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Video Game / Temtem

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Temtem (stylized temtem) is a massively multiplayer creature collection game by Spanish developer Crema. Its Early Access was released on January 21, 2020 following a November 2018 closed alpha with the full version being released on September 6, 2022. The Kickstarter achieved its goals in under 48 hours. The developers themselves on their YouTube trailer refer to it as inspired by Pokémon, and mechanically it is extremely similar, featuring aspects such as level-based multi-phase evolution, limited move sets, battling and capturing wild temtems in the grass, and more.

Where it differs, however, begins with the fact that it is massively multiplayer — a realm that creature collection games in general seldom tread. Other noteworthy differences currently seem to be a competitive wishlist, including a Nuzlocke mode, having purely predictable damage calculations, an expedited breeding system, a competitive banning system to counter overuse, and more.


This game includes examples of:

  • Action Initiative: Each technique in belongs to one of six priority tiers, which modify the user's speed to determine turn order. These are very low (goes after all other actions), low (acts based on half the user's speed), normal (doesn't modify speed), high (1.5x speed), very high (1.75x speed), and ultra (goes before all other actions, including switching out).
  • all lowercase letters: temtem as a title is stylized entirely in lowercase, but this doesn't seem to translate anywhere else in the game.
  • Ascended Fanfic: Nuzlocke (a Self-Imposed Challenge invoked run in mainline Pokémon games) is made an official mode.
  • Bag of Holding: The player can carry 99 items of each type at a time, be it balms, temcards, fruits or chunks of silicon.
  • Bizarro Elements: Most of the types are typical Elemental Powers, but there are some out-there ones like Crystal, Mental, Melee, and Digital, the last of which was created artificially.
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  • Bizarro Universe: The Highbelow is a glimpse into an alternate universe where the Congress are evil, Clan Belsoto are good, and everyone's names are backwards.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Crema staff in Neoedo mention an engine called Duality and a console called the GamingStation 5.
  • Bring Help Back: Your Global Airship is shot down by the Belsoto Clan and crash-lands on the toxic Death World of Tucma, injuring several of your crewmates. The story arc revolves around trying to find medical supplies and repairmen in the Underground City of Quetzal past the badlands.
  • Captain Ersatz: Several temtems are direct analogues of their first-gen Pokémon counterparts — this also extends to Professors (Doctors, in temtem), Pokémon Centers, Gyms (Dojos, here), Gym Leaders, a Team Rocket (also led by a shadowy gangster hellbent on world domination), a dickhead rival, and elemental types. For example, the Gyarados equivalent is also a sea serpent.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Temtem without enough stamina to perform the chosen battle technique on a given turn will do this, suffering "overexertion" which results in a cost of 2 HP for every point of stamina overdrawn, as well as the inability to act on the following turn. Certain species may have traits that prevent self-KO via overexertion, or allow immediate action on the following turn despite overexertion.
  • Child Soldiers: The Belsoto Clan invades the island of Kisiwa, creating a refugee crisis as the native Temtem tamers try to hold them off and evacuate their families at the same time with many of them being the same age or not much older than the teenage player, who also gets conscripted by La Résistance upon their arrival. It's stated that human and mon casualties are mounting on both sides, including The Rival Max, who joined the opposite side and is seemingly killed by General X for trying to desert.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Each of the twelve types has a specific color associated with it:
    • Neutral: White
    • Wind: Cyan
    • Earth: Brown
    • Water: Blue
    • Fire: Red
    • Nature: Green
    • Electric: Yellow
    • Mental: Purple
    • Digital: Grey
    • Melee: Orange
    • Crystal: Magenta
    • Toxic: Black
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The whole story is being playable as two-player co-op.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Several Tamers you encounter have access to Temtem you don't have access to for several more islands (such as Hocus and Oree, which aren't obtained early on) or Temtem that are underleveled (Kalabyss, whose Toxic type is good for a synergy attack). Perhaps the most egregious is Sparzy, an Electric Temtem that counters both Wind and Water (which is nearly every Temtem the player could tame by that point), is only weak to one of the three starters, and is unobtainable until much much later. Downplayed with the introduction of the Minimonolith item that allows a Temtem to evolve immediately upon use.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: There are various people casually walking and fighting inside Anak-Volcano, an active Volcano, with veins of lava flowing next to the pathways. The heat doesn't seem to bother the protagonist, the tamers or even Clan Belsoto at all.
