It seems like every year we get a new Pokemon game – or two. Since 1998, we’ve had approximately 24 games released in the core series, which is not only comprised of dual versions (ie: Red/Blue, Gold/Silver, etc); but also amalgam games (ie: Yellow, Crystal, Emerald), direct sequels (ie: Black & White 2) and remakes (FireRed/Leaf Green, etc). It’s hard to imagine all of these games – sometimes with conflicting stories – could be part of the same universe. Though with many games making references to past installments – such as how Gen 1’s protagonist appears in Gen 2 as the Pokemon League Champion – there must be some shared universe… or rather, Multiverse.
This is exactly what Pokmeon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire (ORAS) and its post game The Delta Episode confirms. So what is a Multiverse? How does it fit into/explain all the various Pokemon games? What’s the evidence for all of this? These questions and more shall be answered as I turn my analytical skills away from Film & Television and into the deep recesses of
*WARNING: Everything that follows holds massive Spoilers for Pokemon ORAS and The Delta Episode.*
What Is A Multiverse?
Put VERY simply, the ‘Multiverse Theory’ states that there is an infinite – or finite – amount of parallel universes that exist outside of our own. The idea behind this basically feels that if the universe is infinite, then sooner or later it must start repeating at some point since the number of ways particles and events can be arranged is finite. So at some point, there’d be someone who looks like you. At another point, there’d be someone who looks AND acts like you. And further down the line, there could be someone who looks and acts like you; but decided to wear a hat this morning.
Now that last example is a little hyperbolic; and I’m nowhere near equipped to run through ALL the repercussions and hints at a Multiverse in our own universe. So what you should take away from this section is that the Multiverse Theory claims that there are various other worlds in which things took a path slightly different from our own world (ie: American Colonies never won independence from Britain, WWII never happened, etc).
The Delta Episode Confirms Multiverse – Zinnia’s Revelation :
In Pokmeon ORAS, the post game sequence known as The Delta Episode reveals a ridiculous amount of information about the Pokemon Universe; but for this article we’ll only concentrate on one revelation – Multiverse. So let’s set the scene! In order to stop a massive six-mile wide asteroid from decimating all life on the planet, scientists at the Mossdeep Space Center plan on using something called Infinity Energy to teleport the Meteor away. This is when Zinnia – one of The Delta Episode’s antagonists – appear and claims that saving the world like this could be “the worst tragedy imaginable for some other world”.
My people know it. From generation to generation, we pass along the lore about the distortions in the world … 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 Pokémon and people like us. A world where maybe the evolution of Pokémon 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? – Zinnia
Now Zinnia also seems to be hinting at a connection between Mega Evolution and the Kalos Genocide Machine – part of the Pokemon XY story -; but that’s a huge article for another time. The main point here is that there is another version of Hoenn out there that doesn’t know of Mega Evolution or massive Meteorites that strike every millennium. So to put it simply and prepare us for the next segment of this article: Zinnia is saying that saving the world of Pokemon ORAS could destroy the world of Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald – the Generation 3 games that Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire are remakes of.
Okay, so thanks to Zinnia’s speech at the Mossdeep Space Center, we can say – at the VERY least – that the Pokemon games prior to Pokemon XY (Red/Blue-> Black/White 2) exist in a world separate from Pokemon ORAS & XY because they lack Mega Evolution. Now this isn’t to say that the Kalos Region doesn’t exist in the ‘Pre Pokemon XY Universe’. For example, Johto (Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal) might not have been mentioned in the original Kanto-centered Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow; but we later learned that the two regions existed side by side divided by The Indigo Plateau. Similarly, Kalos exists in the Pre Pokemon XY Universe; but the Kalos Genocide Weapon – or whatever is responsible for Mega Evolution – does not.
Further Evidence For Pokemon Multiverse:
That’s one fragmented universe; but as the original Multiverse Theory states, there could be an infinite number of parallel worlds out there. Now there’s no way I can prove infinite; but Pokemon ORAS does reveal the presence of more than just a World Without Mega Evolution (pre Pokemon XY) and a World With Mega Evolution (post Pokmeon XY). In fact, this evidence will not only make this game make sense; but also help explain ALL previous Pokemon games.
Once you’ve completed The Delta Episode and head to The Battle Resort, you will bump into Team Aqua – or whichever team was trying to help you during the events of the game. So in Omega Ruby, you will bump into Archie (the Leader of Team Aqua) and two of his Admins. After a brief catching up, Archie will wonder if things could have happened differently. Could there be a world out there where instead of Maxie and Team Magma trying to revive Primal Groudon, Archie and his team tried to revive Primal Kyogre. As you know – or can imagine – this world does exist and it is the world of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.
This conversation with Archie clears up years of confusion and conflicting game stories. Pokemon Red/Blue were exactly the same story wise; yet Pokemon Yellow granted you a Pikachu as your starter and subsequently gain the original 3 starters in your quest. Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver were also basically the same; but Gold saw Ho-Oh awaken first whereas Silver had Lugia awaken first. Similarly to Pokemon Yellow before it, Pokmeon Crystal had some similarities to the previous Gen 2 games; yet had key differences with the Legendary Pokmeon Suicune. This style not only continues for every game after; but also grows more apparent in Gen 3 where each game version has a different team trying to revive a different Pokemon.
