Pokémon's Ridiculous Timeline, Explained In A Single Image

Illustration for article titled iPokémons/i Ridiculous Timeline, Explained In A Single Image

Thanks to shenanigans involving alternate dimensions in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon's timeline has officially become bonkers. But, there is a way to make sense of it.

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Basically, there are three different Pokémon dimensions, all of which house their own Pokémon games.

In one dimension, you've got all the original Game Boy games, from Red to Crystal. Here, the Link Cable provided a way to interact with different versions of the same world. But, beyond that, the technology in this dimension is still kind of primitive. Then you've got the "connectivity" dimension. That's where the Game Boy Advanced and Nintendo DS games go, from Fire Red to Black and White 2. Here, Link Cable tech is so advanced, Pokémon can actually travel into the future. And then we've got the Infinity dimension, where the 3DS games take place. The least is known about this dimension, but it's the most interesting so far. This dimension is the most advanced, but they're worse off for it, arguably—the Infinity Energy that they rely on uses the life force of things like Pokémon. On the other hand, they have mega evolutions, so it's not all bad.

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Tumblr user azzyfox explains this mess in great detail in this infographic, and it's a must-read if you'd like to understand Pokémon's timeline. Click on "expand" to see it in full.

Illustration for article titled iPokémons/i Ridiculous Timeline, Explained In A Single Image

Dang. And people like to say Pokémon's story is simple. Actually, it's getting quite wild.

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DISCUSSION

The thing about a game like pokemon is that the actual plot that the player character gets involved in is often quite simplified... in most games the majority of the plot is just using pokemon to stop a themed organization from doing something terrible... whether it be simply stealing a crapton of Pokemon for the sake of money, or literally trying to kill all the pokemon in the world. But because the plot of the story is so simple, the world is weirdly complicated around you. The idea of being able to capture living creatures in small capsules that can be instantaneously stored via the internet works as a gameplay mechanic, but under any kind of analysis it implies some truly bizarre and complex technology in the world. The Legendary pokemon also raise more questions than they answer, largely due to Spectacle Creep. In the first games players were content with the idea of Legendaries that seemed to, at most, be avatars of the elements, or bio-engineered super creatures. Then, to keep stepping up the game, they're upgraded to world builders, creators of time, space, physical embodiments of life and death, even creators of reality itself. There's a sense of trying to one-up each previous generation in sheer scale, but it's all really just flavor text. The world is huge and complicated, but only because those complications don't actually have any effect on the game. In a story-heavy game facing off against the creator of reality is an endgame goal that deeply affects the world around you, but in Pokemon it's just something you hold onto a masterball for and you can keep in your pocket for the rest of your life.