- Legendaries come in several tiers of power. At the bottom of the pyramid are the various spritelike legends: Celebi, Jirachi, Manaphy, and Victini. They are akin to minor spirits, and there are many of them. Their power is not infinite, and with some effort they can be defeated. Slightly higher are Shaymin, Darkrai, Cresselia, Regigigas, and most of the legendary trios. While most of them can take down a full team's worth of mons, with proper preparation and incredible skill they can be fought. After that are most of the version legendaries (Ho-oh, Lugia, Groudon, Kyogre, Rayquaza, Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem), as well as the Lake Trio and Mew. Against one of these mons, unless you have trained specifically to defeat them, and all your mons are at the absolute pinnacle of their strength, they will almost certainly crush you. Almost at the top are Palkia, Dialga, and Giratina. The odds of any trainer ever defeating one of these three are roughly the same as the odds of your average Sunkern defeating a top percentage Salamence.
- Arceus, of course, far surpasses any other Legendary in power. It is not so much invincible as beyond the concept of harm, and any evidence to the contrary is solely for its own amusement.
- Mewtwo is not a legendary, due to its artificial status. However, it has power on par with that of even some major legendaries, and is not to be taken lightly. It can and quite likely might make your head explode without much effort.
- The Regis and Genesect, likewise, are not legendaries. Their powers are comparable to minor legends, such as Latii or Shaymin, but they lack dominion over elements of the natural world, and have no followers.
- Latii used to be merely a species of extremely powerful dragons, possibly akin to psuedos. However, due to overcapture and poor knowledge of how to care for them, their numbers have declined greatly and they have been given a protected status (so yes, Brendan/May is pushing the boundaries of the law a little in RSE). They are only seen as legendaries because of their protection of Alto Mare from its frequent natural (or otherwise) disasters.
- Heatran, similarly, is only a rare and extremely powerful volcano-dwelling mon, who is rarely seen due to its chosen habitat. The massive destruction it can cause when not dormant has led to its being dubbed a "spirit of volcanoes" but that is merely a title. However, it is still incredibly strong. Your level 100 pseudo isn't going to provide it with much of a challenge.
- Deoxys is unconfirmed as a legendary. It is unquestionably a Pokemon of great power, but as it is from another world, it cannot be determined how its power level matches that of the mons from that world.
- Mew, unlike most legendaries at its power level, come in multiples. They are rarely seen in the same place twice, and their current purpose, if anything, has not yet been discovered.
- Unown are not individually legendaries, or indeed even remotely powerful. The Unown collective, however, is both. All matter in the universe is composed of Unown, and the world can be reshaped by the patterns they spell out. Unown become powerful in large quantities because the more of them there are, the larger and more complex the commands that they can make are. In addition, Unown can speak to (and more to the point, communicate with) inanimate objects, and move instantaneously through both time and space.
While individual Unown have individual personalities (usually fairly playful, and all sharing the same verbal tic as those in WAAPT), as more Unown gather their minds will link, subsuming the original personalities until only the collective remains. Fortunately, this effect will wear off once the Unown scatter again.
- While minor legendaries occasionally interact with the world, anything on the level of Ho-oh or higher will make itself known once or twice every hundred years, and only in the direst of emergencies. The events surrounding the games qualify.
- Legendaries occasionally manifest avatars of themselves to assist humans as a temporary team member. These avatars are not as powerful as the real deal, but are still a force to be reckoned with.
- Major legendaries have an aura which can alert people to their presence. This aura can be suppressed or amplified to the convenience of the legendary in question, but means that in general, an angry legendary is something to be avoided.
Mewtwo: Though Mewtwo is not properly speaking a legendary, it creates a steady concussive force against everything around it when provoked.
Ho-Oh: Light sources and heat sources increase in power, creating flashes and fires.
Lugia: Lugia's presence produces storms and floods.
Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza: Each's aura is reflected in its control over the weather. Due to their frequent opposition, the effects of their aura are better-documented than most.
Palkia, Dialga, and Giratina: Due to the infrequency of their appearance, little is known about the auras of the Creation Trio. However, given their staggering power, they are likely formidable.
Zekrom: Zekrom's presence is inspirational, forcing people to act on their ideals.
