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Headscratchers / Pokémon Legends: Arceus

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  • Of all of the Hisuian Pokémon and the evolution, what exactly happened to Sneasel and Sneasler? Regular Sneasel do still appear in Sinnoh in modern times and even have an evolution that debuted in Generation IV. Did Sneasler's preference to living alone get to the point that they forgot to breed? Or did Hisui's climate change enough that the things in water and earth that gave birth to Hisuian Sneasel don't exist anymore?

    • As possible speculation, it may be that the mountains where Sneasel lives on tend to be populated by Pokémon like Hisuian Bravairy which are psychic types. Given their four times weakness to Psychic attacks, it’s possible those Sneasel were preyed on and hunted to near extinction and the survivors are the ones that developed a resistance and eventually an immunity, explaining their change into the modern day, Dark typing while also becoming more used to cold climates turning them into partial Ice types as well.

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    • Normal Sneasel originally hail from Johto and are already Dark/Ice. If you factor that in with the Hisuian Braviary possibly preying upon the Hisuian Sneasel, Jotohnian Sneasel already had a type advantage and would have been better suited to survival once introduced to the region. From there, they just developed their own secondary evolution of Weavile based on the differences they already possessed.

    • It is also possible that Johtonian Sneasel was able to outcompete Hisuian Sneasel once introduced, just as the real-world case of gray squirrels and red squirrels in western Europe. Johtonian Sneasel might have a type disadvantage, but that might be irrelevant compared to other causes for extinction such as the real-world major factors of habitat loss, overhunting, deliberate extermination, and climate change (which was already going on during the 19th century).

  • Considering the game is implied to take place within the Pokémon equivalent of Meiji-period Hokkaido, why does Professor Laventon have what appears to be a handheld camera?
    • The simplest answer would be that the Pokémon world didn't have things get invented at exactly the same time or in the same order as in our world. Thanks to all the things they have that we don't have access to (human psychic powers, various Pokémon abilities, time traveling objects), humans may have invented certain things much earlier. Also, while they were not as compact or reliable as Laventon's, handheld cameras and even crude film cameras had been invented toward the end of the Meiji-period in the real world.

  • If Magnemite and Magneton are only catchable within space-time distortions, why are there multiple Magnezone catchable in Coronet Highlands?
    • It's probably meant to play up the UFO feel of the Pokémon. As for the Watsonian reason, there happens to be a huge rift on top of Mount Coronet for most of the game, and Magnezone seems to be able to properly fly, while their pre-evolutions only float, so they probably escaped.
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    • This could also be how Rotom got into the same area.

  • Why are there some Pokemon in the Sinnoh Pokedex that aren't in Hisui: including Platinum this number includes Goldeen and Seaking, Girafarig, Swablu and Altaria, Hondour and Houndoom, Meditite and Medicham, Hoothoot and Noctowl, Wingull and Pelipper, Wooper and Quagsire, Azurill, Marill, and Azumarill, Feebas and Milotic, Tropius, and Absol. It seems very odd that people would have brought all of these species in: until very recently who'd have released tons of Absol who'd surely been active during the end story. Or bring Feebas, but only in one lake in the mountains. Humans surely could have introduced some of them, but all of them?
    • Natural Migratory patterns. Some Pokémon have come in from other regions, some haven't yet.
    • An NPC in Black 2 and White 2 lampshades that Pokémon distributions can change a lot even in only a few years. Give them a couple centuries and you could get even starker changes. Heck ORAS has a bunch of new Pokémon enter Hoenn in a matter of days simply due to the effects of all the energy released by Kyogre or Groudon being quelled causing the environment to be more attractive to them.

  • Just what was the protagonist doing prior to being summoned?!
    • Some people have theorized that the protagonist was a Gym Challenger who had the bad luck of falling into a rift just before starting on the journey. Some might suspect that the protagonist washed out of the Challenge or didn't even participate.
    • The protagonist could also be from a different universe altogether, but that doesn't explain the starting clothes style (the brand of the player's initial outfit is established to exist in the Pokémon world already).

  • What was the power from the rift that caused Pokémon to frenzy? It was not the golden energy in the Nobles, that was from Arceus and something granted to their ancestors long ago to protect humans and Pokémon, the energy from the rift simply caused that power to go out of control. We see this energy in a presumably purer form in both Palkia and Dialga as a black aura storming about them, one being cured by the Red Chain and the second, more frenzied one, by the Origin Ball. Dialga/Palkia refer to it as a terrible power that spilled forth and destabilized their realms, and we also see the aura around Giratina when it arrives to backup Volo. Further, Laventon specifies that the energy associated with Dialga/Palkia appearing is the same energy that frenzied the Nobles. So then was the energy Giratina's? Yet Volo says he was the one who provided Giratina with the power to tear open the rift and drive Dialga and Palkia mad, but that still leaves the question of just what this energy/power was.
    • There are two possibilities: either the energy was Giratina's, or the energy was simply the "natural" byproduct of Giratina ripping the rift open. I don't think the exact method Volo used to make Giratina stronger is important, but if we had to guess, he probably found and used the Griseous Core — that's the only real way we know of that he could "feed it power," barring something anticlimactic like giving it Rare Candies.
    • While still not fully explained, Sanqua does give some insight to the mechanics in the post-game when she relates a conversation she had with Professor Laventon where he explained the Space-Time Rift was related to the overlapping of many different universes, which generated some type of power overflow. Perhaps, somehow, the rift opened up to the Pokémon multiverse as a whole, and since any one Dialga and Palkia are only supposed to govern time and space in their own universe, the result was too much for their minds to handle.

