'ultra space adventure'


so I need to just make an after post because after this I'm having thoughts again.
mainly, my old thought about 'necrozma ultra space adventure' is coming back

when I think about necrozma I can't help but imagine a trainer who wants to actually understand it.
my picture of this is a little different every time. years ago when I had just discovered the pokédex entries but didn't have all the information the picture I had is a bit funny to look back on, while this time I'd guess it's a bit more accurate.


in the first version where I was making 'pokédex entry theories' [1,2] it was like,
I imagined a trainer that somewhat literally caught necrozma and was carrying it around. I was convinced just because it was Psychic-type it could probably communicate with humans like lugia or mewtwo. and so I imagined this process of the trainer just kind of trying to talk things out and figure out what might help this thing that is suffering so much. though I had no idea whatsoever what the solution to restoring it actually was so I imagined it must be very difficult to find.

it was very much a depression thing where I was projecting onto the scenario how happy I would be to find a being that despite suffering a lot valued its life more than I value my own life and was actually upset - incredibly upset - to be close to death. I was inspired that necrozma was going to hang in there and keep fighting and refuse to give up. I wanted it to succeed at rebuilding itself. I wanted it to know it was okay to feel anger and pain and it wasn't alone.


after that the second version was Zirk. I quite seriously picked up my first version of 'necrozma trainer' out of the recycle bin and started designing an asekai teamleader.

embarrassingly asekai is still so early I don't have very much to put here about zirk.
but they are briefly described as an arcade retrocomputing nerd both good at games and reverse-engineering old technology to rebuild it in new forms (the "Retro-Engineer" character class), with this kind of slightly vaporwave contrasting-colours aesthetic; teamleader for the rainbow mirage snake Sarmioeun.
(incidentally, Sarmioeun is what happened when I sent Dragonair and some Thai naga statues in and out of the recycle bin. [3,4])


after watching the sun/moon show I now have an entirely different picture of what kind of pokémon necrozma really is, though it's a much more positive one than I thought was ever possible and that makes me happy.

one thing that really stands out to me is that I never quite expected the solution to fixing necrozma to be so /collective/. and I think the reason was that Pokémon RPG plotlines always focus on this very individual single-player story centred around one trainer. planting the assumption in my head that necrozma's lore absolutely had to be suitable for this specific kind of game plot, /therefore/ a single trainer or a very small group of people easy to put on one handheld console screen could and had to be able to deal with necrozma.
and then the sun/moon show took my reasonable assumption built up from years and years of Pokémon being a certain thing and Pokémon fans continuously saying "I don't want Pokémon to be anything else than what it is" and flipped it on its head. (and it was totally channeling the ending of "revenge of belial", so it wasn't ultimately doing anything all that new, but we'll set that aside today. [5])

even so, I still end up reverting to imagining how necrozma could communicate with people. it seems as if neither this show nor the games really explored this. and it also seems like kind of a mistake in-universe - though I still admit I haven't looked at it very closely, the plot of ultra sun/moon sure sounds like nobody in the history of poipole world ever took a moment to respect necrozma as a being with its own emotions and communication even after they flipped over to trying to help it. it seemed a bit like 'oh my god we want to get rid of this thing already'

meanwhile I'm over here looking at the show plot and how it's doing these subtler interactions with the lore because it wants to stay simple and straightforward (which is fine),
and I see this few seconds of 'so necrozma appeared and then light rained down from the sky and that was cool. on an absolutely, completely unrelated note, Z-crystals'
and I'm like. wow they really just made it not even implied any more that necrozma broke into a million fucking pieces in one moment and we can see the extent of the damage flying throughout the fucking sky. necrozma isn't even terribly big on this show. it must have lost like 10-15% of itself or something

(and the show plot itself doesn't leave me upset since they do more or less figure it out, but I do still find it a bit /funny/ that the alolan people on the show never appear to quite connect two and two about what Z-crystals are even after they fix necrozma. not a single person takes a single second to be horrified or 'well that's even cooler' or any other emotion, at least as far as I know)

so, necrozma has suffered actually a whole lot of damage and it's hard but not impossible for everyone to appreciate that.