Reshiram: Reshiram's presence compels the truth. It can neither be twisted nor withheld; those around Reshiram spill everything on their mind instantly.
Kyurem: Kyurem gradually freezes anything close to it. When fused with Zekrom or Reshiram, it produces their auras as well.
Xerneas: Around Xerneas, life grows uncontrollably. Vines, leaves, flowers, and fruits sprout up from everything, including in some cases living organisms.
Yveltal: Cells begin to wither and die, water evaporates, even rocks begin to erode.
Zygarde: Things cease to change. If Zygarde is angry enough, this affects the cellular level, instantly ending any life present.
Attributes aren't something one is born with, or indeed a particular quality of a person. Rather, they are representative of a legendary that, sensing like-mindedness or like-goaledness in the person in question, has chosen to make them (temporarily) an instrument of their influence, such as carrying a message in minor cases, or defeating dangerous people in extreme cases. People chosen in such fashion are not always aware of it, as legendaries can make their wills known in ways varying from a direct appearance to a subtle shift in reality to point their champion in the appropriate direction. However, these chosen are often introverted, prefer Pokemon to people, and speak only when forced.
If the Legendary in question deems its servant in sufficient need, it may form an avatar of itself to assist them (see above). However, they will rarely if ever give people powers.
Heart Legends: Ho-oh, Raikou and Entei, Kyogre, Dialga, Mesprit, Cresselia, Zekrom, the genies, Xerneas (to be continued)
Soul Legends: Lugia, the bird trio, Groudon, Palkia, Azelf, Darkrai, Reshiram, the Sabots, Yveltal (to be continued)
Mind Legends: Suicune, Rayquaza, Giratina, Uxie, Kyurem, Meloetta, Zygarde (to be continued)
- While the legendaries clearly exist in the Pokeworld, how they are perceived and worshipped varies from person to person. While an acceptance of the Pokeverse legends as a pantheon of gods is not unheard of (particularly in Sinnoh, where it is by far the majority religion), many other interpretations exist. Arceus is frequently cited as the only true god, while other legendaries are either of angelic status or merely aspects of Arceus.
- Pokemon training is a common practice, and trainers are usually sent out around the age of 15, if they wish to become a trainer. Trainers replace traditional schooling with abridged online classes, and there is a fairly profitable business in finding better ways to keep trainers educated.
- In both residential and business areas, building owners can mark their buildings with an "open to trainers sign." This will place the building on the virtual map that trainers are given at the start of their journey, and indicate that they are okay with random strangers entering their house and asking questions.
- A number of the more far-fetched Pokedex entries are a result of young children making up numbers or facts that they think are cool. However, qualitative data is correct more often than not.
- Many Pokemon have been deemed dangerous, and are forbidden to be caught without sufficient experience (usually in the form of badges, though in some cases a license is required). Some examples: Most pseudos, Volcarona, Shiftry, Ducklett.
- Some common or easily bred species of Pokemon are eaten by humans. Prime examples include Tauros and Torchic.
- New trainers, while they often obtain a starter from the regional lab, also have the option of obtaining a local Pokemon, whether by catch or by gift, to start their journey with.
- The information of every trainer is kept on file, sorted by ID number. To get into a Gym, a trainer must present their ID, at which point a message will be sent to the Gym Leader so that they know how many mons to use and of what level of training.
- When a trainer defeats the Champion of the Elite 4, they are not automatically given the option to replace them. This requires both a large degree of studying to prove that the applicant has the necessary knowledge of Pokemon, and a battle against the Champion's team with no holding back on the Champion's part. A similar process would be required to oust a Gym Leader.
- Not many people choose to take the Gym challenge in its entirety. Your average trainer will pick one or two Gyms to defeat to prove their credentials, then settle down somewhere.
- It is considered deeply impolite to refuse a request for a battle if you have any number of healthy Pokemon on hand. It is also considered impolite to allow someone out of eyesight without having challenged them to a battle.
- There are many non-Gym Challenge circuits that allow trainers to prove themselves. Some are formal tournaments, others are more akin to battling clubs.
- Small birds don't fly high enough to safely participate in Sky Battles.
