The lights are on
Do you worry the small number of Mega Evolutions will limit competitive Pokémon in official tournaments? Do you see Mega Evolutions as a mainstay of the series moving forward?
Because the Pokémon needs to use its held item slot for the Mega Stone that is required to trigger Mega Evolution, I don't think it will represent a huge advantage in competitions. The 2014 Pokémon World Championships will take place in Washington D.C., and qualifying events are underway, so I'm excited to see how the games play out and decide what direction we want to take from there. I hope we get a lot of people to participate in the events.
What is the story behind the new Pokémon Klefki? Who's idea was it and why did it make the cut?
The base idea came from Ms. Ibe – one of our graphic designers. Since the Kalos region has a lot of history, we felt we could attach some story elements to a key design. The idea for Klefki came from thinking of old mansions and secret keys and such.
Historically, your trainer's father has been absent, but in Pokémon X&Y your father apparently purchased the computer that's in your room for you. What is your father up to? And where are the fathers of the previous games?
Wherever could they be? They're probably off working somewhere, or maybe just having Pokémon battles? (laughs) It's apparent that they are at least making enough money to buy the player's character a computer! (laughs)
In the Lumiose City art museum there's a painting that looks like Red from Pokémon Red & Blue giving flowers to his mother. There are some people nearby that say they are from Kanto staring at the art mentioning how somebody they were traveling with really wanted to see this painting, but they are in the bathroom with stomach problems. The sign by the painting reads, "This masterpiece is a moving tribute to the artist's departed mother." Is this Red from the original Pokémon games? And did his mother pass away?
What incredible imagination! I think that's great. The tale about flowers is referring to Shaymin from the Sinnoh region. The guy who is stuck in the bathroom with stomach problems is actually a joke we put in about one of our graphic designers who came down with something while we were on location at the Louvre doing research for the game.
Is there any advantage to giving a tip to the camera man, or the story teller? I always offered a good tip, because I didn’t want them to think I was a jerk.
Thanks for the tips! (laughs)
I think we'll be announcing what we wanted to do in regards to tips on the Pokémon Global Link or elsewhere soon.
How long has Pokémon X&Y been in development? Had work already begun on the game while Black & White 2 were in development?
Yes, the conceptual planning for Pokémon X and Pokémon Y began before Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version were released. The idea for the game first arose around June of 2010. Then we spent 3 years developing the game, and – when you include the localization work – it ended up being a big project on which around 500 people were involved.
The pacing of Pokémon X&Y is dramatically sped up compared to previous games. You have your first badge before you meet the Professor Sycamore. Can you talk about why that decision was made? Was there a fear that rookie players would be left behind?
One thing that I can say is that people these days don't have a lot of time. Kids today are overwhelmed with information and busy on social networks, blogs, etc. When considering the reality of the era, we wanted to make the games easy for new players to get into and also fun for players of previous games. The fact that you get your Pokémon from a group of friends you just met has a modern feel to it.
Also, the professor being younger this time and the fact that he trusts the player and his or her friends kind of reflects modern times (in Japan these days, the relationship between teachers and students is more like a friendship than it was in the past).
The Pokémon Espurr has become a popular internet meme with fans citing his vacant expression representing a troubled past. What happened to Espurr, or what did he see that made him so vacant?
I wonder what happened, too! (laughs) I'd like everyone to think about it. I'm not sure Espurr would be willing to talk about it even if we asked, though. (laughs)
Why can't you choose to wear no hat?
It's a way to symbolize the player's character. You can tell at a glance who it is because of the hat.
Will there ever be paid DLC for Pokémon X&Y where players will be able to purchase rare Pokémon or additional single-player content?
While we won't ever sell Pokémon, we do plan on releasing the Pokémon Bank as a downloadable 3DS application. With it, you'll be able to bring over Pokémon from the previous games and also deposit up to 3,000 of your Pokémon in it.
Who do you like to pick as your starters?
Fennekin, of course! I love playing with Fennekin in Pokémon-Amie!
For our review of Pokemon X & Y, head here. For our Test Chamber on the game, head here. Video producer Ben Hanson contributed to this feature.
Email the author Kyle Hilliard, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.