I spent this past week trying to catch up on playing some other games to review, but I did get back into Pokemon just long enough to witness one of the most profound scenes in any of the games to date: AZ’s tale.
I’m a sucker for melancholy stories, and this might even earn Pokemon X & Y back a little respect in the plot department.
Earlier in my journey, I met a freakishly tall man who I thought was some kind of wandering hobo. But as I raided a Team Flare lab, I discovered him to be AZ, a former king of Kalos who has been wandering the land in mourning for three millennia.
As his story goes, 3,000 years ago AZ had a Floette that he loved, but it went off to fight in a war. Years later, AZ received a small box. In it contained his Floette who died in battle.
So grieved for his loss, AZ built a machine capable of restoring Floette’s life. Yet, upon his beloved Pokemon’s return, he felt no less anger for the war that took it in the first place. So he turned his machine into a weapon and unleashed such great devastation that it ended the war instantly.
The main thing this story forces me consider is the fact that Pokemon go to war. This is something that’s been brought up in the games and anime before, but it has never been so directly addressed. There is little room for doubt here: Pokémon are used to mass murder each other (and presumably people) in the name of humans.
What was the war even about? It’s irrelevant (and I’m pretty sure not even mentioned in the game). The horrors of war are themselves the greatest corruption on Earth, and should be avoided at any cost.
Up until this point, I was having a hard time understanding Lysandre’s motivations. I couldn’t grasp what was so wrong in the world that he thought obliteration was the only answer. I mean, this world seems like a Utopia compared to ours. In all my journeys I’ve never encountered poverty, corrupt governments, or environmental travesties.
But if war can take all sorts of Pokemon, even gentle species like Floette, and turn them into killers, then I can start to see where Lysandre’s axis of thinking crosses with my own. While the war in this story happened over 3,000 years ago, we know that war is still a blight on the Pokemon world. Lt. Surge confirms this, having fought in a war alongside Pokémon in his lifetime.
Of course, the irony is that Lysandre is looking to make the same mistake that AZ has spent 3,000 years regretting. Though he did manage to end a war, he did so by inflicting his pain upon thousands of others. Thousands of small boxes delivered to people who cared for their Pokemon. In the end, the thing he loved left him all the same.
Sorry to get so morbid here, but I think it’s worth exploring this topic and perhaps speculating on how this world handles war. Please share you opinions and theories in the comments below.