Deep in the ancient past, the Apricorn began to grow. Originally just another fruit, a lost bet by Palkia caused it to develop the curious quality of being several thousand times larger on the inside than the outside would suggest.
Upon humanity's discovery of the fascinating Apricorn, they proceeded to put it to use for food. However, one brave soul, wandering one day, was suddenly set upon by an Ursaring, with only an Apricorn shell for protection. Being desperate, he threw the shell...and was surprised when the Ursaring was sucked in.
As the Ursaring was only constrained by the flimsy Apricorn shell, it soon escaped, but our unlikely hero had by this time to fled to share what had transpired. People quickly realized that the use of Apricorns was a better method for the obtaining and training of Pokemon than the old-fashioned way of throwing yourself at their mercy and begging not to be eaten, and the technology became universal faster than you can say "Gotta catch 'em all!"
Over time, Apricorn usage was refined. Originally just a hollowed-out Apricorn with a small hole made for reentry, people realized that this made it impossible to let out the contained Pokemon without destroying the Apricorn. Consequently, a simplistic locking mechanism was made, allowing Apricorns to be opened and closed at will to release and return the Pokemon within.
Over time, people augmented the original Apricorn, both mechanically and aesthetically, until, shortly after the birth of renowed Pokemon Professor Samuel Oak, the first fully mechanical Poke Ball was created by a daring startup company known as Silph Co. The ball used a complicated combination of Psychic moves to generate an effect mirroring that of the Apricorn, and was opened and closed with a large key.
However, this key frequently jammed or broke, and Silph Co. realized that such a simple system wasn't working. They began research into digitizing the locking process, and finally, after years of failure, perfected the Poke Ball we now know. They based the red-and-white design off of a pattern they had found to occur frequently in the wild, and it stuck, rapidly becoming synonymous with Pokemon worldwide.
Coincidentally, the date of the first digital Poke Ball's creation is the same as that of the birth of one Red [LAST NAME EXPUNGED].
Today, the digital Poke ball is ubiquitous. The original metal has been replaced with a lightweight but sturdy plastic, and many variations on it have been created. It is equipped with a safety mechanism that will, when turned on, recall the mon linked to the ball if it goes more than 100 feet from its trainer.
One notable foray into the science of Poke Balls is the creation of an infallible ball, a "Master Ball" if you will. While several prototypes that yield effective results have been created, a prohibitive cost and a mysterious tendency of the prototype disappearing result in these studies usually leading to dead ends.
Pokemon have always been able to learn techniques that they wouldn't come across naturally, but the technology for this was not always terribly complex.
Frankly, originally you would pay an old guy an exorbitant sum to yell at your Pokemon until they figured things out.
Naturally, everyone quickly got sick of this system, and started looking for ways to teach their mons new techniques, improving their performance in battle and cutting greedy oldsters out of the economy in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, technology at the time wasn't advanced far past rocks with words carved in them, and so the oldsters had the advantage for now.
Almost 3000 years later, a breakthrough came in the form of the first Technical Machine, so named as it was only technically a machine. In truth, it was something more akin to a reflective rock with words carved in it. While advocates of the new technology proclaimed that it would allow Pokemon to practice new moves and watch their own performance while using the carvings as an instructional set, it turned out to be another win for the oldsters.
Enter Silph Co., the same company behind the advent of the Poke Ball. Silph Co.'s revolutionary theory was that a mon could be taught a move through a short instructional video encoded onto a CD. For the first time, oldsters found themselves at a loss. Despite the new Technical Machines necessitating the transport of fairly bulky televisions, it was cheaper and more accessible than seeking out geriatrics and paying them for information.
The second breakthrough came in the encoding of psychic information into the CDs. Pokemon could watch the video in their own head, and have the move programmed directly into their subconscious and muscle memory. Unfortunately, this placed immense strain on the CDs, and they would usually break after use. Still, better than the alternative. Technical Machines spread, and oldsters found themselves relegated to remote corners of the region.
Finally, an Unovan scientist developed a way to keep the CDs intact after use. Technical Machines became reusable, and while costs went up, manufacturers were impressed by the demand, and began mass production. Today, TMs are a ubiquitous aspect of trainer's life.
- Potions and other healing devices stimulate a Pokemon's natural healing abilities for a short amount of time. Better Potions are simply a higher dose.