  • Of all the explanations regarding how the Pokeball works, why did is it stated that it is Pokémon that shrunk to fit instead of the ball shrinking it? Wouldn't that open a can of worms regarding why this collective shrinking ability in them is ignored in history? Not all of them can learn Minimize.
    • It doesn't seem to be completely ignored by history so much as seldom mentioned (if only because most Pokémon apparently can't use the ability at will, but only under certain conditions, making it irrelevant most of the time outside of using Pokeballs). Pokémon shrinking when beaten was mentioned in a Japanese-only generation 1 guidebook, serves to explain why you can't catch Pokémon that faint, and the animation for fainting wild Pokémon in the mainline 3D games has always featured them shrinking in size before vanishing. Further, according to the user who posted the entry on YMMV, the original Diamond and Pearl games feature dialog from Lucian referencing that Pokeballs work by inducing the shrinking ability in Pokémon, though in English this was mistranslated, making it less clear that he is talking about literal shrinking rather than just curling up. That said, I haven't been able to find a source to confirm this supposed mistranslation. And while the anime has never shown an innate ability to shrink, it has repeatedly shown that Pokémon exist inside the Pokeball in a physical, shrunken-down state, semi-aware (when not sleeping) of what is going on outside.
      • The verb Lucian uses in Japanese is "chisaku naru", which does indeed mean "become small." With no prior mention in English materials that Pokemon can shrink, it makes sense that a translator would take their best guess and assume it was figurative.
    • Given official sources prior to this are sparse and varyingly reliable, it's possible the shrinking theory is flat out wrong. Something about apricorns and tumblestones might naturally triggers pokemon's ability to be stored as data, a much more clearly-defined quality. With no way to know or understand this, computers still being distant technology, and the state of pokemon research being primitive as it is, Laventon just has a weird theory and no one knows any better to call it out. That would also explain the series standard of pokemon getting "encoded" to a specific ball and balls not being reusable, which is conspicuously absent given they went out of their way to explain why you can throw pokeballs in multi-battles compared to before.
  • Wait, why does Arceus have a normal plate? It's already normal type.
    • Since there aren’t held items in this game, it’s used to turn Arceus back to normal type after a different plate has been used on it

  • So this is a problem I had with Sun and Moon, and now it’s back. In battles in this game, it’s possible to find yourself fighting two or even three Pokémon at a time. Why can’t we send out one or two more of our own Pokémon and make it a double or triple battle? I asked this in Gen 7 and someone speculated that it was about avoiding escalation, that a wild Pokémon could summon more and more allies until you were completely overwhelmed, but now this game features the same thing for trainer battles. A trainer can’t carry more than six Pokémon at a time, so me sending out a second Pokémon doesn’t risk escalation. I’m just surprised that no one in-universe considers it blatantly unfair when someone pulls two or three Pokémon at once while out character is resigned to sticking to just one.
    • The gameplay reason is likely simply to give the player an extra challenge, it also serves as a handy way to distinguish characters born in Hisui from those who weren't. It's harder to come up with a story reason, but perhaps the answer lies in how for most of the game the player character is trying to prove themselves reliable and invaluable to everyone. Given one of their main skills is Pokémon battles, it could make sense for them to intentionally handicap themselves to show they can win even at a disadvantage in numbers.
    • Additionally, only Diamond or Pearl clan members send out multiple pokemon at once—which makes more sense when you remember that they aren’t ‘sending them out’ at all. They don’t use pokeballs, so their whole team is already out and prepared nearby.
    • Perhaps from an in-universe standpoint, the player can only handle one Pokémon at a time because they're also looking out for themselves. Their first priority isn't to defeat or even catch the Pokémon in front of them; it's to avoid getting killed. The game shows us a straightforward battle, but in-universe the player could be dodging stray attacks and trying not to attract other wild Pokémon. The player needs to stay aware of their surroundings, and splitting their attention with another Pokémon could get them killed.

  • So why does Ingo mention something about Hisuian Electrode looking different from the Electrode he knows? Electrode (or Voltorb, for that matter) cannot even be found in Unova.
    • Just because they aren’t native to Unova doesn’t mean they cannot be brought in via the National Dex. He works in the Battle Subway, so he’s sure to see a lot of trainers. Maybe someone from another region brought one to battle?