How It All Fits Together – Pokemon Multiverse Timeline:
So basically, each Pokemon game – with a few exceptions of course – could be its own Parallel World. Though as I mentioned at the beginning, we have seen connections between different Generations of Pokemon games. Each game might represent a different course; but we also have to account for the timeline of these Pokemon games – if one exists. Thankfully a tweet from Toshinobu Matsumiya – one of the lead game heads since almost 1998 – revealed that there isn’t only a timeline for the Pokemon games; but also how each generation fits together.
IF this tweet is legit, then this veiled tweet would translate as the Kanto stories (Red, Blue, etc) taking place concurrently with the stories in Ruby & Sapphire. 3 Year later, the events in Johto (Gold, Silver, etc) would take place along with the stories in Diamond & Pearl. After an “unknown amount of time” Pokemon Black & White take place followed approximately two years later by Black & White 2. While B/W2 was going on, Pokemon XY would also be happening.
This timeline could lead to a number of different permutations since we previously learned from Archie that different versions can constitute different universes. To put this simply: One universe could be Yellow and Ruby taking place simultaneously leading into Pokemon Gold; while another could be Yellow and Sapphire leading to Gold.
For simplicity purposes, the above example doesn’t even take into consideration Diamond/Pearl, Black/White, etc; but you can already see a ton of different options forming. Since Red’s team in Gen 2 contains all 3 starter Pokemon and Pikachu, it makes more sense to maintain Pokemon Yellow as the starting point; but Pokemon Gold could just have easily have been Silver or Crystal. Even if we were to make the CORE Pokemon Timeline – that is the timeline composed of the most complete stories – we’d still have a divulging of parallel universes once we hit Black & White since there is no Gray version which combines both stories such as the past versions did.
Are you still with me? Take a moment to reread if you must; but the main thing to take away here is that when there are conflicting versions (ie: Ruby & Sapphire, Black & White) these are all parallel universes that can be factored into the timeline. Additionally, we must remember that the parallel universes are grouped into one of two LARGER types of Universes – universe without Mega Evolution and one with Mega Evolution. So despite the “Matsumiya Timeline” saying Pokemon XY takes place concurrently with Black & White 2, Pokemon XY is STILL in a different parallel universe because it has Mega Evolution and the previous 5 Generations do not.
All in all, this Multiverse revelation is how Pokemon wants to explain Mega Evolution and why it didn’t exist in the prior five generations. Rather than admit “so what, we had a new idea”, they decided to use the Multiverse Theory to explain it away in a much more elegant – albeit confusing – manner.
Analyzing The Mega Evolution Universe – The Matsumiya Timeline Fails:
Since we are currently in the Mega Evolution Universe (XY & ORAS), we should actually take a moment to just explain what this world means. Just because the first five Generations of Pokemon don’t exist in this universe, that doesn’t mean that Kanto, Johto, etc don’t exist in this world. Just like how Kalos would exist in the Pre-Pokemon XY World despite it not being mentioned, these other regions of course exist in the Post-Pokemon XY (Mega Evolution) World despite not being mentioned yet. It’s a pretty safe assumption that Pokemon will not only continue to make new games in the Mega Evolution Universe; but will also bring some of the old regions into these games.
How Kanto and Johto will be brought in considering we’ve already gotten Gen 1 & 2 remakes (FireRed & LeafGreen, HeartGold & SoulSilver), remains to be seen; but these lands do exist. The real question is if the “Matsumiya’s Timeline” still holds true. He said Ruby & Sapphire take place many years before Pokemon XY; but that doesn’t mean Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire do. The Mega Universe is very different and might hold a completely different timeline considering Pokemon ORAS seem to take place AFTER Pokemon XY.
In Pokemon ORAS, Mega Evolution is a much more widespread occurrence whereas in Pokemon XY its an exceptionally rare thing that only a handful of Pokemon and Trainers have access to. Now yes, Pokemon ORAS was released after XY so that explains all the additional Mega Evolutions; but who’s to say that also doesn’t mean ORAS comes after XY story wise. Though if you want an added reason, you must simply travel to Slateport where some of the ship builders speak of building a ship using Kalos’s High Speed rail technology. If people in ORAS plan on using some of Kalos’ cutting edge tech then there is no way ORAS can take place – at the very least – 6 years before Pokemon XY.
Whether ORAS comes after XY or these two games are concurrent to an extent, there are drastic differences between the Mega Universe Timeline and the Matsumiya’s (Normal) Timeline. As for where the series will go after this, probably a Mega version of Diamond/Pearl OR a new Black/White since we see The Royal Unova – the transport ship in Gen 5 – being built in the shipyard in ORAS. So despite Black&White not taking place in the Mega Universe yet, they – and other game additions – will probably take place after XY and ORAS.
So there you have it folks. I hope I didn’t lose any of you there; and if I did, I hope you found your way back easily enough. What’s important to remember is that this is a universe that is constantly changing and growing by our own devices – or rather the people behind Pokemon. The Multiverse Theory is a fun and dynamic way to reconcile all of these different yet connected games; but you shouldn’t expect a massive Multiverse Map spelling out all the different possible parallel universes out there.
With each new Pokemon game – not to mention the anime and spin-off games – the Multiverse will grow bigger and bigger. So at the end of the day, just go enjoy your Pokemon games and this wonderfully deep answer to over 15 years of gaming. If you have any questions, sound off in the comments below and stay tuned for our next Poke-Theory article.