- Nobody knows how Escape Ropes work, and nobody really wants to. Studies have shown that looking at an Escape Rope for too long can lead to headaches, seizures, and in extreme cases total molecular breakdown.
- Pokecenter machines do the same thing to time that Escape Ropes do to space, somehow allowing a Pokemon eight hours of rest while only aging it a few seconds.
HP: All Pokemon (and to a lesser extent Pokeverse!Humans) have a healing factor that would put Wolverine to shame. HP is a reflection of how much injury they can recover from until the strain becomes too much and they collapse.
Note: Yes, this does mean that attacks such as Guillotine, Overheat, Hyper Beam, etc. really are inflicting serious and quite possibly lethal damage. It's just that it doesn't matter so much when the target's insides will magically realign themselves.
Further Note: Also yes, this does mean that your average Pokemon has a much higher pain tolerance than any RL animal.
Attack: The attack stat is measured primarily in raw physical strength. Most physical attacks are little more than brute force, coupled with a little elemental ability and a (usually) rudimentary knowledge of where to hit.
Defense: Defense is pretty simple as well, it's just layers of armor or other things that would make it difficult to inflict serious damage by punching, slashing, stabbing, biting, or otherwise physically attacking somemon.
Sp. Atk: Sp. Atk is the degree of command a mon has over the elements it can access. Darmanitan, for example, while it possesses amazing strength, is not a particularly powerful manipulator of fire. Volcarona, on the other hand, while lacking in strength, possesses an unbelievable degree of power over fire.
Sp. Def: Sp. Def can be caused by many different things. Altaria, for example, uses its cotton and dragon scales to dampen incoming attacks, while an Umbreon projects an ambient obscura field with a similar effect.
Speed: Speed is not a measure of actual top speed. Rather, it is reflective of agility and potential to maneuver within a small space. Running at 70 mph won't help you if you only have a few hundred square feet to work with. For instance, while Rapidash is far faster than Electrode, Electrode is both quick and capable of making turns on a dime, allowing it to make an attack before the opponent can land one.
- Moves are not the only ways in which Pokemon can use their abilities. Rather, they are techniques submitted to and approved by major leagues for use in professional battles. In the wild or in friendly battles, improvisation is both possible and likely. The process for creating new legal moves, however, is difficult and a bit complicated, so should be undertaken with caution.
- Each evolutionary line is a single species, its members are simply different stages of its life and would not be given separate scientific names. The names we see in the games began as simply what adults told their children, but gradually slipped into mainstream culture as "Charizard" was much simpler than saying "final morph of Candela."
- Egg groups are akin to genus, and mons that share an egg group are very closely related. Nobody yet understands how mons can belong to multiple egg groups. And Ditto are just weird.
- While on a macroscopic scale Pokemon easily outcompete any Earthlike fauna, on a microscopic scale things are more even (only so much room for a pyrosac when you're a single cell), and bacteria or other single-celled life resembles that of Earth. However, most insects that we know, even the very small ones, are Pokemon in the Pokemon world. They aren't considered for battle due to their small size and general weakness.
- Braviary and other male-only species occasionally make use of friendly Ditto to propagate their species.
Miscellaneous Notes on Traits of a few types
- Telekinesis does not work on living objects. Moves that seem to operate based on telekinetic force against opposing Pokemon are actually manipulating the atoms and molecules making up air to create a semisolid cushion. While telekinetic mons (and people) have an instinctual grasp of these abilities the same way as humans understand balance, using such abilities requires extreme focus (hence why the move Telekinesis is not automatically used by Psychics the second they enter a battle, and why it works against Dark-types). However, a quickly-moving opponent will likely be almost impossible to touch with telekinetic abilities.
- Psychic is a telekinetic push, with effects akin to a strong wind. Psyshock/Psystrike involve condensing air particles into a solid attack, which while powered by the user's command over their psychic powers hits in a fashion more similar to a physical blow.
- While it is possible to look into someone's mind, it is impossible to analyze the information found within beyond a general picture of emotional state. As such, while a trained psychic may be able to detect if someone is lying or not, they cannot ferret out the truth.
