5 Pokémon Regions We'd Love To See
5 new region ideas we wish Nintendo would pick up.
I was almost six years old when Pokémon Yellow was released in Europe. It was my first Nintendo Gameboy Colour game, and one of only two games I owned for a couple of years. Later, I played Pokémon Crystal on the Gameboy Advance SP – and I was hooked. No matter what my academic grades said, if I were tested on Pokémon, I’d get 100% and extra credit. Many years later here I am, stroking my new Build-a-Bear Piplup, reliving the same frustration I get every time I imagine what a new Pokémon game could look like: Nintendo doesn’t accept ideas from outsiders. Logically I understand why; they’d get thousands of unsolicited ideas a day, and if they’re already working on an idea that then gets suggested they have to waste some money getting rid of someone who may feel entitled to a slice of the profits. Still, as a die-hard Pokémon fan I can’t help but feel disappointed that I’ll never get to share the ideas I have with the designers that I idolise. So, to get some of those ideas out of my head, I thought I’d share them with you.
I’ve kept each idea as brief as I could, else we’d all be here until 2025.
Proposed Name: Pokémon Dawn and Dusk
Many people’s first thoughts when thinking of a ‘Mexican theme’ is the Day of the Dead festival. Decorated skulls, marigolds and candy are the extent of a lot of people’s knowledge of Mexican culture – but there is a lot more to be explored. Mexico has beautiful pyramids and temples, lush jungle and sandy beaches. The country already has an interesting shape which would be easy to mould into a fantasy region. There is a lot to work with in terms of scenery, with no shortage of wondrous backdrops for our protagonist’s adventures.
As for Pokémon themselves, Mexican mythology is a unique blend of Spanish and Native American, giving Mexico a cornucopia of beautiful creatures to adapt. Examples include the Mazacoatl; a great serpent with deer antlers, and the Quauhxouilin; a boneless, scaleless fish with the head of an eagle. On top of a rich ancient culture, there are beautiful new traditions; such as the Alebrije art form created in the early 20th century. Alebrije are the colourful animal spirits that amazed people who saw Disney’s Coco, and I think this art form would be a beautiful addition to a Pokémon region.
Since the introduction of Mega Evolution in Pokémon X and Y, Pokémon games have developed a need to have a little extra battle technique to make their regions stand out from the others. For a Mexico-based region, Calavera (sugar skulls) or the Alebrije art form would make a stunning unique power. Certain Pokémon could have a ‘spirit form’, a battle move where they become white, brightly decorated versions of themselves and gain a spirit attack. Perhaps to access a Pokémon’s spirit form, the trainer must have a high friendship with their Pokémon?
Lastly, every Pokémon region has a different kind of treat for their Pokémon. This started with Poffins in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, which boosted contest stats, and has evolved over time into items such as the Pokepuff which are used in PokeAmie to affection. For a Mexican region, I think Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread) or Empanadas would be the prefect friendship-boosting treat.
Proposed Name: Pokémon Sand and Sky
More specifically, ancient Egypt. Pyramids, beautiful artefacts, a vast river and maybe an oasis or two. While Egypt has a rather set climate, there’s no reason a little magic or Pokémon ability couldn’t be slotted in to expand on that climate on the outer edges of the region. Egyptian accessories would make some gorgeous Pokémon, and the advanced yet mysterious culture of Ancient Egypt is one is sure to lure in many curious gamers.
An Egyptian based region would bring a small puzzle element, like Pokémon Crystal’s ‘Ruins of Alph’ or the Sinnoh quest for Spiritomb (but not that one). I imagine three pyramids, each at different corners of the map, with their own small puzzles. From each you get an artefact to help unlock the great sphynx, where a special Pokémon lies. Possibly a third legendary, guardian of the rivers?
The unique battle style of this game could be based on hieroglyphs. Hieroglyph tablets could teach ‘Ancient’ moves to Pokémon. E.g. ‘Ancient Thunderbolt’ might be unavoidable, or do extra damage, at the cost of greatly reduced PP. On the other side of things, the Pokémon treat would be based on Basbousa, a semolina sweet cake flavoured with a simple syrup and traditionally cut into diamond shapes.
Proposed Name: Pokémon Tooth and Claw
Ok, so this isn’t strictly about New Zealand, but it’s New Zealand based. New Zealand has been used as a filming location for fantasy giants such as Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and Xena: Warrior Princess. and it’s that potential we want to tap into. A region rooted in fantasy and medieval culture is a region rich in dragons, wolves, armour and treasures. Another country whose map already lends itself to the Pokémon region style, a New Zealand region would sport a largely mountainous terrain edged in beautiful beaches and with pockets of forest throughout.
Naturally, some elements would still be based on real life New Zealand. The title character would come from a small mountain village, or a tiny island off the coast of the main islands, and wouldn’t a little Kiwi Pokémon be so adorable? I had a little trouble thinking of a sweet treat, but eventually concluded it would be based on meringue, after the New Zealand love of Pavlovas.
Returning to the more fantasy-based side, the battle element would be something like an amulet that the trainer wears and can put a gemstone in to enhance the abilities of a particular type of Pokémon (similar to the type plates). Or, an idea I personally prefer, we could have a little cross-genre fanservice and have Power Rings for Pokémon to hold. The Power Rings could allow a Pokémon (once per battle) to use one of it’s allies moves as long as both possess a ring?
Proposed Name: Pokémon Cobalt and Crimson
While not based on a single country, Scandinavian culture has so much to offer it simply had to make the list. Norse mythology is hugely popular, and many creatures would look right at home on the Pokédex (eight-legged horse, anyone?).
As for the signature battle element, a Scandinavian based region would use Rune Stones held by the Pokémon. Perhaps we could draw inspiration from the antics of Loki, the God of Mischief, and have the stones change the type of one of the Pokémon’s moves? Suddenly Charizard’s Flamethrower is a water-type move, while Gengar uses a psychic-type Shadow Ball. Or the Rune Stones could be used to store a fifth move, at a reduced PP?
Pokémon treats would be modelled on Danish pastries or Krumkake, a Norwegian cookie rolled into a cone and served with delicious fillings.
Proposed Name: Pokémon Opal and Obsidian
Stunning Gothic architecture, dense forests and a rich mythos, a Romanian based region would embrace the ‘dark yet cute’ monster aesthetic that is hugely popular today. Imagine choosing your starter from a vampiric creature, werewolf pup or a skeleton-themed kitten, taking your companion on a journey through spooky caverns and a pine forest filled with glowing Morelull and growling Ursaring. Romania also has the Balaur, a multi headed dragon or serpent, and real-world populations of wild boar, polecats, lynx and chamois to draw inspiration from.
Pokémon treats would take the form of Gogosi, a Romanian hybrid of the American doughnut and French beignet, or Covrigi – the Romanian signature pretzel.
We haven’t touched on villain teams much in this article, but for a Romanian based region I think the villain team should be reminiscent of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire with a vaguely different team in each game, but with Ghost and Psychic type Pokémon. One believes Ghost Pokémon to be a blight who need to be destroyed using the Psychic legendary, the other thinks Psychic Pokémon are unnatural and need to be destroyed using the Ghost Legendary. Each will try to force others to accept their beliefs but, of course, will ultimately be defeated.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this chunk of imagination fuel; I’d love to hear what Pokémon regions you’d love to see done in the future. Drop a message on social media to @itsgeekology or join the Geekology Collective Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1579078502172319/
May your Pokéballs never break.