  • Crapsack World: The Xolot Reservoir. The water is infested with acid that destroys boats, the island is covered in a noxious shroud causing all inhabitants to wear gasmasks. And should you ever find yourself lost in this area, scavengers are just waiting to take your belongings...
  • Creature-Breeding Mechanic: The breeding mechanic allows the parents to pass down stats and techniques to their offspring, as in Pokémon, but it also has a stat called fertility. Each time a Temtem breeds, its fertility drops by one. Once at zero, it can never breed again. This is to discourage grinding.
  • Crystal Landscape: Tucma is dotted with giant crystals and crystalized trees. Because of this, its economy revolves around mining.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: There's a lot that's different from Pokémon titles (both new and old):
  • Darker and Edgier: While the game is still very whimsical, Clan Belsoto are much more vicious than Team Rocket or even much of the criminal Teams in most Pokémon adaptations, with the torture and mutilation of various temtem at the hands of a Mad Scientist and the outright warfare and murder committed by General X. Several characters also threaten to kill the PC.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Though represented by the color black, toxic temtem are not any more evil than the others. Apparently there are in-universe psas dealing with this misconception with Platypet as the ambassador mascot.
  • Developer's Room: The developers, Crema, have an office building in Neoedo. They make allusions to the game's development, and there's a sidequest where you do menial tasks for them.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: At first sight the Belsoto seem like a Team Rocket-esque criminal organisation. But posterior updates have shown that they're actually a paramillitary organisation with fully facistic ambitions. One of its main agents, General X, wears a Francoist uniform, and the actual Big Bad is a deranged monarchist. In further perspective, Crema's staff has been critical of Spain's right-wing elements.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: There are 12 elementsnote  which each have 1-4 strengths and weaknesses.
  • Expy: Following from Captain Ersatz, some designs use their Pokémon equivalents as jumping-off points — the Scyther counterpart, for example, still has giant blades for hands, but is a Crystal type (the Rock equivalent).
  • Expository Theme Tune: Being inspired by Pokémon and its ilk, the theme song heavily resembles early-2000s English-dubbed anime openings that explain how the world works - in this case, Temtem's focus and creature battles.
  • Fantastic Fantasy Is Mundane:
    • Vumbi's Prancing Gnu bar is named after a mythical creature that looks like a Kauren, but with its horns pointing the other way. In the real world, a gnu is a kind of antelope.
    • One of the Crema developers in Neoedo says they're developing a game set on a round planet in a universe where gravity works differently.
  • Fantastic Flora: The Airborne Archipelago is filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful plants, such as glowing reeds shaped like question marks, and trees with spiralling trunks.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Each island is based on a different culture/set of cultures:
    • Deniz is based on Mediterranean nations such as Spain, Portugal, Turkey and southern France. The Sillaro River is the Airborne Archipelago's closest thing to a sea, and it's a popular tourist destination due to its warm climate. Most of its locations' names come from Spanish, while "Deniz" itself is Turkish for sea.
    • Omninesia is a cluster of tropical islets based on a variety of Pacific island nations. The name brings to mind Indonesia, and the Anak Volcano is named after the Indonesian word for "child", while many other of its locations' and inhabitants' names come from languages such as Tagalog, Hawaiian, Malay, and Maori.
    • Tucma is a Death World loosely based on Andean Argentina (specifically the mining comunities; Quechua is also abundantly used, and the architecture resembles Incan works), but the names of its citizens and locations are based on Aztec Mythology. Its cenote is home to Shuine, a Feathered Serpent who seems to be revered, since the guards wear uniforms based on it.
