A few weeks ago, I had a play around with Pokémon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby (as did Patricia, who broke down her experience in great detail), and spoke to series director Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Omori, Director of OR/AS. Happily, they were both very good sports, and agreed to answer a bunch of silly and not-so-silly questions from Twitter, on everything from the Mega-Evolution selection process to whether people do in fact eat Pokémon (though they were hardly definitive on that front). Here are the results.
JM: Those costumes are really order-made to fit Pikachu’s proportions, so this specific costume is definitely just for Pikachu… I mean, I certainly wouldn't fit into it.
JM: Even though there’s an egg that appears and hatches, Pokémon birth is more like a stork-basket arrangement - so the actual moment where that Pokemon is made is still a mystery…
SO: Originally with Ruby and Sapphire you needed the link cable to share your secret base with someone, but now there’s a variety of ways to do it. Streetpass is one – you’ll get the data for their secret base, and then you can battle against their setup and recruit the trainers there to your secret base. You’ll also be able to find and visit other people’s bases using Wi-Fi, and generate a QR code for your base that you can share on social media.
JM/SO: We can only really speak in vague terms about the future, but the ideal scenario is that you’d be able to represent yourself however you want – so any combination would be possible. It really comes down to limited development resources and what each project can really allow for, so I honestly don’t have an answer for that right now.
[Editor's note: I'm guessing that means "no" for Omega Sapphire and Alpha Ruby, at least.]
SO: Rayquaza is going to mega-evolve! It’ll gain its own unique ability as well as a unique move, making it really powerful. That’s something to look forward to. [Mega-Rayquaza was announced a few days after this interview; read all about him here.]
JM: If we could come up with a way to really make that interesting, then it’s something we’d implement – but for me, personally, as a theory, I think it would be more fun for us all to enjoy different locations and then share that experience together than all have the same experience in the same region.
SO/JM: It’s really just thinking of a variety of things – in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, for example, we looked at the X and Y battle environment and thought about which Pokemon are particularly strong and which are used quite a bit, and we would then come up with Pokémon to counter those to make the environment more interesting. Also we look at the story – story is very important to Pokemon, so we try to come up with mega evolutions that fans will enjoy. We also talk with our battle designers and battle designers to come up with which Pokemon will mega evolve.
SO: This time around you start out just with the Hoenn region Pokemon, but later on you get access to Mega Latios and Mega Latias, which has this new move called Soar: a super-powered version of Fly that allows you to freely fly over the skies in a 3D map, and go to new locations that normally aren’t accessible. In those locations you’ll find plenty of Pokémon who aren’t normally found in the Hoenn region. After that you’ll return to the Professor and get the national Pokedex.
JM: [Uproarious laughter] I don’t know about that…
JM: I guess we’ll just have to hope that new types of tree will have been discovered by then...
JM: I can’t comment on the official timeline, except that Red and Blue and Gold and Silver were one continuous timeframe, and so were Black and White and Black and White 2. What I will say is that in all the games, everyone is using the same Pokeballs – so you can assume that they are in the same general era.
JM: It’s really popular! We get this a lot. If they were to create another one, they’d probably need to come up with some kind of new invention to make it fresh… of course, everyone thinks of the GamePad, but whoever made it would have to come up with something unexpected. Pokemon Snap was developed by HAL, originally, which is now part of Nintendo. I’m the director at the Pokémon Company, and we’re certainly not stopping it from coming out!
And finally, the big question... do people eat Pokémon?
JM: I’m not really sure, but people will eat what they enjoy – it’s just kinda the natural order of things…