With today’s surprise reveal of Magiana, a mechanical and man-made Pokémon, we decided to look back at other ‘mons that came to be via more artificial circumstances. While some were byproducts of industrial development and others were crafted as experimental breakthroughs, each of these species have become a welcome member of the Pokémon world.
Strange phenomena seem to be a go-to when it comes to spontaneous Pokémon generation. Voltorb and Electrode, for example, came into existence from a power surge at a Poké Ball development company. Trubbish, on the other hand, is what happens when industrial waste seeps into garbage, bringing life to the world’s only remotely huggable trash bag. Speaking of industrial waste, Grimer and Muk are similar in their formation. What sets them apart is that rather than just being sparked from the folly of man, they instead are “…sludge transformed when exposed to X-rays from the moon.” Really. Does this hint at some sinister, Clefairy-based agenda? Are they just amorphous Moon Stones? Perhaps Deoxys came forth from an attempt at recreating this sort of genesis? Perhaps we’ll never know.
Similar to the above moonbeams, mystical means are just as likely to bring forth Pokémon. Banette, the zipper-mouthed Marionette Pokémon, is a possessed doll driven by the hatred born from being thrown away. As sinister as it appears more than any of the Pokémon on this list (bar one further down) it may be the most relatable. Baltoy and Claydol are also a more literal example of “toys-to-life” than we’re used to around here, but thanks to “mystical rays” are also counted within the Pokédex rather than an anthropology textbook.
From these accidental beginnings we move to more deliberate attempts, with an analogue to the previously mentioned sculptures. Golett and Golurk are a similar idea, though instead of mystical rays they came forth from the desires of an ancient civilization to serve as protectors and represent possibly the very first man-made Pokémon. From undefined mysticism we move to the staggering power of science! Castform is probably the most benign of the modern man-made ‘mons, being designed to predict the weather by an institute in Hoenn. Its ability to change Forme to match meteorological shifts raises questions about just how flexible Pokémon DNA is, and if Ditto’s unique cellular structure may have played a part in its development.
Porygon’s entire evolutionary line is fascinating, as each is rooted in software development and hold the ability to exist in cyberspace as data. The only Pokémon to evolve from trading twice, Porygon starts off blocky and limited in functionality till it’s patched via an Upgrade. As Porygon2 it becomes streamlined and capable of learning, blurring the line between program and personality even further. The final evolution, Porygon-Z, is one of my favorites in terms of its creation. When a Dubious Disc is used to further modify Porygon2 it becomes what can only be described as an overclocked, upside-down drinky bird with one of the most potent Special Attack stats in the game. It’s described as erratic and incapable of displaying emotion, becoming a glitched shell of its former self due to man’s ambition.
On the subject of said ambition we come to the most well-known and, thanks to the first movie, relatable Pokémon on this list: Mewtwo. We celebrated its birthday a few days ago but the fact scientists on Cinnabar Island were able to develop such a powerful Pokémon from a Mew’s DNA is mind blowing, as is Mewtwo’s overwhelming psychic capabilities. Having developed heightened sentience and a drive to live all its own in expanded materials it represents the best that can come from artificial Pokémon development. With the advent of Mega Evolution Mewtwo received two Formes, begging the question if these were also developed behind closed doors at some point as well. With so much unexplored in these and other Pokédex entries, it speaks volumes of just how thought provoking the world of Pokémon can be.
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