but the other thing that may be true is it may create ecosystems in ultra space. [6]
as soon as it broke, the poipole world started losing all its grass and flowers and it was somewhat suggested the poipoles were all going to die. which brings up a really interesting question of, does necrozma have to be near poipole world all the time? or does it maybe drift through different parts of ultra space creating new ecosystems and perhaps leaving others in temporary 'night' until it comes back?
are there multiple necrozmas?
does it go through some kind of lifecycle of leaving cosmogs in places it drifts out of that eventually become solgaleo/lunala and in much more time another necrozma?

why were the ancient people of ultra space so mean to necrozma instead of cooperating with it.
it seems to maybe be able to understand its position as the thing most able to protect a poipole ecosystem. does it have the ability to select and talk to individual people who understand the more collective kind of perspective needed for necrozma and its 'citizens' to all look out for each other?
that would have been really convenient when the whole 'ancient evil org tries to take down necrozma' thing was going down.


so my new image of a 'necrozma trainer' is something more like Rei from the ultraman zero series - in a nutshell, he has a funny little space phone/remote he can control kaiju with, and is part of an entire small spaceship crew drifting through the ultraman universe and sometimes following zero into alternate universes. (ironically enough, I always felt like rei was meant to be copying Pokémon back into ultra series.) [7]

my brain fuzzily constructs this whole vague premise where some members of the ancient poipole world set off through ultra space and necrozma is their guide, almost a little like some kind of scifi computer assistant. (really, I glanced back over at the pokédex rotom that was oddly friendly and thought, 'yeah, kind of like that'.)
when the evil team attacked / entire government of poipole world soured / whatever it was happened, the broken necrozma communicated with these people and got them to form a small resistance that was able to sneak it onto their ship and put it in its own protective chamber;
now it appears in the form of a floating sort-of-wireframe wavy hologram, perhaps something like the head of its 'ultra'/complete form with this cloud of scattering "Z-crystals" fragmenting off the end of its neck.

the big catch is that necrozma can /only/ communicate in hologram pictures (or movements, or little dragon noises). whenever anybody asks it a question it answers in these sometimes even rather elaborate 'animations' of floating pictures.
sometimes it may create a "thumbs-up emoji" featuring an angular dragon hand, or a 2.5d clip art arrow pointing to a specific thing, or one duller thing crossed out with an X and one very bright thing that's the correct one, etc.

this premise suggests some kind of Coliseum-style game where the plot structure and reasons for fighting are different from the main Pokémon games. possibly throughout the game plot the crew would rack up Z-crystals from different ultra space worlds and the necrozma hologram would slowly inch toward being the entire 'ultra' necrozma.
I halfway imagine that the crew is helping residents of each world with miscellaneous things, some related to the evil forces from the initial incident, but many just kind of these random errands for people / ultra beasts not unlike the challenges in a Spyro game or something. most of the missions would involve pokémon battles, but maybe not every single one of them.

I just really like the idea of necrozma being the "pikachu". primarily a friend, able to emote in cute ways, the "rei" trainer lovingly pets the floating slightly-iridescent dragon head mesh and says things like, 'you're a killer animator, you know that?'

but maybe late in the story when necrozma is back to full size, there could be some kind of really dramatic battle where the evil forces have totally caught up and some fleet of terrifying ultimate weapons or an as-of-yet-unseen powerful legendary ultra beast appears and necrozma will help you fight them.
i immediately imagine that this isn't a normal pokémon battle and it's literally necrozma and the ultra-space ship versus the other thing or things much like in the rei/zero movies. though it could still just be an RPG battle considering that Final Fantasy games have had encounters on this kind of 'person/vehicle vs big machines' scale all the time. think like a horde battle but the "pokémon horde" is a group of hostile spaceships and the "rei" ship may be able to use different Z-moves based on its pokémon + crystals or something

(this sounds like the kind of fight that might have poor replayability to be honest, but I still love imagining really excessive boss encounters that go the extra mile with their concept to try and blow you away.)

