You are about to enter a world not just of sight and sound but of Mon’s. A world where the boundaries of reality are not as solid as they may appear. A place where fantastic creatures from beyond our current dimension roam, and where time itself is fractured. Our destination? The Pokemon Zone.
What’s Up designers, and Welcome back to Rempton Games. I’ll just cut to the chase — although it may seem like a simple fantasy game for kids, the world of Pokemon is actually a complex web of secret dimensions, alternate timelines, and parallel universes. While there is a lot we can piece together from the information in the games and other official sources, there are also many things we don’t know about this multiverse. Today, I want to dig into everything that we know about the Pokemon Multiverse, and speculate on some of the mysteries still remain unsolved.
From the very beginning, the existence of version differences between different Pokemon games could be seen as hints that Pokemon exists in a multiverse. Why else would you only be able to find Vulpix in Blue version, but Growlithe in Red version? One reason could be that these games actually take place in two separate timelines where everything is pretty much the same, but some key details are changed. Or it’s just a gameplay gimmick to get people to play with their friends and trade Pokemon back and forth, and maybe buy more games.
Besides the often overlooked fact that the generation 2 games actually allow players to send their Pokemon BACK IN TIME, Gold and Silver don’t really do much additional to expand upon the Pokemon multiverse. Where things get harder to ignore, however, is in Generation 3. The version differences between Ruby and Sapphire go far beyond which Pokemon you can catch. In Ruby version team Magma awakens Groudon, who terrorizes the Hoenn region with harsh sunlight and droughts. Sapphire Version has the player encountering Kyogre, who threatens to flood the region with a downpour of rain. These two games came out at the same time and are equally “canon”, but they clearly cannot coexist in the same universe.
Despite the glaring differences between the mainline Generation 3 games, however, the existence of different Pokemon dimensions wouldn’t be 100% confirmed until the Generation 4 games — or specifically, Pokemon Platinum. In this game, for the very first time the player actually gets to enter one of these alternate dimensions — the distortion world, home of the legendary Giratina. The distortion world is a strange, alien place where the laws of physics are very different from our world, and the only inhabitant is Giratina. While the distortion world may not directly confirm alternate timelines or parallel universes, it does show that multiple dimensions do exist in the Pokemon world.
What I think REALLY drives home the existence of parallel universes within Pokemon is Generation 5 — Pokemon Black and White. In these games it isn’t just Pokemon that are different, or the fact that different events happen between the two games, that make this idea clear. It’s the fact that the very Unova region itself has stark differences between the two games. Black City and White Forest are entire locations that are completely exclusive to one version or the other. Opelucid City can be found in both games, but this city is completely different from one game to the next.
In addition to further solidifying the split between different Pokemon universes, Generation 5 also introduces players to a second different dimension — the Dream World. This dimension appears in a game fitting called “Pokemon Dream World”. In this game players can literally enter the dreams of Pokemon, and can even bring Pokemon and items from the dream world back to the real world. This shows that the Dream World doesn’t just exist in the imaginations of sleeping Pokemon, but is an actual location of some sort.
Not only that, but in “Pokemon Dream Radar” players can also enter the “interdream zone”, which is described as a space between dreams and reality. In this world the player shoots energy at dream clouds to collect dream orbs, but can also encounter the legendary Pokemon Landorus, Thundurus, and Tornadus by shooting stormy clouds. In fact, in gen 5 this is the only way to find these Pokemon in their “therian” forms.
Generation 6 takes the concept of alternate timelines even further by splitting the Pokemon games into two different universes — one in which AZ used the Ultimate weapon to end a war 3000 years ago and created the Mega Stones, and one in which he didn’t. All of the games so far took place in the latter universe, while the Gen 6 and 7 games take place in the former. In this former universe, which I’ll call “the megaverse”, certain species of Pokemon are capable of undergoing Mega evolution with the power of energy-infused mega stones.
This split in the timeline isn’t made entirely clear in X and Y, but it is STRONGLY implied in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire — specifically, in the Delta Episode. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are remakes of Ruby and Sapphire, but they differ in a number of important ways — the most obvious being the presence of Mega Evolution and Primal Reversion, but also including things like Archie’s character design or Mauville City. This would already be enough evidence to support the idea that these games are an alternate-universe version of Ruby and Sapphire, but we also have this quote from Zinnia, a character who appears in the post-game. In the Delta Episode a meteor is hurtling towards the Hoenn region, and scientists from the Mossdeep Space Center want to use infinity energy (the same energy used in the ultimate weapon) to stop it. When Zinnia hears about this plan, here is how she responds:
“That is an impressive machine. Snap your fingers, the asteroid vanishes, and we all live happily ever after? This thing is the best hope we have of saving this planet and everything on it. But you know….It could also be the worst tragedy imaginable for some other world and everything on it….”
“My people know it. From generation to generation, we pass along the lore about the distortions in the world borne by the Mega Evolution mechanism. And about the existence of another world, which we have long observed to be just like this one and yet not the same….That’s right. A Hoenn region that’s almost exactly like this one we live in. Filled with Pokemon and people like us. A world where maybe the evolution of Pokemon took a slightly different path, where Mega Evolution is unknown….A world where that war 3,000 years ago…never happened. A world where the Ultimate Weapon was never even built. And in that Hoenn of that world…what would happen if one day, out of the blue, a meteoroid appeared? What would happen to the people of that world, without the technology to destroy the meteoroid or the power to warp it away?”