- Telepathic conversation involves a link to another's mind. While normally this link is gentle and can be accepted or ignored like a phone call, moves like Confusion and Extrasensory force the connection, creating a jarring stream of information to disorient a foe.
- Teleportation can only be made to an area which the teleporter can form a clear mental picture of (the last visited Pokemon Center is an easy-to-remember landmark, as they look the same in a given region), and requires a fair amount of focus (hence why it can't be used to evade attacks).
- Hypnosis involves no psychic powers, only a relaxing action or light pattern.
- All Ghost-types except for the Golett line are capable of phasing, though the Gastly line is unquestionably the best at it. Phasing works best the less dense the medium in question is. There are certain substances or coatings that are 100% effective in preventing the phasing of Ghosts. Finally, a ghost phasing through an object is usually detectable by the surface of the object (a Chandelure might cause the surface to heat up, a Froslass to cool down, etc.).
- Ghost-type obscura will not act as a defense against Fighting-type Aura, it will only be intangible to it. A shield of the stuff will not protect you from a Force Palm (or a Tackle, for that matter).
- Most Ghost-types are capable of producing some form of illusion (as are, curiously, Zoroark and Stantler). Mismagius is unquestionably the best at this, with the Gastly line as a close second.
- All Fighting-types are capable of using Aura to some degree. Lucario, Gallade, Medicham, and Mienshao are the best at it, however.
- Aura can be used to make simplistic constructs, to empower blows or weapons, and to detect the emotions of others, but nothing beyond that.
- Force Palm uses a combination of knowing where to hit and a burst of Aura to shut down nervous centers in the struck area. Capable Aura-users can extend their range several feet using a spike of Aura.
- Detect is some form of precognition put to use to predict and evade the next attack. While it is usually done with Aura, it can be performed using other methods of clairvoyance (Absol), or just incredible reflexes (Sceptile). Mind Reader is its converse, using prediction to aim an attack without fail.
- A Dark-type's proximity makes maintaining psychic abilities extremely difficult. Most forms of telekinesis will dissipate around Dark-types, though with proper focus (the Telekinesis move) this can be bypassed.
- The majority of Dark attacks use obscura to some extent, if only to empower a strike.
- All bird-like Flying-types (and birdlike non-Flying-types) engage in a globally-known game akin to cops and robbers. Every bird must be willing and able to engage in this game at a moment's notice. Observers have yet been unable to determine either the rules or the purpose of this grand simulation. While the game does have real-world consequences, they are not generally long-lasting.
- Mons that have avian traits or are closely linked to avians also take part in this game, but usually play it in a grittier sense, with long-lasting consequences.
Pokemon Abilities in Humans
- As with all multicellular life, humans are Pokemon (specifically Psychic-types, since you ask). Due to a terrible base stat total and movepool, however, your average human is incapable of much more than a Tackle. However, every so often (approximately one in every 13 times), you get a top percentage human, who has access to more interesting abilities.
- The most common Pokemon abilities found in humans are the ones relating to the Auric Spectrum: That is Psychic, Fighting, Ghost and Dark. Most humans are extremely weak with these abilities in comparison to even the weakest Pokemon, and increased power with them frequently correlates with various psychoses (which often become worse as the power is used more).
Psychic Powers: The average psychic human is a spoonbender. They may have minor telekinetic abilities (such as levitating Pokeballs, the best party trick of all time) or even basic clairvoyant abilities, but such efforts require a great deal of strain. More powerful psychics, while their abilities increase exponentially, have a tendency to become distant from their fellow humans, withdraw from oral communication in favor of telepathy, and become prone to fits of destructive rage (frequently coinciding with loss of control over powers).
Fighting-type Abilities: Auric humans strike noticeably faster and more powerfully than their normal counterparts, and can use Aura to read nearby emotions or sense incoming strikes. Naturally, these types of people frequently become martial artists. Stronger Aura powers include constructs such as Aura Spheres. However, people strong in Aura tend to develop a violent personality, often resorting to verbal or physical combat unnecessarily. Since ancient times, there have been devices designed to increase someone's ability to use Aura without bringing on the associated dangers.
