Dark side of the Moon


If the nu­ances of an os­ten­si­bly sim­ple bat­tle sys­tem en­cour­age older play­ers to spend dozens of hours hunt­ing, train­ing and fi­ness­ing a six-mon­ster team for com­pet­i­tive play, part of Poké­mon’s cross­over ap­peal is surely down to its will­ing­ness to probe the murkier cor­ners of each re­gion’s ecosys­tems. This might be chance en­coun­ters with spec­tral pres­ences or other eerily un­ex­plained mys­ter­ies, but more of­ten the dark­ness is found within the Pokédex. In ear­lier gen­er­a­tions, we had Drowzee eat­ing the dreams of chil­dren, and Cubone wear­ing the skull of its dead mother, while the fifth gen­er­a­tion’s Lam­p­ent is said to hang around hos­pi­tals, wait­ing to steal the souls of the re­cently de­ceased to power its flame. and

will main­tain that great tra­di­tion, mix­ing the mourn­ful with the truly dis­turb­ing. Mimikyu, for ex­am­ple, is a lonely Poké­mon that hides un­der a cloth painted to look like Pikachu as an at­tempt to be­friend hu­mans. Haunted sand­cas­tle Palos­sand, mean­while, sounds ridicu­lous in con­cept, but it’s ca­pa­ble of swal­low­ing up smaller Poké­mon – hand­ily il­lus­trated by a piece of art that shows Pikachu be­ing dragged to his death. It’s a sur­pris­ing way to treat the se­ries’ mas­cot (you can’t imag­ine Nin­tendo re­leas­ing im­ages of Mario’s corpse) and sug­gests a de­sire to shake things up a bit for the sev­enth-gen­er­a­tion games.

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