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Why It Would Really Suck To Live In The Pokemon World

For over 20 years, gamers have been dreaming of what it would be like to live in the world of Pokémon. At first glance, it sounds awesome. You get to have Bulbasaur who can be your best friend while also evolving into a giant flower dinosaur that can shoot laser beams; most major cities are within walking distance of each other; and if you need a little spare cash, you can always just wander around outside until some bright-eyed youngster walks by thinking that his Rattata can actually win a fight.


If you really think about it, though, life in this strange place would actually be pretty terrible. From the endless nightmare of being watched by every seemingly inanimate object you encounter to the very real possibility that your soul could wind up tormented for eternity as a child's plaything, here are just a few of the many reasons it would really suck to live in the Pokémon world.

It's impossible to figure out what to eat

Food is one of humanity's most basic needs, but in the world of Pokémon, eating a meal is way more complicated than just figuring out what kind of takeout you want. See, our society has basically decided that for those of us who eat meat, some animals are okay to eat, and some—like the kinds we keep as pets—definitely aren't. So how do you figure out what to eat when literally every animal is not only something that you could potentially keep as a pet, but is also something intelligent enough to communicate with you and say its own name?


And the most messed-up part? The people in that universe straight up do not care. Farfetch'd has been hunted to near extinction because it tastes so good, and even carries around its own garnish in the form of a leek.

Sure, you might think you could get around it by going vegetarian, but in the world of Pokémon, even that's no guarantee that you won't be chowing down on something with hopes and dreams. This is a world where common foods like berries and mushrooms could turn out to be living animals, and where Pokémon like Vanillite make sure that you can't even enjoy dessert without wondering if you accidentally ate someone's pet. Even if you're just sitting there chewing on grass and fistfuls of dirt, there's no guarantee that Professor Oak won't show up at the start of a new generation and announce that he's just discovered two new pals: Grassblade and Dirtclod. Seriously, how many Foongus and Oddish do you think were chopped up for salads before anyone noticed they had faces?


You're always being watched

Let's say you've found yourself in the Pokémon world. Awesome, right? You've got Charmander to hang out with, the battles are going well, and you've even got a date: a candlelit dinner at a table decorated with flowers. It turns out, though, that the candles are actually Litwick, and the flowers are a bunch of Sunflora, and their cheerful (and in Litwick's case, soul-draining) faces make it a little hard to concentrate on romance. You wind up getting so nervous you spill your drink and excuse yourself to throw your shirt in the washing machine. 


The washing machine is Rotom. You start to realize that these Pokémon are everywhere in your house, and it makes you want a cold drink to calm down. But the refrigerator is also Rotom. And so's the microwave. You get so freaked out that you grab your phone charger and leave, but wait, no, that's actually just Charjabug.

For your next date, you decide to get out of the house, so you and your sweetheart head out for a good time at the beach. It's a hot day, so you try to cool off in the shade of a tree that turns out to be a Sudowoodo with a nice ice cream cone that's actually a Vanillish. Maybe you can take your mind off of Pokémon by checking out a cool sand castle — nope, that's Palossand—or heading to the nearby carnival to get a balloon—nope, that's Drifloon.


At this point, you really freak out. Pokémon are everywhere, always watching! You take off from the beach, almost tripping over a rock (Geodude) as you run. You turn down a back alley, trying to catch your breath next to a puddle and a bag of trash, before realizing they're actually Muk and Trubbish. It's too much. Your only choice is to scare them away, so you grab the nearest weapon you can find—oops, that was Honedge. Finally, Officer Jenny arrives to talk you down, and you wind up locked up in a nice, peaceful room. Just you and your shadow.

Your shadow is actually Gengar.

The entire economy is based on the exploitation of sentient animals

Given that we're calling it "The Pokémon World," it's probably not surprising that the entire society is built around humans interacting with Pokémon—and when we say "the entire society," we mean it. Even if you look past all the trainers and gym leaders, you can find Pokémon everywhere, from Timburr and Gurdurr working at construction sites to Chansey working as a nurse. Every single industry is built around Pokémon, which makes sense. If you could just wander out into the tall grass and find a living Tesla coil, you'd probably figure out how to monetize it, too.


The problem is obvious: they're living beings that, if Meowth is any indication, have the same level of intelligence as human beings. Yet there they are, either toiling away in thankless jobs, punching each other out on the street, or being locked away in Pokéballs at some dusty P.C. Even if you can get past Mr. Mime working as a silent, unpaid domestic servant despite being in that terrifying uncanny valley of seeming almost-but-not-quite human, that's a pretty uncomfortable aspect of life to get past.  

If you're a Pokémon trainer, you have to fight constantly

Obviously, if you're going to live in the Pokémon world, you're going to want to be a Pokémon trainer. It's the entire point of the franchise, getting out there and catching them all, rather than being stuck in Palette Town with a Rattata and a part-time job at the Pokémart.


If you've ever played the games, though, you know that life would be exhausting. One of the first things you always learn in every game is that if you so much as look at another Trainer, you absolutely have to battle. There's no getting around it. You could be on vacation, heading home after a long, hard day at work, or even literally eating dinner, and the second you make eye contact with some ten year-old, you have to drop everything and send your pet rat out there for a fistfight. And if you lose? Open up the ol' wallet, pal, because it's time to pay the winner.

Under normal circumstances, this wouldn't be much of a problem. Pokémon trainers curiously seem to all be found in groups around the same level, so you'd probably break even over enough battles. Every now and then, though, some ten year-old who's been grinding for hours in the tall grass, leaving a couple hundred Pidgeys in their wake, is going to show up with some mythical fire bird that burns with the intensity of a volcano and lay waste to your entire life. And all you wanted to do was ride the subway home from work.


