Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Pokémon of Unown Potential; Part 2

They see you when you're sleeping...
Unown is a weak alphabet pokémon with as much mysteries lore as Arceus or Rayquaza. Why, then, is it treated like such a weakling? It has stats on par with pokémon like Magikarp and learns only a single move. When it was released, it was nothing more than a gimmick to get kids to print them out and spell with them, often being words they shouldn't be spelling. It would made sense that after the loss of the Game Boy Printer to time and space that the story of the Unown would be done. However, in Diamond and Pearl two new Unown were added! Why?! If anything, it simply begs for them to be revisited a final time and elevated to the legendary status they have longed for. Previously, I explained why I think they deserve it, now I'm going to talk about how I think it should be implemented.

THE SPELL OF THE UNOWN

The punnyness of this title is without question. I think you should "spell" out a word to produce a "magical spell". Many legendaries have been afforded new formes when new areas, items, or mechanics are introduced. Giratina gained the Origin Forme when the Distortion World/Griseous Orb were released in Platinum. Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus can now change to their Therian Formes using the Reveal Glass. The list goes on an on. It would make sense that, maybe as of Gen VII that a new item be released that allows Unown to change formes. However, I think it should be more complex than simply changing when selecting a key item.

Unown are known for one thing: spelling words. I think to change their forme you should have to take them to a particular ruin and interact with a stone tablet or similar item to the puzzles from the Ruin of Alph. When you do, it would allow you to arrange the Unown in your party to spell a word. Obviously, this opens up a lot of possibilities, so it would have to be toned down. First, the word should be 5 letters long to represent 5 spots in your party. I'll get back to the importance of the sixth slot. Next, the forme change can only occur when certain words are made. For example, if you spell "POOPS" text indicating "Nothing Happened" would occur. If you spelled out a correct magical word, however, then things would get interesting!

Next, that empty slot on your team. If you have 5 Unown for spelling, you have one spot left to bring someone else. In my mind, that should be a legendary. Unown seems to take power from other legendaries or at the very least is attracted to their power. A key example of this is when Arceus activated the Shinjo Ruins (see previous article). Rotom). Either way, I would assume like fellow fusions Black Kyurem and White Kyurem, this means you couldn't deposit Unown Incantation into Pokémon Bank or trade it. While in Incantation forme, the IVs, Nature, Shininess, Pokéball, etc would be determined by the properties of the first Unown in the word.
If that is the case, it would make sense that you have to have a certain legendary on your team to help the magic word work. Depending on who that legend is would affect the ability and secondary typing of the new Unown forme, which I will from now on refer to as "Incantation" forme. As Unown is a simple pokémon design, I'd expect the concept for Unown Incantation to be equally simple. I've played around with a couple different ideas. First would have the Unown simply spelling a word then basically becoming "one pokémon" the same way Magneton or Dugtrio are one pokémon. You still have the individual letters, but they now only count as one pokémon on your team. Second, perhaps they would merge with the object or puzzle that you use to make the forme. In this case, the word would still be present on the Unown Incantation, but including the merging item as part of the pokémon would open up opportunities for additional design concepts.

Unown Incantation isn't a complex design,
but then again neither is Unown. 
CH-CH-CHANGES

Looking at Unown's ability, I've always found Levitate to be both equally useful and boring on the pokémon that have it. Many are Psychic, so obviously they Levitate I guess. It keeps every floating pokémon from ending up half Flying type (Dragon/Flying Latios? No thanks..) or to end up weirdly floating yet skill get hit by Earthquake as if it was on the ground (Ugh.. Magnezone actually needed Levitate but didn't get it...). Perhaps if it wasn't thrown around so much, I wouldn't be so burned out on it. That being said, I think giving Unown Incantation other abilities would add to its novelty and set it apart from other Psychics. I did my best to choose abilities that exhibit the choice of magic word and the elemental power being drawn the corresponding legendary. I also decided that statistically speaking, it should be on par with things like the Articuno or Registeel which sit at a 580 stat total. Perhaps the stats would spread out differently depending on forme, maybe they wouldn't. However, I feel that 580 at least puts Unown Incantation, depending on typing and moveset (discussed later), in the playable realm without being incredibly overpowered. I may address the stat options in the next article.

Below is the list of Unown spells that would merge the 5 letters into a new forme, the legendary type required, and the ability it would gain. Should the legendary have a dual type, I'd suspect the game dialog would go something like, "The tablet is exuding a strange aura. It almost feels like it is..." then you would chose a type from the two the legendary has.

Unown Incantation Spells: Spell the corresponding words using the Unown on your team and have a corresponding legendary/mythical of the right type. All Unown Incantation are still Psychic and gain the secondary typing of the spell type you use (exculding Psychic) and a new ability.

  • FIRE SPELL: BURN! + Fire Legend = Flame Body
  • WATER SPELL: FLOOD + Water Legend = Storm Drain
  • GRASS SPELL: PLANT + Grass Legend = Leaf Guard
  • ELECTRIC SPELL: SHOCK + Electric Legend = Volt Absorb
  • GROUND SPELL: DUNES + Ground Legend = Sand Force
  • ROCK SPELL: STONE + Rock Legend = Solid Rock
  • FLYING SPELL: WINDS + Flying Legend = Pressure
  • FIGHTING SPELL: VIGOR + Fighting Legend = Sheer Force
  • PSYCHIC SPELL: SOZEN + Psychic Legend = Inner Focus
  • BUG SPELL: STING + Bug Legend = Adaptability
  • GHOST SPELL: SCARE + Ghost Legend = Cursed Body
  • DRAGON SPELL: QUELL + Dragon Legend = Multiscale
  • ICE SPELL: FROST + Ice Legend = Snow Cloak
  • POISON SPELL: TOXIN + Poison Legend = Poison Touch
  • DARK SPELL: SHADY + Dark Legend = Pickpocket
  • STEEL SPELL: METAL + Steel Legend = Sturdy
  • FAIRY SPELL: CHARM + Fairy Legend = Friend Guard
  • NORMAL SPELL: LOOK? + Normal Legend = Frisk
When you're done with the obvious in-game dialog and checked your party, you would then only have 2 pokémon on your team: Unown Incantation and the legendary that tagged along as part of the spell. I would like to point out since the Unown do seem to have a connection with Arceus that you can use Arceus to activate any spell you want, so long as it is holding the right plate (ex: Toxic Plate Arceus can help activate a Poison Spell).

Some of these abilities, and therefore some Unown Incantation, are obviously better than others. However, I did my best to balance that aspect. If every spell resulted in an amazing ability, it wouldn't seem very genuine. Also, I wanted them to fulfill different roles. Normal and Fairy Spell Unown Incantations are better at team support. Rock, Dragon, and Steel Spell Unown Incantations can take a hit, whereas Ground, Fighting, and Bug Spell Unown Incantations can dish it out.

I'd also like to point out that every Unown letter and punctuation is used at least once. This means if you want to be able to potentially cast any spell, you are going to need all 28 Unown. Gotta Catch 'Em All! Of course, if you just want one particular spell for a tournament or something, you just have to go catch the five you need and only the stats of the first one in the word matter.