While planning and writing the current Pokémon Journey articles (shameless plug – Part 1 and Part 2) I have been thinking more and more about what I would love in a Pokémon game and if I had complete creative control, how it would play. Now I put this down as an Open Concept because this is something that has come from me, what I know and what I would like and this ISN’T a rumour for a next gen game or anything like that. But of course, Pokémon Company if you like it and want to hit me up, I of course would be happy to jump on board!
This post will focus on the top line overview of the ideas I have for the region, features etc and if people like it and I feel like it is worth exploring I can drill deeper into the various sections (I have pages of thoughts on this stuff). So I would like to introduce you to the grand region of Thalassa.
Thalassa – The Grand Sea connecting Three Empires
Below is my initial doodle of the region and for those of you who know your geography you will likely recognise this as a crude copy of the northern Mediterranean coastline including Spain, Italy and Greece. And for those shrewd viewers, you will also see that it is in fact separated into 3 regions (I will discuss the 4th later) and that is because I view the next game as having a vast sprawling environment with multiple regions available to explore. I will go more into this in the features section, but for now you can see the regions below:
Region 1 (Name TBC – Iberios?)- based off of Spain
Region 2 (Name TBC – Imperiar?) – based off of Italy
Region 3 (Name TBC – Deos?) – based off of Greece
I have always loved this part of the world and I think it has such a rich history and geography to draw from that you could create three distinctly different regions that are also deeply connected; both through shared history and legends but also physically by the Grand Sea (clearly the Med) allowing for some great world building, unique Pokémon designs and an overall epic adventure.
The way that I see it is that Region 1, 2 and 3 have all have unique beliefs that make each region different. For example Region 1 is all about culture and the modern experience; great cuisine, great shows and great music etc. This then contrasts with Region 2 who is focused on Pokémon battles, producing some of the most powerful trainers the world has seen. Region 3 is much more ‘religious’ for a lack of a better word; they focus on the history and legacy of the regions and have the closest connection to the Pantheon of Legendary Pokémon (more on them later). These three regions are in an uneasy alliance although the area in general is relatively unstable due to the ruling houses etc of each region being very distrustful of each other.
As there are three regions, I imagine there to be three versions of the game available (For Gen 8 there was Sword and Shield for example). The version you get determines which region you start in and what starters you can pick from (I put to you that there are 9 starters in this game). These regions are a combination of open areas and restricted routes with the Grand Sea being a huge area littered with smaller islands, all of which are explorable. These regions should all be connected and even if you got one version you should be able to visit the other two regions, both freely from early on and as driven by the story.
Geographically, each area would be varied in terms of biomes; from grassland and forests to mountains and swamps but with each region have unique locations and biomes to each. As a result, it means that the Pokémon that appear in each area can be very varied and results in a really personal experience. You could start in one region and then explore off freely to another region, just to find a particular Pokémon in a certain biome. The idea is to encourage this epic adventure that rewards exploration, time playing and curiosity.
I will bullet point these features and then develop on these as I write more of the articles linking to this concept:
- 9 Starters – as each region has their own unique style they will also have their unique starters. As a result we will still have the Fire/Water/Grass combo but their final stage evos will also have the secondary types of Rock/Fighting/Flying. So in total you will have – Fire/Rock, Fire/Fighting, Fire/Flying, Water/Rock, Water/Fighting, Water/Flying, Grass/Rock, Grass/Fighting, Grass/Flying
- An RPG/Class system – when you hit certain milestones (ie badges achieved) you choose from Classes that become available with added bonuses. So far I have the idea of Trainer/Breeder/Hunter. Trainer for example can then specialise again to ‘Ace Trainer‘ and then ‘Champion‘ where you get stat bonuses for having mixed types in your party or the Trainer can also go down the ‘Gym Leader‘ route where you get stat bonuses for having multiple of the same types in your party.
- A new adventure in each region – although it is all freely explorable, when you complete the story of one region you can start your journey again in another region. You won’t have access to all your old Pokémon until you unlock that as you travel through that region, but you get to pick a starter of that region and start again. Think Ash in the anime every time he goes to a new region.
- Multiplayer hubs – If you played Guild Wars 1, I think that the cities should become online social hubs (also like Destiny) and the routes and ‘Wild Areas’ are instanced so you can invite other players with you, leave it open to the public or simply keep it private.
As mentioned, each area has their own history that links with the other regions. Region 2 for example was particularly aggressive in the past and occupied both the other regions before they were pushed back to their homeland and the populace of Region 2 are often looking to these ‘glory days’ and seek to show their superiority through Pokémon battles. Region 3 however is much more focused on the Pantheon of Legendary Pokémon, the 9 deities who are intrinsically tied to the three regions. Each region have their own views on these deities and favour some and hate others but this legendary conflict feeds into the overall imbalance within the area. Region 1 is more about looking forward to the future and harnessing tourism and advancement to move forward and become a modern age power.
Depending on the version you buy will depend on which region you start in and there will be a version exclusive story that takes you on the gym challenge while discovering more about your homeland. I will expand on it in a later post but I see the gyms being connected to the ruling power of the region as well, for example Region 1 has a parliament and the gym leaders are the local leaders of each area who are represented by their Champion. As a result, through embarking on this adventure you are also putting yourself into the historical and political tension between each region. Once you have completed your region you become an ambassador of sorts, where you travel to the other areas and take on the leaders there too. Think a faction story of Fire Emblem Three Kingdom meets Skyrim.
There is a lot more going on behind the scenes as well, with the evil team, Team Legacy (potentially Kronos or Titan… but I don’t like Team Titan…) trying to uncover the secrets tied to the legendary Pokémon of the region and their old enemies; the Titans. This will reflect the Gigantomachy, the battle between the Greek Gods and the Titans, and it will be seen that this team has a lot of influence in each region that is driving this instability.
I have really enjoyed thinking of these ideas and fleshing a lot of these concepts out and hopefully you have all enjoyed it too. I would love to hear your thoughts and I will expand on these ideas further as we go through this. I already have developed ideas on the history and geography of the regions, the 9 legendary Pokémon and the Class system so I will cover these in the next edition. With Pokemon Crown Tundra out now and the 25 Years of Pokemon next year, the next step is anyone’s guess but I figured we could flesh this concept out together.
If you like or dislike any of the ideas I have, please let me know down below or if there is an area you would like to hear more about please shout! Any follows, reads, comments you can give help me build up an idea of what you all like and where I should focus etc! Until next time, keep safe out there!