Pokemon Game Theory: Where Is The Player’s Father?

Throughout the eight generations of the Pokemon games so far, it seems to follow the same procedure. The player starts out by moving to the new region with their mom and settling into their new house. The player then meets the regional professor who gives the player their starter pokemon, and they also meet their rival as well. Fans of Pokemon may not have noticed this during their childhood, but one question always comes to mind, especially when they grow up. That question is why the father of the player character is never present. For eight generations, this has remained the case. And each generation has come up with its own answer to this decades spanning question.

Throughout all of the mainline Pokemon games, there is always a mention of the player’s father at the very beginning. This is in the form of the journal of notes found on the player’s desk explaining the game controls, with dialogue often mentioning that the notes were left by their father. In the original FireRed/LeafGreen games, this takes the form of a laptop from which the player is able to extract one potion to take with them on their journey. This implies that the player’s father may have been a skilled Pokemon trainer. Upon completing their journey, they may have decided to keep a log of tips and notes in order to pass onto their child, the player, to help them when they begin embarking on their own journey. In the Gold and Silver games, and the remakes, HeartGold and SoulSilver, there is no mention of the player’s father at all.

Image Credit: Imgur

In the Sun and Moon and Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon games, the player moves with their mother to the Alola region from the Kanto region. When you first step out of your house, there is a mini garage with a car parked inside next to the house, and dialogue reveals that the car belongs to your father. This may imply that the player’s father might be a business CEO based in the Kanto region. The  reason why he is unable to move to the Alola region with his family is probably because of his busy schedule that prevents him from moving somewhere else. Therefore, he at least wanted to send the family car over so that the player and their mother would have a way to travel around.

Image Credit: Gaming Bolt

The only games that provide a solid answer to this longstanding question are Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, and the corresponding remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. In the game, the player moves with their mother from the Johto Region to the Hoenn region, where the player’s father Norman, is the leader of the Normal- type gym located in Petalburg City, with whom the player eventually has to battle in order to earn their fifth gym badge. In the Pokemon X and Y games, the player journeys through their home region of Kalos, and again, the player only has their mother, with their father nowhere to be seen or mentioned at any point in the game, and the same goes in the more recent Sword and Shield games.

Image Credit: Women Write About Comics

Of course, there are also other possibilities as well. For example, either the player’s parents got divorced, and the player is living with their mother, or an even sadder possibility is that the player’s father may have been bedridden and died due to illness. And, the reason why the player and their mother seems to move to the new region may be because the player’s mother can’t bear to live in their old house anymore because it reminds her too much of her husband. In reality, the absence of the father may also be an intentional decision made by the game developers as to not take too much focus away from the main point of the game, which is the player character journeying through the region, catching Pokemon, battling the various gyms, or  taking on the Island Challenge, defeating the Elite Four, and becoming Champion. Whatever the reason is, it is just a game meant to be enjoyed by players without reading too much in between the lines. However, at the same time, it is admittedly fun to speculate.

Sources:

Bulbapedia- Generations 1-8- https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Main_Page

Women Write About Comics- https://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2015/11/51993/

Imgur- https://imgur.com/gallery/nhQLv

Gaming Bolt- https://gamingbolt.com/pokemon-ultra-sun-and-ultra-moon-review

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