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General Video Games Pokémon League Tropes

Emperor ServingSpoon

The original AND the 16th!
Pokédex No.
238
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
106
Location
Route 119
Nature
Quirky
Pokémon Type
Grass, Ground
Pokédex Entry
Adept at procrastination. If he ever seems productive, it's likely because he's ignoring something far more important.
We've had eight regions worth of Pokemon Leagues now, with several variations of those between remakes and "third versions" (as I continue to call them despite the label not really being applicable since B/W2), and I thought it would be fun to note some of the similarities between them. But I'm running low on ado, so we'll get straight into it!

What's A Type Specialist?
Supposedly a type specialist, but has one or more Pokemon that don't fit their type.
Kanto: Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha, Lance
Johto: Koga, Bruno, Karen, Lance
Sinnoh: Aaron, Bertha*, Flint*
Unova: Iris
Galar: Raihan, Piers**, Marnie**
*D/P only.
**Can only show up during rematches.

Obligatory Old Lady
Features an old woman as one of the members.
Kanto: Agatha
Sinnoh: Bertha

Glacia from Hoenn and Drasna from Kalos both struck me as being old when I first encountered them in their games, but upon investigation, their ages seem to be a little more ambiguous. Definitely not young, but they could both still easily be in their 40's, while the other two are objectively old ladies, so I decided to drop them from this category.

Obligatory Dragon User
Features a Dragon specialist.
Kanto: Lance
Johto: Lance
Hoenn: Drake
Unova: Iris (B/W2)
Kalos: Drasna
Galar: Raihan

My Specialty is the Dragonite Type!
Has more than one Pokemon from the same evolutionary line (split evolutions are forgiven).
Kanto: Bruno*, Agatha, Lance*
Johto: Will, Lance
Hoenn: Phoebe, Glacia, Drake
*Except in Let's Go.

Aren't You Cold?
Bare male chest. Named for the dialogue option in Alola.
Kanto: Bruno
Hoenn: Drake
Alola: Kukui

Not Even My Final Form
Can be fought at a higher level in the postgame.
Kanto: FR/LG, Let's Go
Johto: HG/SS
Hoenn: OR/AS
Sinnoh: Platinum
Unova: B/W/2
Kalos: X/Y*
Alola: S/M/US/UM
Galar: Sw/Sh
*Only if you count the Battle Chateau, as they never level up at the Pokemon League itself.

Lucky Dip
One or more of your opponents in the rematch is decided randomly.
Alola
Galar

Elite Four's Elite Four
Their team consists of only four Pokemon.
Unova
Kalos
Galar*
*Only Bede.

Choose Your Own Adventure
The order you face the Elite Four in is up to you.
Unova
Kalos
Alola

Open to Suggestions
One or more of the Champion's Pokemon changes based on the starter you picked.
Kanto: Blue (R/B, FR/LG)*
Alola: Kukui, Hau
Galar: Leon
*His Eevee in Yellow evolves based on the outcome of your battles. His Let's Go replacement Trace's team only changes based on the version you picked.

I Remember You!
One or more of the Elite Four is first encountered somewhere before the Pokemon League.
Kanto: Lorelei (Let's Go), Agatha*
Sinnoh: Flint
Unova: Marshal (B/W2)
Kalos: Malva**
Alola: Hala, Molayne, Olivia, Acerola, Kahili (US/UM)
Galar: Bede, Nessa, Bea/Allister, Raihan
*Agatha's email to Oak can be read from the start of the game, but she's never met in person.
**Seen as the Holo Caster news presenter, but never met in person.

You Can't Spell "Champion" Without Charizard!
The Champion has a Charizard on their team.
Kanto: Blue*
Johto: Lance
Galar: Leon
*Only if you started with Venusaur, so not possible in Yellow, nor with Trace in Let's Go (though both Blue and Lance use one in Let's Go).

Wait... You Weren't Champion Before!
This region has been depicted with multiple Champions.
Kanto/Johto: Blue, Trace, Lance
Hoenn: Steven, Wallace
Unova: N, Alder, Iris
Alola: Kukui, Hau

Who Is Most Elite?
The members of this region's Elite Four are different between versions.
Alola: Hala (S/M), Molayne (US/UM)
Galar: Bea (Sword), Allister (Shield)

Where Did the Challenger Go?
You are capable of leaving the Pokemon League after you first enter it, despite what we've been told since the franchise began.
Unova: Only in Black and White, and only after beating the Elite Four.
Galar: Literally whenever you feel like it.

So of these categories, "What's a Type Specialist", "My Specialty is the Dragonite Type!" and "Elite Four's Elite Four" seem to be largely obsolete, though they were trends for a while. "Obligatory Dragon User" has only skipped two regions completely, though even Alola has Ryuuki with a unique design for one of the rematch Trainers, so this one's probably never gonna be gone for long. "Not Even My Final Form" has been relatively consistent since it debuted (though Gen 5 was the first time it made it into the debut game of the generation), with "Lucky Dip" adding an extra element to it, which I'd like to see retained. "Choose Your Own Adventure" was having a good run until Galar shook up the formula. It may return as the default if they leave the tournament format behind in future regions. "Open to Suggestions" returning in Alola after being absent since Kanto is interesting, but I don't know how much longer they could keep it up. I do think "I Remember You!" will continue to be a thing, though. Not certain I have every example of that one, though, so if I missed any, let me know!
 

