Fancy meeting you her lads and ladies, it is Steampunk month and Pokémon.. is not something you can immediately connect to that sort of thing. While there may be a steampunk Romhack out there that I am not familiar with.. I have found nothing of the sorts just set.. so I decided to create a concept of my own. Including a few new regional variants.. and if I decide to make Steampunk Pokémon from scratch this will be the game they will be featured in! So let’s take a look at my Steampunk game.
NOT a Mainline game
To determine how my game will look like I first needed to decide what type of game it would be! Would it be a mainline RPG adventure or would it be something of a spin off game. Like Pokémon Conquest or Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. I have decided against creating an entire new mainline game! Why?! Because I would need a new region.. and we have a perfectly good region to create a Steampunk game. Galar already has a fair few Steampunk elements in it..it just got modernised. Steampunk games tend to have a more dystopian vibe as well. So I decided to combine the Galar region with the game series that already has this vibe..albeit in a more cyberpunk like setting. The Pokémon Colosseum series. In this series you get equipped with an artificial arm…. (that’s a big thing) and go capture Shadow Pokémon… by just making a few tweaks to the formula we can adapt this into a new game.
The artificial arm that is so important to this series is called the snag machine. Playing a character with a mechanical arm is very steampunk.. so it fits like a glove. A snag machine allows you to steal Pokémon from other trainers, which the main heroes need to steal so called Shadow Pokémon, a Pokémon that an evil organisation has tried to power up by closing their hearts and making them all about battles.. turning them into weapons. Again this is a trope that works pretty well in a Steampunk setting, but technology has come to far. So instead of being a sequel to Pokémon XD Gale of Darkness it will be a prequel to Pokémon Coliseum. But there is a problem.. in those early days the technology to make Shadow Pokémon did not exist. After all, Cipher did not exist yet. So we are going to need a new evil team.
The Evil Team
Like the Colosseum games, this game will be all about fighting the evil team and the big villains would be Team Tesla. What makes this organisation different from the others ..but remarkably close to team Cipher is that they HATE weak Pokémon. A weak Pokémon is a useless Pokémon in their eyes so if a Pokémon loses.. it is weak and they try to modify it it. Which leaves us with a counterpart to shadow Pokémon. This Pokémon Steampunk game will feature “Augmented” Pokémon. These are Pokémon that have been captured by Team Tesla for being weak and given augmentations. Like metal parts, exoskeletons, weapons and different things. However these Pokémon are too weak to just flat out remove it. You have to make sure these Pokémon can be strong enough to undo the augmentations. In more ways than one mirroring how Shadow pokemon work. They will get augmented secondary typing.. and all augmented pokémon moves are super effective against other pokémon.. and they work just like shadow pokémon work.. however instead of rampaging causing damage these devices overheat damaging the pokémon if you use augment attacks too much. You can cool them down by having them rest for a turn or vent steam.
Team Tesla would have also been the ones who “actually” discovered the snag technology, using it to steal Pokémon from trainers they have defeated. You in this game start off as a member of Team Tesla.
In a tutorial you are given a rental pokémon and forced to steal a Pokémon of a person. A young boy with two Eevee. You steal one of them and then are forced to hand it over to Team Tesla for augmentation. Let’s say the leader of the team is your father.. Thaddeus Tesla. You are his daughter (because the last two games you played a male) while Eevee is undergoing augmentations you get regrets and decide to rescue it. However it turns out your eevee is special and it evolved into a steel type eeveelution. A new Pokémon in the game. You find yourself overwhelmed but the young boy shows up again with a Flareon and helps you escape.
The boy tells you he saw you weren’t all that evil and knew you would do the right thing. He shows you how to properly catch normal Pokémon and allows you to keep the Eevee as he believes the bond you had with Eevee allowed it to achieve this special Eeveelution.. but in return you have to help him stop Team Tesla. He then introduces himself as Samuel Magnolia. What follows is a plot where Team Tesla.. who has their claws deep inside the Pokémon Foundation and the Galar government is trying to organise lots of tournaments.. to steal all the weak Pokémon and make them stronger. With these stronger Pokémon they wish to engage with the Kalos region in a new war.. so Pokémon and humanity will fight forever more and grow infinitely stronger. With their elites somewhat based on the four horsemen.. but of course being pokéfied. Your father of course represents War and is their leader, but there would also be an elite trying to infect creatures of a certain arena with the original form of Pokérus.. to cause pokémon to grow faster..but make them sick as well. One town would be ruled by a leader who creates food shortage in his village.. giving food only to the strongest and since death does not exist.. one leader.. who wishes everything to turn into ghost pokémon…because that is totally fine!
You will join Samuel Magnolia, in the resistance and fight against Team Tesla. Equipped with their own Snag device you can steal their augmented Pokémon and bring them to Pokémon technicians James and Thomas. James can use his machines to use steam to “sweat” off the parts the pokémon have put on them… because all those parts are just “glued” on of course. We have to make this child friendly..but they have to be strong enough to resist the heat.. or the moisture. So you have to train them up. With all the parts that fall off, Thomas will build you machines to progress through the game. A motor for your bike.. a Balloon so you for your bike so you can float across those mountains and more. It would be similar to how your bike got upgraded in XD Gale of Darkness.. or how you earn HM’s in the regular games. It would also force you to at least use Augmented Pokémon a bit. If that is too tedious we can always make the ones you need storywise already strong enough to proceed.
Besides from the steel type Eevee there would not be that much Pokémon.. but it will introduce a few “ancient” Galarian forms. All the pokémon found will serve the Double Battle Format that is iconic to this series. For example we would get a Galarian Drifblim (and Drifloon). While in the original Drifloon is a Balloon, Drifblim.. is still a Balloon.. so now we can actually make it a blimp! Since once again that is very iconic in Steampunk settings.