I think the best part of this might be just the opportunity to have an entire 100-something wide pokédex of nothing but ultra beasts - the ones we know, and then a huge pile of new ones.
all of them having their own Abilities instead of Beast Boost, though these could be from an entirely new pool of ultra-space-specific Abilities. the important thing is that if any other 'ultra space' / 'not in regular dimensions' game ever existed it would also use these abilities for ultra beasts, even if regular games kept the convention of giving them Beast Boost.

one problem with that is the way ultra beasts currently work with each world full of just one of them, there might not be enough variety.
so even after shaking up the ultra beasts at least a little bit with a few alternate ones uncommonly appearing in each place, there might need to be some regular pokémon mixed back in somehow.

which might actually be part of what the plot would be.
the evil organisation in ultra space is kidnapping wild pokémon from regular spaces for its own use and you send them back home unless you particularly want them.

I could almost see it being like, they tried to harness necrozma to build their big bad weapon but it didn't work due to 'ultra' necrozma being more fragile than they thought, so now they're picking up regular pokémon everywhere to reduce to Ultra Aura / regular Aura / something.
-it occurs to me this is basically The Cluster but with pokémon Auras- [8]

I just think it's funny/amazing to imagine seeing a dumb science-fantasy story from the vantage point of the aliens where it's like 'oh my god you guys stop abducting people it's not a good thing to do' 'make us'.
it would be so much less stale than any usual evil organisation plot in Pokémon.

it could still be the case nobody individually catches pokémon in ultra space and the crew just kind of /recruits/ ultra beasts and regular pokémon to their crew. maybe people in ultra space have invented non-euclidean rooms that are way bigger on the inside and you just add some of these for extra pokémon to hang out in. their universal solution to the same problem as pokéballs is just these huge extra rooms sometimes also used for people, storage rooms, etc.

I think in practice, as you'd do these various challenges rescuing regular pokémon or rescuing distressed ultra beasts from regular pokémon causing trouble, etc,
(I'm imagining like, a garchomp got into the xurkitree world and is messing everything up and taking out xurkitrees with its ground-type moves. or perhaps occasionally the evil org has tossed /legendaries/ in there)
as you complete challenges and get Z-crystals, you'd probably have to make decisions.
necrozma needs a certain number of crystals to rebuild, but you also need to keep a few of them for the big spaceship fight, regular challenges, and whatever other uses ultra space may have come up with for Z-crystals that alola never thought of. (i feel like there are bound to be some.)
so just like you can send pokémon back home and there may be pros and cons to that, you have to decide whether to keep crystals or feed them to necrozma where basically that one is gone.

if you decide to refuse to give necrozma either attention or crystals there might be a bad ending where it breaks out of the ship and goes on a rampage.
this wouldn't be a sudden 'punishing the player' type of thing; there would be a long period of warning that necrozma is getting upset, and basically all you have to do to buy a bit more time is go interact with the holographic dragon head petting it / talking to it / whatever it is you can do. this particular necrozma is really hardy and can endure a lot as long as it knows somebody cares.
every single crystal also gives significantly more time than any of the interactions, so the bad ending is increasingly more unlikely once you've given it any crystals at all versus none.

so the bad ending would be almost more like something you'd go for intentionally.
there might be slight variations on it depending on where you were in the story, like if the evil org ships were already close by I see necrozma just making some very disappointed holograms at the "rei" ship below like a big X and a thumbs-down and then zooming off to try to break through the evil org ships and destroy the people inside. it might not even survive the attempt and just finally end up as a bunch of small black shards

so one ending is just "necrozma dies".
but on the flip side, if you rebuild necrozma and do things right, I'd guess at the end of their journey the "rei" crew comes back home to their original ultra space world and everybody on poipole world lives in harmony along with the complete necrozma. in defiance of the way this story ended in ultra sun/moon with the world in darkness and necrozma just kind of locked in the bad and naughty star tower.


little shreds of this concept were already swimming around in my head three years ago when somebody very jokingly brought up the idea of a pokémon game 'on the moon'.

I thought that if Pokémon absolutely "/had/ to have a game with an edgy post-apocalyptic setting", a gigantic spaceship with a bunch of different artificial biomes on it serving as an entire small pokémon region - in the kind of science fiction style explored on the Isaac Arthur youtube channel [9] - was a much more interesting way to do that "[than] practically anything else".
a post-apocalyptic pokémon region, but one geared at *hope for a new beginning*, where I specifically imagined some ridiculously powerful legendary pokémon destroying an entire world but its people trying their best to continue on.