Long distance travel is a hassle

One of the nicer things about the world of the Pokémon games is that everything's very walkable. Most cities are only separated by a single short route, and even if it's lined with trainers itching for a battle, it doesn't take long to head from the peace of a quiet village to the excitement of a bustling big city. If you get tired of walking or want to go further than just a couple towns over, though? The whole thing becomes a major hassle.


Cars exist in the Pokémon world, but they're pretty rare. There's some public transportation, but they seem to mostly travel in circles while serving as the arena for endless battles. The most common method of transportation is a bicycle, but good luck getting one—the Miracle Cycle shop in Kanto sells them for a staggering 1,000,000 Poké-dollars, which is actually more than it's even possible to acquire in the game. Now you know why Misty was so mad when Ash blew hers up.

Of course, it's a whole lot easier to get around with Pokémon that know moves like Fly or Surf, but again, getting to the point where you can use them is a lot harder than it looks. First, you have to find and catch a Pokémon who can actually do the move, then you have to find the move itself so that you can teach them, and then you have to beat a gym leader to get a badge that lets you actually use them outside of a battle. That's a whole lot of steps just to fly to Viridian City to see grandma at Christmas, and having to hold onto a foot-tall, four-pound Spearow while it flies you across a continent with all your luggage sounds like it might actually be worse than flying Basic Economy in the real world.


Organized crime is on a whole other level

One of the Pokémon world's defining characteristics is that it's absolutely packed with criminal organizations, and that's worrying for a whole lot of reasons. Sure, we have plenty of crime in the real world, but imagine a world where everyone around you was walking around with the ability to summon up to six living flamethrowers, tasers, or creatures that could literally burn your soul away and leave your body as a lifeless husk. Now make a good percentage of them career criminals who want to kidnap your pets. Now try to go about your day without constantly freaking out every time someone looked at you.


And that whole "kidnap your pets" thing? That's the best-case scenario. While Team Rocket has always been content to devote their energy to stealing Pikachu, they are by far the least threatening gang you're going to encounter in the Pokémon world with the possible exception of the Alola Region's Team Skull.

Hoenn's Team Aqua wants to destroy a volcano with a meteorite and sink the entire region under the waves of a rising sea. Unova's Team Plasma is bent on good old-fashioned world domination. Team Galactic, in the Sinnoh Region, wants to literally destroy the universe and remake it in their own image. That's next-level super-villain stuff, and it's happening all the time. But hey, on the bright side, it seems like they're always hiring.


There are wars, and war is hell

One of the most enduring fan theories about the Pokémon World is that the games take place not too long after a massive war, and one of the reasons it has such a foothold among fans is that there's actually some canonical support for it. When you encounter Lt. Surge, the Gym Leader in Vermilion City, he makes multiple references to "the war," starting with how his electric-type Pokémon saved his life in battle. When you meet up with him later in the next generation, though, he takes it a step further by telling you that he'll "zap you just like I do all my enemies in battle!"


The implications of this are truly horrifying. War is bad enough here in the real world, but Surge's references to battle indicate that his world takes all that horror and throws in cute animals who can spit fire and slice people up with razor-sharp leaves for good measure. The thought of a battlefield where humans and Pokémon alike are subject to everything from poisonous acid falling from the sky to devastating psychic attacks that can shatter the mind is harrowing, and that it's an actual fact of history in the Pokémon world means that it's the kind of thing you can't really avoid hearing about.

And now you know why they still call them "monsters."

Ghosts are real and your soul is in constant danger

Here's the thing about Ghost Pokémon: that's not just a name for the type. They are actual ghosts, possessed with supernatural powers that are responsible for some of the Pokédex's most horrifying entries. Litwick and Lampent burn the spirits of the dead with their flames. Drifloon is full of the souls of children it has abducted. Palossand devours your body and buries your bones within itself to grow more powerful. Shedinja has a portal that leads straight to hell in its back, which, if you use it in battle, is always facing you.


Now, depending on your personal opinion of the supernatural and your willingness to risk having your soul devoured in order to encounter a ghost, this might not be a bad thing. But then you get to Yamask. See, according to the 'Dex, Yamask is not only a ghost, it's the ghost of a human, doomed forever to stare at a mask depicting their human face, sobbing endlessly about what they've become.

That's bad, but what's even worse is that since they're Pokémon, Yamask are often caught by trainers. So enjoy living out the rest of eternity as a misshapen spirit, staring at your own face, left forgotten in a tiny ball owned by a ten year-old.

Children possess the power of literal gods

Even among the Legendary Pokémon—unique, super-powerful monsters that the plots of the games tend to revolve around—Arceus stands out. According to its in-game description, it hatched from an egg that appeared in the void, and then used its thousand arms to create the world and everything in it. In other words, it's the closest thing the Pokémon world has to God, a creator deity of unfathomable power. Also you can get one and use it to beat up Team Rocket if you want.


Admittedly, it's not easy. Unlike lesser gods like Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina—who control time, space, and antimatter, respectively—Arceus wasn't actually available to catch in the games. Instead, players had to wait for special events to get one of their own, but honestly? Getting the power of the Creator of All Things as a giveaway from Nintendo is a pretty good reward for waiting around. A while.

If, however, you were living within the Pokémon world, then you definitely wouldn't have access to real-world events. Instead, the only people who would be granted the kind of limitless power that comes with mastery over Arceus—and Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, for that matter—would be the children who were journeying to become Pokémon masters. And if that doesn't horrify you, give literally anything valuable you own to a ten year-old and see how long it takes them to destroy it.


Three-foot bees

Beedrill is a bee with drills for hands. Its height is 3'03".

Vespiqueen is a giant bee who shoots smaller bees and grubs out of her torso at you if you get close. She is even bigger.

No amount of honey is worth that.