Zard

Conqueror of the Pewter Gym
Pokédex No.
1814
Caught
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
5
Nature
Bold
Pronouns
He
Pokémon Type
Dark, Psychic
How about...I'm not even done training my Pokemon

RBY: Agatha, Lance
GSC: Bruno
RSE: Glacia, Drake
FRLG: Bruno, Agatha, Lance
HGSS: Bruno, Karen
ORAS: Phoebe, Glacia, Drake
 

Emperor ServingSpoon

The original AND the 16th!
Pokédex No.
238
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
106
Location
Route 119
Nature
Quirky
Pokémon Type
Grass, Ground
Pokédex Entry
Adept at procrastination. If he ever seems productive, it's likely because he's ignoring something far more important.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
I like it! Hasn't been used in a while, but there's more than enough examples to make it noteworthy! Usually overlaps with the "My Specialty is the Dragonite Type" trope just so they have slightly more variety in their team, even though that "variety" is just the same as something else but weaker...
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker and Nuzlocke Completionist
🌱Featurer
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
22
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
512
Location
Kanto Route 1, 1% encounter rate (Israel)
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Great thread! How about this one?
Equal Representation (same number of female and male trainers, not including the Champion).
Kanto: RBY, FRLG, LGEP
Hoenn: RSE, ORAS
Unova: BW, BW2
Kalos: XY
Galar (including Bede): Sword.
 

SimplyUnknown

Conqueror of the Goldenrod Gym
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
242
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
266
Location
Invisibly Watching
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
A silent watcher who speaks only when something needs to be said. Offers free hugs to those who need them.
Most Used Typings: The Elite 4 usually has at least 2 members who specialize in Psychic, Dark, Ghost, or Fighting Pokemon.

Kanto: Bruno (Fighting) and Agatha (Ghost).
Johto: Will (Psychic), Bruno (Fighting), and Karen (Dark)
Hoenn: Phoebe (Ghost) and Sydney (Dark)
Unova: Shauntal (Ghost), Marshall (Fighting), Grimsley (Dark), and Caitlin (Psychic).
Alola: Acerola (Ghost) in both S/M and US/UM and Hala (Fighting) in S/M
Galar: Bea (Fighting) in Sword and Allistar (Ghost) in Shield. (Not sure if they count or not since they appear in separate games, but I added them anyways.)

The only two gens that don't follow this are Sinnoh, with only Lucian as the Psychic user, and Kalos with none. However, Kalos has Korrina as Fighting gym leader and Olympia as Psychic gym leader so maybe that's why?
 

Emperor ServingSpoon

The original AND the 16th!
Pokédex No.
238
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
106
Location
Route 119
Nature
Quirky
Pokémon Type
Grass, Ground
Pokédex Entry
Adept at procrastination. If he ever seems productive, it's likely because he's ignoring something far more important.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
That post got me curious, since I didn't think Psychic was used *that* much in Elite Fours, so I decided to do a tally of all the type specialists from each region's Pokemon League. I included the Champions in instances where they were also type specialists, so deduct two from Dragon (Lance and Iris) and one each from Steel and Water (Steven and Wallace) for the results that only include the Elite Four themselves.

Never Used: Electric, Grass, Normal
Used Only Once: Bug (Sinnoh), Poison (Johto), Fairy (Galar), Flying (Kalos), Rock (Alola), Ground (Sinnoh)
Used Twice: Ice (Kanto, Hoenn), Fire (Sinnoh, Kalos)
Used Thrice: Psychic (Johto, Sinnoh, Unova), Water (Hoenn, Kalos, Galar), Steel (Hoenn, Kalos, Alola), Dark (Johto, Hoenn, Unova)
Used Five Times: Fighting (Kanto, Johto, Unova, Alola, Galar), Ghost (Kanto, Hoenn, Unova, Alola, Galar)
Used Six Times: Dragon (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Unova, Kalos, Galar)

So currently, every region except Kanto and Hoenn have one specialist of a type which is unique to their region. No type has been used only four times, unless you're subtracting the Champions, at which point Dragon has only been used four times and Fighting and Ghost both beat it by one. If you look at it on a character level, then Ghost and Dragon are both tied for five specialists (As Lance and Bruno are both returning members from Kanto's Elite Four, while none of the Ghost specialists are ever seen again [SpoooOOOOOoooky!!!]).

Oh, here's a new one!

I Got a Promotion!
A character that was a part of the Pokemon League Challenge in a previous game takes on a higher ranking role in a later game.
Johto: Koga (Gym Leader > Elite Four Member), Lance (Elite Four Member > Champion)
Hoenn: Wallace (Gym Leader > Champion)
Unova: Iris (Gym Leader > Champion)

Personally, I kinda want to include Acerola, since she goes from Trial Captain (Gym Leader equivalent) to Elite Four member (basically equivalent to kahuna, from what we know of Alola's traditions), but since that happens all in the space of one game and is the result of the establishment of a Pokemon League rather than a change in an already existing one, it's not quite the same thing.

Interestingly, the only character who continues their involvement in the Pokemon League Challenge at a lower ranking role in a later game is Blue, going from Champion to Kanto Gym Leader three years later.
 

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