I was trying to work ultra space worlds or necrozma into that but I didn't quite understand how either of those things worked, so it turned a bit nonsensical at that point.
the most I can salvage is because I didn't think the games had answered how necrozma got broken, I imagined there might be a /more/ powerful legendary it was fighting with. and that idea kind of came back in this round once I knew more things.
I think I like this year's idea a lot better than any of the little that I had about the "spaceship region".


so, yeah. that's the Pokémon Legends game /I'd/ want:
alternate story for how necrozma clashed with the ancient people of main-games!poipole-world but this time more successfully escaped.
I'm feeling some definite "Ultraman Saga" 'zero team fixes an unsuccessful timeline into the Good Ending' energy from this. (which to be clear is a good thing. that was a great movie) [10]

I think that the 'many people need to collectively fix necrozma' aspect of the show is actually really beautiful if you generalise it a little, and interpret necrozma as a being that isn't supposed to exist in isolation and mirrors the health of main-games!poipole-world, ending up broken because the society was breaking in some sense.
I like the notion of necrozma becoming the Plasma Spark over just a shallow joke that 'haha ultraman is villain of in-draft ultra q / Pokémon' when people (and/or ultra beasts) make of it what it really should be, even as that means it becoming or always being so many things a pokémon almost never is.

necrozma is /so much/.
it's a serious design in a game with mostly throwaway designs,
it's a difficult challenge in a game that insists on easy everything,
it's a puzzle presented to you in the main games that gets solved in a way that's never possible in the main games,
it's a damn sun that sits up in the sky and does absolutely nothing most pokémon usually do like get petted or eat berries or evolve or learn a new sport,
it's a hero that gave rise to a villain that became a hero that gave rise to a hero that became a villain that became a hero again,
it's seemingly a pacifist in its natural state in a game entirely about monster battles,
it's the only concept in Pokémon that takes the 'teams are required, everything is about teamwork' idea truly seriously while everything in the games feels like teamwork was arbitrarily tacked onto a fairly individual and linear game format,
it's Fantasy Communism in a series endlessly steeped in real capitalism.

I never expected necrozma would end up punking what Pokémon usually is /this much/.
it's as if Pokémon gave itself a challenge to create something that was as much as possible totally not what a pokémon is... and I ate that right up because that's my favourite thing Pokémon could do.
and knowing that I like it /even more/ than I did before.


last slightly-silly thought:
what would it be like if the "rei" trainer 'Legends' story, as a minor aspect of it, acted as an explanatory myth for why Z-moves are done and not going to be used any more. (in particular, not going to carry over into other non-Alola generations.)

many fans were probably already feeling like Z-moves were a sucky gimmick anyway, so why not just give them back to necrozma and then never have to deal with them again?

I think it's really funny to imagine a Pokémon series where, much like things like legendaries fusing with kyurem got repeated, it becomes a staple that each time it's discovered that the new gimmick is harming legendaries somehow therefore we should give it back, and that's the stated reason why the gimmick for each region doesn't come back in other generations.


1,2. necrozma pokédex info
5. sun/moon 89 notes - necrozma ending vs "revenge of belial" ending
6. sun/moon 90 notes - on necrozma's 'life history'
7. Rei - pay no attention to his team's morally-questionable mission, that's not part of the comparison.
8. The Cluster - steven universe 'character' (contains season 3 plot details)
9. Isaac Arthur channel
10. Ultraman Saga synopsis
n. sun/moon necrozma plot



re: 'ultra space adventure'


I hesitate to ever say there shouldn't be things like necrozma because they're some of the real highlights of the [Pokémon] series depending on what you're looking for in it. but at the same time ...
behind the Wizard of Oz curtain at game freak or the shopro associated studio or whatever other writing room there's full knowledge there's only a very finite amount of time in each generation of Pokémon before you have to start [other things] and leave all these highly interesting things behind unfinished.
...

'open world Pokémon'


my least favourite thing about the idea of being a 'Pokémon fan' ... would be this concept that games have to be a separation from the real world. ...
I've literally ... despite there being no 'gameplay' or 'immersion', wished Pokémon Go was as good of a game as the OpenStreetMap editor.
...