The alternate Hoenn Zinnia is referring to is clearly the world of the original Ruby and Sapphire, which proves that not only Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire but also X and Y must take place in a completely different universe from those games.
However, we still aren’t done with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. In the post-game the player can encounter most of the Legendary Pokemon from the first six generations by interacting with various different types of portals. Some of these portals are rings created by the mythical Hoopa, who has the power to teleport in space with it’s rings. Most of the legendary Pokemon are encountered this way, and it’s entirely possible that these hoops don’t actually connect to another dimension, but simply another location in the same Pokemon world. Palkia and Dialga, on the other hand, are battled by flying through tears in reality itself, which strongly implies that the locations of those battles are outside of the main universe of the game. In addition, Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus can be fought by flying into storm clouds — the same types of clouds they can be found inside in the interdream zone. This implies that these clouds may actually be portals to the interdream zone.
Despite all of that interdimensional craziness in the Gen 6 games, however, Gen 7 might be the games that play with Pokemon’s parallel universes the most. For one thing, Pokemon introduces Ultra Space — an alternate dimension (or possibly several), where strange creatures called Ultra Beasts can be found. These ultra beasts are so unusual that at first players weren’t even sure if they were Pokemon or not, and they were invading the Alola region through ultra wormholes that appeared in the sky. During the climax of the game the player even gets the chance to go through one of these wormholes themselves and enter one of the ultra space dimensions — specifically the home of a parasitic glass jellyfish called Nihilego.
While introducing interdimensional Pokemon is cool, it’s Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon that really took all everything Pokemon had done with alternate timelines and dimensions, and ran with it. For one thing, these games are obviously alternate dimension versions of the events of Sun and Moon, where similar but conflicting things happen. Neat, but we’ve seen that before in Pokemon. However, these games do two really cool things that Pokemon has never done before.
First, these games really let the players explore Ultra Space. Not just a little part of it, not just as a single event, but as a core feature of the game, the player is able to fly through ultra space on the back of Lunala or Solgaleo and enter a whole bunch of parallel dimensions by entering various portals.
This single mechanic actually contains a ton of stuff to talk about and speculate over, but I’m going to save most of that for a future video. For now, I only want to mention 3 things. First, in these portals the players can encounter not just Ultra beasts, but also regular Pokemon and Legendary Pokemon. Very intriguing. Second, one of the worlds players can go to, the Ultra Ruin, appears to be a post-apocalyptic version of the Alola region. Third, by travelling through an ultra wormhole at the Altar of the Sunne or Altar of the Moone, the player can actually hop universes to a parallel timeline!
One feature of Pokemon Sun and Moon, and their Ultra versions, is that their clocks don’t line up. When it is daytime in one version it is night-time in the other, and vice-versa. The wormhole in the Ultra games basically allow you to hop from Sun version into Moon version and back again, where not only will the time be offset but certain details, like the name of the Lake of the Sunne or Moone, will be changed. This not only confirms that Sun and Moon exist in parallel universes from eachother, but let players cross between them. How cool is that!
But the Ultra games aren’t even done yet! In the postgame the player must defeat “Rainbow Rocket”, an evil team made up of villains from previous games such as Giovanni and Cyrus. The insane thing about this team though, is that all of these villains have been pulled through Ultra Wormholes from alternate dimensions where their plans succeeded (because the player wasn’t around to stop them).
Unfortunately, the most recent games — Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee and Sword and Shield, haven’t really expanded on the parallel universe ideas yet. The Let’s Go games seem to be a megaverse version of Pokemon Yellow, and due to the absence of mega evolution in Sword and Shield we can’t even be sure which universe those games take place in. There is some mention of Dynamax energy allowing Pokemon to distort space, but all in all these games don’t really tell us anything new.
So what do we currently know about the Pokemon Multiverse? Well, we know that the Pokemon world consists of at least 3 dimensions — the main dimension of the games, the distortion world, and the dream world. We know that the timeline is split into two major parts — the megaverse with mega evolution, and the original universe without. We also know that there must be other splits in the timeline to explain things like the different events in Ruby and Sapphire, the different landscapes of Black and White, and the time differences of Sun and Moon, and the universes that the villains of Rainbow Rocket came from.
However, there is still a whole lot we don’t know for sure. What is Ultra Space? Is it a different dimension, or a place that exists within our current universe? What caused the other splits in the Pokemon timeline? Why can we find regular Pokemon inside the ultra wormholes, and where did Pokemon actually come from? And that isn’t to mention other Pokemon mysteries, such as who really came first — Arceus or Mew? And can we really trust the Pokedex?
If you want answers to those questions as much as I do, make sure to leave a like and subscribe so you don’t miss future Pokemon theory videos. Let me know what unsolved Pokemon mysteries you would like to see, and tell me your theories in the comments down below. And join me next time for something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time — an online gaming trivia gameshow! Until then, thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you next time.
Originally published at https://remptongames.com on March 18, 2021.