxie being irrational idiots was intentional, but there's no excuse for an entire organization to be composed of irrational idiots.

And Archie strikes me as a Kirk guy while Maxie strikes me as a Picard guy. That's probably why they don't get along.
comment #10601 ManwiththePlan 6th Oct 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
They're still better than Team Galactic,whose goals are so unclear even the Grunts don't really know. And Cyrus is trying warp space which is far more ridiculuos,not to mention he doesn't even seem to be well-intentioned about it either.

At least Maxie is affable
comment #10603 terlwyth 6th Oct 11
^ Huh? Team Galactic was WAY better than these guys. The Grunts were more unique, the commanders were cooler and had actual character, they felt like more of a threat, their plans were much better, and Cyrus is one of the best Big Bads in the series (he was trying to warp time/space to recreate the universe devoid of "spirit" with him as God. And he WAS well-intentioned about it in his own sick way). Their storyline wasn't as clear as Team Rocket or Team Plasma, but still leagues ahead of Aqua and Magma.

comment #10647 ManwiththePlan 8th Oct 11
Cool, next I'm going to write my review on Super Mario Bros. judging it solely on its story.
comment #10663 Rashrules 9th Oct 11
Oh man.

One of the reasons I liked Emerald is because of the bad guys. "Oh my, the bad guys are idiots!"? Yeah. A reason I like them is because of their stupidity. The grunts are amusing, and some of the Maxie/Archie dialogue's kinda cool.

Yeah, Team Rocket's okay, but it's a big mafia stereotype. Magma and Aqua are, in my eyes, a bit of a commentary on religion and/or cults getting out of hand. And Galactic is basically the cult thing cranked Up To Eleven, In Space!.

Galactic actually kinda made me sick with the treatment of the 3 legendary lake pokemon. As villains, Galactic win out in my books. But Magma and Aqua are my favorite, simply because the villains are bumbling but dangerous - a step up from Rocket (who were merely bumbling). Plus, of course, the affable Maxie.

comment #10702 MrMallard 11th Oct 11
I agree, Magma and Aqua are both stupid. But personally (at least in Emerald Version), I always thought of it like this: Team Aqua had the dumbest goal, while Team Magma had the dumbest plans.

After all, Team Aqua wants to expand the ocean, never giving any explanation other than "All life came from the sea". While that is true, the fact remains that many organisms (including humans) have kinda... separated from the sea, and we really can't go back to it. What do you possibly stand to gain from taking away land?

Team Magma, on the other hand, has a much more noble goal, but they go about it in a much dumber and profoundly destructive way. "We're going to detonate this volcano to create more land"! That would be a stupid plan even if the volcano was coastal, but this thing is smack-dab in the middle of the continent. All you're going to do is destroy the surrounding towns (granted, Aqua's plan of letting the volcano fill up with rainwater was also stupid, but far less destructive simply because that crucial part of the plan would probably never have come to pass). In Emerald, Magma even takes it up a notch by planning to cause an eruption by tossing rocket fuel into it. I'm not even going to begin to explain why that's a dumb idea.

Ultimately though, it makes the struggle against the two teams... unique... compared to the other teams, so we can at least thank them for that. Personally I'm inclined to believe the REAL reason the player character decided to stop Magma and Aqua was because he/she got fed up with their stupidity and decided to beat some sense into them.
comment #16530 Khfan429 17th Oct 12
Bumbling villainy is never a bad thing, unless the work is trying to be serious. 3rd Gen was a step up from the previous games, but it was still very tounge in cheek. If you take the plot of a pokemon game seriously, you're either from a later Generation or are looking at Pokemon all wrong.

That's my thoughts, anyway.
comment #16537 MrMallard 18th Oct 12
I never got why Maxie vs Archie was a real debate anyways. Ruby and Sapphire proved that too many ocean routes in Pokemon is a very bad idea. :-P
comment #16556 Scardoll 18th Oct 12
I thought that the whole 'Rocket Fuel in the Volcano' thing was just For the Evulz.
comment #26539 BlueKirby10 7th Oct 14

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