So we would get a Flying Fire Type Pokémon that instead of an ability like Aftermath would get an ability like “Carry” which is an ability I just made up.. that makes its partner Immune to Ground type moves. This would already be great since the Steel Eevee is weak to ground.
I would also give Klink an Ancient Galarian Form, one that reveals this form might be the ancestor of current day Klink and Magnemite. Being a steel electric type it looks a bit more like old timey gears and rather than growing to a big one it becomes more gears as it evolves. Possibly I would add some clock elements to it as well, this way it can feasibly learn abilities like “me first” or give it an ability that can speed boost it’s partner pokémon by accelerating it in time… or the counterpart slowing down the opponent. More Pokémon would be steampunk ified that way.. with abilities that focus on helping an ally! To make the double format more prevalent in the world. Pokémon like Toxicity who resemble an electric guitarist would not be found in this game, neither would Ditto , Porygon and of course Metwo. For Legendaries, we would mostly stick to the Regi’s.. but there is a special spotlight for Volcanion and Magearna.
I will save coming up with more unique Pokémon for a later post, but the trouble with Steampunk is mostly type diversity it is a world where there will be plenty of Steel and Fire types which means ground Pokémon will be a big problem.. which is why I will make Ancient Galarian Ludicolo an Electric Ground type. Why?! Because it is a Pokémon Colosseum game.. in it you face a man named Mirror B.. who constantly shows up and uses his Ludicolo to battle you! It is quite annoying! Of Course Mirror B would make his return.. but well since games plays out in ancient times.. we get his ancestor! Mirror A! Ludicolo always had a tricky typing to deal with and this time it will not be different.. especially since it has drought. Back in these times.. the Wildlands had a junkyard settlement where Mirror A and his gang used to live.. they are the second evil team.. the one that is more played for jokes.. so this Ludicolo starts as a Lotad that Mirror A finds from his Lombre and Stunfisk.
You beat his two Pokémon and they flee and all he is left with is an egg and he swears revenge on you!
<In this Section I will use art of the original Sword and Shield characters as.. making art is a tad to specific.. just apply steampunk (and potential gender) modifiers on these descendant characters >
Which brings me to the final part of this game set up for now.. as mechanically the game would almost be exactly like it’s older counterparts.. just with more modern Pokémon references it will still be a Pokémon Battle Double battle game with purification mechanics, tournaments and limited exploratory gameplay! This one is much more about battle tactics than the main series and would be quite a bit harder. The main character is a nameable female with orange hair. She would look a lot like Sonia from Pokémon Sword and Shield.
You will play a slightly older trainer than in the main line games, around the age of 15/16. The young boy you encounter, Samuel Magnolia, is clearly an ancient ancestor of professor Magnolia we encounter in the Gen VIII games?! “But wait?! Pinkie you just said we looked like Sonia.. isn’t she the granddaughter of Professor Magnolia?!” That’s right.. and this game is gonna show you where that side of the genepool comes from.
Like I said this game is about double battles, but where it is different is that you will quite regularly battle alongside other members of the resistance. While you fight alone in tournaments, during a raid on a Tesla base you fight with partners. Every partner has a specific team preference. Samuel for example likes to use Grass and Fire pokémon and likes to set up the weather with Sunny Day. So if you bring Hail Pokémon.. your team work will suffer. Meanwhile other people might prefer the rain, or even the hail.. one might bring a Galarian Weezing that ignores abilities.. so it is up to you to balance your teams to fit your partners as well. So you can train up several Pokémon. The resistances members will resemble the gym leader families. For example one will be this almost alpine like.. large woman, who prefers to use Wooloo and other normal types along with grass types.. with her battle style relying on putting leech seed up and lower stats so you can focus on damage. She is connected to Milo. We also meet Marnie and Pierce’s ancestor who likes using the dark types.. whose battle strategy focuses on Confusion/Flinces and single target damage. Then there is Raihan’s ancestor.. a fellow resistance member who desperately wants to be the hero himself.. his strategy is to knock you out along with his opponents so he can say he did all the work.
Of course all would follow some steampunk archetypes as well. With Pierce and Marnie’s ancestor being the spy type, Raihan’s ancestor being a hotheaded aviator and Milo’s ancestor being a tradesperson. All having their own little quirk. Battling with Samuel a lot.. who battles using Eeveelutions.. Being a professor researching these strange events makes a little romance bloom.. that while only implied you can tell will have a good ending.. because you know how the Magnolia name descendants.. look a lot like that Tesla girl. I think it is a nice way to include a romance without including a romance.. and with everyone being both an archetype as well as an ancestor it can be quite neat to link everyone in this world to their modern day counterpart.. adding some fun to an already delightful format! Puzzles you would do reflect the characters as well. With the aviator you’ll infiltrate a skyfort having to deal with winds, with Samuel you’ll do sciency stuff, like align electric pokemon to power doors and with the Motostoke Spy you will find yourself sneaking past search lights and finding hidden entrances and such.
And that would be my blueprint for a Steampunk pokemon game. I’ll be honest… I would LOVE to play a game like that. It might be a bit hard to imagine if you haven’t played XD Gale of Darkness but there is so much that would work for a SteamPunk scenario. These wind puzzles, the sneak puzzles we have seen before in Pokémon games so making them an actual part of the plot could do so much. Forcing you to battle with a partner might not be something people look forward to but given how bringing extra tech by cleaning pokémon from their steampunky augmentations will allow you to power level.. it will give you a chance to learn some more advanced battle strategies. it could be so fun! So how would you do a steampunk Pokémon game? What Pokémon would you want to have an ancient Galarian form? Let me know and let’s talk Pokémon!