The Pokémon series
Another series of games worthy of several quotes is Pokémon. As with Zelda, the premise across all games remains similar– save the world while collecting Pokémon. While some of the instalments had profound messages at their heart, and equally profound text to go with them, the speech that some of the NPCs come out with can be a bit…bizarre.
”We hope to see you again!”
~ Nurse Joy, Generation I games
Pokémon Centres are free, but are probably pretty expensive to run, so we can assume that there’s some sort of government funding involved. In order to retain that funding though, Nurse Joy has to receive a steady supply of patients. If Trainers simply used items to heal their creatures, then she’d have no custom, and lose the funding. Therefore, Joy wishes ill health upon your Pokémon. So, it’s either that or she charges you when she heals them. Such a dilemma of morals here; poor Joy.
“I came when I heard you beat the Elite Four!”
~ Professor Oak, Generation I games
Jeez. I know you’re old man, Sammy-boy, and are easily frightened/excited, but that’s just far too much information than my 10-year-old mind needs to know.
“The wild Regigigas can’t get it going because of its Slow Start!”
Oh, Lord. Again, too much information…
I cannot with good conscience write this article without mentioning my namesake:
“My Rattata is different from regular Rattata. It’s like my Rattata is in the top percentage of all Rattata.”
~ Joey, Generation II games
I am not necessarily a user of Rattata, but I do share his gusto and confidence in his team, even if his team is a little…weak. But hey, his perseverance earned him meme status, so go, Joey!
“You know, there are many people in this world. There are people whose way of thinking may be completely different from yours. Sometimes, this means you may get hurt.
But it’s important to keep trying, to learn about the differences between yourself and others… To learn that being different is OK. And you shouldn’t worry.”
~ Elesa, Pokémon Black/White
Here, Unova’s very own Lady Gaga analogue waxes poetic about the nature of diversity. It’s really quite a nice quote, encouraging diversity and tolerance, and ensuring the player that it’s okay to be a bit weird or different, because everyone is weird in some way or another. Just be yourself (even if you do happen to have a Magikarp on your squad) because baby, you were born this way.
Even though it isn’t part of the game series, and he is technically a playable character, Mewtwo also ponders on the subject of individuality in Pokémon: The First Movie when he says:
“I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.”
~ Mewtwo, Pokémon: The First Movie
This message warns us of the dangers of being wrapped up in the cards life has dealt you. If you don’t like them, put them back in the deck and shuffle until you get the hand you want. Don’t be restricted by your upbringing– do what you want in life.
That message of freedom and diversity is continued with N, who, after an entire game debating with you about Nature v. Nurture, decides that neither is absolute and both can work in equal measures to shape one’s life.
“Two heroes living at the same time– one that pursues truth and one that pursues ideals. Could… Could they both be right? I don’t know. It’s not by rejecting different ideas, but by accepting different ideas that the world creates a chemical reaction. This is truly the formula for changing the world.”
~ N, Pokémon Black/White
This addresses the idea of plurality– that the only feasible way of society to function is not to have one belief system, but many, all operating at once, and only through this coexistence can any progress be made, and stagnation avoided. That’s pretty deep for a Pokémon game– well, any game, really– but then the latest games were more profound in their messages than previous chapters. N has an epiphany, and decides that your ideological battle was fruitless, because you were both right all along. Then, after changing his ways, he spouts this little gem:
“You said you have a dream… That dream… Make it come true! Make your wonderful dream a reality, and it will become your truth! If anyone can, it’s you!”
~ N, Pokémon Black/White
And that quote made me go aww, because everyone got a happy ending. Well except Ghetsis, but if you name your child “Natural Harmonia Gropius”, then you don’t deserve a happy ending.