    • Kisiwa is based on eastern Africa. Most of the location names are from Swahili, and its main biomes are a savannah and a desert. It's also said to be the place where humans originated, much like Ethiopia in the real world.
    • Cipanku is based on Japan. The name is derived from "Cipangu", which is the name Marco Polo gave Japan back in the 13th Century. Electric Temtem are revered as kami, which are divine beings and sacred natural phenomena in the Shinto religion. Many bleeding-edge technologies were invented here, but it also contains a quiet monastery village nestled in the mountains. Also, a few characters' names are from Korean.
    • Arbury is based on Britain. The north is similar to Scotland, with a loch and a dojo whose members all wear kilts, while Properton in the south is based on the upper-class parts of England. The ruins of a castle play a major part in the plot.
    • Clan Belsoto itself is Francoist Spain or Salazar's Portugal with the funds to be a global threat.
  • Final Death Mode: In Nuzlocke mode, when a temtem faints, it is gone for good.
  • Fishing Minigame: The second Content Update for Kisiwa introduced this, along with a weekly mission, where players must fish for a perfectly matching Koish.
  • Happily Adopted: Through dialogue, the PC mentions that Aina is actually their foster mother, though they seemed to have lived a pretty good life with her. Happiness averted slightly if the player answers 'It's complicated.' when referring to their relationship with Aina.
  • A Homeowner Is You: There are player houses which can be customized.
  • Introduced Species Calamity: Shortly before the events of the game, Digital Temtem were invented in Cipanku, who then escaped into the wild and started displacing the native Electric Temtem from their natural habitats. In a sidequest, some scientists introduce Mimit, which can breed with most species, into the highlands of Iwaba in an attempt to rectify this.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Hamijo, who has been experimenting on temtems to create a new type by hybridising others and electrocuting them. Thankfully, you can force him out of his lab and adopt his latest experiment.
  • Mayincatec: Tucma is a rather unusual example. It is based on northern Argentina and its Incan heritage, but many of its names are in Nahuatl and a cenote is plot relevant. Ultimately it eschews typical trappings like pyramids or blood sacrifices.
  • Nature Equals Plants: The Nature type encompasses plants. In the game's setting, it's associated with the jungles of Omninesia in contrast to its volcano.
  • Never Say "Die": Surprisingly averted for this genre. Although many Temtems will just be K.O'd upon losing all of their health, there is one point in the story where you get stranded in the Xolot Reservoir. The noxious island is full of thieves and scavengers. One will threaten to outright kill you, by dissolving your body in the acid water.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Dojo Masters are said to be the strongest tamers of their respective island. The initial fight against each of them in the story is already quite challenging, but the rematches push it even further, making use of the competitive-styled pick & ban format.
  • Money Sink: Clothes and furniture are really expensive — their prices are usually in the tens of thousands — because they're geared towards people who've accumulated a lot of in-game money after hundreds of hours of playtime.
  • Mons Series: The sole focus of temtem is to collect and battle monsters.
  • Open-Ended Boss Battle: The story continues whether you win or lose the first few battles with Max, as well as the (almost) Hopeless Boss Fight against General X.
  • Palette Swap: Every Temtem has a rare alternate colour scheme with a glowing effect, known as Lumas. Ones encountered in the wild are guaranteed to have three perfect stats.
  • Pattern-Coded Eggs: Eggs can be obtained by breeding two compatible Temtem. The egg design is not specific to the individual Temtem, but is based on its elemental type (water eggs are blue with a wave design, fire eggs are pale orange with a flame design, etc.)
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Each island has a shrine containing fully-evolved Temtem whose levels are much higher than anything else you'd find in the wild.
  • Player Versus Player: Requires consent from both parties. Has an option that (with limitations) allows players to ban two of their opponent's mons.