  • Coin is from the Pearl Clan, Clover is from the Diamond Clan. So why do they have Pokémon native to the other's home area? (Coin has a Toxicroak and Clover has an Abomasnow.)
    • No single clan has full sovereignty/jurisdiction over an entire area of the region, even if their village is in the area. Each area for instance has one Noble served by a member of the Pearl Clan, and another served by a member of the Diamond Clan. Rather, a individual clan's authority seems to end once you exit the immediate area of either their settlement or the home of a Noble they care for (hence why Professor Laventon asked for permission regarding building a camp in Wyrdeer's area).
    • The question was less about who's in charge of the territory and more about what Pokémon would make sense for someone hailing from that area.
      • The answer then would be that just as nothing prevented them from going to other areas of Hisui, nothing prevented them from getting Pokémon from those other areas. While partnering with species that live near where you grow up may be more likely, it's not unreasonable for it to happen differently.
    • Alternately, Coin and Clover traded Pokémon.

  • A lot of the Galaxy Team seem to act like they've never seen a Pokémon before arriving in Hisui. Given that Pokémon take the place of animals in this universe, shouldn't they be at least a little used to them? Even assuming that Pokémon are equivalent to dangerous wild animals in the real world, it would be almost impossible to live in an environment without seeing any (especially bird Pokémon).
    • I didn't get the impression they hadn't seen them (heck, even at the start several people in the village have some), rather many hadn't seen them close up or hadn't seen the ones endemic to Hisui. Others note that the Pokémon in Hisui are more aggressive than the ones in their homeland, or that there are more of them.

  • Giratina's whole involvement. While the game is a prequel, Giratina essentially banished Cyrus for attempting to do almost exactly the same thing Volo wants to do. Yet, Giratina is voluntarily helping Volo and supposedly caused the whole plan to try and destroy and remake the world, despite the fact that would certainly destroy the balance that Giratina protects. And since Giratina was banished by Arceus for being too obsessively violent in trying to preserve order, it seems very unusual it would actively participate in these events at all.
    • Doubly so due to the fact that Legends: Arceus is a prequel, while the events of future games show that Giratina still wants to protect the world despite having much better opportunities to do so and is never shown to really harbor any actual grudge to the creator in the games. While Legends implies this, it's still somewhat jarring since in the games it appears in afterwards it never attempts to do anything like this again.
    • The possible interpretation of this could be that Giratina might be bitter at having to be banished despite it doing all that it did to protect the world, since it's mentioned that Giratina's banishment is a very recent event in Legends: Arceus. So, it's likely raging at Arceus and willingly helped Volo due to its rage at Arceus at the time. Maybe with the Player's interference and catching it later, it might have mellowed down enough from its rage at Arceus by the present day.
    • Talking to Professor Laventon after capturing Giratina has him note that Volo informed him that Giratina has seen the error of wanting to cause the near damage it did and has instead decided to protect the world.
    • As it's a prequel, it's just Character Development for Giratina where he has a Heel–Face Turn after the protagonist gives him friendship and he cools his rage against Arceus. That's all it is, not really that jarring.

  • These Hisuian variants and evolutions were documented in the original Pokédex through the player. But have never been brought up in the present day once?
    • Doylist answer: They didn't exist until this game, so it would be impossible to reference them in past games, and two of the Pokémon have never existed in Sinnoh. Watsonian answer: The conditions to affect the evolutions of the starters no longer exists in the current world. It's warmer and more accommodating, so Rowlet no longer needs to be insulated for cold and fighting; the region is now largely secular, so Cyndaquil is no longer affected by the spirits of Mount Coronet; and finally, Sinnoh is now a completely tamed region rather than a mad wild country, so Oshawott doesn't have to grow up harsh and cold-hearted.
  • In Pokémon Black and White 2 through Memory Link, Drayden (who we can assume is somewhere around 60-70) mentions that Poké Balls did not exist yet when he was a child. Yet Poké Balls are at least a recent invention as of Legends: Arceus.
    • Considering that the PokéBalls made by Galaxy Team are prototypes that had to be hand-crafted, it's possible that the design specifications were kept mostly under wraps. Plus, exportation of unproven experimental items is generally a bad idea.
    • Drayden may have also been referring to the more modern ball design that's made mostly out of metal. As in, they were still using Apricorns up until 70ish years ago.
      • While a different canon, the 4Ever movie shows a young Professor Oak with a Poke Ball that looks very different to anything else we have seen, and has a very metallic design, so different designs in Drayden's time are very plausible, especially since Oak does seem to be younger than him, regardless of which continuity you're looking at.
    • It's also possible that Drayden was simply being flowery and dramatic, not actually being serious.
    • Maybe he just didn’t know they existed at the time, and maybe they were introduced to Unova later than some of the other regions.