Ghost-type Abilities: Ghost-Obscuric people can communicate with Ghosts, and occasionally create wisps of raw obscura to fight with. More powerful obscurics can manipulate those wisps into Shadow Claws or Shadow Balls (and some can perform feats on par with stronger Ghost-types). However, powerful obscurics frequently suffer from depression, feel uncomfortable in a corporeal body, and detach from the living.
Dark-type Abilities: Dark-Obscuric people are usually immune to any form of psychic detection, and can create small constructs of obscura, similar to Aura users. Stronger Dark obscurics can project this lack of telepathy for an effect similar to a Dark Pulse, as well as create far stronger, larger, and more complex constructs. However, Dark obscurics often become single-mindedly paranoid of others, and often tend towards sociopathy.
- Abilities found in other types (minor hydrokinesis or firebreathing) have also popped up in humans on occasion. However, they are in all documented cases extremely minor, and no evidence exists of any powerful Water-type or Electric-type people.
- For a long time, there was a strong prejudice towards these people. Lately, as visibility increases, their situation has been improving.
Notes on Specific Species, Techniques, and Abilities
- Ditto can Transform into anything they wish, including specific instances of other mons as well as inanimate objects. However, if they turn into a Pokemon that is not immediately present, they will be able to use only a single one of its moves. They also have several tells, such as a slightly-too-elastic body.
- Illusions (whether produced by Zoroark, Mismagius, or Stantler) affect sight, sound, and smell only. They cannot create feelings or tastes, and as such can be broken by touching (or licking) them.
- Diglett's underside is not a mystery. It is a wall of small tendrils and claws, which dig extremely quickly and allow Diglett to tunnel as it does.
- Voltorb and Foongus came first. The modern Pokeball aesthetic is based on a repeating red/white pattern throughout various Pokemon.
- While Yamask's mask is natural (resembling its true face in life, or just a generic mask if it was born a Ghost), Cofagrigus's coffin is not. Rather, it possesses an available coffin (usually altering the coffin's appearance in the process) and sets the mask into it. Cofagrigus will occasionally possess other objects associated with death, such as urns and washing machines.
- Nidorina is fertile. Nidoqueen is not.
- The weather abilities, as held by non-legends, are a personal raincloud/sun/sandstorm/hailcloud that appears and intensifies when secreting adrenaline (such as in battle). Cloud Nine works similarly, but exudes an effect that dampens the effects of weather in the immediate area. The weather trio, however, extend their abilities to a regional level, and they are on at all times. As such, they spend most of their time out of sight to avoid inadvertent apocalypse-causing.
- Pressure amplifies gravity immediately around the user. As such, it takes far more effort to make an attack land at regular strength.
- Starters, while extremely rare in the wild, are populous in captivity. Eevee are in a similar position.
- While Honedge will possess any weapon they can find, their power will alter the weapon until it looks more or less like the standard Honedge. After evolution no distinction would be visible to someone who is not either another Honedge or familiar with the Honedge in question.
- Inkay, when it gets close to evolution, will immediately telekinetically flip its Trainer upside-down when it enters battle. Additionally, Inkay can switch their defenses against psychic moves on and off at will (borrowed from Mezzo).
- Phantom Force is neither teleportation nor a dimensional shift. The user simply renders itself invisible with obscura, then strikes from behind.
- Male Ralts have latent Auric abilities, and female Snorunt latent Obscuric ones. When a Kirlia becomes a Gallade, it uses the Dawn Stone as a psychic focus to awaken those abilities. When a Snorunt becomes a Froslass, it destroys its corporeal form, and generates a new one out of obscura and the Dawn Stone itself. This change is generally rather jarring, and new Froslass are occasionally a little strange.
Interestingly, this potential seems to be tied to the gender of the Ralts or Snorunt in question rather than the sex. An FtM Kirlia is perfectly capable of becoming a Gallade, and an MtF Snorunt of becoming a Froslass.
Neither the manga nor the anime have any authority here, as I follow neither. TCG might, but it's hard to say.
As for the games...
Red is the canon protagonist of the first gen games, in which Yellow is canon.
The rest of the stories, while the third version (Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, etc.) is always canon, are ambiguous as to the gender of the protagonist. Some people claim to have seen a girl taming Rayquaza, some a boy. The protagonists certainly aren't talking.
Pokemon White is canon.