  • Prison Episode: The Player Character is arrested upon entering the Underground City of Quetzal as the result of a Frame-Up, losing their Mons and gear. You escape with the aid of your airship crewmates and have to fight your way through the mines surrounding the prison with a donated party.
  • Punny Name: The islands used to be a single landmass called the Paninsula, a play on Pansun and "peninsula".
  • Rare Candy: There's a rare item called the Growth Enhancer that raises a Temtem's level by one. There are also fruits that increase Training Values that come in three varieties; candies add 1 TV, regular fruits add 20, and smoothies add 50.
  • La Résistance: Clan Belsoto invades the island of Kisiwa, forcing the citizens to form a guerilla resistance movement in response spearheaded by the Dojo Master Musa and conscripting the Player Character upon their arrival.
  • Shock and Awe: Electric type moves are this, as is to be expected, including chaining lightning around the entire battlefield and calling down a flurry of lightning bolts.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Kickstarter trailer included two players, Fry and Leela, joining forces for a cooperative battle.
    • Trainers are referred to as Tamers, much like Digimon.
    • Monsters are kept in cards.
    • A tamer named Olayinka in the Chini Grotto resembles Korra.
    • In Arbury (an island based on Great Britain), there's a ginger woman named Mèrida who's looking for her bow, just like the protagonist of Brave.
    • Also in Arbury is Lady Romanescu, a parody of Lady Dimitrescu. Down to jokes about her ass.
    • If you try to go to another room in the Evershifting Tower without choosing a starter first, a dialogue box says "It's dangerous to go alone!", a reference the old man's iconic line in The Legend of Zelda when he gives Link the sword.
  • Stat Grinding: Temtem's stats can be increased by gaining Training Values, earned by defeating other Temtem or through the use of fruits. The cap is 500 per stat, and 1000 total. Anahir evolves into Anatan once it has 1000 TVs.
  • Stylistic Suck: The animated intro features a cheesy, uplifting 4Kids-esque song extremely reminiscent of late-nineties/early 2000s dubs aimed at kids, with cliches like lyrics heavy on temtem lingo ("temtem up!") and an optimistic, bright tone, as befitting of its general tribute to the Mons series.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Lady Lottie seems to believe this is the state of the world, giving anyone who is not in her direct employ derisive speeches and dismissing them, believing that she's too fancy and important to be interrupted by the "peasants" such as the player and local Dojo Masters.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Lady Lottie really likes tea. Upon arriving anywhere, her first demands of the locals involve tea. Her diary bemoans the lack of it on just about every page.
  • Volcano Lair: Clan Belsoto turned the volcano in Omnesia into this, resulting in it erupting unexpectedly while they experiment with temtem creation.
  • Water Is Womanly: Denizan mythology prominently features the Sea Queen, a goddess-like figure who lived in the Sillaro River.
  • Wind Is Green: Wind type is coded as a cyan tone. Some, but still relatively few temtem have this color incorporated into their design as well, most notably Tuwai and its evolutions.
  • Wham Episode: Kisiwa. Approaching this island reveals that Clan Belsoto have invaded the entire place. Arriving there shows they have taken the largest city and the resistance are barely holding out. The attacks are constant and out in the desert the patrols are everywhere. As the player helps attempt to liberate the island, we're treated to our first appearance of General X, who openly orders his soldiers to kill instead of capture and murders Max by pushing them off the island when they start questioning orders.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Given its inspiration, the game is more-or-less the plot of Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow: a new trainer in a brand new world, wanting to be the very best like no one ever was, and being harassed by his snotty rival and an evil criminal organization trying to dominate the world and perform heinous experiments on the local critters. However the last updates turn this on its head, revealing complex metaphysical concepts (in some ways more akin to later Pokemon games) and most importantly reveal your professor mentor as the true Big Bad.
  • World in the Sky: The setting for the game is the Airborne Archipelago, a series of floating islands orbiting around a star called the Pan-Sun.