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Article Pokémon Historia #01: Hoenn's Legendaries of the Land, Sea, and Sky!

Discussion in 'Pokémon General' started by Absolute Zero, Nov 12, 2015.

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  1. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Level 19
    Mar 17, 2015
    Welcome to the first chapter of my new educational series of Pokémon and its origins and relationships with our world: Pokémon Historia! Each installation of this series will cover another Pokémon, group of Pokémon, concept from the games, or really anything else from the Pokémon world that connects to life on planet Earth, past and present (and maybe even some future)! Comments, suggestions, and collaborations are always welcome, but for now: sit back, relax, grab a drink, maybe even learn something new about the most famous Legendary Pokémon from Hoenn!


    What were the first new Pokémon you saw after leaving the monochrome lands of Kanto and Johto? For me it was Kyogre and Groudon, those two exquisite beasts gracing the covers of the newest Pokémon games I saw waiting for me in the videogame shop at the mall. I didn't know yet that they, along with their sibling Rayquaza, represent the creation and maintenance of the physical planet of the Pokémon World, especially Hoenn itself, which seems to be divided equally among their three reigns: Kyogre's power over the seas, Groudon's rule of the land, and Rayquaza's dominion over the skies. After all, what other region has as much oceanic presence as Hoenn, and where else can we soar through the sky instead of thoughtlessly warp-fly between cities? Just like the Pokémon World, though, we have our own legends. Every human to walk the earth has borne witness to the land and sky, and many have seen the sea too, and pondered the clear divisions of the world, how rarely these three places share territory.

    These three beasts of Hoenn have two main roles: They're the mightiest being in their environment, and they're also in command of how their environment works. The first of those is strikingly similar to three beasts that appear in ancient texts all over the ancient near- and middle-east, though mostly in Hebrew legends: Behemoth, Leviathan, and Ziz. They were designed by their creator to be the mightiest beast of the land, sea, or sky respectively; so magnificent none other could duplicate them, and so powerful that none other could tame them. To put this into Pokémon perspective, let's run with the idea that Arceus created most of the Legendary Pokémon, not just the Sinnoh Spacetime and Lake trios. What we're getting here is that Arceus made Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza as the number-one supreme Pokémon of the sea, land, or sky. Quite frankly, Arceus did a good job of that. When is the last time you saw Relicanth defeat Kyogre, or Aggron beat Groudon, or Swablu overcome Rayquaza? Not only are these three among the largest and most massive Pokémon around, but nearly the most powerful too. We can expect these three to keep their thrones for a while to come.

    Half a sea away to a completely separate culture, the Greeks observed a similar pattern to the world that the Hebrews did and recorded an account of events in their own history which tells a story with a similar emphasis on the Hoenn trio's role as rules of their respective domains, not just the mightiest denizen. One of the most significant figures of the Primordial Greek Gods is Cronus, the youngest of the elder Titans, serving as a patron of agriculture and harvest (something which requires fertile land, plentiful water, and clean air; but I digress). Cronus had six children: three daughters and three sons. While the daughters are important in their own rights, we find our parallels to the Hoenn legends in the sons: Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Once Zeus deposed his father Cronus as the ruling figure of the Pantheon, the dominion over the planet was split among him and his brothers. Hades got control of the underworld within land, Poseidon got control of the world's oceans and seas, while Zeus, the self-proclaimed new leader of the gods, got control of the sky and heavens. Do you remember my parallel to Arceus bringing forth our Hoenn legends to the Pokémon world? Imagine if sometime after those three were created, they and some of their friends teamed up to take down Arceus and claim the world as their own. Not only that, but Rayqua-Zeus stepped up to be the leader and to keep peace among the other new rulers. That part sounds almost too familiar to those of us who played Emerald.

    Beyond these legends of gods and monsters with domain over the land and sea is another natural phenomenon, a war that rages on even today. As Deerling and Sawsbuck assure us, there are four distinct seasons over much of the Pokémon planet, but what about the tropics? Axial tilt isn't significant enough near the equator to cause a drastic change in temperature or length of day, but there is another climate tug-of-war every year: the wet season and the dry season. Although the tropics themselves are mostly unaffected by the axial tilt seasons, their neighboring regions are affected, and the interactions of their air currents cause a distinct rainy season and dry season even where the four calendar seasons are negligible. Kyogre is known to bring rain with its presence, and Groudon brings harsh and unrelenting heat, while Rayquaza's air currents bring an end to each and allow the other to take over. And the cycle continues, the war between Kyogre and Groudon never really ending. Next time you play Emerald and are stuck in rapidly-changing extreme weather patterns, keep in mind that it's not so different from what a pretty sizable percent of the world lives through on a regular basis. The only thing is, they can't quite call on Rayquaza to bring some consistently nice weather, so you Hoennians out there should count yourselves lucky.

    There you have it: maybe it's true that we all live in a Pokémon world. And it's not just the gods who accompany humans that have laid their marks on Pokémon: next time we might learn about why the great philosopher Lao-Tzu would just love what we found in Unova, or maybe how humans are evolving right alongside Pokémon. Perhaps how Chinese superstition can help you and me predict one third of the starters for the next few Generations of Pokémon? Let me know what you think below, and I'll see you next time in Pokémon Historia.

    http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/File:Weather_trio.png -- The header image used above, retrieved from Bulbapedia, where is was posted in fair use.

    http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/9841-leviathan-and-behemoth — A thorough, multi-sourced compilation of the legends regarding Leviathan and Behemoth, though with only brief mention of Ziz, who may have been introduced to the developing legend at a later time.

    http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Haides.html#Titanes — Yet another exhaustive and collaborative collection of classic legends, this page in particular gives the short version of how Zeus and his brothers took down their father as well as uncles and aunts, and how they each took dominion over their respective parts of the world. For the long story, check out the Iliad and other Greek classics.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropics#Seasons_and_climate — A little more clearing up about why tropical regions of Earth don't have the same seasons as those beyond 23.5 degrees north and south. Good to have this kind of knowledge available anyhow, so you don't get tricked into packing winter clothes for your trip to Lima or Djibouti just because it's January or July.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LandSeaSky — So many other places to see the same influential division of parts of the world. Just don't click any links, okay? It's an endless labyrinth of junkfood for the brain, as tasty and addictive and filling and wonderful as junkfood is.
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  2. shinygiratinaz

    shinygiratinaz Boats Against the Current

    Dec 18, 2013
    Wow. I wouldn't even think about half of the stuff here, even the Greek ties. This was an awesome article to read, and nice job with sourcing there. The stuff about climate was also something I was wondering about, though given there's not much data (at least that I've seen) about how each region relates in location to the others I didn't really have much of a basis for climate anyways.

    I really can't wait to read the next one! :O
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