I am in one of those moods again. I thought about something relating to the Pokémon series that I thought I would share with you. Now I want to just go and talk about what I consider as the end game bosses in the Pokémon games and what that boss actually means to you. The first generation’s main boss is undoubtedly your rival who at the end is the champion. You are constantly challenging each other to prove once and for all that you are the best trainer and the game is based around you trying to grow stronger. Team Rocket mainly serve as a antagonist to help you grow stronger, but they are a core component of the story. Even in that game, the Master Ball is a cool trophy that you don’t need to use. Of course if you want to make an argument against this idea and say that Mewtwo would be the final boss, I just want to bring up the fact that it isn’t much of a boss encounter if you just Master Ball it anyway. Let’s just call it a bonus hidden boss or something. Anyway the game feels like the lead up is meant to be about becoming the champion. The second generation mainly focuses on you trying to finish what your character from the first game started by finishing the Pokédex for real this time and proving that you can surpass him. Look the champion fight is fine in that generation, but it doesn’t not have the same impact as challenging Red. Again the legendary Pokémon are a sideshow and the main act is fighting to become the best, but you can’t really become the best by beating the champion because that isn’t the true champion. Red is the true champion fight and its a good fight too, so it makes sense that he is the final boss. You follow in his footsteps by putting an end to Team Rocket again, defeat the champion, follow his path to beating his rival and eventually defeating him. This works for me. Now, onto Generation III.
Generation III is a generation I have talked about in the past and talked about how I enjoy the battle systems and all that. I think it is definitely one of the better generations out there. It even has a pretty good champion fight against Steven, one of the more difficult champions to beat in my opinion. The problem is that I feel as though he is somewhat lacking as a final boss, not out of any fault of his own. First off, the fact that you have a father in the game is criminally underutilized. I think it could of made for a more interesting story investing more effort in the fact that you surpass your father as a trainer. That isn’t really a big issue though. The problem is the escalation of conflict. You end up performing incredible feats that end up saving the world from destruction, or at the very least the region and so resuming trainer battles after having defeated a legendary Pokémon seems a bit strange. Considering how high the stakes were raised you would think that the battle with the legendary Pokémon would be more meaningful, but no it can just be ignored. The next generation does something similar except it is even worse since they raised the stakes even higher by having a bunch of deities show up that you fight and then you just act as though you aren’t already the best trainer in the region because you only have seven gym badges. Don’t get me wrong, Cynthia is a good fight, but as far as I am aware she is not a god. Generation V did things better because it integrated the legendary battle more with the story and not just make it a sideshow. You build up your team and N acts as a true rival to you and you have a climatic battle only for Ghetsis to reveal his master plan and try to stop you once and for all. Also becoming champion is more meaningful because that is your way of showing the path you chose in your journey. It is symbolic of your growth as a character to become the best trainer. Well done. Then the sequels came out and decided to throw most of the clever storytelling out the window. Great.
Generation VII had another interesting storyline, well actually it was more like two interesting storylines depending on which game you played. The original games are more about your focus on going through the trials and the Pokémon League feels like a bonus that is tacked on for fun at the end. The real boss battle is the fight with Lusamine and her Pokémon after she has fused with her Ultra-Beast. They do a better job of making the story more relevant by having Lillie be with you from the start to give her more importance and make the final boss battle against her mother more meaningful. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon take things a step further by having a final boss actually be a Pokémon for once as you have to fight Necrozma and his multiple forms before finally saving the whole region, which is pretty cool. They have that nice little mini episode at the end which has all the villains from previous generations challenging you through the power of the wormholes, but that is more of a sidequest rather than anything. Although if you did consider Giovanni as a hidden boss, I wouldn’t be opposed to it. I just can’t accept him as a final boss since he has barely anything to do with the story until the post-game. Overall, Generation VII did very well at making boss encounters feel like actual final encounters. Now, Generation VIII had an opportunity for that. It sort of worked. The final boss was hyped up from the beginning to be the champion Leon. I totally can roll with that. We’re rivals with his little brother so there is at least some connection there are they give us good anticipation for that fight. So why did they kill that momentum with that last minute villain plotline with that dude randomly being evil and Leon failing to stop Eternatus? The whole thing about Leon that made him cool was that he was undefeated, so it kind of kills the suspense when I manage to handle the beast he couldn’t tame because of my legendary plot armor. Yes, I own Pokémon Shield in case that joke didn’t make it obvious. I’m just saying they kind of dropped the ball on that one. Maybe the Eternatus fight should have been after the battle. Honestly, I think more Pokémon boss battles would be cool in the series. So far that has mainly come up in the spin-off series which is a shame. Maybe Gen IX might deliver on that but who knows. Alright, that about wraps up my thoughts. Hmm… I sort of feel like I forgot something. Oh well. Whatever it was, I’m sure it was nothing important. Bye now.